Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Story Killers.

I recently added the family room gaming console to my Netflix account. It's fun and I don't have to worry about taking DVDs orders when there are a ton of streaming titles available. Of course, it's wreaking havoc with my recommendations, but it's kind of fun in a weird way.

Anyhoo, one of my recommendations (before the havoc) was an indie art house-type film called Valhalla Rising. I had to watch it in two parts. The first reason was because of the sheer amount of very realistic violence and gore, the second was because of a fifteen second (at most) scene of sexual violence. Even now, a few days later, I'm still bothered by the movie. On its artistic merits, I cannot fault; the movie was, well, good. Sure it was artsy and kind of experimental, but it was, technically, good. But I still rated it a " did not like" because of the sexual violence scene. It ruined the whole thing for me. Even though all the disturbing aspects of the movie fit, I cannot and will not abide certain things in my entertainment choices.

Now, playing Devil's Advocate, sometimes a story requires ugliness in order to be told, especially in reference to ugly topics. Bringing things into the light in order to deal with and bring awareness of said ugly thing is good, but waylaying a reader (or movie-watcher) with a disturbing scene strikes me as unfair. Impact is one thing, an ambush is entirely different.

The range of issues people have when it comes to their entertainment is as varied the target demographic themselves. In my own house, one of my family members will not tolerate irreverent humor in any form (think Monty Python); another can't stand any denigration of marriage or monogamy; and still another can't stand anything that challenges masculine identity (again, think Monty Python).

Personal preferences in entertainment isn't a bad thing (unless it's against the fellas in my Monty Python). I think that it's an aspect that some writers aren't prepared for sometimes. Sometimes you will write about something that irks a person, group, hell, maybe even an entire country. Not everyone will love your work and that's okay.


  1. We sure do have to learn to be OK with that.

    I love Monty Python.

  2. Thick skin and whatnot, right? Lol. :)