IVP - Strangely Dim - We're Not Gonna Take It! and Other Bad Art

September 29, 2006

We're Not Gonna Take It! and Other Bad Art

A theater in downstate Illinois has shut down for a few weeks, rather than be forced by the marketplace to subject its community to the best Hollywood has to offer this month: Jackass 2 and Beerfest. Read about it here.

Hey! Come back!

It's not that these movies are morally offensive, per se, that's led to the business owner's boycott. It's that they're just awful. The Chicago Tribune called one of the two films "an insult to sophomoric movies everywhere." The owner, Greg Boardman, has put a lot of money into making his theater a destination point for movie fans--cutting edge tech, roomy seats, fancy carpet. Adding a film that relies on vomit and self-flagellation for laughs is, I suppose, a bit like gilding the lilly--although only a bit.

I'm intrigued by this story because I don't often see people who make money off of mass culture proactively filter content for their customers. The only instance I can recall, in fact, is a music video that MTV restricted temporarily nearly two decades ago. I'm sure there are other cases, but I can't think of any.

I can hardly think of anything else to say, I'm so shocked by this guy's moxie. Hollywood is more Goliath than David, and the private owner of a two-screen theater in a small Illinois town is more David than Goliath, but he certainly took his shot. Maybe the rest of us can be encouraged by my new hero to expect a little more from our entertainment.

By the way, Likewisebooks.com is now up and running. Be sure to check it out.

Hey! Be sure to come back too!

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at September 29, 2006 12:16 PM Bookmark and Share


Actually, as nasty as they can get, the ads we see on TV are the ones that made the cut. Networks are often declining ads that are too offensive, explicit and more.

We need to give them at least that.

The networks have also refused to sell airtime to anti-consumerist foundations like adbusters. Anti-consumerism is more dangerous to TV than offense.

Comment by: Paul Grant at October 4, 2006 11:26 AM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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