Thursday, December 1

On your feelings.

I just have had to have a fucking argument with two self-centered assholes who insist that a $15/hr minimum wage is bad. They asked for evidence and I demonstrated where a) you can easily make the argument for $12, and b) Seattle was implementing just such a thing starting ins 2017, with full rollout by 2021.

And the response was 'but, other places are different'.

OK, so, for the cheap seats: FUCK YOU, YOU ASKED FOR EVIDENCE AND I PROVIDED IT. COUNTER THE EVIDENCE OR ADMIT THIS IS ABOUT YOUR SHITTY FEELINGS TOWARDS POOR PEOPLE, YOU SELF CENTERED ASSHOLES.

Huh. I usually feel better after such things. Instead I feel worse. 

Wednesday, June 8

Captain America is a Nazi, and that's why Hillary Clinton will lose

What is, exactly, Mrs. Clinton's emotional message to us? Because Trump's already got one: She's as crooked and fucked up as the system I want to burn down.

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One thing that the discussion about the current Captain America storyline has me thinking about is Emotional Truths.

Because the outrage that Captain America is a secret Nazi is, as it turns out, misplaced IF you are following a factual timeline of fictional events. Hydra is no longer a Nazi organization, retconned into the Illuminati of evil, so the accusation of them being Nazis is not longer precisely accurate.

Now, let's just admit that having Captain America be a secret Nazi is a problem, especially if the marketing of this story wants to insist that this story isn't a trick or gimmick or any such nonsense (and that's just what the writer did). That's a massive problem on multiple levels, because Nazis existed and the evil that they did still casts a shadow on us.

And it's also true that Hydra was a Nazi organization and lead by characters that were Nazis. The retcons may have turned Hydra into a group that is about more banal forms of evil but it still connected with and assisted Nazis. This evil doesn't just go away. That cultural (sub)consciousness that Hydra is part of the Nazis still exists.

So even if Marvel wants to say 'nope, not Nazis now' that die is still cast. They might be more than Nazis, but emotional truth of that situation is: They are Nazis.

And we are emotional creatures. More importantly, stories are about telling us emotional truths. So while the factual truth of Hydra not being Nazis anymore might be the case, the emotional connection (along with the historical data) to Nazis still remains.

Nobody's trying to speak to that. The outrage is either 100% supported or bushed off, often brusquely, because it that person doesn't know the truth or just doesn't 'get' comics or, or, or...

And the Truth is: Everyone is right. There isn't a wrong response to that story. There are wrong reactions-threatening the creators of a story is fucked up, no matter where you come down on this-but the people who want to enjoy this story are just as right as those who are repelled by it. And those who are repelled by it aren't being properly informed by the creators/marketers (that's their job) nor are the defenders of this story willing to respond to the truth-and it is one-evoked by the emotional response to that story.

Again, this is in large part because of the insistence that this is the REAL Captain America and there are no tricks. (We will set aside the boneheadedness of having a sleeper agent of 75 years not assist your organization).

Of course there is a goddamn trick. Stop lying to us about that.

So now that I've said all that, I am wondering where I am not honoring the emotional truths. Bernie Sanders supporters-hell, Trump supporters-are yelling about an emotional truth that has legitimate basis in reality: That the system is rigged against them and these two guys are saying: you're right, and we want to fix that/give the finger to that.

To try and dismiss these things, or worse, shush them without hearing them out, betrays the level of ignorance we are dealing with in our culture.

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So we come to the problem with Hillary Clinton's seemingly inevitable run for President: What is the emotional truth that she is connecting to people with? I don't know what it is, and much of her campaign feels like: Hey, it's my turn to be President.

But people don't respond to that. And they won't respond to "But it's not Trump!", at least not in numbers high enough to keep him from the Presidency. Because at the moment, Trump's emotional truth (the System is fucking you over and nobody is listening to you so get angry), once you drill past the bigotry and evil and bullshit, is not only factually supported it's very clear. This anger is the same thing that fuels Sanders's campaign.

But Trump can bullshit his way through, unlike the writer of the Captain America story, because he's talking the emotional truth and people ignore facts in order to get their heart heard. All he cares about is the emotional truth that gets you to believe him--and he's got it. That's why facts don't matter to him and why they don't matter to his supporters.

Hillary Clinton is trying to get people to support Obama 2.0 and nobody's heart is in it.

What are people's emotional truths? How are we speaking to them in a way that appreciates that? How do we move forward courageously?

Wednesday, May 25

So, Captain America is a Hydra agent

In the new storyline.

Let's just start of with this: 100% Fuck That.

This is an idea that should've been killed a long, long time ago. This is an idea that should have been shot down for any number of reasons. The notion that Captain America has always been a secret Nazi agent is so wrong that I'm not even sure where to begin. 

I am actually angry about this. I can't recall when I've ever been angry about something like this.

But it certainly has something to do with this notion:

Knowing that America is not her ideals, great characters help us understand more about ourselves. And Captain America, like Superman, help us understand that sometimes, we can be our ideals. And we should continue to reach for those ideals. 

To turn it all around and say: Nah, our ideals are actually inline with the Nazis-which is what this does, OK? Let's not mince words. Making Captain America a Hydra agent is explicitly saying: your ideals line up with what Nazis want. This isn't like the Daredevil Shadowland storyline, where a good person ends up running an assassin's guild thinking he can change it, because that downfall was an organic story that took place over years. (The ending to that was atrocious but that's a different problem). 

No, this is just rewriting 50+ years of Cap's history. So that he now aligns, and has always aligned, with Nazi power ideas.

So I repeat, for the cheap seats, 100% Fuck That.

I can think of zero reason to give my money to this storyline. Fuck all that. 

I Probably Need To See The Nice Guys Again

Shane Black is one of my writerly heroes and so I probably over analyze everything he does. Nonetheless, I came out of The Nice Guys last night not quite as thrilled as I wanted to be. 

I've been thinking about it ever since and the first thing that strikes me is now jarring the tone of the film is. Set in the LA of the 70's everything looks very glitzy and colorful but it's all overcast with smog.  

And that right there tells me something else is going on. Something I need to pay more attention to.

Because the movie itself breezes along: I am hard pressed to think of a film that moves so quickly from beat to beat. It's not relentless, in the way that a film like The Raid is, it doesn't have the intensity of Mad Max but it also never slows down. This is a bit unusual: when I think of Lethal Weapon or The Long Kiss Goodnight, or Iron Man 3, those movies had character building moments that were plot-distinct. (I really need to see Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang again to see how that works).

The Nice Guys doesn't really do this. Or let me restate this: It doesn't do this in a way where those details become relevant. It actually flips this: those details don't seem to matter.

And I don't think Black makes movies like that. 

Another little bit: Throughout the film, Crowe's character refuses to drink, while his partner (Gosling) drinks with fervor. Gosling's drinking has consequences-although those are mostly played for laughs, there are consequences. At the end of the movie; Crowe's character is drinking a fifth of whiskey. From the bottle. 

Again: This movie takes the characters on a journey, gives them rewards and the consequences are reasonably negative. However, not completely: two loners now are friends. 

So...I'm not sure what to do with this movie and that makes me more curious about it. 


Friday, May 13

Sunday, April 24

The cat is dying

1 am and I'm called into the ex's room b/c he had a seizure.

He is dying and there is nothing I can do to stop it. All my kindness or gentleness or sadness or hope cannot fix what is wrong and I don't know what to do but say goodbye.

It's going to be soon, isn't it. You fucking cat.

I love you and you're going to die. And it's not like you even gave a damn about me, because you're a cat and you have a mom and she adores you. But, you cared about me when nobody else in the house did.

So, I love you and I wish there was something I could do to make your life go longer.

If you have to go, and you do, I hope you know, somehow, even though I don't speak cat, even though I am not your person, even though have no idea how to convey it, but, still, I hope you know you are loved.



Friday, April 8

How To Fix Superman V Batman

Spoilers, yo.

Cutting everything that's trying to set up the Justice League, except Wonder Woman, we should now have time to make the following changes: 

1) After the Senate explodes, Superman goes into action alongside first responders to help save people, or care for the bodies of the dead. He then appears in front of the news cameras and says:

"What I was going to say today...doesn't feel necessary now. Because what I know is this: I am only one person. I can be a beacon of hope but I cannot stop all the evil in the world, not alone. 

But what I saw today was for every person in the Senate, five came running to help, then five more to tend to the wounded, and five more to the grieving, and five more to the dead. 

So I know that we are in this together. That to represent the hope you need, all I have to do is look to my left, and my right."

(Intersperse cuts of Batman, Luthor, Wonder Woman and humanity at large)
2) Wonder Woman opens a telecommunications device: A woman, obviously royalty, appears.

"Mother. I am need of the tools of my office, again."

The queen smiles. "I am pleased to hear you are taking up your mission again, Diana."

(Through the next bit, cut in scenes of Diana opening the containers that hold her tools of office and gearing up)
3) Superman confronts Batman. Batman hits him with the kryptonite grenade, they fight on the rooftop until Batman finally drops Superman into a building. 

"Stop!" Batman says and Superman freezes mid punch.

"We don't have much time! Luthor's manipulating us both."

"Then why did you shoot me?"

"I had to get us to a place to talk where he couldn't see. I'm sorry. I was wrong about you, I didnt' see it until it was too late. We have to hurry. Luthor's planning something with Kryptonian technology and I don't think I can stop it alone," Batman says.

"He has Martha."

"Who?"

"My mother."

Batman's fists clench so tightly you can see the white knuckles beneath the armor. 

"Where?"

"He'll kill her if I don't bring him your head."

"Nobody dies tonight. You stop Luthor. I'll save your mother."

Superman looks doubtful, Batman holds out his hand.

"Trust me."

They shake.

"OK, here's what you do next-"

Building implodes, and we go to the Doomsday sequence.

Monday, March 14

Dreaming to fly

I had two dreams last night where my ex was still in love with me. They were both so weird, they startled me awake, and I had to talk myself down. 

Fuckin' daylight savings time.