This is Not Us

One of the most anticipated movies of the year came out this past weekend, and I couldn’t find anyone to go with. After the wild success of Jordan Peele’s Get Out, he followed up with the thriller that is Us. After releasing a scary-ass trailer that makes you no longer want to listen to the Luniz, I knew I had to see it. However, I apparently know a bunch of wimps. One said he didn’t need that negative energy, my best friend said she wasn’t trying to be scared, my HH buddy decided to, well, go to HH, and even my millennial said she doesn’t “do scary.” Now, I’m not a huge fan of horror films, and still will not watch Child’s Play to this day. But I saw this film as more of a psychological thriller, and Silence of the Lambs is my favorite movie, so there you go. After pleading to my crew to join me at the movies and getting dissed 4 times over, I said F these fools and went by myself. That allowed me to exercise my right to be extremely early, watch previews, and order an excessive amount of liquid butter product on my popcorn. Plus, with reserved seating, I didn’t have to worry about scrambling for a seat. I even thought I was being clever when I purchased a solo seat  on the aisle, because I was convinced that a sensible pair of older people had purchased these seats and were going to act accordingly.

But the universe had something very special in store for my anal-retentive behind. When I arrived to my seat, I plopped myself down next to a lovely young couple, obviously excited to see the movie as well. They chatted softly during the commercials before the previews came on, and I let it go, because hey, they were surely going to zip their lips once the lights went down. They even ordered a  bottle of wine, and I thought to myself, “Oooh, they are classy”, as I snuggled into my reclining chair. But when the house lights dimmed, and I was introduced to a new horror movie starring Octavia Spencer ( WTF), I was also introduced to this guy’s incessant talking. I am not afraid to shush the hell out of somebody, and I don’t attend movies with a dear friend because she talks too much. Silence is golden to me and so is movie etiquette. As the previews continued, I took a deep breath and exhaled, saying nothing, praying that he would shut up once the actual movie started. However, the Lord decided to test both my faith and patience that night, as he allowed this man to exercise his gums DURING THE ENTIRE MOVIE. This rant is not at all about my need to watch movies in silence, but of the gut-wrenching anger in the pit of my stomach as I admit my fellow movie-goers fell victim to that awful stereotype: black people talking during movies.

Let’s get something clear: anyone who reads my stuff knows that all my tales are bathed in sarcasm, satire, and tied up in truth. I don’t believe I have the readership to warrant a legit uproar of people being offended, but there’s always something to be said about exploring certain stereotypes. Especially when they’re hilarious. So while we know that not all black people talk during movies, it is comically understood that it’s kinda true. The subject matter of race is always tricky, because in the current days of being PC and everyone being so sensitive, many never know who can say what about whom. Luckily, according to 23andMe, I’m 44.9% allowed to speak on the subject, so I’m good.

I’ve racked my brain trying to come up with a sound hypothesis  of why my African-American brothers and sisters are so inclined to be verbal during a cinematic show. Was it because we’re used to a call and response narrative, growing up in the black Baptist churches of the South? Is it because we are natural-born storytellers, so our souls are telling us to narrate the movie for the entire audience? Or was it our payback to society for not yet receiving reparations?

Granted, people of all backgrounds can be seen interrupting a flick with their words, but how did we get this reputation for disrupting movies? I wanted to believe so bad that this young man would not fall into the stereotype of talking during the movie, and I even prayed “Please stop talking, please stop talking, don’t let these people judge you!”, but my man failed me. He proceeded to ruin every penny of my $17.68. He even threw out a few expletives, to which I was positive a fight would ensue. But nothing happened, and it certainly wasn’t going to come from me.

Why was I so afraid to pull out my shush card? Well for one thing, I came to the conclusion that anyone who’s not afraid to talk through an entire movie is clearly ready to fight any and everyone. Secondly, they were drinking twist-off top MERLOT, so things could’ve gotten quite rowdy if I had decided to tell him to shut up. I can only hope that my plea does not fall on deaf ears: my people, shut up during movies. No one else can hear and no one wants to experience getting into a fight at a theatre and paying $25 for an Icee on the same day. There is no need to scream or yell back at Tom Cruise- he can’t hear you.


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