100th Anniversary: Red Summer of 1919.

Interestingly, the Red Summer of 1919 happened to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the first slave ships, from West Africa, to America. This has been chronicled in this year’s 1619 Project.
(There is also a PDF version for those who do not wish to subscribe to the NY Times.)
Two days after Thanksgiving this was posted on Twitter, by historian David Neiwert, in reference to the first episode of the Watchmen television series.  This is pretty long for a series of tweets, but the entire post has been collected at Tweet Threads.
Black people were not the only ones to suffer through this kind of behavior from Whites, Native Americans did as well. And yes, I still maintain that these were not riots.
This was ethnic cleansing!
This is what is meant when we discuss White people’s nostalgia for the past, or what Maga Hat wearing ignoramuses talk about when saying Make America Great Again. This is also what is meant by anyone you hear talking about starting a race war. They don’t want a war, because in a war they would have skin in the game, and be  as susceptible to being killed as their victims. What they want, is  the freedom to  massacre Black people again, without any consequences. We must face the idea that there are  sections of White America who are gleefully, and cheerfully bloodthirsty, when it comes to the destruction of Black lives, and they always have been.
Racial terrorism and expulsion, by Whites,  is at least one of the  explanations for why Blacks migrated out of rural areas, and primarily live in cities, today. My own family (grandmother) left the rural south, in the 1950’s, to live in the Northeast. Not that these so-called “race riots” didn’t occur in large cities, they were just less likely.
Pay close attention to the actions of law enforcement, in this thread, as well. In some cases, not only did the police do nothing to prevent the violence, but in many cases, they actually aided and abetted the attackers. What is surprising are the times law enforcement  sought to protect their charges, from White mobs, and spirit them to safety. Pay attention to the  White women who  took advantage of these situations, to express their racial resentment, or get out of trouble themselves, by accusing black men of disrespecting them, or some other specious crime, knowing those men would be killed. White women have never been innocent of participation in anti-Black violence.
 Black people didn’t take this sitting down, (which is why I take offense at statements like “We are not our grandparents.). Blacks organized and fought back, using not just guns, but popular opinion, via the use of media.
This is why representation is so important. Damon Lindhelof had an incredible platform from which he could showcase this country’s history, and took full advantage of that, thereby continuing a dialogue that was introduced  by Ta’nehisi Coates, in his landmark article: The Case For Reparations.

* It was really hard to finish this thread, as it’s incredibly graphic, harrowing, terrifying, and infuriating. And since I know something about this topic, I know it still doesn’t completely cover some of the other, even worse, atrocities committed against Black bodies, during lynching. (Some people kept souvenirs of certain  body parts.)

 

In many cases this form of terrorism, for that is indeed what it was, lasted for several days, and consisted of thousands of Whites, and the  summary expulsion of the Black population, in that area.

 

I appreciated the fact that Neiwert sugarcoats none of it.

(Warning: This thread contains graphic images of human suffering.)

Nov 27th 2019, (152 tweets, 59 min read)

1) This year, 2019, marks an important centennial anniversary in America—but it is one that not only are we not celebrating, it’s also a significant moment most of us aren’t even aware of: the 100th anniversary of the Red Summer of 1919.

 

2) Warning: This is an extremely long 150-tweet thread. It contains some violent images involving lynching, generally held to a minimum. The text is horrifying. It’s a history lesson—and not one for the faint of heart. You can decide if the subject warrants the unusual length.
3) There are reasons we do not commemorate the events of those months. Nearly all of them have to do with the deep shame that lingers for one of the darkest, most violent moments in American history—not to mention the monstrousness it reveals.
4) Yet the truth is that the summer of 1919 was one of the most momentous in our history, and NEEDS to be remembered, because it forever and irrevocably altered the face of the American landscape, shaping our demographics in ways that remain with us today.
5) The American public recently received a little taste of this deliberately hidden corner of history when the debut episode of the new HBO series Watchmen opened with a flashback to a child’s-eye view of the Tulsa race riot of 1921.

Read the rest here:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1199779549803794432.html

Highlights:
9) These events were in many ways the fevered culmination of the long campaign after the Civil War to reverse its outcome by putting the now-freed slaves into a continued state of submission by other means—violent ones.
11) Between 1870 and 1930, literally thousands of black people were summarily executed by their white neighbors, most often for the crime of being somehow “uppity”—that is, a threat to their own social status in one way or another.
17) Later studies have found that actual black criminality was only occasionally the actual cause of lynchings. Far more often, black people were lynched for being _too_ successful by white standards. Economic jealousy fueled many a lynching. 
19)…And it is history that most white people are utterly, blithely, happily ignorant about. That has to end. 
35) Eventually, the presence of a violent, rampaging mob meant that not only did the singular lynchings grow into multiple-lynching events, they also turned into burning, pillaging, and mass murder. The euphemism “race riots” hid the reality: these were ethnic-cleansing events.
40) Black vets, especially in ’18, were a direct challenge to the tenets of white supremacy that held that only white men were capable of higher thought and bravery and capability. So they were targeted for lynching with a particular urgency and venom.
98) The events of Red Summer are important to remember in part because they are representative of the kind of horror that lies within the history of being black in America, a horror most white Americans little understand or appreciate, reinforced by their often willful ignorance. 
99) However, these events all were noteworthy in another important regard: They represented the first time that black communities organized and resisted this violence, with varying degrees of success. But the pushback was just beginning, and eventually turned the tide.
128) The mechanics of how this happened can be observed by looking at what happened to America demographically due to these “race riots.” Essentially, black Americans were driven out of rural America and forced into racially and economically segregated urban neighborhoods. 
129) Loewen’s _Sundown Towns_ is an essential text for understanding how this occurred. As he noted in describing the contagious effects of mob violence, the end result of most of this ethnic cleansing was to make whole swaths of America uniformly white.
139) Black people, quite understandably, want to look away from this because it’s a painful reminder of everything bad about America in their lives. White people, on the other hand, use the ensuing silence as their own excuse to look away too. Deliberate ignorance is the result. 
140) That ignorance is what prompts so many whites to react defensively to the simple plea contained in the slogan Black Lives Matter. No, you twits, they’re not saying _only_ black lives matter. They’re saying _black lives don’t matter to white people, and they need to._ 
145) After all, it should be obvious that black people have a multitude of reasons to believe that their lives do not matter to white people, from the depths of history to the modern record of easy police disposal of their lives.
And Finally:
146) Knowing the history of Red Summer—especially for white folks—ultimately isn’t about self-flagellation, white guilt, or political correctness. It’s about reality and truth and coming to terms with our own history.

No Time To Die – Trailer #1 Thoughts

Back in 2015, I devoted pretty much half a year of my life to covering the Bond films for The Mary Sue (except the last one, somehow). I made that franchise my life and it was, for the most part aside from how I didn’t get paid to do any of it, pretty awesome. My […]

via No Time To Die – Trailer #1 Thoughts — Stitch’s Media Mix

The Irishman (Netflix)

Related image

*****Here Be Spoilers****

 

Let’s  get something out of the way first.

Yes, I’m aware of what Scorsese has said about the current crop of superhero movies, and yes, I was offended, until he clarified his statements in a recent Vanity Fair article. I’m glad he did, because I was prepared to stay mad at one of my all-time, favorite directors. Well, I’m not as angry, but he is not wrong. He’s not right though, mostly because I don’t think its fair to compare the two types of movies. They serve very different purposes for their audiences in that one type of film consists of exciting power fantasies (like the first half of the movie Goodfellas), and righting wrongs, and Scorsese’s films seem to be about the consequences of that amount of unchecked power,  and what it actually gets you. Superhero movies make no claims of depth.  They are not dramas, although movies like The Dark Knight, The Winter Soldier, and Logan come very close.

The Irishman had a brief theatrical run, of about a week or two, before it settled on Netflix, which is where I viewed it, with a great deal of anticipation. There’s a lot of backstory about why the movie is airing on Netflix, but I’m not covering that here. Like a lot of people, I went into this expecting something similar to Goodfellas, and Casino, since Scorsese seems to have some sort of lock on the depiction of  White men in the mafia life. The movie is definitely about gangsters, and appears to be having some kind of dialogue with the other two films. It would be interesting to watch all three of these movies back to back, to see what they are saying to, and about, each other.

Image result for the irishman gifs

I loved this movie, and I wasn’t expecting that. Everyone involved is at the top of their game. I didn’t think Scorsese had a lot more to say about the mafia life, that he hadn’t already said, but he does.

Like the other two films in this trilogy, it’s a meditation on crime and regret. I think a lot of people have had a  very wrong takeaway from Scorsese’s movies. Although he seems both fascinated with , and terrified of, this lifestyle, he definitely does not approve. These are the kinds of people he knew growing up, and he seemed to have kept, in the forefront of his mind, that they were not good people, no matter what their claims of nobility, or  how fascinating their lives were.

These films are not a glorification of their lifestyle.  Henry Hill, in the last third of Goodfellas, just flat out states this. Scorsese has never sugarcoated who and what these people are. The violence in these films is always  sudden, and brutal.  Hill spoke on the topic in Goodfellas, but here its just shown. Scorsese always  has  his characters realize, by the end, the horror of the decisions they’ve made. Every participant ends up  dead, or regretful, and there is a an onscreen commentary, on the fate of each one of the character’s introduced, in the film. The bottom line is, if you choose the mobster life, because you have romanticized notions about it, it will end badly.

Related image

I knew a young Italian man, in college, who told me that his father met some people in the life, but he also told me that one of the key things is never to invite them into your life. Don’t ask them for favors, don’t hang out with them in their places, don’t befriend them. They’re like vampires. You have to let them in.

A classic example, is the restaurant owner from Goodfellas, who allows Tommy, and his friends, to frequent his restaurant. Just like Henry did as a child, he thinks its exciting to be associated with these men. He admires the life, and believes he is friends with them, until the time comes for Tommy to pay the massive bill he’s run up on his tab. These guys are just taking advantage of him, but he is still too enamored of their life to see that. In an effort to get Tommy to pay his bill, the restaurant owner goes to Paulie, (Tommy’s boss), and makes Paulie a partner, in exchange for taking care of Tommy’s bill. Paulie takes advantage of him too, until he  goes out of business, as they steal  him blind, eventually the restaurant gets burned down for the insurance. The owner romanticized their lifestyle. He failed to see them as the unprincipled thieves they were. He invited them in, and he lost everything. The same thing goes for the character of Spider, a mirror of the young Henry, who romanticizes their lifestyle, and gets killed by Tommy, for standing up for himself, with not a single tear shed by any of the witnesses.

The Irishman  follows another low grade member of a mafia crew, a hitman named Frank Sheeran, (Robert DeNiro), as he befriends various mobsters, and paints houses (carries out mob hits). Most of the movie is about his friendship with Jimmy Hoffa, (Al Pacino), and his confession that he killed him, after being assigned to do so by his then bosses, one of which is also a close friend, Russell Bufalino, played by Joe Pesci. The movie is based on a book by Charles Brandt titled “I Heard You Paint Houses?”, which is the line in the movie said by Pacino, when he and Frank first meet over the phone. So once again, you have someone who invites these people into his life. Hoffa knows who, and what, these people are, but he romanticizes the life, and has an outsized sense of his worth to them.

Related image

Right away, the mood and setting are very different than the other two movies, (Goodfellas and Casino), which open with exciting scenes of violence, (and interestingly, with men in cars). This movie is reflective and melancholy. The opening scene is a quiet shot of Frank, in a senior citizen’s home, reminiscing about his past, to his lawyers. The movie is a flashback, but unlike Henry Hill”s story, Frank has no misty-eyed remembrances for the things he’s done. He joined the mob because he was a soldier who needed to do something with his life, after he came back from the war. He didn’t join because he loved the life, or glorified its denizens, and this is probably why he survived, although that’s no consolation, either. He is an old man filled with regret, and we come to have some amount of sympathy for him, although Scorsese never lets us think, for a moment, that he is a good guy. Nor does he show Frank as vicious or evil, for its own sake, although the things he does, are indeed,  vicious, and evil. Scorsese presents him as just a guy, who made the best choices he could, in the circumstances presented to him.

Deniro definitely deserves some form of recognition for his role here, but the two major highlights of the movie, for me, was Al Pacino’s Jimmy Hoffa, and Joe Pesci’s much quieter turn, as Russell Bufalino. You want to be reminded of his role as Tommy in Goodfellas, but this character is wholly unlike him. Bufalino is smarter, and more calculating, with a cool menace that the hotheaded, showboating, Tommy lacked. He and Frank become friends, and get to be quite close, but Frank, (and hence the audience), never forgets the power dynamic between them. Russell is his boss, and should Frank prove to be a threat, or an inconvenience, Russell could have him killed, and it would be just business.

Image result for irishman gifs

This was the most interesting part of the movie for me. Y’all know me. I love to watch different types of  characters interact. It’s interesting because movie audiences don’t often get to watch the  process of two grown men, who have been steeped in pride and machismo, their entire lives, put themselves in the vulnerable position of trusting a stranger, while navigating the power and violence of their positions,  to  become friends. You can see them feeling the other out, trying to reach a place of comfort. I found myself totally caught up in the moment. The faint distrust, and the questions they ask of each other, without actually asking them: What do you want from me? Are you a stand up guy? Will you give me straight answers? Can you be trusted?

Frank’s relationship with Hoffa is covered just as deeply. The most  fascinating part, is comparing how trust is shown between Frank and Hoffa, and Frank and Russell. Scorsese doesn’t fall into the trap of having the characters make grand declarations of how much they love and trust each other. There are scenes with Frank and Russell hanging out with each other’s families, or having dinner together. Some scenes with Frank and Hoffa are just them talking in Hoffa’s bedroom, before he goes to sleep. At one point, Hoffa nods off while talking to Frank, he trusts Frank so completely, and Frank just quietly sits there for a while, watching him sleep, and glancing out the window, and that scene is unexpectedly moving. It’s hard to know what Frank is thinking during that scene. The specter of violence hangs over everything he does, and that scene is even more tragic, when you know what happens between them later.

There are not a lot of women in this movie, and none of the men have any moral standing. The moral center of this film is Frank’s daughter, Peggy, (Anna Paquin) who sees her father beat a man on her behalf, when she is a child, and this impacts her relationship with him, for the rest of their lives. She gets probably three lines in the entire movie, but Scorsese sets her up, by giving us long closeups of her face, and her disapproval, and fear, of her father, (and by association, Russell), is apparent. We don’t need a loud, dramatic shouting match between them, to know that she has seen what kind of man he is, and  will never love him. Frank tries to reconcile with her before his death, but she will have none of him.

Image result for irishman gifs/peggy

Frank doesn’t just regret the things he did when he was younger, but all the familial relationships he let fall by the wayside, while prioritizing his relationships with the men he worked for, all of whom are now dead. He has to pay for his own funeral, buying his own tombstone. There’s no one alive, who would come to his funeral, anyway. The movie ends with Frank, alone in his room. He is the last one left of that old life, and he has nothing to show for it. Once again, Scorsese presents the mobster lifestyle as empty and meaningless. If you don’t die horribly, at the hands of someone you trusted, then you die alone, with no one to care.

There’s a lot of the movie I didn’t talk about, like the cinematography, and music, which are pretty standard for a Scorsese film, with some upbeat sixties songs, the most prominent song being, In the Still of the Night, by The Five Satins, which bookends the movie. There are two opening scenes, one with Frank beginning his story in the nursing home, and the other, the beginning of the story, which features him and Russell, taking a road trip, with their wives. The movie starts out really cute, with the wives fussing with their husbands in the car. Everyone is very comfortable with each other, at first, but as the trip continues, the tension begins to mount, as we overhear increasingly nervous phone calls between Russell, Frank, and Hoffa, finally culminating, in the last third of the movie, in Russell’s order to Frank.

The cinematography is superb ,as usual, but there are a few uncanny valley moments in the film as Deniro, Pesci, and Pacino had to be de-aged in a few of the scenes. The de-aged faces aren’t as emotive as their actual faces, so I kept getting jarred out of the story, by wondering every now and then, how the actors got de-aged for their roles, but this doesn’t happen a lot, and is easily ignored. If you’re not a fan of Scorsese’s mobster films, this still may be worth a look for you, because its very different in tone, but I do have to warn you,  that just like in the other movies, the violence is flat, graphic, and unforgiving. When it comes to acts of violence, Scorsese does not fuck around, or wince. People get beaten and shot, and there’s a harrowing scene where Frank shoots up a restaurant full of people. I have become a lot more squeamish, as I’ve gotten older, and these scenes were hard for even me to watch.

Despite its three hour run time, the movie didn’t make me feel restless at all. I sat through the entire three hours, and never missed them, or a moment of dialogue. The movie simply pulled me right in. It was moving, with moments of sheer horror, and is a testament to Scorsese’s skill as a director, as nothing is explicitly stated by any of the characters, yet its message is loud, and clear. I don’t know if this movie will be nominated for an Oscar. It, and everyone involved, should.

The Irishman is the best movie I’ve seen this year.

SCP: Special Containment Procedures

 Hi! Welcome to my new obsession!

The shared world of SCP has been around for about ten years now, but I’m just now hearing about it, and I’m kinda mad about that. SCP is a shared world anthology series, not unlike Wikipedia, about an organization somewhat like the Men in Black, that does all of the above for paranormal events, people, places, monsters, objects, and any other things that may potentially harm humanity, are just plain weird, or anomalous.

SCP is old enough  that you can spend weeks reading about the different events, protocols, and monsters of this universe, some of which are truly terrifying, some of which are deeply funny, and some of which are just cute. Anyone can contribute (once you’ve done your research) usually in the form of stories about the organization’s encounters with the weird, dangerous, and/or paranormal. Strictly speaking, there isn’t any canon, and writers are free to reference other characters, events, and  monsters in their own works. Some of these works take the form of personal narratives, fictional stories, biographies, and internal memos of the various anomolies.

For those of you have a little trouble with the written word, there is a huge trough of videos about SCP on YouTube, some of which are audio versions  of  the more famous and popular encounters, some are examinations of various creatures, and artifacts, and explorations of events and places.

For a quick rundown of the past ten years, including stories about experiments, first encounters, and biographies of the hundreds of creatures, beings, places, artifacts, and events, you can visit the following Wiki:

SCP Foundation

 

What is the SCP Foundation?

Most of the things featured, in this shared world, are about monsters, (and y’all know I love monsters), but there are also quite a number of benign objects, and a few downright cute ones, which are often classified not just according to their level of danger to humanity, but how much, or how little, procedure is involved in containing them.

I spent the entire weekend watching videos about the different creatures, places, and events of the SCP, from the funniest (a company that that will get a regular, plain, ol’ llama out to you immediately, no matter where in the world you are), to the most terrifying, ( a god-like creature, that is  set to destroy the world, after the breaking of seven chains, six of which have already broken), to the cutest, (a small orange blob that loves to be tickled, and might be the savior of humanity! ), to just the oddball, (a vending machine that can dispense almost any beverage that can be imagined, a shower curtain that kills you with your worst fear, and a company that specializes in selling dinosaur meat.)

 

There are a number of different  “object” classes, and the site is also used as a guide, for writers who wish to contribute to this shared world experience:

Safe

Safe-class SCPs are anomalies that are easily and safely contained. This is often due to the fact that the Foundation has researched the SCP well enough that containment does not require significant resources or that the anomalies require a specific and conscious activation or trigger. Classifying an SCP as Safe, however, does not mean that handling or activating it does not pose a threat.

For a complete list of Safe-class articles on the site, click here.

Euclid

Euclid-class SCPs are anomalies that require more resources to contain completely or where containment isn’t always reliable. Usually this is because the SCP is insufficiently understood or inherently unpredictable. Euclid is the Object Class with the greatest scope, and it’s usually a safe bet that an SCP will be this class if it doesn’t easily fall into any of the other standard Object Classes.

As a note, any SCP that’s autonomoussentient and/or sapient is generally classified as Euclid, due to the inherent unpredictability of an object that can act or think on its own.

For a complete list of Euclid-class articles on the site, click here.

Keter

Keter-class SCPs are anomalies that are exceedingly difficult to contain consistently or reliably, with containment procedures often being extensive and complex. The Foundation often can’t contain these SCPs well due to not having a solid understanding of the anomaly, or lacking the technology to properly contain or counter it. A Keter SCP does not mean the SCP is dangerous, just that it is simply very difficult or costly to contain.

For a complete list of Keter-class articles on the site, click here.

Thaumiel

Thaumiel-class SCPs are anomalies that the Foundation specifically uses to contain other SCPs. Even the mere existence of Thaumiel-class objects is classified at the highest levels of the Foundation and their locations, functions, and current status are known to few Foundation personnel outside of the O5 Council.

 

Most of the contained creatures and artifacts do not have names, only numbers, but same have both. Some of the more famous SCPs are The Shy Guy, The Flesh That Hates, and The Blood Pool, which are some of the more horrific “things” the organization keeps a watch over.

 

The  top five most terrifying SCP encounters:

 

There are also a number of security clearance levels with D and E being the lowest.

Class D personnel are expendable personnel used to handle extremely hazardous anomalies and are not allowed to come into contact with Class A or Class B personnel. Class D personnel are typically drawn worldwide from the ranks of prison inmates convicted of violent crimes, especially those on death row. In times of duress, Protocol 12 may be enacted, which allows recruitment from other sources — such as political prisoners, refugee populations, and other civilian sources — that can be transferred into Foundation custody under plausibly deniable circumstances. Class D personnel are to be given regular mandatory psychiatric evaluations and are to be administered an amnestic of at least Class B strength or terminated at the end of the month at the discretion of on-site security or medical staff. In the event of a catastrophic site event, Class D personnel are to be terminated immediately except as deemed necessary by on-site security personnel.

 

There are a few channels on YouTube that explore and chronicle these creatures and events. For those of you who are not interested in being scared, there’s something here for you too, as there are a number of deeply funny SCPs out there. There are several different classes of SCP. The less strange and horrible ones are  classified as SAFE. If you’re not a fan of horror, try to steer clear of anything labeled Keter, or Euclid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Movie Trailers (November 2019)

 

Birds of Prey 

Well, I like the trailer for this, but then again I liked the trailer for Suicide Squad, and everyone hated that movie, (while I happen to like Suicide Squad, one of only five human beings to ever make such an outrageous claim). I have developed an appreciation for Margot Robbie, one of only a very small handful of White actresses whose work I actually seek out, and whose career I’m following. I really liked her in I, Tonya, and Mary Queen of Scots.

 

 

Call of the Wild

I read this book a lot when I was a teenager, and can probably credit it for sparking my strange fascination with the Arctic. I also think it was because I just loved dogs, and always imagined Buck  as my dog. I will not go see this in the theater, but I hope it does well, so that Hollywood will get the idea that classic stories, done well, can still do well at the box office.

 

 

Bloodshot

I’m kind of fond of the books on which this movie is based because, for some reason, I’m fascinated with nanotechnology going bad. I blame Greg Bear’s Blood Music. I’m not sure about this movie’s lackluster plot, or the fact that it stars Vin diesel. I don’t hate Vin Diesel. I actually like the guy, but he’s not an especially good actor, and I don’t know if  I want to watch him try to emote for two hours. I really have to be in a certain mood for that kind of thing, since one only needs a little bit of Vin Diesel, at any given time.

On the other hand, the books are great, if you’re a fan of adventure science fiction books, which are really just thinly veiled cover stories of superhero novels.

 

 

 

Fantasy Island

I liked the TV show this is based on, which aired from 1977 to 1984,  and if you have not watched those, I’m sure they can be streamed somewhere. Its a sappy, and sometimes very cheesy show, which rarely got above a level three on the fright-o-meter, but I remember watching it a lot with my mom, who had a crush on Ricardo Montalban. This looks interesting, despite the fact that it heavily reminds me of that failed revival, that happened in the late 90’s.

 

 

 

 

Invisible Man

Yeah, I’m not gonna go see this. I think I’ve had enough Invisible Man horror movies to last a few lifetimes. I think invisibility is probably a fairly useless superpower anyway, since one can only really get up to mischief with it.

 

 

The Irishman

I plan to watch this. I don’t normally watch gangster movies, but it has an all star cast, and marks Scorcese’s first foray into made for TV movies. Despite what Scorcese said about superhero movies, and the fact that he seems ot have staked out this gangster drama genre, I still love his work, and I don’t have to pay extra to see it in a theater, which is cool. We’ll see how good it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New TV Trailers (November 2019)

Per my usual announcement, whenever I make these posts, some of these I’m excited for, and some a little less so, but I hope to be able to watch most of them.

 

Doctor Who Series Twelve (2020)

I really enjoyed having a lady Doctor, mostly because she heavily reminds me of a cross between David Tennant, and Peter Capaldi ,and I’m not sure if that’s on purpose. I could have done without a few of the episodes, in that the writing, and story, wasn’t the best on at least a couple of them, but there were at least a couple that stood out too, and since we have a new crop of writers this season, I’m looking forward to what they’re going to do. At least the trailer looks exciting.

 

 

 

 

Antelbellum (2020)

No one knows anything about this show, movie, or whatever. I’m intrigued by the trailer though, and I really like Janelle Monae, so I’m going to check it out. Jordan Peele is one of the producers on this, so it should be an interesting story, even though I generally try to avoid slave narratives, because I’m really, really, tired of them. However, if someone has a clever way of approaching it, I’m willing to give it a try..

 

 

Hunters (12.15)

This airs on Amazon Prime next month, and I’m looking forward to it. Its about a clandestine group of Nazi hunters, and its set in one of my favorite fashion decades, the seventies.

 

 

 

 

V Wars (12.5)

I don’t know what to think or feel about this show. I want to like it, but I’m not a fan of the lead character, and TV has messed up too many vampire shows for me to feel at all confident about this one. I have read some of the books this is based on, and I wonder how closely the show will follow them, which chronicles a breakout of vampirism in America, and it will destroy society, unless humanity wipes it out. I’m not a huge fan of the book series, either, mostly because I didn’t like the writing style. I want to like this though, and I’m going to give it a try.

 

 

 

Lincoln (1.10.20)

For some reason, I was really excited about seeing this. I do not normally seek out cop and detective shows, but I like the books this character is based on, and I liked the movie, which starred Denzel Washington. Some things I’m just not attracted to but if it has an interesting twist, has a diverse cast, or an actor I’m especially fond of, I’ll at least try it.

 

 

 

 

The Outsider (1.12.20)

This is another show based on a Stephen King novel, called The Outsider. I liked the book okay, although I don’t think it’s one King’s best. It did keep me intrigued, though. If you haven’t read the book, I’m not going to give away one of the plot details, on which the initial mystery is based,  which is classic  King, however. Also, if you are a fan of Holly, from the Finders Keepers series, she is one of the major characters in the book, which almost counts as a standalone adventure for her.

 

 

 

The Neighbor (12.31)

Okay, this looks and sounds almost exactly like the plot of the 80s show, Greatest American Hero, which starred William Katt, in which an alien crashes to Earth, and gives  special artifact to some nobody who happened to be close to the crash, which gives him superpowers, which he then has to navigate without any instructions. I’m not especially excited about it, but the trailer looks really cute, and its on Netflix, so it will be easy to check it out.

 

 

 

A Christmas Carol (12.19)

Every couple of years someone has to make a new version of Dicken’s classic Christmas story, and quite frankly, even  I’m not immune to a sappy, holiday story about the redemption of an asshole. I used to read this book every year, and I’ve missed a few, so its probably time to break it out of the mothballs in my closet, and read it again.

 

Black Thanksgiving Rules

I’m not a huge celebrator of Thanksgiving, but I wanted to put this article here as a PSA for those of you who take it seriously. I don’t give a lot of weight to this holiday, because I appreciate my life every day, but apparently, some people need reminding, and they also need rules for how to behave during it.

I plan to spend this holiday at my little sister’s house, eating the staple holiday foods, and wrangling  with her three kids, as any good auntie would. I take my auntie duties very seriously, and that includes teaching them stuff they’re probably not supposed to learn, and being too permissive.

This article covers everything from plate fixing order, to proper topics of conversation, and the responses, to who gets what leftovers, and what food should have been served in  the first place.

Image result for black thanksgiving

The 2019 Rules and Revisions For Black Thanksgiving

*Macaroni & Cheese: Aside from the above rules, there must also be someone present to regulate the size of macaroni scoops so you won’t run out of the “good” macaroni. Mac & cheese should be served in descending order from best to worst because anyone who is late doesn’t deserve top-level, auntie macaroni.

*Late people: If you miss the pre-meal prayer, you’re late.

*People who didn’t bring anything: You don’t get to eat until everyone has fixed their plate.

This is one of the biggest sources of conflict at black gatherings. For the 122nd year in a row, we want to reiterate that no plate can be fixed until everyone has eaten seconds, at which time, main menu items are up for grabs. However, when it comes to desserts, you are only allowed to take one piece of pie, which can only be fixed no more than five minutes before your departure.

Related image

Go forth, my brothers and sisters, and holiday correctly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YouTube Makes Me Happy

Here’s a short list of videos on YouTube that I keep returning to over and over again. I never get tired of visiting these channels, and have watched some of these videos multiple times. YouTube consists of more than obnoxious gamers, horrifying news updates, and cat videos, and these are the ones that make me happy.

In this day and age, we all have a deep need to find our little happinesses wherever we can, and there’s no shame in that. Little moments of joy give us a reason to keep living, to keep fighting, to keep moving forward. Lets start off this Monday, this week with a small bit of joy!

I love these videos by DSharp! I also really like this song, and I’ve played it so much in the car, that my mom knows the lyrics. I saw his first one on Tumblr doing his rendition of Beyoncé’s Apeshit, which was a lot of fun. He has an interesting talent of making unexceptional pop songs sound sweet and beautiful.

Check out all his other videos on the Tube.

 

 

 

 The idea of a grown-ass man being called a “bedbug”, just made me ugly laugh all Summer long, and I’m not quite sure why that is. I never get tired of this stupid story, and every time I hear it, I can’t stop laughing.

Maybe the word “bedbug” is just funny?

Nah! It’s definitely because it’s a grown man being called one. Yeah, that’s definitely it.

 

 

 

 Every time I watch this video it’s just a laugh riot. That little fella has definitely got some moves on him.

 https://youtu.be/ZvNfn1CBoSs

 

 

 

 Check out New Father Chronicles. These videos are hilarious, there’s about three years of him doing interviews with his two daughters, who are two and five. Don’t worry, there’s translations of their babytalk. The daughters of La Guardia Cross are extremely cute and deeply funny, and I love watching his weekly interactions with them. He’s such a great father, even though he made T-shirts and Hoodies out of the image of his baby girl falling out of his office chair. I feel bad for laughing at this, but I really would love to have that Hoodie (in blue.)

 

 

 

 

 

 I am not a fan of Drake, exactly, but I do occasionally like a song or two. I love this video because I’m totally little girl crushing on at least half the women featured in it, like Trace Ellis-Ross, Misty Copeland, Tiffany Haddish, and Letitia Wright!

 

 

Have a happy week and a happy Turkeyday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging in November

Well, my blogging skills have been off this month, even though I was on point last month. I started off okay, but then I got caught up in some work, (I work full time as a librarian), and I then I got some kind of cold or flu, I’m not sure which it is, but it’s just severe enough for me to not be able to think clearly enough to write anything.

I haven’t done any reviews of Supernatural, although I have been watching it, and I have all kinds of thoughts about it. I think my best bet, as far as this show is concerned, is to go easy on myself, and just do a huge end of series review, even though I promised I’d review every episode. (Hey! I didn’t say when I’d review them! Ah-Ha! Or did I? Please don’t show me any evidence on that! Just take my word for it.)

What I have been watching are some of the shows I mentioned in my Forthcoming Series posts, like Dolemite Is My Name, on Netflix, Titans, and some old movies I’ve seen many times before.

I’ve also been greatly enjoying The Mandolorian quite a bit.

And I’m not finished talking about Horror movies and their themes, so I have some posts coming up about that, probably for Christmas, but I’m not gonna promise, because if I do, something will happen to ensure that the posts will be delayed!

My girlfriend at work has decided, for reasons known only to the hamster that lives behind her right kneecap, to become an Orphan Black fan. I’ve only ever watched a handful of episodes of that show, but she blames me for her fandom, because I was the one to get her to watch Game of Thrones. I don’t feel that was my responsibility, but if she can make a good argument for why it is, I’ll go along with it, and then see if I can tempt her into possibly watching Umbrella Academy.

I have stopped watching Castle Rock, because I kept forgetting it was on, even though this second season is especially exciting, with the introduction of Annie Wilkes, from the novel, Misery!

Well, since I still have goals, and standards, (as loose as they may be), here’s hoping I’ll be back on track next week.

TTFN!

A Scathing Critique of the Disney Monopoly

“[If they] want to bitch about movies, that’s certainly their right… are you telling me Ryan Coogler, making Black Panther, is doing something… ‘less than’ what [they] have ever done… come on. There. I said it.”

By invoking Coogler’s name in response to criticism, Iger positioned BLACK PANTHER as representative of a pattern instead of an outlier in Marvel’s track record.  Out of 23 male directors hired leading up to ENDGAME, 21 are white men; the studio’s ratios of non-white male screenwriters and producers are likewise bleak.  It’s also reflected in ENDGAME’s condescending, slapdash battlefield moment featuring all-female characters— largely interchangeable and with negligible prior interaction —and co-director Joe Russo’s small cameo as a gay man—a demeaning footnote to a parade of heteronormality, with its ad nauseam “no homo” inserts of nuclear families meant to symbolize a return to normalcy.  Superficial inclusion means nothing if the underlying message is ignorant.

http://cinemalogue.com/2019/11/18/the-marvel-juggernaut-with-great-power-comes-zero-responsibility/

*
*
*

Let’s set aside for now the film’s internal time-travel “logic”–of which even the directors and writers cannot agree–or the film’s aggressive heteronormativity, and the bizarre lack of closure to the Steve Rogers’ life-defining friendship with Bucky Barnes.  Other publications sufficiently explore these themes:

GameSpot: Avengers Endgame: Captain America’s Ending Totally Ruins The Movie

The Daily Dot: How the straight agenda ruined ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Fansided: Avengers: Endgame: A lack of closure at the end of the line

At the conclusion of Endgame, Rogers struggles for five years with the aftereffects of living in a post-apocalyptic world.  A veteran of World War II, frozen for 70 years, almost every event in his life since receiving Doctor Erskine’s serum accumulates shock and trauma.  He’s left with a litany of unaddressed mental health issues (including depression and PTSD), never truly acknowledged by the franchise.

http://cinemalogue.com/2019/05/20/avengers-endgame-male-entitlement-undermines-steve-rogers-core-characterization-and-story-arc/

 

Reader Request Week 2019 #5: Civility — Whatever

In an email, Pablo asks: Civility: A genuine plea for common understanding, or just another tool to oppress? I mean, why not both? Which is to say that one can genuinely wish for “civility” — a sort of courtly and dignified mode of discourse — without understanding all the ways that “civility” generally favors the…

via Reader Request Week 2019 #5: Civility — Whatever

Hello!

Wow, I didn’t post anything this week, nor did I have anything queued up.

I got sick.

Actually, I’m fine. It’s just a mild head cold, but sufficient to stop me from thinking deeply enough to post anything.

We shall return to our regular programming next week, because I watched some stuff, and I have some thoughts!

Native American (And Alaskan Native) Heritage Month

This month is National American Indian Heritage Month in the US.

I know next to nothing about the various Indigenous cultures, beyond the basic stuff, like names,  places, some of the tragic history, what I’ve read in books by people like Sherman Alexie, or watched  fictional movies like Windtalkers, and documentaries like Reel Injun, so I’m going to be learning  a bunch of stuff right alongside you guys, okay.

The first thing I looked up was the word Powwow, because I didn’t really understand what that meant, which  lead me to videos on Youtube. Uhm, guys! this stuff is deeply hypnotic so watch out. I must have spent at least a couple of hours falling down the rabbit hole of watching all these dancers. (From what I gathered, its something like the Olympics for the various Indigenous Peoples, only held every year, in multiple places, and with a lot more dancing.)

 

What is Powwow?

First of all, what exactly is a Powwow, what is it’s purpose, and  why do Native Americans do it? Do Indigenous people do this all over the world? Why is this a thing?

Students from the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and community members discuss the elements of an American Indian Pow Wow, its etiquette and its importance. Pow Wows are an annual spring event at Washington University in St. Louis.

https://www.powwows.com/what-is-a-pow-wow/

 

Why is Powwow?

The reasons why Native Americans have Powwows, plus a little backstory.

 

Visit: http://www.stjo.org for more information

https://www.britannica.com/topic/powwow

Today powwows take place over a period of one to four days and often draw dancers, singers, artists, and traders from hundreds of miles away. Spectators (including non-Indians) are welcome to attend, as participants seek to share the positive aspects of their culture with outsiders. Modern powwows can be grouped into two broad divisions: “competition” (or “contest”) events and those referred to as “traditional.” 

 

How to Powwow:

Some Powwows are open to the public, while others are private, only open to members of the tribe and  family. Here are some basic do’s and don’ts for Non-Natives attending a Powwow.

 

https://www.powwows.com/pow-wow-etiquette/

Pow Wows are one of the best ways to experience Native American culture in person.  

Keep in mind that while they are open to the public, Pow Wows are culturally significant events. 

Be respectful!

 

 Dancing

There are a lot of different types of dancing at a Powwow,  many of them based on locations, and tribes. Dancing isn’t just random moves, most of it has meaning, along with the manner of dress for each style, although there is such a thing as Freestyle dancing, the manner of dress (Regalia) is still deeply personal to the participant. Here’s what to look for when watching:

 

Dance Styles and Regalia:

Rooted in tradition and ceremony, dancing is an important part of Native American culture. Hundreds of dances exist, performed by tribes across the United States. Here are a few of the most popular and well known.

Men’s Traditional

 

Men’s Grass Dance

This is the dance seen in regalia:

 

Because the regalia can sometimes be distracting for some of us, (hello!), here is a grass dancer without his regalia. There are very distinct moves and footwork involved. There are rules , so its not just random movement, which is what it can look like to someone who has never watched this before, or who is easily distracted by  bright colors.

 

Men’s Fancy Dance

 

Women’s Jingle Dress

Here’s the Women’s Jingle Dress Dance, and in the second video, done without regalia:

 

Women’s Traditional

Notice the manner of dress, and style of dance, for Traditional Women’s is much more reserved, more conservative, than for the Fancy Shawl Dance.

 

Women’s Fancy Shawl

 

 

This is one of my personal favorites, Hoop Dancing. I greatly admire this syle, because I couldn’t get anywhere near a hoop, without potentially embarrassing me, and all my ancestors,  by tripping and falling:

 

There is even a Tiny Tots version :

 

Regalia

Many of the designs and colors seen in regalia are personal to the dancer. They make their own outfits, according to their tribe’s traditional manner of dress. They also inherit some pieces, and buy a few pieces here and there, so that every form of regalia is distinct. No two are alike.

General Topic

 

 

Northern Paiute Women’s

 

Women’s Fancy Shawl – Getting Dressed

 

 

This is the United Tribes Powwow of 2019, the Grand Entrance of all the tribes participating in the event:

 

This is a Fusion of Hip Hop and Powwow dancing.  I was surprised to find that Hip Hop is such a huge deal huge on the reservations:

 

Here’s an Intertribal Powwow of some of the Canadian/Alaskan Tribes:

 

For any of my Native readers, (Hi!), any mistakes in this post are strictly my own, and if you have a correction of any kind, (or want me to add something) let me know in the comments over the next two weeks, or leave me a message on my Tumblr page.

Next time: Native Music