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Messages - honk

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Kevin Sorbo could totally win an Oscar.
If he were ever cast in a role as a washed up, meathead, out of work actor, loser who destroyed his career and alienated everyone around him with stupid bullshit, he could bring the role to life in a way that would captivate everyone with its reality.

That isn't really what happened, though. Sorbo's career was in decline long before he decided to reinvent himself as a reactionary weirdo. There's been a similar trend with other has-beens with persecution complexes, like Roseanne Barr or Scott Baio - the embracing of shitty politics typically comes after they had otherwise faded into irrelevance. I guess Gina Carano is an exception, though.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: September 26, 2022, 01:59:35 AM »
You know he's not going to just ignore your posts. And it's not just you in this case, anyway. I too am fascinated by Trump's enormous ass. He's definitely lost weight since leaving office, but his butt seems to be as robust as ever. Remarkable.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: September 24, 2022, 03:19:21 AM »
It's really sad how you guys would rather twist lines out of context and deliberately misinterpret them rather than argue in good faith and criticize Biden for his actual faults and weaknesses.

An obviously staged video of a child repeating what she's been told to say isn't evidence of anything. What a dumb argument.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The Queen
« on: September 20, 2022, 05:43:47 AM »
Tom is right. Biden should have just demanded a front row seat. It's important for the president to be able to show off how important they are at all times.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: September 20, 2022, 12:14:43 AM »

Even more of Ezra Miller's general insanity. It'll be interesting to see if WBD will really be able to stick to their guns on going fully forward with the Flash movie as if nothing is wrong. I can't imagine there won't be even more chaos and controversy surrounding Miller to come in the next several months before the movie's release.

Diversity is a good thing.

Maybe for investing and farming. But most diversity you see in the world is merely superficial. People will always segregate themselves by cultural background and social status.

Okay? I don't think that has anything to do with casting a black actress as the lead in a high-profile movie.


I feel like this author is very unnecessarily trying to both-sides a very one-sided situation and create a moral dilemma where none exists. Diversity is a good thing. A high-profile lead role going to a black actress is a good thing. I have absolutely no problem saying this while also acknowledging that this movie will almost certainly end up being mediocre and forgettable. The racists aren't going to "win" if the movie fails, no more than they "lose" when movies that aren't particularly diverse fail. A lot of movies suck, and if movies continue to grow more diverse, then a lot of diverse movies will suck. That's fine!



Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: September 11, 2022, 12:52:02 AM »
Thor: Love and Thunder (Taika Waititi, 2022)

I've got to stop watching these movies. The one part of this film that really works is the villain, played by Christian Bale with the perfect blend of menace and silliness. Everything else is terrible, and especially the writing. I have a hard time believing that the man behind What We Do in the Shadows was responsible for this script. The movie bombards the audience with jokes, and none of them are funny. Not a single one is anything other than annoying. There's a pair of CGI goats that obnoxiously scream all the time. Isn't that funny, Taika asks? No, answers anyone over the age of five, it's just annoying. Taika gives his own character, Korg, a very irritating high-pitched voice, and the sole joke with him seems to be that a rock monster has a voice like that. Isn't that funny? No, it's just annoying. Thor himself is a bumbling idiot throughout most of the movie and rambles like a stoner whenever he talks to another character, in what I can only assume are Chris Hemsworth's attempts at improv. Isn't that funny? No, it's just annoying. Every joke in this movie is fucking annoying. Oh, and the CGi is also terrible, but I expect that from Marvel by now.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: President Joe Biden
« on: September 07, 2022, 04:34:16 AM »
As I said in the Trump thread, Republicans and high-profile, mainstream conservatives insult and slander Democrats, Democratic voters, working-class people, and people who simply live in Democratic areas all the time. It's not just Trump; it's a ton of Republicans that do it, and they do it regularly. Here's Ted Cruz just the other day:

Even though there was some deserved backlash to this comment, you probably didn't hear about this on the news. It's partially because the mainstream media is numb to the general level of crudeness from Republicans by now, and it's partially because they've enabled the major double standard that Democrats are the ones who have a problem with insulting and disrespecting their fellow Americans, despite the fact that the vast majority of insults, abuse, and lies come from the other side of the aisle. It's why we still hear about how upset Republicans were by Hillary's "deplorables" comment and how it was such a huge gaffe that it cost her the election and why can't Democrats learn from it and blah blah blah, while Republicans and Fox News continuing to talk about how Democrats are pedophiles and are currently burning down major cities goes unchallenged. The same thing applies in this case. There is nothing that Biden said in his speech that wasn't considerably more measured, nuanced, and factual than the torrent of abuse Republicans regularly pour on Democrats and the residents of Democrat-run areas. Yes, Trumpism is a threat to American democracy. Trump and his followers want to put themselves in power and pass laws to ensure they'll never lose power. They look towards Hungary under Viktor Orbán as a model for what America should be. That is a disastrous, fundamentally anti-democratic, and yes, fascist agenda to pursue, and it deserves to be called out for what it is. If that offends you, then you deserve to be offended.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 03, 2022, 10:03:38 PM »
If the situation were as simple as Trump having declassified the relevant documents already, then the government wouldn't be doing what it's doing. There must be some sort of process to declassification that Trump didn't follow. Nevertheless, I do reluctantly agree with Tom in that I would be astonished if Trump were to be indicted for this or anything at all. Even if the investigation plays out perfectly and clearly implicates Trump, I think some important figure at the top will simply decline to prosecute Trump, probably for political reasons.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: September 03, 2022, 03:53:33 AM »
Marvel's Spider-Man

This game is an absolute blast. Controlling spoderman as you swing, zip, and dash around Manhattan just feels fantastic, and might even be the highlight of the game. The combat obviously owes a lot to the Arkham series, as many modern brawlers do, but there a few tweaks to make it feel a bit more unique, like how you dodge instead of countering attacks. I rolled my eyes when I first saw that there were going to be stealth sections, because it felt even more derivative of Arkham than the combat (stealth isn't exactly something spoder is typically known for, after all), but it really grew on me, and I soon started looking forward to every chance I had to take down a group of enemies entirely undetected.

The story is decent for the most part. This is a very likable Peter, even if his quips are sometimes terrible, and I really liked how they played up Norman Osborn's Trumpiness, but I will say that I think Octavius becoming Doc Ock would have been better left to the inevitable sequel. The relationship between him and Peter is great, but his turn as a villain is too rushed to resonate as much as it should. It also leads to story beats that feel a little forced, like how literally the first thing he does as Doc Ock is arrange a large-scale breakout at Ryker's and the Raft and form the Sinister Six. Kind of a wild first move for a brand-new supervillain, right? Octavius's similarities to Martin Li, particularly regarding his understandable animosity towards Osborn, also leave him feeling a little redundant in the overall story, and it's kind of annoying that at the last second the game apparently loses interest in Li and doesn't bother giving his character a proper conclusion, instead focusing entirely on Doc Ock.

The worst parts of the game are the fucking stealth missions where you play as MJ and Miles. They're disastrously bad. For one thing, they make very little sense in the story, especially for MJ. Her constantly sneaking into locations full of armed men hostile to her is stupid bordering on suicidal, and there is absolutely nothing she accomplishes that spoder couldn't and wouldn't have done a hundred times more quickly, more easily, and more safely. I might almost forgive their inclusion if they led to MJ growing as a character and realizing that there are other ways to help both her community and spoder than needlessly risking her life doing things she simply isn't equipped for, but no! When spoder finally confronts her, she argues that she's a Strong Independent WomanTM who can handle herself, the game frames her as being totally right, and spoder ends up apologizing for it! Even though she's clearly, objectively fucking wrong!

And even just looking at the actual gameplay, the missions are garbage. They're very simplistic, they're always on a set path you pretty much have to follow strictly, the mechanics are too shallow to experiment with, the AI is too braindead to enjoy trying to outsmart, the automatic fail once you're discovered is frustrating, and above all, they're dull and monotonous. Look, I have no doubt that at some point, there was a good idea at the core of what putting these missions in the game was meant to accomplish, but precisely none of that comes through in the final product. These missions should have been cut from the game, and the fact that they weren't suggests to me that they were probably a "pet" feature of someone too high up the corporate ladder to overrule who was determined to keep them in the game no matter how bad they were. I sincerely hope that these missions won't end up being in the sequel. Find something, anything else to do with MJ.

I wasn't sure if I really wanted to mention this, but the more I think about it, the more I feel that I have to - I have never seen a version of spoder this closely aligned with the police in any medium. Occasionally he'll comment on how he doesn't get along too well with the police, and sometimes a cop will throw a canned line at him about how he's not wanted, but for the most part, spoder seems to work with them pretty closely. He directly participates with and fights alongside them in multiple missions in the main story and the DLC, many, if not most of the side-missions and optional crimes he can complete involve him fighting alongside the police and helping them defeat criminals, and he "unlocks" each chunk of the world map by climbing a tower and hacking into their expansive surveillance systems (Ubisoft called, they want their dated game mechanics back) for the police. This wasn't a neutral or objective choice to present the game to the player. It was a narrative decision, and something that they could have very easily avoided, seeing how no other video game has featured spoder working this closely and directly with the police.

And there's no use dismissing this subject with a line like, "Oh, it's just capeshit, of course they're not going to go much deeper than the police being good guys," because this game does explore the ramifications of New York being oppressed by an authoritarian organization abusing its power - it's just the private military company Sable International that does it, not the NYPD. In the latter part of the game, these mercenaries begin using excessive force, trampling civil liberties, and imprisoning innocent protesters. spoder naturally finds this behavior unacceptable and soon becomes their enemy, even as he reasserts his allegiance with the NYPD, whom the game explicitly portrays as the "good" version of law enforcement, the organization that by contrast apparently doesn't infringe on civil liberties or hurt and imprison innocent people. But the game can't even keep this anti-authoritarian message consistent, because by the end of the game, the head of the company inexplicably joins your side, and in the DLC, spoder discovers that she's actually a wonderful person and a true hero deep down, just like him. I'm sure Insomniac meant no harm, but this simplistic portrayal of the police as unquestioned "good guys" and regular allies of spoder was tone-deaf back in 2018, and comes across as even worse now. Again, I'm really hoping that the sequel will do better on this subject.

Oh, and the DLC are pretty mediocre. They're not the absolute worst, but they're very short, don't have an especially interesting central conflict, end on very abrupt, unsatisfying notes, and in general have a very rushed, half-assed feel to them.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: September 02, 2022, 09:35:23 PM »
Republicans regularly heap insults and abuse on Democrats, Democratic voters, and residents of blue states. Whenever Democrats try to fire back at them, however nuanced or measured their criticism is, Republicans clutch their pearls and sob about how deeply they've been wronged. Even to this day they're still bringing up Hillary's "deplorables" comment from years ago as evidence of how mean Democrats are.

We might be better able to offer an opinion on any of the incidents you're referring to if you posted a link to the footage in question, or even just to a news article talking about what happened.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: August 19, 2022, 03:54:23 AM »
This is practically ancient history at this point, but it's been several weeks since Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony about Trump's meltdown on January 6th, and despite anonymous - sorry, confidential sources telling the media that the story wasn't true and that the Secret Service agents involved were eager to testify and deny it all, no such testimony has materialized, and the Secret Service as a whole seem to have nothing more to say on the subject. This is only conjecture on my part, of course, but I believe that they wouldn't have had a problem testifying if the story were false. I suspect that either the Secret Service's leadership doesn't want to put their agents in the position of essentially "telling on" the president, or the agents themselves are refusing to testify out of (understandable) fears of angering the MAGA hordes, especially after seeing how Hutchinson had to go into hiding after her testimony.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Superhero Movies & Comics General
« on: August 03, 2022, 08:14:46 PM »
According to Variety and the other Hollywood trade magazines, this was entirely a financial decision based on the movie's lack of true blockbuster status, and just one of the many canceled projects being left in the wake of new Warner Bros. Discovery (yes, that's the company's new name) CEO David Zaslav. Only the NYP are saying that it was because of how bad the movie was. Ordinarily, I'd be more inclined to believe that the motive was to avoid (further) tarnishing the DC brand by releasing a shitty movie that won't even make money from theaters than some weird philosophical objection to mid-budget action movies, but it would be naïve not to take the NYP's reputation into account here. They originally broke the story, so they're clearly talking to someone at WBD, but I think it's very likely that their source, knowing it was what they wanted to hear, embellished the accounts of the movie being terrible so as to push a get-woke-go-broke narrative.

If it's true that the movie was too bad to be released, though, then WBD aren't doing themselves any favors by pretending its quality had nothing to do with it. beardo might be pleased by this news, but tons of people on social media aren't, and abruptly canceling a movie that was already being widely hailed as a positive step forward for representation, as well as the return of Michael Keaton's Batman after thirty years, is really bad PR. They would have been better off just saying nice and diplomatically that while the cast and crew were fantastic and did their jobs perfectly, the movie just wasn't where they needed it to be and they would rather do Batgirl justice at a later date than underwhelm the fans now with a disappointing movie. Not that hard, right?

Actually, here's another article from Variety saying the plan is to just write it off in their taxes. How boring.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: August 01, 2022, 05:07:14 PM »
I'm with Tom on the seal issue. Everyone knows that Trump isn't the president anymore, and he's clearly using it to advertise his own personal involvement in the event, not trick anyone into thinking that it's an official presidential event. Pointing to this as evidence of his criminality is just over-egging the pudding.

I don't mean that it shouldn't be taken on face value in the sense that it should be interpreted symbolically or metaphorically; it's simply out of context. They're the words of a human character who is shown to be mistaken by the end of the story.

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked
No, only in the death of the innocent.

"If the scourge slay suddenly, He will laugh at the trial of the innocent." — Job 9:23

Job himself says that line in the midst of his despair, before he learns to humble himself before God and accept that his own misfortune means nothing in the face of divine wisdom. The Book of Job as a parable is morally dubious, but a line like that clearly isn't meant to be taken at face value.

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