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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you at the movies?

Here’s a new daily feature, just a little something to jumpstart conversation. Today:

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you, or that you witnessed, at the movies?

I can’t remember what the movie was, but I was at a multiplex in Manhattan with a few friends, and after the movie had started a man came in hauling a shopping cart — not the kind you use in the supermarket, but the kind people who live in places like New York, where we don’t own cars, use to haul our groceries home (or to drag laundry to and from the laundromat). We don’t typically haul those carts to the movies, though, but those carts are also used by homeless people to haul their stuff around. And the New York multiplexes did used to be a refuge for the homeless, sometimes, as a place to get out of the weather and sit down for a while, but not so much anymore, with tickets prices around $12.

So I figured this man was probably homeless or just eccentric… and he proved the eccentricity by, during the movie, removing from the cart, one at a time in succession, baby rabbits that he stroked and cuddled for a few minutes each. And then he got up and left before the movie was over, taking the rabbits with him.

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  • joy

    It wasn’t weird as much as it was obnoxious. I was sitting quietly in the theatre, reading the same 10 pre-theatre quiz slides over and over again, and this rather loud guy sat down behind me.

    He struck up friendships with the strangers on either side of him, and soon “confessed” that he’d written the movie we were about to see. Then, he told them (and the surrounding area) that they were going to cry at the end. Because that was his intention when he wrote it.

    I don’t even remember which (def Oscar-nommed, I know) movie it was, but I deliberately did NOT cry. Or sniff. And made eye contact on the way out, to show him so.


  • Bill

    Another from the “Not Strange But Obnoxious” file.

    Just saw Slumdog Millionaire. The guy behind me kept farting. This of course added to the olfactic effect especially when viewing certain scenes from the Mumbai slums.

    Those of you who have seen the movie know what I mean. Enough said.

  • Martin

    I’ve witnessed a group of kids playing tag whilst I was watching Hitch.

  • paula

    Again, more obnoxious than strange. Last summer at my third viewing of ‘The Dark Knight’ my friends and I sat in front of a group of enthusiastic adolescents who kept loudly confessing their fear of clowns whenever the Joker came onscreen. ‘Oh my god I don’t like clowns I hope he doesn’t come any closer…’ This continued for twenty minutes while the polite movie goers coughed, cleared their throats, and shifted uncomfortably in their seats hoping the coulrophobes would get the hint. It didn’t work, until my friend turned around and yelled, ‘Goddammit won’t you shut the fuck up!’ Needless to say, they shut up and my friend got a round of applause. It was awesome.

  • A group of friends and I went to see Pulp Fiction when it was first playing in theaters. We got there a tad late and the only row of seats that we could all get into was the last one.

    As we are watching the movie we began to snicker and later chuckle at the clever dialog. Not loudly, mind you, but about as loud as you would at the movies. And I kept seeing people ahead of us looking back with disapproving faces. As if to say “Don’t you know art?”

    I really came to a head when we completely lost it when Marvin got his face shot off. We came unglued with laughter and laughed through most of the rest of the film.

    We were the ONLY people laughing during that showing.

    I don’t know what movie they thought they were watching, but it was frankly bizarre behavior on their part and I’ve never felt self-conscious once about doing it. I’ve laughed just as hard if not harder on subsequent viewings and been joined by everyone present.

  • Ken

    Off the top of my head, some guy ran screaming, from the back of the theater, to the front, and out the exit. That it was around the 2:15 point of Showgirls is probably the only necessary additional information.

  • It was like any other day at the movies at first. A friend and I went on a Saturday to an older movie house, not the new multiplex-type, to see A MIGHTY WIND. Before the movie started, however, someone came in to announce that any of us there to see A MIGHTY WIND had the wrong auditorium # on our tickets and we needed to go to #8 instead.

    So, a huge crowd of us filed out and seated ourselves in Aud #8. After a few minutes (lights were still on), a movie employee came to the front carrying my purse with him. He announced that this purse had been found in the auditorium we had just left and did it belong to any of us. I stood and said “It’s mine!” as though he had called my lottery number. (I hate losing purses.) As he brought my purse back to me, the people in the theatre started to cheer and clap their hands.

    It was still a while before the previews started, and given the unusual circumstances, conversations started to break out between strangers all over the auditorium. It was very strange. In a good way. We found that a couple sitting next to us were expecting to see a different movie. Sure enough,#8 was on their tickets. We told them what had happened to us, but they remained certain that their movie was the right one. Well, the movie finally started. And it was — A MIGHTYWIND!!. Yay, more clappying and cheering.

    The other-movie couple decided to stay anyway. All through the movie there was much more laughter, just totally different atmosphere than there would have been without the mix-up combined with this particular quirky group of movie-goers. Afterwards, we were all saying good-bye and smiling and nodding. It just made me very happy for some reason.

  • Mimi

    I was sitting in the almost-back row in a crowded theater, and I can’t remember what movie it was, but it must have been suspenseful, because a high school girl (I was a high school girl myself at the time) got up from my row, squeezed past us, went behind the last row of seats and rustled around a bit… I looked to see what was going on and she was peeing in her soda cup. Nice.

  • Patrick

    In the mid 80s there was a particular theater where weird things seemed to happen whenever I was there with my sister. Once, when we were seeing the incredibly unfunny comedy City Heat, a guy a couple of rows ahead of us started LOUDLY laughing. And he kept on laughing. Eventually, he fell to the filthy floor and began rolling around in the center aisle while still laughing. He would occasionally stand up and react to things happening in the film- sometimes repeating lines that had just been said- and then he would start laughing and rolling again. This went on for most of the movie. Afterwards, in the lobby, he seemed to be a pretty normal guy, and he did not seem to be high. At another movie at the same theater, picturesque slides were showing on the screen before the previews started, and each time a particular slide of ducks on a pond came up, a guy ahead of us would stand up and yell duck and then duck his body down repeatedly. Then, a man in a blood-drenched surgeon’s smock came in alone and sat down. He had a stethoscope around his neck, as well. Once the movie started an elderly man came in with a paperback novel and a flashlight. He would sit in a seat for about ten minutes reading his book and then change locations. For a while he sat next to us. Finally, once the movie was over, a nice-looking man and woman in their 30s approached my sister and me (we were in high school), and the man put his face very close to mine (while pointedly never making eye contact with my sister) and said several times that he loved the earrings I had bought for my wife. It seemed like secret code or something. I said thanks and we fast-walked to the car. My stories are not as weird as the rabbits in the shopping cart, though.

  • Nathan

    Patch Adams

  • Deanne

    It was early 2008, mid-day. Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, Times Square AMC. (I know, but it’s such a nice theater!)

    I’m in the back row, alone. Homeless Guy comes in and sits a few seats down. I’m thinking he’s there to sleep and annoy me with his snoring. WRONG. A few minutes into the movie he unzips his pants and starts going to town. I bolt for the door (giving Homeless Guy wide berth) and tell Concession Boy to call security, which he does, and they throw Homeless Guy out. To the theater’s credit, they responded swiftly and seriously, but I don’t go there alone anymore.

    Public sex acts aren’t exactly rare in NYC, but at the time it shocked me that he chose THAT movie. Unfortunately for me I fell in love with that movie, and now it has this icky association in my mind.

  • JoshDM

    I have a couple, but my favorite was during “Wayne’s World II”.

    Saw it while at college. Room was packed.

    Started chuckling up at the scene when “Mrs. Robinson” played on his car radio. No one else laughed, till he went under the overpass and the audio cut out.

    Then he got to the wedding and re-enacted the Elaine scene, and I was dying.

    From everyone else in the audience? Nothing.

    Not more than one person in a late-nineties college crowd had ever seen The Graduate. Or, at least, found that entertaining. :/

  • Paul

    1: My first kiss, which was only strange because it was at the Rocky Horror Picture Show and she had me up against a wall. She was also in her Frankenfurter custume. It was a great theater for Rocky Horror because it had big, cushy swival chairs around round tables, a dance floor for the Time Warp and performances, you could order pizza, and level platforms instead of a slope.

    2: My senior year in high school some friends dragged me to “Jason Takes Manhattan,” my first slasher movie. They start ridiculing the movie loudly, acting like they are the robots from Mystery Theater 3000, and I’m afraid we’ll get thrown out until I realize the audience likes them better than the movie.

    3: When I watched “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey,” I was the only one not laughing until there was a Star Trek sight gag and then I was the only one laughing. Early in the movie, B&T are watching Kirk on TV running up a hill. Later in the movie, B&T run up the same hill: it’s the exact same shot.

    4: I went with friends to see “Battlefield Earth” and had a lot of fun because I thought it was supposed to be funny. As we left my friends told me it was supposed to be serious, and I laughed even harder.

    If none of this is as strange as the previous postings, I can’t help it. I’m from Iowa.

  • I only have two memorable stories from seeing a movie in a theater.

    We went to see Dogma just after it opened, which was mostly filmed here in the Pittsburgh area. Just before the movie started, about eight women walked into the row in front of us. One woman was carrying a large bouquet of flowers, and they were chatting merrily until the movie started. I thought, “Oh, maybe it’s a weird location for a bachelorette party.”

    About half way through the movie, there’s a scene where Ben Affleck and Matt Damon invade a board meeting and start haranging the attendees. Affleck whips out a gun and starts firing. He chooses to let one meek woman in the room live.

    The women in front of us start cheering madly. It turned out the extra who lived was the woman with the flowers, and her friends came to see her movie premiere.

    On the day The Return of the King premiered, we realized that someone familiar was sitting in front of us. It turned out to be a couple we hadn’t seen in over 25 years, but had known from college.

    The only partially weird thing that happened in a movie was I went to see Malcolm X in a downtown theater. There were only about three of us in the whole theater. In the scene where Malcolm X is sent to jail, a guy lit up a joint. Just struck me as wildly inappropriate, but at least he finished it pretty fast.

  • drew ryce

    A few comments.
    re the rabbits incident are you sure the film wasn’t Of Mice and Men?
    re the fart incident: so basicly both you and Bluestew were watching A Mighty Wind?
    re the homeless guy going to town: did you at least tell him how much you enjoyed Pee-Wees Circus?

    My weirdest: watching “Ben” at the Jeffrey Theatre on the south side of Chicago. During a key scene an actual rat runs across a womans foot. She screams and dumps her drink on the man sitting behind her. He curses at her. her date objects. A fight breaks out. More people join in. The police are called. I wound up testifying in an assault trial because I was the only non-combatant that stuck around on the off chance that they would restart the projector.
    I never did see the end of the movie although my friends assured me that the rats ate all the bad people.

  • Patrick

    Sorry for posting twice, but while waiting for Flirting With Disaster to start two men directly in front of my wife and I began bickering. One was an average-looking balding man in his late 40s and the other was a good-looking muscled guy in his early 20s. It quickly became apparent they were having a lover’s quarrel. The arguing wasn’t vicious- in fact some of the sniping was almost sweet. They continued this during the movie but they at least kept their voices down then. About halfway through I realized they were, in fact, almost exact copies in both look and behavior to the bickering couple played by Richard Jenkins and Josh Brolin in the film. I kept wondering if they realized it, too.

  • Left_Wing_Fox

    Weirdest moment… ok, King Kong.

    Woman drops off a 7-year-old kid next to me at Peter Jackson’s King Kong, then leaves. Kid instantly starts talking to me, the complete stranger. As the movie starts I have to tell him to be quiet, which shuts him up for short spans of time, but not completely. Eventually I ask “Where’s your mother?”

    “Oh, she’s not my mother.” he replies, and leaves it at that. What the hell? As I’m trying to figure out if I should be sorting this mess out, he gets up and leaves, much to my relief. Problem is, he never comes back.

    So not only do I get to be righteously annoyed at irresponsible caregiver and annoying spawn, but get the stab in the conscience hoping he hasn’t been eaten by a grue. Thanks kid.

  • amanohyo

    When I was the manager/projectionist of a second run theater, there was one young woman who came to watch the 7:00 showing of Moulin Rouge every single day for two months straight.

    Once, during a 9:00 showing of Thomas est Amoureux the film snapped near the start of the movie right at the climax of a cybersex scene with a CG “woman.” I heard the simultaneous frustrated groans of all the angry single men even though I was in a different projection booth.

    When I was watching Liar Liar (don’t judge me), the electricity went out right before a line from the trailer when his boss asks him how their sex was. In the pitch dark, hundreds of people all yelled out the answer in unison: “I’ve had better!” It’s very odd to be in an utterly dark room with hundreds of people. The whole “Anonymity + Audience” mentality takes over quickly and perfectly sane people turn into screaming idiots.

    When I was watching Spiderman 3, there was a fire alarm in the middle of the movie and we were all forced to leave. Once I was out, I realized that it was such a relief not to have to watch anymore that I ran to my car and left immediately even though they were handing out free passes and were going to let people back in and restart the movie in about five minutes.

    I’ve got lots of angry/picky/inappropriate customer stories too, but I’d rather not relive them. There was a memorable day when raw sewage overflowed into the concessions area, and the head manager made us KEEP SELLING food. I have a lot of hilarious memories of trying to distract a customer away from a roach (dead or alive) crawling on a box of candy or ice cube as well. People should all be forced to work in the food service industry for a couple months. No one would ever eat fast food again.

  • Squrrox

    The single contribution I’ve got to make took place during a screening of Alien, when it was re-released in around 2000. There are only five characters in this scene: myself and a friend; a mother and son, the latter about six years old; and a lone harridan.

    Onscreen, Harry Dean Stanton is hunting around for his cat onscreen, soon to meet with Giger-ed doom. The kid is wandering around the theatre, running a toy truck up and down the aisles. Then the harridan snaps. She storms down the aisle, grabs the kid, who’s been amusing himself with a toy truck for the last half-hour, and walks out of the cinema with him under her arm. There was a stunned silence until the mother gave chase. A couple of minutes later, all three came back in and proceeded to spend the greater part of the movie having an drop-down argument which came perilously close to fisticuffs.

    Eventually, the manager came in to see what the hubbub was about and gave us free Alien t-shirts in recompense. Good deal.

  • Eric

    Not sure about my weirdest cinematic experience, but I can certainly tell you what my worst one was. It was at opening night for “Kill Bill Vol. 2” and the theatre was pretty packed. Everybody’s watching the pre-movie slide show for local businesses and waiting for the lights to dim and the film to start. After about twenty minutes, the manager of the theatre, who is literally a high school student, walks in and tells us that they are training a new projectionist that evening and for us to please be patient and they will get the movie started soon. Why they decided to train a new employee on opening night of a highly-anticipated film is beyond me, but I decide to be patient and wait. After a while, the rest of audience gets restless and starts complaining and making sarcastic comments. Finally, the lights dim, and the film apparently begins to start. Just one problem: there’s no sound. Uma Thurman’s face is on the screen, but no words are coming from her mouth. At that point, I left and collected my $7, returning later in the week and finally seeing the film without incident. Presumably, the projectionist figured out what he was doing by then.

  • Chris-E

    Back in early 2003 when I still lived in Baltimore I went to see Gangs of New York with my wife and about 10-15 minutes into the film (right after the initial big fight scene) a man in the front had a seizure an began choking on his own tongue! I was way in the back, but I heard his wife scream for help. Everyone else in the theater just sat there and acted like she was inconveniencing them or something. I ran down the steps (stadium seats) and out to the front as fast as I probably ever had and I asked for help from the theater staff. The 16 year olds behind the concession stand looked at me like I was retarded and stood around with blank expressions (I hope there’s never a fire there because everyone is f*cked!).

    Fortunately there was a security guard who was over 20 years old, but he dragged his fat ass getting to the theater to help out. Finally after 15 minutes an ambulance showed up and they took the man to a hospital. This all took about 45-50 minutes until everything settled down. People were complaining about the delay and asking for their money back as if this was somehow the theaters fault or something that could have been avoided!

    Ever since I have grown far more cynical about people and I can never watch that movie without hearing a scream in my mind at a certain point in the film.

  • Kate

    I got nothing to compare with the bunnies, but many years ago I was going to college up in Humboldt County (cough cough context cough cough) and seeing the midnight movie of “Blue Velvet.”

    Theatre was packed. Next to my friend and I were two guys about our age, clearly baked. The film broke or stop or something in the middle. One guy turns to his friend during this pause and says “what do you think so far?”

    The friend’s reply?

    He vomits violently and copiously.

    At the time, it was gross and my friend and I fled and came back at another time to see the rest of the movie. But it’s become one of our favorite filmgoing memories and “Blue Velvet” is forever linked in my mind to this.

    Disgusting personal incident based on over-consumption of reefer? Or the most concise, evocative film critique ever? You be the judge.

  • Jester

    More funny than strange.

    The first time I saw Jurassic Park, I was with my mom, much of my extended family, and my sister and her husband. There’s a scene in the movie 2/3 in when Laura Dern is escaping the maintenance shed with the velociraptor inside. She flees through the door, closes it, runs to the fence around the shed and through a gate, closing that. The great John Williams score underscores the fear and suspense until she’s through the gate… then it goes silent. The audience was also silent.

    And into this silence, a single woman’s voice, audible clearly throughout the theater. My sister’s voice, exasperated.

    “Run, bitch!”

    The whole theater erupted into the loudest laughter in the movie. My sister doesn’t usually do things like that, but she did that day. To this day, when myself or anyone in my family sees Jurassic Park, we have to editorialize that moment out loud.

    “Run, bitch!” Hee.

  • Bill

    I think it was “From Dusk Till Dawn”. Went with a friend and the only others in the theater were a young couple a few rows back. One of them lit a ciggy about ten minutes into the movie, smoked it down, waited eight or ten minutes, lit another, and smoked it down. My friend and I both lit up and enjoyed vampires and cigarettes for the duration.

  • A Nonnymous Regular

    Went to see Blade, and this woman sitting behind us would not SHUT THE FUCK UP. “Woo, Wesley Snipes gonna kick some ass! Woo dats a lotta blood! Woo”.

    Seriously. Those are actual quotes. I would have turned and said something, but her boyfriend was in a jersey with a do-rag and I didn’t feel like getting shot.

    That was my first (and only, actually) experience with someone actually BEING stereotypical during a film, and subsequently made a few future stand-up comedian jokes that I heard make sense.

  • y

    When I went to go see the re-mastered rerelease of Star Wars (when the extra special effects were added) in theaters the little boy sitting next too me tried to peel off my finger nails (as in removing them. It hurt). My reaction was very much “what the —-?!” as I violently pulled my hand away.

    Sorry for posting this now instead of 1/8, just wanted to share.

  • MaryAnn

    There’s no time limit on the questions of the day. I hope they will continue to draw responses long after their day is over.

  • wilsonhl

    Well, I’ve got one, but it’s not THAT weird.
    So, I went to see Eastern Promises one Saturday. I sat, comfortably. And just as the movie was about to start, the young couple in front of me starts bickering, and the girl get angry and pushes the guy and the guy starts to shout, and I start to moan thinking about the prospect of a couple arguing during the whole movie. It went on for at least a minute, and before my brains could kick in and tell me that it was a stupid thing to do, I let out a : “Hoooly shit…”

    The guy heard me, got real mad, and threatened to punch my face in twice (I figure at this precise moment I shrank in my seat). How lucky for me that he decided to chase after his girlfriend instead of kicking my ass, I didn’t stand a chance; and the next time I’ll shut the fuck up (restrospectively, I come off as quite an intrusive jerk) . But, the good thing was, the two seats in front of me were empty, so my legs had plenty of room. I’m wilson, the lucky douchebag!

  • I didn’t stand a chance; and the next time I’ll shut the fuck up (restrospectively, I come off as quite an intrusive jerk)

    A pussy maybe, not not a jerk :) A lot of people don’t feel like there’s any reason to control themselves in movie theaters, which is why you’ve always got at least one douchebag messing with his cell phone at just the right angle so it’s light is shining into your retina, or the couple who not only shows up 20 min after the movie has started but decides the 2 seats in the middle of your row are perfect (after a few minutes of loud whispering discussion). These both happened to me on Sunday as I tried to watch Tom Cruise in Bryan Singer’s Tom Cruise as Bryan Singer’s Valkyrie.

    But my best weird movie story took place in Austin round the time Miss Congeniality was filming. I use that as a reference because my friends and I went to see X-Men and the only other people in the theater with us were Sandra Bullock and her ridiculously hairy metal band boyfriend. As the movie ended, I passed her returning from the ladies room and did my best not to stare. Those cheekbones? Magnificent.

  • MaryAnn

    A pussy maybe

    You’d think guys don’t like women, they way they throw this term around as an insult.

    Here’s a tip, gentlemen: When you try to degrade a man by calling him a woman, you’re degrading women by extension, too.

    Just something to keep in mind.

    It’s not the vulgarity I mind, just the thoughtlessness.

  • Jerry Colvin

    In 1985, my friends and I were watching Back to the Future at a mall theater in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, when, near the end of the film, my feet experienced a strange, warm sensation. A girl of about 10 in the row ahead of me peed in her seat, then turned to give me a silent, sorry look after hearing me gasp in horror at what happened.

  • Anne-Kari

    I was the perpetrator of an incident in a movie theater when I was around 5 years old.

    Apparently, I was misbehaving (talking loudly, ignoring my mother’s shushing), and when my mother decided enough was enough and tried to remove me from the theater, I took off running up and down the aisles with her in hot pursuit.

    When she finally caught me, I turned around and screamed “I’ll be good Mommy, please don’t hit me again!”.

    My mother, who was so not into corporal punishment, had to take me out of the theater while being booed by some of the patrons.

    I don’t know which movie – and I don’t remember this, it’s a story that has been told by my parents. With glee. Repeatedly.

  • DJ Tulleken

    Huh? Women ARE their genitalia? Interesting. Calling a guy a pussy is as demeaning to women as calling a girl a prick is demeaning to men…which is to say, it isn’t really. There are far more penis-derivative insults in popular use than for their female counterparts. It’s really not broad spectrum invective, anyway.

    Besides, degrading a man by calling him a woman doesn’t degrade women by extension either. There’s nothing wrong with someone acting in line with their gender. For purposes of amusement, it’s funny for either sex to point out when someone isn’t. Or, that’s probably what my girlfriend thinks every time she calls me a “little bitch”, anyway.

    Sorry, I’m just wondering how you managed to dig up the inappropriate sentiment if vulgarity doesn’t bother you. Hey; it’s your blog :)

    Okay, I may be an dick (ugh), but at least I’m an on-topic dick:

    Weirdest thing that happened to me was during the first showing of M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable, where the teenage couple next to me (I was a teenager at the time) kept distracting me from that really annoying kid on screen by trying to swallow each other. Not unusual, you say? Well, no. Not until the guy takes his girlfriend’s hand and places it on my crotch. I removed it very quickly and very carefully. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look that embarrassed.

    I think I killed the mood, because they stopped making out and zero eye contact was made for the rest of the film. Which I actually enjoyed.

    The moral, I guess, is that pornographic scenarios seem highly suspicious in the real world; though I’ve yet to have a hot pizza girl try to coax me into paying her with sex.


  • MaryAnn

    Women ARE their genitalia? Interesting.

    Interesting that that’s how you interpret what I said. And yet you go on to approve of “penis-derivative insults,” which DO reduce men to their genitalia. (And honestly, when was the last time you heard anyone call a woman “dick” or “prick”?)

    There’s nothing wrong with someone acting in line with their gender.

    “In line with their gender”? *sigh* The idea that there are ways in which *only* women behave and ways in which *only* men behave is Part One of the issue here. Part Two is that it’s somehow funny to denigrate someone who does not fit into these neat and narrow stereotypes.

    All that said, no man has even been insulted with the word “pussy” when that was being used to imply that he was kind, sensitive, or any other positive attribute that is typically assigned to the stereotypical woman. It’s only ever used to imply that a man embodies the *worst* attributes of the female stereotype: that he’s weak, cowardly, and so on.

    I’m just wondering how you managed to dig up the inappropriate sentiment if vulgarity doesn’t bother you.

    You really need this explained again? It’s the sentiment and the attitude behind the word that’s the problem, not the word itself.

    Look, I’m defending men as well as women here. I’m saying — as in the context of the comment that prompted this — that it’s not cool to suggest that a man who might back away from a confrontation deserves denigrating.

  • JoshB

    I’m glad DJ responded, because I missed Anne-Kari’s response before.

    That’s awesome.

  • Orangutan

    I recall some friendgirls dragging me to see The Crying Game when we were in high school. I had no desire to see this movie, but they were girls, and I was a high school boy.

    At the… ah, ‘Unveiling Scene’, I guess you could call it, some guy near the back of the theater shouted out, “What in the name of God is THAT doing there?!” He sounded genuinely shocked, I don’t think it was a planned thing. It was hilarious.

    I don’t get a lot of shouting or talking audiences, fortunately. But there was one other that springs to mind. Sadly, this story is only going to make sense to suburban New Yorkers…

    The movie was Pleasantville. There is a line in the movie where Jennifer says, “What’s outside of Pleasantville?” And someone shouted, “Chappaqua!” We laughed.

  • DJ Tulleken

    I can see where you’re coming from…I just sort of disagree.

    For reasons of perspective (i.e., mine :)), I hear women calling each other dicks/pricks all the time. It used to be fairly unusual, I guess, but not so much any more. I doubt this has any social relevance other than people striving to add some variance into the obscenities they drop out there. Incidentally, I’d be interested in knowing how I went wrong by ‘interpreting’ that you think by calling someone a pussy you are also calling them a woman.

    “Here’s a tip, gentlemen: When you try to degrade a man by calling him a woman, you’re degrading women by extension, too.”

    I was just thinking that nobody called anybody else a woman. But forget that. The semantics aren’t actually that important, as I was trying to say. My feeling is that if a woman had a stay-at-home day, drank beer in their underwear, and commented every time they were about to break wind, most people wouldn’t find a well-delivered “You are such a man!” particularly controversial.

    Obviously, I don’t think there are behaviours that *only* any social/ethnic/political/whatever group display…but it’s still insane to stop generalising. So long as it is acknowledged as a generalisation, anyway.

    “All that said, no man has even been insulted with the word “pussy” when that was being used to imply that he was kind, sensitive, or any other positive attribute that is typically assigned to the stereotypical woman.”

    …seriously? No, but really: are you being serious??

    I’ve had a couple of recent experiences that suggest women seriously overestimate the male beast when left to his own devices with his peers, and that comment runs remarkably deep in that vein. Really, you’re just going to have to take it from me that unfortunately, for a lot of men, the scenario you described above is the sole method of male-to-male communication.

    If we get to the crux of it all, I’m with you on this issue. Really. It just looks like you read into a jibe too deeply and found something that wasn’t there. The original “pussy” comment was unwarranted as far as I’m concerned, but because of the reason you closed with, not some kind of hokey sexist sentiment that you attached to it.

    The “You really need this explained again?” remark was a little condescending, considering, A. I’m not stupid, B. you didn’t explain anything. See below, in simplified terms:

    ME: Where did you find that sentiment in that statement?
    YOU: Do you really need this explained to you? The sentiment in that statement bothers me!

    …uuuh, what?

    Anyway, I appreciate the reply. For real. I’m honestly not trying to troll or be offensive; I was just curious as to your thought process. The internet is a difficult place to pick up on tone, and blog comments in particular often take on a polemic inflection where none is intended.

    Peace out. (like your site)

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