Monday, October 17, 2005

most people suck

As mentioned in previous posts, I am a member of It's an online forum and workshop for screenwriters and filmmakers created by Kevin Spacey in order to weed out new talent from outside Hollywood. There are over 2000 members and it is free to join. I post under the name Chrysalis because I joined before my epiphany.

Anyway, the dork that I am, I read and post on various threads on the message boards, usually the ones devoted to specific aspects of writing. One such thread was a discussion as to how much one should focus on format when reviewing and rating other people's scripts. There were some complaints that some members are sticklers when it comes to "proper format". I put that in quotes because the main arguement against said sticklers is there is no completely standard screenplay format.

Thing is, there is a stanard format, it's just much more fluid that we give it credit for. In my opinion, format is important (bad formating says almost as much about the writing as it does the writer and distracts from the story) but shouldn't come close to over shadowing the story or the characters in regards to importance in reviewing. A happy middle ground.

But that's all background for this next bit. Because there is some arguement as to what is or is not proper format one member wrote:
"ironically, even the farmat Nazis can't agree on what format is."

First off, that's his misspelling on format, not mine; so there's that. But I let that one slide. What really bothered me was the usage of the word Nazi. And in response (and I guess the fault really is mine because I started this whole stupid thing) I wrote:
First this is my little side rant, (my pet peeve if you will), I know it wasn't meant this way, and this isn't a dig towards the writer, but I really can't stand it when the term nazi is used so loosely. To compare someone who is strict in regards to grammar, spelling, or the sales of soup (regardless as to how funny it is - and that was a funny seinfeld episode) to an ideology of genocide, never sits well with me. One would never call someone else a "spelling klansman", it sounds silly, and that's basically what I hear when I read the word nazi thrown around as such. But that's my thing and this is the end of my rant.

You can judge, but I tried to be civil whilst still getting my point across. My next paragraph (which I won't bore you with) was basically a summery of my thoughts on format, as previuosly discussed in the beginning of this post.

The responses I recieved? Damn did they get my blood boiling. The first basically said (boiling down to the essentials) that I justified the terms usage in my own paragraph because,
But isn't one writer comdemning another writer for being outside their parameters a form of literary genocide?

Not only was that one of the stupidest things I've ever read, I don't know what literary genocide is, save perhaps the wholesale slaughter of authors and poets then burning their work. And I'm pretty sure that's not what this person meant because said member went on and wrote about writers as artists and thinking out of the box and such while not worrying about the little bits and peices. It was a shame really as before I read this post I had some respect (via prevoius posts on different matters) for this member.

The second response - and god, I hope there will be no more - quoted my work then wrote:
wow, you're the biggest semantics nazi I have ever seen.

I've never wanted to kick anyones front teeth in more than I did to this member after reading the post. The term annoying monkey molesting stupid fucking douchebag bastard (commas omited intentionally) is one I rarely dust off, but in this members case the moniker fits because said member really is an annoying monkey molsesting stupid fucking douchbag bastard (and I have the pictures to prove it).


Nonny said...

I'm glad your posting more regularly, with that said I do agree that the term "nazi" is used often in inappropriate situations. I didn't realize so many writers were that pendactic about format.

Fridaysweb said...

Amichai, c'mon. Share some more of your wit with us! Post, Baby, post. I love your stuff. (p.s. why can't I get my blog to link to you? I'll keep trying)