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26 July 2003 @ 05:33 pm
saturday, subject line  
A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy is the smartest thing I've read in a long time, and it's written in amazingly simple language (there's a trick to that somewhere). Everyone should read it, like a good story, because it's all about how online groups work, and about how online democracy really doesn't. I have a feeling I'll be thinking about that one for a long time to come. And reading this makes me finally feel able to say: yes, there probably are secret fandom cabals, and maybe that's okay.

herself_nyc pointed that link out.

Elsewhere, someone posted the URL for bull-ball products, and in consequence I am somewhat traumatized. Especially by the image of the little boy with the sheriff's star and the dangling blue ball sac.

Meanwhile in real life, I forgot to be social and lay on my couch for a few hours watching TV. I was one second away from clicking on a tape of something or other, but then I realized "The Bodyguard" was on. I hadn't seen that in years and I wanted to know how it held up. Answer: greatness. I love that movie. It transcends its Kevin Costner meets Whitney Houston factor, and it's just the best thing ever. I love that they don't flinch from making Costner's character an obviously Republican, buttoned-up clam of a guy, more than a bit of a prick. And of course Whitney is the diva. In other story contexts you wouldn't care about them much at all. But the coolness of a story can be measured by how deeply it drops you in other people's lives for a while and how well it makes you like it. The shot of Costner at the end, standing on the stage, folded almost out of sight behind the important people, rendered invisible again--in summary, he's boring. Except for the preceding two hours, where he got to rub shoulders with stars and exercise sexy competence and play with swords, etc.

I'd forgotten that great kitchen scene where he unflappably beats down the security guy over and over again without saying a word, eating a peach the entire time, and then when the guy pulls a knife, Costner just turns and stares at him in disbelief and flicks his own knife across the kitchen to embed it by his head, and then says, "I don't want to talk about this again."

Earlier, I watched the second half of "Longtime Companion," which I'd somehow managed never to see before, and I cried so much that I couldn't really breathe. Kind of a dumb state to get into on a Saturday afternoon.

What to do with myself, I don't know.
herself_nyc on July 26th, 2003 06:11 pm (UTC)
Glad you dug that article (or speech transcript, really).

And you've made me curious about this movie so I just set the TiVo to get the next showing.
Angela: sweetx fathom5angeyja on July 26th, 2003 08:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link.
Joanna K. Blaiddjkb on July 26th, 2003 09:01 pm (UTC)
Fascinating article; I'm glad you posted it. And yeah, what he says about how groups tend to cluster around the more paranoid people who can identify enemies -- that explains a few things that go on in fandom, for sure.
herself_nyc on July 27th, 2003 05:48 pm (UTC)
Just watched "The Bodyguard." Enjoyed thoroughly. What a great piece of crap.

Wondering why Houston has been in so few movies. Perhaps due to her drug use? Is that only a rumor? She was quite adequate.

Costner continues to befuddle me with his complete lack of attractiveness.
undeadjournal on July 27th, 2003 06:28 pm (UTC)
I found A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy absolutely fascinating too. It was full of things that I'd realised by, let's not say "bitter experience", let's just say "experience", but never quite put into words.

The two fundamental points for me were:
  • that you couldn't separate the tech and the culture, that administration of one always shaded into moral choices about the other, and
  • that barriers to entry and/or implementations of Karma were good; despite some people's reluctance, they actually make online communities more open and less prone to victimisation, despite the appearance to the contrary

I wish that article had been around a couple of years ago.
twistedchick on July 29th, 2003 06:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for the link to the article -- I'm sending it to a lot of friends who aren't online much because it does a good job of describing situations they deal with at work.

Wasn't "The Bodyguard" written for Steve McQueen (and then rejected by him so it sat around for years before Costner found it)? If so, no wonder Costner was such a lump in it; McQueen wasn't necessarily noted for vast ranges of OTT emotional expression.