Klostermeme XII

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

How would your views about war, politics, and the role of the military change if all future conflicts were fought by armies of robots (that is to say, if all nations agreed to conduct wars exclusively with machines so that human casualties would be virtually nonexistent)?

My Answer: Putting aside the fact that armies of robots is a bad idea (all it takes is one self-aware robot and we are SCREWED!), I would certainly feel BETTER about war if there were no human casualties. But I still think that violence is pretty futile and doesn’t really solve the issues at the core of any conflict. There are always going to be times when physical conflict is necessary (WWII), but for the most part, negotiation is the best way to end a conflict. If you’re already agreeing with every nation that you will use robots, why not agree on other terms as well so the robots never have to be turned on?

Of course, all it takes is one country to break their promise and program their robots to kill people. So I guess my views don’t really change much. I’m a pacifist who doesn’t believe that everybody will be willing to play by the rules.

Klosterman Theory: He would be fine with this. He doesn’t fear robots.

Your answers in the comments!

Yes We Can Dig It

I pilfered this awesome video from the fabulous Beaucoup Kevin, posted in anticipation for the Obama’s speech at the DNC tonight, which parallels Obama with the character of Cyrus in The Warriors: The man who would unify all of the New York gangs to bring about change and, more importantly, peace. I just hope it turns out a bit better for Obama than it did for Cyrus…

About That “Retard” Thing in Tropic Thunder

simple jackI finally got around to seeing Tropic Thunder. I didn’t laugh as much as I was hoping to. Perhaps I read way too much about it beforehand. That’s one of the downsides to living in the information age. It’s difficult to be surprised. There is also the small problem of me being incapable of liking anything that Tom Cruise does. I don’t find him funny or charming. I find that his every performance and appearance seethes smugness and I just want to punch him square in his smug jaw (after kicking him in the smugnuts).

But one thing I knew I would LOVE was the “retard” bit. Not because I think making fun of the mentally challenged is funny, but because I think actors playing mentally challenged characters for Oscar bait is horrible and someone needs to call it out. Mr. Show did a good job of it with their Dewey Awards/Bob Lamonta sketch but it wasn’t mainstream enough to make an impact. Ben Stiller, on the other hand, brought people to the theaters in droves to expose this disturbing Hollywood truth. Of course, there were a lot of people who still didn’t get it.

the other sisterBen Stiller and co. aren’t “making fun of retards”. They are making fun of the Hollywood construct of the “retard”. Characters like Sam, Radio, the sister that rode the bus and The Other Sister. There is actually no such thing as a “retard”. They are as real as the Unicorn, invented by Hollywood to teach us “valuable life lessons” and “the true meaning of love”. They are caricatures of real mentally challenged people with real problems. They don’t say the darnedest things. They aren’t God’s Little Angels. They attempt to live normal lives. They have jobs and relationships. They get angry and depressed and yes, they also have laugh and have fun, but not ALL THE TIME. Why? Because they are human beings. You know which film actor’s portrayal of a mentally challenged character was the most realistic? Billy Bob Thornton’s in Sling Blade. That is pretty pathetic.

radioI’m not saying someone NEEDS to make a reasonable movie about a mentally challenged character to rectify this. I’m just saying that the ones we have warrant dissection and ridicule. Even the “half-retard” movies like Forest Gump (a film with several offensive characters besides the protagonist) and Rain Man.

I’d also really like it if audiences would maybe think about the context of a scene, especially one in a satirical movie, and not just get all reactionary about a single word. People can be so retarded sometimes.

NFT Radar: Molly Moon’s

Oh Molly Moon’s. How thankful I am that I have to walk almost 2 miles to your doorstep. Otherwise I would surely be as large as the cows from whence their 16 delectable flavors come. Sure, they have the classic Neopolitan trinity. But how could you even THINK of ordering vanilla when you could have Scout Mint (as in the coveted seasonal cookies), Honey Lavender or Mandarin Chocolate Sorbet. There’s nothing better than the one-two taste punch of sweet and salty. And you can satisfy that craving with the Balsamic Strawberry (featuring large stripes of that delicious dark nectar), the Maple Walnut or the more pointed Salted Caramel. If you’re after a caffeinated kick to your sugar rush, you might go for the Thai Iced Tea or the Vivace Coffee which is freckled with ground-up coffee beans. Of course you can sample any flavor before committing to a giant scoop in your fresh waffle cone. This is useful for anyone skeptical of a cardamom-based desert (though even that is pretty good). Much to the chagrin of my pants, one can also buy their favorite flavor by the pint or quart. On a hot Seattle day, you’ll find a line out the door. But I promise it’s well worth the wait.

molly moons
1622 N 45th St 98103
206-618-4934
www.mollymoonicecream.com

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

Klostermeme XI

Chuck Klosterman IV is rife with meme fodder. The Klostermeme series features these questions, my answers, my speculations on how Klosterman would answer and an invitation to the reader to answer these questions in the comments!

hitler walletIt is 1933. You are in Berlin, Germany. Somehow, you find yourself in a position where you can effortlessly steal Adolf Hitler’s wallet. This theft will not effect Hitler’s rise to power, the nature of WWII, or the Holocaust. There is no important identification in the wallet, but the act will cost Hitler forty Reichsmarks and completely ruin his evening. You do not need the money. The odds that you will be caught committing this crime are less than 2%.

Are you ethically obligated to steal Hitler’s wallet?

My Answer: Ethically, no. Not if it doesn’t effect history in any significant way. But it sure would be cool if you did.

Klosterman Theory: Yes.

What do you think? Answer in the comments!

Purple Veined Russell Crowe Joke

Am I in favor of a Bill Hicks biopic? Of course. Despite being the most intelligent, thoughtful, dark, hilarious stand-up comedian in the history of guys telling jokes to an audience, Bill Hicks is still relatively unknown. At least in the states. In Britain, he is worshiped for the comedy profit he is and it was in Britain that I first learned about him. Still, you can see his influence in the more popular “indie” comedians of today: Janeane Garofalo, Patton Oswalt and especially David Cross.

Bill Hicks died from cancer at age 32. This was, as they say, too young; not just because of his age, but because we desperately need Hicks around today. Hicks was angry. Anger was a huge part of his act. Of course, it wasn’t an act. When he was on stage, he utterly exposed his soul. You could see it and hear it. Probably touch it if you got close enough. He had a lot to be angry about. We were a nation involved in a futile war, having been driven there by a poor “Commander-in-Chief”. Mental junkfood filled our television networks and air waves. The American public had become a reactionary mob. Sound familiar?

bill hicksHicks saw through all of it and had the balls to talk about it plainly. He did this because it troubled him and he wanted to bring these problems to light so that we wouldn’t destroy ourselves. He also threw some jokes in there. He was a furious fireball surrounding a big white light of hope. I get misty just typing these words. I hate to sound all “Candle in the Wind” about it but I miss him terribly and I never even met him. He died when I was 16. I didn’t even learn about him until 2 years later. But at least I learned about him. And I want everyone to know about him. I want his message spread to the young people who still think comedy is Dane Cook and to the older folks who he somehow eluded. But not this way. Not with a two-dimensional, middle-aged goon filling his shoes.

I’m referring to Russell Crowe, the “actor” who is rumored to be donning black urban cowboy threads and learning to bellow into a microphone for an upcoming Bill Hicks biopic.

Well, I’m with those South Park boys. Russell Crowe is an awful person. That is why it literally pains me to hear there’s a good chance he will be the one bringing Bill Hicks into the collective consciousness. Since Hicks is still relatively obscure and Crowe is a big overrated movie star, his portrayal will become Bill Hicks’ shorthand. The worst part is that Bill Hicks would have hated Russell Crowe too. He would have loathed his vapid pseudodrama roles in A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man. And he would have been especially appalled by Crowe: the man whatwithwith his awful vanity band and hooligan tendencies.

So before this happens, I’m going to fire on all cylinders to spread the gospel of Hicks…the REAL Hicks. First, drop whatever you’re doing and spend the afternoon watching the man in action. Language is NSFW so wear headphones or sneak out of the office.

Next buy this book: “American Scream” is a fantastic biography. I knew the ending and I still bawled like a baby.

Finally, do yourself a favor and buy the entire audio catalog. Load up your ipod and jump into the River Hicks to, as the man himself would say, squeegee your third eye. That way you’ll know the truth on the day that Russell Crowe drops a metaphorical turd onto the memory of this great American poet.

What Could Be Wrong With Our Child?

Mark my words, this child will destroy us all:

suri cruise

See more disturbing pictures of Suri Cruise here, including one in which she tells her doll about her plans for banding together with the JLo twins to usher in the End of Days.