April 2014 Archives

Thanks to my good friends Paul and Sallie, I was able to attend my very first film festival, and I truly enjoyed the opportunity. That aside, I need to take a minute or 37 to rant a bit about the state of our society. It's been far too long since I've gone on about a bad driver or how people treat animals or post office experiences or crummy neighbors, so this rant is long over due.

I really don't understand the general public.

What does that mean? It's hard to explain, but I can't help but feel that when people who might otherwise be well-meaning, good-hearted folk, find themselves in a public setting, they lose their heads (and all semblance of common sense or courtesy).

Take the film festival, for instance.

One might reason that an independent film festival should attract a more sophisticated crowd. The films aren't mainstream films, and they aren't your conventional three-act stories with lots of action or canned humor. The films tend to be more intellectual. More niche. More artsy and high brow. Or, at least that's how I perceive them.

Upon entering the theater, I immediately noticed the crowd appeared to be quite a bit more mature than your average movie-going audience. I also noticed a lot of well-dressed folk, which jived with the plethora of luxury and hybrid cars that were parked in the theater's parking lot.

There were queues set-up for ticket holders to line-up in; my date took the noble task of standing in the ticket line, while I went to secure some refreshments. And that's where I quickly realized that you can never judge a book (or film festival) by its cover.

While standing in line for some popcorn, I was continually bumped into by an older gentleman, clad in a sport coat, complete with patched elbows, who was busy talking about himself to his group of similarly dressed and even more-self absorbed friends about his recent trip to "Barthelona."

I shifted to avoid contact, yet he continually bumped into me. I eventually pushed back on my heel so as to put pressure on him - turning the tables a bit, if you will. As soon as he felt me pushing against him, he shot me a glare and said, "Excuse me, but you're invading my personal space."

A year or so ago, I would've seen this as an opportunity to share my real thoughts about him, but I ignored him, and surprise - he stopped bumping into me. As we approached the concession stand cooler and I reached for our beverages, that same patched elbow entered my personal space so that he could grab the last Ale Asylum Ambergeddon. Sigh... thanks, buddy. Way to wait in line like an adult.


Fast forward to finding our seats in the theater, where we were seated next to a gentleman who rather than texting his inane message to his family felt it necessary to loudly voice-text the message instead.

"Hi Mom and dad comma new line It's me comma John comma and I am at a movie now period new line I hear you returned from your travels abroad comma and I wanted to see if you would like to catch a meal in the near future period new line call me when you get a minute period new line love comma John new line bye period."

Really, dude? Really?? And then, after you finish dictating your oh-so-important message that all forty-eight people within your immediate area just listened to, you drop your glasses onto my lap, which then bounce in between the seats, at which point you bump around so that you can fumble and reach all over while trying to find them. And when I point out that they're between the seat, you look at me like I should grab them, and when I do and I hand them to you (without first smashing them into a billion pieces as payment for you stealing all of our valuable oxygen) you don't say a word, but instead bump into me with your ass as you spin around to plop down into your seat. Nice. Really nice.

Thankfully, the lights dimmed and the movie started. The movie was an excellent film called Cairo Drive. It was a humorous, yet informative documentary about Cairo's traffic problems, civil unrest, and the unspoken language that exists amongst commuters in an insanely busy city.

The opening scene featured an Egyptian comedian who was doing a comedy act, in Arabic, and without subtitles. 'Ole mister big ass was giggling like a school girl, as were the people next to him. Why? The comedian was imitating turning an exaggerated steering wheel. Wow - hilarious. Just hilarious.

Fast forward to the end of the movie, when the film festival brought out the director of the movie for a brief Q&A session. I was incredibly interested to hear about the movie and how he found his subjects, what type of camera gear he used, how he chose his various plot-lines, and similar matters.

Do you think anyone asked a relevant question? Of course not. Instead, there were "stories" from people who had to go on-and-on about how they have traveled to China and India and how they had job offers around the world and how Cairo looked worse than those places... ok? What does that have to do with anything?

Another example of a "great question" - some dingbat directly in front of us had to go on at length about how much she loves Egyptian movies, but that she couldn't find her favorite Egyptian film here in the states... only that movie wasn't Cairo Drive. Ugh. "Um yes, mister filmmaker, do you know where I could find a copy of 'The Sands of Time' even though it's not your movie, and why can't I find it here in the USA?"

And then mister bubble butt (next to us) had to share his opinion of the film with the director, by stating that while he liked the traffic aspect of the story, he wished there had been more coverage of daily life in Cairo - like grocery shopping and whatnot. Uh, hey dude, the movie was called "Cairo Drive" NOT "Cairo Groceries." UGH.

We got out of there and went out for an enjoyable dinner at a very quiet restaurant. Thank Zeus for good micro brews; a few of those helped wash away the frustration of being surrounded by an over-educated, self-entitled, far-too-proud-of-their-own-selves-and-voices general public. #death

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