Thursday, June 7, 2012

FTT Off-Topic: Afflicting the Comfortable, or "Heckler", The Movie



New on Netflix Instant, this is a documentary made by the exceptionally intolerable Jamie Kennedy, who I'm led to understand made some money making movies that have been critically savaged. He then decides to talk to a large number of people who have also been treated badly, and oh my, is the whining thick.

Now, some of the people who appear in the movie are among my list of solid comedians (Maria Bamford, Patton Oswalt, Paul S. Tompkins, David Cross, Andy Kindler, Craig Ferguson) who say some good things...

But the vast majority of the folks who are on this are people who made money for, well, stuff that had no artistic value or staying power. Watching Kennedy freak out over reviews, or Andrew Dice Clay, or Carrot Top... well, if a reviewer or blogger or heckler has made you feel bad about yourself? I'm not going to feel very bad about that. At all. And they've got skin that's as thin as Boston Fan or anyone else who's tears we enjoy, so by all means, tell us all how mad that made you feel. Mmmm, Haterade.

I've got a little bit of perspective here, having been on both sides of the aisle; I've had my music and blogwork torn apart, and I've torn apart the work of others. And here's the single point that no one seems to be remembering...

No one asked you to make art, and no asked you to heckle or criticize it. Also, no one is making you pay attention to what's been said. 

It is a meritocracy, in that an audience will find or flay you as they choose. And with the Internet, the flaying is far more pointed, because it's easy to amp up the hate, and the act of creating or performing seems like, well, no real trouble at all. (Right up there with writing ad copy, which is my day job, so I've got a lot of experience here.)

Oh, and the end of this has the infamously bad film director Uwe Boll beating the shit of some of his critics, because Owe Boll is clearly much better at boxing than making movies. So, um, good for him?

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