Wednesday, April 17, 2013

this is the best bad idea we have

Whether or not you subscribe to the notion that movies such as Argo are a propaganda trojan horse - the irony of the line at the start of this clip will not be lost if you are among those who do (You're telling me there is a movie company in Hollywood right now that is funded by the CIA?) there are a couple of splendid bits of dialogue.

This particular scene came to mind while in an agency discussion about how to evaluate creative work.

Tony Mendez: "And we think everyone knows Hollywood people. And everybody knows they'd shoot in Stalingrad with Pol Pot directing if it would sell tickets. There are only bad options. It's about finding the best one."

Official: "You don't have a better bad idea than this?"

Jack O'Donnell: "This is the best bad idea we have, sir, by far."

Official: "The United States Government has just sanctioned your science-fiction movie."

Tony Mendez: "Thank you, sir"

Puzzling over why a particular piece of work was deeply unsatisfying, yet unable to pinpoint exactly what it was at the root, it became clear that the piece actually contained no 'idea' as such.

There was merely a fact disguised as a 'line'.

Our conclusion was that a bad idea is at least an idea and can therefore recieve criticism.

No idea is far harder to evaluate, as time is wasted trying to work out if it's an idea or not.

Let's also be mindful that no idea is very adept at appearing to be an idea.

Good idea is best. But a bad idea is still an idea and so is at all times preferrable to no idea.

To paraphrase the Dhammapada...

The bad idea that knows it's a bad idea, in this much at least is an idea.
But the no idea that thinks it's an idea - that's the real bad idea.

Argo f*ck yourself.

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