I’ve got my entertainment interface figured out pretty damn well. Best of all is getting to live music, dance, opera, theatre and art exhibits- which I try to do on a regular basis.
My guilty pleasure: technology. I am an obsessed audiophile with a great music system in my basement “man-cave.” I listen to 5, 4, 3, 2 channel recordings and most recently, have happily “devolved” toward the mono LPs of the 50s and 60s with all the right stuff. I also have a very impressive big screen home theatre set up to watch movies, sports and favorite series in multi-channel splendor.
Perhaps twice a year the call of blockbuster sensation becomes too great not to pay attention to and I take my chances out in the “real” world and catch a matinee at a local movie complex.
This past December I felt as reckless as one of the dwarfs in “The Hobbit” when I journeyed east by southeast to take in “The Desolation of Smaug” in– wait for it, wait for it– IMAX 3D!!!!! Once I had, perhaps not so politely, demanded silence from the chatterers and cellophane cracklers all around me, I really did revel in the improved second installment of Peter Jackson’s much-hyped trilogy.
But yesterday was the death knoll.
Untimingly ripping my wife’s only child from her on Mother’s Day, I joined my stepson at the area’s newest movie complex where could be found the only local theatre still showing “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” in 3D.
We sat down perfectly positioned to take in what would no doubt be explosive imagery and earthquaking sound. That was five minutes before show time… or so I thought.
After an onslaught commercials I would have normally tuned or fast-forwarded from at home, the previews and propaganda began. Figure 10 minutes, maybe. Nope. When the lights finally lowered I had been bombarded by especially manipulative images and sounds for almost 30 minutes. I guess I could have come in later, but then I wouldn’t have been able to get that perfect seat (the complex manager claimed he understood my pain afterward and consoled me with the promise that soon their corporate edicts would include RESERVED SEATS for their patrons!).
As it been for the Hobbit, the technical side of things was flawless. Except…
On this wintry day in the middle of May, the “complex” saw fit to blast cold air at us from above. I weighed my options: run out of the theatre and miss a key segment of what proved to be a very complex plot line to complain, leave the theatre altogether or grimace and bear it knowing my jacket could easily turn into a blanket. I stayed (the manager was surprised at this refrigerated reality even as he stood with me in the almost as cold lobby).
The movie, remember that, was highly assaulting and highly entertaining – blending almost ceaseless action and special effects with an engaging world domination threat that would have put James Bond’s nemesis Spectre to shame.
Even still, the equation did not balance. I’ll leave movie going to those who will probably never discover the joys Beethoven, O’Neill, Balanchine or Picasso.