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Messages - kimmy

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General Discussion / Re: Drug Culture
« on: June 22, 2017, 02:19:37 am »
dude your fingers look totally weird right now


General Discussion / Re: Wonder Woman
« on: June 22, 2017, 02:18:52 am »
*Spitting out my coffee*

Mad Men was a truly great show but it was essentially a very brainy and sociologically-themed soap opera.  You could definitely feel for characters, as you would in any quality film, but it wasn't exactly "real" nor did it rise above escapism at all times.

Breaking Bad was a comic book thriller.

The Sopranos was an extremely well-written crime soap. 

Ok, you started off arguing that fiction in "real" settings is inherently more compelling, but now you seem to want to talk about "reality tv" shows instead.

Of course that's only part of it, as I have already said.  Unless we come up with an example we will keep talking past each other.

No... he's *more* relatable because DD is a human being.

For any practical narrative purpose, Frodo is a human being as well.  He's got human emotions, human psychology, human facial expression, lives in what is for all intents and purposes a human agrarian culture, and literally the only thing that makes him not human is that the author called him a Hobbit.  If Tolkien had merely said he was short would you then be willing to buy in?

If you're unwilling to buy into Frodo because he's short, why would I buy into Don Draper, who is a powerful male?  How can I identify with this Diana Prince person, when she is clearly a brunette?

Ultimately the reason we build rapport with fictional characters isn't physical characteristics or labels that are attached to them.

(sidebar: in a genre where major events always seem to center around Kings and Lords and great heroes and powerful entities of all kinds, Tolkien made the Hobbits the most relatable protagonists possible. Surrounded by the likes of Aragorn and Gandalf and Galadriel, Frodo and friends represent the everyman.)

Robert Reed (Mr. Brady from The Brady Bunch) wrote a famous memo to Sherwood Swartz:

He's making a point that relates to something I've learned in writing, which was expressed to me as "make a promise to your reader, and keep it."  You need to establish a tone quickly to let your reader know what you're offering them, and if it's interesting to them they'll keep reading and if it's not interesting to them or if they can't figure out what you're offering them, they'll put your story down and read something else.  Batman showing up in the operating room, or turning your satire into a slapstick, would be examples of breaking your promise to your audience.  On the other hand, when the gang in Blazing Saddles brawl all the way off the set into the movie studio and out into the parking lot, we've already been primed for something completely absurd to happen, so this is right up our alley.

Nothing in what Reed is saying actually suggests that a "real" frame is inherently better. Indeed, as the accompanying article says:

To summarize, Reedís basic point is this: You cannot mix wildly different theatrical styles within the same production. If a show starts out being realistic (whether drama or comedy), then the audience expects realism. We donít have to suspend our disbelief very much. But if suddenly a non-realistic element like slapstick or fantasy is injected, we are thrown off. We have not been prepared to accept something like that.

We have no problem accepting a fire-breathing dragon in a production that has already established itself as fantasy. But if that dragon were to appear in a Neil Simon comedy, we would find it baffling and unbelievable.

If you're watching Lord of the Rings, and find yourself unable to empathize with a main character because he's 3 feet tall and has hairy feet, you're just watching the wrong movie.

In Game of Thrones, we don't actually see any dragons until episode 10. But they set a tone right from episode 1 that lets us know we're not watching a fairy-tale with knights in shining armor and happy endings.  The hatching of the baby dragons at the end of episode 10 is preceded by 9 episodes of brutal violence, gut-twisting tension, startling betrayal, and all manner of other unpleasantness.  Anybody who thought they were getting a happy care-free fairy-tail was probably long gone by the end of episode 3.

I struggle with 'less worthy'.  Like saying 'Coca Cola isn't nutrious' it's not exactly true.  I have never said that there's no worth to escapist fiction or trivial fiction but that - like a balanced diety - a healthy society demands more.

Ok, well I have watched most of the things I have commented on.  I haven't seen GoT so I can't comment on it much, except to say that I don't see how fantasy can challenge reality for a deep experience.  It's no comment on GoT which I hear is great.

Because like all great fiction, it taps into human experience that transcends genre.

Can you explore grief without causing it 'grief tourism' ?  If so, then I don't see how you could go more real than intervention.  The Americas have a huge addiction problem and this is a way to see it in front of your face, and feel it in your heart.
We need to explore our pain through the arts.  Do you disagree ?  There is indeed a counter-argument.  I think of 'Sullivan's Travels' which is a serio-comic classic film that explores this question in an entertaining and intelligent way.

I'm not sure that spending a half-hour a week vicariously sharing the grief of drug-stricken families would really make me understand the drug crisis any better. It might make me feel sad for a while, but is that inherently valuable?  "The drug crisis goes on, but Kimmy has shed tears and is now Woketm."

Obesity is a huge problem (no pun intended) as well, and I accidentally watched a few minutes of one of those shows that follows the struggles of morbidly obese people trying to lose weight. I understood that it was a big struggle for them. I understood that they felt very bad that they kept letting themselves down.  But so what? At the end of the day, my feeling sorry for some fat-people for a few minutes didn't make me feel "edified" or "nurtured". I'm struggling to think of any positives I took away from it.

And how real is it, anyway?

Every once in a while I hear a reporter on CBC radio go do interviews with homeless people. Apparently an attempt to humanize them and build sympathy or something. But the interviews never talk about the freak-outs and fights I see on a regular basis, never talk about people passed out in a pool of their own vomit, never talk about dropping trow and pissing on the street in front of pedestrians. Doesn't talk about business owners shoveling human excrement off their steps each morning...   stuff that I know is real that somehow doesn't make the cut for radio.  What did the fat-people show decide didn't merit showing?  What part did the intervention show leave out?  Are you being "edified", or just being manipulated?


General Discussion / Re: Gender Culture
« on: June 22, 2017, 12:34:33 am »
No, I don't think a Muslim woman's right trumps a transgender right.  I don't think any kind of religious right should trample on any type of human right.  If the law regards a transgender woman as a woman, she should have a right to exercise in a woman's facility.  If that makes any Jew, Christian or Muslim, uncomfortable, that's too bad. 

That's my view as well, but as I mentioned earlier we live in a society where a lot of people think that reasonable effort should be made to Muslims' sensibilities-- be it dress codes, food policies, and even the desire for women-only swimming.  I'd expect the same people would support accommodating a Muslim woman who felt that being in an open-dongs environment was against her religion.

(as an aside, it's one of my pet peeves that saying "it's against my religion" somehow makes a belief more legitimate than beliefs you arrived at independently.  You don't eat meat because your conscience forbids it. Someone else doesn't eat meat because her religion forbids it. Somehow her reason for not eating meat is seen as more worthy. That annoys me.)

If the sight of a woman with a penis could cause harm to others, I could see the point, otherwise no. 

As for feeling threatened by a penis, I don't think that's why we have segregated gyms.  Having worked in gyms when I was younger, I know it's partly women wanting to work out without being watched by men, and also because they don't want to be hit on by men.

Which brings us back to the lesbian comparison.  With a lesbian, she is for sure interested in women, but a transgender woman may or may not be interested in women.  That's why I said it's more logical to be uncomfortable around lesbians even though we're not.

I don't think it's just a dislike of being hit on or being oggled. 

A lot of us were raised to feel that being naked in front of a strange man is an embarrassing, stressful, and threatening situation.

And a person with a penis is, until you personally know otherwise, a man. They can say "don't worry, I'm a trans woman", but that's probably not going to put people at ease.

The point I was making which you did not address was that 50 years ago there was just as much of a fuss put up about allowing gay women into change rooms, but as times passed most of us couldn't care less if they're working out next to us.

In due time, I believe the same thing will happen with transgender women.

And I'm still wondering whether these gym lesbians wore signs or something that told everybody that they're lesbians. I'm not aware of what fuss might have been made on that issue 50 years ago, and can't comment on it.

If somebody-- male or female-- is oggling you while you're changing, I certainly understand feeling uncomfortable with that.


General Discussion / Re: Gender Culture
« on: June 22, 2017, 12:03:49 am »
You're talking around the problem here.  Rights don't 'trump' each other but they have to be resolved when in conflict.  Religious rights already supersede human rights in several specific examples.  It seems to me, reading this paragraph, that you may not realize that.

The answer to this particular dilemma may well be that the hypothetical Muslim woman isn't entitled to a penis-free environment and will have to find somewhere else to exercise.  It's entirely possible that this might be the solution that places the least burden on the competing interests of all parties involved.

However, I'm curious to find out whether the gym could, if there was a demand for it, offer a penis-free environment, perhaps penis-free hours or something. 


General Discussion / Re: Bargain Culture
« on: June 21, 2017, 11:54:09 pm »
Here's a tip. If you need AV cables and speaker wire and the like, buy them at Princess Auto or Dollarama or other dollar stores. Paying ridiculous amounts of money for brand-name cables is for suckers.


Canadian Politics / Extended benefits, drugs, dental, optical, etc.
« on: June 21, 2017, 11:51:27 pm »
I pay out of pocket for optical care, for dental care, and for prescription drugs.

I can only start claiming tax deductions for these expenses once they cross an absurdly high threshold-- 3% of my income, if I recall.

For people with extended benefits-- for example Members of Parliament, government workers, and the like-- their medical and dental benefits are tax-exempt.

Where's the fairness in that?


Canadian Politics / Re: Trudeau to Gay People: Sorry, my bad
« on: June 21, 2017, 11:42:00 pm »
So why is there a backlash against BLM for protesting carding and having TPS removed from the parade ?

If BLM were just protesting carding, I don't think they would be facing a backlash.  First off, as many have pointed out, you don't build bridges by excluding people.  Second, the stunt last year-- holding the whole parade hostage-- was not well received.

Furthermore, the leader of BLM Toronto is an idiot. She is bringing shame and discredit upon the BLM movement. She's simply an asshole. This was discussed here in another thread:

I think Pride Toronto would be doing themselves a disservice in capitulating to a person like this.

But beyond that, the Toronto police has worked hard to build bridges with the gay community ó by formally apologizing for the 1981 bathhouse raids, by regularly participating in Pride parades, by raising a rainbow flag outside headquarters for the first time and so forth. Not allowing them to wear their uniforms at Pride is a step backwards for the relationship.

What's more, Pride Toronto has worked hard to create safe spaces for gay LGBTQ people of colour. For instance, for the last near-20 years, Pride has hosted "Blockorama" during the weekend of the parade ó an area specifically for black artists, musicians, writers, singers, dancers and regular folk to celebrate black and African cultures. By contrast, there has never been an official program for LGBTQ people during the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly (and colloquially) known as "Caribana."

Indeed, I can honestly say I feel uncomfortable at Caribana due to black homophobia, which Black Lives Matter casually ignores. I am constantly looking over my shoulder in fear of being attacked, simply because I am a gay man. In recent years, I have stayed away entirely. Yet there is virtually no dialogue about anti-LGBTQ prejudice within the black community.

from "I'm black and gay. BLM Toronto doesn't speak for me."

So maybe instead of trying to ruin the Pride Parade, BLM could show they give a crap about gay black people by getting down to Caribbana.


General Discussion / Drug Culture
« on: June 21, 2017, 10:59:36 pm »
I am totally on drugs right now.

My pupils are dilated to the size of pie-plates because of some eye-drops I received at the optometrist's office.  I look like I'm tripping balls. Seriously I look like an owl. My pupils are so wide you could stick a candle in my mouth and my eyes would glow like a Jack o'lantern.  It's either hilarious (if you're not me) or a little worrying (if you're me.)

I've also ingested a bunch of pain-killers.

Also, I've ingested a bunch of alcohol in a desperate attempt to self-medicate.

Things aren't going that great right now.

Let's talk about drugs! Who's high right now?  Are you on drugs? What drugs are you on?


General Discussion / Re: Re: Host Censorship
« on: June 21, 2017, 10:49:16 pm »
Chris Rock had a classic bit where he called for "a race war between black-people and niggers", but I believe he retired that one because it turned into just an excuse for white rednecks to complain about "niggers".


General Discussion / Re: Re: Host Censorship
« on: June 21, 2017, 10:47:25 pm »
And even then, only by Dave Chappelle.


General Discussion / Re: Re: Host Censorship
« on: June 21, 2017, 10:45:09 pm »
I think the word "nigger" should only be used when prefaced by the phrase "Fuck yo' couch!"


General Discussion / Re: Wonder Woman
« on: June 21, 2017, 09:05:13 am »
I don't know why you keep bringing up Mad Men.

Mad Men and Breaking Bad are the gold standard for people who love "real" television. They're the only recent TV programs I could think of that have the same degree of critical acclaim and cultural impact as Game of Thrones. Going back farther one might put The Sopranos in the same weight class.

I keep mentioning Don Draper and Walter White to make the point that it's not their clothes and their place of work that makes them so engrossing to their audience.

I will submit that there is more chance that an ad executive's life or a hillbilly's life will be closer to the viewers than that of a hobbit.

Well, I don't offer The Hobbit movie or the Lord of the Rings movies as an example of challenging material (and undecided on the books) but that's beside the point.

You look at Frodo and apparently see a short guy with hairy feet and therefore unrelatable. Where as Don Draper wears a suit and works in an office and is therefore relatable. That's the thought process?

Others might see one as an aloof, unapproachable man of mystery while the other as young person struggling with a responsibility he's ill-prepared to deal with. Are you sure the ad guy is more relatable?

Winter's Bone was pretty good if I remember.
It was.

It's not setting alone, but a real setting puts the viewer into a different experiential context than a fantastic one.
Can you elaborate on this?
I didn't say it can't be good but I don't have many examples where fantasy can approach the kind of challenging film that brings the viewer to the level of theatre.
Sure, the majority science fiction and fantasy material aren't intended to be challenging.

Ok, beside the point.  It seems to bother you that I can't take fantasy as seriously as some genres.  I'm sorry.

Your personal preference doesn't bother me, but you've been trying to make the case that there is an objective logical basis behind it and that not-real programs are inherently less worthy.

And personally I'm deeply skeptical about the merit of something like "Intervention".  I've never watched it but I'm familiar with the concept. I view it and similar programs as being akin to grief tourism. You can pick up the remote, wallow in someone else's tragedy for half an hour, and then go on with your life.  Are we so desperate to feel something that we need to vicariously share somebody else's trauma for half an hour a week?  You've likened escapist cinema to dessert... is this what you view as the veggies?   Is this what you find "edifying"?  To me this isn't edifying, it's exploitive and voyeuristic.


General Discussion / Re: Wonder Woman
« on: June 20, 2017, 09:14:11 am »
Setting it in a real setting would make it different, not 'improved'.  And my main point, again, is that fantasy sets a frame of reference that is different than reality.  As I pointed out in my own counter-example, elements of fantasy alone don't do this at least for me.

Maybe because the frame of reference of reality eliminates the possibility of supernatural outcomes, and brings the lives of the characters closer to our own ?

And why would Don Draper's 1960s ad firm or Walter White's meth lab be any closer to my life than the chilly halls of Winterfell? That stuff isn't real either. It might be somebody's vision of a reality that might exist somewhere, but it might as well be a fantasy world.  I watched Winter's Bone, and quite enjoyed it... but the depiction of life in the Missouri Ozarks didn't bring the characters closer to me... it was a completely alien culture that could have just as easily been in another century or another planet.   Maybe life in the Ozarks really is like that, or maybe it isn't. I wouldn't know. It was an interesting setting, for sure, but not because it was real or relatable but more the opposite.  What made Winter's Bone work for me was a compelling character facing a suspenseful situation.  If I hadn't become emotionally connected to Jennifer Lawrence's character, it wouldn't have worked as a film.

The idea that I'm trying to express, and that I think you might be struggling with, is that the qualities that make Don Draper or Walter White or Ree Dolly connect with the audience aren't a result of the setting.  We become emotionally invested in characters that speak to universal human experiences, and these transcend genre.

I can't speak to why your experiences here differ from mine, I just find it hard to fathom that there could be fantastical stories that have the ability to affect us as much as realistic ones.

I suspect that perhaps a prejudice against certain types of material has prevented you from appreciating its potential.

Your examples, though, are still mostly entertainment although maybe less trivial.  The key to me is that you said that you avoided some works because they made you feel bad.  There are human emotions that are not related to suspense that can make you want to watch, even if they fill you with dread.

The reality show 'Intervention' was a tough one.  I think that may be an example of popular art acting as a salve to popular reality.

If I want to watch real-life druggies ruining their lives with real-life drugs I can look out my window. I don't need to watch them on TV. 


General Discussion / Re: Pet Culture
« on: June 20, 2017, 12:32:33 am »
I miss my kitty :(


General Discussion / Re: Wonder Woman
« on: June 20, 2017, 12:31:53 am »
- My feeling is that the culture is nursing too many audiences with escapist trivia

The audience gets what the audience wants. Escapism, be it musicals or beach party movies or frat-house comedies or whatever, has always been popular in movies.  And plays and books and stories and myths going back for a very long time.

- I also feel that escapism is limited in the spectrum of affecting experiences it can deliver, maybe in the same way film itself is

I guess I really need to know what you mean by escapism before I can really respond. To me, the word "escapism" has a connotation of lightheartedness and inconsequentiality. Seeking refuge from things that are complex or stressful or scary.

To me, something like "Friends" or "Sleepless In Seattle" are escapist, even though they're set in a vaguely realistic setting.  Whereas to me, something like "Game of Thrones" or "Watchmen" isn't escapist, because even though they're in fantasy settings they're presenting things that are complex and unsettling and upsetting.

But, if by "escapism" you mean anything that's not in a "real world" setting, then I disagree.  If you feel that movies like "Gattaca" are escapist because they're in settings that aren't "real", then I think that movies like that actually have a far greater potential to explore ideas that simply couldn't be presented adequately in a "real" setting.


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