The 13th Doctor… has arrived.

And she is a lady! WHOO HOOO!!!

And oh, the tears, they are delicious, falling from the faces of white dudebros angry that out of the past 50 years of Doctor Who, the longest running Sci-Fi show on television (second longest being Ultraman for you trivia buffs), in 2017, the Doctor is finally a woman.

Never mind the fact that the Doctor is an alien with 2 hearts who travels in a pocket of subspace wrapped up in a malfunctioning chameleon circuit, who regenerates into a new form on the brink of death, oh no…

All of that is just fine and dandy, it’s that she’s a woman now that’s unacceptable.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that out of the wealth of wonderful, leading ladies in our pop culture, popping up in some pretty big names in our fandom, they’re still, for the most part, white and straight.

Feminist Freqency was the first I saw to point this out:

While Beastbrarian had an excellent thread about diversity:

And Alisha Rai had some things to point out:

And Jay the Nerd Kid has some thoughts as to the diversity make up of Moffat as compared to RTD, which is something to keep in mind when we get the new showrunner.

Essentially, while I am very excited about the Doctor being a woman, and Moffat finally leaving the show (because wow did I have problems with his writing), there should not be a demand on women of colour to lend their support to the series just because the lead is now a woman.

Free emotional labour is something demanded of them enough as it is, particularly if you’re a black woman, so don’t do that. It’s selfish, ignorant, cruel and heartless.

 

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Spider-Man Homecoming – A Review

Hey everyone!

Fresh off the viewing of this movie with my niece, who is as big a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fan as I am, I’ve had time to think about this movie, and, well, you might not like those thoughts.

Because I left the theatre feeling pretty underwhelmed.

Why?

Because I’m pretty sure I paid for a ticket to see a Spider-Man movie, not an Iron Man movie, and that could be a reason why a shared, cinematic universe has its weaknesses.

Now, before we go any further, I will advise everyone that there are majour spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk if you haven’t seen the movie already.

Alright then, away we go…

Continue reading “Spider-Man Homecoming – A Review”

Image Comics & Provoking Thought

You know, more often than not, and mainly because I’ve been a superhero fan of the Big Two for so long, I’m used to either Marvel or DC Comics making colossal mistakes with regards to representing people from marginalized groups.

So imagine my surprise when Image Comics came into my field of notice with their series, The Divided States of Hysteria, written by Howard Chaykin.

Why? Well, not only does the first issue feature a transgender woman being beaten to death, but the cover of the 4th issue was to feature a Pakistani man being lynched.

Thankfully, the cover has been pulled and replaced with something else, of a bald eagle flying alongside remote piloted US Military drones, but the fact remains that someone saw the cover and signed off on it, thinking it to be a good idea.

They also thought it to be a good idea to depict a transgender woman being brutally beaten and murdered.

And Image’s defense, as produced by President Eric Stephenson, is this:

“Rooted in the worst aspects of reality, this is indignant, rebellious fiction, designed to make readers both angry and uncomfortable,” Image Comics President Eric Stephenson said in a statement when the first issue returned to press. “But more than that, it’s intended to provoke thought about how and why things have reached a state where the tools for progress — discourse, understanding, cooperation — are shunned in favor of treating anyone with an opposing viewpoint as an enemy combatant.”

This is, without a doubt, one of the most disingenuous things I’ve ever read from a comic book publisher since serial sexual harasser Eddie Berganza begged female fans of Supergirl to stay on board for the series back in 2007.

Because here’s the thing, Eric, we are already having discussions on racism, islamaphobia, and violence against transgender people. Transgender people themselves are talking about this because, surprise surprise, it affects them a whole hell of a lot more than cisgender people like you and me.

We don’t need nor want yet another cisgender white guy to tell us these things. A quick look on google can tell us these things, and more importantly, we can find sources from and by marginalized communities.

In fact, here are some examples:

Transgender Cartoonist Sopie Labelle faced a series of online threats, was doxxed, and had to cancel a book appearance.

Hate Crimes against Muslims double in Canada.

Trump rolls back rights on LGBTQ workers.

A mosque is sent pieces of the Quoran wrapped in bacon.

These are just a few of the examples of me spending a couple minutes on Google, so really, having glorified violence against transgender and Middle Eastern people in a comic by a writer who whines about identity politics does absolutely nothing to further the discussion. The defense of provoking a discussion is nothing more than that; a flimsy defense.

Another terrible defense came up yesterday from writer Kaare Andrews, in this bizarre twitter thread:

Reciting old moral codes from the Comic Book code, put in place after Fredrick Wertham’s book “Seduction of the Innocent” came out in 1954, appears to be Karre’s response to criticism over the violence depicted against transgender and Middle Eastern people. After all, as one person said to me in defense of Karre:

So, we have two problems here:

  1. Criticism is not censorship. This has long been a problem hard for dudebro gamers angry over women and minorities talking about representation in video games to udnerstand, and it’s certainly a problem for comic book fans, seeing as how comic books have long catered to straight white dudes.
  2.  Marginalized people do not have nowhere near the power to censor anyone, nor were they looking to censor Image Comics and Howard Chaykin.

Instead, what was being sought was to tell Image Comics just what in the hell was wrong in depicting these images of violence against marginalized communities. Islamaphobia is on the rise, and violence against transgender people in fiction has been around so long it’s a terrible, crude joke. It’s pretty much well known as transgender pain porn, where in the sole existence of transgender people is to show us how much misery is in their lives.

And to give straight, white, cisgender dudes Oscar Awards.

In fact, here are two good threads on Twitter about Image Comics’ grossly ignorant decision to showcase the violence against marginalized communities that I highly recommend you read:

And Alexis Serios had this thread of comments to talk about where the line is with regards to bigotry and transphobia in comics:

So what to do about it?

Well, as others have done, we point out why what Image did was wrong, the responsibility they have as a majour publisher to do right by marginalized communities, and to not hide behind such flimsy defenses.

We, as in we straight, white, cisgender people, listen to said marginalized communities when they talk about their very real lived experiences. We don’t wait for some white dude to say “Hey, this is bad, hmmkay?” before agreeing and doing something.

And yes, I recognize the irony considering how I am, myself, a straight white, cisgender man.

And if comic companies like Image, Marvel, and DC don’t want to listen, then we do what I’ve seen also used as a defense for them to make our voices heard, and vote with out dollar.

As such, and to end this article on a more uplifting note, here are some comics you should support!

Alexis Sergio.

She’s the writer of Wish, a webcomic about a transgender woman who is brought back to life and is granted super powers. Alexis also contributed one of many amazing threads about diversity in our media, comics creation, and listening to people who aren’t straight, white cisgender dudes.

Kiva Bay

She’s a writer of Bowled Over, a cute story of girls of various, diverse backgrounds falling in love. She’s also a pretty darn good artist who discusses fat activism.

Crash and Burn

A Canadian comic about a diverse group of people who crash land on an abandoned amusement park world alongside alien royalty, I found their booth at the Calgary Expo and the artwork and story instantly grabbed my attention. I also appreciated that their booth had buttons featuring bisexual, asexual, and transgender flags.

Go Get A Roomie!

Written and drawn by Chloe C, this is the story of a free loving hippie and her sleep obsessed friend who grow and develop and learn while interacting with a wealth of other people.

Strangely Katie

An illustrated and comic book artist, Katie drew one of my favourite comics ever, Princess Princess Ever After, a story that deals with fat shaming, gendered roles, and fighting ogres and dragons.

BOUNCE!

A story of a bouncer dealing withoverly entitled white people, racism, and just trying to get through life. Humourous and funny, it is also touching and poignant at times.

On Internet Harassment & Vidcon

It’s been over a week since Vidcon has come and gone, and the discussion on one of its highlights (for lack of a better word) is still ongoing, as I discussed in a previous post.

Everyone knows it by now, that Sargon of A Cad attended a panel Anita Sarkessian was on alongside other content creators such as Franchesca Ramsey and Kat Blaque, taking along with him several of his cronies friends circlejerk back patters like-minded companions to sit and occupy the first two to three rows.

Alexandra Erin had this wonderful thread on what went down that I invite everyone to read and think about, especially if you think that there was nothing wrong in what Sargon did.

Anita herself recounted what went down as well as sharing her thoughts on the matter on the Feminist Frequency website.

On Vidcon, Harassment, and Garbage Humans

And Polygon has an excellent article talking about the situation that I also highly recommend.

Anita Sarkessian’s Astounding Garbage Human Moment 

Now, as for the other side, those on the side of Sargon and his ilk, one thing I’ve been hearing said is the sarcastic reply of;

“Oh, sitting at a panel is harassment?!”

“Attending a con is harassment now?!”

And a friend on Facebook pointed out what this line of argument is, which is to take a single action out of context of what’s happening around it, making the person they’re debating against appear to be overly sensitive. By doing this, they hope to appeal to a lot of ‘centrists’ and other middle to left leaning folk and get them to listen to their side.

Except, attending a con and sitting in at a panel is harassment, because it’s part of a pattern of abuse that Sargon and his ilk have partaken in for years now. Heck, with this little stunt at Vidcon, I believe we can add stalking to Sargon’s list of actions taken against Anita.

This is someone who engages in targeted harassment while winking at his fans not to harass others, and it reminds me entirely too much of the actions taken by Anti-Abortion, Anti-women protesters who publish the private information of doctors and patients at Abortion clinics and take pictures of the license plates of their cars.

“Someone should really go and talk to them!” they shout from the front lines to their supporters. “Here’s how to contact them! This is where they live! Not that you should do anything violent or anything, but well, we can’t control how others might react or think or do!”

And then clinics are bombed, doctors are shot, patients are harassed.

It’s the same line of thinking not just with professional harassers like Sargon, Thunderfoot, and Davis Aurini, but with the hate movement Gamergate, when they’re not trying to derail the conversation with cries of virtue signalling or talking about how it’s really about ethics in video game journalism.

They may not tell their followers to harass and attack, stalk and send death and rape threats to basically anyone who they deem a threat to their hobby, but they sure as hell aren’t doing anything to prevent it either.

And what I find worse, and yes there is a whole other level of garbage to garbage humans like Sargon, is that they get paid for this.

Screenshot_35

This is a screengrab right from Carl’s patreon page. Over 6300 dollars a month he gets for him to rant on about how feminism is a cancer, make false accusations over articles he can’t even be bothered to read from beginning to end, and cherry pick from debates to support his own side.

And people happily give him the money for it.

I mean, look at that tagline: creating arguments. If that’s not a tacit admission of constructing drama rather than further intellectual discussions, I don’t know what is.

No, not all the harassment comes from Sargon and his followers, and this started LONG before Anita Sarkessian ever created Feminist Frequency or its huge, successful Kickstarter on Tropes Vs Women in Video Games. Heck, harassing women has long been a thing in our society and is online and offline. Ask any woman, and more than likely they’ll tell you about the harassment they face in every day life, from the simplest “Hey, smile for me!” to being followed in cars and into coffee shops, being begged and threatened for phone numbers and dates.

So it certainly struck me when someone on Twitter pointed out that Anita did was to confront her harasser in person, to call him out in public and point out what he does. That is a hard thing to do for some, because they’re very aware of their physical safety, and I can only commend Anita on her bravery and restraint.

Lord knows if it was me, I might have jumped over the table and started a riot, seeing the face of my harasser smirking at me.

But then again, I’m a guy, and my privilege is that if I were to do that, I’d be praised and celebrated. As a woman, Anita Sarkessian, and women everywhere when confronting the sexist and misogynistic bullshit that permeates their lives, has been called any number of names based on the sexism that calls such women screeching, irrational, and overly emotional, to name a few.

Of course, Hank Green, one of the founders of Vidcon, has his share of the blame to shoulder. He should have been aware of who was attending Vidcon, both as attendees and panelists, and not put Anita Sarkessian, Kat Blaque, and Franchesca Ramsey in danger.

And while that might seem like an overly dramatic reach, partly because I doubt Sargon himself would ever want to face the consequences of taking any physical action against Anita (or that he would want to personally, seeing as how responses to feminists are his bread and butter) , one has to take into account the kinds of people that Sargon and his ilk cater to.

In short, much like the fiasco at SXSW back in 2015, Vidcon shows us that online harassment is a very real thing, and that women are REALLY fucking sick of telling everyone it is.

 

Brain Food – Episode 64

Oh wow, it’s been a while since I’ve uploaded an episode of Brain Food, eh? Hope you still like them because they’re back!

In this episode, I talk about Gamer Girl & Vixen as well as Paradox Girl, two kickstarters I backed a while ago.

I also got some cool swag from the reward tiers I’d selected!

Music was provided by Audio Library – No Copyright Music, and the song used was Morning Sun, by Nicolai Heidlas Music.

Music by HookSounds

They’re a really cool no copyright music channel I’d recently found on youtube, so please check them out.

She said what to who at Vidcon 2017!?

Hello everyone, just a short article today on what I’ve been hearing semi-exploding on twitter with regards to a panel called Women Online that was tabled by Anita Sarkeesian and Franchesca Ramsey, Rosianna, and Alli Speed.

According to tweets I’ve been seeing from Franchesca, well, THIS happened:

Specifically, one Sargon of A Cad showed up. Anyone that knows him knows that one of his popular targets is Anita Sarkeesian, and in a discussion about harassment, she called him out on the part he plays in order to keep that Patreon Money coming in.

And you know what? If anyone deserves to be called a garbage human, it’s Sargon, a man who can’t read an article from beginning to end, cherry picks the information to support his own ignorant views like another of his ilk, Thunderfoot, and is more concerned with appearing to be right than to be informative.

And if anyone deserves to call him that, it’s Anita Sarkeesian.

Essentially, she, Brianna Wu, Zoe Quinn, and a few others are the scary bogeywomen that Sargon and his ilk have been targeting for years now, raking in the cash and all but telling their angry followers to harass them into submission, to say nothing of the death and rape threats that they have received.

Be it Gamergate, Gamers United (You know the ones complaining that white people are the bad guys in Far Cry 5), or the Rationals on youtube, it all feels the same to me; anger at times a changing and vying for some perceived golden past where they ruled all, instead of starting to share even the smallest space with people who aren’t straight, white, cisgender, and male.

Or heck, even just some guys looking to capitalize off that anger and make some money.

I try not to bother with Sargon, and the so-called ‘Rationals’ because every argument they present is without any kind of compassion, thought, or a more complete understanding of whatever situation they’re talking about. For them, hate and drama is what sells, not an honest discussion on matters ranging from sexism to online harassment and systemic racism.

And frankly, after all that Anita has gone through, from the bomb threats,  the harassment, and hell, even some of the comments on her Facebook page whenever she drops a link to anything, I’m amazed that Anita didn’t call Sargon even more colourful words in a speech that would have had Samuel L Jackson nodding approvingly.

He may not have done the bomb threats, but Sargon is representative of the harassment women, people of colour, LGBTQIA people and everyone whose identity crosses those identifiers face.

But of course, that’s a privilege Anita lacks. As a woman, saying anything with any kind of anger would mean having the shrill, angry, emotional accusations leveled against her, whereas if a man did the same, he’d be called passionate.

And this accusation gets worse the darker your skin gets.

So, in short, and if this has proven true, then Anita showcased a level of control that’s pretty bloody admirable. Hopefully, in the next day or so, either someone, or even Vidcon itself, will release a video of the panel showing all that has happened, if only to prove a counter point to Sargon’s inevitable whining video that’s carefully cut and edited to make himself look like a poor, defenseless victim.

Update:

A clip HAS come out, and it’s even more glorious than I could have expected. YESSSS!!!!

Calgary Expo – 2017

Hey everyone!

After a month of overtime, lack of sleep, too much work, some revamps, here it is! My music video for the Calgary Expo 2017… Enjoy!

Music came from NCS, which you can find here. Please check them out and the amazing talent there.