Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Will To Outrage

A rather good article.
The reaction to the cartoon, however, was indicative of what one might call the will to outrage. This will precedes any object to which it might attach, and many people wait as if in ambush for something to feel angry about, pouncing on it with leopard-like joy (the leopard, so I was told in Africa, is particularly dangerous, for it kills for pleasure and not only for food).

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Speaking of the American Soul

I've written in the past a bit about the driverless car and how the enthusiasm for such machines reflects the infantilization of American adults. I'd argue the huge popularity and critical praise for the new Star Wars reflects the same thing. But here's an even more conspicuous sign: adult coloring book parties. 
Yoga, Zumba and CrossFit weren’t enough to calm us down. Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga may have helped for a while, but they are part of the electronic-device world, with its upsetting emails and Facebook rants. So, seeking solace in a scary world, some adults are heading back to kindergarten.
Soon, they'll be selling tickets for adults to head back into the womb.


Film: The Revenant

A very serious film. VERY SERIOUS. I don't think there was a single joke in the film. Nor an ounce of anything resembling wit. But who has time for such frivolities when making SERIOUS ART.

All that said, I still kinda liked it because if a film has guns, snow, bears, and men trying to kill one another, I'm basically pre-programmed to enjoy it, even if it's a humorless, naive attempt at trying to convey something wrong with the American soul.

Monday, December 28, 2015


Films: Joy, The Big Short

Joy was quite good and maybe even excellent. I skipped in and out of The Big Short because it felt like a lecture from a dumbass.
America, 2016

Dog poop found outside a black cultural center turns out not to be hate crime, but the work of a seeing eye dog. A must read. Hat tip, Viner.

My favorite part is the conclusion:
Your life is going to suck once you leave college and have to get a real job. And one day you're going to be sitting at your desk thinking, "Why was I such a goddamn loser in college? I should have been having the time of my life and instead I was busy writing about fake hate poop."  
Second piece of advice, I'm a double Vandy alum. If you think Vandy sucks then your life is going to suck beyond belief once you leave campus. Seriously. You have no idea of the hell that is coming your way. Right now all you have to do is go to class for 15 hours a week. You can eat and sleep as much as you want. You have abundant sex partners. People are incredibly nice to you. The grading scale is cake. You live in a country club bubble where there's always a pick-up basketball, soccer or ultimate frisbee game going on, alcohol is easy to find, parties are plentiful. And you're still bitching? You're in for a world of hurt, kids.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Film: Star Wars The Force Awakens

If I'm to understand the film correctly, if fricking R2-D2 would've just woken up, all that destruction could've been avoided.

But seriously, the first hour or so was entertaining (not good), and then the last hour was the exact same plot as the first Star Wars. I'm trying to figure out the proper analogy, and I'm debating whether it was like going to a Rolling Stones concert in 2015 where they play their greatest hits, seeing a Rolling Stones cover band in 2015 play their greatest hits, or watching a Rolling Stones cover band play their own original music.

I also want to point out to anyone who thinks I'm a bitter hater, there was a significant part in the film where a character is sticking his hand out toward another character's head and trying very hard to extract information from inside that head. The other character is trying very hard not to let this person extract information from her head. I imagine if this was written in some type of spec script or shot in a student film, the moment would garner jeers and laughter. I feel it important to point this out this occurred in what will be the highest grossing film of all time. And then it makes me ponder whether there is any cultural relevance to that honor.

Update: Found this review, which is considerably better put that mine.

Saturday, December 19, 2015


TV: Fargo season 2

End of the season was disappointing. The whole Homzi betrayal storyline didn't work for me.

Film: Diary of a Teenage Girl

For my money, this was considerably better and more honest and realistic than anything Lena Dunham's ever made. I quite enjoyed it, despite this type of film not really being my cup of tea. Felt almost European. Also, I laughed a number of times.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Film: Jobs

Surprised I enjoyed this one as much as I did. Although, I found the ending terrible and over saccharine. Perhaps because I saw it on DVD vs. the theater. It is entirely possible Sorkin plays better on the small screen.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Outrage

On our failure in Afghanistan.

I know scant about our military except that for "the most powerful in the world," we sure seem to have trouble winning wars.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Dinesh D'Souza eviscerates an Amherst social justice advocate.

He persuasively points out several things: On the issue of conquest and ill gotten wealth from the past, he suggests we have two options to deal with this:

1. Equal rights and protection under the law, which is the point of the Civil Rights Movement and basically says, "stop the unfairness" going forward.

2. Rectifying past wrongs. Doing a calculus of history and figuring out who stole what from whom and trying to redistribute.

The social justice warrior advocates number 2 and D'Souza asks the kid a few questions:

1. Are you a product of privilege? Kids says yes.

2. What have you done to give up that privileges for others? The kid says he tutored other kids in high school.

D'Souza asks why he doesn't give up his position at Amherst for a disadvantaged, unprivileged person? The kid hems and haws and D'Souza goes in for the kill. He says, "Amherst IS privilege." And all the social justice warriors want to take other people's privilege and hand it out to others, but they won't give up their own.

And he's absolutely right, which makes clear why their positions are unpersuasive.