Monday, March 30, 2009

Bob Ross' Visit: "It's frightening to him"

Bob Ross has a pet peeve- he made it clear during his recent visit to my Critical Writing class.

“It bothers me that so many people get their news from one publication,” he said. “That’s frightening to me.”

Ross, a well-known longtime movie critic, spoke a bit about everything; his opinion about society’s current short attention span, his favorite kind of film and his dislike for FOX.

His dislike for FOX News, which he said is really good at rhetoric, particularly stood out to me. He said so many people watch it and accept and don’t receive any other feedback.

I agree with him as far as selecting only one media outlet to rely on for all current news. It goes hand-in-hand with what the book “True Enough” discussed. Manjoo and Ross have helped me realize the importance of reading as many different news publications as you can. You can see the differences in coverage as well as be able to pick up different details in one story not included in the same story in another publication. As a reader, you must take the initiative and seek out news instead of relying on just one source.

Ross, who wrote for the Tampa Tribune for 21 years, was laid off in 2007. He spoke about the writing process for movies as well as the current status of movie critics.

Ross said being a movie critic is a position of a kind of false power.

“I could inflict my opinion,” he said. However, he added, it was more of a one-way communication.

I can understand where he is coming from. A movie critic tries to describe to readers how a particular movie was and their opinion of it- but opinions vary.

I enjoyed listening to Ross talk about his movie critic years. He spoke about “The Passion of the Christ,” the movie directed by Mel Gibson. Ross felt it was more of a horror film, gore and all. He received a lot of angry responses from that. Up until now I thought movie critics didn’t receive angry reader’s responses, not like political writers. I was wrong.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed Ross’ visit. He provided me with great insight into the movie critic business and taught me that there is a lot of good movie criticism online, not just the big guys like himself. I, along with other young writers, could develop into popular movie critics too.

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