James Bond (Trigger Warning and Destruction of Fantasy Warning)

James Bond, the fantasy of many men. The ideal that men are told they must be. He is deemed sexy, he drives fast cars, and shoots people without remorse. The super spy, agent 007. James Bond is every ideal according to the media and is a role model for elegance for many men. James Bond is a rapist. James Bond is a Misogynist. James Bond is not the type of person anyone should model their sex appeal after. James Bond’s franchise shows more violence against women while dehumanizing them than many others, while making this seem like a good thing. The female characters that Bond has sex with are reduced beyond a name but to property. The Bond Girl. A Bond Girl.

It started out as a pleasurable afternoon activity, a reward for my hard work. I turned on Doctor No, and though I was aware the film would be disablist, racist, and generally ridiculous I was prepared for that and Sean Connery’s stereotypical white man in the movies good looks. I was not prepared for the growing disconcertion that would happen as I proceeded through my Bond movie Marathon. Bond is a rapist, he commits sexual assault and his female coworkers should file complaints daily. This never happens of course. MoneyPenny instead becomes entranced with him, wanting to be a Bond Girl herself but of course she’s just not good enough for Bond. Little does she know this saves her from what I have deemed his Death STD.

I became unable to like Bond by the end of From Russia With Love. You see, I was prepared for the sexism, I was prepared for the violence and the racism as I said. I was not prepared for a scene which I had forgotten was present. James Bond doesn’t take no for an answer, in fact this is a part of his trademark. He ‘seduces’ women who are unwilling. As the female fights and pushes him away, as she says no he continues to force himself on her. Bond’s body pins Tatiana Romanova down. She said no, he kisses her and she stops fighting him. That was when I stopped the movie and had to deal with the fact that James Bond is a rapist. I couldn’t just turn my brain off, instead my brain kicked into hyperdrive cataloging everything wrong with Bond.

I could list them here and run out of energy to type. Instead I will skip over the fact that every single Bond Villain up to Quantum of Solace has a disability, disfigurement, or blatantly uses a wheelchair. I could in fact point out that although the Bond films have more people of color acting in them than many other films, all the roles they have are of villains. Such as guy who blows up, guy who gets shot by Bond, etc etc. I could even talk about the objectification of violence but instead I am stuck on the dehumanisation of women, the constant sexual assault, and the frequent rapes that are made worse with the very bad puns.

The female characters in the films defined as Bond Girls for the purpose of this ramble will be defined as such: Bond has shown interest in them, he has had sex (consensual or no) or flirted with them, and they are given a name that makes absolutely no sense and is often some sort of sex joke. These females come in sets of three in most movies, he only marries one, and they all end up dead with the notable exceptions being the female lead in Quantum of Solace. They must also be rescued repeatedly, even M once the role was given to Dame Judi Dench is not saved from this humiliation, they must scream and flail a lot, and every single one of them says “Oh James!” during sex. In fact most of them look exactly alike, they are all “beautiful” by society’s standards. This is a loose definition in some areas and yet there is absolutely no deviation even in the newest and supposedly renovated Bond Films.

By naming the female characters things such as Octopussy the characters are dehumanised, they are reduced to sex. James Bond furthers this by treating every woman that he deems attractive, and that is most women, as if they are there just for his penis to enter. There is no concept of lesbians and if there ever is in a bond film it will be Lesbians for HIS pleasure. Most Bond girls are blonde, though there are a few redheads and the newer films have more dark haired females, all have large breasts except Halle Berry who was misbilled as the first female of color to be in a bond film. This erased Grace Jones’ tenure as the “scary black villainess”. In fact the lack of a signular identity for the characters reduces them to Bond’s property. They exist only for Bond, at his pleasure and discression. Every Bondgirl is attacked, beaten, and most are murdered because they belong to Bond and destroying his property is a good way to get him to react. He almost always “avenges” them but it would be far better for him to just stop having sex all together so that his female companions don’t die. My friend M and I discussed this and he pointed out that this makes it less emotional when he moves on. The woman didn’t die, she died. This means he has a free pass at the next female paragon of his sexual pleasures.

In the 22 Bond Films that exist at the time of this writing over half of the Bond Girls say no. Not in the “playing hard to get” fashion either. The majority of his sexual encounters are non consentual. The other half change their minds once they see how manly he is. Though if a man acted like Bond in person, even his white male privilege would be placed into jeopardy as at least in my local social sphere a person who drives that many sports cars, plays with guns as much as he does, and tries to act so overtly macho is deemed to have impotence issues. This played through my mind often, and helped ease what became an excercise in torture.

It took me exactly 1 week to the hour to watch all of the Bond Movies, though this became my day job. I admit fully that several times I had personal revelations about the forumula for Bond. As a child I wanted to be Bond, not the Bond Girl. This still stands, though I wouldn’t rape anyone. I was disciplined for this and I firmly associate Bond with the assignation of gendered behaviors that is so present in Western Society. I suspect other colonized societies carry this burden too but I can only speak from my sphere of existence. By wanting to drive the fast car, shoot bad guys and get the girl I was being unprofessional. Four year olds aren’t supposed to want this, that was what my mother said. My father corrected her, violently, and pointed out that Boys can want this. Being in a female body, I was forbidden to want the girl, the car, or the “fun”. I realize as an adult that the culture of violence we live in disguises being nearly killed constantly as fun. We pay great deals of money to endure mindless torments in the US. We pay to watch people beat and kill defenseless and rather stupid women.

Back to the Bond Girl Formulae I wrote above. We can expand his Bond Girl related deaths by deeming every female in the bond films a Bond Girl. This means that the charactes that I can recollect surviving right now aside from the final Bond Girl (he usually has two or three women he “loves” during each movie, one to betray him, one to die (sometimes combined) and one to survive to fuck another day) would be MoneyPenny, who is oddly credited as Miss MoneyPenny in the early films as if this will somehow explain why Bond does not desire her, via her being too good for him. The second would be M as Judi Dench.

MoneyPenny is thankfully not brutalized violently, beaten, shot, stabbed, poisoned, suffocated by being painted in gold, dipped in oil, strangulated, dies saving bond, or as a casualty of a drive by style violent thing but is constantly objectified and teased by Bond. The one woman that would consent easily to his sexual requests is rejected, this adds to his predatory nature. MoneyPenny is also one of the few female characters that is shown to have a brain in her head. From the beginning she often could procure information that others with in the agency struggled with. There is no MoneyPenny currently, in the Daniel Craig series. She is now a computer at best, though perhaps she will be made into his equal, a spy of equal power. Of course not. No she will likely be lobodimised or was recast as a male and I didn’t notice. Bond still treats her as if she is a child, another crime against the women, even through the end females are infantalized. We need the big strong men to tell us how to think and act.

The Early Twenties Bondgirl sex doll pattern was advertised as being broken when Die Another Day was being released. I remember the trailers, the supposed controversy over Halle Berry being a bond girl. There were racist pigs who decided she was too black, despite her being on the paler end of the dark skin spectrum. She was billed as the first strong female counter part to bond. A CIA Agent who could take care of herself. Except, this was a lie. She ends up tied up, drowned, and then for some reason having sex on a pile of diamonds. I suspect they chose diamonds because that has to be the least comfortable way to have sex ever. The only deviation in the usual bond system aside from her skin color was her flirting with Bond. This meant twice as many really bad puns while bad guys died, but just as when M was locked in a cage, Bond had to save the girl. Over and over again.

This is the Bond formulae. Bond is a training ground for violent rapists, normalizing the fact that we are just meat. Roger Moore’s era had the least intelligent Bond Girls. One accidentally saved the world by bending over in a bikini. Another was too stupid to realize people were shooting at her. Intelligence is not something a Bond Girl has, though the Daniel Craig films did improve on this slightly.

There is one other thing that I am compelled to note. James Bond is actually a horrible spy. He sucks at his job. The idea of spying is to NOT get caught. In each and every bond film his cover is blown, followed by things blowing up and women dying. He usually figures out that people know James Bond is James Bond when he finds one of his victims dead. The Death STD he carries is in his own lack of wit. He may be able to make innuendo but a real spy would do their utmost to not use their real name, to obfuscate their origins, and they would try to blend in. A real spy aims to be average. This is of course unless the Russian Spy ring that was recently caught is used as an example. They seem to have gone to the James Bond School of Spying. The man kills all his contacts, ruins most of his equipment, and causes so many international incidents. It is a wonder that the British people embrace this male supremicist pig rapist as a wonderful thing.

I have no answers to why James Bond is so popular, except that if you can watch a movie without thought and go “ooh pretty explosions” it may be alright. The contrived plots of this spy franchise however should offend almost everyone alive, unless they are so innundated with White Male is Right thinking that the idea that anyone should just shoot Bond to put England and the rest of us out of our misery is bad. The idealism of Bond goes so far as the fact that I have heard and seen via the internet people of color that lament their genetics as they prevent them from being like bond.

We need a female spy of color who doesn’t rape people, kicks as much butt and doesn’t blow her cover. Of course, the media doesn’t want people to realise that Bond Girl is synonymous with Dead Barbie, or James Bond is synonymous with bad spy. They want everyone to ignore that this normalization of violence effects each of us. The ambiguity of the sexual assaults, as some are very hard to spot, and the acceptance of his rapes as being sexy and beautiful adds to the dangers women face. I know this because I have been raped in the name of Bond. I have been told that to be a good girl you must submit to any man that deems you penis worthy. Not just by my father but by most of the white men I have dated. This phenomenon is well documented with many franchises and I am sure I am not the only person to go “Oh my god Bond raped her!” I just think more people need to.

I am going to find some brain bleach to try and get the 22 films out of my head. I must wash it off! WASH IT OFF!

Kalifla’s 5’s and Dimes (A Music Review)

Today I went to the Fair Grounds and had an interesting adventure. Between the usual wares and the people selling pirated music I found a gem, I met Otisha and LB who were both working on a tour to promote their music. I went ahead and picked up a CD, though I’d had to head back to the house because I hadn’t brought enough money with me and I’d bought something already. They weren’t asking a lot but I felt I should give them more than a dollar for their hard work. I wish I could’ve given more than I did.

Before I review the music I want to talk about the people. Not only are they very friendly but when we were talking I enjoyed the intelligence that they both held. We talked about Jazz, despite the CD I am reviewing being Hip Hop and Rap. Some one who is a regular on this blog just burst out laughing as they read that but I actually do listen to a lot of rap, I just tend to move away from Mainstream and especially avoid Gangsta because of the often abusive lyrics.

I am not going to discuss the sociological issues with this CD, but instead I am going to talk about the music. This is because as a mainstream hip hop CD with an attempt at a break out these musicians are going to be singing in ways that are derogatory about women and I expect a lot of internalized racism. I have other posts about that, and I knew going in that there wasn’t likely to be much beyond what I perceive as the norm for this genre.

This is where I was surprised. SHARON’S BOYZ MUSIQ GROUP Presents Kalifla’s Five and Dimes Volumn #2 has some standard beats. The lyrics themselves are given with great talent. The harmonies are solid. I do think the group should invest in a better synthesizer as often the synth defeats them by sounding cheap. Their voices are rich and pleasing. This shows most on the song that for me stood out from the rest. This song is special in that it isn’t about women, it isn’t about sex, it isn’t about money, but it is one of the best love songs I have ever heard. I don’t like most love songs but when your love song is dedicated to your children and is essentially a lullabye that you share with them and the world so that they know you love them even as you travel to try and work? That sort of song is awesome. I wish I could tell you what it is called by the CD doesn’t come up when I hunt for it’s data online and doesn’t have a track listing.

This leads me to the challenge of presentation with a CD such as this. While the music is quality I believe that the producers would benefit from using CD Baby (CDBaby.com) to add more of an internet presence for their artists. This service also includes online sales, and being added to ITunes as well as the general CD Database which is where Media player gets the CD track information from. CD Baby also can provide you with CD production services, though depending on the size of the group this may not be worth it. The CD came in a jewel case with a good cover, though again the cover could benefit from someone like myself who can alter the photo values and make it look on the quality of the bigger groups. This adds to the professionalism.

Would I recommend this CD to my friends? That depends… do you enjoy Hiphop? Yes? Then absolutely. Do I think that there is room for improvement? Yes. Out of five stars here are my ratings:

Music Quality: 3.5, a half is definitely lost to the rough synth sounds.
Music Originality: 3 (This means it’s average with in the industry)
CD Sound Quality: 4.5
CD Presentation: 2

I do think that this group has the potential to succeed in the music industry, and by doing the foot work to build a fan base they adding to their own success. With Books and Music you must reach out and get the word out that you exist.

Their Myspace Page

I was told that they are having a concert on July 3rd, the details SHOULD be present on this page. If they aren’t and you want to attend please let me know and I will find out the exact details for you. I also want to add that when I mentioned I would review the CD the response was “I look forward to reading your review no matter what it is.” So good or bad, the producers and this group are out for people to hear them, another sign for their longevity.

What Defines New Mexico? (Trigger Warning)

This post is going to make the New Mexico Tourism Board cry. As Nymph runs off after startling me because she jumped up into my lap and I laugh, my brain still turns and mulls over what created me as I am. As a person born in New Mexico, a person that has never left this dusty state except to go over the border into Mexico for a mile (it all looked the same, I got lost and it doesn’t count if I don’t know I left the country on purpose) I have a perspective on New Mexico that can be broken down as follows..

1. Education
2. Poverty
3 Religion
4. Healthcare

These four things combine to make New Mexico an unpleasant place to live. I hear so often how nice it is to visit my state, how beautiful it is, and how neat it is that all of the natives sell their homemade crafts at the various squares for thousands of dollars. That’s the tourism factor. New Mexico has great places to visit, places I enjoy. I love so much of the history and lore here. I revel in reading about Billy the Kid, in knowing that I have been in places that this young man had.

New Mexico has yet to stop being the wild west. The same mentality that created the gun fighter out of the ex soldier (That would be the James Gang lead by Jesse and his brother) on through the modern gangster there is an element of hopelessness in this state. It may have been here before the Civil War, but New Mexico is not a place that is nice to live.

When you are a tourist it is easy to avoid the areas where people actually live and work outside of the glossy tourist shops. It is easy to see the big expansive sky, the glorious mountains, and even our gun fighter reenactments that happen every weekend in Old Town. It is easy to be sucked up by the dust and the wind, to feel for a moment you are somewhere else. Tourists are guided to specific areas JUST for this effect. Every city and place does this so that their dirty laundry is not aired.

New Mexico is not accessible for wheelchair users. When you visit in a chair you will find that downtown has great curbcuts and… that is it. A small section of the sidewalk is accessible, if you leave the Tourist Safe Zone you will be stuck. Even there you will be treated like garbage by the mindless peons of this state. They are educated to hate you, tourist, regardless of disability or no.

New Mexico has a long history of religious intolerance. This started back when Cortez rode through and spread disease looking for Eldorado. When you come and look at our history reveling in the ruins of churches, you are reveling in the murders of people. With that conquest came racism. The people of this state who claim they are Mexican are actually descendants of the first European rape marriages of the native daughters. This was done not out of love, no one married out of love before the Victorian period, but out of power. If you take their wives and daughters, you exterminate them. The devout Catholics could be practicing a variety of earth based religions, but most of their culture was beaten away or burned away. The chiefs and medicine men were killed over and over again. The image we have of the indigenous people also known as Indians, Native Americans, or first nations, this image is a construct by the first conquerors. This image is what tourists come to see.

Through the school system that we have currently, the children are taught to worship the conqueror. Those that can read will read books that talk about how impressive it was that these men brought horses, guns, and that yes a few of the First Nations died because of disease but Cortez didn’t really mean it, so that makes it okay. It was just an accident. The germs may have been accidental but pretending to be a deity was not. That was a conscious choice. Turning on the people that embraced these European WHITE men because of their difference? That was an act of hatred.

When you come to New Mexico as a tourist and are frustrated with your potentially not white counter clerk’s inability to count out your change properly or their not really smiling or enjoying their menial labour? You are feeding off of a centuries old hate crime. New Mexicans of color (Hispanics, Blacks, First Nations, etc) are given a poorer education. There are schools for the white children such as Saint Prius where if you can pay for the education or are smart enough you get in. in the Cities the education is better, but with a state that is made up of rural regions most of the people who come to the city as adults are not well educated or are from out of state taking advantage of the economic opportunity presented to them by the lack of local applicants that are qualified to do this job.

In the rural areas, especially Estancia (The worst school district in a state that is chronically the worst in the nation educationally) the teachers are often not certified. I haven’t checked since I escaped that school, but since a lot of the same teachers are there as when I went? You can BET that the teachers are either not caring, not qualified, or are the exception to the rule. There are a few of them and these people can make a difference in the education of a few students, but the majority in that area never learn to read, the focus is just on sports (though despite Brian Urlacker who is from Albuquerque not Estancia, this has never quite worked out for any of them). No one who leaves this small town returns. I did for a few months and that was under the guise of visiting and I got out again. The town is stagnant. The people never change. A few may come from outside, like my mother, but their children enter a society that is backwards. Anyone who was not born there is not accepted.

The culture here socially is also one of teen pregnancy. Abstinence only education as well as the idea that a penis will give you Aids (Not a lie but not a truth in how it is taught) lead many young women to being mothers. In Estancia every single girl in my graduating class was pregnant when I was 17 except for myself. Every single student is encouraged by the social culture to be sexually active. In a state wide experience as I have lived all over, I can tell you that girls are encouraged to become housewives and mothers. I suspect some of this is a national occurrence (This is according to an annual survey, the details of which have not changed enough to matter int he last few years. If anything the rate has increased). The system is set up so that it is almost impossible to become independent from these systems. With Welfare you are to hungry and tired from trying to work with your parents to learn. Every family dependent on Welfare that I know of is actually working to escape the need for assistance but with the set up that if you earn you lose the needed income so you can keep earning and eat, therefore it becomes a matter of starve or get off of welfare.

No one chooses poverty. No one chooses hunger. The image of the Welfare Queen of New Mexico interchanges one stereotype for another, and yet the one exception I know of to this rule is not a person of color but is a white person that feels entitled to not work. Parents with children struggle to better their education but this takes resources that we do not have. Each year education is cut, and each year it is the children who lose out. There are several remedial colleges in the area that help you learn the basics from elementary on through High school so you can get a degree, but this costs money and time. Not everyone has the time or money and many people here cannot qualify for federal aide because they do not have the knowledge to fill out the application.

This sends the locals flooding back to their churches. This state is stunted in many ways, and is so dependent on guidance from privileged white men or men who have fallen into the line of the Patriarchy and this leads to actions such as murder based on appearance, ability, sexuality and gender. This leads to people who may be declared a witch to actually be burned at the stake. Religion is used to prevent thought. When I was excommunicated from the Church, it was for asking questions to try and understand what I am being fed. This action is against the church and without education to encourage thought more people will not question. Questioning also takes energy and is a luxury in this state as if you are worked to the bone and exhausted there is no time to think. Church becomes a solace then, a place where you can dream of a heaven taht may or may not exist, where you can barter your soul on the chance that if you are a good enough person and suffer enough now you will not suffer when you are dead but oh you could be wrong.

This culture of underpaid labour is not at all threatened by immigration, when the children here are not educated enough to know their own legal rights when it comes to working. This means that there is a higher incidence of sexual harassment, dangerous working conditions, and those that speak up are more likely to be fired because they have no resources with which to fight back. In this culture that you visit and say is so wonderful, the people who are selling mass produced silverwork at a high price are doing this because this is all that is expected of them, and for many this is all they can do. Some do make their own jewelry but most of the merchants buy those works at a pittance of what you pay. There are some sellers that are reputable and will price their works fairly, but they often are told by you white tourists that this piece of jewelry must not be as good as the same one that costs YOU more at another store, you reveling in your privilege and showing your own lack of thought.

In New Mexico in these tourist areas people are often run down, because the worker there is not seen as a person but merely a prop to bring in your money to our state. People die because you choose to run them down out of the claim of being so tired from walking all over our cities on through you just not giving a damn. Yes sometimes it is a local driver that has mowed down a pedestrian but it is such a common occurrence that many people don’t notice anymore. The closer I am to a tourist spot the more likely I am to be killed.

With the movie industry coming to New Mexico there is another form of financial gain and another element of tourism. Our open spaces are now inundated constantly with the cameras. I fall prey at times to the excitement but now I am noticing that a large number of smart young people are choosing to try to get discovered instead of working or furthering their education. Hollywood is a shining element of fools gold showing a way out, that is another form of a trap. Such a low number of people actually become famous or rich, that this is creating another strain on the resources of the state. In order to not starve prospective actors and actresses turn to food stamps and state assistance or unemployment between gigs as extras. I consider periodically trying out for a space myself but it is always a choice between their privilege or my dignity. So I choose my dignity.

With so much hunger and often governmentally enforced squalor (Looking at you Denish and Richardson) where the funding is sent away from the programs that need it most and into cronies pockets the healthcare system is irrevocably broken. I am lucky enough that my insurance which often refuses me basic needs like medication forcing me into the hospital is here. Most New Mexicans will not recieve medical insurance until after the Obamacare plan has been enacted at it’s fullest. Then it is a matter of this plan being enforced, as enforcement is something you rarely see here unless it is law enforcement using their power to oppress a minority. The hospital connected to our University is never empty, the emergency room is always so full of the crushed and downtrodden humanity that people bleed to death in the emergency room before they are given care. People are dying there needlessly as there are only so many hands and many of them are simply students trying to learn the trade of medicine.

Between the countless malpractices, of which I am a victim, and misdiagnosis you will find mothers with screaming and sick children, people with a simple cold, and people that are dubbed homeless, pushed into a warm space by the lack of appropriate and accessible shelters. Between the dying are those who truly need a primary physician but they can get medical care in the ER and they cannot do so with a regular doctor because the fees are so high. If someone has the state’s Molina insurance they are forced into this system, and they may wait months before seeing a doctor. It is better to spend 48 hours in the ER than a month without care.

There are other hospitals, which I personally use but they often face the same problem. The overflow of emergency into their wards and those who want to try and avoid the crush of humanity at University of New Mexico Hospital enter these halls, it is the same. Long wait times, mass suffering, and the dying who would not be dying if they could just see a doctor on a regular basis. I am told there is no need for socialized medicine by you and those who can afford to travel, which denotes immediate privilege. I am told as you go to the nicest ER if something occurs on your trip that things surely are not this bad but this is my version of a happy tail for New Mexico.

The people are suffering, they are oppressed, and pushed down. The children do not know the benefits of education and are taught often with physical violence that questioning anything is wrong. It creates a mindless hive that is then sold to the consumer as an authentic culture. The authentic culture of the people here has been murdered long ago. Each time you come and consume us, you add into this even more. I know no one will stop coming after this, and yet there are things in this state beyond the borders of your safe tourism friendly areas that are fantastic and interesting. There are people here that are taught beliefs and educationally things that you see as archaic. You could explore the world of living anachronisms.

The people can be wonderful, sweet, charming, and amazing. The conversations you can have with some of the children and elders in my state about it’s history may disenchant you a bit, but isn’t this better than a ghost story that was manufactured for your fifty dollars? Wouldn’t it be better to hear about why the James Gang and Billy the Kid were seen as heroes from the descendants that still feel attacked, and rightfully so by the government?

What defines New Mexico is not the beautiful skies and wide open spaces that are nice to visit but instead is the massive amount of oppression, appropriation, and torture forced upon those born here. I have not spoken of the domestic violence culture that you are supporting by visiting… but it is a nice place to visit, so I hear. It would be better if it were a nice place to live.

A Response to the Movie and Comic Book Kick Ass (Trigger Warning Based on Material)

Dear readers, this post and the aforementioned movie and comic book should all come with a trigger warning. I felt I should post this down here because I am going to try and write this with as few triggers as I can but Mark Millar seems to be one hell of an abusive person and therefore there is plenty of abuse to talk about.

I am an avid comic book reader. I like pretty much any comic you hand me. I’ve even managed to enjoy Archie comics. I did not enjoy Kick Ass. I read it because of the hype. I also borrowed it because of the hype. Hype usually means patriarchy. In this case it was formulaic patriarchy with racism, tons of homophobia, and of course as much child abuse as possible. That’s pretty much all Kick Ass is.

You see the writer, and I use that term loosely, creates (again a term used loosely) a world where superheroes kill everything as violently as they can. Wait what? It gets better. Super heroes kill everything that moves, and a father shoots his daughter repeatedly so she knows how it feels. Yes she has Kevlar. Does that make it any less triggering? NO. Does that make the training that Hit Girl endures to become someone that can kill with a smile less child abuse? No, it actually adds to it.

You see in reality I have had enough training that I could ostensibly have pulled off running around and killing people ala Hit Girl. Except that I didn’t want to kill people. Except that anyone that can kill with a smile has some serious psychological issues. Except that yeah my body sucks now and a huge component of that disabling pain comes from those same abuses. A child’s body will not handle the effects of being beaten in the same way as an adults. The damage is longer lasting.

So, right off in both the comic book and the film I was triggered. The film was in some ways less homophobic, and in many was more racist and anti woman. I realized as I watched Hit girl slaughtering a bunch of black men that Hit Girl is designed to reenforce the patriarchy. You see, if a woman has the power to kill you she will do it with a smile. She will lose her innocence (a lot of the blood shed metaphores of yore work out for this movie. Hit girl is rarely touched by males and is cold. Hard.) A woman that is capable of violence is instantly a killer. There are also elements of the madonna whore in a school girl outfit given. There were attempts made by Hitgirl to flirt. Yes, an eight year old or whatever she is was trying to flirt her way around.

Healthy imagery. In fact everything in this series is a carefully selected trope of what makes a man a man, what makes a woman great, and all of these are cliches. One of the worse changes between the comics and the movies was the reason that the big evil black man dies introducing Kick Ass to Hit Girl. In the comic book Kick Ass is going to save a stranger from domestic violence. (More triggers, and tons of racism). In the comic book the woman is black, the man is black. There is a part of this that is rare, as usually the black man is the predator after the young white girl. Of course there is also tons of racism since the man is a thug for the mafia and is apparently deserving of a katana through the chest…

Cue the movie. Any gaping void that was there in the isms was filled in. In the movie the high school girl that is with Kickass as his friend because he is supposedly a gay prostitute (she likes to save those poor people who aren’t with in the patriarchial boundaries you see) is now the victim. This is ahuge change of reason for both the characters. Kick Ass loses an element of heroism because he is just taking care of the girl he wants to have sex with. The black villain cliche o’ racism loses an element of being semi-original but still super duper racist because of course Hollywood cannot sell us something that isn’t made to reenforce the patriarchy so fully that I end up almost puking before the end of the film.

Mark Millar fans that see this as an attack, go ahead. It is. I am attacking his racism. I am attacking his homophobia. I am also attacking his comic book writing credentials. I can do better. Know how I know? I have WRITTEN COMIC BOOKS. If the villains kill less people than the heroes how are people supposed to identify with them? My issues with this film were so high I had to talk it out with a friend, and he had a great quote.

“the fight scenes which kind of sound cool…really bored me…there was no emotional reason behind the last hour of the film…yes her father was killed…but it almost didn’t feel like his death was truly acknowledged and rather it just went into super vengeance mode which no superhero should do. Where the hell was morality in all of this?”

You see, what makes a super hero heroic, as the movie Hancock tried to tell us between it’s cliches and tropes o racism and bad acting was that a hero will not be accepted by the world if they act with baseless violence. You may think so Mark Millar but you aren’t the world. I understand a great many people think this movie is great. Those people aren’t looking at this film and aren’t identifying which origins and characters you plagerised. Spiderman without powers, the Punisher, Batman/owlman/bluebeetle, oh and even your movie didn’t have a consistent soundtrack because the soundtrack was a mishmash of all previous heroing movie sound tracks. Could you BE more obvious with your movie,comic.videogame baiting cycle?

No. The answer is no.

There are people who like this film. The majority of people that like this film are stuck in the patriarchy unaware by choice of how baselessly ridiculous this film is. They have to work at it. You see, there isn’t anything original about Kickass. We’ve had better gore from Saw, we’ve had the same origin stories over and over. Except that the difference between Robin and Hit Girl lies in how they were trained. Yes Frank Miller tried to make Batman a violent abuser, but the public panned that and this was undone. Robin was trained carefully, so that he would know how to fight without killing. Hit Girl was trained to be an assassin without morals.

Kickass doesn’t. If anything the fight scenes are full of so many stupid choreographic moves that would get the characters killed, the set physics of that world are destroyed, and wait a rocket pack? Anyone that actually saw the film is probably wondering what Kickass coated his suit in so his butt didn’t catch on fire. This movie is not worth my share of the almighty dollar, the comic book s aren’t. In general, I don’t read or pay for anything with Mark Millar as the writer or creator. This will only continue until he learns how to write past a formulary, past the patriarchy, and with in the boundaries of what makes a Superhero SUPER.

Oh and if you have seizures, they use a strobe light in the film to try and make the fight scenes look cooler after they go video game baiting in one of the “climactic” scenes that felt so anticlimactic for those people I know.

So to recap, Movie bad. Mark Millarr is a hack. He hasn’t written anything I can think of that didn’t scream, “Hollywood, make me a movie because I am a pile of Cliche! Steaming RIGHT HERE!” This is just my opinion of course. An opinion I will back with my money and my mouth. Millar, if you want to ever have a write off let me know. Here’s your Corkscrew of Justice, you know where to shove it.

Catnip: Lobo Anime and Comics

Lobo Anime and Comics is Located at : 1016 Juan Tabo Boulevard Northeast Albuquerque, NM 87112

Their Phone Number is: 505-332-0499 (May be updated if this is an old article)

What Makes them so Awesome?

I haven’t had such good customer service as with this shop. Anywhere. Ever. Not only is this one of only TWO accessible comic book stores, but it is one that has windows, treats their customers so well that it is impossible for me to bedrugde them my dollars that I can spend there, and they work with Comixology, a pick up service that lets me do shopping before I send either a carer or go in the manual chair (Gate and Paratransit access pending at the time of this writing).The other comic book store shall remain nameless because they don’t treat people well and their selection also pales in comparison.

They have a website that could use some professional touches, but over all isn’t so bad that it makes me not want to shop there. This is also where I go to see the Batmobile annually. This comic shop is one that I treasure. Not only do they announce their sales with about two weeks notice, sometimes more, but they throw events. This shop is where I met some of my fantastic artist friends like the ArtAssassin (You can and should google him, he’s a fantastic artist and a real sweetheart). Every year on Free Comic Book Day they give more than just comics. I came away from FCBD with a few things I had wanted but hadn’t been able to give in on because of sales, and they also enabled my purchase of a Batgirl statue which is my birthday present to me.

What makes them deserving of my rare praise for a shop of able bodied people? It isn’t their mom and pop status. It isn’t their customer service. It isn’t their accessibility. It’s what they do beyond those things. Every year they sell hot dogs on FCBD, with relish. Which could send me into anaphalactic shock. This year I decided to call in and let them know. Their accomodation of my need was something that went beyond reasonable, they pulled the hot dogs away from the lone ramp (not their fault) and also made sure that there was extra room on the side walk for manuevering a chair since last year my ogre of a scooter made things beyond difficult. Then to top it off the relish bottle stayed closed and as far from people as possible. I still had a little reaction this year but that is because of people eating the hot dogs and daring to breathe. Since I wouldn’t want them to suffocate I took my allergy pills before and during the event and was prepped with several epipens ready to stab me if I needed them.

It gets better. Since they use Comixology and I can pick things up, I often have to call them and ask them to wait a bit longer with my hold items and they always do. Today I called in and they let me know about a minor error on my order (in my favor no less) and this really means that my statue is THERE. Right now. I can hardly wait to get down there (possibly Friday) but this shop will hold my items until I can because I let them know I am having some transportation challenges. My goal once I have paratransit is a minimum monthly trip, because I want to support this shop. This means I will spend about five dollars minimum getting there and home and around five in the store. Okay so maybe two in the store on the Birds of Prey series but my goal is five! I mean a girl has to get her Oracle and Batman fix right? Plus every so often there is a Batman in the store!

For Albuquerque New Mexico there is really only one place for any true believer, nerd, geek, comic book fan, anime geek, or admirer of graphic novels to shop and that would be Lobo Anime and Comics!

(Trust me on this, their prices are also usually much lower than listings on the internet, there is no shipping, and with my rarely met standards being surpassed you know this is THE best shop in the state, possibly the entire multiverse.)

Pictures from Free Comic Book Day 2010 at Lobo Anime and Comics (yes that chair IS as uncomfortable as it looks):

Kat Fury with Iron Man beside her and another Iron Man Behind her. The first iron man is very adorable and is around four years old. Kat Fury and Batman infront of the 1960s Batmobile. Batman has his cape stretched out behind both people.

Happy Blogaversary

Wow. I realized yesterday was the one month Blogaversary for Textual Fury. I thought it was sometime next week. I was wrong. In the last month I have found the stats page very interesting. Let me share with you why.

The first week? There were over 100 views.
Now a single month later we have over 1600 views!
There are (at the time of this writing and counting this post) 57 posts.
There have been 77 comments that turned out to be Spam.
The day with the highest viewership was one person shy of 200.
The weirdest search terms that someone found the blog with? “pee “i overflow the” -porn”

Why they chose to read the blog I will never know, but I do appreciate that.

The most clicked on link from my links or blogroll? http://badcripple.blogspot.com/

The most viewed blog post? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Advocacy

Oh, and the place that sent me the most links? Not what I expected, I was expecting it to be Renee’s blog Womanist Musings, where I have a guest post. It turns out it was Stumble Upon. I am not quite sure how that works, but it is something that is appreciated.

If all this happened in a month? I can’t imagine what it will be like in a year! Thank you for reading my work and the next Blogaversary will be in a year. I will bring a digital cake next time too.

Racism and Comics

I see it everywhere now, White Privilege. Comic books are extremely guilty of demonizing women and people of color. The Golden Age of Comics, overlapping the Second World War, had a bevy of white heroes. I cannot name any non white heroes off the top of my head, and the only female for those early years is of course the example of perfection and bondage, Wonder Woman.

I picked up a title without seeing the cover, I do this often, and I thought I had picked up another chapter of the Captain Marvel series with DC comics. Instead, I had picked up the Blue Marvel with Marvel comics. This short series deals with Jim Crow laws, racism, and the fears of white people. It does not justify for them, and although there are serious flaws, denials of privilege are actually addressed.

The Legend of the Blue Marvel introduces a super hero who uses Anti-Matter as the base of his power source, he is shadowed with a white man who was his friend, and becomes insane after gaining the same power, he wants equality so badly and cannot handle or cope with the challenges he sees his friend face. He decides genocide is the answer.

Genocide and Eugenics are a common theme in Marvel comics, the Xmen race allegory is even used just as that, with a pointed tip stabbing into the reader’s mind. The art is also beautiful. The Demonization of characters is given with an almost heavy hand to the white people, yet only as much as was with in the realm of reality. The Government commits shadowy acts, crimes against the Blue Marvel, out of fear of his skin color.

The comic spans time from the Sixties up until our current time, it references cultural change, and leaves a gaping awareness too in the change that is still needed. I was surprised with this title, and finished the five chapter series rapidly. The ending too leaves room for the Blue Marvel to either obtain his own Book or to return.

Rarely are guest characters in comics so well rounded, so human, and yet so superbly granted power. The most powerful man in the Marvel Verse is a man who was not born white. I see this as a huge change. Comic books are almost 100 years old, and although they have been wonderful additions to my life courtesy of my Sensei, there has been a lack in them.

I noticed it as a child, and even asked my Sensei why the men who looked kind of like him were always scary in the stories. He explained to me the concept of hate in a new way. “Sometimes, Little Lotus, people are afraid of difference. Difference is not bad, and hating it is. You must fight against being taught that I am bad because my eyes do not appear the same as yours. The world is a very bad place, but it is harder for those not born with white skin.”

Years later, I still grapple with the concepts that he taught me. I found out his name today. My mother was hospitalized for Pnumonia, and she will be fine, but going to visit her we began to talk. None of the topics were light, however, I learned that my Sensei’s name was Ben Chang. A part of me mourns that his name is Americanized, yet, I also understand the quest for acceptance in a country that is boiling with racism.

Comic books, just as the real world, have a long way to go. Change always needed, yet, now they are trying. The writers of The Blue Marvel Miniseries, Kevin Grevioux, has written many things I have read. I enjoyed Underworld, which too inspected race relations. He is an actor, and has even worked as a stunt man. I would expect that his personal relationship with prejudice, something he was born into by not being given white privilege, has inspired some of his amazing writing.

I am not certain how old the comic is, my copy has no dates on it, but it is also altered to help me surmount my visual disability. I will write more about that soon. Find a copy. I hope that the people at Marvel Comics put this out as a Trade Paperback soon. This creation is one of the best that has come under their umbrella since the inception of the company. Who knows, maybe they will  steal some of my loyalty from DC if they keep learning, educating, and of course the undeniable quality.

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