A few years ago, I began working as a dolphin-training intern at SeaWorld Orlando. After half a decade of volunteering at every backwoods animal shelter and zoo I could find, as well as building my entire academic career around this possibility, I was finally reaping the benefits of my labors and working my dream job, so I lived happily ever after.
By the end of the summer, I had seen enough to make me leave the field, throwing away a five-year career and my childhood dreams forever. Why? Well …
…and thats all I’ve got to say about that.
Here’s something I missed yesterday. (yeah, I’ve gone from posting Cracked links to posting Escapist links)
Sometimes, writing a sentence can be an absolute joy. For example, this sentence: It was announced yesterday that Fred Phelps, the founder of anti-gay hate group Westboro Baptist Church, died of natural causes at 84 years old. However, I come not to bury Fred Phelps, but to laugh about the fact that by any reasonable measure, his life was an astounding failure.
Harsh and disrespectful to the deceased, I know. But so was Fred and his whackaloon followers. But this ultimately isn’t about him.
Nope, Wonder Woman isn’t gay. But the story behind her creation proves that even as early as the 1940s, American culture was already undergoing vast social changes that would go on to make Fred Phelps’ pathetic hatemongering pointless.
(Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston), a vocal proponent of an early form of feminism that veered close to a belief in the superiority of women, created Wonder Woman as a contrast to the square-jawed brawlers that dominated (and still dominate) comics in that she would defeat her enemies with the power of (strong, authoritative) love. With input from Olive and Elizabeth, he notably based the character in part on the two of them. He also incorporated clear themes of bondage and submission, particularly of men submitting themselves to women. And true to his somewhat oddball ideas, his Wonder Woman stories are also notable for clear, though subtle moral lessons involving the power of love - especially erotic love - to conquer evil.
And that’s just a peek at page one.
Yes, I’m linking to the Escapist’s “Moviebob” again. This time, he seems to be having a few hard-to-follow “motormouth” outbursts during this week’s “The Big Picture.” But I digress.
Its a look at the controversy surrounding Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. (despite not being released yet) While adding his two cents, he also provides some extra context such as:
- a very brief history of Hollywood’s old-school bible spectacle films, (they were excuses to get away with more sex and violence than non-biblical stories could) and
- the apocryphal (oldest known written versions) biblical texts were alot more mythical before they were “sanitized” into the versions found in the bible today. Noah’s story was originally about god drowning not just garden variety sinners, but also angels, demons, giants, etc.
The point is that Darren Aronofsky’s version of Noah seems to be based on apocrypha. In other words, its intended as old-school mythic spectacle rather than biblical propaganda. I’m interested in seeing it, and I’m an atheist.
This time, its not cracked. Its the escapist.
Here is the gist: If more movies fail the Bechdel test than pass it, that shows there is something wrong with movie culture. But judging individual titles on that test can lead to Orwellian results. For example, Terminator 2 failed the Bechdel test. Should we dismiss any feminist credential for the character Sarah Conner? On the other hand, Debbie Does Dallas passed the Bechdel test. And if you don’t know whats wrong with that, then google it at home, not at work.
Just remember that even the webcomic author who invented the test intended it as a criticism of wider culture rather than an easy way to rate films.
When I was 14, I lived with my grandparents in a wealthy gated community and went to a very prestigious private school. This was the first time I had access to the Internet on a daily basis, and it changed my life forever. I discovered metal music and culture, which inspired me to learn the guitar. My yearbook ambitions quickly went from “become a judge like my grandfather” to “become a rock star.”
This was not a popular change in Tori Jane, and before long my grandparents decided the best way to reverse it was to ship my ass off to a camp for “troubled” teens in Montana. In short order I learned some terrifying truths about an industry dedicated to taking America’s at-risk youth and f***ing them up in the worst way possible.
Child Abuse Inc. There is no other way to describe it without going into a mouth-frothing rant. I put this in the “crime” category, despite how horrifyingly legal it somehow is. Because it shouldn’t be, period.
The first one on the list is “A Shocking Amount of Medical Research Is Complete Bulls***.” The article gets progressively bleak from there.
If you share some uplifting link with somebody on Facebook — some video of an act of human kindness captured on camera, or this dolphin masturbating with the aid of its little fish friend — the response is usually the same. “Nice to see there are still heartwarming stories in this awful world!”
In other words, any positive news or trend is treated as the exception, when the overall arc of civilization is clearly downward. The only problem is that it is absolutely not true, and it’s actually very easy to prove, as we have made it our mission to point out.
From Daily Mail.
Ha! Gotcha, didn’t I? Of course it’s Cracked.
So we know it’s hard to see it in the daily wash of awful headlines and celebrity scandals, but it’s undeniable: We’re slowly getting this “civilization” thing figured out.
For a bunch of people in snappy uniforms patting down crotches, the TSA is remarkably unpopular. Nobody likes going through security at the airport, but you probably figured most of it had a point. All those hours spent in line with other shoeless travelers are a necessary precursor to safe flying. It’s annoying, but at least it wards off terrorism.
That’s all bullshit. The TSA couldn’t protect you from a 6-year-old with a water balloon. What are my qualifications for saying that? My name is Rafi Sela, and I was the head of security for the world’s safest airport. Here’s what your country does wrong.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again & again until it happens: The TSA needs to be replaced from whole cloth. The first entry alone from this Cracked article is reason enough to take the whole agency back to the drawing board. But by all means, read the whole thing and see how far the rabbit hole goes.
I’m posting this because of two things on this list invented by devout Catholics which piss-off wingnuts to this day. Oh, I love the irony.