Crowdfunding for Convention Travel and Attendance

Originally posted on The random musings of a 1973 Original:

So, I’m doing a bit of crowdfunding to help me get to conventions I’m speaking at. There’s a GoFundMe page up for this. I’ve set the goal at $1200 due to fare costs. Anything extra after airfare purchases, will go towards expenses such as transit, food (eating at cons is NEVER CHEAP), and other doing business costs.

Help Cypher get to conventions!

Hi all, so I’m paneling at Geek Girl Con and GaymerX this year, YAY! The not so yay part? Airfare is really expensive, especially from ORD or MDW to SEA. In pricing out flights, it’s looking dodgy to get a round trip for under $400 – $600 just for GGC.

I’ve looked at flights for San Jose which is more doable but buying two flights in two months is a strain on the budget with other expenses like food, rent etc.

So if you can spare a couple…

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My Thoughts on Dope

[I wanted to write this reflection the weekend of its release. I decided that I needed a little more time because the film hit home in too many ways and I needed some space from it to get a better handle on how I wanted to approach it. This will not be a typical review, nor will it be an endorsement — despite my endorsing the film whole-heartedly. I have no idea what this is, but I needed to get it out.]

Hip-hop is fandom. While it may not be explicitly geek/nerd culture, it is fandom of the highest order. If anyone chooses to refute this, they aren’t being intellectually or culturally honest. Never has this connection been so blatantly displayed than in Rick Famuyiwa’s 2015 gem of a film, Dope. [I have a lot more to say about this. Watch this space in the next month or two]

Continue reading My Thoughts on Dope

NOC Recaps Daredevil: So Much for a Complete Daily Bugle Staff

“The Ones We Leave Behind” is another dense episode that fortunately doesn’t feel like it drags. Two of the leads deal differently with killing, there’s some backstabbing in the consortium, some classic Daredevil roof hopping, and another climactic and shocking ending. Damn. Fucking Sony.

It opens with Karen tossing the gun in the river. She’s obviously messed up after murdering Wesley and this plays out once she gets home and hits the bottle hard to put herself to sleep. She wakes up startled thinking she hears something, but then relaxes and decides to switch to beer for bed. Does that ever work? She turns from the fridge and our bald menace is staring her down. He delivers another stellar speech telling her he knows how hard it is to take a life. He goes on about how you feel the weight of the person’s life, the cherished moments, and such. Then he says: “I want you to know something, something important that I’ve learned: that it gets easier the more you do it.” And he attacks. And Karen wakes up. Really wakes up this time. The old nightmare within the nightmare. Well played writers.

Continue reading NOC Recaps Daredevil: So Much for a Complete Daily Bugle Staff

Sankofa, Survival, and Science Fiction: A Graduation Speech

This keynote speech was delivered at the Portland State University Multicultural Graduation Speech, June 12, 2015 in Portland, Oregon.

It is such a privilege to be at this year’s Portland State University Multicultural Graduation — I look forward to this graduation every day, to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our students of color. I am so honored to be the keynote speaker, and to have been chosen by the student leaders to do so. Yall know the Cultural Resource Center student leaders are phenomenal, so this is definitely an honor!

This is such an incredibly important time for each of us here — students obviously, but also parents, friends, family, faculty, and staff. It makes me so happy to see so many brilliant students I’ve had the opportunity to get to know graduating here today. This is a time to celebrate the immense amount of work and sacrifice and dedication that got each of you graduating here.

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Inside Out is Not for Kids, and That’s Exactly Why Your Kids Should See It

by Mayka Mei | Originally posted at The Maykazine

Last week I cried three times. First, the shooting at Emanuel AME Church. Then when I watched Inside Out. Then my friends got married. Adult life is confusing.

Each instance occurred within the span of three days, and though each event has warranted its own inner reflection and the outer two are deserving of their own longwinded meanderings, right now I want to write about the middle one, the kids’ movie. (I’ve also written about the AME shooting. Here are my raw thoughts from the morning after that god-awful Wednesday night.)

Continue reading Inside Out is Not for Kids, and That’s Exactly Why Your Kids Should See It

Half the Battle: A Throwback Review of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

With Magic Mike XXL about to hit theaters in a couple weeks, Channing Tatum has been making the media rounds to promote the film. Recently, the star was on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show and expressed his displeasure with one of the key movies in his filmography. Talking to Stern, this week Tatum said in reference to the 2009 film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra:

Continue reading Half the Battle: A Throwback Review of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

The Liminal People: An Endorsement

The Liminal War: A Novel by Ayize Jama-Everett drops this week. In preparation for this much awaited sequel, I urge all of you to read the book that started it all, The Liminal People: A Novel. You will not be disappointed. I will post a Liminal War review in within the next week, or two.

First off, The Liminal People isn’t the X-Men and [insert some other superhero franchise]. Whenever there are characters with extra-normal abilities, someone always wants to toss the X-franchise about. If you wanted to make a more accurate comparison, you would have to compare The Liminal People to the old ’60s British television program, The Champions (Google if you don’t know) — albeit the book is a lot more diverse. In a Spec/Fic publishing world that loves little white vampires and werewolves, or little white magic users, or little white vampire hunters, or little white companions on a quest to fight the big black enemy, Liminal is a refreshing burst of the real world. It is the first truly global Spec/Fic book of the 21st century.

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Superman: The Man of Tomorrow

by Gene Yang | Originally posted on GeneYang.com

There’s a reason why folks call Superman the Man of Tomorrow.

When he was created in the late 1930s, he really did embody that era’s ideas about the future. Back then, progress was seen in largely physical terms: our technology would make us stronger, faster, more invulnerable. And that’s what Superman was: the world’s strongest, fastest, most invulnerable person.

But in the decades since, our imagined future has changed. Nowadays, when we think of tomorrow’s technology, we don’t necessary think about physical power — we think about information. We think about knowledge. Our dreams of the future are as much about bits as they are about atoms. Maybe more.

So how does Superman, a character whose “tomorrow-ness” dates back to the 1930s, deal with the “tomorrow-ness” of today?

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Disabled Geeks: Improve Representation of Disability in Wikis

Calling all geeky crips! Do you have a favorite comic book character with a disability?

Do you find wiki posts about disabled comic book characters ableist, inaccurate, or devoid of a disability perspective?

If so, we’re looking for you!

Dominick Evans and I — through the Disability Visibility Project — are looking for volunteers to update various entries in comic book wikis.

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Download Awesome Asian Bad Guys Right Now!

Today’s the day! If you’ve wanted to watch Stephen Dypiangco and Patrick Epino — better known as the National Film Society — reunite iconic Asian bad guys from the ’80s in the action/comedy Awesome Asian Bad Guys, but couldn’t attend one of the many festival screenings, now is your chance to download the film and watch it in the comfort of your own home.

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