Kiss me, I'm Catholic.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Apologia... Cell Phone Hatred... Apologia for Cell Phone Hatred...

An intriguing excerpt from William Luse's blog:

"This could go on a long time, Father. I've given my promise. What more do you want?"

He slammed his fist against the desk in a tight, swift gesture that caused Liz to flinch. "I want more than your promise! I want to know there's something holier in your life than your own damn opinion. I'm sick and tired of my Catholic children coming in here with their pagan fianceés, all of them, of course, like you, pledging undying love, and then a year or five years later," he snapped his fingers, "it's over." He ceased, allowing the heat beneath his collar to subside, his voice to calm. "Of course," he admitted, "I see quite a few pagan Catholics as well, and they have no cloak for their sin. But it comes to the same thing: many of my flock now live their days in great sorrow because a promise wasn't enough." He leaned forward to fix me with the blue eyes. "What I want to know is that after God joins you beneath the roof of his house, the walls of your marriage will not come tumbling down with the next change in the weather. With any change in the weather. That's what I want to know."

Is this from the Steven King novel he mentioned a while ago? Anyone know? It's pretty righteous anyway.


Cell phones must be the fasting-growing cause of death in America today. Last Sunday, no less than three telefonini started jangling at Mass, and I thought I would have a heart attack. You'd think that after the first one went off, people would be awed and chastened by this solemn example of obnoxious stupidity, contemplate the Four Last Things, and amend their lives. But nooooooooo. The fools persist in their folly and perish in it! YEEEEARGH!!!

::recovers composure:: Ahem. Once a cell phone even went off at the consecration. Seriously, we were all kneeling in absolute silence, the priest raised the chalice slowly... and then a tinny rendition of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik drowned out his words.

Such cell phone trolls are the aural equivalent of the man who attacked the Pietá with a hammer. I will illustrate further.

The worst cell phone offense I have ever witnessed happened during my symphony's annual benefit concert in San Jose. We were playing for a big crowd at the Civic Auditorium. It was an all-Russian program - Mussorgsky, Glinka and Tchaikovsky. (Dr. Kolchinksy finally achieved self-parody in this, but who cares, it was great!) John Nakamatsu was playing the Tchai. Piano Concerto No. 1, and we were all in awe of his lightning fingers... The Auditorium has a weird setup that allowed us to put nice tables with flowers and candles on them right up front, so that the *special* people could practically reach out and touch the piano. And feel special. About having contributed all that money. Anyway, after we finished the hyperactive Ruslan and Ludmilla, we launched into the concerto and for some minutes the world revolved around John Nakamatsu. Then - in the quietest, tenderest, most spellbinding point in Nakamatsu's cadenza - An oboe player's cell phone went off backstage! He had left it right behind the curtain and there was no way to turn it off. It blared and jarred and jangled its wretched canned Mozart or Tchaikovksy or whatever it was for minutes, all the way through the cadenza, and it was loud. The audience was muttering and gasping, and when the orchestra came back in I was so angry I could hardly play. If I were the oboist, I would have made myself scarce after the concert. I don't know what became of him... hopefully he became a Trappist monk in Siberia and chants the penitential Psalms every day.

I heard of a violinist who stopped performing to run down the aisle and grab a ringing cell phone from a hapless patron. He threw it on the floor and stomped its miserable sillicon guts out.

Cell phones: 32937395353, Musicians: 1. May this happen many times more!

Look, if you're going to Mass, or a movie, or a concert - turn off your #$@!%& cell phone. Or I will come turn it off for you, with a great big anvil marked Acme Co.

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