Friday, July 20, 2012

Moment of Silence

We who love going to the movies do so in part because in the sanctuary of the cinema anything can happen on the screen. It is truly horrifying to be reminded that anything can happen off of it as well. In the wake of the tragic shooting at a crowded multiplex in an Aurora, Colorado mall last night that left 12 dead and 50 more physically wounded, it’s hard to think about posting any movie reviews at the moment. The event is too destabilizing, too upsetting, and too raw. It doesn’t just hit us where we live; it hits us where we go to escape. What on-screen analysis could possibly feel appropriate now, as the tragedy’s impact still settles upon us? As blame trickles in, inevitable noises from the usual suspects pointing towards violent movies or inadequate protections and right on schedule, before all the facts, it would do good to remember that the blame here lies only in the mind of a disturbed man and in whatever circumstances allowed him to have access to guns. Would that we as a society took better, stronger steps to prevent weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

Life will move on, slowly but surely, as it always does after all sorts of tragedies. My heart goes out to all those who were caught up in the events of last night, and all those who know them. We think of movie theaters as places that are safe enough to get lost in the events on the screen. Though this never was completely true, outside distractions and criminality of various kinds has always been a possibility, this fiction will remain. Maybe not today, but soon we’ll be going to the movies again. Definitely not today, but soon I’ll be reviewing movies again. But for now, what words can be said that could make things better, make this feeling go away? What possible value could there be in having a take, a spin, or an angle on these events? For now let us, those who love going to the movies, hug a loved one, send thoughts and prayers Colorado way, and work and yearn for the day when all people who need psychological help can find it, when all people, whether they be in the inner city or the suburbs, in school, in church, or in a theater, can be free from the threat of gun violence.

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