Wednesday, January 15, 2014

This modern life...

Allow me to open this post by quoting one from 2012:
People have funny ideas about manners these days.

For instance, yesterday I went with Shootin' Buddy to see Iron Man 3 again at the local cineplex. In the row ahead of me, two seats to my right, was a woman who spent the entire movie using her smartphone to post Facebook status updates, apparently along the lines of "zomg totally at the movie pissin off everybody around me luv u l8r"

Because I have manners, I resisted the temptation to wash out her little screen with 80 lumens of Fountain Valley's finest and then when she turned around, say "Annoying, isn't it?" I didn't do it mostly because it would be rude, and partially because it could have had unforeseen consequences, like her boyfriend getting all physical and then where do things go from there?
Sure enough, given 300+ million monkeys in the cage, someone came along to make the story come true:
In a dimly lit Florida theater, Curtis Reeves got into an argument with another moviegoer over texting. The two men exchanged words that gradually became more heated and Reeves felt something hit his face.


Look, texting in a movie is unbelievably rude. 

You are surrounded by other patrons who paid their own money to come enjoy the movie experience and you are metaphorically climbing atop your seatback and giving the stinkeye to the entire rest of the troop. In a state of nature, out on the African savannah, this would result in the movie being paused and the rest of the monkeys giving you the beatdown and returning to their bananas. A mere thirty years ago (coincidentally before the era of widespread CCW) this might get you asked to step outside and receive a poke in the snout.

Now? Now, as much as I'd like to tell you just what I think of your disgraceful lack of consideration for your fellow patrons*, the potential consequences of any escalation by Captain Entitlement are simply too great. It is not worth the risk of life in prison to ask you to turn off your cell phone, and so I just don't go to the theater as much and the barbarians have won another round.

I'm afraid that a lack of manners is an inevitable side-effect of modern civilization. Just as improved medical science has shielded the human race from the cruel effects of natural selection, so does the ceding of all order-keeping functions to the state protect the self-absorbed idiot from the consequences of his actions. To suggest that some other state might be desirable marks one as some loony-toon throwback; a sort of "behavioral eugenicist".

Ah, this modern life.


*"Fellow patrons", hah! Like "fellow anything" is a concept that would have any resonance in this world of movie stars.

57 comments:

Bob said...

Myself, I think it's rude to answer a comment with Are you fucking retarded?

But that's just me.

Tam said...

Myself, I think it's a little dim to step into someone else's metaphorical living room with the sole intention of insulting them and expect different.

You may leave any time you'd like.

Bob said...

As you wish.

og said...

If I could ever get past the screen talkers, the popcorn sprayers, the over aromatic, and the weak bladdered morons who leave their seats every seven minutes, I'd also be pissed at testers. And then there's the $12 for a ticket, and I haven't been to a big screen since the passion of Christ. Whatever it is will be on redbox in a month for a buck anyway.

Canthros said...

The special hell.

Patrick said...

I feel the same. Went to the mall in December for the first time in about 8 months (really). I thought it would be fun to take the 5 year old daughter for some Christmas shopping. Other than seeing all the cool Christmas stuff, she didn't like it. Me, either.

I don't know why - maybe Tam hit on it - but I just don't like being with "the public" all that much lately. There is little decency among people, and frankly those who want to get away with being jackholes are treated with adoration by management too afraid they will have to apologize for calling out people for being anything other than 'special snowflakes'.

To hell with it. In addition to the local Redbox, we got Amazon Prime.

That said, the wife wants to see Marky-Mark's new movie - the one we are told by the bed-wetters is "too pro-military". If we gotta go, we'll do it mid-day and mid-week. Ugh. At least I usually like the popcorn and fake buttery-stuff that clings to it.

Woodman said...

I'm 6'4" and 340 pounds, for some reason I have a target on me that says try to run me over that only packs of younger people can read. I shudder to think of the day that either a) I don't keep on my toes, or b) I get fed up with dodging idiots.

The impact of Laquesha, or Bubba, hitting the ground after bouncing off my fat, yet solid, frame and smacking the ground with their face will be traumatic. I avoid the mall, and dont go to Walmart or target during prime idiot hours if I can help it slightly because of this. I know how ill react if I accidentally knock someone down who runs into me, who has any idea how they will react in return. I just don't want to mess with it.

Alien said...

Every time an interesting movie comes out - which, by my metric isn't that often - I ask myself do I want to put up with the associated BS of going to a movie theater.

99 times out of a hundred the answer is "no." The last time I went was to see "Act of Valor" on the big screen, and that was in it's last week locally; I figured the theater would be mostly empty, and I was right.

Theater management has less than no interest in policing the premises, and I have no interest in paying $7-10 for an unenjoyable experience. I'll side with Og, instead.

If you have a good theater locally, I'm jealous, but assholes abound, and I feel no compunction to associate with them. I'm not saying I agree in any way with Mr. Reeves actions, but I can, to a certain degree, understand his response.

Rick C said...

If for some reason y'all want to see a movie in theater, which I like to do from time to time, do what I do: first matinee. It's much cheaper, if it's not in Imax, and there will almost always be almost nobody there.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Destroying civility and the English language, 140 characters at a time.

Boat Guy said...

Haven't been to a movie theater since the other HooYah movie but that had boat-porn. Can't go to see our real guys die onscreen anyway; but the whole "experience" is such that I could amortize the most-expensivest/bitchenest TV/DVD setup in the universe against not having to go again.

Reno Sepulveda said...

Monkey House indeed. Yesterday at work, I walked by a vagrant jacking off under a blanket sitting on the sidewalk right in front of the County Courtouse.

San Diego "America's Finest City."

The Deputies in front of the court did nothing, the TV crew covering the North Park sex slave story did nothing.

I felt the anger well up behind my eyes, my right leg wanted so much to kick the "man" right in the face.

I did nothing.

Anonymous said...

Time to rethink the maxim, "An armed society is a polite society"? Maybe change it to "impolite people will still be impolite even if they, or someone else, has a gun."

Meh, chalk this one up to the inevitable collision course between two arrogant jerks.

jf

Scott J said...

"just don't go to the theater as much and the barbarians have won another round"

And I think that's what bugs me the most about it.

I'm already more misanthropic than I should be and "society" just keeps making it worse.

Phssthpok said...

I'm a penny pincher that could make a roundish cupro-nickle slug scream from three states away, yet I gladly fork out extra for the 'Adults Only living room theater' showings at Cinetopia.

http://www.cinetopiatheaters.com/index.html

Anonymous said...

I see the same lack of manners at our local performing arts theater.
Play, orchestra or dance recital, it makes no difference.

Ushers try and get them to stop but until security shows up they hash tag their little asses off.

I watched all my movies in hotel rooms when on travel for work back in the day.

Gerry

Scout26 said...

Took my son to see "Lone Survivor".

There was a reason we went to the 4:30pm on Tuesday. ;)


But there were still about 20 people there which I found surprising.

Last two movies I've seen in That Special Hell:

Hunger Games (also with him $2 movie house)

Blackhawk Down someone could have been setting off tactical nukes and I wouldn't have noticed.

Anonymous said...

I went to a movie recently, and saw the theater to ask patrons leave for texting during the movie not once but twice. I was pretty impressed.

Maybe they can learn.

Lergnom said...

Woodman;
The younger people have lived their entire lives expecting the grownups to get out of their way. Look at a toddler in a supermarket, for example. But there should, and I stress 'should', come a time in their lives when they realize that they are not the center of the actual universe, and learn to navigate around their fellow passengers on Starship Earth. Sadly, this does not seem to be the case in many cases.
Stay safe

Armed Texan said...

There is probably a tipping point where enough of society is armed that being polite becomes a survival tactic again. All of my armed friends and acquaintances certainly behave more politely, particularly when armed (for the same reasons you mention not going to the theater). Then again, that is mere correlation and anecdote as they were probably more polite before getting their CCW (or OCing as was often the case back in AZ) and I don't know enough armed people to make data. It does follow a certain logic though. And if the local twitter addict starts fearing to go the theater or at least is too afraid to whip out the little ADD generator during a movie because he or she saw a few stories like this, then I think that is a good thing. (Not that I condone Mr. Reeves' actions, but life lessons rarely come from Mother Teresa.)

Anonymous said...

This is why I like going to my local art house cinema, for the lack of agitated primates.

Allen

Bubblehead Les. said...

It's gotten to the point with me that (unless absolutely necessary, i.e. Hospitals) that if there is a sign saying "This is a Gun-Free Zone", I don't go there.

The Goblins don't care, the Nut-Jobs don't care, and I've already been in front of a Judge defending a Righteous Shooting once in my life. I don't want to try to get out of Violating the Stupid GFZ Laws.

Besides, I've got Netflix, Roku and a Comfy Chair. I can wait to see the few movies that I'd want spend money on.

Ymmv, of course.

Scott J said...

"learn to navigate around their fellow passengers on Starship Earth"

I have gotten onto both my 8 and 6 year olds for being in an adult's way in public. Invariably said adult replies with some variant of "it's OK".

Sometimes when my annoyance factor with my kids is high I have responded "no, it's not OK they must learn to pay attention and do better"

gunfreezone said...

I sincerely cannot recall the last time I went to see a movie at a theater. It has to be well over a decade and the movie had to suck for me not to remember it.
I gave up... the talking, the screaming, the phones, the flying soda & pop-corn and even the making-out couples (not that we did not have it back when, but it was agreed upon that such behavior was to be done in the last row and not where patrons could see the tag of the removed brassiere and know the cup size)
Pay per View is cheaper, convenient, the munchies are fresh, the companionship always great and I can select a wardrobe that suits my comfort. And with DVR I can actually have a chance to pee in peace and not make a mess in the bathroom trying to rush back to the living room. :)

Robert Langham said...

Tough to chillax and just enjoy the decline and fall of the Republic. Maybe the police guy should have leaned forward and said, " I'm with the IRS and my date is with the NSA. If you don't shut that thing down you are going to be audited, have child porn posted on your OS and vote for Obama 100 times in every state for the next ten years.

TJIC said...

At the risk of reigniting the TJIC vs Tam "most cops are bad / no, most cops are good" fight, I'll point out that the murderer is a retired cop.

I suspect that the core issue was that he saw red when - after becoming accustomed to 30 years of cowering deference from everyone he interacted with - some mere peasant didn't humble himself appropriately.

Fuck him; I hope officer Curtis Reeves, Retired, fries...or, baring that, dies alone in a cell after a terrible terrible 30 years in the pokey.

Gewehr98 said...

We have what, over 313 million people here in the US now?

That tells me there's a good chance of more than a couple unbalanced individuals out there interacting with the public at large.

They're going to get set off by the slightest things. It's already begun, this event being just another example.

I used to flash my headlights at night as a courtesy to oncoming drivers who had their own lights off in the darkness.

Now, it's not worth the possible road rage attack. =(

Tam said...

TJIC,

Well, I lose my bet with myself.

You're over two hours late with that observation. :p

BryanP said...

Bob said...

Myself, I think it's rude to answer a comment with Are you fucking retarded?

But that's just me.


Okay. Tam has already handled this, and I'm probably stepping out of line here but I'm going to say it anyway since it's been bugging me for a while.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Retarded being used as a pejorative. This isn't a PC thing. This comes from knowing and having known many people with developmental disabilities. Most of them were kinder and better behaved than the average (sub)urban primate. Yes, their intellect is lower than average, but if you allow for their reduced ability to comprehend you'll find that many of them are delightful people. Usually I just want to strangle people who either treat them as if they don't exist or treat them condescendingly in a effort to be 'nice.'

I know she, like most people who use the term, isn't using it to denigrate people with a DD, she's using it as shorthand to refer to people who behave stupidly.

That said, this is Tam's place. If her use of the term gets to where it bothers me more than I enjoy reading the topics posted then I'll stop coming. I won't cause a hissy, I won't make a scene, and I won't tell her off before leaving. I'll just leave. I doubt I'd be missed.

I certainly won't tell her I think she should change her use of language. It's her place, her rules, her code of conduct.

Channeling this back towards the actual topic, if someone wants to dork around on their phone before the movie starts (the commercials don't count as part of the movie) I'm fine with it. If they keep doing it while the movie is on it's not my place to step on them. I can go complain to the theater management or I can decide it's not worth my time and either tolerate it or leave. If the manager wants to do something about it, great. If they don't, then I simply won't come back. I have watched as a theater manager escorted one particularly obnoxious lady from the premises over this exact issue. I sent a letter to their coporate offices praising him and I make a point to go to that theater over others when possible.

Hafnhaf said...

we have two multiplexes in town. one says no guns. the other does not. we go to movies a week or two after they come out. we go at lunch time and have a great meal, sit in an empty theater, and watch a movie. OC, of course. ya never know when someone will start throwing popcorn...

Eric said...

As Michael Bane is fond of saying, "too many rats in the box".

Sigman said...

TJIC,

News stories are saying he felt he was about to be attacked. Whether he was or not is debatable. Considering he is 70, not sure if he'd live to serve the 30 years you hope for.

Matt said...

I dont go to movie theaters. I never enjoyed sitting in a dark room full of strangers and have to be polite, sit still and behave for a couple of hours. Add the ticket prices, obscene snack bar prices and it is just not worth the effort.

Tam said...

Sigman,

In TJIC's eyes, all that stuff only counts if we're talking about a human, as opposed to a cop.

I think he's wrong, but I understand where he's coming from.

TJIC said...

@Sigman



News stories are saying he felt he was about to be attacked.



News stories say that he said he felt he was about to be attacked.



Considering he is 70, not sure if he'd live to serve the 30 years you hope for.



Yes; I'm wishing him really really good health.

Woodman said...

Damn it, this is the internet, there is no understanding other people's viewpoints here!

On topic, people have attacked each other over stupider shit than this. Stabbing your son while carving the turkey comes to mind. You have to get out of those situations before you vet into them sometimes.

TJIC said...

@Tam:



Sigman,

In TJIC's eyes, all that stuff only counts if we're talking about a human, as opposed to a cop.



I don't get enraged at lightening or bee stings or cold weather killing people. Those things have no free will or moral agency.

I get enraged at cops murdering people because they do have moral agency...and both social and legal protection befitting their apparent nobility.

The day I truly think that cops are non-human is the day I stop caring about what they do.

Tam said...

TJIC,

"News stories say that he said he felt he was about to be attacked."

Oftentimes all we have to go on are a person's statements.

George Zimmerman's for example.

rocinante2 said...

Well, the Florida incident certainly pokes a hole in the "only cops and soldiers can be trusted with guns" meme.

I am nostalgic for the days when one could sit (peacefully) in a large, dark room with a couple of hundred strangers and watch a movie. A combination of social pressure and the fact that you can't stop the film and rewind it to hear/see what you missed kept the talking and disturbance to a minimum.

It's logical-but-dismaying that the two or more generations who have had a VCR or DVD at home since before they were potty-trained don't see anything wrong with talking / texting / gaming / whatever during the movie - they've been doing it all their lives.

One can avoid most of this by being smart about the day, time, and demographic where one goes to the movies. One foolproof strategy is to go to an upscale theater that serves food and alcohol.

The tickets are only a couple of bucks more than a regular movie ticket in my metro. However, most people are there for a movie AND lunch/brunch/dinner with drinks - and that will cost north of $100 for two.

The demographic that will drop a c-note at the movies is generally very well behaved.

RevolverRob said...

I ignored the broader discussion of why someone got all shot up.

I attend exclusively Alamo Drafthouse franchise movie theaters. Where manners still exist. As in, the last time someone decided to text in my movie theater, the film was paused, the head movie theater monkey came in and with the help of an usher visibly embarassed, shamed, and removed the texting monkey from the theater. The head monkey returned, apologized for the interruption (to a standing ovation) and the film was continued in peace afterwards.

Turns out that even in the uncivilized world, manners may still exist. Are there Drafthouses everywhere? Not yet, but By God we're getting them to places that long for a little civilization with their cinematic experiences as quickly as possible: http://drafthouse.com/ Let them know you want a franchise where you are! I mean that seriously.

Note, I am not affiliated with Alamo Drafthouse franchises or enterprises. I am merely an extremely satisfied patron who refuses to watch movies at a different theater. Old school customer service and manners go a long way to keeping this here society civilized at least a bit longer.


-Rob

Tam said...

"I am nostalgic for the days when one could sit (peacefully) in a large, dark room with a couple of hundred strangers and watch a movie. A combination of social pressure and the fact that you can't stop the film and rewind it to hear/see what you missed kept the talking and disturbance to a minimum.

It's logical-but-dismaying that the two or more generations who have had a VCR or DVD at home since before they were potty-trained don't see anything wrong with talking / texting / gaming / whatever during the movie - they've been doing it all their lives.
"

You might find it instructive to read about some of the premieres of Birth Of A Nation. On the whole, texting and whispering is less disruptive than shooting up the movie screen.

JeffatJacks said...

You don't text or play with your phone at the Alamo Drafthouse theater.

Audio from the complaint call of the person kicked out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L3eeC2lJZs

Anonymous said...

I was at the Magic Castle, and a patron was texting, talking on the phone and commenting about the show from the front row.

That is generally a very bad idea for a life performance, particularly with the very professional people who get the big auditorium at the Magic Castle (in LA). It was one of the most awesome shows I had ever seen, and the magic was good too.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Magic Castle, and a patron was texting, talking on the phone and commenting about the show from the front row.

That is generally a very bad idea for a life performance, particularly with the very professional people who get the big auditorium at the Magic Castle (in LA). It was one of the most awesome shows I had ever seen, and the magic was good too.

Casey said...

The last movie I saw in a theater was the first new Star Trek. Before that (IIRC) was the last Star Wars. So, I don't go very often.

That said, what's wrong with texting in a movie theater? I mean that literally, not rhetorically. Is there light from the screen which distracts you? Do they have a "keypress noise" turned on so you can hear them typing? I am asking in all sincerity, since I go to the theater so rarely.

Re: people talking; yes, the special Hell for them. :) One of my favorite series.

Casey said...

The last movie I saw in a theater was the first new Star Trek. Before that (IIRC) was the last Star Wars. So, I don't go very often.

That said, what's wrong with texting in a movie theater? I mean that literally, not rhetorically. Is there light from the screen which distracts you? Do they have a "keypress noise" turned on so you can hear them typing? I am asking in all sincerity, since I go to the theater so rarely.

Re: people talking; yes, the special Hell for them. :) One of my favorite series.

markm said...

Tam said... "Oftentimes all we have to go on are a person's statements.
George Zimmerman's for example."

His statements, and his head wounds consistent with someone trying to pound his head into the ground. And the witness who saw Martin trying to pound his head into the ground. And the 911 tapes with timestamps and the map, which lead to the conclusion that almost the only way Martin could have been at the time and place where he was shot was to have doubled back, after going out of Zimmerman's sight towards Martin's house. And Martin's girlfriend, who says he called her from near his house, and he was going to double back...

Tam said...

markm,

Really? Are you trying to invoke my Indian name here?

FWIW, I believe the right verdict was handed down, but it's a poor mind that can't come up with a plausible theory that fits the available facts that involves Zimmerman as the instigator. But we don't convict on plausible theories. The available evidence either supports or, at the very least, does not contradict Zimmerman's version of events. The prosecution, in the face of that, could not meet their burden of proof.

Anonymous said...

While it's regrettable that things escalated to the point where lethal force was employed, whether or not the shooter was justified in his actions, I must admit to a sense of satisfaction that at least one of the seemingly unending horde of inconsiderate assholes of the world won't be around to act like a dick ever again. Just maybe this will cause the assholes to think before they act but I doubt it.

fillyjonk said...

Add me to the list of people who are close to going full-on hermit (seriously, if we had grocery delivery service here? I'd never darken the door of the Wal-Mart. Not because of any hatred of the corporation, but because some of the people who shop at my local outlet are AWFUL. I'd say they were raised by wolves, but that would be an insult to wolves.)

I also regularly have students nearly run into me in the hall, because they are texting and don't look up. (I'm 5'7" and well north of 150 pounds, so I'm not exactly invisible). Usually I'm carrying lab equipment so I can't risk them running into me and my dropping it...

I'm thinking, maybe a big solar flare that closed down the cell networks and WiFi for a few days might not be such a bad thing.

Steve said...

"fillyjonk - I'm thinking, maybe a big solar flare that closed down the cell networks and WiFi for a few days might not be such a bad thing."

Or, since those are fairly hard to orchestrate, theaters that intentionally block cell signals. Forced dead zones. Advertise the fact, lest some heart surgeon who is anticipating an urgent call for immediate surgery miss the call. Of course, if they knew such a surgery was imminent, they shouldn't be at a movie house. But, if they were an ER doc? Yeah, arrangements could probably be made with the theater management.

Larry said...

Y'know, where I work they have this shielding that completely horks any sorts of cell phone signals. I'm thinking the technology exists to eliminate the whole "texting in a theater" problem without resorting to the "special hell" solution.

Anonymous said...

"Y'know, where I work they have this shielding that completely horks any sorts of cell phone signals."

Most any steel building will do that.....

You work in a No Frills Supermarket?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it would have been a good time for the carrier to have had a good light.

Drang said...

cell phone jammers for theaters and the like have been proposed, and shot down, for 1) Emergency Response issues, and 2) "The FCC says they would be illegal" issues.

Buzz said...

That won't stop the games, Larry.

Casey, focus on an object in a darkened room for twenty minutes, then have some inconsiderate twit turn lights on and off in your peripheral vision, which is far more sensitive to light than straight on. Tell me how the lights affected your ability to view the object.

'Tis a shame some retired meter maid with an itchy tow truck dialing finger doesn't cruise fire lanes at the grocery stores. -I've wished for immunity and a monster truck or Abrams on more than one occasion.

Yes, I have confronted texters and talkers before.

Kristophr said...

Drang:

Jammers may be unlawful, but aluminum flyscreen behind the plaster is not.