[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Monday, 2017-05-22

Morgellon’s disease

Filed under: Science,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:46

I recently heard about a phenomenon called “Morgellon’s disease“. Reading about it, I am finding the situation eerily familiar: amateur “experts” think they know more than actual experts, and construct elaborate conspiracy theories to explain why scientists don’t agree with them, when in fact the amateur “experts” are in denial (some even suffering from legitimate mental illness).

Saturday, 2017-05-20

Republicans are not conservative

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 11:09

We really need to stop calling Republicans “conservative”. They are not, by any objective measure, conservative: not fiscally, not socially, not philosophically, not environmentally. The Democrats are conservative; the Greens and Socialists are liberal; the Republicans are batshit crazy. Call them fascists, or religious extremists, or just cut to the chase and call them evil. But don’t call them conservative. Because they aren’t. They are the party of lies, hatred, and death.

Friday, 2017-05-19

Euphemisms

Filed under: Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:40

I am reminded, once again, that the original Star Trek remains an example to which we can aspire. I hope that some day we will care more about people’s intentions than we do about their vocabulary.

Tuesday, 2017-05-16

The return of Republican Hitler

Filed under: History,Humour,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:41

It appears that Hillary Clinton has replaced Barack Obama as the bogeyman responsible for all of the evil things in the world that the Republicans are so bravely fighting against. So I updated my #republicanhitler meme. I guess when given a clear choice, Republicans really do hate women more than they hate black people. I am mildly surprised.

Moving forward

Filed under: About Me,Philosophy,Society,Travel — bblackmoor @ 09:03

I realized yesterday that I don’t want to move to somewhere I have already lived. I think of that as moving backward. It occurs to me that this is not how most people think.

Also, I would really like to move somewhere not populated by ignorant bigots and ruled by a death cult.

Monday, 2017-05-15

The problem of “free speech”

Filed under: Civil Rights,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 09:13

For most of my life, I have been a steadfast supporter of “free speech” — the principle that anyone should be allowed to say anything, as long as they do not cause physical harm to another person. By “allowed”, I mean legally allowed, which is not the same thing as being socially acceptable. I have opposed laws against “hate speech”, for example, even though I think that in everyday conversation, such remarks should be condemned by others who hear them.

The problem is that we have somehow become a society that does not recognize the vast gulf between “socially acceptable” behaviour and “legally permitted behaviour“. Americans have accepted the premise that anything legally permissible is also acceptable.

I’m not sure how this happened. I suspect that it is a result of our attempts to legislate against things which have been considered socially unacceptable (the American war against drug users being the most obvious example). If socially unacceptable behaviour is against the law, but ruthlessly harassing someone for being female isn’t against the law, it must be okay, yes?

Whenever challenged on their obnoxious behaviour, the worst examples of human garbage proclaim they are simply exercising their right to “free speech”. The cry of “free speech” has accompanied the rise of “talk radio” in the 1980s (which is little more than Nazi propaganda masquerading as news), the spread of white-male supremacist asshat movements like “gamerhate” and “sad/rabid puppies“, culminating with the election of a vulgar narcissist as President of the United States.

How have Americans come to value vulgarity above civility and factuality? I think it is because we have placed too much emphasis on our “right to free speech”. It has become a sort of idol, which we worship by saying the most egregiously offensive things possible. That is bad enough. What concerns me more is that we have entire media empires spreading fiction as though it’s news, and huge portions of the population are rejecting facts and embracing the most ludicrous of falsehoods.

Frankly, I think it’s too late to fix it. The avalanche of lies has started, and it’s too late to stop it. We elevated “free speech” to a religion, and we are paying the price.

But I have a suggestion for the survivors of the next revolution, when they begin writing the next set of sacrosanct documents by which they will chart their destinies:

Limit “freedom of speech”. Prohibit the promotion of discredited scientific theories and outright falsehoods, and give serious thought to prohibiting language that encourages the victimization of any category of people. Somehow, make it clear that there is no need to “tolerate intolerance”.

Maybe if the next civilization extols civility, factual accuracy, and scientific inquiry, rather than “free speech” and “freedom of religion”, they can avoid our mistakes.

Thursday, 2017-05-11

MST3K Kickstarter swag

Filed under: Movies,Television — bblackmoor @ 20:13

This arrived today: my swag from the “new” Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter. I am debating whether to keep them or sell them on Ebay. I am leaning toward selling them: they are a painful reminder of what could have been. “What could have been”, of course, is a new Mystery Science Theater that is actually good. Or at least, not utterly dreadful, which is what it is.

Utterly dreadful.

It needn’t have been dreadful. It could have been great. If they’d not edited the movies for time or content (they are actually shorter than the Comedy Central episodes!). If they’d not taken the lazy way out with the invention exchanges (I mean, seriously, why did they even bother). If the riffs were not being recited at double-speed like old-timey auctioneers. If the voice actors for Tom Servo and Crow didn’t sound indistinguishable from each other. If the lyrics of the opening theme didn’t jar egregiously with the melody, and if it didn’t pause inexplicably for ten seconds for no apparent reason (why? why??). If the three-person puppeteering of Tom and Crow wasn’t worse than the worst that Josh, Trace, Kevin, or Bill ever did. If the interior of the Satellite Of Love didn’t look like a cheap painted backdrop. If the Hexfield Viewscreen (TM) hadn’t been replaced with a simple screen that drops from the ceiling. If Gypsy hadn’t been attached the ceiling for no apparent reason, limiting her movement and interactivity. If they hadn’t made Tom Servo’s arms stiff and even less articulate. And don’t get me started on the dysfunctional in-theater performances (flying stiff-armed Tom Servo, random Gypsy luggage-handling, lip-synced riffing… again: why??).

Did I mention the completely unnecessary editing of the films? That, by itself, is enough reason to eschew this travesty.

And yet, I am glad I supported the Kickstarter. Because it might have been great — or at least good. It might have been worth what I — and hundreds of other people — spent money on. It might have been….

sigh

Monday, 2017-05-08

Taglines for Republicans

Filed under: Humour,Politics — bblackmoor @ 11:06

I think Republicans need some help selling their message to folks who aren’t yet completely on board with embracing evil. So I wrote up some taglines for them.

“Remember: there is always someone poorer than you. Hate them! They are to blame for your problems.”

“Good is weak; Evil is strong. Support the Republican Party, and maybe we won’t kill you!”

“The only way to help yourself is to never help anyone else. A penny spent to help someone worse off than you is a penny wasted!”

“The United States is a Christian nation! Only the Republicans will preserve your precious freedom to support a Republican theocracy.”

“Remember: minimum wage laws are Socialism, which is anti-American. People who cook and serve your food deserve to starve!”

“War is good for the nation. Never question how much we spend on it. The more war, the better!”

“Remember: being a Republican is your only hope of becoming a victimizer, rather than a victim.”

“No matter who you are or what you believe, the Republican Party hates you: but we hate women and foreigners even more!”

“This message brought to you by the Republican Party: the party of lies, hatred, and death!”

Thursday, 2017-05-04

Republicans are evil

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 17:21

Anyone who calls themselves a Republican, or votes for a Republican, is just unapologetically evil. That wasn’t always true. But the Republicans of the 21st century aren’t the Republicans of 150 years ago, or 50 years ago, or even 20 years ago. It’s become the party of lies, hatred, and death.

Your Highness (2011)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 08:49

I have been rewatching a lot of 1980s fantasy movies lately. While putting Warrior And The Sorceress back on the shelf, I happened to notice Your Highness, which I’d completely forgotten about. I really like this movie. It’s a comedy, but it’s not a spoof. It’s like what would happen if a guy who really shouldn’t be in a 1980s fantasy movie got dragged into one against his will. Great cast, very funny, and has all of the best parts of the 1980s fantasy movies that I love.

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