19

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Most Entitled

You know it’s not malice. You know safety comes first. You know flight crews deal with humanity at its most entitled and short-sighted. But you’re still peeved.

Lileks, J. (2014, July 24). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/14/0714/072414.html

🎯

Truthiness

[Cognitive psychologist Eryn] Newman, who works out of the University of California–Irvine, recently uncovered an unsettling precondition for truthiness: The less effort it takes to process a factual claim, the more accurate it seems. When we fluidly and frictionlessly absorb a piece of information, one that perhaps snaps neatly onto our existing belief structures, we are filled with a sense of comfort, familiarity, and trust. The information strikes us as credible, and we are more likely to affirm it—whether or not we should.

Waldman, K. (2014, September 3). The Science of Truthiness: Conservative beliefs make a lot more sense when you’re not paying attention. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/09/truthiness_research_cognitive_biases_for_simple_clear_conservative_messages.single.html

⚔️

Creating Misery

The movie offers no insight, no tragic poetry, no startling yet strangely right filmmaking touches, to compensate for the tawdriness. It’s just a straightforward account of people enduring or creating misery.

Seitz, M. Z. (2014, August 29). Review: The Last of Robin Hood (2014). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-last-of-robin-hood-2014

Control is Challenged

It is this catastrophe and the man’s desperate efforts to correct it that link “All Is Lost” with “Margin Call,” Mr. Chandor’s excellent first feature. That movie, about an office full of panicky investment bankers dealing with the unfolding financial crisis of 2008, is in many ways the opposite of “All Is Lost.” It takes place almost entirely indoors, and it’s pretty much all talk. But it is also very much concerned with how powerful men react when their sense of control is challenged, and with the vast, invisible system that sustains their illusions.

Scott, A. O. (2013, October 17). The Strong, Largely Silent Type “All Is Lost,” With Robert Redford at Sea. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/movies/all-is-lost-with-robert-redford-at-sea.html?pagewanted=all

🎥

I’m Going Anyway

Llewelyn: “I’m fixin’ to do something dumber than hell, but I’m going anyways.” This could be the tagline for half the movies ever made.

Orr, C. (2014, September 23). 30 Years of Coens: No Country for Old Men. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/09/30-years-of-coens-no-country-for-old-men/380610/

👉

A Hill Nobody Wants to Die On

A lot of filmmakers and distributors have that concern: that even if you’re legally in the right regarding Fair Use-appropriated clips, intellectual property rights-holders might still come after you, and try to bully you into removing clips rather than spend money defending your legal right to use them. That’s a hill pretty much nobody wants to die on.

Seitz, M. Z. (2014, September 25). Why My Video Essay About “All That Jazz” Is Not on the Criterion Blu-Ray. Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/mzs/why-my-video-essay-about-all-that-jazz-is-not-on-the-criterion-blu-ray

🎡

Belt Sander

I hope to shoot at least two [videos] a day because as much as I love the [State] Fair, going every day is like a belt-sander to the soul after a while. To wander into the grounds with a tripod, not knowing what I’ll get – it’s an adventure at first, a job in the middle and grinding despair at the end.

Lileks, J. (2014, August 19). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/14/0814/081914.html

🍓

Easy Pickings

I doubt I need to point out that this is nothing but a particular female variant of the psychological need to believe that others take you as seriously as you take yourself. There is nothing particularly wrong with it, as psychological needs go, but yet of course we should always remember that a deep need for anything from other people makes us easy pickings.

Wallace, D. F. (1997, Fall). Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Retrieved from http://www.theparisreview.org/fiction/1225/brief-interviews-with-hideous-men-david-foster-wallace

pitchfork-300px

Anger Gene

1) I don’t understand how anyone could ever think this was “real” – except the internet seems to have a hard wired anger gene, attenuated by twitter where ordinarily reasonable people want to get outraged over anything just for the dopamine.

2) This is a side-effect of viral culture. In the pre-Internet days, almost everyone who read the piece would be familiar with the New Yorker, and know that “Shouts and Murmurs” is typically comedy or satire. Now, all it takes is some repost to a link bait site and the clueless hordes will rise up with torches and pitchforks demanding retribution.

Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory (2014, Aug 5). Re: Poking the Jazz Hive [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/141657/Poking-the-Jazz-Hive#5670376

🚗⋓

Innate Entitlement

But it fits with the sense of innate entitlement. Because you are ‘creating a great product’ somehow the rules of the little/lesser people don’t apply to you. You are giving them advancement and they should be grateful for it and not judge you.

savagemike (2014, Aug 26). Re: This is Uber’s playbook for sabotaging Lyft [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2014/8/26/6067663/this-is-ubers-playbook-for-sabotaging-lyft?mc_cid=b051b95564&mc_eid=bb561ea0a9#253297600

 

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Moments of Recognition

If one of the pleasures of movie-going is seeing strange new things on the screen, another pleasure, and probably a deeper one, is experiencing moments of recognition – times when we can say, yes, that’s exactly right, that’s exactly the way it would have happened.

Ebert, R. (1986, July 1). Review: About Last Night…(1986). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/about-last-night—-1986

🌅

Easy to Dismiss

As always, climate change works like an opportunistic pathogen, worsening existing woes, not acting alone. This can make it hard to pin down, easy to dismiss.

Kimmelman, M. (2017, April 7). Rising Waters Threaten China’s Rising Cities. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/04/07/world/asia/climate-change-china.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

❄️

Tough-Guy Posturing

These days, the preferred insult is a new addition to the canon: “snowflake.” It is simultaneously emasculating and infantilizing, suggesting fragility but also an inflated sense of a person’s own specialness and a naïve embrace of difference. It evokes the grade-school art classes in which children scissor up folded pieces of construction paper and learn that every snowflake is unique, and every person is, too. But in the Trump era, it feels as if the classroom bully has tipped over the craft table and is wielding the scissors triumphantly in the air.

[…]

The truth is that people who use “snowflake” as an insult tend to seem pretty aggrieved themselves — hypersensitive to dissent or complication and nursing a healthy appetite for feeling oppressed.

[…]

Today’s tough-guy posturing seems rooted, paradoxically, in threat and fear: fear of defeat, fear of lost status and fear that society is growing increasingly ill-suited to tough-guy posturing in the first place.

Hess, A. (2017, June 13). How “Snowflake” Became America’s Inescapable Tough-Guy Taunt. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/magazine/how-snowflake-became-americas-inescapable-tough-guy-taunt.html?action=click&contentCollection=magazine&module=NextInCollection&region=Footer&pgtype=article&version=column&rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ffirst-words

🏆

Winning

“Silencing critics” is the beating heart of today’s “winning.” This is largely because your critics are not, in fact, competing with you; they have no formal power over you, are rarely seeking any and tend to do little more than express the opinion that you’ve done something wrong. They offer you a game you cannot lose. You don’t even need to be a public figure to benefit from this line of thinking: As soon as you decide your chief adversaries are the people who disapprove of your behavior (neighbors, doctors, elites, “the media,” climate scientists, other people on Facebook and Twitter), then simply continuing to do whatever you were already doing, no matter how ill advised or self-defeating, takes on the dimensions of a triumph.

But this is a very strange measure of victory. This kind of winning doesn’t set goals and then judge success by how much progress is made toward achieving them. Its focus is entirely on reputation and status and the superficial image of power. Sometimes it picks goals based on ease. Sometimes it achieves things at random and then claims they were goals. If all else fails, it just declares victory and sits back looking satisfied — as when Trump recently announced that “with few exceptions” there has never in history been a president who has “done more things.” After all, if you really do hold the almost feudal belief that there are two kinds of people — those ordained by nature to dominate and the losers upon whom they exercise their prerogatives — what do the details matter, as long as you’ve claimed a seat among the winners?

Abebe, N. (2017, June 20). Tired of “Winning”? You Should Be. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/magazine/tired-of-winning-you-should-be.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ffirst-words&action=click&contentCollection=magazine&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

🌽🌽🌽

Enemies are useful: We all know the sweet, full-bodied relief of having someone else to blame for our problems. Why did the crops fail? It could be that you are an inept farmer. It could be that everything is up to chance. Or it could be that your neighbor, who has always been jealous of you, is doing something sinister to your crops.

Quinn, A. (2017, June 6). How Did “Witch Hunt” Become the Complaint of the Powerful? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/magazine/how-did-witch-hunt-become-the-complaint-of-the-powerful.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2FFirst%20Words&action=click&contentCollection=Magazine&module=Collection&region=Marginalia&src=me&version=column&pgtype=article

🔃

The Outrage Cycle

“Someone does something on the internet,” he said. “It causes everyone to notice them. And the internet is this huge crowd that loves things way too intensely and disproportionately.”

“At some point, inevitably, it’s found out that they’ve said something regrettable at some point in their lives, because they’re human. They never realized they were going to have to stand up to the scrutiny of everyone. And then you hate them as much as you once loved them.”

“Before we were online, it took longer for people to disappoint you,” he added. “And sometimes, maybe, they never did.”

[…]

But Mr. Ward’s original tweet can also be seen as mocking the entirety of the now-familiar outrage cycle. It pokes fun at people’s repeated willingness to be seduced by seemingly lovable new public figures, as well as their predictable rejection of those figures when they become, as internet parlance would have it, problematic.

Bromwich, J. E. (2017, June 27). How a Joke Becomes a Meme: The Birth of “Milkshake Duck.” Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/arts/milkshake-duck-meme.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=3&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F06%2F27%2Farts%2Fmilkshake-duck-meme.html&eventName=Watching-article-click&_r=0

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Imagined Enemy

The need to “win” is undoubtedly most present in those who see themselves as “losers.” Whether by circumstance or by self-destructive tendencies, those who feel marginalized by society, or ridiculed by better-educated people, or simply unloved and unwanted look for redemption by trying to defeat some imagined enemy. But lost in this quixotic crusade is the concept of collaboration, since one can hardly respect another if they do not respect themselves. The sad result is a fruitless cycle of trying to find self-worth through the vanquishing of others.

As with Trump himself, Republican voters seem wholly unsatisfied despite having won control of the government. They still feel inadequate and aggrieved, and can’t seem to figure out what to do now. While Trump tries to recreate the excitement of his campaign with bizarre “rallies” to boost his ego, the Trump voter looks at the unchanged conditions of his life and wonders when the spoils of victory will finally make him feel better about himself.

pconrad (2017, June 20). Re: Tired of Winning? You Should Be [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/magazine/tired-of-winning-you-should-be.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ffirst-words&action=click&contentCollection=magazine&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

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Lame, Failed Attempt

He also knew that if he ever embarrassed himself by pursuing a girl in the tribe and being rejected, she’d tell the other girls about it—not only would he have blown his chance with that girl, but he might never have a mate at all now because every girl that would ever be in his life knew about his lame, failed attempt. Being socially accepted was everything.

Urban, T. (2014, June 13). Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think. Retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/06/taming-mammoth-let-peoples-opinions-run-life.html

🌌

Slight Denial

Thinking about how overwhelmingly important it is to pick the right life partner is like thinking about how huge the universe really is or how terrifying death really is—it’s too intense to internalize the reality of it, so we just don’t think about it that hard and remain in slight denial about the magnitude of the situation.

Urban, T. (2014, February 12). How to Pick Your Life Partner – Part 1. Retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/02/pick-life-partner.html

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Love Congratulating Myself

The people who don’t know that these ideas are silly fictions don’t care and aren’t listening. Meanwhile the I Fucking Love Congratulating Myself for Loving Fucking Science circle jerk continues to smugly spunk off all over my social media feeds.

howfar (2016, April 22 3:28 PM CST). Re: There are no things, there are only truths [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158852/There-are-no-things-there-are-only-truths#6494855

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Freed from Any Fixed Code of Conduct

We’re in a time like nothing before where a large percentage of the first-world population has both the time and resources to direct their path, freed from any fixed code of conduct. Sacrificed by the tunnel vision that’s created from self-indulgence and hedonism are concepts on the periphery, such as consequence, personal responsibility and that archaic notion of nobility.

Source Unknown

👳

Detainees’ Motivations

“Interrogation techniques can also succeed or fail depending on the detainees’ motivations,” says Arie W. Kruglanski, founding member of the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism.

Interrogators should not assume “humans are driven by the pursuit of pleasure and eschewal of pain,” he wrote in National Interest, “because recent research suggests alternative motives – the quest for truth, for personal significance, for control, autonomy and relatedness – can often trump hedonic pleasure and pain concerns.”

Mansoor, S. (2015, July 11). Psychologists authorize CIA, DOD torture, says report. Does torture work? Retrieved from http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2015/0711/Psychologists-authorize-CIA-DOD-torture-says-report.-Does-torture-work-video

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Widespread Pushback

“The Birth of a Nation” is a revenge movie for an aggrieved time in U.S. history, when those who would “take back America” encounter widespread pushback from people who never got their turn at the wheel.

Seitz, M. Z. (2016, October 7). Review: The Birth of a Nation (2016). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-birth-of-a-nation-2016

🐾

Hungry Creature

Outrage is too much of a hungry creature willing to feed on anything that looks a bit like food…

Khin Myint (2016, September 23). Re: Will the Left Survive the Millennials? [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/opinion/will-the-left-survive-the-millennials.html?action=click&contentCollection=Science&module=Trending&version=Full®ion=Marginalia&pgtype=article

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Undisturbed by Truth

Nicholas von Hoffman of The Washington Post blasted the series, arguing that “if the networks are going to propagandize this way, there ought to be equal time for reality… Anybody who accepts that view of the White House will coast through life undisturbed by truth in any form”

Nicholas von Hoffman of the Washington Post (as cited in Television Obscurities: Nancy (2009, August 13). Retrieved from http://www.tvobscurities.com/articles/nancy/

🌉

Happy Ending

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.

Orson Welles

🍇

Sustainable, if Superficial

They seemed content to forge a relationship of sustainable, if superficial, conversation that allowed them to exist in the same room as father and son as long as they both had something to divert the bulk of their attention.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

🗻

Surrogate Journeys

Each passing week allowed him to use his disposable income to pursue new and different hobbies, which became surrogate journeys for the exploration of life that he was deferring.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

💼

Security and Predictability

In 1992, these circumstances were very much anchored in the post-World War II social order that promised security and predictability in exchange for routine and consistency. The rhythms and expectations of the life into which Randy was born were such unquestioned realities of American society that people couldn’t perceive or interpret their decline.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

🎇

Nostalgia

His earliest memories were happy, at least from a distance of three decades—a distance that begins to substitute the intricacies of actual experience with a broad, comforting nostalgia.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

🎰 

Opportunity and Regret

Circumstances saved him from poverty, but anchored him in stagnation, allowing him to be insulated from the extreme economic brutalities of the era while ensnaring him in a mild but consistent state of personal desperation. He had no full-time job, no girlfriend, no lasting social connections, and found himself at an intersection of life where the question of one’s future is influenced by opportunity and regret in equal measure.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

👔

Buzzword Vortex

Helena appears to be less a philanthropic startup than a buzzword vortex. Which is to say they’ll probably do very well. They have mystery seed funding and a deck. They have a staff of publicists. They have a handsome founder who can blow smoke up Inc. Only the few, the special, and Selena Gomez know what they do—but when has that ever mattered? We’ve been promised “impact.” Everyone loves impact.

Biddle, S. (2016, April 18). I Have No Idea What This Startup Does and Nobody Will Tell Me. Retrieved from http://gawker.com/i-have-no-idea-what-this-startup-does-and-nobody-will-t-1771036238

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Proactive

“Excuse me, but… ‘Proactive?’ ‘Paradigm?’ Aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?”

Sounds like someone is not being proactive about disrupting their paradigm.

leotrotsky (2016, April 19). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488422