Confronting the racial stereotypes of Cloak & Dagger (plus the trailer)

Tandy Bowen (Dagger) and Tyrone Johnson (Cloak) in a piece by (I think) Jae Lee)

Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson were teen runaways who–individually–left their hometowns for the streets of New York. Encountering one another by chance, Bowen’s purse was stolen by a thief, and was recovered by Johnson. Bonding over this encounter, the two were captured soon after their arrival and subjected to your typical scientific experiment carried out by a morally deficient scientist. The experiment granted the pair “light” and “dark” powers, which I’ll get into in a minute. For much of their young career, the pair specifically fought drug dealers and worked to ensure the safety of other teen runaways.

Now, about those powers…

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Confronting the racial stereotypes of Cloak & Dagger (plus the trailer)
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The compromise that wasn’t

Remember that disgusting hate-filled piece of legislation out of North Carolina last year? The one crafted by Republicans at the last hour and rushed into law? The vile, discriminatory bill written in response to a Charlotte, NC Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO) which sought to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual folks, and transgender people?

That repugnant bill, commonly referred to at HB2 (here’s a breakdown of the bill),  was signed into law by then Governor  (R) Pat McCrory. Opponents of the law touted it as one of the most extreme anti-queer pieces of legislation they’d seen. Supporters of the bill simultaneously frothed at the mouth or tried to find some place to privately masturbate bc they were excited at the thought of sticking it to us. The bill eliminated anti-discrimination protections in place for queers (and we know how much it turns on Republicans to deny queers the right to make use of public businesses without discrimination). It also mandated that in government buildings workers were required to use the restrooms that corresponded to their birth sex.

The resultant backlash was immediate, fierce, and long lasting:

  • PayPal decided to not move ahead with a location in  NC
  • Global German banking institution Deutsche Bank decided not to expand into NC
  • the American Institute of Architects moved their conference out of NC
  • the Kellogg Foundation cancelled plans to host a conference in NC
  •  the 2017 NBA All moved their game out of NC
  • the NCAA stripped NC of its hosting rights
  • Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and many more artists cancelled concert appearances in the state
  • Cirque du Soleil cancelled performances
  • producer of Wicked will not allow the play to show in NC
  • and much more (which can be read here)

As months passed and the 2016 gubernatorial race hurled toward its conclusion, it became apparent to  both the knuckle-dragging conservative status quo supporters who supported the bill and the opponents of the bill that the election outcome would determine the future of HB2.  After all, despite the tremendous economic fallout HB2 had brought to North Carolina, GOP leadership (including Gov. McCrory),  in the state remained firm in their support for bigotry. Meanwhile, Attorney General Roy Cooper, who hoped to unseat McCrory, ran a campaign that opposed HB2. Ultimately, Cooper received on the necessary votes to win the governor’s office.  In the end, the economic fallout of HB2, as well  as the ridicule and derision the state received for its passage were instrumental in McCrory’s defeat (a defeat he would not accept for weeks bc he was a sole loser). With a Democrat in place as Governor one would think North Carolina’s year of hell might be drawing to a close. To social justice organizations and queer rights groups, it looked as if a reversal of HB2 was imminent.

Sadly, rather than a reversal of HB2, a compromise was reached.

“Compromise”.  That’s not quite the word HB2 opponents where hoping for. But it can’t be that bad, right? After all, we have a Democratic Governor in office now. One who opposes anti-queer discrimination. Yeeeeaaah. About that.

Continue reading “The compromise that wasn’t”

The compromise that wasn’t

We have a release date for the Defenders!

Cringeworthy. Boring. Unfaithful. Ho-hum.

Those are the words that spring to mind when I think of the television adaptations of comic book properties that existed when I was growing up. Not the cartoons mind you, but the live-action shows. I know these tv shows and made for tv movies have their fans.  I am not now, nor have I ever been, one of them. As a kid, I tolerated television movies like The Amazing Spider-Man in which the title character engaged in some truly yawn inducing adventures. Or the Bill Bixby starring Incredible Hulk, who bore little resemblance in appearance or power (seriously, he struggled to lift telephone poles) to his comic book counterpart. Plus, he didn’t leap. he jogged at a brisk pace (I think I’ve seen mall joggers move faster than he did). And while shows like Superboy were more faithful to the source material and featured a character that I recognized, there was still a cringe-factor. Perhaps it was the cheesiness or the fact that many of the villains were mundane rather than spectacular, but watching such shows often left me wanting more.  More adventure. More excitement. More fun. Faithful adaptations. And there was something else I wanted from these shows. Something that I considered fundamental to comic books, and that was missing from the other tv adaptations: I wanted a shared universe. I wanted to see supporting characters interacting with one another. I wanted to see characters from show reference events in another show. And of course I wanted to see superheroes teaming up.

If 16 yo. me had a time machine, and used it to peer into the twentyteens, he’d be shell shocked. To see the fastest man alive zooming across the screen at Mach speeds would be exciting to him. Watching the last daughter of Krypton make a name for herself both as a reporter and a superhero would be thrilling. And I just know he’d have gotten goosebumps upon learning that the streaming service Netflix has teamed up with Marvel and given him exactly what he wanted.

Action.

Adventure.

Excitement.

Fun.

A shared universe.

Oh, and superheroes teaming up on the small screen.

Now, 16 yo me would probably be at school on August 18, 2017, anxiously anticipating the end of the school day. But me? I’ll be planted in front of a television watching the debut of the Defenders.  Check out the teaser.

We have a release date for the Defenders!

Speakeasy #16

 

 

WELCOME TO THE SOCIAL THREAD AT THE PROGRESSIVE PUB. HERE AT THE SPEAKEASY, YOU CAN METAPHORICALLY PUT YOUR FEET UP, GRAB A VIRTUAL BEVERAGE FROM YOUR RESIDENT BARTENDER (ME), AND SOCIALIZE WITH THE REGULARS. GAB, SHARE RECIPES, SHARE NEWS, RAGE ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS OR THE PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD, DISCUSS IMPENDING VACATIONS, SHARE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS, TALK ABOUT YOUR JOBS AND YOUR FAMILIES, YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS, AND PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT. EVERYONE IS WELCOME, JUST BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER.

 

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Speakeasy #16

Celebrities say awful things: Nicole Kidman

Celebrities are people who have political views and there is nothing wrong with them sharing those opinions.

Some pretty novel ideas in there (three, I believe), no?

To some folks, yes.

Unlike those people, however, I do not subscribe to the notion that celebrities ought to stick to entertaining us and remain silent on politics. While the lives of celebrities are quite a bit removed from those of the average citizen, at the end of the day, they are still citizens of the US. Whether to critique or support the opinions of others or rally people behind or in opposition to a politician or a piece of legislation, civilians have the right to speak their mind. Celebrities do as well. Being a world famous movie star, a television or social media sensation, or an icon of the music industry does not remove the right of these people to share their opinions with the world.

That said, just as celebrities share with civilians the right to share their opinions, like civilians, they also ought to be prepared for criticism of those opinions. Their right to speak their mind does not insulate them from criticism when they say shitty things. And celebrities often say Very Shitty Things. Azaelia Banks has said many shitty things.  Ted Nugent has built a second career out of saying shitty things. Mel Gibson famously opened his mouth back in 2006 and out poured shitty anti-Semitic things.

Nicole Kidman can now add her name to the list of celebrities who have said shitty things:

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Celebrities say awful things: Nicole Kidman

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 2.6.17

On a regular basis, individuals across the U.S. demonstrate that they are not responsible

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gun owners. Oh, they may have passed a background check (or not, bc there are flaws in the federal background check requirement) and obtained a license and/or a permit, but have they demonstrated-prior to owning a gun-that they aren’t an aggressive individual with a hair-trigger temper? Have they shown knowledge of how to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence? Do they know how to properly clean a gun or that firearms and alcohol are a bad mix? Do they know how to correctly store a gun (especially in a home with children)? Sadly, a great many people don’t (or if they do, they disregard this knowledge). And those that don’t should never be allowed to own firearms bc they are irresponsible. Here are five examples of irresponsible gun owners: Continue reading “Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 2.6.17”

Irresponsible Gun Owners of America 2.6.17

Time for bed. Wait! What’s that about a new CW superhero show?!

Image of the CW’s four superhero shows represented by Brandon Routh as the Atom, Grant Gustin as the Flash, Stephen Amell as Green Arrow, and Melissa Benoist as Supergirl.

So there I am. Laying in bed after a 10 hour day at work. Most of that time having been spent on my feet, bc as a server and bartender, I don’t get much in the way of sit down time at work. Thus, when I got home, the tired kinda hit me all at once (the mildly achy feet did too, which reminds me–I need gel insoles). I decided ‘what the heck’, it may be 9:30 at night, but I can go to bed when I’m tired bc I’m an adult and I can do whatever I want to (except launch all white supremacists, MRAs, and TERFs into the sun ). So I crawled into bed, got snug and comfy under the sheets, and grabbed my phone to check news before I fell asleep. After three or four stories, I could feel my body screaming “go to sleep little gay boy”. Juuuuuuuust as I was about to lay my phone down and rest my little gay head, I was forcibly–though pleasantly–wrenched out of my exhaustive state. What could possibly have caused such a 180° change?

The CW has picked up a pilot order for Greg Berlanti’s Black Lightning!

Continue reading “Time for bed. Wait! What’s that about a new CW superhero show?!”

Time for bed. Wait! What’s that about a new CW superhero show?!

White fuckery never takes a day off, does it?

A little while back, I made a flippant comment on Facebook about white supremacy taking a break for one day. You know, just get off the backs of People of Color for one fucking day. Man, a break like that would be nice. I could go to work and not hear casual  comments that reinforce white supremacy from co-workers or guests. I could  turn on the television and not see KellyAnne Conway spew her white supremacy apologetics (and I could turn on the tv and not worry about which apologist for racism a mainstream media outlet coughcoughCNNcoughcough gives a platform to).  I could turn on NPR on the drive to and from work without hearing the authoritarian fuckstain POS racist POTUS. This day could actually allow myself and other People of Color to exist for 24 hours without the constant reminder that socially, politically, and economically, we are viewed as inferior at best, and unworthy of existence at worst. The idea of having just a brief respite from the onslaught of white fuckery is sooooo appealing.

To be honest though, I wouldn’t really want racism to take 24 hours off. Aside from the damn near impossibility of such a thing ever occurring (though it might make for an interesting sci-fi series–kinda like The Purge–one day, every month, white supremacy takes a vacation, just don’t ask me how in the world that could happen–probably need some magical plot device), knowing that the next day would see a return to the same old, same old shit would be so frustrating that I’m not sure I could enjoy such a day (I imagine others could though).

As I thought about my flippant comment (which was tinged with frustration and a desire for PoC to just catch a break), I realized that 24 hours was being generous. Half a day is generous. 60 minutes is generous.  In fact, racism pervades the United States to such an extent that I imagine not even a minute passes between one example of racism and another. These incidents cover a broad range, from individual acts of microaggressive racial bigotry that act to reinforce white supremacy in subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) ways  to more extreme examples that not only reinforce white supremacy, but directly oppress PoC collectively. In the days since the inauguration of POTUS45, there has been a constant stream of infuriating incidents of racial hatred. These incidents have range from smaller, individual cases of racism that affect an isolated Person of Color (or a handful of PoC) to larger cases that affect mass numbers of PoC.

Now, before I go any further, I want to re-re-re-re-re-re-re-state the definition of racism I am operating under, which fits with the sociological definition (but not the definition many, many, many white folks–including some ostensibly progressive white folks–love to pull out of dictionaries):

Continue reading “White fuckery never takes a day off, does it?”

White fuckery never takes a day off, does it?

This can all be traced back to the Civil War

We are going through some horrifying times right now. The presidential win by the incompetent, thin skinned rapist demagogue (I refuse to refer to him by his actual name, nor will I *EVER* call him “Mr. President” or “President [redacted]”) has led to a government that is very much not democratic, and is in fact, in danger of becoming an authoritarian police state (one run by white supremacists and Nazis at that). Chitler and those he brought on as part of his Cabinet have no respect for the people of this nation or the Constitution that all government employees are supposed to uphold. They have a complete disrespect for the rule of law  as well as disrespect for the basic standards of decency, transparency, and accountability expected from the leaders of this country. This disrespect and the trampling of the Constitutional and human rights of USAmerican citizens can be seen almost daily:

  • issuing an executive order that effectively bars Muslims from seven countries from entering the United States (no, the writing of the order does not literally say “ban on Muslims”, but that’s the end result) is an attack on people based on their religion and ethnicity
  • the imposition of a media blackout on multiple federal agenices such as the FDA and the EPA
  • criticizing the exercise of free speech rights of USAmerican civilians (the ‘Hamilton’ cast) and attacking celebrities who express disapproval of his actions
  • referring to his critics as enemies
  • openly displaying aggression to private companies
  • being extremely hostile to reporters and the media (signalling an opposition to the freedom of the press)
  • nominating a host of appointees for government positions who are not only supremely unqualified, but also (in most cases) want to gut the departments they are to be in charge of
  • continuing to associate with Russia, despite the successful cyberattacks carried out by that country

That’s just off the top of my head.  There’s been so much that the Tangerine Tyrant does on a daily basis that flies in the face of human decency or respect for the founding principles of this country. What many people may not realize though, is that our current slide towards an authoritarian or fascist state are directly connected to the demonization and enslavement of African-Americans for 245 years, which culminated with the Civil War.

Continue reading “This can all be traced back to the Civil War”

This can all be traced back to the Civil War