The Fear of War with Iran

It seems the US is gearing up for another major military engagement in the Middle East.  This time it’s with the nation of Iran.  Been seeing this coming for ages.  Ever since Trump took America out of the Iran nuclear treaty, I could see the gears turning.  Conservative America has been itching for this for a LONG time.  As far back as I can remember after 9/11, conservative America has been demanding this.  It’s bone-dead terrifying, to me.

TJ Kirk once said that it isn’t the fact that America is bad at war, because we’re not.  This is true.  We destroyed the Iraqi Army in three weeks.  What America sucks at is nation-building after war.  During Operation Desert Storm, they were smart.  They went in, blew shit up, and then left.  That’s a good tactic.  It’s the tactic we should have taken after 9/11, but for whatever reason, the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations have decided that they want our troops to stick around and get blown up.  Because that’s all they’ve been doing.

Our current wars in the Middle East are 18 years old.  If they were a person, they would be old enough to drive a car.  Old enough to have lost their virginity.  Everyone assumed these wars would pop their cherry with Venezuela.  However, our efforts to destabilize things didn’t work out the way we hoped, and we had to walk it back.  Not fight yet-another proxy war with Russia, and to a lesser extent China.  But nope!  America has decided to pop these wars’ cherry on something much more intense – a nuclear-equipped nation.

It will be a first.  America has had a cold war with one nuclear-equipped power for years.  It was calming down and things were getting back to normal, but now that cold war is back, with Putin not being the puppetmaster of Trump that people were hoping for.  Instead, the two are having more and more troop build-up around Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, America is starting a cold war with yet-another nuclear-equipped superpower – China.  This is the one that freaks me out.  See, Russia’s biggest problem back in the day was that their Communist government was so convinced of their superiority that they didn’t realize they were falling behind in the nuclear war game.  China has no such issue.  They are working very diligently to make sure their military is top-of-the-line.  What’s more, they are doing so at a fraction of the cost that America is.  And as a report from National Defense Strategy points out, a war with Russia and/or China is one that America could very-well lose.

So our country will do more proxy-wars with these countries.  As stupid and asinine as Trump is, at least he isn’t crazy enough to pick a fight with these people.  It’s just more saber-rattling.  But we are more than happy to make threats against nations who we don’t have to worry about things like losing to.  In fact, if the Twitter wars Trump has gotten into with foreign leaders is any indication, we love doing it.

Which brings us back to Iran.  This conflict would be a first.  A war with a nuclear-equipped enemy, who we have been baiting and baiting for months now.  This country is desperate to have them make the first move.  They swore up and down that it was Iran who attacked the oil tanker, but that reeked of Gulf of Tonkin bullshit.  There was the drone being shot at, which is the closest we got.  The brushfires of war are burning hot, and getting hotter every day.

Congress says that they will not give approval for this, but since when has that stopped Trump from acting?  He’s just gonna do what he does – declare a “national emergency” and then use that as pretext for going to war.  It’s easy, and hopefully Bernie will use that trick when he gets in office in 2020 (the first debates between him and Biden, which is all it will really be, is gonna be epic) to get things like universal healthcare on the table.  There will be lots of yelling and what-not, but in the end, it’s just gonna happen.  The way it always does.  Conservative America has been itching for this for forever.  Just like with the other wars in the Middle East, it isn’t like any of their kids are going to be at risk of getting killed in action.  They want to send other people’s children to do their fighting for them.  Brave “patriots” that they are.

It’s starting to look like the inmates run the asylum.  It really, really is.  Between America doing everything they can to damage the environment more (look up the term “freedom molecules.”  I cannot believe that isn’t satire), and picking fights with every nation that Trump can get pissy with, you start to wonder who has their hands on the wheel of this country.  Meanwhile, we have corporate owners in positions of power in America.  Drain the swamp?  A crock of BS.  Lies from Trump that his rabid, unshakeable fanbase couldn’t possibly care less about.  In their eyes Trump is playing some big, elaborate game that he is winning.

After all, he triggered the libs!  Look at that non-gender-specific person falling to their knees and screaming “NOOOOO!”  Yeah, that did make for some amusing reactions.  Turned into a meme now.  But the truth of the matter is that all of that is just window dressed.  Trump is a fucking looney tune.  I don’t think he should be impeached, because he hasn’t done anything worthy of the usage, but I do think that his base is the biggest bunch of sycophants I have ever seen.

In the meantime, we are facing down the barrel of another costly, stupid, utterly unnecessary war.  This time, it’s with an enemy who can blow our troops up with nuclear weapons.  And with so many ships parked outside their door, it ain’t like they don’t have plenty of targets to pick from.  How many young people will die needlessly because Trump wants a war of his own to slap on his legacy?

Until next time, a quote,

“God help us.” – Bill Moyers

Peace out,

Maverick

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The Christian Sense of Siege in America Baffles Me

Yesterday, I saw something on Right Wing Watch.  The Jim Bakker show features there regularly.  That guy is one of many Christian hucksters who sells belief to old-ass stupid people along with his merchandise.  For the longest time, it was his Bonus Buckets.  A bucket filled with disgusting slop that you could keep for 20 years and it would be just fine.  There was even an episode where they ate some of it, and I could visibly see them cringing with every bite.  Oh, and you can shit in the buckets when they’re empty.  Because plumbing is gonna be gone in the apocalypse.

This most recent bit had this chick named Cindy Jacobs, who decided to say a whole bunch of really stupid shit.  First, she said that God is looking to come back all the time.  He’s tired of how much gay sex is going on, and he’s itching to come back with his smiting arm.  But the prayer of Christians is what holds him back.  Wow.  The ego of these people.  However, it goes further.  It seems there’s a civil war coming!

Why is a civil war coming?  It’s quite simple – because evil heathen atheists like me are attacking the Christians.  We’re taking away their Bibles!  We’re stopping them from worshiping their bullshit deity!  From preaching their gospel to the people!  My only thought when I hear shit like this is – who?  Who is doing this?  Who, where?  Citation, bitch.

I have always found this Christian concept of siege so fascinating.  Especially here in America!  Like, you can’t get elected to public office in most states unless you kiss the church’s ass.  Roughly 80% of this country identifies itself as Christian.  That number is the overwhelming majority.  So where are these instances of complete siege where the Christians are having to prep for civil war because they are so oppressed?  Where are these places?!  Someone please inform stupid-ass me where this is happening.  I’d love to know.

Part of me wonders where this comes from.  This sense of persecution.  Hell, it’s a fucking need, at this point.  They need to feel that their beliefs are being fought for in some big way.  Maybe it’s because the mainstream media is very left-leaning, and tends to showcase values that they find antithetical to their own.  Like how a PBS cartoon had two anthropomorphic gay characters getting married and people just lost their shit.  Never mind that they never kiss on screen.  You don’t see the furry people fucking.  The most you see is them linking arms and walking down the aisle.  That’s it.  But so much of the conservative Internet lost its shit.

Maybe it’s because Christianity has never had any legitimate resistance to their values and ideas for the bulk of human history.  Now, young people are leaving the church in droves.  The well of money that they depend on to continue is drying up.  Values that they despise are on television and becoming more and more accepted as time goes on.  Part of me wonders if the world is a very scary place for an old Christian who grew up in post World War II America.  It must be.

Meanwhile, in the world outside of Christian fantasy, there’s a very different reality that I see.  One of the people dearest to my heart was disowned by her family because she’s gay.  She tried to hang on to her belief to be closer to her mom, who left the family too after the father kicked my friend out.  The two were so close growing up, and my friend’s mom chose the relationship with her daughter over that with her husband.  Proud of her.  There are also the people who lose relationships with their families because they don’t believe in God.  Not anything nearly as big as being gay, but I’ve heard countless stories from young people and disowned teenagers about how their families hate them now because of not believing in Bronze Age mythology that has no proof outside of a fucking book.

These people want a sense of siege.  That their beliefs are being fought for against the heathen enemy of liberal culture.  All while Christian bigotry kills relationships for things like loving someone of the same gender or not buying what’s in that stupid book.  It pisses me off seeing stuff like that bitch Cindy Jacobs talking about how the Christians are under so much backlash and will have to get guns to go out and fight for their values.  What world do these people believe in.

I mean sure, they’re preaching to a crowd of REALLY old white people.  People who will never actually be getting their guns and going out to the streets.  It’s people who they want to scare into paying them more of their money to buy their merch.  I’m a firm believer in the idea that all of the big preachers who have big shows and have big scams are just as much of an atheist as I am.  From Ray Comfort, all the way to Jim Bakker.  I think all of them know this is a scam and are just trying to fleece the gullible for their silver shekels.  But there are people I know in my extended family who buy this bullshit.  And it’s always so frustrating to me at holidays (which is the only time I see these people, by design) when I have to hear them talk about this and just bite my finger to keep myself from destroying their bullshit arguments and thereby burning the bridges between all of them and myself.

Christianity is the dominate religion in this country.  By a massive margin.  This idea that they are so oppressed is pure fiction, from the minds of people who want to profit off their fear.  Countless movies now exist with this message.  Pure Flix basically has this mantra as their bread and butter.  And I don’t know where the line has to be in order for these people to buy that it’s all garbage.  Though, these people believe things on faith.  Belief without evidence.  So trying to hope for a growth in logical thinking is commensurate to hoping for my cat to come from the grave and fly.

Until next time, a quote,

“But if anything else, what this press conference shows it that the NRA hates on video games for infringing on their own violent hero fantasy and binary morality.  What’s scary, though, is that that’s actually their worldview.  And their political platform.  And they have lots and lots of guns.  I’m sorry, who am I supposed to be afraid of, again?” – George Weidman

Peace out,

Maverick

Where is this Country Right Now?

Back in 2016, all I heard in the very red state that I live in is “Make America Great Again!”  It was the mantra of the supporters of Donald Trump, who went from a reality TV host to a front-running Presidential nominee.  As for me, I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary, and nobody in the general, because I refused to pick between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.

Now, almost three years later, I’m thinking to myself – is America great again?  By what metric?  And what did those people define as making America great?  Is it by returning to the time of conservative family values?  You know, the whole Leave it to Beaver mindset.  1950’s America was a good time to be alive.  World War II took us out of the Great Depression.  A guy could raise a family on one job, or have a job and go to school no problem.  Helped that a lot of those guys were returning GIs.  Though, it wasn’t a great time if you were a woman who wanted to be in the working world.  If you were an atheist, people hated you.  If you were an interracial couple, you couldn’t get married in a lot of states.  Being gay was a bonafide risk to your health in those days.

What makes me so incredulous over Trump’s ethereal concept of “Make America Great Again” is the fact that he’s in office, and yet America is making no strides to see greatness.  What do I mean?  Let me explain.  NASA has announced a plan to have America go back to the Moon.  A step toward taking the next steps in space exploration.  Trump came out against this.  Why?  That’s not a rhetorical question.  Why would he be against this?  I’ve wracked my brain trying to figure it out, but since I am almost certain the old man is senile and can’t remember what he says from one day to the next, I figure I’ll never know.

Here’s a truth that people don’t want to accept – humanity has to move beyond the confines of this planet in order to grow as a species.  We’ve reached the end of what we are able to accomplish here.  This planet is made of finite resources, and the fact is that we’re running out of them.  There are a ton of precious metals that are used to keep our entire society going.  Things that without it, you don’t have your smart phone, the military doesn’t have guidance systems for their missiles, and your electricity doesn’t flow.

So what do we do?  It’s pretty simple – we expand to space.  Every year there are TONS of asteroids that pass by our planet that are rich in all kinds of metals.  Wrangling them and mining them would be the start of a trillion-dollar industry.  Such a feat would cost money, but that money would bring back billions upon billions of friends.  A nation who could accomplish that, take that next step, well they would be pretty fucking great, in my humble opinion.

Which brings me back to – why is America making no strides to see greatness?  While Trump spends all his time with that stupid financial black hole that is his wall, which would never work and we’ve seen would cost an astronomical amount of money, the rest of the world isn’t sitting back and waiting.  China is already taking the next steps.  They’ve landed craft on the far side of the Moon.  They have plans to put two large space stations in orbit.  Other nations are talking to them about working together, while America is busy fermenting a cold war.  So why would Trump be against what NASA is trying to do?

I can already hear the Trump sycophants proclaim, “But Lucien, he’s creating the Space Force!”  Oh yeah?  Well where the fuck is it, then?  I hear thing after thing after thing about the wall, but this ethereal Space Force is in the wind.  Along with…well, if Trump had any other cogent positions outside of the wall, I’d wonder where those are at.  Oh yeah, and he’s planning to declare a national emergency to get more tariffs on Mexico and China.  Which is hurting the average America at the grocery store.  Been seeing it everywhere.  Makes living in a state where the cost of living keeps going up that much harder.  Looking to leave soon.  Where is this mysterious Space Force that Trump wants to invest in?  And what would they do?  Since this guy is so good about talking about stuff without ever getting into specifics (because I don’t think he actually could, given how he talks like he’s in the 2nd grade), what exactly is the Space Force going to accomplish.

America isn’t great again.  Not by any metric.  We have the worst healthcare of any First World nation.  Our infrastructure is crumbling.  Trump was going to address that, but he didn’t want to do the work involved, so he just said that Pelosi and Schumer made him mad, so he doesn’t have to do anything for the rest of his Presidency.  Education in this country is a joke due to education standards that are beyond archaic.  This country is an insane dedication to doing nothing about climate change.  Look up the term “freedom molecules.”  That’s how the Trump administration describes CO2 emissions.  How that isn’t from The Onion is beyond me.  Our rail system is such a joke.  It’s not even approaching funny how bad it is.

So where is the greatness?  What is the metric that it will be measured?  We have NASA looking to try and move forward, and Trump saying that he doesn’t like it.  What’s his alternative? *sound of crickets chirping* Thought as much.  America is falling further and further behind the rest of the developed world.  There was a report stating that America no longer can even have vast military supremacy to latch onto, with China and Russia closing the distance quickly.  Especially China.

Maybe some assuredly well-spoken person can tell me all about how star-spangled awesome Trump and his wonderfully non-specific plans are in the Comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” – George Carlin

Peace out,

America’s Obsession With Abortion (and how insane this is)

I’ve been following the news about the sudden push for new abortion laws that are each more draconian than the last with some interest in the southern states.  It’s fascinating, to me.  Been missing talking about politics on here, and this seems like a nice and awkward topic to get back into it with, so yeah, let’s talk about it.

A coworker of mine and I were talking about this stuff at work.  We came to the same conclusion as to why this is all happening so suddenly.  Red state after red state introducing legislation that flies in the face of Roe v. Wade.  The big question is – why do this?  Why now?  To me it’s obvious – to get this to the Supreme Court.  These states want this to go to court, and then get it to go to the Supreme Court.  Because now they think that this can be the point where it will be overturned.  It’s a conservative Supreme Court, and the newest justice definitely has an ax to grind with the liberal mentality ever since they overplayed their hand going after him.  They might be right.

The aforementioned coworker was wringing his hand about this.  I was more nonchalant.  Why?  Because it’s obvious what will happen.  Assuming Roe v. Wade is overturned, what this will do is throw the issue to the states.  So all the blue states will pass bills legalizing it, while the red states will pass bills making it illegal.  While that is a bad thing for the women in red states, in my eyes it will just have the abortion issue be something that is divided among state lines.

Another thing this will do is take it off the table with Republicans to use in elections against their enemies.  See, abortion has been a nice wedge issue with the right for a long time.  Once it is given back to the states, then they can’t do that anymore.  At least not on the congressional or presidential level.  On state levels they can, but only to a point.  After all, red states are going to be red no matter what and they know that.  Same with blue states.  So trying to use that against their opponent would be a waste of time.  Taking a wedge issue off the table for Republicans is gonna be bad for them in the long run.  With their voting demographic getting older and older and dying off, the Republican Party is gonna be losing a ton of support.  The fact that Texas got as purple as it did when Beto was running against Ted Cruz should have been a worrying sign.  If the day ever comes that Texas is a blue state, and the Electoral College is still a thing (which I am all for getting rid of.  It’s an archaic institution from a bygone era whose usefulness has passed), there will never be another Republican in the White House for the rest of my lifetime.

It’s fascinating to watch all this unfold.  Each law I see is more insane than the last.  Alabama was the big one.  A law that would make abortion illegal after six weeks.  Something that women rightfully pointed out was stupid because women can not even know that they are pregnant after six weeks.  The law would also make it so that the abortion doctor would go to jail for 30-60 years.  Someone on Twitter pointed out that it’s funny because if a woman is raped and doesn’t want to keep the rape baby, the doctor who helped her get rid of it will get more jail time than the person who raped her.  Irony is a lost art to conservatives.

My own home state presented a bill saying that all abortion, no matter the time-frame, is murder.  Yeah, a bill that is clearly unconstitutional.  The outrage was everywhere, but then people realize that the chances of this even making it to the state legislature was practically non-existent.  That made them quiet down.

But today I saw one that really took the cake.  I mean this is just fucking bonkers.  Georgia just introduced a new anti-abortion law holding women criminally responsible for miscarriages.  Really think about that.  A woman could be held criminally responsible for miscarrying a baby and spend 30 years in prison.  An article on the subject (linked here) pointed out, rightfully, that it is nearly impossible to determine the cause of a miscarriage.  Gee, it’s almost like this insane law coming out of yet-another retarded Bible-belt state is written by men who don’t know the first fucking thing about women’s anatomy or fetal development.  Women have miscarriage all the time.  There are plenty of women who miscarry having never known that they were pregnant in the first place.  I have a friend who was nearly killed because of a miscarriage when she didn’t even know she was pregnant.

Not to mention, I have another girly-mate who lost a baby.  Her and her boyfriend have been trying to get pregnant for a while.  This was the second offspring they’ve lost.  It’s been unbelievably hard on her.  I can’t imagine being in a state where she has to get told by a police officer that she is going to jail for 30 years because of something that she had no control over.  She wasn’t drinking while she was pregnant.  She was constantly fighting the urge to smoke.  Had a cousin who was in the same boat too.  Now we have a state who wants to tell those women – oh, this is something that’s hurting you because you wanted to have a child?  Well go to jail, cunts!

This country is so insane.  I kind of love it.  As I said, I haven’t talked politics on here in a long time, and this was an issue that I just had to weigh in on, because it seems like red states are trying to one-up each other.  I’m just waiting for the law that says that if a man jerks off, he’s wasting cum that could make a baby and so he goes to jail.  Because Jesus, right?  Well, no.  God clearly doesn’t care about the unborn.  Moses commanded his armies to slaughter pregnant women and tear open their bellies, along with smashing the heads of babies against rocks.  In Numbers, one of the ways you could tell if a woman was committing adultery is to give her “bitter water” that will cause her to swell up and kill the fetus.  Which she would then shit out of her vagina.  Oh, and when that happens, you know she committed adultery, which you then kill her for.  The Bible has never been against abortion in any serious way.  But it does have a problem with women, so there’s that.  Lines up with Carlin’s views on being “pro-life.”  They’re “anti-women.”

Yet none of this insanity changes the point of why it’s happening.  It’s all so they can get this to the Supreme Court, which in turn can be used to overturn Roe v. Wade.  But getting that is fun to watch.  This country is sinking into madness.  We have an orange retarded monkey in office who is so pathetic and thin-skinned at that when Fox News takes their lips off his ass for one second to cover a mayoral race, he gets pissy at them.  We have a culture war between the left and the right where both sides now look equally pathetic.  I’ve finally reached a point where I am detached enough at this to see the funny side.  Maybe I’m maturing.  Wait, I play video games still.  Never mind.

Until next time, a quote,

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” – George Carlin, Brain Droppings

Peace out,

Maverick

The Future of Humanity is in Space

I’ve been reading a truly fantastic book by Neil deGrasse Tyson called “Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military.”  One of the things that I have taken away from it is that there has never been any scientific endeavor throughout history that didn’t start on some level as being used for military purposes.  The first telescopes were used to get a visual on an enemy army.  The first satellites were used to monitor the earth.  The satellites that your car’s GPS comes with are owned by the Air Force.  The history of science and how closely it is tied with the military is awe-inspiring.  And also a little terrifying.  However, it has validated a contention that I’ve always had – the need for war is a good thing.

One of the things that the chapter I am reading now has shown me is that the need for military supremacy has to take us to space.  It has to.  That’s not a statement of opinion.  It’s a goddamn fact.  Why?  Because here’s something that you take for granted, living in the world of technology that we do – everything is contingent on finite resources if we don’t.  Neat fact – all of the technology that you take for granted today is dependent on rare metals.  There is an entire line in the Periodic Table that is rare metals that are essential to the technology you use today.  Without that, your cell phone doesn’t exist.  Nor does your GPS satellites, the ones we use for science, solar panels, or missile guidance systems.  Everything about the world we live in today is contingent on resources that are rare for a reason, and could run out at any time.

What does this mean?  It means that humanity has work to do.  See, if you want to have that next version of the iPhone, or the next neat gaming PC/console, then you need those resources.  So does the military that we have absolutely absurd budgets to support, while China is quickly closing the gap with us.  In fact, when it comes to space, they’re ahead of us.  WAY ahead.  Why?  Because they have big plans in the works, and are not being shy about sharing.  They want to put two space stations in orbit, while here in the US the International Space Station is going to reach the end of its run in 2020-2024.  China is already talking about setting up structures on the Moon, and sending probes with long-term efforts of heading to Mars.  They’ve made clear that space is going to be the high ground for them, and they aren’t limping in getting there.

What’s more, they can do this.  Why?  Because all of our space exploits depend on products we get from them!  We’re entering a cold war with China, and our ability to get into the space race at all is tied to our ability to trade with them.  It blows my mind how people are so oblivious to this.  But then, this is America.  Obliviousness is pretty ubiquitous.  Of course, China is surpassing us in all kinds of ways.  Their military is catching up without missing a beat.  Their efforts to go green are ahead of us.  Their railway system makes our look like a joke.  Oh, and their health insurance has a public option, so they are on their way to universal healthcare too.  Proto-universal healthcare.  Unreal.  Seems the Chinese have taken up the mantle that America used to have of Manifest Destiny and really ran with it.  Too bad this country isn’t on the same course.

Here’s the thing – Tyson pointed out in his book that the simple reality is that for the way of life that we are accustomed to continue, we need to be able to get more rare metals, water, you name it.  And all the things we need are passing by this planet all the time.  Comets contain enough water to fill the Indian Ocean pretty easily.  Just giant snowballs in space.  Asteroids pass by this planet all the time that are rich in tons of various metals that we can use.  The simple reality is – there is a multi-trillion dollar industry in space, waiting for humanity to come claim it.  And with our population growing too fast to contend with, we need this now more than ever.  Why is America not leading the charge on this?  Everyone laughed at Trump’s idea for a Space Force, but why is that worth balking at?  Oh right, because Trump said it.  If Obama had, the same media would be championing it.  We’re so fucking tribalistic now that it doesn’t matter if someone who is a complete idiot has a good idea.  That good idea is wrong because they said so.

Our species is at a cross-road.  We can’t continue to subsist on this planet the way we have.  We’re coming up on 8 billion people on the planet Earth.  That is unsustainable.  Why are we not looking to push the boundaries.  Tyson pointed out that the point about making the mining equipment and habitability in space isn’t a scientific question, it’s an engineering one.  A question that he rightfully says there are tons of engineers who would relish the chance to solve.  Would all of this cost money?  Sure.  Inarguably.  But here’s the thing – that money would come back to us.  With friends.  Trillions upon trillions of dollars in friends.

What’s more, this would lead to pioneering in technology.  History proves me right on this.  All the tech that you take for granted today happened because of the space race.  All of it!  We are reaping the benefits of this today.  Just imagine what could happen if we took it further.  If we pushed the envelope and really pushed ourselves to take the next steps into it.  Imagine what kinds of new technology could be pioneered.  It boggles the mind, and makes me dream.

The fact that America is not leading the charge on stuff like this is so baffling to me.  Why is everyone in this country so concerned with keeping this nation in a perpetual state of now?!  Don’t change things!  Don’t make things better!  Keep everything the way it is!  Or you have those who want to take America back to some mythical golden age that never really existed.  It frustrates me when I talk about this stuff, and I can see that look in people’s eyes like “okay, Lucien.  Whatever you say.”  Where are the dreamers?!  Where are the ones who are looking to make the world a better place?!  This country is so fucking concerned by debt, so why are we not investing in an industry that we know for a fact will churn out money?!  Where is the pioneering spirit that we once championed?!  I don’t fucking get this.  Not at all.

This isn’t pie-in-the-sky dreaming.  This is achievable right now.  China, America’s chief rival, gets it.  Why don’t we?  Why is this country so focused on not moving ahead?  Some people wanna stay where we are now, some wanna go back in time.  I’m a futurist.  I want to believe in a brighter tomorrow.  But that isn’t going to happen while we have people in this country bickering about all the stupid bullshit that we are now.

What is wrong with this fucking country?!

Until next time, a quote,

“And that, in the 21st century, are the foundations for tomorrow’s economies.  And without it, we might as well slide back into the caves, because that’s where we’re headed right now, broke.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Peace out,

Maverick

The Death of Comedy Movies

I’ve been rewatching some of my favorite comedy films from yesteryear.  Somewhere along the way, I realized that I am something of a hipster, though unintentionally.  I didn’t mean to be, but that’s just how it happened.  How am I a hipster?  Well, because I look back on what came before much more fondly than I do what is made today.  At least for certain things.  I am not this way about gaming.  In fact, some of my favorite stories in gaming (which is why I play) are made in recent years.

However, when it comes to film, so much of what is made today bores me.  Granted, there are diamonds in the rough, but they are movies that are known by few and seen by even fewer.  And no genre of films has died a harder death in the modern age than comedy.  Even horror doesn’t come close.

Look at some of the greats of comedy film.  Films like Airplane, Police Academy, Blazing Saddles, Animal House.  All of those are great comedies that are remembered as being among the classics of their age.  Not ONE of those films could be made today.  Not a single one.  In this age of progressiveness and “tolerance”, movies that poke fun at ethnic stereotypes, gender stereotypes, and aren’t afraid to be aware of how ugly the world can be and poke fun at it would be cinema suicide, and that depresses me to no end.

Man, I can already hear the outrage if any of those movies were made today.  People screaming that Blazing Saddles is racist (which the hipster corner of the Internet already does) and is nothing but stereotypes.  Even though the film was about acceptance and prejudice being triumphed over by a man who did his best to help a small town that hated him because he’s black.

Or how people would be screaming about Animal House.  I love that movie so much.  John Belushi at his absolute best.  He had no rivals in this point in his life.  This was him at the top of his game.  The scene where he smashes the hippy’s guitar was just perfect.  How I longed to find every hipster asshole with a ukulele in college and smash the fucking thing over their empty fucking head.  But yeah, it was a film about college white people being complete assholes.  Already the “lack of inclusion” chants would begin.

I think the last American comedy that I found truly funny, and showed that if you put him in the right movie Tim Allen can be funny, is Big Trouble.  That movie had physical comedy (a DEAD art in this country), great comedic timing, and a cast that was at the top of their game.  Patrick Warburton running naked through an airport, Tim Allen as the disenfranchised reporter getting back his self-respect and the respect of his son, Dennis Farina as a bored assassin, and even Omar Epps before House M.D. with some pretty great lines.  Critics didn’t like it and it bombed at the box office, but I think it was the last time I really laughed seeing an American comedy.

Overseas, however, we have Edgar Wright making some comedic masterpieces.  Everything he has touched, with the exception of Baby Driver (because it’s a crime movie, rather than a straight-up comedy, but still has its moments), is comedy gold.  The film Scott Pilgrim vs The World is one of the most criminally underrated gems of our times.  Everyone loves Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but that movie is consistently overlooked.  How Wright has been able to avoid controversy is probably because he’s British.  People change their expectations for them, for whatever reason.

It’s so frustrating to see that comedy films have been so brutalized here in the states.  Physical comedy is a dead art.  Comedic timing, things entering and leaving frame in funny ways, and comedic usage of camera or syncing things to music, all dead here in the States.  Depresses me to no end.

But then I realize why good comedy can’t be made in this country anymore, and why the comedies of yesteryear are still so great.  They took risks.  They pushed the limits of what you could get away with back then.  Did you know that Airplane has bouncing naked boobs, and gets away with a PG rating?  NEVER could that happen today!  With how conservative the MPAA and American audiences in general are, that couldn’t happen.  Not only could that not happen, but the racial jokes, the making fun of stereotypes jokes, and the jokes about gender and what role it has to play could never happen.

Is this the fate of comedy movies forever?  No.  We live in this age where Hollywood is afraid to take risks and will do whatever bland, inoffensive nonsense they can get away with, but make no bones about it, that won’t last forever.  Social justice eats itself.  We’ve seen this, time and time again.  It goes after its own just as fast as it will go after everyone else.  And the American public doesn’t have unlimited patience for this.  Eventually they are going to have had enough.  Just like the pendulum of politics swings both ways, so does this.  The far-left crowd won’t like it, but by the time we get there, the public isn’t going to care.  Good riddance, I say.

With how creatively bankrupt modern Hollywood is, eventually there will be a director willing to take a stupid risk and will make a fuck-ton of money, which will have Hollywood finally see that they can do things that are risky and still make money.  It’s just when we get there is up in the air.  Definitely not in the next couple years.  There may have to be a crash, or maybe Hollywood will just stop making movies with an American audience in mind entirely and just make movies for the Chinese.  They see the writing on the wall with that market.  It’s why no big budget movie has a gay person or a ghost in them.  It’s part of China’s rules.

In the meantime, comedy in America is dead, and that makes me sad.  Though, thinking about this post, I was pondering that you don’t see many of the terrible remakes/reboots for comedy films.  There was that AWFUL 2016 version of Ghostbusters, but that’s pretty much been it.  That’s interesting.  Again, probably because the other great comedy masterpieces couldn’t be made today without people losing their shit.  Remaking them would basically be retreading the same ground.  Can’t do that.  Good.  Remakes/reboots need to die too.

Until next time, a quote,

“There are only so many ways to say, ‘that’s not funny.'” – Jay, Red Letter Media

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Hunter Killer

Oh boy.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy.  Wanna see me let loose with some rage about a stupid movie that is stupid beyond the pale?  Wanna see me get annoyed at a movie that I got to see thanks to the good graces of a Petty Officer I know who got me an invite?  Want to see me lose my shit because of a film that is so dumb but who everyone will think is great because there’s shit blowing up?!  Well strap in, philistines, because we’re on Lucien’s Wild Ride now!  Let me tell you about the film Hunter Killer.

The premise of this movie is actually kinda interesting.  There’s an American sub on a mission to find out why another sub went dark.  After an attempted military coup in Russia, now the sub and a team of what the film alludes to being Navy SEALS (but never outright says) is on a mission to save the President and stop World War III.  Neat premise, but there’s so much wrong that my suspension of disbelief was broken beyond the pale.  Let’s get into why.  As I said, strap in.

For starters, I just LOVE how all of the Russians have such a perfect grasp of the English language.  There’s the barest hint of an accent, but that’s it.  They are American as fuck. Are people in this country just scared of subtitles?  Does the average dim-witted American just freeze up at the idea of having to read anything in a movie?  I got into a discussion with the significant other of the one who got me an invite to this special occasion (this was a special showing for a specific crowd of people) about how I hate subtitles in anime, so I’m sure this will sound hypocritical, but I’ve talked at length about how I have no issue with subtitles in a movie that is just a couple hours long.  In a series that I’m supposed to watch from start to end, having to read it all the time is what loses me.  I can’t feel connected with them as I’m constantly looking away from their performance to read what they’re saying.  Movies don’t present that problem to me.  It’s complicated.

The worst offender in the Russians speaking perfect English is the “President.”  This guy is American! He doesn’t even try to have a Russian accent!  This dude looks like some guy I would meet in Jersey!  I mean come on!

Next, the infiltration team.  I have SO many problems with these guys.  For starters – facial hair!  I have railed in the past about how it breaks immersion when I see guys who are supposed to be serving in the American military having beards.  Especially in the Navy!  You are never told specifically who these guys are, but the implication is that they’re Navy SEALS.  The Navy is rigid as fuck on this – no facial hair!  I’m hearing that it’s being fought right now, but as of the time of this post, the rules on this matter are clear – no facial hair in the US Navy.  But that’s not the only thing that bugs me about these morons.

The film tells us that these guys lost existence privileges when they go into Russia on this mission.  The idea being that they can’t be traced back to America.  Huh, that’s interesting, because they are wearing American gear, using American weapons and American tech!  Gee, I wonder which country they came from!  Having them get into civvies?  Russian military garb?  Using some other country’s weapons and tech to cover their tracks?  Nope!  We’ll just take away their personal effects.  That will totally be effective in hiding what nation you’re from.  Idiots.

Oh, and why is it that in EVERY movie about the military, you have somebody in charge who is all “let’s blow shit up!”  I love the series The West Wing, but that series had it too.  Granted, it was a little more subtle about it, playing it as tactical decisions, but still.  An actual Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would be level-headed and would know that immediately going to the extreme military option is not the smartest idea.  That they wouldn’t look at all possibilities and deliberate among their ranks to try and come to the safest approach.  But as I said, this is in every military movie, so I guess it’s par for the course.  Portraying leadership as sensible and level-headed?  Doesn’t make for good conflict in a movie and then a tacked-on respect moment later for the underling who got it all right and the commanding officer has to shake their hand or some dumb thing.

Speaking of commanding officers, the XO in this movie pissed me off.  This guy was an asshole.  There are multiple scenes of him arguing with the Captain in front of the crew on the bridge in very ugly ways.  That would never happen!  If this guy did this, I can guarantee that the Captain would have had MAs remove his ass from the Bridge.  You don’t do it.  It’s so ironic that Star Trek: The Next Generation handled this kind of BS better when Worf is First Officer when Data is in command.  Science fiction can’t do this better than real world analogues to the Navy.

And don’t even get me started on the CG in this movie.  It’s bad!  Like, low budget bad.  I was legit laughing in the scene where you have one of the infiltration guys behind cover and they are shooting at him, but you can clearly see that the bullet holes are CG.  That was awful!  That was like YouTube video levels of sloppy.  It was funny.

I could go on for hours about all the small details they got wrong.  Like, it’s not “oorah” in the Navy!  It’s “hooyah.”  Or the fact that how they portray Tomahawk missiles is inaccurate.  Or when they say “brace for impact,” it’s actually “brace for shock.”  Their mistakes in regards to Russian submarines.  But this post would go on forever if I did that.

What did I like?  Well, some of the military tech was cool.  Getting to see shit blow up is fun.  The violence actually looked like it hurt.  That’s rare in a PG-13 movie.  Or was this R?  I counted two “fucks” in the whole movie, so probably R.  In PG-13 you only get one.  Or did they change that?  I can never keep up.  Someone let me know in the comments.

This movie sucked.  If you like the spectacle and can turn your brain off to all the stupid shit and know nothing about the Navy, you’ll like it.  For me, I can’t do that, and I think this was stupid with a capital S.

Final Verdict
4 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick