The City of Masks

 


imagine there was a special doorway for traveling to alternate realities, one through which we had just taken our first steps. although we have no way of being seen, heard, or felt by anyone within the new reality we are still able to travel unencumbered. in short order we discover that this world and it’s people are very much like us, their technology has adapted in such a way that when the internet was invented, it was somehow turned into a physical place the world’s people could travel to at any time, as long as they pressed a button they wore on a necklace. because the doorway allows us movement through this alternate world, we decide to visit this online metropolis for a time. it’s called the City of Masks.

the City of Masks is overwhelming and much larger than any place imaginable, but we see familiar patterns emerge which we understand. it looks and works a little bit like Second Life. districts and locales are kind of like protocol. advertisements exist everywhere and pop out of unexpected places, but they can be avoided through various means. everything is loud, especially the Youtube district, it’s various videos playing in endless buildings and walkways. websites are like streets and you can walk through any street you wish if you only say it’s name. one can even search unknown parts by visiting City Hall (called Google) and thumbing through their endless archives.

we see streets covered in rolling marquees and giant billboards, information for any language and any culture, packed with voices and information rolling in from giant screens. smaller voices hold court in little street halls and eagerly discuss what they hear and see, fighting with one another for control of the conversation

as our sojourn leads us to discover, this amazing city allows great freedom but proper navigation does require a bit of time. the City of Masks itself does not always require people to wear masks, but most chose to wear some form or another if street or building entry demands it, or when they wish to communicate with other citizens. we infer these coverings are a means of protection, a form of anonymity, for like our own internet this place is not always secured. this reality still uses money, and more than one street has been raided and it’s resident’s information robbed by clever thieves utilizing special masks which see through walls and, as if by magic, take every scrap they can. mostly people get their stolen wealth back, for the city has some laws to protect those fooled by unwary gatekeepers, but no one can ever recover their stolen information or wealth if the unwise hand things over to the unscrupulous through their own foolishness.

people can change their coverings and often prefer it depending on the streets they occasion. some use the same mask on more than one street, so they can be easily identified by those with which they communicate. the bind can look like whatever the wearer desires; the majority choose one which looks nothing like their face. bold people or those looking for romance often deck themselves in cover as thin as a veil, and so do those in friendly company. because the women here face obstacles similar to our native reality, they often favor disguises of a most manly or inscrutable nature. the famous, the powerful, and those who wish to be credited for what they create within the city streets often appear as they do in the corporeal world (though most touch their image up!) more than one person has lost a mask or two but the ever-helpful street keepers often remind their owners what they wear with a quick peek and a secret word, for city lanes rarely enjoy users to wear the same mask but for the blank white cover of a guest.

to those within, it’s very hard to tell who someone in the City of Masks really is without them volunteering you their real face. and even then it remains possible they are adopting multiple camouflage. but that doesn’t mean it’s always impossible to know someone from one lane to another. if an individual commits a crime, for instance, law enforcement can request information from street keepers and gate keepers about their owner and trace them back to their world. someone could possess a surprisingly individual style of design which is detectable no matter where they are, evident the minute they’re seen. perhaps a person decides to leave a copy of something on one street and then leaves another copy in a similar venue. say they make a confounding log of their travels or thoughts somewhere of great personality: the curious masses might travel from everywhere to see it and mimic what they’ve found for other places to enjoy. darker corners of the city trade in ill-gotten wares stolen without their owner’s knowledge. all to often the city is full of the exploited and the exploiters, or simply those who become unbalanced and release a thing which cannot be taken back. that is why masks are so valuable, and why they must be cared for as well as a face of flesh.

after a fashion, we observe there are subtle, unspoken rules governing masks and appearances. they are revered for offering their owners protection yet they seem to create as many problems as they solve, a double edged sword. the constructive nature of anonymity allows for some to unleash a darker aspect of their personalities, which they abuse to take advantage of other residents. right now the public seems split on just what should be done to control this matter (if anything). we ponder the parallels to our own universe.

if masked Phil met masked Mary on a street, and hated her so much after a fashion that he called her a “worthless cunt who he would kill” and ran off to press his button and return to reality, Phil would still be a rude jerk even if the street were empty and no one but masked Mary heard his remarks. it still happened even if there is not anything Mary can really do about it, because she had no idea who his reality was. but let’s say masked Mary was active elsewhere and tweeted the video of masked Phil to all her friends and followers along with an audio recording of his remarks (let’s assume she was famous for wearing a hidden camera at all times) to report in another street. although most would support her actions because Phil committed a crime with his threat, there are some who object. these people say Phil’s remarks weren’t really a threat because unmasked Phil didn’t say he would kill her: it was masked Phil who made that threat. the opposed argue masked Mary and Mary is in the wrong because by revealing Phil’s mask she could ruin his life, as it’s easy to find out who masked Phil is because of say, his street profile. these people want Mary to stay silent because even though she has proof Phil committed the crime and didn’t commit any herself by revealing the information from this incident, it is better everything remain unknown because there is a small chance Mary (or her mask) was making everything up, and call for doubt. although it can be argued skepticism is healthy, it is logically inconsistent to assert Mary or even masked Mary has a responsibility to protect Phil’s identity if he was willing to first compromise it himself by committing a crime he thought would never be reported.

let’s go down a different road in the city of masks and pretend we are wearing ones ourselves. this street is known for having a big wall of magic graffiti upon which anyone can paint and anyone can usually see what everyone else painted unless the artists chose to cover their work. artists must paint in only one color and no other artist has any way of using the same color. their choice of paint is like their signature, how artists are identified among each other in case they collaborate on a picture (and many do). one day, we find an artist painting pictures regarding various crimes he has committed in another city: a real city, a metropolis without masks. an intrepid denizen decides to find out what truth there could be to these crimes. she discovers quite a bit of information about the artist and believes he is who he says he is, and has committed the crimes he says he has. she let’s all the other artists know and temporarily logs off to inform real world authorities so they can investigate further. the police are happy she has brought such a matter to their attention. online she finds her fellow artists are less than impressed with her research. they see it as a free speech issue and not a safety issue, despite the fact the wall is being used incorrectly and that sort of art is not encouraged. a few of the head artists even take it upon themselves to accuse her of maligning them by calling attention to the artwork.

it occurs to us that this is not an isolated incident. the City of Masks is full of this type of thing. the City of Masks is becoming over run by trolls in every street, and rather than confront what can be done about it, if anything, most citizens seem to prefer to ignore what is a growing problem: crime. they question why victims don’t simply press their buttons and log off. they wonder what business it is of theirs what happens to someone else’s mask, and seem willfully oblivious to the fact it’s mostly female targets who seem to be affected. they don’t seem to grasp the simple fact their electronic online existence, though it might not be corporeal, is still part of reality. and it’s growing in scope and size by magnitude, it’s effects resonating wide. we ponder what the future will hold for this odd city should it continue to be so blaze about it’s future.

the doorway calls us, and we leave for our world. we face similar problems, and we have masks of our own to wear. and to remove.


last Saturday someone very vile unmasked himself to me, and i responded in kind.

/u/yasserkhan1, was active on Reddit, Facebook and local communities where he was similarly honest about his crimes against women. showing a predilection for victimizing women with rape and violent outbursts among a slew of other things like grand theft auto, cocaine use, (he claims he is recovered) and petty sales, he was very candid about his character (or lack thereof). at no point did he express remorse for his actions or any of his self-alleged victims. if he hasn’t been caught breaking bad it’s not for lack of trying: it’s because no one has tattled.

here is a record of his own recollections in his own words. it is not all of it; just the worst. it is heavily edited to remove personal information.

yasser

 

rapehit

theyass

swinger

 

so, i got my hands dirty: i verified who he was in real life and i reported him to the local police and a number of online communities he uses to perpetuate his dangerous behavior. even if he is reformed, his lack of remorse and his utilization of drugs and violence leads me to conclude his reformation has a long way to go. i did this to protect other women, because he travels often enough to know how leaving town can complicate investigations, and because he is of enough means to hamper even the most rock-solid accusation leveled against him. i took my time and made sure i had all the information i possibly could to assure a useful response to this matter. i did not doxx him: far from it. i responded to a dangerous individual who needed help.

on Reddit, my aim was to have his handle and IP banned for his disgusting behavior, and i went as far as to notify the mods of subreddits who he was and what he has claimed to do so they could identify him if he attended any events or meetups, and let their users know if they desired. on Facebook i hoped to have his account removed and reported. he has a business which houses people so i let the owners of that business know who he was and what he was capable of, not only for what he had admitted to do and might be capable of in the future, but because i found he broke their terms of service with a prior unreported arrest and conviction. i doubt anyone could fault me for reporting an admitted rapist and violent felon was operating a business which would give him ample access to travelers in need of housing. online venues exhausted, i finally packed up my laptop to go down to the police station to make a report through the official channels.

when people commit offenses like this and admit it, they are often looking to be caught. they are looking for a response and a punishment. it might be a cry for help. maybe this was the intervention he needed.

the response i garnered for seeking to make that intervention was mixed.


i am no stranger to how ignorant the internet can be to the parallels between real-life harms and online danger. if Project Dark Horse taught me anything it was that online trolls feel no remorse in undertaking actions which disturb the actual lives of their victims, meaning that if you which to respond you must be equally aware.

if you have the fortitude you must not shy away from unmasking yourself. trolls of all colors operate by anonymity so by putting your name and face on things as you take away a troll’s great weapon: their ability to threaten your real life identity. it also holds you to a higher standard; when one put’s their name on something it behooves them to be proud of whatever it may be.

i put my name on the reports i made about /u/yasserkhan1, because i believed in what i was doing and what i found out. it was a serious matter. it was not part of some greater online goal; this was an individual attempt to report a dangerous individual of means who was making himself a danger in the real world. i got in touch with the heads of the communities he frequented. some of them, from the convention circuit, were more than happy with what i had to say and what i had uncovered. they knew that by handing over my information directly to them, in addition to the police, i was showing respect for their leadership.

to the leadership of Facebook, to the heads of DragonCon and those of Burning Man and TomorrowLand communications, you  have my respect. no matter what happens, you saw a woman who was reaching out to you about a serious matter and you offered support. you treated me with dignity and kindness. you acted like human beings.

with the exception of all Burning Man related communities and subs, i cannot say the same for Reddit’s leadership, who treated me with dismissal and contempt. perhaps Burning Man subs knew something the others didn’t about the consequences of ignoring online abuse. keep in mind the people who dismissed me are all mods of large city subs who are, as of now, refusing to ban and/or warn their communities about an admitted, real life, unapologetic rapist using their communities to get in touch with people and connect in real life. i don’t know what /u/yasserkhan1’s intentions are, but if he’s capable of admitting to rape on the same handle he uses to meet and travel, he’s not one for discretion or judgement.

this what the individual mods had to say to my reports:

” If you have a specific comment within this subreddit that is of a threatening nature that you would like to report to us, then do so.

Reddit is not a law enforcement community and doxxing is never the answer. If you have a genuine, real-life safety concern then you should file a police report, or if you have already done so, then continue working with the police.”

note i did at no point “doxx” anyone: i reported a rapist, who more to the point, wasn’t apologetic about it and still using the communities they moderated to meet people in real life. he also admitted his rape victim was on Reddit as well and posted her user name. sure, maybe his rapin’ days are behind him. maybe he doesn’t do coke anymore and steal cars either. i’m not an idiot: i know there is jack-shit mods can do to prevent anything beyond a button. nor do they have an obligation to do so. but if you are in charge of a sub that an unapologetic rapist and not just some random troll is using to meet other people, wouldn’t you, say, want to know about it? warn other users when it comes up? attempt the bare minimum? it’s not that hard to be a decent person.

” Yeah, I’d say your best bet is to deal with law enforcement regarding this matter. I cannot ban someone based on posts that could be photoshop. If you have actual links to content where he explicity admits to commiting a crime then I will glaldy ban him.”

right, because i just go around photo-shopping rapists because… i don’t know. reasons. bonus points for the misspelled response; it really lets me know they care.

 ” You’re triggering me.”

i know this guy was being sarcastic, but it’s still a crappy thing to say.

as for the Reddit admins, they had this to add:

” Hi. This user has not broken an rules on the site that we can see. There is also no proof that he has done anything illegal.

As you have contacted the authorities we will be able to provide them with information through a subpoena. It is best to let their investigation decide if this user is a danger to others.

Thanks for the info.”

scary stuff, no?

at this point, i’d like to add: if you are a member Reddit’s Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, or Dragon Con communities, be wary of who you meet and where. especially with events, use caution.

look, i know Reddit cannot be the Internet police and go after every user. i know their are a lot of trolls, a lot of false reports, and a lot of shitty stuff they’ll never get to do anything about. but here is what could have been done:

1) the mods and or/the admins could have delivered polite responses to me and warned their communities about some less-than-savory elements within them.

2) the admins could have made an IP ban and a strong announcement rapists shouldn’t use the site to brag about their crimes and try to meet people on city subs.

3) literally anything but dismiss it.

instead, the majority chose to do nothing, so nothing will happen, yet again. rapists get to walk away without consequences, as they do most of the time. their victims get ignored and their advocates get shuffled away as rabble-rouses and trouble makers.

it’s often said Reddit is a shitty place for everyone. but it’s rare it can put anyone in actual danger. by enabling and allowing this person to operate within it, the front page of the internet is making it clear they will not take even the slightest step to protect their users. no one is asking for a mass overhaul of their business model, just the bare minimum from a business to protect it’s patrons. when someone is danger to women, they are obviously less of a business priority. banning a user and warning the community is as easy as a few letters and the press of a button, and they won’t even do that. i think i know why.

Reddit’s user base, and an unfortunate number of it’s moderators, are still operating under the delusion of the split-world. this is why they gave more care to the issue of my “doxxing” a rapist and abuser than they did to the fact he actually did it and admitted to it with his real name elsewhere. the split world allows that there is no evidence his mask committed any crimes, and therefore, he is not guilty.

there is a darker misogyny lurking beneath this assumption of innocence. because /u/yasserkhan1 named his rape victim’s Reddit handle you would think he allowed her to be harassed: random users could now inundate her account with questions and force her to relive her attack. he raped her, and then took away her power to report him. he compounded the attack with an online, but very real, humiliation. he created the dialogue and now /u/yasserkhan1 controls it. she has no recourse, even though he knew she might see it, and professed he didn’t care. i don’t intend to become her white knight or carry her burdens, but i am sorry i could not help his victim gain control. i am sorry i failed. it is too often rape, which is a crime of control, is treated like a case of “he said, she said.” even when it is a crime of “he said, he said,” it is still treated with contempt. all rape victims deserve more, and women online, who are more often subjects abuse disguised as trolling, deserve more.

if we keep drawing attention to cases of hate levied against real people, and remind everyone what happens online is not isolated from what happens in real life, we may achieve more legitimacy for victims of online abuse. until that day, the best we can do is take off our masks and make sure everyone knows real people are behind a screen, and behind a threat.


there is ray of hope to end this sordid tale: a few people in charge of Dragon Con and Burning Man thought what i said was credible enough to take action. i emailed them and i received loving responses. flipkey and travel advisor have yet to get back to me. although i don’t know what these groups will yet do about what information i have brought to them, i remain hopeful they’ll take it upon themselves to protect their communities. they have no obligation to do so, but i’d argue some moral obligations carry more weight than the bare minimum.

what happens online and “in real life” are not separate any longer and only a fool thinks of them as unrelated. the internet is not some distant universe: it’s a mass data aggregation and information delivery resource utilized everywhere. data is more freely accessible but it’s also more freely abused, so internet anonymity has given us the illusion our information and online actions are less personally traceable and therefore not always our own. given we’re all to some degree unreliable narrators, it’s understandable we’d create an unreliable narration as well, even inevitable. this duality doesn’t mean everything on the internet is a lie, it just means that every time you surf the web, there are more than a few grains of salt to take on the waves. you may see a facebook page from a mother holding a Kickstarter for her baby boy’s cancer treatments, and the odds are she is being truthful about her intent, yet you have good reason to verify her information. use caution in real life as online.

anonymity can kind of be like a mask for some people, like another face. oftentimes trolls and con artists perform actions on the net which they would never do under normal daily circumstances. this includes delivering threats anonymously or creating shocking content for the purpose of their own entertainment or to attempt to victimize another. sometimes trolls get personal and go so far as to illegally rip off data from others for their gain and enjoyment, or they lie to other users about who they are in life for a boon. it is rare to find a troll who tells the truth about themselves, for so many are paper tigers. if their actions could be traced back to their faces instead of their chosen personas, certainly there would be less trolls on the net, but there might also be a lot less honesty.

sometimes anonymity let’s us know who people really are. and who they are not, behind the mask, whether or not they choose to remove it.

rapey posts

 

 

the red pill, Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and the nature of film art

not cinematically content with only Atlas Shrugged: Part Two and that one pedo documentary on Netflix (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Are_All_Men_Pedophiles%3F) to while away the lonely nights, Red Pillers have found a new voice in film through Stanley Kubrick and one of his last unfinished films, Eyes Wide Shut.

so: could Kubrick, as they say, swallow such a big pill? if so, to what extent was Eyes Wide Shut a masterpiece of misogyny, if any? any part at all? in the whole of something larger perhaps, behind the camera? beyond ourselves?


kubrick1

dismiss those who claim they know well any one of Kubrick’s films without understanding the methods of creation. he was simple enough to reduce, because some people just demand perfection above all else. in our world as it is, all of us now gestate authenticity by the Internet, and it is quickly passed. Kubrick bore truths in crawl. no matter the price and inconvenience, no compromises. it is for us to judge the fruits his labors, but only a fool would call Kubrick anything less than a wholly committed artist dedicated to his designs, shining brightest from within.

be aware Eyes Wide Shut was not completed before Kubrick’s death, nor was it his last film. it’s a widely known fact Spielberg and the studio had to add sound work and make final edits after Kubrick’s passing, a mere six days after he released print to studio. a notoriously finicky editor, Kubrick’s contracts always stipulated he alone had rights to his final cuts of any release in an earned freedom unique to all but a few Hollywood directors. Spielberg would finish Kubrick’s last film, Artificial Intelligence, much less successful than Eyes Wide Shut but very alike in cinematography and in tone.

the man who is most known for pioneering film technique was not without his pitfalls. Steven King himself, writer of the novel The Shining, hated Kubrick’s adaption of his work. the famed author decried it’s cold, soulless tone. he noted Wendy’s lead portrayal was “shrill and misogynistic as anything put on film.” it takes manic dedication to out-creepy the literary master of horror, and King was allegedly dogged by many disturbing personal phone calls from Kubrick late into the night during primary filming:

(*ring ring*)

King: 3 am… ughh… hello?

Kubrick: DO YOU BELIEVE IN GOD AND GHOSTS? IN HELL, KING?!

(*…..click*)

weird
and though King did later produce his own TV adaption of The Shining, his vision would never reach the genius it takes to make a film a fair number of conspiracy theorists believe was Kubrick’s confession for faking the first moon landing

(http://one-vibration.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2127676%3ABlogPost%3A700730&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_post)

additionally, Kubrick filmed more than his share of racism in Full Metal Jacket, a unique piece on the morality of war which spawned the phrase “me love you long time.” the violence of 1971s A Clockwork Orange and it’s strong overtones of rape shocked studio reviewers and complicated release at a time when the Catholic Church itself promoted and endorsed Friedkin’s The Exorcist. if Kubrick was not a misogynist, a racist, or violence-obsessed, it’s at least fair to remark he didn’t do much to deflect criticism.

Kubrick was not interested in defending himself, his films or being PR friendly, seeming to prefer both be judged on merit. given that his works were received with initial mixed approval but later high acclaim, cagedness was perhaps the wisest approach. he was devoted to his visions but his attention to detail paid off in some of the highest cinematography. to capture candlelight in Barry Lyndon a special film lens set was crafted in a fantastically costly film move [which captured aperture precise enough for NASA to film the dark side of the moon.

(http://gizmodo.com/you-can-shoot-photos-with-stanley-kubricks-nasa-space-1029135087)

Kubrick fired his own actor choice for the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket after the sergeant coach ad-libbed scathing insults precise enough to frighten film crew and, in a noted departure from habit, the director further allowed Ermey to write improvised dialogue on-set in a bid for authenticity. the rights to Eyes Wide Shut and the novel upon which the film was based had been retained by Kubrick in the 60s, production being delayed and re shot for years before it’s 1999 release and far before Kidman and Cruise were cast. he won an Oscar for 2001: A Space Odyssey despite early criticism of the film’s impenetrable slowness and idiosyncratic tone. Kubrick worked and suffered, and sometimes, he made others suffer for masterpiece.

born

Kubrick was, by turns, working terror and an incisive helper depending on the clock and who was spared the wheel. although he maintained a life full of good relationships with his cameramen, sound editors, and technical professionals, his actors often found his perfectionism dark. Shelley Duvall’s long takes and altered dialogue placed her under so much stress during filming of The Shining her hair began to fall out and her weight plummeted from illness. perhaps in an homage to notable actress tyrant Hitchcock, Kubrick would later claim he tortured her mind in order to capture the broken, fearful woman his film required. as Duvall crumpled according to plan, authenticity taxed Nicholson who became manic and harassed over constant script takes as the alcoholic terror was born. to achieve Full Metal Jacket and it’s “degeneration into masterpiece,” Kubrick required his actors to wade into filthy, toxic, asbestos ridden buildings in clear breach of English law. he was not the easiest man to work with, but he allowed his daughter Vivian Kubrick to direct and follow him on-set for her own documentaries and was never a ghoul so much as an ardent lover of authenticity in capture at any cost.

genius has a price. given the evidence at hand Kubrick could seem a bit like Hemingway: misogynistic, harried, hard working, unkind, obtuse, and above all self-obsessed. indeed, was the price of Eyes Wide Shut Kubrick at his best, or his worst?


when Eyes Wide Shut was released in 1999, it’s creator was not alive for it’s debut to the world. he had passed months earlier and left a number of unfinished projects to his good friend and admirer Steven Spielberg, a foster father totally committed to art in his own right. so great was his own proxy commitment to Kubrick’s ideals he even kept the disastrous ending of Artificial Intelligence intact, an outlandish red herring which all but ensured mockery. these two men of renown are responsible for the film adaption of Dream Story, of Eyes Wide Shut, and everything it carried from it’s forefathers.

it hardly serves us, but if Kubrick had any wind how much sex, song, and story was cut out of Warner Bros. theater release of Eyes Wide Shut, it just would not have been. remember: Kubrick retained sole editing rights in perpetuity to every one of his films he could. for example, he went so far as to edit The Shining while it was in theaters, cutting out a hospital scene now absent at the end of the film. ending edits alone are not remarkable; even Kevin Smith altered the ending of Clerks in the final hour, whimsically struck by the notion axing off Dante in a pool of blood might not be feel-good comedy material. what made Eyes Wide Shut unique was it’s 400 day production length and the fact it was delivered by Kubrick unfinished. perhaps he knew he had little time for masterpiece.

ews

Eyes Wide Shut was called an erotic thriller, a horror, a piece of shit, a porn, but never just a movie. Kubrick kept a veil of secrecy around production, though he nevertheless expressed joy in work to the press. but privately his doubts became more candid:

R. Lee Ermey, an actor in Kubrick’s film Full Metal Jacket, claimed that Kubrick phoned him two weeks before his death to express his despondency over Eyes Wide Shut. “He told me it was a piece of shit”, Ermey said in Radar magazine, “and that he was disgusted with it and that the critics were going to ‘have him for lunch’. He said Cruise and Kidman had their way with him – exactly the words he used.”

[Filmdrunk, Radar.com]

whether or not his leads complicated shooting is beyond our scope. in any case, everyone living from family to studio rejected Ermey’s claim, although Ermey could not have possibly benefited from such a lie either financially or professionally (he would later be threatened with several lawsuits). Eyes Wide Shut is one of Kubrick’s lowest critically rated and publicly rated films, but because that means it has a 77% favorable rating rather than The Shining’s 94% numbers mean little. his sudden death assured the films financial success and widened publicity despite it’s unfinished state and any external tampering, which would later be undone by unrated DVD release. the film was a success and a credit to a glowing life of work and art.

i’m not going to break down or review Eyes Wide Shut; watch the damn thing yourself. if you must cliff it from Ebert.

(http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/eyes-wide-shut-1999)

but don’t tell me about it. his thriller received three and a half stars, received praise for “being an erotic daydream about missed opportunities and inflamed passion,” but lost points for what Ebert alleges was an altered ending and a digital, rather than literal, orgy. i largely side with this one:

” Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” is like an erotic daydream about chances missed and opportunities avoided. For its hero, who spends two nights wandering in the sexual underworld, it’s all foreplay. He never actually has sex, but he dances close, and holds his hand in the flame. Why does he do this? The easy answer is that his wife has made him jealous. Another possibility is that the story she tells inflames his rather torpid imagination.” 

that’s Ebert for you! as for The Red pill…

(http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/2b2gi9/stanley_kubricks_film_eyes_wide_shut_is_a_redpill/)

” I think Kubrick was trying to show how most relationships are born out of convenience instead of love. Alice doesn’t love Bill but she stays with him because of what he can provide for her. Bill doesn’t really love Alice because he doesn’t even know her. He has a very idealistic idea of who she is, but that doesn’t really ” I do remember the scene between Bill and the roomate [sic] at her shitty apartment. Bill does not respect that chick, behaves accordingly, and could have fucked her in mere minutes of meeting her. That was some stone cold game he was running, sheer unadulterated IDGAF.”

well, okay, he got rid of the hypergamy talk bullshit, but why is it all about Eve? wasn’t Bill the focus of most of the film? are we to blame Alice for her thoughts when Bill’s were much more corporeal? am i to extrapolate an unreliable narrator of Kubrick?

out of all the things Kubrick could have possibly intended for Eyes Wide Shut, we’re down to Barry Sue fanfic, a self-insert dating guide. i get the appeal of Tucker Max now: it’s like Twilight for dudebros! all the vicarious misogyny intact! grave, turn, nod.

the rest of that thread is all celebrity stuff and Scientology nonsense, but this guy made me laugh and he’ll make you laugh too. he also is very obviously out of his mind.

(http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/2b2gi9/stanley_kubricks_film_eyes_wide_shut_is_a_redpill/cj1ksh2)

louiefail

and if you can believe it, things get even worse for poor Kubrick: Cokey Bro revised his, er, screed, and now we have a new everyone to hate!

(http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/2b403g/my_thoughts_on_the_movie_eyes_wide_shut/)

” Eyes Wide Shut is The Red Pill…. in a pill. “

oh! what’s the future like? is food in pill form? are pills in food form?!

” While in women in relationships with alpha get to be turned on by this man who wants to fuck her (as opposed to the option of getting validated by a beta male). Women are totally aware of this! “

DUDE! YOU MUST CHILL! DUDE!

loyd

” The PERFECT relationship is the one who you both are in lets-fuck mode, and also dedicated to her and want to be in a relationship.”

(that reminds me, how is Tommy Wiseu these days?)

” Critiques of the movie: Tom Cruise was WAY too attractive, successful, intelligent to not turn on Nicole Kidman, who clearly had a high sexual libido. She would never flip on him.”

” women are like Florida housing markets plus Tom Cruise was too hot” does not constitute film analysis, but whatever, it’s not my brain.

art is in the eye of the beholder, but i don’t get Eyes Wide Shut being anything close to Red Pill, even in it’s own light. you can project yourself and your desires upon another character; that’s called porn. you can put value desires and ulterior motives upon a character; that’s projection. but: if you want to claim a film, and to claim an artists intent, you must be able to defend it beyond yourself.

this is a thing The Red Pill cannot do. i trust they want to claim Eyes Wide Shut, and with a little more inner work they might stand a chance of success of creating something that resembles a narrative. i’m not asking for James Joyce: a coherent thread of character motivations based on actions would suffice. but they don’t do, so… what the fuck can we do?!

welp, nothing. as it turns out, Kubrick’s narrative is strong enough to withstand even the most incomprehensible read. most Red Pill reviews seemed to indicate, after a bit of jargon, agreement with Kubrick’s intent: Eyes Wide Shut remains a film about “monogamous infidelity,” hidden desires, and the natures of desire which remain hidden within our waking eyes. if it took them a while to get there, we can at least take small comfort different paths can often lead to the same destination, especially when the path maker has the road well enough for anyone to follow.

Eyes Wide Shut is not “Red Pill” so much as it is Red Pill proof. it’s also feminism proof, Democrat proof, and fire proof. it’s simply too meaningful within itself to possibly be contained by any one ideal… especially a misogynist power fantasy. it’s enough that it’s itself. it should be so for everyone. it’s art.

the dread game angle is some bullshit though.


if Eyes Wide Shut wasn’t Red Pill, why even discuss the claim at any length? why discuss Kubrick as if he could be a part of a group of online misogynists over ten years from his death? what’s the point?

like it or not, the Red Pill missed the mark on Eyes Wide Shut: it’s not their art. the artist, though, might have more in common with their brand of philosophy. the Red Pill poses itself and it’s work and high vanity. as many fellow fans will agree, Kubrick seemed at his best when he was glorifying the darkest, least trustful aspects of human nature, and most TRPers seem to occupy a similar space. neither holds others in high regard. a Red Piller and an obsessed director here held the women in their lives under little regard, yet are compelled to think they alone might elevate them higher through abuse. if Shelley Duvall was immortalized at all, it was only her suffering which was captured, a fact Kubrick exploited and dismissed. if Red Pillers are racist, they can be at least comforted they have in their few years online not done near the damage Kubrick did in less than ten seconds when he directed a Vietnamese girl to say, “sucky sucky five dollah.” Kubrick’s last works were disappointments to him, finished by his friends and i’d suspect most of those who took The Red Pill might feel a similar burden of disappointment with their lives near the end. their similarities are exacerbated and paled before one large difference.

Kubrick worked. he suffered for his art, he made friends sometimes, and he let his work speak. he elevated what he made higher than himself, and if he lied and hurt and harmed, he damn well made sure it meant something in the end. he loved his daughter and granddaughter deeply, and i doubt he would have let them speak to him for a second about the alpha male “right” to “run game” on any of the women he did care about. i don’t agree with Kubrick’s methods but i respect that he didn’t seem to desire revenge.

i have never seen a Red Piller, let alone an MRA, come close to any expression or attempt true, artful creation. they make no case for giving to the world or others; they take for themselves when and while they can with relish. i have never seen a Red Pill discussion which didn’t devolve into nursed hatreds. i don’t what an MRA or Red Pill movie would like, nor do i know what their photography would look like: all i have is bad web comics and the glimmer of hope Futurism might make a comeback (a wild year will be spent discussing Marinetti before history comes full circle and everything of theirs regresses into Dadaism). come to think of it, the only way The Red Pill might be able to discuss art effectively would be if they actually made anything, but rightist art movements are very rare nowadays and the last thing we need is another Warhol.

if it sounds like i’ve been unfair to Kubrick, perhaps i have been less kind than some, yet it is not without regard that i consider him a product of his time. Full Metal Jacket was considered, in the eighties, to be a very scathing indictment of masculinity and Kubrick himself said he intended it criticize the patriarchy during war time. he’s still my favorite director, but he had many flaws, and the burden of his strict adherence to emotional realism makes a study in duality. if he collapsed under it at times, he was only one man, and it is with the highest love i honor his successes of film, cinematography, and art.

the day will come when The Red Pill passes through the world. the MRM with them will fall before long; their numbers are small now since the 90s even as a wounded animal shrinks dangerously into the corner to die. Kubrick’s works will outlast such a thing by centuries, maybe millenniums.

the world is not illuminated by hatred and easy answers but by truth, and hard work and through it we can make even the darkness shine. there will come a day when no woman will be told her pussy makes her life easier; that her virginity is a prize to be protected and seized, and if she is from a third world country and poor that her poverty is an ignorant virtue to be exploited by Western men. the sun will never fuel a day where Stanley Kubrick’s works are anything less than a part of our night, a duality of light and dark, ebbing torrents of blood through elevator doors and tides of the cleansing water below. our earth will be forever captivated in art’s orbit, and wonder what a director thought as he captured the romantic flicker of a flame between man and woman, knowing by the same device another unwraps Apollo’s celestial wife with great care and infinite love. and the sun feels no jealousy for his gaze is laid upon her white skin and the blue calm of her curious enamored alike, eyes wide open to their discoveries.

Kubrick waves from stars and moons and worlds beyond, and he shines.


the moon landing will come up in conversation time and again, and it might never be settled which tale is more compelling: the uplifting and true journey of man’s first voyage to the moon, or the Giovannian opera-lie of the great 20th century director who helped fool the whole world and confessed his sins within the very method he carved his artifice, exorcising his guilt through horror.

people not yet born will howl with laughter when they observe the recruits of Full Metal Jacket being eviscerated by Satan’s motivational coach, and feel their laughter die with a Vietnamese sniper on a dirty floor begging for death.

somewhere a film student watches Artificial Intelligence; she doesn’t care for the movie itself but admires the care with which Spielberg directed his great friend’s message. her young twins, however, seems positively delighted by the happy ending. the film student makes a note of this and vows to show them The Killing on their tenth birthday. they’ll try to watch Eyes Wide Shut with their friends at a time when she’s not around, but mostly they’re just bored with it, long since jaded from midnight Internet searches. they watch Pulp Fiction and come back to it years later.

a high school student sees Full Metal Jacket and wonders if he’s really cut out for service. he cringes when his friends joke about the Vietnamese flute player in band class. they don’t know where the reference came from. he shows them the film, and five dollar whores are humanized. the flutist wonders what made her bullies back off.

finally, on /r/TheRedPill, an angry young man is moved to watch
Eyes Wide Shut. he thinks Bill has everything, and he wants his life as bad as anything. he plans an orgy and he begins to wonder if his girlfriend has fantasies about anyone other than him. in bed, she admits to some hidden desires, and that night he tries his best to fulfill them. he feels powerful. in the morning he trusts her less, becoming possessed of misplaced aggression, and he asks himself why she hasn’t fulfilled all his desires in turn. he breaks up with her a week later to try playing the field, convinced of her emotional infidelity. he tells himself he’ll find a pure girl this time, one made only for his pleasure. but there are no virgins waiting for the sulking young college lad. he regresses further. later in life he’ll look upon this sulky life period with no little amount of bemused embarrassment, like an old acting role he gave up after learning how ill-suited he was to play the part.


the moon wanes to dawn, fully covered now, and she sleeps.

kubrick

a few notes

1) i know the comments are hard to see… my bad. i spent all day babysitting, sorting recycling, and working. it will be fixed tomorow (or if we’re all lucky, tonight!)

2) trolls get banhammered and also i don’t care about troll feels. go whine somewhere boring.

3) here i am with cute babby!

babby

 

 

a choice of capture

this is an excerpt from last saturday night, spent with the leaders and conference heads of a voice for men. activities were held at malone’s bar in warren, michigan and the courtyard marriot of warren. i got to the bar at 10 pm and the hotel at about midnight. all together i spent about five and a half hours as an unknown element among the very people who hated me without knowing my face. as of sunday morning, my features will be infamously recalled in detail. as i recall theirs.


 

honey badgers don't take too kindly to rogue feminists
honey badgers don’t take too kindly to rogue feminists

taken with a cheap Nexus 4 camera, the glare of a voice for men’s honey badger radio host is more honest than the distant, placed smile of her compatriot, with whom i shared a dessert. she would speak much throughout the evening yet address me only when silence would be regarded rude. she debated hotly with two male journalists beside me and, when Warren Farrell’s studies on masculinity were brought up, went so far as to explain peer review process as unnecessary for certain papers. when the modern pop hit “blurred lines” began to play over the radio at about eleven a friend from the table directly behind her, full of celebrating conference leaders, patted her on the back. smiling, she explained the consent-questioning song was a favorite of hers and was part of last night’s karaoke. it briefly felt as if i were in a rehearsed skit, as if my subjects were putting on a show for my entertainment, staging plays to see how i would react. i picked up my phone. i chose to capture the moment quickly, without the preparation or conceit of a better device, a glare and blue lighting jarring the moment into a distant slant of unexpected clarity.

 

" you have nice legs "
” you look like my daughter “

i took a seat beside an older gentleman, part of the gathering at the courtyard marriot in warren, michigan. the scotch flowed from a quickly depleting bottle of johnny walker red, adding a candid element to our gathering and my photography. i was engaged by the seatmate on my right. expressing great interest in my newly purchased panasonic camera, he demonstrated the usefulness of his own device to me in a manner odd enough for one to question the truthfulness of my account were it not for my photos. the table’s members turned to the sound of subtle clicks as he began to capture my legs, breasts, face, and midriff, sometimes in closeup but more often in wide angle. my admirer made sure to turn the camera to me after each shot, allowing me to observe his work and as the device burst, he spoke of my likeness to his daughter: we share age and state residence besides physical compare. the other members of the table didn’t seem to find anything about our exchange odd, and it continued for another half hour. access to this gathering was a unique privilege and soon i found my words complimenting his work. i pretended we were doing a documentary about one another, both capturing the other as a curiosity with devices of our own desire. his statement, “these photos will be great for later tonight,” further punctuated our contrasting designs for the night.


looking back upon the evening i am glad i saved it through multiple means. most fortuitously, a proper camera lent me an air of legitimacy and bond. my cell phone seemed to infantalize while allowing me to gain more candid material. both were needed to complete my work, to capture.

the whore of upper suburban detroit

wooo… okay, we officially have a website now, i guess.

i have been getting a lot of emails and updates, but i’m very happy to have this site up for the project at least.

a few things:

1) i don’t like using capitals. enough people are whining about it that i have decided to double down and not use them, ever, even for proper names. not using them is not some kind of laziness on my part: i am a big e.e.cummings fan. maybe when i get paid i’ll start. until then, this particular style choice stays.

2) calling me a whore on twitter is the perfect thing to embrace. i’m poly: in these here circles calling a woman a whore is a compliment. carry on, avfm; i’m a lady gaga fan too so fame whore sticks just fine as well. and every other misguided insult you want to sling.

3) i’ll be upgrading and adding the previous reddit posts on Dark Horse here too. give me time, people, give me time.

4) my buddies here in the collective are shaving a bunch of people’s heads to Dido and 90s music. i look like a boy with shaved hair, so i will not be participating in this activity, although i did sort recycling with everyone earlier, which was fun. also i look like a ten year old boy with short hair; not quite the look i am going for.

let’s get going, horses. Swore out.