Earth to Variety: No One Wants to Fix the Oscars

It’s not that I disagree with the suggestions Variety offers: 1) Hire Jimmy Fallon to host, with a multi-year contract, 2) Get people who actually share the general public’s taste to vote, 3) FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, MAKE IT SHORTER, 4) Throw in some Audience Participation, and 5) Give the Celebs their booze back. Any and all of those things would probably help. Especially #3.

It’s that you and I and everyone all know that none of them are going to happen.

The Academy Awards have been dull and self-indulgent my entire lifetime. This is known (it is known). It’s going to continue to be. The purpose of the Academy awards is precisely to be “an employee-of-the-year celebration that happens to be televised for the entire world.” It’s a market display. The longer it goes on, the more everyone there is satisfied with themselves. The rest of us suckers will just keep suffering.

camustherebel

Camus and Karamazov, “The Rejection of Salvation.”

A Continuing series in which I post my notes of reading this engaging book.

In The Rebel, Camus frames Metaphysical Rebellion in the words of Dostoyevsky’s Ivan Karamazov (among other ways). God is to be not denied, but refuted and condemned. The Problem of Evil on steroids, as it were.

From pgs. 56-57:

Ivan rejects the basic interdependence, introduced by Christianity, between suffering and truth. Ivan’s most profound utterance, the one which opens the deepest chasms beneath the rebel’s feet, is his even if: “I would persist in my indignation even if I were wrong.” Which means that even if God existed, even if the mystery cloaked a truth, even if the starets Zosime were right, Ivan would not admit that truth should be paid for by evil, suffering, and the death of innocents. Ivan incarnates the refusal of salvation.

In addition, Ivan is the incarnation of the refusal to be the only one saved. He throws in his lot with the damned and, for their sake, rejects eternity. If he had faith, he could, in fact, be saved, but others would be damned and suffering would continue. There is no possible salvation for the man who feels real compassion. Ivan will continue to put God in the wrong by doubly rejecting faith as he would reject injustice and privelege.

My Response: This comes to me as nothing more than a metaphysical temper tantrum: “If I cannot have existence my way, I will not have it at all.” Or more properly, “an existence that requires suffering is not ‘worth it’.”

This is empty vanity. Suffering will continue regardless of how sullenly you refuse to countenance it. What child does Ivan save from suffering? If none, then we must conclude the the intellectual solidarity with the suffering is a sham, or at any rate, a means to an end. And the end is power, moral power as a precursor to political power, the power over life and death.

The desire to be Better Than God rests on the mistaken notion that God’s mystery is a false veil, a smokescreen hiding a lie, rather than a necessary consequence of our nature. If we had infinite minds, we could be God’s equal. We do not and never will. We continually frame Him in our own tiny conceptions, and are indignant when those conceptions will not hold Him.

Existence is not yours to justify. Deal with it.

iamsam

Sean Penn, You Magnificent Bastard…

Did you actually say “Who gave this SOB a Green Card?” when announcing the best director winner?

Were you drunk?

Did you think no one would be bothered by you saying that?

Were you not thinking?

Do you know Alejandro Inarritu personally? He says you do, and that you have that kind of friendship. So that’s fine, I guess. Hell, maybe this whole operation was you trolling the perpetually offended, which could compel me to credit you with having a sense of humor.

In any case, you just set off a rage of blue-on-blue on Twitter. You just gave the progs something to be mad about that wasn’t Rudy Guiliani’s small act of lese-majeste. God bless you, you raging self-important dictator-snuggling wife-beating communist, you.

Of course, if anyone had actually watched the Oscars, it would have been better.

If Blogs are Dying, We Shall Miss Them.

Lileks at his profound best.

While most blogs weren’t deathless examples of great writing, there was the opportunity for individualism, and you don’t get that from a Pinterest page. You don’t get it from a feed of things snipped and reblogged and pinned and shoveled into The Feed. The web turns into bushels of confetti shoveled into a jet engine, and while something does emerge out the other end, it’s usually made impressive by its velocity and volume, not the shape it makes.

All web sites are becoming the same web site. They look the same, they swipe the same, they beg you for subscriptions the same. The noise has become so great that I took February off of social media and I haven’t missed Facebook once. Not. Even. Once.

Content is King, we are told. But the rat at which the content is consumed seems to make the consumption the point rather than the content itself. I can read a thousand articles on Medium in a day; how many of them will really stick with me?

The same can be true of blogs, of course, but whenever I found a blog I liked, I almost always wanted to read everything that they had. Whereas I couldn’t remember the name of anyone who’s “written” any Buzzfeed listicle I’ve gif’ed through if you paid me.

The medium is becoming the message. Which bodes not well, now that the FCC has made it a public utility.

Atheist Violence

It appears that the man who gunned down three Muslim students at UNC-Chapel Hill was a Proggy Atheist.The police are now saying that the murder was over a parking dispute.

riiight

Look, that may have been the trigger, but that was not the powder, if you receive my meaning. You settle parking disputes with passive-aggressive notes and towings. You don’t shoot people.

It reminds me of Christopher Hitchens’ rebuttal to the contention that Communism counts as atheist violence. To Hitchens, Stalin created an ersatz religion in the Soviet Union, with himself as a kind of god, so all the crimes of Russian Communism were in fact, caused by religion. The people of Russia simply exchanged the Russian Orthodox Church for the Communist Party.

It’s a clever argument, but it hides a horrible weakness: if a thoroughly athest-materialist philosophy like Communism can create a religion as murderous as any theist, then what is the point of atheism? If it does not insulate us from the violence that the righteous meet out against heretics, what value does it have?

Not that anyone will answer. The current play is to keep the Tea Party meme in operation. Whatever demonizes the Other.