*SPOILER ALERT*: The Story Of America Does Not End Well

Ben Writes Whatever

AP Photo by Julio Cortez of flag bearing protester

“You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible that you were a worthless human being.”

James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)

How We Got Here
So, how did we get here? Short answer: White supremacy. The insurrection, the attempted coup by a terrorist mob of white Trump supporters on the Capitol in Washington on January 6 of this year only serves to punctuate a history of unchecked white supremacy in this country. The ease with which they gained access, believing that their cause is just, and the feeling of righteous indignation, entitlement, and impunity for their actions is on brand for a race of people whom history has inadvertently conditioned to believe that they are America’s perpetual ruling class. A false notion largely unchallenged for centuries.

This Is Not Who…

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Plans Within Plans

Actually, no I don’t have that many plans, but I’m still thinking hard about what I want to do, and where I want to go with this blog. I feel like I need to challenge myself, perhaps level up, even.

I have decided that I’m going for the podcast format, and I’m currently researching what equipment to buy, how to set up, and what programs, (if any), I need to get started. I’m also researching what my theme will be. I’m heavily into politics, and social issues, but I still love to talk about movies and other entertainment, and if I can combine the two, with some structure, I will.

For example, a lot of my long form posts, about movies and TV, contain more than a fair bit on politics and social issues, and I’m thinking about how to do that in a radio-style format, but one thing is clear, I will still need to outline these, to keep my focus. (One of the ways to keep focus, would be to make them relatively short, and focus on analyzing one movie at a time.)

Across the three social media platforms, I currently subscribe to, I have somewhere above 1,600 followers. Not a whole lot, in the scheme of things, but more than enough to attract, not just my regular followers, but hopefully some new ones as well, because I don’t see a whole lot of podcasts, (there are a few, like Feminist Frequency), that tackle the same subjects, in quite the same way.

This wouldn’t be for the purposes of making money, (although money is certainly welcome), because I already work full-time, so I think a once a week podcast, coupled with perhaps a once, (or twice), a week post here, (which is also linked to my Tumblr account), seems like something I can do, but can always be adjusted later. I’d also need to reopen my Facebook and Twitter accounts, and link to them.

I also feel, if I’m going to do a podcast, I’m going to need a Patreon account, which would be a good way for followers to contact me, and make suggestions for future topics.

This isn’t something that going to happen right away. In fact, this is just my plans for the year, which I hope to accomplish before its end.

If anyone has advice, or thoughts, let me know in the comments!

Racism In Fandom

Here’s MelinaPendulum speaking on how racism in fandom hurts Black people in the real world:

Addressing one of the points in her video, I left this comment:

It frustrates me to no end, that Black people making a statement about our lived experiences, is seen as an opportunity to fight about what was just said, rather than an opportunity to learn a new perspective.

Another point I wanted to make is that all of the harassment of these entertainers, and fans, serves no purpose, and in fact may actually be detrimental to fandom. This behavior doesn’t just hurt PoC. It hurts white fans too.

Movies and TV are a business. They cast PoC, not just because we’ve been begging them to do so for over a decade, but because these corporations make a hell of a lot of money from appealing to a wider segment of the population than just straight, cis-gender white people. These are businesses that know which side of the bread their butter is on, and where their future lies, and they’re going to continue down the road of diversity and inclusion, until it ceases to be profitable, (which is unlikely). White people throwing temper tantrums at the fans and/or actors/creators is not going to change the future of their business model.

Also, when a person of color walks away from fandom, because they had a racist experience, that’s one less person lending their energy and voice to the creation of more of whatever people are a fan of. When PoC stop being fans of something, you know what happens? Your favorite show that you didn’t want to see any Black people in, gets canceled, (Agent Carter), or that movie doesn’t make any money, so there’s not ever going to be a franchise.

The harassment of people like John Boyega, Candace Patton, Kelly Marie Tran, Ana Diop, or Leslie Jones, accomplishes absolutely nothing at all, either. It’s not going to cost them a job. They already got cast in the role. They already got paid. White people harassing them online, just means they’re no longer available, on social media, to talk to their real fans, who helped make their career possible. (Although I do realize, that for the people who engage in this kind of behavior, there are other, more nebulous, benefits for them, like causing emotional harm to strangers.)

it is ridiculous that this behavior has gone on as long as it has, (but white people always seem to find the energy for hating PoC), but its not surprising either, because for every step forward made by PoC, most especially Black people, we will experience a virulent and thoroughly nasty backlash from white people, (Yes, all white people!White women are not innocent of any of this!), who believe they’re protecting something they have sole ownership of, and that’s the entertainment we all consume, and the fandom that surrounds it.

Stuff I Geeked Out About In 2020

Here it is, the last post of the year. I don’t normally do end of year lists, but this was such an unusual year, I figured, “What the hell?” This list was a little bit larger but I toned it down a bit. I watched a lot of stuff because there was little else to do. Since I like to do things around the house that keep my hands free for knitting, I also managed to finish three hats, at least two scarves, got about 3/4 of the way through one sweater, and started another. These are just a few of the things I enjoyed watching and listening to while doing so.

Movies

Birds of Prey

Harley Quinn Film GIF by Birds Of Prey - Find & Share on GIPHY

This was one of my great joys this year. I love Harley Quinn, and I was excited for this movie when it was announced. I even liked her in Suicide Squad (she, and Will Smith, were the best characters in it!), although this version has a slightly different persona, and wears more clothes.

Although I’m one of only three people who actually enjoyed Suicide Squad, this is how you tell a story about superheroes with no powers, and this movie was just hella fun! These women are not trying to save the world. They’re just trying to save their little section of it, along with themselves, and one little girl. There is a lot to love about this movie. I really liked the fact that none of these women are saints. They are all, like Harley, fuck-ups of one kind or another, including the little babe they’re all trying to capture, or save, but they end up redeeming themselves through the connections they make with each other by the end of the movie. Its also really interesting how queer this movie is, in that half of the adult women are gay, or gay adjacent. Harley is in a canon relationship with Poison Ivy, and Renee Montoya is also a lesbian in the books. Black Canary I’m not sure about.

The setup is fairly typical, in that all of these women are at odds with each other, not because the movie wants to deal in the fake drama of women simply not liking each other, but because they all have different goals, and their goals all clash, up until they don’t. Harley wants to save herself from the people who are after her, now that she’s broken ties with the Joker, and his reputation no longer protects her. Renee Montoya wants to capture Harley for the crimes she committed while with the Joker. Huntress is an assassin who has killed a lot of very bad people and is now after Roman. Black Canary is an apathetic entertainer, who just wants to be left out of everyone’s drama, but gets roped in anyway, and little Cassandra Cain is a thief who runs afoul of Roman Sionis/Black Mask, the villain of the movie, when she steals the diamond he covets.

I’m going to talk later about how the violence in this movie feels different, as directed by a woman, how the characters look and act, and why some of the men who saw this movie couldn’t stand it, which I don’t think had anything to do with the film’s quality, (or even necessarily because they hate women), since this movie enjoys a very high rating on Rotten Tomatoes, something you would never know from the many, many, Youtube videos, which talk about how bad it was, solely because it didn’t break any monetary records.(It did just fine at the box office.) This was not a bad movie. It was, like the millions of movies that got made before it, made with a specific audience in mind, that just wasn’t for them, and we should probably talk about that.

Parasite

featurefilms — She never crossed the line. If there's one thing I...

I was just as surprised as everyone else when this movie won for Best Picture. Its a great film, with a message about Classism, that not only did Americans seem to get, but which seemed to resonate.The movie is good, but it’s also really hard to watch, as the director, Bong Joon-ho, pulls no punches about how the poorest live in South Korea, vs the wealthy, and what effect poverty and wealth have in their lives. Essentially, when hardships hit the poorest of citizens, it is nearly impossible for them to spring back from them, whereas money cushions the wealthy from any mistakes, accidents of nature, or bad choices. The most telling scene, for me, is when the impoverished family is sitting around the table, enjoying the luxuries of the “good life”, like beer and wifi, while the wealthy family is out of town.

The only way for the poor family to get ahead is to take advantage of the wealthy, so the poor family manages to con their way into their lives and home. But who are the parasites? The wealthy family would never be in the social and financial position they are in, if it wasn’t for the labor of those they look down on. The working classes and the wealthy are ineluctably entangled, and Joon-ho shows this by having the poor family move into their home, and become involved in the rich family’s daily affairs, to the eventual destruction of both families.

There’s also the issue of inter-class warfare, as well. When the poor family moves into the home, they find that the former housekeeper, and her disabled husband, are secretly living in the other family’s basement. There forms a rivalry between these two poor families, to be the ones to take advantage of the rich family, which also ends in tragedy. It never occurs to any of them to team up, or work together, to get what they want. Each family is only out for itself, and none of the characters are especially sympathetic. All of them are caught up in a dynamic that none of them created, but all of them want to take advantage of, to the detriment of everyone around them. None of the characters get out of the movie without trauma.

Outside of the challenging plot, the movie is beautiful to look at, and well worth the watch.

The Platform

I wouldn’t say that this was an enjoyable film, in the sense that Birds of Prey was, but it is an interesting thought experiment about human nature. This is interesting for me, as more as a thought exercise, and that sense of horror, that creeps up on you, as you begin to understand the sheer bleakness, and helplessness, that the characters are living with.

In The Platform, people are sentenced to a prison, with something like 60+ floors. On each floor, there are two prisoners, and they each stay there for one month. Once each day, a platform full of food makes its way down from the top floor, to the bottom floors, and people can take as much food from it as they want, but there are rules. There are certain things you can’t do, or you’ll end up on a much, much lower floor as a punishment, and you don’t want that. The people on the bottom floors basically end up starving to death, however, because not only is there never enough food to reach the bottom, the people above can take more than they actually need, and will sometimes adulterate what they have not eaten, with feces and urine.

One of the prisoners attempts to bring justice to the system by commandeering the platform to make sure there’s enough food for the people on the bottom floors, and some things go about as you would expect, but many things don’t, and that’s what makes up the core of the action here. Its a system in which one man is working against the worst of human nature, to ensure the survival of strangers. although he knows he more than likely will fail, and tries to do it anyway, because it’s worth doing.

This is a very difficult film to watch, not just because its disgusting, but because its also heartbreaking. The characters are mostly unlikable, and some questions remain unanswered, but it is worth the watch, because for every moment of despair, there is at least one moment of hope. I had the impression that some prisoners volunteered to be in this prison, for some sort of riches, if they survived, and others were sentenced to the place, as punishment for some unsaid crimes. There are even children there! More than a few times, I felt the very strong urge to strangle a couple of people, (which, of course, would land a person on one of the bottom tiers). The plot, in fact, sounds a lot like current events, with certain types of people unwilling to make sacrifices for others, and even sabotaging other people’s efforts to bring change.

The Old Guard

The Old Guard Kiki Layne GIF - TheOldGuard KikiLayne Action - Discover &  Share GIFs

This was one of my favorite action movies this year, but not just for the action, for the emotionality, instead. It’s based on the graphic novel, The Old Guard, about a group of immortal soldiers, lead by Charlize Theron, in what I consider one her sexier roles. This isn’t just about great action scenes, which you can tell the actors all worked very hard at, but about what it must be like to live so long, that one enters a place of despair, as the more the world changes, too much of the world remains exactly the same.

But, like The Platform, as much as the lead character suffers from hopelessness, light is also provided, in the form of a new immortal, Nile Freeman. Nile is the everyman through which the audience, and the oldest immortal, Andy, can see the world.There are also resonances in the plot, the characters, and even the action scenes, which, once again, illustrate a difference in how women directors approach violence in movies, vs. how male directors do the same. This doesn’t mean that one style is better than the other, just that women, and other marginalized people, have a different experience of violence than white men, and approach that depiction from a different perspective, than the more mainstream outlook we’ve been watching for several decades. There is a great focus here, not just on character, but how a lifetime of violence affects the characters, and the group dynamics. There is as much focus on the relationships between these characters, as there are on the action scenes.

The director of this movie is a Black woman, Gina Prince-Bythewood, a being so rare in the Action genre, as to almost be a singular thing. The differences are subtle, and one needs to have watched a ton of Action movies to be able to see a pattern. Unfortunately, however, there are not enough examples of Action films, directed by Women Color, to be able to see a clear pattern emerge. Black, female, (any women really), Action film directors are still a relatively new thing. Hopefully, there will be more of them in the future, and then a proper comparison can be made of directorial styles between the two groups (although I can already see some general differences). But, just think for a moment. There are so few female directors of Action movies, that the only examples of directing violence that they have to work from, are by white men!

I don’t make these kinds of observances as an indictment against white men. I’m just making what I think are relevant observances. The visual entertainment industry is almost entirely controlled by middle class white men, (many of them having gotten their start in film schools), who are standing in a very specific place, as regards the depiction of violence in movies and television, which is really the only perspective from which these types of entertainments have ever been seen. For most of Hollywood’s history, the vast majority of movies were made by white men, about white men, for white men, and women’s and PoC perspectives were rare, and are still relatively new (although there are a couple of genres that feature female directors more often, and a couple of eras of film that prominently featured directors of color).

Tenet

Tenet GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

I loved , loved, loved this movie. There is just so much to talk about here. I have had to watch this movie multiple times, to get all the facets of the plot, but it was a joy every single time, as I kept discovering new things. Christopher Nolan makes the kind of “Intellectual” Action movies, that I just adore. Yes, the plot is convoluted. Yes, there is a large cast to keep track of. I’ve heard from some people that there isn’t enough emotion in the film, and that the characters are hard to get attached to, but I had no problem doing that. As I’ve stated a few times, I get into a film through feeling deeply for the characters, and I was pretty invested in these. The intellectual challenge and Scifi elements are what I found attractive, but the characters are why I stayed, and I would not have watched this movie multiple times if I didn’t care about them.

John David Washington has all of the acting chops of his father (Denzel), and more than a dash of his father’s suave charm. If you want to know what a Black James Bond would like like, then this is your movie, without some of the nasty imperialist undertones. Robert Pattinson turns in a quiet, steady, lowkey, and touching (at least for me), performance, as the second lead. Washington’s character is the only one that has no name. He is simply called, by Nolan, The Protagonist, and that’s what I’m going to call him here. This is another one of those lowkey, groundbreaking, movies, where, if you’re not paying attention, you won’t notice what the director did here. He has basically created a Scifi action movie, where the primary, and most important character, the one that the audience is meant to sit and identify with, is a Black man, who is not only the hero of the film, but without whom the plot wouldn’t be set in motion.

Did I understand this movie? Yes, after about three viewings, I got the jist of it, then I went back, and watched it a couple more times, to tie up loose ends, and catch any smaller details I missed. It was fun to watch each time. Technically, this is not a time travel movie. None of the characters are moving back through time in the manner you think, and no one is from the future, technically. What they are doing is what the other characters are doing, in real time, only they’re doing it all backwards, and we understand what’s happened at the beginning of the movie, by the time we get to the end. This is called “Time Inversion”, where objects and people can be made to relive events backwards by being sent through a special machine. Since we’re seeing the plot from The Protagonist point of view, we learn what’s happening as he learns, including its satisfying conclusion.

This movie doesn’t stint on the action scenes either, because they are insane. Also, its okay if you don’t “get” the movie on first viewing. Nobody does. Nolan states that the movie is meant to be watched multiple times, to get the full effect, so don’t stop watching just because you didn’t understand it the first time. That’s okay, you’re not supposed to. If you love the action scenes, and the characters, that’s fine, and eventually, you will catch up to the plot. We’re going to talk about this some more though, because I have thoughts!

TV

The Mandolorian Season Two

I thought this season was much more entertaining than the first, and I really enjoyed it, along with three great cameos, by some of my favorite actors, Carl Weathers, Rosario Dawson, and Mark Hamill!

Lovecraft Country Season One

There is a lot to be said about this series, which has an all Black cast,in one of my favorite genres. This series is so full of depth, and density, and I hope it comes back for a second season. It made a lot of mis-steps along the way, especially on queer issues, and the issue of colorism, which I hope will be corrected, if the show gets a second chance.

Watchmen Season One

This is another Black lead show that I particularly enjoyed this year. I hope it gets a second season, but the show runner has decided he’s not coming back, so if the series does return, it will most likely be from a different character perspective, which I’m okay with, because it would be really hard to top what Regina King accomplished here.

Umbrella Academy Season Two

I really liked the first season, but the second season of this show was outstanding, in dealing with the issue of race, time travel, parental abuse, forgiveness, and redemption. It was, despite some of the heavy subject lifting, a lot funnier than the first, and ended on a really intriguing note. It has also become clear to me that my favorite character dynamic is Klaus and Ben, but hands down, the most bad ass member of the family is Number Five!

Star Trek Discovery Season Three

Music

This was the year of the Black Revolution Song. A hard year, with many tears, and frustrations, but Black people have always had the knack of capturing these negative emotions and encasing them in the beauty of song. Its one of the few ways we have to relieve the pressure of living here…But for every lament, there is also a celebration of Black Excellence, joy, and laughter.

Black Is King – Beyonce

This is the celebration of the roots of Blackness from one of the few Black female film directors, who is never acknowledged as such. This is Beyonce’s fourth film, and is as groundbreaking as Lemonade.

I Just Wanna Live – Keedron Bryant

This song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. Keedron has an incredible voice, that I never get tired of listening to. This song is not begging. Its a lament to God. Its a cry of pain.

#BlackExcellence – Buddy

For every lament, there is a celebration!

Back Home – Trey Songz/Summer Walker

I just like this one because it reminds me of that 80’s love song from New edition, a boy band that I’d totally lost my shit over when I was a teen, although sometimes, you never really know why you like a particular song. This is a breakup song about two people who simply can’t stay away from each other.

A good song just happens to hit that sweet spot.

Rockstar – DaBab

This song doesn’t seem especially deep, but that’s okay, the video is deep enough. Although, sometimes, I just like the beat and rhythm. oh, and DaBaby, (who my mind insists on calling Dah Babbee) needs to be in some action movies.

Books

I left off a section on books. I spent most of my time re-listening to audiobooks I’d already read, and looking at illustration collections and graphic novels, so I didn’t list them here. he

Urban Fantasy 101: Cop Country

Stitch's Media Mix

The audio version of this was originally posted June 11, 2020 on Patreon. This version contains a reference to James Baldwin’s commentary in The Devil Finds Work that is not present in that one.


There are a lot of cops in urban fantasy.

In the biggest and most popular series, the main characters are either outright law enforcement – like my book bae Peter Grant in the Rivers of London series – or they’re like Anita Blake, characters who don’t actually have badges worth anything but are set up as The Law in their neck of the woods.

I’ve read dozens of urban fantasy books in my lifetime and many of the books hinge very closely on these main characters in law enforcement or who are adjacent to law enforcement or… who have very close relationships with cops.

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Ten Of The Most Bizarre SCPs

This is a list of SCP items that are simply weird. Most are considered safe in that they can be, or are, easily contained. Most of them are not actually harmful, although I wouldn’t necessarily consider these benign. They may cause you to harm yourself, or the people around you, however, and unlike a cognito-hazard, they may not cause a person mental distress. On the surface, they don’t seem quite as horrifying as some of the more nasty SCPs, like The Flesh That Hates, or The Indestructible Reptile, but at the same time, they are anamolous, and can’t be allowed to remain un-contained.

SCP 426: I Am A Toaster

This one seems safe enough, doesn’t it? Its not gory or particular violent. It is after all, only a toaster, but it’s a cognito-hazard that, once settled into a home, takes over the minds of its victims, leading all who come in contact with it, to believe they are a toaster. Yes, people have actually died while doing seemingly innocuous activities like trying to plug themselves into electrical outlets, or choking on bread.

SCP-426 "I am a Toaster" - YouTube

SCP 3300: The Rain

This one is confusing because , it’s not an actual object, or really an event, so to speak. Its told in the form of a long story, about a young woman and her friends, who get lost in a strange town, where all the people seem to be missing. Actually they have all been subsumed into a kind of hive-mind caused by the incessant rain, that exists only in that specific town. Getting caught in the rain dissolves a person’s body, only for that body to be reconstituted into a water-like form, that congregates near the uninfected. Its unknown if this is an alien invasion, or what, but the town has been cordoned off, and the town is considered Safe.

SCP-3300 │ The Rain │ Euclid │ Meteorological SCP - YouTube

SCP 1993 : Your Leg

This one is deeply weird. Its a cognito-hazard that takes over a person’s brain, making them believe that a disembodied leg they’ve stumbled across is actually their own leg. They become so obsessed with this idea, that they will attempt to re-attach a leg that is very obviously not their own, to the point where they will cut off their own leg to do so. After removing their own leg, they will try to attach the disembodied leg, which actually works! with the newly detached leg now becoming the cognito-hazard. Hey, I don’t make this up, I’m just reporting it.

SCP-1993 "Your Leg" - YouTube

SCP 2316: I Do Not Recognize The Bodies In The Water

When I say that these SCPs are strange, I mean it. This is a cognito-hazard that is very odd to describe and somewhat difficult to contain. Its a lake that produces wooden, or stone, simulacra of bodies that those who view them, might know. If they see someone they recognize, they will be compelled to enter the lake to rescue them. They will not return, and might even become one of the bodies someone else recognizes.

Steam Workshop::SCP-2316

SCP 3166: Gorefield

This SCP is only dangerous to about one person, the creator of the Garfield comics. This one is so weird, I can’t even accurately explain it, so Imma let someone else do this:

Thank you! The Rubber.

SCP 511: Basement Cat

This is another SCP that seems relatively harmless, but is deeply creepy and disgusting. It cannot be allowed to grow beyond its location. Its not actually a cat of any kind, but a mass of biological matter that appears to be a diseased and feral cat, except its made up of dead tissue, that consumes all the dead creatures around it, to add to its mass. Its growth can usually be controlled by making sure that it is fed the occasional cat, and making sure that the house under which it dwells is kept inhabited by an old lady with a lot of cats.

SCP-511 Basement Cat | euclid | Animal / hostile / swarm scp - YouTube in  2020 | Basement cat, Scp, Animals

SCP 956: The Child Breaker

When I first heard of this, I thought it was kinda funny, but after some long thought, it turns out to not actually be all that funny. In fact, its kind of mean. Its an anomaly that takes the form of a pinata. It was discovered at a children’s birthday party. Any child under the age of 12, after approaching within a certain range of it, becomes immobilized, and the pinata activates and attacks that child, and any other immobilized children within range, until the child’s body breaks open, and candy spills out of them. This anomaly is currently considered Safe.

Oversimplified SCP Chapter 44 - "SCP-956 The Child Breaker" - YouTube

SCP 3671: Box Of Cereal

This was a box of cereal that used to display encouraging messages on its label, while producing unending amounts of cereal, until one of the researchers investigating the anomaly, slightly damaged it ,after which the box began to display hostile messages towards the man it believed wronged it. After a seemingly calm period, the box started creating things in its interior, that were increasingly dangerous, like cornflakes laced with cyanide, thumb tacks, razor blades. and even explosives, often with a corresponding nasty message displayed on the label.

Write your own joke here!

SCP-3671 "A Very Angry Box of Cereal" // Safe Class | Sentient Food SCP 🥣  - YouTube

SCP 2598 : The Traveling Moth Salesman

This is just a regular sized moth who, using morse code by bumping against your head, wants to sell you a tiny moth helmet, for the low, low, price of three easy payments, of 19.99. Personally, I feel that sixty dollars is far too much to pay for a helmet that only fits moths, but then I don’t have any tiny moth friends I need to buy gifts for…

What If SCP 2598 Was Real? - YouTube

SCP 251: The Deceptive Snowglobe

This is another strange cognito-hazard, that isn’t actually dangerous by itself, but is very disturbing for people to be near it. It’s a small globe, filled with snow that never stops moving, despite not being handled by anyone. In the presence of people, it starts to display fantastical and strange snow scenes like the one below, or scenes of perpetual violence, with the accompanying noises of screams and gunshots. It drives the people near it to great emotional distress, or extreme violence..

SCP-251 | Snow globes, Walter martin, How to make snow

Honorable Mention:

SCP 1296: Dial A Llama

This one is pretty self explanatory. You call the special number and the dealer shows up, anytime, anywhere, with a llama.

SCP-1296 - Dial-a-Llama - Album on Imgur

5 Most Exciting Trailers This Weekend

A lot of really great trailers got released this past weekend, most of them by Marvel, as they released their film and TV timeline for the next two years. Here are my five favorites, not all of them MCU related, along with a bonus extra.

Falcon and The Winter Soldier

I haven’t read a whole lot of stories in the Falcon as Captain America universe, so that’s not why I’m especially excited for this series. I’m excited because The Falcon is one of my favorite Marvel characters. I’ve been reading about him, since I was a kid, back in the 80s, although that version is a little different from the MCU version. I also really like Mackie and Stan’s dynamic in the film, and this just looks like fun.

I once described their film relationship as Salt N’ Sugar, where they don’t actually hate each other, it only looks that way to people outside their relationship, (I’ve been in a few of those), we get more of that here. In the movies, each of them had their own dynamic with Steve, and I like how their friendship with each other is distinguishable from each of their relationships to him. And I like the happy friend/cranky friend relationship, because I’ve been in a couple of those too, as the broody/cranky friend, so I can 100% confirm that the cranky friend does indeed love their happy friend, even if they refuse to admit to it.

Loki

Its interesting to have watched the rehabilitation of this character since we first saw him in the Avengers. In that film, he was a straight baddie, and a lot less comedic. I’d argue that Taika Waititi’s Thor Ragnarok went a long way towards making me truly like this character, and I’m looking forward to this series, because it just looks like fun, and seems to capture more of the zaniness of the title character, from the comic books.

Don’t be mistaken, Loki is still very, very, dangerous, but he is actually pretty crazy, as befits a God of Chaos. Tom Hiddleston has captured those qualities so well, I can’t think of anyone else being able to play this role.

Shadow in the Cloud

A couple years ago we had Overlord, which was a War/Zombie/Action mashup, with a Black lead character, that I found very appealing. Here, we have yet another such movie, starring one of my favorite actresses, Chloe Grace Moretz, as a female bellygunner, carrying a mysterious package, on a fighter plane that’s being attacked by monsters! That just sounds like fun, and the action scenes are incredible. There are the usual disrespectful sexist quips from the men, but that’s easily dispensed with, so we can get to the action sequences. Anytime you’re rooting for people, just from watching the trailer, the movie might actually turn out to be pretty good.

What If?…

I’ve read quite a few of these stories in comic book form. In the DCU its called the Elseworlds series, where different types of scenarios happen to some of your favorite characters just by asking, What If.. Peggy Carter received the super serum, and became Captain Britain, superheroes got turned into zombies, King T’Challa was the one who became Star Lord? Those all sound like interesting stories to me.

I like the animation because its a nice, clean, easy style for my brain to interpret, (Y’all recall, I said I had some issues with interpreting the Miles Morales movie, when I saw the trailer). I’m looking forward to this series, because I hope to see some of the stories I read as a kid.

WandaVision

I was somewhat indifferent to this when I saw the first trailer for it. Since then, I’ve viewed a few more trailers, and I’ve decided I’m going to give it a try, rather than ignore it completely. I do admit, when I saw the first trailer, I took it at face value, but it turns out that, like the series itself, I guess, the trailers were not as things seem, and I rather like that. Its seems heavily reminiscent of World of M storyline, in the comic books, where Wanda became delusional to the point where her powers affected the world around her.

I know there are people who don’t like her character much because she doesn’t seem especially powerful but Wanda is probably one of the most powerful superheroes in the comics. In the books, Wanda is a Reality Bender, which is one of the most dangerous powers to have. Now imagine if someone with reality changing abilities went mad. That’s what happened in Word of M, and I wonder if that’s what the story is here.

Honorable Mention:

Nobody

This is one of those types of movies love to watch, where a seemingly ordinary person turns out to have been hiding some deadly talents, and like the Godfather, they get pulled back into a life they were trying to avoid. That said this was a plot used in the 90s, starring, of all people, Samuel L Jackson, and Geena Davis about a housewife who discovers she is actually an international assassin.

I like this plot a little bit better. There’s no amnesia excuse for why he doesn’t use his skills, like Rurouni Kenshin, he just doesn’t want to kill anymore, but has no choice, when his old enemies discover his whereabouts.

Dear Jada, Black Women Don’t Need To Get “Entangled” In Rich White Women’s Business — WriteSomeShit

This week, Jada Pinkett Smith decided not to mind her own Black business, inviting Olivia Jade Giannulli on Red Table Talk (hosted by Jada Pinkett-Smith, her daughter, Willow Smith, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield Norris). Olivia was invited on the show to give an interview about her college admission scandal. Olivia was caught up in…

Dear Jada, Black Women Don’t Need To Get “Entangled” In Rich White Women’s Business — WriteSomeShit

News For 2021

Hi everyone,

It’s been six years since I started this blog, and I guess its time to level up, as people say. I have, at this point, reached almost 1,000 followers, between both WordPress and Tumblr, and I’m regularly clocking over a hundred views a day, something which sounds incredible to me, even if others might think that’s small fish! It’s always astonishing to me that people aren’t just reading my little ramblings, but actively seeking them out, (although y’all could hit that “like” button a little more often. I’m gonna have to get on y’all’s case about that.)

I started this blog at the bequest of my good friend, over at A Blog Devoted To Supernatural, BellaUK. (Hi!), who I met while writing over there about the show. She was a great encouragement on this journey, and I’m thinking of her now, as I move forward.

I have no plans to stop blogging at this time, but I do want to do something different. I want to try different ways of reaching the audience, while still talking about those things that make me happy, namely geeking out about Pop Culture in general, and discussing racial issues in particular.

But I’m going to need a little help here. I’ve been researching different means and types of expansion, like podcasting, Youtubing, and/or opening a Patreon. Keeping in mind, of course, that I do work full time.

I am leaning very heavily towards podcasting, (which is easier to monetize, and sounds more fun than videos), along with the occasional Zoom or Youtube livestream. I want to pick the one that’s not going to take too much time away from caregiving or knitting!

So, I think I’m ready for this. I can do this.

Sometimes, you gotta take that leap of faith, right?

So if you want to reach a new audience, grow your current audience, or even just provide a new avenue for your readers to consume your content, you should start a podcast.

Most Interesting Animations I Watched This November

I’m going to look back on this year, and wonder what the hell was I doing? Well, my version of back to back, which consists of being a week apart, while interspersed with episodes of Supernatural, and Star Trek Discovery. To get it out of the way, I greatly enjoyed all of these, although for Gyo: Fish Attack, enjoyed is maybe too strong a word. (It was very horrifying though, and I guess that was some of the point.)

Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack

This movie is every bit as horrific as it sounds, and not just because of the fish attack. Its an incredible body horror film from the Japanese manga writer Junji Ito, the writer of Uzumaki (Spiral). Don’t be fooled by the trailer. This isn’t any of the usual titty bouncing inanity that one sometimes sees in anime. It’s based on a manga by Junji Ito, so there’s going to be some serious sub themes bubbling just near the surface, even if the idea of mechanical fish attacking people seems silly, at first.

A young woman, Kaori, and her two girlfriends, Aki, and Erika, encounter a horrible smell on their way to a country cabin, for the weekend. The young lady’s fiance, whom they were supposed to meet, doesn’t show, but they do get attacked by a giant shark, on mechanical legs, that infects one of the girls, before its destroyed. What’s of importance in all this however, isn’t the actual fish attack, although that is pretty gruesome, but the relationships between the girls themselves. As they are being attacked, Aki, who is plump and kind of shy and plain looking, is trapped by the shark, and pleads for her “friend” Erika, to save her, but the other girl decides to coldly kick her in the face, saving herself. Later, the situation is reversed, after Erika discovers she is not just infected with the stink of dead fish, but her body is bloating, and she dying/not dying from the infection. She pleads with Aki for help, but Aki refuses, and the ugly truth of their relationship comes out.

Just a nibble? Please?! - GIF on Imgur

See, after the shark attack, Kaori, deeply worried, left to find her fiance in the city, leaving her two friends alone. Erika then invites a couple of male friends over, to whom she dispenses her charms, while Aki, more than a little jealous, sits downstairs, listening to their indiscreet threesome. Later, when Erika’s infection begins to manifest, she pleads for help, but is rebuked, and even kicked, by Aki, who resents her for being more popular, pretty, or sexually active. Neither of them can save the other, after they have a knock-down, drag out fight, which ends with one near dead, and the other possibly infected.

Eventually, Aki makes her way to the city, where she encounters the now partially dead, bloated, mechanical body of the other girl, Erika has become like the dead mech-fish, and some dark impulse makes her chase Aki, But Aki, after turning to gloat to her pursuer about her getaway, meets a gruesome fate of her own, while again pleading for the other girl to save her, and one is given the distinct impression that none of this would have happened, had the two of them been less petty, stupid, and selfish people.

Kaori searches for her fiance, as the city of Tokyo is invaded by the dead fish, and she discovers the horrible truth, that her fiance, and his uncle, are the ones who caused the plague of fish, which gets worse, as not only is her fiance infected, but is eventually killed for not acting like a proper member of the fish hive mind. The fish attack results in hundreds of people being infected, their bodies bloating, as they spew more of the gaseous stink, which becomes so pungent, it starts to take on a life of its own, forming corporeal tentacles, which start gathering up human bodies, whether dead or alive, and amassing them into giant mechanical monsters.

Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack | Anime movies, Horror, Anime

This was a somewhat harrowing film to watch, and no, it doesn’t end happily for humanity, as the fish are all over the world, and the message seems to be that not only did humanity’s inability to give up on war, cruelty and malice, cause this problem, but that it deserves it. The other message is that humanity cannot save itself, because it can’t unite long enough to fight against its own destruction, too concerned with petty squabbles and resentments. This is shown in one moment where we see three teenagers safely watching the fish attack the rest of the city, from a balcony, but instead of being frightened, or running away, they decide to film the massive destruction, and loss of life, with their phones. They don’t care, as it is all just meaningless spectacle for them.

Kaori ends up the sole survivor of Tokyo, which makes sense, as she was the only person who behaved selflessly throughout the entire ordeal. She saved her injured friends, at the cabin, and she repeatedly worked to save the lives of not just her fiance, but countless others around her, only to fail because the people she was trying to save, suffered from personal weaknesses that got them infected or killed. For her fiance and his uncle, their sin was their hubris in thinking they could improve on nature, without taking into account the exploitative nature of mankind.

gyo: tokyo fish attack | Tumblr

We never learn anything about what the dead fish want, so its like zombies, really. The plague is used as a vehicle through which to illustrate that mankind is unworthy. The body horror elements are suitably gruesome, and there’s a certain amount of pathos at the end, but enjoyable isn’t actually the word I would use. I had to make a certain amount of effort to watch this, because it was hard to find for free, but it was worth it.

Kakurenbo (2005)

Kakurenbo is only about twenty five minute long, but its a very gorgeous twenty five minutes. I didn’t entirely understand all of it, even though I had some of it explained to me, when it was recommended to me as a Horror short by Youtube, and it is a very effective thriller, with some great Action scenes.

Here, seven children, (the rules state there must be seven), play a city wide game of hide and seek, late at night, in a darkened Tokyo, not understanding that the game isn’t just being played with each other, but with the massive, mech-organic, demons that are seeking them. This is very much worth watching, and the entire thing is readily available on Youtube.

Triplets of Bellville (2003)

I saw this animation sometime around the year it came out, because everyone was talking about it, at the time, so its not new for me, but you know, I forgot that I’d seen it! I didn’t forget that I’d SEEN it, just that I’d watched this, until it was recommended to me, a few days ago, then I went, “Oh yeah!”, I remember that! I loved that movie!

You ever come across a movie you simply hadn’t thought of in years, even though you fell in love with it, when you saw it that first time? Mostly though, I was reminded again by the title song, which showed up in my recommendations, in which these three little old ladies bop their way through the song, while jamming in an alley with one of the lead characters.

The movie is about a young bicyclist, who gets kidnapped, his doting mother who goes in search of him, with her old, plump, loyal hound. Along the way, she meets the triplets of the title, and they all devise a grand scheme to get her son back from his kidnappers. None of the characters are named, and there is almost no dialogue, but there are a number of great set pieces, lots of doggy dreams and interactions, (no really, we spend a lot of time with the dog, as he barks at trains, dreams about traveling, etc. and its really cute!), and the characters are all very charming, and beautifully, if grotesquely drawn, because French artists have always had this aesthetic where they find ugly things, pretty.

The Box Assassin (2020)

I loved this little movie from the moment I saw the title, but nothing in the title prepared for how great this is. This is one of the funniest shorts on YouTube. I was not expecting what I got, that’s for sure. The title charmed me from the jump, as I thought ,”What the hell is a Box Assassin”? Somebody who kills boxes? I was picturing someone who breaks down boxes in a grocery store! An assassin who lives in a moving crate?

Even though its less than 3 minutes long, I kept trying to predict what was going to happen in it, based on my long history of knowing what happens in Action movies, and I was wrong every time. What’s more, it All turned out to be pretty wholesome.

I would pay money to see a feature length version of this.

Here are a few more animations that captured my attention this month. Some of them scary, some deeply funny, but all of them are really good.

Introducing this cheeky little doggo, who goes as far as he can just to get some crisps…fgs just give the little feller some chips!

This is exactly my sort of humor, because this whole thing just had me crying…no really, I was in tears!

And finally, this is Fat Animal Farm…

(I am currently on holiday, but I’ll be back Monday!)

10 Favorite Black Comedies

I always say I’m not a huge comedy fan, not because I don’t like comedies, but because most comedies don’t appeal to my particular form of childlike silliness. I do not like mean-spirited (adult) comedies, although I will watch snarky comedies. Some comedies are not funny and just bring out my anxieties. I don’t like comedies where people are horribly embarrassed, or ones that require the characters to be ass-stupid, for the comedy to work.

I don’t usually talk about comedy here, but here are ten comedies, by Black directors, or with entirely Black casts, or that tackle Back themes, that I never seem to get tired of watching.This isn’t nearly a complete list of my favorites. There are always more and maybe I’ll talk about them soon.

House Party (1990)

I was in college when this movie came out, and I prettty much had to enjoy it alone, until I got my Mom to watch it with me one Summer. It stars a big singing duo, back then, named Kid and Play ,and I remember being in awe of Kid’s hairdo at the time. We called it “a hife”, in my neighborhood. I do remember having a ball watching this movie, especially Kid’s father, played by the late great Robin Harris, (who we will talk about again in a minute), who was prone to saying utterly ridiculous things, and the dance sequences. Everything about this movie was very pre-nineties! Also, we’re in a phase of filmmaking, right now, where we are telling stories of pain and struggle, and where movies about carefree teenagers, who are just trying to go to a party, is kind of rare.

The plot is fairly simple, in that its little more than extended chase scenes of Kid trying to get to his best friend’s “party of the year”, after being forbidden to go by his dad. He sneaks out of the house, and has a number of adventures trying to make it there, at least a couple of which involve fighting the bullies who got him grounded, by his dad, in the first place. This is just pure silliness. The kind of adventures Kid gets into don’t even approach logic, in the sense that everything that can go wrong, does, and that’s why I like this so much. These kinds of Black coming of age stories don’t get made often. Sometimes you just want some light, carefree Black characters being silly and there were a few of these in the 90s.

Bebe’s Kids (1992)

I have found people who love to hate on this cartoon, but I will forgive them, because they just don’t understand. This particular cartoon was groundbreaking for its time, as it was one of the first, feature length cartoons, with all Black characters, including the great Robin Harris, who died shortly after filming, so he was voiced by Faizon Love. I had taken some animation courses a couple of years before this was released, and one of the things that impressed audiences, at the time, is the creators used different shades of brown for the various skin tones. This was important because, before Bebe’s Kids, Black characters, no matter how many of them there were in a story, all shared one skin tone. That means they had to create brand new skin tones just for the animation! It also had a famous voice cast in Faizon Love, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and one of the hottest rappers at the time, Tone Loc.

I loved this movie because I thought it was genuinely funny, and the soundtrack was the shizznickle. Robin Harris starred as a character named Robin (natch) who is forced to babysit his neighbors kids, while wooing a young mother he just met, named Jamika. Robin somehow gets roped into taking the entire group, plus Jamika and her son, to a Disney ripoff called Funworld, where Bebe’s kids turn out to b be total brats, who break parts of the theme park, bully Jamika’s son, and get kidnapped by robots. There’s some dancing, and some music, which sounds good, and everything turns out okay by the end, although probably not for Bebe’s kids, who are somewhat neglected by their absent mother. Jamika said something that has always stuck with me, for many years. When Robin thinks to criticize why their mother even bothered to have kids, Jamika reminds him that Bebe didn’t make the children alone, and that their father deserves at least some of the blame.

Most of the humor comes from the side comments all the characters make, Robin’s quick wit, and the incongruity of Tone Loc’s grumbling bass, voicing a tiny, poopy diapered, baby named Peewee!

Black Dynamite (2009)

I grew up watching the Blaxpoitation films of the seventies, (well, a few of them, as some of them were a bit raunchy for a child), and these movies perfectly capture the utter silliness of such movies. I now recognize their importance to Black cinema, but at the time, these movies (just like the Kung Fu movies of the time) just seemed laughably bad. In hindsight, they were just the kinds of movies Black people needed to see at the time, coming off the Black Power Movement. Stories about empowerment, and overcoming systemic racism in the form of “white devils”, and just general ass- kicking. Movies like that also paved the way for the buddy action movies of the 80s ,and 90s, which made the careers of Black actors like Eddie Murphy, and Danny Glover, as Action heroes.

I absolutely love this movie!!! It stars two of my favorite actors, Michael Jai White, and Tommy Davidson. You may remember the roostery Tommy from the show, In Living Color, and Jai White starred in a number of action films himself, and actually has some mad martial skills. It contains all the proper elements of a Blaxploitation movie, like crime, drugs, guns, revenge, secret agents, shady military organizations, and of course, Kung Fu. Its a love letter to those ridiculous films of the 70’s, and probably time for me to watch this again as its been a couple of years.

Rush Hour (1998)

The 90s was when we started to get Action movie duos that did not contain white male characters. Trust me, when I say that this was as groundbreaking as the inter-racial buddy cop movies of the 80s, which was not the first time that Black and white men teamed up in a movie, but the 80s was the heyday for types of films, and the 90s took it up notch by throwing non-white men together as buddies, to see what would catch on, and this movie, along with another favorite of mine, Bad Boys, was what caught. These were blockbuster “Black” movies, with huge budgets, that managed to reach a mainstream audience, and usually starred comedians. Hollywood realized that Jackie Chan was a much beloved actor in the Black community, and teamed him up with one of the hottest comedians of the nineties, Chris Tucker, and Rush Hour was the result.

A huge part of the appeal of this franchise was the chemistry between Jackie and Chris. The plot is the usual formula, where the two start off trying to thwart each other’s goals, but end up working well together towards a common one. Chan stars as a police officer hunting an international criminal, who has kidnapped his boss’s daughter, and Tucker is the American cop assigned to distract him from that job, and let the Americans handle it. This is a genuinely funny movie because Tucker has a knack for saying absolutely ridiculous things.

Here’s one of my favorite scenes in the entire movie. Yes, that is Don Cheadle, kicking ass with Chan, and doing a tremendously funny Black guy’s interpretation of a Kung Fu master (no disrespect intended, y’all, although I’m pretty sure Chinese men no longer where queues.) What is even funnier to me, is the quiet acceptance of this foolery, by his Chinese patrons, as long as he speaks proper Chinese.

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

48 Hours gave birth to the buddy /cop film, during the 80’s, which finally just gave way to the Black cop film, starring Eddie Murphy. 48 Hours might have put Eddie on Hollywood’s radar, but Beverly Hills Cop is what made his career, and helped set the stage for the comedian/ buddy/ cop movies of the nineties, a genre of film still going strong today. I like to watch this every few years, and have never gotten tired of it. It goes without saying, that this was made in the 80s, so its not very PC.

Eddie plays Axel, a typical rebel cop, from Detroit, who does nothing in the legal or appointed manner. He travels to Beverly Hills, while hunting down the agents of the drug cartel that killed his best friend. BHC also helped to establish quite a number of tropes of the genre, like the rebel cop who defies orders, has a great wisecrack ready to hand, is especially good at selling a particular brand of bullshit to get their way, and is always getting screamed at by his commanders, and also the soundtrack was kickin’!

This movie won a ton of awards, including the Golden Globe, the Oscar, and the People’s Choice. Once again, Eddie ad to do the work of teaching Hollywood that Black actors could be very successful film leads. It appears Hollywood needs to re-learn this lesson every decade. Every single one!

Amazon Women on The Moon (1987)

This was directed by John Landis, and written by one of the funniest Black writers of the 80’s Robert Townsend. It consists of a bunch of comedy sketches, some connected, some not, to a wider storyline, that poke fun at various movie tropes. There’s no overarching plot, but this sketch here, featuring Don “No Soul” Simmons, is the one that helped make David Alan Grier’s comedy career, and has stuck with me for so long, that I still tease my sister about this today! (Yes, she’s seen this.) But what’s really funny to me, is that I know the words to at least half the songs in his repertoire, and the narrator’s, B.B. King.

The sketches involve nude models, a dating number that checks your blind date’s intimate history, a mystery involving the Loch Ness monster as Jack the Ripper, and the primary sketch, which is a parody of the Women are From Mars theme, from several different fifties movies, called Amazon Women on the Moon, where a bunch of astronauts get kidnapped by moon women, in mini-skirts.

The Nutty Professor (1996)

This isn’t the first time Eddie Murphy played multiple characters in a movie. This is just the culmination of all the work he’s done in that area. He started with the “regular white guy” on SNL, and seemed to get a taste for it, resulting in all of the ridiculously funny characters in this movie.

I really enjoyed this movie, almost as much as I loved the original 1963 Nutty Professor, starring Jerry Lewis. The plot of this newest version loosely follows the original version, in that a rather gentle, timid, and put upon scientist, longs for the girl of his dreams, Miss Purty, and thinks he can win her love by becoming a more confident person, so he creates a potion that brings out his inner asshole, Buddy Love.

Eddie’s version of Buddy is a kinder version of the original, who was toxic masculinity personified. This Buddy is just loudly embarrassing and obnoxious in public spaces. The movie also has a cameo from a baby Dave Chappelle,who meets his match in Buddy, and Jada Pinkett, (Janet Jackson in the sequel), stars as the darling Miss Purty.

You have to watch the movie just for the dinner table scenes, which are the funniest discussions, that any human being has ever had… with themselves.

Hollywood Shuffle (1987)

Robert Townsend helped write Amazon Women on the Moon, but he was also a director in his own right, and had much to say about the stereotypes of Black actors in Hollywood, and the roles they often were assigned to play. This entire movie is a low key parody of what its like to be a Black actor/director in Hollywood. I say low-key because this wasn’t too far off from what it was actually like, and this is still relevant for many other actors of color.

Robert Townsend was also the director of another of my favorite movies from the 80s, that gets an Honorable Mention on this list, Meteor Man, along with The Five Heartbeats, A Soldier’s Story, Undercover Brotha, , and I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, both love letters to the Blaxploitation era of film.

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (2018)

This movie is a total riot. I was expecting a little more of a dramatic origin story, and it did have some drama, but it also happened to be deeply, deeply funny, with resonant messages in it about taking a leap of faith, and believing in oneself. Below is one of my favorite scenes. I’ve watched this at least a good half dozen times and I have never stopped laughing at this one and a couple of later scenes. The characters, especially Peter Parker’s, and Miles’ relationship, are so well written, that I just like spending time with them.

This is a superhero movie for people who dislike superhero movies. I know I say that a lot, but that really is how they make a lot of these movies. You don’t need to have an entire history, and backstory, of each character to get the humor, or understand the plot, (although the humor is enhanced if you know your Spiderman details, because there are a lot of little Easter eggs, that only a dedicated Spider-fan will probably see.)

Miles Morales, a young Black man who is at odds with his father’s wishes for his future, witnesses the death of the original Peter Parker, after which he gets bitten by a mutated spider, and discovers he is now the new Spiderman. He is daunted by having to live up to the old Spiderman’s reputation, but gets a helping hand from several other Spider -related people, from alternate dimensions. Also, no matter how much I love Miles, my all-time favorite Spiderman will always be Spiderman Noir, as voiced by Nicholas Cage.

And for me, this was the funniest scene in the entire movie:

Bring It On (2000)

I’m not normally a sports or cheerleading movie fan, but this one had Gabrielle Union in it. The first time I watched this was with my two little sisters, who insisted I watch it with them. I didn’t want to at first, but it turned out to be a helluva lot of fun and well worth it. I’ve been a Gaby Union fan ever since. Yes, the movie is about cultural appropriation. We didn’t really have that word at the time, because social media didn’t exist the way it does now, but we knew it when we saw it. Marginalized people still do. Only white people are confused about what it is, insisting on calling it “sharing”.

https://hellogiggles.com/reviews-coverage/movies/bring-it-on-still-teaches-cultural-appropriation-18-years-later/

https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/29731506/bring-spirit-fingers-appropriation-cult-sports-film-much-more-teen-rom-com

So yeah, me and my sisters knew that was what the movie was about, but the beauty of the movie is, while the white characters were definitely in the wrong, we walked away from the movie without any great deal of anger at them. Don’t get me wrong ,we weren’t sympathetic, but we didn’t hate them either. That’s a thin line to walk

And the movie is genuinely funny too. Dunst is bouncy, cheery, and oblivious, in that way that Cockerspaniels are, which struck me as incredibly funny, because I’d only ever seen her in dramatic roles. My favorite character though, isn’t even Isis (Union), but the little, unnamed sister on her cheerleading squad who was ready, at all times,, to give anyone and everyone a beatdown, with her lil’ tiny ass. Y’all gotta watch out for them short sistas!

Honorable Mentions:

Meteor Man (1993)

Don’t Be A Menace to South Central…While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood (1996)

Native American Heritage Month

Just wanted to give a shout out during Native American Heritage Month. Non-Natives tend to talk like Native Americans are extinct. Well, they are still here, writing books, making music, and just generally being like glitter, (getting into everything, and making it shine), moving into different areas of Pop Culture, that we don’t normally think of as related to Indigenous cultures.

Enjoy!

Movies

Blood Quantum (2019) – One of the first zombie movies set on a reservation. Indigenous people find out they are immune to a plague that causes human beings to turn into zombies, and have to protect their lands from people outside the culture who want to shelter with them.

Real Injun (2009) – A documentary about the depiction of Native Americans, examining their stereotypes in Pop Culture.

Skins (2002) – A mystery set on the Beaver Creek Indian Reservation, where a cop finds the body of a dead woman, and must solve her murder, while dealing with his many family issues.

Smoke Signals (1998) – A film about two cousins who bicker their way across the America landscape, while on a road trip to retrieve one of their father’s ashes.

TV

Trickster – Fantasy/Drama about a young man who begins experiencing strange events and eventually discovers he is the son of a trickster.

Red Road – Mystery/Drama starring Jason Momoa about a cop trying to keep his family together, while coping with a wife who suffers from mental illness. (IFC)

Books

Moon of the Crusted Snow – Waubeshig Rice – Apocalyptic fiction

Moon of the Crusted Snow: A Novel of Survival | Regina Public Library

Trail of Lightning – Rebecca Roanhorse – Dark Fantasy

TRAIL OF LIGHTNING – kt literary

Take Us To Your Chief SciFi Anthology – Science Fiction

Indigenous Reads: Drew Hayden Taylor blends science fiction with Indigenous  story | CBC Radio

Love After the End SciFi and Fantasy Anthology

Love after the End | CBC Books

Son of A Trickster – Eden Robinson – On which the above named television show is based.

Why it took Eden Robinson eight years to write Canada Reads finalist Son of  a Trickster | CBC Books

Mongrels – Stephen Graham Jones – Dark Fantasy/Horror

The wild boy wants his fangs in Stephen Graham Jones' "Mongrels" - Los  Angeles Times

Music

A Tribe Called Red – Red Skin Girl

Supaman – Prayer Loop Song

Stand Up – Stand N Rock

Social Media/Youtubers

More and more Native American content is being found on Youtube. Check out these Youtubers.

Pam Palmater – Her primary focus is on legal and social issues of importance to Native American, and Canadian Indigenous cultures, in their fight to protect their homelands and water and fishing rights against colonialist encroachment.

Waaavynativebaby – She talks about the Navajo lifestyle, her friends and family, makeup and self-care.

Patrickisanavajo – This is mostly comedic, examining Native American reactions to Pop Culture. I’ve watched a number of his videos, which are deeply funny, while also teaching things about Native culture you probably didn’t know. But this is definitely the channel that made me believe that native Americans are very possibly some ofthe most sarcastic, funniest people on social media. Almost as funny as Black Twitter.

Kel’s A Funny Girl – This is true. Kel is very funny! This is mostly a lifestyle vlog. Kel is Dakota Sioux.