A Disgusting Event

From: Phil Osborn (philosborn@altavista.com)
Date: Sun Dec 23 2001 - 15:41:41 MST

Just got back from driving uselessly to one of the local Edwards Theatres, intending to watch "Vanilla Sky." Useless, as I drive a motorcycle and normally carry a backpack with my current reading material, tools, vitamins, flashlight, sunblocker, and a host of lesser useful items. My bike is not designed to use a lockbox - the frame is poorly suited for it, and a previous bike of the same model suffered long-term metal fatigue failure when I tried it.

Edwards now has handwritten signs posted in apparently all of its theatres warning prospective patrons that backpacks and packages are not allowed in the theatre. Now I have not heard of any incidents of bombs or whatever terrorist devices being carried into theatres in backbacks in the U.S. Perhaps this will change, now that Edwards is promoting the idea.

Meanwhile, this means that I will be boycotting Edwards, and going to all the motorcyclist sites to encourage them to join in. (Of course, other groups - bus riders, kids left at the mall, etc. - will also be impacted, but motorcyclists are organized and have a rep for not putting up with crap.)

I suppose this could be taken as a sign of the general craziness following 911, like all the people draping flags over every available surface to show solidarity. Edwards, however, has recently been in Bankruptcy proceedings and a following buy out by some billionaire who is supposedly going to turn things around. This after years of uselessly throwing enormous sums of money at everything but providing a satisfying movie experience. I shudder to think of all the times I've gotten my money back at an Edwards Theatre due to the picture being out of focus or off screen or missing sound or ruined by people making loud running commentaries. AMC generally does a much better job, but that means a much longer trip for me and fewer options.

So, I hypothesize that this is as much as anything a reflection of the state of the U.S. economy, where the people in charge are typically not the most competent - or even in the first four or five tiers of competence. Instead, they are the people who are best at playing the managerial games, meaning making the investment houses and bankers happy, among other non-productive wastes of energy and assets.

And whenever it hits the fan, when their incompetence has finally dragged a company down to bankruptcy, usually over a period of many years, during which they and their lawyers excelled at keeping out competent competition (altho Enron sure went fast!), then these same idiots end up once more on top when the new owners step in.

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