The Dark Knight Rises Negative Review Draws Death Threats From Fans: Ridiculous News Item of the Day 7/16/2012

I’ve often decried the failings of internet film journalism citing a variety of reasons (on the whole I find it to be amateurish, unlearned, and sensationalist), but if I were to pinpoint an overarching theme that encapsulates my displeasure with the entire film blog-o-sphere it would be this; the anonymity offered by the internet continues to bread an environment in which there is little or no real accountability for how one conducts themselves online. The moral and scholastic aspects of reasonable discussion tend to suffer the most from this environment. An infuriating side-effect to be sure, but tolerable if taken with a grain of salt. However there are other times when events arise in cyberspace are so unbelievably backwards and distasteful, that you are left wondering in what possible way has this modern era of online communication ever been of benefit (both in a general as well as cinematic sense).  Case in point:

To quote Armond White from his brilliant article about online film criticism “discourteous discourse

“Attacks from bloggers—crude interlopers of a once august profession— are not about diversity of opinion. What’s at root is an undisguised rivalry. Every moviegoer with a laptop claims equal—vengeful—standing with so-called professionals. This anti-intellectual backlash defies the purpose of the Circle’s founding in 1935. Professional dignity is the last thing Internetters respect. Their loudmouth enmity and lack of knowledge are so overwhelming that it is imperative to put this crisis in perspective.

These new social networks overturn the informed judgments and occupational decorum of journalist-critics, substituting the glib enthusiasms and non-discriminating devotion of apparently juvenile cliques. Worse yet, this schoolyard style of peer group fanaticism has devolved into all-out, ugly intimidation: Internet bullying. It has begun to sway the professional ranks already frightened by media transitions that have cost many of my colleagues their jobs.

The most important concern exceeds the critical profession; it’s the danger these changes pose to the culture in general. Ridiculing the need for mature thought and discriminating judgment diminishes film culture. Any opinion that challenges the blockbuster market gets punished. We never experience a healthy exchange of ideas. The social networking approach to criticism encourages anti-intellectual harassment and the excoriation of individual response; it may spell the end of critical habits altogether.”

What a sad time this is. You hear of stuff like this and its not hard to see how movements like Fascism and Nazism get up and running. I don’t mean to be overly dramatic or overreaching. I just don’t like bullies.


About celluloidhumanoid

Celluloid Prophet

Posted on July 16, 2012, in Film and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. The guy with the misspelled username thinks internet journalism is amateurish, eh?

    • Firstly, thank you

      Let it be said that I was always willing to accept correction. I want people to come to this website and see excellence, and by you calling me out, i’m getting closer and closer to the mark.

      Nevertheless, I see spelling mistakes as a very trivial issue when considering all that is wrong with internet journalism. When I speak of what is wrong with film blogging I usually talk about it being amateurish, unlearned and sensationalist from a point of view dealing strictly with content. Believe me, if spelling mistakes were the only problem I saw with these film blogs, there would not be a film-cycle. Its a bigger more intrinsic issue I hope to address through my website. I hope you continue to read and keep me on my toes as I do.

  2. You used “Armond White” and “brilliant” in the same sentence. Stopped reading.

  3. Yeah this is absolutely the problem with not just film culture, but our culture at large: the devolution of discourse, and the absence of morality that both occur when people get to hide behind a username.

    Armond White is indeed brilliant, especially as a social critic (even if he did like Transformers 2). I find that most of his critics aren’t actually all that familiar with his work, and that many of the other ones miss the point.

    Yeah, he can be standoffish and sometimes just mean, but he always has something worth saying about a film’s cultural context. Writing him off as an opportunistic troll is just simplistic.

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