Brian T Shirley

Brian T Shirley
Jokers Wild, Atlantis Resort

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Diversity isn't all that diverse!

Can people be forced to accept behavior or cultural differences they strongly disapprove of? Should we force changes on a majority of the society according to the ideology of a few? How can folks who only see things from their perspective consider themselves qualified to talk about diversity?

                                               Diversity Isn't All That Diverse!
I'm really struck by how hypocritical some people and some ideologies are. The biggest example are the people who profess to be " Open Mined" or "Accepting" while they look down their noses at people who they deem to be close minded. How can they not see the obvious double standard? I've wrote it before and I'll write it again, being open mined to people who agree with you does not make you open minded!  If you think you're better that ANYONE else then there's no way you can consider yourself "Open-minded", you're a Narcissist!
 Then came DIVERSITY! Here's a big buzz word, diversity, we must be diverse. Wow, I've seen the hypocrisy this mindset brings first hand. When we try as a society to engineer racial diversity and cohesiveness we will always fail, it must happen naturally. Case in point is a Christmas show I had the pleasure of being the entertainment for over the weekend. I had to DJ this event for 5 hours. I was told by the booker to play Christmas music for the first hour and then mix it up from then on. First off, I met with my contacts, who turned out to be a lady who was not listed on my paperwork. The person I that was listed was not there and my other point of reference was a man who turned out to be the guy who ran the Corporation I was entertaining for that night. I was told by the woman to play " a diverse mix of music" since the employees were from different backgrounds, races, sexes, ages, etc. I understood and did my best.
 I was playing Christmas music when I was approached by another gentleman I had not talked with and he requested some "Collective Soul", to lighten up the mood. I could not find the sing he wanted, but some "Journey" made him happy. I also noticed that the employees were seated at big round tables, banquet style and they had segregated themselves. It's funny how some people in society try to push people of different races together, but when people are allowed true freedom, they sit with folks of the same color, for the most part. I think there were one or two tables with a mixture of people, but mainly people were seated, on their own, by race. I've done comedy shows in this environment and they are the toughest one's to pull off. You can't be edgy, you'll offend the older folks. You can't be to cerebral, some folks will get bored. You can't be too Blue Collar, the higher ups will be tight and so will their underlings. You don't know these people, so you don't really know who you can mess with or if you should even do crowd work. Translate this along musical lines and you can imagine what I was dealing with.
On with the show, that's what one must do. I did the best I could. The lady who I had spoke with and asked me to play music that was "Diverse" kept coming up and requesting music that only her and the table she sat at would dance to, mostly Rap. I tried to accommodate the best I could, but my selection of songs did not include some of the stuff they were asking for. She even went as far to roll her eyes at me when I told her one of the songs that her colleague at another table had requested. So much for being "diverse"! By the end of the night, a handful of people had loosened up enough to get up and dance. I saw my contact person leaving and went to say goodbye. I told her I was sorry that more people did not dance but I had done the best I could. She just pointed at the folks who were dancing and said "What ever, just cater to them".  I was not sure how to take that, but I've been in the situation before.
In summation I can only say that when you try to please everyone who has such "Diverse" tastes at the same time, you're bound to fail with a certain percentage. That's if you don't fail completely, complete success is hardly ever reached. This is why Political Correctness, people who think their "Open Minded" and cars with "Coexist" bumper stickers are all lies. These people believe that they are the arbiters of fairness, when in fact they leave people whom they disagree with out of the equation. I like different types of music, but like anyone else I have my favorites. No one forced me to listen to these different genres, but I had folks suggest bands or songs and that's how I grew  to have the eclectic taste of music I do today. At the same token, you can't force different cultures of people and tell them they must accept them, it takes time. This is my main point here! Truth be told, diversity is not a seven course meal, it's a buffet!