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Author Topic: Things that make you go WTF? MkII  (Read 60253 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #325 on: April 17, 2016, 01:51:06 am »

Whitewashing galore, Scarlett Johansson cast as major Kusanagi in the upcoming live-action GitS. WTF ?!


Jesus Crispies! Voices from the past.  I like Scarlett, but not like that.  She's not right for the part.  And who of the younger ones even remembers Sgt.  Kusanagi?   I belong to the 1990s cyberpunk club of then original Manga by Masamune Shirow,  and the first Gits movie. I left that world a long time ago with Man Machine Interface,  and by the time Stand Alone Complex came out,  I was uninterested...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_Shell

https://seanloh.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/ghost-in-the-shell-1995/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scarlett-johansson-ghost-in-the-shell_us_571063a3e4b06f35cb6f2e70
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« Reply #326 on: April 17, 2016, 02:52:53 am »

Whitewashing galore, Scarlett Johansson cast as major Kusanagi in the upcoming live-action GitS. WTF ?!

Nothing against Scarlett Johansson, fine actress, but BLEURGGGGGGH.  What was the casting director thinking?

Ugh!
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« Reply #327 on: April 17, 2016, 03:33:11 am »

Exactly, I admire her greatly, but major Kusanagi she is not...
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« Reply #328 on: April 18, 2016, 12:17:27 am »

Exactly, I admire her greatly, but major Kusanagi she is not...

Then again, it's kind of hard to know what Major Kusanagi would look like. The mangas by Shirow were terribly idealized, with "GitS1" being very conventional in character design (similar to his design work in Appleseed), and "Gits2" having much prettier female characters, but even much more idealized.

I loved the "impossible" bob of Maj. Kusanagi, but who would have such a face? Should the character be Japanese ethnically? Or not since she's a cyborg anyway?





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« Reply #329 on: April 18, 2016, 02:00:55 am »

Oh no, not the "But Japanese cartoons don't look like Japanese people anyway" argument.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #330 on: April 18, 2016, 02:55:17 am »

Oh no, not the "But Japanese cartoons don't look like Japanese people anyway" argument.


That is not the case. Maj. Motoko Kusanagi is a full-body cyborg... And is supposed to have a "generic" artificial body. If I remember correctly that generic body was necessary in her line of work, to remain inconspicuous, as she was an undercover sniper and trained assassin working for Section 9, a covert government unit in Japan after WWIII.

Japan had many ethnicities by then, but most notably, by the mid 21st C, mankind had developed a taste for cyborg modifications. Masamune Shirow's idea for GitS was a post apocalyptic mid 21st C Japan where global ethnicities were just beginning to mix, but because of advances in cybernetics and nano-technology, you could look any way you liked.

Alas, inevitably, someone will raise the issue of styling in Japanese Manga.  Several factors are in play, such as Western Eurocentrism, Japanese self-idealization, historical Manga tradition, etc.

Self idealization and a Westernized self image is a phenomenon that happens in many countries and this inevitably washes into popular culture. In this case, you touch on the fact that Manga characters don't look Japanese and whether that leads some people to disrespect Japanese ethnicity /culture.  Is Scarlett Johansson a Eurocentric slap in the face?  Racially insensitive to the Japanese people?  Why do Japanese cartoon characters not look Japanese? Actually, it's a much more complex phenomenon (see spoiler):
 
WARNING: Intense socio ethnic analysis, below, which is at best, tangential to topic- read at your own discretion!

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

But I digress. Enough on advanced socio-ethnic psychology. The topic at hand is how to pick an actor who fits Maj. Kusanagi in Post WWIII Japan. Either way, Scarlett Johansson doesn't quite meet either ideal,  whether ethnically correct Japanese,  culturally idealized Japanese, or culturally incorrect Western.  Maj. Kusanagi has many faces, and none of them fit Scarlett.

What about the somewhat "masculine" Mokoto, such as in Mamoru Oshi's GitS movie? The style drawn was specifically chosen to fit Maj. Kusanagi's personality and artificial body. That was the most realistic character version of Kusanagi in the GitS franchise, in my opinion, save the actresses in the live action Japanese movie (who obviously is a real person).

Who would you pick to fill the role?

Scene from Mamoru Oshi's 1995 Ghost in the Shell. Note that Maj. Kusanagi, a full-body cyborg, has a fairly artificial looking face and has blue eyes, while her boss, Daisuke Aramaki, a full-human (see below) is drawn as ethnically Japanese... Oshi was particularly good at requesting Japanese looking characters in his movies. In GitS, those tended to be full human non-cyborgs because Masamune Shirow's story demanded that. However, Shirow, was somewhat, but not so specific in his drawing style - he was more traditional in his Manga style, including big eyes and baby faces.






« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 11:46:42 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #331 on: April 19, 2016, 08:03:50 am »

The fastest way to acquaint yourself with the story is to watch the 1995 GitS movie. I don't favour the Ghost in the Shell 2.0 movie, because it's a re-edit similar to what George Lucas did by changing the original Star Wars movie.  I hate it when directors keep messing with their masterpieces... it kind of shows psychological insecurity on the part of the director.

But one piece of advice: if you see the original 1995 Anime movie, then try to see the Japanese version with English subtitles if you can get it. The voices sound much more natural. I just saw the English-dubbed GitS movie (free at Hulu) and the English version sucks so badly, mostly because the voice actors seem to be reading it from a sheet like it was the first time they read the script. The volume is poorly modulated during the dubbing, messing with the beautiful background music.

Ghost in the Shell 1995 (Full movie, English dubbed)
http://www.hulu.com/watch/754866

If on the other hand you read Masamune Shirow's original manga (Japan 1989-90; US/UK 1995), then bravo!  That's the best source of information (All the other series/spinoffs such as "Stand Alone Complex" are based on sub-stories from the original manga, save for "Man-Machine Interface" which is actually the sequel to the story, after Maj. Kusanagi merges with the artificial life form "Project 2501."
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« Reply #332 on: April 21, 2016, 07:28:24 pm »

For those with a UK Netflix account - GitS can be found HERE (Hope I got the link right, if not just search for "ghost in" and it'll come up).  I haven't watched it yet, but have added it to my list - plus this has English audio.

I agree with all the above.  Scarlett Johansson is pretty hot (which is probably what Hollywood are relying on), but the role for a main character in a Japanese story would be better portrayed by a Japanese lady (and there are quire a few "hot" Japanese ladies too, so I don't see why they don't look outside of their "Hollywood box of actors / actresses").  This just reeks of Hollywood yet again taking someone else's story, and twisting it about to meet their needs, rather than trying to stick with the original plot / story.

(an old "WTF!" I have - also related to Hollywood messing things up...) The film U571 is a prime example of Hollywood twisting history about a British WW2 submarine capturing the Enigma machine, with one American crew member (the medic) ... It was twisted into an American submarine capturing it instead.  After many complaints, they put in a statement on the DVD release, which apparently only appears AFTER the credits to state that it was a British submarine, etc. (but I refused to watch the film, so can't say for sure - only know from those that did see the film on DVD).

My other WTF! for this post is...

Traffic Lights! - They're always green when you arn't in a rush, but red when you are!
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« Reply #333 on: May 07, 2016, 09:28:56 am »

Moving on to a different subject...

In light of the advances of in self driving vehicle technology, we are already talking about having sex in the car while the self driving car relieves us of the duty to pay attention to the road. Specifically and surprisingly, the mini-van, that emasculating 30-year old vehicle which shouts to the world you look more like Homer Simpson, is expected to be the new "sexy car." Oddly enough, David Gibson for BBC News, explains that the origin of the van as a sex-mobile can be traced to Mario Bellini's 1972 concept vehicle, the "Kar-A-Sutra,"  a veritable mobile greenhouse filled with bean bags for seats.

http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20160506-your-mother-drives-a-love-machine

Bellini said the car was designed for people to "stretch out, sleep, smile, chat face-to-face, stand up, enjoy the sun, take photos, play cards, eat and drink, make love, buy a horse and a piano along the way... Forerunning the future, the car becomes a MOBILE HUMAN SPACE." (Judging from promotional photos of the car, “frolicking with pansexual exhibitionist mimes” might also have made the list.)


For those with a UK Netflix account - GitS can be found HERE (Hope I got the link right, if not just search for "ghost in" and it'll come up).  I haven't watched it yet, but have added it to my list - plus this has English audio.


I downloaded the whole movie from a bit torrent site with dual audio track in English / Japanese+English subtitles. I do own an NTSC-format DVD and a VHS tape buried somewhere in a box in storage, and I ignore the state of either, so it was much easier to download it. I also own the original Manga in English which is well worth reading - again buried deep in cold storage, so I downloaded it from the net again (but I could only find it in Spanish). You can buy the manga in English for $15 at Amazon.

Since the movie was made so long ago in 1995, the 720p resolution is more than adequate IMHO - it turns out to be fairly small in size -great for the tablet. The manga looks great in the tablet as well. Good for reading while riding the bus (the way *true* manga is meant to be read - according to the Japanese  Grin - just joking)

I still think that Johansson is not right, but not due to ethnic reasons as everyone seems to be concerned about (with criticism mostly coming from young people in the West, who are not likely to have read the manga -remember it started publication in 1989!). According to the author's notes in first manga, Major Kusanagi was meant to be more of a generic-human artificial-looking person due to her artificial body replacement.

However, the person inside the brain case was meant to be Japanese, so Johansson would have to pull of a very good performance - I simply don't think she has the chops or the looks for it. Perhaps the choice happened because of her emotionless performance in the action movie "Lucy"

Without giving away any of the plot line, I can give you a background (most of this is in the author's notes):

In the original manga's notes it was simply stated that Kusanagi was a "La Femme Nikita" type of character who also was a 46 year old veteran of WWIII, but had lost her whole body (presumably in battle) so she looks young as a result of her artificial body. She avoids using identifiable or custom top of the line cyborg bodies, because she needs to keep her anonymity as she sometimes gets called to pull assassinations and undercover work.

Her boss, Aramaki, is much older than she is, and created the covert paramilitary unit called "Section 9" for the purpose of discovering and eradicating organized crime and foreign threats such as terrorism. Often times Aramaki's people end up discovering that instead of foreign threats, it is officials from the other branches of the Japanese government who are involved in dirty international business and cover-ups.

In the manga, the plot mostly takes place in the city of Kobe. In the 1995 animated movie it happens in the fictitious city of Newport, which is modeled after Hong Kong, to account for a post WWIII multi-cultural Japan, similar to the "Los Angeles" in Bladerunner, and it's assumed large parts of the city are inundated due to Global Warming - that was a contributing decision by the director of the movie, Mamoru Oshi. To me it seems that Oshi borrowed at least a couple of iconic scenes from Bladerunner... Watch carefully. One of those scenes in particular was also borrowed by the Wachowski brothers for The Matrix.

Yes. You read correctly. In a few scenes, Sir Run Run Shaw's direction of Bladerunner inspired Mamoru Oshi's direction in Ghost in the Shell, which in turn inspired the Wachowskis direction in The Matrix. Can you identify which scenes?  Grin This should be a trivia question.

Her main sidekick, a guy by the name of Batou, was also in the military with her and is about the same age, but he is only a partial cyborg, having only lost his arms some other parts of his body, and his eyesight, so he looks much older than she does. I wonder who will play Batou.

Older people are generally shown as not being cyborgs and tend to look Japanese, and sometimes Caucasian or any other race such as Arabic and African, as the role fits (manga).

This basically is the background setup for the plot.

In sequels to the first manga, it comes out that she was a child when she became paralyzed from the neck down, and that's the reason she became a full cyborg - but I think this second explanation breaks Shirow's WWIII timeline, as there simply isn't enough time for all those things to happen by 2029. Not unless we started developing fully cyborg bodies and artificial brains now and WWIII happened much closer to 2029 (I'm in my late 40s myself and it's already 2016!).  

But isn't that discrepancy normal in Sci Fi? For example look at what Blade Runner was predicting for 2015!



« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 11:25:08 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #334 on: May 12, 2016, 12:17:24 pm »

I agree with the dismay expressed by everyone else regarding the casting of Ms. Johansson in this role, but I doubt ethnicity even entered the equation in the decision. Hollywood is notoriously risk-averse, and to justify the expense of making what appears to be intended as a tent-pole movie they likely cast her due to her perceived marketability (in other words, to cash in on her current Avengers wave of popularity). In short, I suspect that getting butts into seats (especially teenage-through-young adult butts, and more especially males in that demographic, who are thought to be the group most likely to see the movie in theaters multiple times) was the motivation. Economic considerations trumped racial considerations in this instance, if I deduce correctly.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2016, 12:55:47 pm by GCCC » Logged
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« Reply #335 on: May 12, 2016, 12:23:35 pm »



I know this wasn't a unique experience, but it was the first time in my long years it's happened to me:  Preparing breakfast, I cracked open an egg and out came two yolks. Anyone know how often that happens, statistically?
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« Reply #336 on: May 12, 2016, 12:44:55 pm »



I know this wasn't a unique experience, but it was the first time in my long years it's happened to me:  Preparing breakfast, I cracked open an egg and out came two yolks. Anyone know how often that happens, statistically?


I don't know, but my dad had a chicken that seemed to prefer laying double yolk eggs...

Wtf for today: mom still insists I'm too fat for a corset
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« Reply #337 on: May 12, 2016, 01:01:39 pm »

...Wtf for today: mom still insists I'm too fat for a corset

Y'know, people tell me the same thing...  Wink

(But seriously, folks...)

Caledonian, if your icon is an accurate representation, you are well below the range of what I have personally witnessed and considered too big for corsets. Besides, a lot of more robust women seem to actually benefit from wearing one.
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« Reply #338 on: May 12, 2016, 08:24:51 pm »



I know this wasn't a unique experience, but it was the first time in my long years it's happened to me:  Preparing breakfast, I cracked open an egg and out came two yolks. Anyone know how often that happens, statistically?


This reminded me of a glorious meal my Dad  cooked once when I was a child; the first egg in the box was a double-yolker, and so was the second, and the third, and the fourth - I think you've got the idea.  Can you also imagine my poor Mothers face when she arrived home from work to be told by two very excited children that ALL TWELVE eggs in the box were double yolks - because we'd cracked them all to find out!  I think  I can remember a very large omelette for tea - I can certainly remember her stunned face.....
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« Reply #339 on: May 12, 2016, 09:41:04 pm »

I know this wasn't a unique experience, but it was the first time in my long years it's happened to me:  Preparing breakfast, I cracked open an egg and out came two yolks. Anyone know how often that happens, statistically?

My dad used to get double-yolk duck eggs from a bloke he knew. He said that there was one particular duck that almost always laid double-yolkers.
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« Reply #340 on: May 12, 2016, 11:08:14 pm »

My parents kept chickens when I was a child.  There was one that always laid double-yolkers.
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« Reply #341 on: May 16, 2016, 02:40:16 am »

One of my favourite breakfast restaurants is at the eastern terminus of Route 66 in the United States.  It offers double-yolked eggs on the menu, although I am afraid that supplies being unreliable what it actually uses is unusually small eggs, two of them per serving.

It is a small subterfuge in the tradition of "ostrich egg omelettes" at the 1893 World's Columbian Expedition which were in fact made from a goodly number of chicken eggs because, let's be fair, ostriches do not lay that many eggs and even a vast herd of them would not be sufficient to feed the crowds attending.
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SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #342 on: May 28, 2016, 01:27:58 pm »

So it was about time to chuck the 'ol "J Edgar" around the house a bit, suck up some crap etc.

Back turned on the blighter, a strange smell of burning, plumes of black smoke and a worrying sound of grinding.

Yep, I've managed to blow up yet another Dyson, this one had bright orange sparks coming from the motor!

Never again will I purchase this overly priced piece of crap (killed 4 in 10 years).........

Bugger! Back to the trusty Henry and crawling around on all fours I suppose.  Angry

Bagless But Bollocks Doesn't appear to be in the advertising campaign. Tongue
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 01:35:21 pm by SeVeNeVeS » Logged

Drew P
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« Reply #343 on: May 29, 2016, 02:08:30 pm »

What, do you vacuum everyday for hours?!
How does one go thru 4 in 10 years?
If the 1st one went nackered, why buy another of the same, let alone 4.
We've got this POS upright bag unit for 12 years, paid $50 at Target, new. Sucks up what it will just like all the others. Sure, it won't take the paint off the car, but the bags get full of crud and need to be changed out eventually.

Sorry, that's just a LOT of $$$ for something that sucks...........er, waitaminute..........
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« Reply #344 on: May 29, 2016, 05:38:28 pm »

We used to have a vacuum repair shop just around the corner from us. Its window was full of Dysons because they had the bizarre (but totally lovable and trust-inducing) policy of warning you off buying Dysons because they break down so often while trying to sell you a reconditioned one made from working parts of ones people brought in and then decided against picking up again. The result? Lots and lots of unsold Dysons and lots of sales of other vacuums that they did recommend. Usually off-brand ones with powerful, long-lasting motors, like the one they sold us ten years ago (still going strong).
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« Reply #345 on: May 29, 2016, 06:49:53 pm »

Sucks up what it will just like all the others. Sure, it won't take the paint off the car, but the bags get full of crud and need to be changed out eventually.


I just had this idea for a jet turbine powered vacuum cleaner.   Grin That's if you don't mind a bit of kerosene odour in your house  Cheesy  This will rip the paint off your car.

http://www.jetjoe.co.uk/

« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 06:58:09 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Keith_Beef
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« Reply #346 on: May 29, 2016, 08:27:32 pm »

My ISP send me text messages to tell me that during a thunderstorm I need to unplug my ASDL box from both the mains electricity and the phone line.

WTF!! Why can't the phone / ISP company just specify the box correctly when getting the Chinese manufacturer to build these things?
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« Reply #347 on: May 30, 2016, 03:30:00 pm »

My ISP send me text messages to tell me that during a thunderstorm I need to unplug my ASDL box from both the mains electricity and the phone line.

WTF!! Why can't the phone / ISP company just specify the box correctly when getting the Chinese manufacturer to build these things?

Because no matter how many HRC fuses you stick in the thing, it won't handle tens (or hundreds) of kilovolts that a lightning strike can deliver into either of the systems. Also keep in mind that a landline is under constant ~50VDC.
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« Reply #348 on: May 30, 2016, 04:44:40 pm »

Oh no, not the "But Japanese cartoons don't look like Japanese people anyway" argument.

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« Reply #349 on: June 01, 2016, 06:39:39 pm »

Wtf for today: mom still insists I'm too fat for a corset

And the award for the most amount of self-esteem sucked out of some ones soul with a single comment goes to......
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