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Parents are cautioned to enter at their own risk.
As a journalist there are times I am surprised by what I learn on my travels and other times by what I learn near home. Navigating a crowded Congressional hearing, avoiding insurgents in Fallujah, and driving through a drug gang neighborhood in east Baltimore is one thing. Braving the waiting line for a sold-out concert by a 15-year old Australian heartthrob is another.
I agreed when my 13-year old daughter asked me to accompany her and a couple of friends to a Cody Simpson concert at the six-month old Fillmore concert hall in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Simpson is not a mega pop star and the folks at Entertainment Weekly may not even know his name, but he is definitely an A-lister for 10-to-16 year old girls. He ranks alongside Greyson Chance, Victoria Justice and British boy band One Direction (“1D” to those in the know) — all well known by today’s teens.
It is refreshing in an era when so many rappers preach misogyny or violence toward cops or when international stars have their lives cut short due to drugs or alcohol abuse (here, here) that there are wholesome and well-behaved performers for the young to idolize.
The Simpson concert was general admission, which translates into just how early are parents willing to arrive and stand in line prior to the doors opening one-hour before the 4:00 p.m. show? We reached the Fillmore at 11:30 a.m. with drinks, snacks, folding chairs, a blanket and a generous supply of Hot Hands chemical hand and foot warmers.
About 75 concertgoers were ahead of us. About two-thirds of them were standing on the sidewalk along Colesville Road in front of the theater entrance and — most importantly — in the sun. We were in the line that snaked around the corner onto Fremont Street, which was in the shade with the afternoon sun heading in the wrong direction. The 5-10 mph breeze and 46 degree temperature made the air feel much chillier.
My daughter and her two friends were not appropriately dressed for the weather. But neither were any of the other of the hundreds of girls in attendance. There is a very distinct uniform worn by the teenybopper segment of the population. Leggings or blue jeans and a T-shirt from any of Aeropostale, Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister with a smattering of American Eagle and Tommy Hilfiger were present. Anything adorned with the Old Navy logo is so yesterday.
A plurality of girls were wearing homemade fan t-shirts with the standard “I (heart) Cody Simpson” inscription in florescent craft paint sprinkled with glitter. This proves that GOP presidential candidates attacked by homosexual activists aren’t the only ones wearing glitter this time of year.
A pair of high-top Converse All Star sneakers or Uggs boots and a North Face jacket completed the ensemble. A few girls wore the brightly colored Pastry-brand high-top sneakers. Simpson aficionados know that Simpson’s younger sister models the footwear.
The other distinctive physical feature of these girls would make an orthodontist proud. There was a virtual sea of braces and retainers each time they smiled. Apparently, families content with crooked teeth don’t attend Cody Simpson concerts.
Countless girls carried signs professing love and loyalty and offering matrimony.
Most of the attendees were from the Baltimore-Washington
metroplex such as Annapolis, Bel Air, Mt. Airy, Severn, and Upper
Marlboro in Maryland, and Alexandria, Arlington, and Burke in
Virginia. Some drove longer distances. Two sisters and their
parents from Frackville, PA (about a three-hour drive) were first
in line, having arrived at 11:30 p.m. the night before. They
pitched a tent for the evening.
They were closely followed by five high school-aged girls from Hanover, PA who arrived at midnight and by four girls from Front Royal, VA who got in line at 1:00 am.
The tired looking Frackville dad sheepishly confessed he couldn’t come up with a good enough excuse to turn down his daughters’ request to attend the concert with them. He should have felt proud of himself since the typical teenage girl would have preferred her dad stay home.
(It is unknown if the Obama Administration will shut-down the entire town of Frackville, accusing it of contaminating central Pennsylvania’s water supply.)
There were a few other dads in line, but not many. Most adults were moms. Teenage boys were also rare although the one standing near us was there because his girlfriend asked him to join her. He also told anyone willing to listen that he looked just like Cody Simpson. He actually did bear a strong resemblance.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?