Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The impressions are great, but it's a technical skill. What's best is the timing and the interplay. And you can see the effort; they're both working very hard on the fly.

I think what makes me laugh is the timing of the mutual exasperation. In word and gesture it works rhythmically as a kind of duet. It's a mixture of overt theatricality and realism. "You'wre only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"

Another kind of less convincing theatrical performance.

He waffles back and forth between arguing for "truth" and for subjective engagement. Sincerity is the protestation of honesty, it's an attitude not a function. That misunderstanding is behind what his audience reads as his mannered self-importance. He's not quite able just to defend honesty to his own educated opinions as in itself a valid methodology, so he acts and over-acts to convince us of more, going so far as to defend the moral integrity of corporations. He's an insecure suitor of public opinion. There's a lot of BS in his spiel but there's also real struggle. It's true [it is the case] that the ideal of objectivity devolves into neutrality, and that facts get in the way of maintaining the illusion. But it's also the case that interpretation is not only necessary but as subjectivity, inevitable: fact, value - value, fact. Honesty isn't the pretense at objectivity it's the awareness that others have their own opinions and a willingness to offer your own in good faith. Thinking of it in terms of sports, it's seeing your argument as part of a competition where you're more loyal to the game itself than victory. Which brings us back to the great and democratic tennis match in the first video.

If the videos are lost:
Scene from The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, dueling impersonations of Michael Caine.
Olbermann on Countdown, "False promise of objectivity proves  'truth' superior to 'fact'"

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