Saturday, 26 April 2014

Star Cross

Before we get started, I have a little announcement. I realize that my blog posts are getting a little few and far between. I am sorry, I'm working on that, but it's not easy. Especially since it often takes a while to write these things. So, I've started a tumblog. I will still be putting my heart and soul into this blog, this is my main project. However, if you want to get your dose of Absurd Word Nerd between blog posts, get some inside information into upcoming Duke chapters and blog posts or even ask me a question directly, feel free to drop by. I drew a button which I've added down in the right column -->
It's in the "Follow Me" section, the blue 't'. It's also alongside a red 'g+' which links to my Google+ Page, if you want to follow me there as well (although, to be honest, I don't update very much on Google+).
The tumblog can be found at kelnius.tumblr.com; and it's still early days so I've only done four posts, but give it time. It will grow, especially if there are a lot of people following it.

Alright, now, that's enough niceties, because this post is going to be nasty.

I try to be nice. I do what I can to be nice to people and I appreciate the lighter side, to like people and to come to understand the good things they can offer. However, something that really puts me off is that there are a lot of people that, as I see it, are terrible people, yet others seem to like them. I'm talking about celebrities. Not all of them, but there are a few of them that are just putrid human beings. And yet, despite all of their failings, a thousandfold of their followers stand up and cheer at them for being awesome, when I would rather vomit with rage.
The Word of the Day is: 'INFAMOUS'

Infamous /infəməs/ adj. 1. Of ill fame; having a very bad reputation: An infamous city. 2. Deserving or causing shame or bad repute: Infamous conduct.

There are a lot of famous people that I don't like very much, from Justin Bieber to Joan Rivers; but if I tried to list them, I would be here all day. See, a lot of those people have a bad reputation. That's the first definition of today's word, but I want to talk about the second: "deserving or causing shame (or bad repute)".
Because there are quite a few people that I, personally, hate, yet everyone else seems to think (erroneously) that they deserve to keep on living. There are at least five (perhaps more), but I want to list those top five in order of who I hate the least to who I hate the most. These are people that you probably like. If you don't, welcome to my world, but if you do, then allow me the chance, and I will explain not only why I hate these people, but you should really hate these people too. This is:

The A.W.N.'s Five Celebrities I HATE that Everyone Else LOVES

#5-| Stanley Kubrick

Before I saw any of his films, I heard great things about Stanley Kubrick: Visionary; Master of cinema; Greatest Director of all time. So when I heard that SBS (an Australian channel) was going to do a Kubrick week, I was psyched. I settled in to watch some great cinema. I watched Barry Lyndon, A Clockwork Orange & 2001: A Space Odyssey - and I was bored out of my mind. I forced myself to watch all three, because despite hating each one, I thought "surely this one will live up to the hype", but they sucked every time.
Kubrick makes bad movies, but that's not the reason I hate Kubrick. See, when I hated his films, I decided to look up why people thought he was a genius, despite all the evidence to the contrary and I found it. Kubrick is a perfectionist, he fiddles and fucks around with every scene of his films, and actors are put through the ringer making every single detail suit his inscrutable vision. Except, I watched the damn films, and all of that equals nothing, because the movies are terrible.

So often, he puts in these tiny details so that there's some kind of hidden meaning. But it's a goddamned movie! Sit down, watch, enjoy. I'm not saying that you can't engage with a film and get sucked into the mastery, but the film needs to be there on the screen. Hiding all these tiny details is just masturbatory. The only way to enjoy these films is to put as much effort into dissecting these films as Kubrick put into constructing the convoluted mess. It's like digging a thousand crooked needles into someone's skin just so that they have to take each one out, individually; that's ridiculous.
And if you think the needle simile is over the top - it's not. The clincher, the reason why I absolutely despise Kubrick, is because as far as I'm concerned, Kubrick is a complete moron that likes to torture people.

For the film The Shining he forced his secretary to type out, by hand, the complete "All Work and No Play" manuscript, for months, as well as verbally abusing Shelley Duvall until her hair started falling out and forcing her to repeat one scene (where she's swinging a baseball bat at a fellow actor) 127 times; While filming A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick was basically trying to kill main actor, Malcolm MacDowell. He scraped his cornea half-way through the "brainwashing" scenes, yet forced him to continue, had his ribs broken during a fight scene because he used no stunt double and almost drowned him in one long-take where his character had his head held underwater; He flat-out lied to actors in Doctor Strangelove, particularly George C Scott, into thinking they were making a serious drama, when in reality he was using their "joke takes" to make the comedy & worst of all, all of these movies are shit.
Now, it's not just the fact that Kubrick wastes tonnes of effort on these films. It's the fact that he's just an arsehole who seems to enjoy torturing people for his "art", which is worth less then the hair on his arse.
the only reason that he is so low on this list is because he died of a heart attack in 1999, so he can finally stop torturing actors for the sake of his worthless cinema.

#4-| Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert? But he was a cancer victim; he was one of the first people that re-introduced criticism as art and he died after a long-suffering . . . blah blah blah, No. You don't get to play that game, because Roger Ebert is a moron.
Something that you'll be seeing as a recurring theme on this list, is that one of the things I hate most is when someone is famous for something for which they are terrible, and Roger Ebert was terrible at reviewing movies. Like with Kubrick, I heard the hype, "Roger Ebert, famous Movie Reviewer", so for a Film & TV class, I looked up his reviews, and I noticed something.
First of all, every single on of his reviews is littered with references to classic filmography. Whether it's The Human Centipede review that mentions Hammer Horror films; The Dark Knight review with the Man who Laughs references; his Deep Throat review (seriously) that references Orson Welles or his own shitty, exploitation film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls which he doesn't review, yet still manages to make a Citizen Kane reference.
Roger Ebert seemed less interested in reviewing films, and more interested in showing off his in-depth knowledge of old-timey films, he had seen and nobody else had because they have better things to do with their time; yet always included them in a way that sounded like he believed himself to be infinitely better than you.

But the thing is, he's not better than you. He was not even better than most movie reviewers, because he was so completely out of touch with modern audiences. He reviewed Death Race: hated it; He reviewed Kick-Ass: hated it; He reviewed The Ring: hated it. Now, I'm not saying that he has to love every film that his audience loves, that's a foolish claim - I don't even like the Ring that much - but it's the reason why he hated these films that bug me. Here is a list of Roger Ebert's favourite films of all time. Roger Ebert lived - and continued reviewing films - up until 2013, and yet the eras of his top 10 films of all time come from the years 1941 to 1986. Nothing beyond 1987 even gets a mention.

Now "being an old man" is not really an excuse to hate someone. But do you know what is? "Being an old man that tries to stop progress". Which leads me into the clincher, and the reason why I am not at all bothered that Roger Ebert is dead:
  "Videogames can never be art"
-Roger Ebert, 2010
It's not the fact that he's wrong (and he is wrong), because he's entitled to be wrong, but it's the goddamned arrogance of this man - the authority with which he espouses his wrong opinion that pisses me off. Ebert has precisely zero expertise in videogames. His field is movies, and I argue that he has no expertise there either, but he has no place talking about videogames.
Not only that, but as The Game Overthinker points out in his response to Ebert's claims - it makes Ebert a goddamned hypocrite. Because for the longest time, a lot of experts in other mediums claimed that "Film can never be art", because it was made by more than one creator, yet Ebert saw no irony in repeating the history of hatred towards a younger medium, using the exact same argument.
Unlike Kubrick, I am not happy that Ebert is dead. In fact, I am saddened because no one changed his opinion on the matter, and they would have - given time - because Ebert was so very wrong on the matter, and kind of an idiot that needed education. His death took away the chance for him to learn something, and that makes me sad . . . although, it doesn't make me miss him.

#3-| Stephen King

A lot of people seem to think that I should like Stephen King. See, I am an amateur author on the internet, so I am in a few writing communities. As a result, I see a lot of other young writers, and many of them have been scouring the internet for tips and/or advice on writing. One of the works they often source as an inspiration to them is On Writing by Stephen King. But what none of these people seem to understand is that Stephen King is a terrible storyteller. Even my Beloved seems to appreciate his work, which is one of our few points of difference.

I hate Stephen King, because he doesn't know what a good story is, he just repeats himself. Do you remember that one Stephen King book about a writer/alcoholic battling evil, unearthly forces in Maine?
Oh, wait a minute(!) Is Stephen King a writer, and alcoholic, who lives in Maine? What a fucking brilliant man, I wonder where he gets his original fucking ideas from! "Write what you know", right Steve?
Do you know why every Stephen King movie is shit? I have seen heaps of them and I can tell you why. It's because Stephen King doesn't know how to construct a good story, they're all stupid. However, he is a good "writer". He knows how to scare people with his words, that's what makes him popular.
  "What's that?" I hear you say, "Did you just say that's he's a good writer? Then why do you hate him, pray tell."
Well, as I said with Kubrick, being bad at what you do doesn't make me hate you, that makes me hate your work. What makes me hate Stephen King is that he is a hypocrite, who doesn't even realize how much of a hypocrite he is. Now, I don't like Stephenie Meyer, she is a bad storyteller in my opinion. The reason she is bad is because she doesn't know how to plot, she just steals from classic literature, but leaves out the part that makes it good (i.e. originality, good character & a point beyond Mormon values and teen-girl bait), but she doesn't offend my sensibilities. I read Twilight, and I understand why it's popular, she's a good writer, but a bad storyteller. And yet, Stephen King has the audacity to publicly say "Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn".
No! No, Mr King, you have not earned the right to insult another author for bad writing. You have not displayed the fortitude that would qualify you as capable of deferring good literature from bad. You do not deserve the time of day to stand up and whine about another author being more successful than you; especially when she's writing just as well as you, but for a more populous and under-appreciated audience. I don't care that it's Stephenie Meyer, I don't hate Stephenie Meyer (I just hate her books) but that's not what matters, she doesn't matter. What matters is that the only reason he was even bitching was because she's earning more money than him, and he wanted to jump on the bandwagon, without realizing how much of a hypocrite it made him.

I despise Stephen King. I hate him so much, I could even write a putrid, disgusting, toad-like character, inspired by how much I hate him and his own selfish, close-minded views. [*cough* Steeking *cough*]. I don't like bad stories; I don't like people that write bad stories & I really don't like bad storytellers teaching others to write stories as bad as their own. But what I really hate, is a fucking hypocrite. You'd think, after getting hit by a car, he'd learn some goddamned humility. But now, he's just a crippled hypocrite, and I hate him for it.

#2-| Jamie Oliver

I hate Jamie Oliver. There's a very simple reason I hate Jamie Oliver, it's because he's a stupid, git-faced, ox-tongued, self-important little shit. But that's not a very rational or logical argument, so allow me to explain why he's a stupid, git-faced, ox-tongued, self-important little shit . . .
Basically, Jamie Oliver is a cook. I don't hate cooks, my favourite non-fictional television show ever is MasterChef. Sure, he adds too much salt to everything; sure every time he's done something live, it seems to go horribly wrong; sure, he seems to think that 'gorgeous' is the only adjective in the English language and has the vocabulary of a scab because he's an illiterate bastard & sure, his organic restaurants can be overpriced hogwash. But that alone is not why I hate him. What I hate is that Jamie Oliver doesn't seem to realize that he's a cook. He wants to get out of the kitchen, into the real world to fix it. But he can't fix anything, not the economy, not education and most certainly not childhood obesity.

Jamie has been going nuts with his crackdown on those poor, lonely . . . well poor people, in these hard economic times. They can't even cook a meal, so he made 15 Minute Meals, to show those poor peasants how to cook. He showed them how to whiz up food in his food processor (which all poor people have); cut up herbs from his herb garden (which all working parents have, of course) & save time by preparing portion sizes; cooking utensils; boiled water & pre-heated oven beforehand (which every working parent has the additional 15 minutes to do after a long day at work).
After that smash hit failed to solve the economy, Jamie "solved" the education problem. How? By making one "Dream School". Sure, that doesn't solve the rest of the schools in existence that don't have celebrity funding, but fuck it, at least that school will be amazing. And hey, maybe it will be a  trendsetter, maybe it could inspire other schools to build a biosphere; give their students a tour of Cambridge University when they feel like it or offer Latin, DivingPhotography and Sailing classes to their students. It's not like these kids are poor or from low-income families or something like that. Yeah, that's education solved, now what about obesity?
I know, let's go to a school and tell the lunch lady how to do her job. Never mind that the school doesn't have the budget to pay for school lunches, we'll just go over budget anyway, what's the worst that could happen? Oh, that's right, they won't have enough money and it will be too much work for the cafeteria workers to prepare your intricate recipes. Then when the series concluded, a much higher percentage of children were not eating the food provided. So, with that success under his belt, Jamie went to the unhealthiest city in America, where he also failed miserably.

Jamie Oliver doesn't understand that these are surface issues stemming from a terrible education system, capitalism and a poor economy. He thinks that childhood obesity, poor people & education can be solved from the outside in, when these are core problems that could only be tackled from the inside out. But of course he doesn't realize this, because he's a fucking idiot. He doesn't understand what it means to be poor, because he's not, he's too shortsighted. He's not a revolutionary, he's not a politician and he's not an economist; he's a fucking cook with a shitload of money because he sold a lot of recipe books and owns a few restaurants. But that's not good enough for Jamie Oliver, and that's why I hate him. It's not because he tries and fails, it's because he's only trying for his own selfish needs. He doesn't want smart people to change the world, he wants to save it all himself. But all he can offer is to throw his money at it, and offer some recipes.
I am so glad that Jamie Oliver isn't a woman, because I can unashamedly say that he needs to get back in the kitchen. Stop telling people how to live their lives; make me a sandwich by any means, that's all your good for.

#1-| Oprah Winfrey

Why is Oprah Winfrey on the top of this list? Do I hate her the most? Well, no, I probably hate Stephen King the most. But this list is ordered from the smallest to the greatest difference between how I feel and how most people seem to feel. So while Oprah Winfrey is not the most deserving of my hate, she is certainly the person most deserving of your hate, on this list.
Why? Well, because one of the words used to describe Oprah is "charitable". And it's true, she does give a lot of money to charity. From 2004 to 2010 she remained one of the top 50 Most Charitable Americans according to Philanthropy.com. She has given over four-hundred million dollars towards education, she recieved the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award and of course, everyone remembers the time she gave everyone in her audience a new car.
Not to mention her Oprah's Angel Network, a charity organization designed to support more charities. Wow, look at all that charity, isn't Oprah such a kind and charitable woman?

Before you answer, I want you to consider something. Because, you see, I used to believe that about her too; but that was before "the Prayer Chair", there's a video on Oprah's website of Oprah looking around Dolly Parton's tour bus, and around the 1:15 mark, Ms Parton talks about her prayer altar by her bed and how she prays every day. Now, sure, praying is just weird to me, as an atheist I don't understand it, but Dolly Parton is a country singer so that's even weirder and I just don't much care about her doing it. But then, Oprah herself starts to gloat about her own 'pray station', a chair that she sits in to pray every day during the sunrise, and she talks about how she "even prays in bed some days". And that's when I started to feel icky, because Oprah was sort of "competing" with Dolly. It was passive, but she seemed to keep on ragging on about how very Christian she was. Later, they inspect her bath towels, and there are some rosary beads hanging there, and Oprah takes the moment to deliberately point them out just so she can add "ooh, I have them, I use them as a bookmark".
And that's when I started to feel sick in my stomach. It's not that she's Christian, I like good Christians, my best friend is a good Christian, Samuel L. Jackson is a good Christian and even Dolly Parton is a good Christian. But it was the way Oprah talked about it, it didn't seem so much 'devout', as it seemed competitive, as though she was keen to show off how very Christian she was. That was then I started to think about it . . .

Oprah Winfrey is very Christian, competitively so, and Christianity advocates helping your fellow man; blessed are the meek and so forth. So I couldn't shake off the suspicion that every single charitable thing that Oprah Winfrey has ever done, was tainted with selfishness. I couldn't help but question whether everything that Oprah has ever done for another person, was because she thinks it will impress either other Christians or her Judeo-Christian god. Because when you do something according to a bible, you're not doing it for morality's sake, you're doing it for your religion's sake in the selfish hope that you might earn your place in heaven. And every time I see Oprah Winfrey now, I can't help but feel like she doesn't do charity because she cares about other people. I feel like she's merely acting "charitable", for either some competitive Christian edge, or because she believes that it will get her a ticket to the good afterlife.
Does that mean that I don't appreciate the charity? Of course not. I like that poor people are getting money; I like that people are getting educated and I like that she's given scholarships to those needy students. But that's just her money, I like Oprah's money, but I don't like Oprah. In fact, I hate her. Because she represents the same thing that so many people on this list share, she presents herself as one thing, when deep down I see something different. On the outside, offering kindness and charity; but greedy and selfish, rotten at the core. Acting empathetic, while rounding up damaged people like a freakshow for the purposes of view ratings; giving credence to unprofessional advice and pseudoscience, suckering in fools that follow her & lauding over her many adoring fans that, for their obsession, have been called "the Cult of Oprah". And if that doesn't make you hate Oprah, well, then you're much more forgiving than me.


Well, that's my list. Perhaps in the future, I will write a much nicer list, a list of celebrities I like. But I plan to get my Duke Forever post done next, so I hope you enjoy that, and any "Celebrities I Love which you Hate" list will have to wait.
I'm the Absurd Word Nerd and until next time, if you like these celebrities, well, you're part of the problem. But if you too hate them, don't worry, you're not alone and you're not the only sane one left.

1 comment:

  1. It seems that most of these people suffer the crime of extreme hypocrisy- that is, not practicing what they preach and engaging in belittling behavior. I don't think I could hate Stephen King, but I can see your reasons for having such strong feelings. You won't catch me insulting other writers in public for sure.

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