Sunday, July 22, 2012

Picking Up the Pieces: On Fearmongering and the Opening of the Dark Knight Rises

Yes, this article is about the movie theater murders in Aurora Colorado. And no, I have not yet seen The Dark Knight Rises. That's not what this is about. I work at a restaurant in a movie theater in the greater Los Angeles area and have witnessed firsthand the effect that this pointlessly stupid event has had on the opening of what promises to be an excellent achievement in filmmaking... People aren't calling for refunds or coming in to get return passes. They're just not showing up. So what we end up with is a sold out show with 50 people staggered about the 400+ auditorium. What's the deal?

The Dark Knight Rises is breaking records without its audience because people are just scared... of what you ask? Do people not go to Salt Lake City because at one time in the last three-hundred years the population was wiped out by a shift in atmospheric pressure? No. Are people afraid of drinking a McDonald's coffee because someone once scalded themselves with the drink? Probably not. And I'm not trying to compare this crime to a coffee burn, but at some point somebody has to stand up and say something. We all want to see this movie. Let's just go and see it.

Almost every news team is involved in the sensationalist hype of this one event. I was shocked to hear a network like NPR randomly asking the senseless question, "What do you think about copycat killers?" totally unprovoked. It's just negligent journalism creating mass hysteria under the guise of feeling for the families of the victims when I promise you the victims' families would rather not have to hear about those events 24-7... if at all. These journalists are grasping at an "action packed" story without considering the repercussions. They're glorifying this stupid man with infamy and potentially allowing his one act to have a much greater effect than it should. Yes, it's a tragedy, but the media should be convincing us to go back to the movies... instead they've become avatars for fearmongering and they're threatening to sink the economy amidst what should be the biggest film opening of all time.

I haven't seen the movie yet. But I am in a movie theater every day. I have no fear because there is nothing to be afraid of. Not even a little bit. In fact, movie theaters are quite suddenly safer than they've ever been. I've been putting off writing on this blog for a while now. Nothing has seemed so interesting that I've had to pick it up. But now I'm feeling like a small voice who's forced to pick up a mess that never should have been made. I can only hope that soon a day will come when the media must take responsibility for what they are doing to the people in this country. And now I want to watch Network and Broadcast News... but not until after I've watched The Dark Knight Rises... in a theater... at least six or seven times.

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