13 October 2020

No "Debate" Tonight, Fortunately

I finally realized what The Fly's MAGA hat really stood for: Make Amerika Garbage Again. Not only is it a fly — and therefore loves garbage — but it was supplying a MAGA hat to Pence for the "debate" in a way that wouldn't muss up his Apprentice hairdo. Although one wonders how $70,000 went into that hair (I've been doing my own for three decades; admittedly, I'm down to hair spots and not bald spots, but still…).

  • Perhaps one can argue that "No, Mr Bond, I expect you to eat the stale popcorn" is excessive. But not by very much. As I've implied here in the past, the crowding-in issues at cinemas (taking every lesson from airlines that they can!) are merely the last straw. The real problem is the very model, and the presumption that the actual/appropriate experience of the film is neither available nor affordable except on their terms… and their schedule. Mr Bradshaw is, to put it mildly, full of excrement. And AMPAS with its "must show in NY and LA" requirements is full of compacted, fermenting excrement.

    We'll leave the dubious land-use ethics of and cashflow-accounting related to multiplex cinemas for another time. But with very rare exceptions — almost all of them single-screen cinemas that actually included "added value" like question-and-answer sessions with the filmmakers — I will not be sorry to see them radically downsized.

  • The world of classical music has its Problems. They inhibit everyone from appreciating it, whether audience or performer. And stepping back a bit, this bears some class relationship to the preceding item: Cui bono?
  • With all due respect to Mr Gaiman, his unstated definition of "fanfic" is wrong. Not every derivative work based on another author's work is "fanfic." This is BS argumentation in an attempt to hide the bad actors amongst the good, similar to claiming that neonazis are just social conservatives. It's not really fanfic unless there's a tenable basis for requiring authorization of the rightsholder; it's really hard (and untenable) to claim that Ran is fanfic of The Bard.

    And this is precisely the point that Mr Gaiman misses by conflating all derivative works with implicitly unauthorized fanfic. If we had a better-developed and -founded theory of "parody" and "satire" in copyright law — sorry, Justice Souter, but you blew it, and the shade of François-Marie Arouet will be showing up rattling chains rather shortly — this would be less of a problem. But we don't, so it is.

  • In a startling mismatch between the headline and the substance of the piece, the CHE includes a rant "against" the bachelor's degree as a basic credential that is so wrong that I don't know where to start. Bluntly, it is the almost inevitable consequence of dumbed-down education and restricted horizons preparing teenagers for those (non-existent) "good factory jobs."

    Had this article been about the credentialism of the upper classes in determining which college/university produces students with satisfactory "credentials" based far more on ability to get admitted to (and afford to complete) the program than on what they learned there or before or afterward — and, in turn, that means "looks more like those on the faculty and in the admissions office" than it does anything else — I would have been much more satisfied. As it is, though, the headline goes off in a completely different direction from the article itself, primarily because it has a silent polemical definition of "credential" that doesn't match its actual use. Rather like the preceding item…

  • Congratulations to the 2020 MacArthur Fellows and Nobel (and adjacent) Prize winners.