My first mistake was carrying my distaste for Star Wars Syndrome into this exchange about Top Gun: Maverick. SWS is the plague of allowing nostaglia to create the illusion that a movie is far better that what it actually is. In and of itself, wildly exaggerating the quality of movies is harmless.
But when it becomes habit in how you see everything: Either gushing with over-the-top praise or seething with over-the-top scorn — that’s a plague.
Echo chambers across social media worship channel hosts as “National Treasures” — treating them like they’re some of the greatest minds to ever live. They’re not solving problems, they’re serving a market.
Ratings, popularity, money:
We’ve created a culture that assigns quality and truth from factors that often have no bearing on either (especially in the era of the internet and the cable clans). Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has made about billion worldwide. I thought it was unwatchable.
And Top Gun: Maverick was okay but completely forgettable: Well on its way to banking a billion to boot.
If you loved it, great — I don’t care.
But I do question the fashionable fixation around it — as I question all-things obsessively exaggerated in America.
How many things in the last seven or eight yeras have just been fun?
That’s your first clue that someone’s carrying something extraneous into a belief. Perhaps it’s because of those 7 or 8 years of so little fun, that a movie like Maverick seems more fun than it actually is.
I love nostalgia as much as anyone — just like I love Elvis. But no amount of nostalgia will make me think that movie looks good. I could be wrong though, so I’ll keep the door open.
Perhaps the love of Elvis and longing for better times — shapes how you see the movie?
Just Roll It Around Is All I Ask!
Why does it matter?
Because listening in lighthearted fare lends itself to how you weigh what’s heavy. And I speak from experience . . .
I don’t need to be lectured to by degenerates in Hollywood.
“Degenerates in Hollywood” . . .
Is almost invariably code for “enemy creation”:
Probably the most powerful of these group cohesive forces is narcissism. In its simplest and most benign form, this is manifested in group pride. As the members feel proud of their group, so the group feels proud of itself.
A less benign but practically universal form of group narcissism is what might be called “enemy creation,” or hatred of the “out-group.” We can see this naturally occurring in children as they first learn to develop groups.
It is almost common knowledge that the best way to cement group cohesiveness is to ferment the group’s hatred of an external enemy. Deficiencies within the group can be easily and painlessly overlooked by focusing attention on the deficiencies or sins of the out-group.
Or as I like to frame it:
Almost doesn’t cut it
I allowed my perception to paint how I saw the person who posted that reply to Matt Taibbi’s tweet — instead of giving the guy the benefit of doubt. I failed to live up to my own rules — and apologized for it.
To his credit, we ended up having a cordial exchange — once again proving it’s so much more fruitful to ask instead of assume.
The baggage claim I carried into the Top Gun Tweet isn’t empty — it’s based on telling the truth for 20 year and being practically spit on for it (by people who couldn’t craft a sound argument on the subject to save their lives).
I don’t need to be lectured to by degenerates in Hollywood
And they talk — just like that
If you think you’ve got me sized up — think again . . .
And those who recognize that — have no qualms about denying this . . .
America is drowning in an ocean of baggage & bullshit.
8 years ago, I set out to say something about that. The rotor speed required to separate uranium isotopes doesn’t care who’s president, but you do:
So you’ll deny the obvious as you cry foul about others who do the same.
Even in the face of irrefutable evidence of mathematical certainty — you’ll find a way to absolve yourselves and all those who lie to you (as long as they’re on your side, of course).
Button your lip and don’t let the shield slip
Take a fresh grip on your bulletproof mask
And if they try to break down your disguise with their questions
You can hide hide hide behind Paranoid Eyes
For all those geniuses you love to laud — you sure aren’t learning much. The measure of your critical thinking skills is not your capacity for listening to people you already agree with.
It’s what you do with information you don’t like.
On the biggest and most costly lie in modern history, I threw down the gauntlet with truth that takes both parties to task. I point you to a 7-part, 2 hours and 40 minutes documentary — that distills a story that demanded a massive amount of effort, thought, research, and writing:
And you tap a Tweet with a talking point or two coated in insults — thinking you can inform me. That — is not the mark of learning from intellectual giants.
To take a story this complex and convoluted and boil its essence down to 5 minutes was no small feat:
Trillion Dollar Tube
You should see what I did with 160
If you don’t wanna watch my documentary that’s chock-full of facts on this fiasco for the ages, that’s your prerogative.
But don’t bitch about what you don’t see when you refuse to look.
I do all the work, you do nothing and consider nothing — then blame me for failing to convince you? Not long before this Tweet — this guy was condemning my efforts like all the rest that day.
And then he opened the doc
All that aside
However much my baggage claim about Top Gun is based in reason, it’s still baggage. I carried decades of frustration and fatigue into that exchange. It’s not the first time I’ve made that mistake, and it won’t be the last.
But I’m workin’ on it . . .
You are not working on anything
It confounds me to no end that a nation of intelligent people can’t correlate how your behavior & actions impact that of others.
The Right delights in ridiculing the Left for burning buildings to further the cause. Yet they went batshit crazy after 9/11: Setting the world ablaze — and browbeating anybody out of line in their March of Folly.
Of all those in that crowd I’ve challenged on WMD — their knowledge combined could fit into a thimble with space to spare.
You want the Left and the black community to get its act together on matters deeply woven into the fabric of America’s long history of brutality and disgrace:
Slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, murder, decades of civil rights violations, questionable shootings, and so on . . .
While you won’t even look at the material properties of a tube. What’s wrong with that picture — and this one?
Hmm, so the dimensions exactly match the tubes used in Iraq’s history of manufacturing the Nasser-81mm artillery rocket (a reverse-engineered version of the Italian Medusa)
Be quite a coincidence if they weren’t . . .
Ya know, connected
And you on the Left
At the core of our country’s decline — is the unrelenting refusal to get to the bottom of anything.
Like this 1619 business: You wanna draw correlations from the past — while flagrantly ignoring crystal-clear connections in the present.
Black Lives Matter, monuments, kneeling, and now this:
You’re all over the place
And you’ve got company:
What are you really gonna gain out of 1619? Even if you could miraculously get what you want (and you have a better chance of walking on water):
What’s it gonna take for you to see the unintended consequences that come with it?
And therein lies the insanity of it all.
This consortium of causes has no chance of achieving anything remotely in the realm of your aim — and you’re doing catastrophic damage to the very thing you’re trying to remedy.
Same goes for the homeless
As with race, you don’t deal with problems directly — you tap dance around them. You think you’re being kind by doing so. Shakespeare says otherwise:
The homeless and their advocates say they need more services and homes for the unhoused.
More money + more services = more homeless
That formula doesn’t make sense to me.
Once again, it all goes back to the perception of quality, truth, progess, etc. So rather than re-evaluate your approach after efforts have repeatedly failed, you rely on illusion:
To be sure, you could point to progress — but you conveniently ignore the damage that counteracts it many times over.
Your approach doesn’t have a prayer in the polluted world you helped create — Right alongside Left.
Don’t believe me? Take down the date and return in 10 or 20 years, and . . .
All we had to do was shoot down the helicopters . . .
And for the Black Lives Matter believers — your outfit is one of the worst possible things you could do to make black lives matter.
So yeah, the blowback principle applies to you too. I was keenly aware of this all along — and you didn’t listen.
And now, even now . . .
You’ll pull the same stunt in your contempt for correction (just as the Right in their ridiculous delusions).
The cat . . . TOTALLY out of the BAG!
Even some of the most brilliant minds on the planet are blinded by the belief in what they are doing. No matter how many times their methods fail, more of the same is their M.O.
As they are Unschooled in Adjustment:
Like many alternatives, however, it was psychologically impossible. Character is fate, as the Greeks believed. Germans were schooled in winning objectives by force, unschooled in adjustment. They could not bring themselves to forgo aggrandizement even at the risk of defeat.
— Barbara Tuchman
Unschooled in Adjustment
Even the simplest example of modern-day talk shows illustrates how people completely miss the boat on correlating events with the times.
Whenever you see a clip of an old interview reflecting a time long gone, out comes the commentary about the “good ol’ days.” And right on cue, the complaining about the “mainstream media” and about how far we have fallen.
Never mind your own role in sinking to the bottlemless depths of that fall.
You act like these things exist in a vacuum — as if you have nothing to do with how our culture takes shape.
Calm, comradely discussion — allowing nuanced ideas the time/space to really be expounded and developed.
Lemme know when you’re ready to do that.
Invading a Middle Eastern country on manufactured lies in the aftermath of 9/11 — sounds like a pretty good place to start.
A young man sittin’ on the witness stand
The man with the book says “Raise your hand”
“Repeat after me, I solemnly swear”
The man looked down at his long hair
And although the young man solemnly swore
Nobody seemed to hear anymore
And it didn’t really matter if the truth was there
It was the cut of his clothes and the length of his hair
What is Truth
And when we’re done with that
We go after this. Jesus, if you can’t even get it right on a can, what makes you think you’ve got it all figured out on what’s not so clear?
Clearing the clutter in our Crap is King culture is what I set out to do with this site — just as I did with the doc 8 years ago.
And that’s where this guy comes in. If you don’t Seek to Understand Before You Seek to Be Understood, how do you know where I’m going with the question below?
If I scrutinize Sowell on some things, does that automatically mean I don’t support him on others? If following the facts is what this guy’s all about and you’re a fan — shouldn’t you apply that principle regardless of the issue?
People really don’t listen.
People are just either not that interested in what you’re saying, or they are too focused on their own agenda. It’s ridiculous to see two people acting like they can’t really hear each other — by choice.
In “The Significance Principle,” authors Les Carter and Jim Underwood posit that we should listen past where the other person has finished. We should even pause before answering. Let them get their point, their story, their compliment, and even their criticism out. Completely. . . .
The ability to hear is a gift. The willingness to listen is a choice.
One Tweet is all it should take:
Thomas Sowell flagrantly failed to follow the facts on Iraq WMD — opting to peddle party-line talking points that poison political discourse & butcher debate to this day. Here’s my 7-part documentary that exhaustively details the biggest and most costly lie in modern history
And yet, for well over a year in challenging the echo chamber around Thomas Sowell, I’ve been met with nothing but excuses and contempt for the truth.
I didn’t write posts like this from my imagination:
- Repeat slogans: “Everybody believed Iraq had WMD”
- Question people’s motives: Bush hater, Bush basher, Bush Derangement Syndrome, Plamegate & plenty more. Adding to the arsenal of childish crap to continue the tradition: Snowflake, Libtard, Libturd, Cupcake, TDS, Demon-crat, Democrat Party
- Bold assertions: Russians said so, British said so, Bill Clinton said so, Leaders of both parties said so . . .
No coherent argument, Repeat slogans, Vent their emotions, Question people’s motives, Bold assertions . . .
As we live in a culture that wallows in the delight of “DESTROY”:
It would never enter your minds that there’s a higher purpose in play here . . .
The ultimate irony is that your blind loyalty limits him — while my criticism could elevate him to heights your hero-worship ensures he’ll never go.
Believe it or not, my aim is to make Thomas Sowell the catalyst who could turn the tide. But in order to do that, I gotta take him to task for his reprehensible record on Iraq WMD.
Don’t shake your head. I’m not done yet. Wait till you hear the whole thing so you can . . . understand this now . . .
Can’t say I understand your initial reply or tone with the guy though?
And with that, a guy with one follower prompted this post. Does having no following diminish the quality of his question? Is something nonsensical solid gold if you’ve got a million?
Why don’t we start by weighing an inquiry on its merits and go from there?
Wisdom of The Deer Hunter
Lara walked along the tracks following a path worn by pilgrims and then turned into the fields. Here she stopped and, closing her eyes, took a deep breath of the flower-scented air of the broad expanse around her. It was dearer to her than her kin, better than a lover, wiser than a book. For a moment she rediscovered the purpose of her life.
She was here on earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and to call each thing by its right name, or, if this were not within her power, to give birth out of love for life to successors who would do it in her place.
― Doctor Zhivago (referenced in Into the Wild)