January 30, 2003
I'm surrounded by morons...

London January 2003: Someone please help me - I'm surrounded by morons... No - not at work - there it's different and I've met some of the best and brightest people in a long time, but while London has bright people, it also seems to have a generous serving of morons!

Yesterday night I went to the movies with a bunch of friends and colleagues to see The Gangs of New York. Just as we reached the final, emotionally laden scenes, the archetypical bad cinema etiquette scene manifests: the phone of the girl in the seat directly in front of me goes off in a loud "Nokia sound" ringtone (you know, the "Nokia -- annoying people"-sound)...

Not forgiveable. Ever. Especially since the last ad shown before any film starts is a "please turn off your mobile phone"-ad using exactly the same ringtone. *hint hint* to the girl in front. Not taken.

The story could have stopped with the 200+ cinemagoers' annoyance right there if the girl had turned her phone off in shame, but it didn't: She actually answered the phone(!!) and when a guy a seat or two to my right leaned over and discreetly asked her to get off the phone, she turned around, in rage, shouting loudly "Shut the f#ck up or I will smash your f#cking face in". I was shocked, and so was the rest of the people around me.

I have always promised myself that if such a mobile-phone-ringing scene (less the bitching temper) happens next to me in the cinema I would take the phone, throw it across the room and have 200 witnesses that it was an "accident". I was seriously ready to do it, but this girl's display of what must have been a very disturbed personality(?) put me slightly off from a fear of inciting violence, and I resorted to the less manly but more diplomatic approach of saying firmly but not loudly that she should turn her phone off. She didn't until my third iteration, but for me the entire cinema experience was ruined. Completely ruined. Damn her. The worst thing was, it was a reasonably good film too - if simple in structure, it made me think about things that I would have liked this posting to be about instead of that phone ringing. Damn. I'm still upset...

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Yep I agree with you. I have been experiencing the same nightmare here in Canada over and over again. Cinemas should install some scrambler to cancel Cell Phone signal. Untill then I bring a telescopic baseball bat with me... you don't have to repeat 3 times with that in your hands ! :-)

Posted by: Sammael on January 30, 2003 05:15 PM

A couple of years ago, when "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was just about the hottest movie in Norway or the rest of Europe for that matter, I was visiting a friend in Belgium. I convinced this friend of mine that the movie was worth seeing.

However, as Belgians are Belgians, and views the world a bit ass-backwards, the movie showed only in the smallest, most obscure theatre in a small, obscure town I can't remember the name of. The theatre had about 50 seats, of which only half the seats were taken.

Sitting right behind me was this guy. His phone rang. He answered. Most of the audience promptly told him to shut up and turn his phone off. He hung up after ten or twenty seconds. Ten minutes later his phone rang again!

Well, since Belgians are ass-backwards about everything, the guy made it out of the theatre alive. Unfortunately. It would have been a good story for the Darwin awards.

Posted by: Arve Bersvendsen on January 30, 2003 06:25 PM

That would have been one for the Darwins indeed ;-)

I used to work in Holland where people would talk loudly throughout any film in any cinema (maybe linked to the cheap beer sold before the films and in the intermissions?) but I never saw rudeness like yesterday before...

Posted by: andersja on January 30, 2003 06:56 PM

What a bitch. She would have been eaten alive for her outburst in NYC. Unfortunately, it happens as well in our theaters, but people will turn around and glare or shush them.

Posted by: valerief on January 30, 2003 08:32 PM

You'd think folks would go to the movies for a bit of escapism, or to think, or to enjoy themselves. Shutting off from the outside world for an hour or two. Why then, bring a piece of the outside world inside with you? Beyond comprehension for me, but what's worse is the belligerence shown by that woman.

I like the idea of the telescopic baseball bat, Sammael. Where can I get one of those? Although I should probably buy a boomerang.

Posted by: OzChris on February 4, 2003 05:50 PM

Welp, I believe the subject title of this blog just about sums it up, "…surrounded by morons... " I only wish this was a simple lament about individuals with poor cinema etiquette, however I cant even begin to recount the innumerable incidence which come to mind. I've come to the sad and thoroughly sobering realization that being intelligent and courteous has gone from a strength and asset, to be revered and admired, to the ultimate liability in modern society. And as much as I want to believe it is limited to this obtuse nation of which I am a resident, that beyond the boundaries of a socioeconomic group who value brutish behavior over quiet reserve, the rest of the world still maintains a semblance integrity. Sadly, everyday it becomes more and more painfully obvious, even through the few brief comments here, that ignorance and stupidity are universally prevalent. In the immortal words of George Jetson, “Jane… Get me off this crazy thing!” ...nuff said.

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Maximum Aardvark: Morons at the Movies (January 31, 2003 05:12 PM)
"Anders Jacobsen: "She actually answered the phone(!!) and when a guy a seat or two to my right leaned over and discreetly asked her to get off the phone, she"

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