August 23rd, 2005

Inspiration

Thoughts in Response

A quote found in Jeff's Blog

"The ethics of journalism begin with propositions like: the world is basically intelligible if we have accurate reports about it; public opinion exists and ought to be listened to; through the observation of events we can grasp patterns and causes underneath them; the circle of people who know how things work should be enlarged; there is something called “the public record” and news adds itself meaningfully to it; more information is good for it leads to greater awareness, which is also good; stories about strangers have morals and we need to hear them, and so on. These are the ethics I would teach first….
"Alas, I used to teach that the world needs more critics; but it was an unexamined thing. Today I would say that the world has a limited tolerance for critics, and while it always needs more do-ers, it does not always need more chroniclers, pundits, or pencil-heads."


One of the interesting points here is that the speaker wants to cut off criticism and punditry, presumably because some of it is aimed at positions he holds dear. I'd say the world always needs more chroniclers, and better ones at that: and punditry can come in and help develop the meaning and application of those chronicles.

What do you think?
Inspiration

Roger Ebert Scores!

Hat tip to Joanna Ravenclaw, who discovered this gem from Roger Ebert (yes, the film critic, and yes, I still disagree with him on many issues BUT NOT HERE):

What I miss in your film is any sense of hope. Sometimes it is all that keeps us going. The message of futility and despair in "Chaos" is unrelieved, and while I do not require a "happy ending," I do appreciate some kind of catharsis. As the Greeks understood tragedy, it exists not to bury us in death and dismay, but to help us to deal with it, to accept it as a part of life, to learn about our own humanity from it. That is why the Greek tragedies were poems: The language ennobled the material.

Animals do not know they are going to die, and require no way to deal with that implacable fact. Humans, who know we will die, have been given the consolations of art, myth, hope, science, religion, philosophy, and even denial, even movies, to help us reconcile with that final fact. What I object to most of all in "Chaos" is not the sadism, the brutality, the torture, the nihilism, but the absence of any alternative to them. If the world has indeed become as evil as you think, then we need the redemptive power of artists, poets, philosophers and theologians more than ever.

Your answer, that the world is evil and therefore it is your responsibility to reflect it, is no answer at all, but a surrender.


That, ladies and gentlemen, is insight. Apply it in your own critiques of film and art.
  • Current Mood
    triumphant