Hatred of Hollywood is presumptuous.

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There’s much goodness from Hollywood: Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and No Country for Old Men. There’s George Clooney, Clint Eastwood, and Greta Gerbo.

What Hollywood does better than anyone else is spectacle. Nobody can match it.

Everyone remembers King Kong holding the damsel in one hand, and pummeling airplanes with another. But why is it happening?

King Kong is in love with a damsel. He is willing to battle society’s taboos. He is a beast. He is a brute. But in all ways that he is a king, he is battling a monster more tyrannical: repressed sexuality and good manners.

This is the kind of spectacle Hollywood does better than everyone else.

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Chromebook: I Just Don’t “Get” It

The Google I/O conference arrived, and with much fanfare, the Chromebook was announced. Usually, if I dislike something, I give it a few days to consider its use before I assume further judgement. But in the Chromebook’s case, I feel the same way I felt two days ago: confused. Namely, I just don’t get why anyone would buy this thing for $349 – $499.

Compare what you can get for the same price, and the Chromebook seems like a bad deal.

Chromebook vs. Windows Netbooks

For $249, I can get an entry level 10″ netbook with Windows Starter Edition. Two years ago, I bought an HP Mini for that price, and still use it. All this time, I’ve stored honeymoon pictures, creative writing documents, and music. When I go on vacation, I leave my Macbook and Nexus S at home — but my HP Mini comes with me.

Here’s where my HP Mini outshines the Chromebook: forget about taking your Chromebook to Haida Gwaii or Malta. Forget about bringing it on an airplane. Forget about decent computing without an Internet connection. For $100 less, I can get a computer with more features.

Chromebook vs. iPad

The lowest priced iPad costs $499. Like the Chromebook, it has limitations compared to a Windows netbook — namely, it’s lack of real multi-tasking. But seeing how I can install Garageband and Photoshop on the iPad, that’s forgivable. Both these apps does not require Internet access, and more importantly, I can store all my files on my iPad!

Google admits the Chromebook isn’t necessarily built for apps like Photoshop, but at its current price, shouldn’t it? If I’m limited to only using glorified web apps, shouldn’t the price of the Chromebook be significantly less? Docked to a keyboard, an iPad is an adequate machine for daily use — even with its many limitations. I’m not so sure about the Chromebook.

Chromebook versus Android

The most puzzling aspect of the Chromebook seems to be that it competes with it’s other platform. The Motorola Atrix, which costs $199.99 on a two year contract, comes with a webtop application — which converts the smartphone into a traditional desktop interface when plugged into a laptop dock. Here too, I should point out a weakness. Without the handset plugged in, the laptop is useless.

Again, it seems to have more functionality to me than the Chromebook. I can store apps locally on the Atrix as well as files. More ominous for the Chromebook, the Atrix integrates just as well with Google Apps. At a competitive price, I can do everything the Chromebook does with as much Google Apps integration — the additional advantage of not being so dependant on the cloud.

Maybe there’s something about the Chromebook I’m missing, but compared to competitive products, I just don’t see what the big deal is.

Beware of Yahoo Answers

Is he really gay? REALLY?!

Is he really gay? REALLY?!

During the past few years, Yahoo Answers has been the go to place for stupid people with stupid questions. And consequently, it has been the go to place to laugh at said stupid people. The thing is, though, that’s not true. The Internet has been trolled.

Consider the following:

My 23 year old son “Harold” is a gay pornstar, however me and my wife have been assured by him that he is only “gay for pay” and is completely heterosexual. For one thing he is NEVER a bottom always uses a condom and only receives oral sex.

A few red flags. What son admits to his parents that he has gay sex — on film no less — yet is afraid to confess same-sex romantic feelings? Even more, which gay or straight son explains in gory detail the intricacies of his sex life?

Answer: none. We have been trolled. Anyone who seriously replies to this question has been trolled. Anyone who shares this URL has been trolled. Nobody is stupid enough ask this question unless they are looking for a certain response.

And, of course, the response is always the same — for any similar question. The aim is to get everyone to tsk tsk about the stupidity of Yahoo Answers. We inquire: “How can anyone ask such a stupid question?”

Yet nobody asks, “Why were we hoodwinked yet again by humble Yahoo Answers?” We won’t ask. We’re too clever for them.

The Chronically Pissed – Poised and Waiting

The chronically pissed? Yeah, they'll find you

The chronically pissed? Yeah, they'll find you

Eventually, someone on the internet is bound to be pissed at what you say. You may not expect it, but it will happen. It may be an innocuous statement, someone will still be offended by it. And they want you to know to know how outraged they are.

So what can be done about it? Not much. These people are a timebomb waiting to go off, and when it happens, much drama will unfold. While you cannot avoid offending someone, you might as well understand who’s most likely to be pissed and why.

Here’s a profile of the five most chronically pissed people on the internet.

The religious fanatic will pounce on any perceived slight to THEM!

The Religious Fanatic

If you do not follow the religious fanatic’s set of dogmatic rules, you are pissing him off. The only way to not piss off the feligious fanatic is to become him. That creates a new problem, though, since no religion agrees with the other. By being a religious fanatic, you will piss off another religious fanatic.

Regardless, anything can piss off a religious fanatic. Gay sex? That’s offensive! Appreciation for bacon? You just crossed the line, mister! Display a pirate statue with excess cleavage? Alert the Catholic priest!

While you cannot avoid offending the religious fanatic eventually, you can minimize his impact by not talking about religion at all. That may be ignoring the elephant in the room, but it gets them out of your hair.

Facts? They're not just facts to SOME people!

Wikipedia Fact Checkers

Their biggest impact is felt on Wikipedia (where many flame wars arise), but don’t fool yourself. Wikipedia fact checkers are everywhere. They are waiting for you to get an obscure fact wrong so they can pounce — and tell you how pissed they are that you got it wrong.

The War of 1812: was it fought between the USA and Britain, or between the USA and Canada? Was it just fought in 1812 or was it also fought in 1813? You better get it right because someone’s great-great-great-great-great-grandfather died in that war!

What fuels a Wikipedia fact checker is his need to be right all the time. The only way to make him go away is to do your research before he makes his appearance. Facts may change so pissing off a Wikipedia fact checker may be unavoidable. But you can minimize his potential drama.

scd40005 Special Snowflakes

Every snowflake is special. At least, that’s what their mom told them. A special snowflake is someone who believes he is utterly unique, and you must be sensitive to his delicate sensibilies. He is fragile, you know.

Special snowflakes come in many varieties. They are psychic vampires. They are furries. Two years ago, they self-diagnosed themselves with Aspergers Syndrome. There are manifold reasons why they may be special, but gosh darn it, you better know it!

A special snowflake cannot handle reality. Don’t tell him that — gasp! — he’s like everyone else. He’s totally not, you know! Want to avoid drama from a special snowflake? Let him live in his fantasy world, and don’t comment.

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Fandom Wankers

You said Star Wars was old and overrated. Bad move. To some people, Star Wars is their life and when you insult Star Wars, you insult them. Never mind that George Lucas was importing the spaghetti western into space. The Force is a profound philosophical statement and you better know it.

The above scenario is quite mild, actually. Fandom wankers have bigger issues to get bothered by: what is proper canon? Is slash fiction pure or impure? Is it really okay for Hollywood to take liberties with source material? Such topics create holy wars.

If you don’t want to be in the crosshairs of a holy war, do not have a critical opinion on any art. Especially if it’s art that people like.  Better yet, don’t have an opinion on anything.

347393705_b6fa0121ceFirst Year University Student

A first year university student knows about oppression. After all, her professor did a symposium on Korean peasantry during World War II Japanese occupation. Therefore, she’s an expert and she identifies with oppression personally.

She looks at the topic of oppression through Marxist, feminist, Randian, and existential lenses — at the same time. A comment will be left on your website examining the topic from a Jungian perspective. At first, it will seem detached but as time goes on, her outrage will be made manifest. All the world has suffered therefore so has she!

The only thing that will cure the first year university student is time. Eventually, she will see that she is not an expert on anything, that she is still a student, and that she’s a child of privilege. Of course, some eventually make a career out of being chronically pissed off, so not all will be cured. When it happens, just smile and nod.

Conclusion

You will offend someone. It’s not if, it’s when. While you cannot avoid it, you can definitely minimize it. Don’t want the chronically pissed to make an appearance? Take away their excuse for being pissed.

The other side of the coin is that if you’re not offending someone you’re probably boring everyone else. Don’t worry about it too much. Simply don’t escalate the drama that will already happen.