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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The one blogger who'll defend Uwe Boll

Are people really this hostile toward their fellow man, without caring about how cruel they are?

Please don't answer that, 'kay?

So earlier this evening I read about filmmaker Uwe Boll, director of House of the Dead, BloodRayne, Dungeon Siege and other movies that have endured lackluster performance at the box office. Boll has said that in light of how ill-received his work is, that he will retire from filmmaking if a petition calling for him to quit garners 1 million signatures.

So this being the Internet there is now a massive drive to do exactly that, in order to compel Uwe Boll to make good on his word.

I took a look in the past little while at the animosity toward Boll in this petition drive. And even though I've never really cared much for Boll's work, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the guy after seeing all the scorn and loathing directed at him.

This "one million signatures to stop Uwe Boll" petition is a petty and shallow thing. If you don't like his movies, then just don't go watch them! You still have enough freedom to choose not to pay to see movies that you don't want to see. Nobody is being strapped into a chair in a theater with their eyes pried open like Alex in A Clockwork Orange and forced to watch Postal.

But what bothers me most is how little regard so many people in this world seem to have for others. It almost borders on passing a judgment on another's entire life, without regard for anything or anyone beyond our own narcissism. Even if you don't like Uwe Boll's movies, that should not deduct all all from appreciation of the fact that this is still an individual we are talking about, who apparently does love his work and wants to find satisfaction in it.

Well, who are you or me or anyone else to try to deny him that?

Think about it: Would you appreciate it at all if a million people told you to stop doing something that you enjoyed, if it wasn't seriously hurting you or anyone else to do it? Would you want a mob of people telling you that you don't deserve to pursue your own happiness?

That's what Uwe Boll is doing, folks: following his dream. Whether his movies make a handsome profit or not, at least he's taking more initiative than most people do in this day and age. I like to think that's what he's doing, anyway: just trying to do the best he can with a craft that he loves. And if it's not "commercially successful" in our eyes... so what? Does it impinge on your own happiness? 'Cuz if it does, you've got far bigger problems than any online petition will remedy.

I'm of the school that believes that each person has the right to make the most of his or her time on this Earth, which includes the right to do everything in their power, if they so wish, to leave behind something - be it art or invention or whatever - that will endure after they have left this life.Everyone deserves that chance, including those that we don't necessarily agree with. So long as that other person is not trying to stifle others from their own happiness, we should let them be. Hell, we should encourage them, even. Just as we would want to be encouraged.

This is why I believe that all legitimate films (and as I've said before, I don't include porno flicks in that reckoning) deserve to be preserved for posterity, because each film does represent the vision and passion of our fellow man (and woman). At Butt-Numb-A-Thon 9 this past December, we saw movies that were real stinkers. But the very last thing I would want is either for those movies to be taken away forever, or for their creators to stop making movies at all.

Because when we do that, we are imposing a judgment on that filmmaker that he or she cannot grow and improve in their trade. And again, who are any of us to make that kind of call against anyone?

So Uwe Boll, if you ever read this: Maybe your movies so far have been bombs. And that's okay! If you believe in yourself enough to keep making your movies, and if this is a source of happiness for you... then dude, seriously, stick with it! Don't let a million people tell you to quit. Don't let ten million people tell you to quit! You shouldn't feel obligated to have to answer to them, anyway.

You deserve to answer to your own happiness, Mr. Boll. And that goes for everyone else who might read this, too.


qemuel said...

Holy crap, the number of people that have signed this have SEXTUPLED since I saw this yesterday!

And I'm with you 100% on this one; behavior like this is disappointing (at best). Have I ever seen a Uwe Boll movie? No. My favorite quote concerning free speech serves aptly in this situation:

"Though I disagree with everything you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it."