A humorous start to this rendition of "4 Organs" by Steve Reich. One of the keyboardists accidentally sets off one his keyboard's built in rhythm patterns just as the piece starts, much to the embarrassment of all band members. Hilarity ensues etc... but is the music itself enough to cause mass murder? [crashensemble.com]
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And of course there was the gun talk, oh god yes, the gun talk: "I saw a gun once; I'm an expert." "In America, you can just walk into Wal-Mart and buy Ak-47s, along with your corn dogs and sticks of butter." "Ban the gun, the guns did it, arrest the gun for murder!"
And for balance we had the lunatics on the other side arguing that if everyone in the cinema had a gun, no one would have died. Let's see, a pitch-black cinema with everyone firing at anything they see moving. What could possibly go wrong! I can see the same American psyche at work here, as with affairs regarding foreign policy on areas of conflict (par ex. Syria). The notion that just sticking more guns into a troubled zone will cure all. That logic I can at least follow, it's the "anti-gun but pro NATO carpet bombing" people that I don't get. But anyway, that's neither here nor there.
What I wanted to originally say (in about 3 lines or less) is that films can't be blamed for people erupting into murderous rage, or at the very least, it's nothing new. I am reminded of an article I once read, about five riots at the performances of controversial classical music. The image of the old-woman-shoe-banger who got upset, at the aforementioned "4 Organs" piece, stuck in my mind...
1973: Steve Reich Sets Off Carnegie Hall Commotion
Carnegie Hall has been the scene of occasional disturbances. In 1973, a Boston Symphony concert featuring standard fare by Mozart and Liszt also included Steve Reich's minimalist classic Four Organs. The repetitive nature of the music provoked an outcry from some audience members, including an elderly woman strode to the front of the hall, removed her shoe and bludgeoned the lip of the stage with it, demanding that the ruckus stop.
"The audience made at least three serious attempts to halt the piece," conductor Michael Tilson Thomas remembered in a 1980s interview. "They made so much noise that I had to yell the numbers - I had to look over at Steve and mouth very loudly '17, 18, 19' or whatever count we were on. We kept going, even though people were having fist-fights in the audience." [wqxr.org]There's a lot of talk about what could have been done to prevent the tragic shooting incident: ban the gun, ban the cinema, ban the mentally ill ... it's simple: we ban the Batman.