Tag: Conspiracy

2016, Movies

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016, Edward Zwick)

After watching this sequel, I feel like I should go back and up my rating on the original because, for all its flaws (some seemingly inherent in the source material), the original movie was entertaining as these things go. This one is not. SPOILERS (for this film and the original)

2009, Movies

Angels & Demons (2009, Ron Howard)

This is one of those movies where even a little bit of a thought unravels everything. Tom Hanks’ character makes insane “deductions” and everyone (rightly) thinks he’s insane, yet somehow the plot machinations always bear him out. It’s utterly ridiculous stuff, especially the climatic scenes where there’s literally no way that anyone could have possibly …

2015, Movies

TIFF 2015: The Return of the Atom (2015, Jussi Eerola, Mika Taanila) (2/15)

This is an episodic and pretentious documentary about Finland’s newest nuclear power plant that manages to somehow both be hysterical (not “hysterical” as in “funny” but hysterical as in “insane”) and, somehow, extremely boring.

1994, Books, Non-Fiction

The Creature from Jekyll Island (1994) by G. Edward Griffin

A necessary critique utterly ruined by conspiratorial nonsense. I have finished nearly every book I have ever started but I will not be finishing this one. I apologize for the slipshod nature of what follows. This has been a trying experience for me.

1990, TV

House of Cards (1990), To Play the King (1993), The Final Cut (1995)

This review contains some mild spoilers. I watched this earlier than I planned in part in getting impatient for the American season 3 to start, and in part because I heard rumours of no more BBC programming on Netflix. Watching both series is very illustrative. The original British mini series (the first season) is considerably …

2011, Movies

Unknown (2011, Jaume Collet-Serra)

This movie is utterly nonsensical until the twist. The twist itself is ridiculous, but this is actually the rare movie where the twist explains thing enough to rend most (I stress ‘most’) of the nonsense before it as actually somewhat plausible. The twist answers most of the “This doesn’t make any sense!!!” moments that occur …

Books, RIP

Gore Vidal was crazy but sometimes he was also awesome

I guess what I mean to say is RIP Gore Vidal. But I have a problem saying that, and my problem is that Gore Vidal believed a lot of stuff (particularly about the United States government) that was not true. Worse, he made it public. Worse, because he was Gore Vidal, he made it public …

Psychology, Religion, Society

3* Reasonable Objections to All Conspiracy Theories

When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I was a big believer in conspiracy, particularly the “plot to kill Kennedy.” I ridiculed those around me who doubted a conspiracy in Kennedy’s death and regularly told them that they just didn’t know all the facts. Anyone who knew all the facts would clearly …

Politics, Society

No Sound Reasons for Conspiracy Theories

This is a response to a comment on this post. What do you mean by “more going on”? Who led you to believe what you used to believe? I think conspiracy theories by definition do not give sound reasons for their claims. That’s why they are conspiracy theories and not accepted fact. Did you ever notice how those who …

Politics, Society

Ok. Why do you think conspiracy theories are a social evil?

I think conspiracy theories (as opposed the identification of actual conspiracies, which is an altogether different thing) and the belief in them cause a number of problems. First, as the individual level I think the belief in conspiracy theories allows the individual to be apathetic. If there are secret powers directing everything, we are powerless …

Philosophy, Society

Why is metaphysics dangerous in the hands of those who govern us?

All people generally think alike and don’t think alike at the same time. We have some things in common and other things which aren’t in common. But the claim there is a class, a coherent, self-contained ruling elite, that is distinctly different from the average joe, has no basis in fact; its basis is in …

Philosophy, Politics, Society

Why is metaphysics dangerous in the hands of those who govern us?

Metaphysics, i.e the study of “things” outside of physical reality, is incredibly dangerous for politics. But first, why do we use metaphysics? For some reason or other, human beings need to use abstracts to express themselves. We cannot always refer our ideas to concrete things. There is a whole field of philosophy that studies this …

Politics, Society

Why don’t you believe in conspiracies?

First, I think we must distinguish between conspiracies in the legal sense, and conspiracy theories. Conspiracies are any time that two or more people get together to break a law. Conspiracy theories are “hidden han”d theories of history (for ages in the case of the Illuminati for example, or just recently, in the case of …

Politics, Society

Why is it so hard for some people to beleive that the people in charge don’t have their own agenda?

We can debate endlessly the meaning of “in charge” but I can’t agree with your first statement. Nobody is actually “in charge” in the sense that nobody has the power to do whatever they want. A cursory look at Obama’s struggles implementing his agenda is proof of this. Even the US president, who has more …

Politics, Society

Why is it so hard for some people to believe that the people in charge don’t have their own agenda?

Further to this. The agenda doesn’t matter all that much, as much as we’d like it to. In a criminal trial they try to prove motive, means and opportunity. But investigators can’t focus on motive alone (which is what most conspiracy theorists do) because motive alone doesn’t rule out enough people. If an unpopular guy …

Philosophy

Noah’s Ark

4,800-year-old wood on Mount Ararat is clearly the remnants of some gigantic boat which contained two of every animal during a flood of the entire world. Clearly. There can be no other accounting for it. These people have obviously never heard of Occam’s Razor. Occam’s Razor tells us that this wood is more than likely …

2007, Hockey, Politics, Society, Sports

Signs of the Apocalypse

I’m not a believer, but this stuff could convert me… Politician’s Ring-Tones Ok, so you can go to Obama’s site and get ring-tones of Obama over-top of some terrible dance music (or something) saying “This is Barrack Obama” followed by “Let’s bring the troops home” or some shit. There are six or something. Fergie. It’s …

1946, 2006, 2007, Journalism, Movies, Music

Loose Change

For one thing, apparently Erlewine has changed his tune. I remember a ways back, in his review of Songs for the Deaf (which they gave 4.5/5 anyway), STE made the bizarre analogy of White Stripes as Stones, QOTSA as King Crimson (right…) and though we may like SFTD, it was not “real” or “true” rock …

2004, Movies

The Manchurian Candidate (2004, Jonathan Demme)

I usually hate remakes. I usually hate the ideas of remakes. I say to people, “How would you feel if they remade your favourite movie?” Most people say they wouldn’t be happy. And yet we constantly rehash and remake movies. The only movies I think should really be remade are those that had a great …

1992, Movies

The Panama Deception (1992, Barbara Trent)

This film is interesting. It’s far from great. It’s not fully coherent and somewhat awkward. But it is revealing in terms of what happened in Panama, and it’s interesting to watch in light of later US foreign policy decisions. I was going to write a far more detailed comment about it but I have since …