Stranger Fruit

Received an e-mail this morning notifying me (and five others) that the Tempe screening has been canceled. Interesting thing is that the original mailing I received had a further 15 names on it. In addition, “boughtbythecross,” “homeschoolma,” and “covenant-dad” were not CCed on the e-mail I received today. Interesting.

Some thoughts … either (1) the screening is going ahead and myself and five others are being lied to about it being canceled, or (2) the screening is canceled. The former would be easy to check, I’d imagine but I wont be able to get down to Arizona Mills that evening, while the latter may be supported by the fact that only twenty people appear to have signed up in the first place.

Thoughts?

Comments

  1. #1 J-Dog
    April 2, 2008

    IMO: If only 20 people signed up, and the Marketing Group is fronting the money to rent the theater, they are just looking at the potential Return On Investment, and realized it just didn’t make financial sense to continue.

    However, if you just happened to be in the neighborhood, and just happened to stop by, what could be the harm, right?

    Hey, as a former “Swan-Fightin’ Rower, you should be able to handle any “tough-guy” marketers they send after you.

    BTW – I think getting ‘expelled” like PZ might have its own reward!

  2. #2 Friend Fruit
    April 2, 2008

    The former would be easy to check, I’d imagine but I wont be able to get down to Arizona Mills that evening
    You could do a high-tech investigation with a device called a “telephone.”

  3. #3 Ale
    April 2, 2008

    The most incredible part is that they repeated the same email forwarding mistake again. Maybe the meaning of the cryptic BCC letters in their email client needs to be “revealed” to them in scripture? RTFM!

  4. #4 MartinM
    April 2, 2008

    IMO: If only 20 people signed up, and the Marketing Group is fronting the money to rent the theater, they are just looking at the potential Return On Investment, and realized it just didn’t make financial sense to continue.

    You would think cancelling at this short notice would cost them anyway, though.

  5. #5 Brad
    April 2, 2008

    I’m one of the other five that received this email. It does seem highly suspicious that homeschoolma didn’t get it, but the six people who did are consecutive in the list of recipients of the original email. It’s almost like they incompetent at cut and paste. Shocking, I know. Though the block of names did contain the only two ASU email addresses.

    Still, I live right around the corner from Arizona Mills and will probably have time to show up anyway and check it out.

  6. #6 Gridman
    April 2, 2008

    Methinks something else might be up. I also signed up immediately upon seeing that Phoenix was upcoming and I never received anything at all from them.

    I don’t think “pre-screened” me, because I used a valid e-mail address not associated in anyway with my blog or my name.

    Perhaps their registration system is haywire? it wouldn’t inconsistent with how well they’ve run the rest of the PR campaign.

    (Although, I’d like to think only 15-20 people signed up for this joke of a documentary.)

  7. #7 John Lynch
    April 2, 2008

    Well, they still have a Phoenix viewing planned. Which makes me wonder why their cancellation message (below) didn’t add that a Phoenix screening was accepting RSVP’s?

    The Tempe, AZ Screening has been canceled.

    Literally, that’s all they said!

  8. #8 Ken McKnight
    April 2, 2008

    I RSVP’d for the Tempe showing just before they cleared the boards of all showings. I received a confirmation. Later I found a page on the Expelled site where they were offering a waiting list for a possible Phoenix showing. I received a confirmation of that as well. A few days later I received an email apology saying that the Phoenix showing had been cancelled. I was now unsure about the Tempe date, so I went back to the confirmation email and sent a note to the contact person listed (jessica@motivemarketing.biz). She apparently contacted a higher-up named TJ. She then forwarded his response to me, which was that the Tempe showing was cancelled. However, the forwarded email included her original question to TJ: “Is this a cleared contact? Can you respond appropriately?” This strange reference to me as a “cleared contact” makes me wonder if there is some kind of ruse afoot to screen out potential troublemakers by telling them the showing is cancelled. I think the odds are very good that there will be a showing on Thursday in Tempe. Has anyone tried calling the theater?

  9. #9 Sam C
    April 2, 2008

    Brad: why not go along and tell a fib? These people are persistent liars who regularly ignore inconvenient truths, so they will be forgiving if you say “oh no, I didn’t receive that e-mail, glad to see the showing is on anyway, I’ll go in now, thanks!”.

  10. #10 Ale
    April 3, 2008

    “if there is some kind of ruse afoot to screen out potential troublemakers by telling them the showing is cancelled.”

    I would be genuinely surprised if there isn’t.

  11. #11 Kristine
    April 3, 2008

    The former would be easy to check, I’d imagine but I wont be able to get down to Arizona Mills that evening,

    Can you send a mole? Not necessarily to get in, but to see what’s happening and report?

  12. #12 Ken McKnight
    April 3, 2008

    I just called the Arizona Mills Harkins theater and said that I had heard that the private screening of Expelled had been moved from 7:00 to 6:00 (I didn’t mention that I had been emailed that the showing was cancelled). The person I spoke to confirmed that the movie is showing today at 6:00. Clearly the promoters are somehow screening the attendees and then sending out cancellation notices to the “undesirables.” Is there any possible way the ID people can spin this so that it isn’t flat-out lying??? Anybody know where I can get a Pharyngula t-shirt on short notice? or a PZ Myers mask?

  13. #13 Inoculated Mind
    April 3, 2008

    Verrrry Interesting… good idea to call the theater.

  14. #14 Inoculated Mind
    April 3, 2008

    Ken McKnight, can you forward that email to me at karl AT inoculatedmind DOT com?

  15. #15 Ken McKnight
    April 3, 2008

    Karl–I just did. And now I’m off to the theater!

  16. #16 Inoculated Mind
    April 3, 2008

    Thanks, and good luck! If you write up anything about it, please pass it along.

  17. #17 Brad
    April 3, 2008

    I just got back from the theater and yes there was indeed a screening. I wasn’t on the list, but managed to get in anyway. After getting interrogated as to which church I was with and finally approval from the man behind the curtain whom I never saw, I was admitted into the theater just as the movie was starting.

    I told them I was not associated with a church here, that I am from Ohio and a friend sent me a link to the RSVP page. While that’s all true (assuming I can consider the fine folks here at scienceblogs friends) and I didn’t explicitly lie, I certainly represented it in such a way that would make them reach an erroneous conclusion.

    The movie itself is exactly what I expected after reading various reviews online; a mismatch of lies and propaganda. I leave the descriptions to more adept writers. I was ridiculous to hear the gasps of horror at some of the pieced together “quotes” from Dawkins, PZ et al. The audience seemed especially offended with PZ’s “religion should be like knitting” description.

    I couldn’t stay for the Q&A however, as I have some deliverables due next week that I need to work on. I’d be interested to read any accounts of that if anyone else managed to get in.

  18. #18 John Lynch
    April 3, 2008

    I’m going to close comments here so that we can consolidate them with this thread.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.