Not content with murdering just the 3.5 mm headphone jack, Apple’s war on music will open a new front against movies with a rumored iPhone 8 “theater mode.”
According to Sonny Dickson, who The Guardian (an avowed enemy of cinema ever since Arwa Mahdawi’s column defending mobile phones in theaters) describes as a “serial Apple leaker,” the next iOS update (10.3), will add a popcorn-shaped icon to the iPhone control center. What happens when activated is a little unclear (this is a leak after all), but presumably it would dim the screen, disable sounds and limit or screen incoming notifications.
But mostly what the new iOS 10.3 and iPhone 8 “theater mode” will accomplish is emboldening discourteous buttholes everywhere.
There is no amount of light projected from a screen that’s acceptable to activate during a movie.
The excuses are all bad. Though most theater phone abusers are texting, everyone first mentions emergencies. This is the rhetorical equivalent of the ticking time bomb scenario so often used to justify torture. You’re not on your phone because of an emergency. This is nothing more than an excuse for barbarism. There were emergencies before mobile phones too, yet people somehow survived Jurassic Park’s two hours and seven minutes.
You’re on your phone because you’re a selfish dick whose humanity has been so eroded by the constant attention of your algorithmic feeds that you can’t live without the constant ego reinforcement of your phone’s attention. You have let the machines decimate you and now you are something less than human: the biological stump at the end of a credit card and a lump of rare earth metals.
Apple doesn’t get to manufacture you a new excuse. They may own your thoughts, but they have no mandate in the real world, no capacity to manufacture a new standard for what is and isn’t acceptable around your fellow humans who paid to see a movie. And when someone smashes your dumb phone to that sticky theater floor, you’ll deserve it.