February 5, 2018

This Is Actually a Tide Ad

Filed under: Idiot Box,Sports!,Teh Interwebs — Katrina @ 10:21 pm

So, as you can see on the sidebar, I’m on Twitter. Kind of on and off over the past nine years. But I always manage to tweet during the Superbowl, so here’s some of the crap I was saying and retweeting.

sciville As a Redskins fan, normally I want the Eagles to lose, but dear God, I’m so sick of the Patriots, so… *cringe* Go Eagles! *cringe* #atleastitsnotdallas #SuperbowlLII

sciville I saw the beginning of the #PuppyBowl. None of the puppies took a knee during the national anthem. Or at least Animal Planet didn’t want to show it.

sciville When my NFL team was last in the #SuperBowl, a Simpsons episode was made about it. A third season Simpsons episode.

sciville If you order delivery today (and have the option of not doing so I should specify), you suck. It’s a busy night for them already. Make your own stuff for the occasion or have something ahead of time.

sciville Oh, hey, something is coming on NBC right now.

(Retweet) ACLU Respect and love for America doesn’t require blindness to America’s failure to honor its promise of racial justice and equality. #TakeAKnee

sciville Well, with that “I’ll stand by you” ad, seems we’re getting started on the “feels” ads.

sciville Oh shit, the crowd is booing the Patriots! LOL #SuperBowl

sciville Everyone is sick of the Patriots, and the Eagles beat the Vikings to get there tonight. Minneapolis is just the wrong city for this today. #SuperBowl

sciville Take a knee. Take a knee! It’s anthem time.

sciville “I’m trying to watch the #Superbowl! If people don’t support this thing, it might not make it.” -Abe Simpson, Season 7, “Mother Simpson” #simpsonsquotesforalloccasions

sciville Three-pointer for Philadelphia! #wrongsport #Superbowl

sciville A trailer for a trailer. Trailerception. #solo #Superbowl

sciville “This is Bill Beeeeelichick.” -Eric Cartman #SouthPark #SuperBowl

sciville WOW!!! #touchdown #Superbowl

sciville “Can you survive the ground?” “Can any of us survive the ground?” #SuperBowl

sciville You have ONE JOB, kicker!

sciville And a few days after this, ‘lympics!

sciville Does either team have like any defense?

sciville It finally happened. Someone stole Morgan Freeman’s voice.

sciville This looks like a tweet, but it’s actually a Tide ad.

sciville o snap, no goal #youhadonejobkicker

sciville Wow, are three-and-outs still a thing? #Superbowl

(Retweet) sciam How much water weight can an NFL player lose during a game? A running back might drop four to five pounds, and a lineman might expend closer to nine pounds. http://bit.ly/2GNDgxK #SuperBowl

(Retweet) BoJackHorseman if they start performing their own halftime show im out [Pic of BoJack sitting in a living room with Hollyhock and her 8 dads having a Superbowl party]

sciville “It’s a burrito full of plants pretending to be meat.”

sciville Go home, Tide. You’re drunk.

sciville That is one #SuperbOwl. [NatGeo tweet about a Superb Owl.]

sciville GOOOOAAAAAAAL! #wrongsport #Superbowl

sciville The fuck was that, Febreze?

sciville Okay, who dropped $5 million on 30 seconds of blank quiet time?

sciville Keanu Reeves is surfing on a motorcycle through a desert. Your argument is invalid. #Superbowl

sciville Truly that is a #SuperbOwl [NatGeo tweet about another Superb Owl]

sciville Another GOOOOOAAAAAAL! For the other ones now.

sciville LOL kicking just isn’t there tonight. #Superbowl

sciville Australia. #thankgodthatsnotarealmovie

sciville I just assume every ad is a Tide ad until I see evidence to the contrary. #Superbowl

sciville What a #SuperbOwl! [Still another NatGeo tweet about a Superb Owl]

sciville Wow. The ball went through the uprights. Didn’t know that was possible. #Superbowl

sciville Time to turn the football game into a concert real quick and then turn it back into a football game real quick. #halftime #Superbowl

sciville *watches Pepsi Half-Time Show* *drinks Coke* I’m a badass. #Superbowl

sciville Minneapolis is turning purple!

sciville FYI, last time #Superbowl was on February 4 was in 2007. The halftime show act in that one was… Prince.

sciville Awww, what a #SuperbOwl! [Yup, it’s another NatGeo tweet with a Superb Owl]

sciville Oh, right, the game.

sciville The plot thickens. #touchdown #Superbowl

sciville Ah, company that profits from alcoholism is at least keeping people hydrated. *shrug*

sciville This isn’t actually the #Superbowl. It’s all a Tide ad.

sciville Announcers don’t like call stands ruling. LOL #Superbowl

sciville The Bud Knight is in the audience.

sciville Another Guardians of the Galaxy? Wait, there’s the Hulk. Some Marvel mashup? Er, no, it’s a Tide ad. #Superbowl

sciville Uh oh. Game could go any which way. Suspense! #Superbowl

sciville LOL Peyton Manning at Universal Studios.

sciville Agholor sounds like a villain in a 1960’s Hanna Barbera cartoon.

sciville HOLY SHIT! #turnover #Superbowl

sciville “Fuck you, waterfall!” -Jeep #Superbowl

sciville Patriots fans, switch to Animal Planet and watch the #PuppyBowl. You’ll feel better. Everyone else, also watch the Puppy Bowl. To celebrate. To just be cute attacked. It’s all good.

sciville They’re smudging that shiny trophy. #Superbowl

sciville There is a word called “everything”. It’s… the word “everything”. #Superbowl

sciville Okay, football is done. Is it baseball season yet? #imissmynats

Well, that was fun.

January 2, 2018

Stalker App

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 9:42 pm

I began my 2018 waking up to the New Year’s Day marathon of The Simpsons on FXX I’d turned on the night before and had fallen asleep watching. I stayed in bed for a while and watched some more, not wanting to get out of bed because, don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s a bit extremely cold here in the mid-Atlantic states this week.

Then during one commercial break I saw it. A rather extended ad for a product (not saying the name) for tracking someone, ostensibly a family member. This way, you’d know exactly where this person is at all times, whether they are driving too fast, etc. You know, perfect for the psycho stalker on your belated or Orthodox Christmas list.

Oh, did I mention this product was specifically geared toward parents to use on their teens? Yeah, that’s supposed to make this any better somehow. I mean, even if that did, it’s worth remembering any spying technology doesn’t actually know the relationship of the user to the person being tracked. A man could be using this on his wife rather than his teenage daughter. Think about that. What healthy reason could he possibly have for tracking his wife’s whereabouts, knowing how fast she drives, and who she sees? Doesn’t that seem gross as hell? Don’t you kind of wonder that this wife should probably get away from him?

So for that matter, what healthy reason could a parent possibly have for tracking a teen’s whereabouts, knowing how fast she drives, and who she sees? What, the parent cares and wants to make sure she’s safe? Okay, but maybe that husband just cares about his wife and wants to make sure his wife is safe. Oh, wait, that doesn’t fly.

I would go further with this analogy, perhaps going into how we don’t want the government or Google spying on us like this (even though they probably are, every time we say “okay Google…” perhaps) so that we shouldn’t be normalizing it for the next generation, but the sad thing is, youth rights aspect of this aside, you find people are often not all that bothered by it. Some people may look at the husband spying on his wife example and not find anything wrong with it. Perhaps calling up the property argument, where the car and house and phone and whatnot are property that one has every right to keep track of and otherwise do as they wish with. Of course, what they also aren’t shy about saying, they see the teen as property as well.

So what I must wonder is the mentality of the person who clings to this right and would actually seek out and actively use spying technology on a teen (or anyone else). I mean, this is rather obsessive and time-consuming behavior that, well, even someone so inclined might lose interest after a while. After all, they have something better or at least more interesting to be doing. A show or a game is coming on. Got to go make dinner. Got to go to bed and get up for work. I mean, being like “okay, she’s at school… okay, now she’s visiting a friend… still visiting the friend… on her way back here…” is boring as hell.

Unless, of course, you’re just that obsessive. Or you’re looking for something specific. Such that simply talking to the teen about any concerns is apparently out of the question.

The ad indicated the product would prevent kidnapping (they literally used staged footage of a girl being pulled into a windowless white van), so that this would keep kids safe. Well, I’ve gritted my teeth through enough conversations with coworkers and others over the years to gather that safety is barely on anyone’s radar with the idea of keeping track of kids. Some have said straight up they’d catch them lying about where they are and would punish them, with no effort to hide their glee. Safety is the stated concern, but, let’s be honest, the whole idea is, here, assert your dominance over someone in your household who drives you nuts because you can!

And even without anyone purchasing the product or any of the far too many like it that have been around for some time, the ad does its own damage. It tells the parents and teens and others watching alike that this is normal, that this is how it should be. It reinforces the already far too reinforced message that teens are property that can and will cause major trouble at any moment and that it’s the parent’s right and duty to keep them as watched and controlled as possible for the sake of themselves and others.

All of that said, it was still pretty hilarious that the episode playing when I saw this ad was Barting Over, when Bart gets emancipated from Homer and Marge after exploitation and abuse. Now the ad just needs to run during Lost Verizon.

January 25, 2016

Snow Day

Filed under: Idiot Box — Katrina @ 6:24 pm

So this past weekend, we got a shit ton of snow here. Yay! Lots of snow and the electricity stayed on. I call that awesome.

Ever watch some local network TV station during a big snow storm? All programming is preempted for storm coverage, so that we can stay up to date on new developments in the storm…

“Hi, I’m reporting from Reston, and yes, it is snowing here. Don’t drive! Wait, look, some dipshit is driving in this. Hey, dipshit, why the fuck are you driving? Come explain to us why the fuck you are driving.” *interview with driving dipshit* “Now on to Rockville.”

“Here in Rockville, yes, it is snowing. Oh, look, some dipshit is driving on Rockville Pike. And it’s windy. Oh, my God, look at the wind blowing around. Can you see how windy it is? I’m slowly freezing to death.”

“And I’m reporting from Dupont Circle. Oh, look, some weirdo is walking their dog, even though that’s not weird at all and people in much colder climates have dogs to walk and dogs still have to pee despite the weather. Let’s interview this person walking their dog and have them tell us exactly that. Oh, look, some weirdo is cross country skiing. Let’s interview this weirdo.”

“And I’m back in the studio. What do you mean there are people outside and not cowering in fear?! And now the weather map we showed you three minutes ago that has not changed in any significant way. Yes, it is still snowing.”

“Here’s footage of a local mayor or governor saying that, yes, it is snowing, and get the fuck off the roads, dipshits. Why aren’t you staying inside cowering?”

Ah, great fun.

January 19, 2015

The Real Heroes

Filed under: Idiot Box,Think About It! — Katrina @ 7:07 pm

So I just got back from seeing the movie “Selma”. It was amazing. Brought me to tears a few times. Made me cringe a few times at the horrible racial violence. Powerful. Highly recommend it.

And it had better win Best Picture, damn it!

Not only because I like it when a movie I’ve seen wins Best Picture, but because it’s damn good. And also because I don’t want American Sniper to win.

Just to be clear, I have not seen American Sniper. I don’t particularly want to. I just read through a plot summary of it. Seems to be your run-of-the-mill soldier movie.

Soldiers are commonly referred to as heroes, and I suppose they are, or at least they’re really brave for putting themselves in that position. Not going to dispute that. And we have two holidays for them, Memorial Day for the dead ones and Veteran’s Day for the living ones. “Support Our Troops” bumper stickers and other such items are ubiquitous. After all, they’re the ones out there protecting our freedom, right?

Er, no, that one I will dispute. For one, their mere presence in many areas is pissing off the locals and thus encouraging support for the terrorists who might attack us and lead to more restrictions on our freedoms in the name of safety. Mostly it’s that the greatest threats to our freedom are internal.
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December 7, 2014

Prince Hans

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,Think About It! — Katrina @ 7:45 pm

You’ve seen Frozen, right? Of course you have.

Better have anyway, because after this sentence are SPOILERS!!!

So, in the tradition of countless Disney princesses before her, Anna falls in love with Prince Hans upon meeting him, they share the movie’s love song, and they rush off to her sister Queen Elsa for permission to marry. Elsa, breaking from tradition (in this and at long last being a Disney princess who was promoted to queen! and being a Disney queen with more than three lines of dialogue who isn’t a villain!), tells her that she can’t marry someone she just met.

Shortly after this, Elsa’s ice powers are revealed, and in fear and shame she escapes into the mountains, inadvertently freezing her whole country in the process. Anna goes off to look for her and leaves Hans in charge. Hans steps up and helps out the freezing citizens (who should be used to this, since this takes place in Norway, which is covered in ice like 10 months out of the year anyway, but whatever), and when Anna’s horse returns sans Anna, he leads a group out to look for her and Elsa, imploring them to not harm Elsa even though they all think she’s an evil witch now or something (probably because it’s a Disney movie, which up until this point Disney mostly painted queens as evil or at least unpleasant). Later, Elsa is captured and imprisoned, and then Kristoff rushed Anna back to the castle for Hans to kiss her, because Elsa accidentally cursed her again and only an “act of true love” can save her, which is assumed to be a “true love’s kiss” from the prince, because, again, Disney movie.

But in a whiplash-inducing twist, Hans refuses to kiss her and reveals that all along he’d been playing her in order to usurp the throne of Arendelle, and he locks her in a room to die.

Whoa! They go through the whole love song and his whole looking-at-her-lovingly-as-she-walks-away only to reveal it was all a lie? And that he’s actually the villain? That… doesn’t even make sense.

Actually… it makes perfect sense, if you read between the lines.

When Kristoff and Anna visited the trolls after she was cursed, they initially thought she was Kristoff’s girlfriend and tried to force-marry them in that annoying Fixer Upper song. Kristoff finally yells that she’s engaged to someone else. The song resumes and includes the following line: “So she’s a bit of a fixer upper. Her brain’s a bit betwixt! Get the fiancé out of the way and the whole thing will be fixed!”

Up until that song, he’d seemed perfectly okay. That line in the song implies the trolls intend to remove Hans from the picture because they so badly want Anna to be with Kristoff.

So what I’m trying to say is that the trolls cursed Hans. Perhaps cursed Anna actually so that the moment he was about to kiss her, he had the sudden change of heart. Cursed him with a frozen heart, I suppose. So when he went to kiss Anna and the curse took effect, any love for her was gone and he became greedy and backstabbing.

There’s a couple of ways to look at that. The trolls were worried primarily about Kristoff and Anna getting together that they didn’t realize this curse on Hans nearly got Anna killed. Or maybe they saw far enough ahead that it was now-evil Hans’s attempt to kill Elsa being thwarted by Anna sacrificing herself (surprise! said act of true love was sororal love, not romantic!) that solved pretty much every problem. Though that part could still have been luck.

Or maybe they didn’t actually care about what happened to the others. They just wanted to fuck with Hans and know that his curse would wear off while he was in that little jail cell on that ship and he’d be all “wait… WTF just happened?”

They are TROLLS, after all! 😉

October 9, 2014

Till We Find Our Key Change

Filed under: Idiot Box — Katrina @ 11:17 pm

I don’t always have a solid answer to the question of what my favorite movie of all time is, as there are a few that are up there. But I love The Lion King. I like animated Disney movies in general, but this one is just gold. For one, it’s got “Circle of Life”. True, obvious rip-off of Kimba is obvious, but The Lion King has “Circle of Life”. I also like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Toy Story, Frozen, and others. But The Lion King has “Circle of Life”.

The sequel, Simba’s Pride, is alright, and confirms what the (vastly superior, of course) original hints at… Simba’s kind of an asshole. And, no, I do not even acknowledge the existence of the horrific abomination that is The Lion King 1½. Fuck that noise.

Anyway, today is October 9, and I have a tradition that every year on October 9, I watch The Lion King. I’m not even going to try explaining the origin of this, as I wouldn’t even know where to begin, and as is the case with a lot of my origin stories, it’s not particularly interesting.

So here are some lovely and totally real quotes from this spectacular movie! 🙂 :cute:
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December 10, 2013

Screen Time

Now for a glowing connected edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

Enough! Enough with all the stupid little stats and complaints and lamentations about young people’s “screen time.” In other words, how much time they are watching TV, playing video games, or using computers or smart phones.

What if a young person spends seemingly every waking hour engaged in these screen activities?

Honestly… I don’t care. And neither should you.

“But it’s BAD for them!”

Even if it is, that’s their business. And there’s plenty of entertainment and, yes, contrary to common belief, even cognitive value to some of these things. Not to mention that, well, you don’t seem to care when adults use these things, by either totally ignoring their use and/or perhaps implying they don’t do it as often. Come on, aren’t adults often in front of a computer screen all day at work?

“But these things cause special harm to developing young minds!”

How convenient. A supposed age-based safety differential giving someone carte blanche to say “It’s fine if I do it but BAD BAD BAD if you do, so your use should be shamed and restricted!”

Actually, how healthy the activity is isn’t even the point. It’s an excuse, a grasping for straws when called out on a statement made for entirely other reasons. And those reasons are just repeating “common knowledge” for the purpose of trying to make a point or further some other agenda. Sadly, I even see things like this done in youth rights circles (though they tend to recant when pointed out).

Though in those cases, it’s that use of such devices is seen as being a slave to some kind of corporate machine, that this is the only refuge of young people because they lack proper social engagement. Well, there’s the obvious in that every one of these screen activities can and often does involve interacting with other people. It also ignores that, well, maybe it isn’t the result of being some kind of corporate slave but rather simply one’s chosen leisure activity or method of work or communication or entertainment. I wonder that such statements are made without much thought but just with the assumption that everyone agrees with you so elaboration is unnecessary.

That kids watching TV is just such a given taboo, that adults are supposed to hiss at the very idea, that every second must surely be damaging their brains. Why, it might damage their brains so much they grow up into adults who have nothing better to do than obsess over how they spend their leisure time when such time is spent much the same way as adults. But if kids do it, it must be up for scrutiny, of course! 🙄

December 8, 2013

But I Want THAT ONE

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 8:31 pm

I’m increasingly believing that advertising executives have no souls. Certainly they have no shame about the mass genocide of brain cells they commit, hoping enough brain cells will die in any given individuals that they’d want to buy whatever they are selling. The makers of Fiat commercials certainly come to mind, but that’s not the topic at the moment, and the stupidity of those speaks for itself anyway.

I have a special loathing for the commercials running these days in which someone or some people want a newer version of their gadget and make this happen by… intentionally destroying or losing their current one. There’s one ad with a bunch of people dropping their phones in blenders or leaving them in microwaves or bathrooms, after finding out about a newer one they’d rather have. In another, a guy wants his employer to give him a new laptop so he intentionally spills coffee on his so they’d have to.

The loathing reaches a new level when I realize that the main words that come to mind about these people is “spoiled brats”. Because there’s certainly the trope about kids and teens wanting some new toy or bike or clothes or something, perhaps losing or destroying the current ones. There was even a Simpsons episode where Bart intentionally destroyed his bike so Homer would buy him a nice new one. Or the stereotypically rich teenage girl who gets a new Ferrari for her birthday but screams and cries because it’s blue instead of red. When it’s young people, such behavior is (rightly) seen as distasteful. But when it’s adults, apparently something we’re supposed to identify with?

Seriously, fuck ageism, because I want to call these people spoiled brats but that term is very ageist, but I can’t think of another term that means the same basic thing without implying anything about age. Grrr. :doitnow:

December 6, 2013

The Prime Directive

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Decrees!,Idiot Box,What the hell? — Katrina @ 2:28 pm

I hereby decree…

Screw the Prime Directive.

Been watching a lot of Star Trek: The Next Generation lately. I like it, but one thing that just keeps pissing me off is the Prime Directive, that Starfleet may not interfere with another planet’s way of life, must not reveal themselves before that planet is “ready”, even when a situation is life-threatening to one individual or to the whole damn society.

Yeah, seriously, even where the whole planet is in danger. In one episode, Worf’s human brother saved a society whose planet was about to be destroyed by stashing them in the holodeck until they could get them to another planet, all without them knowing what’s actually happening because they don’t know about space yet and can’t know because Prime Directive. And the Enterprise crew was all pissed at Worf’s brother because of this, that he didn’t just let them all die, because Prime Directive.

Then there’s when Deanna Troi’s usually-nonsensical mother Lwaxana is the only one making any damn sense when a man she meets is about to turn 60 and thus according to his planet’s culture, he was celebrate his life and then kill himself because they’re all like “eww, old people!” And Lwaxana is the only one who rightly calls this shit out for being despicable, while her daughter and everyone else is all like “it’s their culture, it’s not our place, I’m sure our traditions look just as weird, PRIME DIRECTIVE!”

I’m thinking of the popular image of Picard facepalming, except he’s on the receiving end of this one.

Cultural relativism is one thing. Yeah, people have their different celebrations and symbols and whatnot, and that’s where such open-mindedness makes sense. But then there’s moral relativism, as if this tolerance must carry over even to things that are actually heinous and wrong, and that is not okay. If the best its adherents can come up with is “you’re not one of us, this is our culture, don’t criticize our beliefs!” Go to hell. Your beliefs are stupid and are maiming and/or killing people.

And even beyond that, the Prime Directive forbids interacting too much with planets that haven’t ventured into space yet. There are episodes where the people on such a planet find out about the Enterprise and that there’s life beyond their planet, and their society is then somehow damaged over it, whether their top scientists want to leave and explore the galaxy or they just plain go ape shit over it in some way. So, basically, leaving some planet to live under the delusion there’s nothing beyond their society and thus missing out on greater knowledge is the right thing to do? These are questions brought up in such episodes, yet there’s still Picard and others so sure they “ruined” the society by arriving there.

Maybe what is ruined by mere knowledge deserve to be ruined.

February 22, 2013

Downton Rage

Filed under: Idiot Box,WTF Did I Just Write? — Katrina @ 5:53 pm

So I’ve finally gotten into Downton Abbey. I’ve pretty much only seen the third season, save bits and pieces of earlier ones. My parents had been watching it from the beginning. And, well, the Crawley family matriarch is played by Minerva McGonagall so who can resist? 😛

Well, it’s been a turbulent season. So I figured I’d share this is the most awesome way possible… with Rage Comics. Enjoy!

(Also, goes without saying, but LOTS AND LOTS OF SPOILERS ahead so don’t click through or read more if you care.)
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December 27, 2012

Why, Animaniacs? Why?

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 1:27 pm

Why the “Katie Ka-Boom” segment? What the fuck?

I watched this show 20 years ago, though rather on and off. Why? Because every now and then, some of the segments just bugged me. Really, I think the only ones I consistently liked were the Yakko, Wakko, and Dot ones, and maybe Slappy and Skippy, Goodfeathers, and Rita and Runt. The rest is either frustrating, like Mindy and Buttons. Stupid, like Chicken Boo. And, of course, just wildly offensive like Katie Ka-Boom.

There was a marathon of it on the Hub on Christmas Eve, and I like their Christmas specials. And seems the show is coming on that channel regularly in January. First thought was, yay, I like that show, get to see an old show of mine again! Then I remembered the love-hate relationship with it, that so many segments of the show I prefer to change the channel from.

Particularly Katie Ka-Boom, the teenage girl who explodes in hulk-like fury at the slightest unhappiness, something of which her parents and little brother live in constant fear. Every segment has something frustrate her, usually her family doing something stupid or a guy being a minute late for a date, and then she screams and turns into some kind of fire-breathing monster or some shit, and afterward she reverts to normal and is even friendly, and to close out the segment her parents make some disgusting comment about teenagers.

There’s a certain sadness in seeing blatant anti-teen sentiment in cartoons meant for an audience that has yet to reach their teen years (“fingerprints” joke notwithstanding). Spongebob Squarepants is about as bad when Mr. Krabs’s daughter Pearl is in an episode, behaving like every teen girl stereotype the show’s writers could come up with.

Why are children being told that in a few years they are going to grow into an age group during which they’ll be horrible and their parents will hate them? Or is this being done hoping the kids will behave differently once they reach their teens? Except their behavior doesn’t actually matter, since all anyone will care about then is their age, and every single action they make will be derided as “stupid teenager”. They can’t win, and their elders just want to make fun of them for it. What the fuck?

December 18, 2012

Shut Up, Charlie Brown

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,Think About It!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:02 pm

I’ve never understood the complaint about Christmas being “too commercial”. Charlie Brown bitches about it when Snoopy puts up Christmas lights on his dog house to win a cash prize in a contest and when Sally wants tens and twenties from Santa Claus.

What the fuck does that even mean? Too commercial? Is that basically the dumbass complaint about materialism?

Well, it did finally occur to me what this common complaint is about. The whole “you should buy this because Christmas” stuff. The implicit negligence of what the holiday is really about (a loaded question itself, but I digress) and exploiting its importance for profit.

So I’m understanding some more why I wasn’t seeing what this “commercialism” of Christmas means. Everything from decorations to cookies to bad reindeer sweaters involves buying something. Even the things that are homemade still require the purchase of materials and ingredients, so someone is still profiting. Not to mention the air fares and toll roads for those traveling. One way or another, Christmas is hellbent on parting you from your cash. Because commercialism. Because consumerism. Because avarice and greed.

Oh noes, Christmas is so corrupted!

Just one thing about that…

If it weren’t for Christmas being so economically beneficial, we probably wouldn’t be celebrating it.

We’ve only been celebrating Christmas as it is for a century and a half. I mean, obviously, Jesus and Mithra and countless winter solstice observances are significantly older, yes, but Christmas was never the big deal it is now until mid to late 19th century. As in around the time Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was written. As in around the time “Visit from Saint Nicholas” was written. As in… around the time Thanksgiving was invented.

Yeah. That’s what Thanksgiving is about, too. It’s only been a holiday since around the late 19th century and the specific reason for it was to officially “open” the Christmas season. The pilgrim story was tacked on (which makes the complaints about Thanksgiving “celebrating genocide” just that much stupider). With the day before it being the busiest travel day and the day after it the biggest shopping day, yeah, it’s pretty cha-ching! Because the getting together with family and giving thanks is so important!

These things didn’t spring up overnight, of course. A number of shifts within our cultures led to the establishment of this more modern holiday season. Industrial revolution, mainly. That was also around the time the institution of childhood was seen as worthy of protection (something with a lot of youth rights effects, for sure!), and as such, there were more toys. And then toys for children at Christmas. Leading, of course, to toy and other industries benefiting from the Christmas gift giving, leading to stimulated economy.

Well, something like that. 😛

In any case, for something like Christmas to survive and be the big deal it is in our society, in our world in fact, there needs to be some tangible benefit in it. And that benefit is, of course, all the money that gets spent for Christmas reasons.

And the thing is, it’s not without benefits coming right back. Don’t just mean gifts. We get Christmas movies and Christmas songs that we love (for the most part). We get Christmas plays and parties. We get the exchange of Christmas stories. We get awesome decorations and twinkling lights. And, of course, cards and cookies! 😀

Irony shouldn’t be lost, though, that this commercialism of Christmas is even the reason we get Christmas TV specials like, say, Charlie Brown’s special where he bitches about commercialism!

December 10, 2012

Anakin

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,Think About It! — Katrina @ 3:56 pm

So, unlike most of the rest of the world, I actually like the Star Wars prequels. I also sort of think much of the hate they get was inevitable, that being a later set, there was nothing that could have been in them that anyone would have liked. It’s also sort of the “cool” thing to say they’re bad.

Very common complaint was that the famous villain-turned-good Darth Vader, known well already as some badass in a big black robot suit, appears as not only human but… an emotional being! And… young! Especially in The Phantom Menace, because – oh noes! – he’s a child! And the presence of children offends people.

Okay, so, aside from the horrifying realization that Darth Vader was ever young, there’s also that he was a good guy and human. That he spent all of Attack of the Clones and the first part of Revenge of the Sith stupidly in love with Padme. And with it came the cheesy dialogue. Even after he turned evil, still with the cheesy dialogue. And he was whiny and demanding.

That’s all true. But here’s what gets conveniently ignored and forgotten… All six movies have cheesy dialogue, from all characters!

Also, Anakin was whiny and demanding? Alright, let’s play a little game. Imagine all of pre-Dark Side Anakin’s dialogue being said by Darth Vader, with James Earl Jones’s voice. And vice versa: imagine all of Darth Vader’s original trilogy dialogue being said by pre-Dark Side Anakin Skywalker, by Hayden Christensen.

Funny, I’m sure which one sounds whiny and demanding is a little less clear now. Original trilogy Darth Vader is in that big dark mechanical suit and much older, so of course his dialogue will be construed as menacing and badass, while that of young human Anakin, even if the same damn words, will be construed as some spoiled brat whining about something.

In the original trilogy, yes, Darth Vader is still demanding. Much of that owing to him being, you know, evil. And the evil guy in charge. And he’s even still whiny. It just doesn’t seem so since the whininess is usually accompanied by a choking.

December 3, 2012

Dear Tide Parents

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 6:43 pm

Yeah, you, the parents in the Tide commercial griping about your college grad triplets being unemployed and living with you.

Fuck you.

While I’ll certainly agree they should be doing their own laundry, besides that, quit your bitching.

First of all, if they’re unemployed and recently out of college, chances are the alternative to living with you is homelessness.

Second, it’s hard to find a job immediately after graduation, especially depending on what they studied. I didn’t have a job for 14 months after I graduated, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. And I studied science! And even if they do have a job, depending on where they’d live, it’d probably take a while before they’d have enough money for moving out to be feasible.

Third, your idiotic complaining is just more “let’s make fun of millennials as being lazy and entitled”. There’s this cute little assumption that making these snide remarks about teens and twenty-somethings is somehow helpful, but it isn’t. It so isn’t. It’s rude. It’s bigoted. And it just makes you assholes.

So shut your cry-holes, “mature” adults!

December 2, 2012

The Disney Sigh

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box — Katrina @ 8:22 pm

It is a special reaction. Where one must sigh in exasperation, shake the head, all while saying “oh, Disney…”

I had one of those moments the other day when I was watching Fantasia. Hadn’t seen it in a long time.

Then I saw the part of the Nutcracker Suite segment with the mushrooms. You know the ones. They have diagonal slits for eyes. The caps are really wide like those hats. They dance around in a perpetual bow with hands pressed together.

Yeah…

The same reaction as to the crows from Dumbo. Or the Siamese cats from Lady and the Tramp.

Though it was the Pastoral Symphony segment, preceded by a description of that segment in which the word “centaurette” was used, that made me want to slap someone. -_-

November 23, 2012

Blanket

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,Think About It! — Katrina @ 9:37 pm

So I’m watching some new Peanuts TV special called “Happiness Is a Warm Blanket”, which is about, of course, Linus’s blanket, and the pressure he’s under to give it up and stop carrying it everywhere. It’s the typical “you’re too old for that, stop being a baby and give up the habit already”.

Fuck you, why should he?!

He’s not hurting anybody. Nor is any other kid who maintains some harmless habit or attachment despite being technically “too old”. Then again, some of those things can be creepy. The blanket is not one of them.

I myself had a cherished blanket when I was little. There are even pictures of me wrapped in it as a newborn. Never been Linus with it, carrying it everywhere or anything like that, but I liked it a lot.

And yet… where is it now?

Right fucking next to me, that’s where! :doitnow:

June 21, 2012

Protect the Squeamish Ageist Adults!

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Idiot Box,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 3:20 pm

Nothing like sitting through an R-rated movie being played on basic cable, with half the dialogue either changed or silenced because of “offensive language”. When I think about it, it’s really offensive to me that it’s censored at all. How stupid do you think I am, that I can’t handle the word fuck? That you need to protect my gentle ears from hearing it.

Oh, what’s that? I’m 29 so I’m not one of the people being protected by this? Well, I must be, because it’s still censored. I’d have to either watch this movie on a premium movie channel (which I don’t get) or rent or buy it. Hmm. Maybe it’s a marketing move in that way. Even though I have no real interest in buying the movie anyway.

Ah, but the official reason is that the censorship is to “protect the children” from hearing these naughty words.

First of all, as I say frequently, so what if they hear (or say) these words?

Second of all, it’s interesting what words are and aren’t okay. Watch Forrest Gump on TNT. They have to blur out the “Shit Happens” bumper sticker, yet in a few scenes the N-word is said and is visibly written in the background, totally uncensored. An almost meaningless word for feces is unacceptable, yet they greenlight a racial slur? Um, racial slurs are the ACTUAL bad offensive words! Should they be censored? No. But if censoring offensive things is the idea, you’d think that’d be the first thing!

Third of all, my 8-year-old brother and I were watching Family Guy recently, and there was one line where a word was bleeped. He promptly turned to me and said “I know what he said! He said fuck!” Yeah, even the people you’re hiding the words from totally know what words go there. So… fail.

And… how many children do you know who have been contacting the FCC complaining that something on the TV was too mature for their fragile little minds? Oh, there are children who buy into the “bad words are bad for kids” thing. Hell, I grudgingly admit that when I was 11 I was sort of one of them. The reason wasn’t that I actually believed that, though. I only held the idea because I knew such a belief was pleasing to the adults around me. It was prior to my realization that my age kept the adults from respecting me no matter what I did, that beliefs like this just made them happy I was being their lap dog. And so many kids buy into that at their peers’ expense. But that’s what it comes down to. The desire to please adults is why some kids are against “swear words”, not that they have some personal conviction (well, some might).

No, the people who scream back and forth over appropriateness of media content is entirely adults. It is the supposedly mature adults who can’t handle the idea of kids hearing someone say “bullshit” or seeing an accidental half-time show nipple slip. You know who can handle it just fine? The kids themselves!

Seriously, that nipple thing. Everybody has nipples! Half of them have the dreaded baby-feeding female nipples! They need only look down to see nipples. Children are only a few years past being the ones feeding from those nipples, and I hope somebody told the little girls they’ll be growing those things before too long. Censoring body parts? Do these complaining people not shower, because they might realize they have these evil parts? And the ones who are parents, how did that happen, as that happens through having sex which involves – gasp! – being naked!

Conveniently, it seems it’s only adult nudity they’re (usually) all that pissy about. Interesting.

Let’s be honest. There is no censorship that protects children. It only protects adults. Or, no, not really. It protects no one.

And the “protect the children” thing is just an excuse anyway. They only say that because “hide words and things that make squeamish adults cry” sounds less noble. Maybe we should stick to calling it what it is.

In other news, a Michigan legislator just recently got in trouble for saying “vagina” on the House floor. And people think teens aren’t mature enough to vote?!

This has been Day 29 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 12.

May 31, 2012

Because You Think It’s True

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Decrees!,Idiot Box,Think About It! — Katrina @ 3:01 pm

I hereby decree…

Comedians are not philosophers!

Jokes have nothing to teach you. Hey, I love jokes! Don’t misunderstand. But they provide you no new wisdom. If they did, they wouldn’t work.

For example, consider this classic: “Horse walks into a bar and the bartender asks ‘Why the long face?'”

See, if you weren’t aware of the shape of a horse’s head, you wouldn’t get that joke. If you weren’t aware of the idiom “long face” to mean sad or depressed, you wouldn’t get that joke. The joke only works if you’re aware of these things, and the entire point is to elicit a chuckle at the clever word play.

Comedians are people whose jobs are to tell jokes. A stand-up show is like an hour of jokes flowing into each other. Therefore, they have nothing to teach you, because if they were to provide you with new information, you wouldn’t understand any of it and therefore wouldn’t get the jokes and would not be amused. So they say things based on what they assume you already know or believe.
(more…)

February 27, 2012

Varying Princesses

Filed under: Estrogen,Idiot Box — Katrina @ 1:18 pm

Yeah, I’m thinking about Disney movies again.

You know what bugs me? Seeing all the Disney princesses lumped together. Snow White. Cinderella. Aurora (maybe). Jasmine. Ariel. Belle. Pocahontas (maybe). Well, that’s not all the princesses, missing Eilonwy and a few others, but you get the idea.

But, yeah, the thing is… not all of those characters are the same. For one, Snow White and Cinderella are from around World War II, while Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine are from the early 90’s. A lot of feminism happened in the interim. And it shows.

You really cannot compare Snow White (from 1937) with Jasmine (from 1992). You cannot paint those two with the same brush. Because, simply, Snow White sucks, and Jasmine is awesome.
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February 7, 2012

Disney Captivity

Filed under: Estrogen,Idiot Box,What the hell? — Katrina @ 10:11 pm

So… I’m thinking of a popular animated Disney movie. Let’s see if you can figure out which one I mean!

Main character passes through a scary night in a strange unknown place, having lost someone. Then main character, upon being discovered by those who live in said strange unknown place, who in real life are inanimate objects but for the movie’s sake they can talk, is now being held prisoner there! Sure, they try to make friends with this imprisoned visitor otherwise, but still, the main character is trapped, unable to leave, forbidden from contacting the outside world.

Those in this strange place are also under some hard times, have been for a while, and are always waiting for a miracle to save them.

Main character does finally escape and gets away faster and faster… only to get caught and returned, imprisoned again.

The main captor offers the main character better place to spend the night than the original prison-like conditions, a move the main character sees as a great kindness despite still being just as senselessly trapped there.

In fact, the main character even begins to fall in love with the captor! Despite still being, you know, a prisoner.

When at long last the main character is liberated… just turns right back around and returns to the place of imprisonment, having fallen in love with the main captor and befriended the former jailers. And in doing so fulfills the miracle they long awaited.

The end.

OMG! Did you see that? Fell in love with the captor and returned even when finally freed? Stockholm Syndrome much, Disney?

So… what movie am I describing?

Yup, you know which one.

The movie I’m describing is…


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