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Westworld Season One: Contrapasso

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/10/westworld-season-1-episode-5-recap-contrapasso-timeline-theory-lawrence-bernard-is-arnold-clone-robot

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

 

Notes on a 1949 media diet, part 2 — Abagond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jerry Lewis Has Died — BROTHA WOLF

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

via Jerry Lewis Has Died — BROTHA WOLF

 

Some of my favorite Lewis movies:

The Nutty Professor:

 

 

 The Bellboy:

 

 

Cinderfella:

 

 

The Disorderly Orerly:

 

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

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

Just signal boosting this!

WE ARE GEEKS OF COLOR

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

logic

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

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Stuff I’ve Been Watching

 

Midnight Texas (NBC)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lemuel

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

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Olivia

 

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

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

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

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

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Fiji

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

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

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

 

Mr. Mercedes (Audience Network)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Void (Netflix)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tumblr Discussions for the Weekend

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

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

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 abbiehollowdays

@stardreamed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 bigskydreaming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/08/in-shadowhunters-fantasy-conflicts-dont-have-to-ig.html

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

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

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

 

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Just think about it for aminute:

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lookhuman: “i have a real problem ”

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

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

 fireb0y
“Why don’t you have any sales going on?”

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

 

overdevelopedid

“Let me speak to your manager.”

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

 

dodonmastoklese

Do you have this patio set in a different color?

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

 

overdevelopedid

“What!? Why is that your policy?!”

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

 

dodonmastoklese

*burns stack of expired coupons in front of customer*

 

fictionallyattractive

“This food is dry and gross.”

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

 

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

 

Sagittarius:

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

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

 blacknerdproblems

*spoilers*

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

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

http://blacknerdproblems.com/game-of-thrones-recap-eastwatch/

 

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Some links to make you smile:

Games for Introverts:

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

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

https://mic.com/articles/183814/pet-the-pup-at-the-party-is-a-silly-game-about-avoiding-people-and-befriending-dogs-instead?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=future&utm_source=policymicTBLR#.3s5zIl5kC

 

Crying White Supremacists is my new aesthetic!

Doxxing White Supremacists Is Making Them Terrified
 https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/7xxbez/doxxing-white-supremacists-is-making-them-terrified?ICID=ref_fark&utm_content=link&utm_medium=website&utm_source=fark
 I actually like this show, but it does have some deep problems, most of which stem from the racism of its creators.

The Problem With Sense8

Or How Sense8’s Faux-Progressive Worldbuilding Falls Apart

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

 

You have to read the funniest Jury selection ever.

https://harpers.org/archive/2017/09/public-enemy/

Shadowhunters, Malec and the Burden of Representation

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

 And the response to this article from: amorverus

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

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

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

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

Source: nightfallgoddess

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

Luke Cage and Claire Temple: Not Your Mammy Figures

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

Stitch's Media Mix

StitchSnap-00005.png

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

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

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

Let’s talk about this.

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

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Charlottesville: On the Ground

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

 

*Notes on Charlottesville

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


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

https://extranewsfeed.com/notes-on-charlottesville-25e5e156173b

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

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

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

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

http://www.thehugoawards.org/hugo-history/2017-hugo-awards/

An Open Letter to Fanboys

Freaking Out and Geeking Out

Dear Fanboys,

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

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

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

Oh, my dears.

Just stop.

Seriously.

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

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

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Charlottesville Links & Discussion

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

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

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

 

About Charlottesville Virginia:

Recounting a day of rage, hate, violence and death

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

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/local/charlottesville-timeline/?utm_term=.a00b0596960d

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Here’s What Really Happened In Charlottesville

https://www.buzzfeed.com/blakemontgomery/heres-what-really-happened-in-charlottesville?utm_term=.sl461znwB#.vwz24J8WO

About White Nationalism and the Alt-Right:

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

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

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

http://blacklivesmatter.com/

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

THE ALT-RIGHT CAN’T DISOWN CHARLOTTESVILLE

https://www.wired.com/story/alt-right-charlottesville-reddit-4chan/

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

Racism, Medievalism, and the White Supremacists of Charlottesville

https://newrepublic.com/article/144320/racism-medievalism-white-supremacists-charlottesville

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The Truth About Women and White Supremacy

https://www.thecut.com/2017/08/charlottesville-attack-women-white-supremacy.html

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A Guide to the Different Levels of White Supremacist

http://www.notsorryfeminism.com/2017/08/a-guide-to-different-levels-of-white-supremacist.html

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View story at Medium.com

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

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/charlottesville-white-male-supremacist-attack-killing-oppressed-venomous-crybabies-a7893011.html

On What You Can Do

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Image result for black power

phoenix-ace

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

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

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

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

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We Aren’t At The Healing Stage With Racism

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

https://scottwoodsmakeslists.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/we-arent-at-the-healing-stage-with-racism/

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 vaspider

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

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

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

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

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

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DEAR WHITE AMERICA: THIS IS YOUR MESS.

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

This is your mess.

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

Dear White America: This is Your Mess.

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Image result for anti racism

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Ju-Hyun Park

llleighsmith: “Ju-Hyun Park ”

My new Prince book is out! — Scott Woods Makes Lists

My new ebook, Prince and Little Weird Black Boy Gods, is out! This collection of essays, what-ifs and tidbits contains everything writer and critic Scott Woods has publicly written and published about Prince, as well as a stack of new material written specifically for this edition. A fun, sometimes biting history with Prince from a […]

via My new Prince book is out! — Scott Woods Makes Lists

 

*Just want to make clear, this isn’t my Prince book. It’s Scott Woods book on Prince.

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