Sunday, June 27, 2004

Oh, Freddie

Frederic Koeppel tackles some meaty stuff in a column on Sunday looking at Ray Bradbury's anger at Michael Moore's new movie riffing its titile (Fahrenheit 9/11) on Bradbury's classic novel (Fahrenheit 451).

Koeppel could have looked at the proprietary feelings of authors for their works. He could have examined how authors frequently refer to their works as their children. He could have examined the ways that ideas enter the culture, and find new use or expression in other places. He could have examined how authors (and film-makers) keep returning to themes and relationships that previous authors have expressed in classic and iconic ways.

He could have, but he didn't. Instead we get a heavy-handed lecture on how titles to works can't be copy-righted. We also get Koeppel relating, and therefore giving further exposure to, Moore's Leftist, antiwar, take on America. Free editorialising! How nice.

He could have taken a look at the dichotomy of a man who presents himself as a regular, working class Joe Sixpack, when in fact nothing in his lifestyle bears any resemblance to that. Lots of authors have gone down this path with varying degrees of success and credibilty. Koeppel could have looked at that.

But he didn't.

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