the L.A. TImes has applied the chill of Aurora's monster attack on box office to the next pop-culture movie event, and wondered if it will impact final turnout for Monday's TNG 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray event nationwide.
Let's not let it happen.
You don't have to be from another country, or speak another language with a different skin tone, to be a "terrorist."
We do think of Timothy McVeigh and his rental truck-bourne fertilizer bomb as the chief example of our domestic variety, but get back to the root of the word, according to the Nemecek Dictionary: "one who causes terror, chiefly with the intention of instilling fear and disruption of daily routine." No, we don't know everything yet about onetime medical student and careful plotter/boobytrapper James Eagan Holmes—but we do know that he apparently acted alone.
Yes, a crazed solo act, one that can carry just as much mass wallop as a full-bore death squad when it comes to "instilling terror"—intended or not.
Bottom line: Talk to your kids, reassure them... and by god don't be scared away from seeing The Dark Knight Rises ... or ANY movie of your choice this weekend.
What's more, watch out for the demagogues on this: Not those who argue the gun issue either way (sadly inevitable), but anyone who might happen to try to connect up the motive dots using anyone in costume, or even genre fans of all stripes—from Trek to any comic superhero, and beyond. One pundit on MSNBC already likened the shooter's state of mind or personality today to a "dark, Trekkie-like person." WTF? Just like the way innocent gamers, or any current hobby or craze that sweeps up the "impressionable young," gets blamed for "corrupting" some heinous perpetrator's mental health into a state of mass killing.
Nope, the vehicle—in this case, Batman and its dark core, or the chaos cover provided by a bevy of costumed, innocent superhero fans—is not the end-all, be-all "cause." Sick minds and broken psyches have always been with us, sadly, but what we do know is those determined to act out will find a channel for their actions, one way or another. It doesn't matter which one they latch onto from pop culture or any passing parade: anything out there in our rich culture can provide the wrong kind of imagery fodder—no matter how some may try to blame or sensationalize it in hindsight. You take away one, the irrational will just find another.
So this weekend—go see Batman. Or see ANY movie. Pack the theaters, and malls, and anywhere you like with all the bodies of friends and family you can. Go in costume if you like, proudly. And pack your costumes for Vegas Khaaan, or wherever it is you fly your harmless and healthy freak flag.
Just don't let the terrorist win.