Sometimes, when I really hate myself, I put on video compilations of memes.

I put on memes that are dank, memes that have Vine energy, memes that show how chaotic Gen Z is. I put on cringe memes and fail memes and memes where you watch people die inside. I put on skateboarders fighting with pedestrians and comedians sparring with hecklers. I put on boxing knockouts and poker upsets and bullies getting what was coming to them. I put on soldiers accusing civilians of stolen valor and cops getting owned by civilians who know their rights. I put on reaction videos and bass challenges, four producers flipping the same sample and celebrities freaking out. 

What I put on less often than I used to, in our time of prestige TV and all of Boy Meets World on Disney+ and limitless user-generated content, is movies. Unless I’m going to a theater, I only watch things at night before bed, and something about the heap of insensate limbs I often am after a long day of trying to say words about art for money seems unequal to the experience of cinema. Besides, a movie will instantly put me to sleep, whereas the vital, polluted pulse of an endless stream of viral videos will keep me awake as long as I want, like drugs. 

Without theaters to get me out of the house, I’ve fallen even more grossly behind on new movies than I was before all the theaters shut down, with no respite from my downward YouTube spiral in sight. (I don’t know about you, but I’m not that keen to pile into one of our least-hygienic arenas of collective slobbery as soon as they’re allowed to reopen.)

But as someone who definitely goes to the movies solely for want of movie-theater popcorn on occasion, I see a ray of hope in The Carolina Theatre’s announcement that it will start offering takeout concessions every Friday through the shutdown. 

The theater will serve curbside popcorn, beer and wine, sweets, and other snacks each Friday from 4:00–8:00 p.m.; you can order here. It’s a nice way to set off a proper “movie night” from a day of looking at screens, and it might just get me to finally watch The Invisible Man instead of Memes That Give Me Life, Part 23 or one of those great Star Trek: TNG episodes where they do shenanigans in the Holodeck, which I’ve seen five times each.

Contact arts and culture editor Brian Howe at

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One reply on “Nothing Says “Civilization” Like Movie-Theater Popcorn”

  1. Brian, your entertainment media consumption habits are loathsome. You need help. You need to tune into some wholesome TV like Ozark and/or Breaking Bad. Eat some popcorn whilst you do so.

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