I witnessed something sad today, something that is telling about what our society has come to.
I went to a movie, a mid-afternoon movie on a Monday. Not a hot time for the movies, but I had the day off, and I decided to treat myself; I really enjoy a good movie. I didn’t expect anyone to be there, but it was the night after the Oscars, and my movie had won a few of them, so I’m sure that’s why there were more people in the theater than there normally would have been. As I walked into the theater, a group of priest were buying tickets at the same time I was. I had never seen a group of priests at a movie theater before. I have never even seen one or even two, so it took me by surprise. I was very curious as to what they were there to see. Well, as it happened, they were going to the same film as I was; it was rated PG (I think), so not too surprising.
They had all gone into the theater and gotten their seats before I did, but it wasn’t until I was sitting through the previews – the seemingly never-ending previews – that I noticed something odd. The priests, some were in front, some were in back, all sat with a seat between them. I noticed this with the men in front of me, then looked with as much tact as I could I looked behind me, and sure enough, it was the same with the priests that sat behind me.
Now I am not stupid enough to think this was a coincidence. These men were told that when going to the movie, in a dark theater, you cannot sit next to each other. There is no other explanation for it. It is not a natural thing to go to the movies with a like group of people (who all came in together) and sit apart from each other.
I felt very sorry for these men. I understand why they had to do this, but as individuals it is unlikely that they did anything to require this kind of sanctioning of their behavior. But, of course, I don’t know that. Or anyone else sitting in the same movie doesn’t know that, so there they sit, cordoned off from their “brothers” because of what people might say. I applaud them for doing what they were asked to do, knowing how unnatural it is to shun the company of a colleague and probably a friend, but I am sad that the world (and their organization) has forced this upon them. The many paying the price of the few. A true talisman of our time, or is that of the human race.