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Another victim of the Joke Police - James Gunn

Andrew Reid

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20 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

 interesting and provocative?

I’m not entirely convinced that it is possible to separate the art from the artist. 

That does not imply that the art defines the artist - that would be a ludicrous proposition.

Further, it permits the idea that the artist now is remote from and can be disassociated from work of a historical nature. 

But to separate the art from the artist seems to deny the concept of responsibility for action?  To suggest that the art is separate from the artist isn’t too dissimilar to the “I was only obeying orders” defence. 

Yes, you could hand me a printed joke (or script) and I could simply read it with no emotional or intellectual commitment (in other words, a separation). But that isn’t art - it is soulless repetition. I - the actor - would simply be a vehicle or conduit to transmit the act.

Doesn’t “art” actual require an intimate connection with the artist? 

It doesn’t need to be work authored by the artist. Or even work that the artist agrees with. But even the process of selection implies a relationship?

Possibly not provocative and not all will find it interesting. But it got me thinking!

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Well in defence of actors, if you're assigned a role, you're playing a fictional character that might have nothing to do with you. It's somebody else's creation.

Where I think James Gunn was misunderstood (and he did little to help things in the apology), was that he was playing a fictional role, an extreme character, that of a pervert.

Now to be absolutely clear - this isn't me making excuses for bad behaviour, or absolving him of any responsibility, or justifying the content of the jokes, let alone denying the hurt they probably caused to people who have suffered from real abuse in their childhoods.

But as Stephen Fry said self pity is a horrible thing, and if you feel hurt by something or offended, it takes character to rise above that and switch off.

That's what I would like to see more of on the internet - if people are offended by a joke - don't expose yourself to more, don't get self pity and don't start grandstanding about how angelic and virtuous you are by essentially attacking the freedom of the artist to express a character - even a very offensive character.

If, by extension we start removing rape (for example) from all fictional work, films, books and plays - a lot of classic material will have to be burnt and removed from our culture. A lot of lessons learnt, unlearnt.

This is where all the outrage is heading...

You know what, I am most of all angry at Disney's executives.

If they would stand up for their artists when they make a mistake, and say "look, it's a sick joke, but it's fiction... it isn't real, and it doesn't represent the guy", this would all have died down and might never even have entered the news headlines, and we wouldn't be talking about it. Instead, firing him creates a shit storm and now everyone knows about the jokes and far more people are now hurt by them than his intended audience 10 years ago. Plus it justifies the action of those far-right conspiracy theorists - mission now accomplished thanks to Disney - who spread fake news and misinform the public. This is encouraging them to become more active, like a group of right wing activists attacking film talent (because the arts are mostly liberal).

For now it is the high profile figures, but one day they might even come after some of us.

That intended audience is an important factor in all of this too. There are people who enjoy provocative, edgy humour, in the right context, and who understand that it's an act, a fiction, a character, and not real life.

By changing the context so that it's a statement on Twitter by a famous film director who then is fired by a huge company, simply smears Gunn as a wrong-doer, a pervert, doing things serious enough to lose his entire career... rather than what he actually was... a nice man, but with bad taste in jokes, who became a very good film director 10 years after the fact.

Now that achievement in the arts stands for nothing. In fact has anyone attacking him here, actually seen Guardians of the Galaxy? He will be missed, by a lot of people. Millions enjoyed his work. Far more, than the small number offended by his bad taste humour.

This will go on and on...

Just now, Star Wars director Rian Johnson just deleted 20,000 tweets in self-defence, not that they contained anything remotely risqué.


(Which actually had the affect of idiots speculating that he was covering something up... like hiding the fact he was a Twitter pervert or something!?)

I feel so strongly about this because it is an attack on the arts by very evil, bad people, who are leading a knee-jerk reactionary hysterical public into a book burning ritual.

I also feel strongly about it because of how unfair it is to lose your career because of a fictional version of yourself telling bad taste jokes.

Unless we're all to become virtuous corporate drones and bots... That is an attack on what it is to be human. To err. To laugh. To be silly and to have free speech.

Sad era of history we are entering...

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1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

 That is an attack on what it is to be human. To err. To laugh. To be silly and to have free speech.

And to sometimes or often call "idiots" or simply banish people that doesn't think about topic as we are, because we feel so strongly about it where actually is the border of free speech and silliness...

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The worst thing about this forum for me is what happens after people write a long, reasonable post, I like I just did, setting out a balanced argument with rational thought - and the reply is lazy low quality effort that isn't engaging with the substance of the debate and does what you just did there -

A) You ignore what I said in it's entity

B) You ignore the subject being debated or sidestep it

C) You put a pithy one line post up complaining about my attitude

D) You don't take into consideration that it's my site... you are in my house as a guest, so basic manners should be activated

E) You don't give me the benefit of defending myself in my own home... Versus Actual Idiots who refuse to get the point of the discussion and people who attack me out of the blue... What do you expect me to do man, seriously!? Hand them a prize, or me to say "goodbye, you're no longer welcome in my front lounge room!" Somehow I think the latter is more appropriate.

As I come here every day to hear what the vast majority of good members have to say and contribute, I just don't want it spoiling by a minority. Whenever there is a controversial filmmaking or camera topic discussed it goes to hell. I don't want only safe topics and no politics. If you can't deal with it, leave. I don't want to have to deal with a pack of enemies in my own living room... with their stupid arguments and pithy one-liners... and I include ALL those who don't listen and don't debate as enemies of a discussion forum about filmmaking!

I will always provoke idiots, and there's a very good reason for that... Because I can't be bothered to accommodate them. Server bandwidth isn't free!

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Well, mr Reid, I have to say that I also feel strongly (and totally friendly) that you are going too vehemently in this thread, and that you are deeply wrong about mr Kidzrevil - he wrote very politely and had coherent argumentation that doesn't at all deserved to be called idiotic or hostile...

I'd say - it was not for any good: banishing such enthusiastic and devoted member that - as long as I participate at your forum - really never didn't offended anybody and always tried to contribute in the good spirit and idea of forum, actually making it so distinctively-charming immediate.

And now so severe restriction and hard words...

But for whom actually you stand in this case? You pretty correctly quoted that director with bad (quasi or actual )pedofilia jokes - who already miserable sprinkled himself with ash, proofing about kind of his character, but you find yourself in the position to regret about his miserable apology instead of himself... And even more... is he really such a proven "artist"? Are you really sure that he has to be good example what "art" is? Is he any near the rank of Bergman, Malick, Tarkovsky, even Fincher, P. T. Anderson? He works as an replaceable screw with some level of talent  in entertainment industry and obeyed to its dictated rules, of course full of hypocrisy as every system is. Does he really obligate humanity so we have to sweep about his aborted entertainment contract of probably100000's $ which he probably will compensate on the other side of (always) both false front political wings?

Simply, I think that this case and that man doesn't deserve you to risk vocabulary/attitude that indeed is not at all your immanent and truly inner - let alone addressing it to that mostly lovable Harlem shooter and his dreams due to which he exclusively was your guest (and good representative) here :)

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I am sorry to come between you and your love affair with the lovable Harlem shooter.

I'm not going to get into all the ins and outs of why he pissed me off and why I think he's boring and annoying, because that would be defensive and to be honest I don't really need to defend myself. Everyone can see that the lovable Harlem shooter thought I was defending the amoral content of James' jokes, rather than see the issue around it and the dangerous precedence Gunn's firing sets for all of the creative industries.

A real phenomenon and a trend.

Next will occur, the blacklisting of certain characters and scenes.

After that, a witch-hunt of actors in taboo roles, or even for working with the 'wrong' content (like bad jokes), because people can't tell the difference between fact and fiction any more, just like the President of the United States.

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Thanks for honest admiring the reason.

But what if lovable Harlem shooter was also sorry that came between you and your love affair with mr Gunn (which is - love affair - as real as mine with Harlem shooter) - but he also saw some other possible side of story so he simply thought he could say something that explore that other possible, and not ilogical aspect?

Of course, it is without importance if Harlem shooter or I or anybody else will find ourselves in position of being blacklisted by decision against certain characters in your view. (Actually, I'm sure that at least some of us here were/are in situation to suffer from witch-hunting.)

What I regret is that two quite founded strings of argumentation, that simply accentuated two different aspects of problem, has to be finished in a such way - because of one very loose Hollywood (so honest and uncompromising place to be part of) man/character that, as seems to me, always knew and know very well what  did and do and why - with interest in purpose.

In the other words - I feel that my lovable Harlem shooter is enormously closer to your thoughts, life position or orientation and actual choices than mr Gun - that doesn't deserve that honor to keep the smallest hint of holding love affair with you :)


"Everyone can see that the lovable Harlem shooter thought I was defending the amoral content of James' jokes" - oh no, I really didn't see it... if I think it is so, I'd  react differently... He explicitelly said it...

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So let me get this straight....... you're all up in arms over free speech and the trigger happy trial by words, yet you ban a couple of solid members for their opinions?!?! Opinions that were expressed with conviction, but politely?! Certainly more politely than any of your retorts.

My god the hypocrisy is mind boggling. Infuriating even. THAT'S more offensive to me than anything in this thread. I've seen this time and time again with internet debates.  Come in all spitting fire. Rebutals ensue. Make up some twisted justification about "respect" and then ban them rather than engage in conversation?

Frankly, that is a level of wimpiness that I cannot comprehend. Stand by your words, man. I mean, they're only words right? Or am I banned now?


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2 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

Thanks for call for opinion - but, uh, it surely will not help for the case of my lovable Harlem shooter (actually, for the case of forum atmosphere) that is, as I see it, totally unguilty and fell as a victim of unhappy misunderstanding :)

I'm glad that - in spite of my bad English, i. e. in spite of effort needed to understand my attitude/position - you, as it seems, recognize my sincere benevolence.

My opinion: wholeheartedly honestly, I'm afraid that I'm totally indifferent about that and similar pseudo-fussiness in Hollywood industry. In general, I think that most of the Hollywood industry is so deeply sunken in hypocrisy and corruption, that most of the people there - especially those engaged in entertaining 'hits'' that are not matter of my knowledge and interest (I mean, not, say Inarritu-Beautifull or Quaron-Children of men, if they are Hollywood) - are so completely habituate to fakery, and so really-autistic-brainwashingly prepare to believe that nowaday problem of USA may be clown Trump or witch-dolly clown Klinton or salad-philosopher-Zizek or so-call left or right wings... that I simply cant take for serious their "problems"... Again, wholeheartedly honestly, I even don't see raison d'etre of existence of that part of movie "industry". Sorry - it may sound as idiotism, but I'm, say, closer (although far away of identical) to rude impulse of revolt presented in "Idioterne" by early von Trier, which, as I understand, you greatly respect. Or, better, I see problem of USA or some minor lastwave imperial society  and consequences as nicely pictured with early diagnosis in Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, or Roeg's Walkabout or Ang Lee's The Ice Storm:

Empty, hedonistic, deeply boring, out of ideas, unemphatic life that try to find miserable excitations, cheap thrills and "provocations".

Being little bit curious or trying to be at least so-so objective, I tried to find some works of that mr Gunn.

I simply can't call it "art". I don't think he is an "artist".  (And sorry for some presentation that I really don't care about here, but just for some light of explaining - my point of view is of an novel writer with Collected works and pair of dedicated dr-degree works, who is mostly compared with (complicated and maybe boring :) works of Joyce, Hermann Broch, Robert Musil etc.

So, I'm not strictly competent about "hit" industry, and, more seriously, I even don't care to be competent in entertainment hits while, say, milions of Syrian children had to survive life horor because American society has to be pumped with oil and entertainment hits for the task of keep refusing to recognize where nowaday resides truly problem of mankind: above all, infection of selfishness.

But I'd say I'm enough competent to disagree with one of your sentence as apodictic statement "In the earliest dawn of civilisation the role of the artist was as a provocateur." That is deeper question: role of the artist. Between many, I chose some of the East suggestion about role or born of the art(ist) - 'When the balance of the world is disturbed, the song comes out of the throat.'

Or not just from the East - it is also Hoppy Indian's idea/word that is intertwined  in Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi.

Personally, I think that it is not at all hard to recognize what is your point and your, at the base, completely normal reaction - yes, your impulse is right: society, especially at the hedonistic phase of its evolution (of course, we all read Oswald Spengler Decline of the West, or Ortega y Gasset's The Revolt of the Masses) has to be spurred, butted, provocated... with a purpose to find a soul instead of comfort and calculation and... entertainment because of "oblivion to the Being" (Malick/Heidegger).

But, I don't see anything of beauty and mastery of, say, provocateur Oscar Wilde, or poverty of old provocateur Diogenus, in that Mr. Gutt and his shallow works.

Actually, I see in mr Gutt's case just marginal fake dust of fake fight between two identical currents - it is the same old great invention of some master minds of XX century: put two (in fact identical, and) equally wrong and equally malignant political sides  in front of public, and let masses vote or kill for one or for another... with identical final result.

Or, as say recently late Alexey German in Hard to be a God - Problem is that after Blacks always come some Grаys...

To sum up - I think, mr Reid, that your impulse is noble and worried.

I think that there are much better cases than that of Mr Gutt that your noble impulse could be invested. His "jokes" was not neither provocations, neither liberations to anyone - for me, they are just exhibitionism. I think that you don't need to be involved in the side of megaexhibitionistic liberators for which ultimate level of freedom is exhibitions (tomorow it will be something "conservative" - they always change roles) :)

Your EOSHD is much much better place and achievement than any of similar hit makers that last one popcorn season. 

Actually, I think that Mr Gutt's case doesn't deserve such sort of your attention.

But I think that mr Kidzrevill impulse also is noble and worried.

And that's the reason why I'm guilty for this long boring love-affair-letter with both of you :)

And both of you are member of similar society, and share its similar "advantages" that nowaday are, in fact, more and more burden of confusion and tumble for sensible people - burden inside of which is very hard to make road out...


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Although some careers have been damaged by questionable allegations regarding personal choices in the past that were socially acceptable at the time, I think we can all agree that any movement which results in overdue justice like this is well-worth the price:



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17 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Although some careers have been damaged by questionable allegations regarding personal choices in the past that were socially acceptable at the time, I think we can all agree that any movement which results in overdue justice like this is well-worth the price:



Haha what a headline :)

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