I submit the SS "Everyone notice how CULTURED we are!" Family at the symphony last night. Last night, my husband and I attended a symphony performance we'd been looking forward to for months. When we walked in, we noticed a set of parents with a four-ish year old boy, two-ish year old girl and an infant so tiny he couldn't have been more than six weeks. The mom was telling anyone who would listen that the four year old just loved the featured composer and DEMANDED that the family spend the evening at the symphony, so what could they do but bend to his need for classical music education? The Dad just stood there and nodded.
As soon as the symphony keyed up, so did the baby, SCREAMING his way through most of the first piece. The ushers finally asked the mother to step out of the hall, but we could hear her huffing, "I'm here so my CHILDREN can experience this music. Isn't that what the symphony is all about?" over the music and we were sitting a balcony level away.
At intermission, I heard the mother coaching the son while speaking to other attendants, "Wasn't the violin concerto just WONDERFUL, son? Wasn't the adagio well-executed? What did you think of the melodic theme?" While the son blinked sleepily and nodded his head because it was 8:30 and probably past his bedtime.
During the last piece, the piece I was really looking forward to, we could hear the two year old begging, "Can we just GO? I wanna GO! I don't want to be here anymore!" As we were leaving, the mother was bragging about how very advanced her children were and how she would do anything to meet their very advanced needs, that they were so much more cultured than the average family because her father was a professor at such and such college.
The thing is, the symphony has a children's program where they have a smaller scale performance and the conductor gives explanations of the instruments, the musical pieces, the composers' life, musical theory, etc., at their level. The kids probably would have gotten so much more out of that performance than last night's concert. But I get the feeling the mom just wanted everyone to know how very advanced and cultured her children were.
I see you've met my SIL, We went to the ballet and she allowed her then 4 year old to talk though out entire performance of Nutcracker. THE.ENTIRE.PER.FOR.MANCE. I told her repeatedly to quiet the kid, the ushers asked her to leave, the people around her finally told her to "shut up" and her response "she's asking about the play, she can talk." and made no effort to quiet her.. it ended up with two rows around her standing in back so we could listen to the music rather than the kid.
I still refuse to go to movies, symphonies and plays with them, and they can't afford to go it I don't pay - so they don't go and I get told that I am 'denying the kids culture in their lives because I am too selfish' for refusing to inflict the kids ( who have still not been taught to shut up during a performance at 8, 11 and 18) on other folks.
As far as culture snobs: my music teacher is the worst. He teaches, actively , that fiddler players can never be as good as symphony players, even if they have a Master's in Music Performance "because if they were actually good, they would not be playing fiddle" - and that they "are always out of tune" and more. I am telling you if there were another teacher willing to take on adults in my town, I would move, but there's only him in reasonable driving distance.