A story about teeth

Netflix have responded to the Dave Chappelle transphobia on their platform with the statement, “We have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” So if I may, I would like to take a minute to talk about…sharks.

Peter Benchley wrote the novel Jaws in 1974 and helped write the film adaption. Jaws the movie is a FANTASTIC horror film, there’s a reason it went down in history. It made me so scared of sharks that as a child I avoided the deep end of swimming pools just in case there was a shark lurking down there. It made everyone scared of sharks.

And, because content on screen does in fact directly translate to real-world harm, people who had seen Jaws reacted by going out and killing sharks. The director of the Florida Program for Shark Research told the BBC in 2015,

“A collective testosterone rush certainly swept through the east coast of the US. Thousands of fishers set out to catch trophy sharks after seeing Jaws. It was good blue collar fishing. You didn’t have to have a fancy boat or gear – an average Joe could catch big fish, and there was no remorse, since there was this mindset that they were man-killers.”

Yep, the impact of Jaws was still being talked about in 2015! Because ya guessed it, content on screen does in fact directly translate to real-world harm.

The effect Jaws had on real-life sharks is still being discussed right now even! Conservation psychology researcher Brianna Le Busque told the Mercury News in July,

“Since Jaws, we’ve seen a proliferation of monster shark movies — ‘Open Water,’ ‘The Meg,’ ’47 Meters Down,’ ‘Sharknado’ — all of which overtly present sharks as terrifying creatures with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. This is just not true. Sharks are at much greater risk of harm from humans, than humans from sharks, with global shark populations in rapid decline, and many species at risk of extinction.”

“Exacerbating a fear of sharks that’s disproportionate to their actual threat damages conservation efforts, often influencing people to support potentially harmful mitigation strategies. There’s no doubt that the legacy of Jaws persists, but we must be mindful of how films portray sharks to capture movie-goers. This is an important step to debunk shark myths and build shark conservation.”

We don’t know how many sharks were killed by hunters who hated and feared them, but it was certainly enough. Shark populations, already in danger due to people killing them for food, plummeted. And Peter Benchley, who knew by this point that content on screen does in fact directly translate to real-world harm, was horrified. In fact, he spent a good portion of the rest of his life trying to make up for what he’d unwittingly unleashed. He became an ocean activist and once said that if he was to write the book again the shark, “would have to be written as the victim, for, worldwide, sharks are much more the oppressed than the oppressors.” He used his own money from Jaws to fund conversation efforts.

Sharks numbers are apparently growing now and generally humans have learned they’re just animals, not vengeful child-killing monsters. Yet still the amount of sharks killed because of that one movie is incalculable. So, forgive me, but Netflix’s response to what they’ve done here, promoting hate against groups who cannot defend themselves on their home turf nearly as well as sharks, it all seems extremely…


Playing Robin Williams

Actor Jamie Costa dropped this the other day:

And it’s very good! I always admired Costa’s work, ever since I saw his Star Wars impressions. And I’d love it if he got a big break in mainstream Hollywood. But… If there ever was to be a Robin Williams biopic, and I’ve thought this for years, I want Will Forte to play him.

So there’s only a vague resemblance, I’ll grant you that. But Will Forte just has that same combination of manic energy and deep sadness Williams always had, I really think so.

Watching his work, especially The Last Man on Earth, I just get that vibe. I know this is a bit of fancasting that will probably never happen, and also I think the last word about whether there should even be a Williams biopic should be down to his children… but if there is, Forte is my pick.

fourteen favourite shots: Doctor Who season one

I don’t know I’ll necessarily watch season one again, I had some big issues with it even before the news hit, but here ya go. Fourteen shots from the thirteen episodes I guess made me a Who fan.

Dear White People Showrunner Quits Netflix Over Dave Chappelle’s Transphobic Special — The Mary Sue

Dave Chappelle continues to tarnish his own comedic legacy with his latest Netflix comedy special The Closer, where he doubles down on his transphobic and homophobic rhetoric. 954 more words

Dear White People Showrunner Quits Netflix Over Dave Chappelle’s Transphobic Special — The Mary Sue

This article, and the attached Twitter threads, are well worth a read.

What If… Gamora got her What If episode?

The finale of What If was today, and though I’ve had some pretty big quibbles with this show I liked it overall. But I was so confused when Gamora showed up! Pleased but confused, because despite her being on the posters we’d seen absolutely nothing regarding her so far?

Turns out her episode was cancelled due to COVID restrictions and it’ll be on next year! That’s something to look forward to I guess, but as soon I saw her on the poster I was really looking forward to that episode, couldn’t they have cut the Party Thor one instead?

Anyway! Some thoughts on that finale:

-Black Widow and Captain Carter were giving each other some very significant looks in that episode but of course Disney wouldn’t go there.

-Frankly the last five or so minutes of this episode felt like a better tribute to Natasha than the actual Black Widow movie did.

-How can you all not guess Killmonger would betray you? He has “kill” in his name!

-Blink and you’ll miss this, but T’Challa went back to get Peter Quill and now they’re bros! Oh that’s nice. Wonder if we’ll get any of that in season two.

-The revelation of a living Steve at the end of the credits was expected, but I really wish Peggy would get at least one ending that doesn’t involve Steve.

Thread to read

This began as one horrible story but then many equally horrible stories were added onto it, and more, and more, and more.

I can’t even add any commentary beyond, “I despair of this country.”

Fixing Doctor Who’s Barrowman problem

John Barrowman has now been fired from Dancing on Ice (though curiously he continues to be employed by ITV) and it got me wondering. There’s no way in hell he’s coming back to Doctor Who now but… I like Jack. He had a big impact on my teenage self, he was Important in a way I couldn’t even explain. And of course he was in the middle of a return to the show when this happened, unlike DW’s other sex offender Noel Clarke. (God I still can’t believe I’m typing those words.)

At this point I have had a LOT of characters who I love turn out to be played by sex offenders and I have only one solution. Every time something like this happens, please listen to me TV show execs, recast. Even if the actor was beloved before. Even if they still have defenders. Even if everyone remains convinced that no-one else could play the character, because I assure you they can. And when it comes to the Barrowman problem specifically…

…Just like as with the Doctor, there are built-in ways Jack can easily be recast! Maybe the Doctor gives him some spare regeneration energy off-screen and his appearance changes. Or you can go the technobabble route, have him fall into some magic face-changing machine. No-one cares about the explanation, it’s Doctor Who! Or then there’s the easiest possible route and my favourite, just have him age. We know Jack ages, just very very slowly, that’s how the Face of Boe came about.

So how about, let’s assume that the next time the Doctor meets Jack it’s well into the future from Jack’s POV. Jack has aged and no longer looks like John Barrowman. Bye bye, Barrowman. Who could play Aged-Up Jack then?

Well, I have one idea that keeps coming back to me. I think if Jack was recast the most important thing to do would have him be played by an LGBT actor, for obvious reasons. An LGBT icon maybe. Who can act. And who is universally recognized for being able to act. And who would bring in more viewers. And is a British icon on top of all of that. How about…

Yeah… I want Sir Ian McKellen to play Captain Jack Harkness.

(side note: While writing this I had to check Jack’s increasingly convoluted Wiki page and turns out his real name finally got revealed as “Javic Piotr Thane.” Huh. Well, I want Sir Ian McKellen to be able to deliver that name in his magnificent speaking voice too, then.)

The aftermath of the Wayne Couzens trial

Someone said this, someone actually said this.

I just can’t. On the day of the trial I went to look at the news in my local area, just the news from the past couple weeks in one fairly small area, and it was a terrible list of raped or murdered women. Perhaps no police officers were involved in these ones but it all comes from the same root, doesn’t it?

Don’t go on dates, don’t go out alone, don’t dress immodestly, be “streetwise” or it’s your fault. Wayne Couzens was nicknamed “the rapist” during his time as a cop. No-one did anything about it.