Saturday, August 13, 2011

In Her Honor

Wishing many happy returns of the day to Ira. This song is for her.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Douchebag Of The Year

I came across this story a few days ago. There was an incident in a movie theatre in Texas, where a woman asked the man sitting in front of her to turn off his phone. He was texting at the time, and the light from his phone was distracting her. She merely tapped him on the shoulder, but he apparently got injured and threw a fit, then he called management and the cops showed up. In the end, she was fined $260 for assault. Because she lives outside of Texas, it would be more expensive if she had to come back and fight the charges, so she paid the fine.

The woman, Brenda Godwin, who is 136 pounds, said this:

"He had his phone out. The light was shining at me. I'm thinking, 'He's going to turn it off.'" But he didn't. 'OK, this is ridiculous.' So I reached over and tapped him on the shoulder. It was very bright. I was only trying to get his attention. He whipped around and said, 'Don't ever touch me.' I was a little taken aback. 'I wouldn't have touched you if you didn't have your phone out.' "He jumps up and whirls around towards me and says, 'I am charging you with assault,' and he flew out of the theater."

The man, 220 pound Dale Fout, had this to say:

"I got a text, and I responded to it because it was something important. It was something that was on a deadline situation, OK. I held it against my chest purposely where I could barely see it. ... I could text but hide the majority of the light coming from the phone. "She said something. I couldn't make it out. That's why I turned. She was probably saying something like, 'Get off your phone.' I turned, and she pushed. She just happened to push my neck at the time my neck was in an awkward position. Kinda like having a little fender bender, and you get a little whiplash in your neck, you know."

(I'm going to let you process the stupidity of this story for a moment. OK, ready? Now, here's my opinion.)

How does anyone let this superbly insane miscarriage of justice occur? Someone gets charged for assault for asking someone to turn off their phone when they're supposed to in the first place? What kind of world do we live in?

As a frequent movie theatre visitor, I'll be the first to agree that lights emanating from someone's phone is very distracting. It doesn't matter if they're in front of you, across the aisle or ten rows down. As long as you're behind them, you'll see it. It's a dark theatre, so there's no way you won't notice. And I hate these people, who think that it's okay to play with their phone while the movie's running.

Mr Dale Fout here is not only the douchebag of the year, but he's probably made of glass too, since a considerably lighter woman supposedly injured him. That's a load of crap. If he's injured, it's probably because he turned his neck, not because someone tapped him. He should not be texting in the first place anyway, and now because of him, an innocent woman is $260 poorer.

Why do people always come to the movie theatre when they don't really want to watch a movie? These people never fail to piss me off, doing the things they shouldn't do, like talking, kicking your chair, shaking their legs, bringing kids who aren't going to watch the film, answering their phone or texting on the phone.

What amazes me is how so many of them think that texting is okay because answering the phone isn't. Do these idiots think I'm blind, that I wouldn't notice? I mean, what is so fucking important that you can't turn the damn thing off for two hours? Mr Fout here claims it's important, a "deadline situation". So why is he in there watching a movie? Why can't he just sit by himself away somewhere like his office, his car or some fucking park bench and deal with it?

The worst part is, there are also people who text because they aren't interested in watching what's on screen, or they think multitasking in the theatre is okay. I am telling you, it is NOT. If you aren't interested in the movie, then walk out. It's that simple. You can do what you like, just not in the theatre. I'm not stopping you from texting, just don't do it in front of me. Is that so much to ask?

I still love going to the theatre to watch a film, it's still the best way to enjoy the movies. But these days it's getting harder thanks to people like Dale Fout. I sincerely hope the next time he uses his cellphone in the cinema, someone there breaks his neck for real.