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Not Your Asian Ninja: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Keeps Failing Asian Americans

thenerdsofcolor

Originally posted at The Daily Beast

I liked Daredevil Season 2 a lot. I didn’t like it quite as much as Season 1, but it was always going to be impossible to find someone to live up to Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on Wilson Fisk (who still effortlessly steals the few scenes he gets this season). But the writing and the acting for Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, is compelling as hell, enough to spark a lively debate about the appeal of vigilante justice and gun violence in American culture.

The tangled, messy web of corruption behind the death of the Punisher’s family, the complicity of the state and the media in creating him, his turnaround in becoming a criminal defendant in the Trial of the Century, and the moral ambiguity of Castle’s past as a soldier who exposes the American public’s hypocrisy by bringing the brutal logic of the overseas…

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What’s Hiding Behind the Feel-Good Curtain of Hidden Figures: One Black Feminist’s Take

thenerdsofcolor

In a scene in Hidden Figures that is all too familiar for Black women viewers, or really anyone from a historically marginalized group, Taraji P. Henson’s character Katherine Johnson rushes to enter the NASA control room where she has just handed off crucial calculations for astronaut John Glenn’s safe return from orbit, and has the door summarily slammed in her face. The camera lingers on Henson’s profile, as she grapples yet again with the devastating knowledge that although she may be a useful “computer” for spitting out numbers that may make missions successful and even save lives, she is still not seen as fully human in the eyes of her peers and superiors. Indeed, in Henson’s capable hands, viewers ourselves experience the physical and emotional pain of being barred from entering the halls of power for absurd reasons beyond one’s control — in this case, race and gender.

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Tackling the Stereotypes

article by Priscilla Frank via huffingtonpost.com The pop culture landscape is littered with lazy images of black women ― the nurturer, the hussy, the angry bitch. Hovering around the all-encompassing myth of the “strong black woman,” those paper-thin characterizations fail to represent real women in all their complexity and vulnerability. Despite the monolithic representations that appear […]

via Black Female Artists Tackle The Dangerous Stereotypes That Have Never Defined Them — GOOD BLACK NEWS

Trauma is a White Thing™

No es un verbo

#nazi mention cw, #rape mention cw, #abuse mention cw

We (collective we, as people raised in a white supremacist society) tend to find it easier to empathize and sympathize with white characters than with non-white characters, and with light-skinned characters than with dark-skinned characters. It takes actual self-examination and a willingness to unlearn that racism, to be able to read a narrative without any kind of racial bias, just like it takes self-examination and unlearning to live life without racism or any other kind of prejudice.

The issue is that we are not willing to look at ourselves and see why we prefer certain characters over others, and so we make excuses. We yell “it’s not about race!” and, to back that statement, we say “it’s because she’s a woman”, “it’s because they’re queer”, “it’s because they’re neurodivergent”. And I’ve already written…

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Star Wars: Space is for white women

Welp! Here are the receipts. Thank you

No es un verbo

screenshot_5 Image: the “Star Wars” banner over a starry background, with the white lettering replaced by the words “space is for white women”.

Two weeks ago I had the audicity of making a post on Tumblr saying that maybe, after five nearly identical white female leads across the span of four decades, we don’t need any more white women in the Star Wars franchise.

Image: a screencap from tumblr, of a post that reads Image: a screencap from tumblr, of a post that reads “What the Star Wars franchise needs: Women of Color, Gay/Bi women, Disabled women, Trans women, Fat women. What the Star Wars franchise doesn’t need: Any more thin, abled, cishet white women”

Though, of course, most people actually agreed, because –as intelligent consumers of media– most of us have come to realize that the white female lead is no longer revolutionary (read: here, here, here, here), most doesn’t mean all.

…we only ever…

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Sexualized Saturdays: Dark Skin Shouldn’t Be a Signifier for Sexual

Lady Geek Girl and Friends

Black History Month is moving right along, and while everyone is out there quoting Martin Luther King Jr. or incorrectly talking about Frederick Douglass, I think it’s important that we look at issues surrounding our Black women, as well. Luckily, we’re slowly but surely getting more Black girls and women in our media! Unfortunately, from looking at depictions of Black girls and women in media, such as last year’s scandal over Riri Williams, it’s easy to see that Black (and darker-skinned) women tend to be more sexualized in nerd media than their white (and fairer-skinned) counterparts. This creates a culture where darker bodies are seen as inherently more sexual, and thus more acceptable as targets of objectification and sexual violence.

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[Stitch Elsewhere] Luke Cage review @ Strange Horizons

Stitch's Media Mix

luke-cage-netflix-poster Marvel’s Luke Cage looks at trauma from an intersectional point of view—one which doesn’t center whiteness or stereotypes of Black masculinity.

After eight years, fourteen feature-length films, and four separate television series, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally managed to place a Black man front and center in his own narrative. Luke Cage, a character previously seen as a supporting character in the first season of the Netflix-exclusive series Marvel’s Jessica Jones, is the first Black character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to star in their own series rather than remain a poorly-fleshed out sidekick to a white character.

Marvel’s Luke Cage is one of the only series out on television today that provides a close and realistic look at what it means to be a Black person in a world of superheroes. The series’ significant focus on agency, trauma, power, and personhood as they relate to Black bodies—as well as…

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George “The Animal” Steele: Dead at 79

Wow! 

 I’m not a huge Wrestling fan but I do remember watching the WWE, with my little brother back inna day. Watching wrestling was a good way for me and him to bond, and spend time together, since we weren’t the kind of people who talked much.I  didn’t know a lot about Wrestling, or even the Wrestlers names, but I do remember  George ” The Animal” Steele. As soon as I heard this news, it took me back to those Summer evenings with my brother, sitting in front of our little twelve inch color, cheering our favorite wrestlers, laughing at their antics, and the sheer opera of it all. Sometimes arguing about who could beat who. 

Yeah, it’s the end of an era, but for me, he left a lot of great memories behind.

Thank you George! RIP

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2693526-wwe-legend-george-the-animal-steele-dies-at-age-79

Black History Month: Black, Gay & Proud

Thank you so much for writing about this. Black LGBT don’t get their props, and I’m a huge fan of James Baldwin.

BROTHA WOLF

james

It isn’t often you hear about the accomplishments and historical moments of our LGBT brothas and sistas during this time of year. So, I felt that it’s time to help give them their due and making history, black history.

As with my previous BHM article, the list will feature a few notable and brief mentions. Please check out more information on these and other black LGBT history makers and prominent individuals.

Alice Walker – Civil rights icon and author of The Color Purple for which she won a Pulitzer Prize.

Patrik Ian Polk – An openly gay film director who is known for his films on the African American LGBT experience and relationships.

Kye Allums – The first Division I openly transgender athlete in NCAA sports history. Today, Kye is a transgender advocate and the founder of Project I Am Enough, a project dedicated to encouraging self-love & self-definition for everyone.

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Superhero News

Here are some new videos for Logan. One of them is the extended Super Bowl trailer and the other is called Sunseeker, which is a minute-film by the director, Mangold, featuring Wolverine driving a limousine, at some point in the future. I think the year is 2029 in the movie. 

I haven’t been this excited about a superhero movie since I heard that Black Panther was going to be made. (I’m telling y’all, when Black people experience an actual Rapture, after seeing that movie, you gonna know what’s up!) The trailers, for Logan, remind me of other great super-nonsuperhero movies like Unbreakable and The Incredibles, where the usual aesthetic has been turned on its head. 

One surefire way to get me interested in a movie is to play some Johnny Cash, so I was hooked from the moment I heard the song, Hurt. Couple that with the story told in Old Man Logan, and you have a perfect marriage of song and character. If you listen to the lyrics of the song, they’re a match for the Wolverine of that time period. He is old and full of regrets. I guarantee this song will make you cry:

Here is the new video Sunseeker. The director says this movie is all about character and atmosphere. 

The fight choreography, for Logan, isn’t the usual bombast, but brutal, up close, more personal. In one of the trailers, x-23, named Laura in the movie, is riding in the car next to Wolverine, and you can see she has bloody knuckles from where her claws extend. It’s a very affecting moment, as it’s  a callback to the first Wolverine movie, when Rogue asked Logan if his claws hurt when they came out. His answer: “Every time.”

And here’s the music video for Hurt.

WARNING: The new Logan movie is rated R, so you might want to reconsider taking young children to see it. I do plan to take The Potato,  but she is pretty mature for her age, and well used to Horror movies. I also plan to have a discussion with her about what we saw, as the movie does feature a young girl who is, very clearly, a killer.
In other news the CW just picked up the rights to make the show BLACK LIGHTNING! If you’ve read those comic you will be excited, on the other hand if you’ve been watching the CW, you may feel disappointed. I feel like Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash are the only superhero shows the CW has gotten right, so I have very mixed feelings about that. On the other hand it’s BLACK LIGHTNING!!!
Here’s a slightly different trailer for Iron Fist. I know I’m going to watch this but I still have deep misgivings about the main actor. I just can’t get rid of the nagging feeling that he sucks. I don’t know if he will, but I have no confidence in him, and I’d like to be surprised. (Or these feelings could simply be fallout from my disappointment that the actor isn’t Asian.)

Is anybody else totally freaking out about him walking around barefoot in the middle of NYC. That’s just nasty! Man, put some frickin’ shoes on!

On the other hand, Colleen Wing looks pretty cool, there’s lots of fight scenes, Ms. Gao takes time off, from whatever she’s doing in Daredevil, to make a cameo, and Danny does appear to have more personality than the actor playing Daredevil, who is so low key, that he may as well be an hallucination of a character. Also, I can’t wait to see The Defenders, where he teams up with The Bulletproof Man, Luke Cage, because Ive always loved those books. 

In more news, there’s a John Wick 2 featurette discussing the fight choreography in the movie. I love it when stunt people talk about that stuff. I like to know what styles of fighting was used and how the actors approached that degree of action.

In other news I just watched The Girl with All the Gifts. It’s a beautiful movie, which perfectly captures the bittersweet essence of the books, if not the exact details, although those are close enough. This is probably because Mike Carey wrote both the film and the book. I would definitely put The Girl with All the Gifts in the top echelon of zombie movies. I do plan to watch this one with The Potato, so I can get her ideas about what she just watched before I write a review. I told her about it and she seemed excited about the little girl zombie. This movie also features a little girl who is clearly killing people and animals, so I want to get The Potato’s thoughts on this theme.

I have four shows to watch and review: The Expanse, Legion, A Series of  Unfortunate Events, and The Magicians. Taboo is one episode away from its finale and a lot battier than I’d at first thought it would be, so I love it! I’ll review the season finale in two weeks. 

I’d like to do a detailed review of Ghostbusters, which I actually enjoyed. I also told myself I wouldn’t watch Legend of Tarzan because the trailers were absurdly stupid, but it’s playing on cable this weekend, and that’s why I pay money for it. I won’t spend twenty dollars to see some tings, but I will watch it in my house, on a library loaned DVD, maybe.

Stay tuned for something else this week. I don’t actually plan what I’m going to write about, despite me telling you what I plan to write about, so it could be anything getting posted, from something that just happened a day ago, to something I never mentioned, that’s been sitting in my queue for three months. 

Supernatural Season 12: Regarding Dean

A Blog devoted to "SUPERNATURAL"

The title is a callback to a movie from 1991, starring Harrison Ford, about a high priced, ambitious, lawyer, who finds the meaning of true happiness, after he loses his memory, after getting shot. I really enjoyed that movie, even though I don’t think that’s how memory loss actually works. But Harrison was really good in it, and Annette Bening, as his wife, is great too. The standout though, is the actor Bill Nunn, who plays Ford’s character’s physical therapist, Bradley. Their relationship is really beautiful . I don’t know why, but I’m always total trash for Black therapist movies, even though they’re racially problematic.

Well, this episode doesn’t have that particular problem but still has all the beauty. I really enjoyed this episode and it’s one I’m going to be rewatching many more times in the future. Every season, there are about three really standout episodes that I love…

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TV Review: Taboo: ‘Episode Four’

The Peanut Gallery

Taboo

S1, E4: ‘Episode Four’

Tom Hardy plays Seven Minutes in Heaven

Grade: C

***THIS RECAP CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR TABOO: EPISODE FOUR***

Goddammit. After the tense spy drama of the last episode, I really thought the show had broken through. Instead, it’s scuttled back to its comfort zone of magic, exotica and shivering women panting into James Delaney’s face. It involves gruesome murder, bacchanaliae, near-rape and a challenge to a duel. And withal, it is the most boring episode of the show yet. Can we bring back the scheming and the double-crossing, please?

‘I have been told to await a better offer.’

Lorna’s in trouble. Last episode, she was taken to a high-born man (the Duke of Richmond) who had been promised her services. She fought back, and now the Crown has a reason to come after her. She’s been arrested on the charge of attempted murder of…

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Resist Trump and Sessions

Jeff Sessions: Kind of a dick Just a quick #ResistTrump post today. There’s a lot going on. Here are two important developments that we need to respond to. First: Jeff Sessions has started off his new job as Attorney General with an attempt to undermine legal protections of trans students. What he did is a…

via #ResistTrump today by standing up for trans students and immigrants — We Hunted The Mammoth