7:41 p.m. - 2003-02-02
Today I went to see “the city of god” with a few of my friends. On our way up to the Embarcadero Theater we heard the screeching of a flock of birds coming from the trees in a little square. They were loud and of a pitch that just didn’t sound right, or usual at least. I looked at a few of them sitting on a lamppost, and with my vision that has been deteriorating as of late, was able to see that they were bright green. As I scanned the tree tops surrounding us I saw dozens and dozens more of them.
“Are those parrots?” I asked.
Parrots indeed. A huge flock of parrots. Classic parrots sitting all around us, in pairs on branches, hanging upside down from the foliage, right in the center of the city. I have never seen so many parrots in my life at one time, and never seen even one lone parrot in the city before. We looked at them as other people walked by, not seeming to notice, as if they were just the usual standard local pigeons.
We went on to watch the film, great by some standards, the main one being it was not made with any heavy hand of Hollywood present in its shooting, casting or pace. It was good.
During the showing a couple that had decided to bring their infant into the theater was chided to the point that their harassment overwhelmed any disturbance that their own inconsiderate choice created. At one point a man turned around a yelled “Shut-UP!” directly at the mother of the baby. While I cannot say that I have never been guilty of such myself, it was clear that the screamer had more invested in punishing the parents by embarrassment than he did in protecting his, and the other patrons right to watch a film in peace after shelling out nearly double the state minimum hourly wage to watch it.
The movie took us on a journey that was stark, disturbing, unglorified, and al together foreign. At the end, the violence on the screen was never given the chance to sink in, or our own reality a chance to come back into focus, because the parents and the screamer got into a near brawl over each of their showings of disrespect. It quickly turned into a battle of the lowest common denominator of name-calling, “Bitch” to the mother holding the infant, “Fag” to the societal cop and his boyfriend.
Something is wrong with the world this weekend. I can’t put my finger on it, but something in the air is really, just not right.