Poditive Screwcast Ep.01: Consumerism and Why We Like the Things We Like

Introduction to PS

Hello and welcome!

This is our first Poditive Screwcast (a podcast by the Primitive Screwheads — see how we did a thing there?) and this features Derek Hobson, Paul Mendez and Jeffrey Kieviet.

This PS is on Consumerism and Why We Like the Things We Like.

The Music & Sounds

The music in the beginning is Warriors by Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance — which is reprised in the ending as well.

The first interlude features Only Time by Enya and the second features Boadicea which happens to be my (Derek’s) favorite.

Also, periodically, you’ll probably hear some background noises. Most I cannot confirm what they are. Paul cuts out a little in the beginning and someone was definitely moving their computer around, but otherwise the most notable is the the “Shushing” sound at one point. For the record, that was my cats, specifically Hemingway (Hemi), who I moved to the bathroom to keep her off the computer. In retaliation, she clawed the door.

0.00-0.15 What Trilogies is Jeff Talking About?

Jeff is actually referencing the Dark Knight trilogy — not different trilogies. We were discussing the ending at one point and he was saying that he would’ve rather we not see Bruce Wayne so that it’s left to our imaginations (like the way Nolan did with Inception), but Paul and I told him that it is what you make it, so maybe Alfred is senile and is seeing something that’s not really there… and then we get Jeff’s imagination in full-effect recorded for your entertainment.

Sounds like an awesome film.

3.56-4.00 Why Does Derek Find PC Sickening?

This is more about the lengths we’re willing to go to make people feel comfortable.

You know, if people want to make “Mankind” into “Personkind” – sure, whatever. And obviously, I’m happy that women and the LGBTQ community are gaining more rights.

What bothers me is the people who fall prey to the slippery slope fallacy, like, in order to keep things PC, they need to make unnecessary changes. The best example I saw recently was this article talking about how a school (in the UK) is disallowing teachers to correct homework and tests with red ink, because it’s too negative.

So, while there are studies on “colors” and how we see them — make us feel, etc. — this just seems wrong.

First, the article shows a picture of a math test, which, the beauty of math is that there’s one right answer — red or not.

Second, kids who like red must feel pretty bad for liking what is now deemed a “negative” color.

Third, they’re making the teachers use green to correct instead… but won’t that have the same effect as red over time? Green will be viewed as negative.

The conclusion is to either keep rotating colors or they’re just going to stop correcting papers… and that’s not an education.

Again, even if that is a slippery slope, it’s the point I’m trying to get at by sickeningly PC.

29.47-29.55 Hemingway Scratching

That’s Hemingway scratching the door (see Music and Sounds above).

Post PS Analysis

What I like about doing podcasts — now that we’ve done two (technically) — is that they really get you thinking long after they’re over. I mean, even though this is 40 minutes, it’s cut from an hour and fifty minutes. And, at the time, we didn’t even link Jennifer Lawrence to the sudden boom in nerd culture and plus-sized models.

Even though Lawrence isn’t fat, they make a big deal out of it and it’s likely a PR standpoint. When social media first boomed, that’s when we really saw the fiascos like Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson, Christian Bale (his rant) and, of course, Charlie Sheen. Yes, though those are celebrities, we can go through the slew of political candidates (ex. Wiener) who have suffered from social media as well.

Anyway, one thing we touched on, but didn’t include is how celebrities (some) are paid $5,000/tweet and that just goes to show how agents are using social media to their advantage nowadays. Before, you follow actors by filmography, but now it seems like they are just trying to market a person (which is easy when you’re an actor).

Nerd Culture Compared to Religion

Jeff makes the astute observation that we’re polytheistic in our praise of super heroes as gods and I didn’t realize how true that was at the time.

I’m thinking about it now more in regards to comic books specifically, but it applies to Star Trek and other nerd lore as well. See, most religious icons (the good ones, not the extremists on either side of the spectrum) talk about how religions NEED to update. You can relate this to the constitution and how we need to update it because 200 years ago, they had no idea we would have a cloud of knowledge.

It’s why some religions have modern prophets (see the Mormon church) or the Pope to interpret the Bible on the modern zeitgeist (especially the wicked awesome Pope Francis [who has to tell people he’s not superman because he’s so awesome]). Heck, even the previous Pope stepping down before death is a sign of the times that we’re in, but I digress…

The point is, religion needs to update or it doesn’t make sense. And what I think is interesting is that there are biblical fundamentalist as much as there are Star Trek or Comic Book fundamentalists. Notice how these people are the source of so much anger, hate, and outrage!

Jeff isn’t wrong in comparing the two, it definitely seems like it’s our societal norm to follow the “prime” or “first” version and then we disallow interpretation. But, if you think about it, like the first Batman comics didn’t have the voice that character does now. Things NEED to grow and I think people should be excited about the reimaginings.

The Future of Superhero Movies

This idea was particularly interesting since, in the same way that comic books have… like, 15 series of the same character running (see The spectacular Spider-Man, Sensational Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man, etc. etc.), Paul’s saying that we’ll start to see those different branches happening concurrently which we are already starting to see.

This would not be all that surprising.

Clarifying my Interest in Sequels

This is the final point that I just want to clarify because I went off on a tangent, but cut it. I don’t have an interest in the “bigger” sequels. People seem to have an interest in trilogies because each one tops the other in scale/scope. Taking Star Wars or Pirates of the Caribbean or (more recently) The Avengers where the first one was New York, the second is going to be the world and the third is building to galactic. My interest then, is in The Avengers 4 — not 2 or 3 — and it’s why I liked Iron Man 3 so much.

The threshold I’m referring to is, when you’ve tackled global problems, eventually you’re going to need to tackle smaller, more personal stories. Seeing Iron Man save the world, for me, is been-there-done-that mentality. I would like to see him — almost like a television show — have an entire movie dedicated to trying to get Pepper Pots something for their anniversary or discovering something his mother left behind (some sentiment). I feel like it’s only natural for movies to progress this way since we can only see mass destruction for so long. It’d be different while still something worth watching.

Just a thought.

Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again soon.

0 comments

  1. J.K. Post authorReply

    Nice, rambling post script to a nice, rambling podcast! I just wanted to further clarify: at some point we started talking about the Dark Knight Rises and how Alfred would have been the main character. He’s just this delusional old man who saw his “son” (Bruce) explode in a nuclear fireball, so he goes to his cafe in France and his mind has gone through so much that he just imagines Bruce sitting there sipping his espresso. I don’t think that was my idea but eventually it devolved into, what if Alfred was insane the whole time, after Martha & Thomas Wayne die, having to raise their only son into a billionaire, alcoholic, womanizing playboy, that he just imagines that the reason Bruce comes home all haggard and bruised is because inside, he’s truly a great man, out in the world fighting crime, but in reality, he’s just snorting blow and banging hookers and getting beaten by their pimps. Makes much more sense than dressing up as a giant bat and fighting a psychotic clown, don’t you think?

  2. J.K. Post authorReply

    Also, Casey said we should “fact check,” whatever that means… but the part where I said something like “no one gave a shit about Eminem’s new album about violence & hate, but everyone loved Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s album The Heist because it was about peace & love… Marshall Mathers LP 2 outsold The Heist by a shitload, so I may have been wrong. However, The Heist won a Grammy. And the only person I talked to about MM LP 2 was Casey, but I spoke with like, at least 3 people about The Heist.

    • J.K. Post authorReply

      Also, Eminem’s new album actually has a little bit more peace & love in it… so I think the main point still stands.

      • Derek Hobson Post authorReply

        Haha, sure, well, that’s why I tried to clarify some stuff with the links in the text.
        But certainly, it’s why we should screen these to each other before sending them up.

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