The Trojan Horse belongs in “The Illiad”

If you’ve seen Orange Is The New Black, the new Godzilla movie, Pacific Rim, or any of a host of films and TV shows that have a white (usually male) protagonist front and center while the more interesting characters of color are pushed into the supporting roles, you’re probably familiar with this.

The mentality behind it is something like this:

“Well, audiences need someone to identify with in the story, and since mainstream audiences only identify with white people, we need to have a white person there to sort of sneak in the interest in the characters of color. We use that character as our Trojan Horse to get people to see the characters of color as people they can identify with and root for.”

In essence, because white people only care about white people, there needs to be a white character involved in the story even though, narratively speaking, it should be about the characters of color.

Like fucking Dances with Wolves. Everybody knew that the Lakota characters were way more interesting than John Dunbar’s white ass. As far as the story is concerned, Kicking Bird and Wind In His Hair were the real main characters.

Fucking The Last Samurai, which is Dances with Wolves Goes to Japan, but far less self-aware about those pesky issues like racism and imperialism. I don’t think anyone watching that movie needed Tom Cruise to help them understand these characters, their world, or their story.

Don’t get me started on The Help. Like any of us gave a flying fuck about Skeeter’s ass when Aibileen and Minny are the real heart of the story.

This Trojan Horse shit is so bad that even white folks are starting to notice this shit!

I would like to take this moment to say…

ENOUGH ALREADY!

I’m so beyond sick of that shit! I’m so beyond sick of it that the next time it happens, I will not be held responsible if I go up to some random white guy and toss a bag of rabid opossums on his crotch. That’s how fucking done I am with that shit.

They think it’s so damn clever, too. “Have another attractive white man. SIKE!

Really? That’s the best they can do? Not creating three-dimensional characters of color. Oh no, that would take too much effort. No, they gotta put boring-ass white folks in the center of the narrative because that’s what they say audiences want and expect. And yet those desires and expectations inexplicably have nothing to do with the ways that mass media force-feeds people white supremacy from the day they’re born. That whole message that only white people are important apparently comes out of thin air. It’s always, “The audience wouldn’t see that,” or “The audience doesn’t want that.”

How about this one: “I’m a lazy, racist asshole with no imagination, and I think everyone else is too.”

We don’t need that shit. We didn’t need that shit in Blade; we didn’t need it in Bad Boys (or Bad Boys 2); we didn’t need it in 12 Years A Slave; we didn’t need it in After Earth; we didn’t need it in The Butler

So many movies already made a shitload of money with nary a White Tour Guide Character in sight. You don’t need a white character to ease the audience into giving a shit about characters of color. You just need to give characters of color the same care and attention as you would the white characters. As a matter of fact, all that time and energy spent on this random-ass white dude or white chick would be better spent on giving the characters of color more to do in the story besides help some white person fulfill their destiny or whatever the fuck these assholes think people of color ought to be doing.

These muthafuckas need to cut the fucking shit and just admit that they don’t wanna see our Black and Brown asses on screen more than they absolutely have to unless we’re helping white folks or making them laugh at us.

Or, at the very least, stop breaking their arms patting themselves on the back so hard for deigning to have a Brown or Black face in the supporting cast.

Brain Food At The Movies

Hello everyone and welcome to another night with Netflix, a.k.a. Brain Food At The Movies.

This time, I take a look at The Wolverine, the latest in 20th Century Fox’s attempts to keep a hold of the X-Men franchise.

It’s not as bad as The Amazing Spider-Emo, but still…

Also, in light of just how gun-totting they make the gangsters of Japan seem, I’d highly recommend reading this article, A Land Without Guns. Very enlightening stuff.

What I want to see

You know what kind of story I want to see?

I want to see stories about a woman of color enacting theatrical, operatic vengeance on anybody who fucks with her or stands in her way. I want a woman of color with such a lust for power that she makes Frank Underwood look like a slacker. I want a women of color who’s such a slippery, duplicitous, self-serving, magnificent bitch that David Xanatos would be impressed.

And I want the narrative to not punish her for it. That’s right. I want her to get away with doing horrible shit in the name of vengeance, ambition, or some other shit we act like we disapprove of but actually enjoy. I want her life to not be some Aesop about how good always wins or some other trite bullshit we know to be a flat-out fucking lie.

I am so tired of women of color, especially Black women, having to be and noble and selfless. I am so done with stories where women of color are not allowed to have grand flaws and epic passions.

If the Bride from Kill Bill can slice and dice her way through Tokyo to get back at five people who did her wrong and still have people root for her and call her an awesome character (without any of the justifications or qualifications that one would have to do with, say, Regina Mills or Marie Laveau), I want women of color to be able to do the exact same type of shit without the story or the audience constantly reminding us of how badwrongevilhorrible she is.

We throw the term “goddess” around so much when it comes to women of color. So let’s give them the same freedom as true goddesses. Let’s allow them to be everything they can be: kind and cruel, beautiful and horrible, wonderful and terrible.

Fandom Sickness

Or alternately called Dear Lord If You Bring That Excuse Out One More Time, I Will Smack You With This Mauling Grizzly Bear, I Swear To God.

In this video, I look at some of the common excuses I’ve come across from White Fandom to try and cover their own racism.

For further clarification, here is the post about Heroine’s Quest at The Mary Sue.

Now, these were just the excuses I came across the most in my experience, so if you like, please share with me the racist excuses you’ve come across as to why black people, or any other person of colour couldn’t be in a movie, comic book, or video game.

Jars of mayonnaise are not characters

One of the most frustrating things about being a person of color critically engaging with film and television is being constantly force fed whiteness as the standard for all humanity.

Aside from the fact that these movies and shows tend to have weak characterization, flimsy motives, shoddy worldbuilding, and cliche plots, there’s the fact that they force me to spend my precious time and brain cells on characters who have zilch going on to make them the least bit compelling and essentially sit there and be white while the story happens around them.

I won’t even bother with examples because this shit is so ubiquitous that I’d have a hard time keeping track. But even good movies and good TV shows are not immune. Even in the best of the best out there, you can probably find that one character that just takes up space and does nothing for the story other than exist, who is important not because of anything they bring to the story, but because you have to keep being told over and over again that they’re important.

In stories like this, you can get the distinct impression that the only reason why anyone should care about these characters at all is because they’re white and they exist. If the people making this shit are going to put so little effort into giving me characters who do more than exist and be white on screen, the least they can do is not insult actors and acting by forcing live human beings to play the equivalent of a jar of mayonnaise. Just cut out the middle man and put a jar of mayonnaise where the actor would normally be. They could save themselves money and the actors some time.

And you know what? This bullshit is really fucking noticeable when the character is a white woman. Because, apparently, “girl” or “woman” or “wife” or “mother” is all the characterization she needs. So it does this weird sort of white supremacist yet patriarchal thing where a woman is only a person insofar as she’s important to a man, but at the same time, her status as prize makes her inherently more valuable to a narrative than any women of color, especially Black women,  in the same story.

Consider Katrina Crane in Fox’s Sleepy Hollow. Look, I fucking love Sleepy Hollow! But if Katia Winter went to another show, and Fox replaced her with a jar of mayonnaise, I’d be hard-pressed to notice. What the hell does she do other than be Ichabod’s motivation, say all kinds of cryptic shit, and fail at being a witch? She only exists to be something that Ichabod strives for. Yet at the same time, when it comes to people arguing against the romantic potential between Ichabod and Abbie, or Abbie Mills being the character people most identify with, Katrina’s name consistently gets invoked.

Give me a motherfucking break.

Don’t show me a jar of mayonnaise and tell me it’s a character. Don’t show me a jar of mayonnaise with a girl’s name and tell me that’s feminist, let alone womanist.

And last but not least: STOP LEAVING ALL THESE FUCKING JARS OF MAYONNAISE ALL OVER THE GODDAMN PLACE!

Brain Food At The Movies

Hello everyone and welcome to yet another installment of Brain Food At The Movies, wherein I gush and talk about Del Toro’s latest movie, a gigantic love letter and homage to everything I loved as a child, Pacific Rim!

I also discuss how white feminists have been coming out to dismiss, critique, and put down the character of Mako Mori, and how it comes off as nothing more than the problem of Mako Mori NOT being white.

Fucking hell, WHY do they need some woman of colour to step on to make themselves feel better?