Pretentious crap that pisses me off – 3 examples

Today I watched the last episode of an awesome series called “The Prisoner” (1967). I won’t tell you what it’s about, but it’s pretty mind bending and makes you think about new and interesting concepts. Unfortunately, as the series progressive, it becomes more and more “arty” and begins to stray into allegory. The finale called “Fall Out” turns out to be a total mess with the entire episode seeming like a disjointed nightmare. The worst of it was that this episode was hailed as a major accomplishment and a testament to the skills of the director.

Now let’s get one thing straight. I’m a barbarian. I like things to be straightforward and have a clear meaning. Movies should have good and interesting plots – otherwise they’re pretentious crap. Those who praise “Artistic” movies that rely on “style” and “technical accomplishment” should, in my opinion keep their views to themselves. And for good reasons. There are a class of people (I’m sure you’ve met them) who need to feel superior, and when they’re told that such and such a thing is “classic”, will harp on about it even if it bores them to death – perhaps because it bores them to death.

Image Credit: emurray

Wine - Snobbery at its finest

Here’s a powerful illustration of what I’m saying. You know how “sophisticated” people talk about wine? They’ll drone on and on about how each wine is unique and reflects the vineyard it came from. Then they’ll taste it and pretend to pass judgment on its quality and talk about its “history” etc. I’ve always itched to do a proper randomized double-blind test on these pretentious snobs who just want to look “cultured”. Well, we recently found out that the notion of “minerality” – being able to taste the soil of the wine is a complete and utter myth. And people have been believing this crap for centuries.

I can find similar examples of people claiming to be able to distinguish between good and bad art. There is no such thing as good art and bad art. If people didn’t know they were supposed to appreciate Van Gogh, almost everyone would say his paintings are childish and immature. But because they know it’s a Van Gogh painting, they’ll ooh and aah over it and find hidden mysteries that only their eyes can see. Coming back to movies, there are similar tides flowing here as well. Movies that are crappy as hell are praised by critics merely because they’re supposed to be praised. Once again, I would love a randomized double-blind test to be done to weed out these phonies.

Citizen Kane - A boring dump of a movie
Citizen Kane – A boring dump of a movie

Citizen Kane is one such overrated movie. The American Film Institute however, thinks it’s the greatest movie ever made and has repeatedly put it at the top of its list of best 100 movies of all time. The truth however, is that it’s one of the most mundane movies I’ve seen. And if a movie is boring, it deserves not to be seen. I’m throwing down a challenge to whoever reads this. Watch “Citizen Kane” and tell me if it’s interesting. I don’t care about how groundbreaking it was in 1941 and how much it’s affected film making since then. I want to know if you think you can stay riveted on the plot and whether or not you can bring yourself to give a shit about a boring rich man who says “Rosebud.”

How a movie can be called the greatest of all time when it’s like watching flies fuck (to borrow a quote from the immortal George Carlin) is something I can’t understand. Movie connoisseurs who cream their pants thinking of Citizen Kane feel that just because a boring movie introduced new techniques in 1941, it has a right to be called the greatest.

2001: A Space Odyssey - Slow paced with no plot
2001: A Space Odyssey – Slow paced with no plot

Next in line is 2001: A Space Odyssey. Another movie that’s as interesting as watching paint dry. Nothing happens until half an hour into the movie. We actually have 20 minutes of watching a space ship fly through space (and nothing else) with Beethoven Strauss music playing in the background. Mind, I enjoyed watching Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange” immensely. It has a plot. But A Space Odyssey is an exercise in frustration. The only reason I forced myself to watch it was because I was waiting for the supercool computer villain HAL 9000. But even that wasn’t enough to make up for the sheer boredom of the experience. And the ending is confusing as hell. You don’t know what happened!

Of course, we see the same trend in literature and poetry too, where snobbery is the norm and a means of showing superiority. It’s so pervasive and frustrating, that it’s more noble to take a stand on the opposite extreme. So here’s my message to the “sophisticated” ones: I’m a philistine. I don’t understand all the “arty” stuff. Give me movies and literature with proper plots, paintings that are easy to understand and don’t expect me to know better. I’m sure you don’t really understand either.

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27 thoughts on “Pretentious crap that pisses me off – 3 examples”

  1. Amen!! This kind of B.S. is what has ruined my college experience. As a video major, I had to watch tons of stupid films and write long papers analyzing them, just because the professors liked them. God forbid we actually learn a career in college and learn how to DO something.

    It’s ridiculous that my major included four production classes and countless B.S. classes, including pointless made-up courses for the major, pointless Gen-Eds, and “writing intensive” courses where the writing isn’t what’s valued, it’s the ability to pull B.S. out of nowhere and “create a thesis about Michaelangelo’s sonnet and use examples to support your argument” which is not even a question. If I weren’t two classes from graduating, I’d drop out.

    We need to get rid of this fake “intellectual” snobbery and start focusing on actual intelligence. This is why our country has become a nation that consumes everything and produces next to nothing. We outsource everything and colleges no longer teach people how to do a job. Thus, the government has to support people, and eventually down the road you get communism. Seems like kind of a stretch, but it’s not.

    I’d rather go back to the days when intelligence was measured by KNOWLEDGE and SKILL, not the ability to B.S. stupid conversations to “seem smart”. These “academic” airheads can keep their pretentious, substance-free crap.


  2. You guys are all a bunch of retarded, opinionated losers who act as if they are really intelligent to cover up the fact that you’re all lonely and you need a new hobby. You guys disgust me. :) Smile at that, assholes.


  3. I could be wrong, but from my reading it appears that you don’t like anything that isn’t spoon-fed and wrapped up in a neat little bow for you to understand. That’s fine. I have no problem with you disliking any of the things you listed, but to assume that anyone who does like them is “pretentious” and “seeing nothing” is, quite frankly, pretentious. You are on the exact opposite spectrum of snobbery, saying “because I don’t understand this, it’s obviously garbage, and anyone who see’s value in this is a snob!”

    There is a piece of art called “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” that’s essentially a shark in a giant case of formaldehyde. I think it’s complete and utter bullshit, but it sold for millions of dollars. Even I get tired of someone staring at it saying “oh the shark is so aggressive and we sort of imagine it coming at us, thinking of our own death, and a denial of the notion of death as a symbol in and of itself. Can we understand the deadness as a shark?” No, this was a man who thought putting a dead shark in a case of formaldehyde would appeal to art snobs like you, and consequently made him millions of dollars. These people have their head so far up their own ass, I’m surprised they can enjoy anything.

    But, having said that, what you’re doing is just as bad.

    Some people like Van Gogh because they stare at his paintings and feel moved. Who are you to say that because you think his paintings are childish, that it’s the only outcome possible for other individuals? People who see the technical mastery in film should keep their opinion to themselves, but your opinion should be spread freely unto the world? What makes yours more valid than theirs? Art is a subjective experience. I can clearly explain the entire 2001: A Space Odyssey movie to you from beginning to end, including what the narrative meant and what Kubrick was trying to say. I could say you’re an idiot for not getting it, but I’m not a snob, so I nod and smile and move on.

    I can understand the gist of what you’re trying to say, but this post is a complete disaster in logic.

    Why are you crusading against pretentious snobs when clearly, you are one?


  4. There is a baldy by the name of Gan KongBin from Malacca who worked for a few years in Singapore. This creep is a pretentious ass who is all smiles and acts friendly but to people who know him he is cunning and evil hearted. Hopes he dies a horrible and painful death …piece of shit!


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