Jump the Shark

While I’m sure there’s long been lots of people eager to give away the ending to a good play, radio drama, novel, or movie — and yes, I’m certainly one of them — it seems to me that the current fashion of saying “Spoilers…” to make one immune from learning the ending is a good example of how material culture drives social habit, demonstrating that the two are simply different analytic nodes of the same, mutually constituting thing. Continue reading “Jump the Shark”

The Normalcy of “Emotional Pornography”

imagesMore than two decades after its release, I doubt that there are few in the movie-watching public who haven’t heard of Schindler’s List (1993), that now-famous film directed by Steven Spielberg that confronted audiences with what was marketed as the Holocaust in cinematic form. In the film, Oskar Schindler is a Nazi businessman whose already tenuous allegiance to the Third Reich weakens as his compassion and humanization of the Jews around him grows. The plot line revolves around the story of Schindler’s efforts to save as many Jews from death as possible, a feat accomplished when Schindler compiles a list of Jews whose survival (as his employees) he links to the health of his business. Continue reading “The Normalcy of “Emotional Pornography””