Opinion

How hard is it to clap properly?

By James Bennett

OMG! Can we stop going about climate change, the super school, Donald Trump and all that jazz, and focus on real First World problems — such as clapping.

It has occurred to me we don't have a proper grasp on the appropriate time to clap.

Comedian Stephen K Amos once said it best: "Four people clapping sounds like a cow ..." (you get the rest) "so we either clap together or not at all".

No truer words have ever been spoken.

It's time to ‘Make Clapping Great Again'.

There are many instances when you can clap — sporting events, heroics, introductions, celebrations or conclusions.

Some people are talented enough to receive a standing ovation.

When don't we clap?

I'll get this over with and go straight off the bat — the cinema.

It has to be one of the most pointless things you see and hear at the end of a movie in the cinema.

You've sat through two hours, feel quite satisfied, desperate for a wee and some pillock starts clapping.

What are you clapping? Half the time the film isn't even worth a posh clap when you use your right hand to slightly tap the top of your left hand.

Who is hearing you? Other than fellow movie goers, there isn't actually someone on the other side of the screen. No actors, no directors, no stuntman or anyone.

When you clap at the end of the film your appreciation means nothing as it’s the same as shouting “don’t go in there” during a horror film.

The absolute dumbest moment I've ever witnessed in my whole life was a few years ago on an airplane.

I was on a Cathay Pacific flight returning from Hong Kong. This flight was the definition of routine.

Breeze the in-flight magazine, not watch the safety demonstration because I'm well travelled (not boasting just fact), eat a meal you think is "pretty good for an airline actually", watch a movie (without clapping at the end), go to the toilet (not because I have to but because of the thrill of the flush) and land.

On observation of my fellow passengers, about 90 per cent of them were like me returning to the motherland.

Although we were the commoners sitting in cattle class, you could tell a majority were seasoned travellers.

But when the plane landed and started braking, half of the people in coach started clapping.

Did I miss something? Was this a milestone flight? There was zero turbulence and it had to be the smoothest landing.

In all my years flying I've never experienced people clapping when the flight landed.

I remember thinking who in their right mind is clapping after the plane has landed.

What makes this story even more bizarre is because we landed in Sydney and I had to catch a connecting flight back to Melbourne.

Once again a routine flight, plane lands safe and sound — people start clapping. I know it's not the same group of people because I've observed the passengers.

The only time it's acceptable to clap at the end of the flight is when you've been told to say your final prayers and get into the brace position but still land safely because clearly the pilot saved your life.

But naturally there are instances where clapping will save your life.

If you're an egotistical homicidal dictator such as Joseph Stalin, then he's the man to learn from.

One of the most famous, but also frightening and quirky, historical facts about Stalin was clapping.

During the Great Purge, the people were so worried they'd be sent to the harsh gulags or killed, that after Stalin finished a speech the audience would naturally give him a standing ovation.

Because the Great Purge was at its height and hundreds, if not thousands, were dying daily, the people were genuinely afraid to stop clapping.

They didn't dare to be the first person to stop clapping. I could be wrong but I think he once received a standing ovation for more than an hour.

I feel because we can’t get something as simple as clapping right, this is part of the reason why we can’t all just get along.

Bugger the rest of society's issues, fix this problem now.

Please write to the politicians in Canberra and ensure this is on the agenda at the next UN General Assembly.