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    Saturday, December 19, 2015

    Format Thoughts

    If I am going to be using this more, I really need to update the visual format.

    Bernie Stans and the Disconnect from Reality

    So, when the seriousness of what the Sanders’ staffers did finally sinks in, will Bernie Stans: A - Admit that the campaign did something incredibly wrong and deserved to have access temporarily suspended until it complied with the request for information; B - Completely ignore the fact that four separate staffers conducted 25 searches of Clinton data throughout early primary states in order to obtain information that would help the Sanders campaign and that the Sanders campaign manager made claims about Clinton staff accessing data that he had to immediately retract because he admitted he had no knowledge whatsoever of such a breach occurring; or C - Continue with the persecution complex and delusional fantasies? I’m going with C, because that seems to be the Bernie Stans response to any information that is the least bit critical of Bernie, a man who continues to prove that even if there were no other issues disqualifying him from the office – and there are a ton of other issues disqualifying him from the office – his temperament alone makes him fundamentally unsuited to be president. 

    Friday, December 18, 2015

    My Fantastic Four Thoughts

    I love the Fantastic Four. The first Marvel comics I got were Fantastic Four comics, and those early issues are still among the pride of my comic collection. I came to this movie completely invested in these characters. I also came to this movie fully aware of the reaction to it.

    The first 60-70 minutes of this film are good. Really good. Not good in a ‘better than expected’ way, but good. It’s not necessarily my Fantastic Four, but it is legitimately A Fantastic Four. (My main complaint with Man of Steel is that it isn’t a Superman movie. It’s a movie featuring some character with powers like Superman.) Yes, there are some things I would change – more Ben Grimm between the time he takes Reed to the Baxter Building and the time Reed calls him to take part in the experiment; make Susan an active participant in the trip instead of removing her agency from her; and for God’s sake, while you need to have Reed and Doom linked, you don’t need to have Doom get his powers at the same time as the Four. But that’s the difference between the first two acts of the film being really good and the first two acts of the film being great.

    Unfortunately, the film has three acts.

    The last act of the film is as bad as the first two acts are good. As with anything, it doesn’t matter how good it opens – it matters how good it closes. And this, well, this does not close well. There’s final act is an extended generic action sequence, except most of the action has been replaced with bad exposition. The action that is there is basically bad CGI. Any sense that these four characters are a family (and that is the element that sets the Fantastic Four apart) is lost. Yes, the narrative is about how they’ve moved apart and then they come back together as part of the final battle, but that’s told to you, it isn’t shown.

    It’s hard to say who owns this failure. The first two acts seem to clearly be Trank’s film. The final act seems to be the studio stepping in because they didn’t get what Trank was doing. Or maybe it’s just that Trank’s script fell apart at the end. Maybe he didn’t know how to end it so the studio jumped in. It will be a nice story to read when it eventually all comes out.

    I liked this film, far more than I thought I would. I liked the beginning a lot, enough to make me really dislike the wasted potential. This could have been a great film. Even with the ending, I would have been willing to watch another Fantastic Four movie with these characters. 

    Sunday, December 06, 2015

    Bernie Bros to the Rescue!

    Salon is having an internal contest to see which of its Bernie Bro columnists can write the stupidest piece. This is in the running. It is always - ALWAYS - the case that the people who make the 'Maybe it needs to get worse' argument are people WHO WILL NOT SUFFER IF IT GETS WORSE!!!!! There's enough white male privilege in this piece to choke a herd of elephants.

    There are a ton of reasons not to support Bernie Sanders and though the arrogance, idiocy, misogyny, and racism of a HUGE CHUNK of his supporters isn't the most important reason not to support him, it is a big part of why I support him to win the nomination. (It's interesting to me how this is a mirror of 2008. In 2008, the PUMAs turned off a lot of Democratic voters and help drive them to support Obama instead of Clinton. In 2016, the Bernie Bros are turning off a lot of Democratic voters and helping to drive them to support Clinton instead of Sanders.)

    But here's the thing. Despite the fact that I think he would stand no chance of winning if he gets the nomination (he'd be eaten alive in a debate with Trump and we would all have the pleasure of seeing commercials crying 'Socialist!' 24/7, particularly if he doesn't change his stance on financing and he runs out of funds in mid-September), despite the fact that I think he would be an absolute disaster as president (the man's signature accomplishment in 27 years of being in the House and the Senate is that he never changed his party affiliation - there isn't one piece of legislation he can point to and say 'Me! That happened because of me!' and just look at the hissy fit he and his campaign threw when CBS wanted to change the opening of the last debate from the economy to terrorism - being able to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances is one of the most important qualities needed in a president, and he has repeatedly demonstrated that he lacks that ability, not to mention that he has repeatedly shown that the slightest bit of criticism sends him flying off the handle, and any Democratic president is going to get tons of criticism), I will vote for him if he is the Democratic nominee and support him if he is the president.