“he convinced the cops it was a promotion for the theatre (it wasn't)”
November 20, 2020 5:49 PM   Subscribe

Please enjoy the many adventures of Matt. [Twitter] [Threadreader]
when i was a movie theatre projectionist, the other projectionist, Matt, would bring clam chowder for lunch every single day, refusing to put it in the fridge even though the projection hallway was well over 100° ...
Matt's favorite thing to do (after seeing FIGHT CLUB) was cut a single frame of a titty into kids movies at a random spot and not tell anyone, so the rest of us projectionists would have to wait until he left for the day then run the entire film to find and cut the frame back out

Believable? Well, according to the replies, every theater has a Matt . . .
posted by Countess Elena (112 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
I believe all of it because all of it seems true to me. I think we all have known a Matt -- someone who is just always too much themselves and has no awareness that there's any other way to exist. They mean well but just cannot stop doing the exact thing they do. They're delightful and exhausting. There's something about being that way that is pretty great, honestly.
posted by edencosmic at 5:57 PM on November 20 [10 favorites]


What
The
Fuck
Matt?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:09 PM on November 20 [46 favorites]


I appreciated the clarification that he was the owner's nephew.

I think I definitely was in a martial arts group with a guy like this. His parents were professors and he once told me was trying to take every class that the university offered because he got free tuition.
posted by Tesseractive at 6:15 PM on November 20 [11 favorites]


This reads like the movie theatre version of Bastard Operator From Hell and about as believable.
posted by benzenedream at 6:27 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]


How was he not fired like a dozen times over? o.0
posted by Canageek at 6:35 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


Aw geez, I remember 2006, and a time when this all seemed acceptable and endearing rather than monstrous.
posted by Jon_Evil at 6:47 PM on November 20 [24 favorites]


The story of Matt kind of reminds me of a gentleman who worked in my lab named Mikey, who once tried to impress me by telling me the story of how he stole from a previous job to get money for drugs, but the drugs turned out to just be cough syrup. (He badly wanted to work with me on the project I was doing at the time. This... did not convince me.) He was trying to out-do my spouse's stories about some of the shit my brother-in-law, another fine Matt, has pulled over the years. We keep very minimal contact with my brother-in-law for a reason. The stories make great party anecdotes, but the actual person himself is a goddamn mess and frankly the last time we drove through town we made a spirited effort to avoid actually coming into contact with him.

They mean well

I have cleaned up enough Matt-like messes to have decided that I don't give a shit how well they mean if they make that much extra exhausting work for me on a daily basis and never, ever, ever learn to do any better. Fire the Matt. Or, if you are so unfortunate as to be working for someone with a bad case of nepotism and a willingness to tolerate a Matt in their place of business, find a new place to work as quickly as possible. It's not cute, it's not fun, and while it might make a great story... look, this dude thought it was great to either potentially show random titty to a theater full of kids (thereby making the staff deal with tons of angry parents) or make literally all his coworkers play Find The Titty through all the film reels behind his back. He sucked.
posted by sciatrix at 6:48 PM on November 20 [84 favorites]


none of this means I'm above giggling at the stories, though. The stories are great.
posted by sciatrix at 6:52 PM on November 20 [16 favorites]


In reality, literally nobody could (consciously) notice a single frame of boobs spliced into any film running at normal speed. If they could, they would have left the theater in the first five seconds from the raging headache they got from seeing the flicker.

That doesn't make it ok by any stretch; it's still a dick move making your coworkers hunt for the random splices.
posted by wierdo at 6:55 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


Matt used to harass the FedEx guys about "getting a real job" even though he and I made minimum wage at $5.15

Story checks out, boss.
posted by deadaluspark at 6:56 PM on November 20 [7 favorites]


look, this dude thought it was great to either potentially show random titty to a theater full of kids (thereby making the staff deal with tons of angry parents) or make literally all his coworkers play Find The Titty

At 24 frames per second, who’s going to notice the random titty?
posted by dr_dank at 7:13 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


It's like a more fucked up Chris-chan.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:21 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Restaurants also have a Matt.
chewing tobacca, Red Bulls and Consistent flirting with waitress' smoking spongy 8% weed.
Desires a new Chevy.
posted by clavdivs at 7:30 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Matt is the new Kevin.

Also, even if not 100% of these is 100% true (I'm strongly side-eyeing the "Tyler Durden" porn-spliciing bits, because Matt generally doesn't seem competent enough to do the splicing), we've all known a Matt, or someone who's Matt-adjacent. Especially given that Matt seems to be an obnoxious, opinion-forcing geek, and anyone in geek circles knows at least one if not several people like that.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:39 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


I'm strongly side-eyeing the "Tyler Durden" porn-spliciing bits, because Matt generally doesn't seem competent enough to do the splicing

Per your assumption, at least once Matt ruined a film reel because he sucked at splicing, according to the writer.
posted by deadaluspark at 7:41 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


My old office's Matt and I were in the truck driving to a project site. He was driving. We both had been to the project site separately, I recently, him a few months ago. I realize we missed a turn and told him we should turn around.

"No."

"But we're on the wrong side of the river."

"I don't turn around."

"...what?"

"I don't turn around! We'll get there this way instead."

So we were an hour late and he rushed into the parking lot going 30 mph in a 10 mph construction zone in front of the project manager who was waiting out there for us.

And that's how he got banned from our offices biggest project.
posted by lepus at 7:52 PM on November 20 [22 favorites]


This reminds me of the once-famous, marvelous "TIME FOR SOME STORIES" by "davesecretary" which tragically seems to have been purged from the internets. (I have my own copy but it's a PDF and is 50 pages long.)
posted by neuron at 8:52 PM on November 20 [13 favorites]


(I have my own copy but it's a PDF and is 50 pages long.)

And you haven't shared it via Google Docs or Mega or something because why?
posted by deadaluspark at 9:07 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


found them via mefi + the internet achive, here
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:11 PM on November 20 [22 favorites]


( the rare post I saw here and on Fark ).

Anyway the guy posting claims it's all true....my guess is probably a mix of a couple people over years and years.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 9:12 PM on November 20


To those claiming that a single frame isn't visible, aren't the "cigarette burn" cue marks (used to signal to the projectionist that a reel change is imminent) just a single frame? I could certainly see those (as a regular audience member, not a projectionist) but it was years before I even knew what they were, but I definitely saw them quite clearly.
posted by smcameron at 9:34 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


You can definitely see single frame stuff. A 48th of a second isn't that short. You see hairs and dust and stuff all the time. A boob would stick out. Plus depending on the format it might interrupt the audio too (it's printed on the film), people are sensitive to that stuff.

My sense on these stories is... wonderful but embellished/fabricated. Sort of like all the Matts he heard of through many years combined into one.

That's totally fine though because any one story is believable and they're all excellent.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:51 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


Matt is now definitely a true believer Trumper and is thinking about joining the Proud Boys but unsure about the masturbation ban.
posted by benzenedream at 10:02 PM on November 20 [20 favorites]


dr_dank > At 24 frames per second, who’s going to notice the random titty

You'd be surprised. It's certainly gonna show up as a general visual flash unless Matt is careful to splice it into a scene with very similar brightness and color to the titty shot.

Anyone who has spent time doing animation, special effects, or probably any kind of film/video editing is gonna notice something's up, and probably have a good chance of saying "...did I just see a single frame of titties?". Training yourself to notice stuff that fast is an important part of those jobs.

I suspect this story predates the rise of "gamer" as a job, but anyone who does a lot of high-speed video games is gonna have a pretty good chance at saying "hey were those titties" too; Pro Gamerz™ like to run their machines at at *least* 60fps and claim they can see a distinct difference.
posted by egypturnash at 10:02 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


Ah! I was trying to remember davesecretary just the other day, thank you! All I could remember was “guy who told great stories in all caps” which isn’t really a lot to go on.

Is he still active? I followed his blogspot site—where he posted longer, somewhat more introspective stories—but that petered out a long time ago.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:27 PM on November 20


Spliceable film reels being on their way out, BOFH being a bit dated, and food service shenaningans being eternal, what's a uniquely 21st century position for a Matt?
posted by bartleby at 10:27 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Writing copy at Slack?
posted by notyou at 10:31 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]


One of my roommates in college was this person: he ran a VHS of “Apocalypse Now” on an endless loop for a year; he sat on the porch listening to Dodgers games and plinking passing city buses with a BB gun; he photo copied every page of the Thomas Guide and wallpapered his room with it; he bought beers for anyone near him at the bar who would write a paragraph of the essay on Kennedy he had due tomorrow and he got a B; he spent every afternoon at Los Alamitos betting on the sprint horses instead of going to class; he was at Hollywood Park when the Rodney King protests broke out, drove through the intersection with the truck driver at that very moment and got a brick in his Fiat; he drank beer all day and sleep walked at night and would turn on every faucet in the house full blast, so we disabled his doorknob (with his assent) and thereafter he climbed in and out of the house via a window over the alleyway; he had subscriptions to the NYT, the WSJ, the LAT, The Atlantic, Harper’s and The Nation, and read them all cover to cover; he played tennis; he was relentless at “Over the Line” ( the baseball game) and any other sport—honestly he was like John McEnroe in that he did not look athletic, but he had IT, the easy physical grace to do whatever the game asked for; when he and some friends took a trip to Vegas in his Caprice Classic late one night, and they got a flat, and he wandered off into the desert alone just to see some stars, and the others left him behind after they had fixed the flat, inexplicably, no one has a good answer for that, he hitchhiked into Vegas, found his travel companions in the middle of a late night intersection drunk going the other way, and after a moment’s recognition all the way around, all he asked for were his car keys back and where they were headed.
posted by notyou at 11:01 PM on November 20 [45 favorites]


You'd be surprised. It's certainly gonna show up as a general visual flash unless Matt is careful to splice it into a scene with very similar brightness and color to the titty shot.

A flash, especially if poorly matched, might be noticed, yes. Identification of an object, no. It's a different physical mechanism than noticing differences in frame rate, which is more about a feeling of smoothness.

I'd believe someone could make the identification on a digital projector, since LCDs and DLPs use sample and hold, giving the brain and eyes a lot more time to figure out what's going on. Film projectors only show an image for about 10ms at a time, though. The shutter opens twice for each frame to reduce the perception of flicker, so it's only showing an image for about 60% of each half frame. That's why they have to use arc lamps that have a bad tendency to set things on fire to keep the brightness high enough to be visible.
posted by wierdo at 12:01 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


I suspect that Matt thought it was a great idea to splice in a tiddy because Fight Club told him it would be cool and no-one would actively notice. The actual projectionists who understood cause and effect knew it would not be cool, most of the audience would notice, and it would lead to complaints.

Writing copy at Slack?

Fun fact, Slack started off as a company called Tiny Speck, making a whimsical MMO, which is why for the first few years they were the only company in Silicon Valley that could write whimsical copy well. I haven't checked Slack's copy in a few years but they definitely aren't as good as it as they used to be back when going overboard with the whimsy helped sell the mood, and it's hard to forgive them when they encouraged a bunch of other startups to adopt a faux-whimsical tone without employing the creator of Katamari Damacy for even a single day.

To my relief, the pandemic forced Discord to cut out most of the cringe gamer memes.
posted by Merus at 1:48 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]


what's a uniquely 21st century position for a Matt

failed Influencer, youtuber
posted by benzenedream at 2:23 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]


I don't know whether you could notice a single-frame boobshot at 24fps but I think you'd hear the discontinuity in the audio.
posted by ardgedee at 2:49 AM on November 21


A flash, especially if poorly matched, might be noticed, yes. Identification of an object, no. It's a different physical mechanism than noticing differences in frame rate, which is more about a feeling of smoothness.

Strong disagreement, and I think you're underestimating what many people can spot and see in a single frame at 24 FPS.

I spot errors, cuts and inserts in old archival video all the time including the infamous "cigarette burn" style reel change marks used by projectionists, and I would absolutely spot and recognize random boobies inserted into an animated sequence or reel, especially in a theater on a huge screen. Especially with the colors and tone of a live action frame being so much different than an animated feature.

I also have a pretty good chance of recognizing and reading a word or two or other basic symbols in a single frame at 24 FPS. Sure, I'm not going to be able to read an entire paragraph of words in one frame, but I'll catch some of the words or recognize a single frame of words just flashed by. You could insert a variety of pictures into a 24 FPS reel and I'd be able to tell you if I just saw, say, a toaster, a car or a pic of a nude human.

I catch and see stuff like this very frequently in old film videos and I will rewind and frame by frame advance it until I find the erroneous frame to go check it out, and I've found some really interesting bits in old archival footage like this, stuff like a frame of someone's desk, title and reel cards about the film itself and even totally erroneous unrelated frames that look like editing accidents.

I'm not sure why you're insisting so strongly that it's either impossible or even slightly difficult for most people to see and/or recognize a single frame insert edit like this. There's a handful of people right in this thread that say otherwise, and we don't think it's a remarkable or unusual skill anything.

Also keep in mind most US animation and animation in general is not 24 FPS at all, but usually half that and shot "on the twos" meaning two frames at 12 FPS for each actual change in animation, and worse, a lot of commercial animation is shot on the threes and fours for low action sequences.

A quick googling says the average person can see the differences in frame rate up to about 150 FPS.

24 FPS is slow, especially if you're inserting a single frame into something that's technically 12 or less FPS. A lot of people will actually notice and recognize that they just saw a single frame of photographic human nudity inserted into an animated film.

This is also why subliminal advertising didn't work and was really a myth. It was blatantly obvious to a lot of people that they just saw a single frame picture of an ice cold soft drink or beer or whatever.
posted by loquacious at 3:17 AM on November 21 [24 favorites]


Our Matt, in Europe mind, went to Vegas, got picked up by a sex worker in a bar, hung out at a “second location” where they bought whimsically-presented drugs (test tubes in a bar I think), he was roofied and rolled. He shared this with us, his twenty year old female colleagues on his return.

He also went to Columbia on a holiday, met a girl and was then forced by her brothers to marry her. Might have been Costa Rica, I don’t know, this was nearly thirty years ago.we heard him for weeks on the phone to the department of foreign affairs trying to get this annulled and/or block her entering the country. These people are real.
posted by Iteki at 3:45 AM on November 21 [10 favorites]


With the various "these people are real" comments upthread, I now have a question: has anyone ever met a female Matt? I mean, some of the stunning levels of entitlement crosses over with Karens, but the behaviour of Matts seems to be an entirely other level of belief that the world owes them and other people don't matter. Can you hit that level if you're not a cis white dude?
(This is a genuine and not rhetorical question, I realise that I may just have led a sheltered life)
posted by Vortisaur at 3:59 AM on November 21 [13 favorites]


I assumed the “writing copy for Slack” was a mathowie joke.
posted by terrapin at 4:09 AM on November 21 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: I would absolutely spot and recognize random boobies inserted into an animated sequence or reel
posted by The Toad at 4:15 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Matt was really into the band RUSH, which I had never heard of, and I made the mistake of asking him about them. After an entire shift I had heard more facts about RUSH than I had wanted or needed, and Matt had become so incensed he was playing air guitar instead of working

I don't buy it. Rush fans are thoughtful and kind, not jerks like this Matt.

(also we play air drums not air guitar)
posted by Daily Alice at 4:36 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


I know this isn't the point really, but just to answer smcameron's question, cue marks on film are typically four frames.
posted by theatro at 4:44 AM on November 21 [9 favorites]


I catch and see stuff like this very frequently in old film videos and I will rewind and frame by frame advance it until I find the erroneous frame

Yes, you notice something is odd, yet you have to go frame by frame to actually see what it is. And that is on a modern display that actually holds the image on the screen for the entire frame time, not a ~10ms blip. Even when animation is done on the 2s or 4s or whatever, it is still printed with duplicate frames, each of which are displayed in two very short pulses. I'm pretty adamant about it because there is actual science that shows how slow human visual processing actually is.

The reel change markers are, on the other hand, something that projectionists and other interested parties have primed themselves to notice through extensive experience. They're a lot easier to notice on an LCD screen than they are when you're looking at a film projection because it sits there on the screen between four and ten times as long as it does on a film projector. Most people don't, otherwise they wouldn't have been used well past the time technology made alternatives reasonably available.

I'm somehow reminded of the way people often used to insist that films were filled with single frame subliminal advertisements back when the Internet was still new.

To be clear, I'm not saying that it's impossible to notice something is abnormal, I'm saying that unless you are expecting boobs, you're not going to see boobs.
posted by wierdo at 4:45 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


(also we play air drums not air guitar)

Some of us play air bass but point taken.
posted by ensign_ricky at 4:47 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Matt seems harmless which, in the year of our lord 2020 during which a pandemic has killed over half-a-million human beings and no-one has lost their job for failing to prevent that monumental tragedy, is the highest compliment I can bestow
posted by um at 5:01 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


poor Alex
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:11 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


To those claiming that a single frame isn't visible, aren't the "cigarette burn" cue marks (used to signal to the projectionist that a reel change is imminent) just a single frame? I could certainly see those (as a regular audience member, not a projectionist) but it was years before I even knew what they were, but I definitely saw them quite clearly.

These were four frames long, as pointed out in the article you linked.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:12 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


I knew a Matt in college.

He collected large rare earth magnets because he said they'd be powerful weapons after the collapse. We had to add large magnets to the 'no food of drink in lab' sign.

He once ironically referenced events in the movie Iron Sky to a professional audience that had never heard of the movie Iron Sky and had no reason to know he was "only being ironic".

He had a personal vendetta against IT for not giving him a static IP address. He needed a static IP address because the software he wrote for his "distributed entropy gathering network for random number generation" experiment (narrator: it was a keylogger) needed one for the head node.

During conference talks, he'd often pass nonsensical notes to us and start laughing out loud when we couldn't understand what he meant.

This Matt was pretty smart and successful at what he was supposed to do when he wasn't being a Matt, though he didn't make it easy for the rest of us. I lost track of him, but I can only assume he either made a gazillion dollars in bitcoin or is well on his way to becoming one of those idiosyncratic geniuses they write Oscar-winning biopics about (or both).
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:15 AM on November 21 [9 favorites]


To be clear, I'm not saying that it's impossible to notice something is abnormal, I'm saying that unless you are expecting boobs, you're not going to see boobs.

And in the examples I'm talking about I can clearly see that I just saw a desk or a human or words or recognize some other object, not just a flicker of something different in the frame sequence. I'm only going back frame by frame to inspect what I knew I saw in detail.

Also as far as I know theater projectors haven't used intermittent open-air arc lamps in decades. It's generally a constantly lit quartz lamp, any flickering is just the rolling frame gate or synchronized shutter.

Sorry, but it's sticking in my craw that I and others are being told what I can and can't possibly see. Your statements may hold true for you personally or some segment of the population, but some of us have sharper and quicker eyes than the average. I can often clearly read single frames of whole words when viewing 24 FPS footage, and I know I'm not alone in this.
posted by loquacious at 5:28 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


...and missed getting arrested for carrying a sword in public only because he convinced the cops it was a promotion for the theatre (it wasn't)
Why do they all own swords?
posted by springo at 5:33 AM on November 21 [10 favorites]


ADHD is no joke, people.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:36 AM on November 21 [9 favorites]


And that is on a modern display that actually holds the image on the screen for the entire frame time, not a ~10ms blip

That's not how optical systems work. Your retinas, just like film or CCD or CMOS sensors, integrate light over time, so a 10ms blip is the same as a solid image being held for 1/24 of a second. Otherwise LED displays and CRT TVs and movie projectors wouldn't work at all.

It's also two 10 ms blips, since every film frame is shown twice.
posted by grahamparks at 5:41 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


I'm saying that unless you are expecting boobs, you're not going to see boobs

Pro tip: Always expect boobs. Someday, you might be right.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:44 AM on November 21 [14 favorites]


I've just tested it with video editing software, you can definitely recognise 1 frame of boobs in a cartoon at 24fps. Can't say whether it would be the same on a film projector or not.
posted by mokey at 5:46 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Matt, or an object lesson in the long-term consequences of being shielded from the consequences of one's actions.

Had Matt's uncle been, say, a hedge-fund manager or CEO rather than the owner of a movie theater, Matt would probably be some asshole politician rising up the ranks of his country's right-of-centre party.
posted by acb at 6:01 AM on November 21 [14 favorites]


Also: one consequence of living through the Covfefecene is that assholes like this are no longer fun. (See also: Dante from Clerks, Nathan Barley, and such.) We've seen enough people who DGAF casually wreck others' lives in the real world, and this sort of comedy now falls flat.
posted by acb at 6:03 AM on November 21 [30 favorites]


I don't buy it. Rush fans are thoughtful and kind, not jerks like this Matt.

Didn't Rush do at least one Ayn Rand concept album?
posted by acb at 6:12 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Y’all, Fight Club literally did a splice of porn at the end, right before the credits. They also did one-frame flashes of Tyler Durden throughout the film. I missed the flashes of Tyler Durden until they were pointed out to me (YouTube link), at which time I could notice a figure flash on screen. (Those were carefully engineered to blend in — shot in exactly the same scene with the same lighting, and no audio interruption.) But I damn sure remember noticing and commenting on the porn splice the first time I saw the movie. (I can’t find confirmation that it really was only one frame long, to be fair.)
posted by snowmentality at 6:15 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


I feel like the discussion of one-shot boobs is ignoring the fact that this is not real. Party because I had some friends at the local cinema (who were also jerks) but the casual discussion of a fire in the projection room did it for me. Like, even if the film stock wasn’t flammable (it is) the bulbs for projectors in the early 2000s were super dangerous. I call shenanigans on this whole thread, even though it is funny and we all know a Matt.
posted by The River Ivel at 6:33 AM on November 21


Why do they all own swords?

Matts are living in a Neverland where they never lose their boyish enthusiasm for power, or at least or childish shibboleths of power. They can't get out of it because they are never forced to confront the fact that other people are also human beings and that most of the time the world actually works according to grown-up social dynamics (involving an awareness of others' wants and needs, consequences beyond immediate punishment, status competitions beyond who has the newest video game, etc). Walking around with a sword in today's world is basically the definition of a power fantasy of a person who is unaware of or in denial about how power works in the real world.

Oh wait, your question was rhetorical?
posted by ropeladder at 6:47 AM on November 21 [28 favorites]


Na, the one-shot boobs discussion is an argument between people who've done editing and people who go by specs. Time and space expand in editing just like it does in The Incredible Shrinking Man. Once you've had to notice the mess a sliver of a second makes in your timeline that attention stays with you.
posted by glasseyes at 6:49 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]


Anyway the guy posting claims it's all true....my guess is probably a mix of a couple people over years and years.

I had known a Matt, so I could see these being actions of all one person. "Had known" because he died blowing himself up falling asleep while smoking with oxygen on.

I am not trying to make light of his death, at all. But, when I was going in to a restaurant for lunch and saw the scorch marks and ambulance/fire trucks outside of his complex, I immediately thought "Matt did something." His death was confirmed 6 hours later.

And, in true Matt fashion, the burden fell on many others for a long time to clean up all of his shit.

(He's actually called out in the liner notes for a relatively known 70s rock band for his "Matt" antics.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:49 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Best job ever.
posted by MattWPBS at 7:10 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


To nitpick myself, each opening of the shutter on a standard film projector is actually about 6.9ms milliseconds, so each frame is on screen a total of about 13.8ms with a gap of 13.8ms between each repetition. The circular shutter has two openings of 60 degrees each, 180 degrees opposite, the remaining 240 degrees are solid metal. There are exceptions, of course, but not likely in some dingy mall cinema.

A 60hz LCD playing back 24hz content will show each frame for either 33.3ms or 50ms with no interruption, depending on whether it's an even or odd frame.

And just to reiterate since it's easy to lose sight of, even for me, I'm not saying that the brain will completely ignore even a 7ms flash entirely, especially if it really is a flash with a big change in brightness. I'm saying that recognizing the image well enough to say "those were definitely boobs, not sunny side up eggs" is highly unlikely, even if you can notice it on an LCD. Also, there is some individual variation, up to a point.
posted by wierdo at 7:15 AM on November 21


Didn't Rush do at least one Ayn Rand concept album?

Yeah, the Rush/Rand connection has always bothered me too.
posted by terrapin at 7:24 AM on November 21


OK how about you "boobs" and "no boobs" folks trot off and conduct some science, report back when you've proven or disproven your hypothesis.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:27 AM on November 21 [30 favorites]


He's actually called out in the liner notes for a relatively known 70s rock band for his "Matt" antics.

Okay, now I'm going to have to try and figure out who the band is and find the liner notes! I've known a few Matts in my life, especially a guy in my dorm the freshman year of college. When called into the dean's office at the end of the year to explain his Delta House level GPA he told the dean "I know college isn't supposed to be a vacation, but I'm treating it like one." (The only reason he didn't have a flat 0.0 GPA is because he was my lab partner in freshman chemistry. As a chemistry major the lab was one of my favorite parts of the class and I was happy to do all the work when he didn't bother to show up, so he got a passing grade for that part of one course.) This was 1981 and "The Dukes of Hazzard" was a big deal, so he decided to pay tribute to them by painting a rebel flag on the roof of his car (a much-abused Fiat if I remember correctly). With ketchup from the dining hall, which he then let the sun bake into the paint. Many more stories, all from that one year. I wonder whatever became of him.
posted by TedW at 7:35 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I don't see why splicing in boobies is so bad. Halp?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:38 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]



I don't buy it. Rush fans are thoughtful and kind, not jerks like this Matt.


My local Jordan Peterson wannabe has tattoo portraits of the musicians in Rush, his favorite band....
posted by eviemath at 7:46 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Rush was super into Ayn Rand for a while, The Trees is just a huge Rand-style rant about the normies holding back special people because they want "equality", the bastards, among other things.

I knew a Matt but he was an Eric and this has been more of an Eric thing to me. Let's see.

Eric printed the entire source code, line by line, for the company content management system. On paper. He could never explain why satisfactorily. He put it in a three ring binder and carried it around with him with the gravity of the dude with the nuclear football hanging around the president.

Somehow in the course of doing this he managed to delete all the source code. So as punishment they made him type it all back in from the binder. Somehow he wasn't fired. (Erics are immune to consequences because they do dumb things but aren't malicious).

Eric once gave us a lecture about how WE were getting drunk but HE was playing World of Warcraft and learning TEAMWORK and PROJECT MANAGEMENT SKILLS and we'd all be working for him someday. We all worked at the same company. We never worked for him.

Eric literally never cleaned his bathroom because "they clean it for you when you move out if you just pay them so why bother." He was roommates with one of my buddies (who didn't know of this philosophy for a while). We'd take people to tour the bathroom like a haunted house tour. We'd get legit horrified screams.

Eric basically lived at the office because the office internet connection was a smidge better and gave him a better ping in World of Warcraft or something like that. He was very proud he'd figured this out, like he'd discovered the secret of splitting the atom or something. He would only go home to sleep. It's probably good he didn't see that episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza put a nap area under his desk or he would've done that and quit paying rent.

We took him out once because we figured getting him laid would help. Settled in at a bar, found a girl that was on his level, gave him some prep, and sent him off. With supreme confidence he walked up to her and started talking about how for fun he spent weekends leading groups of brave warriors on epic missions to kill dragons but he was the one that made it all work because he was a shaman or something like that, ending it with "And it's all in a game called WORLD OF WARCRAFT, do you want to join my guild?" and the biggest, cheesiest grin. The girl fled.

He was a good dude, though, if you could deal with the antics. And the bathroom. Weirdly, other than that, totally clean guy, didn't smell, wore decent clothes. (I mean, not a fashionable guy but nothing full of holes or that smelled bad, etc.).
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:46 AM on November 21 [12 favorites]


Neil Peart gave an interview with Rolling Stone in which he repudiated Ayn Rand, if not libertarianism entirely. (He calls himself a bleeding-heart libertarian, suggesting he agrees with libertarian as a philosophy but is dismayed with what it turns into in actual political practice, which I guess I can accept.) Also, real talk, a lot of Rush fans are unbearably tedious about their favorite band.

Also, just wanted to note that the Fight Club penis is actually in the film for three frames, not just one, so audiences really are meant to perceive it. I believe the Tyler Darden appearances early on are single frames, and they’re fairly easy to spot on video but were more difficult to perceive on film prints shown in big dark auditoriums. As I recall, it really looked more like an big blob of something nonspecific had shown up on the screen for a bare moment, but it was a little unsettling. Kinda like it tripped that part of your brain that thinks it might have seen someone lurking over there in the shadows based on some visual pattern it detected subconsciously.
posted by Mothlight at 8:56 AM on November 21 [7 favorites]


those were definitely boobs, not sunny side up eggs

It seems like we are moving the goalposts pretty far, no? Anyway, it seems unlikely that one would see a frame of boobs and suspect they were eggs. The real challenge would be to see some eggs and not assume they were boobs.
posted by anhedonic at 9:22 AM on November 21


He was a good dude, though, if you could deal with the antics.

Male privilege is a hell of a drug.
posted by medusa at 9:26 AM on November 21 [47 favorites]


I remember applying for a job at new shoe store opening around 2005. The line for applicants was so long it stretched around the block. We had to stand under tents in the parking lot to keep us out of the sun, it was so hot and the wait was so long. Most of us were black. I felt guilty, I was just a college kid looking for summer work, some were parents that had to bring their kids to the interview.

In 2005, the US unemployment rate for the white population was 4.4%. For Hispanic/Latino folks 7.0%, and for African Americans 10%.

Matt's behavior is neither cute, nor funny. We are not living in workplace comedies. I have no tolerance for Matts and even less for people in positions of power who continue to enable Matts.
posted by Pretty Good Talker at 9:33 AM on November 21 [50 favorites]


To those claiming that a single frame isn't visible, aren't the "cigarette burn" cue marks (used to signal to the projectionist that a reel change is imminent) just a single frame? I could certainly see those (as a regular audience member, not a projectionist) but it was years before I even knew what they were, but I definitely saw them quite clearly.

It's been a loooong time since I worked as a projectionist, but my recollection is that the cue marks were four frames in succession. Fwiw. It was a great job. Saw lots of movies (I think I ended up sitting through Cabaret something like 37 times. It kept following me to new jobs.) Lots of time for homework, and the carbon arcs we used for lighting back then were awesome.
posted by emmet at 9:59 AM on November 21


Do they even have projectionists anymore? Aren't films distributed digitally now and run on digital projectors? (Obviously the stories check out per the time period, circa 2006)

Seems like another job automated away, but maybe I'm wrong.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:17 AM on November 21


BlackLeotardFront: A boob would stick out.

Some do, some don't. Boobs are a land of contrasts.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:54 AM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Why do they all own swords?

Ropeladder's comment above is probably true for a small segment of the sword-owning population, the ones who unironically agree with the "While you were out partying, I studied the blade" guy, but probably most guys who own or have owned swords were people way into fantasy in various media, and were fascinated by the fact that they could own a sword, for not a lot of money--it would be like being able to buy a real ray gun. Then they realize that the cheap swords are really not very good weapons and actually much more likely to hurt the wielder, and stick it in the back of a closet or donate it to a yard sale. What I'm saying here is, Mattitude is a sliding scale.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:16 AM on November 21 [6 favorites]


(No, I never owned a sword myself. Ninja throwing stars, yes.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:17 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Your retinas, just like film or CCD or CMOS sensors, integrate light over time, so a 10ms blip is the same as a solid image being held for 1/24 of a second. Otherwise LED displays and CRT TVs and movie projectors wouldn't work at all.

I can tell you for certain that I cannot integrate 100Hz flicker into a solid image, and bad LED drivers can literally make whole buildings uninhabitable for me. Light sources with non solid-state phosphors (CRTs and fluorescents (which suddenly seem to have 100Hz ballasts again, in a 60s throwback)) are far less problematic.
posted by ambrosen at 11:18 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Matt asked if I wanted to hang out one day, and not wanting to die by his hand, I said sure.

That's not unreasonable.
posted by doctornemo at 11:33 AM on November 21


the others left him behind after they had fixed the flat, inexplicably, no one has a good answer for that

I've been friends with Matt, and after a while you just get tired of it. Left him in Vegas once. Let them deal with their own shit.

The stories from when you're young are great. As you get older the new stories are not. Matt doesn't like those stories.
posted by InfidelZombie at 12:05 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I'm curious, for those who say that the porn frame wouldn't stick out, do they not see the Tyler's popping up in fight club? In Fight Club Remastered, at the doctor scene around 06:20 in the film, there is a single frame where Tyler appears next to the doctor. I.E. it's not even that the entire frame changed, but an extra person is spliced so they're standing just behind and to the right of the Doctor.

I noticed this the first time I saw it in theater (I noticed a person; I did not put together it was Tyler until the middle of the film after they'd done the splicing, and when the next Tyler insert occured). There's a few other places in the film (3-4 times) where a single frame is altered with Tyler being inserted into the background. After having seen the film the first time, I can pick out that it's Tyler on the flashes. But I 100% saw and noticed the blip-person the first time in the theater during multiple scenes. Before credits, there is the cock insertion, but that's like 4-5 frames long to make it *really* hard to miss.

I looked at youtube's version of the Insomnia scene, possibly someone did some telecine for some reason as it's at 29.97 fps instead of 23.976. At 23.976 FPS, so one frame is 0.0417 seconds, while the youtube is 29.97, so the 1 frame is 0.0334 sec. Take a look at: Insomnia - the link I provided is at 1:27 seconds, the blip occurs at 1:33 seconds. Did some people actually not see Tyler when watching the DVD? On multiple replays? Even at 29.97 fps that's not something that I could miss.

I see here the film splices are shown. This is just less than 10% of the image changing and it sticks out like a sore thumb. There is no way that I could somehow miss an entire scene change, even if the brightness is about similar. And as I recognized on first view that it was a person, I suspect that a porn scene (typically zoomed in primarily on the actor/actress) it would be very evident what one was seeing.
posted by nobeagle at 12:37 PM on November 21


Comedian Patton Oswalt's book Silver Screen Fiend has a chapter about his time as a teenager in the 1980s spent working with a "Matt" at a theater in Sterling, Virginia. While Oswalt named his swaggering co-worker "Gary Jay," the similarities are notable. Oswalt recounts that Gary Jay lived in the theater's storage room, brandished martial arts weapons and was supremely overconfident of his abilities and knowledge.
posted by JDC8 at 2:54 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Okay, I'll be the one to say it: Is Matt secretly Jason from The Good Place?
posted by MiraK at 3:24 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]


And pointing out the above I kinda want to highlight how we as a culture have NOT grown past finding Matt-like antics adorable and only a little pesky. Male privilege is a hell of a drug indeed.
posted by MiraK at 3:30 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


re: can there be a woman-Matt --

I think there could be, but only if a man (daddy? hubby? hunny?) is covering for her. She could probably get away with indolence and insolence but not the outright damaging incompetence of a man-Matt.
posted by batter_my_heart at 3:50 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


If you've worked a minimum wage job and you've never met a Matt...

You're the Matt.
posted by Wetterschneider at 4:29 PM on November 21 [15 favorites]


When I read this all I could think was that the guy is trying out material for some novel or short story he's writing.
posted by hwestiii at 6:09 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this would make a great story. There's just one thing that doesn't make sense to me, and that's the villain's motivation. Obviously, Matt isn't the villain here, the villain is his uncle, the theater owner, who keeps him employed there. What would possibly drive a person to employ a family member who is massively unemployable in a minimum-wage job that he's just barely qualified for, and keep him on despite how many times he screws up?

We'll need to make up a hilarious back story. Here's one.

So this theater owner, Matt's uncle, let's call him Kevin. Not the brightest guy in his high school, but he went to college, got a degree, got married, started a business, the usual. His brother Steve did more partying, got in a little trouble, got into a marriage to a woman Kevin hated, and they had little baby Matt. And Kevin got into a relationship of his own, and the business was having trouble, and Steve's wife Susan was unpleasant, so he maybe wasn't around a lot for a while. When he saw them Matt was always a quiet kid, into dinosaurs and cartoons and stuff. He didn't think much of it.

And then one day he stopped over on the way home from work to talk to Steve. Which wasn't quite true. He went over because he was starting to suspect. He went over at night, after Steve would have been drinking. He was going to wait outside to see if he heard anything, but he didn't have to wait. He heard them as he walked up the driveway. Steve yelling, angry. Susan begging him to stop. Matt just screaming.

Kevin rang the doorbell. It took a couple of weeks to get Steve into rehab, and Kevin talked to Susan about therapy but he doesn't think she went. After Steve got out of rehab and then left, Kevin tried to be there for Matt more, but Matt had his own little Matt-world which kept him happy, and Kevin wasn't going to mess with that.

Every time he sees Matt at the theater, he remembers. How much the kid is costing him in screwed up inventory and employee turnover and just plain aggravation. How hard it would be for Matt to hold down any other job. How much he should have been there for the kid, and wasn't. And he remembers what it was like to hear an eight year old scream in terror and fear and pain, and he remembers that he's promised to never let anyone hurt Matt ever again.

You're right, this is hilarious stuff. Let's make more jokes about people who make us uncomfortable now so we can all feel normal together!
posted by MrVisible at 7:14 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]


I feel like I'm a female Matt, tbh. By which I mean that I'm a woman who lived four decades with undiagnosed ADHD, and could have been (and sometimes was!) described by words like exhausting, "a lot," clueless, lacking awareness, and a bunch of other words used in this thread, including entitled asshole. And I internalized the shit out of that, until I found out that I wasn't an inherently bad person but a neurodivergent person who was trying her best to navigate a world that felt wildly different than the one other (read: neurotypical) people were living in.
posted by Ruki at 8:09 PM on November 21 [21 favorites]


that's hugely unrealistic, I'm sorry

a theatre owner who employs their nephew Matt is not going to be conscientious
posted by Merus at 8:11 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I lost track of him, but I can only assume he either made a gazillion dollars in bitcoin or is well on his way to becoming one of those idiosyncratic geniuses they write Oscar-winning biopics about (or both).

What do you call a guy with no arms and no legs lying on your doorstep?

so he filled the trunk with sand. not in bags, just like... sand

I spewed White Claw out my nose at this.
posted by bendy at 8:39 PM on November 21


Eh, I remember working in a small, shitty theater. And it was bleak. Slime in the ice machine, don't ask when the last time the butter dispenser was cleaned, or what it looks like congealed in the morning. Customers are shit, the bathrooms were too small, not enough room or stalls. The AC kept getting broken by druggies stealing wire, and this was the top of a building with two stories of movie scenes, and no easy ladder. People often threw up on the wet vac we used to clean up vomit. Don't even think about what the last two rows looked like.

All the employees were a bunch of teens and twenty somethings. The manager was 35 and already showing signs of utter, dating a 17 year old midlife crisis. Plenty of us ate leftover cookies from customers dropping the open package on the floor. Soda was free, and the theater issued 36 oz cups.

A lot of us were bright, bored kids who couldn't figure out what to do with our life. Most of us were artistic in one form or another, drawn to the movies because we had fairly shitty lives.

So what if Matt was a f-up? So were we all. So what if Matt yelled at a customer? It happens. So what if Matt takes a 5$ from the register twice a month? He's still showing up for his shifts. Dude opened the day after closing half the time, and the manager couldn't even do that. So what if Matt tossed a 50 pound bag of popcorn seeds off the balcony? So what if he was a little more of an ass than most people like to deal with, when he's making us laugh during the midnight showing of GD Rocky Horror on Saturday, and would do the bulk of the cleaning so a couple of us could leave before 3 am?
posted by Jacen at 9:33 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Why do they all own swords?

Uh, doesn't everybody own a sword?

So, yeah, I kinda sorta own a sword. And various suits of armor in different degrees of disrepair. And one of my dream Jeopardy categories is Medieval Material Culture and Experimental Archaeology. It's my hobby, I do it for fun.

Needless to say, we get a lot of Matts, but when you start talking about how cardio wins fights (or even getting your kit (beyond wall hanger swords) together, they tend to schluff off.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:36 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


This kind of seems to me like the opposite of Acts of Gord.
posted by hearthpig at 6:08 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


So, yeah, I kinda sorta own a sword.
posted by Kid Charlemagne


Durendal?
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:36 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


If I had a dollar for every time in my life an Orlando Furioso reference seemed appropriate. I would now have a dollar!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:06 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


re: can there be a woman-Matt --

I think there could be, but only if a man (daddy? hubby? hunny?) is covering for her. She could probably get away with indolence and insolence but not the outright damaging incompetence of a man-Matt.


In small family business office settings, you sometimes get the boss' wife who makes a mess of the bookkeeping, office decor or advertising campaigns for the local small business, and/or bullies or mismanaged staff.

There's also Ivanka Trump, but as far as I can tell, she's a relatively unique case - not too many families have enough wealth and influence to effectively enable daughters to attain artistic or business success beyond their current ability level. Sons, yes, but not so much daughters.
posted by eviemath at 9:06 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


One lady Matt is Amy Bouzaglo. And, yes, she has a rich husband. I know (secondhand) of other women somewhat like this, but their jobs have safeguards in the form of wealth or public service. Even so, they mostly are not so physical in their weirdness.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:23 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


And there's Trump's Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, also from a rich and powerful family. The woman-Matts don't seem to have the same being annoying, incompetent, or making more work for co-workers to be "funny" characteristic, though; only the ability to stay in a job despite destructive levels of incompetence.
posted by eviemath at 9:51 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


So, yeah, I kinda sorta own a sword.
>posted by Kid Charlemagne

Durendal?
>posted by Halloween Jack at 10:36 AM on November 22

If I had a dollar for every time in my life an Orlando Furioso reference seemed appropriate. I would now have a dollar!
>posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:06 AM on November 22




I love this place.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:00 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Wouldn’t someone playing Manic Pixie Dreamgirl without a complement come off much like a female Matt? "making more work for co-workers to be "funny" ", at least.
posted by clew at 12:07 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


One thing holding back a female Matt is the increased physical danger women face. Getting so drunk you pass out on a train and wake up in some unexpected can be an "amusing" story from your Matt, but your Madison might have a very different experience.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:04 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


You're right, this is hilarious stuff. Let's make more jokes about people who make us uncomfortable now so we can all feel normal together!

That's a great story you've put together, but even if we assume that's all totally true, your theoretical guilty Kevin is still not actually taking care of Matt. Matt isn't an eight year old anymore, and unless Kevin is expecting to support Matt forever, letting him "live in his own little Matt works" is just setting him up for failure later after burning through a whole lot of other bridges. (And we know that he subsequently sold the theater, at which point Matt immediately got fired, so I'm kind of dubious that the nepotism there is totally infinite.)

Look, Ruki upthread mentioned feeling like a female Matt for having undiagnosed ADHD, and I'm going to point out as a neurodiverse person myself that the odds of Matt being something other than neurotypical are actually pretty good. Lots of the Matts of the world are. But when we ask how come no one can think of equivalent female Matts, part of the reason for that is that women get much more pushback for violating boundaries than Matt does, and Matt is a product of annoying people juuuuuust enough that people tend to avoid him rather than confronting him about his behavior. That zone of "pushes boundaries and doesn't get enough pushback to stop" is waaaaay wider for men than it is for women.

I'm also going to point out that the Matts of the world don't necessarily wind up with a good life by being allowed to ignore boundaries wholesale. Usually, in my experience, Matts wind up alienating most of the people around them and then subsisting on pity, unwilling obligation, or a host of other relational dynamics that frankly really suck to be in the middle of, without necessarily having the relational tools or frustration tolerance to be able to figure out how to get out of that mess. Kevin isn't fucking helping Matt by giving him a job where he constantly pisses off and frustrates other employees but can't be fired from because everyone knows he's got it by nepotism; he's just kicking the problem farther down the road, because what happens when Matt is thirty, forty, fifty, and still just as terrible about boundaries and impulse control?

This is not to say that autism or ADHD renders people somehow bad people--or at least, I hope it's not, because I have both of those things too. I'm not even defining Matts as being neurodiverse; I'm defining a "Matt" as the sort of poorly socialized, impulsive, hungry-for-attention dude who just kind of does things without thinking about them and has no real idea how to form or maintain close emotional connections. (The other other reason by the way that we don't have many female Matts, and certainly much less extreme female Matts, is that we discourage children-perceived-as-boys from forming relational skills as a matter of course and actively require children-perceived-as-girls to pick them up and perform them. Lacking those skills makes your life worse.)

It's saying that insulating people from social consequences of their actions without helping them figure out how to build the skills to form and maintain their own relationships is fundamentally unkind. It is common for people just like Kevin, who feel guilty about maybe creating a fucked up Matt but don't actually want to deal with him or do very much, to just sort of pay just enough to make Matt Someone Else's Problem. I'm saying that doing that is fundamentally unethical, especially since it makes other low-wage workers somehow expected to (unspokenly) rehabilitate Matt for free or else tolerate him until they can get up. It's fucked up!

The whole situation is fucked up, and all that you can really do as a worker is look for a system with as few Matts as you can. Being in Matt's place can and often does erode self esteem, frustration tolerance, and the belief that he can actually learn how to deal with shit, especially without understanding why things are the way they are, and those are the whole tools he needs to figure out how to be something different that can be himself in a way that isn't endangering himself and annoying others. Rehabbing a Matt is difficult because it requires, especially by the time someone is a grown adult and not in any way an adolescent, quite a lot of both trust and the ability to set and enforce boundaries. A stranger is rarely going to be in the position to do that, and family members might or might not be able to--depends, bluntly, on how much power over the Matt they even have. At a certain point it becomes more or less impossible. And Matts are real easy for a lot of unsavory types to recruit--lot of Matts these days becoming incels or baby fascists, in fact--and that just makes everything that much more dangerous.

God I'm angry at that little story. I'm angry at your Kevin! I'm angry at the way Matt was failed and continues as an adult to be failed by an adult who feels responsible for him but doesn't know or care to know how to help. I'm angry at the social dynamics and ableism that create Matts: both the unspoken ableism of not bothering to know and identify reasons someone like Matt might struggle early on and the ableism of low expectations that sometimes treats budding Matts as unteachable and disposable when the skills they need are achievable. I'm angry at, to use your story, the failure of reaching and supporting children when they are young Matts before they fucking grow up to be metaphorical Steves. Or did you assume that the Steve in your story came out of nowhere? (You know what kids with undiagnosed and untreated ADHD are really prone to? Addiction issues, in part because of the comorbidities of trying to handle a completely unacknowledged disability--depression, isolation, that kind of thing--in part because of impulse control issues.)

Just. Hooooooly fuck! I laugh because what the fuck else can you do, it's that or fucking cry, and by the time an adult man is a full on Matt there's not much else I can do about it. Not much you can do unless you have something Matt cares about, really--the job, perhaps, or a source of money, or approval. So the best thing to do is often to cut ties and get the hell out unless you're willing and able to invest a whole bunch of effort into someone who might or might not even be willing--be able--to embark upon the metric shit ton of effort and fuckery that goes into grappling with the incredible shame that often prevents Matts from grappling with and fixing their bullshit. (Sometimes they deal by minimizing and telling themselves it's not really that annoying, everyone thinks it's funny when I do X thing! Sometimes they deal by absolutely refusing to look at it because the shame will annihilate them if they look at it directly. Sometimes they--anyway.)

Sure, though, we're all feeling normal together. Yeah.
posted by sciatrix at 1:10 PM on November 22 [21 favorites]


I'm still not sure how it helps to make fun of a minimum wage theater worker with poor social and coping skills.

I thought punching down was bad.
posted by MrVisible at 2:05 PM on November 22


"Boys will be boys" is a contender for the most society-poisoning behavioural excuse ever.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:13 PM on November 22 [8 favorites]


i think generally we should practice more compassion and patience for obnoxious weirdos, even if they're women. that's my feminist take on it.

anyone figure out the boob frame question yet?
posted by jy4m at 3:41 PM on November 22


I'm still not sure how it helps to make fun of a minimum wage theater worker with poor social and coping skills.

and also with no awareness, who's been told they need to do better, and has not only refused the help but thinks they're doing awesome

I thought punching down was bad.

the key here is that the first question everyone's asking is "how come Matt is immune to the consequences I would have faced had I carried on like this"

it is a little like saying that because the Westboro Baptist Church are poor, badly educated and socially isolated we shouldn't make fun of them because that's punching down. And it is! But they also cause a lot of harm. It's one of the reasons I don't really like the punching up/down framework, because one of the things humour can do is reveal and weaken invisible power structures, and whether or not something is punching up or down depends a lot on whether you personally see that invisible power. (If it even exists: there are political movements that claim invisible power structures that do not in fact exist, but they would definitely argue their anti-Semitic jokes are punching up.)
posted by Merus at 1:33 AM on November 23 [7 favorites]


Punching in general is bad, except for people who not only deserve it but need to be punched in order to maintain a civil society, like literal Nazis or people who threw the first punch. The rest you can just walk away from or turn the other cheek, as appropriate to the situation.

The major difficulty is correctly identifying which situation you're in as it's happening.
posted by wierdo at 3:32 AM on November 23


So the thing that strikes me hardest about this is the, well... Japonisme that pokes out of Matt's affect in many of these anecdotes.

I still have a sort of whiplash at the switch from lingering WWII-veteran training/trauma to hate everything Japanese, to the problematic export-culture "why do so many oblivious white dudes love anime so much?" situation. It felt very sudden to me, and kind of flares up when I see the "rap about the Yakuza" and "Kimiko" tweets in this thread.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 4:20 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I'm still not sure how it helps to make fun of a minimum wage theater worker with poor social and coping skills.

Matt cosplaying at being a minimum wage worker to keep him busy, bankrolled by a rich uncle.

Meanwhile actual minimum wage workers who need the job and the money and also have their own bullshit to deal with are having to clean up after him and cover for his worst excesses.

Matt's story is of unimaginable class privilege, not poverty.
posted by grahamparks at 5:27 AM on November 23 [6 favorites]


I bet half of us (including me) have been minimum-wage movie-theater concessionaires. Current me would be punching down, but past me had to work with Matt.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:27 AM on November 23


eviemath: My local Jordan Peterson wannabe has tattoo portraits of the musicians in Rush, his favorite band....

Yeah, that's totally a thing.

As someone who is not a "Rush fan" but respects the music they did, and given that the Matts of the world are flirting with fascism, and given there's a non-zero number of them who are definitely the political Randist/fascist (I mean, why slash, it's basically the same thing) type, here is Geddy Lee's account of his parents' experience in the Holocaust:

Geddy Lee Tells His Family's Holocaust Story (Full Interview)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:27 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I now have a question: has anyone ever met a female Matt?

I know two! Both were roommates. I spoke to the co-worker of one years after I lived with them and they had so many stories. They're basically like the main characters of Broad City.
posted by Dynex at 12:54 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


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