Friday, July 28, 2006

"Promiscuous Empathy"

Stephen Hunter's taste in movies could hardly be further from my own. I think I agree with him on a film about six times a year. But he's a wonderful critic: Smart, interesting, fun to read. He's everything you could want. His review of The Ant Bully contains a fabulous rant:
"The Ant Bully" represents a ruinous force in the world that might be called, for lack of a better term (although, heh-heh, this is a pretty great term), "promiscuous empathy." We identify with anything: birds, bees, flowers, trees. We weep for all. We make a fetish of our compassion and treat our feelings as if they're ideas. This contagion holds that there is no us and them in the world, that we are all one big us. The fact that the world then makes no sense is of no matter to those who hold this point of view; far more important is how happy it makes them feel, how moral, how superior. All they are saying is give peace a chance.

And he's just warming up. It gets better from there.

5 comments:

jon said...

I agree with every word of this. If I had my mental shit in one sock, I could have written it.

jjv said...

How can you not agree with almost every review he's ever written? Steyn and Morgentstern are the only reviewers that can touch him. Unbelievable.

Don Q Blogger said...

It WAS a good review, and I really like reading Hunter. But look at the Post's Weekend section for a shorter version (I'm sure NOT edited by Hunter) that completely turns the original review on its head and makes it look like Hunter LIKES "The Ant Bully." It's a travesty.

http://vaguelylogical.blogspot.com/2006/07/ant-bully-movie-review-castrated.html

Anonymous said...

Galleyslaves! Where is the Miami Vice review? Is Pod's WS review going to be the last word? FX

James R Ament said...

I particularly enjoyed his final statement: "The whole thing is a lie, from start to finish. Other than that, I liked it a lot." Short and sweet.