This preview has NOT been approved for ANY audiences

Apr. 12, 2014 @ 09:26 PM

OK, I’m on a tear right now, and unless you’re interested in getting on it with me, I think you’d best put down this paper and maybe take a walk, eat a doughnut, or go shoe shopping. In fact, I’ll give you a slow ten-count to get yourself out of the line of fire ... I’m counting ... aaaand 10!

I went to the movies a few days ago. Just like flying, that used to be a big deal, and you dressed nicely and it was just a special evening, you know? It’s not such a big deal now, any more than flying is a big deal, certainly not something you dress up for, in fact for some folks it’s just a really dark place to talk on your cellphone.  But, it’s still special to me.
I like to get there early because the parking is often such a riveting challenge -- who will be the one driver lucky enough to spot an old lady who’s inching her way to her car? Who will see the flash of backup lights one row over and be the first to screech into position behind them? It’s a thrill, really. I also get there early so that I can buy popcorn and a Coke Zero and -- if my jeans are really huge -- a big box of Milk Duds. Then, I need to find a good seat sort of close up, because I normally forget my glasses. 
And then, and most importantly, I want to see the previews. I love watching previews. Why? Because I can get a little glimpse of movies I can look forward to, or ones I’ll never want to see, yet I still saw a little of it, sort of like a Cliff’s Notes version. I also know that I won’t be offended by gross stuff like blood, nudity or foul language, because there’s a little blurb at the beginning of each preview that says something like “This preview has been approved for all audiences,” and that shouldn’t be a trust issue.
What I am slowly discovering, however, is that it is the previews are increasingly for movies that are HORRIBLE!!! It doesn’t matter if there is no blood, nudity or foul language in the preview -- I can still clearly see that the movie itself STINKS! 
I am totally not making this up: I sat through SIX previews that day, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM was about, (a) robots and/or cyborgs who violently take over something with all kinds of explosions and assaults; (b) people from the future who can teleport here and there and viciously attack and blow things up; (c) people -- like children! -- who turn into monsters or Satanic creatures at the drop of a hat, causing brutal, ferocious physical contortions and savagery of some kind; or (d) folks who repeatedly re-live some horrifying event involving cars, buildings and people being blasted apart, erupting and just generally kabooming...over and over and over.
I just want to point out that each of these movies involves some kind of “otherworld reality”? The vampires were first.  I think it was the vampire movies and TV shows, which, inexplicably, were all the rage recently, and it built from there.
But, Vicki, you say, that’s just science fiction, it’s horror movies, what’s the big deal? The big deal, as I said above, is this: EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!!! Sure, I’ve seen previews like this before. For years, they’d be maybe one out of five. Then, there were more. And more.  And, this time it wasn’t one out of five, or two out of five, or even four out of five -- but, every one, my friend. This is a big deal. This is a very BAD big deal.
All day long our kids play games, on iPads, iPods, iPhones and laptops. Well, not just our kids, let’s be honest. The real worry is that these games -- Minecraft, Utopia Realms, Starbound, blah blah blah -- are being played by young adults. (Thrillingly, I haven’t seen anyone over 40 playing.) 
In other words, the same young adults who are slowly going to “take the helm” from us that steers the course of our country, are at this moment watching movies and playing games (almost nonstop) where you can find “diamonds” under a bunch of cubes if you don’t get killed by a zombie, repeat days of horror (where nobody really gets killed cause, hey, they come back the next day, dude!), make children’s heads morph into the devil causing dolls to kill people, fly over New York City with a jet pack and a laser weapon, and realize that you must cut your girlfriend’s head off because she’s been turned into a robot, which you discerned by looking into her newly-faked blue eyes.
This frightens the hell out of me. And, I’m not talking about the movie.

Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker.  Readers may contact her at chh@heraldsun.com, or by visiting her website at www.vickiwentz.com.