Catfish is a movie about a guy who has a facebook relationship with a woman, and then goes to meet her and discovers... should I say "spoilers below?"
Spoil what? "The twist ending!" What twist? Darth Vader is Luke's father is a twist, Katherine Heigli is annoying is not a twist, it's a premise. Saying there is a twist ending is a vicious restructuring of the definitions of "twist" and "is."
"You'll never believe what happens..." Yes you will.ii Exactly what you think happens, happens. The real mystery is why he never thought this would happen.
But you should see the movie anyway.iii
Cue trailer: [removed]
Not a twist: Uber-hott 19 yo Megan isn't really uber-hott, 19, or Megan. Huh. The only thing you don't know is if when he looks in that garage he sees Chthulu eating fetuses, or nothing. Twist: nothing.
But you're not watching this movie for the twist. This is, surprisingly, a movie you can watch a dozen times for reasons different than the critics noted.iv Here's the plot: Nev gets drawn into [an] online relationship with a really hot 19 year old. Nine (9) months later begins to suspect something is not right, and so he drives the surviving members of REMv up to her Michigan farm to get to the truth.vi
The truth is that "Megan" is really "Angela": a middle age, middle America homely housewife with a facebook account. What does it all mean? Cue obligatory "on the internet, no one knows you're a dog."
But what's most interesting about Catfish isn't that the Internet allowed a smart filmmaker to be bamboozled for months by a make-believe Michigan family. It's that the Internet allowed him to figure it out, track them down and make a movie about it.
Funny, that's not what I thought was interesting. Maybe it was the subtitles, but the Korean bootleg I saw was about three megalomaniacs who actually believed it was completely ok to go a woman's house in the middle of the night, unannounced.
Don't be sucked in by the perspective, which in the movie is all theirs. Pretend you're the coroner: two people are reading the other's potentially unreliable online information, and one of them starts driving towards the other. Is that the version you saw in the theater? That's the real plot of the movie, and when you're able to see it like that you see that the true problem of online contact isn't what's posted online but who is reading. If a murderer posts a fake bikini facebook photo, and you show up at his house with suntan oil and a inflated expectations, you're the problem.viii
The problem of perspective is the true caution of the movie, missed by everyone. We value Nev's perspective more because he made the movie, but also because it features (not just uses) cameras, Google Maps, all of which are signals of neutrality, objectivityix. If someone else made the movie about him and these events, you'd be aware of his insanity immediately. But by cleverly making the movie a POV, you're drawn into seeing things only his way.x
Even the above Gawker critic couldn't not see it from Nev's perspective.xi Of course the woman lied to him, but didn't he then turn and force himself into her real life only to make a movie? Isn't that worse? Make no mistake, this is a documentary of narcissism supported by the Apple catalogxii. If there was any movie that exemplified "a narcissist is one who sees himself as the main character in his own movie, and everyone else is merely supporting cast," it's Catfish. At one point he's frustrated by how his director-brother is pushing him to continue in the movie, and he says angrily but with no irony, "yeah, but this is about my life, okay?" Okay, wildman, settle down, we got it, it's your life, not hers.
Here's the first clue you're in the presence of delusionality: at no point do any of these three ask the most basic and obvious question, why would this chick be interested in Nev? This isn't an insult, this is a legit query. Why would she want him? We understand why he would want her, but for the nine months of the movie, he has no sex with any other woman. "Well we can't all be as smooth as you." I sympathize, but you're missing the point: no one else who can see him wants him, but she does? That doesn't require some self-reflection?xiii
"He charmed her." Slow down. "Megan" probably has had some experience being charmed, right?xiv At one point, she texts that she's baking a pie, "I'll save you a piece." Guess what he does with that. No, you'll never guess.xv Comedy gold. This guy delivers the obvious like he's writing for Daniel Tosh.xvi
There is an absence of self-awareness coupled with an overflow of self-absorption. "Of course me!"xvii
Put this in the reverse: at the end, when he discovers that he's been talking to a homely midwest mom, his friends explain that the mom is probably in love with him -- implying that of course a fat midwestern mom would fall for [a] dashing New York sophisticate.xviii That makes total sense. Even when they know that Megan must be an [impostor]xix, it never occurs to them that whoever the woman actually is might take one look at Nev and say, "hold on, you can't be the guy... is this a radio bit?"
The problem of this movie -- which perfectly encapsulates the most basic problem with America -- is that it doesn't occur to the audience either. We'vexx tricked ourselves into thinking that it's a completely expected that people will see us the way we want to be seen.xxi And so any divergences from this must be quite obviously mean the other person is a jerk.
An example. Let's review some basic facts about Nev because he considers them important enough to put in his movie. First, he wears a retainer. I know, I know, it's not cosmetic, it's for TMJ. Second, he spends an awful lot of time hanging out in his bed in nothing but his briefs, which only look like Spiderman Underoos because they are red. They're not Underoos. They're just red.
He loves the feel of a fluffy down comforter on his naked skin, that much is obvious.
See that pic, above, where he's sneaking up the dark driveway to peer into the garage of the mystery family that for all he knows could be cannibals?xxii He's barefoot. When he's thinking about the malleability of identity he likes to stick his hand down his pants. In fact, what he likes on his body even more than a down comforter is his hands -- he is constantly touching, rubbing, hugging his own body. I can say with complete certainty that this guy pees sitting down and still gets the seat wet. And you know how some guys think it's sexy when a girl has a tattoo of a sun or wings on their tailbone? Well, Nev likes them so much he has one on his tailbone. I'm sure there's a funny story behind that, but I can assure you it's irrelevant.
So? So my reaction to all this was that Nev was utterly, genuinely, hateable, somewhere on the level of a Snookie or a David Hasselhoff or the Asian chick on Grey's Anatomy. He smiles like a Scientologist, he's monumentally passive aggressive-- I hated this guy. Hold on -- I realize that my own natural self-loathing hovers around an unhealthy 105%, hence the rum, but the point is that Nev -- as portrayed in this movie -- would never imagine that he generates this reaction in anyone. He probably can imagine people not liking the movie, but why would anyone hate him? It's inconceivable!
One final example. Angela lives with two severely retarded children. They are stepsons; this is the life she chose. Through tears, she tells Nev that when she got married, she knew she'd be making some sacrifices, but she didn't realize that in fact she'd be "resigning from her own life."xxiii
So, she's telling him this because she wants some affirmation, not because she wants him to fix it. How could he? But Nev doesn't hesitate to repeat all of this to the husband during his interview. "You know, Angela told me that she feels like she gave up a lot..." There are two possibilities. One is that Nev thought he was so much more intelligent and empathic and nuanced than this stupid hick -- never mind that he's been able to support a very pretty and well maintained home, and everyone in there seems happy, keeps all their needs and a decade long marriage intact -- that aside, Douchekata figures he can Dr. Phil a decade long wound in their marriage with nine seconds of HD footage. The second possibility is that he didn't even want to do that, he just wanted to split the wound open because he needed the shot.xxiv I'm not sure which is worse, but I hated him just in case it was both.
Go another way: so Angela lied to them about her identity. So what? Who says they were entitled to the truth?
When they arrive at Megan/Angela's house and meet everyone they are on edge, what's going on here, none of this seems like Facebook? The family, especially the husband, is very friendly and cordialxxv, but it could have gone the other way: what kind of nuts are these? He traveled all this way to meet a girl? That makes it normal? "We want answers." You better keep your hands where I can see them. And why does Nev expect others to assume he is trustworthy? Because of what he wrote about himself on facebook? Haven't we established that that stuff is unreliable?xxvi
Well, let's look at his facebook, then: he's cut out a picture of her, naked, and put it onto a picture of himself, naked. You know who does that? People who narrate their reality.xxvii
"It rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose [again]." This photo creeps me out so much I had to stop drinking. Yeah. On the drive to her house, shouldn't he have to call the Michigan police and register, or something?
It cannot occur to them that what they are doing is wrong because it isn't wrong -- there are no Right and Wrongs, there are only his right and wrongs. They have a need to know, they want to meet her, so it's all ok. The movie trailer plays like a horror movie, yet they don't feel any fear at all, which is weird, right?xxviii You know Megan isn't Megan and you know you're wearing red underwear, shouldn't you bring backup or something?xxix As bad, neither do they worry that someone might be scared of three strange men in the dark. Look up at that picture. Why should anyone trust them? If you come at me and say, "hey, are you the guy who writes The Last Psychiatrist?" then you better come at me strong because I will take you down.xxx
The critics will deftly signal without spoiling that this isn't really a horror movie. Let me correct that right now: it is absolutely a horror movie. Fortunately for Angela, the psychopaths just happen to be pussies.xxxi
There is a line, and that line is online. The agreement we've all accepted, it is there in your ISP contract, is that we are willing to trade exhibitionism/voyeurism for greater respect in real life. Or, less privacy online for more privacy offline. The girl on facebook "agrees" to use a bikini profile pic because you agree not to stalk her, in fact, you agree not to mention it to her in person at all.xxxii That's the deal. If you say, "hey, I saw your pics on facebook and I wanted to meet you," she is allowed/encouraged to go Desert Shield on you. That's the deal.xxxiii
This is why huge corporations can't fire people based on what they did online.xxxiv "Well, we don't want that kind of person working here." They're all that kind of person, you're that kind of person, every one of us carries around multiple sha mes that would exclude us from society, let alone Walmart.xxxv It is information bias, just because you know she is a slut or he is a racist doesn't mean that everyone else isn't.xxxvi Why does so much of us have to be in the job? Jobs suck, we do them in spite of ourselves. Asking me to clean up my online profile because you want to pay me $11/hr is a bit much. Shut it.
It's the same deal that goes with sexy clothing. The contract is, you show a lot of cleavage, we don't stare.xxxvii That's the deal, not the reverse, not the "well she put it out there so I can stare." None of this is conscious, explicit, it's SOCIETY. When we start staring too much, they'll start covering up/getting private security. And society changes. It's a symbiosis that is always in flux, and this is where it stands 2010. Like it or not.xxxviii
"Well, sometimes they want you to stare at their breasts. How can you be sure it's not you they want? Easiest question in the world: if you're not sure, it's not you. She'll let you look obliquely because she doesn't have control over the velocity of light, but if you stare too long expect a manicured finger in your eye. That's the deal.
At the end of the movie, he reveals that Megan is actually Aimee Gonzales.
Note that he did all this because he thought she was real. Now that everyone in America knows she's real...xli
To be clear: I don't fault Nev et al for making a good movie about himselfxlii, I deeply fault all the critics (and audience members) for celebrating the wrong message. Only -- and I can't believe I'm about to say this -- a male dominated, female-as-commodity narcissistic perspective would think that the moral of the movie is that a man might get fooled.xliii The real moral is that some men will drive 300 miles just on the chance that you are hot. Imagine how far they'll go to kill you.xliv———
- Linked for keks. It's even current, dumb bitch's blogging doesn't even know why.
- No, rather : no you wouldn't. Just because masturbatory fiction's always "somehow" managing to hit the exact same groove doesn't mean anything about belief or believability. Pantsuit fiction always runs the exact same way just like otaku masturbatory fantasies always revolve around imagined "harems" ; or random consumerist retards "think they're the main actor in a tv show" (importantly : not a movie, nor a book, nor a sporting event).
This nevertheless means exactly nothing as far as what happens is concerned : poor teenagers bereft of social skills let alone social connections ain't gonna own a bunch of nubile young women. That's obviously never happening anywhere outside the feverish nit-addled brains in question, nor is it ever getting anywhere even close to happening. Where the fuck would they even put a dozen humans, in their three drawers in the single room they inhabit in the economy flat their parents own ? Gimme a break already.
Nor does the wank mean anything about belief in any possible sense. The fact that rando kid who's never left the house during the past six months masturbated to the same exact theme five trillion times more since you last saw him doesn't in fact add to the theme's believability. He's not more likely to have superpowers for having said it more times since the last time he didn't have them. The exact same goes for the pantsuit wankfiction, it doesn't either happen or become believable because they keep retelling it to each other. [↩]
- No fucking way, are you kidding me ?! You absolutely shouldn't see anything with that dumb cunt in it, what the fuck. [↩]
- All of which being related to drunkedness, I'm sure. [↩]
- The dig is exceptionally well placed ; that rickety band of Georgia hillbillies is probably the reason every late 90s/early 00s technically able pre-pantsuit was wearing the stupid tshirt of their producer and so on. You may think Jobs "invented" the look, but odds are he simply listened to the same bandstream. REM is very much the swansong of a generation ; that their continuator was a) complete white trash and b) shot himself after c) an unsuccessful "relationship" with a consummate dependopotamus is only fucking fitting. Kurt did the right thing, in it being the only possible thing. [↩]
- The sort of braindamage requisite in order to have some kind of a relationship a) with a teenager and b) remotely be so fucking important as for you to even notice boggles the fucking mind. I have, I suspect, about one full thousand such "relationships" ongoing at this very moment. I can't even produce an accurate count. What the fuck, I ain't driving anywhere for dumbo, and I mean anywhere as in "two blocks down", not as in to a different fucking state. What broken minds are these ?! [↩]
- gawker.com/5646558/catfish-and-the-death-of-online-anonymity [↩]
- And if he told you to jump down the well... [↩]
- Nope, they're not that. They're signs of Inca appartenance, is what they are, and you're trained to open wide like a good whore.
Nothing wrong with being a good whore, of course. But do yourself the courtesy of finding better owners. Whoring out for generations' worth of accreted stupidity is easily the worst thing you could be doing with yourself. [↩]
- Right ? [↩]
- Not a matter of "seeing" anything, the farmed chicken-jews aren't there to "see" anything. They pound pound pound the party line, which happens to be anti "anonymity online" for complicated reasons we won't go into here (but in summary : because being "anti" something that's nonsense in the first place (and harmful in all cases) they can drive the inept menalone into chasing nonsense thereby feeding the inca-support cycle). [↩]
- Quite exactly. Isn't it remarkable how close the manalone can get to anything without actually ever getting there ? [↩]
- Maybe he was "saving himself" for her, rite. [↩]
- Not really how this works, in my experience. But then again... [↩]
- A teen who can bake pies ? I never saw one outside of my own, where the fuck is this ? "Michigan, famous teen baked pies" ? In fairness I suppose that's pretty close to what "Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice" comes to, and besides, isn't their state bird the blue-eyed piebaker booby ? [↩]
- I had to look that up ; though I can't say the looking up improved anything. It did provide the tidbit whereby alt-Tucker Max Greg Giraldo attempted to provide legal support for his friend Jeffrey Ross, who was indicted for his trouble fighting some guy in the audience who produced a gun, only to have to plead ignorance before the judge and have the hearing rescheduled with real lawyers in attendance.
Oh, what's the matter, too much nonsense in layers ? Ok, let's restate. Jeffrey Ross is this wanna-be Rickles, who was performing one night. At that performance, a member of the audience produced a toy gun "that looked real". The Jeffrey Ross character attempted to wrest control of the gun from said member of the audience, and a scuffle ensued. The police arrested Jeffrey Ross, and charged him with whatever nonsense ("inciting a riot"), which then "got upgraded" to "a weapons violation" (none of these strings carry any meaning). His "friend"/acquaintance/fellow bum (they shared the floor sleeping in some older woman's basement as their sole basis of a relationship, exactly like ordinary junkies and the celebrated amir taakis / assorted "bitcoin conference" attendants of yore) Greg Giraldo offered to represent him pro bono (on the flimsy basis of being, exactly like Tucker Max, a "trained lawyer" who nevertheless "chose to be more creative" aka dropped out of school), but once confronted with the judge they discovered that they can't actually cut the mustard.
Not particularly interesting, huh ? What do you want, "stand-up comedians", an inconsequential subculture. Exactly like the MRA, except less funny. [↩]
- I don't even understand what the fuck that's supposed to mean. [↩]
- They put an apple up their butt and call it "sophironi"... [↩]
- No fucking idea why ESLtards keep mispelling impostor as "imposter", but it's fucking annoying. [↩]
- Yes, well, the audience of like five people who saw this dumb thing besides Ballas might've been self-selected in some manner. Dunno, just guessing here, on the firm basis of 99% of pre-selected films I screen failing to make it past 15 minutes in.
- No, it's not trickery, it's the only fundamental convention of the US v2.0. That's what the whole "culture" reduces to, that's what it even exists for : to try and enforce this weird situation where every dork's seen as what they want to be seen. That's the only public good the whole USG apparatus even still makes the faintest attempt at even resembling to be providing anymore. [↩]
- But this is directly speaking to the most of the problem : this ridiculous cock ornament's never been as much as punched in his entire if entirely pointless existence to date. And he should be. [↩]
- Her own life of what, supporting "Nev" ? [↩]
- Obviously, he's transparently tryna Michael Moore all over Michigan. This isn't to say "thus he's less retarded and not so insane as he appears". Rather it's to say the original model he's trying to emulate was actually just as utterly retarded and shamefully insane, all the way, 100%. There's no absolution through the passage of time, Michael Moore isn't "famous" or "part of the history" or whatever. He, exactly like every other pantsuit pustule befouling the timeline, is naught but THIS, an offensive moron with way too much idle time creating in his malfunctioning nitbrain the delusional impression of "having options". These don't leave behind history ; they leave behind garbage, mistakes waiting to be undone, they're just a lengthy list of nitwits and their segwits, no more. [↩]
- Nobody seriously imagined the footage wasn't staged. Did they ?! [↩]
- No, actually, we're belabouring to "establish" that unreliability is the exception, and "it has consequences", all in the forlorn hopes that it might prop imaginary "value" in a purely conventional scam. After all, who knows if the boatloads of cheap Chinese plastics would keep showing up if "the Chinese" stopped "believing" in Facebook ?! [↩]
- Also retarded bois. [↩]
- They're just dissociated to the superlative degree living in the zone requires. [↩]
- Now you understand why there's three of the clones about. [↩]
- Experimentally, this is not so. What he will do instead is cower behind bureaucratic minutia, a most R.E.M. behaviour altoghether.
But hey, as long as the olive t-shirt's worn, nobody's gonna ask about the red underwear, rite ? [↩]
- Not specifically "pussies", but yes, most psychopaths are about this dysfunctional, and therefore about this harmless. [↩]
- Ahahahaha wut! [↩]
- Stop making deals with yourself and looking at me to enforce them for you.
Do you see the REM yet ? "The deal", hurr. "That's the deal."
The reason this dumb cocksucker can't go out and matter is because he's made a deal don't you know! [↩]
- This is the problem with "deals", you end up on your own branch off reality, leaving everyone else wondering what the fuck nitwit will segwit quite to the degree. [↩]
- Mno. [↩]
- These aren't things to be, get the fuck over it, nobody ever "is a racist" other than through the need of some other dork to interact with reality in a (very)simplified manner. [↩]
- Keep at it, beta boi. I stare -- but then again, you're not me. [↩]
- I'll be sure to check for any updates with the stand-up comedy club of facts and matters. [↩]
- Dude get the fuck out, random apple fanboi broke nothing in his whole life. [↩]
- Did I recount any of the numerous stories... yeah, apparently I did. [↩]
- Who the fuck cares. Some derpy Oregon barrista pretending to "art", are you fucking kidding me ?!
- He's insane. Just, simply... fucked in the head. What the fuck. [↩]
- Society works the way society works because all the alternatives suck worse. Much, much worse. [↩]
- Out of a hundred drivers maybe nine will fuck you and ~0 will kill you. Also experimentally, cuz that's my advantage over this zek scienticitist : I don't imagine "what the results might come out as", "in context". [↩]