6 posts categorized "Corporate Corruption"

September 19, 2017

YouTube Stepped Wrong Again

Axial Cut

In latest YouTube related news, I posted my Axial Cut video on YouTube and got hit with a claim before I even hit the publish key. You'd think they'd get the idea that I don't play. I wasn't having it this time. I let YouTube know in no uncertain terms where I stand on the issue. I'm still waiting for YouTube's response to my brief reply to their bullying. Look for an update to my unending war with these shysters. Don't forget that YouTube has only paid me $10 for over one million views. It is hardly worth the hassle to deal with these thieves. Should I continue to bother? Perhaps not.

As always I'm covered by Vimeo where I never get hassled over such obvious stuff. Where is that class-action lawsuit against YouTube? It's going to be a whopper when it finally happens. 

UPDATE: Here's the result — SEE SCREENSHOT BELOW.

This is why you should only put your videos on Vimeo. Notice how "Epic Elite" arbitrarily "decides" that U.S. copyright law does not apply to my video. 

Unlike YouTube, Vimeo upholds the law. YouTube lets companies "decide" they are above the law so that only they reap rewards from a video essay such as the object of this discussion.

"The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright."

YouTube

June 28, 2011

THE DEATH OF FANBOY CULTURE

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

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By Cole Smithey

Fanboys Punk rock has been dead for thirty years. Feminism died around the same time. Although both cultural movements took their respective dives for different reasons, neither had the lasting fortitude of jazz. That great musical movement, although it stretched across more than four decades, also dried up. Now hip hop is on the way out. Fads and social movements come and go, regardless of their nature or genesis.

The term fanboy began as a term to describe a lower class of pimply-geeky males, and less frequently females, caught in a stage of arrested development signified by their choice of logo-scripted T-shirts. They were proselytizers for an underground kitsch culture — dilettante hobbyists who didn't know the meaning of the D-word.

Anything from a love of gory horror movies to a passion for a particular video gaming console to gloating over old episodes of "Star Trek" served as acceptable credentials to be a member of the fanboy club.

Ian_tull Although they weren't called "fanboys" when I was a teenager in the ''70s, they were the kids who endlessly recited lines from Monty Python, listened to Jethro Tull, and played Dungeons and Dragons. They were boring, if not insufferable, to be around.

There is a consumerist bent to fanboy culture. Some Mac computer users fall under the fanboy title. "Apple fanboys" are defined in the Urban Dictionary as "single-layered" drones. Mac store employees who line up to applaud customers who purchase Mac products engage in a form of faux fanboy prostitution. At least they have jobs.

Like Teabaggers, fanboys like to complain. It's what they do. They are a strident minority that likes to obsess and nitpick over minutiae. The filmic rendering of a superhero's costume as it differs from the original comic book is food for endless fodder. Fanboys are famous for wielding their opinions over others in a bullying manner. Think Donald Trump.

In the early Oughts some fanboys took on identities as Internet "trolls" in order to bully fellow fanboys and straight people alike. They had their heroes. Fanboy cartoonist Danny Hellman gained notoriety for an underhanded attack against editorial cartoonist/author Ted Rall. Hellman was an Art Spiegelman fanboy who took umbrage at a Village Voice cover story Rall wrote about the creator of "Maus." In the piece, Rall took Spiegelman down more than a few pegs. In response, Hellman galvanized a group of fellow fanboys around himself based on an e-mail flame attack wherein he impersonated Rall in a rant about his [Rall's] testicles. Needless to say, these fanboys were developing an identity as a gang of trolls intent on harassment. Pigs. Sheep.

Josh-tyler When I became the first film critic to post a negative review of "Toy Story 3," Pixar-franchise fanboy Josh Tyler — that's his photo of a mug only a mother could love to the left — attacked me for criticizing "one of the most universally loved movies of all time." Forget that the movie had been playing for less than a day when I posted my review. "All time" had been reduced to fewer than 24 hours. Chalk it up to pack-mentality exploitation. Tyler will never be able to leave the corner he painted himself into.

Before the economic collapse in 2008, Hollywood studios latched on to fanboys as a group it perceived as a stronger threat than al-Qaeda. The big studios were catering almost exclusively to petulant fanboys famous for their fever-pitch zealotry over cartoon-based anything. Summer-movie blockbusters became an easy ploy for Hollywood to exploit what it still views as the largest audience base from which to extract cinema dollars. Now that equation is changing. "Thor" and "Green Lantern" aren't exactly capturing the public imagination. Peak into a crystal ball at the Hollywood summer of busts in 2013.

Many fanboys have film-related blogs dedicated to whatever crappy horror or comic book movie that comes down the pike. They do it to curry favor with publicists who invite them to advance [free] screenings for guaranteed positive press. The problem with this dead-end mentality is the same as with the Danny Hellmans and Josh Tylers of the world. You can't be an arbiter of taste unless you exert some yourself. And if you don't have it to begin with, no amount of pretense can cover your tracks. You are just another douchebag with a phony opinion.

Fanboys These days, the end of cultural movements typically comes with a shark-jumping signifier. For the fanboy movement, that instant came in 2009 with the release of the helpfully-titled movie "Fanboys." In this film the year is 1998 — a telling marker. A group of aging fanboys reunites and go on a road trip to infiltrate George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch to filch a copy of the latest Star Wars movie "Episode I: The Phantom Menace." If you haven't seen "Fanboy," don't bother. If you have, then we have something in common. We'll never get back those 90 minutes. The same goes for "Episode I: The Phantom Menace."

Coincidentally, in 2009 Nickelodeon began running "Fanboy & Chum Chum!," a cartoon series about a pair of "superfans" who wear underwear on the outsides of their costumes. By infantilizing the term "fanboy," the show's writers sent a shot across the bow of anyone over the age of nine who considered themselves to be a member of the f-boy club that it was time to sit down and shut up.

Fanboy-And-Chum-ChumThe Internet was once a great facilitator for fanboy culture. It was also the very thing that hung it out to dry. The economic depression that has put nearly 29% of Americans out of work has turned millions of underemployed people into bloggers who share their opinions about every minute detail of human existence. Sites such as Yelp allow people to post reviews of restaurants, entertainment, and services. Everyone is a fanboy; nobody is a fanboy. No one is looking to old-school fanboys for critical advice.

From a superhero movie point of view, Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 2" set the high watermark for the genre way back in 2004. When Peter Jackson's final installment of the "Lord of the Rings" arrived, fanboy culture was already over and done with.

Fanboy-&-FriendIt's taken a few years longer than you might expect for fanboy culture to be snuffed out. Like the grunge movement of the early '90s, it hung around far longer than it had any right to. America's next generation of awkward impoverished misfits are children of endless wars and Facebook identities. Gloating over comic book fetishism won't be their style. Bullying people for having different opinions won't fly. They'll have a completely different take on how to mask their anxieties. One thing's for sure, their problems will be much bigger than the petty crap over which fanboy culture once feigned indignation. Putting away childish things was inevitable. 

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

March 27, 2005

IT'S THE PEDOPHILIA STUPID

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot pal!

Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

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How "The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie" Promotes Pedophilia, Not Homosexuality

Colesmithey.comIn the context of a kid coming out of his socks, shoes, and underwear, the intrinsic innuendo in this film's tagline speaks volumes.

The derogatory argot in French for a homosexual male is pédé (pronounced Pay Day). It's a term that also means pedophile. The religious right in America has posited a similar equivalence between "gay" and "pedophile" in their assertions that SpongeBob is a reprehensible influence on the youth of America because he is (they say) gay. They're missing the point. SpongeBob's character may or may not be gay, but that's not what makes his influence so pernicious. For all that's been made of the alleged homosexual subtext in "The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie" and consequently the television program, it's confounding that no one has pointed out how blatant the pedophile references written directly into its text far outweigh its "gay" overtones. This presents a problematic backlash for liberals who defend SpongeBob in the name of "diversity" because they too are witlessly confusing pedophilia with homosexuality and thus falling into another rhetoric trap set by the right.

ColesmitheyAdult foot as gigantic nude phallic symbol? You bet.

Influential Christian conservative talking head James Dobson spearheaded the current SpongeBob controversy by publicly attacking the "We Are Family Foundation" for their allegedly "pro-homosexual video," featuring many different cartoon characters including SpongeBob, which was to be sent out to "61,000 public and private elementary schools." However Dobson has not cited specific aspects of the character that he believes prove that SpongeBob is gay. Instead he is concerned with smearing the "We Are Family Foundation" and their allies the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, and Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). I have not been able to obtain a copy of that educational video, but am in any event, interested only in the content of the SpongeBob movie as it relates to the social discourse of the film and claims that it promotes a pro-pedophile versus a pro-homosexual motif.

ColesmitheyWhat could possibly be wrong with an innocent little hug between an adult and a minor?

University of California at Davis Professor of Psychology Gregory M. Herek writes, "Sexual orientation is normally thought of in terms of an adult's sexual attraction to other adults, whether to members of the same gender, opposite gender or both genders." Herek cites a case study of 175 male adults convicted in Massachusetts of child sexual assault that found that none of them were homosexuals. Yet all of them would fit the description of a fixated child molester. Gay, in other words, does not equal pedophile.

SpongebobFrilly briefs, hanging briefs, socks. Fetish, fetish, fetish!

One insidious aspect of SpongeBob's actions in "The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie" is that the child character is shown as an instigator in intimacy with adult male characters. What troubles me as a critic is that the script seems expertly tailored as a tool for John Doe pedophile to convince his child neighbor that there are acceptable situations in which a grown man and a little boy may be in various states of undress together.

SpongebobYes, I'm wearing a condom on my head. Any questions?

When I attended a screening of "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie" on a Saturday morning with a crowd of preteen children in Manhattan I was completely unfamiliar with SpongeBob. In my freshly caffeinated state I expected to settle in for some standard kiddie humor along the lines of the Bugs Bunny variety that I grew up with. But after the false start opening of the film I found myself taking more notes for this children's cartoon than I did for Yimou Zhang's "House of Flying Daggers." In scene after scene I noted a relentless stream of phallic references scored by a plotline, character arc, and dialogue that was unmistakably rife with pedophile text. We're not talking "subtext" here, but rather an explicit line of thinking in the dialogue and character interaction that describes an intermingling of adult males with a boy whose only wish is to be treated as an adult.   

ColesmitheyCheck out the iconography. "Bikini Bottom," a kid wearing only his underwear chaperoned by a flesh-colored phallic-shaped nearly nude adult male. Vomiting all of the time now.

As a "PG" movie, the MPAA ratings board prefaces the film with a blurb that reads "Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children." "Some Mild Crude Humor" falls under the tacit disclaimer as a brief warning that a few fart jokes may be in the offing, but parents are accustomed to enduring that sort of offense in 90 percent of the movies currently produced for preteens. It's unclear how the references to nudity in the film avoided a mention in the MPAA warning.

SpongebobNaked posterior anatomy is a constant fixation in this ugly example of children's sexual propaganda in filmic form.

So what happens in the movie? SpongeBob is a big-eyed (read naive) yellow adolescent sponge with athletic socks and a private school uniform who lives at the bottom of the ocean with an array of phallic shaped fish characters. SpongeBob has no sponge peers that he resembles; he's "special" and alienated. SpongeBob is introduced in his first scene as an adult restaurant manager who calms an upset penis-like patron (note the Caucasian pink flesh color) named Phil by placing a slice of cheese on Phil's hamburger while the two sit alone inside an empty restaurant. SpongeBob questions Phil, who sweats as if he's in a sauna, before SpongeBob carries him outside the restaurant to a crowd of adoring fans.

But wait. This has all been a dream because SpongeBob isn't really there. He's a goofy little boy lacking any parental supervision at home. This latchkey kid aspect of SpongeBob's movie reality is particularly suspect because it makes the child character an independent free agent who presumably is capable of making reckless decisions that somehow conspire to elevate him to adult status after he rides on David Hasselhoff's bare back near the end of the movie. In this closing scene the swim-short clad body of the "Bay Watch" actor serves as a boat upon which Patrick and SpongeBob ride across the ocean. The thing to keep in mind is that the character of SpongeBob is not a freewheeling adult sponge, but an unattended child.

SpongebobDaddy isn't on top this time, or is he?

After the dream restaurant scene, we discover our underwear-wearing little boy is obsessed with being promoted to "manager" at the restaurant where he works. SpongeBob points to his wall of "374 employee of the month awards," which would make him 31 years old if he started working straight out of the womb. We get a look at SpongeBob's underwear-centric wardrobe that consists of a couple of pairs of white briefs and a pair of white athletic socks. But when the back of SpongeBob's cardboard pants falls down, his bare ass is exposed, implying that he's not so interested in underwear after all.

Spongebob"Cleanliness is next to managerliness" (sic) is a theme line that SpongeBob proclaims and which defines his motivation throughout the story. The unspoken emphasis on the "man" portion of the word "managerliness" gives a clue into SpongeBob's ignoble pursuit of what follows in the next scene. SpongeBob runs into the house of his adult next door neighbor Squidward as the old man character showers in silhouette with what seems to be an enormous erection. SpongeBob soon appears in the shower with the man whom he services by brushing him with a bathing brush. When Squidward demands to know why SpongeBob can't wait until they get to work to discuss SpongeBob's issue, SpongeBob replies that "there's no shower at work." What's notable here is that the child character is shown as the instigator of a sexual overture between himself and an adult male character. Matching shower caps that carry a prophylactic connotation unify the child with the adult. Condom imagery also shows up as ever unrolling red eyelids for SpongeBob's boss Eugene Krab.   

SpongeBob SquarepantsSpanked plenty hard, and smiling the whole time through. Can you see my pink red ass? No underwear on today! —Note that in the film's trailer, the ass cheeks are not red.

Next we meet yet another nude character in Patrick the starfish. Patrick serves as a more naive alter ego of SpongeBob. Patrick's proclivity for inappropriate nudity creates an image system for the movie that supports child nudity in the presence of adults. SpongeBob declares that the two will "party 'till we're purple," to which the pink Patrick replies, " I love being purple." This is an undisguised allusion to a well-known joke about the difference between pink and purple being the grip of one's member. It's clearly a Caucasian joke, and the atmosphere of the cartoon supports this racially segregated view of the world within a sexualized context.

Screen Shot 2020-08-08 at 11.44.34 AMWhy is there a stick in your ass?

The "Goofy Goober" song that Patrick and SpongeBob sing together is a celebration of a willing rejection of responsible behavior that would pain most adults if they witnessed a grown man singing it in private with an underage boy while watching the movie on DVD. Patrick imbues the song a sexual subtext when he warns SpongeBob in mid-song that he has a surprise to share with him at the upcoming party. Patrick's 'surprise' turns out to be a nude public appearance wherein he carries a SpongeBob banner between the bare cheeks of his buttocks.

Spongebob2Lipstick, dildo, cock, it's all the same when it comes with a purse.

So far I've only mentioned elements from the first 15-minutes of the movie. As the story goes along SpongeBob switches into a hung over drunk adult with 5 o'clock shadow after getting intoxicated on ice cream with Patrick. SpongeBob's sudden transformations from child to adult follow dubious activities lightly disguised within the province of a child but clearly in the domain of adults. SpongeBob and Patrick stay out all night at an ice cream parlor that is actually a saloon. This is enough of a right-of-passage for SpongeBob to describe himself as "100 percent man" when telling off his boss. Already you get a sense of the kind of flip-flopping between child and adult that the filmmakers are reinforcing. Whereas child cartoon characters from Charlie Brown to Bart Simpson follow a longstanding tradition of adopting adult-based speech and concerns, SpongeBob establishes a new leitmotif equating adult behavior with cross-age sexually charged interaction.

Spongebob2The film's unscrupulous theme of turning boys into men via physical intimacy with an adult male culminates after SpongeBob and Patrick "get King Neptune's crown in Shell City." After drying out under a hot lamp in a beach shop SpongeBob and Patrick are rescued by a real life David Hasselhoff who transports them across miles of ocean on his back before propelling them home by squeezing them out from between his hairy pectorals on the King's crown. Once home SpongeBob admits that he is only a "kid" who "rode the Hasselhoff." In the text of the script SpongeBob has gone from being a "dork" and a "dingaling" to merely being a "goofball" and a "wingnut." But he also transforms into being a "manager" (with an emphasis on "man") by riding the adult male (David Hasselhoff).

Screen Shot 2020-08-06 at 12.01.10 PMExcuse me, but is that jizz dripping from your mouth? I only ask because it looks like you just took a giant facial, and that wasted expression on your face tells a tale of sexual exhaustion.

SpongeBob's best friend Patrick has a crush on the King's mermaid daughter — so that knocks him out of homoerotic contention for SpongeBob's affections. The only gay affiliation SpongeBob has in the movie is his physical connection with a scantily clad adult male (David Hasselhoff) and that is a pedophile connection that's supported by the text of which I've provided several examples.

HasselhoffWhat isn't wrong with this picture?

James Dobson et al. are wrong about SpongeBob: he isn't gay. It's much worse, for the right, the left, and everyone in between. He is attracted to older men, and therein lies the pro-pedophile propaganda at work here. I can't say whether or not this consciously crafted ploy is effective or not, but the attempt to push a brash new NAMBLA-like agenda is unmistakable. The questions that the religious right needs to ask are how and why they ever confused homosexuality with pedophilia. Not only does blurring this issue do gays a disservice, it lets SpongeBob get away with murder.

SpongebobSo much jizz, and so many used condoms. What to do now? Let's call in Jeffrey Epstein. Screen Shot 2020-07-26 at 6.14.52 PM
Screen Shot 2020-07-26 at 6.15.18 PM
Awkward. Very, very awkward explaining to a kid why this character is staring directly into an ostensibly open anus. Beyond the pale. This scene isn't from the film.

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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