commented on Soon You'll Have to Be 21 to Buy Cigarettes in New York City
@1 - because if there's one thing under-21s living in New York do, it's leave town for the weekend to party in Hackensack. This is brilliant, but it can only really work in a place like NYC, where ease of access to other cities is restricted to those who own cars or (shudder) those willing to brave the PATH or LIR - and no 19-year-old fresh from Cleveland is gonna sacrifice their Bushwick cred by taking either of those options.
commented on Here Are the Anti-Obamacare Ads Republicans Are Airing During The Daily Show
The military wasted many, many, many billions of dollars on planes that will never see combat. Until I see a single Bush-era Republican answering for those wastes, I will not waste a single fuck on this issue.
ACA is here to stay. It's over, it's done. The right and the whinging left can either get over themselves and start working on getting the program past its shortcomings, or they can sit and bitch without anything getting done. I know where the right will fall on this one, but I hope my so-called progressive friends will get off their asses and stop living in the world as they wish it were and start living in the one the rest of us have to.
commented on Circular Logic
This was a shrewd effort on her part to get attention, negative or otherwise, to a book that probably would've been largely ignored. Good for her.
I'm just sorry Eggers isn't actually a plagiarist. Guess I'll have to settle for him being an overblown overrated hack of the first order, a turd in the oatmeal of modern literature, a man beloved of those that hate literature, words, and ideas.
commented on Amer-I-Can't!
The Heritage foundation, Republican-created health care plan that was embraced by a Republican governor is, in this country condemned as socialism. And you people think medicare expansion actually would've happened.
The idea that the 'serious' people are saying ACA is the best we could've gotten and it's shiny and wonderful and perfect, is a fucking myth. ACA is indeed the best we could've gotten, but it's far from perfect. Every intellectually honest person I know agrees on this. But hey, I'm excited, and they're excited, to see America get its first taste of healthcare that it has not seen in its history. We think this is a solid building block, the first really tangible step.
But you, and people like you, are seemingly being intentionally thick when you go out and write about everything wrong with ACA at this moment when it's still the most vulnerable. And I'm not saying don't report, but when all you ever report are the fuck-ups, the glitches, the people who 'lose' their ineffective and legally insufficient healthcare (always neglecting to mention that in all likelihood that the loss of their shitty, expensive insurance will allow them to sign up for something cheaper that will actually cover something) is intellectually dishonest, does nothing for the ACA, and emboldens the right wing who, every time a liberal writes about how it took them six hours to get onto a government website, pops a boner.
For ACA to work, we need the people to sign up. For people to sign up, they need to want to do it. Having every left wing scold from here to Boston whining about ACA is not the goddamn way to go about it. When you have a newborn infant in a crib, you don't say, hey you know what, now's the time to throw this baby into the ocean and see if it can learn to swim! Maybe take care of the infant, fatten it up, get it healthy. Maybe lend support to the millions of people in this country who don't give a shit about the politics one way or another, but just want some fucking health insurance before their pre-existing condition bankrupts them.
ACA is about getting us ready for actual, socialized health care in this country. Informing people that this better option exists, and oh hey, btw, it's actually socialism, is the quickest way to ensure that it never fucking happens.
So yes, the grown-ups are asking you to shush. We're asking all of the people who want health care to be more equitable and affordable in this country to either shut the fuck up, or help drum up support.
commented on When Silicon Valley Gets Tea Baggy
Yep, that's why they've got all those tech start-ups in Somalia.
BTW, Balaji received his BS, two MS and PhD all from Stanford, which of course receives millions in taxpayer funds every year, along with tax-exempt status for all of their property. And Balaji's honors include being a Presidential Scholar Finalist, AP National Scholar, and National Merit Scholar - I'm sure he didn't meet or interact with anyone with any level of pull or influence during these honors. Nope, good ol' fashioned bootstraps! If only the government had gotten out of his way sooner, who knows how far he could've flown?
And besides, with a name like Balaji Srinivasan, I'm sure that neither he nor any member of his family benefited from the immigration policies of the US.
commented on How to Skirt the TSA and Fly Anonymously
It's always hilarious the lengths that white men will go to in order to avoid being treated like minorities get treated every day of their lives, except, you know, only in airports. It's always some white guy, usually older, who does the most whining and moaning about security screenings, saying things like 'security theater' and whatnot, just to avoid the kind of hassle that pretty much every brown person in this country endures on a daily basis.
The airport security procedures are a joke, but the reaction on a local level (people trying to smuggle knives and guns through to 'test' the TSA, Gold's harebrained scheme presented here) is an even bigger joke and a waste of everyone's time. The only way things are going to change is through the elected process, full-stop.
Goldy, if I'm ever at an airport and I have to wait longer in the security line because the TSA is too busy hauling your ass away, I'm gonna be pretty pissed at you.
commented on He Probably Deserved It
@22 - no, you're just a fucking idiot. You, and everyone like you, are fucking idiots. There's no dealing, reasoning, or putting up with fucking idiots like you. All decent people like me can do is hope that people like you quietly pass from this earth quickly and without procreating - or, if you do procreate, then have your offspring consciously reject all of your fucking idiot ideas, notions, and attitudes.
This world continues to get better despite fucking idiots like you, precisely because of the reasons described above. It certainly helps that your side is so completely incompetent and flagrantly politically senile so even the half-stupid have begun to recognize it. Your side is comprised of losers, intellectually, spiritually, and morally, who over time will continue to lose. People like you are gum stains on the sidewalk of history - annoying, ugly, and soon to be scraped off and tossed away, never to be noticed again.
How's that for a springboard, you silly little asshole?
commented on What Do You Think of the The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer?
@3 - no, you and most people with a tumblr account share that opinion. And like those people, you have no concrete examples from his work to back up your assertions. I'll ignore the things about 'personal fulfillment' and longing to return to a simpler time when brown people were subjugated, because those are prima facie ridiculous if you have even a passing knowledge of the themes that Anderson uses in his movies. Instead I'll focus on the racism.
Anderson makes movies that star mostly white people (until now, since you apparently haven't looked at the trailer). For you to write him off for this, you should pretty much just write off 95% of the directors in Hollywood (and culture in general), which happens to include most of the best ones. He's probably just about as racist as the rest of us, and don't get me wrong, that's still pretty fucking racist, but it's a very poor reason to give for writing off the films. There is nothing inherently more 'white' about 'The Royal Tenenbaums' than most other family comedies not directed by Tyler Perry.
Here, let me quote from the Slate article you no doubt half-remember. "This isn't just heavy-handed, it's offensive. In a grisly little bit of developing-world outsourcing, the child does the bothersome work of dying so that the American heroes won't have to die spiritually." This is incorrect on a story level. The character death that sparked the whole plot was the offscreen death of the brother's father. The place the characters are in during the story was a direct result of that death. The death of the boy in the canal is the narrative bookend. While these brothers have had their heads up their own asses looking for enlightenment on their spiritual journey, life, and death, has continued all around them (also specifically called out). We see the boy's father experiencing his grief, which is not played anything other than beautifully by Irrfan Khan, and the brother's see their grief mirrored back at them. The Kinks song playing during that scene plays, "Strangers on this road we are on / We are not two we are one."
I remember someone being pissed once that Anderson shot a movie in India that wasn't about Indians. Yes, because Danny Boyle certainly showed that a white director shooting a movie in India about Indians will please everybody. Moving on-
The thing about the Darjeeling Limited being especially racist compared to other films is unsupported. It's about three white Americans in a country that is not their own, viewing it in that way. The Indian characters give excellent performances, the brother's self-centeredness is repeatedly examined and critiqued. They acted like tourists because they were tourists - by definition ignorant, self-centered, and alienated from the people around them. So a few review questions:
In what way did the brothers behave in a racist or denigrating way that was not called out by themselves or by other characters?
How does Wes Anderson show his contempt of Indians or Indian culture?
When does Wes Anderson minimize Indian culture as 'quaint' or 'other' in comparison to American culture, that can't be chalked up to being a person in another country that is ignorant of that culture's language and history?
Put it this way: the criteria you give for hating Wes Anderson can be applied to most beloved movies and directors. If you hate Anderson, you gotta hate them all.
Here, some more from the Slate article, because it's fun so easily debunking something that a writer presumably got paid for: "Anderson generally likes to decorate his margins with nonwhite, virtually mute characters: Pelé in Life Aquatic, a Brazilian who sits in a crow's-nest and sings David Bowie songs in Portuguese" - yes, that was Seu Jorge, the composer and musician. He sings like it's his job, because that was his job. "Mr. Sherman in Royal Tenenbaums, a black accountant who wears bow ties, falls into holes" - and has an interracial relationship with Etheline that culminates in their marriage, but hey, Weiner was on a role at this point with being selective of the facts of the character to prove his point "and meekly endures Gene Hackman's racist jabs" - holy shit, is this ever just completely incorrect - Royal and Henry have several shouting matches and never once did Henry back down - the only one who did back down was Royal, after Henry shouted at him "SIT DOWN!" — "he calls him "Coltrane" and "old black buck," which Anderson plays for laughs;" wrong again, Royal was an old racist, played straight. "Mr. Littlejeans in Rushmore, the Indian groundskeeper who occasionally mumbles comical malapropisms (Anderson hired this actor, Kumar Pallana, to do the same in Royal Tenenbaums and Bottle Rocket)" - you mean one of Anderson's best friends, whose son is also one of Anderson's and Wilson's best friends? The guy who hadn't acted a day in his life but used to be a performer (spinning plates and such), and that Anderson loved so much he put in almost every one of his movies? The guy who didn't speak English very well but who had the full faith and confidence of Anderson, the cast and crew? My god, Anderson IS a monster!
To close what has become a mini-essay: Hate the writing, hate the direction, hate whatever you like. Anderson's racism is my racism, and your racism, and this country's racism. If you want to take a stab at the white supremacy that's in this country, Anderson's movies are a very, very poor place to start.
All of that being said, this movie looks goddamn delightful, and I'm enthusiastic about Anderson showcasing another previously unknown POC actor in this movie (such as Amara Karan in Darjeeling Limited, Waris Ahluwalia in The Life Aquatic, Sara Tanaka in Rushmore)