Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Douche Rises

So it's bean post day, but I'm not doing a bean post.

I mean, the beans are fine. They're not producing any beans, but they're holding up in the Texas heat pretty well and I haven't managed to kill them.

So that's good.

But tonight I'm going to talk about something different.

Do you all remember the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting?

You know, on July 20, 2012, when 12 people were killed and 70 were injured during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises because of this asshole?

Not even going to use his name. Asshole works fine.
This asshole is serving 12 life sentences, PLUS more than three thousand goddamn years, for what he did that night. He will die in prison, and my only hope is that prison officials don't find his body for several weeks after it happens, but rats do.

Anyway, the movie theatre where this tragedy occurred is operated by Cinemark, which is the third-largest theatre chain in America and happens to have its headquarters right up the road from me in Plano, Texas, land of tacky McMansions and abundant heroin.

Shown here: the slums of Plano.
I've spent many, many hours in Cinemark theatres. They tend to be large, well-appointed, and comfortable. They hold classic film series (Precocious Daughter and I watched the first two Godfather movies at a Cinemark theatre, and it was an awesome experience). They even host RiffTrax events, and if you're a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan, that's a big damn deal.

Good on Cinemark, right?

Well, here's the thing.

Following the Aurora massacre, numerous victims and families of the deceased banded together and filed a lawsuit against Cinemark, alleging that the chain should have provided a more secure environment to prevent a crazy asshole from opening fire on innocent moviegoers.

I'm not going to comment on the validity of that lawsuit. Honestly, I'm not convinced that it's the responsibility of public entertainment venues to foresee and prevent any possible threats to their patrons. That seems too broad a mandate for a business that charges for access to its completely voluntary services.

We're not quite that Orwellian...yet.
However, the right of Aurora victims and their families to allege lax security at this Cinemark theatre is beyond reproach. This is how the American legal system works. A favorable verdict is never guaranteed, but a fair hearing is.

But after initial rulings in their favor, a jury did recently rule that the theatre chain could not be held responsible for the murders based on the level of security it provided. And agree or disagree, it can't be argued that Cinemark didn't receive fair consideration on the issue.

Yet Cinemark, perhaps emboldened by that victory, has taken things a step further.

They've filed a motion to order the victims' families to reimburse them for about $700,000 they spent preparing for the lawsuit that didn't happen.

To be clear: Dozens of individuals and families were devastated by the murderous acts of the asshole who opened fire in a Cinemark theatre. They sought a legal ruling on the liability of the theatre chain for not providing a safe environment. They were denied that ruling, and now the multimillion-dollar corporation wants the victims of a heinous mass murder to foot the bill for the costs it incurred preparing to defend itself against those allegations.


Fucked up in the extreme is the correct answer.

Oh, Cinemark.

You don't have a monopoly on America's movie theatre options.

Not even close.

Me, I can go to an AMC theatre, or to the Angelika, or to any of a half-dozen dollar movie theatres in my immediate vicinity.

Hell, I can stay home and wait for movies to be available on pay-per-view or Blu-Ray.

I feel no need to patronize a corporation that expects victims of a tragedy to subsidize its legal fees.

And I won't.

And Drunkards...I know you will act in accordance with your respective consciences, so I won't ask you to join me or support me in my personal boycott of this despicable theatre chain.

I'm just saying that Cinemark will receive not a dime of my entertainment budget while it pursues blood money from the families of its customers.

Thanks for reading.


  1. There's not a Cinemark theater near me which is frustrating because it means my boycott of them is meaningless. And as much as I love movies I would boycott Cinemark and give 'em an earful about why.
    On a side note when Rifftrax comes to my town they come to the little indie Belcourt Theater which is made of powdered nostalgia and unicorn spittle. Getting to shake Kevin Murphy's hand was a wonderful thing.
    Although seeing Rifftrax live made me think about why it's sometimes better to watch at home. The whole audience was laughing so hard I think we missed half of the best jokes.

  2. This is nothing to do directly with me, since
    1. There's no Cinemark here and
    2. I haven't visited a movie hall in a year or more.
    But this is what I think:
    Cinemark is basically looking to make an example of these plaintiffs in order to deter future lawsuits. It's typical Big Business thinking. It's not that it necessarily gives a damn about whether it will win this case or not; what it wants to do is drive home the point that anyone suing it over anything will be in for a world of hurt.
    Not new where Big Business is concerned. I think you'll find that they're all like that.

    1. Alas, I think Bill is correct. :-(


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