Confusing Smugness for Intelligence

So, I woke up today and went on Twitter, liked and retweeted a few things, and then came across this particular entry in the category of Obvious Things We Knew Already And Didn’t Need To Be Told About:

And it got me to thinking about how, in the past ten years or so, with the proliferation of social media, that the desire to appear intelligent is nothing more than a thinly-veiled excuse for being a smug asshole.

This sort of article does not exist in a vacuum but comes about from a culture where appearing intelligent and talking down to others is seen as a moral imperative spurred by shows that mock caring about anything, such as South Park and the more recent Rick & Morty.

There’s also Youtube channels such as the infamous Cinema Sins, which came about from older websites like That Guy With The Glasses and The Spoony Experiment where mocking bad movies became synonymous with critical thinking. CinemaSins in particular often hides behind the lie of being critical and being satire, sometimes both at the same time, in order to avoid answering people who point out the litany of mistakes they make with their Sins Counter. The Youtube channel Shawn has numerous good videos about it, such as this one:

What really gets me is that the writer of this Times post (which you can find here but is behind a paywall, so I can’t get the full context of the article nor do I feel like paying for it) thought this was a necessary thing to write, and in the process wasted the time of several scientists to back the article up. Were people actually believing in the existence of these titan creatures and creating a new religion around it? Did Rhys Blakely fear the onset of people abandoning their critical thinking skills and getting their education solely from a science fiction film?

Or did he just not like that people enjoyed a good film between two giant monsters who are pop culture icons and haven’t been seen on screen together since the original in 1962?

To be honest, I don’t know. In browsing the other kinds of articles he writes (only the titles as, again, they’re behind a paywall with a free trial), he does write about important stuff such as booster shots protecting against variants of Covid, how harmful articles go viral much faster than others, and the development of new jet fuel that could cut down on pollution. So it seems strange that such an article finger waving at others over how giant monsters can’t exist could be written in the first place.

Going back to what I said earlier, about how such a piece came about from a landscape of people who enjoy, and profit off of, decrying the joy that others have over a piece of fiction. Cinema Sins is a top contender for this, and shows like Rick & Morty seem to take vicious delight in cutting into anything that people enjoy. And of course, South Park has made a career of making fun of everyone while sowing the message that caring about something is stupid and not cool at all.

With regards to social media, and what we’ve seen highlighted by the ongoing pandemic, it’s that much more frustrating because science deniers and anti-vaxxers have grown in popularity and reach, with little to nothing being done by the platforms they propagate upon. Many had large audiences on Facebook and it’s only been in the last 6 months or so that Facebook has actually done anything about it. Twitter has shown time and time again how they only care about interaction, regardless of how many Nazis, FARTs (Feminist Appropriating Reactionary Transphobes) are spreading a campaign of hate and backed by JK Rowling and American Far Right Money against Transgender people (because that IS where the LGB Alliance is getting their money), using arguments that were weaponized against gay people back in the 80s.

Their main goal is money and they just don’t care whose blood is shed to get it.

I suppose what I’m getting at here is that this article is superfluous and a waste of time. We know King Kong and Godzilla aren’t real, we know that being that size would kill them (much like how the size of the spiders in the Resident Evil games would crush under their own weight), and we don’t need a finger-waving smug person getting high on his own farts to tell us this.

Yes, being critical of the media we enjoy is important. It’s a saying from Feminist Frequency I believe wholeheartedly, and my critical thinking with regards to representation on screen never goes away, even with media I am head over heels in love with, such as Pacific Rim, the webcomics I read, and the video games I play. Part of that criticism comes from a genuine love of those mediums of entertainment because I want them to be better, I want more people to be able to see themselves in them and enjoy themselves and feel uplifted and celebrated. To know that this is something that includes them, from D&D to superheroes and sci-fi.

It doesn’t include acting like a smug asshole stating the obvious and holding aloft their “I’m intelligent!” trophies.

And if this is satire? Then guess what, you’re doing it wrong.

Forgetting Black Lightning

After the wild success of Marvel’s Netflix season of Luke cage, Greg Berlanti of the CW immediately started looking around in DC Comics for a Black superhero to bring to the small and mobile screen. After all, both Marvel and DC have Black characters that they can draw upon in order to show a greater diversity in their shows, and to have one of them be the titular character be Black would do a lot to address the overall whiteness of what fans call either the Arrowverse or the Berlantiverse.

And for that, we got Black Lightning, easily one of the best superhero shows on TV currently.

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The Emotional Honesty of She-Ra

On November 13 of 2018, Noelle Stevenson and the amazing crew at Dreamworks debuted the re-imagining of She-Ra, and in its 5 seasons we’ve been brought along on an amazing journey of character growth with both the protagonists and antagonists.

Speaking as someone who grew up on the original, as well as a horde of other 80s animation that has seen reboot after remake after re-imagining (Transformers, Gem & the Holograms, He-Man), it did my heart good to see She-Ra given such loving treatment. My nostalgia remembers those old shows fondly, and I was even able to partake of a few episodes when the first She-Ra series was on Netflix, and while I don’t wish to be overly critical of a cartoon from the 80s, I do realize in my later years that it was a toy commercial.

Which is exactly what She-Ra & The Princesses Of Power is not.

Before I go any further, seeing as how the final season only just came out a few days ago, I’m going to put the rest of this article behind a cut as there are some majour spoilers.

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The Building of the Falsehood of No Politics In Games

I’d like to start off this article by having you, the reader, look at the following image:


When you don’t want to acknowledge the politics of the games you played because you couldn’t see them before.

On the surface, this tired old argument is every bit as ignorant as it is, but what it is is part of a falsehood that game companies have cultivated, going back all the way to the days of the NES when it came out in the 80s.

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John Boyega & The Case of No More Damns To Give

As 2019 ended, and John Boyega finished his contract with Disney and the press tour finished, I can imagine him taking a comfy seat in front of his computer, pulling off the kids gloves, and popping his knuckles.

TW for mentions of online harassment, as well as spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker.

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Too Little, Too Late For Black Widow

Last week, the first trailer for the Black Widow movie dropped, after YEARS of fans asking for a Black Widow movie since her first appearance in Iron Man 2 in 2010, and thus far the response is a resounding… meh.

It was also interestingly pointed out by Ashley Lynch, a really good film editor and commentor on Twitter, that they had released the trailer at midnight.

Of course, this film comes too little too late for me and a number of other people, due to circumstances surrounding both Scarlet Johannson as well as executive decisions within Marvel Studios itself.

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Anohana – Grief and Moving On

Brief apologies for not getting a piece out this week, as work really interfered and my days off were busy.

Also, TW: minor mention of attempted sexual assault.

Grief is a powerful emotion in our lives, something that can root us firmly in place, making us feel like a rock in the river of time, unable to move while envious of the water flowing about us.

This is a story about moving on.

However, be warned that as I will be talking about this short series in depth, there will be spoilers beyond the cut.

Spoilers Sweetie...

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Battle Angel Alita – The CORRECT Female Lead Action Film

Hello everyone, lets take a step into the way back machine, and travel back to earlier this year, when two films came out. Both had female leads that were chock full of action and CGI, based on comics, and had the political allegory of fighting back against oppressive systems.

Except only one was an acceptable female lead, and the other wasn’t.

That’s right, I’m talking about the rivalry between Battle Angel Alita and Captain Marvel.

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“You’re a bad friend.”

Season 4 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power debuted this week and I binged it, not only enjoying but feeling my mind absolutely blown away by the powerful emotional arcs and the build up to the finale as mysteries were finally resolved in ways I had not anticipated. It’s a wonderfully crafted piece of writing that has built up over the previous three seasons with its treatment of its characters and the world.

It’s also an example of media that does not absolve the characters of their actions or words, and leans heavily into the more complicated issues of friendship in very intense, emotional ways.

However, before we continue, I will tell you all that beyond this, there be spoilers. MAJOUR spoilers.

Spoilers Sweetie...

Continue reading ““You’re a bad friend.””