Hypocritical Hyperbole

The Abomination of Obama's Nation

Ruby Sparks: White Dude Rape Fantasy July 22, 2012

Filed under: Movies,Social Commentary,Social Justice — Micah Griffin @ 08:51
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So Clare and I went to the movies last night to see “Beasts of the Souther Wild” at the manor theater, and as a result got to see trailers for small movies no one cares about. Right out of the gate we were treated to the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.

Here’s the trailer TW awful stuff

It is unbelievable how this is being played off. Not actually, but it’s disgusting. It’s disgusting because it’s being played for laughs. The line goes “You can make her do whatever you want. For the sake of men everywhere you can’t let this opportunity go to waste.” What. The. Fuck?

So the movie is about some guy who can’t write, and then gets inspiration. He starts writing about a girl and he falls in love with her in his head. Then magically she shows up, but she’s all a part of his imagination, but she’s actually real. She exists in the world. At first I thought it was just “Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The Movie” Then it took this even creepier turn. The whole movie is just a white guy imagining his perfect woman who has no control over any part of her life. She exists purely to make him happy. Or to make him feel alive or feel anything. She’s a plot for his non existent novel.

HE CAN MAKE HER DO ANYTHING HE WANTS. She has no ability to consent or not. ANYTHING that she does is up to him. It’s all his fantasy, and it’s incredibly disgusting. Especially since the movie is played for laughs and it’s going to be praised for how much heart it has and how romantic it looks.

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Writing about racism in Historical Fiction July 12, 2012

Filed under: Posts From the Internet — Micah Griffin @ 19:41
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There was a post here http://justinelarbalestier.com/blog/2012/07/13/writing-about-racism-in-the-past/

it’s about writing about racism in the past. The author brings up some questions, and I wrote a rambling response almost as long as their original post. Because that’s what I do.

The first thing I think about after reading this is why is it so important to tell this story? Why do we need another story revolving around racist white people? The reason I don’t read historical fiction is because a great majority of it either completely ignores how awful the time periods were (because most of these stories are written for white western audiences by white western people) for people of color (or any other marginalized group). The people who are so often the main focus of these stories are villains. They’re people who would want to see me killed for looking at them in the face. They don’t think I’m a person or deserving of any sort of equality or human rights. So they are bad guys. When you look at post reconstruction writings you’ll find that a great number of abolitionists regret ending slavery. A lot of “anti-racist” whites of the 1930s were actually extraordinarily racist. Paternalistic is putting it kindly. At the best, the biggest leaders in equality among white people were doing it for personal gain on their parts.
Going back and dealing with regency fiction, most writers don’t ever touch on imperialism and colonialization. Most of these books ignore the fact that anyone but white people even existed in England (or any other western European) countries at the time. It’s a big horrible mess that no one really deals with.
The thing is, historical fiction is most often by white people for white people and that’s where most of the problems come in. Writers of this type of fiction are not usually challenged to think about the implication of everything going on and push themselves to do more work. When they do research, most of the source materials are clearly things written by racist white folks. That’s the only reason we look at Queen Victoria and America’s founding fathers with any sort of fondness. That and we don’t actually care about racism.
So when it comes to writing historically, it seems most writers can’t help themselves but throw their own racism into the mix. This even happens when they catch themselves trying to be progressive. It’s not just in the depiction of characters of color, but in the depiction of the world itself. It’s how exclusionary the world is, or throw away lines about American Progress or the greatness of the Industrial Revolution where it is entirely obvious that the writer has forgotten about slavery, colonialization, genocide, convict leasing, sterilization programs, introducing diseases into populations, Native American relocation projects, and a host of other issues. People just don’t think about these things and it comes through.
White people should really avoid using the N-word at all costs. If historical accuracy is that important to you, cool, but I have to wonder about what kind of person you are. If that sort of historical accuracy is that important then it’s clear you don’t want me anywhere near your writings. There should be no conflict here. That was wrong of them. There better not have been a single historical inaccuracy in the rest of their book if that’s the length they’re going to go to.
What it comes down to is this, you have to ask yourself why you’re writing something and think about the impact that it has. What’s the point of doing what you’re doing. Why aren’t there people of color in this story? Why are there so many white people? What are these white people doing? When I talk about how cool these white people are why am I not mentioning the awful events that got them to the place they are. Stuff like this. Just general “does this actually need to be written?” stuff.

 

You Guys Have No Idea How Much I Loved Amazing Spider-Man July 7, 2012

You honestly don’t. It’s just so much. Some of you may not know this, but Peter Parker and I go way back. You could say we were boys. We kind of grew up together. He helped me learn how to read, learn how to joke, learn how to deal with bullies, and a bunch of other useful life tips. But Pete is weird and went through a phase in his life where he had to figure himself out. I had to leave him for a while. Then Petey figured out he was a young kid entering high school at the same time I was. We hooked up and were boys again ever since. Right up until he died. That was rough, but he was easily replaced once I met Miles (that’s an entirely different story, though).

So, they were going to reboot spider-man again. Only ten years after the first Spidey movie came out, we had to deal with his origin again. I gotta be honest, spidey’s origin was never my favorite part of his story. But whatever, it wasn’t like I wasn’t going to see this movie.

Let’s get this out of the way first. It’s only been ten years. This movie covers the same beats we had before. Pete is a nerd, gets bit by a spider, does the same thing I would’ve done (especially in this situation), Uncle Ben dies, Pete is sad. Has a mentor, mentor is working on super important Oscorp project, mentor has to prove it works or ELSE (seriously, this happens in EVERY SINGLE SPIDER-MAN MOVIE), spidey has to stop the mess that he is somewhat responsible for, cause power. Sorry about the spoilers! (But seriously, it’s spidey’s origin. What did you expect?)

Anyway, this movie won my heart because of how it handled all of these things. First and foremost this is my Peter Parker. I liked the Toby McGuire version well enough, but when you see this version you will get so much more of what I like about Spider-man. Dude is, straight up, an ass hole. Like, all the way ass. When he is Peter Parker, he is ALL THE WAY AKWARD. I may never watch this movie again because of the awkwardness. It’s soooo hard for me to deal with. Because it hurts. Sure it’s done up for movies, but it felt so much like high school awkward shit that it hurt me in my heart. Oh my. Then there’s Gwen Stacy.

I like Spidey’s universe when MJ is around. When they did that stupid shit in the comics where they tried to get rid of MJ I thought it was an awful idea. He doesn’t need to be dating her (and I think it works 4240% better when they’re not being romantic) but she needs to be around. That said, if we’re going to get this Gwen Stacy then keep MJ as far away as possible. Seriously. Just like in the Spectacular Spider-man cartoon Gwen is a BOSS. Science smart and common sense smart. Never a damsel in distress. And what a relief that is to have this movie without worrying about her every four seconds. It made it better to watch, and honestly, more believable. Her and Pete have fantastic moments between them. The chemistry is great, and the awkward scenes of awkward made me turn into a puddle of mess in the theater.

This movie also made me not hate Denis Leary. Sally Field did her best Sally Field impersonation (and I hope we get much more of her in a sequel). Martin Sheen was totally Martin sheen. Glad he’s out of the way.

Let’s cut to the chase though. Spider-man is like, the coolest super hero ever. He swings around New York (which, outside of Dubai, Shanghai, and Tokyo may be the best city to swing around). He is an absolute ass hole to the people he fights. He is totally the most heart broken dude around all the time. He gets all the hero stuff so so right. And then there’s a scene right in the middle of the movie (just skip to the next paragraph to avoid small spoilers). There’s a car that fell off a bridge with a kid inside that’s on fire. Spidey wants to get the kid out of the car, and in order to do so takes off his mask and gives it to the kid. I was so done. Cause it was so a spidey move. Kid is freaked all the way out and spidey makes him feel like he is spider-man just long enough to get the job done. Like. UGH! Then there’s the scene at the end of the movie when Spidey beats the crap out of like seven super cops. Loved it. Then there was the scene where things are going to pot, and the people help spidey and spidey goes all super spidey on them and I was dead in my seat.  Like, dead. I’m not sure they could’ve done a better job (a better job might have been able to be done, but not by these people with these set of expectations and what they needed to do with a so soon reboot) and getting to a lot of the stuff that makes spider-man so freaking great.

So really, I loved this movie more than I figured I would. I was able to get past how it was treading on stuff we’ve already seen not too long ago. But that’s also part of the charm. I’m ten years older than I was, and it took me right back to feeling how I felt at seeing spider-man on the screen for the first time. Now it’s even better because I’m able to articulate my feelings better. Not only that, but when Spider-man came out in 2002 I had some fifteen issues of Ultimate Spider-Man under my belt? Now I have about 180 maybe? Yeah, a lot. I’m in a different place in my life, so how I relate to Peter Parker is entirely different. What hasn’t changed is that when done right, there isn’t an established property that Marvel or DC has that can make me feel the way Spider-Man can. Just nothing. (okay, we all know that seeing a blood syndicate movie might could do that, but that shit aint gonna happen).

How I watch Movies side note: Two POC with speaking parts. One an evil henchman, one a cab driver. The evil henchman had lots of evil henchman screen time and was very very good. Poor Cab driver (didn’t die) but definitely wasn’t around long.

 

Fuck Your Independence Day July 4, 2012

That shit is a lie and you know it.

I don’t even need to write anything else. No thousand words today about how fucked up this bullshit is. You know what’s up. So seriously. Fuck all you white people out here partying for slavery and genocide. Party it up, and I hope you get food poisoning.

 

Look, I’m not saying Merida’s Hair isn’t cool July 3, 2012

It is just super annoying that people are having orgasm sessions over the rendering of this white girl’s hair. It’s super unkempt and therefor gorgeous and how amazing is it that Pixar took all this time and money to work on making it look great. They really spent like six years getting this right? It was so important to have all those curls render independently and have all the good collision detection. That was such a key feature.

Why does this annoy me? Because they’ll never put that kind of work into a black character’s hair. Especially not someone who intentionally leaves their hair curly. All black characters have stock afros, buzz cuts, big fat sticky dreads, or a funny box. That’s it. For black women specifically it’s always super white society presentable, no matter what the actual style of it is. If it’s in a Pixar movie… .well, they don’t actually exist. Yeah, there’s only the stereotypical black woman’s voice from Incredibles. That’s it. (not even any black toys)

It’s frustrating to see so much praise go to pixar for spending untold millions of dollars on this white girl’s hair and they won’t spend a dime on putting a black girl in a movie. We’re never going to hear about how pixar spent millions of dollar trying to figure out how to get my hair to look and act properly on screen. (My hair is big, and nappy, and only partially dreaded in some areas, and drives white people up a wall).

It isn’t just that they spent time and money on her hair either. It’s the specifics of it. It was supposed to be wild and loose because she’s wild and loose and can’t be tamed or whatever. Somehow it still manages to be conventionally attractive and perfect. No tangles or knots, just perfect curls everywhere. Gotta keep this white chick perfect. The thing is, this goes along with the idea that her hair can be completely unmanaged, and still beautiful. That doesn’t work for black people. Unprocessed or unmanaged hair is a sign of laziness, bad parenting, stupidity, lack of education, and a number of other things. There’s just the assumption that there’s something wrong with us if our hair isn’t in societally perfect condition.

So yay to her for having her hair do weird stuff. Yay to Pixar for making sure they got every intricate detail of that right. And hooray to them for continuing their streak of not paying one millionth that amount of detail to character casting choices. Here’s some more praise for all the work you haven’t and never will do getting black folks to look right at all in your movies. I do have one piece of advice though.

I know that developing and programming all these movies is hard, but this one little tip will help.

For your next  movie. Just try adding one actual black character to it. Just try it. Not a cameo appearance, but an actual character. You can’t make them better until you actually start doing it.

But of course you have no interest in that, because there’s no money in it for you guys to animate black people. (wouldn’t hurt if you hired a couple too, but we won’t get into that.)