David Thompson
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December 08, 2020

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svh

Got woke, went mental.

David

Got woke, went mental.

I remember thinking that some of his film reviews, published years ago, were entertaining and quite insightful. It does seem that his recent wokeness has unspooled his mind, or at least coincided with the unspooling. Though it’s possible that he was always rather obnoxious and just kept it to himself. I mean, one of the signatures of wokeness is that one has to signal, loudly and at length, just how obnoxious one is, while feigning bewilderment at the inevitable reaction, along with victimhood.

Basically, it’s a variation of the feminist-shovels-shit meme.

Sam Duncan

There's an Animaniacs quote for everything.

Min

Wasn't he stalking some woman on Twitter?

Squires

Someone get that man a hysterectomy.

David

Wasn’t he stalking some woman on Twitter?

I don’t know about stalking, but if memory serves he was trying to give his Twitter followers the impression that he was close to a woman he’d actually met only once, briefly - at a comics convention, I think – and who in fact found him rather creepy. To the extent that she had repeatedly asked him to stop pretending that they were friends.

It’s almost funny, in a sad and faintly disturbing kind of way.

David

Ah yes, there we go.

It crops up towards the end of the Bob’s Greatest Hits video linked in the post.

Min

To the extent that she had repeatedly asked him to stop pretending that they were friends.

That's it.

Another one for the creepy male feminist file.

David

Another one for the creepy male feminist file.

Quite.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

From the resurrected Orwell, a lady with a bag on her face, gimp mask virus projectors, and the James Gang play muffled saxophones.

asiaseen

It's not late for a post-partum abortion Mr(?) Chipman.

asiaseen

Insert "too" before "late"

Daniel Ream

comics convention

'Nuff said.

faintly disturbing kind of way

The word faintly is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence.

The confluence of underage teenage girls dressed like they're going to a strip club Halloween party, "cosplay is not consent", and the alarming tendency of habitual con-goers to excuse or defend predation is a perfect storm.

pst314

shares his deep, uplifting philosophy

From the comments in that link:
"Moviebob is such a strange character it would be kind of sad without him. I would miss his 'Exterminate the inferior humans who don't like Marvel movies' takes."

Sporkatus

One of the infantile outgrowths of the Social Darwinist attempts to reorder morality a century and more ago is that, since "social contract" ethics form only a broad overall sensibility, what elevates one ape over another can be none but intelligence.

"Smart is good and good is smart". A self-flattery that once provided cover for abuse of the "lesser races" (and still does, more quietly), and allows for categorization of one's enemies as subject to mental defect as well as inferior morals. The more interesting part of the sleight of hand is the ego trap laid for the stupid or unimaginative: "Believe this, and you too are 'smart'". Quite the restatement of "eat and you will be as gods, knowing good and evil", I suppose.

And yet, most do not explicitly say "All people not so smart as me are sinful". That's where MovieBob lays on the irony to an astonishing degree. He simple-mindedly and without nuance, as a stupid person, condemns all those who are stupid as evil without qualification, and is then too stupid to recognize why people might object to this. He is, further, too stupid to recognize that the people he elevates as political idols did not get there by dint of one-dimensional smarts - and that this is clear to almost anybody. Nor that being bitchy might cause some people to believe he's not "good" - can't you see how smart he is? He's good, you open-mawed slack-jawed prole lumps!

It's like a Klein bottle of Dunning-Kruger.

David

The word faintly is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence.

Well, quite. And yes, it’s practically farce.

Thing is, Mr Chipman wasn’t entirely without talent. Some of his videos from a few years ago, when his leftward tendencies were merely an occasional irritation and not the dominant theme, were entertaining. And popular – he’d regularly get hundreds of thousands of viewers. But his leftist impulses became more pronounced and his thoughts on film and pop culture became correspondingly doctrinaire, resulting in the alienation of much of his audience.

I imagine this loss of popularity, and presumably income, left him somewhat resentful. And instead of pondering what it was that repelled much of his audience, and rethinking his assumptions, he seems to have doubled down on them, and doubled down again, with louder declarations of woke piety, and spiteful ramblings about “mediocre white men.” Oh, and a stated belief that the way to improve the world is to find a non-leftwing person, any non-leftwing person, and make their “day/week/life a little bit miserable.”

As a personal trajectory, it’s not ideal; but as an illustration of the psychology with which leftism so often goes hand in hand, it’s quite instructive.

Sporkatus

...the way to improve the world is to find a non-leftwing person, any non-leftwing person, and make their “day/week/life a little bit miserable.”

It's a good thing that increasing societal entropy and mistrust is exactly the same thing as "trimming the fat"/reducing what we don't want in society.

Otherwise this could possibly be counterproductive, or even read as an endorsement of being spitefully evil to no aim so long as all one's spiteful evil papers are in order.

pst314

"Smart is good and good is smart". A self-flattery that once provided cover for abuse of the "lesser races" (and still does, more quietly), and allows for categorization of one's enemies as subject to mental defect as well as inferior morals. The more interesting part of the sleight of hand is the ego trap laid for the stupid or unimaginative: "Believe this, and you too are 'smart'". Quite the restatement of "eat and you will be as gods, knowing good and evil", I suppose.

Well said.

aelfheld

Chipman, among others, raises the question as to whether 'wokeness' causes mental aberration or mental aberration causes 'wokeness'.

David

Quite the restatement of “eat and you will be as gods, knowing good and evil”, I suppose.

Mr Chipman famously told his inferiors - which I suppose means me, thee, everyone here, and their friends and families – that, “The left needs to fall back in love with the understanding that ‘the people’ are stupid and will generally need to be circumvented or misled.”

By people such as himself, one assumes. These numinous beings.

Darleen

How dare you hurt "us" with your [checks notes] Christmas lights.

David

How dare you hurt “us” with your [checks notes] Christmas lights.

Given the moral breathlessness, I was expecting something really garish and aesthetically indecent. But the object of disapproval is actually quite restrained. I think we can therefore assume that the scolding is purely recreational. Which is to say, an act of petty spite.

See Mr Chipman’s advice, above, about finding pleasure in making someone’s day “a little bit miserable.”

Darleen

But the object of disapproval is actually quite restrained

If I had received a letter like that, I would being going full Clark Griswold on my home.

My own neighborhood has more homes with lights than I've seen in a while. I think people really want some semblance of cheer even as California has been locked down again for the next 3 weeks. -- This is my county sheriff and it might be his attitude that has us feeling hopeful.

Sue Sims

Actually, there's no indication that the writer of the Scroogish letter feels herself (I'm positive she's female - the gracious bitchiness is typical) to be personally injured or even offended. It's all about 'our neighbours' who might possibly dislike these lights.

Isn't this totally characteristic of this type of interfering old trout? They wouldn't dream of feeling resentful - resentment (which is, of course, the name of the game) would be unworthy of such spiritual and high-minded people. But there's a possibility that someone, somewhere, might look at those lights and think "I wish we could afford them" - and that would never do! And if that's the case, then our Ms Trout can preen herself (sorry about the mixed metaphor) on her wonderful sensitivity and empathy towards everyone except, of course, her crass, deplorable neighbours.

Daniel Ream

then our Ms Trout can preen herself (sorry about the mixed metaphor) on her wonderful sensitivity and empathy towards everyone except, of course, her crass, deplorable neighbours.

At what point did we all forget that Hyacinth Bucket was supposed to be an object of derision?

David

My own neighborhood has more homes with lights than I’ve seen in a while.

I’ve noticed the neighbours’ Christmas lights have gone up a little earlier than usual, most likely for the same reason. And as someone who’s been known to drone on about how decorations should go up just before Christmas and then be taken down moments later, I’ve decided to be indulgent and forgiving.

#PersonalGrowth

Squires

"Moviebob is such a strange character it would be kind of sad without him. I would miss his 'Exterminate the inferior humans who don't like Marvel movies' takes."

So basically a shitty dalek, without the hard technological coating.

The Shitty Daleks is a band name.

RE: the inherent goodness of intelligence

I have watched a man with a 150+ IQ drive his vehicle into an area of a job site where he knew the client had been dumping horse manure for decades. He then refused to listen to my suggestion as to how he could get out, and instead followed his own plan on how to make the situation worse. Eventually the Forest Gumpish fellow who worked for the client came along and offered to pull him out with the tractor. This offer was accepted and the vehicle was extracted, though not without attempts at micromanaging the effort into fuckery.

Finally, the helper and I stood beside each other and watched the other guy set off down the narrow path between two fences, against the helper’s advice. Neither of us were surprised, or particularly sorry, when a significant portion of one quarter panel was left behind, hanging on the fence line.

PiperPaul

Everyone knows that the solution to being stuck is a whole lotta floorin'.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F62EEybpZQQ

Sporkatus

...Squires' story about the determined Genius Fool...

Intellect tends to drive capacity for reason and will. Of the two, only will can grow unchecked easily. You can minimally "think yourself smarter" if at all. Intellect also drives absorption, but self-absorption most of all if we're not careful - and will perverts reason while self-absorption distracts from it.

Next step: "The smartest man in the world just jumped out of the plane with my backpack" as in the old joke.

Don Kremer

#PersonalGrowth

Proud of you, tip jar hit.

David

Proud of you, tip jar hit.

Bless you, sir. When you spend the better part of an hour cleaning the bathroom, may your labours be noticed and appreciated.

Hal

Mr Bob Chipman, . . . shares his deep, uplifting philosophy.

FlynPigRanch

Darleen,
Sheriff Rick Bianco is the voice of reason, and hopefully the light at the end of the tunnel.
May his professional and articulate speech inspire others to seek the truth surrounding the Covid tyranny from "our Betters"

TomJ

The Forces have a phrase for the sort of chap Squiresdescribes: "Bright lad, no common". I sometimes wonder how often it was used of me when I was serving...

Mark

Completely OT, but after OrwellnGoode was doxxed by Antifa, his FB page etc was also purged.

Happily, you can find him on Gab:

https://gab.com/OrwellGoode

Farnsworth M Muldoon

@ Mark - he is back at twatter also.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

When I learned to drive, the solution to being stuck was to rock the vehicle out. Forward as far as you could go, reverse as far as you could go, repeat. It worked about half the time. In the snowy season, prudent drivers always invited a young woman in a miniskirt along, so that if you couldn’t rock out the vehicle, she could stand on the shoulder and stick her leg out. This would motivate some guy to stop, and politeness (a thing we had back then) would in turn motivate him to help push the vehicle free.

I haven’t been stuck in 30 years. Maybe transmissions are stronger, or tires are better constructed.

Richard Cranium

@Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat, I found that having a few articles of clothing (rags) would help a lot in getting a stuck vehicle out of snow.

I used to be an Armor officer and have a rather longish horror story about a jeep getting stuck in the snow during a map exercise that ended up with not only a stuck jeep but a stuck M62 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M54_5-ton_6x6_truck#M62_and_M543_Medium_Wrecker_Truck), an almost stuck M578 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M578_light_recovery_vehicle), and a definitely stuck M88 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M88_Recovery_Vehicle). Not to mention driving the M88 over a bridge that wasn't rated to support it.

Interestingly, that wasn't the worse night of my life. Whee.

Liz

To the extent that she had repeatedly asked him to stop pretending that they were friends.

He sounds nice and totally sane.

David

He sounds nice and totally sane.

Well, it’s another example of someone who professes high motives and great personal virtue, on account of being leftwing and therefore clever, and also a feminist, and whose supposed efforts to improve the world entail acts of petty malice against random strangers, being creepy towards women, the use of “white guy” as a pejorative, and fantasies of party-political eugenics.

It’s sort of, “I am clever and leftwing, the two being the same thing, and therefore I care about people more than you do. That’s why I want to make them miserable, and hurt them, and look forward to their deaths.”

Not exactly even-keeled, I know, but not, I think, as uncommon as one might suppose.

Zionist Overlord #73

"... therefore I care about people more than you do. That’s why I want to make them miserable..."

The ones he wants to make miserable aren't really people.

David

The ones he wants to make miserable aren’t really people.

As I’m sure I’ve said before, the more someone feels compelled to announce how virtuous they are, the more suspicion is warranted.

Richard Cranium

[...] and also a feminist [...]

Well, a lot of feminists do look like that. At least in terms of body mass and fat/muscle ratios.

Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

Brits, Listverse is not renowned for its accuracy. I know wassailing is real, but what about the other things?

https://listverse.com/2018/12/20/10-weird-british-christmas-traditions/?utm_source=seealso&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=direct

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...totally sane...

I am not at all sure what is happening here...

Nikw211

“I am clever and leftwing, the two being the same thing, and therefore I care about people more than you do. That’s why I want to make them miserable, and hurt them, and look forward to their deaths.”

As if on cue.

(And giving a nod of approval to the lyrics she refers to must have required disabling her faculties of irony and self-awareness first.)

Squires

...the lyrics she refers to...

The message would appear to be, “I, a black person, am an idiotic and hostile semiliterate. Give me money I haven’t earned and I will spend it on jewelry and substances useful for avoiding clarity of thought.”

ComputerLabRat

I am not at all sure what is happening here...

Is that for real?

Not only is it poorly written (persons 3 or greater means persons aged 3 or greater? or number of persons 3 or greater?), but it's horribly vague. What is an essential sexual activity involving 3 or more persons? Because the word nonessential assumes there is something defined as essential. And why do politicians get to decide what is essential vs nonessential sex? I thought the left wanted the government out of their bedrooms.

Also noting that their "health minister" doesn't exactly have a healthy BMI there, or is that fat shaming?

asiaseen

@ Lady C
Christmas traditions-Geese Dancers

In Derbyshire in the mid-1940s I recall the tailend of a similar pastime acted by teenage boys. I believe it was common in my village pre-WW2 but it wasn't a specifically Christmas custom AFAIK and not by that name.

Most of the other examples are locality specific as indicated by their names.

pst314

Is that for real?

A hasty internet search suggests that it is not.

WTP

...but what about the other things?

Kirkwall Ball (or Ba’), or as I first read about it, Orkney Ba', was one of the first stories that I discovered on the internet back in the early 90's. AIUI it is played on a couple of islands there but was ruined by hipster tourists.

David

...but what about the other things?

We are a proud people, and our ways are mysterious.

aelfheld
[...] I’ve decided to be indulgent and forgiving.

Let us not get carried away.

David

Yesterday, The Other Half brought home a Christmas gift from a client. A cardboard box containing butter, some posh coffee, a single pear, and an aubergine. I’m still not quite sure what to make of it. I did briefly wonder if it might be some kind of puzzle.

There was also a chocolate bunny, from someone else, but that no longer exists.

Sporkatus

There was also a chocolate bunny

I'll bet you ate the ears first so it could only hear its own screams through its hollow rabbit chocolate head.

You dangerous lunatic.

David

so it could only hear its own screams through its hollow rabbit chocolate head.

See, the whole hollow business is why chocolate bunnies, while appreciated, are usually just a little disappointing. I mean, it’s nice to be given chocolate in any form, but in terms of sheer chocolate volume, a fat bar of Cadbury’s would have been perfectly acceptable, and probably cheaper.

sk60

chocolate volume

Band name.

Sporkatus

Sheer Chocolate Volume's debut album "Eat the Ears" manages to be quaint and charming at the same time it is raucous and unsettling. Where it dips rather lower is in such numbers such as "Harry the Fat Bunny" which, truth be told, are not rich enough in the same kind of darkness as "Godiva" and ring a little bit hollow.
☆☆
-Allmusic

TomJ
Kirkwall Ball (or Ba’), or as I first read about it, Orkney Ba', was one of the first stories that I discovered on the internet back in the early 90's. AIUI it is played on a couple of islands there but was ruined by hipster tourists.

I scored a try in the Orkney Sevens, a tournament which is quite a Big Deal on the island, or was back then; 8 page pullout in the centre of The Orcadian and everything. I only mention this because, as a prop, tries are few and far between and one in 7s is practically a miracle...

See, the whole hollow business is why chocolate bunnies, while appreciated, are usually just a little disappointing.

I work for a hospital charity. As the pandemic gripped the nation in the run-up to Easter, a well-known chocolate firm based nearby donated 20,000 Easter eggs for the staff across the hospitals we cover. Have you ever tried storing and distributing 20,000 Easter eggs when you are not set up for that sort of volume of boxes of, as our gracious host so perspicaciously pointed out, mostly air? It rather monopolised my time for a while...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

A hasty internet search suggests that it is not.

She was until October the health minister though, and given some of the European sex bans, not all that far from fiction...

Sam

Thing is, Mr Chipman wasn’t entirely without talent.

I never understood the appeal, personally. Especially with Red Letter Media (who have the soft-lefty movie reviewer market cornered), center-right Critical Drinker, objective and intentionally non-political titan MauLer, and "far-right" and extremely entertaining E;R on offer. There's a few "riff to the camera" normie reviewers as well who get the job done without the smug leftwing sass.

For content so bad it requires it's own dedicated review genre I recommend Cynic Snacks.

While the mainstream dinosaur entertainment has gotten progressively worse, the critique industry has blossomed and is very often orders of magnitude more entertaining than the "entertainment" they review.

Steve E

A cardboard box containing butter, some posh coffee, a single pear, and an aubergine. I’m still not quite sure what to make of it.

Perhaps it's some sort of a mafia warning under omertà.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Perhaps it's some sort of a mafia warning under omertà.

Close, coffee dusted butter roasted pear and eggplant was a favorite dish of the Krays.

David

Perhaps it’s some sort of a mafia warning under omertà.

Or maybe it’s the fashion to give people boxes of random items. “Ooh, a tea towel, some kitchen spray, and a single left shoe, size 6.”

Mr. Saturn

Chipman is the very model of a sociopathic narcissist. He believes himself to be more important than he is, i.e. a super intellectual giant and a modern ubermensch. But really he is a 40 year old obese, diabetic manchild who reviews movies at a somewhat passable level. He thinks his contributions to society are so great when he is literally amongst the least valuable members of society. The fact that he thinks he can look his nose down on a working class people is especially galling.

10 years or so ago I was a fan. Our taste in videogames were similar but slowly I could tell there was a massive undercurrent a superiority complex and I stopped watching as it became more and more apparent. Twitter really let that problem blossom into whatever the hell kind of crap he is on now.

David

Twitter really let that problem blossom into whatever the hell kind of crap he is on now.

Dear Bob, our bringer of wisdom and charmer of maidens, claims that he is “being denied a better world because of… smaller minds.” That he should be drawn to wokeness isn’t entirely surprising, given its pull on the self-admiring and the psychologically marginal, and given that it’s a near-perfect excuse to openly resent people while exulting in petty malice.

WTP

But really he is a 40 year old obese, diabetic manchild who reviews movies at a somewhat passable level. He thinks his contributions to society are so great when he is literally amongst the least valuable members of society. The fact that he thinks he can look his nose down on a working class people is especially galling.

Except that he is legion. There are sufficient numbers of people like him who will perform as useful tools to support real, true, sociopathic evil. That RTSE uses them to pick off and destroy the very few remaining people who constitute what used to be normal society. Once the police are defunded, the populace disarmed, as they already mostly are outside of the US, the individuals' constitutional rights effectively eliminated, these tools will be empowered to finish us off (see tranny cop on other thread). And half of what used to be normal society will even join in out of fear of being socially excommunicated. It's already happened here in the US, we just have been pretending otherwise for a few years. Hell, we're even already disarmed. Only a few people know it. Kyle Rettrnhouse, George Zimmerman, every cop who has needed to use his weapon to defend his own life.

Fen Tiger

but what about the other things?

Having once been invited to take part, I can confirm that Grantchester barrel rolling does happen - but (I strongly suspect) is not a properly ancient tradition.

My mother, now in her 90s, was brought up in the Vale of Glamorgan in south Wales. She has vivid recollections of the mari lwyd (origin or variant of a couple of the items) visiting the family house in the 1930s, where it enjoyed a refreshing drink in the kitchen before chasing the cook and maids around the house.

Hal

We are a proud people, and our ways are mysterious.

The Order of St. Beryl

Cloudbuster

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the movie reviewers." William Shakespeare, Twitter, 1973.

Steve E

But really he is a 40 year old obese, diabetic manchild...

“Ooh, loneliness and cheeseburgers are a dangerous mix!”

—Comic Book Guy's hospital catchphrase from The Simpsons

Jay Guevara

But really he is a 40 year old obese, diabetic manchild who reviews movies at a somewhat passable level. He thinks his contributions to society are so great when he is literally amongst the least valuable members of society.

Seriously, is there any segment of humanity more worthless than movie (or literary) critics?* If you can do better, do it. If you can't, STFU.

* OK, sociologists, actors and actresses, to name a few, but you get my point.

Squires

Speaking of RTSE:

https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/12/youtube-to-remove-videos-suggesting-fraud-or-errors-changed-the-outcome-of-the-2020-u-s-presidential-election/

Hal

Speaking of RTSE:

. . . . . Return to Sustainable Earnings?

I rather like Russian Trans Siberian Express, and apparently Reliable Transfer Service Element is likely . . .

Sam Duncan

“Kirkwall Ball (or Ba’), or as I first read about it, Orkney Ba', was one of the first stories that I discovered on the internet back in the early 90's. AIUI it is played on a couple of islands there but was ruined by hipster tourists.”

As far as I can make out, it's just the medieval village football that's played in various places across Britain. They just happen to hold it at Christmas. At Ashbourne in Derbyshire, they play (between the Up'Ards and Down'Ards; Workington in Cumbria has Uppies and Downies) on Shrove Tuesday, which seems to be the most common date for these things.

“... and ring a bit hollow”

Aaaah, I see what you did there.

“While the mainstream dinosaur entertainment has gotten progressively worse, the critique industry has blossomed and is very often orders of magnitude more entertaining than the "entertainment" they review.”

I find myself spending vastly more time watching videogame “reviews” (it's probably more correct to say “content”... ugh) than actually playing the things these days. And I haven't seen a new movie in years.

Fred the Fourth

Sam,
You probably already know this guy, but I enjoy Zero Punctuation / Ben Croshaw (in small doses).
Also, tangentially related to games: TierZoo.
Even though I haven't played anything since failing to complete Portal many years ago.

David

the critique industry… is very often orders of magnitude more entertaining than the “entertainment” they review.

The mocking recaps and often-forensic parsing of Picard and Discovery, by RLM, Script Doctor, Critical Drinker, etc., were indeed more engaging than the series themselves. Which, as we’ve discussed, were often bewilderingly awful.

“Zombie Star Trek,” as Jen put it.

R. Howse

bewilderingly awful.

Why does this Romulan, from the planet Romulus, have a heavy Oirish accent – at one point actually saying “cheeky feckers”?

LOL. It was bad but I want another series to see if it gets even worse.

pst314

I find myself spending vastly more time watching videogame “reviews” (it's probably more correct to say “content”... ugh) than actually playing the things these days.

That reminds me of the phenomenon of people spending less and less time reading literature and more and more time reading literary criticism.

David

It was bad but I want another series to see if it gets even worse.

It is theoretically possible.

That reminds me of the phenomenon of people spending less and less time reading literature and more and more time reading literary criticism.

I have been known to enjoy watching film trailer reaction mashup videos. Which is very modern of me, I think.

pst314

I have been known to enjoy watching film trailer reaction mashup videos. Which is very modern of me, I think.

That is almost certainly far more fun than reading a collection of lit crit essays.

WTP

That reminds me of the phenomenon of people spending less and less time reading literature and more and more time reading literary criticism.

For decades I have doubted that very many people actually read the books that they claim to have read. The near unanimous, nearly singular perspectives of the themes and such sounded a little too similar.

David

That is almost certainly far more fun than reading a collection of lit crit essays.

I don’t doubt it. Of course, by now this must all be terribly old hat and all the cool kids will be watching reaction mashup videos of people watching people watching film trailer reaction mashup videos.

pst314

all the cool kids will be watching reaction mashup videos of people watching people watching film trailer reaction mashup videos

:-D
I wonder what it would be like to read your comment threads without reading your posts or the items you link to.

David

I wonder what it would be like to read your comment threads without reading your posts or the items you link to.

[ Sounds of spluttering indignation. ]

Sporkatus

I wonder what it would be like to read your comment threads without reading your posts or the items you link to.

Wait, you've been reading all the comments? I've just been reading the categories list and about every tenth comment this whole time.

Baceseras

Speaking of RTSE:

. . . . . Return to Sustainable Earnings?

@RealTSEliot = not a spoof account

. . . I think

Sporkatus

The near unanimous, nearly singular perspectives of the themes and such sounded a little too similar.

Better or worse than coming to a text with preconceptions from literary criticism that are so strong that the actual text is smothered even when it's read? Much as it's arguably worse for someone to be a leftist so habituated by outright lies and opinion piece special pleading that he will rationalize *anything* contrary to narrative, than to be a "default leftist" who merely never becomes curious. Someone who's "read something" but hasn't read read it is less teachable than someone who's merely heard a summary, IMO.

Imagine my irritation when in a college class it was taught that the One True Way of interpreting Turn of the Screw was that the governess was a madwoman and repressed. Nevermind that the ambiguity is a strength of the story. Nevermind that the timid and the flawed qualities in the protagonist & the desire to control and protect being stymied in the face of subtle evil are some of the core staples of Gothic fiction, undermining which *categorically* weakens the story. Nor even that the "sensitive" being able to see ghosts was a trope well understood by contemporary audiences. Nope. Mad young schizoid, end of.

I could make about as much sense as "proof!" that the "secret meaning" is the only legitimate one, if I were to say that Quincey Morris is an indictment of the macho posturing of the American Man and his zeal to save Lucy Westenra from Dracula is borne of motherliness; and that today he'd be recognized as a closeted transwoman.

To the credit of the man teaching the class, it was given us to read first "blind", and only then spoiled by "and here's the secret meaning!". Although I suspect I was the only one to have previously been spoiled by reading Christabel and Poe and a compilation of Stoker's other tales, to then be told "well, every trope you're familiar with - discard it". No.

On the other hand, Borges' Sect of the Phoenix is most likely exactly what it appears (and what we discussed at the time): The Birds and the Bees talk in metaphor as religion. Although last I checked, the whimsy of lit crit had taken to abandoning even so simple an answer in favor of It's About The Gay, Y'all.

I do begin to wonder: is there a market in rehabilitating Henry James' governess for today's market of Woman Can Do No Wrong? Given how many hoary tropes of lit crit are subject to being me-too-ed, it almost sounds like fun. Alt: the governess is evil because she interferes with the natural and loving attraction between an adult female ghost and a female child.

pst314

[ Sounds of spluttering indignation. ]

And the *next* level of meta would be to only read David's comments on comments in the comment thread.

pst314

Wait, you've been reading all the comments?

Well, most of them. I generally skip over the ones from the HAL9000. But really, the comments are half the fun here. This blog is a joy to visit.

David

This blog is a joy to visit.

[ Slides microphone closer, activates open-reel tape recorder hidden under bar. ]

Sorry, didn’t quite catch that.

Barry Homan

OK, sociologists, actors and actresses, to name a few, but you get my point

Just try getting into the acting profession. Try struggling your way through 3 years of acting school, that's what I did. I did it in another country, and not in my native language. You haven't the slightest idea how tough it is. It runs you through the meat grinder, and then you have to totally re-shape yourself. And then you have to take on the competition. There's never a moment's rest, and most never make it even halfway to the top.

pst314

Sorry, didn’t quite catch that.

[raises voice] I said, the henchlesbians have left me with PTSD and my knees haven't been the same since the third session in the correction booth.

Cloudbuster

Just try getting into the acting profession.

Just try getting into the dairy farming profession. Try struggling through decades of building your herd, complying with arcane and seemingly arbitrary federal regulation, getting up before dawn every day to start a two to three times per day cycle of feeding and milking that never, ever ends. You haven't the slightest idea how tough it is. Every day, you get covered in mud, dirt and shit, back-breaking work, and you can never, ever take a frigging vacation or a day off because the cows can never just pause being milked and they don't make dairy farm babysitters and you can barely afford to hire enough help you trust to help you run the operation with you supervising it, no less be able to leave it alone for a week.

Cry me a river, actor.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

That reminds me of the phenomenon of people spending less and less time reading literature and more and more time reading literary criticism.

During my stint on the newspaper copy desk, much of my time was spent reading the wires, including movie and book reviews. It's only after I was forcibly retired and I started watching the movies that I realized how many of the reviewers were seeing entirely different movies than what I saw.

This practice has only gotten worse, as many younger reviewers have no knowledge of cinema history and are beset with woke politics. Rotten Tomatoes is their hive of scum and villeiny, and seeing their scores posted on Wikipedia as if their cumulative opinion matters should rightfully damage Wikipedia's reputation as an unbiased source. [/rant]

David

I said, the henchlesbians have left me with PTSD

[ Holds up photo of henchlesbians as adorable babies. ]

The one on the left is Melody. Then Harmony, then Chastity, then Grace.

The shiny stuff is just the cloning gel.

Fred the Fourth

Hmm..
Many moons ago I was acquainted with a young lady named Hope. She had sisters named Grace and Melody (IIRC).
Hope was an Olympic-class fencer.
Now, I can't help but wonder.
(Except...I can easily see Hope henching for the right operation. But lesbian? I have my doubts.)

Fred the Fourth

..younger reviewers...

a different, but also large, number of moons ago I was in conversation with a work colleague about film / movies. He seemed experienced and knowledgeable, certainly more than I was, but then...
I mentioned Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove.
He had never seen it.
I was startled into silence. He and I had grown up in the US during the height of the cold war. In sight of the so-called Blue Cube in (what is now) silicon valley, widely believed to be a prime soviet target since it ran US Air Force satellite operations.

Fred the Fourth

FYI, Mrs. the Fourth gets annoyed if I mention exactly how many moons ago anything happened. Hence the euphemistic evasions.

David

Mrs. the Fourth gets annoyed if I…

For God’s sake, don’t irritate the poor, dear woman.

[ Eyes Fred the Fourth up and down. ]

She puts up with a lot.

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