Serious Movie Discussion | Page 43

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Bullitt68, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. moreorless87 Gold Belt

    moreorless87
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    I think that's a bit harsh on Ex Machina Caveat, the basic setup of that film does I'd agree go down paths very well trodden by this stage but it ultimately subverts that story into one about gender politics that I found a lot more interesting and relevant to its time.

    I would argue as well that one of the reason for the original Blade Runners greater effectiveness is that its central story is not just focused on commenting on AI and potential future issues but rather its applicability to the human condition(I know I feel pretentious typing that as well). Where as the sequel deals with the largely abstract concept of a replicant having a child as a sign of humanity and as you point out makes clumsy comments about there perceived inhumanity the original looks to tell its story vioa showing us Rachael and Roys(plus ultimately Deckards) very human storys. That makes it much easier to view those characters not just as respresenting some warning about future AI slavery but as actually stand ins for post religious humans, limited lifespans, discovering a non godlike creator who imparts no special purpose and ultimately internalised personal meaning.

    That does perhaps highlight differences in why different people like sci fi, personally I find it at its most effective not in exploring future scientific or social deveolpments but rather in producing a setting that can thrown drama and comment on the present day into sharper relief.
     
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  2. Ricky13 You are who you choose to be.

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    @Bullitt68 I'll get back to you on Lincoln. I love the film, by the way. Will need a rewatch to think about TLJ-as-story-pivot.

    First, thanks for the detailed response.

    I'm not sure I follow you, apologies. Do you mean it felt more plotty than dramatic? Problems with emotional cause-and-effect? That characters were going through the motions without their actions being dramatised? That he seemed focused on the beats to a fault?

    If yes, then, unfortunately, I do think the opposite. I'd go so far as to say that's what will assure its timelessness (perhaps timeliness given the tribalism angle). You didn't need to keep pace with the characters' apprehension of alien linguistics to know, in every moment, how they felt. Happy to talk about that if you like, though I'll be tardy with responses, if that's OK.

    I'm not sure it would have mattered to me what the film looked like. For instance, I would not have cared whether the sequel was animated. I wouldn't even have needed the same characters. I just wanted a strong movie, which is the only thing we have the right to demand, grounded in a universe that more or less possessed the same rules/mythology as the original. Hell, even this was not necessary: I would have been fine if the movie sprung from a new mythology, but with similar terminology, or any other permutations/combinations.

    Point is it wouldn't have mattered. It could have been a comedy for all I cared about that kind of thing.

    Visually he takes Deakins' lead (I believe he's said as much as well). I'm not sure if he has a visual style in general.

    He's the kind of director that will determine not so much what light looks best, but how long a scene needs to be bathed in a certain light to reflect its import. His strength is the famous Tarantino puppet thing. How long should a scene be held before a jump cut to a flashback (think Arrival again)?

    You can tell in his work where he is at the forefront and when Deakins takes over.

    This is a Denis scene:



    This is a Deakins scene:



    You know the latter from this one (time-stamped for your viewing ease), of course:



    Naturally, I'm generalising. They obviously work together. But you know what I mean.

    I think he is excellent with character - needs, wants, backgrounds, arcs.

    Where he stumbles, if at all, is in tying together what the hell it all means. There's no obfuscation of character intent (you always know what Kate and Louise want/need), but certainly of meaning.

    In general, he gets away with it because:

    1) He's usually got you by your balls for most of a film's run-time, which is a certain kind of genius in itself, and I envy it.
    2) The source material does the thematic lifting. The thrust of Story of Your Life, for instance, was not fucked with.

    You know from earlier in this post that I'm not sure style matters.

    I should say, at this juncture, that while the original is one of my favorite films, I am not under the illusion that it was well-directed. Alien is well-directed. Looper is well-directed. Fury Road is well-directed. A Man Escaped is well-directed.

    Blade Runner, for me and many others, was hard work to appreciate, and I still wonder whether it was worth appreciating. It's a movie people like from learning how to like it. There's definitely some solipsism to it, and that's just fine as long as we're aware we're being a bit full of it as we do it.

    There's an argument to be made that maybe 2049 is the same. That one needs to do the work. But I'm not seeing it in terms of vision or story.
     
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  3. moreorless87 Gold Belt

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    Honestly even if your considering "well directed" to mean "tightly plotted" then I would argue the original Blade Runner certainly qualifies. The film might be relatively slow paced and atmospheric but its also I think very tightly plotted/edited with very little there that doesn't serve its main stories directly.

    In terms of Villeneuve's style again I would say he's more focused on the mechanics of the plot, in Arrival that would be the details of uncovering the aliens language and its effects. The same would be true with 2049 for me where much more time is spent building up how the plot unfolds. In the original the details of Deckards job are almost always a secondary concern to the characters and the atmosphere(which again often informs the characters).

    Personally I suspect that if your looking for a film that's going to be regarded as "this generations best sci fi" the best candidate might well be Under the Skin. A smaller production than Blade Runner for sure but arguably that's what you need to go with to attain the same level of freedom these days.
     
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  4. Count Zero Cosme Fulanito belt

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    Was looking at the front page of Netflix, saw the original Police Academy (1984). So of course I had to hit play. Interested to see how this holds up.

    I feel like I should be drunk to be able to appreciate its charms. We'll see how it goes.
     
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  5. Caveat Mozart in a Go-Kart

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    Yea, I'm with you there actually. My comment wasn't meant to be a condemnation, but rather to identify where some surface-level AI tropes had been previously illustrated. I'm a fan of Ex Machina, though I admit I found the exact subversion you mentioned frustrating at first. Probably posted about in here somewhere.

    It's funny too, I've read articles praising the new film for being a different movie from the first and then others praising its ability to re-encapsulate and extend from the first. Personally I think it did a lot more of the former and that's where the praise it did earn should be focused.

    Also @Ricky13, Wired wrote an article for you! Are Audiences Too Lazy to Appreciate Blade Runner 2049?

    (Actually the article isn't really relevant to what you were saying, and overall it kind sucks, but the title gave me a chuckle.)

    This weekend I got to check out Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2014) and A Ghost Story (2017), both from David Lowery. Both were solid, slower-paced watches with stunningly beautiful soundtracks from composer Daniel Hart, with the main roles going to Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

    Ain't Them Bodies was fairly straightforward plot-wise, but silky smooth to watch. A little over-romanticized perhaps, and though I read some complaints about the logic of the story's set up I personally didn't find them distracting as I was watching. The beginning was tough to work out in general, but the final scenes were tied up about as nicely as they could have been imo.

    A Ghost Story was a much smaller project but I found it was able to poke around in a bunch more challenging directions. I really liked the idea of tying the main character to a set space but having him flow through time. Lighthearted but serious without compromising either, with very long and very short shots that are equally disturbing, and a pleasantly dreamy atmosphere throughout.

    I'd like to see what Lowery could do with a real character conflict. He hit a lot of great notes with these two films, but they were soft ones. A plot with a little more spark could really let him demonstrate his ability to accentuate those on-screen emotions.
     
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  6. Johner Brown Belt

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    Return and megapost?


    Been ages since I’ve visited SMD, but I still see some familiar movie nerds.
    Alright, so I’ve watched a lot of movies since I was here last, but I’ll just include the ones I have a strong opinion about.

    Blade Runner Final Cut – Rewatched before 2049. It’s been said in here I see, but I agree that it can be a hard movie to watch and like due to the slow pace and some unnecessary scenes. Especially some of the scenes with Deckard and Rachel. But even if it’s slow, when it hits the right notes it hits them harder than a left leg from prime crocop.

    Blade Runner 2049 – For met his was 3 hours of «Please don’t be over», visually amazing, great performances from everyone and with incredibly relevant questions. I loved the side-plot with K and Joi, best romance with an A.I since Her.

    Kingsman – Did a rewatch of this as well before the sequel. Taron Egerton has everything a future star should have. Still a great movie.

    Kingsman 2 – Some meaningless deaths (JB, Roxy, Merlin), too much reliance on CGI and the spin effects during the action scenes and a lack of Channing Tatum. Other than that it’s the same stupid and over the top shit I love. Seeing a person be ground into hamburger meat, cooked and eaten within the first 10 minutes really set the bar.

    Get Out – I don’t even. The feelings I had while watching this movie ranged from, this is creepy as hell to this is pretty dumb. I still liked it though.

    Baywatch – I normally find Zac Effron to be hilarious as the stupid pretty boy, but everything in this movie felt kinda off, including the humor. It didn’t help that The Rock’s characters was incredibly unlikeable.

    Ghost in the Shell – Visually appealing, everything else seems as wooden as the characters in a Michael Bay movie.

    Logan – I guess this has already been masturbated to on this forum for a long time, so I’ll try not to turn this bukkake into a murder. But this movie is without a doubt the best comic book movie I’ve seen, and just an overall pleasure to watch. It’s gritty, violent, tense and well-acted. I loved it!

    Wonder Woman – Better than I expected, not too on the nose with the feminism. Sadly it’s overshadowed by an incredibly shitty final fight between WW and Ares.

    Spider-Man Homecoming – Tom Holland is a great Peter Parker and Spider-Man, as opposed to the other actors who could only portray one each. I felt the Spider-Man CGI physics during action scenes felt very poor for a marvel movie, but it’s all saved by a great villain and a plot where the world isn’t at stake. Then to be soured in the end with the MJ reveal, you don’t have to fucking diversify everything! Let MJ be that hot redhead from the source material, and if you want diversity, make a new goddamn character.

    John Wick 2 – OK, so I liked the first a lot. And this one has the same incredible action sequences, but after seeing bad guy #58 get shot in the head in an awesome way it kinda loses the magic. Also, is assassin the only job in this universe?

    Baby Driver – I tried really hard to like this movie, and even though it had some strong points (Music, performances) it was too chaotic and all over the place. One of this year’s bigger disappointments for me.

    GotG2 – Like the first movie, just more. I’m a sucker for funny and over the top movies, and both Rocket Racoon and Draxx had me in stitches.
    Kong: Skull Island – Apart from some bland and uninteresting characters this was a great time in the theaters. Some good cinematography and great action scenes. Just skip past the first half hour of horrible character introduction.

    Alien: Covenant – What the fuck?

    King Arthur – Guy Ritchie, please go back to making good movies like Snatch, Lock Stock and Rock’n’Rolla.

    The Mummy – Now this is an average movie if I’ve ever seen one, nothing is worthy of hate or praise.

    The Dark Tower – Fuck everything about this movie! Fuck the casting of Roland! Fuck the idea of just mashing every book together and not even skim the surface of what made the books great! Fuck the action sequences! Fuck that most of the plot was in NYC! Just fuck it to death..

    Split – Not sure why this turd got good reviews, but since it’s the introduction for the Unbreakable sequel I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars!


    This piece of shit winning over Westworld makes me question my sanity. It's just 10 hours of face closeups of Elisabeth Moss overacting grief and insecurity. I assume the creators intended the struggle of me watching through the season to be an analogy of her struggles, because I felt as empty and dystopian in the end as these so-called characters. So when there's no character development or payoff in the end, why should I even bother?

    Man, I love JCVD, I think I've seen every movie of his pre-2010 like 20 times each. I assume you've seen JCVD as well. Nowhere to Run is a hard watch indeed. Did you see Wrong Bet(Lionheart)? Universal Soldier? Sudden Death? Street Fighter? Timecop?
    And fuck you for not liking Hard Target, that's easily his best movie! How often have you seen someone knock out a snake before with a straight right? Directed by John Woo, with Lance Henriksen as the bad guy. Fucking doves! The best name in the world. Chance Boudreaux.

    I think it's in the same realm as the Death Note movie. If you're familiar and enjoyed the source material you're going to hate these movies for butchering everything good about it. As a fan of the books, the movie is a 2/10 for me. Maybe I'd give it a 5/10 if I didn't know anything about it.

    Btw, is there a serious tv-show discussion here? I need to talk about how great Nathan for You and Curb Your Enthusiasm has been this season!
     
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  7. Caveat Mozart in a Go-Kart

    Caveat
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    ^ I like this guy already.
     
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  8. RoryFan Wears Hats

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    I just gave you your second ever like, I think that means you need to name your next new born after me or something.

    You make a good point about Spiderman, Holland really did make a great Peter & Spiderman where everyone else has only been able to do one or the other.

    Baby Driver fucking sucked, the hype was completely lost on me.
     
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  9. ShoelessRye Silver Belt

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    Just got around to watch Wind River. Not nearly as good as Sicario. Gratuitous thong shot for cheap underwear joke at what was a pretty serious moment where the Jane (Elizabeth Olsen) FBI woman was dressing in the slain grand daughters winter gear. But why I'm here is I'm not understanding something. We see in the flash back that the girl Natalie was raped and left running, and we see Matt the BF being stomped to shit and murdered. Now earlier on the tracker is at the drug den site and sees snow machine tracks and he and Jane follow them and find Matt's body being eaten by a bird. How did the body get there? Did the security guys plant the body there attempting to frame the drug den guys? Why not just disappear him completely?

    Also the big shoot out at the end seemed like a figgin afterthought pretty quickly. Indian Reserve Cop and two others were all killed without a care given it seemed.

    Why did the security guys side with the drunk rapist over Matt (the BF)? Matt was ex-military just like they all seemed - no reason why he'd be the obvious outsider of the group. And it only looked like one of the guys raped Natalie - all the rest were beating up Matt when Matt lunged to stop the rape the girl headed for the door and bolted.
     
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  10. moreorless87 Gold Belt

    moreorless87
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    For non Blade Runner viewing I'v managed to fit in recently...

    Monsters - Gareth Edwards debut film does feel quite familiar in places having seen his Godzilla although its ultimately much more layed back that does highlight his talent for more subtle drama we saw a good deal of in Rogue One. It does feel a bit held back in places by the budget(although still only half a million goes along way), script and the cast besides Scoot McNairy being a little bland but still I found it very enjoyable and I can see why Edwards was picked out for bigger things so quickly afterwards. Obviously some politics at play in the plot but nothing too ham fisted or specific although oddly prescient about the US/Mexican border.

    Elles - Speaking of politics I finally bothered to watch this after being put off by the poor reviews it got at the time and did get the impression that politics represented a lot of the reason for that reception. Juilette Binoche interviewing women working as escorts and having the typical PC image that they must be exploited and miserable challenged isn't likely to get you a good reception with much of the press I'd guess. I wouldn't say its a classic as it does lack somewhat in ambition beyond the above and showing a bit of impact of Binoche's middle class repression but its predictably well acted and feels a lot more even handed than a lot of films on sexual politics(Don Jon comes to mind).

    Dead Mans Shoes - One Sherdog is forever recommending and I'd agree with a lot of the praise. I do still think Meadows is a little limited as a director but he doesn't have to deliver that much here as Paddy Considine is obviously centre stage delivering some of the scariest performances I'v ever seen(next to Ben Kinsley in Sexy Beast). Obviously has more heart/brain to it than a simple revenge fantasy as well which is nice to see with the lengthy coda section dealing with the last gang member.
     
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  11. theskza Silver Belt

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    Check the reddit thread on r/movies - it's discussed in there. Can't remember the specs though.
     
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  12. moreorless87 Gold Belt

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    A couple more recently...

    Midnight Speical - Somehow this had totally passed me by at the time, I normally keep an eye out for any interesting sci fi. Story wise I did find it a bit slight, if it was really going to be a classic then I think the family drama should have amounted to more but its certainly very stylishly done and Michael Shannon predictable strong in it. The design work towards the end is very interesting to see as well seeming to suggest Santiago Calatrava is from a higher plane of existence.

    Seven Psychopaths - Don't know why it took me so long to watch this as I loved In Bruges, perhaps because it didn't get as much hype at the time? I can understand that having seen it as its obviously much less direct than that film and arguably the king of meta cinema. Still though I think even with the endless plots within plots and reffering to Hollywood clichés its still a film with bags of character to it just like In Bruge, Rockwell and Walken especially are superb.
     
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  13. Bullitt68 Senior Moderator

    Bullitt68
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    @Flemmy Stardust @Sigh GunRanger @theskza @Dragonlordxxxxx @ufcfan4 @Ricky13 @Caveat @europe1

    To all of you who got this notification: I notified you because you're among the SMD posters who've known me the longest in here, who are currently the most active in here, and who I think will actually give a shit about this beyond the novelty of it, but yesterday, as part of an undergraduate class my supervisor is running called "Film and Cultural Theory," I got to do a guest lecture on skepticism and Inception.





    Yes, that's really me. Yes, I really talk like I post. And yes, I'm really that stop-you-in-your-tracks good-looking.

    I figured, given how many times I've discussed Inception with so many of you in here, that some of you might get a kick out of these, so do with them what you will.
     
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  14. Caveat Mozart in a Go-Kart

    Caveat
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    ^ so dramatic.

    Thought you were about to retire from the SMD for a sec lol.

    Will give it a listen later.
     
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  15. Caveat Mozart in a Go-Kart

    Caveat
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    @Bullitt68 did i ever tell you my ex was going to cite your paper on Collateral in one of hers, but she decided last minute that she didn't like the framework or something.

    My worlds almost collided. Close call.
     
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  16. Bullitt68 Senior Moderator

    Bullitt68
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    I'm not retiring. I'm just a drama queen ;)

    Cool. Obviously, I'm not expecting essays from people, but I'd be open to any comments/criticisms.

    Also, you probably already got the notification, but I notified you for my post in the War Room Jordan Peterson thread, too, and I specifically highlight the parts where I mention him and critique postmodernism and Marxism along similar lines.

    I feel like I'd remember that, and since I don't, I'm inclined to think that you didn't. But that's funny to know. What the hell was she writing that me talking about Collateral would've been at all relevant? And, more importantly, what the hell was wrong with my brilliant framework :D

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

    europe1
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    Man I was watching The Mummy as you posted this. I'm not really a philosophy guy but at least you washed away the awful aftertaste of that flick.:p


    Not being schooled on these sort of things, I don't really have much to say that isn't trivial. One thought that occurred through. When you mentioned that Aussie comedian. You went through what he said -- and then criticised his skepticism in the end. Is he insane and just talking in front of a white wall?

    My thought is just.... isn't that comedians skepticism of a different quality than the philosophers skepticism that you're talking about afterwards (for example, that Deconstructionist dude)?

    It seems to me that the comedian is skeptical about his own mind -- while the skeptics that you're talking about is questioning physical reality.

    The comedian is asking -- am I insane and just talking in front of a wall (isn't there a King of Comedy reference that could be made here?). While your skeptics are talking about, if I sat on a branch and sawed it off, would I and the branch fall down?

    The comedians skepticism is based on his own state of mind. Objective reality doesn't change based on if he's crazy or not. Your skeptics skepticism are based on how reality actually functions. The doubt the actual falling off the branch -- not how their state of mind makes them percieve that event (or they just don't make a distinction between the two). These are two different qualities and not necessarily analogical of each other. Or am I misinterpreting some component here?
     
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  18. ufcfan4 Can't Andle The Riddum

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    Immediately assumed retirement too and was quite relieved to hear otherwise lol.

    Will definitely give it a watch. Awesome. Thanks for sharing.
     
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  19. europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

    europe1
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    Something else that I was thinking about listening to the lecture.

    Ordinary Language philosophy. There is no distinction of practice and theory. You applied it to Marxism as an example.

    I don't know if it's applicable to find out why Marxism turned out so bloody. Isn't it more a case of the theory not matching the complexities and constituents of reality? The Soviet Union/Communist China certainly isn't what Marx wanted to end up with. Hell, I don't think Lenin or Mao wanted/forsaw that bloodshed and nastiness either, at least when they started their ventures.

    It's more of an example of theory jarring with reality. Marxism doesn't capture the complexities and dynamics of reality -- and that's why the train runs off the rails. Basically, the theory doesn't prepare you for -- or offer a functional guideline -- when the actual building comes. Or in meme form.

    1. Class Struggle.
    2. Proletariat Revolution
    3. ????
    4. Proletariat Utopia

    Basically, what's missing in Marxist theory is a functional system that bridges that 3rd step-gap (possibly because no such thing exist). The "proletariat dictatorship"-thingy that emerges is more of an ad-hoc filler-governance that emerges in order to control things as they're happening. When Lenin realized that the utopia wasn't comming on it's own -- he needed to come up with some system to achieve that himself. It's not really something Marxist wants (or at least Marx wanted) but more like a "necessity" imposed because the theory itself offers no functional pathway. And since it's a dictatorship established after a chaotic, society-changing revolution -- the country is just primed to turn bloody and fester with unhealty habits.


    I know that this is a bit of a tangent and rather effusive. But that Ordinary Language description just felt rather jarring and reductivistic to me. It doesn't illuminate the problem/peculiarities just simplifies them.
     
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  20. Bullitt68 Senior Moderator

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    Fuck, that's a good point. One of the things I tried to keep in mind as I was coming up with the lecture was to stop and hit the points that I take for granted but that people not steeped in this shit would likely need explained/defined. So, I stop to define skepticism, I stop to define pragmatism, I stop to elaborate on what a false dichotomy is, etc. This is one I missed, though.

    First of all, you're right that there are two different sides of the skepticism coin. The first side is what's commonly referred to as external world skepticism (how do I know I'm in reality and not in the matrix, how do I know that what appears before me is the way it really is and not just an invention of my mind, etc.) and the second side is what's commonly referred to as other minds skepticism (how do I know what that person is thinking, how do I know that they think like me, how do I even know that they're human like me, etc.). On top of which, Jim Jefferies goes so far that he actually reaches the point of solipsism, the idea that all that exists is the individual mind and its functions.

    I should've stopped to clarify that. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I want to say at the start that this can very quickly turn into a conversation more suitable for The War Room, and I should mention that, if you want to talk about more explicitly philosophical/political shit without the movie connection, we can do that in the Jordan Peterson thread in The War Room (that's pretty much the only thread I've posted in over there :D).

    To try to quickly respond to this, I'd start off by pointing out that admitting the difficulty (which is really an impossibility) of applying Marxist theory to practice is a nice confirmation of my basic argument. Marxism/communism - which is to say, collectivism - has resulted and will always result in that type of murder and mayhem because the theory doesn't match the "complexities and constituents of reality." That is, it's a bad theory. Good theories do match the complexities and constituents of reality. If they don't, they're bad. And if a given theory misses the mark by so much that nearly a hundred million people end up dead and the fortunate few who survive live in poverty and fear and misery, at what point does the theoretical juice cease to be worth the practical squeeze?

    This then brings us down a philosophical level, closer to the foundation, where the question shifts to one of inquiring into the value system according to which the juice of Marxism is even taken to be worth any squeezing. This also brings us to Ayn Rand land, but we won't go that far this time ;)

    And this is the logic that leads to the no true Scotsman thing. Their intentions may have been good (and even this proposition is merely being granted for the sake of argument, for while someone like Peterson may be able to concede this, I doubt Rand would) but at the end of the day the results were horrifying. Once, with Stalin, that'd be enough to warrant a serious investigation into the basic tenets of the theory to see if maybe some wires got crossed somewhere. Twice, with Stalin and Mao, that makes it really difficult given the considerable differences in time periods and social and economic conditions between Stalinist Russia and Maoist China to say that the theory is still good and will always be good and that any problems are merely due to bad practice. At what point do you have to accept that maybe the theory is the problem and the practice is the logical endpoint, the inevitable result of fidelity to such a shitty theory?

    Even here, the presupposition is that Marxism is a solid theory and that there are just a few kinks that need to be worked out, some problems/peculiarities that weren't properly addressed but which, once properly addressed, would at last result in the glorious practice promised by the theory.

    [​IMG]

    What's with this retirement talk? Retirement's for pussies. I'm going to be the fucking Ken Shamrock of the SMD.
     
    #860
    ufcfan4 likes this.

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