Wednesday, 1 August 2007

007 and the Jerk

I've found it very difficult to work today, knowing that my holidays are just around the corner. There are a few things I have to book for the holiday (trains can wait, tickets for European Premieres of films are slightly more important...), and I'm also still trying to figure out the best way to do this mobile email thing. It really says something when it looks like the easiest option is to cancel your current contract and switch phone service provider (both because the set-up is easier AND the cost is much cheaper)...

Seeing Goldfinger last night at the cinema was great; FACT is a great place, a mixture of cinema and art gallery, café and bar - I could happily spend a whole day there I think. The film was a digital presentation, with the file coming from the same master as last year's Bond Ultimate Edition DVD re-releases, except that this print was cleaned up and tweaked even more for the cinema to make it the absolute best possible quality. It looked and sounded and was amazing.

Since last night was a special screening, FACT decided to do something a bit special, and have a small quiz at the start. Six Bond questions, six prizes - ranging from vodka martinis at the bar to big coffee table books on the design of Bond films - and a sold out audience with a fair few Bond fans in the crowd. It was done very simply, stick your hand up if you think you know the answer, the guy introducing the film picks someone and if they got it right they got the prize. I didn't expect to have much of a chance as the questions really were very tricky.

What was more annoying was this guy, let's for sake of politeness call him the Jerk, who was sat in the front row and who was determined to try and win every prize, despite the quiz guy politely telling him to let someone else have a go. The Jerk answered the first question, winning some drinks, but after that continued to put his hand up for every question and to talk loudly after each one was answered by someone else ("I knew that!" "I really wanted that prize!"), on one occasion - the prize was two tickets for a preview screening of a new indie film - pleading with the quiz guy to let him answer because he "really, really, really" wanted to see the film.

Had he been drunk his behaviour could have been understood - though not excused - but no, he was just an insufferable Jerk.

Final question, for a limited edition Goldfinger re-release poster, and the quiz guy asks: "In Casino Royale what embassy does Bond follow a suspect into in the chase sequence?" And I know it! I can see the sign in my head, the Nambutu Embassy! I put my hand up, look around and see one or two other hands going up, but I'm sat close to the front so I'm hopeful.

"Oh! Oh! Please let me answer, I really want that poster!"

The Jerk strikes again, and this time the quiz guy groans and looks around, sees the hands, but knows that this guy is just a total nuisance and won't quit, so let's him have a go.

"Yes! Er, well, er, it's either the Nabutu or Nambutu Embassy!"

The quiz guy gave him the poster to shut him up, but I could hear a few people in the audience mumbling about it, and whereas other winners had got a little round of applause for getting a prize very few people clapped for him the second time around. Indeed, the quiz guy went so far as to announce that "the winner is in the dead centre of the front row, so if you want to throw anything at him aim for here."

People like the Jerk annoy me. I don't know how people can get past their mid-teens acting that way without coming across somebody who knocks them down a peg or two. That said, I'm just ranting about it now on here, and if it bothered me that much maybe I should have told the Jerk afterwards that I thought he was a Jerk and he should learn some manners and social graces.

But it's the same with kids messing about on street corners, or youths playing music off their mobile phones really loudly on trains - it shows a lack of consideration for other people, but very rarely do people confront inconsiderate or just plain rude people to tell them that their behaviour is not acceptable.

I think it's more than the fact that sometimes these situations feel a little bit dangerous (like the person or people who are being inconsiderate might be physically abusive) but that's not always the case and I don't think it is the main reason. If it bothers people that much, what is it about the situations that makes us feel totally unable to do anything about it?

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