Friday, September 10, 2010

Twilight is printed CRACK!

Full disclosure:

  1. I have read ever Twilight book.
  2. I have hated every second I have read a Twilight book.
  3. I was unable to stop reading said aforementioned Twilight books.
  4. I have watched two of the Twilight movies to date.
  5. I have hated both Twilight movies I have watched.
  6. I was unable to stop watching said aforementioned Twilight movies.

What does that sound like to you? 'Cause it sounds like CRACK to me.

Why do I hate them? There are only seven plots in human imagination. However one rearranges them, extrapolates upon them, or creatively reinvents them; at the end of the day there are seven plots to play with. Any number of authors, producers, directors, actors, and every day people come up with banal-to-brilliant ways to manage them. Twilight does this but without brilliance, originality, morality, ethics, or entertainment. Stephanie Meyer simply regurgitates them. She even comes in beneath banal.

Can I stress regurgitate enough? Ralphs, vomits, hucks, hurls, disgorges, heaves, pukes, retches, upchucks, spews, throws up(s), horks … Need I go on? Essentially, vomit is what you took in in a desirable state and is disgorged in a fairly disgusting smelly esophagus-burning and frankly uncomfortable and possibly friend/spouse/stranger off-putting state. That is what Stephanie Meyer has done with the seven classic plots.

There is nothing new to learn. No new way of thinking. No interesting way to look at ethics, morals, or behaviours. And it's not even entertaining! There is no twist that is unpredictable, surprising. There is no plot device unanticipated. No character development not mapped out in book one that changes in subsequent publications.

Yet somehow she writes addictively. Once started they cannot be stopped. Once commenced they cannot be not finished. Once translated to movies, they cannot be unwatched.

Is this not the very definition of the kind of addiction (i.e. CRACK) that we deride as class-something drug that as society we deride? By the way did I mention CRACK!

By the way, I mean no derision towards crack addicts. Obviously you derive more pleasure and benefit from your drug than we possibly can from Twilight.

Why are they addictive? I know no more to that answer than I do about why CRACK is addictive. I haven't done CRACK because I'm afraid of it. Why didn't anyone tell me to be afraid of Twilight? Our war on drugs is misguided. I'd rather be told to avoid Twilight than pot.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If that’s “real” America, then I’m a slut

Back during the election, Sarah Palin said I wasn't a real American because I wasn't one of her supporters. Because I supported Barak Obama. Now according to Jason Mattera, I'm a slut as well?

I'm a fake American slut? Should I have to pay income taxes if I'm a fake American? I don't even know what to say about being called a slut, other than further proof that we liberals are not hung up about sex and conservatives focus way too much on other people having it.

Oh, and apparently flying a plane into a building is only a terrorist attack when the guy's Arab and screaming about Allah. What do you call it when you've got an "American" name?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Arguing with a Wingnut

Had to explain arguing with a wingnut to my mother today, and why it makes no sense. She understands now.

Discussion with a Wingnut:

Wingnut: If you don't like Palin then you're a Kool-Aid drinking Obama-phile who has been conned by the ACORN controlled master manipulator who's really a Marxist hell bent on destroying America. BTW, isn't the Tea Party great and did you catch the latest episode of Glen Beck? He totally proved Global Climate Change is a HOAX because it snowed in the northeast last night. 

You: Huh? All I said was I couldn't take the recycling out last night because of the snowstorm. 

Wingnut: Which proves there's no such thing as global warming! And recycling is a Mao-ist plot to take away your freedom!   

Reaction after dealing with a Wingnut:

Jon Stewart HELP ME!!!!! As you curl into a mental fetal position wondering why you ever went to college when the likes of Rush, Hannity, Beck and now Palin are making huge salaries for spewing absolute nonsense that your civics/speech/history professor rightly gave you an F for when you tried to pull such stuff off as actual analysis.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cause that’s what you dreamed about when you were a little girl

I did not know that Disney had a bridal collection. And now am strangely mesmerized by it. They have collections based on the princesses, of course. Even Belle. Cause every little girl dreamed of growing up to marry a man who kidnapped her, starved her, and threatened to beat her on a daily basis. And needed a serious back wax.

But Disney has a different take on dear Belle and domestic abuse.

Open and true, Belle sees beyond the surface, making all that she casts her gaze upon beautiful. Guided by her heart, Belle finds her prince, breaks a spell and claims her destiny.

Probably Beauty & the Beast Two: The Restraining Order wouldn't have sold very well.

And still one of my favorite Disney movies. People are screwed up. Not at all.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Free Yes, Able No … Yes Virginia, There is a Difference

Are you free to buy a yacht? I would hazard the vast majority of people would say no, of course not. They can't afford it. Technically, anyone in this country is free to buy a yacht, but is obviously constrained by economics and geography from doing so. So while you're technically "free" to do it, the ability is severely constrained. But that's not a big deal. A yacht might be nice, but no one would argue that every person should have one. We don't have charity yacht banks, or holiday yacht drives to help those who can't buy a yacht get a yacht.

Are you free to control the food you eat? I would hazard the vast majority of people would say yes, of course. And I say you'd be wrong. I believe you are every bit as constrained from controlling the food you eat as you are from being able to own and maintain a high-priced luxury item like a yacht. Because when I say control, I mean every meal of every day to ensure you are eating what is really food and not just consuming calories thinking you are eating food. You are constrained economically and geographically from being in control of what you eat. And very much unlike a yacht, everyone would argue that everyone (including—even especially—Keira Knightly) needs food.

If you have ever tried to truly control what you eat, you will know what I mean by economic and geographic constraints. Eating real food is frighteningly expensive in both time and money. It takes an enormous amount of time to research, fact check, and investigate what is in food and how it's produced and then a significant amount of money to actually purchase food that isn't full of preservatives, chemicals, ridiculous amounts of sodium, antibiotics, hormones. Then there's figuring out what is fed to the food. That's even before you add other societal factors into your food decisions including cruelty-free, environmentally sustainable, locally grown, or anything involving human rights in the production process. That's a whole other chunk of time in research and a whole other surcharge on actually controlling your food.

By the way, this is just to attain the same food standards as your grandparents ate as a matter of course.

The only way to truly control what you eat is to either 1) make it yourself after having done all the aforementioned research or 2) have the money to hire someone to make it according to your dictates. For the first, you have to have the time to actually prepare the food (including some of the base ingredients like mayonnaise or sour cream or salad dressing). And having that kind of time means having the kind of money that you don't have to be working as much to earn it. For the second, your choices are an independent restaurant where you know what ingredients the chef uses and where the restaurant sources its food (and that's going to be a very high end restaurant so you better have the money), a personal cook that follows your directions on sourcing and preparation, or a company that produces foods according to your directions. Good luck with that last one for your every day meals. And of course, all the money to afford the higher prices those services cost.

So only if you have the time and the money to do all of that are you truly able to control the food you eat.

Depending on where you live, you may very well be geographically constrained in having any control over what you eat. Oh you may have the choice between one pre-packaged edible food-like substance and another edible food-like substance, but that's not controlling your food choices. Or you might have a choice between vegetables, but without spending the time and money to travel to where you have real choices, your choice is most likely between the pesticides used. I don't know about you, but choosing between poisons is not what I consider control over my food.

Which brings me to the latest kerfluffle and the outrage over the guidelines proposed in New York City about the amount of sodium in packages and certain restaurant foods. OMG the HORROR!! They're going to be restricting my table salt (no) or top chefs from practicing their craft (not).

There is probably no place in the first or second world where economics and geography more constrain food choices than in New York City. Where you have to have more time and money to eat real food rather than edible food-like substances. OMG the HORROR that you will actually be able to determine—when you have to eat an edible food-like substance rather than real food because you're not a member of the leisurely wealthy—at least what the upper limits of one ingredient are. Founding Fathers who never had to worry about corporations poisoning them every time they took a bite of food are surely turning over in their graves.

The majority of the world and a majority of America is as free to control their food as they are to buy a yacht. Technically free, but completely unable.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

End in Sight?

I am really really happy that Sarah Palin is going to be joining Fox News. I'm very serious. See then, actual reporters should stop reporting on her idiotic Facebook updates. She'll officially be what she's been in reality ever since she resigned the governorship, just another blathering individual of the punditocracy / talking head morons. This is not to say that she wasn't blathering and idiotic before she resigned the governorship, those seem to be ingrained personality traits, she was a blathering and idiotic governor/VP candidate, not a talking head pundit.

Note to any folks aspiring to read/be real journalists:

  • Facebook updates are not credible sources and should not be reported upon as if it were an actual interview.
  • Failed politicians are not the most credible authorities on policy.

I'm also happy because if she's contained to Fox News, then I won't see/hear her until it's on Media Matters.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What They Said, What They Meant, Whether They Meant to Mean It or Not

What Trent Lott did/said:

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either." 

What it means, whether he meant it or not is that by embracing Thurmond's run for president, which was on a segregationist platform, Lott implicitly embraces that platform even 54 years later. He even uses the present tense, "We [are] proud of it." This is racist and insulting to anyone who would be adversely impacted by the concept of segregation, which are black Americans. The outrage was, I think about two things. First, that possibly this Southern Republican really did think we should have stayed segregated. Or second, that Trent Lott was so stupid as to go over the top in praising his friend that he didn't think about the implications of his words. And these were not off the cuff remarks. These were very public statements. And as the Senate leader, one's public statement carries a helluva punch.

What Harry Reid did/said:

"He (Reid) was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama - a 'light-skinned' African American 'with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one … "

What it means, whether he meant it or not, was that America is still too racist to support a stereo-typical black person for President. That Obama's lighter skin and "normalized" speech patterns make him a comfortable choice for white Americans still uncomfortable with what is termed "black culture." This is still racist, insulting to blacks, but is also an insult to non-black Americans. Whether it's true or not, it's insulting. Insults aren't by definition true or false. But these were not public statements, they were private musings. And for the record, I don't think he's wrong. I think there are factions in this country that are still very uncomfortable with non-Norman Rockwell normalcy. And I do think that Obama's mixed heritage and outstanding oration skills broke that barrier in a way that other blacks (and for the future, Hispanics, Asians, etc.) could not have. This is not a defense of Harry Reid. He's the Senate leader and while the statements weren't public, anything he says is going to carry somewhat of a punch. However, I see no difference in Reid insulting whites than when Bill Cosby condemns blacks. And Cosby's cheered for it because he's taking on his own race, I guess. Reid is really insulting whites in his statement, not blacks. So if a prominent black man can condemn other black men and it's celebrated, why is it different when a prominent white man insults other white men?