Sunday, June 20, 2004

I'm pissed off.

Yesterday, CC, whom I have mentioned earlier as the immmediate catalyst to my blogging, and whom I will mention now as the apparent self-appointed dictator of blogging gave me shit for putting my blog address in my AIM profile. I'm not going to go into why I did it, I've given reasons - good or bad - in another post. My goal here is only the expression of my dissatisfaction with being told that I have broken the "first commandment of blogging". First of all, I find the notion of blogging rules, blogging etiquet, and especially blogging commandments, to be both absurd and absolutely contrary to my own approach to The Success Blog. I will blog what I want and when I want. I will whatever I want to whomever I want. And I will certainly, without hesitation, put my own blog address into my own AIM profile any time I damn well feel like it. It is after all, my blog, and my profile. Most importantly (and I think that on this point CC would agree), I blog for myself. To me (and here, CC would certainly disagree), that means that if attracting readers, and indeed, readers that know personally, adds to my blogging pleasure, then I won't let any self-imposed and imaginary rules stand in my way. The risk, of course, of this sort of publicity and expanded readership, is that my blog will soon lose it's loyalty to it's creator and begin to transform in order to accomodate the tastes of its readers. To be sure, this is a fear. Fortunately, while I do (as I have previously expressed) enjoy exposure, I do not need it, and I will not cater to it.

With that in mind, this whole issue has me so riled up that I am reminded of my last absolutely infuriating experience - one I will readily admit had me far more heated than this minor tassle. The Warner Brothers motion picture, "Troy". For a week after seeing the film, I tried in every way I knew to contact Warner Brothers, but was unsuccessful. I searched high and low for an acutal postal address for customer server, or, for anything, to no avail. I ended up using both an online response form and a customer service email address I found buried in a liscence agreement. I tried both several times, finaly politely asking only for a postal address to which I could write. I recieved a wide variety of automated responses which assured me that Warner Brothers cared what I had to say and proceeded to direct me to the Harry Potter help page, or other assorted irrelavent sites, if I had further questions. I was beyond enfuriated about the whole ordeal. With time, however, wounds healed and my rage quieted. Now however, I am reminded of it, and in a final, hopeless gesture of my frustration, I will post recycled material. This is the initial letter I wrote just after seeing the movie; to my knowledge, until now, it's never been read. Warner Brothers = Holywood's holocaust of history, liturature, and myth.

Warner Brothers,

I have given my money and my time to see your movie, “Troy”, I expect you to return the favor by having my comments read. This is not a message I wished to send via e-mail, but despite my efforts I was unable to find any mailing address for anyone at Warner Bothers. My first request is simply a reply with mailing addresses for both WB customer service and a person of authority within the motion picture subdivision of Warner Brothers. That I was unable to find either of these is itself unsettling. As a customer, I would appreciate a serious response.

Today, May 14, 2004, I viewed your film, "Troy" at the Grand Cinemas Theatre in [W3], and I have never before been so furious and frustrated at a film and its makers. My frustration did not stem from a mere lack of enjoyment in a film (after all, we all have different tastes and I willingly accept the risk of not enjoying a film each time I go see one), but rather from its completely irresponsible disregard and disrespect for not only myself, but for: a) the long tradition of poets and storytellers who shaped the stories from which you have scavenged the most irresponsible movie I have ever seen; b) the ideas of the characters your film portrays, and for, most importantly, c) every person who sees your movie and has not been exposed to any of the very common and very accessible information which would allow them to see how completely you have ruined the story, the idea, the art, and the message of the myth of Achilles and the Trojan War. I am fully aware of the fact that when I go to see a movie of a story that I already know—via book or history or any other medium—that I should not expect it to be exactly as I know it. I am prepared for this, and nothing along these lines have ever bothered me in the least before now. However, when you twist the lines of mythological history to the extent that you have—to the extent, even, of placing Achilles within the Trojan Horse and present at the fall of Troy—the result is absolutely inexcusable. Not only is this a perversion of the story beyond the acceptable limits granted to you as filmmakers and distributors, but it is a completely informed deception of enormous numbers of the public who will see this movie and now believe that Achilles was inside the Trojan horse (be it historical or mythological, it is inaccurate either way) and that pagan god-worship was not only ridiculous, but also a fatal error. I would like to point out that I am by no means well-educated in classical mythology and Trojan history, but I have a read a few timeless classics and am informed enough to know that your story aligns with none of them. I won’t attempt to explain to you all the tiny details you have gotten wrong, after all, I don’t blame you for changing details. The creation of art is in fact about the details—the artist interprets the story and presents his interpretation however he sees fit. What you have done, however, is NOT interpretation. You have given the public one more false, idyllic, Christian idea which they now believe has classical roots, but is, in fact, just as much a figment of Hollywood’s small and incapable imagination as anything else it ingests these days. What strikes me as most absurd about your film is its intense hypocrisy. You have failed to even listen to your own message. You stress so heavily that this story is about fame and heroes and the immortality that comes through the written word, but you have turned on that word and radically altered and corrupted the fame of the characters you portray. Yes, Achilles and Hector, Paris and Helen, Priam and Agamemnon, even Briseis and Patroclus, are immortal. They are immortal because the stories that they are a part of have survived thousands of years. These stories have survived these thousands of years because they are the stories of mankind. They touch the same nerves and illicit the same emotions for us as they did for those who first heard Homer and the other great poets sing the praise of Achilles all those years ago. These stories, and the characters in them were immortal before you ever put them on the silver screen. Unfortunately, you have raped them like no artist in three thousand years has done. You have perverted their stories and stolen their messages in a way that no artist before you has even considered. You did not present your interpretation to me tonight, you presented your perversion. And I, and the remainder of the people who have seen this film deserve our time, money, and innocence back. The only way for good to come of this film now is if you can get the story straight, or at least let people know that what they are watching is no more historical than any other Warner Brothers farce. To deceive the public the way you do on a regular basis is wrong. To deceive them like this is inexcusable. I paid $5.50 for myself, $5.50 for my date, and 2 hours and 40 minutes to see your movie. The least you can do is return my money, and spend the 2 minutes it takes to hear my complaints.

P.S. Holy shit. I almost just flipped my lid. I finished this rant, and then, when I went to post, the page wasn't found...when I went back, I was faced with an inane, blank, new post. Near disaster. Fortunately, when I went into my settings with desperate hope, lo and behold, it was there, ready to be edited. I'm sure you are as glad as I am. Hopefully this works this time...

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