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Quotes / Misaimed Fandom

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The irony is that a curious legend has grown up around this story, which precisely contradicts the message of the original. This legend holds that the gifts Death gives the brothers — an unbeatable wand, a stone that can bring back the dead, and an Invisibility Cloak that endures for ever — are genuine objects that exist in the real world. The legend goes further: if any person becomes the rightful owner of all three, then he or she will become "master of Death", which has usually been understood to mean that they will be invulnerable, even immortal.
We may smile, a little sadly, at what this tells us about human nature. The kindest interpretation would be: "Hope springs eternal". In spite of the fact that, according to Beedle, two of the three objects are highly dangerous, in spite of the clear message that Death comes for us all in the end, a tiny minority of the wizarding community persists in believing that Beedle was sending them a coded message, which is the exact reverse of the one set down in ink, and that they alone are clever enough to understand it.
What must strike any intelligent witch or wizard on studying the so-called history of the Elder Wand is that every man who claims to have owned it has insisted that it is "unbeatable", when the known facts of its passage through many owners’ hands demonstrate that not only has it been beaten hundreds of times, but that it also attracts trouble as Grumble the Grubby Goat attracted flies. Ultimately, the quest for the Elder Wand merely supports an observation I have had occasion to make many times over the course of my long life: that humans have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.
But which of us would have shown the wisdom of the third brother, if offered the pick of Death’s gifts? Wizards and Muggles alike are imbued with a lust for power; how many would resist "the Wand of Destiny"? Which human being, having lost someone they loved, could withstand the temptation of the Resurrection Stone? Even I, Albus Dumbledore, would find it easiest to refuse the Invisibility Cloak; which only goes to show that, clever as I am, I remain just as big a fool as anyone else.
Albus Dumbledore's commentary on "The Tale of the Three Brothers" in The Tales of Beedle the Bard

    Live-Action TV 

Barney: Hey, The Karate Kid is a great movie. It’s the story of a hopeful, young karate enthusiast whose dreams and moxie take him all the way to the All Valley Karate Championship. Of course, sadly he loses in the final round to that nerd kid. But, he learns an important lesson about gracefully accepting defeat.
Lily: Wait, when you watch The Karate Kid, you actually root for that mean blond boy?
Barney: No, I root for the scrawny loser from New Jersey who barely even knows karate. When I watch The Karate Kid, I root for the karate kid, Johnny Lawrence from the Cobra Kai dojo. Get your head out of your ass, Lily.

Eric: Do you think Margaret Thatcher had girl power?
Mel B: Yes, of course!
Eric: Do you think she effectively utilized girl power by funneling money to illegal paramilitary death squads in Northern Ireland?
"You know what, guys? The point of Mad Men isn't to glorify those things. Great Americans have dedicated their lives so that our children and our children's children won't be discriminated against by their sex or the color of their skin. And you two wanna go back in time and live that way. Shame on you."
Key, MADtv

    Web Original 

"Heaven's Gate—America's most notorious Trekkies."

"Billy Jack is a series of four movies released in the late '60s and the '70s, all featuring the title character Billy Jack, a half-Navajo martial artist and Vietnam veteran who stood up to The Man and protected Indians, hippies, and young people. Tom Laughlin starred, directed, wrote, etc. etc. etc....For all its left-wing counter-culture politics, Billy Jack is probably partly responsible for all the right-wing vigilante movies which since followed, thanks to blatant Billy Jack rip-offs starring the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Steven Seagal. The continuum goes roughly like this: Billy Jack → Walking Tall → Death Wish → First Blood → Rambo: First Blood Part II → On Deadly Ground ad nauseum."

"A farm animal ceases to be useful and is disposed of humanely. A valuable lesson for children. —Four stars."

Fight Club isn't exactly subtle about the disdain with which Fincher views the main characters in a story about charismatic blowhard Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) wooing disaffected/emasculated losers into his cathartic bareknuckle-boxing club and gradually focusing their impotent rage and entitled sense of the world owing them the patriarchal comforts of their father's generation into an anarchist-terrorist campaign. The film does a fine job of showing exactly how, historically, populations of disaffected directionless men have generated violent groupthink-subcultures and quasi-fascist "philosophers" looking to mold them into something more dangerous.

And even though nobody ever turns to the camera to lecture the audience (at least not without irony) I always felt we were left with a pretty clear sense that "Project Mayhem" were a pack of idiots, that Tyler's "Blow up the civilization so men can be real men again!" sermonizing was little more than re-purposed/generalized Hiterlian "reclaim the Ubermensch birthright" swill (by the end Mayhem's "space monkey" acolytes are literally skinheads!) and that while disaffection with the modern world was understandable anyone who'd actually swallow this crap was either stupid, weak, a monster or all three.

And yet... no sooner had Fight Club found its way to home video than you started to hear stories about fans of the film starting for-real "fight clubs" of their own, and (more commonly) started to see Tyler Durden's rambling testosterone-as-holy-water creeds adopted as yearbook mottos, tattoo fodder and block-text on the then-primitive versions of social media, always among young (usually angry) men and always without a hint of self-awareness. Film geeks and cinephiles had initially celebrated Fight Club — which had bombed spectacularly in theaters, becoming a pop-culture phenomenon on video and DVD. But soon a sad realization soon set in: A significant number (maybe even the majority) of those new numbers were coming from a vast army of real-life would-be "space monkeys" who had somehow managed to ravenously absorb Tyler Durden's message of men embracing their inner-neanderthal without also absorbing Fight Club's message that Tyler Durden is the projection of a pathetic loser that no one should actually follow or listen to.
Bob Chipman discussing this trope relative to Fight Club

"Jack Thompson was a legendary Florida lawyer, infamous for his campaigns against video games and his attempts to whip up moral panic over those...His targets also encompassed rap music and Howard Stern, and his general outlook is probably well exemplified by his dismissal of a 2 Live Crew album by: “the ‘social commentary’ on this album is akin to a sociopath’s discharging his AK-47 into a crowded schoolyard, with the machine gun bursts interrupted by Pee-wee Herman’s views on politics.” Not quite, but Thompson argued that it was therefore not protected by the First Amendment. Not quite that either. Thompson also wrote to Bruce Springsteen’s manager about how 2 Live Crew misused a sample of Springsteen’s gloriously pro-American “Born In the USA” in their social criticism. No, Thompson didn’t understand what Springsteen’s song was about."

"Now, let me tell you about a dear, dear friend of mine: Russian President Vladimir Putin! Strong? YOU BET! Knows his pictures? YOU’D BE SURPRISED! Whenever Putin comes to America to kidnap teenagers and send them back over to Russia in a shipping container, he always pays a visit to Woodland. And I always make sure to set up a private screening for him! He loves all the great old directors: Hitchcock, Wilder, Ford, Curtiz, Riefenstahl … But do you what movie he loves the most? RED DAWN. Hand to my ticker, baby! He’s seen it at least 50 times! Knows the dialogue by heart! And whenever he watches it at Woodland, he strips down completely naked, has sex with at least three escorts or more, and curses at the screen for the full 90 minutes! IN ENGLISH! I came back from making an old fashioned at the wet bar and I’ll be damned if he wasn’t shouting, 'How you like this, Patrick Swayze? I am fucking American woman and you are dead. IS PUTIN TIME NOW.' Whole other way of experiencing that picture."
— "Robert Evans", Deadspin

"It is easy to catastrophically misread Watchmen and think that Alan Moore sympathizes with Rorschach…To make this misreading requires two related errors. First, one has to read Watchmen, maybe V for Vendetta, and preferably nothing else Alan Moore has ever written. Tragically, many people are all too willing to oblige on this front. Second, one has to ignore the fact that Moore repeatedly paints Rorschach as a dangerous sociopath with intensely fascist viewpoints. The fact that this proves a stumbling block for anyone reading the comic is a sad commentary on, basically, everything ever."

"What might be most fascinating to me about Trigun is how universally likeable it is. … In fact, the only people I've come across who avidly dislike the show are people who really can't stand Vash. Some of them just find him overbearing and preachy, which is understandable, I guess. But generally the people who hate Vash also tend to think Light Yagami was the hero/anti-hero of Death Note and a savior for humanity. You know. Sociopaths."
Socksmakepeoplesexy on Trigun

"If we had to list everyone who said they liked Atlas Shrugged but then did the opposite of what the book says, we'd be here all day. But we can certainly list the most ridiculous ones. Plenty of CEOs love Atlas Shrugged, for instance, which isn't too surprising, since most of the book's heroes are CEOs. Yet these fans seem to forget that the book's villains are also CEOs. So when AIG's stock shot up after the government bailed them out with $85 billion and CEO Bob Benmosche thought he deserved a pat on the back, he wrote: 'But as I learned in Atlas Shrugged, find your Thank Yous from within.' The villains in Atlas Shrugged were CEOs who ruined the economy but profited from government bailouts."

"I will note again that Judgy Bitch is an infamous professional misogynist whose usual output is shit like this article blaming child survivors of sexual assault for the entirety of their abuse (which totally wasn’t abuse in her eyes, because apparently there really are people stupid enough to think that Lolita was a true story with a reliable narrator)."

"All of the usual arguments come into play about whether or not it's cool to cheer heels when they're trying their best to be heels, but, well, it diminished this match, and the impact it could have had. It hurts the match and the performers, whether the fans have the best of intentions or not, especially in such an intimate setting...Now look, you paid your $80 and I paid mine. I can’t tell anyone in the crowd what to do. But if you’re cheering the heels because you love Melissa and you want her to know it? You’re probably ACTUALLY making her job harder than it needs to be. You want her to hold the belt for the rest of her life? Boo that shit. You’re cheering because you’re not into who she’s facing? Then don’t say anything. But don’t cheer the heel. It’s only hurting them."
Cewsh Reviews on SHIMMER vol. 63

"Rick is an aspirational character because it gives people an excuse to stay where they are. To be alone, and to feel superior. If they just had a bit more ... something, they could fix it. But being smarter or better looking wouldn’t fix the thing that made them this alone to begin with. That attitude lives inside them, and could likely be fixed without any external changes. They just have to turn inward and start acknowledging that other people do matter, and changing may not be be a sign of weakness or capitulation."

"But that’s too hard to think about. Which is why Rick is a really cool guy".

    Web Video 

"The story behind that was: Alberto Del Rio had turned babyface doing this horrible, HORRIBLE "I came from Mexico but I was made in America"—y'know, I made a new life in America, and this why I'm successful U.S.A, U.S.A, U.S.A!—gimmick. And it was terrible. Because to Americans, it came off as pandering bullshit, and to Mexicans, it came off as, "Yeah, I left that toilet Mexico, and America's way better—b-but Mexico's cool, too! U.S.A~!"

So, Mexicans were like, "FUCK you!", and Americans were like, "TOOK URR JERBS!"

So, like,
nobody likes Del Rio. And it did more to turn Jack Swagger babyface than anything. So it was really weird to have Jack Swagger, the racist heel, be the babyface in that."

Yahtzee: Fox News, with absolutely zero irony, used something that looked exactly like the Bioshock Infinite logo for their—I dunno even what it is…
Gabriel: They wanna create a hype train for racism, basically. So they used the logo of a game about a flying racist fortress.
Yahtzee: Maybe they explained the plot, and Fox News didn't understand which party was supposed to be the unsympathetic one in the description. "Hey, those guys sound like they're really on top of things!"
Gabriel: Glenn Beck's actually attempting to build one right now.

"It's clear as day that the film isn't meant as an instructional video on becoming a stock market raider, but it's also clear that — to a pretty substantial chunk of the audience — a lot of what Belfort and company get up to looks like a lot of fun. Immoral fun, maybe. Fun you pay for later, definitely — but fun all the same. Which means that the movie is probably destined to join Scarface and Fight Club in the pantheon of what I sometimes call 'Douchebag Classics', films that draw fiercely devoted fanbases that worship the message and/or lifestyle of a central character while somehow missing that the film in question is meant to be cautionary, not aspirational."

Raiden: Your dream dies with you.
Ironicus (as Armstrong): I don't know, Jack, there are people on the internet who think I'm the good guy.

    Western Animation 

"What the hell is wrong with you people? Every famous nigga that gets arrested is not Nelson Mandela. Yes, the government conspires to put a lot of innocent men in jail off of fallacious charges, but R. Kelly is not one of those men. We all know the nigga can sing, but what happened to standards? What happened to bare minimums? You a fan of R. Kelly? You wanna help R. Kelly? Then get some counseling for R. Kelly! Introduce him to some older women! Hide his camcorder, but don't pretend like the man is a hero!"
Huey Freeman, The Boondocks ("The Trial of R. Kelly")

    Real Life 

No objective evidence Empire was "evil." A liberal regime w meritocracy, upward mobility. Neocon/reformicon in spirit.
William Kristol tweet

Keep in mind that this man helped push America into two separate wars this century. Good to know my nation’s foreign policy was in the hands of a Palpatine fanboy. THOSE REBELS WERE JUST LOOKING FOR A HANDOUT.

"It all began with me and Bruce Lee on TV. If anyone tells you you’re a nobody, don’t listen. You can become a somebody. Just put your mind to it. Never say never."
—Serial felon, mentalist, confidence man, and one-time cult leader James Hydrick

"I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach."
Upton Sinclair on the response to his best-known novel, The Jungle

"The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they can use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the whole."

"He sang a Randy Newman song called 'Sail Away', which is about slavery. But he misreads the lyrics. I mean, he sings the lyrics as written, but he sings it without a trace of irony. There was a lyric about 'sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake.' He sings it like it's a lyric about good food when, in actuality, it is a song about slave food and slave treatment. You've got to hear Randy Newman's version of 'Sail Away' and Sammy's version and you can compare the two and you realize how he has misread the lyrics and misread all the irony contained therein."
—Writer Carl Gottlieb on Sammy Davis Jr.

"Last year, a girl was raped by two wastes of sperm and eggs while they sang the lyrics to our song 'Polly'. I have a hard time carrying on knowing there are plankton like that in our audience."
Kurt Cobain, liner notes of Insecticide

"What I hoped would have been a higher art thing became a frat house, strip club anthem. Sad."
Trent Reznor on "Closer"

"One aspect of the response does, however, from time to time dismay me. Monitoring conversations, particularly among the book’s enthusiasts, I have sometimes found it hard to believe that all parties to the discussion had been engaged with the same volume."
Thomas Kuhn, "Second Thoughts on Paradigms"

"What I find strange and oddly disturbing is that Gordon Gekko has been mythologized and elevated from the role of villain to that of hero. After so many encounters with Gekko admirers or wannabes, I wish I could go back and rewrite the greed line to this: 'Greed is good, but I've never seen a Brinks truck pull up to a cemetery.'"
Stanley Weiser, co-scriptwriter of Wall Street

"People have been waxing lyrical about Draco Malfoy, and I think that's the only time when it stopped amusing me and started almost worrying me."

"What I didn't expect was the people who half-listen. If you half-listen to the story, it seems like it's reinforcing tropes that I disagree with."
Jeffrey Yohalem, writer of Far Cry 3

To make damn sure that even the historically naive and entirely unselfaware reader got the point, I appended a phony critical analysis of Lord of the Swastika, in which the psychopathology of Hitler's saga was spelled out by a tendentious pedant in words of one syllable. Almost everyone got the point... And yet one review appeared in a fanzine that really gave me pause. "This is a rousing adventure story and I really enjoyed it," the gist of it went. "Why did Spinrad have to spoil the fun with all this muck about Hitler?"
Norman Spinrad, describing a reviewer's response to The Iron Dream

"This song is not a rebel song."
Bono, on "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

I consider it a small victory that so many Trump supporters are now sharing a video that refers to their hero as a "pussy-grabbing, wall-building, climate-change-denying, healthcare-abolishing, tax-dodging, shit-spewing demagogue". Surely that has to count for something.
Andrew Doyle, co-author of Jonathan Pie

They Live is about yuppies and unrestrained capitalism. It has nothing to do with Jewish control of the world, which is slander and a lie.

Chernobyl was a failure of humans whose loyalty to (or fear of) a broken governing party overruled their sense of decency and rationality.

You're the old man with the cane. You just worship a different man's portrait.
Craig Mazin, in response to a conservative pundit misinterpreting Chernobyl as specifically anti-Communist (and therefore anti-vaguely-leftish) rather than anti-authoritarian, Twitter


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