I went to see the movie “Joker” last night. If you don’t know, it is about one of the villains in the DC comic verse, and it is not a superhero action movie, but a story of how a villain becomes a villain. There have been many warnings about this movie, namely- this is rated R for a reason- do not bring kids. There have also been warning that this movie could trigger violence.

I don’t know how it is where you live, but in NYC we get about twenty five minutes of previews before a movie starts. So I make a bathroom break towards the end of the previews. As I walked down the theater aisle to exit, I saw a man walking towards me, straight down the center of the narrow corrider, really giving me no way to pass him on either the left or right. I had to flatten myself against the wall because he wasn’t budging.

Now, I’m used to road hogs, but this guy kind of creeped me out.

Creeped me out a lot.

So much so that when I got back into the theater I looked around to where he was sitting, I found him, took as much stock of what he wearing as I could in the semi darkness, and then began looking for exits, escape routes and places to hide. Could I fit under a reclining seat, or should I jet squeeze behind it? I was so creeped out, that I was prepping for an attack, if one were to happen.  I spent as much time worrying about the theater itself as I did watching the movie. I’m pretty sure I missed a pretty important psychological aspect to the movie….

Obviously,  my worries were for naught.

There are many ways to interpret and discuss the scenario, but for today, let’s focus on the media. Does the amount of “news” and myriad ways we have of disseminating information do more harm than good?

 

54 thoughts on “exposure

  1. Last time I went to the movies (a kid movie, at that) I spent an inordinate amount of time watching the people who walked in & out. It’s a sad but valid worry these days, unfortunately. There are not really any safe places.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I live in a city filled with, lets just say, individuals…..I could spend a lot of time talking about my subways ride encounters this weekend. Most people are harmless. I was only a little crazed because of media reports. I don’t know if that helps….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I have ALWAYS felt relatively safe in my little sleepy seaside town…then the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival happened, 20 minutes from my house. We almost went that weekend, but opted not to. That really woke me up.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. I was a news junkie for a long time. So much so that I began to develop pretty bad anxiety in public places. When your mind is infiltrated with such negativity/fear day in and day out, it really does take a toll after awhile. I finally had to cut the cord. I still read/listen to the news every day, but I’m no longer a slave to it. However, that being said, I no longer go to places like movie theaters, festivals, or places where lots of people gather. It helps that I’m an introvert and don’t really have a need to. But it is still a sad commentary on where we are as a society today.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Interesting question, it will be enlightening to see the responses on this one.
    I have heard the media and even watched as theaters have been highlighted for their approach to vigilance in showing this movie. It’s not one I would ever go see anyway, so most of these warnings don’t strike me on a personal level. However, I can honestly say that the more I see on a topic, any topic really with a “be aware” theme, does raise my own anxiety levels in general. And that anxiety leads to vigilance and awareness in where I am and what’s happening around me, just as you pointed out.

    When you look at harm versus good, that can go in a few directions- it’s good to raise your level of awareness as an individual without going batsh*t crazy over every little thing you see or person who passes by you. Living with undue fear is harmful so mentally you have to be able to discern real from imagined, temper your level of concern and go about your life. Those who cannot maintain healthy levels of caution, and venture off into paranoia then double down on the harm they do to themselves and the possibility of doing, or causing harm to others by their actions in response to what may, or may not be really happening around them.

    Does the media want that sort of response? Is it about sensationalizing this new “normal” we live in? Are they creating issues where none exist? All question I could imagine you asking this week LA! Are we going to get the opportunity to test out correlation versus causation? My curiosity is piqued 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I really think the media is creating situations in a sort of “scoop” mentality. In a world where anyone with a smartphone can essentially report the news, are they now creating the headlines? I really thought about this last night, because without the media highlighting the “issue” with this movie, it would never have occurred to me to be wary. While we need to be in out guard, to what extent?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I would lean toward agreement with your view on this given what I didn’t know about the movie until all the hype began. I would have been no more cautious than any other time I step into a theater.
        Playing devils advocate for a moment- could the media use the argument that they felt a social responsibility to their patrons, given what this movie portrays? They will show the movie because– $$, but morally are they obligated to go beyond a standard rating system and issue their own “cautions” based on the society we now live in…? Would that argument even stand up as valid?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. But why this movie as opposed to all the other movies? Isn’t the R rating enough of a warning to a viewer? Why the hype specifically? I don’t know how responsible the media is, and I mean responsible in the different facets and definitions of the word

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      3. Your question: why this movie? The Aurora shooting during a movie with the joker as a main character is enough for me. Since this is ‘local news’ where I live my sympathy for those who were injured or lost loved ones is strong.
        This is NOT my type of movie, but I’m not against a warning in addition to an R rating.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. I get the connection, obviously. But how many kids remember that incident if is wasn’t brought up again in the media? Statistically, the person most likely to perpetrate an act of violence of this sort is youngish and attention seeking. Does the media bring unnecessary attention by posting all these warnings? Does the hype take on a life of its own? Realistically, why not metal detectors at theaters? No large bag policy? The warning doesn’t dislodge the responsibility of keeping people safe, and as it made, I think 94 million last weekend, few were dissuaded from seeing it. And I saw the new Tarantino, which was actually more violent than joker.

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  4. The “news” is out there, every hour, minute, second. I think if a person spends too much time immersed in it, this can be a big negative to mental health. However, we do need to be generally well-informed and aware. Crazy events seem to be escalating all over the world. These days, I probably wouldn’t go to a movie that had these types of warnings or ties to violence triggers. Sadly, wherever we go, we should always have the closest exits planned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like to stay informed, but try to make my own decisions as to what’s going on. But in this instance, I think the media has stoked the flames. I just assume that crazy is out there, and has always been. But do people want their one minute of fame?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a valid question about the media. First, I’d have to say that a lot of what is out there is not “news.” We are bombarded with a lot of entertainment and amusement BS that the outlets will tell you constitutes news and tell us that’s what we want to hear about. It’s not. As for methods of dissemination, there is where I see a lot of danger. A lot of alternative facts are being circulated and lot of spin – that stuff is appropriately labeled commentary or opinion, but from what I see in the responses, many people don’t understand the difference between objective reporting and commentary. They accept everything that is in print as being truth or at least being news. And anything can be made to look like an official news outlet on the Net. And now, what ever people don’t like they label as being fake news, which is another level of ignorance that simply side-steps any real discussion. As for the fear factor generated by a lot of reporting, that’s both good and bad. We should be alert and aware, there are lots of angry people out there with short fuses, but should fear be allowed to alter our life choices so much?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Indeed! Some will say that if we’re in that state of mind all the time that we actually will attract danger. That may be true, I don’t know. But if we let fear drive us into living into a tiny bubble, then what kind of life is that. The past couple of years I’ve been traveling by myself across the country. There are certainly dangers out there, but they have to be kept in perspective. If I don’t make the journey because of fear, I would truly miss out on all of the amazing things I’ve experienced. At the same time, if you’re not prepared, a disaster could strike. I carry bear spray when I’m out in the wilderness, but I think running into a criminally-minded human is more probable than a bear attack – I carry the spray for people 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Right? 😉 I’ve been watching Mindhunters, the show about the start of the fbi behavior science unit. It’s fascinating how many serial killers would do things for publicity. Makes you wonder

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Omg LA I went to the cinema late yesterday evening to see yes Joker, in fact I had intended to recommend it to you……….. So interested to read your review because I really enjoyed it.

    Two quick thoughts Joker is a certificate 18+ and most definitely NOT 15, forget the violence a portrait of a psychopath is enough!!! Will Joker tip someone over the edge into copying such awful crimes? Yes but only because thy would have done anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Interesting question. I do not pay attention that much to the news although I did read about this movie and comparing it to the one with Heath Ledger (in that they said playing the part of the joker did a number on his mind and this one might be worse). I’ve lived in a suburb of San Francisco my whole life and we have had rare incidents of violence (the most recent being the shooting in our local mall – near the theaters). It does not stop me going to the mall. I am cautious about walking around in San Francisco in certain areas but I don’t walk around in fear all the time. My husband says I’m oblivious. I think I’m just trusting.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I think the media likes to share the negativity. I think that a “normal” person knows how to filter and analyze but someone who is already borderline may go over the edge.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I always think it is the ones we don’t see coming who will get us. My stepson complains about the “hood” we live in which is working class and very diverse, good and bad while he and his wife often chose gated communities. My husband’s take: we know who the weirdos are but in his neighborhood, the gangsta s will fit in and not be noticed which is scarier.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That would have creeped me out too; so much so that it might have ruined the movie for me. I’m constantly thinking about those scary scenarios now (at the gym especially for some reason).

    Wow 25 minutes, really? I won’t complain about the 15 minutes here anymore then. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The amount of previews is ridiculous. I now know that a preview is approximately 3 minutes long, and I can guess how many will be shown before a movie. The art house theaters show much less, but the big chains…it’s crazy! The funny thing for me is I’m always prepared for worst case, but I was heightened by the media talk….

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I haven’t been in a movie theater in years. I’ve always found them creepy and I’m more wary of them now. I cannot imagine seeing a scary movie in one. You’re a stronger woman than I. Did you like the movie?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Acting was great. I’m actually confused by something because I’m not really a comic book reader, and one if my blog friends saw the movie too, so I’m waiting for his take on something. It’s actually interesting on a psychological level

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Interesting post & discussion. Speaking as someone from across the pond, our experience with everyday violence is diametrically opposite to yours. Nevertheless, I know a surprising number of women who put thought into their everyday choices for reasons of personal safety, while I tend not to. Is it that I’m old? Is it that I’ve lived in countries during civil unrest & war and so everyday life now seems absurdly safe? Is it that I’m a cockeyed optimist? Honestly – I don’t know. Food for thought there …

    As for the Joker, while I know the character, I didn’t know the premise of the film. It sounds interesting, I shall have to persuade Himself to find it for me sometime – to watch at home of course, for we like our home comforts.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I probably won’t go see the movie. Not just because I’m not really into psychological thrillers, but also because it involves going to a crowded public place. I have become more introverted and not comfortable in crowds anymore. I was on my way to a tree lighting ceremony with my kids several years ago when it flashed an alert saying there was a terrorist threat and to stay away. Then there were more. Shootings in malls, schools, festivals, etc. A few break ins in my house and in my close neighbor’s. Now I have problems going into my enclosed courtyard. I’m am super vigilant. And now my eyesight is failing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I personally think that the media often crosses a line between keeping us informed and keeping us scared to the point of being paranoid. Yes, we live in dangerous times and need to be aware of our surroundings, but I refuse to let myself become scared to the point of not enjoying my life. (I won’t go see the movie, but that’s just because I don’t care for Batman movies.)

    Liked by 1 person

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