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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

December 14, 2005


I went to my son's nativity play at school yesterday morning.

I, like all parents watching their own offspring, felt proud as punch as I watched him do his bit.

I took the digital camera with me, under orders from my wife.

So did everybody else. But mostly they had video cameras as well.

I got there early. I didn't take a seat because I knew I would be taking photos and I didn't want to commit an act of extreme rudeness by blocking the view of people behind me.

I stood at the side of the hall where I could get a clear view without blocking anybody else's view.

Except we don't live in a world of politeness anymore do we.

You should have seen them all, pushing and conniving to get to the front and get the best shots on their new-fangled digital equipment.

Most of the seats were empty by the end. With everyone standing up. Stupid and out of control. Like a filthy selfish rabble.

At one point I couldn't even see the stage because there were so many people standing in front of me, nudging each other out of the way.

I had to work very hard to prevent myself from unleashing a bit of ultra-violence on them.


  • I just get depressed at these things, because it just seems wrong for the experience to be mediated by a camera or camcorder. I just want to sit back and watch it. Anyway, they're rubbish, these shows. And what has the nativity got to do with Christmas?

    There are so many parents pointing cameras because every single kid has to be on the stage. When Iw as a kid, a a few kids were selected and the rest just watched. Not inclusive, I know, but at least you could see what was happening and half the kids weren't crying because they didn't want to be there.

    At my kids' school, they always commit the error of putting the smallest ones in positions where they can't be seen - at the front on the floor, or behind the bigger kids. I have never yet attended one of these events where my daughter was actually visible. And if you do manage to film it, there are always other children in shot who are not aesthetically pleasing (joke).

    My wife went to Didi's yesterday evening. She got a spot on the balcony in a church, with a good view. But she came home saying she couldn't get the camera to zoom properly. Our camera has a manual 7x zoom, but she'd tried to use the digital 4x zoom, which is rubbish. But it was all right, because there wasn't enough light for the auto focus to work and she doesn't know how to switch to manual focus.

    I felt bad for not going, but I didn't see the point, because - like you - I'd end up getting irritated by the middle-class fuckwads with their camcorders.

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 3:02 am  

  • Exactly.

    I thought, "I bet they aren't even watching their child, because they're too busy fighting with each other for position and filming".

    And that is sad.

    There was a screamer yesterday who cried all the way through. Very loud.

    I remember being in nativity plays at nursery school. One year I was one of the three wise men, which was okay.

    The next year I was a shepherd. I remember e certain lack of dignity about it. I felt as though I was wearing a frock, and we had to take our uniforms off and wear the frock over our underware. But we had to keep our socks on, which felt even more stupid.

    Actually, looking back, I think the whole experienced put me off getting undressed in public, and that single event is therefore solely to blame for me not being into sport.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 3:23 am  

  • I should have gone on the stage, I realise that now. I said a while ago that it's better to be a failed ac-tor than a failed writer, because at least ac-tors have their looks.

    I was in a lot of school plays, and I even wrote several of them. I wrote our VIth form revue, and I was Beelzebub in Dr Faustus. But you're surrounded by people less talented than yourself, so it puts you off.

    Do I have to say: (joke)?

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 3:28 am  

  • These schools should hire one photographer and one cameraman for the night and then ban everyone else from taking their own photos / film. At least that way all the parents could actually watch their kids perform.

    These days nobody seems to think they've experienced anything at all unless they've recorded it for... well what exactly? I was deeply offended when I went to Anne Frank's house and some bloke was ahead of me catching everything with his camcorder. "And that's where they were standing when the Nazis found them..." Are they really going to sit round in years to come and watch that tape? And whatever happened to memory anyway?

    By Blogger Marie, at 8:00 am  

  • Marie is right: the schools should film them and sell DVDs (we have bought one actually) and then people could just sit in their seats and watch the show. It also gives me an opportunity to sell loads of "school show recording kits" to institutions up and down the land.

    Personally, I like to film my kids when they don't know they're being watched. Not because I want them to be "natural" or whatever, but because when they're aware of the camera, they tend to say the same kind of thing ("Let me see, let me see!") or you end up with my droning voice answering questions, which is no fun.

    I like to sit on the beach and use the zoom to film them when they're playing obliviously in the sand or waves; or I like to sneak up on them playing drums in my garage, or bouncing on the trampoline.

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 8:38 am  

  • Yep, she is right.

    It makes a great deal of sense, because everyone gets a good recording too, instead of a grotesquely blurred shot taken on maximum zoom that's underexposed too because the camera was getting solarised by peroxide hair belonging to someone standing right in front of you.

    Incidentally, my son was meant to be a (surreal) donkey in the stable, but he would've made a cracking Donnie Darko.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 9:00 am  

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