Thursday, May 18, 2006

Up or Down Votes

Scott Moss penned a letter to a NY Times movie reviewer, which included the following observation:
OK, I get it: you don't like any movies other than indie and foreign flicks like the one about The Girl Who Was Sad Because Her Village Burned Down In A Brush Fire, which won second prize at the Snooty-Toot-Toot Film Festival hosted by Robert DeNiro and Sean Penn. Of course, at times it's hard to tell if you like a movie, given that you don't use the bourgeois "four-star" or "two-thumb" system -- or any other system, come to think of it -- to say if the movie actually was good or not. I can't tell you how many reviews of yours I've read that focus on the star's "rangy" performance (whatever that means), or pontificate about the cinematography (whatever that means), but leave me, at the end, thinking, "wait a minute -- is he saying this is a good movie or not?" And I did pretty well on the "reading comp" section of the LSAT.

At some point, A.O. Snottypants, when you have such disdain for 99% of the movies that your readers actually go see, shouldn't you just stop being a movie reviewer?

One of his commenters responded:
So when are law professors going to start rating cases on a five point or two thumbs scale? I am tired of reading casebook after casebook, and attending class after class, in which the professor refuses simply to say whether a case is good or not. And to listen to these professors snort at the perfectly sound questions offered by the Senate Judiciary Committee ("Roe v. Wade: thumbs up or thumbs down?"), one cannot help but wonder why professors persist in commenting on the law when they obviously have such disdain for how 99% of Americans who use the law actually view the law.


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