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I live in movie theatres; my life is defined by film. Entering a darkened theatre I feel cocooned, protected from the heat of politics, problems, weather; with my ticket comes a respite from what troubles me or the woes, aches of the world. Also, never alone, surrounded by strangers, regardless of demographics all there, sharing, sinking into the luxurious oblivion of fictional, non-fictional, fantastical, vibrating characters that briefly allow one to invade, conquer, question, judge actions unrelated to the issues left outside the confines, anonymity of theatres; glorious freedom from one’s self; two hours to be in the shoes of those more or less fortunate, richer, poorer, dumber, wiser; a drug, an aphrodisiac that temporarily relieves reality, gifts perspective.

All that was sacrosanct about movie theatres was killed , massacred, Friday July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado; and its devastation will reverberate universally; no theatre in the world is left unscathed by this heinous crime; citadels of dreams are now harbingers of nightmares. Aurora, Colorado where whim, wonder and magic died. There are no answers, just victims.

I was between films when a friend informed me that my world had changed; sick, sick, catastrophically bewildered; shamed that a citizen of the the United States, with a Constitution written hundreds of years ago, still applicable today, could perpetrate a crime that dealt a death knoll to the one arena where diversity, strife, are momentarily placed in abeyance, substituted by a common desire: entertainment. 

One inalienable fact is concrete: I will not allow a deranged, psychopath to determine or intimidate my life, goals, passions; I will not follow his trial, read his manifesto, or question his megalomaniac motives. I will view and review “The Dark Knight Rises”; I will not wear a mask or costume; I will optimistically trust my fellow attendees; castrating the pallor of gloom that violates reason. 

This is a momentary black blip for movie- goers but in the words of a Jewish proverb, “I ask not for a lighter burden, but broader shoulders”.  Those shoulders will expand with every feature, on every screen, visited by individuals who refuse to be reduced, frightened, diminished by the demented.



  1. Well written, my friend.

  2. WELL SAID………!

  3. Brilliantly stated. Sheila

  4. So well said, as always

  5. Yes, well said. Thank you.

  6. Your brave wise words offer light at a dark time. This heinous act once again reminded us that we have to do something about the scourge of guns. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before there is another nauseating demonstration of destruction.

  7. Sherry Fascetta

    Dear Pen,
    You made me weep.

  8. Well said is riight, thank you for not giving in to this horror, looking forward to your next review.

  9. Beautifully written.
    Such a sad time.
    xox, Carole

  10. Your words are so moving. What a gift you have and what a gift you are…..These guns!!!these guns!!!

  11. Well staed my friend.

    The real story is two-fold…

    1. Almost no public and semi-public space is safe from madness such as this.

    2. It needs to be remembered that almost 308 million other U.S. citizens spent July 20th among one another with relativley little violence and a good deal of harmony. Perspective. The media could use some here.

  12. Are guns the problem? Or are evil people the problem?

  13. A beautiful and fitting acknowledgement of this event. Thank you for articulating it all so well. And agree with Paul on both of his points. No public space is risk-proof. Though to Peneflix’s last point, here’s to broadening shoulders!

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