I made the arduous river-crossing into Boston last night and headed over to the Fenway theater for what would ultimately be a futile attempt to see Race Across The Sky 2010.
Race Across The Sky Part Two...this time it's different. Sort of...OK, fine...not really. It's pretty much the same except Lance didn't do it...which sucks, we know. Wait! Come back. Please?
I rode my bike in the rain to the subway, got totally soaked, then sat next to a woman on the train who stared at my soggy crotch, probably thinking I'd wet my pants. I wanted to explain to her that, for once in my life I hadn't really wet my pants, that it was just water. But I couldn't pull myself together and stop bawling long enough to do so. I'm always happy to ride the train too, it's such an ideal place to catch the plague. So when I got to Fenway, I was already 100% stoked and ready to watch another movie about what, to me, seems like the worst mountain bike race on the planet short of La Ruta. More on that in a minute.
Things started off well enough, Dave Towle was up there on screen hosting a panel discussion with JHK, Levi, Rebecca Rusch, Dave Wiens, and some other dudes in front of a live audience. I guess the deal was that, last week, when RATS (hey, that's the appropriate acronym) 2010 premiered, this panel discussion was actually live...that's my understanding anyway. (I'm good at understanding things too. It only took me five viewings to figure out the plot of Anchorman.) Problem with the "live" business was that the movie was coming to the theater via satellite and it got disrupted somehow, leaving the 50 people in the theater staring at a blank screen, listening to broken audio...or nothing.
50 people...I found out that RATS 2010 (I'm just going to keep saying it now, like a two-year-old that just learned the word "cucka.") was premiering last week, just a few hours before the show time. On any other night I would have jumped on it, because I would have been sitting at home like my loser-self, waiting for something to do, but no! On that night I had plans to go (by my loser-self) to the premiere of Life Cycles.
The only two mountain bike film premieres, in theaters, all year-long, that I know of...and they're on the same feckin' night. Who plans these things? It was like the Gallipoli of mountain bike movie premiere planning.
And, apparently these sort of aforementioned technical problems don't just arise when the film is live, because the same crap happened again. Did I say "staring at a blank screen, listening to broken audio...or nothing" back there? Because we weren't listening to nothing; we were listening to the incessant whining of several of the other theater goers, a couple of whom were shell-shocked veterans of the previous week's fiasco. You'd think the theater manager has turned off their heat and hot water and told them that they could only send text messages that were 140 characters long.
What is it with the direct messages on Twitter? I have a hard enough time making any sense at all in 140 characters, and generally all I'm trying to do is share a link to some stupid thing I've written or come up with a slightly disturbing and (hopefully) funny one-liner. My Twitter direct messages look something like this:
It doesn't really work for me.
My apologies for conveying to the internet the one horribly offensive
act you committed this week that you did not want publisi—
The service the RATS 2010 folks are using to convey their film to theaters is called Fathom and apparently it's kind of total shit. This fact is driven home when the picture freezes and what you end up looking at is not all that dissimilar from what you see when you pause your DVR at home.
These days, when you're paying $12 or more to see a movie, the suspension of disbelief must be maintained...the suspension of disbelief that you are not watching a slightly-larger-than-normal-television.
After about the third time the film stalled, I decided to take the free pass and the refund of my admission that the flustered manager had been offering for a while. I think some of the other patrons held out for compensatory and punitive damages. The manager did tell me, as we walked out, that they had successfully shown a LIVE Bon Jovi concert using the same service that had failed so miserably for RATS 2010. I told him that, even though we had only seen a cumulative fifteen minutes of this film, that it was still more of a success than showing an ENTIRE Bon Jovi concert. He didn't get it.
I debated with Natasha and Chris for a while as to whether we should take the free passes and head to a showing of Red, but we opted for the guaranteed good time of Beer instead. Probably a wise choice given we could only come up with three Bruce Willis movies, between the three of us, that didn't suck...that's one per person...and one of those was The Fifth Element.
At one point, over beers, Chris asked me if I'd ever done Leadville or if I'd ever do it. "No and no fucking way" I replied. "It's a stupid, overrated, hyped-up, out-and-back, gravel road race, with zero singletrack, all above 10,000 feet, that you have to enter a lottery to get into. There are plenty of hundred milers out there that don't suck that you can actually get into."
"Wow, you're kind of a dick" Chris thought to himself.
If I were as witty in person as I allegedly am in print, I would have gone on to say:
"People who think Leadville is awesome are like the Tea Baggers of the mountain bike racing world, they think that if they keep saying something that isn't true over and over again, long enough, it will become true — "Leadville is the BEST!" "Global warming is a HOAX!" "Leadville is AWESOME!" "Obama is a MUSLIM-SOCIALIST-FASCIST!"
Wow, I am a dick.
"You're not pirating this are you?"
"Yup, do you realize the street value of videos of blank screens taken with point and shoot cameras?"