Other messages: “Do you just pretend to like the ballet?” “I’m assuming you went to ‘The Nutcracker’ once and you lost a bet?” “You should be on Grindr”—a gay dating site—“with a shirt like that.”
It was as if there was no way I could actually love the ballet—in which visual, musical and physical art coalesces at a rarefied level of beauty, the human body twining with music in an ethereal dance of poetry.
Sometimes I’d look up the critics. They were doctors, lawyers, professors, with social media pages littered with testimonies and photos of self-ascribed wokeness, protest marches, inveighings against mansplaining.
This is one of the reasons we don’t grow much anymore. We trend toward hypocrisy and homogeneity because so many people have a deep fear of being different. Hypocrisy is a form of bending to get yourself back in the line you think you should be in. Do you know what a “weather eye” is? It’s a term not used much anymore. It means scrutinizing someone hard, as if you expect him to do something wrong. That’s how we often view people who have passions afield from our own or who have passions where we have none.