A stark reminder of the dark side of humanity…

I went this evening to the midnight showing of the newest Hangover movie.  I was excited to see the epic end to a trilogy that, honestly, may have gotten me through my first year of college.  I was also looking forward to spending some time with my brother.  When we entered the theater we sat near the front, a deviation for me, a back row sitter usually.  A group of rowdy teenagers came in shortly after.  They were loud and obnoxious using every four letter word I could think of.  I was just praying to myself, please shut up when the movie starts.  To be honest, once the movie started and the lights went down I could barely hear them.  I thought my prayers had been answered, but, I was couldn’t be more wrong.  About an hour and a half into the movie I heard a commotion near the back of the theater where the rowdy teens were sitting.  Me and my brother and his girlfriend looked back to see almost the entire group and other viewers out of their seats yelling and cursing at one another.  I was so into the movie (it was at the climax of the film) that I told my brother to ignore it and that they would calm down soon.  Wrong, yet again.  I turned around and started watching again until I heard a few slaps and pops.  I turned around to see punches flying and shirts coming off.  I was still dead set on finishing the movie though.  But then people started to leave the theater, security rushed in, and the lights came on.  These circumstances forced us to leave.  I was dead set on getting my money back and went up to the manager to see what could be done.  She was obviously busy and said she would help us once the police arrived.  We waited for about ten minutes in the lobby then got movie vouchers.  We were walking out until I heard the manager say that they would be re-winding the movie ten minutes and starting it again.  We figured that since we watched 90% of the movie we might as well finish it (we already had free movie vouchers for a future date).  In the end we watched the rest of the movie and all was well; it was almost as if the battle royal never occurred.  I drove home, talked with my girlfriend about the craziness that had ensued, and went to the basement to relax.  That brings me where I am now.  The dust of the night has settled and all I have is my thoughts and reflections on what had happened at the Regal Cinemas in Lancaster, PA.split personality

The image of the one mans bloodied face and shirt and still vivid in my mind.  The careless disregard for civility in a public place boggles my mind.  The mindless violence in a seemingly common area, free of tension or competition is so foreign to me.  Then again, my record is not exactly squeaky clean either.  I have had my brush ups with other people that, at times, escalated into something physical.  When I was younger I would lose my temper at the drop of a hat.  Just this past summer I was involved in a brawl during a soccer game after I was punched in the face by another player.  Why normally civil calm people all-of-the-sudden turn into unrecognizable monsters.  I don’t know for sure why the fight in the theater happened but I overheard that it may have been started by someone telling someone else to shut up (in a much more forceful way) and that person getting offended.  Whatever the reason for the brawl it still does not excuse the actions.  The fact that someone punched me during a soccer game does not excuse me punching him back.

The events of tonight are just another reminder of what an ugly thing we all can be.  We can be the most loving, forgiving, honest, and just people.  But we also can be mean, hateful, barbaric, deceitful people too.  That may just be human nature; a ying-yang balance.  Tonight I got a very close view of the dark side…

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