In the News It Happened to Me Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

In Response to the Comment That May Have Come from Russell Smith

Graphic: 'Muy Muy Rapido Tuesday' icon.

Photo: Poncey boy Russell Smith.

Someone who might be Russell Smith wrote in a comment:

Well, I am disappointed with you. Last week I committed an outrageous

rant against not only the cinematic arts but indeed against the whole

of humanity, hoping to at least provoke some angry justification for

film or for happy communion with normal people or whatever. I was

begging for a brilliant demolition. At the end of my column I asked

readers to explain to me what was attractive about the movie-going

experience. I thought I knew pretty well what the answers would be (in

fact, I will list my expected arguments below, if you won’t do it for


To which I replied with equal snark:

Sorry, fella, but I’ve been quite busy, what with a lot of extra work

at theoffice (including a change of desks) and a weekend trip to

Boston, where the snowstorm has delayed my return flight.

There’s also the matter of having a real job.

But I promise, comments soon!

I shall comment soon, but here’s the abbreviated version:

I largely agree with Smith’s sentiments about present-day movie-going (in fact, I generally agree with his sense of style and his articles on men’s fashion, save for his unwinnable fight to make capri pants for men acceptable).

Going to the cinema is a

carnival of bad manners from both theatre and audience. The

advertisements are an insult after the ridiculous admission prices and

exorbitant snack bar markups, and getting shown an anti-piracy ad after you’ve paid to see the movie is enough to make one want to see the entire MPAA

board drawn and quartered. As for the boorishness, yes, there’s nothing

like the annoyance of some idiot in the theatre uttering every stray

thought that comes to him. I remember one particular instance while

watching Hannibal with Cory Doctorow at the Metreon

(back when we both lived and worked at his dot-com in San Francisco);

during the really intense dinner scene with Ray Liotta, the guy behind

us blurted out “Daaaa-yum! Hannibal be eatin’ his brain!

I take issue with the tone: snotty, condescending, downright prissy and

completely bereft of any suggestion towards ameliorating the problem.

It’s just plain ranting, and I expect that from LiveJournal, not The Globe and Mail. I also expect better from Smith, who’s an excellent writer when he’s not getting up my nose.

I have a few suggestions in an attempt to find a solution, but they’ll

have to wait until I have a little more time. It is, after all, Muy Muy Rapido Tuesday!

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