2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and the Nature of Evolution

Kubrick’s stunning “2001: A Space Odyssey,” made at the tail-end of the 1960s, carries with it a presumption that is often taken for granted: the evolution of human nature is possible to guide, and can be commanded at will. While Kubrick is correct in the assertion that Western culture has had its share of monolithic moments, I can quite clearly imagine a shrieking monolith standing at the gates of the All Saints’ Church, this assertion is inseparably tied to the idea that these moments were architectured by an inherent intellectual superiority and are of unquestionable morality.

When apes find the first Monolith, they gain the ability to use tools; tools build civilizations, however unrefined those civilizations may initially be. Thousands of years later, “2001” sits at the dawn of the space-age and this kind of growth is a thing of beauty. The human race took from their surroundings what was needed and made of it something more. They used whatever means necessary; in this regard, the sum is infinitely greater than cost of the parts.

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Ben Weasel and The Hulkster: The Fascist Police State of Social Justice

It was a few weeks ago when I left my desolate hellhole of an apartment and ventured out into the real world to see one of my teenage favorites, <a style="border: none !important; margin: 0!important;" href="http://Screeching Weasel, live in concert.

So as I’m standing there waiting to rock-out to songs like “Veronica Hates Me,” and “Cindy’s on Methadone,” I overheard two adult-children chatting about Ben Weasel, the band’s singer. Before either of these dorks said a word, I knew exactly where the conversation was going: “Did you know he hit a woman?”

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Symbolic Incoherence: Millennials and YOLO

When Kurt Cobain had snarled the words, here we are now, entertain us, he was heralded as the voice of Generation X. Lazy and entitled Generation X, the MTV generation; too apathetic to take an active-part in the story, they wanted the story dictated to them– only be sure to make it entertaining; they didn’t have the attention span for Education, they wanted Edutainment.

Millennials don’t have a rock star to capture the thematics of their generation, rock music is a dead art, but luckily a Twitter troll gets the job done. In a seven-word tweet, Godfrey Elfwick, a self-professed Transracial black man who started the hashtag #WrongSkin, has captured the spirit of the Millennial. Responding to the claim that “the black experience is built through birth, heritage, ancestry, & tradition,” Elfwick states plainly: “I decided it wasn’t. Deal with it.”

And with that, Elfwick perfectly captured the Millennial ethic and the post-modernist spirit: hijack, and redefine.

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The Paradox of Choice and Online Dating

Does nearly limitless choice translate to a greater degree of personal happiness?

Do you spend more time picking movies on Netflix… or it Hulu? YouTube or cable… maybe your own collection, than you do… wait, did you even pick a streaming service yet?

The Paradox of Choice is a theory stating that when there is a dramatic increase in options the more difficult it then becomes to make a choice, and the easier it is to regret the choice made. The greater availability of excessive choice leads to an increase in expectation of how satisfying the options will be- this ultimately produces a less satisfying result, even when the result would have otherwise been adequate.

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Dwight Schrute and the Uncanny Valley Between Beta and Alpha 

“How would I describe myself? Three words. Hard-working, Alpha male, Jackhammer, Merciless, Insatiable.”

What if I told you that I worked with a guy who owned his own farm, had a vast amount of hunting knowledge and experience, practiced martial arts, was adept at weapon usage, abides by a deep code of honor and integrity, speaks with an inherent confidence, and is a killer salesman?

Seems pretty admirable, right?

On paper these qualities command social respect yet on NBC’s “The Office,” Dwight Schrute serves as the butt of jokes for both the characters on the show and the television audience watching at home.

Dwight is routinely a target of ridicule due to these aforementioned qualities met with his lack of an attractive masculine appearance and his severely inept social skill-set. Had he made these transgressions while recognizing and abiding by the social limitations of the beta-male his presence would not be met with such intense scorn.

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James Hetfield and Modern Day Pedestal Smashing

In my last post I examined eighteenth century pedestal smashing in the form of Jonathan Swift’s poem “The Ladies Dressing Room” where a naive young gent discovers that his cherished girlfriend is an illusion made up of glue, clay, and colored wax. His inexperience with women was evident in his clumsy discovery that women also take nasty, steamy dumps just as men do.

In his writing “The Ladies Dressing Room,” Swift probably felt the same feelings a lot of modern men have with women- that their willingness to so readily deceive through both aesthetics and behavior is not only immoral, dishonorable, and crude but also greatly skews the sexual marketplace in their favor where the majority of men already have women on a pedestal; to a greater or lesser extent depending on the depth of their own experience with women.

Enter James Hetfield. 

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“Can we make them talk about your father?”: Reclaiming Respect for Fatherhood

In my review of the Simpsons pilot from 1989, I detailed how the series initially dealt with Homer Simpson; illustrating how the already decaying respect for Fatherhood was razed to the ground in a relatively short period of time by Feminists.

From the initial patriarchy smashing of first wave Feminists, the goal was always for manhood, and subsequently Fatherhood, to be a thankless position. It would still be dutiful, it would still carry the same responsibility, but the sense of entitlement to that responsibility would increase infinity.

A Father was not entitled to respect for existing as a Father.

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Dove study finds most women believe they are average looking; Dove finds results inadequate and vows revenge

If you were faced with two doors to a shopping center, one labeled “Beautiful” and the other “Average,” which would you walk through?

In its latest inspiration-via-advertising campaign, Dove set up labeled entrances in Shanghai, San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo and Delhi, and filmed the results. Unfortunately, and maybe unsurprisingly, many women chose to slink by unnoticed under the “Average” sign rather than display to the world that they acknowledged their beauty. It’s all part of the company’s new #ChooseBeautiful advertising campaign, which aims to change the instinct to settle for average.

A recent survey by Dove found that 96% of women do not choose the word “beautiful” to describe how they look…

– Here’s What Happens When Women Decide to Call Themselves Beautiful, Time Magazine

So the vast majority of women see themselves as average. The vast majority see themselves as average when their choices are limited to “beautiful” or “average.”

As you might imagine, this is a problem…

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