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From the New York Times Opinion Page

‘Star Wars’ Fans Are Angry and Polarized. Like All Americans.
What arguments over the movie series say about our nation.
By Annalee Newitz
Contributing Opinion Writer

Dec. 24, 2019

….Mr. Lucas’s series about interstellar superweapons became a way of talking about American power in the world. When “Star Wars: A New Hope” was released, the Vietnam War had just ended in traumatic ambiguity, Richard Nixon had resigned under the threat of impeachment, and the old American dreams didn’t fit our changed reality.

“Star Wars” became a new national mythos; it rebooted America’s revolutionary origin story and liberty-or-death values using the tropes of science fiction. Now, however, the movies no longer strike the same chord. Just as America’s political system is falling into disarray again, our cultural mythmaking machine is faltering as well.

“The Rise of Skywalker,” released last week, is a muddled and aimless homage to previous films in the series. Its countless callbacks to the older films feel like an effort to “make ‘Star Wars’ great again,” though it does manage to deliver a few liberal-sounding messages. Call it the Joe Biden of “Star Wars” movies.

To continue the analogy, you might say that “The Last Jedi,” “The Force Awakens,” and “Rogue One” are in the Barack Obama tradition. They gave fans truly diverse casts and grappled in a relatively nuanced way with the class and race conflicts that have hovered at the margins of every “Star Wars” story.

They also made fans of the early movies livid. Some used social media to demand that Disney stop with the politically correct storytelling, while others launched racist attacks on the Vietnamese-American actress Kelly Tran, who plays the engineer Rose Tico in two of the films.”

There’s the dumpy Asian gal, the personality devoid black guy, and the little slip of an English girl. Whoooooo-hoooo! Granted that Adam Driver is good as Kylo Ren. Driver is a movie star. Oscar Isacc could be one too.

I’m not the only one who has noticed this obvious parallel to American electoral politics. J.J. Abrams, who directed “The Rise of Skywalker,” noted in a recent interview that the vicious polarization within Star Wars fandom is not a phenomenon restricted to “Star Wars.” As he put it, “This is about everything.”

And a recent study by Morten Bay, a University of Southern California digital media researcher, revealed that over 50 percent of the venom directed on Twitter at Rian Johnson, director of “The Last Jedi,” came from the same sources as Russian election meddling.

Using the analytical tools that other technologists deployed to uncover Russian influence during the 2016 election, Mr. Bay found that “bots, trolls/sock puppets or political activists” were using the “Star Wars” debate “to propagate political messages supporting extreme right-wing causes and the discrimination of gender, race or sexuality” and that “a number of these users appear to be Russian trolls.” So it seems that it was political operatives, not fans, who were denigrating the movie and fomenting some of the virulent racism and misogyny against its cast.

Using “Star Wars” as the vehicle was a canny move by the trolls. Fans, like the American electorate, are polarized and angry. Online and in real life, they scream at one another about how Luke Skywalker would really behave decades after finding out that his dad was Darth Vader.

Often these fights begin with someone asserting that the latest “Star Wars” movie ruined their childhood. That’s not wrong. An attack on “Star Wars” is an attack on what many adults of George Lucas’s generation were taught as children: that the most important good guys are generally white men, and the biggest threat on earth is a superweapon.

The problem is that nobody agrees anymore on what the good guys look like, nor what this century’s global threat really is. Fights over “Star Wars” cut to the core of American identity — all the way down to our childhood selves — because they aren’t just squabbles over whether Rey’s Force powers are realistic. They’re about who we are as a nation, and how we will survive as a people in the future.

There are hints of a new hope for the franchise in works set outside the movies’ central plotline. Delilah S. Dawson’s recent “Star Wars” tie-in novel “Phasma” reveals that the First Order wrecked the environment on Captain Phasma’s home planet, leaving our battered protagonist no choice but to join the bad guys. In the new Disney Plus television series “The Mandalorian,” the hero comes from a marginalized group whose planet was strip-mined by Imperials seeking the precious metal beskar. These stories gesture at a revitalized “Star Wars” mythology that might speak to people who fear rising seas more than superweapons.

Maybe the unresolved outrage set off by “The Last Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker” is a sign that this franchise needs to make way for a new set of stories. Americans’ trust in government is being ripped apart by scandal and a looming impeachment trial. We desperately need a new American mythology to fit the 21st century realities of a majority-minority nation dealing with planet-wide threats like climate change.

\z (@Annaleen) is a contributing opinion writer and the author, most recently, of “The Future of Another Timeline.”

 
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  1. Joneses says:

    That final sentence is another great example of how what would otherwise be attacked as a deranged alt right conspiracy theory – mass immigration means the end of even pop culture like Star Wars – is unimpeachably respectable when stated by the left as if it’s a positive.

    • Agree: ben tillman, HammerJack
    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
  2. bomag says:

    We desperately need a new American mythology…

    Well, the current myth runs along the lines of: Black people are holy scientists; women and children are the ones who do hard jobs; trannies are superheros in disguise who will rise up and save us if we just quit hating them; etc.

    We desperately need more truth.

  3. vhrm says:

    An attack on “Star Wars” is an attack on what many adults of George Lucas’s generation were taught as children: that the most important good guys are generally white men, and the biggest threat on earth is a superweapon.

    The problem is that nobody agrees anymore on what the good guys look like, nor what this century’s global threat really is.

    That’s cute.. but it’s pretty wrong:
    a) For the bulk of the 20th century the good guys from a US point of view were _mostly_ white but (with Asian Allies sometimes) the bad-guys were either entirely white (Germans , Russians) or Asian (Japanese, Korean/Chinese, Vietnamese/Chinese).

    All the woke racial stuff in the US has to do with … NONE of these people. It’s all about black people, the more native latinos and sometimes Muslims.

    b) Star Wars good guys from the original trilogy had white people, Lando Calrissian, a wookie and Yoda as “good guys”. Whereas the bad guys were iirc all white… and Jabba. So from the beginning that show was “multicultural” that way. If looking at the most core group then it was whites vs whites AND more specifically it was a civil war which turned out to be among people from the same family / religion and political system. So in that sense there was no “cultural” dimension to the fight.

  4. Cave says:

    “Like a lot of Americans, I have formative memories of my first exposure to George Lucas’s epic tale of space Rebels defeating a planet-destroying Empire. I got so excited as a little kid in 1977 about seeing “Star Wars: A New Hope” that I threw up outside the theater.”

    I nearly did the same thing when I saw her profile pic.

    • Replies: @ben tillman
  5. Nodwink says:

    Everyone melting down over the updated version of the Carter-era teen lightsaber movie is a change from everyone melting down over the CGI version of the Thatcher-era musical about cats.

  6. theMann says:

    Anybody who fails to recognize that Star Wars is just a load of silly soap opera crap dressed up as SciFi is an intergalactic jacktard and should be fed to the Sarlacc.

    • Replies: @SFG
  7. Peterike says:

    “We desperately need a new American mythology to fit the 21st century realities of a majority-minority nation dealing with planet-wide threats like climate change.”

    Yeah, and if temperatures drop due to the ongoing solar minimum, you’re really gonna get “climate change” good and hard. Good luck handling that with your “majority-minority” nation.

    • Replies: @nymom
  8. Lurker says:

    Happy Christmas Steve and all at iSteve.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
  9. It’s the voice of the half of the US population that no longer lives in a state resembling actual reality.

  10. Jack D says:

    “a number of these users appear to be Russian trolls.” So it seems that it was political operatives, not fans, who were denigrating the movie

    “A number”? Is that number greater than 1? Greater than 10? The 2nd sentence does not follow from the 1st. Even if there were 1 or more Russian trolls denigrating them movie, it does not follow that ONLY Russian trolls were doing this and there were not any fans.

    In other words, the article reeks of Clintonian dishonesty with words.

    If I were Putin, I would demand an investigation. It’s one thing for State Security to sow divisiveness in American politics – that makes sense. But spending Russian taxpayer money on denigrating American movies? How does this advance the interests of the Russian state?

  11. Jack D says:

    We desperately need a new American mythology to fit the 21st century realities of a majority-minority nation dealing with planet-wide threats like climate change.

    Not only do we need a new one (Wakanda, here we come!) , but we need to retcon the old ones to fit the new mold. George Washington, great grandfather of Denzel, PLANTED a cherry tree. We can digitally alter the old movies to make Princess Leia into an AFRICAN princess. I’m dreaming of BROWN Christmas. Etc.

    Totalitarians always confuse mythology with propaganda. Mythology is organic, like cider and bluegrass. Propaganda is a factory made product like Coca-Cola and Astroturf. People can tell the difference. The authors are not asking for a new mythology (this is impossible, like asking for snow on Christmas) – they are issuing instructions to the propaganda mills.

    By the way, aren’t they kind of jumping the gun on majority-minority? And if we are really concerned with planet-wide threats like climate change, wouldn’t it be better if these minorities were back home in their low carbon home villages instead of slurping Slurpees in their 82 degree heated Section 8 apartments in Minneapolis?

  12. Is it true that most references in mainstream media to “the same sources that spread misinformation [overwhelmingly obvious criticisms about Hillary Clinton] in the 2016 election” they are simply referencing 4chan, the troll megaboard?

    But no one dares speak its name because then more people will find it.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  13. If Russians think a Star Wars movie sucks, it’s not because it sucks but because they are Russians.

    If you think a Star Wars movie sucks, it’s Russian mind control.

    • Agree: ben tillman
  14. BenKenobi says:

    The Empire did nothing wrong.

    DISCLAIMER: My screen name was bestowed upon me in basic training by friends, as my first name is Ben. I figured there were much worse nicknames to have so I didn’t mind. I haven’t seen any Star Wars product since Episode III.

    • Replies: @theMann
  15. bomag says:
    @Jack D

    Agree.

    And if we are really concerned with planet-wide threats like climate change, wouldn’t it be better if these minorities were back home in their low carbon home villages instead of slurping Slurpees in their 82 degree heated Section 8 apartments in Minneapolis?

    I trolled an environmentalist site for awhile; this was not a popular topic.

    If they engaged at all, there were roughly two camps:

    ) give immigrants and minorities whatever they want; we’re just here to trash White people.

    ) We’re all going to eventually be living in local communities fueled by wind-solar-wood, so let’s concentrate on planning for that.

    • Replies: @Nico
  16. Bitfu says:

    Enough already! We need a diverse cohort of inclusive multi-cultural heroes to combat the evil Trumpian forces of misogyny, fascism, racism, election theft and sexual orientation ostracism. And climate change. Obviously. Come on Hollywood–you can do this!

  17. @Jack D

    Something about the US Coast Guard didn’t prevent overfishing in Somali waters is why they need to live in Minnesota. Or pollution dumping. Anyway, we’re white, and It’s Our Fault.

  18. The three new Star Wars were not good. Allowing Johnson to make the middle one without making him keep to a larger arc was dumb and made #2 really bad, and this new one didn’t fix the problems that introduced—so of course the elites are having their media float ‘races’ because they could never make a mistake.

    Sort of like the 2016 Ghostbusters was terrible–not sure why that happened because all the cast members are first rate actresses and one of them is also a great scriptwriter–so of course it could only be because the audience is sexist.

    Captain Marvel wasn’t good? The audience is both sexist and races–sexist because the lead is a woman and races because the (wooden) lead defended Oprah’s crappy Wrinkle in Time movie by calling the audience who didn’t like it races.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
  19. The author of the piece, Annalee Newitz, wants you to refer to her as “they” and “them” and is in a relationship with a person who is substantially a man dressed as a woman.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annalee_Newitz

    Someone whose personal life is in such tumult doesn’t warrant the benefit of the doubt. Some people who have a rich fantasy life are burdened with schizophrenia, some are just profoundly confused at why things are the way they are.

    • Replies: @jon
    , @Ragno
  20. Dumbo says:

    “Star Wars” became a new national mythos;

    If that is true, that may explain these op-eds that seem written by 13-year olds. Star Wars is a dumb film for children/teenagers.

    I watched Star Wars as a child and for me it was just a movie. Maybe I was too young; I liked more E.T. and Indiana Jones and Back to the Future which came later. I didn’t care much for the prequels, never watched them, and as for the new trilogy, I just watched the first one, hated it, and knew the others would suck. There was no way to do anything interesting with that kind of material.

    Granted that Adam Driver is good as Kylo Ren. Driver is a movie star.

    I’m one of the few people who don’t like Adam Driver so much and doesn’t understand why recently he seems to be in all movies. I mean, he’s good as an actor I suppose, but he has a strange face and I don’t like his voice. For me a movie star is someone who has some sort of magnetic presence and you don’t get tired of looking at him/her for two hours. I get why Al Pacino and Audrey Hepburn are stars, Adam Driver, not so much. (You don’t need to be necessarily handsome, but you need to have a certain type of quality). Another one I never liked was Russel Crowe.

  21. MEH 0910 says:

    Half in the Bag: The 70-Minute Rise of Skywalker Review

    Published on Dec 23, 2019
    Internet superstar Rich Evans joins Mike and Jay on this very special episode of Half in the Bag. The guys discuss the newest Star Wars film, “The Rise of Skywalker” and attempt to make sense of it in the fairest, most humane way possible.

    • Replies: @68W58
    , @MikeatMikedotMike
  22. Erik L says:

    If the racist attacks are from Russian bots, isn’t that good news? Americans aren’t super racists then? Or at least not as super racist as we thought? So maybe ixnay on some of the worst counter attacks from the legitimate press would be in order just to stop feeding the trolls.

  23. The 50 year old author:

    • Replies: @fish
  24. MEH 0910 says:

    Annalee Newitz in 2019

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annalee_Newitz

    Annalee Newitz (born 1969) is an American journalist, editor, and author of both fiction and nonfiction. They have written for the periodicals Popular Science and Wired. From 1999 to 2008 they wrote a syndicated weekly column called Techsploitation, and from 2000 to 2004 they were the culture editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In 2004 they became a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. With Charlie Jane Anders, they also co-founded Other magazine, a periodical that ran from 2002 to 2007. From 2008 to 2015 they were Editor-in-Chief of Gawker-owned media venture io9, and subsequently its direct descendant Gizmodo, Gawker’s design and technology blog. As of 2019, they are a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times.

    Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz in 2011

    Newitz is the child of two English teachers: their mother, Cynthia, at a high school, and their father, Marty, at a community college.[13] Since 2000, they are in a relationship with Charlie Jane Anders with whom they created in March 2018 the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. Newitz changed personal pronouns from “she” to “they” in 2019.[14]

    Charlie Jane Anders

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Jane_Anders

    Charlie Jane Anders was born in Connecticut and grew up in Mansfield. She studied English and Asian literature at University of Cambridge, and lived in Hong Kong and Boston before moving to San Francisco, California.[31]

    Anders has sensory integration disorder. She credits her special education teacher for inspiring her childhood writing passion.[32]

    Since 2000, Anders has been the partner of author Annalee Newitz.[33] The couple co-founded other magazine.[34][35] Since 2018, Anders and Newitz also host the podcast Our Opinions Are Correct.[36]

    Anders is transgender.[37] In 2007, she brought attention to a discriminatory policy of San Francisco bisexual women’s organization, The Chasing Amy Social Club, that specifically barred preoperative transgender women from membership.[38]

  25. BB753 says:

    I disagree about Adam Driver. He has zero charisma or acting chops. Perhaps he could become a B-List action movie star, like Jean Claude Van Damme.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    , @Brutusale
  26. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    Annalee Newitz Retweeted:

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    , @Anonymous
  27. DCThrowback says: • Website
    @MEH 0910

    so they are just a bunch of heterosexuals, got it

  28. Neoconned says:
    @Lurker

    This.

    For personal reasons I don’t celebrate the holidays but wish all of you a great holiday season.

  29. Apparently it still hasn’t hasn’t occurred to these childless bohemian futurists and transhumanists like Newitz that future societies will become more traditional, conservative and decidedly un-Woke due to differential fertility. The women who inherit the genetic predisposition to resist feminist indoctrination tend to marry and form largish families, while the women who throw away their sexuality like Newitz die as evolutionary dead ends. After a few generations, the genes for traditional, functional human behavior come to dominate the society again.

    These societies might still become and stay technologically advanced, but the women who live happily in them would look like characters from a thinkable “Cyborg-Maid’s Tale.”

  30. To All My Democrat/SJW Friends:

    Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2020, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

    To My Libertarian/Republican/MAGA Friends:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    To NeverTrumpers:

    FOAD.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes, PhysicistDave
  31. Huevon says:

    Annalee Newitz: All ideology, ALL the time.

    Star Wars fan: But I just wanted to see a good movie.

    Annalee Newitz: “Good” means morally strenuous. No aesthetics. No pleasure. Our Puritan fathers taught us that. My Cultural Studies professors reinforced it. It’s the only reason I got this job. All ideology, ALL the time.

    Star Wars fan: Jeez, lady, it’s Christmas. What’s wrong with pissing away a couple hours with the family?

    Annalee Newitz: In the age of Trump? With the work of the cultural revolution yet unfinished? Sacrilege! All ideology, ALL the time.

    Star Wars fan: Whatever, I’m going home…

    Annalee Newitz: Reprobate! How dare ye? ALL IDEOLOGY, ALL THE TIME!!!

  32. What does the vision of sugarplum Annalee Newitz:

    say about America?

  33. Lot says:
    @MEH 0910

    “ Anders is transgender.[37] In 2007, she brought attention to a discriminatory policy of San Francisco bisexual women’s organization, The Chasing Amy Social Club, that specifically barred preoperative transgender women from membership.”

    The right of men in dresses to bother lesbians shall not be infringed!

    • LOL: Redneck farmer
  34. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    Annalee Newitz Retweeted:

  35. @Jack D

    Putin should demand an investigation so that he could find and punish those who wasted scarce Russian federal resources on such a useless operation.

  36. Jack D says:
    @MEH 0910

    Newitz is the kind of person from whom I wouldn’t take advice on what flavor ice cream to get. In the past, people with her degree of mental illness were confined in asylums. I understand that we live in enlightened times and she should be left alone and not punished for her perversion. But here this sterile creature, this evolutionary dead end, is being given ink in the NY Times and instructing us how to structure our children’s future (and without any warning label as to who this is coming from) – I think that’s going too far.

  37. @Jack D

    It’s like she doesn’t even understand Star Wars fans. People were complaining about “Han shot first” and Jar Jar Binks long before the Last Jedi. Heck, it’s my understanding they were complaining about Ewoks in the Original Trilogy. But, as RedLetterMedia pointed out with Ghostbusters, there is a new corporate strategy to politicize crap movies for free advertising and to cover up the fact that they are crap movies. Wokeness really is just a corporate strategy.

    • Replies: @Morris Applebaum IV
  38. donut says:
    @MEH 0910

    I’m thinking murder-suicide .

  39. Clyde says:

    The latest reworking of Star Wars gets a divided rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences rate it higher than the so called critics, though some have claimed the audience score below wuz rigged. I think it will make plenty of hundreds of millions for Disney though less than the previous two.

    STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
    Critics Consensus
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion.

    TOMATOMETER

    55% CRITICS SCORE
    Total Count of critics: 412

    86% AUDIENCE SCORE
    Verified Ratings from audience: 48,378

  40. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    The New York Times has apparently become increasingly feminized and pozzed, just as the Financial Times has.

    Regarding the race stuff: the bad guys in the original Star Wars were white too (with the exception of Darth Vader, I suppose, who wore black and was voiced by a black actor). And by the third movie, Lucas had already brought in a black good guy, played by Billy Dee Williams.

    Regarding the climate change the author mentions, Star Wars would be the wrong medium to deal with it, because it posits a galaxy with innumerable habitable worlds, and faster-than-light travel. So if the climate turns inhospitable on one world, there’s little reason to adapt to it there. For those interested in smart novels on the topic, I’d recommend Michael Crichton’s State of Fear (on the skeptical side) and Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140.

    I mentioned in a previous thread that I’m reading a Haruki Murakami novel. In it, a character says about Japanese painting that what it leaves out is as important as what it includes. I wonder if that applies to Kim Stanley Robinson’s writing too. In New York 2140, KSR, who leans left, has, as far as I can remember, nothing to say about transsexuals or gays, and not a whole lot about race. I suppose the point of their absence is that if climate change is really the near-apocalyptic scenario claimed, there won’t be any resources left to waste on the left’s identity politics. My thread on the book is here, if anyone’s interested:

  41. Clyde says:
    @MEH 0910

    Thanks! You got the goods on them. I am getting some good laughs at the above freak show. Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz have been a couple since 2000, so it seems. There is a bit of reversion to the norm here in that Annalee was born female and Charlie was born male. So in an ultra weird way they are long time heterosexual couple.

  42. Dumbo says:
    @MEH 0910

    These people are sick. But it is our fault to take them for our moral and cultural leaders. In a sane world, they would be ignored, if not put in an insane asylum. Instead they are writing for the Jew York Times.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    , @MBlanc46
  43. MrLiberty says:

    Seriously, let’s simply end this failed experiment that should have ended back in 1860. We don’t want to live around each other anymore. One group wants to be left alone, while the other group wants to steal everything everyone has to create their twisted vision of utopia. Freedom and liberty will NOT stand up to the onslaught, and blood will flow heavily in the streets if we do not demand a dissolution of the Federal Government and a peaceful separation into AT LEAST the 50 supposedly sovereign states (though I think that much more dissolution at the state level will also be required. Sovereignty and freedom were supposed to be the foundation of this country, yet everyone is in fear of the next election as the victors, regardless of which worthless major party they belong to, set out to victimize everyone in pursuit of their agendas. On this day of celebration of the birth of the prince of peace, consider the possibilities of restored freedom and liberty if we would just give up our need to pretend that this is anything other than a DYS-UNION of a nation.

  44. 68W58 says:
    @MEH 0910

    I watched that the other day, I like how they came up with “passive progressivism” more or less on the fly to sum up the political message running through the most recent movies.

    • Agree: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  45. @Jack D

    “Totalitarians always confuse mythology with propaganda.”

    Authoritarianism is the nemesis of creativity.

  46. Kyle says:

    I don’t know what to make if this incoherent train of thought. Is Star Wars racist? Is it or is it not ruining the authors childhood? Looking at a picture of them I find it hard to believe they is 50 years old. They or them deserves to be the the new public face of puberty blockers. Move over Greta Thurnburg. Does anybody else think it’s strange that the New York Times is featuring the opinions of perpetual adolescents, regarding topics such as Star Wars and Harry Potter?

  47. “personality devoid black guy”

    Black guy wearing African Anger face. It’s a J.J. Abrams Joint.

  48. Forbes says:
    @Jack D

    Completely agree (and LOL).

    Buttons not working…

  49. Lot says:
    @Jack D

    She might not be an evolutionary dead end if her wife kept their nuts ‘n wang and doesn’t overdo the estrogen supplements.

    OT:

    Bloomberg has spent $120 million on ads so far, Steyer $86 million.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/25/michael-bloomberg-tom-steyer-2020-ads-084823

    Expect favorable media coverage of two guys whose hopeless vanity campaigns are keeping a lot of declining media companies from going bust.

    Also, SNL has become good again for primary season (at least in small youtube doses) by bringing in old comedians who don’t work there anymore (if ever):

    Larry David as Bernie
    Woody Harrelson as Biden
    Fred Armison as Bloomberg
    Will Ferrell as Steyer.

    Though the regular cast members doing the rest of the candidates are pretty good too.

    • Replies: @Coemgen
  50. BenKenobi says:
    @MEH 0910

    • Kill It With Fire: BenKenobi

  51. SFG says:

    An odd reflection.

    I met her, about two decades ago, at a science fiction convention. She was rather thrilled someone had read of her writing; it was interesting-enough scifi-as-popular-culture stuff. She was the only person I had read who saw the whole social-class analogy with the vampire stories popular in the 90s. She published a short article afterward about how the nerds at the con were an example of how she had finally found her ‘people’, so to speak. I doubt I had much to do with it–she would have met hundreds of people there– but I felt vaguely flattered at the time, as people do.

    Time passes, and…Mx. Newitz is published in the NYT, and I read the article with increasing hostility (purely ideological of course; they seem happy with their…partner? and never met me again, so there is no personal animus), as part of a move by my old hometown paper to wipe out the country I used to know, and by people I am forced to call my distant relatives to do the same.

    The abyss of time (a mere two decades!) is an odd thing. I can’t say the years have improved me or the nation, and I’d love to turn back the clock, but then who doesn’t want to be young again?

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  52. SFG says:

    Personal note and opposed sympathies aside, Newitz is in fact correct: Star Wars has been folded into the culture war that extends down to your choice of razors at this point.

    I’d like to think the new ‘Ghostbusters’, with its apparently gender-balanced cast of ‘busters and rural Midwestern setting, represents some kind of reconciliation, but…naah.

  53. Muggles says:

    One thing about reading something from someone who wants to be called “they” is that you know that this person “they” are suffering from a serious mental defect and/or have a narcissistic personality disorder. And expect you to treat them as normal. In fact demand that form of obedience. Calling her “they” rather than the correct pronoun.

    So it is both an internal mental thinking problem and an authoritarian demand on everyone “they” meet to march to their own odd tune. Like a child who pretends to be a queen riding a unicorn when dressed in a paper crown “riding” a broomstick. Treating “them” as a five year old child.

    Of course when such creatures are encountered (mainly, safely on a screen, rather than in person) you know what to expect. I think such people also like to “appropriate” normal feelings of empathy and sympathy for those who have mental disabilities, so “they” receive extra attention and accommodation.

    Also, extra Wokeman points are added so your NYT opinion pieces don’t get cruelly laughed at and discarded. “They” are happy about that. You, probably not.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
  54. IMHO Star Wars ran its course about 20 years ago. I say: bring back Planet of the Apes!

    • Replies: @Glaivester
  55. @Jack D

    The New York Times has really crossed over into tin foil hat territory with its obsessive belief that all counter-Narrative opinions are actually Russian agents (with an assist from White supremacists). Even other Trump-hating leftists are laughing at the NYTs paranoid conspiracy theories.

  56. @Jack D

    There is a very clear warning label. It consists of three words starting with New and ending with Times.

  57. @SFG

    You’ve come a long way, baby!

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  58. I understand how seductive it is to view real life through the haze of some all-encompassing fantasy world — Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos or whatever. I myself admit preferring to see things through the circa-1970 haze of Star Trek, 5-0 and Mission Impossible. And just wait til I get my mitts on the complete set of Mannix.

    But a movie ticket and a grudge against normality should not entitle one and all to a prominent spot on the op-ed pages — once sacred ground to this former newspaper editor and reader. The long-range goal is to turn America into a freak show, but in the meantime that’s already been done to America’s opinion pages, which I guess were too white, male and rational to be left alone when new “mythmaking” is needed.

    But hey, if my wife gets a sex change, maybe NYT’s op-ed czars will call me to beg for 1200 words on classic TV’s most memorable race war. . .

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  59. dvorak says:

    These stories gesture at a revitalized “Star Wars” mythology that might speak to people who fear rising seas more than superweapons.

    Imagine fearing rising seas.

    Move inland, problem solved.

    Your subway system is flooded? Abandon it, problem solved.

    Hurricane danger? Move inland, problem solved.

    High-priced coastal real estate? Build a seawall or move inland, problem solved.

    Got Whites? Ethnic-cleanse them, problem solved.

  60. @MEH 0910

    Anders almost makes a passable woman if you look at her from the right angle and kind of scrunch up your eyes.

    • Disagree: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    , @kaganovitch
  61. Glaivester says: • Website

    “They also made fans of the early movies livid.”

    No, “They” didn’t. “The Last Jedi” did. Although there were a few people who resented the more diverse casting of “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One,” for the most part fans liked those movies, even if TFA was considered rather weak compared to the film it was trying to imitate (Star Wars: A New Hope).

    Very few people complained about Rogue One, either. The implication of Rogue One was that we were seeing a grittier aspect of the universe, but it was still the same universe.

    Really, it was only the Last Jedi that produced an enraged reaction, and that was largely because much of the movie seemed to be deliberately trying to insult fans of the series. Plot points were simply jettisoned, what should have been an epic moment was turned into a throw-away joke, and things just happened with no set up or pay off.

    The SJW issues with TLJ are not simply about disliking the political messages in the story; the issue is that the story seems to want to pound a message into our head without integrating it into the story, or to make a character right just so that the character with the proper identity can be right.

    If Holdo had actually acted sensibly and not constantly tried to simply impress everyone with her authority, the idea at the end that she was correct would not have bothered anyone. And people would have taken Rose Tyco seriously as a hero if she had at any time acted responsibly instead of acting like an 8-year-old fangirl.

  62. Whiskey says: • Website

    This is great news. The freakshow from well, the Xes and Xirs pictured above to Jar Jar Abrams and Rian Johnson could not make a story appealing to straight White men if their lives depended on it. Even better, the Star Wars stuff is as appetizing as a turd sandwich.

    There is literally no role or respect or honor accorded White men in the brave new world envisioned by these storytellers. If you want to understand the resilience of Trump — its in the poz of everything from Star Wars to Marvel to Gillette Razors or Nissan cars.

    [There is a Christmas ad by Nissan, White dude gets successively better Christmas presents, a teddy bear when six, a snowboard in his teens, an original Ipod in his early twenties, now a new Nissan — by his ugly Black wife and two nominally mixed race kids. From an average White guy’s perspective its an invitation to travel back in time to the 1980s. But the ad is meant to annoy/humiliate White dudes and reassure White women that no worries, Black women (ha!) will take that pesky nerd off your orbit]

    This means culturally and politically there is ample ground for “guerilla stories” about how some young White man from flyover country triumphs over his many, many enemies despite being atomized and lacking any social network, mostly by being a better, more ruthless killer. Said enemies almost certainly to be depicted as freakshows, people of color, etc.

    This is what the triumphalists never figured out, rubbing White dudes noses in it does not sell to White men no matter how much freakshows like it. Star Wars performed well under expectations, and is likely when all is said and done including the purchase of Lucasfilm a money loser for Disney.

  63. JUSA says:

    Granted that Adam Driver is good as Kylo Ren. Driver is a movie star.

    Kylo Ren lost all his charm the minute he took off his helmet. Then we realized he was just…Adam Driver.

    The future will be saved by people of color, LGBTQ and semi-attractive white women who will bravely fight off ugly white men trying to bring back the patriarchy.

  64. anon[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @MEH 0910

    “Transcript”, transscript? That’s gotta be phobic somehow, someway.

  65. anon[193] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Newitz is the kind of person from whom I wouldn’t take advice on what flavor ice cream to get.

    Ever walk into a coffee shop, see the barrista behind the counter looking like Newitz, pause a moment… then just walk right back out? Because, er, reasons?

    In the past, people with her degree of mental illness were confined in asylums.

    Or taken care of in a private setting, often by family. “The crazy aunt in the little house out back” isn’t just a literary trope. But in the past there weren’t as many of them, and we did not allow them to be social arbiters.

    That was then, this is clown world.

    • Replies: @Thomas
  66. anonymous[238] • Disclaimer says:
    @vhrm

    Uh, Darth Vader was all black . . . voice included.

    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
  67. Anonymous[209] • Disclaimer says:
    @MEH 0910

  68. Glaivester says: • Website
    @Digital Samizdat

    They have. Where have you been the last ten years?

  69. @Dumbo

    “it is our fault to take them for our moral and cultural leaders”

    Well, I didn’t vote for her.

    The Gray Lady of the Slate, her arm clad in the purest shimmering newsprint, held aloft Editorial from the bosom of the office, signifying by divine providence that I, Newitz, was to carry Editorial. THAT is why they am your king!

  70. jon says:
    @eddy wobegon

    in a relationship with a person who is substantially a man dressed as a woman

    Analee’s partner is Charlie Jane Anders, whose wiki bio mentions this

    In 2007, she brought attention to a discriminatory policy of San Francisco bisexual women’s organization, The Chasing Amy Social Club, that specifically barred preoperative transgender women from membership.

    So … still using the name Charlie, still got the male bits, yep, a man in a dress, dating a women.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Jane_Anders

  71. anonymous[480] • Disclaimer says:

    The defining aspect of Ashkenazi culture is anti-Gentilism.

    People on here deem Annalee Newitz a degenerate. Perhaps she is. But she (and her ilk) are driven much more by subverting Gentile culture. If every Gentile had a transsexual partner, then Newitz’s ilk would be taking traditional hetero partners, disparaging transsexuals in weekly NYT columns, and joking about how Goy cattle are straight out of Gomorrah.

    One of the most telling aspects of Ashkenazi anti-Gentile thought came from the Pew 2013 survey of American Judaism. In it, they asked what would disqualify someone from being Jewish. The top answer: viewing Jesus as the Messiah. Being strongly critical of Israel and being an atheist is less disqualifying in the eyes of most Jews. Interestingly enough, the Jews who were the most hard line on this were Reform Jews and college-educated Jews, even more than the Orthodox.

    Outside of the Orthodox community, there is no Jewish culture or identity. It is entirely contrived. It exists only as a reaction to Western Gentile culture, much like a bright adolescent who has no concept of himself beyond rebelling against the adults who pull the cart.

    See Pew Survey Results:

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Jack D
  72. @BB753

    Driver’s screen presence is so-so. His facial features are … off, somehow. But he’s still more charismatic than the butch Brit (Daisy Ridley) or the bumbling black (John Boyega).

    In terms of physical attractiveness, Oscar Isaac is probably the most appealing of the new breed of Soy Warriors. He’s dark and (relatively) handsome. He’s a little short for a Storm Trooper, though.

    Isaac and Boyega have gone on record as stating that they petitioned the studio to make their characters gay:
    https://screenrant.com/star-wars-no-finn-poe-romance-disney-oscar-isaac

    • Replies: @Lurker
  73. Altai says:

    In fairness, Driver also looks ethnically and racial ambiguous even if he is apparently not. And his weird psychopathic space Heathcliff ‘relationship’ with Rey is very popular with female SJWs who have BPD (Who are by far the most prolific Twitter users and who define SJWism and feminism on Twitter for the most part). I assume that is why Rey wasn’t revealed to be Luke’s daughter as that would make her Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren’s cousin and it would be too weird then to introduce all the ship-teasing they put into the second and third film.

    Though I think it is obviously that the first film and last scene intended to set up her being his daughter and her not being his daughter robbed the series of some much needed pathos.

    One thing to note about Kelly-Marie Tran is that she feels shoe-horned in because she was. After the first film JJ Abrams was asked by two Asian American fan activists why there was no female Asian Americans in his Star Wars film and if there would be some in future. JJ Abrams was caught off guard and made the meme-worthy response of ‘Go Asians!’ and eventually we got Rose Tico.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/go-asians-j-j-abrams-talks-diversity-star-wars-casting-n392081

  74. MEH 0910 says:
    @Fidelios Automata

    Charlie Jane Anders: Here’s my Wiscon Guest of Honor speech!
    May 30, 2019

    Growing up, I was kind of an odd duckling.

    I had a really severe learning disability, so I managed to be both super-nerdy and also bad at school. My brain was super good at coming up with random artifacts, but terrible at answers. I got bullied a lot, and even the worst social rejects stayed away from me. A lot of my earliest memories involve just wandering around the schoolyard on my own, getting lost in my own fantasy world full of imaginary creatures and stuff.

    And my heroes were always oddballs and misfits. I watched a lot of Doctor Who and Monty Python at a super impressionable age, and this gave me a really skewed idea of how adults were supposed to act.

  75. @vhrm

    I haven’t seen the new movie. But all the hype induced we to try to watch The Last Jedi on Netflix last weekend.

    It was a dumpster fire of awfulness. The movie violated every minimal standard of competent storytelling.

    1. The actors are all completely miscast.

    2. The characters they play are utterly one-dimensional. Plucky Girl, Reckless Pilot, Black Guy with No Personality. There is zero character development and no character evolution. There is no reason to root for, or against, these people except that you are told they are on the Good Side.

    3. The dialog is stilted and lame and is almost recited rather than acted.

    4. The plot is chaotic and nonsensical. People just run around and pull the magic switch at the last moment.

    5. There are no coherent rules to the game being played. Technology and Magic seem to be interchangeable. The laws of physics, time and space turn off and on randomly. In short, anything can happen for no reason at any time. So the audience can’t possible get invested in anticipating the plot line.

    It’s hard to say what role wokeness played in wasting this movie. I suppose there is no reason you can’t have a well made movie that supports any particular narrative – even SJWism. But this was just plain incompetent.

    • Agree: ben tillman
  76. J.Ross says:

    Star Wars and GamerGate are both the exact same phenomenon: billionaire-sponsored cultural engineering activists got caught trying to invade an entertainment subculture in which they never had a prayer of blending in. They immediately drew upon establishment support to defame the customer base that enabled that subculture to exist. They tried hamfisted Conversation-Having, “Character Assassination,” and the insertion of joyless ad hoc political statement characters. Outsiders and low-information normies knew only what lyingpress investigations and documemtaries told them, which amounted to a third carbon copying of cultural engineering billionaire ideas through the activists and now through journalists. For years, the headline was that Star Wars and vidya are doing fine, but Russian hackers on direct orders from Putin are trying to divide us with fake troll accounts. All this, in a bizarre and inexhaustible crusade of alienation in content and defamation in the press of their own customers, in a larger gamble to turn a fun amusement into a Sunsteinian nudge.
    Before this latest iteration came out, hilarious headlines beyond the craziest Soviet damage control preceded opening, admonishing fans to shut up.
    When you write a story, you don’t have infinite room. There’s the attention span of your audience (which, for Star Wars, is still categorically children). There’s the issue of familiarity (ease of introduction) versus originality (now spend more time on introduction, taking time away from story). If you set up a framework, you have expended resources. If (as our intrepid heroes desire) you want to subvert a presupposed framework, you haven’t saved yourself any resources, and in fact you have tremendously limited yourself. You can only subvert so many times just like you can only fold a piece of paper in half so many times: this is illustrated in the Futurama gag about the contrarian libertarian activist.
    Star Wars in its defensible innocent first iteration (I mean the first damn one to come out, which every normal person remembers as the first one, and I refuse to learn a different system) took enormous energy from the idea of the infinitely varied planets and diverse peoples of a nearly ungovernable galaxy, an update of nineteenth and early twentieth century adventure stories about India, aliens so generously provided that we’d have time to explain them or go into their national and personal histories.
    First thing the activists did was chuck the aliens. More room for nonwhite humans. Plus, MiniTruth says the aliens were just metaphorical nonwhites anyway, in which case they’re racism.
    The first Star Wars had a decent storyline (plucky revels sabotage the wunderwaffen) which got forgivably recycled in the original trilogy. Unforgivably, the brave new writers, seeing fit to overwrite everything else and give ignomious deaths to the best loved characters, retained that same storyline, and, in illustration of subversion working against creativity, it became almost the only storyline of the new movies.
    When George Lucas made the first Star Wars, it wasn’t revolutionary cinema, but it was definitely against a certain grain (when it succeeded it was called the death of serious, grown-up moviemaking by one critic). Lucas had read Joseph Campbell and was trying to do something firmly in an existing literary tradition. In the new movies, the bad guys are clearly the same bad guys as the old movies, with minor changes meant to be meaningless, and with no explanation for why they’re badguying so soon after almost the same group of people got blown up. They have the same uniforms, ships, weapons, motives, weaknesses, agenda, number two and number one as the old bad guys. But at least this time Luke’s a girl with no growth arc. The activists didn’t want to make a movie, they wanted to censor a movie.
    It was a genuine pleasure seeing the bafflement, failure-admission, and blamethrowing from these million-dollar idiots this time around.

    • Agree: Abe, Desiderius, Keypusher
    • Replies: @Anon
  77. nebulafox says:

    >‘Star Wars’ Fans Are Angry and Polarized. Like All Americans.

    Are they? My extended family has fiercely divided political opinions, yet strangely enough, we’re happily celebrating Christmas. I’d suggest this is the norm rather than the exception among ordinary people. Which, if you value basic societal stability, is a good thing.

    Sounds like the kind of person who writes op-eds for the Grey Lady finds something deeply, deeply wrong about people refusing to prioritize political ideology over bonds of family, friendship, or the practical needs of daily life. Our professional/managerial class is angry. Angry that the peasants aren’t sufficiently angry at each other. Why is that? Because there’s more of a risk that they’ll be angry at them, because they are secretly miserable and want their implicit inferiors to also be miserable, or both?

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @black sea
  78. Rogue One was quite good.

  79. Anon[710] • Disclaimer says:

    Some used social media to demand that Disney stop with the politically correct storytelling, while others launched racist attacks on the Vietnamese-American actress Kelly Tran, who plays the engineer Rose Tico in two of the films.”

    It’s not about race. It’s about a needless plot element who’s acting is mediocre, AND she’s short and dumpy. In other words, she’s ugly. That is, unpleasant to look at.

    If you’re not pleasant to look at in an action adventure movie, you better be carrying a big bag of kickass plot with you. Otherwise, the audience will kick you to the curb, every time.

    Why did Audrey Hepburn have a bigger career than say, Kim Hunter? Both had about the same acting chops. Kim Hunter’s problem is everybody didn’t want to fuck her on sight. Audrey did not have that problem.

    In real life, it works the same. Aziz Ansari’s crime was trying to get to third base, while ugly. He looks like a guy you wouldn’t let babysit your kids, and his voice is like an angry mosquito. If you kept all the circumstances intact, but replaced Aziz with Brad Pitt, and Brad acted twice as arrogant, the world still never would have heard about some guttersnipe girl’s unfortunate sexual adventures.

    Hollywood cannot rewrite the rules to the human brain’s circuitry. If they can cast anyone they want, and they choose a little fat chick, the movie will pay for it, and unfortunately, the poor little fat chick.

    People get mean when you’re ugly for no good reason in the movies. People are paying good money. They expect more. They want pretty people. They don’t want to be reminded of their real lives, via dumpy fat girls. It has nothing to do with her race.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @ben tillman
  80. theMann says:
    @BenKenobi

    I actually sat through episode 7 (fuming the entire time) which is basically a scene for scene rip off of episode 4, with all the good “guys” non White Males, and all the bad guys White Males.

    As an IT guy, I hope Disney and everybody associated with it burns in Hell anyway.

  81. SFG says:
    @theMann

    Oh yeah, the subgenre was called ‘space opera’, after ‘horse opera’ or cowboy stories.

  82. @Senator Brundlefly

    Media companies are willing to piss away hundreds of millions for their causes. Think about Roseanne. That was pure wealth destruction for political purposes.

    Kathleen Kennedy is a true believer and has ruined the Star Wars franchise, with a big assist from Hollywood’s #1 hack, J.J. Abrams

  83. ‘Star Wars’ Fans Are Angry and Polarized. Like All Americans.

    Off to a bad start with clickbait hyperbole. Not all Americans are polarized, let alone angry. If the writer meant “most” then write most, not “all”. And I’d question even that: a good deal of them are polarized, probably more than in past decades, but most? Any opinion poll to back that up?

    • Replies: @Innercynic
  84. @Lawyer Guy

    all the cast members are first rate actresses

    No, they’re not. They’re affirmative action comics being desperately held up to prove feminist are funny.

  85. @bomag

    Often these fights begin with someone asserting that the latest “Star Wars” movie ruined their childhood. That’s not wrong. An attack on “Star Wars” is an attack on what many adults of George Lucas’s generation were taught as children: that the most important good guys are generally white men, and the biggest threat on earth is a superweapon.

    This is a blatant lie, as anyone who bothered to see the first three films would identify the enemies as Empire, and the heroes as those who developed the personal spiritual & physical fortitude to defeat it.

    Pretty clear why (((Annalee Newitz))) felt she had to nip that in the bud. Interestingly, her Wikipedia page used to show her ethnicity, but Infogalactic retains the expurgated information. I wonder why she felt the need to remove that bit of her history…

  86. @Dumbo

    I’m one of the few people who don’t like Adam Driver so much

    You’re not alone. I call him Darth Emo.

  87. @MEH 0910

    a book about angry Jewish girls traveling through time and kicking the ass of the white supremacist patriarchy

    That sounds aggressively terrible.

  88. Nico says:
    @bomag

    And if we are really concerned with planet-wide threats like climate change, wouldn’t it be better if these minorities were back home in their low carbon home villages instead of slurping Slurpees in their 82 degree heated Section 8 apartments in Minneapolis?

    I trolled an environmentalist site for awhile; this was not a popular topic.

    If they engaged at all, there were roughly two camps:

    ) give immigrants and minorities whatever they want; we’re just here to trash White people.

    ) We’re all going to eventually be living in local communities fueled by wind-solar-wood, so let’s concentrate on planning for that.

    Watermelons in action. ‘Greens’ are frankly the biggest threat to the environment (including from the standpoint of global warming) in existence today.

  89. @Desiderius

    And it’s heartening to see you’ve retained ‘me’ as your pronoun.

  90. @Dave Pinsen

    I remember stumbling across a speech he was giving. He said plenty of PC bs, but he subtly inferred that identity politics is how the evil ones keep themselves in power.

  91. @Fidelios Automata

    and kind of scrunch up your eyes.

    If you mean after having them surgically removed, perhaps.

  92. @Known Fact

    Not a bad idea to try and get a handle on the 3 flicks/TV that are representative of your world view.

    For me that would be Soldier Blue; Ren & Stimpy; and Oz.

  93. Tex says:

    Using the analytical tools that other technologists deployed to uncover Russian influence during the 2016 election, Mr. Bay found that “bots, trolls/sock puppets or political activists” were using the “Star Wars” debate “to propagate political messages supporting extreme right-wing causes and the discrimination of gender, race or sexuality” and that “a number of these users appear to be Russian trolls.” So it seems that it was political operatives, not fans, who were denigrating the movie and fomenting some of the virulent racism and misogyny against its cast.

    As the left has long known the forces of Trumpism are populated with xenophobes and foreign spies!

  94. MEH 0910 says:
    @68W58

    I like how they came up with “passive progressivism”

    Gay Rise of Skywalker discussion leading up to Mike’s great coining of the phrase “passive progressive”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pAsss_nTlk&feature=youtu.be&t=3215

  95. No one who actually lived through the 1970s would dash off a thumbnail history as stupid as this one. There is no one at The Times to turn the ship around, so more silly nonsense like this and the 1619 Project will continue to amuse us, while degrading all credibility of a once notable newspaper – however overpraised a rag it now seems. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the laughs. But I’m fearful future generations may be taught such chimpy garbage in school. …As true.

  96. J.Ross says:
    @vhrm

    This is a good point. It takes remarkable, willful, effortful dishonesty to say that Star Wars was a movie about the goodness of white men. This is consistent with my point about a political agenda limiting creativity (when everything is always about race, your point is made for you, usually incoherently). Lost in the journactivist’s race obsession is that it was a movie about people becoming good, and that this depth might only be possibly by setting aside or obviating one-for-one racial pigeonholing. Which is a major reason why the new movies, which are explicitly race cipherism, are unwatchable.

  97. Shame on everyone who spent his Christmas Day posting stomach-turning images of the mentally ill.

    Let’s do better on the feast day of Steve’s patron. It’s already here in Cork and Dingle. Some of the figures shown above might do well to dress for the occasion:

    St. Stephen’s Day (Lá Fhéile Stiofáin), or the Day of the Wren (Lá an Dreoilín), is an occasion to commemorate the life of St Stephen, a Christian martyr.

    https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/ireland/st-stephen-day

    It is an official public holiday in Austria, Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Poland. The date is also a Public Holiday in those countries that celebrate Boxing Day on the day instead/as well.

    http://www.calendarpedia.com/when-is/st-stephens-day.html

    But not America!

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  98. Thomas says:
    @anon

    Ever walk into a coffee shop, see the barrista behind the counter looking like Newitz, pause a moment… then just walk right back out? Because, er, reasons?

    I stopped going to Starbucks because nearly every single person working there was one type of visibly-obvious Clown World denizen or another and I didn’t want them touching my food and drink.

  99. Anon55uu says:

    The Finn character in the “sequel” trilogy is a bit of a mystery.

    I presume the need for a “main” character arises from the theory of (American) ethnic groups needing to have someone to “identify” with in blockbusters but it’s played out oddly in this case.

    First they cast a British actor. And then the character when a stormtrooper (supposedly from a “breeding program” yet 5’9”) is cowardly and indisciplined and works in sanitation.

    Once in the “resistance” he’s still always on the edge of running away, a bit fresh and in fighting scenes turns on a whooping it up pro sports scoring celebrations persona.

    Hundreds of hours of potential politically correct “story group” workshopping led to this??

  100. J.Ross says:

    >Adam Driver is good as Occasionally Shirtless Teen Vader

    He’s a not-scary tantrumming baby man in search of a character, and thanks to NPR, we now know that this isn’t even acting.

  101. SafeNow says:

    Disney outrageously faked the lemming deaths in “White Wilderness” to make a buck. They perpetuated the suicide myth. The original fake media, ahead of their time.

  102. cthulhu says:

    Annalee Nitwit (oops, Newitz) spent part of the last 3-4 years working at the once-respected tech site Ars Technica, where she (I have no fucks to give about “preferred pronouns”) was instrumental in turning the site largely into a Vanity Fair clone. It was pretty obvious she was going to end up full-on SJW. Unfortunately, Ars Technica seems to have passed the point of no return; I still check in there occasionally but only with an ad blocker enabled to avoid giving them any advertising revenue.

    • Agree: jim jones
  103. @Jack D

    There needs to be a Red Star icon for real Russian and ex-CCCP nation trolls (similar to the blue checkmark thing that Tweeter employs). But few such stars would be awarded, because there aren’t many such trolls needed. The West is its own worst enemy.

    Why do we in the US freak out about a pretty, red-haired Russian lady in New York who does the social circuits, or a not-so-hot lady who befriends a few NRA types? This is a big deal? Our eyes and attention are distracted by this petty crap.

    Russia (and China) never lost sight of the fact that the United States and its satellites are the primary threats to their interests. They don’t worry about the number of trans actors in this year’s Hollywood films or network series.

  104. Moses says:
    @MEH 0910

    Almost as if a certain segment of Jews really hate Whites. Weird.

  105. This is what they always leave out when they talk about “racist” fans criticizing the new movies:

    “I entered the room and it was the whitest room you’ve seen. So I said, why not mix it up a little?”
    –JewJew Abrams

    I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was close to this. “The whitest room” and “mix it up a little”.

    He threw out White actors and specifically looked for non-Whites to replace them. He took the Star Wars canon, established in decades of novels and comics, and erased it.

    What would happen after the original trilogy was always known. Leia and Han Solo would have twins, a boy and a girl, who would be trained in the Force at the new Jedi academy run by Luke Skywalker. They would be at the center of the new development. There were tons of novels about this world. (I haven’t read any of them, but I know what was going to happen.)

    Kylo Ren, by the way, was always White. With blond hair and blue eyes. J.J. Abrams made the character Black – a Black who looks like he comes straight from Africa.

  106. @Dave Pinsen

    Yes. People don’t know this, but George Lucas originally planned this:

    -Magic in space, looking for a magical artefact, like a crystal (the Force was invented by someone else)
    -Luke Skywalker would be a midget
    -Han Solo would be Black or an alien (the alien rubber suit instead went to Greedo)
    -Leya and Ben Kenobi would be Asians

    George Lucas never understood greatness and had no use for it. The original movie was mostly directed by his teacher from film school. Others were involved too. By the third movie Lucas had begun to believe the praise, so he had more of a hand in it, and we got Ewoks instead of Wookies defeating the Empire’s elite unit with sticks and rocks.

    The prequel trilogy showed truly what a mess there is in George Lucas’ head. Had that trilogy gone first, or had Lucas ideas about space magic prevailed, no one would have thought twice about Star Wars.

    The first script was delayed and changed over and over again. There is no end to the bad ideas Lucas had for it.

    By the way: Darth Vader’s helmet is based on German WWII soldiers’ helmets. The long rifles carried by some stormtroopers are based on German WWII rifles. And of course they are all White in the Empire, fought by a diverse resistance.

    (Someone will at this point say, “No, the stormtroopers are non-White clones!” That’s in the prequels. Long after the original movies. They couldn’t very well show an endless row of Whites at that point, could they? But they couldn’t make the stormtrooper clones all Black either, that’d be too obvious. Or Asian. So they chose a Maori, someone who is just light dark with no special features. As racially indistinct as they could possibly get.)

    The Empire in the comics is “specieist,” with humans acting like Nazists. And of course it’s mostly White humans. They even have a Hitlerjugend. Same as the enemy First Order in JewJew Abrams’ new tripe.

    And in George Lucas’ prequels, the groups who resist the Republic are all “capitalists,” like the Merchant Guild, the Banker Clan, etc. Led by the evil Sith. And Palpatine gets to rule by decree after a vote in the Senate, just like Hitler got to rule by decree after a vote by the Conservatives and Nationalists in parliament.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Skyler_the_Weird
  107. @MEH 0910

    Time travel, “Comstockers”… what is this, a bad Bioshock Infinite fanfic?

  108. nebulafox says:
    @MEH 0910

    “Happy Hanukkah! If you’re looking for a book about angry Jewish girls traveling through time and kicking the ass of the white supremacist patriarchy”

    So lame, man. So incredibly lame.

  109. Dr. Doom says:

    Its propaganda all right, but not Russian. Its a deflection, a Russian, hey squirrel.

    Nobody likes this vision except the Abrams, Soros, etc. tribe. Some stupid funny papers about 2800 brown skinned slaves.

    Hey, if you cannot trust Satan, who can you trust?

    Dis will woik out well. Trust Baphomet. That goat head is a genyous, I tell ya.

  110. Coemgen says:
    @Lot

    The Tom Steyer ads we’ve been seeing in the Northeast are indistinguishable from parody. His ads are shameless pandering to fanatics and idiots. All the ads need is a laugh track to make them hilarious SNL shorts.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  111. MEH 0910 says:

    Best of the Worst: The Star Wars Holiday Special (FOR REAL)

    Published on Dec 26, 2014
    This time, the group actually gets around to talking in depth about the ill-fated 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.

  112. Hollywood’s days of producing good product are over. It’s business, as Hyman Roth said in Godfather II, back when they still made good product. First, they do not care what anybody who can read or write a comment here thinks. All they care about is what people who have a completely different version of the English language in Kuala Lampur or Bombay or Rio de Janerio think after they have bought their ticket. It’s a global economy now.

    Second, they are in a mature phase of the explore / exploit cycle. Creativity only happens in the explore part and they are just exploiting now. They explain this stuff in Algorithms to Live By which is a really great book and reading it is a way better usage for one’s time than watching anything new that comes from the movie industry in 2019. 2020. Whatever.

    Charles Manson’s buddy Nikolas Schreck had a great interview on Midnight Writer News where he talks about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He particularly liked that Mama Cass and Steve McQueen were in the movie. Those are two people that in Schreck’s rundown (The Manson File) knew way more about the crime than they ever let the police department in on.

    He has done three interviews there that sum up to about 6 hours and I thought they were outstanding. The latest one is from 6 november where he talks about the Tarantino movie.

    https://midnightwriternews.com/mwn-episode-133-nikolas-schreck-on-charles-manson-and-the-tate-labianca-murders-50-years-later/

    He has a newly revised version of The Manson File arriving really soon now!

  113. SFG says:

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

    • Agree: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @nebulafox
  114. @Dumbo

    I’m one of the few people who don’t like Adam Driver so much and doesn’t understand why recently he seems to be in all movies. I mean, he’s good as an actor I suppose, but he has a strange face and I don’t like his voice.

    Count me in as another who fails to understand the appeal of Adam “The Schnozz” Driver.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  115. @The Wild Geese Howard

    Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” was terrible, except whenever Adam Driver was on screen, when it suddenly became mediocre. The guy is a movie star.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen, Tusk
    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    , @Anonymous
  116. @Hypnotoad666

    Plucky Girl

    You spelled, “Plucky Androgyne, ” funny:

    Love the androgyne’s xenomorph grin as well:

    • Replies: @Jack D
  117. MEH 0910 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Why would director Christopher Nolan cast John David Washington, the lead actor of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman”, as the lead of his next movie “Tenet”?

    • Replies: @Bumpkin
    , @Ragno
  118. It’s amazing that these “people” can muster the energy to screech about the same thing over and over again. It would be exhausting to live in a constant frenzy of ideological warfare like them.
    That being said, part of her turning up the crazy to 11 is the realization to even the slowest dullard in her crowd, that no one cares about the carcass of political Star Wars anymore. The success of The Mandolorian shows that quite well, and Iger and Disney know it, so the days of overt propaganda masquerading as Star Wars is over. It really wasn’t a good decision to bet on Star Wars anyway, because unlike comic book giants, the Skywalker saga ran out of gas in 1983-thereafter it had one story (Skywalker/Vader) and limiting anything new.

  119. nebulafox says:
    @SFG

    Yes. Peace to all men.

    And a new decade… fresh new start.

    It’s been fun.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  120. OT: David Cole is ranting about conservative boycotts of conservative films over on Takis:

    https://www.takimag.com/article/hollywood-conservatives-year-of-self-harm/

    Steve tweeted about it:

    I think that what they fail to get is that no normal people know who the hell these boycotters are or listen to them. The effect on the box office was surely miniscule. Nick Searcy? I had no idea who he was until Cole explained. He’s top tier? The other guy, the gay conservative? Even less. I’d have to go reread the article to even recall his name.

    The reason I didn’t see Richard Jewell wasn’t because of some particular boycott of that film. It’s because I just am not that interested in going to the movies anymore. Hollywood hates me, and a few conservative films don’t really put a dent in that. Plus, I don’t really like the genre. If I want to see people behaving badly I can read the news.

    • Replies: @Lot
  121. OT:

    34-year old mulatto hailed as the new Howard Cosell suddenly and mysteriously dies of pneumonia and the (((media))) demands his worship:

    https://www.sportingnews.com/us/ncaa-football/news/espn-reporter-edward-aschoff-dies-of-pneumonia-on-34th-birthday/1861gfu5wa9sl14o01vxy7m4zk

    K.

    But wait, there’s more!:

    https://heavy.com/sports/2019/12/edward-aschoff-dead/

    So this alpha dawg posts how his pudgy huwhyte girlfriend proposed to him on Instagram?

    The media seems to have spelled, “100% on the down low GRIDS victim, ” funny.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  122. black sea says:
    @nebulafox

    Star Wars’ Fans Are Angry and Polarized. Like All Americans.

    Trump won the 2016 election. To a certain sort of person, this can only be explained by the anger of Trump supporters, never by the dishonesty, incompetence, and divisive campaigning of his opponent.

    As a result of Trump’s election, the other roughly 50% of the electorate became angry. And they can’t conceive of any reasonable person not evincing an overwhelmingly hostile reaction to this outcome. Ergo, everybody over the age of 12 must be angry.

  123. anon[710] • Disclaimer says:
    @Carpenter88

    George Lucas never understood greatness and had no use for it. The original movie was mostly directed by his teacher from film school. Others were involved too.

    Have some citations for that, have you? I never heard about his film school teacher directing New Hope. That would explain some things.

    If true, it makes the whole Star Wars tragedy make a lot of sense. The Empire Strikes back was considered the best overall episode, Lucas didn’t write the script, and fought against the director, a very story-driven/relationship kind of guy, most of the time, from what I’ve read.

    The worst mistake Lucas made, imo, was making Anakin Skywalker a little shit from the get-go. Where to you go from being an asshole? A bigger asshole. Who cares? It would have been far more dramatic to have a character similar to Luke Skywalker go from good to shitty, than a character going from shitty to shittier.

    It would be the same as if Luke was established as a little shithead prior to finding out Darth was his father. The audience response, instead of the hair going up the back of their necks, would have been, “yeah? so? you’re an asshole, your dad’s an asshole. got it.”

    Lucas has to be fucking tone deaf to do it the way he did it.

    Also, he implied via Kanobi that Jedi Knights were something like the Knights of Camelot. It seemed further established with the introduction of Yoda as a shaman-like master. Then Lucas writes a script in which they are a huge part of a democratic gobbledegook. They were all in the middle of a massive political monstrosity, and took it seriously. They were like an operative cult with a power arm in world government. What… the… fuck?

    Who in their right mind would want to join up with that massive shitshow, complete with junior brownshirt Jedi “younglings” in training, and Yoda was fucking Jim Jones!

    One more thing… Carrie Fisher was a fucking burned out, brain-damaged crack head. She was videotaped scoring crack on a street corner up until around the time she died. By her last appearance in Star Wars, she had so much plastic surgery, she looked like a minor burn victim, and could no longer enunciate clearly. She had real problems with her s’s. That’s brain damage, and perhaps bad dentistry, since she had lost all her teeth. There was no good reason to have her back in that broken condition, while implicitly asking the audience not to notice how incredibly fucked up she was.

    Oh, and two more words, speaking of slight brain damage:
    Laura Dern. WHY?!!

    I no longer give a shit about Star Wars, and won’t be seeing the latest installment unless someone can guarantee Luke gets gang raped with a light saber. I’d still pay to see that.

  124. Mr. Anon says:

    We desperately need a new American mythology to fit the 21st century realities of a majority-minority nation dealing with planet-wide threats like climate change.

    Would it not be better to conduct public affairs informed by reality rather than mythology?

    But this is current-year woke America, where “sophisticated” people look for deep meaning in Star Wars and “cosmopolitan” people have life experiences that are almost completely limited to the Upper West Side of New York City.

  125. Hail says: • Website
    @bomag

    As we close the book on the 2010s, I’d love to see iSteve commentariat thoughts on:

    (1) What, exactly, the new additions to the ‘myth’ were in the 2010s (one way to approach this being, What would surprise the average person, sitting back in early January 2010, about what the world would be like as of the last week of December 2019? What would he have thought not possible but is now on-the-ground reality? IOW, serious movement of the myth-ground under him);

    (2) Predictions/guesses on what new additions to the ‘myth’ will be pushed in the 2020s.

    Here are two thoughts related to the first question, from a thread a few days ago (#115). I suggested two of the biggest surprises were Trannies and Trump (not in that order; as for the ‘Myth,’ Trump always represented a rupture in the myth-time-space continuum):

    [MORE]

    Now that we are at the end of this decade (end of Dec. 2019), it’s worth asking: What would someone at the very start of the decade we have just lived through, say on Jan. 1st 2010, have dismissed as crankery and fringe-crackpottery if predicted at the tine, but which has today become accepted commonplace?

    The Trans Movement — in concrete form, that men would force their way into the women’s bathrooms and humiliate the restaurant staff for bigtory, to cheers and accolades of CNN and the gang — is one such case.

    (But nothing can top “Donald Trump runs for president as a nationalist and immigration-restrictionist, whose central campaign promise is to deport illegals and build a wall across the border, and wins.”)

    • Replies: @Milesglorious
  126. JimB says:

    We desperately need a new American mythology to fit the 21st century realities of a majority-minority nation dealing with planet-wide threats like climate change.

    We desperately need a new mythology that movie goers will happily pay $12 to go see in a movie theater. Woke retreads of old franchises leave us in a storytelling uncanny valley where we are being asked to suspend our disbelief that white characters can collaborate successfully with nonwhites who want to erase them.

  127. J1234 says:

    A few deeply held leftist tenets in all of this:
    – art, movies and such define “our” reality.
    – whenever the word “our” is used, the few have the right to speak for all.
    – whenever the left interprets art, movies and such, opinion becomes historical fact.

  128. @anon

    AFAIK, you’re both wrong here. The Empire Strikes Back was directed by a former USC film school lecturer, and USC alumnus Lucas sought him out for the job.

  129. @anonymous

    Darth Vader was all black

    • Replies: @anon
  130. Dan Hayes says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Thanks for the videos of the St Stephen’s Day celebrations. It brings back fond memories of the Clancy Brothers commemorating the wren’s demise in song!

    What these current ethnic commemorations may be, just maybe, signifying is that it’s not as bad as the Irish Savant believes (although I have my doubts!).

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  131. Dan Hayes says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Addenda:

    Note in Reg Caesar’s video that the Wren Boys (and gals) have pails for donations to bury the wren!

  132. Anonymous[381] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    How much of Adam Driver’s career is due to him look very Jewish? He’s not Jewish, but looks very Jewish and plays a lot of Jewish characters. He played a Jewish character in “BlacKkKlansman” and in his breakout role on the TV show “Girls”. There tends to be lots of Jewish roles available, since there are lots of Jews in showbiz, so I would imagine he benefits from that since he fits the type. I would also imagine he benefits to some degree from looking Jewish even if he isn’t actually Jewish from Jews in showbiz and media who wish to promote someone who resembles one of their own, even if only subconsciously.

    There are plenty of great actors whose careers never go anywhere despite their talent. And most actors with Driver’s level of looks would generally be typecast as villainous heavies at best.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  133. @nebulafox

    And a new decade… fresh new start.

    But is it? 2020 is the last year of the second decade of the 21st century. Yet it’s the first year of the third decade of the 2000s.

    Why are centuries ordinal, and decades cardinal?

    Petition: Barbara Walters to do the ball drop on New Years to say “I’m Barbara Walters and this is 2020”

    • Replies: @Hail
    , @Anon
  134. gregor says:

    And a recent study by Morten Bay, a University of Southern California digital media researcher, revealed that over 50 percent of the venom directed on Twitter at Rian Johnson, director of “The Last Jedi,” came from the same sources as Russian election meddling.

    Using the analytical tools that other technologists deployed to uncover Russian influence during the 2016 election, Mr. Bay found that “bots, trolls/sock puppets or political activists” were using the “Star Wars” debate “to propagate political messages supporting extreme right-wing causes and the discrimination of gender, race or sexuality” and that “a number of these users appear to be Russian trolls.” So it seems that it was political operatives, not fans, who were denigrating the movie and fomenting some of the virulent racism and misogyny against its cast.

    Using “Star Wars” as the vehicle was a canny move by the trolls.

    Don’t like affirmative action casting, gay make-out scenes, and heavy-handed political messages in your movies? Then you’re a “troll” and a “political operative.” And probably Russian.

    Yeah, ok, lady. You can pretend it’s “the Russians” if you like, but you know very well that there are millions of practically Nazis right here in America. And they are willing to give their honest opinions for free.

    It’s true that many right wingers attack and mock stuff like feminist Ghostbusters. So what? It’s not like feminists, etc., leave their politics at the door of the movie theater.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  135. @Anonymous

    Yeah Adam Driver gets cast as Noah Baumbach’s alter ego, that kind of thing. In truth, Driver doesn’t particularly look Jewish, he looks unusual. He’s well suited to sci-fi because he looks like he grew up on a planet far far away. In reality, he’s a Red State guy who enlisted in the Marines after 9/11.

    But mostly he gets cast a lot because he’s good at being a movie star. He gets cast by famous directors: Scorsese, Gilliam, Jarmusch, Lee, Soderbergh. These guys are pretty good at their job and think Driver has what it takes. You don’t see other actors in The Last Jedi getting a career boost: Oscar Isaac’s career is still treading water after looking like he would really take off, and the main actors aren’t exactly taking the world by storm. Just Driver.

  136. Hail says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    Also, this:

    Due to an estimation error, Jesus of Nazareth was actually born on Dec. 25 of the year 5 BC, not Dec. 25 of 1 AD, on our calendar.

    (Yes, I know Dec. 25 is not, technically speaking, the real birth date, or likely not, and that the real birthdate is unknown, but it’s too late to change now; the birth certificate has been printed and is on file. The year is more important anyway.)

    This would make us now about to enter the second quarter of the first century of the third millennium anno domini (2,025 years after the birth of Christ). Phew.

    • Replies: @Hail
  137. Anonymous[215] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    At a glance, Driver can look Jewish – dark hair, prominent nose, etc. And the context – being an actor, playing a Jewish character, etc. – tends to reinforce it so you just assume he’s Jewish. But you’re right that on close inspection he doesn’t particularly look Jewish. He actually looks like he would be part American Indian or something. Wiki doesn’t indicate any Indian ancestry, but it says his family is from Arkansas and Indiana, where presumably having some Indian ancestry isn’t unheard of. He kind of looks like an inbred redneck type from the Ozarks with some Indian thrown in.

    I think you’re right that he benefits somewhat from his unusual, exotic appearance. He kind of reminds me of Keanu Reeves, although obviously not as good looking.

    Isaac is good looking but not very sympathetic looking. He has an unctuous, devious vibe. He was good in Llewyn Davis but didn’t really look the part modeled on Bob Dylan. Folk singers tend to look earnest and or a bit rough.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  138. Lot says:
    @Steve Sailer

    He’s got a giant honking nose, shiny black hair, and pale white skin without freckles or ruddiness. If I didn’t know, AJ would be my first guess!

    The Jewyist looking non-Jewish actor is Jason Biggs.

    There’s even an article about this:

    http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/a_nice_notjewish_boy_20010810/

  139. Hail says: • Website
    @Hail

    For good measure while on the topic of precision within our Christian calendar:

    Oxford scholars Colin Humphreys (1941 – ) and W. Graeme Waddington published a paper in the 1980s, using all available evidence and incorporating the best astronomical data, that found the day of the discovery of the empty tomb, the Resurrection, or as we usually know it, Easter, must have been either April 7th of 30 AD, or April 3rd of 33 AD, with (they say) the latter more likely — and in either case putting Jesus in his mid-thirties during his ministry in Galilee if the 5 BC birth date is right.

    The Battle of Shiloh was April 6–7, 1862. If the 30 AD date is correct, they were fighting on the chronological one-thousand-eight-hundred-and-thirty-second resurrection day, at a biblically named site, they being none the wiser. (Easter 1862 was April 20.)

  140. @Anonymous

    It seems like Oscar Isaac needs somebody to write a screenplay to bring out whatever it is he’s best suited for.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
    • Replies: @cthulhu
    , @Coburn
  141. Lot says:
    @Cloudbuster

    I enjoyed Eastwood’s The Mule on netflix a year after it was released on film.

    Probably will do the same with RJ. It looks good but there’s not much urgency for a film set in 1996.

    I just finished up and greatly enjoyed Band of Brothers. I didn’t watch it when it was new because of the excessive marketing of it. It

    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
    , @Feryl
  142. @Dumbo

    Dumbo wrote:

    I’m one of the few people who don’t like Adam Driver so much and doesn’t understand why recently he seems to be in all movies. I mean, he’s good as an actor I suppose, but he has a strange face and I don’t like his voice.

    It’s only a problem if Driver is supposed to play a human being…

  143. Clyde says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    That ugly dude had a resemblance to John Legend.

  144. El Dato says:

    “Star Wars” became a new national mythos; it rebooted America’s revolutionary origin story and liberty-or-death values using the tropes of science fiction.

    What?? It’s a fantasy movie based on old-as-Bronze-Age tropes. IN SPACE!. With some WWII scenery (IN SPACE!) to spice it up. It’s practically “The Lord of the Rings” with different props. I can’t fit it into anything “American” no matter how I try. Not even frontier spirit.

    And a recent study by Morten Bay, a University of Southern California digital media researcher, revealed that over 50 percent of the venom directed on Twitter at Rian Johnson, director of “The Last Jedi,” came from the same sources as Russian election meddling.

    The obvious conclusion is that Troll Attribution is a dank snake oil business kept alive by Always Hillaryers in need of a fix and anyone who listens to that stuff is fucking stupid.

    In the Madlib Multiverse, this means Russians are leveraging “Star Wars” meedja output to sow dissent and make people think.

    We desperately need a new American mythology to fit the 21st century realities of a majority-minority nation dealing with planet-wide threats like climate change.

    Why does anybody new a “new American mythology” as if this was some ultra-centralized outfit, immediately defeating the author’s politicial position? This mystery and the attendant mystery of the “we” is sadly left unexplored.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  145. Brutusale says:
    @BB753

    Driver’s “breakout” role was to act like he enjoyed screwing Lena Dunham. That took some serious acting chops!

    • Agree: BB753
    • LOL: Dumbo, TWS
  146. @bomag

    We desperately need a new American mythology…

    The American mythos formerly included Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, and actual persons Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. There is a whole rich mythical genre of folk tales, songs, poetry and novels of early America. There have been a lot of wars, a Great Depression, a space race, and natural disasters that a volk-ish people could mine for new mythologies if they were so inclined. But a diverse polity cannot agree on its mythos, much less its actual history and heroes. So its mythmakers (formerly poets and writers but now corporate media) generate these convoluted, tepid stories completely unmoored from anything “American,” or any other real place for that matter. Having destroyed heritage America, the destroyers find the thin gruel of neo-America unsatisfying, so they whine like a spoiled toddler over the toy he broke during a tantrum. I don’t know what to tell them or anybody; not every broken thing can be fixed.

    • Agree: ThreeCranes, Hail
    • Replies: @Glaivester
    , @Desiderius
  147. @Coemgen

    Bloomberg’s ads are no picnic either.

    Heck, some of Mike’s spots are so bad they actually work against him and flatter Trump.

  148. @Carpenter88

    That explains WILLOW. It was a remake of his original STAR WARS idea. Luke was a midget.

  149. @anon

    The worst mistake Lucas made, imo, was making Anakin Skywalker a little shit from the get-go. Where to you go from being an asshole? A bigger asshole. Who cares?

    And this is why the entire prequel trilogy is completely uninteresting.

    The sequel films would have been better off adapting the Dark Empire series of comic books.

  150. 68W58 says:
    @anon

    George Lucas got extremely lucky in that he had some people around him who understood how to edit what he had shot into a good movie. This video explains it all pretty well:

    Once he was given creative control, in the prequels, we were able to see his flaws as a filmmaker. The sequel trilogy is the camel that is the horse designed by a committee-no one with any compelling vision of what those movies were supposed to be was pushing them, and no one with any competence was seeing them through to completion.

  151. @Hail

    2010 the New England Patriots are caught cheating by illegally filming opponents.2019 New England Patriots are caught cheating by illegally filming opponents. Nothing much as changed.

  152. @Cave

    “Like a lot of Americans, I have formative memories of my first exposure to George Lucas’s epic tale of space Rebels defeating a planet-destroying Empire. I got so excited as a little kid in 1977 about seeing “Star Wars: A New Hope” that I threw up outside the theater.”

    The movie was called Star Wars.

  153. Anon[416] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    If you look up the actress she is actually pretty, Ruin Johnson put her in a potato sack in order to “subvert” your expectations.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  154. We desperately need a new American mythology to fit the 21st century realities of a majority-minority nation dealing with planet-wide threats like climate change.

    they can’t even get orientals to stop shooting rhinos for their horns, and they expect them to care about ‘climate change’?

  155. Jack D says:
    @El Dato

    I can’t fit it into anything “American” no matter how I try.

    Not true. It’s a pastiche of cliches from old American movies. The frontier saloon scene. Luke’s parents are living on the frontier, subject to Indian raids. Allies fighting the Axis power but the main heroes are American. The Death Star is a Japanese aircraft carrier. On and on. It’s a WWII movie crossed with a Western.

    Agree with the rest of your comment. Seeing Rooshians under the bed used to be a thing on the Right, now that Russia is not longer Communist, it’s a thing on the Left. Rooshians are to Leftists what Joos are to alt.righters. Got dandruff? Halitosis? The Rooshians did it.

    • Replies: @Dr Van Nostrand
    , @Abe
  156. Jack D says:
    @gregor

    You can pretend it’s “the Russians” if you like, but you know very well that there are millions of practically Nazis right here in America.

    Well, yes, it’s true that there are still millions of almost Nazis here in America (but America in her book is already majority minority even though it isn’t yet) but they are being manipulated by the Rooshians into these false beliefs. If they hadn’t been tricked by the Rooshians then they would have voted for Hillary and approved of the gay make-out scenes.

    As I said before, Rooshians play the exact same role to the modern Left as Joos play on the alt.right. The American people are naive and easily tricked. Some alien force is always coming in and tricking them into do the wrong thing . This force is small in number but they make up for it with their magical trickster powers and manipulation of the media or social networks. If only this force was removed, the American people would have the correct beliefs, which just happen to match my own beliefs.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Desiderius
    , @J.Ross
  157. Anon[416] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross

    Star Wars is a movie about space wizards intended for children so all your criticisms are invalid. Didn’t you know? (Shill media quote that’s been making the rounds since The Last Jedi)

  158. Anon[416] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D

    Aren’t white people a minority across the globe? So arent we technically already a minority majority country? Not that the people using that term would see it that way…

  159. fish says:
    @Jim Don Bob

    Ugh…..again with the danger hair! So bold…..so edgy!

  160. @Steve Sailer

    Same with Girls, he was the only breakout star of that. He looks interesting, and he impinges.

    Looking Jewish isn’t a huge advantage for non-Jewish Hollywood actors, AFAIK. The best case scenario is probably a Jason Biggs sort of career, which has been pretty good, but not really Adam Driver level.

  161. cthulhu says:
    @Steve Sailer

    He was great in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewen Davis, but that was one of their more art-house movies. And his role in the very interesting Deus Ex was a bit too weird for stardom too. Would be nice if he got a solid juicy leading role in a commercial and critical success though.

  162. Jack D says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Adam Driver gets cast as Noah Baumbach’s alter ego

    In this case, that did actually happen but more often than not, someone like Noah Baumbach wants a MORE handsome version of himself up on screen, both because when he looks in the mirror he sees what he thinks is a handsome guy and wants someone equally handsome to play him, and more importantly, because audiences like looking at good looking people. The #1 requirement for being a movie star is not having great acting chops but having a face and a body that the camera loves – this is why so many movie actresses start out as models. You can be taught to act but you can’t be taught how to be good looking. It’s a cliche that when real life figures are played on screen, the movie versions are almost always better looking than the real life versions of themselves.

    Driver is a somewhat strange looking dude but the overall effect is not painful to look at – in the end his features are symmetrical and masculine. The Nazis BTW would tell you that he has an aquiline Aryan nose and not a Semitic nose – just having a BIG nose doesn’t make you Semitic looking.

    Someone like Kelly Marie Tran OTOH is always going to be a “character actor” at best. She just doesn’t have the face or body to carry a picture. You couldn’t stand to look at her for 2 hours straight no matter how good her acting chops are (and they aren’t very good):

  163. Jack D says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Unfair. She is a perfectly cute woman. Not super curvy but there’s nothing wrong with her looks.

    What doesn’t make any sense is making this 120 lb. woman into an ass-kicking superhero on screen when her real-life ass kicking abilities are probably 1 on a scale of 1 to 10. There are real women with ass-kicking abilities but they don’t look like Daisy, they look like this:

    The Hollywood fantasy is that you can have it all – you can be feminine and tip the scales at 120 lbs. AND you can still kick men’s asses.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  164. @Joneses

    mass immigration means the end of even pop culture like Star Wars

    What the Hell? I LOVE mass immigration now!

  165. Ragno says:
    @eddy wobegon

    Annalee Newitz (born 1969) is an American journalist, editor, and author. They have written for the periodicals Popular Science and Wired.

    Charlie Jane Anders is an American writer and commentator. She has written several novels and is the publisher of other magazine

    That’s how you can tell if they’re male or female; among today’s chattering classes, only a man would use the pronoun she. Biological females otherwise use they or zhe. It’s very very simple, once you fall on your head violently enough.

    What do you suppose occurs first? A paroxysm of global jeering at such moronic narcissism as these pronoun-whores currently wallow in….or just the encroaching heat-death of the known universe? I’d very much prefer the first, though we probably deserve the second.

  166. @Anon

    It’s not about race. It’s about a needless plot element who’s acting is mediocre, AND she’s short and dumpy. In other words, she’s ugly. That is, unpleasant to look at.

    But she could look like this if the filmmaker wanted her to:

    • Replies: @Anon
  167. @Lot

    Well, you could easily maintain that it certainly is the right time to highlight what a bunch of mendacious, self-serving bastards the FBI were in that high profile episode, and as they have been in multiple similar circumstances in intervening years. So as to, you know, insert this realization into today’s consciousness to make the idea that the FBI has been a seditious force in the life of the Republic in their role in the conspiracy against the legitimate election of President Trump.

    As the Brits say, the FBI “has form” in this regard, going way back, and often exhibited.

  168. TWS says:
    @Jack D

    She’s dumpy and frumpy very appealing.

  169. Bumpkin says:
    @MEH 0910

    Because Nolan is a hack simply coming up with dumb concepts to showcase the latest in special effects: slow-motion and other effects in Inception, time-rewinding splices in this one? Denzel’s son has some heat and he can pick up some Pokemon points after all the white leads he’s cast forever.

    • Replies: @Dr Van Nostrand
  170. @Jack D

    But spending Russian taxpayer money on denigrating American movies? How does this advance the interests of the Russian state?

    In the unlikely event it does turn out that Russian intelligence has targeted the STAR WARS franchise, I’m sure that they were doing it for practice. “Training”, in other words. You get better at stuff when you do it a lot, so if the Russian security forces have a trolling division, then they are probably ALWAYS trolling someone. And high-profile targets that generate a lot of disruption and push-back (such as a once-pretty-good, now ridiculously overrated film franchise that is still beloved by man-children), seem like good practice targets.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  171. @Steve Sailer

    Yeah Adam Driver gets cast as Noah Baumbach’s alter ego, that kind of thing. In truth, Driver doesn’t particularly look Jewish, he looks unusual.

    He looks a lot like Trevor Lawrence without the blond hair.

  172. Mr. Anon says:
    @anon

    I no longer give a shit about Star Wars, and won’t be seeing the latest installment unless someone can guarantee Luke gets gang raped with a light saber. I’d still pay to see that.

    That will be in the Ryan Murphy reboot on Netflix.

  173. Pontius says:

    Wouldn’t one guy with a blaster put a quick end to any lightsaber ballet?

  174. Coburn says:
    @Steve Sailer

    It seems like Oscar Isaac needs somebody to write a screenplay to bring out whatever it is he’s best suited for.

    Issac looks like Ian McShane.

    McShane had a long, successful career playing handsome but sleazy criminals

  175. Sweet Jesus! What a messed up pair of dolts. Is it any wonder such a meandering screed was scratched out by one of them? Russians have nothing to do with their warped thinking… and I’m being generous in calling it

  176. @Jack D

    It’s a cliche that when real life figures are played on screen, the movie versions are almost always better looking than the real life versions of themselves.

    It’s an open question whether Warren Beatty looked more like a movie star than Bugsy Siegel.

    Someone like Kelly Marie Tran OTOH is always going to be a “character actor” at best.

    It’s amazing that Tran was picked over all the other Oriental contenders, given her very average looks.

  177. @adreadline

    I was never polarized. I simply didnt play along and buy a ticket to a movie I knew would suck ass. And since I was there on day one sitting at the front row of the original in 1977… I think I have a right to express that opinion. Nobody at Disney gives a damn about my opinion so long as they get the cash. It’s only when you refuse to participate that they start to squirm.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  178. Bumpkin says:
    @Jack D

    The #1 requirement for being a movie star is not having great acting chops but having a face and a body that the camera loves

    This has changed, the top requirement now is being approachable and likable, think Hanks or Bullock. Next is talent, looks and sex appeal are somewhere between third and fifth. Consider the leads of the latest, highly popular Spiderman sequel:

    Decent-looking kids, but not what I’d call lookers. I think it’s nice that the kids are not as superficially-oriented as previous generations. Or the cynical take would be that they get their ogling in on Instagram and online porn now, so they don’t need it in the movies.

  179. @Dave Pinsen

    I always found the notion that a planetary “city” in Star Wars to have a breathable atmosphere as being absurd. Almost as absurd as combat between Obi-wan and Annakin on another planet with zero plant life…. I mean… HOW? So it is with the climate change acolytes and their incessant screeching about things that they have no way of knowing or even testing out… but they “just know” its gotta be so because they believe it.

  180. @Jack D

    Not everyone can be taught to act. Some people have trouble even playing themselves. Joan Rivers’ daughter Melissa was panned for her role as herself in a Joan Rivers biopic. There are other examples.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  181. @Jack D

    The Fast & Furious franchise cast two former female MMA fighters in recent films: Gina Carano and Rhonda Rousey. Both attractive women, but one thing you notice seeing them alongside typical actresses is how thick/robust they are in comparison.

    • Replies: @AnonAnon
  182. “The Rise of Skywalker,” released last week, is a muddled and aimless homage to previous films in the series.

    What a polite way of saying it was a totally derivative repackaging of the old storyline with a somewhat more diverse human cast.

    We desperately need a new American mythology to fit the 21st century realities of a majority-minority nation dealing with planet-wide threats like climate change.

    The MOG Strikes Back.

  183. @Jack D

    The Impeachment, the Times, and CNN are real. Russians destroying Hollywood aren’t.

    I don’t know what you hope to accomplish by carrying the Oligarchy’s gaslights for them. You can go back to above-it-all bothsidesism after we get our country back.

  184. anon[169] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    It was such a huge, huge reveal that Darth Vader was actually….Uncle Fester!

  185. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Innercynic

    One nice thing about KSR’s sci-fi is that he writes about what characters eat, where it comes from, etc.

  186. Gordo says:

    When “Star Wars: A New Hope” was released, the Vietnam War had just ended in traumatic ambiguity, Richard Nixon had resigned under the threat of impeachment, and the old American dreams didn’t fit our changed reality.

    What? Star Wars (not called ‘a new hope’) came out ’77, Vietnam ended ’75, Nixon resigned ’74, last American troops combat deployed ’73.

    Who writes this crap? Couldn’t be bothered reading the rest.

  187. Say what you will about lefty culture critics of the past. Atleast they were well rounded and read books. I don’t think the current lot reads anything. Their life revolves around TV and movies.

  188. Jack D says:

    What I was pointing out is that it is very easy to see the other side’s fallacies but very hard to see your own. I have been accused by alt.righters of being free of illusions when it comes to the African Question but having a blind spot when it comes to the JQ. The thing about blind spots is that you still can’t see them even if they have been pointed out to you. In your mind the analogy fails. X is NOTHING like Y.

  189. @Bumpkin

    Nolan has great concepts but terrible execution. All his action scenes start spectacularly but are carried through very poorly- his role model Michael Mann I’m sure is appalled. Hyper exposition and self aware cleverness almost ruined the Batman movies and Inception.
    Less said about Interstellar the better.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  190. @Jack D

    I actually do believe most Americans are naive and Ernest. And yes Washington DC,NYC etc is filled with bad foreign actors of all stripes to make this powerful nation do it’s bidding. Ok perhaps they are not neccessarily bad as in sociopathic or I’ll intentioned but simply looking outt for their interests Trump is the guy you want with you at the bazaar and the souq to tell that this smooth talking merchant is ripping you off.

  191. Abe says:
    @Jack D

    The Death Star is a Japanese aircraft carrier.

    Thank you. I have read Walter Lord’s Midway book which is a trove of fascinating details about that battle. The capital outlays required by modern naval warfare reduce its human factor by 1/100 to 1/1000 over that of land warfare- much cheaper to equip 10o men with rifles and grenades than encase them in a submarine- and so the opportunity for battle and even war-changing acts of heroism still exist there.

    At Midway the US had the strategic advantage thanks to cracking Japanese cipher codes (“Obi-wan, you are our last hope, please take these Imperial blueprints”), but at every level below that it was the Japanese who held the edge- more aircraft carriers at the battle, better planes, better armaments (many US torpedoes were duds which even when they clanged against Japanese ships failed to go off), better tactics (American planes were sent in piecemeal against a Japanese carrier task force executing a perfect “box” defense). Even the average pilot quality was on the side of the Japanese- Lord recounts a hotshot Zero pilot flying over the Midway airstrip upside down (“don’t get cocky, kid!”). The Zero pilot was, however, soon blown out of the air by Marines on the ground with shotguns.

    But for all that a single individual- Wade McCluskey- turned the tide of battle by going off course and then refusing to head back until his squadrons made contact with the Japanese, catching them at their most exposed with fuel and bombs all over the decks and ready to combust as a counter strike was being prepared. Luke shot once- twice?- at the Death Star with his double laser canons? The number of bombs released by McCluskey’s squadrons that found their mark and changed the course of history would have exceeded that by a factor of at most 4- i.e. could be counted on both hands.

  192. Jack D says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    On Seinfeld, at one point they wanted to get George Steinbrenner to do a cameo playing himself but when they filmed him he was completely wooden on camera and unusable.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  193. Jack D says:
    @Kevin O'Keeffe

    Your theory (even though unlikely) at least makes some sense. They’s thesis was that they were doing it in order to discredit the globohomo agenda and sow division among the ranks of Americans. The Russians would probably PREFER if America goes all globohomo because it weakens us.

  194. “we need a new mythology…”

    Well, you didn’t quite get a /new/ mythology, but in “The Hunger Games” series you got an updated version of the old mythology at least done by capable professionals and genuine artists.

    Jennifer Lawrence as The Mockingjay: a genuinely heroic character — tragic, conflicted, damaged, afraid, unsure of herself, yet full of courage and audacity, and played by the greatest actress of our time, a star with flat-out supernova chops and gravitas. As opposed to Somebody Anyone, the sexless anonymous space-elf Rey, played by a dull version of galactic Greta Thunberg.

    The Hunger Games is the rebellion of the beaten-down White Deplorables, with a Diverse squad on board, against an evil tyranny that looks like it publishes HuffPo and Salon. It’s the old saw of scrappy rebels against Evil White Guy, but the cast is top-notch and they really sell it so the characters seem like individuals rather than the archetypes they are. Jeffrey Wright is such a good actor that he can do Crippled Black Computer Genius without making you vomit, Donald
    Sutherland can give you a particular evil white guy rather than THE Evil White Guy, and Woody Harrelson, who is along with Ms. Lawrence the other greatest actor of our time, can sell you anything.

    Best of all, rather than more Star Wars, it was new material. That is what’s really lacking, new material. Give Star Wars a Viking funeral and cook up new stuff already.

    • Replies: @Anon
  195. J.Ross says:
    @Obamahotep

    There used to be more but the champions of freedom shut them down.

  196. J.Ross says:
    @Jack D

    It’s not the exact same role because Abe Foxman, George Soros, HIAS, and the various organizations, activists, and loudmouths who push open borders for the West but sovereignty for Israel actually exist, and would be the first to tell you what they’re proudly doing. An example of an equivalent would be me criticizing Israel and then being “explained” as an ethnically and nationally Palestinian person. The Russian hackers phenomenon is leftists refusing to believe that not everyone agrees with them. Its historical analog might be “wreckers” and “objective pro-fascism” in Stalinism: it is not possible for a Soviet worker to make a mistake, so he must be a Hitlerite.

  197. Anon[710] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    But is it? 2020 is the last year of the second decade of the 21st century. Yet it’s the first year of the third decade of the 2000s.

    Why are centuries ordinal, and decades cardinal?

    Petition: Barbara Walters to do the ball drop on New Years to say “I’m Barbara Walters and this is 2020”

    They’ll have to do it in CGI, since Barbara Walters currently doesn’t know what “Wednesday” is.

    I think the next cultural “big thing” for boomers will be realizing they’re dying.

    That hasn’t seemed to have sunk in yet. They keep going to old media standbys. I think that’s why boomers get so excited about Betty White, and kneel to Dick Van Dyke, even though they’re falling apart at the seams. As long as they’re vital, we’re okay. They serve boomers as faux gatekeepers at the caldron of infinity.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  198. J.Ross says:

    >Adam Driver isn’t classically or stereotypically Jewish-looking

    Is Steve’s Adam Driver thing a kind of subtle trolling?

  199. Lurker says:
    @Stan Adams

    No mainstream production would allow a black gay character surely? Black masculinity must never be called into question.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
  200. AnonAnon says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    The Fast & Furious franchise cast two former female MMA fighters in recent films: Gina Carano and Rhonda Rousey

    .

    Carano is in the new Mandalorian series, playing an ex-“shock trooper”, whatever that is. She’s brawny enough to be (mostly) believable in the fight scenes.

  201. AnonAnon says:

    The critics are just pissed because JJ Abrams (thankfully) ignored/undid everything Rian Johnson did in the previous movie. Our family (consisting of both liberals and conservatives) saw it this holiday and thought Rise of the Skywalker was pretty good, and miles better than the dumpster fire that was Return of the Jedi. It’s too bad JJ didn’t helm all three movies but Kathleen Kennedy was incompetent when it came to enforcing a consistent vision across the trilogy. I don’t understand why she wasn’t fired after TLJ, talk about ovarian privilege.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
  202. Feryl says: • Website
    @Jack D

    There’s a “theory” that the makers of the new Star Wars movies think it’s “unwoke” to cast “traditionally attractive” actors in the leading and near leading roles. Not helping is the hair/make up choices for many of the actors. Daisey Ridley and KM Tran actually look more attractive in “street” pictures/videos than they do in the Star Wars movies. In the original movies, Han, Luke, and Leia all have perfect looking hair and skin (at least as much as that was possible in the late 70’s and early 80’s). It’s been noted that Chinese audiences were alienated by how unattractive many of the actors look in the new movies.

    The makers of the new movies are obviously pushing CultMarx non-sense, but since they have Disney’s marketing muscle, the movies aren’t totally flopping. If anything, Disney has somehow created a Pavlovian response in today’s braindead audience for entertainment; if it has a superhero or is another Star Wars movie, therefore, I must go see it. The weird thing is that these “hit movies” never cause people to recite dialogue to one another after seeing the movie(like they did in 1980 after seeing Empire Strikes Back, “Luke I am your father”), nor do you ever really see any normal person “reliving” or re-enacting a key scene from these Disney “action” films. Nobody ever is moved or provoked by anything in these movies. Whereas, everyone in 1983 could quote Dirty Harry. And 32 years after Predator (1987) was released, several lines (“get to the chopper”, you are one ugly mother****er”) are firmly established pieces of iconic movie dialogue.

    • Replies: @SFG
    , @Jack D
  203. Anon[363] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    “The Hunger Games” doesn’t appeal enough to boys and young men and is too lame to qualify as anything approaching mythology. And it’s not epic enough. Like Harry Potter, it seems to appeal primarily to women and homosexual males.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/03/hunger-games-just-girls/330734/

    • Agree: TWS, Inquiring Mind
  204. Feryl says: • Website
    @Dr Van Nostrand

    Nolan is supposed to be some kind of “genius”, yet like most directors since circa 2000 he goes full retard with his murky and aggravating “action” scenes. Likely because he’s hiding CGI and/or the identity of stunt-men, or perhaps he can’t be bothered to convincingly stage fight or chase scenes. The John Wick movies however do use traditional film making techniques for the action (e.g. hold the camera still, and don’t edit the scene like a late 1980’s music video).

    Micheal Mann inspired a lot of the later 1980’s aesthetic, yet his 1980’s and 1990’s movies are a lot more stylish and classy than many of the ones that tried to clone his approach.

    • Replies: @Dr Van Nostrand
  205. @Anon

    I think the next cultural “big thing” for boomers will be realizing they’re dying.

    When will “post-boomers” ever realize that labelling arbitrarily-chosen “generations” is a dubious practice rarely seen before about 1980?

    To paraphrase Maynard Keynes, you’re the slave of some defunct demographer.

    Or (sorry, Steve) market researcher.

    • Replies: @Feryl
    , @Autochthon
  206. Feryl says: • Website
    @Lot

    It’s only been somewhat recently that a lot of movies have been set in the 1980’s. God knows enough movies set in the 1960’s/very early 70’s have been made over the last 40 years. And of course 10 trillion movies have been made about WW2.

    • Replies: @Lot
  207. Lot says:
    @Feryl

    The Americans seemed to recreate upper middle class suburbia in 1982-86 really well.

    Slightly before my time, but it isn’t like my families’ stuff in 1989 or 92 was all brand new.

    Lion of the Blogosphere claims the 1980s hair wasn’t big enough on the Americans. But 1980s big hair was probably biggest around NYC where he was compared to NoVa and Kansas.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  208. anon[345] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    Being strongly critical of Israel and being an atheist is less disqualifying in the eyes of most Jews. Interestingly enough, the Jews who were the most hard line on this were Reform Jews and college-educated Jews, even more than the Orthodox.

    Local Reform Jews have no problem with a homosexual atheist identifying as “Jewish” and participating in the all various special days – booths, passover, day of atonement, etc. That used to confuse me, because the Mosaic law is real clear about both atheism and “men who lie with other men”. Then I realized that the real religion of Reform Judaism is left wing politics, a lot like the Unitarians. Everything became clear at that point.

  209. Jack D says:
    @anonymous

    In it, they asked what would disqualify someone from being Jewish. The top answer: viewing Jesus as the Messiah.

    You sound as if this is somehow supposed to be shocking. The #1 and #2 tenets of Judaism is that there is only 1 God (period – no 3-in-1 gods) and that the Messiah will come someday (and has not yet come). So, yes viewing Jesus as the Messiah would make you a Christian, not a Jew. I think this is pretty basic and obvious.

    Would believing the divinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma or DENIAL of Jesus as the Messiah be disqualifying for someone to be a Christian?

  210. @Hypnotoad666

    I don’t remember if I saw the 2nd movie in this trilogy or just the first (I saw the one where Han Solo gets killed), but one additional thing that bothered me about it was that the rebels had won, but now they were the underdogs again? Wouldn’t the old Empire/First Order be the underdogs now?

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    , @MEH 0910
  211. SFG says:
    @Feryl

    I find your lack of faith encouraging.

  212. what losers still watch this crap.

    it’s like NBA fans arguing about Lebron or Kobe.

  213. SFG says:
    @Jack D

    Actually, I could totally see Russian trolls stirring this up. Remember when the NSA was looking for spies in World of Warcraft? (Yes, that was really a thing.)

    I mean, (1) it sows divisions among one of your country’s chief rivals, (2) it’s a nice dry run for the election and (3) how hard can it be to get a bunch of Internet trolls to talk about Star Wars? Who do you think gets these jobs, the Russian ballet or soccer team?

    “Sergei, we get overtime pay to talk on Internet about Zvezdnyye voyny! We make dirty jokes about ugly feminists in movie and the Americans get upset!”
    “Mishka, this is good fun! Help our country by complaining about Star Wars? Is this work or play?!”
    “Da! Pass vodka and pirozhki!”

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  214. @Innercynic

    …combat between Obi-wan and Annakin on another planet with zero plant life…. I mean… HOW?

    On this planet, oxygen tends to be emitted from green plants. But it does exist elsewhere in the Universe.

  215. @Dave Pinsen

    but one additional thing that bothered me about it was that the rebels had won, but now they were the underdogs again?

    And by the way, why are the rebels better than the Empire anyway? What’s their political program and why is it better than the status quo under the Empire? Where do they stand on taxes and healthcare? How about the death penalty, blaster control, and cross-galaxy immigration.

    As far as I can tell, the rebels are a bunch of monarchists (like Princess Leia and Queen Natalie Portman), secret society members (the Jedi), and economic special interest groups (some trade federation or something). They don’t strike me as a very promising governing coalition.

    Maybe if the Empire defeated the rebels it would do a better job of keeping the peace and maintaining intergalactic prosperity. Was the Roman Empire better off for being atomized into local fiefs – I don’t think so.

    I think perhaps the Empire has been misunderstood and maligned, and that we have been subjected to a lot of cinematic propaganda.

    • Replies: @I Have Scinde
  216. @Jack D

    On Seinfeld, at one point they wanted to get George Steinbrenner to do a cameo playing himself but when they filmed him he was completely wooden on camera and unusable.

    I would not be surprised if it were stage fright. But Steinbrenner wasn’t going to spend hundreds of hours learning how to become an actor by consistently overcoming stage fright, just for a series of cameo appearances.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  217. @Johann Ricke

    My impression is that “Seinfeld’s” portrayal of George Steinbrenner is kinder and more sympathetic toward the man than he was in real life. Steinbrenner was very good at being himself in front of reporters.

  218. MEH 0910 says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    but one additional thing that bothered me about it was that the rebels had won, but now they were the underdogs again? Wouldn’t the old Empire/First Order be the underdogs now?

    The new movie answers that question.

    SPOILERS:

    [MORE]

    Emperor Palpatine has all along been on a secret Sith planet conjuring up the First Order with Sith powers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pAsss_nTlk&feature=youtu.be&t=1578

    • Replies: @Jack D
  219. anon[330] • Disclaimer says:

    I think perhaps the Empire has been misunderstood and maligned, and that we have been subjected to a lot of cinematic propaganda.

    There is something to that perspective. Conflict resolution can be complicated, or just a matter of “who makes the call”. Perhaps Steve can expand on this.

  220. Jack D says:
    @MEH 0910

    I get the feeling that they are making this all up as they go along and use lame plot devices like this in order to reboot the next movie in the way the next screenwriter wants. Remember when on Dallas they killed off Bobby one season ( when they could not come to terms on the actor’s contract) and the next year (after the negotiations were resolved) it turned out that his death was just a dream that one of the other characters had?

    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  221. Feryl says: • Website
    @Lot

    1983-1987ish was indeed “the 80’s”. 1988-1991ish is this sort of forgotten phase that doesn’t really resemble what people think of as the 80’s (which was 1983-87) or the 90’s (which was about 1992-1996). Unsolved Mysteries peaked in popularity around 1990, and does a great job of capturing the vibe of the GHW Bush era in the 1988-1992 seasons (this was when the show was shot on film and had a good production budget for actors, stunts, and locations).

  222. Jack D says:
    @Feryl

    In the original movies, Han, Luke, and Leia all have perfect looking hair and skin

    Harrison Ford was a conventionally handsome leading man but neither Hamill not Fisher were really leading man/lady material (and never had great movie careers). I get the feeling that for the original Star Wars Lucas didn’t have the budget to cast A listers.

    • Disagree: MikeatMikedotMike, Desiderius
  223. MEH 0910 says:
    @Jack D

    I would have liked it if Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” had turned out to be a fever dream that Luke Skywalker was having.

    • Replies: @guest
  224. @MEH 0910

    Nothing the RLM guys have done since the original Plinkett reviews of the prequels even comes close to being as insightful or funny. Nothing is a strong word – a very few of their quick takes have been funny.

    Mike, the voice of Mr. Plinkett was the driving force behind the project. Jay is terrible. His smarmy, beta voice is grating to listen to, and he tries too hard to be “really knowledgeable” about how movies are made. The sloppy fat guy isn’t bad but he doesn’t really add anything.

    Their review of the female Ghostbusters was a total chicken out. They cucked hard. I haven’t been back since.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  225. guest says:

    I said the word “mythos.” Gimme a cookie.

    • Replies: @Kylie
  226. guest says:
    @Jack D

    They auditioned all of young Hollywood for that movie, including actors and actresses who’d go on to be famous.

    I agree these two are less attractive than Ford, but this was the late 70s, not 1939. Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman were leading men then.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  227. Anon[710] • Disclaimer says:
    @ben tillman

    Dude…

    Nice try. You Post camera angles all day, but the fact remains… she’s a fat lil’ pig.

    She’s the kind of girl who’s still at the frat house party at 3:00 AM drunk off her ass, loudly complaining to any of the frat members who’ll listen that she hasn’t had sex all night.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  228. peterike says:

    OT: How come nobody’s giving Eddie Murphy and SNL beef about Gumby? Gumby is very obviously a cranky Jew. But this isn’t “anti-semitic”?

    • Replies: @Jack D
  229. Glaivester says: • Website
    @The Anti-Gnostic

    Johnny Appleseed was an actual person as well.
    John Chapman

  230. Feryl says: • Website
    @Jack D

    That picture is from after Mark Hamil damaged his face in an accident (Fisher, on the other hand, in her youth and before the effects of drug abuse showed up, looked great throughout the first 3 movies). He had what was once called the “All-American” phenotype, sort of boyishly attractive and a good amalgamation of typical generic white American (mostly derived from various NW European tribes) features, when he was in his mid 20’s at the time of the first movie’s filming in 1975-1976. Nobody questioned the casting at the time. He got into a bad car crash just before Empire started filming, although Lucas swears that the wampa attack was in the script all along, rather than being written last minute to explain why Luke’s face is different. It does seem like Hamil had some more work done to fix his face at some point between Empire and RotJedi, because Hamil’s face looks better by 1983.

    And I emphasized hair and skin because those things can be improved with good lighting, styling, and makeup. The crew of the original movies made Ford, Hamil, and Fisher look even more attractive than they naturally are. Whereas with the new movies, it’s like they made them up to even uglier than they normally are.

    Luke was not going to be played by “an A-lister” because the role called for a naive farm boy type. Young actors don’t command high salaries, and male actors have to be in their early to mid-30’s, if not older, before they are treated like major stars. Until then, they are nobodies or if more famous treated like boy band members. Hell, even Harrison Ford was not really a “major” star until Indiana Jones in 1981, when he was almost 40 years old. Star Wars wasn’t Ford’s movie, anyway. The movie spends a lot of time with Luke before we even see Han. The weight of the movie really was on Hamil’s shoulders, and he definitely felt the pressure and had no idea if the audience would really buy into the story or not, when they filmed the movie. If Hamil did a bad job, the movie would have been a lot less successful.

    Lastly, Hamil has become a respected voice actor, and Star Wars fans are pissed at the way he was treated by the new movies. No doubt Ford is the bigger star, but Hamil did fine. And actor insecurity being what it is, imagine if you were in the biggest movie of all time, and then smashed your face up two years later. But Hamil overcame that setback and seems like a great guy, a gentleman. Carrie Fisher turned out to be the degenerate, mouthy and a drug addict.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  231. Ragno says:
    @MEH 0910

    Why would director Christopher Nolan cast John David Washington, the lead actor of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman”, as the lead of his next movie “Tenet”?

    To buy two or three films’ worth of labor peace, with a minimum of media attacks in between.

    It’s not a new concept: Scorsese (among others) called it one for them and one for you.

    It used to refer to injecting dumbed-down commercial elements sure to boost ticket sales (car chases, celebrity nude scenes, special fx for their own sake) to both placate the moneymen and to buy their benign neglect towards his more-personal projects… but now that such ‘dumbed-down elements’ are the whole point of the movie being greenlit, from the initial pitch meetings on, even for movie royalty -the Scorsese/Nolan types – the concept has shifted to mean a different sort of compromise: the inclusion of as many umber-hued racial minorities as the screenplay will bear – all saintly to messianic, of course – along with the de rigeur shoehorning in of “strong smart women” who can outsmart, outfight, and outf**k the increasingly-deferential and/or effeminate men who are no longer minor villains or comic relief but the leading men (God help us); and trannies and weirdo pronouns and what we’ll have to call The Woke Bits (like in the SPIDERMAN ‘reboot’ where the hero’s girlfriend defers on entering the Washington Monument because ‘it was built by slaves’).

    The idea now is that the good directors who supposedly know better than to sign off on such hamfisted agitprop have come to understand that doing so will help buy them a reprieve from such public ring-kissing on their more personal projects, that they care about. Kind of a (anxiously looks both ways for menacingly-oncoming traffic) quid pro quo, if you get my drift.

  232. Jack D says:
    @Feryl

    Hamil got typecast as Luke and this prevented him from getting a lot of work. If you’ll notice, appearing in a Star Wars movie is not necessarily the ticket to a big future movie career for the actors (outside of sequels) – it can be as much of a curse as a blessing. OTOH, you can spend the rest of your life signing autographs at ComicCon.

    Hamil says that while he was in a car accident and broke his nose, it was not that big a deal – the stories of him having to be put back together again like Frankenstein are exaggerated.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  233. Feryl says: • Website
    @Reg Cæsar

    The Who wrote a song called “My Generation” long before the 80’s. The youth movements of the 60’s and 70’s (though the idols and trailblazers of the counter-culture were often middle aged), predicated on drugs, sex, rock and roll, and mindless hostility toward organized and philosophically conservative branches of religion, academia, the government, the military, and big business etc. all had a massive formative experience on the Boomers.

    All of this stuff gradually faded away in the 80’s and 90’s once Boomers aged out of it, and Gen X-ers had no desire to duplicate the Dionysian pretensions of Boomer culture (to this day Gen X drinks less alcohol than the Boomers do). Stephen Pinker recently noted that substance abuse related problems keeps aging with the later Boomer cohort, saying that the 1953-1963 cohort has been heavily involved in every vice epidemic of the last 50 years (LSD around 1970, cocaine and AIDS around 1980, crack in the late 80’s, and opioids over the last 25 years). Strauss and Howe say that incarceration, drug abuse, homelessness, etc. all get progressively worse as you move from mid-1940’s births to early 1960’s births. The opposite patter n is seen with Gen X, who get more clean cut as you move from earlier born X-ers to later born ones. In other words, late Xers didn’t get much immersion into Boomer fueled decadent culture, whereas early X-ers often had Boomer siblings and associates who raised hell.

    Ross Douthat says that the early 1990’s is when we finally purged the narcissistic excesses of Boomer youth culture from our system. That’s when “family values” really began to be earnestly pushed, and X-ers, even as teenagers, didn’t bitterly lash out at movements intended to stabilize society. Milllennials BTW are politically and spiritually aligned with X-ers. People who came of age after 1980 saw the New Deal dismantled before they got a chance to benefit from the earlier arrangement. X-ers and Millennials weren’t the ones caterwauling about liberating America from labor unions and obscenity regulation. Or vowing to destroy modesty and restraint.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @danand
    , @Reg Cæsar
    , @guest
  234. MBlanc46 says:
    @Dumbo

    If DotR ever arrives, they have rather worse than an asylum waiting for them. Shorter, but worse.

  235. Feryl says: • Website
    @Jack D

    Hamil says that while he was in a car accident and broke his nose, it was not that big a deal – the stories of him having to be put back together again like Frankenstein are exaggerated.

    Then maybe it was natural healing, or “aging into” the effects of the change, that allowed him to look better in 1983. And having a Yeti claw his face in Empire is a big reason that rumors swirled about the severity of the injuries. And no, I don’t buy the claim that the facial laceration was “always” in the script. His hand being severed at the end, sure. But the Wampa (Yeti) attack on his face, at the beginning of the movie, no less? C’mon. It’s like Van Damme movie scripts making some excuse as to why he’s an American with a funny accent. Sometimes movie makers feel obligated to explain some real life event or personality trait that can’t be changed. Like Walter Hill having a character acknowleding an actress suddenly wearing a blue coat to cover up a real-life broken arm in The Warriors. You know, audiences don’t get that caught up in what in actor is wearing, or why their face is slightly different. Or why they have an accent.

    And again, even if the damage was “minor”, no actor in the prime of their youth wants to have a facial injury. Credit to Hamil for not letting it bother him that much.

    Hamil got typecast as Luke and this prevented him from getting a lot of work.

    That’s kinda like saying that Barry Sanders got typecast as a one dimensional running back. I mean, in athletes and in entertainment, there’s only a handful of people from each generation who attain massive elite status. Beneath that, you have a broad class of relative middle class people always nervous about being benched or eventually pushed onto the street due to the emergence of more appealing options. Athletes have physical gifts, but some are still way more gifted or hard working than others. With actors, they have gifts of charisma and physical appeal, but again some are more gifted or hard working than others.

    • Replies: @guest
  236. @The Anti-Gnostic

    Having destroyed heritage America

    She’s not destroyed, not by a longshot.

    Getting stronger every day as seen in the increasingly putrid light of her soi-disant competitors.

  237. @SFG

    Remember when the NSA was looking for spies in World of Warcraft? (Yes, that was really a thing.)

    https://www.wired.com/2012/09/vilerat/

  238. guest says:

    George Lucas doesn’t care about politics like us normal humans. I remember him saying Soviet filmmakers had it easy because so long as they stuck to basic political guidelines they can do whatever they want. I’m almost certain he had Nixonianism in mind with the Empire, rebels being Vietcong. Especially when the Ewoks join.

    Why did audiences respond to it as though it were about the American Revolution and blah blah blah? Because: lights, fun, mueic, splosions. And because all the other !movies at the time were “neorealist,” meaning boring and ugly. Even crowdpleasers like Rocky, until the last half hour or so.

    Unlike Boomerican car/Beach Boy enthusiast Lucas, feminist shrew Kathleen Kennedy and alleged human adult male Rain Johnsoon can’t communicate with normal folk (“normies”). Is this political? Partly maybe. Ultimately no, because I can listen to commies and understand what they’re saying sometimes.

    When Poor Asian Female Driver crashes into Mentally Handicapped Black, I have absolutely no idea what she says. Not because I can’t make it out of because I disagree, but because the words–letter by letter–do not harmonize into sense.

  239. guest says:
    @Feryl

    Sanders was at least two-dimensional: fast and “slippery as eff” (in the words of our urban population). Don’t really need other dimensions, though it you wanna get “huge as eff,” go for it.

    He got “type cast” in the sense of getting stuck in a loser franchise his entire career.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  240. @Jack D

    neither Hamill not Fisher were really leading man/lady material

    Hamill could have gotten Tom Hanks type roles. And Fisher could have gotten Debra Winger/Wynona Ryder type roles.

  241. @guest

    I’m guessing that Harrison Ford had some work done in the mid-1970s. He has a modest role as the bad guy’s assistant in Coppola’s 1974 movie The Conversation and he’s not as handsome as in Star Wars. Conceivably, they made him up to look unappealing in The Conversation, so I’m not sure.

    • Replies: @guest
    , @MEH 0910
  242. guest says:
    @Steve Sailer

    That’s plausible, because Ford was significantly older than the other two when he got his big break. Or maybe studio heads thought he was an a-hole.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  243. @guest

    A man told me in 1980 that Harrison Ford had built his kitchen cabinets.

  244. danand says:
    @Feryl

    “The Who wrote a song called “My Generation” long before the 80’s. The youth movements of the 60’s and 70’s (though the idols and trailblazers of the counter-culture were often middle aged), predicated on drugs, sex, rock and roll, and mindless hostility toward organized and philosophically conservative branches of religion, academia, the government, the military, and big business etc. all had a massive formative experience on the Boomers.”

    Feryl, The first few lines to the Who’s new song. Your Boomer narrative, their lyrics; makes for rhyme time.

    What’s mine is mine
    What’s yours is yours, and what’s mine is mine
    What’s yours is yours, and what’s mine is mine
    What’s yours is yours, and what’s mine is mine

    I don’t care
    I know you’re gonna hate this song
    And that’s it
    We never really got along
    It’s not new, not diverse
    It won’t light up your parade
    It’s just simple verse

    All this music will fade
    Just like the edge of a blade
    All this music will fade
    Just like the edge of a blade

    I’m long gone
    And I ain’t never coming back
    What’s wrong?
    I’ve never really quite gone bland
    I’m not blue, I’m not pink
    I’m just grey, I’m afraid
    And it seems in a blink

    I was a bit shocked when I saw the Who in the early ‘80’s in Oakland. Seemed to my naive eyes that “everyone” in the audience was drunk, high, or both, but the performance was phenomenal.

  245. @Feryl

    The Who wrote a song called “My Generation” long before the 80’s.

    Don’t blame me for your parents’ crummy taste in music. We’re talking about a period when the likes of Tony Bennett, Percy Faith, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Astrud Gilberto, Paul Mauriat, and even Sgt Barry Sadler rose high on the charts.

    People who came of age after 1980 saw the New Deal dismantled before they got a chance to benefit from the earlier arrangement.

    As Barry Goldwater predicted had to happen– and paid for it.

    Men who came of age in the 1980s didn’t benefit from the “earlier arrangement” called Selective Service. Perhaps that’s the problem. Greta Thunberg is more likely to be drafted in the next few years than any American man– quite literally.

    Or vowing to destroy modesty and restraint.

    Playboy came out in 1953. How you can pin this on Donald Trump, who was seven at the time, is beyond me.

    Griswold was decided in 1965:

    https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_griswold.html

    Crack open a pre-New Math workbook and do some subtraction. 1965 – 1946 = 19.

    36% of Americans between the age of 18 and 29 have at least one tattoo.

    In United States 11% of those that have tattoos are from 50 to 64 years old. [as 22% of population]

    http://www.historyoftattoos.net/tattoo-facts/tattoo-statistics/

    Ross Douthat says…

    You’re quoting Douthat for iStevers? Are you collecting LOLs?

  246. @Hypnotoad666

    Personally, I always rooted for the Empire. But at about 4 minutes in these deleted scenes, you see them representing a Communistic society:

    In addition, the leadership is questionable at best on the Empire’s side. Darth Vader appears to command a fleet which he seems entirely willing to see destroyed by asteroids in order to find a ship he can use as bait for personal reasons. And he literally murders his commanders who are unlucky enough to not complete their missions properly. So it’s clear the Empire would benefit from improved leadership structure. It’s amazing they ever won anything, frankly.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  247. Anonymous[976] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    If you look up the actress she is actually pretty, Ruin Johnson put her in a potato sack in order to “subvert” your expectations.

    Kelly Tran? Not really. Although most of the photos on Google Images feature her in a dress that highlights her cleavage, so perhaps that’s what you were focusing on.

    One thing that Facebook revealed to me was how the friends who I thought were attractive in real life often aren’t very photogenic, and that friends whom I don’t find all that attractive sometimes seem stunning. Some of that is maybe better photo selection, but one thing I’ve noticed is that girls with rounder faces and/or gymnast-type bodies simply aren’t photogenic, no matter what. And then there was the case of the friend with man-face (in real life) who in photos looked practically like a model.

    Kelly Tran has a rounder face and a gymnast body type. In real life it’s quite possible I’d find her attractive, and perhaps even gorgeous. On-screen, though, she just looks dumpy. She wasn’t aided by the bad bowl-cut, or the shitty dialogue that every actor in the latest trilogy has been burdened with, or the childish part she specifically was given (perhaps intentionally). And the idea that all or most of the complaints against the latest trilogy are racist is ridiculous. They are many of the same complaints I had, and that others had, against the prequel trilogy, with it’s still mostly white main cast: Jake Lloyd, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman & Ewan McGregor.

    The original Star Wars trilogy was fantastic. George Lucas may have claimed all sorts of political influences on it, but Lucas has always been full of shit. It was a decent series with solid potential as an ongoing franchise. It certainly referenced historical events here on earth – as an earthling Lucas didn’t have any alternate source to turn to – but overt politics were mostly left out of the script.

    Leave politics out. Stop worrying about diverse casting. It’s hard enough to find any cast with good chemistry together, but when you have to consider their race, too, you’re just putting yourself at a disadvantage.

    As someone else posted above, I think one thing that highlights the difference between the original trilogy and the latest one (and also the prequel trilogy) is that no one seems to be quoting lines from the last six movies. The original trilogy had some genuinely good dialogue, but nothing in the following six movies has been remotely as memorable. All the kids these days like is the CGI and the action scenes. In a globalized media environment that’s enough to make a shitload of money, but it doesn’t make great fantasy, or even quality entertainment.

    The latest figures show revenues for the opening weekend down 20% over the opening weekend of “The Last Jedi.” That movie grossed $1.33 billion, meaning that Disney’s mishandling of the franchise could cost them $266 million (or more). And “TLJ” was down over $700 million from “The Force Awakens.”

    Of course other studios wish they had that sort of problem, but $266 million (or $1 billion) is a shitload of money to leave on the table. Maybe after this one they’ll start getting it right. But probably not.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Jack D
  248. guest says:
    @Feryl

    The New Deal was never dismantled, you crazy person.

  249. Anonymous[976] • Disclaimer says:

    * Too late to edit, but what I meant to add was the box offices for the latest trilogy:

    The Force Awakens – $2.068 billion
    The Last Jedi – $1.333 billion

    Opening weekend for “The Rise of Skywalker” was down about 20% from “TLJ.” If that figure holds then the latest movie will take in about $1.067 billion, or just barely over half that of “The Force Awakens.”

    That’s still a lot of money. Disney isn’t going broke anytime soon. But it’s a also a billion dollars that Disney might have earned that it won’t. And that’s not counting the disappointing box offices from “Solo” or “TLJ,” which could easily have cost them another billion or so. Two billion dollars they’ve left on the table, partly due to shitty mishandling of the franchise, much of which has been for political reasons.

    • Replies: @Bumpkin
  250. Bumpkin says:
    @Anonymous

    It’s much more than that, they’ve effectively killed off the SW franchise. They’ve had to completely retrench, no new movie for two years and the planned trilogies with the GoT writers and Rian Johnson cancelled or about to be. “Get woke, go broke” never rung truer.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  251. @Lurker

    In TFA and TLJ*, Boyega’s character is the lamest, klutziest, wussiest, most pussy-whipped black “hero” to grace the silver screen since the heyday of Amos ‘n’ Andy. He bumbles around, alternating between cowardice and incompetence and sweating profusely while the female characters drag him along from one misadventure to another by the shriveled remnants of his balls.

    *I haven’t seen the new one, so I can’t comment.

  252. MEH 0910 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    He has a modest role as the bad guy’s assistant in Coppola’s 1974 movie The Conversation

    • Replies: @Dr Van Nostrand
  253. Ragno says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    I mentioned in a previous thread that I’m reading a Haruki Murakami novel. In it, a character says about Japanese painting that what it leaves out is as important as what it includes.

    (A jazz club. Avant-garde noise is playing.)
    Annoyed Patron: “Hmm, sounds like she’s hitting a baby with a cat.”
    Lisa Simpson, ever helpful: “Yes but you have to listen to the notes she’s not playing.”
    Patron: “Pfft, I could do that at home.”

    • LOL: 68W58, Dave Pinsen
  254. Anon[416] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I’m posting a an anon so you don’t have to believe me, but I’m a woman so I wasn’t looking at her cleavage. 😛 Though it might be why I’m a bit more generous than your average isteve user on her looks even if I did stop myself from saying really attractive cause I was thinking well no, THAT’S an exaggeration. Lol
    I agree that in person maybe she isn’t all that, I just remember seeing the cast reaction to the film and I had to do a double take because she looked no where near as dumpy. I just hate that the fan base is facing backlash for pointing out that Rian made her look bad, I believe, on purpose. She isn’t the ugly potato woman he made her and fans aren’t bad people for pointing that out. One of the other narratives surrounding her is that she got bullied off the internet by fans but most people blame Rian for how he treated the character.
    Rian killed the franchise financially with all the bad choices he made, so I’m glad its gotten to a point where Disney can’t deny that. I hated TLJ to the point where I’m not going to see this one but I hear JarJar included some direct slights towards some things Rian ruined but its too late. Because you’re right no one is quoting these new movies and even the prequels have a lot of memed quotes and parts. The only real meme I can remember is from the force awakens with the storm trooper everyone dubbed TR8R, because he yelled traitor at Finn and had that cool looking club thing. Honestly everything else I can remember from this trilogy is backlash or fundamental misunderstandings of both storytelling and how the unique parts of star wars (the force, lightsabers, etc) works.
    Beyond that there are just hours upon hours of criticism for the new movies (and old) on youtube. Some users that I’ve seen go over specific aspects of failure are RobotHead and Shadiversity which both have videos on how Disney fails at both understanding how lightsabers work and how sword battles should look. Mauler is a good one if you want someone that just rips the movies into shreds. There are so many people who can take one look at these movies and just say what the hell were you thinking that it makes you wonder just how incompetent disney/ Kathleen Kennedy/ Lucas Film are for letting things get to this point.

  255. Jack D says:
    @I Have Scinde

    Stalin had a similar leadership style and he won WWII. Being casual with the lives of your own people and ruling by fear might be immoral but they are not necessarily ineffective.

  256. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous

    Leave politics out. Stop worrying about diverse casting.

    Speaking of quotable movie lines, “Never go full retard.”

    That was Disney’s mistake. Sure, make some token effort at diversity, a nod toward Woke politics – it’s expected nowadays. But they went full retard and turned the story line upside down in order to accommodate the needs of politics and diversity – they let the tail wag the dog. And the irony is that they were never going to please the Leftists anyway unless the entire cast was blue haired Lesbians and transvestites and they had chased away their entire audience.

  257. @Jack D

    The bizarre insistence that “any criticism I don’t like online is from Russian gov agents!” is simply a tactic to ease in the further banning/deplatforming of American twitter accounts/youtube personalities. Those trolls who stayed away from race stuff and overt criticism of feminism still have their free speech rights, yet they are not loudly cheering on the latest media prolefeed. It aids in the next round of purges.

  258. MEH 0910 says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    The only RLM bit that falls flat for me is the overly broad Nerd Crew parody. I enjoy everything else. I don’t expect an alt-right take from them, just a humorous regular guy point of view.

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  259. Kylie says:
    @guest

    No cookie. You said “gimme”. That cancels out “mythos”.

  260. Of all the things I think about black men, “devoid of personality” is not on the list.

    I have seen many dumpy Asian women, tho.

  261. Anonymous[192] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bumpkin

    The Star Wars franchise has a lot of goodwill, plenty of potential, and plenty of stories to tell. They’ve ruined the Skywalker saga but they certainly haven’t killed off the franchise. If they can drop the Woke politics it will easily recover.

    The first thing they need to do is stop worrying about casting diversity. Just cast good actors, period, and give them good dialogue and a plot that actually makes sense.

    I looked up the numbers for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for reference. Those movies had zero diversity.

    Fellowship of the Rings – $871 million
    The Two Towers – $926 million
    The Return of the King – $1,120 million

    So no diversity, and each movie did better than the previous one, unlike the latest Star Wars trilogy where each is doing worse than the last. Those movies were released almost 20 years ago. Attack of the Clones was released the same year as The Two Towers but took in $275 million less at the box office.

    The Hobbit Trilogy didn’t have much diversity, either. I guess Peter Jackson was eventually forced to throw in a few minorities, so he tossed in a couple of blacks and possibly others and gave them all about 3.5 seconds of screen time. Middle Earth was always meant to be a mythological version of Ancient Britain, so making it diverse never really made much sense, and only would have made it seem entirely silly. Star Wars, OTOH, has the option of being realistically diverse since it’s set in the future (sort of) but they can still prioritize the quality of the cast over its diversity. As the Tolkien trilogies easily proved, plenty of people will be happy to come see it. Hell, even the Marvel movies aren’t really all that diverse, yet the last Avengers did about three times better than this latest Star Wars movie will do.

    • Replies: @anon
  262. Jack D says:
    @peterike

    Short answer: no.

    It’s obvious that Murphy plays Gumby from a place of affection and not hatred. And Murphy’s Gumby is now a historical character – it’s true that he probably wouldn’t be allowed to introduce him as a new character in the Current Year. TBH, there aren’t that many guys alive with that accent anymore.

    But conversely, no white is now allowed to portray a black person no matter how affectionately.

  263. @guest

    He got typecast in that he turned the running game into the passing game. Higher mean + higher variance.

    Franchise wasn’t as bad then as it is now. He’d be a better McCaffrey in today’s game.

  264. danand says:
    @Jack D

    “Harrison Ford was a conventionally handsome leading man but neither Hamill not Fisher were really leading man/lady material (and never had great movie careers.)”

    Oh come on Jack, you must have missed Corvette Summer, Hammel’s true opus. I certainly enjoyed it and found it far more down to earth than Star Wars. Without doubt CS showed Hammels true talent.

    • Replies: @cthulhu
  265. anon[829] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    If they can drop the Woke politics it will easily recover.

    Not gonna happen. Di$ney’s motto now is “Let The Wokey Win”. That’s why they hired Kathleen Kennedy and Jar Jar Abrams.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  266. @AnonAnon

    Return of the Jedi was a pretty good movie released in 1983; no reasonable critic, even someone who personally did not care for it, would call it a “dumpster fire.”

    Perhaps you meant to type The Last Jedi (which no reasonable critic could call anything but a dumpster fire, for reasons the Hypnotoad eloquently argues).

  267. nymom says:
    @Peterike

    I am starting to think this whole climate change fixation is just being used as another attack vehicle against western industrial civilization. I never hear them talking about how overpopulation by the third world is driving a lot of destruction of wildlife and natural habitat.

    Not to mention how it is driving all of these surplus populations to invade western borders under the latest excuse that they are “climate change refugees”…

    Why can’t they just admit they are a pack of screw ups who have messed up their portion of the world…

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  268. Bad News says:
    @Jack D

    This! I loved slipping “a number” past the editors when I was a newspaper reporter. You’re right, it can mean anything. And it’s never wrong. Nice catch. No one ever notices it.

  269. Anonymous[192] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Not gonna happen. Di$ney’s motto now is “Let The Wokey Win”. That’s why they hired Kathleen Kennedy and Jar Jar Abrams.

    Funny. But a billion dollars is a lot to leave on the table. Even for Disney. And it’s not just one time. They’ll lose a similar amount on every single other Star Wars movie they make.

    • Replies: @Bumpkin
  270. cthulhu says:
    @danand

    Mark Hamill was really good in Sam Fuller’s largely autobiographical masterpiece The Big Red One, with Lee Marvin in his last great role. Roger Ebert, with whom I disagreed often, got it right in his review (https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-big-red-one-1980) when he put this movie on his “the great movies” list.

  271. J.Ross says:
    @nymom

    Pssst … check out what those all-important Paris climate accords require of the People’s Republic of China …

  272. @MEH 0910

    Ford looked better in his mid 30s and early 40s i.e the Indiana Jones movies than here. Sure he had his classical good looks but that je ne sais qua that drove ladies of all ages wild manifested itself as he got older .

    • Replies: @BB753
  273. @Feryl

    Christopher Nolan is the kind of director that makes people of average and lower intelligence think that they are smart. And that includes much of the media and hence all that gushing praise. Grand visuals, bombastic scores and heavy clunky dialogue dripping with gravitas though not too much wisdom is what makes people think that I suppose.
    His movies arent really all that deep. Inception is a clever idea executed well (mostly) and Memento was a gimmick which got increasingly tiresome as it progressed. But both of these are really extended Twilight Zone episodes. The only Batman movie to which he gave any serious thought was the last one in which he satirized Occupy Wallstreet , the French Revolution and the subsequent terrors. Fortunately for him that was in 2012 otherwise he would have found himself cancelled.

    The capital offense a director makes while filming action scenes is interspersing any two or more scenes with different participants and places together which takes the viewer out of it and just goes “meh”. Nolan does this a LOT.

  274. At this point my default assumption is that any and all products of pop culture are SJW agitprop and I simply avoid and ignore it as much as possible.

  275. Anonymous[976] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Dude…Nice try. You Post camera angles all day, but the fact remains… she’s a fat lil’ pig. She’s the kind of girl who’s still at the frat house party at 3:00 AM drunk off her ass, loudly complaining to any of the frat members who’ll listen that she hasn’t had sex all night.

    You post a photo where she actually looks pretty tasty then tell us she’s a fat little pig.

    If I met this girl in real life I’d probably be more than happy to give her a whirl, as would probably most of the men here. What looks good in real life and what looks good in photos or movies isn’t necessarily the same. Short and stocky – whether that “stock” is muscle or baby fat, just doesn’t often look very good in pictures.

    But either way her appearance isn’t all that relevant. The latest movies suck, and Tran’s character is secondary – tertiary, even. If the rest of the movie were well-cast with good dialogue and a comprehensible plot Tran’s character would be forgettable, or maybe even likeable. But because the latest Star Wars movies stink, Tran’s character is just one more thing to despise.

  276. @MEH 0910

    ” I don’t expect an alt-right take from them, just a humorous regular guy point of view.”

    As do I. With GB, they went out of their way to avoid discussing the obvious feminist appropriation of the franchise and the reasons for it. That has nothing to do with the alt right.

    • Replies: @68W58
  277. Bumpkin says:
    @Anonymous

    Yep, the rumors are that Jar Jar was Iger’s hire and Rian was Kathleen’s and Iger was so displeased with The Last Jedi that he begged Jar Jar to come back, since the first one made the most money. Supposedly, they’re just going to wait till next year but it’s already decided: she’ll be pushed out the door. Iger created a lot of this mess but not hiring Kathleen and putting her in charge, that was Lucas before he sold to Disney.

  278. 68W58 says:
    @MikeatMikedotMike

    In fairness to their Ghostbusters review, the part where Mike’s Mr. Plinkett keeps repeating (with ever increasing emphasis) “stop talking!” was hilariously devestating.

    • LOL: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  279. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Granted that Adam Driver is good as Kylo Ren. Driver is a movie star.

    He’s one of the ugliest mofos I ever did see.

    He looks like a bad caricature of Travolta as a Puerto Rican.

  280. BB753 says:
    @Dr Van Nostrand

    But Ford has aged very badly. Funny how age affects different people in different ways.

  281. MEH 0910 says:
    @68W58

    I forgot that there’s both a Half in the Bag review and a Mr. Plinkett’s review of Ghostbusters 2016.

    Half in the Bag Episode 112: Ghostbusters (2016)

    Published on Jul 18, 2016
    Mike, Jay and some guy named Rich Evans talk about the new Ghostbusters movie that everyone else has already talked endlessly about.

    Mr. Plinkett’s Ghostbusters (2016) Review

    Published on Aug 8, 2017
    Who ya gonna call? Why everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Harry S. Plinkett! He’s back to breakdown what went so terribly wrong with Ghostbusters (2016) and why it SUCKS so HARD.

  282. MEH 0910 says:

    Rod Dreher Retweeted:

    • LOL: 68W58
    • Replies: @Autochthon
  283. @MEH 0910

    The Solo’s what? His misplaced apostrophe, maybe?

  284. MEH 0910 says:

    OT:

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