Manohla Dargis authored an essay for the Sunday, July 10, 2011 edition of the New York Times that applied some of the information in the new book "The Invisible Gorilla" to the art of film reviewing. She elaborated how movie directors often go to extensive lengths to manipulate the audience's attention. Bloggers will find that much of what she was trying to teach rookie film critics also applies to the art of political punditry and they are encouraged to read it online or on page 13 of the hard copy's Arts and Leisure section.
The book contends (and Ms. Dargis seconds the idea) that sometimes folks get so intent on something that they see what they want to see and disregard all the rest (as lies and jest?). Haven't magicians been making a comfortable living based on that principle for decades? Don't they call it "The Three card Monty" Shuffle? Didn't Banksey use the converse of that principle as the basis for his "Elephant in the Room" installation in Los Angeles, a few years ago?
Aren't the efforts of the JEB Bush campaign to win the 2012 Republican nomination a viable example of the Invisible Gorilla book's contention that (to rob another book title) Naked is the Best Disguise? Heck, if Karl Rove goes on the Sean Hannity radio show and while assessing the various candidates' chances overlooks JEB, isn't that proof that if he has fooled himself into forgetting about JEB's efforts, then all the peons in Punditvania will also drop JEB from the evaluation process? Whew! Maybe the Fox Hacking team will also be fooled and not bother to pry into JEB's telephone answering machine and come up with an embarrassing scoop? Wouldn't that be a very lucky break for the JEBster?
Ms. Dargis suggests that "inattentional blindness" and "change blindness" help perpetuate some of the visual frauds in cinema.
Wow! What would happen if a Democratic President promised "change" and subsequently Karl Rove imposed the principle of "change blindness" on his pals in the national media who were searching diligently for opportunities to have a "Eurika!" moment in the contemporary political perception arena called "status quo chaos"?
Did we mention that Harry Houdini was the first person to pilot an aircraft flight on the continent of Australia?
Ms. Dargis quotes theorist David Bordwell as saying (on his blog) that "perceptually films are illusions . . ." and that reminded this columnist of the time (as a kid) when we asked an aunt who loved Western Movies, if so many of the actors, who were hired to be Indians and cowboys, were getting killed each week, why didn't Hollywood run out of actors? At that point we were informed that the weekly images of massive massacres were only people playing pretend. (Just like with the bombings to kill Col Qaddafi?)
Boy, do the pacifists in Berkeley get pissed when they see film purporting to show massive carnage in Iraq? Dude, relax, it's just a movie! Isn't it ironic that a city known for the Peace symbol is home to a weapons laboratory?