x-posted @ INTPc
I was watching the Nostalgia Critic a few days ago compare Tim Burton's Batman with The Dark Knight. I agreed with some, and disagreed with a lot. One part that really stopped me was when he criticized the speeches the characters make in the movie. He said he loved them, but it wasn't realistic.
Really? That's a valid criticism?
A movie where, as one character states, has a billionaire that dresses as a giant bat who as "one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands". Opposed by a homicidal manic who puts on clown makeup and is able to stage vast complex plans with insane accomplices. And the talking isn't realistic?
Does anyone think that Elizabethan people broke into blank verse soliloquies to explain their actions either?
I reread MacBeth the other night. Upon learning his wife has died, MacBeth says:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time.
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle.
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Does anyone think that is a realistic reaction to the death of a spouse? Yet those lines are among the most celebrated in the English language.
I'm not saying the Dark Knight screenplay is Shakespeare, but if you like something, why dismiss it as unrealistic? Especially when it is surrounded by the fantastical?
In some sense, it feels as if society has created a backlash against anything that attempts much beyond the ordinary. Anytime someone doesn't appreciate the latest dumbshit Transformers movie, they are derided as pretentious and out of touch with the common man.
This phenomenon has even been identified in former British colonies as the Tall Poppy Syndrome. Every great person must be scrutinized to find their feet of clay.
What is the root of this? Crab mentality?
I admit to some of this myself. I enjoy rooting for the underdog. When the New England Patriots were going for an undefeated season in the Super Bowl two years ago (something that hadn't been done during my lifetime), I rooted like hell against them. I didn't care so much about the other team winning, as much as I wanted to see the Patriots fail.
In part, I saw the Patriots as arrogant and undeserving of that accomplishment. Was that really true? Do we always see the successful as arrogant? Above their station?
When the high paid executives and financial wizards trigger a global recession with their scheming, one might find justification in these attitudes. That doesn't explain why people celebrate creative mediocrity, or why intellectuals are dismissed as "eggheads".
I'm not so sure of the implications myself, I'm just curious at this point. What do you think?