A PSA about Don’t Talking and Being an Ass

Listen to this post:

There’s a fabulous movie theater back in Austin that I miss a ton, The Alamo Drafthouse. Great movies, delicious food, and a courteous waitstaff that takes your orders and brings your food during the film without distracting or disrupting. We have the real food at the movies here in Portland, but it’s nothing like the Alamo because you have to stand in line ahead of time to buy it. And if you want more, you have to get up and leave the movie. Eek! So, kudos to you, Alamo Drafthouse!

But this post isn’t a commercial for the Drafthouse. It’s a commercial about a commercial I made for the Drafthouse. They have very delightful PSAs that they screen before features where different people of varying levels of fame and silliness roll out the theater’s strict policy on being quiet: “Don’t talk, or we’ll throw your ass out.” I was asked to make one specifically to screen at the 2014 Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival.

As I planned out the concept I thought about how sometimes talking in the theater is about disability access, say if you’re verbally describing something visual to a person who doesn’t see the action onscreen. Of course that’s allowed because that’s typically so quiet that it’s not the kind of talking that makes the Alamo mad. At the same time, I didn’t see any mention or image of disability identity or culture in the previous PSAs, so mine is all all all about disability and access. Part of disability culture is asserting that we have the right to seek and receive accommodations (such as audio description or ASL interpretation whether you’re Deaf or have a hearing disability) and also recognizing that we are not so fragile and special that we should be allowed to break all the rules all the time and get away with it. My good friend, William L. Alton lives with severe mental illness. He likes to say, “It’s OK to be crazy. It’s not OK to be an a-[bleep].”

With that, I give you this captioned PSA, “Don’t Talk Or We’ll Throw Your Ass Out,” crip style.