Episode 320: The Expendables 3: A Midsummer Night’s Railgun

The Overthinkers tackle “The Expendables 3” and comment on the sad passing of Robin Williams.

Pete Fenzel and Matthew Wrather overthink The Expendables 3, the arc of the Expendables trilogy from self-serious to self-referential, and the role the Expendables Kidz play in the developing mythos. They also comment on the sad passing of Robin Williams and the reaction to news of his death.


→ Download Episode 320 (MP3)

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2 Comments on “Episode 320: The Expendables 3: A Midsummer Night’s Railgun”

  1. Mike #

    *jacking off motion*

    A famous, rich (comparatively), white guy in america offed himself. The only news item here is that mental health issues are real and we need more funding to deal with it. No matter your station in life, it’s a serious issue.

    There are going to be people that cry over this because they’re detached from reality and made friends with a stranger on the TV because they chose that one person to represent something about themselves… or they just want to feel like they’re part of a crowd and go through the motions of feeling sad, etc.
    And there are going to be people that are vulgar towards those people because they can feel empowered by how easily they can control someones emotions (either make them sad or angry).

    What we should take away is that billions of dollars are being stolen and/or wasted which could have gone to progress of medicine and sciences that could have prevented something like this.


    • It's Not Your Fault #

      I like your level of frustration.
      It comes off as authentic, which works particularly well as a counterpoint to the claim of others engaging in the world by proxy.
      Overall though the style presents some challenges. First there’s the adopted tone of callousness: Your expression of “the people have been wronged” is incompatible with the general tone of “the peoples’ opinions are worthless”. It’s ok to care, wearing that tough face is natural for someone who grew up on the tough streets of the internet, but it is ok to care.

      The second challenge is the solution presented: Ok, you’re against greed and incompetence. I’d say the vast majority of people are; but where has that gotten us?
      We point at flaws and cry ‘Injustice!’ when we feel powerless to address the structural cause. Or, maybe when we don’t recognize the existence of a structural cause.

      Which brings up the third challenge: There’s a tone of the old ‘magic & sacrifices religions’ in so many socio-political discussions. You know the ones where the guy in the robe would stand at the town gates and yell “The harvest is poor because Baal is displeased. If we had followed the ritual, and sacrificed more generously our prayers would have been answered!”
      Yeah that guy! He’s still alive in people’s hearts and minds. “If we had given Science enough to please him he would have blessed us!”
      The problem with that is the failure to understand cause and effect. To attribute our fates to the ethereal is to step away from our ability to affect society. Ancient cultures that increased their sacrifices only submitted themselves more to the hierarchy of greed and waste. Cultures who molded their development to achieve their goals irrigated and selectively bred; and made fundamental progress that shaped the world

      Asking “Why hasn’t the god Science given us a medicine that solves mental illness?” is a failure to ask “How have we constructed a society that brings mental illness to the level of an institutional crisis?”.

      I’m not chastising you, but I’m challenging you. Challenge in the sense of ‘urging on to a higher level’. I want you to discard that defensiveness, to turn that frustration in to change, to get out there and do something.
      Because isn’t it by our efforts to address the very heart of the right problem that we can hope to finally conquer our existential problems?

      {spoiler alert: if we were capable… we would have done it by now.}


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