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 +1Posted on Dec 3rd, 2013 | re: The Videogum Movie Club: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (57 comments)

It sort of reminds a bit of people asking questions about stuff like the replicator from Star Trek, or other kind of technology. Just because the technology exists, doesn’t mean it’s cost effective or can easily be mass produced. Stuff used in the games can easily be compared to stuff used in the military or in space exploration, etc. It may be very expensive, but they don’t need a lot, AND it’s use sort of pays for itself in terms of reduction in spending on the peacekeeping/policing that the games are supposed to provide, not to mention there seems to be some kind of economy, at least in the Capital, and the games, like Olympic games, are likely a loss leader that benefits various things in the Capital.

Is there a reason that in the current world, high tech farming equipment isn’t sent to third world countries? Of course, you do run into the limiting factor that machines doing your work means oil and gas, it’s quite possible that there are some resource problems in PanEm. The fact that District 12 is a coal mining district does imply that they are still heavily reliant on that.

Part of the oppression concept is likely that, if everyone was reasonably well off, very few people would choose to do jobs like mining, which are likely quite important for their economy.

It may be a bit of a blunt analogy, but it sort of reflects the whole class system of needing to keep people on the bottom in order for a few to stay comfortable at the top. The ‘problem’ of the society is the only upward mobility is through the games. So they can show off exceptionalism on TV, while having nearly everyone else stuck in the exact same spot they were born into.

 +2Posted on Oct 6th, 2013 | re: Monsters' Ball: The Week's Top Comments (29 comments)

Walt’s plans early on worked out well, the hitches were unintended consequences he didn’t see coming. So, it’s not surprising that once he stopped being super emotional and went back to cold and calculating that he was able to pull a lot of stuff off in the short term. When it came to killing people, nearly everyone that Walt wanted dead, he was able to get rid of one way or the other. The money plan is the one that has the biggest chance of getting screwed up, and “fear of invisible assassins” isn’t necessarily a long term solution, so he has to hope they’ll not look into it too hard, or just do it even without the fear of death. And, he also doesn’t know if his son will be willing to take the money, especially as he may suspect it’s from Walt, or he may not want to accept money from the people that basically were part of the ego bruising that motivated Walt, etc.

So I see it as ‘early in the series’ Walt enacting a couple of his plans without emotion clouding things, and not having to worry about long term repercussions.

 0Posted on May 3rd, 2013 | re: J.J. Abrams Must Be Bored On The Set Of Downton Abbey (35 comments)

Are you sure that’s JJ Abrams? There is a ton of light shining into that room, and yet I see not a single lens flare.

 +1Posted on May 3rd, 2013 | re: An Interview With Michael Bay (20 comments)

At his best, Michael Bay can make something like The Rock, or Pain and Gain, but compared to his overall output, it seems like the combination of the right script, right actors, etc. Film making is a colaboration, so with the right people working with him, he can make a fun movie. Not necessarily great, but something worth spending some time to watch.

BTW, his new movie works in many way because it’s a ludicrous story. He was not the right guy to make Pearl Harbor (especially with the decision to make Pearl Harbor try to ‘be’ Titanic). A melodramatic love story as part of the epic story of a serious historical event? No. But a bunch of meat heads who try to be criminals and repeatedly fail (or hilariously succeed) is increasingly ridiculous ways, partially because they believe that stupid movies are how the real world works … it was the movie Michael Bay was born to play. It’s why Airplane was great, the best people to get for parody are people that have played it straight.

 0Posted on Apr 11th, 2013 | re: Are You For Sure Excited About New Arrested Development Episodes? (82 comments)

TV Executives are geniuses … they are always preserving the magic by cutting shows off in, or before, their prime so they have no chance of continuing and possibly getting worse. Cause the only thing worse than bad television, is great television that follows directly from greater television.

Blue has been raspberry since they legalized blue dye at some point in the 80′s or 90′s.

 +1Posted on Mar 8th, 2013 | re: This Is Just Some Very Good Homophobic Slam Poetry (53 comments)

Jesus was good cop. Technically, since bad cop old school (testament) O.G. is technically also Jesus by the whole Trinity thing, he did ‘say’ the stuff in the old books (and by ‘say’ they mean someone wrote that was apparently divinely inspired) but that seems to be taking advantage of loopholes at that point.

 0Posted on Dec 14th, 2012 | re: "The Stanley Steamer Variations" Is A Brief Vision Of Hell (43 comments)

I can only assume it is some kind of weird audition tape. Like “I can take whatever crap you give me and perform it in any musical style”. Like the youtube equivalent of headshots where you show you can wear a lab coat and hold a test tube and thus play a scientist, or you can have a cowboy hat and a lasso and be a cattle rustler, etc.

 +1Posted on Dec 13th, 2012 | re: A Friendly Chat With Gabe And Kelly: The Hunger Games-Style Reality Show (38 comments)

It’s like they are Condemned to have a Death Race to end up with the worst possible show to be Running, Man.

 0Posted on Dec 11th, 2012 | re: Saturday Night Live: Jamie Foxx And Ne-Yo (33 comments)

Considering even the actor himself forgot which one he was, the joke would be more than the two similar actors with similar names are hard to tell apart, even more so if you aren’t a big fan (which would probably have more to do with them being men than being black I would think). Sort of a new version of the old Bill Pullman/Bill Paxton gag of being cast in similar roles, having similar names, and looking kind of similar, and both sort of being popular enough to recognize by not necessarily enough to get above the “that guy from that movie” level of recognition.

Having read the article I think I get the premise of her art thing.

Las Vegas, marriage and the idea of true love are all sort of fantasies, in the same way as Edward Cullen is a fantasy. It’s sort of “the idea of marrying the perfect man is as crazy as the idea of getting rich in Vegas, or marrying a vampire”. In this case the cardboard standee is a … stand in … for any kind of perfect man/true love/soul mate idea.

 +5Posted on Dec 3rd, 2012 | re: Adult Man Tells Magazine About His Dislike Of Television Show (47 comments)

Reality TV star says Reality TV show is worst thing ever.

 0Posted on Nov 15th, 2012 | re: Guy Fieri Responds To Review On Today (41 comments)

In my one New York trip, we stayed in Jersey, and did touristy stuff in town. The jump in prices at McDonald’s between Jersey, NYC and Time Square was a steep curve, and made it quite clear that location is a license to gouge.

 +1Posted on Nov 15th, 2012 | re: Guy Fieri Responds To Review On Today (41 comments)

I wouldn’t want to eat in Hell’s Kitchen … it’s constantly being shut down after not serving food for hours at a time.

 +6Posted on Nov 8th, 2012 | re: A Friendly Chat With Gabe And Kelly: Donald Trump Vs. Brian Williams (21 comments)

“the world is laughing at us”

Us being Donald Trump, and they have been laughing at him for years.

 +4Posted on Sep 27th, 2012 | re: No More Questions From Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Please! (69 comments)

It’s not about patronizing. It’s about the “it’s ok to disrespect THIS particular president to his face” meme. Sure, people thought that Bush was a moron, and there were tons of jokes to that effect. But no one was screaming “you lie” during his State of the Union. You didn’t have Govenors shoving fingers in his face on the runway. You didn’t have an interviewer constantly talking over him and cutting him off.

I mean the closest you could get with Dubya would be Colbert doing the correspondent’s dinner thing, but that is always a pseudo roast, it just happened to have a bit more bite than usual. That’s very different from a situation that is supposed to be serious where people basically just treat the president as if he’s not someone that deserves their respect because they didn’t vote for him. Throw in a nice dollop of people accusing him of not being the legitimate president that are actually in elected positions, or taken seriously by those who are, and it does come off as worse than just normal snarkiness and mockery of public officials, etc.

As a pseudo-strawman, I’m perfectly fine with people finding problems with things that are overall good, or ‘better than average’. It’s the other strawmen that will criticize a show for “not being as good as it used to be” and arguing that it should just go away, because even if it’s good, it’s no longer great, and somehow it would be better for a new show that may not even be as good as the current show, let alone as great as the ‘previous seasons’ of the show, to take it’s place. See also: Do we really need an Arrested Development movie?

As crappy as the Star Wars prequels and/or Crystal Skull movies are, no one was ‘forced’ to see them (although, not knowing they would be bad, at least in the case of Phantom Menace and maybe Crystal Skull, they might have felt they were tricked into seeing them) and you can always go back to enjoying “just the good parts”. Unlike the weird special edition stuff that Lucas keeps doing, ‘more’ should not ruin the good or great stuff that came before. At worst, it’s extras you don’t want to acknowledge or watch. Anything better than that is at least ‘more good’ to add to the total, even if it’s only a small ammount.

Ultimately, I can’t understand the attitude of “they need to kill this thing off because each new thing they put out is a pale reflection of past greatness, but because of my nostalgia I will mindlessly watch this thing that I now hate, so the only way to stop this cycle is for them to stop making it, since I can’t stop watching it”. I can understand hate watching a show, the MSTiefication of the internet has made it hard to know whether you love to hate or hate to love those horrible reality TV shows and sitcoms that you still DVR every episode of. But if you feel a show should be cancelled, not watching it would seem to be a much easier solution, as there is easily enough tv out there to never have to watch something you don’t want to see. Being unable to watch the thing you do want to see on the other hand, is not as trivially easy. When the shows we love are so often cancelled before their time, the ones that outlive their greatness and get to grow old and settle into a comfortable mediocrity are a relief. Euthanizing those few that live into old age isn’t going to make the younger ones live longer or show up in greater numbers. And it does sort of reak of hipster “I liked it before it was cool to like it” elitism.

 +2Posted on Sep 18th, 2012 | re: Fox & Friends Got, Uh, Pranked? (36 comments)

Generally speaking, someone who is willing to go to any lengths to achieve their ends justifies it by assuming that everyone else is doing the same thing. The reason that, for example, voter suppression laws are justified by the voter fraud thing is a combination of cynical strategy (supress the groups that vote mostly for the other guys, and the margin change could be enough to win) but also the paranoia of a guilty mind (we’d do voter fraud if we were them).

The expression goes: No man looks under a bed that has not hidden there himself. It also sort of materializes itself in the many “I’m rubber and you’re glue” attack ads where they basically assign their biggest flaw to their opponent in an attempt to make it so that when people point out the obvious, less informed viewers will just see it as “they are all the same” instead of “one is actually this way, but the other is only being accused falsely because the other one is insecure about it …”

That’s a sugar daddy … sugar skulls are something else.

 +3Posted on Sep 12th, 2012 | re: Government Comes To Aid Of Needy Celebrity (20 comments)

He is constantly attacked by angry mobs, but his angry, shouting, bat wielding, etc … allows him to blend in so seemlessly, they never find him.

 +5Posted on Aug 25th, 2012 | re: Monsters' Ball: The Week's Top Comments (42 comments)

So, will the feminists go to war with Gingrich’s moon base?

 0Posted on Aug 21st, 2012 | re: Vote For Rape Apologist Apologist Todd Akin! (101 comments)

This does sort of go with the whole issue brought up in the last post, the whole “they don’t really act the way they talk” thing. If they genuinely believed that the fetus is exactly equal to a human, and that thus abortion is exactly equivalent to state sanctioned murder, and the ammount of deaths is a holocaust, etc, etc, etc … they don’t really seem to be doing anything to stop it. Most people would hurt others to stop killing, or even kill. So, outside of the crazies (who, if they are taking the rhetoric as literally are acting ‘rationally’) no one is really willing to act on the “1 fetus = 1 human” thing. So, outside of the people bombing clinics and killing doctors, the majority are at least acting as if they believe that a fetus’ life is worth the same as a baby’s life. And, thus their overblown rhetoric should be blamed for inciting violence in those that cannot understand the implied “sort of” at the end of things like “Abortion is murder” and “Life begins at conception” and stuff like that. If those unstable people would be comparable to a robot in fiction, the ‘logical’ steps from “Abortion is murder, killing one person to stop hundreds of murders is justifiable, therefore I should kill the abortion doctor” are pretty clear. The only thing to stop that is to know that, even though they are SAYING that killing a fetus is equivalent to murder, that isn’t something that most of them don’t believe enough to actually do anything about it other than protest and petition and legislate around the edges.

 0Posted on Aug 21st, 2012 | re: Vote For Rape Apologist Apologist Todd Akin! (101 comments)

On the “inherently invalid” … that was likely the wrong wording. I intended more to imply that it’s uninformed. Unless he has went out of his way to learn about vastly different lives than his own, it’s quite possible that he has an uninformed opinion, since being rich, white and male would all mean he could easily go most of his life without actually having been put into situations that he is judging other people about.

And the MASSIVE difference is, that he is a LAW MAKER. His opinion allows him to pass laws and actually force people to behave in a certain manner based on that opinion. I, on the other hand, only have the ability to deem, for MYSELF, that someone’s opinion is invalid, and AT BEST, I can convince others of the same thing. There isn’t really a flip side … someone that is that far removed from Romney’s world is not going to be in a position to IMPOSE those opinions onto him. Anyone in high enough office to actually change the tax laws is at least reasonably rich and privileged.

Now, a lot of people’s opinion on what Mitt should pay, on both sides, is uninformed, or at least not significantly informed. It is possible to be informed, on either situation. Now, if a rich, white, male anthropologist, or real doctor, or someone else that would be INFORMED in their opinion said it, it would be less likely that they’d be questioned. Similarly, economists that point out that the whole trickle down thing is a load, and that the economy is driven by the middle class buying shit (because if they are buying stuff, THEN companies will create jobs as they have to increase production to meet demand because that will make them more money … they aren’t going to spend tax money to increase production if there is no demand as that wouldn’t result in larger profits, it would be wasting money.) And, as the “how much taxes should Romney pay” thing has to do with the entire economy, and not with the lives of people that would never actually cross your path (for example, this Senator could likely be in a social circle where no one would actually be impacted by his stupid policy based on his ignorant opinion.)

 +6Posted on Aug 21st, 2012 | re: Vote For Rape Apologist Apologist Todd Akin! (101 comments)

He said be fruitful and multiply, and by gum, we are going to make sure that EVERYONE does it whether they like it or not. See also: why they hate the gays.

 +4Posted on Aug 21st, 2012 | re: Vote For Rape Apologist Apologist Todd Akin! (101 comments)

His whiteness doesn’t invalidate his opinion inherently. However as an overprivileged white man, his life experience is so far removed from those of women, especially underprivileged women, not to mention underprivileged minority women, that his opinion is invalid. Even overprivileged white women have some experience, but the issue of abortion availability is less of an issue. If you have enough money you can afford to go to where the services are. If you don’t, you have fewer options, and it’s the GOP’s policy to reduce that more and more.

It’s not that “white people don’t understand”, but specifically, the ”rich/white/man” combination that lives a very different life from most other people. Now, if there were tons of rich minorities running around, it’s possible that they too could become out of touch, however, few of them are generationally privileged, having only become rich in recently, and thus might still have some concept of how the rest of the world lives.

The core of the sort of Ayn Rand/Bootstraps part of Republicanism is that their version of treating everyone equally is to not bother trying to make things equal at the start. If someone ‘won’ the lottery and was born into a rich family, and was able to go to good schools, had a family that could afford to pay to get them into good universities, where they make friends alllowing them to get great jobs, and they end up being rich (even without inheriting money from their parents), and someone else ‘loses’ the lottery and is born into poverty, forced to go to a crappy school, has to take on massive student loan debt to go to college, then has to work a crappy job to try and pay it off … well, that second person could have hypothetically worked his butt off and been a genious and got a scholarship and been able to be just as successful as the first person. That one or two people are capable of succeeding against overwhelming odds is enough reason to not bother trying to make things better for the other 99.99% of people in the same situation, in their opinion. The argument is basically that anyone that is stuck in a continuous poverty cycle is only there because they didn’t want to get out of it hard enough, ignoring of course that the “anyone can do it” conveniently forgets the “but not everyone can do it”. The whole “be exceptional to get a free ride into better schools” thing only works for so many, since of course the word exceptional has a meaning, not to mention there are only so many scholarships offered.