Worthwhile intertubez finds

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Aresen
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Aresen » 31 Jul 2018, 11:53

JasonL wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 10:47
Yah that's a good piece. For my own purposes I have an knee jerk negative correction I apply to works lauded as "necessary" "timely" or "relevant". It has always seemed to me that those labels were designed to make me ignore shortcomings to be part of good think and I find such things to be overrated.
If no one wants to read it in 100 years, it may have been timely, but it was neither necessary nor relevant. I consider those terms the moral equivalent of 'New Socialist Art' and 'Aryan Art.'
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau » 31 Jul 2018, 12:25

Certain geeky friends of mine have defended some recent action/sci-fi movies on the grounds that they have Strong Female Characters. And my answer has always been "Yeah, but those Strong Female Characters were still in a movie with a dumb plot. And some of the supporting actresses could have shown off more acting chops if the plot had made better use of them."

And the response is "Yes, but there were Strong Female Characters."

And I say "Yes, but in that very same franchise I can name movies that made better use of the Strong Female Characters."

And the response is "Yes, but I liked it because it had Strong Female Characters."

On one level it's fine if they happen to like a movie even though there was a lot of dumb stuff about it. We all have oddball tastes and favorites. There's no accounting for taste. If you enjoy it, hey, great, that's what entertainment is for.

On another level, if you want to have an actual discussion, if you want to go beyond "Look, I liked it, what can I say?" and analyze it because it can be fun to analyze art with friends, then we're not going to get anywhere if your go-to line is that you liked it for what amounts to moral grounds. There's a big difference between "I liked it, man, just my thing" and "I liked it because of Strong Female Characters." The first neither needs nor asks for a response. The second carries the implication that those who disagree are placing themselves on the wrong side of a moral issue. It's one step away from Ayn Rand treating aesthetics as a moral matter.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by JasonL » 31 Jul 2018, 13:32

It's a fundamental disconnect between me admittedly in my privileged perch and people who think identity and power is the only lens through which to view the world. No mono-lens is all that interesting and can only be of so much importance. How good was the writing? What are the themes explored, how did structure support those themes? Does the thing look to be entertaining or thought provoking in an uncomfortable way? How does it achieve those ends? Oh, none of that matters - it had a minority group in it reporting on their experience in the most acceptable way or it didn't and that's all you need to think about? Okay then.

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau » 31 Jul 2018, 14:04

The people who say these things to me are mostly white males. Part of it is how my social circle skews, but part of it is that they feel like they need to grade on that curve because they are privileged white males.

Let's take Wonder Woman. Maybe you liked it. Maybe you didn't. But I don't think I was committing some sin of privilege when I said that an interesting super hero is even more interesting if there's a villain worth watching as well, and Wonder Woman lacked that. I added that if the main villain had been Dr. Poison they could have done more interesting things with gender themes. ("You're Ares? But Ares is a man!" "I'm divine, child. I'm greater than any man. Hence I've taken this form.") And the Hispanic actress who played her would have had a chance to show more of her talents. Win-win for Girl Power (TM).

But my friend's response was "But they gave us a movie where the hero is female and the villain is male and that's important!"

Ok. I mean, on one level, if that's what he likes then that's what he likes and fine. You don't need an intellectually deep reason to enjoy a movie. But then why are we having a conversation? There's no actual room for conversation, only recital of the catechism.





Last edited by thoreau on 31 Jul 2018, 14:04, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau » 31 Jul 2018, 14:09

Related:

http://whatwouldphoebedo.blogspot.com/2 ... e.html?m=1

I haven't seen Nanette, and after reading that review I'm not sure if I want to.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Warren » 31 Jul 2018, 15:44

thoreau wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 14:04
I mean, on one level, if that's what he likes then that's what he likes and fine. You don't need an intellectually deep reason to enjoy a movie.
Right? He likes Strong Female Characters, I like big butts. Tomato/tomahto.
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Hugh Akston
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Hugh Akston » 31 Jul 2018, 16:56

Weak representation > no representation > whatever Warren is into
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by JasonL » 31 Jul 2018, 17:12

In the context of overall evaluation representation as a concept is a thing but only one thing and certainly <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< writing quality for example.

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Shem
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Shem » 31 Jul 2018, 17:12

JasonL wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 10:47
I hate to say this as a white guy, I really do, but here's the deal - I am a person who is willing to engage in qualitative critiques of aesthetic enterprises - I don't think the cap'n crunch box is "just as good" as the Sistene Chapel. I also don't think if the cereal box reflected a direct appeal to a marginalized group it would be any closer to the Sistene Chapel qualitatively speaking. The corrective here is to expand our exposure to the works of marginalized parties so we can find the great voices, eyes and ears among them - not so we can act like they are all great just because they exist.
What does "good" mean, here? Amount of work? Technical skill? Mass appeal? Personal appeal? Without defining that, you're not really saying anything. Even with a definition, most of the people who defend that sort of pop art wouldn't defend it on the basis of being "just as good," they'd do it on the basis of it being "just as 'art'." The problem with discussing aesthetics is that before you can do it, you have to calibrate your definition of 'quality' before your statement can mean anything other than "I enjoyed it," and most people in the broader culture don't bother to do that. And even those that do don't spend nearly the time they should interrogating other people's definition before they jump into defending their own.

Really, that's the problem with "necessary" art. "Why is it necessary?" "Because it centers marginalized people." If marginalization is The Problem of the era, and the solution to that is increased representation, then it becomes tricky to argue on behalf of anything that doesn't increase representation, lest it come across as dismissing The Problem.

Somewhere along the way the whole damn country got the idea that art governs the world and politics are an expression of personally. It started with the left and then the right jumped in. I hope that doesn't last too much longer.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau » 31 Jul 2018, 17:26

Shem wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:12
Somewhere along the way the whole damn country got the idea that art governs the world and politics are an expression of personally. It started with the left and then the right jumped in. I hope that doesn't last too much longer.
It would be nice if liberals could figure out that jerking off over diverse casts while getting a production shut down because the actress isn't trans will NOT help them win the culture war.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Shem » 31 Jul 2018, 17:32

thoreau wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:26
Shem wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:12
Somewhere along the way the whole damn country got the idea that art governs the world and politics are an expression of personally. It started with the left and then the right jumped in. I hope that doesn't last too much longer.
It would be nice if liberals could figure out that jerking off over diverse casts while getting a production shut down because the actress isn't trans will NOT help them win the culture war.
I think I'd start with the other side of that equation. Your presidential candidate is not a lifestyle accessory. He's a person you hire to do a difficult, unpleasant job, and her qualifications, motives, and actions should be assessed the same and come in for at least as much scrutiny as the guy who sells you your car, or the woman who performs your surgery.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau » 31 Jul 2018, 17:35

Shem wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:32
thoreau wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:26
Shem wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:12
Somewhere along the way the whole damn country got the idea that art governs the world and politics are an expression of personally. It started with the left and then the right jumped in. I hope that doesn't last too much longer.
It would be nice if liberals could figure out that jerking off over diverse casts while getting a production shut down because the actress isn't trans will NOT help them win the culture war.
I think I'd start with the other side of that equation. Your presidential candidate is not a lifestyle accessory. He's a person you hire to do a difficult, unpleasant job, and her qualifications, motives, and actions should be assessed the same and come in for at least as much scrutiny as the guy who sells you your car, or the woman who performs your surgery.
Agreed, but I've given up on the idea of persuading Cult 45 of anything. It's the center that needs to be persuaded.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Hugh Akston » 31 Jul 2018, 17:37

JasonL wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:12
In the context of overall evaluation representation as a concept is a thing but only one thing and certainly <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< writing quality for example.
For you maybe. But other people weight their judgement criteria differently. They also measure writing quality differently. There's no standard metric against which to determine whether a piece of art is 'good'. Critics can and do form an analytic vocabulary for examining various aspects of a text, and use them to argue persuasively for the merits of their favorites. But no matter how systematized and broadly accepted those criteria are, they ultimately reduce to "this speaks to me". And these arguments can help you appreciate all the technical merits of a piece, but if it doesn't speak to you then you're stuck watching Blade Runner 2049 for three hours.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Aresen » 31 Jul 2018, 17:37

Shem wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:32
Your presidential candidate is not a lifestyle accessory. He's a person you hire to do a difficult, unpleasant job, and her qualifications, motives, and actions should be assessed the same and come in for at least as much scrutiny as the guy who sells you your car, or the woman who performs your surgery.
At least 128,838,342 people have not yet gotten that message.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 31 Jul 2018, 17:38

thoreau wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:26
Shem wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:12
Somewhere along the way the whole damn country got the idea that art governs the world and politics are an expression of personally. It started with the left and then the right jumped in. I hope that doesn't last too much longer.
It would be nice if liberals could figure out that jerking off over diverse casts while getting a production shut down because the actress isn't trans will NOT help them win the culture war.
Are you sure it hasn't? You're a cranky white guy whose kink is getting pissed about this stuff. Most of the other functional humans who care are also on this board too. The rest of those who care either constantly think about phantom transgender bathroom rapists or make YouTube videos about how nuSheRa is an abomination.

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Shem » 31 Jul 2018, 17:40

thoreau wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:35
Shem wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:32
thoreau wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:26
Shem wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:12
Somewhere along the way the whole damn country got the idea that art governs the world and politics are an expression of personally. It started with the left and then the right jumped in. I hope that doesn't last too much longer.
It would be nice if liberals could figure out that jerking off over diverse casts while getting a production shut down because the actress isn't trans will NOT help them win the culture war.
I think I'd start with the other side of that equation. Your presidential candidate is not a lifestyle accessory. He's a person you hire to do a difficult, unpleasant job, and her qualifications, motives, and actions should be assessed the same and come in for at least as much scrutiny as the guy who sells you your car, or the woman who performs your surgery.
Agreed, but I've given up on the idea of persuading Cult 45 of anything. It's the center that needs to be persuaded.
I think the "if you don't make me feel good I won't vote for you" Obama voters are almost as bad. More connection to reality, but less justification for their actions. Say what you will about Hillary, her positions were essentially indistinguishable from Obama's before her. If you liked the one, there was no real reason to dislike the other. And yet...
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau » 31 Jul 2018, 17:56

Shem wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:40
I think the "if you don't make me feel good I won't vote for you" Obama voters are almost as bad. More connection to reality, but less justification for their actions. Say what you will about Hillary, her positions were essentially indistinguishable from Obama's before her. If you liked the one, there was no real reason to dislike the other. And yet...
How many of those are there? Yes, there were people who flipped from Obama to Trump, Stein, or non-voting, and they were definitely treating candidates as a lifestyle accessory. But there were far more people who voted for Trump because they wanted to vote for that guy at the bar who says "Man, if I were President, I'd tell them what's what!"

Overall, I think the left is far more connected to reality. Sometimes way too earnest, but even the people fapping over diversity are fapping over things closer to reality than whatever MAGA is currently on about.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by nicole » 31 Jul 2018, 17:57

thoreau wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 12:25
It's one step away from Ayn Rand treating aesthetics as a moral matter.
It seems to me that plenty of people are already there. I frequently see people making critiques of art that are ultimately a moral critique of realism. Art that represents real-life things like minorities being oppressed is problematic; representations must be aspirational rather than realistic.

What they, and Rand, are wrong about is that it’s morality that’s an aesthetic matter, not the other way around. They simply don’t like the real world and don’t want to consume representations of it for that reason.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by nicole » 31 Jul 2018, 18:01

Hugh Akston wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:37
JasonL wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 17:12
In the context of overall evaluation representation as a concept is a thing but only one thing and certainly <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< writing quality for example.
For you maybe. But other people weight their judgement criteria differently. They also measure writing quality differently. There's no standard metric against which to determine whether a piece of art is 'good'. Critics can and do form an analytic vocabulary for examining various aspects of a text, and use them to argue persuasively for the merits of their favorites. But no matter how systematized and broadly accepted those criteria are, they ultimately reduce to "this speaks to me". And these arguments can help you appreciate all the technical merits of a piece, but if it doesn't speak to you then you're stuck watching Blade Runner 2049 for three hours.
This, plus the fact that hardly anyone can or does articulate any of this past “I liked it.”
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by thoreau » 31 Jul 2018, 18:07

nicole wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 18:01
This, plus the fact that hardly anyone can or does articulate any of this past “I liked it.”
Some of the friends I'm thinking of can actually have pretty interesting discussions of what they like and why. Yes, ultimately it's all arbitrary taste, but it can be fun and interesting to discuss what we liked about character arcs, what we found disappointing, which aspects of the visuals really worked for us, etc.

But for certain movies with diverse casts, all critical faculties go out the window. It can make the friendship challenging, at times, because discussing shared interests is a big part of what we do. We can laugh over a lot of differences of opinion, but when that moral language gets tossed around (especially by the guy who has a daughter) I know that things are about to get dangerous.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 31 Jul 2018, 18:08

Socialist Realism beats MAGA Realism.



I mean for fuck's sake that's hideous.

Don't let them get a hold of architecture, or they might even outdo Stalinism for hideousness:

Image

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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Aresen » 31 Jul 2018, 18:21

Fin Fang Foom wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 18:08
Don't let them get a hold of architecture, or they might even outdo Stalinism for hideousness:
Too late.
Image

As for 'Donald in the swamp', I would take that for a very bad political cartoon, whether pro-Trump or anti-Trump.
If Trump supporters wanted a tough guy, why did they elect such a whiny bitch? - Mo

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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 31 Jul 2018, 18:24

Aresen wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 18:21
Fin Fang Foom wrote:
31 Jul 2018, 18:08
Don't let them get a hold of architecture, or they might even outdo Stalinism for hideousness:
Too late.
Image

As for 'Donald in the swamp', I would take that for a very bad political cartoon, whether pro-Trump or anti-Trump.
That's pretty anodyne.

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Aresen
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by Aresen » 31 Jul 2018, 18:32

*shrug* Too each his own, I suppose. I still think it is hideous.
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Re: Worthwhile intertubez finds

Post by nicole » 31 Jul 2018, 18:36

Trumpism is a terrible aesthetic.
"Fucking qualia." -Hugh Akston

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