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The Quest for the Lost Standard

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Hi again [Apr. 14th, 2005|08:59 pm]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |okayokay]
[music |'Today' - Smashing Pumpkins]

I think there are maybe four or five people total watching this community, but you know.

I'm cleaning out my record here. My own journal entries annoy the hell out of me, particularly since the elections are over and I'm so sick of politics I could gag.

The next rant I write probably won't be until the summer. Or maybe it'll be never. I'm generally very non-confrontational, and getting people pissed off by yelling about politics just went against my nature.

Hmm. Anyway.

Over and out.
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Ooh...Sin... [Apr. 8th, 2005|05:11 pm]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |enragedenraged]
[music |Coronation Mass - W.A. Mozart]

How many months since October?  This is lame...oh well. 

This is really a rant against bad-but-sound-good arguments. The kind you read and go, "Wait, that logic was like so totally flawed."  Basically, a rant against bad analysis.

(P.S. You should have seen the "essay" before she edited it. Like, lack of commas, no control over parantheses, run-on sentences that rival a Russian novelist's, descriptors for the descriptors of the descriptions...)

Never in my life have I seen such idiocy (for lack of a better word).  See bad arguments.  See bad mod

Hey, I've not seen Sin City, but these folks are definitely "interrogating this text from the wrong perspective."  Firstly, you know that girl when into that movie thinking, "ooo so anti-feminist."  So, honestly, a lot of her "arguments" are merely things that she went in LOOKING for.  She went in looking for chauvanism, and she "found" it.  It's the same way that people looking for homosexuality in Spongebob Squarepants "find" it. 

She conveniently ignored the fact that the presence of violence or abuse does not condone it, or that all the abuse towards women was enacted by the VILLANS, i.e. the people that the audience HATES.  These same villans also got their comeuppence by way of violence being enacted upon them.  Pardon me, but doesn't that mean that the audience and the director is therefore condemning the way that the villans treat the women?  Hello?  Not to mention the fact that the women enact many brutalities on men.  And here we go--some symbolic value: an evil character consumes women the same way abusers do.  Does he get away with it?  Nope.  The prostitutes castrate men, so that they "own" and ultimately control sexual pleasure.  (That's that great sexual revolution they're are always talkin' about, right?)

And worst of all, she reads WAY TOO INTO IT.  You know what?  Maybe a hooker is just a hooker, not Frank Miller's stance on women's place in the world.  When the girl is told to stay quiet, it's because doing so would make her oppressor win.  Her silence doesn't let him.  It's not Miller saying, "All women should not speak."  When a girl is helped by a man, maybe all that's saying is, even the strongest of people need help sometimes, not "Mehahahaha, where is woman without her may-un."  There are times when it is just part of the storyline, and the author really didn't have ulterior movies or was trying to make a statement about something.   

In a movie called "Sin City," it only makes sense that most of the women are prostitutes, and some of the men pimps.  And to actually make money at that trade, it helps if you're, you know, sexually appealing.  EVERYBODY is trigger/machete happy, though.   Yay for equality! Correct me if I'm wrong, but this movie appears to be about doing whatever you can to survive in a rough and tumble city, to put it mildly. 

Here's the kicker: nearly every comment to those posts has been either the obnoxious "hear hear!" or the twice-stupid "applause."  Everyone with coherent, dissenting opinion has been banned for, ha, "not being supportive."  It reeks of fascism, which is (gasp) AN INVENTION OF THE PATRIARCHY!!1!11!one

The irony!  She burnses!

(cross-posted from my journal)

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Art for Art's Sake [Oct. 30th, 2004|08:30 am]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |distresseddistressed]
[music |Mack the Knife - Ella Fitzgerald]

Oh crap, here we go again.

This artists kills animals and photographs them.  OMG TEH ART!!!  OMG WE'D BETTER JUSTIFY THIS!11

You know, being a hard-working artist, I really have a problem with these "arteests" who like to, for really no apparent reason other than to get famous, do something really weird and shock people.  And then the gallery gets all defensive:

"Most people who see Nathalia's pictures for the first time are impressed by how beautiful they are."

...Holy crap.  A cat's head on a vase.  I'm impressed.  And the mice finger puppets--those are beautiful too?  On my planet, we call that "sham" and "tacky."  I'm not saying it isn't "art;" I'm saying that it looks like a final project for a high school Photoshop course.  The photos look like some graphic CG-type thing--they aren't all that special.   

"One can, of course, choose to think that it is always wrong to kill animals in the name of art."

Note the "choose to think."  Why does that sound peculiar?

"But now they are so beautiful - and the insight into the reality behind them gives rise to thoughts about people's shallowness and double standards. Many of us eat meat, wear leather or use make-up that has been tested on animals, without this arousing especially strong reactions. But when a picture shows a dead rabbit, all hell breaks loose. "

Ah, yes, the old "but you eat dead animals OMG!!!"  There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between picking up a package of beef at the supermarket, and actually killing an animal--and ones traditionally held to such high esteem as pets--yourself. 

Also: I'd like you to take a real close look at those photos.  Are they all that special?  Are they really so disturbing?  Is the only reason they're anything amazing at all is because WE KNOW that those animals were killed just to take the photograph?

"She is not the first to use dead animals in her works of art - that has been done at least since the 1700s,"

Oh, so...having a dead peasant on the table in eighteenth-century Holland is akin to killing a cat and cutting off its head to put on a vase for the audience of the 21st century?  Okay!  Because we TOTALLY eat rabbit heads for dinner!

Really--they're falling back on the "it's supposed to be disturbing and make you think!" excuse, when, in reality, the pictures AREN'T all that innovative, AREN'T all that disturbing, and are mostly the failed efforts of someone trying to be "arteestic."  Did she succeed in creating controversy?  You betcha.  But art isn't about getting the most attention. 

DISCLAIMER: While yes, I found one or two of her photos cool, some of them were in just really, really bad taste.  Mouse finger puppets?  Are you serious?  And honestly--she didn't have to kill any animals to do this.  "Richard" is pretty cool-looking, but all it really is is a graphic design, a CD cover.  Photoshop would have gotten the same result, but then she wouldn't be famous, would she?

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Minorities in More Stuff [Oct. 26th, 2004|04:28 pm]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |blankblank]
[music |Personent Hodie - arr. Lara Hoggard]

You know, every time I hear someone say something along the lines of, "We need more women/African-Americans/Hispanics/fuzzy grizzly bears in government/medicine/science fiction/mud wrestling," I can't help but think how silly that statement is, like, "Wow, you missed the point completely."

Do you see why?

Before you say, OMG BIGOT, think about it. Are ALL women/African-Americans/Hispanics/fuzzy grizzly bears inherently better at government/medicine/science fiction/mud wrestling that they their mere presence would make it better? Like, you walk into Congress, take note of its peculiarities, then up and announce, "Well, the problem is there aren't enough WOMEN in here. Just bag yourself a few dames and you'd be all fixed up!"

I mean, is the point of such a desire that you want to see more of your homies (mah GRIZZ-LAYS) mud wrestle, or that you want to see better mud wrestling? Is there something wrong with saying, "We need more competent people in mud wrestling, dammit?"

Or am I missing the point completely?
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Secularism vs. Moral Relativism [Oct. 22nd, 2004|04:02 pm]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |curiouscurious]
[music |'Adding to the Noise' - Switchfoot]

I've been thinking about the debate over whether or not "under God" should be in the Pledge of Allegiance and whether or not a judge should be allowed to hang the Ten Commandments in his court. I personally don't think there's anything wrong with having "under God" in the Pledge (people do have the right not to say it, after all--nobody in my school ever even stands for the Pledge), but I'm torn on the issue of the Ten Commandments. If it weren't an allegedly Christian document, I'd say sure, let the judges hang it if they want. My only qualm is that people can read the Commandments as an encroachment upon their religious freedom--which I don't quite agree with, but can understand--and that it does make the state look like it's condoning a specific religion.

What I believe a lot (but not all) of the supporters of these religious actions want to guard against is degenerating into a morally relativistic state. Supposedly, religion is a 'moral compass' of sorts; removing it from government would suggest that the laws of man are morally perfect, which isn't true. In a morally relativistic state I could go out and kill somebody for no other reason than that I disliked them, and nobody'd be able to call me on it because I'd be human, and my morals under human law would therefore be perfect. So I do believe we need to appeal to a higher moral ideal--not because 'God' wants us to, but because it would keep the people and the government in check.

On the opposite end of the extreme, a theocracy would allow a person to go out and kill someone else for not adhering to the state's religion. That's as morally relativistic as the completely secular (and possibly, but not necessarily, atheistic) state.

What makes me curious isn't so much the fact that society seems to be having trouble balancing secularism with some kind of moral foundation, but the fact that a lot of kids my age are vehemently opposed to the notion of any god at all. Practically every agnostic or atheist that I've talked to has agreed that God is really just something people create for themselves because they need something to put their faith in.

To me, an argument like that suggests that 'God' is therefore all that is good, and therefore the very epitome of our moral compass--even if He doesn't exist anywhere but in our own minds. So if we created Him because we needed something to pray to and put our faith in, why is the idea of the law appealing to 'God' for 'wisdom' and 'moral foundations' so abhorrent to such a huge number of secularists? I agree that the state should never endorse any specific religious institution [and try to foist it on the people], but simply appealing to a higher set of moral ideals shouldn't be outlawed, either.

I think most people would agree that most religions these days--that is to say, religions that don't require human sacrifice, etc.--teach a number of the same fundamental lessons, such as 'killing is evil', 'kindness is a virtue', and so on. Polygamy obviously isn't one of them, and homosexuality doesn't appear to be one of them either (but I could be wrong, so if anybody knows about how different religions treat homosexuality, definitely feel free to speak up), but the point is that almost all religions have something in common. Islam teaches kindness, good deeds, and brotherhood, and ultimately, so do Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc....admittedly, there are a lot of differences between them, and each religion can determine how a person leads their life. That's the kicker: The state needs to appeal to higher moral values (not just any set of morals; it needs to appeal to a set of morals that ensure the safety and protection of societal peace and order), but it can't allow itself to become a theocratic institution.

I'm inclined to believe that until somebody comes up with a secular list of morals that everyone can agree on (and given the questions of gay marriage, polygamy, etc. in modern day society, those issues and others like them would also have to be on it), we're going to have to swing a balance. And because an agreement like that doesn't look like it's going to happen within the next, I don't know, couple centuries or so, I'm betting people are still going to be arguing over this 200 years from now.

Any thoughts?
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Egomaniac off the port bow! [Sep. 24th, 2004|09:11 pm]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Clocks - Coldplay]

In case you've been living under a rock (or, shall we say, an AP textbook), Anne Rice has just gone and made a complete ass of herself and choked on her own wankery.

Sigh.  Again.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Anne Rice, I'll post a few things about her:

1. Writer of vampire novels.  Involving HAWT vampires.  Oh yeah, and they make hot, vampir-ific love and kill people (but only bad guys with no families!!!1!!   Unless they'r teh ev0l vampires...).

2. Has not let an editor NEAR her books since her first novel, Interview with a Vampire.

3. Total egomaniac. 

Now, I have yet to actually READ her books (I've read vampire teenage/romance goth punk crap before, and it is all the same--whiiiiich nobody can deny), so I'll not say anything about her writing skills.

I'm just going to point to this lovely thing, spotted first at Fandom Wank and is travelling happily around the net:

Annie defends herself against EBIL AMAZON REVIEWERS OMG HOW VALIANT!!!1one.

Obviously, some scrolling down is in order.  Hers is the huge-ass block of text devoid of paragraphs.  Truly, the mark of a great writer--she so does NOT need an editor.

As it is, I'm going to let the review speak for itself.  But really--can anyone be THIS full of herself?  "Every word is in perfect place?"  Calling out random reviewers as bad people because they don't understaaaaaaaand her or her visioooooooon?  Giving out her address so they can ask for their money back, but OOPS she doesn't live there anymore?  Acting childish, as published author and supposedly a professional, on the internet?


It's actually really funny the way she tries to defend herself with OMGSMARTWORDSES!! Picture this: badfic author trying to defend herself using words like "Dickensean [sic]" and "Democratic." 

I know--it's ten times as funny.  BWHAHAHA.

This quote was the absolute kicker:

"And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself. ... But I leave it to readers to discover how this complex and intricate novel establishes itself within a unique, if not unrivalled series of book."


Anybody who says that  should be SHOT ON SIGHT. 

Annie here actually has a sort of history of getting really, really upset at anything "hurtful" or "really really really hurtful" about her work, and therefore herself.  Like having a huge tirade about a newspaper article on her answering machine and asking people to call him out on it. 

So to dear old Rice-Cakes, I say: You write vampire smut.  Get over yourself--popularity is not equal to greatness.

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WHEE!!! [Sep. 24th, 2004|06:55 am]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Tchaikovsky - Symphony 6]

Oh man. I was at school very early yesterday because I can't get a ride to school otherwise, and I found this article on the Yahoo! News. This honestly has to be the funniest, most pathetic story I think I've ever read.

Strange News - AP

Court Rules a Horse Is Not a Vehicle

1 hour, 50 minutes ago Add Strange News - AP to My Yahoo!

PITTSBURGH - The state Supreme Court ruled that Pennsylvania's drunken driving law can't be enforced against people on horseback, a decision that inspired the dissenting justice to wax poetic.

The court ruled Wednesday in a case against two men in Mercer County in 2002. Riders Keith Travis, 41, and Richard Noel, 49, were charged with drunken driving along with a man driving a pickup who allegedly rear-ended the horse Travis was riding away from a bar on a dark country road.

All three men failed field sobriety tests, police said, but a judge threw out the charges against Noel and Travis after they argued that the word "vehicles" in the state's drunken-driving law doesn't apply to horses.

Prosecutors said the code specifically includes people riding animals. But the majority justices cited a similar case in Utah, where judges said such a statute is confusing and too vague about which regulations would apply to animals as well as vehicles.

Justice Michael Eakin, who is fond of writing rhyming opinions, summed up the lone dissent with two stanzas mimicking the theme song of "Mister Ed" — a 1960s TV sitcom about a talking horse:

"A horse is a horse, of course, of course,

but the Vehicle Code does not divorce

its application from, perforce,

a steed as my colleagues said.

"'It's not vague,' I'll say until I'm hoarse,

and whether a car, a truck or horse

this law applies with equal force,

and I'd reverse instead."

And is this not pathetic? Not only was someone SO DRUNK that they rear-ended a horse, but they've officially decided horses aren't vehicles? Can WE SAY DUH!? A horse clearly does not have any funky parts or a motor to deal with. It can be considered a ride, but it clearly isn't a vehicle.

People in America don't have enough to do.
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Mini-TV Rant. [Sep. 14th, 2004|10:45 pm]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |annoyedannoyed]
[music |Whiny Noises]

You know, I think this is what happened when Dreamworks was planning their new series, Father of the Pride.

BIGWIG: So, we're going to make an adult cartoon. ...What should we do differently?


BIGWIG: Oh, that's RIGHT--it's an ADULT comedy, so we're allowed to make ADULT comments about drugs and boobies!

WRITERS: Awright! We'll set to work on it straight away. Gentlemen...TO THE SEEDY BARS!!11! *coughandMadmagazinecough*

...Well, none of the characters actually *have* breasts, but honestly--being adult does NOT mean saturating the show with drug/sex/beer references (OMGSTFUKTHNXBAI!!!!1).

The only saving graces are the Siegfreid and Roy personalities. Hehehehe...they make me giggle with their silliness. Let's see a spin-off show about them.
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Partial-birth WHA? [Sep. 8th, 2004|02:09 pm]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |sicksick]
[music |'The Mummer's Dance' - Loreena McKennitt]

Okay, so I meant to come back to this community with a couple of MSTs and a rant about Communism, but I can't seem to get my act together long enough to write them. But this--partial-birth-abortion--is just...God. Yeah.

I'm pro-choice, but only when abortions aren't being used as a form of birth control. People shouldn't be having sex if they're not going to to a) use protection, or b) take responsibility for whatever happens in consequence of their actions. I just believe it's a woman's right to choose should she get raped or her birth control (condoms, pill, patch, shot, whatever) fail.

I've never been in favor of partial-birth abortion. I believe that after a certain point, an unborn baby is still a baby. I believe killing it after it's started moving in the mother's womb, after its heart has been beating for several months, after its limbs and organs have grown in--basically after the first trimester--is a form of infanticide. It's gruesome, the way those procedures work. They dilate the mother's cervix and dismember the fetus, and then partially remove it from her body. And they usually either puncture or crush the skull. I just...can't deal with that.

There's been a recent court hearing called Roe vs. Wade.

Read the article here...Collapse )

Alright, I most definitely can understand why the mother's health would be of concern, but...if you're going to kill the fetus, don't DISMEMBER IT! If you really, REALLY have to kill a 6-month-old fetus, can't you bloody induce the woman to labor, simulate a miscarriage, and maybe give the baby a lethal injection if there's no chance of saving it with an incubator? Or perhaps give the woman a c-section and do the same thing, if it's ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY? I mean...after the child is at a certain stage in its development...isn't there something to be said for being humane?

I honestly can't figure this out. Do they do partial-birth abortions because it's medically impossible to perform a c-section? I mean, please, don't they perform c-sections on women who can't be induced to labor? And they do have drugs to induce labor! They had them even back when I was born, and in a number of years before then! And even if they don't always work, what's to stop them from performing a c-section? Medical complications? What kind of medical complications? AIDS mothers get c-sections! Toxemia patients, high-bloodpressure patients, all kinds of patients! I just...I don't GET this. I mean, yeah, a c-section is major surgery, but just about everyone else who undergoes major surgery is sick as a dog, and doubtlessly suffering from a million possible medical complications! And seriously...a c-section isn't a bloody liver transplant...there's none of that matching antigens stuff...none of that worry about finding a suitable donor...all they're doing is cutting the woman open, pushing aside a few abdominal organs, and lifting the fetus out! It's not like the medical community is inequipped to handle something like that!

Anyway, I do believe it's a woman's right to choose, and if it's within the first trimester--the earlier the better--I'd say okay, the embryo isn't that far along yet, it's not much more advanced a life form than a chicken embryo. For a while it's just a fertilized egg latched onto the uterine wall with some membranes around it. But when that embryo is moving, kicking, sucking its thumb, and on the brink of being able to survive outside the womb...how can you just DISMEMBER it? The Death Penalty is more humane than that! Please, can I ask what is so difficult about refraining from taking the fetus apart, limb by limb, while it's ALIVE? What is so difficult about sticking a needle in its neck and giving it a quick, painless death, if nothing else can be done and it has no chance of developing into anything more than an incubator vegetable?

Seriously...I need to research this...I can't bloody believe they shot down the ban on it...
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Kobe Bryant [Sep. 1st, 2004|07:45 pm]
The Quest for the Lost Standard

[mood |angryangry]
[music |The Police - Every Little Thing She Does is Magic]

Uhm...Before I get started here, I'd just like to say that since I'm essentially quitting this name, I submittd a request to be added as dawn_apocalypse...Just be forewarned, that's why that comes.

On with the show.

Un-fucking believable. THEY LET KOBE BRYANT GO. The sexual assault charges were dropped against him, AKA, they LET HIM GO without trial for sexual assault. Does that make anyone else incredibly leery and get the shivers? They still have a different case...I think it's a civil suit, but the sexual assault scandal, at least to me, is much more prominent. I realize that basically any charge such as it is would be a big deal, but when you're an athlete, you tend to be around an awful lot of women fawning over you, and to take advantage as it's said he did...


*Rips hair out*.

God, sorry about that. That just really pisses me off.
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