Monday, April 09, 2007

"High-toned cluelessness is a lifestyle."

A world-class violinist busks the morning rush in a Washington, D.C. subway station, and – horrors! – is mostly ignored. Philistinic entrapment can be funny and revealing, but this one is just dumb and insulting, for all the reasons outlined here. (The title of this post is lifted from the comments.)

Here's an excerpt from the original:

AS METRO STATIONS GO, L'ENFANT PLAZA IS MORE PLEBEIAN THAN MOST. Even before you arrive, it gets no respect. Metro conductors never seem to get it right: "Leh-fahn." "Layfont." "El'phant."

At the top of the escalators are a shoeshine stand and a busy kiosk that sells newspapers, lottery tickets and a wallfull of magazines with titles such as Mammazons and Girls of Barely Legal. The skin mags move, but it's that lottery ticket dispenser that stays the busiest, with customers queuing up for Daily 6 lotto and Powerball and the ultimate suckers' bait, those pamphlets that sell random number combinations purporting to be "hot." They sell briskly. There's also a quick-check machine to slide in your lotto ticket, post-drawing, to see if you've won. Beneath it is a forlorn pile of crumpled slips.

On Friday, January 12, the people waiting in the lottery line looking for a long shot would get a lucky break -- a free, close-up ticket to a concert by one of the world's most famous musicians -- but only if they were of a mind to take note.

These dirty plebes are more interested in money and pornography than Bach's Partita No. 2 in D Minor! I certainly hope the Washington Post picked up the tab for the writer's scented hankies.

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