Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

January 12, 2009

Dumb Comment of the Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 3:34 pm

Some commenter wrote in virtually chortling with glee that The Reader, which, in an earlier post, I’d called the “Worst Movie of the Year” picked up (wow!) a Golden Globe for Kate Winslet’s erforance as an unreentant concentration camp guard.

Here’s the ignorant comment:

“The movie was staying true to the source award-winning novel. Blame the writer then whyduncha.”

This is one of those great Marshall McLuhan moments where one gets the source to refute the person trying to vaunt his knowledge of the source.

I actually attended a screening of The Reader in which the director Stephen Daldry descibed the “fight” he had with the”award winning” author of the novel,Bernhard Schlink, to change the novel, NOT to stay true to it, but to alter it radically so that it virtually contradicted the novel’s redemptiveness for the Winslet characer. So the commenter is talking through his (or her–of course an anonymous blowhard) hat when he or she says the movie was “staying true” to the novel. The novelist himself (and the director) refuted this. The movie contradicted the “award-winning” novel. (note how imressed the commenter is with awards of all kinds). The commenter obviously just pretended to read the book or didn’t understand it (or the movie–or both) and tried to make him or herself look smart, but ended up making him or herself look extra dumb.

Why do commenters do this? Because comments give them the freedom to act like they’re know-it-alls. If you notice that’s the disease of most critical commenters on blogs–know-it-all-itis. Sad. But dumb.

I think I’ll make “dumb coment of the week” a regular feature.

And The Reader remains “Worst Movie of the Year” for all the awards it may win.



  1. Note that Winslet again resurrected her exchange a year ago with Ricky Gervais that she should “make Holocaust movie to win an Oscar.” Slowly the elites are turning the Holocaust into corn flakes.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 12, 2009 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  2. “Know-it-all-itis” may indeed be the disease common to critical blog commenters but it’s not exclusive to that crowd. It’s rivalled only by porn as a defining feature of the internet.

    One of the online memes currently gaining popularity is ‘your favorite band sucks’. To see how this works, simply go to and find a news story that talks about any current cultural item. Then go to the forum comments for that article. Within, you’ll find an endless stream of ridicule provided by people who authoritatively assert that they know better than you what has cultural value. It’s fun to see why people hate the things I love and it’s an interesting internet social phenomenon. Remember that prick in Jr. High who told you that your shirt was ugly? That guy is now on the internet. It takes the idea of using unwarranted and harsh criticism to help manage (or mask) insecurities to a whole new level.

    Comment by Kasey Rasmussen — January 13, 2009 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  3. My nomination for today’s dumb comment is Hillary Clinton’s remark that her husband’s corrupt donors “won’t be part of the atmosphere”. They must have blackmailed Obama with something to get him to bring the stinking Clinton camel back into the tent. Of course, the sheiks, chics, cliques and geeks all gave to the Initiative anticipating a Hillary presidency and now they have something just as good. The Clinton pollution overwhelmed the atmosphere decades ago, a mange they can relieve in.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 13, 2009 @ 6:24 pm | Reply

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