We measure how many degrees separate us from that place or person because somehow that makes the tragedy more real for us. We draw that connection lest we become desensitized to just another one of the horrifying stories we hear each day and lose one more ounce of our humanity.
For those of us who work in the entertainment industry, we’ll have one more degree of closeness to discuss around the water cooler and over drinks at El Torito. Because, in a way, this happened in our house; very real violence snuck into the escapist oasis of a movie theater, where reality is supposed to check itself at the door when the lights go down.
When I asked my co-workers what this might mean to our industry, how we should respond, the responses were similar and not about Hollywood.
“No impact whatsoever,” Jason Barios told me when I asked if this would change anything. “An opportunistic psychopath chose a crowded venue that could have been any number of different places.”
It happened 20 minutes down the road from Aurora at Columbine High School. It’s happened at an Army base, fast-food restaurants, community centers and political social gatherings. In Virginia, Texas and Arizona. Only time will tell why this particular madman chose a crowded theater and this particular movie. But it won’t really matter.
“There may be many ticking time bombs out there waiting for their moment of crime,” Hopi Marcum told me. “The world will always offer the best and the worst of life, and it is our job to put more in the good basket … help God out as much as we can.”
In other words, it’s not about the movie. It’s not about the theater or box-office receipts; it’s not about guns, how fast they can shoot or the number of bullets in each gun.