Being an audience member is fine when attending an event, such as a Shakespearean play. Attendance is optional, and if the performance is poor you can always leave before it’s over. You will not get your money back, but the experience is not going to have any long term effects on your life. It can be put behind you once you leave, and you don’t have to ever return to it.
Being an audience member is not so fine when the performance is happening on the local, national, and world stage. Attendance is not optional, it’s mandatory. We cannot exit the theater because it’s all around us.
We are reluctant audience members forced to witness poor performance after poor performance. Negative feedback is frowned upon, and disruptions can lead to retaliations. There is, after all, a huge divide between the performers and the audience, and much that separates the two. Not only that, but while these “performers” get all the kudos, we the audience members get the bill. And what a hefty bill it is.
You can count on these performances being poor, because that too is mandatory. Lying, finger pointing, misdirection, crying foul, and hypocrisy are not only encouraged, but expected. They are either unaware of how ridiculous they look and sound, and how unbelievable they come across, or they don’t care.
Unfortunately, these repeatedly poor performances have had a benumbing effect on some audience members. A standard of poor performance has been set that has some taking their cue from this and imitating it within their own spheres of influence, with less than acceptable results. The few who are brave enough not to play by these rules can expect ridicule, poor reviews, and denunciations from their peers.
Performances are so consistently poor that for the most part these performers must generate their own fans. Certain sections of the media must support them to protect their own personal interests. Young people are also apt to be drawn in due to their limited life experience and inclination to get caught up in the moment and the rhetoric. In addition, when it comes down to it these performers must support each other to protect their own positions.
Disappointment in these performances is a given, with some audience anger, frustration, and embarrassment thrown in at times to top it off. They try to lure people in with the promise of better performances to come, but it’s always more of the same. They show up and the results are dismal. Hopefully this cycle will eventually run its course with better performances to come, but until then be wary of eating too much of their popcorn. It’s hard telling what they’re putting in it.