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Feature: Ticket Booth Tyranny (Part Two) 459

Part Two: Time to fight back against ticket booth tyranny. Some ideas for circumventing fake piety, including making Labor Day "Take a Geek Kid To A Restricted Movie Day". This could be an annual event in the ascending Geek Nation.

How to strike back against the petty harassment of kids trying to see movies like "South Park?, " and the usurping of decisions that should be theirs and their parents?

- Hit them in their pocketbooks. " If movie chains are going to refuse admission to movies that contain explicit sexual imagery or profanity, MP3 them. Download the movies on ICQ or Hotline, or other sites where they are becoming readily available, just as many kids did with the postponed "Buffy" finale. Watch how quickly they'll lighten up on ticket-booth vigilanteism. Harmless, funny, or overtly rebellious and political movies - "South Park," "American Pie," " Something About Mary" - are not in any sense dangerous to kids over the age of nine, or probably, even under. They are bristling with outsider geek humor and nerd sensibility.

- Squawk. Complain to theater managers; call and write movie chains. Tell them we don't want them making moral judments about what kids should see, that adults ought not be forced to intrude on their children's privacy or buy tickets to movies they don't want to see because theater chains and film studios are too dumb or cowardly to stand behind the things they make and sell.

- Improvise. Remember that the restrictions on young moviegoers are usually led by teenagers themselves, the employees of the movie chains. No studio CEO would be caught dead near an actual ticket booth talking to kids who see movies. These adolescent guardians and the movie theaters they work at can be hacked. Tell them you're a priest or minister demonstrating the pervasive reach of evil. Tell them you have a stomach disorder and have to leave the theater frequently. Tell them you're a Balkan refugee who speaks no English and doesn't dare leave the theater alone.

Also remember that, being teenagers, they are easily distracted. The kids stationed outside theaters to keep children out invariably drift off, get a snack, yak with their friends. They don't really care about the dumb rules they're enforcing.

- Kids: Be patient. Hang near the video game and wait for your chance. Ask adults leaving the theater if you can borrow the ticket stub for the movie you want to see, so that once inside, you can show it if an usher demands it. If they notice it's for the wrong time, burst into tears, whine, howl. Demand that they stop picking on you. Businesses hate scenes, especially with kids. Or buy tickets for "Tarzan," then, when the ushers stop paying attention, dart into the verboten movie. If you get caught or expelled, tell them you made a mistake, go back into "Tarzan" and try it again.

- Or get a few of your friends together and demonstrate against especially rigid theaters. Write nasty letters about them to the local paper. The very idea of protesting these silly restrictions would make news. There is no publicity a movie chain wants less than to have local kids picketing them, charging violations of their freedom.

-- Adults: Fight Ticket Booth Tyranny. Observe Take A Geek Kid To A Restricted Movie Day this Labor Day. Find a smart 13-year-old who wants to see something off-limits and take him to a movie, or, once during that long weekend, go to a nearby movie theater and help kids trying to get in. Even better, volunteer to take kids you know, too. Buy a ticket to "South Park," walk them in, then watch for a half-hour. It's a funny, biting movie, and the ushers have usually wandered off by the time you want to leave. If they haven't, tell them you're a physician, you got paged and you have an emergency appendectomy to perform. Big corporations like movie chains and video stories (studios, too) hate trouble. They're restricting access to movies because they think it will shut block-headed politicians up. If movie-goers make more noise than the politicians, they'll fold, and quickly. If all else fails, then the Web will become the world's biggest movie chain, a process already underway. Note to entrepeneurs: Time to sell popcorn and Twizzlers online.

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Ticket Booth Tyranny

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    First off, you haven't gotten it through your head yet, you are not a "geek". No matter how much you try to be one of "us" you are below the social status of "geekdom" and have fallen directly to the rank of loserville.

    Secondly, those rules are in place so children can go to the theaters without parents tagging along. I should be able to drop my kids off so they can have fun without "dad" tagging along, and hopefully assume that the theaters are going to enforce the legal obligation they have to bar youngsters from R rated movies. This is not something they made up, this is law.

    Why not suggest that 12 year olds should be able to buy cigarettes?

    What a dumb jerk. This guy is probably the biggest lump of dead weight holding slashdot back from greatness.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Movie ratings are not law, they are guidelines for parents. If we don't stop treating them as laws, they will become laws.

    The next stop is your TV, were you will be arested because you didn't use the V-Chip to lockout Tom and Jerry's violent contenet.

    See you in Russia, oh wait, we're already there.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Thanks for that link to Screen It. I just thought I'd point out something that I found rather funny:

    I haven't seen the Blair Witch Project yet. I'm planning on seeing it this Friday. I find it pretty amusing that, as scary as it looks, and as much as it will probably give your kids nightmares, it is only rated R because of language.

    Pretty messed up if you ask me.
  • Sorry, but Katz has really lost it this time. These ramblings sound like that of a bitter 12 year old snot nosed punk who got (rightfully) kicked out of a theater for sneaking in. Grow up man! Changes in movie rating/theater policy won't change just because you start flipping the bird to movie workers (who are kids with no power anyway). And rantings like this on the web are like holding up a big sign that reaeds "I'm a Moron!" Get a clue. Write legislators and movie chain owners. Pass out flyers at theaters to get the word out. Organize pickets infront of theatres nationwide. If no one flockes to your cause, TAKE IT AS A HINT- It means you're a raving lunatic and should go away.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What's wrong with a 9 year old seeing southpark? What magic barrier does a 9 year old cross when he turns ten that makes it suddenly appropriate? Or if you'd rather use 11 or 12 or 13...

    One thing many people fail to see is that censorship is evil, not because it restrict "freedom", but because it disables our ability gather information and thus make meaningful decisions as a human being. While moralistic idiots try to restrict information going to their children, they should instead be attempting to explain the meaning of the information they get. Pretending something doesn't exist won't fool any kid that's not extremely mentally retarded.

    Knowledge of the world is part of what shapes us. How we react to the knowledge we have is the rest of what makes us who we are. If you restrict information to children then you effectively stunt their growth by denying them an opportunity to react to it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Why not give the geek kids access to what they REALLY want?? When I was 13 I would have much preferred a 6-pack of beer and a Penthouse to any R-rated movie I could have been snuck into. Buy a truckload of beer and pornos and hand them out at the local high school! Then the kids will REALLY think you're cool!

    And people complain that political activism died out in the 60's.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    let's fight against the liquor store tyrany. and the gun store tyrany. And the adult video rental tyrany.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I agreed with almost of all of Part I of this; now, I find myself disagreeing with almost all of part II. Certainly, if the kids' parents come to the theater and say "Yes it's perfectly acceptable to me that my children watch this movie that I'm buying the tickets for", the theater has no business contravening that. I for one don't think that South Park is appropriate fare for the average 14-year-old, and probably wouldn't let my kids see it if I had any, but it's very much not my decision to make on behalf of anyone else's children.
    What Katz is advocating in Part II, however, is exactly that - that we usher minors into the theater, regardless of whether their parents want them to see the film. It would be a different thing if he were saying, "Find someone whose mother wants him to see the movie, but doesn't want to watch it herself, and take him in (i.e. fulfill the "Guardian" part of "Children under 17 not admitted without Parent or Guardian" - which, were it applied rationally across the entire film spectrum, I would have no quarrel with), but by suggesting that we bring in random teenagers who are likely to be at the theater in defiance of parental order, we become guilty of the same offence as the system he wants us to flout.
    I will, however, make a point of going to a non-General Cinema theater if I ever get around to watching the movie for myself.
  • From everything I read, Kubrick approved the use of computer inserted figures to cover some of the more "offending" bits in the orgy scene but the studio did the actual editing after his death. I cannot in good conscience approve of someone else editing Kubrick's vision (being one of the only directors who actually had a vision for his movies) but to tell the truth, the CG manipulation didn't hurt too much since the focus of the scene was not the sex or private parts.
  • This is _the_ most absurd thing I've seen on Slashdot for months- possibly the most absurd thing I've _ever_ seen here! Jon, go home- you're turning into unintentional self-parody and _wasting_ our time, and totally diluting our credibility.
    "This could be an annual event in the new Geek Nation!" Oh _joy_ be unconfined! Who's selling the tickets to the ticket-sleazing event? I've got a great idea, let's replace the role of Linux Installfests, of talking politics and tech with other geek, with SNEAKING INTO MOVIE THEATRES. Why, that could change the world!
    Adults! Get really used to lying your ass off for genuinely stupid and meaningless reasons! Who needs justification? It's an evil invention of those wicked authority figures that made dope illegal!
    Kids! Hang out by the video games and wait for your chance! God forbid you should hang out at _home_ hacking or READING or LEARNING something actually interesting. You have a RIGHT to meaningless entertainment! It's your RIGHT as a geek to have no values different from those of everybody else! You too can be a brainless conformist hanging out at the mall or video arcade or movie theater! You don't _have_ to act different, or think, or give something to society- the same society which is repressing your important rights to publically view stupid movies! And you, yes YOU, can ignore everything you really are, and redefine yourself as a total passive consumer, and claim your rights to consume anything you want! Why would you ever want to do anything else? What kind of _nerd_ would sit around coding on Linux or even VB or something, when they could be watching movies?
    go AWAY, Jon... you're NOT HELPING...
  • He has no idea what anarchy is, and he sure as _hell_ has no idea what being libertarian is (and I'm not even a libertarian, and I can figure that out).
    He's claiming all those banners and then equating them all to the classic 'me generation' cry of 'meeeeeeeee!'. He's _only_ interested in himself. He's _only_ interested in Slashdot to the extent that it can magnify his own influence. He's _only_ interested in geeks in the sense of a power base and doesn't even _care_ about us otherwise. He's _only_ interested in the children he claims to want to liberate to the extent that he can assume they all have exactly the same desires and values as he has, which is disgusting as he is horribly bland and doesn't seem to really have a thought in his head deeper than 'meeeeee'.
    Let him go do his own thing.... somewhere else! Almost _anybody_ else would be more suitable as a story poster. Hell, Bill Gates has more in common with us- at least he's a _geek_ even though he's a powermad psychopath. Why do we have a story poster who is less appropriate for Slashdot that Gates would be?
  • Now that he's literally advocating the stalking of children at movie houses, we need another poll. I've never seen such a broad uprising against this man as I saw over this article, combining as it did arrogance, seriously perverse values, disrespect for parents' choices _and_ the advocating of accosting random children at the movie houses. Suddenly the people who've been angry at Katz all along were joined by outraged parents and the occasional pissed-off genuine libertarian. It's time to take that vote again- unless the ballot box is stuffed, he _will_ lose this time. He does not have the support of most Slashdotters, nor should he, nor should he have story posting access.
  • I quite agree. Sorry, I got carried away a little. Bill Gates is a powermad psychopath and only _as_ appropriate as Katz for posting stories and personal essays and crusades to Slashdot. He is not _more_ appropriate than Katz, and I retract the implication. >:)
  • Absolutely. It's an absolute slap in the face to be confronted with this sort of thing on Slashdot. It's hardly new to get it from Katz, but as of late the man has become messianic, and it's only funny to the extent that it's not maddening: I'm not ready to assume that there's no value to having a degree of cluefulness for story posters, or (God help us) _authors_ who will inevitably come off as official Slashdot party line definers, whether or not that is the intent.
    Jon Katz _demands_ followers now. He wants a crusade. I'm not a Slashdot power figure, I'm just a reader, but I demand this: better writers. I don't care how many silly articles are _pointed_ to on the net- it's always interesting to see Slashdotter reactions to some weird concept- but I rebel, not against movie theaters as Katz demands I do, but against Katz's value system, and against the notion that he is at all appropriate for producing articles for Slashdot.
    For God's sake, we are now watching a pitched battle between AOL and Microsoft over internet messaging that could leave the WHOLE FIELD completely immobilized in patents and litigation, as well as balkanizing it- and it's possible that only Slashdotters (and their ilk) can truly see where this leads, and why it is so horribly wrong no matter _who_ 'wins' each battle- and we're supposed to 'crack' into MOVIES? I could make a damned good argument that Katz is a MOLE for this sort of thing, intentionally dissipating and confusing the most public web Nerd meeting place at the behest of some powerful industry force. I don't care that he's presumably just a fool- get rid of him!
  • The problem is that it isn't a technical error. It's a metaphor. Perhaps you heard about those things in your high school english class. Maybe he should've spelled it out more clearly for the slashdot folks. "mp3 'em" does not mean "download the movies in mp3 format," it means "do to the movie industry with asf/mpeg/avi/mov what people already do to the record industry with mp3." It's a tactic, not a format.

    Geez, slashdot people are too hung up on technical issues. The mp3 format itself is pretty irrelevant. It's a crappy-sounding format mired in patents. The underlying issues are what's important.
  • You can't have him arrested as a theater owner because he isn't breaking any laws. What he is doing is violating the theater's policy of not allowing children under 17 into an R-rated movie without a legal guardian. This is merely a violation of theater policy, not of any sort of law. They could kick him out without refunding his ticket, but that's about it.

    If kids sneak in on their own (without Katz), the same applies. If they buy a ticket for one movie and go to another, they could theoretically be charged with trespassing, for entering a theater they didn't buy a ticket for, but most likely would just be kicked out, or made to go back to the movie they bought a ticket for.
  • First off, you haven't gotten it through your head yet, you are not a "geek". No matter how much you try to be one of "us" you are below the social status of "geekdom" and have fallen directly to the rank of loserville.

    So what makes you the arbiter of this "social status"?

    Secondly, those rules are in place so children can go to the theaters without parents tagging along. I should be able to drop my kids off so they can have fun without "dad" tagging along, and hopefully assume that the theaters are going to enforce the legal obligation they have to bar youngsters from R rated movies. This is not something they made up, this is law.

    Incorrect. Theaters have no legal obligation to bar youngsters from R rated movies. It is a voluntary thing the theaters do to prevent government regulation. The government encourages it, but does not mandate it (they merely threaten that they will if the theaters stop doing it "voluntarily"). Either way, it is not law. It is indeed something the theaters made up. Please get the facts before rambling on.

    Why not suggest that 12 year olds should be able to buy cigarettes?

    Cigarettes cause cancer. Movies do not.

    What a dumb jerk. This guy is probably the biggest lump of dead weight holding slashdot back from greatness.

    Rob disagrees with you, and it's his site. I personally enjoy the majority of Katz's articles.
  • I have no idea why this was moderated up. It contains blatantly false information (the MPAA ratings system is not government-run or mandated).

    Hey, maybe I'll try it.

    Linux is owned by Bill Gates!

    Maybe I'll get a score of 3 now.
  • So, because the theatre won't let them in to see this great South Park movie, they should punish the creators of South Park financially. Am I missing something?

    I have a feeling that neither Trey nor Matt would be too upset about kids pirating South Park or sneaking in to see it. Sneaking in to see an R-rated movie was part of the South Park movie in the first place.
  • Perhaps the more important question is not "Is it good for Katz to take a 13-year-old into Southpark without his parents consent," but "why is the 13-year-old at the movie theater without his parents knowing about it in the first place?"
  • You make the same mistake that many of your fellow Katz-haters accuse him of making. You speak of "we" as if you are some sort of spokesperson for slashdotters. You are not.

    Katz has the support of the majority of slashdotters. There was a poll a while back, in response to criticism of his writing, regarding whether he should stay or not. It was overwhelmingly decided that he should stay.
  • Listen, KatzDot fan. The simple point is that how can a man who probably can't even swap faulty hard drives be a "spokesman" for the oh so oppressed geek community?

    I wouldn't consider him a spokesperson for this "community," but he is an interesting writer. Slashdot readers overwhelmingly agreed in a poll near the beginning of his tenure here that he should stay, despite the mostly negative postings in the comments area. Apparently there's a relatively small, but extremely vocal, minority of Katz-haters.
  • The poll was after three or four of his articles drew a ton of criticism in the comments. It was decided to put it to a vote, and the vote was overwhelmingly in his favor, despite the mostly negative comments.

    The same thing seems to happen here.
  • Perhaps he'd lose, perhaps not. I agree that this particular story is fairly unpopular, but several of his recent stories, particularly those soon after Columbine, were quite popular, even among those who weren't regular visitors to slashdot.

    He has the support of Rob, however, and that's pretty much all that counts.
  • You never even watched South Park, did you. Or if you did, you never recognized the message that was throughout.

    Thw whole point of the movie is that parents do not take adequate responsibility for their actions, or their kids. Had Stan's mom just said "these are the reasons why Terrence and Philip are bad for you" and outlined them, everything would have been solved. But the movie would have been about 10 minutes long and not that funny. But no, the "blame everyone but me" that seems rampant through the country is what made the movie so timely and funny.

    The movie theater is trying to make a buck while enforcing the laws that let them operate. You may remember a month or two ago when Washington and the Movie Theater Lobby agreed on ID checks for R movies. Turns out South Park is the first movie that really falls under this since up till now, it's been the same ol boring "Notting Hill" and "Wild Wild West". Oh, and that Star Wars movie. As it is, the theaters barely make $1 off your $8.50 movie ticket. The rest goes to the movie house. That's why they're always willing to hand out free tix, and why the concession is always so darn expensive. Watching the movie in MOV or AVI format is not only (still) illegal, but won't really hit the theater all that much.

    Jon, you are an insult to anyone with a technical bone in their body. All you're doing is providing fodder to RIAA and making those of us who actually own CDs and rip them for strictly personal use look bad. Thanks for nothing.
  • Yes, but an intoxicated person is far more likely to accidentally harm or kill others than a smoking person, especially if driving a car.

    Of course, a smoking person is more likely to cause long-term damage to the health of nearby people through second-hand smoke.

    Like I said before, they should all be the same age.
  • I've always been baffled at the multiple contradictory definitions of adulthood in the United States. Most countries agree that only adults should be legally allowed to:

    Marry/have sex
    Operate a motorized vehicle
    Join the military
    Consume alcohol and tobacco
    View "adult" material

    Well then, wouldn't it make sense to simply say, "OK, at this age, you are legally an adult, and are allowed to do all of the following"? I think practically every civilized country does just that, and they set the age sensibly at eighteen.

    Except the United States. Sixteen to drive, seventeen to join the army, eighteen to vote and smoke, twenty-one to drink. It's completely absurd.

    And the worse ones are at the ends of the scale. I think if the driving age and drinking age were both set to eighteen, it would go a long way to reduce drunk driving among the young.
  • Why is "breaking the law" the important metric?
    What about Civil Disobediance?

    This is about protesting the attitude of these
    corperations in an effort to make them change.
    If breaking the law in a non-violent manner
    is what it takes...then I say do it. Be willing
    to face any consequences if they should arrise
    (like lawsuits and jail time) but do it.
  • As a libertarian I am apauld by your implication.

    Have you ever read the libertarien statement
    of principals? Here are a few choice quotes:
    (emphasis added by me)

    "We hold that all individuals have the right to
    exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and
    have the right to live in whatever manner they
    choose, so long as they DO NOT FORCIBLY
    INTERFERE with the EQUAL RIGHTS of others to
    live in whatever manner they choose"

    "...--accordingly we opose all government
    interference with private property, such as
    confiscation, nationalization, and eminant domain,

    Libertarianism is about freedom.

    The movie companies are doing what they do not because of fear of warping childrens minds (which
    is an absurd idea in the first place) but because
    congress has expressed interest in the insane
    notion that watching movies and playing video games can be harmfull to children if they see
    "Bad Things".

    In attempting to regulate entertainment industries
    (which they tried to do a few years ago) the
    government is overstepping its bounds. It is not
    the job of the government to play moral gardian.
  • The female body is beautiful, soft and silky while the male body is big, lumpy and hairy and shouldn't be seen by the light of day. ;)

    Umm.. there are men and women that fit both of those descriptions. One shouldn't generalize such things.

  • After looking up "craven", I found that it means adj. "very cowardly" or n. "a thorough coward". That's how I've always seen it used too.

  • It wasn't a bunch of "right minded" people complaining to theater owners. It was a bunch of "right minded" people blaiming movies, tv, and video games for the recent school violence that got the attention of the government. Rather than risk being yelled at by these people, they decided to do something to make it seem like they were taking a tough stance to keep these things from happening again. So, they crack down on theaters and threaten to regulate them if they don't start strictly enforcing the ratings system. Naturally, the theaters caved and began going above and beyond the call of duty to keep themselves from being regulated. Blame it on the idiots in the government.

  • This could be an annual event in the ascending Geek Nation.

    I read maybe one in three of your editorials. Each time I ask myself why I don't have you filtered out in my preference settings. I'm going to stop wondering, because right after I post this I'm going to edit my settings and rid myself of your inane prattle for good.
    You are a the first geek groupie I've ever seen, and you make me sick. You have your head so far up the ass of the "community" you yearn to be part of you can't see what's apparent to everyone else:

    There is no geek nation. There is no, one uber-community. There is no one definition of a geek.

    What's pissed me off this time is your wannabe anarchic tendencies, as usual, fiercely misplaced.

    I'd like to think we could live in a world without mandatory age limits on media, where parents or children themselves would have the right and responsibility to decide what they can and cannot see. If I didn't want my eight year-old daughter to see "Seven" (a particularly disturbing movie. In my opinion, an excellent movie; but very hard to explain to a child), I would tell her so, and I wouldn't bring her. I don't need the government, or movie industry to police me or my children, I've just done it myself.

    Now I have to worry about some depraved anarchic arsehole camping outside movie theaters, luring small children in to watch potentially mature content without their parent's knowledge, just so they can satisfy some sick need to feel a part of a non-existent community? Um, hate to break it to you, but you're the reason they're able to pass these stupid laws.

    Why don't you go work for Matt Drudge or something.

  • But they'll catch on when it hits rental and therental places report that they can't get enough copies to fill demand for weeks on end.

    As a side effect, maybe it'll send a message about theatre prices as well.

  • It will only take two or three movies following that pattern for Hollywood to start looking for an answer.

    If people take all of my advice and boycott ALL movies at theatres with bad policy, the reletive ranking of movies won't change, only the totals. When Hollywood execs find out the lost revenue is a result of theatre policy, heads will roll, I assure you.

    Of course, the problem will likely correct itself first, after all, theatres can't afford empty seats either. If enough people really care about this enough to do something, I'd give the theatres two weeks to get the message.

    I will participate, but since the last movie I saw at a theatre was 'The X-Files", I doubt they'll notice.

  • That is true, the 'appropriate' films will see a reletive improvement.

    I still suspect that the overall loss will get their attention, and the quirkey rental figures will point them to the answer. They already know they can't make as much money by making only 'appropriate' films, or that's all they would make now. They will look for an answer that restores the totals to pre-boycott level.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday July 27, 1999 @05:29AM (#1781109) Homepage Journal

    Hitting them in the pocket is the only solution that will work. If you help kids get into the movie, you risk violating their parent's wishes.

    Also, the managers win if you help the kids get in. That way, they get the money, AND get to claim moral superiority (right or wrong).

    Protesting is too likely to get the wrong media spin with the manager portrayed as the victim.

    What will work, is 100% legal, and runs no risk is for adults and kids to boycott the theaters that do this. If all of them do it, wait for the movie to come out on pay per-view or rental. Nothing speaks louder than a theatre full of empty seats. If they won't let you decide to let your kids see an R rated movie there, don't go there for ANY movie. After all, just because they're not causing a problem for a G rated movie doesn't mean their attitude has improved. Why support them at all?

    Orderly picketing could work in conjunction with a boycott, but leave as soon as confrontation becomes an issue. The objective is to inform others, not cause a scene.

  • by CaseyB ( 1105 ) on Tuesday July 27, 1999 @05:15AM (#1781110)

    - Hit them in their pocketbooks. " If movie chains are going to refuse admission to movies that contain explicit sexual imagery or profanity, MP3 them. Download the movies on ICQ or Hotline...

    So, because the theatre won't let them in to see this great South Park movie, they should punish the creators of South Park financially. Am I missing something?

    -- Adults: Fight Ticket Booth Tyranny. Observe Take A Geek Kid To A Restricted Movie Day this Labor Day. Find a smart 13-year-old who wants to see something off-limits and take him to a movie, or, once during that long weekend, go to a nearby movie theater and help kids trying to get in.

    If you're got the time and energy fight for a "cause", then PLEASE use that valuable initiative to do something USEFUL, instead of annoying minimum-wage employees while they're working. Go volunteer at a shelter, pick up litter, anything.

    This is the lamest rant I've ever seen. Did venting some frustration over silly policy at a theatre really require a two-part article on slashdot?

  • The title is in reference to the well-placed bagles, heads, salami, etc. that cover up people's genetalia in Austin Powers. In Eyes Wide Shut, there are people in the way of every sex scene in the sex house. It's just stupid looking and does detract from the show.

  • If you really want to hit the -local- theatre in the pocketbook, but don't want to hurt the makers of the film, then go see the movie, but DON'T buy any concessions! No popcorn, no pop, no twizzlers.

    Most theatres hardly make a cent on the ticket sales, but make a killing on the popcorn. Let's see, $.25 worth of popcorn, butter, and packaging for $4.00? Even with employees making about $6/hour, they are making huge profits from this stuff. The $1 or so they get from the ticket sale to a movie barely pays for the film copy, let alone the cost of the building, etc.

  • I don't want to add just another lame "Me too!" to your reply but I agree wholeheartedly.

    I'm a relatively new parent (ages 3 and -4 months yet) but I would be VERY upset of some snot-nosed teen were to tell me I couldn't take my children to a movie becuase the theatre deemed it unsuitable. I am the goddamned parent!

    Simiarly, if I saw someone sneaking kids into a theatre I'd alert the authorities in an awful hurry. There are too many kooks out there who'd just as soon kill them as help them. If I want to bring my kid to a movie that says "adult accompanyment" I will damn well do so and raise bloody hell if some theatre manager throws his or his company's morals on me.

    There is a severe lack of parental guidance in North America. THAT is what killed those kids in Columbine(sp), not TV.
  • Don't worry, it's much less mechanical than that:

    UK ratings are more like:
    • U = suitable for all. Disney cartoons...
    • PG = "Parental Guidance"; anyone can see it, but parents may wish to check out the content to see if they're happy with it.
    • 12 = "Halfway house between PG and 15, introduced especially for Batman or Jurassic Park, as far as I recall...
    • 15 = A little swearing, a little T&A, non-gratuitous (i.e. cut away/block the view/silhouette/whatever) sex & violence
    • 18 = anything else, unless it's banned. The list of banned films is gradually shortening, thankfully. I don't see any reason why I as an adult should be forbidden from seeing absolutely anything in a cinema. Video is a kinda different matter, since it could fall into that hands of children.

    "Film Clubs" with paying members can show anything they like; anything. I had to be a member to see "Taxi Zum Clo" and "Salo, 120 Days of Sodom" -- both films I believe children should not see, but adults should not be "protected" from.

    I'm not sure how the British Board of Film Classification (they don't like to be called censors... bah...) get selected, but their personal foibles have a strong effect on the ratings given to films: the Exorcist was denied a video release in the UK until last year, when James Ferman resigned as chair of the BBFC (it always had an 18 certificate in the cinema). The evidence suggests that the film just struck a particularly strong chord in Ferman.

    Cinema age restrictions are law in the UK - frankly I'm pretty surprised that they're not in the USA. Rest assured, if the industry stops maintaining their volountary limits, that democracy you're so proud of will produce laws to replace them.

    Oh, and for the record, Monarch or not, the UK is at least as much a democracy as the US...

  • I like it!

    Why stop at movie theatres though -- we could also strike a blow for the "Geek Kingdom" or whatever Katz called it, by hanging around off-licences, buying vodka for nine-year-olds. Oh, and tobacconists, too.
  • Katz writes commentary. If he knew as much about technical stuff as you, he would prolly be a sysadmin instead of a writer.

    I would agree with your harsh assesment of his writing if it were some sort of documentation or howto, but for what it is, I think that despite his technical inaccuracy, he got his point across, regardless of he meant it literaly.

    Also, now that we have the ability to filter out stories by author, I don't see why anyone bitches about Katz unless they just want to have something to bitch about. In other words, if you hate Katz so much, filter him out.
  • You said: The idea that a movie cannot harm is false for several reasons.

    Says who? You? Did you just make it up? Is it your intuition?

    Man, this burns me up. In all of the discussions everywhere about the evils of on-screen penises and other assorted politics, I have not seen a SINGLE pundit or opinionated hack come up with a balanced review of scientific literature.

    Please post a URL next time. Give me some evidence. Otherwise, you're doing nothing but wasting electricity and my time.
  • by redactor ( 1989 )
    This is totally irresponsible. You should know, better, Katz. Advocating these things is the same sort of attitude that set all those fires at Woodstock 99.
  • If I'm old enough to drive, I should be old enough to go into an R movie.

    You know you right... you should wait till your 21 to drive! heh eh
    If your old enough to go to war you should be allowed to drink!
    Ok But first you have to go to war. We'll deliver the brew.

    Sorry but as you *well* know you don't have to be responsible at 17 years, (judging from a recent outdoor concert!) but sometime, somewhere, some one should be. That should be someones parents.
    We are always talking about movie studios making better cleaner, less violent movies. Why should they when we can't even stand up to 17 year old in a theater.
  • Theater enforced ratings are silly. Anyone who's old enough to earn their own money is also old enough to decide what movies they'd like to watch. Anyone younger, and their parents control their viewing habits financially, so it's a moot point.

  • What's wrong with a 9 year old seeing southpark? What magic barrier does a 9 year old cross when he turns ten that makes it suddenly appropriate? Or if you'd rather use 11 or 12 or 13...

    There is no magic number, but there has to be some limit. Same goes for driving, drinking, and a lot of other things. I wouldn't want to be driving on the road knowing there are 11-year-olds driving around. Likewise, I wouldn't want kids to be mimicing the colourful language of Southpark thinking that it is as much a part of the English language as words like "apple" and "building". Although you may not be offended by swearing doesn't mean that the rest of society isn't offended by it. My fear is that the content that is in a movie theatre will come out of the theatre.

    While moralistic idiots try to restrict
    information going to their children, they should instead be attempting to explain the meaning of the information they get. Pretending something doesn't exist won't fool any kid that's not extremely mentally retarded.

    The point isn't to pretend it's not there, but to prevent the kids from thinking it is reality.

    Guess what? Kids are impressionable. They read or see one thing, and they think that that is reality. Their world is so small that a bit of influence in our world is a juicy piece of news in theirs. If they see little cartoon kids swearing their @$$'s off, they might think that it's ok to speak like that. If they see violence or excessive sex, they'll begin to think that it's normal. Kids lives revolve around imitation. And R-rated movies usually don't provide the best role models.

    Knowledge, I agree, is good. However, we need to present this knowledge in a realistic light. As you've written, parents should explain movies that are not meant for youngsters so that the youngsters don't misinterpret this as reality.

  • No, it's just annoying to see someone making obvious technical errors on a "news for nerds" site. Just like suggesting that the movie be traded via ICQ? I can just see ICQing 200MB+ files to each other. Ha!

    The fact is that American Pie and South Park have both been actively posted and reposted and reposted yet again on usenet for the past few weeks.

  • The movie ratings were a Good Thing. Operative word, were. When they bgan, they were a tool for parents, just like anything else. The idea was that a parent would have to decide if their child was mature enough to see an R-rated movie, with that decision being evidenced by the parent paying for the ticket. The scheme would have worked great, but it failed for several reasons, two of which are the most prominent:

    1) Parents got lazy and wouldn't do any research on the movies their kids wanted to see. They took the ratings as gospel, offloading their responsibility onto a ratings board.
    2) Movie theaters wouldn't enforce the ratings, by and large (and why would they; it meant lost ticket revenue and no one was forcing them to enforce the ratings anyway). This rendered it ineffective, which parents saw. If people don't think it's effective, it's not effective.

    I see two things as needing to be done with the system. First of all, it needs to move to something more content-based, like the TV ratings systems of today. Some would say that this encourages lazy parenting even more. But the fact is that parents should at least know something about the movies their kids are seeing, and if this is the only way to get even semi-meaningful information into the parents' heads then so be it.
    Second, the ratings system needs to be enforced by movie theaters again. I know, I'm going to get flamed for this (which wasn't the intent). But I'd also be willing to bet that less than one percent of Slashdot readers, if even that, are over the age of 13 and that the vast majority of those have forgotten what it was like to be a kid. We weren't always mature adults; hell, some of us still aren't (as evidenced by all the FIRST POST-ers). There are some things which most kids simply haven't developed the maturity to handle seeing yet. Those who have can still see the movies, even by this system. It simply takes the consent of the people who one would hope would be mature enough to judge maturity and know the child well enough to do so accurately: the parents.

    And think honestly; doubtless we all would have liked to be able to see any movie we wanted as a kid, but when you were eight or even thirteen years old would you have been able to handle Eyes Wide Shut or South Park or even American Pie? Or even if you could, would you have been able to really appreciate any of these? Perhaps a geek audience isn't the best to ask, since I'd imagine most of us were much brighter and more mature than average as kids, but you get the idea...
  • What Katz appears to be advocating is essentially paying the theaters for another movie, then sneaking into another, which boils down to paying the theater, period. Theater owners don't really care about people sneaking into another movie; that is at best a headache for the local management. This isn't advocating for serious change; it is simply a way to indulge in shallow pleasure.

    Make a difference; don't go to the theaters at all. Write letters, tell everyone you know to boycott. Wait for the movies you want to see to come out on video or DVD; will a few months really matter? If you want to change the behavior of theaters, hit them where they live - in the wallet. This means not seeing any movies at a theater who's policies are offensive. Write a letter to the theater every time you want to see a movie there explaining that they lost revenue because of their policies. That is the only way they will learn.

    For Katz to advocate sneaking random children into movies is irrational; would he similarly encourage taking children to see hardcore porn as well? By implying that the judgement of the reader is more important than that of the parents of the children in question, Katz shows his true colors: as a self-appointed moral guardian, no better than those who would keep these movies from theaters entirely. His universal allowance policy is as insane as one of universal rejection.

  • Hey, since Katz can do it so can I. I now pronounce today Call-Your-Movie-Theatre Day.

    Tell them what you think, but by all means do NOT just follow the ravings of Katz. If you (like me) feel that the movie theatre's are actually right to not allow kids into these shows and the like, call them and tell them you agree!

    If you want to get your kids into these shows without you, call and complain.

    Whatever you do, don't try to fix the system by lying, cheating, stealing, or getting yourself arrested (or sued) by sneaking someone elses kid into the theatre to see soemthing they are really to young to see.

    And on the side: Anyone interested in setting up a Christian version of Slashdot? Email me thomppj@okstate.edu [mailto].
    Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.

  • Does anyone else see a problem here? Isn't that sometimes a parent's job? IOW, there are times when a parent has to "intrude on their children's privacy" to assure that their kids are being raised the way they see fit. My parents restricted what I could watch when I was a kid (I'm 23 and married now), and I'm glad they did -- it showed me they cared.

    If you feel the need to invade your child's privacy, then you obviously haven't provided your child with a reason to trust you. A child is a human being, and therefore cannot be denied their basic humanity.

    So let's see, Katz now advocates illegal acts (like copyright violation and illegally sneaking into movies) as well as a hands-off parenting approach? Doesn't sound like libertarianism, sounds like anarchy.

    Very good. Although not exactly "hands off", it is an anarchistic approach. Take a look at methods of anarchist parenting [geocities.com]. In fact, you may want to take a look at the whole Anarchism FAQ [geocities.com] to get a proper definition of anarchy.

    Michael Chisari dominion@beyondtheweb.com
    "Got a revolution behind my eyes, we got to get up and organize."
  • He didnt turn out so well. Not that its my play to judge how "well" kids have turned out (I'm 17 myself). But he just acts like hes better then everyone (and because of this, became racist). He lies to his friends, as well to his family, and his family takes it all so lightly. Hes just an all around asshole, and his parents think hes an angel.

    One thing about libertarian parenting is that it requires two very strong role models. Also, although it is libertarian, it is not laissez faire. You cannot take a "hands off" approach, and not provide values and morals for a child.

    Don't let the term "libertarian" confuse you into thinking that it's a matter of spoiling your child, nor does it mean not having to be a parent.

    Michael Chisari
  • Tell them you're a Balkan refugee who speaks no English and doesn't dare leave the theater alone.

    I presume you would tell them all of this in some sort of Slavic tongue? You'd have to be inept to tell them in English.
  • For the record, I'll agree with the sentiment that Katz is off his rocker with this last rant, but I'll make a comment on the below:

    | Films with mild swearing are rated 12, films
    | with violence are rated 15 and films with
    | sexual content are rated 18.

    This I've never really understood. Excessive violence is indeed more permissible than any sexual content - and it isn't just an American thing. The attitude is thus -

    "Let's make sex mysterious and 'adult' - that way, teens won't have sex and get pregnant or get diseases or anything."

    Of course, that's the way we've typically tried to influence teen bahavior (by turning undesirable behaviors into rites of passage). I don't expect reason to take over any time soon. :)

  • I find this line of Mister Katz' rather irksome:

    "South Park," walk them in, then watch for a half-hour

    The first half hour was clever and funny, but it all slid down hill from there. Mister Katz missed some material in the latter half of the movie that I wouldn't want any nine-year-old I cared about to see.

    There was a recognizable attempt to make some 'statements' in the movie, which were commendable on a high-school level. Such filmic 'importance' does not mean that kids need to see it. Give 'em the short version: "War is Hell" (naughty word, too!), "Think for yourself", etc. Personally, I think that the classic "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" has vastly more important and sophisticated messages than South Park. Better animation too! ;)

    Mr. Katz has a very childish sense of activism in my opinion. He's hoping to make a row with the angry teenagers here on /. loud enough that the overstuffed hippies and pot-smoking Gen-X androgynites at Rolling Stone will notice him again. Poor deluded sould thinks that Rolling Stone still matters.

    Oh well.

    Time to exercise those filtering options!


  • If your friends are anywhere near as insightful as you seem to be, they will undoubtedly find creative responses ('solutions' are hard to come by) to their very difficult and painful situations.

    As you get older, you start to see your parents as people, just as potentially flawed and clueless as we ourselves often are. That's my experience anyways.

    Parents project their hopes and dreams on their kids in much the same way that we (kids of all ages) project our hopes and dreams on rock stars. If you've ever gotten to know a rock star fairly well, you'll see how far off base those dreams can be! Disappointment is inevitable, even though it's unfair to the 'star', who probably didn't ask for all the attention in the first place. Parents feel the same disappointment, I think, when their kids become separate entities with a will of their own AND the means to exert it. Some parents react to this disappointment more gracefully than others. Alas for your adopted friend. I wish her well.

    I hope your friends hang in there and keep their heads up. Things are always changing, and sooner or later they HAVE to change for the better.

    Your friend who manages the convenience store kicks ass, by the way. When I was 21 I couldn't manage my way out of a wet paper bag.

  • You know, usually I like reading Katz's writing. He often makes valid social commentaries. Usually his articles at least give you something to think about.

    This one seems just a tad too childish. Yeah Jon, we can all appreciate the throwback to a 60's sit-ins and an uprising of the people. But face it, todays society just isn't like that. Often police will be at or near a theater and contrary to the article they don't feel bad about escorting a whining 13 year-old out the door.

    Jon, you left out these other options:

    • Call in a bomb threat, rush in the movie.
    • Use a fake id.
    • Get in a wheelchair, claim to be with the Make a Wish Foundation.
    • Don't buy a ticket, walk in the exit door.
  • Actually, when my friends and I lived in dorms we would ICQ large iso images of games to each other. But that's besides the point, the jest of what Katz said got across. No, he probably didn't mean that you could only use ICQ to send files to each other, but that's what probably first came to mind for him. Perhaps if he was a BOFH, he would have said scp/rdist/ftp whatever. Does this really matter. Hey, I used to be a nitpicky bastard like you. That is until I figured out that most people care less about the "how" than the end result. Katz isn't a technical writer/person. The sooner you realize this, the less time you'll be thinking of ways you can point this out to others here, and the more time you'll have for a real life.
  • This is "news for nerds." Why shouldn't we expect more from a writer here than the kind of laughable technical mistakes that occur in traditional media? Slashdot is supposed to be a respite from that kind of idiocy. The writers should know enough about MP3s not to use them as a verb when they are championing video piracy.

  • Why only geek kids?

    Because non-geek kids are too busy learning to use the new computers Slashdot readers bought them after Katz's essay on democraticizing computer use among all classes of people.

  • I took Jon's advice and hung out at the local cineplex talking to some of the pre-teen boys who were there without adult supervision.

    It took a while, but I finally found one who was both (a) a geek, and (b) looking for new experience that only an adult can make possible.

    I offered to give him my stub, but I suggested that we make the exchange in the bathroom so those fascist tyrant anti-libertarian closed source theater workers wouldn't see us.

    Long story short, there was an unfortunate misunderstanding and now I'm a registered sex offender who can't move without appraising the county authorities of my whereabouts.

    The only positive to this experience is that while I'm under house arrest I have more time to MP3 my collection of NC-17 movies for distribution to oppressed children via Hotline.

    One technical question for Jon: Why is it when I MP3 my films, only the sound gets digitized? I hope you can help!

    Running to the barf bag,

  • "mp3 'em" does not mean "download the movies in mp3 format," it means "do to the movie industry with asf/mpeg/avi/mov what people already do to the record industry with mp3."

    Jon Katz isn't that clear on any technical subject on the best day of his life. "MP3 'em" could mean either thing, but the more obvious interpretation is that this lifelong journalist with extremely limited technical skills thinks MP3 is a format that can be used to pirate movies.

    Regardless, it's still the kind of sloppy accuracy and oversimplification that is the hallmark of bad technology reporting in the mainstream press. That it appears on Slashdot, which was supposed to be an antidote to that kind of reporting, is a shame.

  • I'm sure Katz has the technical brillance to run WinAmp, and I'm sure he has the intelligence to grasp when he presses play no movie plays, simply music.

    Jon Katz wrote a column stating that the furthest he had ever gotten into the inner workings of a computer was to run a word processor and create a new document.

    I don't think you can be so sure he's capable of running WinAmp or understanding why it plays MP3s as sound only.

  • I totally agree. You are advocating criminal action. I would be careful about this for several reasons:
    1. it's probably illegal. Inciting a criminal action is probably against the law; I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure you can get busted for this.
    2. More importantly, you just doing it wrong. The correct method to protest an bad rule or law is not by petty theft, but through civil disobediance. Civil disobediance in short, demands that you get caught, and then relies on the publicity to expose the foolishness of the authority. In this case, if you go to a theatre and have a complaint about ridiculous policy, you would follow a procedure something like:
      • decide the exact manner in which you are going to break the rule
      • notify the press that you intend to do this, provide a date and time
      • notify the theatre
      • notify the police
      • proceed with the action, and hope that the publicity forces reasonable action upon the theatre
    petty crime will not bring about change, it will just get your ass busted. the best method for toppling an unpopular authority is through lots of publicity.
  • Take a geek kid to a restricted movie
    Why only geek kids?
  • by lar3ry ( 10905 ) on Tuesday July 27, 1999 @05:23AM (#1781168)
    I may not be as eloquent as Jon, but as a parent, it is *I* or my wife that makes the decision as to which movies my daughters (ages 10 and 11) can see. Right now, they'd love to see South Park, but my wife dislikes the show, so we'll wait for it to come out on video. They have shown no interest in American Pie, and they laughed at Something About Mary last year (they didn't understand some of the scenes).

    Right now, we are kind of lucky in that whatever intrigues the girls is something that either my wife or I would like to see. Otherwise, we try to convince the kids to wait until it comes out on video... this is usually a short wait.

    Will I take them to see Eyes Wide Shut? Perhaps not. We made a similar decision years ago with Sliver.

    But in each and every one of these cases, it was my wife and I that made the decisions as to the suitability of a movie for our children. We don't necessarily trust an MPAA rating; they are inconsistantly applied. There are other services right here on the web such as Screen It [screenit.com] which gives a lot more information about a particular movie than any single R or PG13 could do.

    Perhaps Clinton and Congress are bemoaning the lack of parental responsibility in this country. I may be the exception rather than the rule in how I make my judgments; I cannot talk for other parents.

    Having the MPAA's rating system "enforced" by theatre managers is silly, and is deserving of all the contempt you can give it.

    However, Jon's suggestion that adults hang out and pick up minors to "escort" them to see a movie sends chills up and down my spine. If I were to see that, I'd probably alert the authorities.

    That's just my opinion.
  • In all honesty, I think they would be upset about kids pirating the movie. It is their money, after all.

    But as for sneaking into see it after buying Mary Poppins tickets, I'm sure you're right.


  • The problem isn't that little kids can't get into R-rated movies by themselves. Frankly, I agree with that point of view. The problem is that R is way to broad a rating.

    "R" can mean anything from too interesting and mature for little children, to gorry violence with sex scenes. I used to see R rated movies with my father all the time when I was younger. And none of then had any content that anyone would feel funny about letting anyone see. They really need to divide the R rating so that most such movies can be viewed by anyone over 15. (without parents.) At 15, anyone is mature enough to see most R rated movies.

    I was really ticked off by the theater when I saw Southpark with one of my friends. We both had to show ID (he's 17 and I'm 18) when entering the theater. Then, once seated, some guy came in to check our stubs! And we look our ages.
  • but it is just really grating every time I see him use the word 'geek' the way he does. I'm not saying this because I take it as stereotyping, though there is some truth to that.

    I'm saying this because he has thrown the word around way too many times. Geek is now the word that means "all things that do not go parallel with the grain of the system" apparently. Here's a little refresher on the word, in case somebody forgot: geeks were the kids 20 or 30 years ago that played D&D, talked constantly about Star Trek, carried pocket protectors, were skinny and pale and wore thick taped together glasses, and above all, were antisocial. Various combinations of the above were called geeks.

    Here on slashdot, people have done a remarkable job of taking this stereotype, and whittling it down to the essence of what geeks really were (are) - creative, smart, usually quirky people that are fascinated by logic, discovery, fantasy, and the like.

    Katz has managed to take this bare-bones description and add things like "anyone who questions authority" so that now the hyperactive troublemaker in class that laughs himself into a fit if you say "vagina" near him and the loser that collects porn behind his parent's back and gets himself into fights at school and the class clown that stands on his desk and sings to annoy the teacher are all suddenly "geeks". And after all, we all love geeks here on slashdot, don't we? So what could be more natural than to take all these kids that are being kept out of movies and make it our crusade to take them all to see it?

    Anything less would be censorship and conformity, and would add up to squelching the lofty dreams and aspirations of all those "geeks" out there.
  • In general, I tend to agree with most of Katz' writing. But in this article, he first advocates "hitting them in the pocketbook", by NOT going to the movies and finding other ways of seeing them, claiming that this is a good way to fight back, since the declining profits would force theaters to take notice. Then he goes on to say "Take a Geek Kid to a Movie", essentially, "Give the Theaters More Business than they Legally Deserve". These points really conflict. You can't fight a war on conflicting fronts. If you are going to take a position and make a stand, that's fine, but this article falls apart in its attempt to show diverse methods of attack.

    The other problem here is Quality of Life crimes. It's a big issue that at least the NYC government has been working to combat. It has been shown that turnstile hoppers, and guys who run red lights often have other criminal records. In other words, if someone breaks the law, they have a tendency to really BREAK THE LAW. Katz is advocating kids sneaking into theaters, taking stubs for other showings (not paying), and adults showing them that lying to break the law is a Good Thing. Since his recent theme is that parents need to show their kids the Right Way to act, and teach them to be Good People, this is completely against everything he seems to stand for. I advocate complaining, writing to congressmen, and making a scene, but blatant disregard for rules and the law is no way to teach kids the Right Way to live.

    I urge Jon Katz to put a little more thought in before he writes his articles to make sure he isn't just writing popular ideas and reactionary statements, but really making a quality point.
  • Squawk. Complain to theater managers; call and write movie chains.
    Tell them we don't want them making moral judments about what kids should see

    Buuut...didn't this whole thing start when the "right-minded"
    decided that they didn't like what was possibly going on
    (god forbid they actually see the offending movie) and start complaining to the theatre owners,
    movie studios, etc.?
    How useful is complaining when the fools have already had their say
    and the studios et al are knuckling under?
    This whole "protect the children" crap has gone too far, and most theatre owners
    would probably deal with not letting kids in than having the local PTA/church/whatever
    keep hounding them.

    But, by all means, go for it!

    Hell, I got carded when I went to see Heat for god's sake!
    Not only was I 24 at the time, but I was seeing it out in the sticks (some mall in Oshawa, ONT).
    If I had seen it back in Toronto, there was no way they would have looked twice at me.
    So, carding has been in place at some theatres, apparently.

  • Actually, it is NOT the law. The Motion Picture Association ratings system is a set of guidelines, not a part of U.S. law. You can't get arrested for going to a movie you don't aren't old enough for. The worst they can do (if you have at least bought a ticket to SOMETHING showing at the theater) is to make you go to the movie your ticket is for. If they should decide to eject you from the premises, they must refund the purchase price of the ticket!
  • Is this going to work? I can tell you right now that a lot of people in the "geek community" are only idealistic to a certain point - and I'm not certain it extends all the way to "Take A Geek Kid To A Restricted Movie Day", petitions and demonstrations.

    Movie ratings just aren't oppressive enough to anger people. We're lazy about this sort of thing.
    A shame, really.
    We should fight all forms of opression, and be fanatic to the point of being unreasonable about it. Maybe then we'll be heard. They sure listen to other fanatics. (see "decency guardians")
  • by dmorin ( 25609 )
    And let the kids buy cigarettes, too! And porno mags, and alcohol! Hey, why should the storeowners try to restrict the kids, isn't that the parents job? Bring your kid up right and he won't want cigarettes, right?
  • by JatTDB ( 29747 ) on Tuesday July 27, 1999 @05:18AM (#1781268)
    Yesterday, myself and 2 coworkers of mine wanted to go see Blair Witch Project. One of the guys was taking a training class that was only a mile or so away from the theater, so he went to go pick up tickets for all of us (it's been sold out constantly around here). They told him he couldn't buy multiple tickets because he's only 20, and they had just instituted a policy that you must be 25 or older to purchase tickets. Never mind that he was buying the tickets for people older than himself (I'm 22, the other guy is 23). Being quite angry at this, we started looking for ways around it. The theater was too far away to possibly make a lunch-hour ticket run.

    We called up Moviephone, and purchased 3 tickets with absolutely no problem in 1 order. Anyone with a credit card could do this. At the theater, they asked for the ID of the guy who ordered them, but didn't ask to see my ID or the ID of the other guy I was with. And we weren't too obviously together, we had stood aside while he went through the line to get the tickets.

    Now you're probably saying this is all fine and dandy because we were able to see a movie we were legally allowed to see without too much more trouble. And I'd agree. Except that Moviephone charges a $1.50 service charge _per ticket_. Yeah, that's not a lot of money, but it's the principle of the thing. We had to pay extra to see something perfectly legal and allowable for us to see because of a damn stupid rule.

    The children don't need any protection mandated by government or corporations. If you don't want your kids to see it, that's fine. If they manage to see it anyway, then you need to work on your parenting skills.

  • Hey, if you're a reasonably mature teen-ager in the Dallas area, send me a note. I've been wanting to see South Park anyway. You don't have to wait until Labor Day. Heck, you don't even have to be a "geek" (is that ok Katz?).

    A few stipulations:

    My spouse wants to go, too.

    I've already suffered through Eyes Wide Shut and I have no desire to see it again. Don't even _think_ about it. Sometimes, being underage keeps you from wasting 7 bucks.

    Your parent(s) or guardian(s) must approve.

    You're paying for your ticket.

    /* Whew! That's enough anarchic pseudo-rebellion for today. Tune in tomorrow and watch me burn my library card to protest the "man". After that, we'll all go to Sam Goody and pay $13.95 for a Rage Against The Machine CD. */

  • I have seen There's Something About Mary and South Park. I didn't really like either; the laugh-to-groan ratio was way too low (much like the latest Austin Powers flick; nowhere near as good as the first). The real issue, though, is when Katz states that they are fine for nine yr. olds.

    Pardon? I don't think that a nine yr. old needs to see a fellow jacking off, or Saddam Hussein waving penises at Satan. Granted, I can see little wrong with letting a sixteen yr. old in; by the time one hits that age one is pretty used to the world. But nine is way too young. Hell, when I was nine I still thought girls had cooties (man was I wrong...).

    For that matter, I didn't need to see them. I watched TSAM on a trans-Atlantic flight, so it was basically wasted time anyway. SP was just a complete waste of time and money IMHO. I've enjoyed the show (Heidy-ho Kyle! Respect my authority! OMGTKK! YB!) to a certain extent, but the movie was a) over the top b) inordinately crude and worst of all c) just not funny enough. I can forgive just about anything if the movie ends up being funny, but SP just wasn't. I realise that I am in the minority here.

    But back to my prev. point: kids twelve and under shouldn't be let in to see R movies. There's generally a reason why they're R. Granted, some movies get the wrong rating, but I cannot recall the last such one.

    The idea that a movie cannot harm is false for several reasons. The biggest is this: GIGO. Yes, just like a computer, our own output is a function of the inputs we have received over the years. If we've grown up watching our fathers beat our mothers, we too are likely to do the same (or poss. become extremely non-violent; the point is that it affects us). If we grow up watching propaganda we are likely to believe it (e.g: how many people now believe that the Serbs are a) evil and b) allied with the Nazis in WWII?). If we grow up watching violent movies filled with filth, gore, perversion and debauchery, then our threshold for that sort of thing is raised.

    No, going to see Pulp Fiction does not make anyone (well, hardly anyone--the mentally unstable are another matter entirely) a murderer. But it raises the threshold just a hair. Add that up over the years and you get a very definite coarsening effect.

    I may sound ridiculous. Ask any parent about how kids behave after seeing a movie. Even teenagers get more or less agressive for days to weeks after seeing movies. I am not advocating a ban on movies. For all sorts of reasons that would be a bad idea. But a reasonable sense of restraint is in order.

    Jon Katz seems incapable of exercising that restraint.

  • OK, Jon, Part 1 had a good point - that movie theaters were restricting kids who obviously had parental permission because they weren't following some silly rule.

    However, in Part 2, you lost out. What kind of crap is this? Take 13 or 9 year olds to movies like SP or American Pie? Kids - lie to anyone and everyone! It's OK! Parents - lie, cheat and steal rather then spend time with your kids. Here's a clue, Jon - just because a kid WANTS to see something doesn't mean that he or she is mature enough or ready to see it. That's one of the reasons that these restrictions are in place - to make sure that parents know what their children are watching, so that they can keep an eye on them. You've got this idea stuck in your head that people are mature enough from Day One, or that somehow, people become mature at a young age, like four. That's absolutely nuts. And, what is this crap about lying to get into the theater? What the hell kind of moral message is that? "Here, kids, it's OK to do whatever you want to get whatever you want! It's OK! Adults! Lie as well! Pretend you're a priest! Or a doctor! Hell, pretend you're a cop and arrest them! That'd be a great day!" C'mon, Jon. This has got to be one of the dumbest things that you have ever written. If kids want to see a film, and their parents won't let them, who are you to decide they are wrong? If the parents do care, they can sit through the movie for a couple hours. Yeah, it'd be spending time with them, which a lot of parents today would rather pull out their teeth then do, but maybe, for once, they could actually find out what their children are really like.
  • He means bootleg the movies in whatever format you want to... just like making an MP3 of a song and putting it on the net is bootlegging. He's not suggesting you put the movie in MP3. Frig, you people have narrow, literal minds...
  • Sorry but as you *well* know you don't have to be responsible at 17 years, (judging from a recent outdoor concert!) but sometime, somewhere, some one should be. That should be someones parents.

    When do you *have* to be responsible. We all know people in their twenties who are irresponsible, and there are millions of irresponsible people in their 30s, 40s and older. Age doesn't mean responsibility. I am 18 but I work full time during the summer, take all honors and AP classes. I would say I am more responsible than the 39 yr old deadbeat dad or lifelong welfare recipients.

    Will the starter of this subthread gain a sudden burst of responsibilty and maturity when he reaches 17 that he wouldn't have now?
    Realistically at 13 kids, especially geek kids, have seen the worst the media can through at us. I saw From Dusk 'til Dawn when I was around 14 or 15, and I was less disturbed by it than my parents, who saw parts of it in passing(the movie is R rated and has some nudity and is one of the more violent movies I've seen). I turned out fairly decently.

    Studies that say movies harm people are always fundamentally flawed 3 ways. First, they aren't scientific, but thats minor since it would be nigh impossible to make it so. Second, cause is mistaken for effect. For instance, some studies show that serial killers have a fascination with violent movies, and suggest that the movies cause their violent tendancies. Their prejudices make them overlook the obvious-they like violent movies because they are violent. That's effect, not cause. Third, The sample groups are always the violent. From their data, it could easily be concluded that breathing causes violent behavior. Looking at all that see violent movies would show that a tiny percentage of the viewers turn violent. But then having .00003% of their sample group support their theory rather than 80-90% wouldn't help their careers.

    We are always talking about movie studios making better cleaner, less violent movies. Why should they when we can't even stand up to 17 year old in a theatre

    I'm not asking for less violent movies. Obviously, not everyone is since they tend to be very popular, whether its Saving Private Ryan, Braveheart, Rocky or the latest Jackie Chan. Please speak for yourself.

    You know you right... you should wait till your 21 to drive! heh eh. If your old enough to go to war you should be allowed to drink! Ok But first you have to go to war. We'll deliver the brew.

    And noone under 30 can vote. Noone under 35 drive a car. No make that 40. No 50. Wait 60. Again, age doesn't grant responsibility or maturity. I doubt you fought in a war, or you wouldn't through the old slogan in peoples faces.
  • Yes, I sympathize with Jon's concern that noone should be setting silly rules concerning what we can see and what we should see. He made that case well, and enough has been said on that point. The anecdote of his effort to salvage a working mother's "theatre as babysitting" plan was amusing and I honor his chivalric efforts on her behalf.

    On the other hand, this "call to arms" trivializes real and meaningful civil liberties issues, and worse, risks alienating virtually every moderate who had not already arrived at a position on the issue. On the scale of importance, this issue is *NOT CLOSE* to the CDA, Export Restrictions, Filter-Fads and other real and meaningful horrors of the Censorship Cabal.

    Calling for criminal activity as a form of "protest," particularly in this commercial context where mere "voting with your pocketbook," is louder than any amount of lobbying is both irresponsible and counterproductive. Worse, some of the conduct advocated (helping minors to see movies without their parent's permissions) is dangerous, corrupt and irresponsible. Others have already written about the errors of these ways, so I shall not repeat those arguments here.

    What I did want to add is my thought that such conduct eventually cedes the moral high ground to the censors, and fuels their position. The thrust of the pro-CDA movement is the, compelling to some, argument that we need to protect our children from the "bad stuff," whatever that might be. People are genuinely concerned for their kids' well-being, terrified that they are impotent to stop the dangers and are fed the idea that merely voting for censorship will make their children safe. This is a very effective sell to the masses, and should not be underestimated by those of us who know better.

    Imagine the PR that would issue as anti-censorship folks become identified with conduct that is (or is perilously close to) a form of kidnapping. Far worse can happen to the movement should some lunatic pedophile ever do harm to a child after taking him or her to some risque film in the "name of liberty."

    My point is that calls for illegal or fringe conduct in response to a purely commercial endeavor is not only a bad idea, but that it is futile and counterproductive. Ultimately, such actions play into the hands of those who advocated the foolish rules with respect to which you are protesting.

    Mr. Katz advocates conduct here that is petulant, puerile and foolish. While the conduct he decries is likewise silly, nothing good will come from following his program. To the contrary, it is far more likely than not to lead to even sillier rules and restrictions from the powers-that-be.
  • by El Volio ( 40489 ) on Tuesday July 27, 1999 @05:22AM (#1781307) Homepage
    that adults ought not be forced to intrude on their children's privacy
    Does anyone else see a problem here? Isn't that sometimes a parent's job? IOW, there are times when a parent has to "intrude on their children's privacy" to assure that their kids are being raised the way they see fit. My parents restricted what I could watch when I was a kid (I'm 23 and married now), and I'm glad they did -- it showed me they cared.

    So let's see, Katz now advocates illegal acts (like copyright violation and illegally sneaking into movies) as well as a hands-off parenting approach? Doesn't sound like libertarianism, sounds like anarchy.
  • Weren't the movie rating put in place to avoid laws? I think the problem is deeper than Theater studio policy. We are, to paraphrase you, getting way too close to a "kinder, gentler" USSR.
  • Also, now that we have the ability to filter out stories by author, I don't see why anyone bitches about Katz unless they just want to have something to bitch about. In other words, if you hate Katz so much, filter him out.

    And lose out on a good source of that crack-for-the-rest-of-us, righteous indignation?

    Now there's a story: "Opinionated fail to avail themselves of opportunity to vent about something they need not be confronted with."

    Not Onion [theonion.com] material, surely.

    Side question: does Katz read the comments? (If you do, Jon, please don't pipe up: I'd rather read the speculation) =)

  • My boyfriend and I just spent last Saturday helping a friend of ours move for the second time in two months. The first time was when his parents kicked him out for not mowing the lawn.

    He's 21. He is a night shift manager at a convenience store. They didn't understand that after coming home at 10 AM because the next guy didn't show till then, he needed to SLEEP before being expected to do anything useful.

    But behind all that: He's a long-haired, black-trenchcoat-wearing, RPG-playing, pagan techno-geek. His dear old dad is a Bible-thumping, hellfire and brimstone fundie who has been screaming "SATANIST!" at him for several years now.

    I had a similar run-in with my mother four and a half years ago when I came out to her as bisexual. And she's pretty liberal -- were I to have told her I'm a lesbian, that would have been fine. But obviously bisexual = screws anything that moves (um, NOT!)

    Yet another friend of mine, one I looked upon as a kid-sister in college, was disowned by her parents for changing her major from a curriculum she was failing to one she understood. The real kicker here is, she's adopted. And they used that against her, no less. "Adopted kids tend to have mental problems because a stable mother wouldn't have given a child up for adoption, or even had sex before marriage" yaddayaddayadda.

    And I won't even get into all the teenagers I've talked to in ISCA's support forum who are being physically and/or sexually abused by family members, or alternatively who are in the middle of a nasty custody battle between their parents where one side is accusing the other of same.

    Walk a mile in the other folks' shoes, people. And while you're at it, try not to step in the "Father Always Knows Best" manure.

    Sorry. This is just unusually immediate to me right now.

    Seriously, folks. I can think of a lot of parents with kids my age or slightly younger who have nice, open, friendly relationships with them. Mom and I have pretty much mended our rift, and Dad's always been supportive of me regardless of what craziness I'm into -- everything from modeling school to student activism. He rocks.

    And again, if the parents are giving permission, what the hell is wrong with a 15-16 year old kid belonging to the local Rocky cast? Beats hanging out on the streets, folks. But NOOOOO, RHPS is an R-rated movie, and all of a sudden won't let anyone under 17 in even WITH a parent. Bwah? I don't get it. This is completely inane.

    Father doesn't necessarily know best; neither does Big Brother. Kids handle all kinds of stuff in everyday life that most of us would rather not think about or remember. How, praytell, is a string of cuss words or a naked breast or *gasp* a lesbian kiss scene going to do any further damage? :P

  • Heh, me too.

    True story:

    New Year's Eve 1988/89. Just me, Mom, and Dad. Dad is blenderizing these yummy-looking things made out of champagne and orange sherbet, which I am staring longingly at. Dad smiles at me and says "Go ahead, have as much as you want!" Over the course of the night, I proceed to have three full glasses of the stuff.

    Bear in mind that as this is going on I was 11 years old, just under 5' tall, and pretty skinny. But it tasted good ...! The headache the next day was a "be more moderate next time" lesson. :)

    True story, Part II:

    As I've mentioned before, I went away to college quite young. One of my friends from MBC/PEG is an immigrant from Eastern Europe, and the laws are a bit different there. Her mom sent me a care package as a 16th birthday present that, much to my amusement, included a bottle of wine.

    Dad took one look at the label and said, "I'd let you have it, but that's not very good wine. Want me to get you something better?"

    *heh* My father is an awesome guy :)

    As I got a bit older (though not technically "legal"), I developed my own "rules" for how to handle alcohol: It had to be something that tasted good to me anyway (not that this is difficult -- I can be talked into trying new things quite easily), I cut myself off after two drinks unless I was around people I trusted, and over time with said trusted people I learned where my "limits" were. Oh, and I did more than my share of the taking-keys-away drill.

    The drinking age has always been this irritating little thorn in my side because most of my friends turned 21 waaaaaay before I did and many of them "dumped" me for the bar scene. My best friend (and now-housemate) was nearing 22 and pretty much over that when we first became close, and I was not quite 17 at that point. Via Jason and similar-aged friends, I could get all the alcohol I could possibly want.

    What I couldn't do (except in this one place that was incredibly lax about carding, yet somehow not frequented by most of the college kids) is sit down with my friends and have a drink. One drink. And now I have a younger boyfriend who is still underage, so I still don't go out to bars -- haven't been in one since my birthday, in fact. :)

    (And in an amusing bit of irony WRT this thread, half the time I don't even get carded in restaurants or grocery stores -- only in liquor stores themselves. And I just turned 21 last October! The aforementioned bar was the place I was taken for my birthday and THEY didn't card me, either! Then again, considering the huge crowd that turned up, and my "It's my birthday -- who's buying?" pin, they probably knew. *chuckles*)

    Disclaimer: I actually don't drink very much these days. Wine or a cocktail with meals out if I'm in that sort of mood (which happens maybe once or twice a month), the odd Killian's or cider when hanging out with friends, and this lovely homebrew mead that my friend Michael makes, if he's willing to share some ... :) Seriously, that's about it.

  • *rolls eyes*

    First of all, buddy, there's a difference between just "working" at a convenience store and being the shift manager (read: Buck-Stops-Here Person) for the store. ESPECIALLY the night shift manager.

    Secondly, he's probably doing more actual WORK than either you or I are doing, considering that we're posting to /. Think about it.

    And I didn't loan him ANY money ... in fact, he sprang for pizza after we got him moved. All we put in was the time. Where the hell did I say I loaned him $20? I'm just bouncing back from being unemployed; it's not like I HAVE an extra $20 to loan anyone right now. Of course now, you probably think that I'm the loser, because I was out of work for 4 weeks. Never mind that it happened at the worst possible time, and the last two of those weeks were spent sitting by the phone because my temp agency "thought they had something" and then were suddenly told things like "our president says no contractors" by the client company.

    The situation as a whole is much more complex than I have any business getting into here, but it sure as hell ain't "Clerks." And it's not like his parents were exactly going to spring for school, either.

    I've MET his parents. They are scary and screwed up people. I honestly believe they kicked him out because they thought he was going to be the next Eric Harris and wanted nothing to do with him. After all, he wears a black trenchcoat and is in possession of an air rifle and a not-very-sharp katana. :P

    I don't care if you pulled yourself up from abject poverty or if you were born with a silver foot in your mouth like George Bush -- not everyone is you. And you're STILL wrong.

  • Issue #1 is the original incident that Jon Katz witnessed, and others like it. In other words, not allowing kids to see movies they HAD the permission to see, but that the parent wasn't going to stay for. This could have easily become an issue in my life; Mom had no interest in The Crying Game (she likes romantic comedies to the exclusion of almost all else) but had absolutely no problem with her 15-year-old daughter watching it. Dad was actually interested in seeing it, but he's a workaholic who might not have found the time while still in the theaters. ("No, really, two tickets to see this R-rated movie, for me and my Dad. He'll be here any minute ..." I'm sure THAT would've gone over well!)

    Issue #2 is that ADULTS are getting screwed with here. If I'd had to put up with that nonsense when I was picking up opening-night tickets to Elizabeth for myself (21) and my boyfriend (20), I would have been quite irritated. To say the least.

    Issue #3 is closed-minded parents who scream at their kids for wanting to see a movie that happens to be rated R rather than forming independent judgments. As per my previous rant, Father doesn't always Know Best. I was incredibly blessed to have a father who was relatively into the same sort of entertainment that I was (lots of deep symbolism, lots of satire, British humour is way up there, etc) and remembered to share it with me as soon as it would do anything other than completely go over my head.

    Issue #3A is that teenagers in this country are, in general, guilty until proven innocent. [wm3.org] That there link that I just posted is about a miscarriage of justice that pre-dates Columbine by nearly six years, and has yet to be rectified. As I've posted on yesterday's thread, there is a real problem with folks assuming that your basic "oddball" teenager is going to be Conducting Depraved Satanic Rituals and Committing Heinous Crimes for Satan.

    Foolish hysteria like what we are now witnessing WRT movie theaters tends to have very nasty results. Read everything on that link if you don't believe me. Three guys about my age are in jail for a crime that occurred six years ago that they clearly did not commit; one of them is on Death Row. Every time I see someone using that lovely catch-all bogeyman "Satanism" as part of what kids shouldn't see, I cringe, because I remember the West Memphis Three case.

    And thanks to Littleton, something like the WM3 case is much more likely to happen again. This is an outrage. Here's a clue: Quit treating teenagers like lobotomized children, and 99% of them won't act like they are! Hello??

  • by fable2112 ( 46114 ) on Tuesday July 27, 1999 @11:34AM (#1781332) Homepage

    All of the above working together, and yes this includes the kids, dammit! After all, who does it concern most, if not them?

    With respect to the filtering/censorware debate, I will NOT support CyberSitter and the like. I *do* support programs like SafeSurf and RSACi. I know that my pages are likely to contain "adult" themes (case in point: Kindred Spirits [geocities.com], my Amber fanfic), but it's certainly no worse than the VC Andrews novels that were passed around by my 9th grade classmates and available in our school library. I don't think my pages, at least not those pages, are much of a threat to anyone who has read the original Amber series in the first place. (Die-hard storyline purists hate me, but that's beside the point.)

    As far as R-rated movies go, I thought the original rating standard was "under 17 must have permission of parent or guardian." I could be wrong, but in practice, that was how many theaters operated, and it seems to me to be the most sensible practice. Parents could give kids permission to see certain R-rated movies or all R-rated moves, and that could be on file with the theater. Perhaps the kids would have to bring a "movie card" with their name on it like a video rental card, and would have to "sign" for tickets. For those who are under 17, and whose parents will allow them to see the movies, I think that is a reasonable compromise.

    Unfortunately, I've dealt with enough unreasonable parents that I worry. The Baron of my SCA group is a high-school English teacher, and he was flat-out told to stop teaching a certain book because something ridiculous like two parents in the entire school system objected. Not only that, the book was then yanked from the school library. He had no chance to defend himself, no chance to even respond, he was just told "you upset a parent and you can't do that."

    This is lunacy. Jennifer's parents have no right to tell Jason and Jessica what they can't read -- Jason and Jessica don't belong to Jennifer's parents. At best, Jennifer's parents have the right to control what Jennifer reads, and I'd say that that falls apart as soon as Jennifer's old enough to walk or bus to the library by herself, or at minimum as soon as Jennifer's got the spending money saved up to buy whatever book she wants at Borders or via amazon.com.

    The same thing frightens me here that frightens me with censorware and other such things. The people who are going to be reasonable human beings and discuss things rationally with their kids aren't the people who are going to feel the need to use CyberSitter and its ilk. At most, they'll set up a RSACi or SafeSurf filter for their young kids, or just tell them to keep out of porn sites.

    The ones who want this stuff are the nuts. Remember from a few years back the "child molestor" on AOL who turned out to be a 19-year-old guy who fell in love with the (IIRC) 16-year-old gay son of some very homophobic parents?

    I don't know precisely how to fix it. But it would be a big help if people talked to their kids and actually LISTENED to them instead of kneejerk reacting to "bad things" (like assuming that someone's support of medical marijuana means that s/he is a stoner him/herself -- blah). And unfortunately, the ones who don't want to be open with their kids about anything are the ones who want the censorware and the carding at R-rated movies.
  • "No, it's just annoying to see someone making obvious technical errors on a "news for nerds" site."

    As the previous poster said, and perhaps you didn't get, he *probably* meant it FIGURATIVELY...like "let's MP3 'em", using the noun MP3 as a verb to indicate what MP3 is doing to audio recording..."let's Microsoft 'em" might mean "let's spew FUD and sell free copies of buggier products"
  • While some of them are perfectly good suggestions, I REALLY have to question some of what's being said here. DOWNLOAD the movie? Advocating pirating a movie just because a theater won't let you see it on the big screen? Sneaking into a movie you haven't paid for?

    There are much better ways to handle the situation. Ones that aren't illegal. If a theater won't let the parent leave the children, talk to the manager, and let them know you're not returning if they keep this up. And be loud when talking to them so others know what's going on. Make people aware that the theater is being like this, then go elsewhere.

    If no theater will let you do this, just wait a few months and purchase the video/DVD. And make sure to write the offices of the theaters and complain, and get others to do so.

    Look, it's just a movie. There are limits as to how far this should be taken. And none of it is worth breaking the law.

    I do like some of these, however. I can only smile with the thought of a group of people picketing a theater. I wonder how long it would take to get them to do something - I'm sure they wouldn't like that publicity.
  • So after 6 years of being VERY verbal in interviews (though not telling anything about the movie, as with the lost AI. I was impressed) he changed his mind at the last minute? It's possible. But he often said he wouldn't edit it to avoid a rating. If you want I can post the interviews (I'm sure I could find them again). That leads me to believe that he buckled under pressures of his production company, or distributor. And from what I've been told, they removed ONE scene.

    Which goes back to my point. Why is it acceptable for European audiences and not American? Because we don't want to parent. And we don't want to have to police every theater every day. Maybe the facist/nazi film patrol will allow MORE films to be made with art in mind rather than popular aceptance. But I doubt it.

    Oh, and I do pay attention, but only to the information I see. I can't know EVERYTHING ;-)
  • by gnarphlager ( 62988 ) on Tuesday July 27, 1999 @05:12AM (#1781380) Homepage
    What about the non-consenting parents? That's the issue at hand here. Everyone has to suffer because no one wants to parent anymore. I snuck into movies when I was a kid. I saw alot of stuff I prolly shouldn't have, or should have had a parent there do discuss it. But my parents didn't care, and I ended up an anti-social geek posting irrelevant comments on /. ;-)

    Sure. Take a geek kid to a movie. But make sure the parents decide they should see it. And make sure they understand what they saw. Some 13 year olds can handle it. Some cannot. It happens that way. I wish it didn't, but it does. And I couldn't morally be in that position to say.

    Take for example, Eyes Wide Shut (ha! I knew I'd get a chance to discuss it!!!). If Kubrick was alive it would have gotten the NC-17 rating in the States because he was very adamant about not editing the film. But it was edited. Because theatres don't want to be responsible for 13 year olds with tickets to Tarzan sneaking in because of the higher rating. They don't want to be responsible for children watching it WITHOUT their parents consent (you remeber the Showgirls mess? That was icky EVERYWHERE). I saw the movie and I loved it. Alot of 'adults' didn't understand it, and I can see how the symbology and metaphors would be LOST on a 13 year old. So what would the point of them seeing the movie be? It was a film written for adults.

    South Park is an exception. It was written with 13 year olds in mind. The humor, despite it's wide appeal is very juvenile. And the vulgarity was thrown in to appeal even MORE. The point is, a 13 year old could get MOST of it. But I still maintain that the responsible parent should discuss the movie; see what it means to the child.

    I don't mean to sound preachy (I realize I do). Take the geek kid. I'm behind that. But be sure it's not behind the parents back. And if the parent doesn't want to discuss it with the kid, take that role too. Who doesn't like discussing movies? It's not the film that causes children to shoot thier classmates; it's the presentation.
  • I am 20. One of my best friends is 20. We made the mistake of going to see Eyes Wide Shut at a national Amusement theatre. Because we were both under 21 (!!!!!), we could not buy any additional tickets for a friend who we were going to pick up. Their corporate policy is that to buy more than one ticket for a R movie you have to be over 21. I asked, what if I am a parent and want to bring my kids to the show (highly likely in this day and age, and pertinent because R is 17 unless accompanied by parent or guardian). I also asked how could they stop me from charging the tickets, as any 18 yr old can get a credit card. These queries left them dumbfounded, naturally, leaving them to parrot on about corporate policy.

    I haven't formulated my attack yet tho...

  • I thought the first part of this article was interesting. It *is* ridiculous when a parent can't make a decision about what his or her child is allowed to see. But I don't see where sneaking
    other people's kids into R-rated movies is a righteous act.

    I think what we need is a slightly different system. Movies like South Park and American Pie are vulgar but not truly adult. They would be better served by something like a 14 or 15 rating (no children or preteens allowed), whereas films like Eyes Wide Shut are very much adult and should be restricted to those over 18. And any parent should be able to take their child to any movie they see fit (of course, it gets tricky when you start taking 10-year-olds to see anything in the EWS -> porn spectrum).

    Kook9 out.
  • Yes, this all leads into the grand issue of censorship, right up there with abortion and gun control.

    My $0.02
    Well, why does America, (and the rest of the world for that matter) have restricted movie ratings at all?

    Answer: Parents that are one with the blindfold.
    These are the parents to the freinds that we all had as youths that werent allowed to come over when you were sick, and had to be home by 9:30.

    Polititians must satisfy even the paranoid, for they are the stronger voice. Somehow there are no paranoid on our side -- at least not yet..!.

    I can understand it, so I live with it. Its sad. But Im trying to fight it.

    All these parents that stand for the paranoid clique of society want society to sheild itself from their kids. Why do we do this? What happened to majority rules?

    If they want their kids to be spoon fed pre-chewed bits of food, (Thank the hacker manifesto for that one) why don't they do it themselves, and let the rest of us see our movies..!.

    Polititians will argue that the freedom of choice doesnt apply to the children, as they are too young to decide. They dont have a stabilized judgement.

    I am that child.

    I am 15, and I have a friend that wasnt allowed to visit me in the hospital, nor are we allowed to play football on the grass when the Green-a-Lawn truck has been around, because we might eat the grass. OR we might bring the pesticides inside, and kill the furniture. GRAND.

    Yes, I may be one of the more mature youngens, but I saw terminator when I was 8 and it rocked! period.
  • Slashdot can be so lame. i used to really enjoy this site. i still occasionally do, but that enjoyment is frequently tempered by my exasperation with those who populate it, nay, live for it. The administrators work really hard to deliver good content. For free. The people who take time out of their busy (ok, for some of you, busy is a stretch...) day to post things try to provide something cool or interesting for you. For free. Yet so many readers _demand_ that Mr. Katz isn't so literal. You're incensed that he speaks for the 'geek community' It's ironic that so many 'geeks', so many who were or are outcasts from 'normal' society, have now banded together, risen up, and smacked down, not an oppressor, but an ally.

    The population of slashdot has completely forgotten about why it was so good in the first place. The great mass of people are so caught up in their own elitism, so narrow-minded about their own computing choices, so dead-set in their ways, that they have become the very same kind of people that they purport to despise.

    If you don't agree with something, argue with the point. Don't attack the writer.
    Have some common courtesy, and, more importantly, some common sense.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong