mokie: Ghostbusters' Vinz Clortho wears a collander and answers questions (nerdy)
Time Magazine (yes, again) discusses why the rich shoplift more than the poor, but doesn't ask why store employees are still following poor people around the aisles instead of more affluent customers (answer: management doesn't care about pissing off poor people), or even when $70,000 a year became "rich," because isn't that closer to "middle-class" and doesn't that put a somewhat different spin on this?
In the book, you cite a study that finds Americans with incomes of $70,000 a year shoplift 30% more than those earning up to $20,000. Why is that?

Entitlement is certainly a factor. Rage is a factor. A lot of people feel that they are the victims in whatever way — whether it’s their life circumstances, or that they’re the victims of a larger economic plot — like Bernie Madoff. There’s this idea of avenging yourself on an impersonal entity, like a store. You see what others have — like on TMZ — and you think, ‘What difference does this make?’
mokie: A large white shark rearing from a tiny child's pool (devious)
Halloween decorations hit the stores in August. Christmas decorations are out by October. Sweet and innocent Easter decorations are on the shelves before raunchy red Valentines Day tchotchkes have left them. But where, I ask you, are the Shark Week decorations?

That's racist, America.
“If I had to choose between being eaten by a shark and having my heart broken again, I’d rather get eaten by the shark—because at least I’d know that shark actually wanted me.” (Sean Patton)
mokie: A Japanese lantern in front of lush green bushes (thoughtful)
Titan A.E. was supposed to be a groundbreaking integration of digital and traditional animation from the true heir to the throne of Disney, Don Bluth.

Except by the time Titan A.E. was released in 2000, Disney and various Japanese studios had been experimenting for a decade with mixing traditional and computerized animation, and Saturday morning had at least three fully CGI cartoons, with a handful more that toyed with computerized elements. To add insult to injury, Bluth's integration was poor, both on its own and in comparison: fingers didn't hold objects, characters stepped into doors instead of through them, and so forth. When we first see the rotoscoping--classic rotoscoping, so blatant and clumsy it immediately brings to mind 1978's Lord of the Rings or 1981's Heavy Metal--it becomes painfully clear that this is "Don Bluth Does Digital!", a desperate attempt to stay relevant by a man clinging to the days when he was a contender.

But the problems go far deeper than style, to a serious lack of focus and commitment in the story itself.

Both the loss of Earth and the loss of the protagonist's father are rushed through so quickly that I don't even need to hide that with spoiler warnings. We're not emotionally invested in either the big picture loss or the protagonist's loss because it's over by the time the title appears, reduced to mere backstory: here's why they're in space, hey did you notice that ring? Where the movie really begins, Cale's fatherlessness and the loss of Earth are just how things are. Depending on the story, that could work just fine.

Unfortunately, the story the filmmakers want to tell requires us to feel sorrow for Earth That Was the lost home planet and father, the longing to belong somewhere, and the urgency to find Titan, and they never step in and give us a reason to feel any of that. We enter a world already made, with characters pretty much used to it, and it's hard to care. It's hard to believe the characters care, either. They seem more heavily invested in cynicism, sarcasm, and general postmodern asshattery than in their search and the story. The characterization is all over the place, at times so blatantly derivative that it feels like the whiniest Star Wars or Firefly fan-film ever, even though it predates the latter by two years.

That's partly because Firefly creator Joss Whedon was a screenwriter on this. Watch the film knowing this, and it becomes a wonderful example of how to completely fail to pull off anything Whedon. Titan A.E.'s complete lack of motivation for its characters? In Firefly, that comes across as depth and moral ambiguity. Whedon's trademark quirky rapid-fire dialogue became famous in Buffy*, to the point that it's something of a watershed program, but in Titan A.E., the dull delivery instead gives the impression filmmakers just couldn't decide whether a moment was meant to be dramatic or humorous. It's like Monty Python as recreated by a Bible study group, or worse, the pilot for the American version of Red Dwarf. They've got the script, they've got the plot, but they have no idea.

In the end, the problems transcend all of that: the movie just can't decide what it wants to be or who it's for. Where better storytelling and production might have pulled off an 'everything to everyone' open-ended approach, Titan A.E. doesn't have it: it is the film equivalent of that guy who thinks trying hard and giving a shit makes him look uncool, so he half-asses it and pretends that makes him hip. Yes, as a film, it's a douchebag.

But consider all of that and ponder with me this notion: should Titan A.E. be remembered not as a tired wannabe work by a former animation titan, but as a very, very awkward dress rehearsal for Firefly?

* Though you can catch hints of it earlier in Roseanne, where he also arguably laid the groundwork for Darlene's evolution from basic tomboy to realistic teenager.
mokie: A tiny, sad cardboard robot walks in the rain (sad)
If you were going to make a signature drink that was named after you, what would you put in it?

View Answers

Ah yes, the Mokito!

Rum and coke and lime and coke and more rum, and then sleeping. Lots of sleeping.

Why are we asking this on St. Patrick's day, LJ?
mokie: Earthrise seen from the moon (Default)
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Well, it is a convenient way to let minors know where the porn is...

I am old enough (just barely, thanks) to remember when Tipper Gore went to war on the music industry and introduced Parental Advisory stickers on the theory that it would make it easier for parents to protect their kids from what these prudes deemed offensive materials. The reality was that the stickers gave parents permission to opt out of their responsibilities. Instead of personally monitoring their children's music, parents assumed the stores would do something about it for them. When stores do restrict access to labeled materials (making them all the more desirable for a while), kids turn to their parents and ask them to buy it--and parents often do, without a look at that damn sticker.

The next time you go to rent a movie, if Netflix doesn't kill that industry in the meantime, ask about the more violent game titles, and how often they try to stop a parent from renting it for a ten-year-old. The labels are a false comfort.

Many adult websites already have adult content warnings, and they don't stop minors from entering or viewing. For some sites, the warning becomes a sort of advertisement. I don't worry about mandatory warnings hindering creativity, I worry about ten year olds with a computer in the bedroom and parents who put all their trust in Nanny software and content labels instead of monitoring their kids personally.

About dream/reading tags

y-* tags categorize dreams.

For types: beyond the obvious, there are dreamlets (very short dreams), stubs (fragment/outline of a partially-lost dream), gnatter (residual impression of a lost dream).

For characters: there are roles (characters fitting an archetype), symbols (characters as symbols), and sigils (recurring figures with a significance bigger than a single dream's role/symbolism).

x-* tags categorize books.

Material is categorized primarily by structure, style and setting. If searching for a particular genre, look for the defining features of that genre, e.g. x-form:nonfic:bio, x-style:horror, x-setting:dystopian.