Monday, July 16, 2018

Life, Liberty, and... Hannah Montana?

by tmoya (writer), Torrance, October 07, 2007

When I was a teenager, I remember wanting a 35mm camera so badly that I could think of nothing else. I had a summer job as CYO day camp counselor. I worked after school in our neighborhood hardware store. I tried saving every dollar I got from my mom and dad.
I grew up in the inner city of Los Angeles, the only child of Hispanic parents. We weren’t poor, but there was an unspoken sense in my household that anything I wanted wouldn’t be handed to me, in spite of being an only child. If I wanted the camera, I was going to have to earn enough to buy the camera. The lessons learned here – you can ask for anything, but sometimes the answer is no; you have to work for the things you want; some things in life don’t come easy. Take your pick. My parents loved me, and these are the lessons they taught me.

I write this, because all the recent coverage revolving around the upcoming Hanna Montana concert tour reminded me of the camera and what I did to get it. Hanna is the current ‘It’ celebrity among children. From the sounds of it, every little girl wants to see Miley Cyrus and her alter ego, Montana. The fifty-four date, concert tour has been selling out shows in record time all across the country.

The latest article that caught my attention was on yesterday’s front page of the Los Angeles Times (10/6/07 - "Hannah Montana stirs a U.S. tizzy for tikets"). There have been similar articles in the New York Times, as well as the Washington Post. I am dumbfounded by the number of column inches devoted to this story. The articles are all the same – concerts sold out quickly, ticket scalpers selling tickets for a fortune, children disappointed, parents claiming there’s a conspiracy preventing them from purchasing tickets, and public officials promising investigations of various sorts. In one article (Washington Post, 10/1/07 - "Hannah Montana Concert Tix too Hot") a mother is quoted as say, “I feel like they are ripping off children, I'm sure there are parents out there would pay that much. But the rest of us shouldn't be penalized for that."

The “pay that much” this mother is referring to is the prices being asked for Hannah Montana tickets in the “secondary market”. Secondary market is the PC term for resellers and scalpers. I just took a look at and found one ticket in a suite for the Staple Center show on November 7th, selling for $9630.00 –that not a typo, the nine is in the thousandth place. Is there really a parent out there that will buy this single ticket and send their child unaccompanied to the concert?

I’m left just shaking my head at this entire mess. There are numerous countries that see America as culturally/morally bankrupt, and Hannah Montana makes it difficult for me to argue otherwise. We’ve become a nation consumed by consumption, how else can you explain anyone thinking their being “penalize” because they can’t buy a concert ticket. When did consumer items, such as tickets, become entitlements? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of… Hannah Montana. It just doesn’t sound right.

Yet no less than three attorney generals are investigating, because angry parents can’t accept the fact that tickets weren’t available for them to purchase. Public official spend public money on this issue. Can the end time be too far behind? Is it really that difficult to tell your child, you tried to get tickets but tickets weren’t available? What’s wrong with parents spending that same time with their children at a museum or a park?

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, we see a similar situation like this during the holiday seasons. Parents practically getting into fist-fights over the holiday ‘It’ toy they’ve promised their child. It is the lack of perspective that saddens me. The world is filled with children living in fear of a bomb exploding in their neighborhood. Children, who rise early every day to go to work under conditions and for pay that none us would ever consider right. Where does Hanna Montana figure in these children’s lives? Perhaps parents, who don’t want to disappoint their children, should think of those parents who can’t explain why there is nothing to eat. Perspective, is that too much to ask for? I hope not.

About the Writer

tmoya is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on Life, Liberty, and... Hannah Montana?

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By Glenn T on October 07, 2007 at 09:23 pm
Nice job here! I read the same articles, and was thinking if I should put something down... no need now. Well covered, and well put. If the producers of the Hannah Montana show really wanted to get tickets to regular kids, there are plenty of ways for them to do it. But if Disney is a for-profit organization - and they're VERY good at what they do. Every parent I know has a wall full of Disney DVDs (and I do mean EVERY parent, certainly not just the wealthy ones). When we allow the cherished stories of our childhoods to be sold to us as a premium, how can we express outrage when the ability to experience them up-close and in-person comes at an outrageous price? Entitlement is not an intrinsic quality - it can only be taught. It's no wonder that the same sort of parents who look to the ATTORNEY GENERAL to offer a remedy to concert ticket prices, are the one whose children will grow up thinking that they deserve a seat no matter what the price. Anyhoo... enough rambling. Nice article - couldn't have said it better my-blue-collar-self :) 5 stars!
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By Jen on October 08, 2007 at 05:16 pm
These are probably the same parents that call the school and cry when their child is penalized for not doing their homework. Its the teachers fault for assigning homework in the first place and not the inability of the child to get off his/her butt and do the see. Dont even get me started on "red pens". Basically...these kids are going to grow up unable to deal with things like failure and "going without". A true dis-service to the maturation process. Glenn...I could go on and on...but I wont. I'll just end with "Really nice article".
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