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June 28, 2016, 03:35 pm

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1  Forum / Linkies / Re: Long Reads- Journalism, Essays, Fiction on: June 24, 2016, 02:30 pm
My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard

You guys, the prison-industrial complex in America is, and has been for a long time, irrevocably fucked. No person, innocent or guilty, deserves to be treated this way. And no employee of the prison should have to condition themselves to dehumanize other human beings this way. It's a cancer.
2  Forum / AV Club / Re: TODAY I WATCHED... on: June 12, 2016, 01:23 pm
This weekend I binged all of Netflix's The Characters. Each episode stars a relatively-unknown comedian in a series of loosely-joined, filmic sketches. The content is completely up to the comedian and their collaborators, so the episodes vary a bit in quality, but when it's good, it reaches a pinnacle of gorgeous, absurd, genius.

In order of pure enjoyability, Natasha Rothwell, Kate Berlant, John Early, Paul W. Downs, and Tim Robinson were all pretty great. Lauren Lapkus is talented, but her episode was more misses than hits for me, and I turned off Henry Zebrowski's episode after about five minutes that included some pretty unacceptable brownface. Finally, the Dr. Brown episode is more experimental short film than a comedy sketch, but for that, it verges on brilliant.

The AV Club reviews/comments were pretty wildly divided between "this is great" and "this is completely unwatchable"; have any of you guys checked this out yet?
3  Forum / Sanctum Sanctorum / Re: Charts and Graphs thread on: March 01, 2016, 10:11 am


This struck me as an especially odd way to draw a map. Why not just use a map? This makes it seem like New York isn't anywhere near the Atlantic Ocean, Louisiana borders Oklahoma, Idaho is on the west coast... just a weird choice.
4  Forum / General Discussion / Re: Twitter on: February 09, 2016, 08:24 pm
Welp, that's Kanye off the Knowles-Carter Christmas card list.
5  Forum / AV Club / Re: The Kanye West Thread on: January 26, 2016, 03:44 pm
6  Forum / Linkies / Re: POLITICAL ADs on: January 15, 2016, 01:21 pm
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC6H-8hktFE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC6H-8hktFE</a>
Right to Rise is Jeb Bush's superPAC, btw.
7  Forum / General Discussion / Re: NEW YORK PEOPLE on: November 02, 2015, 07:32 pm
You should absolutely visit the Museum of the Moving Image while you're here! No snow leopards, I'm afraid, but consistently awesome special exhibits and a varied, interesting permanent collection.
8  Forum / General Discussion / Re: I got married on: October 27, 2015, 10:37 am
Congratulations you crazy kids! That last picture of you two is just adorable.
9  Forum / General Discussion / Re: NEW YORK PEOPLE on: October 27, 2015, 10:36 am
I'm leaving town for Christmas but will be back by Jan 1st, let's hang out!!
10  Forum / AV Club / Re: The Kanye West Thread on: August 31, 2015, 11:51 am
WOW Taylor Swift is condescending.
11  Forum / General Discussion / Re: Anonymous Facebook Status Thingies on: August 20, 2015, 09:30 am

Quote
A lot of fictional cartoons and lullabies for children derive from stories of death and evil dramatic as it sounds, why so?


whoa messed up if true
12  Forum / General Discussion / Re: Anonymous Facebook Status Thingies on: August 12, 2015, 04:24 pm
I came across one of my old high school science teachers on fb and he's worse as a person than he was a teacher (and he was a very bad teacher):









Cool! Cool person molding the minds of our nation's youth.
13  Forum / AV Club / Re: What book(s) are you reading right fucking now on: August 07, 2015, 12:17 pm
Ooh I just finished Beloved a couple weeks ago. So good. Morrison gets right to the heart of what freedom means to a person, what it means to have it taken away. She punctures the myth of "nice" slaveowners really effectively, too. It should be required high school reading.
14  Forum / AV Club / Re: TODAY I WATCHED... on: August 02, 2015, 09:26 am
THE WOLFPACK
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDbqcMfUdlI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDbqcMfUdlI</a>

These six brothers have been kept in their Lower East Side apartment by their parents for their entire lives- getting outside a couple times a year, max. Their perceptions of the outside world are shaped almost completely by films- their dad has a collection of thousands. They make their own versions of their favorites, Be Kind Rewind style, meticulously transcribing the scripts by hand and typing them up with a typewriter, making elaborate costumes and props out of what's on hand. It's great, and really moving, because in spite of their restricted, emotionally volatile upbringing, the kids are charming, funny, introspective, and thoughtful. Just really lovable and sympathetic as documentary subjects; the filmmakers were given a lot of access and made an excellent film out of it.
15  Forum / AV Club / Re: MOTHERFUCKING MAD MAX: FURY ROAD on: July 03, 2015, 07:32 pm
I finally FINALLY got to see this and I loved it so much. Tonally it felt a little bit like Snowpiercer, with this really heightened reality and comic book sensibility, buuut everywhere that Snowpiercer fell kind of short or got muddled, Fury Road just nailed it. So much characterization in so few lines of dialogue, everyone was awesome and human for such an overblown, ridiculous setting; I loved it and want to watch it again immediately.
16  Forum / Food / Re: What the hell do I do with all of this ______________? on: June 07, 2015, 09:38 pm
The savory version sounds delicious!
17  Forum / Food / Re: What the hell do I do with all of this ______________? on: June 07, 2015, 02:45 pm
It's also good in an omelette or in slices on crusty bread with fresh tomato slices and olives on the side. You can also wrap slices of it in phyllo pastry, fry it in oil, and drizzle honey over it. This is super delicious and easy, especially if you buy the pastry pre-made.
18  Forum / AV Club / Re: Mad Men on: May 21, 2015, 12:12 pm
I also read the ending cynically and also really loved it. As Snips pointed out, we were watching Don give up all these material things and thinking he was maybe headed towards some kind of spiritual enlightenment, but Don is a product of consumerism as much as he is a perpetrator of it. His first, most memorable pitch of the Kodak Carousel showed him selling his own family memories while in the present, he was growing ever more distant from them. His breakdown in the Hershey meeting came from his boyhood memories of longing for a Hershey bar. One of his first big fights with Megan occurred when she didn't understand the hold over him that Howard Johnson's held. Being a poor, rural kid in an increasingly industrialized America, brands have always signified success and happiness for him. Even if we, the viewers, see the ending as Don selling out his own spiritual happiness to sell soda, for him, the two are not only NOT mutually exclusive, but inevitably intertwined. He's always believed in the feelings that he's sold, and his epiphany is not just about finding peace and empathy, but in how to sell that to other people. So I kind of read it as cynical and completely earnest at the same time.

Is the Coke ad the first time a countercultural movement was co-opted to sell stuff? It's at least got to be one of the earliest examples. We still see the same thing in the Dove "Real Beauty" ads or the Virginia Slim "you've come a long way, baby" ads of the 80s. I'd love to read an essay just on that, if anyone has a good one!

Peggy, Joan, Sally, and Betty are some of the best developed women characters on television, and maybe ever? And I love them all and will miss them a lot. I'm bummed we won't be getting an Olson-Harris spinoff (but loved the detail of Joan using her maiden and married names as her company name).
19  Forum / Dumbtown / Re: nerds fucking suck on: May 21, 2015, 10:52 am
And both Shawn of the Dead and The World's End (and Spaced, as he points out in his essay) are about getting your shit together and the negatives of that regressive manchild mentality.
20  Forum / AV Club / Re: Winter is coming (HBO's Game of Thrones) on: May 20, 2015, 10:02 am
Hoo boy that URL. I feel like this is kind of the same argument, that given these characters (particularly Ramsay), rape was narratively inevitable, which just makes me ask why we are being given those characters and this narrative.

A friend of a friend on facebook said this, which I thought was really good:
Quote
the thing about fantasy is that we get to create worlds. we get to live in those worlds. we get to use the worlds to discuss and criticize issues in our real lives -- and that last bit is a beautiful and powerful thing that has kept the genres of fantasy and sci fi vital and relevant in spite of how niche they often feel.

but -- and i forget who said this -- what is the point of creating new worlds if we're going to give them all the same limitations, traumas, and tragedies as the old ones? what is the point of dragons and the others and the watchers on the wall as symbols and metaphors if they don't push us to anything, if they don't tell us anything we don't already know? why imagine what we already see?

and what, really, do you get, on a personal or artistic level, out your show about dragons showing rape and sexual assault with such regularity and solemnity and fervor? what do you do? do you sit on your couch and go "ah yes quite good, i needed my fantasy show to remind me that the world i live in is horrible for women, without this violent extended rape scene that i am watching, i might forget that"

And this kind of ties into my broader problems with the show (I haven't read the books), where I feel like brutality and sudden character deaths and coincidence are used to avoid actual interesting conflicts that have been teased along for awhile. Like Joffrey is about to marry someone he thinks he can get along with, and who seems smart enough to manipulate him, and he's such a psychopath that this should be interesting! But then he dies. Or Arya and the Hound, journeying to the Vale for weeks, not even knowing that Sansa is there, but then they get turned away at the last second. There's potential for this conversation between two sisters who never really got along anyway, and who've been so transformed by their experiences that they could either find each other even more unrelatable, or maybe they are able to identify with one another in a way they couldn't before?? I don't know, I was so looking forward to that! Poor Brienne hasn't had anything interesting to do since season 3. And then between Ramsay's torture of Theon and Ros the prostitute being a character invented solely to be brutally murdered, I guess I just keep asking myself why I'm still watching? There's a nihilism and despair that's just exhausting after awhile. However, I'm out of town this weekend, so when I get back I can rely on the internet to tell me whether or not this storyline resolves in an worthwhile way!
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