Showing posts with label Humanities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humanities. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Why Does Daniel Radcliffe Have to Say This?


Why does Daniel Radcliffe have to ride to the rescue of J.K. Rowling?
Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the "Harry Potter" franchise, on Monday responded to franchise creator J.K. Rowling's controversial tweets about gender identity, directly addressing fans who may have felt pain reading the author's comments, which some labeled as transphobic.
Rowling, who has often come under fire by the large Potter fandom for her social media posts, sparked backlash over the weekend after mocking a headline about "people who menstruate."
"'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people," she tweeted on Saturday. "Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Shortly after, the author's name was trending on Twitter, with many accusing her of transphobia -- which she's been accused of before.
Rowling is a grown woman who has repeatedly taken shots at trans people.  She has some emotional need to share her distaste for trans people with a vast global audience. She's done this again and again, and it speaks to her state of mind that, when she does it, there is no real apology or acknowledgement of the pain she is causing others.

Radcliffe should not have to defend her or try to maintain the respectability of the Harry Potter franchise. It would probably be wiser for him to create some distance between himself and Rowling and do what he can behind the scenes to let her know that she needs to get help for her issues. Barring that, it's not his responsibility to cushion the blows that she rains down.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

James Corden is Right


James Corden is taking a stand against bias in Hollywood:
James Corden’s acting career was filled with major ups and downs — soap opera bit roles, hit British sitcoms and Broadway shows — but one constant he’s seen is a lack of quality parts for people his size. 
Corden now has a massive career as the host of The Late Late Show, but earlier in his acting days, despite starring in the hit play The History Boys, he struggled to get substantial roles while his costars earned major movie parts. 
“I was good for playing a bubbly judge in a courtroom, or I’d be the guy who drops off a TV to Hugh Grant in a movie,” he told The New Yorker. 
Corden said it’s a problem that stems from how society treats overweight people.
“If someone came from another planet and put on the television, you would think that people who are big or overweight don’t have sex,” he said. “They don’t fall in love.
 They’re friends of people who fall in love. They’re probably not that bright, but they’re a good time, and they’re not as valuable as people who are really good-looking.”
I'm glad he is speaking up because this bias is a very real thing. It goes against anyone who isn't perfect looking, and it skews heavily against older people as well. One of the best antidotes to this would be to see an actress like Rebel Wilson really make it in Hollywood. Another would be to see movies and TV shows that treat everyone the same damned way.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Terry Jones 1942-2020


As John Cleese said today, two down, four to go.

The death of Terry Jones is not an unexpected thing, but it stings and hurts all the more because his final years were spent suffering from dementia. My thoughts are with his family and, no matter who you are, dealing with a loss like this is a difficult but ultimately human experience.

Jones was a very learned comedian, which meant that he did smart things for laughs. Oh, sure. He was naked a lot, but that was just part of his charm. He leaves behind a body of work that has few equals.

If you want some insight as to how brilliant he was, pick up one of his books. I have a book of scripts for Ripping Yarns, and it has always been a favorite, something I could never part with. And then there's his medieval research, Who Murdered Chaucer?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

In a World of Horrors, Satire is Dead




The reason why people didn't get it is because they are being traumatized every day of their lives:

This New Year’s Day, Amazon tapped Saturday Night Live alums Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon to host its live coverage of the annual Rose Parade as fictional local news anchors Cord Hosenbeck and Tish Cattigan from Pasadena, California. As least some viewers were not amused. 

A look through the nearly 1,400 one-star reviews of the streaming special, produced by Funny or Die, reveal some seriously confused customers who somehow had no idea they were watching a comedy show. 

“I have watched the Rose Parade for over 30 years. I'm so frustrated that the hosts have absolutely no respect for the parade or the entrants,” a woman named Beth wrote. “They seem to be more interested in doing bits than talking about the bands/floats. I would have enjoyed the broadcast so much better without hosts. I'm EXTREMELY disappointed.”

“Way to go, Amazon ... totally RUINING the Rose Parade with 2 inane idiots who thought the event was ALL ABOUT THEM!!” Sue screamed. “(Do you really think fear of horses and depression are fitting parade commentary?!!) First, we muted. Then we missed several bands and floats while trying desperately to find a decent live-stream. Finally landed with ultra-professional KTLA. You might review them to learn how it's done!!!”

And then there was this one from John: “Fantastic camera work, but someone replace the two morons hosting this!!!!!!” 

There are hundreds more in the same vein, though the average has risen to three stars thanks to an even larger number of five-star reviews from those who understood that the commentary was supposed to be awkward and uncomfortable.

I watched the parade with the normal commentary, and I can get why people were thrown off. The Rose Parade is an anachronism. Nobody works with their hands anymore. No one has patience. And to actually create something that, in a matter of hours, will fall apart after turning brown for the sole purpose of entertaining others is so 20th Century. It takes three hours and covers five miles. America can't handle those dimensions anymore. Next year's Rose Parade will be twenty minutes and cover three blocks.
















Thursday, July 7, 2016

Is There Anything Crazier Than Pokémon?




I am old and out of touch:

Police in Australia have issued a statement following the release of new video game Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go - out now in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan - is an augmented-reality edition of the popular game franchise and sees the fictional creatures superimposed into real life settings.

Following the game's release down under, the Darwin Police Station in Australia's North Territory issued a statement telling fans to not visit their station looking for Pokémon and to be aware of their surroundings while playing the game.

The statement reads: "For those budding Pokemon Trainers out there using Pokémon Go - whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokestop, please be advised that you don't actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs."

"It's also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sandshrew isn't going anywhere fast."

And stay off my lawn! GRR!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Snow White is a Nerd?




A great idea and a great piece of pop art (if I'm allowed to call it that).

I would put a little bit of white tape on the glasses, though. But, remember. I have next to no talent.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Burying the Heart of the Last of the Hapsburgs




This is the end of a historical epoch--and they're sticking with medieval tradition and they're burying his heart in a separate place. This is the sort of thing that wouldn't have raised any eyebrows a hundred years ago. Today, you wonder if someone isn't going to file a lawsuit to reunite the man and his internal organ.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

This is Sexist




Veev vodka is hoping you'll accept the joke here. Unfortunately, it's a transparently sexist and somewhat culturally insensitive ad.

The stereotypically harsh and unattractive Russian/Slavic/Eastern European depiction of a hectoring wife is supposed to sell alcohol to who, exactly? I'm not sure who the target audience is but any man married to a "beast like this" (which is what the advertiser is signaling here) must want to drink themselves into a state of unconsciousness.

When you're using humor to kick down here, you have to remember that there is a fine line between satire and being stupid about cultural signifiers. You're not supposed to link your product to something that doesn't have some sort of redeeming quality. Being smashed, cheating on your wife, and fostering a stereotype isn't exactly the smart or uplifting quality being sought here.

Veev makes a vodka that is useful for your suicide by drinking because your horrible wife is a sexless babushka? Really? And now that means you gotta get a third or fourth bottle for your bros?

Stupid. And, of course, sexist.