On Slave Leia

From a Metafilter discussion about Disney retiring Slave Leia collectibles:

“Yes. I was a kid when I first saw it, and it wasn’t the sexy that bothered me, it was seeing my Lone Representative of My Gender, who also happened to have proven herself a badass, (a rare thing!) get degraded for yuks.

“You may not know this, but until very recently, if you were a girl who admired a girl character in a media property, you also repeatedly experienced the sinking, shaming sensation of seeing your hero turned into a tits n’ ass parade at some point, or otherwise having her female status used to make her Less Heroic than male characters.

“Has Captain America yet had his turn onscreen in nothing but a chainmail banana-hammock and fetters, being slobbered over by a repugnant slavemaster who appears to want to rape him, until a fully-clothed group of female heroes rescues him? No. And outside of fanfic, he won’t, because it’s upsetting for men to see their heroes treated that way.

“It’s not about prudery.”

Full discussion

Movie still from Return of the Jedi.


The Sharing Economy of the 1930s

A commenter on Metafilter:

“The whole ‘sharing economy’ model has really excelled at giving a shiny coat of paint on old unappealing ideas. Renting rooms in your house, taking odd jobs, and driving people around in your car sound like stories that grandparents told of making ends meet in the Depression. Slap a Web 2.0 front end on it and it’s all brand new again.”

Full discussion

Image from ImageBucket.


How Intel Killed AMD

From a commenter on Reddit:

“AMD had the Athlon 64 put ahead of everything Intel had available and they were making tons of money off its sales. But then, suddenly, sales went dry and benchmarks began to run better on Intel despite real world deltas being much smaller than synthetics reflected.

“Can you guess why? Because Intel paid PC manufacturers out of its own pocket for years to not buy AMD’s chips.

“Although they were faster, manufacturers went with the bribe because the amount they made from that outweighed the amount they get from happy customers buying their powerful computers. And thus, the industry began to stagnate a bit with CPUs not really moving forward as quickly. T

“They also attacked all existing AMD chips by sabotaging their compiler, making it intentionally run slower on all existing and future AMD chips. Not just temporarily, but permanently; all versions of software created with that version of the compiler will forever run worse on AMD chips, even in 2020 (and yes, some benchmark tools infected with it are still used today!).”

Further reading at

Image from


A Schizophrenic’s Brief Lucid Moment

From a Reddit discussion about living with schizophrenia:

“More people need to see things like this.

“I worked with people with schizophrenia for 3 years. I could tell you stories all day but one stand out.A man named “Wally”. He was nearly never what anyone would call coherent. He’d blurt out song lyrics and anything that came into his head. He masturbated in the day room. He’d yell things like “You can DIE!” over topics like lunch and getting dressed (he thought those things were dangerous). But you never know on what levels the brain is functioning. So I always spoke to my clients like nothing was amiss.

“One day, I asked Wally “How’s it going?” like I always did. His reply that day?

Good now, but that will change later. This is really fearful, you know. I wasn’t always this way and people don’t understand that. I used to be a welder. I had a beautiful home. I have a 12 year old son that won’t see me because he’s afraid of me. I hope I haven’t passed this on to him. And I want to let you know that I appreciate that you treat me with respect. Even if I can’t respond appropriately, I want you to know I notice.

“First and last time I ever saw him lucid and it will haunt me forever.”

Full discussion

Photo from Christiaan Tonnis via Flickr under Creative Commons.


How Casino Royale’s Ending Turns Bond Into Bond

A commenter on Reddit:

“For years after Casino Royale came out, the most common gripe about the movie was the last 20 minutes and how much it dragged compared to the rest of the film.

“The whole point of the film is the last 20 minutes. Everything that precedes that in Casino Royale is just Bond on the clock:

  • International terrorists.
  • Guy who’s financing them.
  • Find a way to stop him from making a ridiculous amount of money off a short-sell.
  • Follow him to wherever he’s going next.
  • Have a run-in with some very unhappy bad guys armed with a machete.
  • Win the poker game.
  • Get rescued (huh?) when the Evil Banker kidnaps you and Vesper.
  • Keep M happy despite a few fuck-ups along the way.

“If the movie ends there, it’s a fine but unremarkable action movie. … The whole point of Casino Royale is to get Bond to the last 20 minutes and then shatter him. So now Vesper’s in the picture and Bond starts to have those first niggling thoughts about what his life might have been like outside government service. … It’s not too late for him to leave MI:6 and do something else if she’ll have him. The last gasp of the old Bond is in the torture scene. Remove Vesper from it entirely and Bond’s modus operandi is fairly straightforward: Torture me, don’t torture me, kill me, don’t kill me … you’re not getting the money either way so fuck you, who cares. Up yours, frogface. The only point at which he evinces actual concern over the proceedings is when he hears Vesper begin to scream. Now he has a reason to care about the outcome, but he passes into unconsciousness without knowing that Vesper’s already cut the deal that saves his life.

“And that’s why Vesper has to die. Past the torture scene, there’s no way to salvage the relationship between them (even though they’re not even in a relationship at that point anyway). She’s handed over the money, extracted a promise to keep Bond alive, and sold out her country for the benefit of a man she believes is going to die if she doesn’t. Fleming knew what he was on about. “Vesper Lynd” is an intentional and close relative to “West Berlin,” the unhappy city with such divided loyalties during the Cold War and no way to fully resolve that division.

“If she lives, the relationship is over, because Bond will never fully trust her again. The small moment after M calls wanting to know what the hell happened to the money is instructive; instantaneous rage, how-dare-she, I-got-played. Alternate-universe Casino Royale is where he rescues her from drowning but writes off the entire experience as “Bitches, man!” He asks himself what the hell he was expecting and go back to doing what he’s always done (albeit in a fouler mood than before). He learns nothing, doesn’t change, and there’s basically no character development of any kind in the film.

If she dies … well, that was the ending we saw.

Casino Royale is the story of where James Bond begins as a character, but he’s clearly been knocking around the business for a while before we enter the narrative. So Bond doesn’t start with the job; Bond starts when the love of his life shatters him for a completely understandable and even somewhat honorable reason and then dies for it. That is the origin story of the empty suit and the dead eyes and the reliance on alcohol just to get through the day. The nihilism and descent into sociopathy comes from his realization of just how trapped Vesper was, and how she felt the only way to expunge the guilt and shame of what she’d done was to take it to the grave with her.

“And then in Quantum of Solace he finds out that she died for nothing.”

Full discussion


The Ugly Side of Populism

Commenter on a Metafilter discussion about Trump’s candidacy and electability.

“I think this is something the Left really misses. There seems to be this idea that the People are angry, and if we just awaken and empower the People, then we’ll get social justice and progress. What’s being forgotten is the ugly side of populism. An angry population may also go the other route, and embrace bigotry and hatred and control, and I think it’s already happening. People like Trump are the harbingers. Sure people are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, but that might mean they lash out at the poor and non-white and non-straight and let people who say they have a plan to fix it all rule over them.”

Context and discussion: Donald Trump, possibly upsetting Fox News’ role in Republican politics

Illustration by Victor Juhasz from Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone


Harry Potter Titles Rewritten For Hermione Granger

“Hermione Granger and Why Doesn’t Anyone Read Their Textbooks

Hermione Granger and Seriously Can’t Anyone Else Do Basic Research

Hermione Granger and Exceptional Time Management Skills

Hermione Granger and That Super Hot Bulgarian Dude

Hermione Granger and My Idiot Friend Happens to be Better Than Me at Something

Hermione Granger and My Idiot Friend Gets Schoolwork Advice from a Really Awful Source

Hermione Granger and For Real Would Any of this Ever Get Done Without Me”

Source: EditorialComplex comments on Pureblood Slytherin Hermione