Okay, maybe genius is a bit of a strong statement. Overkill. But I got a bit hot under the collar when I read another bad review of his latest movie – You Don’t Mess With The Zohan. Surprise, surprise. The critics didn’t like his movie. Apparently his humor is silly and lacks class. Excuse me, it is Adam Sandler. What did you expect? Tsotsi or Juno? Get off your bloody high horse. He doesn’t make movies for you Mister Critic. Ask his audience if they like it. Isn’t that what counts? Or are you saying that all those people who go and watch his movies are as stupid as him?

Maybe he makes movies because he actually enjoys just entertaining people? And maybe people watch his movies because they just want a silly laugh as something really ridiculous? Maybe they want some downtime from $4 gas and deeper debt? Maybe working two or three jobs at a time makes them a bit tired and they just need to escape a bit? Maybe they don’t have an air conditioned office and free passes to all the movies like you? Maybe they have to do some real work to pay the rent and buy some food?

Who the hell gives you the right to say that their entertainment is somehow of less value than yours? Being in the minority does not give you some superior insight into this world of ours. The Klan is in a minority. Are you going to say that they must have something right just because not everyone isn’t running off to join them?

I am just sick and tired of these people, who can’t act or write a script or direct a movie to save their lives, who somehow end up being critics. Pompous, stuck-up, pretentious bastards. You are no better. No better than anyone who doesn’t “get” Memento. Or who doesn’t think that Clint Eastwood is a gifted director or George Clooney is God’s gift to serious acting. We don’t think they are bad. But really, with the world in darkness around us some people watch movies to get away from it all for a little bit. Maybe people don’t want to watch Monster’s Ball because they live it. And a documentary of your own life is no fun at all.

And they climb into Kung Fu Panda. Jeeze. Puh-lease. They climb into it because it is so childish. Jack Black plays the same character he always play – just in animation this time. And it is so for young kids and parents won’t find it entertaining. Excuse me! Maybe that was the target audience? Not some slob stuffing his face with free popcorn and soda and watching a movie they weren’t going to like in any case. Not even if the voice was that of Daniel Day-Lewis and the movie was directed by Robert Altman. Nothing will satisfy you bunch. Would it?

What criteria do you use? How sad the movie makes you? How “real” the movie might be even though you would never actually live that life? Little Miss Sunshine is just so “edgy”. You wouldn’t know edgy if you walked into it my friend. Momento is so “complex”. No, you have a complex.

Sorry buddy. I want to be entertained. I want to escape. I want to forget about the troubles of the world and life at work for a few minutes. I want to hear my kids laugh at silly jokes. I want to see my wife wipe away the tears of laughter. I don’t want them to go home and feel even more depressed about this world of ours. Life is real enough. More real than your pseudo life and “deep” insights. Go stuff yourself. Get a life. A real life. Not one that you can somehow “connect” to on the big screen.

You remind me of those sport writers. Oh so insightful. But they are the same guys who didn’t get picked by anyone at school during break because their sporting abilities sucked. And now they take their revenge on those who actually play the sport.

You the critic. So important. So at the edge of art. So. So.

Oh, I like some of the movies and people I mentioned. I liked Gosford Park. I like George Clooney. Okay, sometimes. Memento is one of my favourite movies. But most of the time I just want to sit back and laugh. I don’t need much of a storyline. Just a few jokes – mostly stupid jokes. Anything goes. Anything to take me away for a few minutes. Take me away from this “real” life of the critics. Who can “feel the pain” and “live the moment”. Bah! Get a life.

Is this relevant to Africa? Yep. It is. Because it is the same type of people who will tell me all about Africa. And what the people of Africa need. And how they can “help” them. And how they feel the pain of the people of Africa. And that we should all do our bit. And volunteer our time. And… And…

Damnit man. Just stop it.

Africa doesn’t need your pity. Africans don’t need you to tell them how difficult their lives are. Africa doesn’t need more good advice. We can see where that got us in the last century or so. You campaign and you speak on behalf of us at conferences and lobbying meetings because you somehow believe that you have a deep insight into our people. Like you know what we need and want. The knight in shining armour. Where’s the white horse? Or is that just a white face?

That your deep and serious answers are so much better than our little silly childish solutions. Eish! No Country For Old Men is so much better than Mr Bean. Not when the men don’t grow old in our countries to start off with. We would rather watch Mr Bean being silly and just enjoy our moment together instead of suffering with you because that is what you need to make yourself feel worthwhile.

We don’t suffer to make you feel good. We don’t die to make you feel superior. We suffer because you feel good. And we die because you feel superior.

So sorry. I’ll take Adam Sandler anytime. I know what I get. A stupid man making stupid silly jokes, but being honest about himself and who he is. Just an entertainer. As simple as that. Not a special one who will save my world. We need you to be simple. We need you to be one of us. Be Adam Sandler. Be stupid and silly. But be honest. With yourself and then with us.

Be yourself. A flawed, but funny human being just like all of us. I am not going to give you a slap on the back and tell you I am proud of you because you are so serious. Just be. And just do. Do it because you do it. As simple as that. Don’t give me nice camera angles of poverty or deep and serious scripts for advocacy. Shut up and do it. Be funny. Be true.

Hey, you never know. Spielberg might make a movie of your life some day. Just hope to God it isn’t Oliver Stone and some conspiracy movie…

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