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Thread: What movie did you see today?

  1. #1801
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    What I saw recently were La la land; absolutely loved it, seriously wellmade movie that even manages to make you think about life as you see it happen before you in technicolor.
    Yep, saw that in the cinema a couple of weeks back. I normally avoid musicals at all costs as they bring me out in a violent rash, but other half really really wanted to see it, and given that I love jazz and it was, from the male protagonist's perspective at least, about jazz, I thought I'd give it a shot. And I thought it was tremendous. Great fun, really hit the right spot.

    ~

    Also saw The Lobster last week. Best I can describe it is; frustratingly, drearily, horribly, unsatisfyingly, emotionally-repressedly, distopianly weird.
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    "Scientists raise alarm: bananas can cause EU"

  2. #1802
    Lucky Number Slevin

    Hmm. There were parts about this film that I loved - the stylized crime story is always one I have a weak spot for. I loved some of the tricks they played visually and some of the sets, even if they were occasionally overdone. The ridiculous antagonisms and pseudonyms and over-the-top bad guys - definitely my cup of tea. And the actors were pretty damned good, too. My real issue had to do with the story and pacing. The beginning is deliciously ambiguous and entertaining and it really draws you in. The middle act is okay but starts getting tedious once it becomes clear what the big reveal is going to be (which is telegraphed way too early). And the final act is utterly lacking in surprise and needlessly drawn out.

    This was neither a caper film (e.g. The Italian Job, the Ocean series) nor a noir mystery/crime film like The Usual Suspects or Pulp Fiction. It tried a bit too hard to be both and kinda failed. But I still loved parts of it. A solid B.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  3. #1803
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Saw Logan tonight

    What a fucking glorious sendoff

    I'm a little ambivalent about X-24 and also a little underwhelmed by some of the scenes in the woods. But overall I loved it. The acting and direction were better by far than they were in the previous Wolverine movies as well as the rebooted franchise. Everything was much more focused on the greatest strengths of the X-Men: complex characters and relationships, tragedy, man's capacity for cruelty and a whole lot of comic-book violence. At times it was a little too tragic, but embracing this aspect of the X-Men stories allowed Stewart and Jackman to shine and really do their characters justice.

    Like every movie it has its flaws but this is the first modern X-Men movie I've really thoroughly enjoyed.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  4. #1804
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    GotG vol. 2. Some cheap gags, but makes up for it with a much more consistent script and a ton of heart. Almost every recurring character is better this time around. Love most of the new characters.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  5. #1805
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    Get Out; did I just see a movie about the ultimate blackface?
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  6. #1806
    I recently saw Hidden Figures with the wife. Hmm. Part of me wants to love the movie because, let's be honest, black female mathematicians at NASA in the 50s/60s is a fundamentally great story. My problem, though, is that Hollywood came along and fucked it up with a white savior storyline, an irrelevant love story, and a bunch of unnecessary and implausible drama. These lives are remarkable and impressive without embellishment, and I think they did a disservice by dolling it up with tired tropes.

    Also, Janelle Monae is gorgeous.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  7. #1807
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    "Embellishment"? I guess that's one way of describing changes like the thing with the bathroom. The director's justification for that was almost as nauseating as the change itself.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  8. #1808
    ======== Timbuk2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    The director's justification for that
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    "Scientists raise alarm: bananas can cause EU"

  9. #1809
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
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    “There needs to be white people who do the right thing, there needs to be black people who do the right thing,” Melfi said. “And someone does the right thing. And so who cares who does the right thing, as long as the right thing is achieved?”
    #alllivesmatter #maga
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  10. #1810
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    So the whole toilets scene was inserted (read: made up) by the director to show that white people are good too?
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    "Scientists raise alarm: bananas can cause EU"

  11. #1811
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    As far as I can tell, yeah.

    The book states very clearly that Johnson “refused to so much as enter the Colored bathrooms,” and that nobody ever tried to make her do so.

    To confirm this, I asked Johnson if she used the Colored bathrooms. “I just went on in the white one,” she said.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  12. #1812
    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuk2 View Post
    So the whole toilets scene was inserted (read: made up) by the director to show that white people are good too?
    There's a more subtle critique as well IMO. The issue isn't just that 'white people are good too'; after all, you only need the white hero because the rest of the white people are racists - in reality, of course, I have no doubt that there was plenty of racism at NACA/NASA in the 50s/60s but that most people cared more about doing their jobs than anything else. The broader issue is that it strips black people of agency. In this (false) narrative, Goble/Johnson was a passive victim of vicious racism who needed a white man to come along and save her; in reality, she didn't give a shit about segregated bathrooms and just used the one most convenient for her, and damn the consequences. It speaks something much more profound about her strength of character (and, perhaps, about the baseline racial tolerance at NASA) than a made up story about her perseverance but inaction under persecution.

    There were several other plot points that were similar (e.g. Vaughn becoming a supervisor) in that they simultaneously invented a white savior and reduced the agency of the black 'victim'. I get why it's a more satisfying story, perhaps, but that doesn't really excuse it. This story is awesome on its own, and throwing in these alterations in the name of narrative tension or whatever is inappropriate.

    From a feminist perspective, I think that a similar critique could be leveled at the Goble love storyline. It is entirely irrelevant to the story - who cares if Goble is married or not? - and to some extent takes away from her achievements by framing them in the context of her finding a nice man and settling down. I'm hardly a militant feminist but I think this is a fair point.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  13. #1813
    Its an issue with almost every movie that touches on racism. Yet another problem with studios following their tried and true formulas for success. I remember seeing this when The Help came out.

    Click to view the full version

    Its also one of the few points that the convoluted mess known as Cloud Atlas was blunt about.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

  14. #1814
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    Its an issue with almost every movie that touches on racism. Yet another problem with studios following their tried and true formulas for success. I remember seeing this when The Help came out.

    Its also one of the few points that the convoluted mess known as Cloud Atlas was blunt about.
    While I think the critique is valid for a lot of Hollywood stories, I'm not as offended by this kind of behavior when it's purely fictional - yes, it is typical Hollywood nonsense (as are many, many other tropes), and yes, it can be offensive, but it's just something that comes with the territory. But here there's an actual, real story about people who were extraordinary. To trivialize it in this manner is much more upsetting to me.

    I also want to be clear here - even though there were parts of this film I didn't like, I thought it was a story that should be told and elements of it were great IMO. It wasn't an awful movie by any stretch of the imagination; it just failed in a particular manner where it should have been more thoughtful and sensitive to the difficult subject matter.


    In a broader sense, our cultural encounter with historical persecution of any sort tends to be shaped around the narrative of the victim. We are encouraged to imagine ourselves in the victim's shoes and to realize that 'this, too, could happen to me'. That is not, in itself, too problematic. But the fact of the matter is that most people aren't victims, and aren't likely to ever be victims. By definition we aren't all the Other; even with arguments about intersectionality et al that makes a larger proportion of people different gradations of victim, it's still true that most of us don't really spend most of our lives as the Other.

    Perhaps our culture should instead work on making us imagine ourselves as perpetrators. In most cases of vicious historical and contemporary persecution, there are depressingly few saviors. There are many more ordinary men and neighbors than there are extraordinary people of remarkable moral character. We should try to understand history in that context, not imagining ourselves as either the aggrieved victim or the rare crusader for good.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  15. #1815
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    Wonder Woman was amazing. While not absolutely perfect it was my favorite movie of the year.

  16. #1816
    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Wonder Woman was like Captain America with better production values but poorer writing and acting. That still makes it the first DC movie since Batman Begins that isn't really frickin' lame

    Gal Gadot is well suited to the role and the supporting cast is decent but 70% of the dialogue was severely groan-inducing.

    The antagonists were so-so. Action sequences were excellent in the beginning but really rubbish towards the end, with that stupid move where she deflects bullets being repeated over and over again like that video game move in Troy. Runtime was all right, it made for a less rushed movie but too much time was dedicated to the final act. I would've enjoyed seeing more antics with the rest of the team or in London. The philosophizing about Love was extremely clunky, I wish they'd done a better job of setting that up and weaving that theme through the movie.

    Still, definitely go see it and let yourself regain some faith in DC. Don't see it in 3D
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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  17. #1817
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    Hackshaw Ridge

    Not a huge Andrew Garfield fan, but he was passable in this as the Seventh Day Adventist Conscientious Objector gone to not fight the Japs.

    Directing was a little over-played - Gibson not great here. The violence of the battle scenes was over-played too. The equivalent scenes from the likes of Saving Private Ryan were much better portrayed - I didn't get nearly the same sense of grittiness, shock, senselessness and desperation from Ridge as I did from Ryan - I got a sense they were trying too hard with the realism.

    Agent Smith/Elrond as the protagonist's drunken father was very good though.

    I would have taken the story-line with a wee pinch of salt too were it not sticking pretty well to the true story itself - and it is a remarkable story.

    6/10 - worth watching
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  18. #1818
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    Pirates of the Caribbean; Salazar's Revenge. A movie that is heavy on special effects but barely has a story line. Still entertaining enough. I think, if this isn't the end of the francise, that the next one would do well with Jack Sparrow dying in the first minutes of the movie.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  19. #1819
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimless View Post
    Wonder Woman was like Captain America with better production values but poorer writing and acting. That still makes it the first DC movie since Batman Begins that isn't really frickin' lame

    Gal Gadot is well suited to the role and the supporting cast is decent but 70% of the dialogue was severely groan-inducing.

    The antagonists were so-so. Action sequences were excellent in the beginning but really rubbish towards the end, with that stupid move where she deflects bullets being repeated over and over again like that video game move in Troy. Runtime was all right, it made for a less rushed movie but too much time was dedicated to the final act. I would've enjoyed seeing more antics with the rest of the team or in London. The philosophizing about Love was extremely clunky, I wish they'd done a better job of setting that up and weaving that theme through the movie.

    Still, definitely go see it and let yourself regain some faith in DC. Don't see it in 3D
    Gal Gadot was amazing - I figured she would be a badass but the humanizing parts she had were a nice touch.

    There were only a couple of lines that felt awkwardly forced but for a super hero movie that's pretty damn amazing.

    Villains were a bit one dimensional but that isn't out of the ordinary in a fantasy/comic book setting.

    There were a few pretty damn good giggly bits while also portraying WW1 very well. 9.5/10.

  20. #1820
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    Anybody else here who actively avoids 3D versions?
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  21. #1821
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    Anybody else here who actively avoids 3D versions?
    Me. I get a mild headache from them and sometimes they cost more.

  22. #1822
    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    Anybody else here who actively avoids 3D versions?
    My whole family.

    However, I want to suggest that if you can, avoid them completely. Chains in the US are trying to push the 3-D movies and squeeze out the 2D movies for the extra revenue so my suggestion is to not let them do that as much as possible.
    Brevior saltare cum deformibus viris est vita

  23. #1823
    Recently saw Doctor Strange now that it's on Netflix. Not bad. Cumberbatch does a reasonably decent job in the lead and I genuinely loved the visual effects in the mirror universe and while playing with time; I thought it showed that even in an age where we are inured to cool special effects, it's still possible to inject a sense of wonder into film through thoughtful and clever artistry. The story was thankfully on the shorter end for a superhero film, and much of the rest of the cast did a competent job (though Ejiofor's performance was merely acceptable).

    Unfortunately, it was also pretty lacking in a number of areas. The plot was exceedingly unimpressive and full of holes, even inside the constraints of an origin story. There were lots of obvious problems with the story that should have been spotted by the writers and director. Furthermore, the characterizations were cartoonish (and not in a good way); motivations were so transparently telegraphed and poorly supported by the narrative that you have to imagine the actors felt a bit foolish at times. Not a great effort IMO.


    Also saw the sequel to Sin City a while back. I have a review of the original film somewhere in here (I loved it), and while I still loved the look and feel of the sequel its shortcomings were more numerous. In the first film, there's an almost dreamlike quality to much of the film, not just because of the noir homage and lighting but also because of the rather absurd story. It works, so that you don't really care that the plot looks like cheesecloth; dreams don't make sense anyways. But in the sequel they lose some of that magic; it's still beautiful to look at (as is Eva Green, who spends an inordinate amount of time in the film unclothed), but the story devolves into a fairly straightforward manipulation/revenge set of plotlines that leave something to be desired. I still enjoyed the film - I'm a sucker for this type of movie - but not as much as its predecessor.


    Currently watching Vice, which appears to be a vehicle for Bruce Willis that copies longstanding tropes from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep to Asimov to Westworld. So far it's decent enough but nothing special. Probably not worth your time.

    My whole family.

    However, I want to suggest that if you can, avoid them completely. Chains in the US are trying to push the 3-D movies and squeeze out the 2D movies for the extra revenue so my suggestion is to not let them do that as much as possible.
    I'm not a huge fan of 3D - it often gives me a bit of a headache and it's pricey - but I do think there is a place for it with some films. There's no particular need to watch the latest animated feature in 3D, and indeed most of the SFX-heavy action films don't really need it either. But on occasion the format really shines - I thought Avatar, for example, really utilized it well. I'm clearly not a huge advocate since I rarely go to the theaters, preferring to watch on my TV or computer screen, but I think at some point they'll figure out a decent balance on which films benefit from the 3D and which don't.

    I seem to recall reading an interesting article a year or two back about the economics of new movie formats - IMAX, digital projection, 3D, etc. - and apparently it's quite expensive to convert a theater and maintain the new equipment (not to mention the cost involved in shooting in larger/3D formats); I suspect that theaters are trying to figure out which movies will actually pay off to show in fancy formats and which won't, and are tailoring their offerings to that. So certainly, vote with your feet and wallets on this one, but if it's being offered in 3D it's probably not just being done on a whim to get increased ticket sales.

    There's a much more complicated story here, of course, having to do with the distribution of different formats, concern over ticket sales, and the division of profits between theaters and producers; I have no doubt that at some parts of the chain there's pressure to introduce 3d/etc. formats without consideration of whether it helps the movie or will result in a better audience experience. Indeed, it seems like 3D was resurrected a number of years ago precisely to deal with flagging ticket revenue. But there are countervailing market forces that keep such ambitions in check. Hype about a 'new' technology only goes so far.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  24. #1824
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    Baywatch; the only thing that could have saved that movie was if Zac would have taken off his shirt a bit more often. But strangely enough for a Baywatch movie, he didn't.

    Thank God it didn't cost me anything.
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  25. #1825
    Deja Vu, a Denzel Washington flick from a decade ago. This is a flawed film that still had some great parts. Most of the time travel tropes were relatively stale, but there was a thread of something special in the 'real time' aspect that lent a sense of urgency to things. The technical explanations were laughable, of course, and the plot was full of unresolved contradictions and holes (as is not uncommon for time travel stories). They did too much telegraphing of the end, and Denzel's character was a little too thick at times given said clues. Even so, I enjoyed bits of it - in particular I thought the chase scene had promise: it had a pretty unique premise even if the execution was a bit weak. Worth a low priority watch in the background.

    True Memoirs of an International Assassin, a truly ridiculous film starring Kevin James. The premise is solid enough, if a bit cliched (sorta like a feature film version of Chuck). The issue is that the film tried too hard to actually do a coherent spy flick plot when they should have just gone all-out wacky. I don't mean Pink Panther style hijinks, but still something that is rather less earnest in intention. Also, the plot is so obvious that they really should have included a few twists just for fun.


    Also, another note on Doctor Strange. What on earth was going on with Cumberbatch's accent? I didn't realize until I Googled it but apparently he has an issue with accents (contrast to, say, Hugh Laurie who I didn't even know was British when I started watching House). They should have just left him with his normal accent; who really cares if the character is American or British? Doesn't seem to have much effect on the story.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  26. #1826
    Nightcrawler. Jake Gyllenhaal is way too good at being creepy. Great performance on his part. The rest of the movie was well done, though it was a bit too strident on the message about the media and the final act was a bit weak. Worth a watch.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  27. #1827
    The original Oldboy. Hmm, I liked it as a grittier-than normal revenge flick with an (albeit telegraphed) twist. It was unflinching in its look at the darkness of the human psyche, though I'll admit I was less than impressed with some elements. Worth a watch if you're not squeamish.

    I also started watching Moonrise Kingdom. I love it; I love the writing, the milieu (an America that never really existed), the characters. It's possible I'll change my tune by the end but it's so good so far that I can't imagine that being the case. Highly recommended.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  28. #1828
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    I loved moonrise kingdom! Then again i like all his movies.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  29. #1829
    Nihilist Nessus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    In a broader sense, our cultural encounter with historical persecution of any sort tends to be shaped around the narrative of the victim. We are encouraged to imagine ourselves in the victim's shoes and to realize that 'this, too, could happen to me'. That is not, in itself, too problematic. But the fact of the matter is that most people aren't victims, and aren't likely to ever be victims. By definition we aren't all the Other; even with arguments about intersectionality et al that makes a larger proportion of people different gradations of victim, it's still true that most of us don't really spend most of our lives as the Other.
    "First they came for the social democrats, and the unionists, and I didn't speak up, for I was not..."? Sure, with the Shoah you can at least say that the persecuted were identified by a singular facet, but the Stalinist persecution with the gulags was quite literally arbitrary. The entire problem with persecution (imagine having to type that out!) is that there will be victims. Does western culture as a whole diminish the persecution and murder of the Native Americans over that of the African Americans or Jews? Sure, but this does not mean that the perception of potentially being the victim is an invalid avenue. It has happened, and it could happen, and no matter how affluent a Jew you are, doesn't mean it can't come back to bite you in the ass.

    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    Perhaps our culture should instead work on making us imagine ourselves as perpetrators. In most cases of vicious historical and contemporary persecution, there are depressingly few saviors. There are many more ordinary men and neighbors than there are extraordinary people of remarkable moral character. We should try to understand history in that context, not imagining ourselves as either the aggrieved victim or the rare crusader for good.
    Alexandr has some salient points about this in the first volume of the GULAG archipelago.
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

  30. #1830
    Quote Originally Posted by Nessus View Post
    "First they came for the social democrats, and the unionists, and I didn't speak up, for I was not..."? Sure, with the Shoah you can at least say that the persecuted were identified by a singular facet, but the Stalinist persecution with the gulags was quite literally arbitrary. The entire problem with persecution (imagine having to type that out!) is that there will be victims. Does western culture as a whole diminish the persecution and murder of the Native Americans over that of the African Americans or Jews? Sure, but this does not mean that the perception of potentially being the victim is an invalid avenue. It has happened, and it could happen, and no matter how affluent a Jew you are, doesn't mean it can't come back to bite you in the ass.



    Alexandr has some salient points about this in the first volume of the GULAG archipelago.
    (Good to see you Nessus!)

    Re: the victims, I see where you're coming from - obviously there's nothing keeping any one of us from becoming (or being) a victim. I don't deny this reality, but I don't think it's a particularly useful lens through which to view things. Being a victim makes us feel aggrieved and worthy of some sort of recompense; it allows us to identify with other Others who have been victims in the past. But it doesn't do squat to affect how we act and think and feel about future horrors. It's an ex post facto identification with the victims of the past ('See? They were ordinary people just like you an me! How horrific!') that ignores that fact that in the past no one stood up for them. I find it highly unlikely that such identification with historical victims (and refashioning of our own identity as actual or potential victims) will help one iota the next time humanity descends into madness.

    If, however, we instead identify with the perpetrators, realizing that they were not historical singularities but rather all too accessible humans, we might actually make a difference. Let us not be merely solemn about the past and shout 'Never Again!', while we beat our breasts how our political opponents or lot in life have made us victims as well. Let us instead look at ourselves - are we ready to stand up for the disadvantaged at a time of crisis? Do we recognize the impulses in our own lives and discourse that contribute to the kind of poisonous rhetoric that can tear a society apart?

    It is so easy to be a victim nowadays, to always point your fingers at someone else as your oppressor (there are any number of categories in which I fall into which are particularly sensitive to these issues, for understandable reasons that nonetheless should be carefully scrutinized). But it's really hard to point the finger at oneself. I don't really mean this as a 'check your privilege' kind of discussion, because that still focuses on the victim - defining oneself as not being a victim in various intersectional ways and recognizing how that has benefited oneself still misses the point. It's still assuming we're looking at the situation through the lens of victimhood; even those who fail to be cognizant of their relative lack of victimized identity would never dream of being a conscious perpetrator, would we?

    Instead of being defined by the different ways we are or can be a victim, let us think of the ways in which we are the perpetrator, the oppressor, and in which we contribute to a society where genocidal madness might lurk. Honestly this is probably one reason why I shy away from strong political pronouncements and why - more than anything else in political discourse - I balk at questioning the motives of my political opponents. It's not naive optimism, it's a conscious effort to forge a demos that is thoughtful and respectful and doesn't demonize the Other. It's a lot harder than being self-righteous victims, but it's a lot more productive as well.

    And I should really read the Gulag archipelago.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

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