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Summer Bass

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About Summer Bass

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    Summer Time Bassness
  • Birthday 10/01/1986

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    Above it all

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  1. Summer Bass

    Denis Villenueve to direct Dune

    I'd hope not. He's too old to play Feyd-Rautha (although I bet he could be a really unsettling Piter De Vries), and they should cast someone comparable in age to Chalamet since both he and Paul are supposed to be really teenagers/twenty-somethings in the book. Someone who can just ooze vanity and arrogance.
  2. That's why the essay itself points out that per capita GDP isn't the last word, and points to a couple of other measures. If Cuba still only has one rail line, that seems like an indictment of the Castro regime - it's been nearly sixty years since the take-over. Of course, the island isn't that big (about 777 miles long by 118 miles wide), so perhaps they don't need a lot of rail line. Most of them disavow the Soviet Union and other authoritarian socialist regimes altogether (at least now they do). They're not entirely wrong to do so, either, since a democratic socialist set-up where people have direct and open feedback and the ability to vote the people running it out of power is something quite different from an authoritarian socialist regime like the Soviet Union or Warsaw Pact states. Of course, you could make an argument that widespread socialism makes a society more prone to authoritarianism. Perhaps Democracy with its multiple factions and power centers (polyarchy) requires economic decentralization and polyarchy as well, so that those in power can't readily use their control of the economy to suppress rivals and build up too powerful patronage networks (sort of like what happened with the governing party under Chavez in Venezuela after 2005). But that can be contrasted with countries like Postwar France and Sweden, where the government owned vast swathes of the economy and was a major share of investment spending (but even still that was embedded in a market economy and broader international regime).
  3. Summer Bass

    Tolkien 2.0

    I'm not talking about the Valar, who are clearly well beyond any sort of direct "save-the-day" intervention by the Third Age. It's implied that Illuvatar is nudging and tweaking events to get certain outcomes through the story, like the Ring slipping from Gollum's grasp just in time for Bilbo to find it, or Gollum slipping and falling into the Cracks of Doom. It's why I don't think Sauron was going to get the Ring back in the Third Age, although I suppose that doesn't rule out him destroying Gondor like the northern kingdoms were destroyed by Angmar. Tolkien seemed to think so. In Letter 246, he said outright that Gandalf winning the Ring would be much worse than Sauron for that reason.
  4. That's not quite right. Cuba had relatively high income per capita in Latin America and greatly improving literacy and medical access in the 1950s, although there was a big rural-urban divide on it. There's a really good Jacobin essay on Cuba (given that it's Jacobin, it's fair to say they're not going to have a conservative bias against it or against socialism): Here's a longer critique of the gains in health care and literacy that Communist Cuba has made (it also makes an interesting point about how heavily dependent on Soviet subsidies Cuba was from the 1970s onward - when the Soviet Union fell, it caused an absolutely devastating economic crisis in the country). I will give them credit for bridging the urban-rural divide. Rural poverty and under-development wasn't just a problem in Cuba - before the FDR era agricultural programs and rural electrification, many US farmers were essentially living in a different century from their urban counterparts. Worldwide, doing heavy land reform was often a valuable step towards greater economic development (see South Korea, Japan, and the effort in Guatemala that was aborted by a US coup in the 1950s).
  5. Summer Bass

    Denis Villenueve to direct Dune

    Let me third casting McLachlan as Leto Atreides. I've also thought Liam Cunningham could make a good Gurney Halleck. Chalamet's a good choice for Paul. He even kind of looks like McLachlan - io9 did a side-by-side picture of them. They should do a totally odd casting choice for Feyd-Rautha, like casting Sting for it for the 1984 film.
  6. Summer Bass

    Tolkien 2.0

    I tend to think that Sauron couldn't really "win" in the Third Age, because Illuvatar was putting his hand on the metaphorical scales. It was either going to be that they chose to try and destroy the Ring, or one of the powerful would have claimed it and used its power to push the day of reckoning off even further for both Elves and Sauron. If Galadriel took the Ring, Elrond, Gandalf, Aragorn, and Saruman would be severely dismayed. But at first it would probably seem great - she'd use its power to amplify her own, raise an army, and crush Sauron once more (although he can't be permanently destroyed with the Ring intact). The Lothlorien Elves would thrive (assuming Gollum or one of the Elves doesn't commit a Thingol-esque murder to steal it), Gondor would probably be rebuilt in power, and so forth. The sourness would come later, as she became increasingly arrogant and unwilling to tolerate change or the passage of time (she's used her existing ring to effectively change its flow and power within Lothlorien).
  7. Summer Bass

    More Things Star Wars

    I really hope Keri Russell wasn't cast to be Rey's mother.
  8. Summer Bass

    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Spoiler Thread

    I figured Maisie was a clone the instant they said that she looked "just like her mother". Honestly, it seems like that would be a much more common thing in that world (where the cloning technology is incredibly sophisticated and developed), whether or not it was legal.
  9. Summer Bass

    U. S Politics: I know why the caged babe screams.

    What I've heard from Rhode Islanders is that the State Democratic Party has been dominant for so long that it's totally meaningless - anyone who wants political office goes into the Democratic Party machine, so you end up with a state party that often has really shitty politics and shitty people in charge. They honestly deserve to have folks form a new party and challenge them from the left.
  10. Summer Bass

    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Spoiler Thread

    Jurassic World was annoyingly stupid. Fallen Kingdom is entertainingly stupid - you can be amused at the stupidity of it, while enjoying the well-executed action scenes. I knew what movie I was getting when we find out that the pen for that Mosasaur (the giant water carnivore) has a giant slow-opening-and-closing-gate to the outside ocean (it was a great scene, too). And I do mean stupid. As in, this movie acts as though if the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar die there will be No More Dinos!/Extinct Again, even though they could just make more of them - they have the technology. Also, the ending is pretty hilarious - "Oh no, a small number of mostly giant multi-ton animals escaped in the Pacific Northwest! However will we find such gigantic, obvious beasts? Jurassic World is upon us!". I did not care for the Goldblum cameo. Malcolm's character has always felt weird in these films, because in the Jurassic Park novel he was the Crichton surrogate who pointed out all the potential complexity problems inherent in the park, and he ended up being right mostly because it was a rushed, poorly designed park due to Hammond being a bit of a bastard. But Spielberg liked Hammond, so that latter part gets downplayed and Malcolm becomes a Prophet of Doom whom the narrative conveniently validates over and over again for no particular reason. Also, I think these movies must have a list of stuff they are required to cover for nostalgia pandering. "You must have a T-Rex roar scene! You must have a scene where our characters are awed by a big dinosaur!"
  11. Summer Bass

    Westworld VIII: Forging On

    Maeve's storyline this season was very much felt like a "it's not the destination, but the journey". Her storyline was the most entertaining and enjoyable to watch, even if the ending of it was a little meh.
  12. Summer Bass

    Westworld VIII: Forging On

    I've been thinking about Dolores' storyline, and I've come to believe that it was a mistake to give her all kinds of cryptic, "I remember everything" knowledge that she then had to keep secret from everyone around her for the sake of the mystery. It turned her into little more than a plot device for most of the season. Dolores would have been much more interesting character-wise (and going into the third season in the outside world) if she didn't have a ton of cryptic knowledge. If, for example, she only had a handful of memories of the outside world, her memories in the park, and some impression from Ford that she needs to destroy the Cradle and will find "answers"/"escape"/"a weapon"/etc at the Forge. The end is good - I like that Dolores finds out the "escape" is "uploading to a paradisical simulated world" and reacts with anger and dismay - but it would have been even better if there had been confusion and fear on her part as well. If she really was stepping out into a whole new world at the end of Season Two with little knowledge or idea of what it will hold for her, Bernard, and the other hosts she brought with her.
  13. Summer Bass

    U.S. Politics: Hey! Teachers! Leave Them Kids Alone

    I doubt it. The folks driving the anti-choice animus within the Republican Party only compromise tactically - they want a total abortion ban in the US, and Republicans have brought up national level abortion restrictions before. They're not going to settle permanently for "only" having abortion being legal in "blue" states, and I strongly suspect support for a national abortion ban would become mandatory for surviving a primary for any congressional Republicans aside from a handful of moderates in New England.
  14. Summer Bass

    U.S. Politics: Hey! Teachers! Leave Them Kids Alone

    Not really. Even in the most staunchly anti-choice states, there have been at least one clinic left that provides abortions. Now that will be gone, and legal abortion will disappear from the entire South and much of the heartland.
  15. Summer Bass

    U.S. Politics: Hey! Teachers! Leave Them Kids Alone

    Time for some Court-packing by the Democrats if they win back unified control in 2020, unless they win back the Senate in November and Clarence Thomas promptly drops dead. I feel like the full, sickening weight of this hasn't hit me emotionally yet. Roe is dead - sometime in the next week or two, one of the Republican-dominated states will pass a broad ban on abortion and let it rise up through the federal courts to the Supreme Court, just in time for Kennedy's replacement to provide the 5th vote on striking down women's right to an abortion sometime next year. At that point abortion only becomes available if you're lucky enough to either live in a "blue" state or have the money to go there, and you can bet a Roe strikedown will be followed by Republican bills for a national abortion ban if they control either chamber of congress. There's an even worse scenario, although I don't think it will happen. The Court could find that abortion violates the Equal Protection Clause, essentially saying it's unconstitutional altogether.