Oct 14, 2014
Oct 11, 2014
In which I stand revealed (or do I?) as an Old Fogey, after a Viewing of Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis in "The Campaign"
I was telling some friends lately (though they might not have been paying much attention...) that I was shocked, shocked I tell you, after a sojourn away from most Hollywood pap, when I tried to dip my toes in the water again, to find just how much filthier that water was.
Specifically, I watched the Will Ferrell/ Zach Galifinakis comedy "The Campaign." And yes, I found it a bit "shocking" and disturbing, actually. It made me feel like an old fogey, to have my tender sensibilities offended by some piece of mainstream drek... Plus, I've enjoyed Will Ferrell's work in the past, so it was kind of a surprise for that reason as well.
And I did actually enjoy most of the movie. There were just a few scenes here and there, that seemed almost designed to undercut any pleasure one might take in the rest of the movie. To exaggerate to make a point, it would be like if you were expecting a sweet G-rated story and there were a few awkwardly shoehorned-in scenes where the characters suddenly lapse into explicit pornographic activities. Well, that's sort of how I felt watching The Campaign, although on a much narrower spectrum of course. ...
Of Gurus, Self-Promotion and Image Crafting
Part I: I Enjoy Positing -- Do You?
Let me posit two kinds of people: the Gurus, and everybody else.
Actually, heck, let's make it three since that's such an appealing number, and toss in the Official Conventional Wisdom Arbiters (OCWA, as Morris Berman would be quick to point out, were he here. Of course he's tending to his own self-proclaimed obscure blog, though he's got nothing on me in the Obscure Blog Dept. (OBD) I'm sure.)
Or maybe they are the FARMers: Fatuous A**holes Retailing Malarkey. Choose your own acronym. The point is they are the official word from on high, the appointed (by who?) Voice of Reason, that the "Lamestream Media" (haha good one) listens to above all others... The credentialed yahoos who run this joint, can you dig it.
And let's give them their due. They have an impressive edifice of tomfoolery called the Academy that wanks around with particle accelerators and such, and it can't all be just for show.
Respect. Word. Word to the particle accelerators. Nuc-u-ler reactors too. And Whatnot.
But this story is really about the Gurus...
Oct 9, 2014
Okay, what else are you consuming... FaceBook, random internet stuff, Pinterest, Reddit I guess.. I don't really know the specifics, but I do know that while that stuff is all a lot of fun, it is also a bit shallow if taken to extremes. Just melts into a wall of empty fluff if you binge on it.
Videogames, some of you play videogames. I'm sure there is some good stuff there at least in terms of the craft of the things, and the challenging puzzles you must solve, as well as the aesthetics of it. But, I will just go ahead anyway and paint with a broad uninformed brush, and say I bet it's still a lot like movies... They can't escape all that corporate influence in their DNA, all that MONEY that goes into getting them made.
That's the bottom line with all this stuff we've mentioned so far, it all comes out of a very cloistered environment. Thousands of brilliant dudes (and dudettes, they try their best to find female nerds, I know) make this stuff, and it's really really good, in a way... HOWEVER. At the end of the day, about 6 or 7 princelings sit atop these Hollywood Fun Factories, signing off on every project and making damn sure it fits their "agenda." Whatever the **** that agenda may be.
Oh, you didn't know they had an agenda? Yep. I could tell you about the Agenda. But let's not get into all of that. Let me just ask you to CONSIDER... maybe in baby steps, start small... CONSIDER getting off their reservation to some degree...
Sep 29, 2014
Let me posit that there are three kinds of people in the world: the happy farmers, the happily farmed, and those who hate the farm.
Of course there will be degrees of each, those are just the pure types. In fact most of the farmed are unhappy with aspects of the farm, they just don't realize that the farm itself is the problem. For all I know it may be even worse for the farmers, who are under a lot of stress to be exemplars of the farming lifestyle. The lower classes (those getting farmed to the hilt) at least don't have to pretend to themselves that they like it. And too, most farmers have some farmer over THEM. So, lack of autonomy is pervasive.
Now, this has been going on for a while. The result is that the Happy Farmers (those of the pure type, who "embrace" farming) and the most Happily Farmed, are creating two new species ("specieses"?) Viz, the Morlocks and the Eloi (as H.G. Wells predicted in his classic novel "The Time Machine.")* Bit by bit they are getting rid of everyone who doesn't like the Farm. Breeding them out of existence. Have a problem with the Farm? How uncivilized of you. Git. Scat. (But don't go live off the land: we took care of that back when we enclosed the Commons.)
They are in a big hurry, the Farmers. People just aren't adjusting to the farm well enough! They will need drugs, licit and illicit. They will need experts to advise them, they will need to be "educated" (brainwashed to love the farm.) The new models coming up might even need to be genetically engineered, to speed the whole process along. It's for their own good, really. How sad would they be if they did not adjust to the farm? Boo-hoo. We shed a tear for the unhappily farmed.
What to do? Yes, that is the question. There are always Marx Bros. movies, I suppose, while we drift on the undertow of the coming "new world order" (ooh, scary!) That is some compensation, I suppose. (Of course that's the idea--- entertain yourselves... don't worry about the farm... We'll take care of the farm... go back to sleep... good baby...) Perhaps too we can try to seek out those of like mind, commiserate, and even help to open the eyes of those who perhaps thus far only see the farm "through a glass darkly." How elegiac it all is! I tell you what.
*Okay, slight simplification, but that's the gist of it.
Copyright 2014 Tim Rocks (I invoke my farm priveleges on this good shite...)