Captain Marvel

Marvel has been on a roll for a while now. I guess it’s inevitable that when you release extra colorful and ambitious movies like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, THOR: RAGNAROK, BLACK PANTHER, and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR all within two or three years then some of the other stuff you put out is gonna seem less impressive. Like, DOCTOR STRANGE was pretty good fun and ANT-MAN AND THE WASP has plenty of laughs and now we have CAPTAIN MARVEL, a perfectly fine movie I enjoyed watching similar to how I enjoyed watching the first THOR. Like that one it’s a pretty cool, well-cast new character who comes to our world from sort of an iffy fantastical one, has some pretty cool, sometimes funny fish-out-of-water interactions with humans, and fights some bad guys from her world in a small town without many people around.

Not bad, but how are you gonna get ’em back on THOR once they’ve seen RAGNAROK? We take the cool characters for granted now and we expect better style, better jokes, better spectacle. At least that’s how I feel. It’s worth mentioning that most of the women I’ve talked to about it liked CAPTAIN MARVEL better than most of the men I’ve talked to, so there may be things we’re not appreciating.

Brie Larson (GREENBERG) plays Vers, a glowing-super-fisted soldier of the alien Kree civilization, at war with the green-faced Skrulls, who crash lands on Earth and starts to remember a life here as Carol Danvers, hotshot Air Force flying ace/top gun/iron eagle. The story takes place in 1995, a detail cleverly introduced by having her land in a Blockbuster Video decorated with TRUE LIES and BABE standees. Quickly on the scene are S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, THE RETURN OF SUPERFLY) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg, TYSON), both digitally de-aged. At this point apparently they know about super powers, but not aliens until Fury trails along with Danvers and witnesses Skrulls shapeshifting into and out of humans.

Ben Mendelsohn (ANIMAL KINGDOM) plays the main Skrull character, but luckily he gets to be a little goofy and break out of that arrogant lead villain slot I worried he was stuck in after ROGUE ONE and ROBIN HOOD. Their conflict turns out to be more interesting than just good guys and bad guys, sending Danvers on a journey of questioning what she’s been taught and what side she should be on. It’s an anti-war movie and a protect-refugees movie, but of course all the hype is about it being a girl power movie. Note that Marvel released BLACK PANTHER in Black History Month and this on International Women’s Day. In a legitimate step forward they have their first female co-director (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are the team that wrote HALF NELSON and directed SUGAR and MISSISSIPPI GRIND) and composer (Pinar Toprak, Krypton), and the screenplay is credited to the directors plus Geneva Robertson-Dworet (TOMB RAIDER), Nicole Perlman (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) and Meg LeFauve (INSIDE OUT).

I don’t understand the silly-pantses that you hear about on the internet who oppose the small strides in diversity we’ve been starting to see in recent movies. We should be happy for people of all backgrounds to have more chances to see themselves represented on screen, but also who the fuck can’t watch a movie and identify with a hero who’s different from them? I mean I got news for you buddy, you’re no Arnold Schwarzenegger either, I don’t know how you can live vicariously through Dutch covering himself in mud to fight the Predator but it’s too hard to imagine yourself having something in common with a lady. Anyway, you’re depriving yourself.

Of course that’s not to say there aren’t things specific to a female experience that I’m not gonna pick up on. I believe this is the first Marvel movie to center on friendships between females, including best friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and boss Brilliant Scientist Lady (Annette Bening, “Vicky” on the Miami Vice season 3 episode “Red Tape”), as well as Maria’s daughter Monica (Akira Akbar), who idolizes Carol. That last part verged on the too-saccharine for me at times, but I later read that Monica is a future super hero character, so I guess it’s setting things up. The other sweet non-threatening feminism I see is that Captain Marvel (FEMINISM SPOILER) realizes she has to reject the teachings of her male mentor and find her own solutions not based in the militaristic ways of both of her peoples. (Admittedly this is something she vows to do in the future. We have yet to see how she stops a war.)

I also like the symbolism of changing her costume and using her powers as expressions of her true self and fulfilling her potential instead of letting a dude hold her back. And I like that when she shoots at the TRUE LIES standee she hits Arnold but not Jamie Lee Curtis, which I think is a fair judgment of their characters.

There’s arguably more going on beneath the surface than in most Marvels – unfortunately I’d say there’s less going on on the surface. The Skrulls kept reminding me of demons on that TV show Angel, and most of the big scenes take place in generic locations like Rocky Desert Area or Space Station Equivalent of Warehouse. It seems to hark back to the earlier Marvel movies that didn’t distinguish themselves much visually. One exception is the cool part where she flies around in a mohawk helmet with some kind of laser grid face-covering.

I assumed the FX involved in smoothing out Samuel L. Jackson meant he’d be a smaller part than the trailers implied. In fact this might be the most Fury-heavy one so far. Though the artificial youth is a little odd, the only time I found it distracting was a scene where he runs down a hall and I thought “They couldn’t get a double for this one scene to make him run better?” But maybe I should respect that he wanted to do it. Or maybe it’s a character choice. Maybe Fury never could run very good.

Since this is supposed to be the year of DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, I wish there was one shot where they clearly just pasted Larson’s face over Bruce Willis. At one point when they were in a car chase I heard a little LETHAL WEAPONish guitar noodling on the score and I hoped it would go full-on buddy action movie, but that doesn’t quite happen. You know I’d forgive the low levels of crazy comic book shit if all the normal urban stuff looked and felt like a legit action movie. It could be twenty-first-century big budget I COME IN PEACE!

Though she’s super-powered, the Captain also receives fight training from her mentor Alien Jude Law. The moves look pretty good and shot clearly but it keeps cutting too fast. I read that they tried to get Keanu for the Law role, and that would’ve been a huge waste of his talents, but he could’ve had a talk with them about longer takes. Anyway the fight coordinator is Walter Garcia (SPY, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE). Second unit director is Jeff Habberstad (WALKING TALL, JARHEAD, AvP:R, THE LAST AIRBENDER). Stunt coordinators are Hank Amos (THE PURGE sequels) and James M. Churchman (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, FIRST MAN). Larson’s stunt double is Joanna Bennett, who has also doubled Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman and Gal Gadot in the DC Universe.

You know what people seem to really get a kick out of? Old technology. They have a joke about our heroine from an advanced civilization not understanding why you have to sit and wait for a 1995 computer to load a program. But the crowd was laughing before they got to the joke. Ha, old computers. Stupid.

See, the other star besides Larson and Jackson is the ’90s. If you’re around my age you might share my feelings of “Oh shit, we’re old now, huh?” This movie fills me with a swirl of conflicting “This is for my people!” and “They think we’re gonna fall for this bullshit?” instincts instilled in my generation from birth. The soundtrack is packed with ’90s songs we all heard a million times back then whether or not we paid attention. Not one of them will make you say, “Ooh, that’s an interesting choice.” None are my favorite songs and none are objectionable. One of them (“Waterfalls” by TLC) was not really my thing at the time, but eventually over the years you just realize certain pop songs are undeniably good, and those are gonna make you smile if they come on the radio either in your car or in Captain Marvel’s. You can’t help that.

I turned to my special lady afterwards and asked “Is that our generation’s version of the FORREST GUMP soundtrack? Or our THE BIG CHILL?” But she pointed out that they at least emphasize female singers to fit with the material. There’s at least that level of curation. There’s some R.E.M. and a prominent placement of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” that felt a little blasphemous to me, but otherwise it’s Hole, Garbage, Elastica, Salt-N-Pepa, Heart, Lita Ford and that song “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree. The one I thought worked best was No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” during a fight scene, but I seem to be alone in that.

In the movie’s defense, “You Gotta Be” was the only one I could find on a Now That’s What I Call the 1990s compilation CD. For TLC they had “No Scrubs.”

You know, I somehow missed the joke in the Stan Lee cameo, that he was practicing his lines for MALLRATS. Now that I get it I like it. I’ve heard that it doesn’t make sense because how could MALLRATS exist in the Marvel Universe when they discuss Marvel Comics in MALLRATS, but I think it’s an homage to the kids watching SCREAM 2 in HALLOWEEN: H20 even though in SCREAM they watched HALLOWEEN.

I didn’t think CAPTAIN MARVEL was as dependent on its links to the other Marvel movies as I’d heard. There are lots of little connections, but you mostly don’t need to know them to understand what’s going on. In fact, having seen the other movies is what made me confused about the timeline of the Tesseract. Not a big deal, though.

There are other parts that felt a little clunky to me. At the beginning when Vers first starts fighting and being funny it feels like the pay off to some introduction and build up that we didn’t really get. And there’s a sequence with Skrull voices talking as they sift through her memories that seemed like a rough cut to me, something that will be cool once they get it figured out. I wish it was slicker. To me it doesn’t feel as effortless and confident as other Marvel movies. But the things I really like, that seem like small pleasures to me, might be bigger from other angles and overpower that.

An advantage the Marvel movies have is that the ones we consider to be lesser are still part of a larger work. Thor, Black Widow and the recast Bruce Banner have become beloved characters far beyond what you could’ve guessed from their so-so first movies. If this isn’t the best possible introduction to Captain Marvel that won’t’ necessarily matter. In the mid-credits scene (MID-CREDITS SCENE SPOILER) when she suddenly appears behind the Avengers, answering the call from the end of INFINITY WAR (from the pager that Fury luckily had in the back seat of his car after 24 years!), my instinctive response was “YES!” And then when I thought about it more I thought, “Wait, what is she supposed to do? Punch Thanos with her super fists?” The movie doesn’t really tell us why she’d have any better chance than the rest of them to deal with half of the human race having been turned into piles of ashes. But as long as ENDGAME does tell us, nobody will be the wiser.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 at 10:57 am and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

313 Responses to “Captain Marvel”

  1. I think her role in Endgame will be using her powers to enable to core team to beat Thanos, like helping them hop dimensions or time travel or something. I don’t think she will beat him herself – that would be kind of hacky and “deus ex machina.” Also, since her powers come from the Tesseract, maybe she can’t affect him as long as he holds the Space Gem?

    P.S. I liked the movie a lot but agree that it feels “Phase 1-y.” I think it is maybe the best Marvel movie for little kids that I’ve seen in a while though – very little that wouldn’t be appropriate for 7-8 year olds

  2. I’m glad this exists and I’m happy for all the young women (or just people!) this is going to inspire, but it’s a lower-tier MCU entry to me. I think maybe the directors just weren’t ready for a jump into the big leagues yet? I dunno, but it seemed like every few minutes-right up to the very end where she’s floating in space without her helmet all of a sudden-there’s some plot hole or contrivance or a leap or lapse in logic or just some clunky exposition or dialogue that just took me right out of the movie.

    I still had fun with it, of course, but I wanted to like it way more than I actually did. And hoo boy, ‘Just a Girl’ did NOT work for me as musical accompaniment to a fight scene and I remember cruising around listening to it in high school.

    Finally, there have always been Marvel Comics IN Marvel Comics, so MALLRATS can totally exist in the MCU. The nerds complaining about that are fake nerds and should be ignored. Besides, that was such a funny and deep cut of a cameo that it kept me from considering real-world circumstances, which was what it needed to do.

  3. 1. The credit Vern gives to Bening is my favorite “you may know this actor from” in a long long time, if not forever.

    2. Special lady? Is this a revelation, or have I been away?

  4. U liked this quite a bit, and I do feel overall people are being too hard on it. It’s no RAGNAROK or ENDGAME…but very few movies are.

    It is a victim of coming after a string of really good ones however…I will agree on that.

    Loved the cat and even liked the I’m Just A Girl scene. I’m well aware it was corny…but I’m fine with corny.

  5. “who the fuck can’t watch a movie and identify with a hero who’s different from them? I mean I got news for you buddy, you’re no Arnold Schwarzenegger either, I don’t know how you can live vicariously through Dutch covering himself in mud to fight the Predator but it’s too hard to imagine yourself having something in common with a lady. Anyway, you’re depriving yourself.”

    This may be the most relevant takedown of MRAs I’ve ever seen.

  6. I don’t know, F. Fred. I, for one, HAVE covered myself in mud to take down a Predator. You guys should be careful about what you speak.

    On a seemingly related note (that note being idiocy), I had a MAGA person telling me today — with absolutely no sense of irony whatsoever, mind you — that she couldn’t stand it when Martin Sheen showed up in political commercials. She said, “It’s not like playing a president on television qualified him to speak knowledgeably about politics.”

  7. People have no sense of history, despite all this information being readily available. It’s frustrating.

    When that Spielberg doc last year had him saying Temple of Doom was his least favorite Indy, a lot of grown ups acted like this was new information (he’s been saying it since Last Crusade. It’s on the DVD’s.)

    On a serious note, I realize a lot of people watching Leaving Neverland were hearing about Michael jackson’s abuse for the first time. I recognize that Someone could have just missed that ‘90s scandal but you’d think for such a big star and widely publicized case, some inkling of it would remain in the public consciousness.

  8. I would put this in the upper bottom of the middle level of the Marvel filmography, probably somewhere just above THOR 2 and just below SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING, but don’t quote me on that one because Captain Marvel choice of Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly”—inarguably the greatest rock song ever sung by a person of the female persuasion—makes me far more likely to want to hang out with her than with Peter Parker, who would probably choose that one fucking Bare Naked Ladies song and call it a golden oldie or something. The film is fun, light, and colorful, and it has some beloved characters doing something different for a chance, a timely message, and a kind heart. It’d probably be at ANT-MAN or DR. STRANGE levels if the visuals were a little more interesting (admittedly, that’s partially the fault of the material’s inherent imagery; it’s hard to do much new with blue aliens, hand lasers, and spaceship hallways that hasn’t been done a million times before). But a B-list Marvel movie is still better than just about any other franchise’s A-list so I felt satisfied.

    Personally, I think it would have worked better if they switched the No Doubt and Hole songs. “Celebrity Skin” has all the piss and vinegar you’d want for a fight scene, while “Just A Girl” is the kind of too-clever-by-half musical choice that’s best used to sum up a film after it’s over, not to comment on the action while it’s happening.

    I’m not sure why Nirvana is in there at all, especially in a scene that plays out in CM’s head. She disappeared in ’89 before grunge was even invented and was shown to still be rocking out to cock-rock anthems. A totally inscrutable musical choice. If they just wanted a dope bass line that Breeders song is RIGHT THERE.

    I like Hole better than Nirvana anyway. Catchier choruses and the anger feels more earned, more lived in, more righteous. Fight me.

  9. *Captain Marvel’s choice of “Kiss Me Deadly” AS A KARAOKE SONG” is what I meant to say, in my opinion, but I can’t be sure, since I’ve spent more time in the last 24 hours in the DMV than in bed and I’m not sure my brain is functioning properly.

  10. I think this is a pretty ok movie, it wasn’t a character I was familiar with but I like Brie Larson, fair enough. Messy structure – big time – but it resolved itself on a second viewing and it stacks up ok. I wish they’d done more with the setting, it doesn’t feel distinct enough from the wider serious – it seems more like they referenced the 90s rather than portrayed them, if you get me.

    Weird to think a ton of the audience weren’t born when this film was set. Sorry for making you feel old.

    I had a big problem though, one I’m really surprised ain’t getting talked about a lot. The lighting in this thing is beyond terrible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blockbuster like it. So many scenes – including ones that take place in broad daylight – aren’t lit from the front so you end up just not being able to make out both eyes. Sam Jackson meeting Larson in the car park is an example of this. You can’t make out his face properly when they’re shooting him front on. He’s standing outside in the blazing son, there’s nothing shading his face. But you just can’t see it. It takes a lot away from Ben Mendelsohn’s (excellent) performance too – in that scene where he’s drinking soda out of a cup – you can’t see both his eyes. Quite a few of Jude Law’s little team you literally never get a clear look at.

    It isn’t just a matter of being too dim either. There’s a few scenes that aren’t composed very sensibly – so there’ll be a bright light somewhere were you’re eye isn’t meant to be drawn to and you’ll end up not looking where you’re supposed to. A few examples of this would be the scene with Jude Law and the skrull in the barn/outhouse/shed thing. The window is absolutely blazing in the middle of the frame. Same when Ben Mendelsohn’s drinking that drink with the door window behind Brie Larson. And obviously the strip lighting on the spaceship at the end is a nightmare for this. Not the worst composition but perhaps most egregious is the scene where she picks out her new colours. The living room behind her through the door, while only lit warmly, is brighter than she is. You cannot make out the colours at one of the film’s big ass moments. Compared to Aquaman’s similar beat – when he gets his gold outfit – it is really night and day.

    It absolutely astonished me – in a bad way – right from the start. The (SPOILERS, pals) twist with Jude Law’s team, while obviously heavily telegraphed, doesn’t have the emotional impact it should have cos you basically never see their faces cos they spend the second act sat in a dark room somewhere, and in the scenes they are in they’re not lit properly. Made worse cos they’re painted blue. I felt gutted from a few minutes in because of this and it stopped me from enjoying an otherwise solid film. I dunno. So much of the action had me totally confused cos I couldn’t see how was getting hit. Usually that’d be cos of the shaky camera and quick edits – but this time it was just cos the frame wasn’t bright enough to effectively convey its contents. How the fuck does that happen?

    I think they were trying to keep the indie vibe by having a more naturalistic lighting set-up. But it didn’t work and the film looks like actual hot trash because of it. I’ve seen people compare it to Civil War – in that they picked some boring locations. I think CW drops the ball in places (the car park battle shot is infamous now) but a little flat and unimaginative isn’t the same as outright incompetent, which this film really is.

    I paid to go back and see it a second time, in 2D, because I assumed the bulb was too dim or something. Nope, it just has a genuinely catastrophic lighting set-up. The lack of discussion about this on the general internet has *really* surprised me, and worried me a little because they need to to fix this shit. I hope the directors are not brought back for CM2.

  11. steven: I also knew almost nothing about the character ahead of time. Wasn’t it nice to sit down and not have any idea what was about to happen? I knew she was super powerful and Samuel Jackson was in it and there was a cat. That’s it. I don’t know how I managed it but it was a rare treat to go in that cold on a movie this big.

  12. Majestyk – You sold me on switching the two songs. That would work better.

    I wonder if there will ever be a re-evaluation of Courtney Love? Obviously she’s burned a ton of bridges, but I feel like she’s been disrespected horribly since the beginning. People give Kurt credit for her music, blame her for his death (sometimes accusing her of murder!), act like it’s okay to hate her while worshiping the guy who loved, married and had a kid with her. Also, he was unfortunately a drug addict too, who is to say he wouldn’t be as much or more of a mess than her if he’d stayed around? Or if he was the one who very publicy lost his spouse and had to raise his daughter alone? I feel like people are crueler about her addiction than about male rock stars with the same issues. Same thing with Amy Winehouse.

    Steven – I honestly didn’t notice anything unusual about the cinematography. Thought it was kind of bland. Your 2D screening wasn’t on the same screen as the 3D one, was it? I’m wondering if there was a lens problem, but maybe you’re just more attuned to this stuff than me.

  13. I thought it was pretty good. It’s not my favorite MCU, but I enjoyed it pretty well.

    I did feel a little embarrassed for the filmmakers when they put “Just a Girl” behind that fight scene. It felt like a big nudge and wink: Do you believe that we have a female hero?!? But that isn’t so rare, really. Women are still less represented than men in these movies, so keep bringing more women in please. But they aren’t exactly rare unicorns in action movies anymore, either. I kind of feel like Marvel is giving itself too much credit for finally doing something that many others did a long time ago.

  14. Ben – To be fair this is the 20th Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and none of the other 19 center on a woman. WONDER WOMAN obviously beat them to the punch, but there’s not exactly a surplus of solo-female-super-hero movies. It is a pretty big deal.

  15. Having read it back and spotted so many typos I actually am touched anyone responded to my comment – I am sorry for putting you all through that and I promise to proofread this one before hitting send!

    – I went to a completely different cinema for the second viewing. Really had hoped it was a bad bulb or something. In the UK hydraulic masking has died a death so both showings were letterboxed. I find that bleeds the colour out at the best of times in dimmer pictures so I’m sure that didn’t help. The last time I struggled nearly as much with a film’s lighting was ‘The Nun’ – and that was a time the cinema had left too many of the house lights on.

    – In the interest of balance there’s some lovely shots in it – most of all the one where she’s holding a map right before getting the bike.

    Majestyk: Agree about going in cold – it’ll be interesting to see how the MCU gets as they put more of their B and C list heroes on screen. It feels weird to say CM might’ve been B-list given she’s make 500mil already, but she’s not someone I’d come across before following one of the new era’s artists on twitter a few years back. GOTG1&2 are very strong IMO, so they benefit from having a freer hand with a less sacred canon to work from, I think. Certainly when they hire the right person.

    – It’s a shame it left me so down on the film overall because there’s plenty good in it, Ben Mendelsohn most of all. Like you said in your review as well, the Endgame stinger had me hyped, so in the MCU’s own terms that shows it still worked overall.

    – It’s interesting to think that we probably all take in visual informations and physically take in the image in different ways. I gravitate towards the eyes I think so I notice when they’re not lit properly (or at least, the way I take to be proper). Some people probably absorb the whole frame a little differently. It’s interesting really, something about this one really short-circuits my brain and makes me work harder to process the information.

    – While I’m here, they should get Rosa Salazar for the surely now inevitable Firebird movie.

  16. Annette Bening was in a Miami Vice episode?

  17. Steven, you’re right about the lighting, the film looked flat and murky. This reduces the impact of many moments, along with the choppy editing of the action scenes. I was gonna call this the least memorable Marvel picture, but then I remembered THOR: THE DARK WORLD exists. Which is unfortunately the only thing I remember about that one.

  18. The new Endgame Trailer is up. I like Carol’s little smile when Thor does his thing.

  19. Eh, still can’t get excited for AVENGERS: PAY TWICE TO SEE THE FULL MOVIE PART 2: THE INEVITABLE RESET BUTTON, even if they had replaced the Russos with competent directors.

  20. Vern: I was never comfortable with the way Courtney Love was treated. I wasn’t a huge fan or anything but I liked her singles and even thought she was attractive and interesting, but I used to be afraid to admit it because the whole world collectively decided to treat her like the town skank. They fuckin’ Yokoed her at best, Lizzie Bordened her at worst. I have no thoughts on her innate musical talent or who was or wasn’t the driving force behind her songs, but even if her music was largely manufactured in the studio, how is that any different than all these pop starlets who nowadays get treated like they’re actual artists and not just the pitchman for a multi-platform marketing campaign? How is her blowsy bite-my-tongue-for-no-one rock star space cadet persona any different from those cultivated by Ozzy Osbourne or Keith Richards? She got singled out because she was a famous woman who dared to be just as much of a trainwreck as her male peers, only instead of being romanticized for it, she was demonized. And the amazing thing is, all this stuff is all over her first album, which came out before she got famous and had to deal with any of this shit. Just being a woman trying to make it in the music industry gave her a highly focused fire and insight that her navel-gazing husband, with his nebulous, unfocused ennui and angsty nonsense poetry, could never begin to approach.

  21. Online film criticism 1984

  22. Hey, don’t put me on a level with such people, because Marvel suddenly decided to think I’m dumb enough to believe that they joined the GOT game of pissing fans off by killing all their favourite characters (including historically significant cash cows), and that I’m too big of a fan to not get mad at a movie that feels extremely rushed, but still randomly ends in the middle of the story.

    Also I never got the love for EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. It’s not as infuriating as INFINITY WAR or MATRIX RELOADED, but it still is a movie, that feels more like the first two acts of another movie, than its own thing.

  23. “THE TWO TOWERS? Maybe if you only had one you could have fit them both in one book, jerk. You got too many parts in your trilogy like you got too many R’s in your name.”

    “HENRY THE IV PART 1? Nice try, William HACKspeare! Get back to me when you’ve condensed history more to my liking!”

    “The Old Testament? Yeah right! I can see where this is going! You should have finished the story the first time!”

  24. CJ, fans are pissed about Game of Thrones killing off characters? I thought they loved that.

    Maj, I’ll not have you besmirch the greatest franchise of all time… The Bible. Still waiting for part 3. :)

  25. Hey, THE TWO TOWERS had at least the decency to be about a bunch of sidequests, that were finished by the end of movie. It’s not like the movie ended when the battle of Helm’s Deep started.

    And GOT fans are weird in that regard.

  26. I can see everyone’s point about this not being the strongest movie in the MCU, but I was quite delighted by it. No, I didn’t feel a deep, spiritual connection, but I liked a lot of it.

    I don’t really have anything insightful to say about it, but I’ll mention 2 things I liked *SPOILERS*:

    I liked the montage of standing up after getting knocked down at all stages of her life. It really spoke to me that what made her heroic wasn’t her glowing fists or her fighting skills or her alien technology. It was something that is innate to being a woman – shit keeps knocking you down and you have to keep getting up. That montage actually gave me a little shiver of chills.

    I also liked when Jude Law was trying to egg her on to put away her powers and just fight him one on one. I know it’s a beloved action movie trope and that Vern, especially, loves it, but I loved being able to read her face, which said loud and clear, “Nah, that’s a dude thing,” before she blasted him.

  27. I never had a lot of use for Courtney Love as an artist, but she definitely deserves some retroactive credit for being possibly the only person in Hollywood to publicly and explicitly warn other women about Harvey Weinstein (a really bold move at the time which ended up costing her dearly).

  28. I really think people need to stop giving Marvel shit because they just made a female led Superhero movie. Can you blame them for starting with their more famous heroes and used actors that are the same color as the more recognizable alter egoes on the comics? Could they have used a black actor as Tony Stark? Sure, obviously, but there is nothing wrong with hiring Robert Downey Jr either.

  29. Franchise Fred–If you’re interested in learning about the continuing adventures of Jesus Christ, may I interest you in this incredible text discovered over a hundred and fifty years ago by a man named Joseph Smith?

    Because I was taught that Courtney Love was some sort of evil succubus trying to take down her husband, I mostly avoided Hole back in the day. A couple of years ago, I decided to actually sit down and listen to their albums all the way through, and they’re actually really fantastic. Go ahead and put Hole against any of that post-grunge crap that was on the radio back in the day, and it’s really no contest. And the music is so clearly from a female perspective that to claim that Kurt Cobain or Billy Corgan or whoever wrote all their music is just plain stupid. (I know that Corgan’s credited on as one of several songwriters on several tracks on Celebrity Skin, but in high school I was lead to believe that he was responsible for the entire album).

  30. Maggie, that montage may be specifically poignant to women, but I find it representative of general heroism too. It’s not the super powers that make you heroic. It’s your character. And that final moment is the answer to every bully baiting the hero to fight. Why would you do that to prove something to an asshole? They’re just trying to distract you for accomplishing what you want to accomplish.

    RBATTY, dum dum dum dum dum.

  31. I do think it’s somewhat ridiculous that a female marvel superhero is being pitched as ideologically, politically, and culturally necessary, when really it’s just commerce for Marvel/Disney. There have been plenty of female action heroes and female led movies before this one, and if you look at the movie…okay, Carol constantly fights back and gets back to her feet (though they don’t do a lot to define her as a character besides somebody in opposition to hotshot, sexist dickheads)…she doesn’t exactly “earn” her power. She just happens to have a bond with this alien and is riding co-pilot when the ship gets shot down and is the person closest to the engine that is destroyed and she absorbs the energy from, all of which she had no foresight about.

    Lump me in with the group that considers this a below average, bridge marvel movie around the level of one of the first two Thors. It has some charms, but also significant drawbacks. Lots of the comedy didn’t work for me, and I hope Brie Larson does better going forward (hard to tell how much was her and how much was the direction) because otherwise this series might suffer.

    I suspect because Captain Marvel absorbed the energy from whatever that engine was that powered the tesseract that she is capable of destroying infinity stones, and thus being able to weaken Thanos’ gauntlet. Scarlet Witch was the only person clearly able to destroy a stone from the prior movies. Though arguably Vision (gone) and Thor would also be capable.

  32. Brian: I struggle with the idea of giant corporations engaging in performative wokeness, but if a four-quadrant-blockbuster-behemoth like Disney sees leaning into racial and gender equality as a commercially viable position to take, I think that says a good thing about mainstream society.

    Keeping in mind I haven’t seen CAPTAIN MARVEL yet, I’d say that superheroes rarely “earn” their powers; they usually stumble on them. It’s what they do afterwards that matters.

  33. I think there’s a considerable gap between BLACK PANTHER and CAPTAIN MARVEL. Both in terms of quality as well as what they each have to say about what the general public presumes they’re about–race and gender respectively. In fact, I think BLACK PANTHER might be superior on both fronts, which is a big credit to all the actresses and Ryan Coogler.

  34. Sternshein – But people aren’t really trashing Marvel for it, right? It seems like it’s more of a “I wish they made this movie sooner, but I’m sure excited now that it’s here!”

    So Destin Daniel Cretton has been hired for the Shang Chi movie, which falls in line with other director choices, including Captain Marvel’s. This seems like one entry where they really need to get the action right, though. Wu Jing would be one obvious, smart casting choice. Let him handle the action, too.

  35. As I said to a friend, I found this to be the Dry White Toast of the MCU. Totally outplayed by The Winter Soldier creatively when you looked at the relatively comparable scenes. I thought it committed the movie sin of being remarkably lacking in notable standout highs or setpieces (once sgain, see TWS just for starters).

  36. My biggest takeaway from this was how good they are getting at the CGI youth process. I kept wondering if someone from a desert island who didn’t know Samuel L Jackson saw this movie would ever be able to tell that Samuel L is actually 70 years old. I also kept thinking that maybe we could get a Pulp Fiction Prequel…..

  37. Fred – you’re right, it is common for the hero to be heroic for their tenacity and ingrained character, rather than their muscles, etc. I guess what moved me here was that women are often knocked down (usually metaphorically) for simply being a woman.

    JeffG – afterward I honestly thought they may have not even used CGI to make Jackson appear younger. Either it was deftly used or I got used to it. Unlike Colson, who looked airbrushed into invisibility.

  38. MaggieMay

    I felt the same way, and I was actually shocked when I looked it up and saw SLJ is 70. He looks pretty damn young for 70.

  39. Maggie, women definitely are and I admire them all the more for getting back up against unfair, arbitrary biases.

  40. Also sort of reminded me of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series finale where [SPOILERS] all the potential slayers got activated and realized their power. Did you get that vibe, Maggie?

  41. I did not think that at the time, but now that you mention it, I can totally see it.

  42. The thing about Phil Coulson and Clark Gregg is that Clark Gregg more or less looks now like he did in 1995.

    What they did with this film (and why I found it distracting) especially his hair … well, that not so much ever in his life on screen.

  43. Couple points.

    1) JRR did write one novel, and his publisher forced him to divide it into three!

    2) Hole is fuckin great, the only grunge band I would say is better is Mudhoney

    3) James Gunn has been rehired for GOTG3! Woohoo!

    4) “Inarguably” the best female sung rock song… holy shit what a claim. I guess I can’t really argue with it though. Opinions!

  44. “Celebrity Skin” is awesome, and “Malibu” also from Hole is nearly as awesome and played about 1/1000 as much. I concur. Though of course these songs are basically Billy Corgan and barely Courtney Love, except for the voice and the “yeah I killed Kurt, whatcha gonna do about it” swagger.

  45. @steven, THANK YOU.

    I too was bewildered with the at times inept lighting and framing decisions in this film. Especially evident in the costume re-colouring scene. It’s not “naturalistic”, it’s incompetent.

    I’ll wait for a second viewing before diving into the creative discussion, but I will touch on one thing that I think has really negatively affected this film, and the MCU overall as a result.

    Before I do, I’ll preface by saying that I am a fan of the Carol Danvers character, and have been eagerly awaiting her entry into the MCU.

    This is all Ike Perlmutter’s fault. Allow me to explain…

    So, one month before Endgame, we have Carol crammed into the MCU just barely in time to be included. People are complaining about agendas, and social this, political that, but this isn’t about societal reactionism, it’s retconning Marvel Studios’ unfortunate past.

    Infamously, the head of Marvel (overall), Ike Perlmutter used to lord over Marvel Studios with supreme veto power. He is a noted racist (no Black Panther under his watch), and sexist (Iron Man 3’s female villain was written out at his demand, and no female led franchises), so once Kevin Fiege was able to side-step him under the Disney regime just before Civil War, it meant that all options for franchises of any and all types of people were now on the table. Time to diversify as quickly as possible, to course correct. It was no coincidence that Civil War was announced with a reveal of Black Panther as the sole related visual.

    So now Captain Marvel is on the table, and she’s going to debut late, her name is synonymous with the brand, and her origin is tied to an alien race that was already diminished by now in the MCU, so it makes sense to have her origin set in the past, to establish her as a founding figure of the MCU. I get that.

    But the problem with how they have executed it is that Carol’s character development wasn’t fleshed out in this film, it is only hinted at. She’s going to get a sequel set in the 90’s later in Phase 4 (and maybe another pre-Iron Man sequel as well, who knows?), and have a great deal of her character growth at a future point, but next month in Endgame, we will see this character without having seen ANY of who she really is, or has become over the past 24 years. This is a really odd misstep for Marvel Studios. Sure, after CM2 comes out, we can then go back and (probably) connect more with her presence in Endgame, but that will not help in theatres in April.

    I’m not hating on any of this, but I can’t not see the difficulty and unfortunate position established by the restrictions placed on the first 7 years of the MCU.

  46. Y’all watch these Marvel movies multiple times even when they suck? Nerds!


  47. Just saw this, and I agree with what seems to be the consensus that it’s not one of the top-tier Marvel movies, but still very enjoyable.

    I wish they did more of the Hot Tub Time Machine joke with Nick Fury’s eye, though. I think they left a lot of laughs on the table by only faking us out the one time. I think the ultimate reveal would have been funnier if there were a few more close calls.

  48. I mostly liked it as I said in an earlier post, but the thing that disappointed me the most was the stupid, random way she got her powers. Why would an ordinary human absorb energy from an explosion instead of die? And you can’t tell me that that’s just the way light speed engines are. I mean, it’s an engine; in the ordinary course of business it’s going to throw off exhaust and radiation. So, if it had been put into use was it going to be handing out powers to anyone working the engine room? To anyone near the exhaust port?

    That part of the movie was surprisingly lazy and unimaginative for an MCU movie this far along. I wish that this very powerful character (and first female MCU character at quite this level) was given a more interesting power source.

  49. I don’t think it’s any more ridiculous or stupid than getting bit by a radioactive spider, exposed to gamma rays or having a planet/god for a father.

  50. Light speed engines are magic though. It’s physically impossible to travel at the speed of light because of physics. Therefore, it’s just as logical to assume they WOULD give her powers upon exploding than that they wouldn’t.

  51. I think Captain Marvel getting her powers was also connected to the Tesseract and the Space Stone without which it wouldn’t have been possible (maybe also not the engine either) in the same way Ultron and Vision (and possibly the Maximoffs) weren’t actually going to happen before the Mind Stone entered the picture.

  52. The thing I was most confused by was why anybody gave a shit about the light speed drive in the first place. These space people already routinely travel from planet to planet in minutes using wormholes and such. Nobody ever complains about how long it takes to get anywhere. Tony made it to Thanosworld from Earth in like a half hour. Ronan the Accuser gets the go-ahead to nuke Earth and he’s there lickety-split. They’d have to be moving far, far FASTER than light to cover these distances so quickly. Light speed wouldn’t help you in combat, because you’d be going way too fast to engage an enemy, so what is the tactical advantage of this particular form of fast travel over the seemingly reliable form they already use? It kind of felt like they were battling over a prototype VCR the year after Blu-ray was invented.

  53. Explanations I’ve heard (and I agree if it’s not sufficiently apparent from the story, you’re already failing) is that there’s an existing wormhole network (think subway stations) but the drive can take them to areas which aren’t close to the wormholes and I guess safer.

    I agree, they did a terrible job of explaining this (as in not even trying to answer exactly the point you are raising).

  54. I thought that they weren’t really after the light speed drive. That they were after the tesseract and also to wipe out the Skrulls she was protecting.

  55. I thought it was just plain old garden-variety bad. Poor action, obvious ‘mystery’, holey plot, a lead performance that’s stilted and stiff (and don’t say it’s because she’s an alien mind control victim, because they immediately walk that back to have her quipping every other line), and just something stupid going on every couple minutes. The scene where Carol quizzes Fury on his backstory, err, personal history to make sure he isn’t a Skrull, only she has no way of knowing whether he’s telling the truth or not–ughh. I know all these Marvel movies have a formula, but this time it was like they were doing a cover song and not doing anything to individualize their take on it, just playing the chords and saying the lyrics–not even particularly in-tune.

  56. “We should be happy for people of all backgrounds to have more chances to *see themselves represented on screen*…”

    “…who the fuck can’t watch a movie and identify with a hero who’s different from them?”

    Uhhhm, which is it?

  57. Jesus Christ, Rogue4. Don’t waste my life on dumb shit like this. Of course it is cool for young girls to be able to have opportunities to see SOME movies that aren’t just about dudes. And also, at the same time, you understand that just because you are a male doesn’t mean you can’t watch a movie about a woman and relate to her experiences and root for her. Although your politics are maddening to me I’m 100% positive that you are a smart person who understands that both of these things are true and not contradictory. I wish you could be true to your Conservative Intellectual Guy Speaking Truth to the Liberals code without just making that be Asshole Philosophically Opposed To Empathy.

  58. Sometimes I really wish we could upvote comments on this websight.

  59. I certainly take you for a smart person Main Man, which is why it’s doubletake worthy to see those two statements smashed into the same sentence. But I suppose it’s the type of inexplicable’ness that naturally flows from peddling bogus conflations about how negative reactions to a female superhero movie = opposition to “small strides in diversity.” Funny we haven’t heared a peep from those same presumed “silly pantses” about ScarJo’s Black Widow (a mainstay and fan favorite in the MCU, virtually since its inception), or Alita the Battle Angel, or Wonder Woman, or Katniss Everdeen, or Kill Bill’s Bride, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Brienne of Tarth, or Arya Stark, or The Walking Dead’s Michonne or Carol or Maggie, or Sarah Connor, or Ripley. The math seems to be pretty obvious. Give people a compelling, well acted heroine and they’ll eat it up with a spoon. Give em a shallow Mary Sue, portrayed by an actress who projects all the charisma of a paper weight and insults half the fanbase to boot, and they’re gonna non to politely call it out. So maybe you could dial back the Lefty Virtue Signaling Against Misogyny Straw-Man knob a few clicks.

  60. Misogyny straw man?

    When you have folks enraged by simple and harmless calls for diversity, it doesn’t really seem to be a straw man.

    There seems to be some sort of anger out there. Misogyny isn’t all of it, but it sure feels like a lot of the source of the anger. I really don’t think it’s an anger grounded in anything positive, I am sure of that. A lot of it feels contrived and manufactured as well.

    Sidestepping manufactured outrage should be a Boy Scout Merit Badge I think that everyone needs in today’s world.

    I enjoyed the movie. I agree with you her character was a little flat. It still worked.

    The online sabotage by trolls as it was opening… nothing respectable about any of that. I’m glad all of that nonsense failed badly enough it became a farce.

    You’re not going to get any traction with your complaints because everyone is angry at that crap.

    We can’t remove politics from the cinema and we shouldn’t even try. It informs the why of movies and it has a lot to do with how we digest them. It’s part of everything, for better or worse. But the stakes can become very low very quick, and the sell-by date for this manufactured crappy outrage is already weeks old.

    Say you don’t like the actress. Say you don’t like the movie. Have whatever reasons you want. Whatever. Move on.

    It wasn’t “On the Waterfront.” It was an MCU movie. Christ on pogo stick.

    Anyway, looking forward to Benicio Del Toro as Swiper and Danny Trejo as Boots the Monkey in the live action Dora the Explorer movie. LOL!

    Trejo: “Swiper no swiping.”

    Del Toro: “Oh man.”

    This… is this a fever dream? This is going to be real?

  61. “Although your politics are maddening to me I’m 100% positive that you are a smart person who understands that both of these things are true and not contradictory.”

    Vern, if you are “100% positive” that he’s smart enough to see that those two sentences are not contradictions, then why do you think he wrote that they were?

  62. Riiiiight. Now reconcile that narrative with the non-“trolling” of every one of the aforementioned heroines, BR. Somethings not adding up.

  63. I guess that percentage was too optimistic.

  64. Rogue4 it’s about Brie Larson specifically, non-anger at anyone else or another movie is without meaning.

    Brie Larson called for more diversity.


    That’s a pretty anodyne, harmless, and unremarkable call. It’s pretty average. It’s just not that controversial nor out there.

    It’s practically a platitude.

    But for whatever mysterious reason her words released the 4chan crackhead kraken.

    Outside of that subculture there’s just not that much resonance.

    Dude, you are entitled to be angry about whatever you want, and I am not trying to belittle your concerns. Oh who am I kidding, I’m totally belittling THIS concern. But I’m not belittling your right to be angry. Be angry about whatever you want, that is your right and I respect that and I’m sure there are plenty of topics both you and I would be angry about together. And you have every right to be angry about this topic still no matter what I say or what anyone else says.

    But c’mon dude, on this topic: really? I’m not feeling it.

    Human Sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

  65. @BR Right, cause saying you don’t care about what a bunch of hispanic dudes have to say about A Wrinkle in Time, cause it wasn’t for them, is a totally harmless statement that Miss Larson would’ve unblinkingly made in mixed company… that you and no one else would’ve batted an eyelash about… sure. In any case you can attempt to dodge the point of the non-trolling/embrace of the cited heroines, and the hole it blows thru the misogyny narrative around Miss Larson’s film, but a dodge is all it is.

    @JTS & Vern Friendos, you can assert that the face value contradiction of the two given statements (in the same sentence no less) isn’t what it is, all you want. I’m not buying it. Your self serving assessment of my intellect, notwithstanding, I see it as the nonsensical flubbery that necessarily results from propogating a nonsensical *not liking a given heroine adventure movie/its star equates to opposing diversity* premise.

  66. You’re all showing the stubborn perseverence of Captain Marvel in your attempts to engage Rogue4. I can’t even understand the point he is trying to make.

  67. I am a white male film critic and I truly don’t care if Brie Larson thinks I shouldn’t review A Wrinkle in Time. I’ll still review it if I want and I also hope she’s successful in installing more black female critics.

    This whole idea of “well, Brie, your comment about reviewing films that weren’t aimed at you isn’t 100% sound so now we don’t have to listen to any of your suggestions” is so strict. What white male ever has to measure up to that scrutiny?

    Give her the benefit of the doubt.

  68. Your lack of care doesn’t change the nature of the given statement, Fred… which would be called out as racist drivel on its face… if directed at anyone but white males.

  69. I’m not engaging Rogue4, and the point I was driving at was that neither should Vern. Rogue4 is just a troll that is getting exactly what he wants with all these rebukes. And Vern, you must know that too, because if you truly believed he was smart enough to know that what he wrote was “dumb shit,” as you called it, and he wrote it anyway, then why do you think he did that? The answer is: to rile you (and other commenters here). To provoke this kind of argument, so that he could try to rile you and others further. I.e. trolling.

    For a while there, Rogue4’s sporadic comments were mostly ignored. But Majestyk and others slipped and hit back in an earlier thread, and now this thread has happened, so of course he’s more active again. I can only hope others go back to not feeding him, and then if a review mentions diversity, the comment section doesn’t have to devolve into this.

  70. Considering their penchant for roping otherwise intelligent people into defending (and personally identifying with) nakedly rotten funnybook/Star Wars spectacle products as if they were avatars for oppressed and exploited peoples themselves and not exciting investment opportunities for overwhelmingly white and male corporate shareholders to suck Literally Billions Of Dollars out of the wallet of neoliberalism’s collective unconscious, I’m starting to suspect that Rogue4 and his ilk are probably on the Disney payroll.

  71. @JTS Your not engaging because having to contend with an expressed worldview that differs from/challenges your own is apparently to much for you to cope with. That’s it, and that’s all. Your shallow little *protecting the integrity of the thread* con, perpetuation of the tired ridiculous “this guy opposes diversity” nonsense, and ad-him label slinging isn’t smokescreening anything.

    @zero-mentality And why then would I be leveling any level of detraction at a Disney blockbuster?

  72. The way I look at it is that, yes, there are people out there that are racist towards white people. However, it’s so small compared to the racism black people have experienced, it’s not really that big of a fucking deal.

    When I’m bored I’ll go to news.google.com and they have a feature where they give me stuff that they think I’ll like. They keep sending me this place called Cosmic Book News and almost every article is about how women are ruining comic book movies. They also send me articles that are mostly from Fox News. You know, maybe the theory that conservative voices are often blocked, or whatever, on the internet is a false fucking narrative.

    I”m also not even sure I understand what Rogue4’s opinion is other than to just be an asshole to other people on this site.

  73. Bullshit. I like seeing movies from women’s perspective sometimes and also I’m glad I get to see plenty that are not. If you’re gonna pretend those things are contradictory this is not a discussion about our opinions on movies, it’s just you trying to be a pain in the ass to support your asshole worldview. I don’t want that kinda shit here or in my life. And don’t call me Friendo again.

  74. @Vern As opposed to who, as per the embrace of the cited heroines from the very same fan base? So call me whatever you want. Your righteous indignation isn’t smokescreening the bullshit of the fantasy “diversity haters” narrative you’re peddling.

  75. I think Rogue is being childishly combative, and he is baiting Vern and others for attention, but I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss everything he says or every perspective he represents, just b/c he’s being an asshole, and just because the American conservative movement is an intellectually, pragmatically, and morally bankrupt social cancer.

    Here are a few things animating some of Rogue’s hissyfit that carry some validity:
    1. Brier Larson has come across as self-serious and patronizing in a couple of different interviews, and she came off as a real goof in that interview about diversity in journalism. Not because she’s a woman, and not because she encouraged diversity in journalism, but because of the intellectual laziness, the tone, the dismissive talk of “white dudes,” and the implication that some big bad societal wolf is working to keep diversity out of journalism and she’s taking a stand against it, by gum. The conservative white male reaction to her was 60% typical conservative white male fragile ego shit and 40% her actually conforming to a lot of the most obnoxious conservative white male bitching about “SJWs” and what not.

    2. There is this whole bullshit narrative that Marvel has been trying to exploit that this film is a watershed feminist moment, and it’s clearly not. Or, if it is, it’s a minor. It’s an extremely cynical marketing ploy, all around.

    3. There is a double-standard where it is perfectly acceptable in young, progressive media discourse to engage in naked generalizations and stereotypes about white heterosexual males, and if you switched out “white dudes” for any other social group, there’d be swift opprobrium or economic/professional consequences.

  76. I guess it’s a double standard but it’s completely the single least harmful double standard that ever existed. White people are not descriminated against.

  77. I mostly agree with your statements, Skani.

    I mean yeah, I notice dismissive statements about white people that I don’t appreciate. For example, the college student who confronted Chelsea Clinton and then tweeted about her “caucacity” and called her a “white politician.” My feeling on this kind of stuff is

    1. recognize that a statement like that against the group in power is not equal to the other way around
    2. take the person less seriously because of their prejudice

    And then forgive or ignore.

    As one of the white dudes whose opinion Larson said she didn’t want to hear, I have trouble taking offense. I think she misunderstands the point of film criticism, but she’s coming from the truth that non-white voices have historically not been given as much of a platform in film criticism. Since it’s very common for movie stars to say stupid things about film critics it’s easy to forgive one that comes from good intentions instead of not liking to hear negative things about their work.

    Personally, I thought A WRINKLE IN TIME sucked, and decided that I was far enough outside of the target audience that there wasn’t much value to writing about that. And I do think that’s a good choice to make sometimes, just like a critic that hates horror movies reviewing horror movies can be a waste of everybody’s time. In a case like this movie I think it’s enough to note that it seems to appeal more to women than men and then present my thoughts.

    I am very aware that I like many movies with Mexican or Native American characters that have been deemed horribly racist by some of the people from those communities. Without efforts to promote more of those reviews and essays I honestly wouldn’t have heard some of those viewpoints, and I think they’re important to consider even though they’re often uncomfortable for me to face because, like, THE LONE RANGER is a great movie.

    And as I believe Fred (sorry if it was someone else) pointed out, most movies have a star who says dumb shit sometimes, usually dumber than this, almost never getting this kind of sustained campaign of aggression. Even Liam Neeson got away with one round of Twitter outrage when he said he almost murdered a random black guy. Nobody tried to sabotage the Rotten Tomatoes score. So, as a white male critic, I ask all to stop defending my honor from Brie Larson.

  78. Well the Brie Larson thing versus Liam Neeson thing is that these fucking nerds hate women.

  79. By what stretch of the imagination are we pretending there’s an equivalence between Liam Neeson confessing a dumb racist attitude he held in the past, and acknowledging it as such in said confession, and Brie Larson just smugly making a dumb racist statement?

    But sure, nerds hate women… except for Leia, and Ripley, and Vasquez, and Sarah Connor, and Wonder Women, and Lara Croft, and Alita, and Starbuck, and Beatrix Kiddo, and Jean Grey/Phoenix…

  80. Get your head out of the fucking sand Nazi.

  81. Also, Brie Larson has made no racist remarks.

  82. That’s some pretty fragile masculinity you’ve got there, Rogue4. A girl said she doesn’t want to read straight white men’s reviews of A Wrinkle in Time and it’s sent you into a tizzy. Meanwhile, how many men in charge of how many studios for how many decades repeated the claim “Women can’t open action movies?”

  83. That’s some pretty backwards “logic” you got there Fred. You’re apparently pointing to – “Meanwhile, how many men in charge of how many studios for how many decades repeated the claim “Women can’t open action movies?”- as being a silly bigoted presumption. Yet simultaneously using it to dismiss/rationalize a silly bigoted comment/attitude coming from a *white female*… who, if one buys into the premises of the woke progressive stack privilege narrative, should be seen as the prime aider-abetter and beneficiary of the evil white males’ historical evil… and this following a commenter sporting a Jewish handle trivializing the term Nazi. The perplexities never cease.

  84. Rogue4 you’re confusing fighting intolerance with intolerance itself. Your position is neither logically nor morally tenable.

  85. Riiight. The phantom intolerance of minorities being *denied* access to the film review game… in the golden age of social media, where anyone with an internet connection can get their “Roger Ebert” on and disseminate it to the world at large. Exhibit A: The very film discussion forum you’re engaging at this very moment.

  86. Yes, the Internet allows for many voices, including incoherently angry ones.

  87. Again with the tired label stamp (“angry”, “combative”, “tizzy”) marginalization okeydoke. But one trick ponies better work the trick, I guess.

  88. Anger is many things Rogue4, good and bad. But denying it exists leads nowhere good.

  89. If you don’t believe that critics from nonwhite male backgrounds have a harder time getting equal footing in the industry, I can assure you there are still unconscious biases against hiring minority and female critics at the outlets who pay, get ranked on Rotten Tomatoes and get access to screenings. Having a blog and twitter is not the same as equal representation.

    Even the outlets I work for have had to take stock. They’ve made room for new voices and guess what? I still have my job. It hasn’t cost the established white male writers anything. There’s just more.

  90. You lazily called her racist.

  91. I’ve wisely chosen to just stay out of this discussion, but I will say nice Godwin’s Law, Sternshein.

    It’s embarrassing when people like you cheapen the term “Nazi” over simple disagreements of opinion, people who have disagreements over certain things about the modern left wing are not Nazis, get the fuck over yourself.

    I completely hate this modern attitude “agree with us 100% or you’re a Nazi!”, it’s childish bullshit.

  92. Yeah, I don’t disagree with any of that, Vern. One thing I detect more in the other comments than yours is this illogic that goes: making pejorative generalizations about white heterosexual males is ok, because dealing with that rhetoric is not as much of a hardship as dealing with tangible persecution of the form women or people of color others do. A) that’s total bullshit illogic; b) it implies a within-demographic homogeneous experience and c) ignores economic class as a major confound in our lazy generalizations. I’m not denying the real objective hardships that *are* more likely and severe for non-white/male/heterosexual folks, but then it gets inverted into this ironically equally reductive narrative of within-group homogeneous experiences and salvation from white guilt via zero-cost intellectual wokeness.

  93. Nobody should have to put up with being shit upon, it doesn’t matter whether the shitting upon is more an intense shitting than others, how about we try not shitting on ANYBODY for change? This idea that it’s ok to shit on certain demographics is evil bullshit.

    Oops, there I go sharing my thoughts, but fuck it.

    It’s evil the way modern culture operates, it’s evil to say it’s ok to disparage white men just because they’re white men, it’s full on evil and despicable to its core.

  94. As a white man, I don’t give a single fuck if someone feels like shitting on white men. I’ve heard hundreds of white men tell minorities and women that they need to lighten up and take a joke. Well, now it’s our turn. There’s two ways we can handle this. We can show that we have a sense of humor and perspective by accepting this saturnalian period of ritual mockery of the ruling class with dignity and understanding. Or we can prove that we can dish it out but can’t take it by being whiny little brats who think a little name-calling is in any way comparable to how much worse literally every class of people on the face of the planet has it than us.

    It’s your call. I’m going with the one where I don’t end up looking like a toddler who needs a nap.

  95. The conservative white male reaction to her was 60% typical conservative white male fragile ego shit

    Skani: you can’t take a stand against what you also engage in.

    But never mind, because you’re right.

    Many conservative white males really do lose their god damn minds when anyone suggest white males get a benefit in society due to sex and race. Except that they clearly do. If anyone wants to look at a breakdown of income by race and class, have at it, then shut up, because it’s real. That doesn’t mean poor white guys don’t exist, it means those who are rich aren’t necessarily there because they are virtuous captains of industry who worked hard and deserve it, or whatever lame ass shtick they believe in. It also doesn’t mean hard working white guys don’t exist, they clearly do. It simply means there is a finger on the scales of societal and economic justice. It’s not hard to admit that. Really.

    What upsets them is not “reverse” sexism, nor “reverse” racism, what upsets them is a truth they dislike: a virtuous meritocracy does not exist. When confronted with a racist history of this nation and the lingering institutional and societal racism, or sexism’s effects on careers and the reality of sexual harassment, instead of nodding at the severity and complexity of the problems, they turn into mini rage volcanoes of blind brick walls of denial, the real snowflakes. Racism and sexism in the USA is a reality they will not accept, they need to fight anyone who suggests the reality of racism and sexism, or they need to falsely equate these problems with something supposedly happening in reverse by people fighting for diversity.

    I have been in genuine conversations with people genuinely angry that someone would suggest something racist is happening in a given situation, and that the person suggesting that the racism was happening was the real racist, somehow. Unreal. But many people are really stuck in this simpleton’s mindset and accompanying blind denial, and simply refuse real evidence and refuse to make their understanding of reality more complex. They need their simpleminded myths and don’t want to be robbed of them.

    But here’s the rub: we SHOULD live in a meritocracy. And we get there by fighting for fair representation across the board by all races and sexes. Diversity. No one really stands against that.

    The only voices in misguided unintended opposition are those struggling to work through lies: 1. everyone with money got it fairly and by working hard and 2. everyone without money got that status fairly and by being lazy. To accept that this fairy tale isn’t real, to admit forces working in the USA have unfairly held the deserving down and unfairly lofted the undeserving up, is something anathema to their simplistic understanding of social, political, and economic reality.

    So rather than develop a more complex understanding of reality, they fight anyone who challenges their fairy tale beliefs with the ugly reality of American history and continuing problems.

    ‘Oh but Brie said “white dudes,” therefore white male holocaust!’


  96. You’re not wrong Griff about Godwin’s Law. I just have no tolerance for white nationalists, white supremecists and Nazi’s. Rogue4 appears to at least identify with one of them.

  97. To be fair I haven’t read every single of Rogue4’s posts, so maybe I was too quick to defend him.

    There’s two aspects to this debate, one is the idea of white privilege and the other is the tone people like Brie Larson take when discussing it, I am not necessarily denying the existence of white privilege, but what I am taking umbrage with is this eye for an eye attitude people have, that in order to try to balance out white privilege you have to give white men “a taste of their own medicine”, if you think it’s ok to disparage any group for any reason and yes, that includes straight white men, you are in the wrong, that’s all there is to it, disparaging anyone for their race, gender and sexuality is wrong, it doesn’t matter what it is, if you’re not going to take a hardline stance about it then you’re a hypocrite.

    With that said, yes, of course people who are not white and not male and not straight face discrimination more than straight white men do, still doesn’t change the fact that discrimination in any context is wrong, if you want to address and solve these issues, blatant hypocrisy and double standards is NOT the way to do it.

    It’s just so disgusting that people have gotten the idea in their heads that the way to solve racism and sexism… is with different forms of racism and sexism, that’s only going to make everything worse, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  98. White males are not descriminated against though.

  99. Depends on your definition of discrimination, maybe not systematically (not yet anyway) but they sure as hell are disparaged by people these days, which is a form of discrimination.

  100. Boo fucking hoo.

  101. @Sternshein A black white supremacist/white nationalist/Nazi… wouldn’t that be a sight. Sorry Captain Progressive, the only person spewing hateful bile is you.

  102. Yeah I hate you.

  103. You hate a black guy. Heh, heh, painting yourself into a corner there, Captain Progressive.

  104. Sternshein – You are a dipshit.

  105. Keep it classy Griff. Let Captain Progressive indulge the silliness by himself.

  106. Griff, it’s asking too much of people to say “go ahead and fight for equality, but make sure nothing you say ever hurts the feelings someone in charge.” Real allyship says, “we hear what you’re fighting for, and sometimes the shoe you’re talking about may fit me. If it does, I won’t get defensive. I’ll think about it, try to do better and keep supporting you.”

  107. It’s too much to ask people to not be hypocrites? It’s too much to ask people to simply not be racist? No matter what the race is?

    No, I think people can do better than that.

  108. I don’t accept the false dichotomies that you offer, BR Baraka, nor your right to decide whether I am qualified to take a stand, nor the implicit privilege you’re giving yourself to arbitrate whether I’m on the good guy or bad guy side of your dualistic little toy soldiers virtual culture war role-playing war you think you’re fighting here. By the way, congratulations to us both for taking such a courageous stand stands here behind our pseudonyms in the comment threads of a niche film review website.

    Also, Majestyk, the implication that engaging in lazy perjorative stereotypes of people groups is ever okay and that you’re a wimp if you can’t take it (where you seem to equate “disagrees with” to “is a thin-skinned pussy”) makes no sense to me but congrats on once again displaying how tough you are and how little you suffer fools. Check and check.

  109. BR Baraka, you make some good points above, and then there are some pretty dubious premises that seem to lurk in there. Absolutely, we don’t live in a meritocracy. I think Keegan Michael-Key is every bit as talented as Jordan Peele, but for now he’s the Andrew Ridgeley of that particular duo for an number of reasons. There are some ironic and unintentional parallels between Trumpian populism and millenial webzine/social media wokeness. Both of them frame our problems primarily in terms of racial or social identity (gender, sexual orientation, national/religious/ethnic identity) and view the containment or takedown of some dangerous and sinister social identity group as our path to salvation, when I think the real path is for the 99% of people who share a common economic plight to unite in a true form of redistributive populism that confronts wealthy people and their ability to solidify and transmit class privilege. Jeff Bezos and the Koch Brothers and dynastic political families are our shared enemies. Griff and others of all stripes in the lower-middle class have far more in common and far more shared interests and shared suffering at the hands of oligarchs and power brokers, but you and Breitbart would have us believe that the real problem is one ore more set of ethnic bogeymen. Griff’s and Rogue’s disenfranchisement is a symptom of how rich people are able to grow, propagate, and consolidate their hold on power and to manipulate us against one other and distract us from our common plight while we engage in a kind of comparative persecution/wokeness olympics of self-righteousness.

  110. I never said it was okay. But it is understandable and possibly even necessary. Ideally, we’d be able to put centuries of oppression behind us without any backlash. Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, etc. but that’s not human nature. If we white dudes can’t prove that we’re willing to take our lumps just like everybody else, why should anybody ever trust us again? We can’t just jump straight to forgiveness. That’s what everybody already hates about white guys, that the system allows so many of us to skate by without facing much in the way of consequences for our actions in comparison to every other group of people. We need to take these lumps before we can all move on to what comes next. We have to prove we’re worthy of forgiveness, and I think not being pissy little babies about a few cathartic insults is a great way to start.

    But thanks for the personal insults. I never said shit about you or pretend to know anything about you, but that’s cool. I can take it.

  111. What “disenfranchisement” Skani? I believe that contemporary American society, for all it’s flaws, affords me, anyone like me, and anyone not like me, the opportunity to pursue whatever life we damn well please. That to exist in contemporary American society, for all it’s flaws, is gold card membership in the most safe, most free, most opportune category of humans to have ever walked the face of the planet. Which is to say that “oppression” isn’t a thing for *anyone* who exists in such a society. Which is to say that persecution/wokeness Olympics is precisely what I’m calling shenanigans on. In particular, the notion that it’s hard out here for a super-heroine pimp. Revered iconic status of characters like Ripley and Sarah Connor (and their respective actresses), and the extremely recent blockbuster successes of the Wonder Woman and Hunger Games franchises should make fairly obvious that the ill will aimed at Captain Marvel/ Brie Larson has more to do with Larson making dumb racists comments that insulted half the prospective audience, than “butthurt misogynist who just couldn’t cope with a female led super-movie”.

  112. Yeah, Skani’s personal attacks there were a weird left turn. Can’t even blame the resident troll here, that was a side conversation.

    Griff, nobody escapes life without indulging in at least a little hypocrisy. I’m sure you have at some point exhibited behavior that you have professed to be annoyed by in others. Everyone’s a hypocrite. So yes, probably too much to ask.

    That’s beside the point, though. Griff, you’re arguing against nobody because nobody here is *advocating* for disparagement against whites. Even Vern said he doesn’t appreciate it and says he takes some people less seriously because of it. Others have just said it doesn’t bother them when it occasionally happens and should bother you less. That’s the right perspective, because it truly is not a big deal. The cited example in this thread was Brie Larson saying white film critics shouldn’t review A Wrinkle in Time — I’m not sure how you can consider that a meaningful sort of event when basically everyone disagreed with her, white people reviewed the movie anyway, and white people will still review Ava DuVernay’s next movie as well.

  113. Majestyk, I’m sorry for the personal insults.

  114. I also apologize.

  115. I was gonna come here and say “white people shouldn’t review A Wrinkle In Time” is a far cry from racism and that we should engage with good faith. So what is the heart of Brie’s point rather than insisting she express it 100% air tight?

    But I think JTS and Maj said it better. The lack of good faith is the hypocrisy.

  116. “Yeah, Skani’s personal attacks there were a weird left turn.”

    “Can’t even blame the resident troll here…”

    Yeah, everybody’s a hypocrite.

    The argument is against making every dismissive equivocation/rationalization/caveat for a face value dumb racist comment, that would not be made had said comment been directed at any group other than the *approved* demographic. And recognizing that said comment would *understandably* raise the ire of those it insulted, who would in turn *understandably* throw a reciprocal “F-you” at their insulter.

  117. Slain: Don’t worry about it. I know what it’s like to get swept up in the allure of a devastating takedown. You should have seen some of the shit I typed before I settled on my reply.

    Also, you clearly don’t like me. That’s fine. I’m not gonna pretend I don’t understand why that might be. The only thing that bothers me is that apparently I come off like I’m trying to be a tough guy. I hate tough guys. Hate ‘em. If you’re tough you don’t gotta try, and and if you’re not tough you shouldn’t try, is my feeling. I don’t consider myself tough. At all. So if that’s how I’m presenting, I gotta work on that. So thank you for your honesty.

  118. That was supposed to say Skani but I think you should consider spellcheck’s advice and change it to Slain. That’s like an orc warlord name or some shit. Badass.

  119. I don’t not like you. I respect you and your opinions and your gift of words and incisive analysis, and I feel compassion and connection to you when you’re honest about being depressed or feeling like you haven’t had a good outlet for you own creative work to be recognized. I enjoy reading you and sometimes arguing with you. I think up there I was just pissed off and then started spazzing.

    I feel most frustrated with and disconnected from the people on this site — and therefore the most antagonistic — when I perceive that the are just trying to scold others or score points and stuff or are forfeiting empathy in the name of feeling self-righteous. And, then, of course, I get pulled into that same troll energy and find myself doing the same thing. Oh, irony, my old friend.

  120. Fuckin internet, man. Fifteen years ago on a Friday night I had some mates over to watch WHEN WE WERE KINGS, because I was so inspired by it as a lightning-in-a-boxing-ring moment in sport and politics, and because Ali was a channel for all the desires clawing their way through the Shawshank sewer of my own life (don’t ask me to explain this over the fuckin internet). But mostly because I wanted to share that experience with some friends.

    And here we are. Here. We. Are.

    Yeah okay, maybe I’m missing something. I don’t have the analytical capacity or political/social justice leanings of most on this site to actually give a shit about a lot of the digressions that go back and forth.

    What I’m saying is…ah fuck it, I don’t know what I’m saying. Fuck you internet, you black-mirrored vortex. Anyone for pizza and beer?

  121. It’s cool. No big deal. I wasn’t attacking anybody in particular with my comment, which expressed something I believe but perhaps unnecessarily forcefully. I get what you’re saying, that we should probably get away from this kind of thing in general. But I truly believe white men should be able to bear our current shaming for the good of the collective. We’ve all benefited from a system that continues to hurt a lot of people. I’d rather see the system change so nobody has to be shamed into fixing it anymore. But until then, I’ll take the shame. I think it’s the right thing to do.

    Thanks for the nice stuff you said, by the way.

  122. Dark and full of terrors is the black hole vortex of racial collective guilt/shame/blame.

  123. Skani – I was going to say the exact same thing, I fear that this is all a big scam, a hustle, we’re being played by the 1% to turn the 99% against each other rather than focus on the man behind the curtain.

    You ever notice how all this bullshit seemed to pop up after OWS in 2011? Coincidence?

    Mr. Majestyk – The trouble with this backlash is it’s going to foster more resentment, resulting in an endless back and forth from now until forever, maybe you and I can put the backlash in its proper context and take our lumps, but most white men aren’t going to do that, which is why we’ve seen stuff like the Charlottesville rally.

    This is why we have sayings like “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”, this is why the Bible says “turn the other cheek” and “love thy enemy” and puts such an emphasis on forgiveness and forgiveness is hard, there’s no denying that, your human nature is going to want revenge, but that’s why you have to transcend your human nature and try to be better, because the alternative is far, far worse.

    All the modern climate is doing is sowing anger and resentment in white men that is hurting the causes of social justice, social evolution is going backwards, it’s just not a productive path we are on and it needs to change.

  124. But it doesn’t create resentment in “white men”, it creates resentment in “fucking morons”. It would be like saying the Civil Rights movement created resentment in “white people” instead of “racist assholes”. At some point society just has to be like “yeah, you know what, fuck those dudes”.

  125. Griff, what you’re advocating for sounds good and is good — “Forgiveness!” “Respect to all!” “Nobody should ever be disparaged, no matter what demographic they are!” — but to me it sounds like you’re just advocating for the status quo. You don’t think white people should ever have to be made uncomfortable, it seems to me. Because you think that just means they’ll make others uncomfortable back, and then the whole world goes blind, et cetera.

    Do you believe society was perfect before we entered this “modern climate” of anger and resentment? You have said that you don’t. So progressive changes should be made, you would admit that yourself, I think. You just don’t think the way people are going about it is the right way, that they’re just making things worse. But do you believe there’s a way to make those changes where white people are not made uncomfortable? Or “resentful,” in your words? Because there isn’t. Any change to what people are used to is going to be met with resentment.

    You brought up the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. But the impetus for that rally was not someone on twitter snarking about white people, or an op-ed critical of Green Book, or Brie Larson saying white film critics shouldn’t review a certain movie. It was a Confederate statue being moved.

    Where do you stand on Confederate statues coming down? It it disparaging white people to say that they are racist monuments, that many of them were erected as racist protests to desegregation, and that they don’t belong in public squares in the modern day? Is that the kind of argument people should definitely not make, because it sows anger and resentment, and ultimately hurts the cause of social justice?

    It was reported that marchers at that rally (and others) were chanting “You will not replace us!” That is what is *actually* behind white resentment. There’s been a million newspaper and website profiles that conclude the same thing — that white people are afraid of becoming a minority, of being outnumbered, of the cultural aesthetic changing. They’re afraid of becoming the “other” in what they see as their own country. When the National Geographic profiles a dying mining town, the residents will readily admit as much. When extremists are interviewed, they’ll say the same thing, but they’ll use the 14 words and talk explicitly about the threat of a “white genocide.” It’s all the same. That’s the actual problem that’s driving this. The tenor of the debate on twitter is not. Yes, people can and should be nicer, but it wouldn’t prevent a Charlottesville.

  126. It was actually “Jews will not replace us.”

    Remember when Apartheid ended and Nelson Mandela was finally free? He still had to spend years assuring the former oppressors that the now free Africans weren’t coming to get them. They were terrified of retaliation for Apartheid because if anyone had done that to them they’d want revenge.

    Imagine being 100% oppressed and still having to make your oppressors feel like “that’s okay. You did your best. You’re not so bad.” We don’t want to be like Apartheid. We can accept that privilege exists and we don’t need constant validation that we’re not one of the bad ones.

  127. Some lyrics on FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET have not aged well. Or were already a problem at the time. But man, Chuck knew what he was talking about with that title.

  128. To paraphrase one of America’s future great statesman: There’s good people on both sides of this internet debate you’re having here.

    Alright, everyone chill. That was just a dumb joke :-)

    I’m not the smartest person, so I’m not sure I really understand how this whole thing started.

    Rogue4, you’re saying that the vast majority of the so-called “angry white nerds that hate diversity” got triggered by Brie Larson’s dumb racists comments aimed at “white dude critics”. Am I right on that?

    But you’re also saying that intolerance of minorities in the film review game is a phantom, because we have a golden age of social media, where anyone with an internet connection can get their “Roger Ebert” on and disseminate it to the world at large. Now, I’m assuming that “white dude critics” have the same options that minorities do, and, thanks to social media, can still get their “Roger Ebert” on as well. This leads me to believe that Brie Larson’s dumb racists comments couldn’t really hurt their jobs. Hell, taking the film discussion forum we’re engaging at this very moment as evidence, it seems like there’s some actual “white dude critics” who don’t care about these dumb racists comments at all. So if Brie Larson’s dumb racists comments caused so little hurt, why do you or the so-called “angry white male nerds” feel the need to fight the fight for the “dude critics”?

  129. Fred, it was both.

  130. JTS – The status quo was not perfect but at the same time I feel like there’s been a problem on the left wing of wanting to kinda roleplay as ’60s radicals because it’s glamorous and pretend the last 50 years of progress never happened, you see this reflected in the way people reacted to BLACK PANTHER as if it was the very first superhero movie starring a black person, ignoring BLADE from a full 20 years prior, a small example but you get my point.

    There’s a dangerous lack of perspective with the way many on the left have become so radicalized and it’s only made social progress worse.

    You are correct however that the root of the issue is white people afraid of becoming a minority, but WHY are they so afraid of the idea? Well, because they’re afraid of being given a “taste of their own medicine” and treated like shit and the tone we see with modern culture implies that is exactly what will happen.

    Maybe that’s what white people “deserve”, but well, I don’t want to live in a country where I’m treated like shit, does anyone? The idea makes me uncomfortable and if it makes me uncomfortable it’s going to make most uncomfortable, maybe this isn’t fair but it is what it is, you can either have a society of racial cohesion or can you have an endless back and forth of resentment from now until forever.

    Like I said, forgiveness is hard, people don’t always DESERVE to be forgiven but you do it anyway because sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.

    This idea that ending slavery and ending segregation was not enough, that white people have to still somehow “pay” for past misdeeds and revenge is a toxic idea that will only make everything worse, Fred cites Nelson Mandela and that was an example of someone doing things RIGHT, that’s a model people should follow.

  131. Ugh, you really think there’s a choice between “racial cohesion” and “an endless back and forth of resentment from now until forever”? And you really think that choice is the left’s to make, and they’re just making the wrong one?

    Once again, the resentment that drives something like Charlottesville is not a reaction to the radical online left that aggravates you so much personally. It’s a fear of changing demographics. Of being replaced. If white people fear they are going to be treated badly as minorities, it’s not because people celebrated Black Panther too loudly. If that’s their fear, it’s because it turns out they actually do know how minorities have been treated before them.

  132. I’ll just say, the left is not helping matters with their tone and attitude, of course you’re still going to get a radical fringe freaking out about less white people no matter what, but the left are playing into their hands by sending the message that they kinda really do hate white people, they are the best recruiters for the radical right.

    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, the more radical the left becomes, the more radical the right will become also, the more you push people into having to pick a side between one extreme and the other, well, it’s a gamble which of those extremes will win, you wanna take that chance?

    What we need is moderation, perspective, sanity.

    Instead for years all the left has been doing is purity tests to make sure everyone is 100% on the same page and if they aren’t they might as well be a Neo Nazi, it’s a darkly ironic echo of Bush’s “you’re either with us or against us” attitude in the 2000s and what the fuck does the left think they’re going to achieve by shunning so many when meanwhile the radical right is just waiting for new members?

    Fuck this black and white, good guys versus bad guys, one way or the other attitude.

  133. My point with the Nelson Mandela story was not that he did the right thing by making all the Apartheid oppressors feel welcome by the newly free black South Africa. My point was that he shouldn’t have had to. He was the one who’d been imprisoned for decades. The black people were the ones suffering under Apartheid. They weren’t out for revenge. They just wanted to get on with their lives, but they still had to coddle the deposed white regime.

    I’m hoping we can do better. Since we don’t have Apartheid in the U.S. (or at least it’s been centuries since slavery) perhaps the transition to equality can be a little less extreme?

    Griff, the thing about progress is it’s not a destination. It’s something that continues to evolve. Cops are still shooting unarmed blackman. Yeah, percentage-wise that’s an improvement over slavery but it’s not “good enough” yet. And women have the right to vote and work, but there’s still pay gap and workplace harassment/abuse.

    I don’t think it’s moderation you’re asking for. I think it’s self-awareness which is an important quality. You’re complaining about purity tests on the same thread as you say Brie Larson didn’t measure up in her statements about including more women of color film critics. If you can relax your purity standards for discussing diversity, maybe understand how a woman can get fired up and hear what she’s really trying to say big picture, showing her that good will would go a longer way towards moderation.

    In theory. Brie don’t need to listen to nobody on the internet.

  134. I don’t think “the left” is as monolithic as you’re implying, Griff. I am not an expert on these issues, but I think the platform that Trump was given by the Republican party and the conservative media outlets and apologists has emboldened right-wing extremists in various ways. The increasing visibility and boldness of these groups is more an effect of Trump’s normalizing this sort of thing than it is to some pandemonium in the streets reaction to “the left.” The nice, moderate types are the ones condoning inaction on climate change, runaway income inequality, unnecessary wars, corporate welfare and weak-to-nil regulation of our untrustworthy and profligate financial sector, poor-RoI healthcare–weak social saftey nets, regulation, and inequality-magnifying policies that are resulting in declining national life expectancy, and on, and on. The Democrats have not done much better than the Republicans, because the Republicans and their financial backers and media enablers were able to successfully shift the “center” far to the right, so much so that Obama’s policy proposals were more conservative than a lot of the idea that had traction during the Ike and Nixon administrations.

    I find lazy potshots at “white dudes” disappointing and irritating, but I find all the odious things that the Republican party has done and stood for over the last 40 years to be incomparably worse.

  135. “You’re still going to get a radical fringe freaking out about less white people.”

    Freaking out about less white people is not a radical fringe view. That is the view of FOX News, America’s most-watched cable network. That is what Tucker Carlson talks about on his show all the time. That is the mainstream view.

  136. I’m sorry, but I have to point this out. BLADE is one of my favorite movies, you know that. But BLADE is not a giant big budget mainstream movie with a black director, black writer, black production designer, black costume designer, and one of the most impressive assemblies of black acting talent ever in one film. There absolutely has not been a movie like that before, so of course BLACK PANTHER was a huge cultural moment. The reason you didn’t pick up on that after a year is because you don’t know everybody’s business as much as you think you do. And you don’t listen to people and try to understand them. You have been hammering us with these same things for several years now without progressing. Don’t you want to try something new?

    Whoever these “the left” are that you tell us about every day, I don’t think you have ever met or talked to them. I don’t think you will ever meet or talk to them. I don’t know why you are so bitter and afraid of their judgment, but I hope some day you can learn how little it helps you to obsess over it.

  137. @Griff
    “people reacted to BLACK PANTHER as if it was the very first superhero movie starring a black person, ignoring BLADE from a full 20 years prior”

    Oh, c’mon. You guys are all forgetting about THE METEOR MAN, or BLANKMAN, or STEEL, or CATWOMAN 2004. That last one is pretty late in the game, but it’s a superhero movie starring a black person who’s a lady, now that’s mind-blowing :-)

  138. “ you see this reflected in the way people reacted to BLACK PANTHER as if it was the very first superhero movie starring a black person, ignoring BLADE from a full 20 years prior”

    Nobody makes this argument about any other product except movies. “Why’s everyone so excited about the new hamburger restaurant in town? We already have a McDonald’s!” Well, obviously some people were not happy with the selections at McDonald’s and prefer the menu at the new place. Which is their right as a consumer. So if some people were not satisfied with the options for black heroes and heroines in popular culture, it’s not up to Griff or anybody else (including myself, since I do not care for the film) to tell them that they’re wrong for preferring a style of hamburger more to their liking. We are under no obligation to do a thorough summation of the entire history of a genre before we’re allowed to decide which ones feel fresh and new to us. This is a lesson I only learned after witnessing my own churlishness over a small segment of the population’s embrace of horror movies I deemed insufficiently trailblazing to warrant their reputations. Regardless of my reaction, these films made an impact on their fans that the movies I prefer did not. Is my “expert” opinion suddenly going to change their experience? “Well, I thought IT FOLLOWS was terrifying and insightful at the time, but since some cunt named Mr. Majestyk explained to me that it’s inferior to some other movies I never saw and wouldn’t like, I’ve changed my mind.” Thats as ridiculous as a young black person realizing he or she shouldn’t have been inspired by the roster of black talent assembled for BLACK PANTHER because BLADE exists. To claim otherwise is preposterous and just another tantrum thrown by a generation of white men pissed off that they’re not always the center of the conversation.

  139. I wanted to say that I absolutely went way too far with rogue4 and I was out of line. I am sorry.

  140. @Daniel Neither your conjecture about whose jobs couldn’t be hurt (which no assertions were made towards) by Larson’s dumb racist comment, nor your conjecture about the number of white dude critics who didn’t care about said comment, changes the nature of Larson’s dumb racist comment… which you seem to acknowledge as such.

    So the point about Larson’s comment, with respect to the narrative of her and her film’s detractors being misogynist diversity haters, as previously stated, is:

    – …ill will aimed at Captain Marvel/ Brie Larson has more to do with Larson making dumb racists comments that insulted half the prospective audience, than “butthurt misogynist who just couldn’t cope with a female led super-movie.”

    – And recognizing that said comment would *understandably* raise the ire of those it insulted, who would in turn *understandably* throw a reciprocal “F-you” at their insulter.

  141. Well, I’m certainly glad that movies are punished for the comments their stars make, like Mel Gibson movies, Tom Cruise movies, Kevin Hart movies, etc.

    “We are under no obligation to do a thorough summation of the entire history of a genre before we’re allowed to decide which ones feel fresh and new to us.”

    Maj, I have been saying this for a decade. We are under no obligation to give a full dissertation on every aspect of an issue we’ve considered and ruled out before we state our opinion. This is exacerbated on social media where people have limited space, so everyone whose counterargument was not addressed says, “But you didn’t consider this!” We probably did, and even if we didn’t, tough shit. We’re allowed to use our platforms to speak about the issues that are important to us, and if you are a friend you owe us the goodwill of giving us the benefit of the doubt that we did consider other things that we just chose not to mention, because honestly if we addressed everybody’s individual complaints we’d never get anything done.

  142. It’s absolutely true that BLACK PANTHER stands out from BLADE and stuff in that it’s a majority black cast and production, and I think it’s awesome that people are inspired and moved by it. But I do think it’s different from the “first hamburger” example, precisely because we’re dealing with race, and when I kept hearing the movie trumpeted as the first black superhero movie, it felt like erasure of the black artists who did it first. This is no dis to BLACK PANTHER or slight of what it means to those who love it, but I understand why hearing that stuff is aggravating.

  143. Just so we’re all on the same fucking page, here is what she said that we’re all up in a fucking tizzy over.

    In her Crystal Award for Excellence in Film acceptance speech at the Crystal + Lucy Awards Wednesday night, actress Brie Larson cited USC Annenberg’s “Critic’s Choice” study in a call for diversity in entertainment coverage.

    She disclosed how, “of the 100 highest-grossing movies in 2017, less than a quarter of the critics were white women, less than ten percent were underrepresented men, and only 2.5 percent were women of color.”

    Recognizing that “reviews change lives” and the impact which films are considered for awards season, Larson called for more inclusive representation in the industry. “Am I saying I hate white dudes?” the Oscar-winner asked the room at the Beverly Hilton. “No, I’m not,” she replied.

    “I don’t want to hear what a white man has to say about ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’ I want to hear what a woman of color, a biracial woman has to say about the film. I want to hear what teenagers think about the film.”

    “If you make a movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is a chance that a woman of color does not have access to review and critique your film,” she said, while revealing plans to roll out an opt-in program that will provide studios with access to underrepresented journalists and critics. “Do not say the talent is not there, because it is.”

    The actress also announced that the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival have pledged that 20 percent of their press credentials to minorities to better reflect America.

    She concluded her speech urging publicists to revisit their press line and junket invites to “please make sure that these invites and credentials find their way to more underrepresented journalists and critics, many of whom are freelancers.”

  144. OUTRAGEOUS! Now that we’ve seen the full comments, I think I speak for everybody when I say that we were wrong, and CAPTAIN MARVEL must be fake Rotten Tomato reviewed at all costs. These vile, dangerous comments at the Crystal Award For Excellence in Film cannot go unanswered. Now that we know the truth we all agree that OF COURSE people acting in good faith, who were just going on with their ordinary, caring lives as regular, cool and reasonable people who anybody would be able to hang out and have nice discussions about normal things with, were reluctantly forced to take action and spend months obsessing over trying to stop the positive reception of a super hero movie because the star arguably may have said that she personally was not interested in reading my review of A WRINKLE IN TIME.

  145. Thanks Sternshein. Even I have been misquoting her and I’m on her side. She didn’t even say white men shouldn’t review it. She only said she doesn’t want to read them which, I venture to guest, Academy Award Winner Brie Larson probably wouldn’t spend much time reading their reviews anyway.


  147. Just a bit… depending on the premises one is willing to entertain.

    “Should culture be a Victorian dinner party at which the men and women separate, the men smoking cigars and talking politics while the ladies settle in a separate area to discuss lady issues? If a man’s opinion holds no value in women’s spheres of influence, maybe women should butt out when the discussion turns to sectors led by men? When it comes to capitalism, maybe all the female social workers and schoolteachers should zip their lips while the male stockbrokers and hedge-fund managers decide matters.”

    “That wouldn’t be very democratic, but the world of blockbuster filmmaking is necessarily centered on the demos. Certain of the people involved in making such films seem not to understand the point. One of these is Brie Larson, the star of Captain Marvel. Last year Larson opined, ‘I do not need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about Wrinkle in Time. It wasn’t made for him. I want to know what it meant to women of color, to biracial women, to teen women of color, to teens that are biracial.’ A Wrinkle in Time cost well over $100 million to make and distribute. I doubt that the Walt Disney Company expected to turn a profit by selling tickets exclusively to biracial teen girls, any more than MGM’s marketing plan for The Wizard of Oz involved attracting only teen girls, scarecrows, talking lions, and metallic woodcutters.”

    “Should A Wrinkle in Time be afforded a critical safe space in which only those deemed most demographically likely to praise the film would be invited to write about it? To me that sounds closer to publicity than criticism. Should Captain Marvel be reviewed only by women, or should only reviews by women be credited? Perhaps a distaff Rotten Tomatoes will spring up to shield delicate feminist readers from the views of any nasty boys out there and to provide female film critics a walled garden free of competition from the world’s males. That sounds awfully overprotective and patronizing. It certainly doesn’t sound like the view of someone who thinks women are as able as men when it comes to reviewing a film. It’s a bit like offering female military recruits twice as much time to complete the two-mile run. For a movie built around the concept of a super-woman who kicks butt more vigorously than any man and asks for no special favors from anybody, that would appear to be an ironic position.”

    Kyle Smith, National Review

  148. Holy shit, after all that, Brie Larson didn’t even say white people shouldn’t review it! She just said she wants to read more reviews from women of colour. Inspired by Sternshein’s post, I went back and watched the whole speech. She was careful to stop and clarify *three times* — THREE TIMES!!! — that she wasn’t attacking white dudes, that she just wants more discourse from other demographics also. “We have to be conscious of our bias and make sure everybody is in the room,” was the message of her speech. That anyone could take offense to what she was saying is hilarious and extremely revealing.

  149. JTS, it’s almost as if being a woman makes people more hostile to her ideas than if a man said the same thing…

  150. I can’t believe you guys let this dull one-note troll drag you into this mess. You know he’s not arguing in good faith. You know this is going to be an endless, flagrantly dishonest circular argument. You know that he’s not the least bit interested in what you have to say. You know his only purpose is to get your riled up enough to play his game and let him dictate the terms of the argument. You know that if you just ignore him, he goes away and then we can have an actual conversation.

    For heaven’s sake, people, let’s be smarter than this.

  151. (cue post about how you are too intimidated by the power of his argument to engage with it)

  152. Where were you before I went too far Mr. S? lol

  153. Well a lame presumptive marginalization gimmick, is a lame presumptive marginalization gimmick… and not even an original one. But no umbrage at the patronizing conceit that you all are witless sheeple dangling on the eeeeevil mustache twirlers string? And where exactly would Mr Subtlety get off presuming to dictate who’s arguing in good faith?

  154. Sternshein, you were going back and forth with a troll, your comments were exactly as productive as everyone else’s. The reveal of Brie Larson’s actual comments would have been very embarrassing to a serious person, but that’s not what we’re dealing with here, and if anyone had any doubt about that I hope it’s been resolved.

  155. I only cite the BLACK PANTHER thing because it’s a clear example of the cultural amnesia people have nowadays, it wasn’t about the milestone the movie still was, it wasn’t about it being the BEST black superhero movie, people literally reacted like it was the very first superhero movie ever made to star a black person, which it wasn’t even close to.

    You have to remember, I grew up in the multicultural, progressive ’90s, but all of a sudden in the 2010s I’m being told America has always been a miserable hellhole for any person of color to live in? Nahhhhhh, sorry, not buying it, there’s a catastrophizing the left does nowadays that is just not in touch with reality.

    Obviously things aren’t perfect, but we’re being sold a bill of goods by extremists who paint a bleaker picture of reality than it truly is in order to sell us on their brand of extremism, the radical right does the exact same shit from the opposite end of the political spectrum, but the idea is the same, the world is an extremely terrible place and their extreme reactionary politics is the only way to “fix” it when in reality it makes things worse.

    I simply reject extremism in all its forms, you can disagree with me on that, but that’s what it boils down to for me.

  156. I absolutely suck at ignoring trolls. That’s my important contribution to this discussion.

  157. If only there was somebody here that can give his experience in America…

  158. lmao imagine living your life to post walls of incomprehensible combative bitching about women in movies on the internet, it’s more unbelievable than any marvel movie and yet here we are

  159. Griff- man, 20 years is a whole generation! That’s a long-ass time to wait between movies! It’s not *cultural amnesia* to forget or to never have known about something from 20 years ago.

  160. Griff, you questioned before if it was too much to ask for people not to be hypocrites. And now you’ve disparaged “the left” for not being in touch with reality. So there you go, if you didn’t before, now you definitely have your answer.

  161. What does “reacting like it was the very first super hero ever made” look like, and how were you able to discern it from “acting like it is an unprecedented assembly of black talent in front of and behind the camera in a major event movie that everybody is excited for”? How are you so sure that you are always at the exact most reasonable center, neither succumbing to the extremism of racist or misogynist beliefs, nor the extremism of acknowledging their existence or trying to make the world a better place? And how much South Park did you watch growing up?

  162. I didn’t watch South Park beyond a single episode until I was in my late teens, early 20s and even then I haven’t seen that many episodes.

    That was simply the impression I got from the way people reacted to BLACK PANTHER, but I’ve got an even more absurd example, remember #OscarsSoWhite? Conveniently forgetting that just TWO YEARS PRIOR a black man won the Oscar for best director and his movie 12 YEARS A SLAVE won Best Picture, people don’t even remember shit that happened two years prior, let alone 20, in this absurd joke of a decade.

    Everything in modern American politics and culture is about narratives, not reality, we are told the narrative that there is some huge unbalance when it comes to media representation when people who actually crunch the numbers find that it’s almost 1:1 reflective of simply America’s actual demographics, funny how that works.

    Is there still some room for improvement? Of course, but we’re pushed a narrative of things being worse than they are for political reasons.

    And I’m sorry Vern, with all due respect, you framing this as “the extremism of racist or misogynist beliefs” vs “the extremism of acknowledging their existence or trying to make the world a better place” is just some hilarious naivete, if you truly believe there are no dangerous radicals on the left side who are in the wrong, you’re living in a bubble.

    And I won’t claim to be perfect or always in the “exact most reasonable center” but I try to, rather than just giving into narratives without daring to ask questions or think about things.

  163. Let me just sum up what I think is going on in modern America.

    The internet age has allowed various radical fringe schools of thought to gradually cannibalize mainstream culture, each of these schools of thought push narratives of woe and disaster to try to scare people into buying into them, but it’s having the effect of only creating more chaos and discord in society than already existed, an ironic self fulfilling prophecy.

    People need moderating voices, perspective and a willingness for self reflection, which is something that is increasingly lacking in today’s society.

  164. You see, on one hand the USA has an openly racist President who is jailing toddlers and dog-whistling to white supremacists, who in turn are literally murdering people in the street. On the other hand we have extreme leftists who are complaining about the Oscars and making white people feel bad. Both sides, all lives matter etc.

  165. How do you think things have gotten to the point where we have a President like that? Do you think it just happened by accident? Did the left not make any single mistakes in the runup to 2016 that might have cost Hillary votes? Do you honestly believe that?

    That is the “chaos and discord” I’m talking about and it’s the fault of general toxic climate of what passes for politics in the age of social media.

  166. Yo Griff I don’t wanna rain all over your “nobody remembers history!!!!” party or anything but, uh, McQueen *didn’t* win best director for 12 YEARS A SLAVE. A black person still has never won Best Director, just FYI!

  167. Alright, sorry about that, my mistake, but 12 YEARS A SLAVE still won Best Picture, but just two years later we had “#OscarsSoWhite”? *Tim Allen grunt of confusion*

    Look, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I’ll keep saying it.

    When I criticize the left it’s not to downplay the problems with the right, it’s not to defend Trump, this is not an either/or situation.

    I bring the heat to the left because I see them making mistakes that hurt the causes of liberalism, just because I hate the brand of leftism that’s cropped over the last 5 years or so does not mean I’m against liberalism entirely or historically.

    Constantly trying to dodge criticism with a “yeah, but Trump” tactic is a pretty lame move, if the left is not willing to listen to people’s criticisms, is not willing to take a look in the mirror and ask the questions “can we do better?” and “Are we doing anything wrong?” and instead keeps barreling ahead on this uncompromising path that pushes people away then it’s game over.

    Stupid bullshit is stupid bullshit, if you want to sell people on the left it’s only going to make it harder when you ask people to overlook what they know is nonsense.

  168. Your Oscar So White comparison or your Blade comment is this comments section version of “I have a black friend”

  169. Griff, and now you’ve accused Vern of living in a bubble. You, one of the world’s preeminent bubble livers. Amazing.

  170. I was deeply moved and impressed by 12 YEARS A SLAVE, but I wouldn’t put it out there as so progressive and radical of a movie that it somehow disproved #OscarsSoWhite. Similarly, I don’t think IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT–which in some ways is remarkable that it won best picture in 1968–disproved that moviemakers systemically weren’t giving minorities in movies prime opportunities and recognition. (In fact, unfortunately, Sidney Poiter’s career trajectory not long after would suggest that that movie probably hurt him–and it ages very curiously that Steiger won the Oscar for that movie.) Anyway, the Academy has changed in it’s membership some since 12 YEARS A SLAVE, MOONLIGHT seemed huge to me at the time. But I think GREEN BOOK’s win this year shows some the dialectic at play in this change over time because GREEN BOOK is exactly the kind of movie that tons of older movie-lovers people I grew up around and with would just accept and enjoy, and that sort of demographic obviously is well represented in the Academy.

    Also, we got Trump because of partisanship in modern America, how hard it is for the same party to win the Presidency 3 terms in a row, the electoral college, and the timing of the Comey letter.

  171. Yeah, fuck it, we’re at an impasse here and there’s no point in arguing any further, I’m sorry for once again doing this, this is like what, the third or fourth time I’ve claimed to want to stop talking about politics only to get drawn back into it? It’s embarrassing and that’s on me, I take full responsibility.

    Nobody’s mind is going to get changed, so why bother?

    Let’s just get totally real here, I am white, male, a nerd and a gamer, I have been nothing but dragged through the mud, spit upon and vilified by modern left wing culture, I’m the bad guy, according to those on the left, you think I’m just gonna suck up and kiss the ass of that shit? Hell no, I don’t have enough self loathing to put up with it.

    Right or wrong, I literally can’t do it, I couldn’t do it anymore than any of you could throw on a MAGA hat, politics has transcended actually being about “politics” now and has reached into the deepest cores of people and this is what’s terrifying about it, there’s no compromise anymore, there’s no debate, there’s no point in talking, everyone is being divided up into groups and the only thing that can come from it is endless conflict, there’s only going to be winners and losers, the dream of some cohesive, Utopian Star Trek type society is dead.

    The internet global village has made the world a very small place and what we’ve learned is some people are just too damn different from one another to get along.

    I feel nothing but the deepest contempt for some of the people I see on the left wing side nowadays, I just can’t help it, it’s like an instinctual thing, like I’m sure you feel nothing but deep seeded contempt for Trump supporters.

    Maybe I AM the bad guy but I can’t change, it’s just who I am, just like you guys couldn’t change either, it’s just who we all are, we like different things, we want different things out of life, no use in trying to debate it, we all are who we are.

    I could not try to make a rational argument to get you to see through my eyes and there’s no rational argument you could make to get me to see through your’s, we are just too different on a fundamental level.

    I’m sorry about that, can we just agree to disagree on this shit?

  172. I really am sorry guys, I just can’t play the white guilt game.

    Lemme try, I’ll get out the cat o’nine tails and whip my back *SLAP* “I’M SORRY I’M WHITE!” *SLAP* “I’M SORRY I’M MALE!” *SLAP* “OHHHHHHHHHHHH, MY PRIVILEGE!” “OHHHHHHHHHHHH THE HUMANITY!”

    lmao, I ain’t ever done shit to nobody but I’m made to feel like garbage just for existing? Fuck that, if I’m in the wrong to feel that way, I’m in the wrong, I just can’t kiss the ass of the modern left, just can’t do it it, I just lack something in me to ever feel like I’m culpable for society’s woes just by existing.

  173. All I ever wanted was for you guys to admit that maybe there are some bad ideas and not good people on the left side, but nope, it’s like pulling fucking teeth with you guys.

    What. The fuck. Ever.

  174. I guess I just watched a one too many of dem dare SOUTH PARK episodes.

    I like dat character Certman and when he says “eat my shurts”

  175. Griff, goddamn man, just chill the fuck out about the race shit! Nobody has ever said that *you personally* as A White are responsible for society’s ills.

  176. “All I ever wanted was for you guys to admit that maybe there are some bad ideas and not good people on the left side, but nope, it’s like pulling fucking teeth with you guys.”

    Bullshit. Almost everyone here had conceded this in some way, including Vern, and it has never satiated you even a little. You just keep repeating, and often escalating, your rhetoric about how oppressive “the modern left” is — and like Skani said, “the left” is not a monolith, when you say “the left,” you mean “people who have made me feel uncomfortable online.”

    I am also white, male, and my interests skew pretty nerdy. I also spend a fair amount of my free time playing video games (though I wouldn’t identify myself as a “gamer” any more than I would a “movie watcher” or “NBA fan.”) I have never felt shit upon by “modern left wing culture.” I guess maybe because, like Fred has tried to suggest to you a number of times, I don’t take the idea of other people advocating for equality as a personal attack.

  177. Griff, there are some bad ideas and not good people on the Left. I think Brie Larson is one of the good ones with good ideas though.

  178. I just think your philosophy is very similar to South Park’s. The belief that they are sneering at extremes on “both sides” and they are the reasonable ones in the middle who know what’s what and the p.c. culture sure is coming for our freedom of speech and sure I’m against the KKK on paper but the real problem is the left wing activists and celebrities who care about stuff. So I thought you must’ve watched it alot, but I was wrong.

  179. I’ve seen enough of South Park to get the gist of what you’re saying, you’re not wrong with your South Park comparison.

    Sorry I got a little pissy guys.

  180. If it cheers you up at all, “eat my shurts” made me chuckle

  181. @Griff
    “remember #OscarsSoWhite? Conveniently forgetting that just TWO YEARS PRIOR a black man won the Oscar for best director and his movie 12 YEARS A SLAVE won Best Picture”

    Yeah, I was scratching my head on that one myself. Cuaron, Inarritu and del Toro won a bunch of Best Picture and Best Director Awards during those years (some would say a bit too much), and I guess they look pretty white, but don’t they count as Latinos? I mean, I honestly don’t know.

    I figured #OscarsSoWhite must’ve been primarily about acting noms, but I don’t know. And anyway, who cares, it’s the Oscars, they can fuck that shit up a little bit, if they want to.

    “the nature of Larson’s dumb racist comment… which you seem to acknowledge as such.”

    Sorry, dude, but I was trying to be sarcastic about that. I think it’s probably because I myself am a racist. You see, I don’t really care what this white movie star thinks about white movie critics. Like, I saw some person here actually posting Larson’s comment, and after reading a few sentences I said to myself booooring, and then I just stopped. In fact, when I think about all the times I ignored a celebrities opinion (and, I hasten to add, those celebrities were of various races, genders, etc.), then I must be the biggest racist scumbag on this forum. Definitely bigger than Larson.

  182. I sympathize with your personal complicated feelings, Griff. You’re right that no one’s going to easily convince anyone that their lived “truth” is only a half-truth masquerading as the whole truth (even though all of our truths are partial and provisional, at best). Your feelings are valid and important. All lives matter, lol.

    While fully supporting you as a person, I challenge you to do a little reading to challenge your view that everyone is polarized, that the left, right, and center are temporally stable agenda platforms (vs relative coordinates for evolving packages of polices), and that the way people get elected and policies get enacted is the same now as it was 30 years ago. Most of all, ask not what your political positions and allegiances (or professed lack of them) do for you, but what they do for the future of this country. Less emphasis on personalities and talking points and rhetoric and more on policies and their effects.

  183. “Let’s just get totally real here, I am white, male, a nerd and a gamer, I have been nothing but dragged through the mud, spit upon and vilified by modern left wing culture, I’m the bad guy, according to those on the left, you think I’m just gonna suck up and kiss the ass of that shit? Hell no, I don’t have enough self loathing to put up with it.“

    Jesus fucking Christ, Griff. All your posturing about the dangerous left and it really, truly does come down to the fact that someone tried to make you share your video games, doesn’t it? You talk a big game but all it comes down to is a personal vendetta.

    Guys, stop pretending you’re having an adult conversation here.

  184. i liked the part where the kitty looked like it was gonna barf up a hairball but instead it barfed up a magical alien cube box.

  185. Way to go off topic Mix!!

  186. For what it’s worth, “#OscarsSoWhite” was a fucking Twitter hashtag, it doesn’t really care if Innaritu won for BIRDMAN. It was someone making a bitter joke about there being no people of color nominated in the major categories other than one for SELMA and one for Innaritu. One point of contention was that the white writers of STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON were nominated but none of the cast. And it caught on because it was a joke structure and it was based on something that many people agreed with.

    Honestly, I didn’t really get it at the time because I didn’t know which other movies should’ve been nominated, and though I liked STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON I didn’t think it was “outrageous not to be nominated for Oscars” good. But this year shows that they were correct that white people musical biopics are still such Oscar bait that an outrageously shitty one where the director was so notorious he couldn’t even be mentioned at the ceremony racked up a ton of nominations and wins.

    Still, I think the controversy started a cultural conversation that has made strides, including leading to initiatives to slowly move the voting demographics away from what was then 94% white, 76% male and an average of 63 years old. An old fashioned movie like GREEN BOOK can still win best picture, but there has been more variation in the nominations and MOONLIGHT even won best picture. The thing is, you can take race out of it and you should still be happy – everybody I have known for my entire life, I’m sure including Griff, has always complained about movies they love being ignored by those old fuddie duddies at the Oscars. It’s nice to see them become less predictable.

  187. Mr. Majestyk – It wasn’t about “sharing” games, it was about gamers being stereotyped and vilified as misogynists because of the actions of a few by a skewed and agenda driven media.

    It was the first wake up call that not everything was exactly fair on the left side.

    How would you feel if action movie fans were all stereotyped as misogynists? When in your experience you knew it was a far more vibrant and better community than it’s worst members and didn’t deserve to be treated in such a warped way?

    The left cannot unfairly shit upon certain people and expect them to be allies, the left has done everything in their power, made it their damn life’s mission, to push guys like me away and they’ve done a pretty good job, I do have enough self loathing to buy into lies about myself and people like me, when I get lied about, I get a little angry, that’s a normal human response.

  188. I do NOT have enough self loathing, I mean, damn typos.

  189. If you’re going to play the identity politics game then my identity is a nerd and a gamer and I’m not gonna join in agreement with people that fucking hate my guts.

    This is what I was talking about, the modern day has divided everyone into groups and pitted them against each other, I’m an advocate for trying to transcend that and bridge gaps, but I’m not going to just suck up to assholes that hate me until they have a change of attitude, it’s a two way street.

  190. Also, just so we’re clear here, I know there’s more important issues than video games, but the way the media has treated gamers was simply a wake up call for problems with the left in general and I’m not gonna hold my tongue when criticizing the left.

    I used to be very liberal, but then the left decided to personally target me as an enemy and yeah, it’s made me a little disillusioned with the whole thing, nobody appreciates lies and slander.

  191. Dude, I love video games. I love video games more than movies, been playing ’em since I was old enough to make Commander Keen jump his little pogo stick all over hell and back, and I will say this- people who play video games are usually cool as hell, but people who self-identify as “gamers” usually suck ass. They gatekeep. They do truly heinous shit online for laughs. They SWAT people. They send death threats to women who make youtube videos they don’t like. They gleefully shout racial slurs at strangers. They pour their whole identity and being into their hobby in a completely unhealthy way, and it’s upsetting to me. I don’t like being associated with it, but you know what? I know that when people talk about how “gamers” (or “white dudes”) are shitty, I’m comfortable with the fact that *they’re not talking about me*. I suggest you either get comfortable with that same idea, or examine more closely *why* it makes you uncomfortable and make some fucking changes.

  192. The Kurgan – Every single group of people on planet Earth has it’s toxic assholes, stamp collectors have assholes in their rank.

    All those examples you cite apply to some people who identify as “gamer” but it’s not the whole, there’s nothing wrong with calling yourself a “gamer”, there’s nothing wrong with “gamer” culture as a whole, it’s a very diverse group of people that has only grown even more so in recent years.

    The slanted way the media treated gamers pissed me the fuck off, obviously that’s not going to mean shit to some people, but it matters a lot to me.

  193. I mean, the answer here is “don’t be an asshole”, not “get offended on behalf of some assholes”.

    I think you would wind up a lot happier if you worried less about what strangers on the internet are saying about ~society~ and more about just focusing on yourself and your own goals.

  194. Didn’t most of the criticism of gamer culture come from inside gamer culture, like Feminist Frequency?

    There’s a lot of media about how gaming can be a force of positive change in the world too, largely due to the characteristics of gamers themselves.

    Sorry to dog pile on ya Griff, but you and I have pretty similar tastes and backgrounds and I also don’t get why you feel so put upon by all this stuff.
    [visual-parse url=”https://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world

  195. Griff, when you say “I don’t have enough self loathing” what you actually mean is “I have too much insecurity.” Nobody has personally targeted you. You have a victim complex. Your perspective begins and ends with “At some point, I was made to feel personally uncomfortable, and that is a travesty — nay, not just a travesty, IT IS THE GREATEST PROBLEM WITH AMERICA.” But you have no idea what’s going on in America, on the right or the left. All you know is what personally bothers you, and you are personally bothered largely by dumb things that don’t even effect you.

  196. Don’t you want gamer culture as a whole to be above it because gamer gate didn’t become a thing because of one of two people.

  197. I am honestly pretty perplexed by the idea that “the left” is against gamers. In my experience as a person who doesn’t know much about games, the outside world spends almost no time thinking about video games or gamers. I know what Gamergate is but most of the people I know who play lots of video games don’t agree with them or have anything to do with them and it’s pretty normal for people of all walks of life to play games, especially younger ones, so I don’t see a political affiliation to it. And some of it seems fun, but I don’t have time for it so I haven’t gotten into it, therefore when people talk about it it mostly seems like Greek, like wrestling stuff often does. The end. I really believe that 99% of non-gamers don’t think about gamers enough to hate them the way Griff describes.

  198. Well, I’m pretty much out of things to say.

    This is all pretty “inside baseball” stuff I guess outsiders wouldn’t understand.

    But it’s not all about geek culture, I have problems with the left that have nothing to do with that.

  199. I’m still confused. So Gamer Gate was objectively awful. So if someone said, “All gamers are like that,” you would know they’re wrong about you, right?

    People do say action movies and people who like them are misogynistic. I met a woman who said she hated action movies because they’re misogynistic, and this was in the ’90s when they probably were. Of course I was tempted to defend my favorite genre, and teenage Fred was even less zen than I am now (it took time to change the essence of a man). But ultimately I knew I wasn’t misogynistic and that the people who knew me knew I wasn’t. This person obviously wasn’t going to be someone I had much in common with so it wasn’t important to defend my interests to her.

    I must still find myself explaining myself to people who demand it because a few years ago a therapist told me, “You don’t have to explain yourself. Your character speaks for itself.” That really relieved a lot of my anxiety because it’s true. The way I live my life is the only explanation anyone needs and being a good person is the only validation I need, so the people who ask me why I do things don’t really matter to me. Incidentally it was my parents she was telling me to stop explaining myself too. The people who’ve literally known me the longest.

    It reminds me of Marty McFly reacting whenever anybody called him a chicken. Who cares if an asshole thinks you’re a chicken? You’re basically gonna do whatever an asshole wants if they say a word, and then what do you win once you’ve “proven” yourself? Yay, an asshole now thinks I’m brave. If assholes don’t like you, you’re doing something right. It’s when the assholes say, “You’re all right, man” you should worry.

  200. I’m going to try to explain it to the best of my ability just what’s going on in modern culture for people that don’t know, I’m going to preface this by saying that I appreciate the level of debate here, though some of you I feel act a little too hostile towards me, but it’s rare to find a place on the internet nowadays where people are actually willing to have dialog from counter points of view like we do, most of the net is just different flavors of echo chambers nowadays.

    For several years now there has been a culture war in geek/nerd culture as nerd culture became more mainstream over the last decade and new generations have come along.

    These new generations have brought with them a left leaning school of thought that all media that is released must reflect theirs and only theirs tastes, views and opinions and they will throw Twitter tantrums and do everything in their power to “deplatform” anything that tries to come out that isn’t something they personally would approve of.

    This affects not just video games but also comics, role playing games, Magic: The Gathering, anything you can imagine in nerd culture is going through these culture war battles.

    Meanwhile these new generations have shown nothing but hate and contempt for the older generations of nerds who were already there harmlessly minding their own business, not bothering anybody.

    About the best metaphor I can think of for this situation is imagine if men started reading Harlequin romance novels en masse but demanded that everything about Harlequin romance novels had to change to suit only their tastes, “All these shirtless Fabio lookalikes on the covers? Oh no, that’s got to go, that’s offensive to men, I don’t have a body like that!” and “These books seem written from a female perspective, almost as if females are the audience, well, I demand they all start being written from a MALE perspective from here on out, because I’m just such a fan of Harlequin romance novels, you see, which is why I want absolutely everything about them to change.”

    And then meanwhile they treated the already existing audience of these novels with nothing but contempt, “Go fuck yourself you misandrist losers! This is OUR hobby now!”

    Do you think fans of Harlequin romance novels would take kindly to that? There were historically already a lot more female gamers than males who read Harlequin romance novels, but you get my point.

    The tone is half the issue with this, the snide, smug and frankly stuck up attitude of websites like The Mary Sue and Kotaku create more issues than they solve, there’s basically an attitude of “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us!” which is not true, with Japanese anime/manga there’s ALWAYS been things for male and female audiences and never any antagonism between the two because why would there be? It’s logical to cast as wide a net as you can and it was logical for things like games to try to grow their audience a bit, but it has NOT been done in a logical way because modern American culture is all about political conflict for the sake of political conflict.

    If you want people to share something you do not come at them with a “Give me your shit you disgusting manbaby, neckbeard shitlord and kindly fuck off while you’re at it!”, it doesn’t work that way, have a fuck you attitude, get a fuck you attitude in return.

    Then we have the issue where it’s actively hurting the business side, the comic book industry is literally dying because a new generation of creators came along that are chasing a phantom audience of who they wish the audience for comics was versus who it actually is and for the actual audience they show nothing but contempt and pure hatred, I don’t follow comic books though I’ve kept abreast of what is going on there because for as much as this has affected video games it’s 1000 times worse for the comic book industry, to the point of sales being way, way down.

    If you’re talking about business it makes sense to cater to as many tastes as you can, but today only one taste is being catered to for political reasons, it’s all phoney baloney bullshit.

    All this pointless, unnecessary culture war bullshit has done nothing but push people away from the left wing and muddy the waters of bigger, more important issues, plus simply make entertainment worst, there’s a preachiness to a lot of left leaning media today that is just eye rollingly lame, many people today are not looking for actual entertainment, they’re looking for things that offer emotional validation and reaffirming of their world views, for anyone who’s not a drinker of that Kool-Aid it just sucks.

    Alright, I’ve laid it all on the table, take it or leave it, at least we should be clear what I’m all about.

  201. Griff, the democratic party is notoriously a coalition party, which means you have herding cats problems. It’s kind of ridiculous to assume a monolith for either party–since both are composed of factions–Republicans just don’t have quite as many diverse factions.

    Further, what exactly do you mean by the left? Hillary stans? Bernie bros? Folks rooting for a Beto or a Biden? Since you seem consumed by outrage culture and hate mobs, you presumably are aware, from twitter because that’s where things are more mobilized and skewed, that those two groups don’t see eye to eye at all–at least in terms of the most vocal.

    BTW, I can also second that that’s been an action movie stereotype for a long time–re: misogyny and whatever else. To some degree it might be fair, but mostly it’s just cheap unless the movie or its production process really stands out that way.

  202. I love you guys and girls a lot. Calling each other names and then … apologizing and shit? Even at our worst, we’re still the best comments section around.

    Yo, I think that example of the young woman who gave Chelsea Clinton a hard time is pretty instructive here. I think virtually everybody agrees that Chelsea Clinton’s rhetoric didn’t cause the New Zealand massacre… but I just think it’s also worth realizing that some justifiably upset kid misdirecting her hostility isn’t that big of a deal compared to a lot of what’s going on in the world right now.

    I am a broken record about this, but every social movement that tries to wrest power from the 1% will be represented in the most idiotic way possible. The whole concept of the Hysterical Left is some cherry picked bullshit. Don’t give into the bullshit and let it turn you against your fellow human beings.

  203. To be frank, what you’re talking about seems as much a gender and age divide as anything else.

  204. Griff, thank you for your honest and personal post. I think what you are describing is what every generation experiences when the new generation starts producing things. Staying focused on entertainment, it’s the same as how us Gen Xers may love going to the movie theaters and hate how all this streaming stuff is making us stay home. Even in the movies that are being made, some of us may be sick of all the superhero movies now. My parents didn’t like all the action movies they made when I was a kid, and their parents didn’t like all these new movies with all the sex and violence when my parents were kids (and probably someone didn’t like all these damn movies with sound because in the good old days movies were silent).

    It can be frustrating, heartbreaking even, to realize you’re no longer the target audience. I certainly had a good run in the ’80s and ’90s when I was literally the target audience for every movie studio. But it’s someone else’s turn now and that doesn’t mean we have to give up the things we like. As movies go, we’ve found Scott Adkins and Indonesian martial arts films to fill the gaps the studios are leaving. We still go to big movies but maybe we’re more like tourists to some instead of the guests of honor.

    I truly hope you’re able to make peace with this somehow. Change is inevitable and being angry about it only ensures you’ll have lots of things to be angry about.

  205. Also Griff, which boss are you stuck at in Sekiro??

  206. BrianB – Alright, I wont dance around the term anymore, I’m talking about SJWs, Social Justice Warriors, that’s the nickname, it’s a specific school of thought that has cropped up within the left wing in recent years, not everyone who’s left is an SJW, but SJW is a left wing thing
    and as you point out it’s caused a lot in fighting within the left wing.

    I avoid using that term because it’s very loaded, some people take offense, but it’s important to remember that it’s supposed to be sarcastic, you’re not knocking the very concept of social justice and people who actually care about it and fight for it, you’re knocking assholes who use “social justice” as a shield and a pretense for their asshole behavior, that is how I use it at least.

    I think SJWs are basically what you get when you cross left wing politics with the toxic narcissism of the social media age, it’s people who absolutely cannot tolerate a difference of opinion or tastes, they will throw fits of rage at a simple difference of opinion and demand that the entirety of culture and media reflect their attitudes and tastes and ONLY their own attitudes and tastes, they will literally not tolerate anything else, they are control freak lunatics.

    Basically remember the Jerry Falwell, Moral Majority types of the 1980s and how they reacted about heavy metal and other forms of media? Remember people throwing a shitfit over Murphy Brown getting pregnant? Or the way Christians later reacted to Harry Potter? Remember all the controversy over gangsta rap? Well that’s how some on the left operate now, the shoe is on the other foot, it’s a very weird, shocking mutation but it’s the reality we live in.

    Whether it’s coming from the left or the right it’s a very wrongheaded thing, America is a big, diverse place made up of people with many different beliefs and value systems, learning to live and let live should be the goal, not demanding that everyone kowtow to some specific school of thought, even if you think your school of thought is the absolute best and everyone SHOULD agree with you, it’s just not going to happen in a country of hundreds of millions of people unless you have, I don’t know, a fascist society or something, freedom means also giving people the freedom to sometimes be wrong about some things, the purity tests and demands of absolute perfection from SJWs is doing more harm than good.

    I mean the right was guilty of not living and let live for so long that it’s hard for people to believe the shoe is now on the other foot, it’s hard for me to believe, but you have to accept that that’s the reality we live in, there are control freaks on the left who are so uncompromisingly intolerant of things they personally find offensive they’d make even the most hardcore Church lady of the 1980s blush.

    Franchise Fred – Now that is a very valid take and something I’ve thought about myself, is this all just a generation gap? There’s certainly a grain of truth to that, there is an element of this conflict that is simply generational, it’s true.

    But there are some differences with generation gaps in the past, comic books is the best example of this, the comic book industry is dying because they are trying to make comics that appeal to a new generation of fans, but they just aren’t buying comics, these new generations are into other things, comic fans skew older, why should they be so shunned and vilified? Should a whole industry die because of it? And remember, older comic fans are being called literal NAZIS on Twitter by this new generation of creators just because they dare not to like the comics that are coming out now, some SJW creative types are so warped in the head and so narcissistic they think people not liking their shit makes them Nazis, it’s absurd times we live in.

    In the media landscape today specific things are pushed out for political and social engineering reasons, your actual entertainment is a very distant second, it’s propaganda basically and it’s past the point of actually even making any money that they care about, it’s a hyper-normalization of for example Marvel comics putting out garbage no one wants to buy but blaming low sales on “Nazis” and doubling down because to change course would mean the “Nazis” would win, it’s utter insanity.

    I know this shit must sound crazy, it IS crazy, but trust me, it’s happening.

    renfield – Heh, I’m actually replaying Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines due to the surprise announcement of Bloodlines 2, but I’ll play Sekiro pretty soon.

    Let it be said by the way that I’m not an absolutist and uncompromising with this stuff, I’ve enjoyed games and things that can be described as having “SJW” elements because I, unlike some people, do not expect all the media I consume to reflect my personal beliefs 100% of the time.

  207. I think everyone here would agree Twitter is a bad place and you shouldn’t listen to what people say on it. Those assholes existed before though, on chat boards and 2400 baud modem BBSes. All that’s changed is they made it so regular people read it on their phones now.

    I really believe every generation experiences changes in their entertainment. I guarantee you that comics and gaming aren’t changing because of what people say online. Business fail because they make bad, miscalculated decisions. We mourn the loss of video stores but if Blockbhster had listened to the vocal pro-video store contingent (and not ignored the threat of Netflix) they could’ve survived.

    Newspapers died because the ignored the internet. We can’t force business to make good decisions any more than other assholes can steer their ship. But you know what? Television was supposed to kill film and radio. It didn’t, and they also still put on plays. I hear the ones in New York do quite well. :)

  208. I think also maybe someone is selling you a bill of goods on that comics industry thing. I’m sure they are selling less, like all physical media are. But there are about ten billion of them, of all types, for all types of people. Whoever it is who thinks they’re being vilified can find whatever super hero punchy shit it is they want. The theory that having more publishers and more diversity in artists, writers, characters, styles and content than in the ’80s is causing people not to buy the books does not pass the smell test.

  209. It’s possible, my knowledge about the comic situation stems from this guy on Youtube, Richard C Meyer, I’ve never really followed comic books, I just heard about this situation and looked into it out of curiosity.

    He seems like a likable, reasonable guy, but also of course whether a comic is “good” or “bad” is pretty subjective, he reviews comics and some of the examples he uses do seem pretty dumb to me, but I’m not an expert, some of it is indeed a forty something guy simply not understanding millennial humor and sensibilities I feel, the style of superhero comics always changes decade from decade, however there ARE some examples that are objectively awful, but certainly bad comic books has always been a thing?

    However there are two facts, one is that sales have plummeted in recent years, very recent, so this isn’t the same exact situation as other physical media and two is that this new generation of creators spend all their time on Twitter vilifying comic books fans as literal Nazis, the trouble isn’t their diversity, the trouble is their attitude and sometimes their merit, the diversity is of course the shield they use from criticism and that’s bullshit.

    I mean, you have no idea how insane some of these people are, it’s really frightening stuff, I’m telling you, there are people who take the slightest disagreement and criticism as if it’s physical violence against them, that’s not just comic book people but SJWs in general, I’ve had personal encounters with folks around the net who literally can’t handle a simple difference of opinion, they just. can’t. handle. it. and act like disturbed children.

    However I have no real skin in the game when it comes to comic books, it’s just food for thought and a clear example of this nerd Civil War I’m talking about, video games are my main thing, the SJW fallout in gaming has more affected gaming journalism and gaming culture than it’s mostly affected games themselves, though there are exceptions, there are some things I take umbrage with for how games are made nowadays but that’s not something I really want to get into nitty gritty detail about right now, if ever, it’s all very “inside baseball” stuff anyway that will have no real significance to non-gamers.

    But damn has gaming journalism been a dumpster fire for years now, Kotaku for example is embarrassing bullshit.

    Fred is right that the root of the issue is Twitter, Twitter is a fucking plague that has made everything worse, it literally drives people insane, it’s a very upsetting and disturbing situation we’ve found ourselves in.

    Well, Twitter and garbage clickbait sites that try to stir shit up just for clicks and make culture worse as a side effect.

  210. Griff: As someone who has read comic books since before you were born, ComicsGate is total horseshit. It’s a targeted harassment campaign, just like GamerGate.

  211. Not really, people have a right to criticize and dislike a comic without being labeled a Neo Nazi, don’t they?

    From what I understand about GamerGate, the story that a woman slept with journalists was made up, but that wasn’t clear at the beginning, would journalists exchanging favorable coverage of a game for sex not be a pretty big scandal worthy of being upset over? But from the split second the story broke rather than being handled in an even handed “let’s find out what the facts are” way it was much hand wringing about how gamers are misogynists and gamers are now “dead”, everything in the mainstream media is handled in the most hysterical way now with any semblance of objectivity thrown out the window.

    It’s a little from column a, a little from column b, when we have these controversies you have people who have genuine concerns and you have trolls who just want to stir shit up, how many of the ones sending harassment actually give a shit about comics or games and instead just want to create drama for the hell of it? But our skewed media always presents it as just being the harassers and sticks their fingers in their ears and go “LA LA LA LA LA” over actual concerns people have.

    This is not a gamer problem, this is not a comic problem, this is not a nerd problem, this is not a male problem, this is not even a left or a right problem, this is an internet problem, disturbed individuals will sling shit at absolutely everyone online for any reason, if you are in anyway a significant enough public figure on the net you will get hit with trolling, it proves nothing beyond the downsides of the internet, the only solution is to tune it out for the white noise that it is.

    It’s sad that trolling has fucked up people’s ability to communicate and have discourse in this digital age, the solution is for people to put the trolling in it’s proper context and not paint each other as only the trolls.

  212. Trolling has long been the Achilles heel of the internet as a communication tool, the turd in the punch bowl, I don’t know how exactly to solve that for good, it’s a complicated issue, but I know a good start is for people to put trolling in it’s proper context and calm the fuck down a little bit, listen to what people say and don’t dismiss it all as trolling or harassment.

  213. You have to remember, for as much harassment as left wing figures get, the opposite is true as well, that’s a dirty little secret no one wants to admit.

    A porn star was harassed into killing herself because she said something that was interrupted as homophobic, there are disturbed lunatics on both sides of the political divide who will use vicious harassment as a tool against political opponents, the sane people on both sides need to distance themselves from the lunatics, this is certainly true for the right, but it’s also true for the left.

  214. I really appreciate all the issues you raise, Griff, because you’re not afraid to share how it seems and feels, and I think a lot of people perceive things and feel the way you do, and it’s evident enough that I feel some of the same ways sometimes, even though I started voting Democrat in 2004 and haven’t looked back and would much prefer a Bernie type to a Hillary type.

    I also greatly appreciate this community which is generally a shining beacon of willingness of reflection and humility.

    The important themes I see thus far

    Diversity and factions – Not everyone who votes Republican or Democrat lines up with our particular worst stereotypes. There is diversity among people in their endorsements of various ideas, and you can readily see this by looking for social / political issues polls by reputable pollsters (e.g., Gallup) or looking at data-oriented places like fivethirtyeight or the Economist.

    Social Media and Comment Threads Are Satan – The internet brings out the worst in otherwise healthy people, and it’s also a favorite hangout for bitter and jaded people who feel that real “meatworld” human connection or civic participation has nothing to offer them. It is a funhouse mirror that is not a representative sample of normal humans. It’s not even just twitter. I remember visiting a Yahoo! article about Ghaddafi after he was killed, and the sick fuckers in that comment thread were just celebrating and mocking this dude being dragged into the street and beaten to death. Of course, fuck Ghaddafi, but, it was like a Shirley Jackson story come to life.

    Generations – Aging can be tough. I’m a hip hop fan, and I’m of the 1990s early 2000s school. Many of those folks are still around and making music, but they’re much more marginal now, they don’t sell records anymore (go see what the last Wu-tang album sold in physical units). But, on the plus side, they’re still here, their old music is still here, and it’s interesting to see them do new stuff as they age. I have to accept that my generation is not going to be “on top” forever and doesn’t need to be. The confluence of technology change and industry change and social/taste change can be unsettling, but then we wouldn’t all be talking here without it, either. It’s definitely bigger than any of us. It just “is,” but each of us gets some choice in how we engage it. That was a great post by Fred.

    Personal growth and reality-checking – It’s important to realize that one’s own emotional experience and perceptions are not the same as “objective” reality and can be rooted in various degrees of bullshit, even when they feel like the realest thing in the world. I’ve learned this foremost as a husband and father, where I see both myself and my loved ones get caught up stories we tell ourselves about the the what/when/why/how factors that “caused” the emotional strife or pain we’re feeling. It is inevitable that we want to make sense of our world to gain some measure of control, but in my experience, as we seek this control and reassurance we become rigid and self-righteous, start looking for easy explanations that involve oversimplified caricature bad guys that we can blame. This definitely happens a lot in politics, where we blame individual bad guys. Hell, even in the case of Trump, I do think he is an individual bad guy with a great deal of agency to affect billions of lives, but I also see him as a byproduct of various systems that are much bigger or earlier than he is and, believe it or not, I view him as a broken human being deserving of love (just not of the presidency).

    This is not a particularly earth-shattering or complete analysis of the situation so much as it is an attempt to acknowledge that there are a lot of forces in plan in the frustrations, fears, and perceptions we bring to this. We’re standing at the nexus of our personal identities (aging), our desire to feel good and connected, our hopes and fears for the future, and our attempts to just process massive cultural/social/political/economic/technological (demographic, media, communication, smartphone, LGBTQ rights laws and discourse, etc.) change even as it is unfolding.

  215. Good lord, Griff, Richard C. Meyer? The main guy behind the Comicsgate harassment campaign? (I’ve never had much luck posting links at this site, but have a look at this:

    #Comicsgate: How an Anti-Diversity Harassment Campaign in Comics Got Ugly—and Profitable

    An ugly new front in the online culture wars targets women, people of color, and LGBT folk in the comic book industry. And some have figured out how to cash in.


    For more than 20 years the comics industry has been throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. Marvel’s been losing market share to DC, and they recently cancelled a bunch of titles, some of them with female and non-white characters. Most of the people I’ve read blame Marvel’s troubles on their constant reboots and their exorbitant promotional demands on retailers. You can blame diversity efforts instead, I guess, but then you have to grapple with the fact that stuff like Squirrel Girl, Miles Morales, and the Kamala Khan version of Ms. Marvel is doing great. That’s why Marvel was trying to expand that market in the first place.

    I really wonder where you’re getting your information on gaming and other pop culture. Your use of “SJW” is a bit of a tell. People don’t dislike that term because they don’t realise it’s sarcastic; they dislike it because of its history.

    I know the expression has left-wing origins, but I never saw it being used that way in the wild. If you look at Google search trends, you can see how “social justice warrior” was a fairly uncommon phrase up through 2014, when it suddenly spiked with GamerGate. Everyone I saw saying “SJW” was a nutzoid troll from GamerGate or Sad Puppies, the equivalent movement in the science fiction community, and no matter what definition they claimed for it, in practice it always meant “someone less right-wing than me.”

    Five years of campaigns on 4chan, YouTube, and Reddit have made that more diffuse. The phrase doesn’t have to signal a far-right crank anymore; it might just be someone who reads a lot of far-right cranks. But it’s almost never someone well-informed. When I see someone throwing around “SJW,” “cuck,” “soyboy,” whatever, I usually just ignore them. Why bother to engage? You’re different, Griff, because I’ve seen your posts here through the years, and I know you’re better than that. But you really need to take a more critical eye to the manufactured outrage you’re looking at. They’re just trying to get you riled up.

  216. I mean, these GamerGate comments are what I’m talking about. Your information is completely wrong.

    (1) It was clear from the beginning that the entire story was bullshit, because the alleged reviews of Zoë Quinn’s game simply did not exist.

    (2) Did GamerGaters try some impartial fact-finding then, like, say, a single Google search? No, they started doxxing and sending death threats to Quinn (and Anita Sarkeesian too, for whatever reason).

    (3) The gaming press then criticised the people who’d done the doxxing and death threats, and tried to figure out what had gone wrong with gaming culture. They pointed out that the audience for games was much bigger than the stereotype of teenage boys in their basements. They did not write that gamers were “dead.” You put that word in quotes, because you’ve been told horror stories about “gamers are dead” articles by trolls who are trying to exploit you, but it didn’t happen.

  217. I’ll agree with Griff on many points, especially about the August Ames thing – even though whether what she said was “homophobic” was up for debate, I think alot of news outlets/blogs didn’t want to take their chances NOT calling her a homophobe, so the headline was always “August Ames draws backlash for homophobic remarks”, “Homophobe August Ames says blah blah blah”, shortly followed by “August Ames commits suicide after making homophobic remarks” (which means the like 60% of people who probably saw the headline and didn’t click to the story, just figured “well, whoever that is totally deserved it, amirite?”).

    Re: the anger that you feel about SJW’s and purity tests and whatnot – I’m right there with you. I don’t know what to tell you, other than share my experience, which is that I’ve made rants almost exactly like yours about something shitty I saw on some liberal blog somewhere that enraged me because it was hypocritical, or wrongheaded, or I felt it inadvertently hurt the left and helped Trump. My friends and my wife all had the exact same response – “Why don’t you stop reading those blogs?” (I’m actually pretty sure Vern told me that too somewhere in one of these comments sections). My wife apparently read thefrisky or jezebel everyday until she just couldn’t take it anymore and quit, and now her life is much happier. That doesn’t mean she changed political affiliations, it’s not like she reads Breitbart now or some shit, she just maintains her liberal ideals without exposing herself to the toxic side. When I angrily tell her “Man did you see everyone getting pissed about such and such?” She’s all like, “oh really? I didn’t hear anything about that” and I’m completely jealous of her. If Kotaku pisses you off, stop reading Kotaku. If some podcast makes you mad where the hosts are smarmy virtue-signalling (can I say that?) pieces of shit, then don’t listen to their podcast and don’t buy the mattress their selling. It’s the only way to be sane in this world, because they’re not getting rid of social media or outrage culture anytime soon.

    Except all that’s easier said than done. Notice I said my wife’s happier now that she’s stopped reading liberal blogs, not me. I still look at salon and dailybeast and huffpost, etc… everyday when I’m bored at work, and I still get angry about it. Right now I’m mad about how I’m supposed to hate Joe Biden now because he was mean to Anita Hill, and I’m supposed to hate Kamala Harris now because she was mean to people who let their kids skip school, and I’m supposed to hate Beto because he’s white and he talked about big titties in high school or some shit. Oh and I’m definitely supposed to hate Klobuchar because she was mean to her staff, but fuck that because eating salad with a comb is a boss move. And if you think I’m angry because I’m a privileged white dude seeing my grasp of power on the world slowly slip (disclaimer – I’m not white and I have absolutely no power in this world), I have to point out that I’m actually angry because last time we established that if you were rooting for Bernie you were a sexist Bernie Bro, and if you liked Hilary you were racist because she said “Super Predators” in ’93, and that worked out so well for us that we ended up with an orange piece of shit as our president and then scratched our heads as to how did this possibly happen???

    So Griff – I guess the real question is – do you think that despite us both being tired of how liberals are addicted to outrage, that we’re actually the ones addicted to it? (I mean, outrage over outrage is still outrage, right?) I didn’t quit reading blogs I hate when presented the option, I know it’s not good for me, so therefore I’m addicted, yes? Why can’t we quit? Why do we still let some comment somewhere said by someone we’ll never meet affect us and make us feel angry the rest of the day? Why can’t we be more like the other good people on this site? I submit to you that if you strapped Vern or Fred or Subtlety or one of these guys down Clockwork Orange-style and forced them to read shitty blogs with shitty hot takes with shitty comments that get shitty upvotes, it’d enrage them too the way we’re enraged. But who’s even strapping us down?? We’re totally doing this shit to ourselves because we kinda love it.

    Look, the weekend is coming up – I know it’s a small sacrifice but how about you and me not read any blogs or toxic material and stay away from websites/podcasts/shows that we know will make us angry (triggered, dare I say), for just the weekend, and see how we feel? I’ll check back in w/ you on Monday and will hopefully want to talk more about movies and not about how I’m mad that someone got mad that Pete Buttigieg likes Chick Fil A or whatever.

  218. @neal2zod
    “If some podcast makes you mad where the hosts are smarmy virtue-signalling (can I say that?) pieces of shit, then don’t listen to their podcast and don’t buy the mattress their selling.”

    Is… Is that a The Dollop reference? :)

  219. Guys, Griff can be saved. He’s like Kylo Ren. He started off as a nice boy but had some opinions that his teacher didn’t agree with so the teacher tried killing him with liberal facts or whatever and he started following pieces of shit like Richard C Meyer and wanted to be like him. However, he’s going to realize that he’s not such a bad guy and can probably stay away from toxic sludge and go hang out with the light side of the force here at outlawvern.com. I know he can change because he was once a level headed boy as late as 2017.

    December 18th, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    It blew me away, I honestly never expected to see a Star Wars movie as good as this again.

    Shame on the internet for giving it a hard time, it proves to me that people don’t really know what they want in a Star Wars movie, I also think it’s wrapped up in a bunch of political bullshit, right wing types mad about the female characters and all that.

    I think the solution is more Vern reviews of 90s Direct to Video action movies. That’s something we can all agree on.

  220. Griff, I’ll be frank- you need to log off. I want to say this as kindly as possible, because I know we have clashed here a little bit, and I hope you can understand that I’m saying this because I actually do like you and I worry about you a little, as silly as that might seem for just some faceless stranger on the internet. I see you get so angry about stuff like mean comic book writers, but *why* are you mad? It doesn’t seem like you can come up with concrete examples, so you’re just mad because some guy in a youtube *told* you to be mad? What’s the point? I think if you just, like neal said about his wife, just focused more on the off-line side of life for a while, you’d maybe see how little this angry internet echo chamber shit actually affects you.

    I dunno. I’m sorry, man. I can see that you’re hurting over this and I wish you could understand that you don’t have to. Change is happening in society (it always is) and change can be painful but, like Murakami said, suffering is optional.

  221. I also have to say that my life got much more stress- and anger free, after I stopped reading comments underneath news articles and actually blocked certain outragebaiting and snarky websites in my browser, to make sure that I don’t fall into the trap of randomly or accidentally reading them again.

    It’s such a small thing to do, but it has a healthy aspect on your life.

    Still don’T wanna give up Twitter, though, but at least my timeline is pretty cool.

  222. CJ – speaking of Twitter (which I don’t actually have an account to quit) – do you look at Trump’s Twitter as obsessively as most people I know? Here I am saying I want to cut toxic media out of my life so I don’t get mad, and yet I’ll never give up looking at this asshole’s tweets. Me and everyone I know constantly check to see what dumb shit he’s going to say next so we can go “This fucking guy…”. I’m not exaggerating when I say it might possibly be our new national pastime. Like if we’re all out at a bar and a friend is peeking at his phone, I know better than to ask if he’s checking Tinder or the score of whatever game might be happening, it’s “Hey did that asshole say anything?” and the answer is always yes. And I know it’s “toxic” as fuck, I know words matter, I know he’s said enough hateful shit that he should have been banned by now. But I don’t feel the rage looking at his sub-literate words that I feel when I read some hot take online about “DC Fans are a bunch of edgelord dudebros….We are Groot!” or “The Matrix is cultural appropriation” or whatever the fuck. I don’t know what any of this means other than I need to check my priorities as much as I think other people should check their priorities….

    Daniel – I actually wasn’t thinking specifically about The Dollop because honestly, they all run together for me. I’m literally ALWAYS listening to a podcast, because it’s like, multi-tasking or something, and I actively hate probably 40% of the ones I listen to. I don’t want to speak for Griff, but hate-watching/hate-listening/hate-reading is a huge problem for me, and not only is it raising my blood pressure and ruining my sleep, it’s also the reason it took me 40 years on Earth to “find the time” to watch The Exorcist and The Godfather because I was too busy watching ENTIRE RUNS (not seasons) of shows that I’ve hated since the pilot episode. I don’t know if it’s because I want to be a “completionist” or maybe I just have OCD, or I’m just a glutton for punishment.

    Here’s another unwanted peek into my mind – my wife dragged me to a taping of My Favorite Murder Live! which I was incredibly perplexed by. I’m still boggled that podcasts where one person just basically reads wikipedia to the other person who cracks wise and/or acts shocked and appalled (like the aforementioned The Dollop) is a thing. Like, how as a society have we come to this place where this passes for entertainment? Anyway, the crowd was mostly young white hipster women who absolutely loved yukking it up to stories about people getting horribly murdered, which made me extra confused because you figure these would be the type of people to loudly say this is tasteless and call this insensitive to victims. So yeah, I came away bummed and soured by the experience. Later our local indy newspaper ran a piece about the show, calling out the “white privilege” of the hosts, which I could have seen coming because a) let’s face it, every white celebrity will be accused of white privilege from now until the apocalypse, and b) this same paper literally had a FRONT PAGE article about how if you go to a Tiki bar you’re a racist. Front page! Anyway the article called out the insensitivity of the hosts using the phrase “hobo camp” to describe an establishment of homeless people, and let us in on the shameful fact that one of the hosts ” admitted to using a European pronunciation of an Australian monolith instead of the aboriginal name because it was easier to pronounce.” So needless to say, I instantly flipped and then liked and defended this thing that I just hated two seconds ago! That makes me a total hypocrite and completely irrational, but I think there’s going to be a study one day that scientifically proves that some people (like me and presumably Griff) have a pavlovian response to reject outrage the way that some people think cilantro tastes like soap or something.

  223. I love Neal’s post. My father is addicted to CNN talking head shows, and these are people I agree with on most things but I just find it so toxic how they talk and talk and talk without actually giving any information. I also have colleagues who respond to every rando on Twitter who questions them to set them straight. And then at the end of the night they’re exhausted and nothing has changed. I even say, “Next time, don’t engage. Use your time to do something productive for yourself.” But every time it’s, “This time I HAVE to defend myself” or “I’ve got the perfect irrefutable response to this.” Of course there’s no response that won’t just let the rando suck you further down the rabbit hole.

    I don’t know how I got this super power where I don’t care what other people think of me. I’d worry that could be dangerous, like I might stop caring about people’s feelings and become a bully. But I have confidence in myself that doesn’t require validation, and I have empathy for others. It seems like the heartless bullies actually care a lot what other people think about them. Look how thin-skinned Trump is every time SNL does a sketch. I know hurt people hurt people, and I’m sure there are example of assholes who also don’t care what people think of them, but it seems relevant that there’s a correlation between wanting validation and lashing out at others.

    Griff, you asked if trading coverage of for sex wouldn’t be a big scandal worthy of being upset over. I honestly think it wouldn’t. If a developer actually fucked a journalist for a good review, that would be sad and pathetic. The worst harm it would have caused would be someone ended up playing a game they didn’t like. And maybe they spent $50 on it, but they could always return it to the store (an advantage of physical media over digital downloads). It would be water cooler conversation about “how pathetic is that designer to be so desperate for positive reviews” and ruining that reporter’s career would be about the extent of the necessary consequences. That is, you know, if it had actually happened.

  224. @Matthew B From the horses mouth… as opposed to the smearing opposition. Gets really instructive at the 4:42min mark, as he’s referencing a comic from the late 80’s.


  225. Rogue4: Thanks, I’m familiar with the guy, and I’d gnaw my own thumbs off before I sit through some 13-minute video of his on YouTube.

  226. “I’m still boggled that podcasts where one person just basically reads wikipedia to the other person who cracks wise and/or acts shocked and appalled (like the aforementioned The Dollop) is a thing. Like, how as a society have we come to this place where this passes for entertainment?”

    I don’t listen to My Favorite Murder (not into true crime at all, don’t get the appeal) or The Dollop even, but what you’re describing sounds like reasonable entertainment to me. The acting shocked and appalled thing might be obnoxious, I get that, but if someone finds the hosts funny, listening to them cracking wise seems like a pretty solid use of your time. Plus you’re theoretically hearing an interesting story you may not have heard before, which is pretty traditional entertainment in any society at any time.

  227. neal, I never followed Trump and even blocked him early in the election race, because I would get the gist through the news (or other people in my timeline) anyway, but really didn’t see the need to have this asshole speak to me more or less directly.

  228. JTS, was your comment supposed to be in a different comment section?

  229. Sternshein – JTS was responding to my long-winded story of the time I got outraged about a podcast, then once I saw a (historically annoying) news source also being outraged by it (albeit for stupider reasons), I immediately, hypocritically got defensive about it, thus proving my hatred of outrage trumps actual outrage about the thing itself (which is not logical at all and is something I’m trying to understand about myself).

  230. Matthew B. – You cannot, full stop, trust a single thing you read about Richard C Meyer in outlets like The Daily Beast, they spin it as if he’s encouraging harassment “campaigns” which he is not, there was one moment referenced in the article where he crossed the line, which he has apologized for, but he has never encouraged harassment, he makes a note to clearly do the exact opposite now.

    For the most part he’s just a guy sharing his views and opinions on comics and the comic book industry, that a crime?

    This is the tactic they always use to try to silence opposition, oh so and so is leading a “harassment campaign” therefore they must be ignored and vilified, as I said you have trolls and people that get too worked up and will harass people online, that’s an unfortunate side effect, but it’s not the direct fault of people like Richard C Meyer, people should still get to have voices and opinions, especially when this isn’t just a right wing issue, online harassment transcends the left/right dynamic.

    But the harassment that does occur from the right is only exacerbated by making people feel like they increasingly don’t have a voice, by trying to “deplatform” everyone who isn’t 100% left, that creates a lot of bitterness and anger, it’s still supposed to be a free country.

    Anyway, Gamergate was an absolute clusterfuck, it personifies just what a huge fucking mess online discourse is nowadays, my take is that it was things coming to a head after a couple of years of the gaming press having a generally pissy attitude about gamers and it finally blew up in a big shitstorm where nobody came out smelling like a rose, I’m not trying to defend the Gamergaters themselves, but I do not think the press handled the situation very well either.

    I’m sorry guys, but SJWs are a thing, there really are people that fit the stereotype to a t, I’ve interacted first hand with these people on the net, I’ve seen them all over, one example being the gaming forum ResetERA, which will literally ban people for having the wrong opinion, you are only allowed to have one “correct” opinion about things, it’s nuts.

    That’s not to say the anti-SJW side is always in the right or that I always agree with them, there’s knuckleheads on the opposing force too, there are people who will decry anything that is the least bit left leaning as “SJW” and I don’t agree with that, to say nothing of the truly scary Alt Right mother fuckers out there.

    But it’s not anyone’s imagination, there are some left leaning lunatics and assholes out there.

    neal2zod – I’ve stopped reading Kotaku, most recently I’ve stopped visiting the AV Club as well and of course I don’t read Trump’s Twitter, it’s insane to me that anyone does, I do try to tune out this outrage culture as much as I can, but sometimes it directly affects my own hobbies and interests and culture and that’s when I can’t always turn a blind eye to it.

    But yeah, some people get addicted to it all and that’s very unhealthy.

  231. Griff: No. I watched Meyer going after female Marvel staffers on Twitter, calling them “fake geek girls” because they’d posed for a photo holding milkshakes. His account is deleted now, but that is a thing that happened. I remember when he got dropped by his publisher because he was encouraging fans to harass stores that wouldn’t carry his book.

    What’s the “one moment” you mention where the guy “crossed the line”? The time when he called a Marvel worker a “minstrel show diva,” or the time when he called Ta-Nehisi Coates a “race hustler”? Maybe the time when he wrote about some trans writers at DC: “This is a modern day carnival. See the Bearded Lady. See the Dog boy.”

    No, wait. I’m guessing you mean the video where he called Marvel editors and writers “paedophiles,” “fag,” “cum dumpster,” “man in a wig” and “full-time pervert” (these last for a trans woman), etc., etc. But that was a single moment, and after all, he apologised.

    The guy is trash. It’s swell that you can enjoy the videos where he just whines about how women and minorities are destroying the comics industry and restrains himself from actual slurs, but he is rancid.

  232. Calling someone a “fake geek girl” is not harassment, harassment is a threat of violence.

    He’s not perfect and he’s had some spicy takes, but the point is hes not a Neo Nazi either, I hate the way the left has cheapened the word Nazi to basically mean conservative period, it’s nonsense.

    But you don’t have to like him or agree with what he says, you can think he’s been a little too harsh, for what it’s worth he’s tried to tone it down, he himself has admitted he’s been a little too harsh in the past, like I said, he’s not perfect, no one is.

    I don’t have any skin in the game on comics really and I don’t want to defend Meyer too much, but it’s a good example of these communication breakdowns when one side always wants to call everyone a “Nazi” at all times rather than actually have dialog and discussion, I mean this is what it all boils down to, regressive elements on the left today will do everything in their power to silence their opponents, it’s such a wrong headed tactic that only makes everything worse.

  233. Griff: When you’re a YouTube/Twitter personality with thousands of followers and you announce to them that an editor is a “fake geek girl,” when you tell them she only got her job because of “bewbs,” when you retweet your fans insulting her, when you carry this on for weeks and months, knowing all the while that your fans are sending her rape threats, when you make a video calling her a “cum dumpster,” I’d call that harassment. Even if Meyer didn’t personally threaten violence.

    I will agree that he is probably not a neo-Nazi and you can be very very angry that somebody called him a neo-Nazi if you want to be, but I think there are better things to worry about.

  234. What is he supposed to do in that situation though? “oh, sorry, can’t share my views and opinions on things, someone might harass people”

    It’s a tricky damn situation we find ourselves in, someone steps into the spotlight and shares their views on things and disturbed individuals take the opportunity to harass people, that sucks, but the solution is not to expect no one to share their opinions anymore, like I said in every video now where Meyer talks about someone he makes a note to tell people to leave the person alone.

    But you’re not entirely wrong, there’s better people to defend than Meyer, someone who I will stand up more for is…. strap yourselves in for this one folks, we’re getting into it now…. Jordan Peterson.

    Yes, Jordan Peterson, I know the knee jerk reaction some people are going to have hearing that name, but the guy is exactly what modern culture needs more of, a moderate and yet once again he’s painted by the warped media as some radical right winger when the dude is trying to HELP young men move away from the radical right.

    He’s had a slip up or two, because again, no one is perfect, but I think Jordan Peterson is a really good guy, all you need to know is that clip of him speaking at a college, which he has every right to do and college kid shitheads banging on the windows like it’s fucking Night of The Living Dead, to know who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong.

    The left has got to raise the bar on discourse, enough of this “us vs them” “you’re either with us or against mentality the tactic of trying to control people’s minds through threats, intimidation and guilt tripping.

    However now I’m moving away from geek culture and getting into more general political territory.

  235. Griff, do you have any cited examples of Peterson moving people away from the far right? Even speaking as someone who has moved a little more libertarian, at least philosophically (less so in my views on governance), in the last ten years, my experience with these “radical centrist”/”classic liberal”/”free speech warrior” types is they seem reasonable at first, but then you start to realise that 99% of the time it’s nominally right leaning people, movements and philosophies they’re defending and nominally left leaning ones they’re attacking and it all starts to seem a bit false. From what I know (I haven’t read it) 12 RULES FOR LIFE is a fairly generic self-help book, maybe a little silly to the people it hasn’t helped like most are, so when people jump down Charlie Hunnam’s throat for saying he enjoyed it yes I roll my eyes, but nothing I’ve read or seen about or from Peterson outside of that book much endears him to me. But I’m willing to learn if there’s more to him then I’ve seen.

  236. It’s hard to really recommend where to start with Peterson since there’s tons and tons of content with him, I myself haven’t even scratched the service, but the infamous Cathy Newman interview is always a good place to start.

    I haven’t even actually read 12 RULES FOR LIFE yet, though I’d like to, I’m not like a diehard follower of the guy, but I do like him a lot and he gets very, very unfair treatment by the modern left.

    As for examples he’s simply said that he’s been told by many people that was the case.

  237. @Rogue4
    “From the horses mouth… as opposed to the smearing opposition. Gets really instructive at the 4:42min mark, as he’s referencing a comic from the late 80’s.”

    Now that’s what I call a steaming pile of rose-colored nostalgia bullshit. This guy’s thing about how 80s X-men comics were quietly doing pro-women storytelling and nobody noticed or cared, because it was the norm is akin to the “why is everybody caring about BLACK PANTHER and CAPTAIN MARVEL, when CATWOMAN 2004 did the same thing” argument, that I jokingly made in this comments section. It’s like: yes, that happened, but it doesn’t mean that’s the ultimate the form can aspire to or that it still 100% holds up. Chris Claremont’s X-Men comics were super popular, and had a bunch of female characters, but they were also chock full of female characters dressing up in kinky fetish gear and having sexy power fantasies.


    And shockingly there were women working in the industry in the 80s, but even more shockingly, there was also a lot of gimmicks and lefty social commentary.

    Characters like Luke Cage and Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu were popping up in the 70s as an answer to the kung-fu cinema and blaxploitation craze (Blade was another such character). Then these characters were written by hippie comic book writers and infused with their (at this point pretty dated) ideology.

    The late 80s was also a time of another female comics professional – Karen Berger: DC comic editor. Her whole deal was hiring British weirdos, who called themselves sorcerers and pretended to cast magic spells through their writing. Eventually, the mature-themed comics she shepherd were even written by a transgender woman. So exactly the kind of people this Meyer guy would call “freakazoids”


    In the 90s there was a whole superhero comic book line called Milestone Comics, which was founded by a coalition of African-American artists and writers, because they believed that minorities were underrepresented in the business.

    So, what I’m saying is, SJWs were always there, it’s just that this knob from youtube has a problem with them now.

    The sales thing is also bullshit. Matthew B. talked about that.

    “For the most part he’s just a guy sharing his views and opinions on comics and the comic book industry, that a crime?”

    I guess it’s fair if you want to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, but you have to admit that he looks like a side in this (pop)culture war of yours, and not like a rational, even-handed centrist that you claim you’re looking for.

  238. I’ve been staying out of this but, speaking for myself, Griff, I think you’d find peace of mind if you finally just admitted to yourself that you’re not some centrist who just seems problems on both sides but instead you’re a misogynistic, racist who gives white nerds who are also misogynistic and racist the benefit of the doubt but white nerds who are not are actually bad people trying to sow discord. You’ve made your opinion of women and People of Color expressing interest in equality loud and clear.

    To everyone else: You do realize Griff is like thirty or some shit right? He’s a grown ass adult making decisions for himself. He’s not your poor little orphan boy cousin/little brother you keep wanting to believe he is. Also, he has expressed zero interest in listening to any of y’all and is instead doubling-down on his ‘Whatever women and POCs experienced in their lives and their history is NOTHING compared to what I have to put up with on a daily basis.’

  239. I am having a hard time reconciling Griff’s opinion about Last Jedi “I also think it’s wrapped up in a bunch of political bullshit, right wing types mad about the female characters and all that.” and his admiration of guys who give these anti-women “right wing types” ammunition to support their misogyny and hate.

  240. @Matthew B. You’ve strung together a whopping total of 7 personal insults, and that justifies Meyer being labeled as the head of a “harassment campaign”? The marginalization okeydoke seems pretty transparent here. Examining or taking him to task for the given insults (some of which, the premise of beyond the pale, bigot level offense is quite dubious: fake geek girl, race hustler) just doesn’t facilitate the unpersoning banishment as well as, casting him as a “campaigner”.

  241. I am a person with conflicting feelings, I have emotional biasis, prejudices and my point of view is filled with those. I am aware of all this. But that does not make anything right. I might have certain dispositions in anything I read or write or come across on the Internet.

    Internet allows to shape my experiences, let’s me indulge in my own biasis and then the algoritms tries to second guess it, it does not account for expanding your mind, only marketing. So you will end upwith a news feed catering to your already preconceived notions, biasis and your prejudices. What the hell do you think this does to you?

    Griff,instead of staying of the internet and social media, like some above have suggested, you might do a little soul searching and be a bit more critical in terms of what material you encounter. You don’t seem to be all that critical.
    This is what you have said to give an example:

    “It’s hard to really recommend where to start with Peterson since there’s tons and tons of content with him, I myself haven’t even scratched the service, but the infamous Cathy Newman interview is always a good place to start.

    I haven’t even actually read 12 RULES FOR LIFE yet, though I’d like to, I’m not like a diehard follower of the guy, but I do like him a lot and he gets very, very unfair treatment by the modern left.”

    You mention Jordan Peterson , but you haven’t read his works, all you refer to is an ”infamous” video. I am not sure that qualifies for an enlighted opinion as you make some vague observations without giving specific examples of what he does great or what it makes him insightfuL.

    I myself have been exposed to Jordan Peterson, but all I have been exposed to him was in tidbits. And with my biasis, preconceived notions and prejudices , I mentioned above, it made sense at the time. I think he deserves the same scrutiny as all the other people you seem to throw in the same sack

  242. What’s weird to me about Peterson is I have trouble comprehending how anyone is so passionate about him one way or the other. Most of what he says is disagreeable but pretty common. He lacks the sense of irony most edgelords carry, but has the same inflated intellectual self-regard where he doesn’t want to learn anything and just wants to be proven right. At a glance, he’s whatever, but he also professes “natural” human hierarchies and complains about the “Marxist left” without defining that position in any coherent way, so there’s some dangerous stuff lurking there.

  243. Again, I can not speak about Peterson in any capcity at all, since I have so little information togo by, except my own bias through internet algorithms who saw fit for me to seek him out.

    He might be right about some thngs,, butI am too lazy to look into stuff, sot thereby itself,you should not trust anythjng I say about the topic.

  244. I’m in no way defending him, as I hate his social Darwinism shit and probably don’t agree with anything he says beyond “don’t blame others for your problems” and “clean your room” or whatever. I’m just pointing out the weird state of how he’s been elevated to such a controversial figure when he’s not bringing anything unique to culture.

  245. Everything one needs to know about Jordan Peterson is that he is forever linked with Milo Yiannopoulos. Though it appears they’ve had a falling out so maybe, it’s possible, that Jordan Peterson isn’t somebody that is the problem. If you defend Milo here other than his right to say the stupid fucking nonsense he spews because first amendment you can fuck right off.

  246. Griff, just for historical context, it was conservatives who began cheapening the word Nazi when Rush Limbaugh started referring to feminists as feminazis in the ‘90s. It’s not a good practice but let’s be clear about the full historical context. It’s weird how people incorporate vocabulary and not know where it came from. Like when racists say “by any means necessary.”

  247. geoffreyjar – That’s bullshit and you know it, same old tired ass tactic of “I can’t engage with this person so I’ll just call them a misogynist and a racist, that’ll shut ’em up!” I’ve seen time and time again, hate to break it to you but it has zero effect on me, try harder.

    Remember in the 2000s when diehard conservatives could not listen to a single criticism of Bush, the Iraq war and so on without spiralling into “Why do you hate America?” and “You want the terrorists to win!” hysterics? Well, the shoe is on the other foot for the left today.

    Americans have a problem with treating politics like sports, it’s “our team versus your team” and if you’re not a “team player” then you may as well be playing for the other team.

    This hyper-partisanship is getting us nowhere.

    Sternshein – I do not like Milo Yiannopoulos, he’s certainly a good example of a knucklehead on the anti-SJW side, but Peterson doesn’t have anything to do with him anymore, Milo is Milo, Jordan Peterson is Jordan Peterson.

    And as for THE LAST JEDI thing, of course there are nerds out there who really do just have a problem with women and minorities, but not everyone who has criticisms and concerns with modern culture is that way.

    Franchise Fred – You are absolutely correct and I think about that myself a lot, a lot of these issues started with the right wing and that’s an important thing to remember.

    The hyper-partisanship in politics started with Karl Rove, the uncompromising “You’re either with us or against us” attitude started under Bush and the “feelings over facts” mentality started with the Tea Party.

    But tragically the left has adopted these tactics rather than trying to keep to the high road and it’s royally screwed everything up.

  248. I think partisanship has been intense since long before George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Every generation thinks it’s the worst it’s ever been. Internet and cable news is just the format our generation deals with. Folks thought the same thing when radio came out, or television, probably all the way back to the printing press.

    I see we’re back to the big monolithic LEFT again and how anyone calling out misogyny is refusing to engage so I’m gonna call it:

    Friday 3/29/19 8:29PM PT we have officially gone full circle.

  249. Ok now, hold on, if you want me to clarify the “radical left” or SJWs every time I will, I had hoped the gist of what I was trying to say is clear when I mentioned “diehard” conservatives.

    Just like you had radical conservatives in the 2000s who couldn’t listen to criticism without accusing the worst of the critics (and still do of course), you have radical liberals who use the same tactic.

  250. The fundamental difference is that what the radical left fight for like income equality, fixing climate change, etc is a good thing where as the far right just care about the 1 percent.

    And to think this whole thing started because a woman gave her opinion that she wants more minorities to review movies.

  251. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, even if the radical left’s causes are noble, their tactics are flawed and it only hurts what they’re trying to achieve.

    And what Brie said was fine, but it was how she said it that was the problem, it ain’t a big deal in this specific instance but to use “white dudes” in a negative way is not helping matters, it does typifies the issue at hand, if she had simply said “I want more minorities to review movies.” it would have been fine, but that’s not how she put.

    Just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean whatever she says can’t be met with feedback and responses, equality doesn’t work that way.

  252. So you are OK with your boy using way harsher terms than white dudes becsuse he apologized but Brie Larson went too far by saying white dudes? Your mysogeny is showing.

  253. Richard C Meyer is not a high paid Hollywood celebrity standing in front of a podium before a large crowd of people, he’s a dude sitting in his car or apartment making YouTube videos, I would expect a little more from celebrities, male or female.

    But don’t get me wrong, I’m not too upset over what she said, what she said was pretty mild, people certainly way overreacted to her comments, but even so, the fact that she said it all, the whole “white dudes, amrite?” attitude, is why people like Meyer get a little salty.

    It’s this general cultural climate and attitude that the only way to build up women and minorities is by tearing white men down, it’s bullshit, nobody has to be torn down to build someone else up, what would have been wrong with her simply saying “I’d like to see more minority voices in film criticism” without the condescending “white dudes” stuff?

    Treat people condescendingly, get condescension in return, whatever happened to the golden rule of “treat others the way you want to be treated”?

    And man, I am not Richard C Meyer, I’m not going to defend the guy to the death or anything, he’s an imperfect human being who’s made some mistakes but has also raised some good points in addressing the issue of comics today, he is neither a saint nor the Boogeyman he’s made out to be, that’s all I’m saying about him.

  254. Alright Griff, let’s put this to bed. You can have the last word on this one. I don’t think you are as big of a dickhead (or even a dickhead period) as these guys who like listening to. I think you have some issues you need to work out on your own but I am done in the Captain Marvel comment section.

    And yes I sometimes wish we had less white dudes here and more minorities.

  255. Lol @ “I can’t engage with this person so I’ll just call them a misogynist and a racist, that’ll shut ’em up!” Very Rogue4. As if the reason he insulted you is because he’s intimidated by the power of your dumb arguments, and not because you don’t know what you’re talking about and have absolutely no interest in learning unless the lesson is about how much of a victim you are and how much “the left” is responsible.

    The longer the thread goes on, the more you tell on yourself. ‘Misogynist’ and ‘racist’ are strong charges that I don’t think would hold up in court — it’s not that you *hate* women or minorities, you just think they are lying about inequality and should shut the fuck up about it and above all else never ever ever make you feel bad even indirectly — but otherwise geoffreyjar is right. You’re not in the center, your expressed sympathies and hostilities are extremely revealing, and your response to the people who do “engage you” is to ignore anything challenging and just repeat your own dumb beliefs louder.

  256. My overall message is simply, “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar”

    Women and minority characters and creators are nothing new and it didn’t used to be such a point of contention among nerds because it wasn’t done with the hostility that it’s done with today, only in the 2010s was this mindset adopted that in order to “grow” the number of women and minorities in certain circles it had to come at the cost of “shrinking” what was already there, that has only inspired a backlash, the tactic of breaking someone down to build someone up only makes trying to build anyone up harder.

    This town IS big enough for the both of us, everyone deserves to have quality things that appeal to their tastes and sensibilities, once again I have to cite anime and manga as a good example, there’s always been anime and manga for a very wide variety of audiences and there was never any antagonism between the demographics because it wasn’t politicized like it is in American culture.

    EVERYTHING has become political in modern American culture, we’ve overdosed on politics and it’s only made everything worse, it’s killing us, it’s time for everyone to take a step back and focus more on our shared humanity than this great political game, this game that divides everyone up into groups and pits them against each other in order to find who’s gonna be the “winners” and “losers”, it’s a strange game, the only winning move is to not play.

    And damn JTS, I think people are “lying” about inequality? That people need to “shut the fuck up about it”? Nope, that’s not at all what I’m trying to say, inequality is real and people should be able to voice their concerns and experiences with it in a head on matter, but I feel there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, there’s a way that makes things better and a way that makes things worse, it’s not just about how it affects “me”, it’s about how it affects the culture as a whole and I see things as getting worse.

    I mean is there ANYONE who doesn’t think things have taken a nosedive over the last 5 years? Does anyone LIKE this never ending conflict between SJWs and anti-SJWs? Don’t we want this conflict to end? The only way to end it is to try to bridge gaps between to the two sides, to find a compromise that works out best for everyone, trying to DOMINATE one another is only going to foster endless conflict, is this how we want to live the rest of our lives?

    I’m going to be level with everyone, I am a flawed, imperfect human being same as anyone else, I offer up my interpretation and perspective on current events because I think it’s good food for thought, it’s good to get different perspectives rather than an echo chamber.

    If you think I’m wrong to feel the way I feel that’s ok, but try to understand where I’m coming from, I’m not coming from a place of hate for women and minorities, I want to live in the beautiful Star Trek style utopia we all dream of as well, I do not WANT to live in a world of inequality, I just have some concerns over how we’re trying to solve inequality, so please try to have a little sympathy, a little sympathy for the Devil… so to speak.

  257. @Daniel I think yours is a rambling tap-dance, that doesn’t dissprove the, “Nobody cared to be offended by it, and nobody cared to brag about it”, comparative assertion he makes in the vid between comic creators of the cited era, and modern SJW creators in comics, at all. To say, “This guy’s thing about how 80s X-men comics were quietly doing *pro-women* storytelling and nobody noticed or cared…”, misses the point. What he’s saying is that the cited creators weren’t focusing on “pro women” storytelling. They simply focused on creating good fleshed out characters (including the female ones) and telling good stories… and cosequently did a more competent job on character/story. As opposed to contemporary SJW creators who prioritize forwarding a given agenda above and before the actual characters and storytelling… and consequently do a worse job with character/storytelling.

    “It’s like: yes, that happened, but it doesn’t mean that’s the ultimate the form can aspire to or that it still 100% holds up. Chris Claremont’s X-Men comics were super popular, and had a bunch of female characters, but they were also chock full of female characters dressing up in kinky fetish gear and having sexy power fantasies.” And so, therefore, what? If the same level of effort and craft was put into making those characters substantive and compelling, then the one doesn’t negate the other…which also speaks to his point. Contemporary SJWs necessarily have to negate what came before, to celebrate themselves as the pioneers of this new “diversity” concept.

    “The late 80s was also a time of another female comics professional – Karen Berger: DC comic editor. Her whole deal was hiring British weirdos, who called themselves sorcerers and pretended to cast magic spells through their writing. Eventually, the mature-themed comics she shepherd were even written by a transgender woman. So exactly the kind of people this Meyer guy would call ‘freakazoids’.” Except his expressed issues aren’t with given creators’ identity group, but with their proritization of identity politics prostelytizing above and beyond character and story. As that is his beef, your citation of this given artist, and Milestone Comics, and concluding “… SJWs were always there…” assertion, are only relevent/accurate if said creators fit that description.

  258. But for real, I’m sorry if I’ve ruffled a few tail feathers, this is just my opinions, my hot takes, maybe I’m wrong?

    I am not a monster, is all I’m trying to say.

  259. I just want it to be clear: nobody is arguing for firing white guys and taking away they’re platform. They are arguing for ADDING more voices to the existing landscape. It’s established white guys bringing their own baggage to the table interpreting it as taking something away from them.

    Brie has literally given interviews specifically saying “I’m not talking about taking away any seats from the table.” But it doesn’t matter how nicely anyone puts it. People are always going to bring their own baggage so looking for that perfect way of phrasing that’s not going to hurt anybody’s feelings is counterproductive.

  260. @Rogue4
    If you believe the whole SJW comics creators = creators proritization identity politics prostelytizing above and beyond character and story = bad/untalented creators, then I can see how you can be enthralled by this guy’s “good ol’ days” delusion, but unfortunately real life doesn’t work that way.

    Comics creators have always been interested in putting their agenda and identity politics in their work. In the 70s super hero comics went super hippieish because they were drawn and written by a bunch of hippies. Chris Claremont didn’t put women in fetish gear and had them surrender to their dark sexy sides to flesh out character and prioritize storytelling, he did it because it gave him a boner. Karen Berger’s crew of writers revisioned classic characters with their goth-occult subculture sensibilities, and the Milestone guys created books that focused on minority characters.

    And I’m not negating what came before. Plenty of those old comics were good and extremely successful. Just like some of the more successful Marvel characters and titles right now are SJW/diversity creations… cuz apparently, and I know this might be hard to believe, if you let some creatives bring their agenda and identity into something, then they might care more about characters and story as well.

    But I do have to give you credit on explaining that Meyer’s expressed issues are with peoples’ competence in characters and storytelling. I mean, you’re right, alt-lifestyle freakazoid is a classic term of description for someone’s lack of writing and/or drawing abilities, I can see that now.

    I’m assuming Meyer’s beef stems from what Griff is also going through. He’s all for equality and diversity when it’s quiet and represented by a few examples that have always been there, but when the number of women and minorities start to actually be equal to white men, then it’s a little too aggressive, too rich for his blood… I guess that’s when you become an embarrassing youtuber… Or you get really angry when an actress tells you she doesn’t care what you think.

  261. @Daniel Doubt we’re on the same page about how “real life works”. So with regard to the continued citation of provocative clothes, the question remains. And so, therefore, what? Unless skimpy clothes were ALL that Claremont’s female characters were about (which I’m pretty sure no one is saying about Jean Grey’s Black Queen stint or Emma Frost), then you’re not making a point. You can cite Karen Berger and Milestone comics, and assert what “comics creators have always been about” all the live long day, and again, unless they fit the contemporary SJW comic pros distinction of prioritizing prostelytizing an agenda above and before characterization and narrative, then the citation is moot. Apparently you missed that “comic creators never ever ever used to inject identity/social/political agendas into their stories”, was asserted by no one. I’ll certainly give you credit though, for admitting right up front that your execution of the vapid tired well worn marginalization okeydoke on Meyers and our fellow commenter Griff, is based on nothing but transparent, self serving, virtue signal facilitating assumption on your part. Pretty gutsy.

  262. Rogue, this is a turing test. Are you a spambot spawned one night after Google and Breitbart went out drinking?

  263. God, I’m still laughing. Third time in this thread Rogue4 called something a “marginalisation okeydoke.” If this is how worked up he gets when someone uses the word “tizzy,” I can only imagine how shocked he must be by Meyer’s own output.

    I can just picture his more-in-sorrow-than-anger YouTube comments: “Buddy, don’t you see that when you call that woman a cum dumpster, that’s just a marginalisation okeydoke? Why the transparent virtue signalling? Why the unpersoning?”

  264. Keep repeating the same tired hussle, I repeat the same call out. Meanwhile Matthew, the very article you cited couldn’t do the job of proving it’s “anti diversity harassment campaign” headline.

  265. There are far too many buzzwords that are related to the, lack of a better term, comicgate crowd.

    when i saw Captain Marvel and they were doing the whole girl thing I was reminded that it’s not that big of a deal to me because I grew up watching all sorts of movies featuring badass women characters but then I realized that many of these films are like 20 years old and were not really that mainstream in the first place. And those that were mainstream, like Terminator 2, for example, were a dime a dozen and also are now like 25 years old. My point is we might be like “yeah they did this already” but for many this really is the first time so let’s not be fucking assholes about it.

  266. Keep in mind, you’re talking to an anime/manga freak here, I care about very little about the heroes of a story being white men like me, what I care about is quality.

    Was there room for improvement when it comes to representation in the media? Sure, but the way it’s been gone about is so heavily politicized that it’s off putting to people.

    Nobody’s saying politics has to be like grandma’s fine China when it comes to storytelling, always leaved on the shelf, but there’s a difference between art and propaganda, art may explore political themes but it doesn’t always arrive at easy answers, propaganda knows what it’s message is loud and clear at the start and works it’s way backwards from there, that is of course true whether you’re talking left wing or right wing politics, remember those terrible ATLAS SHRUGGED movies from the early part of this decade? Or GOD’S NOT DEAD? Propaganda is simply bad storytelling.

    If you look at a work like WATCHMEN yeah it’s political, but it’s also not offering any easy answers, there is room for interpretation, there is shit to actually, ya know, think about and chew over.

    The modern SJW propaganda style of storytelling is anything but, it’s simply people’s reaffirming their own beliefs and offering emotional validation to the audience that agrees with those beliefs, “we’re so right” is the message that is being sent with no room for ambiguity, the last thing it’s about is asking questions or exploration.

  267. @Rogue4
    Oh, I think I pinpointed the exact reason for our little stalemate here:

    “they fit the contemporary SJW comic pros distinction of prioritizing prostelytizing an agenda above and before characterization and narrative”

    See, the contemporary SJW comic pros don’t fit that distinction either. They’re perfectly capable of balancing their agenda with characterization and narrative, and are doing so successfully. It’s just that Meyer is forcing a marginalization okeydoke on them, hence all the alt-lifestyle freakazoid cum dumpsters.

    “So with regard to the continued citation of provocative clothes, the question remains. And so, therefore, what?”

    And so, therefore. nothing. It’s sometimes a little embarrassing to read these days, but Claremont’s boner certainly helped him write a few iconic X-Men comics… Kinda like, you know, the SJWs are helped by their agendas in creating popular contemporary comics.

    “I’ll certainly give you credit though, for admitting right up front that your execution of the vapid tired well worn marginalization okeydoke on Meyers and our fellow commenter Griff”

    What? I didn’t say they were misogynistic racists. What I meant is that too many queer millennial POC feminists working on nerd crap is making them uncomfortable and that’s probably why one of them is an embarrassing youtuber. What’s wrong with that?

  268. So what are, say, 10-15 examples of the sort of propaganda that are ruining comics? Or even one?

  269. The most reprehensible example was a comic called BORDER TOWN that was thankfully canceled when it’s creator was outed as a creep, that one was literally anti-white racist, I was pretty aghast when watching all of Meyer’s reviews of them, there’s literally a part in the comic that defends Aztec human sacrifice and says of the Spanish that they were “driven insane by the silence of their false God”

    As well as something along the lines of calling of calling Aztecs “beautiful bronze exemplars of humanity” and Europeans “invaders”, I’m paraphrasing but I am NOT making it up, it wasn’t satirical or tongue in cheek, the whole thing was completely nasty and keep in mind, the creator of the comic was outed as a sexual harasser.

    That was an extreme example, but most of Marvel’s current line up falls under the umbrella of propaganda, all you have to do is take a look at it, there was one X-MEN comic where an X-Woman uses her superpower to remove all hateful comments from the internet, I mean lol.

    There was also the Ta Nehisi Coates Captain America comic about a Russian infiltration of the US government.

    To be fair, a lot of Meyer’s beef stems from the jokey tone a lot of these millennial writers have in their comics, he compares them to a sitcom, it’s clear they don’t really take superheroes seriously, he is of the post-WATCHMEN generation where superheroes were taken very seriously, that aspect is in part simply a generation gap, but as a millennial it seems kinda pointless to me to write about superheroes if you can’t take it seriously, plus you get the impression the writers are simply trying to amuse themselves, not you, the reader.

    It’s not always from the angle of propaganda, sometimes it’s just that a comic sucks, obviously when we’re talking about entertainment there’s a subjective element, but at the same time nobody’s going to say THE ROOM is a genuinely good movie, sometimes things simply suck.

  270. “…he is of the post-WATCHMEN generation where superheroes were taken very seriously…”

    Genuine LOL. WATCHMEN is literally about how superheroes are childish feish shit for emotionally immature fascist weirdos.

  271. Maybe so, but I was just pointing out that WATCHMEN was a huge influence on a whole generation of comic books.

  272. Griff: I’ve just gone and had a look at issue #3 of BORDER TOWN. An old woman’s monologue about how the pre-Columbian empire was a paradise is juxtaposed with images of a nervous girl scurrying through an Aztec city, followed by shadowy figures. Within a few panels we see her caught and beheaded. This is the sort of thing that Meyer’s junior-high English teacher would call unreliable narration. And it looks like Meyer might be an unreliable narrator too.

    Oh yeah, the old woman says the conquistadors worshipped a “stolen god,” not a “false god.” It makes a difference.

    BORDER TOWN was a sales success. They did extra print runs.

    Remember, this was your number one example of how the vile leftist propaganda is driving away comics buyers.

    Anyhow, the issue isn’t really how some X-MEN issue from 2017 stacks up against some other issue from 1989. Meyer tells his fans that every woman writing comics is untalented and/or an “SJW.” That is a thing he says. No number of anecdotes is going to justify that.

  273. Europeans were invaders though.

    Also, you can take your comic gate and fuck off. Let people write whatever the fuck they want and if it’s not successful then so be it. It’s not stopping your mysogonist comic book dipshit from creating his own bonerjam comic.

  274. Well, I’m an outsider looking in when it comes to comics, I find it all interesting, but I really don’t care that much at the end of the day.

  275. @Daniel “See, the contemporary SJW comic pros don’t fit that distinction either. They’re perfectly capable of balancing their agenda with characterization and narrative, and are doing so successfully.” No they aren’t, hence the distinction… hence the current SJW written Captain Marvel comic being rebooted for about the seventh time due to repeated low sales cancellations… hence the same low sales cancel/reboot pattern for the contemporary SJW written Wasp, Hawkeye, America, Ice-man comics… as cited by Meyers, as his critcism goes deeper than perjorative slinging… as he actually reads/reviews all the given comics… which is likely more than can be said for your level of analysis about the given issue or him.

    “And so, therefore, nothing.” Guess you can say that again. “Chris Claremont didn’t put women in fetish gear and had them surrender to their dark sexy sides to flesh out character and prioritize storytelling, he did it because it gave him a boner.”

    “Claremont’s boner certainly helped him write a few iconic X-Men comics…”
    Maybe you need to take a few minutes to work out what your argument actually is.

    “…too many queer millennial POC feminists working on nerd crap is making them uncomfortable…” Right, no implications there.

  276. Batman Who Laughs, Captain Marvel Top January 2019 Sales

    Captain Marvel soars in her new series, but the Batman Who Laughs' second issue tops the sales charts to kick off 2019.

    I’m sure Marvel is upset about topping sales in Jan of 2019.

  277. Complaining that CAPTAIN MARVEL has had lots of reboots recently, as if that makes it different from any other Marvel comic.

  278. Here’s a question for you all, what skin is it off your nose if someone doesn’t like the current state of comics? Why so defensive about it?

    You don’t honestly think that simply disliking a creative work by a woman or person of color makes you a sexist or racist, do you? I mean come on now.

    And let’s not pretend for a split second that even if Meyer chose his words very, very carefully, he would not still be painted as an Alt Right racist and sexist, look at Jordan Peterson for example, you literally could not find a guy who chooses his words more carefully, who tries harder to express his arguments in a level headed way and yet he is STILL painted as a villain by SJWs.

    And let me ask you this, do you LIKE being told what to think? The extreme defensiveness anyone who dares to go against the grain gets hit with is very curious, discussing stupid shit like comic books didn’t use to be treated as such serious business.

    I chafe very badly against this modern climate of there being only one “right” way to think about literally everything as decreed by the Twitter and general SJW hivemind, nobody gets to tell me what I “should” think, people can state their cases and make their arguments, but my mind is my mind alone, I refuse to give in to this climate of fear and intimidation.

    I’m disappointed that it would be different for anyone else, Twitter doesn’t get to tell me what to think, Twitter can go fuck itself, who died and made Twitter King of the world?

    Now, I’m not saying that your opinions are not your own genuine opinions, just that like I said your defensiveness is very curious, again, what skin is it off your nose if I have the opinion that I have? Online discourse did not used to be like this, modern life is like that fucking episode of the TWILIGHT ZONE where the omnipotent kid threatened to send people who displeased them “to the corn field” and all the adults acted terrified and afraid to speak their minds.

  279. What skin is off your nose if somebody wants more diversity in anything? Take your gatekeeping and fuck off.

  280. The issue is not the “diversity”, it’s the quality of the content, how many times do I have to repeat that? come the fuck on already, I guess it really IS racist or sexist to simply dislike a creative work by a woman or person of color? Alrighty then.

    Also, this is pretty funny, but I actually forgot to mention that the defensiveness almost always boils down to “fuck off” after a point, literally those same two words over and over, I wish I hadn’t forgotten to specifically quote “fuck off” because you’ve hilariously proven my point.

    Always “fuck off” with you people when you don’t have anything more productive to say and know that you’re wrong, it’s cute.

    Well, we can go back and forth like this forever, I honestly thought for a moment we were having a pretty good discussion here but of course you have to go and be a typical jackass about it, see ya later twerp.

  281. Vern, sorry for the harsh language. I have no patience for guys like Rogue4 and Griff. I’m all for discussing the content of a movie but these arguments boil down to some real evil shit.

  282. Griff nobody wants to argue with your vague third-hand descriptions of what some youtube guy said about comic books you’ve never read, that’s not some brilliant rhetorical victory on your part. This is literally the most pointless shitstirring I’ve ever seen.

  283. This, unfortunately, is starting to look like what the A.V. Club comments section became.

    Person A: You’re wrong!
    Person B: You’re wrong!
    Person C: I want in on this too!


    Intermission for a level headed remark and some actual discussion.

    Then cycle of A, B and C again for a majority of the comments.

  284. Griff: This discussion has been pretty confusing. You’ve bounced back and forth between protestations that you’re not that interested in Meyer’s ideas and fury at people who disagree with him.

    “And let’s not pretend for a split second that even if Meyer chose his words very, very carefully, he would not still be painted as an Alt Right racist and sexist ….”

    Whoa, hold on a sec here. We’re not talking about this hypothetical critic you’ve imagined who doesn’t like modern comics but never mentions diversity. There are critics like that, they’re not happy that plotting is slower-paced than it used to be or whatever, and no one on either side of the debate gets too worked up over it.

    We’re not even talking about Jordan Peterson. I am really not interested in getting into a discussion about Peterson, but suffice to say that the only complaint I’ve seen made here is that he gave cover to Milo Yiannopoulos, and you agree that he shouldn’t have done that.

    We’re talking about Richard C. Meyer. We are not in some parallel universe where Meyer is perfectly inoffensive and SJWs still call him nasty names. Meyer has a history. If people have strong reactions to Meyer, if they’re irritated by defences of him, maybe it’s because of things he’s done.

    Meyers is viciously sexist and transphobic. He is a harasser who was dropped by his publisher for harassment. He is an incompetent critic so blinded by his biases against “diversity” that basic reading comprehension fails him. He tells oogabooga scare stories about a comic with Hispanic themes, he alarms you into calling it the “most reprehensible” thing you’ve seen, and it turns out his claims are completely fabricated because he can’t tell the difference between the author’s voice and a speech from an untrustworthy character.

    Can we agree on some of this? Can we agree that he is spectacularly sexist? Do you see why people get upset about that?

    I really don’t get it. You say you’re not that invested in the guy, but you’re constantly defending him, and all your arguments against modern comics seem to be coming from his videos.

    I was flabbergasted when we talked about his long campaign against Heather Antos, and your immediate worry was that he might not be able to share his “views and opinions.” Seriously, Griff, that amazed me. What fucking views and opinions? That she was hired for her breasts? That she’s a “cum dumpster”? How does that encourage thoughtful dialogue? Why are you more concerned about Meyer being called “sexist” than about the woman getting this vile abuse?

  285. @Griff
    “there was one X-MEN comic where an X-Woman uses her superpower to remove all hateful comments from the internet, I mean lol.”

    That’s not propaganda, that’s superhero comics. Alan Moore (the writer of Watchmen) did the same thing in his 80s comics.


    Yes, it was serious, cynical, po-faced superhero dystopia, and not lol “wouldn’t it be fun to remove hateful comments from the internet”, but he hated Thatcher and the Conservative Party.

    “There was also the Ta Nehisi Coates Captain America comic about a Russian infiltration of the US government.”

    And Steve Englehart wrote Cap comics in the 70s that were about Nixon and the Watergate Scandal.


    Complaining about that is like being in the 40s and saying “I don’t know about those Jewish Captain America comics. Punching Hitler in the face like that is just too much propaganda for me.” … Except, you know, back then it actually was propaganda.

    “No they aren’t, hence the distinction”

    And there you go again. I told you that distinction is just a silly thing that Meyer believes in, that doesn’t mean it’s true.

    “the current SJW written Captain Marvel comic being rebooted for about the seventh time due to repeated low sales cancellations”

    Actually, Captain Marvel was rebooted 3 times in the SJW era. Before the 2010s, Captain Marvel was, for the most part, a dude, not Carol Danvers, and those Captain Marvel comics were rebooted… I’m gonna say 4 times, mayby? But probably more if you want to count all the one shots and the the mini series’. I don’t know where you got the “about the seventh time” from. If that’s what Meyer said, then he might be a fake poser geek boy.

    “his critcism goes deeper than perjorative slinging… as he actually reads/reviews all the given comics… which is likely more than can be said for your level of analysis about the given issue or him.”

    Dude, what do you want me to do, just sit in my room whole day and read comics aimed at girls/girls of color/queer boys that I’m not gonne like? Sounds to me like a waste of time and money. Only an idiot would do that.

    “Maybe you need to take a few minutes to work out what your argument actually is.”

    No I don’t. I said that Claremont’s X-Men don’t hold up 100%. The reason for that is that it’s obviously a big ol’ boner fantasia from the writer’s mind. But I recognise that his S&M bad girl roleplay sessions helped him write a fine superhero comic that I still very much enjoy reading. It’s not that complicated.

    “Right, no implications there.”

    Good. I’m glad we figured that one out.

    “You don’t honestly think that simply disliking a creative work by a woman or person of color makes you a sexist or racist, do you? I mean come on now.”

    Dude, if Meyer would simply dislike some creative work of women or people of color, then it wouldn’t be a problem. Everybody dislikes some creative work that happens to be made by a woman or person of color. But, that’s very clearly not what’s happening here.

  286. You wanna know how I’m pretty sure this whole thing is because griff is sexists? He hasn’t said one word in the Dragged Across Concrete comment section and he hasn’t said one word about Jordan Peele saying he isn’t going to cast white people as the leads in his movies. If he really cared so much about people being fair to white people, he would have made his feelings known. Yet he’s only here when this all started because woman said something that hurt is little feelings. The irony of these alt right fucks calling other people snowflakes.

  287. It’s Monday, and I’m here to virtue-signal in this piece, you guys. Grab your partner and marginalization okeydoke. Any yous cucks want it?!

  288. @Daniel “Dude, what do you want me to do, just sit in my room whole day and read comics aimed at girls/girls of color/queer boys that I’m not gonne like? Sounds to me like a waste of time and money. Only an idiot would do that.” Really? Who the frick can’t read a book and identify with a hero who’s different from them? Uh oh, is that a tacit confession of anti-diversity discomfort… or just a tacit admission of Meyer being more well versed in the subject matter… thereby making your attempted refutation of his analysis come off as a bit of a silly thing… especially when the best you can do to refute the consistent failure of SJW Captain Marvel comics, is to say that it’s *only* been canceled and rebooted 3, maybe 4 times. The hit issue Stern cited, btw, being a #1 (guess why) cozily positioned to release near the opening of the film.

    – Claremont giving himself a boner had nothing to do with producing good stories.

    – Claremont’s giving himself a boner helped him write some good stories.
    No, nothin complicated at all about a transparent contradiction at all. Kinda like saying,
    “too many queer millennial POC feminists working on nerd crap is making them uncomfortable…” and pretending that doesn’t imply racist/misogynist leanings on said nerds parts.

  289. Ok guys, ok, ok, ok, you’ve made some valid points about Meyer and the comic situation, I see where you’re coming from.

    If you can make some actual arguments, like Daniel and Matthew B, instead of name calling and ad hominem attacks like Sternshein, you might actually get somewhere.

    And Sternshein, I DID make a comment in the “Dragged Across Concrete” review, I guess you missed it, as far as the Jordan Peele thing, eh, if he feels like writing black characters is simply what gets his creative juices flowing, it’s fine, “write what you know” as they say, how many writer protagonists has Stephen King used?

  290. See, you guys talked it out and Griff’s a SJW now. Kumbaya motherfuckers!

    I think we’re still boned in general re: 2020, the impending apocalypse, etc.

  291. “Really? Who the frick can’t read a book and identify with a hero who’s different from them?”

    Eh, lemme think… Well, your boy Meyer seems to have that problem… Especially when that difference is too visible. Then he gets the feeling that alt-lifestyle freakazoids are smothering him in their agenda and identity politics.

    “Uh oh, is that a tacit confession of anti-diversity discomfort… or just a tacit admission of Meyer being more well versed in the subject matter… thereby making your attempted refutation of his analysis come off as a bit of a silly thing…”

    I was kind of hoping to confess that I think Meyer’s criticism is basically him just sitting in a room and reading comics aimed at girls/girls of color/queer boys that he’s not gonna like anyway, and so therefore he’s an idiot. But yeah, sure, I’ll gladly hear all of your colorful interpretations.

    “the best you can do to refute the consistent failure of SJW Captain Marvel comics, is to say that it’s *only* been canceled and rebooted 3, maybe 4 times. The hit issue Stern cited, btw, being a #1 (guess why) cozily positioned to release near the opening of the film.”

    Why don’t you go and see how many of Claremont’s comics with X-Men characters were canceled and rebooted? Here’s a few I can remember:


    “– Claremont giving himself a boner had nothing to do with producing good stories.”

    Oh, I see what you did there. You thought that when I wrote “And so, therefore, nothing” it meant that I think that Claremont’s boner had nothing to do with producing good stories? Well, no. That’s not what I meant.

  292. Hey guys! I’m back from vacation! What did I miss?

    [reads comments]


  293. Does anybody know where Mouth ran off to? I worry that this Trump era has been rough for him.

  294. Not too long ago Majestyk updated us that he’s fine but doesn’t spend much time online any more. At least I think it wasn’t too long ago. Recent events around here have drained a few years from my life, I think.

  295. Sorry, things were fine here until rogue4 showed up.

  296. Talking about missing contributors, does anybody know what happened to Shoot from Sweden?

  297. I am still here, but mainly lurking in the shadows not posting anymore as I have found Internet discussions being incredibly stressful to my health especially these days and I try to avoid it. I quit Twitter and everywhere else and occasionally only read what you assholes write as I find the discussions more tolerable because there is room for actualdebate and not only mudslinging.

  298. I love that in the middle of a way too long and ugly discussion, this place still finds the time for some wholesome “Hey, what happened to the guy who used to comment here? I hope he’s alright!”

  299. I always wonder about Paul.

  300. Didn’t Paul say he was taking a break from using the internet so much before he disappeared? That doesn’t mean you can’t wonder about him. I just meant he didn’t disappear without explanation.

  301. Nice to hear from you, Johan Falk!

  302. And what about that guy RRA? He used to be a staple on here, but as far as I know he hasn’t turned up in ages. I think some commentators migrated away while the “recently commented on” feature was down, but maybe they’ll eventually come back.

  303. I still see RRA on Twitter sometimes, although it looks like he hasn’t posted on there in about a month.

  304. Thanks, MaggieMayPie.

    I’ve found that it’s harder to find the time and headspace to watch films nowadays and that definitely contributes to me going for stretches without posting here. Goddamn turbulent world has such a seize on my psyche…

  305. @Sternshein
    Sorry, things were fine here until rogue4 showed up.

    I’m also sorry. I’m new here and incomprehensible-trying-to-be-sarcastic-shouty-man is a style of commenting I’m most used to. I’ll try to do better in the future.

  306. I’m such a social media whore that I actually got some concerned messages from a friend when I remained completely radio silent for one day a while ago.

  307. Dangerous question perhaps, but does anyone know what happened to AL?

  308. Well I finally saw this and damnit, I’m gonna get this trainwreck of a discussion back on track by talking about…uh, Terminator Salvation? I didn’t notice it during the movie but afterwards when my wife (who hated the movie) said “I knew Annette Bening was going to be the bad guy!” and I said “Well that wasn’t really her, it was just the main boss A.I. taking her form because she’s a memory from the hero’s past. But I do like that she got to play both a good guy and a bad guy”. And then I realized I had this exact same conversation with someone about Helena Bonham Carter’s character from T:S. Then I noticed this movie is also a prequel that uses de-aging effects where we learn how a major character gets a big scar on his face. And it also revolves around the villains secretly saving the hero from death and brainwashing them to use for nefarious purposes until the hero turns on them and joins the resistance in the climax by pulling a chip out of their neck. And there’s a big dogfight between a futuristic spaceship and an Air Force jet in the canyons in the desert. (Is it racist if I say the adorable black girl with the big hair bears a pretty striking resemblance to the one in T:S as well?)

    Anyway, I enjoyed this alot more than I thought I would. Larson is fun and interesting (I normally think she’s kinda bland and robotic), she’s got great chemistry with Jackson who hasn’t been this good in years (this was the lead performance I was hoping he’d have in Glass, since the movie is y’know, named after him and all). It’s definitely no Wonder Woman and it’s certainly minor Marvel, but I thought it was perfectly enjoyable and contains my favorite Stan Lee cameo – his scene in Mallrats is on Youtube, and I loved that he actually says the line he’s practicing so hard on. (Btw, the real question isn’t “how can this be happening if Mallrats says Marvel comics are just comics?” It should be “How is Yondu in Mallrats, getting a stink palm from somebody?”)

  309. Agreed, neal. Saw this one Saturday night finally and enjoyed it. It’s my favorite of the Captain Marvel movies out now as SHAZAM! didn’t do it for me entirely (it was ‘okay’ but I was hoping to love or really like it like others are).

  310. Hey, I finally saw this, and I had a blast. Highlights for me included the relationship b/t Marvel and Fury, loved the main Skrull dude whatever his name was, enjoyed the period stuff, liked the look just fine, and I thought this had a great heart, warmth, and sense of humor to it. Really love seeing a more grounded, relatable Nick Fury. All the performances are great. I put this in the upper-tier of Marvel films as far as emotional investment in the characters and general fun. I loved it. #Gooseforpresident.

  311. I don’t really have much to add (It’s a fun, but oddly pedestrian MCU entry), other than (spoiler) that I love that Nick Fury lost his eye through a typical first time cat owner mistake. We all had this one moment where we ignored the body language of our cats, went for one “You are such a cutie uwuwuwuwuwuwu” too much and had to pay the price for it.

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