About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Odd Job Wins

Dear Mr. Biederman:

I have never missed a year at the HBO Bryant Park Film Festival, but on account of your new security procedures, which cannot be justified, this year I will not attend.

Let me be blunt, here. In 2002, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, all years after 9/11, I was able to take a seat on the lawn and enjoy the film festival without going to an armed camp. Which is the way it should be. The line for the bag check is a soft target. Like people coming off a train at Grand Central or Macy’s on a busy day or the Sheep Meadow or the subway. I don’t feel more secure because you turn the Lawn into a barricaded camp, I wonder why there’s so much security and start to think it must be dangerous. To me, the Film Festival is a more menacing and dangerous place in 2010 than in any year before, because Bryant Park is acting like it’s a dangerous and menacing thing.

Did I worry occasionally over the past ten years sitting on the Bryant Park lawn once or twice a year for a movie that I could be killed if the person next to me had a bomb in their wine and cheese? Yes! But I live my life. After debating if I need the indignity of a bag search to enjoy myself on the Bryant Park lawn for a movie, I realized that if I had to think about it that long then it clearly wasn’t worth the invasion of my privacy.

I don’t know why you feel you need to do this now, but you don’t. Just say “no.” Challenge the mind set that acts like we’re safer because we waste time giving photo IDs to get visitor passes at anonymous office buildings with anonymous companies that nobody gives a shit about. Challenge the mind set that says it was OK for me to knowingly risk being blown up during Superman: The Movie in 2008 but that I can’t be an adult in 2010 and choose to see Goldfinger with 5,000 fellow New Yorkers all looking for a pleasant evening.

Every time our enemies add frictional time and frictional expense to our daily lives by forcing us through this bullshit -- yes, they’ve won. And your bag check, it wouldn’t catch Odd Job. His hat would get right through your bag check. It’s a sad day for NYC that I don’t feel safe and secure and comfortable going to watch a movie tonight.

JOSHUA BILMES
jabagent@aol.com

1 comment:

David Wenk said...

Hear hear. It is doubtful that this sort of increased "security" makes us safer. That it disrupts our day-to-day affairs, propagates paralyzing paranoia, and generally degrades our quality of life, is unquestionable.