Oh. My. God.
There’s a moment in the 1953 movie version of Kiss Me Kate in which a dancer slides into the frame sideways, as if stealing a base, and comes to a tire-screeching halt at the feet of Carol Haney. There’s a second of silence, and then he starts to snap his fingers, rebooting the beat and bending the music to his will. The dancer is Bob Fosse, still a year away from choreographing his first Broadway musical. He and Haney proceed to carve up the screen in a brief burst of Fosse-choreographed movement, and for about one minute the movie has sex and jazz and modernity in it. That’s how the lights-out fight in this issue of Daredevil feels — it’s an announcement of Miller’s arrival but also a statement of intent. It’s Frank Miller figuring out how to do “Frank Miller” right before your eyes.
That is the kind of writing for me let me tell you.
Ferguson Police have dogs and shotguns. The unarmed crowd is raising their hands.
For anyone not following the Mike Brown story on Twitter: a 17 year old black boy named Mike Brown, who was supposed to start college tomorrow, was shot to death in Ferguson, Missouri by police while jaywalking. He was unarmed. He was shot 9 times.
Initial media reports claimed that an 18 year old black man had been shot and killed while fleeing police after shoplifting.
People in the neighborhood, including members of Mike Brown’s family, came out of their homes and began to protest, shouting “no justice, no peace,” and keeping their hands in the air.
Media reports claimed that a violent mob quickly formed around the shooting location shouting “kill the police.”
Spread this. Tell the truth about what happened to this boy. Tell the truth about what is happening NOW. The police and the mainstream media is painting him as a criminal, and his community as a violent mob.
SPREAD THIS. Don’t let them lie.
This was quite a journey! I spent the better part of a day going back and forth with a guy that I was not entirely sure was for real at first, then I absolutely got fooled, and then I realized I got fooled. It was fun. The guy said some LEGITIMATELY funny stuff when he was “in character.” And it all ended in a way that I felt good about.
It’s pretty much all laid out in the screencaps, But let me elaborate here:
HEY YOUNG MEN! I know it seems like women complain a lot about how they are represented in media, including fiction, and how it seems like they want entertainment tailored specifically to them, and how they seem to want ALL of pop culture to be politically correct or feminist-ized or whatever it is you think they want, but really, what’s happening is that women are tired of seeing garbage women characters in most of our entertainment. And they’re wondering, Would it really be so much trouble to make more realized female characters? You could still have all your CGI and action and science fiction and drama and swords and stuff, but the female characters could be a little more fleshed out and interesting. And the entertainment would still be good and would, in fact, be better.
Guys, instead of thinking, “Hey, not everything has to be politicized,” try thinking, “I wonder what it would be like for me if the situation were reversed, and how I’d feel if in the vast majority of the entertainment I consumed, the male characters were few and far between and then mostly used as talking props & plot devices. I wonder if I’d get kinda tired of that and occasionally I’d say something, even a little joke, just to ease the annoyance a little.”
Fellows. Listen to the women in your lives. Ask them questions. It will change your perspective for the better. Years ago, I got into a brief argument with two female friends of mine about a movie— it does not even matter which movie— that they viewed as sexist and I did not. I couldn;t even fathom how they could see it that way. I tried to argue that it was not sexist. In recounting our discussion to another party, it was pointed out to me that they might have a different viewpoint based on their life experiences, and that it was not for me to tell them that their interpretation was incorrect. And that I was probably getting defensive about it because if the movie was sexist, it followed that my liking it would make me appear sexist. And that’s when I realized that none of this was about me, and maybe I should shut up and listen and try to understand. And also to be more aware of things like this and develop not just my sympathy, but my empathy.
I will only ever be able to empathize so much with women, because my experience as a white male in America is vastly different from that of anyone who is not that. But I can relate to:
- not being taken seriously
- not being listened to
- being dismissed
- being condescended to
- having something explained to me that I already understand
And I having had those experiences, I am now more inclined to TRY to understand where someone is coming from if they are telling me they are having a similar experience with our culture.
So guys: just try. You don’t even really have to dig that deep. Think about your own experiences as a person, then apply that to someone else. It gets easier the more you do it, and it makes your life better.
Anyway, I hear Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is pretty good!
Paul talked about this (to great comedic effect) at his latest Varietopia show and to see the conversation in its totality is a really wonderful bonus. Its some pretty wonderful food for thought about perception and the way we engage with our culture. Dudes, please be more thoughtful.
David Byrne sings Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend”
This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife.