I am reasonably tall.
Being around 6′ 2″ I am not freakishly tall, but nonetheless I am taller than average in a crowd at, oh let’s say for example, a music concert.
Most people, especially those of more diminutive stature, assume that this is an unequivocally good thing, but I am here to tell you this is not the case.
Well, it can be, but I would suggest that you need to have certain sociopathic tendencies to fully enjoy the height benefits that nature has chosen to bless you with.
I can sympathise with people who are vertically challenged: at 5′ 2″ my wife is one of them.
When we go to a concert together, her view of the stage generally looks something like this:
The only way she has any chance of seeing anything happening on the stage is to be right at the front.
Obviously we want to enjoy the concert together, but if I choose to join her at the front it is not a comfortable place for me to be.
People glower, tut, moan and scowl. They assume that you are an arse and are purposely going out of your way to ruin their concert-going experience. This view is beautifully summed up by the Daily Mash.
But on behalf of me and all socially-aware tall people everywhere I would like to say that this is grossly unjust and size-ist.
The front is not a comfortable place to be if you are tall: you can feel the hate searing the back of your head and you can feel the pins being metaphorically stuck into the virtual voodoo dolls by everyone behind you.
This is where a degree of sociopathic attitude is helpful to allow all that hate to wash over you. After all, if you have made the effort to arrive at a concert early enough to get a spot near the front, why should you be denied the opportunity of a good view just because you happen to be tall?
I agree it is different when people push their way to the front; that is annoying. This happens to me all the time – wherever I stand I seem to find myself on a main thoroughfare as people move back and forth. I often worry that someone has stuck a ‘public footpath’ sign on my back without me noticing.
And, being on the public thoroughfare, someone will eventually decide to stop right in front of me. Maybe shorter people somehow see it as their right to push in front of me, but it is not just short people. Inevitable, at any concert, wherever I stand, the only person I can see taller than me will end up stood in front of me.
This happened whilst trying to watch ZZ Top at Ramblin’ Man. A guy decided that directly in front of me was his best vantage point. He was practically standing on my toes, and when he started drunkenly dancing I feared he was attempting to perform some lewd sexual act. Admittedly he was slightly shorter than me, but he had gallantly sought to overcome that inadequacy by wearing a hat.
So, usually by design or sometimes through the sheer weight of people who have pushed in front of me, I normally end up at the back of a concert.
Well that’s okay, you may think. I’m tall, so I can still get a good view of the stage, right?
I admit I get a better view of the stage than my 5′ 2″ wife (who has usually drifted back with me), but my view is still distinctly limited. It generally looks something like this:
For a start, the stage is now far away, so everything is smaller.
There is the inevitable tall bloke stood right in front of me, and he will keep shifting position to block any view that I may manage to get around him.
There is always someone sat on someone’s shoulders. They would probably object if I stood in front of them, but combining to create a 7′ – 8′ giant is perfectly okay apparently.
Especially at outside festivals you get idiots with flags and banners, and don’t get me started on umbrellas
And on top of all that there is the sea of mobile phone cameras, devil horns and waving arms all held aloft.
In summary, I can hardly see any more than a short person, but unlike a short person I am frowned upon if I seek to improve my lot by moving forward.
In a large outside festival what we normally end up doing, therefore, is moving right to the back where you get a view like this:
From far enough back you can generally see above the heads of the crowd and their shenanigans and actually get a pretty clear view of the stage. The problem is, it is now so far away that the band are nothing more than brightly lit dots.
You could, of course, take along a powerful pair of binoculars to enable you to see what is going on, or you can rely on the large screens normally provided on either side of the stage.
But if you are going to watch the concert on a screen you might as well stay at home and watch music videos on TV: it saves a fortune and at least you get a clean, queue-free toilet.