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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Take J-Man to the mat if you dare
« on: November 26, 2020, 08:59:55 PM »
I got a 38/40, I’ve read the Bible a couple of times in my life. I don’t understand how you only got a 31.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 24, 2020, 04:15:17 AM »
I'm already bored of the current narrative and far more interested in what it's going to be when Trump's loss is official. Will any of the "Trump is winning" folks admit they were wrong? Are these last couple of months going to be a collective mental block, like it never happened? Will it be a pivot from "Trump will win" to "he would've won if those libs didn't cuck him"? The possibilities are endless.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 11, 2020, 12:06:12 PM »
But this dude shows why the pattern of voting doesn’t follow Benford’s Law

Damn it, you beat me to calling out the braindead use of Benford's Law. Ran here as soon as I read Tom's link. The fact that these people keep trying to apply it to a very deliberate and roughly uniform division of people makes me uncertain if they're deliberately misleading or just stupid.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: November 03, 2020, 09:55:02 PM »
There are multiple other instances where he said it could be ready by the election.

So why have you neglected to provide a quote or screenshot then?

You clearly do not have one and can only insist on this fib.

Pretty clearly saying it could be ready by the election. I could see arguing "special date" means something other than election day, but I think that would be an incredibly disingenuous and stubborn take.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Trump
« on: June 02, 2020, 07:39:13 PM »
Police clear peaceful protestors with tear gas, etc., so that Trump can have a photo call at a church, holding a bible, and looking glum.

This is such a bizarre photo and even more bizarre response. Like, I find religion weird enough as is but I legitimately cannot wrap my head around the thought process of "there are riots, I said to shoot people, let's...go stand in front of a church, frown, and hold up a book?" It's a scene I can only imagine taking place in a far-out satire. But it's real.


Searing. I commented that you know what the president is doing is bad when Fox News has something to say about it. When the somebody at Fox News is a staunch lickspittle like Tucker Carlson, that conclusion is only more pronounced.

Wow. That's the first time I've seen Tucker Carlson have a spine. I'm genuinely impressed. He must have had to dig deep into the vile, insipid pool of muck where his heart should be to pull that out. I'm proud, though.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: May 21, 2020, 03:35:17 AM »
These reviews were written two days apart and I don't really care to modify them for reading one right after the other. Also I know they kinda suck (especially the first one since I was falling asleep writing it) but I enjoy writing them, so suck it.

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)

Full disclosure: This is my first viewing, and the version I watched was Ridley's Final Cut.

What is a man? Some would say a brain; some would say a soul; some would say a miserable little pile of secrets. But enough talk. If one programs a robot to feel pain, is that pain devalued just because it's an automatic sensory response? Is that not what our nervous system is? The line between human and automaton is infamously blurry, and while Blade Runner doesn't dig too deep into the questions and answers, it does portray a rather vivid image of the struggle.

Ridley's vision of the distant future of 2019 is one of a corporate stranglehold, rampant class inequality, advertisement permeating every aspect of our society, a constant struggle just to live. If it weren't for the robots and cyberpunk aesthetic, it would basically be spot on. I'm always fascinated by the run-down dystopian future in film, because, while it never seems to come to pass, it does a fantastic job at being a visceral representation of the fears and problems of the time: a way to shine a spotlight on issues and magnify them to really make things clear.

This film's cinematography is interesting in how much of it lies in darkness. Color mostly serves as a contrast to the dark, dingy atmosphere surrounding it. We see shot after shot of tan and brown alleyways full of garbage, filthy urban decor and towering steel spires spewing flame and gas into the atmosphere. The main sources of color are extravagant. Neon lights, Coca-Cola signs flashing on the sides of housing, LED billboards flying above the city. But most of the film settles firmly in darkness, characters conversing in dimly-lit rooms or sneaking between shadows in hunter vs hunter standoffs. It's a beautiful, unique contrast.

There's an interesting theme of eyes that runs through the movie, as well. Whether they're exposing someone as a replicant, leading the way to the next target, being used as rhetorical devices, or simply getting gouged out, there's a very obvious fixation on them. We meet the man who designs the replicants' perfect eyes, and we also meet the man (Tyrell) who designed the replicants and has to rely on trifocals. I'm sure there's a point about being overly reliant on technology in there somewhere.

I could cover more of the film, but it's been done a million times and by people far more qualified and talented than myself. I came in expecting a nice-looking action film, came out having gotten a very good piece of art. Blade Runner holds up almost forty years later in terms of being a film and in terms of visuals (hell, I'd argue it looks better than a lot of modern films) and is very much still worth a watch.

Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

Small notice: minor spoilers ahead.

The struggle of the sequel, especially one so far removed from its forebear, is how to continue the story without being derivative. Most movies in Blade Runner 2049's shoes do so by paying homage in the form of constant lip service, a stream of "hey, remember how this was a thing?" that ultimately kneecaps their ability to have a story and stand on their own. 2049 makes the smart move of crafting its own story, but showing its love for the original in the form of continuing and expanding on its themes.

I only just saw the 1982 film last night, so I have no nostalgia for it. That being said, I can understand where a diehard fan of the original might feel a little differently for this one. Where the original film is a mostly fast-paced sci-fi film with a good chunk of action, its sequel is contented to move at a much slower, more pensive pace. At almost a full hour longer than the original, I could see how its pacing could feel almost laborious in comparison. I'm not of the mind that a sequel should try to adhere to the same pace, style, and story of the original. I think 2049 is not only brave, but does a fantastic job in looking at the topics and the world borne by the original and examining them through a different lens: that of a film more interested in digging into the meat of these themes, breaking them down and making you wonder.

The idea of humanity and what makes one a "person" is the prime example. Where the film prior was interested in raising the question and exploring it on the surface–letting you dissect it if you want–that very question is at the core of the new film. Is a replicant a person? What if it was born, does that make it more real? What about a hologram? If it displays emotion, seems to think and feel, respond to you, is it real? What if it's designed to do that, what if it's a facade? Where does any of this begin and end? 2049 doesn't even try to make a judgment on any of these questions, but it does demand that you consider them.

Another theme carried over from the 1982 work is that of eyes, and everything they represent. Serial numbers are put on the underside of the right eye; the nu-Tyrell (played creepily by Jared Leto) is blind and using small drones to see; as well as a few other nods throughout. They even made sure there was a strange, rapey scene of questionable purpose in the sequel as well! Speaking of strange rapey things, I'm not sure how I feel about Jared Leto's character, Niander Wallace. He doesn't seem to serve much of a purpose other than being a sort of glue to give the film an antagonist. Where Tyrell served as an explanation and a living macguffin, Wallace serves to...occasionally touch people, say things menacingly, and talk about getting replicants pregnant so he can take over the stars. Which, fine, but...none of that ends up mattering or serving any purpose.

To use that as a jumping off point, if there's one major flaw this film has it is one of exposition. My favorite thing about the original Blade Runner is that a whole lot was left for the audience to figure out (reminder: I watched The Final Cut, so I didn't suffer through any narration or exposition dumps), whereas it feels very much like director Denis Villeneuve doesn't trust that we can follow along with anything. There are more than a few direct explanations of fairly obvious insinuations, and one flashback to scenes prior too many.

Exposition aside, this truly is a beautiful film, both on a cinematographic level, a story level, and a thematic level. Beautiful to look at, but even just watching and listening to characters interact is a treat. The romance in it is as heart-wrenching as the original's, and Ryan Gosling delivers a stellar performance somehow more emotionally reserved than Ford's Deckard 40 years ago, both when visceral emotion is required he claws at your heart and begs for your empathy, like a lost child. I feel like with a hand more willing to excise unnecessary scenes and dialogue, this film could have surpassed the original, but even with its problems I would say it still lands on the same footing. It's one of the most worthy sequels I've seen, and it more than earns its right to be loved as its own fantastic piece of art.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Now Playing (the Video Game Version)
« on: March 25, 2020, 10:59:49 PM »
Also playing Animal Crossing. Got stung by wasps six days in a row, a bear called my house swole, I'm a shitton of money in debt, and my official title is "Freshly-Delivered Lawn Clippings". 10/10 GOTY 2020/2021/2022/2023/2024

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: March 12, 2020, 04:07:38 AM »
Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach, 2019)

Holy shit. I was expecting a nice, bittersweet story about a divorce, not the harrowing emotional tour de force I just experienced. Probably one of the most mature, grounded films I have ever watched in my life. Noah Baumbach has a way of writing and directing dialogue that’s stylized, for sure, but only in that it feels like real people and real conversation compressed into its purest, crystallized form, to convey such emotions and the layered meanings people hide behind their words in a way that makes a two hour film feel like a real, breathing lifetime. I never once felt like I was watching actors, only people. Absolutely incredible. I cried many times.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Bernie 2020
« on: March 03, 2020, 01:13:54 AM »
What is the incentive for me to work harder for less of a percentage of the reward for the work?

Because you can still be rich...?

What incentive do I have to work harder if it means I can only make $8,000,000 a year instead of $11,000,000? I'd rather just work at McDonald's!

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: February 06, 2020, 03:45:03 AM »
GLOW (Season 1, 2017)

What a rollercoaster of feelings. I wasn't really excited for this and I only really checked it out because I was incredibly bored and really wanted to watch something but the Twilight Zone reboot was boring as shit. During episode one I fluctuated between thinking it's pretty good to thinking it's awful, and the following episode or two I was ready to drop it as schlocky misogynistic trash. But, once the gimmicks were set and the characters were all introduced, the show began such a wonderful deep dive into everyone as people and completely yanked the rug out from right under me. There's so much natural and well-done development, great plot and pacing, and while it's definitely not the deepest work of art in the world it definitely strives to be more than just a fun show. That and the fact that it has so much heart and everyone is clearly deeply invested just pulled me right in, and I couldn't not see it through.

And I know me crying doesn't have much impact by this point, but I cried a few times for what it's worth. Psyched and ready for the next few seasons.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Kyle Jurek
« on: January 24, 2020, 01:56:16 AM »
Hmm. Well I didn't read the whole thing but it looks like a patently biased Wikipedia page probably written by someone from CNN or NBC.

What is your reasoning/evidence for this?

And have the pros and cons of socialism been debated on this site? Is it even allowed or will it get shut down by Gulag Junker?

Of course:

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: January 12, 2020, 10:04:40 PM »
(2019) Sam Mendes - 1917

Wow wow wow. I'm rattled and shook. Utterly stunning. I begrudgingly saw it with my dad because he really wanted to, even though I generally don't find war movies very interesting, but I was so gripped by the story, the acting, the cinematography, the film in its entirety, and I even sobbed at the end (wow shock I know). Amazing film.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
« on: January 01, 2020, 10:49:47 PM »
I more or less agree with everything Saddam has said, which is a very strange feeling to have. I went in with pretty low expectations to just have a visually-pleasing, toothless spectacle, but it was actually pretty bad IMO. Palpatine's resurrection and main villainry (complete with hanging from the live-action Animus and just going "rahh" with his fingers a few times) was such a safe, predictable, bland, cop-out choice for a climax. As was the "I am your grandfather" twist. It really does feel like a twist for the sake of having a twist, and all I could think of when I realized what it was going to be (as soon as Palpatine said "she's not who you think she is") was Spaceballs' "I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate" scene. Rey's parents literally being unimportant was so refreshing to me, the idea that the Force doesn't just follow a few specific bloodlines religiously. But Abrams, much like Shyamalan, just can't resist a twist.

I was at least hoping for some entertaining choreography, but even most of the fight scenes were cuts every second or two and flailing lightsabers with the occasional spin or flip, nothing that great. I know the prequels kind of killed that sort of fight, since the original trilogy's bushido-based(?) fights were usually pretty good, but after a few actually visually interesting skirmishes in The Last Jedi I had a new hope. Alas.

The time gimmick of the film (they're going to launch in 15 hours!!!) made me roll my eyes the second it was out of Poe's mouth, as I was just lamenting earlier the forced breakneck pace of many adventure and action films, all the dumb time-limit stakes (made me think of Spider-Man: "Watch this, he's gonna say 'you've got 24 hours'" Fisk: "You've got 24 hours!"), and all the tension was dissipated—for me, at least—on the first fake-out death with Chewie and made me realize, oh, even though this is the final film of the trilogy trilogy we're probably only going to lose a side character and Kylo, since I was pretty confident they'd kill him off the second he redeemed himself because, again, Abrams is the "can I copy your homework?" "sure just change a few words so it's not obvious" of directors/writers. A bit hyperbolic, obviously, but not as much as I'd like.

I was kind of sad they didn't take the Finn/Poe route because they genuinely had that kind of chemistry on-screen. Rey/Kylo was expected because they're both main characters of opposite genders, not that it mattered for long. The most interesting thing between them was the extreme "Force dyad" connection between them that Rian introduced. When they battled via Force connection I thought that was fantastic, and the Chekhov's gun cleverness of the lightsaber swap. I enjoyed the epic scope of some of the shots, they did a pretty good job of really emphasizing the vastness of the universe and worlds in certain scenes. The music was mostly good. I'm sure there are a few other things I enjoyed but nothing else is immediately coming to mind.

I could go on with what I didn't like, but I feel three paragraphs is enough for now. It had a few entertaining parts but for the most part I thought it was pretty bad. I'm okay with the 5/10 reviews it's been getting, though I feel more inclined towards 4. It's pretty clear this saga (with the exception of VIII) was not made for me, but as someone who grew up with the series it sucks that this janky-ass unimaginative final film is the conclusion we get. I'm curious what Lucas' final trilogy would have looked like now.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Star Citizen
« on: December 09, 2019, 04:34:53 AM »
Now that the Anniversary sale is over, my scam fleet composition is now:

What's it the anniversary of? The game's announcement, its beta release?

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Star Citizen
« on: November 26, 2019, 04:20:07 AM »
I shot Parsifal with a railgun from 250 meters away while on one of Hurston's moons while he was dressed up in what was essentially a Hello Kitty outfit. I once boarded Parsifal's ship and he killed me by setting the self destruct and ejecting from the ship so I couldn't turn it off. Parsifal, Anastas and myself all got wiped by NPCs while in a bunker because Anastas fired a round that alerted them all to our presence and we didn't take cover. Anastas won out against Parsifal in a land fight because they were in a cave, Parsifal tried to use his sniper rifle and Anastas blasted him with a shotgun. It's not a bad game, just an unfinished one.

It only took like fifteen years for someone to make this game sound remotely appealing to me

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: September 04, 2019, 03:19:48 AM »
Started trying to check out some anime to find some that aren't garbage. I watched the first few episodes of The Promised Neverland, Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, and Mononoke.

The Promised Neverland had some of the worst dialogue and exposition I've ever seen in anime, which is a shame since the core conceit/twist is interesting enough. I just cannot stand shows that treat me like a child that needs everything spoon-fed to them. So I'm probably done with that one.

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash actually has pretty good writing, a neat world, and wonderful animation so far. That said...the women. Dear god. I hope it gets better, but it feels like it's written by a horny 13-year old. I haven't cringed so much watching an anime in a long time. Like, it's really, really bad. I may try to finish it, but we'll see.

Then Mononoke. This show is absolutely wonderful so far. It's an anthology sort of series, each story being about two episodes long (sometimes three if it needs more time), but the show is so lean and well-made that nothing is ever overlong. It's basically focused around Japanese folklore and mononoke (similar to youkai, but mononoke are spirits that tend to be more malevolent) and the Medicine Man, a mysterious medicine peddler who goes around trying to seal these creatures. To do so, he has to discover their "form" (what shape they take, what are they), "truth" (what is their purpose, what are they here for), and "reason" (what do they want), all of which unfold very naturally throughout the episode. The art style is gorgeous but definitely would put off some people.

I'm gonna keep digging because I know there are good anime out there, despite my experience to the contrary.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Just Watched
« on: September 02, 2019, 11:20:05 AM »
I was starting to wonder if I was insane. Thank you, lol

Notice how I’m not explaining any of the terms above? That’s because a regular Windows 10 user who’s savvy enough to replace the HDD with an SSD shouldn’t have to know what these things are.

Uhhhh I'm pretty sure you don't get to decide what the difficulty level of a project is, or what knowledge you should or shouldn't have to have.

"I shouldn't have to know how to solder to repair a circuit board!"

If I want to own a semi-automatic gun, I should be able to own a semi-automatic gun.

Why should you?
Because what I own is none of your business.

And how far does that extend? Do you believe one should be able to own any form of weapon?

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