A must-read blog post: “Just shut up.”

A brilliant, blunt defense of the need to read critically, even if doing so “ruins” a favourite movie or book:

http://gyzym.tumblr.com/post/39004853136/just-shut-up

This post tackles a common problem in teaching literary and cultural studies: the problem of students resisting critical reading because it “ruins” a cherished favourite text by “over-analyzing” it or “taking it too seriously.”

I get that it feels like things are being ruined, like people are looking for things to hate, like people are taking things too seriously. I even get that, as much as we’d like to pretend otherwise, it can feel like a personal attack to see a piece of media we’re attached to get put through the wringer…But consuming media critically is a skill, and in an age where media is more prevalent than ever before, it’s a skill worth having.

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One response to “A must-read blog post: “Just shut up.”

  1. Interesting. I’m not sure the blog author goes far enough in her analysis, actually. She talks about movies and the messages they preach, but in the case of “Beauty & the Beast”, it’s the base narrative (the original fairytale) where the real issue lies, and that’s centuries old. Criticial thinking needs to be applied to *everything*. The propensity to take off one’s thinking cap when it comes to the stories we tell in our culture is extremely pervasive.

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