Monday, August 4, 2014

Get Up and Stand Down

I'm watching "Get On Up" in the theatre tonight and this family is talking in a loud voice throughout the movie. One of their kids is stomping up and down the stairs. No one in the crowd is saying anything.  In my most Zen-like and precise voice, I kindly asked them to 'shaddup!' Yes. You. Right there. I'm looking at you and your family. Shut up. Suddenly I become aware that I'm in 'stand your ground' Florida and we're now only a few steps away from bullets. Conversely, I think the parents are aware that they too are in Florida and I'm a complete stranger who could be packing heat. So we both quietly sink down into our chairs. We watch the rest of the movie in silence. Suddenly there is instant parenting on display: the mother tells the son to sit down and he doesn't say a word until the credits and he sits down.

Hmmm...I'm having a lot of conflicted feelings. I got what I wanted and the rest of the crowd jumped in and told the family to 'be quiet' so I received mob validation as people piled on to this unruly bunch.

I had an inelegant reaction that lasted about 2 seconds. I'm not proud of telling someone to 'shut up,' even in a nice voice. Even more disturbing, there was this weird tension of 'is someone going to get popped tonight?'

After the movie ended, I thought about apologizing. I decided this would be the best course of action, and then I remembered that potential of a gun.

'Hmm, but this could escalate into something.'  Instead we all seemed to sheepishly leave, exiting to our cars. Stand Your Ground America: where all public disagreement is tinged with the awareness 'is someone going to die because this cheesy bread is too cold?"

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