HE reader Domenico Salvaggio received the following email from Team Avatar early this morning: “We apologize for the inconvenience, but due to overwhelming demand [for Friday’s free Avatar preview], our RSVP site experienced technical difficulties. As a result of the crash you must re-select a screening time. Please note you may not get the original time you selected. Please click here and choose a new screening time.”

“I have to re-register at 3 am?,” Domenico wrote. “Are we in the early 1990’s? Avatar is supposed to be the harbinger of the future bleeding-edge tech and the system they used to set up the advance screening is a bona-fide Mickey Mouse operation? I don’t blame Cameron, but on some level the guy who professes to be the King of the World and the gateway to cinema-of-the-future needs to re-evaluate his operation.

“Right now Avatar has zero awareness among the laypeople. Only the geeks (such as I) have been championing the project…but if he pulls this dick-move at the 11th hour, he might piss off his core fan group. That kind of backlash 20th Century Fox can’t afford. I feel cheated and I feel like I wasted my time. I structured my whole day around getting those online tickets!

“Yes, I re-registered and got my desired time but only because I was lucky enough to be awake at 3:00 am! What if I woke up tomorrow morning and my desired time of the 6 pm showing @ the Universal Citywalk IMAX in LA was no longer available? (I can’t go to later showings because I have a wedding reception @ 7:00 pm). Or worse, what if it got sold out completely when I woke up and was shit-screwed out of luck? Sorry, fanboy.”

This issue could be handled very easily. The 20th Century Fox techies responsible for the site crash would submit to a minor form of public corporal punishment somewhere on the Fox lot. Stocks and pillories, I’m thinking, but only for an hour and only during their lunch break. Fox shoots a video of this, and then posts it on the Avatar site.