It may have been the Basketball Diaries when I first started crushing on Leo. Or maybe The Beach. If you're into beautiful twink boys, Leo was a hotty little twink back in the day. And Titanic is arguably one of his least interesting performances, even if one of his best known.



I have just listened to the latest Blabbermouth podcast, and have heard your discussion of internet regulation.

I would argue that the internet should be completely deregulated. I say that wi5 a grain of salt, because it is almost certain that any entity powerful to regulate the internet will do so, even if there are laws indicating that it cannot do so legally. Governments have a vested interest in controlling what ideas enter your brain. If at any point the idea of overthrowing that government becomes popular discourse, the government is in danger of extinction, and therefore, legally or not, it will regulate the exchange of ideas online. This is why for a good number of years even visiting the website for Al Quaeda was enough to get on an FBI watchlist, whether you got there intentionally or not.

That said, adding the legal structure for that regulation to exist just allows the government to do so even more blatantly. This may seem like a nice thing if the regulation curtails ideas you don’t like, but let’s imagine for a second that Mike Pence becomes POTUS and decides to ban all internet content related to LGBT civil rights under the provisions allowing the government to regulate social media.

What I offer you instead of regulatory force to restrict the ideas online is cynicism. Teach kids to stop being gullible. Make it part of standard school curriculum to impart upon our youth the capacity to detect bullshit.

This is not as far fetched as you might think. In the 18th and 19th century, print newspapers were all biased, and openly so. Many posted their party affiliation right in their title or masthead. Some of the oldest US publications still in print retain remnants of that area, such as the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Politicians wrote pretty blatant lies about one another in the papers back then. Jefferson and Adams had a nasty little exchange in the papers prior to the 1800 election where the accused one another of pretty over the top sex acts involving animals, treason, fathering illegitimate children (ok, that one wasn’t a lie, but still), and it was the norm back then, that kinda thing just happened everywhere and everyone expected the stuff they read in the press to be biased.

Nobody back then pretended to be unbiased. Now if you think about it, it’s actually impossible to be unbiased, you cannot walk through life with a truly objective lens. At some point, you have to interpret what you see around you, and the meaning you attach to it is informed by your biases. So the press is and has always been heavily biased. It cannot be otherwise.

The difference is that in the old days, people knew it was biased and didn’t automatically assume whatever they read was the absolute truth. At best, it was a half truth, and they knew it. However, the media since Edward R Murrow has claimed to be unbiased, and thus we’ve all been conditioned to believe anything we read in the NYT or WaPo. This is why otherwise intelligent people lie Dan Savage believed there were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and full throatedly supported George W Bush’s War in Iraq.

The solution isn’t to regulate the press, the solution is to be more cynical and to make that a cultural norm once again.

Sorry for the rant, I’m as old as Dan is, and I’m still bitter over having signed up for military service in 1990 for the first Gulf War, which is where I learnt the hard way that all governments lie their asses off. I guess sometimes you need to have that kind of experience to shock you out of believing everything you see in the Grey Lady.

Or online.




Thanks! Hadn't thought about Metropolis for a long time -- actually bought my dvd copy from Scarecrow years ago. I'll have to hunt it down in an unpacked moving box somewhere...


@2 Wandering Star: Holy SHIT, Batman!! We're both in the same age group as Dan (I'm actually two months and a week older than Dan is, though) and you're a Gulf War veteran, too? I served in the U.S. Navy from 1989-1993, initially under "Read my lips" Daddy Bush / Quayle (you're so right about government lies) until the Clintons and Gores took office.


1993: This Boys Life and What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Neither of these movies exist in their excellent form without Leo. And This Boys Life introduced him to DeNiro, and the rest, as they say, is history. (I could also make a small argument that his stint on Growing Pains not only showed his future acting prowess, but how BAD all the other actors on that show really were.)


I was in High School when Romeo and Juliet came out. It was HUGE. He was a massive star then, at least amongst teenagers. Basketball Diaries was also big then.

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