Westworld Season One: Contrapasso

Contrapasso is a reference to Dante’s Inferno, where the sinner in Hell suffers a punishment related to  the sin that was committed when they were alive. Literally the “counterstrike ” or the “counter-suffering”, which describes the relationship between the sinner and the resulting justification for their torture in Hell.

I was being a bit silly last week when I said I wished the robot rebellion would get started. I don’t actually wish that, really. I’m having  too much fun parsing all the events in this show. It’s just such a rich brew, I was jittering around in my seat like a three year old.  I heard this fifth episode was going to be mind-blowing, and the actress who said that, (Guess who?), wasn’t kidding. So I re-watched all the episodes from the beginning, so I could try to get a good handle on what’s going on. I think I succeeded in understanding about fifty (maybe 60) percent of what’s happening. I’m no dummy but (just like the writers of Hannibal) the people writing this show are waay smarter than me. But here’s my recap anyway, and perhaps by doing this I can understand what the hell I’m watching.

But before I get started I just want to talk about Westworld’s theme song at the opening of the show. If you listen carefully, it’s a parallel of what happens during the course of the series. I noticed this while watching a YouTube video of someone playing the song on piano. The theme is only about a minute and a half long, but during it, more and more discordant notes start to creep in. The song becomes darker, as flatter and  lower notes are added, so that what started out as a harmonious, innocently lovely tune, ends as something ominous, echoing the direction not just of the plot of the show, but the character arcs of the Hosts as they begin to reach for self awareness. Just like that first thunderous note, is an echo of the Park’s first death, this is a machine that has been running without a hitch for some thirty years, but lately has some troubling signs that all isn’t well, as the various anomalies start to build on each other, just like the notes of the theme.

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Okay, I have to admit I have no fucking clue who the Man in Black is,  but I’d like to believe it’s Arnold, the maker who “died” in the park. Yes, yes! I know I could be wrong because as I’ve stated before, accurate speculation is not a superpower I possess. However, I’m going to forge ahead with this theory anyway, because I like it, and there have been too many ambiguous statements from Guests, Robert Ford, and the MIB himself, leading me to believe that the MIB lost himself in the park, and reinvented himself as this villain which everyone refuses to name. My biggest clue was when Logan was talking to William about the Park’s origins, and said there were no photographs of Arnold, and that he had the hardest time finding information about him. There was also last week’s guest who recognized the MIB from the real world.

Ford is in the basement with one of his old robots talking about how he used to own a greyhound, and when he let it off its leash, it ran wild and killed a cat. He’s obviously talking about the Park, and the Hosts, which he intends to let off their leash, I guess. Ford knows what’s happening to the Hosts.  He even has some idea of what the outcome could be and he is allowing all of it to happen. The show keeps having the characters make allusions to  the violent retribution that would occur should the robots ever have their restrictions removed. Those restrictions being programmed to not harm humans and the lack of memories of what the Guests do to them.

What Ford’s ultimate purpose is, I don’t know, but it may have something to do with the rival business interests that Logan represents, and this big narrative that Ford has been designing that has been disrupting the Park’s other narratives. I’m convinced that the new backstory he gave Teddy last week, involving his relationship with Wyatt, is also a part of it all. Wyatt is the boogeyman no one has yet seen.

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Ford talks to Dolores about what happened 34 years ago. (I noticed the dates keep changing. Its 33, or 35, or 30 years ago.) We learn that Dolores was the last person to interact with Arnold. It’s also mentioned, in an earlier episode, that there hasn’t been a death in the park for over thirty years, (Arnold) and that Dolores is the last Host left from that era. Either the MIB is Arnold, or he killed Arnold. This is my supposition until I get new information, which might change next week, since this show insists on confounding me. I’m still not completely ruling  out that the MIB is a Host with Arnold’s memories loaded into it like a memory card.

Dolores divulges, in her conversation with Ford, that Arnold told her her purpose was to help him destroy Westworld. Ford is attempting to find out if the Hosts are hearing the Voice of God commands they were first programmed with. But she is lying to him about that. Someone said the most frightening thing is not a robot that can pass the Turing Test (A test to see if a robot can pass for human by engaging with a human. None of the robots in existence today have passed this test, so calm down.) but a robot that deliberately fails a Turing Test.  Dolores is deliberately pretending to be less aware than she is in this scene. She may also be doing this with William and Logan, too.

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Dolores, William, and Logan reach Pariah, along with Slim, and we meet El Lazo who happens to be a copy of the Lawrence Host that’s been accompanying the MIB on his travels. His name is Lawrence, too. Their meeting with El Lazo doesn’t start off well. He tasks them to steal a shipment of nitroglycerin from the Union army, to prove they can be trusted. It’s interesting that in this narrative, the Civil War is referenced. In the real world, the Southwestern part of the US was flooded with former slaves, after the war. There still aren’t enough Black people  in Westworld, but since this is the Southwest, the number of Hispanics is pretty high and that’s good. I’ve seen no Asian Hosts at all, and I know there were thousands working the railroads in the Southwest at that time, but that could be explained by not having the railroads be  part of Westworld’s narratives. (Why not?)

Logan does mention that at the outer fringes of the Park, things are wilder, and  less well managed.  He says he hasn’t visited those areas but I ‘m guessing that he’s too busy laying on his back to do much exploring. Logan pretty much just thinks with his dick. Yet, he’s not all that different from any of the other humans I’ve seen in this show. It’s not them being sexual creatures that bothers me, it’s that a lot of their thoughts about sex could be kept to themselves.  It turns out that the secret representative that Ford mentioned to Theresa in the last episode is actually Logan. He’s from some kind of rival business or something, looking  to invest heavily in Westworld. I’m only partially interested in this part of the narrative.

At Pariah, we get to see quite a number of Black Union soldiers in this episode stationed in the town. Also there are what El Lazo calls The Confederados. His purpose is to sell the nitro to the Confederates. Logan, William and Dolores complete their task but Slim gets shot down. Dolores later discovers it’s all a ruse, as El Lazo plans to use the nitro for his own ends, replacing what he’s given to the confederates with tequila. Dolores also has several visions of herself, and the maze, and is told she must follow it. She can feel herself becoming a new person and she does, in a sense. As a bandit, she gets a brand new wardrobe, and later when William is attacked by the Confederates, angry about the tequila sham, she is definitely “born again hard”, as she shoots down all three men threatening them. In the aftermath, she tells  William she imagined not being the damsel.

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I stood and I applauded!👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 Whoo!!! And thanks to her Host reflexes, she’s a perfect gun (wo)man. Excellent stance, shooting from the hip, and fast as fuck.  It was awesome! She also shows some tactical ability when El Lazo threatens to shoot her and William, when they try to escape on his train. Instead of aiming at him, she aims her weapon at the nitroglycerin loaded bodies sitting in coffins in the cabin with them. She is still hearing the voice in her head, as she spots the image of the maze on the train’s cargo.

Logan is in for a rough time of it when the Confederates find out they’ve been swindled. They can’t kill him but they’re going to beat his ass for a while. Apparently, the Hosts, in these  fringe narratives, can and will beat your ass if you step to them. They won’t kill you though. Earlier that evening, during the town orgy, Logan,  feeling in his element, brings out Willam’s dark side by goading and poking him about how useless his life and morality is in such a place.

William does have a dark side, though. When Logan calls for help during his beating, William,  very obviously, turns his back on him and leaves with Dolores. It’s okay. Logan will be aaiight! But I bet shit just got real for him in a way it wasn’t before. Contrapasso is definitely a reference to Logan, as he gets to experience, first hand,  something of what he’s been dishing out to the Park’s inhabitants for so many years. Dolores and William will be joining El Lazo in some kind of revolutionary war in Mexico. This will be another part of the Park we’ve not yet seen.

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As for Maeve, she is once again in house, getting her body repaired. One of the technicians servicing her, Felix,  is  just a bit wary of having her in the body shop with them. The other technician I hope has a quick and nasty death, not because of how he treated Maeve, but how he treated Felix, who has been practicing his coding skills on a small robot bird. When the other technician finds this out he screams at Felix about how he’ll never be anything other than what he is. The man is a more of an asshole than Logan, and that’s saying something. But then none of the humans in this show impress me much. I do get  the impression that this is a co-worker and not someone who has any power over anything Felix does, as Felix continues his efforts after his co-worker leaves. He’s successful at repairing the bird, but his celebration is cut short when he sees that Maeve, supposedly still in sleep mode the entire time, is wide awake and ready  to have an important conversation with him. I am looking forward to that convo myself.

Elsie is stunned to discover that the  robot she was sent to retrieve has some spy tech in its body. In order to procure access to the body, she threatens one of the young male technicians in the Body Shop, who has been having sex with the decommissioned robots, with public exposure. Next to Felix’s dress down by his co-worker, that was one of the uglier things I saw a human do, in this episode, which is important when you consider that nearly all of the humans are deplorable. She goes to Bernard with her concerns but he is noncommittal.

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But the standout event in tonight’s episode was the meeting between Ford and the MIB. After finding Teddy in the desert strung up by Wyatt’s men, he takes him with him. When Teddy’s health quotient gets too low, he bleeds out Lawrence, to give Teddy a transfusion. Accompanied by Teddy, they meet with Ford at a saloon, where Ford tries to parse out exactly what the MIBs purpose is, and if it’s really worth it. Harris character says he wants a worthy adversary to prevent him from reaching his goal. It seems like Dolores is being set up to be that Rival, as she is following the maze too.

There is no surprise in Ford’s meeting with him. The two act very much like old, if not friends, then certainly acquaintances. We get to see Teddy be a little badass. I like the how the show is gradually introducing us to  what the Hosts are capable  of. They’re not superhuman but they are more than. They’re certainly faster and stronger. We get a glimpse into how fast during Dolores shootout, and in Teddy’s automatic reaction to protect Ford, when The MIB threatens Ford with a knife. But the robots are held back by their cognitive limitations. They have no memories, don’t know what they are and there are human things they don’t comprehend, like death.

There have been a number of theories bandied about the show. One of the theories is that the scenes  with William and Dolores are flashbacks to thirty years ago, to the life of the MIB, and chronicles how he went from being a White Hat to  a Black one. That the MIB is actually William. This would also explain his acquaintance with Dolores. I’m not sure what to think about that theory though. There are certain people and characters whom we never see interact so its easy to reach that conclusion. The  Westworld logos during William’s entrance into the Park, and the ones we see with the old Ford are different.


Next week, the robot rebellion begins, after which we have four more episodes to the big finale and what I would consider a successful first season for the show.


The Defenders Season Review

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Instead of reviewing every episode, one by one, like most other reviewers, I’ve decided to just review the entire season.  Rather than 13 episodes, the series has been reduced to eight, which I feel was a really good idea, as this helps the story move along a lot more swiftly, and with less filler, than in the individual shows.  Since the plot is moving faster, and interludes are shortened, it’s not possible to get too irritated by any particular plot point (The Villain), or character (Danny), because you just don’t have much time for it.

Overall, I enjoyed the series. I can definitely say that I like certain characters much better in a team setting, than I did in their individual stories, because a lot of their weaknesses of character aren’t on full display here, and when they are on display, there’s a reason for it. I especially enjoyed all the team action, even just sitting around and talking to each other, because these guys are  a lot of fun together. Their fighting styles and attitudes just mesh really well, and they have great chemistry with each other, which makes for some interesting, and cool fight scenes, and some funny and snarky dialogue.

I think the show played up the reluctant hero angle a bit too much. The characters are always having conversations about how they’re not heroes, and don’t want to be heroes, especially Luke and Jessica. Matt is trying to quit  the superhero game as if he were going cold turkey from some kind of -ism. Danny is the only one who wants to be a hero, and he’s not  remotely equipped to be one.


Luke Cage:


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We get a slightly deeper understanding of Luke as a person, although there are no huge revelations, or anything. He still doesn’t want to be a hero, he’s still living in Harlem, still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, all of this is just as in his own show.  We see the opening moves of a friendship between him and Danny, and Luke and Claire finally go out for that coffee, before being awkwardly interrupted by Luke’s former one night, Misty.

All of the characters get a chance to interact, one on one, during the series, although there’s not a lot of forward momentum in their characters, or relationships. Just hints of things to come. We get hints of a reconciliation between him and Jessica. In the comic books, the two are married and have a baby, but I don’t know if these shows will move in that direction. I’m opposed to it because of Jessica having killed his wife, (and then lied to him about it), and Jessica is also  not in any kind of emotional shape to have a relationship with anyone. Also, she is, ethically speaking, the complete opposite of  Luke, and I just don’t see those two  styles of personality meshing well.

As I mentioned, the showrunner doesn’t do anything new with the character. Luke remains a deeply principled guy who, while okay with kicking ass, is opposed to killing. He is not afraid to call someone on their shit, the way he does to Danny.

I love that all the characters have their place and purpose  in the team, and how their differing fighting styles are showcased. Luke is like Superman. He’s invulnerable to most harm, and is often a shield for the others, when the guns come out. He’s not completely invulnerable though, as Danny is one of the few people that can knock him off his feet (well…Danny and unexpected trucks). Seriously, the man is like a tank. He’s even immune to fire.

The team needs Danny whenever they need a huge, loud distraction, as in the finale, when they needed to reach a safe place, but The Hand was being an obstruction. Danny is like a large explosive device, delivering concussive sound and force, and I like the way his powers are used here, although yeah, the glowing fist still looks kinda silly. Still, Luke and Danny are definitely the team’s two heavy hitters.

One of the most annoying parts of the show is the Rap music that appears whenever Luke shows up on screen. To the showrunner: Hey! Luke does not  need a soundtrack to announce his presence!

Matt is the resident Ninja, and while Danny isn’t too bad in that department, Danny has a different purpose. Matt is the kind of team member who can move in and out of a situation quickly and quietly, warn the team of any impending danger, (and get them out of trouble with the law,  if necessary, I guess.)



Matt Murdock:

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Matt spends a lot of the first couple of episodes trying not to be heroic, or save people. I think we’re meant to believe that he gave it all up after losing Elektra, but since I wasn’t buying his relationship with her, I didn’t care. The two of them have no chemistry, and the emotional intensity of a pair of titmice, especially when it comes to passionate exchanges.

On the other hand, it was nice seeing him put his lawyer-ly shit down, it was nice to see Foggy and Karen again, and I’m glad the three of them made some effort towards reconciliation, especially after last season’s events, when Karen found out he was Daredevil. The two of them treat, and talk about Matt, as if he were a recovering junkie, so that’s kind of weird, made even weirder by scenes of Matt “staring” longingly at his Daredevil outfit, as if it were an ice cream sundae.

Actually, a lot of Charlie Cox’s acting is off in this series. There’s story movement, but his character remains pretty much the same. His fighting skills are awesome as ever, but Charlie looks like he’s phoning in  his performance. When I called him a Floor Lamp Ninja, I meant that he could pretty much be swapped out by any other martial arts actor, and this would not  greatly affect the plot.

I did enjoy the scene where he tails Jessica on the streets and she susses him out, and when they meet for the first time in their superhero guises. Matt steals that big gray scarf she wears everywhere, to wrap around his face, and Jessica rolls her eyes at him.



Jessica Jones:

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This show went a long way towards making me like this character. As much as she hates people, Jessica really does work well in a team setting. She takes nothing seriously, which ends up making her the funniest person in the group. Her one on one interactions with Matt are especially funny, and she gives absolutely no fucks about who  Danny is, and is quick to say so, which I thought was hilarious.

A lot of the weakness of Jessica’s show is that its very White Feminist, and her mistreatment of PoC in the show really started, not just to grate on my nerves, but to make me actively dislike her, no matter how much I sympathized with her issues. I know and understand  that she is dealing with the severe trauma of what Killgrave did to her, but trauma is not an excuse for her abuse and mistreatment of characters of color.

I actually had a problem, not just with her,but with the show’s writers as well. Despite women’s trauma issues being  the center of  the story, they still managed to erase  WoC entirely, which is something White Feminism keeps doing, in stories that are supposed to be empowering to women. (The stories end up being empowering only  to White women.) But I still applaud the show for its messages and the general treatment of its (White) female characters. I see why some people liked it, but ultimately the show wasn’t for me.

That’s just the logical reasoning for why I disliked the show. The other reason is there was a lot of triggering shit in that show. I had to stop watching it, for my own self care, because I was not ready!

I liked Jessica in The Defenders, because the focus wasn’t on Jessica’s pain, so we got to see her reacting to other things. She’s still an unlikable, alcoholic, snarky mess, but that’s okay. Who says heroes have to be likable? Its especially interesting because unlikability is rare in female characters, and Jessica is thoroughly unapologetic about herself. At one point she very openly steals a can of beer, from a passed out homeless man on the subway, (because she’s had a long day,) right in front of Matt and Luke, who handle  the act with no more than raised eyebrows.

Jessica is definitely the team’s Tony Stark to Luke’s Steve Rogers. There’s much of the same personality dynamics present, except some of the motivation for  Jessica’s rather  loose ethics stem partially from her trauma at the hands of Killgrave.


Danny Rand:

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Yeah, for someone who talked a lot of shit about the Iron Fist series, I think you guys will be pleasantly surprised that I didn’t actually dislike Danny Rand in this show. As I mentioned, the shorter running time for the series means that Danny’s scenes are kept to a minimum, so he doesn’t have as much time to be irritating. Not that he doesn’t give it a big try.

Finn Jones has also had the benefit of some practice on his fight choreography, and better directors and it shows. His fight scenes aren’t the trash fire that they were in Iron Fist, so he actually ends up looking competent. Plus, he just works better with a team of people, than he does on his own.

The team dynamics go a long way towards making Danny likable here, and really, in the next season of Iron Fist, the show runners really need to lean in to the ridiculousness of his story, rather than playing it straight, because yeah, Danny sounds like he’s insane. None of the other team members take his backstory seriously, rolling their eyes every time he mentions he’s the Immortal Iron Fist, an attitude I thought was incredibly funny. And then there’s the silliness of him walking around with a large dragon tattoo on his test. His powers aren’t funny, and the audience is never given to laugh at those, but his backstory is kinda nuts. Mr. I Punched a Dragon!

Another reason I like Danny here, is because the showrunner makes an effort to make his character understandable, in a way that he wasn’t in his own series. In his own series, his behavior is incredibly rage inducing, and frustrating, (and I can’t help but think that this change has at least a little to do with the showrunner being a man of color, who understands the issue in a way the last showrunner didn’t). But here, Danny’s behavior is in smaller doses, and he has more well developed characters reacting to his wtf*ery, so he’s  a lot easier to understand. Granted, if the character had been cast as Asian to begin with, we wouldn’t need all these careful repairs.


For example, at one point, he and Luke square off, with Luke confronting Danny about his privilege as a rich White man, who chooses to come into his part of town and beat up the impoverished Black people, rather than finding some other way to defeat The Hand’s purposes. The Hand is able to operate with impunity in such neighborhoods because all they have to do is offer money. Luke’s statement is a reminder to Danny that there’s a bunch of other things he could’ve done, as a wealthy White man to defeat the purposes of The Hand, besides beating up the citizens. But then you notice that Danny’s go-to, when dealing with The Hand, is only ever violence. He never tries to thwart them any other way, and thinks he can  simply punch his way to the proper outcome.

For example: Danny and Colleen find a warehouse full of bodies. The Hand is hiring young men from Luke’s  neighborhood to  clean up any evidence that might lead to their organization. Danny and Colleen do not know this. They don’t ask questions, have not investigated the situation, and haven’t bothered to understand the why of any of it. The two of them immediately jump to kicking ass. Danny and Luke first meet when  Luke steps in to protect one of the young men, who has lost his family to The Hand, and feels coerced to work for them.

Luke’s statement about his privilege is meant to remind Danny that there are other perspectives  besides his own. It’s made very plain  that when it comes to The Hand, Danny has a huge blind spot.  Danny doesn’t  think, he just reacts, and that was what happened at the warehouse, which  resulted in Danny brutally beating a (Black) teenage boy. He’s  reckless, impulsive, and has anger issues. He and Colleen don’t have any kind of a plan, beyond destroying The Hand. This gets mentioned a couple of times during the show.


On to the good part: Danny doesn’t get any better at being impulsive, but he does listen to what gets said to him. And the showrunner is a lot better at making clear what Danny’s motivations are, something which is cloudier on his own show. Danny is looking for a purpose. Since he abdicated his responsibilities to K’un L’un (Why?), he’s not only been looking for a way to atone for that, but looking for a new purpose to replace it, and probably looking for a new family too, as he’s one of the few characters that’s at all excited about teaming up. But again he is blind to his rage about The Hand, and as long as he remains blind to his lack of control, as regards them, he can accomplish nothing.

When the rest of the team find out the the The Hand is specifically after Danny, they try to get him to stand down, and stay out of their next fight, rather than just running up on ’em, without a plan. I’m always here for Danny getting his ass handed to him, which the team has to resort to, to keep Danny from fucking up, yet again. There follows a long interlude with him and Luke getting to know each other, and Danny trying to at least understand Luke’s perspective on the world.

So yeah, this show went a little way to making me, if not like Danny, at least understand where he’s coming from in terms I could easily grok.



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Sigourney Weaver turns in a beautiful performance, as I expected, before being unexpectedly dispatched near the end of the series. My biggest problem is that her motivations as a villain are so vague and ill-defined I was completely unable to care what her goals were. We know what she and the other members of The Hand want to do, but we have no idea why they want to take over the world, other than just wanting to do it.

I didn’t focus on her unfathomable motivations. I just tried to focus on her performance.  She and Elektra have great chemistry, reminiscent of Ellen Ripley and Call, the Android from Alien Resurrection, and I found this dynamic fascinating. On a lighter note, I loved her outfits. Alexandra is always impeccably dressed. She just looks like a woman with a lot of money and extravagant but unshowy tastes.

Another problem that I have is that the women in this show rarely get to interact with each other, (although Claire and Colleen get some nice scenes together, and later, Colleen and Misty get to talk). Alexandra spends a lot of time alone. They couldn’t even bother to write her as being friends to Madame Gao, having her treat Gao like a servant, which I found especially distasteful. Here you have a wealthy White woman treating this older Asian woman as if she were the Help, although there are other factors behind why she does it, it was still ugly and racist, even if that was not what was intended.

I still don’t know why the  showrunners bothered to call Sigourney into this show, which she is simply too good for. I had noticed that her presence sidelines the Asian characters putting, them all in a subordinate position to her, and significantly reducing Madame Gao’s street cred, that she’s built over three other shows. As much as I like Sigourney, I feel like the story would have been better served without Alexandra.



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I still do not like this character, because I just feel like she’s evil for no  feckin’ reason. I didn’t like her in Daredevil either, because the writers just made her seem batshit insane for no reason. Elodie Young is gorgeous and all, and can actually act, as I’ve seen her elsewhere acting just fine, but I don’t like the way she approached this character. When we first see her here, she has been brainwashed and controlled by The Hand, most especially Alexandra. She’s pretty much a perfect example of the Born Sexy Yesterday Trope.  Later,  she appears to become evil on purpose,and for the life of me, I simply could not care.


After Elektra’s resurrection, she is mentored in her evil-ness by Alexandra, and it was really interesting watching the relationship between the two of them, but she does eventually betray Alexandra, and turns against The Hand. Once again, for no reason that I could discern than that the writers needed a new villain in the plot.

The show is somewhat formulaic, with the idea of replacing one Big Bad with another, halfway through the season. This happened with Iron Fist, Daredevil, and Luke Cage, where the viewer starts out with one villain, who gets unceremoniously dispatched by the true villain of the story. Basically, a villain bait and  switch.

I wanted to like Elektra. I just don’t. I couldn’t understand her motivations for anything, and I wasn’t feeling her deep love affair with Matt Murdock. Which is not helped by Matt Murdock acting like  “Floor Lamp Ninja”, throughout most of the series. When she’s not smurking evil-ly, she has a blank, wide-eyed, look on her face, which I found kinda irritating. I got no problem with Elektra’s martial skills. Those were exemplary, as always.


Colleen Wing:

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She has even less personality growth here then in Iron Fist. In fact, I found her much more annoying in The Defenders, than I did in that show. She didn’t make much of an impression on me for this show, either. Part of this has to do with the shorter length of the series. There’s just not enough time to develop all the characters, so some of them get short shrift and hers is especially short.

The only thing we get from Colleen’s is more of her being Danny’s support network, (as she is told by Claire) and fighting the same endless fight against Bakuto, that she fought in Iron Fist, with Bakuto making the exact same talking points. Why he wants her is anybody’s guess Is he in love? Wants her as a protege? We don’t know or understand. His motivations are pretty vague. As are most The The Hands motivations.

Collen’s motivations are even less discernible to us than they were in Iron Fist. That was a problem that wasn’t even approached here. We don’t know why she loves him, and the two are not especially demonstrative, but nevertheless we are led to believe they are a couple. She may be Danny’s emotional support but she’s doing an awful job at helping him deal with his anger issues ,or his ideas about who and what he is. Case in point, it took a near total stranger, Luke , to point out one of Danny’s biggest flaws. The problem may be that Colleen is unable to point out Danny’s flaws because she’s too much like him. She has a go along to get along attitude with Danny that I found irritating, never questioning what he says or does, and mindlessly following him in his quest. She has no story of her own, seemingly having gave it up to be little more than Danny’s helpmate. The writers need to do better with her. Hopefully, if there is a spinoff show with Misty, she’ll be better written.

As per usual there’s nothing wrong with Colleen’s martial skills. In fact the choreography isn’t bad for the whole series, and at least a few of the directors know how to shoot fight scenes well enough to make them all different, and compelling enough, to keep watching. My favorite fight scenes are the team fights though.


Misty Knight:


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There’s not much character growth with Misty Knight either, but at least her motivations are clear. We know exactly what she wants in the narrative and why she wants it. She wants to solve her case, and get a promotion, (or not be fired), which is hindered by the fact that the people who could help her solve it, refuse to tell her anything, and the fact that, with The Hand, she is totally out of her league.

Misty is a cop, so she has mostly cop concerns, just as she did in Luke Cage. Shit is happening, her friends are in the middle of it, and they won’t tell her anything, because they realize, but refuse to explain clearly to her, just how far out of her depth she is. I kept admonishing Luke (and Jessica) to make clear to her, that the organization they’re  dealing with  doesn’t give a flying hot damn if she’s a cop, and will happily kill her (and her entire fam), but they kept refusing to tell her this, which was becoming really frustrating.

I’ve also seen some shitty meta about how she’s a bad character because she keeps attacking people she needs help from, and I’m like Bish please! She’s not attacking your White faves! She is being a cop, who knows that the information that will allow her to do her job, is being withheld. She’s got one job in the damn show, which is solving her case, and  she can’t do it, because  the four people who know something about it, won’t tell her anything. So yeah, she gonna be irritated, and not afraid to show that irritation.  This is called DRAMA, people!( I’m trying to  remember that I’m dealing with the hysterical children of Tumblr, who think any time  characters of color show irritation at a White character’s actions,  that it automatically makes them a villain. Yep! This is the level of logic I’m dealing with on Tumblr, guys!)

But she comes through in the end anyway, and lets the team handle their bidness. Although, I suspect she’s mostly there because Luke and Claire were in danger. (Remember, Misty doesn’t know who  any of those White people are. They are just mysterious somebodies who are obstructing her job. Luke and Claire are the ones who are her friends..)

Misty is known in the comic books for having a silver bionic arm, and for teaming up with Colleen to be the Daughters of the Dragon. (On an alternate Earth, she even gets to carry Steve Rogers shield, sorta like a female Bucky.) So,  we may get to see her new prosthetic in season two of Luke Cage, and if we’re lucky we’ll get to see her and Colleen team up. Hey! If side characters like the Punisher can get their own show, they can make a Daughters of the Dragon series, (possibly in the style of the Foxy Brown Blaxploitation movies of my youth.) The series should of course be helmed by a Black or Asian woman, because I absolutely do not  trust a White, male, showrunner to get a Black woman, and an Asian woman correct.



The Hand:

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Unfortunately, the shorter the running time of the series does not seem to allow much clarity on who, or what, The Hand is, or why they want what they want. We have some idea of what they’re doing globally, not just in New York, but that’s pretty much all we get.

New York starts experiencing a spate of seismic disturbances, which are being caused by The Hand digging near some sort of fault line, under a plot of land they built an office on. Why they are digging is slightly unclear. I think some dragon bones are involved becasue its briefly mentioned tat this has something to do with how Iron Fist got his power. For some reason ,they also need to capture Iron Fist and beat him up, or make him angry so he can open some kind of doorway to K’un L’un, so the five leaders of The Hand can go back home.

I did pay attention but really that’s the best I can do regarding the rather lackluster plot. I really didn’t care, although i guess its supposed to be some sort of revelation ,that the five leaders are all incredibly old, exiled citizens of K’un L’un. Even the facts of why they’re exiled in the first place isn’t made abundantly clear. I really hope the showrunner and the writers were making some kind of point about cloudy motivations, or something becasue the villains are a mess.

Alexandra gets unceremoniously dispatched and replaced by Elektra, who gives a self important speech about how she’s now the leader of The Hand. I don’t know if its the actress, or the writing, but I was bored by the whole thing. Why we were introduced to new memebers of The Hand only to have them killed right away is anyone’s guess.

Since The Hand is an egalitarian organization there’s a Japanese guy, whose name I don’t remember, a Brazilian guy named Bakuto, an African (Haitian?) guy named Sowande, and Ms. Gao, who I assume is Chinese. Sowande reminds me of the lead character from the movie Beasts of the Southern Wilds who was a procurer of child soldiers. Sowande is brutally tortured and killed by he Defenders after they capture him in an attempt to find out his people’s plans, something which did not sit well with me. And before you come into my inbox and start mansplaining about how the other members of The Hand also get killed, I have to remind you, that none of the other members of The Hand were brutally tortured first. This happens to the sole Black member of The Hand, by people who are, supposedly, the good guys.

Couple that scene with Iron Fist’s brutal beating of a young Black boy in an earlier episode,Jessica jones treatment of its Black male characters,  Daredevil’s treatment of its Asian characters as some type of Yellow Peril (which even the presence of a White woman leader cannot resolve), and Iron Fists White Savior issues, and it becomes clear that the the MCU has some serious racial issues that need addressing. The only disability on display is Matt Murdock’s blindness. Jessica Jones treament of one of its lesbian characters was, quite simply, abominable, and outside of that there is no LGBT representation in any of it. Marvel comic books are doing much better in regards to these issues than the MCU.

One of the ways they can address some of these issues is by hiring different types of showrunners, and writers and treating the creation of these shows (and the movies which have all the same problems) the same way they approach the comic books. The newest phase of MCU movies have gotten a little bit better as far as racial issues (but not by much) and it’s seriously lacking in LGBT and disability representation, and the creators of these projects need to think more deeply about these issues, most especially in its treatment of Asian characters across all of the MCU, as it’s becoming creepily apparent that maybe don’t like people of the Asian diaspora.

Despite all my criticisms though, I actually enjoyed watching it. I’m still glad I didn’t have to spend 13 hours watching it, instead of the eight. The strongest part of the series are the scenes of The Defenders working together as a team. There’s a lot of room for improvement but also a lot of promise for a season two.

Notes on a 1949 media diet, part 2 — Abagond

For August 2017 I am on a 1949 media diet – all news, music, film, books, etc, must be from 1949 or before. Here is my second batch of notes on the experience (the first batch is linked to below): One of the things I miss most from 2017 is a good dictionary and an […]

via Notes on a 1949 media diet, part 2 — Abagond

I thought this was really interesting. I have no plans to try this myself, but its fascinating to think about.

Common to Star, Executive Produce ‘Black Samurai’ for Starz — WE ARE GEEKS OF COLOR

The ever busy rapper/actor Common’s next project will take him to television. He will star in and executive produce Black Samurai at Starz. The action series is based on the books by Marc Olden. The project is also being produced by blockbuster film producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA. Black Samurai will follow the character […]

via Common to Star, Executive Produce ‘Black Samurai’ for Starz — WE ARE GEEKS OF COLOR

[Essay Series] Looks Like A Cinnamon Roll… – Opening Essay — Stitch’s Media Mix

There’s a part of my brain that can’t believe that this all began because of an overused meme. There’s a part of my brain that’s almost embarrassed that I was able to build so much content as a result of scrolling through character tags on tumblr and taking in the way that some of my […]

via [Essay Series] Looks Like A Cinnamon Roll… – Opening Essay — Stitch’s Media Mix

Jerry Lewis Has Died — BROTHA WOLF

From Variety: Jerry Lewis, the brash slapstick comic who became a pop culture sensation in his partnership with Dean Martin and then transformed himself into an auteur filmmaker of such comedic classics as “The Nutty Professor” and “The Bellboy,” has died in Las Vegas. He was 91. Lewis died at his home in Las Vegas […]

via Jerry Lewis Has Died — BROTHA WOLF


Some of my favorite Lewis movies:

The Nutty Professor:



 The Bellboy:






The Disorderly Orerly:


And these aren’t the only ones. I grew up watching all these movies as a child, and even if Jerry Lewis became progressively less funny as he got older, I still cherish and enjoy the many years of comedy he gave to the world.

Logic’s 1-800 Video Will Move You To Tears (Trigger Warning: Suicide and Homophobia)

Just signal boosting this!


Being black in America is tough enough these days. Putting all the discrimination and racism we face around the country aside, the tragic duality of that struggle is how hard it is to find a consistent support system in our own communities. Logic tells genius.com that while he was on tour last year, so many of his fans expressed that his music had saved their lives, and he was moved because that was never his intention. Realizing his influence, he decided to make a record, featuring Khalid and Alessia Cara, specifically for the purpose of reaching people who may need saving. Hence, plainly titling this single as the number to the Suicide Prevention Hotline.


In Logic’s 1-800-273-8255 music video, directed by Andy Hines, we see a newborn grow into a young man going through an identity crisis that drives him to the point that he wants to take his…

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Stuff I’ve Been Watching


Midnight Texas (NBC)

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So, I’ve watched maybe two episodes of this show and I’m really liking it so far. I’m willing to date this show for a while, because it’s good fun and makes me laugh. Midnight Texas isn’t a deep show. It’s not a Bryan Fuller Joint, or Westworld, but it’s a fun little interlude before going to bed, since it airs at ten, Monday nights, and I gotta go to work in the morning.

The main character, Manfred Bernardo, can see ghosts. His Auntie comes from the town of Midnight, and after she dies suddenly, leaving him in debt to some type of criminal, her ghost tells him the town can be a safe place for him, where his skills will be appreciated.

Midnight Texas happens to be the home of various supernatural beings, and Manfred fits right in. Upon his  arrival, Manfred meets a local girl named Creek, and while her father is deeply suspicious of him, the young lady is intrigued, and the two of them develop a relationship very quickly. A lot of things happen quickly in the show, and many of the plot points happen in a kind of throwaway manner that takes some getting used to. I understand the idea is to keep it light, and not get too bogged down in philosophy, meta- physics, and whatnot. The show is supposed to just be fun, and I’ll watch it in that spirit.

I have a lot of favorite characters on the show, most of which are supers. There’s some good representation on the show, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the various characters. I missed the second episode, but managed to watch the third. The creators are trying to keep things light without being ha-ha funny, which is a fine line. It doesn’t look like they’re trying so much to reproduce True Blood, as reproduce the mood of True Blood. Some of these characters are mentioned in the True Blood books though.

Manfred, for example, is the psychic that Sookie met when she visited Dallas.  Midnight Texas is based on source material from the same writer, Charlaine Harris. I have not read the books. I opted not to, because I didn’t want my brain focusing on the side issues of the books, while watching the show. I may read them at some point in the future, because they seem like fun, but not right now.

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We have a full complement of creatures on the show, so you’d think my favorite would be the Reverend Emilio Sheehan, who happens to be a Were-Tiger, which is kinda awesome. He seems rather morose, which is appropriate as I consider actual tigers to be the “crabby old men” of the giant cat world. There are WoC in the cast. One of them owns the local bar/diner, and I don’t think she has any superpowers, but I could be wrong, and it’s something that could be revealed later. The other is the local witch. The town does have some mundane people inhabiting it, and some of them are aware of the supernatural qualities of the others.

You’d think my next favorite would be the Angel, Joe because he’s really, really hot. I’m not into blondes, as a rule, but I’m willing to acknowledge the occasional hotness of some of them. He happens to be living with a Hispanic man named Chuy, who also happens to be an Angel, and I wonder if the two of them being a couple is the reason they’ve been exiled to Earth.

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Well, you know who my favorite is. Lemuel, the rather unique vampire who feeds off human energy, and eats other vampires. We get to see his backstory in the third episode. He used to be a slave and there’s a scene of Lemuel being whipped for trying to escape, which I didn’t appreciate having to look at. That scene is pretty graphic and you may want to skip it if watching Black people being tortured is not your thing. The point of all that is to show how far Lemuel will go to be free, I guess.  After a couple of escape attempts, Lem encounters a Native American vampire, who transforms him. Lem’s immediate course of action is to avenge himself on the slave owner, who had him beaten, and that guy’s entire family. That’s pretty graphic too.

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Later, Lem and the other vampires in his clan, have a falling out, because Lem thinks he’s become just another slave to his thirst. In the third episode, Len’s Maker returns looking to take over Midnight for himself. The townspeople rally together to kill the vampires.

This seems to be the main theme this season, as we’ve  had three/four episodes, in which the townspeople need to band together to defeat some outside force. In the middle of all this plot, we learn that Lem started off as an ordinary vampire, but after encountering Manfred’s aunt when she was a child, she transformed him into something else, a vampire that can feed on other vampires.

The characters often have some deep philosophical insights, but like I said, it’s in a blink and you’ll miss it manner. (Joe and the Reverend do this too.) Lem is played by Peter Mensah, who is extremely handsome, in his bold blue contacts. You may remember him as a gladiator from the show Spartacus.

I  like Lem’s girlfriend, Olivia, who is some type of international assassin. She’s a total badass, and she and Lem are the town’s heavy hitters, when it comes to defense. I don’t normally pay a whole lot of attention to White television actresses, unless they’ve firmly established themselves with a good track record, but I like this actress. She’s blunt spoken, clear-headed, and pragmatic, all qualities I admire, and I see why Lem likes her. She has some secrets from her past, that she’s trying to bury, while dealing with  anger issues.  I could do with a lot fewer scenes of Olivia and Lem gettin’ it on, though. It doesnt need to be shown in every episode.

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Fiji is another one of my favorites, and I like her, not because she’s the town witch, although that’s kinda cool, but because she has a talking cat. I don’t know much about the cat’s backstory but he’s snarky, and dismissive, just the way you’d think a cat would be. How it happened that her cat talks, we don’t know yet. Fiji is very young, but she’s also extremely powerful, and well-respected in the town. Most of the mundanes know what she is, and rely on her to protect them.

Fiji is also really cute, and kind of adorkably nerdy. She has a mad crush on one of the townies, a guy with the unfortunate name of Bobo, and her feelings seems to be reciprocated. One of the more powerful images I have of her, is from the first episode, where she crushes a police vehicle, with little more than her bare hands, and a strong will. Fiji looks sweet and vulnerable, but she ain’t the one to mess with. She’s  refreshingly different, as Black women rarely get to be emotionally fragile, but powerful love interests, and/or witches either.

I’m going to try to enjoy this show while it lasts. It’s on network television, which has a nasty habit of cancelling the shows I like, so I don’t hold out much hope that Midnight Texas. will be around next year. This is the same station that just canceled Still Star Crossed. But then I was trying really hard not to get attached to that show. (That didn’t work). I’m not gonna try that with this show and it still might get canceled. I might as well get attached. There’s always the books, which I’m told, Charlaine intends to keep writing.


Mr. Mercedes (Audience Network)

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I liked this show, too. I was expecting it to be a deeply serious dramatic type  show, but it turned out to have a quirky sense of humor, not because the writing is funny, or people are telling jokes, but because certain characters and situations are just odd. It’s not like the show Psych, which was a deliberate comedy. This is not a comedy. It’s just some of the characters are weird.

The show is based on a trilogy of books by Stephen King, the first title of which is Mr. Mercedes, named after the killer in the book. Brendan Gleason plays Bill Hodges, a retired cop who is trying to figure out what to do with himself, now that he’s no longer working. until he is taunted out of retirement by Mr. Mercedes, so-named after he drove a Mercedes into a crowd of job seekers outside a job fair, killing several. I like Gleason’s character. One of the funniest recurring issues is when he can’t believe various women find him attractive. (It’s definitely the beard.)

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The show begins with  a very graphic scene, and I was heavily reminded of the events in Charlottesville Virginia. There’s no mystery about the killer for the audience, just as in the book. We’re introduced to Brady Hartsfield early in the story. The book remains very faithful to the books, except in tiny details like the wacky neighbor lady who lives next door, and Bill feeding a massive tortoise passing through his yard one morning. I’m not sure if this is a pet or what.

Bill is assisted in his sleuthing, by the kid he hired to mow his lawn, and who happens to be a computer wiz. Jerome is played by Jharrel Jerome, and I like him already. His character is a refreshing change from the Black Male Sportsplayer/Jock, we see so often on TV. Black men are rarely cast as hardware nerds. Brady is also a tech-nerd, and works at one of those big box technical stores, which is something like Best Buy, and I like that Jerome seems to be every bit his equal when it comes to the esoteric workings of computers.

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I think Bill’s quirky neighbor is meant to represent a woman with which Bill has a brief, but satisfying relationship, in the books. Or at least I hope so. I don’t know if this will happen on the show, but in the book, Janey is murdered by Brady. This is not a catalyst to make Bill chase after him, because Bill was already unofficially working the Mr. Mercedes case. This is Brady’s attmept to make Bill commit suicide. The neighbor, Ida Silver, is played by Holland Taylor, and if she looks familiar, that you may have seen her in every funny show of the 90s.

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The villain is played by one of the alumni of the cable show, Penny Dreadful . Harry Treadaway, who played Victor Frankenstein, is as disgusting character here, as he was on the other show. Apparently, this is how he’s going to make his career, playing unlikable people in perfectly good shows. The show remains very faithful to the books with him too. He has an incestuous relationship with his mother, whom he later poisons, and it looks like the writers are sticking to this plot, although in the book, the mother  initiates sexual activity. In the show, it appears she doesn’t know that her son regularly masturbates with her as his subject. (I know! Ewww!)

Their relationship does have a very Bates Motel feel. Brady works at a Big Box store, with other quirky characters, and a deeply stupid boss, who is constantly shit-talking Brady’s dreams of life beyond the store. This goes a long way towards humanizing this incredibly shitty character, who mowed down dozens of people with his car, just for shits and giggles. This is not something that happens  in the books, so I wasn’t expecting that.

I’m going to keep watching this because the pilot certainly captured me. The show airs on the Audience Network which may be difficult for some of you to access. I have access to it through DirectTV, and its possible you may need that, to watch this show.



The Void (Netflix)

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I love a good creature feature, and I was attracted to this movie because of its use of tentacles in its promotional material. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot when I sat down to watch it. I was sort of expecting a little Cthulhu type stuff, and there’s certainly a little of that in it, but there was also a lot of it I couldn’t make hide, nor hair, of.

It seems to be about a group of cultists attempting to call some dark being to Earth, to inhabit the bodies of humans, and the cultists are partially successful. They’re doing this in collusion with a doctor at the local hospital, where they’ve trapped several people.  Daniel Carter, Maggie, James, and inexplicably, an Asian woman, named Kim, who I lost track of by the end of the movie.

These people have to fight off monsters inhabiting the bodies of their friends, and a couple of trigger happy locals, while working their way through the maze of the hospital, to find and stop the doctor from unleashing Hell on Earth, through the body of his pregnant daughter.

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I have to give fair warning. The movie is very gory, with lots of blood and other fluids gushing all over the place. People get skewered with knives and/or shot, and sometimes they get torn apart by creatures. The cult members wear white hooded cloaks and look a little like KKK members, but there is no equivocating in this case. They are definitely villains ,whose job it is to keep the hapless victims trapped in the hospital to be fodder for the monsters. There’s also an element of the movie The Thing, as the monster is a conglomeration of various body parts and live people.

The movie doesn’t have the happiest ending either. At the end Daniel, and I guess her name is Maggie, get trapped in an alternate universe featuring a giant black pyramid. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s not an A+ movie either. A lot of the plot seems to have been borrowed from  other Lovecraftian pastiche movies, like Hellraiser, and Re-animator ,and the acting is sometimes a bit dodgy. But I think the key words here are “not bad”. It’s a good workmanlike plot where bad things happen to bad, and sometimes not so bad,people, who sometimes act like cowards, and occasionally act like heroes.

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Daniel isn’t the most charismatic guy in the film, although he is set up as our hero, who has the most sense,  and who  is gonna save the world. None of the other characters stand out as especially interesting either, really. Basically, if you’re watching this movie, it’s just  for the monsters, and gore.

Tumblr Discussions for the Weekend

On a more lighthearted note, I’ve got some laughs and discussion for the weekend.

Stardreamed sums up pretty clearly what PoC actually want in the media we consume. I think I used this gif before to represent what it’s like for PoC in some of the major fandoms.

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Cool personal story, but it has absolutely no relation to the topic at hand.

Casting is a business and shipping fictional characters as a fan is not at all the same as choosing a life partner with whom you will share your life, your home, your bed, your finances, and likely your children except that all would be better if someone wasn’t a racist.

Shipping/casting with diversity simply isn’t that deep. As a producer it’s literally as simple as not racially restricting your casting calls, writers room, directors and crew to white people. We know from POC-run shows/movies that do this on a daily basis that this is not at all difficult. There is no shortage of talent among people of color in the entertainment industry.

As a fan, all it requires is seeing people who don’t look like you as humans as deserving of love, happiness, success and life as yourself. As a black woman who never looked like the white female literary/TV/Movie characters who dominated my childhood, I was still able to find ways to relate to them even though our appearances, upbringings, lives, situations and often values were very different. If I could do that FROM THE TIME I WAS A CHILD with literally hundreds upon hundreds of white characters, why can’t white fans do that with the HANDFUL of characters of color that exist now? Why do they have to whitewash art, or fancast and headcanon established characters of color as white (often with the same story line) in order to enjoy them?

The fact that so many white people won’t even consider creating, watching, or celebrating the fictional happiness of black, NBPOC characters, or interracial couples and universally refer to them as boring, incestuous, disgusting, unrealistic, forced, politically correct, and “reverse racist” without regard for the many different ways these characters are and could be written and acted is super telling in regards to their longstanding personal beliefs and values. They don’t regard us as fully human as they do themselves and it is inconceivable to them that anyone would see us as worthy of love, attention or success.

Nobody here mentioned quotas, but it very much seems like many white people are all peace, love, and light until something has “too many” people of color for their taste. Whether it’s a country, neighborhood, or a TV show/Movie/Book. It’s clear they’re only OK if the unofficial understanding is that white people should always dominate a landscape. Basically, it’s not people of color who have the quotas and restrictions… It’s white people. They always need to feel like they are visually, numerically, and culturally dominant and/or the center of attention in order to feel “safe”.

What WE want as POC and diversity-minded white people is that there are more actors of color cast/supported in shows, not to hit some arbitrary target number, but in order to allow room to represent the full depth and breath of the variety of who and what we are as human beings who happen to be different. The fewer roles/characters we get, the more likely writers are able to be lazy and fall back on the negative stereotypes that hurt us and perpetuate ignorance.

100+ years of entertainment has focused primarily on the personalities, relationships, values, and emotions of people who make up less than 16% of the world’s population. What we’re asking for is balance – a split in focus to some of the other 84% of the world. Why is that perceived as such an unreasonable request?

There is as much diversity (perhaps even more) within racial groups in terms of shade, beliefs, culture and subcultures than there are within white people because we hail from more parts of the globe (not just Europe) and have intermixed (racially & culturally) between ourselves – the various racial & cultural groups – and white people across the ages in a number of different ways. That’s not even getting the different ways gender, sexuality, ability, neurodivergence, economics, government, and faith are expressed across the world.

This could make for a future with THE. MOST. INTERESTING and UNIQUE characters, pairings and plot twists and turns, but instead the entertainment industry and fandom chooses to take even the little diversity we have and demonize, fetishize, actively ignore, whitewash, or root for its destruction.

Diversity is good, not to be P.C. for no reason or even just for POC to see themselves, but for people (particularly white people) to learn to understand and appreciate the values, cultures, emotions, realities of people unlike themselves. It helps them see life for what it truly is. The world would be a lot better right now if they could.

This is what frustrates and angers us as fans of color. This is what we’re pushing back against.



I think the  comment I left for this one was: Just stop being lazy and making excuses for it. If you got time to research tiny details of everything else, then you can adequately research a culture.

Or you can just say you’re scared of PoC and go!


Also, can we stop pretending this ‘Research is HARD’ angle is anything but disingenuous bullshit?

I’m sorry (lol no I’m not) but take a stroll through author’s notes on multi-chapter fics throughout random Ao3 fandoms and tell me how many times you come across fanfic authors referencing all the random things they researched for the purpose of writing their fic.

I’ve seen fanfic writers talk about putting hours into researching medical minutiae for a Grey’s Anatomy shipper fic with a minor medical mystery subplot. Sci-fi fanfic writers talking about researching various angles on genetics, biology, star systems, propulsion, all for the sake of expanding on some plot point for a Star Trek fic or hell, Dr. Who. Let’s not even get started on the countless hours down the rabbithole Supernatural writers spend browsing through archaic sites in search of some new bit of myth or folklore that hasn’t yet been mined to death by thirteen seasons of The Show That Will Not Die.

Or here’s one, who here’s ever seen fic writers in fandoms like Criminal Minds or CSI or freaking’ Bones joke about ending up on watchlists because of all the time they’ve spent researching how to buy illegal weapons or commit specific crimes or shit like that?

And that’s just FANFIC writers talking about all the research they’ve voluntarily, willingly, HAPPILY done in the name of writing more realistic storylines in their unpaid fanfic. Multiply all that time by a factor of ten when you look at career writers who are researching  for their latest novel or screenplay with the knowledge that consumers who are going to pay money for that finished product want to feel like they got their money’s worth. And so they usually have Opinions when they feel like a writer didn’t care enough about a certain element of the worldbuilding and will gripe about how ‘the police would never react that way to this kind of crime’ or ‘a planet like that couldn’t sustain life’ or ‘so and so wasn’t even alive during the War of 1812, what’s he doing in this book.’

All writers research. To varying degrees, sure, not all writers devote as much time and effort to it as others, it depends on things like genre, setting, etc. But research is literally part of the writing process and there is not a single writer anywhere who is not familiar with this. Whether it’s researching some scientific study in depth or merely looking up the meaning of certain names to settle on the perfect fit for a supporting character, writers research.

You’re right though, there is only so much time writers can devote to research. But how they choose to spend that time, what they choose to prioritize researching, these are choices. Choices that reveal things about what a writer considers more important, that leave an impression about whose opinion and good favor they value most.

So when a writer’s finished product gets the seal of approval from white Call of Duty gamer bros because the main character was using the correct kind of gun and ammo for the military scenes or the murder factoids in the crime drama were just right or the medical speak checked out or Clever Sidekick Who Copes With Tense Situations By Rattling off Obscure Bits of Trivia always has plenty to say….but that very same writer’s depiction of their characters of color suggest all the research they put into writing those characters began and ended with watching a couple episodes of Law & Order: SVU to see how they handled having characters of color in a similar context or what the fuck ever….like.

Yes. Shockingly. This might in fact suggest to readers of color that a writer does not consider representing them with authentic, fully fleshed out, three dimensional characters to be as important as getting random elements of their murder mystery plot or sci-fi worldbuilding juuuuuuust right. And like…ummm….why the fuck WOULDN’T they have a negative opinion of that?

Also, while we’re on the subject of disingenuous bullshit, can we just fuck the entire hell off with this myth of ‘hyper critical poc who are never going to be happy with anything so why even bother?’ Please, by all means, show me where white writers who have actually, genuinely devoted sincere time and effort to researching inclusive ways to represent poc and their experiences are being harassed by fans because singular specific elements of the finished product aren’t matching up with specific individuals’ experiences. Like, sure, you can probably point to somewhere something superficially like that is happening, but odds are a closer inspection will reveal its actually just *gasp* criticism? Of the one specific element ppl find flaw with? Because getting a thousand things right doesn’t mean you get a free pass and ppl should just overlook it when you do get one thing wrong?

But again, this is pretty much bullshit though, cuz this isn’t what’s happening out there, this isn’t the actual content of what was being described. There’s a world of difference between being critical of one element of an otherwise thoroughly researched work and being critical of a work whose research can be summed up as ‘this one time, I read a wikipedia page and it said latinx people like spicy food.’

And as I mentioned earlier, how and where you choose to prioritize your attention? That’s a choice, that reveals a lot about you whether you realize it or not. And when you engage with conversations about expecting writers to consider their fans of color worth the time and attention it requires to represent them well, and your go-to argument is essentially ‘well you’re never going to be happy anyway so there’s not really much point in sinking a ton of time and effort into research when its ultimately gonna be a useless endeavor, now is there’, your priorities are clear. And those aren’t listening, they aren’t learning, they’re just fostering the idea that the bare minimum should be good enough, at least if there’s Good Intentions behind it all.

Look, if a writer doesn’t want to do the work, then just don’t do the fucking work. But if they choose not to do the work, they don’t get to show up and still expect a gold star for their half-assed presentation of how little they actually give a fuck.

I mean, if you’re in school, and you’re asked to write a 4,000 word essay on a book of your choice and you choose to write about The Scarlet Letter and then the day its due you show up with 500 words based on your late-night viewing of Easy A starring Emma Stone, which wikipedia assures you was based on The Scarlet Letter and thus is like….thematically the same…..what right do you have to expect anything other than an F for your (lack of) effort?



 I saw this too, and its its happening in the Star Wars fandom, right now.

you know on top of everything else that’s great about Captain America: The Winter Soldier I genuinely think we have it to thank for the fall (or at least marked decline) of the Loki fandom


no one asked but here’s some elaboration on that:

I don’t know how many of you were active in the MCU fandom in 2012 but the post-Avengers Loki fandom was… you know, pretty much exactly what you’d expect the fandom for a nuanced villain played by a moderately attractive white man.

there was a lot of overlooking the fact that he willingly took part in a plan to enslave the entire human race in favor of fic and art where he was inexplicably an unofficial member of the Avengers. he was shipped with everyone – Tony (based on that one scene where Tony gets Loki’s ego trip)Natasha (entirely based on that one scene where he threatens to kill her and calls her a cunt. never change, fandom), Thor (despite or possibly because of the incest factor), even Darcy Lewis (who was, and to a degree still is, the MCU fandom bicycle, probably owing to the fact that she’s the easiest canon character to write like an oc).

and sweet god, the Loki fandom was desperate to prove he was actually entirely innocent. post-Avengers, my dash was flooded with heartfelt analyses of the most minute moments in the Avengers all attempting to prove that Loki had obviously been tortured and brainwashed into working with the Chitauri and that he wasn’t actually complicit in any of it.

(actually the more I think about it, the more I realize how much the Loki fandom was paving the way fr the Kylo Ren fandom, aka the overpowered white boys throwing murder tantrums fandom, but I digress.)

the Tom Hiddleston thirst was so bad that when Marvel had Tom-Hiddleston-in-character-as-Loki reveal the Thor: The Dark World trailer at SDCC (which, honestly, was pretty cool), I had to read a very serious discussion on my dash about whether or not T-Hiddles got a sexual rush out of it and the probability that he had a boner while he was on stage.

and then. AND THEN. IN 2014, Captain America: The Winter Soldier happened. and specifically, Bucky Barnes happened.

you like murder woobies? well lo and behold, the ultimate murder woobie. he’s canonically brainwashed and irresponsible for his actions, and we even get to see how brutally treated he is right on on screen. (I read a very spot-on analysis somewhere that argues that a big part of what makes Bucky so beloved to female fans is that he’s one of the few male characters to be subjected to the kind of onscreen violation of bodily autonomy that most women live in very real fear of, and I couldn’t agree more.) he desperately wants to be good again and is prevented from doing that by forces beyond his control, which makes it okay to be into him while he’s doing the murder strut down a highway aiming a gun at our heroes, because it’s not like he’s actually a killer. that’s just what he wants to be.

he’s everything that Loki’s fandom wanted Loki to be. and they. jumped. ship.

I’m mean, I’m not saying the Loki fandom is entirely dead. and obviously Bucky isn’t the only contributing factor; fans get older, their interests change, etc. but it’s been almost a month since the Thor: Ragnarok trailer came out, and I’ve seen exactly zero posts about anyone wanting Tom Hiddleston to raw them while wearing that ridiculous horned headband.

and honestly? I think it’s because we got a better murder woobie. thanks, Buck.


IM LAUGHING BECAUSE ITS FUCKING TRUEI WAS ON THIS HELL SITE FOR ALL OF THISITS 100% FUCKING TRUEand tbh the kr fangirls nowwould have been loki fangirlsif they were the age they are nowin 2012 – tags via @spacescaptain

see I wanted to talk about this in the original post but thought it was too off topic so thank you for this in

in hindsight, for sure, the Loki fanbase was VERY MUCH the prelude to the Kylo Ren fanbase, and it’s all part of a larger culture of apologizing and idealizing white boys who throw murder tantraums.

but. BUT. there’s at least room to argue that much of the Loki fandom bailed when they got a new character who actually was what they wanted Loki to be.

and then there’s the Kylo Ren fandom, who have actually and literally fabricated an entire past for Kyle (misspelling very intentional) in which he was OBVIOUSLY abused by his parents and uncle and had noooo choice but to slaughter all of his fellow baby Jedi and kill his dad, because he’s a CLEARLY an abuse victim.

when, you know, standing right next to him you have Finn, actual victim of childhood abduction and lifelong abuse, who makes a very clear choice to NOT BE A FUCKING SERIAL KILLER even though it’s the one thing he was raised to be.

and yet. many (not all, I get it, don’t eat me, but MANY) Kylo fans will try to claim that somehow Finn in the real dickbag here.

I’m not saying Bucky would have been received v e r y differently if he wasn’t white, but.



I’m not a huge fan of this show, (I kow enough to know who the main characters are), but I guess this show is at least trying to do things right. How right they’re getting it is some matter for debate, but at least they’re trying.


In Shadowhunters, Fantasy Conflicts Don’t Have to Ignore Their Real-World Influences


Throughout the second season, the Shadowhunters and Downworlders have worked together and separately to face off against their biggest threat: Clary’s father, Valentine (Alan Van Sprang), a Shadowhunter turned rogue who plans to use the mortal instruments—ancient objects with immense powers—to create a new army of Shadowhunters, for the purpose of wiping out the Downworlders, which he considers inferior species.

While the threat of demons might be far off from our own world, the threat represented by Valentine and his anti-Downworlder beliefs is not. Shadowhunters is following in the footsteps of many of its fantasy predecessors (perhaps not coincidentally, as Clare wrote Harry Potter fanfiction before The Mortal Instruments books were published) with a conflict that parallels the very real forms of discrimination and racism that exist in our own world.

From the initial casting of the show, it was clear that the showrunners were willing to engage with this issue more explicitly than the books. The majority of Downworlder characters are played by actors of color, even those who were written as white in the books. The many ways in which these characters are targeted and discriminated against by both Valentine and other Shadowhunters because of their species is a clear parallel to racism, but this casting allows the series to represent this in a way that more closely mirrors real-world discrimination than had it followed in the footsteps of fantasies that allow white characters to play out oppressed narratives.



Just think about it for aminute:


lookhuman: “i have a real problem ”



I hated the movies, but I would watch this, if it were movie.

fictionallyattractive: “ dodonmastoklese: “ overdevelopedid: “ dodonmastoklese: “ overdevelopedid: “ fireb0y: “ “Why don’t you have any sales going on?” “Why don’t you take your cheap ass back to Marshall’s where it belongs?” ” “Let me speak to your...

“Why don’t you have any sales going on?”

“Why don’t you take your cheap ass back to Marshall’s where it belongs?”



“Let me speak to your manager.”

“Hey, if you wanna be told the same shit in a different voice, I do a really good Jack Nicholson.”



Do you have this patio set in a different color?

Yeah but fuck you its on the top shelf and I’m not getting a ladder. Eat a dick old lady.



“What!? Why is that your policy?!”

“To fuck with you, specifically. We do it differently for everyone else.”



*burns stack of expired coupons in front of customer*



“This food is dry and gross.”

“I thought I would serve food based on the customer today.”



I feel like this is an entirely accurate representation of me…



  • they need like a dozen of hobbies as outlets for their energy. if they don’t get the energy out, they become a host of a time bomb.
  • insatiably absorbs all information of all kinds like a baby on his mom’s chest or a tic sucking out blood from a fresh catch: you choose
  • no one really knows if they’re showing genuine reaction/emotion cos you don’t know if they’re forcing it or not or they dun even know too
  • is the jack of all trades cos they have so many talents but can’t focus and drill hard on one cos they jump from different talent to another
  • may come arrogant but always they always want everyone to be happy and enjoying the time, probably more than how libra wants it.






Okay, on Black Nerd Problems,  they’ve been doing recaps of all the Game of Thrones  episodes of this season, and frankly I prefer the recaps over the actual show. These are some of the funniest recaps/reviews I have ever read, and I hope to be this funny one day. These are hilarious, and you don’t have to watch the show to get it. Visit Black Nerd Problems (and subscribe) every Tuesday for that weekend’s recap.



Maaaaaaan, listen. After that corny-ass Dragon’s Lair save from last week, Bronn and Jaime wash up 1) seemingly far enough down stream where they aren’t captured by Daenerys and 2) without nary a sun tan between the two of them…aiight. Bronn is like, muthafucka did you not see that mythical creature spitting Kendrick bars from the sky? The fuck were you thinking? Jaime was trying to end the war and / or never have to see his sister again.

Tyrion walking the battlefield thinking this Hand of the King thing was a lot more fun when he was just up in a castle making plans and shit. Your boy walking past his own countrymen burnt to a fuckin’ crisp like they lived in a town below a volcano or some shit. Just human charcoal briquettes everywhere, yo. Dothraki looting these muthafuckas and leading every dude that ain’t currently or past tense on fire to mount Drogon.




Some links to make you smile:

Games for Introverts:

‘Pet the Pup at the Party’ is a silly game about avoiding people and befriending dogs instead

‘Pet the Pup at the Party’ is a silly game about avoiding people and befriending dogs instead



Crying White Supremacists is my new aesthetic!

Doxxing White Supremacists Is Making Them Terrified
 I actually like this show, but it does have some deep problems, most of which stem from the racism of its creators.

The Problem With Sense8

Or How Sense8’s Faux-Progressive Worldbuilding Falls Apart

(I have no link for this one, as it’s on Medium.Com. So, subscibe to access the article.)


You have to read the funniest Jury selection ever.


Shadowhunters, Malec and the Burden of Representation

Read more at: Shadowhunters, Malec and the Burden of Representation | ScreenSpy

 And the response to this article from: amorverus

Magnus isn’t just attractive, powerful and perceptive. He’s one of a literal handful of bisexual men on TV. He’s also an Asian man whom the narrative defines as eternally desirable, in a medium that has historically downplayed Asian male sexuality and desirability through discriminatory stereotypes.  

I’m quoting this part because it’s really important to me as a queer Asian woman and I haven’t seen any other articles point it out. I’ve searched high and low for good Asian rep on a show not explicitly designed for commentary on race and I’ve found a literal handful of them.

Magnus gets to be a complicated man and he isn’t just positioned in the narrative as sexually desirable. He’s also positioned as intimidating and powerful – something that Western audiences have historically frowned upon. The combination of power and sexuality from poc, especially men, has often resulted in accusations of being “predatory” or “aggressive” (@fandom, sound familiar?)

Anyway, Magnus isn’t just important for lgbt rep but he’s also important for poc rep, too. Shadowhunters is the rare unicorn of a series that addresses minority rep with intersectionality in mind.

Source: nightfallgoddess


This is my favorite scene in a movie full of favorite scenes. Homecoming is one of the funniest Spiderman films to date, and check out the images on the wall, behind the teacher…

Luke Cage and Claire Temple: Not Your Mammy Figures

And this is why I stay the hell out of ‘Shipping in fandom.

Stitch's Media Mix


I’m used to seeing posts where Black characters are reduced to nannies for white characters, but this post I found in the “Claire Temple” tag on tumblr really took the cake:

“Something I totally see happening in Defenders is Claire telling Luke about how Danny “has some serious issues and needs professional help” and how he should “watch out for the kid”, but of course Luke was already doing something like that…

Look, what I’m saying is that Luke is the kind of wise, experienced and calm person that Danny could have such a healthy relationship with and I can’t wait to see them interact. >.<“[1]

Let’s talk about this.

Let’s talk about how this person wants Claire and Luke to serve as mentors for Danny, a grown ass man who is capable of everything except maneuvering around adulthood. Let’s talk about how this sort of outlook – where…

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Charlottesville: On the Ground

I’m disseminating this post as far and wide as I can. Most of these are from people recounting the events that happened to them during the event, so I’m warning for language and visuals (some of these have videos). Those of you with anxiety issues may want to skip some of these links mentioned at the end of the article, as the descriptions can be graphic. You may also have to sign into Medium.com to view it.


*Notes on Charlottesville

CW for violence, racism, anti-Semitism, graphic imagery

My two friends and I showed up around 10 AM and started walking to the park. Along the way, we met up with a group of people (mostly students, some older folks) who were there to counter-protest as well. Together, we all practiced some chants, took advantage of having a public restroom easily available (after an hour drive & too much coffee, we needed it!), and started walking.


NK Jemisin’s ‘The Fifth Season’ Developed As TV Series At TNT

LINK: The book was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Novel 2016.

via NK Jemisin’s ‘The Fifth Season’ Developed As TV Series At TNT — Dark Matters

And in more good news, N.K. Jemisin has also won this year’s Hugo Award for The Obelisk Gate, which is the sequel to last year’s Hugo winner, The Fifth Season.


An Open Letter to Fanboys

Freaking Out and Geeking Out

Dear Fanboys,

I know you’re upset over the apparent “robbery” of “your” characters: the loss of your Doctors and Thors to women, your white Peter Parker “usurped” by Afro-Hispanic Miles Morales, your straight Hal Jordan “taken over” by queer Alan Parker, your blonde Captain Marvel flying out so Pakistani Muslim Khamala Khan can soar in.

How dare they touch your precious characters, you cry. And all in the name of something as ridiculous as “politically correct” culture.

You cry out to the geekdom gods: “Why have you forsaken me?”

Oh, my dears.

Just stop.


This is exactly what you sound like. Do you really want to be Dudley Dursley?

Enough with the cries of “P.C. culture is ruining geekdom” and “the canon says this character has to be THIS way,” as if those characters don’t already break accepted laws of physics and science.

View original post 852 more words

Charlottesville Links & Discussion

I don’t know what to say about what happened in the US last weekend. My faith in White people to even try to be their better selves is at its absolute lowest point. I’ve gotten to where I don’t want to read anything about racism on the internet, if a White man wrote it. (But I still do.)

I don’t have the words, but plenty of other people do, and I’ve decided to link to them here. Normally, I do not directly discuss politics here, because I want this blog to be a place where people can escape the constant worry about such things, and just decompress. For those of you outside the states, me and mine are fine. The protests and rioting occurred nowhere near us, and I live in a kind of protective bubble of a Midwestern inner city. I just watched it all on TV like everyone else.

It is extremely difficult to be unaware of what’s happening in the US, no matter how much you try to avoid it (for self-care, or anxiety issues, or whatever.) But I thought a linkspam might help people outside the US figure out what the Hell is going on over here.


About Charlottesville Virginia:

Recounting a day of rage, hate, violence and death

<A Timeline of Events in 24 Hours from The Washington Post>



Here’s What Really Happened In Charlottesville


About White Nationalism and the Alt-Right:

The Right-Wing propaganda machine is working overtime, trying to equate BLM, and the White Nationalist movement, as being flip sides of the same coin. Be very aware that there is a concentrated, and planned effort, to obfuscate, and to derail, any and all discussion on the topic of White racism, onto the topic of Black people’s culpability. (They are, essentially, trying to argue that everything that has happened is the fault of Black Americans, which is yet another attempt to demonize BLM. The exact same tactic that was used to smear MLK during the Civil Rights Era.)

If the person is making claims, without any reputable links to sources for those claims, then beware of their intentions. 

Here’s a link to BLM’s actual website, so you can read about it for yourself, in their own words, rather than toxic people’s interpretations of those words:



Most of these links are from Tumblr, Twitter, and various Op-Ed news sources, as people try to explain and understand what happened. As I always warn, do not go into the comment sections of the articles, because the apologists and racists are out in full force, and have infested most of the comments sections on any articles dealing with this subject, mostly offering misinformation, and false equivalencies.  If your tolerance for White Gibberish is at zero, then don’t read them.





Yes, there are Medieval Historians who are pushing back against narratives of this kind.

Racism, Medievalism, and the White Supremacists of Charlottesville



The Truth About Women and White Supremacy



A Guide to the Different Levels of White Supremacist




View story at Medium.com

To the white male supremacists who feel ‘oppressed’ in America: you’re nothing more than venomous crybabies


On What You Can Do


Image result for black power


I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again:

You cannot challenge racism, on this level, by being nice to and reaching out to white supremacists.  Their entire ideology revolves around dehumanizing us.  It just does. not. work.

You cannot fight fascism by prioritizing the feelings of fascists and letting them think they’re safe around you.  You don’t “get them on your side”.  Because treating them kindly and respecting them, gives them your silent approval and access to those of you who are way more vulnerable than you are and who cannot afford to feel safe enough to “debate” with these monsters.

Our humanity is not a question or a debate topic, and by giving these people a platform you legitimize their views and help spread them to a larger audience.


We Aren’t At The Healing Stage With Racism

A lot of people want to heal our communities in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville. I am here to counter such narratives. This is not the time for healing. Now is the time to double down on admittedly painful efforts for change instead of feelings.




Okay, friends, let’s talk about going to protests and weaponizing our whiteness, if in fact we are white.

You know what the protesters who marched with Dr. King wore? Their best. Their clergy stoles, their suits. If you’re a doctor or a nurse? Wear your scrubs. If you’re a parent? Wear your PTA shirt if it’s too hot for a suit. If you’re a student? Dress like you’re going to go volunteer somewhere nice, or wear a t-shirt that proclaims you a member of your high school band, your drama group, your church youth group. Whatever it is, make sure it’s right there with your white face.

This is literally the tactic of the people who marched with King in the 60s, and we need to bring it back, and bring it back HARD.

I do this all the time when I go to marches. I wear my cutest, least-offensive geeky t-shirt, crocs and black pants, or I wear my t-shirt that mentions my kid’s school district, or now I’ll wear the pink t-shirt that says I’m part of the Sisterhood at my shul. If it’s cold enough, I wear a cardigan and jeans and sit my ass in my wheelchair. (I need to anyway.) I put signs on my wheelchair that say things like ‘I love my trans daughter’ and ‘love for all trans children’ or something else that applies to the event. Dress like you are going to an interview if you can, or make yourself look like a parent going to pick up a gallon of milk at the corner store. Make yourself “respectable.” Use respectability politics and whiteness AS A WEAPON.

Fuck yes I will weaponize the fact that I look like a white soccer mom. And you should do this too if you can. Weaponize the fuck out of your whiteness. If you are disabled and comfortable with doing so, turn ableism on its head and weaponize it. Make it so that the cameras that WILL be pointed at you see your whiteness, see your status as a parent, see your status as a community member. See you in your wheelchair or with your cane. If you have privilege or a status that allows you to use it as a weapon or a shield, use it as a shield to defend others or a weapon to break through the bullshit.



I don’t think you understand how serious I am.

This is your mess.

Every single time you barked about how BLM protested, you supported go fund me campaigns for racists and cops that killed unarmed Black (minority) people.  Every time you shouted freedom of speech when someone called a Black person a nigger you created this mess.

Dear White America: This is Your Mess.


Image result for anti racism


Ju-Hyun Park

llleighsmith: “Ju-Hyun Park ”

Desert Portal Ranch

Where All We Raise Is Consciousness


social justice, media, fandom, drop bears

The Shameful Sheep

shit storms, shame, and stories that make you cringe

Woelf Dietrich

I tend to fantasize a lot. Sometimes I write about it.

Feminist Frequency

Conversations with pop culture

Mikki Kendall

Proud descendant of Hex Throwing Goons

We Minored in Film

Geeking Out Over Film & TV

The Nobe

The People-Watcher and Noticer of Things

White Light, Black Filter

musings of a colored chick with a thing for green juice and french vanilla

Colin Newton's Idols and Realities

Movies, metaphysics and more

Square Cop In A Round World

A former cop taking on tough subjects

The Blerdy Report

Black+Nerdy=Blerdy!!! Black Nerds Unite

Dave Chrisp Comedy

Same Shit, different Dave

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