commented on I Love Television
My brother-in-law insists on showing this to my nephews. I hope he notices their stunned silence and listlessness while they process the twisted misanthropic horror they just witnessed.
commented on Thor: The Dark World: A Tolkien-ish Morass Booby-Trapped with Delightful Gags
@1 to you I say, 'meh' I was pretty drunk, and I was feeling silly. The thing is, I write really fast. So after a bunch of scotch, I took a few minutes and wrote a review of Thor 2. There were no comments on The Stranger's review, and thousands of comments on every other website I know, so I posted it here. I'm sorry you didn't like it. It's the first movie review I've ever written, and possibly the last.
Anyway. Why are you so mean-spirited? It can't be fun living a life that something so silly and tiny as a comment on a regional town's alt-weekly newspaper is cause for you to abandon all kindness and empathy. You happily wrote something you know would hurt another person's feelings when you could have saved time, thought I was an idiot, and wrote nothing. You spent time for no other reason to make another human being feel bad about themselves. What kind of person does that make you?
I wrote a bad post, but you are a bad person. You should try to change.
Oh crap, another long post! It took me three minutes. I hope it helped you.
commented on Thor: The Dark World: A Tolkien-ish Morass Booby-Trapped with Delightful Gags
The only way a premise this weird could make it to the screen with this kind of budget is because comics are dumb. And so critics, elites, intellectuals, and people were satisfied with the mere restriction of sexual content from their pages. So from decades of neglect from the elite social cabals through the virtue of being too small and silly to attract serious critical attention, comics were allowed to get weird. An uncritical audience accepts blunders as much as triumphs when their shamefully sneaking past authority figures that decide the value of a story based on the medium it is produced. All those years of brilliant or often-times lazy or even idiotically free imagination built a fan-base. Now that fan-base has disposable income, and that disposable income brings Disney investment to a movie like Thor 2.
If a scriptwriter pitched something as far-out, ridiculous, and as fun as Thor:The Dark World in an alternate universe in which Thor was not a an Avenger or the star of his own comic, executives would have dialed security within the first thirty seconds, and whoever let that writer into the board-room would be fired and probably tortured to death.
So it's like this. Norse Gods are aliens blessed with a multi-thousand year lifespan. The writers have solved the Drake Equation for us because the Asgardians protect Earth from foreign intrusion by more advanced or hostile species for the last few thousand years.
But then a cyborg super-human from the peacekeeping race (That's Thor. His long life span and nigh-invulnerability can't be natural, right? It's quantum nano-tech blarghy-glarg that makes him all super and shit) falls in love with a lesser being because she has more insight into his universe than he does despite her limited lifespan and meager resources. He loves her because as an underdog, she achieves more than the best of his people despite her short existence and total lack of magical hammers. Plus she's played by arguably one of the most attractive women on this planet. Being one-in-500-million chance winner of the bone-structure, metabolism, intelligence, (Harvard, yo!) attractiveness lottery never hurt anyone when attempting to woo a god.
So he goes and fights a more ancient force because she, as a moth investigating the lantern, is so hopelessly beyond her capacity for understanding. The only reason she chose to seek the lantern was that it was the only thing that shared his unknowable quality. So we get a hero that's moved by empathy and care with a being far less blessed than him. He is then willing to risk everything in the attempt to be a man worthy of a person that has done so much more so much more boldly without such superhuman ability and with so much less time.
Corporate greed is a neutral force. The concept of the corporation is to turn the entire world into symbolic measures of worth. The instant it becomes profitable for all of humanity to be ground into dog-food after dogs get access to credit cards, humanity will be remembered shortly as tasty kibble. We've already traded the health and security of our children, and grandchildren to increase the profits with which they do nothing. Now we give a few hours and a few dollars to watch something entertaining. And without them nothing like this could exist.
Corporate executive screened and trained to promote wealth maximization for their ruling conceptual entities at any and all costs gave their money to fan-boys. Those fan-boys are inspired by dudes that read a book about Norse Mythology and then in a wide open market lazily made a funny-book about it. Those humble fan-boys and funny-book makers have put together an entertaining film despite the marketing obstacles set before them by the burden of profit.
So the people that are actively and purposefully destroying civilization, possibly knowingly risking the extinction of our species and for all we know and maybe even to be complicit in the permanent disappearance of sentient life and therefor all meaning in the universe for all time for the sole purpose of collecting as many units of subjectively mutually agreed value are happy. Humans whose nature predicates that they enjoy watching sexually attractive people solve difficult problems are happy. People like me that love stories as a way to play out hypothetical moral dilemmas are happy. And people that want to watch a fucking movie that stands on it's own and is fun also like me are happy.
Only a civilization as divorced from objectivity and guided by the evolutionary cruelty of capitalism could produce a piece of popular entertainment as weird and random and fun as Thor 2 based on merely it's prior tie to a recognizable product.
Thor is a silly character. This story of subjective worth of life and time could be told more effectively without the obligations of franchise, but it could never be told to this many people on this scale with this level of spectacle if it wasn't for the people that will eventually turn us all into dog-food. All hale Disney. You gave money to brilliant people that worked within your arbitrary constraints to tell us a cool story that kept us entertained until we allowed our dogs access to our credit cards.
If all the outside forces that make this work possible were removed, would there have been the opportunity to see tent-stakes crashing into a pipe organ manned by doll-faced pointy-eared weirdos, and then fought off by a red-cloaked sexy-man with a hammer that flew there over a giant rainbow? Would there be fake hand removal and illusionary charcoal chest sword murder and singularity grenades. Yeah, probably not. And I'm sorry that critics across the internet can't enjoy themselves.
Enjoy your culture while you get to. Thor 2 is the kind of bullshit brilliance so contingent on accident and timing and culture, that you should enjoy it for the shear unlikelihood of its existence.
Also, it's pretty funny.
commented on What's the Deal with Shitbarf?
OP and then @13 I just had the same sequence of thoughts yesterday in the men's bathroom in Jai Thai. Then this post happens. How could that possibly be a coincidence? Answer: Because it is!
Anyway. The tagger clearly is aware of how juvenile shitbarf is. I think they enjoy the absurdity of someone spending so much time and risking so much on something so preposterous. I see it as a young artist's commentary on the effort and time people sacrifice in activities that have no value or benefit. It's a parody of religion, fashion, and other memes that humans blindly pursue, and a statement of their value.
Or it's some dipshit promoting a band.
commented on Never Heard of 'Em
@4 Kid A: Rats and children follow me out of town
come on kids
Motion Picture Soundtrack: Cheap sex and sad films
Help me get where I belong
Everything in its Right Place: Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon.
Kid A is better than your ex-boyfriend.
Can you make a comment without considering the opinion of people that like Kid A? You seem to be reacting to your ex and the music press more than you're talking about the actual music.
The music you're writing about is not described accurately with words you use. Kid A has some pretty whimsical bits as you can see from the lyrics above.
The fact that dumb-ass losers like stuff doesn't change the quality of the stuff.
commented on Never Heard of 'Em
If your motivation to form an opinion is based on the reaction to that opinion, is it really your opinion of the work reviewed? If it isn't then your opinion is only related to the subject reviewed as a means to provoke the desired reaction.
Kid A is an irreducible work of art. It is a robot trying to cry as much as it is everything that led up to a traffic jam including the dinosaurs that were squashed, heated, and processed into gasoline in the cars in that traffic jam. It's the child in the back seat awed by the details revealed by the polarized glass of the sunroof of the fluffy clouds flying overhead.
The robot is trying to cry because it sees the death and damage and stupidity that that led to the traffic jam.
The robot is trying to cry because it sees the traffic jam in the context of the sky and the dinosaurs and the enormity of deep time with awe and wonder.
It's a robot trying to cry because of all the things possible to do, the only thing it finds in its database that fits the entire truth of a traffic jam is an ineffectual outburst of emotion expressing awe, grief, love, rage, and terror.
Anna Minard's metaphor of the robot works for any conscious being. Love or hate Kid A, the production, professionalism, talent, inspiration, and thought that went into it deserves more than a review based on figuring out a way to be cooler than the nerds that love it.
Review art as if everyone everywhere ever is dead. The robots that replace us will be grateful to you for sorting through all the crap and pointing them to the best stuff. Kid A is the some of the best stuff.
commented on Gaytheists
@78 I imbue the universe with meaning, and my relationship with the universe is decided by my biology, memory, and intelligence. I acknowledge that my understanding of the universe is flawed and incomplete, but I'm doing the best I can to understand it.
I'm also doing my best to treat other people the way I would like to be treated because I recognize that we all cherish our lives, loved ones, and happiness as much as the people around me. I would not like my happiness taken away, and it would make me feel deeply ashamed to reduce the happiness of others. I would also feel bad harming other people because I am biologically human. There are very few atheists that would disagree with me.
The second best part of that philosophy is, it requires no faith. If I were proven wrong, and that God was real, I would change my belief, but not my behavior. I've decided my behavior through hard work, study, and compassion. Because of my brain chemistry, genetic heritage, and cultural heritage, I'm committed to improving my behavior regardless of supernatural rewards or guaranteed knowledge of meaning. Whichever God that has tried so hard to remain concealed throughout time would have to present something other than ugly consequences or 'because I said so' to change my moral and ethical life.
Dec 24, 2012
commented on Maybe, but We're Still Animals
@14 Squid never built telescopes. They may have more neurons, or a larger brain, and the lotus flower may have more genes, but those measures don't take into account our second inheritance, the inheritance of culture and knowledge. Take the information you learned from adults, and add that to your genetic inheritance. Compare the overall amount of information beyond your DNA that defines you to that of a lotus. DNA is all the lotus has. Same with squid and octopuses. They die after mating, and cannot teach their offspring. We can't test whether an octopus would build an atom bomb. My guess is that the evolutionary pressures that drove us to create that technology are not so dissimilar from those that drive the totally awesome, beautiful, and kick-ass octopuses. We had the opportunity to create an world wide murder device. Cephalopods, due to their biology didn't. Maybe they wouldn't. There's no way to know.
I agree. We have no divine authority or superiority. But we earned the authority obtained through naked power. We have created the value of death. We have imbued complexity with meaning. We have attained an unprecedented power over the biosphere. If a species on this Earth has attained a superior morality, I invite their communication, but if they exist, they haven't tried to communicate with us. Given the stakes, it would be immoral not to.
To summarize, We have to be the most moral and intelligent species with an interest in the biosphere of Earth, because anyone better than us would have stopped us. For humanity, for better or for worse, the buck stops here. Marriage and Presidential metaphors in one sentence! I'm really drunk! No one will ever read this. I don't care. My thoughts are fun! I'm at work for the next few days! Yay me!