Monday, September 26, 2016

Things I Thought I Shouldn't Think

Since most people aren't Donald Trump and just say anything that pops into their heads, most of us have some things we think and don't say, at least not in public.

I think the most "controversial" thing I think but don't say involves putting the flag at half-staff (or half-mast).  At least in Michigan it became a policy after 9/11 to put the flag at half-staff whenever a soldier died.  You can't hate that, right?  Except I can.

The problem became that a gesture that happened once every so often (like when the Challenger exploded in 1986 or something like that) started happening every week.  The thing about symbols is the more you use them, the less power they have.

Think about it this way:  Batman took on the mantle of a bat because it was a symbol to strike fear into his enemies.  So when you see this dude jumping around in a black/gray/blue costume, you're like, "Holy shit!  It's that bat guy!"  But what if the whole Gotham PD starts dressing like Batman?  Then it's just, "Oh, hey, another one of those bat guys."  A symbol's power is diluted the more it's used.

Then you get awkward moments where I go through town and half the places have the flag at half-staff and the others don't because, honestly, no one knows what the fuck is going on anymore.  Unless there's a terror attack or some mass shooting, I don't even know why they're doing it.  Something that used to be special is now so common that I really don't care.

Of course you say that in public and people are like, "You're unpatriotic!  You hate soldiers!"  Look, it was a good thought at the time, but it's time to reel it in and give the symbol back some meaning.  I know it's not a popular thing to think, but it's what I think and I'm not going to change my mind on it.

Here's another thing I've been thinking recently.  I don't like when Hollywood whitewashes movies like casting white people as Moses or kung-fun masters or whatnot.  At the same time, the reverse of this is becoming tiresome too.  I'm not sure what you'd call it but I mean when they cast non-white actors for characters traditionally portrayed as white.  You know, like when they cast Michael B Jordan as the Human Torch.

Last month or so they suggested a black actress would be playing Mary Jane Watson in the latest Spider-Man movie and predictably people lost their minds about it.  What tires me is that I'm a white guy so I'm put in this box then where either I say, "Yay, diversity!" or I'm a racist.

Can I just say that I understand the frustration of comic book fans?  First off, comic book fans are pretty anal retentive.  I mean when Brie Larson was announced as Captain Marvel, many fans lost their minds because she was a few years younger than they imagine the character should be.  Not even that she's a woman or a white woman but she's slightly younger than they think the character should be.  Yeah, that's pretty fucking anal.  So when the change is even bigger than that, it's no surprise that they're upset.

Plus, the character has been around for like 55 years now and the panel where she's introduced is pretty much iconic:

So when you start messing with that it's like you're drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa to some people.  It's like telling Mormons that Jesus isn't a white, blond guy.

And I don't know, at this point I feel like the studios know the reaction that's going to happen and they count on it to garner some free publicity.  I start to feel like they're trolling me, making me a pawn in a bullshit game.

The thing is, in a situation like this, there's an easy way to piss off less people.  You want Spidey to have a black girlfriend, knock yourselves out.  Why not just give her a different name?  I know it's a sin in Hollywood, but you know, actually create something new.  Old guys like me already saw Mary Jane Watson.  We already saw Gwen Stacey.  Why not give us someone else?

And you might say, Well what if they made a Superman movie and his girlfriend wasn't Lois Lane or Lana Lang?  Yeah, so what?  Batman has had tons of different girlfriends, some of whom like Talia al-Guhl, Jezebel Jett, and Shondra Kinsolver were not white.  I don't see that hurting his sales any.  Rachel Dawes wasn't an iconic character by any stretch--I don't know if she was ever in any of the comics--and it didn't hurt Batman Begins at all, except for Katie Holmes generally being a shitty actress.

Anyway, don't try to guilt me or bitch at me about being racist because I think this.  That's the shit I'm tired of.  The burden of white, male privilege is you can't ever please anyone on this stuff.  I'm not racist or reverse racist so much as I'm just sick to death of hearing the same fucking arguments on Facebook and whatnot for something that really isn't important.  Even in the grand scheme of things, whitewashing isn't that important so much as it's just incredibly stupid that we're still doing it in 2016 and the excuses are so lame.  Oh, yeah, you couldn't find any Arab/Asian/black/or actors of whatever race it's supposed to be.  Fuck you.

I'm just saying, stop riling up the goddamned fans--as much as possible since they seem destined to get riled to some extent no matter what.  Like me, I don't think the average comic book fan is very satisfied in life.

Speaking of, I'm a big fat guy and yet I can't stand all that "body shaming" nonsense.  Big is beautiful!  Everyone is beautiful in their own way!  Gag.

The same people who spout that nonsense will say how Barbie promotes an unhealthy image to little girls.  But what does a big fat girl on the cover of a magazine promote?  Hello, take it from me, being fat is not healthy.  Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.  It's as bad or worse than smoking and I'm sure most of the people spouting that we have to like everyone for who they are would oppose people smoking cigarettes on the covers of magazines like back in the 50s.

I think part of the problem is dumb people assume that the opposite of something bad must necessarily be good.  So if anorexic models and Barbie are bad, then the opposite (big fatties) must be good.  On a tangent, it's like the people who think using "he" as a generic pronoun is bad so they use "she" as a generic pronoun instead.  Because that's fair, right?  Really that's just two wrongs somehow making a right to someone's deluded thinking.  The point being, instead of going from one extreme to the other, we need to find some middle ground.  I mean really, between Kate Moss and Amy Schumer there are plenty of women you can put on a magazine.

Speaking of celebrities, when there were those floods in Louisiana a month or so ago, I saw an article on my feed praising Taylor Swift for giving $1M to relief efforts.  Whenever I see those puff pieces I snort and say, "Yeah, so?  That's like me giving $10."  I mean seriously, do the math.  Considering my net worth (negative ten thousands), giving $10 is actually a larger percentage than someone with hundreds of millions giving one million.

Not to say that it's not a nice thing and all, but stop with the puff pieces that are probably written by the celebrity's publicist.  First, they should give real money (like, say, 10% of their yearly income) and second, they shouldn't be doing it for publicity.  Really they should give a lot of money anonymously.  But then how would we know how nice they are, right?

There you go, venting a lot of cynicism--and I didn't even mention the election!

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. It seems more and more society wants to tell us what to think or we'll be shamed or especially these days made to feel racist.

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  3. I don't think that movie adaptations should necessarily be made for the fans, but should try to branch out to people (and get people interested) who know nothing of the material. But what do I know?

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