I forgot to mention that at the District Assembly Saturday afternoon session, when they announced the new DVD, the reception of the audience was lukewarm. It was more like the polite clapping you hear between the symposium talks, rather than the usual excitement when a new release is announced.
After that underwhelming response to the DVD announcement, instead of a video preview (there was no drop-down screen in this venue), they played that kids song that is on the video - the whole thing. I have to admit that the kids voices were cute, but like all JW songs, it was way too long and extremely boring. I could see that everyone was using the time during the song to pack up and get ready to make a break as soon as the final prayer was over. Again, after the final announcements, polite but lukewarm clapping.
I hung back to see whether the crush of excited families would push one of the sisters handing out the DVDs over the rail and into the depths below. No such luck. I was somewhat surprised to see that many families didn't even stop to take a DVD but just continued on and down the ramp. The sister in my area looked disappointed that more people weren't pushing and shoving and catching a feel - but barely took notice of her.
I looked at the main floor and saw the same thing going on. Everyone seemed to be rushing for the exits while the sisters handing out the DVDs just stood there with four or five copies in their hands hoping that someone would ask them for a copy.
When I finally moved toward the exit I stopped to pick up a copy. I wasn't wearing a tie or a badge, so I figured that I might meet with a little resistance when I asked for one from the sister. I noticed that the first box (they'd stacked two cartons on the floor) was only about 1/2 empty and the other carton was untouched. The sister actually offered me two DVDs and asked if I wanted more when I told her that I would like one for my granddaughters. She seemed to take no note of my lack of proper JW attire.
Since this was the second DA to be held in the same area in two weeks, I'm wondering if the word got out and many of the attendees had already seen the video and rightly assumed that it was a waste of time and would just clutter up their entertainment center. My guess is that many had already seen the video on YouTube and may have read some of the negative commentary (thanks to Cedars and other the fine exes) on this site and others.
One other thing I noticed: When the boxes of DVDs were delivered to the distribution locations, the contribution boxes were brought out the same time and placed downwind from each DVD handler. Boxes were positioned about 30 feet apart with a sister sitting next to them. The speaker also took some time to make an announcement that ATMs were available, two on each side of each of the main exits - and that everyone should feel free to use them.
Earlier, a speaker mentioned that they needed more helpers for the cleanup crews. But I was still surprised to see some brothers carrying brooms into the main floor of the assembly hall while the session was still going on - at the same time that the DVD boxes and contribution boxes were being delivered and set up.
To me it seemed like the assembly committee was saying, "Get your damn DVD, put your money in the contribution box or ATM, and then get the hell out!" And that's exactly what most of them did. But after sitting there without a break for almost 4 solid hours, I couldn't blame them.
There wasn't a lot of chit-chat and fellowship going on after the session was over. I didn't hang around for more than ten minutes, but by the time I worked my way out, the parking lots were almost empty.
When I left I didn't see anyone using the ATMs, and I saw a lot of lonely sisters sitting next to contribution boxes looking like woeful wallflowers at a senior prom.