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Is Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming?

About a year ago, there was this big rumour that the then-newly cast Zendaya was going to be Mary Jane Watson in the then-upcoming film Spider-Man: Homecoming.  As if by coincidence, nearly a year ago was the last time anyone wrote on this blog and we wrote about from where the racist outcries might be coming in a post about why and how Mary Jane Watson is a walking talking fetish.

The then-upcoming film Spider-Man: Homecoming is the now recently released film Spider-Man: Homecoming and now we finally know whether Zendaya was cast as Mary Jane Watson.

 

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on spider-man homecoming’s [potential] mary jane watson

or: the many amazing fantasies of spider-man

Before anything else is said, it is important for this essay to offer a clear preamble, so to avoid anything becoming misconstrued. So please:

  1. This essay is not aiming to apologise for, to condone, or to do anything other condemn the thick dribbling degenerate racism of the commentary against the rumours of Mary Jane Watson, a traditionally white character, being portrayed on-screen by a not-white actual person.
  2. This essay is going to suggest that there is a spectrum of vitriol involved, that while all this negative commentary may end in a racist position, it may not begin from a racist position.  It is hoped that this exploration  of the psychology of the ongoing engagement with the Spider-Man property will prove interesting and not destructive.
  3. This essay is not going to investigate what is and what is not racist.  That can prove reductive and, in the context of this conversation, damaging.  Indeed: beyond this preamble, the term will not be addressed further.
  4. To that point, the last mention of race will be here: Spider-Man operates traditionally as a white man’s fantasy.  There is a lot being done to open the property up to broader audiences – diversity in characters and audiences is ostensibly the major goal for this decade of comic books.  There is resistance to evolution, as there always, but ultimately this noise will fade into brooding silence until there’s nobody left to brood.
  5. Finally: this essay does not aim to make excuses for the outcry and outrage.  This essay aims to explore the narrative function of Mary Jane Watson, the interaction of her with the audience, and the ongoing truth that she is rarely seen as an actual character.  This is a discussion of power fantasies, fetishes, agency, and the ongoing combat between the evolution of comic book narratives and their fragmented audiences.

Now look at this picture:

strong female characters

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should superheroes kill?

or: a commentary on the philosophy of Piotr Rasputin

Given that Deadpool came out a fair little while ago now, I’m a little bit late to the party on this one.  soz lol.  But this piece was swimming around my head for a little while and I’ve been struggling to find the right framework for it.  Essentially the crux of this article is my inevitable conclusion that labelling Deadpool an anti-hero is a little bit shallow and the movie’s gratuitous and overbearing attempt at having Wade completely disown the hero moniker, while working really well for Wade as a character, comes across as a tone deaf conceit of the film as whole.

I wanted to frame that through discussion of Colossus.  Which makes sense, assuming you’ve seen the movie, because Colossus served three purposes throughout the whole film:

  1. Remind viewers that Deadpool is an X-Men character.
  2. Be strong and smack bad people.
  3. Attempt to reconfigure Wade’s moral compass through constant refrain: “Be an X-Men” “X-Men are good” “X-Men do not kill” “Wade you do not need to kill” et al.
colossus

da.

So I was really going to get stuck into Piotr and totally break down his morals and philosophy and find that limit to it – because there has to be a limit.  That’s just superhero storytelling 101 really.  There’s a point where someone deserves to die; the point of difference is where these characters draw the line and when they choose to cross it.

handy tip: that previous sentence is essentially the point of this essay

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star wars is an okay film?

or how finn is totally non-functional as a concept

I want to be upfront and totally honest with you, giving you the opportunity to click away before reading through this essay to its conclusion.  This writing will, of course, contain spoilers for Episode VII and this is a big deal to most people (for reasons I barely understand) – so if you’ve not seen it yet, click away now for ye be fairly so warned.  Paramount to that, I feel, is the fact that a previous writing of mine apparently ruined (or, I guess and at the very least, gave cause to a re-evaluated opinion of) a film for at least one reader.  So, I guess what I’m saying is, if you’re currently very comfortable with the way you feel about Star Wars: The Force Awakens and you’re not particularly keen on having that challenged or otherwise reading any dissenting opinion on the matter thereof, well, close the tab and move along.

But, if you’re interested in the discussion, please read on.

98fd97c8-ce97-4795-87ff-26101734f8ba

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the long con (or: identifying Andrew Bolt as satire)

Okay so I don’t even know how to start writing this so I’m just going to post some choice quotes from an article written about former Prime Minister Tony Abbott posted on Andrew Bolt’s blog today.

In many ways he seemed too moral for the job

That’s a quote about a guy who wouldn’t let same sex peoples find legislative support for their relationship while the rest of the world moves forward on the very same issue.  That’s a quote about a guy who’s entire Prime Ministerial career was about refusing asylum and breaking international law in order to achieve it, while also dabbling in tax breaks for big business and cuts to pensions for old retired poor people and also medicare.

That’s a quote about a guy who winked when some lady phoned a radio station and mentioned she was a phone sex worker.

abbott wink_0

too moral for the job, folks

in the face of astonishing heckling and even vilification from our media class

This is my favourite sentence fragment of all time.  In context it’s talking about how The Great and Powerful One True Lord Tony Abbott saved the economy by cutting spending (untrue), saved the planet by abolishing a carbon tax (untrue), and single-handed murdered Vladamir Putin in a one-on-one bout of topless manly fisticuffs (untrue) — all while facing the terrible opposition of the NEWS MEDIA.

all of it.  the whole news media.  THE WHOLE NEWS MEDIA. or i dunno maybe just the abc?

I really enjoy that Mr. Bolt seems to pretend like he’s not a part of whatever exactly the media class is.  I also really enjoy that his audience totally falls for the trick and follows him into willful cognitive dissonance by the separation of one news media from the other news media as if editorial mandates are enough to stop all journalists from being basically a slightly different interpretation of the same old potato sack full of rotten lettuce. (except leigh sales she’s my spirit animal)

Anyway, I didn’t realise the rest of the article is behind a paywall AND FUCKED IF I’M PAYING TO READ ANDREW BOLT so let’s just move on to part two of my piece: the part where I rock your world. WITH TWO PICTURES.

First: a screen grab from an episode of Andrew Bolt’s show, The Bolt Report.

bradpngcap-2011-12-07-11h51m50s69

i feel like a jellybean

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ant-man’s stingers and the oncoming storm of cynicism

I’ve left this post on hold for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks because this post is going to be talking about post-credit scenes of the recent Ant-Man film and, for reasons that are still beyond my comprehension, people till let spoilers ruin their experience of a film.  So, to protect them, I’ve waited.  But, sometimes that isn’t enough, so I’m also not going to spoil anything until after the break and also going to spend a lotsa lotsa words meandering and padding this post out so the initial little preview bit on Facebook or wherever doesn’t include the spoilers because I’m just that great of a guy.  Beyond all of that, I’m also going to post a picture that has really nothing to do with the spoilers.

Ant-Man-7

ant-man thinks i’m great

And now for the thing.

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you’re a filthy criminal

Over the weekend, or yesterday, or whatever day it was because of however this whole “timezones” things works out, DC Warner released an SDCC-exclusive trailer for their upcoming Suicide Squad movie for reasons I don’t quite understand.  Like, I can’t expect it to be about making people want to go to ComicCon because, well, people already want to go to ComicCon.  And if it’s about making people want to go see the film, well, I think most people have already made up their mind about that and I thinks those opinions are very polarised and very definitive.

And it strikes me that it can’t be about advertising to a captive audience because, AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, this trailer was a destination in that people went from point A to point B specifically to go see this trailer — and if I know anything about advertising it’s that it simply has no effect on people who already want to buy the thing.

or is it that it has more effect?  i forget.

It must be less effect because how could an ad make someone want to buy something they already want to buy?

I guess that leaves it as a reward.  Something of which I supposed entitled socially-awkward nerdy types need more.  “omg didn’t you see the trailer? why weren’t you in hall h?  oh what?  you live in Germany?  I’m so sorry for your lots.”

Anyway.  Warner Comics screened an exclusive trailer exclusively to some exclusive audiences and one of those guys turned out to be a dirty filthy criminal and filmed the whole thing and put it on the internet!  Sadtrombone.mp3!~~~

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iceman comes out of the freezer

Yesterday, or this morning, or the day before or whatever it actually was because of timezones and because I’m late to this party, Iceman came out of the closet – or was dragged out of the closet kicking and screaming by a teenager with greater psychic powers than she has morality and ethics because nobody in an X-Men comic currently seems capable of actually educating anyone – in an issue of Brian Michael Bendis’ ALL-NEW X-Men that hasn’t even come out yet.

That last bit is really important.  Because it also means that nobody has actually read the book yet.  There’s a whole heap of conversation about the young Bobby Drake coming out as gay and it seems to be focussing on a number of things – notably it seems to be focussing on how great it is, or how terrible it is, or how disingenuous it is towards bisexuality.  The entirety of the conversation is framed around a few leaked pages in abstract to the rest of the issue and, for most people consuming and participating with the conversation, in abstract to the rest of the run and the whole X-Men comicbook universe of storytelling.  So it’s really hard to contribute to the conversation, or put much stock in the conversation, because the conversation is already totally moot and could very well be made irrelevant or redundant by the comic once it’s out totally.

So it’s important to mention that, while I’m very passionate about what part of the conversation I’m about to engage, I could be back here in a couple weeks totally back-peddling because the issue itself has rendered my abstract of the conversation sterile.  But, until then, I’m hoping I can contrive something with a potent offering to the discourse surrounding what should be a really important storytelling beat that I feel, very strongly, has been totally mishandled and misfired.   Continue Reading →

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spider-gwen and what it means to have the right people in your corner

So there’s not much I want to say about this, because everything I could possibly have said has been said with a greater understanding and eloquence than I have the time to muster over here at comics alliance, but to make the small point I want to make, I’m pretty much required to provide a little bit of context.

So Frank Cho, a comicbook artist who sells books by drawing all women the same, posted this on his official website

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daredevil and the game of thrones leaks

This was an interesting weekend for content and content distribution in the we had a few consolidating events that, in conjunction, have helped to prove a point that everyone under sixty has been trying to make for the better part of the last however-many-years-old-youtube-is years.

the point, being, of course, that nobody wants to actually watch television anymore.

In a way very unlike the commentary of recent years regarding the death of the paperback novel, or the death of print and the newspaper, television is actually a doomed distribution platform.  Because, you see, with books, there’s always going to be some subsection of people who enjoy holding them, and reading them, as opposed to using any sort other device.  The screen as a replacement is a dubious argument and, really, at this point in time it genuinely feels like the people saying books will survive were right.  Because the argument here was replacement.  Nothing is actually being replaced in the television/internet transition — we’re still using a screen, only the nature of consumption is changing.  It’s not so much that television is dying – we’re still going to use televisions, and make television, and watch television shows.  It’s the schedule that’s dying.

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