🔗 What Chafes My Groin #3text Ido Perlmuter
First published: .
People Still Don't Get Politicians
If there's anything to learn from the outrage over Lauren Boebert's shameful display at the Beetlejuice musical, it's that people still don't understand politicians. People are angry and confused over the hypocrisy of a Republican politician who's often loud about family values and the evil of the Democratic party suddenly separating from her husband, having a romantic relationship with another man—a Democrat—while still married, and going to a family-friendly show dressed like a prostitute to vape around pregnant women and participate in mild sexual acts with her date next to children. How is this possible?
It's possible because you still don't understand politicians. You still think they are people with actual ideologies, rather than what they really are: entertainers and businessmen. They do not have ideologies, they do not have values, they are doing what they're doing for the purpose of making as much money as they can with the least amount of work, and protecting the upper classes by keeping the lower ones entertained.
And there are many ways to make a lot of money from politics, such as cutting deals for your friends' evil companies in exchange for legal bribes in the form of campaign donations, pushing legislation that favors companies over actual human beings, and most hilariously: being as loud and as militant as you can be against the other side, preferably the side that isn't the most popular where you live. If you live in Florida, for example, you can make a lot of money by being a Republican politician accusing the Democrats of actively and purposefully trying to destroy America. If you live in California, you can make a lot of money by being a Democratic politician accusing the Republicans of actively and purposefully trying to destroy America. Let me tell you a secret: all politicians are destroying America and the entire world, no matter which side they happen to be on this week.
Laurent Boobert or whatever she's called isn't pushing the agendas she's pushing because she believes in them, she's pushing them because it makes her money. She puts on a big show for the cameras, yells some controversial things, supports some crazy laws, and the campaign donations come pouring in. She's not unlike one of those OnlyFans characters you're sending money to for some reason. She's an entertainer, that's it.
Politics is supposedly one of the most important jobs in the world, and yet it is one of the only jobs that does not have any actual requirements. You can be the president of the United States without any qualifications, credentials, education or relevant training. Go ahead, be the minister of treasury without any financial education. Sure, be the minister of defense despite never spending one day in the military. You wouldn't go to a medical doctor who didn't study medicine, but you will gladly elect failed actors and fake wrestling stars to the highest positions in your country's government.
"It's not politicians that can solve problems, they have no technical capabilities. They don't know how to solve problems. Even if they were sincere, they don't know how to solve problems. It's the technicians that produce the desalinization plants. It's the technicians that give you electricity. That give you motor vehicles. That heat your house and cool it in the summer time. It's technology that solves problems, not politics. Politicians cannot solve problems because they are not trained to do so."
"Very few people today stop and consider what it is that actually improves their lives. Is it money? Obviously not. One cannot eat money or stuff money into their car to get it to run. Is it politics? All politicians can do is create laws, establish budgets and declare war."
Sewing Is My Newest Hobby
I recently started homebrewing beer again, after a rather lengthy hiatus that began when I went on my six month excursion of the United States in the second half of 2021. I started homebrewing in 2010 and found it to be a fantastic hobby that rekindled several other hobbies I'd had but somehow forgotten, such as woordworking. In fact, the two hobbies are relatively common combinations among my fellow hobbyists in the online homebrewing communities (see Websites I Recommend).
I wanted to start with smaller batches this time, going down from my usual 10 liter batches (which are already half the standard homebrew batch) to 4 liters, so that I can use my two uKegs with my own beer. I use the Brew In a Bag method of beer brewing and need to keep my mash tun (which is also my boiling kettle) at a specific temperature for about an hour during the process. I used to have an old sleeping bag that I used to insulate the kettle during this hour to help maintain the temperature without a heat source, but I have since misplaced it. It's also too big for the small batches I'm doing now, so I wanted something like a Wonderbag, but couldn't find one that fit my needs (or more accurately, dimensions).
So, like I often do, I decided to do it myself and sew my own wonderbag. I have sewn in the past, just a few years ago I built a tent for my sister's cats, i.e. a woodworking job that required a bit of sewing, but I didn't really know what I was doing then. I didn't want to jump straight into sewing the wonderbag, which isn't an easy feat, so I decided to start small and try a few simpler things before I go bigger. It was a couple of months before my trip to the United Kingdom, and I figured I can sew a few things that will be useful for me on the trip. I scoured YouTube for good sewing channels, and after filtering through the rubble of bad videos with instructions that simply cannot be followed, I found the sewingtimes channel, whose videos are pretty easy to follow.
I ended up sewing a cover for the mini-PC I took with me on the trip, a cover for the keyboard, a few small pouches for certain nicknacks, and another pouch with a belt loop to wear on hikes and store a few things I commonly use so that I don't have to constantly take off my backpack. I made a few mistakes on the way but it worked out quite well, and now I'm actually debating purchasing a sewing machine instead of sewing by hand, which is very time consuming. All in all, this is a pretty good skill to have, and I can finally actually use the little sewing kit that I take with me on trips for emergencies. I even used it in this UK trip to fix the velcro on my pants.
I already have the materials for the wonderbag, but haven't really started yet, I hope to have it ready before the winter.
I wanted to write this about two months ago, when I left the movie theater, but I'm a procrastinator: Oppenheimer was a terrible movie. Christopher Nolan seems incapable of straying from his generic formula: make everything seem ridiculously epic with a deafening score, and jumble the timeline as much as possible for no discernible reason. Nolan is obviously capable of making good movies—as evident from his films Memento, Inception, and Interstellar—but most of his other works fluctuated between bad to absolutely ridiculous, like his grotesque Batman trilogy.
The thing is that at least in theory, Nolan's choices can make sense, or at least some of them. It makes sense to mess with the timeline in a movie told from the point of view of a person with short-term memory less. It makes sense that his Batman trilogy would be cartoonish and ridiculous because Batman is literally a cartoon character. It makes sense to create a confusing movie about dreams, because dreams are confusing. It makes sense to make a film about the first nuclear bomb epic, because the event was epic and literally changed the world. And yet, these choices don't always translate to good movies.
Nolan's choice to make Oppenheimer just like all his other movies resulted in a pretty bad film. The movie is presented in at least two separate timelines that are intermingled for no reason except to make it a Nolan film. It is extremely difficult to follow the plot and understand when events are taking place, but even more so difficult to follow the characters, as these come and go all the fucking time with absolutely no introductions. Oh, here's another random dude having an important conversation with Oppenheimer at an unknown location in an indeterminate time. Is it before Hiroshima and Nagasaki? After? Who was that guy? I guess it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that there's a very loud, epic score all the fucking time. Seriously, Nolan starts blasting the exact same music from all his other films five seconds into this one, and doesn't relent even in simple, boring conversation scenes, making sure that we're unable to actually hear what's being said.
Even worse than that was the fact that we learned absolutely nothing about the titular character. Here's what I learned about J. Robert Oppenheimer from watching the film:
- He had sex with at least three different women.
- His job as director of Project Y consisted of him sitting in a chair daydreaming and having panic attacks.
That's it. 80% of the movie is Oppenheimer having panic attacks. The actual atomic bomb was secondary if not tertiary to the whole plot, we learned nothing about that.
All in all, it makes a hell of a lot of sense that this movie has done so well in the box office and in critical reception, and I expect it to win at least one Academy Award. The film really has it all: anxiety-inducing epic score that stops and starts abruptly for no reason, great special effects, recognizable and beloved actors, no discernible story, nothing learned about the protagonist or anyone/anything else, and a successful marketing campaign. All the makings of a true classic.