Take another step. To the right. To the right. To the right. To the right. To the right.
So, I made a short film, and created a website for this film and all the future films I’m intending to make.
The film is here. It’s at 720p on the site, so it might be a little taxing depending on the system. If you encounter issues with stuttering in audio and/or video, try clicking the “HD is on” button to turn it off and reduce the resolution. Please keep me posted if you run into problems, since I’m curious about how big a problem it is and how effective a cure turning HD off is. I might eventually upload a version to YouTube; we’ll see.
Check out the production blog as well, which will not only provide greater details about each of the films, but also other information and various things I haven’t quite figured out yet.
While you’re there, sign up for an account. If you’re interested in receiving inevitable e-mail updates about future films, put the word “bearmace” in the “Yahoo messenger” field (since in all the forums and various other things I’ve used that have individual accounts, I’ve never actually seen this field filled in).
Enjoy. I hope.
An Epic-Length Election Rant
This is in response to a handful of the comments on the post you’ll find by following this link.
nb89: I’m not sure if anyone could ever really take away gun rights, considering they’re outlined pretty clearly in the Constitution and the public would likely not take such changes well. If the U.S. government has learned anything from its own enforcement of laws at the barrel of a gun, it should be “don’t piss off the person/people with all the guns.” While I don’t believe that abortion rights and gays’ rights are necessarily in this same category of “safe” freedoms like Icarus does, I really don’t think anyone will be successfully banning guns anytime soon. Especially since it’s not just the president who runs things but Congress as well.
Voting based on a single issue is like buying a car based exclusively on the dimensions of its door handles. And this particularly demonstrates poor decision-making skills when aside from that single issue, all the other perspectives on issues that you’ll be endorsing as well are pretty awful things that you don’t or wouldn’t otherwise support.
And it’s even worse when the issue in question isn’t actually in any real danger. Sure, they can pass restrictions like waiting periods and background checks and maybe even required safety classes, but that’s all just because that shit makes sense. I can’t really see why it’d be a good idea to allow people with histories of violent crime or mental illness the ability to purchase guns just so that I can get mine and get it RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND. I don’t think it’s a good idea to make the world a terrible place just because I’m impatient. But getting all worked up about this is like if your house caught on fire and you made a special effort to grab your favorite titanium block while leaving your family photos behind. I’m not saying there’s no danger at ALL, but putting it at the top of your “freedoms in danger” priority list seems maybe a little misguided.
And regarding your final paragraph, do you REALLY want to use the argument that “Americans love rich, white men, so I do too”? Really?
Icarus: Thanks for the compliments (though I think you perhaps give me too much credit ), and no worries about length. I don’t really mind length when the post is actually saying something. It’s not overlong unless it’s redundant or repetitive or insane or completely irrelevant. Sometimes you just can’t say everything you want to in only a few paragraphs.
You know, in all honesty McCain is actually a much better choice than the alternatives, many of whom were front-runners for a while. Romney scares the fuck out of me with basically every position he supports, Giuliani’s campaign was nothing more than tastelessly capitalizing on whatever pants-shitting fear 9/11 can still instill in people, Huckabee’s an all-around nutcase who wanted to set up concentration camps for people with AIDS, Ron Paul’s a xenophobic racist nutter… I think if I had to choose from that list, I’d have probably gone with McCain as well.
I really like his attitude toward nuclear power, and while I don’t necessarily support completely removing the AMT, I do think it needs to be tied to inflation. I’m also with him on his dislike of extravagant CEO salary (which has risen from about ten times that of the average employee to roughly five hundred times that of the average employee over the last half-century), though I’m not entirely sure the “shareholders vote” would be the best fix for the problem. Definitely as step in the right direction, though. But it’s his social policies that worry me the most. After all, this isn’t so much about McCain as it is about us.
Elaborating a bit on a point I made above: It really would be nice if what was the most sensible and the most fair and the most humanizing was what always succeeded, but considering how so many people have reacted when gay marriage initiatives have been on the ballot over the last few election cycles, it’s hard to claim there’s a favorable trend. Abortion is maybe a tiny bit safer, but it will likely all depend on the next Supreme Court Justice to be appointed. Considering the current conservative president was able to appoint two Justices during his time in office, I’m somewhat less than comfortable with the trend continuing.
Because our government is supposed to be representational, it can be considered a good thing when elected officials bend to the will of the public. After all, the idea is that they’re supposed to represent our interests. The problem here comes in defining who “we” are. Sure, you can say “well, 51% of the population thinks gay marriage is wrong, so I’m going to represent them and work toward making gay marriage illegal”, but that only really works if you feel that 49% of the country — which is a LOT of fucking people — can be completely dismissed, and don’t count as “we”. I think a lot of the problem is that “we” for a lot of people — particularly conservatives, especially when it comes to social policy — is only the majority. When you think like that, you end up effectively telling a huge chunk of America (and the world) they can all go fuck themselves.
Though it’s certainly not always the case and there are plenty of liberals who serve as exceptions to this since it’s practically built into our system of government, I feel that in general, liberals tend to have a greater respect for the individual than conservatives do. (I’ll get to Libertarians in a second.) Conservatives far more often than liberals tend to appeal to an authoritarian daddy-style governance, and there seems to be a greater trend among conservatives — particularly those with religious bents or sentiments of cultural superiority — to use any opportunity in which they can assemble a majority to ensure that their right to social coherency supersedes an individual’s and minority groups’ rights, even in situations where an individual’s actions don’t encroach on the consent or volition of anyone else.
That is, I feel that when liberals attempt to make restrictions on individuals’ actions — like waiting periods for guns, for instance — there’s more of a utility in mind behind it and less of a sentiment that we just don’t like a particular action and have deemed it A Bad Thing To Do. This is particularly rotten when the individual’s actions don’t impact anyone but the individual, and when there are large — though non-majority — numbers of people who support that individual’s rights to those actions.
(Here’s why I don’t think most Libertarians have as much respect for individuals’ rights as they often like to boast: Many Libertarians don’t seem to recognize that government is business and business is government and business can be just as oppressive and dangerous if let loose without any kind of restriction. Business has the same government-like, authoritarian structure, but without the same public checks available. It’s amusing that they disfavor an egalitarian voting structure wherein each person gets or at least should be getting the same number of votes, instead championing a completely classist, non-egalitarian “voting” structure wherein people “vote with their dollars”. I find it difficult to see how this would in any way curb businesses from becoming corrupt or exceeding their boundaries or otherwise becoming oppressive and terrible. As long as Libertarians feel this way, and think that businesses are somehow equivalent to individuals and should be treated as such when it comes to lawmaking, they’ll have as little respect for the individual as every other authoritarian. There’s sort of a misrepresentation in “political spectrum” analysis in that Libertarians can be libertarian against the government and show up as “libertarian” as opposed to “authoritarian” on the scale, but they’re still actually strongly authoritarian when it comes to business.)
Anyway, more on McCain:
“And as far as the war is concerned, I’ll say this – I like that McCain’s stance on it is simply, “listen to our generals.” No politician in Washington is going to match the depth of understanding of the men who are actually there, and I don’t think Obama really gets that. McCain is old enough to know what he doesn’t know and to let others handle their own areas of expertise; Obama, it seems, is not.”
Being a general doesn’t somehow automatically make one a genius, nor does it make one objective. Yes, these people are obviously rather brilliant strategists, but war isn’t merely about winning battles. I mean, guns are really effective at putting bullets in people, but you don’t always want to just let your gun do the talking. And what is “winning”, anyway?
Iraq is a fucking mess, and the sad truth may very well be that the only resolution will come after a civil war. The country’s borders were essentially drawn up by the British with no consideration given to the differences between the groups of people living within that designated space and how they felt about each other. Saddam was an enormous, fascist asshole, and he did some horrible things that he definitely needed to answer for. But it’s difficult to believe that we can curb sectarian violence without becoming almost as totalitarian and nightmarish as he was. Really, it seems like the only realistic options are to either pull out and let the Iraqis have their long-coming civil war, or bring back the draft and become an incredibly strong military presence within the country indefinitely, turning it all effectively into a police state. And we don’t really have the resources for the latter.
But, well, Iraq is a clusterfuck that we could discuss for years. And have, in fact.
Obama’s just as much a politician as any other. It’s a slightly different brand of politics that tries to be anti-politic, but the resistance is sometimes almost as politic as what it’s trying to rebel against. I guess he shouldn’t have tried to set himself up as a kind of “beacon of hope” or whatever, because now whenever he pulls the same two-faced political shit that everyone else does (like making retroactive changes to his website — though keep in mind that I doubt Obama himself is actually sitting there behind a copy of Dreamweaver or whatever), it makes everyone feel betrayed. Which, well, I guess there’s a point in that it does make him seem a little disingenuous if he acts like other politicians, but I’d rather have a politician who was at least TRYING to be a better person and actually seemed to understand how fucked up the entire setup is than one who’s totally comfortable with our political infrastructure the way it is. You can claim McCain is a “maverick” or whatever, but there, almost all of the rebellion is a part of the same system it’s rebelling against. It’s like calling the dude with all the tattoos and piercings and shit who hangs out around the mall and skateboards a rebellious individual.
And I don’t really see Obama as a horrible person for refusing to come out and denounce the Betray Us blah blah ad whatever. That someone doesn’t participate in that kind of an idiot piss parade doesn’t really make me feel like they’d be a horrible leader, and I don’t really care that I don’t know every candidate’s official endorsement or official denouncement policy on a bunch of mostly inconsequential shit and heavy-handed attack ads. There are more important issues to worry about than what Obama thinks about what MoveOn thinks about what General Petraeus thinks about the war.
Anyway, one of the things that really turned me off to McCain and made me feel that he completely lacked integrity has to do with the 2000 primaries. There were push polls that said things like “if you knew McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child, how would that affect your voting decision?” (particularly sinister, given his adopted daughter) and “Would you be more or less inclined to vote for McCain if you knew his wife did drugs?” Now, while it was never verified that it was the Bush campaign that did it, everyone at the time felt confident identifying it as a Rove trick, considering he’d pulled the exact same shit in the past. It was a particularly nasty campaign in general. Thing is, after all was said and done, McCain turned right around and aggressively kissed Bush’s ass. And, yeah, that was probably the best thing to do politically, to get along with Bush after the primaries, but he didn’t have to turn around and act all buddy-buddy like Bush somehow didn’t basically roll him up and drag him between his ass cheeks a few times.
I guess it wouldn’t really be the end of the world if McCain won, especially compared to some of the aforementioned assholes we could’ve had as an alternative. But this tumble toward conservatism — especially with regard to social elements and the notion that the government is our disciplinarian father — is something that I really dread continuing. We can’t all just sit around waiting for the absolute perfect candidate to come along while repeatedly voting against our own interests and driving the country deeper and deeper into social conservatism (and possibly total ruin) just because Obama is whatever nasty thing and a politician. I mean, it’d be great if we finally had a viable option for office who wasn’t a politician, but I’m not going to vote Republican until that fantastical magic time, just like I’m not going to vote against laws protecting gay rights just because they don’t have every single little detail one could possibly want, waiting until that one perfect law comes along.
By voting for someone, you’re claiming they represent your values, and I know I certainly wouldn’t be comfortable endorsing drawing legal borders defining what parts of a woman’s body belong to her and which to the public, or making wild and completely inaccurate assumptions about how gays’ minds work and then basing laws on those idiotic assumptions, or etc.
I’ll admit it: When it comes to certain issues like nuclear power and, to limited extents, certain economic issues, McCain seems to be on the right track, and to be an intelligent man with some good ideas. But when it comes to social issues, I find it hard to describe him and anyone who endorses policies like his as anything but intellectually-decrepit, authority-handjobbing shitheads.
In other news, I made a short film, and a link to it will be available soon.
Let’s have a round of applause.
Every person who supported Hillary in the primaries who is now claiming that they’re going to vote for McCain in November is fucking retarded.
It’s like saying “oh, damn, the restaurant is all out of the steak I wanted to order, so instead I’m going to eat this rat poison.”
Don’t be petty fucking morons at the expense of the future of humanity. This isn’t all just about YOU and your PETTY SOUR GRAPES BULLSHIT, you know, you STUPID FUCKS.
More on the elections, McCain, Hillary and Obama soon, and probably in increasing quantities as the election grows nearer.
So it appears Louis Vuitton and a bunch of other self-important pricks who sell $30 handbags for $3,000 simply by stamping their names onto them sued eBay in a French court, netting a handful of people who are already way richer than they honestly deserve to be $63 fucking million dollars.
It’s always heartwarming when a court sides with antiquated, anti-competitive (and honestly somewhat classist) business practices, and completely ignores that it’s unrealistic for an online individual-to-individual sales facilitator to closely monitor and inspect every piece of merchandise it lists.
But when it all comes down to it, if the items are actually listed as knockoffs, who gives a goat’s cunt? Hell, even if they’re not explicitly listed as such, there should at least be pretty heavy implication from the fact that they’re being sold for thousands of dollars less than you’d expect. There are myriad people on Canal St. selling handbag knockoffs, and it’s not like the people who are buying them would ever be able to afford the $3,500 equivalents — of roughly the same quality, might I add — anyway (and if anyone who couldn’t afford it actually saved up for one over the course of a year or two or put one on a credit card, they should seriously reconsider their choices in life), so it’s not like Louis Vuitton is really losing business over it.
Really, this is nothing more than another example of shitty, outmoded business practices using the courts to try to stop the internet from empowering people to be able to compete. And that’s bullshit.
Anyway, I’ll have some thoughts on things that are ACTUALLY news soon.