Cinema Etiquette

At the beginning of this year, apparently like most people in the world, I ventured to the cinema to see La La Land, and yes, whilst it was amazing it is not the point of this post. I’ve always loved movies and cinema but I’ve long stopped getting dressed to enjoy my slice of Hollywood. And not because I don’t want to. But as a poor student I always chose that next bottle of vodka over an extortionately priced ticket. Like many in my generation, I favoured online film watching; the comfort of watching whatever you wanted in sweat pants, in bed, eating pizza. You remember the golden days before Netflix blocked VPNs? Why would you ever get showered and go the cinema? But I’ve recently decided I’d like to start going the cinema more frequently. Call it the adult in me since graduating. I’m trying to navigate proper society now and apparently that means you have to leave the house. Who knew? But in my expeditions so far to a variety of Odeons, Vues and independent cinemas I’ve noticed something quite distressing. People are annoying. And for a select few it seems no one has ever taught them how to behave in civilised society.

Watching a movie in public shouldn’t be difficult. Or am I just being naïve to assume everyone’s parents gave them good manners like mine? And we all know the irritating culprits. The ones who slurp their drinks, munch their popcorn, rustle their wrappers, check their phones, repeatedly go the toilet, kick people’s chairs and worst of all, the ones who decide the climax of the movie is the best, most suitable time to have a heart-to-heart with their friend. Plain and simple, mate. People are stupid.

So what is simple cinema etiquette? Couldn’t be more simple. Act like a functioning, polite being, not a neanderthal. Make the journey to your chair with minimum disruption to others around you and zip that mouth from the second the lights go down until the moment the credits roll. The expected polite laugh or silent cry is allowed. If you’re a loud eater, please satisfy your hunger before or after the showing. If you need the toilet constantly or at least once within a two hour period, sit on the end. If you feel the need to get your phone out of your pocket then please do, place it under your foot and stamp on it. You’re doing us all a favour really. And if you want to kick someone’s chair, sit on the front row where you won’t be tempted. If you don’t want to sit on the front row because the view is terrible and neck-breaking then learn to act like a grown up and maybe you can come back to the top.

Savvy?

If you think you can adhere to these easy human niceties then please come to the cinema often and enjoy the film. If not, I guess you can watch a bad pirate copy online and when the black silhouette stands up to go the bathroom and you moan just remember that’s why you’re sat at home, alone.

What You Know – Two Door Cinema Club (See what I did there?)

Dare to Change

I think one of the hardest things is recognising and admitting that we need to change. That we need to improve in some way in a certain aspect of our life. It’s not that we think we’re perfect. It’s just that change is hard. It’s difficult and it takes dedication. I mean, who’s got the time? But once you notice the quirk or habit that annoys you it isn’t going to go away. So change.

Something I’ve thought about myself for quite a while now is that I have great intentions and not much follow through. This ironically is one of the things I hate most about myself. I envision these changes for myself and I can see vividly my new and improved life but damn, it’s so easy to just stay here in the comfort of the present. Whether it’s getting healthy, getting writing or getting saving the lazy version of myself would much prefer to eat those crisps, watch that movie or go on that book-buying spree. But you’ve got to ask yourself: what did that achieve? And I know the answer already. Literally nothing. Momentary, fleeting satisfaction. It’s about self-control, I think. And self-respect. Will-power. Willingness to be better.

The reason it’s frustrating is because we are in control of what happens to us. As All The Luck In The World say ‘all you have to do in life is die, everything else is a choice’. And they’re right, of course. It’s choice. We choose to stagnate, to hit a rut, to swim in dissatisfaction. We don’t love ourselves enough to treat ourselves differently. To choose another path. At least I don’t. But change shouldn’t be a scary word. Ever.

And I’d like to be better. Do better.

So how? Just do it. Easier said than done but that’s an important first step. Assertively say that you are making the decision to change, grow, evolve, improve. Now. Just know whole-heartedly in your very being that the way you daydream your life being is the one you’re making a reality. And then the hard part: actually do it. Take it day by day and, depending on what it is, make little goals and take small steps at the start. You don’t want to crash and burn like all those new years resolution types. This is a lifestyle change. A lifelong change. So treat it seriously and with respect. Give it time to manifest. Make it your routine. Make one simple, small, insignificant change. Once that is ingrained add a little more. This could be over one week or three months, the timescale is yours. Do what needs to be done for you. You are the creator.

Eventually you’ll embody the change you wanted to see and then you can move on to the next project. This isn’t about stripping yourself down to bare all your faults. Don’t listen to other people’s opinions and don’t change out of obligation or fear. This is about reevaluating your life and admitting what isn’t working for you and then trying something different. It’s about adventure, discovery, variety, wellbeing. It’s about challenging yourself, educating yourself. And what else do we ever want? It’s about happiness.

So I’m taking my own advice. Are you?

Conquer – All The Luck In The World

Tattoo Origins: CRSN

Claire. Rachel. Sarah. Neil. What can I say? They’re my siblings. They feel more like limbs. From the day my memories stretch back they were always there. To imagine a life without them would be inconceivable. I would be a shell, empty. A shadow of my former self. They’ve made my life infinitely better and I’ll always be grateful. I’m so excited to experience the rest of my life with them. Maybe this sounds dramatic or weird to people who see their siblings as just familial responsibility. But that’s not who we are. We’re best friends. We’ve really cashed in on the ‘built-in best friend’ concept over the years. But why did I get the tattoo? I don’t know if I’ve ever really thought of it logically. Because they’re my favourite people in the world. I want them always to be near me even when we’re geographically apart. Because if you’re going to ink something on to your body forever it should probably be something pretty important. Why the initials? CRSN is how my mum would always sign joint presents. CRSN is just who we are. Us, the four. We’re almost one entity. We’re simultaneously the same and widely different. But that’s why it works with us. But why do you have your own name too and not just CRN? Simple, they said I could only have it if I put my name in too. It looked incomplete without. Of course I asked for their permission. It is their names I’ve inked onto myself for eternity, makes sense that they should get a say.

— — —

It was my first tattoo. I sat in a small store with my sister next to me, my disagreeing but ever-supportive dad sat in the car outside. Claire, she loves tattoos just as much as me. Except where I like scripture she prefers symbols. Something you should know about Claire is that she’s terrified of cats. Totally irrational but hey, who are we to judge other people’s fears? At least a cat is bigger than a fucking spider. Regardless, she came with me because she’d already had a few tattoos and she wanted to make sure I was okay. Well anyway, we sit down in the artist’s room, he’s very nice, he cleans my arm, puts the print on and checks I’m happy with it in the mirror. Mere seconds after he has began inking I notice something behind Claire. She’s facing me, talking animatedly about who knows what, when a ginger cat just casually strolls behind her. She knew it. She could read it in my face, I couldn’t hide it. She turned and tensed. She spoke to me through her facial expressions. ‘Don’t say anything’. She didn’t want to make a scene. I think she probably wanted to scream and run outside but didn’t want me to have a black wobbly line down my arm for the rest of my life. Turns out it’s the shop’s cat. He had more right to be there than us. She held her breath and luckily my tattoo is reasonably small. We got out of the shop unscathed. She was fine but it makes me smile to recall it. Means I’ll never forget the adventure of my first tattoo experience. When we got in the car I think she needed more comfort from my dad than I did. I just sat in the back with a grin on my face staring at the ink I’d been imagining for years. It didn’t give me much pain and the guy even knocked off a tenner. I think because I was a fresh-faced eighteen year old. I think he wanted to get me hooked on tattoos. Whether this was the plan or not, boy, did it work.

Inaudible Melodies – Jack Johnson