Good News for Those of You Who Wish I’d Stop Posting About Game of Thrones.

I really don’t watch much television.  I have a ton of websites that I read, a backlog of movies I still need to watch, and countless hours of rpg goodness to play on my Steam account.  Oh, and stacks of books that I could be reading as well.  If I’m going to devote a portion of my limited free time to watching a tv show, I better be getting something out of it.  There are a few shows that I’m fairly confident I would enjoy that I do not watch, simply because I feel my time is better spent elsewhere.  Don’t take this as elitism, or intellectual snobbery.  I’m not looking down on television, and its not like all the other media I consume is high art.  For me, as things work out, television draws the short straw.

And after last night, the time I spend on it has shrunk a bit more.

I quit watching Game of Thrones last season, not because of the multitude of problematic issues layered through each and every episode, issues that have been discussed in great detail over at GoTGifsandMusings/the cultural vacuum, even though that would have been a legitimate reason to quit watching.  No, I quit watching because I wanted an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, and after getting that for the most part for two fucking awesome seasons (1 &3), and two mostly enjoyable seasons (2&4), the show had become fan fiction, full stop.

If the almighty showrunners would have faithfully adapted (within reason, I never expected a word for word, scene for scene, character for character adaptation) the published material and then, after running out of published material, went off in their own direction, telling the rest of the story the way they saw fit, I would have more than likely given them much more benefit of the doubt.  But that’s not what they did.  What they did instead, right after spending two seasons bringing A Storm of Swords to the screen, was take Feast and Dance, combine them so they would burn quicker. set them ablaze, ignore just about everything that was in them, and change Game of Thrones from an adaptation to an originals scripted series.  There were many reasons to stop watching last season, but mine was simply the desire for something D&D were obviously no longer interested in providing.  I wanted an adaptation of G. R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, not Jaime and Bronn go to Brazil Dorne!

Why did I come back this year?  Mainly because as an ASOIAF nerd, I knew I’d be visiting sites that talk about the show so I wouldn’t be able to stay spoiler free anyway, and also because of the enjoyment I got last season from Kylie and Julia.  Yeah, 99% of my reasons for watching this season were snark related.  I also figured that they might have some enjoyable scenes I can project the book on to, and poor innocent naive me, believed it couldn’t get any worse than last season anyway.

Yeah, I was wrong.

I’m not going to list all the problems I had with last nights episode.  I’m not going to whine, bitch, and complain about it.  If anyone is interested, ask me and I’ll fill you in, but other than that, I’m just done.  I don’t even enjoy MST3King it anymore.

So yeah.  No more GoT posts.  Hopefully later this week I’ll snap out of my “OMG Trump is going to be President” funk and make a few posts.  At least they won’t be about horrid HBO shows.

It’s Monday, So That Means Game of Thrones.

Okay, so I’m going to type as I watch.

So Sansa seemed to take Jon being resurrected surprisingly well.  I guess after everything she’s been through, she’s now unflappable.

Davos never asked Mel what happened with Stannis until now?  Wtf?

Lady Brienne: Stone Cold Killer.  When D&D were reading the later novels, did they skip Brienne’s chapters because they didn’t feel they were “dramatically satisfying” enough?

Look, it is the Vale!  Seems like chaos is still a ladder.

So here is my prediction.  The character played by Sophie Turner formerly known as Sansa, Totally unchanged by death Jon, and the wildling army are going to march against Ramsey Sue the Great and his brainless Northern Lords.  Things are going to be looking really bad for the Wildling Bunch, but just before they are routed from the field, Deus Ex Baelish shows up with the Knights of the Vale to save the day.

Now that would be “dramatically satisfying.”

I’m going to save my many objections to that possibility for when/if it happens.  Not going to critique them for something that may just be in my head.

After three attempts, I have come to the conclusion that there is no way for me to properly critique the show’s handling of Meereen outside of a thousand word minimum essay.  Instead, while waiting for those essays to spring up at Fandom Following or other similar locations, let me utter 3 simple words: Fuck that noise.

Oh, it’s the Jorah and Daario roadshow!

Damn, they are sneaky.  Gratuitous sex for 100$, Alex.  Jorah really became a shitty fighter quick, didn’t he?  Wait….just because he smashed his head in, wouldn’t the stab wound still be visible?

Why is Marg in jail again?  Giving food to the poor?  Raping the King?  Oh, it was perjury, wasn’t it?

Dude, I’m an atheist that borders on anti-theism and I am uncomfortable with their portrayal of religion.

Poor Carol!  Such a loving tiger mom who has been treated so poorly by the patriarchy.

Seriously, what would people have done if Peter Jackson turned Saruman into a hero?

/mourn Jaime Lannister’s book character.

How the fuck did Theon get back to the Iron Islands that fast?  Does he have some of that Sand Snake Teleportation Magic?

How did he get over his torture that fast?

Hey everyone, its the most important character in Game of Thrones, Ramsey!!!!!!  Will he rape Osha then kill her, or just kill her?

Huh, just killed her.  See, they did rethink their treatment of women.  *roll eyes*

The Pink Letter?  Is it?

Yep.  Sure is the “Pink Letter.”  Well, some form of the Pink Letter.  Sure would have made sense if that letter would have came last season, and I don’t know, resulted in the assassination plot?  Meh, silly idea.

Okay.  Seriously now.  Jon knows about the White Walkers.  His personal plan is to move south and live a normal life for a year or so until the others wipe out humanity?  Why would he even start arguing with Sansa?  I guess I could see if his argument was “Winterfell isn’t important, we need to fight the real enemy” but instead it was “I’m done fighting”?

And dammit, something tells me I better just start writing my thousand word meta on why Littlefinger and the Vale knights showing up as a Deus Ex Petyr is so idiotic.

 

So after telling her they didn’t care what she had to say, they listened to her instead of slapping her down and telling her to shut up.

Wait…..is she psychically calling Drogo?

No, even stupider.  She is fire proof.

Even her hair!

 

Okay….Ratings.  For a television show, I guess I’ll give it a 3 out of 10.  Or a 2.  Nah, a 3.  I enjoyed the hug between Jon and Sansa, cheered for Cersei, Jaime, Kevin, and Olenna as they hatched their plan to take out the over-the-top  High Sparrow, breathed a sigh of relief that Marg is far from broken and still scheming ways to get out of this instead of becoming a true believer, and while admitting that it is very problematic for a myriad of reasons, enjoyed Dany taking over the Khalasar.  On the negative side, Tyrion’s scenes are now physically painful to watch, the Iron Island stuff is pointless, and just about nothing makes any sense.  Wasn’t Davos the president of Jon’s fan club last week?  Now he suddenly cares about Stannis again?  How much vengeance does Brienne need?  Does she have to be a stone cold killer to be a strong woman?  Petyr is just getting to the Vale?  Does anyone ever move at any speed that isn’t plot speed?  Did Jon forget about the others?   The Faith really has Marg locked up for perjury?  Is Cersei a villain or hero?  What was there in that Ramsey scene that was so important that we had to see it?  Seriously, they could have just said Osha was killed off screen when they handed over Rickon.  No, instead they had to bring the actress back and take up screen time that could have been given to any other plot line, all so….what?  We could find out Ramsey was evil?  I think we knew that already.  Just….why?

As an adaptation?  0 out of 10.

I know, I said it was a firm 1-10 scale and all, but I can’t give it a 1.  It isn’t an adaptation anymore.  It is pure fan fiction.  None of the plot lines this week have anything in common with the novels.  I mean, I guess I could say that there was the “Pink Letter,” but so what?  Just because Jon got a letter from Ramsey doesn’t mean they adapted that plot line.  Everything relating to it has changed.  I guess they are adapting Dany’s Meereen plot, except with Tyrion in the place of Dany….but that doesn’t make an adaptation.  At this point, I firmly expect the show to end with Ramsey married to Cersei, ruling from the Iron Throne, with Tyrion as the Hand of the King, after those three become dragon riders and save humanity from the others.  Because why not end with D&D’s three favorite characters triumphant?

More Anti-Intellectualism in Advertising? Never, Not in America!

Continuing the grand tradition here at Foster Disbelief of highlighting especially idiotic television commercials/ ad campaigns, which began way back in October of 2014 with this take down of Toyota’s “Bold” campaign for their Camry, then continued recently with Cracker Barrel’s anti-intellectual ad for mac and cheese, I give you “No Debate” for the Dodge Charger and Challenger.

At least the Cracker Barrel spot was kind of amusing?  I don’t get this at all.  I mean, I guess that guy is famous for something, and his fans might enjoy seeing him in a commercial?  And it is funny when he interrupts the debate?  I mean, “NERDS!!!!”, amirite?  And then the girl is the one to slap the notes out of the boys hand at the end, which is supposed to be hilarious because the girl is bullying the boy dork instead of the opposite?

Sure makes me want to buy a Dodge.

 

Future headline:  “Dodge Stock Soars As Trump Supporters Flock To Buy Challengers and Chargers.”

I Can’t Even….

Game of Thrones thoughts, of course….

As a tv show only?  Were there a shit ton of long, meandering, pointless conversations?  Is Gilly’s baby supernatural, staying that young while years pass everywhere else?  Did we really need to see the dead face of a 13 year old in multiple shots?  Remember, seeing Stannis die last season would have been “gratuitous.”  Did they really bring Osha and Rickon back just so Ramsey can kill them?  As a book reader, I fully expected Jon to leave the watch, as his death technically fulfills his oath to remain with the Night’s Watch until death, but I have no clue if they are doing that, or if they are making him an oath breaker.  The Tower of Joy scene was the second worst fight scene ever in Game of Thrones, only ahead of Snake-Fu.  Fun, more Arya getting hit with a stick.

God that was boring.  And disturbing.  But mostly boring.  2/10

As an adaptation?  HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Seriously, I can’t even.

1/10

Now I Remember Why I Stay Away From Twitter….

Everything was going fine.  I stopped by Twitter to check out a tweet directed at me that I missed, see who started following me, and follow a few people, when I noticed that #PeopleAreTiredOf was trending.  I clicked on the hashtag to see what was going on, and this was the first tweet I saw….

and then a bit later….

I don’t even have words.

I Kinda Miss the Nigerian Princes.

I get mail:

FROM THE DESK OF MR AWUDU SALLAM
DIRECTOR IN CHARGE OF AUDITING
AND ACCOUNTING SECTION
BANK OF AFRICA (B.O.A)
OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO,
WEST AFRICA.

My Dearest Friend,
 
I am Mr Awudu Sallam, The chief auditor in bank of Africa (boa) Burkina Faso West African, One of our customers, with his entire family was among the victims of plane crash and before his death, he has an account with us valued at $37.5 million u.s dollars(thirty seven million five hundred thousand u.s dollars) in our bank and according to the Burkina Faso law, at the expiration of Thirteen years if nobody applies to claim the funds a grace of one year also will be given before the money will revert to the ownership of the Burkina Faso government.
 
My proposals is that i will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin or distant cousin for us to claim this money, so that the fruits of this old man’s labour will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials who will later use the money to sponsor war in Africa and kill innocent citizens in the search for political power.
 
As a foreign partner which this money will be transfer into your account, you are entitle to 40% of the total money while 55% will be for me as the moderator of this transaction and 5% will be mapped out for any expenditure that may be incur during the course of this transaction. Please note that there will be no
problem as my bank has made all effort through to reach for any of his relation but all was fruitless.
 
My position as the chief auditor in this bank guarantees the successful execution of this (deal) transaction. Please send the following: Reply To This E-mail Address  awudusallam@gmail.com
 
1)your full name…..
2) sex…..
3) age…..
4) country…..
5)passport or photo…..
6)occupation…..
7) personal Mobile number…..
8) Personal fax number…..
9) Home & office address…..
 
Thanks.
 
Mr Awudu Sallam.
I reply to mail, because I am that bored.  (Also, because Trump is possibly going to be President and I need to find humor where I can.)

Dear Mr Awudu Sallam,

 

I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of such a highly respected man, along with his entire family, in a plane crash.  While they say God has a plan, it is at times like this that one has to wonder how a loving God could reach down from Heaven and cruelly snuff out the life of such a great man.  While you do not mention the man’s name, no doubt because of privacy concerns, if it is indeed who I believe you are speaking of, this is a tragedy that God himself will have to answer for.  To take one such as him. in the prime of his life while he still had so much more to give to not only the fine country of Burkina Faso, but to the rest of West Africa, and indeed, to the whole of the African continent.  To die in a plane crash, along side his wife, pregnant with the couples fifth child, their twin sons, the apple of their fathers eyes, only 7 years young, and both of his daughters, lovely Ebele, only 3 years old, and stunning 17 year old Adannaya is enough to cause one to question their faith.  Knowing that the only reason they were even on that plane was to travel to Adannaya’s wedding just makes it all the worse.  What pain must have filled their minds as they realized the plane was going down?  Did they take comfort in being together, or did the knowledge that the whole family would soon die just make it that much worse?

 

I am so sorry, I know you must be very busy, and here I am yammering on pointlessly.  I completely understand your request.  I as well do not want to see this great man’s money stolen by the corrupt government and used to spill the blood of West Africans.  I will be honored to stand in as this great man’s next of kin and save his fortune from the Vultures of Horror.  In fact, I have such great respect for this man and his family that I would feel dirty taking 40% of his fortune.  Rather, in exchange for the solemn promise that you will donate 10% of the money to Médecins Sans Frontières, I will only ask for 10%.  The extra 20% can be done with as you please.

Here is the requested information.

1) Michael Sean Benioff

2) Male

3) 34 years young

4) United States of America
5)……

Upon further reflection, I have decided to only provide you with the rest of the information if you prove yourself legitimate.  While I would never insult you by comparing you to these people, one does remember the classic Nigerian Royalty scam that was so highly effective for so many years.  You of course are not claiming to be a member of a royal family or anything else ridiculous like that, so I am inclined to believe you fully.  That being said, as someone connected with such a respectable man, I know you will not have a problem providing me with a bit more information.  Here is what I require.

1)  A hand written pledge to donate 10% of the money to Médecins Sans Frontières.  It does not need to be notarized or anything, as long as I can see your signature.

2)  Your astrological sign.  Call me crazy, but there are certain signs of the zodiac that I refuse to have financial dealings with under any circumstances.  Let me know your birth date so I can have my astrologer confirm the stars are in the proper alignment for this transaction.

3)  A picture.  Not of you though.  Of your wife or girlfriend.  No, it doesn’t have to be sexy or anything, I’m not a sicko.

4)  One more picture, this time of a hand written note from your mother or father stating that you are trustworthy. If your parents are no longer on this earth, I am very sorry for your loss, and you can substitute a note from either your religious leader or your employer.

I hope that is not too much to ask of you.  I will expect your response shortly and anticipate being able to move on at that time and get this transaction taken care of.  I have my bank account information at the ready to send to you, along with the rest of the information you need, as soon as you provide the reassurances I require.

Thank you for reaching out to me, and thank you for caring about the fortune of such a great man and his family.  I know he would be as proud of you as he was of Adannaya.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Michael Sean Benioff.

Let’s see how desperate scammers in Burkina Faso are right now.  Anyone think I’ll get a response?  Any suggestions of what to ask for in case I do get a response?
I’ll keep you posted.
By the way, I would commit voter fraud for Awudu Sallam before I’d vote for Donald Trump.
Toying with song ideas to post if he wins immediately after the race is called.  So far I’m thinking of “Black and White” by the Subhumans:

which includes these perfect lyrics:

Inquiries, but no solutions
Faceless, empty illusions
Reasons are always pushed aside
Remember the day the country died

or maybe just Black Market Baby’s classic “Potential Suicide” to put everyone’s thoughts into song.

 

And that’s all you get today.  I spent the day with the dogs in the local state park.  It was much too nice to sit in front of a PC all day.

pupsatwater

 

 

Kimmel to Palin: “You Just Got Served!” ($&@#, Do People Still Say That? Am I Just Showing My Age Again?)

So if you’ve been able to peel your eyes away from the trainwreck currently taking place in the GOP presidential primary, then you are probably aware that climate science deniers have a new “movie” out, promoted by esteemed scientist Sarah Palin as well as Weather Channel founder John Coleman.  Climate Hustle is the latest attempt  by the deniers to trick the general public into believing man made climate change is some vast, underpants gnome-like conspiracy the left is using to fuck over white working class Christians, rather than an actual problem that we’ve already ignored for far too long that 97%* of scientists working in related fields agree is definitely taking place.

Look guys, I get it.  Climate change is scary.  It is a serious problem and we’re at the point now that any effective effort to fix it is going to be painful, especially to our wealthy western way of life.  I’m not immune.  I love steak.  Fucking love it.  I run an air conditioner constantly in order to make my attic room livable rather than just moving everything downstairs into a spare room each summer.  I take long, meaningless drives so my Chow can hang her head out the window and have her excitement.  Sure, I’ve taken steps to have a smaller carbon footprint, but the vast majority of changes I made were relatively pain free.  Ignorance is bliss; it means I can run my AC unit as much as I want and eat that 16 oz ribeye guilt free.  But it is happening.  Fast.  It is the climate changing, not necessarily the current weather, so just cause we get some snow doesn’t negate the fact that we keep setting records for hottest year, practically every year.  I don’t want to give climate change credit for things it didn’t cause, and I know we had an el nino this year, but damn, if you live in Pennsylvania tell me this wasn’t the strangest fall/winter/spring you have ever lived through.  Globally, the temperatures are rising, the ice is melting, and the oceans are rising.  And this is all shit that a layperson can figure out without an advanced degree in the relevant science.  What kind of a world are we leaving for the future generations?  Are we really that selfish, that deniers with conflicts of interest that make Andrew Wakefield blush can cause so many of us to doubt 97%* of climate scientists?

But, but, but….the founder of the Weather Channel!!!!  What about him, hmmm?  Checkmate, atheist liberal progressive person who accepts scientific consensus.  Wow, the founder of the Weather Channel?  That’s incredibly….meaningless.  Is John Coleman a climate scientist?  Is he publishing current research that challenges the results the rest of climate science keeps coming up with?

Both Fox News and CNN have recently invited John Coleman, one of the founders of The Weather Channel and former TV meteorologist, to express his views about climate change to their national audiences. Coleman is simply an awful choice to discuss this issue. He lacks credentials, many of his statements about climate change completely lack substance or mislead, and I’m not even sure he knows what he actually believes.

To begin, Coleman hasn’t published a single peer-reviewed paper pertaining to climate change science. His career, a successful and distinguished one, was in TV weather for over half a century, prior to his retirement in San Diego last April. He’s worked in the top markets: Chicago and New York, including a 7-year stint on Good Morning America when it launched. If you watch Coleman on-camera, his skill is obvious. He speaks with authority, injects an irreverent sense of humor and knows how to connect with his viewer.

But a climate scientist, he is not.

“Many people don’t accept my position that there is no significant man-made global warming because I am simply a Television Meteorologist without a Ph.D.,” he admitted in a blog post. “I understand that.”

I urge you all to go and read that whole article, it makes the point perfectly why it is one thing for a non-scientist to examine the data and agree that climate change is man made and happening, yet a completely different animal for them to look at the issue and declare that practically every climate scientist in the world is wrong or lying.  But the main point I’m concerned with is the meaninglessness of John Coleman’s scientific opinion on any subject.

Palin is actually worse.  No matter the subject, there is only one person I trust less than Sarah Palin in the United States and that person lived in Sarah’s womb for 9 months.  Yet sadly, for some reason probably related to why Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee for President, some people out there continue to not only care what she has to say, but actually consider her opinion when forming their own.  And when faced with Sarah Palin’s endorsement of this oil company propaganda film, today’s best course of action is to turn it over to Jimmy Kimmel**.

Boom, mic drop.  (There, that’s more current, right?)


** Yes, those were 13 words I never thought I would write in that order.

*Okay, time to make the climate deniers change their pants.  Saying that 97% of climate scientists agree that man made climate change is real and currently happening is misleading and I will never quote the statistic again after this post.  Why?  Well, sorry deniers, you shot your wads a bit prematurely, which I am sure has never happened to any of you before.***  Let’s go to volume 39.6 of the Skeptical Inquirer to check out an article by James Lawrence Powell: (Bolding is mine, as always.)

Since it is inconceivable that any climate scientist today could have no opinion on the subject, if 97 percent accept AGW it follows that 3 percent reject it. To those outside of science, 3 percent may seem an insignificant percentage. However, we scientists know that a small minority has often turned out to be right, otherwise there would have been no scientific revolutions. In the 1950s, for example, the percentage of American geologists who accepted continental drift was likely less than 3 percent. Yet they were right.

If there were a 3 percent minority on AGW it would matter, but there is not. The “97% consensus” is false. The percentage of publishing climate scientists who accept AGW is at least 99.9 percent and may verge on unanimity.

*cut out tweet from Obama here*

How, then, has nearly everyone from President Obama on down come to buy the claim of a 97 percent consensus? The figure comes from a 2013 article in Environmental Research Letters by Cook et al. titled “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature.” They reported that “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming” (emphasis added). The 97 percent figure went viral and, not surprisingly, the qualifying phrase “expressing a position”—the fine print, if you will—got dropped. But those three words expose the false assumption inherent in the Cook et al. methodology.

Cook et al. used the Web of Science science-citation research site to review the titles and abstracts of peer-reviewed articles from 1991–2011 with the keywords “global climate change” and “global warming.” They classified the articles into seven categories from “(1) Explicit endorsement with quantification” to “(7) Explicit rejection with quantification.” In the middle was “(4) No position.”

The sine qua non of the Cook et al. method is the assumption that publishing scientists who accept a theory will say so—they will “endorse” it in the title or abstract. To count an article as part of the consensus, Cook et al. required that it “address or mention the cause of global warming.” Of the 11,944 articles that came up in their search, 7,970—two thirds—did not. Cook et al. classified those articles as taking no position and thus ruled them out of the consensus.

Do we need to know any more to realize that there is something wrong with the Cook et al. method? The consensus is what the majority accept; you cannot rule out a two-thirds majority and still derive the consensus.

Moreover, is it true that scientists routinely endorse the ruling paradigm of their discipline? To find out, I used the Web of Science to review articles in three fields: plate tectonics, the origin of lunar craters, and evolution.

Of 500 recent articles on “plate tectonics,” none in my opinion endorsed the theory directly or explicitly. Nor did a single article reject plate tectonics.

…..

What of lunar craters? As recently as 1964, nearly every scientist who had studied the moon believed that its craters were volcanic. Then in July of that year, the first successful Ranger mission returned thousands of photographs showing that the moon exhibits craters ranging in size from the colossal to the microscopic. Except for a few senior holdouts, scientists quickly embraced the meteorite impact theory.

….

I reviewed the abstracts of the most recent 100 articles, which go back to 1997. As with plate tectonics, none explicitly endorsed meteorite impact, nor did any reject it.

…..

Do biologists writing about evolution routinely endorse Darwin’s theory? I reviewed the abstracts of articles in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology from 2000 through 2014. Of 303 articles, 261 had abstracts. Not surprisingly, none of the 261 rejected the modern evolutionary synthesis; neither did any endorse it.

That’s all I’m going to quote from it, but seriously, if you are interested in that 97% number and ever wondered about the apparent 3% who do not accept climate change, you owe it to yourself to read the whole thing.  The actual number is far closer to 99.9%.

***Yeah, I once received constructive criticism that I should leave out little digs like that, or my insinuations that MRAs possess micropenises, and while I understand the critique, in the famous words of Popeye, I yam what I yam.