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Eric Melin’s “Nihilistic Philosophy…” Lacks Morality

In response to Eric Melin’s 527‑word review of The Counselor on Scene-Stealers.com 

http://www.scene-stealers.com/reviews/video-reviews/nihilistic-philosophy-abound-in-the-counselor/

By Rochus Pomponius, Adjunct Critic

Eric Melin’s “Nihilistic Philosophy Abound in ‘The Counselor’” attempts to explain how dark comedy can become just dark, but falls prey to the same trap.

When one is elaborating on a premise, it helps if they are semi-interested in the premise they are elaborating on. This doesn’t seem to be the case here. The audience likely understands the experience researching the subject matter could not have been a pleasant one; but must they then share in that misery?

Melin goes about writing his diatribe with pessimistic dissent. In this manner, his clear talent for influencing public opinion ends up working against him. For example, at one point, he is explaining nihilistic philosophy and its undertones. In doing so, he emphasizes the bleak aura that philosophy tends to create and compares it to his feelings while researching the subject. Unfortunately, his futile attempt to convey the grim setting just leaves the audience despondent in general.

Despite this, Melin does successfully complete his objective—to dishearten the audience. Whether that is a result of the subject matter or his conveyance of it is another question entirely.

His viewpoint is conveyed and his points taken, but not without creating the same frustration he apparently condemns in his source. Or maybe that was his intent… to put the reader in the mindstate he finds himself in? Alas, in forcing one to feel his pain, he just ends up increasing the anguish.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation

Rochus Pomponius joins the Existimatum staff after a celebrated career as a court jester and the personal entertainer of Emperor Trajan. His studies in rhetoric inform his assessments.