Ernest said:Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2003View SourceErnest said: << I balk, too, a little at the notion that a word "succeeds"
because it manages to evoke a strong emotional response, any response. I'll
never forget the ending of John Waters's _Pink Flamingoes_; is, that, then,
a successful work? (Actually, by Waters's own lights, the answer is
probably yes. I remember his saying once that if someone throws up while
watching one of his movies, it's like a standing ovation to him.) >>
I didn't see that one, but I did see all or most of something I thought
nasty, called I believe "Blue Velvet." Can we continue this OK on the
list? This "is it art?" discussion? I bet it's as irresistable as talking
about the weather. Heh.
If something is pernicious to the soul, does that make it a Successful
Work? Or a disease?
Some diseases innoculate. How can we distinguish between the Useful Bad
and the Gratuitously Gross ?
FWIW I found what Ellison I did read to be interesting and
thought-provoking. And I share the classification of dim view of the dumb
mobs versus love for individuals. I stand firmly for the right to adore
those whom I choose to admire or like or whatever, and deplore great
sweeping wastes of resources or brainpower. But we all have our own ideas
of what constitutes admirable or wasteful.
amor vincit omnia
... From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano To: Mythopoeic Society Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 11:36 AMMessage 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2003View Source
----- Original Message -----
From: "Elizabeth Apgar Triano" <lizziewriter@...>
To: "Mythopoeic Society" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2003 11:36 AM
Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Ellison etc.
> I didn't see that one, but I did see all or most of something I thought
> nasty, called I believe "Blue Velvet."
Yeah, that's David Lynch, not quite at his worst (I've heard, but only by
reputation, that _Wild at Heart_ earns that title.) The frightening thing
about _Blue Velvet_ is that, unlike (say) Waters's films, carefully and even
subtly crafted. Some people may snort and say, "_Blue Velvet_? Subtle?",
but there are many little details in the movie, hard to spot, which build
the sense of malaise which Lynch wants. That's Monty Clift's picture in
Laura Dern's bedroom, for example, and Clift was a notoriously
self-destructive closeted gay actor. When Kyle McLachlan says to Dern that
she's a neat girl, she replies, "You too." Huh? Yet it's still an
exploitation movie, and a fairly repulsive one at that, especially in its
treatment of the Isabella Rosselini character.
> If something is pernicious to the soul, does that make it a Successful
> Work? Or a disease?
Can art be pernicious to the soul? Unfortunately the debate has become so
hopelessly polarized that there is almost no ground for the person (like me)
who, while setting his face against any notion of censorship or return of a
"Production Code", believes that some works of art and entertainment are
morally questionable, even repulsive. You've got the two camps now, the
(often religiously motivated) reactionaries who want to burn Mapplethorpe
and expurgate Scorsese, and the (often adolescent or college-aged) radicals
who scoff at any notion that a movie, book, or TV game can influence
behavior (then why watch, read, or play?) and that they should be able to
watch as much pornography and play as much "Grand Theft Auto" as they want.