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A dramatic experience concerned with the mundane may inform but it cannot release; and one concerned essentially with the aesthetic politics of its creators may divert or anger, but it cannot enlighten.
People may or may not say what they mean... but they always say something designed to get what they want.
The Oscars demonstrate the will of the people to control and judge those they have elected to stand above them (much, perhaps, as in bygone days, an election celebrated the same).
The popularity of disaster movies expresses a collective perception of a world threatened by irresistible and unforeseen forces which nevertheless are thwarted at the last moment. Their thinly veiled symbolic meaning might be translated thus: We are innocent of wrongdoing. We are attacked by unforeseeable forces come to harm us. We are, thus, innocent even of negligence. Though those forces are insuperable, chance will come to our aid and we shall emerge victorious.
The proclamation and repetition of first principles is a constant feature of life in our democracy. Active adherence to these principles, however, has always been considered un-American. We recipients of the boon of liberty have always been ready, when faced with discomfort, to discard any and all first principles of liberty, and, further, to indict those who do not freely join with us in happily arrogating those principles.
The pursuit of Fashion is the attempt of the middle class to co-opt tragedy. In adopting the clothing, speech, and personal habits of those in straitened, dangerous, or pitiful circumstances, the middle class seeks to have what it feels to be the exigent and nonequivocal experiences had by those it emulates.
We live in oppressive times. We have, as a nation, become our own thought police; but instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder censorship, we call it concern for commercial viability.