Morning Ed: Society {2016.07.20.W}

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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  1. Avatar Damon
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    says:

    Email: yeah, well there’s a subset of folks who just don’t fricking respond. As she said “I have 2 hours of free time a night. I’d rather be spending that time with my husband and the family vs texting/emailing my friends (me and others). Can’t argue with that..but that’s how you end up with no friends…which kinda sucks if you’re getting a divorce.

    Ghostbursters: Christ, I’m so tired of hearing about this. The old one was “good” but it’s seen it’s day. I’ll watch the reboot on tv next year maybe. I’ll not see it in theatres because I want to see new stuff there. Why people have to “reboot” stuff is beyond me. Most of them have been worse than the first movie.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Damon
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      It is becoming more and more obvious that one of the primary functions of the culture wars is to keep people interested and invested in aspects of popular culture that most would have otherwise grown weary of long ago.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to j r
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        says:

        And people wonder why I have such a sour attitude about culture, society, and people.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to j r
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        says:

        jr,
        Bullshit. The culture wars are being exploited to earn money. Earning money is the point of capitalism, not “keeping people invested” in things.

        PR for Ghostbusters says it’s a mediocre movie, btw. Haven’t seen it.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to j r
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        I think its less culture war and more normal course of consumerism. What you buy isn’t only about the qualities of the product itself, it’s what your choice in that purchase says about you as an person. Maybe it’s becoming more pervasive but I don’t think it’s exactly a new phenomenon. The introduction of social justice politics and social media into the mix maybe gives it a nastier tone.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi in reply to InMD
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          says:

          InMD,
          you’re missing the pushers.Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to InMD
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          says:

          @inmd

          I don’t think that it’s a new phenomenon at all. For as long as there has been a consumer culture, there have been marketers trying to sell products based on identity and aspiration. And I think that most of the current culture wars are just a continuation of that.

          Are you a #woke feminist who wants to stick it to those troglodytes who say that women aren’t funny? Then go see Ghostbusters and support it on social media and write glowing articles about it.

          Are you a #redpill kind of guy who is tired of political correctness and cultural marxism invading every aspect of our once great nation? Then refuse to see Ghostbuters and attack its defenders on Twitter and write inane thinkpieces about how Hollywood has been taken over by non-funny feminists.

          These folks say very little about whether the movie might or might not appeal to your individual aesthetic sense of what makes for an enjoyable movie. Because your individual aesthetic sense is just an emergent phenomenon of your bourgeois indoctrination/politically correct brainwashing. After all, the personal is political.Report

          • Avatar veronica d in reply to j r
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            @j-r — This is too cynical tho. The mainstream film industry remains pretty male dominated, so let women be happy when we get a title focussed on us. It remains true that the majority of films this year will focus on stories about men.

            And sure, some women-oriented titles will be really good, but most will be mediocre, just like the male-oriented films. So it goes. This is mass culture.

            And before you drop bullshit, yeah, in an ideal utopia, no one would care if a film featured a Nigerian lesbian or a British white dude — stories are stories. But that is not the world we live in.

            Our lives are lived in the particulars. There is no “universal story” — and if there was, why assume it is white and male?

            Many of us are severely underrepresented in the media. Specifically, my group, transgender women, are not only underrepresented, but we are grossly misrepresented. It’s disgusting and horrible. The narratives shown about us are mostly dishonest. Our lives are not like that. Our thoughts are not like that. We are not like that.

            The truth is not always pretty, but it ain’t the shallow “Lifetime movie” version either. Fuck that shit. Truth is truth.

            It seems like, we can tell our own truths. No one else can. So it goes.

            ####

            I saw Ghostbusters today. It was fun. It was silly. But I was entertained. And yes — I FUCKING LIKED SEEING WOMEN PLAY THOSE ROLES, CUZ I’M A WOMAN.

            They were like me. They were people will flaws like my flaws and aspirations like my aspirations. It was just different from a dude film.

            I thought the villain was ham-fisted. He was a sad nerdboy pissed at the world. Basically, he was the SJ version of a “gamergate” guy.

            Those guys exist. But still, it’s a shitty stereotype.

            But if you fuckers can expect me to accept a world with Silence of the fucking Lambs, you can handle this.

            #####

            Was the production of this film “cynical” — maybe, but why assume that? That assumption says much about you and not so much about the film producers.

            People like me exist. We believe we are underserved by the current market.

            WE CAN PROVE THIS USING SIMPLE MATH.

            A film producer who steps up and says, “Women are underserved. Let’s make something for them.” — this is admirable. It is not pandering. It is responding to real people with real wishes.

            Basically, judging women-in-general is rather different from judging sadboy redpill-fucks-in-general. There are a ton of movies for sadboy nerds. Always have been. How many “geeky dude gets the girl” movies have been made?

            I grew up with that crap shoved down my throat. As a woman, maybe I wanna see “geeky girl gets the guy” (or even better, “geeky girl gets the girl.”)

            (And thank the stars for John Waters and the original Hairspray. That shit was literally unprecedented.)

            Anyway, the world is actually sexist, manifestly and obviously. The “culture war” is a shitshow, but what do you expect? Paradise? A conflict free world where everyone is always at there best and no one ever strikes out at the bullshit?

            Sometimes I’m fucking pissed at shit and wanna throw rocks. Don’t you?

            #####

            Women are underrepresented. Minorities are underrepresented. Trans folks are misrepresented, to a point that is fucking obscene. Some level of pushback is admirable. You should support this.

            Honestly, you seem smarter than the dumb fucks like DD and “notme” and so on. You seem “right leaning,” but not stupid. You can see this, right?

            Ghostbusters is a dumb popcorn movie. I liked it. It was loud and colorful and a great way to spend the afternoon — and honestly I had A VERY BAD DAY TODAY DEALING WITH SOME REAL LIFE SHIT THAT I WON’T DESCRIBE BUT I FUCKING NEEDED A NICE STUPID FILM TO TAKE MY MIND AWAY FROM SOMETHING SO FUCKING AWFUL I WANTED TO KILL MYSELF.

            Blah. Sometimes a dumb-funny movie is just what you need. This movie features women. That was really cool.

            #####

            I fucking hate the culture war. But even more I hate snobby cynicism about the culture war. This shit matters. It matters a lot.

            Anyone who thinks they’re “above it” should just shut the fuck up.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Damon
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      I mean, good grief. No one needs to watch the movie if they don’t want to. That said, considering I’ve watched Bruce Wayne’s parents get murdered maybe 3983498023902934 times the last ten years and I kinda don’t want to see the Spiderman origin story again either, plus how many times will I watch Superman arrive on Earth from Krypton? — my point is, people obviously like remakes and reboots and spin-offs and recycled pop culture.

      Is this good? I dunno. Opinions vary. But the question is, why the big fucking freakout over this movie? What made this reboot so different?

      The guys freaking out over Ghostbusters really were sexist shitpuppies. I mean, they manifestly were. That doesn’t mean everyone who doesn’t like the movie is a shitpuppy, but it does mean that the conversation about the movie is happening in that context. So it goes. If you step into a toxic culture space, you will encounter badness.

      If you don’t wanna see it, then don’t see it. If you don’t wanna talk about it, then the internet is large. You can surely find other conversations that interest you.

      There is a “random” button on TV Tropes. Click away. You’ll never be starved for non-Ghostbusters related content on the internet. From here you can get to a random page on Wikipedia. Click, click, click. Find something cool.

      If you’re bored, you’re boring.

      Anyway, the majority of movies out of Hollywood are written by men and star men in the key roles. This remains true today.

      (I think many people perceive that the balance has shifted. They are wrong. It has not. If you think that “too many” movies these days feature women or minorities or whatever, you might ask what is causing you to make that cognitive error. Hint: it’s not the facts. It’s your perception of the facts.)

      Speaking as a woman, it’s really great to see more female-written and/or female-focused media these days. It’s great to see more minorities. It’s amazing to see trans women represented accurately (which remains incredibly rare).

      You don’t have to care about this. If you don’t care, then don’t care. Go do something else.

      I care.

      You know that cliche where people with money can say, “Money doesn’t matter,” but poor people know that money does. A person with much food can take food for granted. A hungry person cannot. Etc.

      The analogy is obvious, right?

      Now, we add Sturgeon’s law to the mix. Sure, maybe the GB-reboot will suck. I dunno. It seems like opinions vary. I have some time off this week, so I may duck into a matinee and see it — if I’m sufficiently bored. I doubt it will hit me like Max Max or Jessica Jones did, but neither am I expecting that.

      Regarding the endlessly aggrieved sexist manchildren who have been grousing over this movie — I mean they are just rotten little shits. We should treat them as such.

      I’m sure we all agree.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to veronica d
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        I’ve seen studies indicating that when you ask people what the gender breakdown in a room is, men report “50/50” once women clear 20% and “female dominated” without even getting to 50%.(I wish I could remember WHERE I saw those studies)

        You get very similar numbers when asked whether men or women participated equally in a conversation. And even female teachers will give the same wrong responses when discussing classroom participation.Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Morat20
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          @morat20 — The studies are elusive. If you ever find them, PLEASE TELL ME. I’ve been searching.

          I fear this is “urban legend” data that gets passed around.

          By the way, the “20%” figure not the number of women in the room. It’s the amount of time women speak, specifically students in a classroom setting. It got cited once by Geena Davis in an interview, but it does not appear in any of the papers published on her website.

          Note, I suspect it is true. I’ve certainly observed this. People indeed overestimate “diversity,” where a small amount of diversity feels like a “very diverse” environment.

          Which indicates a weird cognitive bias. If one woman and one Chinese guy in a room of eleven white dudes feels diverse to you, then you need to recalibrate your sense of diversity.

          Anyhow, I’ve seen people suggest that the “20%” figure comes from Dale Spender’s work, but her stuff isn’t published free online.

          This is a good start: http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/prejudice/women/Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to veronica d
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            Yeah, I can’t find it either, but I recall reading about it somewhere substantive. (Which doesn’t mean much these days). Maybe I just can’t figure out the right key word searches — psychology and gender studies aren’t my area — and frankly the internet is pretty cluttered with gender studies, arguments, and such that keep getting thrown up.

            (And the article I recall noted that roughly 20% was true in studies for speaking, and true for crowds — separate studies.)Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to Morat20
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              @morat20 — There was another one about how people perceive the “extras” in the background of a movie set. But I’m pretty sure the “20%” is the “speaking in classrooms” study.

              In any case, there is a real phenomena here. I just wish the data were better organized.

              The social sciences are in disarray.

              (I have this book on my Kindle, which I picked up after the author gave a talk at my office. I need to get around to reading it.)Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to veronica d
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                We always wish the data was better organized. That’s one reason I did my machine learning thesis using stock market data. Because, if nothing else, there’s a lot of money in those data sets. Clean, accurate, and complete.

                Some people like the problem of trying to clean data. I just wanted to see if I could show that the boundaries of the problem were creating implicit fitness conditions that could be addressed inside of the explicit fitness criteria.

                What I found was “yes”, “probably” and “Not related directly to the problem, but if you do THIS thing in THIS particular way for THIS problem you find your results are much more reliable*”

                Of course, right after I had finished that I had a *fantastic* idea for mitigating local minimum problems for that particular type of problem, but I’ve been too busy since to even play with it. (Even though I *also* found a really efficient algorithm for comparing how similar two strings are that would really speed up my idea in practice).

                (*Mean and median results were far, far, FAR closer meaning. Your output had a lot less volatility).Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              @morat20 — By the by, this just showed in my feed. Try it during your next business meeting.

              https://cathydeng.github.io/are-men-talking-too-much/Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to veronica d
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        If you don’t wanna see it, then don’t see it. If you don’t wanna talk about it, then the internet is large. You can surely find other conversations that interest you.

        This. I have enough stuff just in my Netflix queue to keep me entertained for several years, even if they never make another show. Through in Hulu and Amazon Prime and I am set for life. Doctor Who alone will keep me going for a long time.

        I do think that, apart from the overt sexism in the present case, people have this dread fear of not being current. It was disconcerting the first time I stood in a supermarket checkout looking at the magazine covers and realized I didn’t know who any of these people were. But then it was tremendously liberating when I also realized that I didn’t care.Report

  2. Avatar Aaron David
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    I love SciFi, and I love Raymond Chandler. What I hate? SFnal PI fiction. I almost always blows, blows worse than Eliot Gould as Marlowe.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to notme
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      Clearly the problem is that the penalties for killing a cop are currently too light.

      I suppose it’s better they waste their time on this than on expanding police officers’ “bills of rights” and such.Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Troublesome Frog
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        The gov’t can make other stuff a federal crime, so why not this one?Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to notme
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          I’m not suggesting that they can’t. I’m just suggesting that it’s pandering nonsense rather than an actual solution to a legitimate problem.Report

          • Avatar notme in reply to Troublesome Frog
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            I agree that gov’t panders all the time.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Troublesome Frog
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            Sure, but it plays into the larger issue of “hate crimes” as a class, in that once we’ve established that there are protected classes of people, it’s pretty easy to carve out all sorts of exceptions or enhancements for those classes, and just as easy to decide what constitutes a protected class (such as police).

            Now I didn’t read the proposed law, so I hope it conforms to other federal hate crime statutes (in that a prosecutor has to show that animosity towards the class was at play), but if IIRC, many state hate crime bills are not as restrained, and on this front, states like to follow the feds.

            The real problem (if I can grease this slope just a bit) is that government does love to protect itself, and has a habit of bringing down the hammer on those who are not good, compliant citizens, especially those citizens with limited access to the legal system. I mean, police already love deciding any struggle is resisting arrest, how much of a stretch is it to decide that a struggle is also attempted assault on an officer?Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Oscar Gordon
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              I’m on the fence about the concept of hate crimes. There are a couple of good arguments in favor of something like them, though:

              1) Certain types of violent crime are not just an attack on the victim but rather an intentional act of intimidation against a broader class. Terrorism would be a reasonable term for it, and I can see the argument for additional penalties. But if that’s the reason, I’d want the application of the law to be pretty darned narrow. That’s a tough needle to thread.

              2) Certain types of crimes were historically underprosecuted by local authorities, so having the option for the federal government to step in and ensure that justice is done is important.

              In this case, it just seems stupid. The first one doesn’t apply because it’s hard to argue that people are not being punished sufficiently for murdering cops. Unless we plan to add “boiling in oil” or “buried alive with your children” to the list of penalties, there’s sort of a maximum distance we can turn that knob.

              And if somebody wants to convince me that local authorities are not prosecuting the murder of police officers, they’re going to have to bring some fairly serious data to support that claim.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Troublesome Frog
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                There’s a third possible prong: Murder as a hate crime, for instance, tends to combine the worst aspects of premeditated murder with the broad potential victim base of a spree killing.

                Generally, if you decide you’re gonna kill someone — it’s a specific someone. Someone that ticked you off. Cheating spouse, mean boss, whatever.

                If you’re a spree killer, you just snap and shoot anyone at hand. Generally until you’re killed.

                With murder as a hate crime, you decide to go killing — but your target is any member of that group that crosses your path once you start.

                Once you kill your cheating spouse or your mean boss, you’re done killing. Your boss and/or spouse is dead. The deed is done. With a hate crime, there’s still a lot of [group X] out there.

                So, from a legal perspective, adding an additional punishment is merited for the simple reason that, well, you’re an extra danger to society above and beyond a regular murderer.

                Even if you killed just one person, it wasn’t “unique person, unique circumstances” — you’re STILL gonna think [group X] deserves death and still going to run into [group X]”.

                The damage potential is higher than vanilla murder.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Morat20
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                @troublesome-frog

                I understand all that and I agree it has to be something that is very, very narrow. Which is why I worry, not because the feds are thinking about adding the class to the list (since the federal law is relatively narrow), but because the states are not so careful with their criteria. It’s a setup for letting privileged interests get themselves classified.

                Think of it this way. AAs are a protected class. We have a problem in some areas with AAs being treated more harshly by the police. If the police get to layer on yet another legal vestment to protect themselves with, then we’ll have any claim of hate crime by the police of AAs being met by a counter claim of hate by AAs for the police. Guess whose claim trumps?

                Personally, I find all such legal protections of law enforcement to be miscarriages, since the executive branch already enjoys vast structural & cultural privileges.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                Oh, it will definitely be abused. Right now it looks like “assaulting an officer” is a potential blank check for extra charges, so if every case of assault on a police officer is a hate crime, we have a new trick for running up the scoreboard.Report

            • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Oscar Gordon
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              I think you’re getting what hate crimes are and their purpose a bit wrong here. They don’t create protected classes, at least not in the sense that it’s a hate crime to kill ethnic group A but not a hate crime to kill ethnic group B. Instead, it makes it a crime to target a member of a particular type of group (racial, religious, sexual identity, etc) on the basis of that person’s membership in that group, regardless of which group it may be. In other words, it can still be hate crime to kill a cishet white guy.

              The other thing is that the purpose of the laws aren’t really to demonstrate any special hostility to this type of crime, but instead to provide a way to get around double jeopardy if the local jurisdiction’s cops/prosecutors/jurors are unwilling to effectively punish the crime. And even in the age of BLM and cell phone video, I have a hard time believing that it’s difficult enough to convict cop killers in this country that we need a federal hate crime law to deal with it.Report

  3. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    Scalzi writes:
    “Holtzmann is brilliant and spectrum-y and yet pretty much social anxiety-free”

    So, 2016’s Strong Female Character, then.

    “Oh noes! Ghostbusters has womens in it!”

    As Kim points out, making GB all-women was a stroke of genius, because it has a prewritten defense against any criticism. “Oh, you don’t like new GB? That’s because you hate women.” “No, it’s because–” “–it’s because it has women. Stop lying! The only difference is that there’s women in it now and if you don’t like it then the only possible reason is that you hate women!” “Whatever.” “Look, we’re not going to get anywhere if you aren’t willing to have a conversation about your sexist bigotry.”

    “it’s been well-reviewed and at $46 million, is the highest grossing opening for its director or any of its stars and perfectly in line with studio estimates for the weekend.”

    hehehehehehe left unsaid is that it ended up in second place on its opening weekend and the toys were on clearance shelves before the movie even came outReport

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to DensityDuck
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      I haven’t seen anyone actually claim that the Ghostbusters remake “ruined their childhood”.

      I have seen a lot of people scornfully declare that imaginary people on the internet haven’t had their childhoods ruined.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to DensityDuck
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        I have seen a lot of people scornfully declare that imaginary people on the internet haven’t had their childhoods ruined.

        You know, if there isn’t already, there should be a term for that… it’s not a strawman argument its like a straw-victim argument. Surely the internet has a better meme for this?Report

  4. Avatar Michael Drew
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    Adapted from a comment by me over at Will’s Other Place, where he also posted this link:

    The attempted takedown by Zacharek of the 1984 film is remarkably underpowered given that it is the crux of the social point she is making. Almost as if it’s a position she holds more for the purpose of making that social point than because she actually has a strong take on the film. (Perhaps this is a longstanding, passionate view of hers, but regardless she’s wrong: her argument is astonishingly thin. It’s a hilarious film and a masterwork (dammit!).)

    Her argument about how maybe this year’s film will be future generations’ 1984 Ghostbusters is both unrelated and delusional. Ghostbusters (1984) can both be every bit the superior film, and jerks can therefore denounce the reboot as abusively they have, and it could every bit as much still turn out to be the case when all the years pass. But also, it won’t, because there is no example like that. The 1932 Scarface? Seriously? That’s her example? Ghostbusters was a legitimate sensation (rightly), and has remained so, however much Zacharek does or doesn’t think it merited. As she suggests, I was unaware that there was a previous Scarface film. No one’e ever going to be unaware that this Ghostbusters was a remake of a generational megahit. They might like his one better – it’s more up-to-date technically and probably reflects our times better socially, but it’s not going to be anyone’s childhood the way Zacharek seems to concede the original was.

    I was similarly incredulous about similar predictions made about The Force Awakens. No Star Wars are going to be for this or later generations what the original Star Wars films, or even Ghostbusters, was for kids in those generations. That’s not how kids operate. They have their own things. Latter-day installations of dated series are not the things that generations of kids define their childhoods culturally by. Sorry, just no. And their own things aren’t even necessarily movie-theater movies (obviously – Pokemon Go, anyone? Halo Seventeen?). That is the sense in which film might be (relatively) dying, and Zacharek, though to her credit she brings it up, then just doesn’t really consider that change in the media obsessions of young people as relevant to her argument at all.

    (The closest thing I know of to the kind of pattern Zacharek imagines from recent years might be Mad Max: Fury Road, which definitely inspired a devoted following to rival that of the originals. But that’s bar-lowering: the Mad Max films, while classics, simply weren’t the phenomena that either Star Wars or Ghostbusters were. They were hits, but they weren’t generation-defining. Subculture-defining (for one generation), maybe.)Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Michael Drew
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      @michael-drew I’m glad you cross-posted this comment. It was great.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Michael Drew
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      Just a note on Star Wars based on niece anecdata.

      The cartoons seem to be the defining Star Wars experience for those born in the early 21st century. Which in turn made everyone get hype for Force Awakens.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kolohe
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        Clone Wars & Rebels are, despite the age of the target audience, some pretty solid shows.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Kolohe
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        I’m skeptical it’s generation-defining like Star Wars was in the 80s. But maybe!Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to Kolohe
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        I took my older spawn, age eight, to see The Force Awakens. She definitely wanted to go. Her age cohort are very much aware of Star Wars. She seemed to enjoy the movie, paying attention the whole time rather than dropping broad hints about additional snacks. But since then has been pretty much nothing. Star Wars is a thing for her, but far from the defining cultural phenomenon of her childhood.

        So what is? Minecraft. Both she and her sister (age six) are obsessed with it. They both have Kindles, which in practice are mostly Minecraft players, and they obsessively watch Minecraft videos on YouTube.

        Speaking of which, YouTube is the medium of choice for most of their pop cultural intake. And not slick professionally produced videos. The older one went through a phase of watching videos by teenage girls talking about stuff like organizing school supplies.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to Kolohe
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        I’ll see your anecdata, and raise you. My kids never liked the cartoons for some reason, but really enjoyed the originals, and have watched them a lot because their friend’s parents have the Star Wars DVDs. One of my kids cried in a certain scene in Force Awakens.

        Star Wars was defining for a generation, but it was really the only decent all-ages space opera for the longest time. Lucas crowded-out his competition, and its really only the Guardians of the Galaxy that can now claim to compete in that sandbox.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kolohe
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        says:

        Pink Kzin!
        (I’m really glad everyone forgot about the toon Trek)Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Michael Drew
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      says:

      “Almost as if it’s a position she holds more for the purpose of making that social point than because she actually has a strong take on the film.”

      So, basically everything that people say about GB 2016.Report

  5. Avatar Francis
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    Since there’s no thread to discuss the Convention Day 2, I’ll start one here.

    I was really appalled by Christie’s mock trial. Calling for the imprisonment of your political opponents should be way way beyond the pale. One of this country’s great successes has been the smooth hand-off of power from one administration to the next, even when the parties have been bitter rivals.

    It is not acceptable for senior politicians to turn opponents into enemies. That is just too dangerous a road.

    (Collateral point: Is there any point at which NPR will note that the level of demonization of Democrats going on in Republican leadership is unprecedented? Mara Liason referred to Christie’s speech only as “brutal”.)Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Francis
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      Stay tuned, Our Tod’s thoughts about what we can really learn from l’affaire Melania will be up in just a few minutes.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Francis
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      ” Calling for the imprisonment of your political opponents should be way way beyond the pale.”

      Except for the part where, y’know, those political opponents actually did do things that other people have gone to prison for.

      That’s important to remember in all this, that nobody is saying Clinton did not have her own email server and did not copy information from an SCI network onto it. We get plenty of Clintonsplaining about nothingburgers and wasn’t-then/shouldn’t-be and how this is all politically motivated, but everyone agrees that she actually did do the thing people are accusing her of doing.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to DensityDuck
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        How about if R’s call for her to be shot or hung for treason? Because both have happened in the past couple days. Not just random internet commenter’s but by elected R officials.

        Everybody agrees she did wrong things. There is a disagreement about whether she committed treason, committed felonies, should be in jail…that kind of thing.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to DensityDuck
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        says:

        meh.

        I see this is a purely team-sports issue rather than a values, ethics, or legal issue. As in, were this to have all transpired with someone on the other side of party lines, I see pretty much everyone arguing the exact opposite of what they are now.

        How bad she got caught in the stupid and entirely unnecessary lies about it all, though… That’s likely going to leave a mark, on both sides of the aisle.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Clinton did not have her own email server

        Legal

        and did not copy information from an SCI network onto it.

        Apparently not. At most, it appears she recieved information that was improperly marked. In fact, I’ve not seen one reputable source indicate she sent any of the improperly marked information.

        We get plenty of Clintonsplaining about nothingburgers and wasn’t-then/shouldn’t-be and how this is all politically motivated, but everyone agrees that she actually did do the thing people are accusing her of doing.

        That’s what happens when you make up what happened. Reality fails to deliver.

        Although one would think a Republican led FBI report indicating no laws were broken and even making the “administrative remedies” argument casually conflated emails sent and received — would be sufficient to indicate that it is, in fact, a nothing-burger.

        Hope springs eternal for Charlie Brown and that football though.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to Morat20
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          says:

          Yah..just explain how it’s not a legal problem if I’d done it. And don’t use “she’s a ruler, not a drone”. I’d have been fired or in prison or both.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Damon
            Ignored
            says:

            Yah..just explain how it’s not a legal problem if I’d done it. And don’t use “she’s a ruler, not a drone”. I’d have been fired or in prison or both.

            Comey did that. He literally said she broke no laws. So no, you wouldn’t have been in prison and you know it.

            And frankly, having dealt with that sort of data? That level of leakage, of that banal material? It wouldn’t even have merited an undocumented talking to. So no, no firing either.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
              Ignored
              says:

              Depending on a radical reinterpretation of a law’s plain language to reach a desired result is…entirely in keeping with modern liberal philosophy, actually, so I guess your response to this shouldn’t be surprising.

              “having dealt with that sort of data?”

              Well, you haven’t.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Depending on a radical reinterpretation of a law’s plain language to reach a desired result is…entirely in keeping with modern liberal philosophy, actually, so I guess your response to this shouldn’t be surprising.

                So Comey’s a liberal, that’s what you’re saying? He radically reinterpreted the law? Why exactly should I believe YOUR interpretation over the guy with ALL the information, a reputation for being tough, and if anything a political ax to grind against Clinton?

                What information do you have that he didn’t? What background in law, classified information, etc do you have that he was missing that makes him wrong and you right?

                Well?

                Well, you haven’t.

                Actually I have. Not SCIF-level stuff, but that wasn’t what was found on her server. I have dealt with business side equivalents (right up to having admin rights on DB’s storing business information worth tens of millions), and on the government side dealing with stuff like rocket flight data, DoD contract data, etc. Some of which was more heavily protected than anything on Clinton’s server.

                From the information released, if a full audit had been done of 4 years of work, where the “iffy” stuff was 110 emails (53 chains) most of which I was the recipient of…..nothing would have happened administratively beyond “We found this. These are the ones you sent. Remember to think about this when you send stuff”. No punishment, no retraining, no letter in my file, not even a closed-door vocal reprimand.

                But you go right ahead. You CLEARLY know more than the FBI, right?Report

              • Avatar Damon in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Don’t confuse a political decision vs a criminal one. And usually it’s the DA, not the cop that decides to prosecute.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Damon
                Ignored
                says:

                You realize that ithe FBI routinely gives recommendations to indict or not indict to DOJ, right?

                You really only have a few logical outcomes here: Either you know more or have better judgement than Comey or Comey is in the bag for Clinton.

                And by “Comey” I mean “Comey and the full FBI investigation”.

                So which is it?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Interesting. Here we have someone kowtowing to authority, showing blind unquestioning respect for an authority figure’s decision, and angrily declaring that the rest of us are just idiots who don’t actually have any moral, intellectual, or legal basis for our disagreement. And this someone is not a conservative.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                So which is it, honey?

                Was Comey in the tank for Clinton? Or do you know more about the law and details of this than Comey? It’s binary set here.

                You can’t have it both ways. You can’t declare it obviously illegal and corrupt right after the head of the FBI, after a massive and expensive investigation that involved not only reading every email but scouring every corner of the server and State’s own archives to find each and every one, even those that had been deleted, says “No laws were broken”.

                UNLESS you either believe the head of the FBI is corrupt or incompetent, or you personally have data the FBI doesn’t.

                I’m just asking you which you believe. Is he corrupt? Or do you have information he doesn’t?

                Or are you just whining?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                “[S]even e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).”

                “[Secretary Clinton] also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries…[W]e assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.”

                “[T]his is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.”

                *****

                What’s happening here is that the Presidential campaign is Clinton versus Trump, and if Comey’s FBI actually filed charges then he’d go down in history as the man who put Donald J. Trump in the White House. And he god damn well knows it. Charges are eminently justified in this instance and anyone who wasn’t Clinton-running-against-Trump would be (and should be) toast, which is why we got that weird list of all the wrong stuff Clinton did in a statement declaring that she wasn’t going to be charged. Comey is trying to preempt any “Clinton defense” by other people accused of mishandling classified information.

                “Actually I have. Not SCIF-level stuff, but that wasn’t what was found on her server.”

                Oooookay. At this point I can’t really continue the conversation, because you’ve just admitted that you don’t know what you’re talking about. No, bro, being the IT guy for a server classified DoD Top Secret is not relevant experience, any more than a scrub nurse at an outpatient clinic can talk about neurosurgery.Report

      • Avatar David Parsons in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        she actually did do the thing people are accusing her of doing.

        Which was (a) legal and (b) customary. (and (c) safer than the DOJ’s public-facing network, but that’s lagniappe.)Report

  6. Avatar notme
    Ignored
    says:

    Va Gov McAuliffe’s (D) refusal to release felon rights restoration list dismays high court justices

    I can’t imagine why he is hiding it.

    http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/article_9f42ad81-fe83-5b75-8d15-106f2a77c1c2.htmlReport

  7. Avatar veronica d
    Ignored
    says:

    I have one kinda-question. On the Raymond Chandler link, it points to a shitty little Gizmodo article which is entirely cribbed from a longer, actual article, this. Now, the Gizmodo article is ad-driven soup. Its writer produced nothing new. They just copied someone else’s thoughts. Yet they showed me ads. The article on Lithub, on other hand, is pretty interesting.

    For the record, I’m a huge Chandler fan. The man was a genius.

    But anyway, I’ve seen you guys do this a few times. I’m wondering, why? Why not just link us to the real-content and let us skip the content-free garbage “buzz media” site?

    Do they pay you? If so, then fine. But own up to it. Maybe. I dunno. It’s not like you owe me an explanation. I just find it mildly irritating to see mediocrity rewarded on the backs of actually effort. I think this site should aim to do better. I think you should link to the real source of content.

    I dunno. I’m honestly just curious.Report

  8. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    Interesting link about a new power cell. This one uses a very thin membrane that permits osmosis of salt water to fresh water until the system reaches equilibrium sal content. The osmosis process is, of course, moving ions, and the membrane is using those ions to generate power. Current estimates suggest that one square meter of membrane can produce 1 MW. Now stick an array of these in the estuaries of a river as it empties into the sea…Report

  9. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    That essay about the man who hates his dog was really well written but it was also a lie. The man loves his dog. He loved his previous one and he loves his current one. When he current one dies any dog he gets would be extremely lucky to be adopted by him.Report

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