Friday, March 24, 2017

NEA and the Budget

My sister posted the stuff in the image file originally, but given the posts weren't public I won't link to anyone.


I think it may be important to remember that Trump isn't destroying art (though who knows, maybe he thinks he is)... he's just cutting government funding for it. While I don't like it, and I think spending the money on that sort of thing is a long-term benefit, it's hard to make the case for it being "essential" spending (but why must all federal spending be "essential"? an argument for another day). But yes, I'm much more concerned about the effect of the budget on the elderly and the poor while we pointlessly shift more money into the military, continue to let the ultra-wealthy enjoy pointless tax-breaks, and pointlessly freak out over the debt and deficit over some misplaced "think of the children!" logic.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Shane (1953)

Prompted by Logan, I finally made a point to see Shane. Great movie, one of my new favorite westerns. It's right up there with Unforgiven. However, there's one painfully bad part when the character Marion (Jean Arthur) is complaining to Shane who's showing her son how to shoot, "Guns aren't going to be my boy's life!" and then... in the most painful, condescending, mansplaining way that has ever been filmed in the history of Hollywood, he replies: "A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that." Apparently this is a famous, well-liked line.

It's the last part that got me..."Remember that". It wasn't, 'here's my perspective on the matter' or 'allow me to offer a counter-argument' ... it was 'here's the facts dumbass, don't make me repeat myself'

Anyway. Minor gripe, I wouldn't expect most westerns to have any sort of anti-gun message. Then of course in Logan (very minor spoiler ahead), there's Laura's final words of that film, which she heard from Shane's final words "Joey, there's no living with... with a killing. There's no going back from one. Right or wrong, it's a brand. A brand sticks. There's no going back. Now you run on home to your mother, and tell her... tell her everything's all right. And there aren't any more guns in the valley."

If you liked Logan, see Shane. I'm not saying the stories exactly parallel each other, but it does offer some context, and it's just a really good effin' movie.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

My 2016 movie ratings out of 4 stars (seen for the first time in 2016 regardless of release date).
Spectre ***
The Big Short ****
Deadpool ***
Bridge of Spies (***½)
Birdman (****)
Trumbo (****)
Out of Sight (****)
The Impossible (***)
Enemy (***)
Spotlight (***)
The End of the Tour (****)
Out of the Past (***)
Witness (***)
Man of Tai Chi (***)
Batman v Superman (**½)
Take Shelter (****)
Midnight Special (****)
The Intern (***)
The Revenant (****)
Captain America: Civil War (***½)
99 Homes (****)
The Shallows (***)
The Legend of Tarzan (***½)
Star Trek Beyond (****)
Zootopia (***)
Ratchet and Clank (***)
The Nice Guys (***½)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (****)
Room (****)
Everybody’s Fine (**)
A Hologram for the King (***)
The Man From Reno (***½)
Hell or High Water (****)
Chef (****)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (****)
Hitting the Apex (****)
X-Men Apocalypse (***½)
Lucy (***)
Kubo and the Two Strings (****)
Mr. Holmes (***)
Arrival (****)
Doctor Strange (***)
Manchester by the Sea (****)
The Secret Life of Pets (**)

Saturday, January 21, 2017



To most of these I say "uuhh...yep". This entire list can be boiled down to "because you refused to tolerate my stupidity, called me out on my bigotry, and refused to get aboard the dumbfuck train yourself."

I'm getting tired of this "You didn't list
en to us common white folks" crap. No, we listened. We've been listening to it all our lives. We just think you're morally bankrupt, ignorance-exhaulting bigots who's ideas are in no way worthy of being taken seriously. You don't get "political equality". That isn't a thing.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Polls

What if I told you that polls can be misleading, and sometimes flatly wrong (as we've seen recently)..but that doesn't mean we should just dismiss polls and pollsters simply because by it's very nature it's an imperfect science and just believe whatever the hell it is that it's convenient to believe. The truth is that scientific polls are *usually* right. Where they're wrong is the exception and not the rule.
This sort of thinking is no better than climate deniers pointing to 1 piece of data that scientists got wrong out of the thousands and thousands of things they've been right about and claiming that ALL of the data must be wrong if it ALL of it isn't right.
This is no better than Trump dismissing evidence of Russian election meddling because it was provided by "the same CIA that said Iraq had WMDs". A side note to that...lets not forget Iraq should have never even been in the conversation, nevermind if anyone thought they had WMDs..but I digress.
What I am saying is this is lazy, dissonant thinking.Look at the whole picture, not just the hot-button issue on the news right now. The biggest thing that some don't get is that ***The REASON THAT IT'S SUCH BIG NEWS WHEN STUFF LIKE THIS IS WRONG IS THAT IT'S USUALLY CORRECT.***

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Flint Movie

In response to a theme I see popping up on social media memes lately about the Flint water mess...



It may surprise you to learn that the people that need to unfuck it and the people at Lifetime are not in fact one in the same. Our useless Michigan legistlature and our shithead Governor has to do that. Someone else on this thread called it "awareness porn"...I mean, okay, I guess you can take that sanctimonious attitude about it if you want but lets take stock here of who has done what... Lifetime is airing a movie about it that will reach an audience and raise awareness (even if only a little) that wouldn't otherwise care about this type of thing... then we've got people sharing memes with their friends on facebook that are largely preaching to the choir (Jelessia, I'm not picking on you specifically). 

Yes, the criticism about it having a white lead may be fair, it might not be... everyone in Flint is affected, not just the black population even if they have a slight majority. While representation is important, at this very moment the water thing and exposing the corrupt criminals in our government behind it is way more important and I'm glad a spotlight is being put on it even if it's just a crappy lifetime movie. But I admit, I'm a white dude who doesn't personally feel the sting of represtation problems, so I suppose taking that portion of my opinion with a grain of salt is fair.

Cleary these memes that say "X is happening but Flint still doesn't have clean water" annoy for much the same reason a lot of social/political memes do: They misrepresent and oversimplify the problem. 'A' usually has little or nothing to do with 'B' and it's just sort of this vague lashing out at the abstract concept of society while completely ignoring the specifics of the situation.

Few people outside of those in Flint are more pissed off about this shit than I am, and it goes back to to the day at the height of the great recession that Snyder decided he was going to strip elected leaders of their power and appoint an "emergency financial manager" to certain cities (including Flint and Detroit). Let 'em make their stupid, sappy lifetime movie. It's more than what most people can do/are doing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Multi-Factored Analysis

In response to this cartoon from The Nib and Matt Lubchanksy: https://thenib.com/a-year-of-magical-thinking

People seem to want to point the finger at one thing and one thing only, but guess what... something this big and complex isn't going to have 1 simple cause...Factors that ALL contributed to Trump being elected include (in no particular order)...

1. DNC Meddling
2. Bernie not conceding soon enough despite the DNC meddling.
3. A largely bs email investigation.
4. A separate email hack by Russians.
5. Fake news and other propaganda spread by Russians.
6. Fake news and other propaganda spread by for-profit right wing sites.
7. Hillary's "Trust Issues" (whether or not you think those were justified or not).
8. Our shitty electoral college system that gives smaller/less populous states more weighting in the system. Remember...the major of americans, by 2.8 million, voted for H.
9. James Comey's dumbassery.
10. *****TRUMP VOTERS***** (sub-causes: a racist, xenophobic voter base exercising backlash and racial resentment over 8 years of a black left-of-center president).

I'm sure I could think of 10 more if I tried. The point is, if any ONE of these things didn't happen, the outcome may have been different, but that doesn't mean whatever ONE thing you choose to cherry-pick was some sort of "ultimate cause".

In short, this election was a cluster-fuck.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gnomelf

Drawing I did of a friend's character. Winston the Gnomelf.


Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Glenn Beck Profile in the New Yorker (By way of the Washington Post)

Glenn Beck — yes, that Glenn Beck — tells New Yorker, ‘Obama made me a better man' (Washington Post)

Picking my jaw up off the floor again, first it was "Vote for Hillary" from Glenn Beck, now it's this...
About his views on Obama: “So much of what I used to believe was either always a sham or has been made into a sham. There’s nothing deep.”
"Beck went on, in the interview, to state that he now supports the Black Lives Matter movement."
"Beck’s primary inspiration for these changes in viewpoint, as the brief profile suggested, was first lady Michelle Obama."
"In the profile, Beck addressed the alt-right, telling the magazine that “these people scare the hell out of me.”
Speaking of Donald Trump: “This guy is dangerously unhinged,” he said. “And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.”
--None of this is to say I "like" the guy, or forgive him for all the damage he has done. However, it does give one a little bit of hope that the crazies can be reformed...at least a little.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Was reading an article recently about how movie cops are rarely ever in the wrong when shooting and killing a suspect... think John McLane, Dirty Hairy, Popeye Doyle. They're always seen as the heroes that cut through the red tape of the bureaucratic justice system. Partly, this is because bureaucracy doesn't make for good cop/action movies. There are certainly movies that deal in bad cops, (Serpico, for instance), but rarely do the heroes of those stories become pop-culture icons...cuz ya know, goody goody cops are boring or something. My point is that for example, the French Connection is legitimately a great movie. It's a heavily fictionalized/based on a true story type of thing, but how sad it is that some people have looked at that film and thought that Popeye Doyle was somehow meant to be seen as a good person or a hero. Hell I'm pretty sure he uses "N" in a completely in context unambiguously racist way within the first 10 minutes to clearly establish him as a raging racist cop. How sad it is that good character writing (of a largely "bad" person) has almost become the rule instead of the exception when forming anti-heroes that we're supposed to cheer. I'm guilty of it myself, I loved LOVED 24, but ya know, I understood it was a tv show and the real world doesn't really have ticking time bombs who's location needs to be beaten out of a terror suspect. I enjoyed it purely as suspensful entertainment. Horrified am I to slowly come to realize that some people think the world DOES work this way and seem to want to encourage the pressence of Popeye Doyles and Jack Bauers in real-life law enforcement. They say kids have trouble separating fiction and reality, but I'm much more worried about the adults who vote and should know better. Not sure why I felt the need to write about this at 3am.