Steven L. Taylor
Monday, August 9, 2021
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog).
Follow Steven on Twitter
Fun factoid of the day Sept 2020 National Geographic, Nobody’s Fool
Sunday, three Afghan provincial capitals fell to the Taliban. For years we’ve been told by advocates of a continued US presence in Afghanistan, that if the US just stays another year or two, that the Afghani’s will be able to fend for themselves. The rapid collapse of Afghan defense forces shows that assertion to be a lie.
His dad’s an evangelical preacher, Shocker!
Are those the actual Founders, or the Founders that exist only in his feeble mind?
Because George Washington was such a Founder that we actually call him THE Father of our country, and he mandated vaccination for all his troops (smallpox).
What’s worse: Republican ignorance of history, or the utter pigheaded certainty they hold in beliefs that are so obviously bullshit?
Rod is Very Mad at the “sick and evil” Disney people for letting Gonzo wear a dress!
No word on whether 60 years ago, Bugs Bunny wearing a dress and smooching Elmer Fudd was also the End of Days.
@Mikey: it’s probly the Founders as seen in a book coauthored by David Barton and Bill O’Reilly.
@Teve: Can’t help posting this.
@Teve: On a more serious vein, I went to the article and in looking at the comments I found this:
RodDreher Moderator Thomas R • 2 hours ago
No, the old man was minding his own business when this jerk tranny came in and started a fight with him, and had someone recording the fight so as to attempt to gin up an Internet mob to ruin the old man’s business. The old man let the jerk have it. Good for him!
Assuming that this really is Rod Dreher commenting (and I do make that assumption because where it says moderator is actually hi-lited in a very specific way), Dreher appears to be a pretty twisted individual. He must have some type of deep-seated hate of trans people that is so intense that he is willing to use slurs in print.
You know, it’s really time for Dems to start responding in kind. Why aren’t we introducing bills to remove funding from entities that DON’T follow CDC guidelines up to and including the states? Give Manchin and Sinema some token shiny to get their vote and lets get this done. These people are actively sabotaging trust in public health to the point we’ve got a growing movement of idiots questioning germ theory; they’d be perfectly fine with schools ignoring CDC guidelines on things like basic sanitation because you don’t need to pay to clean a school, there’s no such thing as infection or disease, only bad nutrition!
The CDC advises on a LOT more than COVID. Punishing them for following CDC guidelines is going to get us cholera outbreaks if the water departments of the nation listen to this idiot.
OK this is kinda amazing. I got a DM from a friend this morning and did it. If you go to DuckDuckGo, and type “How old was Danny Glover…”, before you finish typing, Siri tells you
And I was so stupified I took a screenshot.
So many people want to know if they are as old as Danny Glover was when he said, “I’m gettin too old for this shit” that Siri now anticipates it.
@senyordave: Dreher’s a ridiculous loser.
People hate what they fear in the same proportions. It would not surprise me in the least if deep down inside himself he feels he was born with the wrong gender. Being the religious nut job that he is, it drives him over the edge.
@senyordave: I also wonder if the American Conservative has any policies regarding employees (including columnists) using slurs on the job. And if they have no problem with his use of tranny, would they be okay with Dreher using some of the other more well-known ethnic and religious slurs.
I was going to respond to his comment and ask what he would do if someone in his family (nephew, cousin, etc.) was trans, and would he refer to them as a tranny, but I am pretty sure that I know the answer to that question.
@charon: I hope Blumenthal is right, and IANAL, but I’m not seeing what criminal charges would apply. Can they even be disbarred for false statements not made under oath or in a court? They should be shunned, socially and professionally, but if all else fails they’ll get cushy sinecures in Wingnut Welfare while they wait for appointments in the Hawley administration. Which is the whole reason for Wingnut Welfare, stay loyal and well take care of you.
Florida has run out of ECMO machines*. If you need one it’s Tough Tetons for you.
*(artificial lung that oxygenates your blood and pumps it back in ya)
Lying to the FBI is a felony, so in that case at least they can certainly be disbarred for it if convicted.
@Teve: And (per Mandel) would have hung him as a witch in Salem> So it goes when hysteria trumps science and logic.
Actually the first vaccine for smallpox was developed until 1796. What Washington, and other generals in the Continental Army ordered was variolation. This involved taking scabs or pus from people infected with smallpox, then introducing that into the bodies of healthy (or at least uninfected) troops.
This reduced the overall number of cases of smallpox in a treated population, but at a cost. Some people got sick with smallpox from the procedure, and some of those died. To the generals, this was insurance against widespread disease that would so waken their army as to render it ineffective. I don’t know what the odds of catching smallpox from variolation were as opposed to taking your chances during a smallpox outbreak.
Compared to that, all modern vaccines are incredibly safe and effective. And as regards COVID, your odds of an adverse, life-threatening from any of the vaccines is like a tiny fraction of a fraction of 1% as the risk of an adverse, life-threatening reaction from a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Guaranteed to drive the Drehers of the world over the edge:
1,000-year-old remains in Finland may be non-binary iron age leader
Lying to the FBI is what earned Martha Stewart her time in prison, IIRC.
@OzarkHillbilly: Did the individuals in question, primarily Clark, have occasion to lie to the FBI?
@Teve: From that Dreher piece:
He is celebrating a law that dictates speech.
And his histrionics on this continue to amaze.
Also: “Hungary is ruled by a man.”
Does he hear himself? Ruled.
@gVOR08: I do not know, which is why I said, “so in that case at least”.
eta: you were asking a generalized question, and I was pointing to certain specific cases and trying to make that as clear as I could. That’s all.
Who believed that old chestnut? This is just what we tell ourselves about our involvement in these kinds of projects so we don’t have to admit that it was a stupid idea in the first place. And rest assured that part of the campaign jingoism for the next election (2022 or 2024, take your pick) will be about how the other party (but most likely the Democrats more often) “lost Afghanistan” (and betrayed the allied civilians it left behind).
One source I just read said 5-10% of those so inoculated would die. Washington essentially ordered his troops to take an inoculation that had at minimum a 1-in-20 chance of killing them.
But he’s a Founder so according to Josh Mandel he would have had Fauci tarred and feathered. What idiocy.
@Steven L. Taylor: Yes, I’m going there. Dreher would be defending Adolf Hitler if he lived in the ’30s. Many people at the time did, for similar reasons. The other day he linked approvingly to a piece at VDARE, an open white nationalist group. He’s gone full fascist.
@Kylopod: I have found the love-fest for Hungary by many of the right to be most disturbing. I am sure I will have more to say soon.
Covid antivaxxers aren’t a MAGA death cult — it’s worse than that
@Kylopod: Oh, and he took down that VDARE share and claimed not to be familiar with VDARE, which I simply do not believe.
Well, if we defund them all, just think how much money we’ll save!
@Steven L. Taylor:
Perhaps Dreher’s use of the word “ruled” was a slip, but it seems to suggest what he really wants, which is a “Christian” strongman to rule the United States.
@senyordave: “…would he refer to them as a tranny, but I am pretty sure that I know the answer to that question.”
Yes, but not in front of them?
Over at neurologica, Dr. Novella has a post about going to Mars. Nothing I didn’t already know, but he presents the current impediments and the likelihood of overcoming them soon (spoiler alert: not very likely).
So, Musk’s dreams of landing people on Mars soon and starting a colony are doomed to remain mere dreams? Not necessarily, assuming he doesn’t mind getting people killed in the process, and assuming prospective colonists don’t mind substantial death risks, or shorter lifespans.
I’d be surprised if SpaceX wasn’t working on some kind of plan to shield a Mars craft against radiation. But if they are, I’ve heard nothing about it.
The whole idea of colonizing space hinges on effective protection against radiation, or against long-term radiation exposure. So far, there is nothing for either when talking of voyages lasting several years. That’s why it would be a better idea to begin on the Moon rather than Mars.
The Moon is days away, rather than months, and protective measures like piling soil on top of habitats could be extensively tested. We’d also learn how the body responds to long-term low gravity (we know a fair dela of long-term no gravity due to the ISS). We’d learn whether crops can be grown under Lunar conditions, how well they do, how much fertilizer they need, and how much oxygen they can generate (not that CO2 is plentiful on the Moon to begin with). Ditto if raising animals or operating bioreactors (itself an infant technology) is feasible.
Better yet, in case of massive failure or danger, home is still only days away. Therefore failure won’t necessarily be catastrophic, and the enterprise might be able to survive it.
@Steven L. Taylor:
The basic problem with that defense is that even if he’s telling the truth, that’s still grossly irresponsible.
It was a telling slip (if it was a slip), as a minimum
The whole focus on a manly man in charge is part of the problem as well (it is classic strongman/leader principle stuff. I find it rather chilling, TBH).
@Kylopod: I 100% concur.
@Steven L. Taylor:
I thought you were implying it was a slip. But in any cased, Dreher surely knows the difference between “rules” and”governs”. Maybe it was deliberate.
@Flat Earth Luddite: Defunding schools doesn’t save any money. DEFUNDING THE SENATE? Now THAT’S a cost-cutting measure that I can get behind.
@OzarkHillbilly: Sort along the same lines Dreher may not feel he’s the wrong gender but perhaps can be attracted to a photo or film of a beautiful female and then discover the female is transgender. The attraction would send him into rage because he was “fooled” and had erotic attractions to what he considers a man. I know I’ve seen photos of females which are transgender and have have been in awe of their beauty.
Something else that will drive Dreher crazy Sworn Virgins
The fact that it is accepted in a traditional society should make his head explode
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
Agreed, but it kept us there for about 10 years after anyone with a pulse knew it was fruitless.
@Kathy: Dr. Katie Mack, an astrophysicist at my alma mater, summed it up recently. Paraphrasing: There’s virtually nothing you could do to the Earth to make it as terrible a residence as Mars. It would be easier to live in caves in a nuclear winter, than to live on Mars.
@Mr. Prosser: Notice how often in a lot of older films there’s a theme of trans women tricking men into sleeping with them without realizing what they are. The Crying Game has taken some heat on this front, though that’s a somewhat complicated example as there’s no intentional deception. However, there are a number of comedy films from around that time–Soapdish, Naked Gun 33 1/3, and Ace Ventura, which directly parodies The Crying Game–where the trans woman is depicted as some kind of evil impostor. It’s a misconception that fuels a lot of straight cis men’s fear of basically being tricked into “becoming gay.” Such hangups quickly balloon into paranoia. Every woman they see, they worry whether she might be a “fake female.”
@Steven L. Taylor: “He is celebrating a law that dictates speech.”
It’s even wilder than that. He’s celebrating a law that dictates what clothes a cartoon character may or may not wear. After that, what is there that the government doesn’t control?
But hey, it’s only totalitarianism if they make people believe things you don’t agree with.
@Kylopod: “The Crying Game has taken some heat on this front, ”
Let me guess — from people who like to use the word “problematic.”
Rod Dreher’s role model.
‘Problematic,’ the word of choice for people who want to condemn without bothering to figure out why.
She must think much less of the Moon, which lacks even such amenities as a thin, unbreathable atmosphere.
At some point in time, our descendants, most likely not us, will have to mine planets, satellites, and asteroids to keep civilization going. We hear a great deal about oil running out, which is true, but less so about lithium, titanium, rare earths, phosphorus, etc.
I’ve always found ironically amusing the blatherings of “traditionalists” of the Right re. sexual identity, family, reproduction etc while cheerfully overlooking nuns, monks and the Christian tradition of advocating celibacy.
You might excuse the ignorance of Protestants, given the Reformation’s hostilty to celibate orders, but Dreher is a Catholic, IIRC.
I’d say its likely that, historically, Christian advocated institutionalised celibacy has forestalled “family” life on a much greater scale than anything originating from issues of homosexuality or gender choice.
@Kathy: moon dust is extremely corrosive!
@wr: @Michael Reynolds: This is some new thing (to me, at least), as I noticed it over the weekend. When did “problematic” become problematic?
I guess I feel attacked because I have used the word “problematic” for quite some time. 😉
Or, it’s used correctly when it describes something that has issues, but those issues may be less important than the whole. For example, from Wikipedia:
“An initially repulsed Fergus rushes to the bathroom to vomit after hitting Dil in the face, and then leaves her apartment.”
So, maybe, one can make the argument that “The Crying Game” has artistic merit that say, “Ace Ventura” does not. But you can’t say that “The Crying Game” isn’t problematic in exactly what it portrayed.
Personally, I find The Crying Game just as offensive and horrible as Ace Ventura. It’s not problematic at all, it’s straight trash. Straight trash made by Straight people to scare other Straight people.
Dang. Passports are taking 18 weeks, I was just told at the Courthouse. Thanks, Biden. 🙁
@Kylopod: Dreher was originally Catholic, and a vituperative defender of that church’s hierarchy against accusations of child abuse. When it finally became apparent to him he was being used as a tool to defend child rapists he left the church and joined the Russian Orthodox one instead.
He believes in literal demons, possession, etc.
I have known a lot of men who react with utter disgust (not rage, just disgust) at the idea of attraction for a trans woman and I know that is what they are really afraid of. And yes, some trans women are simply stunning.
@senyordave: “Assuming that this really is Rod Dreher commenting (and I do make that assumption because where it says moderator is actually hi-lited in a very specific way), Dreher appears to be a pretty twisted individual. He must have some type of deep-seated hate of trans people that is so intense that he is willing to use slurs in print.”
Dreher really, really, REALLY hates gays. He’d gladly welcome anybody who would be anti-gay.
@Sleeping Dog: The Balkans, that fits. My family is from Slovenia.
@Kylopod: A buddy of mine learned the hard way to do a ball check first. Not being homophobic in any way he always laughed about it.
Judge says Norwegian Cruise can require vaccination proof, despite DeSantis ban
Trying to prohibit cruise ships from keeping the plague away was an action so stupid you immediately know it came from a Trumper.
Orthodox are even more “monastic” than Catholics: they don’t insist on celibacy among the priesthood, but bishops are chosen from the celibate monks.
Dreher converted to Roman Catholicism when he was in college, in 1993. He had been raised a Methodist.
The guy’s been all over the religious map.
It’s also sticky, I think, gets into everything, and some astronauts reported it smells like gunpowder.
@Barry: Just to be clear Dreher was talking about trans people when he used the slur “tranny”. The fact that he used a slur makes me very ready to believe he hates gays also (and probably a host of other people. From my experience people who use slurs rarely limit it to a just one group of people. I am ready to believe that Dreher hates POC, women, Muslims, etc.).
I am somewhat astounded that he would openly use a slur in print, even if it is in response to a comment.
@Michael Reynolds: “‘Problematic,’ the word of choice for people who want to condemn without bothering to figure out why.”
I have been trying to come up with this definition for ages — you nailed it.
Although it’s also for people who feel that other people should be offended by something if though they’re not…
@Steven L. Taylor: “I guess I feel attacked because I have used the word “problematic” for quite some time. ”
Not to get all Humpty Dumpty on you, but when you use the word it carries its original meaning and intent.
The problematic version of the word is used to describe, say, a work of art from a previous period that does not reflect all the beliefs of the current moment.
@Beth: Hmmm. I don’t remember much about The Crying Game other than that I liked it. But I remember that it was the first time a gender queer person was played positively both sexually and and emotionally in a major movie. Of course, the characters were complex and had messy lives and messy reactions. But that’s the difference between, say, Tennessee Williams and medieval morality plays.
@Beth: “But you can’t say that “The Crying Game” isn’t problematic in exactly what it portrayed.”
I can and I do. Unless you are prepared to make the case that someone of Fergus’ background would not have reacted this way on finding out the woman he’d been falling in love with was actually biologically male.
And in fact, the whole movie is about Fergus’ ultimate realization that love and biology have nothing to do with each other, so much so that Fergus sacrifices himself to save Dil, then accepts her love when he’s in prison.
You are of course welcome to your own opinion. But I believe you are conflating the beliefs of the character (which change over the course of the film) with the beliefs of the work itself, which are entirely opposite.
@JohnSF: My wife is Russian Orthodox and according to her a Russian Orthodox priest must be married before being ordained, or no deal. Her parents church have a couple of Deacons who got ordained right after they got married.
From where I’m standing, it looks like: blue, azure, different shade of blue.
@wr: For the record, I love The Crying Game. That doesn’t automatically mean I can defend it against charges of transphobia. One of my favorite movies ever is Silence of the Lambs, which is, shall we say, incredibly “problematic” on that subject. I don’t automatically dismiss movies on the grounds that they contain outmoded prejudicial ideas; plenty of movies I like fall in that category.
What I can say in TCG’s defense is that Dil is by far the most innocent and sympathetic character in the story; if anything, she’s the one being tricked and deceived. And the two end up together at the end. But still, the trope is there, and can’t be denied–it does play on that fear of inadvertently having sex with a trans woman, and the movie gained a lot of publicity from what was perceived as its shock value.
When I first saw the film (around 1994 or so), I knew the “twist” already, and what surprised me was that it felt a lot less interesting and relevant to me than the level of attention it had gotten. The story was so engaging on its own terms that this particular “reveal” almost seemed like an afterthought (they could have told more or less the same story without making the woman trans–and in fact you could argue director Neil Jordan’s earlier film Mona Lisa is an example of that).
Huh? Did you reply to the wrong post?
I don’t think I did.
It’s just that Methodist, Catholic, Russian Orthodox, etc. all look like mere shades of the same religion to an outsider.
@senyordave: “I am somewhat astounded that he would openly use a slur in print, even if it is in response to a comment.”
We are seeing more and more of these guys drop their mask of smiles.
FWIW, Buffalo Bill was modeled directly after Ed Gein and things that actually happened.
That’s not about transexuality. It’s about the messed up mind of a severely abused person who turned into a serial killer.
(Gein was also the inspiration for Norman Bates, and had a small influence on Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Jim Acosta has suggested the Delta variant be renamed the DeSantis variant. The story at FOX of course is Acosta “ripped” for the suggestion. I dunno, sounds like a sensible suggestion to me. And Abbott can get the honor on the next variant.
Gein made numerous artifacts from human skin (mostly from grave-robbing rather than murder) including trying to fashion a human suit in an attempt to become his mother. However, only the movie has Buffalo Bill applying for gender reassignment surgery.
And yes, I’m aware the movie tries to cover its ass by having Clarice note that there’s “no correlation between transsexualism and violence” and then having Lecter making the nonsensical statement that Bill is “not a transsexual” but “thinks he is.”
Ah, okay. You’re subtlety escaped me. 😀
I don’t think the practitioners of those denominations would agree with you. 😀 But how would I know? I wasn’t raised in any religion.
Aggggh! I meant “your.” Kill me now.
This is what I get for reading the illiterates at Lucianne.com
One night walking home from a show after closing time a young woman walked up to us and offered a service quite boldly. Think Tara Reid in The Big Lebowski only at a fraction of the cost. Had I been her I would have asked for way more as the opening haggling price.
Bobcat was intrigued. No. No, no, no. I do not pay for sex. ” Bobby, no. Bad idea. Besides she’s a dude.”
At that point, I briefly turned back to her and reflexively spat out “No offense intended, ma’am.” I actually used ma’am. Polite civility is beaten into Minnesotans at a very young age.
She replied “None taken.” She was bold but polite too. A native born, then. She was tired of our nonsense and was looking for a more eager buyer and just walked away from us.
No. I’m saying that the “art” itself as art is problematic. Both it’s text and subtext are that Cis straight men should be afraid of, and disgusted by, Trans women, because Trans women are not Woman. The other issue is that it’s a piece of art crafted by and for Cis people, Straight Cis people at that.
It is part and parcel of a continuous line of movies (and other “art”) that demonizes and degrades Trans people. There is a direct line between “The Crying Game” and “Ace Ventura”. I think one can argue that “The Crying Game” qualifies as art that should be viewed and discussed in ways that “Ace Ventura” should not. But you can’t ignore the very real problems and effects of “The Crying Game”.
I would strongly suggest that people watch “Disclosure” on Netflix:
What I think the anti-problematic view does is simply erases very real issues people have with things and creates and all or nothing atmosphere. Labeling something as problematic doesn’t automatically mean something should be discarded, it just means that people should acknowledge the very real harm that these things create.
To tie this into other conversations here, I suspect that’s why Dreher actually flips out about Gonzo. Representation matters. If we can get beautiful representations of ourselves maybe we won’t want to spend so much time miserable. Dreher knows that if he is to be successful in his BS, he needs more “The Crying Game” and its progeny “Ace Ventura” to ensure that Trans people stay miserable.
As usual, The Simpsons put it best:
Bart: Easy on the zeal, Churchos… I’ve got something to say. Don’t you get it? It’s all Christianity, people! The little stupid differences are nothing next to the big stupid similarities!
And a thousand years later:
Bart Soldier: We believe that God’s last prophet, Bart Simpson preached a message of tolerance, and love.
Bartman Soldier: We believe the holy Bartman preached a message of understanding and peace, before he was betrayed by his follower, Milhouse! And pulled apart by snow-mobiles, until he died.
Bart Soldiers: Eat our shorts!
Bartman Soldiers: Cowabunga!
(Both sides wage war)
I don’t think that is either the text or subtext of The Crying Game at all.
@Steven L. Taylor and CSK:
I suspect he is using the verb “rules” to emphsize his point that Orban is a “man.”
“It’s all Christianity, people…”
Queen Elizabeth I put it pungently:”There is only one Christ Jesus and one true church. The rest is a dispute about trifles.”
A reminder that children are not immune to COVID in this or any other real world.
One can hope transmission in schools won’t be too bad But as long as there’s no mandate for teachers and other personnel to be vaccinated, and no mask mandates, and no other sensible protective measures, all we’ll have is hope as schools reopen.
Last year on AMC there was an intriguing run of Dispatches From Elsewhere.
One of characters was a trans woman.
It was remarkably not a concern or issue for anyone. At all. No one even mentioned it. In the first few episodes.
That was so refreshing.
Later in, when Simone brought it up it was about the pain of non-acceptance. Jason Segel’s character was falling in love with her slowly then suddenly. Simone warned him there would be consequences if they pursued this.
Anybody from Freeks And Geeks gets a lifetime pass in my book excepting Franco who it is strongly alleged is a creeper. Uncool!
Plus one of my favorite people of all time: Andre Benjamin aka Andre 3000.
Hey, Ya! Is the song of the century so far.
As a narrative it has problems, but the character interactions are very well done. 10 episodes. Highly recommended.
@Beth: “Both it’s text and subtext are that Cis straight men should be afraid of, and disgusted by, Trans women, because Trans women are not Woman.”
But that’s just not true. It is Fergus’ first, ignorant response, and the whole point of the movie is that he learns it’s wrong.
“The other issue is that it’s a piece of art crafted by and for Cis people, Straight Cis people at that.”
Well, yeah. Welcome to the world. There’s a lot of art crafted by and for straight Cis people. Shall I get out the lighter fluid while you grab the matches and we can start destroying it all, since apparently art that is not made by or for trans people is somehow… problematic?
“What I think the anti-problematic view does is simply erases very real issues people have with things”
There are billions of people in the world and I can guarantee you that there is nothing that has ever been created that doesn’t offend at least six of them. People are welcome to their “issues” with anything, but that does not automatically make their opinion more valid or more important than anyone else’s. Or do I have to have long debates over whether or not The Muppet Babies is problematic because one authoritarian religious freak deems it so?
The trouble with “problematic” — and thank you for clarifying this for me — is that it says if any single person could ever possibly be troubled by a work of art, we must deem that work suspicious until proven otherwise.
I can understand why you despise The Crying Game. I don’t agree with you, and I believe your opinion is based on a misreading, but that’s neither here nor there. To me, there is a huge difference between “Beth hates this movie” and “this movie is (insert adjective here).” One locates the problem entirely in the spectator, the other entirely in the work. I don’t believe that either is entirely valid, but only one leads to censorship and book burning.
I think Dreher would also like a Christian strongman ruler.
Speaking of which, this is good:
It also reiterates that crazed Twitter diatribe by Kurt Schlichter on how the media and universities should be forced to promote only the conservative point of view.
That Trans women and disgusting is exactly the subtext of “The Crying Game”
Highly second it.
I don’t know about other countries. In Mexico you can find it on Amazon Prime Video.
Did you even watch the film? Dil did not engage in any intentional deception; it was a misunderstanding brought upon by Fergus’s naivete.
I have watched as much of that movie as I can without it setting off my suicidal ideation. It is directly harmful movie to me. It made me hate myself and ensured that I would be closeted through high school. I don’t care to try again. I am not at all being hyperbolic. I feel the same way about “Silence of the Lambs” and “Ace Ventura”. The lesson that I learned from these movies is that I am deceptive horror and totally unlovable. I cannot overstate how much I hate these movies.
An unintentional misunderstanding that results in getting punched and then the male throws up. The whole set up and framing of that scene is is to maximize the effect of the reveal of the deception.
I saw the movie, start to finish. My reaction was similar to Beth’s.
First the infamous “secret” marketed as a big shocker, second the immediate reaction by Fergus, even if he redeems himself later on. Those were choices, and could have been handled differently.
Look at it this way. Change “transgender” to “Jewish,” and see how that looks.
Question: Have you ever watched any of the movie past the “reveal” scene?
I’m truly sorry you found the movie so psychologically damaging, and I am certainly not trying to convince you to like it. But the fact remains that your description of what happens in the film is simply inaccurate. The “reveal” scene occurs about thirty minutes into the film. It is followed by him apologizing to her, the two genuinely becoming a couple, and his ultimately sacrificing his freedom to protect her. In other words, the film you claim has the lesson that a trans woman is “deceptive horror and totally unlovable” is literally the story of a cis man falling in love with a trans woman who is depicted as a total innocent with the only character guilty of deception being the man. You are treating the behavior of a flawed antihero character in the movie’s first act as the be-all, end-all of the movie’s message, while ignoring the bulk of the movie that undercuts that message.
But Protestant variants are very different in one respect: they don’t have institutionalised celibacy.
My original point about the “traditionalists” was, why do they get in an uproar about the impact of variant sexuality etc on “family values” while being completely cool about celibacy as a religous ideal?
Just seems an odd bit of cognitative dissonance.
Anti-vaxx protesters (which includes Proud Boys and 3 Percenters) are blocking a children’s hospital and Ronald McDonald House (you know, that houses children with cancer and their families) in San Diego.
Police are doing nothing. WTF is wrong with our country?!!!!
What do you have in mind? Fergus falls in love with a woman, then reacts with horror and disgust when discovering she’s Jewish, then later overcomes those feelings? That doesn’t sound intrinsically offensive to me.
A governor who gives a shit about his citizens and isn’t just a Trumper halfwit.
No. The movie’s marketed as having a big, shocking secret, which is the woman is Jewish. Then upon finding out she’s Jewish, Fergus punches her and throws up.
Regardless of what he does next, doesn’t that strike you as exploiting antisemitic feelings in the guise of later accepting a Jewish woman as a love interest?
Tim Wise wrote this article this morning. He’s right.
@Teve: as a parent of a Washington state student , even though she’s a fully vaxxed teen, I’m very grateful the schools have a mask mandate.
@Monala: Lotta 3%ers *are* law enforcement.
@Kathy: Isn’t that more a criticism of the marketing than the film itself?
It also ignores the very real tropes/subtexts that the art is built on. That sort of reveal would be powerless if the the audience wasn’t already primed to accept it as true.
That’s why the character’s ultimate redemption is meaningless. The art has reaffirmed the trope in people’s minds. “Well, HE changed his mind, but I would never touch a (slur). Cause I’m a MAN!”
Seriously, is there any difference between the reveal in “The Crying Game” and the one in “Ace Ventura”? There really isn’t. They build on the same subtextual DNA.
What it comes down to is acknowledging that somethings are (gasp) problematic.
Both. You can’t market a big shocking secret, unless it’s handled as a big shocking secret in the film.
The only way you get to the end of the story is to accept as true the premises that Trans women are deceptive and deserving of violence. Regardless of where the character ends up, you’ve already accepted the premise.
Frame it this way: Fergus finds out that Dil is Trans and beats her while puking, then leaves. Fergus then returns, and not wanting to get beat again acquiesces to Fergus who has his way with her.
Framed that way you have the same story but one that makes the abuse text.
Interesting comment from retired physicist Mano Singham:
that’s how I would do it, were I editor. Brooks, Dowd, Friedman, Doot-hat, Collins, Kristof, hit the bricks. Opinion pieces are submitted case-by-case now.
Orthodoxy does too. And I believe as a sort of gatekeeper function as well. You have to be het married to advance.
Orthodoxy is basically Roman Catholicism schism. It abandoned institutionalized celibacy. Humans are social and prone towards bonding on the whole. It was a very adaptive shift. Holistically, the pure move.
Instituted celibacy was not well thought through. It is against our nature. It introduced bad influences. Child sexual abuse being the most salient.
Obtuse willful ignoring of systematic child sex abuse both within the system itself, and amongst the worshippers was a very terrible secondary effect. Choir boys getting buggered by Father X was the blood price you paid for salvation.
We can all agree that Catholicism is corrupt at the core, but the enabling of generations upon generations of adults preying on children is just fucking disgusting.
I have zero regard for organized Catholicism. Actually, considerably less than zero.
Not that the other organized Christian faith traditions were markedly better at policing predators in their fold. COE, Lutheran, Methodist, whatever. It was remarkable if your local shepherd was not grooming and raping your kids.
And all for a false promise of heaven.
What popped into my head just now are the Ferengi in Star Trek. They are coded to be space Jews. They are really a gross representation of anti-semitism. Personally, I love DS9. I’m a Star Wars girl, but DS9 rules. That part of it is rather problematic though.
This is one of my pet peeves: People assigning their own personal belief/morality/opinion upon everyone else. Art is art. Music. Movies. Photographs. Sculptures. Books. Short Stories. Television. Paintings. All can inspire. All can offend. Some do both to different people. But I have it hard when someone says “This is crap!”. I always use “Police Academy” as the example. “Police Academy” a comedy that was a HUGE hit in 1984. Filmed with a budget of less thant $5M, it grossed more than $150M. So much money the studio couldn’t use creative accounting to hide the profits. Alot of people always said “Police Academy sucks!” “Horrible Film!” “Who would watch that crap?”. Well you don’t that kind of businss without alot of people seeing the movie more than once.
The top films of 1984 were
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
The Karate Kid
Beverly Hills Cop
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Terms of Endearment
Romancing the Stone
Where did “Police Academy” finish the year?
#5, right between “Karate Kid” and “Footloose”.
So that means that to alot of people “Police Academy” was a great, GREAT film. They saw it multiple times. It spawned a franchise with 7 movies. Who is to say that all those people are wrong because they loved that movies and it’s sequels.
People like what they like for reasons we might never understand. I don’t like David Fincher, nor Michael Bay. Don’t like most of their movies. But that’s just me. It’s a bias of which I am aware. Doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate those people who love David Fincher and Michael Bay films. They have alot of fans.
For the record, I freaking loved “The Crying Game”, when I saw it in the theatres. It taught me something, and it made me feel – which is all I ask from a film. A few years later I got to work with Stephen Rea on a small film, and enjoyed talking to him about “The Crying Game” at length. Like most UK actors, he was very serious about the work, and a total professional.
While that might have been the intent, I look at Ferengi more as supply-side Republicans.
Test to see if the edit button pops us.
I told a friend that Star Trek was (I believe unintentionally) racist as all get out. The Ferengi are Space Jews, the Klingons are Space Blacks, and the Vulcans are Space Asians. She responded by calling me racist. I didn’t write that stuff!
How? Even if you totally ignore the later parts, the movie never says that Fergus’s behavior is honorable and worth emulating. Are you forgetting that he’s a former IRA terrorist who is lying to Dil about his identity and keeping from her the fact that he’s responsible for her lover’s death? That would be part of the plot even if she weren’t trans. You could just as easily argue that the film is promoting terrorism:
“The only way you get to the end of the story is to accept as true the premises that terrorism is good and that it’s okay to kidnap soldiers and kill them if the government doesn’t meet one’s demands.”
The entire film is framed as the redemption arc of a deeply flawed man. Yet you’re honing in on basically one act of his early on and not only insisting that the movie is endorsing his behavior, but treating it as the film’s entire message.
I believe I get the gist of what you are saying, but the question it leaves me with are we to simply accept art uncritically? Is all art equally valid simply by its act of creation?
If so, then there is no difference between TCG and Ace Ventura.
Are we also supposed to accept, uncritically, the subtext of this art? Especially in instances where the clear subtext is harmful to a group of people? Again, especially when that group has been locked out of making any art in response?
Are we to remain uncritically accepting of someone’s art when they expropriate the very lived experiences of a group of people they have no connection with or understanding of? Especially when that lack of connect perpetuates harmful stereotypes?
Are the victims of that supposed to simply remain quiet and say, “oh well, that’s art! That’s untouchable.” Should we uncritically accept “The Jazz Singer”? Or does acknowledging the very real world problems of the some how destroy the art?
To make sure that I’m clear on this, I think that TCG has merits as a work of art that it’s progeny, “Ace Ventura” does not. One is problematic, but could be worthwhile, the other is just worthlessly offensive.
And look, it’s great that TCG moved you. That’s awesome. You are certainly capable of understanding and acknowledging that for young Trans women in the 90’s, we felt it as a chainsaw to our faces.
There are other differences you’re not acknowledging. In Ace Ventura, the supposed trans woman is the villain, and her being trans is treated essentially as a hoax, or perhaps an illness, not as a true part of her identity. In The Crying Game, Dil’s being trans is treated as a valid part of her identity, she never intentionally deceives anyone, and not only isn’t she the villain, she’s clearly the most sympathetic and blameless character in the story.
Tonight I got a craving for a clean, clear, pure Pilsener. I wanted that pure flavor.
I wanted Pilsner Urquell but that was sold out so I had to settle for Spaten. It’ll do in a pinch I guess.
I am so tired of IPAs. They are uninteresting.
The Orthodox would stoutly maintain that it’s the Catholics who are the schismatics, with the whole doctrine of Papal Supremacy being alien to the early Church and episcopal equality, with only the patriarchates.
(One reason why Anglicans and Orthodox are rather friendly)
As I said, though: the Orthodox may not regard celibacy as essential for priests; but they do for monks, and by extension bishops, who are all selected from the monastics, not the secular clergy.
Interestingly enough; even Catholics don’t regard priestly celibacy as a matter of doctrine but as one of discipline.
Some married Anglican clerics have converted to Catholicism, and been ordained as priests, and remain married (though I wonder how the Catholic Church squares that with its tradition of not routinely recognising non-Catholic marriages as valid. Hmm)
IMO the primary driver to priestly celibacy, which only became general in the later Middle Ages, was that it was seen as essential to prevent the transfer of Church property to priestly families (compare the Medieval tendency of royal properties and positions to be encroached upon and made hereditary by the office holders).
In practice, at least until after the Counter-Reformation, the Church was content with proscribing legal marriage and therefor legal heritability; concubinage was almost universal among the secular clergy; the regulated orders were another matter.
I like Fincher a lot. He has not done a bad movie. Some have not aged well, but all were well thought through.
Bay does explosions well…? I guess. I liked Tea Leoni in Bad Boys.
I adore egregiously bad movies. Bad horror shot in Hungary for a couple hundred thou with a random cast.
When I was a young adult I lived in a high rise with a store at the bottom floor that was mostly a convenience market, but sold a lot of random shit too because they had nearly a thousand people above as a quasi captive market.
They rented VHS tapes as a side offering.
How can you say “No” to a film titled Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid? I had to watch that movie. Life demanded it of me. It was fate. I was powerless.
It was like MST3k before that existed.
Not at all Beth. I have no problems with people criticizing “art”. What I have a problem with, and I’m not talking about you specifically, is people who insist their view of a particular project is the only valid one, and that others who think differently are somehow wrong. It’s art. Everyone will have an opinion. None of them are wrong. And none of them are right. That’s my only point.
It’s why I don’t pay much attention to the Oscars or Emmys. History will tell us what the best films really are – based on how they hold up. Raiders of the Lost Ark lost in 1982 to Reds. Which, in retrospect, is a better film? Reds doesn’t hold up at all. Raiders is a classic. When was the last time you saw “Reds” on any screen in your home? I bet Raiders has popped up a dozen times in the last month alone. The Crying Game was a good film that holds up. The themes, conflict, and drama all hold up – TO ME – because they’re universal. Of course, you see it differently. That’s based on your experiences and life, which are very different from mine. You have every right to feel the way you feel about any film, but don’t confuse your feelings and thoughts and opinions some objective truth abut the film It’s not fair. That’s my only point.
I recently listened to Ned’s Atomic Dustbin Grey Cells Green again for the first time in a few months.
1. Great song. Structure and execution.
2. Super egregiously 90s
Dudes are super into hair flipping. That’s cool but not my jam, personally.
I hate long hair on me. Anathema. Even back when I sported a ‘hawk it was pretty short. It looked so fucking lame in the morning when it was inert and flopped over and flabby.
A bother to be presentable.
There is nothing less punk than 7 AM mohawk flop hair. So, as an ethos I went Joe Strummer style. Short and tight. Still do to this day.
I bought clippers and do me at home. Knock it all back to .5 or one. Let the top go to 2 or so once or twice a year. Modified flat-top.
Really kinda odd how so many local businesses are closing for 10 days “for a remodel and a deep clean”. It’s not reflected on our COVID stats yet.
On a really hot day, after exercise, hops are great. Otherwise, get them out of my beer. If I wanted fvcking hops I would not have ordered a porter or a stout or a scotch ale or…
What the hell is wrong with American brewmasters, that they don’t get this? I want malt, dammit, not hops. Not banana. Not blood orange or coffee or peanut butter or… [Takes a deep breath.] Barley malt. It’s not rocket science. Jesus!
The salesbeing in a beer emporium once tried to explain to me why Storm King has hops because you need it to balance the malt of the… NO! No, you don’t. Not any more than you need brussels sprouts to balance the richness of the lobster. Moron.
I have a fondness for wheat beers when it gets hot and nasty humid.
Back when I was still working I got stupid wrecked on a random Tuesday by accident sucking down witbier because it was stupidly hot out.
Next morning I was wrecked. I cleaned up and shaved. My boss and I got along pretty well so I barged in and asked his preference: my being hungover at work coping at 75%, or me going home and we both pretend I had a 24 hour stomach ailment. His call. I ended up staying and abused coffee and life sorta sucked for the next 8 hours.
I am normally pretty good at calling when. When it comes to calling it a night I am usually a pretty good adult. But that night I overindulged hard.
@DrDaveT: Our local brewery has a fancy brew they call Mugshot Monday. The local paper used to shame everybody who got arrested over the weekend with their mugshot, hence the name.
The alcohol content is high enough they only serve it in fancy little glasses, and despite the darkness of the depth of the brew….it’s like a hoppy IPA cross with dark chocolate. I quite like it, and I’m totally fine with only having one!! 😛
Crying Game blah blah blah…
What about Victor/Victoria? James Garner falls in love with Julie Andrews, who in the story is a woman pretending to be a drag queen in a French burlesque show. He realizes that he loves her/him, but is deeply bothered by it, decides he doesn’t care, and is then relieved to discover she is, in fact, a she.
I really liked the movie as a teenager, but haven’t seen it in decades and am slightly worried it does not hold up well at all, because how on earth could it?
@Beth: “What it comes down to is acknowledging that somethings are (gasp) problematic.”
You have described your very personal, very traumatizing reaction to the film. I understand how terrible this was for you — to the extent that anyone can understand what anyone else feels — and see why you hate it.
But to me, that still doesn’t render the movie “problematic.” An individual response is just that, an individual response. Many years ago I went with a friend to see Kurosawa’s Ikiru. She ran out of the theater in tears half way through and couldn’t go back in. Her father had died a few months earlier, and something about the film resonated with her feelings about him. Similarly, another friend, who had not spoken to his terrible father in three decades, saw Paris, Texas and was moved to restart the relationship.
These reactions were sparked by the movies, but it doesn’t render them “problematic.” A work of art is not on trial until every single possible viewer has weighed in on it.
@EddieInCA: “I don’t like David Fincher, nor Michael Bay”
I’m generally with you on this, but have you seen Bay’s Pain and Gain (written by the team behind the Avengers movies). It is really brilliant — and funny, which is not something you expect from Michael Bay.
Brussel Sprouts were heinous as a kid. But as an adult, getting healthier, finding ways to trick myself into eating more veggies, I can get them at the store, halve them, spritz them with olive oil, roast them on a sheet and maybe add some spices, and they’re delish. I was curious about why they weren’t as terrible as i remember, and it turns out, in the 90’s, some Dutch scientists found the chemical family that made them so bitter, glucosinolates, and then plant breeders started minimizing those compounds. And now they are way less bitter!
Not only have I seen it, but I was offered a job on it when their Supervisor quit a few days into shooting. I was in S. Florida, having just finished season 3 of “The Glades”, and they needed a Supervisor. I was fried, and turned it down, despite the offer of a better salary than I’d ever gotten at the time. But I heard the horror stories already, and ultimately took a job on “Graceland” in Ft. Lauderale. One of my better decisions. The horror stories coming off of that set were ridiculous.
@EddieInCA: Hey, I thought it was a good movie. I know it would have been a horrible experience making it!
Reminds me of the time I turned down Siegfried and Roy…
Despite my dislike of both filmmakers, I did enjoy “Pain and Gain”, and the original “Bad Boys” by Michael Bay. I thought both were very well done.
As for Fincher, I enjoyed his episodes of “House of Cards”, and the films “Panic Room” and “Mank”. The rest? Not so much.
@EddieInCA: I liked Zodiac, much more than I expected.
But I will admit I’ve long been prejudiced against Fincher, because I first knew him as the most entitled teenage boy in California…