• Activity
  • Votes
  • Comments
  • New
  • All activity
    1. What's something that should be polled or surveyed more often?

      Firstly, it seems pretty clear polling Hispanic/Latino people as one unified populace isn't working well, given how Cuban Americans have a large presence in the Republican party instead of the...

      Firstly, it seems pretty clear polling Hispanic/Latino people as one unified populace isn't working well, given how Cuban Americans have a large presence in the Republican party instead of the Democratic one and that ignoring the race of the people polled is likely very unhelpful and means statements made about Hispanic people probably don't apply to all or maybe most of them.

      Secondly, while polling is largely associated with politics, I think it isn't the only place that it could be useful. For example, a large question in many relationship-related subreddits and is if something you do or would like to do is normal, and I think polling on what people want/would want from people they would partner with would be good. (Although this might be more a semi-pragmatic thing, given that a lot of this tlaking seems to think "normal" and "ok" are the same, which is not really true.)

      8 votes
    2. My thoughts on Denis Villeneuve's Dune

      OK, well. Dune then. Sort of a live review, as I watch. Some more in-depth thoughts at the end. Mildly spoilery, but not if you know the story already. Fair warning, I will not be judging this...

      OK, well. Dune then. Sort of a live review, as I watch. Some more in-depth thoughts at the end. Mildly spoilery, but not if you know the story already.

      Fair warning, I will not be judging this film on purely it's own merits. It exists in the world and also in the world are Lynch's film (for reference I consider the spicediver fanedit, Alternative Edition Redux, to be the canonical version of that), the Sci-Fi channel miniseries and obviously the books. Yes, even the prequels - the first of which is one of the worst books I've ever read and I've read The Davinci Code. Anyway, on to actually watching it...

      Well, it's pretty. One problem is that no matter how good the design is - and the design is VERY good - it's just not as good as Tony Masters and David Lynch building on material from Mobius and HR Giger. This film is obviously heavily influenced by them though.

      In my head Caladan is a lush, fertile, welcoming world. It's been colour graded to grey and desaturated. Feels wrong.

      He's lifting both shots and dialogue from Lynch's film. That's good. My brain is filling in the missing bits of internal monologing.

      Nice implementation of Chakobsa. I like that.

      Hans Zimmer can just fuck off with that big stupid honking sound he shoehorns into everything. So annoying.

      This film is missing Roger Deakins. I mean you can say that about a lot of films but this one especially. It is beautifully shot but Deakins would have taken it to another level.

      Why are people whispering at each other over like ten metre distances? I hate that. Speak up, you're outside, it's windy and you're far apart! It's not moody if you obviously can't even hear each other. Yes, small thing, but things like that which upset your suspension of disbelief are jarring.

      You can't put a crysknife away without it tasting blood. Pffft. That's just ignoring lore for the sake of it. Five seconds would be all it took to do that bit. We could have had one fewer lingering shots on the knife itself instead. As an aside, the Shadout Mapes as a means to explain bits of Arrakeen and Fremen lore to the Atredies (and us!) is horrendously under-used.

      The ornithopters in this movie are badass. There is an in-universe reason for them that I can't remember.

      I wonder how much of this works if you haven't seen Lynch's version (which has much more internal thoughts of characters) or read the books?

      Stellan Skarsgard is channelling Apocalypse Now era Brando pretty hard and that is in no way a bad thing. His Baron is absolutely superb, probably the best part of the whole film. Piter de Vries is nowhere near weird/creepy/insane enough. Leaving out Feyd-Rautha is a mistake, he's the anti-Paul and even though Sting did a relatively terrible job in Lynch's film, that doesn't mean he's not important.

      Zimmer teasing elements of Eno's original theme is a nice touch as well.

      You know what's cool? What's cool is that at certain key moments I get lines from the book appearing in my head, from whichever scene is happening. That's a really good sign. I haven't read Dune for years.

      So OK, overall, it's not as bad as I was expecting. It's pretty. It's stylish. It's annoyingly colour graded but what isn't these days? But this film doesn't add much to the telling of Dune over the Lynch's film or even, really, the Sci-Fi miniseries. Villeneuve is obviously a fan of both books and Lynch's movie and what he has made is good. A lot of what he's made is basically just a remake of what Lynch did, and I don't just mean because both films are based on the same book - there are multiple direct lifts straight from Lynch's film, and that is perfectly OK. But it's not about what is here, it's about what isn't.

      Because it leaves a lot out - it's shallow where it should be deep, it's straightforward where it should be mystical, simple where it should be weird. It's 8-10 characters when it should be twice that and worst of all a lot of it seems to rely on viewers knowing the lore rather than having time to explain it: and all that is because film is the wrong medium for this story.

      It misses out on exploring much about any of the characters simply because nobody has enough screentime to go into their motivations, which are generally multifaceted and complex - I do appreciate Villeneuve not wanting to have characters stand around expositioning at each other (MCU, looking at you), or doing a voiceover of character's thoughts like Lynch did, but that means you really need to spend time with them so they can show us what they're thinking, not tell us. "Show don't tell" is good filmmaking but it takes time.

      For example, Paul and Jessica get most of the screen time but we don't really learn much about them. Because you need a lot of lore to contextualise their motivations - Jessica's actions and desires need to be placed in the wider context of her relationship to Leto and the Bene Gesserit and their plans and while Villeneueve does try to do that a bit, it's one or two lines with Leto and one rushed (literally, they're doing a walk-and-talk) conversation in which Helen Moahim mentions the Kwisatz Haderach and little more.

      The Guild are barely even mentioned. You see some lower level navigators but you don't know who they are if you don't already know who they are. The Guild's influence is so important to so much of what happens in Dune but if you didn't know they existed already I'm not sure you'd leave this film knowing there was a spacing guild at all. Same goes for the Emperor and the Landsraad, they hardly come up at all. The thing about Dune is that it's not just about Paul. Paul is important but he's really just the pointy end of a lot of long-game players and systems and their interactions. That doesn't really come over in Villeneuve's film. Also it's not really a structural issue but I'd have loved to have seen more of the Heighliners. A Navigation sequence would have been fun too.

      The thing is, Dune deserves a TV series. A high budget one like Game of Thrones. I want an hour on Caladan, learning about the Atredies. I want an hour on Kaitain learning about the Padishah Emperors and the Bene Gesserit. Same with the Harkkonens. I want to be 3 or 4 episodes in before I even see Arrakis. Movies are great for telling short stories, maybe novellas at best. But big, long, complicated books need to be on TV where they can spread out, take their time, develop characters and fill in backstory and motivations.

      Overall, 7/10 and I really hope the second movie gets funded because stopping here would be even worse. It's worth watching but don't expect a great deal underpinning what is still a very beautiful film. I could have written that same sentence about Bladerunner 2049, thinking about it.

      15 votes
    3. Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of October 18

      This thread is posted weekly, and is intended as a place for more-casual discussion of the coronavirus and questions/updates that may not warrant their own dedicated topics. Tell us about what the...

      This thread is posted weekly, and is intended as a place for more-casual discussion of the coronavirus and questions/updates that may not warrant their own dedicated topics. Tell us about what the situation is like where you live!

      9 votes
    4. I feel dreadful of my future, but are my feelings valid?

      So I just recently graduated university this year and am 21 years old. I live with my parents and am able to make good money by selling stuff on eBay, and I'm also a musician. I just seem so...

      So I just recently graduated university this year and am 21 years old. I live with my parents and am able to make good money by selling stuff on eBay, and I'm also a musician. I just seem so confused on what I truly want out of life. The idea of working a 9-5 job scares me so bad because its like I can already see what the next 40 years of my life will be. Wake up every morning, go to work, pretend to like my coworkers even if they piss me off, eagerly wait until my shift is over, waiting for Friday to come, and then during the weekend dread waking up on Monday morning. Rinse and repeat, while possibly having a family of my own along the way. Then I retire, possibly move into an old folks home, then die. I thought I wanted security by just getting a good job, moving into the suburbs, and living a stable and peaceful life, but now that I'm actually an adult that life sounds monotonous and boring and it honestly scares me.

      However, I can't tell if this is a valid way to feel, or if this is just me being "childish" or lazy. I thought my adult life would be so straightforward and that I should just go the safe route like everyone else says to do but I feel like I'm gonna be so depressed in the coming years because I'm not gonna truly enjoy my life anymore. I like what I do now because I don't a set schedule and I find it fun searching for things to sell and making a couple of dollars here and there off my songs, but I don't know if I can expand those two things enough that I can live off both of those things while having enough money to move out on my own. I thought I wanted to work in tech and i have a degree in a tech field (Informatics with a concentration in Data Analytics) but even then I still don't know if I like it enough to enjoy a job, even though I do truly love technology. Its like my heart is telling me that I kinda need "chaos" or instability in a sense that I want to do something new everyday to feel fulfilled and have fun, but then my rational mind tells me to just work at a decent job where I know I'll be doing the same thing everyday and live a quiet life. I don't know, I guess I'm just lost. Do you think I'm just acting like a kid, or do some of you feel the same way?

      15 votes
    5. What did you do this week?

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do...

      As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

      4 votes
    6. What have you been listening to this week?

      What have you been listening to this week? You don't need to do a 6000 word review if you don't want to, but please write something! If you've just picked up some music, please update on that as...

      What have you been listening to this week? You don't need to do a 6000 word review if you don't want to, but please write something! If you've just picked up some music, please update on that as well, we'd love to see your hauls :)

      Feel free to give recs or discuss anything about each others' listening habits.

      You can make a chart if you use last.fm:

      http://www.tapmusic.net/lastfm/

      Remember that linking directly to your image will update with your future listening, make sure to reupload to somewhere like imgur if you'd like it to remain what you have at the time of posting.

      6 votes
    7. I want to give psilocybin a try

      Insight once came to me after I was prepped for a surgical procedure. As my body's weight began to evaporate, a pain I had never recognized, but which must have always been sounding in the...

      Insight once came to me after I was prepped for a surgical procedure. As my body's weight began to evaporate, a pain I had never recognized, but which must have always been sounding in the background noise of my being, vanished. The superadhesive worry--which sometimes frightened others as much as myself, that in order to socialize, I had learned to sometimes twist into a temporary shape resembling charm--came unstuck and peeled away. Then followed a great thought, a mandate for how I should spend the remainder of my life. Also, I needed to poop. But more than that, I needed to get out of this semi-public hospital bed and to a private space immediately, so I could allow this cosmic insight a moment to fully bloom. Time was against me. Anesthetized, I knew I was slipping toward, maybe even over, the falls past which I would forget everything of this experience until a groggy post-procedure awakening brought dull daylight and its senseless aches back to me. I had to somehow save the thought. I searched, but the bathroom gave up no markers, no specimen cup labels to write on. I wondered about tearing toilet paper into little letters, hiding them above the cabinet. But would I remember to return to read the message? With an increasingly calm desperation, I dug my nails into the flesh of my hand and repeated again and again the life-saving insight delivered during communion with the world that lay beyond pain. Please remember, please remember this thought.

      When I regained consciousness, it was waiting for me like a friend who had lost patience, and now seemed much less attractive. What I had somehow stolen from the gods, secreted in my closed palm through a swim across the river Lethe, was this message: “Do Drugs.”

      I had realized that analysis, working on the problem of myself both mentally and verbally, had won me no appreciable gains. Insight, I had. But relief, happiness, an improved outlook? Nothing I had done had really helped me feel better. Anesthesia instantly had. These aren’t the words of an addict coming on-line. I was a reluctant user of any substance. However, in the years following I forced myself to again undertake drug trials with my psychiatrists. Methodically, I worked through every class, waltzed backward through the eras of drugs, danced off-label with each oddball wallflower, ingested every twisted molecule to ever win over the FDA with a promise of psychiatric benefit and maybe some that merely had intrigued one of my more historically-curious doctors. When Eddie Haskell, MD wanted to resurrect a drug of the bad old days just to see what it’d do to a person, I was the patient with his hand out.

      I overslept and didn’t sleep. I gained and lost a third of my body weight. My head felt like a styrofoam block, then like the slate of a blackboard being scraped with tableware. I was more or less charged, sweaty, sensitive to light, and shaky. Some drugs make you feel like Benjamin Braddock in his birthday diving suit. Others make you feel like an amnesiac idiot in Benjamin Braddock’s birthday diving suit. A common theme emerges. These substances could help me feel slower, distant from the world, claustrophobic, clammy, sensorily distorted. Sometimes, they dulled my anxiety, or dried my hair-trigger tear ducts, but they accomplished this through impairment, and very clumsily. I have never been drunk, but I think it’s like a drunk traffic cop: success in psych meds comes about by the stopping of certain avenues, slowing up of traffic, blocking lawful turns. And it’s sometimes noted in the overall impact that fewer crashes have occurred. To me this is not success. Impairment so far hasn't been healing for me. I want my turn at quoting the line, "I feel like myself again."

      And so, my heart sinks at every day's new headline about psychedelics. If you follow health news at all, you know they are a hot topic, showing a ridiculous amount of promise. Despite fitting the diagnostic profile, my former home was far from anywhere with signups for studies. I reached out to several "clinics" offering psychedelic-assisted therapy. They struck me as resembling many legal weed shops--loads of young bros polishing their presentation and sanitizing an extortionate drug deal in hopes of financing a Tesla. With fees starting at 8x the plane ticket to administer and contextualize a drug that costs less than $20 a dose, I wouldn't credit their soft patter as containing much idealism. It was cheaper to move to Europe.

      And here I am--for other reasons besides. Yes, a part of me thought living near Portugal would put legal psychedelics within my reach, but I'm not seeing any opportunities. Now I'm kicking myself for never having tried to cultivate mushroom spores, never having ventured to ask acquaintances for a hand. I'm marooned here and psilocybin is about blow up in the States.

      20 votes
    8. Weekly US politics news and updates thread - week of October 18

      This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate...

      This thread is posted weekly - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      5 votes
    9. Thoughts on Mulan (2020)?

      I just finished watching it (pirated, because I wasn’t going to give Disney money after all the controversy regarding Taiwan). Uhh, it.. was bad? I mean I’m usually pretty positive especially...

      I just finished watching it (pirated, because I wasn’t going to give Disney money after all the controversy regarding Taiwan).

      Uhh, it.. was bad? I mean I’m usually pretty positive especially about all the Disney remakes, and I liked the general darker mood of this Mulan version. But what’s with the 90s era cgi physics?

      Also, and I get the Mulan plot line is entirely about how ridiculous gender-gating is in general, but whew there is a serious case of The Stupids around a lot of the tradition, much more so than in the original. This felt very tropey to me, convenient idiocy. I mean yes okay this takes place 1200 years ago but …

      I appreciated not seeing mushu, but the Phoenix could have just been a lot lot lot more subtle.

      And I’ve never seen snow look so much like party foam. This is the same studio that produced Frozen?!

      Man, this movie felt like it was written, produced and directed in 1998. I would say I watched the wrong one by mistake but the original was actually good for its time.

      What happened, did I miss something? This could have been an amazing movie full of great music, awesome choreography, and a super dark take on the original. Instead, I watched the equivalent of a machine learning exercise in turning anime to live action.

      8 votes