Saturday, May 15, 2010

Space Porn [chat]

Friday, May 14, 2010

Glee Preview: Dream On


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Facebook Privacy Policy: Stop Using Facebook

If you want information to be private, then do not share it.

The New York Times writing an article about the recent changes to Facebook's Privacy Policy is the kind of thing which evidences a fundamental flaw in the human species. This is not dumb. This is not stupid. This surpasses any known measurement of retardation. This is simply insanity, plain and simple.

Facebook updated its privacy policy the result of which is that now the default setting is that all information is public. To make information private, one need navigate and click through 170 user settings, which is inconvenient. But to make the process simpler, the New York Times provides a flow chart which can be found here. That's right; in case you are too god damned stupid to navigate Facebook settings there is a chart.

Also, people are bitching about the length of Facebook's Privacy policy. It has grown from 1,004 pages in 2005 to 5,830 words in 2010. Apparently Facebook users hate reading, which you'd never guess if you spent any time on Facebook.

So why is this all insanity? Why does this anger up the blood? Well, there is the obvious problem of people sharing information they do not want to be shared, but that is just Cognitive dissonance. No, the larger issue, the feature most indicative of insanity, is the following mentality: I should be able to share any information I want on Facebook and be able to entirely control who has access to this information, because X.

The problem, you may note, is that THERE IS NO X; there is no foundation for an argument of why one ought be able to control access to one's Facebook account. People may want it, and people may yell about it, but there is no actual justification for the position, no foundation for the argument. Which, really, is the problem with any "ought" claim, unless you are Kant.

The problem with Facebook privacy arguments is that they truly make no god damned sense. A Facebook user is tossing personal, sometimes private, information onto some random server owned by other people, maintained by other people, and controlled by other people. The Facebook user then claims a right to ownership of the information, maintenance of the information, and control of the information. This is insanity given that the Facebook website, servers, etc. are all owned by Facebook, Inc., a privately owned company and are not owned by you, the idiot posting drunken, incriminating, pictures of yourself on the tubal interwebs.

I mean, really. Were Facebook, Inc. so inclined then, tomorrow, they could e-mail those pictures of you doing Jell-O shots out of your boyfriend's asshole to your boss and grandmother because, well, fuck you. And there really isn't anything you could do about it. Which, perhaps, is a point which need be considered.

There are numerous criticisms to be made about Facebook. But I think the more sensible criticism is to be directed at Facebook users. If you want to share a picture of your cat with everyone in the world because Lord Pussington is just so gosh-darn cute? Then go nuts. But do not post sensitive, personal, private information onto a server you do not own, to be accessed via a social networking site you do not control, and then get your knickers in a twist over privacy issues.

You lost any claim to privacy when you shared the information.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Iron Man 2: Review

So, I am compelled to write a review of Iron Man 2. But rather than actually review the movie I mostly just want to bitch about some things I did not like, and gush about some things I did like. So, here are some thoughts.

Scarlett Johansson is not attractive.

Yes, she has tits, but she is not an attractive woman. This is weird, because she's basically an odd mixture of Sarah Chalke, Hillary Duff, and, from the right angle, Uma Thurman. So pretty much every time she is on the screen I become confused by this mis-matched amalgamation of attractive sauntering about quashing my erection by her general unpleasantness.

Moreover, there is no reason for her to be in this damned movie. Her character provides nothing to the narrative, and she provides nothing to the character. If she did something or served as eye candy then I could understand her inclusion. But she generally just seems to be there to serve as a sexual alternative to Gwyneth Paltrow which is ironic given that Gwyneth Paltrow is entirely more pleasant on all counts.

Mickey Rourke needs to crawl into a hole and die.

Mickey Rourke is not pleasant, interesting, entertaining, or at all justifiable. Moreover, his character, Devo, makes no sense. He's supposed to be a vodka-fueled son of a Russian physicist who hates Tony Stark because, well, everyone hates Tony Stark. His character brings nothing to the narrative other than filling the required "we need a villain" role.

My main problem with the character is that if you look through a list of Iron Man Enemies you will see characters such as Doctor Doom, Fin Fang Foom, Grey Gargoyle, Immortus, Mandarin, and Captain America. Any of these villians would have been more appealing than Devo.

Why the fuck is there no Black Sabbath in the soundtrack?

Even a syphilis ridden bi-polar nutjob will understand that when making a movie about Iron Man it is obligatory to include the Black Sabbath song of the same title. So the question you need to ask when watching Iron Man 2 is why the fuck there are so many not Black Sabbath songs in the fucking movie.

Let's look through the Iron Man 2 Soundtrack: Shoot to Thrill, Highway to Hell, Should I Stay or Should I Go, The Magnificent Seven, Another One Bites the Dust, Groove Holmes. Ok. AC/DC is not Black Sabbath, The Clash is not Black Sabbath, Queen is not Black Sabbath, and the fucking Beastie Boys are not Black fucking Sabbath.

Let's now compare that list to the Soundtrack to Iron Man 1: Back in Black, Iron Man.

This shit makes no sense. Iron Man 1 has the song 'Iron Man'. Iron Man 2 has The Clash.

They got a new black guy.

It may be true that all black guys look the same, but not all black guys act the same. Or, well, ok; they do. But some of us non-racists can tell the difference between Black Guy A and Black Guy B, and between Iron Man 1 and 2 there is a significant difference between Black Guy A and B.

Black Guy A: Terrence Howard. If you watch Hulu then you know that Howard's mother died from colorectal cancer and his hope is that his heartbreak can be your wakeup call: So go ask a doctor to shove his finger up your ass.

I enjoyed Terrence in Iron Man 1 if only because I thought he was Cuba Gooding Jr. Once I realized he was not Cuba Gooding Jr. I enjoyed his acting slightly less. But, overall, he was a fine Rhodey.

Black Guy B: Don Cheadle. Alright. When casting a sassy, quick witted sidekick for Tony Stark in a fun-filled, action-packed romp of a super hero movie? Don't fucking cast the guy from Hotel Rwanda. I spent the whole moving feeling bad for not sending money to help those poor Rwandanese children. And, moreover, I was mad at Rhodey for not convincing Stark to go save those poor Rwandanese children.

So, yeah, they got a new black guy. And I wish they had stuck with Cuba Gooding Jr.

Sam Rockwell is pretty great.

Sam Rockwell has come a long way from being "Head Thug" in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. And for this I am glad. A wealth of the pleasure I encountered watching this movie resulted from the interactions between Tony Stark and Rockwell's character, Justin Hammer. Rockwell does an excellent job portraying Hammer as an economic competitor with Stark continually striving to one-up his competition. Hammer is not a likeable character, but Rockwell artfully brings this character to life and genuinely seems to enjoy the role.

The movie does not suck.

Overall, I thought Iron Man 2 to be better than Iron Man 1. While Iron Man 1 serves as a sensible foundation to the movie franchise by articulating the backstory its virtue was found in the narrative. Iron Man 2 successfully movies forward from the narrative and does something with the characters, giving character development to Stark, creating a financial foil in Hammer, and generally progressing the cinematic narrative to a point where they can now do something with the characters.

Moreover, Iron Man 2 brilliantly sets up both Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers movie.


Here is my main thought on Iron Man 1 and 2: These movies are not very worthwhile on their own. I can watch them a few times and enjoy some parts, but overall Iron Man is not a character which can maintain its own series of movies and the films as stand-alone installations are lacking any sort of gravitas.

The virtue of the Iron Man series is that it serves as an excellent platform for Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers movie. There are multiple points in the movie, which I shall not mention here, which filled me with a level of joy I have not experienced in this past month. By including these nuggets of reference to the other series an excellent precident is set for the future Marvel movies.

The brilliance of Iron Man is that it was not created to be a stand-alone series like Spider Man, eventually degrading into nonsense and stupid so ending the series. Iron Man served as a platform to create a web of stories which shall eventually be told through the combination of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Avengers. All of this shit is going to come together in an epic orgasm of nerdy goodness.

And maybe, just maybe, once we go through all of this shit with stand-alones we'll get an Avengers movie the climax of which is Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America fighting Fin Fang Foom while Samuel L. Jackson nods his silent approval.