Friday, July 10, 2009

Roger Ebert vs. film fans

Just a quick link right now, I wanted to share Roger Ebert's response to the backlash against his Transformers 2 review. I don't want to touch upon the film anymore, and frankly he doesn't seem to either, but his points about education are great. The best bit, however, is this comparison between sports fans and movie fans that I wholeheartedly agree with. I couldn't even begin to estimate the number of times I feel compelled to apologize for the fact that I studied culture in university when discussing film, television, etc.

I think it's ridiculous, and that those without the same kind of background in theoretical models and modes of thought don't necessarily have to agree with me by any means. No one has to agree with me. But to outright discount my opinion and those of theorists because they are "pretentious" or "thinking too much" is infuriating. The worst is when I have to hear these things from my ostensibly more educated friends, those who are often in university themselves, though not because they have any sort of respec for the institution or values they're paying for.

Sigh, at this point I'm more just venting about a few specific people I ahve in mind, so I'll stop. Here's the quote I wanted to point out, followed by a link to the post on Ebert's blog. Check it out, it's a good one.

"A reader named Jared Diamond, a senior at Syracuse, sports editor of The Daily Orange, put my disturbance eloquently in a post asking: "Why in this society are the intelligent vilified? Why is education so undervalued and those who preach it considered arrogant or pretentious?" Why, indeed? If sports fans were like certain movie fans, they would hate sports writers, commentators and sports talk hosts for always discussing fine points, quoting statistics and bringing up games and players of the past. If all you want to do is drink beer in the sunshine and watch a ball game, why should some elitist play-by-play announcer bore you with his knowledge? Yet sports fans are proud of their baseball knowledge, and respect commentators who know their stuff."

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