October 2005 (v8 i2)
Dying for Attention Since 1997
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My parents took me to ACL
by Issac Rosenthal, Sixteen-month-old

I wonder what all the other children were doing the weekend of Sept. 23? Taking mid-afternoon naps? Possibly experiencing the joy of music through the latest Baby Mozart DVD? Perhaps suckling their mother's warm and tender teat?

I can tell you what I was doing: I was sitting in the scorching Texas heat, permanently damaging my eardrums, inhaling dust, having second-hand drug experiences, writhing in a steamy un-changed diaper and feeling scorn only selfish neglect can deliver.

I received pitiful glances from everyone at that damned event. Everyone, of course, except the four cold eyes that should have empathized the most. The same eyes that looked deep into one another while creating me chose to look away when their self-professed "love-child" made innocent cries of discomfort in the 108-degree heat.

Just for the record, that cheap Winnie-the-Pooh sun visor you purchased for my stroller didn't do a thing to keep the sun's unforgiving rays from burning my tender, young skin.

Not only did you look away, you shut off all your senses. You didn't seem to smell my dirty diaper. You didn't seem to hear my cries of agony. You didn't notice my temperature rising to Appalachian-heights.

Your ignorance as my primary care-givers reached an all-time high when I began coughing from the dust, and you interpreted this as a desire to go to the Kidzone. Why would I want to hear some pedophilic Raffi wash-up sing when I could hear Franz Ferdinand performing songs from their highly anticipated sophomore album?

You would think Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy was your baby, the way you paid such careful attention to his haunting lyrical construction, accompanied by guitar playing that fails to conform to the norm, emotionally delivered through his fingers to the listener's ears. Perhaps you would rather have Coldplay poster boy Chris Martin as your child, whose energetic performance at ACL explained just why his band is at the forefront of a resurging British rock scene.

Why was it too much of a hassle to employ a babysitter for a weekend? After all, you did spend more than $200 on your tickets. What, it isn't worth $50 to have some irresponsible teenage girl watch TV while I nap all day? It certainly couldn't be because you were worried about the babysitter's responsibility.

Oh, she could bring a boyfriend over? Couldn't be any worse than watching you guys tossing your tongues around while "Fix You" was being performed.

And heaven forbid the babysitter take drugs on the job! But I suppose when you are at ACL, parenting is not a job, and it's OK to smoke joints with your old high-school pals who came down from Nebraska for the weekend.

Thanks for taking me to ACL Fest, assholes.

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