I think it was around the Fourth of July, naturally, that I came across this post in the neighborhood website of which I am a highly absent member: “Are people aware that Greenfield Garden Cinema is showing the movie 2000 Mules, a creation of Dinesh D’Souza that pushes the claim that the 2020 election was tainted by voter fraud?”
Certainly not, I thought to myself, and for the first time since joining, actually commented as follows: “So what? Should we censor it? Stage a demonstration? Promise to never see a movie in Greenfield Garden Cinema ever ever again?”
I wrote this tongue-in-cheek. I love the old cinema, a Greenfield landmark with a marquee right on Main Street. It offers old-fashioned red seats redolent of popcorn and soda, is rarely full, and is a locally beloved independent small theater that caters to popular fare but also shows some excellent old movies. No Real D 3D, no XD or any of these other acronyms I don’t get, just plain movies.
It did threaten to close on account of being in the red very often, but a local attorney bought it to keep it going. Given what follows, I should add a local Republican conservative attorney. I can’t believe he’s making much money on it.
To my great astonishment, the following comment appeared a few minutes after I posted mine: “Your ideas (especially about demonstrating and boycotting) are great. They have been really effective tools in the past.”
Immediately I wanted to write: No, no, no, no, I didn’t mean that seriously. Forget the whole thing! But before I could do that, another comment appeared: “I will never again go to see a movie at Greenfield Garden Cinema because I have no desire to support a business or businessman that spreads Trumpist propaganda and false myths.”
About five more posts of this nature followed quicker than it takes to write this sentence, before finally someone wrote: “If you don’t like the movie or what it’s about, don’t go see it. Pretty simple.”
Instantly I wrote that I agreed and closed the site.
Since then, at least 250 comments appeared, more action than I’ve ever seen in this neighborhood. New posting alerts keep on arriving in my inbox every few minutes, such as:
“Too bad the Garden Cinema isn’t safe.”
“I was wondering about the owner when I saw the MyPillow commercials play before the previews. All makes sense now.”
Makes sense how, I wonder. Connect three dots and get a dinosaur? And by the way, what is safe?
Then there’s: “I think ______ [name of theater owner] should not be showing propaganda and that he needs to be schooled about that.” Of course, there’s good schooling in the kind of camps the Chinese run for Uyghurs in Northwest China. And what do you call propaganda? You want to tell me that Top Gun 2 (I loved it), which makes love to warships and war jets and shows us how to brilliantly bomb a nuclear facility deep underground (any similarity to Iran is purely unintentional), isn’t propaganda?
Aussie, of course, has boycotted every single theater that has ever shown Garfield movies, which explains why she never goes to the movies with me anymore.
The only post I thoroughly enjoyed was the following: “Even though it’s not directly relevant, I can’t resist pointing out that Trump is true to his word. He promised that he would be tough on china, and he proved it by throwing his lunch plate at the wall!”
I read that the movie did indeed show at about 9:30 at night, and the owner said that demonstrators were welcome as long as they were peaceful. I thought it was a great ploy to get a big crowd, but only 2 people showed up to see the movie and 1 peaceful demonstrator.
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