Whatever happened to movies?

Whatever happened to watching movies?

And I don’t mean simply in the theatre. I mean watching them period.

It feels like everyone my age and younger doesn’t watch films. They put on a film – or sometimes attend one in a theatre – , and then spend a handful of seconds or minutes here and there, all throughout the film, checking their phones, or giving their attention elsewhere entirely.

Many of them talk during the film, too, and not just at the music or quiet parts – when actors are in active dialogue.

Half the time, that all then leads to their missing some vital piece of the story or a character, they end up asking questions and talking over even more of the film and dialogue, or they just miss it all completely and have no idea that they missed anything at all.

I no longer wonder at my being given so many recommendations for terrible films – none of these people are even paying enough attention to know if the film is terrible or not. They only see snippets, in the first place, and most good films will seem boring, because they are missing all the wonderful parts that make a great film great.

But does this really surprise me much? I think not. I have experienced consciously for years a lack of people’s being present in life. The same person will tell me the same thing multiple times, as though it is important and new… I pay attention and am present in those conversations, and therefore could tell the story myself, in his or her own words, I’ve heard it so many times.

I’m growing tired of this. Conversations on repeat is exhausting, especially when they carry so much emotion on the telling side.

I watch a film to be an immersed observer of an alternate world for a short time, to experience life from another’s perspective. I do not watch it to fill the time between my comments, to keep me company because I am uncomfortable being with myself. Sure, I have put on a movie to keep me company before, but it is always something I know well, and I don’t talk all over it, even then. Just like I don’t talk all over others, when they are talking to me.

But, even in the cinema, people have their phones out, and seem to have no idea of their disregard for the story that is telling itself on the big screen up front. That is someone’s hard-worked art – a lot of someone’s’, truly. If people aren’t here to experience and honor the set, why bother? They can look at their phones at home or anywhere else, talk with their friends (and over their friends) anywhere else. But either be here or be there – do not pretend you are in either place, if you will not be there fully. Pick a place, and be present there, fully. Period. It is a disservice to all creation to do any less.

Post-a-day 2021

Birthdays and bad days

I remember attending my childhood best friend’s birthday party at Skate Central, an indoor roller skating rink, own time when we were little. I had gotten her a Bop-It (probably a Bop-It Extreme). As is usual for my family – my mom is very good at thinking things through practically, and so trained us even as young children to do the same – we had taped the necessary batteries (the ones “not included” with the toy itself) to the present. Therefore, whenever the recipient – in this case, my best friend – wanted to get set up with playing with the toy, all the necessary tools were on hand. And no, it didn’t require any other tools, or we likely would have brought them along, too.

Anyway, that was the present that I was very excited to give to her. Someone else at the party also have her a Bop-It. The same kind, yes. That person did not include batteries in her gift-giving.

So, what happens? My friend and her mom take the batteries from my Bop-It and open up the other friend’s Bop-It to use. Mine will be given away at a later time to someone else, but the batteries were nonetheless useful.

…..

I am not sure that I can appropriately express how distraught and useless I felt at that moment. I only saw myself as useful in filling in where others had failed. I was no main focus in any way. I was merely there to fill in the gaps, as needed… to provide the batteries that no one ha smothered to remember or would consider again until they ran out of power and needed replacing. I was forgetful and a convenient helping hand. Nothing else.

Can you believe I got all that from a single event like that? Yes, it was ridiculous what they did. And yes, they did it without even thinking – they needed batteries to open this other one, and saw batteries on the first Bop-It – problem solved.

This is now something for me to contemplate and consider for a bit. I imagine I have some strong opinions about myself deep down because of that incident. It really hurt me at the time, and we human beings tend to do rash things when we are hurt unexpectedly.

Yeah…

By the way, I loved playing Bop-It Extreme as a kid. I would spend hours walking around – pacing around – my dad’s house upstairs, playing on my own. Everyone said the sound-only game was the hardest. (Psychologically speaking, it’s actually easier, but whatever…) Most people, even with practice, never made it far past the twenties and thirties. I grew accustomed to challenging myself with that one, and ended up with a ridiculous high score of around three hundred something. I averaged a hundred or so for any given play. And that started after only a matter of days of playing it. It was just very natural for me, and also quite fun. I truly enjoyed it, and I loved spending my time playing Bop-It Extreme.

My mom found my one from her house recently. I had gotten a second one, because I missed it when I wasn’t at my dad’s house, which was the majority of the time. When she found it, she replaced the batteries in preparation of showing it to me. I convinced her to play a few rounds with me in the multiplayer version, and we had a blast. When I did the solo player version, I ended up stopping because I wanted to get back to what I had been doing beforehand, not because I made an error. In other words, it was still easy peasy for me, and I was awesome at it.

I really loved playing Bop-It Extreme. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020