So, tonight I dredged through the trenches of urban movie-watching in the greater New York City area.  I was simply in search of some good cinematic entertainment where I could kick back, relax, and allow myself to be taken away for a couple of hours.  You see, for me, watching movies is a total hobby.  I enjoy it much like other people enjoy golfing or shopping.  Don’t get me wrong…I love swinging my sticks on the fairways as much as the next guy, but I really enjoy watching movies.  Most of the movies I watch are by myself, which most people find odd, but it makes complete sense to me.  I enjoy the down time and I enjoy the escape.  No need to laugh out loud at every perfectly written quip just to let the person next to me know that I fully understood the humor.  No, I get to enjoy the films for what they really are: ENTERTAINMENT

I feel that I have the art of movie-watching down to a science.  Screen-writers need to really be on their “A game” if they’re going to impress me and cinematographers, editors, actors, as well as directors are extremely easy to sniff out if they’re a hack.  Those who know me know that if I recommend a movie then it’s a safe bet that other people should be able to enjoy it.  I have great taste in movies and I absolutely do NOT fall for the hook, line, and sinker comments from so called “professional movie critics” who try to tell us that “Brokeback Mountain” was one of the best movies ever!  In order to maintain my level of amateur movie criticism, I need to be able to WATCH the film.  When viewing a film in any of our country’s numerous urban areas, just being able to WATCH a movie is easier said than done….which begs the question: is being able to really enjoy a movie in urban-America a developed talent or a God-given ability?

I decided to watch the recently released Bernie Mac/Samuel Jackson movie, Soul Men.  It’s featured as a comedy/musical, which I thought would be a stretch if Samuel Jackson was starring in it.  There’s only so many roles an angry rich black man can play…and comedic roles usually aren’t the ticket.  I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Mr. Jackson’s acting, but it was quite obvious that he was well outside of his comfort zone by being in a movie that was quite litterally a complete knee-slapper!  Bernie Mac (God rest his sole) was a genius in this film!  His natural antics were allowed to flow freely, which was a clever move by the director.  I really, really enjoyed the movie…but I wonder how much more I would have enjoyed it had I been able to actually HEAR the damn movie!

Now, I’m going to make a few quantitative statements in order to set the scene and as God is my witness, all of them are absolutely accurate (as close as they can be without exaggerating):

In the theater, I was the only white person (literally).

There were at least 100 people in the theater for the duration of the film.

There were at least a dozen people who entered the theater, walked around, chatted, then left.

There were at least five children under the age of four years old (and this was a faily vulgar film, mind you).

There were at least four cell phone interruptions during the duration of the film.

There were at least four cell phone conversations that followed the cell phone interruptions (I kid you not).

There was at least one argument between a boyfriend/girlfriend (pimp/ho…ha ha ha, just kidding) that literally went on during the movie.

I was “patted down” after I moved through a metal detector to get into the theater.

There was only TWO employees working the concession stand, which had a line consisting of at least twenty-five people (the other employees were folding boxes, sweeping floors, talking on cell phones, etc…).

I fully understand the danger in allowing oneself to become succeptable to embracing stereotypes as truth because, for the most part, stereotypes are generalizations of a large group of people that are not always true.  In the case of urban movie-watching, however, the stereotypes are all 100% true!  This, of course, would imply that there no longer exists a stereotype in these regards…which I whole heartedly agree with.  Making the following statement (as generalized as it is) is no longer available to be labeled as a stereotype: black people can not watch a movie without being loud, abnoxious, inconsiderate, and rude.  It is almost as if it is completely against their genetic code to simply sit down and quietly watch a movie…or at least allow the other movie-goers to enjoy the movie.  This is NOT the first time I have observed this rude phenomenon while watching a movie in an urban area.  In fact, I can honestly say that I have NEVER watched a movie in an urban area without shaking my head in utter disbelief at some moment during the film.  Because I have been involved in so many sampling opportunities in order to fully concoct an opinion it is extremely easy for me to say that black people have no regard for anyone other than themselves…when inside the movie theater.  It’s clearly a cultural phenomenon!

Because it is evident that this is no longer a “stereotype” due to the large amounts of experience I have had then it is also safe to say that these statements and observations are in no way, shape, or form to be considered as racist.  Acknowledging the absolute truth does not make one a racist.  Ignoring it does.  It is an absolute truth that said stereotype does not exist.

It can also be said that trying to watch a movie in a theater filled with junior high school students would be equally as disappointing and annoying.  I’m not at all claiming that black people are the only group who makes watching movies a pain in the ass.  There’s just way too many experiences in way too many cities across our country (Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Philladelphia, Baltimore, Louisville,  Indianapolis, etc…) to ignore the commonality that exists.  IN EVERY SINGLE LOCATION WHERE AT LEAST 90% OF THE MOVIE AUDIENCE WAS BLACK IT WAS THE EXACT SAME…IMPOSSIBLE TO ENJOY THE MOVIE WITHOUT DEALING WITH HOOTING, HOLLERING, CLAPPING, CELL PHONES, OUTLANDISH LAUGHING, CHITTER-CHATTER, AND SO ON AND SO FORTH…

For the life of me, I can’t understand the disrespect (which is how I personally see it…disrespect).  It doesn’t make sense to me, but then again, I’m not black.  I can joke about this with my black friends and they are all in unison with my sentiments, but none of them seem sympathetic in the least.  None of them can explain it, either.  It truly is a cultural phenomenon that pisses me off.

Maybe Barack Obama can save us from this misery, too?  After all, he is the Annointed One!

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