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January 16, 2013

Kathryn Bigelow Apologizes for Ambiguous Reference Made in Film

It's a cherished belief among the artistic/faux-intellectual set that they are brave seekers of truth, and, furthermore, are comfortable with doubt. That is to say, they acknowledge that life is often confusing and knowledge is elusive, but they are brave enough not to dispel that doubt through fictions like (to their minds) religion and crude ideologies. They've even seized upon a (misused) philosophical term to explain the behavior of those they define themselves against, those who are so wigged out by doubt and ambiguity they seal their minds off from any information that contradicts their simple ideological storyline: "epistemological closure." Google it. Liberals love writing about it and accusing the right of suffering from it.

Meanwhile, they praise themselves by employing other neologisms to describe their elevated intellectual state, such as "integrative complexity."

Other flatteries they bestow upon themselves include the cherished notion that they seek information and art that "challenges" beliefs and assumptions, and are comfortable with -- nay, excited by -- such challenging art, and that they enjoy "nuanced" art full of contradictions and complexities unlike the inbred hillbillies who require very crude morality plays of white hats and black hats, where the author intrudes in a very ham-fisted way to explain what is Right and what is Wrong.

None of these things, of course, are remotely true, as continues to be demonstrated by the left wing continuing to bash Kathryn Bigelow for treating the issue of enhanced interrogations ambiguously; she's been forced (as Gabe noted earlier) to essentially write a defense of her film.

Her sin -- for which she's been repeatedly criticized, and denied an Oscar nomination for -- consists of not taking any strong position on enhanced interrogation in her film, neither repudiating it nor championing it. As I understand it, an enhanced interrogation is depicted in the film, in the general flow of events leading up to the execution of bin Ladin, but the interrogation is not shown as providing any crucial information towards that goal. Thus, her sin appears to be permitting audience members to infer that critical information resulted from the enhanced interrogation, if that was their inclination, rather than explicitly stating "This waterboarding resulted in no good information whatsoever."

As I understand it, her depiction of the enhanced interrogation also permits the inference that the waterboarding resulted in no good intelligence, and was therefore a moral sin which cannot even be redeemed by utilitarian ends-justify-the-means considerations.

So she found an point over which people can and do argue, and depicted it in that way-- as something the audience could argue about later.

In other words, she's being attacked for doing precisely what the left claims it's in favor of -- being comfortable with ambiguity and inference and multiple interpretations. And she's being attacked for not doing what the left claims it hates, and which only a blinkered right-wing religious robot would do: Inserting a ham-fisted shouting-voiced Moral of the Story in which the film makes it clear that Waterboarding is Bad, Always, and Don't Do Nothing Good, Ever.

The left is also contradicting their claim that they're just about "challenging assumptions" and above inserting crude overt political messages; Bigelow's leftist critics demand precisely that. They've decided that Waterboarding is Bad, Always, and Don't Do Nothing Good, Ever, and they insist upon "art" that faithfully regurgitates this political message upon command.

In fact, while there are some who do claim that Waterboarding is Bad, Always, no less an authority than former CIA director and lifelong Democrat and Clinton aide Leon Panetta says enhanced interrogations did in fact aid in the killing of bin Ladin.

Thus, while the left has chosen, as usual, to attempt to win an argument not by having an argument about implications and ethics but by denying facts (did you know, for example, that there were no Soviet agents in the State Department at all when Joseph McCarthy was claiming there were?), Bigelow has already nodded to their article of faith by keeping things ambiguous, but didn't nod further to claim that which appears completely untrue. That is to say, she met them halfway and avoided stating affirmatively that waterboarding led to important information, but she would not go all the way over to endorse their factually-false position that Waterboarding is Bad, Always, and Don't Do No Good, Ever, and for that she's being pilloried.

The left is extremely Stalinist and Orwellian about its blatant efforts to influence the future by rewriting the past. The truth seems to mean nothing at all to them; the "truth" is just a lie we mutually agree upon, they believe, so we might as well change history (and science) to make a Better Truth.

It's egregious. At the end of the day, no matter what your ideology or your background or your religious beliefs, the truth should mean something important to you, and honesty should be an apolitical virtue.

I'm beginning to realize something horrifying: The West seemed to win the Cold War, but in fact the Stalinists won where it matters, in the mind, and therefore, in history, or at least in history as we mutually agree it should be. The subversive left's project of fighting for Soviet Russia, employing all its viciously dishonest tricks and manipulations, continues unabated.

Someone Had to Say It:

In Soviet Russia, the epistemology closes you.

-- wooga

Well actually someone didn't have to say it; that was a pretty clever way to turn the phrase.


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posted by Ace at 03:34 PM

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