Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Only Superhumans Qualify As Entertainers - Buster Keaton
Kali just turned me on to Buster Keaton films.I had seen Sherlock Jr. and Steamboat Bill way back during college days but was too into discovering lost cartoons to be paying enough attention to silent films.
Thanks, Kali for correcting my oversight.
Anyway, Keaton really illustrates a point I have been making on this blog-that only people who have amazing ability should be entertainers, not just average people who live next door to you, like we have today.
Nowadays we have cartoons by people who can't draw (or write), "voice actors" by people who don't have distinct voices or acting ability, "songs" where people talk instead of sing and tell you how great they are without having to prove it to you with skill and talent.
Imagine if the people who run entertainment today took over sports?
We'd have basketball teams with short fat bald white men, Ultimate Fighting would pit skinny little emo cartoonists against each other, people who can't swim would be water sports heroes having female fans screaming at their drowning contests.
While we're at it, let's also have chefs who have no sense of smell, 110 lb firemen, nearsighted arthritic surgeons, paraplegic dancers, presidents with low I.Q.s, people who can't animate writing books telling you how to judge animation and scientists who believe in Intelligent Design.
A few decades ago, people automatically assumed that when they went to witness professional entertainment, they would be watching superhuman talents doing superhuman feats - doing things that they never would have imagined themselves being capable of doing.
Not any more. Everybody alive can talk and they can write sentences. That qualifies you to be a writer and a rap star or a cartoon voice. You don't have to be able to do something that takes years and decades of practice and skill and super talent.
Is there anybody alive that couldn't write or draw Family Guy? Anyone looking at that or listening to a rap "song" can easily imagine himself with a couple weeks practice and some luck being able to be a big star.
Yeah, I know the blind deaf and dumb South Park fans are gonna get on here and argue, but that's my point. When you see a REAL entertainer, you can't argue that what he or she is doing is not amazing when it is so far above the level of average or even exceptional ability. You can argue all you want about today's crap because it is so vague and amateurish, it all comes down to the general level of gullibility of the entertainment-starved unwashed masses who have been raised on low expectations and will fight to the death over stuff they could do themselves.
Now no one could watch Bugs Bunny and say, "Oh I could do that." Or "The Honeymooners". Can anyone imagine regular people being that funny?
Now, watch Buster Keaton and see if for a second you can imagine yourself doing what he did to earn his fame and immortality.
Get Sherlock Jr. and be absolutely amazed at what a true genius can do without the aid of special effects or executive meddling.
And go to Kali's blog and thank her for being smart and having extraodinary taste in an age where there isn't much.
She also pointed out to me that the only modern heir to Keaton is Jackie Chan who of course, once he came to Hollywood, the execs made him do much less of what made him famous and waste most of the time in his movies with bullshit "story" and "heart".
You should all be really mad, knowing that superhuman entertainment is actually possible, but corporate America won't let you have any.
I hope you are broadening your minds by seeing some of the feats of human prowess I introduce you to on this blog. There is a ton of it out there. You just have to dig back a few decades and then keep working your way back through history to find truly inspiring and exciting things to make you proud to be a part of a species that once was great.
By the way, a lot of gags that you associate with cartoons were invented by Buster Keaton and other silent comedians.
Posted by JohnK at 9:59 PM