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exNihilo's profile

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exNihilo  ·  2921 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Tim Burton's Batman Is Still the Best - Esquire

Maybe I need to trim my neckbeard, but that was the most infuriating and pretentious article on Batman I think I have ever read. And I loved Tim Burton's Batman. It also commits numerous sins against the character of Bruce Wayne and Batman. And it is not the best Batman film.

Having the Joker kill Wayne's parents was a blatant cop-out and a cinematic cheat to make the Joker's evil more real. Since all he had been up to that point was cartoonishly evil. But a person who kills the protagonist's parents in cold blood makes the connection and conflict personal.

Bruce Wayne is incredibly dorky and awkward in this iteration of Batman. Something he is pretty much not, in any other interpretation of the character. This is blatantly poor characterization. Bruce Wayne projects a persona vapidity and self-interest to deflect the idea that he might be Batman. He occasionally lets down that shield to people whom he becomes close to, see The Long Halloween and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm if you really want to see Bruce Wayne emotionally vulnerable. But he is pretty much always self-assured. But that would probably be too nerdy for this enlightened scholar of modern cinema. After all, these are just "funny-underwear films" right?

    In '89 Batman, the stakes are that Bruce Wayne might be cuckoo. In 2005 Batman, the stakes are that Bruce Wayne might make Katie Holmes sniffle.

These are not stakes. Batman has always been partially to completely insane. No superhero is not at least somewhat unhinged. Batman is just slightly more so. And the actual stakes in both films are widespread death and chaos, so...did the author even watch these movies? Or just read the Wikipedia entries? Seriously, some parts of that article read like they deliberately calculated to piss comic fans off. Come to think of it, they probably are.

exNihilo  ·  2924 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: CS Lewis explains why you should be proud to read children's books.

I've always felt that this was a very intellectually dishonest way to look at things. Has there ever really been a period in history when the majority of the population was highly bookish? Books have been around for centuries and literacy has only been since the advent of the printing press. The popularity of e-readers the rise of the superstar author is proof of this.

Sure, we may not spend all our time reading David Foster Wallace and Pynchon, but is this any different from history? Was the typical farmer or craftsman in 18th century England reading Kant? People generally read what is familiar and easy to them. Which rather underscores what Lewis is saying about reading children's lit.

    "It is worth noting that Stormfront has a pretty active presence on reddit and there are numerous racist subreddits. "

I was merely pointing out that whether or not this was a targeted raid from /pol/ or Stormfront or any of the other racist websites out there is irrelevant. Racism is endemic on reddit. Stormfront has a bunch of people there because it is the optimum environment to foster bigotry.

One of the rallying cries of racists and bigots in general when people object to their views is that those against racism are in fact the real bigots. Essentially arguing that refusing to tolerate intolerance is itself intolerant. This is literally one of the talking points of the modern neo-Nazi movement. And reddit tacitly endorses this by letting any bigot spout their insanity and hiding behind the protection of free speech as if this gives some moral high ground. The fact is, if your only defense for your argument is that it isn't illegal to say what you are saying, then your argument is pretty weak.

Ultimately, reddit is a private website and obviously the owners can do whatever they want with it. This something that its users cannot seem to fathom in many cases. Reddit is not a democracy. But this doesn't excuse it from any moral culpability or criticism in fostering a seething cesspool of intolerance and extremism. They give hate groups a very public and popular place to deliver their message.

    There is a large feminist presence on reddit also, they have numerous subreddits. Reddit must be highly feminist also.

False equivalence much? Watch how quickly posts criticizing something 'all women do' gets upvoted. Observe the victim complex whenever things like the pay gap and false rape are talked about. Reddit is pretty anti-feminist and all around misogynistic.

    It wasn't a CP subreddit, it was a subreddit full of fully clothed teenage girls.

Presented fully for the prurient interests of the creeps and pedos who ran that place. It was there for the sexual gratification of its viewers. It wasn't weird and a little creepy, it was disgusting and degrading.

    But it was way more complex than simply a CP subreddit getting shut down for CP.

It wasn't shut down for CP. It was shut down because it made reddit look bad when it got substantial amount of bad PR because of it. The reddit admins knew their position was indefensible and crumbled as soon as a light got shone on it. Before they always cried about free speech.

Reddit has always been disgusting. Look how they allowed a subreddit like /r/creepshots to exist, under the justification of free speech and how women in public should have no expectation to privacy. And yet, when one of their moderators got doxxed, suddenly privacy matters.

exNihilo  ·  2925 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What comic books or graphic novels do you suggest?

Alan Moore's Watchmen is pretty much mandatory for anyone who wants to read sequential art.

Grant Morrison is a fantastic writer and everything he has written is absolutely brilliant, but I would recommend We3, one of his lesser known works. It's pretty sad and quite violent but a very poignant examination of animal experimentation. You really can't read anything by Morrison and not be left thinking about it for hours afterword.

Halcyon by Marc Guggenheim. Basically, what happens when Superheroes aren't needed anymore?

No comic list is complete without a Batman recommendation but I will eschew plugging The Dark Knight Returns and instead suggest Batman: Hush. This was Jeph Loeb in his heyday. Probably his finest work. Coupled with Jim Lee's artwork and this is a comic you wont forget.

Uzumaki by Junji Ito. I've never been a huge fan of manga, but this one stands alone. A lonely ocean-front village is haunted by a recurring symbol, a spiral, in a series of linked stories. The artwork is highly detailed and the story is reminiscent of the cosmic dread that Lovecraft evokes.

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. from Warren Ellis. This comic is pure silly fun from beginning to end. It takes a bunch of obscure C-list heroes from the Marvel universe, mixes them up in an absurd plot, strips out everything but explosions and swearing with a Nick Fury parody with a severe existential crisis and Oedipus complex. The intro song describes it best: "It's like Shakespeare, but with a lot more punching!"

It is worth noting that Stormfront has a pretty active presence on reddit and there are numerous racist subreddits. Additionally, the mods of /r/videos have essentially washed their hands of all responsibility in preventing blatant racism from coming to frontpage. All in the name of Freezepeach.

Consider that it took reddit being featured on Anderson Cooper to finally ban the CP subreddits. 4Chan has a more proactive stance on this stuff than reddit.

exNihilo  ·  2925 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Which book could you not put down?

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Have you ever spoken with someone and realized within a few minutes of speaking with them that not only were they far more intelligent than you, but they were also more educated, witty and articulate? That was this feeling, in book form.

Absolutely brilliant work that can be enjoyed on multiple levels. The plot itself is well structured with good characterization and well written imagery. The history is first rate, although as a layperson, I could only see how much I wasn't seeing. The same goes for the view into medieval philosophy in play at the time. Which ties back into the characterization. The characters all think and act like people of time period. The atmosphere that his evokes is phenomenal. It helps when the author is a medieval historian. It is historical fiction that is actually historical.

exNihilo  ·  2925 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who are some actors that you feel are underrated?

The Rock really has to be Michael Bay's best work. It has the perfect blend of action and plot. The action isn't so over the top and mind numbing, the way Bay got with his later films. He managed to achieve and optimum blend of serious and silly with a fantastic cast. Sean Connery plays his role brilliantly and his constant jabs at Cage's whining always make me laugh.

"Your besht? Your besht!? Looshers alwaysh talk about their besht!"

exNihilo  ·  2925 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: US patent office strips Washington R________ of offensive trademark

A large part it probably stems from the fact that a number of people today, from all age groups, but primarily millenials dislike talking about racism. This isn't to say they endorse it, but that it makes them uncomfortable. Acknowledging that racism still exists today is difficult to accept for a lot of people. Especially people who don't generally experience racism and/or discrimination i.e. white males.

It is somewhat understandable. Racism is an unsavory topic that is very emotionally charged. But the only way to end it is by talking about and coming to grips with the fact that racism didn't end with passage of the Civil Rights Act.

exNihilo  ·  2925 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who are some actors that you feel are underrated?

Lord of War is probably his best film. At least in the serious vein. I think a large part of this stems from his not acting like Nicholas Cage. The Rock is his best non-serious role. Still decent acting without any of the insane craziness he is known for now.

exNihilo  ·  2926 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Welcome to the world of Ooparts, or Out of Place Artefacts

Seems like a cool seed for science fiction novel. Remnants of a ancient galactic spanning civilization leaving clues to their existence to future species. Once they develop they proper technology to probe their secrets they send out a signal to the dormant machines who awaken to kill all sentient life. Like in Revelation Space.

exNihilo  ·  2926 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Welcome to the world of Ooparts, or Out of Place Artefacts

Doesn't seem like they are out of place at all. According to the linked Wikipedia entry, they are the perfectly natural result of normal geological processes.

    These spheres are reportedly so delicately balanced that even with modern technology, they would need to be made in a zero gravity environment to attain these characteristics.

This seems incredibly exaggerated. Just look at the pictures in the Wikipedia entry and you can see they have numerous imperfections.