Anyone else feel this way too?

I was inside a Target recently, mostly to admire #2’s prevalent presence in their baby section, and over the PA system, among the music that usually is tantamount to white noise, I was able to pick out the lyrics to Ricky Martin’s She Bangs.

The strangest thing to me, was the fact that it was actually Ricky Martin’s version of the song, and just how foreign and alien it sounded, hearing it for the first time in like, maybe 18 years.

Because in my head, when I think of She Bangs, the only version of the song I ever hear in my head is William Hung’s terrible rendition that he tried to audition on American Idol with.  In fact, while at Target, I was kind of awestruck at the simple fact that the lyrics actually continued past “looks like a flower but stings like a bee” because I practically expected there to be an interruption by Simon, Randy and Paula, except there wasn’t one, but instead a whole lot of unfamiliar lyrics.

It’s no secret that FOX and the internet gobbled all of William Hung up for making an ass out of himself on one of television’s most viewed programs, but in hindsight, Hung took it like a champion, and parlayed his abysmal appearance on Idol into all sorts of appearances and gigs afterward.  Given the crash and burn nature of so many Idol alum, I think it’s safe to say that in spite of everything, Hung still came out smelling a lot better than many who were probably a little bit more successful in the show than he was.

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, She Bangs belongs to William Hung.  Anyone else feel this way too?

150+ years before the Game of Thrones… Westeros had Asians

Mythical wife and I went into House of the Dragon with the level of excitement of a DC Comics film and the expectations of, a DC Comics film (extremely low, if I have to explain).  As those kind of book snobs, we’re salty that George R.R. Martin has become the television writer I knew he was going to become, instead of writing any of the fucking books, that the television show blew past where they left off, in like season 4 of GoT.  But as inherent fans of the property we still are, we knew it was inevitable that we were going to watch it anyway.

Anyway, I’ll reserve heavy reviewing of the show until more of it has come out.  I’m still learning all the new faces and houses, and much like its predecessor, I’m sure I’d benefit from re-watching some shit at a later date to really absorb early occurrences.  Except that all the Targaryens are funny looking to me, because they’ve all got bright-ass hair, but unlike Daenerys and Viserys, they’re all kind of tanned-complexioned, which kind deviates from how most Targaryens are described.

Whatever though, the whole point of this post is really the marvelous realization that it only took an entire 8-season series and two episodes for an actual Asian man to get 3 seconds of screen time in a GoT property.  Yes, I know Jessica Henwick was one of the Sand Snakes, which is why I specified man, because when it comes to representation, Asian men obviously get the shaft when it comes time for everyone to become woke.

And not as an ambiguous and heavily make-upped Dothraki, Meereen slave, Flea Bottom beggar or any inconsequential character.  No, this guy is a fucking knight, with armor and presumably some degree of honor and bravery, if he’s representing House Velaryon.

I have no idea who he is, what his actual specific heritage is, but either way, he’s still a fucking hero.  And the fact that he made it into the GoT universe after just a decade is still like, three decades faster than Star Wars really decided to start giving Asian men some screen time.

Progress is progress, but all the same I have to say it: it’s about fucking time.

Let’s talk about Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel

As is often the case, I’m late to the party on both of these shows.  Full disclosure, I have no knowledge of the Moon Knight character whatsoever, all I knew was that he existed, because Wizard magazine once made a joke about him being mistaken for Space Ghost, but otherwise, I went into the show with absolutely zero knowledge of the character, at all.  As for Ms. Marvel, this is a lot of gray area, because in the comics, Ms. Marvel is Carol Danvers, which movie goers have already been introduced to as Captain Marvel, so again, I went in blind to the adventures of Kamala Khan, the teenager.

By virtue of living under the rock of parenthood, I’ve been fortunate enough to have avoided the vast majority of chatter when it comes to both of these shows.  I’d only heard bits and pieces, like subjective opinions of Moon Knight, and I knew that Ms. Marvel has been somewhat completely re-imagined to feature a teenager, and a Muslim one at that, but neither really deterred me from going into them, because as a fan of the MCU, I still feel that it’s somewhat necessary to watch every piece of Marvel programming that is released, with the expectation that the knowledge will be useful when they converge storylines in the future.

Going in chronological order, I finished Moon Knight before going into Ms. Marvel, and I have to say that in more ways than one, one of these is very much not like the other.  One show I thought was good, entertaining and refreshing, while the other one was completely horrendous, and I would dare say be arguably one of the worst editions into the entire MCU, and all of its extended reaching properties.

Continue reading “Let’s talk about Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel”

Being an orange guy supporter fan is basically a meme

On my way to the office, there’s this house that I’ve noticed.  It was an obvious tear-down and flip, because it’s a home that sticks out that it looks absolutely nothing like the aesthetic of all the other properties in the vicinity.  It’s hard to describe it, but it almost seems fortress-like, because there’s almost no landscaping other than fresh sod, there are high fences that flank the sides of the property, and the only vehicles in the driveway have been two giant fuck-you trucks.  The trucks are black and white respectively, and for the matter so is the house, with it being primarily white with black shutters, doors and accents.

I don’t really know why, but I had this hunch that the people that lived there were probably the types of people who supported the orange guy that tanked ruled ‘Murica.  But recently, on my latest commute in, I noticed that they had two signs in their yard, in support of Bubba Kemp, the orange-guy worshipping incumbent governor who is up for reelection in November, and it basically validated everything I theorized about the residents of this property.

But then it got me thinking, how easy it’s become to pick out orange guy supporters, even if they’re not so flagrantly broadcasting their fealty.  And that they’ve basically become living breathing memes of human beings with their brainless worship of a clown.

Sure, there are the very obvious sheep out there who have Make America Great Again hats, bumper stickers, and other orange guy paraphernalia, and those guys are sad and disappointing in their own right, but at least they’re honest and straightforward with their allegiance.  But it’s the people that want you to know without making it obvious that I’m more fascinated in and frankly, these are the people out there that I think are worse, because it’s like they want to enjoy the luxuries of America, while being in support of ‘Murica.

Not to mention, that a lot of these types have unfortunately co-opted all sorts of brands, IPs and other forms of symbolism, and ruined it for everyone else by claiming that they’re symbols of their hatred of modern society.

So anyway, here’s what I’ve observed as being signs of more subtle orange guy fanaticism:

  • Don’t Tread On Me stickers, flags or decals
  • The Punisher logo decals
  • Salt Life stickers
  • Really loves firearms
  • Very large trucks with lift kits, usually black
  • American flags hanging off of said trucks
  • Properties that look like they are somewhat defensible in an apocalyptic scenario

I’m sure there are lots of other things that could be on this list, but these are the things that come immediately to mind when I think about things I see that instantly make me very confident that a person is an obvious patriot.  And the more bullets they check off, the more I’m curious what they were doing or where they were on January 6th.

The point is, people don’t really need to be brandishing the very obvious stuff to make it obvious where their general allegiances and temperaments lie.  Whether they care to realize it or not, there’s plenty of other things that have manifested and been nurtured throughout the last few years that make it pretty obvious to what type of person a random stranger on the street is, just by their behaviors and preferences, which to me, is what makes something meme-worthy. 

What’s sad, aside from the people who are brainwashed by all this bullshit, are the poor identities and IPs that have been bastardized by their being co-opted by the extreme right.  I feel bad for any intelligent Marines who have to see the Gadsden flag being used by idiots who have never even thought about serving the country, flying it without knowing any bit of its history.  I feel bad for Marvel Comics and any writer who ever was involved with The Punisher, seeing all these morons using the skull emblem and claiming it to be “for them.” 

And worst off, I feel saddest for the American flag, which is so often being flown with almost a malicious intent, by people who want to throw their extreme patriotism in the faces of normal, regular Americans who might not feel the need to have to throw the flag up everywhere they go to represent the country we live in.

The behavior of the mindless and ignorant have taken a lot of historic elements and respectable  symbols and turned them into memes by how flagrantly misused they’ve been, but at least in doing so, they’re making it very easy to identify people that I really have no interest in associating with, because ain’t nobody need this kind of stupidity anchoring down my little world.

Lol Alabama: who do you think you’re fooling?

Uh sure, my bad – Lawrence County, Alabama Old White Guys’ Club Republican group “mistakenly” uses GOP elephant logo featuring hooded Klansmen in it

East Side Elementary in Marietta, Georgia must breathe a sigh of relief every time some other group out there “accidentally” co-opts racist shit and puts it out there and expects to get away with it and never does.  Since their own stint using the Nazi eagle, it didn’t take long before Hanover County, Virginia basically used a swastika for some team within the government, which probably took the immediate heat off of them. 

And now to distance themselves even further, we’ve got some Republican club out in Alabama using artwork from an extreme left-wing news source to represent their right-wing bullshit, that had pretty obvious KKK imagery in it, and then saying “whoops, my bad” when they got caught.  Make no mistake, this is pretty obviously one of those instances where there would be no apology had they not gotten caught, but it’s hard to imagine that in this day where people are actively looking for racism that anyone would think they’d get away with it.

It’s funny, because I googled Lawrence County, Alabama, to see where on the map it was, so that I could then go onto the Southern Poverty Law site, and search where in Alabama where there was reported KKK activity, and see just how accurate it checked out.  But hilariously (ironically), when you click on Alabama, it says that not only is there KKK activity in Alabama, unlike most of the other hate groups in the state, there’s no specific dots to signify where, but it just says statewide.  So obviously Lawrence County falls into that category.

I mean, it’s no surprise how much of a layup such is, seeing as how Alabama is well, Alabama.  A state that other than college football isn’t really known for anything else other than Forrest Gump and racism.  It’s about as surprising as the NFL slapping Deshaun Watson on the wrist for sexual harassment while suspending indefinitely Calvin Ridley for gambling that Alabama has KKK on the brain, and it manifests itself in their Republican clubs.

Sometimes, I proclaim that one of the biggest flaws of the political field is the Democrats’ complete lack of respect for the collective intelligence of the Republican party; that it’s their liberal arrogance that thinks technology, creativity and solidarity amongst minority groups can actually overcome sheer force of numbers and mindless hero worship of a bunch of old white folks.  That this shit didn’t just manifest out of nowhere in 2016, but was the result of an extremely lengthy and tactical long game that is bearing tremendous fruit in advantage and a seemingly endlessly stacked deck against all opposition to this very day.  Tactics like this don’t come from idiots and brainless followers that so many people love to associate your stereotypical Republicans to be.  Somewhere in the party are some really, really intelligent and cunning minds, and this is why America is ‘Murica, and why it never seems like it will ever end.

But then we do actually have idiots and brainless sheep of ‘Muricans who make up other parts of the Republican party, who think they can flagrantly use graphics featuring Klansmen in them and actually think they’ll get away with it, and it’s like well shit, why the fuck are these dipshits’ votes actually counting?

Either way, I don’t think anyone with a brain will actually believe Lawrence County, Alabama, is actually apologetic for using their KKK artwork, and that the only thing they’re really sorry about, is that they got caught.

I am all in for Gus Fring as Professor X

Impetus: Giancarlo Esposito reveals that he has had meetings with Marvel people for a future role, expresses desire to be Professor X

My knee-jerk reaction to the idea of Gus Fring being Professor X, was absolutely all aboard the train.  I get that aside from Captain Picard, the role of Charles Xavier was basically designed to be for Patrick Stewart, but in the age and in light of pursuing change and pursuing the future, I’m hard pressed to imagine anyone more succinctly qualified for the role of Professor X than Giancarlo Esposito.

Like many, my first real exposure to Esposito was him playing Gus Fring in Breaking Bad, and as far as characters go, he’s easily up there as some of my all-time favorites, because I love characters that are cerebral, command respect, and play the long game like a chess grandmaster.  I get that throughout his career since, he’s basically been bad guy after bad guy after bad guy, but there’s absolutely no reason to believe that he wouldn’t be capable of playing the cerebral, respect commanding, long game-player like Professor X, plus it’s not like Xavier didn’t make some fucked up choices in his life either.

Esposito is polished, annunciates intelligently and in the manner you’d expect to hear from Professor X, and has been entrenched in sci-fi/comics long enough to where it probably wouldn’t feel inorganic or phony on his part when playing the role.  There is absolutely zero reason why he wouldn’t make an excellent Professor X.

Unfortunately, to no surprise, there are plenty of people out there that don’t agree with my enthusiasm for the idea of Gus Fring as Professor X.  And the funny-not-really-funny thing about the internet and social media and how we’re spoon-fed occasional comments, is when you see the remarks from people you know, and you’re reading words that don’t really sound that intelligent or, in the case of what I saw, were good examples of peoples’ white privilege soaking through the sponge.

Because in spite of many peoples’ best attempts to try not to be racist but not doing a very good job of doing it, the seemingly number one reason for any sort of opposition of the idea of Giancarlo Esposito as Professor X, really boils down to the fact that he’s not white.  I understand that there’s an expectation set by decades of seeing a lily-white Caucasian Professor X in comics and FOX properties, but we live in a world where change is inevitable and is happening very rapidly.  But you could go back to 1963 and change the skin tone of Professor X to absolutely any color at all, and it wouldn’t have altered the course of history one bit.

He’d still have has had his legs crushed by the Shadow King.  He still would have gone toe-to-toe with Phoenix on the psychic plane.  He still would’ve gotten shot by Stryfe and been the first guy to have the Legacy Virus.  He still would’ve mind-fucked hundreds of people and become Onslaught.  And so forth and so forth.  A black Xavier, Hispanic Xavier, Asian Xavier wouldn’t have changed the course of the character’s history one bit.  Just because he was white in six decades worth of comic books doesn’t mean he couldn’t be presented as non-white in what would be at the very most, a series of films.

But seeing people take shots at his polish, his acting ability and other reasons to criticize the guy when they’re really just objecting to the fact that his skin tone doesn’t match Ben Affleck’s, is insulting and is bullshit.  When the day is over, the right performer should be the one to get the role, regardless of the color of their skin.  I mean, look at the shitty 2003 Daredevil speaking of Ben Affleck.  The film was horrendous, but one of the few things they did get right was casting a very black Michael Clarke Duncan as the role of the historically very white Kingpin.  Regardless of skin color, Duncan is a tank of a man who commands a room, has swag and is convincingly physically invincible, much like the character he portrayed.  Naturally, there was much complaints about that as well, but to its credit it still came to fruition.

Plus, Patrick Stewart isn’t getting any younger.  Y’all remember seeing his cameo in [spoiler redaction]?  Eyes all sinking in with age, not entirely sure the wheelchair was just a prop.  When he was a layup for the role of Professor X, those Bryan Singer X-Men flicks were literally two decades ago.  Stewart is 82 years old.  Eighty-two years old.  At the very most, Professor X was probably in his early fifties in the comics, in “present” canon.  Absolutely no disrespect to Picard.  He is the living embodiment of how Professor X was originally portrayed.  But my man is getting old.  He is old.  He doesn’t need to be continued to be trotted out, and then get the digital Luke Skywalker treatment.  Let the change happen.  Change.  Is.  Needed.

Hopefully the stiffs at Disney/Marvel/ESPN/FOX will be capable of not caving into their white racist brethren when it comes time to eventually start casting for the introduction of mutants into the MCU, and make the right fucking call: Giancarlo Esposito as Professor X.

Oh, Georgia #354

/stevecarrellwinceface.gif – Cobb County elementary school unveils new logos, immediately likened to Nazi symbolism, results predictable

Seeing as how mythical wife is an educator, I’ve become more familiar and cognizant of many schools in the Metro Atlanta area by osmosis, and I actually know of this particular school in question.  East Side Elementary is right off of GA-120 which is a pretty major thoroughfare, and I pass by it regularly, despite not knowing what the name of said school was until I read about where it was located.

But man, talk about a major, major, major fuck-up from this rebranding.  Whatever designer(s) they utilized to come up with this inflammatory design really needs to be scrutinized from a character standpoint, because either they’re some deep-repressed bigots, bigots that think they can pull the wool over the public, trolls who thought it would be a real gas to sneak in Nazi symbolism, or a little bit of all of the above.  However, seeing as how it was still government work, it can probably be safely assumed that the degree of creativity wasn’t particularly high.

When mythical wife showed me these logos, I immediately recognized the red flag, because when I was a wee lad, I played a lot of Wolfenstein on my 486, because it was about the only game it could handle, and Nazi eagles were all over the place.  Imagine my mortified and amused surprise to see something so close to Nazi symbolism, being used to represent an elementary school.

The best part about the trio of logos that they moved forward with, the only element that remained consistent between them all, was the Nazi eagle in the middle of it.  Complete with a monogram that replaces one of the S’s in SS with an E, to suddenly stand for East Side.  Like they were very insistent that of all the elements to be concrete, it had to be the Nazi eagle.  Font, shape, dynamic, all flexible, but nah dog, we GOT to keep that Nazi eagle intact.

To add insult to this embarrassingly ironic design faux pas is the fact that East Side elementary is literally next door to a synagogue.  Like very literally; not down the street literally, or catty corner literally; the school parking lot, if you go straight out of it, you will run right into a synagogue literally. 

Furthermore, this is about one of the whitest parts of East Cobb there is, and that’s saying something considering just how white East Cobb already is.  The neighborhood has “country club” in the name and is flanked by a golf course, and I’ve driven through and picked up cheap/free shit that rich white people were peddling on Facebook marketplace, so I’ve seen first-hand how elevated white it is compared to the rest of the town.

None of it helps feed the narrative of a lily-white community being so dense and ignorant as to not notice their neighborhood elementary school adopting Nazi imagery to be a part of their logo.  In the end, I don’t think the school or community is really that Nazi, so much as the person(s) who developed these logos, probably have some explaining to do.  But what’s done is done, and the internet never forgets, so it’ll be etched in stone that there was a school in Cobb County that was almost branded with Nazi eagles.  hashtagGeorgia hashtag’Murica