Getting Cultured

We took the kids to see RENT last weekend at the National Arts Centre. It’s part of our subscription package to Broadway musicals that we bought this year.

Here I must admit that I was very vain about the fact that we were taking the kids to see a Broad-WAY Musi-CALE (said in your most hoity-toity accent, if you please). I considered this to be an Above Average parenting moment, in which we were going to expose our children to Important Pop Culture, and The Glory of Live Theatre.

We would not be raising any HEATHENS who like SPORTS, for heaven’s sake.

We had tickets to the Friday night show, which was the third last of eight shows, and on the walk home from school that Friday, Little Miss Sunshine found out that EVERY ONE of the girls she walks home with had already seen it. ALL of them – this is three other thirteen-year-old girls.

So I was a little deflated, to say the least. I even did the math. Eight shows at the NAC means approximately 31 thousand people in the Ottawa area could see it, which represents just 3% of the Ottawa population, not even counting Gatineau. Three percent get to be super cool, and yet every single one of my kids’ friends are cooler than us. They even warned her about the most scandalous part – a mooning near the end of the first act – so she would be prepared to see BUTTS. BUTTS ON STAGE.


But just a few days later, the Little Miss was at school and one of her friends had earrings that were little chameleons, and her friend started singing “Karma Chameleon.” Little Miss Sunshine joined in, because Culture Club is timeless, hello, but then it turned out that NOT ONE OTHER KID in their class knew of the song.

Let us recap: RENT – been there, done that, everyone knows all about it. Karma Chameleon – some sort of obscure counter-culture jewel that only the coolest of the cool are aware of.

What kind of upside down world are we living in here, people?