Just another ghost in the machine.

This tumblr is science, world affairs, video games, technology, cinema, electronic & rock music, art, nature, writing, language, and introspection. Summary: the profound to the absurd.

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Kredu tiujn, kiuj serĉas la veron. Dubu tiujn, kiuj trovas ĝin. -André Gide

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Why are you guys so anti-dictators? Imagine if America was a dictatorship. You could let 1% of the people have all the nation’s wealth. You could help your rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes. And bailing them out when they gamble and lose. You could ignore the needs of the poor for health care and education. Your media would appear free, but would secretly be controlled by one person and his family. You could wiretap phones. You could torture foreign prisoners. You could have rigged elections. You could lie about why you go to war. You could fill your prisons with one particular racial group, and no one would complain. You could use the media to scare the people into supporting policies that are against their interests.

— General Aladeen

The Dictator

So I just watched The Dictator, the Sacha Baron Cohen vehicle that has him satirizing Middle-Eastern/North African dictators, among other things. Yeah, it’s out of control like you would expect, and you’re not sure if you should be laughing at some things, and some things are kind of dumb and don’t work. But I think the main thing I took away was how the film presents inconsistency in beliefs and behaviors: it permeates the whole thing. It starts with stereotypes of course, but these stereotypes end up oscillating between stereotypical stuff you expect and unexpected or opposite behaviors. Some would argue that this is just poor conception or writing or whatever. But I dunno.

This approach really smacked me in the face about halfway through, when The Dictator (Adm. Gen. Aladeen) walked into a Wadiyan (the fictional North African country he lords over) dissident restaurant in NYC. One of the running jokes in the film is that Aladeen changed the name of a bunch of concepts in the Wadiyan language to his actual name, and this caused mass confusion. For instance, ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ are referred to by the same word: aladeen and aladeen (the character is pretty much modeled after the insane Gaddafi, Libya’s recent dictator who was overthrown in killed in the Libyan revolution). Anyway, the door of the restaurant had a sign that you flip over, with one side saying ‘yes, we’re open’ and the other saying ‘sorry, we’re closed’, except open and closed were replaced by ‘aladeen’. See, that’s inconsistent and crazy because that’s a dissident restaurant whose patrons loathe Aladeen, so why would they keep alive that insane tradition in the language? Maybe they were doing it to be ironic, but the scene doesn’t suggest that at all.

Anyway, I kinda see the film as speaking to stereotypes and inconsistency in our own beliefs and our interpretations of others. I don’t know if I’d call it an essay, exactly, heh. In its presentation, it’s kinda like how I imagine Col. Gaddafi’s mind worked. The ending pretty much solidifies what I’m talking about.

It’s my experience that we believe we exist in the day-to-day world safe in the knowledge that we operate from a consistent framework of beliefs and principles. But I’d venture to say that we consistently act against previously stated beliefs/principles, or we say things we’re not sure we really believe.

Larry King interviews the dictator of Wadiya, Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen.

Trailer for The Dictator.

I’m just gonna leave this here…

Ryan Seacrest gets owned by Adm. Gen. Aladeen when he ACCIDENTALLY pours Kim Jong Il’s ashes all over Seacrest. Aladeen was carrying out one of Kim Jong Il’s final wishes: to have his ashes scattered on the red carpet at the Oscars. Kim Jong Il was known to be a huge movie buff of course.
If you were to ask Ryan Seacrest who he is wearing tonight, you’d have to say, well, Kim Jong Il. Hahahaha

Ryan Seacrest gets owned by Adm. Gen. Aladeen when he ACCIDENTALLY pours Kim Jong Il’s ashes all over Seacrest. Aladeen was carrying out one of Kim Jong Il’s final wishes: to have his ashes scattered on the red carpet at the Oscars. Kim Jong Il was known to be a huge movie buff of course.

If you were to ask Ryan Seacrest who he is wearing tonight, you’d have to say, well, Kim Jong Il. Hahahaha

(via marvelandwhimsy)

I suppose I should follow up with what I posted earlier today. Apparently, The Academy is now welcoming Adm. Gen. Aladeen (above) on the red carpet Sunday. Previously, it had reservations, and it was reported that Cohen wasn’t going to be allowed to show up as the character. Looks like they can’t resist the ratings potential, heh.
I don’t really have a problem with this. Sometimes I think people take the Oscars too seriously. The show’s already a huge ad for movies.

I suppose I should follow up with what I posted earlier today. Apparently, The Academy is now welcoming Adm. Gen. Aladeen (above) on the red carpet Sunday. Previously, it had reservations, and it was reported that Cohen wasn’t going to be allowed to show up as the character. Looks like they can’t resist the ratings potential, heh.

I don’t really have a problem with this. Sometimes I think people take the Oscars too seriously. The show’s already a huge ad for movies.

The Warm Weather of Wadiya →

Now that’s my kind of weather. :P

The whole site is win, actually.

Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen of the Republic of Wadiya issues a warning to the ‘Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Zionists’ for being banned.