Category Archives: Social Commentary

Lust Is Blind

Is anyone surprised by this?

Research involving a group of male students found that their levels of the hormone testosterone increased to the same extent whether they were talking to a young woman they found attractive – or to one they didn’t fancy much at all.

After 300 seconds alone in the same room as a woman they had never met before, and in some cases did not find particularly attractive, the men’s testosterone levels of the hormone had shot up by an average of around eight per cent.

It reminds me of the wisdom of Billy Crystal’s character, Harry:

Sally: You’re saying I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?
Harry: No, what I’m saying is they all want to have sex with you.
Sally: They do not.
Harry: Do too.
Sally: They do not.
Harry: Do too.
Sally: How do you know?
Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally: So you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive.
Harry: No, you pretty much want to nail them, too.

Science imitates art.

More WALL-E Thoughts

Lileks discusses the grief that he’s gotten over the fact that he enjoyed the movie:

Shannen Coffin at the Corner notes that you never know how much hate mail you’ll get until you take on a Pixar film. I’d add that the opposite is oddly true as well: I got a lot of very negative email about the review, some of which had to do with “shilling” (as one writer put it) for Disney, but most of which had to do with buying an eco-scary / anti-capitalist agenda because the characters were cute. Apparently I can write for years and demonstrate skepticism towards catastrophic doom-mongering, and it counts for nil. Ah well. Look, I think “JFK” is a pretty good piece of filmmaking. Its ideas are rubbish and its effect pernicious, but I still think it’s a compelling work. Doesn’t mean I believe a single frame.

Sometimes you separate the ideas from the movie, sometimes you can’t, sometimes you shouldn’t, and sometimes you don’t want to because you approve of the ideas. Asking me to reject Wall-E because its unrealistic premise has contemporary overtones is like asking me to swear off Star Trek because Roddenberry wanted a post-religious collectivist one-world government that eschewed money and property.

He also chides Andrew Sullivan for stereotyping:

Apparently Andrew Sullivan took note of the review, and while I appreciate the patronage, this rankles a bit:

“Well Lileks loved it. Not all conservatives are stupid ideologues.”

And not all liberals are stupid anti-consumerists who spaz out when someone praises the Works of Walt! Who’d have thunk it. Really, if one wants to cling, bitterly, to the notion that a believe in lower taxes and strong foreign policy and greater individual freedom re: speech and property automatically translates to a crimpled, reductive, censorious view of pop culture, go right ahead.

Last night, I watched the end of Ratatouille, and afterward was a history of Pixar. Interesting stuff. It was a great example of the powerful synergy you can get when you successfully meld C. P. Snow’s two cultures and combine traditional animators with computer geeks.

As good as they’re getting at this stuff, though, I don’t think that it’s the death of 2-D animation. I suspect that as the 3-D stuff continues to asymptotically approach verisimilitude, there will be rebellious young turks who want to draw cartoons, and so the cycle will begin anew.

In any event, the foofaraw makes me want to see the movie in the theater, something I haven’t done with a Pixar movie since Toy Story (though I wanted to with Ratatouille).