frenchpony (frenchpony) wrote,

  • Music:

What Time Is It? Inane Dialogue Time!

I've been giving the gamelan one last try this quarter, in a desperate attempt to reconcile the fact that I love playing it and hearing the music with the fact that it's run by a collection of jerks -- last spring, for instance, there were some remarks made to me that didn't qualify as anti-Semitic mainly because the person making them wasn't smart enough to understand how they could possibly be offensive. But I'm trying to hold out at least for this quarter, partially to keep playing, and partially because . . . well, it's a good idea for the Music 102 TA to be involved with the gamelan.

But boy, when I have to deal with inane dialogue like this, I wonder if I'll be able to hold out through December.

We were working on a short, simple piece. I was playing kempul and gong. It's not a difficult part; the piece never goes too fast, the 'pul plays only one beat out of every four, mostly the same pitch, and there's plenty of time to get everything done. It's the sort of 'pul part I can play in my sleep. Then, this dialogue happens . . .

Gamelaneuse: Pony, is that 'pul part too hard for you? Would you like someone else back there to help?
Me: Well, actually, it's a pretty easy part. I'm not having any trouble playing it on my own, but if someone would like to come back here and play along, that would be perfectly fine with me. But I'm not dying for lack of help.

Pause. Clearly, this answer does not compute.

Gamelaneuse: But . . . but . . . would you like someone to come back and help you?
Me: Um . . . it's an easy part, and I don't need help to play it. But if someone wants to come back here, that would be perfectly fine with me.
Gamelaneur #1: I don't want to come back there if I'm not welcome.
Me: Well, it's fine with --
Gamelaneur #2: Do you want someone back there to help you?
Me: Do I have to take a gong beater to someone's head?
Gamelaneur #3 (semi-seriously): But tell us how you feel!
Me (mostly just as semi-seriously): *makes a famous hand gesture at Gamelaneur #3*
Gamelaneur #3: Okay, that's pretty clear!

I mean, seriously. Was I suddenly speaking Urdu or something? What part of "I don't need help, but it's fine if someone wants to come back here anyway" did not get through to them? Maybe it actually is that they just asked for the sake of saying something, and never had any actual intention of actually listening to my actual answer.

It's just till December. I can take this for another month. Right?

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