First, a quick word about the title of this post. I am aware that it was not the best, most concise or most accurate description of what I am about to discuss. But it will have to do (for the time being) since the post is far more important than its title. So let us begin..
As many of you might know, “humorous” sitcoms with outrageous extrapolations of reality (other than sex, violence and grittiness) have been a staple of network TV since its inception. These shows can usually be identified by their tired laugh tracks (or forced live-audience laughs), almost exclusively indoor settings, supposedly “witty” dialogue and highly contrived situations. Shows on this genre were extremely popular from the beginning of broadcast TV to the early 2000s when they began to lose their prominent place in the public imagination to “reality” TV shows.
I can give you many reasons why sitcoms have always been worthless crap and why the successors aka “reality” shows are no better- but that is best discussed in another post. This particular post is about the accidental (and I suspect, unintentional) depictions of dystopic reality in one of the still successful holdouts of the “sitcom” age- The Big Bang Theory aka TBBT.
Sitcoms, by their very design, are not supposed to depict reality, or anything even approaching it, as there are the escapist entertainment of plebs in developed countries. Unfortunately, the real world has a tendency to bypass even the best attempts to stop it from making itself apparent. Sitcoms usually handle this by trying to sugarcoat some really obvious aspect of reality or just skip onto to the next zany contrived situation. Yet aspects of reality that are not specifically targeted for suppression often sneak into supposedly humorous and feel good crap.
Many premises of TBBT have been criticized for a few years now, as have the supposedly negative depictions of certain groups in it- Link 1, Link 2, Link 3. You can find more of such critical articles, as well as a few supportive ones, by using Google. Now, I largely agree with much of the criticism leveled at this show. However whatever little I have seen of this show (largely through channel surfing) also suggests that it, perhaps accidentally, depicts some pretty realistic and dystopic stuff.
One of the two major dystopic theme running through the general storyline of TBBT concerns how the characters (specifically ‘nerds’) treat each other. It seems that each of the supposedly high-IQ nerd characters are always just an opportunity away from betraying or murdering the others, even if the gains are very small or temporary. While this premise is used by the show to develop ever more convoluted and eyeball-grabbing storylines, it is far closer to the lives of the real-life counterparts of the characters than anybody would dare admit.
One of the main reason behind my contempt for most academics, scientists and pretty anyone who measures their self-worth by jumping artificial hoops is that such endeavors tend to concentrate the most pathetic, short-sighted, egoistic, backstabbing, backbiting and yet largely powerless pieces of shit I ever had the misfortune to encounter. Even worse, most STEMers are stupid and gullible enough to be enthusiastic tools for any sociopath who can flatter or tempt them with insultingly small rewards. STEMers love to denigrate, betray and abuse fellow STEMers- especially if they believe that such actions might win them some imaginary brownie points (and acceptance) by sociopaths.
Readers might have noticed that most episodes of that show center around somebody in the group trying to screw over, sabotage or berate, its other members. Such mindsets, attitudes and behaviors are far closer to reality than most people (including STEMers) would like to believe. Curiously, it also show the rather bizarre phenomena of STEMers hanging out and pretending to be friendly with the very people they want to denigrate, betray and abuse.
The second dystopic theme running through the show concerns the arrested development (personal and professional) of its main characters. If you have seen enough snippets of that show over the years, it is obvious that none of the main characters possess the ability to actually make some large or innovative contribution to their field of knowledge. This is so inspite of their supposed high-IQs, “ivy-league”/”top-15″ educational pedigree or even access to enough resources.
Sadly, or not, their inability to achieve any of their personal intellectual milestones mirrors the real and accelerating decline in scientific productivity in developed countries- especially the USA. The real world drop in real innovation and progress started in the late 1970s- at almost the same time educational and research institutions started using proxies of ability such as metrics and pedigree to determine funding and promotion. The false scarcity of resources and reliance on proxy measurements of ability which characterize science and similar endeavors today favored their domination by pathetic, petty, aspy and uncreative but impressive sounding witty losers/tools.
Characters in that show also display signs of personal arrested development, which while often played for laughs does sadly (or not) mirror the very real trend of STEMers being increasingly obsessed with their “jobs”, “credentials”, “careers” and other imaginary bullshit. It is as if they (or even the non-STEMer characters on that show) are increasingly living in a make-believe world because they are terrified of what lies beyond the decaying prison of the status quo they so desperately want to hold on to. Perhaps, part of that show’s persistence and popularity are due to its dystopic undertones.
What do you think? Comments?
Here is an interesting YouTube video of Russian girls twerking in a production of “Winnie Pooh and the Bees”. According to one news report..
Officials in the Russian town of Orenburg have closed down a dance school after a performance of teenage girls “twerking” caused a sensation – and consternation – on the internet. The video clip, entitled Winnie Pooh and the Bees, showed a group of teenage girls dancing on stage in stripy leotards, long socks and mini-skirts.
Here is a short clip of that performance.
What do you think? Comments?
These links are NSFW.
Cute Side Booties: Apr 10, 2015 – Side profiles of cuties with booties.
More Cute Side Booties: Apr 10, 2015 – More side profiles of cuties with booties.
Here are links to some interesting news articles I came across today. As you might notice, all four are about the murder of Walter Scott (a black man) by Michael Slager (a white cop).
As long as there have been white people and black people and brown people in America, the slaughter of black and brown people has been used as a form of control. For centuries, on a population level, the racial majority has voted and lobbied to give agents of the state more power to act without sanction, to militarize, to kill. Functionally, this has enabled them to wage war on behalf of the majority of the public; to express hatred and fear and aspire to power through campaigns of terror and carnage.
The slaughter of black and brown people is, in this light, a political act, political violence enacted for political purpose against a civilian population to raise fear and obtain compliance. That Slager probably never thought of things in these terms doesn’t matter; what does is that he was trained and given incentives in line with the interests of a particular class intent on preserving its power. The violence he enacted is a kind that keeps one class of citizens terrorized and fearful of random violence for the benefit of another. It’s meant to keep that class in line and intact, even as the sands of time shift and racial minorities slowly crawl toward majority status.
Link 2: Broken Taillight Policing
What we can say, however, is that the shooting of Walter Scott happened in an institutional environment where police officers are encouraged to make intrusive stops against people they deem suspicious. Overwhelmingly, those people are black American men. And as we’ve seen with stop-and-frisk tactics in New York City and with the behavior of the Ferguson Police Department, these stops aren’t effective; they yield fewer suspects and less contraband than what you get from more targeted investigations. Instead, they poison the relationship between departments and communities, creating mistrust and entrenching the view—among the police, the policed, and everyone else—that blacks are lesser citizens than their peers. Whether Slager, who is white, was racially biased—there’s no evidence he was—is irrelevant. What matters is that this universal suspicion is baked into the culture of police departments across the country, such that all kinds of officers—black as well as white—engage in profiling.
As long as white people remain unconvinced that policing is a fundamentally anti-Black, racist enterprise in this country, the police will keep killing unarmed Black people. As long as the ridiculous argument that this is “just an isolated incident” proceeds unchecked, Black bodies will continue to pile up. Local juries might opt to throw the book at “individual” suspects, but individual solutions will not solve the epidemic of police murder. As of February 2015, the police were killing someone every eight hours. That is simply too much killing, and it far outpaces the police murder rate in every other developed country.
To put it the way Dr. Treva Lindsey put it, “These extrajudicial killings are at the heart of U.S. democracy. At the core of our nation’s history is [Black people’s] annihilation and dehumanization- how do you ‘reform’ that? So save me the good cops argument- we are indicting the ENTIRE SYSTEM.” She’s right. The whole damn system is guilty as hell.
Walter Scott’s killing is unusual in several ways. It’s unusual that a traffic stop ended in death. It’s unusual—and decisive—that it was caught on film. And it’s highly unusual that it has produced a murder charge against the officer. But in other ways, the incident seems depressingly familiar. Scott was stopped for having a tail light out, the sort of minimal issue that advocates say is often used as a pretext to harass black citizens and to search for other violations. As The New York Times noted, the population of North Charleston, where Scott was shot, is 47 percent black and 37 percent white. Michael Slager, the officer who shot Scott, is white—along with 80 percent of the city’s police department, according to the most recent available figures.
Scott joins the list of unarmed black Americans whose deaths at the hands of police were recently documented on camera. In New York, bystanders filmed the death of Eric Garner, who repeatedly shouted, “I can’t breathe,” as multiple NYPD officers placed him in a chokehold during an arrest for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. Grainy footage from a nearby surveillance camera captured the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was shot by Cleveland police in November while playing with a toy gun in a local park. A Staten Island jury declined to bring charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for Garner’s death in December. Rice’s death remains under investigation.
What do you think? Comments?
I recently came across an article in ‘The Atlantic’ which tried to make an insipid case that people should not get outraged by the actions of morons who justify discrimination against other people based on their own interpretation of literary works of unclear authorship. The writer of that particular article was trying to make the case that many of those who discriminate against other groups are not “bad” people. According to him, they could even be family-minded Mormons, devout Hispanic women or Muslim immigrants.
While that line of reasoning might suffice for some idiots, it has a huge and fatal flaw. As many of you know, the vast majority of people who committed state-sanctioned genocides (including the ‘final solution’ under the Nazis) were also devout, hard-working and family-minded people who just wanted a well-paying job. It just happened to be the case that their jobs centered around systemic mass murder of people who had not personally wronged them.
The same is true of all those “good” Spanish who committed genocide in south and central america. Similarly all those whites who committed direct and indirect genocide in north america and then built their lifestyle on the backs and corpses of black slaves might also have been devout, family-minded people.
My point is that excusing the repeated intentional actions of people because they are “devout”, “hard-working” and “family-minded” displays a level of sophism and spinelessness that only a liberal could attain. This is especially so when those injured or killed by the actions of all those self-righteous people have not previously harmed them in any measurable manner. It is even more so when personal interpretations of books with unclear authorship are the justification for the such behavior and actions.
Here is another way to look at the issue..
How many of you would support the right of a person to discriminate against, or kill, other people based on the voices he heard in his (or her) head? Most religious traditions in existence today can trace their origin to some divine communication conveniently revealed only to the founder of that particular religion. So.. what is the real difference between people who hurt or kill others based on the voices in their heads and those who do so because they are allegedly following the unfaithfully transcribed beliefs of a long-dead person who supposedly heard voices in his head?
And this raises an even more troublesome question.. Why would anybody live their life according to the text of a book that makes clearly unfulfillable promises to its readers? Would you keep on voluntarily giving your time or money to any person or organisation that cannot deliver on even its most basic promises? So why is religion (traditional or secular) or an ideology any different? How many of the true believers in ideologies as diverse as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Capitalism or Communism have received any of the promised benefits of believing in them?
So why do people believe, and take pride, in advertising their strong belief in such obvious scams?
A couple of previous posts by me, Link 1 and Link 2, I have put forth the idea that belief in religion or ideology is about creating a justification for abusing, scamming, stealing, raping and murdering other people. Perhaps most humans have an insatiable need to hurt and kill other people but do not have the metaphorical balls to do so on their own account. They therefore require the external justification provided by any scrap of paper or the ravings of another person to hurt and kill other people.
Then there is the issue of reducing the chance of reprisal for carrying out such actions.
Cloaking sadistic and murderous desires in the name of religion and ideology allows it be legalized and reduces the chance of reprisal from those hurt by said actions. Killing people publicly labelled as “unbelievers”, “non-muricans”, “terrorists” makes it sound justifiable and “right”. Similarly stealing and abusing people because they are “non-whites”, “have low IQ” etc apparently sounds more reasonable than doing it because you are a piece of shit.
Nor is such solipsistic behavior restricted to whites, as it is trivial to find obvious examples of similar behavior in every group, society and race in the world. You can find desperately poor and sick people who want to hurt and kill others more vulnerable than them in the name of some leader , ideology or religion in every part of the world and at all times in human history.
That is why I do not care if the true believer of any ideology (or follower of any leader) is white, black, brown or blue. Nor do I care about the merits of their ideology, society and culture. Those who deliberately prey on more vulnerable people are extermination-worthy crap. They do not represent any hope, and are incapable of creating, a better future. Left to their own devices they will be never be able to transcend the human condition.
It is for this reason that pondering on the justness of the treatment received by those who discriminate against people who have not demonstrably injured them (be they devout mormons, catholic hispanics or muslims) is a worthless exercise. If anything, the continued existence and prosperity of eunuchoid assholes who require the cover of external ideology to justify their sadistic behavior is an indictment of humans as a species.
What do you think? Comments?
These links are NSFW.
Nubile Cuties: Apr 3, 2015 – Slim nubile cuties.
More Nubile Cuties: Apr 3, 2015 – More slim nubile cuties.
I found this video clip sometime ago and wanted to write a post about it. Well.. the post might take some more time, so here is the clip.
A few important notes: 1] The quality of video gameplay has not really improved since 2001. 2] Pretty much all improvements in computational power since 2001 have been used to sex up the ‘action and explosions’ component rather than improve the depth of the storyline or quality of gameplay. 3] Since 2001, the storylines themselves have become more simplistic, unrealistic and action movie-like.
What do you think? Comments?