Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
May 8, 2019
Snap Snap (Avengers: Endgame spoilers)

Spoiler ban is apparently lifted, so let's talk about Avengers: Endgame! (Obviously, if you care about spoilers and haven't seen it yet, stop reading now.)

So I had a lot of issues with this movie -- but let's start with an arguably kinda minor one toward the end. It's the sort of thing that makes me glad I saw the movie, since it's not an issue I'd thought a whole lot about, and yet the very fact that I'm thinking about it here lowers my opinion of the movie (and the writing/thought processes behind it) as a whole.

Film is a visual medium, right? So we rely on visual cues to convey information that shouldn't otherwise be necessary in order for certain things to happen. In Heroes, for instance, Sylar's signature power was telekinesis, not finger lasers -- so he shouldn't strictly have needed to do anything with his hands in order to activate that power. And yet whenever he sliced into someone's skull he'd point two fingers and, from a distance, trace the line of the incision, because it helped the viewer to follow the action. Intuitively I understood this, and yet I never actively questioned the gesture because it was so effectively done. The best instances of these gestures are often highly imitable; Heroes has been off the air for nearly a decade and I still routinely swipe two fingers to the side when passing through automatic doors. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 1:28 pm | Comments (0)
March 13, 2019
Shame, Aunt Becky. Shame.
Category: Linkage … Miscellany

The Onion is killing it this week! 😂 Have some highlights:

Man Playing ‘Battlefield V’ Has Now Spent More Of Life Fighting Nazis Than Grandfather Did

USC Insists Lori Loughlin’s Daughter Was Admitted Solely Based On Socioeconomic Background

Report: Just Go Ahead And Tell Yourself Bribery Is The Only Reason You Didn’t Get Into Columbia

Also, that last one would be so much better than that other reason folks often cite for not getting into the colleges of their choice...

Case in point: this Media Research Center article, in which the author writes, "If CNN is so scandalized by Kushner getting into Harvard, it should tell us how CNN's own Chris Cuomo, son of former New York Governor Mario, got into Yale. Were his grades and SATs in the top 1-2%, like the vast majority of non-minority Yale applicants admitted on their own merits?" Because of course the majority of minority Yale applicants aren't admitted on their own merits. Sigh.

-posted by Wes | 4:47 pm | Comments (0)
February 19, 2019
Promises from God for Men of Color. Ugh.
Category: Books … Serious

So I was in Walmart late the other night and was looking over the books on their Black History Month table, and my eyes settled on a book titled "Promises from God for Men of Color." I think I was in the mood to be annoyed or amused or confused -- or possibly, though doubtfully, enlightened -- or whatever, because it was this book that I decided to pick up and flip through.

Eventually, after finding nothing particularly arresting on the pages I found upon first opening the book, I skimmed the table of contents to see if it would point me to something more interesting... whereupon I found a section called "Positive Thinking." For myriad reasons -- many of which are related to my experience as a so-called man of color -- I do find it difficult to think positively about events. So, curious as to what advice the book might have for me on the subject, I turned to the page indicated.

Firstly, the page indicated didn't actually point to the "Positive Thinking" section -- that section was in fact two pages later. So a book that purported to communicate the promises found in the infallible Word of God to a particular audience couldn't even get the TOC right, which is discouraging but somehow apropos given the hand God's dealt men of color. Anyway, I did ultimately find the "Positive Thinking" section and settled in to read the verse expressly chosen for the subject. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 12:53 pm | Comments (0)
January 29, 2019
How do you X?
Category: Linkage

I find this debate about how people produce their X's oddly fascinating! For me, my technique very much depends upon whether I'm *drawing* or *writing* an X. When I *draw* an X -- where precision matters -- apparently I do 7 or 8, depending upon where I'm positioning the X in relation to other elements on the page. But when *writing* an X -- where my primary objective is to get the letters out and not interrupt the progression of my instrument -- I'm mostly doing 5, likely in part because that follows from cursive and leaves my pen in a better place to begin the next letter. Hm.

-posted by Wes | 8:50 pm | Comments (0)
January 9, 2019
The president needs better speechwriters.
Category: Current Events … Serious

So... any thoughts on Trump's address last night? For my part, I found it highly discouraging -- not just because Trump is Trump, but also because he apparently doesn't have competent writers behind him. I honestly wish I'd had a chance to look it over and better organize and support his talking points; I feel like I could've helped him make a more compelling case for his wall without the faulty sensational appeals and the needless and sometimes false attacks on Democrats. Like, insofar as border patrol agents really are convinced a wall would aid their efforts, that's a great point -- I'd probably have stressed that more heavily. Honestly, insofar as it's true (in which case Trump should put more effort into convincing us that it is), it's arguably the only point Trump really needs to build an effective argument for his wall. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 2:52 pm | Comments (0)
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