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The Kurgan

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The Kurgan last won the day on May 2 2020

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About The Kurgan

  • Birthday 09/18/1973

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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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  1. Had to happen sooner or later. I got it last Wednesday and now my whole house does.
  2. I really hope the writing improves. That scene where the Numenorian gets the crowd all riled up with this "Elves are gonna take our jurbs!" talk was unbelievably cringe. While there was growing animosity between the elves and the Numenorians as the second age progressed, it had nothing to do with hot button culture war issues in current year America. This was exactly the kind of thing I hoped they wouldn't do and feared they would. I could go on about a host of other goofy things and the serious pacing issues, but I'll leave it here for now.
  3. I don't think it is about intellect. I think it is about meaning. It is the narrative that draws people to weird ideologies, and being a bit more intelligent would, if anything, make people more susceptible to them. They are more capable of making inferences and connections, even where none actually exist. Notice the kinds of intellectuals who soundly reject right wing conspiracy theories and fundamentalism. Do they tend to be woke, or socialists or critical theorists or postmodernists or what have you? If so, different variation on a similar theme. The right wing stuff is just unfashionable on most campuses, so those who believe in it keep it quiet. Note that this doesn't necessarily make them wrong. Only that they appeal to a type of person who likes a broad ideology to explain things.
  4. It seems to me as though a partisan and ideological judiciary undermines the entire purpose of having an independent judiciary. They are acting like an arm of the government, rather than an independent check on the excesses of state power.
  5. TBH, I can't say I agree. Sure, Disney will come out and condemn the hate-bombing of its minority actors. Once enough people and media complain about it. Because "what way is the wind blowing" is what Disney's all about, when all is said and done. The fans want more diversity and representation? Okay, we'll just throw in some minority actress into the show, with no consideration for backstory or context. The fans are now complaining that we're too "woke" now? Simple, we'll just make her an unsympathetic bad guy. She's supposed to be the villain, but we'll do nothing to make her actually menacing. Oh, wait, the fans are angry now? We'll just throw in a few expanded universe references, so that they can say, "I remember that from my childhood! Cool!" Did our last Star Wars show bomb, because we have no idea what it is SW fans really like and just stuffed it with familiar tropes, a few semi clever easter eggs and throw away characters no one wanted or was interested in? Well, we have just the thing for that! A rematch lightsaber duel between Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi! Remember how cool that was! We at Disney listen to the fans, and what they like the most about Star Wars is Jedi vs Sith lightsaber action! The fans will get to relive that, all over again! And with their favorite old characters too! How lucky of them! As for how we'll make it work story wise? Well, we won't think about that because we're Disney. Instead, we'll just graft it on to the end of an hour long show packed with popular tropes and clichés. Wasn't Arya Stark popular in Game of Thrones? Well now's our chance to reconceptualize Princess Leia as a spunky tomboy who can't be a proper young lady in a noble household. See! Two popular pop-culture heroines rolled into one! Aren't we just so clever over here at Disney? But the fans start throwing words like "Mary Sue" around? Well, we'll just have her make a terrible mistake, whether it would actually be in character or not. And on and on it goes. There's nothing Disney can't make knock off versions of, including their own intellectual properties. And because we're Disney, we can get away with it because our real target demographic is boomer moms who get nostalgic for how they felt as kids every Sunday night whenever "When you wish upon a star" played over their t.v sets. So there isn't a home in the land without a Disney+ subscription. And Disney execs learned that milking tropes for nostalgia is a pretty damn good business model, so you don't really need a lot else. Is it any wonder that they haven't produced anything truly remarkable and visonary? Like I said previously, some SW fans are fickle and kinda dumb sometimes and get worked up about pointless stuff. But there is something to their widespread frustration as well. Because the Mouse House really is the Grim Reaper of popular franchises. Consistently neglecting the heart and soul of beloved I.Ps in favor of strip mining them of their constituent tropes and stuffing these into paint by numbers formula products that are, with few exceptions, virtually always mediocre and forgettable at best.
  6. I have felt for a long time now that the Star Wars fanbase is Its own worst enemy. The toxic element cannot discuss the subject without being so overwhelmed with vitrol and hatred that even Palpatine would become alarmed and tell them to chill out a bit. This creates an atmosphere that drives the less passionate and more sensible elements of fan base away from forums wherein SW products are discussed. From there, sensible and nuanced analysis and criticism of the very real flaws of the productions becomes impossible. This Dynamic is exactly what drove George Lucas to sell the franchise to Disney in the first place. So right off the bat, the "fandom menace" types have only themselves to blame for every Disney Star Wars product they've ever received and for the Order 66ing of its expanded universe. The fan base then becomes sitting ducks for articles posted by online publications that just coincidentally happen to be either directly owned by Disney or subsidiaries of Disney attacking them for being toxic and even racist. And because the fanbase has done such a good job of filtering out it's more moderate and rational voices, they're hard to take seriously when they defended themselves by claiming that these criticisms boil down to Disney simply hiding behind identity politics to deflect honest and genuine criticisms from real flaws in its productions. Even in those instances when that defense has a fair amount of objective validity. The sequel Trilogy was a bloody train wreck, but not because it had women and people of colour in it. And even if they did get Star Wars movies with only macho white guys in it, do you think they would be happy? Or would they rant and Rave and whining and b!tch about how all the characters were the same? Because, at the end of the day, that's what the toxic element in the Star Wars fandom does. It gripes about how terrible each new production is because they didn't experience the same sense of wonder watching it as an adult that they did watching Star Wars as an eight-year-old. That is totally not as a result of what naturally happens to people's experience of media as they mature, but it's because everything that happened to be made after they were no longer children is just garbage. And you're an idiot if you don't agree completely! Besides, why weren't the fans griping incessantly about the ruining of their childhoods by Carrie Fisher or Billy Dee Williams or Natalie Portman or Samuel L Jackson? Why weren't politics and feminism spoiling Star Wars when Leia demand Han and Luke do as she told them while they were making a mess of her rescue from the Death Star? Remember that, in the very first Star Wars movie ever made? You would almost think, now I know this sounds like a conspiracy theory here, but hear me out: that their ire has been manufactured and fanned to a fever pitch by social media algorithms and echo chambers rather than honest and informed film criticism rooted in experience and study of film theory and production. I know, hard to believe that people on the internet would ever trust their collectively engineered feelings over informed and educated analysis, but here we are. On top of that, when a certain segment of the fan base's most vehement criticism always happens to be towards the casting of actors who coincidentally just happen to be women and ethnic minorities, they likewise become hard to take seriously when they respond with "it's all about the acting, bro." When the issues that most consistently trigger them always revolve around the casting of women and ethnic minorities, a pattern emerges that is naturally hard to defend against to the accusations of bigotry that will naturally arise in response. Again, even if this isn't always precisely the case. Again, note that Billy Dee Williams and Samuel L Jackson were almost universally embraced by the fandom. For its part, Disney knows full well that this endlessly repeating cycle is in fact a key component of its marketing strategy. Every Forum full of angry fanboys sharing articles accusing them of racism is free advertising for Disney, and gives those very Publications exactly what they really want: viral exposure for their advertisers. So the tragedy here is that the angry fanboys are working against their own stated intentions on the many levels, time and time again. Like the Jedi during the Clone Wars, by fighting at all, they fated themselves to lose and give Katherine Kennedy/Darth Sidious exactly what they want. Consumers vote with their dollars, and producers respond with what they know works.
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