|YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO
DISAGREE WITH ME ABOUT ANYTHING
By Roger Ebert
I'm writing this guest column for Platypus Comics because I've been getting a lot of complaints lately. It's normal for your average critic to hear from those who take issue with his tastes, but as of late I've had to handle a lot more than the average share. A lot LOT more. Many of those complainers are reading this page right now, so maybe if I've put my more recent statements in the proper context, you'll understand why I said them.
I suppose if this was a disagreement between two equals, that would be fine. But I have been a professional for over thirty years. I have won countless awards and been the guest of honor at banquets none of you could ever get into. Countless scholars and people of influence, from all over the world, trust my opinion and they trust it for a reason. As you sit there, in your bathrobe and underpants, mouth-breathing in front of your garishly bright LCD display...do you not see a difference between the two of us? If you needed real advice or information....who would you rather go to?
What I've been under fire the most about, over the past few weeks, is my repeated statement that video games are not, cannot, and will never be art from now until infinity. People constantly tell me I'm wrong, yet they can't provide one scrap of evidence or even a half-convincing argument to the contrary. That's because I never make a statement I know isn't the absolute truth. Disagreeing with me is a fool's game.
The mere fact that you respect games on that kind of level deflates the power of your argument alone. Video games are a crude, violent, desensitizing waste of time, and can never aspire to be anything greater. Now, you might point out, art can be violent and crude as well. But the big difference between art and video games is, art is never childish. And art exists to make a statement, whereas games have never made one. The point of games is not to philosophize, but to make those who fail at life feel better.
People who disagree with this point tell me about a horrible title called "Shadow of the Clossus" where a small man must destroy several giants for no other reason than they are there. This is supposed to convince me of gaming's worthiness? Shall I just put this ridiculous title on display in the Louvre? I think not -- I would be hounded out of the building! There has never been a video game that even comes close to timeless, classic or iconic, as art often is...and rightly so, as the messages said games subliminally portray is vile and corrupt. Even with 1978's Space Invaders, the clear message is that illegal aliens, whether they be from the sky or from Mexico, must be destroyed.
Another point I should point at is that many of the great Renaissance masters worked in the nude. They sculpted the human figure to the best of their ability, and didn't skimp on anything. When was the last time you played a video game that laid out the homosapien physique as beautifully as Michelangelo's David? Never, because Mario always keeps his overalls on. And that will always keep him from being art.
Now, I'll admit I have seen a couple of games that tempt me into changing my position. Most specifically, Fat Princess for the PS3 comes closer to art than most other inanities, but doesn't quite make it. As a striking commentary both on the epidemic of obesity and the complacency of our world leaders, Fat Princess works on many intellectual levels. But I would hesistate to call this true art, in the classic sense.
My point stands firm in the bedrock of absolute truth. If you still believe video games are art after all I've laid out to the contrary, you must be one of those imbeciles who actually liked Kick-Ass.
Throughout my career I have had to deal with a lot of horrible films head-on to protect the rest of you from seeing them, and quite often, none of you listen to me. It can be very wearying. Now, my words of warning against Kick-Ass must have had some effect, given its box office performance, but it still wasn't enough for me.
Kick-Ass is the worst film to hit this planet since North. I don't know who this John Romita Jr. nobody is, but he should be poisoned for conspiring with some other guy named Mork Millar to produce a dog of a graphic novel that had a movie deal before it was even begun. I'm serious. These guys struck a deal to make a motion picture out of Kick-Ass before they'd even written the thing. That alone should give you a strong hint of its quality.
The worst thing about Kick-Ass, and the worst thing I've seen anywhere in a long time, is the character of Hit-Girl. I know I might sound old here. I realize you young people find it old-fashioned to be appalled in any way by the sight of a sailor-swearing, gun-toting, mentally disturbed pre-teen who gets beaten up by her own father. If you had it your way, movies would contain no sense of moral boundaries whatsoever. I can only imagine what your broken home lives must be like. What kind of twisted overpaid sickos are these people? I wouldn't be surprised if this girl, Chloe Moretz, grows up to become a real-life mass murderer. We're encouraging this behavior in her!
I've gotten the last laugh, though. You self-righteous iWhatever-toting celebuslaves thought ticket sales for this dung-pile would be through the roof. Well, surprise surprise -- nobody wants to look at disgusting cinema like this! Except for you, but you'll grow out of it as you mature, if you ever do.
Oh wait, I forgot. Kick-Ass didn't do well because it wasn't in 3-D, that's right.
As I stated in my Newsweek piece already, 3-D is garbage. It is an abomination. It is the worst thing to ever happen to theater since Hitler. If you like 3-D, if you sincerely believe 3-D is an improvement over 2-D, I have some news for you....you are not a thinking human being. In fact, you are less than human, and should be treated so. Your family should be beaten in front of your eyes. You should have your citizenship revoked, locked inside a secret military base for the rest of your life, and then you should be waterboarded for 20 hours a day. With raw sewage.
Of course, people tell me I'm being a fuddy-duddy again, and that someday soon 3-D will become as accepted as color. You have all let me know color movies faced plenty of scoffers and haters upon the date of their invention. Well, guess what? They were right. Would Citizen Kane be better in color? Would Casablanca be better in color? Or Ed Wood? Name me one movie ever released that absolutely needed multiple hues to tell its story. Just about every film in color could have been shot just as easily in black and white with no other changes. That makes color a frill, not a necessity. After seventy years the fact still remains. Color is little more than a bonus, a gimmick. And 3-D is just the same.
Movie studios use color as an excuse to charge $.18 extra per ticket at the counter. They know entertainment can be had without it. They just want you all to think you NEED color. Theaters are color PUSHERS.
They are now pulling the same racket with 3-D. If we want civilization to be saved, we have to tell them NO. We can't buy into the same old lie this time.
|One more point. There's been some
chattering amongst the public that I have become meaner
in the past few years. That I used to be the opinionated
but lovable bespectacled man who provided a sunnier
counterpoint to Gene, but this is no longer the case.
Some of you, in fact, have proposed the theory that I've come down with Internet
Syndrome. It is easier to type nasty statements then
speak them, you say, and due to my condition it is the only avenue wherein I
can be truly social.
Well, let me say this about that....
I'm Roger Ebert.
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