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Messages - honk

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Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: January 05, 2023, 06:24:45 PM »
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Rian Johnson, 2022)

While it's still an enjoyable watch due to Daniel Craig's delightfully goofy performance, this is nowhere near as good as Knives Out. I don't like how it's structured. About halfway through the movie, we're presented with a major twist and treated to a lengthy flashback and an exposition dump that tells us what's really going on. It's meant to recontextualize what we've seen in the first half, but to me, it felt more like the movie was awkwardly restarting and trying to cram a whole new story into its remaining runtime. I also feel like Johnson's eagerness to bash Elon Musk comes at the expense of the movie's story, although it's hard to go into details without spoilers. Very briefly, the movie emphasizes that the villainous Musk stand-in is dumb as well as sleazy, and so the crimes he commits are stupid and poorly thought-out. Unfortunately, because this is a mystery film, that essentially means that the plot of the movie itself is stupid and poorly thought-out. I have no love for Musk, but the story of the film is what should always take precedence, not the accuracy of the parallels to real life. I would much rather have a more satisfying story with a Musk stand-in who's a bit less like the real-life Musk than a less satisfying story with a Musk stand-in who's a bit more like the real-life Musk.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 30, 2022, 09:29:53 PM »
"This is not what serious oversight looks like," a GOP aide told reporters, adding, "We're worried about a cycle of political retribution that might come from this and one that will make our politics even more divisive. We think folks will come to regret this. We think Democrats will come to regret this, and I think they may regret it sooner than they think."

Right, so they're going to point to this as "justification" for whatever stupid punitive thing they next come up with when they're in power, and I'm sure we'll see plenty of people smugly echoing this in agreement. "This is all the Democrats' fault for insisting that Trump's tax returns be public!" Never mind that if it wasn't this that Republicans used as justification, it would be something else, and if they couldn't find anything to use at all, they'd do it anyway and insist that having the power to do something is its own justification. Requiring presidential candidates to reveal their tax returns is not unreasonable. If someone wants to be the president of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, then yes, they should be financially transparent. It's simply not a big ask for someone who expects to be trusted with that kind of incredible power. Nobody is forcing anyone to run for president. If revealing their tax returns is something that a candidate is unwilling to do, then the very simple solution of not running for president is always open to them.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue. People of all political stripes should agree that requiring financial transparency from the president of the United States is a very good thing and should be the law. It's ludicrous that the Republicans' tribalism and blind loyalty to a former president is leading them to come down so hard on the clearly wrong side of a very, very simple issue.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 27, 2022, 04:03:58 PM »
I was just kidding earlier, but it seems as though Tom's position genuinely is that we can only go by Hannity outright declaring bluntly that it is his belief that the election was stolen. We can't interpret his words and actions in a reasonable manner. Only an outright declaration on his part is sufficient evidence.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: December 24, 2022, 11:52:07 PM »
inb4they cast some foppish pansy like Timothée Chalamet as the next "Superman"

Nonsense, Chalamet will be playing the next DCEU Batman. Also, Dwayne Johnson commented on the DCEU shakeup a few days ago. While he seems to leave it open to possibility that we might be seeing his Black Adam in the future, I personally doubt it. Johnson clearly wanted to be the top banana of the DCEU, to the degree that he was already planning a Black Adam vs. Superman movie, and it's very unlikely that he'll want to come back in a supporting role after years of effectively being shelved.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 23, 2022, 05:56:59 AM »
Initially after the November 2020 election, Hannity appeared to be all in with Trump’s false election claims. On November 29, he texted Meadows saying he had his team trying to prove election fraud: “I’ve had my team digging into the numbers. There is no way Biden got these numbers. Just mathematically impossible. It’s so sad for this country they can pull this off in 2020. We need a major breakthrough, a video, something.”

This certainly doesn't sound like someone who doubts Trump's claims of fraud.  It sounds exactly like the opposite.

Yes, but Hannity never said precisely, "I, Sean Hannity, wish to state on the record that I believe that Biden stole the election from Trump," and therefore you can't really say that he claimed that he believed the election was stolen. That's how it works, you know. You can't interpret his words the way a reasonable person would and make a reasonable conclusion about what he meant; you can only go by him outright saying it as bluntly and unambiguously as humanly possible. That's the same reason why if you point a gun at someone and demand their money, you can't get charged with robbery unless you outright say "I will shoot you unless you give me your money." If he just hands you his money without you bluntly spelling out first that you'll shoot him unless he gives you his money, then he's just making assumptions and has no one to blame but himself for losing his money. Pretty cool, right?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Speech Warrior Elon Musk
« on: December 23, 2022, 05:42:53 AM »
No one actually believes in free speech. It's a made up idealistic gibberish concept, like communism or a perfect circle. It's not real. It doesn't exist in reality. Everyone has some "I believe in free speech... but". Pointing out that people don't believe it (like Musk) makes for plain boring intellectual circlejerking.
People do believe in free speech, but free speech doesn’t mean you can literally say anything you like...

While I understand where you're coming from, you're making an entirely unnecessary concession here. There is no conflict between freedom of speech as a general concept and privately-owned websites having and enforcing rules about what you can or can't say on their platforms. Twitter has never needed to "justify" how enforcing its rules fits into the broader scope of free speech any more than you would need to justify your decision to walk away from a random asshole bothering you on the street. For that matter, no reputable website relying on user-generated content, let alone a for-profit one, would ever limit its rules to simply be no more than the scope of the law. That's how you end up with another /b/. It was ludicrous that Musk would ever think it was a good idea for Twitter, and it's even more ridiculous that so many people agreed with him.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Speech Warrior Elon Musk
« on: December 22, 2022, 05:30:24 AM »
People who manipulate media organizations usually aren't so brazen about it.

...then how do you know that Roth used to unilaterally control Twitter similar to how Musk does now?

My problem is that people who are upset about the "hypocrite" meme aren't actually believers in free speech. They don't care about the core issue one way or another. In other words, why does it matter that Elon is a hypocrite if the outcome is the same either way? Why bother complaining about it at all and take up space on this forum?

As far as this discussion on this forum goes, I don't have a problem with regarding the subject as settled and moving on. I just don't think that it's irrelevant or unimportant that Musk's supposed big justification for what he's doing is a lie. I think he'd lose a lot of support if he admitted that his primary motivation is personal rather than ideological, and that he just wants to be able to remove posts and ban people that he doesn't like.

If Musk was really the popularity desperate guy you make him out to be, he'd be a generic liberal (like all the other celebrities seeking nothing but popularity). Any person with access to google would know that demographically, the West is mostly left-leaning. Why pander to the right if he's so desperate to be popular? Your line of thinking doesn't make much sense.

Musk panders to the right for the same reason that Donald Trump, Ben Shapiro, Matt Walsh, James O'Keefe, Jordan Peterson, Mike Cernovich, Tim Pool, Steven Crowder, Candace Owens, Charlie Kirk, Michael Knowles, and pretty much any other high-profile political grifter panders to the right - there's no market for transparent grifting posing as political commentary on the left. If Shapiro had tried to cater to the left, he would have been quickly exposed as an idiot and broadly rejected - only an audience of conservatives would see him as an intellectual and idolize him. If Cernovich had tried to cater to the left, he would have been quickly exposed as a boorish creep and broadly rejected - only an audience of conservatives would see him as a manly stud and idolize him. Likewise, Musk had no hope of ever being a progressive hero, as his long record of deliberately flouting corporate regulations and mistreating his workers would have told against him all too clearly. Only conservatives would idolize an exploitative billionaire like him. I also suspect that only conservatives would be gullible enough to buy into Musk's carefully cultivated myth of how he's a modern-day Thomas Edison, a brilliant scientist-inventor who's personally paving the way to a golden future through his keen scientific mind and many wonderful inventions, rather than the more mundane reality of Musk not really being a scientist or an inventor at all, but a businessman who made a fortune (with the advantage of starting out with a sizable inheritance) through making the right corporate investments and acquisitions. The only thing Musk has in common with Edison is his habit of taking credit for other people's work.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: December 18, 2022, 01:18:27 AM »
More drama!

Cavill also shot a cameo in The Flash, one of four DC movies set to release in 2023, but sources say that cameo, along with that of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, is now being cut given that the studio chose to not go forward with director Patty Jenkins’ version of Wonder Woman 3.

Safe to say that Gal Gadot is out as Diana, then.

Cavill found himself in a confluence of different headwinds at the studio. Dwayne Johnson pushed for his return via the much-hyped cameo in Black Adam and a potential linchpin for Johnson’s own DC universe franchise. But Black Adam has grossed $389 million worldwide, its soft performance calling into question Johnson’s much-touted plans for a sequel and an eventual Adam vs. Superman movie even before Gunn’s decision.


“In the end, he was a pawn in Dwayne’s failed attempt to control a piece of DC,” one insider observers.

Heh. I feel bad for Cavill getting jerked around by the studio like this, but I can't really say the same for Dwayne Johnson. I think he could do with having his ego deflated a little. Oh, and like the article says at the end, Cavill has a new gig already lined up, so I guess he's landing on his feet.

In related news, Gunn said on Twitter that Batman will be a big part of the universe going forward, not something just reserved to the Reeves movies. I've talked before about how I think that audiences could easily accept two different versions of Batman simultaneously appearing in separate continuities before, but I didn't think the studio would be confident enough to actually let it happen. Assuming that we won't be seeing Batfleck again outside of his supporting roles in The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, that must mean they'll be recasting the Dark Knight once again. And then what? Will the DCEU Batman only appear in team-ups, or could he get his own movie? Of course I'd be delighted if he did, but I don't know how far WBD wants to push the Batman brand, so to speak. Just imagine, two separate Batmen in their own concurrent film series. Truly a Batman fan's dream come true.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Speech Warrior Elon Musk
« on: December 18, 2022, 12:19:06 AM »
It literally did and his name was Yoel.

There is no evidence of that. Even Musk's much-hyped "Twitter Files" supposedly bringing Twitter's terrible corruption and liberal bias to light showed Yoel Roth participating in discussions with other Twitter employees where they eventually decided how to handle certain situations. Completely different from Musk's unilateral decision-making.

No one actually believes in free speech. It's a made up idealistic gibberish concept, like communism or a perfect circle. It's not real. It doesn't exist in reality. Everyone has some "I believe in free speech... but". Pointing out that people don't believe it (like Musk) makes for plain boring intellectual circlejerking.

Right, so you agree with me on this subject, and yet your issue lies not with the person falsely claiming to be a free speech purist and using that as the justification for what he's doing, but with the people (correctly) pointing out that he's a lying hypocrite. Interesting take, I guess.

How about you respond to things I say and not the things you prefer I say.

I am. You saying that he's "falling into the trap" implies that it's something that hasn't happened yet or is only just beginning to happen, rather than something that already happened years ago. This isn't a deep psychological dive on my part. Musk wears his insecurities and his desperate need to be praised and seen as cool on his sleeve, and anyone can confirm it for themselves by looking at Musk's Twitter feed, which is mostly him sharing high-fives with bottom-feeding right-wing grifters.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Speech Warrior Elon Musk
« on: December 17, 2022, 03:34:32 AM »
And yet, Twitter randomly banning people It Doesn't Like wasn't really a problem when Musk wasn't the one doing it. It's only now that it generates headlines on other sites.

You're taking a lot for granted here, and you'll have to be more specific if you're trying to make a tu quoque argument. It's safe to say, however, that pre-Musk Twitter did not have an similar figure at the top regularly making unilateral decisions about who to ban and what new rules to suddenly invent, and therefore can't meaningfully be seen as equivalent.

Musk being a hypocrite is only tangential to the actual problem people are having with Twitter. More importantly, had he not become a hypocrite and Twitter turned into a pool of slurs, people like yourself and Roundy would be crying about it anyway, so what's the point? Either he keeps free speech (and he gets hate for it) or he changes his mind and walks it back (and he gets hate for it).

Sorry, are you conceding that Musk doesn't actually care about free speech, and that his big justification for what he's doing to Twitter is complete bullshit? That's what this post seems to imply. I mean, it's fantastic if you are, because it'll save us some time. Musk himself and his thousands of devoted fans are still pretending that he's being totally neutral and objective.

My only concern is that Musk is falling into the trap of actually caring what people on Twitter think, which is made all the worse by the fact that he owns the website.

You clearly don't know anything about Musk if you think that this is anything new for him. He's been desperate for popularity for years.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Free Speech Warrior Elon Musk
« on: December 16, 2022, 07:34:02 PM »
If you don't like it, start your own social network, sweaty.

There is no conflict between recognizing that Musk has the legal right to ban anyone he wants to and also that he's a huge hypocrite for disregarding his previous assertions that only outright illegal speech would be banned.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: December 14, 2022, 06:02:10 AM »

Never say never, I guess, but Batfleck making a comeback looks extraordinarily unlikely. Affleck has spoken numerous times over the past couple of years about how miserable and stressed he felt during that part of his life, leading to him putting on weight and relapsing into his old drinking problem. Since leaving the cowl behind, he's cleaned himself up, gotten his career onto a track that he seems to be more satisfied with, and even reunited with and finally married Jennifer Lopez. He's clearly far happier and more fulfilled now, and I can't imagine why he'd suddenly want to put himself back into the stressful position that caused all his recent problems.

Also, Jason is much more fitting as Lobo.

Agreed. Momoa's usual laid-back swagger would be a perfect fit for Lobo.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: December 12, 2022, 03:50:04 AM »
More news regarding the DCEU! The biggest takeaway is that the last of the "Snyderverse" actors - Gadot, Momoa, and Cavill - are probably on their way out. And this coming right on the heels of Dwayne Johnson making such a big deal about Cavill finally coming back as Superman, and even putting him in his movie! I'm convinced, by the way, that Cavill quit The Witcher not because he didn't like the deviations from the source material (a theory that most fans seem to be taking for granted), but because he wanted to clear his schedule to play Superman again. If I'm right, then the poor guy got well and truly shafted on this. As for Black Adam probably not getting a sequel, I can't say I'm particularly disappointed. It wasn't a great movie, and there's no reason to suppose a sequel would have dramatically improved upon it.

It's worth pointing out that James Gunn responded to this article on Twitter and tried to vaguely cast doubt over it as a whole. It's a PR-savvy response, but I wouldn't take it as anything more than damage control on his part. THR isn't a clickbait gossip rag. Their scoops usually turn out to be dead on, and I'd be willing to bet that this one is no different, although it's of course possible that WBD will change their minds about any of these franchises. You can see why Gunn felt the need to publicly dispute this article at least in part by glancing at his replies and the army of devoted Snyder fans angrily demanding more Snyderverse movies. For fuck's sake, these guys are clamoring for more Batfleck, of all things!

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 07, 2022, 05:24:58 AM »
The impeachment process is a process granted to legitimate Presidents, not illegitimate ones. An illegitimate President would not be granted that process. The process of impeaching the President assumes by default that it is a legitimate President.

This is contradictory. You're saying, "There is no distinction in the Constitution between legitimate and illegitimate presidents, and therefore the distinction is..."

Also, I really doubt that an upcoming Trump or DeSantis Administration will care about Trump's company legally being barred from receiving government contracts. They'll find a way to offer Trump business through a loophole, or maybe they'll blatantly defy the law and dare anyone to try and stop them.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 06, 2022, 05:54:08 AM »
Trump is correct. The Constitution does not outline what happens if there is fraud. When the Constitution talking about how the winner of the election is certified and put into power it is implying that the legitimately elected person is certified and put into power. The process of impeaching the President, or the powers of the President has, implies that it is talking about a legitimately elected President. If it is an illegitimate President then nothing in the Constitution can protect him. Large parts of the Constitution can be discarded because they are not applicable to an illegitimately elected President.

The Constitution applies to everyone at all times, and the fact that the president is always assumed to be legitimately elected is exactly what contradicts your assertion that the rules are totally different when it comes to a fraudulently-elected president. If the president did genuinely owe their election to fraud, then the Constitution, far from protecting them, would provide the remedy for removing them from office - impeachment.

Further developments:

lol of course

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: December 06, 2022, 03:14:22 AM »

At this point, I honestly think that Trump is deliberately escalating his rhetoric as a show of force, a way of reasserting his power over a political party that will continue to rally around him no matter what outrageous things he says or does.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: November 26, 2022, 07:46:02 PM »
I watched Black Adam, thanks to Rama pointing me in the right direction for it. I more or less agree with Roundy's take on it. I think what really killed this movie for me is just how thin as a character Black Adam is. He doesn't have much of a personality under his spiky one-liners, and the movie's repeated insistence that he's especially edgy because he kills rings false. This franchise has already been firmly established as one in which capeshitters kill, and they kill quite a lot. Even Superman and Batman are killers. Black Adam also killing people comes across as business as usual, not as the act of a brave and edgy freethinker bucking the conventional wisdom.

Another point that jumped out at me is how fumbled the film's attempt at political commentary is. Kahndaq is a Middle Eastern country that has been invaded and exploited many times over the years, and is currently under foreign occupation. Seems like this is going somewhere interesting. The current batch of invaders are a group called Intergang, and no description of who they are or explanation for their presence is ever offered. And just like that, any impact this subplot may have had goes down the fucking toilet. You can't do that! You can't take a setup like that and then end up pointing the finger of blame at fucking Team Rocket! Needless to say, these guys are nothing like the Intergang from the source material, so why give them such a ridiculous, capeshitty name? If this movie wasn't prepared to offer any serious political commentary on the treatment of real-world countries like Kahndaq, then it shouldn't have acted like it was going to "go there," so to speak, to begin with.

Now, of course a movie like this isn't going to be portraying Black Adam killing American soldiers or anything like that, but I can still come up with a better premise than the one we got. Say that Kahndaq is currently occupied by a corrupt and authoritarian private military company - one with a proper name, not "Bad Guys Inc." When Black Adam starts killing them, Amanda Waller and the JSA could get involved when it turns out that this PMC has been placed in charge of Kahndaq by the U.S. government as part of an overall plan to maintain order in the Middle East. The JSA travel to Kahndaq to stop Adam, not simply because he kills people, but because he's threatening the political stability of the entire region, at least in the eyes of the U.S. government. But of course, Adam doesn't care about political instability; he only cares about Kahndaq. See? Isn't my idea so, so much better? Now Adam is genuinely edgy and controversial, now the JSA actually have a believable reason to come to blows with him, and now there's political commentary that actually means something and might leave some of the audience thinking about it after the movie is over.

In short, the movie is mediocre overall, but it never drags, and there's nothing especially offensive or obnoxious about it, so I can't really bring myself to dislike it too much. Oh, and Pierce Brosnan is great as Doctor Fate, and brings dignity and gravitas to every scene he's in.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: November 18, 2022, 10:57:08 PM »
I'll watch the latest capeshit once a decent version of it is available online. In other generic fantasy news:

House of the Dragon (2022)

It's very tempting for critics of the LotR show to point to this one and argue that it's the perfect "this is how it's done" counterexample, especially given their concurrent airing (something that I guarantee was not a coincidence, even though Amazon will never admit it). And to be sure, the level of technical competence on display puts LotR to shame. Every episode is masterfully crafted by excellent directors and editors, brought to life by terrific actors, and overseen by experienced showrunners who know what they're doing and have a clear vision for what this show is meant to be. But I think people are missing out on properly critiquing HotD if they're only viewing it in the flattering light of how much better it is than LotR, as this show does have some major flaws.

The main issue is how frequently the show jumps ahead in time and recasts its main roles. This may have been something they had to do to properly tell this story, but the effect is rough. The story's momentum feels like it's always being interrupted. More casual viewers will probably be confused by the constantly changing faces. And most importantly, the aged-up versions of the characters we've already seen are so unlike their younger counterparts that they're essentially entirely new characters. Young Rhaenyra is cheerful and enthusiastic; older Rhaenyra is bitter and world-weary. Young Alicent is warm and caring; older Alicent is cold and manipulative. Young Laenor is solemn and dutiful; older Laenor is hedonistic and irresponsible. Young Aemond is creepy and emotionally-stilted, older Aemond is brash and assertive. It's very difficult to maintain a level of investment and interest in characters that are suddenly replaced with ones that look and act so differently.

I also have a few problems with the casting. Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke are fine actresses, and I have no issue with their performances in and of themselves, but they're simply far too young to be playing Rhaenyra and Alicent. The show tries to cover up their youth with some makeup and costuming meant to make them look a little bit older, but it isn't convincing, and the effect is laughable whenever they're side-by-side with actors clearly only a few years younger than them that we're meant to believe are their sons. It's not like D'Arcy and Cooke are huge A-listers that the show couldn't have been made without, after all, and the fact that the show erred so young in casting them really feels to me like more of the weird and shitty habit that movies and TV shows have of avoiding casting actresses above a certain age whenever they can get away with it. Fabien Frankel is similarly too youthful as Criston after the main time skip, but I can at least understand that the show was in a tough position with him, as it would have been really awkward to recast a character who was a grown man and not a teenager from the beginning.

Finally, the ninth episode, "The Green Council," is a pretty bad hour of television. Hinging the central conflict of the show on a ridiculous soap opera-style misunderstanding over which Aegon a dying man was referring to was stupid. The race between Alicent and Otto to find Aegon first made no sense at all - why was it taken for granted that the first one to find him would be the one to decides what he'd do? Both the king's mother and his Hand would have plenty of access to him once he was on the throne. The focus on Arryk and Erryk as if they're suddenly main characters that we totally care about was bizarre and wrongheaded, and the fact that there's no way to tell them apart muddles any appreciation of their character development (Which one expressed unease with putting Aegon on the throne? Which one fought Criston? Which one defected? I don't know! They're fucking identical!). Turning Larys into a weirdo who's into feet robbed him of his mystique. And perhaps worst of all, the big climax with Rhaenys casually slaughtering hundreds of innocent people but then choosing not to kill the only people present that it would have actually made some sense to kill was idiotic to the point of frustration. And the show frames it as an act of magnanimity! That she's doing the right thing by not taking action to avert what promises to be a horrific war, even though she's apparently fine with hundreds of entirely innocent people dying in her wake!

Apart from the above, though, HotD is pretty good overall, and I can't wait for the next season. If you were a fan of GoT but felt burned by its monumentally shitty final season, I'd encourage you to give this one a try.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 16, 2022, 05:48:18 AM »
I didn't expect that after the election results but there you go.

Oh, come on, this was an easy thing to predict. If the midterms went well, Trump would take credit for it and announce his candidacy as a victory lap. If they went poorly, he'd fall into his familiar role as underdog and insist that only he could save the nation from its impending doom. There's no scenario where he would have humbly backed down or allowed someone else to take the limelight he sees as rightfully his.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Midterms 2022
« on: November 15, 2022, 06:09:39 PM »

Chuckle. Even some at Fox News are turning away from Trump now. Obviously the real cult members never will. Sad, to quote the "great" man himself.

The knives are out for Trump on many right wing media outlets.

While I would love for the GOP to descend into a messy civil war between its pro- and anti-Trump factions, it's important to remember that we've been here before, numerous times:

As trite as it sounds to say, Republican voters are the ones who'll decide if and when Trump's political career is over, not the Republican establishment. It's also worth bearing in mind that Ron DeSantis, Trump's only real competition, has a major disadvantage - he has the charisma of a tire iron. That hasn't been a problem for him in keeping control of Florida, but he may struggle on the national stage.

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