Do people..

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Jinnistan
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:00 pm

I think this makes the point with FMJ clear enough.


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Re: Do people..

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:05 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:50 pm
I believe the point with Full Metal Jacket is simple enough to decipher: Of course R. Lee Ermey's star-making performance is funny, his opening scene is a classic routine. That's not the point, either that Popcorn/crumbs was making or that Kubrick was intending. Let's talk about these "complicated emotions". Underneath the surface hilarity of Ermey's perfectly pitched steel drum rhythms is the fact that the purpose of his humor is not very funny at all, it's dehumanizing, because his job is not to entertain but to create sociopathic killers. This becomes increasingly clear scene after scene, getting progressively less funny, exactly as Kubrick intended. Anyone still laughing by the time Gomer gets the soap treatment probably is totally a sociopath themselves, and I believe this was crumbs' point, as, say, anyone gleefully singing children's songs in the midst of death and carnage. Anyone looking back after watching the entire film, with all of this contextual progression on the nature of the film's humor, and saying that they didn't like the second half (the part without Ermey) because it wasn't as funny, isn't just a sociopath but an imbecile besides, and clearly doesn't understand the very same complicated emotions that Kubrick was invoking or what he was intending by invoking them.
I know that "This" is an overused response but... This.

For a first time viewer, Hartman's insults (which are pretty good) can come off as funny, but after seeing the film and watching how the dehumanization aspect develops, I can't for the life of me imagine how anyone can still find them funny when looking back at them. It's disconcerting and misses the entire point of the film. That's what I meant with my comment up above.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:12 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:50 pm
I believe the point with Full Metal Jacket is simple enough to decipher: Of course R. Lee Ermey's star-making performance is funny, his opening scene is a classic routine. That's not the point, either that Popcorn/crumbs was making or that Kubrick was intending. Let's talk about these "complicated emotions". Underneath the surface hilarity of Ermey's perfectly pitched steel drum rhythms is the fact that the purpose of his humor is not very funny at all, it's dehumanizing, because his job is not to entertain but to create sociopathic killers. This becomes increasingly clear scene after scene, getting progressively less funny, exactly as Kubrick intended. Anyone still laughing by the time Gomer gets the soap treatment probably is totally a sociopath themselves, and I believe this was crumbs' point, as, say, anyone gleefully singing children's songs in the midst of death and carnage. Anyone looking back after watching the entire film, with all of this contextual progression on the nature of the film's humor, and saying that they didn't like the second half (the part without Ermey) because it wasn't as funny, isn't just a sociopath but an imbecile besides, and clearly doesn't understand the very same complicated emotions that Kubrick was invoking or what he was intending by invoking them.
But that is not so much the message that is conveyed, at least, not the entirety of it. I don't doubt that Kubrick's intention was to scandalize us with the process of boot camp, but a good many people have found memories of classic drill sergeants who would "smoke" recruits and turn to this portrayal as a representative anecdote of those experiences. The problem with anti-war movies, as has often been observed, is that they subvert themselves in making war beautiful, dramatic, and quite entertaining.

Consider that this movie elevated Ermie into a beloved cultural "Gunnie" to yell at all of us, which he did for years on his show "Mail Call." There are a good many people who would see his humor as attached to saving lives (as a near carbon copy of his character makes quite clear as his intention as Sgt. Loyce in The Boys in Company C). That is, an empathetic dehumanization, breaking people down to build them up so that they can make it through the valley of death and all that.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Smoke Bomb » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:29 pm

I have a vital contribution to this discourse! *Uproarious and elongated fart*
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:33 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:12 pm
But that is not so much the message that is conveyed, at least, not the entirety of it. I don't doubt that Kubrick's intention was to scandalize us with the process of boot camp, but a good many people have found memories of classic drill sergeants who would "smoke" recruits and turn to this portrayal as a representative anecdote of those experiences. The problem with anti-war movies, as has often been observed, is that they subvert themselves in making war beautiful, dramatic, and quite entertaining.
I think you're confusing "message" with "impressions". The message of the film, in the most simple abstract, is to show how Joker (the audience surrogate) copes with this "world of shit". The fact is that when we actually get to the war, it's parodoxically not very "entertaining" at all, at least not in the base level that those who insist on only rewatching the "funny" half consider entertaining. Remember that the context we're discusssing isn't merely about whether people find the first half funny, but those who dislike the second half for not being funny. People misunderstand things a lot, but I think the appeal of presenting popular misunderstandings makes for a poor argument.

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:12 pm
Consider that this movie elevated Ermie into a beloved cultural "Gunnie" to yell at all of us, which he did for years on his show "Mail Call."
I think Freddy Krueger did a TV show once, schticking it up. I believe he may have even had a fan club at one point. *shrug*
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:37 pm

Smoke Bomb wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:29 pm
I have a vital contribution to this discourse! *Uproarious and elongated fart*
I find the moisture cloying and the stank contrived. 7/10
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Re: Do people..

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:49 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:33 pm
I think you're confusing "message" with "impressions".
We might say intended message vs. received message or split hairs some other way.
Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:33 pm
The message of the film, in the most simple abstract, is to show how Joker (the audience surrogate) copes with this "world of shit".


That's been the point of many war movies, but strangely the anti-war war movie always seems to subvert itself.
Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:33 pm
The fact is that when we actually get to the war, it's parodoxically not very "entertaining" at all, at least not in the base level that those who insist on only rewatching the "funny" half consider entertaining.


I think that there are plenty of people who find that part of the film entertaining too. Some embrace the gallows humor all the way down (e.g., "How can you shoot innocent women and children? That's easy, you just don't lead them as much."). And some who don't find the second half funny, but do find the first half funny, also find the second half to be entertaining.
Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:33 pm
Remember that the context we're discusssing isn't merely about whether people find the first half funny, but those who dislike the second half for not being funny. People misunderstand things a lot, but I think the appeal of presenting popular misunderstandings makes for a poor argument.


I think most people "get it," but we should also remember that funny and mortifying aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. There are plenty of "camps" here.

I think we can laugh at the abuse without losing our humanity.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:46 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:49 pm
We might say intended message vs. received message or split hairs some other way.
Or we could just say 'narratively explicit message' vs 'whichever misconception of that message best suits your interests'. Full Metal Jacket is not some kind of opaque enigma in what's it's striving for. The film is so clearly about Joker coping with an insane world beyond his control (hint: it's the last line of the film) that it really isn't worth the effort to debate.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:49 pm
That's been the point of many war movies, but strangely the anti-war war movie always seems to subvert itself.
"Always" is one of those words that makes its user sound ridiculous. Peeople who have a hard time discerning the horror of war - from the quote-unquote necessity of dehumanizing soldiers so that they can better dehumanize the enemy so they can be more effectively killed - depicted in this movie are perhaps suffering from more personal subversions.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:49 pm
I think that there are plenty of people who find that part of the film entertaining too. Some embrace the gallows humor all the way down (e.g., "How can you shoot innocent women and children? That's easy, you just don't lead them as much."). And some who don't find the second half funny, but do find the first half funny, also find the second half to be entertaining.
These are not the people that Popcorn was referring to, although maybe I can see how that's not clear if you missed a rather extended conversation on the subject not long ago. I understood Popcorn to be referring to those who find the Ermey bits (ie the first half) the only part of the film worth watching. And it isn't exactly like all of those bits are side-splitting. Ermey stops being funny well before the halfway mark of the film. But these folks exist, they only watch the film through to Gomer's death (which is hilarious) because after that it stops being funny. I contend that such viewers are most likely idiots who somewhat fascistically enjoy watching a character being abused into suicide. As you point out, it isn't as if the gallows humor in the film stops there, so I'm not sure how else you could rationalize this particular audience which is only willing to rewatch that half of the film.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:49 pm
I think we can laugh at the abuse without losing our humanity.
I suppose it's a question of whether you're laughing at or with the abuse, and I imagine that few people of the latter inclination would dare be honest in response.
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Re: Do people..

Post by DaMU » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:54 pm

My experience with heated debate is that, 99/100 times, the high emotion decreases the openness required to really hear and sympathize with the other person, which you need to do if you expect anything constructive to come out of it. People so often become territorial and bad-faith and use debate as a platform for rhetorical gamesmanship that the absolute best I have to look forward to is the other person saying, "Respectfully disagree," rare still "I see where you're coming from." There are certain people on forums who I simply don't engage with anymore because I know talking at length with them is like playing tennis against the wall.

I've heard this phrase in the past, "nexus of understanding," which is where I want to be when talking about art. Basically, start the conversation by agreeing on whatever you can about the movie. What do all parties think the movie is about and trying to do? What do all parties think are some of the methods being used in those pursuits? It seems grade-schooly ("say something nice"), but whenever possible, I try to reframe debates as conversations and restate where I agree with the other person and, as much as possible, compliment the thoughts of theirs I do agree with.

Sometimes it's hard, because Janson can be a real idiot, but you gotta try.
Joke.
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The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:05 pm

DaMU wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:54 pm
Sometimes it's hard, because Janson can be a real idiot, but you gotta try.
Joke.

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Re: Do people..

Post by The Nameless One » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:08 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:50 pm
I believe the point with Full Metal Jacket is simple enough to decipher: Of course R. Lee Ermey's star-making performance is funny, his opening scene is a classic routine. That's not the point, either that Popcorn/crumbs was making or that Kubrick was intending. Let's talk about these "complicated emotions". Underneath the surface hilarity of Ermey's perfectly pitched steel drum rhythms is the fact that the purpose of his humor is not very funny at all, it's dehumanizing, because his job is not to entertain but to create sociopathic killers. This becomes increasingly clear scene after scene, getting progressively less funny, exactly as Kubrick intended. Anyone still laughing by the time Gomer gets the soap treatment probably is totally a sociopath themselves, and I believe this was crumbs' point, as, say, anyone gleefully singing children's songs in the midst of death and carnage. Anyone looking back after watching the entire film, with all of this contextual progression on the nature of the film's humor, and saying that they didn't like the second half (the part without Ermey) because it wasn't as funny, isn't just a sociopath but an imbecile besides, and clearly doesn't understand the very same complicated emotions that Kubrick was invoking or what he was intending by invoking them.
Absolutely, and by the climactic point he shoots his audience in the head, both extinguishing and complicating all feelings held before. That moment would not have as profound of an impact on the audience if it didn't lead you into that world in the manner which you suggest. Personally, I'm not exactly in the camp of finding any of FMJ funny... I probably haven't laughed sincerely in a decade... but I often think of being provoked into a state of laughter by R. Lee Ermey and having that result in the rest of your camp having disdain for you after being put on display... I feel like that tension is akin to what's happening now between scientists and Donald Trump in his Task Force briefings where you just want to laugh at the buffoon's face but the result of doing that could potentially endanger people given how important it is to have correct information in this time. At what point is a tempered response considered compliant? A question both Ermey and Trump would love to have answered, and Kubrick rightly challenges.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Slentert » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:21 pm

Because of my tendency to avoid any kind of conflict, I very rarely decide to start an argument on here or anywhere else on the internet for that matter. I refuse to participate in any kind of heated debate, especially if it comes to something as inconsequential as movies.

I also often just completely forget to respond to someone's comments on here. I'm always like, "I'm going to really think about this so I can give a proper response" and then it just slips my mind. I'm sure that hasn't made me particularly popular on here...
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:38 pm

The Nameless One wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:08 pm
Absolutely, and by the climactic point he shoots his audience in the head, both extinguishing and complicating all feelings held before. That moment would not have as profound of an impact on the audience if it didn't lead you into that world in the manner which you suggest. Personally, I'm not exactly in the camp of finding any of FMJ funny... I probably haven't laughed sincerely in a decade... but I often think of being provoked into a state of laughter by R. Lee Ermey and having that result in the rest of your camp having disdain for you after being put on display... I feel like that tension is akin to what's happening now between scientists and Donald Trump in his Task Force briefings where you just want to laugh at the buffoon's face but the result of doing that could potentially endanger people given how important it is to have correct information in this time. At what point is a tempered response considered compliant? A question both Ermey and Trump would love to have answered, and Kubrick rightly challenges.
Again, I think there's a disconnect in what Popcorn/crumbs were referring to, an earlier extended discussion, that wasn't clear in their posts here. At issue isn't someone finding any humor in the first half of the film, but specifically that previously discussed portion of FJM fans who only watch the first half "because it's funny", and consider the rest to be like a completely different film.

For what it's worth, I find a lot of the second half to be pretty funny too, not lol funny, but very sharp. Like how Animal Mother is only slightly more stable than Gomer, or the "Which side are you on, son?" exchange, or the more meta joke about Kubrick imitating Coppola by putting himself in the film shooting scenes of the soldiers but using a lookalike instead of doing it himself, etc etc. I'd be more worried about people who only laughed at the stuff about the prostitutes and "dead gooks".
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Re: Do people..

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:47 pm

Yeah, that's what I was getting at with my initial statement of the humor in this film. And I think crumbs was getting at that as well.
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Re: Do people..

Post by The Nameless One » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:59 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:38 pm
Again, I think there's a disconnect in what Popcorn/crumbs were referring to, an earlier extended discussion, that wasn't clear in their posts here. At issue isn't someone finding any humor in the first half of the film, but specifically that previously discussed portion of FJM fans who only watch the first half "because it's funny", and consider the rest to be like a completely different film.
I feel this, chances are I'm approaching this all with a degree of knee jerkiness fueled by my disbelief that these people actually exist... I have to remind myself that people sincerely like Boondock Saints :shifty:. Apologies for any misinterpretations on my part
I'd be more worried about people who only laughed at the stuff about the prostitutes and "dead gooks".
This is the most interesting aspect, for me, is how a director can establish a litmus test, or trap, in regards to one's personal sensibilities... how thin the line is between laughing with and laughing at. I often ask myself if it is responsible for a director to "put on display" when that display can empower those who it attempts to bring down... that's a tricky line which I feel has backfired on even the best intentions
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Re: Do people..

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:08 pm

The Nameless One wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:59 pm
I feel this, chances are I'm approaching this all with a degree of knee jerkiness fueled by my disbelief that these people actually exist... I have to remind myself that people sincerely like Boondock Saints :shifty:. Apologies for any misinterpretations on my part
No worries. It's all good :up:
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Re: Do people..

Post by replican » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:11 pm

DaMU wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:54 pm
My experience with heated debate is that, 99/100 times, the high emotion decreases the openness required to really hear and sympathize with the other person, which you need to do if you expect anything constructive to come out of it. People so often become territorial and bad-faith and use debate as a platform for rhetorical gamesmanship that the absolute best I have to look forward to is the other person saying, "Respectfully disagree," rare still "I see where you're coming from." There are certain people on forums who I simply don't engage with anymore because I know talking at length with them is like playing tennis against the wall.

I've heard this phrase in the past, "nexus of understanding," which is where I want to be when talking about art. Basically, start the conversation by agreeing on whatever you can about the movie. What do all parties think the movie is about and trying to do? What do all parties think are some of the methods being used in those pursuits? It seems grade-schooly ("say something nice"), but whenever possible, I try to reframe debates as conversations and restate where I agree with the other person and, as much as possible, compliment the thoughts of theirs I do agree with.

Sometimes it's hard, because Janson can be a real idiot, but you gotta try.
Joke.
I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with everything you say in my head. Like I get where you are coming from ... but I definitely don't prefer it as a way to discuss film/tv. Something which I love love love to do. I can't recall an agreeable conversation I've ever had about a film that brought about anything enlightening. Doesn't shed new light on an angle I missed, make me rethink my opinion of a character's actions, etc.

Take my favorite movie of all time, Lost in Translation. First time I saw it was moved like never before. Connection city. Flawless film and Sofia is the best.

A few years ago a podcast I love was doing a retrospective review of LiT. I was excited, was like sweet man they are going to talk about the GOAT movie. Didn't go like that. The hosts praised it, but noted issues they had with it, primarily that it was racist and the relationship inappropriate. I had never thought of these possibilities on my own, never thought this was even a debate people had had about the film, which apparently is a thing with LiT. How was it racist, I thought incredulously. Inappropriate relationship? Bob was cool as ice, all platonic, much to my chagrin. The hosts didn't have a huge debate over these issues but if I were to defend it, there would be some touchy subjects to get into. It probably would get heated. But there's lots to be explored there if you can stand the heat.
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Re: Do people..

Post by DaMU » Sat Apr 25, 2020 12:05 am

replican wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:11 pm
I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with everything you say in my head. Like I get where you are coming from ... but I definitely don't prefer it as a way to discuss film/tv. Something which I love love love to do. I can't recall an agreeable conversation I've ever had about a film that brought about anything enlightening. Doesn't shed new light on an angle I missed, make me rethink my opinion of a character's actions, etc.

Take my favorite movie of all time, Lost in Translation. First time I saw it was moved like never before. Connection city. Flawless film and Sofia is the best.

A few years ago a podcast I love was doing a retrospective review of LiT. I was excited, was like sweet man they are going to talk about the GOAT movie. Didn't go like that. The hosts praised it, but noted issues they had with it, primarily that it was racist and the relationship inappropriate. I had never thought of these possibilities on my own, never thought this was even a debate people had had about the film, which apparently is a thing with LiT. How was it racist, I thought incredulously. Inappropriate relationship? Bob was cool as ice, all platonic, much to my chagrin. The hosts didn't have a huge debate over these issues but if I were to defend it, there would be some touchy subjects to get into. It probably would get heated. But there's lots to be explored there if you can stand the heat.
It's funny though, because this example doesn't strike me as heated. It sounds more like you caught a conversation between people you trust, and that access to a perspective you hadn't considered pushed you to think of a film you loved in some new ways (even if you don't necessarily agree with their conclusions and there's still the possibility of a heated argument).

I'm not saying that to say your perspective is wrong, just that your example doesn't seem to jive with what I was referring to-- I was thinking more of A declaring "That movie ruled," and B saying, "No, that movie actually sucks," and then their dialogue turns into a weirdass sort of trench warfare.

What I've found is most likely to change my mind is a deep-dive or long-form argument. A good example is a YouTube channel called Pop Culture Detective-- yeah, the name sounds like every other goddamn thirtysomething white boy on YouTube, but he provides a terrific analysis of The Empire Strikes Back in a video on Harrison Ford that shifted my perspective on the Han/Leia dynamic in the Falcon. Lindsay Ellis helped me look more charitably at Gunn's second Guardians film. Dan Olson took a scalpel to Man of Steel's sequencing, dragging my opinion of the film down quite a ways.

That's been my experience, anyways.
NOTE:
The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:27 am

Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:46 pm
Or we could just say 'narratively explicit message' vs 'whichever misconception of that message best suits your interests'.


Well, if you want to use loaded language, sure... ?
Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:46 pm
Full Metal Jacket is not some kind of opaque enigma in what's it's striving for. The film is so clearly about Joker coping with an insane world beyond his control (hint: it's the last line of the film) that it really isn't worth the effort to debate.


Sometimes films are loved for what they did not achieve. Plan 9 and The Room are beloved for being something that they were not intended to be, and which, in fact, the are (despite the artistic intention).

It doesn't make the film an enigma to say that it makes us laugh as it depicts dehumanization.
Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:46 pm
"Always" is one of those words that makes its user sound ridiculous.


Always, tho?

And there is the hedge word "seems" in my post which is a safety valve for the hyperbole, a hint if you will.
Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:46 pm
Peeople who have a hard time discerning the horror of war - from the quote-unquote necessity of dehumanizing soldiers so that they can better dehumanize the enemy so they can be more effectively killed - depicted in this movie are perhaps suffering from more personal subversions.


Perhaps. Perhaps the horrors of war, especially in the context of entertainment is dominated by tropes, that the immediacy of the message has worn of from use, like a coin with a faint image of what was originally minted on it.
Jinnistan wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:46 pm
These are not the people that Popcorn was referring to, although maybe I can see how that's not clear if you missed a rather extended conversation on the subject not long ago.


I'm just passing time. If the convo is restricted to a particular demo that loves the first half and hates the second half and only sees humor in the first half and so on, sure.

As for liking the gunny bits the best - they are the best bits, IMO. I like the whole movie, however.

As for the alleged fascists who only like the first half , if we're restricting conversation here to those people who are, by the necessity of conceptual definition, "fascistic," I suppose you've got the "W" here, but I am not sure that most of the audience that likes the first half more or only likes the first half deserves such a criticism.

How much breathing room are you allowing here? Can we discuss wider audience responses or must I choke myself on the grip of a tautology?

As for laughing with or laughing at, I would guess that it is both. And this is, after all, merely a depiction for entertainment and not a documentary.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:53 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:27 am
Sometimes films are loved for what they did not achieve. Plan 9 and The Room are beloved for being something that they were not intended to be, and which, in fact, the are (despite the artistic intention).
Yeah, no, I don't quite see Full Metal Jacket falling into the same category as those films. It's easier to rest on the laurels of audience recontextualization in the complete absence of contextual competance though.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:27 am
It doesn't make the film an enigma to say that it makes us laugh as it depicts dehumanization.
Not the point I was making. I think it's understandable to laugh at the early scenes, but it becomes more problematic as the system of dehumanization reveals itself. What I explicitly said is that it's far less understandable how anyone is still laughing by the time it's clear that Gomer is terminally damaged by this abuse. The first uncomfortable recognition is in the choking scene, and only grows more obvious from there. It's fairly indefensible to laugh, for example, at the jelly donut scene, because it's abundantly clear by then that Gomer is helpless and unable to healthily cope with this abuse.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:27 am
Always, tho?
It doesn't require a great deal of film knowledge to pluck a handful of examples which buck the trend - Paths of Glory, Forbidden Games, Johnny Got His Gun, Catch 22, Come and See - and which offer no glamorization or vicarious valour. The vulnerablility of such absolute terms is that it only requires a couple of exceptions to render them insufficient, however "seemingly" sound.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:27 am
If the convo is restricted to a particular demo that loves the first half and hates the second half and only sees humor in the first half and so on, sure.
I've pointed out, and Popcorn has corroborated, that this is precisely the context to which you're responding.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:27 am
As for liking the gunny bits the best - they are the best bits, IMO.
They are the film's hook. That initial engagement that draws the audience in, the potboiler, so to speak. That shouldn't preclude our progressive understanding of its place in the film's thematic arc.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:27 am
How much breathing room are you allowing here? Can we discuss wider audience responses or must I choke myself on the grip of a tautology?
I'll settle for a reasonable defense for only finding the first half of the film to be worthy of attention and regard. Don't get me wrong, I understand if you'd rather not, because I think it's a ludicrous assertion myself. But if you find my notion that both halves of the film are necessary thematic compliments to be so taut, then you might as well. Otherwise, I doubt it's much of a tautology after all.

Rather, I'd like to see some of these examples of alternative interpretations offered that can pass some muster. Isn't that the positive element of debate? There's nothing very challenging about obstinate prerogatives of perspective however popularly shared. My views can, at least, be textually defended. The problem with invoking 'subjectivity' is that it's frequently used as an intellectual solvent, reducing any and all impressions to equally valid commitments. Another good thing about engaging in, especially artistic, debate is that it becomes inescapable how fragile our impressions are under scrutiny. So I don't really respect the argument that since "lots of people" found Full Metal Jacket less hilarious when R. Lee Ermey exits, and therefore becoming a much worse film for it, to be a convincing perspective. (The fact that many of these adherents are offended by the notion of defending that point of view might be a clue as to it's precariousness.)

A better example would be Clockwork Orange, which, speak of the devil, I remember having a deep and engaging discussion with Israfel the Black (*sign of the cross*) back at the cursed salted ground. Our debate, or our primary disagreement, was over that film's intentions regarding the themes of agency and redemption. Are some people simply "evil"? Izzy thought so, in some insightful detail, while I tried to maintain the Chaplain's position that choice, rather than artificial coercion, was the key to true redemption. I consider this as something of an ideal for a positive debate, as it inspired me to brush up on my understanding of the limitations of Skinneresque behaviorism and a couple of Kubrick's interviews that I hadn't read before, and it inspired Izzy to reread the book (blindsiding me on a couple of crucial points). We never did reach much of a consensus (except that Chapter 21 definitely suuucked), but it was hardly a catfight or a waste of time. And at least the issues we dissected were ambiguities intentionally woven into the film to provoke such discussions of moral responsibility, accountability and the nature of willful human actualization and rehabilitation. There are numerous such ambiguities in Full Metal Jacket (indeed in all of Kubrick's films) that merit exploration and discussion (the "necessity" of creating merciless war puppets in a time of war, for example), but whether or not the first half of the film can stand alone as a self-contained "comedy", or that the second half stands as a detriment to its quality, are not exactly some of them. Instead, such a childish, unexamined impression equals that certain type of self-pitying punk fuck that values Clockwork Orange solely because its ultraviolent horrorshow is so hardcore edgesick and omg *shreds riffs in the key of Cure*. We could probably take a poll of those bubblebrain snotknobs who think that Tyler Durden would make an ideal imaginary friend, and it also wouldn't really prove a damn thing other than there's some infantile schmucks among us who frequently mistake maturity for mascara and negligent hair care.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:27 am
And this is, after all, merely a depiction for entertainment and not a documentary.
This distinction seems nonsensical to me since I frequently find documentaries to be very entertaining and fictional films to be quite informative. I've seen nothing to suggest that this film, based on real events and written by a combat veteran and military journalist, was intended as escapsist fodder which had nothing substantial to say about the challenging psychologies of war.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am

Jinnistan wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:53 am
Yeah, no, I don't quite see Full Metal Jacket falling into the same category as those films. It's easier to rest on the laurels of audience recontextualization in the complete absence of contextual competance though.
It is significant that we have, at least, established that NOT everything falls under the control of the writer, or director, or actor on the screen, and various other "makers" who contribute to a film project (and we might note that these parties often have competing intentions and interpretations within a collaborative effort, such as a film). We do not have deprecate our appraisal of FMJ to note that these examples make the point clear (i.e., that what a work of art means and how it is to be appraised is not simply under the control of its makers).

Even great artists are subject to interpretations and appraisals that stand outside of their stated and plausibly inferred intentions (in both senses of "intention"). Great works of art are subject to interpretations and appraisals which stand outside the popular and/or critical reception of their original release. A classic example of both is the Freudian reading of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, under which the ghost story becomes a tale of neurosis. The Freudian reading came more than twenty years after the original release of the book, but is now considered a legitimate (and arguably preferred) interpretation of the text. This is NOT merely recontextualization in the complete absence of contextual competence, but just something that happens.

Competent readers sometimes engage in "resistive reading." They get "the point," but happen to enjoy their usage more than the point (much as musicians can make sad song "happy" by shifting it to a major key). People who happen to like the first half of FMJ are no necessarily fascists or bad school kids who didn't manage to pay attention to the class lecture. Some people, as I have noted, have served in the military and have a shared fondness for classic drill instructors and turn to Ermey's performance as a common touchstone for a nostalgia that is broader than the scope of the film. See below for a link to a YouTube channel that basically is "military nostalgia" for service members.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SihQghhTg4
Jinnistan wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:53 am
I think it's understandable to laugh at the early scenes, but it becomes more problematic as the system of dehumanization reveals itself. What I explicitly said is that it's far less understandable how anyone is still laughing by the time it's clear that Gomer is terminally damaged by this abuse. The first uncomfortable recognition is in the choking scene, and only grows more obvious from there. It's fairly indefensible to laugh, for example, at the jelly donut scene, because it's abundantly clear by then that Gomer is helpless and unable to healthily cope with this abuse.


Again, resistive reading. As the Juilliard attendee and Harvard business school graduate Beetlejuice said, "I've seen "The Exorcist" about 167 times, and it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it!" We could moralize about how it is wrong to laugh at a problematic depiction of the demonic possession of a child or just shrug and say "different strokes."

If one laughs at Gomer getting beaten in his bunk because one is invested in the reality of the scene and would laugh at the real-world beating of a fellow human being (and I do concede that they exist), then I agree that this is repugnant. On the other hand, if one is aware of "the point" but is not invested in the "reality" of the scene, and watches resistively, then the moral condemnation of the viewer is not quite so easy a thing to pull off.

Finally, there is the fact that sometimes a thing is awful and hilarious at the same time. I can recall a close relative relating to me once that they felt guilty in laughing at a scene from another Kubrick film (A Clockwork Orange) when Alex kicks the crap out an old man while singing a happy tune (Singin' in the Rain). Having seen it myself, I must confess that I find it simultaneously funny and disgusting at the same time.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:53 am
It doesn't require a great deal of film knowledge to pluck a handful of examples which buck the trend - Paths of Glory, Forbidden Games, Johnny Got His Gun, Catch 22, Come and See - and which offer no glamorization or vicarious valour. The vulnerablility of such absolute terms is that it only requires a couple of exceptions to render them insufficient, however "seemingly" sound.


Well, if you sincerely believe that I intended the use of the word "always" to be taking in a thuddingly literal rather than figurative sense, that I would disavow and bicker at the very thought of even a single counter-example, I suppose you should imagine that you've performed a public service by handing out a citation for use of an absolute term in a mature discussion. You've got me on "first degree colloquial use of hyperbole." Make the most of it.

The underlying point, however, remains that it is difficult to make make an anti-war film. Anti-war films tend (not absolutely, lest I get another speeding ticket) to subvert themselves by making scenes of war beautiful, by dramatizing the meaningless of sacrifice and thus (paradoxically) making it seem meaningful, by giving protagonists who, because they are ravaged by war, can be forgiven for their own sins, curiously valorizing them.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:53 am
I've pointed out, and Popcorn has corroborated, that this is precisely the context to which you're responding.


If that is all you're willing to discuss, then I will leave off. That which is definitionally true is true. Shrugs.

We might, however, ask whether these cases are typical and representative of the demo which only likes the first half. We might ask if there is more that we should speak of here.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:53 am
I'll settle for a reasonable defense for only finding the first half of the film to be worthy of attention and regard. Don't get me wrong, I understand if you'd rather not, because I think it's a ludicrous assertion myself. But if you find my notion that both halves of the film are necessary thematic compliments to be so taut, then you might as well. Otherwise, I doubt it's much of a tautology after all.


Personally, I like both halves and I get (at least, so I believe) what the film is up to. I also happen to find Ermey hilarious (e.g., "You climb obstacles the way old people screw!").
Jinnistan wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:53 am
The problem with invoking 'subjectivity' is that it's frequently used as an intellectual solvent, reducing any and all impressions to equally valid commitments.
A point I have frequently made myself. That stated, somewhere between the sense of there being one absolute true meaning/reading of a text (and as I have learned, absolutism is bad) and the "anything goes" of subjectivism is a zone of objectivism. That is, there is quite often a cluster of readings and appraisals which vary, but which are defensible. Outside of this cluster are readings and appraisals that don't work or are very hard to defend. We don't have to hold out for the "best" or "correct" reading of text, to maintain that some readings are better than others, that some readings are warranted or acceptable intersubjectively, where others are merely idiosyncratic.

In terms of meaning, this means polysemy (a bounded multiplicity of meaning) as opposed to chaos of reader response or the tyranny of authorial intention.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:53 am
Another good thing about engaging in, especially artistic, debate is that it becomes inescapable how fragile our impressions are under scrutiny.


Sure.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:53 am
So I don't really respect the argument that since "lots of people" found Full Metal Jacket less hilarious when R. Lee Ermey exits, and therefore becoming a much worse film for it, to be a convincing perspective.


But if many people do receive the text in this way we can no longer dismiss this view a merely idiosyncratic. Also, there is the weak presumption that if many people see things a certain way, they may not be wrong, so we should probably pause to consider the view as potentially valid.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:42 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
It is significant that we have, at least, established that NOT everything falls under the control of the writer, or director, or actor on the screen, and various other "makers" who contribute to a film project (and we might note that these parties often have competing intentions and interpretations within a collaborative effort, such as a film). We do not have deprecate our appraisal of FMJ to note that these examples make the point clear (i.e., that what a work of art means and how it is to be appraised is not simply under the control of its makers).

Even great artists are subject to interpretations and appraisals that stand outside of their stated and plausibly inferred intentions (in both senses of "intention"). Great works of art are subject to interpretations and appraisals which stand outside the popular and/or critical reception of their original release. A classic example of both is the Freudian reading of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, under which the ghost story becomes a tale of neurosis. The Freudian reading came more than twenty years after the original release of the book, but is now considered a legitimate (and arguably preferred) interpretation of the text. This is NOT merely recontextualization in the complete absence of contextual competence, but just something that happens.
Well, I've already acknowledged that there certainly are ambiguities in Full Metal Jacket worth sussing out, and more than a few avenues for creative interpretation. I'm more than willing to entertain any of these things as soon as they're presented. Comparisons to Ed Wood and Wiseau don't exactly make for a very intriguing examination, and neither does a rather arbitrary character theory of "he make me laugh". You skipped over quoting the pertinent point: "That shouldn't preclude our progressive understanding of its place in the film's thematic arc". There's no 'thematic arc' in either of these suggestions, and definitely nothing that rivals a Freudian-level reading. It isn't enough to blithely dismiss the considerable thought that Kubrick and Hasford/Herr put into the film. If you want to wrest their conceptual control from their material, then you're going to need to do the compensatory lifting. What meaning are you offering in exchange, and how does that integrate into the meaning already existing on the screen? But, again, I'm always happy to consider alternate meanings when made available to me. Even the bullshit ones like Room 237 can have their charms.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
Again, resistive reading. As the Juilliard attendee and Harvard business school graduate Beetlejuice said, "I've seen "The Exorcist" about 167 times, and it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it!" We could moralize about how it is wrong to laugh at a problematic depiction of the demonic possession of a child or just shrug and say "different strokes."
You're talking about Beetlejuice? The cartoonishly obnoxious antagonist with an arsenal of deceptive pathologies as if he's offering here some kind of valid critique or alternative perspective on The Exorcist? I see.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
On the other hand, if one is aware of "the point" but is not invested in the "reality" of the scene, and watches resistively, then the moral condemnation of the viewer is not quite so easy a thing to pull off.
What, then, would be the trigger for one's amusement in the scene, I wonder? *refreshes Kids in the Hall clip*


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
Finally, there is the fact that sometimes a thing is awful and hilarious at the same time. I can recall a close relative relating to me once that they felt guilty in laughing at a scene from another Kubrick film (A Clockwork Orange) when Alex kicks the crap out an old man while singing a happy tune (Singin' in the Rain). Having seen it myself, I must confess that I find it simultaneously funny and disgusting at the same time.
This goes back to the point I already made about the film, which is that, in order to be comparable to the question of a person who only finds the first half of FMJ entertaining and worth watching, the analogy would be to someone who only enjoys Clockwork for its aspects of shocking juvenile violence while preferring to ignore the remaining context of the film. The issue isn't over any particular momentary reflex, but rather is about a more selective extraction of elements that are meant to provoke these, as Nameless said, "complicated emotional responses" while discarding the entire point for why they're being aroused in the first place. You can say "Kubrick's not the boss of me" all you want, but it seems silly to ignore the fact that he wasn't fairly precisely pushing these audience buttons for very specific, and well attributed, reasons. Like with Ermey, I don't think that base titillation is an adequete substitute for these reasons, and doesn't rise to a recontextualization that's worth examining or defending.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
Well, if you sincerely believe that I intended the use of the word "always" to be taking in a thuddingly literal rather than figurative sense, that I would disavow and bicker at the very thought of even a single counter-example, I suppose you should imagine that you've performed a public service by handing out a citation for use of an absolute term in a mature discussion. You've got me on "first degree colloquial use of hyperbole." Make the most of it.
I accept your humility.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
The underlying point, however, remains that it is difficult to make make an anti-war film. Anti-war films tend (not absolutely, lest I get another speeding ticket) to subvert themselves by making scenes of war beautiful, by dramatizing the meaningless of sacrifice and thus (paradoxically) making it seem meaningful, by giving protagonists who, because they are ravaged by war, can be forgiven for their own sins, curiously valorizing them.
It's funny that you point out how some marines are "nostalgic" for the drill sergent, which only suggests to me that the only ones who find glamour or valour in FMJ are those who likely don't understand what the film is saying about the psychology of war.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
If that is all you're willing to discuss, then I will leave off. That which is definitionally true is true. Shrugs.
I'm pointing out the conversation that you've engaged in. I wish I could remember which thread it occurred (or that the search function worked), but it should be clear by now that no one is saying that everyone who laughed at any point during the first half of the film is a sociopath, and that this was an unfortunate shorthand for a prior discussion about the breed of fan that exists that is only interested in watching one half of the film. I'm not sure if you know this type of fan, but in my experience, most people know at least one.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
We might, however, ask whether these cases are typical and representative of the demo which only likes the first half. We might ask if there is more that we should speak of here.
I'm personally not interested, but feel free. Simply throwing out authorial intent doesn't suffice to justify it.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
I also happen to find Ermey hilarious (e.g., "You climb obstacles the way old people screw!").
Jesus H. Christ, I think you've got a hard-on.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
But if many people do receive the text in this way we can no longer dismiss this view a merely idiosyncratic.
I believe I said the view was stupid, which is unfortunately far too common.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:57 am
Also, there is the weak presumption that if many people see things a certain way, they may not be wrong, so we should probably pause to consider the view as potentially valid.
Say, that is a weak presumption. Aside from the popularity fallacy, there's no shortage of invalid superstitions and notions which have blazed through the social imagination that are easy enough to cite as both historical and contemporary reasons for not taking too many people very seriously. At least, not on debit.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:43 am

Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:42 am
Well, I've already acknowledged that there certainly are ambiguities in Full Metal Jacket worth sussing out, and more than a few avenues for creative interpretation. I'm more than willing to entertain any of these things as soon as they're presented. Comparisons to Ed Wood and Wiseau don't exactly make for a very intriguing examination, and neither does a rather arbitrary character theory of "he make me laugh". You skipped over quoting the pertinent point: "That shouldn't preclude our progressive understanding of its place in the film's thematic arc". There's no 'thematic arc' in either of these suggestions, and definitely nothing that rivals a Freudian-level reading. It isn't enough to blithely dismiss the considerable thought that Kubrick and Hasford/Herr put into the film. If you want to wrest their conceptual control from their material, then you're going to need to do the compensatory lifting. What meaning are you offering in exchange, and how does that integrate into the meaning already existing on the screen? But, again, I'm always happy to consider alternate meanings when made available to me. Even the bullshit ones like Room 237 can have their charms.


We have, at least, established, that what a text is/means and how it is to be appraised is not the private property of its makers. The case of Joyce establishes that a text may be completely turned on its head by a single reading, even in the case of a competent author who produces a high quality work.

You are (morally!) judging some viewers for having the "wrong" affective response to the text, but your judgement rests crucially on the assumption that these viewer do or should share your interpretation of the text.

Now, I grant that those who share your preferred interpretation of the text who laugh are on questionable ground. Again, if these people are laughing in the way that they would if they saw a person beaten on the street, then this is reprehensible. Some who laugh, however, are likely to be laughing in the way that some laugh at Alex's "Singin' in the Rain" scene in A Clockwork Orange. So this implies that, (1.) not all those who laugh are necessarily your bugbear fascists, even under your preferred interpretation.

Your argument above, however, is NOT that these people share your preferred interpretation, but that they lack good grounds for resistive reading. We are missing an arc, and so on. But this, by itself, is (2.) NOT enough to warrant your moral criticism. That is, if they are simply "reading it wrong" (because they don't realize that an alternate reading must produce a new arc, or whatever else you might demand as you might raise the bar for counter-examples), then they are not moral degenerates (i.e., fascists), but simply "bad readers."

Finally, there is a debate at the level at which you are presently offering refutation, which is that (3.) they lack good grounds for their resistive reading. Again, by way #2. this is not enough to establish your moral criticism of these resistive readers. So even if you win here, you lose, unless you were to offer some additional argument establishing that it is a moral crime to repurpose a text for your own amusement. We already have examples where there is no moral objection to repurposing (The Room, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and The Turn of the Screw), so we know that this is not the case by necessity (i.e., it is not an absolute). You would, therefore, now need to identify the criteria marking resistive readers who are not just wrong, but morally wrong, for not seeing things your way. Good luck with that.

And even if I were to accept your refutation which implies a criterion stating (somehow) that a wrong interpretation is enough to mark one as a fascist, we would still have to consider whether our readers have adequate grounds (e.g., military nostalgia) for consuming the film as they choose to. Thus, if you win #3, you still lose, and it is debatable as to whether you're really winning #3 (e.g., must a counter-interpretation generate some new arc?).
Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:42 am
You're talking about Beetlejuice? The cartoonishly obnoxious antagonist with an arsenal of deceptive pathologies as if he's offering here some kind of valid critique or alternative perspective on The Exorcist? I see.


Have a care, we've already invoked his name twice.

And the fact that in a thread adjacent to this we have people discussing the quality of slasher films (isn't it problematic to hack teenagers into tiny bits?) should give us pause, lest we condemn them too. You seem to be taken with the puritanism of this age, which has often stood as a threat to entire genres of art. Have a care not to become Jorge of Burgos, condemning people for enjoying a comedy by Aristotle, or Tipper Gore warning us against the evils of heavy metal and rap.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:42 am
What, then, would be the trigger for one's amusement in the scene, I wonder? *refreshes Kids in the Hall clip*


And what are the kids guilty of, besides bad taste?
Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:42 am
It's funny that you point out how some marines are "nostalgic" for the drill sergent, which only suggests to me that the only ones who find glamour or valour in FMJ are those who likely don't understand what the film is saying about the psychology of war.


I would not purport to tell those who have served about the psychology of war. A good many of them understand it better than we ever will from the comfort of our keyboards, and our narrow fictional keyhole view of cinema.

And if the drill sergeant is an instrumental good (if that butt-chewing saves lives), then it is a nostalgia for something that helped them in some way.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:42 am
Ithe breed of fan that exists that is only interested in watching one half of the film. I'm not sure if you know this type of fan, but in my experience, most people know at least one.


My argument covers a good portion of this subset.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:42 am
Say, that is a weak presumption. Aside from the popularity fallacy, there's no shortage of invalid superstitions and notions which have blazed through the social imagination that are easy enough to cite as both historical and contemporary reasons for not taking too many people very seriously. At least, not on debit.
If I am new in town and want to know where to eat and 9 out 10 people tell me to go to "Mother's" and I have no additional information available, I don't feel that I am engaged in a fallacy to try my luck there.

A good portion of what we regard as knowledge can be regarded as an "ad populum."

My point is merely that when you see a good many people with a particular view you are NOT dealing with something merely idiosyncratic, we have moved from the subjective to the intersubjective. And although it is true that popular views can be wrong, there is, nevertheless a (justified) weak presumption associated with it, such that we should at least pause to consider why so many view the world in that way.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:13 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:43 am
You are (morally!) judging some viewers for having the "wrong" affective response to the text, but your judgement rests crucially on the assumption that these viewer do or should share your interpretation of the text.
No, I'm waiting on said interpretation. The text is the compass, so navigate with it. I'm not defending some esoteric conception of Kubrick's film here. There's been a lot of writing done on his films, believe it or not.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:43 am
So even if you win here, you lose
I don't even know what prizes you're talking about. Didn't you kick off in this thread moaning about the problem with the nature of film debate being that "it is most often less about finding the truth or understanding and anything one can do to not lose, if not 'win'." What do I win here? If you want to extrapolate some reading from FMJ that makes Hartman some kind of hero, please do. I'm just saying that your, or anyone's, repurposing requires a certain amount of responsibility to have it make a shred of sense.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:43 am
And the fact that in a thread adjacent to this we have people discussing the quality of slasher films (isn't it problematic to hack teenagers into tiny bits?) should give us pause, lest we condemn them too. You seem to be taken with the puritanism of this age, which has often stood as a threat to entire genres of art. Have a care not to become Jorge of Burgos, condemning people for enjoying a comedy by Aristotle, or Tipper Gore warning us against the evils of heavy metal and rap.
Strange comparisons. You don't have much intellectual respect for Kubrick then?


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:43 am
And what are the kids guilty of, besides bad taste?
I don't think....you get that clip.


Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:43 am
And if the drill sergeant is an instrumental good (if that butt-chewing saves lives), then it is a nostalgia for something that helped them in some way.
From now on, your name should be Private Snowball.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:06 am

Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:13 am
No, I'm waiting on said interpretation. The text is the compass, so navigate with it. I'm not defending some esoteric conception of Kubrick's film here. There's been a lot of writing done on his films, believe it or not.
Just as the Freudian reading of The Turn of the Screw changes the genre (from Gothic horror to psychological drama), the people who watch FMJ for laughs are merely placing the artwork under the light of another genre (comedy). Change one assumption ("the ghosts are all in her head" or "this is, in fact, a comedy") and you have nub of it. In the case of FMJ, this is not a deep interpretation, but it is one which is at least partially consistent with the text.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:13 am
I don't even know what prizes you're talking about.


Our game of dialectic is like a game of chess. The point is not to persuade the other party or find the truth, but to catch out one's opponent in a contradiction, reduce them to bare repetitions in response to new analysis, or reduce them only capable of making personal attacks. This is the prize (i.e., when your opponent runs out of moves).
Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:13 am
Didn't you kick off in this thread moaning about the problem with the nature of film debate being that "it is most often less about finding the truth or understanding and anything one can do to not lose, if not 'win'."


Indeed, I did.

And the advice I offered to replican is sincere.

To be frank, most people aren't cut out for the dialectical game. I advise against most people playing it (as they won't get what they think they want). Most people are here to engage in relational communication and to share meaning together. And that's fine. Some may think that they want to debate their way to the truth, but what they really want is the company of other people and to feel like they've said something interesting or clever. If these people try to go the debate route, they will be frustrated when people don't want to argue and rankle.

Others, who really want to find "the truth" will also (most likely) be poorly served by the game of dialectic, because although things will start off nicely enough, they will find their egos kicking in (can't. lose. face!!!) and find themselves playing the dialectical game (not losing, forcing your opponent to run out of moves) instead of playing the truth game. If you really want to find the truth through dialogue, arguing with another person is more likely to produce heat than light. I do not advise that these people seek out debating as a general method for truth-seeking.

NOTE: There is something called a "persuasion dialogue" which is possible, but it is rare. It is not really a debate, but a dialogue where both parties want to win, but are ultimately more concerned with finding the truth and in which both sides are careful to read charitably, and to improve arguments for the other side, and ultimately willing to set aside ego to serve the purpose of the process (i.e., truth-seeking). This can happen, but it is a rare thing, and is rarely found by charging headlong into the cut and thrust of argument.

You, however, are a bit different, as am I. We're dialecticians. We play the game because we happen to like the game. This doesn't mean that we're better or smarter, it's just that we're "game." Even so, most people who play our game tend to lie about what they're really up to. This makes sense, because no one wants to be seen as one who likes to argue merely to argue. Also, it leaves one in the uncomfortable position of occasionally keeping bad company (e.g., that bad old YARN). And the cognitive dissonance of not being able to admit that one simply likes to be a verbal pugilist leaves one in the uncomfortable position of needing to explain away doing what they enjoy.

And there are epistemic compensations to the game. It forces you to reason better. After you leave the contest, you are very often forced to change your point of view or add subtlety to it. But again, this game is not for everyone, it is not directly epistemic, and it comes with costs.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:13 am
What do I win here?
If you win? You run me out of moves. You force me into contradiction, bare repetition (unable to move into a new phase of analysis when confronted with new evidence and reasoning) and watching me flail with personal attacks and other fallacies as I drown, never admitting defeat, but both of us knowing that I lost.

You haven't quite earned that prize as of yet, however.
Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:13 am
If you want to extrapolate some reading from FMJ that makes Hartman some kind of hero, please do.


A hero? No. But as a person serving a instrumental function (like a trip to the dentist), he is arguably a force for good, or at least a person who has this intention.

This much is made clear by a carbon copy of Hartman (Loyce) in the earlier film, The Boys in Company C, the Gunny makes it clear that he is trying to make sure that they have the best chance of making it home alive (see clip below).


Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:13 am
I'm just saying that your, or anyone's, repurposing requires a certain amount of responsibility to have it make a shred of sense.


This has already been addressed, but let's say that they have no justification and that they're just bad or incorrigible readers who choose to view Hartman as a sort of Sam Kinison instead of a pure monster. Fine, this brings us back to #2. You can charge them with being "unjustified' in their reading, but not as fascists. if people can watch slasher films without being kin to serial killers, others can watch war movies without, by necessity, being kin to Nazis. Or to flip the famous quotation by the dude, "They are wrong, 'J,' they're just not assholes."

Again, I think we need to be careful not to confuse aesthetic criticism with moral criticism, to call other monsters for having different tastes. When there is even a hint or possibility of that happening you are well-served by a gadfly.
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Jinnistan
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:42 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:06 am
You haven't quite earned that prize as of yet, however.
Oh no

Be honest though. You're replican and you bumped this Izzy float because your wife is sick of being stuck inside with you already?
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Re: Do people..

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:03 am

Jinnistan wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:42 am
Oh no

Be honest though. You're replican and you bumped this Izzy float because your wife is sick of being stuck inside with you already?
How my wife stands me, we shall never know, but if I were up to anything ulterior here, it would be to conjure Israfel the Black.

Alas, he is not with us, and I am not replican. But, at least, we have a new parlour game of "Unmask the 'new' forum poster" to play. Who is this "replican" who is bumping ancient threads? Maybe it's better not to know, seeing as how there are only about five people here. I like the delusion of diversity and newness. Post on replican.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Jinnistan » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:52 am

Careful with the elevator to the parking lot.
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Re: Do people..

Post by replican » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:11 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:03 am
How my wife stands me, we shall never know, but if I were up to anything ulterior here, it would be to conjure Israfel the Black.

Alas, he is not with us, and I am not replican. But, at least, we have a new parlour game of "Unmask the 'new' forum poster" to play. Who is this "replican" who is bumping ancient threads? Maybe it's better not to know, seeing as how there are only about five people here. I like the delusion of diversity and newness. Post on replican.
Unfortunately active forums are a dying breed. Long live the threaded BBS.

Someone get OP back here. He was a great poster.
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Re: Do people..

Post by MadMan » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:56 am

What I got out of all this is that I still love Full Metal Jacket and consider it to be a fantastic war movie.
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Re: Do people..

Post by MadMan » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:57 am

Izzy from what I recall was a good poster. No idea what happened to him/her.
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Re: Do people..

Post by topherH » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:29 pm

You climb like old people fuck.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Rock » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:04 am

Finally, a mattress sale.
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Re: Do people..

Post by MadMan » Sat May 02, 2020 7:05 am

Rock wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:04 am
Finally, a mattress sale.
Exactly what this site needs.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Eminence Grise » Sun May 03, 2020 3:52 pm

Izzy (she) is retired. However, I challenger her to come out of retirement.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon May 04, 2020 1:47 am

Eminence Grise wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 3:52 pm
Izzy (she) is retired. However, I challenger her to come out of retirement.
I seem to remember Israfel the Black going by "he" back in the day, or at least not correcting anyone when referred to with male pronouns.
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Re: Do people..

Post by Eminence Grise » Sun May 17, 2020 5:06 pm

She wouldn't correct them. That's Izzy.
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Re: Do people..

Post by replican » Mon May 18, 2020 1:48 am

Izzy spits on pronouns
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Re: Do people..

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Mon May 18, 2020 4:15 pm

Alas, we can now only "pour one out" for our dead homies.

Izzy?
Israfel?
Izzy a boy?
Or was she a girl?
Where did you go?
Where are you next?
At least I have memories
of your walls of text.
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