February 25, 2014

When the band stopped playing

John Ray

When I was teaching sociology at the University of NSW many moons ago, I was located in the Morven Brown building, which formed one side of a grassy quadrangle in front of the library.

And the students' union would from time to time arrange pop music concerts on the library steps so people could sit on the grass of the quadrangle and enjoy the music concerned. The music would be a lunchtime concert scheduled from 1 to 2 pm.

There were however some occasions when I was scheduled to take a tutorial at 2pm in the Morven Brown building. And there were also some occasions when the musicians got so enthused with their music that they carried on beyond 2pm

Rock music was however not the background I wanted for my tutorials so when such enthusiasm occurred, I used to take a stroll over to the library, trace the power cord to the band's amplifiers and then pull the plug out at the wall. So the music suddenly went from amplified to acoustic.

The band members always looked sheepish when that occurred and promptly wrapped up. They probably thought it was some sort of official censure but it was in fact my sole deed. Why should I waste time going through some bureaucratic process when direct action would do?

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