In Which Another Fictional Woman is Stuffed Into the Fridge and I Rant About It

Content note: this post talks about the abuse and murder of women. I have no intention of going into deep specifics about anything, but the links and quotes I use will. Just keep that in mind as you read this…

Also, I’ll be spoiling a couple specific story-lines of the first season of Mr. Robot… if you care about that.

You know… it takes a lot to make me not like a writer. I even enjoyed reading Dan Brown back when I did that (it’s been years), and a lot of people agree that he’s a crappy writer (even I do).

One thing I do enjoy is stumbling onto a show with excellent writing. It’s rare, honestly.

If you’re now officially questioning why I love Doctor Who, I should remind you that Doctor Who is not a series written by one person. Usually, the showrunner only writes three or four episodes of a season, while other writers write the other episodes. Sometimes there are amazing episodes, sometimes there are terrible episodes, and usually there are episodes that were written well enough to keep my attention and be enjoyable to me.

A while back, my brother and I started watching the first season of Mr. Robot. I found the writing to be quite good, so it kept my attention… sort of. We weren’t binging it, and I had zero desire to. I just didn’t care about seeing the next episode right away… I could wait until my brother wanted to see it. And yet, I was enjoying it.

But I was very worried about one particular character… specifically, Shayla Nico

The main character, Elliot Alderson, is a very good hacker and a morphine-addict. Shayla served as his drug dealer and eventually became his girlfriend. We got to meet the man, Fernando Vera, who supplied her with the morphine she sold to Elliot…

And my guess is that y’all already know where this is going, don’t you? You don’t even have to see the show to know exactly where this is going…

[Read more…]

More Controversy and An Apology… Also, I Say Trans Rights

That title feels way more dismissive than I intend it to be, but I can’t think of anything else. And this is going to be a short one.

First… to Essence of Thought and everyone in the Trans community who was hurt by the actions of Rachel Oates and her followers… I apologize for not saying anything about it here or anywhere else. The honest truth is that I didn’t know it was happening.

I was subscribed to Essence of Thought before Stephen Woodford’s transphobia, so I knew about that, but most of the Rachel Oates drama happened on Twitter.

[Read more…]

The Revolution Will Be Intersectional Or It Will Be Bullshit

Okay look. I get it. It’s really easy to look at class and see that as the only “real” oppression in the world. When you’re a straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied man, it’s quite literally the only oppression you can possibly face. And it’s absolutely true that the only privileges we can truly see as individuals are the privileges we don’t have, which are, as a result, magnified in our minds.

To get selfish for a moment… I obviously know that white privilege is a thing, but I don’t see it because I’m white. I obviously know that male privilege is a thing, but I don’t see it because I’m a man. Same for cis privilege, and straight privilege. Technically I don’t suffer from class oppression because my family is middle class and I get to take advantage of that. But then again, I work in retail and make maybe $200 a week. So I can see class privilege to a point because my only protection from class oppression is my parents… I’m not going to say that I know exactly what said oppression looks like, because I’ve never been homeless, but I also have a roof over my head because my parents give me one without charging me a rent I can’t afford; which is why I try to give when I can to the homeless and fight so hard for a Universal Basic Income and Universal Housing… no one should have no money, and no one should be homeless. And it’s a lot easier to make that happen at the federal level than people think… you just have to get rid of the greedy capitalists in power, first…

So… maybe not so easy…

But I digress…

The point is that I get it. I get only fighting for class.

The thing is, though…

[Read more…]

MAGA Hats, White Hoods, and Swastikas: One Big Happy Family

How many of you have ever heard of J. Kenji Lopez Alt? Personally, I’m a pretty big fan. His Food Lab column at Serious Eats, and his Food Lab book (I promise that’s not an affiliate link… I make $0.00 USD if you click that and order the book; I do highly recommend it, however), have been hugely influential on me as a cook. He’s the Jimmy Page of food, as far as I’m concerned (and if you know how much I love Led Zeppelin, then you know how much of a compliment that is from me). He’s opened up his own restaurant in the Bay Area, as well.

Called Wursthall, it’s definitely a restaurant I desperately want to check out. Having made many of Kenji’s recipes in my own home, I already know the food is good. It’s just a matter of getting out there to try it… and I don’t have the money to do that.

Another reason I’m a big fan of Kenji is that when his politics creep into his food, it’s absolutely awesome. Just look at his Twitter bio

Full-time Dad. Author: The Food Lab (I don’t control @TheFoodLab). Chef. Feminist. Atheist.

Yeah I know… we don’t love men who proclaim themselves to be feminists. I don’t call myself a feminist, not because I don’t wholeheartedly support feminism (I very much do), but because of how many “feminist” men have shown themselves to be anything but… causing, obviously, a distinct lack of trust in men who make that proclamation. That said, having followed Kenji for years, he’s shown that he doesn’t just talk the talk… he walks the walk, as well.

Nathan. What does any of this have to do with MAGA hats, white hoods, and swastikas?

[Read more…]

I Am NOT Satisfied by Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Response

Okay so… Neil deGrasse Tyson was probably my favorite living scientist and science-popularizer. He has carried on the scientific legacy of Carl Sagan in a way I can only admire. I absolutely adored his take on Cosmos, and I loved Startalk (until he decided to have Michael Shermer on as a guest… recap on that for those who’ve forgotten). I was a huge fan of his, to the point where I was defending his “ruining” of movies. I loved when he pointed out the scientific failings of films, regardless of what film it was or if science was at all relevant to the film. He was like CinemaSins, only with science (and yes, I like CinemaSins… get over it).

So, by all accounts, I’m the exact right person to defend his statement about these allegations.

[Read more…]

Turns Out Pixar’s Toxic

Note: Trigger Warning for discussions of sexual harassment and assault, especially for Cassandra Smolcic’s article linked below, which I am going to quote from. I will quote the less triggering stuff, but even still, the warning applies. And if you do choose to read Cassandra’s entire article, this Trigger Warning applies even more, as she discusses what happened to her before she got to Pixar, and it’s…. disturbing. That said, I do recommend reading Cassandra’s article; just keep this Trigger Warning in mind if you do.

Earlier this month, John Lasseter left Pixar and Disney amid “vague” accusations of sexual misconduct (note: I don’t think they’re so “vague”, personally… and I believe them).

John Lasseter, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ chief creative officer, will leave both companies by the end of 2018, following revelations last year that he sexually harassed employees, according to The New York Times. Lasseter has been on a leave of absence from the studio since November, when he first acknowledged what he worded as “missteps” that left his employees feeling “disrespected and uncomfortable.” In the months since, media organizations and entertainment industry critics widely speculated on whether he could return to Pixar, or whether Disney would force him to resign.

“I’ve recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me. It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them,” Lasseter wrote employees in a memo in November, when he started his six-month leave of absence. Not coincidentally, the memo and Lasseter’s decision coincided with the publication of numerous misconduct allegations by The Hollywood Reporter, which published its story on Lasseter as part of dozens of others accounts of harassment and assault that came to light during the beginning of the #MeToo movement last fall.

Cassandra Smolcic, a former Pixar employee, published a tell-all in Medium’s Be Yourself on June 27, highlighting the frankly disturbing reality of what it was really like working there as a woman…

[Read more…]

Defending Star Wars and Cinematic Universes

I did not grow up with the original Star Wars trilogy. I grew up with the much-maligned Prequels. And you know something… I maligned them, too. Hell… I maligned them not very long ago, twice, on this very blog. But I went back and watched them recently and… you know what? They aren’t actually as bad as I remember them. Hayden Christensen is still whiny, Jar Jar Binks is still annoying (he would have been such a better character if he had turned out to be a Sith Lord), Count Dooku came out of nowhere (likely to make up for the fact that Jar Jar was no longer a Sith Lord), and some of the CGI was bad even for the time it came out…

But Jake Lloyd actually did a pretty decent job with young Anakin, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi were awesome, Yoda was amazing, the turn of Palpatine into Sidious was incredible, Darth Maul was phenomenal, Queen Amidala was actually a good character and Natalie Portman played her really well, Mace Windu was just plain cool, and the story was really, really good over all.

Yes, I’ve seen the original trilogy, of course, but I simply don’t have the connection to Luke Skywalker that so many have. However, I am a Star Wars fan. Not a big enough fan to have read and collected the lore or seen the maligned Christmas special and that stuff, but a big enough fan to have watched (and enjoyed) both the Clone Wars and Rebels animated TV shows, and a big enough fan to have been excited by Force Awakens, Rogue One, Last Jedi, and Solo. And as I sit here today, people are still fighting over whether or not Last Jedi and Solo were good films.

You want to know what I think?

Both Last Jedi and Solo (and Rogue One and Force Awakens) were amazing films.

[Read more…]

Maybe #MeToo Has Gone too Far, But That’s a *Good* Thing

Trigger Warning: Discussion of accusations of sexual harassment, assault, rape, #MeToo, #TimesUp, #TheEmptyChair, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Larry Nassar, and the social consequences of all of this.

There’s a lot of talk lately about whether the #MeToo movement has gone too far, especially after the accusations about Aziz Ansari came out. And honestly? It’s a good question to ask. Society is experiencing a massive shift, and people who once got away with horrid behavior are now, finally, being held accountable for it. Often, that means being held accountable for mis-judged comments or creepy behavior. Many times, it means getting in trouble for violating consent. And it also means being held accountable for assault and/or rape.

I think that, in a way, it has gone too far. But the twist?

I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact, I’m glad it’s going too far, and I think it can go further.

And here’s why…

[Read more…]

Stop. Defending. Bigots. Even Liberal Ones.

Warning: This post is filled with even more strong language than usual. I’m angry, okay?

I get it.

I get that I cuss a lot, on Facebook, here on this blog… and I very often don’t do it in anger. I very often cuss in the routine of speaking. It’s part of my language… my voice. Some people think it’s crude. I get that. I also don’t care. But I am angry as hell, here. I’m sick and tired of this conversation.

So yes. More cussing than usual.

No. I’m not linking to it. I’m not going to bore you with the rehashed details of Bill Maher’s latest bigoted bullshit, when he a made a racist joke using the n-word in full.

You already know it all.

See, instead, what I want to talk about is all his defenders. All those supposedly “liberal” people who insist that “oh no! Bill Maher isn’t racist! He has black guests! He dates young black women! He’s the opposite of a racist!” and then absolutely demand that we must “allow differences of opinion! He has freedom of speech! Black people are allowed to say it! Why aren’t white people?!?”

So here’s the problem…

[Read more…]