Just got back from watching a late viewing of Avatar.  Excellent movie.  The 3-D graphics were freakin’ killer.  The last time I saw a 3-D movie must have been Jaws 3 or 4.  The one with Dennis Quaid and a nasty looking syringe squirting at the screen.  I’m sure most of you have already seen Avatar, but if not, head out there.  It’s totally worth it.  I had no intention of seeing it since I don’t watch animated movies, however with all the positive feedback, I finally relented and I’m glad I did.  It was awesome.

A few things to comment on though.  First, the 3-D made everything so real seeming (even though largely animated which fucks with your head even further…or should fuck with your head).  One problem I had, was that I became an Avatar pervert straight out of the gates.  I couldn’t stop looking at breasts.  Somehow the 3-D made me feel like I was actually there, yet I knew I couldn’t be seen so I was instinctively fixated.  And what’s kind of messed up about it all is that they weren’t even human breasts that I was dialed in on, but Avatar breasts.  As I said, the 3-D fucks with your head.  Or at least my head.  It’s pretty ridiculous really.  Just waiting for the logically, impossible nipple slip. Man, how badly do I need a girlfriend (or hot Avatar)?  But to be fair to myself, those Avatar females were smokin’ hot.  You got to love the ladies with a lean, long, and athletic torso.  Even if they do have blue skin.

So sweet dreams for me tonight.

The other, and final issue that I had, had nothing to do with what was on the big screen.  It was the audience participation, and this is where I will now get a bit racist this evening.  It’s alright though, because it just an honest assessment and reaction as opposed to small minded bigotry.  But what was tough to take in while watching this film, was this black couple (and son apparently…didn’t see the offspring til after the movie let out).  In typical (stereotype) fashion (stereotype for a reason), they talked, laughed, and whatevered throughout the entire film.

Now this always sets off racial tension in a theater, if of course the offending party is black.  If they’re not, then it’s a different type of tension.  A tension that is less tricky to resolve.

And shit man, I feel the tension right away because I get pissed.  Not because I am inherently racist or anything, but because I can’t fucking stand it when people make any kind of noise in a theater, or hell even when I’m at home watching a film.  This is one of my struggles, or even shortcomings if you want to view it that way.  I can’t fucking take it.  The crinkling of candy wrappers.  The slurping of drinks.  The crunching of ice.  It all sets my burner on high.  Honestly, the blood boils to the point that I want to sock someone.  I don’t know if its part of the byproduct of having only one functioning ear (Earclops); theory being that maybe with two, our brains have the option to filter and ‘choose’ what sounds we want to hear.  With one, perhaps I have little choice but to take it all in without discretion.  I don’t know.  Far more likely though is that I don’t know how to to chill the fuck out while watching a movie thus I radiate hostility when distracted.

I actually really suck pretty badly in this department.  I remember watching a movie with a girlfriend once and almost ended up sleeping on the couch (by her choice) because…well, here’s the story.   She was eating a bag of pretzels while we watched….what was it?….ahh, Dead Poet’s Society.

Now, when I am watching a film, I am totally absorbed, thus when Dr. Keating said, “Neal, you have a gift.  You have a true gift.  I saw you tonight and (CRRRUUUUNCH…..CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH…..CRINKLE CRINKLE…..)”, well I increduously turned to my right, stared bewildered, stopped the movie and in my most restrained manner said,


And then was met with,

“What?  Are you kidding?”.

And I wasn’t kidding.  I’m never kidding in those situations.  I can’t stand to be distracted by sounds during a good movie.  Sure, chill the fuck out.  I get it.  I probably should.  But I can’t.  I don’t think its a choice.

But Avatar and this couple…or family I guess.  I could tell pretty quickly that they were good people.  It’s not like they were obnoxious teenagers creating a cacophony of crap with flimsy bravado.  No, they were just obnoxious black people.  And if that feels too racist for you, then obnoxious African Americans.  Better?

And I know it is just a cultural thing.  There was no hint of, “I’m going to be loud because fuck you whitey…what the fuck are you going to do about it?”.  As if they know that people are too afraid to pipe up and create a confrontation.  So they can laugh at their empowerment to counteract the disempowerment in almost every other aspects of the social contract that they didn’t sign up for.  I could tell, or at least assume that they would be just as noisy in an all black theater as well, so that was that.  And to be fair, they weren’t even all that loud.  Again, I am hyper sensitive to sounds.  But other people were in fact turning around with that exaggerated, bullshit acting job of what-and-where’s-that-sound coming from.  Thinking erroneously that the disturbers would be shamed to silence from this display.  But no chance with the non-white people.  I’m sure they look back with a no bullshit look of, ‘What?’

So what was I to do in this situation?  What can any of us do in that situation?  Do the fruitless head turn?  Or take it from passive, to passive aggressive, and give the anonymous ’shhhhhhhhh’?  Or how about the more assertive, “Do you mind keeping it down?  We’re trying to watch here”.  Which is fucking tempting.  Believe me.  But where would the latter get me?  It wouldn’t resolve it.  You know that, and I know that.  It would in essence create a cultural clash, which would naturally compound the problem.

Now, if they were white, I would probably take this latter route, or even be a bit rude about it, depending on my affection for the movie.  Why?  Because it wouldn’t be a cultural difference.  It’s would just be plain fucking rude.  And hell, I expect (fairly or not) more conflict from black people based again on culture.  If I say something then I basically expect the incredulous look followed by something equally or more confrontational.  And again, where does that lead?

So you have to pick your battles, right?

So…here is my brilliant idea to this stalemate of a situation.  It’s slightly impractical financially speaking, but I believe it has real promise.

What movie theaters need to start doing to reduce any chance at creating racial tension, is to install headphones like the one’s on airplanes.  That way when Heathcliff and Claire bring Theo (I’m going to burn…) to the movies then the white folk in the crowd can pop in their earphones into the arm rest and drown out the added commentary.  It really would be a great option.  And we could bring our own headphones as well.  We’d only need the jack to plug into.  Now, how does that sound?

Anyways, as I said, I saw this family as they were leaving and could see that they were a great family, which reaffirmed my choice in picking the right non-battle by keeping my frustrations to myself.  I guess I will just save those tension creating actions for the one’s I love most.

Why can’t we all get along?  We can man.  We truly can.  Headphones.  Fucking headphones.  It’s that easy.

Go see Avatar while it’s in the theaters.  Make sure it’s in 3-D cause they’re showing both.


-Oh, and if possible, don’t sit next to a black family ;)

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