Eloquent Eloquence: Cast into the Machinery Edition
• The There's Political Rhetoric in My Popcorn Comment of the Week goes to SJ. Plus, Natalie Portman is pretty:
If the movie emphasized the anarchistic message that V embodied in the comics, I might think this to be a sign of progress. But considering how much the movie amplified the focus on the villains being part of a right-wing neocon authoritarian regime and watered down V's anarchism to a kind of revolutionary populism, I doubt it will do much rock the boat in China. Remember, the official propaganda of the Chinese government as that they overthrew a previous tyrannical government and that they now represent the people; regardless of the current reality in China, the PRC government loves stories about revolutionaries overthrowing corrupt regimes, so long as they are corrupt western regimes.
• The You Mean That Isn't the Plot? Comment of the Week goes to Tasha Rothwell. I hear she's a Muppet of a woman:
I won't bother with guessing the plot but Gervais will undoubtedly strum a guitar while singing a rambling whimsical ditty, place his hands on his hips while shaking his head and saying "I know" with a big grin, point to nothing in particular and say "what's all this then?", and at some stage say with a straight face and mock concern "that's not funny at all".
• The Such Polite Affection Comments of the Week goes to Bee for some very circumspect, and preferably legally-binding, lust:
- I wish I was a mormon lesbian to marry Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. For real.
- supposing that they are also mormon lesbians, and they want to marry me, i don't want to go to imaginary jail
• The That Was God Damn Eloquent Comment of the Week goes to NateS1973:
In such a conversation, I would think it would be apropos to make a distinction between righteousness - i.e., the morally/ethically good - and justice - the necessary evil. Indeed, we've even adopted the scales as our symbol for justice.
I also think it's very interesting that based on Kant, one could make the case that evil itself begets evil - that indeed that is the only viable outcome. In other words, that our most natural response to evil is to commit more evil in the name of justice.
We could suppose, for instance, that denying a man's liberty is evil at some level. Indeed our society was founded on the principle that a good-willed individual has inalienable rights that neither the government nor other citizens should infringe upon.
Yet we freely accept that if an individual in our society commits an evil act - theft, murder, rape, slander, etc., that it is necessary for that person's rights to be infringed upon. Indeed, depending on how extreme the initial act is deemed, the depth and breadth of our infringement upon the evil-doer's rights is directly proportional.
Likewise, we feel outrage if we find that an innocent man has been needlessly punished by our justice system. We spend significant time, effort, and resources as a society reforming our justice systems so that they are more equitable - which is really applying the concept of righteousness to justice.
I am not convinced that our justice is, indeed, righteous. Taking a person's rights from them always diminshes the person, always robs them of their humanity. It is always evil. And yet, in a reality in which humans have the free-will capacity to commit evil acts, I am grateful that our society has agreed that some evils are necessary as a punishment of those who themselves carry out evil. (Although our justice system's value as a deterrent is a separate question.)
And so considering the admittedly contrived example of the bomb/torture scenario. Yes, torture is evil. The fact that the torture is happening to someone commiting evil themselves does not make it righteous. However, it might be enough that it is just. That is what we have depended upon our government to do - carry out justice, evil acts against evil doers - in the name of protecting society.
There are those who favor the side of righteousness - proclaiming that all torture should be abolished. There are those who favor the side of justice - anything is permissible as long as it is proven that it is carried out against an evil person. And then there are those of us in the fuzzy middle, unsure where to draw the line.
Or consider a more recent example. Suppose an evil man commits an atrocity with a gun then destroys himself before the system of justice can get its hands on him. That the act was evil is not in question. Yet, our sense of justice cries out for someone to balance the scales.
And so we once again hear the cries for our government to infringe upon individual liberties. Only this time, the evil-doer is not available, and so innocent men and women are suggested as targets for the infringement.
What is surprising in this instance, is that the very group that was calling for righteousness above justice in the case of torture is, in this case, calling for justice - an infringement upon individual liberties believed to be necessary for the greater good - over our stated value that liberty for all is the good and righteous path. Likewise, the group that was most closely associated with the justice argument in the torture scenario finds that they are arguing for the case of liberty - the righteous argument.
As I say, in these dark times it is enlightening to consider such things. Be well, everyone.
• The "Big Pharma" Has a Whole Different Meaning in Some Places Comment of the Week goes to bleujayone. Your prize is in this baggie:
Smuggling drugs INTO Mexico? Why? Was there a product recall?
• The Smurf of a Transmurf Without Tri-Smurf Comment of the Week goes to Green_Eggs_and_Hamster for the one and only time the Smurfs were palatable:
Straight outta Smurf, crazy mothersmurfer named Ice Smurf
From the gang called Smurfz With Attitudes
When I'm smurfed off, I got a smurf off
Squeeze the smurf, and smurfs are hauled off
You too, smurf, if ya smurf with me
The smurf are gonna hafta come and get me
Off yo smurf, that's how I'm goin out
For the punk mothersmurfers that's showin out
Smurfz start to smurf, they wanna smurf
Mix em and smurf em in a pot like smurfbo
Goin off on a mothersmurfer like that
with a smurf that's pointed at yo ass
So give it up smurf
• The Get Merriam Webster on the Horn! Comment of the Week goes to BlackRabbit for a lovely neologism:
So...would talking up something you like to ask why others don't like it be...hypster?
• The Comment of the Week Comment of the Week goes to SabrinaHatesDisqus because yes, yes it does:
I once corrected someone's grammar during sex. Does that mean I win? It probably means I win.