The Big Picture: A Guy Named Joe

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Valdez Leel:

A Guy Named Joe

This week, Bob looks back at some old Joes.

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The sad thing being that now, more so than in any point in recent history, it's going to be very hard for young people to find themselves a meaningful place in the world.*

With a stagnant economy, waning social mobility, and an ageing population - where power lies increasingly in the hands of old entrenched elites - even modest aspirations are moving out of reach of the ascending generation.

I do not envy the teenagers of today. We've left them a steep hill to climb when they hit maturity.

*Speaking purely in terms of the western world obviously. Different kettle of fish elsewhere.

As a teenager of today, I can agree wholeheartedly that there was something after the shelter of the education system. Instead of a steep hill its almost now if not actually a solid wall that you slam into. And its not so much of a struggle to define ones self to the world, its now to define ones self to ones self, the ultimate man v. himself literary scenario played out in real life by teens and people now into their 20's.

Bob, please please lay off Scott Pilgrim. It was not...that...good. I would recommend you read the books if you haven't already, and see how the movie measures up. Now I'm not saying there weren't good moments and characters in the movie; everyone except Scott, Ramona and Gideon were awesome, especially Kieran Kulkin, the first three evil ex fights were very well done, and the music was pure hoss. But it was by no stretch of the imagination a groundbreaking masterpiece.

Damnit bob, stop being interesting. I'm trying to make space for a smoke break before I escape to LoL..
therwise, err, great reviews great ideas, and I qualify that as a 'PC gamer'.

So good job, keep it up and I'll look foward to more

The end of this one is kinda funny after the death of Bin Laden...

Cobra's spliced with ancient dictators? That's trivial. Wikipedia would let you look up the old strategies so you could figure out how best to conquer them. Lets face it Bob, our generation is still pretty fucking useless unless it comes to supergenius cannibalistic serial killers who can only be tracked by prediction of patterns that constantly adjust as they figure out how to get into the heads of the people tracking them.
...or how to mix a proper fucking martini since we remember M*A*S*H and know that drink originated with people trying to improve bathtub gin and has fuck all to do with vodka or shaking or failed spies. Maybe dealing with parasitic organisms that feed on bioelectricity or Dracula... okay i guess we're not totally useless.

This is my favorite of the Big Picture videos so far. it's rich, and at least its questions at the beginning are not left unanswered

Incidently this is one of the reasons why I'd never willingly serve in the current military. I am not going to willingly get myself killed for liberal principles.

I'm just going to point out here that the Iraq quagmire was started by people who, if not conservative themselves (in spite of their assertions), successfully co-opted conservative sentiment. How do you interpret this exactly?

Also, no one wants a draft. Draftees are (on average) decidedly inferior to volunteers. Sometimes my lardy self wishes I'd been given compulsory military training, but my personality is antisocial to the point where I might be legitimately excused from the draft.


In some cases it might very well come down to killing every one of them. Indeed that's a big part of why we dropped the A-bombs on Japan.

At the risk of being a gigantic prick, it is telling that you believe in monolithic caricature cultures a-la Dr.Suess*.

Your efforts to make monoliths of perceived foes is not uncommon or necessarily useless (vis-a-vis war is hell and makes all men demons, don't quite buy that one though), but it is something of a detriment to the creation of larger social and political structures necessary to the harnessing of collective power. Historically technology and greater raw numbers have been the deciding factors in deciding which states or tribes ascended to supremacy. Assimilating new people, technologies, and modes of thinking is superior to simply taking the extant natural resources of a region (at least to the point of creating a revolt of enough inertia to succeed, but even then who knows?).

It is also a little bit disconcerting that you ascribe complete sociopathy to the reconstruction efforts in the former axis powers. You could argue it was done to rein in former allies bound by their military success to become world-stage rivals. But I don't think this is the strict truth of the matter. Not everyone in seats of power are sociopaths (even if it sometimes seems like that's the only trait rewarded in society at large), and the people implementing these strategies definitely were not. They were human and like most humans are strongly empathetic in spite of the potentially fatal risks that accompany it. This is why dehumanizing the enemy is important. It doesn't just bring out clannish us vs. them sentimentality, it replaces even that dark-but-human trait with complete sociopathic objectification.

Of course, no fighter (yet) is a perfectly programmable machine nor do these sentiments need to be instilled by training (see Therumancer). I expect that there are plenty of fighters whose experiences and testimony could run counter to my own small set of anecdotes. We don't disagree that genocides are a historic fact and have been for as long as refugees have run out of places to run.

* I really liked Horton Hears a Who.

So, Bob's role models were not his parents, not his teachers but plastic men who fight a fake war and whose only reason to exist was to sell toys. All I have to say to this is that you watched way too much TV when you were a kid.

If anything, I pity you.

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