Notes from the back row 

The new youth entertainment

They figured it out by themselves and now I’ve got that teeth-clenching, wincing feeling that arcs through your frontal lobe when you realize you’re way behind on a good idea. We don’t need snow, the kids have already figured out a way to lure people here for spring break – public fighting is the answer. I’m talking all out street brawling, drunken or not – shit it’s happening anyhow. Just last night I watched a handful of 19 year olds "go" at a group of young guests.

And did anyone catch the near-riot in front of the bookstore Sunday night? Fifteen people, brass knuckles, large rocks and shattered storefront windows; all this at 7 p.m. It was pure, unfiltered entertainment and, by god, we need to find a way to harness this phenomena and market it. Construct a giant cage in the Village Square, show Fight Club three times a night at Millennium Place and give the ticket fees to charity. Maybe start thinking about a liquor sponsor. These over aggressive youths are a cash cow waiting to be milked. By hosting brawls and royal rumbles this town can probably sustain itself all the way into slow season.

Personally I’m blaming Sandra Bullock. Her latest film, Miss Congeniality 2 is influencing our youth and encouraging them to be violent towards each other. She’s so bad she just makes people want to hit things, hard.

Or maybe it’s racial prejudice fuelling the violence. If so, don’t let anyone see the new Ashton Kutcher vehicle Guess Who? which opens this Friday at the Village 8. It’s a feel-good comedy about a white dude going home with his black girlfriend to meet her parents. Bernie Mac plays the overly protective, not-all-that-sold-on-Whitey father figure. Basically Mac’s role is a rehashing of The Fresh Prince’s Uncle Phillip Banks and Bill Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable but a bit more badass and with that Bernie Mac cynicism.

In any case it makes a nice foil to Kutcher’s Howdy Doody character and the film, while staying pretty tame and light, manages to avoid enough stereotypes and carry enough humour to drive its point home – that despite our differences, be they racial, class, or age related, people are people and a father will always love and overprotect his daughter. And of course love prevails in the end, as it always does in the movies.

Really though, I’d suggest not letting anyone under the age of 35 watch this film in case they get the wrong idea and stop fighting. It’d be a real tragedy if our "youths" realized that just because someone is different doesn’t mean we’re better. We could lose one or two cage matches a weekend if this truism gets out. Then we’d have to resort to the old faithfuls for our violent entertainment. Never-fail conflict starters like who was ahead in the 2 a.m. pizza lineup, or who’s been in town longer. It’d be a real tragedy to lose that precious slow season street brawling income and if people stopped coming here to fight or watch, well, what else could we possibly find for them to do in our quiet mountain town?

AT VILLAGE 8 March 25-31: Guess Who; Bride and Prejudice; Hitch; Hotel Rwanda; Sideways; Million Dollar Baby; Be Cool; Hostage; Ring 2; Miss Congeniality 2; Robots.

AT RAINBOW THEATRE March 25-31: Racing Stripes; Meet the Fockers.

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