Monday, April 30, 2018

Saturday, April 28, 2018

You

Y is for you and how you need to go vote;
it's time to get out and fight

Friday, April 27, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

Trump (#fakepresident)

T is for Trump; he believes he's "the one,"
but, really, he's just putting on airs.
#fakepresident

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ready Player One (a movie review post)

First, I have not read Ready Player One.
I've thought about reading it for a while, now, because, evidently, it made a big splash in certain circles. It's one of those books that I would read for the sake of seeing what the big deal is as opposed to having any real interest in the genre or the subject matter. HOWEVER...
After seeing the movie, I have lost all desire to read the book.
And that is a failing on the part of the movie. If an adaptation is good, it will give you a desire to seek out the source material, and this movie killed the desire I already had in reading the book.

Well, Ernest Cline probably played a part in that, too. I heard an interview with him where he goes on and on, basically, about how great he is and how original his novel is and how no one had ever done anything like that before...
Wait a minute! Original? Does he actually think his idea about a virtual world is original? Because that's what he said.
But, maybe, he comes from an alternate Earth where Snow Crash and the Otherland series and a plethora of other novels were never written so he thought he was first. Except I'm sure that's not the case. He's just one of those guys who is full of himself. Maybe it was because his book was a smash hit, but, honestly, he's probably been like that his whole life.

The lacklusterness of the movie didn't do anything to convince me otherwise.

Yes, I just called the movie "lackluster," which is not to say that it wasn't full of luster. It's shiny and sparkly and full of sheen. It is, after all, Spielberg, and the man knows how to make a movie. So, if you just want to wallow in the visual extravagance of it all, this movie will do it for you. It's like a reflecting pool.

Which is to say that it's shallow.
Shallow as heck.
It has one message: People spend too much time online.
It has one message, and the movie isn't really subtle about its presentation of it: People spend too much time online.
It has one message that they are so worried you won't get that they slap you in the face with it at the end of the movie: Get the fuck off your computer a couple of days a week!
Okay, so they're not quite that aggressive with it, but it's close. It is a PG-13 movie, after all.

Part of the draw for me for seeing the movie was the supposed 80s pop culture theme. I mean, I grew up in the 80s so, of course, that was a draw. The problem, then, is that this is just not true. Which is not to say that the movie doesn't have 80s pop culture references; the protagonist does, after all, drive a DeLorean. But it's misleading to say that the movie is a tribute to the 80s. Actually, that's an outright lie. It's not the 80s that the movie is a tribute to but pop culture itself. Sure, the 80s gets plenty of screen time, but the movie opens with a nod to Minecraft and soon follows with a twister reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz, neither of which have anything to do with the 80s. The Atari and D&D references are more appropriately attributed to the 70s.

There's nothing wrong with all of the other pop culture references -- I think it's better, in fact -- I just find the misrepresentation, mostly on the part of viewers from what I can tell, to be interesting. Maybe people seeing the movie are missing the non-80s references? Or, maybe, because there are a lot of video game references, they have no context at all for getting those? Or maybe they're placing other references they're familiar with into the 80s because that's when they became familiar with said reference. Like Willy Wonka, also from the 70s. I don't know.

People are weird.

To be clear, it's not a bad movie. The movie is thoroughly enjoyable in a cotton candy kind of way. It's visually exciting and won't tax your brain by giving you any thoughts or asking you to figure anything out. It's also totally forgettable, which I find unfortunate. Like cotton candy, it's going to melt in your mouth before you ever get a chance to swallow; I just find myself preferring things with more substance these days. Or all of my days, actually, I suppose.

No stand out performances, either. They're all adequate, but no one worth mentioning, not even Simon Pegg, though he's as enjoyable as ever.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Schools

S is for schools where we ought to have guns,
says DeVos, to keep out the bears.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Obama

O for Obama whom we'd like to have back.
He was never a laughing stock.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Justice

or the J that is justice, which they eschew,
unless, of course, you're one of the whites.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

ICE

I is for I.C.E. on which they want to put you,
cold storage without any rights

Monday, April 9, 2018

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fake News

F is for fake news. Your feed is a tool
for Russia to make you its slave.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Do You Know Your ABCs?

There's this blogging thing that happens in April each year, a thing I'm not going to actively mention here on my blog, at this point, though I have participated in it in the past. Once I found out that the creator/founder of the event is an avowed Trump (#fakepresident) defender...
Let me be clear about that: He's not just someone who voted for Trump (#fakepresident) and, thus, falls into the deplorable basket of Trump (#fakepresident) supporters; he's someone who actively comes to the defense of every horrible thing Trump (#fakepresident) does. That means he supports Trump's (#fakepresident) racism, misogyny, lust to destroy... everything. You support that stuff, you are that stuff.
So I could no longer be involved in that particular blogging event.

However!
This year, I'm going to "honor" unsaid event in my own way.
Which I'm late to start on because I don't follow any of the necessary blogs or people from which I could have picked up this year's special details.
Oh, well.
I think I'll still get my point across.

Let's play a little catch up, and tomorrow I should be on track for the rest of the month.

Abortion is A, a right fundamental,
the Constitution says it's her choice.

B for the boomers, they've gone fully mental,
only heeding their own selfish voice.

C is for Congress and its very brown thumb
shoved eagerly up its own ass.

Monday, April 2, 2018

What Does It Mean To Be Human? or The Question of Sentience

What does it mean to be human?
Most humans would say that being human is something that sets us apart from the rest of... everything. Being human is something that elevates us above the animals.
Even though we are animals.
"Christians" would say it's because humans have a soul, but what even is a soul? Some bit of "secret sauce" that makes us more than just a biological machine? I don't think I can buy that anymore.

I mean, there's nothing to say that animals aren't just as soul-full as man. Just because the Bible doesn't say it, doesn't mean it's not true. The Bible doesn't mention America, either, so maybe that's just a fantasy, too.

And there's nothing to say that a "soul" is what elevates humans. "Christians" have taken a lot of liberties and made a lot of assumptions about the phrase "breathed life into" Since man was last, there is nothing to say that God didn't go around breathing life into the "nostrils" of all the animals.

Personally, I'm tired of the liberties "christians" take. It's the definition of entitled.

However, it's not just "christians" who have long said that humans are elevated above the animals. Science has long held this to be true, too. And I get it. Man has done so much stuff that other animals have not: created art, built cities, murdered for fun. Man looks so much different than every other creature, not in physicality but in... accomplishment.

But what if it all comes down to opposable thumbs and a prefrontal cortex?

When I was growing up, what was said was that man is the only sentient animal. But what is sentience? Looking up the definition, now, it's pretty loose: the ability to think or feel subjectively. Basically, the ability to have a personal perspective.

So let's talk about my dog:

My dog doesn't like tall men wearing hats. There are few things that can make her flip out like a tall man in a hat walking by, well, other than the vacuum cleaner, but the vacuum cleaner is her nemesis. Now, it is objectively not true that tall men in hats wish her harm. My father-in-law is a very tall man who sometimes wears a hat, and she loves him, though she is giving him special dispensation. Clearly, something in her past (she was a rescue) has caused her to hate tall men in hats. It is her personal perspective. It is also her personal perspective that she doesn't hold my father-in-law to the same standard as other tall men in hats.

And, yet, dogs are not generally considered to be sentient.

So let's throw in one other factor that is often applied: the concept of "I am."

Humans like to think of themselves as the only creatures with a concept of individual identity, which is something I find highly amusing considering that most people spend their time trying to do nothing more than fitting in. And, while we're not sure if dogs have a concept of individual identity, we're pretty sure some other creatures do.

Take dolphins, for instance, who have names. They have fucking names just like we do as people, making it blatantly obvious that they not only have an awareness of their own selfhood but of other's selfhood as well, and I would be willing to bet that that extends to humans. They sound a little more evolved than we do, though.

I could go on with other examples, but I'm going to skip ahead to the part where I talk about elephants.
Elephants have a complex social structure, distinct roles and personalities, value the individual, and, even, some kind of funeral observance for the dead. Their brains are of a comparable size to human brains, and they are capable of complex tasks and, yes, building. Why don't they do it in the wild? Lack of interest? I don't know. What is clear, though, is that if there is any other land animal that qualifies as sentient, the elephant would be it. And, yet...

And, yet, Trump #fakepresident recently made it legal to once again bring elephant trophies into the United States. He might as well make it legal for ICE agents collect ears and scalps. Oh, wait... I better not give him any ideas.

Look, I'm not saying I have the answers about sentience and where or what that line is, but, then, I don't think anyone has that answer yet, What I am saying, though, is that if there is the possibility -- and there is EVERY possibility where elephants are concerned -- you should not be supporting the murder of said sentient species, especially when that species is already endangered.

But, then, Trump #fakepresident has a difficult time of recognizing the humanity of fellow humans (see Puerto Rico), so I suppose it's too much to expect that he would see anything beyond his own bloated sense of self-worth. And his gut and bucket of chicken.