There was a bizarre online rant recently by a fellow named Anil Dash. By most accounts, he would seem a rational sort -- according to his biography, he's been a columnist for Wired magazine and founded a social media organization with backing from the MacArthur Foundation about better communication with lawmakers. Perhaps he was just having a bad hair day, or had an unexpected personal meltdown, or maybe a poltergeist temporarily took over his body. Or forgot to read his own Mission Statement about better communication. But he wrote a loooong rant against some (his word...) "asshole" who had dared to commit the egregious social faux pas of actually criticizing an article Mr. Dash had written that slammed people who "shush" in a movie theater. And when I say "loooong," I know from writing long. Alas, I only got about 150 paragraphs in and still had 870 to go before giving up. (Okay, I exaggerate...) But I just didn't get very far in it. Part was the length, part was the whining, most was the point he was trying to cram down everyone's throat. Mainly, it fell into the Life is Much Too Short, I'm Going to Get a Tooth Extraction Instead category. Skimming through the rest of the article, though, I could see the section headings of some of what I missed -- "We Have You Outnumbered," "It's Not a Church" and "Caution: Public Spaces Contain Humans."
But the good thing is that that led to a hilarious response by Scott Beggs on the website, Film School Rejects. The hugely tongue-in-cheek piece is called, "But Why Can't I Urinate in My Seat at the Movies?"
It comes filled with detailed defenses why this should be allowed and suggestions on how it could all be accomplished, all the while slamming those who would disagree, done with the same ferocity as his "kindred-spirit" Mr. Dash, even including the same "church" photo as does the social media maven. He also makes a slam at the highly-admired Drafthouse theater complex in Texas, writing --
"Newsflash Alamo Drafthouse worshippers: there’s a new breed of movie lover who has never been able to sit through an entire movie because we lack the self-control to not drink that 64oz Big Red before the previews, and we’re done being bullied."
I've avoided linking to to Anil Dash's tantrum, since I respect you dear readers here too much, but Mr. Beggs includes it, so those of you compelled to try to read the epic can do so. You can find the wonderful Beggs article here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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