Dec 30, 2014
commented on The Stranger's Staff Argues Over Whether You Should Wear a Bike Helmet
When I swim in the ocean, I make sure to bring buckets of chum with me to seed the waters with the smell of blood. When I'm attacked by a shark, I can smugly reflect on how it's the shark's choice to bite a swimmer surrounded in dead fish and blood, and that I bear no responsibility for my death and/or dismemberment because I am morally innocent of all wrongdoing. Not swimming in bloody water is an implicit endorsement of the evil sharks.
No education, no literature, no art, no culture will change the fact that nearly half of the people in this world would gladly murder you as easily if they were making a sandwich. Most of the drivers that kill bikers see your death as an inconvenience to them. You live your life surrounded by people that have no empathy. The only thing that stops them from hitting you on your bike when your in their way is consequence. Of those people that can't comprehend the concept of giving a fuck about a stranger, many simply can't be bothered to pay attention to where they are driving their ton of explosion-fueled steel at speeds we are in no way evolved to react to due to the fact they have insurance, and death to anyone but them is irrelevant.
There is no moral stance. There is no heroic satisfaction in being a vegetable while the soccer-mom in the Suburban that destroyed your brain raises six psychopath kids to reproducing age. Nearly half of the people on the road hold the same value to human life as a shark swimming in a delicious cloud of blood does. No amount of fancy-pants book-reading or moral superiority will change the fact that a shitty driver turned you into a fucking vegetable. There's the rest of your lifetime that would have worked to make a better world, lost. Protect yourself from sharks. Wear a fucking helmet.
Dec 24, 2014
commented on How to Tell Your Children They Are Not Artists
Steal the color from your child's vision.
And they are safe from wanting all that you could never have, but were too naive to know it wasn't for you.
They'll never feel your disappointment
and they'll never push for more
and the rest of us will never get any more beauty. Because you ceded the realm of beauty to the people that weren't your kids...
...you fucking asshole. Nurture your fucking kids, dick. Even if they fail, you can at least claim you did your best. Be an asshole to your kids, and your as bad as any of the people that tried to stop you.
Oct 12, 2014
commented on Comic
@6 and @7 Will you at your best capability of empathy, admit that animal testing sucks for the animals? Or are you zealots beyond the grasp of nuanced thought? What if you considered all you don't know about animal cognition, and what we do know about the benefits of animal testing. What if that knowledge were to change? Maybe some animal testing is justified? Maybe it's barbaric? Maybe we don't have enough data to make an authoritative and final decision on the matter JUST LIKE THIS FUCKING SIMPLE-ASS COMIC SEEMS TO SUGGEST. The more we know about animals, the more sentient they seem. It's just as much an untenable prejudice to assume they're machines as it is to assume they're people, and our moral guide in this matter as a civilization has been designed by people with a vested interest in suppressing empathy for lab animals. So get unsure of yourselves. This is a vital and important argument. You are people. People can be wrong. You aren't debating Right-Wing Christians, you're debating human-beings with well considered ethical and moral standards. Chill out.
Feb 10, 2014
commented on Lindy West Has a Hot Tip For Anyone Apartment Hunting on Capitol Hill
@17 I think democratic control of rent is the best option, but if we had a market economy for rental housing in Seattle, some brilliant millionaire iconoclast would spend the capital to build twenty-story buildings on the hill, and force the hundred-year-old four story brick walk-ups to lower their prices or go out of business. I think it's a terrible idea, but market forces would be better than what we have now. There's no reason for all the new buildings in Capital Hill to be under 5 stories. In a vibrant market, an entrepreneur could build a much taller building, charge less rent, and make a huge profit as the working class flock to their lovely buildings, and competition would force the established owners to improve their facilities or go out of business. What we have now is old money profiting off of their bribery of local government to create zoning laws that limit competition. It would still be better to have democratic socialist control over housing costs, but I'd prefer capitalism to the plutocracy that currently holds power over the cost of the roofs over our heads.
Jan 23, 2014
commented on Amy Thone Is Abnormally Talented
"All the other actors are of normal talents."
That has to be the most dismissive sentence I've ever read in a theater review. Was it calculated to be discouraging? No mention of the rest of the cast would have been enough to communicate that they were unremarkable. And why use the word 'talent' rather than 'ability' or 'skill'? Talent is inborn; unchangeable. And from the rest of the review, it sounds like they were fairly effective in their roles.
I'm in no way involved in this show. I likely won't be in town to see it, but I have to wonder what the actors did that earned them such damning faint praise.
Dec 1, 2013
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.
Nov 10, 2013
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.
Nov 10, 2013
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.
Sep 10, 2013
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.