Ad men and gangs miss movie’s point

By Sean Leary

First off: whoever missed the Busker Soundcheck nooner show Tuesday should write themselves a note to make sure to see them the next time they come into town, because they’re a damn good band. Now on to our regularly scheduled column.

This past weekend I witnessed one of the most incredible scenes of carnage I have ever seen. I was at a movie where the crowd went nuts; like a pack of wild animals. People were running from the theatre, gunshots were fired, women were fainting, it was terrible. Let me tell you, that’s the LAST time I go to see ‘101 Dalmatians.’

Seriously though, there was an incident at a movie theatre in my home town, Joliet, this weekend. It was at the late showing of the movie ‘Boyz in the Hood,’ and it was almost as I just described. People were running from the theatre, hiding under seats, because there was gunfire heard in the theatre. It took 50 police to quell the disturbance.

Joliet wasn’t the only city hit by violence. All over the country, there was trouble in theatres showing ‘Boyz in the Hood.’ Most of the theatres involved decided to pull the movie, rather than pay for extra security, or risk boycotts by theatre employees.

The unfortunate part about this is that ‘Boyz in the Hood’ is a movie with an anti_gang message, and is a brilliant movie, according to most critics. But now people aren’t able to be exposed to this piece of art. In fact, I felt pretty bad because I wanted to see it. I wouldn’t see it now without a lobotomy or a bulletproof vest.

These problems are certainly nothing new. And the most disgusting aspect of this is that the marketing people for these types of movies are just asking for trouble in order to make a few more bucks.

Look at the ads for ‘Boyz in the Hood.’ They are full of blaring rap music, posturing guys shooting guns, and plenty o‘ violence. When your average gang member sees these ads he thinks, “Cool, man! Let’s go, and B.Y.O.G. (Bring Your Own Gun)!” But if the ads mentioned the anti-gang slant of the movie, they wouldn’t be saying that. They’d be staying away, because they wouldn’t want to get lectured.

The problem is that regular people, you and me, can’t go through our normal lives without being in fear. It’s sad when people can’t even go to a movie, a form of escapism from their regular life, without having to worry about being killed.

People can’t even wear certain clothing anymore. Kids are being killed for their basketball shoes. Gangs shoot people for wearing L.A. Raiders hats, even White Sox hats. Sure makes me feel safe around Comiskey Park.

In one of the saddest cases I ever heard, a deaf man was shot at because a group of gang members thought that he was making gang signs when he was just communicating using sign language.

The gang problem isn’t going to go away until President Bush realizes that our best bet for national defense would be to protect the people in the United States by providing more money for crime prevention and less for nuclear missiles and gadgets that are never going to be used. Unfortunately, until one of Bush’s relatives gets shot at in a movie theatre, don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.