A Bohemian Rhapsody Movie? How Did I Not Notice?

Today, when reading my portion of stomach turning politics on RAW STORY I noticed that one of the film ads looks suspiciously like it is talking about Queen, but Freddie Mercury was shot way too up close and the picture quality was way too good for seventies. So I looked closer. And I googled. And I found out that two of the living members – Brian May and Roger Taylor – are producing a movie about the band that is due to be released in November this year.

Now I wish I was living somewhere near a functioning cinema that would screen the stuff. My sister absolutely adored Queen when I was a kid, but I did not notice them much at that time. However later in life I found out that some of their melodies actually got embedded in my brain and to this very day Bohemian Rhapsody, Under Pressure or Radio Ga Ga are amongst my most favourite songs and Spread Your Wings is sure to bring tears to my eyes. All the more that since then I learned English and therefore can understand the lyrics, which makes it all the more powerful.

I do not listen to music much, because when I have the time (like when driving) I find it often distracting, and I rarely have time to just sit and enjoy it. But multiple Queen songs rank definitively near the very top of my personal “Top Ten”.

Maybe I should paint a picture again. I used to listen to music when painting. I miss that greatly.

I got mugged in the Memory Lane.

The Last Fiction.

This looks to be fascinating, and it’s a great way to learn too. The Last Fiction is a feature-length animation based on a Persian legend told in the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. I will be looking for it, and looking forward to seeing it. The best bit might be that it’s out of an Iranian studio, so it will not end up being a stupid, offensive, Disnified version. If you could use a bit more information: Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), and Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi.

The Last Fiction.

Tyranny! Anarchy! Humanistic!

Kevin Swanson is railing about movies, again. This time, he’s linking the Austin bomber with Superhero flicks. Once again, I’ll note that Mr. Swanson seems to be very familiar with all these evil movies which spell the end of civilisation as we know it. Mr. Swanson spends a bit of time going on about how the Avenger flicks are all anarchy vs tyranny, which never represents a solution for society. Well no, they don’t, because that’s not what they’re about. They are always about some sort of imminent threat, which requires superheroes to deal with, and they get to do much fighting, and rampaging about in the process. Superheroes don’t sit around, form committees, and pretend to get something done. And of course, there’s always another threat around the corner. Did you never read a comic book, Mr. Swanson?

Anyroad, after the rantiness of anarchy vs tyranny, he moves on to Batman, and he has a very specific complaint:

“This is what happens with the Batman movies as well,” he added. “Batman himself is an anarchist, he is a vigilante setting against other forms of anarchy, as in the Joker … Batman is an anarchist, he is setting himself against other forms of anarchy in an attempt to prove man as God.”

“That is the essence, the very essence of the Batman movies. It was humanistic to the core,” Swanson said. “What they wanted to do was prop up faith in people, they wanted to prop up faith in man instead of turning man to God and submitting to the true and living God. So, again, my friends, these forms of anarchy, these forms of vigilantism, et cetera, et cetera, very much advocated by the chaotic forms, the anarchical forms found in the Batman movies, the Avenger movies, many of the superhero movies.”

Humanistic to the core! Oh no, woe is us! There’s the worst thing of all to a fucking fanatical christian: someone is behaving in a humanist manner. Someone has faith in humankind. Wow, just couldn’t be worse, could it? As the Austin bomber was raised a christian, I’m not altogether sure how this ties in, but Mr. Swanson never has any trouble frothing out over movies, and he’ll use the thinnest of threads as an excuse. As for Batman being a humanist, eh, I don’t know about that. I expect you’d get a lot of people arguing otherwise, Mr. Swanson.

You can read the whole rant at RWW.

Pantherpedia: An Essay Guide.

Members of the Dora Milaje in "Black Panther." From left: Okoye (Danai Gurira), Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba). Matt Kennedy / Marvel Studios

Members of the Dora Milaje in “Black Panther.” From left: Okoye (Danai Gurira), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Ayo (Florence Kasumba). Matt Kennedy / Marvel Studios.

Carolina Miranda has the compleat rundown on Pantherian analysis:

Have you heard about the little movie that tells the story of a royal man-feline named T’Challa who is powered by vibranium and defends a secret African paradise named Wakanda?

Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” is not just an epic comic-book action flick — it could approach the $1-billion mark globally after its opening in China this weekend — the movie is a full-blown cultural phenomenon, generating a cottage industry of cultural criticism that touches on a spectacular array of topics, including racial politics, geopolitics, gender issues, beauty standards, design and urbanism. (Hello, Wakandan municipal transit system!)

In fact, there are so many takes on “Black Panther” that New York-based educator Roberto Soto-Carrion has helpfully compiled dozens of analytical stories related to the film and the “Black Panther” comics in general into a 14-page Google Doc called “The Black Panther Reader.”

Ms. Miranda’s summary is excellent, and provides a great overview, with many links for those who wish to delve deeper. You can read it here.

Black People Excited About Black Panther: BAD!

A dude by the name of Ben Shapiro is all manner of upset about people being excited about Black Panther. Naturally, he misses the point, by a whole damn universe. Most of his screeth* seems to be a lament over the lack of gratefulness being displayed in this excitement. Black people should be grateful, dammit, for all the great and wonderful things white people have done for them! On your knees, slaves! Oh, er…stop being so excited! I’m not going to be able to get everything in, it’s a fairly long screeth, so full of wypipo gone wrong that it’s extremely difficult to take, and that’s a serious understatement. Shapiro is one of those fucking idiots who make you ache for the ability to reach through your screen and smack him into last Sunday. And I’ll just add that I’m over the top excited about Black Panther m’self, but I can hardly share in the excitement born of such outstanding representation, because I’m not black. That said, I don’t have any problems understanding The Excitement.

“Everyone in the media is talking about the most important thing that has ever happened in the history of humanity, or at least since Caitlyn Jenner became a woman—a transgender woman—and that, of course, is the release of ‘Black Panther’. It is so deeply important,” Shapiro said, mockingly.

No, not one single person is talking about the movie as if it were the most important thing ever in the history of humanity, you sniveling dipshit. Black Panther is deeply important – look at how damn long it’s taken to get a mainstream movie comprised of a mostly black cast, especially when no one is able to say that tokenism has gone out of Hollywood.

“We’ve heard it’s deeply important to millions of black Americans, who after all were not liberated from slavery 200 years ago and liberated by the civil rights movement with federal legislation, have not been gradually restored to what always should have been full civil rights in the United States. None of that has mattered up till they made a Marvel movie about a superhero who is black in a country filled with black people. ‘Blade’ was not enough. ‘Catwoman’ with Halle Berry, no. OK, Wakanda is where it is,” Shapiro said.

He continued sarcastically, “This is the most important moment in black American history, not Martin Luther King, not Frederick Douglass, not the Civil War, not the end of Jim Crow, none of that, not Brown vs. Board—the most important thing is that Chadwick Boseman puts claws on his hands and a mask on his face and runs around jumping off cars in CGI fashion—deeply, deeply important. Black children everywhere will now believe that they too can be superheroes who jump off cars in fictional countries.”

Oh my. Hey, sniveling dipshit! You left a little something out – all those things? They wouldn’t have been necessary if white people deciding that forcibly kidnapping people and putting them into slavery hadn’t been done in the first place. You don’t get fucking points for taking centuries to correct your massive mistakes. As for the the movies Blade and Catwoman, you wouldn’t have noticed that outside the main characters, most of the cast was comprised of white people. That’s because you expect to see white people, as far as you’re concerned, that’s only right and proper. What a fucking surprise that people of colour would like to see themselves reflected in the same way, and not always have to settle for tokenism.

“We heard this about Barack Obama when he was elected, too. ‘Now that Obama has been president, black Americans will feel like they too can be presidents. It’s a transformative moment.’ Yet, all we hear now is that America is deeply racist and that black people are still systemically discriminated against and that black people are still victims in America society. So, it turns out it didn’t mean anything,” Shapiro said.

Yes, it was a transformative moment. Just like the portraits too, because generations of children to come will be able to read about a black president, and they will see black people represented in the sea of white in the white house. (White, white everywhere.) Having such transformative moments in regard to representation and the hope of future achievement is not a magic fucking wand, you wannabe Voldemort. Whitemort? Yeah, I’ll go with that one. It does not magically erase systemic racism, localised bigotry, or victimisation. Those are still with us, and unfortunately, with the Tiny Tyrant, we’re seeing a vicious, cancerous rise in hatred. The difference such transformative moments make cannot be accurately estimated; they represent hope, strength, and change. They represent inclusion and acceptance, and you just have to try and take that away, by demeaning black people in every way your tiny, atrophied brain can come up with. You aren’t worth spitting on, Mr. Shapiro.

“Sorry to break it to you folks, Wakanda is not a real place,” Shapiro said. “It does not exist.”

Well, thank you ever so much for that whitesplaination, Mr. Shapiro. I’m ever so sure that not one black person could possibly figure that one out minus your help. What a flaming doucheweasel.

You can read the whole thing, and watch video at RWW.

*Screeth: screed + froth.

Feminist Movies: The Mark of a Dying Civilisation.

Kevin Swanson, professional lunatic, was recently ranting about the absolute horror of The Shape of Water, a movie which spelled the end of civilisation as we know it. It seems that wasn’t emphatic enough for Mr. Swanson. There’s another civilisation ender: The Last Jedi. I haven’t seen it, because SW isn’t my thing, but I’ve certainly read enough about it, and I was pleased that at least in this installment, there were women who did more than run after some dude, or end up chained in a bikini. Good for them. That is decidedly not Mr. Swanson’s viewpoint.

“The feminists are head over heels in love with this one,” Swanson lamented. “It’s a bit of a feminist fest with very little artistic story telling involved … It was a great vehicle to continue to educate the world towards feminism, and feminism is ultimately the individuation of the family, the destruction of the family, and the violation of the biblical ordinance that the husband is head of the wife. So that is fundamentally being eroded in the minds of our 13-and 14-year-old girls as they watch these movies.”

Yeah, no. It’s not at all a bad thing, recognizing that the people who make up a family are all individuals, with their own minds and personalities. That’s a healthy thing, because thinking that a ‘family’ is the property of a man is not at all a good thing, and that kind of thinking generally leads to bad acts and a hell of a lot of dysfunction. As for artistic story telling, you think “hey, man owns everyone” is good storytelling, and boy, do I have news for you, Mr. Swanson, that’s a bad story. We’ve had centuries of that plot, and some of humans who happen to be women, we’re damn tired of the same old song.

Who gives a shit if it “violates” a biblical ordinance? That’s only so to a percentage of christians, and as I’m not christian, why would that bit of idiocy matter to me? The bible is one very bad pastiche of very bad stories, many of them stolen and mangled, and I find it beyond silly that I’m supposed to care about anything it contains. All young women do not belong to you, Mr. Swanson, and it’s beyond creepy, this sense of ownership you put out. If you have 13 or 14 year old daughters, then you can use “our”. If they aren’t your children, then no, they are nothing to do with you.

“You can thoroughly expect the unraveling of the Christian family in the years to come if the Christian family is sitting their children at the feet of feminists and receiving the messages,” Swanson said, as he railed against the film for featuring several female characters in lead roles “defending the universe from the bad guys.”

“Friends,” he said, “this is what the last movies produced by a dying civilization look like.”

Hmmm. So it’s much better for the universe to go to utter hell and misery than to have women save the day. That’s ever so nice, Mr. Swanson. What a lovely message you’re sending to young women: you’re good for absolutely nothing except being a baby bakery and obeying a man. Why you’re surprised a lot of young women aren’t interested in that little message, I don’t know.  A movie which features women as full human beings does not spell ‘dying civilisation’. It spells growth and progress, and those are good things, Mr. Swanson, in spite of your desire to regress back centuries in time. We’re moving right past your anachronistic ass, and can barely bother to spare a glance at you.

The full mess is at RWW.

A Movie Spells The End of Civilisation As We Know It!

Kevin Swanson has worked himself up into a fine froth over The Shape of Water. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve probably watched the trailer too often, and I am so looking forward to seeing it. I still remember seeing The Creature from the Black Lagoon when I was around 5 or 6, and all my sympathies lay with the Creature.

Extremist anti-LGBTQ pastor Kevin Swanson declared that the new film “The Shape Of Water” represents “the end of civilization as we know it.”

Oooh, yeah. Wars, the disaster of climate change coming to get us all, nah, they don’t matter. But a movie, oooh, it’s the end of everything! It’s a true pity that someone can become a complete caricature and not be able to realize that.

Swanson fumed that the film about a woman who falls in love with a mysterious sea creature is an explicit violation of Leviticus 20:15, which declares that “if a man has sexual relations with an animal, he is to be put to death, and you must kill the animal.”

Er, you missed by one, Mr. Swanson. I think you want Lev. 20:16: And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

This doesn’t apply, it’s not like Elisa went out looking for a nice horse or something. The ‘creature’ is a humanoid, just amphibious. Obviously intelligent, displaying humour and compassion, much like Elisa herself. Elisa didn’t see the ‘creature’, jump in the tank with the thought of “hey, beast sex!”

“It’s hard to even describe what goes on” in the film, Swanson said, “but, of course, the death penalty crime of Leviticus 20:15 had to do with the absolute lowest, most depraved activity that humans have ever engaged in at all and it’s only the most depraved people in the world that even want to mention this stuff, let alone sit there and watch it for two and a half hours on the movie screen.”

Speaking for myself, I’m more likely to find the actions of those involved in the cold war to be depraved, rather than two beings finding a way to successfully communicate. How would you know what goes on in the film, Mr. Swanson? You didn’t go watch it now, did you? Tsk, bad boy.

“The movie itself is completely centered around cross-species mating,” he continued. “The movie [approvingly] presents the Leviticus 20:15 sinful habit that really has only been part of the most depraved people, the most insane people that ever lived in the history of mankind.”

“This is the end of culture,” Swanson said. “This is the end of civilization as we know it.”

Actually, I think it’s centered on love and compassion, a couple of powerless beings fighting against the war centered powers that be, and they manage to escape, yay them! And y’know, in the end, they are basically the same kind of beings, amphibian in nature. As for the most depraved, insane people that ever lived, well, if you find humanoid amphibians living in a South American river somewhere, let us know. Pretty sure that part is fiction, something you seem to have trouble distinguishing, Mr. Swanson. So, after Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, and probably a zillion other flicks, we have yet another movie which spells the end of “culture” and civilisation.  Just which ‘culture’ is being destroyed here? Personally, I hope it’s the asshole christian one. We’d all be better off.

Via RWW.

Star Wars: The Persecution of White Men!

It’s interesting, how certain factions always see something nefarious in any SW flick, rather than seeing the reality: same old movie, done a zillion times.

Stefan Molyneux, a video blogger popular among the far-right, told viewers this weekend that “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” contains a commentary about the persecution of white men and the failure of diversity.

In a video uploaded on Sunday, Molyneux claimed that the newest Star Wars film contains a hidden commentary about the plight of white men as Western countries diversify.

[…]

“Some of you are going to respond and say, ‘Are you sure that’s what the writers intended?’ and the only people who say that are people who aren’t themselves creative writers,” Molyneux said, going on to claim he wrote a short story when he was six and a novel when he was 11 years old. He began his explanation by comparing Luke Skywalker to white men he believes have been marginalized.

And I’m sure your family patted you on the head when you were six and eleven, and reassured you of your spectacular genius. That does not make you a creative writer. It doesn’t make you a writer of any kind. It does make you come across as something of an idiot.

He began his explanation by comparing Luke Skywalker to white men he believes have been marginalized.

“So Luke Skywalker has checked out of society—ha, isn’t that interesting? He’s a white male who’s checked out of society. And we see this all over the place with white males, right? I mean, they’re not happy. Neither is Luke Skywalker happy. He’s got this bitter, gristled, half-homeless kind of determination to survive another day but for no particular purpose other than to watch the slow extinguishing of his own possibilities and his own life,” Molyneux said. He went on to explain that he believed Luke Skywalker’s lack of children was reflective of “the demographic decline among the whites that is happening in Europe and in North America” and foretold a “quasi-extinction” of white people “in the not so distant future.”

A lot of people aren’t terribly happy. That goes across all societal lines. Again with the babies. Why in the hell is always about the [white] babies? Since the SW movies are always populated with mass amounts of people, it’s fair to assume someone is breeding.

Molyneux explained that when Luke Skywalker abandons the Jedi forces in the film, it reflects how white people have abandoned their culture.

“Whites are not allowed to have a history to be proud of, not allowed to have in-group preferences, the religion of the West must be burned—and this, of course, you see the tree and the Jedi texts get burned down and it’s the end of a lineage. It’s the end of a history. It is the end of culture,” Molyneux said.

Oh gods, not again. What culture? Please, point me to explicitly white culture. If you’re talking about confederate flags and remembering slavery fondly, then yes, that shit has to go. We had the war, it’s over. People at large figured out that yes, people who are not white are people. That’s a good thing. Ustates is now, and has been, a great dumping ground for all manner of peoples from all over the world. There’s no ‘white culture’ here. If you’re all that bent on pursuing it, head back to England. Or wherever it is you think your ‘white’ heritage lies.

The trouble is with white people, in particular, men, always being taught and told how amazingly special they are, why they are entitled to all things ever. You are so damn desperate to believe that, that you do seriously stupid shit like point out the short story you wrote when you were six years old. Outside of your particular heritage, which I’m sure has some sort of culture attached, you get American culture, which is just a fucking mess of pottage from numerous sources.

When Luke Skywalker appears in a battle scene and is targeted by opposing forces, it illustrates “the hatred directed at white males,” Molyneux said.

Okay, I haven’t seen the movie, because I don’t much care for the whole franchise, but this is plain old bullshit. I imagine any such scene was to highlight that “Hey, Skywalker, still a hero!” or somesuch.

He explained: “There’s a lot of frustration out in the world. This is why I talk about race and IQ, is that I want people to get along. I want people to understand and to have peace with the way that the world and its cultures are, because there’s this incredible frustration out there in the world that other cultures are just not able to reproduce the former successes of white male culture.”

Goodness, do you ever have that one backwards. There’s a lot of frustration on the part of white men who have never accomplished a fucking thing, but wanting everyone in the world to acknowledged that white dudes are the smartest, bestest ever at everything. Get the fuck over yourselves.

He continued to explain that the more diverse cast in the new Star Wars film was a reflection on the diversification of the Western world.

Molyneux said, “This increased diversity means decreased success. In fact, it’s just one disaster after another for the Rebels and I’m not really sure if diversity is such a strength. Why, now that the Star Wars universe is more diverse, do the Rebels keep losing? Well, because there’s kind of a truth in that.”

Yes, there’s a truth there, cupcake. It’s “we want to keep milking this cash cow until the next century at least.” Amazing you can’t figure that one out, what with you being a creative genius and all. The plot is ancient, and SW is a recycling plant: underdogs vs big evil powers.

Via RWW.

J.K. Rowling: Defending Abusers.

When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.

Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.

The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected. Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.

I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.

Given Rowling’s love of colonialism and her staunch embrace of bigotry, this comes as no surprise to me. I walked away from her some time back, when she made it clear that her bigotry was more important to her than respecting indigenous peoples and portraying their traditions and stories correctly.

People everywhere are demanding that senators, congress critters and various public personalities to resign over harassment and abuse. But not Ms. Rowling, no. She makes it more than clear that she does not believe Ms. Heard, given her understanding of the circumstances. Uh huh. Rowling & Co: “Did you do that, Johnny?” Johnny Depp: “No! Bitches lie!”

Fantastic Beasts director David Yates previously defended casting Depp, calling Heard’s domestic abuse allegations “a dead issue.”

There’s a sweet sentiment for you. There has been, of course, quite a reaction, but I doubt it will be enough of one to put a dent in Ms. Rowling’s pockets.

There’s more at Raw Story.