Thursday, March 11, 2010

Movies & Meat Thermometers

It's the kind of report that makes you wonder what's happened to our country.
The theater was packed for a 9 p.m. Saturday screening of the Martin Scorsese horror movie, "Shutter Island" when the victim complained about a woman near him who was using a cell phone during the show.

She and two men with her left the movie theater.

Two men returned a few minutes later and stabbed the victim, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore. The victim was hospitalized but is expected to survive.

Two other people who attempted to help the victim were also injured in the altercation.

Sheriff's officials describe the suspects as black males. One man was wearing an orange hat with an orange jacket or jersey.
The first thought that comes to mind is "What kind of weird (or wired) nut-job brings a meat thermometer to the movie theater?" Or carries it with him in his car?

My second thought was a validation of sorts as to why I don't go see movies much anymore.
The social compact has broken down, even here in God's country. Rude behavior that, had it occurred, would not have been tolerated in years' past is now customary. Men and women of all ages talk on their cellphones or, almost as annoying, text one another, the ghostly blue light of their tiny little screens flickering on their faces and those of all others who are near. Or the guy behind you routinely kicks your chair at least once every two minutes just to let you know he's still alive and, well, kickin'.

When I do go to movies more often than not they are matinees when the crowds are thinner, although the inconsideration of some moviegoers often makes up for the lack of numbers. The other strategy is to pick a movie to which I am certain the lemmings are not lurching, or whatever it is that lemmings do. That's why I saw "Men Who Stare at Goats." (I thought it was pretty good, but then there were only five people in the theater, so I could give it my undivided attention.)

I used to see a lot of movies. I made up for a deprived childhood on the farm once I managed to find a career in the big city. Love movies, and still do. I've fallen out of love with movie audiences, however. So I do my movie watching at home. DVD and home theater systems and Orville Redenbacher give you everything you need to recreate the Big Screen experience, except Butterfinger candy and I'm not supposed to be eating those anyway. Plus having a remote control means the ability to visit a CLEAN restroom without missing any of the action!

Sure, you have to wait a few months for the movies to be released, but that gives me time to do my research and waste fewer entertainment dollars on cinematic garbage.

My only sadness this year was having the Oscars roll around and, even though the field was doubled from five to ten, I had not seen a single Best Picture nominee. My children, who have movie theater work experience, think I've lost it.

They could be right. But at least I don't have a meat thermometer sticking in my neck.

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