Some years ago I had a friend from England, and we were having a conversation one afternoon. My friend had traveled the world extensively and she said when she first came to the US she was utterly shocked by how many laws and rules our country has. She told me she had never been to a country that had so many.
Over the years I have had occasion to remember that conversation because it's true. Tonight while watching 60 Minutes I thought about that again. There was a segment on pirated movies. Now I had no idea this was such a large scale issue, and I really can't imagine why anyone would want to watch a pirated movie. The quality would have to be poor and movie rentals are so inexpensive that I don't see the point. It's hard to imagine this is such a big business for criminals, but I guess it must be.
In fact they went on to say that big drug cartels are doing this as a side line and put their logo stickers on the DVD cases. I am not sure what was said in the few minutes after that because I couldn't get my brain to process the fact that drug cartels actually have their own logos. It's still hard to imagine that.
At any rate, during the segment it showed people going to a theater and being wanded and having their purses and personal effects searched for cameras on the way in. They even went so far as to take their phones until they were ready to leave. I have to say I found that more disturbing than the fact that people were actually filming movies in theaters. Now that doesn't mean I am in ANY WAY condoning illegally obtaining movies, because as an artist I would never condone theft of artistic property...or any property for that matter. But I was taught not to steal as a kid.
I did a show in Hawaii about ten years ago, and they searched my purse when I went through the airport security. I certainly have nothing to hide in my purse, but I remember the guard feeling and actually looking inside the wrappers of my feminine products. Aside from the creepy, unsanitary nature of that, did the guy really think I had a bomb in there? It would have had to have been an incredibly flat bomb.
As you know if you fly these days you are automatically treated as an inconvenience and shown no respect of any kind. I know these things are done as a safety precaution, but I still can't help feeling invaded by it. There are so many places where you have to go through a metal detector or get wanded before you enter.
How many times have we all gone through the detectors in a department store and had one go off because a security tag wasn't removed or deactivated properly on an item we legitimately purchased? It's just embarrassing, and it's not our fault.
They say that the piracy of movies is causing the sales of theater tickets to go down. Maybe...although I don't know anyone who would watch one of those. I guess the number of people doing this is so vast that it means it's ok to institute yet another rule in this country that automatically treats us all as criminals even when we aren't. (Which I find ironic since the police won't even come if you call about an intruder unless they actually enter your house. It seems as if we went terribly wrong in our justice system somewhere doesn't it?) So much for innocent until proven guilty. But I can assure you if you are to be treated like a criminal as the norm when you go in, there will one less theater ticket sold for every movie I might have wanted to see. I will wait for DVD rental...which in my opinion is probably a much larger reason why theater ticket sales have gone down than stolen movies with poor resolution.