Adam Wednesdays

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Have you've seen Eccentric Family 2 yet?

No, I haven't. I really haven't been watching much anime in the last few months. I'll get around to it soon, I hope.

How can beauty save the world, if it requires victims?

QOTD Intern, have you been drinking again? We've talked about this. You need help!

Assuming you've seen AoT episode 37: If Twitter's user base were all titans, who would be your picks for the best and worst person to be the Coordinate?

I've been trying to come up with an answer to this for days, and I got nothing. Sorry.

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How would you rate this anime season?

I'd say it's been fine, with the caveat that I'm barely watching anything and have put even the shows I was watching on hold over the last few weeks.
Honestly, "it's been fine" is my answer to this question every time. I only watch a few shows every season, and there are so many that come out there's always bound to be at least something that I've been enjoying. WIth very few exceptions, the seasons are all largely the same in term of quality: there's a couple of good things, a couple of bad things, and a whole lot of mediocrities that no one will care about or remember one to two weeks after they get into a fight over the review of the first episode during Preview Guide. Besides, there's so much stuff coming out every 3 months that almost everyone should be able to ignore all the things that don't appeal to them and still have plenty to watch. So unless its a season with a shockingly high number of great shows or one where there's none at all, the answer should always be "it's fine."

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How do you see yourself spending your time in your old age?

Much like I do now: complaining about back pain and grousing about whippersnappers.

Any writers you admire for their prose?

Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Pynchon, Raymond Chandler. Those are the ones that come to mind at the moment.

Which writer do you think is the biggest edgelord?

I haven't seen the show, but based on screenshots I'm going to go ahead and say whoever it was that wrote Divine Gate.

you never go on twitter anymore uncle adam

I'm actually on Twitter all the time, I just barely post anymore. I keep forgetting to do the whole posting thing. I used to wonder about those accounts that were 90% retweets, only to one day realize I'd become one of them. Oops.

go on curiouscat

I did! And no one would send me any questions! I spent months trying to get you guys to ask me stuff there, and the only questions I'd get were sent here instead. Can't fight the tide, man.

Any prestige TV shows you're following?

I'm currently watching Game of Thrones, The Americans, and Better Call Saul. GOT and The Americans are the only ones I'm up to date on, though; I have to wait for Saul to go up on Netflix, so I'm a season behind.
Of those three, The Americans is probably my favorite. I don't talk about it online much because it's really hard to discuss in Twitter-shaped bits, but it's an astoundingly good show. It started out as a pretty good show about spies, which slowly changed into an incredibly insightful character drama about families, friendships, and the nature of patriotism and duty. It's a very, very slow burn of a show, especially the last couple of seasons, but it's only gotten better for it. There are very few shows where every little thing that happens has weight and import, or that can pack as much meaning and emotional devastation in a single line of dialogue, or even just a look one person gives another. There have been more than a few of those this season alone; Frank Langella softly saying, "I thought I was serving a higher cause, but... I was just scared" is going to stick with me for a long time. I highly recommend it, but with the caveat that if you're someone who gets bored with shows that don't have a plot or twists or "things" happening, then you're probably going to find everything from Season 3 onward pretty hard to sit through. But if you like slow-burn character drama, go for it.
Better Call Saul is great, too. I really wasn't sure about the idea of a Breaking Bad spin off at first, but it's at least as good as its parent show. We all know where Jimmy is going to end up, but watching him go from well-meaning screwup to cynical drug lawyer has been very entertaining. And we get to see more Mike, so it's worth it for that alone.
And then there's Game of Thrones, which is very Game of Thrones. There's really not much left to say about that one, at this point.

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The ANNCast Psychopass ep went up so was thinking about it. But how different do you think the Sibyl System would be if American writers were writing the series? Not an expert on Japanese culture by any means, but it felt the show was informed by Japan's low crime rate and culture of harmony.

It's tough to say? Some of the details would be probably be different - the police probably wouldn't use cute mascot holograms, for one, but that's a pretty minor detail. I'd say if by "American writers" we're talking Hollywood or prime time TV on a major network, then there probably would be quite a bit of difference. The control mechanisms Sibyl uses would probably be more blatant (more focus on the police violence/traditional police state imagery and less on soft power and psychological conditioning), and what psychological effect there is of living under the system would probably be explained more directly instead of only implied like they are for long periods in the actual show. And I know we're talking about a non-existent hypothetical show here, but it would almost certainly be worse for those changes. One of the things I really like about Psycho Pass is that it takes its time to show what living under Sibyl does to people and doesn't make the most obvious part of the system the worst part about it. When it first came out I saw the show compared a lot to Minority Report, but they're actually not that similar once you get past the surface. Minority Report's pre-crime judgement conceit, for better or worse, is just a parable about due process, whereas Psycho Pass takes a much deeper dive into the soft power of authority and cultural forces. The true horror of the Sibyl System is that it's essentially every puritan and moral guardian's wet dream of rooting out Bad Thoughts come to life. Every thought or behavior that isn't "healthy" -- read, that doesn't contribute to making you a good and useful citizen to The System -- is treated as pathology, and the result is a population that's completely ill-equipped to deal with even normal stress or mental self-care. It only gets mentioned a couple of times, but the fact that everyone is on state-issued drugs to maintain their mood is a really important detail in the show; the society actively discourages the normal processes of stress, grief, etc.; that would cloud your hue, after all.
Whether that's meant to be specifically a commentary on Japanese society specifically, I don't know. Obviously it's meant to be somewhat relevant to that; the show was created by Japanese people for a Japanese audience, after all. But at the same time, it's not exactly specific to Japan, either (even if you ignore the movie). I don't think I'm going to blow anyone's mind by saying this, but Psycho Pass has some very obvious literary influences, and they're all Western: Dostoyevsky, Phillip K. Dick, Conrad, Shakespeare, Fanon, and The Bible are all quoted or referenced directly in the show (and that's just a few of them), and a lot of its philosophical leanings are straight out of Western philosophy (specifically Rousseau, Nietzsche, and Foucault, among others). So it's not unbelievable that the right American or Western writer would make a very similar show if they'd been the one created it, either.

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And doing more reading the Japan conformity/harmony thing seems to be a stereotype and not entirely true so I probably went too far "out of my lane" with that last ask. Sorry, will try something else.

I was going to mention that, but I thought your question was a very good one! I'm answering it right now, sorry it's taking a while.

If the Re:Creators team somehow got the copyrights and wanted to do the series with real franchises which characters (and their creators) would you want to be in the series?

I haven't actually watched Re:Creators and I don't really know anything about it, so I can't really answer. Sorry!

AOT spoilers for anime-folks. Any thoughts on the latest manga revelations? There's a certain irony to it contrasting with Eren's goals in the beginning of the series.

Spoilers, obviously:
I'm taking a "wait and see" approach to the stuff that's been revealed in the last few chapters. AOT has always walked a very, very thin line when it comes to the contrast between its love of bombastic military imagery and the worshipful celebration of soldiery, and the way the larger story is about those soldiers it worships are slowly discovering they've all been inspired by a giant lie. Titan has always been contradictory in that regard. But now the manga is getting into territory that I'm not really sure it has the finesse to pull off.. Once you introduce the idea that there's a race of people who have superior magic blood that the evil, craven Other Race wants to destroy out of jealousy... well, you're getting into some shaky territory there.
Then again, I'm also feeling pretty burned out on Titan's big twists and constant plot u-turns, and was feeling that way long before the latest round of shocking revelations. Titan is hardly the only show that does that, but when you construct your entire narrative around surprise twists and shocking revelations, it starts to wear thin, especially when the buildup isn't worth the payoff. How many years did we have to wait for them to get into the damn basement, only for the secret to be, "so, have you seen M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Village'?" So there's a good chance I'm just burned out on AOT all together. I've been watching the new season and enjoyed it, but it's also been a very good reminder that once the show burns through the part of the story it's at now, it's all downhill from there.

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Favorite AoT character?

Um... Armin I guess? It's not really a show where there's one particular character that jumps out at me.

Soooo what's the big deal about the whole "Han shot first" debacle?

Ho boy.
So, there's really two parts to the whole "Han shot first" thing. The first part is in the Special Edition for the original Star Wars, the scene where Han Solo shoots Greedo (that green alien guy who confronts Han in the cantina about owing money to Jabba the Hutt) was changed. In the original version, Han just straight up shoots Greedo from under the table. In the Special Edition, there's new footage inserted that has Greedo shooting (and missing) first, after which Han shoots him and turns him into charcoal.
People didn't like the change, and so "Han Shot First" became a slogan (complete with t-shirts) for people who didn't like that specific alteration, and to express discontent with the changes the Special Editions made to the films as a whole, and to the fact that the original versions of the films were disappeared from the market afterwards so that the Special Editions were the only versions you could buy, even to this day (and for what it's worth: they're right). But since we're talking about nerds here, "Han Shot First" also became a signifier of sorts for unbridled nerd rage and overreacting to things, sometimes even years (or decades) afterwards.
Basically, "Han Shot First" is the "BRING BACK FIREFLY" of Star Wars fans.

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Do you ever wish animation (or at least feature stuff) over here could do things beyond the four-quadrant family fare? Not that there isn't good stuff being produced here and I do like how animators here get paid decent wages.

Yeah, it would be nice if we got more big, high profile animated movies over here that weren't just the usual, family friendly Pixar/Disney/Dreamworks stuff. Unfortunately I doubt that's going to happen any time soon. Even decades of success for shows like The Simpsons, South Park, and the various Seth McFarlane shows haven't led to the majority of the American public shedding their perception that animated movies are for kids. So, honestly, I don't spend that much time worrying about it. It sucks, for sure, but there's nothing I can really do to change it, either.

How hard is it going to be to make Trump a one term president if its possible?

I was going to write a thoughtful, nuanced analysis of the electoral system and the pros and cons of being an incumbent candidate, but then this appeared in my Twitter feed so I'm going to go with "we're so fucked" instead.
How hard is it going to be to make Trump a one term president if its possible
Liked by: Patrick Duggin

How does one become as cool as you?

I'm flattered, but I think you vastly overestimate my coolness. I'm just a grumpy nerd who spends too much time on the internet and obsessing over problems he can't fix. My best advice is all going to be really obvious stuff: make an effort to read and learn; listen to what other people have to say, but try to think for yourself as much as possible; have empathy for people who aren't like you; know what your principles are, but don't be so inflexible that you become a fanatic; do what you can to help people; "do unto others..." and all that jazz.
I say all these things, but then I think of all the ways I'm failing to live up to my own advice. But that's the best advice I can give.
Liked by: Mel

If you've finished Inside Mari any thoughts on the ending? I found the last chapter frustrating but it felt true to the series.

I've only read a couple of chapters of Inside Mari, and that was years ago. I really need to get around to reading it.


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