Last night I went with the Sophomores back to H-block to take in my high school’s annual cabaret. Things have changed drastically since I was in school. From what I remember, kids sang showtunes and performed magic acts. But now all that has been replaced.

The types of acts can be broken down, first, by gender. The boys were assembled almost exclusively in heavy rock and punk bands, lasting more time and generating more noise than I could physically handle. Some of the musicians were quite talented. But almost everything that was played was too loud and too long. There was a duet which sang a selection from Phantom of the Opera; the boy was, however, in several of the bands, as well. In fact, there were only about eight boys in the entire show. They mixed and matched and reconfigured to form ten different bands, though. By the end of the night, my ears were humming. It may been my severe cold, but my ears are still rining.

The girls could be divided into two groups: trashy dance troupes and vocalists. Those who sang were good. No one in the audience paid them much respect — because they didn’t strip is my guess. The dancers, I use the term euphemistically, disgusted me. I cannot begin to explain my outrage when six fifteen year old girls took off their shirts [to expose tang-top underneath] while gyrating and riding each other [quite literally] to suggestive R&B in front of their parents, colleagues, and friends. In spite of my sore throat, I could not help but scream, “Stop!” in the middle of their routine. It came from deep within my aching soul.

One of the girls father was sitting in front of me, bobbing and dancing along, ostensibly proud of his daughter. I turned to Mark, who was sitting next to me, and loudly exclaimed in the name of all that is decent on this earth, that the parents of each of those girls ought to be ashamed of themselves, that concerning the hyper-sexualization of children there can be no other opinion, that this was one of the most distasteful and dispicable things I have ever seen. And the crowd loved them.

Who knew that when they asked me if I wanted to go to a cabaret, they meant it?

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