Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reductio Ad Bardum

We’ve already done the “Big Lebowski” thing here on the blog (and it’s been all over Twitter), but this article is about that project yet again.

What’s interesting is the reference to Godwin’s Law, and the bits in the middle.  Godwin's Law, for those not up on the Internet lore, basically says “In any argument, once somebody brings up the Nazis no further intelligent conversation can take place.”

Well, it seems that one J Holtham has put forth a similar law for discussion of things theatrical :

If you bring up Shakespeare in any discussion, particularly if it’s about diversity or style, you lose the argument….It’s lazy, it’s weak, and worst of all it’s stupid as hell.  Everybody likes Shakespeare.  You know why?  Because he was a frickin goddamned authentic genius.”

When I skim a statement like that it gets the ol’ dander up, since lord knows I mention Shakespeare often.  But I think, upon further reading, that they’re talking about modern theatre and those people inevitably say “Yeah, well, Shakespeare did it first.”  That’s useless.  I can agree with that.


Lisa Ann said...

It is useless, especially since Shakespeare stole story lines left and right. It was the way he told stories that was genious.

In other words, there's nothing wrong with copying becuase it's not the raw materials, it's how you use them.

And another genious could take one of Shakespear's stories, mix it up, and turn it into something else completely different and equally wonderful. That's how art works, and I love it.

kj said...

What if you mention Shakespeare and Nazis in the same discussion?