In May of 2005, a woman wrote into Entertainment Weekly, complaining about one of their resident film critics - Lisa Schwarzbaum - stating that she should bring herself down to the level of those "non crossword puzzle set", and stop sounding so smart in her reviews. First of all, why is intellegence intoned in a bad way? Is it due to the current white house resident (and all those Republicans that have turned Liberal into a curse word!?!)!!!? I for one applaud Ms. Schwarzbaum for her creative use of the English language. What did I do about it? I wrote a rebutting letter to EW. Here is the letter in its entirety:
To the Editors,
Although a surely tongue-in-cheek (I hope) attack on the word-wrangling stylings of EW film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, appearing upon your letters page of issue #819 (May 13, 2005), wherin Lalenia Lichamer takes offense at what she alludes to as thesaurus-reared style of film criticism, I must offer rebuke. Ms. Lichaner uses "Semaphore of pulchritude", from Ms. Schwarzbaum's recent review of Sahara, as an "offensive" example of pomposity and pretentiousness. As a fellow film critic and cinephile - albeit a much lesser known one - I must take offense now (although tongue-in-cheek myself) and form my own rebuttal aimed at Ms. Lichaner and her desire for simple reviews not reserved for the crossword-solving set. Why, I must ask, can we, as writers and critics, not use the full oeuvre of Webster's, Roget's and the OED when discussing, describing and dissecting whatever subject and/or film we are currently espousing? Does not the discovery of new words only elicit a broader and more exploratory mindset? Do we not become smarter creatures when more fully potentializing our brains? A day does not wither by without the hope of something learned anew. When reading film critiques, I want more than the standard who what and where - I want the why and the how as well. I desire this in both the reviews I read and the reviews I write, so I for one will keep on writing my reviews with as much vivacious verbology as is called for (or even uncalled for) and I hope that Ms. Schwarzbaum will do the same - naysayer's sublunary straights be damned.
Kevyn Knox, www.thecinematheque.com
It was never published (other than here).