A Thousand Words Essay

A Thousand Words Essay

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A Thousand Words
Some time ago our culture realized that our eyes are much quicker at
processing images than they do words. This realization has saved many
from countless hours of paying attention to words and to then having
to interpret such words. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand
words” (Arlen, 1067-1). Some time ago the film industries realized
that if they could take a thousand words and turn it into a single
picture, perhaps even a motion picture, and distribute it on a massive
scale, countless individuals would tune in to view it. And so it
began, “The Tyranny of the Visual”, as Michael J. Arlen so delicately
put it. It seems people are no longer interested in the long,
romantic soliloquies of the Shakespearian era, but rather they want
fun, adventure, pretty lights, bright colours, dark villains
(preferably with horns), etc. But, most importantly, no one wants to
think when they sit down to be entertained; they don’t want to
interpret and rate the believability of any one picture, thus, the
assumption is made that the work must be accurate with history,
literature, or just life in general. And so, it is these assumptions
that are responsible for the intellectual depletion of recent culture

Though visual effects began as an intriguing new medium, it has
somehow monopolized into a culture with little or no verbal
intellect. It is so easy to be dazzled by flashy images, which either
take us to a happier place or remind us that our own lives are not all
that bad, that we rarely bother to weigh the quality of the
information being conveyed. Take for instance the film, Zoolander,
...


... middle of paper ...


...s for
people’s poor taste; after all, if there was no audience for a film,
then that film would most likely not have been developed. So, even
though visual effects aid and abet the deterioration of cultural
intellect, if people would show some form of discretion the damage
could surely be minimized. Furthermore, although it may seem easy to
turn words into images, a great deal is often lost in the
translation. Words tend to bring with them an influx of new ideas,
but a film is generally the idea, it offers few discourses or channels
of thought. In essence, while visual effects tend to nourish
aesthetic values, words are intended to nourish verbal intellect.


Works Cited

Arlen, Michael J. “The Tyranny of the Visual.” The Norton Reader:
AANP. Ed. Arthur M. Eastman, et al. New York: Norton 2000. 1067-1074

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