lucius_t (lucius_t) wrote in theinferior4,

Abigall Nussbaum's Response...

is here...

For some reason, the link isn't working, but I encourage you to paste it in and read.

My answer follows:

Oh, I got the part about being tired and dated, Abigail—I just didn’t care one way or another about it.  And sure, it’s permissible to write anything one wants about pop culture, I simply don’t choose to try and turn Iron Man into a silk purse.  I’d rather examine and analyze a movie that actually aspired to be more than a sow’s ear, something I’m given the chance to do from time to time.  I’m sure I’m missing out on the opportunity to delve into the rich subtext and the societal inferences that can be derived from a program such as Deep Space Nine (the concept of Jews in space alone should be worthy of a thesis-sized document), but I’ll leave that to you and your fellows in the intellectual sphere, whose heady air I am surely not suited to breathe.  I don’t pretend to be a critic or for that matter an intellectual, at least as regards pop culture.  To me, spending one’s intellectual currency on subjects like Batman and (whatever happened to) Robin, on any of the caped, be-masked figures that comprise the bloated pantheon of fantasy heros and heroines that the studios almost weekly visit upon us…it’s a waste of brain cells.  I plead guilty to some of your charges.  I am, in my reviews, dismissive and sometimes shallow, and indeed I seek to entertain; but I would quibble with thoughtless—I feel in leveling this charge you’re painting with too broad a brush. 

I applaud your earnestness as regards changing pop culture, but your scholarly methods strike me as no less tired and perhaps several degrees more impotent.  The idea that reason and intellectual engagement could possibly sway the large majority of the creators of pop culture seems incredibly naïve.  Those among them who might care to change it know the score and are already doing what they can (precious little) to effect change.  I’ve found that the best way to influence the remainder is to shock them.  Not long before I left the States I had a conversation with a producer who asked me if I really hated the later films of Steven Spielberg.  I was startled to learn that he had read any of my reviews, and I assured him that, yes, I did hate them and enumerated the reasons why.  I was even more startled to find that he agreed with some of my points, but his ultimate response was along the lines of, Yeah, but the guy knows how to make money.  I was gratified, however, that I had at least gotten his attention.  I’ve had a number of similar conversations with people in the business, and I’m convinced if I hadn’t been scornful, vituperative, and dismissive, the subject would never have come up and I wouldn’t have had the chance to be more analytic in my condemnation of Spieberg and others.

I like my pop culture just fine.  I don’t love it, as you say you do, but I dig kung fu movies and Project Runway and a whole bunch of crap that I wouldn’t bother attempting to justify or change.  But I feel more strongly about cinema, I fear that movies will grow dumber and dumber and that a thinking audience will be left with no options, and so I hurl clods at the giants of the industry in hopes that they’ll notice some dirt clinging to their knee.  In the end, we’re both probably fighting a losing battle, but so what—we’re fighting, you in your way and I in mine.  I would have never sought to deride you if I hadn’t thought you first derided me.  If you did not, I apologize; but I tend to take personally the notion that I might be mean-spirited, shallow and thoughtless, and the way you framed your initial review made it seem that this was your opinion.  I might suggest that you read the bulk of my review work and that I read salient portions of your blog in hopes that we might reach some further accord, but likely that would be painful for us both.  So, in closing, I’ll just say, Keep punching.  Adios.

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