Thursday, January 14, 2010

Moff's Law Enforced Here

Not that it has ever done otherwise, but this precious, precious blog embraces and enforces Moff's Law, the preamble of which reads as follows:

Of all the varieties of irritating comment out there, the absolute most annoying has to be “Why can’t you just watch the movie for what it is??? Why can’t you just enjoy it? Why do you have to analyze it???”If you have posted such a comment, or if you are about to post such a comment, here or anywhere else, let me just advise you: Shut up. Shut the fuck up. Shut your goddamn fucking mouth. SHUT. UP.

First of all, when we analyze art, when we look for deeper meaning in it, we are enjoying it for what it is. Because that is one of the things about art, be it highbrow, lowbrow, mainstream, or avant-garde: Some sort of thought went into its making — even if the thought was, “I’m going to do this as thoughtlessly as possible”! — and as a result, some sort of thought can be gotten from its reception.
The entire thing is worth taking in, and needless to say, Moff's Law applies to all the creative productions of the human animal, not just talkies.

There is doubtless a place in life for the joy, catharsis, diversion, sensation, and whatever else can come from allowing a movie to simply happen, untroubled by the inner critic's endless cavils. Mentally escaping via someone else's creative work is worthwhile, maybe even necessary -- it certainly feels necessary as a sanity-preserver at times. But both the benefits and the shortcomings of enjoying a work in this way should be recognized, and as the maker of Moff's Law stated, the shortcomings begin with the recognition that thoughtlessness seems a spectacularly poor fit, as responses go, to something that came from thought.

I have heard it said: there is no substitute for thinking about what you're doing. So let it be written, so let it be done.

1 comment:

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I didn't realize I needed permission to do this sort of thing. I love analyzing the art I like but always felt guilty for doing so.

Thank you for this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The tyranny is over!

(the captcha with this was "lessun")