My youngest son gave his first ever music recital last week. It was only a few notes as part of an ensemble, but as every parent knows, that's not the point. Unfortunately, I don't have a photograph of this wonderful occasion nor a video clip to show Grandma and Grandad. As I stood up to capture the treasured moment for posterity, I was promptly assailed by an official and told that I was not allowed to photograph my own child at a public performance because the performance was in a school and that it was "County policy" that I was not allowed to take either still pictures or a video clip. I asked her if it was an intelligence-led decision (what do you think -- from Surrey County Council?) on the basis that a known pervert was in the audience and if so, under "Reid's Law" if we shouldn't have been informed, but my wife told me to shut up.
Clearly, my behaviour was, to Surrey County Council, beyond the pale. By contrast, some of the behaviour considered perfectly acceptable was allowing your child to spend the entire recital playing on a Gameboy, only pausing for a moment when (I presume) a sibling was centre stage, as well as talking while the children were playing and -- something that particularly annoys me -- leaving as soon as your child has finished their piece. Outright rudeness and a flamboyant lack of respect for other people: no problem. Wanting to record an important event in your child's life: totally unacceptable.
There was a guy in the row in front of me who had a video camera on his lap and was filming surreptitiously when any of his kids were playing. Should I have shopped him? Let's hope the government's plan to have CCTV cameras everywhere, all the time, will put an end to such agonising moral dilemmas.
In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]