In retrospect, I have since come to have a great appreciation for the bold vocalization that often accompanies certain cultural presence. I'm not nearly as vocally liberal as my mother, who once in high school, managed to bring my entire U.S. history class into a debate on the "founding of America" at our bi-annual parent night. Yes that's right, parent night.
Even now, this type of behavior is not so limited to cultural attachments, although I have found that many I encounter have not been raised to react so "freely" in the presence of truth or untruth. Truth and insight are exciting to me. When truth is revealed, I can't help but get happy. Every now and then I find myself in the middle of a company meeting wanting to shout out, "ain't that the truth!" or telling the President of our company he "better preach on!". I usually restrain myself. But every now and then, depending on the appropriateness of the environment, I too inherit the "co-sign" gene.
Thankfully, that's not my biggest mountain. See I have this other problem. I laugh at inappropriate times. While I generally have great restraint and self-control, every now and then it hits me; the insatiable urge to bust out laughing. If it's not already clear, I have a unique propensity to crack myself up. If no one else thinks I'm funny, it doesn't really matter because at least I make myself laugh.
Sometimes I wish I could clone myself just to have another "me" to laugh at my corny inside jokes and make fun of the crazy West-Indian Anarchist on the corner who claims the police are the devil. Whether I'm mentally recalling the time as a high school sophomore when I peed on myself in the middle of the mall (I can't believe I just admitted that on the world wide web); or the time back in 1989 when my mother accidentally walked up to the ticket counter at the movie theater and asked for four tickets to see the great Rick Moranis classic, "Honey I Shot the Kids", I always seem to remember these things at the most awkward and inconvenient times--board meetings, business presentations, the dinner table. Nothing is really off limits in my mind. I can think of one event in particular that best highlights this issue.
I'm not a huge movie goer, but last year when I went with some like-mindedly crazy friends to see Cuba Gooding's film Radio (a good movie by the way), for the first twenty minutes of the movie, I could not stop laughing. As you can imagine, this didn't go over well with our slightly better behaved neighbors who were attempting to draw every ounce of deepness and profundity out of their movie-going experience. There we were at a poignant film about a mentally disabled fellow overcoming great odds, and all I could see was the actor Cuba Gooding, Jr. the man who I constantly knock for having absolutely no rhythm, a man I've nick-named "the goofiest black guy on the planet", acting a fool, and tripping over stuff. Of course, after I gained my composure, I enjoyed the movie and was able to see past Cuba and appreciate the complexity of the character. Sometimes my sense of humor gets the best of me.
Public displays of expression vary among the masses. Generally, the people less prone to it get bothered by those who laugh out loud or verbally affirm. I find that when I go to the movies, plays, concerts, even church there are some strange cultural factors at work. Oftentimes people take themselves too seriously.
My culture is vocal and interactive. We sometimes yell at movie screens, telling the dumb girl running towards the killer to run the other way and we verbally co-sign during church when the Word is on point. Granted, there will always be those people who take it too far and act ignorant, but for the most part I consider myself a civil and respectful person always aware of appropriateness of expression in different contexts.
For people that think everyone must conduct themselves in a quiet manner at all times, I say you're entitled to your own preference, but I can do without the evil looks thank you. I am of the persuasion that variety is the spice of life, and while my mother drove me batty, I certainly have some stories to tell.