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“Losing At Chess To A Dog”

(Speaking as a white person but-)

There’s this pattern happening in MCU fandom that feels kinda racist, really. Regarding the handling of queer characters in that franchise, there’s something I keep coming back to – Loki and Eternals came out in the same year. Loki had the main character make one comment about being bi and everyone loved it, but Phastos in Eternals was taken much further, he had a husband! Who he kissed onscreen! And yet he Didn’t Count as a queer character for some reason.

I saw so much of that, he just… Didn’t. I saw a lot of “Well, that character created the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima :/” (he didn’t) but at the same time everyone was falling over themselves about Loki being queer, when Loki has murdered and enslaved countless people on screen and was vaguely compared to Hitler once. (Loki’s more horrifying crimes have been completely forgotten these days. He’s never expressed much regret for them either in canon either IIRC.)

So Phastos Didn’t Count, and his Middle Eastern non-superhero husband Ben also Doesn’t Count it seems, for… What reason?! Both are canonically queer characters and their sexuality had a hell of a lot more time dedicated to it than Loki’s did. (I still wonder about Eternals. That bit of misinformation about Hiroshima spread so far and wide it makes me think it was deliberately being promoted by bad actors. The ‘go woke go broke’ crowd HATED that movie and they got to crow about a victory when it flopped.)

And now – Wakanda Forever isn’t even out yet and people are already making excuses as to why Michaela Coel’s character Aneka isn’t going to Count. There’s an interview with Coel going around where she states her character is going to be queer in the movie and people started posting that meme response “being queerbaited by the MCU is like losing at chess to a dog”…which feels incredibly mean and racist when posted in direct response to something she said: it’s like they’re implying she’s the dog. Plus, why do you think it’s queerbaiting? You HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE! Nobody has yet!

So yeah. I feel like when people started saying “We want queer characters in the MCU” they meant “We want WHITE queer characters in the MCU” because the mental gymnastics people have done to not accept the queer characters of colour has been ridiculous.

The Power of the Doctor trailer

Love the title, love Jodie, don’t love that the marketing team have so little time left to hype this up. Less than a month!

But look! There’s Ashad AND Vinder! I wasn’t expecting those guys! I keep hearing that some other past companions might pop up so I’m keeping my fingers extremely crossed for a Martha appearance. Or Amy. Or Rory. Or Bill! Any of my faves!

Harry Osborn and Eugene “Frog-Man” Patilio: A ribbeting parallel — harryosborn.net

Eugene Patilio, a Z-list superhero who I was always quite fond of, showed up on She-Hulk last night! Well, sort of. That was #NotMyEugene, as Twitter might say. Others have pointed out that She-Hulk’s rich loser, amusing though he was, didn’t really have much in common with the Frog-Man of the comics, and was really […]

Harry Osborn and Eugene “Frog-Man” Patilio: A ribbeting parallel — harryosborn.net

I wrote this over at harryosborn.net and decided to post it here too! Sadly it only has two frog puns in it.

Comics, canon, fanfiction, mythology

Recent unpopular events in the Spider-Man comics (yes, even more of them) have got me thinking about the whole concept of ongoing comics as a storytelling medium. And then I have to stop and take out a word, because I don’t think what comics have at the moment is storytelling? Not in Marvel world, anyway, not sure about DC comics. If Spider-Man or Iron Man or Dr Strange aren’t allowed to grow in many significant ways, or to stay dead if they die, how can that ever work?

At the moment it feels like current comics “canon” is more just us the readers seeing people play with toys over and over again. There’s a lot of value in playing with toys, of course, but why should one person’s made up playtime story matter more than another’s? Can’t my fanfiction be canon too, especially in a world like Marvel’s where canon barely exists as is? Didn’t several of their characters fight in the Vietnam War until Marvel literally, and yes this is as bizarre as it sounds, replace the Vietnam War with a fictional war involving a sentient country? How on earth are you supposed to have a “canon” when stuff like that is going on?

At the moment it feels like Marvel comics are at best a testing ground for ideas that might make it into the MCU, and at worst a long and convoluted advertisement for Funko Pops and Fortnite skins. You can’t grow attached to any character because a retcon or shocking twist will inevitably happen and ruin them. You can’t appreciate your favorite toy because some other kid on the playground is going to rip it out of your hand and stomp on it, and good luck affording a new one. I’ve heard comics called modern mythology but they’re only mythology via capitalism, and thus not mythology at all, in the same way that a story which is forbidden to end cannot be a story.

Do fanfiction.

One stray thought on the Rings of Power “controversy”

Regardless of its flaws (Tolkien fans have told me there are many) this show really highlights how ridiculous it was for Peter Jackson and co to present an almost all-white Middle Earth in their movies. It bugs me more and more, especially when you learn about the deliberately exclusive, incredibly infuriating casting policy. And if you look at Rings of Power as being a deliberate prequel to the movies rather than much to do with the books, what we’ve unfortunately got now is an on-camera fantasy world where everyone gets lighter and society gets less diverse the further into the future one gets.

…Which you’d think would make the racist crowd like it more. Go figure.

Alan Rickman Diaries Chronicle Ever-Changing Feelings On ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise — Deadline

Alan Rickman, the late Harry Potter star, is making his mixed feelings about sticking with the franchise known through diary entries published Saturday by The Guardian. The diary entries about Potter demonstrate Rickman’s devotion to his character Professor Severus Snape but also his reluctance to lock himself in to a long-running franchise. As early as […]

Alan Rickman Diaries Chronicle Ever-Changing Feelings On ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise — Deadline

After everything that’s happened with this goddamn franchise I’m relieved that still the only bad thing anyone can say about Alan Rickman is, “he apparently had absolutely no musical taste whatsoever.”

SCREW Warner Bros for how they treated Final Space

Olan Rogers released this statement yesterday:

It says,

Five years of my life. Three seasons of TV. Blood, sweat, and tears. ……became a tax write-off for the network who owns Final Space.

Yup. That’s it. That’s why it’s disappeared everywhere in the USA. Five years of work vanished. When the license is up internationally, Netflix will take it down, and then it will be gone forever. There are no more physical copies of S1 and S2, and no physical copies of Season 3 were ever made. Your memory of Final Space will be the only proof it ever existed unless you own a copy.

I’ve been trying to process how this feels; it’s been hard because it’s just so absurd. Like a tax write-off, really? Or maybe I’ve become so numb to bad things happening in my life because of the frequency with which it has been occurring that I didn’t really register this sting.

But the stinger has broken off underneath my skin. And now it’s annoying. Look, I get it; this decision was just business. But Final Space will always be personal to me. Some might say to give up and move on, and I have moved on to many new projects that I’m very passionate about, but I will not give up on this story and these characters. I will never stop fighting for Final Space. If it takes years, then so be it! #renewfinalspace It’s a banner that you all have been waving, and it’s a rallying cry I can stand behind while I continue into this long dark night chasing an ending for this story.

-Olan

He’s obviously so upset and I am too. I just can’t believe we treat art like this, and over the past few months I’ve watched in bewilderment as it got worse and worse and left so many artists brokenhearted.

Pirate your movies and TV shows, kids. Especially if they were never actually released on home media. (Seriously, why the hell would anyone not do that?! But here we are.) You can’t trust big corporations to be caretakers of anything and apparently they now do the equivalent of burning down a small library every couple of months.

Five Thoughts on “Not Okay”

I saw this movie a month or two ago during a period where I was, ironically, very very much not okay. And yet, for whatever reason I was able to engage with it, enough to end up watching it twice even, and I’m not completely sure why. I guess it’s just a good film? (Spoilers ahead.)

1. So this is basically Cancelled: The Movie. Did Danni learn anything at all from her experience? She says she didn’t towards the end, which is more honesty than I expected from this absolute car-crash of a human being, but I noticed… She kept her highly distinctive hairstyle even post-cancellation, even though it made her more an easy target for the people harassing her. Maybe that was her way of subconsciously punishing herself.

2. Mia Isaac as Rowan is really the highlight of this movie, she’s just totally and unnervingly believable as a teenage school shooting survivor. You can tell that Rowan is a very kind-hearted person who’s just been constantly destroyed over and over, and then by the end she’s not going to take it anymore. Her last scene with all her righteous anger is really good.

3. And speaking of school shootings… god, I’m just never going to be over seeing shooting drills as a normal part of some people’s high school life. That is accurate to reality, right? I’m not American so I’m getting this info from movies and TV but god, what a way to create a generation of traumatized kids.

4. There aren’t really any sympathetic characters in this movie apart from Rowan and her family, and maybe Danni’s parents. Harper does the right thing by exposing Danni but she admits upfront she was motivated mostly by jealousy. And pretty much everyone else in the movie is incredibly vacuous, hedonistic and self-centered. You kind of wonder if maybe Danni would have turned out at least a little different if she wasn’t working in a world that was celebrating those qualities.

5. Danni’s pet guinea pig (named, rolls eyes, Guinea Weasley) strikes me as an oddly important character. No good guinea pig owner would keep just one of them, they’re social creatures who need a companion. If they don’t have any social bonds, they develop depression and can even die. So Danni is keeping this creature in what’s probably a lot of misery, another indication of how ignorant and selfish she is. And on top of that the guinea pig is a metaphor for Danni herself: right from the beginning she’s clearly deprived of meaningful social contact, and so over the course of the movie her mental state starts to deteriorate. Unlike the guinea pig though, she can choose how to act. And chooses terribly.