As you all know, I am largely on social media hiatus. As a result, I have been making use of the Disney+ membership I got Meems so she could watch Wandavision. (Which is very good but Wanda is whitewashed – to an extent, it feels like the wrong word here but I don’t know what fits – in the casting and that’s not going away any time soon.) Anyway, in watching all of the MCU movies except the Spider-Man ones as they don’t seem to be on the platform, I have come to experience a deep loathing for Infinity War and Endgame.
So now, instead of doing literally anything else I am supposed to be doing, I bring you… a list of loathing.
First of all, Ming Na Wen plays Melinda May, not May Parker. (May Parker, by the way, is Peter Parker’s alternate universe daughter…) I got my Marvel wires crossed because I was multi-tasking on something while I recorded this! My bad.
The title is a bit of a misrepresentation. I actually talk about a single moment in the podcast that kind of disrupted my ability to enjoy what I was listening to 100% (It dropped down to like… 89.78%, not gonna lie.) and then I talked about the casual antiblackness I’ve been noticing from popular Korean and Korean American bloggers in the past year as I’ve worked on my project and how often it comes up with media criticism.
At the end of the day, it’s not like I was expecting a single person on this podcast to talk about East Asian antiblackness or antiblackness in general. So I’m not actually trying to place my own burden of responsibility on them. But I feel like it was a bruise on an otherwise genuinely awesome episode because there was no need to zero in on Black Panther in the way they did, I feel like… it wasn’t a great moment and it was unnecessary on top of that.
Honestly, the episode is across the board good, but it’s like… that moment threw me off my groove so solidly that well… Yes, I made a 36 minute long podcast episode about a moment in someone else’s podcast.
Here’s the link to the episode of The Tablo Podcast I’m talking about!
From GoTranscript! [Editing is still in progress, but I wanted to post it.]
Welcome to the inaugural episode of Stitch Talks Ish.
This is a mini-podcast that I’ll be doing on my website public content that is available to everyone who subscribes or just shows up on my website and listens to my content. This first episode of Stitch Talks Ish is subtitled “Stitch talks about The Tablo Podcast episode on racism”. Really, it’s that I’m going to talk about a moment in the podcast, not the whole thing. I’m an infrequent listener of other podcasts because I do listen to them, I work in marketing, so there are times where it is literally just reasonable to pop my headphones in and put on a good podcast and just enjoy other people going about their lives.
Tablo of Epik High is a really good podcast. It’s really
entertaining, really solid guests, really good introspection. It’s a good
podcast listen to while you’re at work and I’ve been in and out, so a couple of
episodes behind, but the 15th episode came out today, it looks like. Eddie, Nam
and Eric Nam who is on his own podcast with Spotify for K-pop was on and they
were talking about racism and it was just honestly really funny because it was
like, “Well, we don’t want to talk about K-pop. We’re going to talk about
something light and fun. We’re going to talk about racism.” It was an
hour-long almost. It was about 54 minutes long according to Spotify on my end.
Eric was like, “Are you serious?”
Honestly, I really love that
they brought hilarious notes to this topic because obviously somebody who
writes and talks about racism in fandom and in media, my experiences with
dealing with racism as a queer black person in America, I find it really
fascinating and really helpful when other people talk about racism and bring up
how it shapes our lives and just put a little light into it, in the situation’s
we go through and the kind of poke fun at experiencing racism honestly, so it
is a good episode.
If you stop here, that’s all you need to know. If you keep going, honestly, there was- one and a half moments across the podcast that pinged me.
In a (now deleted) tweet thread from April of this year, writer and artist Kate Leth went in on superhero media for the lack of queer representation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The thread was fine and absolutely valid right up until the last tweet where she wrote that:
“There were queer characters in Ragnarok and Black Panther whose scenes were cut. Okoye was awkwardly made straight with a plot that went nowhere. Loki exists in subtext. It’s bullshit, pardon my french, that we’re just supposed to go “oh yeah of course, because of money”
You know what this tweet shows me?
It shows me that Leth might not be able to tell Black women apart from one another and that she doesn’t see the value in a character who chooses love of country and her faith in justice over the love of her life (after he sets himself against their country).
It shows me that while Leth knows the basics about the characters and the film (the cut scene with Ayo flirting with Okoye and the Ayo/Aneka relationship in the World of Wakanda comics), she doesn’t know enough to recognize that Okoye and Ayo (or Aneka) aren’t the same characters.
From Hannibal Lecter eating the rude across the northeastern United States to Loki’s attempts to subjugate the human race and Kylo Ren’s patricide and misogyny, fandom just loves to look at villains who have committed atrocities and decide that they’re in fact complex characters who just need a redemption arc to set them on the right track (because they have a good reason for what they did/the heroes of the series are in fact the real villain) …
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.Read More »
Every time a nerdy piece of media dares to center a Black woman in some way, White Feminists in fandom show up to show how much they don’t care about Black women.
You can go through my archives for the past three years to see the different ways that White Feminism has failed Black female characters and the fans that love them. I don’t need to go through how Black women are constantly desexualized or ignored or mistreated by fandom in the name of (White) Feminism.
In the wake of Thor: Ragnarok, I had the… unwelcome opportunity to see such dismissive content play out in the form of an Italian viewer whose attempt at tackling the film (and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie) showed the most basic grasp of gender performance and doesn’t bother to bring intersectionality to the table.
I’m not going to link to the original post or her blog, but I will quote it heavily because it is, word for word, emblematic of the way that seemingly progressive people in fandom talk about Black women in dismissive and dehumanizing language.
So I’m trying something new by making an audio review following my second viewing of Spider-Man: Homecoming! Right now I don’t have a way to transcribe the audio, but f I ever get to a place where I can afford to pay for transcription… I’ll get on that.
This review contains so many spoilers for Homecoming, a metric ton of Tony Stark Hate (ugh), some bitterness about the Miles Morales movie we could’ve had, and goopy fawning over how much I loved this movie.
After eight years, fourteen feature-length films, and four separate television series, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally managed to place a Black man front and center in his own narrative. Luke Cage, a character previously seen as a supporting character in the first season of the Netflix-exclusive series Marvel’s Jessica Jones, is the first Black character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to star in their own series rather than remain a poorly-fleshed out sidekick to a white character.
Marvel’s Luke Cage is one of the only series out on television today that provides a close and realistic look at what it means to be a Black person in a world of superheroes. The series’ significant focus on agency, trauma, power, and personhood as they relate to Black bodies—as well as its portrayal of powerful, multi-faceted Black women like Mariah Stokes, Misty Knight, and Claire Temple—puts it above and beyond the very white superhero television and film franchises that dominate the media.
I wrote this piece on Marvel’s Luke Cage series for Strange Horizons and I’m really proud of it!
I got to talk a lot about the role power and agency play in the series, how Jessica Jones really had issues with antiblackness, and how Luke Cage matters as significant representation both to us in the real world and within the MCU.
I’m really grateful that Strange Horizons gave me the chance to write this piece and I think that if you read nothing else from me, that you should read this because a lot of work went into it and I feel that it comprehensively covers the things that Luke Cage did right and how important the show is.
Title: Marvel’s Black Widow: From Spy to Superhero Editor: Sherry Ginn Authors: Malgorzata Drewniok, Heather M. Porter, Samira Nadkarni, Valerie Estelle Frankel, Jillian Coleman Benjamin, Sherry Ginn, Lewis Call, David Kociemba, and Tanya R. Cochran Rating: Yeah, No Thanks Genre/Category: Nonfiction, Superheroes, Feminism, Popular Culture, Comic Books Release Date: March 1, 2017 Publisher: McFarland and Company
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. All of the views in review are my own.
This collection of essays first came to my attention last semester when I looking for sources I could use in a paper for my Cold War literature class about the position the Black Widow held when it came to Anti-Cold War propaganda in comic books. This essay collection is both a celebration of Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) and a criticism of the cultural environments that led to her creation and subsequent (frequent) reimaginings/reinventions as a second-string to male heroes in Marvel’s various universes.
Out of the volume’s nine essays, I thought maybe three or four had serious worth and didn’t make me want to pitch my kindle.
A lot of people die in Captain America: Civil War.
Within the first twenty minutes alone, a good dozen people (at least) die between the confrontation with Rumlow and his men, the chase through the marketplace in Lagos, and the bomb.
You come to expect a lot of death in superhero films. Either the villains are killing people, the heroes are killing villains (and the occasional civilian casualty), or debris from a major fight kills people. Even superheroes who previous took oaths not to kill (like Batman) now shoot AR-15’s and snap necks to save the world.
That being said though, most (but not all) of the many people that die within the first few minutes of Captain America: Civil War are Black. In fact, most of the major incidents that trigger action within the film involve (or follow) the death and/or pain of Black people and how it affects white characters.
The point of this post is to look critically at how Black pain and death are handled in this movie and how Black pain and death in Civil War tends to revolve around white characters. I also aim to look at what it says about a film franchise that took over a decade before it had a film headlined by a Black character (and no Black women as main characters).Read More »
Yesterday, internet gossip revealed that 12 Years A Slave actress (and all around adorable human being) Lupita Nyong’o was in talks to star opposite Chadwick Boseman in 2018’s Black Panther solo movie. One of the earliest (now seemingly refuted) tidbits of information about this potential role was that Lupita would be playing the female lead and specifically would fill the love interest role.
Almost immediately, the concern trolls came out of the woodwork.
“Why do you have to reduce Lupita to a love interest,” they cried. “She’s a strong Black woman who doesn’t need a man. She should play one of the Dora Milaje or T’challa’s sister Shuri or someone else who has no romantic life and exists to be strong and undesirable (because Blackwomen can’t be strong and desirable at the same time).”
I’m supposed to be writing a paper on the nature of transgression via the Marquis de Sade. Instead, I’m rebelling by watching Matt Murdock beat the shit out of half the criminal underworld in Hell’s Kitchen while Frank Castle murders the half.
I’ve been sporadically tweeting about the series (mostly cursing) but Tues/Thurs I’ll be putting up a video about the series and my thoughts. So far though, its okay. I’m not liking how so far its even less diverse than the first season (SOMEHOW) and obviously, I think The Punisher is a dick but he has a monologue in episode four that really kind of helped me get into his character.
If you’re watching Daredevil or you plan to, the comments for that forthcoming post will be a place where we can scream about the show together.
Agent Carter‘s second season has a promo video and a premiere date! Hayley Atwell and Co will return for the series’ second season on January 5th with a big change in scenery and plenty of fun moments. I’m actually super excited about this. But then, I was excited about season one until it quickly fizzled […]
When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (henceforth referred to as AoS because I’m not typing that out all the time) was first announced, I wasn’t interested. Sure, I enjoyed the Avengers despite having held a serious grudge against Joss Whedon’s style of writing and directing since I was eleven and watching Buffy, but this show that wasn’t on that level. I had a lot of questions and of course, they weren’t always very nice ones.
Where were my superheroes?
Where were my recognizable characters?
Where was Chris Evan’s pretty face?
Why was the MCU’s favorite self-insert Phil Coulson all over the place?
So the first two times that I started the show, I did so while sick and/or annoyed. I watched the series in pieces, while I had the flu or while I was working on other projects. I didn’t ever give it my full attention or anything close to my full analytical focus. However, that’s changed. I’m going to be watching AoS from the beginning and thinking critically while I do it.
At the same time though, I’ll be watching some of the episodes with my niece M and sharing her observations alongside mine. She’s a cool kid and very willing to pop my ego when it gets too big so hopefully, this will be a fun experience for everyone.
Why are comic book fans so darn mad when a comic book character gets the racebending treatment?
For the most part, comic book fans are so very predictable when it comes to race.
Nothing pisses comic fans off more than a historically white character being racebent and therefore turned into a character of color or when a character of color takes over a legacy title (Like Superman, Spider-Man, or Ms. Marvel).Read More »