On July 8th, my friends and I attended a screening of one of my favorite movies, Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens, at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
I had been excited about this for weeks. Star Wars, on an enormous screen, in the grass on the field, with all of my new friends. It sounded ideal.
I studied and was a good little student the day before. I wasn’t even distracted by Buzz, who came and stole my computer for a moment in the middle of my Social Movements readings. (Well, maybe for a minute.) I got my work done so that I could enjoy everything fully.
Then the protests downtown started.
And, in my case, downtown meant down the road.
I have no opinion on the Black Lives Matter protests. Not what was being protested, not the tactics used, nothing. This isn’t going to be a political expose of any sort. I’m also not going to pretend that I’m informed about everything that was going on enough to make a comment that isn’t self-incriminating in some manner. So don’t get offended or read too much into any of this, please.
(Also understand that this is my blog and you are a voluntary reader. Also I’m like the biggest Star Wars nerd, so that’s where I’m comin’ from here.)
I was really disappointed that the helicopters overhead interrupted the movie.
There were at least fifteen coming and going, and they were so infuriatingly loud. Every scene, even the quiet ones, now featured war-movie sound effects, the sound of spinning blades and beating drums. My head pounded…or was it the laser blasts on screen?
It was mildly upsetting. I’d seen the movie before, but it still wasn’t what I had been expecting or hoped it would be.
Even excepting the helicopters, everyone around me only discussed what was happening on the news throughout the entirety of our stay. They weren’t even watching the movie. They had friends that they were worried about, wanted to check on. Two people even left the stadium to join the protests, mostly to say that they had been involved. (Again, this is just what it seemed like to me.) It was crazy.
I was disappointed, but not long after this, it was all in the past. Everyone moved on. When I went home, I rewatched the movie with my brothers in our living room, on a normal-sized TV. Sure, it wasn’t a jumbo-projector, sure it wasn’t outdoors, didn’t feel like a festival. There weren’t tons of new people to talk to.
But being cozy, being with my family, not having anything dangerous happening down the road, not having ten helicopters right above me, being able to enjoy the movie that I love? This was much more fun.