I live in South Jersey (yes, it’s true, we’re a whole different state than North Jersey — or at least we should be) about 20 minutes away from Atlantic City.
There’s always some sort of happening going on over there, but unless it has to do with the Backstreet Boys, I usually remain in the dark. I don’t like it there and try to avoid it. Bad memories, bad people, bad traffic, bad cops. Bad, bad, bad.
But AC does have some perks. If you’re into casinos or shopping or watching drunk people fight or a colony of feral cats or getting pricked by a needle on the beach, you should totally visit. I’ll watch.
Even with my distaste for the place, I’m comfortable there. And there are some actual perks every now and then. Which is why I might find myself there Sunday night.
If you pay attention to the world at all, you know that Country music has blown up recently. I remember listening to it when I was a wee lad — 2-stepping around my coffee table when I was 5; serenading my boyfriends with honky-tonk love ballads when I was 10; rushing to my computer as soon as I got home to blast Garth Brooks when I was 15; driving my friends crazy because I was the one with the car and/or house therefore I got to choose the music when I was 20.
Now I’m 26 and it’s like everyone is obsessed with what they once hated.
So of course, Country is coming to AC, and everyone is freaking out.
Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum were kind enough to have free beach concerts in AC this weekend. Tickets are required, because there’s only so much room, but they’re free. FREE. Like, no charge. No money. No cost. No price. Just in case you don’t remember what free means.
Because it seems a lot of people have.
Now, let me preface this by saying that I have no problem with people who sell gifts, or other items they may have received for free, if that item had cash value originally. I don’t even have a problem with people who really need money trying to sell items that had no cash value, but might be worth something to someone else.
If you got an iPod for Christmas, or won it in a raffle, but you know you’ll never use it and you’d rather get books (which is what I would do), go ahead and sell that thing. The person who gifted it to you paid for it, therefore they pretty much simply got you a [worth this amount] gift. Personally, I don’t care what exactly that gift is, or where the money goes. If you’d rather buy booze or drugs, have a blast.
And if you happened to get something for free — something that had no cash value to begin with — like, for instance, tickets to a free beach concert, but a few days before you realize you need diapers and milk and gas and have no other way to buy these items, then sure, tell your friends and/or strangers that you’re really strapped for cash but have these extra tickets and if they’re interested would they mind throwing you a few dollars for them?
I get those two instances of selling something you didn’t buy. They are acceptable.
What is not acceptable is selling the free beach concert tickets you received just for the hell of it.
What is not acceptable is purposely being the first one online when the tickets went on sale and getting them with absolutely no intention of going. Do you not realize thousands of people tried to get tickets and couldn’t? Of course you do — you’re planning on exploiting them. But, did you stop and think that maybe, just maybe the person who would have gotten the tickets had you not is a hardworking parent who will never, ever be able to afford a concert on their own because they’re busy putting their kids through college? You’re okay with making money off these people?
What is not acceptable is realizing a few days before the concert that you can’t go, and then instead of kindly offering them up to one of your friends, auctioning them off to the highest bidder. You got them for free. You can’t go anyway. Why is it so difficult to pass on your luck and be kind to the people you care about?
The musical acts who are putting on these concerts intended for them to be free. They were trying to be nice and do something remarkable — they were trying to give. By turning around and selling their tickets, you’re ruining their good intent. You’re ruining what the whole concert is about.
A friend of mine (or maybe a frenemy? Oh my god do I have my first frenemy?! This is so exciting. I feel so hip) — anyway, a frenemy of mine who likes to argue with every single thing I ever say, sometimes even by reaching so deep he mentions something that can only vaguely be connected to my original message, and only if you look really hard (he’s even admitted himself that he simply loves to argue), tried to say “It’s called supply and demand.”
But it’s not. Taking something that everyone else got for free, and turning it around to make a profit, is not “supply and demand.” It’s taking advantage of unfortunate people who weren’t able to make the cut-off to receive their tickets in time.
I even tried to see it from his side. I thought back to Christmas when the Xbox One and Playstation 4 were released, and how many people waited in line or whatever to get the one of the limited systems available, who then sold them for hundreds more than they paid. I remembered how I thought it was pretty skeevy, but I didn’t have a huge problem with it.
Why, you ask? Because those items were not a one-time thing. They were not only available during Christmas. People who wanted them could wait a few months until they were available again. So, if someone wanted to pay hundreds of dollars more to get them earlier, they were free to be idiots and do so. Not to mention, the items had cash value originally.
These concert tickets were free from the get-go. They’re for a single concert. The musicians decided to give back to the world and thank their fans in a unique way. The tickets should remain free. It’s really as simple as that, I don’t know how else to explain it.
We should all grow up and learn to appreciate our friends, and our family, and our good fortune, instead of taking advantage of the good aspects of our lives. Contribute good; decrease grime.
I was lucky enough to have a kind friend. One who decided he wasn’t interested anymore, and offered his free tickets, for free. So, I might go see Lady Antebellum. Which I am very grateful for, since I do not have the means to frequent costly concerts, nor the time to secure free tickets. Someone did something nice for me. I plan to pay it forward. What are your plans?
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What do you think? Do you think it’s fair game, and since these people own the tickets they should be able to do whatever they want with them? Do you think it’s wrong to exploit people and take advantage of their misfortune while not appreciating your own? Would you sell them, or give them away? Let me know!