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August 04, 2011

On the immense ethical problems of THE CLONE WARS

The Star Wars films have always had massive ethical problems looming just below the surface. Should Leia have given up the rebellion to save the billions of innocents on Alderaan? Is it right to blow up a Death Star knowing that hundreds of thousands of people on board probably aren't evil? Is the Jedi council more interested in preserving its own power than seeking justice? The Clone Wars, which makes Anakin into a hero right before he goes on to murder hundreds of toddlers in Episode 3, makes the ethical problems of the movies pale in comparison. The Bioethics of The Clone Wars | Overthinking It
I’ve written about the strangeness of Cartoon Network’s The Clone Wars before. This is a kids adventure show about a massive interstellar war in which one person is secretly controlling both sides for personal gain, and it’s going to end with the good guys all getting slaughtered by their own troops. Take a look at this napkin I saved from my kid’s birthday party. The guy on the left kills a bunch of children. The one in the middle cuts off three of his best friend’s limbs and leaves him to burn to death. The one on the right almost certainly doesn’t make it to her sixteenth birthday party. This is the paradox of The Clone Wars: it’s an upbeat story embedded smack in the middle of a tragedy. You’re supposed to root for the Jedi to crush those roger-rogers, and forget about how completely meaningless the whole thing is in the context of Episode III. But let’s focus on the clones themselves. They fight for the Jedi, which makes them the good guys. My son often pretends to be Commander Cody, a leader clone. However, the idea of genetically engineering a clone army is ridiculously unethical. Think about it: the Republic happily orders up millions of clones to be used as slave labor, the exact same way the Separatists are churning out battle droids. The clones’ growth is artificially accelerated, so they can be cannon fodder after only ten years of non-stop combat training. As one of the Kamino “cloners” explains in Episode II: You’ll find they are totally obedient, taking any order without question. We modified their genetic structure to make them less independent than the original host. This is horrifying stuff. But the Jedi, as far as I can tell, have no qualms whatsoever about leading this army. In fact, they make an implied choice to use clones over drones. The Kaminoian puts it this way: Clones can think creatively. You’ll find that they are immensely superior to droids. So let’s get this straight. . . .

August 02, 2011

Aubrey Plaza is the best

More at the link. TWENTY PERCENT COOLER

July 28, 2011

Hollywood spent $200 Million on a BATTLESHIP movie, based on the boardgame

It stars Liam Neeson, Tim Riggins, Eric from TRUE BLOOD, a mutant whale, a gun that shoots little pegs like you use in the boardgame, and a transforming alien robot spaceship mecha monster thing.
Yahoo! Movies: Battleship (2011)

July 27, 2011

The kind of detailed mistakes you can only make on purpose

The claim here--which is persuasive by the end--is that what...

Continue reading "The kind of detailed mistakes you can only make on purpose" »

July 22, 2011

Movie industry buries report proving pirates are great consumers

Movie industry buries report proving pirates are great consumers | Geek.com
The movie and music industry seem hell bent on portraying pirates as criminals and parasites who cost both industries billions of dollars in lost sales. In order to prove this fact a number of studies are commissioned to help demonstrate the effect a pirate has on sales of entertainment. The problem with this approach is that it has been found to be biased towards portraying pirates as the movie industry wants them to be seen, rather than presenting the facts. A great example of this has been discovered by the German-language politics and media website Telepolis. GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be. The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend. The conclusion of the study is that movie pirates are generally more interested in film and therefore spend more money and invest more time in it. In other words, they make up some of the movie industries best customers.

July 19, 2011

Princess Leia, an Ewok, Darth Vader, a Gamorian Guard and a boombox