Director Ridley Scott recently got put in front of a microphone at the Venice Film Festival, where he opined about the state of affairs in Hollywood, and while expressing his opinion he stumbled into almost quoting renowned science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon:
Scott: “I think movies are getting dumber, actually. Where it used to be 50/50, now it’s 3% good, 97% stupid.”
Sturgeon: “I repeat Sturgeon’s Revelation, which was wrung out of me after twenty years of wearying defense of science fiction against attacks of people who used the worst examples of the field for ammunition, and whose conclusion was that ninety percent of SF is crud. Using the same standards that categorize 90% of science fiction as trash, crud, or crap, it can be argued that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. is crap. In other words, the claim (or fact) that 90% of science fiction is crap is ultimately uninformative, because science fiction conforms to the same trends of quality as all other artforms.”
Sturgeon first shared that in the March 1958 issue of Venture magazine, and the “Revelation” has since been distilled down into Sturgeon’s Law: “90 percent of everything is crap”.
Is Scott right? Have we descended in a spiral toward mediocrity and sad hollow shells of the Hollywood of olde? Or has this kind of ratio always been around?