I don’t think the world is waiting for my views on the movie theatre massacre in Aurora. It’s horrible, what else can you say? And even though it’s silly, it’s understandable that some people thought watching movies on dvd became a whole lot more interesting suddenly. Of course, you never know: maybe the next psychopath will strike in a dvd store for the release of the next Hunger Games movie or “Justin Bieber in concert uncut”. Best not to leave the house then and order the next blockbuster on your digital tv then. What a shame then that because of the action scene you didn’t hear the sound of breaking glass and suddenly you’re eye to eye with a violent burglar and it looks as if he’s carrying a weapon too. The point is: you are safe and unsafe everywhere.
I was on holiday in Berlin the night a crazyman shot and wounded several people in a movie theatre. I was enjoying a glass of wine at the square of the Siegesäule when the words “Obama condemned the attack” told me something had happened in the US. It was only later that I heard it was in a movie theatre. Oddly enough, my first question was “Which movie?”, rather than “Where?”. When I heard the name of the movie, my first thoughts went to the director Christopher Nolan: not once but twice has he devoted every second to creating the best possible movie for months and months, only to have it become notorious for other reasons. Then my thoughts went to the moviegoers who had never thought their movie premiere would turn into a night of horror. “This shouldn’t happen to Americans who want to spend a night in the cinema for some entertainment.” Something along those lines was said on CNN and it upset me very much. CNN had trouble finding the right tone between the tragedy and the ratings boosts. Anderson Cooper was on the air when I returned to my hotel and had enough gravitas. One of the first things I heard him say was that viewers had contacted CNN to tell them more about the deaths, but CNN didn’t want to do that. “We will only give information about the confirmed casualties,” Cooper looked into the camera. “Nobody should hear the tragic news of a death of a relative on television.” Having said those wise words, we heard about the confirmed victim, a 24-year-old blogger who’d survived another shooting only last month. “Her brother will tell more about her here on CNN, right after these messages.” And then Cooper cut to commercials. At this time we’d already seen some of Jessica’s pictures, so it felt as if her tragic death was brought to you by CNN’s sponsors.
Quickly the tone got worse. “This shouldn’t happen to Americans…” Apparently only Americans shouldn’t be shot when they go to the movies. Who else but übertwat Piers Moron could say such awful words? Piers isn’t even American, he’s a Brit (and for once that correctly rhymes with “twit”). Had this happened in Glasgow, would Moron not have given a rat’s ass? “In Scotland a madman killed 12 people and wounded another 70 moviegoers, but we’re talking to Paris Hilton who’s just launched a perfume for pets. This is Piers Moron Tonight. Wow, Ms Hilton, can I just say your pussy smells divine?”
All across the world the premieres of The Dark Knight Rises were affected. Some cities cancelled their festive premiere, some started the movie after a minute of silence out of respect. In Belgium a tv show decided not to run the segment with the Batmobile and the creator of the special effects because both the host and the special effects guy didn’t feel this was a good idea. However, the premiere was still taking place in Antwerp and the local tabloid celebrities wanted to have their picture taken with the Batmobile, so let’s pretend nothing happened. Literally. Loudmouth and nitwit Jan van Looveren hosted the event and posed next to the car with his biggest smile. “There hadn’t even been a minute of silence,” Jan smiled as he didn’t think it was necessary. The massacre had nothing to do with the movie and it was only more proof of what the US caused with its awful gun laws. And while it’s true that there are more gun-related tragedies in the US than let’s say Belgium, Jan must have been too busy combing his hair for this big event – he’s bald – to hear the news that just on this very day a local jerk couldn’t cope with a possible break-up with his girlfriend (and debuting model), so much so that he went up to her on the street and shot her twice in the face. Later that night, Piers Moron didn’t talk to that girl’s sister and told her this shouldn’t happen to Belgians.
Life goes on and every now and then there’s a painful bump in the road. There’s nothing wrong with a minute of respect for people who wanted to do the same as us: go to the cinema and be entertained. The tragedy has nothing to do with the movie itself, but the killer did dress up as a Batman character, so it wasn’t random. It shouldn’t spoil the movie or change your opinion about it, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of respect. Even if that’s too much to ask for Piers Moron and tabloid celebrities.