Monday, October 05, 2009

Michael Moore's Capitalism - a review

Boy talk about talent.
Only Pete could take the ugliest white man in the world
and make him look this cute.
I usually get mad at Michael Moore's movies, not because I disagree with everything he says, but that he isn't ever sure of what his message really is. He just is mad about something and wants you to get mad with him. This time he actually encourages us to start a full blown revolution- but doesn't tell us specifically what to revolt against or how to go about doing it. I guess he just wants us to get shot in the streets.

"Capitalism - A Love Story" definitely made me mad, more with him than at him this time, but he's still pretty vague about what the problems really are and even more so on what the solution to the problems are.
He succeeds in making you hate Wall Street Corporate snakes and crooked politicians - both liberal and conservative, but did we really need a movie to convince us of what most of us already knew anyway?

Vague Message - Did Capitalism Ever Work?

Like in all his movies he implies that he believes in 2 opposite propositions. This time he suggests that Capitalism worked great under F.D.R. He shows clips of America during its most happy and prosperous times- the 1950s and early 60s, the age of the luxurious middle-class (which I actually experienced.)

But then, from the other side of his mouth he explains that this period of American prosperity was only possible because we went around starting unjust wars with the rest of the world and blew up all their factories. That killed all competition from kindly Nazis and other wonderful cultures and allowed us to be the world's greatest manufacturers and exporters, and therefore rich and happy in every class.

I thought this was extremely simplistic and dishonest.
He left out the fact that we used to make innovative and quality products that people naturally liked and then after the Hippies we stopped doing that.

College Loans

He, like many uber-liberals seems to think it's a crime that every kid can't afford to go to college and that the loaning companies charge exorbitant interest to the poor kids who just want a decent education.

This assumes that we all agree that every kid needs college, and worse that every college actually provides you with a practical education. No one ever questions these unproven assumptions, which I find astonishing.

Why does nobody do a documentary about how colleges are dishonest, charge way too much tuition and don't teach you anything useful?

I'm not talking about every college. There surely must be some practical ones - trade schools that teach plumbing, electricity or carpentry. Universities that teach math, science, medicine and technology. You can't learn those things on your own. You need experts from their fields to share their knowledge with you.

But do we really need kids to spend 4 years learning such subjective vagaries as "humanities" and "Liberal arts". Think of all the money wasted on this stuff, and all the time being stolen from the kids and the economy. This is a time when the average person has the most energy and optimism and could be spending their time doing and learning something productive. Instead they are sitting asleep at their desks learning about how the white man is the most evil of all races and that all knowledge is vague and subjective, and that you should spend all your time arguing against the man, but never accomplish anything tangible.

At least those colleges call their courses "liberal arts" which is somewhat honest, but now this "liberal arts" vagueness and political propaganda has migrated to what used to be honest trade schools and that's even more scary.


I can speak here from direct experience. I went to a trade school to learn animation, and they barely taught anything practical. The teachers themselves couldn't do it and could not draw as well as half the students- and it's gotten worse since then. They sure didn't teach you to be humorous.


Cal Arts Graduate On His First Day At Spumco Getting His Supplies

Students have to come to work for me, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt with student loans. Is that the fault of the banks who loaned them the money? Or the fault of the schools who just charged too much? This is never ever mentioned in any liberal argument that assumes we all want our kids to go to school and it's OK to pay way too much for it.

It's bad enough that the kids, their parents and the economy all have to suffer for these crazy expenses - but what did the students (and the country) really get for all this money changing?

As far as I can tell, practically nothing. Just about every student who has ever come to me with a diploma and a portfolio of 5 second life drawings has to be retrained - to just be able to barely function on a cheesy TV cartoon!

They have to unlearn their school style. This is very hard and very expensive - to me- because the kids don't even know they have a school style.

I've hired talented kids who taught themselves to animate at school by trial and error - but they couldn't read exposure sheets! This meant I couldn't direct them right away because they couldn't read my directions. So I had to teach them how to read the sheets.

They also would not learn how to clean up their own drawings because that was frowned upon by the school. In the real world, someone has to clean up an animator's drawings - but no one is being taught how to do it. The schools don't seem to regard the problems of the real world as being important.

The students also have real trouble breaking out of formula because they have not been exposed to a lot of different cartoon styles. They usually can only draw a handful of repetitive over-used "animation expressions" from bland 80s Disney cartoons.

I have yet to find a modern art, cartoon or animation school that spends their 4 years with practical useful teaching of real world skills and techniques.

I always end up doing the job of the schools for them after the students graduate with a useless degree (the degrees are to impress the parents we producers don't care a whit about them. We just want you to be able to do your job well)- only I don't get grants from the banks to teach people.

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2007/09/my-ideal-cartoon-school.html


I can only imagine that this goes on not just in my own profession but across the country in many other trades that used to be highly skilled.

While all these millions of kids are going to vague colleges and piling up huge debt, the jobs they are seeking are all being sent overseas to 3rd world countries who do it more efficiently - and a lot cheaper. No one wants the few crappy goods we make anymore. Except rap music of course. I bet there are even rap colleges now. Learn to be an self-loving idiot for $150,000.

That tells me that hundreds of billions of dollars are just being thrown away in our "education" system and that the system itself needs to be revolutionized. Instead we have liberals crying that we need to take more tax-payer money to throw away on these criminal schools who already charge ridiculous tuition and give nothing useful in return.

Why is no one going after the schools? If anyone should be regulated it should be these criminal institutions, not just the banks who feed the loans to the poor kids who spend 4 years learning to be vague.


Corporate Management - no one mentions this

Everyone hates the CEOs, but what about all the levels of middle-management? Tons and tons of people came into their business sideways, who have no idea how to make the products that the company is supposed to produce and use hippie-wiccan theories to spend the company's money telling those who actually do know how to make the products to do it wrong.


Think of our industry...how much money is wasted in front of your very ideas on doing nothing? ...before you ever get to see a dime to actually make a cartoon.

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2007/02/spotlight-on-criminal-defense-executive.html

No One Should Be allowed To Get Rich?

Moore suggests this, but of course as even Larry King points out, Michael is pretty rich himself. Moore has only a stuttering answer for this. It was as if he never even expected the question to be asked.

He also suggess that the workplace should be democratic, which I think is insane, but have no time right now to get into that.

Shouldn't people who actually create a product and make it well and hire lots of people to help him have the incentive to make money from their inventions? (like Henry Ford or Walt Disney?) I think so, but the system is now completely against it and that is never mentioned in anybody's arguments for or against capitalism.

He Used Jesus To Appeal To Stupid People Who Usually are Republicans and Therefore Side With The Republicans

He uses the same trick that Republicans do. he finds the dumbest white trash folks and uses Jesus against them, only this time to get them to switch from Republican to Socialist beliefs - which is what they should believe in the first place, considering their condition and the treatment they get from corporations and government.

Honestly, I half agree with him here. I myself have always wondered how Republicans - who favor the rich and blatantly oppress the poor, yet the poor white folks are the ones that support this oppression the most fervently. They want to get their guns out and go kill the dirty colored man who is trying to help them (not that I agree in how he is trying to).

to be continued...

116 comments:

Chris leonido said...

Moore's movies just completely suck. And I know a few people who are offended by his works, and personally he shouldnt be part of the film industry. I know people far worst then what he does.

talkingtj said...

thank god,thank god,thank god,you really hit the nail on the head,speaking purely as a member of the "disenfranchised" i often find myself caught between the weeping liberals who want to do everything for me and the hard assed republicans who want to take everything away from me! in the middle are these educational institutions who just want to rip me off.the american road to hell is indeed littered with good intentions! i know so many otherwise intelligent and talented people like myself who are simply paralysed by the system.we cant make a move without some bureaucratic nonsense blocking our path. no one is on our side, no one speaks for us, not the advocates, the radicals, the conversatives, the liberals, or the elite. we remain nameless and faceless. micheal moore speaks only for himself, i want to work, i want to do what i want to do without breaking the law and within the limits of the constitution, i want everyone else to shut the hell up and leave me be!but whenever the political winds change i either become a poor pathetic invalid or a parriah! theres no fairness or justice to it! worse yet, every body, and i do mean everybody, micheal moore,glenn beck,al sharpton, everybody! somehow manages to profit from my plight! ironically iam not angry, dissapointed,yes,ready for revolution, no! i just want to walk into my own house justified! i earned it, its mine, it cant be taken away! so please, tell them all, we need no new laws, no socialist or imperialist agendas, no radicals movements, just shut up get the hell out of my way, get your hands out of my pocket and let me live! we need opportunities as guaranteed to us by the constitution.
sorry i took so long
troy j. reyes

Toole said...

If there were no loans available it wouldn't cost 150 thousand dollars.

Mr. Semaj said...

I've only seen two of Moore's movies, and they seem to have the same problem faced by many otherwise intelligent liberal speakers: They know how to discuss the problems that do exist, but they don't know what to do about them. We all remember how effective Fahrenheit 9/11 was.

Concerning colleges, do you think that if the majority abandons the 4-year college system, and bring the jobs back to America (maybe by taking risks with their own businesses) that could help our economy?

Brian Goss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

For a moment, a criticism of a live-action piece with ideolistic ties to our medium. Is it fair to wager that philosophy and sociology (both of which I'm taking this term) won't matter as methods of discussing this plight of economy?

If those subjects are part of an education system that over-charges students?

Even George Carlin thought that American had gone too soft.

Tommy said...

I went to college against my own wishes. I learned very little. A lot of that is my own fault too. Too bad I can't take my degree back to the school to get some of the money back.

jim said...

I may be the only guy in your readership who has a degree in mathematics from an engineering school and who doesn't draw (well, not since doodling during the Electricity and Magnetism class I was compelled to take back in engineering school).

You write about having to teach art-school grads the basics when they come to work for you. My grandfather, a mechanical engineer who (family lore says) was on the team that designed the landing gears on the Apollo 11 moon unit, said the same thing about engineering school graduates in the Sixties.

Moreover, and this is just a personal rant, I graduated from engineering school 20 years ago, and my degree cost $60,000. Today, the same degree costs $120,000. It took 115 years of the school's existence for the price tag to get to the first 60k, and 20 for it to double. Wha?

de aap said...

John, I have got to ask: what is your definition of a hippie?

You often mention how Hippies have ruined everything you love but then you seem to think the beatles are great artists? Weren't they hippies to?

I am not trying to insult you or anything, I am only 28 so I all I know about the Hippie-era is at least second hand but it seems to me that a lot of good things came from the hippie-movement as well?

Yours respectfully, joscha
(BTW Your blog is great and I am working on your cartoon college assignments)

Peggy said...

I myself have always wondered how Republicans - who favor the rich and blatantly oppress the poor, yet the poor white folks are the ones that support this oppression the most fervently.

It's the three Rs: Racism, religion, and rifles. Poor folks can be whipped into a fearful lather over these three things pretty easily, and people who are afraid don't stop to think things through.

HemlockMan said...

Jove. I'm a raging leftist, so I'll leave this one alone. I find that I rather like Michael Moore. But like all liberals, he's lukewarm when it comes to solutions. The worst thing that I can say about the USA is that it's a sad state when someone like Michael Moore is considered a leftist, when I find him relatively sedate and moderate.

alexpereiracartoon@gmail.com said...

Great John!
I agree with you.
Best Regards,
Alex

Jay Taylor said...

John, keep going!

ProducerFord said...

Just found your blog, and I can't believe I hadn't heard about you yet. Not sure what your political views are, but you sure seem based in reality.

Keep up the good work.

Jay Taylor said...

John,

I was rereading your post and you mention how you disagree with moore suggesting no one should be allowed to be rich. I see nothing wrong with someone working hard and earning wealth, but what about places like wal-mart and disney?

They have so much money now that they throw it at our leaders to get insane laws passed. Surely there's a limit to how much any company should have, simply to avoid any corporation having more power than our government.

Monsato is sponsoring a bill that would make it illegal for people to grow their own gardens.

Your thoughts?

O gato said...

M.M. movies always point out the obvious, especially in that health care movie...

nktoons said...

I read your post and thought about what you wrote John.....WOWZERS! I always love a good rant, keep em coming!
In all seriousness though I find what you have to say important, especially since we are in the midst of the worst recession (depression) that I have ever experienced in my life. I echo your sentiments in my daily living. Unemployment and the selling out of our country is no laughing matter. What I find shocking about our culture is that for the most part no one gives a rip. People are more likely to believe what they are told than to take the time and think for themselves.

John Scroggins said...

"All knowledge is vague and subjective"

This is what 98% of the teachers in colleges today believe and teach. It is taught in nearly all fields, even physics, and has been the single most destructive premise in Western Civilization. It is moving us back to the Dark Ages. If a person holds that there are no facts and reality is unknowable, then science is rendered useless.

These professors make up 2% of the population, but it is their philosophy (a philosophy of anti-reason, anti-freedom) that influences our entire culture.

Instead of being taught how to use our minds, a mans only means of survival (we literally cannot even keep ourselves warm or hunt food without reason), our colleges are teaching the opposite-- how NOT to use our minds.

If you apply and hold this one premise, then the result is mysticism (anything anti-reason) which has progressively taken hold over the last 100 years.

As to how this trickles down to socialism vs. capitalism, I don't have the time or space. But I do have this nifty quote from Ayn Rand:

"The philosophy of collectivism upholds the existence of a mystic (and unperceivable) social organism, while denying the reality of perceived individuals—a view which implies that man’s senses are not a valid instrument for perceiving reality.

Collectivism maintains that an elite endowed with special mystic insight should rule men—which implies the existence of an elite source of knowledge, a fund of revelations inaccessible to logic and transcending the mind.

Collectivism denies that men should deal with one another by voluntary means, settling their disputes by a process of rational persuasion; it declares that men should live under the reign of physical force (as wielded by the dictator of the omnipotent state)—a position which jettisons reason as the guide and arbiter of human relationships.

From every aspect, the theory of collectivism points to the same conclusion: collectivism and the advocacy of reason are philosophically antithetical; it is one or the other."

Lampshade said...

Drawing 5 second life drawings or those naked models that change their pose every 5 minutes is pure HACKERY. They aren't drawing by observation, it's straight out copying.

John Scroggins said...

Heres a talk on 'Leadership and Values' by John Allison (one of those evil businessmen we're supposed to hate)

Values

mike f. said...

How is a 400 lb. multi-millionaire celebrity/independent filmmaker, who uses non-union labor to make his films, not a Capitalist?

Liberal filmmaker snubs union workers in making Capitalism: A Love Story

In the words of Christopher Hitchens:

"I never quite know whether Moore is as ignorant as he looks, or even if that would be humanly possible..."

Hitchens on Moore: Slate 2004

Sven Hoek said...

Yup, that's it all right. Big business has been given the green light by politicians to run the show. Banking, Manufacturing, Media, Education, Health, Art, everythings been bought off and corrupted by those wealthy folks who got there first. And they don't want people who can think critically, they just want drones who are smart enough to fill out the forms and run the machines, but not smart enough to question anything.

The few people who make it out of school able to read, can't even think. When I look at most americans, I see a little dog in their head chasing its tail. Maybe that explains all the drool on their faces.

Mike Moore just dances around the truth but doesnt get the heart of it, typical.

Jonathan Harris said...

Have you actually done an entry on how to read exposure sheets? Or all those other necessary things that so many places don't teach? If not, I think you should! I'm lucky enough that our tutors had us use them (though we called them dope sheets, they are the same thing, right?) but I still get confused by some of the directions on your layouts (not sure what the word "stagger" means in that context, for example).

Kris said...

I didn't see this movie out of principle, because Moore's movies always end up being fundamentally dishonest. I tend to agree with his original points anyway, so choirs, preaching, etc.

I just wanted to add something, though. Part of why the 50s and 60s were so prosperous was because there wasn't as much of a global market. You got things locally because it was way more expensive to actually transport them from overseas. Countries with significantly lower standards of living like China were just really starting to industrialize. People were willing to pay a fair price for products, rather than wanting the lowest price.

America's manufacturing industry only started dying when it became much cheaper and more profitable to do things overseas. Unskilled or low-skill jobs we couldn't send overseas went to people who could be paid less, like teenagers, or immigrants who won't unionize out of fear of losing their jobs. Now you can't be paid a living wage unless you learn a trade or become an academic, basically.

Hence college. Lots of people go who aren't suited for it, so we end up with a useless cluster of people who would probably be perfectly happy as factory workers or meat-packers or furniture-upholsterers if those jobs paid enough to raise a family on. Instead these people become the dreaded middle-manager.

Chris S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eidenbrock said...

But damn- he's one hell of a filmmaker!

Chip Butty said...

I noticed the problem you describe going to film school: the professors didn't love making or even talking about movies, they loved using their movie classes as soapboxes for speeches having nothing to do with movies. Kind of like tv execs who don't know cartoons forcing them to have messages?

There is a pretty good documentary available now called "Indoctrinate U" which is possibly the one documentary about what you describe. It leans conservative since academic institutions are mostly liberal, but the point of it is exposing how much money is shelled out for political/philosophical/moral indoctrination in the guise of "liberal arts" and even ontological studies like Science and Math.

Jack G. said...

Pretty good rant.

Now prepare for a shitstorm!

Nate said...

You are absolutely right. Stop telling us what we already know about corporations. Take the lid off universities.

I spent my first year at a Hippie college with no grades where people took acid, smoked pot, did whippets in the forest, talked about Godard films, slept until 4pm, ordered pizza and then maybe thought about cracking a book.

I had fun, lost my virginity, dj'd at the local radio station, and met people who to this day are some of my best friends in the world.

Then I got this crazy notion that I had to have a "real education". So I transferred to a top 10 University and spent three of the most miserable years of my life living the "life of the mind".

Listen, kids, the life of the mind is horseshit.

I wasted tens of thousands of dollars to learn about "theories of power" and the "marxist interpretation of literature" and the "male gaze" in cinema. What utter nonsense!

Do like John says. Learn a trade or a craft. Take the money, time and energy that you saved and use it to have real experiences in the world. Go places. Meet people. Have a rich emotional life.

Nothing in literature and art matters unless it gets to core of what it means to be human and alive! And you will not learn that at a university.

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

look,I am from a what is called now a democratic country,however i can give you my opinion about the sistem as i see it now,from my age.I am 27,I live Romania,east Europe,now we are in U.E. so you can visit Europe and still we have some work in some of the countries in Europe.but this is still a poor country and a 3-rd world country with corruption and that capitalism shit.Belive or not i learned to speak English from the Cartoon Network cartoons mostly and later in the 5-th grade from the school.I never got the chace ti finish my highschool because of all the poverty a that fuct up revolution hit my country in 1989,and after that everything just dissapeared.I had to work since i was 16 or something just to survive,however i still study by my own and learn to draw by myself and read books by myself,and learn wahta i love mostly and like to do.After that even if my parents(RIP Mum)couldn.t afford to keep me in college even if choose to finish my studies,buit all they teach you now in this days is nothing,you just basicly go to college,pay the college and get a diploma,you can go anytime you want but as long as you''pay''the right persons everithing is ok,and the same people who actually are so stupid that they never heard of nothing,become all kind of bosses later and realise that,how to be an employe of a man who is actually so stupid that he have a college and not even know a basic conversation in english,My country is full of this kind of people,I relaised then more that noq that If I gonna wan;t to make something with my life,I have to have a job in wich I don;t have contact with all this people,The stupidity makes me very mad,very very mad. So here I am stand without school,i just got an internet connection a mfew months ago,imagine how remote this place is,yeah is nice here to have a studio of making cartoons and all that,but with who.There are no money at all,is nothing you can really do if you have a job,just working like a slave all day,maybe get lucky to have a wife,and thats how you gonna spend all your life,in poverty.Everywhere i go I only see sad people,and people forgot to laugh ..is everithing so sinister...So is nothing i can really do,Even i want to become an animator because i can really draw ,but all that i've learned by myself,with no teachers and no-one showed me nothing,now i got to buy a powerfull computer and all i need and pencils and tables and all that wich is gonna be like my paychecks for six months at least ,maybe one year,and eve if i do that,you cannot be an animator by yourself,and I will never get a visa for coming to America,and even so there are no money.So i kenw some good artiss,friends,of mine,now they are working as waiters,or whatever crappy job they have,love to put them all toghether and take out somethink no?,yeah but all they left or are now cought paying the morgages and the loans from the bank so they can could afford a second-hand car or whatever.So yeah maybe you can say why not look for sponsors,hahah,yeah they dont give a shit about art,especially in this world where i am,right now i dont know what is next,but all i know i am part of a generation wich will never be remembered,since everybody is figting to survive,and this capitalism took me everithing,lucky i got this house mountain side,but the place is so far awayand just have to leave,pay rent pay my food,some cigarettes and that will be ne next coming years,probably get so happy if i gonna affor to buy a piece-of-junk car and all that.So all the sistems are the same,poor...people everywhere..nothing to do but watching cartoons,poverty drives everyone mad, poverty kills souls,how i am gonna become an animator if noone is going to help me? how in the hell those smart people and all those genius people in history end up same as in the beggining,with no money at all...

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

look,I am from a what is called now a democratic country,however i can give you my opinion about the sistem as i see it now,from my age.I am 27,I live Romania,east Europe,now we are in U.E. so you can visit Europe and still we have some work in some of the countries in Europe.but this is still a poor country and a 3-rd world country with corruption and that capitalism shit.Belive or not i learned to speak English from the Cartoon Network cartoons mostly and later in the 5-th grade from the school.I never got the chace ti finish my highschool because of all the poverty a that fuct up revolution hit my country in 1989,and after that everything just dissapeared.I had to work since i was 16 or something just to survive,however i still study by my own and learn to draw by myself and read books by myself,and learned what i love mostly and like to do.After that even if my parents(RIP Mum)couldn.t afford to keep me in college even if choose to finish my studies,but all they teach you now in this days is nothing,you just basicly go to college,pay the college and get a diploma,you can go anytime you want but as long as you''pay''the right persons everithing is ok,and the same people who actually are so stupid that they never heard of nothing,become all kind of bosses later and realise that,how to be an employe of a man who is actually so stupid that he have a college and not even know a basic conversation in english,My country is full of this kind of people,I realised then more that now that If I gonna wan't to make something with my life,I have to have a job in wich I don't have contact with all this people,The stupidity makes me very mad,very very mad. So here I am stand without school,i just got an internet connection a few months ago,imagine how remote this place is,yeah is nice here to have a studio of making cartoons and all that,but with who.There are no money at all,is nothing you can really do if you have a job,just working like a slave all day,maybe get lucky to have a wife,and thats how you gonna spend all your life,in poverty.Everywhere i go I only see sad people,and people forgot to laugh ..is everithing so sinister...So is nothing i can really do,Even i want to become an animator because i can really draw ,but all that i've learned by myself,with no teachers and no-one showed me nothing,now i got to buy a powerfull computer and all i need and pencils and tables and all that wich is gonna be like my paychecks for six months at least ,maybe one year,and eve if i do that,you cannot be an animator by yourself,and I will never get a visa for coming to America,and even so there are no money.So i knew some good artiss,friends,of mine,now they are working as waiters,or whatever crappy job they have,love to put them all toghether and take out somethink no?,yeah but all they left or are now cought paying the morgages and the loans from the bank so they can could afford a second-hand car or whatever.So yeah maybe you can say why not look for sponsors,hahah,yeah they dont give a shit about art,especially in this world where i am,right now i dont know what is next,but all i know i am part of a generation wich will never be remembered,since everybody is figting to survive,and this capitalism took me everithing,lucky i got this house mountain side,but the place is so far awayand just have to leave,pay rent pay my food,some cigarettes and that will be ne next coming years,probably get so happy if i gonna affor to buy a piece-of-junk car and all that.So all the sistems are the same,poor...people everywhere..nothing to do but watching cartoons,poverty drives everyone mad, poverty kills souls,how i am gonna become an animator if noone is going to help me? how in the hell those smart people and all those genius people in history end up same as in the beggining,with no money at all...

Maximum Awesome said...

Radical.

Have you ever read Douglas Rushkoff, John? I think you'd like him:

"The marketplace in which most commerce takes place today is not a pre-existing condition of the universe. It's not nature. It's a game, with very particular rules, set in motion by real people with real purposes.

...

People are beginning to create and exchange value again, and they are coming to realize the market they have taken for granted is not a condition of nature."

Here's the whole essay, a good intro to his stuff: http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/rushkoff09/rushkoff09_index.html

Off topic: agree, somewhat agree, or disagree: "If nostalgic cartoonists had never borrowed from Fritz the Cat, there would be no Ren & Stimpy Show".

Source: http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/02/0081387

Forbidden Hippo said...

Ditto on the lame way he uses Jesus to lure Christians to his point of view, way too much time was spent on this. I was, however, intrigued by the democratic work place. It is something I have not heard of before and had wished more time was spent explaining the process. Oh well, that's what the internet is for.

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

saddest thing on the planet,is to have tallent,and no-one to apreciate that,...saddest thing on planet is to not become what you want to become...

Lucky said...

Well John, I completely agree with you , I had to spend years saving in order to study in north america for one year.
It definetly wasn't worth the huge amount of time I spent saving. The principle(who sas a 80-ish year old artist who hated animation) didn't give a monkey's when I told her what I went trough to be able to come to study there. She just kept popping into the classrom once in a while to bitch about how we kids are screwed and back in her days everything was amazing. The school experience wasn't worth the money definetly, but to be honest I feel that cant learn without a teacher next to me. Even when analysing the golden age stuff I dont know where I'm going right and where I'm messing up without having a proffesor telling me what the goal of my excercise is and what I'm doing wrong . With things like life drawing I can sign up for comunity life drawing sessions and I have many times in the past , but I cant learn at the same speed as if I had e.g. Gwen Vilpu at calarts or stephen silver or you telling me what to look for in order to use it in animation .
I think while the animation schools are ridiculously overprised... some schools are worth going trough instead of spending years bashing your head against the wall wondering where you're messing up.

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

everyone is running away this days,everyone is leaving,everyone is dissapereang,and all is beautifull is gone..everyhing is so fake this days,everything,....from the food to the television and all that brainwashing commercials and all so happy faces looks are hidden form of a sistem who does not care for real values..all is left are the dreams,all is left is just a bitter hope,even the lottery is fake,even that,..you never gonna win something,all you need is in the books..the only place i can escape into,same day every day,same shit on TV since i last saw Ren and Stimpy and they decide to translate Cartoon Network in romanian,so now all the voices are not original any more,imagine that..to stare at a Bugs Bunny Cartoon and some ''guy''says instead of what's up doc? some words i cannot repeat.

Bob said...

hey John, in this post you mentioned that many college intuitions are useless and expensive, but I'm just curious what you think about the public education system. Do you have any suggestions of what the schools/teachers could do to provide the students with a better education and also what should art teachers teach students in elementary/high school? I know this question may be off topic, but I'm thinking about becoming a teacher and any advice would be helpful.

Thanks,
Bob

JohnK said...

I have lots of ideas about public education, but who the Hell am I?

Here's one:

Teach logic and critical thinking, starting in kindergarten. That way the average person will grow up knowing how to spot faulty arguments. We'd be be much safer from politicians'speeches, used-car salesmen, hippies, corporate managers and commercials. All those things would have to radically change for the better if we taught people how to think. It's actually a science.


Here's another: Put religion back in the schools. Every religion.

Show kids the craziest things that all religions believe, and make films interviewing people from every religion making fun of every other religion - including ours.

John Scroggins said...

I know you're writing a review of the movie, but the more fundamental points you're trying to make are scattered and contradictory at best. The situation is like the kid that comes onto this blog and argues about specific concretes like Anime vs. Family Guy while you're trying to teach general drawing principles.. Black and white, objective (as against subjective/pragmatic) principles that don't contradict one another.

Some things I noticed: when you argue against something Michael Moore says, you yourself give vague, pseudo reasons for problems and offer no solutions. For instance:

"Honestly, I half agree with him here. I myself have always wondered how Republicans - who favor the rich and blatantly oppress the poor, yet the poor white folks are the ones that support this oppression the most fervently."

HOW do the Republicans favor the rich and blatantly oppress the poor? What kinds of oppression? Give specific examples. This is no different than when Moore claims that the reason America is productive is because "we we went around starting unjust wars with the rest of the world and blew up all their factories. That killed any competition and allowed us to be the world's greatest manufacturers and exporters, and therefore rich and happy in ever class."

He never explains WHY the wars were unjust, who these productive super countries were and why they couldn't rebuild their industrial empires after we blew them up. More importantly,

Another one-

"He uses the same trick that Republicans do. he finds the dumbest white trash folks and uses Jesus against them, only this time to get them to switch from Republican to Socialist beliefs - which is what they should believe in the first place, considering their condition and the treatment they get from corporations and government."

How do the Republicans use religion against the dumb white trash? What conditions and treatments? Do the corporations and government physically hurt people? Be specific.

The situation is like the kid that comes onto this blog and argues about specific concretes like Anime vs. Family Guy while you're trying to teach general drawing principles.. Black and white, objective (as against subjective/pragmatic) principles that don't contradict one another.

JohnK said...

"How do the Republicans use religion against the dumb white trash? What conditions and treatments? Do the corporations and government physically hurt people? Be specific."

what do those 2 sentences have to do with each other?

John Scroggins said...

"He uses the same trick that Republicans do. he finds the dumbest white trash folks and uses Jesus against them, only this time to get them to switch from Republican to Socialist beliefs - which is what they should believe in the first place, considering their condition and the treatment they get from corporations and government."

They were questions related to points raised in your argument.

Zoran Taylor said...

"Drawing 5 second life drawings or those naked models that change their pose every 5 minutes is pure HACKERY. They aren't drawing by observation, it's straight out copying."

Yeah! drawing what you see in front of you is COPYING! That doesn't involve any observation! It involves, uh.....uuuuhhh.....OPTICAL OSMOSIS!

Lampshade, I'm afraid you're a bit of a dim bulb.

drawingtherightway said...

I never had any intentions of going to college. One thing that really confused me is why colleges make people take classes that have nothing to do with what trade they are going for. I could see if their job required that knowledge, but why does everyone need to take complicated math and science classes if they will never use it in their jobs? I remember being in algebra class when I was in high school and one of the students asked the teacher when we would use the lesson she was teaching us in life and she told us probably never. I always say that most colleges are just a money making scheme.

C said...

I think there's too much focus on college and not enough on alternates. I did not do well in college and university. The whole try-well-and-automatically-succeed is not always true.

I had a Canadian Studies course at university and it was the stupidest class ever. Basically we talked about the identity of Canada and how it's seen. Or something. I dropped that class pretty quick. Then eventually I dropped university because I didn't do well in it.

I really want scriptwriting (at another school), but you have to have a degree for that. Why not just let people take it? I'll never understand that.

Tried for several years to get into animation school but failed each time. I think it's because I can't draw backgrounds in spite of getting lots of instruction and advice on how to do so.

Trevor Thompson said...

Why does nobody do a documentary about how colleges are dishonest, charge way too much tuition and don't teach you anything useful?

This is the closest thing that resembles that: an episode of Penn and Teller's Bullshit called 'College'.

It's just a clip, but in the show they basically point out everything you did and also interview Noam Chomsky ( the first time I've ever disagreed with him ) who tries to argue in favor of campus 'speech codes'.

- trevor.

SlashHalen said...

Why does Jesus need a gun? If he wanted to kill someone couldn't he just... I don't know, turn there blood into wine so they die of alcohol poisoning?

Or turn there flesh into nasty cardboard (which everyone will claim to be bread) so people will eat them?

Kerri said...

I like to use the follow phrase that describes my animation school experience (SVA)
"I went to art school not smart school"
I was smart to start interning during my freshmen year. I learned 50x as much at my internships. At one studio most of the employees were SVA dropouts and were amazing successful artists. I feel like my degree is something nice to put up on the wall. Your portfolio is the only thing that matters.

DarkRoar said...

I think you're even off on University/College being useful for some things...

I have a computer science degree from a University and I would say most of what I know and use I learned on my own.

Not only that, but so many people in the program cheat. There was a recent article on it in the U of T magazine and various TAs were told to look the other way by the professors!

If you encounter someone with a degree from far away, chances are it's not real. They recently busted a Chinese group producing degrees from Canada. The kids would come here for four years and hang out and go back with a fake degree. No one can verify these things well enough.

Now that I work in the field, I meet people with tons of degrees and most of them have no practical skills. They can't do things that I could get high school kids to do.

It's depressing. I'm in favour of going to some sort of apprentice system. You bring someone (or multiple people) on for a while and keep those who are learning and able to do the job and drop the rest. They can supplement their on-the-job studies with books and the Internet.

Oh well, at least they showed me to hate my people, but that's easy to learn from TV or the movies too.

Andy said...

John, after reading your post earlier I happened to come across this comic that also speaks to the perversion of Jesus by "conservatives." Check it out:

The Gospel of Supply-Side Jesus

Geneva said...

I can rant about college for hours and hours, from my current direct experiences. I'm happy you're writing about it, because it really needs to be said.

It's all such a crock!

Lampshade said...

Zoran, your conclusion is superficial. There is more to sketching than just "seeing" with your eyes. If you want to learn to draw without reference, you must go beyond just "seeing". You must observe and understand.

You might think I'm some hipster with a degree in philosophy, but this kind of stuff is from the books.

Jorge Garrido said...

John, this is my favourite post you've ever made that wasn't 100% about cartooning and animation. I've mentioned this before, but I'm actually writing a screenplay and directing an independent film about this, the modern college experience and how empty and pointless it is. Your posts on compostion, John Ford, and framing really help!

David Mamet says that nobody should go to college except for trades and the hard sciences.

And that in College, they only teach three things: deconstruction, multi-culturalism, and anti-semitism.

To that I would add liberalism, socialism (or if you go to business school, the other extreme), anti-Americanism, and political correctness. And how to harass and look down on locals who work for a living.

In Canada you can go to College, where you learn trades, or University, where you learn everything else.

College is obviously the more useful school stream, but it's looked down upon in this country. Locals usually go to College while working, like all my friends did. The leeches go to University and make entire sections of a town unlivable (IF you're not one of the "chosen few." who got their mommy and daddy to pay for it.)

In my business school we actually get taught insane Randian ideas, Gordon Gecko type stuff, "Greed is good," at face value! But in the rest of the school it's the exact opposite.

Jorge Garrido said...

Higher education has become a ritual, it has become an article of faith. That all must be subjected to, or to put it differently, that all are entitled to Higher Education.

But all are entitled to a speedy trial. To a fair trial. But they needn’t be given a trial at all unless they stand accused. Eh? Justice is their right, should they choose to avail themselves of it, they should have a fair trial. It does not follow, of necessity, a person’s life is incomplete without a trial in it.

My point is a confusion between equity and utility arose. So we confound the usefulness of higher education with our, granted, right to equal access to the same. We, in effect, create a prejudice toward it.

-David Mamet

:: smo :: said...

i think moore's vagueness is intended to just make you think about stuff and generate discussion. which it's doing. so that's good!

he also works on these movies down to the wire [i was doing some character designs for sicko at my old studio that didn't get used in the end, just days before release] so i'm betting he's pushing it so far trying to fit in as much as possible that sometimes it doesn't all come out quite as well conceived as one might hope.

i'm still glad he's getting these movies out there. it's too bad sicko didn't come out now as well it would be a bit more relevant.

frankg11 said...

John I must completely agree with you. I am a new viewer of your blog after being a fan for many years and just finding this site. I am actually at The University of the Arts as a freshman going for animation, and I must say, my animation teacher reminds me of you at points. He is not happy with the way animation is being today at all and teaches us useful tools. I feel rather lucky because I have a friend who pays 20,000 dollars more than me to go to some full blown New York City school (The School of Visual Arts) and they teach them the calArts way of animating and he says he is learning nothing. College is faaaaaaaaaar to expensive and honestly, I'm broke. If America wants us kids to go to school and be the future of this country, why then, are we sending the future of this country out piled in debt and having learned improper things? It's astonishing. Either way, I agree with your review of Moore's new film and think something should be done about kids being taught right and lowering the costs of colleges

JohnK said...

"i think moore's vagueness is intended to just make you think about stuff and generate discussion. which it's doing. "

Should you be vague when in the last minute of the film you encourage everyone in the audience to start a revolution?

Bob said...

haha I'm not too sure if I would go into religion, but it would be interesting to hear what the children's parents tell their kids. I must say though, when I was younger learning about other cultures was pretty cool and a lot more fun than learning about the english.

Anyways, logic and critical thinking is an interesting topic for kindergardeners. Teachers so far have been trying to get us to make lessons that engage the students to think of them more as individuals, for instance I have a friend who did a lesson about value and he told the students to write down what they value. Some of the things they said were great such as their computer or PSP, I suppose those students would go against Moore's idea of democracy.

I believe identity and finding what art means to an individual is different for every person and that's why I asked you this question. Many things I learned could apply up to middle schoolers, but at high school some students are ready to make portfolios and go to college. My concern is how to present art in a meaningful way for all students so that the next generation won't be ignorant towards culture. With this information, I hope the students who do go off and study art won't be limited by what some college professors tell them what art is.

Well thanks for your feedback John and I also wanted to add that I'm not a big fan of Mike Moore. I don't like the radical philosophy approach and I think it's rude and distasteful like Kanye West.

Pete Emslie said...

Hey John, that was funny clicking onto your blog today and seeing my caricature of Michael Moore. What the heck - he IS kind of cute!

Admittedly, I'm a bigger fan of Michael Moore than you are. Incidentally, even Moore himself cheerfully confesses to being more of a propagandist than a straight up documentarian. As such, he tends to be highly selective in what info he uses to support his arguments. Even so, I just appreciate the fact that this guy is fearless in going up against the greedy and corrupt top brass within both corporations and public institutions. Whether you agree or not with his position, it's good to see him shine a spotlight on these issues that really should be explored and talked about.

I haven't seen his latest film, but I certainly intend to soon. I think his "Sicko" was definitely ahead of the curve, though I don't completely agree with his rather glowing assessment of our Canadian medical system. It's a bit sick too, yet it has a lot of excellent aspects that I believe are worth keeping. Both Canada and the U.S. need to borrow a bit from each other's programs to hit the right balance.

Zoran Taylor said...

@Lampshade:

1) Sorry about the insult, but your user name just dropped it in my lap and I couldn't resist. I do obsessively watch some of the most pun-infested cartoons ever made, after all.

2) Of course one needs to break down anatomy and analyze how it works in order to truly draw masterfully. I don't disagree with that at all. Gestures are only one method of analysis. My theory is that no matter how immersed in study one becomes, everything we do as human beings fundamentally arises from an impulse. So the first step to being a master at something is not to discourage the impulse but to hone it, to make it more constructive. If you can make an anatomically CONVINCING -though obviously not correct- drawing in 30 - 90 seconds (five seconds IS bullshit, though, you are right), you have taught yourself to think critically even when you're drawing out of what FEELS like pure impulse. (Check out Vince Waller's blog and look closely and critically at the stuff he calls "doodles". They all contain solid principles. He is physically incapable of "doodling" in the same sense that an amateur would. This is exactly what I'm talking about.) This can only help you when you're studying in a very intense fashion slightly later on - you are less liable to lose all concentration or to "cheat" nearly as much as you think you might. It's the same reason nobody runs everywhere all the time or walks everywhere all the time - One would kill you, the other would bore you to death, but combined they give you a good workout.
If you choose to deconstruct my statements here, you have every right, but be aware that I make no claims to being an expert or a pro- These are just my thoughts on the subject and this is only a discussion, not a soap box lecture.

Gad said...

I'm not going to comment on the movie, because I never saw it, and I don't plan too.

What I do realize that my school wasn't as bad as it used too look to me.
But again I was never compared it to places like cal arts.
Every one in my class knows how to do perfect clean up, except me.
And we can all read and right exposure sheet, (it's the first lesson in the survival kit) and there is definitely NO school style.
Maybe that because most of my teachers didn’t get there adduction in the USA but in France, (one in the Canada).


But I doubt there is a school style in the USA, there is the USA style, you probably wont accept that but all American cartoons of a period looks the same. All the cartoons of the 30's look the same, all the cartoons of the 50's look the same and all the cartoons of the 21 centaury look the same! It’s just that TV cause the downfall of good animation of the silver screen days, but even that every thing was the same’ just done better.

Between you and me, look at Russian and Czech cartoons from the 80’s, they kick the ass of what ever Americans made back then

LeoBro said...

I only want to point out that the end of US prosperity in the '50s and '60's, and decline ever since, had less to do with the Summer of Love and more to do with two significant events that are often overlooked:

1) In 1970, production of oil in the US peaked. Since that year, we have been able to drill less and less oil in the US each year, while demand kept increasing, so that we have had to import more oil each year.

2) In 1971, Nixon ended the trading of gold at a fixed price of $35/ounce, which meant that our money has become increasingly meaningless over the decades hence.

Together these events forced the system (the capitalists) to make their profits less from making of real stuff and more from vapor money like credit default swaps.

Meanwhile I am greatly enjoying the cartoon education I receive here! It doesn't come naturally to me, but I keep trying

Josh Goguen said...

My God, the things I wish I knew...

I went to film school & majored in directing. What I wanted to do didn't match what the faculty so I had to adjust. After my final years of working on a project I hated and a project that I loved but felt stifled every step of the way, I left with a diploma and a strong distaste for what I just spent 4 years "learning". I still have a hard time sitting down and watching a movie with out a twinge of disgust.

Thankfully, I didn't leave with a mound of debt.

Still, I would have been better off spending that money on a DV camera and editing software, learning on my own.

I'm glad you wrote this considering not many people are pointing out the things you did. I can't wait to read the rest.

Iritscen said...

"Should you be vague when in the last minute of the film you encourage everyone in the audience to start a revolution?"

Sounds like Glenn Beck, too. He gets that something's wrong, and you agree with him while watching him talk, and he's very emotional about it and wants you to be emotional about it too, but it's left unclear who is to blame and what we can do about it so it all ends in pointless angst.

Maybe if people stopped getting so emotional about things that aren't life and death we could actually get somewhere in finding solutions.

sharprm said...

You know how they get you to read a book and look for the 'second' hidden story ... you can do that with 'monalisa smiles' movie ... she teaches kids 'books aren't important', condones improper staff behavior, causes a student to break down and just walks away after a year. Even though its meant to be a triumphant ending you can use the 'look for the hidden meaning' analysis method against the people who invented it.

Anyway the old education system was better before they changed it to be less repetitive and boring (and just made in ineffective and boring). "This moment, to me, summed up an important characteristic of American education: Cultural bromides had come to replace thought."
http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2007-summer/false-promise-classical-education.asp

Niki said...

I think it sucks how most other countries offer school free after 12th grade and their stuff is better than ours now.

Michael said...

There's been a lot of confusion about Michael Moore's new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story". The main point of the movie is that capitalism magnifies everything equally both the healthy and unhealthy aspects of human nature. Democracy on the other hand, painstakingly reconstructs both truth and what is healthy. This process of reconstructing through group effort is necessary because human cognition generates flaws. It's a complicated concept that's not easy to express in a 2 hour movie. To understand the points from a pattern-based, graphic analogy find the 1965 essay "A city is not a tree" by Christopher Alexander.

John E. B. said...

Ha John you never dissapoint...in yor cartoons or in your speaking the truth about what the world truly is

Michael said...

John K. you raise a lot of important issues. Everything we've heard from Jesus to Einstein can be summed up by this little formula: (i + i)^h. I welcome any feedback.

I believe I have a pretty complete picture of how this world and our actions are unfolding but I have not organized these theories. The quick overview is in this letter. Contact me for the complete essay with the supporting sources.

Philosophy and author Alian de Botton says we find meaning in making a difference in our community by way of either being able to alleviate suffering or produce delight in another human being.

This is somewhat incomplete in that it ignores evolution and there is misinterpretation of evolution. Evolution is information building on information (i plus i). The energy transferred through evolution is propagated hierarchically which then overlaps to produce a rhizomatic (aka semi-lattice structure). The more complete formula would then read (i plus i)^h.

Based on my definition most work is trivial & redundant, yielding a higher likelihood for a meaningless human experience for many, but not all. Those who are fulfilling the basic tenants of evolution are pursuing the leading edge of information and making new applications with novel perspectives while at the same time extending the possibility for others to pursue the same leading edge of information building on information. Factoring in figures on overpopulation, over-consumption and existing advancements the bar is now set very high for most people.

For example, If I was a geneticist working on the space station and dating Björk I would be fulfilling the criteria. If I'm pursuing the leading edge of information through research and education I can stick around. So perhaps since I have developed this explanation and am broadcasting it I have saved myself from being evolutionarily meaningless. Perhaps not but more likely now that I'm broadcasting my beliefs.

In any event, it turns out that my idea of framing issues in terms of evolution is catching on. See page 32 of Scientific American Jan 2009.

It is important to note the structure of how evolution progresses follows a universal structure in how energy transforms into matter and visa versa. Einstein linked energy and matter as one and the same which his famous equation Energy equals matter times the speed of light squared. (E=mc²) My theory is that this transformation occurs in a hierarchal pattern.

These patterns are elementary and even useful to particle physicists at CERN. The key insight I’ve taken away from CERN is that when you increase energy in the system the patterns melt from more discrete lattice-like structures to a more symmetrical wave pattern.

We often hear about "survival of the fittest" and "natural selection" which I believe are concepts co-opted by the robber barons during Darwin's time and now by many executives and ideologues to get more productivity out of their minions to serve their misguided conceptions.

Instead what we see are hierarchal information processing systems "trees" that are continually growing not pruned. There is plenty of genetic evidence to support that mutations and novelty outpace the pruning of natural selection. Problematic social systems ignore the support of lower hierarchal structures which I call integrated complexity (IC). My definition of IC is actually just a more specific observation of the more vertically connected branches of the semi-lattice that Chris Alexander talks about in his 1965 essay "A city is not a tree". By ignoring the lower hierarchal structures potentials for evolution are hindered and the time constraints to remain sustainable on this planet may be shorter than previously thought. If we follow our spiritual teachings we are simply on a directional path to reunification with whatever set the laws of physics into motion.

Alex_M said...

So currently im in my 2nd year of college at the Art Institute in Las Vegas and im Majoring in animation. The section in which you describe trade schools and what they teach is absolutely true. Im 6O grand in debt right now (will be 80 grand when I graduate), our ONLY intermediate/advanced animation teacher worked in the coloring dept. on ONE animated feature (anastasia) which he himself says "a monkey could do because it was pretty much coloring by numbers." Oh and he cant draw...literally. There are a few teachers there who can draw very well but they are draftsmen and illustrators. The "cartooniest" of them runs a business so he only teaches a class or two.

this is my theory- the reason schools are so expensive is clear. We need more people in the bottom than we do on top. We need people to manage wal marts and pack meat and farm cows, to protect our country so that we can continue growing (population wise). And they convince us by telling us through religion and the media that the most important thing in life is love and family. which in turn leads is to believe that we have to find love then accomplish things to make money to have a family, buy a house and a new car, maybe a mini van for the children,(a GRREN mini van) all the while our t.v shows, art and music drop standards on a daily bases to fuel the ignorance of the following generation- all to generate more money for the wealthy and forunate. Its a brilliant selfish scheme developed by business men and their partners. We've been conditioned as a nation and perhaps even a species.

but it sucks for those of us in the middle or lower class who really want to prosper and do more than the norm. I wish I had money to send you for all the teaching you do but I hope you know that I really do appreciate you teaching fans and students what you do. If it weren't for this blog my skills wouldn't be as developed and all I would know to do is how to properly use the entire adobe suite cs4 collection(which isnt very affordable) and maya (because thats all my school teaches).

As mush as you make fun of Cal Arts I really do wish I had done more research and gone there instead or Otis, because i've also heard (through my teachers) that the ART INSTITUTE has a horrible reputation in the animation industry. If I were majoring in film Id definitely do a personal project (using school equipment) to reveal the BS that our colleges put us through. You should hear how horrible UNLV is.

So in the end in order to succeed I have to spend endless hours looking for golden animation information to better my knowledge in this field. All the while I have to learn useless programs that are updated every 3 years and bust my ass at work 30 hrs a week to pay rent and all the bills that come with owning a car and living, which force me to get loans that will force me to perhaps get two jobs when I graduate hahahha. wow I dont even want to think about it anymore.

I think the proper action for revolution is EDUCATION, no matter what the expense.

the following link is on hip hop/revolution and classism and is directed to hispanic and black people. I know you hate hip hop but the video MIGHT interest you as it does in some ways relate to the Moore movie. I have to warn you that there's a lot of cursing. The artist is Immortal Technique.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bURgTLHryrg&feature=related


you're incredible if you actually read these posts entirely. haha thanks again Maestro.

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

dunoo what time is in there,but here is like 12 o clock in the afternoon when im writing thos,so yeah enough talking everyone,put your money on the table and lets start that ULTIMATE ANIMATION STUDIO, I REALLY MEAN THIS!

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

and let me tell you something else Prendejos,every man who read the bible had to admit that Jesus will gonna come back for the second time on Earth just to bting the Apocalipse,and tell me this when He will come who will know is it HIM,what and Who will know How and Where..C'mon if that is a true thing how in the hell yoau are thinking About Jesus as the Next good person,in fact He will bring the ultimate Apocalipse,end of the world you name it,and not by war or whatever,He will just come,light a smoke,and The Meteorite will fall,eartquakes,all that''Mother Nature''triller,and Only he will know that,He doesen't have to rpove to noone nothing,He will stand alone,cuz since He died for us ,the poor humans creatures,obviously Everyone will day for HIM,after that the bad persons will never wake up,and the good persons's souls will be put in a extra king size jar and be taken to Heaven,whatever this Heaven is an Where.And you know Thats True Jhon

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

''God Forgive Me,IS HIS job''!

sharprm said...

My 2 cents: holistic view (ie. ignoring logic but trying to get the 'big picture') is part of bad philosophy and education.

eg. Doesn't i+i=2i? Aren't there things like flightless birds (ie. if the structure of wings represents information and that complicated structure is lost, hasn't information decreased)? Björk is ugly who would want to bang her?

Kaiser Fate said...

Moore makes me sick.
Bowling For Columbine was enough to put me off for good - Charlton Heston's harsh, insensitive speech was actually stitched together from about three completely different speeches and it only takes a look at the tie he's wearing (which changes twice) to see that Moore can only strengthen his points through lying.
His hypocrisy is also evident when he claims that the reason that young kid brought a gun to school unsupervised was because his mother was on the other side of the country "making fudge for rich people". Something tells me Moore can afford all the fudge in the world and probably buys it accordingly.
Michael Moore reminds me of the guy you know who makes up his theories as he goes along just so he can win an argument against you.

lastangelman said...

I am hoping in the next few days Mr Moore will find the time to respond to your review - I enjoy his films, too, but have same problems with Mr Moore that I have with his right wing opponents - each party goes about creatively fudging the truth to further their own agenda, then dares you publicly to prove them wrong and shouts or attempts to humiliate you when you do correct their absurdities, overblown assumptions and half-truths.

Anna said...

I definitely agree with you on the college front. Penn & Teller's Bullshit did an excellent episode a few years ago about college, and they agree with everything you said about it - it's a waste if you're not learning a trade or important skill like medicine. At the time I watched it I was considering going to at college but I'm glad I waited, because even though I still love art and do paintings on the side, I'm following a different career path now and taking immersive, short-term classes and seeking out an externship. I considered a 4 year college for my subject (pastry) but decided that a crash course suited my taste more, was more affordable, and I heard about a lot of grads coming out of that other school full of attitude and little else. So even when you are learning a trade, school can be completely unnecessary.

dancing platypuss said...

hello john..speaking for spain here, were eduction is wayy cheaper than in the states...Basically here if you wanna have a decent job ... the last thing u can do is go to university ( unless of course u really like what your gona study) i have tons of friends who spent almost all his/her youth caged in a rom studying biology ,politics medicine.... to end up working behind a counter...Tolally agree w u , the problem is way far more complex than an expensive education

K. Nacht said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnK said...

I only unpublished it because you used the f word. Watch your language.

K. Nacht said...

Wow, I've been called worse on this site. Pretty absurd censorship policy after an obviously earnest and articulate contribution to the discussion.

Bitter Animator said...

While I've never really bought into your hippiephobia, you bring up some really good points here. Your questions about just how good colleges are and the automatic assumption that they are needed and should cost such ridiculous amounts are ones that need to be asked.

On your middle-management topic, I thought you might enjoy a quote from David B. Levy's book, Animation Development. This is on the subject of network development executives, in a section entitled 'Network Development Exectutives Are People Too'. Actually, they put a comma after 'people' for no real reason so I removed it.

Here's the quote, attributed to Linda Simensky, which reads like it's meant to be positive -

"Most do not have backgrounds in animation but have a geniune interest in storytelling or humour or other creative areas."

A genuine interest.

And that got me thinking. I have a genuine interest in space travel. Would you trust me to run a space programme? If I had a genuine interest in flying (I don't), would you trust me to fly a plane?

The rest of her quote goes on to back up exactly what you say - they got there sideways. Through entry-level jobs.

And, as it directly affects the animation industry, that can lead to some (I'm sure not all) doing little but, as you put it, "spend the company's money telling those who actually do know how to make the products to do it wrong."

AShortt said...

Logic and Critical thinking skills - that's half the battle and the other half is proper practice. Both these bolster creativity to new heights in any field.

Very good to see you bring this up Mr. K. I am enjoying your mindset as much as your product(s).

Dave Redl said...

Hey John,

Your idea to "Teach logic and critical thinking, starting in kindergarten." and to "Put religion back in the schools." is absolutely brilliant!

But imagine implementing it. A board or committee would have to regulate and oversee teachers to ensure they are not leaning one way or the other, in favor of one over the other etc.
While that sounds good, the committee will have "interests" and lean one way or the other themselves!

While Wall Street has good people mingled with a number of jackasses, remember there's an equal number of jackasses in Washington and thus having one oversee the other is no solution. (What Democrats think the solution to be.) Jackasses watching jackasses creates bigger middle management and like the animation industry or any other American industry, bigger middle management is a waste of money, time and quality.

The first incarnation of schools in America was to teach "proper behavior" much like your idea. In other words, how not to be an jackass. Church is also a "school" to non-jackass you. Hence the Republicans look to religion and conservative behavior to save us.

But like Washington and Wall Street, some Priests, Rabbis, Scientologists and even Atheists are in fact jackasses themselves. And we're back to where we started.

No one group can save us from ourselves. (I'd like to think that most of us are good and only suffer a few fools.) We have to take responsibility and start fixing problems instead of fixing blame. (Bush didn't ruin everything no more than Obama can fix everything.)

Tell your kids, when they grow up to become a Wall Street CEO, Washington leader or Animation Industry Green-lighter... don't be a jerk. Which basically means, listen to and respect others by sharing the power, especially those gifted in areas you are not. (Imagine that Cartoon Exec. actually giving you the wheel for a while, simply because you're one of the best drivers around.)

I love how you can bridge the gap between art and politics. Maybe you should teach a liberal arts class... HA!

Dave

wwhhaatt?? said...

John K. 4 Prez!

Sean Lane said...

Man John, I've talked to you about the useless waste of money with schools many times before, but I guess my opinion doesn't at all correlate with me sticking with a crappy school to the end.

We're in a society where if you aren't in college fresh out of high school, you are set up to be a failure. I felt like if I didn't have a college degree when I was so young, no one would ever hire me for anything or I would learn how to do everything wrong.

Realistically I could have just made friends with a currently attending student and gotten a few tips while directing myself at home with the right sources working an okay day job the whole while.

Finding a decent paying day job without it requiring a useless unrelated college degree is also another hassle in itself the work force has set up.

So I did graduate after 4 years and did end up getting a job, but I feel like my skill is walking a fine line between unhirable to averagely skilled, most of the latter which was not at all given by the school's "knowledge." I'm still young, but I feel like the odds are stacked against me even with the degree and I just try not to think of all of the debt I've incurred.

Sheesh, it's depressing here.

In France, a degree at the Gobelins school costs around $8000 I hear. Their student output is always top notch.

TamTam said...

I haven't seen the movie yet, but everything you've said about schools and business is absolutely true! I find the American dream has gone from, "work hard and be a decent person" to "lets see how little I can do for the most reward, while destroying those fools who work hard and try to be decent people"

Sven Hoek said...

Hey Scroggins, the US has been involved in so many wars that were undeclared and unjust. Our military has been destroying democratically elected leaders and their countries around the world since WW2. Go check out all the wars since Korea in the 50s until now and tell me how they are justified.

The reason schools teach math and other seemingly useless subjects isnt to fill your head with unneccesary information you will never use, but teaches you instead to use your mind to solve problems you have never seen before. Why schools don't teach usefull skills I assume its to keep you coming back for more schooling and loans.

As for Bjork, she's not HOT, but she is sexy. I have wrestled with that one my whole life, how is it that some seemingly unattractive women can be sexy. Bjork is a kook, but those chicks are great in bed. Hey John, did ya do her? Is she wild or what?

Fata Morgana said...

I was with you almost all the way to the end there, John. You make many good points. It's the last paragraph that bugs me. I'm not a republican anymore, I'm a libertarian, but why cast republicans (I mean, the real republicans, not the political talking heads at the top) as wanting to oppress the poor and prop up the rich? Real republicans would be pointing out all the things that you point out - that the reason we don't want to use tax money to buy things for people is because government money is always used to buy the WORST things, not the best.

Michael said...

John K., I like what your link to a past blog said about designing a curriculum that is more relevant. Maybe you could meet with the people at lynda.com and start this school online. This blog and connecting with so many that would never get a minute with you is the integrated complexity (IC) or semi-lattice-like connections I described in an earlier comment. Now the actual physical progress is the school you proposed.

As for Michael Moore, I explained what I think he's getting at in my earlier comment. I think Moore is intuitively on the right track. I'm not sure he looks at it or even knows of what's going on scientifically, which is how I like to frame it. You mention the importance of logic. Unless we frame these issues through the logic of science we're going to continue with all these circular discussions.

spaz said...

capitalism did not destroy the US. hippies did. they are the most conservative, bigoted lot i've ever seen. i live in one of the last enclaves of the hippy disaster, Fairfax Ca. they are completely open to everyone's idea... so long as it is their way of thinking. the US was doing great until the hippies showed up. they have contributed nothing to the world.

Brian Romero said...

Sorry SPAZ, but none of those responsible for the economic collapse of this country are hippies. They're not even real capitalists... they're modern day robber barons. They have no interest in free markets, just the consolidation of power and wealth. Vertical integration baby!

Mellanumi said...

The real problem is the American public who is too intimidated by the manipulation they see in the media to speak the truth. Many Americans feel this way; they just lack the resources to hire a lawyer who will promote their cause in Washington. There is a sizeable chunk of the United States who is like your irresponsible little brother, whom you love, and like and want to see happy, but who, in the end, makes all the wrong decisions. Eventually you get tired of enabling him. But you want mom and dad (Government) to step in and make him do the right thing; to clean up his act, to clean his room, stop leaving crap all over the place, put his towel in the hamper, etc. Dad (Republicans) agree with you, but Mom (Democrats) feel sorry for the little brother and argues with dad about what to do about little brother. Stalemate. Nothing is done. There comes a time when you, as the older, responsible one need to put the fear of god into your little brother and tell him to clean up his act or else. And that's the problem the little brothers out there may not be the majority, but they are a very audible and sizeable chunk of the U.S. population... and too many of them prefer comfort to working hard. Now sometimes Dad is too harsh and narrow in his view and too cold to feel and nurture his family, and sometimes Mom is too much of an emotional wreck to see how her actions would spoil the character of her children, but in other ways both individuals have their strengths as well as their weaknesses. Republicans encourage people to determine their own paths; but they can forget that there is not one recipe of success for everyone and end up disenfranchising a lot of people; Democrats are kind enough to create social programs that will help, but their generosity leads to people taking advantage of the system and qualifying for loans they shouldn't get. Most Americans want to see financial, economic, oil independence, but they want to see it in a way that won't oppress others or cause massive damage to the earth. They want responsibility.

Zoran Taylor said...

@sharprm: You win the award for most random, unneccesary, ignorant and offensive thing I've seen on this blog's comment page in ages. Besides, John will tell you otherwise. AT GREAT LENGTH.

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

i think we all should become jedi ,or padawans under Jhon K;;s Force and embrace the present as the ultimate guide,and become defenders of peace,not wariors,anyway this political issue will last forever,make love not war.

Ben Fried said...

There's fake hippies and real hippies. Real hippies are people who practice shamanic religions and want peaceful anarchy. They don't want society to move forwards or backwards, but rather want it to be in it's place in the natural order without breaking it.

Real hippies won't bother with seeing movies about politicians, because ignoring their existence will lower their importance much more than giving them the publicity they crave. A lot of the time they're rather conservative. They don't mind new ideas as long as they fit their requirements for what "okay" is.

Fake hippies protest all the time, don't shower, are vegetarian, and are just trying to be cool. They try to do new things whether they're well thought-out or not just for the sake of being new. They're a bunch of dumb kids.

There's also "Green" douches who are often confused with hippies. They really just like to act like they're helping the environment because they think it makes people like them more. A lot of democrats are green douches.

sharprm said...

@Zoran: i'm not worried about being offensive. I don't think you understand my comment. Maybe try reading the comment about (i+i) above mine.

Kaiser Fate said...

I agree with Sean Lane with the Gobelins output, that studio knows its stuff.
To add another two cents to the debate, I should point out that here in Australia, there is a system where students don't have to pay for any degree up front, they can do the entire degree and then pay for it afterwards (degrees are expensive but nowhere near 150,000... more like 30,000) through tax. The tax payments are slow and fair and if you do run into the money somehow, you can pay it all off - after you've gotten your degree. I do have American animator friends who are in animation colleges (it pains me to say that some of them have never been taught to animate and that I have to re-teach them; and I am hardly an expert myself!) who tell me horror stories of their loans being cut off for whatever reason and having to drop out. This, to me, is cruel and bizarre. The degrees here are so renowned - and so CHEAP - that it is not uncommon for other countries to send over waves of students to do their education here, because even after travel and living costs, an Australian degree is always a lot cheaper than one from America or whatever country they came from, and the qualification is at least as strong. Norway actually PAYS its students to study courses here.

For the record, I attend what is agreed to be the best animation school in Australia, and while I have indeed learned some great skills here (and don't regret learning at this institution), I am also forced to take utterly irrelevant elective subjects. It reminds me of when I studied animation at one of the not-so-great schools in their fledgling animation course that was at least as bad as the schools of which you speak. An institute where no one learns anything - essentially the star students are encouraged to keep on doing what they could already do before they signed up for the piece of paper and everyone else is totally left behind.

But hey, at least if you got that degree you wouldn't be a hundred and fifty grand in debt!!

sharprm said...

Also about teaching religion in schools, I know John meant it should be taught to poke fun of it. But maybe there would be no hippies if a “faith-based code of personal conduct” was taught in schools:
http://www.city-journal.org/html/7_2_a2.html
http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_3_work-ethic.html
"
The roots of this breakup lay in what Daniel Bell described in The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism as the rejection of traditional bourgeois qualities by late-nineteenth-century European artists and intellectuals who sought “to substitute for religion or morality an aesthetic justification of life.” By the 1960s, that modernist tendency had evolved into a credo of self-fulfillment in which “nothing is forbidden, all is to be explored,” Bell wrote. Out went the Protestant ethic’s prudence, thrift, temperance, self-discipline, and deferral of gratification."

Ryan Golden said...

Are you going to give a prize to the 100th commenter, because if so, I'm leaving two comments. Anyways, I totally agree with what you said about colleges, luckily I managed to wake up and escape from the delusional belief that success is a credit and degree away, before having to owe too much money.

akira said...

capitalism and free market principles actually work very well! unfortunately we don't live in a true capitalistic free market society. the very reason why college is so expensive is BECAUSE of all the government sponsored loans. if you want to hear from some guys who can see past all the bullcrap check out Ron Paul, Peter Schiff and Alex Jones. don't fall into the trap of democrat vs. republican.. they both work together to keep us down.

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

Death will come,is the only thing that is 100 percent accurate in this life,you got to reflect about that,you got to think about one day you also will die,and that is one of the most important things in life.
We rather dont think,we see people who dies,but we're glad is not us,and when someone close to us dies,we feel more humans than ever,we understand each other,we dont care about the material things,we somehow realize that the spiritual world is the important one and always should be above the otherone,and how in the hell we get so strange one from eachothers,we get so alone,is also about the fear that it get so deep inside us that now is just like an instinct,that somehow we are so special then everybody else,and can get anyone near me and too know me because i have some bad parts and the perfect world knows that,they'll despite me and laugh about me and ingnore me,they only have to see im a succesufull and strong person,like a robot who has power and money,and less feelings.
I wonder the guys who lives at the north pole,or those people who lives in the desert or the jungle,how often talk about money,or ideas of making money,or about the gold or diamonds who are nothing but just some rocks and metals,and have no value there,only the water and the food are the real values,and the rest is just something to play with.
We go to work,ow maan,so hard to find a good job,but we dont realize that the true work is the one for yourself and the others you care and make your life easy and others buy building something what is good and become handy.
So if you dont have a dream,tell me what you have,if you don't have a plan then what do you have?
We all have our limits and projects that keeps us going every day;that we want to quit smoking,or whant to become doctors,or so on,we have those projects made by our own mind and the fight is in the end is only with ourself.
the bad thing wich can happent is to stop in the project,to get blocked,that is the stupidity,to dont know what to do next.
We're alive,and we're all fighting for something,celebrate the fight,celebrate the life,get your power from whatever you take it,leave your worries and be part of a project wich is more than an event,is a state of mind.

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

5 Jul 2007, 01:42
we are born,we never choose the place where,we didn't choose the colour of the skin,the colour of the eyes,we never choose who our parents will be,someone or something already took that decision for us.
When we are kids,we believe the magic stories,we dont know about death,or all the threats that are out there,all those viruses,and bacterias,all those diseases,all those doesen;t exist for us because we dont know about that when we're youngs.
Our mind is free,we learn from the nature of things,from the nature examples,how things are,and that deep all come from the nature.
So later on we go to school,there we have to learn all he things,so many,then we learn what to do,that we can select what we want to become,so we can have a future,but the future you already have it,nomatter what you do.
Then due to school process,all those things get us and we lose everithing what we believe when we where kids,now we know that we bread air,and our pourpouse is to learn hard,to succed in life,have a family and a good pay job,so we can provide our children a good future and so on is the never ending circle.
When we are youngs,our mind is most opened,is the most clear,we dont know about fear and about worries,but then we fallow the path like everybody else,and now we live and see on tv and the all massmedia about all the superthings that we should use,about the new toothpaste that we-ll keep our tooths protected 24 hours,and the soap that doesent let the evil germs that are everywhere to get around us,like in the old days our ancestors knew something about all this great threats,or he was so worried about the germs on the table when he eat with his hands whatever the food was then.
Our ancestors loved the nature and live long,they were brave and go to war,they worked the land every day and not for money just for food.They loved their animals,and put them to work for them without having the animal food who keept them in shape.
Is no more bravery these days,is just a terror inspired to us by massmedia,is a fear that big wich make us to be more careful than ever,cuz everybody can be a very dangerous enemy,and stay away and watch our things.
We pay a lot of money to be safe from the neverending threats,to make sure we respect the program so we can be healty,like we will live forever,and make sure we collect all the new products,wich a lot of the we dont really need and a lot of them end dusty and rusty,but we pay hard money for that,cuz that's the trend these days,and we got to keep up with today fashion,we got to keep up with who? i wonder,is this a contest wich one is the goodest at what?

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

"Fear can sometimes be a useful emotion. For instance, let's say you're an astronaught on the moon and you fear that your partner has been turned into Dracula. The next time he goes out for the moon pieces, wham!, you just slam the door behind him and blast off. He might call you on the radio and say he's not Dracula, but you just say, "Think again, bat man."

"For mad scientists who keep brains in jars, here's a tip: Why not add a slice of lemon to each jar, for freshness."

buy the way,did i mention i live in Transylvania wich is a state in Romania..muhahahaha ''killer my little bambino...''

RAKninja said...

damn, i pick the worst times to go to jail.

what moore dosent tell you, as you kind of pointed out, is he blames capitalism, yet we have not had a capitalist economy since 1917, when the federal reserve was created and we started using monopoly money for cash rather than a commodity, like gold.

socialism (government interference in economic matters) is what's been sending our great nation down the crapper for near a hundred years in a slow spiral.

what's more, as now the popular opinion is the fiat paper we use as money is actual wealth, people accept that you can just "print up wealth". all these "stimulus packages" do nothing but debase our currency. the value of the dollar is solely dependent on the number of dollars in circulation.

the gold in the treasury does not increase when they make up another $80 billion out of thin air. each time they do this they make the dollar weaker and weaker, worth less and less.

how can we live in a capitalist society when the government artificially controls the prices by inflating or deflating the currency? the government even controls agriculture by offering large subsidiaries for growing what they want you to, rather than what a free market would dictate you grow.

good call on the collage part of the rant. the modern "traditional" education system is controlled by a man who famously quoted "i want a nation of workers, not thinkers" (john rockefeller, head of the national education association)

it's kind of sad when you have to educate people for free just to get the results you need because no education institution teaches students how to fulfill them. although no artist myself, i do enjoy learning about art and animation so i AM glad i can take advantage of the blog here and read for days and days.

to bad it would be a challenge to find an investor in a "real" cartoon collage. you have a lifetime of learning and real world experiance on the subject, and by all rights you, and other artists/animators with similar skill and knowledge, SHOULD be able to make a tidy profit from those, both in the field and as a font for knowledge.

perhaps benito mossolini said it best when he described fascism as better named Corporatism. and nowhere is this more apperant in the ersatz entertainment industry. "like it because we tell you it's hip and cool, not because it's actually likable"

I.D.R.C. said...


Would you like to know what I think about all this?

Steve said...

Thank you "John K. Liquor." Where the hell was your blog 5 years ago when I decided I needed to go to college to get a "degree" in animation. You just recited my story in you blog. I only wish you had been around then so that I could have just followed your blog and donated to you instead of giving all that money to those half-witted morons at the "school" I attended. Thanks again John for doing what you do. Please, for the sake of future animation and cartooning, keep it up! Maybe you should consider opening up a school...

Tom said...

Great post, John!!

Michael said...

I.D.R.C well put!

Michael said...

The human mind is the first order of influence. All these social, political and economic systems follow the first order. It's a huge mystery to me why scholarly concerns are not more focused on the source of our problems.

Specifically I'm talking about the Triune Brain. See the "Frontline" documentary "The Persuaders". It's online. Then google Triune Brain. I haven't seen Ren and Stimpy in a while but I think those characters are basically expressing the triune qualities we have and the dramas they create. With advances in neuroscience and imaging we are making great progress to explain where we are going wrong. If we can be more self-aware we can catch ourselves and design poor cognition out of the system and back it up with evidence rather than political will, filibusters or force.

Imagine three creatures brought to a table to decide the fate of our planet. One is a vicious lizard, the other is a slobbering dog and the last is Mr. Spock from Star Trek. Now don't add human qualities to the lizard and the dog. It's a lizard like you'd see frozen on a rock or bolting away. It's just a dog that will lick your face or dig a hole in your sofa. I would choose to entrust the fate of our planet solely to Mr. Spock. All the prevailing efforts It seems most have this goal to try to get some sort of consensus from the lizard, the dog and Mr. Spock. Unfortunately, I think it's unlikely.

We understand how the human mind evolved and use it in marketing and politics. Unless we put our weaknesses on the table and design them out of the system we will continue to have no political will and endless circular debates until we are knee deep in waste.

Realistically, the answer is much more likely to be a fearful seminal moment. When the Sputnik was launched our country shifted dramatically from a traditional to modern world view. It was reflected in our national focus and in the modern design of our products and services. So realistically we should look forward "with glee" to some highly motivational Katrina-like economic disasters followed by gas at $10 a gallon permanently. In the meantime let's engage the Mr. Spock in all of us to prepare for that time.

Michael said...

> How do we get back to a time when we were greedy about producing something
> instead of just producing money? Did we ever have such a time?

I am working under the premise that we are evolving toward the time
when technology will bring back small-town accountability for one
another. This is based to a large degree on Ray Kurweil's explanation
of what's evolving in his book "The Singularity is Near."

Ray Kurzweil: A university for the coming singularity
http://www.ted.com/talks/ray_kurzweil_announces_singularity_university.html

Ray Kurzweil (pt1of3) The Singularity Summit at Stanford
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PWXrnsSrf0

Technological evolution and biological evolution are one and the same.
Technological evolution has replaced biological evolution.

The indicators I've designed in my Sustainability Network would
clearly show on google map overlays how over-consumption and
overpopulation are distributed and hold those accountable right down
to the neighborhood level.

Sustainability Network by Michael Stancato
http://www.motionista.com/downloads/Sustainability_Network_2008-04.pdf

My project has tacit-written approval by a business development
manager at Google and a academic department head at Princeton
University. Why only tacit approval? Because it's controversial that's
why. I am putting together a presentation to possibly be given at
PhillyChi on Nov 12th. I'll forward the slides when done if you're
interested.

M. R Darbyshire said...

Moore's a propagandist who even fools himself. People like him get riled up by vague ideas (and make movies about them) because if they think about it too long, they realize "Socialism" isn't actually an answer.

Hey John, I like your idea about education. They keep dumbing everything down so the stupid kids can graduate, but they should do the opposite and make it more of a challenge. Force the IQ's up.

Darby

Meag said...

I do not think I could finish reading this rant. I stopped at the college bit... Moore is no new figure that pushes for an idealistic future... which everyone hates. John Milton, a very old, very dead, English man, predates Moore by a few centuries completing the task of exposing the tyrants of his land. No Moore is no Milton, but I appreciate a new voice. I mean... about the college issue. I could have had projectile vomit for a moment, and mess up my corporate Toshiba. College should be free. Period. It should be a choice to go to college. Available. If the institution is not fit then it is up to the student to move. Kinda like living in a country. "Don't like it leave it" mentality... but what if we are not born in a country to leave at all? Shouldn’t it be our option to engage or pass up something like education? Self education is about the worst education anyone can get. There is no one to debate with you; even on blogs like this, most of the comments are going to be in the author's favor. There is a scary manifestation that self education can bring. Paradise is lost, but we do not have to be. Education is the only opposition we truly have, and opinions are the lowest form of education- including my own. Look around. Look at other cultures. It is not so bad to open your eyes in once awhile. Get out of that cave, disregard the shadows on the wall, unbind your shackles and chains and take a deep breath. Expierence and Reason is what Milton restates time and time again, and I trust enough in that old dead guy to agree. As far as Moore, I am glad he is doing his thing. Idealistic, yes. Wrong, no. No one's opinions are wrong, after all they are the lowest form of education. And for the love of god, I hope there is a revolution... something needs to change.

Dave Redl said...

to Meag.

College should be free. That sounds great. But no one wants to, or should have to, work for free.

Reminds me of an IT guy telling me that all music and art online should be free. "Artists should draw or make music for the love of it without wanting to get rich."

I said I'd love to work for free. After the bank gives me a mortgage out of the love of loaning money. And the supermarket gives me a carriage of groceries out of the love of providing such products.

Idealism is a lovely thought. But after the daydream you come back to reality of survival. Humans no longer hunt for food, they work for it.

The debate here is how to provide a more practical education for affordable rates. Cutting pay is one popular idea, but note you can't build a winning team by hiring cheap players. (Note how the Yankees win all the time because they pay for the best players.)

What's interesting here is that John K. is using technology to offer a kind of "guerilla education", teaching practicality over high priced artsy-fartsy stuff. (Hey John, there's your school logo; a Guerilla Gorilla.)

Will it succeed? Could this be that revolution you're looking for?

Michael said...

I think John K is doing something Evolutionary.

"Eyenot" Petrie said...

I was watching a youtube movie (I am not sure but I think John K. doesn't appreciate youtube very much, but anyways):

"Zach Galifianakis, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim were commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a film for their website. They were told they could do anything they wanted as long as they mentioned the product."

It was pretty funny, but it reminded me of something that actually happened in my life, once:

"I met the vice president of Absolut once, when he was visiting from Sweden w/ his wife, to the home of the man who was dating his daughter (Petra). He and his wife spoke in Swedish the entire time, and I drank some pree-ty fine scotch. The owner of the property agreed to put up signs for both the republicans and the democrats, which was our (myself and partner) point in being there. I always feel privileged to witness the absurdist movement blossom in America; been watching since Ren and Stimpy."

And since I mentioned Ren and Stimpy I had to come here and see what was going on.

And I saw Mike Moore, something or other, that guy's an idiot, basically. I saw his "Bowling for Columbine". I can't believe he had to turn that into an advertisement for the song "Take the Skinheads Bowling" and an attempt to scare-up more southern legacy prejudices.

Any jug band makes a more worthwhile spectacle than most picket demonstrations no matter who's carrying the pickets.

Reading Russian absurdism lately (Daniil Kharms & Alexander Vvedensky, their works compiled in "The Man With the Black Coat: Russia's Literature of the Absurd", Northwestern University Press) in particular that which resulted from discontent with the Soviet revolution, I'm starting to believe that Absurdism in America has always been overlooked and is still being overlooked today.

I mean, sure you can watch "Cartoon Network" and fill your head with the most pointlessly randomized content ever published (and find some gems, too) but it's still part of a movement that people obviously largely enjoy but don't have any context for. Even my "peers" who were there when TV was economized (and the most absurd thing going was "what's IN the burgers") don't today see anything particularly interesting in tracing a line from "Stimpy" to "Rocko" to "Sponge Bob" to finally "Cartoon Network" and the entire explosion of this whole thing being called nothing more than "randomness" or sometimes just plain "random". I'd call that "overlooked".

Well let me say, In Soviet Russia, movement overlook YOU!

Most people today only find historical analysis of R&S interesting in the context of what can be supressed from airing, and the only correlation drawn is typically back to "Beavis & Butthead". That informs me that Americans still largely relate first to the corporate interest before their own. I actually had an hour long argument just last fall about how that woman's decision to drop R&S was all about protecting the Nick corporation from liability. They actually thought it was about protecting the consumers from dangerous content!

I'm just ranting now, but seriously, the ultras and die-hards in America are the source of most of these problems. There's not one person among any of them who understands that all there is to Capitalism is "you get what you can with what you have". They all want somebody to regulate the market to keep them out of risk. It's unnatural.

And, that's exactly the sort of unnatural rigidity Russians had in *their* daily environments at the blossoming of their Absurdism. Maybe there's something worth noting in all of that, otherwise, this entire comment *is* a work of absurdism.

MarionR2 said...

I found this post on a whim and as an anthropology student who went from having semi-practical archaeology skills to learning 'humanities-style' anthropology I want to say THANK YOU!

I left my undergrad archaeology program because I felt bad about myself for failing stats (rather than, y'know, just taking it again and getting a tutor or whatever help was required). Now, after having gleefully gloated alongside my humanities-style cultural anthropology profs that I didn't need math or statistics or science...

I wish I had stuck with archaeology. At least I'd have had some useful skills and would've been employable. Now I'm going it alone learning stats in the summers and finding out what it takes to bring my skills up to par so that when I go for a full time career after my Masters I have more than "um... I know culture?" to offer. My current crop of profs aren't as hostile towards being scientific or using statistics, but I don't see any quantitative methods classes for anthropology students at my school, so support isn't exactly forthcoming.

As for students thinking they're going to get out of difficulties by sneaking into a liberal arts or humanities program:

You're screwing yourself over in the long run for the sake of some short-term comfort. Don't do it.