Gongol.com Archives: January 2024

Brian Gongol

January 24, 2024

News Down with abusive auteurs

If you wanted to grow an apple in the shape of a cube, you could spend years trying to perfect a bizarre hybrid that resulted in a cubical fruit. Genetic engineering could help accelerate the process, but it's likely to take many generations to even begin to approximate a special shape. ■ A simpler approach that would succeed in just a single generation would be to take a small emerging fruit and place a cube-shaped mold around it. The fruit, naturally attempting to grow to the space available to it, will simply take on the shape of the enclosure constraining it. ■ The resulting fruit would be an oddity, even perhaps a bit of a spectacle. but neither should the fruit have or take any credit for any brilliance of its own nor should the grower expect that the treats will be passed along genetically to the next generation. it is simply a matter of something trying to take its maximum shape and rubbing up against constraints from the outside. ■ Certain public figures end up being a lot like that cubical-shaped fruit. Because they are inclined to push relentlessly until they encounter some kind of limitation, they take the shape of whatever it is that surrounds them. They don't deserve any particular credit for choosing to be what they are: It's not a conscious choice so much as it's a consequence of what it is that surrounds and limits them externally. ■ They do often end up being unique, strange, and oftentimes entirely sui generis. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us have to accept their oddities as being virtues. ■ Movie directors with hair-trigger tempers. CEOs who engage in addictive risk-taking. Politicians who adopt extreme positions as tickets to fundraising and fame. Musicians who are too self-absorbed to make it in the real world. ■ Like abnormally-shaped apples, these people need to be seen as products of their conditioning. The abuses emerging from auteur worship have gained some recognition in cinema, but there's a long way to go both in Hollywood and in the many other places the same habits are found. We don't need to tolerate abusive behavior anywhere. People who go too far will almost always continue to go too far unless they are constrained from without.

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