Department of Basic Media Literacy

The Hunt was a Blumhouse-produced thriller written by Damon Lindelof & starring Hillary Swank set for release later this year. I would link a trailer, but the studio’s pulled both the film and all advertising due to a controversy that’s almost unbelievably stupid.

The plot is another take on the The Most Dangerous Game/The Running Man/The Hunger Games formula: twelve strangers, mainly Southerners or otherwise from Nowhereville, Flyover Country, USA, wake up in Europe, where rich people are hunting them for sport. A child could understand that the people hunting people for sport are the bad guys. I saw the trailer, and it seemed almost to skew conservative: after all, it’s about implicitly Trumpian salt-of-the-earth Folks fighting rich elitists.

Anyway, the right decided the rich human hunters were the heroes.

From concerned citizens (“Designer/Singer/Patriot”) to people who’ve cobbled together a vibrant career in right-wing media by being the only two black women in the world to support Donald Trump, the whole wide menagerie of people who can’t be bothered to watch a trailer were outraged. This makes sense, since Hollywood movies often feature heroic serial killer protagonists.

There’s an old meme of right-wingers thinking Darth Vader or Immortan Joe or characters like that are Really The Hero, and it’s impossible to tell how sincere or insincere that is, but it does jibe with an inability to hear about a movie that’s a remake of a story published in 1924 & not conclude the obvious villains are really the heroes.

Trump obliquely referred to The Hunt as a film designed by The Elites to cause divisions in that famously unified nation, America; the film’s advertising had already been pulled due to the baffling trend of acknowledging that blaming media for mass shootings is bullshit, but doing it anyway, just to avoid looking like you’re doing nothing (see Wal-Mart banning violent video game ads, but still selling actual guns, one of the most American things to ever happen), since I know I look at Universal Studios for a solution to gun violence. This goes along with the common argument among conservatives that actors can’t be against guns in real life, because they use them in fictional movies, just like how Mads Mikkelsen must be pro-cannibalism lest he be a hypocrite, and how Robert Englund was widely protested for thinking increasingly silly dream-murders would be bad if they happened in real life. You just can’t play a character and not support what they do in reality, obviously, since reality is a complicated place where you can look at a right-wing fable about The Common (white) Folk rising up against The Elites and conclude it’s a film about heroic rich human-hunters enacting the grand plans of Antifa supersoldiers crafted by a conspiracy to divide America. What a world, what a world.

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Mike Cernovich, Gamergate Lawyer VS a Ring of Fictional Pedophiles, A Court Transcript

[CW: pedophilia/child abuse, rape mention]

 

Judge: Plaintiff may approach the bench.

Cernovich: Thank you, your honor. I may be a simple GamerGate Lawyer, but today I seek to prove two things. One, that several celebrities are secret pedophiles based off of old tweets, and two, that a man doing it for one’s self drains them of their natural vigor, their life force, their-

Judge: …could you please explain to the court what you’re talking about?

Cernovich: Mastubation, your honor.

Judge: Did you just say…mastubation?

Cernovich: I said what I mean, your honor.

Judge: Alright. Just…stick to your case and not to the…

Cernovich: Mastubation.

Judge: That. You may proceed.

Cernovich: Your honor, the director James Gunn made several problematic jokes before he found fame with Guardians of the Galaxy. These tweets proving his involvement in a secret ring of pedophiles were discovered by me-

Defense: Objection, your honor. These tweets were widely discussed at the time, and our client has apologized and moved on.

Cernovich: Impossible. If personal growth and change was possible, why don’t I know about it?

Defense: Well-

Judge: Objection sustained. Gamergate lawyer Mike Cernovich, you did not discover the tweets in question. They were widely discussed by people with an actual stake in them years ago. Move on.

Cernovich: Very well. Now, most men don’t know how their super serum is diluted by jerking it-

Judge: The court commands the plaintiff to never use the phrase ‘jerking it’ again. Please, your next target. I mean the next defendant.

Cernovich: Ah, this is a truly terrible case. Dan Harmon made a video parodying Dexter in 2009.

Judge: …yes?

Cernovich: He publicly released it, and then deleted it when he had second thoughts. But I don’t what that phrase means, so let’s say I discovered this.

Judge: A parody of Dexter proves he’s part of a pedophile ring.

Cernovich: Isn’t it stupid of this wide-reaching, powerful conspiracy to place all their evidence in joke tweets and videos a simple Gamergate lawyer can find years later? But I’ve caught ’em.

Judge: Do you have any proof beyond this Dexter parody?

Cernovich: No. But does it matter? I took an anti-Roman Polanski joke from Sam Seder and used it to smear him as a rapist. MSNBC crumbled and fired him without a second thought. He came back, but the alt-right’s gamed outrage so successfully they can get anyone fired in the space of day. Everyone folds so quickly, not knowing the difference between good-faith outrage and cynical campaigns against political rivals like our’s. That’s why James Gunn is fired for jokes he apologized for, but people will keep throwing money at a man who led a hate campaign, invented a conspiracy theory, and is even an admitted rapist. You know, like Mike Cerno-uh….

Judge: Finish the sentence.

Cernovich: Who best to defend John Connor from a Terminator than a Terminator? It’s like that – who best to catch a sex criminal than a sex criminal? Established part of legal practice.

Judge: No, it’s not! Where did you get your law degree? Gamergate University?

Cernovich: I, uh…I…I would like to reassure the jury that I will never jerk off.

Judge: Please remove the plantiff from the court.

Cernovich: I will never jerk off! I will never jerk off! I will never-

In Which Conspiracy Theorists Uncover the “Sinister” Truth About Clickbait

The world is going to hell. In an era of government corruption, creeping power and open descent into fascism, conspiracy theorists are doing just what you’d expect they do: ignore every problem in favor of ranting about feminists and Star Wars. Because who cares about the world’s problems when they don’t impact well-off twenty-something white nerds?

There are many problems with journalism today: the rise of fake news as a phenomenon bolstered by prominent right-wing figures; editorial writers who would rather regurgitate the same tepid story bashing college students than talk about actual problems; and the growing reach of companies like Sinclair Broadcasting. Anyway, Reddit is creeped out by journalists talking about Star Wars:

“What the hell is with the way article headlines are being written these days? At first, it felt like a humorous coincidence, but now it’s seriously starting to creep me out”

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My god! You’re telling me internet clickbait often uses repetitive headline structures? Gosh, ya cracked the case!

This thread – sitting at +2764, with 91% upvotes – continues to discuss this vile conspiracy to, uh, have opinions about Star Wars.

“Many people don’t read beyond the headline. It happens even on here. With the style of writing shown in the OP you don’t just quickly inform the smartphone addict, you also immediately tell them how to feel about that information.”

Or maybe it’s teasing what the author thinks about the subject. But nope, having an opinion in a story about media is brainwashing people. And that’s why Roger Ebert is history’s greatest monster.

“Nobody has the time to read an entire article and then do all the critical thinking required to reach an opiniated conclusion.”

Nobody reads articles anymore, whines someone who complained about dozens of news stories they didn’t read because of a meme.

“Because they entire media apparatus is owned by a single middle eastern tribe.”

SHARK NOISE SHARK NOISE! It’s the Antisemitism Megalodon!

(((And that’s a good thing)))

I don’t know how to process someone implying a phrase is Jewish. When you’re so Antisemitic you think a collection of five words is in league with George Soros.

“I don’t bother reading beyond the headline on reddit because I assume the comments will contain a more researched and nuanced discussion than the actual article”

This may seem odd, but to be fair, Redditors do have high IQs due to all that Rick and Morty.

I think you don’t get it.

  • Movies / TV are cultural nuclear weapons.
  • People are influenced by what they sense – without realizing it.
  • The more you repeat a message – the more it will be accepted and embraced.

Insidious messages like “that movie you liked as a kid, but now with women in it” are truly the modern nuke.

I’ll always enjoy the internet dork dude backlash against The Force Awakens for the magical phrase “little white cuck ball”. There is so much to unpack in an 4Chan user reading psychosexual, racist meaning into BB8. BB8, the little soccer ball droid. “Little white cuck ball” is the modern “cellar door” – it is a statement too beautiful to fully take in. The human mind cannot plumb its depths.

BB8!

“The articles are shaping the perception of the masses (with variations of the message depending on the target) to accept critical and masterfully crafted, hidden and integrated ideas shown in major film such as star wars.

The goal being a continuous shift of the cultural paradigm towards a global unification, also known as new world order.

You embrace ideas that were repugnant to your grandparents and your grandsons and granddaughters will go throught the same process.

We were born in a cult and Star Wars is a tool to evangelize (replace old cultures with new ones) so the small amount of cult leaders can keep enslaving billions of humans.”

Jesus, dude. Just…Jesus. You need a hobby. Maybe collect some stamps or something. Just…do anything but this

And ah yes, I’ve always been proud of my ancestor’s motto, “we’re super mad about women being in a movie that doesn’t exist yet”. A truly noble lineage.

“Operation Mockingbird. CIA controls all aspects of MSM, and the popular narratives on “social media”. Welcome to fascism.”

*sees every Trump speech, the alt-right, and Charlottesville* True fascism is people having different opinions than me about Star Wars.

r/conspiracy could discuss many things. But oddly, this community of paranoid young men with a oppression complex who hate women, minorities and Jews somehow overlooks everything Trump does. Who could possibly know why? But by God, they’ll fight against anyone who vaguely criticize Star Wars, or praise the Star Wars movies they don’t like, or hold an opinion they disagree with even slightly, with all the fierceness anonymous internet commenters can muster.


This is my first post of the year, and naturally, I spent it on some weird, petty Reddit thing. But The Space Lizard Report will return more regularly – as soon as I can install a global conspiracy to make people like the prequels.

May the real Eminem clone please stand up?

A thread about Lindsey Lohan’s reaction to Harvey Weinstein produces this utter gem:

…right then!

The joy of this is how it doesn’t really evolve, but just jumps right in. Seeing someone going in a mundane-bullshit brainwashing direction, one man stood up and said, “nope, she is a clone, and guess what! So is Eminem!” No one even mentioned Eminem!

It seems the denizens of r/conspiracy despise Eminem for his recent anti-Trump rap – and some believe he didn’t even rap it at all, and that much like Steve Guttenberg, a vast conspiracy has replaced Eminem with…a clone. Because cloning works very rapidly, and would replicate non-genetic factors like someone’s performance style and ability. This Redditor’s knowledge of cloning would make a Raëlian look good.

And how does he know Eminem was replaced by a clone?

*chef fingers* Marrrrrrrvelous.

The Space Lizard Report Hits the Big Time

In September 2014, I posted about a theory that a Cubs-Brewers game revealed the secret Illuminati messages in baseball. A few days ago, as you may have heard from literally everywhere, the Chicago Cubs, a rich baseball team with a high payroll in the nation’s third largest market, finally shook their underdog persona and broke their curse, winning the World Series. And as you’d guess, traffic went up, because apparently when a team wins a sports championship a certain percentage of weirdos run to Google to see if they’re part of the Illuminati. And so a blog post full of now-outdated jokes about the Cubs’ futility is now my most popular.

As a Brewers fan, I’m incapable of experiencing joy whilst sober. But if I could, I would be gleeful about today’s blog traffic.

cubs1

“That’s quite a spike in your blog’s normally pathetic traffic,” you might be thinking, “but why boast about what are, again, pretty underwhelming numbers, and a dreadful views-per-visitor?”

It’s not the numbers that excite me. It’s the source.

cubs3

You may note that my blog post was shared on Reddit.

Specifically, r/conspiracy.

Unironically.

I rushed to r/conspiracy, excited to see how they took my work. Alas, the post was downvoted to Hell. But that’s still good for over 100 views, and being unpopular in r/conspiracy carries a certain appeal in and of itself.

rconspiracy

The comments are strangely reasonable, especially in their hatred of the St Louis Cardinals. My post, which says…

The Masons and the Illuminati have a dastardly plan and they chose to reveal it…via the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers? What’s next, a message from the reptilians at a Jaguars-Titans game? Is this the Illuminati equivalent of dumping news you want buried on a Friday afternoon?

…and…

And the devastation of the world shall, as always, fool everyone except for some random person on the internet who believes they’re a genius and the only one to figure everything out.

…has now been cited as potential evidence of the Cubs’ Illuminati ties. I’m only sad by the post’s stunning lack of virality. May I one day be the subject of vast and terrible rage-comments, or get a hoax massively upvoted. One can always dream. What a world, what a world.

 

The Feminist Plot to Destroy Ghostbusters, The Biggest Film Trilogy of All Time

The most fascinating aspect of the hostile reaction to the idea of an all-female Ghostbusters remake is how it revealed what was, apparently, a gigantic Ghostbusters fandom. People crawled out of the darkest depths of Reddit to claim that Ghostbusters was their childhood, and that they remained devoted fans to a pair of comedy-horror movies from the 80s, one of which was great and one of which was a lesser retread with some good moments. When you look at major fandoms, you picture Star Trek conventions full of people in homemade Starfleet uniforms, and comic book fans clad as their favorite superheroes, and Tumblr discourse about Steven Universe and The 100. But until the Ghostbusters remake, you saw little evidence of the large, slumbering fandom that surely exists and didn’t just spring up when MRAs and alt-righters needed an excuse to attack the movie that sounded slightly less awful than “BUT IT HAS WOMEN IN IT”.

The TOP MINDS of r/conspiracy have figured out the truth – that no one saw the Ghostbusters remake. The number of Kate McKinnon avatars I’ve seen on Twitter imply some audience for the film, but no – some of the over 3,000 theaters it opened in were empty, so no one saw it at all.

GhostPost1

And yet Sony claimed a gross of 45 million dollars on opening day! How could that be, when two dozen people on Twitter paid to see it in empty theaters? You’ve lost Malaysia AND Middletown, Delaware! Twitter said so, so it must have made ZERO DOLLARS.

GhostPost2They ignored the huge, totally-real Ghostbusters fandom, and attacked men by casting women in a film. It’s detrimental to men. I’m not sure which men, given that the original Ghostbusters cameo in the new film and so aren’t exactly losing any work here. But women already have equality, except when it comes to pay, rights or representation in media and politics and also every other aspect of society, so what do they want? Superiority. First they’ll steal our 80s comedy remakes. Then they’ll take over stand-up comedy. And then…THE WORLD!

ghostpost3Women are crassening up stand-up comedy by talking about – *whispers*- s-e-x! Oh my!

ghostpost4A movie that treats men stereotypically and pushes all male characters to the side? GOSH, THAT MUST BE SO HARD TO DEAL WITH. Men now will have to settle for “most of the movies” this year, instead of “all of the movies”. So hard.

The refrain about how male characters are made to look like idiots on TV is a common one. Indeed, many shows feature dumb husbands and smart wives. Except…these shows are all written by men. Often the men playing the dumb husbands, if it’s based on their stand-up comedy. And in every one of these shows, we’re supposed to like the antics of the husband and look upon the wife as, at best, an unfunny moral center and at worst a controlling shrew. They’re a peculiar example of misandry in the media – though all of them are, because misandry don’t real.

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This incomprehensible rant, which conflates Pokémon Go with the Turkish coup, and that inexplicably calls the Nice attack the “twisted metal 3 murders”, leads to the best part of the entire thread – when people tear this guy fucking apart for saying Ghostbusters, “Jedis” and “Vulcans” are the top three franchises in entertainment history:

Ghostbusters

It’s truly inspiring to see people united by someone being wrong on the internet. If only they could all become pedantic nerds!

And for one beautiful moment, they stop being awful people and just start being awful people with very strong opinions on Ghostbusters 2:

ghostPost6Awful people who aren’t sure if Pokémon Go is a hit because it’s a plot by Them, or if it’s escapism from Them:

ghostpost7Elsewhere, they blame its high Rotten Tomatoes scores on the site being owned by NBCUniversal, a company that, notably, did not make the new Ghostbusters. Here we see a touch of self-awareness:

 

And, of course, they blame it all on aliens:

alienSo what did we learn today, children?

  1. Aliens made the new Ghostbusters so that they could take away Ghostbusting jobs from hardworking men and feed on our fear.

Glad we could clear that up!