[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2019-06-07

They say that hate is learned

Filed under: Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:18

You see a meme from time to time that no one born with hate. That hate is learned. There is usually a photo of babies, or of Nelson Mandela.

I don’t think that’s entirely true. I think some people are born with hate — or perhaps, are born with something else missing. The part that feels compassion. The part that sees other people as people.

And I think there are more people like that than most of us realize. A lot more.

Tuesday, 2019-06-04

“Song Of The South” (1946)

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:09

“Song Of The South” was based on stories compiled by a white man, yes, but they were the stories of African-Americans, and Harris tried his best to tell them faithfully. Joel Chandler Harris was a journalist who actually cared about the people whose stories he was sharing. It’s easy to say, “Oh, those should have been shared by African-Americans,” but at the time, that wasn’t an option. If he hadn’t collected them, those stories might be lost now.

As for the movie, it is not the racist propaganda that people who have never seen it assume it to be. If anything, it’s the opposite. For example, it shows a world where black and white children play together — in a movie made at the height of the Jim Crow era. The songs won awards, and the wonderfully talented James Baskett won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Uncle Remus — the first African American to win one (he wasn’t allowed to accept it at the main ceremony, due to idiotic 20th century racism). The worst thing that can be said about the movie is that the live action parts are dull, aside from when James Baskett is singing.

I know it’s just a dumb Disney movie, but I wish people recognized that “Song Of The South” was a small step forward for our society, at a time we really needed it.

Friday, 2019-05-31

Definition of “science fiction”

Filed under: Philosophy,Writing — bblackmoor @ 09:04

[əns fikSHən]
noun

“Science fiction” is that subset of fantasy that uses the vocabulary of science to lend verisimilitude to the story.

First known use: 1925

Wednesday, 2019-05-29

What do you call a Christian without love or mercy?

Filed under: Civil Rights,Philosophy,Politics — bblackmoor @ 09:27

American “Christians” are funny. It’s like they don’t even know the New Testament exists. Their god died for them so that they could love and be loved unconditionally, but they turn their backs on that so that they can continue to indulge their hate.

They should call themselves “Antichristians”. Everything Jesus said to do, they do the opposite.

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Galatians 5:14

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

Matthew 7:1

Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

1 John 2:4

“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’ ”

Matthew 15 7-9

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A transgendered man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the transgendered man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the transgendered man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the transgendered man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the transgendered man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.

Sunday, 2019-05-12

Bodily autonomy

Filed under: Philosophy,Science — bblackmoor @ 18:35

I’ve seen a lot of good arguments against oppressing women — and a lot of hypocritical and/or morally bankrupt arguments for it.

I’d not seen this take on it before. The place I found it had it as an image, so I have transcribed it here.

If my younger sister was in a car accident and desperately needed a blood transfusion to live, and I was the only person on Earth who could donate blood to save her, and even though donating blood is a relatively easy, safe, and quick procedure no one can force me to give blood. Yes, even to save the life of a fully-grown person, it would be illegal to force me to donate blood if I didn’t want to.

See, we have this concept called “bodily autonomy.” It’s this… cultural notion that a person’s control over their own body is above all important and must not be infringed upon.

Like, we can’t even take life saving organs from corpses unless the person whose corpse it is gave consent before their death. Even corpses get bodily autonomy.

To tell people that they must sacrifice their bodily autonomy for 9 months against their will in an incredibly expensive, invasive, difficult process to save what you view as another human life (a debatable claim in the early stages of pregnancy when the vast majority of abortions are performed) is desperately unethical. You can’t even ask people to sacrifice bodily autonomy to give up organs they aren’t using anymore after they have died.

You’re asking people who can become pregnant to accept less bodily autonomy than we grant to dead bodies.

(copied from a user called fandomsandfeminism)

Naturally, when I was looking for the original source for this (which I didn’t find), I found some hypocritical and/or morally bankrupt responses to it.

But here’s the thing: if your first reaction, on reading this, is to try and find some ethical loophole that will allow you to continue to oppress and enslave women while the tattered scraps of your conscience maintain plausible deniability, you are a terrible person. Take a long look in the mirror, and ask yourself how you became this shallow mockery of a human being.

Saturday, 2019-05-04

“Avengers Endgame” (2019)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 20:09

I made some notes during “Avengers Endgame” (2019). Sadly, the condensation from my icewater rendered my nearly incomprehensible handwriting completely incomprehensible.

But I’ll try to decipher it. There are, as you might reasonably expect, “spoilers” below. (If you care about that. Personally, I think the movie is entirely predictable and that “spoilers” don’t apply. But you do you.)

  • 20 minutes – Get on with it
  • 40 minutes – Finally, some action… briefly
  • 75 minutes – Thor is … The Dude
  • 80 minutes – Is the movie going to start, finally?
  • 105 minutes – Nebula is hard core
  • 115 minutes – I know what this reminds me of: the extended edition of “Lord Of The Rings”, where they included all of the extra scenes which were interesting in a “DVD extras” kind of way, but which weren’t included in the theatrical release because they would have slowed it down and had people checking the time. All of these “Ant Man irons his pants” type scenes would be great in an extended director’s cut, to watch after one has seen the two-hour theatrical release. On the other hand, one of these scenes made me tear up a little bit. (I do not remember which one.)
  • 150 minutes – Blah blah blah. Thanos loves to hear himself talk. Why does every wanna-be mass-murdering fanatic want to bore people to death listening to his manifesto?
  • 170 – Can’t make it to the funeral on the day your dear friend is being interred? No problem! It’s a green screen funeral!

Final thoughts…

I thought it was an okay movie. It was entirely what I expected, which is what it is. It was a little more predictable than most of the movies that led up to it, but that’s a given, really. I mean, did anyone not say to themselves, “This is where Captain Marvel shows up,” about thirty seconds before everyone looks up and notices the big space ship isn’t shooting at them anymore? But you can’t really blame the movie for that. They set up the story arc and the characters in the previous few movies, and at this point it’s just dominos falling. But aside from all that, I enjoyed it, once it got going (which was a little over an hour after it started).

However, I do have some problems with the plot. As I have mentioned before, Thanos’ plan to cut the universe’s population would put us back to 1971 population levels. Not even 50 years. Whoop-de-doo (in the big scheme of things). On the other hand, what do you suppose would happen if the Earth’s population were to double suddenly? Like say, five years after everyone has adapted to those people being gone? All of the jobs have been filled or eliminated. Food supplies have been reduced to what’s needed. People who lost loved ones have mourned and moved on, and in many cases have remarried.

Imagine the chaos, the misery, the starvation and death that would follow when the population doubles in an instant. This is not a happy ending.

Monday, 2019-04-29

Folly, thou conquerest

Filed under: Science,Society — bblackmoor @ 08:16

Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain. Exalted reason,
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who art thou then if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly’s uncurbed steed,
Must, vainly shrieking with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
Accursed, who striveth after noble ends,
And with deliberate wisdom forms his plans!
To the fool-king belongs the world.

— Friedrich Schiller, predicting the existence of anti-vaxxers and climate deniers

Sunday, 2019-04-14

Titans

Filed under: Comics,Television — bblackmoor @ 12:36

Just watched the first episode of Titans. It’s an interesting take on the characters. Sort of a dark, low-budget alternate universe interpretation. It’s better than any of the trailers and promo material made it look. Even their version of Starfire is actually pretty interesting, despite the liberties they took with the character.

On one level., I wander why they bothered calling this “Titans” when the characters are so different from their comicbook and carton counterparts. It’s the same thing I wonder about Star Trek Discovery. It’s not a bad show, but it’s so clearly not Star Trek — why bother trying to piggyback on the Star Trek name?

But i guess that answers my question. Even though they are pretty good, these shows wouldn’t have a fraction of the viewers if they didn’t have a recognized name plastered on them.

Update: Up to episode 7, the one where the bad guys are precognitive and the good guys are morons: two of my least favourite superhero tropes. The show is paused and I am debating whether to just stop here and add this to the growing list of genre TV shows I stopped watching midway through the first season.

Update: I gritted my teeth and got past the dumb part, and it got a bit better. This was the worst episode so far. Most of the show has actually been pretty good, so I’ll keep watching it.

In general, I think this is an interesting “alternate universe” take on the Teen Titans.

Incidentally, you know what this episode felt like? It felt like the suits didn’t like the way the show was going, and forced the writers to make a detour. The same shit happened to the 2007 “Bionic Woman” remake.

Suits, man. 🙁

Update: They’ve done a much better job with Hawk & Dove than they did with Cloak & Dagger. I bailed on Cloak & Dagger after six episodes, and I would not have gotten that far if I didn’t love the comic and kept hoping the show would get better.

Update: Episode 10. I’m just of kind of rolling my eyes at it now. It hasn’t gotten any better since things took a suckward turn at episode 7. I’ll let it play out while I am working, but I won’t be looking for a second season of this, if there is one.

Final update: And I’m done. That’s 11 hours I’d like to get back. Re-watching the Teen Titans cartoon would have been a better use of my time.

Saturday, 2019-04-06

“Toxic masculinity” isn’t new

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 16:33

I had a conversation earlier today in SWTOR general chat. Some alt-right dipshit was complaining about “cucks” and how “toxic masculinity” was demonizing and/or feminizing all men, and other such hateful nonsense. I pointed out that “toxic masculinity” was just a new name for something very old: the loudmouths and bullies who were the villains in every Western made in the 1940s and 1950s. And that calls for men to be better than that were nothing more than a call to return to the values epitomized by John Wayne and Alan Ladd.

I then pointed out that the problem today is that too many people hear the song “Coward Of The County” and think that the Gatlin boys are the heroes of the story.

Personally, I think “The Quiet Man” (1952) and “Shane” (1953) should be required viewing for any boy who thinks being a bully is part of being a man.

P.S. My SWTOR referral link is
http://www.swtor.com/r/zCgQQY

Monday, 2019-03-11

Captain Marvel

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 08:31

We saw “Captain Marvel” last night. It was okay. It reminded me of “Doctor Strange” — lots of backstory and special effects, and then the main character can suddenly do anything and automatically wins.

I think I would have liked it better if they had cast a better actor as Captain Marvel. Brie Larson does “impassive” and “serious” well, but most of the time when her character laughed or smiled, it came across as forced and fake (John Agar had the same problem). I think her most believable scenes are opposite Akira Akbar as a very young Monica Rambeau — in those, she comes across as genuine. But personally, I think Samara Weaving would have been better in the part. Ah, well.

I really liked Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, and Gemma Chan as Minn-Erva. I thought they were more interesting than Carl Danvers and Nick Fury (although Sam Jackson is always interesting).

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