Category Archives: celebrity

Hey Conservatives – Could We Talk Real Quick?

Let’s get right to business here, folks.

I’m sure most of you are aware that, last Monday, Late Show host Stephen Colbert joked about Trump’s mouth being Vladimir Putin’s “cock holster.”

This prompted outrage among many conservatives, and lead to the Twitter hashtag #fireColbert, along with calls to boycott CBS advertisers. Today, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission, for our non-American readers) announced it was starting an investigation into Colbert’s joke, “following up on complaints” of obscenity/indecency/profanity. As much as that sucks, it’s not the FCC I want to call up to the dock today. It’s the folks who got them involved.

Conservatives (who might accidentally stumble across this blog) – let me address y’all directly:

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Many of you have cited that the joke was homophobic:

I gotta ask ya, Conservatives –

– since when do you give a **** about homophobia?

A sizeable chunk of the past twenty years has been dedicated to the battle to stop gay marriage, which was – to hear you talk at least – the breaking of the seventh seal. I mean seriously, we have had millions and millions of dollars and countless work-hours poured into this battle. Gays were, as you once claimed, destroying the moral fabric of the nation with the indecent and immoral behavior. To sanction it as a nation was to spit in the face of God!

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Unlike rejecting refugees, widows, orphans, and the poor, of whom the Bible makes absolutely no mention.

Suddenly Colbert takes a swipe at Trump, and you’re all indignant? “Oh, how dare¬†Colbert say something hurtful towards gays-whose-right-we-have-been-actively-and-rabidly-campaigning-against-for-decades!”

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Seriously – the very existence of gay folks has been cited as causing hurricanes. Major conservative figures (in the current ****ing administration) have equated homosexuality with bestiality. The “homosexual agenda” was a baleful warning used by conservatives for years.

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So again, when did this change of heart come about? When did you suddenly start caring about gay folks?

Gimme a break.

But while we’re on the subject of staggering hypocrisy, can we talk about political correctness?

You know- that thing you claim as the bane of modern society. Proof that this generation is weak and pathetic. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve heard phrases like “Millennial crybaby”, “liberal snowflake”, “there’s no safe-spaces in the real world!”

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Again, you guys support Trump – a guy who does not joke but boasts about “grabbing pussy.” Who has called women “gold diggers”, “bimbos”, and “dogs.” Who grotesquely mocked a disabled reporter.

By any measure or definition, Trump is a foul, loud-mouth ****nozzle. Compared to him, Colbert’s statements would barely register as “locker room talk.” Instead of calling for a boycott, why aren’t you rallying around Colbert for “telling it like it is” or “not being afraid to speak his mind” or any number of the shoddy excuses used to defend Trump’s garbage?

You get why this seems a little hypocritical, right?

Of course, much of this is predicated on the belief that Colbert’s joke was homophobic.

I don’t think it was.

For the joke in question to have been homophobic, it would have had to mocked, stereotyped, condemned, or disparaged homosexuality. We can all agree on that definition, right?
Then show me the part where Colbert did that.

He used the phrase “cock holster.” He suggested that Trump and Putin had a homosexual relationship. Was he attacking them for being “gay”? C’mon. He was attacking them for having a bizarre political alliance in which Trump fawns and swoons over a reprehensible autocrat. Colbert never said “being slavishly enamored with a man is wrong.” Colbert said (at most) “being slavishly enamored with Putin is wrong.” And that’s a sentiment I’d like to think we can all get behind.

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The joke was made all the more biting for Trump’s absurd sensitivity to his sexuality and Putin’s infamous persecution of gays (by the way, Conservatives, where’s your condemnation of that?).

But maybe – for a few of you, at least – it’s not the imaginary homophobia but the crassness of the remark which has you riled up. If that’s the case, well you still don’t have much of a leg to stand on. “Cock holster” is definitely a sharp term, but it’s definitely not new to TV.

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You didn’t call up the FCC then, why are you doing it now?

And if you think this is the crassest or most foul thing on television, then hoo-boy, you need to watch more TV. Hell, go to FOX and you’ll get a whole bowl of curse salad with raunch dressing.

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At your own peril – some thing cannot be unseen.

But maybe you’re none of those people.

Maybe you’re part of that small group who do have a modicum of self-awareness are at least arguing “If someone said this about Obama, they’d be fired within the hour.” That is at least a coherent argument.

It’s also a really bad one.

Regardless of alleged hypocrisy of the networks (more on that in a minute), do you really and truly want the FCC to get involved here?

I don’t think you’ve thought it through.

Invoking the FCC is invoking a federal regulatory committee. Not exactly the greatest move for folks whose platform has “get-the-government-out-of-our-business” as one of its oldest planks. Do you really and truly want the FCC – the government – to actively decide which jokes do and don’t count as “appropriate?” Go ahead and lock in your answers – whatever you say now can and will be used against you at a later date.

When Huckabee is serving as a voice of reason, you know things have gotten weird…

Of course, if you do want to demand the government dissect and analyze all jokes, I still don’t think you’ll have a leg to stand on. I mean, why would a host get censured for making the same joke about Obama instead of Trump?

One about Obama wouldn’t make sense – not a “Putin’s cock holster” one, anyways. While I don’t think anyone – particularly not Obama – should be exempt from ribbing or ridicule, Obama didn’t have a strangely close relationship with a violently homophobic Russian tyrant. If he did, then yeah, that joke would work. Out of that context, it’d just be plain weird. And for the record, folks did take shots at Obama.

O-bomb-a:

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Barack Osama (alternatively, “Barack Husein Obama”):

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“Not Born In America/Secret Muslim”:

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Presented not as satire but as serious speculation

Limbaugh’s use of a song titled “Barack The Magic Negro”:

Glenn Beck’s insistence that Obama was a Socialist:

As a Socialist myself, please stop calling Obama a Socialist. We don’t want him either.

Again, you don’t exactly have the high ground here.

But you know what? You don’t need to have it.

I’m not a liberal or a conservative (and no, that doesn’t mean I’m moderate or apolitical – there’s more than two flavors out there). Other than keeping the FCC at bay, I don’t really have a horse in this race. While I thought Colbert’s joke was damn funny, I don’t think you have to, and I even think you should boycott if you so choose (as much as I disagree). Just don’t pretend to be doing it because Colbert was “homophobic” – he wasn’t. Don’t pretend that you care about gay people – you don’t. Don’t pretend you’re championing the cause of etiquette and decency – you aren’t.

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You want to influence the flow of our culture to reflect the values and opinions you hold personally. That’s fine. That’s your prerogative. It’s OK to be upset by characterizations you find to be unfounded, unfair, or unrepresentative. That’s what I do every single time I sit down to churn one of these rants out.

But if you¬†are gonna do that, then for ****’s sake, own it.

Otherwise shut your **** holsters.

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If you were to have told me eight years ago that Pam Poovery would be one of my favorite characters, I would’ve said “Yeah, that makes a ton of sense – she’s awesome.”


Images retrieved via BBC World, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube Imgur, The Boston Globe, Tumblr – Fair Use.

 

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Making It Big [Enough to Steal From]

Who doesn’t like attention? Introverts, probably. But for the sake of this introductory paragraph we’re running with the general idea that attention is something we all crave in various amounts, even to the point of wishing to be famous in some respect. Given the existence of the internet, the latter’s¬†never entirely out of the question.

After all, it doesn’t take much more than one of your videos going viral for you to appear on countless talk shows, both daytime and late night. And then, as quickly as that spotlight appeared, it’s extinguished, leaving you alone in the dark. Given that¬†whiplash-worthy stop-and-start is it any wonder that¬†“Chewbacca mom” is currently “hustling to stay famous”?

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This feels more like a threat than anything-

It’s all about getting attention and holding onto it, preferably when it’s the positive variety. And, while¬†we’re talking about positive attention, isn’t imitation the most sincere form of flattery? Continue reading

Overwatch‘s Doomfist, Terry Crews, and Fan Culture

This blog isn’t even supposed to be back on until next week but you know what they say: strike while the iron’s hot. For some of you at least the first two parts of this title have been flitting back and forth across the internet. “Terry Crews!” whispers one corner excitedly, “wants to play Doomfist!” murmurs another. Because of my search history and their All Seeing Eye Facebook even brought to my attention that thousands of their users were discussing that very subject.

So here I am on a Saturday morning, sitting in front of my laptop determined to bring you literally every piece of information I can find about Terry Crews, Overwatch, and the yet-to-be-released hero Doomfist. Oh, and I’m also going to discussing fan culture so if you want to stick around for that as well that’d be cool.

Who Is Doomfist?

So before I even get into that you should know that¬†Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer FPS [first-person shooter] by Blizzard Entertainment that has a lot of playable female characters¬†[and has been snapping up awards like they’re a limited resource]. Doomfist, as I mentioned in the last paragraph, is predicted to be the newest hero in the game, bringing the roster up to a full 24.

That character has also been hinted at as early as the¬†Overwatch cinematic trailer, which came out November 2014. That’s roughly nine months before the ill-fated ARG [alternate reality game] that Blizzard used to hint at and lead up to the release of Sombra, their 23rd hero.

If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, which is ridiculous because it’s only six minutes long and painfully good, the trailer revolves around two kids witnessing a villainous duo [Reaper and Widowmaker] try to steal an artifact only to be thwarted by ex-Overwatch agents [Tracer and Winston]. The item in question is, like the¬†younger one says, “Doomfist’s gauntlet”.¬†Apparently by wearing it the user “could level a skyscraper.” Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E12 ‚ÄúAnd the Riverboat Runs Through It‚ÄĚ: A TV Review

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Context is always important. As far as the television landscape in the past two decades we have an expectation as viewers that the midseason finale, which typically airs right before the holidays, marks a significant moment ideally meant to draw the audience back in the new year. The problem with 2 Broke Girls, at least recently, is that being pushed around in the fall TV schedule has resulted in that episode not landing with the weight that it should.

Take Season 5 where the episode at the halfway mark, “And the Storytelling Show”, ends with the two girls heading out to Hollywood to sell the film rights to Caroline’s life story. That would have been a phenomenal way to wrap things up in late November or early December, but instead aired mid-February.

While likewise plagued with scheduling issues, Season 6’s 12th episode actually opens up with another “Previously on¬†2 Broke Girls“, establishing that the titular duo is in the middle of their quest to get Max and Randy back together.¬†To be fair the last episode of 2015¬†did end with them plummeting towards the ground in a single engine aircraft, but it’s not like we ever thought they wouldn’t survive the experience. It’s difficult to blame the showrunners for just trying to roll with the punches, but decent pacing is a good way to keep people watching and hopefully buoy flagging ratings. Continue reading

The Swinton-Cho Letters, Part 1: What Went Down and How We’ve Responded

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I’m just so tired.

I was tired when I¬†wrote,¬†last June, about how Tilda Swinton was in talks to play the Ancient One in the then-upcoming¬†Doctor Strange, because it was just one of several¬†announcements where a role that could have gone to an Asian person didn’t. And it made me weary to have to¬†read comments like¬†“if any young white woman can pull off an old Asian man, it’d be Tilda Swinton,” and “PLEASE TELL ME HES PLAYING WONG!” after it was revealed Martin Freeman would be appearing in¬†Captain America: Civil War.

Swinton ultimately being cast as the Ancient One, a Tibetan man in the comics, was never far from my mind moving forward. I would inevitably bring it up when discussing whitewashing and racebending in The Martian that very same year, and in many ways it made Doctor Strange a film that loomed in the impending future, a comic book movie I would need to see for myself in order to determine whether or not they did right by the groups they were trying not to offend.

Just to be clear, I can’t honestly say that I was angry when finally watching the movie.¬†Like the title of¬†my write-up plainly states I was left feeling disappointed. It also notes¬†that my expectations were never particularly high, and how could they be when the filmmakers rewrote the character of Wong back into¬†Doctor Strange upon finding that casting Swinton left them without any¬†prominent Asian roles [in a movie that is set in Asia roughly half the time].

It was over a year of waiting for a film whose creators touted the representation of an older White woman to offset¬†what was, without argument, whitewashing. It’s a defence that implies that in some cases the choices are feminism/anti-ageism and racial diversity, and¬†that the two are mutually exclusive. It was, to put it more strongly, exhausting. And it’s easy to say that I should just care about this less and not let it affect me so much, but Asian representation is an¬†issue that directly affects me, and one that will affect my children if and when I have any.

I was already so tired of all of this, and was looking forward to¬†being able to stop thinking about Tilda Swinton and¬†Doctor Strange and enjoy the¬†few moments before we get any closer to¬†Ghost in the Shell being released [difficult as a teaser aired before the Marvel film being discussed]. And what should I find this past week but an email conversation between Tilda Swinton and Korean American comedian Margaret Cho, which I have dubbed the Swinton-Cho Letters, and the internet’s response to¬†the whole thing.

When I first started putting my fingers to the keyboard this was meant to be a single blog post split into two parts, but over a thousand words in and I thought two separate posts might be more efficient. And what better way to end a horrible year than to devote so much time and effort towards such a truly draining topic?
Continue reading

2 Broke Girls, S6E1-2 ‚ÄúAnd the Two Openings: Parts One & Two‚ÄĚ: A TV Review

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Season premieres are all about expectations. On one hand a¬†show needs to be instantly recognizable, a challenge for ensembles with shifting casts [I’m looking at you,¬†Community]. On the other hand it also needs to live up to the promise of more to come.¬†As¬†Max and Caroline fall to the floor in the cold open,¬†their clothing aflame, Oleg exclaims “now scissor a little, it can’t hurt” while¬†hosing them down. That’s the first box checked off.

As for the second, there appears to be significantly more attention paid to continuity. While 2 Broke Girls¬†season premieres have always¬†had to follow-up on the last episode in¬†regards to their business, both¬†Parts¬†One¬†and Two¬†of “And the Two Openings” play out¬†in the shadow¬†of a character I’m pleased to see is still with us.

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And what an imposing shadow it is.

That’s right, while on the business side of things the two girls¬†are¬†part-owners of the diner and finally looking to make the¬†Dessert Bar a reality [a lot happened, okay] what’s really been on Max’s mind is Randy [Ed Quinn].¬†Compared to past love interests Deke and Nashit his connection with Dennings’ character has been both strong and, surprisingly, long-lasting. Having reviewed¬†how Season 5 came to a close I can only take his continued presence, albeit via FaceTime,¬†as being a net positive. Continue reading

When Life Gives You Don Lemon IV: If A Lemon Tree Falls In The Forest…

In 2014, I became familiar with the career of one Mr. Don Lemon, a young, charismatic news anchor over at CNN. I say “news anchor” because that’s what they call him. I assume the more accurate title of “Shameless Propagator of Tabloid Drivel Making A Mockery of Journalism” wouldn’t fit on the business cards.

Yeah, I’m not a fan.

In fact I went so far as to dub Lemon “one of the most destructive forces in culture.” A harsh accusation, but I’d argue not an unfair one. And so I try to keep tabs on the guy, hoping against hope that a Google search of his name will not result in some fresh wave of misinformation, Islamophobia, and general fearmongering nonsense. So is this our lucky year?

I’m afraid not.

Here’s what the country’s lousiest news anchor has been up to since we last checked in:

Asking A Muslim Lawyer If He “Supports ISIS”

By Muslim lawyer, I mean Arsalan Iftikhar, esteemed human rights lawyer, adjunct professor at DuPaul, and internationally recognized author and intellectual. And no, Lemon did not ask Iftikhar that question to establish for the audience that Muslims don’t automatically support terror. You can see the pained shock on Iftikhar’s face and the obliviousness on Lemon’s. And to be clear here, Lemon’s exact words were:

“Do you support ISIS?”

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That was it.

No set-up, no context, no follow-up. Just an insulting question that was (if intentional) designed to rile up Iftikhar or (if unintentional) so blithely dumb that it could have come from-

-well, the likes of Don Lemon.

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That said, baiting Muslim guests for for ratings is par for the course where Lemon is concerned, but the blatancy here seems just plain painful. I shouldn’t have to explain that one might ask with equal legitimacy if Don Lemon supports the Crips on the basis of his race, or if he supports the LRA on the basis of his religion.

But asking for a bit of incisiveness from news anchors is clearly demanding too much. Continue reading