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About those visuals

That’s funny—you don’t look Bluish....

Gotta run a bunch of syllabus-related errands today (for the graduate seminar on Stuart Hall), so I don’t have any time to direct you to Dissent‘s discussion of “Intellectuals and Their America” (with contributions from E. J. Dionne, Jr., Alice Kessler-Harris, Jackson Lears, Martha Nussbaum, Katha Pollitt, Michael Tomasky, Katrina vanden Heuvel, and Leon Wieseltier) or this discussion of why progressives can or can’t produce social change (h/t Roxanne Cooper), or Charles Homans’ take on the disconnect between the Obama Administration and the grassroots organization it built in 2007-08.  Nor do I have time for any other occupatio.  I just want to point out that everyone who says ”Avatar is stupid but it’s also really beautiful” is missing the obvious, namely, that—like it or not—the visual beauty of the film is the point.  Yes, the story could have been better, more inventive, less Dances-with-FernGully.  Of course.  But if you were entranced by the landscape of Pandora, then—aha!—Cameron got you.  You came into the film thinking, for the first half hour, that Pandora was a vicious hostile place that would kill you dead and eat your eyeballs for jujubes.  Then you converted to Bludaism, and you got to experience how breathtakingly beautiful it really was, especially when you learned to ride the Hippogriff.  Then you started realizing—as someone pointed out to me the other day—that all the human artifacts (outside the science lab, that is) were breathtakingly ugly:  no streamlined white flying machines, just heavy gray-metal industrial equipment, open mines, a blighted, spewing refinery that looks like Elizabeth, New Jersey, and helicopters and gunships with big nasty whirly-ears.  So there’s really no separating the form from the content, is what I’m saying.  For better and for worse, the movie’s visuals are its content, and if you loved its visuals in the Pandoran forests, then there’s no escaping the conclusion:  You Are All Jake Sully Now.

Posted by on 01/08 at 01:47 PM
  1. See, it’s crap like that which keeps me from going to see that movie just for those visuals I keep hearing so much about. For now at least, I’m still holding out on entering the Jake Sully Matrix.

    And I don’t have time to direct anyone over the the Great Orange Satan for a post which includes this most awesome Nicole Sullivan sketch that you must see if you haven’t seen it yet (watch till the very end!).

    Perhaps those links properly belong 2 threads down, but I didn’t want them to get lost in the sub-basement. And I don’t have time to be bothered about what comment should go in which thread anyway. Yeah, I’m going rogue.

    Posted by  on  01/08  at  04:05 PM
  2. O-Girl, we’ve known each other a long time, but I have to say that Mark Fiore’s cartoon engages in nasty slurs that are most uncivil and disrespectful.  While this blog deplores the death threats that Fiore is receiving, we should all stop and think about whether, perhaps, such brutal mockery of Tea Party Patriots™ effectively invites an equally brutal response.

    Posted by Michael  on  01/08  at  04:41 PM
  3. Not too mention that I don’t see the point in commenting on a dead blog.

    Posted by  on  01/08  at  05:46 PM
  4. Spot on.

    And the big question those visuals invite is this: are they an admittedly strange digital paean to a world we have already effectively lost (and thus a kind of cultural work of mourning) or an 11th hour effort to rouse audiences to some kind of action on behalf of a natural world we have not yet succeeded in poisoning?

    Posted by  on  01/08  at  07:02 PM
  5. It seems so silly to try to make something deep and philosophical—or culturally threatening—out of what was clearly mainly eye candy.  Very good, high quality candy, but candy nonetheless. 

    To me it has been more interesting to see how the wingnuts have reacted to such a benign movie.  I think they were particularly offended by the film’s use of the term “shock and awe.” They seem to be sensitive to that term for some reason.  They seem to identify readily with the ‘bad guys’ in the movie and then proceed to take the whole thing personally.  Makes me think of an old saying my grandmama had about stuck pigs and how they squeal.

    Posted by  on  01/08  at  07:09 PM
  6. All I know about Avatar is that my daughter is tracking the way her Indian friends’ fathers pronounce the title, depending on what part of India they came from—I’ve heard Auatara and Avatarum (forgive the transcriptions, my Sanskrit isn’t what it used to be, and it never was much, perhaps due to my falling for the TA instead of thinking about phonology and dvandva compounds).

    Posted by  on  01/08  at  07:13 PM
  7. There are some people who love those ugly powerful brutalist machines.  I know folks who get aesthetically excited when they see pictures of the Athabascan tar sand dump trucks.  “They’re so huge!”

    I actually thought the script was given a great deal of thought even while being “Pocahontas in Space” or “Once Again the White Brother Is a Better Noble Savage than Anybody Born to It.” There was a subtext about Gaia, that runs through the film.  It is expressed scientifically by Grace and the other scientists and by the Na’vi as spirituality.  I wonder if Lynn Margulis or James Lovelock has seen it yet and would love to hear Ursula K LeGuin’s take on it.

    Posted by gmoke  on  01/08  at  07:35 PM
  8. JP @ 3: I don’t see the point in commenting on a dead blog.

    Maybe you should stop to think that maybe this blog has been absorbed into Eywa, white man?

    Eric @ 4: are they an admittedly strange digital paean to a world we have already effectively lost (and thus a kind of cultural work of mourning) or an 11th hour effort to rouse audiences to some kind of action on behalf of a natural world we have not yet succeeded in poisoning?

    You know well, Eric, that this is not an either/or kind of blog.  That’s one of the fun things about fiction:  the answer can be yes, because as Sidney once said, James Cameron nothing affirmeth, and therefore never lieth.

    mb @ 5: They seem to identify readily with the ‘bad guys’ in the movie and then proceed to take the whole thing personally.

    Well, that’s probably because so many of them look exactly alike Colonel Quaritch, and when the Colonel gets into that FOX-NFL dancing robot thingy, they get a little thrill going up their leg.

    Gene @ 6: my Sanskrit isn’t what it used to be, and it never was much, perhaps due to my falling for the TA instead of thinking about phonology and dvandva compounds

    Ah, you too are all Jake Sully Now.

    gmoke @ 7: I know folks who get aesthetically excited when they see pictures of the Athabascan tar sand dump trucks.  “They’re so huge!”

    Yes, the Tonka Effect.  So many boys’ aesthetic senses stopped developing at age six ... it explains a great deal about the auto industry, though.

    I actually thought the script was given a great deal of thought even while being “Pocahontas in Space” or “Once Again the White Brother Is a Better Noble Savage than Anybody Born to It.” There was a subtext about Gaia, that runs through the film.  It is expressed scientifically by Grace and the other scientists and by the Na’vi as spirituality.  I wonder if Lynn Margulis or James Lovelock has seen it yet and would love to hear Ursula K LeGuin’s take on it.

    I wonder that too.  And I’m struck that almost no one has mentioned the fact that Sully’s a better-noble-savage white brother with a difference, namely, that he takes on the Pandora assignment—and then the Na’vi initiation rituals—because of his physical disability.  He’s “tired,” as he says to Grace, “of doctors telling him what he can’t do.” You would think this would complicate the standard analyses of race and colonialism, but somehow it doesn’t.  The fact that Quaritch tells Jake in so many words that his “real legs” will be his reward for back-channeling to the contractors—actually pointing at Jake’s withered legs with his great big FOX-NFL Dancing Robot prosthetic arm—seems not to have registered with the film’s various critics.  Nor has Jake’s decision to refuse the deal even when Quaritch comes through with the authorization.  FWIW.  I mean, somebody had to bring it up.

    Captcha:  you, as in “I see.”

    Posted by Michael  on  01/08  at  07:58 PM
  9. Overheard leaving the theater after seeing Avatar; a 6 years old asking his mother: “But won’t the mean guys just go find another planet to mine?”

    Sadly i didn’t catch the mother’s response.  Perhaps it went something like this.

    Posted by  on  01/08  at  10:07 PM
  10. Because I don’t have an actual substantive comment, a LOLcat.

    avatarspoi.jpg

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  01/08  at  10:33 PM
  11. Film is still racist crap, imo. And I still haven’t seen any of its defenders talk about its hilariously stupid “exploiters will leave and never come back with more and bigger guns” ending.

    I’m glad though that Michael agrees with Louis Proyect on something, at least. Which in an inversion of the usual “if both sides complain I must be doing something right” rule clearly implies they are both totally fucking wrong.

    Posted by  on  01/08  at  11:39 PM
  12. So you’re basically saying that this is Ender’s Game, and it will be followed by two films called Nu’vi’s Avatar and Avatar of Jake Sully’s Serial Killer Brother?

    Wake when the trilogy finishes so I can Parental Control TBS.

    Captcha: “art” which I look for only when I don’t see James Cameron’s name without his ex-wife.

    Posted by Ken Houghton  on  01/09  at  01:10 AM
  13. I’m glad though that Michael agrees with Louis Proyect on something, at least.

    Hey, even Lou agrees with me that Ed Herman has gone right off the deep end.  Though he still sees virtues in Milosevic that I somehow fail to see, good ol’ Lou is knocking on the door of a full-blown analysis of the Manichean Left:

    Herman and Peterson’s methodology only works if you reduce the playing field to imperialist states and those that are under attack from imperialism. As such, these Znet geniuses are analogous in some ways to the Guardian Council in Iran which also decides who gets to play in politics or not. So you are bus drivers in Tehran trying to form a union? Sorry, Herman and Peterson have no interest in your plight as long as George Soros or Freedom House issues statements on your behalf. The implied prescription for the Iranian left is just to disappear, since they give aid and comfort to the “reformist” politicians who are clearly pawns of American imperialism.

    And I still haven’t seen any of its defenders talk about its hilariously stupid “exploiters will leave and never come back with more and bigger guns” ending.

    Oh, the Sky People are comin’ back with nukes, everyone knows that:

    When Grace was killed the possibility for a happy ending kinda went out the window. Instead Clan Jarhead went and won the battle, which is all well and good, but instead of kicking them off, the Na’vi should have then negotiated from a position of strength. If they had done that, then perhaps they could have had a happy ending. As it was this was sort of like a group of Lakota warriors sitting around after the battle of Little Big Horn and saying “Well, I guess that takes care of the white man.”

    Don’t know if this guy counts as a “defender,” though.

    Posted by Michael  on  01/09  at  01:25 AM
  14. Yes, it’s entertaining and exhilarating and really racist. The white Earther is the strongest, purest, bestest member of the tribe… after just a few weeks of training(!), and Pocahontas falls in love with him. It’s the “going native” dream of the white boys who don’t like what their team is doing to the planet. Absolution. Superiority. Annoying. But also touching and all that.

    And a dam’ sight better than Disney, in the sense of being less aggressively and intentionally offensive. We have a little one and we saw Princess and the Frog the same week; talk about racist crap, omg!!! Back to Song of the freakin’ South with Disney (or Peter Pan. Or Fantasia. Or Dumbo. Or Little Mermaid...) Help us, ObiWan Berube...!!!

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  02:04 AM
  15. You know Michael that name “manichean left” is really not useful, or accurate. The debate about the position the revolutionary left should take on the Iranian opposition movement rather shows up the differences between the broadly Trotskyist (and of course anarchist) left and what a British comrade called “Stalinism without Stalin”, ie the belief that the only chance for revolutionary change lies with an alliance of states opposing Western imperialism (we used to call them tankies back in the day...).

    (To be clear I don’t agree with Western intervention in Iran in any form at all, including sanctions. I’ll leave that kind of shit to Krauthammer and the editors of Dissent.)

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  02:10 AM
  16. Hey -sorry for the late reply, just got home.
    Apologies for linking to the post with the Fiore cartoon. I didn’t even watch it, actually. I scanned the post quickly and saw the Mad TV clip, which I thought was funny. Linking to the post was just my attempt at hat-tipping where I found the Mad TV clip that I wanted to share. Next time I’m in a hurry, I’ll be sure to read (and watch) everything carefully before I link to it.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  02:42 AM
  17. Oaktown Girl, I do believe Michael was joking smile.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  02:46 AM
  18. Thanks, christian. It’s been a long and stressful day (and night), and in my current situation, I’m overly-stress pretty much all the time. So I’m afraid “teh subtle” approach to humor is simply not registering. Anyway, I hope you’re right because then I don’t have to go to bed tonight feeling bad that I accidentally did something really shitty. So thanks again.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  03:48 AM
  19. As every Lakota warrior knows, it was the Cheyenne (’strange speaking people’ in Lakota) who actually fought at Little Big Horn.  The Lakota just helped them with resources and such, while the 7th Cavalry mostly shot themselves.  And you can’t fault either tribe for failing to comprehend the sheer numbers of Euro-trash who were encamped east of the Mississippi.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  06:24 AM
  20. When we have intellectuals on the right (or at least one that pretends to be an intellectual on the right) it is a mighty fine day when they say:

    Those whose careers are built on the creation and dissemination of ideas - the intellectuals - have played a role in many societies out of all proportion to their numbers. Whether that role has, on net balance, made those around them better off or worse off is one of the key questions of our times.
    The quick answer is that intellectuals have done both. But certainly, for the 20th century, it is hard to escape the conclusion that intellectuals have on net balance made the world a worse and more dangerous place. Scarcely a mass-murdering dictator of the 20th century was without his supporters, admirers or apologists among the leading intellectuals - not only within his own country, but in foreign democracies, where intellectuals were free to say whatever they wanted to.

    Thomas Sowell sure is one pissed-off idea guy.
    Posted by  on  01/09  at  06:48 AM
  21. I just wish they hadn’t kacked Wes Studi’s character (sorry, I’ve only seen the movie once and none of the names have stuck with me). The character nicely blended the traits of Magua and Uncas, but in the master narrative the attractive native rival still has die. I enjoyed the movie pretty much, but that was a disappointment.
    Also, I’ve been away, have you all come to any conclusion about why Sigourney Weaver’s character’s avatar didn’t get a flat nose?

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  09:50 AM
  22. I’ll toss out my defense of the film without having seen it. My son saw it with a friend, and when I asked him what he thought he said, “It was a fable dad. The moral was, if you do bad things, bad things are going to happen to you.”

    Now, from everything I’ve read by adults who have seen the film, he appears to have missed quite a bit of subtext, if not whole swaths of the plot and theme. Nevertheless, I like his takeaway message however he got it.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  10:23 AM
  23. I’ll leave that kind of shit to Krauthammer and the editors of Dissent.

    Yeah, not a dime’s worth of difference there.  And you’re complaining that I’m working with too broad a brush?  The point is simply that there really is a very crude “if the US/West is for it I’m agin’ it” tendency out there, and Ed Herman is its poster child.

    Apologies for linking to the post with the Fiore cartoon.

    No, no, O-Girl, my profound apologies for making you think, even for a moment, that I was in High Dudgeon mode.  I was hoping that the second sentence @ 2—equating the cartoon with the death threats—would be the tipoff to the kind of bullshit “evenhandedness” civility trolling I was trying to parody.

    Posted by Michael  on  01/09  at  01:42 PM
  24. I was hoping that the second sentence @ 2—equating the cartoon with the death threats—would be the tipoff to the kind of bullshit “evenhandedness” civility trolling I was trying to parody.

    Thanks, Michael. And indeed it would have, had I not been so tired and mush-brained. In that state of mind, my only thought was, “Well, yeah I fucked up, because I’m a fuck up”. If not for all that crazy “discussion” earlier this week about just how much respect the Tea Party folks* deserve in terms of how we refer to them, it (my miss of your joke) never would have happened. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to the important business of breaking down the NFL Playoffs.

    *I don’t think I’ll ever be able to refer to them as “Patriots” as long as they continue to tolerate (and even embrace) the amount of racism that goes on in their ranks.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  01:54 PM
  25. **But I really do get a kick out of seeing the “trademark” symbol after “Tea Party Patriots”. I’m just too lazy to do it. Maybe I’ll just go with “Inc”.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  02:08 PM
  26. Speaking of Tea Partiers and racism, this looks good:
    http://www.openleft.com/diary/16861/whats-wrong-with-this-picture

    and I’m rushing off to work once again, so I only scanned it. Forget about what I said before about reading things carefully before I link to them. : )

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  02:37 PM
  27. Yeah, not a dime’s worth of difference there.  And you’re complaining that I’m working with too broad a brush?

    Yeah, you are indeed. I thought turnabout is fair play… Walzer and Krauthammer both share the same racist assumptions regarding the Middle East, but obviously there’s still a world of difference between their politics. Which is why my sentence was (intentionally) intellectually lazy and analytically useless.

    The point is simply that there really is a very crude “if the US/West is for it I’m agin’ it” tendency out there, and Ed Herman is its poster child.

    No the point is that what you are doing here is not an analysis, it’s simply lazy labelling. Which results in lumping all kinds of very different people and politics together. For example, I happen to disagree with Louis about Milosevic, but I’d never make the mistake to claim his position stems from, to steal his Trotsky quote “putting a plus where the State Department puts a minus”.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  02:47 PM
  28. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to refer to them as “Patriots” as long as they continue to tolerate (and even embrace) the amount of racism that goes on in their ranks.

    Yeah, what kind of team has a white guy lead them in receptions when it has Randy Moss? (Tempted to violate my personal ban on smileys with this one--but then who would possibly be offended given how dead this blog has been since the first of the year?)

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  02:50 PM
  29. Much as I would like to toss Avatar into the “racist eye candy” bucket, I’m having a surprisingly hard time doing so.  But also a rather hard time explaining why.  It reminds me of those really offensive “ghetto” or “mexican” minstrel parties that are also weirdly expressive of some genuine desire to become the other.  It (like District 9) also seems to land on justified rage rather than sympathetic nostalgia as its predominant affective response to U.S. imperialism, which seems like a considerable improvement over the likes of Dances With Wolves (an almost completely despicable film).

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  07:40 PM
  30. You know well, Eric, that this is not an either/or kind of blog.  That’s one of the fun things about fiction:  the answer can be yes, because as Sidney once said, James Cameron nothing affirmeth, and therefore never lieth.

    I’ll risk being thought a liar and affirm all of what you’ve said here. Surely you realize though that your position is very Blochian, recognizing that tangled up with the film’s offensive, retrograde, or even merely maudlin elements are also genuinely utopian and progressive impulses. That’s not a bad thing in my opinion. Bloch deserves renewed attention.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  11:01 PM
  31. This post isn’t warning us against overanalyzing a modern cultural artifact, is it?  Because that would be really strange, as well as running afoul of Moff’s Law.*

    Don’t know if this guy counts as a “defender,” though.

    A comment about the dire straits of the Na’vi in a discussion of Avatar at the site of a comedy sci-fi webcomic drawn by a not-exactly-stereotypical Mormon who’s into role-playing games?  Sometimes I love this country.

    You know Michael that name “manichean left” is really not useful, or accurate.

    That must have been Cathartic to write.

    I’m glad though that Michael agrees with Louis Proyect on something, at least.

    Sigh.  I was really hoping that “The Overhead Proyector” would catch on.

    And Chris: LOL!  Or is that redundant, by definition?

    *No, I’m not seriously accusing the Professor of this.  I just couldn’t resist providing another link to Moff’s Law.

    Posted by  on  01/09  at  11:23 PM
  32. I was hoping to hold out, but the SO’s indication that she’d like to inspect this earthshaking cultural artifact is gaining ground.  Thanks, Michael!

    Posted by  on  01/10  at  06:51 AM
  33. Since last night’s playoff game showed that Rush Limbaugh was right all along about Donavan McNabb, maybe he is right on everything. So I’m withholding judgment until Rush weighs in.

    Posted by  on  01/10  at  04:41 PM
  34. I used to hate James Cameron. But ever since seeing Avatar, I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!! WOOHOO!!!

    Posted by Ben Alpers  on  01/11  at  01:37 AM
  35. Since Thers linked it at Eschaton (or because of your prominent position in the hockey underground) you may have already seen the news about this problematic development.

    Posted by  on  01/11  at  05:57 AM
  36. Apologies if I’ve missed someone else saying this in the comments, but the first line of this post is totally FTW.  How can it be that no one’s come up with it before?  Worse, that it took a Gentile to invent it? Gevalt.

    Posted by  on  01/11  at  08:04 AM
  37. Thank you, Josh.  I’ve been sitting here all weekend, crying softly to myself, wondering if anyone would ever notice.  And yeah, I couldn’t believe that no one had thunk it up either.

    Curious Monolith @ 29:  It (like District 9) also seems to land on justified rage rather than sympathetic nostalgia as its predominant affective response to U.S. imperialism, which seems like a considerable improvement over the likes of Dances With Wolves (an almost completely despicable film).

    Good point!  And now I think Eric J-D’s question is answered.

    O-Girl @ 26:  Speaking of Tea Partiers and racism, this looks good:
    http://www.openleft.com/diary/16861/whats-wrong-with-this-picture

    and I’m rushing off to work once again, so I only scanned it. Forget about what I said before about reading things carefully before I link to them. : )

    Once again, that is totally unfair, O-Girl.  You can’t discredit a mass movement just by posting a picture of some guy with a sign, even if, in fact, the guy in question is Dale Robertson, founder of TeaParty.org.

    Christian @ 27:  No the point is that what you are doing here is not an analysis, it’s simply lazy labelling. Which results in lumping all kinds of very different people and politics together.

    That’s because you keep thinking “Manichean” names some kind of party faction, like “Spartacist League.” Rather, it names a habit of mind, as when Proyect writes, “To the credit of the late Slobodan Milosevic and to Saddam Hussein, who now is on trial for his life in another kangaroo court, they never bowed down. In life and in death, these imperfect men will always remind us of the need to resist the injustice perpetrated by states acting out of perfect evil.” Voicing “qualified” support for Milosevic and Saddam because they “resisted” the US/West is, in fact, Manichean.  That sentence, and that sentence alone, earned Lou a brief mention in my book.

    But you know, I do have to laugh sometimes.  I’ve been around the Internets a while, and around the left much longer.  I know perfectly well that if I had written, “some hard leftists, in fact, offer words of support to Milosevic and Saddam while denouncing the US as acting out of perfect evil,” I would be roundly denounced as a Dissentnik concern troll dealing in straw figures.  But because I actually quoted a real person saying precisely this, I’m told I labeled him wrongly and missed the fine distinctions between the RCP-inflected defenders of Milosevic or Saddam and the WWP-inflected defenders of Milosevic or Saddam.  Oh, well, live and learn.

    Posted by Michael  on  01/11  at  09:37 AM
  38. That’s because you keep thinking “Manichean” names some kind of party faction, like “Spartacist League.” Rather, it names a habit of mind

    Hence my pun about the Cathars, over which I’ve been sitting here all weekend, crying softly to myself, wondering if anyone would ever notice.

    Voicing “qualified” support for Milosevic and Saddam because they “resisted” the US/West is, in fact, Manichean.

    Given that I’m primarily used to the religious context (see above), does “if they did X, they can’t be all bad” really qualify, though?  I suppose this is needless nitpickeration.  (OTOH, Ed writing paeans to rapper and would-be secular dictator Mahmy A. seems much closer.  Which, since this was a bridge too far for Lou “Pocket” Proyector, is further evidence that he still admits the existence of degrees.)

    Also, what good is this penchant for bloggery, if Thersites, and even Scott Lemieux, beat you to a mention of the horror revealed by Charles Pierce in Stormcrow’s link @ 35?  Oh, why can’t they just stick to making a The Greatest American Hero film?

    Posted by  on  01/11  at  10:35 AM
  39. want to reprint my comment from the first blog (12/28), since it addressed the race issue:

    Michael, I’m not sure you did justice to Avatar’s contribution to the white-guilt genre—There are at least six layers of race-complex all wrapped up in this taco, and it’s so potent I don’t understand how the target demographic doesn’t notice it’s being turned inside out.

    1. First, the male Avatars are all built like Kobe Bryant—28” waist, 38” shoulders, thigh muscles the size of my stomach, hairless round asses, long slender dark men—And who gets to inhabit these ersatz black bodies? a nerdy little white guy with shrunken body parts.  The best of both worlds!

    2. Pointed references to preemptive wars, while the Dr. Strangelove anti-hero is the same General McChrystal we’ve been worshipping for the last ten years, & we get to kill him with arrows!

    3. Mexican illegal immigrant invasion on steroids,

    4. native american revenge served cold, but you pointed that out,

    5. standard corporatist colonialist master-mind, humanized this time into a more plausible stereotype,

    6. Hispanic Lesbian heroine who predictably sacrifices herself for God, country and whitey,

    etc. etc.

    Even with all the pyrotechnics, it’s so in your face I don’t see how all the little teen Beck/Rush/Hannity clones don’t revolt.
    Posted by John Arthos on 12/28 at 11:32 AM

    Posted by John Arthos  on  01/11  at  10:42 AM
  40. Hence my pun about the Cathars, over which I’ve been sitting here all weekend, crying softly to myself, wondering if anyone would ever notice.

    That’s funny—you don’t look Cathartic....

    But I did appreciate the comment, I did. 

    does “if they did X, they can’t be all bad” really qualify, though?

    Well, yeah, I think so, especially when the term “perfect evil” is in play.

    Also, what good is this penchant for bloggery, if Thersites, and even Scott Lemieux, beat you to a mention of the horror revealed by Charles Pierce in Stormcrow’s link @ 35?

    Oh, but I did them one better:  I actually signed up to comment over there and posted a preternaturally patient reply to the disturbingly aggressive/hostile second comment.  So there.

    And John Arthos:  thanks!  I thoroughly enjoyed that comment, I did.  I suppose I should have said as much, so I will.

    Posted by  on  01/11  at  11:08 AM
  41. Well, yeah, I think so, especially when the term “perfect evil” is in play.

    But when I refer to a “perfect omelet,” I’m not being Manichean.  And the Putatively Manichean Left can’t be using it in the moral absolutist sense ... Oh, okay, I guess they can.  Still, I insist that there remains a distinction between pointing out perfectly evil actions and perfectly evil actors.  And yet, for such a distinction to be meaningful, it would have to admit gradations of evil in actions, which would require acknowledging at least one dime’s worth of difference between the Iraq Woohoo and Balkin’ at NATO.  So if one were to label actions as perfectly evil because their perpetrator is a Paragon of Perfidy by definition (however empirically that definition may have been arrived at), then, ipso facto ... Sorry, I lost my train of thought.  And now I want an omelet.

    Posted by  on  01/11  at  11:52 AM
  42. I noted the “Cathar” pun too, mds, but I just thought it was kind of a long way to go to bring the thread back on topic.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  01/11  at  01:32 PM
  43. It’s good to be Jake Sully, dude. I arrived in Southeast Asia for dissertation research not knowing what to expect, and a couple of years later I’ve got a young 32DD girlfriend and an entourage of loyal locals who ask me for a hundred bucks or so once a year. Hitting the books is like going back to the wheelchair.

    Posted by  on  01/25  at  12:49 PM
  44. It seems so silly to try to make something deep and philosophical—or culturally threatening—out of what was clearly mainly eye candy.  Very good, high quality candy, but candy nonetheless.

    /end thread

    Posted by Budget Van Lines Reviews  on  01/28  at  08:01 PM
  45. It seems so silly to try to make something deep and philosophical—or culturally threatening—out of what was clearly mainly eye candy.  Very good, high quality candy, but candy nonetheless.

    Posted by Funny Pictures  on  05/22  at  10:52 PM
  46. Hey this movie is a awesome movie. Here the director want to telling the another world situation. I like this movie.

    Posted by Organic Mattress  on  02/24  at  08:00 AM
  47. i was thinking to make my home and need best construction experienced persons and thanks GOD i find you .

    Posted by stevepaul  on  07/18  at  07:10 AM
  48. 10% of the population are sociopaths. Those are the ones without hearts. They tend to be onces making the decisions for the rest of us. Scary.

    Posted by Organic Mattress  on  10/17  at  11:46 AM
  49. I liked the movie Avatar...very entertaining and the visuals and effects are great!

    Posted by Shine  on  02/05  at  12:36 AM
  50. Hearing aids professionally fitted by our audiologists at St Vincents Hospital. Full service hearing aids and hearing tests for any degree of hearing loss.

    Posted by Hearing Aids Sydney  on  04/09  at  12:25 AM
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    Posted by fire door regulations  on  03/15  at  03:27 AM

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