A review of Louis CK’s latest, and possibly last, movie

I haven’t seen it, probably won’t have an opportunity to see it, and have no desire to see it, but Alexandra Schwartz reviews it. It sounds like it’s just Louis CK playing himself (as he always does), and it sounds rather sad and ugly.

The only generous way to read “I Love You, Daddy” is as a portrait of male cowardice. What kind of man would be so shamefully pathetic as to avoid confronting the famous geezer who may or may not be screwing his underage daughter because that geezer has offered to read his latest script? The same man, presumably, who winces but doesn’t intervene as his dumbo comedian buddy (Charlie Day) describes, at gleeful length, all the ways that the man’s daughter has probably been fucked on spring break. As is often the case with the roles that Louis writes for himself, there is a strong note of masochistic pleasure in this extreme passivity. Louis, famously obsessive and controlling of his work—he writes, he directs, he edits, he acts, he produces, he distributes, he does it all—likes to play losers who are at the mercy of others. Often, those others are women. It’s hard not to wonder, in the wake of Thursday’s revelations, to what extent Louis has used this persona to shield his reputation. But cowardice is not just an avoidance of a moral stance; it is a moral stance, too, and not a flattering one.

His character always seems to wallow in his failings as a man, which at first is part of the appeal — at least he’s aware of his shortcomings. Unfortunately, it’s always coupled to an even lower opinion of women, who must be kind of dim and oblivious to be willing to associate with such an unappealing character. At least now we’re all seeing through the pretense to recognize that there’s not much thoughtfulness there — he’s just another opportunist with a schtick.

Live! From #Skepticon! Well, mostly alive, anyway

Yesterday, got up at 6am and prepared for my busy day, went to one conference, then got on a plane for another one…with an itinerary that went from Minneapolis to Baltimore, then a 6½ layover in the dead of night, and then to Atlanta, and finally to Springfield. I did not sleep a wink the whole time. I attended a series of talks: a workshop on queering violence with Randall Jensen, which was a nice eye-opener. A talk by Nikki Jane on hip-hop as a tool for coping with mental illness. I learned about pre-apocalyptic party planning from Mika McKinnon, and that was a nice surprise. You don’t prepare for disaster by by getting a bunker and a big gun and 5 years worth of processed food, but by making social connections and building a more resilient community. And finally, Mandisa Thomas spent an hour being fierce and strong, as she does.

No sleep yet. I’m feeling it, though, boy am I feeling it. I’m too old for all-nighters. So, for dinner, I took a long hot shower to try and restore some humanity. It didn’t work, as you can see.

I look even more terrible than usual. Those aren’t eyes, they’re aching blobs of bloodshot gelatin, and all that lurks behind them is a howling void. I should collapse into a bed right now, because I’ve been 36 hours without sleep. But I’m not. Because obviously I’m a party zombie.

There are two more talks ahead of me. Samantha Montano is going to be talking about Disasterology, because somehow I think a theme of this year’s meeting is coping with catastrophe. It would be useful, except that as the old decrepit guy, I know what my role would be. I’d be the grey-haired crusty cynic dispensing advice who eventually gets eaten by zombies to the relief of the stalwart band of survivors, who were just to noble to admit the he was slowing the whole group down.

Then Leighann Lord is going to invigorate me with an hour of comedy, so I might have the energy to drag myself to the Skeptiprom, where I will have one drink, and only one drink, which will make me fall over in an unconscious stupor.

Instructions to kindly skepticonners: I’ll have my room key in my front left pants pocket. I’d appreciate it if you’d carry my unconscious form to my room, and drop me on the floor or, if you’re especially nice, on my bed. Don’t worry about the usual defenses against choking on my own vomit, because I won’t be drunk, just exhausted.

I can do this. Jeez, though, it sure was a heck of a lot easier when I was 19.

Another battle of the Blue Check Mark

Twitter has once again put their foot in it over their annoying “verification” system — you know, the deal where certain users get a ‘prestigious’ blue check mark next to their name. To what purpose, I don’t know. Anyway, they handed out a precious Blue Check Mark to a known Nazi, the guy who organized the Charlottesville debacle, and suddenly everyone was questioning the invisible criteria they use to give these things out, and Twitter suspended the whole process while they review what the heck they’re doing.

I think xkcd explains it best.

Ouch. That’s a mark that’s gotta sting.

What happened to Scienceblogs?

Greg Laden has some answers — there are a few things he mentions that I did not know about.

Also, he’s got a list of where some of the old scienceblogs sites have moved to. I’ve pulled those urls out and put them on the blogroll on the sidebar to the left, under the category “Scienceblogs Diaspora”. Don’t forget them, the network may have vanished into the æther, but the authors are still tap-tap-tapping away!

Savagery tamed

I stopped getting haircuts last year — almost exactly a year ago today. I just despaired at the horror of that last presidential election, and decided I didn’t care anymore, and I’d just let it grow. Unfortunately, long hair is a pain to take care of, and my wife was also looking askance at me, and so I finally broke down and got it chopped off yesterday. It helped that the salon I went to had a poster out front acknowledging solidarity with the LGBTQ community, so I was able to cross that threshold and get it done.

Here I am, before and after.

I don’t know…now I’m thinking I’m preferring the wild-haired old testament prophet look. Maybe it’s just that the lighting was better.

YouTube experts, explain something to me

I’ve set myself the objective of making one YouTube video per week, for a couple of reasons. One is to add one drop of something positive to the ocean of shitlords and dreck — I’ve complained enough about the toxic nature of YouTube, I figure that if I should be making a nominal effort to correct it. And another is to challenge myself to learn something new, and video skills are difficult for a non-photogenic and at least initially talentless videographer like me. So I’m tinkering. I hope they get better week by week.

Then, as I was exploring various features of the video editor, I learned that some things are not enabled until you switch on monetization. I’m not into making money off this endeavor (although it would be nice), so I turned that on, and then it took 5 or 6 days for the powers-that-be to decide I’m legit, and one video was activated for ads.

Except — and this is what I’m asking about — it was immediately declared “Not suitable for most advertisers”. I was mildly offended! What’s “not suitable” about this video? Is it my lack of style? My laid-back speaking manner? The old-man bags under my eyes? The occasional flash of spiders? Does being boring disqualify one for monetization? That might be it, since it can’t be the content — I see lots of racist/sexist crap on YouTube, which must be acceptable in a way that a geezer talking about genes can’t be.

On the bright side, though, I still get access to all the shiny video editing features, but they aren’t stuffing ads in. I guess that’s good. I’d like to know why — if it’s just a glimpse of my face that repels advertising, I’ll have to make sure to stick a portrait into every one.

While I’m asking, does anyone have a good tutorial to recommend on using various YouTube features?

But Hitler would be 128 years old!

The things that get said on Alex Jones’ demented ‘news’ show — pig-human chimeras, false flags, and now, according to Owen Shroyer, Hitler is still alive, a fact being covered up by The Government.

Welcome in to The Alex Jones Show folks. It’s amazing, here we are, so much news and the news is so big and the news is so frequent that the biggest news every day becomes a back-page story the next day. The Las Vegas massacre cover-up, nothing. The JFK files being declassified, Hitler still alive. All the history textbooks lied to us. I was lied to my entire life about JFK, knowingly, by my government. I was lied to my entire life about Hitler, knowingly, by my government. And that’s just a nonstory now because you’ve got another radical truck running people down in the streets.

Yes. Let us talk about Fake News. Who is subsidizing this lunatic?