Violence Musing: 8 Reasons Why Movies Don’t Fuck Up The Kids

I could bore you with a bunch of facts and statistics, and I plan on doing exactly that. But before you get bogged down with silly information being flung directly into your eyeballs, think about something. Kids don’t behave like adults. Sure, people have some basic traits carried over from childhood, but for the most part we don’t really act the same way we did when we were kids. This is a good thing. No one wants a cute but whiney sociopath running shit in the real word. We know in our heart that Dexter would make a terrible veterinarian, or meter-maid. The lack of empathy and the impulsivity that dictates so much of childhood is all but totally impractical in most of everyday adult life.

Wall Street New York

I did say “most”

Not only are personalities not carried over from childhood, but most memories are also forgotten. The details of your favorite book or movie from when you were little are probably mostly forgotten. The details of your average day from fourth grade probably didn’t stay with you anymore than your skills on the recorder did. Most of childhood people move from terror, to confusion, to indignation, to unbridled joy with  little incentive. It sucked being a kid, we just forget that when we till kids we wish we were young again. Thankfully, childhood is not permanent and we grow out of most of our unfavorable qualities. And if that’s true how can some game we played as a kid fuck us up later by accident?

8.) There Was Violence Before Video Games

Ever person like myself, who is against the banning or censoring of media cite this as a pretty big hole in the logic of their opponent’s arguments. “Why ban movies like Rambo if people went on killings sprees before that movie even came out?” It’s a good question that is usually met with a condescending smirk and some old white person telling” you that’s not the point.” To that I always think but almost never say, “yes it fucking is.” If you think that violence in movies and video games cause violence in real life, then you should also believe that violence increases if a really violent movie comes out. If that doesn’t happen, then you’re wrong. Even if you don’t like being wrong that doesn’t make you right.

Fox and Friends

Just don’t tell them that

Media does affect people. If a white girl watches The Notebook she feels happy, same with Black people and Madea movies. But happy movies don’t change the entire sociopolitical of the world for the better anymore than violent movies send us into a dystopian hellscape. It’s because people aren’t machines. Even if we are affected by a movie or a game for a few hours or days after seeing or playing it, we know its fiction. The content doesn’t change our personality if there are good real-life influences on us. If a kid has dickish parents, and his favorite movie is Sin City he probably is going to be fucked up. But that is more so his asshole parents fault that it is Robert Rodriguez’s. The fact of the matter is that violent media gets us all jacked up on adrenaline but adrenaline can’t turn us into angry killing machines.

7.) The Gateway Theory Is laughable

Correlation doesn’t create cause. No matter how clunky and annoying that phrase is, it’s true. People with the same interests are not the same people. Just because one guy who plays video games shoots up a Naval yard doesn’t mean that’s what every gamer wants to do. This is the same way that while some people who ski become president, the majority of winter sports enthusiasts never hold the highest office in the land.

Kissing couple

Did you know that every rapist had kissed someone before their crime? Coincidence?

Just as smoking weed doesn’t lead to main-lining black tar heroine, watching Natural Born Killers won’t make you a vicious psychopath. The idea that fiction can somehow transfer into our lives through its existence. There is a jump in logic made when a person says that something fake can become real. It’s own falseness rules out the the existence of a possibility that it could become real. Most violent stories are hyperbole that refer to something else. No Country For Old Men is about the retiring and increasingly irrelevant baby boomer generation. Saw is an examination of black and white morality. Hills Have Eyes is about people’s general fear of the poor. And, Ichi The Killer (one of the most violent movies ever made) is ironically about the effect of media violence on the public.The only violent movies that kill people just for the sake of doing it end up being terrible. Violent media is about the story is just like other stories, they are about something. Just like porn doesn’t turn the world into a giant orgy, violent video games don’t turn us into torture addicts.

6.) Violent Crime Is On The Downslide

While violent media has been around since forever, but today the rate of violent crime is declining. You hear all sorts of people saying that violence in movies keeps getting worse and worse, complaining about the good old wholesome days when no one hurt anyone in movies. This idea is nothing more than completely outlandish.

Violent Crime Graphic

“I’m not a numbers guy” – assholes who don’t want to be wrong

If violence in movies is getting worse, then it is not affecting human behavior at all. In number 2 I’ll tell you about the slight calming effect it seems to give people, but for now just know that violent video games seem to relieve stress in people. That effect however, probably doesn’t have to do with people blowing off steam from playing GTA V. There are social factors from every economic strata in America that are contributing toe the fall in violence. Most of these are too boring to go into and don’t really matter anyway. The point is that while extreme violence is more accepted in movies and TVs it has obviously no affect on real-life.

5.) Movies Don’t Kill People, Guns Kill People

If you’re a gun enthusiast, good for you. It’s a pretty bad-ass hobby that can almost definitely get you laid in the right circles. However, you need to be aware that what you’re doing with your free time is killing people. Maybe you don’t do it, but it’s the primary way that murder is done in the US. While we did beat out Mexico and South Africa, countries like Nicaragua and Kuwait have far less alarming gun related homicide numbers than the greatest country in the world. We as a country live in a fantasy world where personal firearms protect our liberties, and we can’t be hurt as long as we’re allowed to keep our Glocks. This is bullshit. Plenty of countries have guns and very little freedom for people. This is made extra crazy by the fact that we as Americans are fully aware of our status as the most powerful military the world’s ever seen. If our armed services could destroy the earth more than 5 times, who gives a shit about your .38. Guns do serve a purpose, however in America they’re mostly for hobbyists not for modern age minute-men.

African Baby with Gun

Sometimes you’ve gotta hold your shit down

There are literally dozens of articles, and studies, and other articles from highly respected publications that give all but inarguable proof that video games do not cause real life violence. At the same time there are just as many studies, and articles that say fewer guns means fewer gun crimes. If you don’t think guns kill people but video games do, you’re wrong. #SorryNotSorry

4.) The Arguments Are Too Emotional

Ask any Jedi, being too emotional really fucks with your ability to do anything right. This is especially true when trying to make a rational argument. People say stupid stuff when they’re mad. It’s a fact of life. The violence in the media issue is a hot button controversy, and arguers on both sides have strong feelings about it. Even if they know they get less reasonable the angrier they get on an intellectual level that doesn’t stop anyone for spouting idiocy about video games on the internet.

Profile of man screaming.

Fuck rational conversation!

We don’t like to admit to being a part of rules when they reflect negatively on us. But a rule of being human is that emotion clouds your judgement, and it’s true for everyone. We all get irrational about something, and we need to learn to admit to it in order to function in the adult world. People who think their kids are at risk of being mass murderers  because they like Gears of War, are wrong. Sure, the gut reaction is to see someone virtually saw another person in half is to freak out, but that’s not the smart reaction. you’ve gotta ask yourself “what does this mean for my child specifically versus what it might mean for other children?” And, “did seeing violent images when I was young turn me into a well oiled killing machine?” Usually, if you think it through you’ll realize that acting in a reactionary way is unwise and useless.

3.) Rock And Roll

For decades real life people actually believed that songs like this could legitimately corrupt real-life youth. We know now that all those theories were really just racism. But still, people didn’t start to think this was ridiculous until enough white people learned a couple blues chords. In fact some crazies still think believe Guitar Hero is the devil. They’re crazy as shit.But what do people in the 1950s have to do with violence in video games? Everything. Because those idiotic accusations were basically the same as saying Doom was responsible for the Columbine shooting.

Doom

Damn it, now I want to hold a nation in terror through heinous acts

Rock and roll is here to stay, and so are video games. If you’re afraid of them, you should realize that you’re a racist. More or less. Open your mind, and let your daughter date Tyrone. Who knows? She might have some fun and you might learn a thing or two.

2.) Even The Most At-Risk Young People Aren’t Affected By Media

A recent Texas A&M study showed that not only did video games fail to harm the psyches of depressed, or overly aggressive youth they provided a slight calming effect. As this Playstation 4 commercial definitively proves, people feel better when they get to kill something in a game. Same with this comedian. The study linked above also proved this. Every now and again we all need to shoot shit, and it turns out video games really help. Capping fake fools in Liberty City keeps you from doing it New York.

Grand Theft Auto IV

This aughta help me forget about that parking ticket

Humans are products of hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Most of that has involved killing shit, and in a relatively more recent maneuver we decided to cut that shit out. We want to hunt, kill, and be horrible at our cores. Video games let us to be both horrible, and not do anything wrong. That study proved this in the most impulsive and violent elements of our culture. Young troubled teens not only failed to become more violent and troubled, they calmed the fuck down for a little while after. Like I said before, no effect from media seems to be perfect. The vast majority of movies don’t change people’s lives.Some can, but they’re mostly meant for entertainment. And, if even those most at risk of losing their shit after an Xbox binge do nothing but relax, why would we believe that anyone could?

1.) People Don’t Want To Commit Violence.

At all of our candy coated centers, we want world peace. We want no more wars or conflict. Obviously this doesn’t always work out. But even at our worst the average person wants everyone to just calm the hell down and get along. No matter how many fake people you shoot in Halo, or dismemberment you watch in the Saw movies you know that its wrong. If you show a 3 year old Evil Dead 2 it will probably cry because of all the screaming and blood. From very early ages we are very uncomfortable with the hurting of others. Even if kids are dicks, most don’t want to actually commit the types of unspeakable crimes seen in movies.

Little Girls With Guns

I said most, god damn you

There was a scene in Fight Club dedicated to this. And, Tyler Durden was right. It would be damn near impossible to start a fight with a stranger and lose, because no one wants to kick your ass and you need to work pretty hard to make them want to. Some are better at it than others. Like pageant queens we value world peace more than anything else, and we try to do our part in it when we can. There are even people who believe that this is a serious and attainable goal. While some tend to cry doom, conflict is something we want to avoid, at our most rational. Star Trek isn’t the only who thinks we’re headed for an increasingly level-headed international landscape, and they’re right. As we humans evolve more, and try harder to overcome animal urges we are growing more gentle. Through our own best instincts we are growing past violence, no matter how many Bioshock DLCs we buy.

Linked up above, but bears repeating:

My buddy’s got this band and they’re pretty great. They’re called Sangre Luna, from Phoenixville PA. You should check them out here or go to their Reverbnation page

Also, there are literally hundreds of articles that talk about this issue, and if you’re not convinced by me you should look into any of them. The internet can teach us just as much as it can confirm our prejudices so it’s wise to keep an open mind even if you feel emotional about a topic.

Here’s a few good articles on the topic that I didn’t link above:

Violent Video Games and Movies Causing Violent Behavior

How Violent Video Games Fit In With Violent Behavior

Do Violent Video Games Play A Role In Shootings?

Claims that ‘Video Games Lead To Violence’ Cause Violence

One more thing. I worked for a chain of convenient stores in southern Pennsylvania for less than a year. It was a weird job, for a whole ton of reasons. One of them being the people. If an old lady wasn’t asking for help with her gas, then a teenager was putting his lit cigarette in a trashcan full of paper. It sucked. Those same psychos made a habit of starting weird conversation with cashiers, meaning me. One silver lining of that job was that sometimes I got to put on classic rock to play in the store instead of the normal mind numbing bubble gum pop. I’m not a huge classic rock aficionado but anything is better than Ke$ha. This one old guy bought his stuff from me and should have been leaving but instead said “you know?” Which is my least favorite way for strangers to start conversations with me. The song “Wish You Were Here” was playing and the guy made eye contact that I had never asked for.

He went on “thirty years ago.”

“Oh, fuck” I thought, “I’m gonna be here a while.”

“You couldn’t play rock and roll music. You know?”

I stood silently hoping I wouldn’t have to change the station.

“They wouldn’t let you. You know… cuz it will fuck up the kids.” he said with the air of the coolest old guy I’d seen all day. “but now they’re not so stupid. I hear Pink Floyd and its like ‘yeah, man cool.’ Any way, cool I’ll see you later.”

I’m dedicating this article to him, because his “fuck the man” mentality even for a guy into his sixties was pretty awesome so I named it after his phrase that was used in the title and that helped turn a pretty mediocre day suddenly awesome.

Media Musing: The 5 Most Influential Companies You’ve Never Heard Of

5.) Independent Studio Services

Ever felt like you could really go for a nice cold Heinsler or a HaberKern. How about a smooth Clermont Whiskey? If so, you’ve ever wanted Farm Fresh Milk in your Crispy Puffs and a tall glass of 25th Anniversary Orange Juice then you’ve noticed the products of Independent Studio Services. ISS provides a fairly simple service. They make fake brands that look like real ones. It’s hard to make agreements for product placement and advertising with every single product. ISS fills in the gaps with their various designs. If your movie looks a little bland in the background they can add splashes of color. If the production company doesn’t have the rights to say, Sports Illustrated why not just have the actor read Sports Limited magazine

. Kate Upton Sports Illustrated

I’ll still take the original

Their products are so convincing that “Is Heisler Beer real” is a pretty common google search. You can find their products in literally hundreds different shows and movies. On top of a wide array of recognizable consumer brands they carry the largest supply of prop weapons of any other company. Laws were actually made about their realistic $100 bills for being too realistic. ISS made the $1 billion dollars that were blown up in the end of Rush Hour 2. The bills were spent by extras and eventually recalled by the Secret Service. Their fake product placement has been so present in the media that they’ve built a veritable empire around it. And speaking of product placement…

4.) Product Placement agencies

The role of product placement is a somewhat controversial topic for artistic purists, but it’s not going anywhere. Most people assume that it is done through the companies that appear on screen. While this is sometimes true, there are also mega-gigantic agencies that split burden in a several-ways monopoly. The industry is dominated Rodgers & Cowan, Vista GroupThe Marketing Arm, Norm Marshall & Associates, and Global Entertainment Marketing. The people involved in the process do their best to incorporate their client’s wares in into the most appropriate areas of a film. They are actually masters at this specific craft.  Good product placement is even awarded by websites.

There is actually a Wayne’s World award

However you feel about advertising in movies, it’s a very prevalent part of our culture and is a multibillion dollar industry every year in America. Those six companies are at the helm of hugely important industry in the media. They the most prominent in a gigantic industry, that makes its money for not being noticed. Their talent for fading into the background would actually explain why most of us have never heard of them.

3.) Reel Scout

Location scouting is a complex art, that is totally vital to the film or TV making process. Reel Scout is among the most prominent in their industry. While certain sets are reused for different movies, finding the right location for a movie can sometimes be an exhaustive process. A borderline madman, Stanley Kubrick was known for being a perfectionist for his sets just like he was for everything else. He once had an assistant take pictures of front doors all over Inglewood, England to find the perfect “hooker door” for Eyes Wide Shut. He was similarly obsessed with the sets for all of his movies include Full Metal Jacket and The Shining. He was so aware of the importance of background that he had the sets and props of 2001 destroyed so they would remain unique to his work. (more of his madness can be seen in Jon Ronson’s Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes or in the interview he had with Kubrick’s assitant which was published in his collection Lost at Sea). Kubrick alone proves that finding the right location is an art form to itself. Outside of crazy people, Real Scout has tried to make films more accessible to the average viewer. Having the largest database of locations makes this a little easier. In essence RS is responsible for making films seem more real.

Star Wars Tattooine Set

Not always a lasting art

2.) CMG World Wide

While they don’t represent the most relevant celebrities, CMG world wide has quite the impressive stable of clients. As far as talent agencies go the agency, specifically Mark Roessler represents dead famous people. To be specific, the deadest most famous you can think of. Andre The Giant, Marilyn Monroe, Mark Twain, the phrase “let’s get ready to rumble,” General George S. Patton, and Chuck Berry are all clients along with a whole shit load of other people. If you’ve ever wondered who makes money off of licensed slot machinesbobble-heads, or  the “I Heart New York” tee shirts then look no further than CMG.

Marilyn Monroe

Someone’s making serious scratch off this crap

With a reputation for ruthlessness this firm has cornered the market on dead, very famous people. Most of the ultra famous dead chose to go with CMG. No other company boasts as impressive of a stable as they do. This is true even when considering clients they don’t currently represent but have in the past like Elvis, Michael Jackson, and Babe Ruth. the industry is growing because of this agency’s popularity and their client base has suffered somewhat. They have however, brokered more than 200 deals with the US postal service and run websites whose networks get 15 million hits a day.While they also are in charge of some live people Mark Roessler is the head of the division that handles the deceased. He alone is in charge of hundreds of millions in merchandising and licencing. His job at this point is easier than making a teenager cry, because clients come to him. In a 60 Minutes interview, Roessler makes himself seem like a sort of Robin Hood. Since he effectively invented the industry, he feels like he has rescued the birth (death?) rights of those people whose celebrity was earning their families no money at all before he came along. Roessler’s company invented, and fought for the right to represent estates of dead celebrities and his company is the top earner in the business.

1.) Industrial Light and Magic

There are big behind-the-scenes companies, then there’s ILM. No special effects company has done more for the industry than the brain child of George Lucas. On top of creating the first CGI character and sequence  they invented a whole shit load of other stuff. Their relevance cannot be understated. In the last year alone they did special effects for The Hunger Games, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, and The goddamned Avengers. Their dozens Oscar nominations and wins seem  almost incidental when you consider all of their achievements. Even their website seems more like a fascinating work of minimalist art. With their partner Skywalker Sound ILM has practically invented the computer generated special effects industry. Their innovations have been both impressive and instantly recognized as instances of “holy-fuckery” brilliance.

Psudopod The Abyss

You gotta start somewhere

If you’re the type of person who already knew about ILM, and are screaming “I’ve already heard of them, dickbag,” then you can fuck yourself for calling me names. The fact is that as a behind the scenes company they make every one of their innovations without the kind of credit that actors and directors get. Now that they have been bought by Disney with the rest of Lucasfilm, it’s likely that their unsung-ness will only increase that status when they’re swallowed by that rolling behemoth of an empire.

BS Musing: 8 historical misconceptions

This article requires a disclaimer. The things you are about to read are totally true, and are fascinating. However, no one will give a shit. The next time you’re over at a friends house and she brings up one of these dusty rumors as if she’s stating a fact you are more than welcome to slap that bitch in the face with truth. Tell her she’s wrong, and insult her mother for good measure. And even with the shining brilliance of your intellect laughing in the face of her stupid ignorance she will give no shits. That’s because people love clichés. They make people happy. It’s easier to shove ideas into little cubbies and never let them get out than it is to learn new stuff. If you don’t believe me you can just ask the entire country music industry (burn!). Stereotyping is a quick way to get around in life and people will resent you if you try to take that away from them. I’m sure there are deep points you can make about the human condition if you think about this too much, but I’m not going to. Most of my life involves avoiding being that guy. Yes these facts are fun, but I wouldn’t suggesting telling your friends about them in casual conversation because they will stare blankly at you slowly realizing how little you matter to them. You’re welcome to read on just don’t expect it to come to anything.

8.) Columbus Proved The Earth Was Round

Myth:

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, laughing in the face of logic and conventional wisdom. While under the impression that the world was a big ball, he believed it was quicker to go west by sea to get to India than to go east by land. This was because everyone at the time absolutely knew the earth was flat. Hell, even the King of Portugal told Columbus (whose name was actually Christóbal Colombo) that he would surely fall off the earth. Part of the reason people thought this was that maps were flat, so they figured the real earth looked just like a big ass map. That’s what made it so difficult for Columbus to even get his expedition to happen. People didn’t want to invest money into a journey that was certainly going to end in three ships falling into the ether. There was some controversy over what was over the edge of the world, but most people knew that if you went far enough you would definitely die.

Flat Earth

No word on where the moon went in the day time

Behind the Bullshit:

It would be a waste of time to say that it’s a myth that Columbus discovered America. Everyone knows he didn’t, and in fact he never even went to the United States. It’s less common knowledge that virtually no educated person in 1492 believed the Earth was flat. Colombo was not breaking ground by not falling into nothingness. The real reason he had problems getting investors was because they correctly thought he had miscalculated the distance from Spain to India going west. While no westerner was aware that the New World existed, scientists had already calculated the approximate circumference of the earth many centuries before Columbus. The Greek philosopher Eratosthenes actually figured out, not only the earth was round but he calculated the circumference with astounding accuracy seventeen hundred years before anyone sailed any ocean blue. The origin of this misconception probably comes from Colombo’s miscalculation of the Earth’s size. He wasn’t trying to prove the world was round, but rather that it was much smaller than it actually is.

Tiny Earth

“Seems about right” – Chris Columbus

Despite centuries of geometry, and cartography the Spanish explorer was still arrogant enough to think he knew better than Aristotle, Pythagorus, and several other Greek geniuses (he was also thought Japan was about twice as far from China than it was and that Europe was much wider than it was). Columbus’ foolishness gave him a reputation, which is why some still believe that he never actually found out he wasn’t in India.The truth is Columbus wasn’t that smart for a self-taught rich Spaniard. His idiocy has most likely bled into legends about him, leading people to think that his contemporaries were just as arrogant and foolish as he was.

7.) Vomitoriums Were Not Vomit

Myth:

Romans were so obsessed with beauty that bulimia was considered culturally common. If you want to be attractive you have to be thin, and to do that you need to throw up all that fatty food that was so common in lavish and beautiful Rome. In fact they even had special rooms for this. Every theater and public place set aside a special area at the entrance and exit so that the more beautiful elements of society could purge in specially designated receptacles.

Toilet throw up

Nowadays we put ours in less convenient places

Behind the Bullshit:

Vomitorium only has root word similarities to the word vomit. The latin word they both come from means “to move a lot of stuff through a small space,” essentially. People never actually threw up in them, probably. For anyone who knows anything about architecture, theater, or Roman history this myth has been a thorn in your side for a long time. Vomitorium is just the word for exists in certain types of theaters. While this is a much more boring explanation, it does speak more highly about human nature. Even if we can’t make fun of the savage assholes from the past, at least we can take comfort in knowing that those assholes knew better than to accept vomit as the Roman equivalent of slap bracelets. After all they are some of our ancestors.

Vomitorium

“Damn I was really hoping to see some vomit.” – you

6.) Iron Maidens Tortured People In the Middle Ages

Myth:

One of the most feared torture devices of all time were iron maidens. As if spikes weren’t bad enough they added claustrophobia. Of course the tight spaces wouldn’t be so bad if you were big enough. A fat enough person would have to good fortune to be gutted in the frightening death device. It was essentially a olden days version of the chokey from Matilda. The Iron Maiden not only tortured bodies, but gave all wrong doers incentive to cut the proverbial shit. The terrifying threat of this device was enough to stun medieval criminals with its very existence.

Image

Iron Maiden fans were only slightly more scary

Behind the Bullshit: 

There is some controversy on this point. There’s pretty much no doubt that they were never used in the middle ages. In fact the idea of a human sized spiked torture device wasn’t invented until the very late 1700’s. The most likely story is that it was put on display to show the cruelty of eras gone by. The irony in this was that the cruelty in this case was only imagined and it makes the 18th century seem a lot more dickish that the 16th. Specifically one person. A museum curator wanted to make his medieval torture exhibit more interesting and thought the best way to get people through the door was to sex up the the place some old parts he found lying around. What he came up with was a chamber slightly bigger than a person with some spikes on the inside. The audience was so horrified that their stories have lasted longer than the truth about the Iron Maiden.

Iron Maiden Device

Arts and crafts project for the sadist in your life

5.) VIkings Wore Horns

Myth:

Quick, stop yourself from thinking about Vikings! You thought of a viking, didn’t you? God damn you! Well, you might as well stop reading this too. You’re still reading? You’re a real fucker. While I’ve got you here, what did your viking look like? Chances are there was a lot of fur, big shields, and horns on a helmet. Probably a great warrior who burned people in boats while they wore those hilariously stupid looking hats.

Image

Adrian Son of Peter

Behind the Bullshit:

Ever notice how those helmets are on opera singers half the time. Ever also notice that Vikings didn’t have operas? Those helmets were invented by an opera set designer because he had no clue what Vikings wore. The guy probably didn’t expect for people to eventually believe that the horns on the helmets were accurate. All he was trying to do was show how proud of killing those crazy Scandinavians were. Putting the demonic horns on the old norsemen was one way to show this. It was all in the name of showing the character for the show. If you’re in to opera I’m sure that one was pretty good. As far as creative decisions go the helmets do strike a certain level of fear into hearts. Even if the weird guy in your frat always wears one to parties.

Viking Hat guy

Fucking Steve again

4.) George Washington’s Teeth Were wooden

Myth:

Everyone knows the famously stern face that has seen the insides of thousands of stripper ass cracks all over this great nation. If you get enough boring people in a room they will shuffle their hands in their pockets and figure out there’s a dollar hiding down there. Then a rousing conversation about that enigmatic frown will skyrocket that party into funville. “Hey did you know that he never smiled because his teeth were made of wood!” one delightful idiot will scream in your face, their dimwittedness in no way tamping their joy.

George Washington Money Portrait

“He also never blinked, because his eyelids only existed in on a different timeline”

Behind the Bullshit:

Using common sense this should be a simple math problem. One of the most famous people in the world becomes the leader of a gigantic, brand new country and all he can afford is wood? Washington was a beloved figure until his death, and people probably would have been glad to give their teeth to him. In fact, they did.

George Washington Teeth

Tell that idiot that these are his actual teeth

There is also this idea floating around that George Washington was unique in the fact that he had no teeth in his late life. Not only was this common in the 18th and 19th century, it was par for the course for every civilization on earth before fluoride was added to drinking water. Fluoridated water was one of the most successful public health campaigns in the history of all civilization. It also marked the first time in history that the average citizen of an entire country was given the luxury of dying with their own teeth.

3.)  Mussolini Made The Trains Run On Time

Myth:

“Say what you will about Mussolini, but at least he made the trains run on time,” some weird old guy will say to you if something isn’t going his way and he wants you to believe he invented this sarcastically short sided semi-joke. All humor is based in some truth, if not total fact. The sentiment behind this joke is clear. The out-dated comedian is saying that he would trade personal freedom if it meant the little things would be easier from day to day. And why not? After all, Benito Mussolini was a fascist, sure. But, his infrastructure was so well maintained that the entire country worked like a well oiled machine!

Ugly Fiat

Hopefully it ran and looked better than every single Fiat ever made

Behind the Bullshit:

In reality the Italian culture has always valued punctuality.It was for this reason that they built a state of the art, extremely reliable train system. Before Mussolini took power, that was. Not only did Mussolini’s government have nothing to do with the railroad time tables, it is very likely that as his leader ship went on, Mussolini hurt rather than helped the process. This is because the budget of fascist Italy was all but entirely uninterested in anything other than blowing shit up. Like almost every other dictatorship ever, Mussolini’s Italy obsessed with its military. The budget was improperly balanced and focused mainly on shooting people. Toward the end of his 12 year iron fisted rule over the country the trains fell into disrepair just like everything else.

Italian Train

This thing was probably too busy murdering humping teenagers to care about you getting to work

2.) FUCK is an acronym

Myth:

The worst word you can say has a rich history. “Fornicate Under Consent of the King” and “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” are each one of the two phrases that have been abbreviated to the word “fuck.” One myth holds that King George was worried about all of the British people leaving his country for the new world. To stave off under population he decreed that his people should be having sex more often, hence the king acronym.

Burger King

I also decree that I should be allowed to watch

The other explanation is that “FUCK” used to be a a shorter way to explain rape. Instead of saying that a suspect had been raping a victim they used the more polite phrase, which was “FUCKing.” Each of these stories have infected parts of the country’s culture in spite of their total lack of reality.

Behind the Bullshit:

Fuck is not an acronym, in fact almost no words in English are. Like just about every other word, fuck has its origin in another language. Fuck is close to unique in the fact that it can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, and pronoun. The funniest part about the word is that it wouldn’t be so dynamic if it wasn’t also a curse word. Whenever anyone says “the fucking this” or “this fucker there” they are essentially saying they don’t like this or that, giving the word its versatility.

The first modern use of the word was in a poem called “Flen Flyys.” This odd poem written in modified Latin almost definitely did not invent the word. It used the word “fuccant” which would eventually become everyone’s favorite “F” word. It was written partly in code, and was meant to make fun of monks. The real truth is that we have no hope of ever finding out where the word came from, because it was probably an organic unassuming phrase that just happened to gain traction as profanity. Language is a mostly natural process, that isn’t forced into existence the way this lie suggests. It is also important to note that the words “consent” and “unlawful” are both newer than the supposed acronyms.

 Carmelite Monk

They probably get made fun of because they look like human penises.

 

 

1.)  A Radio Broadcast Nearly Destroyed The Foundation Of American Society

Myth:

War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells is a wordy, yet awesome turn of the century science fiction novel. With his deep insistent voice the Orson Welles’ narration brought this electrifying tale to life. For some the radio broadcast was a little too life-like, especially for those who tuned in after the announcement that the show was to be a work of fiction. Anyone who missed the disclaimer was likely to think that this was a real news story, and not the special production that it was. After all, people were thrown into mass hysterical panic because they thought that Martians were actually coming to kill us all. Children screamed, women wept, and men looked to the sky in silent horror waiting for the inevitable end. Quiet at-home orgies using the radio at background noise gained a whole new purpose when they found out about our alien overlords. Everything anyone had ever been worth was about to be useless because the radio just told us all that hostile evil aliens are on their way to overthrow our very existence.

Orson Welles War Of The Worlds

Pictured: Humanity’s final somber messenger

Behind the Bullshit:

After a millisecond of thought you figured out this was obviously a lie. Radio was like TV back in the day. Can you imagine if a bunch of people had turned on Sharknado at the wrong time and assumed that giant killer fish were flooding the streets and eating washed up actresses. The story was first invented by several newspapers, including the New York Times. Many print industry insiders had their own panic when hearing that broadcast that had nothing to do with alien invaders. They were afraid that the success of the broadcast, and others like it would lead to the elimination of the print industry. We know now that the print industry is nearly impossible to eliminate. In the olden days though, they thought their darling little news papers were in danger of being replaced by the more environmentally conscious, easier to use, totally free counterpart. Entire books have been dedicated to this specific misconception, unfortunately they weren’t text books so the lie persists.

Sharknado Chainsaw

Oh sweet christ! That poor brave man!

Behind The Scenes Musing: 6 Movies That Were Nightmares to Make

           If you’re going to make a movie, or start any big project you should expect problems. Nothing worth doing is easy, after all. Ideally though no one will die during your diorama of the first Thanksgiving. What we see on screen is often the result of dozens of its own little stories and trivias. While a lot of these are interesting and fun, some are horrifying. These movies come nowhere close to the former of those two categories.

           A quick authors note: While a lot of movies are hard to make and I encourage for you to add your own stories you’ve read or heard about other movies, there are two movies that often take the cake in this category. I included neither of them for different reasons. The first is Apocalypse Now. While it was incredibly taxing on everyone involved I felt like the details of its production have been detailed other places better than I could do here, including the film Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse. If you’re interested you can click, here, here, here, or here. The movie’s troubles were also the basis for Tropic Thunder.

           The other movie I chose purposefully not to include was The Crow. The reason for this omission is that this is a comedy post and jokes about the tragic death of Brandon Lee would be in poor taste. For those who don’t know, he was shot by a gun on set that was supposed to be filled with blanks but instead had a single live round in the chamber. There are high emotions surrounding his death while making that movie, which include theories of curses and conspiracies. I thought any mentions of these conjectures would take away from the post and make it too confusing, and depressing. I hope you skipped this part so it wasn’t too much of a drag. Lets get to the funny stuff.

6.) The Shining

           Directors are important elements of the creative process. While they don’t have an iron in every fire on set, they give guidance and vision to the final product. Some are more involved than others, and it is their involvement and what they consider most important that brings a movie to completion. However any way you slice it, Stanley Kubrick was a madman. A genius, yes but still an absolutely fucked up in the head. While he is far from the only director with a reputation for mistreating actors, he rose to new levels while adapting Stephen King’s work about a haunted hotel. While Kubrick’s attention to detail is legendary, this sometimes got in the way of the lives of the actual humans he worked with. A consummate perfectionist, he demanded the best from everyone on the set and would psychologically torture the ones who gave him lest than their absolute best.

           The recreations of the Overlook Hotel was actually a giant set, and the biggest ever constructed up until that time. Explosive arguments regularly broke out between Shelley Duvall and Kubrick. Their relationship was so volatile that the female lead was physically ill for the months. Kubrick decided that the best way to get a truly terrified performance was to actually terrify his actress. He made a habit of screaming in her face, calling her names, and even threatening to kill her over the smallest mistake. His abuse actually broke the record for most retakes of any seen in any movie ever.

Stanley Kubrick Shelley Duvall

“I fucking said SMILE!” – Kubrick

           Did I mention he he had an outrageous eye for detail. For a normal person, it is truly un-fucking-fathomable. He even had his personal secretary take months to write out the phrase “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” over and over again. Every page that Shelley Duvall holds when finding out that her husband is a mad man is an unique page printed by a real person. This included international versions, where the pages have a similar phrase written in German, French, or what have you. Unlike some of the other movies on this list, it didn’t experience too many delays. This was mostly because the production staff would sometimes work up to 12 hour days at the director’s, I’m sure polite, request. While Kubrick was abusive he never head-butted anyone, the same cannot be said for…

5.) Three Kings

           Before he was directing one Oscar-Bait movie a year, David O. Russell was doing basically the same thing less often. Three Kings was a heist movie about stealing gold from Saddam Hussein’s regime, which he had stolen after invading Kuwait. It was a pretty good flick featuring a pre-The Departed Marky Mark and the sexiest man alive in all of our hearts, George Clooney.  “It’s just a movie shot in the desert in a war-torn country with only one A-List actor and a clearly not A-List Director. What could go wrong?” You ask as if you couldn’t figure it out on your own.

           The movie was shot in the Mexican and Arizona deserts and the heat was a serious factor in contributing to delays, as well as bad tempers. It may have been a component in the death of a military advisor on set, although the director blamed chemicals he was exposed to during the gulf war.While this was a tragedy, the movie had problems from the first. To begin with there was a claim and that the script was stolen from a stand-up comedian. He was eventually given a “Story by” credit, which he apparently still pouts about today.

Pouting Child

Stupid Kids always whining about wanting credit for legitimate work

           The movie had the biggest budget of any that Russell had worked on previously. He was stressed, and overwhelmed by the demanding production. Warner Bros. was afraid of giving so much power to a traditionally independent director. The political themes also made them think that it was less likely to make money, because if history has taught us anything audiences hate political dramas. Especially ones about War. Between harassment and lack of confidence from the studio (not to mention Michael Jackson’s lawyers taking issue with a scene that was supposed to mention his child molestation accusations) were only the foundation for Russell’s headaches.

           Clooney and Russell got into an actual fist fight that was a culmination of the horrible circumstances under which that movie was made. A Playboy interview from Clooney detailed these circumstances here. Russell does so here. The stories are extremely different. However what is clear is that, the director and the star really fucking hated each other. On top of that there were massive delays on shooting, which seem to happen a lot in movies shot in deserts. Clooney’s accounts are have since been highly circulated and Russell still has a reputation as a hothead. In hindsight this may be a bit unfair since George Clooney’s recollection of events on the set of Kings make him sound like he’s a damn superhero. While none of his claims have ever been denied, they have not all been supported by other people on set. What most likely happened was that making this movie was an absolute shit show, and these two men were too sweaty and too famous to worry about dealing with feelings like adults. In any case, the actor probably wasn’t lying about his director screaming at a script advisor, ignoring an epileptic extra, and creating a generally hostile working environment. Also, Clooney took a pay cut to help fund finishing the movie. An argument could be made that he believed in the films integrity enough that he wouldn’t have to lie about his own heroism on set. This doesn’t make his claim that his fight with Russell was the result of Clooney defending a poor helpless female script advisor after she received a mouthful from the director any more believable. After several delays and going between $3 and $13 million depending on who you ask, the movie was completed. Clooney says he would never work with Russell again, and I assume Russell would say the same if he didn’t get lost in thought thinking about Clooney’s eyes every time he tried to say so. Hey, speaking of deep unending pools of infinite majesty.

4.)Waterworld

           Any conversation about bad movies will invariably result in the uttering of the phrase “what about Waterworld?”  The movie, directed by Kevin Reynolds, was obviously supposed the standard action movie with roving pirates, and cool effects and explosions. It’s got a cool sci-fi premise where the entire world floods and the left over humans live on the open seas following the farfetched rumors of land somewhere out there. What should have been a pretty standard blockbuster turned out to be a disaster because of its inherent weirdness. On top of it’s outrageous costuming, and terrible dialogue the movie suffered all the problems that seem so obvious hindsight when shooting a movie in the open ocean.

The Ocean

Seems plenty inviting to me

          The worst part about this movie being so difficult to make is that it also sucked. Ad Astra is rendered totally nil when something this convoluted to produce is also a steaming pile capybara dung. Production was forced to deal with delays, budget problems, and the other usual suspects for absolute nightmares of filmmaking. On top of these headaches, Reynolds and the producers were in charge of sets which may have taken as much as $22 million to construct, being flooded, sinking and once being entirely destroyed when a tropical storm hit. Kevin Costner was nearly killed during a squall.  He was later forced to direct the last few scenes himself when Reynolds walked off set two weeks before the movie was due to Universal for post production. This was after his wife had filed for divorce in the middle of production (she got an $80 million dollar settlement out of the guy after she found out he’d been cheating).This movie seemed to punish everyone who dared to be involved. This includes Joss Whedon, who worked to try to fix the cartoonish first draft and called the job “seven weeks of hell.” I like to think that the people involved with this movie didn’t even care it was awful by the time it was over. They were probably just stoked to never have to blow anything up in any ocean ever again.

3.) Cleopatra

           Liz Taylor to this day is still remembered as the white woman who portrayed the famous African queen. the 1963 movie that nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox was massive success, even after delays forced the already expensive production to move locations. When adjusted for inflation the movie cost more to make than both Hunger Games movies combined. Even though it was more expensive than any before it, the set had to be built twice to accommodate for Taylor getting a life threatening illness. Rouben Mamoulian was brought on originally to direct, but quit after deciding the project wasn’t worth the hassle (this may have had something to do with the fact that he wanted a black actress for the title role). Joseph Mankiewicz took over, but was insistent that the movie should be six hours. The studio thought that was too long, and he shortened it to 4 which still wasn’t good enough for them. He was in a losing fight to begin with, though. The two male leads had quit due to other engagements leaving a movie with $4 million dollar movie $5 million over budget with precisely jack shit to show for their work. Julius Caesar and Mark Antony had to be replaced. Mankiewicz was fired during the editing phase, and brought back on to replace the scandalized new director. It became widely spread knowledge that the film’s female lead, and actor Richard Burton (both married) were having an affair on set.

Liz Taylor

Can you blame him?

           It’s inexplicable how a film that fills this description can actually have made money, but it did. When all was said and done the movie ended costing around $44 million or 11 times its original budget  The buzz around this movie’s horrendous production was so high that it catapulted it to success as well as into it’s current role as cinematic classic.

2.) The Adventure of Milo and Otis

           This movie wasn’t actually that hard to make. If you were a human. This adorable Japanese movie was eventually dubbed with an adorably british, adorably old man. He did the voices of both main characters, a tabby kitten named Milo, and a pug puppy named Otis. It was adorable. Just don’t tell that to the American Humane Association, any of the Australian Animal rights, the Japanese humane groups who protested the movie, or any of the international branches of the SPCA.  For years this movie has been victim to unsubstantiated, yet alarming accusations of animal cruelty.

sarah_mcLachlan ASPCA

Animal Cruelty ruins everything, including innocent commercial breaks

            The movie is has been called a kitty snuff film, and animal torture porn. While none of the claims of cruelty have been entirely confirmed, many of the shots and scenes seem impossible for a real animal to survive, and there is no complete list of the animals who played in the title roles. The puppy walks for a long scene through snow, appears to fight a bear, and swims in a river in a scene where the acting dog is obviously drowning. The kitten also fights a bear, gets stuck in his own river, and is even is thrown over a goddamned waterfall. The main reason the animal actors were allowed to be treated so poorly is that at the time, no animal rights groups were required to be on the set of Japanese movies. On top of the dangers the elements and bears presented to Milo and Otis they also came into contact with other wild animals including seagulls, snakes, crabs, foxes, and cows. Domesticated animals don’t mix well with wild ones, and it’s hard to know the extent of the peril those little guys were in. However most animal experts agree that the actors were not having a good time, and were actually under an intense amount of stress. There was even a point where it’s believed that the cat has a broken paw while limping through a forest. Even with the seriousness of the claims of cruelty they have been difficult to prove without the original footage, or statements from the crew. neither of which are available. Even still, tons of organizations have chosen to boycott his movie just to be sure.

1.) Evil Dead

           This movie hits the sweet spot of unspeakable awesomeness and unpleasantness to make. Not to toot its horn too much, but that movie is perfect. Go ahead, find something wrong with it. Fuck you, you can’t. Sam Raimi’s first forray into film making with Bruce Campell as a star was nothing short of immaculate.This by exactly zero means is to say it was easy to make. Unlike the other movies on this list, the cast and crew remember this experience fondly.  At the time however, the set was the last place any of them wanted to be. To begin with: the funding. There was no money for the movie, and Raimi and Campbell were forced to resort to begging friends and family. The director was looking for 100,000 to make the feature-length version a short film he’d shot called Within The Woods. He didn’t even make that much money, however and was forced to shut his mouth and made the movie anyway. This was only the beginning of their troubles however. When the location was actually scouted, Raimi thought the cabin was perfect for his zombie movie but set designers differed with him. The fact that the place was falling apart was actually only the beginnings of their problems, because it also didn’t have any plumbing at all.

The Evil Dead (1981)  Directed by Sam Raimi Shown: Bruce Campbell

The blood distracted him from needing to tinkle.

           The cabin not being fully functional was bad enough, but its remoteness made a whole slew of its own issues. On the FIRST GODDAMN DAY of shooting the crew got lost, and several were injured while filming in the dark on a rickety bridge. Their set was so far away from civilization that  getting medical attention was nearly impossible. This didn’t actually bother Raimi, however. He believed that the injuries and stress would create better horror. He thought the best way to do this was to poke his actors with sticks in their various bruises and scrapes. The filmmakers did the best they could to stave off delays, working short staffed almost entirely through the production. Some shots even required them to use body doubles for convenience. The actors, as a result were in near constant discomfort. The contacts on the zombie characters were large, glass and nearly opaque contact lenses. Campbell called them “tupperwear” eyes. The scenes shot in a swamp look especially life-like, because they were shot in real swamps with real people wading through them for the best angle. For the zooming angles in the woods Raimi carried the camera himself, sprinting through the woods.

           This movie is considered a monumental achievement in low budget horror. If you’re the type of collector who wants a piece of history, well that’s too bad. In order to stay warm in the people remaining on set burned the furniture. All of it was burned by the time the final establishing shot had been filmed. The budget ran out, and the production team went home. This did not include Raimi and Campbell, however. The two stayed to fill in missing shots. This meant they had to fill every job, including the most menial tasks. Since changing the reels on the cameras as tedious finger-work, they would pour hot coffee on to their hands to keep warm. With a few more weeks of exhaustive editing, and assistance from the elder of the goddamn Coen Brothers, finished the movie and it became the masterpiece we know it to be today.

 

 

I linked them up top but these articles are really interesting in illuminating what happens when filmmaking goes very very wrong:

On The Set of Desert Storm Movie ‘Three Kings’ from Entertainment Weekly

The Turbulent Story of Waterworld

The Wikipedia ‘Production’ sub-title for Three Kings, Waterworld, Evil Dead, Cleopatra, and The Shining, or any other movie since they always have some pretty neat surprises.

Ten Infamous On-Set Fights (which includes Clooney vs. Russell: the rumble in Arizona).

Also check out Bruce Campbell’s book If Chin’s Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, or Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made

Storytelling Musing: 7 Poorly Represented Archetypes

Movies, and books, and TV aren’t like real life. As obvious as this is, it takes some people years to truly grasp this. Usually their lack of accuracy makes movies better. Story telling is about emotional honesty, not how realistic it can be. I wouldn’t recommend telling this to your friends who say that certain parts of Inglorious Basterds were totally unbelievable because of socio-economic trends in German occupied France. Stories are best when they contain some weirdness. This can mean awkward expository dialogue, or explosions in the vacuum of space. These bits of fiction are great for making engaging narratives. A lot of the fake aspects of movies and books are very old, however. Archetypes grow stale, and we are forced to invent new ones. So far as a modern society, people today have been pretty good at this but some pretty great tropes have been totally missed.

7.) The Weird Black Guy

This is my favorite unsung archetype. Black people are stereotyped all the time on TV, and it doesn’t seem like that’s going to stop any time soon. So if we can’t end the racism, why not make it fun?

Sorry Image Not available

I thought it would be best to not include a “fun racism” picture.

The “Weird Black Guy” is a gender neutral person of color raised in a suburban environment. Of all of the presuppositions made about African-Americans in the media, the weird black guy is none of them. He listens to a lot of eighties pop music, he has terrible facial hair/ head hair, he wears fedoras, or he does none of these things, or he is a woman. The Weird Black Guy has no rules. Even with all that said, as soon as you read “weird black guy” you thought of someone in particular. This “guy” is a persona we’re aware of as odd, they are weird but something about the TV telling us black people are supposed to be cool makes this entity all the more strange to us. Between Lando Calrissian and Omar from The Wire we are told black people act a certain way. They don’t talk our ear off about the weather, or misuse common phrases. The Weird Black Guy does, and he does it every day in real life. Why can’t he on screen?

6.) The Chronic Nutcase

I understand that some people have problems, better than most. Maybe that’s not true, but I am very understanding. But we all know the person who kind of digs it. This is the person who likes their malady. While some people have quirky haircuts or interesting senses of fashion, but what sets this person apart is a mental illness. They think their most important trait is their own bat-shittedness.

Crazy Guy Aloe

All you guys ever notice is my new haircut

Any true Chronic Nutcase sets themselves apart from other crazy people because they take pride in the bullshit they put people through. It isn’t just their madness, but the fact that their madness needs to infect the lives of others that sets them apart. Although the problems of a chronic nutcase may change their disorder to fit their mood, something is always wrong. Whether it’s self diagnosed depression today, or self diagnosed hypochondria tomorrow they always have something wrong with them. They are master manipulators whose only goal is to talk about themselves. They are good for nothing other than making themselves seem more important than anyone has the right to be.

5.) The Casual Racist

I don’t live in the south, more like south adjacent. This shouldn’t be too scandalous to say, because I post my location. But as everyone knows, the south is super racist. All of it. Okay fine, that’s not true, but it can be for the sake of this part of the post. Sometimes I think it’s how close I live to that mostly racist part of our country, but I’m starting to think off handed racism exists all over the country. Especially after seeing the comment sections of any website that posted about the Trayvon Martin  or Troy Davis case. But the casual racist thinks everyone else thinks exactly as bigoted as they do.

Sorry Image Not available

Better to stay away from the racist pictures

Casual Racists don’t have any regard for cultural sensitivity and think of it as more of an annoyance than anything else.

4.) A Real Nerd

Nerds are becoming progressively more accepted in modern culture. People are embracing geeks in a way they’ve never done before. The old stereotypes are slowly melting away, except on Big Bang Theory. That shit is nerd blackface

Sheldon Cooper

No words can describe my disdain for this man

Actual nerds are just goofy, weird people who usually have a certain level of charm, or likability. The only thing that actually unifies them all is that they have strange or specific interests. When a geek is charming on TV they it is normally because of their interests. They like video games, but happen to be very attractive so gaming adds kitsch to an already desirable character. In real life a person can be interesting without their appeal stemming from their hobbies. In movies nerds are entirely defined by their interests, rather than their hobbies being a product their personalities. Nerds are people, and the media prefers to see them as caricatures.

3.) The Former Friend

People grow apart. But how the hell do you deal with that? No one knows. Pretty much from birth people are exposed to friends, family, and arch-nemeses. However at some point we grow up, we change, and we are no longer the people we used to be. As our interests and personalities change we start to look for different things in our acquaintances. But we can’t very well tell them that. We have to pretend like we still like them, and give a shit about their band. In your early to mid-twenties this makes up 30-40 percent of your relationships. Between leaving school, starting college, getting jobs, and getting good at things the people you used to hang out with just sort of stay around.

People playing cards

Do you have any “get the hell out?” No? Then I’ll go fish.

Media like books and movies really miss out on this trope. Sure there are all sorts of stories have touched on this, but the Former Friend is truly unexplored staple of modern life. And, Facebook makes this even more complicated, because they truly stick with you no matter how little you care about their bullshit. There are numerous ways to approach this persona and its a little baffling that it hasn’t been tackled yet.

2.) The Teen Mom

          There are too many shows about pregnant teenagers. These people have very human problems that are trivialized and put on display for our entertainment. Sure, worse things are done for our entertainment but teen pregnancy shows and movies almost always gloss over the second most important part of pregnancy. The baby.

Mixed Baby

“Oh Christ! What the shit is that!?” – Television Executives

The thing about being a parent is that you don’t transform. Even if you look at the world differently, or you have more empathy it doesn’t grant you a brand new personality. I’ve known teen mothers, for the most part they’re they same as they were before the baby except now their hair is messy. Writers try to force new abandoned mothers as more interesting than they actually are. For the most part their stories are pretty similar and they have comparable lifestyles. But in the TV shows, they get put out on the street, or develop a drug problem or get abducted by aliens. Having a baby shouldn’t radically change a character, other than make them more boring.

1.) The Legitimately Awkward Person

This is a cause championed all over the internet. There have been literally dozens of articles and posts about the lack of realistic introverts in modern media. For the socially inept, it may seem even more off putting watch Michael Cera charm skinny pale chicks out of their pants and then call himself awkward.

Superbad Michael Cera

About as awkward as Connery’s Bond

The awkward archetype should be completely overhauled. When a person is actually awkward it is because the very idea of socialization is terrifying. It’s not because they are trying to learn how to interact with others, nor are they looking to be rescued, like movies seem to think. They have a certain personality type that is neither a flaw, nor a comedic device. This is why they shouldn’t be in funny movies anymore. To solve the complaints about actors like Jesse Eisenberg playing awkward guys, and then absolutely slaying himself some vag, awkward people should more often spiral into madness as people try to bring them out of their shell. They should play video games, read books, and be generally boring to watch just like they are in real life

If you can think of any unsung heroes from real life that would make great tropes, i’d love to hear about them in the comments. Real life is a rich and lively place to be, and boiling it down into 3 or 5 act stories is challenging some times, but pigeon holing people is a fun and easy way to enhance the ability to tell a narrative. Let me know what you think.

DC Comics Musing: Why I know better than studio executives

Justice League Tornado's Path

DC Comics has a rich history. The story of each of their wost and least iconic characters contains a story of love, deception, creativity, and almost always sex. While this is true of all the other comics characters DC has done it longer, and more ruthlessly that Marvel or anyone else. Outside of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman the company has a diverse and beautiful variety of superhero and non superhero characters alike. In light of all this, it seems a terrible tragedy the way that their movies and TV shows have been bad with a few exceptions.  The Dark Knight trilogy was awesome, and Man Of Steel was pretty good. But between Christopher Reeves Superman, and Batman Begins there are precious few examples of really great DC movies. I have an idea on how to change this. I think the DC Screen Universe (DCSU) can be as good if not better that the Marvel one, and it would be extremely easy.

Stan Lee Nigga

A legend in our time

To understand how easy it could be you’ve got to know a little about the DC Comics universe. The National Comics company was found in the mid 1930’s but didn’t really take off until a couple of crazy kids came up with this crazy idea about a Jewish man from another planet. They changed their name to match the name of one of their best selling titles, Detective Comics after acquiring some new characters. DC fostered a stable of interesting a diverse heroes and villains from not only National Comics but other companies they’d bought out, Characters like Captain Atom and The Blue Beetle. Some of them awesome and some of them not. Nerds young and old laughed, cried and cheered at the pulp news print pages every single week as their favorite heroes committed new amazing acts of badass altruism. This was true of Marvel and DC however no single character on either side of this rivalry outshone the popularity of Superman. I mean, the logo for a while had the guy’s name was on the logo in the top left of every single comic published by DC. There’s a reason for all this, Superman is awesome. He was the first with a radio serial, film serial, TV show, and blockbuster movie. Soon after DC (and Marvel) would see huge success from their characters in tons of other media outside of comics. The DC universe grew and was given its own style and vitality. Their trademark story system was heavy on action, controversy, morality, but tended to be light on character development and this became their brand. The universe grew, and became more distinct from Marvel. However the home of the Man of Steel, The World’s Greatest Detective, The Scarlet Speedster, and an Amazon Princess had a problem that only got worse as time went on. To keep up with times the characters would be reinvented, also known as being rebooted or retconned. Fans wanted to know what was happening to those old versions. Sure, Superman can fly now instead of “leap tall buildings in a single bound,” but what happened to the leaper? The explanation was hinted at for a while throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s. This answer was that those old characters lived in different universes than the new ones. So Batman is both a dark brooding figure in the new comics, and the silly pseudo child molester in the old ones. Although there were suggestions of the Multiverse, it was fully introduced in the 1985 “Maxi-Series,” Crisis On Infinite Earths.

This series was very well written, extremely intelligent, beautifully drawn and colored, and hugely groundbreaking for comics. In discussing the DC Universe it is still customary to call a story arc either “pre-crisis” or “post-crisis.” A fan of comics at this point will be rolling their eyes, because they already know all of this, so you know it’s not like I’m tapping into the annals of unknown history. However Crisis is important to keep in mind in terms of the DCSU.

Superhero movies are pretty popular right now. Between both Spiderman Franchises, Wolverine/The X-Men, The Dark Knight trilogy, The Avengers and all of the characters in that movie, not to mention all of the successful cartoons and TV shows. The problem with DC is that most of the more successful superhero film franchises are properties of their top competitor. DC is slow to bring out new movies, and so far they’ve been extremely hit-or-miss outside of Christopher Nolan’s Batman. Man of Steel was alright, but most people got tired of the non-stop big budget action around the fortieth minute, myself included. Marvel has a new movie out every year, and DC hasn’t kept up. While one is preparing a phase 3 of interconnected movies the other is trying to scrape up a coherent first phase.

As it stands now, DC has made plans to expand their screen universe. They’ve recently announced a show based on The Flash, and a movie to go along with it. The assumption is that the character will be played by the same actor in both the movie and show. Barry Allen (The Flash) is going to be introduced on The CW’s Arrow. Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen has been extremely successful with new young viewers. By 2015 there will be a new Man of Steel movie featuring Ben Affleck as Batman. A lot of people believe this to be the precursor for a Justice League movie, which could potentially bring in characters like Wonder Woman (A rumor has circulated for years about giving her a new TV show), The Martian Manhunter, Shazam, and even a possible new Green Lantern. As a side note I think they should hire Ryan Reynolds to play the Green Lantern again, he was charismatic and charming as Hal Jordan and it wasn’t his fault the script was written by the students of Mrs. Westcott’s 3rd grade class in Cold Springs, Michigan.

3rd-grade-class

The one in tie-dye is in charge of continuity

With all these big plans, the DCSU seems like it’s going to be fine without my advice. That’s where you’re wrong. I think that Warner Bros. and DC are going to forget something extremely valuable. Crisis on Infinite Earths. While Batman and Superman appearing on screen together for the first time is a big deal, the rebooting of Bruce Wayne seems like an odd choice. And, I’m not the only one who thinks so. Not even close. While the average audience member will understand a film reboot at this point, it may still come off as confusing to have an all new Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and so forth. How can they explain the new faces on these iconic characters? Arrow has the answer.

In 2011 DC Comics rebooted their entire comic line. In an unprecedented move, the publisher ended all of their ongoing comics series to start 52 new ones, fittingly called The New 52 (52 is a number commonly seen throughout the DC universe, there was one year or 52 week story line called 52. It is also the number of weeks in a year as well as the number of cards in a deck, and they play on these two facts a lot). The New 52 has changed the images of a lot of characters including both Batman and Superman, but has also helped to popularize characters like The Green Arrow and Animal Man. It is at least partly responsible for the creation of Arrow, because of the characters emerging fan-base. The Green Arrow show is a little like Smallville with less melodramatic writing. Stephen Amell plays Oliver Queen, a young attractive Billionaire and super assassin bent on fixing the poverty problem in his home of Star City (it’s Starling City in the comics but let’s not split hairs). Amell has not made it a secret he wants to be the Green Arrow forever. He was the voice on video game Injustice: Gods Among Us and has recently publicly alluded that he wants to be in any potential Justice League movie. So how does this show tell us anything

Other than the fact that he and Barry Allen are going to form some type of relationship that could carry over into The Flash movie, there have been clues to Amell’s importance in the coming DCSU. The show also has minor references to The Blue Beetle and The Atom. In Crisis The Flash is central to the plot because the Cosmic Treadmill He uses it to jump between universes and (spoilers) dies using it to save the multiverse. That now iconic yet ridiculously named treadmill has already been casually mentioned in on Arrow. However a bunch of details have been changed around on that show to keep it interesting to new views as well as comics veterans, so it may turn out that the treadmill is just the way Barry Allen will become The Flash. I think  Arrow has already told us that the treadmill will be central in the coming future of the DCSU.

Throughout Arrow the number 52 is seen in the background. One of the main characters is a cop and his badge number is DC52, Queen Consolidated main building is on 52 Wells Street, a villain leads Oliver Queen to an abandoned apartment whose number is 52 and so forth. Also, a lot of the names of characters and locations are allusions to famous comic writers and artists. But, that number is everywhere. I believe this is a reference to Prime Earth. In a recent New 52 storyline, the Justice League finds out that they exist within a multiverse and is forced to create a new earth to defeat a villain. This place is called Prime Earth and has subtle differences to the current DC main Earth (called Earth One). Prime Earth seems to share a lot of the details of Earth One, except for minor details like Starling City now being called Star City. I am not alone in my thinking that Arrow takes place on Prime Earth (add link). Is the number 52 a reference to The New 52? Almost definitely. If that’s true, Does Arrow take place on Prime Earth? I say, yes.

So what does it mean if Arrow takes place on a planet that was only just invented in the comics? It means that all the DC screen universe is interlocked and completely connected in a way Marvel can only stand in awe and applaud at. The biggest reason for this is that Marvel Studios does not own the film rights to all of its characters. Notably, Spiderman, Daredevil, Wolverine and the word “Mutant” and all related X-Man are all property of other studios. Warner Bros. on the other hand has all film rights to every DC character. This gives them a huge edge over their Disney owned counterpart. Arrow may very well be the first key in a series of locks that will lead to one hell of a reveal. Because, the DCSU may be its own multiverse. The key to the multiverse has always been that certain characters are radically different, and some are exactly the same. So what if Oliver Queen looks the same on every single earth, but Batman and Superman look a little different? In one movie Batman can be a dark gritty hero of the future, and in another he can be whatever the fuck George Clooney was. DC could essentially say, “no we didn’t replace Superman because George Reeves died, or because Christopher Reeves got old, we did it because we switched universes without telling you.” Every single reboot, and failed attempt as well as unbridled achievement like The Dark Knight can be cannon within the DCSU. They all matter. If this is where DC is going, they could blow marvel out of the water. It could be made to seem like this was the plan all along, and The Avengers could look like they copied off DC’s brilliant endgame.