People have funny ideas about manners these days.Sure enough, given 300+ million monkeys in the cage, someone came along to make the story come true:
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?
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.
Reeves, who minutes earlier had gone to seek a manager's help to stop the texting, this time reached into a pocket in his pants for, police say, a pistol.
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.