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 werenâ€™t poor, but there was an unspoken sense in my household that anything I wanted wouldnâ€™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 â€“ you can ask for anything, but sometimes the answer is no; you have to work for the things you want; some things in life donâ€™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 â€˜Itâ€™ 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 yesterdayâ€™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 â€“ concerts sold out quickly, ticket scalpers selling tickets for a fortune, children disappointed, parents claiming thereâ€™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, â€œI 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 â€œpay that muchâ€ this mother is referring to is the prices being asked for Hannah Montana tickets in the â€œsecondary marketâ€. Secondary market is the PC term for resellers and scalpers. I just took a look at Stubhub.com and found one ticket in a suite for the Staple Center show on November 7th, selling for $9630.00 â€“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?
Iâ€™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. Weâ€™ve become a nation consumed by consumption, how else can you explain anyone thinking their being â€œpenalizeâ€ because they canâ€™t buy a concert ticket. When did consumer items, such as tickets, become entitlements? Life, liberty, and the pursuit ofâ€¦ Hannah Montana. It just doesnâ€™t sound right.
Yet no less than three attorney generals are investigating, because angry parents canâ€™t accept the fact that tickets werenâ€™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 werenâ€™t available? Whatâ€™s wrong with parents spending that same time with their children at a museum or a park?
I suppose I shouldnâ€™t be surprised, we see a similar situation like this during the holiday seasons. Parents practically getting into fist-fights over the holiday â€˜Itâ€™ toy theyâ€™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 childrenâ€™s lives? Perhaps parents, who donâ€™t want to disappoint their children, should think of those parents who canâ€™t explain why there is nothing to eat. Perspective, is that too much to ask for? I hope not.
WORLD - AN EDGE IN MY VOICE
Copyright © 2010 tmoya
Life, Liberty, and... Hannah Montana?
Copyright © 2010 tmoya
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