Remade in Their Image

Remakes for the most part are a disappointing phenomenon. Why do
people feel the need to remake classics, and redo masterpieces, thus
leaving our culture’s sacred artistic ruins in ruin. Some are simply eager
to cash in on regurgitating old ideas, as the tried and true is a proven
moneymaker, and as the antithesis of artistic integrity and fond
memories, the market hates uncertainty. Others favor remakes as an
homage to the original work, but this is merely empty and ironically,
usually the end result tends instead to be rather insulting, missing
everything, including the meaning that may have made the original
groundbreaking, or interesting, something instrumental if not
monumental in leading to its succeeding. Support for remakes also
derives from people who claim that something, whether it be a video
game, a movie, a song, needs “updating” for the new generation, so that
they may appreciate it, believing the current crop of flat screen tweens
would not have the attention span, the patience or the capacity to accept
it in it’s current antiquated state. In other words, it should be remade in
their image; fast pace, action packed, with concepts easily “graspable”,
more controversial, superficial, and basically something that’s able to
hold the attention of your average undereducated, uninterested text
messaging teenager.

Under the guise of remaking, people are in effect rewriting, even
obscuring history, as the new “appreciators” most often are not even
made aware, and may in fact never discover that a prior(superior)
version exists. Many of the things that are being remade for today’s
society are in fact things which some of us nostalgically hold near and
dear as an illustration of everything that’s wrong with (and as a form of
escapism from) today’s society. Instead of teaching people how to
appreciate old things, how to increase their attention span, and how to
grasp the concept an original masterpiece was trying to convey, they
would rather make it more “accessible” to accommodate those who
could not appreciate it, would be unable to grasp it etc, thus discarding
much of the underlying theme which they thought made it such a great
idea to remake in the first place! It’s like if someone said the Mona Lisa
should be redone, because it is too plain and young people would find it
boring or unattractive to look at. But would this be anything other than a
sad irony, a missing of the boat? Should something simply be remade
to accommodate the ignorant masses, or should people be forced to
learn to appreciate it if they are to deserve to?

Tomorrow, will people remake the remade films of today, in their own
image? so that they will be interesting to themselves?
Or wouldn’t we prefer for them to understand us, the lessons we learned,
who we really were, what we believed, what we said, what we really
meant, in our own carefully chosen words?

From my 2008 Book, SideQuests

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