November, 2016

Nov 16

The Reason The Absurdity was elected

Cognitive dissonance well describes what I experienced last week when The Absurdity was elected (I won’t use his name)…Every day I have to remind myself, “Yes, it really happened.”

Maybe the vote was tampered with–especially in the sense of denying people voting at all, or discounting their vote because “they didn’t qualify”, later. But that wouldn’t have worked if it wasn’t close. And why was it close? A lot of people are saying it’s because we don’t understand the frustrated poor (along with the socially conservative well-to-do). But I don’t believe that. I believe it’s simpler than that. I am going with Occam’s Razor here.

I think that while many factors converged–third party snobs, occluded voters–the *main* reason The Absurdity was elected was because there are far more stupid people in America than anyone realized.

I, for one, was in denial about how many stupid people there are in America.

Nov 16

Wistful, short review of ARRIVAL

We saw ARRIVAL. This new movie based on Ted Chiang’s award winning novella is the best science fiction film in years, and actually for me is in the top five of the last five decades. I’m still so bummed by The Absurdity being elected, I can’t write a review, really. The movie’s timing is sort of ironic…it did make me feel some hope…

I could talk about a couple of its conceptual antecedents and poke at a few possible weaknesses, but I won’t, because one must not risk giving anything away…I’ll just say that it probably won’t be a hit because while appreciating it doesn’t require the viewer to be an intellectual–that would leave me out–it does require a relatively high level of intelligence, and it’s recently been demonstrated that at least half this country falls short in that department.

Nov 16

Who Died?

Took me awhile to recognize the distinctive feeling I have. I feel that someone has died–someone close to me, someone in my family, or someone I would grieve for…

Headlines should read: Millions of People Vote Against Their Own Interests.


Who died? Or–what died?

Nov 16

Off the cuff review of the DOCTOR STRANGE movie

We saw DOCTOR STRANGE With great enjoyment today. I think we would have once called this movie “trippy”…On Marc Laidlaw’s advice we saw it in 3D and IMAX–normally I don’t “do” 3D, I find it to be usually lame and a pain in the ass, but this time 3D was quite appropriate and worked great. You could dig the film without it but if you can, see it in 3D. One of the primary special effects programs used is something we’ve seen variations of online, right here on facebook, but blown up huge and carried to wild extrapolation. I did not feel it was “too white” or something–Dr Strange was always a white guy, Tilda Swinton (who plays a Celtic “ancient one”, living in Nepal), was very good indeed; Cumberbatch is perfect for the part as an actor and looks just right; Mordo, played by a black actor whose name I cannot hope to spell, is excellent. There are Asian characters, there are Asian settings, but most of all this is …very much like the comic, to me. Not excessively so. Dormammu was quite well done.

I hesitate to say too much…The story works better than comic superhero movies usually do. That’s because they didn’t over amp it, in the first half, it’s fast paced but not too much; there is nuance…The car crash in the film, by the way, is maybe the best dramatization of a big ugly car crash I’ve ever seen…

Some may find the movie’s potent explosions of visuals to be to much too process–indeed, I’ll have to see it again to process it all–but basically, if you wanted Doctor Strange in a big budget movie, THIS IS IT. One of the top comic adaptations ever.

There are two extra scenes in the credits, one toward the beginning of them, one at the end. When Stan Lee does his cameo, note the book he’s reading.

Nov 16

Third Party Choices–Smothered Voices

I say this as someone who voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary: People who feel that voting for Hillary Clinton next month is “voting for the lesser of evils” (it’s not the lesser of evils, she isn’t evil)…people who think that it’s important to make a statement by voting for a third party candidate who (in this case) cannot possibly win, thus taking a vote away from the only person who in this situation can stop a neo-fascist demagogue, are people who care about their emotions than they care about the poor–the poor, the working class, will be hurt if *any* Republican gets into office, including Trump who’s against an increase in minimum wage, against food stamps.

They’re people who care about their hurt feelings more than they care about the environment, the biosphere–which will be irretrievably damaged if another Republican gets into the White House, especially if that Republican is Donald “climate change isn’t real” Trump.

They don’t care about women and children who will die in the planned carpet bombing of the Middle East Trump trumpets about.

They don’t care about Democracy, which will be definitively undermined if Trump gets control of the Supreme Court.

They care about taking a stand that will make them feel distinctive more than they care about women who will be hurt by the inevitable erosion in women’s rights when Trump is elected.

They only care that their particular, personal schemata, their philosophy of “if it’s not everything I want it’s nothing” doesn’t take precedence. They fantasize, perhaps, that “Trump’s election will bring about a leftist revolution”–something they actually know isn’t true.

Their decision is completely emotional. It’s anger. It’s not reason. And they don’t care who gets hurt.