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Tragedy in one of America’s favorite pastimes

21 Jul

Going to the movies has been one of my absolute favorite pastimes since I was 7 years old. My first movie theater experience was a comedy called “Problem Child” starring the late John Ritter. I remember having a grand old time with my dad, laughing my pants off, and surprisingly not being scared of the darkness of the room.

Since that time, I have devoured the movie theater experience as if I’m eating a huge plate of pasta. It’s the one moment where I temporarily allow my brain turn to mush, sit in a comfy chair for at least an hour and a half, and live vicariously through the cast of characters on the big screen. It’s been a part of my comfort zone until now.

Let me first say that my deepest thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their loved ones and the residents of Aurora during this very difficult time. I can’t even begin to understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones though my heart goes out to them. The event on early Friday morning was one of the most shameful, senseless act of violence imaginable, and no innocent person deserves to be punished like that.

THE DECEASED

  • Jessica Ghawi, 24
  • Alex Sullivan, 27
  • Jonathan Blunk, 26
  • John Larimer, 27
  • Matt McQuinn, 27
  • Micayla Medek, 23
  • Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6
  • Jesse Childress, 29
  • Alexander Jonathan Boik, 18
  • Alex Teves, 24
  • Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32 
  • Gordon W. Cowden, 51

The tragedy in Aurora, Colorado yesterday has certainly left an indelible mark on everyone. What was supposed to be a highly-anticipated weekend for thousands of movie-goers seeing Christopher Nolan’s last installment in his Batman trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises turned out to be a nightmare. While we may never attempt to make sense of the motives targeting these innocent people, the one and only comforting is that the culprit has been caught and is behind bars. Presumably, I hope he will be brought to justice.

The victims were clearly on my mind yesterday when I saw a matinee showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” with a dear friend. Though we bought the tickets ahead of time, we entered the theater with a little bit of trepidation in our hearts. The room was quiet. There were some seats already filled, however, it wasn’t a packed house. In the end, my friend and I were glad we went because we thoroughly enjoyed the movie (more about that in the next entry).

Discussions have ignited on the issues of gun control, mental illness, politics, etc., and the pundits, politicians, and commentators will continue to do so until the cows come home. I’m no expert on these issues, but as an American citizen, I ask everybody to do something that we know how to do so well. Let’s unite together just like we did during the September 11 attacks. Before you go off and criticize the first thing that pops into your mind, just stop and think how will this affect others. Have faith in our country, show support to those who are hurting, and love one another like you would want to be loved.

Healing will take some time, and for some it will be difficult entering into a movie theater soon and that’s OK, but people should not stop going to their local movie theaters. Life is precious and fragile. Life is about taking risks. If you don’t, then you’re going to miss out on something wonderful no matter how big or small. The next time you go to the movie theater, don’t do it for yourself. Do it for the deceased mentioned above and the survivors who didn’t get a chance to see a film from start to finish.

As Nolan said in a statement, “movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime.”

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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Pop Culture

 

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