If there's one thing you need to know when you go to the movies, it's what the person sitting three rows behind you thinks.
I confess that when I'm at a movie theater, rare is the occasion when I don't hear someone talking out loud because, well, this is America and that's what we do.
Some movie theaters in China have decided on offering these talkers -- especially tech-obsessed youths -- an outlet for the constant voice in their heads.
They're offering so-called bullet screens. These are sections of the theater screens that accommodate texts sent by members of the audience. (Who are, of course, charged for the privilege.)
Allowing them to do it in theaters is merely an extension of this urge to be part of the chattering classes.
The Reporter offers that, though this is now merely an experiment, one movie director, Shen Leping, describes these bullet screens as "putting the director and viewer on equal terms."
This would surely only be the case if the director could post texts such as "I only made this garbage to pay for my divorce." Or: "I made this movie for teen boys whose brains are driven by vast chemical changes and whose opinions matter to me less than those of Vladimir Putin's chest hair."
Certain words and phrases are, of course, banned on Chinese bullet screens. But if the idea came to America, the possibilities would be boundless.
Please imagine the texted or IM'd discourse of your average teen being displayed there on high. Wouldn't this be more riveting than yet another movie about Woody Allen's personal life?
Emma Stone and Colin Firth?!!! LOL. ROFL. LMFAO.
And should you be watching a summer blockbuster, what could be more uplifting than all the noise and special effects being enhanced by a text from a pimply boy musing: "Yeah!!!! Take that, scumbag!!!!"
Ever since engineers took over society's reins, we've been told there are no limits to interactivity.
I can definitely foresee a time when people go to the movies not so much to see the movie, but to see, quite literally, what people think about it.