The Corner


One of the issues I discuss in today’s Impromptus is what I call “the overamplification of American life.” You know: You go into a little taverna by the beach, seating twelve people, and the five-piece band is all miked. (I once had an editor who insisted on “miced.” Never liked it.) And of all the issues I discuss, that’s the one readers are most interested in, by their mail. Even more than in Palin and Weiner!

Here is one letter, a brief one, from “deep in the People’s Republic of Madison, Wisconsin,” as the letter-writer says:

Dear Mr. Nordlinger,

. . . A few hundred years ago, when I was in high school, we performed our plays and concerts in what was a very good size auditorium. Our director sat in the front, then the middle, then the back row during auditions to make sure we could fill the room.

This past spring my youngest daughter was in her junior high school play, held in the church basement/auditorium, just slightly larger than a good size living room. And every performer with more than one line was mic’ed.

By the way, that’s kind of a neat spelling, of the last word. And the thing about overamplification, or one of them? It almost always adversely affects the music. Everything about it blows chunks (as we used to say in high school). (Mine, at least.)

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