Spider-Man Screws New York City
Peter Tatara - April 29, 2007
Last month, with tremendous hooplah, Columbia Pictures announced Spider-Man Week in NYC, a week-long festival of Spider-Man-themed events throughout New York leading up to the premiere of Spider-Man 3. The Bronx Zoo will have a Spider-Man scavenger hunt. The New York Public Library will have a collection of rare Spider-Man comic books on display. The Apollo Theater is hosting a Spider-Man rap contest. And the culmination of these and other events was to be free advance screenings of Spider-Man 3 in all five boroughs and the US premiere at the United Artists Kaufman Astoria Stadium 14 Cinema in Astoria, Queens, not far from Peter Parker's fictitious home -- and even closer to my actual apartment. All the screenings were said to be free and open to the public. Needless to say, I was excited, and I instantly visited the Spider-Man Week in NYC website for more information. The website only told me screening dates and times were going to be announced closer to the time of the premiere. Not satisfied, I called the Kaufman Astoria Cinema for more information. The answer I got back was the same.
So, I waited. And waited. And called. And visited spider-manweeknyc.com. The premiere, I found out, is scheduled for 7:30 PM on April 30 at the Kaufman Astoria Cinema; however, when I called up the Astoria Cinema with this data and asked about tickets, the woman at the other end of the line panicked and demanded to know where I got my information. Google. If you do enough searches, you get some douchepire (a word whose genesis must be credited to the genius of Matthew Tiberius Murphy) talking on his blog about getting hooked up with tickets through an equally-douchepirical friend. The Astoria manager snapped that the premiere was for VIPs and douchepires only.
I mentioned that the website said otherwise. She told me to check it again. So, I did, and what did I find? Only that any and all mentions of the advance public screenings had disappeared. The manager chuckled and hung up.
So, now, I don't know what to do. Do I not see Spider-Man 3 out of principle because Columbia screwed the pooch? (What the hell kind of expression is "screwed the pooch"? I mean, "screwed the pooch" is just a cute way of saying "fucked the dog." How does an expression like this enter into common usage? If it's anything like "douchepire," it was born late one night laced with horrific soju, Van Wilder: Unrated Edition, and excerpts from Drew Bowling's The Tower of Shadows.) I can't not see Spider-Man 3 because I'm a fan of Thomas Haden Church. Also, Venom should be pretty cool. I could try to crash the premiere, which is again at 7:30 PM on April 30 at the United Artists Kaufman Astoria Stadium 14 Cinema. Or, I could do my laundry, make myself a little supper, and then go to bed.
What's the moral of this story? Much like life, it's a random string of events we try to affix a meaning to to justify our own, finite existence. Enjoy.