Friday, July 27, 2012

Random Thoughts

Look, I appreciate the effort. I appreciate comic book fans saying that we should go give blood because that's heroic. I even appreciate Christian Bale going to visit some of the victims of the massacre*. But I think it's getting to be a bit too much now. Do you think that maybe we could let this be about the victims of the worst massacre in American history for a little while instead of Batman?

(Update: I just this second saw someone on Tumblr who added "2005-2012" to this as a lament for the series. So... first The Dark Knight co-opts the tragedy itself, and now the symbol of the tragedy? The circle of news is complete.)

* I do find myself oddly perplexed by the women on Tumblr who have been saying things like, and this is a direct quote, "I didn't think Christian Bale could get even sexier!" Yeah, if his screaming at the lighting crew and assaulting his mother and sister didn't get those juices flowing for you already, I guess. It is much more in keeping with the spirit of Batman than Christopher Nolan's depressing Randian version, though.

:: You just knew we couldn't get away from this massacre, though, without some self-appointed Christian authority saying something utterly stupid. Jerry Newcombe, Evangelical nitwit from the Truth in Action Ministry, offered people that typically Evangelical combination of hope and smugness by saying "If a Christian dies early, if a Christian dies young, it seems tragic, but really it is not tragic because they are going to a wonderful place.. on the other hand, if a person doesn’t know Jesus Christ.. if they knowingly rejected Jesus Christ, then, basically, they are going to a terrible place."

How do you even respond to that kind of stupidity? It's the old argument that says you can't know ethics or morality without the healthy fear of an imaginary character in a really old book. It's heartlessness and assumed superiority masquerading as concern for others. And it's the kind of thing a worthless shit stain says to show everyone how righteous they are when they know nothing about being a human being.

Make like Jesus and give a shit about what happens to people.

:: Also, if you get to use a worn-out book in something like it's fifth translation from its original language as proof that God exists, I get to counter with the equal ridiculousness that Bram Stoker is proof that vampires exist. Hey, man, I read it in a book. An old book.

:: Penn State got fined $60 million and aren't allowed to participate in bowl games for the next four years. Every win they had from 1998 to 2011 was voided, and the statue of Joe Paterno got taken down. All that's well and good, but can we start looking at the people above Joe Paterno (up to and possibly including the current Governor of Pennsylvania) who made this massive cover-up possible? I'm not defending Paterno, but it's not like the buck stops there. Keep going, goddammit.

I thought the Man of Steel teaser was okay. Certainly a different take on Superman, but not one I found as offensive as apparently a lot of other people did. I just hope it's not as right wing as Nolan's Batman movies are. But who knows? It's Zack Snyder, and 300 was a pretty macho, racist caricature. (One I enjoyed, but let's face it, Snyder's definitely at his best when he's making cartoons like 300 and Watchmen.)

The music from Lord of the Rings was a mistake, but only because the LOTR music is so distinctive (honestly, it was the last film music I found truly distinctive). I'm glad they didn't go with John Williams' Superman march. After Bryan Singer's overly-worshipful abortion of a movie, I really want a film that offers its own take on the mythos, rather than reheating a superior effort from 30-odd years ago. Stand on your own, fly on your own, stop looking over your shoulder to see if Christopher Reeve fans think what you're doing is okay. That was a wonderful movie, but it still exists. Stop trying to be what already is and be something else.

:: Speaking of LOTR, is it really necessary for The Hobbit to be three movies? Two is kind of pushing it, except that Peter Jackson is throwing in bits from The Silmarillion and the expected fan-service for connective tissue. I love The Hobbit, it's a great novel, but is there really so much there that we need three movies? It feels like if a director were doing Lord of the Rings now it would be nine goddamn movies long. This trend is getting out of hand. Chopping Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two movies was pretty damn unsatisfying. Breaking Dawn, Mockingjay... do these epics really need to be so damn epic? I feel like when David Lean said everything he needed to say about TE Lawrence and the Middle East in less time than it took to tell the story of Twilight, something's wrong. When did brevity and simplicity become such lost art forms?

:: The Seven Deadly Sins in Animated GIF Form by Boulet.

Hayden Panettiere canceled on this year's WizardWorld. Damn it. Getting her overpriced autograph was the only thing about this year's entire overpriced affair I was looking forward to. I am so over cons nickel-and-diming-and-hundred-bucking fans, anyway.

:: Okay, back to guns for a minute. A million years ago (roughly), I wrote on a Throwdown that people tend to call for a ban on guns after a massacre, but no one ever says we shouldn't have cars when cars kill people every day. Looking back now, I'm really annoyed with myself for writing something so immature and incredibly dumb. My point was that a gun was a tool and any tool could be used to hurt people. But I don't think that way anymore. Guns are designed expressly for the purpose of killing people. The only other things you can do with them are kill animals and target shooting, which is kind of like practice killing. I've fired handguns and shotguns; I don't see them as practical since we got out of our homesteading phase.

It's a complicated issue, as much as that seems like a cop-out to say. It's just that I don't find any of the anti-gun-control arguments particularly convincing. They're really just weak non-arguments. "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns." That's just saying what would legally happen. And more people with concealed weapons isn't the answer to anything. And having guns to defend yourself from the government? If that even happened, the government has access to a much better class of weapons than you do. Is having easy internet access to weapons purchase really an issue of personal freedoms? If it is, then the trade-off is that massacres can and do happen quite easily.

At any rate, I take back that stupid thing I said earlier. Because it really bugs me that I said it.

:: Dane Cook is already making jokes about the massacre. Let me paraphrase the whole thing for you: "Please just pay attention to me! I die without your attention! Even negative attention!"

:: Hey, how about this whole Kristen Stewart having an affair thing? I'm having fun with it because it's just so unbelievable and badly staged (and conveniently timed for maximum effect before Breaking Dawn Part 2 comes out). Well, the dumbass kids who think Robsten is really really super real needed to get disillusioned some time.

:: Fuck you, Mitt Romney. Just hadn't said it yet today.


Splotchy said...

Completely ignoring that Christian Bale who displayed some terrible behavior on-set, I loved hearing his rants and the eventual dance remix of it. Not sexy, though.

Splotchy said...

Great grammar in that last comment, me.

csmith2884 said...

"I feel like when David Lean said everything he needed to say about TE Lawrence and the Middle East in less time than it took to tell the story of Twilight, something's wrong. When did brevity and simplicity become such lost art forms?"

Great quote, when I use it I will try to give you credit.

Sleestak said...

Dont believe for a second the K and R relationship was ever real.

Roger Owen Green said...

I must admit to cringing when you said - a long time ago - what you said about guns. In any case, I'm glad you've changed your mind.

phoniexflames said...

While your gun argument was faulty (cars and guns aren't the same thing), I think that the thing is that Holmes was willing to go to crazy lengths to hurt people because he is, in fact, crazy. According to recent reports, he says that he doesn't know why what he did was wrong. He's no terrorist; just your garden variety loon. But the gun control thing in the wake of this shooting is a weird one. The guy rigged his apartment with IEDs. He made those himself. Had he not had a gun that he did, he would have likely used a more effective means to hurt these people, using a bomb. Of you'll pardon the pun, the gun only allowed him to be theatrical.

And... God, I hate to back up the gun lobby, but my neighbor ended up explaining to me the difference in guns, especially pertaining to what is considered a military grade weapon as opposed to a hunting or small self defense gun. Namely, he showed me that the difference between what is considered a traditional hunting weapon and what people think of as a military assault weapon is almost always asthetic. Which is really, really odd to me. Likely because I don't know deals about guns, so it really surprised me.

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know as someone that fucking loves Nolan's movies and the Batman franchise? The dark knight rises was fucking terrible. Like... Wolverine Origins terrible. Maybe the last 15 minutes were tension filled, but it doesn't make up for the fact that Nolan made a shitty film that he didn't want to make. I am going to just pretend that the franchise ended with the dark knight.

Hobgoblin238 said...

Gun control doesn´t work. I live in Mexico. Ask me about it. Citizens are in constant fear of the Zeta mafia carving what they want out of the country. WISH I had a gun to protect myself but I do not.

Kal said...

Why even give Kristen Stewart anything to do? She couldn't even work up the energy to so a cheating scandal right. She is the worst kind of celebrity - lazy and entitled. I want to like her, I really do. Give me half and Emma Stone and 1/3 a Jennifer Lawrence anytime.

phoniexflames said...

I don't think that a comparison between Mexico and the US is proper, because Mexico is a third world country.

Kelly Sedinger said...

The problem with the Mexico argument is that I can name a dozen Western countries where gun control DOES work.