like, I’m sympathetic to your position here, but I also like the Grand Guignol, and also wasn’t there a scene in The Shining where rivers of blood surge through the doors of an elevator and rush like rivers toward the camera
I think where we run into trouble here is “the essence of”
well there you have it there are some thoughts I had about a thing Stanley Kubrick said which I typed up while waiting for the second layer of some bar cookies to finish baking
NB. If he’d just said “An essence of…”, we wouldn’t have this problem at all. The idea that there’s just one right way to do ______, that there’s a single essence (instead of many, some that pointedly contradict each other) is pernicious and ought to be opposed.
I assume the problem is both having literally fewer bits of evidence that they’re not assholes to point to and not being able to articulate that they’re not assholes as well, but now I’m curious if those two factors are roughly even or if one weighs more heavily.
On a lot of days, Painful is my favourite Yo La Tengo record. I bought it for very pre-Internet reasons years ago; I’d heard a couple of Yo La Tengo songs I really liked, got and listened to the then-new And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (on a lot of other days my favourite Yo La Tengo record), read a bunch of reviews of their older stuff, and then bought Painful because I liked the cover art and the song titles and was excited to see that it was almost a full 30 minutes shorter than And Then Nothing…
I was surprised to see that “From a Motel 6” has not one but two videos; the original is a perfectly fine performance clip, but I much prefer the one Hal Hartley did, which is the performance clip equivalent of a very dry joke.
“Some words for hangover, like ours, refer prosaically to the cause: the Egyptians say they are “still drunk,” the Japanese “two days drunk,” the Chinese “drunk overnight.” The Swedes get “smacked from behind.” But it is in languages that describe the effects rather than the cause that we begin to see real poetic power. Salvadorans wake up “made of rubber,” the French with a “wooden mouth” or a “hair ache.” The Germans and the Dutch say they have a “tomcat,” presumably wailing. The Poles, reportedly, experience a “howling of kittens.” My favorites are the Danes, who get “carpenters in the forehead.” In keeping with the saying about the Eskimos’ nine words for snow, the Ukrainians have several words for hangover.”—
“Doesn’t standard economics dictate that free markets provide greater competition and lower cost?
Well, yes—in theory. There are many and very large wrinkles in the classical economic model, but in a perfectly efficient market where manufacturing the product is easy, and the public has the option not to buy the product or to substitute other products, that can and does work. For instance, it’s hard to overcharge for toothpaste or apple juice. They’re pretty easy to make, and if one company overcharges for them someone else will make it cheaper or people will find a substitute. A free market in toothpaste or apple juice will generally provide a better product at lower prices than a centrally planned market will (provided that government regulation exists to ensure that those products are produced safely and actually contain the advertised ingredients.)
But commodities like healthcare and the Internet are different. They’re absolute necessities bordering on human rights, for which there is no substitute. They’re enormous and impossible for an underdog to produce at a lower cost. And they’re easy for ruthless corporations to monopolize and vertically integrate for exploitative, rent-seeking purposes absent government intervention.
Allowing a “free market” in such commodities isn’t free at all. It’s insane. It’s guaranteed to produce monopolies, high prices and terrible service. Which is exactly what we have in American healthcare and American internet: the world’s freest, and therefore worst and most expensive, markets in essential services.
The mark of a sophisticated mind is to understand that some solutions work in some cases but not in others. It’s the mark of an idiot to think that the same model will work in all cases.
People who think “free markets” work in healthcare or the Internet are just as functionally stupid about economics as the most hardline Communist who thinks that the government should exercise full control of the toothpaste market. Most of the world understands by now that the second guy is a dangerous fool. But we’re at a weird point in history where the first guy undeservedly has more credibility.”—
Thanks to a generous and helpful friend of mine, you can now get to this tumblr by going to imathers.ca (and in fact the normal tumblr link redirects there). I’ve sort of idly meant to get this domain for a while now, so thanks again to him for grabbing it for me!
“A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.”—
“The biggest problem climate change poses isn’t how the Department of Defense should plan for resource wars, or how we should put up sea walls to protect Alphabet City, or when we should evacuate Hoboken. It won’t be addressed by buying a Prius, signing a treaty, or turning off the air-conditioning. The biggest problem we face is a philosophical one: understanding that this civilization is already dead. The sooner we confront this problem, and the sooner we realize there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves, the sooner we can get down to the hard work of adapting, with mortal humility, to our new reality.”—
“The apocalypse is not something which is coming. The apocalypse has arrived in major portions of the planet and it’s only because we live within a bubble of incredible privilege and social insulation that we still have the luxury of anticipating the apocalypse.”—
“Even if [Thelma and Louise] was the most man-bashing movie ever made, saying, ‘let’s all of us women get guns and kill men’, it wouldn’t even begin to make up for the 99% of movies where the women are there to be caricatured as bimbos or to be skinned and decapitated. If you’re feeling threatened, you’re sympathizing with the wrong character.”—
By not seeing that racism is systemic (part of a system), people often personalize or individualize racist acts. For example, they will reduce racist police behavior to “a few bad apples” who need to be removed, rather than seeing it exists in police departments all over the country and is basic to the society. This mistake has real consequences: refusing to see police brutality as part of a system, and that the system needs to be changed, means that the brutality will continue.
The need to recognize racism as being systemic is one reason the term White Supremacy has been more useful than the term racism. They refer to the same problem but:
A. The purpose of racism is much clearer when we call it “white supremacy.” Some people think of racism as just a matter of prejudice. “Supremacy” defines a power relationship.
B. Race is an unscientific term. Although racism is a social reality, it is based on a term which has no biological or other scientific reality.
C. The term racism often leads to dead-end debates about whether a particular remark or action by an individual white person was really racist or not. We will achieve a clearer understanding of racism if we analyze how a certain action relates to the system of White Supremacy.
D. The term White Supremacy gives white people a clear choice of supporting or opposing a system, rather than getting bogged down in claims to be anti-racist (or not) in their personal behavior.
“For all his downtown urbanity, Ashley was an old Midwestern man who conjured wood-paneled rooms draped in doilies and crowned with plush recliners: The womb of a hypothetical home. When I first heard his music, it reminded me of visiting my grandparents as a kid, falling asleep on the couch while adults talked quietly in the next room. Saying what? The words weren’t clear. An animal only needs to hear the tone of our voice to know what we mean. Finally: Here was a mystery in which I could actually feel safe.
His wisdom was a trap door. Stop paying attention in a seemingly dull moment, and you find yourself falling through a world of infinite speculation. Do you want to see someone make a mountain out of a molehill? In 1977’s Private Parts, Ashley describes a man answering the telephone: “When he says hello, you hear a long whining sound, which is his voice and the hello.” A simple statement about the infinitely complex nature of existence, the argument being that you could only live for a day and still have plenty to write home about.”—Fittingly enough for me personally, given that as mentioned he was the one to introduce me to Robert Ashley’s work, Mike Powell has written a beautiful piece about him. The whole thing is wonderful; Mike is a beautiful writer.
maybe i’m a goddamn bleeding heart hippie liberal but i’m totally down with paying an extra .50 cents for a thing of fries if the person who makes me those fries doesn’t have to work 3 jobs just to survive.
most studies show that prices would only have to go up by 1 to 3 cents in order to raise employee wages significantly
or, you know, the ceo’s could take pay cuts but that would be so hard for the poor multimillionaires
Huh, that’s weird. Because prices keep going up, sure, but it doesn’t seem to be going to things like employee wages. Hmm.
for real though, why are people being mean to me about OTHER PEOPLE who did fucked up shit? like what what what is happening
just a theory but p sure it’s b/c you have taken the time to like, clearly draw a line in the sand & say that your reasons for not consuming something have something to do with a moral stand and not a matter of merely not having time to consume sth, people are nervous you’re becoming a sjw and trying to test you for hypocrisy to prove they don’t need to care what you think.
b/c they don’t seem to understand that caring what someone else thinks is always going to be on them in the end anyway, and life’s too short to care about everything and some of the reasons (not all, but for real, it’s always, always going to be some) we choose not to care about shit will be because the creators, publishers, distributors, whatevers, are people who have committed a crime, who have attacked people or used their platform to inspire other people to do it for them, and who do not deserve the attention we could pay them if they had not done what they’ve done, some of these reasons will go way beyond “oh well i just don’t like them because [superficial wonkery]”.
a lot of folks have trouble dealing with that. people have been raised up so enmeshed in the machinery of corporatized capitalist liberalism and have so thoroughly internalized the idea that all thoughts are post-critical, sub-moral marketing opportunities to be exploited by all who encounter them that it sounds like “objectivism” to say “these are the facts and because these are the facts i am walking away and it doesn’t really matter about feelings because these facts do mean something” and we don’t even register that we’re doing it; we live in a schizopolitical state where reality has no market value and no one can trust facts and this has, inevitably, spread to interpersonal relationships. it’s terrible and effective. our decision-making process should probably not be run like a flea market.
we are not all going to get along. we are not all capable of being friends. and that’s fine. one of the most important things about taking care of ourselves, that the internet so often forgets, is giving ourselves permission to burn bridges, giving ourselves permission to fuck right off, giving ourselves permission to just fucking say “no” to whatever the fuck we want so we can contextualize and give weightier meaning when we do say “yes”. and that yeah, we have to give that permission to ourselves, because no one else will give it to us until we take it away from them first.
everyone can and will draw the line at different places and differently when they do draw it, but some of the places we draw those lines at shouldn’t be taken as excuses to cross them in front of us and people have trouble understanding the notion of consequence.
not everyone has to like things. not everyone has to be anyone’s friend. we are not commodities. we are people. people are not follower counts, they are individual little lives that you cannot control and cannot predict. if you are not helpful to someone else’s well-being then it doesn’t matter if you were someone who mattered to their emotional growth or whatever they have every right to walk away and that includes walking away from the things you make.
everyone deserves to be loved, sure. but everyone is a broad category, and everyone does not deserve to be loved by everyone.
cis people are telling me (through heavy implication so that I can never point to a quote, so they have an escape clause) that they’re more accepting of trans people than I am because I don’t think Jared Leto was a realistic transwoman! They’re telling a transwoman that they know more about being trans than a transwoman! I’m feel like my mind got turned fucking inside out! I mean that’s oppression right? people in privilege literally telling me I don’t understand my own oppression? fuck having rational arguments about this fuck THAT fuck THAT fuck it
yes, that is textbook oppression. i am so sorry.
PSA FOR CISGENDER PEOPLE: NO TRANS PERSON is required to be “rational” about this situation, whatever the fuck THAT even means, thanks tone policing.
the gross misrepresentation and self-congratulatory pseudo-liberalness going on around dallas buyers club is not just deeply fucking disappointing, it actually puts people’s lives in danger because to speak out constructively about it trans people have to out themselves and EVEN THEN they aren’t taken as experts
if you cannot listen to trans people and help them boost their messages you have no business speaking today.
Hey come on, I wasn’t being patronizing. I was honestly asking. Because, again, all of these things (which if true are beyond AWFUL) were on the record when you wrote a very glowing review of Hannah and Her Sisters, praising Woody Allen and his art.
I didn’t know about the situation with Dylan until they came up again recently and yeah, they changed my opinion of him entirely. I could rationalize that even if it was kind of weird that Allen ended up in a relationship with his adult stepdaughter, she was an adult. Hearing about the things I didn’t know about for the first time this year changed how I felt entirely. And yeah, I do regret that essay in hindsight.
The fact that this dude does not seem to register the condescension and passive aggressive smarm leaking out of each of his successive comments about this just really, really bothers me.
also, I’m never going to start softening on the Woody Allen thing and I’m not going to be like, “yeah, go you, Cate, for saying that thing, that negates the whole shoutout to a child molester!” so if that annoys you, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
“How has she become one of those people who wears yoga pants all day? She used to make fun of those people. With their happiness maps and their gratitude journals and their bags made out of recycled tire treads. But now it seems possible that the truth about getting older is that there are fewer and fewer things to make fun of until finally there is nothing you are sure you will never be.”—
Ha. I’ve said for a while now that one of the essential truths about growing up seems to be that your illusions about what kind of person you are get progressively shattered (you know, to the core of your being, that you are not a person who would do or feel [x], then you realize that you are a person who has done or felt [x]), but this quotation is a little more eloquent than I am about it.
True, I’m having a morning where (apropos of nothing but the last year and a half in general) I feel like employers have decided en masse not to give me a chance and therefore even passing references to people making money/having jobs/supporting themselves cause me almost physical pain, but I think I can boil it down further: actually growing up, as opposed to just growing older, means coming home to the truth that you are not above anything.
“The words “dream logic” can be a kind of epithet to some TV fans, often used to excuse stories where the events don’t make rational sense, because there are cool images or plot twists. What’s unique about Hannibal is that it actually becomes better the further it leaves logic behind. It’s careful to always keep one toe in reality—the ways that Hannibal manipulates and casually destroys those around him more or less make rational sense—but for the most part, it feels far more comfortable to pursue the idea that Hannibal is almost a demonic force, sent from hell to corrupt the world.”—
“…trolling used to be pretty funny and almost entirely harmless. Trolling, despite the modern usage, does not mean “the act of pissing somebody off and laughing about their anger.” It is “the act of pissing somebody off BASED ON SOMETHING COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS and laughing about their MISPLACED anger.” It isn’t considered trolling to leave a comment full of racial epithets and laugh when people “don’t get it.” It is trolling if you leave a comment insisting on the wrong information about something irrelevant – how many runes are on a Stargate, for example (everybody knows its 12) – and wait for the ONE guy that just can’t let the transgression pass. If you start a fake fight with Prof. Stargate, dragging him deeper and deeper until hopefully, finally, even he has to stop and think “wait a minute, this is ridiculous,” that is trolling. That’s the difference: No actual harm is caused, and even the victim can eventually get in on the joke. “Trolling” isn’t referring to hiding behind a fortification and trying to hurt people like the mythical creature. It’s referring to the style of fishing – you drag bait across the bottom hoping to get a rare bite. It’s not ‘bait’ if you’re earnestly spouting your misogynistic beliefs and somebody gets upset. There’s nothing funny about entirely justified anger.”—
This doesn’t mean I think trolling in it’s original form is not a jerk thing to do, but it’s worth pointing out I think. The next couple of paragraphs are good too:
This ‘ha ha, you got mad, so you lose’ attitude is the exact same reason we all collectively decided not to like hipsters very much: It’s because they were hiding behind a rigged game. Everything was ironic. You can say they look good, and they take the compliment. But you can’t say they look like shit, because they’re TRYING to look like shit. You can say you love their band, and you get a “thanks bro!” But you can’t say their band sucks, because it’s SUPPOSED to suck. They were so afraid of judgment that they only did things under the protective cloak of irony, so that if you didn’t like it, you could be accused of not getting it. There was no losing condition. Same with people saying shitty things to each other on the internet under the guise of “humor.”
If this kind of thing was still confined to YouTube comments – then fuck it, who cares? But it’s not. It spills out. It’s everywhere now, even seeping into reality: There are people walking the Earth today who genuinely think, in all aspects of their lives, that somebody getting pissed off at them for valid reasons means they win something. If some asshole says something in assholish to you, and you respond to him as you would an asshole, he wins, because you’re mad. If you don’t respond, then clearly he’s just saying what we’re all thinking, so he wins again. There’s no losing condition to this ‘game,’ and that makes it not a game. Being a dick isn’t funny, because you’re not making jokes. It isn’t clever, because you’re not outsmarting anybody. It isn’t winning; it’s cowardice. You have no excuse not to treat people with a basic level of respect, whether they make jokes or coffee for a living, whether they’re online or in line in front of you at the movie theater.