No Seth, Demoralizing Kids Is Not A Joke

"Over one thousand clowns performed at this morning's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Said the clowns, 'we prefer to be called high school marching bands."

~Seth Meyers

Last year we heard from Jim Rome who proclaimed that college marching band kids were "dorks." He was out of line and he raised the ire of thousands.

But Meyers is worse. 

Why? Because while Rome was tweeting off the cuff, Meyer's monologue was written, edited, and approved by a team of people in advance. It was a premeditated joke at the expense of hard working high school students. Kids. Rome didn't think, but Meyers and his team clearly did...and rolled with it. It wasn't funny, it was demoralizing. Who does that? Are radio and TV personalities that desperate for material that the integrity of kids is somehow fair game these days? Is there nothing left to joke about when it comes to adults?

Meyers is already spinning the pushback to his advantage. He has "apologized" on Twitter (without admitting why he was out of line) and will likely be featuring some marching band kids who "get back at him" on his show. Lovely.

Look around you Seth, you have plenty of material in the 21 and over crowd. Leave the kids alone, especially those who are working so hard to bring a little holiday joy to you and your family on Thanksgiving morning.

Afterword: To those stating "it's just a joke" or "kids need a thicker skin" I'd ask that you think more carefully about that. Joking about adults is (in most cases) OK. High school kids? No.

Where is the humor in labeling the hard work of children clowning around? But the saddest thing is, if people didn't believe it (even if just a little) it wouldn't have gotten a laugh. If the punch line had been "kids on the Sesame Street float" I think there would have been confused silence. But marching bands....that's funny...clowns with horns. Music Educators need to think about why that is so, and stand up for their hard working students.

5 responses
Seth, I was in marching band and I am working on my PhD. Some of these clowns as you called them have HUGE amounts of talent not only in music but other areas of education. You need an education and if you think what we do as marching bands is so clowns then I suggest you try learning to play one. Oh I forgot you play horn as blowhorn.
After 46 years of working with band students, there is two thing I learned about those who were not: 1. Those who make this kind of statement were generally those who did not have what it takes to be a band student due to their ignorance of what it takes. They generally where not committed to anything. All the carried about was themselves. 2. They also never learned that "I'm sorry" or "just kidding" only meant they where called out and that bothered them Finally, next time you need to "spout off" and be cute, choice a group of people that can defend themselves. Preferably, an adult who can give back to you what you deserve.
As a band director I am appalled that anyone would say something like this! I hope he felt good about himself making fun of hard working kids. I've only tried to watch his show once and this type of joke is pretty standard he just isn't very funny at all.
I remind my MIDDLE SCHOOL band students of those who will put them down and bully them for participating in band. We don't see those kind of people in band, they don't have the guts to push past the comments and work through the hard stuff. Do you, Mr. Meyers? I doubt it.
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