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Monday, May 24, 2010

Heroes without a Clue

I somehow missed this news from last week:

'Heroes' Canceled

"NBC is no longer holding out for 'Heroes.'According to the Live Feed, the network has officially axed the series, about ordinary people with extraordinary powers, after four seasons.The news ends a rocky ride for 'Heroes,' which premiered in 2006 to a staggering 14.3 million viewers and a 5.9 rating among adults 18-49, making it NBC's highest-rated fall drama premiere in five years. The show continued to hit ratings gold in subsequent episodes, including its season 2 premiere, which attracted 14.1 million viewers."

The show attracted viewers because the first season was astounding, although low-key in a "Unbreakable" way, which was its main strength. It was a super-hero show, or was supposed to be, and its first season did a masterful job in building the reality of a world where super-heroes could actually exist. It was not easy taking what could easily seem like a silly premise of men and woman dressed up in tights flying around with flaming fists, and turn it into a eerie, haunting and fascinating journey into the realm of what just might be, if only things were a little more strange in our reality.

It was also a great time for such a show, seemingly with the stars aligned, as our real world seemed to tumble out of control. What better salve than seeing a weekly show where empowered individuals could set things right. Super-hero movies like Spiderman, Batman, X-Men had all done very well at the box office, with other titles doing decent business.

So, it seemed like the perfect time, and the perfect start, for a super-hero television series.

And, of course, they pissed it all away:

"But numbers fell sharply by season 3, due in part to a messy second season and the now-famous writers guild strike of 2007-08 that kept it off the air for months. Only 9.9 million viewers tuned in to watch 'Heroes'' third-season premiere, marking a 25 percent drop from season 2.And that was just the beginning: Season 4 averaged just 6.5 million episodes, with 4.4 million viewers tuning in to its season finale, on Feb. 8."

I may do a larger post on this, because it deserves a more detailed examination and explanation, but for now, a mini-rant.

I stopped watching Heroes I think around the last part of the second season. The writer's strike did indeed make for a little confusion in the series progression, but to blame its ultimate demise on it is frankly bullshit. The blame rests squarely on the writers, and ultimately on the creators, who failed to keep a steady hand on the production.

I LOVED the show in its first season, and even my wife found it fascinating and watched every week. I was astounded at how well done it was, amazed that network TV was still capable of delivering something like it. To have two demographics like me and wife watching it says alot about why it had so many viewers initially.

In the second season, however, the show began to run off the rails, alternating from meandering aimlessly, to making jarring transitions for plot, character nature and motivations, and recycling certain devices to the point of inanity.

Case in point was the threatening future premise, where a character would go to the future, find it was all *#&$* up, and then had to try and prevent it. Once, interesting. Twice, well, okay. Three times, ZZZZZzzzzz.

There is plenty to cite, and maybe I will go back to it, but let me get to the core problem of the show, because it speaks to a larger issue with a LOT of Hollywood fair.

The show was called HEROES, but what was lacking in most all of it was the HEROIC. The characters were doing pretty much everything BUT being heroes in the series, from out-maneuvering one another, to continually questioning and/or tentatively testing their powers to the point of OCD, to following any number of small quests to solve the riddle of why they were what they were.

Now, don't get me wrong, ALL of this would have been fine grist for the story-line mill, and entertaining. However, what was lacking was almost ANY super-hero like action, of one or a small group of these people using their powers to help someone, even while they were running around with the various other subplots.

NOT doing this for the first season was fine, as it set the tableau, but what looked like atmosphere and mythos building turned to apparent uncertainty about where the show was going and even what it was about. It got tedious as not only all the characters had this continuing existential crisis, but the entire show seemed to develop one as things went on.

As I said to my wife as my frustration grew, "All this background and mood-setting is great, but at SOME point the audience wants to watch some Heroes kick some bad guy ass!" It was about this time she stopped watching.

All of the characters, except maybe Hiro, were absolutely self-centered and narcissistic when it came to their powers, with very brief and fleeting exceptions.

Hiro seemed to be the idealistic core around which the series would be based, the nerd who in his heart understand what it meant to be a hero, which had little to do with your abilities, and in large part depended on WHAT YOU DID WITH THEM! I thought, I think many did, that Hiro would eventually pull the heroes together, remind them and convince them that what they possessed was a responsibility.

Instead, Hiro became a bumbling joke, the comic relief to break up the dreary angst fest all the other heroes were wallowing in.

I think I really got aggravated during the plot line where Peter gets trapped in the body of a super-villain who escapes with two others as they go on a crime and killing spree. The suspense builds as Peter can't use his range of powers, on the villains, and goes along with the gang for the moment.

Now, a true Hero, limited as he was, would try to do something anyway, but let's give the benefit of the doubt to the writers and Peter, in that he thought he could nothing and maybe is the most reluctant of the heroes.

However, at one point Peter GETS HIS POWERS BACK while in the midst of bank robbery, but instead of allowing us even a minute of him kicking some major bad guy ass to punish them, stop them, and protect the innocent, someone stops time (I forget who) and whisks Peter away so Sylar can stop them.

DIS-SATISFYING to say the least.

About the only character who was somewhat immune to this, and thus the most interesting, was that of Sylar, the lead villain in the series, played by Zachary Quinto. His character, evil though he was, as complex as they managed to make him, seemed to know what he wanted. It was clear what drove him, and he did not vacillate too much, even with his doubts. HERE was the guy who was not afraid to use his powers.

I say somewhat immune because even Sylar got the wishy-washy treatment as they had him turn to a good guy, then a bad guy again, then a good guy (in the future), then bad, then in love and good, and then bad at a flick of a switch, killing his love interest.

"So what?" one might say, "It's bad writing. Happens all the time."

Well, that explains part of it. As I understand it, the creator and original team of writers left the show, and the new crop were either incompetent, or really did not have a good grasp of the show, which may be the same thing. So, fair enough.

However, I think the bigger issue is that Hollywood is uncomfortable with the concept of heroes. To be a hero means you have to stand for something, have to declare lines of right and wrong, good and evil, and ACT of them, accepting the consequences.

They were afraid to take any stances on anything as writers, and so left their characters helpless and timid when courage and conviction were needed.

In a scene in season 2, when Peter and Nathan are down in Haiti, confronting the evil brother of the Haitian who has become a super-powered warlord, Nathan sees a young girl in the prison with him. He realizes that at some point she will be forced to be a soldier prostitute, and gives a speech about those unable to protect themselves, and the role of others to be the protectors.

FINALLY, I thought, the series will get some firm grounding, and how nice a twist that Nathan, potentially a villain in Season One, will be one of the first to recognize it.

What does he then do?

Returns to Washington DC and rats out the other super-heroes to the President, who then begins rounding them up and putting them in a Gitmo style prison.

WHAT. THE. ****?

Now, one could argue that this set up an interesting dynamic where Nathan comes to view the super-powered as being the victimizers, or the threat, but it would have been nice to have seen some balance to this with the super-powered defeating some regular criminals. It would have been a nice ongoing conflict, and one suitable to the genre; is a super-hero a hero or vigilante?

However, we were not really GIVEN the opposing view, shown the positive side of being a super-hero, of helping defend the weak. It was almost all inter-supers intrigue and combat and hand-wringing.

Again, this is just one TV show, but the fact that writers whose success depends on the success of a show CANNOT understand or so ideologically driven that they can't supply the basics of a comic book story, speaks volumes.

I will maybe come back to this and better organize my thoughts on it, but I am a little too disgusted at the ruin of so much potential to think clearly.

RIP, Heroes, we hardly knew you...the way we wanted to.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Cult of Personality

I think it is hardly news to say the conservatives lag far behind in the message conveyance area.

They don't have the left's skill, ability and experience for creative ways to spread their message, thinking that being right, as in correct, should be sufficient to get their point across.

Sadly, it is not, and the left steals marches on them all the time by propagandizing their message in all sorts of flashy, creative and entertaining ways, even if that message is poison.

However, I have lately seen more and more evidence that conservatives and libertarians are getting more and more savvy in this area, trying to compete against the left in their own media arena, and getting progressively (if you will excuse the expression) better at it.

Iron Man 2, for one, has themes and dialogue in it that astounds me.

“I’m tired of the liberal agenda” - Tony Stark

Huh? What? How did this get in a Hollywood movie?

Well, the dirty (joyous) little secret may be that stars like Robert Downey Jr. and directors like Jon Favreau may not be down with the whole Progressive liberal agenda. My post about the Dark Knight also showed that not everyone in Tinsel Down is a mindless liberal drone. I suspect that there are others, and their numbers are swelling.

This is all well and good, but we need more of this, need it to build to a maelstrom of media bombarding the public with the facts, layed out in an engaging style.

Case in point is this video. (Hat-Tip Instapundit)

I myself had thought "Cult of Personality" would make a great political music video, along these lines, but Rachel here went ahead and actually did, driven to it to express her outrage over what is going on with the country. I would have done some things a litte differently, put a little more damning facts in, but the point is, Rachel did it her way, and it comes off as stirring.

Now, one can make the point that this woman may not be conservative or libertarian, in the sense that as a Democrat, her party has shifted out from under feet and lurched far left, leaving her stranded. She mentions joining the Tea Party, not the Libertarian or Republican.

I think that's a pointless distinction. Who cares? She's taking a stand, thinking for herself, and acting.

The point is that the growing Progressive monster which the government is becoming is being met by a growing insurgency of opposition which is using more of the Progressive's own tools against it.

The propagandist masters are finding that the enemy can play at their own game. I get a chill thinking about the ideological media war to come.

This makes me think I need to do a post redefine the battle lines in the United States. I am sure someone else more politically savvy and smart has done it, and if I find it, I will post and comment.

Age of Hypocrisy - Mondale and the Filibuster

Earlier this week, in the "Found My Focus?" post, I said that this may very well be the Era of Hypocrisy, so widespread and accepted the practice is today.

Powerline has another example of this, where Walter Mondale, democratic stalwart and ex-Vice President of one of the worst Administrations ever, has a history of contorting his principles to fit current political needs.

Read it for yourself, but what it boils down to is Mondale is for the practice of filibuster when it works for democrats, and against it when it does not.

Now, a life-long democrat and party faithful politician like Mondale can maybe be expected to be so blatantly partisan and hypocritical, although I think tolerating this level of dishonesty in our leaders is a large part of our problem. In fact, I am convinced of it.

However, as Powerline points out, the local newspaper which runs Mondale's conflicting editorials fails to even note the opportunistic change of position:

"The Star Tribune of course omits any mention of Mondale's support for "the filibuster paralysis" in its own pages back in 2005. To Star Tribune reporters Kevin Diaz and Eric Roper, I offer a hearty congratulations. It takes two reporters to cover up relevant information from the Star Tribune's own archives that belies today's party line."

So, not only do we have a politician being blatantly hypocritical, but we have a news organization playing "See no evil", aiding and abetting the dishonesty. What happened to the journalist "speaking truth to power" and their duty of informing the public?

Again, hypocrisy is NOT a new thing to the world, but never in the history of the world has it been part of so a well organized machine in a democratic state. Sure, in Stalin's Russia and the Third Reich you had well-heeled state media running the party line, but then what does that say about us?

If you wonder why Fox News, the internet, and talk radio are so vehemently HATED by the left it is because it refuses to tow the party line, to sustain the narrative, to look the other way when a left-wing politico is making a mockery of principles and integrity.

And if all those sources are imbalanced in their own way, then they need to be called on it, but until integrity in the media suddenly makes a comeback, they will serve as a needed check on the state-run media we have.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Iron-Dong and Sponge Brains

A certain Natalie Wilson, writing for Ms. Magazine, does an laughably inane and politically correct review of Iron Man 2.

(Hat tip - Leigh Scott @ Big Hollywood)

What's not so funny is that this woman is a professor teaching other women, indoctrinating others in both Gender-Feminist twaddle and perpetuating absolutely abominable critical thinking skills. This will soon become evidently apparent.

I was not going to be this harsh or snarky with my critique, but after calling Ms. Wilson out on two salient points in the article, my comment was deep-sized by the moderator. That kind of cowardice makes me cranky, so excuse my snark when it rears its head, but I think you'll see I've got more than my share of valid points.

Her words in italics, mine normal

Your browser may not support display of this image.It’s right there in the title: Iron MAN, not meaning “human” but male.

Right. Sexism detected right in the title of the movie.

How DARE they not title the movie Iron Human! Or Iron Person! Or Iron Carbon Based Life Form of Indeterminate Gender!!

Hey, based on this logic, why isn't it then sexist to call it "Woman's Studies" and not "Human Studies"?

As I sat watching the movie with my 13-year-old son (and cringing at the overt sexualization of females),

I bet your son was not cringing at the females, unless of course you have been programming him to feel dirty and sexist for being heterosexual.

I could do a lot of dissecting what "overt sexualization" means to Ms. Wilson, but I think we'll get an idea below.

I just hope the poor kid got to enjoy his damn movie without being lectured on sexism afterwards.

I realized that Iron Man 2 is about the glory of males, the fact they are indeed “iron” and that, with their strength and ingenuity, the world will be saved.

Well, gosh. I obviously misjudged Ms. Wilson. She actually does seem to get the gist and concept of the film, and that she appreciates the role of males in society. I'm a bit of a pre-judging pig I am.

A number of other significant gender lessons are imparted in the film.


First, on men and masculinity:
1. Men don’t cry, they scream, as Ivan (played by Mickey Rourke) does when his dad dies.

Actually, Ivan (Mickey Rourke) did both, granted more the latter than the former, but right at the start we get our first warning sign that Ms. Wilson is not really paying attention to the film she is reviewing, but will merely be using it as the whipping boy on which she can flog various pet issues.

Oh, but thanks Natalie for judging someone else on the way they display emotional trauma.

2. Men like power tools, technology, welding and weapons. Talking, not so much.

Correct, correct, correct, and correct on the first four.

Talking to YOU, a humorless, tiresome, liberal gender-feminist scold? Yes, probably not so much. Guilty.

Too harsh?

Well, consider the rest of this woman's article before you judge, but I've got some personal experience with the type so I feel justified.

I was once out with a small group of friends in college, one of whom was a young woman who was deep in the Woman's Studies realm of academia. We knew each other already, had been friendly, and there was some attraction there, but in the course of the conversation, she asked me something along the lines of, "Have things been tough?" in regards to my week.

Laughing and congenially, I replied, "Lady, you don't know the half of it!" I thereupon received a cold look and an admonition about using a colloquial, sexist term when addressing her.

"My name is X," she lectured me, miffed.

Needless to say, the rest of the night was spent talking to other people, as I had no desire to be chided for being sexist for using a harmless turn-of-phrase. It was the first time I had direct experience with the grievance mining mind-set of the gender-feminist, of which Ms. Wilson is evidently not only a practitioner, but also instructor.

3. Men are big wheels and lone gunmen. They may say, “It’s not all about me,” as Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey, Jr.) does at the beginning of the film, but, really, it is.

Yes, in both mythos and real life, heroes tend to be stand-outs, and often have to go beyond the safe limits where other men fear to tread. Kind of part and parsel of the whole Hero thing, particularly in literature.

Female heroes often do the same. If everyone acted like a hero, the term would be meaningless.

Oh, and we all know woman are never of the “its all about me” attitude…(insert your own snort here).
Anyway, the mere fact that Tony Stark actually puts his ass on the line (and considerable amounts of his cash) to help others in his Iron Man persona is lost on Wilson. Either that, or it does not count, because of his Neo-Imperialist Tendencies, blah-blah-blah.

Is Stark a bit of a egoist, dare I say an ego monster?

Shure nuff!

But that is part of his character, and it still does not change the fact that he makes it "more than about him" with his actions.

4. Men need to leave a legacy and build a better future

I am not sure why Wilson has a beef here. What's wrong with leaving a legacy and building a better future? Is that not a good thing, the kind of thing liberals are always telling us they are trying to do, "Build a better world"?

Its called civilization, Ms. Wilson. Bask in its glory…

The best way to do this is via weapons, wealth and womanizing.

Oh, okay, so we see maybe the real issues. It's the wrong kind of legacy. Let's examine this...

In regards to weapons... they win wars against oppressors and fascists, so they are kind of useful. Other ways of achieving legacy are possible, but Tony’s found his niche, building weapons to kill bad guys. Why can’t we appreciate his achievement in finding his life’s calling and talent?

Oh, and Tony ALSO builds a totally new form of energy production, which seems to be pretty carbon neutral, so one assumes Wilson would be okay with THAT, but it receives no mention.

Wealth helps pay for all this civilization we mentioned earlier, and allow for societies where woman can make a living writing shallow, polemic movie reviews and teaching false premises for a living instead of toiling in fields or carving up dead animals for dinner.

Wealth also pays for all those social programs liberals are always haranguing us to fund, but wealth needs people to create it, something too many liberals don’t seem to get nowadays.

In regards to “womanizing”…

There's a lot to dissect with this topic, but I'll stick to one tack right now, which is personal

peeve of mine...

HEY! Natalie!

How about respecting male heterosexuality as much as everyone else’s sexuality gets respected nowadays? Do homosexual men get crap from you for “manizing”? No, I did not think so.

Heterosexual men LIKE woman. We like to have sex with woman, and despite what you deny to yourself, most woman like to have sex with men. Somehow, the latter is okay now, no shame or regrets, but the former is some sort of patriarchal master plan of objectification and subjugation.

Blogger SQT, a woman, does a pretty nice job summing up the double standard here:

"Here's the thing. Modern feminism is schizophrenic. One one hand, women want to have the freedom to behave like sexual predators-- in the vein of "Sex in the City" -- with no repercussions. Shows like "Cougar Town" celebrate the single woman as someone who can pounce on young men as if it's no big deal. And don't even get me started on the reality-television culture that makes celebrities out of women like Paris Hilton who are famous precisely because of their aggressive sexuality. How are men supposed to view women when this has become the norm? I'm sorry, but I'm not sure that Ms. Magazine understands that you can't behave like Paris Hilton and expect to be treated like Mother Teresa. Let's face it, "Iron Man 2" is more accurate in it's portrayal of the women likely to throw themselves at Tony Stark than Ms. Magazine would like to admit."

Read the whole thing, as they say.

5. Men’s hatred of women is cute and humorous–or as one blogger puts it, “Tony Stark’s privileged sexist playboy antics are hilarious,” teaching viewers that “Men’s sexism is funny and endearing, as is their greed.”

How is Tony Stark hateful of woman? How is he sexist? Because he desires beautiful woman, and wants to have sex with them? Because he's successful at it?

See Point #4 above again.

Its called biology. Look it up.

Why is it okay to encourage woman to be sexually adventurous and “go for it” okay, but not okay for men to play the field?

Again, some respect for OUR sexuality, dammit!

6. Men are fabulous at business–so fabulous that they can successfully privatize world peace.

Many men are fabulous at business; this is something odd? Something tells me Wilson has problems with anyone fabulous at business, ie, because of their “greed”.

BTW, just out of curiosity, IF world peace could be achieved through privatizing it, would liberals prefer war and strife? One wonders.

7. Real men (aka Tony Stark) think the “liberal agenda” is boring.

It is boring, and more than just “real men” think so. Many real women think so, too.

It used to be amusing to point it out, but now the lack of deep thought it often displays is tedious.

That's partly because much of liberalism has been discredited as either being unrealistic and/or a cynical deception for other agendas.

It's also because liberals tend to be harping bores who demand certain behaviors out of others which they don’t seem obligated to follow themselves, Ie, Global warming nags who have multi-multi-million dollars homes and private jets.

Wilson's article is a decent example of why, which is why I am Fisking it.

Look, I have liberal friends and have read some liberals who are entertaining and provoke serious thought, raising good points even though I disagree with them. Sometimes they get me to re-examine an issue, which is as it should be.
However, I find too much of liberal 'thought' is not really thought at all, but regurgitation ideological talking points. They simply assume that they "think the right way" so anything that comes out of their mouth or keyboards must be right. This piece from Wilson if rife with that kind of entitlement as she uses worn cliches and mile wide holes in her arguments, and completely ignores the facts in many cases.
Oh, and "real men" may be so contemptuous and scornful of the liberal agenda because so many liberals like Wilson are contemptuous and scornful of them.

8. Men will always need to be in the theatre of war. As such, they might as well turn their bodies into weapons.

Well, as long as war exists, this seems pretty obvious. If you question this, then who will be in the theatre of war? Woman only? Dogs?

And men have turned their bodies into weapons since the very first time they developed martial arts, through the development of armor, tanks, aircraft, and beyond. Your contention that this is something new here is wonderfully baffling.

Tony Stark/Iron Man is basically a 21st century knight, running around in wonderfully upgraded plate mail.

Many World War II fighter pilots talk about how the really great pilots seem to fuse with their aircraft, literally becoming one with their machine.

How is this a concept worthy of derision?

9. In fact, the male body is a weapon.

Well, Bruce Lee seemed to think so. So did millions of people in Asia who learned and taught how to fight and kill people with just their bare hands. How dare you not respect their cultural history. And you call yourself a liberal!!

BTW, the female body is also shown to be quite a weapon in the movie, ANOTHER point Ms. Wilson ignores in order to make hers.

Literally, figuratively, metaphorically. Man is iron. Or, as Andrew O’Hehir’s naming of the Iron Man suit as “impenetrable iron-dong costume” in his Salon review suggests, the iron suit allows for the fulfillment of the male body not only as weapon but as walking erection–hard and ready all the time.

Question: wouldn’t an “impenetrable iron” costume be really uncomfortable with a hard-on?

Being impenetrable, would it not keep Stark from getting some "action" with the ladies?

Does this in fact mean Iron Man 2 is a statement about the emasculating nature of modern technology?

See how fun it and easy is to create "themes" and "subtexts" out of whole cloth?

Secondly, on females and femininity (these lessons are longer, you see, because females need a lot of teaching):

Hey, YOU said it, not me!

  1. Women are for dancing, either around poles or on stage as props. Wherever they are dancing, they should be scantily clad. Note to cameraman: Shoot women dancers from behind so as to get maximum amount of booty shots, as in the opening scene of Iron Man 2 where our gaze is directed to numerous bent-over butts in red spandex hot pants. As O’Herir points out in his Salon review, there is “no irony” in these “loving, loop-the-loop tracking shots of these dancin’ hoochie-mamas with their spray-bronzed legs and perfect Spandex asses.” Rather it is, as this blogger aptly names it, “a vomit-inducingly sexist scene involving various swooping close-ups of womens’ body parts as they gyrate.”

Women are NOT for dancing? Well, best tell Twyla Tharp and all those ballerinas to sit the %&* down, then. Sexist sell-outs!

BTW, if someone REALLY feels vomit building in their throat viewing womens' body parts (assuming they are still attached to the women) it seems Wilson's blogger friend is the one with problems with women and their sexuality. This kind of hyperbolic outrage, intended to instill indignant rage, merely makes me want to roll my eyes.

What's becoming clear, here, is that when people have their noses to their ideological grindstones, its hard to see much else.

This, of course, totally ignores the strong roles of woman as more than just T and A in the movie, like Pepper, who is a smart, capable and somewhat wiser and more mature than Tony businesswoman. Ditto for the Scarlett Johannsen’s character, Natalie Rushman , but more on her later.

This also AGAIN goes back to point #4 before about respecting the sexuality of men, who, please forgive us, find attractive women and their various parts, attractive.

2. Women are objects. When Tony is shown his new car, he makes a joke about the woman standing next to the vehicle: “Does she come with the car?” In other words, women, like cars, should be sleek, good looking, fast and expendable. Tony assesses new female character Natalie Rushman (Scarlett Johansson) using the same parameters: Her intelligence, multi-lingual skills and martial arts training don’t seem to matter;

Okay, wait, I am confused…

I thought the movie only thought woman were for dancing around poles or being props, that it only was interested in them as body parts. Wilson just got through telling me this, but now we have her citing a female character’s intelligence as well as impressive language and combat skills.

Sorry, now matter how you feel about gender issues, feminism or Iron Man 2, this is SLOPPY thinking, and writing. Bad, BAD academic!

"Wait," you say, "She only meant how Tony viewed woman!"

Read on...

he uses Google to find her old modeling pictures. As Froley of ReelThinker notes, she is put “in her underwear just for the hell of it” and her character is no more than a “near-cameo.” This incites Froley to assume that director “Jon Favreau must be some kind of chauvinist dog, because he takes every opportunity to objectify women.”

Just so we're clear, she's indicting the whole movie and the director with the sexist attitude, not just the character of Tony Stark.

See, Ms. Wilson, trying to pay attention to character and plot might be useful here, except if maybe it would tend to undermine your woman’s studies talking points.

As Wilson herself points out, Tony Stark IS a bit of a womanizer.


If I could point out story-telling 101 to you, characters have traits, and those traits make them unique, and also propel the story as those traits determine how a character reacts to unfolding events. Some of these traits are strengths, and some are weakness, and they will have varying effects on our hero’s tale. We call this PLOT.

Now, far from being an opportunity to simply objectify women, this scene is actually part of the plot. Let’s see if we can apply two seconds of thought to figure this out.


S.H.I.E.L.D., the super-secret agency, wants to spy on Tony Stark to see if he is A) suitable for recruitment, or B) a potential threat to American Security. To spy, you need a spy, and preferably one in his company, and the BEST spy would be one that has day-to-day interaction with him. So, how do they accomplish this?

Well, they get a S.H.I.E.L.D agent planted in the Stark organization, and knowing what kind of guy Stark is, they exploit one of his weaknesses, which is he has a eye for the ladies and sometimes thinks with his “iron-dong”. So, they send in Romanov, who is extremely attractive, and then to make sure they get Tony to swallow the bait, they put pictures of her online that displays all of her “visual attributes”. In short, they know Tony Stark, his weaknesses and how to exploit them to get close to him.

See how that works? What looks like simple exploitation is actually something meant to propel the story along. We call this a PLOT DEVICE.

Also, in that sense, the womanizing of which Wilson is not fond, is actually portrayed negatively, as a weakness, by the film she so wants to hate for praising womanizing.

Wilson might have seen this for herself had she not been so intent on seeing rampant sexism and misogyny everywhere she looked.

3. Women need to have good make-up know-how. Both Stark’s assistant Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Natalie are not only beautifully made-up themselves, but also have the skills to mask Tony’s various bumps and bruises with foundation. This skill, along with their ability to take precarious, mincing steps on incredibly high heels, frames femininity as a performance that benefits males.

I, quite frankly, don’t know exactly *what* point Wilson is trying to make here, but it seems to contradict numerous facts in the movie, and herself, AGAIN. I could parse this part out, but I have got to move on.

4. Women’s most important asset is their bodies. Even when they are in full-on battle mode, they should remain hyper-vigilant about their bodily display. They don’t get to wear “iron man” suits, but really tight body suits. What fun would it be if their boobs and butts were hidden under metal?

Okay, sorry to be a picker of nits here for a sec, but EVERYONE’S most important asset is their body, as we all tend to live in them. They allow us to exist, and enjoy life. Sorry to have to point this out, but this is a poorly worded sentence which relies on us to have certain pre-conceived notions so “we get it”. Sorry, homey don’t play that.

Anyway, what I think Wilson meant is that woman are valued for their bodies above all else by sexist pigs like Tony Stark, Jon Favreau, America, the western world, all men, etc.

Really big topic, too big to get into here, but let’s be honest.

Here’s where the woman’s studies crowd are going to get crazed, but yes, ladies, while your body is perhaps not your most important asset as an individual, it does rank up there when it comes to male interest.

Again, the hetero male sexuality, biology thing. Don’t blame us. We were born this way, like homosexuals, except, you know, digging women.

Part of it is that men are programmed by biology to appreciate and desire the female form, part of it is the acknowledgement that woman bring forth life, our children. Aesthetically, we just think the female form is fascinating and objectively beautiful, something me and a bi-sexual date once both agreed on heartily.

So, yea, guilty as charged. Woman's bodies are a major asset for them, something which most women acknowledge and use, whether they admit or not. Blame nature, though, not western civilization or a freakin’ comic book movie.

5. Women are petty and jealous. Make fun of their jealousy by telling them “green doesn’t look good on you,” as Tony says to Pepper when his ogling of Natalie is obviously bothering her.

Again, take your umbrage as you will, but most men, and many woman, will admit that woman can be pretty petty and jealous when it comes to other woman, particularly went it involves a man.

Many men are also jealous when it comes to their woman as well, but something tells me you would not have a problem with someone putting this into a movie or casual conversation, probably because it would highlight how much men think of woman as possessions and add grist for your mill.

6. The female body is weak. Pepper, after being saved by Tony near the end of Iron Man 2, says “I quit…My body can’t take this stress.” After two hours of watching Tony’s body take bullets, bombs, electric shocks and poisoning, we hear that poor Pepper can’t take the stress–of being a CEO for a week.

If Wilson had any real appreciation of the affect of the female body on the average male, she would know that first sentence to be unbelievably laughable. But, she's a woman, so I'll give her mostly a pass.

In any event, this is directly contradicted by her own descriptions above, as well as the movie:

Her (Romanov) intelligence, multi-lingual skills and martial arts training don’t seem to matter;”

So, which is it? Are all the woman in IM2 portrayed in as weak eye-candy props, or NOT, Ms. Wilson?

We, in fact, see Romanov as being far from weak in her scenes, and is in fact tougher than any of them men without any of their technical props.

So, is that a sexist message that women are stronger than men without their powered toys?

Funny how Wilson did not see it that way.

Regarding Pepper, if Wilson had bothered to pay attention to the movie, her stress comes from more than being CEO, but also being baby-sitter to Tony whom she is in love with, but who seems to be on a self-destructive streak and is making her job more of a pain in the ass.

7. Women are very forgiving. Ignore her, lie to her, bring her the one food she is allergic to as a gift and make it known that you are a lifelong womanizer: None of that will matter as long as you kiss her at the right moment.

Again, this is a much larger conversation, involving both realistic sexual dynamics and politics, and elements of comedy which would make it more tedious than its worth.

Anyone want to debate this one is a seperate topic, let me know.

But I'd like to point out how Pepper walks out on Stark when he tries to charm his way into her good graces half-way through the movie.

as Kyle Smith gleefully notes, “The Gwyneth Paltrow character is comfortable with being Tony Stark’s assistant instead of judo-chopping and blasting away at bad guys herself, in the somewhat silly manner of virtually every female lead in action movies these days.” Yes, it’s soooo silly when we act as if females want to be part of the action! As one blogger put it, “If I were Gwyneth Paltrow and I just played the role of a stiletto-heel-wearing submissive secretary cleaning up after some rich white chauvinist asshole, I’d send back my Oscar.”

1) Paltrow's character Pepper is made CEO of the freakin' company, and is not just his "assistant" or a submissive secretary

2) She IS involved in an action scene where she helps save Tony

3) The Romanov character is a BIG part of the action and she's a WOMAN

4) Did Wilson pay attention to ANY part of the movie?

We see several parts of the grievance mill agenda here with the" rich white chauvinist asshole" comment. Ms. Wilson, having spent all that time and education and making a career about being politically correct and liberally conscious, displays her bona fides to her fellow travelers.

Make no mistake. For Ms. Wilson, "rich" and "white" are as much epithets as "chauvinist" and "asshole". It's all part of the oppressive white Imperialist oligarchy, much like the Boy Scouts of America which she describes in the comments as:

"The Boy Scouts is indeed more than homophobic — in fact it started as a way to teach white youth about their duties to empire and to inculcate them into idea colonization was both good and necessary."

Oy, VEY!

You see what I am talking about, here?

Finally, the film provides lessons in racism and homophobia:

  1. Tony Stark explains his desire to no longer making weapons with, “I saw Americans killed by my own weapons in Afghanistan! I can’t put it better than this blogger: “Do I even need to mention how stupid and racist it is to say that he was OK with his weapons being used to kill all those other non-Americans?”

Yeah, see, this is not racism, you dim-witted slacktard...

Man, even while trying to slander and villify someone, left wingers are slackers in thought.

"American" is NOT a race, you freakin' geniuses! "Non-Americans" is also NOT a race, and considering as a catagory it would include ALL races on the planet, it's a ridiculous use of the word, making absolutely no sense in this context. YET, its worthy of quotation.

If you want to be an INTELLIGENT policitically-correct nimrod, it would be best be called "nationalistic" in its most pejorative sense, if you were wont to go there, or maybe "jingoistic". But racism does not even fit here. Jeez...and you dare use the word "stupid" to describe other people?

And "stupid", how? Unless one is of the “war is never the answer, ever” crowd.

Weapons are not SUPPOSED to kill those on YOUR side. Does that really need an explanation?

Yes, I guess it does, because besides all the typical tired tropes (remember why liberalism is boring?) about sexism, racism, etc., we have this idea that we are all one great big family on this planet who can all get along if we just sat down and got to know each other.

Over 5,000 years of history says different, but what does the collective experience of humankind know.

  1. In this same vein, as noted in my earlier post, various Others are framed as “evil terrorists,” namely Middle Easterners and North Koreans.

Okay, so it should be obvious by now that this is not really a review of Iron Man 2, but an opportunity for Ms. Wilson to do a commentary on the entire present day world, or more like it, regurgitate AGAIN all the left-wing tropes about Imperialism, American racism, etc.

I was going to do the whole "there ARE others you are evil terrorists, no scare quotes. The kind of people who, oh, stone woman to death for dishonoring their family, or who rape woman systematically because they are of different faith" thing.

But, as Ms. Wilson might say about her gender-feminist viewpoint, you either "get" the presence of evil or at least terrorism in the world, just by paying attention, or you don't.

Ms. Wilson has made it abundantly clear that she does not pay attention to even a movie she's supposed to review, so how solid would her take on current events and history?

2. Black actors are exchangeable. Swap Don Cheadle (Iron Man 2) for Terrence Howard (Iron Man 1). No one will notice.

This is simply idiotic and at this point Wilson is truly pulling things out of her ass in order to make sure she props up all her absurd liberal talking points.

So, let me get this straight, Favreau, by keeping a black character, but having a different actor play him, is performing some sort of super-secret sign conveying contempt of black people without actually getting them out of his movie entirely? So, does this make Don Cheadle an Uncle Tom for playing along? I’d love to see Wilson call Cheadle that to his face.

This is one of the things I called Wilson out on at the website when my comment was tanked. She admitted, when confronted by someone else with fact that it was a contract dispute of some sort, that she was be wrong. Good.

But then I asked; "WHERE did you get this idea what it was based on racism, except to pull it out of thin air to fit your agenda."

There is absolutely NOTHING but the feverish workings of the liberal mind to support that claim of racism here. She just made it because she is used to making all sorts of BS claims and not being challenged by them. Again, lazy thinking.

  1. Organizations which discriminate against homosexuals deserve huge donations. In the sequel, Tony donates a modern art collection, which Pepper has collected over 10 years, to the Boy Scouts of America.

Wow! I did NOT think you could pull the homophobia angle out of the tired tropes closet, but I underestimated you. You DO have talent, Ms. Wilson.

Question is, is she upset so much about a donation to a "homophobic organization", or that a rich guy could even have the ability to give away his own wealth as he sees fit.

The Boy Scouts were concerned that homosexual scout leaders left alone with groups of boys would create potential for abuse.

MANY feminists believe all men are potential rapists, and seek to punish them pro-actively for it.

Can't wait for for Ms. Wilson to denounce "heterophobia" in her ranks.

Bonus note:

Oh, yes, PLEASE! This whole thing has been so fascinating and valuable, please give us one little tidbit more of your wisdom, Ms. Wilson!

The sexist message of the Iron Man films spills off the screen and into our fast-food culture, with Burger King offering four lifestyle accessories for girls and four action-packed toys for boys.” Girls, get busy accessorizing! Boys, take action!

Oh, come on! Are you serious? You write for Ms. Magazine! How many articles on fashion every month as opposed to building a shed?

How many ads for makeup of clothes grace your pages as opposed to power tools or sporting equipment?


If you have a beef with women being a little too obsessed with fashion, then you need to perhaps to indict your entire sex, and maybe not lay it all on the lap of a freakin' comic book.

Or, maybe give women a break too, relax, and realize that while everyone is an individual, there just might be some common traits among a group of people of a common gender.

For this feminist, one thing’s certain: I won’t be stepping out in my non-high heels in order to see the sure-to-follow Iron Man 3.

We’ll be happy as it will mean that you won’t be writing another mindless piece of trash like this, so we’re both winners.

Notice how she makes sure to mention she does not wear high-heels by the way, because she's not going to be objectified by The Man! Or is it The Men!

So, there you have it. As good an example as illustrating the intellectual bankruptcy of the left. A woman who is a professor at a college who cannot put together a cohesive and logical MOVIE REVIEW.

And as good a reason for me to NOT pay for my daughter's college tuition if she plans to major in "Woman's Studies".

As much fun as I had with this, there is a tragic, TRAGIC side of this, and we're all paying the price.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


From the AP via NJ Herald:

"Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday said he had "misspoken" in claiming more than once that he served in Vietnam, dismissing the furor that threatened to endanger a seemingly safe Democratic seat as a matter of "a few misplaced words."
At a news conference backed by veterans, the popular Connecticut attorney general and front-runner to replace the retiring Sen. Christopher Dodd, said he meant to say he served "during Vietnam" instead of "in Vietnam." He said the statements were "totally unintentional" errors that occurred only a few times out of hundreds of public appearances."

Anyone believe this? Anyone?

Some no doubt will, or at least claim to, because ideologically, they agree with Blumenthal, and the agenda is what matters; truth can take a flying leap.

So, let me parse this out for those that would take that route.

"He meant to say, 'I served DURING Vietnam'. He simply misspoke when his said 'in'...a few times."

Okay, so, he MEANT to say he served DURING Vietnam.

So, why tout this as part of your campaign and/or your resume? Serving period is of note, and laudable, and something you could tout. Fine. Mention that.

Saying you served DURING Vietnam, while actually going nowhere near it seems...odd, no?

Why point out you served during a period of one of our major wars, when you actually did not fight in it?

Most with a shred of intellectual honesty will no doubt have gotten the point from the start.

The true believers, however, would no doubt see NO oddness with this.

The fact one would have to even spell this out to prevent someone from spinning it is sad.

Sleepless in New York

Amazing how after getting up @ 2:30am, working/driving for over 12 hours, on a shitty, rainy day, I can't get to sleep for a nap.

I have noticed that there is a wall one hits when tired that if you push through instead of succumbing, you are pretty much screwed if sleep was your aim. Your body reboots, or calls on power reserves which you thus cannot turn off when desired. Happened to me last night when I had to do the same shift.

I am sure there is a term and explanation for that, but I am too tired to look it up, or maybe I really don't give that much of a shit...probably because I am tired...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Found My Focus?

While I had some concrete concept for this blog when I created it, I think I lacked a real focus for it, something unique I could really say amidst all the fantastic work being done by others.

The whole "Lattices of Bogosity" theme was a good one, and still is, but I don't think it formed fully in my mind before. While the outline was there, I think it lacked sharp clarity. That, along with somewhat ADD personality, helps explain why I actually do so little on it.

However, over the last year or so, I had a growing realization and definition of what my core issue is, that which drives me absolutely bat-shit amidst all the other insanity we witness everyday. In fact, much of what drive me crazy has a common denominator.

It is also one that cuts across party and ideological lines, or at least it should if intellectual integrity were universal.

What the Lattices of Bogosity name was meant to illustrates was the building of entire ideologies and polices on false premises, and the further construction of absurd notions on top of that, and so on. All of this of course leading us into blind and dangerous alleys or twisting mazes of self-deception. Some of this was honestly intentioned, while others are deliberate, in order to bring us to ruin.

Debates as to what is true or not, and what the motivations are of those pedaling falsehoods are as needed as they can be lengthy and exhausting.

However, what I began to notice was something that was not really debatable for anyone except the most dense or the most ideologically corrupted. To deny its existence HAD to identify someone as either so dim as not worthy of debate, or so contemptuous of the truth as to view it as a whore to be used and abused and then abandoned.


Sheer, blatant, bankrupt, venial hypocrisy. It's like a negative Force, surrounding us, penetrating us, tearing us apart and destroying us.

It's one thing to declare X is true and Y is false. One can debate those premises with (one hopes) facts and logic, although sadly that often is not the case.

It's entirely another to declare X true, and Y false, and then declare the complete opposite when convenient, and then reverse it again, when it proves inconvenient. It is the most despicable and cynical of practices.

Whether its the feminists and liberals decrying sexism and patriarchy and then viciously attacking Sarah Palin in sexist and mysogynistic terms, or Global Warming alarmists buying multiple multi-million dollar homes or flying private planes, or supposed courageous social critics mocking one religion's central figure while cow-towing to another, Hypocrisy has become THE major theme of our age.

As I wrote in comments on Tim Blair's blog, if there was an Age of Enlightenment, and an Age of Discovery, then what I think this era will go down as is the Age of Hypocrisy.

Its not that hypocrisy is new. Far from it. But what is astounding is the degree with which hypocrisy is ignored and/or accepted in order to keep certain narratives going.

EVERY DAY we see different standards applied depending on who the players are, their ideological bent determining which end of the prism we are supposed to be looking through to determine what we are actually seeing.

What's particularly galling about much of this is that one does NOT need to be on a particular side of an issue to notice the rank hyprocrisy. It SHOULD be so self-evident that only the most ideologically fanatic could ignore it.

The Left is quick to, and with justification, point out the hyprocrisy of a politician that speaks of Family Values, but is hitting some coochie on the side. Its like a veritable feeding frenzy.

However, when it comes to *their* ideological stands, one has to look far and wide for any willing to speak out against the hypocrites amongst them.

Case in point, and what I think FINALLY set the 10,000 watt light-bulb off in my head was the Arizona immigration law; the reaction of the American Left and some Latino protestors; illegal and citizen; and the reality of MEXICO's policy toward illegal immigration.

Unless you are under a rock, you know that Arizona, its governor and residents, and the new law passed there has been called racist, bigoted, Nazi-like and all the other typical left-wing boilerplate. Some of those throwing this language are with either Mexican, or of Mexican descent and apparently extremely proud of it to the point of obnoxiousness, if not downright blatant disrespect of THIS country.

Well, let's take a look-see at what Mexico's policies are in regards to immigration. As reported by the talented and tenacious Michelle Malkin:

"– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?
– If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.
– Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be
kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).
– Law enforcement officials at all levels — by national mandate — must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens’ arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities.
– Ready to show your papers? Mexico’s National Catalog of Foreigners tracks all outside tourists and foreign nationals. A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens’ identity card. Visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens."

ADD to this the following:

"MEXICO CITY - Amnesty International called the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human-rights crisis Wednesday and accused some officials of turning a blind eye or even participating in the kidnapping, rape and murder of migrants.
The group's report comes at a sensitive time for Mexico, which is protesting the passage of a law in Arizona that criminalizes undocumented migrants.
The Interior Department acknowledge that the mainly Central American migrants who pass through Mexico on their way to the United States suffer abuses, but it attributed the problem to criminal gangs branching out into kidnapping and extortion of migrants. Rupert Knox, Amnesty's Mexico researcher, said in the report that the failure by authorities to tackle abuses against migrants has made their trip through Mexico one of the most dangerous in the world.
"Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses," Knox said. Central American migrants are frequently pulled off trains, kidnapped en masse, held at gang hideouts and forced to call relatives in the U.S. to pay off the kidnappers. Such kidnappings affect thousands of migrants each year in Mexico, the report says.
Many are beaten, raped or killed in the process. "

And Arizona is lectured and villified by Mexican government officials, illegal immigrants residing safely here and various Left-wing America haters about how hateful and unjust Arizona's law is?

No matter WHERE someone stands on the issue of the Arizona law, or illegal immigration, to ignore this ENORMOUS hypocrisy, whether as a partisan or a member of the media is indefensible.

Of course, this is not addressed, because it does not fit with desired narrative. Our task is to keep throwing these things in the Left's faces, forcing them to address them, putting them on the defensive for a change.

I hope to post illustrations of these often, if for no other reason that vent and maintain my own sanity. I

You. Are. Not. Getting. It.

Question is, is this person as dense as he seems, or does he ignore the issue on purpose? Hard to know with the Left.

Let me 'splain.

Christopher Dickey has a Modest Proposal

"All Americans—whether brown, white, or black—should be required to carry a passport showing they are red, white, and blue."

That sums up the crux of his argument, before he then goes on tearing tangets about xenophobia and vigilantism. You can read the blatant accusations of bigotry on the part of Arizona residents yourself, but its likely nothing you have not seen before.

I'd like to focus on the idea of this National ID solving the problem.

It won't. And I think Dickey knows it.

Quote Dickey:

"...if we're serious about drawing lines against illegal immigration—which is all about defining who is a card-carrying American and who is not—a national ID is the obvious first step."

Hmm, so the first step is a national ID, when one can conclusively prove that one is a citizen or not, and who is here legally or not.

Well, okay. That would certainly be one way to make things clear. And the second step?


Huh, Dickey never seems to get to a second, or third step. He's too busy calling Arizonians racist hicks, in so many words. Why is that?

Well, could it be because Dickey (must resist temptation to mock name) knows the whole problem with illegal immigration has been the enforcement of existing law, or the lack thereof.

A National ID to identify who or who is not here legally is POINTLESS if there is no concerted and unflinching effort to detain and deport those found to be violating immigration law.

All a National ID does is put even more onus, restrictions and burdens on actual United States citizens unless it is then used consistently to enforce immigration law.

I don't think Dickey is down with that whole next step, which is why he does not even bother to mention it. What I think he is doing is distracting from that issue and substitute another in its place, because the former is much harder for him to argue on the merits.

This is classic political bait-and-switch. That's why the question of law-breaking and illegal immigration gets turned into one of "racism" and "undocumented workers".

It says I can e-mail the author. I think I will and ask him about this...