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Some Anvils Need To Be Dropped / Web Original

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  • The Bad Webcomics review of After Eden drops a long and well-needed spiel about how Christian Fundamentalism ultimately brings only damage to the Christian faith. The reviewer on the wiki, who is also a Christian, confides in their own experiences with their faith, and how fundamentalism like that found in After Eden didn't make them more faithful; if anything, it actually damaged their faith.
    "[...] In attacking moderate Christians, liberals and atheists, After Eden is setting up a niche audience for itself and what it preaches. It is telling those moderate and liberal Christians that they can either accept fundamentalism or join the ranks of the "other" - the "dirty" liberals, the college professors, the scientists, and the atheists. It believes that through doing so it will solidify liberal Christians against the changing tides of society. And it may sway some. But, for the vast majority, it yells out, "You're either With Us or Against Us!" To which more and more are packing their things, giving up their Bibles and walking away from what is becoming a dwindling, but admittedly more obsessively committed, flock."

    "Or, to put it more succinctly: Congratulations Dan Lietha, for helping to destroy Christianity."
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  • Atop the Fourth Wall
    • In the review of Athena #1, Linkara states that a guy can dislike the exploitation of women in comic books (and any other form of media) and not be gay (while still being respectful of LGBT people), hate women's bodies, a prude, or an overzealous moral guardian. Moreover, the rant itself is a very well articulated speech decrying how female characters are being pointlessly objectified.
      Linkara: When Wizard Magazine puts out a drawing guide that says "women should look sultry; men should look heroic and strong," there's something wrong here. When Frank Miller puts in his script that the only reason Vicki Vale is in her underwear is because he wants to get the guys reading the comic turned on, then maybe there's a problem. Or maybe when Stephanie Brown a few years ago was tortured with a power drill and the artist showed off her ass, then it's just freaking sick. Which is why, today, we're digging into "Athena #1," a comic released last year (2009) that seems to think T&A are more important than good storytelling. That's why I'm criticizing it, people! It's still going on!
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    • At the end of his review of Pokemon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu, he delivers a triumphant speech to the Entity, who wishes to absorb all of existence into itself. Linkara points out that by destroying everything, the Entity will be left with nothing ("No Heaven to aspire to, no Hell to avoid.") and thus render itself completely meaningless and utterly bored. In other words: endless destruction and subjugation is a flawed and overrated goal, especially if you don't know what you'll do after that.
  • The Nostalgia Chick's video on The Smurfette Principle. While suffering from the same flaws as the Critic's Nick Month did (as in, she probably didn't have time to look over the newer stuff properly), it was intelligent along with being funny and she never came off as a Straw Feminist.
  • In the same vein is The A-Word, or "No Womb at the Inn", a short documentary she did regarding the abortion debate following her own abortion. She never takes a side, and the documentary as a whole can be summed up by what she says at the end.
    Lindsay Ellis: A thought among many regarding abortion is "Out of sight, out of mind." It's not a proper thing you talk about in civilized society - but how do you get past the experience if you're afraid to talk about it?
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  • Bad Movie Beatdown
    • In the review and commentary for Seven Pounds, Film Brain does not mince words his disgust and rage about how horrible it is that suicide is glorified as the ultimate sacrifice, when the main character had a fantastic education and could have done so much more to help others if he didn't martyr himself. Considering how one of Matthew Buck's family members committed suicide, it makes sense that he wouldn't be fond of the pro-suicide message the film gave away.
  • In his review of The Condemned, he eviscerates the movie for its hypocritical moralizing about media violence. He drops the anvils that "media violence is not the same as real violence", and "if children are exposed to stuff that's not suitable for them, it's usually the fault of their parents/guardians".
    • The review of Gamer similar eviscerates the film's hypocrisy for being a Take That! to gaming and gamers for glamorized violence and gratuitous sexuality, only for the film to indulge in glamorized violence and gratuitous sexuality and that it ruins the credibility of the film's message.
  • He drops another one in the Project X review in clear defiance of the film's own message; nobody should ever care too much about being popular in high school because it only lasts four years and once it's over it means diddly squat, and that the stunts the protagonists pulled will probably doom them to a life of dead-end minimum wage jobs at best.
  • Arby 'n' the Chief is a delicious and very relevant anvil on Fan Dumb and Hate Dumb, even if delivered with crude humor, which is directed against the Halo fanbase but can be applied to everything. The episodes "Glitch" and "Panic" are a good point, because The Arbiter delivers a well-placed "Reason You Suck" Speech against a user named assassininja4827, who is 39 years old and freaking out because of the title glitch in the game. The moral is that there's nothing wrong with being an adult and playing a computer game, but you also must act like one!
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd goes to show that, despite our nostalgic memories of the old 8-bit era, most games were nothing like Mario, Zelda, Mega Man, or Contra. A lot of them flat-out sucked, even for their time.
  • The Onion:
  • A recurring theme from Red vs. Blue is that revenge will not make things better. It's best shown with three characters.
    • Washington wants revenge on Project Freelancer for causing an AI to kill itself inside its head, and also for its amoral experiments. He successfully manages to EMP their command centre, but for this he inadvertently lets the Director get away and ends up in prison. When he is released as part of the Big Bad Duumvirate for Season 8, he ends up being betrayed by his partner and almost killed again.
    • This happens in Season 8 (again) with Tex, who ends up caught in a capture unit and then wiped from existence by Church. Things would likely have turned out differently had she not tried going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • There's another great example in Season 10 with Church and Carolina, who almost end up dead and eventually declare it isn't worth it after seeing a broken-down Director.
  • Demo Reel's Horrible Hollywood Story Arc wasn't subtle, but heavily based off of Reality Subtext. Elissa Hoffman, Donnie's mom who killed herself because the roles dried up, is based on Elizabeth Hartman, who really did commit suicide because she was an aging actress. Donnie's backstory, his being a child actor who learned about this while he was filming a movie and got abuse for his bad performance, is a far more depressing version of what happened to Mara Wilson, as she found about her mother's death while filming Matilda and also gets abuse for her bad performances. Rebecca's sexism-in-the-industry speech could be a case of the trope all on its own, but Rachel improvised half of it based on her own real-life experiences, and last but not least, Doug has very pointedly made clear that he once wanted to make movies over there, but later figured out he wouldn't have survived.
  • The work by Sea Shepherd and Ross McCall drops the anvil hard on the grindadrap - a tradition in the Faroe Islands of slaughtering whales. The documentary points out that the community is otherwise very progressive and modernised, so the killing is not a necessity for food but rather a tradition. The locals celebrate it and children are raised to think of it as a male acceptance ritual. One of the more chilling parts of the documentary sees a young child excitedly dancing on the corpse of one whale, while an old woman licks the blood of another off her fingers.
  • The aesop in "The Death of Robin Williams." by Matthew Santoro is that suicide is never a good solution to depression, which Matthew explicitly states. If Matthew had implied rather than clearly stated this lesson, then some of his viewers wouldn't realize the moral.
  • Brows Held High:
    • Kyle's scathing review of Melancholia is basically one long argument against romanticizing clinical depression and treating despair as "poignant". As Kyle eloquently points out: all of life is built upon change and moving forward, and depression is a disease that makes that impossible to do; works of art shouldn't be celebrated for making depression look beautiful, because that ignores the simple fact that depression can and must be overcome. In short, True Art is Not, in fact, "Angsty".
      Depression is a disease; make no mistake. Von Trier can romanticize it all he wants, but depression is a stasis. It's a dead end. Succumbing to it is a surrender to death. And you can go on and on about how hollow our culture is and how "shallow" life is but...what of it? I'm alive. And I can experience the new, and share it. Here, now, I'm alive. And what happier thing can be said? We should all keep creating and sharing, because, in the words of a better filmmaker: "Our songs will all be silenced. But what of it? Go on singing."
    • His review of the Malian fantasy film Yeelen includes an impeccably researched—but utterly unsubtle—exploration of the concept of hardline Nationalism, pointing out why it's futile and self-defeating. Every nation on Earth is a vast, complex patchwork of cultures with their own identities and beliefs, and more than a few of those cultures are heavily marginalized; it's impossible to define an entire country's identity without leaving some of them out, even if they're an indispensable part of their country's cultural landscape.
    • For the show in general, there's the recurring message that even the world's greatest works of art are made by human beings—flawed, fallible human beings with more than their share of cultural biases—not flawless, all-knowing demigods who can't be criticized or questioned. But there's nothing wrong with that...because artists' humanity is what makes them great.
  • The Mysterious Mr. Enter:
  • His review of "The Return of Slade" hammers in that kid shows that are loved by adults aren't loved because they're dark, brooding, or inappropriate, but because they're so well-written and have so much effort and heart put into them that they're enjoyable by anyone's age group.
    Beast Boy: We can't hold on to our childhood forever.
    Mr. Enter: Yes, you can. Yes you fucking can! Shows like Courage and Samurai Jack are made with such care and diligence that when people grow up with them, they look back on it and they get inspired, maybe to tell their own stories, maybe become animators, or maybe to just keep moving forward. When the kids today look back at Teen Titans Go!, what will they think? I mean, people who regret 80's fashions don't really blame the fashions, and the irony is, that when people don't pull in to their childhood, instead of creating things like Gravity Falls or Steven Universe, they create things like Teen Titans Go!. I still hold onto my childhood and that makes me want to make cartoons, inspired by the ones as a child, the ones that still hold up because, as an adult, I can determine what works and what doesn't, and so many of them work. And that's just not a thing in animation; think of all the spiritual successors in video games going around on the indie scene, because people hold fondly of the games they played as children. If they didn't hold onto them, then these people wouldn't bother.
  • In the same review, he also points out that just because it's for kids doesn't mean that it has to be bad.
    Mr. Enter: Teen Titans Go!, I don't care that you make a kid's show. I care that you're bad at it, even under the apparent low, low standards of a kids show! Yep, kids will watch anything. They'll also eat anything. Should we let them eat lead paint chips? Sure, teaching kids that girls are inherently better than boys or that no one likes smart people or that you should avoid responsibility isn't going to make the lives of kids any worse. And I guess you want your kids constantly nagging for Teen Titans Go! toys. Kids might not have standards, which is why we need a little bit of extra care. We do this in all other areas of childrens' lives. What makes entertainment the exception!?
  • In his two-part review of The Simpsons episode "Homer Badman", he presents some important anvils about rape and sexual assault.
  • People who deliberately lie about rape or sexual assault are just as harmful as real perpetrators due to the fact that they make real victims more worried about coming forward for help since they're already concerned that nobody would believe them. He points out how even though the 2014 University of Virginia rape story from Rolling Stone Magazine was revealed to be a hoax, people were still supporting the person who lied about the whole thing, comparing it with a Phony Veteran still being honored as a war hero even though they're proven not to be one.
  • InfamousAnimation's Shogun Gino spends the last 3 minutes of his review of Katy La Oruga to give an extremely passionate speech about how children's animation should be done with quality and effort:
    "Some of you may be wondering why I would even bother soapboxing for so long about this dumb little cheap animated movie, and really, that’s the most common complaint that people like me get. “Why are you wasting your time critiquing something that’s meant for children? It’s for kids, not for you! Why are you getting so worked up over it? Don’t you have something better to do with your life?”
    Understand this and understand this well – just because something is for children does not give it the right, the privilege, nor the excuse to have NO EFFORT PUT INTO IT!!!
    A child audience should not be used to justify laziness and apathy in the production line!
    That’s what causes idiotic spin-offs and copy-cats with the same tired humor-by-committee every episode.
    That’s what causes half-hour toy commercials, especially those made for syndication with 5 new episodes every week, causing nothing but animation glitches, inconsistent writing, and hasty audio editing.
    Is it not a great feeling to revisit something from your childhood and discover that it has more qualities that you never noticed when you were younger?
    To find out that it not only could entertain the more basic tastes of a child, but also the more complex tastes of an adult?
    To realized that the people behind the scenes actually gave a damn about what they were making?
    Yes, a lot of what I cover on this show is meant for young audiences, and that’s an unfortunate result of the general opinion that animation is something meant for kids, but that’s a topic for a different episode. But I care because I love animation as an art form.
    I care because I love good storytelling.
    I care because I remember the movies and shows and people that didn’t look down on me simply because I was a child.
    I care about children’s animation because I remember the children’s animation that cared about me.
    This movie didn’t care about its audience … and that’s why nobody cares about this movie anymore."
  • The web series Ask a Slave, in which writer/actress Azie Dungey responds in character as 18th-century slave Lizzie Mae to questions about her life, can come across as rather heavy-handed, in that a lot of the questions Lizzie Mae gets asked betray stunning ignorance of history, or terrible insensitivity to the reality of slavery, and a lot of the time, Lizzie Mae can only respond with mild sarcasm or a disapproving eyebrow raise. However, most of the questions (and nearly all the really stupid ones) were asked in real life: Dungey used to work as a slave re-enactor at the Mount Vernon Museum, and she turned her frustration with being asked so many dumb questions into a web series. The fact that people in the 21st century could ask, in all seriousness, "How did you get to be housemaid for such a distinguished Founding Father? Did you read the advertisement in the newspaper?" is...depressing.
  • CollegeHumor:
    • invokedThe video "Stop Saying 'It Ruined My Childhood'" features whiny fans ranting about their favorite movies and shows being rebooted or just different, claiming it ruined their childhood. Meanwhile, in the same restaurant, there are people whose childhoods and/or youth actually were ruined: a man who lost his dreams of being a baseball player after being stricken with polio, a woman who was denied a good education because she's black, a young man who commented that his cop father abused him, a regretful Vietnam Vet, a woman who was a sex slave during her teen years, a woman who lost her parents in the Holocaust, a woman whose sister was raped, and finally a teenage boy working as a waiter whose parents are being deported from the country. The whole video is a vicious attack on the mindsets of a reboot "ruining my childhood" by calling out the arguments as the First World Problems that they are, and says that such people really need to have some perspective.
    • "If I Had The Money That Bezos Had" is a Spiritual Antithesis to the Barenaked Ladies song "If I Had A Million Dollars" and drops a massive anvil about wealth inequality, pointing out all the things that the money in the hands of billionaires like Jeff Bezos would easily pay for and improve the lives of countless others.
  • The AlternateHistory.com story, Fear, Loathing and Gumbo on the Campaign Trail '72 and its sequel Rumsfeldia drop several aesops:
    • Governing through ideological extremism will bring about ruin, and turn you into a monster and a hypocrite. Both China under the Lesser Mao and America under Rumsfeld and the Christian Values are destroyed because they pushed their ideology to the extreme. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union, thanks to Nikolai Ryzhkov's reforms, prospers because it learns to compromise its ideology.
    • Our freedoms are fragile and can be easily be taken from us if the message is cloaked in a seemingly wholesome image. Rumsfeld is able to slowly rip apart civil and labor rights by appealing to messages of law and order and free enterprise. Ironically, many corporations began to suffer from free enterprise as the total absence of regulation causes them to suffer from loss of reputation and an inability to thrive in chaotic conditions.
  • Even the SCP Foundation can drop anvils if need be, no matter how much of a Mind Screw it gets. Case in point, SCP-3935, "This Thing a Quiet Madness Made," despite being a massive Mind Screw complete with The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You, has one anvil underneath it all: small towns continuously hide their dark secrets while refusing to resolve them and letting the people who they affect suffer more and more, even kicking them while they're down, thanks to religious and moral stigma that is ultimately too overbearing on its people. The article makes it very clear that the student body and the faculty refused to address the anomalous phenomena in any meaningful way, which was spurred by one of the cheerleaders becoming pregnant and drowning the child in the pool out of remorse, thus generating a Humanoid Abomination and a non-Euclidean space whose sole purpose appears to be a visual metaphor, and it is thought that this time around, the recurring Idiot Ball that frequently rolls around to the MTFs was justified in hammering in the overall metaphor. Also, the entire incident actually sterilized Salvador's population, which can easily be construed as a delayed Final Solution in self-neutralizing the anomaly and thus ending this particular instance of the issue that this article's anvil concerns. As the entrance to the non-Euclidean structure underneath the school would like to say:
    The way below winds deeper, longer,
    unspeakable its patterns laid.
    The lost forever damned to wander
    this thing a quiet madness made.
  • Alpha M is a lifestyle youtube channel that gives various guides to men on dating, appearance and skincare. His "Let's talk about it" series highlights several subjects;
    • Stress is a real problem that needs to be handled and monitored with care, there is nothing wrong with putting yourself first once in a while. One contestant on the Alpha M Project spoke about how he lost 50 pounds in weight because of stress alone. He was so stressed out from his career that his stomach couldn't digest his food properly, within 2 months he went from weighing 170 pounds to 120 because of that frightening ordeal.
    • Transphobia is a very serious issue, one contestant, Jaxsen, spoke about his experiences while growing up transgender and explained his multiple suicide attempts, he showed his scars from self-harming, and he explained how he's still dealing with depression and trauma from those experiences despite being able to transition from female to male. Jaxsen also states that mental illnesses don't go away because you start feeling better about yourself. You just have to keep reminding yourself that you are doing better than you did yesterday and acknowledge the things you're doing right.
      Jaxsen: I think one thing that I've always had to keep in the back of my mind is Depression is a mental illness, it's a persistent mental illness. I don't wake up and go "I'm happy today!" like forever I mean...
      Aaron: It's always something you're gonna struggle with.
      Jaxsen: But I can wake up and say "I'm better than I used to be and I'm gonna keep along this path."
      Aaron: And you like yourself?
      Jaxsen: Yeah, I think there's a lot of good qualities I recognize about myself now. There's definitely still some things that I'm improving and I think that can be true of everybody.
  • The advice Nash and Tara give on What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? are pretty dang obvious, but the fact they cover people making the exact same mistakes week-after-week show that they are well-deserved. Some of the most reoccurring bits of wisdom include:
    • Don't compound the error. If you get in trouble, it's better to admit your mistake and face the consequences. Actively resisting arrest or causing property damage will only get you into bigger trouble and make you look like an idiot.
    • Guns are not a remote control for life. They're dangerous weapons and need to be treated as such. Threatening others for petty reasons and not following proper gun safety is a surefire way to get someone seriously injured.
    • Unless specifically requested, no one wants to see your dick. Exposing yourself to others without their consent is sexual harassment, as it's forcing your fetish on to them without their permission.
    • Poop is not a plan. Aside from being gross and completely uncivilized, throwing your bodily waste around is a biohazard that puts the public's health at risk. Somebody has to clean up afterward, and they're likely not paid well enough to literally deal with your shit.
    • 911 is not customer service. If you have to call 911, you have to be sure it's an absolute emergency. Calling them to fix minor problems waste everyone's time and take resources away from actual emergencies.
  • EmpLemon's Never Ever Spongebob episode discusses how Spongebob and Squidward represent opposing views on adult life. From this, he hammers home that while growing up may take away the innocence and wonder out of life, the world itself isn't getting worse, but your perspective of it is, and you always have the choice to experience fun and happiness like Spongebob. Some people may mock you for acting the slightest bit child-like, but as long as you pull your own weight and are kind to others, you shouldn't take it to heart, as those people fawn over their days of youth as much as anyone else.
  • Andrei Terbea is a YouTube animator who talks about certain subjects and deconstructs drama for his audience. In Family Channels Should Not Exist, Andrei discusses family channels and how damaging they can be for the children involved. He shows the channels: "The Norris Nuts", "Myka Stauffer", and " 8 Passengers" as examples of parents who let their sense of self-worth overshadow their responsibilities. He explains how these channels are violating their children's privacy, emotionally abusing them in their videos in order to humiliate them online, and displaying personal pictures to strangers who have no right to know or see them in the first place. Andrei also explains how psychology comes into effect with social media, showing an article that discusses how self-esteem is increased by the frequency of posts at the cost of losing self-control. Andrei believes family channels are really dangerous and irresponsible, as they are taking advantage of their children's naivity, embarrassing them online, and sharing personal information with less than savoury people.
  • "Action Man: Battlefield Casualties", a video by Veterans for Peace UK challenging the British army's policy of recruiting 16-year-olds. It takes the form of Parody Commercials for Action Man toys that pull no punches in showing how joining the army can ruin your life (or end it). It also plays its premise for very Black Comedy, so the lack of subtlety ends up making the whole thing hilarious, while still getting its message across.
  • "How Vine Revitalized Minstrelsy" by Robbert Tolppi explains how harmful and self-destructive it is to feed racism by acting as racial stereotypes for a comedy routine. In the video, Robbert Tolppi explained and showed vines from KingBach that fed the harmful stereotype of Black people being criminals, having no dads, eating watermelons and fried chicken with his comedy routine without deconstructing those stereotypes. Robert Tolppi compares his routine to the Minstrel Shows that mocked African Americans and shows how tropes from minstrelsy had evolved into blaxploitation and self-mockery.
  • A few question and answer videos from YouTuber Lexi Lore provides a necessary lesson about stage personas. For context, Lexi Lore has a career in both porn and YouTube and she spoke about she was mistreated in the comments of those videos because of her actions and careers. She tells the audience that her actions in the video are just part of the job and she addresses the harmful stereotypes generated from that career. Concluding that just because someone works in the porn industry, it doesn't mean they are any less of a person and they do have personal lives to be respected.
  • A YouTuber by the name of MilleniaThinker often drops an anvil to the audience about a problem a major society has nowadays. While he uses wojak memes for the characters, he never shies away from really important topics. Examples include...
    • In Pro Gamers Logic, the main character only ends up playing games for many years while the neighbor lives a successful life. In other words, while video games are a perfect source of escapism, there is a line not to cross.
  • YouTuber DeadWingDork during his many streams covering the Furry community, stresses that while tolerance is all fine and good, there are certain kinds if people who just simply don’t deserve to be accepted your community, such as pedophiles, zoophiles/zoosadists, etc., and should be cast out as soon as they’re found out. By being completely accepting of everyone, you’re leaving the door wide open for some of the vilest and most despicable people on the Internet such as Kero The WolfExplanation , SnakeThingExplanation , Tim WinExplanation , WoofExplanation  and Sephius Rivendare Explanation  to infiltrate and spread like a virus throughout the community. He also points out that covering for these people or pretending they don’t exist only makes the Furry community look worse in the eyes of the general public.
  • YouTuber Browntable's "The Snyder Cut Changed My Life" contains a lesson that the creator himself learned with regards to creativity and the creative process, all framed from how he'd gone from initially being disappointed with the DC Extended Universe (particularly with the first two movies Zack Snyder made for it) in large part because it "wasn't like Marvel" to later coming to appreciate them precisely because they were not like the Marvel movies. The lesson? There is no such thing as "only one correct way" to make art in a genre regardless of how successful one creator/company's "winning formula" is and expecting one work to be exactly like another just because they both happen to inhabit the same genre (in this case, superhero movies) is not a good way to consume art and playing comparisons can even prevent you from enjoying a work on its own merits (with Browntable himself even stating that when he stopped trying to compare Man of Steel and Batman v Superman to the Marvel movies, he enjoyed them a lot more and even came to genuinely admire and empathize with Snyder as a creator, especially when he began creating his own fictional series).
  • On a similar note, Loverboy Media's "WHY I LOVE BATMAN V SUPERMAN or: How I Learned To Stop Hating And Love Zack Snyder" drops the anvil that creators and artists are human beings just like the critics and audiences that consume their work, and treating a creator like they're a bad person for making a work that you personally did not enjoy is cruel, uncalled for, and holds no logical water. As Loverboy himself puts it around ten minutes into the video:
    "Not that long ago, if you'd have asked me who was at the peak of my list of least favorite directors, I'd have probably said Zack without a second thought. I just didn't like how he made his movies - they're loud and brash and arrogant and nonsensical. I don't like that. That's bad cinema. He's bad. Zack Snyder was the frickin' center of my maelstrom of fury around BvS. He was the person to blame, because someone had to be blamed for me hating the movie, right? Well about that... in March 2017, something happened that started to change the way I saw this guy. Something terrible. Zack lost his daughter. I don't want to get into the background of that because we don't need to, but the fact is, Zack lost a child, and he and his co-producer wife Deborah made the decision to step away from Justice League, the Batman v Superman sequel I'd been protesting for the better part of a year. All of a sudden, all my hate and animosity towards this guy, this father... it just evaporated. Every comment, every post, every tirade I'd launched against this storyteller for making a movie I didn't like suddenly came into perspective. This is a human being and he didn't ask for any of this. I still hated BvS at the time, but this twisted fallacy that Zack had made this movie with the intent of hurting anyone, let alone me, it just vanished. The guy made the choices he thought were right in the hopes of giving us a movie we'd love and I was behaving like he killed my dog!"
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