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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com

Dear Internet: You are Depressing.

Dear Internet,

I think it’s time we had a little talk. Your negative attitude is seriously bringing me down.`Just this week, we had:

The London Riots, footage of which is beyond depressing. But even more depressing than the riots themselves: the overt racism and classism permeating many of the conversations happening in the comments sections of stories and opinion pieces on the riots. Oy.

Texas governor Rick Perry, He-Whose-Fabulous-Hair-Shall-Not-Be-Named, is apparently the anointed Presidential candidate of God, according to these people, who think they are modern-day prophets. Among other things, the various pastors who are involved with this group think that natural disasters are God’s judgement on the ungodly, that the emperor of Japan had sex with a sun goddess, and that the Democratic Party is run by Jezebel and a couple of lesser demons. And I’m not even making that up.

Casey Anthony is the most hated person in the US, beating out OJ Simpson and Paris Hilton. Quite an accomplishment.

Our House of Representatives appears to have been taken hostage by a pack of incompetent boobs. Oh wait, we elected those guys, didn’t we? On the plus side, Wall Street seems to be bouncing back a bit.

Sesame Street insists that, in spite of all appearances, Bert and Ernie are not now, and never have been, gay. They’re just BFFs who’ve been living together. For FOUR decades. Okay, whatever.

The US Postal service wants to lay off 120,000 people and cut benefits. No word of if they plan to reboot the Pony Express as a cost-saving measure.

In movie news, The Help is either Oscar-worthy, or it’s a racist film, and/or another example of Hollywood white-washing history. Guess I’ll have to go see it for myself and see what I think about that.

Fortunately, TIFF is coming up soon, so we’ll be able to bury our heads in films for a week and ignore the world. At least temporarily. Until then, Internet, if you could maybe lay off the bad news for a while, that would be great. Thanks.

One Response to “Dear Internet: You are Depressing.”

  1. Rob says:

    “But even more depressing than the riots themselves: the overt racism and classism permeating many of the conversations happening in the comments sections of stories and opinion pieces on the riots.”

    Lemme just head it off at the pass:

    “Harrumph blather thugs blah blah you Americans shouldn’t say anything about anything harrumph thugs thugs sneer we hate the darkies.”

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“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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