Hello everyone. It's a new year, and what better way to ring in 2018 than quietly reading the Chapo Trap House newsletter? When we started this newsletter we had no idea it would explode into an email phenomenon spanning two years and counting. And here we are, delighted that you, the reader, have joined us on our content odyssey. Now here's the garbage:
DECISION 2018: THE GAMING DEBATE
January 19 at the Bell House in Brooklyn Matt and I will hold a Presidential-caliber debate over the merits of video games, moderated by our friend Trevor Strunk of No Cartridge. This battle of wits will go down as a watershed moment in the history of gaming: as either the event that sparked a wide-scale social rejection of video games forcing gamers even deeper underground into some sort of sub-basements to carry on their virtual insurgency, or the event that once and for all legitimized gaming as an activity and an art form. Tickets are $10 and they sell beer there. Buy them now.
Speaking of Matt Christman, what an auld lang shame this would be if he didn't share with you his predictions for the upcoming year.
2018 Predictions Matt Christman
As we close the book on 2017, a year full of win, and owns, and epic fails alike, let us look forward to what promises to be a new year bright with promise and hope and indictments from Daddy Mueller. So what does 2018 have in store?
President Trump will cryptically tweet "beef monster" and cause a thousand point drop in the stock market before it's deleted.
Democrats strike a Grand Bargain with congressional Republicans to declare May 30th as National Covfefe Day in exchange for the end of Food Stamps and making homelessness a federal crime.
Bitcoin will reach $69,420, causing everyone to stop mining more Bitcoin and also trading them or spending them. Just leave it like that. Forever.
The Post will win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. No joke, that's definitely going to happen.
After a hard-fought midterm election campaign, Republicans will hold on to their Senate and House majorities thanks to gerrymandering, voter suppression, and a last minute ad blitz funded by the Koch brothers showing Logan and Jake Paul epically prank a Latina single mother. The reduced-but-defiant GOP majorities in both houses elect new leaders, and the 115th US Congress convenes with Senate Majority Leader Hurbish Chunt (R-TN) and Speaker of the House Reinhard Heydrich Noid IV.
The Han Solo movie will suck.
And now here's local cutup Felix Biederman with some thoughts about the holidays and coming out to his family as a person afflicted by psychology.
Top 5 Psychology Introverts of History Felix Biederman
As an adult, my Christmases are no longer the trivial affairs of my youth, where I anxiously anticipated treats and presents in between feverish bouts of masturbation. While it is true I still receive tens of thousands of dollars in high end athletic apparel, consumer electronics, and ancient weapons from my family and that my mom still makes three desserts every day for me to consume while I’m home, things are different now. When you get older, you learn the value of giving. And while it fills me with pride that I can now afford to get my family presents (they were treated to several Battlepacks this year), there’s something more important than just material goods I owe them.
Being together only a few times a year necessitates that I update them on all of my big life events, no matter how difficult the subjects may be for me to broach. In 2015, I came out to them as sex positive. In 2016, I had to sit everyone down and tell them that yes, I believe in God, albeit a form of God that doesn’t force me to evaluate the morality of my actions, change any of my conduct, or really affect my life in any way. But 2017 was the most difficult. This was the year I had to tell them I was an introvert.
Truthfully, it was gnawing at me the whole year. It’s not that I’m ashamed. It’s that our culture hates introverts. TV and film tell us that it’s cooler to go to a party then it is to spend the night reading the first paragraph of Wikipedia entries that you never go back to. The news lionizes those who can’t go a week without talking to another human being. And in our schools, children are never taught that introverts are more likely to be honest, intelligent, and trustworthy.
Luckily, my family is pretty accepting. Instead of saying the usual things people tell introverts like “being around tons of people kicks ass, bitch,” and “I’m gonna kill you if you don’t call 50 people on the phone in front of me right now,” they offered reassuring blank stares and repeatedly asked me if I was ok.
But others still have to make the journey that I did, and I want to help them. While I can’t account for your family, I can tell you one thing that helped me work up the courage to tell mine was to try and walk in the footsteps of those introverts who came before me. Here you go, my Top 5 Psychology Introverts of History:
1. Ted Kaczynski
The Unabomber is a lesson in the duality of introverts. On one hand, he was completely correct about technology and put together and amazing streak. On the other hand, the manifesto he wrote is very long and not edited well enough for public consumption. That said, the fact that he lived alone in the woods for so long while still affecting the world around him secures him a spot on the list.
2. Nikola Tesla
Don’t really know what this guy did, to tell you the truth. I just see him on a lot of my introvert pages and from what I can ascertain, he was sort of a real life version of Rick from Rick and Morty, but of course, an introvert.
The militaristic, anthropomorphic iteration of the Israelites’ God exhibits all classic introvert behavior: he talks to so few people that they have entire books written about them if they were bestowed with the honor. When he does make a connection, it’s so deep and powerful that his new friends have the ability to flay tens of thousands of foreskins and build special antigenocide boats. But like any introvert, he’s quick to anger when he feels betrayed. Ask Soddom, Gomorrah, Adam, and Eve about that! Never cross an introvert, unless you want to turn to salt while you regret burning someone who so rarely reaches out to make friends.
How many introverts have been told that they’re too singular in their focus, that they have too few friends, and that they’re condemned to a dull and sad life unless they start acting regular? Well, Thomas Anderson heard all of that. And he kept in a hunched over pose at his computer, until he was reborn in a pod of cum and became a version of Christ who wore cool cassocks and leather outfits.
Even after he rematerialized in the Matrix and was able to do whatever he wanted through his powers as The One, Neo remained a man of few words. Instead of raving in Zion, he stared blankly at green code and imagined different kind of Oakleys he would like to wear. After a life of heroism, Neo experienced an introvert’s worst nightmare when Agent Smith basically sandbagged him at a party by introducing thousands of clones of himself. Neo rose to the occasion and killed the renegade program, giving his life in the process. But his dream of solitary computer guys downloading karate into their brains lived on.
5. Kaspar Hauser
Simply put, the greatest introvert of all time.
On May 26, 1828, a disheveled boy with a letter addressed to a military officer showed up in Bavaria. He could only say “I want to be a cavalryman, as my father was,” “horse, horse,” and write his own name. Already, we can tell the signs of a classic INTJ: he was passionate about his potential career, but didn’t want to give too much of himself away to people he didn’t know yet!
Eventually, he was put in the care of a jailer. Kaspar was inundated with visitors, who claimed to delight him with company. While his introvert intelligence and empathy delighted them, any introvert knows it was killing the boy.
The somewhat feral child was adopted by the city of Nuremberg in a sense, as wealthy patrons donated money for his care. To this end, Kaspar invented Patreon, the number one income stream for introverts in the world.
Unfortunately, Kaspar died in 1833 from a mysterious stab wound. He may have stemmed the bleeding had his energy not been sapped by primitive Germans who didn’t understand the limitations of an introvert.
Hillary Clinton's New Years Resolutions Virgil Texas
stumble around more
Closing things out, let's take another visit to the Menaker Movie Corner, where our own Will Menaker tells you which flicks are worth their popcorn salt and which ones should have left on the cutting room floor (please disregard the image, I don't know how to fix it).
Menaker Movie Corner Will Menaker
Greetings Movie Fans!
Welcome to the second installment of the Menaker Movie Corner, where I tell you about all the films I've watched recently and share my thoughts on them. This week we're going to war! Let's get started with easily the biggest and most controversial take...
THE LAST JEDI sucked. It was a massive slog and at least an hour too long. Shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone because all of Rain Johnson's movies have sucked. (Pause here for where someone tells me that movie where High School kids talk like a Dashiell Hammett novel was actually good.) This isn't just me being contrarian or needlessly high brow, I loved Rogue One and there were a few good scenes in this one, like the opening sequence, bombing run on the Dreadnaught was tight and very well executed but then it just meandered around for what seemed like three hours. Just completely devoid of any sense of danger or narrative tension. Is any movie where you think to yourself "oh boy the climax!" four times good?
What's more, the CHUDs are absolutely right that this movie is SJ-Dub propaganda. Outside the obvious Hillary parallels, and clear message that we should all take orders from older white women, I think it's very telling that nearly every defense of the movie that has been yelled at me amounts to some version of "I liked it because it subverted the tropes of the original films and made all the *bad* nerds mad." I have not seen anyone who was really thrilled by all time spent on Luke's Jedi island or who really thought the Finn/Rose/Casino planet plot line was necessary and fun to watch. This is all bewildering to me as I have no idea what the diehards are mad about in the first place, it was just like every other Star Wars movie, but I guess if if it ticks off certain culture war checkmarks and is thus deemed bad by the right people, almost anyone can convince themselves it was good.
You want to subvert old traditions and let the past die? Stop telling yourself these movies are good and stop seeing them. I, of course won't be doing this and they will continue to take my money for the foreseeable future.
I didn't really like the new version of IT either, it wasn't very scary and just seemed like an episode of Stranger Things. However, that new Pennywise was daddy and can get it. I see what all you ladies were talking about.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER was sort of disappointing. I didn't like it nearly as much as DOGTOOTH or THE LOBSTER, which were recent favorites of mine. I guess the movie makes sense if you realize it takes place in a world where every one is a robot. It's almost all worth it for the scene where Colin Farrell's character tells a story about jacking off his dad.
Moving on, I finally watched Martin Scorsese's SILENCE and I really liked it. I sort of like all of Scorsese's religious films though, including KUNDUN and LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, so take this with that caveat. It's about the brutal repression of Christians in 17th century Japan and is three hours of Andrew Garfield wrestling with his soul and faith against a back drop of beautiful Japanese interiors, landscapes, and intense suffering. He is devout young Jesuit who is moved by the plight and faith of wretched Japanese peasants who worship Christ even under fear of torture and death, holding out a dogged hope that their misery holds some reward in the next life, but in saving them, he dooms them and maybe himself. Man oh man do the Japanese love torturing people. Scorsese trades in his usual kinetic style for his impression of the staid compositions of the Japanese masters. It's arduous to be sure, but beautiful and leads to a really satisfying ending. Even if you don't like this or choose to skip you can rest assured that Marty needed to get his spiritual, existential guilt out of his system so he can make another fun, American crime movie that we'll all enjoy.
Next up is DUNKIRK, which I gotta say really surprised me. I was down hard on Nolan as of late, but I thought this one was excellent. Right up there with THE PRESTIGE as his best and most worthwhile work. What I appreciated the most about it was the near total anonymity of all the characters, no one really had any personality, backstory or character and nearly all the action was marked by a sense of bewilderment, desperation and confusion, which I think is appropriate. The Germans are never really seen except in planes or at a distance and the whole the whole evacuation plays out like some massive, terrifying choreographed art project where the landscape, machinery and few hundred thousand people are thrown together and no one really knows what's going on. Individuals melt away into a sea of fear and completely random strokes of life and death. What is war if not dehumanization? I'm going to dock it for Nolan's few touches of Toryism, the chin-up, Britain is great country nonsense, but it didn't overwhelm the movie . Also the Tom Hardy Spitfire plot line was some of the most amazing aerial photography ever captured on film.
Continuing with the war theme for my final two, I needed to get the taste of The Last Jedi out of my mouth, so I watched a good Mark Hamill movie: the great Samuel Fuller's autobiographical THE BIG RED ONE. It stars Lee Marvin as a tough as nails Sergeant who takes the first infantry division from North Africa to Sicily, to D-Day, Belgium and finally to the liberation of the Falkeneau concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. The film is largely taken from Fuller's own war time experiences where he won the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. His character is played by Robert Carradine aka "Lewis" from Revenge of the Nerds, which is funny and he can be seen chomping Fuller's signature cigar in nearly every scene. Hamill plays a crack shot who can't pull the trigger on a person when the time comes. I think the film is summed up with the Fuller character's line, "You know how you smoke out a sniper? You send a guy out in the open and you see if he gets shot. They thought that one up at West Point." There's another scene during D-Day where they all get assigned a number randomly and then have to storm a beach in that order, each completing a link in this pipe mine contraption and the first seven or so all get picked off one at a time while the rest watch and wait for their number to be called. Despite being more character-driven I think that line sums up the randomness of organized slaughter quite well.
Finally, we're staying with World War 2--for my money the best war for movies-- and reach my Menaker Movie Mindset "Pick O' The Week," with Sam Peckinpah's CROSS OF IRON. The idea of Peckinpah making a pseudo-sympathetic take on Eastern Front Nazis is legitimately insane, but it doesn't make this movie any less awesome. It stars James Coburn as a much beloved Sergeant and Maximillian Schell as his awful Prussian aristocrat officer. This movie is brutal and nasty in the way only Peckinpah can be and rumor has it he drank 3-4 bottles of whiskey every single day on set and almost never slept while filming it. He also ran out of money so the movie just kind of "ends", which is actually cool and good. Nobody does bullet hits better than the slo mo way Peckinpah does it and the Eastern front has plenty of opportunity to make use of his signature effect. Despite ostensibly "rooting" for Nazis, by making the protagonists the "bad guys" the movie more easily captures certain truths about how evil the class-based structure of all Western armies were at the time. This is one of the best war movies I've seen. A World War Two classic.
That about does it for this issue, friends. As always, please do not complain to me about the quality of the newsletter. Every single issue it's "buhh the images are too big and they hurt my eyes" and "I fucking hate you and your dumb newsletter and can you make the text in 99-point Courier so I can read it on my Vitamix." Stop sending me this sort of thing, I don't want to see it. Have a great 2018!