All in All It’s just another, Another Brick in the Wall.

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Or not.  Recently a friend complained about the “drama” surrounding every little movie release, and every time an actor/actress (sorry, the stupidest thing in the world is using only the male name for a profession where performance is definitely gendered) flaps jaws and says something stupid and leftist.

He’s not wrong.  I’ve read conflicting reports of how “Woke” Captain Marvel is.  The upside of the movie seems to be that “it’s good popcorn fodder.”

But he’s also not right.

I understand the principle of saying that you shouldn’t attach too much importance (one way or another) to the pronouncements of creatures that are there for their physical attributes, and whose lines are written by someone else.  The left, after all, idolizes them as geniuses (snort, giggle) and the right, disgusted, apostrophizes them as monsters.  All of which is giving way too much credit to ego-inflated speakers-of-lines.

And I understand being upset that a movie one considers popcorn fodder is viewed as as evil as the Communist Manifesto.  That too is giving it too much importance as well as, potentially, not enjoying it for what it is, despite whatever clumsy messages Woke Hollywood thinks it snuck in.

I understand him. I even sympathize. You see, he’s much younger than I.

But…

But I remember what he doesn’t.  I remember a time when we gritted our teeth and read the books/watched  the movies of people who hated us, because they were the only game in town. If you liked to read, or if you liked movies, or even if you “just” liked to stay in touch with what people were seeing and talking about, you had to.   And of course, you had no idea anyone else was reading the messages of contempt and hatred for your nation/the west that came through loud and clear to you.  You wondered if it was all in your head.  And you didn’t talk about it.  You never talked about it.

Why not?  Because the blogs didn’t exist as an alternative opinion-maker.  The internet didn’t exist as a place to communicate to like-minded people.  The entirety of public opinion was formed by what the inimitable Sabrina Chase named the “News-entertainment industrial complex.”  And they were uniformly left.  In fact, the idea much of the left has of us, as stupid, credulous, uneducated and hateful is a remnant from those days when every conservative on shows/the media were portrayed that way.

But they were the only game in town, so of course people thought they were just reporting what happened.  What would YOU think?

Thing is, they still have a lot of power.  Sure, not as much as they used to. They didn’t get to elect Hillary! By the force of propaganda.  They did manage to choose who’d run against her, but then the slip intervened between cup and lip, because a lot of the American people went mule, hooves stuck in the dirt and said “No. And also, gaze upon my middle fingers.” (These mules have hooves and fingers.  Deal.)

BUT as I was reminded recently reading a story of a friend who isn’t even really leftist, just fairly apolitical but grew up in the same times I did, the stereotypes the years of monolithic information and entertainment, uniformly leftist, built a fund of stereotypes upon which our culture coasts.  Ie. For instance, if you grew up in that time, you’re likely to believe a Southern Preacher is ignorant and superstitious.

Are there Southern Preachers who are ignorant and superstitious. Sure there are. But there are also a good number of them who are educated, well-read men of genuine faith.  The possibility of this is much higher if you’re talking about one of the better known denominations, but possibly the best-read preacher I ever encountered came from a tiny sect.  And religion is not superstition or lack of understanding of science.  Or at least, my religious, scientist friends are not superstitious. Nor stupid.

And of course, my friend knows that if he stops to think. But when you need a minor character, you often reach for central casting, which was entirely staffed by the stereotypes the Media Industrial complex disseminated when you were too young to think.

It’s still there.  And worse than finding it in print, you find it in the way people are evaluated, and it affects how promotions work, or – in the arts – how you’re viewed.

I’ve gone the many many rounds on this, and you’re likely to get more out of the posts Dave Freer has done on Mad Genius club.  (Search for statistics. He’s done a bunch.)

But let’s just say it wasn’t – and isn’t – a coincidence that all the acclaimed writers and artists of the post-war 20th and early 21st centuries are almost uniformly to the left of Lenin.  And no, it’s not because the left is more creative. (I dare you to look at Hollywood’s more recent offerings and say that without laughing.)

If anything the left, in this 4th generation of cultural dominance, is less creative. They’re coasting on the subconscious image built by their cohorts in the media for decades. The image that artists and “smart people” are leftist, if not outright communist.

No? Go look at the portrayal of communists in entertainment.  They’re daring, and perhaps troubled, but so smart. Even in Agatha Christie.

And when the Soviet Union imploded and exposed the sewer of lies at the heart of this bullshit, the media ignored it. If there’s a communist or extreme left character in a movie or acclaimed book today, their biggest defect is that they care too much.

On such lies are personalities and would-be dictators like Occasional Cortex built. And Obama. Who almost destroyed us.

And if you’re an artist or writer, or even peripherally involved in the arts and seeing things up close and personal you see how the sausage is made: the easiest ride to the top is given by liberal privilege.

For at least thirty years now, I look at the “darlings” in my field and roll my eyes and know they’re only where they are because they give good Marxism.  (A darling is not just a bestseller. It’s a fawned upon bestseller, the sort trotted out for all the cushy speaking engagements and “acclaimed” academic pieces.  The right has some bestsellers. They got there with more work than should be possible. And a little luck. But mostly work. And there are a lot fewer of them, because it needs everything hitting just right.)

I can’t evaluate myself – can anyone? – but I know some of these “oh, so smart” “great writers” are less competent than my fledglings who have a couple of indie books under their belts. It’s not hard to tell. They often fail at basic craft points.

Note I’m not saying there are no talented people on the left.  Dave Freer says that the distribution of raw talent should be about the same on both sides, judging by other historical eras. I never argue with him on this stuff, because I’m not that crazy.

I’m saying that due to liberal privilege they get the acclaim and fawning before they even develop their craft.  Which, humans being humans, often means they never develop it, because they don’t realize they’re not great yet.

And each of them and the acclaim they get contributes to the image that art is a leftist thing and that leftists are “so smart.”

And this is where I disagree with my young friend. Sure. The right bellyaches a lot about some actress running her mouth, and they make too much of “hidden messages” in books.

But it’s not only natural, it’s needed.

It’s natural, because – as with an immunity to a disease – the more you’re exposed to Marxism, the more you come to want to fight even miniscule amounts of it.  And the amounts aren’t and weren’t so miniscule.  If you suffered through not being able to find a book/movie/song without a political message that offended you, you will forever detect and be driven mad by such messages in your entertainment.

I know my husband doesn’t even see things that have me sputtering and leaving the room before putting a shoe through the screen.

It’s needed because every one of those movies and books, unchallenged, builds onto the stereotypes they’ve been lovingly polishing for a century.  And those stereotypes, in turn, convey the impression that liberalism is not just smart and true, but the only view anyone else has.

With education, it’s the pillar holding the left’s cultural power, now they don’t have a monopoly of the means of communication.

And it’s a bad thing.

So, should you see a movie whose actress has been promoting it as “so woke” and in which a lot of people on the right see despicable messages.

I don’t know.  I shouldn’t. You get in even more trouble for putting a shoe through a movie screen. But I wouldn’t be upset if my husband saw it. (He probably will, in the fullness of time, because he sees a lot of stuff.)

I would, however, insist on telling him what the actress has been saying and what SHE THINKS the movie she starred in means.  After he watches it.

Because I won’t interfere with his entertainment, but neither will I let the stereotypes and straw men the left builds go unchallenged.

I can’t. I remember when they were.  And I know where they’re leading us.

I don’t want to go there.  And if you think for a moment, neither do you.

Sure, drama is unsightly.  But not complaining of the stupid messages in – even – popcorn entertainment?

All in all it’s just another, another brick in the wall.

303 responses to “All in All It’s just another, Another Brick in the Wall.

  1. Side note: as a general rule, whichever side of the political spectrum is opposed by the media establishment will inevitably be more creative, on average, than the side supported by it.
    Why?
    Because the side supported by the media establishment will almost always not work as hard as it could, because it knows that it does not have to, whereas the side opposed by the media establishment knows that it must work harder in order to get anywhere close to the same recognition.
    The degree to which this is the case is directly correlated to the amount of support and opposition given by establishment figures.

    • Yep. Also in a true patriarchy, the few women who make it in the arts will be amazing. And vice versa. Which is how you know we’re NOT a patriarchy.

      • Margaret Ball

        Snarf! Now I have to clean the coffee off the keyboard. Again.

      • We are in a patriarchy…the worst patriarchy every, but my betters assure me it is a patriarchy.

        Personally, there are days I’m ready to support any candidate offering the real thing just to give feminists what they clearly want good and hard.

      • Yeah. Back when women had to fight to get into things, the women who made it were amazing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate into “all women are amazing at this, and only prevented at being it by patriarchy”, it translated to “most women are average, and if you not only drop the barriers but also subsidize stupidity, ignorance, and shoddy work, then you’ll get a lot more of that for less than average outcome.”

        • I love some of the fun applications such as, “But every woman can flight like Amelia Earhart, so they should be all the pilots.”

          Uhmmm…

        • In some things, women still do. If I’ve got, for example, a pair of general contractors, one male and one female, all else *seeming* equal I’ll take the woman, because if you’re a lady in the trades, you damned well WANT to be there, instead of just sort of falling into it as something “easier than college”.

          I say seeming because, unless I’ve come across the greatest home improvement guy since Bob Villa, if they look similar, the lady’s worked harder for it. But in many fields, that’s simply no longer the case.

          • In MOST fields it’s no longer the case. And before you hire her, make sure she didn’t make it through female-owned business subsidies and bidding for government contracts.
            The poison has gone everywhere.
            Me? Male female small furry animal: I’m for MERITOCRACY.

            • Eh. I work on a government contract. I don’t care what fun-parts you have, if you’ve made your way bidding on government contracts, I am NOT hiring you. I cannot STAND dealing with MILCON.

    • Correlary to this is that art that must work around taboo to make its points (however small) is cleverer than art that doesn’t have to.

      Case in point; my prep-school put on PIPPIN one year. Because we would have an audience including a number of grandmothers and maiden aunts, the line (spoken by the character Charlamagne, of his wife) “Sometimes I wonder if the fucking I’m getting is worth the fucking I’m getting” had to be censored.

      It was altered to “Sometimes I wonder if the fornicating I’m getting is worth the fornicating I’m getting.”

      I maintain that that minor censorship constituted an improvement. Yes, Samuel L. Jackson says “motherfucker” with great authority and verve. But he deserves better, much of the time.

    • things would have been soooo much easier for me in film school if i had just parroted the party line…

  2. My wife and I routinely critique the movies and TV shows we watch (usually while we’re watching them) on just how unrealistic or unlikely (or both) the characters’ actions and speeches are. We’ve come to the conclusion that screenwriters are generally idiots. But being indoctrinated with what “everyone knows is true” would work too.

    An example. We just watched a made-for-TV movie where the protagonist was a newspaper crossword puzzle editor who helped the police solve some crimes (Yeah, unrealistic right from the start. Also, how do you parley that into a movie series? A spate of crossword-related crimes? Sure…) One of the clues left in a crossword was “a perfect score in bowling.” The editor said that was a strike, 10 pins, which meant the crime would take place at 10 PM. I said to my wife, a perfect score in bowling is 300, which would have told me the crime would take place at 3 AM. Also, a strike is worth 20 points, not 10, so the clue fails in yet another way. All of which proved to us that the writers knew absolutely nothing about bowling.

    All this sort of thing makes watching movies and TV interesting for something different than what the creators intend. We pretty much no longer get into the stories as they’re almost uniformly nonsensical. We see the presentations as puzzles, sort of like “Where’s Waldo?”, where you try to point out as many idiocies as you can. The one who finds the most (or the most egregious) wins!

    • “Also, a strike is worth 20 points, not 10, so the clue fails in yet another way.”

      Actually, a strike in regular ten-pin bowling is worth 10 to 30: 10 for the strike itself, plus whatever you get on your next two rolls. If you get a strike on the last frame you get two bonus rolls anyway. Thus the maximum possible score for any single frame is 30, and a perfect game is 30×10 = 300.

      (This correction brought to you by the local chapter of Nitpickers Anonymous. 🙂 )

      Anyway, I agree with you that half the fun of certain TV shows and movies is finding and pointing out all the little inaccuracies.

      • Picking nits so I don’t have to 🙂

      • Heh. You know, one reason why I generally like superhero, fantasy and more fantasy oriented science fiction movies is because when you have flying people and magic it’s a lot easier to let the inaccuracies about what seems to be more, er, down to earth, in those movies to just go too. So yes, flying people, so I guess something like guns which don’t need reloading or horses which never need to rest and so on are just part of that universe too.

        However when something is presented as realistic I start nitpicking.

        • It’s kindof hard to complain that a guy didn’t reload his plasma pistol when you don’t have any idea how many shots are in a plasma pistol.

          When you see someone with a revolver shoot 30 or so rounds without reloading, however, it’s kindof hard to accept, unless the action was so intense you lost track of it yourself.

          • 30 shots in a revolver is yeah….but at the same time there were 7 and 8 guns in the old west. They weren’t common, but they did exist so I’ll give a bit on a couple shots over.
            Was a plot point in a couple of L’Amour stories. Bad guy counts shots, thinks he has the hero unarmed and gets a big surprise.

            • And then of course there is when the number of shots left in the revolver are a plot pint: See Dirty Harry:

              Feel Lucky?

            • And then there are the number of times L’amour had his characters bluff using just such things. (I’m remembering a scene where one of the good guys, while bluffing the bad, claims to have a Colt Revolving Shotgun. Which did exist and was reasonably well known, if not exactly common. He had a normal single shotter, but it was dark and hard to tell. Most of the bad guys didn’t want to be the ones who found out one way or the other.)

            • Roger Ritter

              My favorite is the Walsh Superposed revolver, used in at least one story by (I think) Zane Grey. Six cylinders, but two shots per cylinder so a total of 12. And yes, it’s used in the story where a character has counted six shots from the protagonist and thinks it’s safe to rob him. It isn’t.

        • Actually it’s exactly those details that bug people. In Doorways In the Sand, we have alien cops undercover as a kangaroo and a wombat. Online discussion: would the professors at a college really object to a perpetual student riding on his uncle’s will that lets him live off the funds as long as he’s enrolled and doesn’t get a degree? (Conclusion: They just didn’t like HIM and used that as an excuse.)

      • OMG! You need to start a reality show called “Nitpickers!”

        • Donald Stephens

          That could actually work.

          You have nitpicker contestants who are given a obscure but once acclaimed or popular project from the past and their evaluation is coma red to the historic reactions.

          You then give them new works, and compare to an regular audience..

    • We’ve come to the conclusion that screenwriters are generally idiots.

      This is unfair. It is also probably true, but that is beside the point.

      It is in the nature of collaborative enterprises such as theatre that the group intelligence is approximately that of the intelligence of the dumbest person in a position of power within that group. No matter how smart a Writer writes, if the Director and/or the Leading Ladies (however plumbed) refuse to play it as written, then smartly written gets dumbed down.

      Screenwriter: “The time of the crime should be 3:00 because in bowling a perfect game is 300 points.”

      Cinematographer: “Lighting that for 3:00 is gonna be a royal pain in the tookus; can’t we set it at an earlier hour when there would still be plenty of ambient light?”

      Director: “Okay, we’ll change the line. What’s a perfect pitch, ten popints?”

      Screenwriter: “A perfect roll would be a strike, which gets ten points for the pins knocked down and then additional points for each pin knocked down on the next two balls rolled.”

      Director: “Crap! We can’t burn screen time explaining that, we need time for a cutaway to the worried woman’s cleavage. Just call it a strike, which means the crime will be done at 10, okay?”

      Cinematographer: “Works for me.”

      Actor: “I dunno – my mouth looks funny when I say a word like ‘strike’ — but when I say ‘perfect’ my lips pucker really sexily. Can’t I just say “perfect score’ like it’s written and we’ll cover the ‘ten’ stuff in the exposition?”

      Screenwriter: “-gurg- That 3:00 time for the crime is absolutely NECESSARY! It is critical to the story’s whole mise-en-scène.”

      Director: “Ten it is, then. Missy, you say “perfect score” and Evian, you say ‘that would be a ten!’ – okay? Fred, light it for evening. Drew, we really appreciate your working with us on this, howabout fetching me some hot coffee, okay?”

      • That sounds unfortunately much too likely. Your point is well-taken–writers are pretty generally overruled by pretty much everyone else involved in the production, from everything I’ve heard. So we won’t just blame the screenwriters then. We’ll blame the entire production staff. But fair warning–we won’t exempt the screenwriters either; I’m sure a goodly number of them truly are idiots. Sturgeon’s Law, after all…

        • A favorite quip about Hollywood: “That actress is so dumb she thinks the way to get ahead by sleeping with the screenwriter.”

        • Sounds a lot like Engineering & Marketing.

          Engineering: “Given the requirements must haves it can be ready for release by Halloween, next year.”

          Marketing: “No. Must be done by Christmas this year. The requirements are just a few tweaks.”

          Fast forward to this year Christmas.

          Marketing: “Is it done?”

          Engineering: “No.”

          Marketing: “But. WE. AGREED. Christmas This Year!”

          Engineering mumbling “who is this we? (inappropriate descriptive words added here)”

      • I remember JMS relating a story from back when he was working on Magnum PI (Or Murder She Wrote, not sure which). (I did a quick search for it, but didn’t find it online.)

        To summarize:

        Script has friend of Magnums following / tracking down bad guy for years due to some crime. Friend confronts bad guy who makes a comment along the lines of having his own personal Ahab.
        JMS turns in script and copy editor returns it with that phrase circled and the question ‘Who is Ahab? I don’t see him mentioned anywhere else in the script.’
        JMS responds that it is a reference to Moby Dick.
        Copy Editor responds with ‘Well, I didn’t get it, and I have a graduate degree, so take it out.’
        JMS takes it out, script gets filmed, JMS sends copy editor the comic book version of Moby Dick since it seems the copy editors speed.

        • I’ve been binge watching Supernatural and nearly once an episode is a line with a reference similar and it goes like this… Blah blah Ahab… blah. (looks at the other person) That’s from Moby Dick. (gets annoyed glance in return) Yeah, I know that. Like… Dean: Blah blah book reference. Sam: Did you just quote such and such? Dean: I have read a book Sam, geez. Like that.

          • But I thought it was us right wingers who were uneducated, ignorant, and anti-intellectual.

            Then again, I’ve been working through Orwell’s essays and it seems like I’ve gotten a whole new education.

        • I have long argued that American Academe can no longer teach American Literature as it has a) banished the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the first book to represent the American vernacular and b) banned the Bible, without which reference many elements of the other foundational American novel remain incomprehensible because such touches as “Call me Ishmael and naming the captain (king) of the ship Ahab lose all resonance.

        • I haven’t read Moby Dick (really) and *I* got it.

          It’s the (recent?) “pop culture” stuff that sails past me. I generally figure it as nothing of value lost.

          • Kids don’t watch Bugs Bunny anymore.

            • A damn shame, that.

              So many cultural references. And classic music, presented sans (much) pretense. And now… a cardboard cut-out “cartoon” that seemed to show how much cussing 8-yo can do?

              • Nope, Looney Tunes are racist, don’t ya know.

                • Dan Hamilton

                  Only, Heckle and Jeckal.

                  • But Foghorn Leghorn is clearly an old southern racist.

                    Of course, even assuming that is true, he is the butt of jokes, not the hero.

                    • And how many now recall/know he was the cartoon version/take on the Senator Claghorn character of radio?

                    • A former co-worker was “Like Tiger Woods, But I can’t golf” (black dad, and Thai mom) and as a kid was glad he grew up in Thailand as the “racist” Loony Toons were shown on tv. He’d walk around like the crow/mina/whatsit bird in “Inky the Caveman”, or sing the “Wish I was in Dixie” Bugs, Elmer Fudd (Fat Elmer) and the Mounties did in blackface like Bugs’ voice, and his wife and kids thought he was full of it when he said that was from Loony Toons.
                      Then I found a “Banned Cartoons” channel on a Youtube-like video site, and he got to show them those, and the WWII propaganda, Black society aimed “Coal Black and Da Sebben Dwarves”
                      Even the old Toonheads program stayed away from Coal Black when they did a racial stereotype war toons show. But really it was a Cab Calloway spoof.

              • And, and in defense of that cut out, South Park easily is the most fierce and fearless social commentary on major media.

          • That was my thought.

          • I recommend the Bradbury written movie over the overly long book (you can get more about sailing while having more fun by reading the Hornblower novels). When John Huston asked Bradbury to write the script, he confessed, “Actually, I’ve never been able to get through the damn thing.” So he had to read it first because he wanted to work with John Huston. See some of his short stories set in Ireland about that.

            You can’t beat the opening line though.

            • It is a fun book. It is a techno-thriller, written by a Tom Clancy with a weirder sense of humor, a low taste for literary license, and a very odd problem with religion.

      • Once upon a time David Gerrold wrote a good book describing how his ST:TOS script “The Trouble with Tribbles” went from initial concept to finished episode. Somewhere in there he had a list of the criteria that an episode was expected to meet. “Entertaining” was #4 or 5. “Accurate” didn’t even make the cut.

        • Harlan Ellison had a classic rant (IIRC, newspaper TV review columns collected in The Glass Teat) about the Asian Group Fornication involved in the Starlost series. The wiki entry reminded me that he took his name off the project and used a pen name Cordwainer Bird.

          • Christopher M. Chupik

            The Starlost: proof that Canadian TV execs are just as clueless as their southern counterparts.

          • I believe that was the one with the famous quote about the directors “They don’t care if it’s crap as long as it’s Wednesday.”

            I have used that exact quote in a number of testing meetings because software project managers are worse.

        • Yep. Back when he still could write. And he was pretty good. Back then.

          • If he’d taken 10% of the energy he used kicking puppies and put it into the War Against the Chtorr that series would be done.

            Admittedly over a decade after I had quit caring because I’d given up on it, but still.

            • The reason why he says that he hadn’t finished the books is that he’s had an issue with scenes. I can understand that…but, it keeps feeling like it’ll come out really soon now, I promise! while he’s pitching other works.

              I want to believe the real reason is that his publisher said, “We’re not making any money off the books, so we’re not going to publish any more books in the series.”
              David said, “Okay, so can I buy back the rights and publish them myself?”
              The publisher replied, “Of course not! If the books sell, we want to make the money off them!”

      • Carrington Dixon

        Also recall the anecdote that Leigh Brackett used to tell about writing Rio Bravo. When she and The Duke would disagree about a plot point, The Duke won — he who has the gold makes the rule.

    • Well, to be fair, the it could be the fault of the crossword writers in universe. If the “A perfect score in bowling” was the clue, and there were three spaces for the answer, you’d pretty much have to go with “Ten”, given that the other possible answers of “Three hundred” and “Thirty” use a lot more letters.

      Yeah, I know that almost certainly isn’t right and it’s really the fault of the screenwriters (and/or directors and/or actors) for not knowing what they’re talking about, but a bit of headcannon can often fix the most egregious errors.

      • Nah, that’s what you’d call “enabling” if you were dealing with an addict. Justifying error doesn’t correct it, it only makes it more likely to recur. 😉

      • I recommend watching Desk Set for nostalgia about the time, when the studios actually employed researchers and fact checkers.

        • That is my favorite Hepburn/Tracy movie, easily my favorite.

          And I might relate a tiny, tiny bit to the Tracy character.

    • I watched an episode of Bones BGD (before geology degree) and watched the same episode AGD.

      The experience was not equivalent. OMG.

      I’m looking at the TV yelling, THAT’S NOT HOW RADIOLOGIC DATING WORKS YOU MORONS!

      • My wife and I call that “having a Morbo moment” from the green alien newscaster on Futurama, who is frequently shown yelling at his idiotic human co-anchor after she spouts off some blatant inaccuracy or other, “[X] DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOODNIGHT!”

        It’s a very human tragedy that the people who come up with these brilliant images don’t ever seem to imagine their purpose applying to themselves.

      • I’m like that every time the TV biz is in some show.

        And when a scene doesn’t work, I tend to think, “How would I have saved that?”

        • It’s bad enough in fiction, but worse.. well, I cannot bring myself to watch “real people” court programs as it seems at least one party is an unutterable, insufferable dunce.

          • Well, they do screen for that.

          • Putting the dunce on the air is actually the point. By putting the idiot on the screen they are allowing the viewers to feel smugly superior.

            Sometimes I think it’s why some of the shows I’d consider of higher quality end up being canceled while crappy shows just seem to keep on going.

            • That is the whole point of The Big Bang Theory and it lasted forever.

              • Good point! Was a huge fan of that show the first few seasons. Lost interest in it a few years ago.

                • I watched one episode (partial episode actually, so not even that) of The Big Bang Theory and it was enough for me. Halloween episode. First the main characters are all dressed as The Flash. They have to change costumes (specifically not The Flash). We get “The Doppler Effect”, Frodo, and I forget. At one point the one dressed as Frodo makes the comment He doesn’t want (someone) to think he looks like a dork. Pause. For the laugh, of course, because we, as the audience, are supposed to recognize that he does look like a dork.

                  No, thank you.

                  • It’s been about 4 years or so since I’ve watched any of them, I think I remember that episode and it wasn’t one of the better ones.

            • I know it’s the point, but… it’s just painful to watch, for me.

      • Ever seen “The Core”? 2003 movie about how the heroes drill to the center of Earth to restart the rotation of the, well, core… Endless amusement if you like nitpicking. 😀

        Well, most volcano movies are fun that way too. And 2012, the movie. And… okay, maybe I’m a masochist.

        • San Andreas.

          IT’S A TRANSVERSE FAULT NOT A RIFT ZONE YOU MORONS!

          But… The Rock being a manly-man while modern suit guy tries to save himself while abandoning the women so…

        • My dad stopped using that as a ‘find the science errors’ in his class because it was too easy.

        • We watched “The Core” as part of the geology department’s bad movie series. Bonus points for undergrads who made notes and turned in corrections (with citations). And much thrown popcorn. 🙂

        • Armageddon. Even I can see how rubbery the “science” is and I just don’t give a hoot.

        • The Core was super fun time happy movie!
          It was Vernian. The disconnect from reality was so hard and sharp that my disbelief never got a chance to catch up to my suspension. And they know it with all the little jokes littered about.
          And its the source of one of my favorite catch phrases “My Kung Fu is strong”.
          If anyone feels the need to sit around kvetching that The Core “isn’t real science” probably goes hunting baby rabbits as well.

      • Why I watched exactly one episode of Numbers

    • I’d be more willing to let a certain amount of idiocy slide, save for that in this day and age of the internet, there is NO EXCUSE for not spending at least ten minutes looking up basic facts. And yet screenwriters still can’t seem to do that, overall.

      (For example, they continue to be convinced that smashing a computer monitor destroys the computer. Except when they aren’t, and that’s when the ‘forensic tech’ can miraculously reconstruct all the pertinent data from a smashed drive, while also coughing up the results of a dna test in just a few hours or minutes. Heh.)

    • Dara O’Briain’s critique of 2012 says it sooo well.

  3. For me, it’s a simple thing. I have limited funds and time to spend on entertainment. I’d much rather spend those funds on things, and people, who don’t insult me and denigrate everything I love. And even given the massive bias in Hollywood, there’s still more out there than I could ever afford to pay for either in money or time–particularly since Hollywood is not the only game in town.

    So if they want my money, and my time, they’d better be damn good if they want me to ignore the insult to me and mine. “A good popcorn flick” isn’t, by itself, enough to do that. I’ll pick up one of Larry’s, or Sarah’s, or Amanda’s, or Dave’s, or…well, you get the idea…books first.

    • Vatertortuga

      Here here!

    • That is why I saw exactly one movie in the theater last year, and that was because C wanted to see it (Bohemian Rhapsody).

      Where I see the money issue coming up is in books. I still hit B&N more than some here, for magazines. But come eBooks…well, I can get 18 Harold Lamb adventure tales, many of them Cossack stories, for $0.55. From that I can find out he wrote Cossack stories (and was REH’s favorite author, you can see a lot of influence on Conan in the tales) which are now collected in four volumes and buy those.

      And still spend less than 12 issues of any current Marvel comic (which are $4.99), have a lot more reading material, and actually be entertained.

      I want to buy new authors, but it seems that the authors who wrote what I want to read much of the time are all dead.

      Insulting me doesn’t keep me away nearly as much as providing crap does, but it makes me feel a lot less guilty about not supporting living “artists”.

      • Harold Lamb also wrote some popular histories/biographies. Awesome stuff and worth reading!

        • Carrington Dixon

          If Harold Lamb ever wrote anything that was not worth reading, I have yet to run across it. I highly recommend the big trade paperbacks of his Cossack stories.

          • They are already being obtained, although as eBook.

            Khlit the Wolf, Cossack of the Curved Sabre is pretty much exactly the hero I want to be reading when I read stuff like Conan or The Horseclans.

            The think I am really enjoying about Lamb is, despite being a contemporary of Burroughs, who I do love, his style is much more modern. Sometimes Burroughs and other 20s adventure writers have style differences that make them harder to read. Lamb reads as someone writing, well, not today except maybe indie, but someone writing from the 50s through the 80s.

        • So I understand. I’d like to find his two volumes on the Crusades. I know Ruciman is the standard, but he’s a bit over into the “all the west was bad” side (although he still counts the Eastern Christians as mostly good and I do agree with him on the real date of the East/West schism).

          • Runciman was excellent, for his day and time. I look at him as the springboard that Lewis and later writers launched from, and make allowances. “The Great Church in Captivity” is better written and researched, IMHO. I don’t think Runciman was tied to the Enlightenment/French pattern with that one the way his Crusades trilogy was.

      • Uh. Comic book prices are why I stopped collecting them.

        • Try Alterna. They print on *gasp* newsprint and are $1.50 for normal 24 page comics and $1.95 for double issues.

          That is a little above and a little below CPI prices compared to the early 80s.

          They are mostly limited series, although they do a a semi-super group of mostly heroes….think Han Solo types, called Scrimshaw that I love.

          Also, the owner is very much “keep the politics out of it and don’t insult half the potential customer base”. For his efforts he was SWATed by the left during a live stream.

          • The problem with “don’t insult half the potential customer base” is that half the potential customer base gets insulted if you do not insult the other half.

            As, apparently, he discovered.

            They want you dependent upon them, they demand you sing from their hymnal.

            • I am of the opinion that it really is “Don’t insult 95% of the customer base” and the people mad if you don’t are <1%.

              Ever since they attacked him last year for instituting his "no block bots on Twitter" policy, thus pulling a Striesand effect, Alternate has strung record month after record month. My local shop has over tripled their order.

              The SWATing was an escalation because he hadn't learned.

      • Never heard of him. Just bought a pack. Hey, I used to love pulp pirate stories. 😀

  4. I managed by accident to catch the last 90 seconds or so of “The Passage” on Fox last night, while waiting for the news. I saw the scene, called the tropes, and bingo, nailed all of them. (Although someone should have ambushed the archer when she just turned and sauntered off, her back to where the bad-guy-creatures had gone, bow down and no other weapons at the ready.)

    If I can do that, and post-apocolyptic dystopia is not my preferred genre, the propaganda is laid on with a trowel, if not a front-loader and road grader.

    • I’ve related before that someone of my acquaintance who did amateur theater work had someone going on about some TV show (years ago now) she (acquaintance) didn’t follow. She recognized the vaudeville bits and was able to “fill in the blanks” to the astonishment of the younger person. “I though you didn’t watch the show.” No need.

    • I did that to my mother once with one of the Hallmark Movies my mom used to love. Watched maybe two minutes, then correctly guessed each character’s backstory, the plot up to that point, and how the movie would end. Mom was shocked, because this was the “world broadcast premier” of said movie and there was no way I could have known any of that. I laughed and told her that they recycle the same half-dozen plotlines and just change out the names, setting, and in the case of that film’s plot, the politically-in-vogue disease the child of the single parent has.

      Mom stopped watching Hallmark Movies not long after that. She said I’d ruined them for her. I may be a horrible person, but I consider that to be a proud accomplishment.

      • Although I’ve seen a lot of discussion of the Hallmark Movies that their predictability is one of their selling points. Much like how fans of chocolate chip cookies don’t want a baker who gets creative and adds some cayenne pepper, the Hallmark Movie fans don’t want anyone messing with their visual comfort food recipe.

        • Cayenne chocolate chip cookies.
          Hrmmmm.

          • Just a touch of the pepper actually brings out the taste of the chocolate. I understand the Mayans used to mix a drink with both pepper and chocolate. I thin I prefer my mole` as a BBQ chicken sauce.

        • Zsuza is right, and you, Mr. Milbourne are a poopy pants and should apologize to your mother. 😉

          Now, that said… you couldn’t pay me to watch a disease of the week drama. *cough* *puke*

          • Quincy was still airing new episodes in my dubious youth, so I think I might well have met quota (if there be such) long, long ago. For anyone not familiar, let me give you the tag line of the later, activist version of the show: “[…] maybe, just maybe […] $CAUSE-OF-THE-WEEK…” There, saved you at least two seasons.

            • But Quincy was a murder mystery! Totally different.

              I thought it was okay. My brother watched it all the time. And Columbo. And Kung Fu. Which is really weird that he watched it all the time and I don’t think I ever saw an episode.

              • I watched a lot of Quincy in syndication, but I swear the reruns are a different show! I must have wandered off whenever things got liberal. And it did that a lot.

                Maybe they chopped out all the PC bits in syndication, to make room for ads….

                • In James Garner’s memoir, The Garner Files* he claims his syndicator packaged Rockford with Quincy to boost Quincy‘s sales, then assigned costs in such ways that Quincy‘s books showed most of the syndication profits. I don’t say it is true but you would have to be utterly ignorant of Hollywood operations to deny it out of hand.

                  *A pleasant and readable book. Although he seems eager to take a few gratuitous swipes at most Hollywood conservatives there are a few he praises.

        • [Fwiw, I once did make sugar cookies and colored them with dill for green, cayenne or paprika for red, and mustard powder for yellow. To my (and other’s) surprise.. they worked. But it was likely best they were small and more cracker-like than the typical sugar cookies tend to be.]

        • Hallmark currently has two TV channels.
          Their romance channel follows a strict formula:
          Girl encounters boy and for whatever reason they mutually dislike each other.
          As time goes on they fall in love.
          Then a huge blowup happens, often caused by a third party, or a silly misunderstanding.
          In the last ten minutes of the show they reconcile, kiss, and presumably live happily ever after.
          Sexual activity beyond simple kissing is at most barely alluded to, never demonstrated.
          The Hallmark Mystery channel is in the business of video cozies:
          A private citizen in some interesting but mundane job becomes involved in a serious crime, usually murder though other major crimes may be a factor.
          The main character pokes and prods until they uncover the identity of the criminals, sometimes in cooperation with law enforcement, but often in spite of the active discouragement of the cops.
          The main character is almost invariably female, and while romance may be a side issue the focus is on her detective skills superior to the professionals.
          And any viewer with half a brain will have figured out the basic tropes in the first ten minutes, but it’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey getting there.

          • My wife and I call them “random women who solve crimes in their spare time.” There are (as I recall) a mystery book shop owner, a librarian, an antique store owner, an archaeology professor, a psychotherapist, a contractor, a bakery shop owner, a podcaster, a TV morning talk show host, the aforementioned crossword puzzle editor, and I’m sure others. They’re all women, they all insinuate themselves into police investigations, and the police always whine for a few minutes then allow them to do so.

            Just once I’d like to see one of them in lockup for interfering with a police investigation…

            • Let’s be fair… it’s more or less the plot to Castle as well. 😉

              • Yeah, but Castle was a friend of the mayor and at least they could pretend that he was untouchable for that reason. Nah, it didn’t really make sense, but at least they didn’t ignore it altogether. At least they nodded toward actual police procedures.

            • Being on good terms with the police really helps with plausibility.

          • So Sarah’s Dare Murder Mysteries ought to be a shoe-in for Hallmark Mystery Channel shows, in a just world?

            • I’ve had that same thought myself.
              This is one case where an agent with media connections would be a good thing.

        • I can quite like predictability when the good guy characters are likable. Which with movies tends to depend a lot on the actors’ and actresses’ charisma levels, and whether they interact believably when they are supposed to like each other. But if I like the main characters knowing ahead of time how they will win the day doesn’t bother me much, not when I am in the mood for that comfort food thing. It can be quite relaxing, especially on a bad day.

        • As to predictable, insert Her Alibi quote from William Daniels here.

      • $SPOUSE recorded a few movies in honor of PBS pledge month, and we watched In the Heat of the Night. She had seen it years ago, but I might (maybe) have seen a little of the TV version.

        Got most of the tropes: Raaaaacist Townspeople, Racist but Openminded police chief, Angry Young Detective (Mister Tibbs!), and Businessman with a Motive, and oh yeah, How Uncomfortable Small Southern Towns are.

        I was happy to see that they skipped BwaM as the perpetrator, and went for Random Jerky Dude as the killer.

        The next movie in the queue is Blazing Saddles. Now, those are some tropes I can get behind!

      • OK this is back in “the old days,” of the seventies when I learned how the TV sausage was made.

        There were 3 or 4 types of series on the air, westerns, cop shows, etc. The reason for this was that a screenwriter had to sell 4 or 5 scripts each year to have a good living, and all the shows premiered at the same time. They each wanted 5-6 “treatments” to choose from for further development (see obscure writers’ guild contract clauses). It was rare for one writer to sell more than 1 or 2 scripts to the same show, so they would have to come up with 20-24 treatments to pitch at the same time. It made much more sense to come up with 9 or 10 treatments and reuse them, just adjusting the details to fit the individual series. Guess why television seemed the same?

        The worst incident I saw was when I was at a friends house, and they were watching a new show called Bert D’Angelo/Superstar starring Paul Sorvino. I had the worst feeling of deja vu. I knew that even though this was the first time being broadcast I had seen this before. Finally Sorvino sat on a desk, and crossed his legs coquettishly to spout his line, and I got it. The writer had sold the exact same script to the show Police Woman, and Sorvino, being the good actor he was, was doing his lines (that were written for Angie Dickinson) as if in drag.

    • I’m actually enjoying The Passage, but just for the two protagonists (very brave young girl and big bad marine who lost his daughter). The plot is idiotic. First rule of discovering vampires: Kill them. Show over.

  5. If it weren’t for zombies, there’d be nothing.

  6. Are there Southern Preachers who are ignorant and superstitious.

    Not so many as there are ignorant* and superstitious Yankee economists (some even writing twice-weekly columns in the NY Times) and politicians, contemptuous of the “lower classes” and busy enriching themselves at public expense by shoveling [organic fertilizer] into our information system.

    *Ignorance can be taught. Some ideas are so stupid that only the highly educated can believe them.

    • Yeah. I can’t seem to get away fromads for some new on-line lecture series advertisements on youtube, mostly one on economics featuring Krugman as the lecturer. Sorry, if Krugman is the best you can come up with to explain economics (“But he’s a Nobel Prize winner!” IDGAF), you lost me before you even started.

  7. Having seen the movie in question I’m sad to say it’s not even really good popcorn fodder. It’s… adequate. Barely. If it hadn’t been an opportunity to see some long-absent friends I would have been perfectly happy to wait a week or two and avoid contributing to the overhyped first-weekend bottom line. (Fortunately, for any who haven’t seen it yet, I can alleviate one fear and say that no, it is absolutely not necessary to see this film in order to know something vital going into Avengers: Endgame.)

    And intriguingly, it’s as mediocre as it is not because it’s explicitly Woke; there were only really one or two moments in the film where I felt like the Message was being heavy-handedly hammered home. It’s mediocre because in the screenwriters’ sheer determination to not tread ground trod before by the other heroes of the MCU, they appear to have forgotten — or never figured out — what makes good heroic pulp stories work: You need a hero emotionally invested in what he is defending, you need an enemy who represents not just an objective danger but a personal wound, and you need some kind of limit or weakness in the hero that means his success isn’t guaranteed. Only someone terrified that any depiction of need, emotion or weakness in the protagonist would be denounced as “anti-woman” would make these kinds of mistakes.

    The most vicious and pernicious lie the SJ-woke critical left ever dealt the field of human storytelling was the assertion that the depiction of a character of a particular demographic group not only represented the creator’s opinion of all members of that group, but that such depictions could and would inevitably influence society’s opinion of that group.

    • You need a hero emotionally invested in what he is defending

      I have not seen the movie, so I’m taking a flier based on the current Captain Marvel comics, but if the hero is so awesome and perfect that they are never in any danger of failing to defend, it is hard for them, or the audience, to emotionally invest.

      Current comics Captain Marvel is so over the top and perfect, the original Mary Sue called and told her to tone it down. This leaves the reader nothing to connect with.

      This is very common at Marvel these days and is #3 on my reasons to have no Marvel on my pull list (insane crossovers and insane pricing are #1&2). Politics are way down, although I think this is a side effect of Wokeness. The Woke cannot have an imperfect woman/POC/homosexual/Muslim/etc. Only straight, white men can have flaws and thus the one group they are determined to remove from their books are the only ones they’re willing to write as interesting characters.

      • But they do have flaws, just flaws that SJWs don’t see: they’re tediously unfunny.

      • I do agree that the character suffered from being incredibly bland. I didn’t even get huge Mary-Sue off her (the film version, mind you), so much as “well, we gave her amnesia and it’s the driving force of the plot, sort of, and we don’t really know what to do with that” because the end result was that she didn’t have much of a personality. There were hints, here and there, that in the hands of better writers she’d have been far more interesting, but all that talent went to Fury, the cat, and the Skrull. Captain Marvel got a funny line here and there, but generally she was just kind of a tabula rasa and not nearly as interesting as almost everyone else in the film. :/

        • I do agree that the character suffered from being incredibly bland.

          You’re just one of those misogynists who told Brie Larson to smile 🙂

          Wonder if she was such a tabula rasa so the typical feminist Larson claims the movie is for can identify with her.

          • While I totally get being annoyed over the ‘smile’ thing (because it does make most of us who get told that want to hit someone very hard indeed), she’s a frikkin’ idiot. 😀

        • I’ve heard that she’s neither curious about her lost memories nor angry about the loss. It’s kinda hard to salvage that. Unless you have a very odd, unusual, and unemotional character, who tends to need another plot.

          • Actually, her desire to figure out what’s up with the missing memories drives the plot, so not sure where whoever told you that got that idea. She’s very much curious about why her entire life prior to six years ago is a black hole–and keeps getting told to drop it.

            • I heard it. 0;)

              But the point of what I heard is that she does search,but she doesn’t show the emotion.

    • See, I didn’t actually get ‘heavy handed message’ from it. It was a solid enough film entertainment wise, but I didn’t feel like it was terribly “woke.” (I was actually pleasantly surprised, since I’d gone in expecting waaaaaay more woke crap.) There was a bit (but sexist remarks to female air force pilots in the 80s is hardly unrealistic), but not enough to annoy me.

      The main character was blah, that I agree with. A big part of that problem, I think, is the amnesia trope: she doesn’t know who she is, and neither do we. And they don’t really resolve that in a meaningful way. So you’re right that she’s not terribly invested in much of anything.

      But honestly, Nick Fury, the cat, and the Skrull leader stole the film and were far more entertaining–and they’re why I enjoyed the film instead of yawning. 😀

      I suppose it truly is a case of YMMV. (I also think that by avoiding all of the nonsense hype being spewed by some of the cast–the lead in particular–helped me not get so annoyed beforehand that it colored my view of the film. And I gather that she’s been saying some epically stupid garbage.)

      • You’re right, the film as a whole was actually much less blatantly propagandistic than I’d feared. The bit that I disliked most on that specific grounds (as opposed to a generally weak overall story and extremely poor character development, for which I blame the screenwriter-directors rather than Larson) was actually the way the final confrontation of the film went down, which was obviously a deliberate subversion of the Big Final Fight Scene With The Real Enemy.

        Being as vague as possible to avoid spoilers for those who may still actually want to see it, the problem was that in addition to shortchanging us on a meaningfully cathartic spectacle, the whole scene came off as a kind of slam against what is, it must be admitted, a fairly masculine idea but one which I nonetheless respect and admire — the notion of proving yourself by taking on a fair fight. (Yes, the likelihood that the opponent in that scene would have stuck by the rules himself is very strongly implied to be extremely low, but to me that only worsened the effect of the scene by implying that chivalrous fighting is not only pointless and unnecessary but stupid with it.)

        Now I will freely admit that I may be reading too much into that and that the screenwriters themselves may not have thought the implications of the scene through; a fatal weakness of a lot of modern storytelling is simply that writers are so hung up on trying to surprise their audience that they simply pick what they think will be most unexpected rather than what makes most dramatic and emotional sense. What they forget is that novelty is a poor substitute for a satisfying resolution, and has an extremely steep curve of diminishing returns as well.

        • I guess it depends on one’s interpretation of that scene. I actually found the subversion pretty funny–and I did agree with her assertion to him (again, avoiding spoilers). (And frankly, I felt they hadn’t set him up well enough to be a proper opponent anyway. I felt like they had two movies crammed into one, there, and so we lost huge chunks of potential character development, sigh. And I do know at least part of that is the idiot Marvel Comics head–you know, the one greenlighting all the SJW crap on the comics side–who refused to consider things like a female-led superhero film until the movie head got fed up and got Disney to force the guy out of the picture for the films. So now they’re trying to cram into one film stuff they took two or even three films with other characters, and yeah, it’s falling flat. The fact that it doesn’t entirely suck says there was a lot of potential there.)

          But I get where you’re coming from on missing the big climactic fight scene–but on the other hand…that was one of the few things that I felt that rings true in a film with a female superhero in relation to actual women in a fight. And I don’t see it so much as a slam against chivalry–which you are correct, is very much a male thing–than the pragmatism that a woman would bring to a fight. If it was merely a sparring match, with nothing on the line but pride? She might have taken him up on it. But there were still lives on the line–and if he either cheated (very possible) or even if they both stuck to the rules and he bested her (because without her full abilities, he was the better trained and vastly more experienced hand to hand fighter) even temporarily, people–including people she cared about very much–could possibly die. (If he got away into an intact ship, for example.) Admittedly, it was a bit slimmer at that point than earlier in the conflict, but there was still a good chance the cost could be paid by people other than herself. So…I actually found it made sense for it to play out that way. I think they could have had it a bit clearer in that scene, however, because although the one-liner *was* funny, it passed over what more “real” reasons would be.

      • I, too, enjoyed it well enough. Definitely not one of the better entries in the MCU, but not nearly as bad as some of the early reviews let me to expect.
        Of course, our boring MC is played by the same woman who single handedly ruined a daikaiju movie for DH a couple years ago. (I was watching Kong for Loki and Fury and a giant ape punching a dinosaur)

        • i didn’t think she was *bad* in Kong Skull Island, but she wasn’t nearly as fun as the rest of the Who’s-Who of Marvel films that made up most of that cast, lol.

          (My greatest disappointment with that film–other than Hiddleston not ONCE taking his shirt off, dammit–was that they passed up several perfect opportunities for someone to riff off the “Ant–Boot” line from Avengers. There were plenty of other shoutouts–even to Jurassic Park–but that one would have been perfect. Sigh. Still a fun movie, though.)

          • The Kong of Skull Island is going to need massive steroids and size growth if he is going to face off against Godzilla (which is the next planned movie in the Godzilla franchise after the one this summer-King of the Monsters) as new Hollywood Godzilla is about 500 feet tall and is way, way bigger than Kong (plus has that always fun atomic fire breath).

  8. The flip-side of this is that the cancerous are often so incompetent that they think they have created a Great Message…….. and they are the only ones who can see it. Well, them and the more trigger happy parts of the right. When you believe anything your enemies tell you it kind of scrambles your targeting.

    Lest we forget: Rogue One was supposedly a Great Anti-Trump Movie. Where that message is supposed to be I haven’t the foggiest idea, instead we got the best Star Wars movie yet, despite being part of the new movies.

    • *Best Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back, you mean.

    • thephantom182

      Rogue One is the Guns of Navarone in space, with a higher body count. It has almost nothing to do with Star Wars, probably why it sucked less.

      • Part of it is that they did not feel any need to include unneeded humor, which has always been one of the major problems with SW.

        Contrary to popular belief it did not begin with Jar Jar, that was just a particularly bad example of it.

        • Another part is that the creators of R1 didn’t hate the franchise and despise the audience. It feels like something made by Star Wars fans, and not people trying to make some kind of political point.

      • I will grant that it sucked less than 8. The others I at least had fun in the theater, even if they didn’t stand up to scrutiny after.

  9. I haven’t seen Capt. Marvel yet. I may see it when it hits Netflix or HBO, etc.I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers and Brie Larson as much as possible so that when I do see it in a year or two it will be fresh, but it’s really hard when it keeps getting pushed all over the place.

    When I was a kid, Capt. Marvel was SHAZAM! I get so confused these days.

    • Just to confuse you more, there’s a Shazam! movie coming out too. And from what I can tell, it’s likely to be a lot more fun than Captain Marvel.

    • Yeah, I’m wondering when Ms. Marvel became Captain Marvel.

      When I first got into Marvel comics, Captain Marvel was a black woman with light powers. Somehow, using a white woman who became Captain Marvel afterwards is still Woke.

      But if a non-Woke producer/writer/director did that, we wouldn’t hear the end of it.

      • Captain Marvel was a black woman with light powers

        That would be Monica Rambeau, who gets a shout-out in the new movie (or so I hear.) When I first met Marvel’s captain* he was Captain Mar-vell, agent of the Kree empire and caught in political struggle with the Blue Kree … and Carol Danvers was a supporting character slash love interest in the comic. Then he became trapped in the Negative Zone (or wherever), only able to appear on Earth when Rick Jones (former boy sidekick to Bruce Banner slammed his wristbands together and shouted “Boy Howdy that smarts!” before Jim Starlin made him cosmically aware in order to challenge Thanos.

        Life caught up to me about the time Superman died and Batman’s back was broken and I’ve hardly read a comic book since, so where the current Captain Marvel comes from is a mystery to me.

        *Let’s just ignore the Fawcett (IIRC) version who was an android capable of separating limbs and fighting a la carte rather than as an entree.

        • Bite your tongue on the Negative Zone…that is DC and never sully DC with Marvel (my comics love started with Wonder Woman and Legion of Superheroes years before I read any Marvel intentionally).

          I’m not sure when Carol stopped being Binary and went back to Ms. Marvel much less when Ms. Marvel became the current Marvel Captain Marvel.

          Binary was probably her most interested version.

          • Negative Zone is DC? The Phantom Zone is DC … my memory may be conflating two different realms. I recall the Negative Zone being first broached by Reed Richards, wherein he found some armored clown whose powers seemed, in memory, to come from a cosmic remote … at least, the image that comes to mind is of him holding up a Kirbyesque channel changer-type of thing. I remember Mar-vell floating in Starlin-space thinking deep emo thoughts and telepathing advice to Rick Jones.


            One correction: I had forgotten a late-70s version of Carol Danvers as Ms Marvel. Skimming through descriptions of her Hero’s Journey I can understand why she was more forgettable than Dazzler (who certainly seemed to find more opportunities for lounging about in her skivvies than ever did Peter Parker.)

          • WP Delenda Est – stupid blog ate this the first attempt.

            Negative Zone is DC? The Phantom Zone is DC … my memory may be conflating two different realms. I recall the Negative Zone being first broached by Reed Richards, wherein he found some armored clown whose powers seemed, in memory, to come from a cosmic remote … at least, the image that comes to mind is of him holding up a Kirbyesque channel changer-type of thing. I remember Mar-vell floating in Starlin-space thinking deep emo thoughts and telepathing advice to Rick Jones.


            One correction: I had forgotten a late-70s version of Carol Danvers as Ms Marvel. Skimming through descriptions of her Hero’s Journey I can understand why she was more forgettable than Dazzler (who certainly seemed to find more opportunities for lounging about in her skivvies than ever did Peter Parker.)

            • Oh, yeah, I think you’re right. Sometimes it is hard to keep them straight.

            • As for Ms. Marvel’s staying power, two words: Chris Claremont. She was the first book he got to work on so he kept using her in X-Men after her book folded. Kind of like keeping pictures of your first girlfriend.

            • W.T.F. Word Press, WTF?


              It’s because I mentioned Dazzler, the roller-skating, disco-singing, living mirror ball, isn’t it?

        • I just listened to a review that said the Monica Rambeau cameos were some of the best parts.

    • Somehow, I keep thinking of that singing group that performed Please Mr. Postman.

  10. One of the best priests we ever had at our church was a former chemist. After his wife passed away he retired and entered the clergy. He was the go-to guy on marital issues

    • I suspect that preachers, like politicians, really ought to be required to have a career and live in the world before trying to tell other people how to do it.

      • People who have lived in the world are sometimes people who can be blackmailed, have big debts, etc. So six of one, half dozen of the other.

        And yeah, it takes a long time to take all the classes, unless you are a Schmott Guy.

      • I agree. Wisdom usually requires age and experience. A young priest is almost an oxymoron. (No Orvan, I’m not talking about you.)

      • I’m reminded of a friend who is a Friend who did two tours in Vietnam, then joined a 1% Motorcycle Club, who figured out his Elders weren’t as dumb as he’d thought. Now a very good Minister and counselor.

      • Rationale for Cadfael, the former warrior turned monk.
        Works real good for his detecting skills

  11. Margaret Ball

    All this ties in with a column I’ve been working on… about taking what Orson Scott Card called “the first solution off the shelf.” The Insane Left has dominated popular entertainment for so long that I see many well-meaning, otherwise sane, writers falling for and using characters from their stereotype shelf just because that’s what they’ve grown up with. At least, that’s the excuse I’ve been making for them.

    • Like what people have been pointing out with Miss Zhou and the Tweet-storm. Her background warns her that people who fall out of favor disappear forever, so survival means staying in favor or at least being ignored. That such things don’t happen in the US is probably immaterial to what her back-brain training has told her. Likewise, the tropes and Left-stories have so saturated the air that the sane don’t catch on until someone or an event knocks their fore-brain and says, “Yo! Trust your lyin’ eyes.”

    • The Insane Left has dominated popular entertainment for so long

      This has proven particularly destructive of TV where virtue-signalling has replaced characterization or humour as a component of plots. In part this is because of the “one of us” syndrome, in which “right-thinking” substitutes for “intelligent” and in part because they hold their audience in such contempt that they eschew any scintilla of depth or complexity. They mock Thirties Westerns for simple-minded signalling of bad guys in black hats, good guys in white ones and good girls in starched gingham and bad girls in low-cut bodices — yet their iconography is nearly as obvious.

      • I had the same reaction. I’m not a comic book fan, but I remembered Captain Marvel as the superhero identity of Billy Batson, who said, “Shazam!” to transform. Turns out, that’s accurate. DC originally made Captain Marvel before Marvel Comics became known by that name. DC stopped making new Captain Marvel comics in I think the 50s, and afterwards Marvel trademarked the character name, so when DC wanted to make new ones again they had to call him something else.

        So, yeah. They’re actually two completely separate characters.

        • Close! Fawcett Comics were the ones making Captain Marvel comics in the 40s and 50s, and at that point agreed as part of a copyright settlement with DC (who claimed Captain Marvel was an infringement of Superman) not to make any more Captain Marvel comic books.

          DC itself licensed and ran with the character later… but by that point Marvel had their own Captain Marvel trademark, and, well.

          • At one point Captain Marvel outsold Superman and he was able to fly first.

            I still don’t understand how that was a copyright violation either.

            • William H. Stoddard

              They had a jury with little enough exposure to supers to realize that the Flying Brick was a total cliché of the entire genre? (The online comic series PS 238, set in an elementary school for superkids, has a character whose super name is “84” because she’s the 84th known flying brick in her universe’s Earth. . . .) After all, that was really early in the history of superheroes; a lot of adults had very little exposure to them.

      • There is a reason when C complained I prefer watching YouTube so much I bought the complete Nero Wolfe series from A&E.

        • Transcript

          Well, let me tell you a story. I was always intrigued that one of my Monty Python colleagues who seemed to be (to me) more talented than I was {but} did never produce scripts as original as mine. And I watched for some time and then I began to see why. If he was faced with a problem, and fairly soon saw a solution, he was inclined to take it. Even though (I think) he knew the solution was not very original.

          Whereas if I was in the same situation, although I was sorely tempted to take the easy way out, and finish by 5 o’clock, I just couldn’t. I’d sit there with the problem for another hour-and-a-quarter, and by sticking at it would, in the end, almost always come up with something more original.

          It was that simple.

          My work was more creative than his simply because I was prepared to stick with the problem longer.

    • “First solution off the shelf” reminds me of a speech that the Monty Python guy (sorry, I lost his name, happens, I’ll think of it sometime next week at which point my husband, lucky guy, will be informed) did about Creativity. He figured you needed to stay in the brainstorming stage until you had at least three ideas before choosing one and then moving on to the production part because your first idea almost certainly was the weakest.

      It was an excellent speech.

      • John Cleese has a side-career as a “motivational speaker” type…

        • I routinely rewatch his “gossip” on creativity.

          Speaking of, does anyone know if “gossip” is a Britishism for speech/talk/presenation? I think it is a brilliant word choice in that context, but wasn’t sure if it is deliberate or just a common form.

      • John Cleese, perhaps? A few decades ago, we had a ‘training film’ at work he did, Meetings, Bloody Meetings, about how to improve such. Actually quite good as well as funny.

      • I will third the Cleese guess. It might be from the speech I reference above where he says at least one Python partner was arguably more talented than Cleese himself, but Cleese got more memorable and creative bits because his partner was lazy and took the first idea while Cleese kept looking.

        • That was it. Or at least the same story told by the same guy.

        • Then, while making “The Holy Grail”, a few of the Pythons wound up at a horrible hotel run by a horrifically unpleasant man.
          Most of the gang left. John Cleese stayed and took notes, and thus “Fawlty Towers” was born.

    • Yep on the stereotypes. The left is not inherently LESS talented. They just never had to work for anything, so they never sharpened their skills.

      • Errrrr … it isn’t that they’ve never had to work for anything, it is that the way they work for things does not relate to the ultimate consumer.

        Stabbing more skilled people in the back is work …

  12. thephantom182

    “If you suffered through not being able to find a book/movie/song without a political message that offended you, you will forever detect and be driven mad by such messages in your entertainment.”

    Yes! Before I started reading According to Hoyt and MGC, I was very discontented with what I was reading. Always an anti-gun, anti-Christian, anti-capitalist, anti-Western, anti-human cheap shot or theme or -something- in there that I couldn’t put my finger on, and I couldn’t understand why EVERYTHING contained it.

    Well, now I know exactly what it is, and why its there. I don’t have to read past the cover-blurb to find it, usually. Jumps right out of the synopsis. Knowledge is power.

  13. One side effect of the leftist dominance is it damages actual quality artists who get through because once we see the fnords the signalling flips.

    I was checking out an author and hit this line, “Her fiction has appeared in nice places like Strange Horizons and The Year’s Best Fantasy” and quit. I see the fnords and that signals to me I’ll be heckled, lectured, insulted, and probably not even get an actual story with real characters in the process.

    Is that true? Maybe, maybe not, but given I have lots of options why take the risk.

    • Nice places?

      The problem with dominance in whatever ideological direction is that we all have our blind spots. If no one is around to point out that something or other reads stereotypical or if someone refuses to hear it, you’ve hobbled yourself as an artist.

      I’ve seen this happen with hugely popular authors. “Something in your new book went off the rails,” met with “I don’t listen to homophobes,” (in the case I’m thinking of) just doesn’t work when something actually has gone off the rails.

  14. I only watch TCM old movies. No sitcoms. No “news”. And very few movies in theaters.

    • We’ve been watching Last Man Standing since ABC dumped it and Fox picked it up. It’s the only comedy we’re watching, and it’s actually decent.

      Haven’t seen a movie in a theater since shortly after Y2K.

  15. The extremely gifted writer who is usually sympathetic even to the villain’s POV, who wrote a “mystery” where a guy of opposite politics and religion was murdered. Everyone on her side was totally nice, everybody on the other side was not even interviewed. It was immediately obvious that the murder victim was killed by his own wife, but she did not even bother to characterize the wife, or make her seem abused, or show why she would snap and fight back.

    The thing was, all the “nice” people were engaged in a business that was at least tangential to murder and abetting of it, but it was approved by her politics. So she could not even do the standard mystery thing, and make people wonder if the “nice” people could have snapped.

    She also gave no backstory to the murder victim, because apparently there was no need to explain anything about him except that he was bad. Since he was a preacher, and preachers come in all flavors, it was particularly obvious that she had no idea what his theology or denomination was.

    It was really, really bad. If it had included any curiosity about humans, it would at least have been a real mystery.

    • Anyway… This particular novel is one that came out many years ago, but I bought it direct from the author in the belief it would be interesting, so I am a bit angry about it still. Sometimes people had their early books rejected for a reason. interesting

      Another example — the true crime guy who.wrote Shadows in the Vineyard about the extortion attempt to hold the Romanee-Conti domaine vines hostage. So he explains in an afterword about how he had these deep spiritual experiences in Burgundy with his hosts and their Catholic faith, and then he explains that he had a similar spiritual experience while writing an article about Governor Hickenlooper, such that he quit his reporting job and became a political flack.

      Look, I am not a snob. But there is no freaking way that Washington State politicians are anything like a man and his centuries-old grapes! How could somebody get confused on this point!?

  16. Actors and actresses are in the main simply meat puppets. Their talent such as it is would be in how well they convey the persona of the character given them by the script writers and director.
    One of my favorite actresses is that noted African-American Charlise Theron. Best I’ve seen she keeps her politics to herself, and isn’t afraid to take on challenging roles. Her performance in Monster was outstanding, any attractive female who willingly lets makeup turn her ugly shows quite a bit of dedication to her craft.
    Now a couple years back she starred in the spy movie Atomic Blond. The writers “borrowed” all the James Bond tropes only replacing Bond with a blond bisexual female with almost supernatural armed and unarmed combat skills.
    How woke is that!
    The thing is, the writers, director, or all of the above managed to slip in some extremely unPC elements.
    *** SPOILER ALERT ***
    Do not read any further if you intend to watch the movie for the first time. It’s hit premium cable, but I don’t see how it can be sanitized for network without destroying all the meat of the story.
    Set in Berlin during the lead up to the destruction of the wall the agent is sent into the city to find and extract critical information on the spy network in place at the time. Much mayhem and an encounter with a hot French girly spy ensues.
    Cut to the chase, our agent is actually an American, embedded in British intelligence, acting as a double agent with the Russians.
    And here is where I am amazed that the writers got away with it, the Russians come across as bumbling idiots and the American CIA actually wins at the very end, having played everyone else involved to a fair thee well.
    That is simply not a message one expects to see out of the current Hollywood swamp.

    • Richard Mcenroe

      Her fight scenes are actually believable as well, as she usually ends each one by falling face first into a bathtube full of ice and can barely conceal her bruises by the end of her mission in Berlin…

      • The bruises were believable and a rather surprising element of the show.

        The fights… well, it was a movie. 😛

  17. Jeff Greason

    Any comments herein are about the marketing for the movie, not the movie itself; I haven’t seen it yet so have no opinion about the movie itself — but the marketing, I have strong opinions about.

    If the lead actor or actress had gone out in advance of a film and said something like “I really don’t need to hear what black people thought about my movie; it wasn’t made for them”, or if all the negative reviews about things like “Riddick” (‘testosterone discovered in outer space’ if memory serves) were followed by Vin Diesel saying “Well I don’t want to see so many women reviewing my film”, we would expect to see a certain amount of well-justified pushback, followed immediately by the a heartfelt apology while a studio executive stands behind the actor/actress (presumably with a cattle prod).

    The fact that the studio didn’t rein in this kind of commentary, while they did, for example, fire Roseanne Barr, suggests approval.

    Then, the extraordinary tactics to deal with the criticism not by saying “it’s a good movie, wait until you see it”, but by literally using their buying power to capture the media channel and silence criticism (deleting all “do I want to see it” ratings for all movies on Rotten Tomatoes so as to protect this one, then deleting tens of thousands of negative user reviews after the movie came out to push up its user score), is disturbing and highlights the degree to which media companies are now so aggregated and form such an oligopoly that they are prone to abuse.

    It is quite proper for people to notice these tactics and ask “If they will do all this to shape our opinion about a silly movie with CGI superheroes, what will they do with a news story or a political candidate?”. It is quite proper for people to use incidents like this to reshape their choice of channels of information.

    Your books might be deleted from Amazon, if you don’t say the right things. Your pages might be banned from Facebook, if you don’t say the right things. This isn’t theory. This is happening, right now.

    • If the lead actor or actress had gone out in advance of a film and said something like “I really don’t need to hear what black people thought about my movie; it wasn’t made for them”,

      When that was said about white, nerdy guys into comics (re, CM) I just said, “Okay, I don’t need to see it then.”

      The question is why, when comics are mainly consumed by geeky men, and mostly white geeky men at that, you’d spend a quarter billion dollars plus making a comic book superhero movie that isn’t for them.

      But I’m not a Hollywood auteur so what do I know. Maybe the Steel Magnolias crowd has been chomping at the bit for one.

    • Read “Sakura: Intellectual Property” if you want a take on the media becoming too powerful.

  18. I have one question about the “we finally have a female action hero” stuff this movie, and Ghostbusters a couple of years ago got.

    When did people forget, among others, Emma Peel.

    • Hell, given some of the stuff I’ve seen in relation to Captain Marvel over the last couple of days (and full disclosure: I enjoyed the film fine, it wasn’t great, but it was entertaining enough) seems to indicate they’ve wiped out the Wonder Woman film from two years ago, let alone anything further back!

      (And the Wonder Woman film was far superior to Captain Marvel.)

      • Watch to the end, or from about 8:36 :

            • And that’s the right one.

              • I do know others exist and are much older.

                I choose Emma Peel because she was the big action woman for me growing up in the 70s. I remember just loving her from the beginning.

                Back when TNG came out and everyone hated Wesley Crusher the reasoning for the character was said to be, “to appeal to 13 year old boys by giving them someone to relate to.” My response to that was, “you have someone to appeal to 13 year old boys, especially the kind who watch Star Trek. She is called Tasha Yar and you wasted her so much she quit.”

                I mean, Emma Peel, Tasha Yar, Wonder Woman, and on and on. Where did this trope that nerdy men hate women, especially strong women, come from?

                • I suspect it has its origins in the usual: there’s a tiny, but unfortunately very noisy, group of nerdy men that DO hate women out there. I’ve encountered a few in the wild (they usually leave me alone, because I’m bigger than most of them). They’re of the variety that shrieks that those women can’t possibly be REAL fans, etc etc and they’re only doing it for the boyfriends, etc etc.

                  They exist. Not in the vast numbers the SJWs would have us think they do (just as we know the SJWs are actually mostly a small but unfortunately very noisy group with disproportionate power). But they do exist, and they are hella obnoxious.

                  Barring the few I’ve met, though, most nerdy men I’ve encountered are simply thrilled to meet a fellow nerd.

                  • I suspect it has its origins in the usual: there’s a tiny, but unfortunately very noisy, group of nerdy men that DO hate women out there.

                    Bigger factor is, I think, more prosaic. They basically phone in a production and when audiences stay away from the crappy product it’s not because they produced a crappy product but because those “misogynist nerd-boys just hate women and won’t have anything to do with strong female leads.)”

                    After all, it can’t possibly be because they produced boring drek, oh no. It must be the nerd-boys.

                    • That too. But there was a noisy little bunch back when the first trailer dropped who made a big deal over Captain Marvel not smiling. Now, mind you, the cynic in me says this was just as likely to be a false-flag operation as anything, but.

                      And while there are nasty little misogynists out there, they ain’t got *nothing* on the biggest misogynists of all: aka, Hollywood. Which for all its virtue signalling is still very racist, and very misogynist. Why else would they be crowing about “groundbreaking” Captain Marvel as if it were the first female fronted action film (heh….no, not by a long shot), or made such a big deal out of Black Panther and claim that “audiences” didn’t want a black-led film until now (as if Will Smith had not been, for more than a decade in the nineties and early oughts, one of THE biggest action stars and box office draws in Hollywood…?)

                    • But there was a noisy little bunch back when the first trailer dropped who made a big deal over Captain Marvel not smiling.

                      The ones I saw were not so much a matter of “not smiling” as “her expression never changed”–in short, wooden, emotionless “acting”.

                    • I did see some specific that used that most irritating of “bothering a woman” lines of “She needs to smile.” So I do sympathize with the actress being irritated about that. (Being told to smile makes me want to do violence. Leave my resting bitch face alone, people.)

                      But the other garbage? Not so much. She’s virtue signalling waaaaay too hard.

                      And she’s not a terrible actress. She’s not brilliant, but she is not terrible.

                    • Will Smith had not been, for more than a decade in the nineties and early oughts, one of THE biggest action stars and box office draws in Hollywood

                      I’m sure the answer is Will Smith is safe for white people at best and an Oreo at worst: ie, doesn’t count as really black.

                • I suspect Mystery did well in the ’70s because Dianna Rigg was hosting it. I think Mrs. Peel played a feature role in a lot of teenaged boy’s daydreams in the ’60s. (Well, not just day…)

                • Susan Ivanova in B5

      • Wait, how did I not know about action Anne Francis?

        Complete series on DVD? Oh yeah, we’re finding that.

    • Yeah, and they only made that one Resident Evil movie. And only one Tomb Raider. I mean, we all know female protagonists aren’t popular in movies and video games. And the Alien franchise? It’ll never catch on.

      • Well, I kinda wish Alien had died after the second movie, but that had nothing to do with Ripley.

        Funny thing is I remember a letter to Starlog magazine praising Alien for Ripley being the hero. The writer even argued she (I’m assuming she at this point 40 years later) figured once all the white guys were dead they’d stoop to having a black man be the hero before they let a woman win.

        I was very confused by that letter at the ripe old age of 12. I had not been exposed to feminism that much yet. Still does in terms of taking the writer that long to know who the hero was. When Ripley tries to enforce quarantine at the beginning you know she’s the survivor of the bunch because she’s not stupid.

        • When Ripley tries to enforce quarantine at the beginning you know she’s the survivor of the bunch because she’s not stupid.

          I don’t know. As I recall, Ripley’s attempt to enforce the quarantine was portrayed as being rather mean, and she was overriden by more “compassionate” crew members. Usually, the jerk character who insists on following the rules ends up dying horribly even if (or perhaps especially if) following the rules would have saved more lives and ended the movie at the halfway point. I believe TVTropes calls this “Death by Pragmatism” (no, I won’t link, you’re welcome).

          I could see that the combination of that, the fact that Sigorney Weaver was pretty much the least famous member of the cast, and the fact that “Grrrl Power” wasn’t really a thing yet, make someone surprised that the final hero turned out to be Ripley.

          • Ridley Scott points that out in the commentary track- she’s supposed to be the killjoy by-the-book stick-in-the-mud type, and the one most likely to be killed early (unlike cool and loose Dallas).
            And the “Final Girl” trope in horror movies had yet to really get established, so it would have been a shock she didn’t get killed. There was still a fair amount of New Hollywood downer endings going around at that time.

  19. I took the family to see Captain Marvel on Saturday, and we all enjoyed it. Even 14yo daughter, who hate hate HATES feel-good grrl-pwr in all it’s plethora of forms*. Granted, I had to drag her into the theater kicking and screaming because she had heard online how “woke” the movie was, so she feared the very worst. You know what? It was fine. I was actually surprised with how much my eyes DIDN’T roll around in my head.

    Sure, Captain Marvel’s a woman, which is different than what Captain Marvel was in the comic book. I was never a Cap. Marvel reader, so maybe that doesn’t hit me like it does others. All in all, the character felt to me like the real-deal, and not like a lame derivative knock-off. The movie also didn’t feel preachy (which I think was a valid worry).

    * I think she sees it as condescending.

  20. I think everyone has their own “Nope, this is definitely not for me” limits regarding entertainment of any kind.

  21. “the more you’re exposed to Marxism, the more you come to want to fight even miniscule amounts of it.”

    That happened to me. Going to college at a school nick-named the “Berkley Mid West Campus” and being exposed to real leftists made me want to be as little like them as possible.

  22. meh, we’re of an age (within 6 months of each other I think, though I might be older than you by more than that. I’ll rat myself out: 1962) I saw the movie, I think much too much soup is being made from one oyster, or in the case of Bree, one moron. Being a top 4 PO during the time that “Captain Marvel” was supposed to have served (my service was 1980-2000, and I made E-6 in ’86) her experiences as remembered where about right for the time. The only thing I saw as “feminist” was the pose like “the fearless girl” and I’ll give them that one.

    I know what civil war looks like (Bosnia). I think that finding a middle ground between “all your right wingers must be locked up and “reeducated” and “line all the lefties up against the wall”, is worth trying for, even if I fail and we end up with pockmarked walls.

    • Note I don’t want to line them up against the wall. And I don’t think we’ll have to, if we just talk back enough to scare them. They love them some tyrants and scary people, see Che and all the Arab terrorists…

  23. So, I saw “Captain Marvel” and…mediocre is the most polite thing I can say. I was lucky to have a screener ticket and didn’t have to pay for it. I’m still tempted to try and bill Disney for $50 for wasting my time, and this movie did it in spades.

    You want to know why people don’t watch your movies, don’t watch your shows, don’t buy your books? I can see the plot twists a mile away. You don’t create characters that I care about. You contradict your own internal legacy and lore, and you make a chump out of Samuel L. Jackson. You are so concerned about SENDING A MESSAGE TO (insert particular leftist/Marxist talking point)-OCCUPIED AMERICA! that you don’t try to sell us the story.

    I want to buy your products, I really do.

    You just have to make something I want.

    • Well, that and they are now re-re-remaking movies. Folks learn fast a remake of a remake isn’t going to be any good, and a remake of some stuff is totally impossible, and attempts are a given to be lame as $#!*. (How bad would a today remake of Blazing Saddles or It’s A Mad Mad Mad World be?). Add in the tripe they push, and the more obvious formula stuff, and well, we see why they rely on foreign box to pay for most of this shite.

  24. you make a chump out of Samuel L. Jackson

    I have heard the eye thing was beyond stupid.

    If SLJ is made a chump, I’m out…no interest.

    No one puts Samuel L. Jackson in a corner.

  25. I just had this thought, with all this *You can’t play [X] character, because you aren’t of [Y]’ that is currently going around. Lets see what happens if we start ‘You can’t play a scientist/doctor/lawyer, cause you don’t have a science/medical/legal degree’ shaming….
    Just think of the fun with ‘You can’t play an evil right-winger, because A) there aren’t that many evil right-wingers, and B) you are all truly evil left-wingers’. Also ‘Since only people who are [X] can Play [X], and you played a racist bigot……..’
    I know, they exempt themselves, but the fun of their conniptions might be amusing.

  26. Shoes through the movie screen, Sarah? I somehow hear echoes of that delightful bit of Thurber, The Night The Ghost Got In.

    But that was a window.

  27. Rich Rostrom

    “most Arab countries were allied with Hitler…”