You Be The Jury: Should we always give our kids standing ovations?on February 27, 2013 @ 12:15 pm (Updated: 4:42 pm - 2/27/13 )
Dori Monson Show listeners to decide whether it's okay to sit during a standing ovation.
Our listener from North Seattle, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote us a letter saying that it seems the standards for standing ovations have been lowered. Even Jennifer Lawrence, who fell during the Oscars, got a standing ovation - one of the biggest of the night.
But he thinks that the this honor should be reserved for the best of the best, and he refuses to stand and clap for anything less. He says he won't even stand for his kids unless they really deserve it.
The listener says his wife thinks that following along with a standing ovation is just polite - even if you don't think the show deserves it. But he says he refuses to be a lemming. Who is right?
Dori, news anchor Ursula Reutin, and even producer Jake agreed that it sets the bar too low to stand and clap at every event. Especially at a really terrible performance.
"I appreciate the effort," said Dori, "but why am I going to give a standing ovation to something I hated?"
Dori said that too much praise is bad. Reflecting back to coaching little league, Dori said he didn't allow his team to have participation trophies because it makes them undervalue awards. He wanted his team to thirst for success.
But listeners who called in overwhelmingly disagreed with Dori, Ursula, and Jake.
Listener Kris has performed and directed theatrical productions, and she's also been a parent of a child in a bad school play. She thinks there's a big difference between cheering for professionals and cheering for your child.
"I just think that, for the most part they're not standing up to be lemmings but because they know these people," said Kris. "You can tell the difference between a standing "O" that you really earned, and one that people are giving you because they're glad you made it through or they're glad it's over."
Listener Patrick agreed with Kris, saying he's picky when it comes to professionals, but he thinks that over-enthusiasm is appropriate at children's performances.
Another listener who called in said she still cheered and gave a standing ovation for her grown-up daughter at a botched professional performance.
"She fell on her face. This was at Symphony Hall. And that didn't make any difference at all. It was the fact she was up there doing it," said Jane.
Read our listener's letter and decide:
I love the way KIRO reporter Brandi Kruse attacks a story - especially when she's uncovering something for Dang it Dori.
But my problem is more like some of the emails you've received from your listeners about everyday crap that people like me have to deal with. My problem is with lemmings - people who just can't think for themselves and follow whatever the crowd is doing. I know how much you hate this, too - so my wife and I want you and maybe your listeners to help me with my rant. It's about standing ovations at shows.
It actually started a few years ago when our kids and their friends began performing in high school concerts and plays. I noticed that as soon as the show was over - whether it was good or not - a few people in the audience would get up for a standing O. That seemed to get other people sitting near them to do the same thing.
My wife thinks that if someone near you is rising and applauding, it's the polite thing to do - you get up, too. I think it's stupid. Even if the show is only okay or even if it's outright bad, I will clap. But come on, Dori, should I have to stand up at the end of a high school (or a professional play for that matter) if I only thought it was average just because the other lemmings are???
I know all the performers work hard and rehearse, so I applaud that. I give my own kids an extra big hug for their effort. But a standing ovation should be reserved for only the best of the best, in my opinion. Otherwise it starts to look like giving a big trophy to kids who finish in fourth place in Little League. Our kids are getting all the wrong ideas about unearned glory.
On Sunday night, for pete's sake, some actress got a standing ovation for tripping on her dress on her way to accept her Academy Award. Now I know people in Hollywood are lemmings, but is that what we're all turning into? Or is standing up to applaud at the end of any show - if everyone else is doing it - just the polite thing to do???
I love kids, music and theater as much as the next guy, but is this getting ridiculous or is it just me?
A long-time listener, (please just call me) Average Joe in North Seattle
What you're saying on Facebook:
Roxanne Murdock: I agree with David Grear...also, if you are sitting next to someone who doesn't want to do a standing ovation, don't nudge them on the shoulder to make them stand. then you get that sigh and a glare. (from me) lol
David Grear: If you give a standing ovation for everything it means nothing. Standing O's should be spontaneous and heartfelt, not come from social pressure.
Jennifer Page: Are you sure YOU didn't write this Dory?? This guy sounds exactly like you!!
Nigel Slater: Shirley Bassey sounded awful at the Oscars and she got a standing ovation too. They really will clap for anything.
Aj Suttie: I believe in being HONEST all the time with my children...
Ryan Lucas: I think people in Seattle are more likely to conform and stand up because they're too afraid it would be "not nice" to not stand with all the other sheep (I mean people applauding).
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