It’s hard to sympathize with Arrogant Rat drummer Ron Seidel, who created a minor stir this past week during a Rathskeller show when he insulted College Union Board (CUB) administrators during his set and got his band kicked off the stage.
Seidel conveniently explained away his temper tantrum as “satire” the audience and CUB just didn’t get. Satire or not, Seidel’s actions were still borderline inappropriate and immature. Instead of making a desperate grab for people’s attention with bratty antics and outbursts, why not try the old-fashioned method of impressing an audience with your musical skills and craftsmanship?
Still, CUB’s reaction reeked of stuffy old parents clutching their pearls at a bunch of misbehaving young hooligans. CUB staff wasted no time in tattling on Seidel to the higher-ups, making sure he was removed from the stage and threatening to call security on that whippersnapper.
Jessica Claar, assistant director of Student Activities, even said guidelines may be established to help keep band behavior in check during future shows.
CUB again tried even harder to control crowds at the Matt Nathanson concert in Kendall Hall on Friday, when they made announcements asking students to refrain from dancing in the aisles.
“Is there some sort of ‘Footloose’ thing going on in here?” Nathanson himself queried at one point.
We understand it’s CUB’s and the College’s prerogative to maintain law and order among musical acts here at the College. No one wants to see bands throwing farm animals off the stage, a la Alice Cooper, or mainlining tequila while warbling into a microphone.
But petty censorship like this can be a slippery slope, and no one likes to see restrictions on the arts at a college campus.
Last semester West Milford indie band The Gay Blades performed at the WTSR Concert Series for a set that included chair tossing and vicious audience-bashing, and people actually had fun.
Until CUB learns to lighten up, it’s best to hide the Elvis records and make sure your skirt falls below your knees.