Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Well, Sonic Charmer is taking this video way too seriously. I should clarify what I mean by that. I don’t mean that Joss Whedon is saying something different from what appears to be saying; what I mean, by that, is that Sonic is (or seems to be?) misunderstanding the method of delivery.
Interestingly, we’re back on zombies again. This could mean one thing, or another, but I’m sure of one thing about this: Zombie movies are ungodly boring and I wish the whole fad would dry up and flake away, like a pustule or zit. Zombie movies are like slasher-hack-em-up movies without the skinny-dipping, and the girls in skimpy clothes. Who the hell needs that? No really, check out the dialogue it’s exactly the same. “[Name]? Is that you? C’mon, guys, knock it off…guys? It’s not funny anymore…”
But back to Whedon’s video. I, too, fail to understand the connection between zombies and Mitt Romney. All I can make out from the clip is, 1) if/when the Zombie Apocalypse comes along, we’ll all be on our own, 2) Mitt Romney wants to “make deep rollbacks” in lots of social services, which would mean we’re all on our own, so 3) there is a connection between the two because we’ll all be on our own. This says more about Mr. Whedon’s fans, or I should say the fans of this particular video, than it does about Mitt Romney. Apparently, our government has to keep spending between 3 and 4 trillion dollars a year so these quivering neurotics can feel like someone is taking care of them and they aren’t all-on-their-own. Or else…zombie apocalypse.
That is all the sense I can make out of it from taking it seriously. And it isn’t much. So let’s dissect more deeply and inspect some more layers…
The YouTube page has 12,343 comments ready for inspection, and I cannot pretend to have taken the time to do anything more than skim through a relatively microscopic sampling. But the likes/dislikes are leaning toward the positive, with a strength far exceeding ninety percent…and the experience of my skimming shows a similar leaning, these are favorable comments. It is telling that within what I managed to skim, there’s absolutely nothing solid, structured or enlightening. “Joss Whedon is a fucking GENIUS!!!” seems to be the prevailing sentiment as well as the most frequent expression of it, leaving the question posed in the title of this post unanswered.
We have already established that Whedon has his finger on the pulse of a generation — no, not a generation, more like an inter-generational cross section of Americana — and I am not a part of it because I can’t understand his work well enough to appreciate it, and I can’t maintain an interest in what he’s delivering long enough to begin to understand it. The tits, car explosions and guns, it’s like he came up with something that actually did have them, and then in post-production went through some finishing process to strip them all out again. So in Whedon production after Whedon production after Whedon production, I’m seeing something resembling an empty husk, which used to have all sorts of wonderful plot developments and stirring visuals, of which there is nothing left but remnants of marginally good-looking characters delivering lines in a clever sort of way to develop and display their personalities the same way over and over again. Which irritates me to no end, since I already know Malcolm Reynolds is dark, brooding, heroic, courageous, not a hero in the classic sense, et al. The story is lacking, and if I’m looking at my watch while I’m watching the telling of what little there is of it, the telling must be a fail.
And I have much the same reservations toward the clip. I’m looking for something that isn’t there. It isn’t the tits or car explosions or guns, it’s a strand of logic by which Mitt Romney could be connected to a zombie apocalypse. And just like with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, I’m left like a dying goldfish on the floor, gasping for something that isn’t there. In fact, there isn’t anything there except this clever, edgy, deadpan delivery…which must be the point to it all. And I think it is. We’ve got this staggering, brainless gathering of our fellow citizens who are lurching around, eagerly consuming “entertainment” which is also their intake of “news,” although they deny it…and they’re only looking for one thing, which is clever delivery, caring not a bit about the content. Queried about what is so scintillating and satisfying about what they have consumed, their answers are sterilized of anything structurally sound, just like the object of their admiration: “He’s the BOMB!” “You just have to see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about!” “It’s the characters, they’re so well developed!”
And there is a lot of this going around lately: How a thing is said, is everything, and what the thing is that’s being said, doesn’t seem to matter very much. It reminds me of years ago, when we had a very high-profile and much talked about dust-up taking place here, locally, when Sacramento received an award for being “most diverse” in the nation. One of the benefits called out in the magazine article about this award was, there were some seventy languages being used in the school system, and our local radio guys said something like “you’re nuts if you think that’s a good situation in any way” or some such, which offended the Mayor at the time. Who then tried to get them thrown off the air by way of threatening the station’s FCC licensing. It is exceptionally difficult to find a direct reference of this incident on the innerwebz today, which is rather sinister and spooky when you stop to consider the issue is our constitutional right to free speech. But the point is, there is a case in which the expression of an idea — the seventy-some languages — is given greater importance than the idea itself. We saw the same thing going on way-back-when, as the country was going through the turmoil of switching to the metric system, an idea since abandoned. All these ideas were tossed around about the superiority of the metric system and why it makes better sense to count everything by tens…but the whole thing was nonsense because, in reality, the supporters of the metric system didn’t give a crap about the number ten. That was simply not an honest presentation of the passions at work. They just wanted to feel more scientifickul and be more like Europe. If it was about avoiding the problems with measurement errors and conversion, the effective resolution to such concerns would have been to simply stick with what was in place already. In schools, we see kids being pushed to take foreign language classes to broaden their horizons and strengthen their employment prospects down the road; and there is some legitimacy to this. But we also see tell-tale signs that strengthening their employment prospects is not necessarily of paramount concern. And so, again, we see some insincerity; but, again, we also see great weight being given to how something is expressed, at the expense of any consideration for what exactly the idea is.
This may or may not be a “liberal” thing. Somewhere I was reading about the fascination our modern liberals have with linguistics, which noted a lot of these examples, and that Noam Chomsky is, as a lot of people tend to forget, a professor of linguistics. I think party politics may not have much to do with it. It’s more likely we’re looking at a desire for people to be perceived as capable thinkers who are successfully grappling with big, important ideas, when they can’t muster up the intellectual acumen to actually do it. I did sort of pick up that “vibe” as I was skimming the YouTube comments, they looked like the work of schoolchildren who were given a homework assignment of “tell me exactly what it was you liked about Joss Whedon’s video” and wanted to get on with…well, whatever kids these days do when they lie their way out of their homework. So perhaps it’s nothing more than laziness. Or, maybe there is deeper meaning. Maybe a combination of both…like…if you’re intellectually weak but do not want to look that way, the path of least resistance is to display your fascination with how an idea is expressed and then maybe you look like you managed to sift your way through the structure of an argument, when you really didn’t. And so we have — learn a foreign language, use the metric system, but who cares what you’re saying and what you’re measuring. Just like, nobody who likes this video can explain what it’s trying to say. Including Joss Whedon.
The admirers of this particular YouTube movie do look more and more like zombies all the time, now that I think of it.
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