As a resident of Utah who is contemplating relocating due to the pervasive homogenous and apathetic environment here, I commend Philip Gordon on a well-written article [“Scrubbed to Death,” Nov. 4, City Weekly]. This article speaks to the heart of the reason for my exodus.
Moral responsibility is that of the individual, and when we cede that responsibility to anyone but ourselves—such as the video editor in this article—then we become edited strips on the cutting-room floor. I find it appalling that individuals would support the destruction of an artistic voice for no other reason than it was disagreeable. Unsavory things happen in reality and in art. It just so happens that art is abridged because it is more easily changed than reality. This is why we willingly ignore the unpleasantness of life by renting someone else’s definition of clean, and not going to the polls to vote.
This phenomenon of third-party editing for appropriateness transcends the arena of film, and to accept it, we are unable to accomplish what Gordon describes as “the death of the author.” We cannot discover anything about ourselves as a source of meaning or the world that affects us, and that creates the vanilla society tourists talk about when they return home from ski trips.
Paul W. Story
Salt Lake City