Showing posts with label Society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Society. 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.

Friday, January 25, 2019

How is This a Good Idea For a Movie?




I get that if you are a fan of the comic book series Morbius you are going to explode with rage at the banality of my lame take on this, but how is this even remotely a good idea?

Matt Smith is in final talks to join Jared Leto in “Morbius,” a film based on the Spider-Man villain of the same name.

“Safe House” director Daniel Espinosa will helm the movie. Exact details of who Smith would play are unknown at this time, other than it being a major role in the film.

Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who co-created the Netflix series “Lost in Space,” penned the script. Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing “Morbius” with Lucas Foster. Palak Patel will oversee the pic for Sony.

Writer Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane created Morbius in 1971 for “The Amazing Spider-Man #101.” The character was a scientist who tried to cure himself of a blood disease, with tragic results. He became afflicted with vampiric traits such as fangs and a thirst for blood — and wound up battling Spider-Man.

So, it’s like the movie Venom, which didn’t do that well, and it has Jared Leto, who tried to be the Joker and feel sort of flat with that, and we’re making another superhero film starring men again? A film about an obscure villain character that looks weird?

This is after determining that when women get better roles in these films they tend to be more successful? Like what just happened in Aquaman? And, in the case of Wonder Woman, when the lead of the story is a female, the movie tends to have artistic merit as well?

The female characters were central to the success of Black Panther as well. And I think the chief criticism of Ant Man and The Wasp was that there wasn’t enough Evangeline Lilly, correct?

Okay, whatever.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Scenes From the Collapse of the American Republic




This is what it looks like when democracy has begun to wither and die on the vine. No one has any decency. No one possesses the slightest amount of humility. And why bring your kids along? Why put your children through something like this?

































 

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Real Nazis Are Mad That Everyone Likes to Kill Nazis




Cool story, bro:

Welcome to 2017, when you can track the steady, civilization-sinking-into-the-mud decline of American politics by the number of people angrily shouting, “Hey, what gives?!” about a video game where you take back America from actual, genocidal Nazis. That’s the reaction that’s met the trailer for Bethesda’s latest shooter, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus today, with YouTube comments and 4chan posts filling up with people protesting the game for its “anti-white” politics, which involve such offenses as suggesting that the KKK and Nazis might have gotten along—given their shared mutual interests—and having a black character call the hero “white boy.”

Because this is the internet—a melting pot of ideas, irony, and creative expression that now seems increasingly like a mistake—the comments on the trailer have now descended into a mix of “Hey, get a look at these comments,” people calling each other snowflakes, and actual vitriol and right-wing memes. A number of people have logged on to suggest, for instance, that the Nazi-controlled America—full of happy, cheering white people and absolutely no minorities—shown in the trailer seems like a pretty nice place to live, while others are angry that Nazi-slaughtering protagonist B.J. Blazkowicz teams up with communists in his efforts to start a new American revolution. Many are decrying the game’s designers for “politicizing” Nazi murder or trying to push a particular political viewpoint, an argument that falls a little flat when applied to a series that once asked players to bust out of a literal Nazi labor camp in a robotic golem powered by Jewish science magic.

In the age of Trump, creating and marketing a video game that lets you run around in America and kill Nazis is just the marketplace talking to the consumer. In the words of the immortal Jello Biafra, Nazi Punks Fuck Off.













Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You Can't Fight City Hall




People like to think they can make a difference:

Human
waste dumped

A bag of human waste was reported dumped at 2:50 p.m. Monday at Albert Lea City Hall. The incident reportedly happened shortly before 10 a.m.

I don't want to make a wild guess, but I think it was someone who is unhappy with the current direction of the city as a whole and probably not someone who set down their bag of human waste and forgot it.

Friday, April 22, 2016

They Are Full of Crap in Utah




Utah has declared war on pornography at just the right time for Ted Cruz to speak up and say something that will make everyone sick to their stomach. Just how much of a "public health crisis" is pornography? Not so damned much.

Biological examinations of so-called “porn addiction” have generally been fruitless. A2015 neuroscience study published in Biological Psychology found that electrical activity in the brains of people who felt their porn usage was problematic looked nothing like the patterns found in the brains of actual addicts. That didn’t stop the Utah state legislature from declaring that “recent research indicates that pornography is potentially biologically addictive.”

Why might someone believe in “porn addiction” without supporting evidence? Recentresearch in the Archives of Sexual Behavior has shown that “religiosity is robustly predictive of perceived [pornography] addiction.” This perception of addiction is unrelated to actual use. In other words, a religious person who watches pornography once a week is probably more likely to consider himself “addicted” than an atheist who indulges every night.

Relevant here is the fact that most Utah state legislators are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that one of the most frequently cited figures in anti-porn pseudoscience is Donald Hilton, a Mormon neurosurgeon. The Mormon Church itself has endorsed the concepts of “sexual addiction” and “porn addiction,” treating them under a 12-step model in its Addiction Recovery Program.

It does take a great deal of faith to believe many of the other unscientific claims in SCR9.

For instance, the resolution contends that pornography “can impact brain development.” This claim might appear credible based on a 2014 study that found an association between porn use and gray matter volume in one region of the brain but even the authors of the study note that the relationship may not be causal. The decreased gray matter volume, the authors acknowledge, could simply be “a precondition that makes pornography consumption more rewarding,” rather than a result of frequent viewing over time.

This is about codifying values and not so much about actually taking care of people. This is about modifying behavior through the imposition of values that not everyone shares. 

We have a mental health crisis in this country, that's a given. But there are two contributing factors to how this crisis threatens us as a nation. One, we don't spend enough money to take care of the mentally ill--that's a value judgement made by inept politicians who don't want to see their budgets go haywire and force them to tax the wealthy. Second, we allow too many mentally ill people access to guns because we don't have the courage to change those laws.

And porn is supposed to be an issue here? The puns write themselves--come on.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fewer and Fewer Bums Out There




Thanks to President Obama, there are fewer bums out there:

The rest of the world economy and Wall Street may have been shaky, but American employers were full steam ahead in March, adding a stronger-than-expected 215,000 jobs, according to new figures Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Average hourly wages rose 0.3 percent, up from the 0.1 percent registered in February. However, the unemployment rate edged up to 5 percent, a slight bump from 4.9 percent a month ago. So far this year, average monthly job gain have averaged out at 209,000.

Now, there may be an uptick of hobos, but that simply means that Obamacare has given them the option of spending the summer on the lam from all the railroad dicks out there because they know that if they take a truncheon to the throat, they can spend a month in County Hospital eating that spread.

I used to think I would end up sleeping under a bridge, using the railroad tracks as a sidewalk. What happened to my dream? How did I end up respectable and bathed?

 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sovereign Citizens




This is actually part of the strategy of the sovereign citizen movement--take everything that the Federal government has in terms of handouts and put nothing back into the "coffers" of the government.

The Bundy family represents the most successful sovereign citizen outfit in America. They should be prosecuted as a syndicate or a crime family because this is part of a systemic effort to avoid taxation and the paying of fees in order to profit from Federally owned resources. To the Bundy's the fact that the Federal government gave them a "loan" is just part of the scam. They spent that money and laughed about it. They will not pay it back, of course. That's for suckers.

You're the sucker because you weren't smart enough to get a loan that you won't pay back for your "kin" or family.

Hypocrites? No, they're not hypocrites. They hate the government and they're not shy about taking money from it in order to "cripple" it because they don't have any shame. They'll take every penny they can get and whatever else. They don't care about fraud and they don't recognize the courts or official looking papers in the mail. They thumb their nose at it because they've already abandoned any pretense of living like regular citizens.

The worst thing a local cop or deputy sheriff will ever run into is not necessarily an armed criminal. It is a sovereign citizen who is armed has no intention of complying with lawful orders. Yes, they're one and the same thing, but anyone who self-identifies themselves as "sovereign" triggers a lot more alarms than a common criminal.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Microagressions Suck





Just by writing this, Emily Shire committed a microagression!

Before 2015, playing beer pong and pulling all-nighters were the activities most associated with the college experience. That all changed this year.


From large public universities in America’s heartland, like the University of Missouri, to small private colleges along the coasts, like Claremont McKenna College in California, student outrage spread like mono at a frat party.


A new lexicon to cover hot-button campus issues—“microaggressions,” “safe spaces,” “yes means yes”—entered the mainstream as college protests earned increasing national interest, far beyond the academic bubble.


Student outrage doesn't bother me and it shouldn't bother you, either. Let them get spun up about these things--it's not like there aren't people being shot and it's not like women just stopped being raped. Let them have their moment within the safe environment of college to learn how the world really works, and, oh by the way, let them change society for the better by redefining what we can and cannot talk about. Deriding someone's opposition to racism or gender inequality means you're getting a taste of what's around the corner. Eventually, we'll all stop offending one another, even if it means giving up a banh mi sandwich, whatever the hell that is.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Prurient Purposes Thwarted




How far does freedom really go?

The man with shoulder-length red hair stood by the sidewalk just north of Island Park Pool. In the muggy heat, he wore gray slacks and a silky, blue, long-sleeve shirt.

From his perch along First Avenue South, the man, who appeared to be in his 20s or 30s, could peer down on swimmers by the pool’s diving boards. He would look around, act like he was smoking and then snap a photo using a camera with a zoom lens.

Jed Felix said he witnessed all this on Monday afternoon. After watching the man surreptitiously take photos for a while, Felix confronted him and asked what he was doing. “He said he was just taking pictures and that he was an artist,” said Felix, 26, of Fargo. “He said it’s completely legal.”

Now, imagine the impending freakout--they're violating his rights.

Well, yes, but no. They've made this an issue of trespassing, which means he went somewhere that he wasn't welcome and he did something specific that violates the use of public property for personal or prurient reasons. This is not the sort of thing that would stand up in every court, but it does make sense when considering the safety of the public.

This is because the man in question, regardless of what he's wearing, is using technology (a camera) to violate the privacy of others. Should they get a search warrant and see what's on the camera? Would a judge sign off on that? Who knows? Your right to be a weirdo is guaranteed up and until the moment when you start taking telephoto lens photos of kids and women (which should be good enough to ban paparazzi, but oh well).

The  kicker in this whole article will appear briefly before your eyes:

One of the comments was from a woman who said she saw the same man taking photos of women in bikinis on Friday in Island Park.

“We watched as he set his camera on his lap and aim it at women in the park and then moments later look through the shots he just took,” she said in a post on her own Facebook site, which included a photo of the alleged photographer, a man with long red hair who looked like the man Felix encountered.

Felix said the man he approached would not tell him his name or show him the photos he’d taken.

“He was very calm during the entire thing like he knew that he was in the right,” Felix said. “He said that until it’s illegal, he’s going to keep doing it.”

Why didn't the man want to show a perfect stranger, a common citizen, what was on his camera? Because he doesn't have to. That's a matter for the courts. Short of that, using trespass laws to keep him out of public places is about the only recourse left to the community, which has rights as well. He's made up his mind to be an asshole. That's his right! Nobody else has to put up with that, though.

Don't be an asshole. You're ruining freedom for everyone else.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How is This Even Legal?




Damn, life is so inconvenient:

Pam McGonigal, who began using Uber last year to ferry her 14-year-old daughter from dance class in Silver Spring, Md., back home to Chevy Chase when she got stuck at work in the District, said she had never considered a taxi for the job.

“I just have reservations about my pretty little girl going out and hailing a cab,” she said.


But Uber’s competitors question whether that trust is misplaced.


Dave Sutton, spokesman for the Rockville-based Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association, noted that officials in Los Angeles and San Francisco have questioned the company’s methods for screening drivers. He said unlike the taxi industry, Uber’s background checks don’t include fingerprinting. Uber officials said the company does not use fingerprinting as part of its background checks, but said they think the process they use is more comprehensive.

“Obviously, everybody loves their kids, but the idea of placing a young person with someone who hasn’t received a criminal background check is terrifying,” Sutton said. “We’re working to make sure that people understand that.”


Oh, yeah--that screening process for cab drivers is embedded in the psyche of the American consumer. Did that cab driver pass his background check, no one has ever asked, ever. Why not just admit you're a shill for the cab companies and Uber made you crap yourself for days at a time?





Some people love their kids more than other people love their kids, and Uber is proof of that? 





No, the proof of that is found in exactly how much of your life you are willing to surrender to the idea that the safe transportation of your children from one place to the other is kinda your own damn responsibility. We are now in an age where it's okay to outsource the schlepping of your offspring to someone who has a car and needs money. No judgment, please. Life is such a pain in the ass for busy people who want to live somewhere nice and do everything all of the time without thinking of the consequences.





They're your kids. You had them. They want to do activity stuff. You're busy. It's easier to put them in a car with a complete stranger and hope like hell everything works out for the best. Yay! No guilt necessary. Don't be a shamer. Be a sharer of space in a car. Get with the program, grampa. 





Jeebus.

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.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Liberation of Kansas

At some point, a humanitarian mission to liberate the occupied territory known as Kansas will have to be undertaken by peacekeeping forces and by non-governmental organizations that will deliver human rights relief to a badly oppressed people.

Yes, Kansas is full of God-botherers who have no money, no jobs, no health care, dwindling access to education, fracked-out water supplies, no real quality of life to speak of, but they have Jeebus and Sam Brownback and his tax cuts for the wealthy and his failed state government and his promise to make God-bothering look like a trip to a dry well on a prairie filled with nothing.

What does it say about a country where this kind of thing can happen in the year of our bothered God 2015? People need jobs and basic necessities. We see state legislatures tie themselves up in knots trying to legislate against abortions that simply don't happen anymore and they call that good government.

If you live in Kansas, my heart goes out to you. My head wonders what the hell is the wrong with Kansas, but I am not without sympathy.

Friday, February 6, 2015

We're All Eleventh Cousins With Somebody




Jane Austen

This is a little ridiculous:

Jane Austen wrote the ultimate fairy tales, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is living one herself. But that's not all these two women have in common. 


The famed romance author (1775-1817) and the newly-minted royal, 29, have family ties, according to findings from Ancestry.com


The ladies are eleventh cousins, six times removed, according to the site, and they are linked through Henry Percy, the second Earl of Northumberland, who was born in 1392. 


We all have family ties with royalty or the historically famous or both. I don't think this is newsworthy at all.


The very nature of modern life dictates that we all come from common ancestors and a bloodline that traces back to someone notable in history, and this is true for all of the cultures of the Earth as well. This is not a white European fact; it's true for people from all over. The fact that they had to go back to 1392 to find a common ancestor is enough for a good laugh. And I don't know what's funnier--going back 619 years or expecting useful information out of People magazine.

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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.

Monday, January 5, 2015

What is the Alternative to College?




This is a great story about why there is something broken with the system that educates people in this country:

Just 11 percent of low-income students who are the first in their family to attend college will have a college degree within six years of enrolling in school. This stems from many issues. Students from low-income backgrounds often attend high schools without rigorous college-prep tracks, meaning their access to good information on higher education may be inadequate. Many of them are also significantly behind academically, which stymies them from applying or being accepted to certain schools. And to make matters worse, thousands of colleges across the country lack resources or programs earmarked for low-income or first generation students. That means that, while many schools enroll these students, few are equipped to actually graduate them.

The European method of getting around this is to legitimize the idea of a vocational education. In America, we are telling kids that they're special and that they have to get a college degree or they'll end up in a filthy, despicable union job. In Germany, for example, they segregate kids in high school based on how smart they are and they provide a union job and training so that the work force can be professionalized and trained.

We can't follow the European model because that would mean that someone's kid, who has pulled C's for years, is a dumbass and will only be a sad and lowly plumber. Never mind the fact that a certified and trained union plumber can made damned good money--America is the land of the middle manager who barely graduated after six years in a state school.

I think it has something to do with the fact that Americans have been conditioned to hate actual skills and competence in another person and that union membership is akin to being in a child molestation ring, but that's shrill and unfair to put into print.

There's a racket and a scam behind charging people $150,000 for an education that will allow someone to get a job making $30K per year--the educator is making money and the employer is saving money. The bankrupt, uneducated person stuck with the bill is of no consideration to anyone.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bill Cosby and Serial Rape


It would appear that Bill Cosby has a problem with being accused of committing serial rape in this country. Did he commit any crimes overseas? Is there any way to bring him to justice in another jurisdiction? Why is he getting away with it?

The statute of limitations has rendered Cosby untouchable. He will likely go the way of Joe Paterno, disgraced but wealthy and confused about his status.

This country can forgive a lot of things. Cosby raped his way through a lot of lives, it would appear.

Norman Rogers is a horrible, horrible man. He was said, in effect, that an adult male can use the $300 hooker to solve a lot of problems.

"A fifty dollar whore is good in a pinch, but she is desperate and sometimes unattractive. If you pay $300 for the services of a professional working girl, you can expect that she will be reasonably attractive and unwilling to turn on you. Bill Cosby could have hired a $300 girl every week of the year. That's $15,600 per calendar year, including your Christmas Ham Boning or whatever you want to call it. Over the course of forty years, that's a grand total of $624,000 spent on discreet, professional sex workers."

As Norman horribly explains, this would save many men a great deal of grief.

"Bill Cosby could have spent a mere $15,600 per year playing hide the baloney and all he would be guilty of is being a horndog. I am not condoning legalized prostitution--I think what they have in Las Vegas is a good model for what we should have in every state. We need special economic zones where regulated adult behavior is tolerated and controlled. Stephen Hawking uses professional women and people consider him a saintly genius. If Cosby were a mere whoremonger, he would likely be making over $10 million a year right now. Contrast that with a controlled budget for getting some ass on the side."

"What an old fool. He reminds me of Tiger Woods, who lost over a hundred million dollars for sex that would have cost him, at best, a few hundred thousand dollars."

It should be pointed out that Norman Rogers is a horrible man and his views are neither condoned nor understood.

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.