itsamoose

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  1. South Park

    This is a fantastic observation, but I'd put a slight twist on it. It's not that South Park isn't interested in people with genuine beliefs, it's that they tend to get crowded out by those with ulterior motives. Most of the episodes have a character (usually Kyle) who presents the moral of the episode in a genuine way. In almost all cases this character is almost immediately passed over, ignored, or looked at skeptically to the point where their position is as well. I agree that this can be a problem, but I have a hard time saying it's a bad aspect of the show because it seems to be their major critique of modern society. That this can lead to a "Issue X wouldn't be a problem if group Y would just shut up about it" sort of idea that's become more prevalent lately. It's not that genuine beliefs don't exist, it's that they are almost always sullied by people with ulterior motives, to the point where people who would otherwise support those ideas become skeptical of them, or outright hostile to them. Now certainly South Park is not the first show to make this observation, but I think they do quite a good job of poking fun at it.
  2. South Park

    I agree with your sentiment here, and in my view this isn't the point South Park is making with the Columbus episode. But, rather than beat the devil around the stump (a phrase I recently learned that is just too damn weird to not use at least once in my life), it might be best to just check out the episode and decide for yourself. Unfortunately it looks like this particular episode isn't available online at the moment, but if you're willing I'd imagine it can be picked up on a streaming service (The episode is called "Holiday Special" and took place in the 21st season). If that isn't possible, a summary of the episode can be found on wikipedia. For once the episode has been seen, below are my thoughts. Now given that I'm someone who enjoys south park, I would greatly appreciate anyone who does not like the show giving their thoughts on it.
  3. South Park

    @Beasteh I think you put it better than I did regarding the "Doubling Down" episode, the idea of the regretful Trump Voter has been a recurring theme in the last season particularly in the episode "It's up to the whites". I intended to use the term "bigotry" in the literal sense (as in separate from prejudice), but upon a second reading I don't think that came across very well. My intention was not to suggest these people be coddled, but that their ideas be challenged in a way that doesn't rob them of their humanity. I would still argue that South Park's main source of conflict has to do with how people act when they don't see eye to eye, and is not necessarily about the specifics of their differences, but the public vs. private behavior dynamic is also a prevalent theme. Also thanks for the recommendation on the youtube series, I'll have to check that out. I must admit I was someone who was quick to call people names in the past, and after watching a ted talk by Megan Phelps-Roper (a woman who grew up in the Westboro Baptist church and later left) my opinions on how to deal with difference of opinion changed drastically.
  4. South Park

    To put it bluntly, I think this sort of sentiment is exactly what South Park seems to be calling out. Let's take an example. Say we have a young man, let's call him Jim. Jim recognizes that something is out of sorts with the world, but can't quite articulate what or why. So he goes looking for answers. Now like most of us, Jim will be drawn to sensational characters and antics who carry with them undoubtedly toxic ideas. But Jim doesn't see them as toxic, to him they are absurd, but this being his first foray into understanding, platitudes and double talk seem like wisdom. Maybe the likes of Alex Jones and his ilk don't know everything, but he agrees with enough of what they say. Jim's mood starts to improve. For once, he feels like he's learning, his imagination is stimulated and is open to new ideas. Then Jim goes out into the world and repeats the ideas he's heard only to be met with anger. He's called names, accused of things he doesn't necessarily think, and is told not that his ideas are bad but that he's a bad person. Jim isn't having it though. Jim knows the truth, because he's only ever been given it by one side. Where Jim was once inquisitive, he's now closed himself off. Bigotry is not a character trait. The condition is temporary, the product of inaccurate knowledge or simply a lack of it. Plenty of people have been bigoted in the past and are no longer, or vice versa. The inability to see past changeable opinions and make them immutable isn't the cause of bigotry, but it certainly doesn't help. I've known some legitimately hateful people in my life, and I've never known a single one of them to change their views because someone called them a bigot. It's not that pushing against bigotry that is bad, it's conflating the person with the idea that has the real potential to do harm. It's comforting to think that all bigotry is the result of purposeful, malicious intent, and while some certainly is, a significant amount is not. The goal must be to provide a better alternative, and to do that we must consider the evidence and speak to the position. This I think is the point of South Park in recent years. Not that we should put up with these things or protect them in some way, but that not all resistance to them is beneficial.
  5. South Park

    Well I think the point of the show is not so much that you alienate the person, further isolating them and enforcing that mindset. I mean yes, that sort of behavior does need to be pointed out but if the mechanism for doing that is belittling someone, calling them names, laughing at them, etc, you're more likely to have the opposite effect. This is a pretty common theme in the most recent season, but they put a pretty fine point on it in an episode called "Doubling Down". Recently a lot of South Park's subject matter has to do with the idea that how you do something can make all the difference.
  6. South Park

    This was something I remember hearing about a while back, but it turns out the reason was likely that he was coerced by scientology: https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7510390/isaac-hayes-didnt-quit-south-park-scientology-did-for-him-son I got back into south park about a year go, I went back and watched the last few seasons and have quite enjoyed it. For anyone interested in seeing what modern south park looks like, I'd recommend starting with season 19 where they introduce a character called PC principal. That season starts out like you'd expect, but then quickly becomes somewhat of a meta commentary on the show and it's place in culture. This is the season where South Park's narrative became overtly serialized, and their social commentary became more direct and expansive. Interestingly enough, this also seems to be the point at which south park started criticizing it's own audience in some respects. Perhaps this is something I missed out on when watching the show when I was younger, but what south park does at it's best is criticize behavior. Of course the ridiculous antics of the show are still present, but the show's jokes seem to be more purposeful and pointed as of late. In my view South Park went from being a show making fun of bigotry to one who points out how bigotry develops, particularly in the face of overly aggressive opposition to it.
  7. Marvel movies

    I quite enjoyed infinity war as a series of vignettes more than anything else. A bit of my frustration with it was that Marvel just wasn't willing to let anyone be a background character, so some of the threads tend to either wear out their welcome or make jumps that didn't feel earned. The perspective of the film jumps around so much that a couple of times I would need a few seconds during the transition shots to think to myself "now who is in this place again?".
  8. This is a perfect description of my experience with Altered Carbon as well, at it's best it sort of feels like the darker version of stark trek that the series proper has a hard time getting right. There are some genuinely fantastic scenes and scenarios presented in the show, but it does feel like it dawdles a bit toward the middle-end. In particular:
  9. Star Wars Episode 8

    Not to harp on this point too much, it's just that this structure is to me perhaps the most interesting thing about the film. If you look at the typical blockbuster framework it goes 1) Introduce characters and conflict 2) Blow up death star 3) Big party In the last Jedi however, the universe's equivalent to the death star is blown up in the first 10 minutes, only for the film to make the point that the first order isn't just one massive ship that can be blown up. I hope that, if anything, big budget action movies going forward will have an example that proves you don't need to follow the same old structure and can try some new things.
  10. Star Wars Episode 8

    The point I was trying to make is that the movie takes a very specific view of people's actions, and to simply say it was about failure generally is to me a misreading. The action of the film in my view doesn't support the idea of it being about failure broadly and is instead about a specific mode of action. It has more in common with an argument about the lives of innocent private contractors on the death star than it does any mainline star wars film. I get Ben's comment was made jokingly--I contend that the distinction the film makes between costly victory and failure is more profound than a matter of semantics. The actions the movie frames as heroic are the ones made in the service of others without burdening them with the consequences, and the ones it frames as villainous or unheroic are those made for others where the decision maker isn't made to shoulder the responsibility.
  11. Star Wars Episode 8

    I wouldn't agree here. As Ben X points out, a Pyrrhic victory still results in a net benefit, but I think the argument of the film is that this benefit is short lived. If a football team wins a game, but in the process their star quarterback and running back are injured, that is still a win for the team. As an example, let's contrast a major action point in The Last Jedi with The Empire Strikes Back and beyond:
  12. Star Wars Episode 8

    I really think we need to stop putting so much stock in what people with stupid premises think about things. There are plenty of things to criticize about the film, but for fuck's sake it's the premise for the criticism that matters not the result.
  13. Monster Hunter World

    This is my first Monster Hunter, and after only a few hours playing it I find myself wishing I had tried the series out sooner. The world is absolutely charming, and so far I really can't say enough good things about the community. There is a ton of depth in this game, most of which is still a mystery to me, but for the first time in a while I'm incredibly excited about sinking my teeth into this one. There are a few oddities when it comes to matchmaking and online play as well as a few structural issues that are really not beginner friendly. In many ways it feels like this game has one foot in the modern era and one foot in game design from 10 years ago, which can be a bit frustrating after becoming used to AAA games that are polished to a mirror sheen. For anyone who might be interested in this game but hasn't played one before, I'd recommend choosing the sword and shield as your starting weapon. I made the mistake of picking a more technical weapon at the start which was ultimately an exercise in frustration. Thankfully however there are a number of youtube videos, wikis and the like that are definitely worth checking out before jumping in to this one.
  14. I just finished the first season of the Orville and really enjoyed it. I was expecting only to watch a couple episodes, mainly because the marketing makes it sound like decidedly bad comedy that I could only stomach for so long, but after about the third episode the show makes a more serious transition and starts to find it's groove. The show remains lighthearted for the most part but in many other respects it felt like a love letter to the next generation, where many of the episodes end on a question. I agree the tone can be all over the place, but I don't see this as a negative necessarily. Each episode stands on it's own and there doesn't seem to be an overarching goal of the series, which admittedly messes with the pacing but allows the show to have a broad range of topics to explore. I've only seen the first two episodes of discovery, and it's a bit so-so for me at the moment. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the season though, the plot is interesting enough and from what I'm hearing it picks up at about the midway point. I get why the comparisons are made between the two shows, but to me they don't seem like they're trying to be competitors. The Orville both structurally and tonally seems born out of classic star trek, while discovery is more in line with the JJ Abrams version of star trek which feels like it's own thing entirely. I really don't see the reason why these two shows are pitted against one another (maybe they were in the same timeslot?) as it seems to me like they aren't really comparable on more than a surface level. Personally I'm just happy that there are 2 star trek style things on tv now that I can watch.
  15. Net Neutrality

    I've followed up on state level net neutrality stuff recently, since I was wondering how a lot of these sorts of protections would be implemented in the event only certain states maintain them. This article does a decent job of outlining how states would intend to do that. I'm a bit skeptical of the implementation here, mainly I'm not optimistic this will be anything more than a temporary victory at best. Recently comcast has shown a willingness to spend incredible amounts of money on even local government efforts to construct community broadband networks, not to mention how a lack of net neutrality could potentially make these networks walled off from Tier 1 services owned by or in exclusivity deals with bigger ISPs. The state could refuse to issue future contracts to violators of net neutrality, but the ISPs could just go to the federal level and get a law passed outlawing such a practice. The same is true with any legal challenge to state net neutrality laws, where the conflict would inevitably get elevated to the federal level which the likes of Comcast are willing to spend infinite amounts of money to maintain control of. Also, if a state successfully adopts net neutrality laws in a regulatory sense, it is notoriously difficult to prove the slowdown to that site was intentional, and there are no apparent regulatory bodies at the state level that would be able to enforce any penalties. I suppose net neutrality isn't officially dead yet, but there are enough wealthy people out there who want to kill it that I don't think it will be around in any sense for very long. Also, before you put your faith in democratic leadership to make this change, it's important to remember that they were some of the biggest recipients for Comcast's lobbying efforts in 2016. Personally I'm putting my hope in wireless, and a decentralized data network running on a blockchain as the thing that will settle this question once and for all, but who knows when that will come around. In the meantime everything is fucked, nothing you do matters and we all die alone.