Not Your Asian Ninja: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Keeps Failing Asian Americans

Originally posted at The Daily Beast

I liked Daredevil Season 2 a lot. I didn’t like it quite as much as Season 1, but it was always going to be impossible to find someone to live up to Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on Wilson Fisk (who still effortlessly steals the few scenes he gets this season). But the writing and the acting for Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, is compelling as hell, enough to spark a lively debate about the appeal of vigilante justice and gun violence in American culture.

The tangled, messy web of corruption behind the death of the Punisher’s family, the complicity of the state and the media in creating him, his turnaround in becoming a criminal defendant in the Trial of the Century, and the moral ambiguity of Castle’s past as a soldier who exposes the American public’s hypocrisy by bringing the brutal logic of the overseas War on Terror stateside — that’s all great stuff.

The problem is all that great stuff is only half of Daredevil Season 2. There’s a whole other half that’s almost totally disconnected from the Frank Castle plot, the Nelson and Murdock law firm, and New York City politics. There’s a full 50 percent of Daredevil Season 2 that’s total crap, and that half is the part with the ninjas.

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Our Toxic Remake Culture: Why Do We Insist on Making the Same Old White-Guy Movies?

Originally posted on Salon.com

Like it or not — despite the many, many hectoring jeremiads by the people who fall on the “not” side of the argument — “remake culture” seems to be here to stay. The most anticipated films of the upcoming year are all adaptations of or sequels to works that are decades old.

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Not That Creepy Internet Guy: How GamerGate Gave Geeks a Bad Name

Originally posted at Salon.com

We’re now three months in, and the social media-based “consumer revolt” against the “progressive agenda” of the gaming press, known as GamerGate, shows no signs of abating.

I’ve gotten to know a lot of the industry personalities that GamerGate has targeted for bizarre charges of “corruption” and “nepotism” since this mess started. I’ve come to consider some of them friends, if only Twitter friends. And my frustration and anger at the hounds of GamerGate biting at their heels has increased in proportion.

But it didn’t become personal for me until Felicia Day, an actress and writer who created the popular web series The Guild, dared write one blog post speaking out against GamerGate, talking about how scared she was of being targeted and “doxxed” (having documentation of her personal details revealed online) by gamergaters, only to be immediately doxxed in response.

Not because I know Felicia Day or have any sort of relationship with her, but because I don’t. Let me explain.

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Who is Arthur Chu?

Originally posted at The Huffington Post

When I first “went viral,” I was as skeptical about “why this Arthur Chu guy is even a thing” as much as anyone else, believe me. The weirdest thing about this year was seeing an explosion of media discussion of some random guy and not being able to blog about how weird and misplaced it was because for the first time I was that guy.

And the weirdest thing about that is seeing other people doing the obnoxious thing I used to do, blogging about complete strangers confidently making assessments about what they’re “about” based on the tiny slice of their life that made them YouTube famous.

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It’s Dangerous to Go Alone: Why Are Gamers So Angry?

Originally posted at The Daily Beast

Okay, gamers, let’s have a talk.

First of all, my cred — rest assured I am one of your tribe. I have saved the princess, I have united the Triforce, I have shot rockets into the giant goat skull to blow up John Romero’s head. There is documentary evidence that I proposed to my wife at a video game convention where she had to beat the final boss from Sonic 3 & Knuckles before I would marry her.

So no, I’m definitely not one of the fake gamer girls you fear and loathe so much, especially since I’m not a girl. So when I tell you you’re being misogynist losers who are making us all look bad, maybe you’ll listen.

Probably not, though.

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Model Minority Rage: Why the Hulk Should Be an Asian Guy

Originally posted at The Daily Beast

Whenever I take a clickbait quiz to determine which of The Avengers I would be, I always game the questions to aim for the Hulk. No question, the Hulk is my Avenger, hands down, and I will always be upset that of the Avengers his stand-alone movies have fared the worst, box-office and critical-opinion-wise.

The main reason, of course, is that they didn’t get the right actor to play Bruce Banner until The Avengers hit theaters.

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