The Law of Subjectivity

Shrinky there and I have been trying to figure out how a movie like Across the Universe has been getting such positive reviews.  We both thought it blew and we were pleased we had been given free tickets to an advanced screening so we weren’t out of pocket. 

Wait a second.That’s not exactly true. We dropped about $10 on popcorn and really shitty diet Coke post mix, but that’s beside the point. We both commented that the movie was so supremely suck-ass that it was bound to be a classic on par with some piece of Woody Allen (who I just don’t get) cacare. That led us to discuss again what we refer to as the law of subjectivity, you know, how one person thinks deep pile shag carpet is the shit while another thinks it’s just shit.

Which brings me to this. Contest results are back for the RWA’s STALI (Single Title and Loving It) contest. I applaud the winners. It takes balls to put yourself out there to be judged. And it takes guts to get the results back and read the comments. I entered last year. I got a score of 94. This year, I entered the same novel and got 84 (this year’s highest score was 96). The rankings have been uploaded, but the score sheets and judges comments have not been posted out to contestants.  I am very curious to see why my score dropped from 94 to 84 mainly because this is exactly where subjectivity really comes into play. 

Each of us brings a certain something to the book we read or the movie we watch, expectations, a search for meaning, a need to esacpe, whatever. For example, last year one judge made a comment about how my use of the words shitty and crappy debased the story. Another made no comments whatsoever and just gave me a 98 (Can no comments be considered subjective?). 

So what were my thoughts were when I went to see Across the Universe? Clearly I had something in mind. I married the concept of a musical with Beatles songs to an idea I already had conceived in my head. What I saw didn’t match, rise above, or even challenge the notions of what I believed a Beatles Musical should be like. Of course I’m smart enough to understand my repeated childhood viewings of The BeeGees/Peter Frampton schlockfest Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (come on, Peter Frampton was yummy, Barry Gibb’s pants were really tight, and I had chocolate brown deep pile shag carpet in my bedroom) might have had some influence on my adult tastes, which I swear have matured since 1978. 

I could be wrong. I mean, I really love the words shitty and crappy, and I’m dying to get my hands on the judges comments, just to see if my romantic comedy turned into someone’s Across the Universe. It’s so very possible I had the concept, but I didn’t rise to it or challenge their notions.

Or maybe this time someone took offence to the word cunt.

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