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Clap Clap

November 23, 1986

Martin Bernheimer's column on "Clap-Happy Audiences" was an eloquent essay on an annoying problem that has been bothering me for years ("To Clap or Not to Clap: A Touchy Question," Nov. 9).

These audiences are basically dominated by insensitive people who have a mortal fear of experiencing any kind of dramatic intensity and impact. What is worse is that they are probably totally unable to experience any emotional payoffs at all.

Consequently, they manifest this sad dysfunction by knee-jerk applauding between movements and by doing so indiscriminately and prematurely.

Finally, they also talk to each other during performances. This rude behavior is the most damning evidence of Bernheimer's view that these clods have a "living room mentality," undoubtedly a direct consequence of being weaned on a diet of television.

Sadly, these offensive souls do not read commentaries such as Bernheimer's, so there appears to be little hope.

RICHARD R. McCURDY

Hollywood

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