By James Taranto -
"Bright" or "brite" is a term of art in journalism for a short, amusing story. An example comes from Francis X. Clines, an editorialist at the New York Times, on his page's Taking Notes blog. The headline, "High Culture in Colorado," is part of what makes it amusing. "High" is a pun, but Denver's altitude isn't among the intended meanings.
"Far from being bummed out by Colorado's burgeoning legal marijuana market, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra is planning a series of BYOC (bring your own cannabis) concerts this year," Clines reports. The series is called "Classically Cannibis: The High Note Series" (get it?). "The classical ensemble has long caught the aroma of pot threading through its concerts," Clines claims. "Why not go with the flow?"
The series will include "small musicales by orchestra members at a Denver gallery where visitors are encouraged to bring joints, baked goods and tinctures of marijuana. The high point"--get it?--"will be the orchestra playing at the Red Rocks amphitheater."
Clines concludes his item by laboriously setting up a pun that doesn't involve the word "high." He warns that "anyone envisioning Beethoven's Sixth symphony as the ideal choice . . . should be cautioned that the orchestra has a parallel venture, 'Beethoven and Brews,' to put classical music in Denver's hotels and bars. Would you prefer beer, or bud with your Beethoven?"
Unexplained is how the symphony can get away with its gallery events. Doesn't Colorado have laws against smoking indoors? We didn't see any of it when we were in Denver, in 2008 for the Democratic National Convention. Red Rocks is an outdoor venue, but according to its website, "alcoholic beverages, marijuana [and] illegal drugs" are all forbidden. The distinction between marijuana and "illegal drugs" suggests the rules have been updated since Colorado's pot-legalization initiative took effect.
The Red Rock rules also stipulate that "smoking is only permitted in designated areas along the outside rail of the outside stairs. Smoking is strictly prohibited in the seating area of the amphitheatre, including E cigarettes."