The buzz surrounding The Dark Knight Rises has been deafening for weeks, as everyone rushed to get tickets to go see one of the most anticipated movies of the year, certainly — and maybe the decade. As crowds packed midnight screenings last night, that buzz tragically shifted when a shooter opened fire at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, killing 12 and injuring as many as 70 people. This is certainly a tragedy, but don't let fear keep you from going to the movies. In fact, everyone should go to the movies this weekend.
Today people are considering whether or not to use the tickets they already bought to go see the movie. Some are nervous that it's going to happen again and some people, it seems, are planning to keep out of movie theaters in general for a long time. Why? While it's still unclear just what the motivations behind alleged shooter James Holmes' attack were, it was a obviously a random act of senseless violence committed by someone who is almost certainly unbalanced. This is not an instance of a conspiracy of attacks that are going to be rolling out in theaters across the country, injuring and killing even more. Even if it were, the police patrols at movie theaters will serve to prevent any similar attacks from taking place.
This is not going to happen again. You cannot live your life in fear. Horrible things can happen every time you leave your front door. People get hit by buses, people get struck by lightening, heck, people die on roller coasters, but that doesn't mean you should never go anywhere or do anything ever again. Even if you didn't, you could get cancer as fast as you make a cell phone call to the outside world to find out what is going on out there. Everyone can take precautions, but there is no way to protect yourself, and you shouldn't let one mad man keep you from living your life or doing something you've planned on doing for months. It's become so glib to say that if you don't go to the movie then the terrorists win, but, in this case, they do. They really do.
That's why this weekend, we're all going to the movies. Every last one of us should pack the car and get some popcorn. After all, hitting the multiplex is one of the great American pastimes. Everyone loves going to the movies, no matter what kind of movies you like to go see. It is one of the few things that bring us all together as a culture in this fractured America. What better way to show your solidarity with those who were killed and injured than by going to the movies? They weren't just casual movie fans — these were people at a midnight screening of the newest Batman movie. These are serious pop culture junkies. These are fanboys and girls who have waited months and years not only to see this flick, but to be among the first in the country to do so. These people are hardcore. Isn't going out and doing one of the things they loved the most the most fitting tribute?
So, get your tickets now, folks. If you have tickets to Dark Knight, then use them. But you don't have to go see Dark Knight. Just go see something. Go see The Amazing Spider-Man or To Rome with Love. Go see Magic Mike (it's not as frivolous as you think) or Ted (which is just as frivolous as you think). Go take the kids to see Brave or take a Real Housewives fan to see The Queen of Versailles. Heck, even go see That's My Boy. Okay, well, maybe don't go that far, but get out there and go to the movies, everyone. Let's show our strength and solidarity by celebrating the thing that we love in public, not cowering in fear alone in our houses.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]