Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Re: A tale told by an idiot

In response to A tale told by an idiot on Ken's blog, in which he bemoans the reality-denying conspiracy theory of the film Anonymous about Shakespeare's works being written by someone else.


To reuse the bard’s form: “A tale told by an idiot is still a tale”

Films are about meaning and narrative, and are in fact usually a way for people to ascribe meaning and overarching narrative to a world full of random chance and no objective meaning. So film is actually about the meta, the meaning, not reality. Just like sci-fi is about humanity, not about science.

So, just as scientists have to do when watching most disaster movies, you must realise that we must leave disbelief at the doors of the theatre. Leave reality behind, and enter fairyland, enter the magical world where everything has a reason.

It probably will do well at the box office, because it has a strong enough premise for you to rail against. Most people won’t really care whether that premise is objectively true or not, because they already have too much objective reality to deal with. All they want is a story. That’s why films do well about dinosaurs roaming the earth, or aliens, or supernatural things.

There is usually a loose connection to reality in order to set the scene, to begin from a common narrative understanding; that there is a bard, that he is famous for writing some of the greatest works in literature. From there, the tale can construct its own world. Ignore the assertions of the nutters, and immerse yourself in the story.

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