Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die--so let's all chill out.
Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die--so let's all chill out.
Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die--so let's all chill out.
Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody's gonna die--so let's all chill out.
She Dies Tomorrow is a pretentious broken record of nothing.
Parallax a despondent trudge to belated sci-fi cliches.
In Bright Axiom a fruitless "documentary" on limp secret society.
Elvis from Outer Space only good for a Rifftrax experience.
Some news of late...
Why do I care? Aren’t there other, more important things to be concerned with right now than not being able to watch something? Am I being short-sighted?
I hear and ask myself that pretty equally and can’t help but land on a few things repeatedly. The removal of past film/tv/art (“art media”) from public availability based on today’s standards & practices is *extremely* troubling to me simply because who gets to keep deciding what offensive words and portrayals society is allowed to experience anymore? Celebrities, CEOs, and Twitter? Also, what exactly is offensive enough for banishment--everyone’s different so where’s the bar? Finally, based on a lot of what I’m reading all over the place, masses are apparently eager to be told what art media is “right” for them to enjoy vs what needs burning which is actually genuinely frightening and short-sighted.
“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.” -Salman Rushdie
First, as to who decides what’s offensive, I’ve read from some that as long as the government isn’t responsible then it isn’t censorship which I find silly and dangerous. It doesn’t have to be the government to be censorship and all censorship isn’t some horrible evil, but what’s going on now with these celebrities/companies self-sacrificing works to the censorship gods is verging on madness. If art media was produced in the past and at some point down the road the creator(s) of it think twice about some aspect/the whole thing then they should go ahead and shout what they’ve learned from the rooftops to their heart’s content--no takebacks, though.
A few years ago Seth Rogen discussed Superbad’s homophobic tendencies (all the “faggot” stuff, for example) and even though his remarks at the time were fairly weak on the topic, he acknowledged its problematic nature and has left mockery of gays in the past. It will still undoubtedly offend/perturb folks in the future who might watch so should he or an angry Twitter mob be given ultimate say to remove the offensive material for our own good since they know what’s best? Searching through decades of hundreds of thousands of old TV/movies available on streaming platforms for the “offensive” could be quite the jobs program, I guess, but who benefits every time we toss some horribly unworthy “offensive” creation off the cliff? Certainly not a society interested in prolonged freedoms.
can’t handle seeing shouldn't be allowed to see Jane Krakowski in blackface for a few seconds then what about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt where she plays a Lakota woman (via some slight skin bronzer) who chooses to pass herself as a white woman? How about when another character who is not of Asian descent performs a Geisha show in full makeup? On Community Pierce wears brownface to play what I’m sure is an offensive swami character (“The First Chang Dynasty”) and there are so many more examples in the history of television/film. Why do these episodes remain, despite their offensive nature to many? Or will they, too, have to go? Does every marginalized group get a turn at the wood-chipper?
In theory there’s still the physical media blu-ray/DVD option for the latest out-of-bounds material, but I immediately wonder if there’s a problem in a company offering offensive material online then leaving it available wherever books are sold (physical stores) also seems not long for this world. Plus, do you think companies will still produce new blu-rays/DVDs of now culturally offensive/taboo material when the Offense Taken! Mob offers up a new item on the list of demands? Also, let’s be realistic, how much longer before blu-rays/DVDs are relics of the past and our streaming smart TVs take care of all this for us?
“Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness.” -Tina Fey, re: 30 Rock episodes pulled.
I understand how the sentiment behind that is positive, in theory, but in practice that’s idiotic. Fey/these companies shouldn’t be making those choices for *everyone* in regards to pre-existing pop culture/art media. Why? Simply because they aren’t the final word on this topic and what’s “offensive” is open to everyone so this Helen Lovejoy "Think of the children!" angle easily applies to a massive chunk of stuff like Bill & Ted or 40 Year Old Virgin or all kinds of popular movies from the last 50 years where gay mockery/disgust/hate was the norm. That’s not even including the many cases of actors/athletes/musicians/etc themselves dropping a “faggot”-based insult/series of insults, by the way (or some old school anti-semitism, for purists). Do those need to be purged for the betterment and safety of society’s children, too? Why not? I’ll move on from Fey in a moment, but how come 30 Rock’s problematic gay content doesn’t ruffle her feathers? Does she simply not see it?
For instance, there’s a slightly snooty/snobby character on 30 Rock nicknamed “Toofer” as since he’s both black and went to Harvard (one of each in every writer’s room, the joke goes) he counts as two-for-one. At one point another character says he could also be called “Threefer” since he’s black & gay and others comically reference his gayness as well at other points. The character himself, though, speaks of/expresses his romantic/sexual interest in women several times over the course of the series. So, the character pursues women while other characters mock him with “gay” aspertions and that’s funny because...why? I didn’t go on a deep-dive for offensive material, by the way, I’m just a 30 Rock fan who personally doesn’t care for much of its homo-humor (Devon Banks & Jenna’s gays also come to mind plus I haven’t even touched on Tracy Morgan’s anti-gay tirade which Fey excused in reality and on the show itself with a hollow defense) but I also don’t demand utopian societal representation under threat of banishment from everything I watch.
“It's now very common to hear people say, 'I'm rather offended by that.' As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more... than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what." -Stephen Fry
As a gay man with a whole lifetime of movie/TV watching under my belt I’ve seen all kinds of things that affected me, moreso as a young person to no surprise. I’ve become aware of some things that seeped in to my adolescent brain and took hold such as my aversion to displaying affection with my husband publicly or finding effeminate men to not be objects of attraction, both of which were absolutely learned behaviors from a steady diet of action movies & comedies & kids movies that presented those things as bad/unnatural or simply not a part of life. Those linked articles sum up the many ongoing instances of lack of representation at all or the countless gay=lame/villains as coded swishy queers/etc kind of characters typically presented.
It’s one thing if there’s a Pierce-like character (that’s Chevy Chase on Community) who says “offensive” things all the time like “that’s so gay!” when he means lame but the other characters don’t agree, often push back, and the show itself makes clear the joke isn’t Pierce calling someone gay and we laugh at them because they’re lesser than, it’s that he’s an out-of-touch fool with ridiculous views and we’re laughing at him. That’s far and away the outlier, it’s far more common to just have Triumph the Insult Comic Dog call you “gay” and that’s the whole joke--ha ha, you like men!
Now let’s consider I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (C&L from now on) in which Adam Sandler & Kevin James play two firefighters who pretend to be gay for the benefits of a domestic partnership and hilarity ensues. Jeez, where to start? The linked articles sum up the myriad of problems with this movie quite well but suffice it to say, for large swaths of gay folks C&L is completely offensive trash with no redeeming qualities to it whatsoever that’s currently available to any “comedy-loving kid” with a Hulu subscription. If the feature length gay mocking/revulsion isn’t enough, how about Rob Schneider playing an Asian wedding officiant in full-on Breakfast at Tiffany’s Mickey Rooney mode? Don’t those both have to go, too, according to the “Offense Taken!” precedent?
Between Rob Schneider’s Asia Face character (it’s funny because Chinese people, haha?) and the entire rest of the runtime made up of “faggot” this and “fags” that or the ridiculous messages of what being queer/gay is (Fashion! Pretty things! Broadway!!) there is really, genuinely, no defense to any of it (talk about short-sighted). This movie is an outdated, offensive, bigoted, blah blah blah you got it and guess what? I will never get behind shunning it for impurity or removing it from our collective history so we can all pat ourselves on the back over our wisdom. Learn from its failures and make better, more inclusive art media that doesn’t poke fun at or mock based on hate/ignorance but does so out of basic friendship.
I’ll take this time again, always and forever as is apparently necessary, to point out that someone can be both a huge supporter of police reform/restructuring/whatever you want to call fixing the mess that is Policing as well as just about any other “progressive” issue you might raise while also being deeply concerned (& nauseated & angered & more!) about wading into the waters of offensive things from the past that need cancelling for the good of the masses because they won’t know any better.
“Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.” -Henry Louis Gates, Jr
Society/popular culture can’t be endlessly edited or outright deleted to fit the current idea of what is “correct” because that leads to no clear or accessible history for anything as correctness changes over time. Some people seem to think that today’s batch of values is Peak Virtue and we can go ahead and pass final judgements on everything/everyone then hang up spurs before walking off into the sunset...except then a new day comes and times change, views change, words change and suddenly the “Peak Virtue” from before becomes antiquated and offensive. Then what? Time for another societal cleansing of the offensive, because that’s how it works and no stopping now.
In art media, especially, the only off-limits material should be calls for violence against people when words are morphed into violent action (as in something freely pushing a “Kill all Jews before they take over!” agenda or things of that nature--which is obviously an extreme but does also occur). None of those offensive materials I mentioned at the top are anywhere near the general concept of approaching calls for violence, they’re just things from the past that still exist now and offend some people.
Instead of lingering on previous art media that falls into “offensive” somehow (not saying these things aren’t offensive to some, just that it’s subjective) why not move forward with more inclusive projects to showcase different voices? By that I mean instead of Tina Fey/Bill Lawrence/et all doing this public penance of shame and banishing things to the outlands for the greater good (which accomplishes nothing in the world) maybe produce new content that gives a platform to people they regret marginalizing/offending? That’d actually further things along to a more representative state of the world they’d like to see as opposed to trying to edit the past, which gets unwieldy in short order. Give more people voices and we’ll get a more varied, representative collection of views going into the future but trying to silence/alter/edit the past like we’re seeing lately is a hard no for me.
For a little more personal and contemporary take before we wrap up, I now bring us to It: Chapter 2 (Effie, brace yourself). As I sat there in the theater with my husband and the movie finally began I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to the ridiculous three hour runtime but still, things like Zodiac, The Shining, & Doctor Sleep made epic runtimes work. If you’re unfamiliar, the movie opens with a gay couple having a nice time at a carnival when a gang of thugs takes issue with their public gayness. The thugs follow them and not-too-soon after that first vitriolic “faggot” insult makes an appearance are the thugs violently assaulting the couple in an old fashioned gay bash that ends up with one of the gay couple, Adrian, getting thrown off a bridge. He survives long enough for Pennywise (the killer clown, duh) to murder him before the main narrative begins.
That got things off on the wrong foot and the idiots snickering in the theater as the gay bash occured sent me straight to livid, but I did my best to sit and watch the movie--I thought maybe that disgusting hate crime would somehow be relevant at some point in the three hours. Nope! Not even close. Aside from ghost zombie Adrian popping up for a second to torment what the movie heavily suggests is a miserable, closested gay absolutely nothing about the opening hate crime is revisited. Here’s director Andy Muschietti’s take:
“I probably wouldn’t have included it if it wasn’t in the book, but it was very important for Stephen King. When he wrote it, he was talking about the evil in the human community. He was talking about how dark humans can get in a small American town. … For me, it was important to include it, because it’s something that we’re still suffering. Hate crimes are still happening. No matter how evolved we think society is going, there seems to be a winding back, especially in this day and age where these old values seem to be emerging from the darkness.”
Yeah...sorry, that’s bullshit. You know what else was in the book? A trial for the murderous gang of thugs and Adrian’s boyfriend seeking justice (peripherally, but still). Also, the novel featured *all* kinds of things that were left out including Beverly having sex with each of the boys in the sewer tunnels as children to achieve adulthood or whatever. To remove everything from the gay bash subplot except the gay bash itself and then toss in a probably closested character that’s just a cliched self-loathing gay leaves a bad aftertaste to not just me.
The articles linked do a more comprehensive job of elaborating hows & whys of the offensive and “triggering” (as is the popular nonsense term) treatment of gays in the film but if you can’t imagine why that would be bothersome try this quick version: what if they were women? Or black? Or what you identify as?
Everything about the opening murder stays the same, except instead of two gay guys it’s two women violently assaulted by a bunch of thugs shouting misogynist hate at them before one woman is thrown off a bridge and murdered by Pennywise, then none of that is ever mentioned again in the rest of the three hour film which features no other women characters (but does feature someone heavily suggested to be a self-loathing woman passing as a man--as in she wishes to live as a woman but shame/societal pressures lead her to living unhappily as a man instead of happily as a woman). Sounds like the type of stuff you’d see on CSI/NCIS/SVU/ETC, honestly, except those all at least have plenty of women characters around to beautifully solve those crimes with sassy zingers and a crack shot.
Like I said, replace the two gay characters (plus the suggested closeted gay) with any other marginalized group of people in the exact circumstances and the same issues remain--they exist solely to be beaten/killed/forgotten or live in closeted shame. Point being, I was not a fan of It: Chapter 2 as you can tell. It offended me greatly as well as others to varying degrees I can’t speak to but have linked to above. It also has no business being shunned or removed from public discourse simply because many have these issues with it.
“Who will survive and what will be left of them.” -The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Life is offensive. Treating each other like delicate glass creations in need of constant protection and shielding from life while at the same time eagerly looking to shatter every one with imperfections doesn’t seem like the progression of a successful society. Next time we experience art media that offends why not try taking a breath then go ahead and don’t watch it again, voice frustration where possible, ask for/demand better, make our own content, support inclusive/progressive art media however we can, and/or all kinds of other things going forward in life but that requires opening our eyes beyond this tunnel vision.
We’ll all see better.
Hello, stranger. It’s been a few days since my last check in and that’s definitely all my fault--real life took up some time plus, y’know, the world is collapsing in on itself ;) While I meant to leave unpleasant reality out of this space, based on my interactions with humans I’m finding I can’t help it. Between the pandemic, the Floyd-inspired protests, and personal conversations about all manner of subjects I’m sadly discovering more and more that discussion of different ideas as we all try to navigate the world together is unwelcome to far too many so called progressives.
What ever happened to civil discourse? Is there such a thing, anymore? Based on the many talks I’ve had with people who associate themselves with both “the right” and “the left” it seems that discussions about topical issues aren't welcome, you’re simply required to state allegiance to or rejection of whatever idea has been shared--no shades of grey, no follow-up questions, no dissent! How does shouting at each other over differences accomplish anything at all aside from division?
Obviously, based on the state of things, one of the topics of discussion has been Black Lives Matter. First, I’ll go ahead and state what I hope would be obvious--yeah, of course black lives matter and the police force as an entity has needed heavy reform for a long while so hopefully that actually happens now. After seeing the repulsive videos of the act it seems clear as day to me, one officer kneeled on an unarmed black man’s neck until he died while three other officers stood around watching--serving and protecting nothing/nobody but themselves. It was both utterly avoidable and the last straw for many people tired of seeing video after video of cops wantonly killing black citizens for reasons that amount to pure bullshit. People then take to the streets in protest of police brutality and the response from many officers (far more than one or two bad apples*) is to display more police brutality on video in some strong-man effort to recognize their authority or whatever it is they think they’re accomplishing by demonstrating the very behaviors being called into question.
*Does everyone using the “it’s only one or two bad apples” argument know how the rest of that saying goes? I wonder. The phrase is “One bad apple can spoil the bunch” (other derivations exist, but that’s the gist of them all) and feel free to google it yourself if you need further explanation on why it’s a moronic angle to take re: police brutality.
Do I support looting? No, but to pretend looting was the main point of these marches/protests seems disingenuous. Opportunists exist everywhere so whenever there’s a massive protest/march situation like this I’m quite certain there will *always* be a subset of humans who see that as a quick window to a shiny new TV. Also, to witness the madness unfolding before our eyes in regards to how the President of the US is (mis)handling this societal unrest and then being most up in arms about some looting suggests the meat of the situation is perhaps going over your head.
“White privilege” is up next, everyone, yay! Anyway, does “white privilege” exist? Sure it does. I’m not sure, though, what the point is when I’m talking to people about police reform or these protests to drill me about my “white privilege” like it’s relevant to anything. I’m gay, so I have a lifetime of witnessing “straight privilege” but if I were talking about legalized gay marriage losing in Southern California in 2008 via Prop 8** to someone who voiced their support and voted in favor of gay marriage then is there some reason I’m missing why I’d then tell them to “acknowledge your straight privilege before we keep going”***? Didn’t they already kind of do that when they voted for *my* equal rights and lambasted the opposition for their antiquated views? I suppose I find it odd to respond to a person actively in your corner as if they aren’t. Again, just to be clear, “white privilege” is absolutely a reality of life but so is “straight privilege” or “male privilege” or “financial privilege” or any other quality the majority/those in power have over those who don’t and I think lingering on this topic is unnecessary.
**One example of “straight privilege” but I could certainly have more, if you need. Frankly I find this line of thinking a waste of time, as why sit here pointing fingers at whatever other gatherings of people have/do that I don’t--either try to make it happen for myself or move on.
***The exact quote from my experience (to the best of my memory) was that I “need to acknowledge my white privilege before we keep going.” Should I make that request of every straight person I talk to? Why?
I’ll have a talk about this kind of stuff whenever since as an atheist I find these kinds of ethical/moral/philosophical questions of life interesting to discuss but frequently people like to just call me names, shout, and perhaps block me for offering thoughts that weren’t simply their own echoed back to them. Both “the right” and “the left” do this but, in my experience, “the left” is the one who likes to go the cancel culture route if you don’t fall in line with the pre-approved thoughts & feelings that are allowed expression. Asking questions also appears to be taboo, I’ve noticed, as if the act of clarifying/comparing different thoughts/feelings leaves any party bruised and bloodied. Words aren’t acts of violence even if some overly sensitive people believe otherwise, sorry!
Next, an even more taboo subject based on my discussions: transgenderism/transracialism. I’m pretty sure many are aware of “transgender” but “transracial” isn’t as widespread or discussed and this is where I’d define these terms before continuing, for clarity’s sake, but that’s kind of the problem I’ve been having here ;) As far as I can tell based on my readings/interactions “transgender” denotes or relates to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex whereas “transracial” would be the same thing, only substituting race for sex. Most people I mention “transracial” to find the whole concept deeply offensive and respond with ridicule/hostility as if I’ve just suggested female circumcision (male circumcision is also an archaic, ritualistic disfiguring of children that serves no purpose--FYI).
Why is transgenderism something to be supported, championed, protected, etc but bringing up transracialism yields name calling, insults, and refusal to engage the topic at all? I’m not saying trans people don’t exist or deserve scorn or should be marginalized--it’s a shame I have to clarify but oh well, I will. To me, everyone should have the freedom to express themselves and live their lives on an equal playing field as long as nobody else’s freedoms to do the same are hampered or denied. I see no problem with that--is there? Having said that, I find the re-defining of terms some on “the left” are insistent upon to be a bridge too far. “Males don’t menstruate” or “Females don’t have dicks” are offensive, hate-filled words according to *several* on “the left” that won’t rest until every offensive word/person is cancelled--whatever the hell that means. If your response to thoughts/views different from your own is to shout with fingers stuck in your ears as the horrible viewpoint gets dragged away for excommunication by The Pure then I’m not sure how society can ever work again.
I’ve read many articles/papers/whathaveyou by all kinds of left-right, right-wing, biologists, professors, students, and I’m perplexed on how we’ve gotten to the point that saying there are two biological sexes, male & female, is “hateful.” You can transition to whatever else you’d like once you’re old enough to make those choices for yourself, but that doesn’t make the genitals you were born with a lie told to your parents by a doctor in some societal conspiracy. I was born with a dick and boy parts so everyone in the room went out on a limb with “male” and turns out they were right--who knew ;)
Someone is born a white lady, they "self identify" as black and then live every day of life as Black-Woman-in-the-World as far as they (and everyone they know) are concerned.
= NOT okay, a bad lady who must be ostracized.
Someone is born a white lady, they "self identify" as male and then live every day of life as Guy-in-the-World as far as they (and everyone they know) are concerned.
= Congratulations! They're people, too! BURN JK ROWLING AT THE STAKE!!!
In a discussion forum I asked why A & B are fundamentally different and none of the responses actually addressed the situation, it became all about trans issues and that I was “deranged” for even asking such a thing and “I'm not even gonna explain how wrong that post was” etc. So, here it is also, A & B, what’s so different? Why is one deserving of public support while the other gets derision? If sex/gender are societal constructs and the body you're born into is simply a shell to be altered to fit what your brain says you are, then how come the same can't be said for race? One is all in our heads, even if the physical form dictates otherwise, but the other isn't and I'm horrible for asking why? I've read through *several* articles/papers/etc on the transracial/transgender differences/similarities and the ones that disregard "transracial" as being a thing in and of itself do so via arguments that could be applied to "transgender" with the greatest of ease so again, why are they so fundamentally different AND how is asking this offensive?
While I’m at it, I think the word “cisgender” is silly and unnecessary. I was born a male and identify as such, hence I’m male. If I was born a male and transitioned to female, then I’d be a Trans Female. What does “cis” clarify that “male” didn’t? If I identify as other than “male” then the trans descriptor comes into play and “cis” isn’t a factor at all, so again--what does “cis” add aside from more letters and a hyphen? Trans people aren’t “cisgender” so if it isn’t a word to describe them and we’re not in a scientific study on the differences between trans and cis then what does it have to do with daily life? If I, a gay male, don’t have authority on what trans people call themselves (nor do I want/deserve authority, name yourselves as you see fit and have a seat at the table) then who’s to tell me I’m cisgender and a bigot for not identifying as such?
I’ll also say that people are going a little overboard with descriptors that nobody could guess by looking at you or that simply don't apply and then calling it bigotry/hate the “right” word wasn’t used--for example, a person who’s born a female but identifies as male and chooses to dress/act as they understand “male” to be without any biological alterations while being sexually attracted to women who identifies as a “trans man.” That’s not a hypothetical, by the way--that’s a real person I know (well, knew). Until fairly recent history that person would have been a lesbian (a female sexually attracted to females), but now they’re a straight man because they say so? Huh what? Simply dressing and acting as one perceives a "man" to be isn't actually becoming a physical male. I could dress female and act as I understand "female" to be all I want, but that doesn't actually make me a female. To revisit my earlier transracial point, why is the person I just described worthy of societal protections and consideration but if that same exact person decided they felt black inside and chose to identify/live every day as they understand black culture to be then they’re nuts and screw them?
Also, is it the end of the world if somebody you meet doesn’t know what to refer to you as and picks the wrong one? Simply correct them and move on with life, it’s pretty easy. I’m not a very stereotypical gay guy, in fact far and away everyone who meets me assumes straight and I know this based on the amount of people who see my wedding ring and ask about my wife--this sometimes occurs after knowing me on an acquaintance basis for many months. I find the simple statement “My wife is actually a guy named X” clarifies and almost always yields a chuckle. If somebody refers to you with the incorrect word you can just clarify your preferred term, vitriol isn’t helpful. I know everyone’s different and how I handle myself in any given situation has no bearing on others, but ultimately the “golden rule” of treating others how you’d like to be treated seems the most sensible & simple way to live.
So, why say all this stuff here? Well, like I said, after a month of these talks with various folks (real life and internet based) it’s just kind of dispiriting to experience so much group-think, hive-mind, and sheep-people all over the place (my own family included). See all these words I put a little thought into and proofread before posting? I know it’s immeasurably easier to simply call someone a name for disagreeing with you, but that certainly accomplishes nothing and just divides “the left” further and further among themselves to the point of circular firing squad for not being woke/pure/whatever enough. Keep in mind, too, that the more people lean into cancel culture/purity tests the closer that line gets to you with each new purge!
In summation, everyone needs to take a chill pill and learn how to have adult conversations with people you disagree with, i.e. that civil discourse I kept going on about earlier, otherwise we’re doomed to being self-segregated tribes fighting over shared land/resources/power/rights.
So, whenever you're ready...
The 80's concludes...
On to the 80's...
We begin with the 70's...
Little wooden folks with quite varied interests have taken over our ceiling, here's a sampling...
Freeze! Hands in the air!
Don't shoot! It wasn't me, it was the one-armed man!
Oh no, it's a thin Louis C.K!
Except now he likes butt stuff, too ;)
And he's driving this poor soul to an escape attempt via rooster.
Willing to brave the dark unknown of leagues below to escape an unwanted present--also, everyone can see your anus (hey, maybe that's what got Louis started?).
Not too far from the rooster descent this sap flees an opening door, hoping to clear the swing in time. Godspeed!
Some playful shenanigans take place at a nearby ledge.
Dana, jump! Daddy will catch you!!
Something doesn't seem quite right here...
Ah, I see. A sacrifice for their sun god. Well, makes perfect sense!
I think you may have miscalculated this one, guys, but hopefully fun was had--at the very least by the Louis guy ;)
One more action-y wide shot of these two, back from the good ol' days of a few scrolls ago.
Tell me, does that look like a wave goodbye...or hello?
Alrighty, well here's the premiere edition of the last 50 years in creature features on a real (ie not this one) website :) Or, feel free to go for the PDF version near the bottom of this page--enjoy!
In the added free time of late one thing I, like many, find myself doing is wandering the internet reading random things--a movie review links to an actor, their IMDB connects to something else, then perhaps news anchor bloopers (and...boom goes the dynamite), etc. I'm sure it's my choice of clicks--as well as a *very* loose definition of "blooper" according to some of these links--but I've seen a couple clips that inspire words ;)
I'm not a fan of this mindless "a man can never hit a woman, period" train of non-thought you still see everywhere (up to and including family/friends drilling it into their kids). First, the obvious--I'm not advocating guys roam around hitting every woman they cross paths with or that violence should ever be initiated based on words. You say what you want, I'll say what I want, hopefully everyone does their best not to be nasty & loud about it, and no touching is needed.
However, if somebody decides they're unable to continue with language and instead of removing themselves they opt for hitting me (or trying) then I don't really care if they're a man or woman--they're getting one back! Again, some solitary slap in the face would be a different category than coming at me with both arms swinging. I can absolutely take a slap to the face, no big deal, but if I see a fist or you're aiming anywhere not the face then we are firmly not in "slap" territory anymore.
What would I do to drive a woman so crazy? As a gay guy who only has female family members/friends/coworkers in my past, present, and future I couldn't name a single lady I've driven to madness--it absolutely helps I've never dated one. Well, I'm sure I drove my mother crazy but all kids do so that one doesn't count ;)
I have had a couple bizarre encounters with unnamed strangers, though, who seemed to have a loose grasp on reality--ladies who promised violence and laid in wait to do so after I asked them to be quiet in a movie theater (no joke), a former neighbor going door to door *screaming & pounding* how people were stealing from her (she was altered on who knows what), and a couple other instances in life. Each time I successfully made every effort to avoid impending violence, but they certainly inspired thought.
If my efforts to find a non-violent solution are fruitless, then I've made peace with whatever violent solution is required (that sounds so severe, hehe) and do not see why the assailant being a man or woman has any real relevance beyond what that gender's strengths/weaknesses are.
I find it interesting that most of the women over 40ish I've spoken to this about stand by "man no hit woman, ever" but those below that line do seem a bit more fluid and open to the alternative POV of "don't hit *anybody* but defend yourself against *anybody* who hits you."
Seems fair to me :)
As is common in today’s environment, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS) reboot is apparently on the way. I don’t inherently dislike reboots, spinoffs, sequel series, or whatever you want to call it (those things can all be good if the humans making it want to do a good job), but why reboot when you can simply continue the story?
For the purposes of this writing:
“Reboot” is taking an already existing property and putting a new spin on previously established characters/settings/storylines (ex. Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2011)
“Remake” would be more true in form/spirit to the original, simply updated for newer audiences/technology (ex. The Great Gatsby 2013)
“Spin-off” takes a character/location/whatever established on a previous series and continues in a new direction (Better Call Saul 2015)
“Sequel series” are more of a direct continuation from the parent series, often sharing settings/cast/storylines (The Connors 2018)
So, with those in mind, why reboot a show when the original ended in such a way that enables a whole world of storytelling options? I know it’s been over for a while now, but spoiler alert for the end of BtVS--the series ends with *thousands* of vampire slayers being awakened all over the world. The sky’s the limit, here, in terms of creativity plus you’d have the added benefit of original series characters being able to show up 20 years later and all that comes with that.
I’m sure it’s easier to just take all the names, locations, and general storylines for a springboard to fresh adventures for Buffy et all while they’re still young people, but personally that sounds pointless and like a wasted opportunity (especially if the rebooted BtVS comics are any indication) when you could instead jump right into the same world as before--except it’d be completely different. Not just in terms of time passing, but society as a whole was fundamentally altered in the closing minutes of BtVS’ original series run so there’s a built-in wide-open playground right there...waiting.
Spend that whole first season establishing the new world and new characters with low-key callbacks and returning characters (no leads!) before peppering in some more overt BtVS guest appearances and returns--look to Better Call Saul for examples on how to succeed in that ;) Frankly, if Joss Whedon were to be involved I’d say leave him be for the best possible results but I don’t see that happening as I think he’s largely done with network TV (and all the execs that come with!).
Anyway, there you go--either leave BtVS alone entirely or let’s follow the story where it takes us next from that pitch-perfect end point.
Why do many SVU/CSI/NCIS/ETC shows lean so hard into the “guilty until proven innocent” mindset?
By that I mean whatever civilians they happen to be speaking with in connection to the crime du jour are treated like they’re already defendants in the case guilty of something. As someone who’s seen all of SVU/CSI it’s always gotten under my skin and made me wonder--what’s with the massive endorsement of that mentality?
Often times on those shows they rail into someone they *believe* to be guilty of rape or murder only to instantly pivot to the next unlucky schmuck once that first one’s cleared without a moment’s thought to what they leave behind. They’ll get suspects fired, drag them through the mud on TV, proclaim accusations as truth to various family members hoping someone flips, and so much other stuff in the name of justice it veers into end justifies means territory for me. Raze them to the ground and if they aren’t guilty, oh well--they’ll be fine.
I know they’re TV shows designed for a certain audience, but how come that audience (which I suppose I’m part of) happily accepts this scorched Earth POV? In theory, they’re watching these shows to see justice executed--in some form--so to accept all kinds of under-the-table things their chosen main characters engage in simply because they mean well and are good looking is kind of hypocritical. For instance, when “our” leads are subjected to IA/IAB (Internal Affairs/Internal Affairs Bureau--the go-to dickheads of cop shows) and experience how they treat every suspect all the time we’re supposed to sympathize with them for having to put up with this nonsense affronting their honor.
I remember CSI *almost* pursued a storyline once where a suspect in a case had his life completely dismantled by their investigating of him and there were hints he would return down the line but then the writer’s strike happened so that was forgotten. The guy wasn’t a saint, by any means, but he also wasn’t actually guilty and their attitude of “eh, good luck with that” has always been gross to me. Especially because countless times the leads would engage in shady or outright illegal dealings, but it was always for a good or altruistic reason and therefore different than when other people do it because they’re in law enforcement (which I would think would strive for higher standards over lower, if anything).
Countless other examples of cop characters beating people up, twisting evidence to reach desired goals, cheating on spouses, being “bad” parents, and all manner of things are available and it’s not that I require these characters to be bastions of morality--but don’t then present *other* characters doing these same things as amoral criminals deserving prison. Defense attorneys who point any of these things out are, of course, evil monsters who take glee in releasing various child rapists to wreak havoc for the sake of a dollar ;)
So, maybe I’ve had SVU/CSI on in the background lately and these feelings stirred up, maybe not--who can say!
Game show--some people see those words together and are ready to watch whatever the offering, no further information needed, while others want to run the other direction towards *anything* else. I’m the former and my husband is more of the latter, so finding good middle ground proved a bit of an obstacle.
Thankfully we realized if the shows were British his capacity level shot way up, past the point of “tolerance” and finally to “enjoyment” when we found Pointless--a British game show with Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman where the goal is to find obscure answers to all kinds of topics. It’s got an English drollness and enjoyably low-key sensibility to the proceedings, which I know my husband appreciates endlessly compared to the many bright colors, loud noises, and obvious “jokes” many/most American game shows have to offer.
I want to be clear, I’m happy to give any game show a chance--bright or muted colors, loud noises or soft background score, and whatever other poles we could compare. It’s nice having different options for varying moods. Maybe sometimes I feel like the bright, crude, loud, and drunken puns of Match Game or the silly ridiculousness of Holey Moley’s mini-golf competition or one of the other endless options, but Pointless manages to somehow both be fun, light, trivial silliness while also encouraging you to play along with its inviting format.
Having been a game show viewer for as long as I can recall, I know where I land on the topic, so when I’m chatting with others I’m always interested why they do/don’t care for game shows and a lot of the criticisms (loud, bright, stupid, unengaging for non-players, uninteresting trivia) I hear often don’t really apply to Pointless so I do my best to push that when I can ;)
The set is simply shades of blue, the lighting appears designed to please instead of brighten every nook and cranny of the stage & people’s faces, I’d say “stupid” doesn’t apply since knowing things of all kinds is rather essential, you can easily play along at home by just watching (no signing up for stuff needed), and the various trivia topics range from geography, history, entertainment, grammar, maths, & more than I could list.
It’s a relaxed, inviting experience that doesn’t play dumb or talk down to people--a bad answer is rightfully mocked, in good fun, and this all has the added bonus of English accents ;) As an American it’s a little amusing trying to guess where in the U.K. contestants are from by their accents, for an added element of fun :)
The hosts, Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman, work wonderfully together and I’m grateful for the off-the-cuff exchange of long-time friends instead of pre-packaged banter of co-workers you find on many shows. They play along and seem to enjoy themselves and as a viewer of *many* game shows over the years it’s not as common as you’d hope.
Watch Pointless on Youtube, there are tons of them from the last decade.
What a difference a couple weeks make...
Yes, two months have actually gone by but it was really only a couple weeks after my glorious debut here that society hit pause for a while--which perhaps put life itself in a bit of an upended state for a bit.
Anyway, the rest of the internet can be for that crap so on to more important things, like creature features ;) I'd elaborate a bit, but the article itself takes care of that--read it and find out!
Up above you can find the first part of a five part series going over the last 50 years of creature features because they're a favorite of mine. Soon there shall be a link to the article below.
UPDATE: Boom, here it is...
Why another blog, right?
Who feels the need to add another voice to the endless, deafening stream--this idiot, evidently ;) Blogs are also fairly past-tense--I believe we’re now onto podcasts & vlogs & other things that escape me because I’m an elderly early 30’s. This seems like a fine medium to me. I get to say things I feel need saying that I can’t seem to find anywhere else with perhaps, hopefully, the added benefits of finding some others who are in the same sphere.
Or finally learning--without question--I’m forever and always the contrarian. Situation:
Oscar night, 2020. This won’t be a live-blog scenario--we’re already at the end of things. A typical Academy Awards show, all things considered. Expected winners and shocking winners, no host again, the world still turns. No drama took place at the ceremony or this viewing of it--almost. A little less than a dozen people aging from early 20’s to late 30’s have a post-show chat where, for nine minutes, many express varying levels of extremely pleased approval of the Best Picture winner--Parasite. Lots of “it’s about time” and “can’t believe it took 92 years” and “maybe America will finally recognize other countries accomplishments more” comments of that nature finally prompted me to inadvertently kill the peace at the ten minute mark with what I had been thinking for a couple minutes: why is it a negative that an American-based English language film awards ceremony mostly awarded Americans over the last 90 years? Isn’t that what awards ceremonies like this are--a country celebrating X’s excellence in whatever field? Most places don't really look beyond their own citizens--should other countries also look beyond their own borders more, if that’s a concern?
That was enough, I learned. Things went from fun, good time to me being immediately met with responses of how I’m an asshole, I must be a Trump supporter, I should go fuck myself, don’t I have a rally to go to, why do I think America deserves such mandatory praise all over the world, several others in that same family and finally, my favorite, “ok boomer.” That last insult was after I’d already mentioned I’ve never actually voted for a Republican in my life (largely because they’ve tied my hands with their love of Jesus-freaks and white supremacy stuff). Also, I’m in my early 30’s and while I may not be the prettiest guy in the world (top 200), no one is mistaking me for 60. I couldn’t help but inform the fellow who spit the “boomer” comment at me what it means because...well, he clearly didn’t understand it meant a reference to Baby Boomers being out of touch, condescending, and other very positive qualities. He then both retracted calling me a “boomer” but still said I’m those things anyway because I explained his error condescendingly.
I did still attempt at having, what I continue to consider, a discussion worth having. Most other countries that have some form of Academy Awards equivalent have almost exclusively honored their own citizens over those beyond their borders. There are many variations of the “Best Foreign Language” film category all over the world and I was/am still curious why America failing to include international titles amongst their “in house” nominees is worthy of shame (or now elation for the opposite), but me asking if other countries should also address this issue was only worthy of derision--exclusively.
Where’s my MAGA hat, and other equally clever points to articulate through their rage hard-ons. I learned a lot. Only a handful of us actually participated in this “discussion” that was more of a name-calling bitching-fest so fingers crossed everyone wasn't cut from that same cloth, but I can only base my experiences on my experience so what can you do?
Let me be clear: my point is not that Parasite is a bad movie, that only whites should get to play, that other countries should say thank you to America for movies existing, or other completely nonsensical things I was quite incorrectly told I had said (for the record and I’d hope obviously, I think the *opposite* of those things--duh!). It’s that I don’t quite see why America’s opinion on the world film industry is so paramount over other topics. What about music? Or television? Why does what America Officially Thinks about foreign language movies matter so much, but their other cultural aspects are *actively* none of America’s business?
I was happy to discuss these things. As I told the sheep, to no avail, all those question marks mean I’m open. Even a little. To me, asking a question means there’s room--however small--for new information. It might be unwanted information, hard to accept, and a whole laundry list of things that aren’t “Yes, you’re right. Good job!” but I was prepared for that. I don’t ask questions like that about things I know to be true. How much my mortgage payment is, what my husband’s brother’s name, how many days in October, and all those wonderfully mundane things need no further discussion. I’m settled on those. I remember hearing forms of “there are no stupid questions” from a young age--is that not a thing, anymore? If I launched into some anti-Korean rant, or was an irate lunatic, or behaved in some way that was not simply calmly asking questions I’d understand.
Were these people I’ve known peripherally for a while good friends? No, not at all, but I didn’t consider us strangers and *even if they were* I really don’t think any of my talking points were worthy of such elevated responses. Frankly, I wasn’t entirely prepared for the level of baseless vitriol. I enjoy discussing things and also debating things I feel a bit fully-formed on, but what’s the point in childish name calling? It was over fucking Oscar results.
This is hardly the first case I’ve personally experienced of rather extreme “You said something I don’t like therefore you’re a DEMON!!” and far from the first I’ve read about on this glorious internet device (bring us together via knowledge and information, already, jerk!). That all lead me into how I, a Gay Atheist stoner Jew, can understand why certain people feel excluded from “the left” and have no other options but “the [garbage] right.” I may have added an extra word, there. If you’re a white person who’s of the more “typical” American variety (straight, religious, probably Christian) who doesn’t like Republican evils you see on the right what are you supposed to do when you look left and see a crowd frothing at the mouth to gleefully take you down a notch for failing who knows what the latest purity test is? They fall in line and go with the white ones on the right who don’t outwardly hate them.
Doesn’t matter, really, that most of that frothing crowd isn’t actually there. The media has their various needs which require filling in a 24 hour news cycle and if enough EYE-CATCHING HEADLINES suggest those narratives that sell papers (people don’t buy newspapers anymore, shut up) then the reality of it becomes irrelevant. People can’t read every article so with enough saturation every day the headline becomes the story. We’re all slowly--except it’s much faster lately--driven to our respective corners because it makes money for people not us, rinse, repeat. What’s the point of this? My goal? I don’t know fully, I suppose--I’d still like to have that discussion. Tell me why I’m wrong in a reasonable, adult fashion. It can’t be such a rarity. Getting this out was at least helpful, Internet, so thank you for acting as a slight therapist or--even better--a perceptive dog. If this all turns out to have been a giant time fill, well then par for the course ;)
To Internet! The cause of--and solution to--all of life’s problems.
At the *very* least, find humor in fun animal photos.