A Nightmare on Elm Street: Classically Cheesy

Ever since eight I’ve heard about Freddy Krueger. He’s pretty much engrained in the slasher lexicon, alongside Jason Voorhies and Michael Myers, as one of horror’s greatest villains.

What starts off as a not-so-sweet nursery rhyme, “1, 2, Freddy’s coming for you,” turns into a murder ballad as children scream and knives graze along rusted pipes. That’s basically how the film opens: classic Freddy dream sequence. The teenager is trapped inside some surreal-looking maze/boiler room, running around trying to escape. Then the knives start tapping and an unearthly cackling ensues as a disfigured man in a fedora and Christmas sweater comes charging out of the shadows. The clueless teen only sees the razors rising to strike once it’s too damn late, like always.

Then he “GET’S YA!” Until you wake up and realize it was all a dream.

You have to admit, the premise is very clever: monster attacks you in your dreams, preying on your fears and worst nightmares. We can clearly see the inspiration for IT here. Yet in still the 1984 execution, complete with bland acting (give the boyfriend a chance, after all he is Johnny Depp in his first role), cheesy synthesizer music, jumping, jumping jump scares, 80s teenage angst, dated special effects, and hammy horror writing make for a “classic” movie that doesn’t stand up well over time.

Make no mistake: A Nightmare on Elm Street (the first) is a classic. I really enjoyed watching it, not in spite of but probably because of all its cheesiness. Undoubtedly, like many slasher/horror films of the time, it’s a movie that rides solely on premise, rather than plot or character development. I will be making a post soon about how character-driven horror/monster films are the best (ie, Alien, Jaws, The Exorcist, The Shining).

But there’s nonetheless something charming about classic Freddy Krueger. It’s always fascinating to find a horror icon and watch the original movie that started it all. It gives Nightmare on Elm Street a sort of vintage quality, like having retro-80s night where you remember all the movies, good or bad, that set the tone for the era.

80s horror WAS Nightmare on Elm Street. You’ve got the dead killer coming back to claim his victims. You’ve got the angsty teenager, aka Nancy, who has to solve the riddle and beat the bad guy at his own game. And the over/under-acting that comes with her saccharine dialogue. You’ve got the morbid, yet sweet on-the-surface kiddie jingle that lures all the unsuspecting children into a bloodbath. And, of course, you’ve got the blood: buckets and whirlpools of gushing blood (Johnny Depp getting sucked into his bed).

I did LOVE the scene with Tina (aka the “Scream slut who deserved it because she got laid”) slithering down the hallway in a bodybag. It was a nice touch, and probably one of the parts that I would say actually held up by today’s standards.

One part I hated, though, was the mother. Her parts were almost laughable in every scene. Nancy’s mom had some of the worst acting AND the worst dialogue. The part where she takes her in the basement and tells her the story of Krueger seemed to come out of nowhere. It reeks of the all-too-common “there’s something you need to know that I’ve been hiding from you all these years” scene. And there’s her constant drinking habits, which get beyond the point of being serious, and instead downright funny. She always has the same bottle with her in every other scene: I would imagine a parody featuring her snorting lines of coke and taking hits off a meth pipe, just to cope with the trauma of burning a child killer alive. And keeping his razor glove in your basement. I’d probably be drinking too.

And, of course, the cops are clueless. And somewhat incompetent, just like in Terminator. Any qualified adult authority figure has secondary knowledge/insight to a teenage girl/boy in these types of films.

The funniest part, though, was when Nancy woke up in the hospital (euphemism: psychiatry ward for sleeping disorders) and pulled Freddy’ hat out from under the covers. Everything from the bland look of shock on Nancy’s face to the fact that she’s holding some random guy’s fedora (where’s the rest of this asshole?) takes a chilling moment and reduces it to humor. If you ask me, she should have sold it on eBay. Or at least some 80s-equivalent Halloween store. People would pay a lot of money for Krueger merchandise.

In the end, Nancy outwits Krueger with the once-brilliant, but now tired “You’re not real; disappear!” trope. And she pulls a total Kevin McCallister: by rigging her locked-down house with booby traps. It’s a good thing bad guys can’t think or strategize in horror films. At least, only during convenient times. Freddy bumbles and stumbles through each trap, getting his otherworldly ass kicked by a 16-year-old girl (not sure what age they say she actually is).

And, in the end, it finishes out with another used-up, but once golden trope: it was all a dream, but not really. Tina comes back, with her douchie boyfriend Rod, who didn’t really get strangled in the prison cell. Glen (Nancy’s boyfriend) returns, who didn’t really get sucked under the bed. And, of course, the mom is back, who randomly decides to quit the bottle now that things have gone back to normal.

But the car locks as it drives away, trapping the teens inside. And Nancy’s mom, after waving “good-bye” gets pulled inside the house (or rather a plastic doll of her) by a…no…really….could it be…a giant RAZOR GLOVE!

Look out, kids. Freddy’s still comin’. And he’s got some shitty sequels to make. It helps to pay the rent for that big-ass boiler maze he lives in. Brace yourselves, slasher fans: this one’s a keeper.

Time has obviously played its part in Nightmare on Elm Street. Despite its very apparent flaws, it’s still a horror gem. I’m sure there are certain parts that would have creeped me out more if I had watched it back in the 80s, when new slasher concepts had more of an authentic flair. I still love the concept of monsters in dreams.

There’s something sentimental about Freddy Krueger that solidifies him as a definitive American horror-icon. He’s a demonic trickster who, unlike Michael Myers or Jason Voorhies, actually talks. And giggles. And screws with your mind in every way possible. It’s just as delightful to watch as it is corny. The corniness makes it even more entertaining.

I had an enjoyable time watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, though I wouldn’t compare it with other horror films like The Exorcist, or the Shining. Nightmare on Elm Street is more of a premise movie, with a clever gimmick. Yes, it rides the gimmick in every way possible, to the point of exhaustion. But it still stands as a genre-defining slasher film.

Kudos to Craven.

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I Didn’t “find myself” in college

Time and time again you hear the narrative: college was the greatest time of my life. It helped show me who I am and what I needed to do. It paved the way.

For me, that’s only partly true. And partly untrue. In college I gained awareness of the world around me. I learned about new topics and issues. I entered adulthood during those years, though I still don’t completely feel like an “adult”.

But I didn’t “find myself”. I didn’t have a magical “life-changing” experience. I made some friends here and there. But I found myself mostly isolated, even intimidated at times by the people around me: ambitious young adults who seemed to be oozing with knowledge and experience far surpassing my own.

I did become more uncertain about my future. I did become more depressed and anxious. I felt as if I were being thrown headlong into “the real world”, where literally EVERYONE moved faster than me and more decisively.

I had moments where I simply wanted to lock myself away and write in my own creative zone where nothing outside could trouble me. But many frustrations did: loneliness, anxiety, romantic/sexual frustrations/a sense of isolation from other people my age no matter how close I got to them.

I’ve often wondered since then what the use was sitting around and writing stories/novels when I could have made myself more practical. I’ve heard SO MANY stories from friends of “fun college times”. And, to be honest, some of that shit is pretty damn funny. Often I listen to try and relive, through imagination, something I never had.

We always see the story about the awkward high school kid who’s quiet, lonely, and doesn’t quite mix in with the social crowd. And then, it magically stops after high school. Because, we all know, EVERYONE finds their place in college.

But what about those who don’t, and are still searching? That narrative remains silent because everyone’s supposed to have “it” by adulthood: successful career, happy relationship, and a sense of place.

“Finding oneself” completely in college is one of the noble lies we tell teenagers. You’ll live it up, you’ll make stunning transformations, you’ll have the absolute BEST time of your time. But what happens when you go through depression/anxiety/ADD and find out that this “great time” isn’t all it’s supposed to be?

You stay in that “awkward high school” phase. Odds are, you don’t date much, because your social skills are still in progress. Sure, you could try drinking recklessly like everyone else, but then you’ll wake up remembering that the only brave words you made towards that random, cute girl came out of a shot glass.

You could try using the alcohol to cope, but that always ends up in worse depression. And desperation. You start to look for groups, not always doing so out of mutual interests, but an inborn desire to “find some place”.

And all around you you hear the glowing reports of how “wonderful” and “amazing” college is. You must be missing something. But the harder you attempt to find it, the further it slips away.

And then it’s over. You’re out in the world. But you still haven’t “found yourself”.

The reason I’m saying this is because, just like the “glory tales”, I’ve heard stories from other people whose college experience wasn’t so ideal. Like me, they are confused as to why their four years at university didn’t fulfill them. Or why their mental health declined, rather than skyrocketed.

Why: because they all heard the “noble college lie”: about all your “best times” taking place on campus. And the most “formative” part of your life.

Some people “form” in college and some people “don’t”. That’s just the reality. In the wise words of my friend, “the shit ain’t for everyone”. How many successful people were dropouts?

My own disappointment had an initially bad result: disillusionment. Constant comparison with other people in literally “every” aspect of life. It drove me crazy. I spent the entire first semester of grad school trying to “live it up” in order to compensate for the lack of happiness and fulfillment I experienced in undergrad. While everyone else had already “gone through that” and were now fully-functioning professionals.

The bad part was going out and spending WAYYYYY too much money at bars and clubs. I HAD to have that “great experience” everyone was talking about. I was way overhyped to satisfy a part of myself that had never found a sense of social belonging.

But the good part was that I made a lot of new friends: people I still talk to. And I wouldn’t change that. I would just like to forget the part that came to an epic crash. Call it a “Tale of Two Cities” philosophy: I had the “best of times” with friends, and yet the worst of depression.

Depression is odd that way: you push yourself to the limit trying to elevate that you forget to slow down. But then reality slams the brakes. And sends you crashing through the windshield.

Things have thankfully been more steady since then. I’ve started to put things into perspective. But I still have times where I wish I could repeat those “four formative years”. Maybe in a different town and school.

But the bottom line is, people place WAY too much emphasis on college. It’s helpful, yes; instructive, yes. But is it the definitive “young adult” experience? Hell to the no.

Social media often lies by showing otherwise: smiling, drunken faces, exotic vacations, and beaches galore. Which is why you (and I) should probably tune it out if we want to be more well-rounded/less deluded by what we think is the “ideal” lifestyle.

As a writer I am trying to find myself through exposure: blogging, joining writers’ groups, and connecting with professionals in the field. College can certainly help that. But it’s not the ONLY thing. My goal now is to use college “strategically” rather than emotionally, in order to grow myself as a professional.

I didn’t have the “great college experience”. I spent most of the time bouncing around with uncertainty. Sometimes now I feel out of touch/socially stunted around other people my age. I feel like they experienced something I could only dream of, and that I am fathoms behind in the social world.

But I have become better at “faking” things. Because I loathe the idea of “not getting it”: like there’s some epic code that’s far surpassed me. The best thing to do is just fake it sometimes. Nothing feels worse than the sympathy pat when you tell someone you’re a “late bloomer”: that you’re still, as an adult, going through that “awkward high school development phase” that they’ve long mastered and could never understand from your perspective.

Fake it. To those around you, be the best version of yourself that you “could have” been. Just don’t take it to excesses. Don’t blow your money on boozing: put a piece of your meager paycheck into savings.

It’s not really so much about “being yourself,” contrary to public opinion. That’ll put the bad qualities front and center; you don’t want that. It’s about imagining that you already are what you want to be. Even if you’re not there yet. Ergo, fake until you make it. That shows hella more determination than simply “being yourself”.

And allows you to self-discover along the way.

At least, I guess so.

I’m currently still finding the answers.

 

 

 

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How to Pursue Your Dream While Working to Pay Bills (2 min read)

Excellent post by Sara Ramani on Millionaire’s Digest. (Hope I got the attribution right/still adjusting to the “Press This” feature on WordPress, so if attribution needs to be corrected/clarified, please inform).

Source: How to Pursue Your Dream While Working to Pay Bills (2 min read)

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From Russia With Lies: Some Takeaways from the Comey Testimony

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The moment came at last today. We got to hear former director of the FBI James Comey testify against Donald Trump. No, I won’t call him “president”.

Everyone knew Trump was a lying son of a bitch. And a man who has no respect for the rule of law. It was only a matter of time before he shot himself in the foot. Hopefully now, we can work towards throwing his ass out the White House. I hope, I hope. Impeachment takes toilsome time and effort.

Comey confirmed that the star of “The Apprentice” tried to pressure him into stopping the investigation of Michael Flynn. Several times he mentioned that Trump had tried to create a “patronage relationship” with him. During a private dinner he was given the impression that his job, as FBI director, was contingent on loyalty. The words he used were “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty”. This, along with the later words “I hope you can let this go” gave Comey the impression that the the president was trying to direct him.

Here are some other takeaways from the Comey testimony:

  • Comey, without a doubt, believes there was Russian interference in the election.

 

  • He has no doubt they were behind the leaks and cyber-intrusion.

 

  • He believes the Russian government was aware of this.

 

  • Donald Trump did NOT ask him (directly) to stop the investigation

 

  • Special Counsel should make the decision as to whether Trump’s actions “obstructed justice”.

 

  • Regular foreign correspondence becomes a counter-intelligence threat when the actions become coercive (pressure to co-opt an American on behalf of a foreign power)

 

  • He became aware of the Russian intrusion around late summer 2015

 

  • The FBI had no “direct” access to hacked data

 

  • Comey documented each of his meetings (nine conversations) with Trump due to suspicions regarding “circumstances,” “subject matter,” “being alone with the president,” and the “nature of the person

 

  • Comey never felt the need to document meetings with Obama or Bush. With Trump he was concerned about blatant dishonesty/lying, so he chose to document the meetings

 

  • There are tens of thousands of investigations going on at once in the FBI. Trump never inquired about any of the rest

 

  • Comey believes he was fired because of the way he was conducting the investigation

 

  • He never told Trump that his conduct was “inappropriate”, but spoke to the Attorney General (Jeff Sessions) and explained his concern towards the way Trump was interacting with the FBI. He described his initial reaction as being “stunned”.

 

  • He asked a friend of his, Columbia law professor Daniel C. Richman, to leak his memo to the press

 

  • Donald Trump never asked what we should be doing to protect ourselves, amidst the allegations of Russian hacking

 

  • VP Mike Pence was aware of concerns with Michael Flynn before and up to the point where he was asked to resign

 

  • He made sure to avoid making a public statement saying that the president was under investigation

 

  • He was confused by the two-faced behavior of Donald Trump: initially praising him for his work, and then turning around and firing him

 

  • He said that the Trump administration “defamed” the FBI

 

  • Comey wanted to let Trump know that info about Russian hacking had got out in media to prepare him in advance, under that context that he didn’t want to create the narrative of investigating him personally

 

As to whether or not he thinks the star of “The Apprentice” colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, Comey would not answer in an open hearing.

 

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Of Writing and “Lost Dreams”

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Here’s to answer the big question: what do I do with my PASSION? Adulting has thrown me headlong into a practical world full of practical needs: food, clothing, healthcare, taxes, and bills galore.

And one big necessity: a J-O-B. With salary benefits, of course. In my career search I am trying to combine my passion for writing with professional work. But I have always been a “creative” kind of writer.

That goes back to when I was three years old. Ever since then I’ve always been writing fiction: from picture stories to comics to full blown attempts at novels. To this blog post. But during my college years I found it difficult to reconcile my “creative” side with the practical demands of every day work.

I wondered where in the hell my place was. And it did lead into moments of depression. As much as I loved my creative writing, I did find myself becoming a little too absorbed at times, almost obsessively. No, scratch that: more than obsessively.

My writing was like a window to imagination. And, at times, it became a window of escape. Once I realized what I had been neglecting, in the form of missed-out friendships, relationships, and basic social skills, I became depressed.

But the good news is that I have recommitted myself to working harder in those areas. I want to establish my place in the practical world. I want to reassess things. Obviously, this involves sacrifice.

But lately, at times, I’ve been wondering if that sacrifice involves having to choose against the thing that I love the most. I always fantasized about being a famous author and novelist one day: but those fantasies did delude me at times. With grandeur.

But, then again, sometimes it’s the grandeur that builds creative ideas. I know mine did, and continue to do at times. But what do you do when there’s conflict between passion and practicality?

So many people talk about giving up on things they love. The tale of “abandoned dreams” runs rampant: couldn’t make a living on it, so I settled for something else. These are not necessarily sad stories: some people who “sacrificed dreams” went on to do other things that fulfilled them. They, like Levin from Anna Karenina, came to find value in simplicity, rather than constantly seeking.

As a famous wizard once said “It does not do to dwell in dreams and forget to live”. But what happens when the dream is ongoing: persistent? What happens when you have to keep “waking” yourself up?

Maybe, like Tolstoy, Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce, or King, you have a gift. Everyone thinks they do. And everyone overestimates. But sometimes you just know. Especially when you’ve put so much time and energy into it.

Sometimes I wonder if all that time and energy was worthwhile. Or for nothing. When I see myself nearly broke and searching for jobs I feel like I should have put the pen and paper aside. And spent more time working on practical things. It feels like the world has raced ahead of me.

The question becomes: do I throw aside the “creative” aspect? Is that part of my writing a “lost dream”? Sometimes I wonder. Does being “sufficient” demand that you silence large ambitions in exchange for smaller ones?

When I’m writing it feels as though an entire world is coming alive at my fingertips. It gives me a thrill to build stories: to imagine their lives of characters. What if I can’t find the same “thrill” in another ambition?

That scares me sometimes. It makes me cognizant of the fact that I’m in my 20s and can no longer spend my time living in “dreamland”. So how to re-saturate myself?

Are my stories and characters destined to live in a box? Lately, learning to sustain has been to focus point of my life. Meaning that other things have taken a backseat. Will they stay there, inevitably, I wonder?

I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing, though. That’s just too a much a part of me. Sometimes I’ve wished it away, though. In order to make myself better at other things. In order to feel more “in-touch” with them. And less isolated.

No man is an island. But a lot of writers were probably born on one. Where do we go with our passions, when the truth of reality outweighs them? Or else seems to. Because not everybody’s a Dickens or Hemingway.

When you see the divergence between your work and your talents, it feels like you have to make a decision. Either choose one or the other. And, more than likely, you’re going to choose the one that pays the bills.

But I’ll still continue writing, in whatever field I choose. Because writing IS me. Even if the more creative part doesn’t land me a bestseller. Hopefully it does one day.

Maybe this isn’t a dream “lost”. Maybe it’s a dream redefined.

 

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How to Make a Movie in 2017

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First of all, I’m not a filmmaker. I have a very layman’s understanding of lighting and camera angles. But I do enjoy good movies. Mostly great ones. I’ve seen more “great” movies than the average person.

But I’m not advising on the greats. This is a general guideline to making movies in 2017. Most importantly, movies that sell. You want to reel in those box office dollars. So without any further ado, here are five things to keep in mind:

1. Find a franchise that already exists

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Nothing says sale like a long-awaited sequel. Especially to something that was done in the 80s or 90s. Nostalgia is your friend and commodity. People love things that already exist, so it’s best to contribute to something in that range. Or, you could resurrect an old franchise with a good-new-fashioned reboot. It’s always interesting to remake a story with the same elements, but a different cast. That way your movie serves as a reminder, rather than something random or completely out of the blue. That’s what you want to give your audience as a visionary: reminders. And plots that reinforce that: let’s find out how Voldemort went bad. Or what Han Solo was like growing up. What happened five seconds before the beginning of Star Wars? A two-hour backstory might clear that up.

 

2. Use Superheroes (with cameos)

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That’s a given. Supers sell. Especially reboots and sequels. Make sure you follow the carefully constructed algorithm of introducing a not-so-average Joe or Jane who has to balance power with personal responsibility. And a power-hungry villain who wants to punish humanity for its sins. Or convince the hero that the world “isn’t worth saving”. Since the trope has been successful countless times, it gives you a basic formula to work with. Make one and then plan another superhero story right after. Followed by a backstory to one of the sidekicks. Have them branch off and create a Netflix show. And then have all the characters reunite for another superhero movie.

 

3. Find A-List Actors

Leonardo DiCaprio

Get them to play your superheroes and reboot characters. Or else have the A-List character serve as a wise mentor for the new, up-and-coming star. Batman teaches the League. Who better than Ben Affleck? Iron Man teaches Spiderman: Robert Downey Jr. Han Solo teaches Finn: Harrison Ford. Deckard (Ford) teaches ??? in Blade Runner 2049: throw Ryan Gosling in there. He’s pretty familiar. Familiarity, like nostalgia, breeds content. It’s better to pick someone we’ve seen a hundred times, rather than someone we’ve seen only two or three.

 

4. CGI Beautification

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Nothing looks better than video games. You want to give your movie an authentic video-game look to it. Spectacle speaks very loud. Much more than substance. So blow shit up. Blow big shit up. And when filming locations, use some of the most exotic green screen you can possibly find. You know what looks better than one spaceship blowing up: two blowing up simultaneously. Have it in 3D.

 

5. DON’T Take Risks

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This one’s incredibly important. Go by the Star Wars example: if you want your film to make money, take an incredibly safe approach to it. Do everything that “fans” love and appeal to a specific, well-tuned formula that doesn’t venture too far. Have the action right here and the humor right there. DO NOT do something that you wouldn’t see in every other modern success. Replication is crucial. With a franchise you’ve already got your source material, so you don’t have to go through the arduous process of trying to think of something kind of…er…different. Use things in your movie that look exactly like other things in other movies. Or else, in the case of reboots, point your audience back to what they loved about the original. Every five minutes. That way the familiarity sticks and your movie doesn’t risk becoming authentic. Risk is the enemy.

 

 

 

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Let’s Face It: Reality Television Has Given us the Worst of Humanity

The craze started around the early 2000s and has been going strong ever since: from idiot box to Oval Office. The gripping appeal of personal space is that it isn’t so personal anymore. Note: that statement could have been written ten years ago and still been relevant.

Through the camera lens we’ve encountered a wide array of characters. Most of them would fit better in a movie plot, rather than a show about everyday life. But people enjoy live drama, as much as they enjoy it on screen.

The list is endless: Jackass, The Real World, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, American Idol, Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of Whatever-city. And, of course, there’s the Apprentice. Why mention the Apprentice? Because one bombastic character stands out above all the rest as an example of Reality culture and its pervasiveness, or rather invasiveness into civilized society.

We’ve come to love watching horrible people make horrible mistakes on camera. Or else being horrible, unbearable assholes. It’s fun to see an old, white businessman berating someone, or two drunken women fighting in clubs. And it’s even better when we get to listen to an interview directly afterwards, replete with angry, four-letter words.

That kind of entertainment has entered the public sector. CNN might as well double for VH1 in 2006. You could intercut showings of the newest 16 and Pregnant with a Breaking News story from Anderson Cooper.

Who’s to blame: us. Ratings have always spiked for Reality shows. Not just the good ones, but the absolute worst. I often hear people talk about how horrible shows like Real Housewives are. Why watch them, then? I don’t. And I’m about as easily distracted by things as most people, probably more. Stupid people aren’t worth time. Or publicity. But they know you’ll watch them, the crazier they are.

Cue Donald Trump: a man who rides on the thrill of the crowd. But not in a Jerry Garcia kind of way. More like a hyper-masculine, jingoistic war cry. It’s an “us vs. them” mentality. And what do you see in the vast majority of reality shows: me versus her/him. Constant self-glorification, at the expense of others.

Trump’s cabinet drama is almost like a living room fiasco on Jersey Shore: shit hits the fan every five minutes. Only now it has global repercussions. Like trade deals. And diplomatic stability.

The public has always loved scandal. They’ve always loved watching scandal. That’s why Reality Culture is so prevalent in the rise of Trumpism: it publicizes scandalous people. It puts them front and center. And now, with Twitter, no one needs to watch VH1 to see the drama. It’s all online.

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How can you become famous now: by letting the world know everything. And not having a filter. That’s the raw, Reality-centered approach. Why Trump: because he tells it like “it is”. Or rather the way he feels it. Why the “Cash me outside” girl? Because entertainment demands shitty people with shitty behavior, no matter how old they are.

That’s the culture of politics now: entertainment. Whoever keeps attention keeps the voters. How can you keep attention: by using a Reality-approach: keep ranting to your supporters. Make every private grievance a matter of public knowledge. Turn debates into shouting matches. It helps if you have more people tweeting what you say than the next guy. And always thrive on the prospect that low morals make for higher-than-thou ratings. Every time.

How humdrum is it to watch a candidate who actually explains things and speaks with etiquette? That’s like watching a functional family on MTV: booooooorrring. It doesn’t arouse your synapses. Yours neurons remain depressively idle, while your brain twiddles its thumbs looking for the nearest public scandal.

Your ears are attuned to outrage: it appeals to some primordial beast inside you. It gets your blood boiling, fires those idle neurons, and removes any judgment of character. Any moral filters become retrograde, once you’ve come down from the “high” of the moment.

Reality Culture works by touching the “high”. Or rather extending it as long as possible. It draws on outrage by making it entertainment. So many popular shows are about morally “unpopular” people.

So, why is it any surprise that our president reflects that?

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