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E.Lerner last won the day on January 8

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About E.Lerner

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  1. 100% percent agree with Jason and June's delight with Data's running fart gag. So much of my enjoyment of that joke comes from it being Spiner, so the fact that they referred to him exclusively as "Data" really nailed it for me. I also think Spiner was channeling a particular TNG episode in his portrayal of Devlin Bowman. In The Most Toys, he's pitted against a sleazy, smarmy, somewhat dorky villain — Kivas Fajo, played by the great Saul Rubinek — who kidnaps people, fakes deaths, and otherwise plots and schemes to get his hands on the galaxy's rarest treasures.
  2. The implication is that the Masters of Disguise are essentially the Illuminati — capable of invisibly controlling world events. I think that's what they were going for with their iconography and quasi-magical abilities as well.
  3. Having worked in journalism, the difference between Wiseau and Breen really highlights the difference between what we called kooks and cranks. Especially working in science journalism, my colleagues and I would get hundreds of emails, letters, phone calls, DVDs, fully bound manuscripts, etc., from people who had made shocking discoveries that were poised to turn the world upside down if they could only get the word out. Like Wiseau and Breen, these men (and they were 99.9% men) all had an incredibly high opinion of their own intelligence and importance, coupled with a sub-amateur-level grasp of their subject matter of choice. Kooks, like Wiseau, have eccentric, disconnected-from-reality ideas, but also have a childlike enthusiasm for exploring them. Cranks, like Breen, are at war. Even if they aren't explicitly alleging a global conspiracy to suppress their findings and ideas, they are on a mission and need to know whether you're going to help them or stand in your way. Cranks are the ones that will actually show up at your office and ask why you haven't been returning their calls. That's why June's line about women being harmed in the making of this movie rang so true to me. The sex scenes in The Room were also gross and self-serving, but there is a sinister aspect to Breen that I just don't pick up from Wiseau.
  4. Correct me if I'm wrong, but does Boardroom Therapist actually share any information about Dylan with Emily? She's definitely the one who initiates the contact to tell him Dylan is not taking his medication. Ultimately, she ends up telling Boardroom Therapist about Dylan's hacking to keep the pills flowing, but I don't recall BT telling her anything about Dylan or his treatment. The Dylan/BT/Emily relationship is made more confusing by the fact that it seems like Dylan is refusing to take psychiatric medication (for obvious reasons), but Emily is apparently abusing the pain medication that was prescribed after Dylan's accident. I think that conflation adds more to the theory that this is broadly anti-drug, anti-alcohol, anti-psychiatry movie — anything that interferes with Breen's messianic brain is in league with the forces of corruption, fraud and hypocrisy.
  5. Regarding Dylan saying "I know it was you" after Emily commits suicide: My impression is that has to do with Emily telling the boardroom therapist about Dylan's research into the world's most secret secrets in exchange for drugs. Ultimately, her guilt about this betrayal is what leads her to kill herself. I think this is also why Dylan lies to boardroom-therapist about seeing close-talking-folding-chair therapist — boardroom-therapist is an agent of the government and corporations, whereas close-talking-folding-chair therapist seems to be aligned with the stone-spirit. The actors playing those therapists are Gloria Hoffman and John Henry Hoffman and have no other credits on IMDB. Seems like there may be some more research in order!
  6. Interesting that they got the ingredients right — Daniel laments the sorry conditions of the bar after not being able to find the Fernet Branca — but the preparation wrong. Drinks that are 100% spirits (ha!) should always be stirred. For those playing at home, a Hanky Panky is: 1.5oz Gin 1.5oz Sweet Vermouth 2 dashes Fernet Branca Stirred and served up in a large coupe or martini glass, garnished with an expressed orange peel. It's a variant on the Martini's predecessor, the Martinez. There are a lot of different historic formulations but here's a good one: 2oz Gin .75oz Sweet Vermouth .25oz Luxardo Dash Angostura Bitters Also stirred and served up in a large coupe or martini glass, garnished with an expressed orange peel.
  7. E.Lerner

    Episode 227.5 - Minisode 227.5

    Watched it last night and think it would have made a genuinely good anime.
  8. E.Lerner

    Episode 222.5 - Minisode 222.5

    If Scott Aukerman is indeed the mystery guest for this studio episode, I hope Kulap is there as well so we can continue the discussion of 90's fashion from the Country Bears episode. Demi is, of course, timeless, but Douglas looks like a straight-up cartoon hobo for the entire film and is yet presented as an equally powerful sex magnet.
  9. E.Lerner

    Episode 222 - Unforgettable

    Mad Max: Fury Road is a particularly good one because it's about how people like Steve Mnuchin go on to literally destroy the world.
  10. E.Lerner

    Episode 222 - Unforgettable

    I know Kate Hudson was originally eyed to play Tessa, but I can't help but think that the role was originally written for Louise Linton. Beyond Mnuchin's involvement…just look at her! The hair! The gloves! The racist undertones to her animosity toward Julia that I was convinced the movie was going to steer hard into, which Kerry Washington's near-casting also suggests! And most damning of all, Linton's total willingness to lean into her public persona as an obscenely wealthy psychopath. Beyond straight-up Cruella Deville-ing it with sheets of uncut money and insulting people for being poor on Instagram, there's the matter of her upcoming directorial debut: Steve Mnuchin should probably hide the thousands of fireplace pokers he presumably has in their castle. Or not, because fuck Steve Mnuchin.
  11. E.Lerner

    Episode 221. The Hottie and the Nottie

    Honestly, it's this aspect of Hilton's persona that got me thinking about the Munchausen angle. I think most people would have considered her a villain in real life at the time this came out, and so part of me wondered if the movie was building to a big reveal of some ulterior motive behind her character's relationship with June. As professional wrestling connoisseur, especially as it informed modern reality television (and now politics), I thought that she was at least leaning into her intrinsic heel-ishness and might be on board with that curveball. Paris Hilton, the human, epitomized the toxic beauty standards of that era. I don't think it's exaggerating to say that thousands, if not millions, of women and girls were made to feel like the Nottie to her Hottie. That this movie unironically embraced that dynamic is just further evidence that every person involved should be in jail.
  12. E.Lerner

    Episode 221. The Hottie and the Nottie

    100% agree. There's only one live-action character on the "positive portrayals" list in the (seemingly comprehensive) Wikipedia page "Albinism in popular culture" and it's from a fan-made short film parody of The Da Vinci Code.
  13. E.Lerner

    Episode 221. The Hottie and the Nottie

    Spoiler alert for Rampage (which is inevitably going to be on HDTGM, c'mon), but George the Albino Gorilla ends up saving the day.
  14. E.Lerner

    Episode 221. The Hottie and the Nottie

    I think we need to consider the possibility that Cristabel and June's relationship was a Munchausen by Proxy scenario. The off-the-charts levels of misogyny in the movie makes assessing this more difficult. We don't wan't to pathologize June's appearance, which is one of the reasons Cristabel comes off as a (surprisingly) good and supportive friend. She doesn't judge June or think that she needs to change her physical self to be happy or find love. The movie takes on a different tone, however, if June wants to change her appearance but can't for some reason. It's also not as if the movie's moral is that having self-love and confidence is more important than being "conventionally" attractive — June is otherwise smart, funny and self-possessed, but only gets her wants and needs met after a total physical makeover. The fact that she says she tried to overhaul her look in the past but had since given up makes me think that she was being secretly undermined by Cristabel. Our first impression of young June is that she was perhaps the victim of neglect or abuse; June's fluorosis is some evidence to that effect. I think this neglect and abuse was perpetrated by Cristabel for decades as an extension of her own narcissism. Munchausen by Proxy, now known as Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another, is when "a person acts as if an individual he or she is caring for has a physical or mental illness when the person is not really sick." The movie talks about June's appearance in medical terms, we know that she wanted to change her appearance, and that she was capable of doing so relatively easily under the right circumstances. By the movie's own logic, June's Nottie-ness was a factitious disorder. Cristabel was imposing it on her as part of ploy to gain attention, sympathy and control from her many suitors. My theory is that she only released June from her clutches after Johan came into the picture because he operates in a very similar way and could be a potential accomplice moving forward.
  15. We see the virus capsules have entered her bloodstream, so they would have quickly circulated around her entire body, not remained in her hand. This is as good a place as any to break down just how ridiculous the virus-extraction machine is in terms of a fake piece of biotechnology. Nicole's Theranos joke was one of the best lines of the episode, but at least Holmes' bullshit was in the general vicinity of scientific plausibility. This machine, however, is so straight-up magical that Cliff Curtis fixing it with a 3D printer is one of the more realistic aspects of the movie. Putting aside how the virus is actually designed to work, let's focus on how it's delivered and that it's designed to be extracted if necessary. The virus appears to be encapsulated in engineered particles that are roughly the size of red blood cells. These particles are designed to naturally degrade in 72 hours, releasing the virus into the bloodstream. Let's also assume that these particles have been engineered to flawlessly hide from the immune system for that long, and aren't getting caught in any of the body's physical filtration systems, like the kidneys or spleen. All of this is impossible to do with the level of precision necessary to prevent the carrier from being pretty much immediately infected, but the real challenge is getting every last one of those particles out of the carrier's body before your Domino's order is delivered. The zoom-in shots we see of the particles being sucked up implies that a sharp metal tube knows the difference between them and the surrounding blood cells, but since that's the equivalent of "a wizard did it," let's walk through what it would need to do if it was working like a super-fast dialysis machine. Once Hattie's blood is inside the machine, it needs to be able to identify and capture the Eteon particles while leaving the red blood cells (and the various other healthy blood components) alone. The options are basically either a physical filter, which would be need to be tuned to the particles' exact weight, diameter, etc., or a chemical sensor, like antibodies, custom DNA strands or complex molecules that bind to biomarkers found only on the particles' exteriors. These are more-or-less in line with the kind of multi-purpose blood diagnostics machines Elizabeth Holmes was trying to build with Theranos. The problem she ran into is that all of these technologies are so delicate — dealing with physical properties that are right on the edge of single-molecule detection — that they can't be reliably used to tell whether you have high cholesterol, much less prevent you from contracting Genocitus-Shmenocitus. And that's assuming you know exactly what physical properties you're looking for on these 5-micron-wide particles. So unless Cliff has a scanning electron microscope in the back of his remote Samoan chop-shop, plus a fully equipped wet-lab for making new reagents, plus a forced-air-sterilized clean room for doing the nanoscale fabrication necessary for actually getting the particles back into the vial, everyone is shit out of luck. All of this leads me to believe the only thing that could be broken on the machine is the screen and the injection microfluidics — two things Cliff would absolutely be able to fix due to their similarity to the nitrous systems on his cars.