Wednesday, September 12, 2012

From Lists of Note

Preston Sturges's "Eleven Rules for Box Office Appeal":

  1. A pretty girl is better than an ugly one.
  2. A leg is better than an arm.
  3. A bedroom is better than a living room.
  4. An arrival is better than a departure.
  5. A birth is better than a death.
  6. A chase is better than a chat.
  7. A dog is better than a landscape.
  8. A kitten is better than a dog.
  9. A baby is better than a kitten.
  10. A kiss is better than a baby.
  11. A pratfall is better than anything.
I feel like this is an ironic take on the generification of advertising, media, our tastes. Some things make intrinsic and biological sense—well, of course we like a birth more than a death. Of course our hearts race more at a chase scene than during a chat scene. I even understand a dog being better than a landscape (moving, ergo our eyes are attracted to it), a kitten being better than a dog (cute factor), a baby being better than a kitten (though I would contest this in the modern era—there are way more websites devoted to cats than babies). But it's the use of the term BETTER that's chilling. That's where I hope Sturges is giving a nod and a wink to irony, and to the sadness that a chase is better than a chat. Our lives are more full of chat and chase and should be that way.

But it kind of tickles me that a pratfall is better than anything. That's a light-hearted way to live.

Found on Lists of Note

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