I’m really not at all interested in reviewing or analyzing Sense8 again, but I would like to get mah nerds into a discussion about the ENORMOUS plot holes, and the weird turns this in-spite-of-it-all-compelling show has taken. So let’s just launch in, shall we? In no particular, but very SPOILERY, order:
The “Whitelash” theory of Trump’s super-embarrassing slide into the presidency (well, we never claimed the U.S. wasn’t anti-intellectual, did we?) has the still-ascendant, but demographically shrinking and culturally stagnating white/cis-het/male contingent (helped substantially by their female counterparts) striking back at the diversity of Obama’s America by electing a crypto-white-supremacist in response to his racist and xenophobic dog whistles. Although not the only compelling narrative of the last year and a half, Trump’s Whitelash has enough truth to it to make it into at least a Ronald-Takaki-authored history book, if not a textbook from Texas.
Meanwhile, pop culture may be lashing in the opposite direction — and, in fact, contributing to the panic. Whereas the last Academy Awards shows of Obama’s presidency featured a field of winners that rivaled a wedding-dress-clad polar bear fainting on an iceberg for whiteness, it is President Trump’s first Oscars that saw the Academy — now led by a black woman — crowning its first African-American-made Best Picture. The last season of tv was the most diverse in history, and we don’t need numbers or stats to know this. And even the debate around diversity failures points to how far we’ve come, and how aware of the changing nature of American culture the mainstream has become.
So it’s not much of a stretch to see Logan, clearly the end of a franchise, as the gentle, mournful and mourning, Hollywood-sanctioned version of conservative white panic.
Okay, we, as nerds of color (TM), especially now that a white supremacist nightmare is about to become our president, need to get our collective shit together. Bigly.
So I’m gonna — periodically — post some links and actions and ideas (under the heading “What Can A Nerd Do?”) about what a nerd can do, politicalwise, to combat the eeebil is is come upon us. And I will edit-to-add any legit links/ideas left in comments about the topic at hand as well, so jump in mah nurds!
Spoiler warning: spoilers throughout. Best to read this after watching the whole season! Which I recommend!
It was during a small, nearly throwaway scene deep in episode 10 that it hit me like Jessica Jones’ fist: Luke Cage is the most feminist show I’ve ever seen.
The scene, captured in the screen grab above, features four women characters — four black women, not a one of them under the age of 30 (and none of the actresses under 35) — each of whom is in fundamental conflict with the others, but who come together in two temporary alliances to fight a multi-level battle. Yes, it’s complicated.
Let’s say you’re a Martian. Let’s say you’ve been sent to Earth to study human society and culture. Let’s say you have a universal translator.
Let’s say you landed on Earth, randomly, a week or so ago in Brisbane, Australia, and followed the crowds to the Brisbane Writers Festival (culture! perfect!) just in time to hear Lionel Shriver’s keynote address about how cultural appropriation isn’t a thing and fiction writers get to have all the freedom. How is this going to sound to you?
Four of these people are gone-zo. Can you guess which?
Okay. Here be much spoilerage.
Now that season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and that’s the last time I type that out) is over, I gots some identity-politickin’, pot-stirrin’, white-people-genocidin’ things to say.
I wasn’t gonna do this, but in a conversation on twitter, @BlackGirlNerds asked me to expand on what I recently called “Daredevil‘s White Virgin/Whore of Color Complex” and I would hate to disappoint. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not just trying to dump on Daredevs. I still love the first season, and the second season, despite serious problems, is still great television in a lot of ways.
But I hope — on this site especially — I don’t need to go over again why/how problematic representations of POC and women spread like mayonnaise over a beloved television property can be like an all-day, all-you-can-take, face-slapping machine. And Arthur Chu has already shown you the wasabi-infused mayo currently salmonellizing on Daredevil‘s bread.
I’m here to show you the ketchup.
I can’t say what I would have to say about the orientalism in Daredevil Season Two any better than Arthur Chu, so I will leave you to read that and bristle at will.
My thought process upon reading about Daredevil killing Nobu and not counting it as killing a person went as follows:
Okay, the second season of Marvel’s Agent Carter is over and it’s time to tally up the score!
We’ll be using a tried and true scoring system I just made up and will be applying with liberal bias. Agent Carter will be assigned a grade based upon a 100 point grading scale in which we begin at 0 and add or subtract points as appropriate. This system is based mainly on Hogwarts’ house points system, because we are nerds, after all.
Marvel’s Agent Carter had its season premiere Tuesday night with a double episode, and all sorts of things are new.
For one, the somber, immediate-post-WWII-New-York-values tones have been replaced by a lighter, sunnier, Californian color that suits the show’s inevitable slide into the fifties. For another, Agent Daniel Sousa’s childish crush on Peggy Carter seems to have deepened into a reciprocal — if ambiguous — relationship. (On this, more later.)