On Ghostbusters 3 and Feminism

January 30, 2015 Politics / Religion, Pop Culture, Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (0) 733

Meninist Ghostbusters

Image from Twitter, via Jezebel

Just a couple of quick thoughts on this, because menninists aren’t worth a lot of my time or yours.

  1. The casting of a woman, or women, in a movie even in a role you think belongs to a man is not in fact an act of “feminism.”
  2. That anyone would regard said casting as the latest offensive in some bullshit culture-war just demonstrates the need for feminism.
  3. A movie remake does not change the original movie, alter the past, or in any way impact your precious “childhood.”
  4. The fact that you like something, that you consider yourself a fan of that thing, gives you no ownership whatsoever over that thing.

That’s all for now.

 

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Up and At ‘Em (Manhattan, January Sunrise)

January 29, 2015 New York City, Personal Comments (0) 202

Manhattan SunriseYou’ll see a lot of variations on this photo here, because this is the view from my living room.

This may end up being one of the better ones.

 

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Nainaine of the Bayou

January 28, 2015 Publications, Writing Comments (0) 302

nainaine-email

Download free for Kindle (.mobi)             Download free for other e-readers (.epub)

This story first appeared in Black Treacle magazine in August, 2013. I encourage you to go read it there and support them.

NELL WATCHED a beetle trundle past her shoe. The white lady gurgled like a backed-up sewer, and then she was quiet and there were only the wet smacking sounds of Grandmother eating.

The white lady’s gun lay in the dirt. Nell thought about taking it, but it was too heavy and too long–at least twice as long as the rifle Mama was teaching her to shoot. Instead she dragged it into the shadows and hid it beneath some scrap wood. The spyglass on top looked valuable, but Nell didn’t have time to salvage it.

Nell raised her head to scan the wooden walls of Fort Jefferson. They were in terrible danger this close, she knew, but Grandmother got the woman’s throat before she could raise an alarm, and the rest of the fort was still and quiet. It wasn’t the first time Grandmother’s hunger had got them out of trouble. Continue Reading

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Manhattan January Sunset

January 28, 2015 New York City, Personal Comments (0) 152

Manhattan January SunsetBeautiful sunset from a few nights ago. I am unfortunately not talented enough with the camera to really do it justice, but this is pretty passable. This is the view from our apartment window, which hasn’t gotten old yet.

 

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The Babadook: Monster-as-Metaphor, Mostly to the Good

January 28, 2015 Pop Culture, Reviews, Science Fiction & Fantasy Comments (0) 665

Babadook-shadow

As a kid, I read books about movie monsters. Literal encyclopedias, printed on cheap paper with black and white photos of everything from Ridley Scott’s Alien to the Ymir of 20 Million Miles to Earth, those books and my imagination stood in for the actual movies. This was the mid-80s, remember, before Netflix and on-demand. When I finally watched the movies, they were inevitably inferior to what I’d imagined, the movies far too dull for the fascinating creatures they’d starred.

Each time a new movie monster arrives on the scene, this is the question for me: Will it be cool enough to gain admission to the pantheon that includes Brundlefly and John Carpenter’s anonymous shape-shifting Thing, or will it belong instead on the forgotten ash-heap with Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla and the creature from The Relic?

The Babadook (alternately, “Mister Babadook”) creeps easily into the list of unique and memorable movie monsters, and while I have a few quibbles with the movie that brought him to us, Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, it is unquestionably the best and most original horror film I’ve seen since Let the Right One In. Continue Reading

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Snowpocalypse 2015: Taking the Cat for a Walk

January 27, 2015 New York City, Personal Comments (0) 233

You may have heard there was a blizzard yesterday. Like most people, we took our cat out for a walk. Mozart doesn’t get to see the outdoors that often, and he seemed to enjoy part of it–though he does not care for noisy subway trains passing overhead.

 

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American Sniper and the Exploitation of Chris Kyle

January 22, 2015 In The News, Politics / Religion, Pop Culture Comments (0) 232

american_sniper_stillI tweeted a couple of days ago that “I like my war movies to examine the way humans are used and exploited by their governments, not to be examples of such.”

There’s been a lot of controversy about American Sniper, and I think rightly so. What’s being sold to Americans as the real-life story of a great war hero is largely fictionalized and distorted, a movie that elects to glamorize war when war was what destroyed its hero*. The thing is, a lot of the controversy has taken the form of character assassination against Chris Kyle, and I think that’s wrong. Whether he lied about events in his life, whether he was less than honest about his book proceeds, Chris Kyle is not what’s wrong with American Sniper.

Kyle was human, he had good and bad to him, and did good and bad things, the way any real-life human does. Where people should take issue is with the movie, largely because of what it’s doing with Kyle.

* An aside here: What’s most disappointing to me is that Unforgiven, Eastwood’s best movie, is perhaps the most brilliant film ever made about the way violence and killing destroy a man’s soul. One has to wonder whether William Munny would think Chris Kyle was a hero. I’m pretty confident I know his answer. Continue Reading

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Car: Impounded

January 12, 2015 New York City, Personal Comments (0) 213

LIC ParkingOn Saturday, my car was impounded.

Well, actually that’s not quite true. The car was impounded on Monday, the 5th, but I only noticed it on Saturday the 10th because that was the first time I wanted to use it. This being New York City, I mostly rely on trains and only use the car when necessary. On Saturday I was on my way to sub in net for an ice hockey team at Chelsea Piers, and my goalie gear was waiting for me in the back seat. Or so I thought–in fact it was 16 miles away, in an impound lot that had already closed for the weekend. Continue Reading

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The Cosby Conspiracy

January 9, 2015 In The News, Pop Culture Comments (0) 201

Just read this piece by Stephen A. Crockett Jr. at The Root. I basically agree, and I recommend you read it, but I will say this:

It’s pretty obvious that Bill Cosby is guilty. The man’s a serial rapist. That said, there are definitely a lot of people who seem WAY too pleased to be able to take down a prominent black celebrity and historical figure.

In reply to Crockett’s rhetorical question, Who is “they,” it’s not outrageous to think the answer might be “white America.”

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