The Birdcage

Saturday, 13 June, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The Birdcagei ended up on the watchlist because of Nathan Lane, but started very dangerously : with Robin Williams' stupid name on the screen and a black woman's voice whining "we-are-fa-mi-ly".ii "Gay interest" is a misnomer, it should have been labeled "retard interest".

Nevertheless, the film's actually pretty good. It does manage to poke some very... motherly, protective, loving fun and the ample idiocy of people who are very very stupid not because they are homosexuals, but because they are very, very stupid.

Homosexuality provides an easy cover, for people who are intelligent enough to understand the football jersey problem discussed in the second note, but lazy enough to want a simple solution and cowardly enough to not want the correct solution - which does require their treating their own life as so much nothing. So they tear out the football jerseys and go around in skirts, because now totally they're in good physical shape and the team won. Right ?

The exact mores and fashions of how that skirt should be worn by people too nonconformist to conform to the jersey culture have changed in the ensuing twenty years, and so there's a lot of material in here that'd make the good Всесою́зная пионе́рская of the all-skirts movement cringe today. They add considerably to the humor of the piece.

  1. 1996, by Mike Nichols, with Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane. []
  2. Yes, yes, I am aware some people draw breath in caves and crevices here and there that imagine "liberalism" is a thing and California a cultural capital and so on and so forth. The tendency of idiots to flatter themselves with the pretense that what they know is what there is knows no bounds of any kind.

    Speaking of which, a slavegirl recently annoyed me with her reddit-powered outlook, and so I banned her not just from any and all social media, but also from any further reading or producing as much as a single word in her native English, with the ancillary that if her mother wants to talk to her again, said mother'd better learn Spanish. It only lasted a coupla of hours, during which she flayed hands a lot and cried very little, trying to mesh together Spanish, Romanian and indeed very little French into some sort of usable tool. We did, through my even, endless and undying patience arrive at the very valuable result that

    "I don't know whether I don't understand the words or what you're saying."
    "Neither do you in English. The mistaken impression that you understand the language powers the delusional impression that you actually understand what's being said. In reality, your brain's the same throughout, this and that."

    The exact same applies to you, incidentally. You think that if you recognise the tropes you are part of a culture, which is not unlike imagining that if you recognise football jerseys you're in good physical shape and the team in question won. Neither follows, in fact, and generally speaking neither is true. []

Category: Trilematograf
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2 Responses

  1. "In reality, your brain's the same through, this and that."

    Does this mean that if my thinking is unchanged after reading, or hearing something, whatever was read or heard has not been understood?

    "Neither do you in English."

    Does this imply a difference between a language absorbed in childhood, and one learned as an adult? Seems I could easily learn another language as an adult and just map from the new language to the old which ... points to nothing.

    What is the missing step that leads to understanding? Is it the recognition that meaning is independent of the particular form language takes?

    If I want to be in good physical shape, I work out. If I want to understand what I'm reading/hearing I ... do what?

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 13 June 2015

    > Does this mean

    No, it just means that her brain that couldn't express itself out of English is the same brain that can't express itself in English, either.

    > Does this imply

    The difference between the language "absorbed in childhood" and a language one actually knows is the same as the difference between religion "absorbed in childhood" and one's actual value system. The notion that one "knows" a language by virtue of having heard it a lot during their first few years is not unlike the notion that a little girl who grew up in a brothel is ipso facto a whore (a notion, incidentally, maintained throughout the vast majority of history by the vast majority of people).

    > I ... do what?

    Deconstruct and reconstruct. You know that you understand how a watch works when a) you can take apart any watch and put it back together so it creates the same watch you started with and b) you can, presented with a pile of items, either select the parts of a watch, create the parts of a watch or explain why neither is possible. Similarly, you know your brain is working when you can express yourself in any arbitrary system equally well.

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