Brain Food – Episode 21

Hello everyone and welcome to episode 21 of Brain Food, wherein I review the excellent anthology by Ankhesen Mie, Folklore & Other Stories.

This video is dedicated in loving memory to celticknotgirl, a wonderful Mass Effect fanfic writer who touched me deeply with her own writing and who considered me a friend.

I can’t believe she’s gone, and she will forever be missed.

Complexion For The Protection

This post was recently inspired by a discussion by my beautiful and brilliant internet wife RVC Bard.

When marginalized viewers critique arts & entertainment, we often look at how themes of race, gender, orientation, etc. are handled with the marginalized characters and the narrative. Obviously that’s understandable given how little representation we receive, and we understand the power of perception and how it affects minorities in real life.

However rarely do we ever consider how whiteness, white culture and white privilege play out in stories and how characters are afforded advantages and how certain dynamics play out simply by being white. More than that, but the audience perception and reaction to said dynamics differ greatly because of white privilege. Not surprisingly the astute will note many double standards at play. Because whiteness is considered the default, the norm, universal, it’s rarely examined or critiqued.

That is until today.

The following are white characters who could only operate as white characters because to do otherwise would result in a different story with a different interpretation from the audience.

Don’t believe me? You soon will. Fair warning now. Clutch those pearls because punches will not pulled. But that’s the standard.

You know how Ars Marginal gets down.

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Preview This

“If you don’t want us to judge a story based on its preview, then don’t release the preview, because literally the only reason that anyone has ever released any previews of any story, in all of human history, is to get them to judge the story based on the preview. The only real point of disagreement here is that we’re not judging the story POSITIVELY based on the preview, and that we’re not pledgi

ng to BUY the story based on the preview, and that’s the fault of YOUR incompetence in creating the preview, because all we’re doing is judging the story BY THE SAME STANDARDS THAT YOU *WANT* US TO JUDGE IT.

For as much as they complain about their own audience’s so-called “whining,” entertainment media hacks are the most unforgivably entitled spoiled babies in existence. “YOU DON’T HAVE A RIGHT TO CRITICIZE IT UNTIL YOU’VE PAID US MONEY TO SEE IT, at which point we won’t care about your criticisms because we still have your money.”

Kirk Boxleitner

Review: Folklore and Other Stories

 

So late last year I was chatting with my buddy Ankhesen Mie about her novella Folklore and I mentioned to her that I planned to purchase it. She insisted I wait because she planned to re-release it. I was already even more curious because this novella had already received some serious acclaim—Midwest Book Review, RAWSISTAZ Literary, APOOO Bookclub for starters—so how much more awesome could this book get?

 

I would soon find out.

 

Confession time. I was actually very reluctant to write this review. Not because the book isn’t phenomenal, in fact quite the opposite. I was so blown away by Mie’s prose, that expressing my amazement into words simply wouldn’t do this novella justice. Just the same, I’m going to attempt to do so anyway.

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De-centering Whiteness in storytelling: Sarah Gavin on “24”

Confession: I never watched 24. It’s a cultural phenomenon (much like Glee) that I chose to miss because White dudes beating up and shooting Brown terrorists isn’t my thing. I sorta know the basic premise, and I know Keifer Sutherland’s in it. Other than that — I’m completely clueless.

However, when I found out that Lana Parrilla (aka Regina Mills aka Mama Regal aka Her Royal Evilness aka HBIC) played Sarah Gavin on a few episodes, I decided to check them out.

I’m not gonna rehash a synopsis of her part in the series because you can look that up. What I want to do is once again talk about Sarah Gavin’s story in a way that de-centers Whiteness.

If we look at Sarah Gavin’s episodes from her POV as a woman of color working in a White-dominated organization, we see a story that gets played out in the lives of women of color all the time.

It’s like this:

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Batman #12: A Review

In which yours truly critiques comic.

So several people mentioned to me yesterday that I should check out Batman #12 written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Becky Cloonan.

*rubs eyes and shakes damn head*

Becky Cloonan’s art was excellent and provided the perfect mood and tone for the issue.

The story however…….

Scott Snyder, you are a very talented writer. A refreshing alternative to the drivel that’s being pushed out on mass. The story structure in this issue was strong and you created a most intriguing and compelling character in Harper Row.

That being said, Harper’s brother had epic shades of the Terry Berg fail (the gay tragedy used as a prop to create hetero angst and motivation).

Two siblings who grow up in the inner city and the gay one is too timid/weak to throw a punch. Seriously?

I will give you a pass because I can see where you genuinely thought you were doing something positive and yes you are a very gifted writer. Going forward, I’m going need writers to avoid the following fails listed here:

http://arsmarginal.wordpress.com/2011/06/27/queer-tropes-redux/

And yes, to answer several friends question Batman #12 is FAR BETTER than the garbage released last week known as AVX #9.

White Guys – The ONLY Superheroes

Hello everyone and welcome to a comic book movie rant, specifically about the stream of vanilla superheroes coming out of Marvel Studios for the next two years.

This was influenced heavily by a discussion on Ars Marginal, specifically this post, which was, in turn, influenced by a picture someone made on tumblr.

This one, to be exact:

The website I pulled the quote from was twitchfilm.com and the article in question can be found here.

The movie I forgot to mention that was the Another White Guy was Marvel’s announcement that they would be making an Ant-Man movie… Ant-Man.

Ant-Man?! What’s next? DC is going to make an Aquaman movie?