WHO I AM AND WHAT I DO:
I’m Zina and I’ve been running Stitch’s Media Mix since March 2015. I created my site as a site for fandom and media criticism after being frustrated by my inability to find a safe, welcoming place where I could be a part of these conversations in the fandoms that I already belonged to. I love being in fandom and I love the act of being a fan, but I feel as though there’s room for improvement that is always being overlooked. I’d love to be able to change certain things about the overarching institution of fandom, but for now, I’ll settle for educating and snarking my way to change in my main fandoms.
Using my academic background (I have a BA in History and am getting my MA in Literature) and my experiences as a queer Black member of fandom, I try to tackle the media I consume and the fandom spaces I inhabit from a critical and faintly snarky angle. I use my website to host my writing: media critique, analysis of fandom tropes and trends, book reviews, and the occasional bit of original fiction.
My goal is to talk critically about the media we create and consume in order to urge fandom to become a more welcoming place for marginalized and underrepresented groups of people. I want everyone to be able to have a seat at the proverbial table without it being pulled from underneath them.
Today, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida (the school I did my student teaching in back in the beginning of 2015), a young man with access to an AR-15 and a ton of ammo shot multiple people.
So far, seventeen people have died.
Children have died.
Children have fucking died.
And yet, it’s still somehow not the right time for the US Government to do something about the gun violence that plagues our country and kills children in the safest of spaces.
And the thing that gets me is that it’s somehow never the right time to talk about this violence or to how we can do something about it. Continue reading
Iirin meets the two gods that he is apparently destined to bond with and realizes that he really has no idea how to handle what will come next.
Between the moment when the carriage finally slowed to a stop and when its door opened with a muted snap, Iirin managed to come up with and discard nearly a dozen different scenarios where his introduction to the two Tals could go terribly.
Jolted out of his dark thoughts, Iirin found himself gaping up at the man that opened the door for him.
At the temple-orphanage, Iirin was the tallest inhabitant, and even when he did errands in the marketplace, he rarely saw anyone that approached his height in the bustling crowd. However, the man in front of him looked as if he almost could be several inches taller than Iirin if they stood side by side.
In addition to that stunning height, the man before him was striking, with curly dark green hair, warm brown eyes, and light brown skin several shades lighter than Iirin’s own complexion with an undertone of greenery flickering just underneath the surface.
He was also, Iirin realized when eyes met, not a regular demon.
Or even a demon at all.
Iirin had been expecting a servant to help him out of the carriage and introduce him to his future bonded, not one of the two gods themselves. Continue reading
On the first day of Black History Month, a random writer on Archive of Our Own gave to me… two separate stories that framed Shuri – T’challa’s brilliant baby sister in Black Panther – as a character that couldn’t possibly be as smart as the MCU claims and as a victim of child abuse by the Wakandan elite who are “taking advantage” of her brilliance.
These stories were written in response to Black people calling out the author’s racism in deeming Shuri a Mary Sue in Black Panther in a tumblr post (that used the Black Panther tag) and subsequently writing off the film. Continue reading
Content/Trigger Warning: References to sexual violence, sex work/er shaming, and well… a snuff film in the text that I describe in medium detail. I still can’t believe it was in the book. I cover the ableist language in the title in the bonus section alongside a bunch of other stuff that I found frustrating about the novel, but that wasn’t related to my angle.
Lycanthropes are nothing if not practical.
— Anita, woefully understating the circumstances behind a snuff film released into the US Underworld. Lycanthropes aren’t practical. If anything, in the Anitaverse, they’re largely actual monsters.
While the previous Anita Blake novel introduced lycanthropes on the large scale, The Lunatic Cafe is the novel that really introduced some of the messed up facts of life as a shapeshifter in Anita’s world.
The one main question that The Lunatic Cafe appears to ask throughout the narrative is whether or not shapeshifters are truly human (like “we” are). It’s a question asked in almost all of the shapeshifter focused books in the series and one that tends to glean different answers depending on the novel and the characters essentially posing the question.
In this book, the answer is… kinda, sorta, not really.
Before Before the Awakening, stormtrooper FN-2187 is assigned creche duty. The experience is… illuminating.
Typically, FN-2187’s work assignments never take him through the creche. That section of the ship has their own sanitation workers and FN-2187 is not one of them. The hallways look unfamiliar as he walks through them and several times, he has to be nudged in the right direction by the impatient beeping of a sentry droid.
He hasn’t been back in the creche since he was old enough to handle a blaster properly. The creche is purposefully kept on the other side of the ship from recruits his age and the Stormtroopers that work with the children rarely knowingly interact with the children they once took care of. How could they, when everyone above the age of ten cycles wears a uniform?
However, after the creche on the Supremacy receives a larger than normal group of new recruits from a recent stop at Hays Minor, several of its former inhabitants are repurposed in order to help. It’s supposed to be a temporary assignment, especially for FN-2197. While his shifts in sanitation are on hold until other creche minders can be relocated from smaller, lesser ships in the First Order, his training – on Captain Phasma’s orders, no less – is still ongoing.
FN-2187 can’t allow himself to get used to working in the creche.
Not that there’s anything for him to get used to, of course. Continue reading
I think at this point, we’ve all seen (and mocked) the misogynistic re-cut of The Last Jedi that cuts out all of the women. The re-cut film takes out all of the women in The Last Jedi in order to get rid of all the gross cooties that the women of Star Wars apparently has. Significant plot points were changed in order to center male characters with the gist of the projects being to keep men and male characters in charge and blah blah blah.
The end result of the “Defeminized” cut of The Last Jedi is a shoddy mess that’s not even fifty minutes long. It manages to be misogynistic and racist (in cutting out Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico and Veronica Ngo’s Paige Tico) and boring as hell. There aren’t that many men in The Last Jedi to make a cohesive story come out if they’re the only characters present.
But cutting the men out of The Last Jedi in response to misogynistic Men’s Rights Activists is not the answer and winds up being just as problematic for similar reasons. Continue reading
I had to pick up some books for my thesis and I wound up digging deep into my library’s film and literary criticism section despite the fact that I only needed ONE book from that section.
Here are the books I took out today, maybe you’ll find something you like!
- J-Horror: The Definitive Guide to The Ring, The Grudge, and Beyond by David Kalat
- Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film by Harry M. Benshoff
- Boys Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture, and Community in Japan edited by Mark McLelland, Kazumi Nagaike, Katsuhiko Suganuma, and James Welker
- Supervillains and Philosophy edited by Ben Dyer
- Good Girls & Wicked Witches: Women in Disney’s Feature Animation by Amy M. Davis
- Vader, Voldemort, and Other Villains: Essays on Evil in Popular Media edited by Jamey Heit
- The Thrill of Repulsion: Excursions into Horror Culture by William Burns
- Batman Death of the Family by Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley
- Batman: Harley Quinn by Paul Dini, Yvel Guichet, Aaron Sowd, Don Kramer, Wayne Faucher, Joe Quinones, and Neil Googe
- Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
- Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 02 by John Wagner, Pat Mills, and Brian Bolland
- The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland