Tuesday, August 12, 2014

We were fucking lied to...

Drink the Kool-aid, right?
My generation has been lied to. 

Look, this rant won´t be about anything humanitarian - there´ll be no sequence here about the wars breaking out, or all the destruction we are doing to the environment, or anything of the like. I will bring this from very close to me, from a personal suffering of mine. This will be as selfish as rants can be. 

And the bottom line is: I feel like I have been lied to. 

I can be considered for some a loser. Last week I was watching something on TV, casually, and I saw some lady throw out the phrase: "at least you are not some 30 year old living at home". The home, in this case, is referring to someone´s parents´ home. The character was from an older generation than mine, a generation that I believe helped throw a lot of others in the same situation I now am in, but I´ll get to this later.

For I am a 30 year old. And I live in my parents´house. 

In the scenario of the TV show, to that mother (yeah, it had to be a mother - not that fathers can´t say the same shit, but you know it had to be a mother, right?), I am a loser. 

Of course, I´m talking about a specific paradigm here. I´m not talking that I´m a loser per se, or that I´ve been lied to outside of a socioeconomical standpoint, but there´s a reason why I´m saying that. And that is because of...


We´ve all grown up inside a system. To most of the people reading me right now, the system must be a lot like what is considered a "western" system. A "capitalistic" system, if you will. We learn that there is this thing called ''money'', and that there are "jobs", and that you need money to (freakin') survive and to get the money you need you have to 'do stuff'.

Doing stuff, for the most of the time means work, and by work I mean giving your fuckin' blood away. But I´m getting ahead here. Let me back for a minute. 

Ok, so we have the system. The system tells you basically that you have to work. Oh! But you can´t just work, nowadays, it´s freaking illegal even. Not that, we, as kids wanted to go out and work all day, right? Not at all, even today I feel that work is absurd, when you think about it existentially. No, we didn´t want to work back then as kids, but we couldn´t, even, as per the system. See how the system is pervasive?  

To work we needed to A) get older and B) have some sort of skill. If you were born from middle class and higher, you had some choices (within the system, pay attention!), you could even go as much as learning something in some higher institution of learning (that´s what they call the biggest schools in the planet) or even beyond. Imagine that, they said. You could have all your wants and needs out of life, if you just, you know, prepare yourself for working when the time comes.

So we prepare ourselves. And we go through shit. And then, one day, we are ready to get inside that higher learning institution. And then you are good to go, right? 

No, you are not. 

You go through a lot more shit, and right when you are thinking this must be a freaking joke, you get out of said institution. Now what? Now can I move in to my big house, with the car on the garage? Oh, and fetch that awesome gorgeous wife too, throw that along with the painting while you are it, would you? 

Yeah. Right? So then you begin to work your ass off so you can try and get that ellusive house and car that you want. So now it´s up to the "doing stuff" part. 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Comedy shows, TV, etc.

Ok, this theme may be a bit silly for some, but I feel it has some importance. 

I watch some TV, sometimes. And I particularly enjoy watching some movies (some being key word here). Nowadays, more than ever, I´m very picky about anything I watch. 

Trying to catch some fun shows to have a laugh - funny, that desire to have a laugh - I tried to search, through an internet based service, a show to watch. The yearning to laugh I guess I can pinpoint to the fact that I don´t really laugh much on my day to day basis, so perhaps the body somehow needs a little bit of it, or else. I don´t blame anyone who gives in to it. 

But the thing is, after going to watch some of these, so called comedy shows, nowadays, it became clear to me that there is something a bit odd with them.

By this I mean, there´s something wrong with how characters are portrayed on the screen and what we are supposed to get from the stuff, to the point that is eventually bending concepts of morals, ethics and  everything in between.

Let me explain a bit more. And this is, you know, IMO. Characters should portray an idealized representation of the viewers, and this is very much so in many works of the performing arts. On general, comedies are a bit of murkier ground, because the characters must constantly be shaking the limits of what is considered to be "normal" so everyone can have a good laugh with their inherent silliness. There are shows, and there have been many, that challenge the notion that the character, in many comedies, are good people. Just at the top of my head, I can name perhaps Beavis and Butt-head, an staple of american adult cartoon comedy, South Park, The Peep Show, and various others, including the one I reviewed on the other blog. 

But the point is, many comedies go over these notions in some surreal setting, which helps to ease the viewer onto the breaking of the "normal" conventions so they can then have a laugh at the expense of the situation created without much to care. Cartoon comedies are a perfect example in this sense, since the relation with the viewer is already somehow broken from the start (though the extent of it is debatable) through the use of the animated medium. Unconventional settings also work in this sense.

Then, most of comedies I see nowadays, don´t use much of these 'unconventional settings'. They want to firmly plant their narratives into a simile of what should be considered 'our world'. And then is where I believe things start to get shaky. Though there is comedy to be found on the world - one would argue - the narrative that is being played on this simile is expect to create some amount of confusion. You mix this aspect with the notion that they are main characters' actors are playing inconsequential, hypocritical or downright cruel people, and the show that was supposed to be about having a good laugh starts to become weird. 

There´s a way of working around that, if anyone is thinking about it. There´s space for characters to be strange, hypocritical, stupid, disgusting and downright evil, in a comedy - and that´s when they are not the main characters. The main characters, especially the 'straight man', ideally should not have a lot of 'bad qualities' or moral holes in his persona, because ideally they should represent a version of the viewer, and the viewer, at least until further notice, wants to be represented as someone who has some moral standards (even when they do not possess such, but still). 

When the main characters possess such array of bad qualities to them, but at the same time are told, through the writers, through in-universe characters that they possess qualities that are ethical and moral,  when they do not, that´s where the problem lies. I could name Parks and Recreation here, but I guess this applies to a lot of comedies I have tried to watch the last couple of times. Loud and foul mouthed characters, downright evil or disgusting, and morally impaired, they are there. Sometimes happens that the characters in the show hate another minor character and consider him/her to be evil, while a main character does the same exact thing that the characters complain about and receive exactly zero flak for it. I have tried watching some comedies the last two months and found a lot of them nowadays to behave this way. 

To the point where I actually have began to question myself if watching TV´s, particularly these modern sitcoms (99% of them) is even worth, even when I wish to have a laugh. Because to actually have a good laugh you have to go through a sea of sh*t, and when you get there, you begin to wonder if it was  even worth the trip.  

So I begin to read what other people talk about, and it become clear once again. This is mind control at its finest. I read this, for instance:
Make no mistake that there is only one reason why television exists, and that is to sell products. No one is producing TV shows because they want to create great art. Every single part of every single TV program is designed to keep you in front of the TV and prepped to buy the advertised products through traditional advertising or product placements.
Television is designed to make you feel bad so you will buy products that make you feel better. It’s the ultimate in mind control systems. Companies figured out how to get us to voluntarily brainwash ourselves for their benefit.
They freaking make you feel bad. I realized that the show´s makes and producers didn´t create these shows without perceiving the morally corrupted characters that they put there. They created them specially f*cking evil so we could be attacked by them, feel threatened by them, or even worse, start laughing with them at their wrongdoings. 

Yes, I see it happening. You name a terrible character on TV, and it´s guaranteed that they have a cult-like following. What is even worse, is that those characters are not described as 'villains'. The master trick is that the characters I am talking about here are the characters that are supposed to be the main, 'good-natured', protagonist characters. And while they are not, at the same time they are perceived as such, in-universe, and outside of it, thus revealing that the people, the viewers have trouble to differentiate between what they seeing on TV and freaking real life. 

That´s the issue. 

Couple this with the fact that a lot of people agree with the following: 
Programming Yourself with Negativity
Just about every television show, from comedies to drama to reality TV and the news, is negative. If you look at almost any TV show there is a complete lack of positive redeeming messages. While there are exceptions to this rule they are few and far between, so choose carefully what you decide to spend your time watching.
TV Poisons Your Belief Systems
In comedies, we laugh at the stupid/overweight/socially awkward/racial stereotype/different people. The news is filled with stories of pain/suffering/disaster/death, and arguing and drama has to be about problems in order to create the drama. All of this is affecting your outlook on life and the way you see the world.
And you have what I´m trying to get at. And I´m not just putting it up there because I´ve read about it. I´ve always believed it that you should diminish your TV time, or even destroy it altogether. Except for some news - you gotta know what is going on - you almost never need a TV. I don´t even have a TV  set since, I believe, 2004. But I sometimes check it out, when I´m somewhere else, or through internet based services, like the one mentioned above. 

The reason why I wrote this post is not because I´m not only outraged by what I have seen, but because I believe now, more than ever, people are being attacked through media (or should I say reinforced) with examples of bad modes of conduct, morals and ethics and everything that surrounds it, to the point that I feel morals and ethics are being turned upside down sometimes.

Plus, you have always been able to get your morally deviant characters from various examples of other types of shows and media. You want to have a poster of Jason Voorhees on your bedroom? Go right f*ckin-ahead. The same goes to all other villains and antagonists. But those are certified 'villains' or at least characters that are very much well into 'villain territory'. That is okay. At least you know where you are going. The problem with comedy characters is that, I feel comedy, in essence should be so light a matter, that when you go expecting to just chill your head, you get this obnoxious, annoying, disgusting excuses of human beings for main characters, that´s where I draw the line. 

Well, this is it, I guess. Sorry for the long post, and the topic that is a bit off. 

Cheers to all, and I´m expecting to hear your positions on this, if you´d like to provide them.


P.s.: If you want to watch TV, it´s fine. 
P.s.2: There´s no problem with cherry picked ''good shows'' on TV, that´s not what I´m specifically talking about. 
P.s.3: I have nothing against comedies, nor do I believe that there´s only one way to do them, if they need to exist. It´s just.... well, I can discuss more about it in the comments. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Overwhelming days...

Hello everyone. I haven´t been posting these days because frankly I am kind of overwhelmed with everything that has been going on, regarding the world around me and my personal existence. 

Brazil is a freaking mess. Foreigners that came to visit it during the World Cup event generally liked it, you know, besides those that were arrested here and there for minor offenses, and obviously also those that suffered some minor injuries and other things. But no major thing happened to nobody that came here visiting - other than what is normally expected when huge gatherings of human beings powered with alcohol can achieve on their own.

But we are having some protests (I never know the correct word for this... rallies? riots? Anyway) here and though I´m not a part of it, I know that those have been happening over the country. There has been all sorts of police brutality registered, and this last weekend, some people were arrested because of them. 

Though she probably will be released soon, this proves that States are powerful things. Oh well. The protests are attacking private property (and also public property) and though I know that there should be some kind of restraint on those types of attacks, how the hell is one supposed to protest nowadays anyway? Hold up a sign? Like the Government and the powers that be even care about that sort of thing. When was the last time holding a sign did anything? I wonder.


Wars breaking out in the world, with the latest bombings of the Gaza strip and near regions. People killing others living in their own buildings, people being robbed, a freaking bypass has fallen in Brazil killing 2 people, corruption, and generally whenever I turn the TV on the news it´s just a freaking mess all over. There have been 50 registered cases of public lynching since the beginning of the year, having come as far as people attacking a history teacher that was just jogging. Don´t even get me started on the World Cup games. There was a guy that bit the other in game. And nothing freaking happened to the guy, he is being hired to one major soccer team in Europe. One of Brazil´s player suffered an injury that left his almost paralyzed, if the injury had been some centimeters closer to his spine. I mean, I´m not a defender of the millions these people receive to play, but the thing is, they are playing soccer, not participating in a freaking UFC tournament. The fact that nothing happens, and people just harm others like that, all the while the millions who are watching do nothing makes me feel like I´m living in freaking Bizarro World. 


Other than that, there is the normal shit everywhere, like the shortage of jobs, pressure to survive in this post-capitalistic hell, etc. Some days, more than others, you just kind sit there, wondering. What the hell.

Sorry about the long time with no posts. I´ve read all the latest comments, but if there´s something you´d like me to address, tell me about it.

Cheers to you all and until next time - I hope to post again shortly.