Categories
no trolls allowed off topic open thread

Open Thread for Non-Personal Stuff: Mid-August 2015 Baghead Party

Come join the party! I hope you brought your bag!
Come join the party! I hope you brought your bag!

An open thread for non-personal stuff. As always with open threads, no trolls, no MRAs, etc.

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

101 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kat
Kat
5 years ago

WTF?!

I have a credit card with CitiBank. I pay it in person in cash each month. Two months ago, the teller informed me that the federal government now requires those who pay on a credit card in cash to write down their occupation. She handed me a slip of paper and I complied. I thought that maybe she had misunderstood the law. Nope. It just happened again. Same branch, different teller.

Then I went to Chase and paid on my card there, once again in cash. I didn’t have to write down my occupation. I asked the Chase teller about the law, and she said, No, Chase has no such requirement. She said that the law was probably designed to catch money launderers.

Is it possible that the government has different laws for different banks?

I’m trying to envision what CitiBank does with these slips of paper from their customers that say “retail clerk,” “stay-at-home mom,” “professor,” and “opera singer.” Do they send them to the feds each month? Once a year? Are they stapled to account documents? Or is everything scanned and sent to the Feds? What poor bored government worker inspects them?

Can I write down something different each month? DIshwasher? Explorer? Surgeon? Movie star? I’m tempted but I’d hate to be sent to a maximum security prison for being a smarty-pants.

Who can shed light on this deeply mysterious law?

So many curious! So much questions!

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@kat:
I have no idea what the law is, but as the result of one dead-end job I held once, I can tell you what they do with those pieces of paper.

Have you seen the Indiana Jones movie where they take the priceless treasure, and they put it in a box, and put the box into a warehouse full of other such boxes and never look at it again? It’s basically exactly that scene. Vast storage rooms full of boxes crammed with old paper.

The reason they do it is so that if, for whatever reason, you come under a police investigation, then they can go into that room and retrieve the bits of paper and see what you wrote on each one. The bank itself doesn’t care. The police probably don’t care either. But on the off-chance that someone might care at some point in the future, they make you do it.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@katz:

Your point has been growing in my mind overnight like a delicious slow-rise bread. I think I can respond to it more properly at this point.

In each case of a historical group which has committed atrocities, when we look at our society’s portrayal of them nowadays what we see is a gradual disconnection between outward trappings and the actual actions; and then a rehabilitation of the first as it becomes less and less connected with the second. As an example, think of pirates. Nowadays if we think “pirate” we think of a peg leg, a tricorn hat an a “arrrr Jim me lad” accent, and we’re happy to see our children dress up as that. We don’t associate it with Somalis with AK47s, and we would probably be really uncomfortable to see our children dress up as that. Similarly, children can dress up as cowboys and hold pretend six-guns, but not sell wood-alcohol to pretend Native Americans. The costume becomes disconnected from the conduct, and we rehabilitate the first while continuing to demonise the second.

In the case of the Nazis, the depiction in Star Wars is a fascinating example of this in its nascent stages. The outward costume of Nazis – precise parade-ground formations, sharp uniforms, rigid chains of command – become divorced from the genocide, torture and hatred. As a result, we’re left with two distinct archetypes of Nazis:

a) The cool uniforms and superficial behaviour, divorced from the atrocities;
b) The actual ideas which motivated that behaviour, divorced from the outward trappings.

By now, the second archetype is distinct enough to be its own separate thing. If I think of a modern Nazi, I don’t think of nice Hugo Boss uniforms or brilliant Panzer generals: what I think of is meth-smoking skinheads lurking in trailer parks. The inheritors of the actual hatred have moved on and left the previous archetype behind, in the same way as fictional pirates versus modern-day pirates.

In this particular case we can see how some symbols have become the property of one group but not the other: for example, the Balkenkreuz becomes absolved by its association with archetype (a) while the Swastika becomes damned by its association with archetype (b).

If I may make a prediction, therefore, we will someday see an uncomplicated movie in which a Hollywood leading man plays an SS member who heroically battles Russians alongside his Jewish sidekick and a woman who somehow got crowbarred in. The Jewish character will be praised by some Jewish groups as an empowering symbol and damned by others as a historical whitewash. Most audience members won’t care about the politics and will just be there to see the action scenes. Little kids will urge their parents to buy them cheap plastic coal-scuttle helmets so they can run around shouting “Achtung!” at one another. Nobody will really see the connection between them and the white-nationalist skinheads who lurk around the alleyways, beating up racial minorities and sharing a communal cigarette,

katz
5 years ago

And someday, no doubt, there will be high school sports teams called the Fighting Nazis.
comment image

Your analysis is very compelling. The question, I guess, is whether archetype B has to have passed into nonexistence or at least complete cultural irrelevance (to the culture in question) before you can redeem archetype A. (Example: I’m sure a lot of Americans reacted to Somali pirates with “Wha? Pirates still exist?”)

I think it does, and I think you need at least a good hundred years of separation or more before it’s really rendered harmless. Because Stormfront dudes today may not wear Hugo Boss uniforms, but they still use the aesthetic wherever possible (hence that GamerGate mascot), and the more rehabilitated and acceptable Nazis become, the more incentive they have to do so. So it’s not currently possible to fully dissociate A from B.

But that’s just me spitballing; I have no actual data to back any of this up.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@EJ (The Other One)
I think you’re right.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

Cowboys committed atrocities? I thought they just, you know, looked over cows and shot anyone that tried to steal them.

Also, unlike cowboys, pirates and vikings come from an age that was extremely stingy about recording what was going on. The Nazis have extensive records of the shit they did.

Cowboys did underhanded business (apparently), pirates killed and stole from ships and ports, vikings invaded lands and killed and razed villages for it, while Nazis tried to commit a genocide of various people.

I really doubt any parents would let or dress up their child as a Nazi, as least one with taste, anytime in the future. There is a huge difference between killing people for land because your homeland is crappy to the willing extermination of people because of their race, orientation or whatever.

There’s also the fact that there were good cowboys, good pirates and good vikings. There were cowboys who guarded cattle from bandits, there were good pirates who stopped ships of goods and weapons from landing in enemy ports, there were vikings who, you know, didn’t kill people for land. There were no good Nazis, there are no good Nazis, there will never be a good Nazi unless they un-Nazify their Naziness. There are varying degrees of evil people will tolerate but genocidal assholes is kinda on the low side there.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Some historical myths are rehabilitated quicker than others. For example, Mongols took a very long time to become known for their cute fur hats rather than for what they did at Legnica, and I don’t know of many Muslims who would find it cute to dress up as a Knight Templar.* On the other hand, cowboys were being glamorised even before Manifest Destiny had run its course.So I’m not sure that everything does take “the natural life of everyone involved plus a hundred years.”

One could argue that the reason cowboys got rehabilitated so quickly was that they won, and so their descendants have more of a desire to rehabilitate them at speed, whereas the Nazis lost, so there’s less of a desire to do so. However, I would argue that the desire of white people to feel comfortable with history should not be a priority.

As to your point about Nazi symbology being co-opted by groups like Stormfront and Gamergate, I think we’re seeing two separate things happen there.

Stormfront are clinging to Nazi symbology because they’re genuinely Nazis. As such, they almost act to catalyse the split into A and B Nazis. When they go around waving swastikas and hating Jews, we observe that they’re an ill-disciplined mob wearing heavy metal t-shirts, listening to disturbing music and smoking drugs. This is a strong contrast to the disciplined legions of healthy Aryans in snazzy black uniforms who listen to Wagner, and acts to further widen the gulf between ideological Nazis and superficial Nazis.

On the other hand, Gamergate seem to cling to Nazi symbology more out of a desire to be transgressive and to shock people than anything else. If the Nazis weren’t around, then they would use some other set of symbols to offend people: from the former Confederacy, perhaps, or the USSR, or Islamism or something else. They seem to be white supremacists more because we sensible people oppose white supremacism than because it actually fits their stated goals or activities.

—–

*Weirdly, the Baltic Knights seem to be fairly rehabilitated nowadays despite having been vastly worse people, if such a thing were even possible.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Also, to clarify for the sake of lurkers:

Fuck the Nazis. Fuck all of them. Fuck the NSDAP, fuck the neo-Nazis, fuck Stormfront. Fuck Hitler and all his cronies. Fuck everyone who wore their uniforms, regardless of their ethnicity. Fuck everyone involved in perpetrating the Holocaust. Anyone who would willingly associate themselves with such people disgusts me, and makes me ashamed to share a species with them. And finally, fuck anyone who believes that my above posts mean that it’s okay to be a Nazi. It is not okay to be a Nazi. It will never be okay to be a Nazi, not ever again. Time may pass and people may cease caring, but I and my ideological descendants will always be here to remind people that some things should never be rehabilitated. It doesn’t matter how sharp the Hugo Boss uniforms were or how cool the arrows moving across maps of the Ukraine are, it is never okay to be a Nazi.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Pandapool et al

I really doubt any parents would let or dress up their child as a Nazi

Here in England there’s quite a long tradition (dating back to the actual war) of dressing up as Nazis as a form of mockery.

It’s similar perhaps to that Mel Brooks approach that being laughed at and not taken seriously is what fascist fear most.

Some newspapers tried to manufacture some outrage when Prince Harry attended a fancy dress party in a Nazi outfit, but the general consensus was that he was just following on in a fine old tradition.

To give you some idea of the English approach to Nazism; here’s a clip from what was one of the most popular sit coms of recent times:

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Jackie:
“Cowboy” here is an archetype representing the settlers of the western states of the US, usually in the second half of the 19th century. Sometime during that migration, the native peoples who lived in that region were driven from most of their land and lost most of their population. Naturally, this is never actually depicted in Westerns; it just happens offscreen committed by some other characters not appearing in this story, and whose actions are doubtless much lamented by the sympathetic cowboys but not actually prevented by them.

As such, when you are seeing a “cowboys and Indians” movie, remember that what you are seeing is a nation justifying genocide to itself. This is possibly why Goebbels was very fond of the genre, and why there were some German propaganda films made during the war which were basically westerns set on the Russian steppes and with caricatures of Slavs and Jews in place of the caricatures of Lakota and Apache.

That said, doubtless there were good cowboys. One of the most uncomfortable things about humanity is that most people are good, even those who do terrible things. Good and evil are not either/or propositions, despite what religion may tell us, and it’s very common that you’ll find people who did good things and also awful things.

So yes, there were cowboys who loved people and were kind to children and had pet animals they cared for, and yet the genocide of the Native Americans still happened. Likewise, the Holocaust does not mean that there weren’t people wearing swastikas who loved people and were kind to children and had pet animals they cared for. In both cases, it simply means that those people were unwilling to raise arms against “their people”, and so stood aside and let it happen.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

People dress up like Mongols?

Well, I mean, Shang Yu is cool…and I kinda had a crush on him as a kid…but, like, I don’t know anyone who dresses up like the Mongols except for, you know, actual Mongolians who are around today and are an actual people with great BBQ.

I also know no one who would dress as a Knight Templar and most fiction I’ve read/watched/play usually pints Templars a a group that means well and then it all goes horribly wrong. I think that one Indiana Jones film might have the only truly positive depiction of a Templar that I’ve never seen. (Because I never saw that one.)

Hell, Knight Templar is even a well define trope known to end up tyranical.

And, again, cowboys didn’t actually kill people and steal their land – white people in general did that. Cowboys look after cows. Hell, the whole cowboy thing came from Spain to Mexico then up to the US and such. And they watched over cows and broke horses. As much as alcohol screwed over the Native Indians, I really doubt every cowboy sold liquor to them.

It’s just really confusing why even cowboys are considered even comparable to Nazis? I mean, have you been watching too many Westerns or something? Did you get caught up in the whole romantic “cowboys versus Indian” thing because that shit actually didn’t happen, like, at all? Or barely, to give the benefit of the doubt. Unless we’re talking about different cowboys that aren’t from the US here?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

No discussion about English attitudes to fascism as depicted through sit coms would be complete without this. I doubt if there’s anyone in the UK over 30 who doesn’t immediately giggle at “Don’t tell him Pike”; it’s almost part of English consciousness.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

Oh, you HAVE watched too many “cowboy and Indian” movies.

@Alan

Prince Harry attended a fancy dress party in a Nazi outfit

http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/lkay.gif

No good parent would dress their child as a Nazi.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Pandapool

You have to understand Britain’s unique situation in regard to the Nazis and our cultural attributes of laughing off extremism.

There was a genuine threat of invasion; all Western Europe had fallen and it was clear we were next in line; but we’ve always used mockery to take the power from our enemies. George Orwell wrote some great stuff about this. He pointed out that Nazism would never have caught on in England (even though fascism was a borderline mainstream viewpoint prior to the war) because no English person could see goose stepping without laughing.

I know that attitude of treating everything with humour is something that my American friends do find a bit weird, but to give one example: within hours of the 7/7 bombings we reacted with the “You missed me!” campaign. It might seem strange to turn terrorists into cartoon villains, but to say to them “we laugh at you” removes their power.

Bigots and extremists don’t mind being hated, and they positively want to be feared, but nothing annoys them more and undermines them (at least as far as Brits are concerned) than saying “you mean so little to us, you’re just a fancy dress outfit”.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@Alan

I can deal with making fun of Nazi, but, like, dressing up as a Nazi just randomly? Like, was the Prince doing a skit? Was he dancing around, tripping over things and shit? Or did he just got up, dressed as a Nazi and went to a party like normal?

It’s not a joke if there’s no punchline.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Pandapool

Freddie Starr was the epitome of the tripping up Nazi!

But even generally, our attitude is that Nazis are themselves the punchline. I guess it’s a cultural thing.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Have the Vikings really committed atrocities as compared to say, the British Empire though? The Vikings were hardly free of blood on their hands, but it’s a pretty biased version of history that casts them as bigger villains than the British or Roman or Frankish empires or even current US in terms of being warlike invaders. I wouldn’t compare them to Nazis.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

In the public perception of Vikings at the time, yes definitely. They did something that was vastly worse than murder and rape: they killed clergy and stole their possessions, as though they were subject to the same rules as mere humans. The Anglo-Saxon chronicle vividly records the horror people had of the sea raiders and the way they fought without regard for civilised niceties.

To a modern eye, what stands out about the Vikings more than anything else is the wholesale slave trading. Vikings ran enormously profitable slave routes, most frequently Irish and Slavic slaves, often children. The slaves were sold all across the Old World but as time went by and Byzantium weakened they increasingly sold to Islamic countries instead, either directly or through Armenian and Jewish intermediaries.

Therefore, whether you judge the Vikings by the standards of their own day or by our modern standards, they have some strikes against their name.

Were they worse than the British in Sri Lanka or the Romans in Gaul or the Goths in Italy? I would argue that the Holocause aside, it’s not really useful to try to compare atrocities against one another to find the “worst.” There are no Olympics. They did horrible things, enough that their very name became a byword for savagery. That’s enough.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

It’s probably worth remembering that ‘Viking’ is a verb (the actual people were the Norse); so implicitly it denotes particular behaviours.

The history is quite complex, but fascinating. I’m from a part of England that used to be called “The Danelaw” because we were part of the Scandinavian Empire. We don’t see that as an occupation though as the Empire was run from England (and a lot of us are descended from Norse stock anyway). All the famous ‘Viking’ kings like Cnut (of holding back the sea fame) lived here. Even our county town, York, derives its name from Yorvik, which was once the Norse capital.

King Harold of course famously fought off the Vikings at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. Unfortunatel, for him, he then had to run down to the other end of the country to try to repel another invasion at a Little place called Hastings. He got shot in the eye (possibly apocryphally; there’s a reason for that tale though) and the Normans successfully invaded.

Or was it an invasion? William had as much a claim to the throne as Harold and it’s worth remembering that Norman is just another way of spelling Norseman.

Yup, it was just the Vikings coming home.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

The history of the British Empire is complex too. Yes, there were some obvious atrocities but it’s worth remembering that when we gave up the Empire not everyone was happy about that (an obvious example being the black majority in Rhodesia that actually wanted Britain to stay in charge. It was Ian Smith’s white minority that declared UDI and started the bush wars).

Not only did just about every former country of the Empire ask to be part of the Commonwealth, thus keeping the Queen as head of state and the English courts as the highest appeal court, countries that weren’t part of the Empire asked to join.

Ironically there now is a push in the Caribbean countries to have their own appeal court as the general public over there is sick of the English Court (i.e. The Privy Council) overturning death sentences.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

This is an interesting editorial price about the tensions of home rule v imperialism:

http://caribjournal.com/2013/03/12/op-ed-the-privy-council-conundrum/#

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

On an unrelated note, I’m still trying to write my piece on body shaming whilst exercising etc (the fact that I’ve posted about a dozen times on here today lets you know how well that’s going).

Anyone got any comments on this article that I can steal? The suggested solution to cat-calling is wearing an iPod.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog/2015/feb/12/women-grief-running-street-harassment

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
5 years ago

@kirbywarp
That seems great! Though I think mods can be a problem for my laptop 😀

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@RosaDeLava:
They were quite a problem for my desktop too. Paradoxy, Lanariel and Kirby were having a great time with all the magic and industry mods (and I really enjoyed playing around with the farming mod too) but they absolutely slowed everything to a crawl. I think in order to allow it to be more open to more people, we’re going to have to go with something vanilla.

Shadymissionary
Shadymissionary
5 years ago

I just had the weirdest dream. I was at the Calgary Zoo, and they had installed a brand-new building. So I go in, and I see an overly artsy demonstration of a bald man rising from water. Turns out that Davis Aurini made the building to premiere his version of the Sarkeesian Effect, complete with a tiger enclosure with barely any handrails. SO the tiger escapes (but nobody dies) and during his presentation, his microphone completely cuts out and everybody laughs at him, then he throws a tantrum.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ EJ(TOO)

we’re going to have to go with something vanilla.
</blockquote.

Tssk, may I refer you to the comments policy on kink-shaming. 😉

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Well, managed to polish off my bit of writing by just linking to the woman who had been insulted and her fantastic reply. Yey, another task finished.

Also managed to steal this (with permission) so hooray to women for doing all the work 🙂

http://thisgirldid.com/2015/08/14/want-to-meet-a-real-man/

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Alan:

If we mod in a single ball gag, will that make you happier? 🙂

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

He, gag me and you’ll make everyone happy.

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
5 years ago

@EJ (The Other One)
I’ve only used a few at the same time, and my main problem was that whenever I broke a block, it would take a few seconds for it to show up. I like the game either way, though farming mods do seem cool.

@Alan
You are writing about how body-shaming can affect people’s views on exercising, right? The first time I read your sentence, I thought you were writing an article on body-shaming while you were exercising xD

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Rosa

It’s actually sort of your first interpretation. It’s about a woman who was out running and got abused by somebody driving past.

It ties in with something I’m involved in about getting people more active and the things that put them off. Being judged for not having perfect bodies to begin with is one of them; so that’s what I was trying to write about.

As it happens the woman involved did a brilliant response so I just linked to that 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/excaliburchallengesandtraining/photos/a.1464504933844084.1073741829.1460762834218294/1489487951345782/?type=1&theater

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
5 years ago

Oh, ok! I have to be honest… I didn’t get the shirt, but this might just be because I don’t run?

Making fun of someone’s weight while they are exercising (besides being wrong for obvious reasons) is so ass-backwards I don’t even know how people who act like that haven’t choke on air yet. “Hey, I think you are wrong for being fat, but also, I think you are wrong for doing something that will help you loose weight. So, what I’m saying is, don’t be fat, but also don’t try not to be fat.”

I can’t really say anything about body-shaming since I fit a size that is “socially acceptable”, but I’ve been harassed just walking down the street before. People in vehicles seem to be bolder, but people who are walking can be more dangerous if they put their minds to it.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Rosa

It’s from the saying “No matter how slow you are you’re still lapping everyone on the couch”.

It’s a sort of motivational truism. The two big inhibitors for women taking up exercise are (a) thinking they won’t be capable and (b) the fear of being judged by fitter people so it’s worth making the point that nobody’s expecting you to be an Olympian from the start.

Yeah, women can’t win with logic like that.

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
5 years ago

@Alan
I understand it now. I actually feel pretty self-conscious when it comes to exercising, not in terms of appearance, but of being judged for not being as athletic as other people.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Rosa

That is a big problem, and it’s not merely one of perception. Gyms especially can be very unwelcoming and hierarchical. The ‘cool kids’ hog the machines and the weights etc. and do tend to be very judgmental about people who aren’t all about protein shakes and leg day. That “Do you even lift bro?” is annoyingly common; and it’s not just the blokes (Remember the “What’s your excuse” controversy?)

As counter intuitive as it mat seem though the military fitness Bootcamps aren’t like this. In some ways it might be because it’s a self selecting group of people who don’t like the playground bullying aspect of gyms; but also it’s the emphasis on team work.

When we run the Bootcamps we might stick a woman who wants to lose a few post baby pounds with a soldier going for SF selection. Now obviously they’ll be at different levels of fitness. We get them to do the same stuff though, just maybe different loads. So the soldier might have to do 15 reps of a drill and the woman only 5.

The thing is, they’re both under the same sorts of pressure to succeed in that they both have a goal that’s important to them; and the best way to achieve that goal is to work together and encourage each other. It’s really quite something when you se a 22 year old soldier and a 35 year old woman throwing each other over a 10 foot wall.

freemage
5 years ago

EJ:

In the case of the Nazis, the depiction in Star Wars is a fascinating example of this in its nascent stages. The outward costume of Nazis – precise parade-ground formations, sharp uniforms, rigid chains of command – become divorced from the genocide, torture and hatred. As a result, we’re left with two distinct archetypes of Nazis:

a) The cool uniforms and superficial behaviour, divorced from the atrocities;
b) The actual ideas which motivated that behaviour, divorced from the outward trappings.

I’d argue that the first Star Wars didn’t quite so much divorce them from their atrocities as it sanitized them. Consider two scenes from the first film:

Vader and some sort of med-drone entering Leia’s cell with the clear intent of torturing information out of her.
The destruction of Alderaan.

Both of these are very much metaphors for Nazi atrocities, but they’re presented in a ‘clean’ way that makes them not be so uncomfortable for the audience to watch. We didn’t know anyone on Alderaan, just knew there were ‘people’ down there. And we never saw the actual torture, or even any sign of trauma in Leia afterwards.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Freemage

As we’ve pointed out before, Star Wars is about a bearded religious fundamentalist radicalising a naïve young farm boy so he would assassinate the head of state (after he gets diverted and sent on a suicide mission to fly into and blow up a large building). To do so he allies with a drug smuggling murderer.

There’s no evidence in the films that the Empire does anything wrong beyond taking some necessary action to degrade terrorist strongholds.

Fabe
Fabe
5 years ago

OK now that there isn’t going to be any Mammoth minecrafting for at least awhile is any one interested in playing any other online games?

skiriki
5 years ago

@Fabe: I’m playing Clicker Heroes, plus some casual games on my tablet at the moment.

http://www.clickerheroes.com/ — looking for a guild here. Might make my own, I got almost 50 rubies collected right now.

Also playing Bakery Story, Restaurant Story (1st and 2nd), Castle Story and Dragon Story (tablet games). http://www.storm8.com/

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Freemage:
That’s a strong point you make.

It occurs to me that Star Wars inverts the Nazi actions and motivations: the Nazis sought power over the world so that nobody could stop them from carrying out atrocities, while the Empire carried out atrocities in order to crush the opposition to them gaining power. One person’s ends are another person’s means.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Fabe:
Always interested, if you don’t mind that I’m not very good at games*. In particular I’ve wanted to get a Guns of Icarus game together for a while now because teamwork on an airship is great fun.

*(Except the intense mind-crushing strategy games that are basically just a spreadsheet with a GUI: I’m good at those. I did a tumblr LP of Dwarf Fortress that people seemed to like.)

Thinking about it, I have some time on my hands coming up: would people be interested in a LP of another intimidating strategy thing? Crusader Kings 2 or Victoria 2 or something.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

Unrelated to anything, I just want to give a shoutout to Pokemon for having an entire class of black female scientist trainers. Goddamn, that is cool.

Fabe
Fabe
5 years ago

@EJ
I’m definitely up for a round or two or ‘guns of Icarus’. We could also try Left4Dead or Portal 2.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
5 years ago

Okay. Anyone ever wanted to cuddle a koala? Most of us have at one time or another.

Ever thought about what might happen if a koala wanted to cuddle you?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-16/koala-chases-south-australian-woman-on-quad-bike/6701210

Tessa
Tessa
5 years ago

Two of the women part of the pilot program to take the US Army Ranger School have passed. And will graduate this week! A third is in the middle of the second phase.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/18/politics/women-graduate-army-ranger-course/

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

Since MM brought up koalas, random funny story from last year: The cat was tearing around the house with his tail bouffed up and I heard something on the roof, so I figured it was a neighbour’s cat or maybe a possum (Aussie, not American) and stepped outside to check… Nope. Koala. ON MY ROOF. I knew we had koalas out in the bush, but smack in the centre of town?

Didn’t chase me though. I think the ol’ feller was too busy wondering where the fuck he was to notice me.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/aug/18/female-composers-a-level-music-syllabus-petition

Oh come on, next thing you know they’ll be asking for a mention of Madame Curie or Ada Lovelace on the Science syllabus!

katz
katz
5 years ago

Two of the women part of the pilot program to take the US Army Ranger School have passed. And will graduate this week!

Whereupon they will not be allowed to actually join the Rangers, because it’s 2015 and we’re still going “I dunno, they might get sand in their vaginas.”

Tessa
Tessa
5 years ago

Katz:

Whereupon they will not be allowed to actually join the Rangers, because it’s 2015 and we’re still going “I dunno, they might get sand in their vaginas.”

Sadly, this is a case of baby steps.