Archive for the ‘The Great Deception’ Category


A Dark Day for the Dark Knight

Warning: unpopular opinion below.

No, I haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises. I did see The Dark Knight after hearing so much about how great it was. But I remember feeling worse for the wear. No matter how well-made a movie is, if it’s that dark and violent I just don’t leave feeling like it was a good experience.

Before I wrote this I did a little research to make sure that Rises was as violent as it’s predecessors, and I found that indeed it has “a disturbingly high body count (which) is achieved via massive explosions, kidnappings, neck breakings, shootings, and hand-to-hand combat. While there’s not a lot of actual blood, there’s tons of death and mass destruction.” Check.

After the Aurora theater mass murder the NBC group of networks (among others) pulled all trailers for The Dark Knight Rises because they felt it was inappropriate to have images of gun violence from the movie run alongside news stories about the real-life massacre. Warner Bros. pulled trailers for the upcoming movie Gangster Squad that showed gunmen shooting up a crowded movie theater. Hmmm….

Imagine there were fancy cameras in that Aurora theater. And a film crew. And some dramatic lighting. And a fog machine. Maybe someone to yell “action” before James Holmes came through the door in a gas mask with his arsenal. Imagine it was all caught on film from interesting angles and spiced up with some loud sound effects and thematic music. Would you pay $12 to go see it?

Why not? It’s the same thing we are flocking to theaters to see. “Cool” might as well mean “violent”. Most would say that they wouldn’t go see it because people actually died, not because of the violence itself. The violence itself is perfectly fine, as evidenced by the $249 million the movie raked in over the weekend (and the hundreds of millions more it will make in the coming weeks) despite being marred by a massacre and much of its advertising being pulled.

So why is popular entertainment filled with so much gratuitous violence? Does it have to be that way? If they made a Batman movie just as stylish without glorifying violence would it be as popular?

Movie studios know about something called the lowest common denominator. The more they can appeal to the animal inside everyone by making violence seem cool, the more money they will make. What is on that screen is there because someone wants us to see it. The formula is tried and true. But as technology has advanced the depictions of violence have become more and more life-like. No one would know the difference if the scene in Colorado was filmed and edited into their favorite violent action movie. Which part inside of us is attracted to watching this? I don’t think it’s the good part.

Across the country people were bringing 6-year-olds to midnight showings of The Dark Knight Rises to watch “massive explosions, kidnappings, neck breakings, shootings… death and mass destruction”. One of them lost their life. A lot more were injured, and not just in Colorado. And not just 6-year-olds.


Prostitution Escalating in Los Angeles – Good or Bad?

I’m not sure which is worse – the proliferation of prostitution in Los Angeles, or citizens being in favor of it.

Because of a loophole in a recently passed state law concerning therapist certification, many areas of Los Angeles are seeing a noticeable increase of erotic “massage parlors”. Bad for the community right? Not according to the majority of comments left on the article. Here’s a small smattering of opinions in reaction to some police busts and local community leaders who are trying to crack down on it:

“Those darn right-wing Christians are running California into the ground!”

“I am really sick of the puritans of this country telling me what I can and can’t do.  You can pass all the laws you want.  You cant’ stop it.  Idiots.”

“This is AWESOME!  Finally, something in LA that is what the people want.  We need more places where men can go escape from their wives.  Thank you for making this possible!  Legislature, YOU ROCK!  Why would anyone want to stop this?”

“Oh Who cares if two consenting adults agree to an erotic massage for money.  It is nobodys damn business. I am so sick of these uptight religuous freaks telling people how to live their lives.”

“Why on earth is it the government or law enforcement’s job to regulate sex between consulting adults?  We have religion to blame for this”


I could go on. There were also many that want police to concentrate on “real crimes” such as robbery and gang activity.

It’s all perspective right? Being mugged or shot is something bad that could happen to you, whereas paying money to human traffickers to have sex with girls that may or not be prostituting themselves willingly is something bad happening to someone else. As long your own salacious desires are fulfilled it’s all good right?

If we have religion to blame for attempting to keep this world from becoming one big seedy red-light cesspool, well, thank you religion. And thanks for reminding us that our potential is infinite, that we can be much more than animals controlled by every carnal impulse. Some nerve you have religion, some nerve.

Link to LA Times story


Why are stand-up comedians so foul?

I recently attended a Flight of the Conchords show. If you haven’t heard of them, check this out (their stage is a little more elaborate nowadays). Two of the funniest guys I’ve ever seen, and they put on a great show. Unfortunately opening up for them were three separate stand-up comic acts – Arj Barker, Eugene Mirman, and Kristen Schaal. All three of them are very talented and have obviously worked at their craft for many years. But while their delivery and timing were very much refined, their subject matter was not. Each act predictably degenerated into obscenity-laden discourses and perverted soliloquies. Continue Reading…