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Texans Against Texting: Remember the Alamo Draft House

It happens in the screenings I generally go to, which are mostly for critics and media types. It happens in theaters I go to that you also go to, arthouses and multiplexes: fireflies to the left of you, fireflies to the right--and front and side. Once, with my kids at the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street in Manhattan, I was entranced by a brilliant, wordless piece that began in absolute darkness with intermittent flashes of light on stage, with briefly illuminated rectangles and circles and the vague outlines of performers in motion--and then, one seat beside me, there came the competing glow of a woman busily texting. "PUT THE FUCKING PHONE AWAY," quoth I. She did, but the spell was broken. (Yes, it was broken as much by my potty mouth as her selfishness, but she provoked me.) On one level, I feel sad for people who can't be absorbed anymore in a movie or play or concert, who anxiously wonder if anyone in the outside world (from which they're allegedly trying to escape) is writing to them or thinking of them. But not that sad. Mostly, I think they should be tossed out on their disrespectful hineys. Which is why I encourage you to watch this delicious video by the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, send the people behind it a fan letter, and adopt their splendid intolerance. The Constitution of the Magnited or United States of America gives no one the right to interfere with the enjoyment of others in a movie house. Remember the Alamo!

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