By far the funniest and darkest paragraph in David Denby‘s New Republic downer piece about the death of intriguing cinema (“Has Hollywood Murdered the Movies? How the richness of technology led to the poverty of imagination”) reads as follows:

“And at the end of the year, as the Oscars loom, [the studios] distribute unadventurous but shrewdly written and played movies, such as The Fighter, which are made entirely by someone else. Again and again these serioso films win honors, but for the most part, the studios, except as distributors, don’t want to get involved in them. Why not? Because they are ‘execution dependent‘ — that is, in order to succeed, they have to be good.

“It has come to this: a movie studio can no longer risk making good movies. Their business model depends on the assured audience and the blockbuster. It has done so for years and will continue to do so for years more. Nothing is going to stop the success of The Avengers from laying waste to the movies as an art form. The big revenues from such pictures rarely get siphoned into more adventurous projects; they get poured into the next sequel or a new franchise. Pretending otherwise is sheer denial.”

How would an execution dependent aversion apply in relationships? A certain guy doesn’t want to go out with a certain woman because in order for the relationship to succeed, he’d have to open up emotionally and act a lot less selfishly and give it up in all kinds of ways and think as much if not more about her than himself and so on. Naahhh…give me my iPad and my 60″ flatscreen and my poker buddies and my talking teddy bear.