FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Oscars (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Oscars
Stephan
Member
Member # 7549

 - posted      Profile for Stephan   Email Stephan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mr. Card, I loved what you wrote. It really reminded me as to why I never watch them.
Posts: 3134 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidB
Member
Member # 8821

 - posted      Profile for KidB   Email KidB         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I hated what he wrote. It was preposterous.

The only kernal of truth in there is the following:

quote:
But we shouldn't really blame the Academy. Every community rewards those who affirm their image of themselves. It's what the establishment must do. The Oscars exist for the purpose of self-congratulation.
I think we need to remind ourselves of this point. The Academy is a private organization. It is a small group of business elites and artists. It is not in the public trust, and is under no obligation to speak for anyone other than the interests and the visions of the artists who make the films. It solely about the esteem of Hollywood peers. We get to watch it, of course, but that doesn't mean it is for us.

If the "average guy" doesn't like the films Hollywood makes, the "average guy" can choose not to watch them. Or he can make his own damn movies.

Where comes this sense of entitlement, where Average Joe gets to sit on his couch and say "Jump to my bidding, performer! Dance! Be sure that you please me! Do not cause offense!" People need to be reminded that television and movies are not forcing their way into your home. They can only offend you if you spend money on them and watch them.

It is not enough for Mr. Card, I suppose, that films like Passion of the Christ (praised by Quentin Tarantino as "A great film...a return to visual storytelling") not only get produced, but thrive. Not enough that family values are reiterated and praised endlessly in films and television. No, he has to take the academy to task because this particular group of individuals does not share his taste in cinema or his politics - he won't be happy until the award goes to "best family values film."

Films continue to glorify traditional values. When has a Hollywood film glorified promiscuity or irresponsibility? Every film I've seen lately, "loose" characters are miserable and self-loathing (as was the case in 40-year old Virgin, for instance). Even "gay" films are about monogamy, faithfulness, and love.

Uh...whose Political Correctness are we discussing here? Because last time I checked, conservatives have had an unprecedented level of success in this country, controlling congress and the presidency, and somehow Hollywood is the "establishment"?

The article was one huge straw man start to finish.

And one last thing - "Munich" is totally misrepresented by Mr. Card. I wonder if he has even seen the film. It does not glorify terrorists. The "tragedy" of the film is that revenge comes at a cost to those who must enact it. The Israeli assasins loose their connection to the community they seek to defend. They are forever changed by becoming killers. How does this glorify terrorism? It glorifies nothing - it is a warning about taking an eye for an eye, about becoming your enemy. What the hell is wrong with that?

Posts: 53 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
And one last thing - "Munich" is totally misrepresented by Mr. Card. I wonder if he has even seen the film. It does not glorify terrorists. The "tragedy" of the film is that revenge comes at a cost to those who must enact it. The Israeli assasins loose their connection to the community they seek to defend.
On NPR, they interviewed a reporter that spoke with the assassins that carried out the hits on the terrorists.

He said that the film, 'Munich,' was a good story, but made it very clear that Speilburg took a great deal of artistic license with the film. He said that the Israeli assassins did not regret doing what they did. As a whole, the reporter maintained, they were proud of what they did. He said not a single one of them showed any type of misgivings or reluctance about their job.

So, from what I understand, Spielburg perpetuated a lie in 'Munich.'

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidB
Member
Member # 8821

 - posted      Profile for KidB   Email KidB         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Scott R,

Which interview? Do you mean with Aaron Klein , author of "Striking Back"?

"Munich" is based on a book by George Jonas, who spoke at length to the actual leader of the assassins.

Klein makes no such claim in the NPR interview. Instead he says the following:

quote:
I spoke and interviewed more than 50 sources, most of them ex-Mossad agents and commanders and leaders. I didn't come across with someone who had doubts. They are very proud of what they did. They are--they still see themselves as the carrier of the sword, the people who did a holy work, a holy job, in this whole apparatus of assassinations. I don't see--I didn't met with anyone who had remorse or second thoughts or--whatsoever.

He does not say that he spoke to a single man who was the subject of the Jonas book, and hence the movie. Just members of the Mossad, and other "sources."

At any rate, do you dispute the greater moral truth of the story? Hate breeding hate, etc.?

Posts: 53 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sterling
Member
Member # 8096

 - posted      Profile for Sterling   Email Sterling         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
And one last thing - "Munich" is totally misrepresented by Mr. Card. I wonder if he has even seen the film.

Or Brokeback Mountain...

No, no, heterosexuals don't have to see "that" film. Enough to have it summarized by a conservative pundit.

[Roll Eyes]

Posts: 3825 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MrSquicky
Member
Member # 1802

 - posted      Profile for MrSquicky   Email MrSquicky         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Or, for that matter, that this description:
quote:
Nor is it courageous to make a movie showing that even when terrorists murder Israeli athletes at the Olympics, it's the terrorists who are the tragic victims and the Israelis who are the murderers as they exact retribution from the killers. This is simply the western intellectual party line, in which all terrorist acts by Muslims are justified as long as they're killing Jews.
isn't actually at all fair to the movie?
Posts: 10177 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just don't understand what he means by "elitest", "politically correct" or "ordinary person."
I never understand those distinctions...

And yet, at the same time the Oscars annoy me, but perhaps for a slightly different reason. You can't even talk about serious political issues on the Oscars without them freaking out. To me it's like pamblum, baby food, acting edgy about certain things, but it's all posturing...
And I do tend to dislike some Hollywood films for reasons that are hard to put into words.
They are just so... hollow, unrealistic and false. It's not even real liberalism, but this kind of pseudo-look how in touch we are with the real world sort of thing...
I hate it...
And why didn't Sin City get nominated at least for art direction? That movie was violent, but stylish. I love that movie.

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I always preferred either the People's Choice Awards or especially the SAG awards. They always struck me as more "real" awards.
Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidB
Member
Member # 8821

 - posted      Profile for KidB   Email KidB         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mr. Squicky,

Not only is it unfair to the movie, it's unfair to "Western intellectuals." The idea that some liberal elite makes a habit of justifying terrorism against Jews is simply and demonstrably false.

He is basically accusing Western intellectuals of being anti-semitic, without giving the slightest example either from the film or from western intellectuals.

Posts: 53 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pelegius
Member
Member # 7868

 - posted      Profile for Pelegius           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, lets see, the most prominent western intellectual leftist is Noam Chomsky, the clearly anti-semetic son of a Hebrew teacher.
Posts: 1332 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SteveRogers
Member
Member # 7130

 - posted      Profile for SteveRogers           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pelegius:
Well, lets see, the most prominent western intellectual leftist is Noam Chomsky, the clearly anti-semetic son of a Hebrew teacher.

We talked about that guy in my French class today.
Posts: 6026 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kristen
Member
Member # 9200

 - posted      Profile for Kristen   Email Kristen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Well, lets see, the most prominent western intellectual leftist is Noam Chomsky, the clearly anti-semetic son of a Hebrew teacher.
Dear Lord, I hope that is not the case.
Posts: 484 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Where comes this sense of entitlement, where Average Joe gets to sit on his couch and say "Jump to my bidding, performer! Dance! Be sure that you please me! Do not cause offense!"
[Smile]

From my backside. Where I keep my wallet.

Dance, you California Monkeys! Dance for your Master!

quote:

It is not enough for Mr. Card, I suppose, that films like Passion of the Christ (praised by Quentin Tarantino as "A great film...a return to visual storytelling") not only get produced, but thrive. Not enough that family values are reiterated and praised endlessly in films and television...

Films continue to glorify traditional values. When has a Hollywood film glorified promiscuity or irresponsibility? Every film I've seen lately, "loose" characters are miserable and self-loathing (as was the case in 40-year old Virgin, for instance).

We must seriously be watching two different sets of media. I don't see this at all. I wonder if our definition of 'family values' is different?

quote:

Even "gay" films are about monogamy, faithfulness, and love.

I can't speak to Brokeback Mountain, because I haven't seen it. But the films that I've seen that portray homosexuality are not about monogamy, faithfulness, and love so much as they are about the gay character breaking himself or herself against conformist social dogma, or finding a way to live his love life as an outcast. Very often, the love interest isn't that central a character, except in relation to the main conflict-- which is hardly ever their love, but the hatred of everyone else.

quote:
Uh...whose Political Correctness are we discussing here? Because last time I checked, conservatives have had an unprecedented level of success in this country, controlling congress and the presidency, and somehow Hollywood is the "establishment"?
You have to read OSC's whole article-- in it, at the beginning, he maintains that it is the story-tellers who are the establishment. ("When you want to send a message and have it make a difference, you don't use Western Union, you tell a story.") The culture-makers, as it were. Our culture controls, to a large degree, the laws we make.

So that's where OSC is coming from with this. In any case-- the general populace has a lot more contact with Hollywood than they do with Capitol Hill. The folks who control the media can thus rightly be seen as the Establishment.

(Which caused more cultural waves: 'Lost,' or South Dakota's illegalization of abortions?)

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
When has a Hollywood film glorified promiscuity or irresponsibility?
As background-- from my point of view, all sex outside of marriage is both promiscous and irresponsible.

So the answer to your question is "All the time."

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Malakai
Member
Member # 8731

 - posted      Profile for Malakai           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
quote:


I can't speak to Brokeback Mountain, because I haven't seen it. But the films that I've seen that portray homosexuality are not about monogamy, faithfulness, and love so much as they are about the gay character breaking himself or herself against conformist social dogma, or finding a way to live his love life as an outcast. Very often, the love interest isn't that central a character, except in relation to the main conflict-- which is hardly ever their love, but the hatred of everyone else.

What? What movies have you seen that portray homosexual's hatred of everyone else? I've seen many "gay films" (films with gay chracters in them?) and have never seen a "hatred of everyone else" depicted.

On the other hand, what is interesting to me is that many who tout a love of family values have no problem with violence. NARNIA teaches one's family that large scale war has absolutely NO blood. Why Disney-fy it?

What I appreciate about many of the films nominated for Oscars is not that they affirm what I WANT to believe about the world, but they affirm or depict what actually exists closer to reality (at least a little more closely).

Posts: 17 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
What movies have you seen that portray homosexual's hatred of everyone else?
:oops:

Maybe I wasn't clear-- I meant everyone else's discomfort with the gay characters' homosexuality.

The movies don't address gay love, but homophobia.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Most of the gay movies I've seen address both, as they tie together. There's that irratation involved in falling for someone socially unacceptable and having to deal with it.
There's also the books to consider... Mostly girl meets girl books that address love a lot, often from both perspectives.

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
On the other hand, what is interesting to me is that many who tout a love of family values have no problem with violence. NARNIA teaches one's family that large scale war has absolutely NO blood. Why Disney-fy it?

Your points here seem to contradict one another. You state that people who tout family values don't have a problem with violence; then you name Narnia, presumably because it is a family movie, and show... that it is lacking in the gore department.

You'd do better with this argument if you showed a movie that had been given a 'FAMILY VALUES' stamp of approval, and also contained loads of blood and gore. Heck, I'll give you one-- 'The Passion of the Christ.'

(And no, I didn't see that one, because I don't like lots of blood and gore. And there are some theological reasons, too...)

quote:

What I appreciate about many of the films nominated for Oscars is not that they affirm what I WANT to believe about the world, but they affirm or depict what actually exists closer to reality (at least a little more closely).

How do you reconcile this opinion with the charges that Munich was a complete fictionalization of events and characters?

Charles Krauthammer
Muddled Munich
A "hawkish" Jewish POV.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Malakai
Member
Member # 8731

 - posted      Profile for Malakai           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
Your points here seem to contradict one another. You state that people who tout family values don't have a problem with violence; then you name Narnia, presumably because it is a family movie, and show... that it is lacking in the gore department.

Though I enjoyed NARNIA, if I were looking at it for "Family Values" I'd have two problems with it: 1)Killing and war as a solution, and 2) It depicts that killing and war as bloodless - which would give kids a completely unreal view of what killing entails.

quote:

How do you reconcile this opinion with the charges that Munich was a complete fictionalization of events and characters?

I haven't seen Munich as I've become less of a Speilberg fan, so I can't speak for it.

I agree about THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST on both counts.

I have more to say but I have to get to class!

Posts: 17 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
if I were looking at it for "Family Values" I'd have two problems with it: 1)Killing and war as a solution, and 2) It depicts that killing and war as bloodless - which would give kids a completely unreal view of what killing entails.
1) Sometimes killing and war are the only solutions. In the case of Narnia, there was no other choice. This was made clear by the Witch's intransigence, and the fact that she brutally disposed of everyone that defied her ideals.

2) The battlescene wasn't bloodless. A number of animals lost their legs; the head Centaur was killed, and Edmund was almost killed. Gore was absent; tragedy was not. Depicted as it was, I think the battle scene showed the terror and pain of war, without stooping to pornographic images of gobbets of flesh flying about.

A wonderful short story that deals with this very subject is "Collateral Damage" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. You can find it here.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This was made clear by the Witch's intransigence, and the fact that she brutally disposed of everyone that defied her ideals.

How false this is!
As we see in both the book and the film, Aslan dispatches Jadis readily once he decides to put in some effort -- and without her, her forces quickly dissolve.

That said, one of my big problems with the Narnia movie is that it tried too hard to turn Peter and Edmund into effective warriors and succeeded only in making them look like bloodthirsty idiots.

Posts: 37414 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jd2cly60
Member
Member # 450

 - posted      Profile for jd2cly60   Email jd2cly60         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been curious what OSC thought of BBM and Munich for a while now. Good to see that my predictions of his interpretations (or misinterpretations) of them were as 100% spot on as it was for Family Stone.

After all, we know from reading OSC's stories that violence doesn't affect people at all, especially not a hero and especially not their relationship with their families. I mean none of OSC's stories ever feature a character that feels remorse or moral ambiguity about violence. Seriously, has anyone ever read a paragraph or series of paragraphs in an OSC story where a character struggled with an internal dilemma? I don't think so! [ROFL]

I mean seriously, OSC's style of storytelling and Spielberg's have no similarity whatsoever and never have, right? [Roll Eyes]

[Razz]

Munich in no way whatsoever says what OSC implies, it only says that if you're predisposed to believe that's what it will say and therefore see the film through heavily tinted glasses. Very much like saying Ender's Game glorifies genocide AND Hitler.
quote:
We're Jews... we're supposed to be righteous, if I lose that, that's my soul... That's everything.
And if someone is going to insist on seeing BBM as a message movie (I saw it as a greek tragedy), then at least point out that most of the message of the film is that a homosexual relationship DESTROYS families, not just that social restrictions DESTROY homosexuals. [No No]

I felt the brave thing in the film was how strongly we identify with Michelle Williams and her perspective, rather than the uncomfortable relationship between Jack and Ennis.

Somehow OSC didn't mention Crash, a film that's like a hammer to the head that racism=bad. And then Haggis triumphantly declared that art is a hammer not a mirror--same guy who put in that wretched ending to the excellent Million Dollar Baby just won best picture for a film that features that same style of writing for a whole feature.

Or Good Night and Good Luck, an extremely even handed well made film even if the filmmaker is much more liberal than his film, he showed great restraint in the final product he produced, making it more accessible and more valuable and more powerful.

Or Capote, "which showed that some homosexuals are actually effete New York intellectuals." [Big Grin] Clearly it's also a movie meant to shove agenda down our throats, right! After all it features liberal/left characters, therefore it must be agenda shoving trash! No movie with a left character can be considered worthwhile! I enjoyed the film, but felt the In Cold Blood story is more interesting than the story of writing it.

Posts: 622 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If anything destroyed those families it was having to live a lie in the first place...
Really the problem isn't...

but why exactly do I keep arguing about this issue?
It just wears me out...

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidB
Member
Member # 8821

 - posted      Profile for KidB   Email KidB         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
We must seriously be watching two different sets of media. I don't see this at all. I wonder if our definition of 'family values' is different?

You'll have to name names here. Granted, your definition of promiscuity is way off from mine. But still, I see most television and films as pretty much in the mainstream of American family life (horror films aside). I can think of only a few films and fewer tv shows that veer far away from that. Of course, I don't really watch enough tv to judge accurately. What has Hollywood put out in the last year that seems to you the expression of Holloywood elite left-wing values?

I saw Passion of the Christ myself. I thought it was a brilliant and moving film. Also the most violent film I've ever seen (and I've seen plenty of gory horror flicks). There was something genuinely pornographic about the way Gibson's direction sadistically "teases" the viewer for absolute maximum horror, disgust, and pity. Oddly enough, I did feel rather "purified" at the end of the film when he climbs up out of the tomb all clean and buff. But I tell you, it was a helluva ordeal - I watched it on dvd and I had to stop it a few times and go outside for a breather.

Posts: 53 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Juxtapose
Member
Member # 8837

 - posted      Profile for Juxtapose   Email Juxtapose         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Posted by Scott R:
As background-- from my point of view, all sex outside of marriage is both promiscous and irresponsible.

quote:
Posted by KidB:
Granted, your definition of promiscuity is way off from mine.

It's also pretty far off from the dictionary's.

quote:
Posted by Scott R:
The battlescene wasn't bloodless. A number of animals lost their legs; the head Centaur was killed, and Edmund was almost killed. Gore was absent; tragedy was not. Depicted as it was, I think the battle scene showed the terror and pain of war, without stooping to pornographic images of gobbets of flesh flying about.

I don't remember seeing any blood...[/nitpick]

But seriously, I think you're taking Malakai's point too lightly. The film does a miserably poor job in showing that violence, even righteous violence, has negative consequences. Yes, the centaur leader was killed, and then never referred to again, if memory serves.

And "pain and terror?" Really? I mean, with Lucy's magic potion, very little to nothing is shown as not ending up all right. Apparantly, the main consequence of war is that everything ends up all right, and you get to become a king (or queen, or prince/princess). As long as you're on the good side. But really, told the right way, you could make a movie that would convince a lot of kids that terrorists are the good side.

Posts: 2907 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Aslan dispatches Jadis readily once he decides to put in some effort -- and without her, her forces quickly dissolve.

Not quite. It wasn't a matter of Aslan deciding, "Oh, think I'll kill her now..." but a matter of fulfilling the Deeper Magic. Hand-wavium it may be, but I'm comfortable with the morality displayed.

quote:

That said, one of my big problems with the Narnia movie is that it tried too hard to turn Peter and Edmund into effective warriors and succeeded only in making them look like bloodthirsty idiots

Odd. I thought Peter was strangely reluctant about going to war. I wonder how we could have seen the same scenes and come to such different conclusions?

quote:
But still, I see most television and films as pretty much in the mainstream of American family life (horror films aside). I can think of only a few films and fewer tv shows that veer far away from that. Of course, I don't really watch enough tv to judge accurately. What has Hollywood put out in the last year that seems to you the expression of Holloywood elite left-wing values?
Was 'Must Love Dogs' in this past year's crop? Right now, that's the big one that comes to mind as being horribly, blatantly, crude in regards to sexual relationships.

It's not a preaching of promiscuity that we're seeing-- I think the folks who are writing today's screen scripts are devotees, and ar convinced that everyone else is too. For example-- the sexualization of teenagers on 'Smallville.' How many times do we have to see Kristin Kruek in the shower before someone realizes-- "Hey, this is a woman portraying a teenager. This series of shots is not meant to be funny-- it's meant to be sensual. This is like pseudo-kiddie porn!"

Not to mention the Lana/Clark sex scene of last season.

While it's out of your time specification, Friends was a big offender. (Don't get me started on 'Everybody loves Raymond.' While it was tame in regards to sex, it was a horrible, terrible, damaging show toward families.)

The CSI series are practically drunk on images of graphic violence and misery. The question isn't 'Whodunit,' but "What can we do to gross out America even more?" Speaking of crime shows, murder is apparently the only plot worth writing about... though in real life, murder and other violent crimes account for not nearly as much actual casework.

Family life is rarely shown at all on film. Rather, I should say, NORMAL family life is rarely shown on television. I'd settle for a family that behaved as normally as characters in Buffy, or in Firefly did with eachother. I have a sneaking suspicion that that is what makes Whedon's shows so powerful-- cameraderie of characters. They are family, even when squabbling. (Well, with the exception of Jane... one in every family, don't you know...) We long for that type of entertainment, because it resonates with us. This is how we behaved with our brothers, our fathers, our mothers-- or how we WISH we could have behaved.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm not that conservative, but I agree with you, Scott R about how ANNOYING marriage and family is on most of these television shows.
The men are stupid, the women are just irratating.
That's what I like about Bernie Mac. I think that's a great show about a family. About Bernie having to take care of all of those kids and learning about them and their ways and how him and his wife's life changed because of them.
I also like Everybody Hates Chris and the family on that show. They are rough with each other, but they love each other. And the show just cracks me up. It's way better than the shows I hate but seem to watch anyway just to annoy myself about how STUPID they are.

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Irami Osei-Frimpong
Member
Member # 2229

 - posted      Profile for Irami Osei-Frimpong   Email Irami Osei-Frimpong         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Rather, I should say, NORMAL family life is rarely shown on television. I'd settle for a family that behaved as normally as characters in Buffy, or in Firefly did with each other. I have a sneaking suspicion that that is what makes Whedon's shows so powerful-- cameraderie of characters.
I think it's strange that you saw a family dynamic in Firefly. I saw a group of independents who were friendly and respectful like. The cast of Firefly were closer to Hatrack than they were to Father Knows Best. The family dymanic existed between Simon and River, and their family bond almost tore apart the ship. I don't conflate family and camraderie. I actually think that the bonds between the two groups almost mutually exclusive.

Narnia portrayed a family dynamic, and the problems with it. The only way Firefly can be concieved of as a family is because in the end, everyone did what Mal said because Mal was the Patriarch, but mostly, Firefly portrayed a more egalitarian ethos that cannot exist in a family.

(By the way, one of the things that Farscape did exquisitely well is portray commardarie without heirarchy. Which again, I think is impossible to do in a family.)

quote:
Family life is rarely shown at all on film. Rather, I should say, NORMAL family life is rarely shown on television.
A lot of normal family life is degrading for everybody except the heads of household, which is why, I imagine, most family shows are more interesting when the kids are anarchists or an untimely accident disposes of the parents.

I'm a bit anti-family. I don't think the family dynamic is one to strive for among people who aren't of blood relation. Mostly, I think that in a family dynamics don't give themselves to taking kids seriously as independent moral agents, and until you are an independent moral agent, you are kind of a degraded person.

"Normal" family dynamics often make poor stories because the necessary hierachy and obedience demanded by "normal" family dynamics precludes the moral freedom and responsibility necessary to make a compelling yarn.

[ March 08, 2006, 12:53 AM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

Posts: 5600 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidB
Member
Member # 8821

 - posted      Profile for KidB   Email KidB         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

posted March 07, 2006 10:34 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aslan dispatches Jadis readily once he decides to put in some effort -- and without her, her forces quickly dissolve.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Not quite. It wasn't a matter of Aslan deciding, "Oh, think I'll kill her now..." but a matter of fulfilling the Deeper Magic. Hand-wavium it may be, but I'm comfortable with the morality displayed.


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That said, one of my big problems with the Narnia movie is that it tried too hard to turn Peter and Edmund into effective warriors and succeeded only in making them look like bloodthirsty idiots
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Odd. I thought Peter was strangely reluctant about going to war. I wonder how we could have seen the same scenes and come to such different conclusions?


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But still, I see most television and films as pretty much in the mainstream of American family life (horror films aside). I can think of only a few films and fewer tv shows that veer far away from that. Of course, I don't really watch enough tv to judge accurately. What has Hollywood put out in the last year that seems to you the expression of Holloywood elite left-wing values?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Was 'Must Love Dogs' in this past year's crop? Right now, that's the big one that comes to mind as being horribly, blatantly, crude in regards to sexual relationships.

It's not a preaching of promiscuity that we're seeing-- I think the folks who are writing today's screen scripts are devotees, and ar convinced that everyone else is too. For example-- the sexualization of teenagers on 'Smallville.' How many times do we have to see Kristin Kruek in the shower before someone realizes-- "Hey, this is a woman portraying a teenager. This series of shots is not meant to be funny-- it's meant to be sensual. This is like pseudo-kiddie porn!"

Not to mention the Lana/Clark sex scene of last season.

While it's out of your time specification, Friends was a big offender. (Don't get me started on 'Everybody loves Raymond.' While it was tame in regards to sex, it was a horrible, terrible, damaging show toward families.)

The CSI series are practically drunk on images of graphic violence and misery. The question isn't 'Whodunit,' but "What can we do to gross out America even more?" Speaking of crime shows, murder is apparently the only plot worth writing about... though in real life, murder and other violent crimes account for not nearly as much actual casework.

Okay...here is where I get badly, deeply confused. There are many aspects of my incredulity here, but they are all neatly summarized by your phrase "sexualization of teenagers."

To put it mildly (because the full onslaught of what I wish to say/am thinking would take up too much space and probably get me banned), it seems to me a debased and frankly harmful argument to say that teenagers can be "sexualized" by anyone. Teenagers are intensely, ferociously sexual beings. That is a fact of science. For most of human history, people got on with the act of producing offspring right around the age of 14 or 15. The prolongation of childhood (and, I would argue, the resultant cultural neoteny)(look up "neoteny" if you dont know it and connect the dots) is a recent phenomenon, as is the invention of the word and concept "teenager." Teenagers are, biological, in a state of physical adulthood, so calling it "kiddie porn" is preposterous.

We've had a very recent example of this on this very site...Romeo & Juliet. Very young. They get it on, they talk dirty (which you see quite clearly if you look askance of OSC's expurgated version to the original text) and then they kill themselves. A classic of literature, made for ravenous, belching audiences who liked to watch swordfights and spattering pig's blood.

My own opinion, for what it's worth, is that trying to view sexual beings are pure and unsullied is far more harmful and perverse than looking reality in its zitty, hormone fueled face.

But I digress (slightly). The bigger issue here is whether television or movies have some magical influence of human behavior. I think not. You would have to have a very strange view of history to think that pre-tv America was some how free - or in any way had less - in the way of homosexuality, teen pregnancy, prostitution, masturbation, porn, etc. You are aware, I hope, that the Victorian era produced ENORMOUS amounts of porn, and prostitution, and that the act of keeping these things in the dark led to the ruination of countless women and families. Sex is real. Purity is not. There is nothing more deadly than the notion of purity.

I also note that people who complain about sex on TV usually watch it just the same. In a day and age when you can easily get thousands of wonderful books that will never offend your sense of propriety, people, just like you, nonetheless prefer to return to the boob tube to be nasueated by "Smallville" (A show which I find terminally boring).

The thing is, a very big part of the American mainstream has, now and always, maintained a very moderate attitude towards teen sex. The show-makers know their audience, and push those limits only ever-so-gently, not wanting to offend because offense loses money. What you see on television is what has escaped offending the majority of the people who watch it.

Hollywood has always been accused of encouraging moral laxity by a vocal minority. Even in the 1920's. And before that, it was theater! Show biz! Actors are a special breed, they're never going to fully embrace Christian values en masse. What I don't get is why you grant them a power they do not have. You and only you control what you watch and consume. Why does your well-being depend on my viewing preferences? Can't we live and let live?

My impression of most tv and movies is that people are always looking for true love and devotion. If they happen to have a one-night stand, they are invariably regretting it an apologizing the next day (most of the time). Sexual predators and slutty women are always protrayed as self-hating. You can't even see two women kissing on Star Trek unless the have a "transporter accident" and turn "evil." This is hardly subversive stuff (Would that it were! O, the imagination soars!). I mean, if you think it is, think again, cause I can show you books and films - great art, mind you - that are subversive with a capital SUB.

Posts: 53 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KidB
Member
Member # 8821

 - posted      Profile for KidB   Email KidB         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ignore the narnia stuff at the top. I didn't mean to put it in there, and the edit function wont seem to let me take it out.
Posts: 53 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Irami Osei-Frimpong
Member
Member # 2229

 - posted      Profile for Irami Osei-Frimpong   Email Irami Osei-Frimpong         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just reread OSC's review. Does he really think Narnia is a viable Oscar caliber film. I didn't see Munich, but Narinia is not better than the Constant Gardner or Crash, and to be honest, if you want to portraits of bravery, Good Night and Good Luck has them in layers, from the major displays of ER Murrow to the more subtle courage of the office sweethearts. Narnia may have drawn out the Christians who are starved for a movie to see, but mere popularity, or in this case, catering to a pious plurality, does not a great movie make.

Narnia was good. King Kong was better, but none of them were even in the same league as the Constant Gardner or Crash.

Posts: 5600 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That's an interesting response, KidB. And an interesting conclusion that completely seperates itself out from my arguments, and from your initial question. It's as if you asked, "Where can I buy chocolate," and I responded, "Why, there's a chocolatier right across the street," and you said, "Chocolate DOESN'T make you fat! YOU decide to eat it, YOU make you fat!"

[Smile]

I do believe that movies, television, and books have an effect on people. I know that I get a little thrill every time I watch Die Hard, and hear Bruce Willis say, "Yippie-kai-yay, **((*(&(!" I know that if my son watches more than ten seconds of Power Rangers, he thinks he's a Jujitsu warrior, and his sisters are both demon-ninjas. I know that Les Miserables (the book) makes me tear up, and get angry, and makes me feel that I need to do more to help the unfortunate.

quote:
I also note that people who complain about sex on TV usually watch it just the same. In a day and age when you can easily get thousands of wonderful books that will never offend your sense of propriety, people, just like you, nonetheless prefer to return to the boob tube to be nasueated by "Smallville" (A show which I find terminally boring).
Wow. I'm hypocritical AND prurient AND a prude. No wonder I'm so tired all the time.

How do you know me so well?

quote:
Sex is real. Purity is not. There is nothing more deadly than the notion of purity.
Can you explain this further? I don't want to accuse you of meaningless hyperbole, but I can think of a great many things more deadly than the notion of purity.

Heck, the notion of purity doesn't even hit my top 50 deadly things.

I don't think I made the idea of the sexualization of teenagers quite clear. You seem to have interpreted it to mean that I meant that teenagers were all celibate and chaste, and noble. Not at all. What I meant is that the media is portraying teenagers as sexually available entities.

quote:
Why does your well-being depend on my viewing preferences? Can't we live and let live?
I don't think we can.

quote:

A lot of normal family life is degrading for everybody except the heads of household, which is why, I imagine, most family shows are more interesting when the kids are anarchists or an untimely accident disposes of the parents.

I'm a bit anti-family. I don't think the family dynamic is one to strive for among people who aren't of blood relation. Mostly, I think that in a family dynamics don't give themselves to taking kids seriously as independent moral agents, and until you are an independent moral agent, you are kind of a degraded person.

"Normal" family dynamics often make poor stories because the necessary hierachy and obedience demanded by "normal" family dynamics precludes the moral freedom and responsibility necessary to make a compelling yarn.

Irami, you toss out the word "degrading" like a bit of bait. From a certain point of view, children are degraded in families, I suppose. They are certainly not given the freedoms that adults in the same household are.

Why do you think this is necessary?

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
What I meant is that the media is portraying teenagers as sexually available entities.
Oh gosh, how awful. And this is untrue in what way?
Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Oh gosh, how awful. And this is untrue in what way?
Obviously I don't think it's untrue. Do you think it is?
Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Irami Osei-Frimpong
Member
Member # 2229

 - posted      Profile for Irami Osei-Frimpong   Email Irami Osei-Frimpong         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Irami, you toss out the word "degrading" like a bit of bait. From a certain point of view, children are degraded in families, I suppose. They are certainly not given the freedoms that adults in the same household are.

Why do you think this is necessary?

Of course children are not given the same freedoms that adults are. It's perfectly appropriate that they should not be granted those freedoms. I, on the other hand, am not interested reading the stories of people whose lives are determined by other's laws. It's the same reason why I don't read stories about the day to day life of factory workers.

A critical part of humanity and thought expressed through art depends upon the agent's exercise of moral agency. I don't want to hear about people laboring in drugery. I think that's why many of the best stories concern affluent people who are, if not completely emancipated from such base concerns, at least have enough freedom to dream of alternative ways of living. Why do you think that parents are so often done away with in stories? Ender's Game became interesting when parents left the scene. Hart's Hope turned into a story when Orem set off on his own. It's because the presence of a parent stifles the moral agency and fictive interest of the child.

Family dynamics are intrinsically undemocratic and exalting of parents, or else, they would be viewed as anti-family and destructive.

In a good story, all of the players are fully respected as moral agents. I think that a sense of equality and responsibility is needed as a canvas.

You don't have to agree with me, but I think that the military displays a family dynamic better than the crew of Firefly.

[ August 03, 2006, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

Posts: 5600 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

It's because the presence of a parent stifles the moral agency and fictive interest of the child.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'fictive interest.' But I suggest you read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke as an example of how you can be wrong on this account.

quote:
Family dramas are intrinsically undemocratic and exalting of parents, or else, they would be viewed as anti-family and destructive.
I disagree here, too, Irami. There are plenty of family dramas (one thinks here of the awful Kirk Douglas movie 'It Runs in the Family;' or 'Everybody Loves Raymond;' or any family show on the Disney channel, though I guess those last two aren't dramas, necessarily) that are fairly destructive, if only because no one making them seems to know how to portray a real, living family.

Which, I suppose, proves your point... [Smile]

That said-- I think it rather silly to say it CAN'T be done in an interesting way. Few are attempting it these days, though.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
vonk
Member
Member # 9027

 - posted      Profile for vonk   Email vonk         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In Texas and many other states teenagers from the age 17 up are sexually available to anyone that they want to do. i'm not saying i'm gonna have sex with them (i'm not saying i'm not either), but they are most defenitely available, and regardless of what they watch on TV, the clothes they wear when they go to the mall or the beach certainly indicates that they are making themselves available, even at illegal ages. i offer no judgment what-so-ever, just an observation. teenagers can be huge sluts.

also, i don't think that watching a TV show about a 'normal family' (what is that anyway?) would be very interesting. i want to watch TV about a seriously messed up family so i can laugh and say "thank god i didn't grow up in that family. i sure as heck ain't raising my kids like that. whew!"

in conclusion, animated television and movies far outrank all live action. (i know that has nothing to do with anything else, but, ya know, its true so, thbpbtpbtpbtpbt!)

Posts: 2589 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Irami Osei-Frimpong
Member
Member # 2229

 - posted      Profile for Irami Osei-Frimpong   Email Irami Osei-Frimpong         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
if only because no one making them seems to know how to portray a real, living family.
Real, living families are different, and many are unappealing. The good ones, Family Ties, Roseanne, and the Cosby Show, all have their failures. They were about the parents, until the parents where absentee, then they were about the children breaking the parents orders, for better or worse, because nobody wants to see a drama about people who were just following orders.

For me, childhood is usually only interesting to read about outside of the household.

Posts: 5600 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
i don't think that watching a TV show about a 'normal family' (what is that anyway?) would be very interesting.
What about a normal family abducted by aliens and sent to the salt mines of Hxslick IV? Only, half way there, the Grintaar Rebellion seizes the ship, frees the fam, and they have to make their way back to earth with only their wits and a pair of obnoxious robots to accompany them...

[Big Grin]

quote:
teenagers can be huge sluts.

I'm not sure how this is an argument against my point.
Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
vonk
Member
Member # 9027

 - posted      Profile for vonk   Email vonk         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
i wasn't arguing your point. just saying that teenagers are "sexually available entities" regardless of whats on tv. and yes, i would watch that show. but only if the teenage daughter was a huge slut and they had a shower seen every other episode.
Posts: 2589 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But what does normal mean?

Worse than Everybody Loves Raymond is Malcolm in the Middle.
That show gets on my nerves...
Most shows do.

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I define "normal" as a husband and wife who show love for one another and try to raise their children to be kind to other people.

That is the widest definition of most of the families I know.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*laugh* Scott, in my circle of friends and acquaintances, that's hardly normal.
Posts: 37414 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Synesthesia
Member
Member # 4774

 - posted      Profile for Synesthesia   Email Synesthesia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But what if the kids have to be raised by their grandparents? (I was raised mostly by my grandmother.)
They ought to make a show like that where this poor grandmother has to take care of her daughter's kids or something because she's on drugs or died or something.
But, you'd probably like those other shows that I mentioned because they do have a lot of that. Except in Bernie Mac those kids aren't really there's but his sister's and he has to take care of them and watch them take over his life.
I love that show.
They better not cancel it or they will incur my WRATH.

Posts: 9938 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
*laugh* Scott, in my circle of friends and acquaintances, that's hardly normal.
I admit to being delighted to know so many stellar people.

What isn't "normal" about what I posted?

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Irami Osei-Frimpong
Member
Member # 2229

 - posted      Profile for Irami Osei-Frimpong   Email Irami Osei-Frimpong         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I define "normal" as a husband and wife who show love for one another and try to raise their children to be kind to other people.

That is the widest definition of most of the families I know.

I hear a lot of talk, and the vast majority of chatter echoes the sentiments above, but in practice, implicit and explicit, the messages run closer to, "Don't talk to these people. Don't talk to those people. Watch yourself. Take care of yourself. Safety first. Nobody outside of family is going to take care of you. Be on guard. Don't get taken advantage of. Win. etc."

[ March 08, 2006, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

Posts: 5600 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
vonk
Member
Member # 9027

 - posted      Profile for vonk   Email vonk         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm, a normal family... would be a group of people related by either blood or strong dependence on each other who love each other and care about each others future. I don't think i would go farther than that. but then, i don't know if i'm differentiating between what i think a normal family is and what i think a good family is. i think that the best depiction of a normal family on television would have to be the simpsons.
Posts: 2589 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JLM
Member
Member # 7800

 - posted      Profile for JLM           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
I define "normal" as a husband and wife who show love for one another and try to raise their children to be kind to other people.

That is the widest definition of most of the families I know.

Like "The Simpsons". No, really! Homer and Marge are deeply devoted to each other and make huge sacrifices for their children. Homer says and does some incredibly stupid things, but at his core he would sacrifice nearly anything for the sake of his family. Homer even takes Lisa to see ballet performances, which to Homer is a HUGE sacrifice.
Posts: 157 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I hear a lot of talk, the vast majority of chatter, echoes the sentiments above, but in practice, implicit and explicit, the messages run closer to, "Don't talk to these people. Don't talk to those people. Watch yourself. Take care of yourself. Safety first. Nobody outside of family is going to take care of you. Be on guard. Don't get taken advantage of. Win. etc."
:shrug:

Nothing I can really say to this. I don't think it's true.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Irami Osei-Frimpong
Member
Member # 2229

 - posted      Profile for Irami Osei-Frimpong   Email Irami Osei-Frimpong         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Fair enough. I'm of the view that some families exist to teach kindness, others exist to ensure survival and provide security. I'm also of the view that there are more of the second group than the first, and further, there is a whole lot of masquerading and even self-deception going on in both camps, such that talk rarely coincides with the message shown.
Posts: 5600 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2