Saturday, 19 December 2009

I am promoting two things with this link

One is this post on io9 about Avatar. It is a good post.

And two, if you scroll down through the comments, is this magnificent rant by commentor Moff at 3:32 pm. Sublime.

Of all the varieties of irritating comment out there, the absolute most annoying has to be "Why can't you just watch the movie for what it is??? Why can't you just enjoy it? Why do you have toanalyze it???"

If you have posted such a comment, or if you are about to post such a comment, here or anywhere else, let me just advise you: Shut up. Shut the fuck up. Shut your goddamn fucking mouth. SHUT. UP.

First of all, when we analyze art, when we look for deeper meaning in it,
we are enjoying it for what it is. Because that is one of the things about art, be it highbrow, lowbrow, mainstream, or avant-garde: Some sort of thought went into its making -- even if the thought was, "I'm going to do this as thoughtlessly as possible"! -- and as a result, some sort of thought can be gotten from its reception. That is why, among other things, artists (including, for instance, James Cameron) really like to talk about their work.

Now, that doesn't mean you
have to think about a work of art. I don't know anyone who thinks every work they encounter ought to only be enjoyed through conscious, active analysis -- or if I do, they're pretty annoying themselves. And I know many people who prefer not to think about much of what they consume, and with them I have no argument. I also have no argument with people who disagree with another person's thoughts about a work of art. That should go without saying. Finally, this should also go without saying, but since it apparently doesn't: Believe me, the person who is annoying you so much by thinking about the art? They have already considered your revolutionary "just enjoy it" strategy, because it is not actually revolutionary at all. It is the default state for most of humanity.

So when you go out of your way to suggest that
people should be thinking less -- that not using one's capacity for reason is an admirable position to take, and one that should be actively advocated -- you are not saying anything particularly intelligent. And unless you live on a parallel version of Earth where too many people are thinking too deeply and critically about the world around them and what's going on in their own heads, you're not helping anything; on the contrary, you're acting as an advocate for entropy.

And most annoyingly of all,
you're contributing to the fucking conversation yourselves when you make your stupid, stupid comments. You are basically saying, "I think people shouldn't think so much and share their thoughts, that's my thought that I have to share." If you really think people should just enjoy the movie without thinking about it, then why the fuck did you (1) click on the post in the first place, and (2) bother to leave a comment? If it bugs you so much, GO WATCH A GODDAMN FUNNY CAT VIDEO.

11 comments:

Jabberwock said...

Hey, the Moff comment is freaking awesome! It even made me think!

Nicholas said...

Thanks for this post!

Celine said...

Brilliant and fascinating. Personally I can't bring myself to go see Avatar because the simlarities in setting and plot to the graphic novel I've been working on for ten years are so similar. I'll probably never be able to sell that project now and it hurts like hell.

The Moff comment is spot on. I also found this comment by Pierron Capurro interesting in what he/she has to say about the universality of such fantasies for those in power, regardless of what their race is. [URL]http://io9.com/comment/17728139/[/URL]

Unmana said...

Re: two - yes, yes yes. I found myself nodding along.

I discover so many nice things through this blog.

Aishwarya said...

Jabberwock - So from now on do you think you'll start thinking about the movies you watch? Amazing

Nick - Hello! Are you back in the States?

Celine - Argh, that's maddening. Then again, if Avatar could follow Fern Gully and The Word For World Is Forest, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to sell your project!
I liked Piero Capurro's comment too.

Unmana - I think I'm going to link to Moff's comment in my sidebar at some point and direct people there when they start whining about overanalysis.
And thank you!

Dez said...

Lots of people tried to find meaning in some Beatles' songs, until the Beatles said there was no meaning in them.

Mala said...

"lie back and enjoy it" hmmm we all know what that actually means.

Dez to me its quite apparent that there is not much to Beatles songs (I am not a fan). Nevertheless the interpretations are imaginative and readable in their own right n'est ce pas?

T-REX said...

Uber-fucking-analytical post. But I think those who say "dont analyse, just visualize" are actually saying that we CANT analyse, how could you?(you fucking bastard).
But lovely post. I guess i'll follow this blog.

T-REX said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dez said...

Malay,

Whether you like Beatles' music or you don't isn't the point.

I used the Beatles' music example as a satire to this whole thing about finding meaning, or the lack of any, in art.

Those who wish to find meaning, by all means, do so. Those who wish to be entertained, nothing else, go ahead.

But just because you like to interpret art doesn't make you intelectually superior. You might end up an egghead.

Steerforth said...

I quite agree. Ignorance isn't bliss. I grew up in a bookless household, where nothing was ever analysed or discussed and it awful.

I've seen the trailer for Avatar and it looks like total crap, with metaphors that make the story of the boy who cried wolf look like highbrow existentialism.