So once again we have survived.

Demolition Man

tn_demolitionmanIsn’t DEMOLITION MAN a weird one? Sci-fi/action moosh up, Sylvester Stallone plays cryogenically frozen supercop Jack Spartan, cryogenically unfrozen Captain America style to capture his arch-nemesis Simon Phoenix (Wesley G.D. Snipes) in a jokey future society of wimps.

Spartan is a typical non-iconic Stallone character – mumbly, down-to-earth, see-through-the-bullshit everyman, except when he goes into battle, then he’s so prone to blow shit up that he’s nicknamed Demolition Man against his wishes.

Phoenix is larger-than-life, bordering on mega in his villainy. He’s kind of a bizarro Blade – he has almost the same haircuit, but bleached blond. Instead of black leather he wears loud early ’90s clothes, almost like a clown costume. He fights in a similar style to Blade but instead of being quietly cocky about it he’s flipping everybody shit and strutting around laughing. When he finds out about the outcast underclasses living literally underground he borrows their ROAD WARRIOR fashion sense, armor and big shoulder pads made out of tires.

The movie opens in 1996, 3 years into the future from when it was released. Los Angeles in chaos, so the first shot is from the back of the Hollywood sign, on fire. Phoenix has declared South Central a sovereign kingdom and has taken a bunch of hostages to insure whitey’s boot staying off his neck. When Spartan comes to confront him Phoenix blows up the hostages, and since blowing shit up is Spartan’s trademark everybody thinks he did it. Instead of prison they both get frozen, ’cause obviously that’s what they did in the futuristic mid-’90s.

mp_demolitionmanThe joke is that the good guy maniac and the bad guy maniac awake in 2032 to a world that’s never seen anything like them, “a society of peace and understanding” where there hasn’t been a murder in 16 years. Or, as Phoenix puts it, “The world has become a pussy-whipped, Brady Bunch version of itself, run by a bunch of robed sissies.”

Phoenix sounds mad, but he actually loves it, because he can just go around beating up cops, calling them “Stoopid!”, doing what he wants. Since he was freed as part of a conspiracy he was also taught all kinds of computer shit through osmosis, and has crazy hacker abilities. (Spartan was only given the ability to knit.)

Spartan teams up with a couple of the modern cops, future MISS CONGENIALITY co-stars Sandra Bullock and Benjamin Bratt. But guns are literally history (you only see them in the “Hall of Violence” display at the museum) so they don’t really do the same type of police work he’s used to, and Bratt doesn’t even know how to carry himself in what would be considered a manly manner. But Bullock is obsessed with the 20th century, so she’s excited to work with him and acts as sort of a translator between eras. Kind of like what would happen if a detective from the ’50s was transported to the future and teamed with the cast of some production of Grease.

Like in MINORITY REPORT there’s a sacrifice in freedom that has to be made to achieve this peace and harmony. “This fascist crap makes me want to puke,” Spartan says. The fascist crap includes fines for the use of profanity, RFID chips implanted in hands, chocolate and spicy foods banned. When Bullock proposes sex with him he gets excited but it turns out to be something where you put a device on your head and think about fucking (a gag lifted from BARBARELLA). People of the future are so against bodily fluid exchanges that she’s disgusted by the idea of kissing. At first I didn’t believe that could be taken out of the human instinct but then I thought about how cow’s milk is fine but I would probly puke if I tried to drink human milk. So we can be trained to go against our nature.

Spartan starts to realize that the powers-that-be he’s working for are not really the good guys, and the outcasts who are trying to steal food are not really the bad guys. But the rebels don’t seem as upset about economic inequality as about the nanny state. Their leader is Dennis Leary, who apparently was cast only so he could do one of those corny rants he did on MTV about how he wants to eat red meat and smoke cigars and he’s mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore. In the ’90s people were real fuckin worried about this “political correctness.” Quite a luxury.

In addition to stealing food the rebels climb through sewers to perpetrate drone graffiti attacks. A great idea, but instantly counter-acted by self-cleaning walls, and really bad graffiti anyway.

As with any movie like this it’s funny to compare its predictions of the future to reality. Their idea of futuristic phones isn’t too far off – it’s basically an iPad. They didn’t know how small they were gonna get, that’s all. They were way off on video formats, since they mention laser discs. There’s a reference to Jeffrey Dahmer being frozen in the future, though in reality he was killed in prison even before Spartan and Phoenix were frozen. Bullock’s late 20th century artifacts do not seem all that representative from my perspective: she has posters for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik, an album called Hate Fed Love by a band called Bomb, and LETHAL WEAPON 3. There’s a reference to Unsolved Mysteries, so people still remember that in the future. Or maybe we can look forward to a reboot. Interestingly there’s a mention of Jackie Chan movies. This was a pretty cool reference because Jackie wasn’t very well known to the mainstream in the U.S. until a couple years later when RUMBLE IN THE BRONX came out. So that was a correct prediction.

It’s a little weird that it brings up the serious matter of Spartan sleeping through his wife’s death and his daughter growing old, then doesn’t mention it again. Apparently a subplot about finding his daughter was cut out, because they were more interested in spectacle. Some of the stunts are pretty cool, like the bungee jump out of a police helicopter at the beginning, and Spartan running through hallways taking out a bunch of different guys. Snipes’s moves are good, showing his knack for badass martial arts posing, for example:

still_demolitionman

I’m not too excited about the climax taking place on a big laboratory set, but I guess you gotta bring the ice cubes back to the freezer at the end.

It’s a Joel Silver production. The director is Marco Brambilla. You know, Marco Brambilla, the video artist. He went on to direct EXCESS BAGGAGE and some TV before going back to being a video artist. But it seems to me like the most noticeable voice is Daniel Waters (HEATHERS, FORD FAIRLANE, HUDSON HAWK) who according to Silver on the commentary track wrote the original script that was re-written by Robert Reneau (ACTION JACKSON) and Peter M. Lenkov (SON IN LAW, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER 2-3 [the cable ones with Burt Reynolds]). The dialogue and humorous concepts seem in line with his other work. But I appreciate one instance where they avoided a quip (END SPOILER): Phoenix is frozen and gets his head broken off like Christian Slater’s leg in MINDHUNTERS. This is a callback to the opening when he said that he’d lose his head if it wasn’t attached and Spartan said he’d remember that. I also remembered it so I like that Spartan doesn’t make a joke about it. They don’t have to point it out to the audience.

I’m gonna go ahead and give Waters credit for the goofy names, too. Bullock’s character is named Lenina Huxley, obviously in reference to Aldous Huxley and Brave New World. Bratt’s character is Alfredo Garcia, because he’s… well, he doesn’t carry a severed head around. I have no idea why he’s named that. Because it’s a good movie.

Also Glenn Shadix, the priest in HEATHERS, plays the executive assistant “Associate Bob.”

Silver claims that Dennis Rodman got his hair-do from Simon Phoenix. I wonder if that’s also where he got his movie SIMON SEZ, which happens to be an annoying catch-phrase for Phoenix.

It’s a movie with alot of laughs and I enjoy watching it, but I think there’s something missing, and I think I know what it is. It’s a satire, but a satire of what? The best satirical sci-fi concepts have that THEY LIVE feeling of “it figures it would be something like this” accuracy. I think DEMOLITION MAN tries for that but fails.

The joke about getting fined every time they curse is always good for a laugh, especially since (with the exception of a scene in the middle where Phoenix seems to get away with a couple) it continues throughout the movie – whenever a character swears a recording can be heard somewhere in the background informing them that they are in violation – Big Brother’s swear jar. We can all laugh at this because it’s so silly and because we hate uptight people telling us what words to use. But the idea that our society is headed toward a future like this seems completely off base to me. In the years since DEMOLITION MAN we’ve seen South Park and Family Guy, you can say “shit” on regular TV shows, The Boondocks can say the n-word on the Cartoon Network and kids can find on the internet what previous generations could only dream of finding hidden in their dad’s closets. There will always be some prudes stirring up shit about Janet Jackson’s boob on the Super Bowl or whatever, but it would be ludicrous to argue that society in general is moving in the direction of complete sanitization. So that part rings funny, but not true.

I think instead of imagining a dystopia by extrapolating from things going on in the modern world DEMOLITION MAN extrapolates from things going on in the fantasy world of ’80s cop movies. It’s not the nightmare future a real person fears, it’s the one Marion Cobretti does. It’s a dystopia because crime and murder have been successfully curbed non-violently. There’s no one for him to blow up and nothing for him to do. When he chauvinistically insists on driving the car he finds out that cars of the future drive themselves. And those damn liberals are trying to stop him from getting heartburn. He has to go into the underground to buy a burger and then it turns out to be made of rat meat. (He still thinks it’s great, though.) He enlightens Bullock and Bratt by teaching them violence. That’s how he improves the world. Maybe he should’ve just bought everybody rat-burgers.

I will give them some credit for showing a corporate-controlled future. In this world all restaurants are Taco Bells – even the fancy rich person restaurant with waiters and tiny, pretty servings. And the most popular radio station is an oldies station that only plays “mini-tunes,” which is advertising jingles. I don’t know about an oldies station being the most popular station, but I’m a sucker for that type of concept.

Looking back, the movie is weirdly tone deaf for the time it came out. We just had the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots/uprising. That was April 29 – May 4th, ’92. DEMOLITION MAN came out in October of ’93, so it was filming just after the riots (Brambilla says on the commentary that’s why he put the burning Hollywood sign in there, to show even more unrest in ’96). In that context isn’t it weird we’re supposed to side with the white LAPD cop known for going too far, and believe the militant black man in South Central who wants to be left alone is a hostage-taking terrorist super-villain? Is it an intentional visual reference to the Rodney King beating when bad-guy Snipes is surrounded by white cops with clubs? (I don’t think so, because there’s 6 cops instead of 2).

I’m sure it was written before Rodney King got beat up, and I’m not sure Simon Phoenix was even originally intended to be black (the ol’ IMDb trivia claims Stallone tried to get Jackie Chan to do it). But geez, man. Right after Rodney King, and they’re making a movie with the point of view that the LAPD should be allowed to be more violent, and the black guy from South Central is lying to make him look bad? It just shows how clueless some of us whites were about what was going on over there, that we thought that was okay.

I’m not trying to tear the movie apart, I just think that’s interesting to dissect. But there is one aspect of the movie that I find very offensive: they fuckin waste Jesse Ventura! He’s in here as another unfrozen ex-con that works for Snipes, but you barely notice him. I guess he had a fight scene that got cut out, but he shoulda got more than that anyway. This is like 6 years after PREDATOR, and also after RUNNING MAN, which is right in this movie’s sub-Verhoeven action satire wheelhouse. It’s not like they didn’t know what he could do.

Shame on you, DEMOLITION MAN. Shame.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at 10:59 am and is filed under Action, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

182 Responses to “Demolition Man”

  1. ““The world has become a pussy-whipped, Brady Bunch version of itself, run by a bunch of robed sissies.””

    I kinda enjoyed that future, an uholy alliance between the Moral Majority and Hollywood PC.

    “Big Brother’s swear jar.”

    I’m sure Prince has that machine installed at Paisley Park. (He even fines himself when his old music is played.)

    Anyway I basically agree with your criticisms Vern. Its an OK that I kinda enjoy. If one believed in guilty pleasures (I don’t), then this would be one.

    I think DEMOLITION’S MAN core problem is that it got lazy in playing with the future. For every amusing futurist twist like the big brother cuss jar or Taco Bell winning the franchise wars or sex becoming virtual (like the Internet now) or the seashells* or my personal favorite, commercial jingles having their own radio station. But for every one of them, it goes lazy with this dystopic future. The bad guys wear leather cutoffs as MAD MAX extras, the poor dress in rags and surrounded by steam pipes, the society is either for the New Order or not (where’s the ambiguity?, and that usual boring nonsense. But hey, we’re too busy with a generic 90s actioneer dammit!

    But I admit, I liked that touch that Bullock’s character is an afficiondo for the 90s yet doesn’t do well when she meets face to face with a creature of that era. We sanitize what we like and adore about the past all the time. You read countless people on YouTube saying they wish they were around for the Beatles or THRILLER. Despite forgetting the 60s and early 80s, there was no Internet and no easily accessible porn (you have to PAY to watch it, and not anonymously) and no Diet Coke and other shit.

    “But there is one aspect of the movie that I find very offensive: they fuckin waste Jesse Ventura!”

    Amen.

    *=How did those damn things worked anyway?

  2. Another part of international Demolition Man history is the way they throughout the movie, in the English-speaking, European (or only Swedish?) VCR-versions, said “Pizza Hut” instead of “Taco Bell”. It was a really bad timed, out-of-tone overdub. It’s still the way I and some of my friends often say Pizza Hut, but I rarely remember where it’s from.

    I still wonder if it was because they thought we wouldn’t understand, since we didn’t know as much about Taco Bell, or if it was a simple matter of product placement.

    I guess I might not even have to mention how much I love this movie, and how glad I was to see it reviewed this way, after reminiscing like that…

  3. The problem with the script for this movie is that while all the really good books/movies about future worlds sees them from a social democratic point of view, Demolition Man is essentially a reactionary tale about what the world will look like when the liberals are in charge of things. But the satire is so bad (there really is no such thing as good right wing humor) that it’s easy to ignore it and just consentrate on the action. By the way, before they released the movie here in Europe they changed Taco Bell to Pizza Hut, because they didn’t think we’d heard about Taco Bell before. Yeah, right.

  4. Damn you, doctor rock, you beat me to it!

  5. I like this movie. It’s one of the better 90’s Stallone joints like CLIFFHANGER and ASSASSIN also are. I agree that it works better as the future for the archetypal 80’s and 90’s action hero though. It seems like one of those last hurrah type of deals for the macho looking ass kicker.

    A couple of years after Joe Hallenbeck presented someone too cynical and scarred to be as likeable as John McClane and a year before Keanu opened the door for the younger slicker action hero like Jason Bourne and Tom Cruise the spy in DePalma’s M:I movie. It’s something that has taken over mainstream action since the movie SPEED. In the end that old school action hero managed to have a good future in DEMOLITION MAN. Still killed the villain and went back to acting badass, still got the girl if there was a girl to get etc.

    The one thing I will say though is that there are nuances in the whole
    “the world is too politically correct” thing that still correlate with todays world. Sure a lot of it is off but I’m also looking at a world where compared to 1993 people don’t smoke in restaurants or on airplanes anymore; The R rated summer blockbuster that was an event from the early to mid 90’s has disappeared. Replaced by PG-13 vampire movies and superhero movies.

    In another time for example that R rated and hacknyed CONAN movie we saw last year would’ve been handled by a major studio and still be an R rated summer release but with better promo. Also we have stuff like the NC ban on gay marriage. Which even if you’re religious sometimes you need to use common sense. You fucked up something that could’ve been lucrative for your state in an economic depression because of fidelity to a book of fairy tales.

    In today’s world I can’t see a movie as timelessly relevant due to not masking the politically incorrect realities of the world like BLAZING SADDLES ever getting the greenlight. Not from a major studio anyway. We have been desensitized to a fault and little by little.

  6. Vern, you should REALLY check out the other 2 movies Daniel Waters wrote, Happy Campers (7/10) and Sex & Death 101 (10/10).

  7. I like your review. I think we come to slightly different conclusions on this one, but despite the initial differences, I believe that your review and mine would ultimately part as friends:

    http://demonsresume.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/screening-in-nyc-demolition-man-1993/

  8. Broddie, you’re talking about mainstream America. In the rest of the world, hell even in the “other America”, life is more politically un-correct than it has ever been. Sure, we don’t smoke in restaurants anymore, but porn, violence and bad language are everywhere these days. Beloved comedians can crack jokes that would make Lenny Bruce hide behind a pillow on prime time TV and conservative politicians can come out as gay without losing a single vote. It’s a progressive world we live in, and the only ones who haven’t taken notice of this fact are the Hollywood producers who still makes movies for Mitt Romney and his family.

  9. I gues whats politically correct differs from where you live.Over here its more PC being a homosexual feminist,but in other parts of the world it would be considered quite extremely radical.

  10. Watched this one a couple years back. It was deliberately goofy to begin w/ , but does not hold up well over time. Though Denis Leary and Dan Cortese provide a fun object lesson in the range of career paths that MTV can spawn.

    Enhance your calm, Vern!!!

  11. pegsman – I am talking about America as it’s where I live and the movie takes place in & I did mention NC so yes. I’ve traveled the world I know what’s out there bro. I’ve been to many countries where people even drink inside movie theaters because they could buy alcholo AT every theater & not just some specialized niche chain of theaters. I even said about the movie’s satirical predictions “Sure a lot of it is off”. Which is a point Vern brought up in his review. Especially if we talk about society the across the world in general.

    With that said there are also nuances in it’s satirical approach that go hand in hand with certain things happening in America today as a whole. The reality is out of touch American producers produce a lot of out of touch entertainment because there are still millions of Americans that are out of touch with reality.

    With the banning gay marriage in NC thing for example. Gay people are here; forever. There’s going to be more and more of them as generations move forward. The bigotry makes no sense when you think logically yet millions of people bypass logic because their own conformity to something that exists to prey on their insecurities is just too strong. This is the world I and my fellow Americans see and some things about that DEMOLITION MAN did hit on the head.

  12. This is coming from someone who lives in liberal ass NYC BTW. I have family all over the countries. I have no political ideal I could box myself in. Sometimes I agree with one guy or the other. I guess I’d say I’m closest to right wing libertarians on some issues but agree with leftwing liberals on a lot of them too.

    I even agree with ultra conservative folks on some points. So I’m able to have conversations with lots of different people anywhere I go. You’d be surprised how many backwards ass people in my own age group I’ve seen outside of NYC and I’m not just talking about in the southern states either.

  13. *country (I mean USA).

  14. This is certainly my favorite non-Rocky Stallone movie by a long stretch, and I think it’s top tier in the post Die Hard pre Bad boys action era. The only thing I can’t figure out is what the advantage of a badass supergun that can only be fired every 30 seconds has over a smaller gun that can shoot somebody right now, but whatever.

    I don’t know if Sylvester gets enough credit for pursuit of his artistic visions. Sure they involve blowing shit up and punching the fuck out of communism but the man is dedicated to presenting his particular vision of American masculinity even as he went from working class to pampered Superman. He’s like a more laid-back John Milius.

  15. I have to say I love this movie, but the first thing I think of when it’s mentioned is the way Bullock’s character name drops Laser Discs. Damn my cynical, trivia-obsessed brain!

  16. one guy from andromeda

    May 9th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    i remember this from stallone’s second career stage, the first comeback so to say, movies like demolition man and cliffhanger, before dropping to being a joke again before rocky balboa (i think it was assassins that ended that phase). i liked a lot as a teenager (what became of sandra bullock makes me cringe about how hot i thought she was in this), mainly because i thought wesley snipes was cool in it, i liked the shell joke and the cars, which didnt look like they had just put some angular shit on an old VW like timecop but basically like what the concept cars of the future looked like at the time. president schwarzenegger came as close to being a correct prediction as it was possible, which i thought was funny. it’s more of a historical curiosity than entertainment, this pre digital revolution kind of small scale big scale hollywood actioners from the 90s. they all look so… quaint today.

  17. I’m sorry, Broddie, I’ve been awake for 18 hours and didn’t read your piece properly. Interesting point, though; what does the rest of the world look like in 1996?

  18. ShootMcKay – I guess to a fault that’s a case here. But homosexuals are still a minority here and largely picked on by many bigots all over the country. In the media though there is more sensitivity. I remember that show LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O’BRIEN the first interview that got me watching that was one with Bobcat Goldtwhait. This was back in the early 90’s when Conan first got on and I was like 10 but will never forget that interview.

    At one point he said the words “queer & faggot” when riffing about homosexual bigotry in this world. In today’s America you will never hear those words in a national TV channel like NBC where Conan’s show used to air. You still hear them everywhere else to the point of exhaustion sometimes when people talk about gay folks though.

  19. Wow, Marlow. I’m a big Stallone fan, and this is nowhere in the top tier. I give it an “A” for quirkiness, and Snipes’s balls-out performance in particular, but that can’t carry the day.

    Did I miss the talkback where people say what they think about the new Expendables trailer?

  20. one guy from andromeda – I think ASSASINS was the last one yeah. He had like a little streak there after CLIFFHANGER after some box office duds like ROCKY V and his comedy movies. He had a “comeback” before as you say which THE SPECIALIST was also a part of.

    But so was JUDGE DREDD. Which sure was another action/sci-fi and featuring Rob Schneider of course but far more intolerable cause of more screen time for Schneider amongst other things. Then he did ASSASSINS but after came DAYLIGHT and he went downhill from there till ROCKY BALBOA. Though I did like COPLAND and parts of the GET CARTER remake but only parts.

  21. skani that – Yeah we talked about it in the SEAGOLOGY thread where all the off topic stuff goes. I’m actually kinda surprised that Vern didn’t do a write up for that one. His breakdown of the teaser trailer was aces.

  22. I thought I remembered reading an explanation of how the seashells worked in the comments on this site. I don’t remember it for the life of me, except that it was a little disappointing.

    I swear, this movie is always on the action stations in Canada. Does anyone else remember the weird, akward MTV special where they previewed the movie and some prize winner got to blow up a building? I just remember this really creepy moment where Stallone commented to the crowd about how hot Bullock’s character was and how they got to have “sex” together. Bullock looked really uncomfortable as he talked about it.

  23. I like ASSASSINS a lot more than most people would claim to be sane. And since most people hate it I most be a prime candidate for Arkham Asylum.

  24. I think you hit the nail on the head here, Vern. There’s a lot to like about Demolition Man, but its central thrust (that of science fiction satire) fails what it satirizes never really existed nor shaped the world in the way it predicted.

  25. one guy from andromeda

    May 9th, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    copland is a really good one with a great performance by him, definitely. i thought of judge dredd just after posting, that mega flop might have been the start of his second fall from grace. i do remember the production design fondly though.
    looking at imdb his second hot phase only lasted for something like 2 years, funny.

  26. With the exception of the actually good ones (First Blood, Copland) I’d rate this as my favourite Stallone film. It has an endearing silliness that nothing from Cobra to Daylight to The Expendables can match, a standout villain in Snipes and some decent action scenes.

    I can see a lot of truth in Vern’s criticisms, especially the toothless non-satire but I’d like to think that we can put aside our differences and give it a chance next time it’s on tv.

    Oh, it also boasts one of the top two pinball machines inspired by 90s cinema. Can’t quite decide if it’s better than Addams Family or not.

  27. I propose that all the late 90’s “future” urban hell prophecies occur in the same universe that took a left turn somewhere.

    In 1996, Spartan fights Phoenix in the urban warzone of Los Angeles. A year later, some semblance of order is restored, but ultraviolent drug gangs still wreak havoc uncontested by the outgunned police, including Danny Glover. Meanwhile New York is already a lost cause and gets walled off. Good for containing crime, sucks for the President… and Snake Plissken. Of course, the L.A. problem is pretty moot anyway since it gets flooded in 2000 anyways.

    It always fun to watch how these future predictions turn out. After all they’re always the product of their times. Sometimes it’s hilarious fearmongering, sometimes it’s optimism. We didn’t go to Jupiter/Saturn in 2001, nor we send a mission after the first in 2010. We’ll probably don’t have flying cars in seven years, or human-like replicants. But on the flip side, late 90’s didn’t turn into orgy of urban violence and drug gangs either.

  28. One guy, yes. Cop Land is a gem. This was supposed to be Stallone’s big “he can hold his own w/ the heavyweights” quasi-indie, comeback vehicle. Never got much love, but I think it’s a great performance, Stallone does more than hold his own, and it’s just a lot of fun. Ray Liotta gets the balls-out-crazy award for that one. A difference b/t Stallone and Schwarzenegger is that Stallone particularly shines when he plays slow-on-the-uptake coulda-beens. Oh yeah, and Stallone can act.

  29. skani – Yeah sure this is nowhere near as good as Die Hard or T2, but Demolition Man can get in line next to Speed, Under Siege, and any of the better blow shit up movies from the time is all I was saying.

  30. Marlow, as time has gone on I’ve become more and more sensitive to sets vs. cgi vs. location. As I recall, Demolition Man feels very much like a fake, “set” film. There’s just no sense of scale or heft to things. It’s people blowing stuff up on cheesy soundstages. Compare that to, e.g, the latest Rambo or even Rocky Balboa, where you’ve got an actual sense of an authentic location. Even in futuristic movies, like the original Star Wars, you have a sense of an organic location with some depth, scale, etc. This one just felt like they never left the soundstage or the backlot or whatever it is.

    I’ve got a similar complaint these days w/ the cgi. Compare Indy 1-3 and Star Wars original trilogy to Indy 4 and Star Wars prequels. The latter feel like some significant real locations and at least sets that you could touch. W/ exception of some of the Tatooine stuff, the more recent films feel like Drew Carey’s green screen show. I have some of the same criticism for the Avengers, but to a lesser extent.

  31. sorry, *the former* felt like they involved stuff you could actually touch.

  32. I love this movie for a number of reasons, and regardless of how tone def the film is it is still music to my ears (and/or eyes? I am confusing myself with my metaphors). Vern, I agree with you that this film is pretty tone def, and that does prevent it from being a better piece of satire. However, I would argue that despite its flaws as a satire , DEMOLITION MAN is even more fascinating because of how tone def it is and what it says about Sly. The reason being that Sly has a reputation for ghost directing films (COBRA, EXPENDABLES 2?) and is at the very least he is extremely hands on, so I would argue that the future presented in DEMOLITION MAN is not only Marion Cobretti’s worst nightmare but it is truly Sly’s worst nightmare. That is what makes the tone def nature of the film so interesting because it is like Sly is unintentionally revealing something about himself. Your point about the film’s odd portrayal of the heroic white LAPD cop at a time so close to the riots is a good example, I don’t think Sly could see how inappropriate that was. He was in denial and/or blind to the truth. If Sly acknowledged that a character like Spartan was socially inappropriate in the wake of the LA riots he would then be forced to examine the social relevance/appropriateness of the excessive force tough guy persona he had been cultivating and making money off of for years. With DEMOLITION MAN Instead of seeing the writing on the wall and trying to change with the times Sly doubles down and tries to warn us what a bunch of pussies we would all end up being if we lived in a world where his tough guy persona is irrelevant. Sly is not the tone def one it is society that is tone def. His message is simple, a society that doesn’t appreciate his shtick is in decline. The sad thing is it was Sly’s career that was in decline. The next four films he made after DEMOLITION MAN were THE SPECALIST, JUDGE DREDD, ASSASSINS, & DAYLIGHT.

  33. I want to see a Blade vs. Pheonix movie now.

    This movie also has Simon Phoenix take a gun from a mannequin and say “Excuse me Rambo, I need to borrow this.” between this and the “He think’s he’s Rambo”/”Rambo is a pussy” bit from TANGO AND CASH I have to wonder, who’s playing Rambo in all these Stallone movie universes instead of Sly? Or did the original FIRST BLOOD novel just get really popular?

  34. Stu – I’m going to claim a Reverse Last Action Hero and assert that Schwarzenegger plays Rambo in all of Stallone’s movies.

  35. Last Action Hero…another fun, goofy one that doesn’t get enough love.

    With all the theories about why the Satire fails, I think Vern has a possible book just on Demolition Man alone.

  36. Did someone say LAST ACTION HERO? Arnie was kind of making fun of his action persona in this, just as Sly did in DEMOLITION MAN. Only Arnie did not have to make any needlestitches ( please correct me if wrong wordusage…aww…fuck it…I do whatever I please,cockcunts!)

  37. Sly did do soe handyworks in DM. I wish he made a sweater or two…

  38. And LAST ACTION HERO + DEMOLITION MAN = big burly guys making fun of their action personas…

  39. anonimouse:

    I asked about the three seashells and Jack Burton led me to an explanation in this thread:

    http://outlawvern.com/2011/09/13/stallone-has-confirmed-van-damme-and-norris-for-expendables-2/

  40. I’ve always seen the satire in Demolition Man as simply satirizing political correctness, which took off in the early 90’s

    yeah, it’s predictions may seem dated today, but I still think it’s interesting is a “what if” kind of way

    anyway I’ve always really liked this movie, I’ve been meaning to get the blu ray

    by the way I read somewhere once (Wikipedia I think) that after Demolition Man Marco Brambilla was going to make a movie of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, which I think he would have been a perfect fit

    it’s too bad that didn’t happen, I wonder if Wesley Snipes himself would have played Hiro Protagonist?

  41. Finally, another detail about the shadowy man of mystery that is Vern: He is not a lactation fetishist. Throw that in your composite, FBI. We’ll pin him down eventually.

  42. Darth Irritable

    May 9th, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Ford Fairlane? Now that’s a fuckin’ movie.

  43. Griff- I agree, this movie was satirizing the time during which it was made, contrasting the sanitized and corporatized 80s with the crazy-ass gotta-see-it-to-believe-it 70s, not trying to accurately predict the future. I do agree with Vern that it was probably written before the King riots, hence the racial weirdness.

    And a Snow Crash movie starring 90’s Wesley as Hiro would have ruled.

  44. Inspector Lee

    May 9th, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    The Cosh – re your final paragraph, Creature from the Black Lagoon rules all.

    Also pretty high on The Shadow.

  45. Vern, don’t fear human milk. It tastes just fine and comes in a really nice packing.

  46. As I remember it the mild satire in Demolition Man wasn’t even up for debate in the ironic 90’s. And with Nigel “Sir Humphrey” Hawthorne as the kimono dressed dictator it was mostly regarded as just absurd humor.

  47. Come to think of it, my favorite scene in DM isn’t even in the movie except the TV cut: Where he eats rat hamburger. That was funny, and maybe an idea they should’ve explored for fun. Why not crazy animals become burger stock in this future, like seals and monkeys?

    You could even do a fast food franchise where they serve Monkey hamburgers, and every value meal has a banana.

  48. The rat burger is in the movie, at least on the blu-ray. I mentioned it in the review too.

  49. Oh cool. My mistake.

  50. Inspector Lee – I’d forgotten about The Shadow. That was a good one too. Never played this Creature from the Black Lagoon though.

  51. Addams Family was the best pinball. I remember good ones for Hook and T2 as well.

  52. A problem that DEMOLITION MAN has is that it’s high on satire but low on irony. A smarter movie would problably understand that the violent ways of both Spartan and Phoenix are a bad thing for this future, and violence is not a good thing. By the end, Spartan would had relaised that no, violence doesn’t really help this new world. He, like Phoenix, are dinosaurs who should stay extinct. Instead, the movie wants to argue that bringing a violent dude form the past is the jolt the future needs to light up. Instead, of, say, futher evolve and be able to be gentle but without the PC fascism.

    But then again, asking for intelligence from a Joel Silver film from early 1990s? Tall order!

  53. In Europe, in the movie any references for Taco Bell was replaced by Pizza Hut because while Pizza Hut is quite proliferous here, nobody knows what the fuck Taco Bell is, escept from some obscure reference from america media nobody bothers to remember anyway. People did laugh a lot when the characters are going for a fancy restaurant and it turns out to be Pizza Hut. One of the best and funniest jokes in the movie.

  54. I saw this movie a long time ago, and I never made the Rodney King connection, but as I started to read Vern’s review, it became pretty apparent that there’s some weird racial stuff going on in this film. Even if the film was written before the L.A. riots, it’s not like the issues that caused those riots weren’t already present. Either some of the filmmakers were a little bit racist or completely oblivious. But I remember enjoying parts of this film, despite, or maybe because of, its goofiness. The three seashells was a great running gag.

  55. All those paralels to Rodney King… frankly, i think you guys are seeing too much into this silly movie. I think you guys are seeing a paralel that was never intended in the first place. Sometime swe see things in movies that are not there, just like we see faces and animals and castles in clouds.

  56. According to some critical theories, what the author intended is insignificant. It’s what’s on the page/screen that matters. Any work of art, no matter how trifling, is made of more than the sum of what its creator meant for it to be. The society it was made in, the era it was born in, the hidden workings of its author’s subconscious, all these play a part in infusing it with themes, parallels, and meanings that can be unpacked once the work hits the open air. It takes on a life of its own once it gets out into the world and starts integrating with the interpretations of its various audience members, who will bring their own experiences and shadings to the work, creating an infinite rainbow of critical responses. To reduce that magical alchemy of art and audience to a single fascist throughline dictated by one person from one time and one place is not only destructive to the entire concept of critical thought, it’s also no fucking fun.

    All this to say that DEMOLITION MAN is clearly about Margaret Thatcher’s England.

  57. Mr. Majestyk – Exactly; “seeing too much into” things is kinda the reason many of us subject ourselves to art in the first place. Where the fuck is the fun in taking art at face value? the fun is in the subjectivity and there not being any absolutes.

  58. Jareth Cutestory

    May 10th, 2012 at 7:25 am

    A buddy of mine insists that DEMOLITION MAN is some sort of lunkheaded, ‘roided up interpretation of SLEEPER. Another friend described it as “DELICATESSEN gone wrong, gone very, very wrong.” I’ve found these two descriptions so off-putting that I’ve never bothered watching the film.

  59. Really? Because those two descriptions sound pretty awesome to me.

  60. Speaking of films that predicted the future?

    Network.

    It still blows my mind how much that particular work became less satire and more and more true to life as time goes by. Except now everyone watches tv on cell phones.

  61. Jareth Cutestory

    May 10th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Majestyk: I guess I imagined that the ‘roided up version of SLEEPER that my buddy described wouldn’t have room for such nuances as the Orgasmatron or the giant chicken. That’s not a future I want anything to do with. I might have liked MINORITY REPORT if Tom Cruise confused an Orgasmatron for an e-meter.

    And I guess I sort of figured that DEMOLITION MAN would be to DELICATESSEN what CITY OF ANGELS was to WINGS OF DESIRE. Upon further reflection, that’s probably just me being paranoid.

  62. I think we can all agree that above all else Demolition Man is way fucking better than City of Angels. You certainly don’t have to worry about that.

  63. CITY OF ANGELS, the Nicolas Cage movie? All I remember from that flick was Meg Ryan being a total idiot and riding a bike eyes closed on to a truck. It was very much unintentionally hilarious.

  64. But it had some nice mega acting from Cage

  65. We had the DEMOLITION MAN pinball machine at my workplace about ten years ago and it was immensely popular. Many lunch hours became impromptu pinball tournaments. “Send a maniac to catch a maniac…” good times.

  66. – Cassidy,

    NETWORK was a miserable piece of shit, jeez. Did give me a boner for Sandra though.

    Demolition Man, on the other hand? Totally awesome. Stallone and Snipes are a fun pair, each completely ridiculous in their own way. Sly is just a big, derpy Lenny kind of character who goes around bashing stuff and being stupid. Snipes is completely over the top, doing silly karate moves and making awful one-liners (SIMON SAYS DIE!). I recall the movie having a weird techno-pop soundtrack which I liked at the time, as a 9 year old.

    I still wonder how you use the Three Sea Shells though…

  67. Bob: I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you were just displaying some ninja-level sarcasm and not actually confusing NETWORK and THE NET.

  68. Asimov, I don’t think the filmatists intended to make any statement about the Rodney King riots. But the fact that they would make this movie in that atmosphere is interesting to me. Not just in the time that was going on, but in the place. It’s crazy that they didn’t think about it and that I, as a white person, didn’t think about it back whenever I first saw this. I’m saying that it shows a disconnect between some of us and the reality of race relations in the U.S. at that time. Not so relevant to you since you don’t live here, but to me it’s a big thing.

  69. Wow, just actually read what Charles posted a ways up. that’s some seriously insightful analysis.

  70. Watched this one last night, and I have to say I at least sort of admire the weirdness and confusion of it’s liberal PC dystopia. Don’t know any other movie which really takes this approach (probably because it doesn’t make much sense even if you don’t really think it through) so it’s kind of a fresh idea. But really, the whole thing has a very HARLEY DAVIDSON AND THE MALBORO MAN feel of something which started off as some kind of vaguely coherent satire, and eventually had so many elements piled into it that it just became a weird mish-mash of conflicting ideas and expensive set pieces.

    It actually seems weirdly small-scale, though. There’s only like 5 bad guys in the entire world! Once the ammunition from the museum runs out, there will never be any more! And they’re terrible shots anyway! And the bad guys only want to kill one guy anyway, and it’s Dennis Leary so no big loss even if they do. Where’s the drama?

  71. Subtlety, this is what I’m saying above. Compare to Cliffhanger, which feels like it has some real production value and a scene of existing in an actual place, as opposed to this thing, which looks like one of MTV or the USA Network’s mid-1990s forays into the scripted series.

  72. sense

  73. Cassidy- Truly, dude. Network’s incredible. I find it so ironic that the word “network” has, in our day and age, come to be a verb meaning “Opportunistically meet as people as possible who can further one’s own self-interested goals in a business environment,” and the movie presents as the saving grace of our modern society the rough edges and flaws of humans being not only acknowledged, but embraced, and expressed— and those are the very aspects of ourselves that need to be filed away in order to succeed in the modern context of ‘networking.’

    Just a coincidence, surely, but I find it to be a poignant one.

  74. Jareth, I’m with Majestyk. Those are descriptions of movies Way more awesome than DEMOLITION MAN.

    You’d think I’d have a lot more to say in a DEMOLITION MAN thread but I think it’s all been covered. It’s funny but the reason it doesn’t connect is a lack of real satirical perspective as Vern pointed out.

    I actually found the conspiracy subplot off putting. I think a simple Stallone vs. Snipes would have been more effective, if less ambitious. See the first, non jokey trailer. It looks awesome.

    Also this was the first press screening I ever went to in D.C.

  75. tawdry hepburn

    May 10th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I think this movie was excellently written. It’s a movie that I really dug as a structure nerd. It introduced a bunch of very strange elements, then built on them and built on them. Pretty much everything comes back three of four times in three or four different ways. Very well, “elevated” as they say. Daniel Waters is actually one of my favorite screenwriters and has had a weirdly significant impact on me.

    Batman Returns: Catwoman in that movie is, literally, the hottest thing I have ever seen. I watched that movie a billion times as a kid and had a (film accurate drawings) storybook of the circus fight sequence and the first fight with Catwoman. I think that shit literally shocked me out of the latency stage a few years early.

    Heathers: I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies, but somehow I got Heathers from the library like 10 times. I was too young to get that movie either, but I knew that Ryder was just devastatingly gorgeous in the film and her cruel, nihilistic streak was also a turn-on, though I didn’t know what nihilism nor a turn-on really was yet. And I think it influenced my very dark sense of humor too.

    Demolition Man: This was one of the last R-rated action films ever to get a full toy line. I really, really wanted the Wesley Snipes toy because my favorite color was orange and I loved wearing coveralls, so he looked like me. But the toy came with guns that were too realistic looking for my father’s taste (he was a student at Kent State during the shootings, so I never had so much as a squirt gun growing up).

    So umm…I donno. I’m a big fan of his and stuff.

    I LOVE MY GAY, DEAD SON!

  76. Thanks skani. I subscribe to the Auteur theory. I think movies can say a lot about the people who made them, and they can also be time capsules, windows into a specific period and time. I don’t think DEMOLITION MAN has anything to say about the LA riots or race relations in America at that time, but the fact that the film seems oblivious to those issues is telling. Also, DEMOLITION MAN was released in 93, and after that most of the 90’s saw Sly’s career on the decline except for a strong performance in COPLAND. At the same time Arnold saw a steady decline in his career as well through the second half of the 90’s after releasing TRUE LIES in 94. For better or for worse by 1995, the 80’s action hero and picture was dead. Times had changed, the blind excess of the 80’s that seemed to fuel action classics like CAMANDO & COBRA gave way to a sense of self awareness/self importance in the 90’s. This shift was reflected in the cinema of the time. The hulking muscle men of the 80’s like Sly & Arnold were replaced by less physical action stars with a more cerebral approach to action know for their acting like Nic Cage & Will Smith.

  77. “… it would be ludicrous to argue that society in general is moving in the direction of complete sanitization.” Well friendo, only if you guess wrong (as I think the film did) about the ideas/attitudes/opinions political correctness will choose to target for sanitization. When we’re fine with the “eeeeeevil corporate entity”*TM* being the villain in every other movie, but the Red Dawn remake has to pull a China/Korea bad guy switcheroo, the PC streetsweeper is finely tuned and hummin. Likewise when Dan Savage gets no finger wagging rebuke from mainstream media after launching a profanity laden religiously bigoted tirade at a group of high schoolers (or even so much as a “call out” on why the “Out and Proud” rebel badass has yet to take his “learn to ignore the bullshit in scripture, ya bunch a pansy-asses” shtick to the madrasah [see also: South Park, Mohammed bear ep. cancellation, incidentally]), but Rush Limbaugh’s head is called for on a stick for uttering the S-L-U-T word. Satire of course, exaggerates a premise to the extreme. So I’d say Demolition man was on point about the escalation of PC, and just off on the direction.

  78. The early-to-mid-1990s were an interesting time in that they witnessed the 80s model really start to implode. The slasher franchises and big action heroes that thrived in the 80s all started to go into decline at the turn of the decade.

    In a way, Sly was actually somewhat prophetic in forecasting the end of his own era. That society was growing tired of the larger-than-life action hero. This was also evident in Last Action Hero, where Arnold acknowledges how ridiculous the whole thing is. At the same time, this is when you see the first really meta-slasher film (New Nightmare). All these franchises (Arnold and Sly were franchises) no that they’re out of steam and have to reinvent or deconstruct themselves.

    The action hero has never really recovered. There are no marquee strict action stars anymore. Only one I can think of is Jason Statham. Otherwise, the action stars of today are not really action stars per se–they’re opportunist action stars, like Matt Damon, Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, etc. They do action films but aren’t action stars in terms of their identities as actors. Stallone himself has pointed this out.

  79. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 10th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    “Liberal PC dystopia”? You guys have a weird definition of liberal. I would associate PC with rampant conservatism – liberal is doing whatever the heck you want, but taking responsibility for it. Heck, I would say that the backlash against the 50s and 90s PC movements – especially in the arts – were one of the defining parts of the liberal movement.

    I love this movie by the way. Probably Snipes’ second-best movie after “Blade”, out of the ones I’ve seen at least, and a high point for Stallone as well (although nowhere near as good as “First Blood”).

  80. Wait a minute Paul you’ve never seen PASSENGER 57?

  81. Rogue4:

    Limbaugh went on a long tirade against a private citizen for daring to speak up about womens rights. He can say what’ve wants about Obama or john Stewart but it’s different when someone is not a media figure. Frankly, his rant, which I heard live because I listen to limbaugh, was slanderous. Of course, it was also like the 14th most offensive thing he said that week, so I don’t get the hubbub. His show is basically on par with Howard stern for tastefulness.

  82. The change in RED DAWN had nothing to do with “pc”, they said they did it because they decided they could get money distributing it in China. The Rush Limbaugh example maybe is relevant, but only if you believe 1) he wouldn’t have been called an asshole for saying that bullshit back in the day and 2) it is some kind of backward progression for him to be called an asshole for saying that bullshit now.

  83. speaking of Rush, have he and his ilk overreacted to the SSM declaration yet? I bet the White House is hoping (or expecting) them to do their thing.

    ~Romney the young gaybasher was a bonus though.

  84. John Milius’ Red Dawn is perhaps the biggest symbol there is of the differences between the 80′ and now. In the 80’s leaders like Reagan and Thatcher fooled the producers behind such trash as Red Dawn, Invasion USA and Rambo III into believing it was alright to use The Soviet Union and Cuba as bad guys in movies that really didn’t need a political side to have worked just as well (or bad). What they didn’t take in account was that people around the world were a lot more radical than their leaders and that they would treat the movies as the propaganda they were. It was plain stupid to use the Cubans and the Soviets as villains in the first Red Dawn and it would have been even more so to use the Chinese in the remake. That’s not pc, that’s reality. North Korea won’t work either, but since nobody will speak up for them these days Bradley & Co will probably get away with it. Let’s hope for his sake that they don’t start peace talks before the movie’s out.

    As Paul points out you guys have a totally different definition of the word “liberal” than people in Europe have. You use it about people on the left, but over here a liberal is someone on the right seeking economical and personal freedom. All the major conservative parties in Europe call themselves liberals. So it’s confusing at times.

  85. That is weird. What you describe as “liberal” is what we’d classify in America as “libertarianism”.

  86. Hey I liked the original RED DAWN, cheese and all.

    I’m sure Vern didn’t. (or liked the ridiculously awesome moments or something. I guess he’s waiting for the fall release of the remake to review the original himself.)

  87. It’s not so much the cheese as the plain stupidity of it’s politics that ruin the original (for most people). Even if he’s a self proclaimed zen fascist John Milius almost certainly knew better, but obviously decided to give Reagan a hand with his fear mongering. He should have stuck to making Conan movies.

  88. The backwards progression, main man, is in the transparent inconsistency of the calling out of “assholes” spewing “bullshit”. And that that inconsistency is ideologically driven. An observation that can be made whether one is in agreement with said asshole or said bullshit. That was the point of the above comparison between the mainstream media reaction to Rush’s comments vs Dan Savage’s. But for further reference on said transparent inconsistency, see also Bill Maher’s Sarah Palin “cunt” comment. Or the difference between the media treatment of “private citizen exercising their rights” Sandra Fluke and Joe the Plumber. That’s that tuned and hummin pc sanitizer in action. Choosing what and who’s comments/views to let mellow, and what and whose to flush. To wit, Tawdry, the crafting of the narrative of Ms Fluke as an anonymous random beleaguered coed bravely speaking up for “women’s rights” and suffering the vicious attack of the evil Rush monster. As opposed to a 30yr old seasoned activist choosing to petition a televised Congressional committee for subsidization of her sex life.

  89. And by the by, The Passion made pretty obvious that plenty of money could be made off of Christian audiences. And yet we never saw the studios trippin over themselves to rush the next violent biblical epic. “Michael Bay’s Battle of Jericho”? Conversely, the Hollywood machine never seems to mind alienating/insulting THIS particular potentially lucrative audience. Catch the next hilarious ep. of “Good Christian Bitches”, sundays at 9 on ABC. So I can’t help but take the given reason for the Red Dawn switcheroo with a pinch of salt.

  90. Oh for fuck’s sake. It’s 2012. I am not going to get into an argument about if it’s right to have birth control pills or not. You really got to me with that one. Don’t accuse the world of being too partisan and then play that fucking game. That is not a real controversy that reasonable people have, it’s a made up issue that desperate weirdos have had to resort to to have something to argue about. You have got to be fucking kidding me. You really believe it’s wrong for women to be in support of birth control and right for Limbaugh to spend days calling her a slut for using birth control? I don’t believe you.

    To be honest I don’t know what most of the incidents you’re referring to are, because I don’t follow what ever talk radio you listen to or whatever. But I don’t see how people thinking one guy is an idiot and somebody else is not is some sort of political imbalance. And I don’t see how a pundit who heavily influences the thinking of the entire right wing of this country (including, clearly, you) is exactly equal to a comedian apparently making a joke (I don’t know what the joke was).

    I like that we were discussing the politics of Demolition Man, but I guess I lost where this had to do with it. It just seems to me like you’re listing a bunch of different media hubbubs that must be discussed alot on conservative websights or something. I reserve the right to think a radio host is an asshole for something he said and to not care what a sex columnist said that I never heard about. Not sure how that’s an inconsistency.

  91. I guess I don’t really know what you’re trying to argue about. True, studios have not made alot of modern biblical movies besides NATIVITY STORY and that cartoon about Moses. They also haven’t done alot of pandering to Muslims or atheists or any other specific group. Except nerds, I guess. But they are making movies based on board games now. They try to cast the widest possible net. If you want specifically Christian entertainment there’s independents doing it for you, and not all of them have Kirk Cameron or Tyler Perry. There are lots of them about firefighters and stuff too.

    If you are saying that movies and TV sometimes have negative stereotypes of Christians I agree. For example I really hated what they did in that movie PAUL. But movies and TV also have shitty stereotypes about Arabs, blacks, gays, liberals, southerners, nerds, you name it. Different people are more sensitive to different ones. Doesn’t seem to me like Christians get it as bad as some of the other groups, but I don’t know. Cheap humor is easy, that’s what sitcoms are.

    But I have no clue how an anti-Christian bias caused them to change China to North Korea in RED DAWN.

  92. Vern, the Rodney King thing was known all over the world. It got a ot of coverage. The thing you americans have to understand is that the world gets a lot of news about stuff in USA. Unlike the USA which barely gets stuff from outside the world unless it directly affects american interests or concerns, like, say, a foreign war. It needs a vulcano to explode to make international news hit the american newstands. I know, i saw that thing first hand when i once visited your country.

  93. Negative stereotypes of fundamentalists? How can anybody accuse a movie or TV show of making charicatures of those fellas when they make themselves into charicatures in the first place? If documentaries like JESUS CAMP are any indication, the movies and TV shows have downplayed the fundies.

    That religious fundamentalism still exists in the space age is one of the great indications that mankind still has a long road ahead.

  94. OK main man, last post. Don’t want to get overly snarky here, and trolling or “getting to” anyone is not my goal . But I really can’t describe the “…you really believe its wrong for women to be in support of birth control…” response as anything but reeeaaally disingenuous. And unfortunately quite typical. That is an argument that I and NO ONE else, including Rush Limbaugh are making or have made. The argument is that Ms Fluke and women as a whole SHOULD PAY FOR THEIR BIRTH CONTROL THEMSELVES. And saying such DOES NOT equate to a call to ban, abolish, or restrict in any way, access to birth control for any female seeking it. I and some others embrace the apparently radical notion that women are ADULTS. And along with adult behavior and adult choices come adult responsibilities. That your well aware of Rush’s inflammatory remarks and know nothing about the other things I referenced… Ya see friendo, there’s the political imbalance. If you were livin in a cave and hard of hearing, you’d know about “Rush-gate”. But somehow that other stuff just wasn’t worthy of the 24/7 media blitz. That’s the well tuned and hummin pc macine at work friendo. Pickin and choosin what and whose inflammatory remarks are acceptable and what and whose aren’t. Crafting a narrative as opposed to simply conveying information. And I referenced all of this in the context of refuting the position that “Demolition Man’s” satiric depiction of the escalation of pc was sometin so impossibly farfetched. Not sayin we’re livin in the dystopian pc nightmare, but simply that the film wasn’t far off in the context of pc escalation and really only got wrong the direction of that escalation. That was the point of the comparisons/examples I provided. And again, that your unaware of alot of the rest of those examples, due to the lack of attention given them by the mainstream media, goes a long way toward proving that point.

  95. Rogue4, so basically only rich women should be able to have birth control because they can afford it? Birth control is now a luxery? Is that it? All this talk of “responsability” is all fine and dandy until economic considerations kick in. Unless you are a strong supporter of free and all emcompasing social security and free medical support for everybody at states expenses, all you propose is completly dependent of a person’s economic standing.

    It’s easy for people who are in confortable ecominic positions to talka bout responsability and put a price on stuff, but the subject became far less obvious and black-and-white when poverty is put into the equation.

    I really wish that the middle class and the rich class stopped making politics based on what they see of their neighbourhood from their living room window.

  96. I didn’t write anything disingenuous. It’s only common sense that contraception is a legitimate part of women’s health care. Avoiding unwanted pregnancies is a benefit to women, men, society, and people who are against abortion. Alot of insurance covers Viagra and nobody picks out an individual who agrees with that coverage and calls them a whore on the radio for a couple days in a row. Meanwhile, the GOP had a candidate for president that only recently dropped out of the race and won some of the primaries who openly said he was against the use of contraception. This is a backwards, fringe view that they have successfully promoted in the media as if it’s a reasonable point of view.

    I don’t agree that being a responsible adult means you can’t have good health insurance.

    If it makes you feel better, I could for now on try to keep up to date on all of the inflammatory comments and be against all of them. But I worry it might not be a good use of my time or the media’s. Sometimes I feel like we’re not really friendos.

    Anyway, sorry for getting worked up. You’re good at pissing me off, bud-o.

  97. OK, guys, i know this is the wrong forum to emtnion a different movie, and i appologise for that, but yesterday i saw CABIN IN THE WOODS. I checked the movie’s forum, but the last entry was dated the 26th of April. It’s basically a dead forum now. So, i wanted to put my two cents on the movie’s subject and be done with it.

    Vern says that it’s not an horror movie. I have to beg to disagree. I’m no horror expert or a great fan of the genre, so my opinion is worth what it is. But, however, watching the movie, it does make pretty clear to me that though there is a parodic element to the movie, it’s not directed at the genre. Basically, the movie IS an horror movie first and foremost. I’ll explain:

    The element of parody in the film is not directed at the genre. It might look like that at first. But by the end of the movie, after the reveal, we then realsie we had been watching a straigh horror movie.
    The “genre parody” element, if you will, is in fact part of the very plot, but that’s due to how thing shave to happen in-story.

    MAJOR SPILERS AHEAD

    SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

    There will be spoilers

    OK, here it goes, with spoilers:

    By the end, we realise that Lovecraftian evil gods have been blackmailing humanity into making human sacrifices to apease them. It used to be they were contented with throwing virgins to a volcano and that would be it. But nowdays, those evil gods became gormets. They now enjoy more deliberate ritals for the sacrifices. Rituals that are performed like the plot of slasher or gorefiest horror movies. And this is a very important element in the movel if not the most important of all, which is the origin of all the contorvesy it has created among the horror fandom. To the point many, like our estimed Vern, felt the movie is mocking the genre.

    Quite the contrary. Yes, CABIN IN THE WOODS have parody elements. But it’s not of the genre. Or should i say, the movie doesn’t not mock the horror genre. The parody lies elsewhere. To whom? Well, the fans of the horror genre and the people who make the movies. That parody of the former cames from the way the evil gods want their sacrifice rutual played, and of the later in how the agency people treat their job as merely a day in life, things following a pre-defined formula as if working in a factory.

    If there is one thing in CABIN IN THE WOODS that makes it an angry movie is not for the horror genre but fow it has been deturped and simplified and turned to formula. How a new breed of horror fans who started to enjoy the terrible phyisical hurts and main and destruction that happen to people and cheer for a murdered to be creative in his maining and killings. How the fans turned their identification away from the victoms to the killer. And how the film industry, instead of making an effort to correct a misaimed identification from the audiences back toward the victims, they were complacent and compliant and just turned it all up to 11: more focus on charismatic killers and gore killings and futher away from the victims to the point they become even lesser creatures then walking cliches.

    CABIN IN THE WOODS is in fact a love letter to the horror genre. And a lamentation of how the genre has lost it’s ways so often. How it missed the point of the horror, in that we are supposed to identify with the victims, not the killers. That filmmakers stoped caring for characterization and just go for the gore. How it all became formula.

    It’s as if CABIN IN THE WOODS is a movie made by people who finally said “enough of this shit, i’ll tell you how it should be”, and meanwhile had fun messing with people’s expectations and certainties of the genre.

    CABIN IN THE WOODS is a straigh horror movie. Very straigh in fact. The unique elements in it is that it just incorporated what seems like tropes from the usual slasher or supernatural horror and made them THE PLOT of the movie. The other unique element of the movie, unfortunatly, is that, at least in regard to Holywood horror, is that it actually bother to create characters with characterization for the kill meat. It’s sad that such a thing, which should be par the course, now works as a subvertion of the genre.

    I always felt that the slasher genre had enourmous potential for drama just from the very concept of the thing. Which so often, if not all the times, has not been explored. CABIN OF THE WOODS, for a change, decides to explaore the possibilities and potential the slasher has, and does so very well. So, good stuff.

    Sorry for going on a long tangent here, guys. I just had to put my two cents on this subject, sorry if it disturbed the peac eof this forum. Peace.

  98. As for the subject of biblical movie smade by studios, well, that one is a dozy of a subject for me.

    I’m one of those you can call the New Atheists. Basically, it’s an atheism in which no longer takes for granted that there is anything normal with the predominance of religion in our culture. It talks back, if you will.

    But it’s oen thing to oppose the predominance of religion in our culture, it’s another to disrespect. One of my major peeves i have had with the biblical movies made in Holywood is how fucking clueless they are with the religion they are, aparently, supposed to support. It being, of course, mostly christianism. But the way those movies keep on putting team park vesions of the holy book and yet portait it as if it’s serious stuff is just too much for me. It makes me laugh at the cluelessness, it it also irritates me on the stupidity in display. If you are going to make a bible movie, either you make an open criticism of the religion and it’s tenents, or you show respect and do the fucking research.

    It’s fantastic that the most voted best Jesus movie ever mad,e and the best religious mvie ever made, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATHEW, was directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini, who was an atheist, communist and homosexual. Yet, he understood what was writ in the book and made a faithful movie to it’s message. Fancy that, hem? And yet i do not find that much that suprising at all. It actually makes a lot of sense.

  99. Mr. Majestyk –

    Wowwwwwwwww. Benefit of the doubt: not deserved. But you can totally see how I would confuse the two, right?!?! Ok sorry I got them mixed up, what I meant to say was NETWORK gave me a boner for Ned Beatty.

    Better?

    (how embarrassing)

    \ Shows self out, curls up on couch with snuggie, tub of movie-theater butter popcorn and well worn VHS of THE NET. Commence boners.

  100. A few more tidbits I remember about Demolition Man – 1) it’s funny how the trailers were so solemn and serious and even used the Bram Stoker’s Dracula score, when the movie itself is basically a comedy. It was a pleasant surprise that the internet and word of mouth wouldn’t let happen today. 2) I think this was this the last R-rated movie to have a fast-food tie in (I think there were collectable cups or something at Taco Bell) 3) Dan Cortese mentioned in an interview he was killed by Wesley Snipes, but I originally only spotted him as the piano player at Taco Bell. Turns out he was also one of the scientists in the cryo lab that Snipes guns down. Not sure if Cortese played two guys or if the scientist had a second job as a piano player. 4) I’m pretty sure Stallone yells out “Heads Up!” when he decapitates Snipes at the end, so it’s not entirely quip-free. 5) I like how they took the time to explain that the Constitution had to be amended to allow Schwarzenegger to be elected President. That’s some impressive world-building/nitpick-squashing there! 6) Demolition Man came out October 8, 1993 (do movies like this ever come out in OCTOBER anymore?) and Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California October 8, 2003. That’s awesome.

    I’ve never thought of this movie in terms of being liberal/conservative, but your thoughts are pretty interesting, Vern. I do think the pc lines are so muddled now anyway that the movie doesn’t offend me as a hardcore liberal. (I mean, the fines for cursing and the “sex is icky” stuff is more Santorum-like than anything else)

  101. Oh, I forgot – this is one of Sandra Bullock’s best performances – she’s really likeable and sweet here. Also, I heard she replaced Lori Petty after a few days, which I simply can’t imagine. Was Petty playing against type? Or did the Huxley character start with a more rebellious edge in the script?

  102. neal2zod – “Dan Cortese mentioned in an interview he was killed by Wesley Snipes, but I originally only spotted him as the piano player at Taco Bell. Turns out he was also one of the scientists in the cryo lab that Snipes guns down. Not sure if Cortese played two guys or if the scientist had a second job as a piano player.”

    That’s interesting and I’ll keep my eye out for that next time I view the movie. I do remember that his rendition of the Green Giant single got one of the biggest laughs from the audience that I’ve ever witnessed at a cinema.

  103. *jingle not single but in the context of the world DM takes place I suppose “single” is an appropriate classification.

  104. Btw Broddie – love the avatar. I was recently telling a running buddy my method for dealing w/ the proverbial wall- When you feel like you can’t run any further, and there’s no gas left in the tank, just keep mumbling “i’m gonna have me some fun…..i’m gonna have me some fun…” over and over and over again. It works!

  105. Based on anecdotal evidence from our new friendo Rogue4, it appears that the presense of a troll on an Internet forum not only lowers the level of the debate, it also lowers the very for
    and structure of the responding posters comments.

    Look how shitty our grammar got yesterday. Like, I’m a terrible copyeditor and usually doing thee things at once when I post here, so my posts are always full of errors, but y’all went downhill too.

    Isn’t that strange? Not only did we stop having an intelligent conversation because of the troll, we lost the ability to have a dumb conversation intelligently.

  106. The typos in my previous post come courtesy of a G1 iTouch and shaky wifi, not troll-rage.

  107. The main effect of yesterday’s trolling is that the urge to punch faces until I hear cartilage snap at the sight or sound of the trigger word “friendo” has been Manchurian Candidated deep into my subconscious.

  108. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 11th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    “I’m one of those you can call the New Atheists. Basically, it’s an atheism in which no longer takes for granted that there is anything normal with the predominance of religion in our culture. It talks back, if you will. But it’s one thing to oppose the predominance of religion in our culture, it’s another to disrespect.”

    Damn… Asimov is rapidly going from being a guy I was arguing with quite heatedly, to one of my favorite posters on this site. How the heck did that happen?

    And Broddie, I have seen “Passenger 57”. I have a lot of liking for that movie, if nothing else as a near-perfect representation of its time. I even think I reviewed it on this site somewhere (unfortunately I have no idea where). Plus the stunt-casting of Elizabeth Hurley as a terrorist is just bliss.

    And for the record, while I agree wholeheartedly with Vern on the issue of contraception, I agree with Rogue on the hypocrisy of a lot of people who attach themselves to a particular point of view for the sake of being part of a group – as opposed to, say, because they have good reasoning to back it up.

    Left-wing newspapers over here (the UK) tend to be calm and rational when it comes to immigration, but heated and emotional when it comes to the environment. Right-wingers tend to be heated and emotional about immigration, but calm and rational when it comes to the environment. And nearly everybody seems to have a “side”, regardless of whether they actually know anything about the issue in question (or can be bothered to find out). That annoys me.

  109. I’m so tempted to pile on the political rhetoric bandwagon, but instead I’m going to just say that I think it’s weird that Simon Pheonix in 1993 is wearing the exact same outfit as Jeff Fahey in LAWNMOWER MAN (1992), but for some reason it’s considered cool. Maybe it’s the hair?

    Compare: http://awkwardpress.com/wp-content/uploads/brosnan-fahey-couch.jpg

  110. The lawnmower man and demolition man had their finger on the pulse of this then-five-year old boy’s fashion sense.

  111. For a brief period in the early 90s, the lure of the overalls seduced many people who should have known better. Somehow, wearing them with one strap unhooked changed the look from “horrifying mutant toddler” to “gangsta as fuck, yo.”

    It was a strange time.

  112. I just want to make it clear that I was immune to the hypnotic power of the overalls. I will freely admit to French-rolling my jeans and buttoning my colorfully patterned shirts all the way to the top, Parker Lewis-style, but when it comes to overalls, my hands are clean.

  113. Isn’t it sad how you can never have a conversation about DEMOLITION MAN without it turning into a political debate? I wonder what Obama and Romney’s stances are on DEMOLITION MAN?

    Wow, Rouge4 you got it all figured out buddy. Your right, it’s those giant “liberal” billion dollar corporations that own and control our media that want to fund Planned Parenthood and give out free birth control.

  114. If only we were living in the conservative utopia, in which birth control, contraceptives, and abortions are illegal, overcrowding in poor communities runs rampant, and yet it’s somehow their own fault.

  115. I never went Parker Lewis. Instead I opted for the Axl Rose-style. Meaning wearing a cap over a bandana type of thing. I feel like an idiot confessing this. But on the other hand I was fucking 12-13-14 ish at the time

  116. Silly poor people with their lack of education and resources, to bad for them that they popped out of the wrong vagina at birth.

    (For anyone just joining the thread, please don’t take that statement out of context. It is sarcasm.)

  117. I’m just concerned that in only a year’s time, the liberal left-wing socialist propaganda machine was able to make overalls and a sleeveless orange t-shirt an acceptable attire for a human being who isn’t working on a commune in the 1970s. If they can do that, is there *any* aspect of your life they can’t control?

  118. When it comes to sarcasm, I think Homer made it into an artform :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kwt6wWblXo

  119. “the liberal left-wing socialist propaganda machine”

    What in the flying fuck is that even supposed to mean? You guys actually do not believe that, do you? It’s just empty words of scorn, right? It has to be!

  120. Tawdry Hepburn

    May 11th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    It’s not just lack of access to education and resources, I would argue that there is a deeply rooted endemic racism to our so-called justice system.

    After the civil rights movement forced integration, Republican leaders beginning with Richard Nixon built an invisible new form of Jim Crow by both looking the other way at drug smuggling and actively funneling narcotics into the inner city and other so-called, “Urban” areas, (Heroin to destabilize the Black Panthers, crack cocaine to destabilize the whole of the South West while simultaneously funding the anti-Communist rebels in Nicaragua as part of the Domino Theory). Then, after being – at the very least – willfully negligent about drug importation, the federal government drafted a series of laws that specifically targeted these new drugs. The public supported these laws because the scourge of heroin and crack were fucking terrifying, scary enough to suppress logical thinking. As an added bonus, any political leader who proposed some new draconian law was able to run for reelection as someone who was, “Protecting our children.” As a result of this clever construction, even though the vast majority of politicians were not looking to propagate this system or probably even aware of it, they were still incentivized to push it through.

    With the abstract enemy of drugs in play, public opinion was pushed to the right and leaders like Rudolph Giuliani were able to militarize the police force and not only pass laws that limited and removed personal freedoms including constitutionally protected civil rights, they were also able to do it with massive public support. Giuliani’s, “Broken window laws” were the blueprint that spread across America. And yes, they worked. He cleaned up Time’s Square and made NYC a nicer place, but he did it by ostensibly criminalizing poverty. With harsher sentencing laws (crack had minimum sentencing guidelines that were 20 times more severe than that of cocaine until less than 2 years ago) and the defunding of rehabilitation programs in prisons coupled with new regulations that banned any ex-felon from living in publicly subsidized housing or else everyone in the offending apartment would be evicted, the broken window law movement functioned to encourage the highest possible rate of recidivism. Convicts were locked up for 10 years for non-violent crimes, then released back into a world with no resume for the last decade, no job skills to speak of, a felony on their employment applications and no option to even stay with their family upon release.

    During the great depression certain social safety nets were built. These basic aids were popular with most of America because, as a largely Christian nation, there was a sense of owing something to your fellow man. However, these safety nets ran counter to the new economic school that was taking hold with proto-neo-cons. The new drug laws and criminalization of poverty, both of which could find their root cause in the specific and conscious actions of political leaders on both sides of the aisle, reframed the argument from one of common human decency to one where the poor somehow deserved their social status; they weren’t just born into unlucky (to put it kindly) circumstances, they were actively creating their own hell.

    Bigoted rhetoric like the fictitious, “Welfare Queen,” the ethnically based boogieman of Willie Horton, the doublespeak of “Reverse racism,” Limbaugh’s, “Soft bigotry of low expectations,” et al. convinced the populace at large that the poor didn’t need a hand up, they needed to be handcuffed before they could ask for another handout. From here, it was exceedingly simple to defund and eliminate fundamental social services like after school programs, music programs, hell, public education as a whole, public housing, food subsidies and more.

    With the advent of deregulation and privatization, the Freeman school Neo-Cons were able to turn tax money that used to be spent on public services into a new profit center for private industry: more money for assault rifles for police, for building privatized prisons with illegal no-bid contracts, for fighter jets to firebomb what might or might not be poppy fields in foreign nations, to police the world for other larger foreign policy reasons under the guise of fighting drugs, to remove taxes from corporations who often had direct ties to the executive branch, to remove taxes from the wealthiest Americans in the hopes that it would, “Trickle down” (spoiler alert: It didn’t and doesn’t!) all while also reinstituting a form of de facto segregation and engendering racial mistrust.

    And all of this has been done so cleverly. If you dared to go to the legislature and say that we need less harsh sentencing for non-violent drug offenses, rehabilitation programs – both drug and educational – to (*gasp*) end our war on drugs, you would never win reelection. You’d be labeled as: “Soft on drugs,” “Soft on gangs,” “Uninterested in protecting children from drugs and violence,” and more. So yes, we have a black president* but vast swaths of our justice system, our legislative system, our foreign policy still carry white supremacist underpinnings that were strategically designed to tie in with artificially constructed social ills that shut down logic. Like a piece of shrapnel lodged in the brain, removing these insidious shards of bigotry will require invasive surgery and may not be possible at all.

    *actually, he is multiracial. We just call him black because we frankly still ascribe to the one-drop rule.

  121. Funny how the “troll” managed to make his points without leveling shallow ad hominems, straw-men, and expressions of wanting to punch faces, yet that hurdle seems to high for you enlightened fellas, eh Tawdry, Maj, Asimov, Charles. But do please keep making those bogus conflations as if the actual words aren’t up for all to see.

  122. I just want to correct the definition of “Broken Window Theory,” which Tawdry has misrepresented at least a couple times on these boards. Fundamentally, historically, it has nothing to do with race or over-sentencing small time criminals.

    The main idea is the scenario that, if a house on your block is deserted, the grass starts to grow too high, no one’s living there, so some kids come along and throw a rock through a window, then that eases the way for more serious crimes to occur. It’s like, hey, if we see there’s these broken windows on this property, then we might as well camp out and smoke weed on this property, might as well make this a place to deposit a dead body, might as well do whatever because if there’s broken windows then nobody cares about what’s going on here. Broken windows is the mark of a neighborhood who just doesn’t give a fuck, who’s given up on stopping crime.

    The way this got translated to NYC life in general was largely in the subways, regarding turn-stile jumpers. For the longest time, cops ignored this minor crime, the idea being that the city only lost a miniscule amount of revenue from illegal subway riders. But with the advent of the efficacy of Broken Windows Theory, cops were told (by Giuliani) to arrest people who tried to elude subway fares. This at first seemed like kind of a waste of public resources. Didn’t cops have bigger fish to fry? But the beauty (or terror) of Broken Windows Theory is that the enforcement of these laws, little laws like turn-stile jumping and panhandling and graffiti and ignoring public sanitation & safety building codes, is that it made everything else better.

    People (and sociologists) realized that the enforcement of these “little” laws made it less likely in most neighborhoods that locals would allow or put up with the violation of all sorts of other more serious laws. People had more pride in their local ‘hoods because they enforced all these little knickknack legal rules, and they were less likely to put up with rampant crime. Thus, crime rates went way way down due to the enforcement of little municipal criminal code regulations.

  123. Tawdry Hepburn

    May 11th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Please do enlighten me, Rogue4, what pray tell are the insults I hurled at you? The condescending tone of, “Friendo” – which Vern adeptly exposed in his response – clearly placed your rhetoric in a space of antagonism. By beginning the conversation with antagonism you have indicated that you do not want to actually have a conversation. Someone who comes to a political discussion without wanting to actually converse is a rabble-rouser, at a comedy club he is a heckler, on a message board he is … well, a troll. And troll is not a slur. You know what is a slur, however? Slut shaming. In fact, your entire first post is filled with histrionic misogyny, paranoid delusions about the media, slippery-slope fallacies, ad homenim attacks, equivocations, false parallels and other such silliness.

    For example: saying that Palin, who has her own talk show, million dollar book deals and pursues media coverage at every turn is the cultural equivalent of a private citizen who is speaking from a place of personal expertise as both a student of law and the owner of a vagina to a congressional hearing that is broadcast of fuckin’ C-SPAN, is patently absurd and displays a total lack of even the most basic understanding of slander law, libel law and stare decisis on satire. Should Bill Maher go around calling women cunts? No. That’s why I don’t watch his show anymore. But Maher, who is a *comedian* with a show that is specifically about saying things you’re not supposed to say on a network that is not publicly broadcast without a subscription and which is aired after family hours, is also not even close to Limbaugh, who is publicly broadcast on over 1000 radio stations during times when children are likely to be listening and is an actual mainstream media force to be reckoned with, is just as off-based. You’re not comparing apples to oranges you’re comparing horseapples to orange county.

    Oh, and you know who has the biggest piece of the media pie? FOX NEWS. They get the highest ratings, which by definition, makes them the epicenter of the mainstream. Similarly Rush Limbaugh has more listeners, subscribers and direct political and media influence than any other pundit since Edward R. Murrow. Who wasn’t a pundit, so… maybe ever. You’re not being victimized. Your side has the loudest megaphone out there, so calm down, friendo.

  124. Oh shit, I’m actually not Rogue/RougeQuatro. Fuck that guy. I was just being ironical with my “friend-o”. Sorry to mislead you (accident!, Tawdry and anyone else.

    I’m a long time lurker and fan of Vern’s and a few of the posters (seems like a weird word) here.

    Rush babbled some hateful, blueballed gibberish for 3 straight days. IT’s not comparable to what Bill Maher said at all. In fact, I’d say that the “mainstream media” already made Rogue4’s stupid point for him, or totally counter-pointed him, because I remember 90% of the “argument” around the Fluke story was about comparing Rush’s words to Maher’s words. There’s was an absurd level of false equivalence being shoved in our faces, as though everyone forgot or ignored that Rush did a 3-day campaign of misogyny & hate and pointing his tiny angry boner at nothingness whereas Maher said 1 or 2 things for a split second that constituted a funny line. (Liberal media? Yeah fukcing right.)

    Plus, 98% of American Republicans take Rush as their leader. Maybe 10% of American Democrats take Bill Maher as any kind of leading voice, lol. Nobody gives a fuck what Maher says, even if he’s a bestselling author, b/c we’re smart enough to know he’s a comedian (and knows nothing about vaccinations), who cares. But Rush has the ring-kissing power that almost no one else does on the Right.

  125. Tawdry Hepburn

    May 11th, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Yes, Friend-o. You accurately represent the first step of those policies. But in addition to cracking down on minor crime, sentencing was stepped up for non-violent crimes and victimless crimes. Police were militarized and given more weaponry. Public services were defunded in favor of prisons. New harsher drug laws, for drugs that disproportionately appeared in ethnically segregated communities, were written. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws that are, on their face, unconstitutional were implemented. After Giuliani cleaned up those broken windows, he went after ex-felons living with their families in public housing. Ex-felons mind you. As in: they had served their time and paid their debt to society. As in: they had already be convicted and punished. As in: a clear cut case of double jeopardy. He allowed for eviction for marijuana convictions! Misdemeanor marijuana convictions! For graffiti! For anything any everything, even though there was no legal precedence or logic for such rigid regulations. And all of these things were visited primarily upon minority communities because our government had both passively allowed for the entry of drugs and also actively placed them there. And, most of these communities were still suffering from the economic damage of organized segregation.

  126. Tawdry Hepburn

    May 11th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Friend-O, you’re clearly not Rogue4, because you are much more eloquent and on point than Rogue4. See, you disagreed with me, so you explained your position in a rational and evenhanded way. You said your piece and, without being condescending or passive aggressive, made it clear that you found my initial statements to be both inaccurate and possibly willfully inaccurate.

  127. We’re all friends here. I’d only suggest you tamp down on where you say “Broken Windows” for some things andadd the term “Rockefeller Laws” in some places where you currently use “Broken Windows.”

    THis is all based on what I learned back in college sophomore year Honors Poli Sci class, by the way. I’m no expert.

    Never considered DEMOLITION MAN a political movie for some reason, probly because it was so ridiculous I thought it was just goofy and an okay action / sci-fi movie, not a message movei or predictive Stallone-worldview flick. But I like that we still argue about it today. Good job Vern. Legacy of Rodney King etc. lives on today.

  128. I thought Rogue was making some clunky satire when he referred to a TV show called “Good Christian Bitches,” I didn’t realize it was a real show until I saw a headline about it getting cancelled. Apparently it was based on somebody’s semi-autobiographical book. I tried to read about it to figure out what the title meant, but quickly lost interest. Anyway, star Kristen Chenoweth is an evangelical Christian. I’m not sure but it sounds more like an attempt at acknowledging Christians as part of the larger culture and not attacking them. So maybe Rogue could switch it up so the cancellation is part of his argument instead of the existence of the show.

  129. You know who else once had a show on ABC that got cancelled by The Man?

    Bill Maher.

    Ergo, Bill Maher is the same as Evangelical Christians, bitches.

  130. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 11th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    …All of which proves my point that “Demolition Man” has done more to further political discourse around the world than GWB, MAD and the UN combined.

    I thank you. *Bows.*

  131. Didn’t say I was being victimized, Tawdry. I was just making a comparison. As I did in all the rest of my post. Now I read the site almost daily (as, like everyone else, I’m a fan of Vern’s writing), but post once in a blue moon. Seems to me a geniune troll would inject himself into the conversation much more often and not particularly to address topics specifically mentioned. Neither of those is the case here. Now my 2 cents is frequently oppositional, but that doesn’t mean I’m being oppositional just for the sake of being oppositional. And on the occasions when it isn’t, our esteemed host knows that I toss the friendo missive then too. And the tactical perfection of the “tone” accusation goes without saying. Exceptionally easy to make, and almost impossible to refute. Not so much with your use of the term antagonism and your accusation that I wasn’t genuinely trying to engage in conversation. Aggressive debate is not the equivalent of insult. Whether you or anyone else like or agree with the points I made, my text was transparently straightforward and concise. You, on the other hand toss around terms like “histrionic misogyny” with the most vapid attempt at substantiation. You first apply it to the post in which I make the comparison between the mainstream media response to Dan Savage’s comments vs Rush Limbaugh’s for the sake of pointing out the pc crafting of cultural narrative. Then you jump to, as your “for example”, the Bill Maher comparison ,citing the same less than diligent media response, from the next post. First off, that “mere” comedian on that “obscure” cable network has had as guests on his show, Joe Biden and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Now playing devils advocate with the meme of Rush Limbaugh as de-facto ruler of “Conservativania”, does Bill Maher’s largest single contribution of 1mil dollars to the current Democrat administration Super PAC make him the de-facto leader of the administration’s political action committee ? If so, shouldn’t it be just as big a media deal when such an individual tosses a sexist comment at a female in the political arena. Shouldn’t it likewise be a big media deal when the President, who felt compelled to call and console Sandra Fluke over Rush’s sexist comments, issues no rebuke of sexist comments hurled by said de-facto head of his Super PAC and doesn’t give back his donation. If not, shouldn’t it be a big deal for those who profess such strident concern over misogyny simply because the female in question’s success doesn’t make her any less of a person. Or is misogyny just being cynically abused as a tactical marginalization gimmick. Because it occurs to me, that challenging a female’s demand to have a private Catholic institution, which she choose to attend, by order of government (in no brainer violation of the 1st amendment), pay for her birth control DOES NOT equate to hatred of women. Or even hatred of birth control.
    Main Man, I appreciate that you were diligent enough to read up on stuff I mentioned and big enough to bring that info back to the conversation. But I think your final analysis only holds up if you sincerely think that ABC or any other broadcast network would ever greenlight “Golddigging Jew (fill in with derogatory female slur of your choice)” or “Hip Muslim (ditto)”. And how do you think Jewish and Muslim women would feel about such “acknowledgement”.

  132. Neither Obama nor Obama’s closest aides control the PAC to which Maher contributed. That’s the filth of modern day PACs & super-PACs, same reason why, um, Mitt Romney has plausible deniability when hate groups & bigots campaign [from the evangelical pulpit] to raise money for “issue” funds and Crossroads GPS and such, but not specifically directly for Romney’s campaign.

    Now, I personally do wish that Obama would spend a helluva lot less time throwing parties and attending Hollywood fundraisers, as he reportedly did last night. I think that that is disgusting, thoughtless behavior. I’m of the belief that a commander-in-chief shouldn’t be rocking a tuxedo at any time while his/her country is at war. I’m old-fashioned like that. However, G. W. Bush was much worse in this regard than Obama, so it’s all relative. Lesser of 2 evils, etc.

  133. “Now playing devils advocate with the meme of Rush Limbaugh as de-facto ruler of “Conservativania”, does Bill Maher’s largest single contribution of 1mil dollars to the current Democrat administration Super PAC make him the de-facto leader of the administration’s political action committee ? If so, “

    Bill Maher never actively publicly hoped for the failure of a sitting US president.

  134. And “Romeo and Juliet” was just “Twilight: The Dark Ages” . The game of distortion by way of sidestepping full context is a real easy one to play Friend-O. The full context of Rush Limbaugh’s comment was, to the extent that he believed the president’s agenda to be one that would put the country on a socialist path and believing such a path would be gravely detrimental, he wanted that agenda to fail. A more than debatable argument, to be sure. But lets debate the actual argument. With regard to the President and the Bill Maher/ PAC situation, if the president could be diligent enough in his stance on sexist invective in the political arena to personally give Sandra Fluke a call, then he could be just as diligent in dealing with Maher. Like of such consistency being nothing short of day-glo hypocrisy.

  135. …Lack of such consistency…

  136. Alright, if you’re comparing either Shakespeare or Hector Berlioz to Stephanie fucking whatsher-Mormon-face, then we have a fucking problem.

  137. I apologize for my comment earlier. I only said what I said to vent the anger I felt, because to really get into an argument with a cunt such as yourself, Rogue4, would be to justify your ignorant misogyny by treating it as a viable and quantifiable point of view, when in fact, to any reasonable human being with an ounce of compassion and common sense, it is neither of those things. To live in world where the views of one such as yourself were made law would be as to live in a science fiction nightmare society, and not even one that seemed plausible. You’re proposing living in EQUILIBRIUM or DEMOLITION MAN, poorly thought out dystopias in which basic human decency is made illegal for the sake of phony screenwriting concepts, without even the distracting quality of explosions and gunfights. You’re a clown, Rogue4, and a paranoid one at that. The world has granted you everything, and still you seek to steal crumbs from those less fortunate than you. Your views are ludicrous, and I regret even dignifying them with a response as absurd as the one I tendered earlier. I wish only that the world improves, and that you somehow learn to live with the bitter taste that evolution causes.

  138. … to the extent that he believed the president’s agenda to be one that would put the country on a socialist path and believing such a path would be gravely detrimental, he wanted that agenda to fail. A more than debatable argument, to be sure. But lets debate the actual argument.

    Not possible. Obama’s very 1st act (coinciding with the Lily Ledbetter Act) as president — No! As president-elect, in fact, even before being sworn in in a fucked-up ceremony by Chief Justice John Roberts. As George W. Bush’s carry-over-er-in-chief — was to implement the 2nd half of the $787 billion bailout.

    So Rush, again, is was and is wrong wrong wrong. And in this case he is was is un-fucking-American. You won’t win this argument, Rogue4, because on these points you too are wrong wrong wrong, historically, factually, economically, and morally.

    There has been nothing “socialist” about Obama’s term so far. Wall street has been doing phenomenally well. The same week we celebrated the one year anniversary of the shooting of Osama in the eyeball was the 4 year high point for blue chip American stocks. Obama is stridently pro-Wall Street. Quite anti-socialist. What the motherfuck is Rush talking about? Obama is a Republican. What the motherfuck are you complaining about?

  139. Neal2zod has figured out that October 8 is the epicenter of politics. How can we all prepare for the next seismic shift?

  140. Seriously, I want to know why today’s right wing in the United States is so fucking mentally challenged.

    I’ve had these conversations in Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal, and the local conservatives in these places seem to have some sort of reasonable, coherent idea of why their more liberal political counterparts’ ideas are not beneficial for their home nations.

    But in the case of US conservatives lately, all I hear is thinly veiled racism, utterly maniacal nonsensical claims of socialism, and debunked Republican talking points from 25-30 years ago. What the fuck?!

    Who the fuck is teaching these idiots how to think about stuff? Do they not remember back as far as 4-5 years ago, the disasters of September 2008?

    Do these idiots seriously idolize Dick fucking Cheney? Jonah fucking Goldberg? Sarah fucking Palin? Holy fuck, I wouldn’t allow my kid to listen to 5 seconds of speechifying from these lowlights.

  141. I’ve always thought that political correctness cuts across both parties, that both the right and left are guilty of it at times

    also, while we’re on the topic of Demolition Man, what do YOU think the future will be like?

  142. Don’t look Friend-O, but now your debating the actual argument. Congrats.

    And do please keep right on provin my point, Maj. Your “I won’t stoop to dignifying your views…” righteously indignant posturing isn’t smoke screenin your debate for intellectual lightweights tactics and shallow as a bowl of cereal spewage of nasty ad-hominem invective.

  143. Friend-O – modern conservatives scare the shit out of me, I mean they are BUGFUCK insane

    it’s gotten so bad that even my dad, who used to be pretty conservative, is disgusted with the current Republican party

  144. Rogue4, the champions of your views have been proven to be wrong, to be economically unviable, and they are on track to be proven to be on the wrong side of history of virtually every aspect of social issues.

    I fail to dignify your views because your views are objectively incorrect, bigoted, anti-historical, and provably anachronistic. You are a wrongheaded dinosaur.

    Just because there, for some fucked up reason, exists “2 sides to the story” does not mean that the 2 views are equal in academic, moral, or intellectual merit.

  145. I think in the future we’ll get that Demolition Man pinball machine and we’ll all get along as long as we’re playing it. And Cung Le will be there and will answer questions moderated by Fred.

  146. And spittin wrong ,wrong, wrong and asserting as self evident fact amongst likeminded individuals that “the champions of your views have been proven to be wrong” as if the assertion is valid merely by virtue of making it doesn’t make your viewpoint airtight Friend-O. Nor does descending into more lame ad-hominems. But since you want to take it their, I find it somewhat telling that you seem to think that the existence of “2 sides to a story” is, in and of itself, “fucked up”.

  147. I’ve been away for a day and come back to what looks like a battlefield. Can someone please give me the short version, so I won’t have to read all these looong posts?

  148. Yes, the “virtue of making” the “assertion” that those who are aligned with your views are wrong is indeed the essence of winning a moral and/or political argument. Airtightness, though self-evidently obvious to myself in this case, is irrelevant, because your side is so far wrong that no oxygen exists on your side.

    There are scientifically mathematically verifiable facts relating to the [non-]efficacy of Bushonomics, just a few years ago, which refute everything that Romney & most of the current Republican platform stands for.

    I wish you would provide an operational definition and/or an example of that which is supposedly “lame” or “ad hominem.” I honestly don’t think you’re capable of doing so. The insistence that 21st century right-wingism is good for the US today is, frankly, harmful and backwards and willfully ignorant in the face of the real-time evidence being thrown in our face from the EuroZone. Just because you present a different side to our thinking doesn’t mean that your side is necessarily valid or possibly correct. That’s false equivalence, and it’s stupid and counterproductive for us to allow it into our discourse.

  149. Can we please get one thing straight? No where, ever, in her testimony did Sandra Fluke ask for anyone to pay for her birth control, nor did she ever talk about her personal sex life. She talked about the need to have the option for an insurance package for employees and students that provided some form of birth control coverage for a variety of reasons, some not even related to actual control of pregnancy. But that doesn’t matter; Fluke was arguing for the right to have access to an insurance program that covered birth control as an important part of women’s overall reproductive health. King Asshole of the Douchebag Clan Rush Limbaugh took it as an opportunity to not only insinuate that even talking about the need for birth control meant that a woman is a slut and possibly a prostitute, but then went on yet another rant saying that any woman like Fluke who wants birth control as part of an insurance package needs to send him sex tapes as compensation for the tax dollars he would not be paying in to cover it. He didn’t let it go until it started to hurt his bottom line and sponsors were pulling out.

    This has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with conservatives’ dismissive and misogynist attitudes toward what is a legitimate medical necessity for women. If this was about coverage for a male birth control pill, or, as others have pointed out, pills to give a middle-aged man an erection, there would have been no discussion, no hearings, and no problem among conservatives and religious entities alike. We would not be talking about a situation where Rush demanded that Joe Smith send pictures of his boner and videos of Smith pleasing his partner to taxpayers.

    Pregnancy does some drastic shit to a woman’s body, and we need at the very least that option of being able to opt out in between babies to recover, not to mention just avoid it all together for whatever personal reason. I don’t think telling us to close our legs does anyone any good, especially since it ignores the fact that many of us women are married and already have children. Abstinence is just not an option in a healthy marriage. Makes me wonder how a man who’s been married four times avoided having children without some form of birth control. Hmm…maybe his wives had access to a great insurance plan that covered it? Too bad the rest of us women can’t marry our own rich dickhead to pay for it. We have to rely on trying to find something affordable through our work, our husband’s work, or one of those expensive private plans. I’m lucky because I now live in a country that views birth control as a legitimate medical necessity. I am outraged for my friends and family back at home in the US, and fear what kind of coverage I would/would not get if we were to move back there.

    And trying to dismiss the horrible things Rush said by pointing at Maher’s use of the “cunt” doesn’t do shit for me, because both are wrong in different ways. Plus, at the time, Sandra Fluke was not a public political activist but a private citizen who was advocating for an issue that she saw was seriously affecting the women around her. (I would argue, though, that that has changed. And I say this as someone who has followed her story extensively and gets her twitter feed.) That’s what made it so much more outrageous in the eyes of the public than even some of the most vile vomit that has come out of the man’s mouth over the years. And for others, it was, as they say, just the final straw that broke the camel’s back.

    I’m going to bed now. I just want to say how much I appreciate some of the men on here for advocating for women’s health and pointing out the idiocy whenever they can.

  150. Rush Limbaugh is a fat little troll

  151. Of all the stupid things right wing politicians have come up with over the years, the war on women they’re fighting right now must be the most backwards, evil idea they’ve had in a long, long while. But at least it will give those who see 2012 on their calendar, and not 1812, a good idea of whom to vote for in the coming election.

  152. I feel compelled to borrow some words from legendary journalist Charlie Pierce:

    It will be the policy to operate on the principle that, while there may be two sides to every question, rarely are they both right. If this blog sees a man walking down the street with a duck on his head, it will report that it saw a man walking down the street with a duck on his head. It will not need two sources for that. It will not seek out someone to tell it that what it really saw was a duck walking down the street with a guy on its ass. It will be the belief of this blog that, as Christopher Hitchens once said, the only correct answer to the question, “Is nothing sacred?” is “No.”

    Also, this is a Republican base voter:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMANMIe0ZZI

  153. tawdry hepburn

    May 12th, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Come on guys, we all like this site because folks know how to keep it civil around here. So, lets keep it civil. I mean, if nothing else, “Day-glo hypocrisy” is a totally badass phrase.

    Also, it’s pretty funny that I wrote, like, 1000 words on how the Federal government has spent the last 40 years engaging in a large scale machiavellian scheme to install a covert form of Jim Crow laws through elaborate psychological warfare tactics without the congress even recognizing it consciously, and I’m not the paranoid one.

    Frankly, I like Rogue4, I was sick of being the biggest blowhard on this site. It’s nice to have a teammate in pompousness.

  154. Tawdry is right. We shouldn’t be arguing politics. We should be discussing the practicality of toilet paper versus the three seashell method.

  155. Under four hours of sleep, ANoniMouse? You’re worse than me. But you’re absolutely right, we don’t need to argue anymore, as you more or less said it all in you’re last post before bedtime. You’re right, they’re wrong. Let’s move on.

    I’ve always wondered, if Stallone had gotten Jackie Chan to play the villain in Demolition Man, what kung fu star from the past would Sandra Bulloch have been a fan of?

  156. For the record, ANoniMouse, I think men should pay for their own blue pills too. But I’m just curious if you appreciate the irony of the fact that your birth control/blue pill comparison unavoidably categorizes normal female reproductive function as a physical disorder? Arguably, a pretty regressive patriarchal era misogynistic attitude in our empowered “Vagina Monologues” devine feminine modern age.

    That aside, why do we keep propagating the phony as a 4 dollar bill narrative that abolishing birth control or cutting women off from it and telling them to close there legs is what anyone is arguing for.

  157. @Rogue4

    I know that when someone asks this question on the internet, it’s usually just them being a douche, but seriously and without any snideness; have you ever had a girlfriend/wife?

    Birth control pills are not used exclusively or even primarily for, ‘Normal female reproduction.’ Yes, the pills keep one’s – as Riann Wilson’s much-hated character from Juno would say, eggo from getting preggo – but there are plenty of totally legit reasons for the medication beyond that. Here are a few:

    Warning: I’m about to talk about ladyparts in a frank manner. I hope that we can all agree that basic biology isn’t gross.

    A: Period’s are painful. Emerging science has shown that, contrary to earlier research, PMS is not just a liberal conspiracy, but an actual affliction that can be damn near cripplingly painful for up to a full 7 days out of every month. If you had the world’s worst stomach cramps and fatigue and your testes (rough equivalent for breasts here) ached continuously for 25% of your life and there was a magic little pill that cut your pain by 75% without being addictive, don’cha think you might take it?

    B: Periods are irregular. Some girls are lucky and get their period once a month for 3 days with an even flow. Some girls get their period totally sporadically. Once in 3 months, then twice in the next 7 weeks. You could spot and then have heavy flow. For obvious reasons, this inconsistency can be a major problem. If you had to walk around everyday wondering if you were about to start bleeding, possibly profusely, from your nether regions, that might have some significant negative social and psychological effects, wouldn’t it? Or does that not strike you as a legitimate medical concern. I’ve heard people argue that point, actually; all of them were men.

    C: It’s scary to not get your period every month. Like, really scary. Multiple ex-girlfriends and close female friends have explained to me stuff like, “I love my stomach cramps, they’re the biggest relief in the world because it lets me know I’m not pregnant. Even when I wasn’t having sex, I’d still freak out if my period was late.” You ever have a pregnancy scare with a girlfriend or help a female friend through a pregnancy scare? Imagine living in that state constantly. Girls are raised to fear unplanned pregnancy and it can easily get into the superego and totally fuck with your head, even when you’re practicing abstinence.

    D: Regulating sex drive. Some women have trouble with moistness and desire. Certain kinds of BC can help out with this. Other kinds make it worse.

    E: Married women don’t necessarily wanna be popping out kids every year or two and, as AniMouse pointed out, abstinence doesn’t quite work for a married couple and condoms aren’t ideal either. Of course, if you’re really serious about not reproducing, you should be using condoms AND oral contraceptives and keep some Plan B in the drug cabinet. But that’s just something that those of us who can’t yet afford a vasectomy do…

    F: It’s none of your goddamned business what a woman does with her body. The same Catholic health plans *do* pay for Viagra ect. as far as I know. And plenty of other medications that are inconsistent with Judeo-Christian folklore. Catholicism is supposed to prize humble attitudes and a belief in a world beyond this one, so why should they cover contact lenses instead of glasses? That clearly supports vanity! Or braces, which are largely cosmetic, also vain!

    I’m not even being glib here. If the Catholic group that’s protesting being forced to treat women like human beings wants to be openly misogynistic and support violent patriarchy, then we should allow it, but also force them to be consistent. Their health care program should not include vision, dental, acne cream, reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy, erectile disfunction pills, or any other un-christlike medicines. Or life support. If your life is in YHWH’s hands, then even life support is an affront. Clearly keeping a body that cannot breath on its’ own alive is far more unnatural than taking a hormone that stops your uterus from shluffing. eh?

    You know what should be a primary teaching of the Catholic Church in my opinion? “It is easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle than it is to get a rich man into heaven.” Jesus never said anything about what women should be able to do with their bodies, but he mentioned the above quote in three of the four gospels. Maybe charity and giving to others, regardless of if they share your beliefs should be a higher priority than reasserting grotesque and vile Dogma that is totally unrelated to any actual biblical text. But that’s just my thing. I get hung up on the actual message and can’t seem to see the importance of the sociopolitical parts. It’s like a can’t see the trees because I’m too busy looking at the forest, or something.

  158. Rehydrated Dehydrated Pirate Paul

    May 12th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Ok, just for the sake of having a (somewhat) neutral view in here, at least on the subject of Limbaugh (I won’t even go into the subject of the Catholic Church here, the last time I did it ended up as a two-page rant about the so-called “morality” of withholding contraceptives and sex education from poor AIDS-ridden areas of the world), I went and looked up some of his quotes.

    My official, non-Democratic, non-Republican-aligned, stranger-from-another-land viewpoint? The man’s a charismatic bigot. But not, unfortunately, an idiot. He’s appealing to a certain subset of Americans, and seems to have been doing so fairly successfully. If this Sandra Fluke business takes down the man, it won’t teach everybody the values of tolerance, respect and empathy that he clearly scorns.

  159. Has anyone been to a Disney land amusement park? Or any amusement park really. Sea World? The world of Demolition Man reminded me of a giant amusement park where everything is extremely controlled. Every rough edge is smoothed out – for the children. And that is kind of what I love about amusement parks. I love the artificial world they try to create. As an adult I still appreciate the work and imagination that goes into creating these alternate realities.

    So when Vern says this world is completely off the mark, my response is, go to Universal Studios sometime. Or go to Disneyland. These are billion dollar industries that depend on a pure, non-cynical experience. Most adults can’t stand to be in them for very long. Eventually, adults will desire a rat burger.

    So to me the world does make sense. You CAN artificially create one of these. It’s been done many times.

  160. Rogue4 wrote:
    “That aside, why do we keep propagating the phony as a 4 dollar bill narrative that abolishing birth control or cutting women off from it and telling them to close there legs is what anyone is arguing for.”

    It’s “phony” to say people who side with Rush are essentially saying women should close their legs? But just earlier you said:

    “The argument is that Ms Fluke and women as a whole SHOULD PAY FOR THEIR BIRTH CONTROL THEMSELVES. And saying such DOES NOT equate to a call to ban, abolish, or restrict in any way, access to birth control for any female seeking it. I and some others embrace the apparently radical notion that women are ADULTS. And along with adult behavior and adult choices come adult responsibilities.”

    What exactly would you suggest as the “adult”, responsible choice for a woman who A) can’t afford the monthly costs of the pill, and B) doesn’t want to get pregnant, if you’re not just telling her to stop having sex? I suppose she could use cheaper forms of birth control like condoms, but they do carry a much higher risk of pregnancy for someone having sex regularly (a married woman, for instance), and even they might be hard to afford buying on a regular basis for a woman who was sufficiently cash-strapped.

    As for the other parts of your comments, I don’t think Rush was attacked purely for the word “slut” but for his overall message–if he had avoided that word and attacked Fluke for being “sexually promiscuous” I don’t think the reaction would have been much different. It’s still completely offensive to respond to a political belief expressed by a private citizen with that sort of personal attack, especially since Fluke was actually talking about a friend who used the pill to help with ovarian cysts (and even if she had been talking about using it just for birth control, everyone who’s on the pill has to spend the same amount of money on it regardless of how often they have sex).

    And on Dan Savage’s comments, is it really religious bigotry to say some parts of the Bible are bullshit? Anyone who isn’t a strict Biblical literalist should agree at least some parts are a product of human beliefs at the time they were written that are better to ignore in the present day, even if they might not use such strong language to say so. Savage wasn’t saying the whole Bible or the Christian religion were bullshit, and in fact if you look at the context of his comment, the thrust of his criticism was that Christians who use the Bible to justify ostracization of gays are hypocrites because their actual behavior already seems to tacitly acknowledge that they think there’s plenty in the Bible that can be ignored in the present day (see his elaboration on his point, and apology for his choice of words, at http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/04/29/on-bullshit-and-pansy-assed ).

  161. tawdry hepburn

    May 12th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Outlaw Seagal:

    There is an entire chapter in my favorite book of philosophy on *exactly* that idea with exactly that metaphor. Jean Baudrillard’s facemeltingly-awesome Simulacra and Simulation. It also has a chapter on J.G. Ballard’s Crash. Also, The Matrix is a (poor) interpretation of the book.

    Baudrillard’s basic theory is that we live in a world of hyperreality and signs signifying nothing. We see Big Thunder Mountain as a child, so when we see the Grand Canyon later we are forced to view it in reference to the simulacra of the real thing rather than experience it as it is, like a word phrase with no antecedent. Basically it’s a postmodern version of Plato’s Metaphor of the Cave.

  162. I like theme parks because they are fun

  163. I dunno…if I ever visit the Grand Canyon, I think I would have more connection to some episode of The Brady Bunch rather than Big Thunder Mountain.

  164. Last time I was at a theme park I was 12 yrs. old.

    Didn’t really like disney world though; guess I was just too old. Universal was awesome as shit; I guess cause I was always a big movie fan. Six flags great adventure was the best; I guess cause I like thrill rides.

  165. I haven’t been to Disney World since I was 12 either (although I plan on going again later this year) but I have been to the Universal Parks more recently

  166. Vern, right before Stallone knocks off Snipes’ head, he yells out “Heads up, Phoenix!” It’s true. I’m sorry.

  167. In answer to your question Tawdry, have you? Because you speak as if the female gender and their accompanying biology just sprang forth from the forest for your discovery yesterday. Women and their lady-parts have been around for quite awhile in fact. Guess what hasn’t. Yet somehow they’ve managed to survive, thrive and become (by a percent or 2) the majority gender. Now thats not to diminish or dismiss the issues you mention, but when you suggest that pregnancy prevention doesn’t make up the primary usage of the pill your credibility and suggestion of the scope of those issues becomes dubious.

    But all that’s moot. The entirety of your argument is only relevant if I don’t want women to have birth control. That is not my position. Just the dead straw-horse you have to keep beatin to maintain yours.

  168. tawdry hepburn

    May 12th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    So, because there are more women than men in the world, there aren’t legitimate uses for birth control pills? It’s not that women would die without BC, it’s that BC improves the quality of life for a great many women, even without accounting for its’ primary usage.

    Your entire first paragraph is just bizarre, dude. What does total world population have to do with Birth Control (from a Catholic perspective: nothing!)? How is that even tangentially related? And when did I give any indication, whatsoever, that BC pills were not used primarily for birth control? I never said anything like that. I said that BC is prescribed for a lot of different reasons. Everything from ovarian cysts, to acne, to pain relief, to arousal aid, to contraceptive.

    To force a doctor to interrogate a woman about *why* she wants birth control and possibly force her to lie in order to get medical assistance is clearly sexist because it is an indignity that is foisted exclusively upon women.

    If we’re gonna say that it’s fair to deny necessary medial treatment to people based upon arbitrary and non-biblical church doctrine, then we should also allow for Evangelical groups, Baptist groups and others to deny anti-psychotic medications to schizophrenics because churches used to believe that epileptic fits, multiple personality disorders and psychotic breaks were caused by demon possession or else an example of divine action through speaking in tongues.

    Certainly denying the existence of both YHWH’s miracles and the Devil’s presence on earth is more of a fundamental offense than saying that doctors, not priests, should determine what’s best for female patients.

  169. If Stallone had cast Jackie Chan as Simon Phoenix how would they have dealt with the language issue? I think it’s interesting that Stallone kept trying to cast Chan as a villain (in an incarnation of RAMBO IV too) since that’s so not what Jackie is about. Is Stallone supposedly a fan? And he doesn’t get that?

    But Jackie still struggles with English and 1993 was well before he became a regular on the talk show circuit and dubbing all his movies in English. How on earth could a broken English Simon Phoenix be remotely intimidating?

  170. He could have been dubbed by James Earl Jones! I remember seeing some interviews with Sly in the early 90’s where he was talking about how he loved Hong Kong cinema. Then he was mainly talking about Michelle Yeoh. I didn’t hear about the Jackie thing until later. He should have gone with Donnie Yen. He speaks fairly good English and can do bad any day of the week.

  171. *In Shatner Voice* Too. Many. Words. Not. Enough. Paragraphs. Eyes. Melting. Going. Blind!

    Geez. I don’t check in here for a few days and this is what I find has happened to the discussion thread?

    I’ll agree, a lot of cinematic “dystopias” are not very well thought out and simply reflect a hyper-fantastical reality that will never come to pass and is simply used as a background to base the events in the screenplay to play out things in a way that does not have much subtext. Some are good (and entertaining) but most range from mediocre to stupid.

    As for the war against women, that was the last thing I expected would come out of this thread. But it is a real thing unfortunately. I don’t really think this is the right forum for it either but I’d go so far as to say there is an endemic problem about how a large proportion of people and society in general views women.

    It’s a shame, but as much as I wish it were the case, no amount of cinematic “badass” female empowerment-type genre heroines are going to somehow influence the societal views towards viewing women as, well, human beings. I guess these things take time, but there’s no shortage of assholes trying to push back against true enlightenment.

    Those genre heroines will just have to remain fantasy jerk-off material. Yes, that would include even Sandra Bullock in The Net.

  172. Just to add, I think it’s already bad enough that a significant proportion of men are already against women’s rights. It’s mind-boggling to me that there are women out there like Palin et al. who are that way too.

  173. I just read some trivia that’s especially interesting to this board; The producers of Demolition Man had negotiations with Steven Seagal and Jean Claude Van Damme for the movie, but when Jean Claude said he’d do it only if he could play the hero, and Steven refused to play the bad guy, the deal fell apart.

  174. A Seagal vs Van Damme movie would be fascinating. Certainly wouldn’t get the budget the Stallone version did. Makes sense though that Seagal would be the mean rogue with Van Damme the innocent hero reborn into this crazy world. And just when it looks like Van Damme is beat, he’d figure out the three seashells and rise up from the fire to deliver the spin kick to save the day.

  175. Who would have thought that while I was gone for the weekend the DEMOLITION MAN forum would turn into a huge scorched-earth one-man-against-the-world fight over women’s reproductive rights? Even the visionary prophetic mind of Sylvester Stallone couldn’t have seen that one coming.

    and asimov (from way back): yes, I was kidding.

  176. That’s why I don’t talk politics much, Mr. S. I get drunk and start calling people the C-word in the name of feminism.

  177. And by “C-word” you mean conservative, I take it? You mean man!

  178. You gotta love the C-word, its one of the last true bastions of the English language that retains the ability to shock people (in America). Treasure it.

  179. Apparently director Brambilla is now a video artist. If anyone cares, here is something from German TV about one of his Hollywood themed installations, which is according to him, both a homage and a parody of Hollywood’s love for spectacle, depending on how the viewer sees it. It does look cool, so I guess even if you don’t understand German, it’s at least nice to look at.

    http://tinyurl.com/lkvs8wu

  180. Overall it’s a very satisfying movie, even if Sandra Bullock’s acting abilities aren’t real.

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