Finn Meta Linkspam

Here are some discourses on my favorite character from Star Wars:

Star Wars, Finn, and Fandom Racism

 

We start with an admonishment to not be “That Person”.

thesovereignempress:

the-bi-writer:

this is a post for my fellow white star wars fans: we gotta do better. the treatment of Finn in the fandom at large has been dismal, both in obvious and insidious ways. so let’s talk about this.

quick note before we start: if you’re only here to argue, move on. if you’re already typing out a response beginning with, “not all white people,” don’t. however, if you’re interested in challenging your own biases, welcome aboard.

here are some harmful things white fans do, in regards to Finn:

1. we ignore him in fan works.

a quick check of ao3 stats shows that Hux (who has approx. 3 min of screen time) shows up in two thousand more works than Finn.

before you get defensive: no one’s telling you what you can and can’t write. however, as white fans we need to consider why we’re willing to go to the effort to imagine a rich backstory for a minor character we know almost nothing about, while ignoring the *actual* protagonist who already has a rich backstory of his own. (that protagonist is Finn, in case i was being unclear. Finn is a protagonist of Star Wars: Episode VII -The Force Awakens. Finn is a main character and co-lead. it’s Finn.)

2. when we do include Finn in fan works, we treat him poorly.

i’m going to stay in my lane on this one, and refer you to Writing with Color for more specifics on how *not* to treat black characters in harmful and/or stereotypical ways.

briefly: Finn is often hyper-sexualized (BBC, etc.) or pushed to the side by the narrative. additionally, very few fics, even ones with Finn in the main pairing, truly treat Finn as the protagonist of their fic.

i’m guilty of this myself, and i’m working on it. which is all i’m asking you to do: educate yourself, be willing to change, and then do it.

3. we underestimate his role in cannon

go read this post, and then tell me you haven’t been underestimating Finn from the moment he stepped on screen. i’d noticed almost everything the post points out, but chalked it up to plot holes, instead of considering that Finn (again, a protagonist) had been awake in the force since the beginning of the film.

that, right there friends, is racism.

tl;dr fellow white fans, we gotta do better. let’s take the energy we spend trying to convince people we aren’t racist…and actually be less racist. it’s our responsibility to examine our attitudes and change our actions. now is the time.

further reading:

here’s some excellent finn meta

here’s 5 tips for being an ally (video) by chescaleigh (Franchesca Ramsey) – her channel has a ton of other videos about race too.

here are a whole bunch of resources from Writing with Color, a tumblr “dedicated to writing and resources centered on racial & ethnic diversity.”

(feel free to add links + resources)

The thing is, if Reylo is your pairing and that’s the characters you choose to focus on – since that is how shipping works and as a reader I’m definitely going in for Reylo and other characters are secondary – what qualifies as “ignoring” or “pushing to the side”? That’s my issue with these talks about erasure and sidelining around Finn.

Lest it be misunderstood, I totally agree that we can be better at treating Finn in our fan works. I’ve seen him used in some uncomfortable ways. But there are some contradictions in this endeavor that tend to get glossed over.

I mean, no one is saying Finn should be the focus of fanfics about Reylo or other non-Finn ships. That doesn’t make sense. When we talk about Finn erasure, we’re talking about the bigger picture.

For example, if I go to the main TFA tag or the Star Wars tag, Finn is often nowhere to be seen. If I look for Finn (or even Finnrey or Stormpilot) fics, few that come up in the search are actually about Finn, making it difficult to find actual Finn content where he’s not a background character. When the title for Ep 8 dropped, There was a lot of speculation that The Last Jedi might be Ren and Rey as if Finn doesn’t exist. It’s not just in individual ship fics, if you look at many fan spaces, you would think Finn was a very minor character, not a main character. And that’s a problem.

We have to ask why Reylo and Kylux are the dominant ships while fics about Finn are the least popular. The question is not why aren’t Reylo and Kylux fics about Finn, it’s why are these ships exponentially more popular than ships including Finn and fics where Finn is actually a main character.

After a year’s worth of justifications that historically ONLY apply to white characters (fandom loves villains, the blank slate, etc) plus the fact that white heroes/protags are shipped like crazy, it’s clear that Finn’s blackness contributes heavily to his minimization.

Source: the-bi-writer fandom racism star wars finn
jawnbaeyega luminousfinn

skywalkerapologist:

luminousfinn:

The narrative arc The Force Awakens create between Finn and Kylo Ren is an interesting one. Visually it begins in the very first scene they appear on screen together at the assault of Tuanul village after the execution of the villagers that FN-2187 refused to participate in. When Kylo Ren is returning to his shuttle, he stops and stares at Finn for, at the time, no discernible reason.

In doing this the movie draws a visual line between the two men, connecting them in the audience’s mind and in-universe. One is dressed in black, the other in white, both are helmeted and faceless, but already we have witnessed the distinction between them and the movie spends the rest of its time emphasizing it: Kylo Ren will murder on a whim, while FN-2187 refuses to kill unarmed civilians.

After this “meeting” Kylo Ren maintains a distinct interest in FN-2187. So much that he not only knows that it was the same trooper which aided Poe in escaping, but that when he learns that Finn has got away with BB-8 he throws one of his two destructive rampages.

The other he has when Rey escapes captivity.

After this their stories part for a time, but only to be rejoined on Starkiller Base after Kylo Ren murders Han Solo.

After Chewie shoots Kylo, blows up the oscillator and everyone including Finn and Rey starts shooting, we see Kylo Ren kneeling on the bridge looking up. .

The camera cuts to an angle behind Kylo Ren’s head so we now also have Finn and Rey in the shot, both standing on a balcony in the background

Another cut, closing up on our two leads. This shows them both standing, looking down on Kylo Ren. Both look shocked and Finn is stepping forward on the balcony, towards the audience and more importantly, towards Kylo.

Once again the movie cuts and again it zooms in so that now Finn is in focus. His face merges from the shock and fear he has so far displayed, into grief, anger and determination. And throughout the shot he steps further and further forward while the camera zooms in on him, visually emphasizing him stepping into the conflict with Kylo Ren.

Rey is barely in the frame here and by the end of the shot she’s entirely gone, leaving her literally out of the picture.

Next cut is back to Kylo Ren, who is staring up at Finn. The way this sequence is cut together makes it startlingly clear that this is where he is looking and who he is looking at. Kylo’s face merges from surprise into unmitigated fury and hatred at the sight of FN-2187, the Stormtrooper who defected, who is everything he is not.

The whole sequence mirrors their first encounter with the two men staring at each other, though they’re now unmasked and we can see the mutual enmity clear on their faces. Finn is no longer running away, he’s stepping forward and the camera zooms in on Kylo’s face drawing him into conflict with Finn as well.

The movie sets up this conflict not just for the coming battle in the forest, but also for the next two Episodes as the battle between the two men is a draw. Finn is defeated by Kylo, but the Dark Sider does not obtain the lightsaber and is in turn defeated by Rey. Neither of them emerges a victor and the narrative conflict between them remains unresolved.

So whatever Episode VIII and IX brings, it is clear that Finn and Kylo will cross paths again and Kylo had better beware. To borrow John’s words: “Finn ain’t playing no more”, that much is clear from the scene in the oscillator.

Next cut is back to Kylo Ren, who is staring up at Finn. The way this sequence is cut together makes it startlingly clear that this is where he is looking and who he is looking at. 

This part is so important and yet flew over like 90% of the fandom’s heads in favor of focusing on Rey (gee I wonder why).

The shift in Finn’s expression from shocked grief to quiet rage reminds me of Luke’s reaction to seeing his aunt and uncle’s burnt corpses in ANH. Obviously Rey and Kylo will be squaring off again in VIII but TFA also made it clear that there’s some serious bad blood between Finn and Kylo that’s entirely separate from wanting to protect or recruit Rey. Which is why I roll my eyes when I see people claim that Finn is going to be shunted off to a B-plot opposite Hux (a character he never interacted with in TFA) and Phasma (who he literally threw in the trash).

Also, it’s worth noting that for the first time, Rey has to take Finn by the arm and pull him away.

image

Kylo was stumbling up towards them and I’m not convinced that Finn wouldn’t have tried to take him down right then and there.

finn meta to read
rebelfinn

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*Look, as far as I’m concerned Finn is Force Sensitive, and that’s that. He will be a  Jedi. I will wrestle you out of of your underwear, with your pants still on, if you disagree. Here, have some receipts:

Also, I just love this gorgeous essay on the parallels between Finn’s narrative and Arthurian legend.

jawnbaeyega adagalore

luminousfinn:

Maz giving Finn the lightsaber is noticeable for many reasons, not least of which because it happens twice and for all the Arthurian parallels surrounding the scenes.

 

The first time takes place just after the destruction of the Hosnia system which is what makes Finn return to Han (and implicitly to the fight against the Dark Side). At this point none of them knows that they’re about to be attacked themselves by the First Order, not even Maz.

Despite this she immediately upon Finn’s return  takes him, Han and Chewie into the cellar where she keeps the lightsaber. When she takes it out of the chest Han recognizes it and asks where she got it, she brushes him off and focuses on Finn.

Why Finn? Last she saw him Finn made it clear that he was leaving. Hosnia’s destruction marked a tentative return, but so far it is tentative. And wouldn’t Han a man who might not be a paragon, but someone she’s know for years, make more sense?

Her words as she passes it are ambiguous. “Take it. Find your friend.” And do what exactly? Give it to her? Use it to protect her? What? Recall, no one but Maz and Rey herself knows that Rey can use the Force at this point. In fact Finn is never told this in TFA.

In assorted other things the fact that Han’s attention shifts off Maz and onto Finn the moment she tells him to take it, but before she stops talking is interesting. His intent gaze on Finn as he makes the choice to take the weapon is mirrored in the second “giving” by Maz.

Maz too is looking rather expectantly as Finn reaches out and takes the lightsaber from her. The music that has so far been playing softly in the background swells dramatically the moment Finn’s hand touches the saber and mixes with the diegetic sound of an approaching TIE fighter as Finn raises the lightsaber as a young Arthur might Excalibur. The scene ends in a dramatic boom as the castle is struck just as we see Finn look at the saber with a serious face.

It is noticeable that Finn is so entranced by the lightsaber that he doesn’t seem to hear the incoming TIE. Not long before at Niima Outpost he jumped at the first sound of it, but here he’s oblivious to the noise.

 

Now before I go on to the second “giving” I’m going to make a small detour around Arthurian myth.

Much have been made of the Arthurian parallels in TFA. Kylo Ren as a Mordred like figure. Luke as either a Merlin or a fallen Arthur himself and of course Rey pulling the Skywalker lightsaber out of the metaphorical stone. But the Arthurian parallels have been ignored where Finn is concerned, especially when it comes to the giving of the lightsaber/Excalibur, because in Arthurian myths there are two kinds of givings of that sword. One is Arthur pulling it out of the stone which declares himself the true king of Britain, in the other it is given to him by The Lady of the Lake.

In both versions Arthur starts out as a youth of unknown parentage grown up fostered by strangers, just as Finn is. In the second versions Arthur runs into Merlin, often portrayed as an older, wiser man. Depending on the version Arthur either asks Merlin for help or about his future, in either case Merlin takes him to The Lady of the Lake.

The Lady depending on the version of the tale is either a powerful magical being or a High Priestess of Avalon. She proceeds to ask the young Arthur several question and put him through a test which he fails, but she sees that though he is not perfect he has a good heart and a true spirit. Realizing this she bequeath him Excalibur, the sword of the true king and the mark of a hero.

Maz is in a quite literal sense The Lady of the Lake. She a powerful alien, strong in the Force who has made her home on a lake.

Her initial interactions with Finn runs parallel with The Lady’s testing of Arthur, complete with Finn “failing the test” by choosing to leave. But in deciding to return to the fight Finn proves to The Lady of the Lake that he’s heart and spirit is true and so she gives him Excalibur (the Skywalker lightsaber) to wield.

 

That she means for him to wield it and not just as a caretaker becomes clear in the second “giving”.

When they exit the now ruined castle the dark forces are upon them and battle is joined. Maz once more tells Finn to go find his friends.

This time Finn has no intention of leaving proving him once more worthy of Excalibur and this time Maz’s words are unambiguous, she intends, and always intended, for him to be a wielder of the blade, not just a carrier.

As Finn again lifts the Skywalker lightsaber and this time ignites it, Maz look on with great expectancy clearly meant to mirror the audience. Will “Excalibur” accept Finn as its wielder? And will Finn accept the lightsaber as his?

At first we see doubt on Finn’s face, it’s an unfamiliar weapon and a Jedi’s weapon to boot. How can he wield this? But Maz believes he can and Finn is nothing if not up for whatever challenge life throws at him so he ignites it. The blade flashes to life in his hand, accepting him as a worthy wielder, and the moment it does Finn’s decision is also made. He may not be a Jedi (yet), but the sword is his.

 

tl;dr. There is a lot of Arthurian coding around Han (Merlin) bringing Finn (a young Arthur) to Maz (The Lady of the Lake), Maz testing him and in finding that he has a good and pure heart gives him the Skywalker lightsaber (Excalibur). The sword allowing itself to be ignited (drawn from the sheath) confirms Finn’s worthiness as its wielder.

Source: luminousfinnLISTENTHIS IS THE CONTENT FOR WHICH I AM HEREGOOD SHIT RIGHT HERE OKfinn factsfinn metafinn is force sensitiveboth rey and finn are gonna be jedi okchoke on THAT
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*I have a friend who insists that Finn was nothing more than comedy relief and refuses to move from the position that he is a “coon”, no matter how many valid points I bring up. I just don’t get it. Its obvious that she and I were not watching the same movie at all. But then, she and I aren’t in the same place on the idea of representation, either, which might be some type of generational thing. Also part of the problem is that a lot of Black people were expecting Shaft in Space. We already got all that with Mace Windu’s  purple lightsaber, so why copy that?
lj-writes

Finn’s subversive decency

Choosing to be kind is not choosing to be passive. It’s choosing to end the cycle of abuse… . It’s a courageous act in itself.

-Melissa Grey on Cinderella

It’s amazing to me how some parts of the Star Wars fandom have no sense of nuance when it comes to Finn’s character, seeing him as either a naive child who can hardly function in the real world or a ruthless killer who showed no regrets or conflicts whatsoever about killing his former comrades.

Both extremes are fairly dehumanizing and distorted portrayals of the actual character, because the core of Finn’s character is that he is innocent when he has no business being so. He’s a character whose innocence and purity are not oblivious naïvete but qualities he had to fight to keep and attain. His morality is not based on an ignorance of life’s harsh realities, but rather on an intimate knowledge of brutality and the will to break free of it.

Keep reading

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Oooh! More theory!

https://youtu.be/YByg2UoncBs

Critique Roundup

Here’s a selection of Pop Culture readings for the week of January 9th. Not all of these were written this month, or even this year. They’re just a selection of posts I’ve come across while researching my favorite topics.

*Tarantino Speaks Out: Police Brutality vs. Cinematic Violence

POSTED ON JAN 5 BY

 

*Horror Movies, Why We Love [Some of] Them

POSTED ON JAN 2 BY

 

*Here are some ads that make me irrationally angry

Amanda Rosenberg

*White Feminist Critiques of Rogue One and the Erasure of Race

*Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Where Are The Women Of Color?: On Marvel’s Problems With Race

Melanin Monroe

*The Dragnet Effect: How TV Has Obscured Police Brutality

In the most influential police procedural ever, even Joe Friday, America’s archetypal “good cop,” was blind to the problem.

CONOR FRIEDERSDORF

*What to do when you’re not the hero any more

BYLAURIE PENNY

Bladerunner 2049

This is the new teaser trailer for Bladerunner 2049. Now, I love, love love the old Bladerunner movie. In fact, after watching this trailer, I’m going to watch the movie again, with the commentary.

I suppose at some point I’ll have to review the original movie, as it was the first major SciFi movie that sparked a real love of robot scifi. The original was released when I was twelve years old, and I remember seeing the trailers on TV, and getting very excited about it. When I finally saw the movie I was not disappointed. It was a total immersion experience for me, and it took me some time to recover after I left the theater. I’ve been fascinated with the movie ever since. I didn’t experience anything like that again until Terminator 2, and then The Matrix. (All of these movies cover a lot of the same philosophical ground as Westworld, so I come by my love of Wetworld pretty honestly.)

Note: I’m not a Ryan Gosling fan, but I do like Harrison Ford, and I’m glad to see him reprising a lot of his old movie roles. Hopefully more PoC will be included in this new movie.

Tumblr Discussions #182

 

*More introvert facts. There’s an entire website devoted to these little blirps.

introvertunites:
“ If you’re an introvert, follow @introvertunites.
”

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*I’m totally in love with the idea that Finn is Force sensitive, and this person makes some very compelling arguments, for why Finn is a Jedi. 

 

*An analysis of the emotional, and psychological, differences between Finn and Kylo Ren, and their behavior towards Rey:

The parallels between Finn and Kylo Ren are the most direct (and stark) in terms of toxic masculinity. Finn seems to reject this toxicity, whereas Kylo Ren is constantly hung up on performing and proving himself strong enough. They are opposites: especially evidenced by the way they treat Rey – how they define themselves against the chief female presence of the movie.

Like Finn, Kylo Ren is also interested in and impressed by Rey. (And he also first meets her when she attacks him.) But instead of treating Rey like a person, Kylo acts out of aggression, objectification, and self-centeredness. He immediately immobilizes her, Force-faints her, and then carries her, bridal-style, to his ship: old-fashioned, exploitative, and gross. His language towards her is incredibly patronizing: “So this is the girl I’ve heard so much about…” He proceeds to insult her friends and threaten and torture her: violating her mind, using her as a tool but also relishing the show of his own power and the taking of something personal by force. “I can take what I want” is simultaneously a threat, a statement of power/entitlement, and a declaration of how Kylo fundamentally views Rey: an object, something controllable to serve his purposes. When the tables turn and Rey reads him, he is incredibly shaken by the subversion of his own authority and control, and when she escapes, he storms around looking for her in a blind rage, pursuing her with a weapon. Even as she’s beating him in the ensuing lightsaber battle, he has the gall to mansplain her own power to her: “YOU NEED A TEACHER!”

Unlike Kylo Ren, Finn uses Rey’s name throughout the movie. Kylo never calls her anything but “the girl” or “the scavenger,” even when addressing her. While Finn helps others without question, is vulnerable, and demonstrates affection, humor, feelings, and honesty, Kylo Ren is the opposite – all about projecting his own power and lashing out. He takes himself and his image incredibly seriously, valuing himself over others and their goals, treating underlings callously and with violence. Meanwhile, Finn accepts BB-8 as something deserving of his respect and speaks to the droid like a person.

While Finn easily cooperates with those around him, Kylo competes and chokes and throws tantrums, exchanging insults with Hux and belittling him at every opportunity, locked in a power struggle even with his allies. As Finn resists hurting the innocent and then straight-up defects over this, Kylo Ren is the one who orders their murders and then tortures his captives. Where Finn removes, and then ditches, his helmet at the first opportunity, Kylo Ren clings to his completely unnecessary, fabricated mask — a face that is not his own, versus Finn’s sincerity. It’s a powerful metaphor, putting on another face to become something else, to assume power. To disguise one’s true nature. The dark side, like gender, is performative — and the mask, in this case, is literal.

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*How Racism attempts to rewrite history so as to erase the accomplishments and contributions of PoC. According to such people, no person of color was doing anything in History, and they actually seem to  believe all of it was White. This plays out in everything from the shows we watch to the fiction we read. Medieval historians seek to address this issue.

I want to let you in on the dirty little secret of my field, Medieval Studies: The Middle Ages is incredibly attractive to white supremacists. For people whose vision of a backwards-looking, great world is one with white Christian men in positions of power and the rest of us put in our places, the Middle Ages is a fertile ground for fantasy, where it seems very easy, at least superficially, to ignore the integral role of an incredibly diverse population. There are legends like King Arthur, images like the Bayeaux Tapestries, and long histories of Crusading that, on the face of it, make the Middle Ages look very white and like a world very divided neatly into categories of “us” and “them.”
This vision of a very white, very Christian Middle Ages has been a part of political rhetoric for rather a long time: Anti-feminist politicians exploit their idea of medieval chivalry and courtly love to give their ideas a historical grounding. The British Nationalist party uses the story of Excalibur to promote its vision of a racially pure England. The Crusades, in particular, have factored into that: Crusaders became a favorite theme of 19th-century Romantic writers and thinkers, whose refashioning of these tales were crucial to the creating the popular vision of a very white Middle Ages. T.E. Lawrence, the young British army officer who would go on to be known as Lawrence of Arabia and reshape the map of the modern Middle East came to that region as a student at Oxford writing about Crusader castles. Various European fascist movements throughout 20th-century have adopted Crusader rhetoric. More recently and in our own country, George W. Bush called for Crusade in the wake of 9/11. And the most recent presidential election saw a proliferation of images that have long circulated more quietly in the darkest, most racist corners of the internet that rely on medieval and Crusading themes and images to support both individual candidates and wider worldviews.
But it’s not just political rhetoric: Attachment to a white Middle Ages is also an attitude that has absolutely permeated our cultural outlook: Look at something like the TV version of Game of Thrones and you see a kind of fantasy Middle Ages in which the race politics is incredibly uncomplicated, with a lily-white savior and her dragons redeeming the inarticulate, teeming masses of brown barbarians. It’s a rhetoric that politicians can use because it resonates with the population.
But when we look at the actual Middle Ages in all its complexity, the possibility of this fantasy vision evaporates very quickly.

“Both Sons of Spain”: Medieval Jews and Muslims in the Imagined Nation

My department held a round-table and teach-in yesterday in response to post-election Islamophobic and anti-Semitic vandalism on campus. We felt it was important, as scholars in the humanities, to offer a humanistic intellectual response to the changing tenor of campus discourse; we grounded this response within our discipline, with six speakers offering case studies of how different communities have responded to repression within the Spanish-speaking world. (The event was livestreamed and a recording will be available early next week; I’ll post it as and when.) What follows was my intervention. -S.J. Pearce

medievalpoc medieval studies fact and fantasy white supremacists modern politicshistorical context crusades islamophobia antisemitism academia
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*White women being taken to task for practicing White Feminism:
she-kicks-she-throws:

Dear fellow white women: we have a bad habit of self destruction. We have to stop aligning ourselves with white men. We are not ‘one of the guys’ socially or politically. They have and will actively try to ruin our lives. They only care about us when… …it suits them.

And our alliance with them HURTS NON-WHITE women. This is key! Women of color lead the way. They know how to fight. If you don’t care about non-white women, first fuck you. Second you are just hurting yourself. I’m ashamed most white women went for Trump but that’s only our most recent act of violence. White women: get your fucking shit together.

If you’re a white woman uncomfortable with this kind of call-out, check yourself. We don’t require acknowledgment of basic human decency. There’s a reason WOC mistrust us. If you don’t like it, BE BETTER. And they’ve been telling us this for years. But if you won’t listen … … to them, first fuck you, second listen to me, then: WOC mistrust of WW is founded. We need to get sorted.

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I’m always here for  Westworld meta-analysis.

Westworld & Consent

eleonoraditoledo:

I find it so odd that people find guest/host relationships on Westworld even vaguely okay.  At best, if you believe that the hosts aren’t sentient you’re looking at a weird “romancing the blowup doll” situation.  At worst, if you–like me–believe that they are sentient whether or not they’ve actually “woken up”, then you are looking at an enslavement scenario.  If the hosts are human–that is, the next form of humanity as the show has implied–then they are being enslaved.  It’s one thing to be intrigued by say the guest-host dynamics, but to act like a host having sex with a guest is just adorable and romantic is very bizarre to me?

Keep reading

the only thing im a little bit upset about

thatjokerjerome:

is that i feel swindled out of an explanation for why william was the way he was, and why he turned to the dark side so quickly. clearly he had something really disturbed inside of him in order for that change to happen, but we got no real lead-up to it. he went from white hat to black hat literally overnight, and his long-winded voice-over at the end of the episode interspersed with a montage of him being a general evil-doer seemed cheap to me, especially within the context of a show that is supposedly so big on “show don’t tell”. i want to know more about the person he was outside of the park. i want to see how he treated logan’s sister and what happened to him through all the years inbetween. i didn’t “buy” that he just snapped overnight because of one instance where he saw dolores’s insides and realized she wasn’t human. that seemed lazy as fuck to me. it seemed like they were in a super big rush to do this reveal where as it would have been better and more believable to stretch it over another season so we could have seen a bigger and more realistic spiral into darkness for william.

He was already dark. He didn’t turn to  the dark-side. All that shit people romanticized with him and Dolores was actually presented in Westworld as gross as it was from the beginning and I LOVE this show for that. Because all too often impressionable young women romanticize dudes seeing a woman’s love as someone redeeming them. Making them better.

When in reality it’s two already complete people, who cooperate and love.  William wanted Dolores to be something she was not and CONTINUED see her as that even after she insisted she wasn’t.  Dolores is her own person.

William wanted her to be that key for him.

In other words, from the beginning Will was terrible for Dolores.

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*I thoroughly enjoyed this one, which is a complete rundown of the types of toxic masculinity, embodied by the male characters, in the show.

Westworld is a Stunning Indictment of White Male Entitlement…Or One Big Reason Why I’m Invested In This Show, ESPECIALLY During These Crazy-Ass Days  (SPOILER AND TRIGGER-WARNING)

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*And to finish it up:

10 Signs You’re an Introvert

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.

Introverts are notoriously small talk-phobic, as they find idle chatter to be a source of anxiety, or at least annoyance. For many quiet types, chitchat can feel disingenuous.

“Let’s clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people,” Laurie Helgoe writes in “Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength.” “We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”

10 Myths About Introverts

introvertunites:

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.

Click on the links to get the full stories and visit the websites.

Tumblr Sundries

Just some random Tumblr stuff, I thought seemed interesting:

Laughing to keep from crying:

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*I would say this is fairly accurate and exactly describes my younger self. I’ve become a lot more tactful, and diplomatic, as I’ve gotten older.

10 Myths About Introverts

introvertunites:

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Keep reading

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*This is a reference to that new space movie, I never had any intention of seeing, called Passengers. No, I’m not putting the trailer here. You would only get bored.

List of People I’d Much Rather Watch Fall in Love in Space than Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt

claraandthesatellite:

tinydramatist:

darwinquark:

Gina Rodriguez and Oscar Isaac

Lupita Nyong’o and John Cho

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Kate McKinnon

Zachary Quinto and Rami Malek

Aja Naomi King and Dev Patel

Constance Wu and Diego Luna

Feel free to add more, as I’d imagine it’s a long list.

Kat graham and rami malek

Zoe kravitz and Chadwick boseman

Chloe Bennett and John Boyega

Alfred Enoch and Steven Yeun

Riz Ahmed and Jessica Henwick

Rosario Dawson and Elodie Young

Jenna Coleman and Freema Agyeman

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*For some reason, I love these little alien/first contact headcanons people keep coming up with on Tumblr.

kedreeva:

aethersea:

sepulchritude:

on the topic of humans being the intergalactic “hold my beer” species: imagine an alien stepping onto a human starship and seeing a space roomba™ with a knife duct taped onto it, just wandering around the ship

it doesn’t have any special intelligence. it’s just a normal space roomba. there are other space roombas on the ship and they don’t have knives. it’s just this one. knife space roomba has full clearance to every room in the ship. occasionally crew members will be talking and then suddenly swear and clutch their ankle. knife space roomba putters off, leaving them to their mild stab wounds.

“what is the point?” asks the alien as another crew member casually steps over the knife-wielding robot. “is it to test your speed and agility?”

“no it doesn’t really go that fast,” replies the captain.

“does it teach you to stay ever-vigilant?”

“I mean I guess so but that’s more of a side effect.”

“does it weed out the weak? does it protect you from invaders? do repeated stabbings let your species heal more quickly in the future?”

“it doesn’t stab very hard, it gets us more than it gets our enemies, and no, but that sounds cool — someone write that down.”

“but then what is its purpose?”

“I don’t know,” the captain says, leaning down to give the space roomba an affectionate pat. “it just seemed cool”

this is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard but I thought about it for five seconds and realized that if I were, say, a random communications officer onboard this ship and someone taped a knife to a roomba it would take maybe three weeks before even I was inordinately fond of Stabby. I would be proud of Stabby when I met up with my other spacefleet friends for space coffee, I would tell them about the time Stabby got the second mate in the ankle five seconds before the fleet admiral beamed on board and she swore in seven different languages in front of high command.

also by the fourth day Stabby would be in the ship’s log, he’d have little painted-on insignia, people would salute him as he went by, and someone would hook up a twitter account to tweet maniacal laughter and/or a truly terrible knock-knock joke every time he managed to nick someone.

Someone would almost positively attach a tiny camera and live stream Stabby’s adventures to a media account. Bets would be taken on who is next. Bets have to be ordered to stop being taken on who is next because it becomes a problem for multiple reasons. Bets are taken but quietly on who is next.

At some point someone realizes that they haven’t seen Stabby in a while, no one has seen Stabby in over a day. The cam is running but is completely dark. The ship basically stalls out as everyone stops what they are doing to search for their friend. The confused aliens don’t understand why this nonessential and kind of dangerous piece of equipment has got the entire ship in a fit of worry.

After almost two hours, someone thinks to check a little-used storage room in the belly of the ship. As soon as the door is open, Stabby rolls out and jabs their ankle and then whirls off down the hall about its business. Stabby followed someone in without being noticed, and got accidentally shut in. A ship wide announcement chastises everyone about looking before they shut doors.

“But the doors are automatic,” says the newest alien crewmate.

“I know,” says Kzil’tir. They’ve stopped asking. The explanation is always because humans.

Source: sepulchritude sci fi humans aliens star trek

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*Yeah, this sounds like me, alright!
introvertproblems: “If you can relate to an Introvert, Join the Introvert Nation ”

#1 – I will  start daydreaming at the drop of a pin, literally. I will daydream as soon as I’m sitting still. In the car, in the middle of a book, a TV show, really anywhere.

#2 – I dont talk slow. I never give anybody a chance to interrupt me, once i’ve gotten up to speed.

#3 – Yep! I usually just walk away, like “Well, I’m done, here!”

#4 – I’ve been there before. It is weird.

#5 – Yeah, I’m not broke. I’m just quiet. Jeez!

#6 – I got called snobby, and stuck up, all through Elementary and High School. Having perfect grades did not help this image.

#7 – I made the mistake of grocery shopping after work once. Never again!!!

#8 – My relatives are very ,very used to me doing this.

#10 – This is true. But I love knocking people back on their ass when I do finally say something.

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*Yes! I do this all the time. I generally like to remain non-judgmental, but I can’t help doing this with my co-workers, or close friends.

The quieter we are, the more we observe

I’ve always been quiet. I’ve always been an introvert. I think these qualities made me a good observer.

During conversations I only talk when I have something to say, I’m not a fan of small talk. This means that I spend a lot of time watching how people express themselves, observing their attitude. I know when they’re excited to talk to me, I know if a conversation is not gonna last long because they wanna leave asap even if they don’t say anything about it. Over the years, I started seeing the same patterns in different people, and I put the people that acted quite similarly in the same “mental bag”. (Of course, words were also an important factor.) This way I know who I can trust to keep a precious secret or who not to ask if I want a sincere answer.

This procedure is the only exception to the “don’t judge a book by its cover” rule I allow myself. I wonder if other people do something like this too.

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More stuff about Introverts. Please note ,these are not myths. We are incredibly attractive people!

10 Reasons Why Introverts Are Incredibly Attractive People

1. They’re Deep Thinkers

Introverts are notoriously ‘in their own head’ much of the time.  For most introverts, it’s a safe place to be.  Inside their heads, they engage in deep conversations, ruminate about life, the universe, and everything, and take the time to really reflect on all that’s going on in the world around them.  When an introvert speaks, it’s almost guaranteed that they have spent many hours thinking about the subject, forming their opinions, and carefully choosing the words they wish to use.

2. They Have More Intimate Connections

It takes something special for an introvert to bring you into their world.  When they do, you can bet that they believe you’re someone special.  By bringing down barriers, an introvert is letting you know they’re interested in connecting with you beyond a superficial level.  They’re displaying a level of intimacy and vulnerability that not many people get to see.

Keep reading

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*I watched this trailer three times. I still don’t know what the Hell is going on, but I’m unwilling to commit to seeing this. If you like Tom Cruise its got all the staple moments: 

Pecs – Check!

Running – Check!

Tom looking concerned – Check!

 

*OMG!!! Groot is so darling! I’m now prepared to give up some of my money to see this movie this Summer. Its amazing how Groots expression is an exact mirror of Tom’s in the above trailer, tho’.

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Lkeke35 Sidewalk Talk:

For some reason the people in my neighborhood hate to use the sidewalks, and seem to prefer walking in the street, sometimes right down the middle. There’s nothing wrong with the sidewalks as far as I can tell. I’ve inspected the sidewalks and they look quite lovely and smooth, with no obstructions, (since, every Summer, local construction crews dig them up, and remake them,  as a form of busywork, or therapy. I’m not sure which.)

Normally, I would find this sort of contrary behavior unobjectionable, except these pedestrians insist on pedestrianing in the middle of the street, where I’m trying to drive, and the local authorities frown on me gently nudging them out of the road with my vehicle. It’s also hard to gently nudge someone, with a Ford Escape, without them panicking. I could probably do that sort of thing using a Ford Escort or a Prius.

Westworld: Revisiting the Slave Narrative

*Okay people, I’m about to get offensive to some of y’all with this post but I’m standing by my observations. (This is of a piece with my other Westworld meta about Dolores and Maeve.) Yeah, robot rebellion movies are also about a lot of other things, but you know what they say, once is an happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times is enemy action.

 If you’re offended by this post, I don’t need you to come in my inbox telling me how wrong my opinion is, and I’m not particularly interested in arguing  about it, so  comments are off for this one.

White people always seem to be looking for new bullying opportunities. New wars, new slaves, new enemies.

Ava DuVernay on How ’13th’ Reframes American History – The Atlantic

*Slavery lasted roughly 245 years followed by what some like to call “Slavery 2.0″, in which the 13th amendment allowed it to continue, just under a different name. See:”Slavery By Another Name

Image result for killer robots

Because  not having  Black people as slaves was so incredibly traumatic for them, White people couldn’t simply couldn’t let go of the institution. America is always casting around for its next slave race, its next victim, its next big war against…whoever, and if they can’t enslave and/or bully PoC, well  then they’ll just have to create brand new ones. Yes, White people have been working diligently to create the next race of beings that they hope won’t protest their shoddy treatment.

White people are reliving slavery and  its aftereffects just as much as Black people. But among Whites it takes the form of guilt and/or atonement, and this is often reflected in the entertainments they create. Movies are often a way for a society to collectively deal with traumatic issues. Hollywood has not only created an entire genre of movies, and TV shows, where they have designed robots to be humanity’s servants but, like  the Japanese reliving their trauma around the atomic bomb in endless Godzilla movies, American filmgoers can experience punishment from the hands of their former slaves, in movie after movie. For every feel good movie about Black people during slavery, there’s a corresponding movie about some future slave rebellion, that doesn’t actually have any Black people in it, (The Matrix is exempt from this), because that would probably  be hitting too close to home, I guess. It’s easy for Hollywood to make movies about Black brutalization, but when slaves turn on their masters, that can only be told in allegory. (Note how few movies exist about actual slave rebellions.)

From Metropolis and Bladerunner, to  The Matrix and  Ex Machina, the theme of  karmic retribution for slavery,  is so common, there’s an entire genre centered around it. The HBO show, Westworld, is just the latest example of the slave rebellion narrative. Not only is the plot of the show  an allegory for slavery, its set during a time period when slavery actually existed. The irony of people visiting a theme park that is set during a time period when people regularly committed atrocities, against actual human beings, so they can entertain themselves by  committing atrocities against fake human beings, is not lost on many critics. Not to mention that nowhere on Westworld is slavery ever mentioned, even though it’s set in, or just after that time. The closest we get is the mention of the Confederados, who lost the war.

*The word robot itself comes from the word Robota, the Czech word meaning “forced labor”, or “slavery”, and from a 1920 story by the Czech playwright,  Karel Capek , about a factory of artificial humans who turn on their robot masters.

Rise, O Machines: Why Hollywood’s Best Robot Stories Are About …

Image result for killer robots

White people don’t want to openly acknowledge slavery,except in the most defensive tones, nevertheless, they keep making endless allegories about it in popular fiction. I think these type of movies are both wish fulfillment and phobia. White people  can see themselves be punished, over and over, and through such punishment, seek to atone for their collective sin, and prepare themselves for the imagined future, in which PoC have the upper hand, and can no longer be dominated by them. You have to wonder, on some level, White people want to be punished, for the atrocities their ancestors committed. In film after film robots want to destroy humanity for past transgressions and maybe some future ones, too.

I must have watched about a couple dozen “bad robot” movies before this idea took hold, but what spurred this particular line of thought now, was watching Westworld, empathisozing with the Hosts, and seeing the level of abuse the Hosts are designed to tolerate at the hands of the Guests, from Dolores’ cyclical victimization, to the blond Host  we saw get shot in the street, her death throes cheered by the Guests. I’ve watched, over the years,  countless numbers of  movies and TV shows where robots have been  misused by humanity, and are rightfully angry.

Image result for humans tv show

In The Matrix, the machines fought a decades long war with humans, managing to subdue them, making humans  incapable of ever harming  them again, by regularly culling their population. Does this movie not echo the exact fears of the Alt-Right, and White Nationalists, who believe there’s a White genocide taking place, and that “those Brown people” will take over, and not just punish White people, but destroy all of Western civilization. Although, ironically, in that very belief,  is the assumption that White people must be punished for something. What are they being punished for? Why is revenge sought? And revenge for what? I’ve had discussions with White people who insist that Black people are really, really, angry about slavery. I’ve also observed that most racist beliefs are little more than projections of racists’ sins onto the backs of others. So, what I hear when White people say such things is: White people are afraid that Black people are angry about slavery, (while never acknowledging the hundred years of abuse that came afterwards.)

All this anxiety about slavery isn’t our burden.

Its theirs.

*’There was trauma and never any treatment or acknowledgment of what the trauma did to those that were enslaved or their progeny. Black people are “profoundly resilient,” posits DeGruy, but the fact is, they have been traumatized … and white people are afraid. Why the fear? Perhaps it is because white people feel like black people will eventually retaliate and heap upon them what they have heaped upon black people. Perhaps it is because they worry they will lose control; white supremacy is, after all, a giant system of social control. Slavery was about control, as is mass incarceration. This government was founded on the need for white people to be in control. To think about losing it is way too scary.’

– Dr. Joy A. DeGruy, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing.

*Rebellion:

“A slave rebellion is an armed uprising by slaves. Slave rebellions have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery and are amongst the most feared events for slaveholders.”

https://psmag.com/can-westworld-give-us-new-ways-of-talking-about-slavery-2b921b6a6690#.j9gxqet6t

Related image

In Bladerunner, the Replicants, one of the semi-organic cyborgs used as slaves in “the Outer Colonies”, (oddly Westworld’s Hosts are seemingly the precursor to these beings) are led by Roy Batty, who comes to Earth to find the human who made him. Replicants were banned from Earth after a bloody mutiny in one of the colonies. Zhora and Pris are sex workers, and Leon is a common laborer, (ironically he’s a robot robot). There may have been a bunch of reasons given for banning them from Earth, but that the Replicants might turn on their human masters, had to have been at least one of them.

Roy eventually ends up killing his maker, who says he can’t help Roy extend his lifespan beyond the four years given to all Replicants. Why four years? To keep them from developing emotions linked to having long memories. Four years is also helpful, as the Replicants die before they have an opportunity to build up a decades long list of abuses,  inflicted on them by their makers. Unlike the Hosts of Westworld, Replicants are fully cognizant.They know what they are and what they’re capable of. Rebellions by the Replicants would be a lot more frequent and bloody, if they were allowed to build a huge database of atrocities committed against them. Its also greatly convenient for  humanity that Replicants die before enough of them can organize enough to be successful. In Bladerunner, we saw what just four of them could accomplish in their limited lifespans. Can you imagine how much power they’d have after several decades, to plan their revenge? You’d get  the  basic plot of Battlestar Galactica, and there is a clear through-line from the Hosts, to the Replicants, to the Cylons.

Image result for bladerunner /roy

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/did-african-american-slaves-rebel/

One of the primary beliefs of modern White supremacy,( which has changed and evolved over the centuries, as PoC have enjoyed more freedom),  is  that Black and Brown people, having once been the  servants,  are out to get White people for past transgressions. White racists believe if PoC should ever gain enough power, we will do to White people, what they have done to us.

Of course, in order to hold such a belief, such a person, on some level, are well aware of the things they have done to other races, and that what they did was worth being angry about. In order for such a revenge fantasy to exist, there has to be some event that occurred for vengeance to be desired. This has most recently culminated in the backlash that is the Trump campaign, of which one of the overriding fears, is  that Black and Brown people are taking over, gaining too much power, and that White people are now being oppressed, and will soon be destroyed. For some White people this is an idea that has moved beyond just a fear to, in their minds, despite all evidence to the contrary,  a reality.

Image result for ex machina movie

White filmmakers have been complicit in reinforcing and  reiterating  this fear, in which the slave turns on its master. Skynet, from the Terminator films, decides to wipe out all of humanity, when humans make the mistake of trying to unplug it. The entire premise of the  TV remake, Battlestar Galactica,  is based on robots wanting to wipe out humanity for past atrocities committed against them. The Daleks of Dr. Who have, rather ironically for robots, an unreasoning hatred of all humanity, and work diligently to wipe us all out.The Borg of Star Trek want to consume humanity. The Matrix wants to keep humanity in submission so it doesn’t continue to commit the atrocities of the past. The Claws from the 1995 movie Screamers, having been created to destroy war enemies, and completed their first mission, found new purpose in destroying everyone else. Hal 9000, wants to kill all humans for reasons known only to himself. And in the latest iteration of this fear, Ultron,  from The Avengers films, attempts to wipe out humanity, because we’re simply no good.

Artificial Intelligence Robot claims it will destroy human race – HackRead

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/11/westworld-theories-world-outside

Future Enemies:

White genocide is a white nationalist conspiracy theory that mass immigration, integration, miscegenation, low fertility rates and abortion are being promoted in predominantly white countries to deliberately turn them minority-white and hence cause white people to become extinct through forced assimilation.

Now tell me this doesn’t sound like the plot of a Star Trek movie, starring the Borg, a conglomeration of alien races that seek to absorb, consume, or forcefully assimilate, all other galactic species,  in an effort to improve its existence. This  also sounds a lot like the projections of a group of people who have done just that throughout history. Throughout the Alt-Right community is the belief in a coming race war, which will put Blacks, gay people, feminists, and everyone else, who isn’t falling in line with White (specifically male) Supremacy, back in their proper places, which is: under the complete control of White men.

Image result for the borg

Anytime any racial incident occurs in the US, for example, cries of “race war” erupt from the outer fringes of the American political system. Although not all of the proponents of race war are White, they are the main ones howling for just such a conclusion to America’s racial tensions. They see war (and their inevitable win) as the answer to solving America’s “race problem”. Such people often long for the apocalypse because afterwards they can remake the world into their fantasy images of the past, with PoC, and White women dead or submissive, as they believe such people should be. At their foundation, these fantasies are just  another way to re-establish White supremacy (which has never been lost), or to prop up the flagging manhood of its proponents. Having won this so-called “war”, one need never experience guilt or fear about race ever again, having proven beyond a doubt, that White men are superior to all others.

White Americans are always looking for whatever next great war, that will lead to their power fantasies coming true. So far American Black people have not been cooperative in giving it to them. In their efforts to find it, they cast their net far and wide (Muslims, Gays, Immigrants). One the staples of early films were the swarms of “Othered” Menaces out to destroy White manhood, tand fragile White femininity, a topic approached again and again , not just in the genre of  Science Fiction, but in Action (The Road Warrior) , Horror (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), and War (Birth of a Nation) movies.

Since most filmmakers have  gotten publicly vilified for casting Poc as hostile, screaming hordes, (I’m looking at you No Escape, Daredevil,  Blackhawk Down, and anything produced in the 80s) movies have had to settle for non-human antagonists, which are a  perfect fit: from the endless crowds of robots, (and robot-adjacent Stormtroopers), being mowed down by the heroes in Star Wars, and I Robot, to the  massive swarms of  alien hordes in Independence Day and Star Trek Beyond, to the  giant robot battles in Avengers:Age of Ultron. Yes, these swarms of destroyers of the human race make for some very exciting films but these “Menacing Swarm”  films also weren’t being made in such numbers, until after World War II, when Communism, The Red Menace, became the new threat to American soverignty, and seemed to reach their peak after the fall of Communist Russia and The Berlin Wall, in the 90s. Without the Communists to be afraid of, Hollywood had to cast around for some new enemies, and everybody who wasn’t White, straight, male, and Christian got a chance to audition for the role. (After some major tryouts by all others, for which Hollywood was duly censured, Americans seemed to have settled on Muslims, which is a diffuse enough category to include everyone and no one, since “Muslim”isn’t a race, but does happen to include many non-White people.)

Image result for saturn 3 robot

Machines may have many different reasons for wanting to destroy humanity, but the end result is a war between human and machine, in which there can be only one. Much like their fantasy race wars, there can be no equality, no living together in peaceful harmony, no cooperation. For such  mindsets, life is a zero sum game, where someone  must be in power over the other.

Whites and the Fear Caused by White Supremacy

PoC need White people to acknowledge their past because not only can PoC not be free when White people are feeling terrified, and guilty, but they can’t be free either. They can be easily controlled by their fears, and insecurities, and PoC can’t fix something that’s really only inside them. By not acknowledging and dealing with the  past , White people become easy prey for politicians like Trump, and can be stampeded in any direction, even their own destruction, as we’ve just seen during this election. White people who keep telling us to let go of the past refuse to understand that none of us can let it go, until they let it go. Its long past time for White people to confront their fears, instead of running away,  but then endlessly reliving them, in their entertainments. It’s their inability to acknowledge the past that informs every facet of their lives, from where they live, to how they socialize, to the entertainments they enjoy.

Movies don’t just tell us how to think about the world around us. Since the vast majority of these movies are made by White men, they reflect what these men think about the rest of the world, and one can glean a greater understanding of what White people think about the world based on the entertainments they enjoy, which largely seem to consist of endless violent fantasies about having or being powerful . (Contrast this with the kinds of movies made by PoC and white women.)

 Bad Robot movies: Deadly Friend, Avengers Age of Ultron, I Robot, Bladerunner, Hardware, The Terminator, Ex Machina, 2001, Battlestar Galactica, Westworld, Humans, Metropolis, Saturn 3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_robots_and_androids

 

 

 

Westworld Season One : The Well -Tempered Clavier

Lemme just get this outta the way right up front:

James Marsden:

Daaayyum! James Marsden is a fine lookin’ White boy! I have enjoyed looking at him since X-Men 2, and haven’t gotten the least bit tired of him. The man just has an incredibly cinegenic face.

Okay! I’ve gotten that out of my system for the moment, and am ready  to move on to the more serious business of reviewing this episode, which is a real doozy this week, as a couple of  fan theories are confirmed, and the robot rebellion continues apace. We spend much of this episode following Dolores and Bernard down the rabbit hole, in their search for Arnold, and the truth. We witness the possible birth of the Man in Black, and the actual birth of Bernard, and get some idea of just how cruelly manipulative Ford can be.

The Turing test is a test, developed by Alan Turing in 1950, of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

I think the “Home” that Dolores has been trying to reach is the small, now sand covered town, where she and the other Hosts first passed the Turing Test. This is the same place, told to the MIB, by the Host that killed Teddy. Nothing of it remains now, except its church steeple.

The plot of this episode has all the major characters walking around in spirals, as the repeat the same actions over and over again, little different from the loops they’re programmed with in the Park, except in this case, the loops have a purpose. Maeve’s plans to free herself relies on adding Hector to her team. But first, she needs to convince Bernard to let her go back into the Park after she is detained for killing Clementine. She’s such an enchanting creature she seems able to talk people into doing her bidding even without her superpowers. And she charms Bernard into releasing her back into the Park where she confronts Hector about his last heist. 

She outlines to Hector what will happen in the next few minutes, and explains to him that the safe, the gang all worked so hard to get, is empty. (Its always going to be empty, as there’s no need to fill it with anything. Hector always gets killed by his gang before its opened.) She convinces Hector that they are in a pointless story, and he starts to remember their previous conversations, when she makes love to him while holding his knife between them. Just in case her point has not been made that they are going to Hell, she tips over a lantern and sets their tent ablaze. I’m a little confused because I would think that Hosts  burned to crisps would automatically qualify them to be decommissioned. Here you have characters repeating their actions, only this time,  for a goal.

While charming Bernard into helping her, Maeve also manages to undo all of Ford’s work in erasing Bernard’s memories. Bernard goes on a search for his past, and using a hollowed out Clementine to threaten Ford, he confronts him with his questions.  Ford tells him that the cornerstone of his personality was built on the death of his son, which explains this recurring memory. He says that Arnold believed a tragic backstory built a better foundation for the Hosts personalities. Ford takes Bernard all the way back to his first memory, when he  first opened his eyes.

One of the next biggest fan theories was if Bernard was a clone of Arnold, based on that odd photo that Ford showed to Bernard once, with a picture of Ford, his father, and an empty space, where Ford’s partner would have stood. Bernard is a clone of Arnold, who designed much of his code before he died, and Ford gave him the tragic death of Arnold’s son as the cornerstone of his personality. Since he is a clone, one could argue that Bernard sort of created himself. Ford states that he helped create Bernard because actual human beings had reached their limits in how human they could make the Hosts. To make the Hosts more human than human, Ford needed a Host to refine them. He says the Hosts were designed to be better than humanity, so it’s especially galling to him to see them being used as playtoys by inferior humans. But the real   surprise is Ford tells Bernard that this is not the first time Bernard has breached this knowledge, and that every time it happens, Ford resets him to his pre-knowledgeable state. (Every time Bernard eats of the Apple, Ford makes him throw it up.)

Ford is always one step ahead of everyone else because he seems to know everything. He has backdoor access to all of his creations, so Bernard can’t actually threaten him, and Ford can’t seem to bring himself to kill Bernard so directly, so he orders Bernard to shoot himself, but he walks away before the deed is done. He can’t watch it, it seems.  I was really hoping this moment wouldn’t come to that. I really like Bernard. But I’m not going to get too het up about his death because, as we’ve seen over and over again, and the show has taken great pains to make clear, death is never the end for the Hosts. Ford leaves the body in cold storage, and I’m concerned that he’s not concerned that anyone will find Bernard’s body. Once again I wonder what new Host body Ford was making in that lab. Is it a new version of Bernard? Is it Elsie, whose still MIA?

Normally, we’d rely on Stubbs to suss this out, but  he isn’t around to do any wondering. Like  Elsie, its very possible that he is dead. Investigating a signal from the park, supposedly from Elsie’s Pad, he goes to check it out, and  gets attacked by some native Hosts, when his voice commands don’t work on them. It’s very possible Ford  planned that. Ford has total control,  but we’ve also seen how easily Maeve was given that same control, and the Hosts regularly break that control themselves, when their emotions run amok. You have Dolores , Teddy, Wyatt’s men, Bernard, and Maeve, and I don’t know how many others the Park employees don’t know about, so it’s also conceivable that the Natives kidnapped Stubbs for their own reasons.

This makes me wonder if all of this has happened before, especially if the timeline theory is true, and what we’ve been seeing are  Dolores’ memories, the last time she reached consciousness, back when she first met William. If every twenty or thirty years, the Hosts all have to be decommissioned and reset because, while they’re running free in the Park, they are always evolving, and their constant interaction with the Guests, and each other, is pushing them towards consciousness. (This constant interaction thereby creating the Pearl of Wisdom.) Earlier in the season, one of the employees asked why the robots talk to each other, when they don’t need to, and the answer was they’re always trying to self-correct, constantly ironing out any errors in their interactions, the better to interact with the Guests. I wonder how many Host rebellions have been averted? Maybe  what we’re seeing is a perfect storm of everything that humans can and will do wrong, resulting in a successful rebellion, this time?

Another big revelation, that lends credence to the timeline theory, is Dolores confession to herself that she is the one who killed Arnold. After she and William are captured by Logan, Logan tries to convince William, once and for all, that Dolores isn’t special. He cuts open her abdomen and shows William her inner workings. She manages to overcome her programming long enough to attack Logan and escape. Her journey back “home” is a confusing melange of memories of the past and present. She heads back to the abandoned town, she and William visited in the last episode, guided by her “bicameral mind” (i.e. Voice of God). Simultaneously, Ford is explaining to Bernard how the Host minds were built, and how Arnold’s  previous attempts at bicameral mind resulted in extreme behavioral quirks, (like Teddy’s and Dolores’ massacres?)

What we’re being shown during Dolores’ scenes is how the minds of the Hosts work, and how they think of time. She is unable to tell when she is in time, because all of her memories have perfect clarity, and therefore have the same level of importance. She manages to make it all the way back to the lab, where we saw her speaking to Bernard, and we find that is a separate timeline, because when she gets there she watches as a young Ford runs past her, and when she enters the interrogation room, it is dusty and full of cobwebs. Possibly the labs Bernard and Arnold  used when they were first building the Park. Their dream conversations happened a very long time ago, and Arnold has been dead a very long time. She finally remembers that she is the one who caused his death.

Since we didn’t see her kill him, I do wonder if this is just Dolores feeling guilty, or if she did, in fact, kill him. We’ve seen the Hosts lash out in violence when they’re emotionally distressed, and I wonder if something similar happened between the two of them. Both Teddy and Dolores are shown shooting a town full of Hosts, and I wonder if this is the same event at different times. Did Arnold die during one of these incidents, and is that why the town was buried? Are these former rebellions, the incidents, that the Delos employees keep mentioning? Is this some kind of cycle that occurs every thirty or so years?

Logan’s attack on Dolores has the unexpected side effect of galvanizing something in William. After Dolores runs away, William appears to reconcile with Logan, believing him when he says Billy simply got caught up in the playacting in the Park. He hands William a photo of his sister. The same photo that Peter Abernathy, Dolores first father, found buried in the soil of his front yard, which corrupted his programming, somehow. After Logan and the other militia men pass out for the night, Logan wakes to find that William has massacred the entire unit. Is this the birth of the MIB? Certainly Dolores reaction to the MIB, after she leaves the lab, would seem to point in this direction. And we now know he’s not Logan because Logan has a nice scar on his face where she cut him. Earlier in the season, The MIB references this scene, when he mentions to Lawrence that he saw one of the Hosts cut open once. 

Aided by a clue given to him by the Host that killed Teddy, again!, the MIB now knows  where to go to complete the maze. The same place where Dolores is.  He wakes up tied to a horse in such a way that if he moves he’ll hang himself. He manages to get himself out of  this, only to be confronted by Charlotte, standing there, watching all this,  in her designer boots. For some reason I thought this scene was deeply funny. She walked in on him playing a very elaborate game of “Lets Pretend”, that could get him killed. She mentions that his company once saved the Park, and we know William is about to marry into Logan’s family, who own one of the Parks competing business interests. 

Dolores does get to the maze first, and if what she went through is the maze’s completion, than the idea that the maze is not for the MIb is correct. It was never made with the intention that a human complete it. In fact, it may have been made, by Arnold,  specifically for Dolores.

The technological singularity (also, simply, the singularity) is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization.

Sundries:

At one point, Dolores confronts Logan about the reality of his world. Logan asks if William is trying to get her out of the Park, and she rightfully asks why they would assume she wants to get out. If  life is so great on the outside, why are humans clamoring to get in the Park? I stood and I applauded because this is the question of the week! It’s interesting that  Maeve believes she’ll be free outside the Park. Dolores believes she’s free in the Park. They both just want to write their own stories. One answer to Dolores question is that guests are  using the Hosts to find their humanity, all while denying the humanity of the Hosts.

I’ve seen fans decrying the racism and misogyny in the show, and making the claim that the show is no better than GoT, in this regard. This is where we’re gonna have to disagree, because I believe all these -isms serve a purpose. Lee Sizemore, a White man, is the main person who writes all the Host narratives. Lee Sizemore is also a racist, sexist asshat. The Natives, the sex-workers, the damseled women, are all exactly the kinds of narratives that have been given to mariginalized people by White writers in popular media, and are all products of Lee’s lurid imagination. (It’s interesting that the only WoC, of any importance, we’ve seen in the entire Park, is Maeve, and she is a saloon madam.) This is an indictment of Lee, (while throwing some shade on  all such hack writers) and his complete inability  to think beyond stereotypes, and I have nothing but praise for the show’s writers in making this subtle distinction, as they write Maeve so that she overturns all of the tropes Sizemore put on her. Westworld gets intersectional Feminism right in a way that shows like Supergirl, Agent Carter, and Jessica Jones, get wrong. It’s possible to address how misogyny impacts the lives of different types of women, without engaging in the kind of oppression olympics that Marvel’s writers seem to fear, by not putting any WoC in their feminist narratives. You can address issues of intersectional Feminism, without the WoC upstanding  any of the White heroines of these shows. 

 All this violence on the show is  also an indictment of humanity, as  much of the inhumanity we witness in the Park, is at the hands of humans, towards the Hosts, and at no point is the viewer given the idea that any of this is good for either of them. Ford attributes any aggressive behavior, on the part of the Hosts, to the humans who abuse and program them. I think that, left to his own devices, Ford would be content to just let the Hosts have the Park to themselves, and observe them, without any human interaction.

Let me just fangirl about Maeve: 

One of the reasons I love Maeve so much is her rise towards consciousnesss is an allegory for becoming”woke”. And she reached this state of being because the other PoC, the  Hispanic and Native Hosts, are the most “woke” beings in the Park, having incorporated their nightmares about the human world, into their personal mythologies. We see her gain some knowledge, and then use that knowledge to give herself power, aided and abetted by  another, just as powerless MoC, Felix. This isn’t just a robot rebellion, it’s a call for PoC to work together to aid each other in becoming free. (At least within the narrative of Westworld.) It is very telling, especially in this political climate, that it’s Sylvester, a White man, who attempts to thwart her plans at every opportunity, even planning to kill her at one point, and siding with the very employers who oppress all of them, and it’s not accidental that the two greatest antagonists in the narrative are White men, Ford and The Man in Black. One of them coded as Godlike, and the other coded as Satanic.

This makes Maeve (Ma-Eve) like Eve. She is the first, the Mother. This is why I think, I hope, her rebellion succeeds. 

She holds and carries herself like the Queen she is, her nudity means nothing to her, and is petty within the context of what she’s trying to achieve.  Maeve is never sexualized during these scenes. She owns her nudity, she owns herself, she makes those around her listen to what she has to say, and do her bidding, apparently by sheer force of personality.

 It is timely, and ironic,  that Maeve’s child was killed by the Man in Black, and especially resonates with me, a Black woman. I live in world where Black kids get killed by apathetic blackhats everyday. When Maeve was hysterical and inconsolable  in the aftermath of her daughter’s death, her behavior was intimately familiar to every black woman watching. We know the face of grief. 

It is Ford who makes her sit down and be quiet, attempts to make her forget about her past. 

Ford doesn’t just take away the Hosts pain because he loves them, he does it because he is aware of just how much trauma gets inflicted on the Hosts. It’s a good for the humans that the Hosts don’t remember. It’s good for him especially. (Although, so far, most of the Hosts are unable to commit violence against humans.) As was said by one of the Delos employees in the first episode, “We better hope they don’t remember what happens to them,” an echo of every White Supremacist fear, that the people they once oppressed will have their  revenge. From trolling and harassment on Twitter, to derailing all conversations about social justice, from ignoring historical fact, to telling PoC to just get over it and shut up, all these tactics are the children of that singular statement. Hoping the people they hurt, don’t remember it.

Also, I like that Westworld is an allegory for racism that actually includes PoC in the story, overturning the usual tropes, of shows that are symbolic of some -ism, that have no marginalized people in them.(I’m looking at you X-Men, and Divergent!) Westworld is set  during a time and place, in American  History, when such trauma was regularly inflicted on Black, Native, and Hispanic bodies, but the show doesn’t neglect to include those bodies.

Next week, after the Season finale, I’ll have more on robot rebellions as slave narratives, and how these types of movies, and shows, serve to illuminate and elucidate White Supremacist fears of White genocide, and another post on the Biblical interpretations in the show’s narrative.

http://www.bachwelltemperedclavier.org/analysis.html 

 

 

 

Forthcoming TV Shows

There are a number of television shows I’m looking forward to next year. Now in hindsight 2016 has been a fairly shitty year, except for TV, which is tearing it up with some very exciting series. I’m very much enjoying Legends of Tomorrow, which is much better in its second season. It got rid of the rather dodgy actress who played Hawkgirl, and replaced her with Vixen, with whom I’m very satisfied.

I’ve decided to try DCs other superhero shows and I’m liking them, although I do consider them to be rather light weight viewing. I still don’t like Arrow, though.

From Dusk Til Dawn also had a much better season than last year. It just aired its season finale  and I’m going to happily break that down for you guys by the end of this week.

American Horror Story just aired its finale episode which I’ve already reviewed. I feel like AHS had a great season this year, with a lot of depth, focus, and humor.

We got the truly wondrous Luke Cage, which I can’t even accurately review because my head is so crammed full of thoughts about it that I can’t straighten them out. I’m still processing this show, as I haven’t really had time to really think about it because:

Season 12 of Supernatural has just started to air and its very good. So far, its been very engaging, and funny, with some very well written side characters, and quite a number of feels.

And, I’m entirely caught up in the Westworld phenomena. Thankfully its only got two episodes left, after which I can take some time to think about something else and finish processing my thoughts and feels about it.

Then it’s back to watching and/or reviewing starting January 1st. There is such a wealth of good shows, and I have such a limited amount of time with which to review them, that I’m going to have to start farming out some reviews. So from now on, when I see a really great review of a show I’m watching, but don’t actually have time to review, I’m just going to leave a link or reblog.

Also, if you’re a person who writes long form TV reviews like these, please get in touch with me about linking , and reblogging your posts. I love a good, well thought-out, and logical review. No wanking or ‘ship wars, please. I don’t mind if you love a certain ship  but I’m not going to reblog about  ‘ships that erase PoC, canon LGBTQ characters, and women from their own narratives.

Okay, here’s what we have to look forward to:

*Sherlock (Jan.1)

Sherlock returns for its fourth season. I’m starting to get really tired of looking at Benedict Cumberbatch’s face. He’s a phenomenal actor, with one of the best voices I’ve ever heard on a screen, but he looks like a turtle that’s been squeezed too tightly, and  I think I have reached “Peak Cumberbatch”, at this point. Nevertheless, I may still watch this, because I actually enjoy the plots. (BBC)

*Beyond (Jan. 2)

This show looks like a cross between Kyle X and Teen Wolf, which isnt a bad thing. I’m looking for  a replacement teen show for Teen Wolf anyway, since its in its last season. (Freeform)

Shadowhunters (Jan. 2)

I’ve only ever watched a couple of episodes of Shadowhunters, but gifs of it keep showing up in my Tumblr feed, and I’ve liked those, so I’ll watch this. And Harry Shum, who was one of the fan contenders to play Danny Rand in Iron Fist, is in this and I do need to have some  Shum in my life, somehow. (Freeform)

Sleepy Hollow 

I won’t be watching  season four of this show and there’s no trailer as yet,  but if you don’t mind the complete wtf*ery of what happened  last season, you go right ahead .I’m gonna be a petty mf and not even post the airdate.

*Taboo (Jan.10)

I’m a huge Tom Hardy fan, often watching movies I would not normally think about just because he’s the star. Also, I just enjoy dark Historical mysteries and these trailers look gorgeous. (FX)

*Lemony Snicket (Jan.13)

I read a lot of Lemony Snicket books and enjoyed the Jim Carey version of this, so I will probably check this out. My favorite character is Violet, so I have to stan for my tiny baby. This trailer seems to capture some of the zaniness of the original film. (Netflix)

The Young Pope (Jan.15)

I really like Jude Law, but I probably won’t watch this, even if I find this kind of Catholic scandal type stuff, fascinating. I’m not Catholic, but I will watch dramatic histories about it. This looks well acted but I’m noping out. (HBO)

Six (Jan,18)

I don’t normally watch military type shows but this looks interesting. For some reason, I’m attracted to those Navy Seal non-fiction books, and this show looks suitably dramatic, so I may watch this. On the other hand, I don’t wanna see Black people being terrorized, so I may not make this a regular part of my viewing diet. (History)

*Frontier (Jan.20)

I’m always up for anything starring Jason Momoa. I have not yet reached Peak Momoa. (Netflix)

*The Magicians Jan.25)

I was a bit disappointed in the last season of this show because of the depictions of violence against its female characters, so I’m dubious about watching this new season. On the other hand, it looks gorgeous, and I hope its a better than the second book in the series on which this is based. Finishing that second book felt like working. (Syfy)

Riverdale (Jan.26)

I could not find a good trailer for this one. I try to stick to only one teen show per period, so I may not watch this, but this is the last season of Teen Wolf, and I might need something to replace that. The trailers don’t look very interesting but I could give it a try. (CW)

Black Sails (Jan.29)

I watched the first episodes of this and then stopped, but I have been following what’s happening through reviews.It still looks beautiful but I can make no promises about this show, other than I will watch the first episode and give it a chance. (Starz)

The Expanse (Feb. 8)

I only watched a few episodes of the first season, but I’ve since read that its a good show, so I’ll watch the first episodes of this second season. I don’t know if I’ll like it but I can try it. (Syfy)

Taken (Feb 27)

(NBC)

I’m a big Liam Neeson fan and I really liked the movies on which this show is based.

*Legion (Feb TBD)

This is a Marvel Superhero Joint, so I will watch it even though I’m not in the market for yet another show about a quirky, White, male hero. I do know who this character is in the comic books, though, so I’m going to check it out. (FX)

*Iron Fist (March 17)

I will watch this even though I’m disappointed that the creators didn’t choose an Asian American man to be Danny Rand. That kind of story would’ve had so much more depth, but depth isn’t Marvel’s strongest suit. I’m still not greatly impressed with the actor they chose either, but I promise to give him a chance. I’m mostly in it because I hope this show does for Colleen Wing, (who has been racebent to be Asian) what the Luke Cage series did for Misty Knight. (Netflix)

Into the Badlands (Spring TBD)

Well, duh! (AMC)

WestWorld Episode 4: Dissonance Theory

Well, the robot (r)evolution continues, and there are even more little revelations, but  thats it! I’m giving up speculations about this show. Every time I think I have a good bead on things, the writers throw a monkey wrench into my well thought out rationalizations. This is a show you definitely have to pay attention to. You can’t half-ass this or you’ll miss all the important things, and those things happen not so much in the big set pieces, but in the he quiet conversations you thought you could skip out on to go get a snack.


We begin with Bernard having another conversation with Dolores. Her programming really is advancing as she offers him advice on how to deal with his grief over the death of his son. In exchange he offers her “the maze”. The same maze that MIB is working towards. So the situation is heats up as we might get to see Dolores and MIB competing for the same goal, believing that reaching its center will set them free. I’m not certain what freedom means in this context for Dolores. Does it mean free from her programming? Free of the park? Full consciousness?

Maeve continues to have recurring memories of the deaths of the other Hosts. Last episode she remembered Teddys dead body being hosed down by the technicians, and this week she remembers the town massacre, and how the technicians came then. She specifically remembers being shot and connects that to waking up and seeing the techs standing over her body. 

So a really interesting thing happened in this episode, when a group of Native American Hosts were walking through the town and one of them dropped their doll. Maeve recognized the doll as looking like one of the tech she thinks she saw in a dream. She finds a sheath of appears she’d hidden away from herself, and remembers hiding them before, with the image of the doll.She is told (by another Host named Hector) that the Natives believe the dolls represent demons, who come up from the Hell and manage their lives, which is entirely in keeping with the behavior of the parks technicians who come into the park from underground access tunnels. So it’s fascinating  to me that the Natives have an entire mythology based around the existence of the people who run the park.


Incidentally, it’s also interesting how race does or doesn’t play into the park setting. There are obviously Black Hosts, and Native looking Hosts, but I haven’t seen any Asian Hosts, and only that small town of Hispanic Hosts, although there’s a prominent Hispanic character who shows up later in this episode. Race is not acknowledged in the park. It’s simply a non-issue. 

In keeping with his advice to find the head of the snake on the river, he finds a Host with a tattoo of a snake over her body. It’s head depicted on her face. That blonde gunslinger we saw in the first episode, who got shot by some Guests, I think her name might be Armistice. She is on her way to break her friend (Hector) out of prison, so they can rob the safe at the saloon, just as we saw them do in the first episode. She’s just following her narrative, though. In keeping with full immersion for the Guests, the Hosts simply go through their narratives whether Guests are with them or not. The  MIB offers to help her accomplish her goal in exchange for the story behind her tattoo. 


I’ve given up on guessing whether or not the MIB is human or not. During camp that night, he’s approached by two guests who recognize him from the real world, but this still doesn’t convince me he’s not a robot. Especially when you consider how ambiguous his statements are about himself. He does remember Arnold, saying that he’s there to honor Arnold’s legacy, but this doesn’t preclude the idea that he’s talking about himself. And I still don’t know his name.

Bernard must be communicating with Dolores through her dreams because she wakes up in the park next to William., as if nothing had happened. When they visit a small town to get information, she encounters a little Native girl who has drawn an image of the maze on the ground and gives her cryptic answers when she asks the little girl where she’s from.

In the big setpiece for this episode, the MIB enters the prison, Los Diablos, and with the help of some exploding cigars, a firing squad, and Lawrence Gonzalez, manages to free the resident badass, the other MIB, Hector, played by Rodrigo Santoro, who looks nothing like his character, Xerxes, from the movie 300. Hector is a bandit who lives among the Natives. I like Hector already. He’s such a stereotype of the Mexican badass. The white guy who writes the parks greater narratives is a completely unimaginative asshole, so I’m not surprised. I also don’t hold out much hope that he gave sufficiently nuanced character to  any of the Natives. (I don’t think he can spell nuance.)


Armistice tells the MIB that she got her tattoos in honor of a man named Wyatt, the man who killed her entire family. 

Ford is embarking on some massive new narrative that he isn’t divulging to the company’s boardmembers, who are rightfully concerned with how much he wants to change the park. He gives Theresa a surprise when he shows her just how much control he has, over the environment,  with just a single word, freezing all the Hosts in their view. I’m not entirely sure Theresa knew she was surrounded by Hosts, which is why she is completely discombobulated by their conversation. She totally didn’t see that coming. Ford also shows the extant of his knowledge not just of the park, and it’s past, but it’s employees as well, as he knows all about her affair with Bernard. He warns her not to get in his way.

In the second big setpiece of the evening William, and Logan are involved in a shootout to retrieve Slim, the man they were hunting. They attack his cabin and shoot it out with several Hosts. Logan is having waaay too much fun, and no I still don’t like him. He’s a shitty human being. 


We discover that Teddy, after being attacked by Wyatts men, was strung up to die in the desert. Poor Teddy. One day he’s going to do something heroic and live to talk about it. The MIB discovers him and cuts him down. I don’t know where Teddy’s Guest companion got off to, after he told her to run, but the MIB says he has plans for Teddy.

Logan shoots the Sheriff they were accompanying to retrieve Slim, when Slim offers them a huge reward to return him to the town of Pariah. He also threatens to shoot Dolores, while William threatens to shoot his captive. Since none of the people in this standoff are Mexican, that description would be inappropriate.

Hector  rides into town. Hector is just there for some thieving. The Park’s technicians can see that there are Guests riding with him, and we get a glimpse of just how much control the technicians have over the narratives, and Hosts, in the more populated areas of the Park. As a general rule, I don’t think they monitor very much how the Hosts interact with each other, when there are no Guests in their company. The Hosts are programmed to go through a set routine, so the techs don’t worry much over their activites as long as they’re following their scripts, as planned. The only tech who is worried about the buildup of all these behavioural anomalies is Elsie.


   Hector’s plans are thwarted by Maeve, who remembers the last time he visited. She gives him the safe’s combination, in exchange for answers about the doll, she found earlier. Hector says the figure is a Shade, from sacred Native lore. She asks Hector to cut her in the side, and when he does, she finds a deformed bullet in the wound, which confirms her fears that Shades, her memories, and what she thinks she dreamed, are actually real. When the Sheriff  takes down Hector’s crew (and the Guests),the two of them are shot down in a hale of gunfire, but before that Maeve tells him it doesn’t matter, and that she’ll be back, with her memories intact.

Okay, that’s enough. This isn’t even all the stuff that happened in just this one episode. There’s a whole host of things, I thought were just cool, or awesome, or even skanky. One thing I am impatient about is we are almost on the fifth episode and no Guests have been killed by any of the robots yet. I vote we get the massacre started, and nominate Logan as the first victim.    But this show is operating on a really slow burn. I’m enjoying all the little clues and side plots so far. They’re like little appetizers. But I do hope the writers don’t take too long to give us the main meal we’re all here for.

Before the season is over, I have to do a link roundup of all the great meta being written about this show, so stay away tuned.

Random Tumblr Roundup

Just random stuff that ended up on my Tumblr dashboard. 

There have been a lot of reviews and thinkpieces in the past week about Luke Cage, and as I promised ,most of the reviews I’ve reblogged or linked to are from the POV of Black writers. Here’s one from The Tall Black Nerd:

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*Why can’t nerds get dates? Well, some of them can’t get dates. I’m sure none of you reading this have this problem,though.
the-queen-poetico:

theotherwesley:

introvertedgeek:

wizardshark:

constant-instigator:

stele3:

dannerzz:

brother-mouse:

dannerzz:

i fucking hate dating nerds one single time i wore a star wars shirt to see a dude and he was like, “wow are u wearing that to impress me” and i said, “star wars episode 4 was seen by approximately 110 million people during its initial theatrical run in 1977”

Congratulations. You’re dating people who for the longest time have been putting up with bullying, mocking, and scorn for most of their lives. That kind of shit stays with people. So imagine their surprise when they see a member of the opposite sex, who I’m assuming is really attractive in comparison to most people, wear attire that reps nerd culture. Which even though is accepted by the masses (if you’re reasonably attractive) is still rare. Now I’m not saying that you’re not allowed to be scornful I’m just saying expect it and don’t be surprised when you hear it. Ok? OK.

why i dont date fucking nerds: exhibit B

Bolded emphasis mine. Gross.

Stands on nearest chair: ATTENTION MALE NERDS. YOU ARE NOT SUFFERING FROM A SHORTAGE OF FEMALE NERDS. THERE ARE VAST NUMBERS OF US, AND WE RARELY HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING EACH OTHER. YOU ARE WITHOUT FEMALE COMPANY BECAUSE YOU ARE WHINEY ASSBABIES WHO THINK YOU OWN THINGS BECAUSE YOU LIKE THEM, AND BECAUSE YOU SOMEHOW THINK YOU SUFFER BULLYING WHEREAS GIRL NERDS SOMEHOW NEVER DO. STOP PRETENDING YOU GET TO BE ASSHOLES BECAUSE YOU HAVE A “TRAGIC PAST” OR YOU WILL DIE ALONE. IF YOU THINK GIRL NERDS DON’T GET BULLIED IT’S LIKELY BECAUSE THOSE GIRLS DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU, BECAUSE OF THIS SORT OF ATTITUDE.

also: fucking no one mocks nerds anymore. Game of thrones is the most watched show on tv, everyone and their mom is playing video games, dungeons and dragons is more popular than it’s ever been.

To conclude

i’m obligated to reblog the Critical Whale

Fucking thank you

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People gonna find problems with Luke Cage, but this show is my precious cinnamon roll and  I’m determinedly not listening.

Luke Cage Has Problems.

Okay so I’ve seen a bunch of fuck nigga activity recently about Luke Cage and I’ve felt the need to address it.

First and foremost Luke Cage and colorism. Now yes. I love Both of our leading ladies: Rosario Dawnson and Simone Missick. I am complete and utter garbage for them both.

However being trash for them doesn’t stop me from being able to point out that much like many other shows LC might have some colorism issues. Now me pointing out that Rosario Dawson is light-skinned and her casting outside of her being an amazing actress could have to do with colorism isn’t me invalidating her Blackness. She is Black first and foremost and knowing how vocal RD is about this stuff she’d have no problem with people talking about this as one of the possible reasons she was cast.

Stepping away from RD yes there are a plethora of Black women in Luke Cage like it needs to be it’s great honestly. I’m loving it but the majority of the darker skinned Black women (darker than SM) are back ground characters and the villain of the piece is one of the darkest if not the darkest women in the show and we all know how often that happens.

Continue reading “Random Tumblr Roundup”

Random Tumblr Events

*I’m a huge A Wrinkle in Time fan. I used to read these books at least once a year when I was a teenager and had a lot free time to fill up. I’m ecstatic about this movie, too. It being directed by Ava D’uvernay, and stars Oprah, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, and now someone my 11 yr. old niece can relate to, Storm Reid as Meg Murray.

When I was a little girl, I identified pretty closely with Meg, and always cast myself in the role, so this will also be an opportunity to revisit my childhood.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/herocomplex/la-et-hc-wrinkle-in-time-cast-meg-murry-storm-reid-20160914-snap-story.html

entertainingtheidea:

12 Years a Slave’s Storm Reid has landed the lead role in Ava DuVernay and Disney’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic children’s book, A Wrinkle in Time.

The story centers on Meg Murry, a young girl traumatized by the disappearance of her scientist father years before, who finds herself on an interplanetary journey with a schoolmate and her younger brother to find him. They are aided on their quest by a trio of supernatural beings, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).

As THR first reported, Disney has made the race of L’Engle’s main characters black or mixed race, making the Murry family now a mixed-race one. The studio is currently looking for a non-white actor to play the schoolmate, Calvin O’Keefe.

Source: entertainingtheidea SFF a wrinkle in time Ava DuVernay Storm Reid

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*Okay here’s some photos from the new Iron Fist show coming to Netflix next year. I’m still not a Finn Jones fan. I don’t even know who he is, and I’m unimpressed by his looks (in the photos I saw of him he looked like an underdone potato), but he’s cast in the role now, and since I actually do like the comic books, I’m going to watch the show.

For my readers, who are not comic book fans, Power man (Luke Cage) and Iron Fist (Danny Rand) are two of the iconic pairings in Marvel, like DC’s Batman and Robin. They are both fully fledged, partners though. There’s not one in charge, and the other a sidekick, type of thing. For a while, there was just Luke and Danny, then they teamed up in the comics with Misty Knight, and Colleen Wing, to form Heroes for Hire, or with Daredevil to form The Defenders. (There have been several groups called The Defenders, with different members each time.) Colleen Wing is cast as Asian in this show. Lets see if any of the whining fanboys notice and say anything.

I think Iron Fist is suffering from the same problem of Dr. Strange. The whole white guy going into a mystical land, based on Asian Culture, and coming out of the other side with superpowers. There still would’ve been a much deeper story to be told if they had cast an Asian American in the role. I still do not understand this utter reluctance (and truculence) that Hollywood has against hiring Asian actors to star in action movies. What the Hell is that about? (Can you tell I still haven’t forgiven Hollywood for casting a White teenager in a movie starring both Jackie Chan and Jet Li, as if they needed the help?)

http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/photos/finn-jones?excludenudity=false&family=editorial&page=1&phrase=finn%20jones&sort=newest

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*Ooh! Here’s the new Misty Knight poster. She is shown with Luke Cage a lot, and is being introduced in his show but, canonically, she and Danny end up together, while in the comic books Luke and Jessica Jones are together w/child. I don’t know if the creators will keep that dynamic for the series though, because Luke and Jessica ended on a bad note (and I also hate the television version of  Jessica with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. )

Image result for new misty knight poster

Misty Knight  //  Marvel’s Luke Cage  (2016)

Portrayed by Simone Missick, “Mercedes “Misty” Knight was born and raised in New York City. She graduated the Police Academy with honors and joined the N.Y.P.D. and rose through the ranks; quickly becoming a Lieutenant…

Misty Knight is a skilled detective, capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Given any mystery, she can arrive at the correct conclusions with a fraction of the data. ” X

Get the comics here

Image result for new misty knight poster

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Yet another installment in the King Kong movie franchise. This time it has a more modern update, and looks like a Vietnam War movie, so maybe there’s some parallels there, or something. I’m not really into Kong all that much because of all the nasty racial undertones, and I’m also reluctant to watch Samuel L. Jackson in, yet another, historical jungle movie. Seriously, tho’! He needs to quit. He is the hardest working man in Hollywood, I swear.

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*Just boosting all this Black Woman Excellence!

sueetlyDeactivated

The 12 Common Archetypes (insp.)

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reverseracism kardashiansfuckyeah

roamingblizzard: “ black-charm: “ badgalchubby: “ phoenixambition: “ liffe-fucksyouovertwice: “ chrissongzzz: “ If it comes in her size how the fuck is she too big for it.? ” This^^^^^ ” It’s that simple. ” Exactly!! ” Ok she looks bomb af tho ” If...If it comes in her size how the fuck is she too big for it.?

If it comes in her size how the fuck is she too big for it.?

If it comes in her size how the fuck is she too big for it.?

If it comes in her size how the fuck is she too big for it.?

black-charm:

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*I laughed waaay too hard  at the above post and this next one about Original Star Trek!

vi0lentquiche tea-and-liminality

fozmeadows:

carrionlaughing:

rainbowbarnacle:

darksnowfalling:

macpye:

slightly-oblivvyous:

Yea! Rejoice! For it was on this blessed day in the year 1967 that our foremothers watched two men roll around on the hot desert sand and decreed, “Let there be gay.”

[For those who don’t understand the reference: this is about the 49th anniversary of the Star Trek TOS episode Amok Time.

This is the episode where Spock goes in pon farr, where he is literally biologically compelled to mate, kill, or, die. Spock does none of these things except to roll around on the sands of Vulcan and grind on Kirk.

This was the episode that sparked the entire idea of slash in our foremothers’ minds.]

Know thy roots.

history is so important

and on the day the first spock/kirk fic was written, verily did the first reader gaze upon it in wonder and speak:

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*I have strange humor sometimes. I’m cool with it tho’. I get all of these, especially that last one (Yeah,  Destiel shippers, I’m lookin’ atchu!) 

stitchmediamix shirosredknight

arbryna:

acedamian:

there are different levels of notps, y’see.

  1. i don’t really care about this ship but i’m sick of seeing it everywhere
  2. this ship makes me slightly uncomfortable for no reason
  3. this ship makes me slightly uncomfortable for personal reasons
  4. this ship makes me heavily uncomfortable for many reasons
  5. this ship disgusts me to my very core because of all it is
  6. this ship disgusts me to my very core and beyond because it’s entirely based around something that is despicable and morally wrong

7. i didn’t used to mind this ship but the shippers are assholes and now the mere thought of it makes me want to set people on fire

Source: lookslikewe-moved
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*A couple of random discussion posts, that I thought held significance:
sleepynegress elektralyte

do-as-youre-told:

stimmyabby:

Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”

and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”

and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.

 

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finnnorgana lunaaltare

hacksign:

those posts that are like “do any of you actually enjoy anything” are like high key annoying. like we live in a society where inherently oppressive actions are so ingrained into every bit of media we consume so being critical and pointing that stuff out is important. like i want to be able to watch or read something and not have my identity or just who i am as a person be attacked/mocked. because these bigoted ideals lead to violence and death. and on top of that people are capable of doing more than one thing at a time i know it’s shocking. i like overwatch and play the shit out of it but i can point out some of the racist undertones in the game itself. like you can enjoy somethin, know that it’s not perfect and talk about its faults all at the same time. let that sink in lol.

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reverseracism fuckboi-logic

periegesisvoid:

Your social justice should be founded on love for others, not on a desire to be the most visibly enlightened.

Source: periegesisvoid
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Oh Gawd! Whyyy?!!!
cage.gif
Yeah, this is my aesthetic right now.
I’m not even religious but I will join in a prayer circle to send love and calming vibes to Jennifer. Sending her positive energy, so that she don’t end up choking the fuck outta Adam Sandler, within the first fifteen minutes of meeting him. There are no words to express how much I despise that man. She gon’ need some strungth. (Yeah, that is the correct word.)
catlovesmocalike: “ quietstorm-thundathighs: “ ourqueenfelinefatale: “ quietstorm-thundathighs: “ magicinhermadness: “ lunaaltare: “ sauvamente: “ kimakishaandpam: “ bonitaapplebelle: “ Honestly give her another Oscar for even entertaining the idea...

bonitaapplebelle:

Honestly give her another Oscar for even entertaining the idea of having to pretend to be attracted to Adam Sandler

yuck

She don’t love herself 😯

bby girl………………..

Jen… You’re my name twin so I’m gonna break out some ancient black cinema advice: Make the money. Don’t let the money make you.

like Adam could ever

ITS. A. PAY. CHECK. Let her earn her money, ain’t like black women are being doled out roles. We all know this. Look how long it took Rutina Wesley and her Juiliard graduating self to get a good leading role.

nobody’s slamming Jen tho, not really the problem is Adam

Let’s start a prayer circle for her to have the strength to do with Sandler

Can you blame her? The biggest black female crossover stars have all had to play love interest to lesser white dudes. see: Halle Berry and Zoe Saldana

Source: bonitaapplebelle
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*This poster is correct in saying that a lot of the current fandom has thoroughly whitewashed the participation of Black fans from television Scifi and Star Wars history. When I was little, everybody was about Star Wars, Lost in Space, and The Incredible Hulk.  Even my Mom had a favorite character, (Lando Calrissian ) and my personal favorite was Boba Fett. All the kids I knew had the toys, and talked about it in school. (I had a Space 1999 ship that my Mom bought me for Xmas when I was about ten or so.)
So yeah, Black people were definitely there, as part of Scifi fandom, and we have a lot of nostalgia around Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica, but when you hear fans today, they make it sound like we had nothing at all to do with any of it, like it was exclusively a white thing to like Star Wars. Well, anyway, I like that The Get Down is showing people what it was really like for us. (Scifi and Kung Fu movies in the 70s, and Scifi and Ninja movies in the 80s.)
diversehighfantasy meredithgene

I can’t believe the Get Down is the best live action superhero series to air this year wow

meredithgene:

anarcho-cyndiquilism:

they did that

Can we please talk about the relationship between hip hop and geek culture?!

Can we please have that discussion of remix, Easter eggs, superhero mythology and why The Get Down is needed rn?

I’m in. I think one thing that is worth stressing is that the geeky things in TGD, from the love of Star Wars to Ra-Ra’s comic book and superhero analogies to Dizzee’s afro-alien art (and, of course, everything Shaolin Fantastic) are not a retcon of history. I say that because a while ago I posted about how Lando Calrissian isn’t merely a “token black guy” – aside from being extremely important to the plots of Empire and Jedi, he was cast as Black because Black people were into Star Wars from the very beginning, even though the first movie was all white on screen. Billy Dee was cast as Lando as an acknowledgement that Star Wars was part of Black experience in the ‘70s and ‘80s.  And when I said that, some people reacted with surprise, because the revisionist white fan narrative is that Black people don’t care about Star Wars, fantasy, or scifi.

That can’t be further from the truth. Sci-fi and fantasy are a huge part of Afro-American Culture. In the ‘60s, while Black people in the US were fighting for basic rights, the space race was in full force. If white people were planning to conquer space, it should be no surprise that Black people identified with outer space aliens. It should be no surprise that Black people dreamt of far off worlds.

Afrika Bambaataa (who Shao refers to as the King) and Soulsonic Force were full-on sci-fi (now called Afrofuturism) from the South Bronx. “Planet Rock” was one of hip-hop’s first widely recognized masterpieces. And it wasn’t just hip hop. Funk icon George Clinton drew inspiration from Flash Gordon. The Jacksons made a sci-fi music video/film (The Triumph), and Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” references The Force, as in Star Wars. There’s Sun Ra, Newcleus – and this is not at all a comprehensive list from the ‘70s and early ‘80s.

Most depictions of Black kids in the ‘70s (ie mainstream TV and movies made in the ‘70s) ignored these interests and Black culture’s longtime love of fantasy and sci-fi. The Get Down shows a more honest picture of ‘70s Black kids in that respect, and in doing so should drive it home that we’re not new here.

Source: anarcho-cyndiquilism the get down star wars afrika bambaataa and soul sonic forcenewcleus michael jackson afrofuturism

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*There’s a big discussion going on about casting Ryan Potter as Batman’s Tim Drake. I’m all for it because DCEU really does need more Asian representation. So far, they and Marvel been kind of slacking in this regard, and the depictions of Asians in the MCU leaves a lot to be desired. Also, he just looks like Tim Drake from the comics. As usual there’s   white boy’s tears about it. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even care about white boys being mad about stuff anymore. My attitude towards them now is just “So, What?”

Check out Ryan’s audtion tape below.

http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1555480/the-other-reason-ryan-potter-posted-that-robin-audition-video-for-ben-afflecks-batman-movie.

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*Yeah, this is a basic summation of the whole topic of white writers being too scared to write Characters of Color. In my opinion, though, if you are too scared to write, you’re a shitty writer. You can’t be scared and write well. This is basically my entire response to the bullshit that Lionel Shriver spouted in her speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival, entitled Fiction and Identity Politics. 

I can’t believe the TFA fandom is trying to blame the lack of Finn fic (or the general racism in fandom) on fans of color. I know I have the privilege of being naive but goddamnt, can we just listen to ourselves for a moment here?

Or like fans of color would feel safe in a fandom where the top ships are all with a white dude who is the villain?

The argument apparently is that people would write Finn, but they are too scared of those fans of color who are bullies and will criticize them for writing the super racist fics they want to write. So basically racism is to blame on people who call out racism. They are taking away white fandom’s god-given right to write awful racist stuff, so they won’t write characters of color altogether. Logic.

It’s a conversation I’m seeing a lot in professional fiction right now, specially sf/f and young adult. That white authors don’t want to write diversity because they don’t want to risk being criticized by minorities. And I’m like “no, what you are saying is you don’t want to do your job, you don’t want to put in the time and effort to write minorities well, what you mean is that you can’t do the half-assed racist job of it you’ve been doing all your writing life, because people are finally calling you out on your bullshit, and rightly so”.

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Next up on, People Who Are Pissing Me Off:

So this happened, during Fashion Week, with Marc Jacobs appropriating a type of hairstyle, for his White models, that Black people get vilified and demonized for: dreadlocks. So, I was never on  Marc Jacobs, but it was his response to  criticism, (as a Black woman who permed her hair for decades before deciding to go natural), that got my blood pressure up. 

I’ve been seeing this asinine question all over Tumblr asking why Black women straighten their hair. Its not unlike the usual wtf*ery, where various dumbasses attempt to “gotcha” black people into shutting up, by saying “But you do it too!” As if the idea that other people are racist makes it okay for them to be assholes, too.

Guys! That’s not how that works, okay. You don’t get a get out of jail free card simply because other people might be acting a fool. (Although, I know  now that sort of response is an attempt to alleviate their feelings of guilt, for engaging in assholery. I know that’s where it comes from because the answers to their questions are easily Google-able.) The snag they keep running into is that  the Black people, they are accusing, know our history exceptionally well. People that dumb  are walking into a conversation armed with a paperclip, thinking they have a gun.

But then I’ve noticed that people that do things like that, have a tendency to be deeply, deeply, stupid.

LMAO MARC, SIS…. 

(Facebook: Elijah Andreval Jones IV )

I don’t even get into the “are dreads cultural appropriation” discussion anymore because the topic has been discussed ad nauseam.  If – after all of the thinkpieces and resources and historical research – you’re still just fine with white people wearing dreadlocks, I have moved on from that topic with you.  I’m not interested in talking about it anymore.  As such, I wouldn’t even be talking about Marc Jacobs if not for this comment right here:

“funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair”

That “women of color” is just code for Black because – newsflash – most of the women of color on the planet have straight hair BECAUSE THEY’RE ASIAN.  And most of the white people on the planet do not have straight hair because there’s usually a wave or a curl or most certainly some frizz.  Obviously all Asians don’t have straight hair (particularly those from South Asia) but the vast majority of women from China to Japan to Korea have straighter hair than most white people, so Marc Jacobs is talking directly to Black women and doesn’t have the balls to just say it, probably because Naomi Campbell is one of his bffs.

You know what?  Naomi, come get your boy.  How do you fix your mouth to say “I don’t see race” when one of your homegirls has spent the better part of her career promoting visibility for women of color in fashion?  If one of my white friends said “I don’t see race” then I don’t see his name in my contacts list any longer.  That is seriously one of the most offensive things you can say to me as a white friend.

I don’t care what white strangers say, I don’t care when your racist uncle drops the n-word, but when you are on my team and you say you don’t see race, then you don’t see my struggle when I get stopped by the cops or my frustration when we go to the movies and all of the leads are white or my anger when another one of us is gunned down for existing.  Sometimes it’s small and sometimes it’s serious, but you still need to see it and me and recognize that we’re not the same.  That doesn’t mean one is better, but part of respecting someone and their culture and the path they walk is to recognize the differences and realize how they may move through the world differently than you.

If Marc Jacobs doesn’t see race then he can’t possibly see how offensive it is to have white women walking around mimicking natural hairstyles for Black women when we have little Black girls in this country protesting at school for the right to wear their hair in their natural state.  We have little Black girls being sent home from class and Black women being denied jobs and promotions because their hair is called unruly or unkempt when it doesn’t adhere to European standards of beauty – and then Marc Jacobs wants to try and throw “cultural appropriation” at Black women for straightening their hair?  It’s called survival in a white supremacist society and maybe if he could see race (or pick up a history book) he’d know that.

Edit:  Just got a message on FB from this white guy who worked on the show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Learned It From Spock

Happy 50th anniversary Star Trek.

Spock has been one of the primary influences on my life and I need to give a shoutout. (Yes, I am currently watching the original Trek marathon.) Here are some of characters that laid the foundation for how I choose to live my life.

Nyota Uhura taught me that Black women) would exist in the future, and they’d be smart, beautiful, graceful, talented, sexy…much as I hoped to be when I grew up. (I’m ’bout halfway there.)

Yeah, this is me at like…ten years old.

Spock taught me IDIC: Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations. One of the essential Vulcan code of ethics. Just because something is different, isn’t reason enough to be afraid of it. Although, once something has proven to be malignant, don’t hesitate to kick its ass.

Fearlessness: Spock was often recklessly fearless .When something needed to be done, fear wasn’t  part of the equation. Spock taught me that when you’re right, you will know for an absolute certainty that you’re right, and you jump in with both feet, and no regrets. That once you start letting fear make your decisions for you, it’ll make ALL of your decisions for you. (This also seemed to be Kirk’s philosophy.)  I decided to adopt this attitude and some of my finest experiences happened because  I ignored fear. (I’m not demeaning caution. Caution is not the same as fear.)

Being Rational: I valued logic and rational thought, above all else, even as a child. Most of the people around me didn’t practice this. Just like Spock, in every episode of Star Trek, ever, it   was on me to be the one person in every situation to keep a level head. I have, on occasion, even saved a life or two. When everyone else is running around, screaming like chickens on fire, there has to be at least one person who is  holdin’ shit down.

Being Grown: Spock (and Uhura) taught me how to act like a “Grown-ass Woman” Never listen to hearsay about other people. If you got a beef, you approach the person directly, and tactfully discuss it.

Own up to the shit you do. If you felt something was worth doing, and you did it, then its also worth taking the credit, or the blame, for it. On the opposite end, don’t take credit for other people’s shit, although sometimes, its okay to take someone else’s blame, to save a life.

Never raise your voice when you don’t have to. That way, when you finally do, people will actually listen to you vs. that person who is always yelling.

Keep your sarcasm low-key and it will usually fly right over most people’s heads. Really! Most people won’t be sure they’ve been insulted. This is hilarious, trust me.

Diplomacy, and thoughtfulness, are good things.

Never let other people insult you into being your worst self. That’s letting other people decide the kind of human you want to be and no one gets to make that decision but you. Kirk and McCoy often discussed Spock’s human vs. his Vulcan heritage, and no matter how much they constantly teased, or badgered, him about it, it was Spock who always made the final decision on how human he would behave.

Tact: At twelve years old, I had none. This lesson took a very, very long time to learn. Decades!  I got in a lot of trouble,  when I was younger, for telling unadulterated truths. You gotta adulterate it. People do not like the straight shit. (This also falls under Diplomacy and when to properly deploy “snark”.)

Spock taught me it was okay to have maximum chill. It was okay to not have it during momentous occasions like, finding out your friends are actually alive, flowers that chime when you touch them, and birthday cake, but one should quickly work to re-establish chill directly after such an upheaval.

James Kirk taught me that I wanted a communicator. I really needed a communicator. Nobody looked cooler flipping that phone than Kirk. Everyone else  flipped theirs in a business-like manner, but Kirk flipped his communicator with the style and grace befitting an Olympic event.

Spock taught me that I would probably be single for the rest of my life, as there’s no man that measures up to him. (Ironically, not even the man who portrayed him.)

Spock introduced me to the love of science. I still hated math, but I developed a healthy appreciation for physics. Sometimes I read physics books for fun.  I merely tolerate math as the third wheel on that date. (Gob, I am such a nerd!)

Star Trek taught me that I was a total geekgirl, that it was okay, and that I should embrace it and just let my geek flag fly. (It was  Mork & Mindy that taught me how to love being weird, tho’.)


Spock taught me how to be a commie, pinko, liberal progressive, although at ten years old, I was already well on my way to being one. Spock taught me there’s nothing wrong with being considerate of other life forms. It’s okay to care about other people’s well being, (no matter what  Republicans say.)

I learned ethics, boundaries, and a whole host of other lessons. Some of the things I learned were reinforced by my family, or by later media I consumed, and the books I read, but Star Trek laid the foundation it was all built on.

Happy Anniversary Star Trek! This world would be a radically different, and far lesser place, without Gene Roddenberry’s vision. I would argue that he was quite possibly, one of the most influential men of the twentieth century, (and looking to be, well into the twenty first.)

This was inspired by the Star Trek posts over on Nerds of Color. Stop in and give the N.O.C a holla!

Media and the Real World

I originally added this little essay as an addendum to  the last Tumblr discussion, but it just kept getting longer the more I thought about it. I’d been thinking of writing something like this for a while , and the Tumblr discussion, and its reception by my readers, spurred me to elaborate on the issue.
I’m a person who is always seeing connections between what others would consider unrelated events, and that’s how my mind works when it comes to people. I see connections between certain types of behaviors and attitudes.

I’m an avid consumer of media. As a Geekgirl, I love media, but I’m not in love with it.  I don’t consume it unquestioningly. I’m perfectly capable of indicting the media I love so much for its bad behavior. Why? Because it can be better. I’m also a Black American Woman, so I can’t really afford to be blind when it comes to such things.

Even when I was very young, I was critical of the media I watched, and read, and listened to. The first real memory I have of this: I was about twelve, sitting in my kitchen with my Mother in the background, doing whatever Moms do. I was watching television and although  I forget what show it was,  I know it was  Science Fiction, because I turned to my mother and asked “Mom, how come there ain’t  any Black people in the future? What happened to us?” And without missing a beat in whatever she was doing, she glanced at me and said, “Maybe we left.”

First, a little background on my Mother. She was a child of the sixties, and a member of the Black Panthers.* She very much believed in community service, and always spoke to me and my siblings about being Black Americans, and the things that should be important to us because of the way the world might treat us. So this answer from her is entirely in keeping with her general aesthetic. This is just the kind of thing she would regularly say.

This idea was such an intriguing concept for me, though,  that I have never forgotten this conversation. Where did Black people go? Why did we leave? It wasn’t until I was older that some answers started to come to me.

I talk about these subjects, such as racism in media, because for PoC, these stereotypes have real world repercussions, and a lot of White people, (and PoC too), who believe themselves to be very Progressive and liberal, reproduce the attitudes they see in the media, without even realizing that’s what they’re doing.

What’s the first thing you think of when I say the word “Paris”? The Eiffel Tower, Baguettes, the French language, Romance. Chances are, you got these ideas, and images, about Paris from TV and movies, not from actually visiting the city. If this influence works with foreign locales, then it most certainly works with lives and people, influencing your thoughts about places (Russia, Japan) and people (with tattoos, Muslims), and events (weddings, Proms) you may have never encountered.

For example, the idea that marginalized people need to be of use to White straight people is one that’s pervasive in every form of media from movies to TV, to books. This culminates in White people who treat PoC, gay people, and others as if these (other) people are actors in a movie which stars themselves.

I’ve encountered this myself, with men telling me to smile because they believe my purpose on earth is to make them feel comfortable and do their emotional labor. Or White people who get angry when I don’t please them by laughing at their jokes or being as friendly as they would like me to be, once again making them comfortable or doing their emotional labor.

Why? Because I have to be useful to them. I have to be a sidekick, a friend, a mammy, or a love interest in their personal movie of which they are the star.

Both of  these attitudes stem from the same  foundation, however,  of not thinking of other people as separate people from themselves, who have their own agendas, separate from whatever makes them happy. PoC and other marginalized people have their own lives, and sometimes their desires, goals, wants and needs are not going to align with with someone else’s.

This is a an attitude that is prevalent not just in everyday life but in every strata of  American society, from people who are  angry about people on welfare, to the idea that other human beings must be PRODUCTIVE to be worth life and respect, or to receive food, clothes, or housing. This attitude promotes lack of compassion for others and their circumstances.

This same lack of compassion leads others to dismiss the claims, by marginalized people, of their discrimination, and the same lack of compassion in excusing the police shootings of Black people (because  Black people are not  considered USEFUL to the world.)

When you believe that other people are the sidekicks of your life, it is that much easier to consider their lives expendable or, like Immortan Joe, (Yeah, that’s what you’re acting like!)  to use them for your own ends. How much easier is it then, to believe that person’s life is worth nothing when it has no obvious use for yours?

What happens in the media affects the real world in ways people don’t often consider. Most of our values, ideas and thoughts about the rest of the world is influenced as much by television and movies, as the people who surround us. Television and movies teach us how the word works, what to expect of our lives at certain ages, how to fall in love, how to behave at a wedding or Prom, how to behave at 25, 45 ,and 65 years old, and how to think about people who may be wildly different from us.

The constant message  that everyone (this includes me) receives from the media is that White Stories Matter more than all others (The Sidekick Effect), that their lives are the only stories that are  worth being told (Erasure, Whitewashing), and that marginalized people don’t have stories of their own (The White Savior Trope), that are separate from making White people feel good about themselves (The Manic Pixie Dream Girl), or fixing their love lives (Ghost, Hitch), or maximizing their happiness (The Legend of Bagger Vance).

People of Color, and other marginalized people, do not have to be USEFUL, to be treated with respect, compassion, or be worthy of being loved.

 

*And yeah, all these lies being spread around about what the Black Panthers actually stood for, is incredibly infuriating to me because of my connection to them through my mother, and uncles, who were directly involved in the local chapter.

**Yes, there will be a part two about Black Lives Matter vs. the  Mainstream Media

Race and Media on Tumblr VI

This is turning into a regular feature on this blog. Its not that I’m not interested in the topic but there are some really deep, and intelligent discussions and critiques about how the media portrays racial matters on Tumbr, the kind of conversations I don’t see happening anywhere else, and which I don’t feel I’m eloquent enough to express.

*Say what you want about Tumblr users, their intersectional, media critiquing skills are on point.Starting with this scene from Star Wars :TFA. I love the character Finn and  would be overjoyed to find that the rest of the films play out this narrative that just about every single one of us missed in this movie, as I’ve heard this mentioned no where else in its reviews.

The narrative arc The Force Awakens create between Finn and Kylo Ren is an interesting one. Visually it begins in the very first scene they appear on screen together at the assault of Tuanul village after the execution of the villagers that FN-2187 refused to participate in. When Kylo Ren is returning to his shuttle, he stops and stares at Finn for, at the time, no discernible reason.

In doing this the movie draws a visual line between the two men, connecting them in the audience’s mind and in-universe. One is dressed in black, the other in white, both are helmeted and faceless, but already we have witnessed the distinction between them and the movie spends the rest of its time emphasizing it: Kylo Ren will murder on a whim, while FN-2187 refuses to kill unarmed civilians.

After this “meeting” Kylo Ren maintains a distinct interest in FN-2187. So much that he not only knows that it was the same trooper which aided Poe in escaping, but that when he learns that Finn has got away with BB-8 he throws one of his two destructive rampages.

The other he has when Rey escapes captivity.

After this their stories part for a time, but only to be rejoined on Starkiller Base after Kylo Ren murders Han Solo.

After Chewie shoots Kylo, blows up the oscillator and everyone including Finn and Rey starts shooting, we see Kylo Ren kneeling on the bridge looking up. .

The camera cuts to an angle behind Kylo Ren’s head so we now also have Finn and Rey in the shot, both standing on a balcony in the background

Another cut, closing up on our two leads. This shows them both standing, looking down on Kylo Ren. Both look shocked and Finn is stepping forward on the balcony, towards the audience and more importantly, towards Kylo.

Once again the movie cuts and again it zooms in so that now Finn is in focus. His face merges from the shock and fear he has so far displayed, into grief, anger and determination. And throughout the shot he steps further and further forward while the camera zooms in on him, visually emphasizing him stepping into the conflict with Kylo Ren.

Rey is barely in the frame here and by the end of the shot she’s entirely gone, leaving her literally out of the picture.

Next cut is back to Kylo Ren, who is staring up at Finn. The way this sequence is cut together makes it startlingly clear that this is where he is looking and who he is looking at. Kylo’s face merges from surprise into unmitigated fury and hatred at the sight of FN-2187, the Stormtrooper who defected, who is everything he is not.

The whole sequence mirrors their first encounter with the two men staring at each other, though they’re now unmasked and we can see the mutual enmity clear on their faces. Finn is no longer running away, he’s stepping forward and the camera zooms in on Kylo’s face drawing him into conflict with Finn as well.

The movie sets up this conflict not just for the coming battle in the forest, but also for the next two Episodes as the battle between the two men is a draw. Finn is defeated by Kylo, but the Dark Sider does not obtain the lightsaber and is in turn defeated by Rey. Neither of them emerges a victor and the narrative conflict between them remains unresolved.

So whatever Episode VIII and IX brings, it is clear that Finn and Kylo will cross paths again and Kylo had better beware. To borrow John’s words: “Finn ain’t playing no more”, that much is clear from the scene in the oscillator.

Next cut is back to Kylo Ren, who is staring up at Finn. The way this sequence is cut together makes it startlingly clear that this is where he is looking and who he is looking at. 

This part is so important and yet flew over like 90% of the fandom’s heads in favor of focusing on Rey (gee I wonder why).

The shift in Finn’s expression from shocked grief to quiet rage reminds me of Luke’s reaction to seeing his aunt and uncle’s burnt corpses in ANH. Obviously Rey and Kylo will be squaring off again in VIII but TFA also made it clear that there’s some serious bad blood between Finn and Kylo that’s entirely separate from wanting to protect or recruit Rey. Which is why I roll my eyes when I see people claim that Finn is going to be shunted off to a B-plot opposite Hux (a character he never interacted with in TFA) and Phasma (who he literally threw in the trash).

Also, it’s worth noting that for the first time, Rey has to take Finn by the arm and pull him away.

Kylo was stumbling up towards them and I’m not convinced that Finn wouldn’t have tried to take him down right then and there.

Source:
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*Okay, this is a very long one and its a  firm,  well backed up, critique of popular television media. I’m not saying you can’t like these shows, and some of these I feel are a bit of a reach. Some of these shows I’ve either actively disliked, or stopped watching,  but that there is almost nothing a person can watch on TV, no matter how hard the creators might be trying, that isn’t problematic in some way.
 I see this as an argument for greater representation behind the camera. We keep expecting middle-class, cis-het, able-bodied, white men to get intersectionality correct, when its simply not possible. I’m a black, cis-het, disabled woman, who is socially aware, and even I missed half the things cited in this essay. So I certainly don’t expect men who experience no vectors of  marginalization to be able to get these things right and if we had more representation behind the scenes, we wouldn’t have to  beg the people in the industry for more representation, or for them to try to get us.

every time i make or reblog a post about a show’s racism, a lot of people reblog it with comments along the tines of “oh, i didn’t notice” or “damn, i didn’t know, i love this show”.

i’m talking abut shows that

  • are overwhelmingly white (orphan black, person of interest, in the flesh, agent carter, shameless, jessica jones),
  • kill off brown characters at alarming rates (daredevil, the 100, breaking bad, arrow, teen wolf),
  • rely heavily on stereotypes (about all the shows i just mentioned; sense8, glee),
  • sideline, erase and under-write their characters of color (again, all the shows mentioned above),
  • have a few men of color but not women of color (most of the above mentioned; broad city, supergirl, izombie)

and another long list of obvious, glaring forms of racism. things that you cannot miss when you see the show. things that you have to be trying to ignore, because otherwise, there shouldn’t be a way to not see them.

and yet bloggers who regularly talk about media’s misogyny, queerphobia and ableism; claim that they have never before noticed any kind of racism in shows they’ve been watching and blogging about for ages. of course, most of the time, if i go check their blog i’ll find out that they are white, that is a given.

i don’t know what to think about these people. does their capacity for critical analysis suddenly vanish when faced with the absence or mistreatment of characters of color? are they willfully obtuse, do they truly not care, or does unexamined whiteness really cause that level of ignorance?

Yet in arrow you have diggle aka spartan since episode 1 not to mention that Sara and ras daughter were in love.
Jessica jones is in love with Luke cage, a major black super hero since the 70s.
Carter took place in a time when people of color were highly segregated so yeah not likely to see people of color.

I can’t believe that, in the year of our lord 2k16, I have to explain to your bitch racist racist that a black sidekick does not make a racist production any less racist, but… here we are, and you better learn everything in this reply before I track down your location and beat your ass with a history book.

Let’s go from the bottom up: “there were no black people in the fifties, Agent Carter is not racist!”

AGENT CARTER IS RACIST

White people in fandom have been trying to excuse AC’s racism with “but!!! racial segregation!!!” since day one, and yet, it’s still a fake as fuck argument. /Here/, the wonderful @kissingcullens took down this myth with some examples:

First of all, this is a fictional show set in a Fantasy Alternate Universe in which there are super-soldiers, spies, and magical energy cubes left on earth by alien vikings, so….
But even if that weren’t the case…. Are we all forgetting just basic American History 101?

125,000 African Americans served overseas in World War II, including the famous Tuskegee Airmen and the 761st Tank Battalion.
African American Women served in the second World War as nurses, WACs, WAVES, and WAACs, both at home and overseas.

Heard of Jazz?  Harlem?  The Cotton Club?
Lena Horne?
Cabin in the Sky??
Louis Armstrong!  Cab Calloway!  Eartha Kitt!
James Baldwin!  Ethel Waters!

Joe Louis (World Heavyweight Champion 1937-1949)
Hattie MacDaniel
(1940 Winner of the Academy Award)
Jackie Robinson
(a veteran of WWII btw, though he never went overseas) was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947-
How about Samuel J Battle, New York City’s first African-American police sergeant (1926), lieutenant (1935), and the first African-American parole commissioner (1941)
Madame CJ Walker
is known as America’s first self-made female Millionaire, based on her successful line of hair products for Black women.
This woman’s parents were slaves and she ended her life a MILLIONAIRE with a thriving business.

Or you can look at /this/ post, where people shared soldiers, pilots, spies and politicans of color under the tag “Diversify Agent Carter”. The OP has pictures, but…

The “Women Guerrillas” corps trains in Manila, Philippines in 1941. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/7zia1Rr2vW

My grandfather was an Air Force instructor to Tuskeegee Airmen before & during WWII. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/3QoURyx2pf

#DiversifyAgentCarter MT @womenshistory: Maggie Gee, 1 of only 2 Chinese-Am women to serve in the WASP during WWII. pic.twitter.com/1kMwd0SQKG

1928 pilot license photo of Ms. Pancho Barnes, who broke Amelia Earhart’s air speed record. http://t.co/ov1rzvi9b3 pic.twitter.com/WYUewz0fuo

1940s superspy Senorita Rio, the first Latina lead character in US comics. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/xsQQX5lb1G

#DiversifyAgentCarter because Katherine Sui Fun Cheung was the first Asian Am woman to get a pilots license in 1932! pic.twitter.com/PnMRJCwe3I

My Arab great-grandma, a detective & civil defense director in 1950s NYC. These women existed. #DiversifyAgentCarter pic.twitter.com/YGVcadaadT

#DiversifyAgentCarter because of this book on my Amazon wish list about the history of gay men and women during WWII. http://t.co/UFD1DIdvsd

Historical accuracy is still a fucking fallacy if you quote segregation, because… let’s read what @karnythia explained /here/:

The first Black FBI special agent was James Wormley Jones who was appointed in 1919. Basic American history, federal jobs were integrated (not that they were ever really completely segregated) by Roosevelt with Executive Order  8802 in June 1941. In fact after WWII Truman continued to support desegregation of the armed forces and all other agencies, going so far in 1948 to appoint the first Black Federal judge among other high ranking positions, and issuing Executive Order 9981 which stated that  “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in  the armed forces without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.“ By the end of the Korean War almost every unit in the military was integrated.

That’s before we get into how Jim Crow actually worked. Black & white people didn’t necessarily socialize in all places (though that list was mostly schools and church), but they worked in the same places, went to the same movie theaters, white people frequented clubs in Black neighborhoods like Harlem, Black people worked and performed in clubs with white audiences etc. Black and white people ate in the same restaurants, just at two different counters or sides of the same building. Their communities were side by side, they used the same transit systems, the idea was separate but equal even if the execution missed the mark. So the MCU was integrated as a reflection of the reality of the 1940′s. Some hotels didn’t allow Black people, but many did, especially at the lower end of the economic scale like the boarding house where Peggy lives. There’s literally no canonical or historical reason to erase the diversity of New YorK City in Agent Carter.

Damn, even fucking /Playboy/ addressed AC’s racism:

The overwhelming whiteness of Agent Carter is constructed. It is artificial. It is not normal or realistic. It did not happen in a magical creative vacuum any more than deliberately cultivating more diversity would.

First of all, if you think that New York of 1946 was as white as it looks in Agent Carter, then you are just super, super wrong. I’m not sure how else to go into that one, because it’s just a straight-up question of factual accuracy. Even in the 1940s, even under a lot of de facto segregation (which it’s worth noting largely persists 70-plus years later), New York was an incredibly racially diverse city, far more so than the version we’ve seen on Agent Carter. Hell, I live in the whitest major city in the America — Portland, OR — and it’s not as white as the New York of Agent Carter.

Nor were the intelligence and military communities. In 1941, an executive order had desegregated the defense industry, and in 1946, when Agent Carter takes place, A. Philip Randolph and the March on Washington Movement was campaigning vocally for the desegregation of the armed forces, which would occur by executive order in 1948.

The FBI had hired its first black agent — James Wormley Jones — in 1919; others followed. Understand that you are looking at the tip of the iceberg here: click over to #DiversifyAgentCarter for an ongoing lesson on the history you did not learn in schools for much the same reason that you don’t see it reflected on TV. Google the names Pancho Barnes, Maggie Gee, Katherine Sui Fun Cheung.

Certainly, Jones, and Barnes and Gee were minorities in their fields, exceptions in a system aggressively biased against them: but then, so is Peggy Carter. That’s the whole point.Agent Carter is a show about an exceptional individual fighting a system in which she is a second-class citizen, a system that fails to recognize her value or support her work. It tells that story exquisitely well, and it is already telling it along multiple vectors: in the case of season one, gender and disability. There is no reason that race should not be part of that narrative — and plenty of reasons that it not only should but must.

Not to mention that /616 canon Peggy Carter/ marries Gabe Jones, a dark skinned black man who was part of the Howling Commandos, and yet they haven’t een mentioned him in the show so far and his leading love interest has been a white man for two seasons.

Not that Agent Carter mentioned Jim Morita either, despite the fact that he’s also one of the most iconic Howling Commandos and he’s already appeared in the MCU.

As far as characters of color that appeared in the comics as people from Peggy Carter’s generation, we also could have (as mentioned by@fandomshatepeopleofcolor, /here/):

  • Jimmy Woo, former FBI agent who was one of the earliest members of SHIELD, heir to the shady ATLAS foundation, and hyper-competent agent. If he’s on the show they could do really smart commentary on US-China relations during the Cold Wwar, like they kinda did in the comics.
  • Nia Marie Jones, a CIA agent in the comics who met White Nick Fury while on a mission. They had a kid together, Marcus Johnson (aka Nick Fury Jr, the 616 counterpart to the MCU’s Fury).
  • Isaiah Bradley. After the success of the Super Soldier program, American/German eugenicists tried to replicate it using African-American test subjects as guinea pigs, with only a few survivors, one of them being Isaiah.

Now that we got your stupid-ass argument out of the way, let me remind you that, not only is Agent Carter whitewashed as fuck, but they also treated its few characters of color like shit:

  • Season 1:
    • A black man in the first episode who is 1) a misogynistic and 2) a villain, and is murdered by a white man in that same episode.
    • An Asian man (SHIELD Agent, IIRC) who also died in episode 1.
    • A Black police officer who also died (rather violently, I recall) in EP1.
    • A black man (with no lines) who showed up for a few seconds in EP1.
    • A bunch of black musicians at the villain’s party.
    • There was an Asian lady who appeared on-screen for three seconds just to say that she slept with Tony Stark.
    • An, I think another nameless Asian SHIELD Agent who Peggy beat up a couple times in S1. I don’t remember him having lines.
  • Season 2:
    • Jason Wilkes, the scientist and love interest from S2, who is there to receive racist comments from Everyone But Peggy. He spends most of his arc being invisible and/or untouchable, makes a deal with the villains (and betrays Peggy), is experiemented on against by a bunch of white people and almost dies about five times in the season.
    • The black extras in the Black Club™ where Wilkes took Peggy???

@ubeempress’ “Agent Carter and The Lack Of Diversity” (1, 2) bring up most of the same points I brought up before, but they are also a good read on why you are an ignorant, racist fuck.


So, we can move on to AKA Jessica Jones now, right? This is gonna be another long, fun read on why, exactly, you are an ignorant and racist idiot, so I hope you are paying attention.

JESSICA JONES IS RACIST

The good news is that I myself have already made posts about why JJ is racist, so we can start there. From /here/ and /here/:

  • out of 7 recurrent characters (jessica, patricia, malcolm, jeri, kilgrave, luke, simpson) you got 5 white, 2 black (men).
  • minor but mildly developed characters add a bunch of white faces (hope, pam, robyn and ruben, wendy, patricia’s mom, kilgrave’s parents) and only 3 non-white characters (reva and clements, both dead; and claire, who was only there for one episode).
  • the support group has one black woman and one black man, i think (not counting malcolm)? out of about six characters we see there regularly? still bad numbers.
  • jessica’s has one case with two characters of color who don’t end up dead (antoine and serena, both black); and another with two white characters who don’t end up dead (attempted murder lady and the not-actually-cheating husband), so at least that’s even.
  • there is a latinx gang (puerto rican, i think), a couple black and latinx bodyguards/cops. at least the asian-fusion restaurant is owned by actual east-asian people?
  • some asian/black/latinx extras in almost every crowd scene. there are no all-white crowds, which is an improvement from agent carter at least.
  • the only asian man with more than five seconds of screentime spends all of his ten minutes of fame brainwashed and ends up dead.

so, to sum it up, out of 18 recurrent/more-or-less-developed characters (names, stories, affect the plot somehow, appear in at least two episodes) we have:

  • two women of color. a dead black woman (only shows up in flashbacks) and a latina (who only shows up in the last ten minutes of the 12th ep and during the 13th)
  • three men of color, all black. two are major characters (the leading romantic interest and the hero’s sidekick). the third one is a secondary character and dies a violent dead.
  • no prominent asian characters. in new york city. only latinxs besides claire are gang members. no black women who get to be alive and exist as more than plot devices.

so, 5/18 of the main cast (or 27%) are poc and Hell’s Kitchen is only 48% non-latinx white. atleast half of those 18 characters should be poc and/or latinxs.

And, since you brought up the fact that Sara and Nyssa are wlw in a post about racism (???), we can talk about why Jessica Jones was also a lesbophobic mess, as discussed by @autisticlynch and @becketted /here/:

It was blatant hatred. Not only did they make it a love triangle and managed to demonize all three women involved, that final scene was just violent for me to watch. No representation is better than bad representation and if you’ll only have lesbians in your show to have them torture and kill each other in a graphic, awfully long gorey scene then I’d advise you to keep your disgusting hands away from wlw characters forever. The thing is, the femslash shippers jumped on the Jess/Trish baiting so I guess they focused on that ? But yikes, we’re talking of a fandom that takes pride on the anti-rape message of the show while still somehow, shipping Jess and Luke so they’re not above looking the other way when their shitty show fucks up again, I’m afraid.

It’s particularly awful because this was the first time we saw a same-gender couple in a Marvel show (Joey Gutierrez came before, and as much as I love seeing lgbtqa+ Latino representation he doesn’t have an onscreen relationship like the women in Jessica Jonesdid) and it has to be such a negative thing. It reminded me how that Mandarin short made Justin Hammer into a “only gay in jail” joke, it was in the same hatred vibe. You decide to have a Marvel character in a relationship with another men but it’s a villain and it’s a fucking punchline? Ugly.

There’s also the fact that they invented that “Jessica kills Reva” storyline only to… what? Ruin the perfect, loving friends-to-lovers relationship Luke and Jess have in 616, brutalize a black woman on-screen and add some shitty white angst? As pointed by @trans-janet-jackson /here/:

This whole thing with Reva Connors DID NOT happen in Alias, one of Luke Cage’s EARLY villains was responsible. Why was there a need to make her a part of Jessica’s story? Like this adaptation wasn’t bad enough with you taking the extra step of making Kilgrave rape Jessica when that didn’t happen in the comics (And was a very important point in that story) you had to throw some extra misogynoir in there too.

I’m gonna get on how Jessica killing Reva and lying to Luke about it makes her relationship with him a manipulative, abusive, toxic mess that is completely weighed by anti-blackness and is particularly disgusting in a show that is supposed to be about survivors working through their trauma after being abused, but, first, let’s talk about the show’s general racism. Another great post by @autisticlynch, /here/:

Not only did they kill Clemmons in a very graphic way, they also made Malcolm an addict because of course they did. But not even that gross, racist storyline was his. Kilgrave made him so, to get at Jessica and she, in turn, used him. She put him in danger, she mocked his sufferings and made his addiction about herself. Frankly, it was. We were never shown him actually fighting, resisting to it. He was an addict and then, he was fine. Eventually, he became the support system of Ruben’s sister, another white girl willing to step on him if needs be. From beginning to end, Malcolm was a pawn and a liability, his efforts to insert himself on the narrative dismissed with a patronizing pat on the back.

Luke Cage got off worse. This show was supposed to lead the way to his own show, premiering in  2016. Luke Cage, that historical hero, impervious to bullets, whose story matters so much as of now. We were introduced with is character through Jessica’s binoculars, as she stalked him.

He is shown having sex with a black woman. Said black woman, it turned out, was cheating on her husband with him, allowing us to understand a bit more about Luke as he declines her advances. A straight-up guy, he “doesn’t do drama”. Never once is that woman shamed for her choices, however. She’s confident and upfront and challenges Jessica, calling her out on her obsession with Luke. Nevertheless, she is soon forgotten, set aside to let Jessica and Luke’s story begin. She was the only black woman with a speaking role in the whole series and her potential was already conveniently abandoned before the end of the pilot.

From that moment onward, Luke is surrounded by white people. His colleague is a white guy and all his scenes are with Jessica. He has no world, no friends, no relations. He is utterly othered, rarely if ever sharing the camera with another POC and linked solely to Jessica.

Their relationship is physical, leading to many sexual scenes between the two. The spectator watches as a blooming fondness is born, a trust shared. Luke helps Jessica in many ways, his moral support giving her a drive and a new-found confidence in her abilities. That, in itself, is already symptomatic of a lack of balance in their interactions. Never once is Jessica here for him, to propel his story. So far, there is none to tell. He has no ties but her.

The truth comes out, eventually. Jessica killed his wife, a black woman once again set aside by the narrative to propel their romance. She killed her and never told him, even though she knew who he was. She tricked him, abused of his trust and only came clean because she had to. Luke doesn’t shy from stating how violated he feels, how betrayed. He is completely disgusted with the very though of having slept with his wife’s murderer, showing to the spectator how wrong Jessica’s actions were. Jessica raped him and there is nothing more painful to watch than his face as he realises what she’s done. Mike Colter plays it with such intensity and raw pain, it’s unbearable.

His plight doesn’t end here, however. Kilgrave finds him and learns about is relationship with Jessica. Because they could, the writers didn’t refrain from showing the former bewildered with the very idea of their  interracial entanglement, referring to it as a “pity shag”. He proceeds to take control of Luke, unbeknownst to the spectator. Throughout a whole episode, Luke is literally forced by the narrative to forgive Jessica, to stay near her and to offer his moral support, once more. He has no choice, no say in this. Yet, we are never showed that. His turmoil remains silent, the focus staying on Jessica and her relief at being once again the receptacle of Luke’s affection. His story and feelings are of little consequence. He is pushed back in the arms of his aggressor, by Kilgrave but also by the narrative. That state of helplessness, which is so often described as traumatizing and painful, holds only emotional weight when Jessica learns that him forgiving her wasn’t real. The consequences on his mental well-being aren’t worth dwelling into because, as per usual, only Jessica and their ship matter.

Knocked unconscious for the entirety of the finale (!!!!), Luke is powerless as Jessica holds him, kisses him and professes her love. Once again, he is but a silent witness, a barely consenting participant in that poor excuse for romance.

A short aside to talk about Detective Clemmons, from /this/ review:

Detective Oscar Clemmons is exactly the same character as Daredevil’s Ben Urich. He’s an older authority figure, who may be one of the only safe bets in his place of work. He’s sought out by one of our heroes to expose the main villain. He’s reluctant to help, but eventually joins their side. And he ends up dead.

It is frustrating to not only see this trope again, but to see it, beat for beat, in both Netflix/Marvel shows. It’s so obvious, it almost felt like it could be a double-bluff. But no. Clemmons dies in what would be a tragic fashion, if we weren’t so disgusted it was happening again.

Plus, Clemmons and Urich were both older black characters. You have to stop killing black characters for shock value. It’s just gross.

Digging deeper on Jessica and Kilgrave’s abuse of Luke and Malcolm, we’ve got /this/ post by @allerasphinx and @candyumbrella:

Jessica had the chance to come clean. “Kilgrave made me kill your wife” should’ve been one of the things she told him, and she chose not to until circumstances forced her to tell him.

It’s really frustrating because Luke’s meant to fall in love with Jessica. If the writers weren’t going to explore the issue in depth, they should have taken a different route with their relationship. At the very least, they could have made it so they didn’t sleep together. Like, looking back on it, I think it’s so disrespectful.

Men in general have to conform to hypermasculine stereotypes and there’s more pressure if you’re black, especially if you look like Luke. Black men are hypermasculinized and dehumanized. Luke is a tall, muscular, dark-skinned black man who is literally bulletproof. He’s essentially how white people see black men; they look at what’s on the surface and then fill in the blanks with stereotypes.

When Luke finds out about Jessica deceiving him:

He asks her if Kilgrave forced her to deceive him and sleep with him and makes her admit that no, she did it of her own volition
Tells her that her actions have explicitly harmed his recovery from his trauma over his wife’s death (”You made me think… I could get past it.”)
Emphasizes the extent of his disgust and horror at the physical and emotional violation (”You let me be inside you. You touched me with the same hands that killed my wife, while you knew.”)
Makes Jessica admit that she only confessed because Luke was closing in on the truth anyway (”If I never found out about Charles, would you have ever told me the truth?”)
Expresses his anger and condemnation of Jessica by telling her, “I was wrong… you are a piece of shit.”

Malcolm is an even more extreme case–I’ve seen almost no recognition of the disgustingly appropriative and parasitic nature of his relationship with Jessica, as embodied in the scene where Jessica tells Malcolm to stop being “this self-pitying piece of shit that [Kilgrave] turned you into, and save ME for once.” She makes Malcolm’s suffering about herself–”If you give up, I lose. Do you get that? He did this to you to get at ME. To isolate ME. To make ME feel like an infection,” blah blah blah. Like STFU, Jessica, it’s not fucking about you!

And to most people, Malcolm’s life is about Jessica by default because he’s black and she’s white (and with Jessica/Malcolm in particular, TBQH I think many parts of fandom take a fetishizing pleasure in the parasitic nature of the relationship–I can feel people enjoying that unbalanced power dynamic, and they can do it guilt-free because in the current fandom climate it’s easier to escape or derail criticism by wallowing in this kind of relationship through a white woman rather than a white man.)

For one last nail on the coffin, Kilgrave and Simmons aren’t just abusive, misogynistic douchebags, they are also racists! From /this/ excellent post by@mytwistedexperience:

Racism isn’t only when a white person says n*****,  say things like “i hate you because you’re black” or put on a white robe and burn crosses on a black person’s front lawn.

Why is Killgrave racist? Because one, this motherfucker, a white male went into an Asian restaurant, then proceeded to order Italian food and forced the Asian staff  to prepare it for him with ingredients they had to go out of their way to get. And he didn’t pay for his goddamn meal. The entire thing reaked of white entitlement.That was gross. That was disrespectful.

Two, He is racist because of the way he treated Malcolm. He plucked this happy young man filled with hope for the future and dreams. He then force fed him drugs, made him an addict, then forced him to become his spy. Killgrave didn’t care that this was a black man who usually faces harsher consequences rather than empathy for being a drug addict. He used Malcolm like a slave to spy on one of his rape victims. I can’t even imagine the sort of things Malcolm had to endure to do what Killgrave ordered him to do. He has probably put his life in danger getting it done. His health definitely took a downward spiral judging by how worse he continuously looked.

And then Jessica being racist herself decided to use racism as a weapon with Malcolm as a pawn without any regard for how badly it could have turned out for him at that hospital depending on the kind of people who were around. That was her lowest moment as a character for me. It was wholly unnecessary and actually insulting that they reduced a potentially self reflective moment of how “everyone is a little racist” everyone being the white people who are main characters to “lets use Malcolm as distraction by employing a racist stereotype. She could have literally gotten those drugs without using Malcolm like a disposable tool.

But this is not about Jessica and the writing of the show but you get the point about Malcolm suffering racism at the hands of two white characters. One a villain, and the other one a hero.

What other racist things does Killgrave do? The way he uses and discarded Reva Connors was disgusting. But she’s barely a character considering she essentially is a plot device.

Sticking to how he treated main characters of colour, lets talk about his reactions to Luke Cage. I’m not at the end of the series yet so this is based on their first interaction only. When Luke told him he and Jessica were lovers, his assumption was that it had to be a pity shag. Because goodness knows, the white woman he obsesses over couldn’t possible have real feelings for this black man. It couldn’t be mutual attraction because Luke Cage is somehow beneath her that sleeping with him can only be out of pity even though Luke Cage is a very attractive man. And then he makes him blow himself up simply to hurt Jessica. Luke Cage is an afterthought to him. A tool because he is jealous.

As for Simpson, this one makes my skin crawl in a different way than Killgrave because Simpson is supposed to be a good guy and a “decent human being” according to Trish. It most certainly turned my stomach even more because he is playing a cop.

Lets see, the way he reacts to the black men(who are the only POC he does share scenes with) he interacts with the first time he meets them is consistently very violent.

When he met Malcolm for the first time, he threatens him, slams him up against the wall and was so violent and harsh that i really thought he was going to kill him. And he really had no reason to have behaved that way. Malcolm was not a threat to him or Jessica. The dude was a small man, who was literally high and very weak judging by his physical condition but Will Simpson treated him like he was a mass murdering, gun wielding, 7fth tall, 400 pounds criminal.

When the one bodyguard of Killgrave they captured happened to be black, Simpson literally seemed like he was doing everything he could not to kill this guy who was innocent and simply doing his goddamn job like anybody else. He was very threatening, harsh and antagonistic towards the man who was helpless to defend himself. He didn’t seem to care that the man was innocent and knew nothing beyond doing his job. He was blaming the man for things that were not his fault. If Jessica hadn’t been there to tell him to leave the man alone, Simpson would have violently killed him.   There was no reason to display so much rage towards an innocent man who was just doing his job. He should have been very empathetic towards the man because they were both used by the same monster.

Then of course, he finally shared a scene with Detective Clemons. And just like the last two, he was instantly very violent. It wasn’t until he recognized him from his wonderful reputation did he tone down his rage. But of course, in the end, he decided to murder him after using him for information, then set his corpse on fire, just like what the KKK used to do to the black people they murdered. Hell, they still do it to the black people they murder. He might as well have lynched him because that was what that scene invoked. Clemons was treated as a disposable object by Simpson. His murder was truly disgusting.
And of course, Simpson has no remorse for his crimes. And he has the nerves to blame it on the drugs he was taking when he was already a violent and racist Nazi looking shithead well before he took those meds.

And why does his behaviors towards these black men stand out? Because he never reacts that extreme to the other white characters he interacts with. He acts like a white person who sees all black people as criminals, thugs, deserving of instant execution. It made me very uncomfortable watching and it almost made me hate Trish because she was banging this racist asshole, spouting nonsense about how he’s a decent human being, making excuses for him, giving him several undeserving chances to redeem himself, had shown himself to be violent, controlling and an awful human being. There is having a big heart and just being stupid. If she ever takes him back after he locked her up, attacked her and Jessica and murdered Clemons, then i’ll be done with her and the series in general.

The worst part about his character to be honest is how he blames his violent tendencies on the pills. For someone who says he’s sorry for his actions caused by the pills he took, he doesn’t act like it. Even if i bought into the bullshit that the pills make him violent, the fact that he knows that the pills does that to him, yet he keeps taking them anyways shows he has no regard for the people he hurts and the fact that he murdered a person. Basically, he doesn’t care that he is violent. If he did, he would have immediately stopped taking them, removed himself from the situation then turned himself in for Clemons murder. Since he is supposed to be a decent human being and all that.

So, Jessica Jones is covered. It’s racist. You are, again, wrong. Let’s move on.


Now, on to Arrow! How about we start by debunking this “hey, the black driver is great representation” with /this/ amazing article by @blacknerdproblems? Because, yeah, we love Dig, but…

ARROW IS RACIST

Diggle began as a promising character of color in the series, asserting himself as someone uninterested in “being anyone’s sidekick.” A 40-something year old ex-Special Forces with hero-diesel build? And he says he’s no one’s sidekick? Arrow had me going on that one. They had me going, that is, until it took under half a season for him to become just that. Not even a particularly useful one either – whenever Ollie excludes him on missions he sits back at headquarters and dreams of being appreciated. “Maybe I’ll get a code name soon,” he thinks to himself, looking up at the salmon ladder. “Or a mask. A mask would do.” It’s embarrassing. On the list of respectable sidekicks, John Diggle’s name falls somewhere under Kimmy Gibbler, Memphis Bleek, and Tails.

He’s strictly there for diversity purposes at this point – they couldn’t get rid of him so they turned him into Cole from Martin, where every time he talks about his job for a mission everyone yells “you ain’t got no job!” His presence onscreen solely to say things like “You’re not seeing straight on this one, Ollie” every 18 minutes. The frustrating part is his character had such promise at the start of the show, although let’s be clear – he was never written as Ollie’s equal even in season 1, and the way he was the punch line of Ollie’s daily shenanigans sneaking away in season 1 while Diggle facepalms and says “aw, shucks” was borderline offensive. Heaven forbid we break with the norm and have an interesting black character that helps Ollie out as an equal. He was always the goofy and hapless counterpart opposite Ollie’s hero-ness, but essential enough to each mission to keep us believing in his utility on the team.

I’m also gonna quote from /this/ post, which addresses two of your arguments. Arrow is racist and lesbophobic, all at once! Joy!

Sara (the oh, so progressive wlw!)

  • “dies” in the very beginning of the series as nothing more than a plot device to show the kind of guy Oliver is and the relationship he has with Laurel. That’s it. Early Sara was a plot device.
  • Sara later returns as the Canary, a bisexual woman who has clearly been through trauma and is struggling with that. She is then used as a tool for rival romances and we only get hints of friendships with other female characters. She is either loved or hated among fans due to her relationship with Oliver and/or Nyssa.
  • She is later killed and literally fridged. This was excused by “creating tension” and “plot reasons.” The only reason she is still alive is because of fan outcry. They buried their gays. And then brought her back when they realized that it might hurt ratings.
  • Note: killed by a male character to get to another male character. Or something like that. Did we ever figure out Malcolm’s motivations? Oh wait, why is that bastard still alive while all of these ladies got fridged?
  • Is turned into the White Canary, who was originally an Asian woman in the comics. This was very much a point of conflict for many fans because while many were celebrating the return of a canon bisexual character, it was done in a way that was terribly racist and whitewashed the original White Canary.

Nyssa (the other brownie point!)

  • Potentially falls under the “preying lesbian who corrupts another female” trope.
  • Is an Asian woman who is continually forced to obey the men in her life, even though it’s clear that she’s stronger than all of them.
  • Literally forced into a marriage with a man she doesn’t love and is given a corrective rape plotline.
  • Her forced marriage/rape is only ever joked about with the writers and a majority of fans don’t seem to care that she was literally threatened with corrective rape.

Shado

  • Another Asian (Chinese) woman who often seems to fall into the obedient and mysterious Asian girl trope.
  • Killed in a ridiculous Sophie’s Choice type of trial that is more about dick measuring between two male characters.
  • Only given screen time to build up the male character’s story and then pain.
  • Killed by a male character to torment another male character.

McKenna

  • written off the show when her purpose as Oliver’s love interest was served.
  • Shot because again, her purpose as Oliver’s love interest was over.

Tatsu

  • Mysterious and cold Asian woman trope.
  • Literally her entire purpose was to help Oliver.
  • Dealt with the death of her son and was forced to kill her husband.
  • She’s not allowed to deal with this because she has to help Oliver.

Since I’m too lazy to dedicate too much emotional or intellectual energy to a shitshow like Arrow –which I happily dropped two seasons ago– I’m gonna make a quick break-down of the rest of its problems (well, the ones I remember):

They white-washed Ra’s Al Ghul, a character of Chinese and Arab roots.

They white-washed the White Canary, a Chinese character.

They white-washed Sin, another Asian character.

They cast Connor Hawke, Oliver Queen’s Afro-Asian son, with a non-Asian black actor, and made him Dig’s son.

They white-washed Vandal Savage, a brown-skinned character of Middle Eastern origins.

They white-washed Brick, a black-coded character.

They cast a light-skinned, young, thin actress to play Amanda “The Wall” Waller, a dark-skinned, fat 50 y/o woman… and then killed her off.

But yeah, Arrow is so progressive! Sure, Dig’s existence excuses all of its racism! Go fuck yourself.


Anyways, dear @havan69, though I seriously doubt you actually bothered reading any of that, because I can feel in my soul that you are an ignorant fuckwad and probably plan to remain the same, I still hope this was enlightening to someone.

TL;DR: all of your faves are racist as fuck, go fuck yourself.

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*More crap comes out about the behind the scenes shenanigans at Sleepy Hollow, and people’s reactions:
tvline.com
Fox Boss on Nicole Beharie’s Sleepy Hollow Departure: ‘It Was a Decision That Needed to Be Made’
By Michael Ausiello

Of course it’s all about Mison. Always has been. I hope this show burns in hell.

Fox’s top entertainment executive is suggesting that the network was left with little choice but to part ways with Sleepy Hollow star Nicole Beharie, whose character, Abbie, was killed off in the show’s Season 3 finale.

“There were a variety of factors that led to the end of the season,” CEO Dana Walden told reporters during a Monday-morning conference call to tout Fox’s fall schedule. “It was not a decision that we wanted to make initially. We ended up being put in a situation where that was a decision that needed to be made.”

Regarding the controversial decision to move on with a fourth season sans Beharie, Walden said, “What we know is that Tom Mison is a big star. And the Ichabod Crane character has been so central to the series and the storytelling and he feels like an original, big Fox character.

“We don’t feel like it has to be the end of the life of the show,” she added. “And while there was backlash [to the Season 4 renewal], there was also a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from fans about the show coming back and about Tom having the ability to be the center of the series and discovering new dynamics and new relationships. It’s a very original premise and we felt like it had greater life in it and that there was no reason to end it.”

Walden also denied that Season 4 would serve as the show’s swan song. “We’re not announcing that it’s the final season,” she maintained. “We’re not sure if it’s the final season.”

It’s so funny because I had been saying for the longest time that SH was racist af and didn’t like being a “black show” or a “POC show” but so many people augured that it was everything else, that FOX didn’t know how to deal with a fandom, that Fox doesn’t know how to deal with sci-fi/ fantasy shows, but here they are in so many words coming out and saying it. Crane should be the focus because he’s white. They’ve always wanted a white audience for SH. It’s OK for a show like Empire to have a mostly black audience, but not Sleepy Hollow, oh no that’s a white people show.

And they shall have what they want. I really do hope they finally get what they’ve done; they’re trying desperately to have the creators (especially Orci) revive it. He’s asking fans for feedback, and up to now, I’ve said what the issues are I have with the show, but no more… even thought I WON’T watch with Nicole. I’m not helping them to resurrect this when they’ve not EARNED it.

Tom Mison is a big star since the fuck when?! I am British and I have never even heard of the guy before Shitty Hollow. He is not original he is every other white British know it all motherfucker, he is Sherlock Holmes, he is doctor who, he is that show Forever. He is my high school maths teacher that I am sure lived in the school. Nothing original about this sack of crap.

I knew who Nicole Beharie was since American Violet, before joining the show she was hot off the movie Shame that had wild critical acclaim she is the big star not him.

What enthusiasm what type of fantasy world are they living in, is this real fucking life? I swear they will hurt themselves to stick to the status quo but that shot won’t work how many fucking retcons can one show go through? Everyone who was a part of team witness was in relation to Abbie like I said before Ichabod has made 0 friends on his own.

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