Thursday, August 15, 2013

Today's Internets - "Difficult topics must be engaged with..."

"...after seeing some bootleg footage on GammaSquad, I’d like to retract that shit back into my word-butt because MOTHER OF GOD THE RACCOON. What could’ve been the death knell for this thing is now easily the greatest part because as you can see by the GIF below, that’s the closest to an actual raccoon with a machine gun you’ll ever see in your life...
To put things in perspective, DC Comics is only just now getting around to putting Superman and Batman, their biggest, most recognizable characters, in a movie together after hesitating for over a decade while Marvel’s on their 87th film and literally going, “What else we got? A raccoon with a gun in space? Turn it into money.”"

Seems Legit. 

"Here in Britain, our weakling government is attempting to launch a web filter that would somehow erase “violent material” from Internet provision — placing it, by association, in the same category as child pornography. Every week seems to bring a new attempt to ban something or other because it’s uncomfortably or scary or perhaps even indefensibly disgusting. Meanwhile, Jim Carrey is refusing to promote his latest film, Kick-Ass 2, following a change of heart in which he “cannot support that level of violence.”  That, right there, is the problem, as I see it.

Imagine if Mr. Carrey had instead decided to do the press tour for Kick-Ass 2. Imagine if, on every stop on the junket, he’d used this promotional soapbox to talk about real-world violence versus violent fiction. His reticence to appear in support of the film comes from the Newtown shooting event — an event, like all the others, characterized by those left behind saying, “I don’t understand.” The fact that he didn’t use the opportunity is less a failure of intelligence and imagination than it is a symptom of the way we generally demonize violent acts and violent work. We make them Other, and we just distance ourselves. They are Other, and they didn’t come from us, and we’re just going to stand over there and shake our heads sadly. And, moreover, anyone who gets closer to it in order to experience or understand it must be a freak...

I can watch footage of Sammy Yatim being shot, but my government doesn’t think I should watch violent films, and Jim Carrey needs to pretend he was never in a violent film. In every case, violent fictional content is separated, sometimes with the consent and intent of the creators and performers, from discussion. And yet it’s fine for our television news providers (which in the U.S. and the U.K. has probably never been worse) to hammer us with this crap and then insist that it must be witnessed — but that no one can or should ever hope to understand it...

Difficult topics must be engaged with, and in the way that fiction invites us to engage but numbing news-porn deliberately does not, because news wants us only to witness and have our buttons pushed, and denies greater emotional and intellectual immersion. The news doesn’t want us to think, only to react, like plants."

I can see where Atlantis goes.  Obvious, with hindsight. 

"...the strange fact is that often when you look into the history of spies what you discover is something very different. It is not the story of men and women who have a better and deeper understanding of the world than we do. In fact in many cases it is the story of weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us." 
"But now Col. Edmonds saw his chance. He teamed up with Le Queux and together they bombarded the Committee for Imperial Defence with the evidence from the Daily Mail readers. Edmonds said that the government should set up a "secret service bureau" to combat the threat. The head of the Committee - Lord Haldane - said this was ridiculous. But even he couldn't stand against the wave of spy fever that was sweeping the country. He gave in - and MI5 was set up - created in large part by the dreams of a socially excluded novelist, and the paranoid imaginings of the readers of the Daily Mail.

But the problem for MI5 was that the spy network didn't exist. The Germans did have some agents in Britain - but nothing like the 5000 that Le Queux had described. When war against Germany was declared in 1914 - MI5 immediately rounded up 21 alleged German spies and proudly announced they had broken the network. But a brilliant piece of historical research by the historian Nicholas Hiley has shown that this wasn't true. Hiley doesn't mince his words. Here are his conclusions (Kell and Holt Wilson were the director and deputy directors): "One of the most famous successes of the British Security Service was its great spy round-up of August 1914. The event is still celebrated by MI5, but a careful study of the recently-opened records show it to be a complete fabrication - MI5 created and perpetuated this remarkable lie. The great spy round-up of August 1914 never took place - as it was a complete fabrication designed to protect MO5(G) from the interference of politicians or bureaucrats. The claim made next day that all but one had been arrested was false, and its constant repetition by Kell and Holt-Wilson was a lie.""


Language Learning Motivation. 

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