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Messages - honk

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 14, 2024, 01:19:48 AM »
Again, I still don't understand exactly how wanting someone who has been charged with multiple crimes to have their day in court is wanting to "eliminate due process;" much less how having that same person entirely avoid having their day in court by being elected president and then abusing their office to make their legal problems go away is totally fine.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Man or bear?
« on: May 11, 2024, 04:08:21 AM »
I'd prefer it to be a moose. I feel like a moose and I could just let each other be. There would be an unspoken understanding between us that its mooseness and my humanness present no legitimate potential for conflict. Thus harmony prevails.

Praise the moose.

Please be careful. While moose aren't usually aggressive towards people, they're such enormous animals that they pose an inherent risk, and they can lash out if they feel threatened.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 08, 2024, 03:30:53 PM »
Yes, it's almost as if one party in this case is doing everything they can to keep delaying this trial until the election in the hopes of winning the presidency and making all their legal problems go away. I wonder who it could be?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 07, 2024, 03:04:03 PM »
Who cares? Seriously, how is this a valid legal issue?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 01, 2024, 01:23:09 AM »
Very impressive, Trump now has even more paper wealth that he can't realize or use in any meaningful way.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: May 01, 2024, 12:04:10 AM »
I have nothing to say in the face of such a thorough rebuttal. Anyway, so much winning:

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: April 24, 2024, 02:24:02 AM »
The Secret Service ensure Trump can't reveal things to people just as much as they protect him.

The fact that Secret Service protection for former presidents is an entirely optional service that the protectee is free to decline is enough to prove that this is wrong, and even if it weren't, a little bit of common sense will quickly point out the flaws in that theory. Do the Secret Service agents monitor their protectee's phone or intercept and read everything they write down? Do they suddenly rush in and get uncomfortably close so they can eavesdrop if their protectee is whispering in someone else's ear? Of course not. Their job is to protect VIPs, not to monitor or control them. I would go so far as to speculate that agents are strongly encouraged to avoid listening too closely to what their protectee is saying to other people so as to be seen as more discreet and trustworthy, although that's just my instinct of what the culture of the agency is probably like.

Even if Trump were sentenced to "prison" it would likely end up a form of house arrest. Trump isn't going to go to some random state or federal prison...Allowing a rambling old man who knows more national security information than most people into a prison is ridiculous.

I agree, but nevertheless, this would be impossible with the Secret Service in their current form. Legislation would be needed to either strip convicted felons of their Secret Service protection and let another agency handle the imprisonment or expand the Secret Service's functions to include providing custody of such a prisoner. I don't think anyone who matters was ever seriously suggesting we should just fling Trump into the general population of any given prison and let him fend for himself, which is exactly why the cries of "they want Trump murdered!" are so disingenuous.

This is what Action80 is talking about, if anyone's wondering and doesn't want to click his link. There's no one single case against Powell, there's no mention of this case being considered "frivolous," and I don't really think it's all that big of a deal whether or not Powell ends up being "disciplined" by the Texas Bar at all.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: April 20, 2024, 03:31:42 PM »
Again, if Trump is imprisoned, then the Secret Service will not be accompanying him into prison. It makes perfect sense to resolve the obvious conflict that would arise between the Secret Service and the prison by stripping convicted felons of Secret Service protection. Ignoring this problem will not make it go away. I'm not claiming to know exactly how Trump's imprisonment should be handled. I'm just saying that you can't imprison someone with Secret Service protection.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: April 20, 2024, 02:46:53 AM »
As the snipped article explains concisely, this is meant to resolve the fact that the Secret Service can hardly be expected to protect someone serving a prison term. If Trump does end up having to serve time, then something will have to be done about his Secret Service protection. Trump is not going to be strolling around the prison yard flanked by Secret Service agents. That's not a thing that any prison would ever allow.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: April 18, 2024, 02:26:37 AM »
Well it certainly makes perfect sense that the primary component of a movie's fanbase is the demographic that the entire genre is built around. It's sort of like being surprised that Transformer films are mostly viewed by teenagers as well.

You're not wrong. I just think it's interesting that of all capeshit films, it's the R-rated psychological thriller with no action or explosions where its most enthusiastic fans quickly make it clear how young and inexperienced they are.

This just in: most of Paw Patrol's audience is young children!

You're a teenager for liking Joker.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: April 15, 2024, 03:40:09 AM »
I don't mean to keep picking on Momoa like I have it out for the guy or anything, but he gave an interview before the release of Lost Kingdom where he talked about a couple of interesting subjects. I know that directors sometimes offer actors roles that they didn't audition for, but Momoa's account of how he auditioned for Batman and didn't think much of it until he was inexplicably offered the role of Aquaman makes me even more sure that Snyder cast Momoa more for PR reasons than artistic ones. Bear in mind that this was all long before Momoa became a star in his own right and developed his onscreen chill-dudebro persona. Back then, he was best known for playing fierce, intimidating characters, and most famously Khal Drogo on GoT. It's true that Aquaman has been portrayed in the comics as a brawny badass type as well, like Roundy pointed out, but that's hardly conditional on the actor cast in the role, is it? Very few lead actors in capeshit movies are already known for being especially big or tough beforehand. No, I'm pretty sure that Snyder was worried that people would mock Aquaman for being lame long before they ever saw him on screen, and so he prioritized casting someone he thought would nip those jokes in the bud. To me, that's a very silly and overly defensive attitude to take, but hey, I'm not the in-demand blockbuster auteur who continues to receive huge budgets and full creative freedom to deliver dud after dud, Snyder is. What do I know?

Momoa also talks about Lobo, and I think at this point we can pretty much say it's confirmed he'll be playing him at some point in the new universe. This is not how actors respond when asked about mere rumors. Anyway, as was mentioned in this thread earlier, Momoa would actually be perfect as Lobo. He looks the part without needing to be turned into a CGI monster, and he wouldn't need to leave his laid-back comfort zone of acting. My main concern is that with Momoa in the role, they'll very likely try to turn Lobo into the hero of the movie who has to save the day, blah blah blah, and that's just not his character. I could see Lobo as the protagonist of an irreverent, low-stakes MAX series where he travels around the galaxy and gets into hijinks, but for a big mainstream blockbuster, Lobo should absolutely be a supporting character, not a hero. Put him in a Superman or Green Lantern movie where he's a wild card who complicates the plot - maybe the villain hires him to take out the hero, and they get into a few fights, but at the end of the movie Lobo respects the hero enough to show up and help him defeat the villain. Something like that, as opposed to a movie like Lobo: Dawn of Capeshit.

Also, the teaser for Joker: Folie à Deux dropped a few days ago. I'm already exhausted by the discourse around it, just like I was for the first Joker. It's not even the movie itself that I dislike so much as it is its most enthusiastic fans; the people who praise it endlessly for simply going through the motions of being a serious movie and focusing on psychology and character rather than action and explosions. I'm not saying that anyone who liked the movie is dumb or easily impressed, but I think I can say with some confidence that anyone who truly thinks that Joker was brilliant and revolutionary probably never watches movies that aren't blockbusters. Like one infamous Letterboxd review said:

Anyway, here's the new teaser:

I actually think this looks way more intriguing than the first one. I think they did a much better job at translating the costume and makeup for Harley into a gritty, grounded setting than they did for Joker himself. The idea that this is going to be a musical is easily the most interesting thing going on here, but I have to say that I won't be fully convinced that this will really be a proper the-characters-sing musical until I see footage of the characters actually singing. Maybe I'm being a bit too cynical, but producers and directors lie about upcoming movies a lot as a general rule, and they never face any consequences for it. I think it's very possible that this movie might just have a lot of songs that play in the background, or music itself will simply be a big theme in the movie, and then the people who claimed that this would be a musical will shrug and say "Yeah, that's what we meant by a musical." I'm not saying that's what I think will happen, just that it's a possibility that I think a lot of people aren't even taking into account. Also, because this franchise is this franchise and has the fans it has, I just can't get over the people creaming themselves at the closing shot of Arthur smiling through the lipstick on the glass. It's neat, sure, but it's nowhere near as ingenious as people are making it out to be. (Check the comments and I guarantee you'll see at least a few people raving about it.) It's not even original. This is obviously where they got the idea:

I have no problem believing that virtually all of Joker's most devoted fans have never seen Taxi Driver or The King of Comedy (and if they had, I strongly suspect that they'd be far less enthusiastic about Joker), but is The Dark Knight, of all movies, really outside of their reference pools? This poster was everywhere when the movie came out. Maybe Joker's biggest fans aren't old enough to remember TDK's release. It would actually explain a lot if the bulk of the movie's fanbase were teenagers.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: April 12, 2024, 11:25:48 PM »
I don't know why Tom keeps saying this. It's like he thinks it's the general opinion of liberals, like we've been saying this over and over for as long as he has, perpetually locked in the fantasy that Trump's comeuppance is right around the corner, and obviously that's not the case with most of us. I doubt there are many American liberals that by this point don't have the attitude that nothing is going to hurt Trump because he's invincible, or at least that they'll believe it when they see it.

It's been a common tactic of Trump supporters over the past several years to try and lump anyone who's criticized or spoken out against Trump into one "team," and then act like there's an expectation that anyone else opposed to Trump has to somehow answer for the misbehavior or gaffes of any other Trump critics. They've done it with Louise Mensch, Piers Morgan, Bill Maher, Jussie Smollet, Brian and Ed Krassenstein, and especially Michael Avenatti, to give just a few examples. Just recently you might remember Tom doing it with Keith Olbermann. Obviously Trump and his team don't have a monopoly on stupidity or sleaze, and nobody here needs to defend or answer for whichever delusional people were confidently predicting Trump's downfall.

A great tragedy has occurred as the true killers of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman will now go scot-free.

I'm a little confused about what this is meant to imply. Having already been acquitted once, O. J. was already guaranteed to never face criminal punishment for his murders no matter how long he lived. The only tragedy here is that O. J. didn't die a long time ago.

Also, everyone has the right to a vigorous and effective legal defense, even the obviously guilty. Blame the police and prosecution for bungling the case, blame the jury for arguably making a dumb decision, but don't blame the defense for being good at their jobs.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: April 03, 2024, 01:03:36 AM »
On the 28th they were planning Easter Egg hunts for Easter, so they clearly knew what day it was.

All the more reason why the "Biden canceled Easter!" outrage is nonsense. Biden knew it was Easter, made an announcement for Easter, and held an event celebrating Easter at the White House. At this point, the only possible argument here seems to be that Biden shouldn't have announced the trans day because...Easter shouldn't have to share?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: April 02, 2024, 04:14:05 PM »
It has nothing to do with April Fools Day. Like the link points out, this trans day is on March 31st every year. It wasn't Biden's decision to put it on the same day as Easter to distract from the holiday or anything.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: March 26, 2024, 03:40:14 AM »
Also, isn't his networth increase due to Truth Social going public and the initial expected stock surge which will likely drop like a stone to its true worth soon after?

Yes. It's paper wealth in perhaps its most extreme form. Trump can't realize it and it's not going to help him pay his debts or cut any deals with financial institutions.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: March 25, 2024, 01:31:38 AM »
The Arkham games have always struggled the most of any series in trying to balance their high-stakes plots with their open-world formats. It's not helped by how inane and convoluted their plots end up being, and it's so unnecessary. The main draw of these games has always been playing as Batman and fighting his famous villains. There was no need to pair that up with an apocalyptic plot with a breakneck pace in which everything happens over the course of a single night. My big takeaway when I first played through the series was that the games would be so much better if they loosened up and took a more episodic approach, just letting you play as Batman as he faces off against his villains while he goes about his business.

It's a shame that you didn't like Dragon's Dogma, Crudblud. I'm enjoying its new sequel so far, though.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: March 19, 2024, 01:44:26 AM »
Speaking of stealth, the MJ/Miles sections suck ass. Yeah I really want to have the character who can run up walls and cover all of Manhattan in a matter of minutes by swinging from skyscrapers taken away from me so that I can slowly fumble around as an ordinary person while armed guards with extremely selective cones of vision and radii of hearing fart about in silly obstacle courses like a bunch of potatoes with legs.

You just don't understand the vision.

One final complaint is that for an open world game it feels super on-rails a lot of the time. Sometimes you finish an objective and then have nothing to do, but then literally one minute or less later someone will call you and tell you where to go next. I'm not sure what a good solution to this is, since there's nothing worse than having to complete minigames and sidequests to get the next piece of the main story, but it feels as though Insomniac didn't quite know which direction they wanted to go in with some of this stuff.

I have a solution - put a marker on the map with each new story mission, and whenever the player arrives at that marker, then they get a phone call from whatever character wants them to do something next.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: March 18, 2024, 04:16:26 AM »
Snyder is once more in the news, due to a recent interview with fellow chucklehead Joe Rogan:

Snyder said that he “tends to get in trouble” with comic book fans “because I do take a deconstructivist point of view. Because I care, I want to take [superheroes] apart.”

“People are always like, ‘Batman can’t kill.’ So Batman can’t kill is canon. And I’m like, ‘Okay, well, the first thing I want to do when you say that is I want to see what happens,'” Snyder continued. “And they go, ‘Well, don’t put him in a situation where he has to kill someone.’ I’m like, ‘Well, that’s just like you’re protecting your God in a weird way, right? You’re making your God irrelevant.'”

Snyder found it much more interesting to put Batman in a situation where he has to kill, taking inspiration from Frank Miller’s comic book “The Dark Knight Returns.” He said fans often don’t want to see their hero in a “no win situation because we don’t want to see him lose,” but that’s not story he wants to bring to the screen. Snyder isn’t interested in a superhero who “has to maintain this godlike status.”

As I said some posts back, I don't think that Snyder actually knows what deconstruction is. Simply ignoring the fact that Batman canonically doesn't kill (because Snyder thinks that the idea of a superhero who doesn't kill is childish and overly idealistic) and instead portraying him as a killer is not deconstructive of anything, at least not in and of itself. It's literally just doing something different. To put it in Snyder's terms, if he wants Batman to kill so that we can "see what happens," then we do in fact need to see what happens. There's nothing textually, visually, or thematically significant about the fact that Batman is a killer in BvS. He simply uses guns and kills people in the same way that a standard action hero in a standard action movie would use guns and kill people. Further proof that Batman being a killer wasn't meant to be deconstructive can be seen in the big Batman fight scene near the end of the movie. Despite the fact that this scene takes place after Batman's confrontation with Superman and the completion of his arc, Batman still kills a number of his enemies. The fact is that Batman's arc was never about not killing in general; it was specifically about not killing Superman, and to a lesser extent not branding criminals, although the fact that it was Lex who arranged for the branded criminals to be killed muddles the issue of why exactly Batman branding criminals is treated by this movie as being so deeply wrong, especially when compared to all the other things he does.

And like I said years ago, Batman does not kill in TDKR. There is one ambiguous scene in the comic, which I'm pretty sure was meant to be a fake-out to make the reader think that maybe Batman really did kill someone, only to be reassured later on by comments from both Batman and the police pointing out that he actually hasn't killed anyone. TDKR is full of little fake-outs like that to make us think that Batman is about to go too far, like Batman producing a rifle which fires a grappling hook and the Batmobile opening fire on a bunch of gangsters with non-lethal rounds. Snyder was clearly far more interested in TDKR's imagery and occasional snatches of dialogue than he was in its actual story. To be fair, though, Snyder is far from the only Batman fan who apparently interpreted TDKR as a straightforward story about Batman being awesome rather than a deconstruction - an actual deconstruction, not Snyder's incorrect idea of one. It's not as egregious a misunderstanding of the text as it for Watchmen.

Anyway, I've watched Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the final film in the DCEU before Gunn's new Superman movie presumably soft-reboots the whole thing. It's neither great nor a complete disaster. I guess the first thing I should say is that I was wrong about my "guarantee" of Momoa's performance being a major flaw in the movie. He still isn't what I'd call a good actor, but I'll credit him with putting a lot more effort into emoting and playing his role as more than just a chill dudebro than he has in previous films. Amber Heard has a much smaller role in this movie compared to the first one, and while I think she got a raw deal in the Depp trial and the discourse surrounding it (don't @ me), I can't really blame the filmmakers for not wanting to wade into the controversy surrounding her by giving her a big role again. She's never been a particularly good actress, anyway, lending their decision a bit more artistic credibility. So I wouldn't find this situation to be quite as unjust as, say, how Kelly Marie Tran was only given about a minute of screen time in TRoS to cater to the toxic vocal minority who hated her in TLJ.

The main problem with this movie is that it seems to be cramming two unrelated plots together for its main story. One is that Black Manta from the first movie is back and determined to exact his revenge on Aquaman, and the other is an absolutely shameless ripoff of LotR, complete with an underwater Sauron, an underwater Mordor, and an underwater One Ring in the form of a trident. I actually enjoyed how audacious the movie is in cribbing from LotR both visually and thematically, and I assure you that I'm not just reading too much into it or anything. Just one look at this underwater Sauron will show that there is zero chance this was unintentional. The issue is that none of it is necessary and just takes focus away from what should have been the movie's main conflict. Black Manta already hates Aquaman, and he's already dangerous enough to pose a serious threat to him. He doesn't need to be corrupted or mind-controlled, nor does he need an ancient evil weapon or an army of monsters to attack Atlantis. He's a successful pirate and treasure hunter, so presumably he's already got a gang, and it's not a stretch to suppose that he could have some new technology that Aquaman isn't familiar with. This doesn't need to be explained or justified within the movie. In fact, by keeping the threat that Black Manta poses as being entirely the product of human civilization, it could add a new dimension to the relationship between Aquaman and Orm, because Orm might consider it to be vindication for his plan to wipe out humanity in the previous movie.

The highlight of this movie is the return of Patrick Wilson as Orm. Like an absolute champ, Wilson refuses to let the fact that he's in a stupid and ridiculous movie hamper his acting, and he gives every scene absolutely everything he has. He delivers goofy exposition with a straight face that Adam West would approve of, he has great comic timing, and he makes Aquaman feel like more of a rounded character by playing the straight man to Momoa's wild exuberance. Speaking of the dynamic between those two, I've got to say I didn't like a brief gag where Aquaman sarcastically calls Orm "Loki." He's not making a reference to Norse mythology. It's very clearly a shout-out to the MCU, and it's very clearly for the benefit of the audience so they can see the inspiration. And it's so unnecessary! The MCU did not invent the idea of two brothers fighting over who would get to inherit the throne! It's unnecessary self-deprecation, like the filmmakers felt the need to sheepishly shrug and say, "Yeah, we're ripping off the MCU, so let's pay tribute to them in a weird bit of dialogue aimed at the audience," when it really isn't a ripoff of the MCU and no tribute was needed or owed. I know this is a nitpick, but something about that line really rubbed me the wrong way.

One thing that definitely is a ripoff from the MCU is the ending, where - look, I'm just going to say it, because this really isn't giving anything away about the story, and that's kind of the problem - Aquaman reveals the existence of Atlantis to the rest of the world. Yes, Black Panther had a similar ending, but in that movie, it was the result of the movie's actual themes and story. It was a logical and satisfying ending. In this movie, Atlantis being hidden from the rest of the world has fuck all to do with the themes or story. It's literally just there because Black Panther.

Here's my updated ranking of the entire DCEU:

1. The Suicide Squad
2. Wonder Woman
3. Shazam!
4. Birds of Prey (A-tier, genuinely good movies)
5. Blue Beetle
6. Aquaman
7. Wonder Woman 84 (B-tier, enjoyable despite their flaws)
8. Zack Snyder's Justice League
9. Shazam! Fury of the Gods
10. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
11. Black Adam
12. Man of Steel
13. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (C-tier, bad movies with some redeeming elements)
14. The Flash
15. Justice League
16. Suicide Squad (D-tier, utter shit)

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: March 14, 2024, 03:25:32 PM »
Comedy routines involving "random" ordinary people saying stupid things should never be taken as a representative sample of anything or in any way meaningful. It's a very real possibility that these interviews were entirely scripted and these people were paid to take part in the charade. And if they weren't scripted, they were almost certainly carefully selected from dozens of other interviews. If you spend hours and hours talking to lots and lots of people, you're bound to eventually run into someone of picturesque stupidity.

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