Context matters…

Leonard Slatkin, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra, was asked … What did he think would occur, hypothetically, if one of the world’s great violinists had performed incognito before a traveling rush-hour audience of 1,000-odd people?
. . .
In the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run — for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look.
. . .
[W]e shouldn’t be too ready to label the Metro passersby unsophisticated boobs. Context matters.
. . .
There was no ethnic or demographic pattern to distinguish the people who stayed to watch Bell, or the ones who gave money, from that vast majority who hurried on past, unheeding. Whites, blacks and Asians, young and old, men and women, were represented in all three groups. But the behavior of one demographic remained absolutely consistent. Every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away.

The article includes video.
Pearls Before Breakfast: Can one of the nation’s great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let’s find out.” by Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post, April 8, 2007
Hmmm, wonder what would have happened if he’d played at DuPont Circle, or Union Station, or GW/Foggy Bottom, or in NYC at the 66th Street Station or the Columbus Circle station ….

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