There's an episode of ''South Park'' in which the children are excited to learn they'll be reading ''Catcher in the Rye'' in class.
They aren't excited because it's a classic of literature - they're excited because their teacher warns them about how vulgar it is and how the dark symbolism inspired Mark David Chapman to kill John Lennon. Of course, once they all read the book, they are greatly disappointed.
If you've seen the episode, you know what happens: they write their own book in an attempt to be more vulgar than any author ever has been before, and the American public eats it up because they read deeply into all the ''symbolism'' in their curse words and filth. They argue that there isn't necessarily symbolism in every word every author writes - sometimes things are just written to be written ... or, in their case, to be gross.
I went to college for English education, a degree I am still paying for deeply. I always had trouble understanding symbols in works of literature, even after lengthy discussions with peers and professors in stuffy classrooms. The concept of things having been written just to be written makes a lot of sense to me. Everything doesn't have to have a deeper meaning, does it?
Bob Plyler's review of ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'' at the Shaw Festival, which appeared in his ''Critical Eye'' column last week, reminded me of a funny line that I thought I remembered from the play. Something about cheese. So I went into the upstairs of my home and rummaged through my books until I found my tattered old copy of the Tennessee Williams play, and I sifted through the pages in search of that quotation about cheese.
Something clicked in my brain after a few minutes of doing so, however, and I realized that the line was actually in ''Death of a Salesman.'' Saving myself some time, I did a Google search and found the line right away. It's a funny little spat between Willy Loman and his wife, in which Willy snaps at her for purchasing a whipped American cheese when he wanted his old standby, Swiss.
Then, to my chagrin, my next click was to some page full of analysis that went into a several-paragraph breakdown about what the American cheese and Swiss cheese represents, why the American cheese was whipped, and why Willy was so reluctant to make the switch from Swiss to American.
You see, Swiss cheese has holes, just like Willy's hopes and dreams. But American cheese is an obvious representation of the American Dream, which ... you know what? Look it up yourself if you're interested.
Was Arthur Miller going for all this when he wrote that little back-and-forth between Willy and his wife, or was he just trying to quickly show us that Willy was once again getting irrationally upset about something? Who knows? Who cares?
Sorry, English teachers. It's a good play with a nice plot. Every single line doesn't need a 10-page thesis paper written about it, though. This is why I don't do reviews, by the way.
On with the listing of the facts - no deep analysis needed.
CUTTING MUSIC FESTIVAL
Located on Route 474 halfway between Clymer, N.Y., and Wattsburg, Pa., is the hamlet of Cutting.
Saturday beginning at 10 a.m., the middle of nowhere will be rocking with the sound of more than a dozen bands. Artists scheduled to perform during the eighth annual Cutting Music Festival include Face Down in High Water, Sonic Medusa, Hype, Otis, Caterpillar Brown, Special Guest, Scott Hanes, Justin Moyer and Friends, Hookatones, Unhinged Mandible and Loud Mouth Soap.
An acoustic Battle of the Bands will also be hosted during the event, with a $50 entry free. The winner of the event will take home all the cash.
Free parking and camping will be available on the grounds of the festival, which will also include cornhole and beer pong, food concessions, and much more.
The Cutting Music Festival will take place at 10124 Route 474 in the town of Clymer. For more information, search for Cutting Music Festival on Facebook.
Staff at Chautauqua Institution are preparing for the start of the cultural learning center's 138th season Saturday. They have announced that tickets are going fast for many of their popular entertainment shows, and some have already sold out.
In addition to the concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at 2 p.m. Saturday, next week's concert featuring Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (July 1 at 8:15 p.m.) has also sold out.
Also, as of Tuesday, only two dozen tickets remained for a show July 29 featuring Alison Krauss and Union Station along with Jerry Douglas. Preferred seating for that concert has officially sold out, Chautauqua staff reports.
Tickets for shows in the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater are available at tickets.ciweb.org or by calling the Chautauqua Institution box office at 357-6250. For more information about shows in the institution's 2011 Popular Entertainment Series, visit www.ciweb.org/popular-entertainment.
MORE ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS
As always, venues are listed chronologically by first event.
WEST PORTLAND BAPTIST CHURCH - Terry Campbell will play this afternoon at 1:15. The free concert will be outdoors, so visitors are asked to bring a lawn chair. West Portland Baptist Church is located at 7081 E. Route 20 in Westfield. For more info, call 753-3384.
ZEBRO'S - Derek Davis will play along with Vince Gorski tonight from 6 to 9. Saturday night, Derek Davis will play along with his full band, The Tasty Groove. Zebro's is located at 8254 First St. in Westfield, down in Barcelona harbor. To find out more, call 326-2017.
THE LAKEVIEW - Kris Meekins will play tonight, Bill Ward will play Saturday night, Derek Davis will play Tuesday night, and Brian Hanna will play Wednesday night. All shows will be from 6 to 9. The Lakeview is at 13 Water St. in Mayville. For more information, call 753-2813.
SENECA ALLEGANY CASINO - Tonight, the Casino Bar will host Ghost Riders from 6 to 10. Friday, Only Humen will play from 6 to 10, followed by Pappy Johns Band from 10:30 to 2:30. Saturday's entertainment lineup will include 2nd Time Around from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., Robert ''Freightrain'' Parker from 6 to 10, and Pappy Johns Band from 10:30 to 2:30. Wednesday night, Coyote will play from 6 to 10. For more information about the Casino Bar, visit www.senecaalleganycasino.com.
COOPER'S CYBER CAFE - Doc and Bill will be playing tonight from 7 to 9. Cooper's is at 102 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more, call 338-0344 or visit www.cooperscybercafe.com.
CELORON LEGION - Tonight, the Blue Grass Jam hosted by Backwoods Bluegrass will take place from 7 to 10, with all bluegrass musicians invited to join in. Saturday night, DJ's Unlimited will play from 8 to midnight. Herman Kent American Legion Post 777 is located at 26 Jackson Ave. in Celoron.
RICHARD O. HARTLEY PARK - Razz and Friends will play tonight at 7 as part of the village of Lakewood's summer concert series. For information about upcoming shows in the series, visit www.lakewoodny.com.
MEL'S PLACE - Ken Hardley and the Henways will perform Friday night beginning at 9. Mel's Place is at 344 W. Main St. (Route 394) in Falconer. For more info, call 665-6341.
VILLAGE CASINO - Two For Flinching will play Friday night at 10. Saturday at 10, the Allergic Reaction Band will take the stage. Sunday at 9, Dueling Pianos will be the entertainment. The Village Casino is at 1 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point. For more info, call 386-2333.
ROAD-HOUSE - Hair Nation will take the stage Friday night at 10. Saturday night at 10, Pressure Sensitive will play. The Road-House Bar & Grill is at 1023 E. Second St. in Jamestown. For more info, call 708-6119.
PINE JUNCTION - At its fourth annual Jamboree on Saturday, Pine Junction will play host to Robin Burick from 2 to 4 p.m., Widow Maker from 4 to 8 p.m., and Next of Kin from 8 p.m. to midnight. Admission to the event will be $10. Pine Junction is located at 9757 Bailey Hill Road in Sherman and can be reached at 769-7854 for more information.
SPEED'EEZ - Two For Flinching will play Saturday night beginning at 10. Speed'eez is at 1 E. Main St. (Route 20) in North East, Pa.; for more info, call 814-725-9933.
ALLEN PARK - The Jamestown Municipal Band will perform Wednesday night at 7 in the Goranson Band Shell as part of the City of Jamestown's summer concert series. The Allen Park Women's Club will provide coffee, fudge and baked goods. The band shell is located near the intersection of Cole Avenue and West Virginia Boulevard in the park.
FINDLEY LAKE - Kokomo Time Band will play in the Litz Gazebo on Wednesday night at 7 as part of the Findley Lake summer concert series sponsored by the Alexander Findley Community Library. Desserts and refreshments will be available for donations. For more information, visit www.findleylake.org.
LABYRINTH PRESS COMPANY - Blue Bird, a seven-piece ensemble from Omaha, Neb., will play Wednesday night from 8 to 10. The Labyrinth is located at 12 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown. For more info, call 708-2471.
The Weekend Entertainment Events Preview highlights concerts, festivals and other happenings in the region in each Thursday's paper. Suggestions for submission can be sent to Dave Emke by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 487-1111, ext. 253.