I think booing is crass. Many of John McCain's supporters booed during his concession speech last Tuesday. Even though they were booing his praise of Barack Obama, it couldn't have been comfortable for him to stand there as it happened. Why would people be so mean-spirited and rude? When did this become acceptable?
Booing has a long tradition in entertainment arena. A friend of mine who does poetry readings explained to me the system of hissing, booing, and snapping that the audience uses to let a reading-poet know how he has offended them. By as long ago as the 6th century B.C., this type of audience participation was commonplace at the annual Festival of Dionysia in Athens where playwrights would compete.
A system of booing was also used in ancient Rome during gladiator games and I have read that it even helped determine whether a competitor survived or not. How grim! How aggressive! Surely we don't want to behave the same way today!
It wasn't until the 19th century that the word, "booo," came into English use. And since, it has become quite common in sports to comment on an unfair call or unsportsmanlike behavior by the other team. It is true, booing is often over-used, especially by mean-spirited kids. And that is what I think of when I hear booing such as I heard on election night. Nobody was being unfair to John McCain up there. The timing was wrong. If a supporter wanted to boo, the time was when the election results were determined. Not when John McCain was giving a speech that must have been hard enough to deliver. There was no beer and hotdog devouring on bleachers, and the offenders were not teenagers - I just can't imagine what would bring that out in a person.
But now I have gotten carried away. What I really came online to share were a couple of pictures from the rally in Grant Park on Tuesday. Most of them didn't turn out. But, I was there and I have never seen Chicago in such a state. I hope the Olympic games stay away!
In other news: Ethiopian wolves are dying out fast - as few as 500 still survive today; President Bush and President-elect Obama have their first White House meeting today while both teams hastily try to make a war-time-economic-crisis transition go smoothly; Even Rachel Wood breaks up with Marilyn Manson; And octopuses are smarter than you may think!