Dracula Untold, For A Good Reason

I like good stories and came across Dracula Untold. I didn’t like it very much. Maybe it’s because of my heightened sensitivity for anti-islamic racism. Or maybe it’s because the main theme of the movie seems to be that: it’s OK to join the forces of evil as long as your intention is to protect your family and your country … if that makes sense to you, it doesn’t to me.

They try to accomplish this by twisting the historic context both with regards to the time and place, the persons involved and in the loyalties they had. Also they try to convey that Evil is not something despicable in itself, but a tool to be used by the powers in charge.

I assume you’ve seen the movies and can relate tho following facts to the plot and the characters.

My first pain point are the movie’s extremely distorted “Vlad” and “Mehmet” figures. They are created from greatly mixing Vlad II

… and Vlad III.

  • was called the “Prince of Wallachia”
  • who was later called the “Impaler”
  • grew up as a political captive under the Ottomans (together with his brother Radu)
  • Radu had a friendship with Mehmet II, not Vlad
  • had a personal hatred for Radu and Mehmet
  • known for The Night Attack
  • he is often characterized as a tyrant who took sadistic pleasure in torturing and killing his enemies

And by greatly mixing Murad II

  • actually ruling in 1442
  • tried to establish Ottoman-friendly rulers in Wallachia

… and Mehmet II.

My second and more general pain point are the movie’s morals which are kind of strange to say the least. :/ Among those seem to be:

  • pacting with the devil is OK, as long as it’s against Muslims
  • choosing to become a monster is alright, as long as you can protect your family and your country
  • you can do whatever you like to your enemies (especially using torture or excessively cruel ways of killing), as long as you’re good-looking
  • you can both be a pious Christian and a henchman of the Devil
  • being “the son of the devil” is a source of pride
  • revenge is good
  • prominent characters in western literature must be made to fight Muslims
  • Muslims must be defeated, even if you have rewrite history

I find this extremely troubling. o_O

Impostors, Sadists and Immoral Lunatics

It’s sad that it takes 120+ scholars to refute a bunch of lunatics.  As we all know ISIL stands for „Impostors, Sadists and Immoral Lunatics.“

Radley Balko on the Militarization of America’s Police Force

VICE talks about why people fear/hate the police more and more, how the militarization of police and the increased use of force are signs that feedback loops are set up to make things worse. 🙁

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Next Future Terrifying Technology Will Blow Your Mind

An awesome talk with Bruce Schneier and Julian Sanchez. Asking just the right questions and giving and eyeopening view into what is possible even with todays technology.

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Declaring People Terrorists so They Don’t Become It

Remarkable (para-)phrase attributed to French examining magistrate Marc Trévidic :

Declaring people terrorists–who are not–so they don’t become it.

This is to become the basis for new French “anti-terror” legislation.

I couldn’t find the original (French) quote, but a German translation of it.

Es gibt Leute, die man als Terroristen kennzeichnet, damit sie es nicht werden.

Which translates into something like

There’re people who get branded terrorists so they don’t become it.

Elite Thinking

At Eaton they have a clear vision what the future will look like and how politicians should be trained to respond. One of the scholarship exam questions went like this:

The year is 2040. There have been riots in the streets of London after Britain has run out of petrol because of an oil crisis in the Middle East. Protesters have attacked public buildings. Several policemen have died. Consequently, the Government has deployed the Army to curb the protests. After two days the protests have been stopped but twenty-five protesters have been killed by the Army. You are the Prime Minister. Write the script for a speech for be broadcast to the nation in which you explain why employing the Army against violent protesters was the only option available to you and one which was both necessary and moral.

Source: New Statesman

via Fefe

Statt kausal-logischer Ermittlungsarbeit, computergestützte Wahrsagerei

Die Süddeutsche stellt sich die Frage “warum demokratische Regierungen so große Angst vor ihren Bevölkerungen haben” … und beantwortet sie eigentlich nicht. :(Dem Artikel kann man dennoch etwas Gutes abgewinnen, da die Begründungen für die Datensammelwut von Behörden und Geheimdiensten und ihr tatsächlicher Nutzen zur Sprache kommen, die im folgenden Zitat gut zusammengefasst sind:

Statt kausal-logischer Ermittlungsarbeit betreibt man eher computergestützte Wahrsagerei, der man umso mehr glaubt, je mehr Daten, Profile, Verhaltensmuster in der Datenbank lagern.