Marshal Zeringue runs a marvelous blog where an author describes his work using Ford Maddox Ford’s dictum: “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” My entry is now online. Take a look at it and other great works at The Page 99 Test.
Read a selection from the introduction of my new book Turning the Tables (UNC Press). The excerpt is featured on the New York Times’ The Moment blog.
Why is no one decrying the racist and antisemetic motif in Shrek?
“Video games by their nature require player choices, which is the opposite of the strategy of serious film and literature, which requires authorial control.”
Roger Ebert said this. He is correct.
Anthony Burch at Destructoid is the most recent commentator to argue that video games are not works of art. His contention (inspired and later endorsed by Roger Ebert) is that since we interact with a video game (potentially violating the vision of the author) the experience may not be sublime and thus the the video game is not art.
Granted, I love a well crafted story, but this is a weak test for what is art. If I hang a picture upside it does not cease to be art. If I leave the door of my house open, it does not cease to be architecture. If I look at a Rothko and see only stripes, it remains art. All creative works are interpreted and misunderstood and mutilated. It is awfully hard, however, to hide the sublime.
Morning talk shows went crazy over the “Single Ladies” dance competition featuring eight and nine-year old girls. The other day I stumbled across a morning talk show commentator (Jennifer Hartstein) who claimed that the young performers were on the road to teenage promiscuity. Absurd. These are the same claims that were made about reading comic books in the 1950s. There has never been any evidence that we humans are that simplistic.
Child psychologists and morning show commentators labeling these children may turn them into sluts, but that is because we project our worse fears onto our children and tell them that an innocent dance act has excited perverts and irreparably ruined their reputations. These children were not exploited by their parents, but they have been exploited by the media.