Rejected

Psychic Warfare Department

A Study on the Human Condition and other Horrors

Conservation of Grift
Alien
nephilimnexus
Beware of any politician who says they're going to lower taxes, because just that means they're planning an even more painful way to take to take your money.

Reductio ad absurdum
Exemplar
nephilimnexus
If I was in charge of a university all courses would be filed into two categories: Science and Bullshit.
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Animal
Happiness Achieved
nephilimnexus
I don't consider anyone who's answer to existential crisis is to have children to be sentient.

Fedualism 101
Alien
nephilimnexus

Rather suspicious
Alien
nephilimnexus
Set browser to open to blank page. Ran CrapCleaner. Removed all cookies. Closed browser.

Reopen browser. Blank page. Ran CrapCleaner. Removed 4 cookies.

How the hell does one get 4 cookies without visiting even a single web page?
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Not either or, but to what degree of each.
Alien
nephilimnexus
What moderately successful hustlers fail to realize is that they, themselves, are nothing more than marks to even more successful hustlers.
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We hold these truths to be self evident...
nephilimnexus
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Do the math.
Rejected
nephilimnexus
Statistically, the most common target of violence by Islamic terrorists is other Muslims. Therefore, one could make the perfectly logical argument that the best reason for a country to ban Islam would be to save the lives of Muslims.

Not that I would ever suggest actually doing that, because I feel that watching theists killing each other over trivial bullshit is endlessly entertaining. Self-purging the fanatic gene from the human race, one holy war at a time.

A skeptic's guide to everything
Rejected
nephilimnexus
If they're getting paid for it, question their sincerity.
If they're not getting paid for it, question their sanity.
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More of my opinions on writing fiction.
Exemplar
nephilimnexus
Since reading is now my sole source of entertainment, I read quickly. A 300 page novel might last me through one day. The problem is that I've been spoiled by some really amazing authors early in life and this has caused me to set a very high bar on quality when it comes to picking out new books. Simply put, I have no patience for garbage and will not try to force myself to keep reading something that I perceive as terrible just for the sake of completion. Which means not only do I find myself digging through mounts of used books, but I also find myself tossing most of them aside within two seconds. It's frustrating. I often finding myself wishing that I had lower standards. End result is that I spend more time rereading old books than discovering new ones, and that troubles me. As much as I like stability, I don't always enjoy stagnation per se.

Along the way I've made note of a few writing troupes that have come to irk me:

1) Food porn scenes: Far too many writers do this, and it makes no damn sense. Spending entire pages just describing all the crap someone had for dinner. What is the author hoping to accomplish here? Do they want the reader to forget the novel and go eat something instead? Are they just venting out their own food fantasies? Sometimes a bit of food porn can mean something - like in Das Boot when the submarine crew is invited to dine with a merchant marine captain. In this instance the purpose is to juxtapose the luxury of the latter against the routine squalor of the former. Or in The Dark Crystal it is done to demonstrate the sheer decadence of the villains. Yet, all too often, food scenes in literature seem to serve no purpose than to make the reader wish they were doing something else - like eating.

2) Detective Studly McStudface: I enjoy a good crime/mystery book, but I've been forced to adopt a rule of only ever reading the first book in any detective series because, invariably, by the third novel the entire thing will have dissolved into nothing more than Captain Perfect trying to juggle his fifteen ex-lovers, all of whom are still infatuated with his miserable, alcoholic, middle-aged self for some reason, and this crap will end up taking up half the damn book. Not interested, don't have time, goodbye, on to the next series.

3) Cringe Worthy Plot Armor: The hero's girlfriend's car gets hit by a tactical nuclear weapon, blown sixty thousand feet into the air and the flaming confetti lands in the ocean where it is instantly swallowed by a giant shark. Oh, and in the last chapter we find out that she's still alive! It's a miracle! No, it's not a miracle, it's fucking stupid. And that above description is barely satire, either. I actually saw a book where indeed the hero's girlfriend was flying a plane that was hit by an orbital launched kinetic kill weapon and - without any real explanation - she somehow survives completely unharmed. This is right up the with The Farce Awakens levels of stupid. That scene was as far as I got in the book. I couldn't bring myself to read one more page after that and into the garbage can it went.

G.R.R.Martin gets it and everyone else needs to learn it - There is no heroism without sacrifice. Unless your good-guy is getting his face pounded in then there is nothing to cheer for if he wins in the end. Untouchable, invincible heroes are boring as fuck and people are sick of them. This is why superhero movies are boring - because death is just a temporary setback in the world of cinematic toy marketing. There is never any real risk and there is never any real sacrifice. But when you look at something like Game of Thrones or Walking Dead you know that nobody has plot armor in those stories. As much as it would cause an outrage, you know damn well that they may just kill off Tyrion or Darryl at some point - deal with it.

4) Predictable Survivors: The bane of any horror book or film is when you know who the "last survivor" is going to be five minutes into the thing. At that point you may as well just throw the book out or walk out of the theater. What's the point? There is nothing left for you to see. There is no mystery to unravel, there is nothing to be suspenseful. You've already tagged the one girl who's going to live and everyone else is going to die. We're done here. What made the original Alien so good was that, when it was in the theater and being seen for the first time, we had no idea who was going to live - or if anyone would, for that matter. If you had taken a group of people who had never seen it before and told them to place bets it would have probably been a pretty even spread. That's how you know it was done right.

5) Too-thickly Painted Villains: I see this all the time. First, the author decides that a minor bad-guy needs to die to move the story forward. Then they spend every line up to said villain's death layering more and more villainy onto them to glorify their death more. For example, if you've got Basic Mook 5 in a kidnapping scene and the heroine is supposed to break away and shoot him with his own gun, just watch as the author now spends an absurd amount of page-space going into detail on how Basic Mook 5 tortured animals as a child, was a racist, a homophobe, a child molester, and any other bad thing the author can think in order to make sure that the character's demise will be met with rejoicing. Of course, since this is a bad writing trope, however, all it really does induces in the reader is eye-rolling.


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