Since last we checked in on #GamerGate, there have been a couple of rather silly arguments leveled against the grassroots hashtagtivist campaign.
Let’s deal with the dumber of these first. This argument goes something like: “#GamerGate has been totally discredited because some small number of people have threatened violence against some other small number of people while using the hashtag in their attacks.” This has led luminaries such as Joss Whedon to explicitly compare GamerGaters to the Ku Klux Klan:
Over at Mother Jones, Ben Dreyfuss unveiled a completely incorrect ranking of Christopher Nolan films. More egregious than the actual ranking, however, was this bit of heresy:
Of those seven films,* one is great, four are good but forgettable, and two are bad bad bad.
“wow wrong,” as the kids might say. Nolan has never made a bad film (let alone a bad-times-three film). On a four-star scale, only Following would drop below three (and that one just barely; it’s a glorified student film, so it’s technically rough) and several would be fours.
Anyway, here’s the correct ranking of Christopher Nolan’s films.
Shortly after inspecting the ragtag nature of American troops at the African front in Patton (1970), Generals Omar Bradley and George S. Patton discuss the weakness of American tanks compared to their German counterparts.
I have to admit to being amused by Deadspin completely and utterly crapping the bed with this Cory Gardner story. For those of you not on Twitter last night*, Deadspin “broke” a story about how Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner “lied” about playing football as a youngster. Groundbreaking stuff and clearly relevant to his possible performance as a United States senator! However, it was quickly revealed to be utterly untrue. The Denver Post reported that Deadspin’s main source called the report totally fake. Gardner himself posted photos from his teen years in a football uniform. It was a cluster from start to finish.
And normally I’d just let that go. Shit happens, news outlets make mistakes. Except that Gawker Inc. has been really concerned about the quality of political reporting in recent months, with Gawker’s Adam Weinstein wondering “Is Ratfucking Journalism Dead?” before criticizing several much-discussed Free Beacon pieces.** So I accept the solemn responsibility of answer Weinstein’s question: Yes, ratfucking journalism is dead. And y’all over at Gawker Media killed it.
So, HBO has decided that it will offer a standalone streaming service. Currently, those who wish to stream HBO legally must purchase a cable package, then subscribe to HBO, then sign into the service and watch it on a compatible device (laptop, XBox, etc.). This changes that: Out goes the requirement to get a cable package. All one needs is a broadband internet connection—the same broadband Internet connection one uses to stream Netflix and Amazon and Hulu Plus and the rest. This is why “cord cutters” (that is, those who have jettisoned cable or satellite service already) and would-be cord cutters are rejoicing.
Time will tell if this opens up the floodgates and causes the rest of the cable networks to offer similar deals or prompts cable companies to offer unbundling (i.e., allowing consumers to pick and choose which cable channels they would like to pay for, a la carte). I imagine HBO’s direct competitors, such as Showtime, will offer similar services. What about FX and AMC? Could they do the same soon? Given that live sports are virtually the only thing cord cutters say they miss—and one of the major reasons would-be cord cutters don’t get rid of cable altogether—I can’t imagine that Comcast and the rest would allow ESPN or the Turner networks to do what HBO has just done. Live sports programming is just too valuable.*
I was going to write something about this really horribly argued New York Times piece on WMD in Iraq, but Gabriel Malor over at Ace of Spades beat me to it. In short, the Times highlights the suffering of American troops who were exposed to WMD during the Iraq War (which is a good journalistic thing to do!). …
In an effort to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino’s breakout hit, several of the folks at Grantland are highlighting their favorite Tarantino Knockoffs.*
Chris Ryan, in choosing The Way of the Gun, wins the argument. It is the best of these films, hands down. Christopher McQuarrie’s script crackles with life. It is, probably, best remembered (and most loved) for its legendary opening scene (NSFW for reasons of awesome language):
So, California passed a dumb law that requires college students to obtain “affirmative consent” during intimate relations. Want to kiss? BETTER ASK. Want to screw? BETTER ASK IN TRIPLICATE. Etc.
The whole thing calls to mind one of a Simpsons episodes. In it, Homer and Marge break up (in flashback) because Marge is entranced by a rather awful PC college professor, who woos her thusly:
Professor August: If I were to approach you for a kiss, would you construe that as harassment or give your willing consent?
Marge: Consent, of course.
Professor August: Ah. Continuing in that line of thought, may I kiss your mouth with my mouth?
Marge: Just do it already!
Life aspires to parody, as always.
There has been a great deal of writing on this stupid and dreadful and (as we’ll see momentarily) pointless bill.
The New York Times today published a jeremiad against brunch. It’s a fine piece, though David Shaftel is writing it for the wrong reasons:
But now that I have a young daughter, brunch is completely impractical. By noon I’ve been up for hours and am ready for an actual lunch — although that meal is an increasingly endangered species on the weekend.
This is the one of those things where an editor should have thanked his writer for the idea and told him that his sour grapes will corrupt the entire argument. “Oh, you don’t like brunch now that you have too many responsibilities? WELL BOO HOO OLD MAN.” You need a younger curmudgeon to write that piece. Younger than me, even—32-year-old married people nursing hangovers at brunch are roughly as pathetic as the 22-year-old vomiters guzzling carafes of sparkling wine watered down with pulpy, expired orange juice.
It starts with a suicide attempt.
We see Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) cross a bridge in the New York, first on a bike, then on foot, then up and over the chain link fence. She survives, is met by her sister Alexis (Nina Arianda) in the hospital, and is taken home to Connecticut to recuperate. She wants space from her husband, Conor (James McAvoy).