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Chris Hicks: Cell-phone lights and brain-cell loss — how annoying

SHARE Chris Hicks: Cell-phone lights and brain-cell loss — how annoying

Have you seen the latest cell-phone phenomenon? In movie theaters, that is.

Aside from the odd moviegoer who lets his phone ring during the movie — and the even odder moviegoer who actually takes the call — there is now a more common, growing distraction: the little blue light.

I've been to movies where four or five blue cell-phone lights pop up around the theater — off and on throughout the movie!

Granted, many of today's pictures aren't as interesting as they could be . . . but do this many people really feel compelled to answer the vibrating ring or check the time or play a game or whatever the heck it is that they're doing after they've paid too much money to go to a movie?

And here are some other meanderings that have lately been on my so-called mind.

IS ANYTHING WORSE than reading about age discrimination, and then discovering that the victim is your age?

I was quite upset to read that Bob Edwards — whose familiar, comforting voice on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" (broadcast locally on KUER, FM-90) often accompanies my daily drive into the city — got the boot. More accurately, he's being removed from that anchor position and will become a senior correspondent. Emphasis on senior.

All of this is effective April 30, nine months before Edwards' 25th anniversary as "Morning Edition" host, and apparently mirrors the industry's trend toward putting younger personalities on the air. (Not just radio, of course, but in the news and entertainment industry at large.)

Apparently, Edwards was not hesitant about saying publicly that he was not making this shift by choice, although he has accepted it.

As a regular NPR listener — at least until April 30 — I'm saddened by this news. Not that they'll care if I go elsewhere. I've long been too old for their desired demographic.

Edwards is 56 years old. I'm 55; I'll be 56 later this year.

Don't tell my boss.

LAST WEEK IN this column, I wrote about "The Ladykillers," and of the supporting character played by "Damon Wayans." That should have been Marlon Wayans, of course.

I knew Marlon was the actor in that movie. And though I looked at last week's page a couple of times before it went to print, I didn't notice the error until I saw it at home in the Friday morning paper.

I sounded like Homer Simpson as I choked on my cereal: "D'oh!"

I really do know each of the Wayans brothers — Marlon, Damon, Keenan Ivory and Shawn. And I know their sister Kim.

On the other hand, I sometimes confuse "Ladykillers" filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (even though I've interviewed them face to face).

And don't get me started on the Farrelley brothers ("There's Something About Mary,") or the Wachowski brothers (the "Matrix" films). If any of them walked up to me and introduced themselves, I'd still get them confused.

Actually, I'm a bit surprised no one has e-mailed me about this mistake. Usually, I get any number of e-mails about mistakes I make. (And sometimes about mistakes I didn't make.)

But this time no one seems to have noticed. I don't know if that means that no one knows which Wayans is which, or no one reads this column.

After all, it's written by an old guy who's fallen off the demographic.

Don't tell my boss.

SOMETIMES WHEN I rant about the dispiriting state of modern filmmaking, or how vulgar films have become — especially films aimed at young people — I wonder if I'm the only one in this business who feels that way. So it's validating to see something similar in the national press from time to time.

Here, for example is Rob Lowman's take in the Los Angeles Daily News on the recent DVD release of "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat":

"Cleverness has been sacrificed for lowbrow scatological jokes. (There are some in Hollywood who should pick up a psychology book or two to try to understand this fetish — or better, simply seek therapy.)"


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com