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December 1997, Week 2


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Mike Frank <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 11 Dec 1997 19:47:07 -0400
TEXT/PLAIN (52 lines)
i have no doubt that this post will mark me indelibly as somewhere between
a luddite and an intolerable reactionary, but i'm getting a little impatient
with a series of messages that
 -- a) begin with the premise that no account can be the TOTAL OBJECTIVE
truth, whatever that might be, presumably an account that manages to
provide all possible points of view on something and exhausts it as a
topic once and for all   . . . and then proceed to move from this inarguable
premise to the preposterous conclusion that
 -- b) there is NO difference worth mentioning between truth and fiction
in support this point kevin boon, to choose one recent contributor, cites
a series of examples in which ostensibly factual presentations were rigged . .
. he says:
>  the question, it seems to me, is not if the dubbing
> in of sound after the fact is ethical, but whether or not
> anything else is possible.
>        I'm reminded of Broadcast News, when a single camera is
> manipulated in order to create empathy from the audience. I'm
> reminded of the recent Oprah interview with Paul Simon when she
> made some reference to a previous conversation with Simon and he
> said, "I don't recall that," to which she gave the pleasantly
> astonished and muted response, "Gosh, won't even
> pretend on TV." I'm reminded of a comment a friend of mine made
> about the Richard Beigh show about how they would round up friends
> and ask them to play jilted lovers when they didn't have enough guests.
. . .  i'm unafamiliar with most of these examples but am perfectly ready
to believe that all of them, and many other things on the toob that in
my naivete i take to be true, are in fact false . . . but kevin's arguement
[and, i suspect, his outrage] are in fact evidence that he himself is
working with a very clear and stable notion of the difference tween truth
and falsehood, and is pissed when something that is one pretends to be
the other . . . in other words, his examples do not demonstrate
that there's no difference between true and false discourses; in fact they
demonstrate exactly the opposite, that there are clear differences
between them, at least in principle
 . . . that no account can tell the whole truth hardly means that all
accounts are equally false . . .
 . . . so, can we now stop worrying ourselves and each other with this
trendy relativist pseudo-problem, and get on with thinking about
what accounts actually do?
mike frank
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