Young Justice, You’ve Got My Attention

As many of you may recall, I had more than a few issues and concerns with the Young Justice series when it initially premiered. For those of you just joining us or if you need a refresher, feel free to catch up here.

With that being said, I continued to watch the series and steadily the show improved with each episode. However it was the season finale, Usual Suspects, that proved to be a game changer and setting up for season two: Young Justice Invasion which premieres this weekend.

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Creating art and life from the intersections (reposted from Love’s Labors Lost)

(Originally posted at Love’s Labors Lost)

With the $1 Play Project underway (and if you have 60 seconds and $1.00, you really should give what you can), and way too much to do in not enough time, I want to take a moment (read: procrastinate) and talk about what it’s like and what it means to create art from a perspective of intersectionality.

Before buzzwords like “intersectionality” came along, a lot of people assumed that womanhood was White, Blackness was male, and both were straight. When Black feminists and womanists proclaimed that All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some Of Us Are Brave, they created a new paradigm for examining race, gender, and sexuality that centered on the lives of Black women.

When I started writing Tulpa, or Anne&Me in late 2009, I had no idea I’d be doing the same thing for theatre. As much as I like to fantasize otherwise, I’m not really all that brave. I hate pain (receiving or inflicting it), and I am more easily hurt than I often let on. I’m much more prone to shyness, anxiety, depression, and exhaustion than my online persona indicates. My outspokenness about racism, sexism, and homophobia says more about their magnitude and the peril they pose to human beings than about any particular courage or wisdom on my part.

So when I set out to put down on paper some of the many thoughts and feelings I have when I try to relate to White women about race and gender (all from the perspective of a woman who loves women), it wasn’t because I was intentionally trying to provoke people. It initially started out on my LiveJournal on something of a lark that channeled my infatuation with Anne Hathaway into something more meaningful. Since the discussions about race I was having with real White women were often so lacking, why not make up the conversations I wanted to have?

As Black women, we are constantly being asked to hide away or tear off chunks of who we are to make us safer for consumption. When we are with women, we’re supposed to magically forget we are Black. When we are Black, we’re supposed to ignore our womanhood. And we’d better keep that queer shit deep in the closet if we know what’s good for us. Yet in Tulpa, all three of these identities are necessary to fully understanding the characters and the story.

Tulpa, or Anne&Me is not Intro to Intersectionality. The dialogue is pretty exclusively about race. But it’s a queer woman’s experience of race and how it impacts her most personal moments. The play focuses on an intimate relationship. But it’s a relationship between women trying to maintain that intimacy in the face of racism and what that means for both of them.

“Your silence will not protect you,” Audre Lorde once said. Even prior to reading Sister Outsider, I may have sensed that this was true. As much as I hate being the center of attention or the object of scrutiny, the alternative – my silence – was even worse. My silence would mean allowing someone other than myself to define what my life means or what it should mean. My silence would mean becoming a shadow not only of myself but to myself. My silence would mean accepting my own dehumanization.

Despite the fact that I live as a queer Black woman in my queer Black woman body, as an artist I often wrestle with a sense that my life as I live it diminishes my art because it’s somehow not as universal. But creating Tulpa, or Anne&Me cured me of that.

My art does not happen despite my queer Black woman self but directly because of it.

My queer Black woman self is not an obstacle to my humanity – it’s the key to truly acknowledging and understanding it.

Brain Food – Episode 15

Well, there’s been much sickness, injury, and ill-health keeping me from my video-making duties, but I’ve finally broken through the other side and in full health, I’ve gotten around to reviewing Issue #16 of Life With Archie, which celebrates the marriage of celebrated war hero Kevin Keller to physical therapist Clay Walker. It was a great little comic to read and I hope that everyone gets behind this series.

For more information on One Million Moms and their idiocy, take a look here.

AvX And Why I’m Team X-Men

Hat tip to the crew on my comic book email list for inspiring this post.

As many of you are aware, Marvel’s latest major company event is here: AvX also known as Avengers vs.X-Men.

Given Marvel’s track record, I expect this story arc to go straight to hell in the second to last issue if not the final installment. Because that’s just how Marvel rolls. The fact is that The House of Ideas does indeed come up with some excellent concepts. However Marvel will consistently sabotage their own stories to maintain the status quo if said storytelling will result in character development or changing the landscape of the universe such as protagonists being unheroic or venturing the universe into unfamiliar territory.

Examples include but not limited to: Hulk being shipped off to another planet by his friends and their ship accidently murdering his wife. And while his comrades had a legit reason for their dubious actions, rather than explore their corruption, it deus ex machina’ed that some random alien sabotaged the ship and thus all the Marvel “heroes” are still good. Scarlet Witch murdering three Avengers and wiping out mutants, only it wasn’t her fault, a bad force made her do it. Tony Stark violating the Civil Rights of metahumans (yes I know that’s a DC term but roll with me here) and minorities only he gets amnesia and doesn’t remember his crimes. To be fair the last one was probably the best play Marvel could’ve made because even now I still can’t look at Stark as anything other than a racist Nazi fascist (read Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel to see Stark’s racism at play).

The point is Marvel sabotages its great ideas maintain the status quo and maintain one dimensional characters: House of M, Civil War, World War Hulk, Children’s Crusade, Doomwar, etc. and so forth.

So even with Brian Michael Bendis at the helm (whom I’m personally a fan of) I’m expecting the same fail with this event given Marvel’s editorial mandates and their track record.

Moving on.

After reading issue one of AvX, there was an interesting gem that I took note of. Captain America comes to Utopia to take Hope into custody because the Phoenix Force has returned and currently resides within her. Cyclops of course isn’t having it. Hence the confrontation. And in the midst of the confrontation a very powerful truth is revealed:

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De-centering Whiteness in storytelling

One of the great things I’ve come to enjoy about being an Evil Regal woman of color is how that has allowed me a new prism through which to view the stories I’m being told on a daily basis. My infatuation with Lana Parrilla aside, it’s given me a great way to practice de-centering Whiteness in narrative media. Ever since I first asked, “What if Regina/The Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time isn’t White?” I’ve gotten a lot better at doing this. I’ve started picking up patterns and questioning the narrative that they’re trying to feed me.

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Review: Grifter & Midnighter

So let’s talk about Chuck Dixon and why he fails as both a writer and a human being.

I read Dixon’s work for years long before I learned how outspoken he is about his hatred and disdain for LGBTQs and people of color.

Even way back yonder I always felt his work to be mediocre at best and never understood why he received all the hype he got: Gail Simone’s run of the Birds of Prey was far superior and what he did to Outsiders was unforgivable.

Needless to say I had misgivings about Dixon penning Grifter & Midnighter but against my better judgment I decided to give the miniseries a chance. After all, maybe Dixon would surprise me, in a positive way.

The verdict: trust your instincts.

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