Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Marathon of Bullshit!

I ended up doing a Penn & Teller: Bullshit! marathon (all of season 1, half of season 2, plus a few other episodes).  Overall I like it and I plan on watching the rest of the episodes.  I may even do a number of posts based on certain episodes.

Before I start getting into specific subjects, I want to first mention something that kind of bugs me about the tone the show takes at times.  There's a definite Libertarian bend to it (especially when mentioning taxes).  It's somewhat common how they will berate someone from or something in the government for screwing something up or perpetuating some false/misleading information.  This often seems to set off implications about the inherent ineptitude of government and how government is not to be trusted, and so on in usual Libertarian style philosophy.  This bothers me a little as I do not quite bend in that direction, but I can understand it.  However, what gets me is that fairly often there will be an argument in the same segment about how there is regulation by a government agency and they will use that as a good thing to support their claims or to debunk what they are going up against.  I can't help feeling there is some hypocrisy there.

Of course, I think I still like the show because of the fact that they tend to admit to their own hypocrisy (albeit in some subtle ways); actually don't mind people believing or living in debunked ways as long as those people aren't hurting, manipulating, scamming, etc. others; and even occasionally call bullshit on some things they have believed in their own lives. As one philosopher friend of mine says, "You cannot go through life without being hypocritical.  Just don't be hypocritical about your hypocrisy."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hairspray and Changes in Prejudice

Some years ago, when I watched the movie musical Hairspray a thought came to my mind.  I think it was something of the point to the movie, and maybe even what John Waters had in mind when he first made the original movie.  To sum it up I made this "meme":

Before people start going off I will say a few things.  No, racism is far from over.  Fat shaming and racism is not the same thing.  What I am saying is that I feel, especially as a person of size, is that the cultural acceptance of racial prejudice from the past has been and is being replaced with a cultural acceptance of prejudice against people who are overweight.  Also, it's not just women who are shamed for it.  Men are also deeply shamed for it as well.  Also, the demands of what is considered "acceptable" for male appearance is becoming more and more demanding, as discussed in this article about what is being demanded from movie actors.