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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      New upgrade with simpler interface   05/13/2016

      Once again, the fine folks at IPB made a new upgrade and things might not be where you started to learn they were. However, this is one time where I think they actually improved things for navigation. There are only a few big buttons: When you click on one of those buttons, some other stuff opens up, depending on which button you click. (Later Note: These only appear when zoomed in or in the mode for smartphones/tablets.) I'm learning this as you are, so I suggest you do what I am doing: click on these big buttons, see what they open and fiddle with the software some. Ironically, you will find there is a lot that is intuitive. That's what I'm discovering. (Later note: I just discovered that I was viewing the site zoomed in too far to see the normal view. The menus are still there with the old buttons, but when I zoom in too much, they disappear and the new buttons appear. I believe this zoomed in way is what the site looks like on mobile devices. I'm going to mess with it some more, then maybe make some explanations.) Sorry for the inconvenience. Still, over time, I hope you end up liking these changes. Michael

studiodekadent

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About studiodekadent

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  • Full Name Andrew Russell
  • Description Individualist Renegade Objectivist Cybergoth-Freak type. Economist, Philosopher and Musician. Economics: Misesian/Hayekian/Evolutionary Philosophy: Open-System Objectivism Myers-Briggs Type: INTP Enneagram Type: 8w7 with a strong connection to 5 Favorite Song: "Joy" by VNV Nation Favorite Computer Game: System Shock 2 Favorite Quote: "Thought Does Not Bow To Authority" - Ayn Rand
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc. Icon of Coil, Front Line Assembly, :Wumpscut:, [:SITD:], VNV Nation, Velvet Acid Christ, Suicide Commando, Grendel, Orgy (circa Vapor Transmission), Marilyn Manson (circa Mechanical Animals), Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Apoptygma Berzerk, Covenant, Assemblage 23, Decoded Feedback, Julien-K, New Order, The Kovenant
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  • Gender Male
  • Location Brisbane, Australia
  • Interests Austrian and Evolutionary Economics, Objectivism, Electro-Industrial Music (Listening/Composing/ Producing), Synthesizers, Goth/Industrial/ Cyberpunk/Formal Fashion, Makeup (more than my mother), Drinking, Blackjack, Debauchery of Assorted Varieties.
  1. Judgmental Aesthetics Time!

    An unfortunate problem with some Objectivists is that they regard divergent aesthetic tastes as "treachery to Objectivism" and thus proof that the person with the "wrong" tastes is insufficiently Objectivist and thus worthy of condemnation. Here's my contribution to this (unfortunate) tradition. This is a song from the video game "Deus Ex: Human Revolution" (a game that's basically thematically masturbatory to any Objectivist). This is a game about mankind's ability to use reason and science to rise up to the level of the gods. Therefore, if you don't love this song (the game's theme song), you're not Objectivist enough. You're a traitor. You don't believe in human greatness, or science, or reason, or logic. And therefore you have Death Premises in your Sense Of Life which need to be rooted out. NOTES: I love this song but this post is intended to be a Reductio Ad Absurdum to an unfortunately common argument made by Randians so don't assume I actually BELIEVE what I wrote above.
  2. True, Poker is not a house game. You play against other players, not the casino. But gambling in Vegas is more rational (in terms of overall expected loss versus possible return). Take the amount you're betting (your total betting volume, i.e. stake * house margin for the game/s you're playing), and that's your expected loss. Balance that against the value of comps (typically you get 40% of what the casino assumes to be your expected loss (basically they estimate higher than the mathematical house edge to take into account very few people play in a statistically perfect fashion) back in room/food discounts so that ALREADY lowers your expected loss by 40%), the pleasure of the entertainment (which includes more than just the game... it includes the social experience and the atmosphere of the casino), etcetera. After you do that, gambling is pretty cheap entertainment in the long run, presuming you play the right games in a statistically optimal fashion. In the short run there will be variance - big losses and big wins - but statistically speaking, you won't lose much overall. Indeed, if you play good games of blackjack with correct basic strategy, you'll effectively be getting free entertainment (a typical Vegas casino will estimate an expected loss of 0.7% of your total betting volume - 40% of this casino-expected loss works out roughly to the house margin of a good-rules Blackjack game). There are safer ways to get a thrill than skydiving. Rollercoasters and thrill rides for one. Are these artificially induced ways to get an adrenaline rush "not compatible with rational action"? Horror movies? Video games? Of course not all gambling is rational - plenty of it isn't and lots of people gamble stupidly. There are better and worse games and casinos to gamble at (frankly, Vegas is getting worse, particularly for lower-level Strip players). But anyway, I don't know how you could allege that doing thrilling stuff somehow is not compatible with rational action. Getting on a thrill ride to have some adrenaline fun is not irrational. Trying to think rationally while this is going on doesn't work too well. Your mind is automatically constricting and excluding. In an emergency situation--and maybe in sports--you have pre-programmed yourself. The danger with "rational" gambling is gambling frenzy. That means going off; some go off big time, trying to get it back. Rational gambling is what Fred Smith did in Vegas to meet his Federal Express payroll. He won. He left. --Brant such is the story Gambling frenzy is certainly irrational. But you seem to presume that it is inevitable. I can assure you, it is not. Please remember that I actually do have a blackjack hobby and I'm doing a doctorate in a gambling-related field. Gambling is NOT synonymous with 'problem gambling' or 'gambling addiction' or 'stupid gambling.'
  3. True, Poker is not a house game. You play against other players, not the casino. But gambling in Vegas is more rational (in terms of overall expected loss versus possible return). Take the amount you're betting (your total betting volume, i.e. stake * house margin for the game/s you're playing), and that's your expected loss. Balance that against the value of comps (typically you get 40% of what the casino assumes to be your expected loss (basically they estimate higher than the mathematical house edge to take into account very few people play in a statistically perfect fashion) back in room/food discounts so that ALREADY lowers your expected loss by 40%), the pleasure of the entertainment (which includes more than just the game... it includes the social experience and the atmosphere of the casino), etcetera. After you do that, gambling is pretty cheap entertainment in the long run, presuming you play the right games in a statistically optimal fashion. In the short run there will be variance - big losses and big wins - but statistically speaking, you won't lose much overall. Indeed, if you play good games of blackjack with correct basic strategy, you'll effectively be getting free entertainment (a typical Vegas casino will estimate an expected loss of 0.7% of your total betting volume - 40% of this casino-expected loss works out roughly to the house margin of a good-rules Blackjack game). There are safer ways to get a thrill than skydiving. Rollercoasters and thrill rides for one. Are these artificially induced ways to get an adrenaline rush "not compatible with rational action"? Horror movies? Video games? Of course not all gambling is rational - plenty of it isn't and lots of people gamble stupidly. There are better and worse games and casinos to gamble at (frankly, Vegas is getting worse, particularly for lower-level Strip players). But anyway, I don't know how you could allege that doing thrilling stuff somehow is not compatible with rational action.
  4. Korben, You're asking about two interrelated questions; first, the morality of gambling and second, the moral implications of (fiscally) supporting a government program. With gambling, I think MSK is correct. You're entering into a game of chance where the conditions are specified beforehand. Its a contract. You've earned the result of the contract. If you think "earning by luck" is not really earning, that sounds to me like an acceptance of the Labor Theory of Value... which has been rejected by economists ever since the Marginalist Revolution. Whilst moral value is a rationally-assessable thing, ECONOMIC value is and intersubjective matter. We're Objectivists. We're not Calvinists or Marxists. We don't think physical toil is the source of wealth nor do we believe it has an intrinsic worth. As for the issue of supporting a government program, you do have a point there. But in modern societies, governments have a finger in every pie. Consumption or sales taxes make it impossible to get some milk at the grocery store without supporting a government program. Income taxes make it impossible to earn a living without giving money to the government. Yes, entering a lottery is voluntary but so is getting a job. Where I WILL critique the lottery is in odds of winning. Frankly the lottery is one of the worst forms of gambling (measured in terms of house margin). Casino blackjack is far better in terms of expected loss (trust me, I'm a Platinum member at the MGM casinos in Vegas), but the Lotto has a lot more variance. So a small entry can IN THEORY result in an incredible win. But over the long run, the lottery is far worse gambling. Honestly, a token entry into occasional lotteries is hardly a sacrifice and does have a slim possibility of changing or at least improving your life. I wouldn't regard occasional lottery entry as a problem morally. I mean, if you can easily afford it and its a big jackpot and you don't have to make any sacrifices to make an entry? Sure, nothing wrong with it. Gambling is not a sin. Objectivists aren't puritans.
  5. An Update

    I would think economics from what I know. Hell, anything he tackles will know it. Adam is correct, I will be doing my PhD in Economics. Thank you Michael, Adam and Brant for the well-wishes!
  6. An Update

    I know I haven't been around very often. My apologies. I wanted to update everyone and say I'll be commencing a PhD program early next year. I still check in here from time to time so feel free to send PMs or email me. -Andrew
  7. The Most Evil Fictional Characters

    This is a difficult subject because a lot of "evil" villains are simply not very believable. Platonic avatars of Evil... Satan-archetypes... characters who are evil-for-the-sake-of-evil... are impossible to really get. They're impossible to comprehend. This is because human beings deliberately try to act in a way that's good. The difference is that we have radically different views of what counts as "good." ISIS believe themselves to be fighting on the side of good, after all. Even though they are obviously evil, their version of Islam enshrines them as good. It is against human nature to act in a way one sincerely believes to be evil. People can absolutely act in ways which are in-fact evil, but they do so because they believe it may be the lesser of evils, or that it is actually good. I know we all have a lowish opinion of Kant, but Kant described this idea of actors who knowingly embrace evil as the "diabolical will" and he argued it did not exist. For all of Kant's mistakes, he wasn't wrong on that. Hitler may have been evil, but he BELIEVED he was good. And frankly, that makes Hitler scarier. Do you think fundamentalists or the like believe themselves to be evil? I believe H L Mencken said that the worst tyranny is the tyranny driven by good intentions. Belief that one is good and that one is right can provide a psychological license to commit evil. The road to hell is paved in good intentions. So I find it difficult to discuss the idea of the "most evil" fictional villain. Are we talking about actual evil or cartoony evil? Then there's the issue of mental disorders and the like; if these conditions are neurological, then it becomes harder to describe them as "evil." Fictional characters who are "pure evil" are impossible to relate to, impossible to understand. They don't have a motivation which makes sense to anyone. Desire for money is understandable. Desire for revenge is understandable. Even the idea that existence is suffering and therefore the destruction of existence is a good thing is understandable (because everyone wants to avoid suffering). So does this topic want the most "evil" villains? Or the most effective villains (i.e. the best villains)?
  8. Paris terrorist attacks

    We all know of the event by now. A true tragedy. And no, I'm not presently interested in levelheaded discussion. I'm interested in sorrow-drowning. My recommendation to all OL members is to drink a whole bottle of Champagne (real champagne of course) whilst listening to anti-Islamic death metal (there's tons on youtube... a good example is this song here: ). Eat some pork rinds as well, just to round out the "haram" trifecta. Vive Le France. Je Suis Charlie. Obama's speech wasn't absolutely perfect in terms of what it DIDN'T say (i.e. he didn't explicitly name Islamic fundamentalism) but it was on-the-money in terms of what it DID say. The psychos attacked many different communities, including the metal community. This, I think, will be a turning point; counterculturalists will start hating fundamentalist Islam as much as they hate fundamentalist Christianity. And I consider this a positive development. Let us raise our 'horns' (you know the hand gesture) in solidarity with the murdered metalheads. Only in a free society can counterculture flourish. Please, for great justice... listen to anti-God music. Let us reward artists who attack the Abrahamic delusion. And not JUST its Christian variant.
  9. Looking to meet Objectivists

    Pekka, This isn't an orthodox Objectivist forum but as a non-orthodox Objectivist, I'm glad to see you here. Welcome.
  10. Homosexuality- Does choice matter?

    I contest your presumption that the "original idea" was that "God does not make gay people." Indeed, the mere concept of sexual orientation is pretty new - there's no mention of it in the Bible or in any Hellenic philosophy. The idea that there are "innately" heterosexual or homosexual people seems to be a product of post-Freudian psychology. From what I know, the "original idea" is that anyone could engage in sexual activity (or at least "activities which we'd probably describe as sexual") with members of either sex. Viking conquerors raping male prisoners, Greek pederasty (intercrural sex was the only accepted kind of sex but still), Greeks and Romans anally raping male slaves (completely permitted), these are all 'sexual' acts going by modern standards. And yet a free man could rape his male slave in the butt and that didn't impugn his manhood or bring his sexual practice into social disrepute. A viking warrior could rape a male monk he captured and he could still go back home to his wife and shag her. "Gay" and "Straight" - the idea that someone is innately predisposed to exclusively sexually desire members of the same or the opposite sex, is absent from the historical record. I've heard that only 1% of people are actually born with the gay gene, but there is a psychological reason people become gay. I have no idea if that is true. Personal opinion? Its a mix of factors. No one has found a biological factor that 100% results in homosexuality. But we've found several biological correlates, from genetic ones to the Fraternal Birth Order Effect. Plus, frankly, I know a lot of gay (or mostly-gay) men who have been victims of childhood sexual abuse. In my opinion this doesn't damage the case for gay rights. Gay rights is a product of the fact that consensual sex between members of the same sex doesn't violate anyone's rights, and therefore the "reason" they want to screw members of the same sex is irrelevant. But the point I am making is that IMO, both nature and nurture seem to contribute to sexual preference. Very true. That said, I would go so far to say that even IF it were a choice, that wouldn't make any sexual preference immoral. There's no moral duty to reproduce, and not everyone wants a family.
  11. Review... The Human Centipede 3: The Final Sequence

    And here I was thinking there would be some substantial commentary... First, to Brant, accusing me of being a Randroid is both offensive and patently false. I've freely stated my disagreements with Rand. I am not some fundamentalist and I think Peikoff is a douche. Second, also to Brant, I stated that the attitude of the film smacked of (amongst other things) Social Democracy, which isn't Marxism (it is founded on a similar moral belief system but a Social Democracy is effectively a regulated mixed economy with significant wealth redistribution). Marxism requires collective ownership of the means of production and the abolition of profit; this is far more extreme than Social Democracy. Social Democracy is arguably an economically Fascist ideology. Now, this is hardly the opposite of Marxism and philosophically it is closer to Marxism than it is to Enlightenment Individualism, but it would be a substantial overstatement and mischaracterization to treat the two ideologies identically. Also, Social Democrats may not be socially liberal (by which I mean socially laissez-faire) but they aren't social totalitarians either, which is more than we can say for Marxists or Fascists. But the social democracy really isn't the primary aspect; it was more a general smug European attitude towards Americans and American society in general. Social democracy (versus the US's somewhat less controlled economy... which is still social democratic in some respects) is a portion of this, but not ALL of it. Its a component part. Finally, to Greg, So, no deep discussion or commentary? Calling the film "leftist crap slinging" is a bit of an exaggeration, because many of the things thematically mocked by the film are bad by classically liberal standards. Bush-era foreign policy was terrible (on the moral, political and fiscal levels), waterboarding and "enhanced interrogation methods" were atrocious, jingoism is dangerous-as-fuck, and the US really does have substantial problems within the criminal justice system (particularly within California). Where the film went wrong is in portraying these things as inherently American, innate to the American Experiment, rather than savage betrayals of American principles (which is what they in fact are). But look, one annoying theme doesn't destroy the entertainment value of the film (I would say the same about Pacific Rim, which was entertaining in spite of the fact the main theme was massively collectivist (thankfully there was a subplot with a resoundingly individualist theme as well)). At least if one isn't averse to shock humor, this film is still entertaining.
  12. Not very Randian, but this says it all...

    LOL! Going by how so many self-proclaimed "artists" tend to act these days, I think that diagram has quite a degree of empirical truth.
  13. Thank you Tony, and I agree; genuine empathy proceeds from understanding which proceeds from rationality. Reason is not empathy's enemy but its enabler. I agree entirely. The "empathists" as you describe them are very fickle in who receives their empathy, and often when they demand empathy they want empathy FOR THEM and are not very good at being empathetic towards others.
  14. Stephen, Thank you very much for your response and I'm sorry for how long it took me. I agree that hopefully our society will reject the false dichotomy between reason and benevolence/cordiality/not-being-a-douche. I appreciate your advice re. Hutcheson and Schopenhauer. I don't know how much influence either of them had on Anglosphere attitudes but I'll keep those names in mind (that said, I dread looking at Schopenhauer because I'm well-aware of the horrors of Continental philosophical prose).
  15. The Human Centipede 3: Final Sequence The Politically Correct Way To Be Politically Incorrect I have reviewed The Human Centipede as well as its sequel, so when I attended the premiere of THC3 (the final film in the trilogy, with no plans for the concept to ever be revisited again) I thought writing a review would be fitting. Whereas THC was stated to be "100% medically accurate" and THC2 was stated to be "100% medically inaccurate," THC3 was marketed as "100% politically incorrect." THC3 is really the "odd one out" of the series; the first two films are particularly dark horror films, but whilst THC3 is extremely gory it is actually a comedy. Frankly I think its the funniest movie I've seen in a very long time. In THC-series convention, the film looks very different from the previous two installments; the first had a palate mostly composed of either cool colors or stark harsh white, and the second was all in black & white. THC3 is full of warm and vibrant colors along with earthy neutrals, being set in a Southwestern American state with desert scenery. This may seem surprising given the film is set in a prison, but the orange jumpsuits of the inmates fit the palate perfectly. THC3 tells the story of Bill Boss (gloriously overacted by Dieter Laser, who played the villain of the first film, and who's performance seems to be a monument to amphetamines-induced megalomania); the sadistic warden of a large prison, who's job is under threat due to the fact his prison has incredibly high levels of violence. His assistant, Dwight (played by Lawrence R. Harvey, the actor who portayed the villain of the second film, doing his best to sound Texan), suggests a solution straight out of The Human Centipede films (which are, yes, films-within-the-film); to stitch all the prisoners together in one giant mouth-to-anus chain (in theory that would certainly save a lot on food costs!). Let us be blunt; this film is a gory comedy. It isn't scary. It is built entirely out of shock humor which exceeds even the most profane South Park episodes. Blood and even shit (and to be fair, both of these match the film's color palate!) are depicted, and there's even a (modest) depiction of semen involved. Even the gruesome and violent scenes of torture perpetrated by Bill Boss are rendered genuinely funny by the beyond-Jim-Carey-level overacting. Almost every single imaginable line is crossed; sexism, racism, homopobia, sexual harassment, rape, colostomy bags, Chron's disease (which has rather frightening implications in the context of the centipede), sexual sadism, female genital mutilation, this film frankly ticks off all the boxes of transgressive humor (apart from, strangely enough, harm to children and hot-button religious issues (for the most part)). This is coupled with an undercurrent of political satire (which I shall look at next). Overall, if you like films like "The Aristocrats" and enjoy the humor of South Park, this film is basically that but with more blood. As a comedy, it works fantastically, although it does require a strong stomach. But this is an Objectivist movie review, so I am going to look at this film philosophically. Sure, as a comedy I absolutely recommend this film (for those who enjoy shock humor), but whilst this film is clearly transgressive and profane and utterly hilarious, does it live up to its pledge to be "100% Politically Incorrect"? This is in fact my reason for criticizing the film on a thematic level; "Politically Incorrect" means more than "offensive." "Politically Incorrect" means more than "transgressive." The "Politically Incorrect" means offending specific groups of people and transgressing a specific set of norms. In brief, the "Politically Incorrect" is stuff which offends (or at least is perceived as being offensive to) members of the political Left's favoured identity groups, and stuff which transgresses the political Left's norms and values. The artworks "Piss Christ" and "The Holy Virgin Mary" are indeed offensive (to some) and transgressive, but they are not Politically Incorrect because they do not offend the right groups and don't transgress the relevant set of norms. But a Draw Mohammed festival? Now that is Politically Incorrect, because according to the ideology of Political Correctness (now rebranded as "Intersectional Social Justice"), that constitutes an attack on a culturally oppressed class of people; to offend and transgress the norms of the culturally oppressed is "punching down" which is the cardinal sin of Intersectional Social Justice. But Christians (particularly Catholics, who's iconography was used in both "Piss Christ" and "The Holy Virgin Mary") are considered a culturally privileged (or at least normative) group, and therefore to offend them and transgress their norms is "punching up" and speaking out against oppression, which is the cardinal virtue of Intersectional Social Justice. The Politically Incorrect is that which "punches down." The Politically Incorrect is that which makes humor at the expense of groups who are (at least percieved as) victim groups. Now to be fair, a lot of the devotees of PC will see "punching down" in anything that mocks a victim group, even if that "punch down" was thrown by a villain and the joke in context was intended to make the villain seem even worse. This is a ridiculous viewpoint, but it is one which favours THC3's claim of being "100% Politically Incorrect" (because it lowers the threshold for Political Incorrectness). In the interests of charity, I will treat this ridiculous "depiction = endorsement" standard as sufficient grounds for "punching down." As THC3 claimed to be "100% Politically Incorrect," I only need to substantiate one instance of "punching up" to prove my case. Yes, THC3 has sexual harassment, rape, characters who are racist and misogynist and homophobic, ethnic/homophobic/sexist slurs, mockery of the disabled and a whole host of other Politically Incorrect things. But on a thematic level, THC3's claim to being "100% Politically Incorrect" falls down because THC3 buys wholly into one of the long-running dogmas of the Politically Correct; the belief that America as such is a nation riddled with cultural pathologies. This goes far beyond a belief that America isn't beyond criticism (it clearly is not perfect) and it certainly isn't an argument that America often acts in a contrary manner to its own principles (that, unfortunately, goes without saying) - rather, it is a condemnation of the "American experiment" (i.e. the radical individualism and classical liberalism embodied in the Declaration of Independence) justified by "this horrible problem exists in America!" The creator of The Human Centipede, Tom Six, is Dutch; no wonder that THC3 comes off as a showcase of everything which Europeans like to hold as emblematic of the "uncivilized" or "barbaric" or "depraved" culture of the United States; guns, cowboys, a whole host of American national symbols (flags and what appears to be a bald eagle), a concern with governments spending too much money, cynical politicians who only care about re-election (as if Europe doesn't have an equally-depraved political class), bigoted and backward attitudes, religion, a brutal and punitively-focused prison system plagued with overcrowding and an excessive desire to lock people up (to be fair this is a huge problem in the US but the film hardly gives some sort of deep and complex look at the causes of this), politicians willing to sanction violations of human rights (although, tellingly, not a single mention is made of the "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" clause in the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution... rather the nation-neutral and European-favored phrase "human rights" is used) whilst declaring that "this is what America needs!" over a soaring rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner... Of course the US has substantial flaws, and sometimes the film mentions genuine issues and problems within the US. The US has many hypocrites, many unscrupulous career-politicians with no principle, terrible problems with the criminal justice system and a whole assortment of issues that need to be discussed, yet the persistent association of national iconography with all of these problems comes off as an attempt to argue that these are culturally-rooted problems with the "American experiment" itself rather than hypocrisies to be remedied through consistent adherence to the principles of the "American experiment." THC3 argues that the problem with America is that it is being too American, not that it isn't being American enough. And this is coming from a Continental European. I know nothing about Tom Six's political convictions (apart from the fact he's a believer in completely unrestrained artistic freedom; a noble stance I applaud and share), but I do know a very common sentiment amongst Europeans is that the United States is a cruel, harsh and brutal nation bordering on outright Social Darwinism, lacking in compassion, infested with a monumental level of racism and sexism and general bigotry, with an irrational and borderline-sexual fetish for guns sustained by a "gun culture" that's as intense as its alleged "rape culture." I know many European (not necessarily Continental but you can find this attitude amongst the British and Irish too) people, and this attitude is something they're often inclined towards; I don't think it is unreasonable to suggest Six may share at least some of it. Many Europeans think that the social democracies of Europe are more evolved and civilized and enlightened than the US, and therefore hold America in contempt. How can I sustain this (admittedly rather serious) charge? I do so by looking at the central character of The Human Centipede 3: Bill Boss (played by Dieter Laser). Bill Boss is indeed overacted beyond the point of parody (it makes the film funnier!), but he effectively serves as an avatar of everything which Europeans often mock about Americans; Boss dresses like a cowboy, always weilds a gun (sometimes an assault rifle but typically a revolver) and uses it primarily to assert demands for respect (yet is often driven to hysterical fits of whimpering by the fact that none of his inmates respect him), and sexually harasses his secretary via digital rape in the opening scene of the movie. He is the warden of George H. W. Bush prison (I think that may have been an error on the filmmaker's part, or perhaps the "H" was put in there to make the film seem less heavy-handed?) and brutally tortures prisoners; he waterboards (so much for subtlety) one of them with boiling water (!), and even castrates another inmate before cooking and eating that inmates testicles. Clearly he goes far beyond the Joe Arpaio threshold. He bellows about his philosophy on justice - "eyes for eyes, teeth for teeth" - whilst inflicting sadistic cruelty on his inmates. He sexually exploits his secretary more than once and refers to her by sexist names like "Tits." The candy jar on his desk actually contains preserved excised clitorises imported from Africa. Constant streams of racist, homophobic and sexist language spew forth from his mouth in vitriolic rants, with black prisoners frequently described as "apes." The prisoner he first inflicts castration on happens to be the gay prisoner, and when eating that prisoner's cooked testicles he makes the sign of the cross over himself (implying that he is Christian). His homophobia is further implied by the fact he has a nightmare about being raped by the gay inmate, with this rape being given a shockingly gruesome twist when the inmate cuts Boss open just near the kidney and violates the incision. Of course, on more than one occasion Boss confesses to getting erections from dominating and torturing his (all male) inmates, implying that his homophobia may come from repressed same-sex desires. Boss is explicitly stated to be a German-American (explaining his thick German accent which frankly makes a lot of what he bellows indecipherable), but he is immensely devoted to American nationalism; at one point he tells the Governor of his State that he refuses to smoke Cuban cigars due to Cuba being a communist nation, and impugns the Governor's patriotism for the Governor's insistence on only smoking Cuban cigars. The American flag is present in his office at all times, and in one particularly telling scene after the prison riot, Boss is sitting out in the yard while a bald eagle flies overhead and the camera lingers upon it. Boss, in effect, is the avatar of basically everything that a European new-leftist associates with American-ness: neoconservatism and the Iraq war, guns, cowboys, racism, misogyny, homophobia, religionism, brutal justice, nationalism/jingoism and anti-communism (I agree that most of these things are in fact bad, but the point is that Boss is intended to represent these things for a perspective that sees them as innate within America). In addition, let us add Dwight (Boss's accountant) into the mix. Dwight is a fan of The Human Centipede films and suggests the idea to Boss as a cost-saving measure. He continues to reiterate how their jobs are on the line and they need to cut costs, and people are concerned that the government is "spending too much" - whilst this may be interpreted more favorably as a bunch of civil servants willing to go to vicious lengths to protect their jobs, I think in the light of all the above this is a swipe against the proponents of reduced government spending, which in the US means fiscal conservatives. So the villains in THC3 embody racism, nationalism/jingoism, homophobia, misogyny, Bush-era foreign policy and 'enhanced interrogation methods,' anti-communism, Christianity, guns/"gun culture," cowboys, brutally punitive justice, and fiscal conservatism all at once. The lead villain is repeatedly associated with national iconography and proudly asserts his patriotism, and by the end of the film has managed to convince a cynical and opportunistic politician that sewing prisoners into human centipedes is "what America needs" (with a rousing rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner playing in the background). In short; the depravities of Bill Boss are as American as an American-with-a-thick-German-accent can possibly be ("As American as Apfelstrudel"?). They are portrayed not as horrendous violations of the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution but rather as if sewing prisoners up into a five-hundred-person human centipede were the Boston Mouth-To-Anus Party. Politically Incorrect? This picture of what America is like is pretty much identical to the view of America held by the Politically Correct. According to the Politically Correct, America is deeply racist/sexist/homophobic/religionist/socially darwinist and absolutely backwards relative to the "enlightened" and "compassionate" social democracies of Europe, and it is Sweden rather than America whom the world should be trying to emulate. This film, whilst it certainly "punches down" by the standards of Political Correctness, also "punches up" by attacking America and casting America as a uniquely racist-sexist-homphobic-nationalist-religionist-firearm-fetishizing-socially-darwinian hell. The film doesn't portray this as an atrocious violation of American principles, but rather as something deeply rooted within American-ness (even though the main villain is a naturalized American from Germany rather than native-born). Whilst THC3 has plenty of Politically Incorrect subject matter covering almost every potentially offensive angle, THC3's ultimate themes play into Politically Correct narratives (i.e. the depravity of America as failure of the American Experiment); the film is effectively using Politically Incorrect subject matter to advance a Politically Correct theme. Whatever that does to the numerical rating of the film's level of Political Incorrectness, it surely rules the film out of contention for being "100% Politically Incorrect." None of the above should be construed as believing America to be beyond criticism; I think the US has massive problems with its criminal justice system. I opposed the Iraq War and Neoconservative foreign policy even when most (but not all) Objectivists were supportive of them. The United States continues to be atypically religious, and religious groups and considerations still have an undue influence on public policy (until recently, it was their worldview which was used to justify the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples). Nationalism and Jingoism are dangerous things which tore Europe up in two great wars. But THC3 hardly provides any sort of deep or insightful discussion of these flaws, and instead simply defaults to the Politically Correct explanation; "the problem is inherent in American-ness" (which means the American Experiment - the essential ideas behind the United States). As if public prison guard unions and their legal privileges, or left-leaning politicians in general, have had nothing to do with "tough on crime" policies and mass incarceration (particularly in California - hardly a conservative state either socially or fiscally - and both a tough-on-crime state and the state most prone to prison overcrowding). As if racism, nationalism or jingoism are innately American phenomena rather than things which are still extremely prevalent in Europe. The arrogant and patronizing European attitude would do well from looking at the rise of far-right Fascist parties in Europe and the continual tearing-itself-apart that persists along ethnic lines in the Balkans even to this day. And this is without even going into the issue of economics - Greece's situation and Europe's anaemic growth rates coupled with high cost of living make the US look far less harsh or socially-darwinian than the advocates of social democracy claim, and on the issue of safety nets it is perfectly possible to create a safety net without sustaining monolithic bureaucratic classes (a demographic whom, unsurprisingly, are ideologically inclined towards social democracy). Yes, THC3 has an annoying thematic streak of anti-American-ness. But you know what? The film is still side-splittingly funny, even if it indulges in the kind of prejudices about America one expects from a pretentious Parisian Gauche-Caviar pseudointellectual. Just don't go expecting it to be "100% Politically Incorrect," because unless you turn your brain off you'll be somewhat disappointed. Overall, THC3 is a blisteringly offensive and transgressive comedy film that manages to redefine the standard for Dead Baby Comedy (although, unlike THC2, the film lacks any dead babies). It is not as Politically Incorrect as you might think due to how it is tainted with what appears to be a European attitude of disdain towards America: a very Politically Correct narrative. Apart from that, the subject matter certainly manages to slaughter many sacred cows. "90% Politically Incorrect" is more true to reality, but isn't really a good tagline.