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Comment: Re:Ridiculous! (Score 1) 588

by stdarg (#47500071) Attached to: Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

In fact, when he was first introduced, it was as a normal human finding Thor's hammer in a cave and turning into Thor. There already have been "what if?" stories exploring the scenario where his wife/girlfriend found the hammer instead. Storm has wielded Mjolnier on several occasions and turned into Thor. An alien has turned into Thor.

The big difference between now and then is that the movies including Thor have brought a lot more attention to the issue. I didn't even know Thor was a comic book character before the movies. If a comic that appeals to a small percentage of the public plays with ideas like that, good for them. But when it's exposed to more people who don't know the background, and frankly don't care much about the comic book version compared to the "real" (mythological) thing, it's a different situation entirely.

Did it take anything away? To a lot of people, it most certainly did add something. There was nothing stupid about making him black.

No, because like I said, that's a minor character. And Idris Elba is awesome anyway...

I feel like we're getting to the heart of the matter here. You associate black with "otherness". Let me guess: you are white? And male? Do you associate female also with "otherness"?

Black would be a strong visual indication of otherness in the entirely white pantheon of gods (umm, except Heimdall) that are in the movie. They already made Loki unnaturally pale and gave him black hair. He is SUPPOSED to be different. I mean you saw the movie right?

I'm not sure why you suddenly started talking about me personally. I mean I know why.. you're trying to say I'm an uncultured, provincial, naive racist. And that's stupid.

And no, women and blacks don't represent "otherness" to me personally.

But having Loki be black would bring a lot of interesting issues to the forefront of his character. He was taken out of his society and raised by the white gods in Asgard. He's distrusted by his peers and his "father" (authority figure). There's a whole lot of "but look at what we've given to you, why are you betraying us!" in the movie that ignores his true history as a hostage. They should have had Idris Elba play Loki and leave Heimdall as another generic Nordic white guy.

I guess you don't see that stuff and you think you're awesome for being more color blind than me or something... whatever makes you feel better.

Do you realize that there are people like you who are black and/or female?

Wow, really, there are black people??? Like, in real life??? And women?? Now I know you're joking!

Jeeze, get over yourself bud.

That to them, there's nothing "other" about black or female?

The role of a good movie is not to make people feel included. When I watched "The Wire" (took this example because of Idris Elba) I wasn't thinking "Gee, I would like this so much more if they made the criminals a multicultural rainbow so that it's not so stereotypical... there should be a Chinese sidekick who knows kung-fu, a couple thuggish and irredeemable white guys (ooo make one of them Italian), a tough but funny Hispanic chick, a few black thugs who secretly have hearts of gold, and a hidden mastermind who is white because we all know minorities are only criminals when they're duped into it by a nefarious smart white guy... oh that would be awesome!" No, that would make it completely retarded like so many bad 80s "urban" crime movies.

The people chosen to portray characters in a movie are more than their acting skills. They are also, like it or not, all the baggage and preconceived notions the audience brings with it. Sometimes that gets in the way of the character, other times it actually adds to it and lets them represent the character in a way that would be impossible for others.

Comment: Re:More Like Subsidized (Score 1) 525

by stdarg (#47499767) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Then do explain: how does a libertarian government not become the current one? I mean, outside of being fully staffed by libertarians, who all adhere to the same notions of government, property, and morality?

It's just like any political party in a democracy, you hope that people see the positive aspects of what you're doing and continue to support you.

I can create a central government in my house that has overreaching power in areas that... well, pick whatever you want.

I know you're being funny, but that's completely wrong. In your own house you can't impose taxes on guests, put people in your basement jail, raise an army, build a nuclear power plant, kill people who break your laws, etc. You have some special rights within your own house but they pale next to the government's rights *everywhere*. Including your house. That said, there are plenty of aspects of life where you should have the freedom to do what you please in your own house without government interference.

The reason that Somalia and Sudan are important is because they show what happens when a central government is unable to enforce its laws.

I'll go one step further than that and add that it shows what happens when too much of your population has certain harmful mentalities. In Somalia and Sudan's case it's extremist Islam which has wide ranging impacts on many areas of life. It could also be welfare, extreme social conservatism, communism, etc. If too many people in your society are violent, or lazy, or stupid, or selfish, or a host of other things... then no system of government is going to turn that into a highly functional country.

As you pointed out, another type of government replaces it - automatically. Maybe not in the same territory, but as you said, it always starts somewhere in the territory of the old government, because the old government doesn't care, doesn't have the resources to care, or can't enforce the fact that it cares. In the case of Somalia and Sudan, it's a combination of all three.

Yes and I agree with you completely, even a libertarian minded government needs to be strong enough that it can maintain the writ of the state. You won't find many libertarians who disagree with that.. the question is how strong is it necessary to be? And that depends largely on what I said before, what qualities your society has. Every society is different.

If libertarians would be really so keen to cast off the shackles of the old government, those places are great to start from scratch. I mean, resource wise it stinks, but at least there's so much chaos that you can quickly create your own state according to your own rules, and you'll be much more likely to be able to enforce your own ideals than anywhere else.

That's a terrible idea. Why would you want to start a new nation in a resource poor area with overtly hostile neighbors? I mean seriously, that sounds like the founding of Israel. They have survived thus far but it's been with enormous international help, especially at the beginning. Ignoring whether you support Israel or not, consider how many times their Muslim neighbors instigated wars against them. Israel was given massive amounts of military and civilian aid by America and Europe, otherwise they would have been wiped out.

I mean come on.. you can put down the pretense that you're serious about Somalia and Sudan being libertarian wet dreams. It's a dumb idea, and you know it, and the only reason people say it is for the shock factor. I know you don't really think it's a good idea so I honestly don't know why you put in so much effort just now to rationalize it.

Since you're quite anti-libertarian, I'm sure you know quite a bit about it, and you've heard of things like the "free state project" which are much, much better ideas than moving to Somalia. And you know that...

Comment: Re:To whoever did this (Score 1) 502

by stdarg (#47483025) Attached to: Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

It's probably not up the guy who is responsible. It was one of the leaders, and it went something like this..

You really fucked up. You are going to be punished, maybe put to death. But we cannot let your mistake become fodder for the enemies of our noble struggle so we're going to take care of you quietly.

Comment: Re:More Like Subsidized (Score 1) 525

by stdarg (#47473799) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

The problem is that libertarians always try to make the distinction that they're not anarchists and that they're not like the current government

No that's wrong, libertarians are "like" the current government, just smaller.

1 requires taxes, an organization to collect it, laws on what is taxed, lawmakers to write those laws, courts to enforce those laws, lawyers to argue court cases, law enforcement officers to enforce court decisions, and it's suddenly government all the way down. We're right back to where we were before.

Yes, that's the libertarian platform. The difference is in how large the government is and what its responsibilities are, not fundamental changes like eliminating lawmakers... honestly that's a ridiculous notion.

There are two types of libertarians. Those who think that government should be tiny, with everyone being some glorious self-sufficient pioneer in the new world. Those are the ones who should be hanging out in Somalia and Sudan, but don't, because those places a shit holes of failed states.

You hear that argument so much, and it's just so silly. It shows such ignorance of Somalia and Sudan, as well as ignorance of libertarianism.

Libertarians demand strong property rights and protection of those rights. They demand a small government that has limited rights and responsibilities.

Somalia and Sudan both have central governments with overreaching power in the areas they control based on Islamic law that any libertarian would find abhorrent. Furthermore, there are a number of competing governments disputing territory within each country, also seeking to impose Islamic law (but, you know, the "true" Islamic law).

Now it's a great talking point to say "overlapping disputed territories = no real government = libertarian paradise" but it's completely wrong, and you know it, because you yourself pointed out above that as soon as you get a group with the self-appointed moral right to apply violence, collect taxes, issue laws, enforce laws, etc... you have a government. So saying there's no government or "a" (there's more than one) "weak" (each one is very strong and overreaching) government in Sudan and Somalia is simply incorrect.

Comment: Re:Double standards (Score 1) 525

by stdarg (#47469155) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

There is a difference between accepting the idea that others might disagree with you and acting to support those you disagree with to the detriment of your own principles and interests.

I guess it's a foreign concept to you that some people hold principles higher than self-interest. As an example, some people would rather not accept food stamps, even if they qualify, because they believe it's wrong or that the qualification level is too easy (they feel they don't really need it, even though they qualify).

Or to take a personal example, I don't support the individual mandate in Obamacare even though it doesn't affect me, and in theory helps me by expanding the pool of risk for health insurance. Why? Because I'm an idiot? Because I don't realize that it benefits me in some ways? No, because I value the principles of freedom higher than the small benefit of imposing this law on unwilling people.

So it's ok for conservatives to not be open to liberal ideas but it's not ok for liberals to be cool with conservative ideas? Nice double standard you have there.

That's not a double standard, that's holding each group accountable to their own espoused beliefs.

What you're unable (or unwilling) to see is that having a goal of "diversity and inclusion" is difficult for precisely the reasons you're bringing up and may end up being self-defeating. What you really want is "diversity and inclusion that I like and approve of" which is what most people do anyway.

Comment: Re:Rand Paul's a plagiarizing misogynistic racist (Score 3, Insightful) 525

by stdarg (#47468999) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

I think this here sums up libertarianism nicely, as well as how anyone who isn't a true believer can expect to be treated should they ever win. Most might not be so blunt about it, but it's the idea behind all the sweet words about liberty.
[...]
And it's interesting to note that this is pretty much exactly what Nazis themselves, or hard-line communists, or really any totalitarians spouted.

You're doing the exact same thing.

Comment: Re:Ridiculous! (Score 1) 588

by stdarg (#47468641) Attached to: Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

Appropriating mythological characters is fine and dandy, but making fundamental changes to them that don't serve a greater purpose to the audience is not.

To take a non-mythological example, I've enjoyed the change from "John Watson" to "Joan Watson" in Elementary (the John Watson associated with Sherlock Holmes, in case you aren't familiar with it). Why? Because in the original Sherlock stories there has always been a kind of weird relationship between Sherlock and John. Changing John to a female character presents those relationships in a different light, just as it would if the characters were gay. So that's interesting.

But if they took John Watson and said, okay, not only is he now a woman, but he's a scuba instructor instead of a doctor, she's never been to war, and she's actually smarter than Sherlock, and oh she's not interested in solving crimes or documenting or anything, it's now become a cooking show... well you can see how fundamental identity changes *can at least hypothetically* change the character so much that it's worthless crap (unless the cooking show is actually good, and then it should be thought of as a new thing with new characters).

To take another example, in the Thor movie, making Heimdall black was stupid. That added nothing.. though since he was a minor character it wasn't a big deal. Hypothetically, if they had made Loki black to make his "otherness" more obvious, that could have been interesting on many levels so it would be a worthwhile change to explore.

So what does changing Thor into a woman bring to the table?

For now, I can't think of anything interesting that comes up as a result of Thor being a woman. So to me this was a stupid change.

Comment: Re: Ridiculous! (Score 1) 588

by stdarg (#47467037) Attached to: Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

Why would some random person, alien, frog (based on other comments), etc who wields Mjolnir suddenly be called Thor? That's just... dumb. It's insulting to the reader not only because of the rewriting of the character's mythological basis, but because it's just incredibly stupid and doesn't match the common situation where when you pick up an object that belongs to someone else and you don't become that person.

Basing a character on Thor and having him eat a shawarma and live in the US in modern times is a different ballgame and I think you know that, so that part of your argument doesn't make sense. You can make up a story while still respecting the cultural basis of your character.

Oh well, this is probably part of the reason that comic book movies are so much better than comics themselves. I doubt they'd pull this kind of stunt in a movie with major characters.

Big ugly chick: Hi I'm Thor! Because I have that hammer thing.
Fat guy: Hi I'm Superman! Because I found his tights.
Another guy: Hi I'm Wonder Woman! Because I'm wearing Wonder Woman's bracelets and Wonder "Woman" is just a title really.
And together we are... the box office bomb!

Could make a good parody I guess.

Comment: Re:Study first, then appeal (Score 1) 67

by stdarg (#47458679) Attached to: Court Rejects Fox's Attempt to Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish's Hopper

True, it's silly that cable companies have to pay rebroadcast fees either. The content is available free to the subscriber, it shouldn't matter which middle men are involved. I would, however, distinguish between middle men who edit the broadcast (such as cable companies inserting their own commercials into a show, or even minor things like adding an overlay) versus those who simply retransmit it (even including things like transcoding or changing mediums).

Comment: Re:It's here already? (Score 1) 162

by stdarg (#47458657) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

That's a good point but you're not considering that what people do within a society may be different than what they do pre-society. When we were all living in a jungle, perhaps the selfish need for communal protection outweighed other selfish drives. When society is established, one of the benefits is more privacy (property ownership, no trespassing, etc... the legal system keeping others away from you with little effort on your part) which lets you indulge your darker drives.

My point is that societies can change over time and what started as a good society could become a colonial, slave-holding, child-murdering (when the children are "other") society at some point, while still being large and advanced relative to others.

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