..there’s this Chinese guy who plays er-hu at the 42nd St station who is just AWFUL. And I think in the spirit of the holidays, he plays Jingle Bells. Very badly. And only the chorus. Dude. 5 notes. He swoops on the 4th note of the chorus (“mi”), undoubtedly to make it sound more “ethnic” (vomit – Jingle Bells isn’t SUPPOSED to be ethnic), and plays the “fa” an ENTIRE HALF STEP SHARP. Actually, it’s worse. It’s not QUITE that half step. Dude. And the WORST part about it is how long this horribleness stays in my head. I deliberately try to walk away far enough so I don’t hear him anymore.
He’s been there every time I’ve been to that station.
Cringe cringe cringe…
I don’t know why this creates such a strong reaction in me…so much so that I feel like mild violence or silent screaming into a pillow whenever I hear it.
December 13, 2008 at 10:55 pm
I was looking through blogs about street musicians and came upon yours. After reading it, I developed the same reactions as you claimed to have experienced after hearing the man ply his trade. Yes, ply his trade, because I have run into street musicians like him before, and instead of rushing by I have actually conversed with them. None of them would have been there if they did not have to. The winter wind gives them chronic joint troubles that eventually develop into arthritis, the passersby can spit and curse at them, and yet they keep up. That is not because the petty humiliations inflicted upon them by people like you, who rush by with annoyance and contempt writ clear across your face, are too sophisticated for lowly, untalented beings like them to appreciate. No. It’s because they need the money. Between impoverishment and begging, and doing something so that their dignity is a little better off, this is the choice they made. And for all the time it took you to write an entry that offers up the misery of these people as amusement to your friends and acquaintances, I suggest you give this person $5 and ask him to take a rest indoors. That way, you would get rid of an offense to your ears while unintentionally bestow a token of kindness on a cold night.