No one wants to be “on the wrong side of history”.
No one wants to be wrong, period, and even those of us who raise their hackles at being described as “progressive” fear that those words, when leveled against them, might come true. To hear that phrase is to be threatened, told that you’re a dinosaur; except without any of the perks like monstrous size and claws and teeth, more the being pushed out by newer lifeforms and soon to be extinct. The message is, essentially, to keep up or be left behind.
To be asked whether you want to be “on the wrong side of history” is only hypothetical as far as what your choice will be. That the world will actually be changing is not the question; it’s being stated as a direct fact.
Almost two years ago to the day I wrote about film producer Avi Arad, who has been responsible for the past five [an absurd amount even for me, who considers him my favourite superhero] Spider-Man films. In particular I called attention to his response regarding whether the White Peter Parker would always be the one donning the webbed tights [“Absolutely”] and his response to whether or not the lack of diversity in comic book movies an issue [emphasis mine]:
“But I think we are finally becoming more of one world, and you’re going to see more and more diversity in the selection of characters. [. . .] It’s all going to change. I think sometimes we consciously look at it. We would love to have a superhero, we would love Marvel to create a superhero — We can create villains, but we’d love to have a Chinese superhero with something that is really interesting and how they got here, and what is their issue, and so on. But it’s coming. And it’s inevitable. It’s really inevitable. But it didn’t come naturally to comics in the days that no one was aware that there were actually other countries and other people.
I prefaced that article with a short bit of fiction in which Arad awakens in a cold sweat, realizing that the world he had once foretold had finally come to pass. By saying that these changes are “inevitable” he acknowledges that they are the impending future. By stating in direct terms that as long as he’s involved Spider-Man will never be Miles Morales, an Afro-Latino teen who has carried the title for years now, he both outlines the two camps [those who will, and won’t, be on the wrong side of history] and which side he will find himself in. Continue reading
Posted in film, lgbt, race
Tagged Anthony Russo, Avi Arad, bold, change, diversity, future, inevitable, JJ Abrams, Joe Russo, lgbt, Marvel, Marvel cinematic universe, Miles Morales, race, risk, Spider-Man, Star Wars, wrong side of history
Since the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, I encountered several articles that criticize the way the Western world responded to the tragic loss of life in Paris. While each of these articles bemoans the loss of 132 innocent lives, they also highlight similar atrocities that happened before the Paris attack and were almost completely overlooked.
In a lot of ways this event, and its media response, reminded me of the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. While the media response to this tragedy has been a little more self-aware, our international reaction has been similar to how it was last time this kind of tragedy affected a Western nation. Rather than discuss the way we responded to these attacks, I wanted to examine why we reacted the way we did.
1) It felt close to home
I remember waking up the morning of 9/11, walking into the living room to see my mom crying. My dad turned to me and told me the world had changed overnight. Hearing about the attacks on Paris gave me the same shiver of fear that I felt that day. I don’t think it’s hard to dissect what motivates that feeling. These particular attacks were frightening because they happened to Western nations, and we in the West are very accustomed to feeling in control. We took control over much of the world during an age of imperialism, colonization, and slavery. Today we continue to control much of the world through unfair aid practices and political manipulation. These kind of attacks are terrifying because they make us feel like we don’t have as much control as we think we do.
Even though last Thursday 45 innocent victims lost their lives to a terrorist attack in Beirut and, 6 months ago a similar attack in Kenya killed 147 innocent people, many of us heard little to nothing about those attacks until their news coverage was compared to what occurred in Paris. In our effort to show solidarity with Paris, the Western world made it apparent that certain tragedies frighten us more than others.
As Elie Fares explained in his blog comparing the media response to the Paris and Beirut attack,
“When my people died, they did not send the world in mourning. Their death was but an irrelevant fleck along the international news cycle, something that happens in those parts of the world.”
Posted in morality, news, politics
Tagged #ParisAttack, 9/11, aid, anger, answers, atrocities, attack, Beirut, change, colonialism, comfortable, complex, control, death, demonize, disturbed, Elie Fares, evil, Fear, frightening, future, George Bush, hate, human, imperialism, innocent victims, institution, Iraq, ISIS, issues, Kenya, liberal, love, manipulation, media, media response, news, paris, politics, prevent, professor, racism, radio, rationalize, Refugee, response, responsible, safe, selfish, slavery, students, Syria, terrorism, threats, tragedy, Tumblr, Twin Towers, underestimate, university, University of Missouri, unsafe, war on terror, War on Terrorism, west, western nations, world
I don’t work in prisons.
I mean, I might have to in the near future, but as of yet, I haven’t.
Today I’m going to be making some pretty bold statements, and I want to be up front about my reasons for doing so. While I don’t work in the big house (I have had to deal with min-sec “transitional housing”- if that counts for anything), I do work exclusively with an ex-felon population. As with a bad car wreck, you don’t have to be an expert to a look at the current situation and work backwards to figure out just where things started going wrong. Now I’m not saying that prisons help cause crime, just that as they stand today, they aren’t doing a whole lot of helping.
Let me break it down here.
Posted in America, crime, government
Tagged BJS, conditions, convict, drug testing, employment, ex-con, ex-felon, felon, future, GIF, healthcare, high school, homelessness, homocide, jail, kill my landlord, lyrics, mandate, murder, parole, planning, prison, probation, rape, recidivism, reform, rehabilitation, Statistics, the coup, transitional housing, unemployment, urinary analysis
The CN Tower, putting on a special light show for Pride Week.
Imagine my surprise when I realized that this upcoming weekend is a long one due to Canada Day [July 1]. Imagine my continued surprise when I found out that not only is this weekend Pride Weekend, but that it actually coincides with the national holiday more often than not.
I’ve been in Toronto for the past six or so summers, and it really has taken it this long for the latter to dawn on me; that’s in spite of the fact that this city hosts one of the largest gay pride festivals on the planet. We have an entire week dedicated to celebrating LGBT people, an event that has one of the most user-friendly websites I have ever laid eyes on. Continue reading
Posted in Canada, lgbt
Tagged Black History Month, Canada, Canada Day, celebration, different, DOMA, future, gay, Gay Pride Parade, heterosexuality, homosexuality, Morgan Freeman, normal, orientation, pride, Pride Week, Pride Weekend, same sex marriage, shame, Toronto, Toronto Pride