retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Got a number of emails yesterday about a kerfuffle between the Boston Red Sox and the Miami Marlins that I thought represented a lamentable coarsening of the public discourse that can be seen in a lot of places.

MNB reader Philip Bradley wrote:

I couldn't agree with you more about our "coarsening national discourse."  This may be because I am from the older generation, retired, etc.  (Are all we retirees destined to be curmudgeons or is there perhaps some reason for it?)

Your stance on this subject is one way that you help combat the trend and for this I am most appreciative!

From another reader:

Re: the John Henry comment.  I agree with your sentiment but also keep in mind that John Henry has to pay a luxury tax to teams like Florida which don't seem to be using the tax money on player salaries, at least in his perception.

Good point. That might tick me off, too.

Regarding yesterday's discussion of the cost of movie tickets, MNB reader Steve Sullivan wrote:

This past summer, we were blessed with 3 of our granddaughters’ presence for a week ( I don’t know how someone who is only 29 can have 10 grandchildren).  We decided to go to a movie.  After a while, Poppy was almost in need of the defibrillation paddles.  It wasn’t from the excitement of the movie or even the food that I shouldn’t have been eating.  It was the cost!!   Now, I do have to mention that I’m still working and bringing home a good salary, unlike some ‘ole folks’.  After paying for the tickets (5 at $8.50) and surviving the refreshment stand (drinks, BIG boxes of candy and tanker-sized popcorn), I had the shortness of breath I usually get only when buying a house or new car. To put it into perspective, the cost of the movie and goodies was actually more than what I paid for the five of us for dinner at a sit-down family restaurant. 
I agree with the YOUNG person that cited the cost as the deterring factor when it comes to movies.  It also applies to the opposite end of the age spectrum.  (The following will show my age).  Gone are the days of the Saturday matinee.  For the most part, so are the economical drive-in movies where you could pack the car with the family all for one price.  Nowadays, as much as we would like to see a GOOD movie when it comes out, the phrase , “we’ll see it when it comes to cable (or Netflix or Redbox or streaming)” is uttered more and more.  Recently, we watched “Gravity” on our TV (GOOD size flatscreen).  Afterwards, my wife remarked that it was ok but didn’t understand the fuss.  We finally came to the conclusion that the reaction PROBABLY would have been different had we seen the spectacular camera/CG work on a theatre screen.
This is really a shame because WE are the generation who grew up with those Saturday matinees, with those drive-ins.  I still recall jumping on the bus and heading to the Fox and Oritani theatres in Hackensack (NJ) for a Saturday with my friends.  Surprisingly,  that “kid”  even remembers the décor of those theatres, not realizing until years later how beautiful they were (with a REAL organ even).  Or, heading off to the Paramus Drive-in, in my pajamas, with my Mom and Dad and brother.  These are EXPERIENCES.  I can’t imagine today’s generation having memories of viewing a movie streaming on their smartphone.
Sorry to say, today’s families and younger folks will never have those experiences largely due to the cost.  And us old folks will have to live with our cinematic memories.  The movie industry has to start to understand that.

I totally get this. Movie tickets are a lot more expensive than they used to be.

But I still think that in a lot of ways, they are an amazing bargain compared to a lot of other entertainment options. Not as cheap as staying home and watching a Netflix movie on a big flatscreen screen TV (once you've paid for the TV, of course), but pretty cheap in the scheme of things.
KC's View: