Myths of Our Age

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
"A committed free market apologist would indeed approve the commoditised nature of every consumable advantage; but if it is at all accepted that distributive justice cannot be modelled on a plan of competitive demand management with added cosmetic "choice," then the cosmetics of choice become the most dangerous elements: they destroy all vigilance and all sense of an interconnected general good by seeming to provide a rewarding increase of benefits for those defined as deserving (earning) (aquiring) them."

JH Prynne. ( @woops note semi colon and colon)
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
What about meritocracy? How has that manifested within a western mythos?
This idea is surely as dead as a doornail now, isn't it? Even the dullest-witted observer over the last few years would have to admit it's closer to kakistocracy, at least in your country and mine.
 

vimothy

yurp
the idea of a meritocracy certainly isn't dead - it's still widely regarded as a good thing, even if it's something we fall short of in practice
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
the idea of a meritocracy certainly isn't dead - it's still widely regarded as a good thing, even if it's something we fall short of in practice
Yeah, I meant the idea that it in any way reflects the system we actually have in place. One glance at Chris Grayling should be enough to dispel that.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
This idea is surely as dead as a doornail now, isn't it? Even the dullest-witted observer over the last few years would have to admit it's closer to kakistocracy, at least in your country and mine.
as Prynne explains above it's baked into consumer capitalism and the 'cosmetics of choice' 'by seeming to provide a rewarding increase of benefits for those defined as deserving (earning) (aquiring) them."
 

craner

Beast of Burden
"A committed free market apologist would indeed approve the commoditised nature of every consumable advantage; but if it is at all accepted that distributive justice cannot be modelled on a plan of competitive demand management with added cosmetic "choice," then the cosmetics of choice become the most dangerous elements: they destroy all vigilance and all sense of an interconnected general good by seeming to provide a rewarding increase of benefits for those defined as deserving (earning) (aquiring) them."

JH Prynne. ( @woops note semi colon and colon)
@Corpsey , do you not have something to say about the construction and grammar of this sentence?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Of course, shooting people has always been a big element of video games and action movies, almost always morally sanctioned by the targets being villainous. It's the same thing with orcs in LOTR, e.g.: you can safely enjoy the spectacle of the heroes carving up dozens of orcs in the knowledge that the orcs are irredeemable bastards to a man/orc.
This always bothers me though. Ok zombies are undead which is, not their fault, but irredeemable, but orcs - what makes them evil? Wrong colour skin?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I love that... and it has an element of truth. I think I said this before but I'm half-heartedly reading The Wheel of Time series and I always find myself thinking about the generic evil cannon fodder (called Trollocs in that) - what do they do when they're not killing and eating the humans? Do they build? Read books? Play table-tennis? I just don't think their world has been thought through at all, which is weird when it's a massive series of 14 books of about 1,000 pages each where ever other detail has been almost over designed.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
that sounds like it might be a worthwhile project, maybe i will read them too.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
I love that... and it has an element of truth. I think I said this before but I'm half-heartedly reading The Wheel of Time series and I always find myself thinking about the generic evil cannon fodder (called Trollocs in that) - what do they do when they're not killing and eating the humans? Do they build? Read books? Play table-tennis? I just don't think their world has been thought through at all, which is weird when it's a massive series of 14 books of about 1,000 pages each where ever other detail has been almost over designed.
I liked this bit in the LotR films, since it implies that Mordor has at least a rudimentary restaurant culture.

meatmenu.gif
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
I can't really take creatures called "trollocs" seriously. I mean, it just sounds like a right load of old... nonsense.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Is the popularity of superheroes connected to the popularity of (/fear of) billionaires such as Elon Musk?

I'll try this one and superhero films in general, I don't necessarily believe this, but it's an interesting one to think about.

Iron Man, the first of the MCU films, appeared a few months before the financial crisis really hit in '08 and the rest of the films have been released in a world still grappling with the consequences of that crisis.

The crash ruined a huge number of people, resulted in worldwide austerity measures and a decline in living standards, shook people's confidence in a lot of things and the poor handling of the fallout birthed all sorts of issues and resentments in the mind of the public; they became more distrusting than ever of bankers and Wall St. and felt that the political class were more interested in them than the people and they couldn't understand the crash, it was too big and complicated and there was nothing they could do about it, so they started to turn to "strongmen", people who would swoop down and save them and beat back the people they thought responsible, hence an almost insatiable appetite for superhero films; big, dazzling, entertaining films where superhuman characters work together to battle a clear enemy and save the world.

There's a book I haven't read called From Caligari to Hitler which sets out the idea that the roots of what would arise in Germany in the 30s and 40s were visible on-screen in the films of the Weimar-era, perhaps the roots of Trump were right there on the screen the whole time. The inner desires of the public manifested on the screen before they even knew it was what they wanted.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
@version to your point about the superhero/financial-crisis, which i hadn't considered.

I may have mentioned this before, but it seems like some of these films, and even some video games as well, seem to be catering to the fanboy/fangirl identity, by making some of the superheros fans of other superheros. Like the recent Spiderman franchise, where Peter is pretty much starstruck by Stark and the others, and is desperately trying to get in with them and be an adult, etc.

It just seems like a weird crossroads. The superhero character is almost definitively miles above their fan, and yet the characters are being written as if to fuse the superhero with the superhero fan, so as to minimize the distance between the superhero and the fan.

The video game example that comes to mind is Borderlands 3, wherein one of the characters has heard all these stories about the characters from the earlier games, and is geeking out and everything. Seems like an attempt to boost up the esteem of the player/fan by showing them that fans can be superheroes too.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Captain America being one of the few worthy of lifting Thor's hammer feels significant. Very jingoistic.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I'm pretty sure the MCU heroes are to a man/woman liberals who bash Trump. Not that that means they're not jingoistic.

Trump is actually more like a super villain - and I think even for many of those who support him, they're supporting him being a chaotic force.
 
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