... Marvel Comics is investing time and energy on yet another "Avengers" title.
Hawkeye, or in this case, Clint Barton, and some non-powered heroes will be traveling across the country to help average joes with their problems. Like Flint, Michigan's water crisis, Walker says.
"Or, for lack of a better term," he says, "that 99 percentile that is sort of synonymous with the Occupy movement; the people who are often trod upon, can't protect themselves, and don't feel like they're being protected because of things like corporate interests or political corruption."
Like the Democratic Party-controlled city of Flint? (Shhhh! Don't tell Walker that!) Or, politicians like Hillary Clinton who get off scot-free while if you or I -- or anyone from the so-called 99% -- did what she did we'd be in the clink?
Don't count on it.
And don't expect this book to go anywhere sales-wise, even if artist extraordinaire Carlos Pacheco is doing the first quartet of issues. Walker's Nighthawk has proven to be a sales disaster after only a few issues, and disgusting Gail Simone's similarly-themed book The Movement barely made it to a dozen editions before cancellation.
US Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, the American athlete to wear a hijab, says she "doesn't feel safe" in her country:
“[I feel unsafe] all the time. I had someone follow me home from practice and try to report me to police,” she told the Daily Beast. “And this is right on 28th and 7th in New York City.
“I’m very vocal about these things because I want people to know I’m not a novelty, I’m not special in any way. I’m a woman who wears hijab and these are my experiences."
Yeah, it must be rough being a virtually instant celebrity because of what's on your head: Teaching the First Lady how to fence, an appearance on "Ellen," and an invitation to the White House. Not to mention, she was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People because, as the magazine says, (she) "broke the rules, broke the record, broke the silence, broke the boundaries to reveal what we’re capable of."
But it's a good thing Muhammad isn't a Jew. After all, anti-Jewish hate crimes are much more numerous than those that are anti-Muslim in nature. But that goes against THE NARRATIVETM.
Long-time comics creator Chuck Dixon says what many of us have known for some time -- that "the rise of 'social justice' in comics and how DC and Marvel seem to be wanting to change genders or ethnicities of long-established characters just for political correctness’ sake" is helping with comicbooks' downfall.
Why aren't things getting better?
"Because they’ve chased so much of the readership away. People simply stopped reading comics when they voluntarily pulled comics off the newsstands in the 1990s and became a boutique industry exclusive to comic shops."
"Why don’t the comics sell more? Because they’re crap. That’s why they don’t sell more.”
Indeed. I really can't fathom why anyone, let alone conservatives, would shell out $4.00 for the stuff that's put out these days. When I occasionally get a current issue from a buddy it's incredible how creatively stunted the stories are -- especially compared to 15-20 years ago. Everyone talks the same, the characters are all seemingly really stupid as they're ultra-quick to start needless fights, and, of course, the forced political correctness is head-shakingly laughable. (Here's but the latest example.)
One thing Chuck forgot is what we, Doug Ernst, Avi Green, and others have documented for years -- the nasty, disdainful, and dismissive way modern creators treat fans (especially those who in any way question them) on social media.
The early 90s film "The Rocketeer" is getting a reboot and there's been a fairly significant change. Ready? Can you guess?
Got it yet? Come on ... !!!
You got it -- star Billy Campbell's role is out ... and the protagonist will now be played by ... a black woman.
"The Hollywood Reporter says the company is prepping a brand new sequel/reboot called The Rocketeers and the new hero is an African-American woman.
This new version will be set six years after the original film. The first Rocketeer has disappeared fighting the Nazis, so an unlikely pilot takes up the mantle and battles the scientists who are trying to mass produce the rocket technology for the enemy."
If you've heard that SJWs -- social justice warriors -- are simply never satisfied, look no further than here.
That's right -- even though Tony Stark has been replaced as Iron Man by a teenaged black female, Entertainment Weekly's suggestions for who should hypothetically portray the new character were met with derision ... because the actresses noted are too light-skinned.
"What Riri Williams looks like MATTERS. It MATTERS that she is a dark-skinned black girl. It matters because most black girls in America ARE darker-skinned but continue to be erased in entertainment — even from their OWN stories. That Hollywood would even consider a light-skinned 33-year-old actress for the role of a dark-skinned 15-year-old-girl shows how far it will go to avoid dark skin."
Everyone join me in one. Big. Collective. EYE ROLL.
It's bad enough that Marvel has a writer on one of its marquee books who was active in Democratic politics and who routinely trashes Republicans as "evil," but it also employs David Walker who writes (the poor-selling) Nighthawk.
Walker believes the biggest threats to black Americans are "racism and the criminal justice system that is infected by the disease or racism," and he's showing just that in his book.
The Nighthawk in this title is not, if you're an older Marvel reader, the hero from the old Defenders team book. He's the dimension-displaced vigilante from the J. Michael Straczynski Supreme Power/Squadron Supreme books, now in the Marvel Universe proper. The ... "hero" is stationed in Chicago, of all places, and in the preview of issue #3 we read this:
"The city of Chicago explodes in racial violence, but the nightmare is just beginning. NIGHTHAWK goes to war against a group of white supremacists, but with the cops also hunting him, he may have finally bitten off more than he can chew. And then there’s that serial killer on the loose…"
Also, someone has been "smuggling illegal arms into the city" -- which Nighthawk suspects involves the police. 'Hawk is "determined to keep the guns from making it onto the streets" ... he's "had enough of this @!#$", you see. (Those are the actual words.)
Indeed -- the greatest problems facing urban Chicago are white supremacists and cops smuggling illegal weapons into the city.
Here's what issue #3 looks like:
If conservative white people are upset by NIGHTHAWK thus far, wait until they see #3, in store next week. pic.twitter.com/Qgdi8ko2mX— David F Walker (@DavidWalker1201) July 12, 2016
And if you have an issue with what Walker's writing?
Remember what I said about loving everyone? I changed my mind. Some of y'all can go eat a bag of dicks.— David F Walker (@DavidWalker1201) July 12, 2016
But these figures apparently are immaterial to Marvel. Walker's got a new gig called Occupy Avengers which "is hoping to be rather political."
Occupy? How 2011. And you may remember how the detestable Gail Simone's now-cancelled The Movement did in sales.
Consider what Douglas Ernst asks: "Imagine you are a writer on a Marvel comic book that can’t even sell 17,000 copies in its second month of release. Now imagine what would happen if you logged onto your social media account and mocked 'liberal black people' while flippantly telling them to 'eat a bag of d***s' if they were offended by your work."
What’s one of the first things that comes to mind when you hear “San Francisco”?
Schools have been adopting liberal/progressive school discipline policies for years now, doing away with punishments like out-of-school suspension and replacing them with “less severe” alternatives like “restorative justice” — where misbehaving students get to “talk about” what ails them.
The idea is to keep disruptive kids in school so that they can learn, but it completely misses the point in that such kids don’t care about learning, and worse — they ruin it for the kids who want to learn.
And you know what they say about good intentions …
It seems even progressives have an upper tolerance limit. Teachers in the San Francisco Unified School District are fed up with restorative justice-style approaches as they claim “[s]tudents have been choked, they’ve been slapped, they have been given death threats almost daily.”
But the district, and the teachers union, remain committed to the current discipline policy.
“The policy is something we believe in, that kids should be in the school,” Lita Blanc, spokeswoman for Educators of San Francisco.
Ah, they believe.
The persistent problems with one first grade student at the school convinced teacher Erika Keil to complain to the principal, who opted not to renew the probationary teacher’s contract for next school year. The move sparked outrage from dozens of parents and teachers who descended on the school Tuesday to protest the principal’s decision.
The protesters toted picket signs reading “Advocating for student safety will cost you your job” and “Kick me, I’m a SFUSD teacher,” among others.
“To me, she did a fantastic job dealing with a difficult situation,” Keil’s colleague, Kathy Harriman, told ABC 7.
SFUSD board president Matt Haney told ABC 7 the school board could reverse the principal’s decision to dismiss Keil, but admitted that was unlikely.
Monroe students, parents and teachers, plan to continue to protest until Keil is reinstated.
The violent first-grader, meanwhile, remains in the classroom to torment his classmates, parents told the news site.
“That student has remained in the classroom without proper support,” [parent Louella] Hill said.
Talk about your Catch-22. Given that the federal Department of Education’s own policies have played a very significant role in tying schools’ hands when it comes to discipline — based on the premise that penalties affect a disproportionate percentage of racial minorities — it should be very interesting to see how this turns out.
But until then, parents will continue to vote with their feet. They’ll lobby their legislators to allow (more) charter schools, they’ll hoof it to private and parochial schools, and they will homeschool their children.
Cross-posted at The College Fix.
That is, on a Diversity Council like Australia apparently has.
This council now has a new goal: to eliminate the term "guys" from everyday use.
[...] the DCA says “guys” is a gendered word that can make women feel left out.
“We want to get people thinking about the language they use in the workplace and whether it’s inclusive or excludes people,”Diversity Council of Australia’s CEO Lisa Annese told news.com.au.
“We’re not telling people what to say, we’re encouraging people to think about the words they use at work so everyone feels respected, valued and included. We know from research that when more inclusive language is used at work, people are greater engaged and more proactive.”
Ms Annese suggests using phrases like “Hi everyone” or “Hi team”.
“A really good test is reversing the gender. Would you walk into a mixed gender group and say ‘Hello ladies’ or ‘Hello girls’? No, because men would be offended,” she said.
Sooo ... what's next -- ditching words like "mankind"? "Man"?
The Diversity Council should file a complaint with the Cylon Imperious Leader. After all, recall his quote prior to the big assault on the Twelve Colonies: "The final annihilation of the life form known as Man. Let the attack begin."
For more recent takes, check out Doug Ernst's "Tom Brevoort tries Hydra Captain America spin-job, Newsarama goes full toady"
"‘Captain America #1’: Nick Spencer turns hero into Hydra agent with Tom Brevoort’s blessing."
Not to mention Avi Green's "Entertainment Weekly's letting Spencer/Brevoort get away with their terrible direction,"
"Stan Lee adds insult to injury."
We all know Captain America writer Nick Spencer is a raging social justice warrior "progressive" who thinks Republicans are evil, and just when you thought it -- he -- couldn't get any more crazy, we read this:
This week's Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 contained a huge twist that revealed that Steve Rogers, the recently returning Captain America, is an agent of Hydra, and seemingly may have been since his childhood.
Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort shed some light on the reveal, with USA Today citing him as telling them that this is "the real Steve Rogers," and not "some clone, shapeshifting Skrull, Life Model Decoy or a Cap from an alternate universe."
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, writer Nick Spencer added to Brevoort’s statements that this is the real Steve, saying, “Issue 2 will lay a lot of our cards on the table in terms of what the new status quo is, but the one thing we can say unequivocally is: This is not a clone, not an imposter, not mind control, not someone else acting through Steve. This really is Steve Rogers, Captain America himself.”
“His mission is to further the goals and beliefs of Hydra," explained Brevoort.
This is the comicbook version of "clickbait," and it's beyond stupid. Almost as stupid as making Cap gay.
Brevoort even has the cojones to compare this drivel to the "Hitchcock tradition," and Spencer makes comparisons to Philip K. Dick's Man in the High Castle.
Puh-lease. You guys aren't even within a light-year of Hitchcock's and Dick's genius.
Anyone recall the mid-90s and something called "The Crossing"? This was when Tony Stark/Iron Man was supposed to have been an agent of Kang the Conqueror since the latter's first appearance way back in Avengers #8. That's right -- 30+ of continuity and all of sudden Iron Man is a murderous villain.
Oh, and when the Tony Stark we all know was killed, Marvel replaced him with a younger version of Stark. A college kid.
It is regarded today as one of Marvel's most ridiculous ideas of all time. I think it's safe to say this Cap nonsense will be too, in the years to come.
But hey -- it sure gives Spencer an avenue to trash patriotism, America, and everything else that victim-culture SJWs do.
The latest comicbook nuttery: SJWs (that's social justice warriors) are petitioning Marvel to make Captain America ... gay. Or bisexual. Or whatever.
The Twitter hashtag #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend has been trending, and here's a sample:
what do you mean #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend he already has one and his name is James Buchanan Barnes just that marvel won't recognize it— jaziel (@WANDASWIDOW) May 24, 2016
And if there's any person to act on these demands, it's Spencer. I can see it now: He'll make Cap gay, although it won't really be Cap -- it'll be some alternate dimension version or something -- but it will give Spencer yet another reason to Twitter rant about (Republican/conservative) "bigotry" and "intolerance." Even though the vast majority of the complaints against him will be the aforementioned canon argument, not "homophobia."
Marvel's new Nighthawk is not the one older fans might think of -- the Batman analogue who was a member of the classic super-team The Defenders -- but an alternate reality version brought into the Marvel Universe "proper" (due to yet another silly "big -- crossover -- event").
This 'Hawk is, and was, a member of the Squadron Supreme. No, not the version Mark Gruenwald made famous with his mid-1980s limited series, but the one J. Michael Straczynski created in Supreme Power and later a new Squadron Supreme. His parents were killed by (white) racists, and this has made him one angry vigilante.
New series writer David Walker explains his take on the character:
Nighthawk is driven by rage. He is angry with everyone and everything, and he has trouble containing that anger, so he focuses it and turns it loose on what he feels is the most obvious responsible party. Of course, it is far more complicated than that, which is part of what makes this character interesting. Here you have a black man, whose parents were murdered by racists, and he blames the racist ideologies that inform our society for their deaths.
Traditionally, superheroes act as extensions of law and order. They may act outside the boundaries of the law, but when all is said and done, they are at service to law and order, which makes them part of the status quo of the criminal justice system. The problem with this system is that it often falls short of adequately serving black people in America. We have seen this time and time again, when police officers kill unarmed blacks, and the court system fails to convict the killer. The two biggest threats to black people in this country are racism and the criminal justice system that is infected by the disease or racism. At some point, if you are a black superhero, fighting to protect black people, you are going to reach a crossroads where you will realize that you must protect them from the forces of law and order—from the status quo.
Indeed. Get this: The series is set in ... Chicago. And Walker seriously claims racism is the deadliest threat to blacks?? "Time and time again" we have seen men in blue shoot and kill blacks?
Yet again, Marvel's comics division business model is one big head-scratcher.
I've a better title for this book, Mr. Walker: Nighthawk: The Mistaken Narrative.
"Right to privacy" = right kill an unborn child in the womb.
"Right to privacy" does NOT = right to avoid a grown, biological man watching you pee.
In fact, any laws contrary to the latter are like Jim Crow laws, according to our illustrious Attorney General.
That's right, if you don't want your young daughter going to a restroom with a grown person with a penis, you're just like the segregationist, racist bigots of the 1950s-60s South.
Here's what states like North Carolina ought to do: Establish "sanctuary bathrooms" which are (biologically) gender specific. Merely play the "progressives'" own game. And stick to it.
Tow truck pulls up and sees a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker on disabled vehicle; refuses to tow car and tells owner "Call the government."
Because entertainment isn't just entertainment anymore -- it has to send a message, you see -- the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD is calling for the new Star Wars films to go gay:
As sci-fi projects have the special opportunity to create unique worlds whose advanced societies can serve as a commentary on our own, the most obvious place where Disney could include LGBT characters is in the upcoming eighth Star Wars film," reads GLAAD's statement, referring to 2017's Star Wars: Episode VIII. "2015’s The Force Awakens has introduced a new and diverse central trio, which allows the creators opportunity to tell fresh stories as they develop their backstory. Recent official novels in the franchise featured lesbian and gay characters that could also be easily written in to the story.
While GLAAD calls for LBGT characters in the new Star Wars films, it should be noted that the orientation of the three major new characters - Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron - were not revealed during The Force Awakens.
I still think Luke has gotta be gay. I mean c'mon:
Thanks to my buddy Doug Ernst, this article by Wired offers up what it thinks are Marvel Comics "greatest" political swipes. As you might imagine, there's nary a jab taken at a political liberal, and we're going back a ways here.
Coming in at #10 is a conversation featuring Hank Pym in The Ultimates. It was only 2002, but already writer Mark Millar was bashing George W. Bush for his administration's post-9/11 reaction.
#9 is this picture of mutant children for the Mutant Registration Act. But as we've noted several times here at Colossus, making analogies using mutants as a stand-in for, say, homosexuals or other minorities is pretty dumb. Gays, blacks or the handicapped don't have the ability to destroy an entire city with, y'know, a wave of their hand.
#8 is one of the non-partisan choices from Howard the Duck (1977) showing how superficial presidential politics are.
At #7 we see the president of the United States as Satan. Of course, it's Counter-Earth, not Earth proper, but considering the publication year was 1974, well, you know who was in office then (at least through August).
#6, like #9, attempts to use mutants as a stand-in for a lecture on civil rights. In an issue of 2009's Uncanny X-Men the public gets a chance to vote on "Proposition X" -- whether mutants should have to undergo mandatory treatment for their "X" gene. Again, sexual orientation, etc. does not equal the ability to kill thousands/millions with a wave of the hand.
#5 is directly related to the upcoming film Captain America: Civil War and deals with restrictions on superheroes due to their immense power (similar to mutant registration). Of course, our modern creators are overwhelmingly for gun control in the US, yet they'd have you believe wanting to register 1000-times-more-powerful-than-guns super-beings is a legitimate civil rights violation.
#4 is surely one both sides can agree on -- that is, that Marvel heroes should have obliterated: The Sons of the Serpent. Patterned more or less after the KKK, modern creators have used the group to send out anti-Donald Trump border wall messages. As if illegal immigration isn't, y'know, a legitimate political matter.
Ronald Reagan literally turns into a snake for the #3 moment. Writer Mark Gruenwald had the then-president, like many others in Washington DC, transform into a lizard after the Serpent Squad (no relation to the Sons) puts a toxin in the city's water supply.
#2 is probably the most famous (or infamous) set of political comics panels of the Bronze Age: Captain America unmasking the Secret Empire's Number One -- who turns out to be Richard Nixon. Well, we don't actually see that it's Nixon, but writer Steve Englehart's implication couldn't be any less subtle.
And the big #1 is from a mere six years back -- when Capt. America and the Falcon infiltrated that "dastardly" Tea Party. Writer Ed Brubaker really overstretched with this ridiculous nonsense, which included the all-too- typical blurb that a "black guy couldn't fit in with a bunch of angry white people."
WHAT WIRED MISSED:
The Ultimates volume 2: The aforementioned Mark Millar lectures the US (well, the G.W. Bush administration) about its foreign endeavors by having a coalition of outlaw states' "super"heroes invade the US.
What about Truth: Red, White, and Black which posits that the US government began testing a version of the lost formula that turned Steve Rogers into Capt. America on black subjects? It's pretty damn political when you compare our government's actions to that of something akin to Nazi Germany.
J. Michael Straczynski's Supreme Power and Squadron Supreme, like The Ultimates a reaction to the G.W. Bush presidency, features a new take on the Justice League analogues -- one which, yes, lectures the US on foreign entanglements.
Keep in mind, too, that right-leaning individuals in Captain America have been shown to be mentally unstable.
In Steve Englehart's original run, he explained the Cap of the 1950s -- a fan of the original Cap who then used an imperfect version of the super-soldier serum. This turned him (and his "Bucky") into lunatics who, it just so happens, also became bigots.
Mark Gruenwald did the same thing with John Walker, who replaced Steve Rogers for a time as Cap in the 1980s. After Walker's parents are killed by a fanatical right-wing terror group, Walker's sanity slowly ebbs away. Walker, a very pro-US individual, formerly played the role of Super Patriot.
"Daily Show" host Trevor Noah thinks there were just four Founding Fathers -- and they're all on Mt. Rushmore (fast forward to 2:05):
Sure, the dude is from South Africa, but if you're gonna take a position like this, at least know the basics, huh?
DC Comics "Rebirth" is supposed "to reaffirm to fans the company’s commitment to readers," according to publisher Dan Didio.
An ... interesting way to show that commitment is the book New Superman, "a comic that is set in Shanghai and whose main character is a 17-year old Chinese teen who finds himself with Superman’s powers."
Wow. I can't think of a more interesting superhero comic than one whose setting is on the other side of the planet in one of the few remaining authoritarian regimes, and whose protagonist represents a whopping 1.2% of the total US population.
But hey, what do I know. This is the industry which could care less if its creators treat those who sustain it like what your dog just excreted in the backyard.
But at least their SJW bonafides aren't in any danger.
"I stopped buying comics not only b/c they weren't good anymore but because of the people working in the industry and the fans who buy them. The new generation of creators are just the nastiest people. They have this sense of grandeur about them, like they are gods or something and I'm like, if you were so great, why is your work turning so many people away. Just b/c a few sycophants crowd around you in a comic shop or at a convention, does not make you a god. Get your head out of the niche comic box and no one knows your name." (Source)
As if on cue:
(h/t to FCMM)
Due to my spring break I was able to actually get out and enjoy a must-see comics film on its opening weekend. I was a bit wary, natch, as many reviews had trashed the film, but I kept a "must see for myself" attitude as many I know who know comics said the film was rather good.
To be sure, there are some definite weak spots, but as a whole the film is enjoyable.
--Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Yeah, I can't quite believe it either, but honestly, Affleck is the BEST Batman we've seen. Yes, better than Christian Bale. However, Ben is only slightly better than Adam West. (I'M JOKING!) I'm serious, here. Affleck was sensational.
--Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Not only is she beyond gorgeous, during the climactic battle scene she showed the zeal for combat that we've come to associate with the Amazonian.
--Nods to comics stories. I'm not nearly as versed on DC as I am Marvel; however, the obvious nods to the alternate reality tale Injustice were very well done. And need I mention The Dark Knight Returns?
--Tie-in to Man of Steel. The first cinematic DC Universe meld was executed very well. The opening montage with Bruce Wayne zipping through a battered Metropolis during Superman and Zod's epic confrontation in MoS was almost perfection (aside from Wayne having to tell a subordinate to vacate his building which is almost right next to the Kryptonian world engine leveling the city!! WTF?).
--The Supes-Lois Lane love affair. Good idea, but needed more fleshing out. Given the length of the film, what's the deal? I'm also not keen on Amy Adams as Lois -- it reminds me of the looks mismatch between Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder. Almost.
--Doomsday. A villain this big deserves more development and attention. Plus, his first incarnation looks like a huge pile of shit.
--Why is Wonder Woman around? Are we really supposed to buy that she's trying to get that photograph back from Luthor? Because that's all we were really fed, given her response(s) to Bruce Wayne. But I don't mind much -- again, Gadot is breathtakingly gorgeous!
--Sneak peeks at upcoming Justice League members. They seemed quite forced: Wonder Woman checking out each (video) file that Batman sent her? Yeah, maybe. But it came off as rather cheesy.
--Lex Luthor. Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal is really the only -- but significant -- downside of the flick, in my opinion. It's as if he's trying to be the Joker. Luthor is a cut-throat, amoral (thanks, Duff!) businessman, not a raving lunatic, but that's how Eisenberg plays him. And it's awful.
The film is long, yes, but it pretty much needs all that time to adequately establish everything without coming off as rushed (aside from the Doomsday plot). Some of the flashback and dream sequences perhaps could have been edited down (did we really need that additional -- and repeated -- young Bruce Wayne scene?), but as a whole they worked.
I read one review that compared (negatively) the "busyness" of the film to Spider-Man 3. I disagree. Outside of the time needed for a better development of Doomsday, BvS is far superior.
Be sure to check out Doug Ernst's review as well.
io9 has a list from a couple years back, and while some of the entries are head-scratchers, there are a few worthy mentions.
Here it is, in their order, with my occasional comments:
#30. ZARDOZ. io9 says "The only way a person could properly appreciate this movie is with cult status, and a handful of LSD. But it's absolutely something you have to experience at least once."
#29. TREMORS. Funny and scary at the same time. What more could you want? And despite io9's complaint that the monsters' origins weren't explained, they actually kinda were -- mutations due to nuclear bomb testing. It was the Nevada desert, after all.
#28. THE WARRIORS.
#27. LOST BOYS. Classic 80s entertainment. Ahead of its time.
#26. BORN IN FLAMES.
#25. SHARKTOPUS. Nothing from SyFy should be on this list, sorry.
#24. TALES FROM THE HOOD.
#23. DEATH RACE 2000.
#22. THE HUNGER.
#21. PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.
#20. DARK STAR.
#19. SLITHER. A surprisingly good, and funny, horror yarn starring "Castle's" Nathan Fillion.
#18. THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI. Been a while since I've seen this, but it's way ahead of its time -- sort of like "Max Headroom" was as a TV series.
#17. TIME BANDITS. Didn't like it as 1) it's British, and 2) they only go back in time. Boring.
#16. EVIL DEAD 2.
#15. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. A true classic and worth repeated viewings. The one that started it (the zombie craze) all.
#14. BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET. Absolutely sensational film about black-skinned alien who's pursued by a pair of white-skinned aliens. Not-at-all subtle analogy, natch, but Joe Morton (who played Dr. Dyson in Terminator 2) is terrific as the The Brother, whose empathy and caring you can almost feel yourself.
#13. CHERRY 2000.
#12. ALTERED STATES.
#11. REPO MAN.
#10. MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL. A true classic in every sense of the word. First saw it when I was eleven, and even then laughed my ass off.
#9. THEY LIVE. John Carpenter's parable about (supposed) Reagan-1980's greed features one of the longest (and needless) fight scenes in movie history, and one of the coolest-ever premises. But you'll be left wondering why in the hell super-advanced aliens, who can travel between the stars using some sort of gravitational lens, headquarter their cloaking tech in an easily destroyed, ground-based TV studio.
#8. PRIMER. You'll have to watch this one numerous times to figure out WTF is going on. And it's well worth it as this is one of the better time travel yarns on film.
#7. NAKED LUNCH.
#6. THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH. The book is way better, but a young David Bowie does a good job as the alien who poses as a wealthy businessman in hopes of acquiring needed H2O for his desiccated planet.
#5. RE-ANIMATOR. A dude tries to get the right amount of "freshness" in order to bring back the dead. Great fun.
#4. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA.
#3. ERASERHEAD. I've watched this a few times and remain eeriely intrigued. Still can't figure out what it's all about, though, really.
#2. DONNY DARKO.
#1. THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. Never a fan, and never got the appeal. My fondest memory of it is when the college band I was in opened up for its midnight showing at the local theatre.
The back-asswards tumble of American society down the toilet drain continues:
A Miami woman shot and killed a teenage home intruder last week, authorities said. Now, relatives of the teen are saying she acted unjustly and should be prosecuted.
Trevon Johnson, 17, burglarized the home of a 54-year-old old woman last Thursday, according to Miami-Dade police.
“She observed a subject leaving the home through the rear,” police Detective Dan Ferrin told WFOR-TV.
A confrontation then took place, according to police, and shots were fired. Police said they were on scene seconds after the shooting and performed CPR on the teen. Johnson was then rushed to the hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.
“What’s wrong with her?” Johnson’s sister Nisha Johnson asked. “She did not have to shoot him.”
Johnson told WFOR her brother was a student at D. A. Dorsey Technical College. She and other relatives are outraged by the shooting.
“I don’t care if she have her gun license or any of that. That is way beyond the law … way beyond,” Johnson’s cousin Nautika Harris told WFOR. “He was not supposed to die like this. He had a future ahead of him. Trevon had goals … he was a funny guy, very big on education, loved learning.”
“You have to look at it from every child’s point of view that was raised in the hood,” Harris continued. “You have to understand … how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go to school? You have to look at it from his point of view.”
No one, but no one who illegally enters a house to rob it has any expectation of personal safety. None. Period.
There appears to be a tad bit more of a gray area here in that the suspect had already exited the home. However, if the homeowner confronted the suspect as noted, and the suspect responded with hostile intent, well, again, see above.
But the response of the suspect's relatives is beyond amazing. Is this what we're to expect next in American society? That merely because someone was raised in the "hood" others should have a "reasonable expectation" that such individuals may rob them?
"If you think Luke is gay, of course he is. You should not be ashamed of it. Judge Luke by his character, not by who he loves."
Director J.J. Abrams says Star Wars "will include gay characters."
“When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course.”
Meanwhile, no one outside of the mouthy, perpetually indignant Social Justice Warrior set could give a damn. They just want a good story, and not a rehash of what's come before.
I am hereby renaming Twitter. Henceforth it will be known as MySafeSpace.
Two philosophers and two different understandings of the social contract. Hobbes believes that the world is nasty and brutish. Society is delicate and precious and we are always on the precipice of barbarism. Rousseau believed in man's inherent goodness. If Rousseau is right, the police keep the rest of us safe from criminals. If Hobbes is right, the police keep the criminals safe from mob justice. I'm not sure who I side with (I'm really hoping Rousseau is right) but score this one for Hobbes.
Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston: "Is This The First LGBTQ Moment In The New Star Wars Comics?"
First line of the article: "No, not Poe and Finn. Not yet. Despite the desire."
Talk about existing in your ever-lovin' bubble ...
A friend of mine recently lent me the first two trades of the "critically acclaimed" series which began over two years ago. It chronicles Superman and assorted super-pals assuming control of the planet.
It's based on the hit video game of the same name.
The story takes place on an alternate Earth, and the Joker has apparently grown tired of dealing with Batman. As such, he travels to Metropolis where he kidnaps Lois Lane, and then surgically attaches a device to her heart. If Lane's heart ceases to beat, a nuclear device will explode, obliterating Metropolis.
Joker uses a Kryptonite-laden form of Scarecrow's hallucinogenic gas on Supes, and as a result believes Lois to be a bad-guy. He skyrockets Lois into space, killing her. Joker's nuke explodes, leveling Metropolis. Superman promptly kills the Joker.
From there we see little that we haven't read already in Mark Gruenwald's Squadron Supreme, Mark Waid's Kingdom Come, and numerous issues of The Authority. Not to mention, Mark Millar's superb Superman: Red Son.
Writer Tom Taylor is an amateur compared to those who've come before. Superman comes across like an angry middle schooler ... you can never quite grasp the protagonist, nor feel his grief at the loss of Lois.
Taylor injects the typical stuff we've all seen elsewhere in contemporary fare: Catwoman lecturing the president (and Batman) about "doing better" and giving him (them) a hard time with the usual litany of liberal gripes, including gun control. (Y'know, an issue way down on the list of voters' concerns.)
Perhaps the most laughable scene regarding this issue is Superman playing chess with the Flash and out of the blue saying "I want to ban guns."
Flash counters with "Do you think people will let you?" (as if they could do anything about it) and to be sure, the issue is debated, along with other matters. It's just done rather clumsily.
A la Squadron Supreme, two teams of heroes form -- Superman, Wonder Woman and Shazam lead those who want to exercise their (super)power to alleviate the ills of the world; Batman leads those in opposition. (In Gruenwald's SS, ironically it was the Batman analogue Nighthawk who formed the opposition team against Superman/Wonder Woman analogues Hyperion/Power Princess and co.)
Superman, once the notion of killing is out of his system, proceeds to off Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow in the process of establishing his "better world." And both deaths don't seem to mean much. Superman and Wonder Woman's attitudes were like "Meh, had to be done." The Soviet Superman in Red Son had a higher moral plane.
The second trade features essentially worthless battles with Apokolips acolytes and Lobo, and furthers the battles between the two superhero armies. I started to get bored. But I guess I'll continue reading ... since I ain't paying for it.
A new Kickstarter campaign is soliciting funds for the comicbook Black -- "In A World That Already Fears And Hates Them -- What If Only Blacks Had Superpowers?"
The "hook": “After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.”
From Bleeding Cool (my emphasis):
BLACK follows the story of a young man, Kareem Jenkins, who, having miraculously survived being shot by police, learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Kareem must decide whether it’s safer to keep history’s secret, or if the truth will set him free. Rounding out BLACK’s creative team are DC Comics illustrator Khary Randolph, who will contribute covers and additional artwork, and editor Sarah Litt, formerly of Vertigo and DC Comics.
“With BLACK, we’re looking to tell a great story, but we’re also purposefully challenging the pop culture status quo, which is dominated by a White male aesthetic,” says BLACK co-creator Kwanza Osajyefo. “BLACK tackles the very real and palpable issue of race, which is at the forefront in America and around the world. We are trying to confront the issue of race head-on by creating a world in which only Black people are superheroes — and the BLACK superhero trope isn’t subtly cast under a label of mutant, inhuman, or meta-whatever. It is also both thrilling and liberating to create the superheroes we’ve always wanted to see — and, frankly, be — outside of the entrenched publishing system.”
Race is at the forefront of world cultural and social concern? Really?
The introductory image features the iconic -- yet mistaken -- image of "hands up, don't shoot":
Somehow I doubt that that's the "biggest lie in history" mentioned above.
Our 'ol pal, the gnomish one Dan Slott, tweets yesterday:
In 2016, you see someone using— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) February 7, 2016
"SJW" in an argument you know 2 things:
They're on the wrong side of history
and they're not worth your time.
Well, they're trying to take over the culture. The fact that Slott is getting push-back is a sign people aren't just rolling over and taking it. The rise of The Donald (sadly, in this case) is another example.
We need to get from some to enough. And really, we’ll know we’ve achieved success when Captain America can have a boyfriend, and Wonder Woman can have a girlfriend. For queer representation in superhero comics, that’s what success looks like.
You see? You can't just create new characters who happen to be gay. Apparently, that's too difficult for the modern cadre of comicsfolk. You can't even just retcon secondary characters with nebulous backgrounds into gay characters.
You have to make the biggest cultural icons that are out there gay.
Only then will the SJWs consider that a success. Only. And if you object, you're a hateful homophobic bigot. (Adjectives are subject to change, natch, depending on the "aggrieved minority class" being discussed at the time.)
As The Federalist's John Trent writes, "The push for diversity in comics is a vision of the anointed that is unsatisfied with representation that reflects reality."
Social Justice Warriors don't want just acceptance, you see. They demand that you agree with everything they believe and say -- else you're evil incarnate. If you say "Hey Captain America can't have a boyfriend -- that goes against his entire history!" you'd best be ready for an onslaught of ultra-PC verbal violence which you've never before experienced.
Like anything else SJWs have touched (and remember -- there's a big difference between a standard liberal and a SJW), comics in their current form will wither away to nothingness. They're already a pale imitation of what has come before, and with the pandering to the SJWs, coupled with the ridiculous creative laziness of those in charge, it'd be little surprise if comics as we know them cease to exist in the next decade.
Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter recently donated a YUGE $1 million to The Donald's personal nonprofit, and the SJWs are, needless to say, losing their minds:
Marvel's CEO has given $1 million to Trump and Trump spoke about how great he was at a recent event.— Ryan Brown (@Toadsanime) January 29, 2016
*throws away Spider-Man figures*
You should not not give a cent to anything @Marvel until their racist, Trump-supporting CEO steps down.— Peter Nu-Male Coffin (@petercoffin) January 29, 2016
I guess the Marvel CEO donated $1 mil to Trump because he likes supervillains— HamletMachine (@Hamlet_Machine) January 29, 2016
The CEO of Marvel just gave Trump a million dollars.— Calvin (@aurosan) January 29, 2016
Excuse me while I go burn everything I own of theirs.
You wonder why @Marvel is bad with representation? Their CEO donated a million to Trump.— Peter Nu-Male Coffin (@petercoffin) January 29, 2016
End of story. Resign.
@ronmarz Not sure I agree. We boycott Chic-Fil-A & other companies whose CEOs support detestable people/policies. Why give Marvel a pass?— Rick Marshall (@rickmarshall) January 29, 2016
In a matter of speaking, "Welcome to the party, people."
Thanks to the hateful, bigoted, hypocritical, insulting, and just plain stupid language of the likes of Ron Marz, Dan Slott, Tom Brevoort, Nick Spencer, Mark Waid, Gerry Conway and numerous others -- whose remarks have all been chronicled here and by fellow travelers Douglas Ernst, Avi Green, and Nate Winchester -- there are many right-leaning people who have dropped reading (modern) comics altogether.
After all, to paraphrase Colossus' sub-banner, why would any individual want to give money to those who spit in your face?
Hell, writer Mark Waid even told a fan not to buy his stuff because he didn't like how he was spoken to regarding a Twitter spat about ObamaCare:
@juddemerson Seriously, fuck off. Please never read my comics again. I don't need money from someone who attacks me out of nowhere.— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) March 12, 2014
I know, I know ... just when you think you've seen it ALL, along comes something else.
PBS(!!) recently gave Muslim activist and author Haroon Moghul a forum by which to lobby for a Muslim character in, of all places, STAR WARS.
Indeed. For, we all know that everybody immediately associates "Ben" and "Luke" with their religious origins. Mm-hmm.
Star Trek would make more sense for this activists's desires; of course, however, there's been very little discussion of Earthly religions on the many Trek shows over the universe's 50 years.
And hey -- wasn't the captain of the Kelvin in JJ Abrams' 2009 Trek reboot a Muslim? We actually never knew, just as we don't know much about any Trek character's religion, but he sure looked like he could have been (especially since the same actor played a Muslim in Iron Man and, not to mention, has a Pakistani background.)
Back to Star Wars: couldn't it be argued that the famous Admiral Ackbar from Return of the Jedi is based on the Arabic word "great"?
Oh, and lookee here -- someone agrees with me from six years ago:
…the Arabic word for "great," akbar, has been adapted into George Lucas's Star Wars franchise, in the form of Admiral Ackbar, a heroic character and military commander whose success in space helps Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance repel Darth Vader's Galactic Empire. Featured in Return of the Jedi, Ackbar is just one of many characters and settings in the Star Wars universe that have an Arabic background. Luke Skywalker's home planet, Tatooine, takes its name from the Tunisian city of Tataouine (al-Tataouine in Arabic). Darth Vader's home planet is Mustafar, a slight variation of Mustafa, an Arabic name that means "the chosen one" (and is one of 99 names for the Muslim prophet Muhammad). Attack of the Clones showcases Queen Jamilla, whose name is a slight variation of jamilla, an Arabic word for "beautiful." And Revenge of the Sith features Senator Meena Tills, whose first name means "heaven" in Arabic.
So, give us a break already, Mr. Moghul. Islamophobia, such that it is, still lags well behind anti-Semitism as a social/cultural problem, and it's really not even close.
Maybe we actually need more overtly Jewish symbols in our science fiction.
I finally managed to see it over the New Year's weekend, and about the only "spoiler" I was treated to ahead of time was that Episode VII is "very much like the original (Episode IV) ... incredibly so."
And that spoiler was spot-on.
While new (and young) fans may delight at the tale, those of us who grew up with the original trilogy will come walking away with a "been there, done that" feeling.
Nevertheless, I get what JJ Abrams had in mind -- bridging the generational gap and all. The movie is very good, without a doubt. It's just not the greatest thing ever -- which I was led to believe when it first hit theaters.
My current ranking for the Star Wars installments is as follows: Episode IV, V, VII, VI, III, II, I.
"People can interpret the relationship however they want to interpret it," said Joe Russo when oddly asked if Cap and Bucky's relationship is somewhat sexual in Civil War.
"For us, we’ve always interpreted the relationship as two brothers. They’re very close characters, they have a relationship with each other that is very deep. The bond between them is very strong, [which is] what motivates the storytelling. These are both characters that came from nothing. Captain America was basically an orphan, and Bucky’s family took him in. When he was sleep for several years, he lost everything that was dear to him. And when he took the serum and became Captain America, he gave away a large part of himself for a patriotic cause. So, you have a character who is searching for the only thing that he has left from his past… and that’s Bucky. And people interpreted that relationship all kinds of ways and it’s great to see people argue about it what that relationship means to them."
At least (for the time being) we have some guys (the Russos) with some common sense. And, it's good to see ComicBookMovie.com use the term "oddly" in its write-up of the matter.
Wonder now if they'll be denounced as homophobic ...
Wondering if Insty has seen this one.
Holiday parties and celebrations should celebrate and build upon workplace relationships and team morale with no emphasis on religion or culture. Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise.
Consider having a New Year’s party and include décor and food from multiple religions and cultures. Use it as an opportunity to reinvigorate individuals for the new year’s goals and priorities.
If a potluck-style party or celebration is planned, encourage employees to bring food items that reflect their personal religions, cultures, and celebrations. Use this as an opportunity for individuals to share what they brought and why it is meaningful to them.
Refreshment selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture.
Décor selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture. Identify specific dates when décor can be put up and when it must come down.
The inmates are running the asylum.
The first find was nothing less than staggering—a fax from Jody Powell, President Jimmy Carter’s press secretary, to George Stephanopoulos, Bill Clinton’s new press secretary, warning Clinton to back off from gun control because … it just doesn’t work.
“If there is an area that needs ‘new thinking,’ ‘rethinking,’ ‘a different kind of Democrat’ and all that, crime/gun control is it. From the outside this does not appear to be happening. What I hear and read sounds like the same old ideas being presented with the same worn-out rhetoric.
“Much as I hate to say it, the NRA is effective primarily because it is largely right when it claims that most gun control measures inconvenience and threaten the law-abiding while having little or no impact on violent crime and criminals.”
Powell goes to note that, even though he supports gun registration "in principle," one has to ask: "Are the people causing the problem going to comply voluntarily? If not, do you have a way to effectively enforce compliance?"
Of all people, Bill Clinton's then-press secretary George Stephanopoulos wrote on Powell's fax sheet "This makes a lot sense."
This guy gets it:
They have to clean their own house. We have to help them.
... just remember the following:
Yeah, that's Marvel bigwig Tom Brevoort saying they "probably" wouldn't allow Frank Miller to do a Captain America tale a la his Holy Terror story.
Cap can, however, go after the Tea Party and put forth messages that being against illegal immigration is racist/hateful/xenophobic/outoftouch ... but battle radical Islamic terrorists? INSENSITIVE! INTOLERANT!
And this from Grant Morrison on the Miller work:
Batman vs. Al Qaeda! It might as well be Bin Laden vs. King Kong! Or how about the sinister Al Qaeda mastermind up against a hungry Hannibal Lecter! For all the good it's likely to do. Cheering on a fictional character as he beats up fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence when real terrorists are killing real people in the real world. I'd be so much more impressed if Frank Miller gave up all this graphic novel nonsense, joined the Army and, with a howl of undying hate, rushed headlong onto the front lines with the young soldiers who are actually risking life and limb 'vs.' Al Qaeda.
I'd be impressed if Morrison bought a pricey mansion along the US-Mexico border with no fences or other means of security. Or spoke out against the government so that he'd become targeted by the IRS (or whatever state enforcement arm). Or had his healthcare premiums skyrocket after being outright lied to by the chief exec. Or ...
But comics creators at large didn't have to be that vocal about Miller's anti-al Qaeda work, because the innumerable media voices did it for them:
Newsarama: “[Holy Terror] doesn't look at the villains in any way or explore the differences between Muslims and terrorists "a mean and ugly book.”
Robot 6: “ ... the work of someone who was profoundly affected by the events of September 11th, to the point where fear took over from whatever artistic drive used to push [his] work."
Wired: "Fodder for the anti-Islam set."
Comics Alliance: "The slurs against Islam continue as the book goes on ..."
USA Today: "winds up buried under its one-dimensional barrage of patriotism ... the rah-rah enthusiasm for wasting terrorists so nastily would seem more fitting or even a cathartic experience for some."
ComicBookMovie.com: "probably the most ridiculous, shallow, offensive piece of propaganda I think I’ve ever read."
Think Progress: "noxious politics ... viciously Islamophobic sentiments ... twisted thinking."
Las Vegas Weekly: "... in service of an ugly story and uglier politics."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "a nasty, though visually arresting expression of xenophobic rage against Muslims ... conflates all Muslims with terrorists with a racist gusto."
So, comics have always involved politics, the contemporary creators say? Sure, but now and for many years, the tales have had to be of the "right kind." That trashing radical Islamists is "racist," "noxious," and "ugly," while going after the Tea Party and utilizing a long-time racist group as the voice for a very legitimate and popular political point of view, shows just how far "progressives" and the Democrat Party has fallen.
Part of this is down to the bristling idea that superhero comics shouldn’t—and, bizarrely enough, can’t—feature commentary on current social issues. That, to some people, superhero comics are meant to be for young kids, and because they deal with people in spandex punching people in spandex, they should be sequestered off in a land of magic pixie dust, not rooted in our own world.
Is it political? Of course it is. It’s what Captain America as a character has been like since his creation. Like I mentioned, in his first appearance, he punched a goddamn fascist in the face.
But the other part of it is an alleged shock that a dude running around calling himself Captain America and fighting for the little guy might have some left-leaning ideals. The main furor that burst forth this weekend over Sam Wilson: Captain America #1 has been very much from sites that Spencer and Acuña lampoon in the issue itself: That somehow, by choosing to not be a mouthpiece of the Government or SHIELD and stand solely for the American people, Sam is now “Anti-American.”
"Fighting for the little guy?" What about the little guys who are miffed about the politicos who could care less about unabated immigration, especially those along the southern border who bear the brunt of it, with all that entails? Why doesn't Wilson stand up for them?
Whitbrook and innumerable commenters at the article scream about how Cap is "political" because his first cover had him punching Hitler in the face. As if a genocidal fascist and lawful immigration concerns of millions of Americans are on the same level?? Seriously? Is that where we're at now?
Conservatives aren't upset that Cap is "suddenly political" as Whitbrook and others would have you believe -- it's the continuation of the politics that superheroes champion ... as we've detailed here quite often.
The author mentions Cap's "Secret Empire" tale; as I wrote over two years ago, "I wonder if any comics writers out there would be brave enough to have Capt. America fight the Secret Empire again ... but this time with Barack Obama as Number One?" The crimes for which Richard Nixon would have been impeached arguably pale in comparison to some of the things we see today; however, because the media, in its myriad forms, likes and approves of Barack Obama -- while it hated Nixon -- don't hold your breath waiting to see Boss Obama as the new Number One.
Also as we've written here at Colossus, conservatives and the very concept of patriotism are routinely lampooned in comics' panels. In Captain America itself, the Cap of the 1950s was shown to be a mentally unstable loose cannon -- so much so that his virulent 1950s anti-Communism led to unveiled racism in the 1970s.
In the 1980s one of Cap's replacements was John Walker, formerly the Super Patriot. He too was portrayed as a psychotic, with even a panel in an issue of West Coast Avengers showing him mumbling to himself ... and the Avengers who are listening in are freaked out about it.
l love, also, how Whitbrook ponders conservatives being upset that Cap wouldn't represent the federal government. Why would conservatives be miffed that Cap doesn't want to be the "mouthpiece" for the feds ... or SHIELD? Are not conservatives inherently distrustful of government?
Perhaps the most laughable aspect of this whole thing is how "progressives" are pooh-poohing the very notion of why wouldn't Cap get political and go after people who are breaking the law (who, ironically, are trying to stop people from breaking the law) ... because these are the very same folks who were upset that Batman was going to go after Islamic terrorists! That's right -- as the LA Times reported, DC insiders were wary of the political concept behind what eventually would become Holy Terror ... sans the Caped Crusader.
Cap can punch Hitler in the nose, but Batman can't off radical Islamic killers. This is the politics of contemporary comics ... and this what pisses off conservatives.
Actually, it's the Sons of the Serpent, a long mainstay baddie organization in Marvel Comics lore. But this time, being it's 2015, and that Marvel, among other comic companies, has been co-opted by elitist I-know-better-than-you "progressives," the Sons of the Serpent supposedly fill in for ... Donald Trump.
As Chuck Ross reports, Captain America: Sam Wilson #1 has the villains around the US-Mexico border hassling illegals attempting to make their way into the US.
So what does Cap do? Flies in and busts some Serpent heads. (Cap is now Sam Wilson, the former Falcon, the original Cap's longtime partner.)
Which, in the whole scheme of things, makes perfect sense. Again, the SotS has a loooooong history of making trouble in the Marvel Universe, and this is no exception. Historically, they're white supremacist nasties with whom the Avengers, to name one, have dealt several times.
But writer Nick Spencer -- like way too many other creators these days -- doesn't even try to be subtle. He's trying to link -- make -- The Donald (to) these thugs, and in the process totally invalidate arguments against illegal immigration.
Don't believe me? Check it:
Apparently hate speech is just fine so long as it brings in the ratings. Let's all be entertained by Trump!— Nick Spencer (@nickspencer) October 13, 2015
(Quick aside -- jump to present day: Trump blasts illegals from Mexico as criminals; on the other hand, Democratic candidates get chided and protested for daring to say "all lives matter" instead of "black lives matter" ... the Serpents' Dunn and Hale would indeed be proud to see their work continued. The difference being, of course, that only the former gets grief from the popular media.)
But hey, that was back when Marvel actually attempted to be even-handed politically, or when dealing with issues of civil rights (which the pages of The Avengers and Captain America did quite often in the 1960s-70s), it was pretty straightforward stuff with which any decent American couldn't argue. Basic human and civil rights for blacks and other minority Americans? Women? The writers back then handled the delicate political topics expertly.
The problem with Spencer and his contemporary peers is that they take their far-left politics and inject them into the characters we all know and love, and in the process belittle the very legitimate political concerns of a huge number of Americans. Anyone remember when Cap and the Falcon went after the Tea Party?
Illegal immigration is a hot political topic, and a quite legitimate one. But Spencer would reduce the discussion to one that is completely black and white (no pun intended): Wanting to prevent illegal immigration, and/or enacting common sense methods to reduce it are xenophobic and racist. Period. You're no better than the Sons of the Serpent, for cryin' out loud ... and neither is the current Republican front-runner.
I'd say it's insulting and beyond boring, but it's way past that point now. With the current crop of creators that infest the industry today, I'll continue to wait for printed comics' slow, agonizing death.
Economists Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong debated aspects of the hypothetical economy of the Star Trek universe at the New York Comic Con this past Sunday.
“I would argue there’s a dark side to the abundance there,” said Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning Princeton University economist and New York Times columnist.
One conundrum: While the “replicators” of “Star Trek’s” future may be able to produce all the food, clothing and other material goods everyone would need, they wouldn’t be able to provide vital services. Probably robots or some other form of artificial intelligence would do that. But if those servitors are sophisticated and intelligent enough for the wide variety of those tasks, aren’t they really sentient beings, and wouldn’t we be enslaving them?
“A world in which you have servitors that give you everything you want is a world in which it’s very hard to tell the difference between those servitors and slaves,” Krugman said.
Krugman is touching on (perhaps not knowingly) the ST: The Next Generation episode "The Measure of a Man" where it was debated whether Commander Data was a machine or a sentient being with the same rights as everyone else.
In my view, if we develop the technology to make replicators, it's fairly safe to assume that robot-assisted medical technology will be around too -- and by "robot" I don't mean something with the self-awareness of Data.
DeLong says that in Trek society,"people wouldn’t work because they needed to, but because they wanted to." Which is accurate -- in the TNG episode "The Neutral Zone," Picard lectures a thawed-out late-20th century business mogul on how, since material needs are no longer an issue, people strive to "better themselves." Indeed, service in Starfleet seems to be just that.
However, I don't see a substantial number of people willingly putting their lives on the line in the service of Starfleet (granted, it's not an actual military organization, but is equipped to serve as such -- and has to, at times) if they have just about anything they desire for continued leisure right at their fingertips.
Author Manu Saadia says that the "ultra-achieving" one percent is what we see on Star Trek, adding Starfleet would be "a strict meritocracy, 'extremely harsh and cutthroat.'” There is some basis for that assessment; in TNG's "Coming of Age," we see the sort of character testing that would get a company sued for workmen's comp or other injuries/psychological damage today.
It's true that there would be people who would quickly bore of such endless excess relaxation and might want to join up and explore the universe, but really -- would you ... if you could just spend all day in a holodeck with a replicator??
And now ... back to writing things you don't know about yet, and listening to @rogerwaters.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) June 5, 2014
... Israel is a “racist apartheid regime” that practices “ethnic cleansing.” A great artist such as himself will not play in a country equivalent to “Vichy government in occupied France.” Likening Jews to Nazi collaborators was not enough. Waters then went further, comparing Israel to the Nazis themselves. “I would not have played in Berlin either … during the Second World War.” Waters believes that Israel is guilty of genocide, only “this time it’s the Palestinian people being murdered.”
Marz is a guy who wastes no time lecturing us about why buying something from Orson Scott Card is beyond heinous, or how he'll have nothing to do with Dragon Con -- "Because I think what you choose to support matters," he says.
And yet ... there's Roger Waters. Let that sink in.
As in "the usual moonbat comicbook suspects":
Remember, there's no gun problem here in America. Everything's just FINE. https://t.co/iCfsbSnB25— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) October 1, 2015
Don't let anyone try to stifle your voice and say that this is not the time to talk about sensible gun control. https://t.co/c0PVX8jLzl— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) October 1, 2015
Would you vote for a member of Congress who accepted bribes from terrorists? Ask yours tomorrow: "Do you take blood money from the NRA?"— Ron Charles (@RonCharles) October 2, 2015
Do you ever see these dopes constantly tweeting about guns/gun violence in, say, Chicago after a typical weekend?
Of course not. And if you were like them, you'd call that racism.
... and Wonder Woman is one. Supposedly.
Seriously. PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is suing a photographer "in hopes of giving a monkey copyright ownership of a selfie."
Yet, we still have the ridiculous argument about whether a fetus is actually a "human." Hell, our US Senate won't even pass a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.
Where are all the American "progressives" citing the typical "we need to be more like Europe" now? Oh, that's right -- because Europe is actually quite a bit more conservative in the abortion realm.
So the Daily Mail (don't judge) has a quiz about how cultured you are.
Let's take the quiz, shall we?
1. Go to the theatre
I have been to the theater but I don't go regularly
2. Can recognise paintings/art
Varies wildly. I can recognise some of the more well known artists and paintings but beyond that, no.
3. Visit local heritage sites
I drive past Cooch's Bridge quite often, does that count?
4. Listen to classical music
5. Go to the ballet
I live in Delaware, so...no.
6. Know what wine goes with what
7. Don’t skip the news when it’s on TV
No, I don't watch TV news.
8. Watch documentaries
9. Can read music
To a degree, yes.
10. Take an avid interest in politics
11. Read daily newspapers
12. Take countryside walks
I would...but I'm time poor.
13. Read a book before bed
14. Choose city breaks over beach holidays
15. Watch Question Time
16. Host dinner parties
Nightly. I have 5 kids.
17. Know about cheese
18. Enjoy crosswords or Sudoku
19. Go to vintage markets
20. Know about cuts of meat
21. Watch tennis or cricket
22. Read a book before the film comes out
23. Watch Antiques Road Show
24. Own a library card
25. Watch films with subtitles
26. Visit farm shops
27. Use chopsticks over a knife and fork
28. Drink 'proper' coffee - not instant
No, tea. Coffee is for heathens.
29. Know how to pronounce 'quinoa'
30. Grow your own fruit and vegetables on an allotment
31. Go to music festivals
32. Collect music on vinyl
33. Read Wikipedia articles
34. Only eat local produce
35. Get the conundrum on Countdown
36. Wear bow-ties or brooches
37. Get food from supermarket 'finer' ranges
I don't know what this means
38. Drink herbal tea
Chai. Daily. s'truth.
39. Put on an accent to pronounce foreign words
Rarely. It's pretentious and annoying.
40. Avoid generic superstore furniture
Like do I buy custom couches and such? No.
So 17/40 = 42.5% Posh. Solidly middle class I'd say.
Yesterday, a 9th grader at a school in Texas brought a homemade clock to school. According to reports, Ahmed Mohamed, a supposed technology aficionado, wanted to show it off to his engineering teacher.
But apparently it began beeping in English class, and when Ahmed showed it to that teacher, she said "It looks like a bomb."
Here's a pic of Ahmed's device.
The English teacher held on to the clock, and, it seems, notified the principal. A little while later, the principal and a cop pulled Ahmed out of class. And that's when things got a little ... silly.
They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”
Ahmed felt suddenly conscious of his brown skin and his name — one of the most common in the Muslim religion. But the police kept him busy with questions.
The bell rang at least twice, he said, while the officers searched his belongings and questioned his intentions. The principal threatened to expel him if he didn’t make a written statement, he said.
“They were like, ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’” Ahmed said.
“I told them no, I was trying to make a clock.”
“He said, ‘It looks like a movie bomb to me.’”
The police believed Ahmed was being evasive. Nevertheless, they ended up not pressing charges after they were convinced everything was kosher.
It's seems highly unreasonable that Ahmed had to be cuffed and fingerprinted.
The police ended up not charging him with anything after everything settled down.
But the social justice warriors were aghast. Automatically, as if on cue, social media lit up blaming the fact that Ahmed is Muslim for his treatment. That (like the quote above says) because his skin is brown.
A popular former Delaware blogger took to social media yesterday too, emphatically stating that "His name is Ahmed -- that's all you need to know."
To all of which I say, "Bullsh**."
Ian Tuttle at The Corner shows exactly why:
And the list keeps going.
As Tuttle says, the story isn't about “Islamophobia” and “white privilege”— "it’s about a few people in positions of authority who overreacted to the possibility of a weapon. Which, as it happens, is a too-frequent occurrence all over the country, regardless of the color of your skin."
The real difference between Ahmed and all those above is that the former got invited to the White House and numerous other places as a result of his school's actions.
You can probably figure out why, in part. That bullet list (no pun intended) features discipline related to guns. All Ahmed did was make a clock that just happened, at a glance, to look like an explosive device. (/sarcasm)
If race/ethnicity played any part in this whole fiasco, in the long run it was to Ahmed's overwhelming benefit. What did all those (younger) kids get for their even more obvious innocent actions?
I dunno. Do you?
John Nolte has still more.
This past weekend I wrote about "retroactive repression" -- a term used to make us feel all giddy about our contemporary moral superiority by altering the past with modern sensibilities.
The latest: The early 80s mystery show "Hart to Hart" starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers will be rebooted ... featuring a gay couple.
According to Variety sister site Deadline, who first broke the news, the new “Hart to Hart” is described as a modern and sexy retelling of the classic series that focuses on “by the book” attorney Jonathan Hart and free-spirited investigator Dan Hartman, who must balance the two sides of their life: action-packed crime-solving in the midst of newly found domesticity.
Isn't that special.
h/t to Paul Hair.
"[T]he book holds 'white readers accountable for their complicity in the real-world situations that the comic analogizes,'" says comicbook critic Emma Houxbois.
But of course.
Read more about the storyline from my pal Douglas Ernst.
From the NY Times this past Sunday: Are College Lectures Unfair?
The notion may seem absurd on its face. The lecture is an old and well-established tradition in education. To most of us, it simply is the way college courses are taught. Even online courses are largely conventional lectures uploaded to the web.
Yet a growing body of evidence suggests that the lecture is not generic or neutral, but a specific cultural form that favors some people while discriminating against others, including women, minorities and low-income and first-generation college students. This is not a matter of instructor bias; it is the lecture format itself — when used on its own without other instructional supports — that offers unfair advantages to an already privileged population.
At this point, I'm surprised that the college lecture hasn't been blamed on global warming.
And if the lecture discriminates against women, especially, how is it that that group makes up the majority of the college population ... and its graduates, hmm?
Great read via The Claremont Institute titled "The Politics of Star Trek."
It's a topic I've covered numerous times before; however, I thought this nugget was particularly interesting:
This clear-headedness had evaporated by December 1991, when the movie sequel Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country appeared, only months after Roddenberry’s death. The previous films had focused on questions of loyalty, friendship, and Spock’s need for feeling to leaven his logic, but this one, written in part by Nimoy, would be the first devoted expressly to political subjects. It comments on the waning of the Cold War by portraying the first steps toward peace with the Klingons. Yet the price of peace, it turns out, is not merely to forgive past crimes, but for the innocent peoples of the galaxy to take the guilt upon themselves.
Star Trek VI opens with a shocking betrayal: without informing his captain, Spock has volunteered the crew for a peace mission to the Klingons. Kirk rightly calls this “arrogant presumption,” yet the Vulcan is never expected to apologize. On the contrary, the film summarily silences Kirk’s objections. At a banquet aboard the Enterprise, he is asked whether he would be willing to surrender his career in exchange for an end to hostilities, and Spock swiftly intervenes. “I believe the captain feels that Starfleet’s mission has always been one of peace,” he says. Kirk tries to disagree, but is again interrupted. Later, he decides that “Spock was right.” His original skepticism toward the peace mission was only prejudice: “I was used to hating Klingons.”
This represented an almost complete inversion of Star Trek’s original liberalism, and indeed of any rational scale of moral principles at all. At no point in the show’s history had Kirk or his colleagues treated the Klingons unjustly, whereas audiences for decades have watched the Klingons torment and subjugate the galaxy’s peaceful races. In “Errand of Mercy,” they attempt genocide to enslave the Organians. In “The Trouble with Tribbles,” they try to poison a planet’s entire food supply. The dungeon in which Kirk is imprisoned in this film is on a par with Stalin’s jails. Yet never does the Klingon leader, Gorkon, or any of his people, acknowledge—let alone apologize for—such injustices. Quite the contrary; his daughter tells a galactic conference, “We are a proud race. We are here because we want to go on being proud.” Within the context of the original Star Trek, such pride is morally insane.
Roddenberry was so bothered by the film’s script that he angrily confronted director Nicholas Meyer at a meeting, futilely demanding changes. He and those who helped him create Star Trek knew that without a coherent moral code—ideas they considered universal, but which the film calls “racist”—one can never have genuine peace. Star Trek VI seemed to nod contentedly at the haunting thought Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn voiced in The Gulag Archipelago: “No, no one would have to answer.”
The above is truncated a bit, so for the full meaning by all means click the link.
I had no idea Roddenberry despised the script for Undiscovered Country, and after this piece it makes quite a bit of sense.
However, despite my siding with Kirk's feelings about the Klingons, I've always considered ST VI along the lines of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty from the late 70s. Then, the leaders of both countries (Begin, Sadat) had to get beyond their own -- and their constituents' -- misgivings in order to make a lasting peace.
Granted, the analogy is far from perfect, but, overall, if any sort of peace is to be achieved leaders must go above and beyond grievances (past and present) in order to obtain it.
Certainly, in ST VI's case, the Federation easily could have made certain demands before entering into a peace agreement. Keep in mind that at the time it was stated that the Klingon Empire "had 50 years of life left." What were the Federation's demands? I don't recall them making any. Why not? Were they afraid of the Empire making a last-ditch "kamikaze" effort against them for their "insolence?" If so, that shows how (politically) weak the Federation had become even back then ... which is probably, partly, what the Great Bird (Roddenberry) was so cheesed at. After all, when the US had two of our greatest enemies beaten (Germany and Japan), we did indeed assist them in rebuilding themselves, but we didn't just send them cash and material assistance and have no say in the whole deal. We kept garrisons of military troops within their borders, and overtly guided the countries' transition to representative democracy.
Star Trek VI would have us believe that the Klingons had to give nothing, other than the promise of no further hostilities, for the goodwill of the Federation.
That's what you do to people who rely on your cash for their living ... but for some reason feel the need to piss all over you if you have different opinions.
You may have read about the nonsense at this year's Hugo Awards. Check out Larry Correia's take on it all if you want to get caught up. Basically, science fiction has been hijacked by those of similar mind to college campus nuts who go out of their way to label anyone who disagrees with them as "racist, sexist, homophobic, etc." All in the name of "diversity," you see.
Scifi author John Scalzi is one of these nuts, unfortunately. Scalzi jumped onto the scifi map with the awesome Old Man's War a decade ago, and while his tale borrows heavily from greats Robert Heinlein (Starship Troopers) and Joe Haldeman (The Forever War), he makes his own mark.
Unfortunately, his subsequent stories went downhill from there. As did Scalzi's relationship with approximately half of his audience due to his smug, I-know-better-than-you elitist style of "progressivism."
One article to which Scalzi links is sadly funny. Seriously, who freakin' cares about the gender/race/sexual orientation of a writer ... as long as the story is damn good?? Not to mention, what has stopped women, minorities and/or gays from entering the field ... if their tales are good ones?
Oh, but guys like Scalzi care. There are now, it seems, gender/race/sexual orientation quotas for science fiction quality. And if you disagree, "[fill in '-ist' epithet]."
John has his latest book out set in the Old Man's War universe, titled The End of All Things. But y'know what? Despite having read (bought) all the previous entries in the series, I'll be skipping this one. Because why should I give my money to a person who openly sh**s on people for (honest) political and cultural disagreements? He's the same as comicbooks guys Dan Slott, Ron Marz, Mark Waid, Gail Simone, and Kurt Busiek.
How delightfully delicious.
Dan Slott, writer of Spider-Man and more hypocritical than a Bill Clinton-loving feminist, sniveled before the social justice warrior crowd a week and half ago after he supposedly was "insensitive" -- insensitive to an apparently gay comicbook fan who stated he was metaphorically "bleeding" (because of lack of progress on the comics diversity front. I guess.)
It seems Danny Boy was defending Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso who had also taken issue with the race/gender/sexual orientation SJW bean counters in an interview.
Of course, Alonso incurred that group's wrath -- for the "crimes" of giving creator chores for Blade to white guys, and stating that Hercules would be straight (not gay or bi) in his new upcoming series.
But, after Slott's initial defense of his editor, check out his mewling apology to the SJW snowflakes:
An apology to any & all LGBTQ readers and fellow geeks and fans.
I screwed up. I was so focused on seeing a situation from my side of the equation, I didn't come to the table with enough empathy for others. That's all on me.
Saying the equivalent of "change is coming" and "can you cut us some slack" is a pretty awful thing to say to someone who's hurting-- to someone who wants, needs, and deserves change NOW. Not tomorrow. Now.
Not going to couch this in "Here's what I was thinking", "here's how you misread what I said", or "here's how I have been trying to bring diversity into comics". Because the word that keeps popping up in any of that is "I", "I", and "I". And, end of the day, "I" don't matter in any of this.
This is about the people who are being effected by the actual injustice and unfairness of it all. And the only thing you really need me to say that starts with "I" is:
I screwed up. And I am genuinely sorry.
(Um, you'd think a writer of a Marvel flagship title would know the difference between "effected" and "affected.")
Alas, Slott is attempting to maintain his "progressive" bonafides by getting on his knees and seeking forgiveness from a perpetually aggrieved group.
But he'll keep shitting on right-of-center fans who arguably make up a (much) larger percentage of comicbook readers and fans than the eternally angry SJWs.
And so it goes ...
Petition to paint the White House brown:
So much to say ... but why do so when the inimitable Doug Ernst does it so perfectly?
"We’re going to beat the hell out of you. And you’re going to crack. You’re going to fight back. And then we’re going to roll over every other moron on this street,” says Sergeant Binghamton to Superman.
So "edgy." So "relevant." So ... predictable. The only thing missing is Superman holding his hands up in a "hands up, don't shoot" gesture.
You want to be really "edgy," comic creators? Try something like Steve Englehart's Capt. America "Secret Empire" story from the early 1970s -- but replace Richard Nixon/Number One with Barack Obama.
“It turns out Jon Stewart isn’t our Edward R. Murrow or our Mark Twain. He’s more like our . . . Jay Carney. Don’t count on future generations knowing Stewart’s name any more than they will know Carney’s. Remember when, under a Republican president, it was the duty of all comedians to be the loyal opposition, to speak truth to power? Stewart does the opposite. He’s more like a referee who sneaks into the Patriots’ locker room to ask Tom Brady how much he wants his footballs deflated.”
Our 'ol good "progressive" pal Ron Marz:
Killing animals for trophies is not a "hobby" or a "passion," it's a defect that we as a species should've outgrown by now.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) July 29, 2015
Alas, REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE!!!
Nobody lobbed a brick through the front window of Walter Palmer's dentistry office overnight? Come on, Minnesota!— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) July 29, 2015
And the politically correct "progressive" insanity rocks on ...
Here it is:
Now go read Doug Ernst's critique. I couldn't have said it any better.
Here's what the new flag of the USA should be:
Two things: Look at how raging lunatic Dan Slott acts when he has no control over the moderators and/or editors of the site. It's completely different than his persona on Twitter and elsewhere.
Second, it was a true treat watching the legendary John Byrne put Slott in his place.
Y'see, Danny, Byrne is remembered today as a legend, and will be decades from now.
You'll be nothing but a footnote.
This week we saw the Supreme Court, on at least in two major instances, outright ignore plain language and substitute what they thought the "intent" was.
Regarding ObumbleCare, the word "states" doesn't mean, well, "states."
Regarding the Arizona state legislature's right to draw legislative districts, the word "legislature" doesn't mean "legislature."
The latter is even worse, arguably, because the words are not in a mere law, but in the Constitution itself.
As I recently opined, how long will it be before we're told that "the right to bear arms" doesn't mean "the right to bear arms"?
From the Colossus time machine:
Recent refresher: The SCOTUS held that "The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State. "
Looks like Brandywine Creek State Park may have to cease those Civil War re-enactments soon.
If this were the 1950s it might be a story: FBI Files Reveal Valerie Jarrett’s Father, Grandfather, Father-In-Law Communists, Connection To Soviet Agent
Remember, to the Left in the 50s, to denigrate someone, cost him his career, ostracize him ... just for his political beliefs was negatively referred to as "McCarthyism."
To the Left in the 2010s, to denigrate someone, cost him his career, ostracize him ... just for his political beliefs is positively referred to as "racism."
Because he dared to state that Spider-Man "should stay white and straight."
Based on Marvel Comics' Brian Michael Bendis's claim that the new Spider-Man isn't one "with an asterisk," here's what his Avengers roster and TOS Star Trek crew would look like:
The "half" asterisks for the Hulk and Spock are due to the former being a plain 'ol white guy only some of the time, and the latter being only half (white)-human.
It truly is amazing the mindset that Marvel Comics has these days.
It was recently announced that the "new" Spider-Man will be Miles Morales, a teen of black-Hispanic descent. Co-creator of the character Brian Michael Bendis appears to have a very warped idea of how young kids play:
The enormity of Miles Morales’ place in comic book history didn’t really hit Bendis, a father who has two kids of color among his four children, until recently. His 4-year-old adopted African-American daughter found a Miles Morales Spidey mask in the toy aisle of a department store, put it on and said, “Look daddy, I’m Spider-Man!” he recalls.
“I started crying in the middle of the aisle,” says Bendis. “I realized my kids are going to grow up in a world that has a multi-racial Spider-Man, and an African American Captain America and a female Thor.”
Many kids of color who when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn’t let them be Batman or Superman because they don’t look like those heroes but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under that mask.
As Douglas Ernst (to whom the hat tip goes for this story, and who totally shreds Bendis's insanity) says:
What? What neighborhood did Mr. Bendis grow up in, where little white kids were telling black friends they could pretend to have been bitten by a radioactive spider, but they couldn’t pretend to look like Steve Rogers?
What neighborhood did Mr. Bendis grow up in, where a white kid’s imagination allowed him to be a green ninja turtle, but not James Rhodes?
It must have been a neighborhood that cultivated a mindset which comes up with this sort of logic: “Our message has to be it’s not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it’s the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else.”
This is just like the "bigotry of soft expectations" that many (white) "progressives" harbor with respect to minorities. Just as blacks and other minorities can't, and shouldn't, be expected to conform/do/behave/etc. as the majority population does, they also now can't identify with white superheroes.
But ... whites can identify with minority superheroes, you see!
Does it surprise anyone that a rich, white liberal like Bendis has just inadvertently reinforced white supremacy?
In closing, here's Doug again:
One of my favorite G.I. Joe characters as a kid was Roadblock. When I watched the Rocky movies I loved Apollo Creed. My brother introduced me to Marvel’s Iron Man, and I took a liking to James Rhodes. My favorite football player was Marcus Allen. Likewise, I loved G.I. Joe’s Flint, Rocky’s “Italian Stallion,” Iron Man’s Tony Stark, and the New York Yankees’ Don Mattingly. My “heroes” weren’t heroes because they were black or white — they were heroes because they were just “cool.”
According to Bendis's logic, it's perfectly OK for Doug to have liked all the minorities he mentioned. However, if Doug were black, Stallone, Stark, Mattingly, et. al. would all have to have asterisks after their names -- because Doug would not be able to relate to them.
Because of their white skin.
The News Journal's Carron J. Phillips chastises Rachel Dolezal's self-identification as black.
As "progressives" would say in any other case, "Who is HE to judge, hmm??"
Maybe that Politically Correct Hierarchy Handbook will eventually come out so us average peons will know how to, well, navigate it.
Also be sure to get a chuckle out of Phillips' "cultural appropriation" nonsense. Good to see the News Journal is hiring some "original thinkers!"
Speaking of "progressive" comicbook morons, here's Gail Simone who apparently prioritizes forms of self-identification:
Oh, my god, these are hilarious. #RachelDolezalMemoirTitles— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) June 16, 2015
Hey, here's a thing! How about we go five minutes without making a transphobic joke while discussing Spokane NAACP ladies?— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) June 16, 2015
Got that, everyone?
Someone who identifies as a certain race: laughable.
Someone who identifies as a certain gender: inviolate.
I'd ask Simone to explain the lack of consistency, but there's no concept of the "C" word among "progressives."
Y'know, over the weekend I watch the ESPN "30 for 30" about Richard Jewell -- y'know, the guy falsely accused of being the Atlanta Olympics bomber. The mainstream media f***ed this guy's life up royally.
And that was in the dawning day's of the Internet. News outlets are in a 100 times bigger rush to get the "scoop" these days. And the "racist cop enacting vengeance on hapless black people" is terrific "progressive" mainstream media cause célèbre, without a doubt.
Facts. Be. Damned.
No, not really, but just consider ...
Writer Eli Keel says "And fans who grew up with a certain version of a character have a hard time letting go of the past. (Also, unfortunately, a bunch of fans are way racist.)"
Of course. So why isn't Keel an anti-Semite -- or, why can't we call him such -- based on his article's headline, hmm? Or, why does he want a black guy to become a popular Marvel villain? Why not a hero?
Of course, social justice warriors are anything, if not inconsistent, natch.
You gotta read his ideas for a rebooted X-Men. Is it any wonder why comics are failing? Who the f*** wants to read about Professor X and Magneto embroiled in the real civil rights movement, them following Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. respectively?
Maybe Keel doesn't get that we're dealing with SUPERHEROES. The whole premise of mutants is to write fiction with a civil rights allegory -- super-powered beings with abilities far above those of normal man.
His solution for "erasing" the Jewishness of Magneto? "... make the many other Marvel Jewish characters interact with and respect their heritage and culture more openly."
Yeah, that'll work. After all, the new Muslim Ms. Marvel's pontificating on things Islamic has resulted in a "whopping" less-than-thirty thousand books sold per month. (If you want to see how these sales figures stack up historically, just Google it. Hint: They suck.) So now we should demand characters like Kitty Pryde ramble on about the significance of the seder plate.
In a superhero comic.
Yet another reason I haven't bought a new comicbook in almost ten years. I'll stick with Essentials and assorted trade paperbacks of great stories of the past.
Politically correct-when-it's-convenient Ron Marz:
Anybody making snarky comments about Caitlyn Jenner: nobody asked you. Shut yer yap.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) June 1, 2015
Speaking of the GOP, expect a lot more of this crap as the campaign season rocks on:
The above was retweeted by Mark "Go F*** Yourself" Waid, natch. Except, as is the case with a lot of what the moonbat comics tweet and retweet, that's not exactly what Walker said.
And here's Kurt Busiek:
There are more Americans today supporting Bernie Sanders for President than support any single GOP nominee. And he doesn’t stand a chance.— Kurt Busiek (@KurtBusiek) May 31, 2015
Is that so? PLEASE nominate him, then.
Tweet from comics guy Kurt Busiek:
Reading a Hugo nominee for Best Novella, that’s edited by someone up for Best Editor. It’s both terribly written and badly edited.— Kurt Busiek (@KurtBusiek) May 31, 2015
Yep. See the title of this post.
Letterman was at his best in the mid-late 80s (thankfully, my college years) when he was following Carson at 12:30. His bits were so stupid, so outlandish, and so silly that they were gut-bustingly funny.
Who else would have a camera follow a line of people for over a minute, moving towards the front of the line ... only to discover that folks were waiting to pay $5 to have their picture taken with Will Lee, the bass player in Paul Shaffer's band??
And remember the Late Night Bookmobile? How to Play Guitar in Your Bare Feet by then-band guitarist Hiram Bullock and You Too Can Do Haiku by Lee Majors (complete with Six Million Dollar Man glamor photo) had me laughing so hard I almost lost consciousness.
But once Dave got the CBS 11:30 gig, he got boring and let his politics show (liberal, natch). Rival Jay Leno's "Headlines" and "Jay Walking" were much funnier, and Leno was middle-of-the-road with his politics.
"Big" story today about a mom getting irked at United Airlines because the captain made an emergency stop at Salt Lake City en route to Oregon. Why?
Because mom warned that her daughter might have a "breakdown" and go berserk.
An Oregon mother has claimed that her family was forced to leave a United Airlines flight last week due to a misunderstanding involving their autistic daughter.
Donna Beegle told KPTV that her family was flying back to Oregon from a Disney World vacation this past Tuesday when her 15-year-old daughter, Juliette, began to get hungry during a layover in Houston.
"I asked the flight attendant if they had anything hot, because Juliette is very particular about her food," Beegle told the station. "If it's warm she won't eat it, if it's cold she won't eat it, it has to have steam rolling off of it."
Beegle says the attendant told her that warm meals could only be served to first class passengers.
"The flight attendant said, 'There's not anything we can get you,' so I said, 'Well, how about we wait for her to have a meltdown, and start crying and she tries to scratch, and then you'll want to help her.'"
After Juliette began to fuss, Beegle says the attendant brought her a meal as requested, and her daughter calmed down. However, that was not the end of the matter.
Right -- that's when the pilot made his unscheduled landing ... and had the family escorted off the plane.
A few thoughts:
-- Being a teacher I am well aware of -- and sensitive to -- the special needs of the different types of autism, so I certainly believe mom's warning about a "meltdown."
-- The mom is a doctor. (Not sure if that means MD or PhD.) Why would she not have something ready for her daughter to eat that, at the very least, a flight attendant could have zapped in a microwave? Why would she expect first class service while in coach?
-- The article says the daughter became hungry "during a layover in Houston." Didn't she get her "steaming" meal then? Why not?
-- Did she inform flight attendants about her daughter ahead of time? The article doesn't say she did. How come? Wouldn't that have made sense?
There certainly may be more to the story, but it appears this is yet another instance of someone wanting everyone to cater to them sans basic personal responsibility and preparation.
(Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.)
It looks like Warner Brothers has outbid everyone else to bring Joe Haldeman's classic The Forever War to movie theaters hopefully within a reasonable time-frame.
Making the package go supernova was the involvement of Prometheus and Passengers screenwriter Jon Spaihts and producer Roy Lee. Producing with Lee are Tatum and his Free Association execs as well as Film 360.
The package started to heat up last week but went fiery Thursday when Warners, Sony and another studio were all ready to write hefty checks. Warners won the project late afternoon paying low six figures against seven for the movie rights. Spaihts' deal to write the script topped seven figures.
Haldeman's 1974 novel offers a perspective on his experience as a Vietnam veteran. In it, humans have discovered how to use collapsars (mini-black holes) to travel instantaneously to other parts of the galaxy and beyond. However, the time spent traveling to various destinations (excluding collapsar-to-collapsar), most especially that at, and around. the black holes, makes our protagonist, William Mandella, a "man out of time" as a member of Earth's fighting forces via the Elite Conscription Act.
(This is sort of a bizarre reversal of what we saw in Vietnam: There, college attendees were exempt from being drafted; in TFW only the very intelligent and educated are conscripted into service.)
The alien enemy are the Taurans, so named because we encountered them near the constellation of that name. We're at war with them because one of Earth's ships disappeared ... and the Taurans were whom we named the responsible party -- because one of their ships was "close by." Gulf of Tonkin, anyone?
The entire planet Earth is on a war footing, and all resources go towards the war effort. Most of the population exists on subsistence living, and as such, crime is rampant. Mandella discovers this situation on his first excursion back to Earth years after a few interstellar battles.
The situation at home is so bleak that William decides to head back out to fight.
There is little-to-no communication between humans and Taurans; the latter, we learn, essentially have a hive mind and possess no concept of the individual. Humans win many battles, but the Taurans always catch up eventually.
So much time passes back home while Mandella is out fighting that humanity eventually forms a sort of hive mind of its own -- called, simply, "Man." Once this is achieved communication with the Taurans becomes possible ... and Man learns that, to its great dismay, that the "Forever War" was the sad result of humans presuming the worst -- because it simply did not understand something.
Mandella's love and fellow soldier, Marygay, has survived the long war too, and has been awaiting him on a "time shuttle" -- a craft circling a collapsar so as to keep passing time at a minimum.
The Forever War's sequel, Forever Free, details Mandella's and his family's life of planet Middle Finger and shows their eventual return to Earth. But the plot involves an annoying deus ex machina which results in a rather disappointing finale to The Forever War saga.
(Cross-posted at Smash Cut Culture.)
The WaPo is reporting that a prisoner in the same van as Freddie Gray claims the now-deceased Gray was attempting to injure himself in the police van that was transporting him.
Given the police-community situation in Baltimore, how plausible is it that the cops offered some sort of deal to that prisoner to say what he said about Gray?
Meanwhile, one of the biggest idiots in the Delaware blogosphere offers this up about Baltimore and the riots that followed:
The very same tea party “patriots” who have been decrying government and authority for 7 years now are telling anyone who listen that you can never question police authority.
Attention Delaware Douche: What party has been in control of Baltimore for over 40 years? What party has controlled its police department? And haven't African-Americans been running the show there ... including the PD?
But let's make this about the Tea Party.
Attention Delaware Douche part 2: You're a complete and utter blathering Neanderthal.
Attention Delaware Douche part 3: Maybe you can round up those Tea Partiers and have 'em shot, huh?
Two main points in conclusion:
1) There has to be NO excuse for police brutality. None.
2) It's not society's fault for the bleak situation in many of our inner cities. It's the breakdown of the family. Period. A 70+ percent illegitimacy rate is a catastrophe that cannot -- cannot -- be rectified by government ... or, if you wish, "society."
Here's Marvel's Fabian Nicieza on the X-Men's Iceman coming out as gay:
How u can call yourself an #XMen fan and bitch about a story exploring exclusion and uncertainty through sexuality is absolutely beyond me.— Fabian Nicieza (@FabianNicieza) April 22, 2015
Yeah, a mutant who's been an outcast his entire life and has dealt with the hate and suspicion that comes with it has been hesitant to admit ... his sexuality??
Gee, let's see, which is more socially unacceptable -- being a mutant with powers vastly more powerful than that of a normal person, or being a guy who likes other guys?
Gimme a royal break.
And here's Joe Quesada, former Marvel EiC:
And how does Bobby’s being gay change him? @CD_Murray Does it make him less of a hero, less of a person, less of a man?— JoeQuesada (@JoeQuesada) April 23, 2015
Not at all. What it does do, though, is make so-called creators lazy, politically correct, and stupid.
One of the original X-Men, Iceman, will now be gay.
I mean, at this point, why the f*** not? And hell, why stop there? Why not make the whole team gay?
Ironically, I was just reading X-Men #56 and 57 from the classic Neal Adams collection ... and in those issues Bobby Drake (Iceman) was sure torn up -- and jealous -- about Lorna Dane aka Polaris. Not to mention, there's a scene where he thinks to himself about Jean Grey "What a gal!"
But screw all that. We have cultural score to settle, dammit!
With the second installment of The Avengers less than a month away, and with it clearly the favorite to be the summer blockbuster of 2015, it behooves us to be aware of that which came before -- or, at least, from where the new characters to which we'll be introduced come, as well as various needed plot elements.
Print comics is a dying medium, yes, but naturally, without 'em, we wouldn't be able to enjoy our heroes on the silver screen.
Ultron was created by Hank Pym, aka Giant Man as shown in Avengers #58. The robot quickly "evolves," going from monosyllabic to complex speech in mere moments. He quickly frees himself from any concept of robotic servitude, immobilizing and then brain-wiping Pym, and escaping into the night.
Soon disguised as the Crimson Cowl, Ultron recruits a new Masters of Evil to assist him against the Avengers, and follows this with the creation of the Vision (Avengers #57), whom he also sends against Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
The Vision, however, betrays Ultron and helps the Avengers to defeat the mechanoid. But unknown to all, the robot's "braincase" remains intact.
In Avengers #66, we see the first instance of the "Ultron Imperative" -- a computerized compulsion which leads to the rebirth of the evil robot. Here, the Vision is compelled to steal a batch of adamantium (this is the fictional metal's first appearance, by the way) from SHIELD, and recreate Ultron -- this time virtually indestructible.
(That's right Marvel movie-only fans -- adamantium has its origins in the pages of The Avengers, not Wolverine or the X-Men.)
The Avengers, with the help of a now-mentally free Vision, and a vibranium gift from the Black Panther, manage to defeat this latest incarnation, Ultron-6.
Ultron continues to evolve through the years, and in the late 1970s creates a "mate," Jocasta, based on Hank Pym's wife's -- the Wasp's -- brain patterns. Ultron creates another "female" companion, Alkhema, in the 1990s. Both Jocasta and Alkhema eventually rebel against Ultron, with the former actually joining the Avengers.
In the late 1990s, writer Kurt Busiek ups the ante still further by having the latest incarnation of Ultron slaughter an entire country, and manufactures a robotic army to assist him. This premise looks to figure large in the film.
The early 2000s sees Ultron incorporated into one of Iron Man's suits of armor, but the former Jocasta, now Tony Stark's sentient A.I., helps Stark defeat him.
In 2007 the robot takes over Stark's armor again, this time the "Extremis" version which is actually part of Stark. A Skrull computer virus saves the billionaire, and world, thankfully.
Most recently, in the "Age of Ultron" storyline, the robot attempts to utilize the Avengers' Infinite Mansion to conquer the universe. His defeat draws directly from his second attempt to crush humanity: Starfox uses his power to make Ultron love himself, just as Hank Pym (disguised as adamantium inventor Myron MacLain) used the thought "Thou shall not kill" to defeat the robot back in Avengers #68.
In the upcoming film, being as there is no (movie) basis (yet) for Hank Pym developing Ultron, it will be Tony Stark activating a "peacekeeping" program that goes awry when it decides the best method to "keep" the peace is by ... annihilating all humans. (Sound familiar?)
As noted, the Vision was created by Ultron for use against the Avengers, but the android (he's actually a "synthozoid," an artificial human) quickly turns on his creator.
The Vision's powers include the ability to fire solar blasts from his eyes, but more impressively he can control his density at will -- become as intangible as a ghost (hence his name), or massively heavy and as hard as a diamond.
It appears the movie will maintain Vision's Ultron origin; however, it will be Tony Stark and Bruce Banner who reprogram him with Stark's AI, JARVIS, to fight alongside the Avengers.
Vision marries the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) for a time, beginning in Giant-Size Avengers #4. However, after the android takes over all of the planet's computers (Avengers #254), many of the world's governments hatch a plan to capture and disassemble him. This they do shortly thereafter in the pages of West Coast Avengers.
Hank Pym eventually manages to reassemble the Vision; however, he is now without the brain patterns of Wonder Man, which Ultron had utilized originally in his construction. This leads to a loss of all emotion within the android, and the now-living Wonder Man refuses to allow his brain patterns to be used again. As a result, Vision and Wanda drift apart.
Vision eventually reacquires the ability to feel emotions, but he and Wanda never get back together, despite flickers of renewed affection.
The Vision is thoroughly destroyed by the She-Hulk years later after Ultron -- yet again -- unwittingly uses his creation in an attack against the Avengers. He is later reconstructed by Tony Stark and once again serves among the Earth's Mightiest.
Also joining the team in the film will be the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, the mutant twins first seen in the pages of the X-Men (#4). The latter was seen recently in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but not by his name due to a usage rights issue.
Members of the Avengers since their earliest days (Avengers #16) -- in "Cap's Kooky Quartet" (including Capt. America and Hawkeye) -- Wanda and Pietro Maximoff have returned to the ranks of team many times. Wanda, in particular, has been one of the team's most stalwart associates.
As noted, Wanda ends up marrying the Vision, but this does not sit well with he brother. Ironically, Pietro, the subject of much fear and prejudice due to his being a mutant, is one of the most intolerant of Avengers. In fact, the ephemeral Avenger Moondragon ends up brain-zapping him (Avengers #176) in an effort to purge him of his bigotry.
The mutant twins' history is a very convoluted one, given their actions in the ranks of the Avengers as well as that in the pages of various X-Men titles. Once thought to be the abandoned children of the 1940s-50s heroes the Whizzer and Miss America, it is eventually shown that the X-Men's perennial nemesis, Magneto, is their true father.
In terms of powers, the Scarlet Witch is one of the most powerful characters in all the Marvel Universe. Able to alter probabilities and even warp reality, she alone is responsible for one of Ultron's defeats (Avengers #171), and at one time actually creates her own (alternate) reality.
Quicksilver's unnamed appearance in the last X-film hopefully will be reprised in some manner as it was possibly the best segment in Days of Future Past. In the slim chance you haven't yet seen it, Pietro can move so fast that you'll never know what he has done until he finally decides to slow down.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in American theaters May 1.
(Image credits: Write-ups.org, CBR Community, MTV)
And with the franchises’ 50th Anniversary next year, fans have been hoping that some kind of announcement would be made about a return to TV for the franchise. Now, a new rumor has surfaced that suggests it might very well be happening… and details on what it could be about have actually been available online for years.
According to the report, back before the 2009 movie reboot, there were two competing pitches for a Star Trek TV revival. One was developed by Babylon 5 creator and comics writing legend J. Michael Straczynski and Dark Skies’ Bryce Zabel, which would have rebooted the original Kirk/Spock/McCoy trio with all new actors. The details of that pitch are actually all online and make for a fascinating “what if” read.
The other pitch, which in my opinion was far more interesting, was from novelist Geoffrey Thorne, along with X-Men’s Bryan Singer, Free Enterprise director Rob Burnett, and Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuarrie. It was called Star Trek: Federation. This one was set in the timeline of the original five shows, but set much farther into the future, where the United Federation of Planets has become a “fat n’ happy” bloated empire, with the age of exploration (and heroes like Kirk and Picard) far behind them, with a Starfleet made of old ships just patrolling the borders.
Uh, yeah, I'll take Singer over Straczynski any day of the week, although in terms of series sustainability the latter's pitch probably stands a better chance of being green-lighted. After all, with the new rebooted Trek films, the original crew is back in vogue.
Still, Singer's idea is a fascinating read and ST: TNG established that a future-Trek can work.
One thing that will have to be altered from Singer's pitch is the reunification of the Vulcans and Romulans since the latter's planet was destroyed in the first reboot Trek flick.
(h/t to RWR)
Michelle Rodriguez of Fast and the Furious and Machete fame, says her possibly playing the Green Lantern is "the dumbest thing [she's] ever heard."
"I think it's so stupid because of this whole minorities in Hollywood thing. It's so stupid. Stop stealing all the white people's superheroes. Make up your own. You know what I am saying? What's up with that?"
But, as Douglas Ernst points out, the social justice warrior (SJW) hordes must have been out in force quickly thereafter, as Rodriguez later added the following on Facebook:
Hey guys, I want to clarify about my comment yesterday. I stuck my foot in my mouth once again. I said that people should stop trying to steal white people’s superheroes. I guess it got taken out of context because a lot of people got offended or whatever. I have a tendency to, you know, speak without a filter — sorry about that. What I really meant was that ultimately at the end of the day there’s a language and the language that you speak in Hollywood is ‘successful franchise.’
I think that there are many cultures in Hollywood that are not white that can come up with their own mythologies. We all get it from the same reservoir of life, the fountain of life. It doesn’t matter what culture you come from. I’m just saying that instead of trying to turn a girl character into a guy — or instead of trying to turn a white character into a black character or latin character I think that people should stop being lazy. People should actually make an effort in Hollywood to develop their own mythology. It’s time to stop. Stop trying to take what’s already there and try to fit a culture into it. I think that it’s time for us to write our own mythology and our own story. Every culture. That’s what I really meant, and I’m sorry if it came off rude or stupid. That’s not what I meant. So, cheers.
Doug (rightly) says, "When Ms. Rodriguez apologizes for speaking without a filter, what she really means is 'I’m sorry for telling the truth.'”
Before the usual SJWs get on Michelle too harshly, they should know -- if they don't already -- that she is an open bisexual.
Then again, knowing idiot SJWs as I do, that means zilch. Rodriguez should be prepared to be called a "self-hating bi," an "Aunt Tom" and whatever other filth the heinously self-righteous SJW pricks routinely throw against those who dare to veer from their rigidly enforced orthodoxy.
We reported yesterday that Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) has been given the green light for his Alien film which will "negate" the awful Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection.
CNN's Brandon Griggs offers up five things that Blomkamp should heed if he doesn't want to screw up his big chance.
All make sense to me but one: "Have them attack Earth."
Invading space aliens have been a science-fiction staple since at least 1951's "The Day the Earth Stood Still." But having a marauding alien terrorize Times Square or scamper down Sunset Boulevard would look pretty silly.
The "Alien" movies have generated suspense largely through the claustrophobic feel of humans trapped in enclosed spaces with deadly critters who might pop out at any moment.
So instead of Earth, what about this: What if an alien stowaway or two infiltrate an exclusive space colony -- like Blomkamp's own Elysium?
It might be satisfying to see the toothy monsters wreak havoc on a bunch of pampered elitists.
Au contraire, Brandon. Again, I give you Mark Verheiden and his Dark Horse "Aliens" series. In these masterful tales, the Aliens do invade Earth, but it isn't as Griggs worries.
As I wrote six years ago:
... a derelict spacecraft has made its way back to Earth orbit, one of its pilots with an Alien “facehugger” attached to him. Uh-oh.
The Company takes the pilot into possession and keeps close tabs on him. And wouldn’t ‘ya know it? He’s impregnated with a queen. How lucky for the Company! Of course, they keep the queen sequestered and allow it to lay eggs at will, which they hope to eventually use as weapons. Somehow. Meanwhile, the government organizes a mission to the Alien homeworld. Unbeknownst to it, the Company has jetted off its own craft right behind the military one. That Company is just too damn greedy!
You can imagine what follows: The imprisonment of the Alien queen goes awry ...
Y'see, the public isn't even aware of the danger -- and the sheer magnitude of it -- until it's way too late. The spread of the Alien hives is exactly like a deadly viral epidemic: slowly, surely, everyday conveniences and services begin to fail, eventually everyone fends for themselves, and the Aliens take over.
That is spooky, and unlike Griggs's suggestion doesn't sound exactly like the first Alien film (and third and fourth). The queens even affect human dreams (and nightmares) via a form of telepathy which sort of acts like a foreshadow of events to come. Freaky as hell, I'm telling you!
Griggs also says that Blomkamp shouldn't worry about the events in Prometheus at all. This is fine; however, Blomkamp will have to be careful about canon here -- the "Space Jockey" isn't an alien at all but one of humanity's progenitors, etc.
It's a fanboy-gasm as word continues to leak out about noted director Neill Blomkamp's (District 9, Elysium) new Alien movie. The latest is that his film will take place after James Cameron's Aliens, and will "overwrite" Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection.
Sigourney Weaver (Ripley) is on board, but there's no word yet on Michael Biehn (Hicks) and Lance Henriksen (Bishop). The girl who played Newt, Carrie Henn, never did any acting beyond Aliens and is presently a school teacher. Thus, it's doubtful she'll be brought back as the brave youngster who survived the horror on LV-426.
You may recall that in Alien 3 a space capsule carrying a hypersleeped Ripley, Hicks, Newt and Bishop crash-lands on a prison planet after a facehugger (clandestinely planted aboard the Sulaco causes a fire. Hicks and Newt are killed, but Ripley survives ... at least for the nonce.
The facehugger aboard the Sulaco had impregnated Ripley, and at the end of the film she kills herself to keep the Alien queen out of the hands of the devious Company.
Blomkamp's film, as noted, will ignore all this.
Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection were widely panned (rightly so, in my opinion). Killing Hicks and Newt -- off-camera!! -- in the former was an awful move, and then the flick wasn't much different from the 1979 original.
Writer Mark Verheiden did a spectacular job back in 1990 telling the continuing tale of Ripley, Hicks and Newt with his Dark Horse Comics Aliens: Book One, continuing with Book Two, and finally with Earth War.
I highly recommend them.
Douglas Ernst has the latest insanity via one of Marvel's "progressive" bigwigs, Spider-Man writer Dan Slott.
You see, if you have an issue with Peter Parker being anything but a white guy, you're a racist. In fact, when describing Peter Parker, the word "white," Slott says, shouldn't be included in the first one thousand words of any description.
He also believes, because Peter Parker -- Spider-Man -- is white, non-Caucasians cannot "relate" to him.
Perhaps most ridiculously, when a commenter noted that Parker's identity as white is "cultural saturation," and that his "grandma knew him [Parker]," Slott responded by saying "My grandma knew Jim Crow laws. Din't make 'em right."
What. The. Hell.
Maybe the heat got too much for the thuggish gnome, for earlier today he tweeted the following:
Saying "Anybody could be Spidey regardless of race" isn't saying he "should be non-white". I'm pretty sure "ANYBODY" includes white people.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) February 24, 2015
This is typical Slott -- go off on some ridiculous rant where you infer people are "racist," then backtrack. Which, of course, makes him look like even more of a snobbish a**hole.
And notice how he obfuscates "Peter Parker" with "Spider-Man." This is typical goal-post moving. *Yawn*
We then see this most recent tweet from the gnome:
"I'm not a racist, but..." Is a line I've seen way 2 much in the past 3 days. On that note, shutting off my internet & getting back to work.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) February 24, 2015
Let's be clear: There is absolutely nothing wrong with stating "I'm not racist, but I think Peter Parker/Spider-Man should be white." None. Especially since the character was conceived as just that, and has been that, for over fifty years. It's ridiculous to even include that preface, for what it's worth.
I seriously doubt Slott would take issue with someone saying "I'm not racist, but I think T'Challa/Black Panther should be black." Because it's a perfectly legitimate sentiment. In fact, T'Challa has to be black, Slott says, because that's how Stan Lee and Jack Kirby envisioned him -- a king of an African nation.
Yet, somehow Peter Parker/Spider-Man being white because that's how Stan, Jack, and Steve Ditko envisioned him is ... stupid. And racist.
(By the way, Dan, you do know there are white Africans? That the whole continent isn't a single entity?)
On a related note (and you just knew this was coming!), here's Slott when someone points out that Luke Cage would never be turned into a white guy:
False argument. RT @*** @DanSlott Luke Cage would never be cast as white, and rightfully so. The outrage would be palpable.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) February 21, 2015
Luke Cage's race is built into who he is and why he does what he does. There is nothing inherently "white" about Peter Parker.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) February 21, 2015
So, again, Peter Parker being raised in a white New York City suburb by two white relatives, attending predominately white schools, dating white women, hanging out with mostly white friends ... means there's "nothing inherently white" about him.
And why is Luke Cage/Power Man's origin specific to an African-American? Explain to me how that couldn't easily be modified to suit a Caucasian?
Confused? Trying to figure this all out?
Good luck. Slott is a master at making little-to-no sense. As noted, he's already trying to backpedal. I don't blame him, but how/why Marvel lets this dope spew his nonsense as he does on social media I'll never know.
Hell, even ESPN draws the line when one of its employees goes haywire on social media. I'm not advocating that Slott be suspended or anything; however, it would serve Marvel Comics well if it were to tell him, "Act like a damn grown-up and a professional for once, huh?"
Via Jim Geraghty's Campaign Spot:
Here’s the thing: NBC News employed Chelsea Clinton under that ridiculous contract, and MSNBC keeps Al Sharpton around (allegedly to keep him happy with corporate parent ComCast), has a correspondent that accused “American Sniper” Chris Kyle of going on “killing sprees,” has guest commentator claim Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is “trying to wash that brown off his skin,” has a host wearing tampon earrings, and gave a weekend show to Hillary Clinton’s former deputy press secretary.
After the ISIS barbarians set a Jordanian pilot aflame in a cage, Jordan's King Abdullah promptly struck back at the group, including executing several ISIS prisoners held by his country.
Boss Obama? He reacts to ISIS's depravity by comparing their actions to those of Christians one thousand years ago, and by claiming that "the name of Christ" was used to justify (American) slavery and Jim Crow.
And then he has lackey Susan Rice give a speech outlining the administration's new tactic of "strategic patience" while touting the further release of Gitmo prisoners and lecturing us that Obama critics "lack perspective" and are "too reactive" regarding ISIS et. al.
Basically, what we have is this: King Abdullah is Bill Pullman from Independence Day ...
... while President Lemon is Harvey Fierstein:
... the topic of vaccinations -- or, more specifically, those choosing not to get them -- is NOT a right-wing idea. The anti-vax movement has a LOT of "progressive" bona fides. See here, here, here, and here to just name a few.
A study by Pediatrics shows that "many of these [anti-vax] clusters are in very politically liberal areas of California like “northern San Francisco and southern Marin County.”
But, natch, this won't stop the media from its usual defense.
Take yenta Joy Behar, for instance, who yesterday attempted to portray the anti-vax movement as conservative.
And the WaPo jumped in too, with the headline "The biggest myth about vaccine deniers: That they’re all a bunch of hippie liberals."
But the "progressives" themselves claim to be the "party of science" and the "reality-based" community.
Besides many of them being anti-vax, many also believe (as noted in the WaPo comment section:
At any rate, hey, I can understand the "freedom" aspect of the vaccination debate; however, if you opt out, then you should also be opted out of schools and other public accommodations. Fair enough? Freedom, as always, is balanced with responsibilities.
Here it is:
Uh, no thanks. I'll pass. Seriously -- what possibly would entice you to see this? I see absolutely nothing new, other than Johnny Storm being a black guy. Oh, but I'll admit that the new look of the Thing looks pretty cool.
And considering the buffoons now in charge over there (like Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort among others), I don't have much hope that what Stan "The Man" Lee, Jack Kirby and the other Bullpen members started in 1961 will in any way be improved upon.
Brevoort confirmed that the eight-issue series Secret Wars will represent the end of both the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe.
Saying that the mainstream Marvel Universe and Ultimate Universe would "smash together" during the upcoming Secret Wars crossover event, Alonso and Brevoort went on to elaborate that, by the time Secret Wars #1 hits the stands, every world in Marvel's multiverse will be destroyed, with pieces of each forming Battleworld, the staging ground for the Secret Wars storyline
"Once we hit Secret Wars #1, there is no Marvel Universe, Ultimate Universe, or any other. It's all Battleworld," Brevoort said.
Yeesh. These geniuses couldn't even come up with an original way to create a whole new comics universe, having to resort to the exact same title and planet name as the original series from thirty years ago.
The new universe will combine elements from the old Marvel Universe, the Ultimate Universe, and a few others.
Hey, rival DC tried this with a gimmick called "The New 52" and it was a big hit! (/sarcasm)
RELATED: Stan Lee reacts.
"WBZ also went to the upscale Brookline home where protester Jim Billman lives with his parents."
Here's our 'ol pal Ron Marz showing how he dialogues with folks who hold an opposing viewpoint:
Delightful to see the people complaining about #FreeCommunityCollege are those most sorely in need of an education.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) January 9, 2015
Gail Simone on the attacks in France:
Urgh, just heard about the attacks. Terrible.— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) January 7, 2015
And that's her only tweet about it at present. Good thing it wasn't some right-leaning anti-government type who did it, or worse -- a cop who shot an unarmed African-American. Then, her feed would be flooded with tweets!
Lastly, Tom Brevoort retweets this laugher:
Talk about your ever-lovin' straw man to take down oh-so easily! First, who the hell ever blames the entire black race for the actions of a black shooter? And who but the most outlandish extremists (on the other side) blame all Muslims for radical Islamist attacks?
But here's what Tom and his buddies do: For the actions of a lunatic who shoots up something related to government, they hurry to blame the most remote of ancillary evidence on 1) conservatives, 2) Republicans, 3) the Tea Party, 4) Rush Limbaugh, and 5) the Tea Party (again).
Speaking of which, here's some from a fairly recent post, courtesy of Kurt Busiek:
Notice it's not "Hey, c'mon, all politicians use such imagery so let's stop the nonsense," it's an immediate (and stupid) repetition of what the MSM was yammering about at the time.
If Palin was a Muslim, she'd be inviolate to folks like Busiek.
... talk about "standing with Charlie," etc.
Q: Would you say the same things about Mohammed as you just said about Joseph Smith?
A: Oh, well, I'm afraid of what the…that's where I'm really afraid. I would like to criticize Islam much more than I do publicly, but I'm afraid for my life if I do.
Q: So you can be bigoted towards Mormons, because they'll just send you a strudel.
A: They'll never take a shot at me. Those other people, I'm not going to say a word about them.
That is MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell responding to radio host Hugh Hewitt back in 2007.
My pal Douglas Ernst also noted that Muslim Marvel Comics scribe G. Willow Wilson (who writes the new -- Muslim -- Ms. Marvel) tweeted this yesterday:
The usual suspects will say "where are the Muslims condemning this?" All major Muslim inst. already have. Your media doesn't cover it.— G. Willow Wilson (@GWillowWilson) January 7, 2015
While I am the last to trust our media implicitly, and while Ms. Wilson probably does have a point to some degree, what she and others who're quick to jump on the "it's only a small minority of Muslims" etc. bandwagon tend to forget are uncomfortable facts like these.
Here's a sampling:
Source links are available for each cite at the link above.
Here's another tweet for 'yas to chew on:
Remember when Ben Affleck called Bill Maher 'racist' for saying Muslims will kill you if you 'draw the wrong picture'?— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) January 7, 2015
“Associated Press censors Muhammad cartoons, sells 'Piss Christ' prints” http://t.co/OWd5zjhMnt— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) January 7, 2015
Lastly, here's Marvel bigwig and resident moron Tom Brevoort offering up a supposed "lie" that no one has actually said or even implied to my knowledge:
The greatest and most harmful lie of the 21st century is that to combat terrorists, we must become terrorists, to combat hate we must hate.— Tom Brevoort (@TomBrevoort) January 8, 2015
Nevertheless, I'll help Tom out: How is "harmful" to hate terrorist barbarians like those who killed the cartoonists in France and folks like ISIS? WTF should we do, Tom -- invite 'em over for dinner, for cripe's sake?
I've a feeling that Brevoort's "become terrorists ourselves" idiocy is a not-so veiled reference to the waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation methods utilized post-9/11. If so, simply spare us -- because any such moral equivalency is insane.
Indeed, a much greater and harmful lie in this 21st century is the notion that "outreach" and "being understanding" to ... "people" who could give less of a sh** about either and would still murder us without a second thought is a sensible policy.
Another great and harmful lie is what is noted above -- the "tiny minority" aspect along with the notion that Islam "has nothing to do" with folks like the France killers.
Just remember, 'tho: Any attacker even remotely connected to Republicans and/or conservative ideology = complicity.
Attack after attack by radical Islamists = not indicative at all of the belief system, and if you in any way question such, you're an Islamophobe.
Here's the first seven:
1. Have all your main characters be females of various different ethic groups.
2. Have them be gay or bi.
3. Thrown in a random transgender character for the sake of “diversity”
4. Have them take selfies and make shitty pop culture references.
5. Have all your male characters be either shallow love interests, useless or villains.
6. Have all the bad guys be white.
7. Have a random bully character bully someone for being gay, trans or non white and then have the main character call them out on their racism homophobia or bigotry.
The rest are here.
Boss Obama and Eric Holder claim that, regarding race relations, “we are in a better place than we were before.”
Of course, as we've all learned the (very) hard way, nothing that comes out of these dopes' mouths should be taken as truth.
Pew Research notes that a mere "40 percent of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling race relations."
Black approval: 57%
White approval: 33%
... when they had Captain America punch Hitler in the face. And our government told them they'd be protected.
But a penny ante dictator threatens movie goers in 2014 because of silly satire, and, well ...
I managed to catch the premiere of SyFy's latest offering, Ascension, on Monday evening.
The premise: Back in the early 1960s, the US secretly built and launched an Orion starship -- that's right, starship -- to Proxima Centauri. Those in power were worried about the heating up of the Cold War, and as such wanted a segment of humanity, however small, to survive in case all-out nuclear war came about.
We begin about half-way into the Ascension's 100-year journey. And there's been the first murder on-board since launch, fifty-one years ago.
It is true that we actually had the technology to build and use Orion back in the early 60s. The first question upon glimpsing the interior of Ascension is ... really?
The ship looks too clean and neat. Granted, the producers do a fairly admirable job using technology from the early 60s (television screens, buttons, gauges, print-outs, etc.) but then again other aspects of the ship's tech look way ahead of their time.
In a recent Entertainment Weekly review of the first episode, a critic wrote that the sociological/cultural aspects of the pre-Civil Rights 60s were still intact. I doubt we were watching the same episode, frankly. First, one of the main characters is a black male (he's the ship's XO) whose main job in the episode is tracing down what happened the night of the murder. It seems to me there would be quite a bit more ... resentment among the mainly white passengers when a "presumptuous" black man demands answers from them. Such wasn't evident at all. In addition, another fairly prominent character was the ship's librarian, a black woman. Further, the ship's doctor is a woman, and the EW writer says that sexism was very prevalent on the ship. The doctor alone isn't proof against that; I just didn't see anything to indicate it was much worse than it is today. So, for an early-60s era cultural snapshot, this is pretty darn progressive. Of course, being out in space for a half century could have certainly brought about their own sense of cultural and racial enlightenment; however, I'm just taking issue with the EW writer's seeming lack of knowledge.
How would the US pull such a project off? A trillion dollars ... back in 1963? How much would that equate to in current dollars? It's huge! And how would our competing powers -- the USSR, mainly -- miss such a launch? An Orion ship of this size is massive, and is powered by continuous nuclear explosions. Even given 1960s technology, it's highly unlikely the Russians would have missed that.
How is gravity seemingly so normal onboard the ship? There's no evidence of anything rotating (one of the feasible means of generating "artificial" gravity) so the only imaginable way to produce the close-to-normal gravity evident on the ship is by continuous acceleration. But bumping up to a continuous one gee takes quite a bit of time, and even so -- a continuous one gee acceleration would enable a shop to travel 10 light-years in 100 years' time; Proxima Centauri is only four light-years away. Thus, we can assume that Ascension is not accelerating at one gee. So ... how in the hell is everyone moving around the ship so normally?
Why do we need the gratuitous sex? I'm not saying people wouldn't be engaged in this sort of stuff, but why does a Syfy show like this need to have fairly graphic sex and bare butt shots?
The premise. It's terrific. If they made it much more realistic then I'd probably be on board. Of course, none of this addresses the big "shock" at the end of the premiere which, if you want the spoiler, check out the EW link above.
Which makes this even more silly ...
Ace mocks astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson for this tweet:
Aliens, seeing Humans kill over land, politics, religion, & skin color, would surely ask, “What the f*%k is wrong with you?"— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) December 6, 2014
Tyson has been giggled at on several occasions, the latest of which (before the tweet above) was his fabrication of a George W. Bush quote that made it appear he (Bush) was some sort of Islamophobic bigot.
But history isn't Tyson's forte, science is. Which brings us back to the tweet and our title: Would aliens be asking that?
Apparently, as Glenn Reynolds points out, Tyson is ignorant of the literature on the topic.
It stands to reason that, if aliens are advanced enough to either observe us or visit us, they will have followed a pretty similar evolution as human beings. That is, it is highly likely they had their own struggles with land issues, politics, religion, and/or biological differences.
Tyson's "Cosmos" predecessor, Carl Sagan, believed that advanced aliens wouldn't be a threat to us because, after all, what could we do to them? With their technology they'd be able to annihilate us with a snap of their fingers (or appendages).
Sagan also believed that any civilization advanced enough to acquire the means for interstellar travel is probably socially advanced enough as to have grown beyond the concepts of war and conflict.
However, many contemporary scientific minds believe the opposite -- that if (advanced) aliens have followed an evolutionary pattern similar to ours, they are "top predators," and as such have the same needs -- and desires -- as us (territory, resources, power, etc.)
I happen to think that even the insanely brilliant Stephen Hawking is off-base when he warns that aliens may want Earth for its "resources." Why would aliens capable of interstellar travel want to mine Earth for its riches when they obviously have the means to mine mineral-rich and water-rich objects like asteroids and comets?
The truth is, we have no idea about alien life and what its motivations may be. However, let's take this time to examine some "Earth invasion" scenarios from popular culture and rate 'em based on a thing called "plausibility."
Scenario: Aliens advance on Earth to wipe out humans and mine our resources.
Plausibility Factor: Low
They'd been watching us for at least 50 years and decide to make their move in 1996. Unfortunately for them, our computer revolution in the interim allowed Jeff Goldblum to become a computer virus expert. At any rate, as revealed in the scene where the captured alien mind-zaps the president, the aliens are "like locusts" and plan to strip Earth of all resources. But this makes little sense as I said above.
Scenario: Aliens come to Earth to steal our water. And eat humans.
Plausibility Factor: Medium
Much like the plot in Independence Day, the aliens in V want stuff from us -- in this case, water. Um, hey idiot aliens? Why not snag a comet or an ice asteroid, duh!!! But if they consider humans a delicacy, that makes a compelling reason to visit us. Except that, as even the series plays upon, a race as advanced as the V reptiles might have a moral issue with munching on another intelligent species.
War of the Worlds
Scenario: Aliens blast Earth with tripods to prepare for colonization.
Plausibility Factor: Medium
Wanting a new habitable planet for your civilization certainly makes a hell of a lot of sense -- much more than wanting such a planet for its resources, especially if its already been highly drained of such by the intelligent species already living on it! And so it is with the "Martians" (in quotes because, although Wells didn't know that Mars was a desolate place, the late 20th century did and updated the story accordingly). However, an alien race advanced enough to cross space and humble an advanced native populace can't devise a means of an effective immunity?
Scenario: Aliens have been slowly terraforming (or is that "alienaforming?") Earth to suit their purposes for eventual habitation.
Plausibility Factor: High
A very smart film starring Charlie Sheen and Ron Silver, an astronomer (Sheen) accidentally discovers that aliens are slowly terraforming Earth to suit themselves -- which, in this case, means accelerating global warming. The aliens are also keen to Earth politics, as their "warming stations" are located in countries with little-to-no environmental regulations. (Sheen finds one in Mexico.)
Scenario: Ultra-capitalist aliens conquer Earth 1,000 years ago to plunder its resources.
Plausibility Factor: Low
Greedy aliens from the planet Psychlos decimated Earth's civilization a millennium ago, and are still mining the planet for all it's worth in the year 3,000. In particular, the Psychlos like valuable metals like gold. Except that, like other metals and water, these resources are abundant in space. As much as the Psychlos despise humans, then why bother crushing such a people when you can get what you need for a lot cheaper? You're capitalists, after all! And how do you develop high technology in a flammable atmosphere??
Scenario: Like the Psychlos from Battlefield: Earth, these aliens are "free enterprisers" using Earth as "their Third World."
Plausibility Factor: Medium
Greedy aliens have been projecting a field which not only disguises them, but also uses clandestine subliminal messages to "sooth" the human populace. But some scientists have devised a way to see them, and Roddy Piper plans to do something about it! But again we see aliens plundering resources on Earth, but at least it has the twist that their making us get them for 'em. Still, 'ya'd think they wouldn't rely on single land-based antennae to project that beam so that average joes like Piper can destroy 'em.
If even some of these are authentic, the mindset behind them is truly scary.
Here's an example:
Sorry, pal. There have been plenty of college players who never made it in the pros.
When the Rams drafted you, I had the impression you were a pretty reasonable guy. Now, just get over yourself.
Maybe you can get the Oprah show back on track now ...
... I pretty much agree with Glenn Reynolds.
And hey libs -- if you wouldn't keep passing silly laws ("government is good!") and -- like in this case -- make taxes so ridiculously high that folks resort to black marketeering, then cops wouldn't have to pay attention to guys like poor Eric Garner in the freakin' first place.
Without further ado:
Looks like we're in for some all-out Rebel Alliance vs. Tattered Empire action! The effects look killer (as you'd expect -- marvel at the wind effects as the Millennium Falcon whips around against the TIE fighters), and as long as we avoid
1) "cutesy" characters -- Ewoks, Jar Jar Binks, etc.,
2) anything about Naboo, and
3) anything about the Trade Federation, General Grievous and other essentially useless ancillary entities
we'll be golden!
Oh, and why didn't Han/Chewie/Lando repair the antenna on the Falcon after Return of the Jedi, hmm?
Remember folks -- they want your money for their product, but if you disagree with them you're an instant pariah. And if you keep buying their product, they're laughing at you all the way to the bank. Hard.
Courtesy of the FCMM, here are some more creator tweets about Ferguson:
Fear, hate, bigotry, slander, and police corruption won Justice did not. #FergusonDecision— Daniel Kalban (@DanielKalban) November 25, 2014
And perhaps best of all, this:
Get it? Capullo knows Officer Wilson was guilty. He can feeeeeeel it, dammit!
But you gotta give props to Capullo for one thing:
I don't run away from people that have different opinions. I'm simply not that weak.— Greg Capullo (@GregCapullo) November 25, 2014
Good for him, as that makes him quite unlike most in his field.
Nevertheless, FCMM's Avi Green nails it after this Capullo tweet:
I will stand my ground regarding my opinion that there should have been a trial.— Greg Capullo (@GregCapullo) November 25, 2014
Avi: "And if there was he'd come to the same conclusion he did when the jury decided not to approve an official indictment."
It will come as no surprise, but the usual suspects, of course, feel the need to "chime in" because, y'know, they're so "smart" and "up on things."
It's been a while since we've checked in on Gail Simone; but she sure didn't let us down:
Why are the protesters and families of the victims always the ones under the microscope? Why not the perpetrators?— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) November 25, 2014
We are failing.— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) November 25, 2014
I don't see how any parent could ever be okay with this. The inhumanity displayed from the event to this moment is shattering.— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) November 25, 2014
And then there was this lovely retweet from her:
My 7 year old son just said: "Don't worry mom. If we want to live, we just have to stay home". I'm turning off my tv. My heart just broke— Petty LaBelle (@d_Sassy1ne) November 25, 2014
The sad thing about all this is that "progressives" routinely claim to be those who believe in science -- y'know, deriding
global warming climate change skeptics as lunatics, laughing at disbelievers of evolution (rightly, of course), and right-wing historians who only want to emphasize the good America has done and ignore its sordid side (also rightly).
Yet, people like Simone will ignore all the evidence that grand jury saw, re-saw, heard, re-heard, debated, and re-debated ... all the science. Like, if the person whose tweet Simone retweeted really is worried about her son's life, she shouldn't worry about folks like Darren Wilson, but about residing in a predominately black inner-city community. The chances of being a victim of violence with the latter are magnitudes greater.
Remember, too: this grand jury included three African-Americans. Will these three now be referred to as "Uncle Toms?"
Maybe Simone is doing all this so that she can maintain her "progressive" cred. Maybe she feels guilty because she lives in a state with a black population of around two percent.
Either way, it's ridiculous and irresponsible.
Here are a few examples of some of our other "pals":
Disgusted by grand jury decision in #Ferguson. And not at all surprised.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) November 25, 2014
A Mark Waid retweet:
The #Ferguson Prosecutor McCulloch said that the grand jurors gave up their lives during this process. No, they didn't. But Mike Brown did.— BrianKeene (@BrianKeene) November 25, 2014
A Dan Slott retweet:
I am terrified for everything that will stem from this. This is a full on war now #Ferguson— Salena Johnson (@SalenaMahina) November 25, 2014
Remember, these are the folks that believe in SCIENCE! Except when it conflicts with THEIR political dogma.
And hilariously, many of these folks are criticizing the prosecutor (who's a progressive Democrat, by the way) for lambasting social media's role in the whole Mike Brown saga ... all while posting frivolous social media commentary like "I worked in a prosecutor's office once and I can tell you this is a travesty!"
Meanwhile, here's a "surprise" locally.
Our 'ol pal Ron Marz just never can seem to grasp what's known as "irony":
I would also like to point out that comics as a whole needs to do a much better job of policing our own when they behave abominably.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) November 21, 2014
So much to say to that ... but it's just way too easy.
Next, "brave" Marz goes after a dead guy:
Not lost on me: hardcore @NRA dude Charlton Heston is the one who destroys the world.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) November 22, 2014
Yeah, not lost on me: How the saving of a "progressive" pacifist prior to World War II ended up allowing the Nazis to win the conflict -- and eventually rule the planet ... and galaxy.
Except that ... actress Joan Collins, who played pacifist Edith Keeler, is actually right-leaning in her politics.
Sort of the reverse situation of Chuck Heston's Taylor in Planet of the Apes, who was a pretty liberal guy:
"Time bends. Space is...boundless. It squashes a man's ego. I feel lonely. That's about it. Tell me, though, does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother...keep his neighbor's children starving?"
"I'm a seeker, too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be."
"Imagine me needing someone. Back on Earth I never did. Oh, there were women. Lots of women. Lots of love-making but no love. You see, that was the kind of world we'd made. So I left, because there was no one to hold me there."
So, essentially, what we have is Ron Marz making not much sense as usual -- only trying to score more "progressive" cred, and further alienate any right-leaning audience he may have left.
In today's News Journal: In tech world, minorities remain quiet about lack of diversity.
In other words, the lack of diversity in the tech sector is a "problem."
But ... why?
Here's something that should absolutely not concern you:
About 1 percent of engineers at Facebook, Google and Twitter are black, and around 3 percent are Hispanic. For all the success of women like Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, and Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, men fill nearly 70 percent of jobs and more than 80 percent of technical positions at leading tech companies.
The article also notes the complaints of some minority tech workers about their "activism" on behalf of more diversity. They're concerned that they'll be seen as less serious or detract from doing the actual job.
Well, duh. Maybe that's because most people could really care less about superficial inanities that really have little to do with the product produced by such companies.
Here's what "comedian, educator and comic book editor at large" Tom Brennan tweeted the other day:
Just to be clear - when it comes to the environment, today we learned the government of China is more reasonable than the GOP. CHINA.— Tom Brennan (@Brennanator) November 12, 2014
Indeed, the very same China where one cannot see across the street because of the ridiculous amount of pollution it belches out, not to mention where people have to wear surgical masks to avoid the equivalent of several packs of cigarettes ... just from walking down the street.
"Oh," but Brennan says, "the scenes where we saw all that was like six years ago!" (Meaning, the 2008 Beijing Olympics.)
Eminem bombarded an audience filled with veterans with the f-bomb on Tuesday night as he performed on the National Mall at The Concert for Valor.
The 42-year-old rapper, dressed in cap and hoodie, yelled into a microphone: 'Happy motherf****** Veterans Day' before launching into the show's closing set which ended with the anthemic Lose Yourself.
Also causing a bit of a stir was Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl and the Zac Brown Band doing a cover of the anti-war, Vietnam era "Fortunate Son." You can probably take the meaning, and writer John Fogerty said that the song was “my confrontation with Richard Nixon.”
Except that ... Nixon was anything but a "fortunate son." He actually refused the exemption he was permitted (he was a Quaker) to serve in World War II.
At any rate, why sing such a song at an occasion celebrating soldiers' valor?
Besides the quartet not "really being superheroes" (or something), now the flick's enemy, Dr. Doom, has a new last name and origin.
Are you ready?
In what [Toby] Kebbell describes as a mild change, he said, “He’s Victor Domashev, not Victor Von Doom in our story. And I’m sure I’ll be sent to jail for telling you that. The Doom in ours—I’m a programmer. Very anti-social programmer. And on blogging sites I’m “Doom”.
In regards to how Victor Domashev fits into the overall picture, Kebbell explained, “Yeah, it was cool man. Josh, the whole deal, the lo-fi way he did it, the ultra-real. It was just nice to do that. It was nice to be feeling like we had to come to terms with what was given by this incident.”
Dr. Doom -- an anti-social blog troll.
God help us.
Chadwick Boseman is slated to play Marvel's Black Panther in 2017.
If you haven't seen Boseman before, check out his spectacular breakout portrayal of Jackie Robinson in the terrific 42.
Check out the headline in today's edition:
Attention writer Tirdad Derakhshani: Captain Marvel is NOT Captain America. Captain America and Captain Marvel are two distinctly different characters. They have no relation to one another. None, other than serving as Avengers together at various points.
And you forgot to include probably her most popular former name -- Ms. Marvel. It's how she was introduced when she finally got her own comicbook in the 70s.
Without further ado:
Newsarama has a "5 Odd Things We Noticed" about the trailer, but you won't be missing much if you don't read it.
Here's what I garner from the trailer and from reading various synopses:
-- Apparently Stark has created some sort of defense network a la The Terminator, which in this case happens to be Ultron (voiced by James Spader). Upon becoming self-aware, Ultron does what SkyNet did -- tries to wipe out humanity.
This Ultron origin differs from the comics in that the evil robot was created by Hank Pym, aka Ant Man/Giant Man. As Ultron's intelligence increased, he evolved his body, too.
-- Stark's creation kinda makes sense since SHIELD has been decimated (see: Captain America: The Winter Soldier).
-- The Avengers seem pissed off at Stark, especially Thor. And Stark has to don his Hulkbuster armor to battle you-know-who! (By the way, the Hulkbuster suit bears an uncanny resemblance to the comicbook version from the early 1990s – created by Len Kaminski and Kevin Hopgood.)
Newsarama postulates that this may sow the seeds of the “Civil War” saga which Marvel is reportedly bringing to the big screen next. As you may know, the opposing sides of “Civil War” were led by Iron Man (pro-superhero registration) and Capt. America (anti-superhero registration).
-- Also as Newsarama notes, although there is no direct appearance of The Vision in the clip, we do see a brief “flashback” sort-of sequence featuring Cap. Sharp-eyed viewers of the first Cap film will have noticed Phineas Horton’s display at the World’s Fair scene – Horton being the creator of the android Original Human Torch, which was later reformatted into The Vision (in the classic Avengers #57). We know Vizh is in the film and word is he is Stark’s A.I. JARVIS downloaded into Vizh’s android body.
-- Who we DO see: The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. If you stayed for the post-credits scene in Cap 2, you saw the mutant twins. Quicksilver’s effects seem way cool; the Witch’s “hexes” are visualized by – check it -- scarlet-colored F/X.
-- Who needs to get credit: There was some chatter on Facebook about the aforementioned Len Kaminski and Kev Hopgood getting at least a screen credit for their creation of the Hulkbuster armor. I hope indeed they do get at least that. (Hopgood indicated he and Kaminski got some compensation for the appearance of War Machine in the Iron Man films.) Kurt Busiek deserves a credit as his Ultron story in early volume three Avengers looks to be the basis for (part of) the film. (I know there was a more recent story; however, most recent stuff has been garbage compared to stories from the early 2000s and before.
is really, really late to the party. I will drop the veil a bit and tell you that I worked at Nielsen (briefly) and in my time there I was at the cold black heart of this very effort. In fact, it was my team that created the metric called "Total Line Reporting". The idea being that they, the customers (ESPN for example) wanted to know what their total audience was from AM/FM/Cable/Interwebs in on report. Previously, we broke those numbers out but with online listening/streaming becoming more and more prevalent, they needed new metrics.
Nielsen is, of course, taking this a step further. In a conversation with the CEO he told us that Nielsen boxes are not just present in every make and model of smart tv on the market, but that they track anything that is rendered on your TV. Get that? Your daughter watches Frozen for the 11th time this weekend, Nielsen knows. You watch Girls Who @#$@% $@#$@ Vol. 9 and Nielsen knows. Switch over to Roku and watch Fox? They got that too.
This is called "fracturing" in the industry. It's a long continual change from the Big Three network days. Now we have hundreds of cable channels, DVD's, on demand video, time shifting, console and pc gaming. Each of those are slices of the entertainment pie that is subdividing very rapidly. Capturing eyeballs is very hard for cord cutting millenials so new forms of advertising are being developed. Product placement isn't "new" but things like that are becoming more common.
Here's the creepy part. They have all of Google's data and all of WalMart's data too. They are not a metering company anymore. They are Big Data and they are moving way out ahead of everyone. The Holy Grail for Nielsen is, and has been, ROI on advertisement. Currently, there's no direct way to track ad dollars to consumer spending. There are tons of technical reasons but mostly it's about variables. The more data they can collate about you, the tighter the ad tuning and the increased likelihood you will buy.
The strange upside to this is that you'll never see commercials for products you don't want or need (within reason). Guys won't have to sit through commercials about feminine hygene products and women won't have to watch commercials for quakerstate.
Hell, I'll go one step beyond and tell you they're tracking the ratings according to things. That is, they are going to start metering soda machines to see how many of which product sells in a given location. They will then cross that with demographic data and that will tell them which maker (Coke or Pepsi) should up their ad spend and what demos are there etc.
The eye of Argus is ever upon us and it seems that engaging with the world either virtually or in meatspace means someone is always watching.
The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.
Be sure to read the whole thing, and then ponder our pathetic reaction to Ebola and ISIS. This is "progressivism" in a nutshell, folks: It's all about political dogma. National security and the general welfare be damned. Liberal power is priority NUMBER ONE. No exceptions.
Here's how the American public feels about
global warming climate change in general:
And check out your Democrat Party, people:
That's right, contemporary Democrats believe that climate change is a bigger threat to us currently than ISIS, other non-ISIS Islamist groups, Iran's nuke program, Ebola and other diseases, and issues between Russia and its neighbors.
Hopefully, at least, this November can help restore a bit of sanity ... or at least prevent some of the damage from Democrat insanity.
No, not really. But that's what his mother says (of course):
A St. Louis police officer working off duty for a private security company shot and killed a black man yesterday. Protestors gathered quickly, raising concerns of more rioting, looting, and arson threats similar to those that erupted following the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Fox news reports that while working private security the officer approached three men, who ran away. The officer chased one of them, and a physical struggle ensued. Police officials report that the chased man then presented a pistol and fired three rounds at the officer before his handgun failed. There are no reports that any of the shots struck the officer.
The officer’s handgun was made of more reliable stuff, and he fired 17 rounds at his attacker, mortally wounding him.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that people claiming to be relatives of the victim identified him as 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers, Jr. The teenager’s mother, Syreeta Myers, told The Associated Press by phone Thursday that her son was holding a sandwich when the officer killed him Wednesday night.
A "sandwich." Must'a been a really good one for him to hold on to it while running from a cop. Not to mention, the salami held a clip, too!
"When you ask Muslims to condemn or denounce heinous actions, ideologies or groups," argues one Muslim writer, “what you’re saying is that you don’t trust any Muslim."
If I condemn ISIS, I am – in essence – condemning myself: I am condemning myself and my communities to the continuation of the never-ending onslaught of suspicion, dehumanization and interrogation that is far from unique to us (especially when living as minorities) but is the most public.
When I am watching TV and I see pictures of ISIS fighters, I don't feel any relation to them, I don't feel any connection to their theology. I want Muslims to get to the point where we see an act of terror and don't have to think, "How will I get blamed?"
I was about to write up my own rebuttal, but the first commenter at the link above did it for me perfectly:
Isn't it funny, "Huffington Post" provides a rationale for some Muslims who do not condemn "radical" Islam, yet as a white, conservative, Christian, heterosexual, legal, American, I'm made to feel by the Left that I have to apologize for everything perpetrated by white, conservative, Christian, heterosexual, legal, Americans going back hundreds of years!
NBC's "point man" in the Muslim Middle East, Ayman Mohyeldin, couldn't say which extremism—Christian, Jewish or Muslim—poses the greatest current threat to civilization":
That's right, this idiot actually invoked the Crusades. And then was "rescued" by a NY Times reporter who jumped in to say that global warming is civilization's greatest contemporary threat.
Elsewhere, ultra-moonbat Rosie O'Donnell amazingly has her "The View" gig back -- despite her 9/11 Trutherism (actually, that's a plus in Hollywood, apparently) -- and went out of her way to praise Ben Affleck for "taking on" (if you can call it that) fellow lib Bill Maher on the subject of radical Islam.
Geez, the one time Maher makes a rational point and his fellow "progressives" are all over his sh**. Par for the course, natch.
As an aside, can anyone imagine an ultra-right wing Birther with the popularity of a Rosie O'Donnell not only being on a mainstream like "The View," but having been invited back to it?
The fun-extinguishing SJWs are out in force again, this time moaning about two t-shirts featuring three classic DC superheroes.
The first shirt shows Superman embracing Wonder Woman, kissing her, and the caption reads "Score! Superman Does It Again"
The second has the very recognizable Batman symbol with the caption "Training To Be Batman's Wife."
Robot 6's Brett White writes "Both shirts present undeniably sexist messages" and
These shirts are problematic because they presume that women need men — either to save them or to marry them — in order to get them interested in superheroes.
Best comment: "It never ends…. This site should just be in an Ad Lib format. ______ outrages fans. 'Fans outraged about lack of things to be outraged about!!' It’s outrageous!!"
January 2017 can't come soon enough: Justice Department expected to ban profiling by federal law enforcement
Though details are not final, the new policy is expected to prohibit undercover surveillance without specific information about criminal activity, according to the Times.
Current rules, approved in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, give law enforcement wide discretion to monitor religious groups. The changes would extend current bans on racial profiling to religious and other groups, and for the first time would not include an exception for national security investigations.
Radical Muslim extremists in the US? No worries.
Tea Party groups interested in teaching about the Constitution? Must be STOPPED.
RELATED: The FBI is treating the Oklahoma beheading as "workplace violence." Joe Scarborough is having none of it.
"In a bizarre coincidence, a fired Oklahoma City nursing home employee was arrested Friday after a co-worker reported he threatened to cut her head off."
"The arrest came on the same day police in Moore revealed fired Vaughan Foods worker Alton Alexander Nolen beheaded a co-worker after he was fired Thursday. Nolen is a Muslim convert."
And Boss Obama and the lapdog media will cross their fingers and "wonder" about the motive ...
Muslim recently arrested in Ferguson, MO had threatened to behead critics like “bitch” Daniel Pearl in 2010.
Back on the 19th I wrote a post ridiculing Philly.com for, among other things, offering up a sympathetic look at one of the alleged attackers of a gay couple. It appears I may have been hasty in voicing my frustration with the inconsistency of so-called "hate crime" laws, and about the nature of that apparent "hate" attack in particular.
While I still feel that any hate crimes legislation is laughable if it doesn't include provisions for gay Americans, it seems there was (a lot) more to the story of the gay couple's beating than previously told. For instance:
According to court records, the couple, ages 28 and 27, were walking around 10:30 p.m. when they encountered a group of friends out celebrating a birthday.
The couple and the group exchanged words, leading to an argument that resulted in an altercation, during which members of the group used antigay slurs, according to the records. One man suffered a broken jaw, broken orbital bones, and a cut that required 24 stitches; the other, facial fractures.
Attorneys for Williams and Knott have characterized the incident as a mutual fight and not motivated by the victims' sexual orientation.
OK, so it wasn't just the group berating the couple for merely being gay. Both parties apparently tossed around some epithets and then things got out of control.
This doesn't justify the beating; however, how often have we read, say, about a black-on-white attack where racial epithets were used against the victims ... but no hate crimes charges were filed (because the motive ascribed was "robbery/economic")? If the gay couple in this case uttered some nasty words themselves, then why isn't their attackers' motivation then, just "retributive?"
If hate crimes laws are to be used in addition to other charges, then -- again -- they need to be utilized consistently. (But don't hold your breath.)
RELATED: The LGBT community's hypocrisy.
Worker who was terminated for, among other things, hassling co-workers about converting to Islam, attacks -- and beheads -- a co-worker.
Motive unknown to the mainstream media.
Religion of Peace update: the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and the ministry of Islamic affairs in Kuwait issued a fatwa against Naif Al-Mutawa, creator of The 99, a comicbook team of Muslim superheroes.
This accusation opened up a Pandora’s box and led to an avalanche of extremists each trying to outdo one another. It led to fatwas and more recently death threats from Twitter accounts linked to ISIL and Al Qaeda.
This is what the Muslim world needs -- real moderates like Al-Mutawa, and more people to support him against the likes of ISIL and al-Qaeda barbarians.
Wait for the terrorist chick's final two word answer:
But Israel is "overreacting," yada yada yada ...
Gimme a f***ing break.
An article at Inside Higher Ed highlights (no, not in hot pink) a ... "controversy" at the University of Iowa: the opposing team's (football) locker room is painted pink.
Well, this is the Age of Political Correctness, especially on college campuses:
While it remains a beloved bit of visual smack-talk for many Hawkeye fans -- and was even featured in a recent ESPN ad about college traditions -- some students and faculty have decried the color scheme as sexist and discriminatory.
"There is no denying that [former Iowa football coach Hayden] Fry’s tactic is rooted in an antiquated age when homophobic and sexist epithets were the norm in sports," [protester Kembrew] McLeod said.
Since 2005 Jill Gaulding, a former University of Iowa law professor, has threatened to sue or file a federal complaint against the university under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law that forbids gender discrimination at colleges. On Thursday, Gaulding, who is now a lawyer with the nonprofit law firm Gender Justice, said the "discussions are still ongoing," and that the locker room's color is a type of gender slur.
"It sends the message that anything associated with female is lesser-than," Gaulding said. "The minute I read about the pink locker room and how the university had built it even pinker, it felt like somebody had just reached out and slapped me across the face. It was that insulting. People know what it means."
Erin Buzuvis, director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies at Western New England University (uh oh), agrees with Gaulding that the locker room is a Title IX violation, but says a lawsuit victory would be tough. Still, she notes (my emphasis)
"Title IX's application to athletics is aimed at equalizing the treatment of female athletes as well as their opportunities to play," Buzuvis said. "If you accept that using pink in the visitors' locker room operates a symbolic gesture of emasculation towards the team's opponents, the pink locker room certainly represents a form of unequal treatment, since the symbolism trades on pink's association with women and stereotypes about women's inferior athleticism."
But ... is that a stereotype? In general and taken as a whole, are not men ... superior athletes?
Before you go off with steam coming out of your ears, consider:
The mean difference has been about 10 percent between men and women for all (Olympic) events. The mean gap is 10.7 percent for running, 8.9 percent for swimming and 17.5 percent for jumping. (Source)
Men golfers hit the ball farther, in some cases a lot farther. Men tennis players hit the ball harder and faster. Baseball players throw faster and hit the ball farther than (women) softball players. Etcetera, etcetera. Why do we have separate sports leagues for the sexes, after all?
Men's sports are far more popular with spectators because the competition level is greater. The athletes are faster, stronger, and more durable. This is just a biological fact, despite U. of Iowa's student newspaper's complaint that the "sexist norm of male superiority" still exists, and despite those who believe gender is merely a "social construction."
By the way, there's actually some psychological research to back up what the Iowa football squad (and others) have done to opponents' locker rooms. One researcher says the color pink acts like "a tranquilizer that 'saps your energy.'" Pink is also used frequently in "drunk tanks" and jail cells. In addition, the notion that pink is a "girl's color" is actually relatively new; it didn't really begin to take hold until the 1940s.
In closing, I get that efforts to encourage male athletes (and coaches) to cease using terms like "sissy" and anti-gay expressions need to be established and enforced. But over-zealous complaints about things like using pink in locker rooms -- because it facetiously calls into question opposing players' toughness, and even their masculinity -- are just another example of institutions like a "Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies" finding "reasons" to justify their existence.
(Cross-posted at The College Fix.)
Let that sink in good, folks.
Every car? I'm not so certain, but Supercompressor's list is pretty comprehensive, and includes cars from the Bond novels, too.
How about this from the UK:
An estimated 1,400 children were victims of child sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013, according to an independent inquiry commissioned last fall by Rotherham’s Metropolitan Borough Council. But because the perpetrators were overwhelmingly “Asian” — for the most part, Muslim men from Pakistan — local authorities, from social-services managers to law enforcement, regularly neglected reports of rape, assault, and sex trafficking for fear of being deemed racist.
The Mirror notes that one teenaged girl was raped over 250 times during a two-year period. When she reported it to police, they did zippo: "She was told that, given that it was her word against her alleged abuser’s, her case 'probably wouldn’t go to court.'”
We've seen that here, albeit to a lesser extent (at least for now). The administration and the compliant media scoff at the term "War on Terror," and refer to acts of terrorism with ridiculous euphemisms like "Man-Caused Disasters." Identifying terrorists as radical Muslims, for the most part, is a big no-no -- we can't offend a religious minority, y'see ...
... and so on.
We don't have to go the UK route ... all we have to do is just wake the hell up.
As we noted yesterday, Marvel's Dan Slott -- certainly not the most mature gent on social media -- got hoisted on his own petard when he defended Marvel's use of this Spider-Woman cover by artist Milo Manara.
Best of all, Slott is getting hammered by the Left. And why not? It consistently has been he, and his cohorts in the industry, who present themselves as paragons of virtue, lecturing everyone (especially those dastardly conservatives) about racism, sexism, homophobia, and the like.
Except when their employer(s) needs to make a buck.
Here's what The Mary Sue notes about the Spider-Woman title (my emphasis):
At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, at a panel called “Women of Marvel,” the publisher announced a new ongoing Spider-Woman series. The series, part of Marvel’s “Characters and Creators” publishing initiative that “aims to speak directly to… women and girls,” joins nine other female-led series published by Marvel. According to company’s Editor-in-Chief, Axel Alonso, these superheroines “are not the big-breasted, scantily clad women that perhaps have become the comic-book cliché” but are “defined by many things—least of all their looks.”
I suppose Alonso has an "out" in that, on the cover in question, you can't tell if SW is "big-breasted" and she's certainly not "scantily clad." You could even argue against the "looks" aspect, although that'd certainly be pushing it. Having a perfectly shaped ass is part of (a girl's) "looks."
Still, it'd be amusing to see Alonso make the above "case," wouldn't it? Couldn't be any worse than Slott's meandering over the matter of this cover. But to the point: How freakin' hypocritical is it for Marvel to state what it did about Spider-Woman ... and then hire a dude like Manara who's known for drawing (overly) seductive poses like that on the cover? And then hypocrites like Slott and Tom Brevoort exercise verbal gymnastics in every way imaginable to justify it?
Nevertheless, Slott isn't giving up -- with being a SJW (Social Justice Warrior), that is. Here he is from yesterday:
Sorry. There is no "reverse sexism." We live in sexist world that's tipped in my favor. "Reverse sexism" only works if we ARE at equality.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) August 25, 2014
In the back and forth in that thread, race is brought up, too. In SlottWorld, making sweeping generalizations about men ("all men are rapists!") -- and white people (Leonard Jeffries, anyone?) -- are permissible, because the "playing field" is not yet equal.
Whatever. There's so much ridiculous inconsistency in Slott's Twitter feed commentary as to defy description. No freakin' wonder the guy is such an Obamanaut.
It's been a while, and I see there was a recent "controversy" over a variant Spider-Woman cover, so let's get right to it ...
... the cover in question can be seen here, and was asked for by Marvel. Now, for the NON fun-extinguishers among us (i.e. the non-politically correct), this cover is no big deal. But for the 'bat creators this should be -- after all, how in the hell can Marvel commission such a flagrantly sexist and objectifying piece of art?
Dan Slott, who has no shortage of the "right" beliefs, amazingly defends the cover, calling the matter a "false controversy." And that's just for starters. Be sure to check out his Twitter feed, if you can stomach the hilarious hypocrisy.
Then there's our 'ol pal Ron Marz, who's miffed -- MIFFED, I tell you -- about some of the "abject and unapologetic racism" seen in Ferguson, MO. Of course, by that we know he means only white racism, but that aside, Marz is "concerned" about that, yet mocks comics blogger Avi Green thusly:
Listening to Roger Waters again. It's enough to drive that nutty blogger guy who follows me crazy ... if he wasn't already crazy.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) August 22, 2014
Not only has Avi brought up what a raving hypocrite Marz is for continuing to back a raging anti-Semite like (Pink Floyd's) Waters, yours truly has, too. Ya'd think that someone concerned with racism, bigotry, sexism, etc. 24-7 (like Marz) would take a stand ... shun Waters for his Jew hatred. But, nah -- the music's good! Funny how that didn't matter with regards to Orson Scott Card and Ender's Game, eh?
In addition, as Avi notes, unlike Dan Slott, Marz is upset at the Spider-Woman cover:
Nobody cares about your explanations or justifications. Own that you did something stupid, say you're very sorry, and then SHUT UP.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) August 21, 2014
Except that ... "If only he'd admit he went overboard with Green Lantern's fridge scene ..."
Lastly, there's good 'ol Mark Waid, who back on the 19th tweeted the following (see if you can spot the irony):
"Non-hyperbolic," yet ... "hands-in-the-air," "in the back" ... Uh huh.
And so it goes ...
The media is writing their reports like Children's Stories because they conceive of their audience as essentially children, whom you must protect from jarring facts which might teach "the wrong lessons."
With apologies to Mad magazine (the title above was originally theirs in their early 1970s satirical look at the classic Planet of the Apes films), a recent Facebook conversation with some friends made me look back on the delightful cheese that was the original Apes franchise. Timely, in a way, since the latest reboot film is doing pretty well at the box office.
THE ORIGINAL. At least the recent reboot makes a reasonable attempt to explain how apes got so damn smart. Could apes really just naturally evolve human-like inteligence in a tad over 2,000 years? C'mahn.
Wikipedia notes that Taylor (Chuck Heston) and company's ship was on a "long near-light speed voyage, during which, due to time dilation, the crew ages only 18 months." Aside from the amazing fact that such a vessel was constructed in the late 1960s(!), ya'd think, with such amazingly advanced technology that there'd be a computer on board which would have noted the course the ship had traversed over two millennia. I mean, really? Taylor and crew had no idea they were back on Earth?
I can buy that New York wasn't totally obliterated in the nuclear holocaust; the Russkies largely relied on bombers for their nukes in the 60s, and their missiles weren't very accurate. Hence, don't shake your head at the iconic final scene with Taylor and Nova at the Statue of Liberty.
BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. Somehow the same interstellar mishap happens twice!! This time, James Franciscus has to deal not only with the intelligent, human-hating apes, but mutated humans with powerful mental abilities.
Riddle me this: If these humans have such mental powers, what the hell happened to their smarts? Worshiping a nuclear bomb? Making masks for their radiation scarred selves?
Biggest "C'MAHN!" of the film: The fact that the doomsday bomb had a cobalt jacket doesn't mean it has the destructive power to crack the Earth into a million pieces. Because of Beneath, for the longest time this is what I thought a "cobalt bomb" could do . Wrong. A cobalt jacketed device "merely" means that its radiation becomes incredibly deadly -- it has a very long half-life. In nuclear war vernacular, it's sometimes dubbed "salting the Earth" because radioactive cobalt will kill everything it can reach, and will continue to do so for loooooong time.
ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES. Let's just start and end with this: How the f*** do Zira, Cornelius and their pal dredge up Taylor's original spaceship, repair it, figure out how it works ... let alone fuel it and launch it into space?? And follow Taylor's course perfectly in reverse??
But hey -- it makes the case for the "circular" timeline used in the Apes film franchise. However head-scratching it may be.
CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Yeah, humans turned to apes when a mysterious "space virus" came down and killed off dogs and cats. Just in time for smart ape Caesar (the offspring of Zira and Cornelius from Escape) to lead 'em in revolt. Very convenient.
BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. Either this flick is pointless because we already know the ultimate outcome (especially due to a scene at the very end), or it means that the supposed "circular" timeline is anything but.
Anyone recall the (admittedly silly) ending scene where the statue of Caesar begins crying? This is after a line by the "Lawgiver" ape says "Who knows about the future? Perhaps only the dead." This to me says "Apes defeat humans, Earth blows up, this movie was pointless."
There's been another shooting of an unarmed black teenager, and what played out last summer is sort of repeating itself. To wit:
Today the name of the cop involved in the shooting was revealed: Darren Wilson. His race, at this point, still remains a mystery, however. Also revealed was the situation which led to the confrontation between Wilson and Brown: It seems Brown was a suspect in a robbery.
Here is the Missouri statute pertaining to the use of deadly force to effect a felony arrest. Based on the police's initial statements, these (at least one, certainly) appear to apply to this case.
To be sure, the Ferguson police didn't do themselves a lot of favors with the delay in issuing Wilson's name and the account of the incident (which, I understand, still isn't 100% complete). Nor was, as noted above, the overly "military" nature of the post-shooting response to protests.
But also not doing anyone favors are responses like that of WDEL's Al Mascitti who today went on a rant about "white people" (especially Tea Party types, of course) being the only ones who support police in this case, and even made a comparison of the "hopelessness" of black communities across the country to that of ... Palestinians in Gaza. (He even said that people "know" Hamas rockets launched into Israel "don't hurt anyone," but they provoke an unreasonable response.)
The details will keep coming out, and the inter-political philosophy squabble of various viewpoints about the incident will make for interesting discussion.
But there's certainly one thing you can count on: The mainstream media has its NarrativeTM, and it will stick to it ... no matter the facts.
UPDATE (by Hube): The latest reports indicate that Wilson was unaware of Brown's robbery activity when he stopped him. Brown and a friend were stopped for walking in the middle of the street and blocking traffic.
UPDATE 2 (by Hube): This site notes that, although Wilson stopped Brown and friend for walking in the street, once he saw cigars in Brown's hand he thought he might be the robbery suspect.
Came across this site which notes some alternate endings of some classic (and not-so-classic) films. The second entry really blew me away:
Now, this stands out as the ending which would have rendered the whole film hilariously awful had it been put in place. In one conceived ending, the xenomorph appears just as Ripley gets onto the spaceship, bites her head off, and uses her voice to communicate with earth. Ridiculous? Oh God yes, but think how much more entertaining the sequels would have been if they’d stuck with this terrible ending. That kind of avoidance deserves a medal.
In three letters, WTF???
Can you imagine walking out of the theater after viewing that ... especially after how awesome the rest of the flick is??
There's a new app for your smartphone called SketchFactor which helps you avoid "sketchy" neighborhoods while you're traveling/visiting an unfamiliar town, but this doesn't sit well, natch, with the usual suspects. Take Gawker's Sam Biddle:
Is there any way to keep white people from using computers, before this whole planet is ruined? I ask because the two enterprising white entrepreneurs above just made yet another app for avoiding non-white areas of your town—and it’s really taking off!
Crain’s reports on SketchFactor, a racist app made for avoiding “sketchy” neighborhoods, which is the term young white people use to describe places where they don’t feel safe because they watched all five seasons of The Wire.
Best response to this comes from Insty's Glenn Reynolds: "For a certain class of people — many of whom are white, work at Gawker, and avoid sketchy neighborhoods with care — everything is racist."
I also direct you to this recent post of mine, particularly the second paragraph.
Olivia Cole, a "poet, author, and activist (of course)," is miffed -- MIFFED, I tell you! -- about the high quantity of those damn Caucasians on the silver screen. And she's GONNA TELL YOU ABOUT IT!!
First, let me note that I am white. I am a white woman who goes to the theater to see probably a dozen films (if not more) in a given year, a white woman who readily consumes TV shows and series and often blogs/tweets about them. I love film. I love what Hollywood could be, but I must say that I don't love what it is, and that is a machine generating story after story in which the audience is asked to root for a white (usually male) hero over and over and over (and over) again. I'm tired. I'm tired of directors pretending that white actors are the default and that people of color are a distraction when it comes to filmmaking. I'm tired of black women in Hollywood being relegated to roles of slaves and "the help" over and over again. I'm tired of films convincing themselves that they are taking on something fresh and new, the likes of which the world has never seen, but in actuality adhering to tired tropes and stereotypes.
"First, let me note that I am white" ... Gee, I couldn't have figured that out by the photo at the beginning of your piece. I bet you have plenty of black friends, too, right?
*Sigh* This is just yet another in a loooooong line of never-satisfied cultural "progressives" who lack the enjoyment gene. How sad it must be to go through life always on the lookout for something to bitch about.
(h/t to Carl.)
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators chant "Heil Hitler" in Canada:
But remember: "The Tea Party doesn't do this, and gets called 'Nazis' anyway. Arabs do this, and the media covers it up.
... object to what they regard as blatant objectification — scantily clad women were still used as decoration for some presentations, and costumed women were described as “vaguely slutty” by panel moderator Craig Ferguson.
The group claims "groping, cat-calling and other forms of sexual harassment" are prevalent at events like cons. Three points: 1) The claim that groping is a big problem appears ludicrous on its face. We're talking about geeks here, for cripe's sake -- guys that can't muster the nerve to even talk to a girl let alone grope one. I'm not saying incidents haven't happened, but given the penchant for "feminists" to label virtually anything as objectionable, let's just say be wary of taking that claim at face value.
To be clear, groping certainly is way over the line.
2) Really? You're pissed off about cat-calling? Then here's a clue: Don't dress up like comicbook characters. If you put on a Wonder Woman costume, or Power Girl costume, or an Emma Frost outfit, then don't be f***ing surprised if some dudes whistle, howl, or make a remark like "Hey, baby!" (That is, if you got the chops, so to speak.) Because here's a clue (and it's amazing this even needs to be said given these chicks are supposedly comicbook readers): Women in comicbooks dress provocatively. Again, look at Power Girl, for heaven's sake.
And spare us all the "It shouldn't matter how I dress" garbage. If a well-muscled, good-lookin' dude comes dressed as Superman or Thor, don't tell me girls at the con wouldn't be similarly "cat-calling." It's called sexual attraction, Ms. Feminist. Humans are hard-wired for this sort of thing, whether you like it or not.
3) What are these "other forms of sexual harassment?" Again, as noted above, feminists object to virtually anything, the wackiest ones even claiming all sex is "rape." As such, feminists should be allowed no ambiguity with remarks like "other forms ..." After all, a feminist could have a seizure if she saw the word "sex" written on someone's notepad.
Lo and behold, way down in the article, we get to the Geeks' real motivation:
She and her colleagues developed a comic book on the subject in hopes of engaging middle- and high-school students, which is what brought them to Comic-Con.
Best comments about the article:
I'll add one, if you'll pardon the cliché: Get a life.
And Jesse Ventura won, getting $1.8 million
To be fair, Ventura actually sued the SEAL, Chris Kyle, but after Kye was killed the dick Jesse proceeded with his suit against the estate -- Kyle's wife being in charge of it.
Feel for Madison Miller, everybody. Because "it happened to her." She was -- gasp! -- denied an IUD because of a religious exemption, just like Hobby Lobby.
Quote of the article: "I’m a little tired of having to stop whatever I’m doing to take a pill at the same time every day."
That's like a guy saying "I'm a little tired of having to open up that damn condom wrapper right at the key moment."
But, alas, it's a whole new world in this, the Age of Obama. Ms. Miller's learned well from the Boss, he who once noted that he didn't want his daughters "punished" with a pregnancy if/when they had sex and made a "mistake." Miller likens having the "right" to prevent a pregnancy to a runner having the "right" to prevent a twisted ankle.
As reported by Doug Ernst and many others, aside from the ludicrous media stunt that is the female Thor, this fall Sam Wilson -- better known as The Falcon -- will assume the mantle of Captain America.
As Doug notes, this makes perfectly logical sense. Sam and Steve Rogers (Cap) have a long, storied history that dates back to the late 1960s. They even shared the marquee on their book for a time. Early 1970s Captain America features some incredibly biting social and racial commentary.
It's akin to Tony Stark and Jim ("Rhodey") Rhodes in the Iron Man title. Rhodes first appeared in IM #118, but chronologically the duo's first encounter -- Stark as Iron Man, that is -- took place during the Vietnam War. Rhodes first assumed the role of Iron Man in the early 1980s when Stark succumbed to alcoholism. He did it again in the early 90s when Stark's nervous system deteriorated. And, of course, he went on in his own suit of armor as War Machine.
Doug notes, too, how Marvel Political Officer Tom Brevoort continues to make an ass out of himself. Here's what he said about Wilson coming on as Cap (my -- and Doug's -- emphasis):
While Sam shares many of Steve’s beliefs in a general sense, he’s also a very different person with a very different background. He didn’t grow up in the 1930s, he’s a modern day man in touch with the problems of the 21st Century. For most of his professional life, Sam has worked as a social worker, so he’s seen the worst of urban society up close, and how crime, poverty, lack of social structure and opportunity can affect the community. So he’s got perhaps a greater focus on the plight of the common man, and perhaps a greater empathy for the underprivileged than maybe even Steve himself.
First, read Doug's take on the "common man" statement. It fits Brevoort (and many at Marvel and DC) to a tee. Second (and admittedly Brevoort gets more leeway here since he used "perhaps"), what was Steve Rogers?? The kid grew up without a father, he and his mother (who died while he was still young) were dirt-poor, and he endured constant bullying due to his sickly, frail nature. Granted, being white as opposed to black in the 1930s was a whole different ball of wax than it is today, but if anything the Captain America title itself has shown time and time again how socially and racially progressive Rogers is.
One of the most poignant examples, in my opinion, was a more contemporary issue -- an annual of The Ultimates, if memory serves. It featured some in-depth conversation between Wilson and Rogers, with the latter remembering some days during World War II. Steve (as Cap) had just finished up attending a benefit party, and after practically everyone had gone, a few black soldiers approached him asking for his autograph. They had not been allowed to attend the party ... for obvious reasons. Rogers was not happy about that. At all.
Nevertheless, if history is any indication, you can bet that Brevoort and the usual cadre of creators will be quick to assign the "racist" label to anyone who doesn't like this Cap transition, even if it is completely devoid of any racial pretext. Because that's what modern "progressives" do. Just look at how these 'bats react to criticism of our president, after all.
Speaking of Iron Man, in other Marvel news there will be a new Shellhead title, Superior Iron Man. No, it won't be written by that idiot Dan Slott, but the premise does sound a bit like Superior Spider-Man:
"What you're seeing in 'Superior Iron Man' is a Tony Stark who’s seen both his worst and best impulses all let loose," (writer Tom) Taylor told Mashable. "It is Tony, but he’s going to be in a zone now where he’s never been. He's more ambitious, cunning, egotistical ... all of those quantities are unharnessed. He has a vision for the world. I like to think his position is defensible — controversial, but defensible."
In other words, Stark will be a dick. Granted, he's always had that potential, but Taylor is gonna "open it up."
UPDATE: As if on cue, regarding Cap:
Conservative media is gonna lose its mind over the Thor and Cap announcements, ginning up outage from people who have never read a comic.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) July 17, 2014
They will equate a black Cap as another attack on "their" America, yet more proof that some Other is destroying the country.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) July 17, 2014
What'd I tell 'ya? And just wait until the actual stories in the new Captain America come forth. If they're anything like a lot of other contemporary comicbook tales (y'know, like the Cap vs. Tea Party yarn), it'll give even more of an excuse for guys like Marz to call out legitimate criticism as "racist."
But, alas, that's easier than thinking. Which makes sense since there ain't a whole of original thinking going on in the 'ol House of Ideas, that's fer sher.
UPDATE 2: This Graeme McMillan piece gives hyperbole a whole new dimension. Sam Wilson will be "working for a white master" because Steve Rogers will be "running Cap’s missions from his headquarters in Avengers Mansion” and will "also tutor Sam in how to throw the shield," etc.
"Let me be clear: An attack on Rick’s integrity is an attack on Marvel’s integrity."
Is that so. Gosh.
As was the point of this post last week, many of the creators at both Marvel and DC have helped create the very atmosphere which led to the silly Remender situation. Anything anybody says/does that (seemingly) goes against the prevailing "progressive" wisdom is immediately pounced upon by these creators ... unless it's (seemingly) done by one of their own. And then the self-righteous indignation begins in earnest.
It's quite obvious Alonso doesn't really believe what he said about Marvel, above. If he did, he'd tell guys like Dan Slott, Ron Marz, Mark Waid, and Gail Simone to curb their condescending, hostile, rude, and factually challenged social media behavior towards those who differ politically from them.
And just in case, spare me the free speech "argument." No one is saying those named above cannot say what they want. It's merely a matter of manners but most especially business sense. One wonders why Alonso hasn't said something like "When you behave like that on social media, it reflects poorly on Marvel."
And that is this one, via What Culture:
Her name is Heavy Flo. Get it? She's a character in conspiratorial moonbat Erik Larsen's title Savage Dragon.
Three words come to mind: "What," "The" and "F***."
(h/t to FCMM)
Here's Mark Waid on the recent controversy surrounding fellow comicbook creator Rick Remender's current Captain America storyline:
I am neither supporting nor decrying any comics or stories. But founding an argument on a willful ignorance of facts accomplishes nothing.— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) July 7, 2014
That's rich. This, from the guy who tweeted this about last week's Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision:
Fair warning: anyone who makes a snide or sarcastic comment implying I've not read/don't understand the HL decision gets blocked.— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) June 30, 2014
Now, I've no idea about the character and story in question, but I find the irony very delicious here. The self-righteousness of people like Waid, Dan Slott, Ron Marz et. al. knows no bounds, most especially when they're wrong about something. And they always do it in the most snide, condescending manner.
Not to mention, this crew is always on "speech patrol" for something on which to post a grievance. It's always fun to watch when they're on the defensive. You've made the bed; now lie in it.
UPDATE: Gotta love it: The gnomish Dan Slott alludes to this post (without linking to it, natch) only including the "Now, I've no idea about the character and story in question ..." part in his tweet. Which, natch, has little to do with the actual point.
Brilliant, Danny. Now you've done precisely what those fired up about Remender have done.
UPDATE 2: This comment perfectly illustrates the point Slott purposely missed:
I LOVE IT when Liberals eat their own. How does it feel Rick… to be hoisted by your own petard? The PC “Thought Police” showed their usual ignorance and intolerance while revealing their own insecurities and hate.
Remember when this used to be a free country?
Here's a Twitter pic retweeted by our pal Dan Slott:
Slott asks of writer Tony Lee, a London-based writer who had also retweeted it, and Peter Anghelides, the tweet's originator: "Eep! Is this really how we look to the Brits?"
The text on the original tweet says "Spot the difference competition."
Y'see, it seems the "message" we're suppose to draw from this is all religions have their extremists, and that society shouldn't judge everyone based on the actions of "a few."
Except, as clear thinking people realize (and, thankfully, some pointed out on the Twitter feeds in question), the person on the right won't hesitate to kill you merely for not believing as she does. Or for saying something against her religion. Or merely because you're an Israeli. Etc.
The girl on the left, simply, wouldn't do any of those things. Not even close. The Bible and gun simply represent rights embodied in the very Constitution which governs us (represented by the flag in the background).
Dan Slott often tweets about bigotry and intolerance -- the kind he doesn't like. Like here, for instance. But as we've seen, he gets upset when people think he implies "everyone" of a certain group, yet he doesn't waste any time doing just that to someone else if there's no "requisite disclaimer."
Here's an example of bigotry which is perfectly acceptable to Dan Slott:
Just like the top pic above, that there's little/no difference between an American female who believes in the First and Second Amendments and a Middle Eastern jihadist woman who wouldn't hesitate to detonate a set of bombs strapped to her body just to off a few "infidels," people who believe in gun ownership rights -- again, rights which are codified in our highest legal document -- are dimwitted, gutteral-voiced "'Muricans" to people like the gnomish Dan Slott.
There are many contemporary comicbook creators who think as Slott does. It's how they think about you.
(Thanks to Doug Ernst for the various screen caps.)
Late last week I happened upon this article in The Federalist by Daniel Payne. He simply asks, "Why Do Teachers Complain So Much?" What struck me, in particular, was how even-handed Payne is. Many analysts of (public) education usually go all-out one way or the other -- either public education and its teachers are evil incarnate, or they're noble institutions and individuals, one step below deity status.
The object of Payne's interest is a teacher resignation letter published in the Huffington Post. Why, he wonders, do so many teachers feel the need to let the world know why they're bowing out? "Was the post office in Colorado Springs closed that day?" he asks. "Did she attempt to send the letter to her superiors and accidentally sent it to the editor of the website instead?"
Obviously not. Payne is right: Way too many educators travel to their jobs on a high horse. Too many think they're overworked and underpaid, and that somehow their situation is so different from that of other Americans in other professions. Early in my career at a school referendum meeting (my state requires that the public vote on raising taxes for increased school funding), a colleague stood up and, sounding all exasperated, exclaimed "Listen -- I got up at 5:30 this morning. I did not get home until 6pm. I was on my feet all day ..." The groans from the audience were quite audible. And my own was among them.
Nobody wants to hear that sort of whining, especially at a gathering where a community tax increase is on the table -- a tax that, in part, pays teachers. You think the guy who drives a delivery truck for ten hours across 150 miles of territory wants to hear such grousing? How about the woman who works retail at the mall and just spent nine hours on her feet, dealing with pushy patrons all day? You don't think they'd like a pay raise? Better hours? Improved working conditions?
The irony is, many of these teachers need to realize that they exist in a (teaching) world largely of their own making. By this, I mean their political and cultural philosophies. You're part of one of the most powerful unions in the country, so when you go on strike demanding salary increases and gold label health benefits - when you're already well compensated - it doesn't go over well with the Average Joe who works just as hard but does not enjoy such perks.
Granted, the strength of teachers' unions varies from state to state, as do the salaries and benefits. But keep in mind (and I know this will anger many teachers) the length of the typical school day, and the school year. Winter and spring breaks. Every holiday off. Half of June, all of July, and most of August ... off. Yes, yes, I know teachers will clamor that their day doesn't end after seven and a half hours, and that the numerous breaks and summer are filled with grading, book-keeping and professional development. Trust me, I know. I've put in many a ten-to-twelve hour day, and worked for weeks during breaks and the summer on lesson planning and curriculum.
But so what? Again, how is this so different from what any other person does in any other job? And, generally, what teachers won't tell you is how many in the profession don't do these things. Which makes the salaries and bennies even better, right?
And what about the teachers who have gone on to administration, both school-based and at the central office? Classroom teachers are renowned for their objections to inservice content (inservices are "workshops" that are supposed to enhance one's teaching abilities) but who do you think develops them? Former teachers. Or, at the least (worst?), those who have degrees in education and/or have worked in the field all their lives.
In 1979, President Carter and a Democratic Congress passed the Department of Education Organization Act, which established the federal Department of Education. Many (mostly Republicans and conservatives) thought the move was a Democrat payoff to liberals and the National Education Association (NEA), the largest union of any kind in the country. But even progressive-friendly media acknowledge that Carter had promised the NEA the new cabinet role.
What have we seen, in particular, over the last decade and a half from the NEA and others? Endless grumbling about educational federal mandates. It was easy enough when George W. Bush assumed office in 2000; he was a Republican. That Republican largely co-opted the typical liberal/Democrat tradition of intertwining the feds and education policy with No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The big difference here was that instead of largely throwing money at schools, Mr. Bush actually wanted something in return. The unions, and teachers in general, screamed and hollered about "unfunded mandates," "unrealistic goals," etc.
But in 2008 when Barack Obama came to Washington, his Race to the Top (RTTT) initiative was often referred to as "NCLB on steroids." The union and teacher complaints persist, although they were (are) less personal (Obama is a progressive Democrat, after all). With RTTT, not only was NCLB-based standardized testing continued with all the usual demographic components broken down and dissected as before, but selected states could now use federal monies to develop new teacher evaluation tools, and establish entities like "professional learning communities" (PLCs).
It's easy enough to understand the current kvetching. These new evaluation methods were too often hastily assembled and bring little to the table in terms of judging teacher effectiveness. I've personally seen outstanding teachers receive "ineffective" labels, and lemon instructors get "satisfactory" ratings based on the new assessment. Funding was provided for "data coaches" who are supposed to provide information to teachers on student progress. The problem, which no one could ever seem to answer, was when teachers would get this information and, more importantly, what to do with it.
To coin a cliché, haste really does make waste.
As someone who's been involved in public education for a quarter century I sympathize with many of my fellow educators' -- and union's -- complaints. The decline in student respect and discipline, to name one, remains a "bipartisan" issue, so to speak. But, as I noted previously, on whom can we blame a significant portion of that decline? And, even though left-of-center union complainers get most of the ink in the media, the general pubic should keep in mind that a large percentage of the NEA is comprised of moderates and conservatives, and many do not agree with the Association on national political matters.
The unions and statist educators may not have gotten what they wished for when the feds became a player in education thirty-five years ago. It was naïve to ever believe Washington would continue to throw money at schools ... and never demand anything in return. Grousing about that which you've been largely responsible, and doing so in wide-reaching public mediums, is unlikely to amass much general sympathy.
(Cross-posted at The College Fix.)
Want a $15/hr. "living" wage? Then be prepared to pay for it:
Got issues with the IRS? Give them the same excuses they're giving us. Douchebags.
LOL Alert: The LGOMB's "Trust Fund" Scott offered up an "update" to his possible challenge to Rep. John Carney. Judging by the number of comments, it seems there's just a bunch of eye rolling regarding this ... "challenge."
The SCOTUS has ruled that the Boss Obama administration's EPA lacks authority in some cases to bully companies regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Hey, it's a start.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has come up with the latest euphemism for "[illegal] immigrant" -- "New American." *Yawn* I like, too, how O'Malley, like other state and local execs, thumbed his nose at federal law to provide safe harbors for illegal immigrants. That is somehow OK, but when states/localities on the front lines in the border situation attempt to do the same but in reverse -- enact measures to stop illegals -- they're met with lawsuits from President Lemon. America: Gotta love it.
Like Obama, he has his grip on the pulse of America: John Kerry deals with yet another "crisis" facing the US -- he's "working hard to ensure that by the end of [his] tenure, we will have lesbian, bisexual, and transgender ambassadors ..." I wonder how this ranks on the list of concerns facing the American public.
Lastly, who else caught that crushing last second goal by Portugal to tie the US soccer team 2-2 last night? If the US had held on, we'd already be on our way to the next round. But protective play and sloppiness at mid-field did us in. Speaking of the World Cup, FIFA, one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet, is pulling a John Kerry -- concentrating on ridiculous matters instead, in this case, of just having good natured fun. Sheesh.
Over at io9 there's a discussion about how the noted scifi author made the transformation from socialist to "right-wing" libertarian. That in itself is worthy of the read (it's based on a recent New Republic piece); however, since arguably Starship Troopers is Heinlein's most popular work, I see some of the same, tired objections to the story have arisen. Take NR author Jeet Heer from the start:
Heinlein was equally beloved in military circles, especially for his book Starship Troopers (1959), a gung-ho shout-out for organized belligerence as the key to human survival. A thoroughly authoritarian book, it included an ode to flogging (a practice the American Navy banned in 1861) and the execution of mentally disturbed criminals, yet Heinlein became a hero to libertarians ...
"Organized belligerence as the key ...?" Yeesh. It never ceases to amaze me the utter myopia exhibited by leftists when critiquing this book. This statement makes it seem as though the Terran Federation was actively seeking out conflicts with [alien] races to make humanity "safe." Poppycock. The novel clearly notes that the Federation has allies (the "Skinnies" who needed a bit of "persuading," courtesy of the Mobile Infantry, to turn away from a head-scratching alliance with the Bugs), and that the Bug War exists because 1) each side wants the same thing, and 2) absolutely no communication and discussion with each other has been thus far possible.
And "thoroughly authoritarian" is also complete nonsense. Statements like this make it seem like either Heer has either never read the book, and/or is solely relying on the film and correlated print stories. Through the numerous political discussions in the story, humanity enjoys every right currently afforded (in the US): freedom of speech, religion, press, etc.
But what about the franchise? A commenter ridiculously writes "Starship Troopers is not in favour of democracy since it advocates restricting voting rights to the 'worthy.'" But Heinlein addresses that very "concern" in the book, noting the franchise has always been restricted in some manner. In the US, you have to be at least 18 years old and a citizen to cast a vote, to which Heinlein had the iconic Colonel DuBois point out: What sense does it make to allow an adult moron to vote, but not a teenage genius? The only restriction to voting in ST is that one must have served a term of (mostly military) service. This commenter summarizes it quite adequately.
Just about every anti-Troopers narrative I've seen is that way because its author is simply anti-military. That being the case, examine why the system in ST was established in the first place. (Veterans Administration scandal, anyone?)
Much more from yours truly regarding Troopers here, from eight and a half years ago.
Yeesh -- here's yet another "progressive" happily proving his bonafides with another article lamenting the "lack of diversity" in, again, the latest X-film ("Days of Future Past"). Just take a look:
You get the point. I wonder what it's like to be perpetually aggrieved ... about something, anything, everything. And the only "joy" you get is by bitching about the most inconsequential stuff.
Oops, sorry -- I meant "climate change." At any rate, now it's responsible for ... infidelity:
A new report blames global warming for rising rates of infidelity, especially bad news for couples in Miami, where rising tides and raging hurricanes remind us all how much extracurricular sex we could be having on a daily basis.
Victoria Milan, a dating website for people looking to cheat on their significant other, surveyed 5,000 of its members, both men and women. A shocking 72% of them responded that yes, their own Al Gore-esque stress about unpredictable weather is the cause of their extra-marital dalliances. Guess the fact of their existing committed relationships was just an inconvenient truth.
I suppose this appropriate:
I know the left are always going on about how mutants are being discriminated against and questioning them at all makes us basically evil racists, but the left’s position on this issue makes absolutely no sense. Right now, if a kid in school so much as draws a picture of a gun, the cops get called. But if there is a kid in class with mutant exploding powers who could easily kill everyone in the classroom — either maliciously or accidentally — then we’re all Nazis for saying, “Hey, maybe we should reevaluate whether that kid should be in the same class as everyone else.” Not only that, we’re bigots for wanting to even know about that kid. How does this make any sense? I guess dead school children is better than “discrimination.”
And it’s not like these mutant powers are the same as someone walking around with a concealed gun like millions of Americans do and not necessarily harming anyone; no, they’re actively using them. Many of the mutants are in this paramilitary organization — the X-Men — and flying around in military-grade hardware to “fight evil.” Some of us think that maybe — just maybe — the government should watch these people. And of course we get called racists for this basic common sense.
I know I've written similar sentiments in the past here (our search function is still an active victim of our outage a couple weeks back), but I'll reiterate my sympathies with the author of the above. The Left seeks to make hay out of every gun tragedy (the latest being a psycho pampered college kid who killed a half dozen people because he couldn't get laid ... or something) with "progressive" comicbook creators some of the most vocal. And some of these same creators, who seek "real life relevancy" in many of their stories, suddenly take the "Oh, but I only write comicbooks!" excuse when called on their hypocrisy. Take Amazing Spider-Man scribe Dan Slott:
Just so we're clear here: I write comic books. I don't endorse real life guns. Or people really swinging off buildings. Or real giant apes.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) May 25, 2014
Please. How many times have we heard that the X-Men are a comicbook parable for just about any historically marginalized group? Blacks. Jews. Gays? Which goes directly to the quote above's point: What if these (or any other) groups had the ability to manipulate the weather to their will? Blast holes through armor plate with their optic blasts? Detach the Golden Gate Bridge and levitate it across a sound?? Would average folk be reluctant to call for the government to do something about this ... for fear of being called a "bigot?" Would the Left be hesitant?
If they would be, then they'd be immensely hypocritical given their stance on gun control.
In the mid-2000s Marvel devoted an "event" to a similar topic -- "Civil War." It was clearly sympathetic to the non-registration side (how could it not be with Captain America as its leader?); once again, can anyone imagine a contemporary creator at Marvel doing up a story about the ineffectiveness of gun control? Or even a yarn about the debate, and being even slightly even-handed about it?
Cheeyeah, right. Remember -- they "only write comicbooks." That is, until they want to make a "statement." Then they're cultural commentators. Unless too many people disagree. Then they're "just comicbook writers."
Carl brings word of comicbook scribe Chris Roberson blaming -- wait for it! -- ALL men for the psycho in California who murdered a half dozen people because he wasn't getting laid.
Get it? ALL MEN. Even if you don't come anywhere close to the mental instability of the killer (Elliot Rodger), it just doesn't matter:
So many women have been the victims of violent assault that it’s easy for well-intentioned dudes in the majority to play the “Not All Men” game, even if they are smart enough not to SAY that phrase. THEY don’t assault women, after all. They might not even objectify women. They might have had their consciousness elevated, and are consciously feminist, and avoid doing or saying anything that could be interpreted as overly sexist.
But I’m here to tell you, as one of those kinds of guys, that we are STILL part of the problem. Because of the culture that we belong to, and the unexamined assumptions that were engrained in all of us, even those raised by the more forward thinking and progressive of parents.
Now just imagine for one moment Roberson opining the above ... and replacing "Muslim" for "men." Think it would happen? What about "black" for "men"? Nope. Those two demographics are sacrosanct, dammit. Only men -- or to be more precise, white men -- can be blamed as a group for the ills of all mankind. Roberson will get nothing but cheers from "progressives" for his thesis, and his prog bonafides will remain in good standing, without a doubt.
But in the real world, guys like Edward Trimnell know better.
I'm always struck by straight white guys like Roberson (and scifi writer John Scalzi who retweeted Roberson's screed) who launch into these self-righteous lectures, but never seem to do anything concrete about it. Y'know, like scoot on over and let an historically oppressed female or minority take over their gig. Oh, but forget that. Because in this case (and seemingly, in this case only) THEY have earned what they've gotten.
But you? You're just a beknighted peon. Do what they tell you.
Via the News Journal in an article about the tractor trailer crash which dispersed millions of bees onto an I-95 on-ramp: "Guerra was cited for having an unsafe load."
Two days in a row! Yesterday it was the Philly Daily News's Jenice Armstrong. Today, we're treated to yet another picture of St. Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam smooching his boyfriend, this time with the Inquirer's Fashion Columnist Elizabeth Wellington informing us that "A kiss is just a kiss -- except for this one."
That's just what we need -- a fashion writer telling us what's "great" about a football player kissing his boyfriend. Please.
Wellington points out that Sam's jersey (#10, but he's, y'know, gotta make the team first!) outsold that of every other draft pick save Johnny Manziel, even beating out that of #1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. I hope she's aware that this certainly isn't due to Sam's overwhelming football presence. The guy was one of the last picks in the entire draft. She also notes that "negative reactions" to Sam's draft "overflowed on Twitter," but points to only one example -- that of Miami Dolphins defensive back Don Jones, who seems to be the only one cited by the media as having a negative response to Sam['s kiss]. Wellington fails to note the Maoist reaction by the Dolphins and the NFL: Jones is to undergo "educational training" for his Twitter outburst. Wouldn't "Quit being a jerk" and "Keep your yap shut" be sufficient? Apparently not in PC-ville.
And this may be the best part: Wellington quotes an associate professor in "culture, gender and race studies" on the "kiss" offering up "enlightening" tidbits like "Emotions are at the core of humanity." She also notes an associate director of "Africana Studies" who says "It was as if people didn't see the interracial aspect of [Sam's] relationship anymore and they zoned right into the gay aspect of it." Man, these guys earn their pay, eh? (Hopefully, no one is majoring in their subjects.)
Contrary to what Wellington reports, I've seen virtually nothing negative about Sam being picked by the Rams. As noted yesterday and many other times here at Colossus, I have been a life-long Rams fan so I follow them regularly on social media. The response to Sam was easily 98% positive. Of course, these are Rams fans, so their opinion is probably biased in favor of the team even if they do have some misgivings about Sam. However, if what Wellington says here --
Through that kiss, Sam also declared, Don't be surprised when I show up at functions with my boyfriend and I thank him after an amazing play to win a crucial game
-- is accurate, then you're likely to see another Chris Kluwe situation, where off-the-field antics and advocacy become a distraction to the team. I mean, what player thanks their significant other after a play -- at the game DURING the game? No one should care if he shows up at functions with his BF, but Sam going out of his way to "thank him" (and why would Sam thank him anyway? What did he do to help win the game?) during a game would be akin to any other over-the-top antic by a player following a significant play.
Bottom line: Sam is a so-so draft pick who may or may not make the Rams' roster. The brouhaha over him is largely a media creation, but that doesn't mean Sam isn't brave guy by coming out when he did. That certainly took guts, as professional sports (and even sports in general) may be the last bastion of such acceptance. I wish him the best, especially so since he may be part of my beloved team.
RELATED: Ben Domenech has a terrific article up on the whole Sam situation, and raises a point I was concerned about: What happens if the Rams end up cutting Sam? Will the team be dubbed "homophobic?" You can bet your bottom dollar that they will, at least from some of the usual suspects.
ALSO RELATED: Always make sure to be offended by the "right" things. Offended by Michael Sam's kiss? Off to re-education. Offended by profane music lyrics played in a victorious locker room? How dare you seek to censor us!
I don't think you could find a more shallow article than this by the Philly Daily News's Jenice Armstrong. It's not the subject matter per se; it's just that she touches all the "right" buttons regarding the "historic" draft of Michael Sam into the NFL. Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted, in case you missed it.
"Kisstory" is how the New York Daily News dubbed the passionate lip-locks between Michael Sam and his boyfriend, who happens to be white and very good-looking. The headline-making smooches took place Saturday after Sam, who is African-American and quite the hunk himself, learned he'd been drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams.
Their kisses were the real deal. Done without an ounce of shame or reticence. They were two men in the moment expressing profound relief and joy. It was a sweet, unadulterated outpouring of feelings captured by an ESPN film crew. Watching all that raw, honest masculine emotion made me tear up.
To the homophobes reading this, I'd like to point out that the world didn't come to an end because Sam kissed his hot boyfriend, Vito Cammisano.
Let's see, you got the obligatory reference to 1) race; 2) interracial relationship; 3) "genuine" expression of "masculine" emotion; and 4) invocation of a "phobia" so as to dissuade any criticism. *Yawn*
As a lifelong Rams fan, I couldn't care one whit about Sam's sexuality, as long as he can play the game and doesn't make being gay a distraction like former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe did. But perhaps even more fascinating (well, not really, knowing the mainstream press as we do) is the fawning over Sam (and his draft is significant, let's make that clear) ... yet Tim Tebow was relentlessly mocked
Take this article by Deadspin's Tommy Craggs. Let's, as "progressives" like to do with conversations regarding homosexuality, (stuff like "Just put 'gay' where 'black' used to be!" for example) replace "homosexuality" where Craggs has "faith," and "Michael Sam" where "Tim Tebow" is. Now do you think this article would be "acceptable" by contemporary MSM standards (such that they are)? I seriously doubt Craggs would criticize those who called a tough hit on Sam -- whose pummeler then mocked him with a "limp wrist salute" -- "dangerous territory." Indeed, he'd be screaming "HOMOPHOBIA!!" at the very top of his lungs. In addition, what do you think the reaction would be if MSM sports types said "I wish he'd just shut up," or "It's embarrassing to think the Rams could win with Sam!!" You got it: "HOMOPHOBES!!" (QB Jay Cutler said the first quote about Tebow, and ESPN's Merril Hoge, the second.)
Tebow ultimately disappeared because his performance on the field didn't cut it. That's what matters, after all. Sam, drafted almost last in this year's draft, has a long way to go to make the Rams' roster. If he gets cut by St. Louis, what do you think the immediate MSM reaction will be? That the team "wasn't ready for [an openly] gay player"? That the team is "homophobic?" Such MSM types already pondered just this with the aforementioned Chris Kluwe, despite his lousy on-field results.
Asian-Americans outperform whites due to -- wait for it! -- working harder:
A growing achievement gap between Asian American students and their white classmates is due largely to greater work effort and cultural attitudes, not innate cognitive ability, researchers say.
In a study published Monday in the journal PNAS, two sociology professors found that Asian Americans enter school with no clear academic edge over whites, but that an advantage grows over time.
Even if they come from poorer, less educated families, Asian Americans significantly outperform white students by fifth grade, authors wrote.
Who'da thought? I mean, work hard and get ahead? REALLY? B-b-b-b-but ... white privilege!! B-b-b-b-but ... RACISM! B-b-b-b-b-but ... MICRO-AGGRESSIONS!!
Stuff like this will only become more common, I fear:
A Montgomery County couple recently sued their son's private school in Potomac because they say the school let their son fail academically.
The parents of Max Bramson sued the Bullis School saying the school breached their contract by not giving their son the attention he deserved.
The mom says the school didn't notify her "that he was doing poorly" and that his advisor "never advised him." Thankfully, a judge with a modicum of common sense threw out the lawsuit, but the Bramson's are appealing. They say that Max was "rejected from every school (college) he applied to," so now he attends Montgomery Community College.
Um, I kinda doubt one "D" in Honors Biology is the cause of all those rejections. Seems to me there must quite a bit more, academically speaking, that we don't know about. And mom? You had no idea Max was doing poorly? How is that possible? Do you talk with your son? And a check of the school's website shows that teachers have pages for listing assignments and homework. Did you keep up to date on those, mom?
Matthew Balan at Newsbusters features how Salon.com yet again is obsessed with pure nonsense regarding the usual race and gender paradigm, this time regarding mainstream superhero films.
...Marvel movies are often praised for being more progressive than your average summer blockbuster...but they're still decades behind the comics....none of those movies have starred anyone other than a straight, white man in the lead role. The Avengers franchise has managed a handful of female characters in non-romantic roles, plus Falcon and Nick Fury in the supporting cast, but the mere concept of an openly LGBT character still feels like a pie-in-the-sky dream. Meanwhile in Marvel comics, Northstar came out in 1992, opening the floodgates for a whole host of other LGBT heroes....
...[T]he chances of Peter Parker coming out in Amazing Spider-Man 3 are more or less nil. Hollywood is (sic) yet to produce a big-budget blockbuster with any kind of LGBT character in the lead role, never mind having an established hero come out after decades of heterosexuality....Considering the fact that white male geeks already have Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Peter Parker, Reed Richards and Charles Xavier to heroize their nerd cred on the big screen, it's difficult to argue that they still represent some kind of oppressed minority. It's probably time to give someone else a chance.
OK, here goes:
1) The films are "still decades behind the comics" because ... they're decades behind the comics. But that's only because the technology that allows such films to be made (and made well) is a recent development. You couldn't make Spider-Man in 1985. Well, you could, but the result would be like this. Or like the 1990 Captain America flick -- so bad it went straight to video even after being promoted in cinemas. Obviously not big money-makers. Speaking of which ...
2) Does this Salon writer (Gavia Baker-Whitelaw) seriously believe that studio execs would make a move like turning Peter Parker gay? Or any other [of Marvel's] major character(s)? Only if they want to lose a ton of dough. Which they obviously do not. This isn't because they're "homophobic" or cultural dinosaurs; it's because they simply want to make money. And Hollywood makes the vast majority of its cash with safe, don't-have-to-think-too-hard films like Spider-Man and The Avengers.
3) No Marvel movies have featured anything but a straight, white man in the lead role? Wrong. In 1998, Blade came out and was a surprise hit (especially since it was rated "R"). Its star, in case you didn't know, is Wesley Snipes. He's black:
4) Comicbooks (and their movies) don't actually represent real life. Or, they aren't supposed to for the most part. After all, hadn't you noticed that people don't actually acquire the powers of a spider after being bitten by one (radioactive and/or genetically modified)? Or, that we didn't actually have the means in the 1940s to transform a 98-lb. weakling into a superhuman powerhouse? The X-Men, of all superheroes, "represent" societal outcasts and/or oppressed groups. You can decide who that applies to ... and that's precisely the point. Marvel's mutants can relate to virtually anyone -- gays, racial minorities, bullied geeks/nerds, bookworm types, you name it.
Lastly, comicbooks are a much easier medium by which to introduce and/or promote traditionally underserved groups. I understand Baker-Whitelaw's point(s); however, you're not really going to "score any points" by pressuring film studios to make Spider-Man gay, or putting Tony Stark in polygamous relationship. Even altering something like the family of a staple character so as to "improve diversity" gets silly, as with Fantastic Four's rebooted Human Torch.
Unlike people like Baker-Whitelaw (by the way, that last name sounds "racist"), folks could really care less about racial bean counting. They're not "Hey! Johnny Storm needs to be black!" nor do they give a hoot that Blade is a black guy. (And the latter makes the point the best: A very fringe Marvel character with a minority protagonist in an "R" rated film which made a ton of dough.) They just want to be entertained.
The Philly Inquirer's Laura McCrystal wonders why the PPL Stadium, where the (soccer team) Philadelphia Union plays, hasn't led to "an economic renaissance for the struggling city of Chester."
As is often the case, one needs to refer to the comments (if they're actually available; they aren't always) to get an injection of some common sense.
At Dartmouth, at least:
This time, the fracas is over a fundraiser for cardiac care that the Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and the Alpha Phi sorority had planned to jointly sponsor, reports Campus Reform.
Problems arose because a single student, junior Daniela Hernandez, was offended by the party’s theme of “Phiesta.”
This hyper-sensitive dolt Hernandez also invoked the latest hot term "cultural appropriation" in her complaint. She was miffed, too, at the "Americanization" of Cinco de Mayo ... which is funny considering the "holiday" isn't all that big in Mexico.
I wonder if Hernandez has, or goes to, a barbecue on July 4. Or goes out for a few beers on March 17. If so, how dare that hypocritical cultural appropriator!!
As a result of Hernandez's bitching and moaning, the Greek organizations ditched the event. *Sigh*
Mitch Albom has a conversation with Brooke Kimbrough, an outspoken advocate for racial preferences, er, diversity, especially at the University of Michigan where she was -- gasp! -- rejected. This comes on the heels of the recent SCOTUS decision upholding Michigan's referendum which ditched affirmative action in higher education.
MSNBC's The Grio, which specializes in African-American stories, has a profile of Kimbrough. Ironically, it notes that she is a member of her high school's debate team where she and a teammate "were the first African-Americans to win the University of California-Berkley tournament." Based on this, though, one wonders just how that debate was structured, right? Nevertheless, Albom tactfully demonstrates what a complete sham "diversophile" arguments for "needed" diversity are ... and how its proponents easily come apart when pressed:
When I asked Brooke why it's wrong for U-M to set a similar bar (she was denied admission with below the U-M averages of a 3.6 GPA and a 23 on the ACT) she said U-M needed to "represent the state. Blacks are about 14% of the population, so it should be 14% roughly."
I pointed out that whites were 79% of Michigan's population, but officially 57% of U-M's, so should we adjust that up? "That's ludicrous," she said, claiming it should only apply to minorities. I then noted U-M was 11% Asian American, but our state was only 2%. Should we adjust down?
"I don't understand what you're asking," she said.
Of course she doesn't. But if she cannot understand such a simple question, then I wouldn't be so miffed about being rejected by U of M.
Brooke feels that she has overcome a lot. "My essays were about, like, fighting racism," she said. "Getting into (Michigan) shouldn't just be about grades."
But when I told her many students write moving essays, overcome odds, have great extracurriculars (like her debate team position) and also don't get in to U-M — despite higher grades and scores than hers — she grew frustrated.
"I'm doing the best I can in this life," she said. "If it's not reflected in my academics, I don't know what else I need to do."
And it's here, as Albom notes, that the racial aspect becomes irrelevant. He writes that Brooke is just "one of countless kids today who feel that without their first college choice, their future is doomed." I'll add, too, that she is yet another of the current generation who possesses a vastly overgrown sense of entitlement, where rejection of any kind is not only seen as wrong and unjust, but, as Albom notes, Armageddon.
I wouldn't worry much if I were Kimbrough. She's obviously bright (yes, despite botching Albom's questions ... I seriously doubt she "didn't know" what he was asking; indeed, she most probably was seeking avoidance of the obvious and just didn't do it very well) and motivated, so there should be ample opportunities for her after college. At the very least, I'm sure the grievance industry will always have a spot available for her.
Interesting quote today at Robot 6 which captures comic creator Greg Rucka's thoughts on the douche who thought this shirt was appropriate for a big [comic] convention. Of course, as the ever-lovin' Furious D points out, the comics industry isn't exactly blameless when it comes to gender insensitivity, now is it?. After all, they routinely churn out material like this. And here, is it possible that many creators' shitty attitudes online are due to having to deal with "fans" on a routine basis who would wear shirts like that? Or, the other way around -- many fans' shitty attitudes are merely emulating those of many creators?
But back to Furious who nails it here: "When I was just a fledgling nerd a woman having an interest in the same things that I was interested in was viewed as a gift from Heaven." Indeed! What sort of "guy" would wear a shirt at a huge convention that exemplifies pre-fifth grade male sensibilities? Y'know, the 'ol "girls are icky" schtick? Doesn't that mind-set disappear around age 13 or so when the hormones begin moving and all of sudden you notice that girls are the greatest thing ever? Apparently not, for some.
Furthermore, don't let dopes like this turn the case of one (or more) socially inept buffoons into a cause célèbre for feminism and gender parity. Seriously -- equating the term "fangirl" with "blacks," "Jews," "Asians" or whatever? Dude, WTF.
Lastly, does anyone think if the offensive shirt had "conservatives" instead of "fangirls" there would be such an uproar? Yeah, me neither.
UPDATE: Well well WELL! Looks like the company that made the offensive shirt also offers it with "fanboy" instead of "fangirl." And has so since a year ago. But don't let stop the self-righteous!! No, no, NO. Take writer Kieron Gillen, for instance:
I'm not sure that "we profit off all kinds of hate-speech!" is much of a defense: http://t.co/hrVcp3Q3if— Kieron Gillen (@kierongillen) April 23, 2014
"Hate speech." Ye gad.
High-Schooler Battles McDonald's Over Gender Stereotypes in Happy Meal Toys. High school junior Antonia Ayres-Brown wrote a column for Slate.com (of course!) in which she laments "McDonald's employees asking customers about toy preferences 'pressures innumerable children to conform to gender stereotypes.'" Since McD's corporate HQ stated that its employees are not trained to ask what gender toy customers prefer, Antonia conducted a study: She went to various McDs and discovered that "almost 80% of the time" employees used "gendered terms" to describe Happy Meal toys.
Best part? She then went to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to complain. Amazingly, the Commission labeled her complaint "absurd" and dismissed it. I'm surprised she hasn't yet filed a complaint with some other agency now for "psychological distress" ... due to the Commission's harsh choice of wording in its dismissal.
These days, an increasingly diverse group of participants has transformed debate competitions, mounting challenges to traditional form and content by incorporating personal experience, performance, and radical politics. These “alternative-style” debaters have achieved success, too, taking top honors at national collegiate tournaments over the past few years.
Well, if your judges share the same idiotic philosophy, of course you'll score well.
Two black women won a recent debate on whether the U.S. president’s war powers should be restricted; however, instead of actually addressing the topic, they changed it: "The more pressing issue, they argued, is how the U.S. government is at war with poor black communities."
Over four hours, the two teams engaged in a heated discussion of concepts like “nigga authenticity” and performed hip-hop and spoken-word poetry in the traditional timed format. At one point during Lee’s rebuttal, the clock ran out but he refused to yield the floor. “Fuck the time!” he yelled.
This year wasn't the first time this had happened. In the 2013 championship, two men from Emporia State University, Ryan Walsh and Elijah Smith, employed a similar style and became the first African-Americans to win two national debate tournaments. Many of their arguments, based on personal memoir and rap music, completely ignored the stated resolution, and instead asserted that the framework of collegiate debate has historically privileged straight, white, middle-class students.
Aaron Hardy, who coaches debate at Northwestern University, tells of instances where "... judges have been very angry, coaches have screamed and yelled. People have given profanity-laced tirades, thrown furniture, and both sides of the ideological divide have used racial slurs."
Truly unbelievable. I wonder how these folks would feel. What's even more unbelievable is that this actually has to be said in 2014: “I think it is wildly reductionist to say that black people can’t understand debate unless there is rap in it—it sells short their potential.”
Uh yeah, 'ya think?
Erik Grove pens an op-ed today at Bleeding Cool which addresses, in part, a post of mine from yesterday. It's titled "8 Things that Need to Change in Comics – Threats, Harassment And Understanding," and not surprisingly, many of these changes need to occur from within. Let's take a look at these eight:
Grove's main point is sexual harrassment of females among the "comic community" spurred (in part) by this article regarding the supposed [in]appropriateness of a DC Comics cover. It's directed mostly at fans (the "community") but there's also this issue among the professionals. And Groves' point about hate speech and "endeavoring to understand" also needs to extend to the professionals. We've often documented here -- as have Doug Ernst and Avi Green -- how comicbook professionals (maybe I should put that term in quotes?) have often used, if not "hate" speech as it's typically defined, at the least vile speech ... and little-to-no inclination to "endeavor to understand."
Is Mark Waid telling me to "Go f*** myself" hate speech? Does it demonstrate an "endeavor to understand?" I mean, even if I was 100% wrong (I wasn't), what is up with a so-called professional responding in that manner? What about these comments?
There's also, of course, Ron Marz, Gail Simone, Erik Larsen and Dan Slott, among others. (Please venture over to Doug Ernst's place today to see how an insanely obsessed Slott is STILL ranting about Ernst's criticism of him. Check out the last update at the end of the post.) I wonder: Is a lot of their unreasonable attitude towards guys like Doug, Avi and me due to frequently dealing with ludicrous fanboy types who are completely irrational ... so that when one of us brings up a calmly worded criticism or question these guys are ready to rip our heads off? Maybe. I could see that. But, again, these guys are supposed to be professionals.
Alas, "progressivism" such as that practiced by these folks, is loaded with contradictions -- some (most?) of which aren't even noticed (or cared to be noticed). Like, for example, Grove not explicitly mentioning the comicbook professionals' behavior in "the community." And, even better, Ron Marz lamenting a lack of civility(!) regarding his article about boycotting Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. I mean, really??
Ultimately -- and ironically -- the online behavior of many of these "professionals" is astonishingly akin to that of "rabid [comicbook] fanboys" whose stereotypical image is that of egotistical, socially inept, creepy, and condescending quasi-nerds.
... that there's a Six Million Dollar Man comicbook? I didn't until I read this Bleeding Cool article. Unfortunately, the comic looks as impressive as the 1970s TV show does with contemporary viewing. For instance, last night on the Me network (which plays old TV shows like 24-7), the SMDM was on with an episode titled "The Bionic Badge." Steve Austin (played by Lee Majors, who, the lucky bastard, was married to 70s bombshell Farrah Fawcett for a time) went "undercover" as a cop ... to sniff out who in the department is assisting with the smuggling atomic bomb components. Atomic bomb components! Talk about your suspension of disbelief.
Of course, if you're around my age, how can you forget Steve's first encounter with Sasquatch? This episode was on last week and brought back some (cheesy) memories. No, 'squatch ain't really a furry giant human hybrid of some sort; he's really a robot protector of some aliens who live in the forests of the northwest!
... before Steve casually rips his arm off.
And, this doesn't even address the utter crap that was using slow motion to depict the use of Steve's bionic limbs! I mean, the opening theme segment shows Steve running -- fast -- at his maximum 60 mph; why couldn't this be done in the show?
io9 has a discussion about it. Be sure to check out the comment section as there's a good convo about how both BSG series dealt with spirituality.
I certainly concur with several commenters about how the re-imagined series (2004) got so muddled with questions (like WTF happened to Starbuck? What about the Cylons' monotheism?). As I've often opined (most recently here) the newer series started out phenomenally, then withered to one big dud. But, at least that series did have an ending. We'll never know how the 1978 version could have closed; however, I have some neat [spiritual] ideas about how it could have. As I also noted in my most recent BSG-related post, a later season two-parter, "War of the Gods," featured a thinly-veiled Biblical analogy to God and Satan with the "Satan" character, Count Iblis (played by Avengers -- the British TV series, not the Marvel Comics movie -- star Patrick Macnee) using subterfuge and deviousness to convert many in the Galactica fleet to his "congregation."
I think it would have been very cool to have these two camps indeed be "God" and "Satan," on which Earth's main religions are based. After all, Earth is supposed to be the "lost" (13th) colony of BSG humanity. That 13th colony, Earth, had encountered these two all-powerful entities long before the Galactica did, and shaped its entire civilization around them. The original BSG could have ended with the Galactica discovering present-day Earth, and subsequently putting everything together about how Earth's population was affected by their beliefs in these omnipotent beings. Of course, we cannot forget the Cylons; how about Count Iblis -- Satan -- assuming control of the robotic race and leading an all-out assault on Earth and its new defenders, the Galactica fleet. The benevolent aliens appear before Earth, too, to aid in humanity's defense. This is the Second Coming prophesized by Christianity (or First, if you're Jewish). Earth and its defenders win in the end, thus fulfilling humanity's greatest legends/prophecies/sermons, etc.
What do you think?
What's more, his donations to the "controversial" cause were leaked by the IRS to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay advocacy group. Brendan Eich was recently named CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, makers of the popular Firefox web browser. What Eich did with his own money a few years back is what -- gasp! -- is so "controversial":
Why, then, the ruckus? Amazingly enough, it is entirely due to the fact that Eich made a $1,000 donation to the campaign urging a ‘yes’ vote on California’s Proposition 8. When this fact first came to light in 2012, after the Internal Revenue Service leaked a copy of the National Organization for Marriage’s 2008 tax return to a gay-advocacy group, Eich, who was then CTO of Mozilla, published a post on his personal blog stating that his donation was not motivated by any sort of animosity towards gays or lesbians, and challenging those who did not believe this to cite any“incident where I displayed hatred, or ever treated someone less than respectfully because of group affinity or individual identity.”
Upon being named CEO last Wednesday, Eich immediately put up another post which among other things pledged in direct terms first that he would ensure Mozilla continued offering health benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees; second that he would allocate additional resources to a project that aims to bring more LGBTQ individuals into the technology world and Mozilla in particular; and third that he would maintain and strengthen Mozilla’s policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It’s worth emphasizing that Eich made this statement prior to the storm of outrage which has since erupted, and that with these policies and others Mozilla easily ranks among the most gay-friendly work environments in the United States.
It wasn't enough. Eich resigned yesterday. Amazingly, numerous employees had taken to social media to call for Eich's ouster. How d'ya like that? The supposedly "tolerant" employees call for their boss and part founder of the company for which they work ... to leave??
Because he donated to a campaign promoting traditional marriage.
You see, it's not enough in today's society to believe as Eich does -- favoring traditional marriage yet simultaneously holding anti-discriminatory views about gays. I wonder if Eich has an issue with gay civil unions; I would doubt that he does, based on the quote and statements above. A Google search did not provide anything specific. Granting Eich has no issue with civil unions (and California's Prop 8 had nothing to do with [gay] civil unions, by the way, just the definition of the term "marriage"), that still would have been insufficient for the gay lobby. Don't agree? Then see here. Even though civil unions would [have] confer[red] precisely the same governmental benefits as traditional marriage, the gay lobby argues it would "relegate [gays] to second-class citizenship, maybe third-class -- and that's not enough." And it's about rights and not politics? Uh huh: "Being married and wearing a wedding ring sends a message to society," said Jeffrey Zarrillo, one of the plaintiffs who sought to overturn Prop. 8.
Lastly, here's Andrew Sullivan (who, if you don't know, is gay):
Will he (Eich) now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.
I simply await the day when a socialist/leftist who harbors sympathies with, say, Maduro in Venezuela, or Castro in Cuba, or Morales in Bolivia is hounded and forced out of his/her job. Oh wait -- that sounds like 1950s McCarthyism?? BINGO.
Douglas Ernst has more on this.
UPDATE: Business Insider and Slate reporters call Eich's donation to Prop 8 as akin "to someone who 'donated some money to the KKK'" and said that "support of traditional marriage to supporting the 'the civil right to own slaves.'" I'm surprised they omitted that it was like the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Sheesh.
UPDATE 2: James Taranto contradicts the earlier report that the IRS was the culprit behind the revelation of Eich's Prop 8 donation. He notes that Califorina law requires "disclosure of personal information–name, address, occupation and employer’s name–of anybody who gives $100 or more to a campaign for or against a ballot initiative."
And that is Helen Ubinas's Philly Daily News article "We allowed Bartram High fiasco to happen." The high (or low) light:
[The whole situation] should sicken and shame us. But if it did, we wouldn't have generations of young people more schooled in combat than chemistry.
Charles Williams, professor of psychology and education at Drexel University, calls it the "soft bigotry of low expectations."
"The message here is that we don't think poor and black [and] Latino kids can learn, that they ought to learn," Williams said.
"Soft bigotry says that Bartram High School is going to be off the hook because well, those are poor black and Latinos, so what do you expect? And so behavior that is not normal suddenly becomes normalized and accepted."
Uh huh. Isn't this the same high school that emphasizes so-called "restorative practices (or justice)," which is supposed to "build relationships" with chronically disruptive students instead of suspending or expelling them? How many times have schools all across the country been treated to inservices and workshops like these? How many times have teachers across the country been told that blacks and Latinos have their own "unique culture" and hence many "traditional" disciplinary measures enacted by teachers and/or administrators are "biased," "insensitive" and ultimately ... "racist?" And, perhaps "best" of all, our own president has issued edicts to address the "disparate" (and "racist") disciplinary rates in our schools.
Astonishingly, Ms. Ubina didn't even once mention what Bartram's students' home lives are like. Now, why would that be? Given all of this, please enlighten us, Ms. Ubina, how exactly -- and realistically -- would you remedy a situation like that at Bartram High?
You say we allowed Bartram High to happen. True. And it happened virtually purely a result "progressive" policies and theories.
Weird Salon interview with @suey_park where she says intelligent things and every attempt is made to make her seem incoherent. Point?— Gail Thorkenstonen (@GailSimone) April 3, 2014
OK, well, I lied about "no comment." Go to Doug Ernst's to see why Ms. Park certainly needs NO help (or "editing") to sound incoherent. And besides, why would Salon.com, of all places, do such a thing? I mean, this is the site that gave us this masterpiece!
The Cape Gazette has more on the efforts by some on the Cape Henlopen (Delaware) school board to ditch the classic novel Brave New World from an Advanced Placement English curriculum. Previously noted board members Sandi Minard and Jen Burton say in this article that they don't want to ban the book, just give parents a choice: “If we have a choice, why can't we chose something that's not sexually explicit,” Burton said. “We can choose other books to show a dystopic society.”
Board Vice President Roni Posner defended the novel, but said that if parents don't want their kids reading the book, they should be able to opt out.
As I noted in my earlier post, the irony really is lost on some of these people. As Lea Tomer, young adult services librarian for the Lewes Public Library, notes in the article,
The overwhelming theme of the book is the loss of the individual and government control. While sexual promiscuity is portrayed in the novel, it is part of Huxley's negative description of a futuristic society. It's a small piece of the overall picture.
This is what I do not understand -- as conservative a place as Sussex County, Delaware is, Brave New World should, if anything, appeal to their political philosophy (as Ms. Tomer notes above).
Check out the quote from Kelly Sue DeConnick, writer of Captain Marvel and Pretty Deadly, made at the Emerald City Comicon:
The message that we send when we don’t represent the broader culture in our stories is that ‘You are other.’ … As a community, as an organism, it is a thing that makes us ill. It is actually bad for us.
*Sigh* Of course, the clamor for "diversity" for folks like contemporary comics creators does not include political diversity. Or diversity of certain types of religion, like, say, Mormon. Are these folks "The Other," Ms. DeConnick? Am I, as a right-leaning comicbook fan, "made ill" by, the not only omission of [positive] role models, but the denigration of those like me in your medium's stories?
Like college/university "diversity," comicbook diversity is only concerned with skin hue and the "right" beliefs. Political ideology, and certain religions and ethnicities are exempt from the interminable demands for diversity. But for comicbook creators, maybe you should take a bit of advice from this commenter: Instead of a paroxysm over diversity, " 'the message we send' when publishers put out crappy comic books is that they don’t care about their characters and they don’t care about their readers."
Ridiculously high illegitimacy rates. But are you really surprised?
That's what Philly HS teacher Stephen Pfeiffer said about teaching at Bartram High School.
Let that sink in for a minute. A Vietnam veteran says he had a better chance in a war situation than in a high school. And based on what solutions are being planned out, it looks like Pfeiffer's chances ain't gonna get a whole lot better:
[Superintendent William R.] Hite also said he, the assistant superintendent responsible for the school, and its principal, Kimberly Collins, would work together on Bartram's discipline plan and to emphasize restorative practices, a program that stresses building relationships to prevent conflict.
Yeah, that'll work alright. Read the whole [frightening] article and tell me how "restorative practices" (edu-jargon at its finest) is going to turn Bartram around. Someone like Joe Clark is needed, and needed desperately.
It seems there was some pretty provocative happenings at this past week's Cape Henlopen (Sussex County, Delaware) school board meeting. Colossus has learned via an attendee of the meeting that it seems a couple of school board members cited Delaware Code Title 11 Section 1361 -- that related to obscenity -- regarding a teacher assigning the novel Brave New World to her high school class. That's right -- school board members insinuated that a teacher could be hauled out of his/her classroom in handcuffs, and arrested on obscenity charges ... for having his/her high school students read the eighty-plus year-old classic novel by Aldous Huxley.
The problem? GASP! There's an "orgy" scene in the book. Yep. But as anyone who has read the novel can attest, it's hardly written in language you'd encounter in a book today. It's full of figurative language, metaphors and other imagery. The book was written in 1931. School board member Jennifer Burton was the one who referenced the "relevant" Delaware Code in regards to the novel. A man who identified himself as a Delaware State Police officer spoke at the meeting and agreed with Burton's assessment of the novel with regards to Title 11 of the Delaware Code.
Part of the catalyst behind this whole affair is that it seems the same teacher who assigned BNW had also given a homework assignment involving the video for the hit song "Blurred Lines." When students Googled the vid to check it out, apparently they discovered there are several other versions of it that are very inappropriate. It seems the teacher was unaware of this. (Note: In my opinion, the teacher should have been.) What the assignment was and how it pertained to the class is still unclear. With regards to this whole matter, Cape school board member Sandi Minard went on Dan Gaffney's radio talk show to discuss it. This was a violation of the "current [Cape Henlopen] Contract, Board Policy and Delaware State Law," according to the Cape Henlopen Education Association. However, Ms. Minard remained undeterred, saying "I will not be intimidated nor will I be silenced." On the radio with Gaffney, Minard remarked that she (and parents) were (paraphrase) "prepared to move forward" past the issue, but then had heard about the assignment of Brave New World and ended up right back at "the beginning," so to speak.
Attempting to keep the issues separate, I ask: When hasn't a teacher been questioned about an assignment ... especially when the topic is something (even remotely) controversial? This happens all the time, especially in the humanities courses (English, social studies). Isn't the proper course of action, as the CHEA noted above, to follow procedure -- you know, like contact the teacher about any concerns first, and then [school-based] administrators if no satisfaction is given by the teacher? Dan Gaffney, on his blog, notes that Minard went public "after the complaints didn't seem to grab any traction with superiors within the school." But what does that mean, exactly? Does not "grab[bing] any traction" mean that the explanations given by the teacher and administrators weren't good enough for the [questioning] parents? What were the explanations by the school? Were there assurances by the school that steps would be taken to rectify lapses in judgment/procedure? We don't know.
But then ... how does all the above evolve into attempting to censor one the greatest classic novels of the last 200 years? Our source at the school board meeting said that school board member Burton remarked that dystopian novels should contain "positive" messages. Apparently irony escapes Ms. Burton ... in more ways than one. And if she (and her constituents) really want to see teachers taken away in handcuffs for having students read classic literature, then go for it. This may assuage a hard-right conservative base, but it'll scare the beejeebees out of many others, libertarians especially, left and right. And it will also assist in keeping the state GOP a statewide non-force for decades to come.
Here's the American Library Association's list of Banned and Challenged Books based on reports from the Office of Intellectual Freedom. Yep, some real head-scratchers on there for sure.
UPDATE: The class in question (reading Brave New World) is an 11th grade Advanced Placement class.
Also, as kavips notes in the comments, here's more from Delaware Beaches. Comment of the day by a father concerned about the book:
“Why would we teach kids what is negative in society?” he said. “Let’s teach them what is right, to become good citizens and improve the fabric of society.”
Irony really does escape a lot of people, doesn't it?
Thanks once again to the incomparable Nate Winchester, I was alerted to this latest Cracked.com offering. I'm a big fan of the site (hence its listing in Colossus's "Favorite Reads"), with contributor "Seanbaby" being my fave. However, especially within the last year, there seems to be too many of their writers who display a copious degree of cluelessness about that which they are opining. Case in point is Henrik Magnusson with his article about what this post's title says. It all begins with #5 in which, by any objective person's view, Superman makes a compromise decision which placates both sides of a situation. But since Supes doesn't side with the environmentalists, well, he's such a dick!!! Magnusson would have the Man of Steel give the middle finger to average workers who plead with him not to put the kibosh on their only source of income. These workers know the plant has been an environmental clusterf*** for years, but with Supes' help, an agreement is forged by which the company will do what's right. (A little Superman threat doesn't hurt, either!). Magnusson also thinks that Lois Lane's 1st Amendment rights supercede all this -- she should have the right, dammit, to out this plant and expose them! Maybe Magnusson could put some of this fire behind our real lapdog mainstream media so they'd do some actual reporting on President Lemon.
Also included -- predictably -- is Frank Miller's Holy Terror. Shunned by DC because of its ... "sensitive" nature, Miller took what was originally a Batman tale and turned it into one starring the generic hero The Fixer. Magnusson's title for this section is "Not-Batman Stars in Islamophobic Propaganda." Because the Fixer goes after al Qaeda. Got it? It's Islamophobic to have a good guy go after murderous terrorists just because they happen to be Muslim. Consider: It's really hard to imagine someone screaming "Germanophobia" over the cover of Captain America #1, isn't it?
Yep, that's Cap socking 'ol Uncle Adolf in the kisser. How is this different, again, from what the Fixer does to al Qaeda? Someone explain this to me. Because all I can come up with is that today, contemporary political correctness doesn't like the latter ... because Muslims are supposedly a "protected class." Or something. I know, we hear that "not all Muslims are terrorists" and all, and this is true -- just like not all Germans were Nazis, either.
Furthermore, if Holy Terror is so reprehensible, then why not include Truth: Red, White and Black on the list? One could easily label Truth "anti-white" and/or "anti-American," after all. The 2003 tale deals with "never-before-seen" issues surrounding the origin of Captain America, specifically how the US government attempted to recreate Professor Erksine's super soldier formula -- how the government tested imperfect copies only on African-American soldiers. This is supposed to be an analogy to the infamous Tuskegee experiment where hundreds of black farmers, most of whom were already infected with syphillis, were monitored for several decades, never being told they were ill. But the US government certainly didn't single out specific races in its various questionably unethical experiments over the years. The TV film Nightbreaker starring Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez, for example, details what soldiers (of all colors) were exposed to in the early nuclear, post-WW II age. Not to mention, the Tuskegee experiment has often morphed into the legend that US operatives gave those hundreds of black men syphillis. This isn't too surprising with Joe Quesada-era Marvel as their knowledge of actual history has been found wanting. Quesada, when once discussing Truth, for example, ridiculously stated that "most of the US military" is black. He also wrote in an Iron Man tale from the early 2000s about the "extensive US nuclear testing during WW II." I'll let you figure that one out because I know you're not dumb.
There's also the question of moral equivalence with Truth, something with which the Left has an almost biological need to do when it comes to comparing the United States to other nations. Truth would put us in pretty much the same category as the above-mentioned Nazis, which, as with just about every other such comparison the Left makes, is smirk-inducing.
Magnusson's #1 entry is really a head scratcher as it's the Captain America "Secret Empire" storyline which I've written about previously. While "Empire" can be a bit hokey, it is a clear sign of its times, and is hardly a worthy example of a "disastrous" attempt of politicking. But Magnusson's #4 entry is his best: the ridiculous Marvel 9/11 tributes that featured its most murderous villains weeping over the infamous terror attacks. That's right -- Dr. Doom, Magneto, Dr. Octopus, the Kingpin ... you name 'em. As Magnusson writes, "they went with three guys who have a bigger body count individually than all of al-Qaida combined." Marvel claims the panels in question are "symbolic." I call 'em "idiotic."
Conspiculously missing from Magnusson's article are the numerous examples regarding The Authority, J. Michael Strazynski's Supreme Power, Image's The Big Lie, Captain America vs. the Tea Party, and the myriad other instances we've noted throughout our almost nine years of blogging here at Colossus. But should we really be surprised??
... for a potential Iron Fist TV series, that is. We've been back and forth on this subject matter; on the one hand, making superficial changes in what seems like a mere nod to political correctness is silly (a la making the Human Torch a black guy and/or Dr. Doom a chick), on the other there's the [legitimate] matter of rectifying issues associated with the times in which most of the classic superheroes were created.
Reading through Andrew Wheeler's article about Iron Fist I was struck with a memory of watching the very good Bruce Lee biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. I recall how incredibly disappointed Lee was when his idea for a TV show -- Kung Fu -- was picked up by a network ... but cast a white actor (David Carradine) to play the title character instead of Lee. Sign 'o the times, unfortunately. And hell, this happened all the time, from the 40s (and before, natch) through even to the present day.
The other aspect that the character of Iron Fist possesses is that of the "Great White Hope" where a white character is "needed" to somehow "save the day" after being placed in an "alien" situation. "Enlightened" Hollywood still follows this mantra religiously, notably with teacher movies like Dangerous Minds where a cultured, white educator comes in to "save" hardened, inner city toughs. Is this not patronizing to the Nth degree? Kevin Chow, who's taken up a petition to make Iron Fist's Danny Rand an Asian guy, notes the "GWH" aspect with regards to Asian culture:
“Never mind Danny Rand, you have Snake Eyes, Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai, Daniel-san [in The Karate Kid], Wolverine, every Steven Segal and Jean-Claude Van Damme movie ever, hell, even Batman for chrissakes!”
Point taken. But Chow would be a lot better received if he didn't dawdle in the ridiculous notion of "cultural approbation," as if that in itself is a bad thing. (Just recall this recent inanity from Salon.com.) If anything, it should be considered a compliment if someone desires to "appropriate" an aspect from another culture; again, the patronizing comes in when the "appropriators" are somehow "needed" to do some "saving."
Chow also glosses over the fact that by making Danny Rand an Asian guy, Marvel'd be perpetuating the stereotype that all Asians know martial arts:
I don’t think so. Look, the problem with the Asian martial artist stereotype is not the art itself. The problem has always been how Asian martial artists have been portrayed in Western media. As someone who has practiced martial arts and admires and respects it, I don’t run away from that aspect of my heritage.
That's pretty lame, if you ask me. It also reminds me of the scene in Revenge of the Nerds where a football player asks nerd Takashi if he "knows karate." Y'know, because he's Asian:
Would Chow say "I don't think so" if one assumed all African-Americans know how to play basketball? Or would that, too, be merely "how it's portrayed?" I doubt it.
All this being said, overall I don't believe it to be a big deal if Iron Fist is altered to be an Asian guy. After all, I.F. is a B or even C-list Marvel character, and this potential series will be on Netflix, not even network or cable TV.
While perusing some of my favorite comics blogs and news sites, I came across an article about an all-gay super-team called The Pride. Writer Joe Glass wanted to do what hasn't been done in the medium before -- take on issues surrounding the gay community head-on, and his team is assembled "in order to improve the image of gay people worldwide." Hannah Means Shannon at Bleeding Cool says that
Going in, I expected another product along the lines of Spandex, which combines infectious enthusiasm with amateurish execution. The Pride surprised me by being nothing of the sort, instead produced very much in the style of a traditional superhero comic, with a strong sense of structure, solid pacing and polished visuals.
The Pride may play it straight but it has its humorous moments as well – moments where you can laugh with the characters rather than at them. I suppose it speaks to my own prejudices that my inner Mary Whitehouse was pleasantly surprised to find that the content was clean of offensive swearing, explicit sex references or graphic violence. This family-friendly approach could make it a great educational tool in tackling homophobia in the future.
That last sentence is significant as too often in the media we see caricatures of gay people (in TV, movies, and even in news media). Anyone who knows and/or is friends with someone who is gay knows this is ridiculous. Most gay people are just like you and me. They get up in the morning, go to work, come home and relax, eat dinner, watch a little tube and then go to bed. It looks like writer Glass wants to portray just this, and correct many of the misconceptions ... not to mention, assist those who face bullies, the worst of whom are young teens as shown in these heartfelt panels.
One thing that struck me, however, about the premiere issue's synopsis was the apparent too-easy approach to the villain of the story -- "a cabal of Bible-bashing villains." I was a bit confused by the term "Bible-bashing;" was it someone trashing the Bible, or, as I thought, religious zealots using the Bible to attack homosexuals? I took to Twitter to ask author Glass about it, and to my surprise, he responded quickly, and best of all, cordially. (I say "surprised" because most of my experiences with comics creators on Twitter and elsewhere haven't been exactly enlightening or friendly despite my attempts to keep them so.) I asked about going with the "easy" villain, a Fred Phelps-like baddie who everyone despises, not just the gay community. Guys like Phelps are like Nazis, after all, when it comes to entertainment: They're the obvious choice because, again, no one likes them. I went further, asking why the religious bigots couldn't have been, say, Muslim fundies, especially since their views towards homosexuality (and even those of non-fundies) are much less ... "enlightened" than those of the majority of Western Christian religions. Glass replied:
@ColossusRhodey Thanks. And honestly, the Reverend is based on Phelps because I met the mother of Matthew Shepherd and heard her story— Joe Glass (@josephglass) March 19, 2014
@ColossusRhodey And hearing from her how this vile man and his 'church' picketed her sons funeral struck a chord with me— Joe Glass (@josephglass) March 19, 2014
@ColossusRhodey when coming up with the villain, well, Reverend was the immediate result.— Joe Glass (@josephglass) March 19, 2014
Unbelievably, this was the absolutely first story at Philly.com around mid-day today:
Ghostbusters is the latest act of Hollywood "reboot" non-imagination. But there is hope: Star Wars: Episode VII is a genuine sequel, and takes place thirty years after Return of the Jedi. Which is nice, 'cuz the actors from Jedi are all, like, thirty years older ...
Will "Panties In A" Bunch at the Philly Daily News notes with predictable glee that the "Fast-food-worker movement [is] coming to Philly." The poster child of the story this time is one Sean Caldwell, who, at 35 years of age, is working at McDonald's for eight bucks an hour:
Caldwell, 35, started a neighborhood lawn-mowing business and takes other odd jobs, such as cleaning out garages, but when he did his 2013 taxes he still saw that he'd made only $9,000. To bridge the gap, Caldwell, like many workers in the fast-food industry, received food stamps and other taxpayer-funded benefits, such as Medicaid.
This December, Caldwell saw a cable-TV news report about workers from McDonald's and other fast-food restaurants in New York City staging a one-day strike. "I was excited - I wanted to see where this thing could go, if it could gain traction," he said. "I said, 'I sure hope it comes to my city!' "
He saw it on cable-TV, eh? And he makes only $9K per year. Seems like a common refrain. Now, look what Bunch waits to the very end to deliver, too:
Not surprisingly, there are complicating factors. Caldwell, a graduate of Bishop McDevitt High School, in Montgomery County, who's worked a variety of jobs while seeking a Harcum College associate degree, has fathered eight children, two of whom live with him. He concedes to some "immature decisions, but I don't regret any of my children." He said he sees all of them every week, while he decides whether to pay for a son's football trip or instead for bunk beds for three girls who now must sleep together.
I mean, really? REALLY?? These are the best examples guys like Bunch can discover to make the public sympathetic to these folks? And Sean, I got news for you, brah: $15/hour still ain't gonna be enough to support eight kids. Cripes, what was I thinking, twenty years ago, when I meticulously planned out how I could be the sole breadwinner for five years so my wife could stay home with our [one] newborn, eh? Doing the complete opposite would have garnered me the sympathies of guys like Will Bunch! And maybe a "heart-wrenching" news article! (Cheeyeah, right -- I'd be beyond mortified to have such an article written about me given that most-probably-purposely-left-'till-the-end revelation.)
The best thing about this is, the article comments, thankfully, reflect reality, not Bunch's limousine "progressive" theoretical utopian vision. Kudos to Philly.com for allowing such.
Forty People Who Called Mitt Romney "Bossy" during the 2012 Campaign. Once again, many "progressives" just make sh** up in order to have a cause, in this case the word "bossy" is an epithet aimed at women. Except, y'know, that it's not. We showed that already:
And much more recently are these examples contra the GOP presidential candidate of 2012:
People who knew Romney in past said he was bossy and pedantic, acc. to the NYT piece on his Mormonism. After #cnndebate I can see why.— Mark Giangreco, Jr. (@GNgreco) October 19, 2011
I think why Romney is so bossy and autocratic, is because he is a Mormon Bishop being over a bunch of people telling them what to do!— Dustyo (@Dustyo87) January 13, 2012
Color me shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you! And best of all:
.@Dooezer Pundits are calling Ann Romney's recent attitude "sassy, bossy, and Beyoncésque."— Aaron Miller (@AaronDMiller) October 7, 2012
The irony is delicious.
There's probably no better take down of this latest bullsh** politically correct nonsense than Matt Walsh's:
Bossy liberal feminists have just invented another ridiculous reason to be offended.
Sheryl Sandberg, a Facebook executive, has partnered with the likes of the Girl Scouts, Condoleezza Rice, Beyoncé, Jennifer Gardner, and Google to promote the “Ban Bossy” campaign. Calling it the new “B-word,” Ms. Sandberg claims that women — especially young girls — are typically dismissed as “bossy” when they attempt to take charge and assert themselves, whereas men and boys are praised as leaders.
She says that “bossy” has a specifically female connotation, and the word is partly responsible for holding women back and making them feel timid and self-conscience.
Now, as much as I appreciate Ms. Sandberg, Beyoncé, and the Girl Scouts chiming in to tell us all what we mean when we say things (kind of bossy of them, actually), I still prefer to consult the dictionary on these matters.
According to that old misogynistic book of lies, bossy means “given to ordering people around, highhanded, domineering, overly authoritative, dictatorial, abrasive.”
Be sure, as they say, to read Matt's whole post. But ... "a specifically female connotation?" Tell that to Larry:
Even better is Walsh's response to the purveyors of PC feminism who were miffed at his "Bossy" post!
Newsarama has up a list of the Ten Worst Live-Action Superhero Costumes Ever, and their choices leave a lot of room for some head-scratching. So, we decided to help them out (because no one demanded it!) with what they missed, including a few notable villain outfits that deserve a mention:
TV HULK. Although it was one of the more popular TV shows based on a comicbook character, compared to how the Jade Giant should look, Lou Ferrigno's physique just didn't cut it:
1960s BATMAN. If you're going to have such a list, this Batman costume has got to be on it. Maybe it's the painted-on eyebrows. Maybe it's the chest emblem that looks like it was made in a 4th grade art class. Or maybe it's just Adam West's completely average physique. Whatever the case, it's lame:
DOLPH LUNDGREN'S PUNISHER. While the actual movie isn't any worse than the supposedly "better" later films, Dolph's outfit is far from anything special:
ROGER CORMAN'S THE THING. Granted, the film never saw the light of day aside from bootleg copies sold at conventions and on the 'net, but if you're going to include Michael Chiklis's version on a "Worst" list, then this has to be there, too:
1990 CAPTAIN AMERICA. In a word (or three letters), "WTF??"
1990 RED SKULL. Slightly better than his American rival from the direct-to-video film, this Skull was -- wait for it! -- Italian. His cheesy accent throughout the flick and his penchant for sending his kids to do his dirty work only added to the lameness:
CATHY LEE CROSBY WONDER WOMAN. A 1970s TV version before Linda Carter's iconic role, this outfit is, well, pretty pathetic:
ORIGINAL TRILOGY X-MEN MAGNETO. How uninspired was Ian McKellen's costume from the first three X-flicks? Very. Especially when you see what Michael Fassbender's costume looked like in the prequel. (That's right, a 1960s version of his suit is far superior to the 2000 version. Go figure!):
2002 GREEN GOBLIN. Even though it's one of the highest-grossing superhero films ever (and features one of the coolest costumes -- the hero's), how could the villain's outfit be so awful? Willem DaFoe has one of the most sinister busts in all of Hollywood; why the directors didn't make use of it, and instead gave us this, I'll never know:
TV THOR. One of my personal faves for outright heavy cheese, this Thor was actually featured in a 1980s Hulk TV movie. Don Blake turns into the Thunder God by -- wait for it! -- yelling "ODIIIIINNNNNN!!!"
Nate Winchester, that is: If guys like Angry Mark Waid don't want our business because we disagree with them politically, we gotta support those who not only share our values and beliefs, but want our business:
Please check out their blogs and give them your support!
Hans Bader has the horrifying details:
How does classifying most consensual sex as rape help rape victims? As a lawyer who has handled rape and sexual harassment cases, I have no idea, but this radical result is what some want to happen in California. In endorsing a bill in the California legislature that would require “affirmative consent” before sex can occur on campus, the editorial boards of the Sacramento and Fresno Bee, and the Daily Californian advocated that sex be treated as “sexual assault” unless the participants discuss it “out loud” before sex, and “demonstrate they obtained verbal ‘affirmative consent’ before engaging in sexual activity.” Never mind that consent to most sex is non-verbal, and that rape has historically been understood to be an act against someone’s will, rather than simply an act that they did not consent to in advance. Perhaps in response to the bill, the University of California, on February 25, adopted a policy requiring affirmative consent not just to sex, but to every form of “physical sexual activity” engaged in.
The affirmative-consent bill, Senate Bill 967, does not explicitly require verbal permission to demonstrate consent, although it warns that “relying solely on nonverbal communication can lead to misunderstanding.” But supporters of the bill are very clear about their desire to require verbal discussion or haggling prior to sex. The Fresno Bee praised the bill because ”it adopts in campus disciplinary cases the ‘affirmative consent standard,’ which means that ‘yes’ only means ‘yes’ if it is said out loud.” The Daily Californian declared that ”the proposal’s requirement that defendants in a sexual assault case demonstrate they obtained verbal “affirmative consent” before engaging in sexual activity makes SB 967 a step in the right direction.” Since most couples have engaged in sex without “verbal” consent, supporters of the bill are effectively redefining most people, and most happily-married couples, as rapists. By demanding verbal discussion before sex, they are also meddling in people’s sex lives in a prurient fashion.
I've read through Hans' article and one thing sticks out (as it should for you, too): Even if there's a "verbal agreement" to engage in sexual activity on the part of a couple of people, how exactly would that prevent an assault and/or rape? Wouldn't it still be one person's word against another's?
"She said 'yes' out loud!"
"No I did not!"
Further, if a female gives affirmative consent before any activity is started, but in the middle of said activity changes her mind, would the guy have to stop? I mean, he was given consent, right?
This is just nuts. It reminds of a science fiction story, the name of which I cannot recall, where everyone had to have a lawyer at the side constantly -- even for usual everyday activities.
So says writer Geoff Johns. Johns is the guy whose "Forever Evil" story arc in DC Comics features ... Superman arch-nemesis Lex Luthor joining the Justice League. This is the Lex Luthor who in contemporary comics does this sort of stuff:
But "evil is very relative."
Does anyone recall DC's (or Marvel's) "old fashioned" real heroes ever doing anything like that? I don't. Hell, if anything, the heroes were constantly grappling over the morality of actually following through and executing heinous villains -- villains that clearly deserved it. Just look at the classic DC Kingdom Come, for example, where Superman has taken the homicidal Joker into custody after a murder spree. Suddenly, one of the "new breed" of heroes, Magog, shows up and blasts the Joker to ashes for his crimes, right in front of the Man of Steel (see below). Magog's popularity skyrockets as a result of what he did, while Superman's approval rating plummets. Much of Kingdom tussles with the "appropriate measures" taken by the costumed vigilantes known as superheroes.
In the pages of the X-Men for the longest time the same debate took place. Storm, for one, refused to kill anything, even the savagely brutal Alien-esque Brood. Not to mention, the team perpetually struggled to keep the killing instincts of Wolverine in check. But this premise has long since gone out of date.
But, the above is what's actually a legitimate debate about the nature of "evil" and what to do about it, not declaring that "evil is very relative" and then showing one of your most vicious villains casually murdering people, followed by ... turning him into a "hero." It's also laughable how creators like Johns view evil as being "very relative," yet before Barack Obama's reign as president the nature of "evil" seemed quite clear to them:
Indeed. Evil wasn't "very relative" between 2000 and 2008. It was quite clear. Hell, Batman couldn't even go after al Qaeda -- AL QAEDA!! -- without there being a politically correct controversy, and when the creator of the tale, Frank Miller, morphed the story into one featuring a generic hero, he still got a ton of flak for it from "progressives."
Evil is "very relative." Unless a Republican sits in the White House.
Evil is "very relative." So relative so that one of the most popular superheroes ever cannot even go after the world's premiere terror organization, the one responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans.
Evil is "very relative." So much so that the current president gets comicbook "fist bumps," superhero endorsements, and numerous comicbook covers ... even though his lawlessness while in office equals and even surpasses that of his predecessor. That which these same creators didn't think were "very relative."
Guys like Geoff Johns are beyond boring already. The only thing "relative" to him and his comicbook cadre is how their stories will portray the political philosophy and party you agree/disagree with.
(Thanks to Nate for the tip to the original article.)
And even with these numbers, we are told that “ONLY” 77% of eligible citizens have signed up for food stamps, even though the state actively recruits people with marketing and advertisement. Also Delaware expanded eligibility to make it possible for even more people to obtain food stamps.
Of course the economy has played a large role in driving more people to depend on government subsidies to survive, but we cannot completely ignore the personal choices of some of the people receiving these hand outs.
The WNJ article of course had a couple of examples of people suffering because the amount of food stamps they receive is not enough.
One was about a sixty-eight year old grandmother raising her grandchildren. She stated that she couldn’t afford the juices and vegetables for a balanced diet, but I couldn’t help noticing that in the photos of her and her grand-daughter, she was looking at TV dinners and that is what the child was eating. These are the most expensive foods in a store. For what she pays for five of these, she could buy a cheap cut roast, or a chicken and get several meals out of it. Of course this would not be as convenient as TV dinners in the microwave oven.
Then there was the story of a mother of seven, ages 18-2 years-old, with another on the way. Really? Do I have to point out the personal choices that this woman has made that make her life more difficult?
And, Frank continues, with all this the Democrat one-party state that governs us wants to raise our taxes (gas and property being the latest). They actively advertise about food stamps, but they want to raise our taxes. How about using the monies for getting people on the relief rolls for a little common sense education instead -- like inexpensive and smart food purchases choices, not to mention labeling what it is -- ridiculously stupid -- that is having a gazillion kids without adequate means to support them?
Google the term “belly dance” and the first images the search engine offers are of white women in flowing, diaphanous skirts, playing at brownness. How did this become acceptable?
Women I have confronted about this have said, “But I have been dancing for 15 years! This is something I have built a huge community on.” These women are more interested in their investment in belly dancing than in questioning and examining how their appropriation of the art causes others harm. To them, I can only say, I’m sure there are people who have been unwittingly racist for 15 years. It’s not too late. Find another form of self-expression. Make sure you’re not appropriating someone else’s.
That's just a sampling. There's much more neo-decontructivist PC goodness at the link.
The article is even titled "Why I Can't Stand White Belly Dancers." What might the reaction be if an article was headlined "Why I Can't Stand Black Hockey Players"? Based on author Randa Jarrar's premise, Caucasians should have a right to be upset about blacks "appropriating" a sport like hockey for their own amusement/well being/pleasure. Blacks should question how their playing hockey "causes others harm," and how they're "playing at whiteness."
Gad, PC radical feminists are just too easy to make fun of ...
MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A northern New Jersey honor student who says her parents kicked her out of the house when she turned 18 is now suing them, asking a court to make them support her and pay for her college.
A judge in Morristown has scheduled a hearing Tuesday in the lawsuit filed last week by Rachel Canning.
Court documents show frequent causes of parent-teenage tension — boyfriends and alcohol — taken to an extreme. In court filings, there are accusations and denials, but one thing is clear: the girl left home Oct. 30, two days before she turned 18 after a tumultuous stretch during which her parents separated and reconciled and the teen began getting into uncharacteristic trouble at school.
In court filings, Canning's parents, retired Lincoln Park police Chief Sean Canning and his wife Elizabeth, said their daughter voluntarily left home because she didn't want to abide by reasonable household rules, such as being respectful, keeping a curfew, doing a few chores and ending a relationship with a boyfriend her parents say is a bad influence. They say that shortly before she turned 18, she told her parents that she would be an adult and could do whatever she wanted.
Canning claims her parents "are abusive, contributed to an eating disorder she developed and pushed her to get a basketball scholarship." The parents deny all of that; indeed, they say they even paid for private schooling so that their daughter would get more playing time than she would have at a public school.
If this spoiled brat wins, kiss the country goodbye. Common sense and just regular, everyday sanity has departed. I mean, hell, even a divorced father gets to end child support payments when a kid turns 18.
God help us all, and especially this girl.
UPDATE: A judge ruled that the parents do not have to pay the brat's high school tuition and associated living costs; however, the judge delayed a ruling on whether they'll have to pay the [upcoming] college costs. The next hearing is April 22.
First Lady Michelle Obama has taken the lead in the administration's latest effort to fix something that doesn't need much fixing: Changing food labels.
The Obama administration has unveiled the most sweeping update to nutrition labeling on food packages in more than two decades — and Americans are in for a reality check about how many calories and how much sugar they are consuming.
What’s considered a serving size would get larger, the type used to display calories would get bolder and added sugars would have to be listed on about 700,000 consumer products — from cereal to energy drinks — in a proposal released Thursday morning by the Food and Drug Administration.
The total cost of this? Only about $2 billion. Where food companies will pass on this cost to consumers. In an economy which blows. When people have less take home pay than virtually ever. Makes sense, right?
Basically, this boils down to, once again, the federal government thinking you're just stupid. Compare the new proposed label to the old one. Gosh, thanks for making my food prices go up by making that calorie figure REALLY jump out at me! But notice -- the "calories from fat" figure disappears on the new label. Huh?
Y'know, government bureaucrats like those at the FDA are a lot like edu-crats -- supposed education "experts" -- that are routinely featured at inservices and such. They need to find something to do ... to make them feel like they're "accomplishing something." As such, we get inane "improvements" like these labels, and ridiculous theories about how to "improve" teaching. And the 'crats pat themselves on the back saying "Good job!"
AZ Governor Jan Brewer yesterday vetoed the controversial "religious freedom" bill which would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay people.
Supporters said the measure would protect religious freedom. But opponents said it would allow business owners to discriminate against gays, lesbians and others.
Brewer said she was supporter of religious liberty, but she questioned the need for such a law and expressed concern that it could be misapplied.
She added that the bill "does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty," and that "the bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences." It is likely, however, that the bill was a response to a few instances in other states where gays sued businesses for refusing service to them based on religious objections. For instance, in New Mexico a photographer faced a lawsuit for refusing to snap pics of a gay wedding, and in Oregon a baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding faced a complaint.
Debate has been all over the map about this. For example, students in schools do not have to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance if there's a religious objection. Would a gay owner of a business have to provide service to, say, members of the Westboro Baptist Church? What about Muslims or Orthodox Jews having to serve pork products? Why should it be illegal to refuse service to homosexuals on a religious basis, but unions are exempt from harassment laws?
An op-ed in today's Wilmington News Journal by Melva Ware and Laurisa Schutt (the former "a former associate director of the Delaware Center for Teacher Education," and the latter "executive director of Teach For America-Delaware") argues that minority students need to see more faces like themselves as teachers:
The Center for American Progress' report, Teacher Diversity Matters, tells us that students of color taught by teachers of color perform better across several core academic performance metrics. Low-income students of color in particular need to see and identify with a range of caring adults to provide role models and resources to help them imagine and plan for expanded opportunities in life.
Of course, the Center for American Progress is a left-wing outfit so naturally "diversity" is one of their religions. And if you read the report, you won't find a reference to a study showing students of color do better in school if taught by someone "who looks like them." Correct me if I missed it. In addition, perhaps the CAP could explain why urban schools -- which as a whole tend to have more teachers of color -- don't perform as well as other schools with significant minority populations ... but with less teachers of color. Certainly [many] other factors come into play.
And what about Asian students? Asian consistently out-perform every racial/ethnic group in academic performance (even the less affluent in the group), yet they have virtually no teachers "who look like them" in schools. What explains this? Ms. Ware and Schutt share the opinion that "diversity" equates to academic progress. But this is not the case as we've pointed out many, many times here. Diversity is not a bad thing per se, of course, but it's not the end-all to be-all that academic "progressives" would have you believe.
Of note in the study are methods by which to increase teachers of color to go into teaching. The difficulty with this is that every employment arena is looking to increase minority numbers. Education is at a disadvantage since it generally pays lower than industry. I certainly favor streamlined methods to certify teachers (many "required" classes "necessary" for teaching are completely and utterly useless) as the study advocates, but will that really attract the numbers folks like Ware and Schutt want? I doubt it.
The Corner's Thursday Links yesterday included a link to the Top Ten Coolest Guns in Sci-Fi. I was a bit disappointed as they were just hand weapons/rifle-style gizmos. So, as a result, you know what that means: Because no one demanded it, here are Hube's Coolest Sci-Fi Weapons (not just guns) of All-Time! I've limited the list to film -- TV and/or movies. If I included print, this list could be interminable.
THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE:
THE COMET EMPIRE:
KRENIM TEMPORAL WEAPON:
WAVE MOTION GUN:
We've discussed the rumors of Jordan, a black actor, playing the blond-haired, blue-eyed Johnny before; however, looking at the images of the entire quartet -- especially Teller as Reed -- all one can say is "WTF????" As someone noted in the comment section of the first link, what is this -- "Fantastic Four 90210??" Teller looks like he's thirteen. Bell doesn't appear much older. And the only one of the four I've ever seen in a film (which doesn't mean much, admittedly) is Mara (she played Heath Ledger's oldest daughter in Brokeback Mountain).
And, naturally, the PC Police are out and about, crying "racism" when anyone dares to take issue with Jordan playing the Torch. The funniest thing about this is that at least one commenter takes this on in ... an ironic way:
Why Jonny?[sic] Why not Reed? A black guy can't be smart? He has to be the dumb jock?
Really, I think Reed being black makes a ton more sense if you were going to racebend anyone. Not that they should be. They should be promoting black heroes instead of using white ones with black actors.
At the CBR forum on the topic, this comment might be even better: "Like someone suggested they should turn Richards and Grimm into gay lovers to fill the quota."
... but since "progressives" always like to bring them up, not to mention declare themselves the "party of science," this is worth showing:
Yes, that graphic shows that more Democrats believe that astrology is a legitimate science. Maybe, like "global warming" was smoothly transitioned to "climate change" when the evidence didn't work out as the alarmists screamed about, these folks can likewise re-dub "astrology" as "stellar interpretation science."
NBC's Christin Cooper interviews USA ski team medalist Bode Miller, whose younger brother had passed away:
NRO's Rich Lowry says Cooper "should win a Peabody for Exertions Undertaken to Make an Athlete Cry."
Philly airport, the "local" airport for many in my neck of the woods, rates as the third worst airport in the country. Only NYC's LaGuardia and LAX beat it out. Also on the list are NYC's Kennedy and Newark, NJ. I've been to all of the worst five except LAX, and they all deserve to be on this list, based on the airports I've been to across the land.
Here's Delaware Douche at the LGOMB (that's Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers) making the case:
Whatever locker room disruption there was by having a gay teammate was minimal and was overcome, and did not prevent the team from having success. And yet there were the bigots on the radio this morning, talking about how it would disrupt the lockerroom, because they all shower together and the gay one would looking with lust at his teammates, echoing Jonathan Vilma. I always laugh at that. If a gay teammate looks at your naked body, so that fuck what? What harm is being done to you? Are you so insecure in your manhood that you don’t want any one looking? (Indeed, wouldn’t you be more worried if the gay teammate was not looking? But I digress).
Douche is referencing the story of Michael Sam, a top NFL prospect from the University of Missouri who just the other day came out as gay. You gotta give Sam his due taking this action before the NFL draft, since this news could potentially affect his NFL "worth." Still, reading about his story, it was pretty much common knowledge among the town and Sam's teammates that he was gay. As long as he doesn't pull a Chris Kluwe and constantly yammer about being gay so as to distract from the team, he should be an asset to any NFL squad.
But back to what DD writes above, and it's a point I've written about before, mainly regarding gays in the military: If the matter of straight and gay men showering together is a matter of "so the f*** what," then so the f*** what if straight men and women shower together, right? Douche asks "what harm is being done?" if a gay man checks you out in the shower; what harm is there if a straight dude checks out a female in the shower, eh?
Please, someone fill me in as to how this is a bad comparison. If you say that "the two instances aren't the same," be sure to explain precisely why. If Douche's treatise is legit, yet mine is not, then you are basically saying that homosexuals have greater hormonal urge control than straights. That sounds pretty heterophobic to me.
What doesn't it cause, uh?
For months after Hurricane Sandy sent nearly six feet of water surging into her home in Long Beach, N.Y. — an oceanfront city along Long Island’ s south shore — retired art teacher Marcia Bard Isman woke up many mornings feeling anxious and nauseated. She had headaches, and inexplicable bouts of sadness. She found herself crying for no apparent reason.
What Isman is experiencing is one of the little-recognized consequences of climate change, the mental anguish experienced by survivors in the aftermath of extreme and sometimes violent weather and other natural disasters. The emotional toll of global warming is expected to become a national — and potentially global — crisis that many mental health experts warn could prove far more serious than its physical and environmental effects.
“When you have an environmental insult, the burden of mental health disease is far greater than the physical,” said Steven Shapiro, a Baltimore psychologist who directs the program on climate change, sustainability and psychology for the nonprofit Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR).
Nice title. Yeah, this guy doesn't have an agenda.
Next up: Global war- er, um, climate change is responsible for acne and prostate enlargement.
John C. Wright's The Restless Heart of Darkness, part 1.
So says Harry Belafonte while on -- you guessed it -- MSNBC:
“[T]hey’ve gotten distracted by the gold,” Belafonte said. “Wall Street that invested so much in the hip-hop culture gave it a lot of gold, a lot of cars, a lot of flavor and that flavor was abused. The lyrics became very anti-woman. They became very anti-black. They used language that constantly diminished us as a people and as a country."
*Sigh* Yet another example of the 'ol "soft bigotry of low expectations." In this case, young rappers were "seduced" by whitey Wall Streeters flappin' Benjamins around. Is there anything for which the white man is not to blame?
As we posted back here, some fans of Simone's comic The Movement were miffed that the TV show Arrow (based on the DC character Green Arrow) utilized a group by the same name who were a bunch of terrorists. We wrote "Isn't that pretty much the case?" and posted several images from various Occupy Wall Street demonstrations exhibiting violence, clashes with law enforcement, and holding up placards advocating violence and anti-Semitism. It seems The Movement aficionados are still miffed:
But that's how the feds see the Movement, as terrorists. @fodigg— Gail Cup Avenger (@GailSimone) January 23, 2014
So, Simone believes the feds view Occupy Wall Streeters as "terrorists?" Hmmm, well the head of "the feds" is a guy named Barack Obama, and here's his view on the Occupiers:
President Obama on Thursday called the "Occupy Wall Street" protests a reflection of a "broad-based frustration about how our financial system works" and pledged to continue fighting to protect American consumers.
"I think it (Occupy Wall Street) expresses the frustrations that the American people feel. I think people are frustrated."
Does that sound like the feds view "The Movement" as "terrorists?" Quite the contrary, actually. On the other hand, again, look at how comics treated that other protest movement known as the Tea Party:
“A grassroots anti-government army”
“I don’t exactly see a black man from harlem fitting in with a bunch of angry white folks…”
And our president's view on them? Well, let's see: The IRS targeted the Tea Party and similar groups for years. Powerful Obama allies even actively advocate this action. Obama thinks race plays a "key component" in Tea Party protests. And -- wait for it! -- the White House itself used the term "terrorists" for Republicans and groups that agree with them ... because they want federal spending cuts. Numerous Democrats have repeatedly used the term "terrorist" to describe Tea Party Republicans. And lastly -- are you ready for this? -- Obama supporters view the Tea Party as a bigger terror threat than ... radical Islamists!
All this, and the Tea Party has never engaged in the sorts of actions that the Occupy Movement has. Violence. Rape. Depravity. Property damage. Anti-Semitism.
But ... Gail Simone thinks our government views the Occupy Wall Street Movement as the "terrorists." Still yet another example of a "progressive" living in "the bubble" where The NarrativeTM never changes.
UPDATE: It's entirely possible Simone, in her tweet above, is referring to the feds of Arrow and how they view The [fictitious] Movement. But considering how the comicbook version is based on OWS, one would have grant us some leeway if we mis (or over) interpreted Simone's remarks.
DC Comics is making a "move" with many of its most popular villains joining hero teams. Lex Luthor becoming a member of the Justice League is the latest. You may recall that Marvel had Peter Parker's (aka Spider-Man, natch) body taken over by his arch-nemesis Dr. Octopus.
'Ya gotta like how comics' modern creators believe their most base villains can get a shot at redemption. I mean, it's not as if Luthor or Ock have ever plotted massive, Hitler-esque genocide, right? The funny thing is, just imagine if Luthor or Ock was a member of the NRA ... or was against gay marriage! Then they'd be relegated to some interdimensional hoosegow for the rest of their natural lives!
Some fans of comics writer Gail Simone and her comic The Movement (sort of a superhero version of the Occupy Wall Street Movement) are miffed -- miffed, I tell you! -- that the WB show Arrow featured a group by that name in the recent episode. They're miffed because this Movement "is apparently an anti-government terrorist organization."
So? What's the problem? Isn't that pretty much the case? Let's take a look at some images from a few years ago:
Not only does Simone glamorize "Occupy" with her comic, there was also an anthology of "Occupy" stories in comicbook form. This, despite the myriad instances of violence, depravity, rape, trashing of property, and littering. But the Tea Party? First, it's a miracle Arrow didn't make its "Movement" some sort of Tea Party analogue. (Maybe I'm jumping the gun and they still might. I don't watch the show.) But secondly, comics didn't waste any time condemning the TP with its partisan vitriol, despite there being absolutely NO reasonable comparison between it and Occupy when it comes to causing disruptions and crime.
So, pardon me if I don't get all huffy about The Movement on a DC Comics-based TV show more accurately depicting the real thing than the wanna-be fantasy of the Tea Party in past comics.
Fox News reporter Adam Housley is married to Sister, Sister star Tamera Mowry. So, what is the big deal? Well, Housley is white, and Mowry, [half] black. That is a problem in this day and age? Apparently so. If you're a "progressive" reading this, I'm sure you're all upset about those evil, racist Tea Party types for making an issue of this couple's marriage, Correct? Not quite:
In a recent interview with OWN, an emotional Mowry said she has “never experienced so much hate ever in my life.” She said she gets called “white man’s whore” and receives comments like “back in the day you cost $300, but now you’re giving it to him for free.”
She added that an especially hurtful remark she saw online involved her twin sister, Tia who is married to actor Cory Hardrict. 'They say, 'Oh, Tia's a true black woman because she married a black man,' Tamera said. 'Oh – I'm less of a black person because I married white?' (Source, source.)
Maybe it's because Mowry married ... someone who works at Fox News.
As Michelle Malkin (who has endured her own fair share of racial epithets at the hands of "tolerant progressives") notes, "We’re leaning backward in the regressive Age of Hope and Change." She reminds us of the racial hatred exhibited in the mainstream media over notable black-white marriages -- where at least one party is conservative:
And remember -- if a [black] student says something like the above in a public school, forget about any disciplinary measures for harassment/bullying/etc. That would be discriminatory.
This bunch of complete inept bunglers never ceases to amaze. But you can bet some higher-up in the administration is laughing his ass off saying, "So? Who the hell are they gonna vote for? Republicans??"
CuidadoDeSalud.gov was, however, the brainchild of the Obama White House, so these fundamental truths escape the Democratic political class and their allies in the press. This latest insult has led in the minority community, even those who charitably describe the Spanish-language federal insurance exchange site as having been translated into “Spanglish,” to ponder just how pivotal they really are to Democrats’ political futures.
New Mexico University political science professor Gabriel Sanchez told the Associated Press that Hispanics are unlikely to shrug off the insultingly ignorant website. “They will look at this, and think, ‘Man, they really don’t care about us,’” Sanchez said. (Source)
I kind of doubt that, as I noted above. Nevertheless, just consider how this was even remotely possible. A friggin' translation engine to build the Spanish version of the ObumbleCare site?? In a country where the second most common lingo is Spanish? A language which has tens of millions of speakers?? In addition, the site's instructions page link to English forms. The details of the health plans aren't all written in Spanish. ObumbleCare "navigators" end up having to translate for potential customers.
You can bet if the GOP created such a farce, Democrats would be spending endless hours preening about how Republicans, "as usual, are out of touch with minorities" ... and how they "could care less about Hispanics."
Just keep this yet-another ObumbleCare website hilarity in mind the next time you hear a "progressive" bitch about voter ID. Remember, to them, mandating such is "discriminatory," "hateful" and causes an "undue burden" on minorities and the poor. But three years to develop a Spanish-language website so Hispanics could sign up for healthcare -- with the above result -- and this is ... what? Empathetic? Helpful? Caring? Enabling?
One can only hope that Latinos will see the light, as Dr. Sanchez alluded to above.
Insty notes how Republicans should get behind silly federal mandates such as those like the 21 year-old drinking age:
Republicans are supposed to stand for limited government, freedom and federalism, but it was under a Republican administration—and a Republican transportation secretary, Elizabeth Dole—that states were forced to raise their age limits or face financial penalties. That was before the tea party, though. Perhaps today, when Republican leaders across the board are singing the praises of limited government, it is time for them to put their money where their mouths are and support an end to the federal drinking-age mandate.
The "financial penalties" noted were basically denial of federal highway funds. The feds typically do stuff like this to force states to comply with their wishes. Look at education, for example, with No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. Regarding the 21 year-old drinking age, frankly, it's stupid. I hear kids in school year after year (when they're doing the Constitution unit in History) say, "Hey, how is it that you only have to be 18 to vote and even die for your country in the military ... but you gotta wait three more years to buy a beer??
Wilmington, DE is crushed by violent crime, but the community is up in arms about racial slur accusation.
And so it goes ...
The Obama administration is seeking racial quotas in the nation's public schools. No, not quotas for some perceived racial balance just for a school's population, but for the number of students disciplined. In other words, if the discipline figures for a school don't more or less equal that of the school's [racial] population ... then it's racist.
It’s part of a larger effort — backed by teachers unions, civil rights advocacy groups and other organizations — to combat the “school-to-prison pipeline,” in which minority students are disproportionately kicked out of school and subsequently end up in the criminal justice system.
But within its guidance, most of which is not controversial and merely reinforces existing nondiscrimination laws, the administration also declares that schools’ disciplinary policies cannot have a “disparate impact” on one particular group.
In plain terms, it means district rules, guidelines and enforcement cannot result in the punishment of more black students than white students for the same offense, for example.
With that in mind, school leaders surely will keep a close eye on whether the same number of children from given racial groups are disciplined in equal number and equal measure for the same behavior.
“You have to make certain that your school discipline cases match those percentages. If you don’t, you’ll have the feds on your doorstep,” said Joshua Dunn, a political science professor at the University of Colorado and director of the university’s Center for Legal Studies. “If they actually do enforce these guidelines, there will be unintended consequences. This creates some rather destructive incentives. I don’t think there’s any way around that.”
The feds are pushing methods "for creating safe and positive school climates, which are essential for boosting student academic success and closing achievement gaps.” In other words, things the schools should be doing that parents used to. Yet another thing on teachers' and administrators' plates all the while politicians clamor for accountability on the academic front. At any rate, you now can't just kick a kid out of the classroom for being a constant disruption; you have to find out why the kid is doing what he's doing, and then take actions to help "remedy" it. You know, while your 30+ other kids are still sitting in class awaiting instruction. Take a look at the doublespeak and wishful thinking on the part of the feds:
"Maintaining safe and supportive school climates is absolutely critical, and we are concerned about the rising rates and disparities in discipline in our nation’s schools,” said Secretary Duncan. “By teaming up with stakeholders on this issue and through the work of our offices throughout the department, we hope to promote strategies that will engage students in learning and keep them safe.”
Requiring racial quotas in discipline will make schools and classrooms anything but safe and supportive. Why in the world does the government care more about the chronic problem students than the vast majority of students who wish to ... learn?
Hans Bader, a former attorney with the [federal] Education Dept., notes that ultimately, this sort of federal "oversight" could get it into trouble:
“The only practical way for a school system to comply with the Education Department’s demands is to adopt a de facto racial quota in discipline. But this itself puts the school system in legal jeopardy, since at least one federal appeals court has said that schools cannot use racial targets or quotas for school discipline, since that violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.”
Bader added that in the case of People Who Care v. Rockford Board of Education, the court ruled that “a school cannot use race in student discipline to offset racial disparities not rooted in school officials’ racism (so-called “disparate impact”).”
Bader adds that, regarding People Who Care v. Rockford Board of Education,
... it didn’t just strike down overt use of race to achieve a racial target or racial balancing. It voided even the requirement of racial balance, thus disposing of any potential argument by the Education Department that it’s OK to require racial targets or balancing, as long as the school is merely told to achieve the target, but not (explicitly) told to use race to achieve it.
So, maybe a school district that'd be willing to stand up to Eric Holder and Arne Duncan (good luck, though -- money, after all) can emphasize this case, among others. Others such as United States v. Armstrong (an 8-1 decision) which held that "crime rates are not the same for different races, and that racial disparities in crime rates and conviction rates are not proof of racial discrimination." Bader continues that not disciplining black students for misbehavior or some other violation just because some other black students were previously disciplined (more than white students) is "as crazy as ordering police to stop arresting black criminals just because they previously arrested more blacks than whites."
The feds state also that even if a school discipline policy "is neutral on its face," and "is administered in an evenhanded manner," if it has that disparate impact on students of a particular race, it's bad. Ironically however, policies like much maligned "zero tolerance" measures (those applied to whomever no matter what whenever the policy is violated) came about partly because school officials were fearful of "lawsuits charging that principals disciplined unequally based on race or other factors." Setting straight, specific guidelines enabled administrators to say "Look, you did this. This is the consequence. It's written right here." Schools set up their own codes of conduct which did the same thing. But then ... the racial numbers still weren't "balanced" after the implementation of these measures! B-b-b-b-but ...! (Also take a look at Kilroy's coverage of Delaware's Christina School District's intervention by the feds regarding disparate disciplinary measures. One of the points of contention was that, yes, the district was using terminology that was too subjective, thus making the point about the origin of zero tolerance policies. What a Catch-22. A school board member even noted that the district's definition of "inappropriate behavior" needed to be "thoroughly defined.")
Let's cut to the chase: As was alluded to above, if law enforcement was required to arrest people in proportion to their numbers in the general population, the result would be chaos. Crime would be beyond rampant and society would crumble. (UPDATE: Has this already begun?) Why should we expect schools, then, to follow such a ridiculous idea? Would you want your child to attend a school where the most chronically disruptive students weren't only not removed from your kid's class, but weren't even disciplined period?? What do you think that class would be like? What do you think that school would be like? It seems that when consultants, lawyers, advocates, and school officials ask why there may be disparate disciplinary rates among races in schools, the reasons bandied about rarely, if ever, include the obvious: that maybe, just maybe, students in certain [racial/ethnic] groups actually misbehave more often than others. And then consider this: should we do away with penalties things such as lateness to school and/or class? If there is a preponderance of students of a particular race coming late to class, how would that be evidence of teacher/administrator/institutional racism? Would clocks now be considered prejudiced? (Well, yes, actually. Because staff would be treated to something akin to this, where they'd be "educated" on how certain groups are different, and that "linear time is an inherently Caucasian-Western concept." And, hence is discriminatory. Or something.)
Ultimately, this is all the product of the current Democratic-led Education Department which, as Bader says, "outsource[s] civil-rights policy to left-wing radicals" and leads to guidelines and interpretations "which were probably drafted by left-wing civil-rights bureaucrats with little understanding of how classrooms operate in the real world."
The Oneida Indian Nation "is refusing to accept recent polling that finds widespread, bipartisan support for the Redskins’ name." Why? Because Public Policy Polling didn't indicate in their question that the NFL team's name was offensive. Here's what PPP asked: “Do you think the Washington Redskins should change their nickname, or not?”
What would OIN have the question ask instead? Apparently something like "The dictionary says the term 'Redskin' is a racial slur; do you support Washington keeping that name for its football team?" Yeah, nice push polling there. The dictionary also says "gay" means "happy." So? And the actual history of the term isn't exactly what OIN claims.
That'd be Dennis Rodman's epic rant on CNN after being confronted on palling around with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.
"I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them ... they dared to do one thing, they came here."
Apparently referring to Kim, Rodman said, "I love my friend. This is my friend."
Regarding U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae, "who's been detained there for more than a year," Rodman said, "Kenneth Bae did one thing ... If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why? ... I would love to speak on this."
As you might expect, moral giants like Jesse Jackson have chimed in to defend Rodman.
Related the former Minnesota Vikings Chris Kluwe matter noted most recently here, Hudson Taylor opines via CNN.com that heterosexual athletes who are questioned about their sexuality don't do enough if they merely say "I'm not gay."
While [Green Bay Packers QB Aaron] Rodgers effectively put an end to the discussion of personal life and vowed to "keep on trucking," what was left unsaid was any support for the LGBT community or contemplation of the broader questions such rumor-mongering raises about our sports culture and the specter of acceptance.
Why is it up to Rodgers to do that? Hudson notes in his article that Rodgers is "intensely private;" why does he have to do more than just answer the question of whether he's gay or not, let alone answer it at all? Y'see, this is where advocates for the LGBT community tend to ... lose many in the straight community who are otherwise if not completely sympathetic to their situation, at least understanding. It's not enough to just accept gay team/classmates; you have to be proactive about the lifestyle ... and even promote it. Rodgers, according to Hudson, should have added something like, "Yeah, I'm not gay but what would have been the big deal if I was?" Even though the Packers QB is, again, "intensely private."
A lot of the remainder of what Hudson says is certainly admirable: He's a [straight] college wrestling coach who has taken an active role in battling homophobia in sports. He speaks highly of the aforementioned Kluwe, but seems to take his side of the current squabble with his former team, despite the fact that the accused have vigorously denied Kluwe's allegations, and that there's little dispute that Kluwe's "outspokenness" on LGBT issues became a distraction to the Vikings when he was still on their roster.
Via Douglas Ernst: Filmmaker Kevin Smith is going to demonstrate how ... "brave" of a guy he is with his next endeavor: A movie titled Helena Handbag, about "mankind teaming up with Hell to fight a rapturing giant Jesus."
Gee, how "edgy!" How "courageous!" How "daring!"
As Doug says,
If Kevin Smith wants a movie that no one else would make, perhaps he could write a film that pits Giant Muhammed against Mothra. Giant Muhammed could also have a harem of topless women the size of The Sacred Mosque Al-Masjid Al-Haram. But Smith won’t go there because it’s easier to needle Christians with “Christzilla” than it is to make a film that lands on the radar of the world’s nuttiest Islamic clerics. Just ask Mark Basseley Youssef (formerly Nakoula Basseley Nakoula), the director of “Innocence of Muslims.” He’s the guy the Obama administration couldn’t act fast enough to pull out of his home for a perp walk. Crime? Daring to criticize Islam.
Not to mention, there's the little tidbit about being scared shitless. Just ask MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell about that: In a rare moment of complete honesty, Crazy Larry admitted that "I would like to criticize Islam much more than I do publicly, but I'm afraid for my life if I do." When asked about, say, Mormons, O'D responded, "They'll never take a shot at me. Those other people (Muslims), I'm not going to say a word about them."
The ever-indignant Furious D has more. Which certainly makes sense since his Offend-Bore Matrix comes into play here. The OBM says
The use of insulting portrayals of politically correct targets to give a project more appeal to critics and within Hollywood, but fails to sell tickets because it offends a large swathe of the audience while boring the rest.
So he makes films like Red State, a horror film about Hollywood's irrational fear of "psycho American Christians" inspired by America's craziest pseudo-Christian religious cult the Westboro Baptist Church which consists of 1 large family and approximately 5 other people, who haven't actually done any physical violence. In fact, all the Westboro dicks seem good at is attracting attention for being obnoxious.
It got him some attention, but the film wasn't the noble disaster he needed to bow out. So why not ... follow that up with an apocalyptic comedy about battling Jesus.
Indeed. And that's precisely the Offend-Bore Matrix -- it'll give more "cred" to Smith in the comfy bubble of Hollywood, but he won't make squat at the box office. And, Smith won't have a damn thing to worry about safety-wise, despite the "message" of flicks like Red State.
Contradicting what he had said earlier last year as noted here, former Minnesota Vikings punter and outspoken gay activist Chris Kluwe now says his special teams coach is a "bigot," and the former head coach and general manager are "cowards."
Kluwe says too he believes he was let go from the Vikes "largely because of his social activism, specifically his outspoken support of same-sex marriage." He also says he didn't say anything until now because, he notes, "I wasn’t going to bring that on the team during the year."
Oh, but is this the real story? "Now that it’s pretty obvious that I’m not going to get another shot in the NFL, I feel like it’s a story that needs to be told.” In other words, "I need money (and another shot at relevance)"?
The notion that the Vikings dismissed Kluwe because of his outspokeness has already been debunked:
And the current article notes this:
The Vikings released Kluwe in May after drafting Locke in the fifth round. Kluwe was 31 years old and was scheduled to make $1.45 million. He signed with Oakland but did not make the team out of training camp. He had tryouts with several other teams but was not signed.
The only team he could make was the lowly Raiders, and even they ended up not signing him?
Kluwe says he has witnesses to the [homophobic] incidents he described happening; nevetheless, numerous Vikings team members came forward on Twitter to defend the accused special teams coach. He also says he has "no idea yet" as to whether he'll take legal action (discrimination suit). Y'know, the cash thing again.
The Raiders, Chris, THE RAIDERS!!!! 'Nuff said.
(h/t to Minnesota native Carl.)
"Comedienne" Natasha Leggero, appearing with Carson Daly during part of NBC's New Year's celebration, made a "joke" about Pearl Harbor survivors "gumming" their food now: "... it sucks that the only survivors of Pearl Harbor are being mocked by the only food they can still chew. It's just sad."
Wow. This, coupled with sister station MSNBC's mocking of Mitt Romney's adopted black grandchild, and the network is starting off the new year as the epitome of class. But to those living in the comfortable bubble of everyone-agrees-with-me "progressivism," such brazen insensitivity and offensiveness is to be completely overlooked and/or ignored. For example, here's what Superior Spider-Man writer Dan "Setting the Record Straight" Slott "humorously" tweeted last night:
Sorry. Just got a memo from Fox News. It's "Merry New Year." Or you're declaring a war on New Year's Eve.— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) January 1, 2014
Yeah, because, while using a hyperbolic term like "war" is a little over the top, highlighting inane instances that happen every year across the country where (typically) a few local school officials ridiculously overreact to the federal holiday of Christmas (usually in the name of the "progressive" religion of "diversity/tolerance") is, well, stupid.
If Slott somehow sees/hear about this post, he'll most likely stick to form as he did here and clamor that he is balanced, has conservative friends, yada yada yada. But he's already on record stating that Fox "has no equal when it comes to sleaze." Let's see: Using the term "War" on Christmas vs. mocking an adopted black grandchild, and Pearl Harbor veterans having to gum their food now. In Slott-world, the former has "no equal" in the sleaze dept.
It seems the new year certainly won't change the stupidity and knee-slapping hypocrisy of many contemporary comicbook folk and NBC talking heads.
James Orbesen in The Atlantic tells of how the classic David Michelinie/Bob Layton (with John Romita Jr.) tale "Demon in a Bottle" saved him from alcoholism.
Have you ever wondered if refusing to date a transgender woman is bigoted? Here's the answer you'd probably expect from a place like the Democratic Underground. (Beware: Major deconstructivist-type euphemisms and jargon. If you haven't a clue as to what's being said, don't feel too bad):
... the answer is somewhere between no not necessarily but probably so. In that, a narrative of desire around trans bodies does not exist & in that absence one of degradation and shame is offered in its place. So automatically you have sexualities and accompanying desires shaped in a context of transphobia, which both excludes and pathologizes trans bodies as abhorrent.
A lot of male sexuality is also constructed around employing hierarchies of womanhood as trophies, to prove their own worth and engage in a process of gendering themselves through access to womens’ bodies. Within that framework, some hold more currency and others (transwomen) can actually subvert heteronormative male sexualities. The opinions and shared norms of sexuality among peers, performed on womens’ bodies, plays a huge part in constructing their sexuality as well. You can imagine where transwomen fall on this scale. There’s also the fact that most men dont even have enough literacy of our bodies and our lives to even know who we are and if they are attracted to us. And dont attempt to do so because of cisnormativity.
With that being said, we live in the world we live in. If a man chooses not to date a transwoman, whatever the reason, that is his choice (though one probably informed by cisnormativity.) I am however concerned with if, in not dating transwomen, he also reinforces cissexism and transphobia in his words and actions. Everything is not for everybody nor does it have to be (even though ironically transwomen seem to always get the short end of this stick hmmm.) But what are men doing to not actively continue & participate in this cycle of shame around transwomens’ bodies? What are they doing to stop putting our lives at risk? How are they discussing our bodies and lives? In choosing not to date us, are they offering up bioessentialist rhetoric and trying to delegitimize/undermine our genders?
If you managed all the "-ism" lingo you probably see the conclusion is yes -- if you're a [straight] male and will not date a transgendered woman, you're engaging in bigotry. And further, by not doing so, you're even putting transgendered folks' lives at risk! How about that, eh?
Happy 91st birthday to Stan Lee today!!
Phil Robertson should look African American and gay people in the eyes and hear about the hurtful impact of praising Jim Crow laws and comparing gay people to terrorists. If dialogue with Phil is not part of next steps then A&E has chosen profits over African American and gay people – especially its employees and viewers.
You can read the entire GQ interview with Robertson here. His supposed "praising" of Jim Crow laws is on page one, and the "comparison" of gays to terrorists is on page two.
As I've said in the past, I've never seen this show (and don't plan on watching it) but I do believe the network had every right to do what it wanted regarding Robertson. They axed him ... and then they brought him back. I totally understand how certain groups would get offended by some of his remarks; of course, the issue beyond the remarks is the media interpretation -- and coverage -- of such. As we well know, only remarks made (or actions taken) by certain people/groups are socially/culturally impermissible. This is why Robertson was so quick to be dismissed in the first place, while Capital One could have cared less about Alec Baldwin's noxious behavior (and hey -- where was GLAAD then?), not to mention MSNBC regarding myriad instances. Just to note two institutions, natch.
God, I hope so. io9 reports that some tweets over the weekend stated that a reboot script is in the hands of a studio right now. Zack Stentz characterized the script thusly:
Less a satire & more an actual adaptation of the Heinlein novel. An Officer & a Gentleman in power armor... I love the Verhoeven version too! But this was a chance to actually engage with the source material instead of just mock it."
To which all I can say is "HALLELUJAH!!!" Writers Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller have done work on Thor and X-Men: First Class, so I am optimistic. Hey, I dig the 1998 ST film, but it really is nothing at all like the novel. The book is, like the quote above says, more like An Officer and a Gentleman with powered armor. The personal "coming of age" story of Johnny Rico (who's Filipino, by the way, in the book) and political philiosophy is as important as the sci-fi action.
My father, who usually stays away from cheesy sci-fi actioners like Verhoeven's ST, actually watched it recently and was impressed by the F/X. But, natch, he asked me: "We have faster-than-light spaceships but use 20th century-style machine guns and body armor??" I hear 'ya, pop. But Verhoeven claimed he could use his budget for the amazing bug F/X or the powered armor of the novel, but not both. He chose the bugs. Still, I don't see how troops outfitted in budget-inexpensive-but-technologically sophisticated outfits and weapons couldn't have worked.
io9 links to an old page which discusses the differences between the book and the film.
... but convert to Islam and call for the death of another person? Get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
KISS led the popular vote, while [Cat] Stevens brought up the rear. However, the Hall has a sort of “electoral college” that gets to override the people’s choices.
This leads to a frankly bizarre situation, in which bands like Yes (10.88% of the popular vote) and Deep Purple (11.93%) beat out Stevens (5.37%) but don’t get inducted.
Yep, Cat Stevens, who in the 1970s (after "years of multi-platinum success" and hence, making a ton of dough) converted to Islam and assumed the name Yusuf Islam, called for the death of author Salman Rushdie and supported Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. And the Hall calls all this ... "courageous." That's right -- "courageous."
That had to be how this dope got in. What else explains it? He finishes last in the popular vote, yet gets in thanks to the PC powers-that-be because his conversion was "courageous." And over a group like Yes, too, which makes me even angrier. (Yes is one of my favorite music groups. Deep Purple is one of my old college friend's fave bands.)
I like what Kathy Shaidle wishes: A smackdown of Stevens/Islam by KISS's Gene Simmons (who's Jewish) on live TV.
Today, Trimnell has still more following some e-mail queries as to whether he was going to "force [Scalzi] out into the open." Ed, of course, says "no" (that isn't his concern, after all), but what was interesting is that he links to an article by "Mrs. Instapundit," Helen Smith, regarding Scalzi's treatise from earlier this year in which he says "white guys have it so easy." I was unaware of Dr. Helen's post at the time, but it's telling she wrote about it because Scalzi and her husband, Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds, are supposed to be pals. At any rate, Helen wrote of Scalzi's conclusion:
I say “bullshit.” Straight white men are today’s whipping boy. Scalzi’s fawning commenters start out telling him how brilliant his little essay is while this Uncle Tim and some (but not all–some commenters fight back) of his sycophants eat it up.
In my upcoming book with Encounter Publishing entitled “Male Strike: Why Society’s War Against Men is Suicidal and What to Do About It,” I discuss these Uncle Tim types (those who put down other men) whose life is made easier by pandering to women and other men who are either Uncle Tims themselves or White Knights trying to save a damsel in distress. There is always a benefit to putting down straight white males. What’s yours, Scalzi?
She links to this site, which has a very good response to the author as well. Best line from it?
But the problem with Scalzi's piece isn't his metaphor or his condescension: it's their implication. SWMs (straight white males) must be properly silent and guilty for who they are, or they're assholes. Expendable.
Personally, I have less of an issue with Scalzi's [questionable] point(s) than with his condescension and snark. Like the usual comicbook cadre, I truly am at a loss to figure why these folks act the way they do when their career depends upon selling their wares to the public. Such relies on public goodwill and relations. As I've said ad nauseam, why in the world would anyone patronize a person who spits in your face?? I've bought all of Scalzi's Old Man's War novels, including the latest, The Human Division. But y'know what? That's probably the last one I'll purchase. Even if Scalzi wrote something that was WAY out there (say, like Communism is the greatest governmental system in the history of man), I'd still be inclined to buy his stuff ... as long as he treated those who disagree with him politely and amicably. Or, just ignored them.
And I know I've said this before, too: Is it because guys like Scalzi have "made it" that they don't care anymore -- about how they come across to the public? I mean, unlike comicbooks, which is a slowly dying medium (and may explain why guys like Ron Marz act the way they do online), science fiction novels, it seems to me, will continue to flourish for quite some time.
I just don't get it.
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… Sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.” Robertson then paraphrased Corinthians from the Bible: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
And if that wasn’t explicit enough, the “Duck Commander” added: “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
Hey, make no mistake -- A&E has every right to do as it pleases regarding its employees. Censorship/First Amendment concerns aren't an issue as they apply to government. The issue, of course, is the cultural hypocrisy But Greg at RwR has an interesting take: The 1964 Civil Rights Act may have been violated:
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer - to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin ...
A&E has made a public announcement to the effect that it has suspended Phil Robertson from his employment on the series Duck Dynasty for having expressed his religious beliefs outside of the workplace. This action certainly "otherwise discrimnate[s] against an individual with respect to his. . . terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of such individuals. . . religion".
Stay tuned for more in this yet another battle in the culture war.
UPDATE: Nate writes: I follow a lot of them on twitter. So far we have ... Nothing. Looks like most of the friends and family have been silent. The most I can find is: this and this. They might just say "we had a good run" and end up going their own way.
Shame, there were some good laughs. (I recommend you catch it once in a while Hube)
Naropa University administrators and religious studies professor Don Matthews are at odds about his suspension last week over complaints that he threatened students and refused to speak during classes.
Matthews was placed on paid suspension for the rest of the semester early last week.
He said the suspension was racially motivated and the university didn't grant him "due process" before suspending him. University officials, however, said Matthews' actions posed a threat to the Naropa community and warranted immediate action in the form of suspension.
Matthews was protesting "institutional racism" at the university, and had vowed to continue his classroom protest until "bias" was excised permanently from Naropa. He also filed a complaint at the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights regarding the college's "lack of diversity" and "racism." He claims the suspension is retaliation against him.
*Sigh* I'm constantly amazed at such complaints considering that colleges are, if anything, ridiculously overly conscious about racial and ethnic sensitivity. Diversity is essentially the official religion of the university community. Indeed, Naropa has a "Community of Color" group, the head of which is a big supporter of Matthews. Imagine the "institutional racism" which permitted a group like that to exist, eh?
Nevertheless, actions by guys like Matthews can only be experienced at a place like your typical American university. Frankly, I'm amazed he was suspended, and that Naropa took the sensible action that it did. A prof is basically free to engage in all the histrionics he wants, but if you're actually refusing to do that for which the college pays you -- namely, teach -- then there should be a problem. As Richard Aubrey says in the comments at Joanne's:
If I, a student, pay some hugely inflated price for four credits of, say, Reformation theology, I have contracted to get four credits of Reformation theology. I am owed it. I need it for the junior level class for which it is a prerequisite.
I did not pay a chunk of my parents’ savings, my summer job, or my future debt enslavement in order to watch a professor massage his ego in public. If I don’t get my four credits of Reformation theology, the U is in breach of contract and must take action regarding its agent which put it in this position. Or refund my premium.
Now, I know this is harsh, but it’s the way it works in the rest of the world. Like to apply it to academia.
As noted, Matthews is also accused of threatening and belittling students. He threatened to sue students on his Facebook page and via e-mail for "defamation," and told a student in class that he/she "needed therapy." Naropa President Charles Lief says that Matthews indeed is "passionate" and "teaches on the edge," which he claims is what makes the university "unique":
"He's provocative. He brings a different perspective, which is obviously unique to Naropa and unique to Boulder. He's an African American, Christian minister who comes to the university from an urban world that, frankly, many people here are not familiar with."
What does that mean, exactly -- "from an urban world"? Is this the same sort of "academic speak" that purports to exonerate Matthews for his actions because ... blacks are "[culturally] different"?
For the most part, the university is free to believe and apply such nonsense, and Matthews is free to believe as he wishes and to be as "provocative" as he pleases. However, some common cultural and societal norms have to be in place; penalties for refusing to actually teach and threatening/belittling students should be one of them, obviously.
It seems the shooter at the Colorado high school yesterday was ... a socialist:
Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with [the shooter] Pierson, described him as a very opinionated Socialist.
"He was exuberant I guess," Conrad said. "A lot of people picked on him, but it didn't seem to bother him."
In one Facebook post, Pierson attacks the philosophies of economist Adam Smith who through his invisible hand theory pushed the notion that the free market was self-regulating. In another post, he describes himself as "Keynesian."
"...I was wondering to all the neoclassicals and neoliberals, why isn't the market correcting itself?" he wrote. "If the invisible hand is so strong, shouldn't it be able to overpower regulations?"
Pierson also appears to mock Republicans on another Facebook post, writing "you republicans are so cute" and posting an image that reads: "The Republican Party: Health Care: Let 'em Die, Climate Change: Let 'em Die, Gun Violence: Let 'em Die, Women's Rights: Let 'em Die, More War: Let 'em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?"
Ace notes that the Denver Post, from which the above comes, has now "stealth edited" out the "S" word -- "socialist." Naturally. The NARRATIVETM, after all. You'll hear not much of this shooting now; that is, not much regarding the shooter's motives, beliefs and associations. All we'll be treated to is the [supposed] popular demand for more gun control.
UPDATE: Via Ace: The Denver Post has an explanation for its editing out of the "socialist" reference -- it didn't want to "apply a label" by a fellow student, especially one he "likely didn't understand." But ... they kept in the reference about the shooter's affinity for Keynesian economics. So the Post thinks these high schoolers don't get socialism, but do comprehend Keynesian theory. Yeah, makes sense a'ight.
Elsewhere at Ace, Gabriel Malor provides us with a brief history of the MSM's penchant for invoking The NARRATIVETM -- i.e. blaming conservatives/Tea Partiers/right-wingers/gun loving nuts/anti-government types -- when it comes to such incidents. The most infamous? Probably the one for whom the name of this post is referenced:
July 2012: James Holmes shoots up theater in Aurora, CO. Brian Ross suggests he's a TPer on live TV. (Just another unmedicated nutter.)— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) December 14, 2013
A New Jersey cop accidentally stapled his ring finger, so "badly" that the "wound" was the size a pin prick, and now collects an over-$45K per year tax free disability pension. His lawyer told him he was "entitled" to it, and a judge agreed, saying "the state could not prove he stapled his hand on purpose."
In Fort Worth, TX, a teen was sentenced to ten years probation for killing four people while driving drunk. What did his lawyer argue? They said
his parents were responsible for the teen’s actions that night because of the way he had been raised. Defense attorneys put a psychologist on the stand who testified Couch was a product of wealth and got whatever he wanted. The psychologist also testified the teen was allowed to drink at a very young age and began driving at 13 years old. Defense attorneys argued Couch needed treatment, not jail ...
Amazingly, a judge agreed.
One of the more satisfying episodes of TNG is the third season's "The Defector." At the beginning of this installment, we see a Romulan warbird pursuing a Romulan scout ship. The warbird fires on the scout, crippling it and injuring its pilot, but the Enterprise (which was alerted to the incident and hence was nearby) quickly transports the pilot to sickbay and snags the scout with its tractor beam. The warbird, now in Federation space, backs off, cloaks itself, and retreats.
The pilot is tended to by Dr. Crusher, and is promptly interrogated by Commander Riker and Counselor Troi. He claims to be a logistics clerk who has stumbled upon a [Romulan] plot to drag their empire and the Federation into conflict. He states he has seen plans for a Romulan base on Nelvana III in the Neutral Zone, the supposed focal point for their thrust into Federation space. Needless to say, the Enterprise officers are skeptical. Almost matter of factly, and easily missed if one is not paying attention, is Picard asking Worf to come to his ready room.
After more questioning and continuing doubt (especially by Capt. Picard), not to mention feekinsg of homesickness spurred on by a visit to the holodeck, the "clerk" finally reveals himself to be one Admiral Jarok, which instantly gives his story a lot more credibility. Initially hesitant to reveal much, if anything, about Romulan secrets, a stern Picard informs Jarok that he has "already made his choice" -- that is, to defect -- and if he really wants to prevent a war between the two quadrant powers, he'd better inform the Enterprise crew of everything he knows.
As the Enterprise ventures into the Neutral Zone towards Nelvana III to check out ambiguous signals which may or may not be what Jarok has revealed, Capt. Picard remains unconvinced. Once it's confirmed there is no base, Picard orders the ship back to Federation space ASAP, but is suddenly confronted by two decloaking Romulan warbirds. Admiral Tomalak mockingly informs Picard that this time it is he who has ventured into the Neutral Zone (the last time the two confronted each was in the episode "The Enemy" where the Enterprise encountered Romulan shenanigans on a planet inside the Neutral Zone). He demands Picard surrender, which is refused. Tomalak pleads for Picard to consider his crew's lives, but again Picard refuses, saying "If the cause is just and honorable, his crew will follow him to their deaths." He then asks Tomalak if he "is prepared to die," to which Tomalak snorts that he expected more than idle threats. Picard then says, "Then you shall have it!" He motions to Worf, and then suddenly three Klingon Birds of Prey decloak around the Romulan vessels! Picard had clandestinely prepared for just this eventuality, natch!
Tomalak, totally busted, attempts a measure of saving face, exclaiming "You'll still not survive our assault!" To which Picard responds, "You'll not survive ours. Shall we die together?" Tomalak then nods to Picard and says "I look forward to our next encounter, Captain" and then he and his ships re-cloak and leave.
Despite the satisfying humiliation of Tomalak, Admiral Jarok is crushed. He's thrown his life away for nothing -- the entire thing was an elaborate ruse to ferret out [Romulan] traitors and get revenge on Picard and the Enterprise. The final scene shows Picard entering Jarok's quarters where he is tending to by Dr. Crusher. Jarok has committed suicide, but he left behind a letter with hopes that one day, if peace is established between the Federation and Romulans, his family will be able to read it.
Of course, this is impossible now, since the 2009 Star Trek reboot film establishes that Romulus is destroyed in Trek continuity proper. I wonder if a future film (or TV series) will return to the "main" Trek timeline.
My hometown of Wilmington, DE is asking the federal Centers for Disease Control to "study" the problem of violence in the city.
Really. Is there a dopier move that could be made by the city council? I mean, look at this:
Councilman Robert A. Williams, a former city police lieutenant, said the city must take “any means necessary” to solve the problem, including “reaching out to any entity – federal, state or local.” "We need any answers we can get our hands on,” he said.
Councilwoman Maria D. Cabrera – also resolution co-sponsor – said she, too, hopes the CDC will study the city’s violence, which she called “an embarrassment” to the home state of the vice president of the United States.
Councilwoman Hanifa G.N. Shabazz’s resolution called it “imperative that national attention be given to the violence,’’ urging the agency that is “charged to protect Americans from health and safety threats ... [to] examine and respond to the current surge in gun violence and help mitigate the effects it has on our children and youth.”
Shabazz also mentioned that "While some Delaware government officials might view city lawmakers proposing solutions as 'squawking council members,'’ if the CDC conducted such a study, they might pay more attention to findings and possible solutions."
Actually, those "some Delaware government officials" would be spot-on. This is nothing but squawking. Think about Occam's Razor, Ms. Shabazz. You can study this problem until Ragnarok, but the solution will always be the same: Stable, two-parent families. The article goes on to note the conclusions of a previous CDC study of 50 metro areas:
That report suggested several possible strategies to reduce gun violence, such as early education, school-based programs, parent- and family-based initiatives, and efforts to improve school, neighborhood and community environments.
In essence then, the government should supplant the role of the parent. Which, if that is truly what you wish, fine. But then finding the means (i.e. money) by which to implement the solution will be exceedingly difficult. Why? Well, for one, times are tough. But two, why should people who actually live their lives as, y'know, they're supposed to -- only have kids they can actually care for, live within their means, don't demand others do "stuff" for them, etc. -- have to ante up for those who don't?
Of course, "living lives the way we're 'supposed' to" may be taking on an entirely different meaning in this day and age. It's becoming not only a political difference, but more a generational one as well. And, of course, I am in no way referring to those who truly require assistance, those who've encountered difficult times through no fault of their own (like mothers whose husbands have abandoned them, for example). Nevertheless, you do not need a bunch of social scientists to study this problem. Instead, get these same scientists to propose ways to encourage -- even demand -- stable family relationships. The black illegitimacy rate is over 70 percent. 70 percent! That figure is, frankly, astonishing. And no, it has nothing to do with the vestiges of slavery and legal discrimination of the Jim Crow era, because in 1940, for example, the black illegitimacy rate was a mere 19 percent. I think everyone can agree that anti-black discrimination and prejudice were much worse in 1940 than in 2013.
The obstacles that such a pronouncement would face should by now be obvious: 1) the "progressive" Left would have a cow about the "stable two-parent family" stipulation. After all, making such ... moral judgments is anathema to them. Remember, nothing is "superior" to anything else; 2) it's been "progressives" who're largely responsible for the [dependency] situation in big cities; and, lastly, 3) any claim that education is "underfunded" is usually specious. Some large cities spend more per pupil than some [affluent] suburban areas. Of course, a lot of this city school funding is due to the special programs needed for remediation, but then this goes right back to the main point about lack of parental structure. I've had numerous foreign parents tell me over the years that back home (in their home -- [much] less affluent -- country), they would kill (figuratively, natch) to have the materials, technology and support in their classrooms and schools that we have here. Merely throwing cash at education does squat. Again, I give you the Kansas City Experiment.
Save your money, city council, and your bluster. For such a serious matter, it's boring already.
UPDATE: As noted in the comments, it's head-scratching the News Journal did not bother to note that Ms. Shabazz's comments about "post-traumatic stress" in the article had more to them. As Kilroy notes, she attributed the PTS to slavery.
Wait -- I do know why the Journal edited this out.
Richard Cooper at Salon.com says superheroes are just that -- "a bunch of fascists."
The main problem is force: sheer physical force, which lies at the heart of the superhero myth, something Steven T. Seagle observed nicely in “It’s a Bird…”, his poignant autobiographical graphic novel about his reluctance to write for a Superman comic, in which he points out that Superman triumphs by being able to move faster and hit harder than everyone else: essentially a fascist concept.
Chris Yogerst in The Atlantic has a very good rebuttal to Cooper. For example, in retort to Superman only being able to triumph because he's massively strong, he writes
We want to see good triumph over evil, and “good” in this case means more than just defeating the bad guy—it means handling power responsibly.
The “fascism” metaphor breaks down pretty quickly when you think about it. Most superheroes defeat an evil power but do not retain any power for themselves. They ensure others’ freedom. They rarely deal with the government, and when they do it is with wariness, as in the Iron Man films, where Tony Stark refuses to hand over control of his inventions.
Indeed, superhero tales are full of subplots about how heroes limit their own power: hibernating once the big bad guy has been defeated, wearing disguises to live ordinary lives, choosing not to give into the temptation to ally with the villain or use their powers for profit or even civilizational progress.
What can I add? I agree wholeheartedly.
If Cooper really wants to investigate how superheroes become fascist, he should read Mark Gruenwald's superb Squadron Supreme series and various trade paperbacks of The Authority. In the former (taking place in Marvel's alternate "Earth-S"), the obvious Justice League analogue team decides to take control of the planet after chaos ensues following the defeat of an alien super-intellect (which had, as it were, taken over the minds of the Squadron). Of course their intentions are "good;" however, they soon begin to dabble in very controversial areas like "modifying" the minds of convicted criminals so that they'll be "cured" of their criminality. Further, founding member Nighthawk (who had previously retired from the team and was actually president of the US when the alien had attacked) quits the Squadron precisely because he believes the Squadron will become like unto fascist overlords. Nighthawk eventually founds his own team (called the "Redeemers") to fight the Squadron. In the climactic battle, some members of both teams are killed, and the Squadron agrees to stand down and rulers.
The pinnacle of a left-wing wet dream comic, The Authority sounds right up Cooper's alley. The entire team is comprised of hardcore "progressives" who have no qualms about exerting their power over the planet for they perceive to be "the good of all," and ultimately end up executing a coup d'etat of the United States. Ironically, the TPB Coup D'Etat was co-created by Micah Wright, an outspoken anti-[Iraq] war activist who had claimed he was an ex-Army Ranger. He got ink in the Washington Post and air time on Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!" show before real Army Rangers contacted relevant media to reveal Wright was an imposter. Caught, Wright had to come clean.
In The Authority Revolution trades, team arch-nemesis Henry Bendix unleashes a plan to oust the team from world power. The Authority ultimately defeat Bendix, but they give up day-to-day command of the US (and the world). They do warn the planet, however: "We'll be watching." Has Superman ever made such a warning? Batman? The Avengers?
For another lefty-gasm, Cooper might also want to check out Gail Simone's The Movement which is based on the Occupy Movement. It doesn't seem to be selling particularly well (gee, wonder why?), opening at the #74 spot in sales with its debut issue.
The co-CEO of Archie Comics' says she couldn’t have discriminated against her underlings - because they’re white men.
In papers filed in Westchester Supreme Court, Nancy Silberkleit's lawyer says a gender discrimination lawsuit filed against her earlier this year by a group of Archie Comics employees should be tossed in part because white guys aren’t members of “a protected class.”
The embattled co-CEO's filing also mocked the five employees’ claim that she’d used her “gender as a weapon” by yelling “Penis! Penis! Penis!” during a business meeting.
“Plaintiffs fail to allege that any such comments were directed at any of the plaintiffs in particular, or they could cause extreme emotional distress even if they had been,” her court filings say.
First, imagine if the gender roles were reversed. Second, this is a perfect microcosm of leftist thinking -- we're all members of a "group," not individuals, and some are more "protected" than others. Third, there's been (thus far) nary a word from the comicbook creators in Twitterville. Our 'ol pal Ron Marz, for example, is still obsessing over George Zimmerman.
Anyone recall this local (Delaware) story about a family's ... "determination" to keep a basketball hoop up near their house despite it being in violation of state "Free Zone" law? Well, the whole dispute has been settled:
Many of the [McCafferty's] lawsuit’s counts were dismissed by Brady early on and the case had been narrowed to claims about retroactive and selective enforcement of the state’s “clear zone” law and if DelDOT employees had immunity from suit.
Brady found that DelDOT employees, who were doing their jobs, did have immunity and that warning letters sent by DelDOT months earlier satisfied the need for due process. The judge also ruled that the “clear zone” law is safety-related and that enforcement of safety laws cannot be challenged as improperly “retroactive.”
As for selective enforcement, Brady wrote that in order to prevail on that claim, the enforcement must “shock the conscience” of the court.
“Though the court would rather have seen this matter resolved differently, its conscience is not shocked. The intrusion was minimal (relative to the standards for ‘shocking the conscience’), and the mandate and purpose of the statute is clear and persuasive,” wrote Brady, adding that seven other similar basketball poles were removed that day.
Well there you go. Seven other b-ball poles removed the same day, yet the McCaffertys claimed "selective enforcement." Doesn't seem very "selective" to me.
... and I thoroughly enjoyed it. When it first hit theatres, there was a big controversy over (and I don't think I'm giving anything away here, now) Superman killing General Zod at the climactic battle's end. I personally don't have an issue with how it all panned out, but then again I am not as versed in Superman lore as I am with that of many Marvel characters.
Nevertheless, it has been established that Supes has killed before, and that it caused him great torment afterwards. In Superman vol. 2 #22, Supes executed an alternate-universe Zod, along with his two cohorts (basically the same trio as that seen in the film Superman II) after they obliterated an alternate-Earth. Superman could take the chance that the trio would do the same to our planet, and so took the fatal action. I first learned about this incident in the TPB Superman vs. Aliens, of all things. Supes' despair over his actions was referenced because he was (at first) reluctant to kill any of the [Alien] xenomorphs he had encountered on a desolate asteroid.
In MoS, it is clear that Kal-El is in [spiritual] agony after snapping Zod's neck (see above), shown by his tears and bellowing scream following his fateful action. And just like the situation in the comcbook referenced above, Zod had vowed never to give up -- give up trying to destroy Earth -- as long as he lived. For me, killing Zod was the only alternative. There certainly wasn't any place to imprison him, given that the Phantom [Zone] space drives were all just destroyed.
There's certainly stuff to be nitpicky about in MoS, but I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I think it provides a more realistic situation with the [human] population coming to realize that there's a nigh-omnipotent alien living in their midst. Henry Cavill as Clark/Supes is excellent -- he's built like Hugh Jackman, and a better actor than Brandon Routh (Superman Returns). The distrust of the US government regarding Supes is very much like that of the truly excellent Superman: Secret Identity written by Kurt Busiek. In it, Supes just wants to be left alone, to live in peace and raise his family, and to help out humanity when he can. But the government hounds him, and he eventually has to come to an agreement with some higher-ups to have his persecution cease.
The Kryptonian backstory was very well done, with notable homages to the classic 1978 and 1981 films. I thought the planet's 100,000 year interstellar history was reminiscent of Zenn-La's -- home of the Norrin Radd, aka the Silver Surfer. Both civilizations journeyed the stars and planted their flag on thousands of worlds ... only to get bored and return home to live a risk-averse life of comfort and plenty.
I certainly look forward to the follow-up, which is supposed to feature both Superman and Batman.
Geez, ya'd think what with the way guys like Ron Marz, Dan Slott and Tom Brevoort were all high and mighty about what people asked regarding the new [Muslim] Ms. Marvel, the company would be more sensitive. Guess not:
A Hindu group has called on ABC to apologize following an episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that suggested the god Vishnu, like the hero Thor, might be an alien.
In the Nov. 19 episode, which tied into the events of Thor: The Dark World, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and hacker Skye (Chloe Bennett) have an exchange designed to deliver exposition about the Asgardians, who in the Marvel Universe are ancient aliens who were mistaken for gods when they visited Earth thousands of years ago. “Do you think other deities are aliens, too?” Skye asks. “Vishnu for sure, right?”
Normally this would be a non-story despite what the group thinks (it later states that it "believes in free speech, but..."), but considering the ridiculously PC nature and rabid manner in which many of the company's creators go after any fan (or non-fan) who dares utter something critical of their characters, creators or stories, I frankly hope this ruckus kicks them in their pompous asses.
That said, Universal Society of Hinduism? Get a life. And I'm certain just about any other religious group, Christian included, would have objected had the actors referenced their religion. I doubt, however, that Marvel would have been brave enough to mention a Muslim deity or figure since to do that would have brought on death threats. Hindus aren't known for doing that sort of thing. (Just recall MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell's remarks regarding criticizing the "right" religion.)
The risible Kanye West has claimed that Boss Obama is failing because "he doesn't have 'connections' like those of 'Jewish people.'”
Always "lovely" to hear anti-Semitism during a Jewish holiday, eh?
Did anyone catch Macklemore's & Ryan Lewis' ludicrous claim at the American Music Awards this past weekend? It should come as no surprise, really, but here it is:
“I was talking to my friend before the show, and he reminded me of a great Martin Luther King quote: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award, I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids that are dying each year due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it.
“This is really happening — our friends, our neighbors, our peers, our fans — and it’s time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it,” Macklemore concluded, as the audience watching inside Los Angeles’s Nokia Theater applauded appreciatively.
Really? Really?? This sort of utter crap is just what I was talking about here -- we're supposed to outright ignore racial aspects when it's patently obvious, but clamor about it when it's patently dubious.
*Sigh* Always remember this, for example, when some "progressive" demands we have "real" conversations about race. They do not really want such. They want you to shut up and listen ... and then accept what they say. Period.
'Ya gotta love the ever-predictable NY Times. They have an article up today about the supposedly new "game" dubbed "Knockout" where solitary victims are cold-cocked into unconsciousness by an individual (who's usually part of a larger group). The uncomfortable fact (for the NY Times and other "progressives") is that the attacks have largely been carried out by young black men.
Now, the article quotes several in law enforcement who caution that "Knockout" may not be an organized effort, nor an "epidemic." Which is certainly the prudent thing to do. However, leave it to the academic to utter the following:
Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, said much of the fear sown by the reports may have racial roots.
“There’s an element to who wants to see this through the lens of race,” he said. “The kids in Jersey probably set off racial alarms.”
In other words, since the attackers are black, only racial (i.e. white) opportunists are making a big deal out of this.
Curiously, I don't recall hearing this sentiment from the unfortunately named Butts and many others when, for example, the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin affair was in the headlines, and we were treated to "alarms" of it being "open season" on black men in America. Do you? The "alarms" are precisely what the MSM trafficked then, as they typically do when the races are in the "correct" attacker-victim position.
Duncan, who is now apologizing for his remarks about "white suburban moms" being worried that their kids aren't as bright as they thought (due to the "increased rigor" of the new Common Core standards), may not have been as completely far off the mark as some have been clamoring.
Now, I certainly think the Common Core standards are pretty much BS, won't "raise" standards or improve education whotsoever, and represent still more federal overreach into an area better left to the states and localities, Duncan's comment, while racially insensitive, hit a nerve among the group he was criticizing. Teachers will tell you that, on the whole, less affluent parents (who don't show up for open houses, PTA meetings, etc.) are rarely heard from about their kids' grades and/or behavior. More affluent parents (who do show up for open houses, PTA meetings, etc.) are heard from about their kids' grades and/or behavior. And, taken comprehensively, this is not a bad thing. However, sometimes that parental concern can come with a high degree of entitlement. What do I mean by this? Badgering about grades. Excuse-making for discipline infractions. Demands for higher placement in ability level "tracking." Do not misunderstand -- inquiries about all of these are very legitimate. What I am talking about is going beyond when everything has been explained to them to the Nth degree ... and more (if that's even possible).
I believe many teachers will tell you that that is more debilitating to them than the parent who just doesn't care at all. Perhaps this is what Duncan was expressing -- again, very poorly and out of frustration. Then again, how would he know? He never taught a class in his life.
Just look here.
Policies originally designed to keep guns out of schools have instead kept excessive numbers of Pennsylvania students out of their classrooms as educators applied the rules in an overly broad manner, says a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.
And black students, Latino students, and students with disabilities are more likely to be suspended than their peers, says the Nov. 14 report, which is based on a statewide, district-by-district analysis of Pennsylvania data on suspensions, expulsions, and school referrals to police.
The implication being, of course, that such policies are racially motivated. But ... I thought the education industry is among the most progressive of institutions? How can this be?
The answer is, such policies are not racially motivated, but are borne out of a desire to protect students and maintain order. [For] all students. Certainly, "zero tolerance" policies in anecdotal cases have been taken to ridiculous extremes. There are plenty of examples. But consider:
But in practice, the law's reach extended beyond its original intentions as districts expanded the definition of "weapons" beyond firearms and removed students from the classroom for more minor, discretionary offenses, such as school uniform violations and talking back to adults, the report said.
"I understand the mentality that you've got to get the bad kids out of school so the good kids can learn, but when you actually look at who's doing what in schools, it really doesn't break down that cleanly or that simply," report author Harold Jordan said in an interview.
Actually, it does in most cases, Mr. Jordan. And while I can certainly sympathize with not suspending a student for a dress code violation (unless it involves repeated violations and/or highly inappropriate dress), talking back to teachers/administrators isn't supposed to warrant a suspension in certain cases? Saying "F*** you!!" wouldn't warrant such? And, exactly how have such disciplinary policies evolved from the 1995 federal Gun-Free Schools Act? Such student code of conduct policies have existed for long before that.
This is yet another flawed "disparate impact/proportionate representation" argument. Instead of focusing on making students behave better, the onus is on teachers and administrators to be more "accepting" or "forgiving" of [chronically] disruptive behavior. The article proposes "positive behavioral interventions" and no removal of any student unless "there is a real and immediate threat to safety." Which means that, a student could run up and down the hallway for a half hour screaming obscenities, and since there wasn't "a real and immediate threat," this pupil shouldn't be suspended. And an administrator or counselor would have to spend time "advising" and discussing with this student why what he/she did was "inappropriate." Not to mention, as we've written about many times here, it wouldn't be surprising if the staff was required to undergo "diversity" or "cultural sensitivity" training which, condescendingly, would propose that [minority] behavior is "misunderstood" by [white] teachers and other school personnel.
Ironically, whereas once liberals wanted the same rules to apply to all, regardless of background, now we have to take "certain things" into consideration. But these "certain things" must always be of a benign, or positive, vein. You know, that African-American students as a whole, "are loud", for example. it's anathema to ask hard questions or mention uncomfortable points.
Your average parents who actually care about their child's education don't give a hoot about the above nonsense, and/or they guffaw at it. And where such ridiculously PC school policies are in effect, such parents will vote with their feet -- if school choice is allowed where they live. I'm sure people like Mr. Jordan above would then label these parents as "racist," or at least "classist" or "elitist" ... merely for desiring a decent, chaos-free education for their kid, when, all in all, it's folks like Jordan whose advocacy results in such parental decisions.
Here: The Boycott on Normalcy.
Recall what I wrote yesterday: "We know we're not some misanthropomorphic miscreants; in fact, a majority of Americans share our values on any number of topics today." Esquire magazine had a poll recently, what it called "The New American Center." In it (via Jim Geraghty), the mag found
As I noted above, people like Perry (yeah, I know, I know ... I shouldn't have linked to his sorry-ass blog ... just call me a "compassionate conservative," OK?) will always insist -- with perpetual assistance from the mainstream media, natch -- that no matter what, they are right. Three-quarters of the American public (in this case) be damned, not to mention myriad court decisions, including those by the US Supreme Court. "Progressives" like Perry just know better than you and me -- they can feel it deep within themselves, and they'll do virtually anything to make you "get it." Which, in the Internet's case, means trolling and off-topic comments, and when you still refuse to accept what they say, that's when the epithets start flying: "racist," "hater," "bigot," "un-American," "heartless," blah blah blah.
What they constantly fail to grasp is how their "Great White Hope" paternalism is what's really "racist," "bigoted," etc.
An oldie but goodie paragraph from Jonah Goldberg:
Seriously, who else do people think are behind efforts to ban big sodas or sue hairdressers for charging women more than men? Who harasses little kids for making toy guns out of sticks, Pop Tarts, or their own fingers? Who wants to regulate the air you breathe, the food you eat, and the beverages you drink? Who wants to control your thermostat? Take your guns? Your cigarettes? Heck, your candy cigarettes? Who's in favor of speech codes on campuses and "hate crime" laws everywhere? Who's in favor of free speech when it comes to taxpayer-subsidized "art" and pornography (so long as you use a condom, if liberals get their way) but then bang their spoons on their high chairs for strict regulations when it comes to political speech? Who loves meddling, finger-wagging billionaires like Michael Bloomberg when they use state power and taxpayer money to herd, bully, and nudge people but thinks billionaires like the Koch brothers who want to shrink government are the root of all tyranny?
I'm not a fan of country music by any means, but it sure was refreshing to see a couple country stars (at the CMAs last evening) mock a Democratic president. Check out what Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood did regarding ObumbleCare:
As could be predicted, "progressives" were not happy, some (most?) with little sense of irony:
I think it's very disrespectful for the country award to make fun of obamacare! You didn't do jokes on anything that Bush did!— Vivian Betts (@vbetts51) November 7, 2013
Apparently Ms. Betts has never seen the VMAs, the Grammy's, the Tony's, the AMA's and especially the Academy Awards.
The Outhousers report that the new Ms. Marvel will be a Muslim chick -- "Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teenage girl with the ability to shapeshift."
The book will be written by G Willow Wilson, herself a convert to the Muslim faith. She says "The comic will ... see Khan struggle with her faith, although ... she won't evangelize her faith in the comic." I am indeed curious to see what those "struggles" will entail. Knowing modern comics as we do, the safe bet is that we'll be treated to what Geoff Johns did with the Muslim Green Lantern. Also, recall what transpired when Frank Miller wanted Batman to go after al Qaeda. Will we see Khan "struggling" to deal with American "Islamophobia?" The stereotypes of terrorism? Or will Wilson really be daring and delve into how her faith treats women, for instance? Will she question actions such as these? We will see. That is, if the book makes it to ten issues, which I highly doubt.
Meanwhile, our ridiculously politically correct pal Ron Marz of course chimed in on the subject:
Glad there's gonna be a comic with a teen Muslim girl hero, because we need diversity. Also glad, because it upsets all the right people.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) November 5, 2013
I always get a real kick out of the all-consuming need "progressives" possess for "diversity." Why doesn't Marz, say, freely give up some of his writing jobs to people of the "correct" hue/religion/sexual orientation? I mean, if it's sooooo important? Doesn't Marz acknowledge his "white privilege," for heaven's sake? And, who exactly does this announcement "upset," Ron? Aside from extreme hardcore racists (of which there are pitifully few, if any, in comic fandom), who's miffed? I personally couldn't care less, but there will be those like myself who question what Wilson will write of Khan's "struggles," as I noted above, like will they cover a broad cross-section, or will they merely be the same PC tripe that comics have given us for over a decade or so, now?
ELSEWHERE: As you'd expect, Comics Alliance loves this news. It says of Muslims: "... one of the most maligned and misunderstood minority groups in America today." Actually, for contemporary comicbook creators and many opiners, that title should be awarded to conservative Americans.
Newsarama interviews writer Wilson. At article's end Wilson notes "It’s not at all a serious reckoning on religion in the U.S. or a clash of civilizations. I’m not interested in that."
Sounds like a good idea, Ms. Wilson.
UPDATE: Avi at FCMM notes that creator Wilson has a questionable history:
Wilson is the same writer who attacked Holland for taking security steps to prevent terrorist attacks, spoke disrespectfully of apostates, among others, and even interviewed an Islamofascist from Egypt named Ali Gomaa, who himself wrote an anti-Israel screed in the WSJ.
If she uses such antics in Ms. Marvel I give the book four issues, max.
UPDATE 2: Douglas Ernst has some thoughts.
Add this video to the thousands of hours of books and videos explaining the futility of the "War on Drugs."
We ain't gonna win it folks. Not now, not ever. Decriminalize, legalize (some of it), tax it, regulate it and the rest is a public health problem, not a crime.
I keep telling you fanboys and rubes (but I repeat myself) Apple hates you. They think (read: know) you're stupid and aim to separate you from as much of your money as possible. You idiots line up outside stores for days in advance of a product launch for a phone that is 1% better than the previous phone. Oh that phone had a 4.7 megapixel camera? The new one has 5 megapixels. WOW! Let's all run out and buy one for $600. Stupid stupid stupid. They release the same product 4 times a year because they hate you.
At first, I thought it was my imagination. Around the time the iPhone 5S and 5C were released, in September, I noticed that my sad old iPhone 4 was becoming a lot more sluggish. The battery was starting to run down much faster, too. But the same thing seemed to be happening to a lot of people who, like me, swear by their Apple products. When I called tech analysts, they said that the new operating system (iOS 7) being pushed out to existing users was making older models unbearably slow. Apple phone batteries, which have a finite number of charges in them to begin with, were drained by the new software. So I could pay Apple $79 to replace the battery, or perhaps spend 20 bucks more for an iPhone 5C. It seemed like Apple was sending me a not-so-subtle message to upgrade. [snip]
When major innovations remain out of reach, and degrading durability threatens to tick off loyal customers, companies like Apple can still take a cue from the fashion industry. If you can brainwash consumers into developing new tastes that make the old stuff look uncool for aesthetic rather than functional reasons, you still have a shot at harvesting more sales from your existing customer base. But it seems Apple may have already figured this out too. Just check out the wait times for the iPhone 5S in that shiny new gold color.
Dave Ramsey is not a stupid man. He knows more about personal finance than you do. More than most people, I'll wager. Listen to this sermon:
A parent of a losing football team has filed an accusation of "bullying" against the winning team's coach:
In the complaint, the dad of a player on the Western Hills High School football team claims Aledo High School football coach Tim Buchanan encouraged his players to bully their opponents by running up the score.
"We all witnessed bullying firsthand, it is not a pretty sight," the complaint reads according to MyFoxDFW.com. “I did not know what to say on the ride home to explain the behavior of the Aledo coaches for not easing up when the game was in hand.”
The final score was 91-0. Buchanan pulled his starters early and played 2nd and 3rd stringers. But he didn't tell the subs not to score.
"I'm not gonna tell a kid that comes out here and practices six to seven hours a week trying to get ready for football games ‘Hey, you can't score a touchdown if you get in, you're gonna have to take a knee,' cause that may be the only touchdown that kid gets to score in his high school career.”
He's absolutely right. As I noted back in September, what precisely should a coach do in such cases? It's not his fault the other team(s) absolutely suck, or, as mostly in Buchanan's case, a team is placed in a new division after realignment ... a division historically low on football talent.
If the parent "did not know what to say on the ride home (to his son)," then, in all honesty, he might wanna shore up on his parenting skills (such that they are). I mean, really? How 'bout, "Hey son, it doesn't matter what the score says ... all that matters is that you did your best"? Or, "Aledo always has had great teams. There's nothing at all to be ashamed of"? Does dad honestly think that filing a "bullying" complaint is the solution? Or that such will somehow shield his son from actual bullying in the future? If anything, dad has merely opened the door for a torrent of wisecracks and remarks aimed his son's way.
Pop music without all the production to cover the lack of talent and skill:
Look at these two guys. Raw talent. Impeccable. (h/t American Digest)
I happened -- purely by accident, but I'm glad -- to catch this PBS program last evening, and even for a well-seasoned comics guy, I thought it was quite entertaining. It's divided into three parts, basically dividing the Comics Age into their three main segments: Golden, Silver and Bronze Age. I know less about the Golden Age than the others, and learned quite a few neat tidbits about it. For instance, at one point, 70 million comics were sold around World War II. At the time, that was half the American population! And, for GIs fighting abroad, comics were their reading material of choice!
I didn't enjoy the Silver Age as much, mainly because I knew just about everything presented. What was cool, however, were the "insider" nuggets offered up by guys like Jim Steranko (Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD) and Neal Adams during their stints in the late 60s and early 70s. Adams' recounting of a DC editor telling him and writer Denny O'Neil that he wanted Green Arrow and Green Lantern together in their own book -- because they both had "green" in their names -- was hysterical.
I fell asleep during the Bronze Age-present segment, but I'm certain I didn't miss much. The previews leading up to it showed a lot from the comicbook films from the last thirteen years or so, and I read that the "bubble" of the 1990s was discussed.
The entire program is available for free for a limited time at the link above.
Quiet France stirs again. I've mentioned this topic from time to time as it is of some interest to me. I had a brief time in France as a student so I do keep half an eye on happenings there. One thing that I've noted in reading is that there is a grand undercurrent there that is right wing. Ultimately, they are a tolerant lot with a favorable eye toward socialism but in terms of social norms, they are fiercely protective of language and culture. FN has an eye towards Dirigisme and Gaullism which counterintuitively, makes it popular with the average Frenchman. Due to the structure of their political system, the major urban areas dominate politics and the more rural areas tend to get run over by civic concerns. There are noted exceptions to this rule (vinters) but it largely holds true.
Politically, this is not unlike the Tea Party here. The two are completely different in ideology but alike in their origin. The Tea Party grew out of discontent with wild spending and borrowing over the cliffs of fiscal sanity. The FN is not dissimilar except that they are coalescing around an already existing party and one with a troubling history. FN has been successful in rebranding itself as a nationalist party first and a socially conservative one second. They are decidedly leftist (by US standards) but rather towards the center than Msr Hollande. They are drawing numbers now, I believe, because the two previous PMs refused to deal with the unassimilated immigrants and the associate problems it creates. The average Frenchman sees the growing influence of Islam at home and the waning influence of France abroad and sees a world that is upside down. FN seeks to flip this on its head and restore France to its "rightful" place. Should Hollande and the socialists ignore these problems at their peril. How much of a nudge does France need to make FN a major player? What happens if they gain a majority in the assembly? I'm afraid we may find out before too long.
I believe Obama has done more damage to the Left than they realize. In fact, I don't think we will know just how much damage he has done until he's out of office for a while.
Al Jazeera America’s Ratings Hit Zero. Alec Torres notes that "the 10 p.m. primetime show Consider This averaged only 3,000 viewers of those aged 25 to 54 and only 9,000 total. The network's flagship program, America Tonight, "pulled an average of 18,600 viewers last week."
For comparison, even CNN's Piers Morgan managed to pull in over half a million viewers on average.
Ace details how more average folks are shocked -- SHOCKED, I tell you -- that their healthcare premiums are skyrocketing up. The money quote:
But people with no pre-existing conditions like Vinson, a 60-year-old retired teacher, and Waschura, a 52-year-old self-employed engineer, are making up the difference.
"I was laughing at Boehner -- until the mail came today," Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.
"I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family's pocket each year, that's otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy."
Just remember, LIVs: As Ace notes, "Nancy Pelosi guaranteed that everyone's rate would go down. Obama promised a $2500 per year reduction in premiums. He campaigned on it."
The "military thriller" novelist is dead at age 66. Of his work, I'll best remember his Red Storm Rising as it came out my senior year of college and I skipped a few classes to finish the damn thing. It was that good. (It's about a hypothetical World War III scenario ... but would come off as "dated" now, I'd wager.)
... remember what these folks -- who want you to buy their product -- think of you:
The rest of the civilized health-care-is-a-basic-human-right world is like, "You shut down your government over WHAT?"— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) October 1, 2013
Remember these people when the next elections come along. Remember how little they cared about their own constituents.— GailSimone (@GailSimone) October 1, 2013
Remember when Congress didn't approve Obamacare, the Supreme Court struck it down, and we didn't re-elect the President? #MeNeither— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) October 1, 2013
I want a "conscience exemption" for paying Congress.— Kurt Busiek (@KurtBusiek) October 1, 2013
People get confused when they claim we had a revolution over taxation. They forget that the "…without representation" part was key.— Kurt Busiek (@KurtBusiek) October 1, 2013
I want a return to the "reasonable" GOP who impeached a President for lying about getting a blowjob.— Ed Brubaker (@brubaker) September 30, 2013
"No health care for you, or we stop paying our soldiers" is apparently a successful political slogan in some districts.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) September 30, 2013
And complete "WTF?" statements:
Let's not forget that the entire Obamacare/Affordable Care Act law that passed was a HUGE compromise to the GOP. Dems wanted single payer.— Ed Brubaker (@brubaker) September 30, 2013
Then there's these retweeted by our old pal Mark "Go F*** Yourself" Waid:
All this to stop poorer Americans from getting health insurance funded by Medicare cuts and taxing rich people. http://t.co/HydO3bftUM— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) October 1, 2013
If only there were procedures for US to enact new laws and determine if they met standards of Constitution instead of piecemeal extortion— Christopher Kubasik (@MakerCK) October 1, 2013
Never underestimate Speaker Boehner's willingness to risk your job to save his. http://t.co/KI95KbIQQd— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) October 1, 2013
They actually did it. A group of Republicans in the House just forced a government shutdown over Obamacare instead of passing a real budget.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 1, 2013
If you don't care about a creator's personal/political views, good for you. If you want to shell out four dollars per issue for what they put out, even better. But for me -- and many others -- I have a problem with giving my hard-earned cash to someone who pisses on things I believe in, and/or ridiculously distorts same, so much like our pathetic MSM.
I know you've heard it all here before. It just really remains a mystery to me why these guys (and gals) utilize such "business acumen." Maybe they realize their medium is dying so they don't care? That they've already made their cash when times were good, so big deal? Or, hell, maybe it really is a matter of principle -- that these folk put beliefs over money. I don't believe that (there's ample evidence across the "progressive" spectrum of such hypocrisy), but it is a possibility, I have to admit. But even if true, my cash will remain in my well-worn wallet. I don't need to give affirmation to someone who thinks I'm a Neanderthal-browed miscreant.
Being a Rams fan is bad enough (sorry Hube) but now there's this:
Local story: The winner of the Little Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant was stripped of her title when it could not be proven she was actually Hispanic. Jakiyah McKoy is black, but anyone with a smidgen of knowledge about Latinos knows there are many blacks included in that demographic. So, what do we see now?
Blacks are making accusations of racism. Hispanics are facing the hypocrisy of lack of proof of ethnicity ... due to illegal residency in the US. McKoy's backers claim one of her grandmothers was from the Dominican Republic, but resided in the US illegally, thus there is no documentation to prove her background.
If this didn't involve young children it would be hilarious. Be sure to read through the article because you'll encounter so many ["progressive"-based] hypocrisies as to defy description:
As we've noted myriad times here, it's always entertaining to see what happens when political correctness, [radical] multiculturalism, racial bean counting, and identity politics come together ... and tear themselves asunder.
All that being said, pageant officials could have avoided all this had they not allowed McKoy to participate knowing she did not have the necessary verification. And they did know. So, the fault ultimately lies with them.
Y'know, the lame "What Would You Do?" segments. As you'd expect from an arm of the MSM, the show focuses on perturbations of what's politically correct, not stuff that actually happens. Their latest nugget that caught attention was a cheesy 20-something in a "patriotic" T-shirt who was berating customers for patronizing a café run by Muslims. An American soldier happened to be waiting in line, and upon hearing the twit's bigoted rant, soldier guy reamed the twit out. Apparently this was so surprising, so unexpected ... that outfits like the HuffPo used headlines like American Soldier Responds To Anti-Muslim Comments In An Incredible Way on 'What Would You Do?' (My emphasis.)
But why doesn't John Quiñones and co. set up shop, say, in a situation like when General David Petraeus was screamed at by radical students in New York? Or, when right-leaning speakers are routinely shouted down during talks/lectures at various campuses across the country? Ha. We know why ABC won't. The show that is concerned about feelings, mores and attitudes -- especially towards minorities -- couldn't care a whit about viewpoint diversity. Which brings me to this item from Ace today: A gay rights group in Italy called Equality Italia is calling for a boycott of Barilla Pasta because its owner, Guido Barilla, said in an interview that he "would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family."
Oh, but he added "... not for lack of respect but because we don’t agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role.” Equality Italia called this ... an "offensive provocation." Barilla, like pretty much anyone attacked by PC Orthodoxy crowd, went on to explain his comments a lot further, saying he "simply wished to underline the central role the woman plays within the family," that he has "the utmost respect for gay people," and "respect[s] gay marriages."
It won't suffice. Twitter was already off an running blasting Barilla's "homophobia" with the #boicottbarilla hashtag.
Now, as Ace notes, "homophobia" now means you must "affirmatively campaign for their political agenda." We've also seen this with other PC darlings like "racism" -- being against affirmative action, for instance. And hell, during these last five years we've seen that mere opposition to President Lemon's policies is "racist." Just because he's black. Here's just one of the latest examples.
UPDATE: As if on cue, insulated northeast big city white "progressive" John Featherman of Philly.com invokes Godwin's Law and quotes Martin Niemöller, Protestant pastor and public foe of Adolf Hitler, about all those "they came for." And, Barilla is "homophobic." And, Featherman won't eat Barilla anymore. Even though Barilla agrees with gay marriage but has the audacity to believe in smart marketing that makes his company money.
Woman of the Year candidate:
The Northern California Federation Youth Football League changed its “mercy rule” this season, imposing hefty fines on teams that beat others too badly, a local television station reported.
If a team with players between the ages of 7 and 13 beats another team by 35 points or more, the coach will suffer a one-week suspension and the team will face a penalty of $200, KCRA reported.
Robert Rochin, the deputy commissioner for the league, said the league was losing a lot of players each season because some teams were getting creamed so badly. Really? Well maybe Rochin and co. could do a better job of evening out the choosing of players so there's more parity among teams? Geez