*DISCLAIMER* THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING. YOU WON’T LOOK AT NINJA TURTLES THE SAME IF YOU READ THIS. IF YOU CHOSE TO CONTINUE, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. YOU’LL EITHER LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF OR NEVER COME HERE AGAIN.
If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts you have come to two realizations:
1. I am a serious geek.
2. I have far too much free god damned time on my hands. See the above picture.
This blog is of a geek nature but within it there is a real social message. I watch a shit-ton of movies and read an equally shit-ton of comics and science fiction-ey books. While they are all mostly good and all that, there is a theme running through many, if not all, of them. Or lack thereof. Black heroes. Yes, I’m talking about black people. Where are they? What the fuck? I guess I should say where are all the upstanding, non-stereotypical portrayals of black people in comics, movies, and books. Black people make up like 1.3 billion of the world’s 6.7 billion people. By black I mean anyone of a dark chocolate or milk chocolate skin tone. With that many of us you would think that there would be some tall, dark, and bad-ass superheros and shit, right? You’d be super wrong. Let’s examine shall we?
1. You argue that one of the Green Lanterns is black. John Stewart. Sure, he’s bad-ass and has great powers and was gifted with a power ring and entrusted with the protection of Earth’s sector of space, buuuuuuuuut he was the god damned 3rd string Green Lantern after Hal Jordan and Kyle Rayner. Two white guys. Also, Stewart has a belligerent attitude towards authority figures. Just like a common stereotype of black men. Why the black dude gotta have issues? Everyone does! Let’s give everyone a problem, not just the scary black dude.
2. Luke Cage. A man with invulnerable skin and super strength is awesome right? Hell yeah he is! Of course he can’t be too awesome because, well, he’s black and we can’t have black guys looking more heroic than their caucasian counterparts can we? Let’s make him a convict who volunteers for a top secret program to give him his Shaft-like BAMFYness! Then when he escapes from jail or whatever, have him become a hero for hire! Because lord knows those darkies won’t do anything for altruistic reasons! They like money too much! Uhh, give him a shitty catchphrase too! “Sweet Christmas?” “Perfect, let’s go to print!” “Susan, we need more cocaine!!!”
3. The Falcon. Sam Wilson started out as a social worker determined to help inner city youth when he adopted a falcon anddonned a silly costume that let him fly. He has no powers other than being able to talk to birds or something. When you’re more shitty than Aquaman, there’s a problem. This back-story and intro was apparently too upstanding for the mainstream folks so they decided to retconn (retroactively going back and changing a character’s past or origin) it into him being a former thug and a pimp who was ‘angry at the world’ cause his mother was shot and killed. So he said, “Fuck this helping people noise, I’m gonna go get some bitches and make them earn dollas, fo sho!!” What the deuce?! Bruce Wayne’s parents are shot and killed by a mugger and he becomes the GOD DAMNED BATMAN!!! A black guy though? He turns criminal after one really bad break? Of course with the help of the terminally white Steve Rogers (Captain America) Wilson becomes a hero! So the black guy has to get help and be rehabbed by the incorruptible white man? Come on guys!! We aren’t all pimps and thugs.
4. Bishop. Lucas Bishop is a mutant from the future who goes back in time and joins the X-Men to possibly change the past to prevent the terrible future he comes from. One where all mutants have been rounded up and put into concentration camps. That’s where he grew up, the little scamp! Since he’s black, he fails. Not once, not twice, but like three times. Then he decides to fuck it all and goes bad, becoming one of the X-Men’s main villains. Of course, he’s a loud, angry antihero. Maybe this is more from where he comes from and his experiences, but I don’t buy it. Why can’t you portray the minority as a stand-up good man? We exist, trust me.
5. Geordi LaForge. Star Trek: The Next Generation. It doesn’t just happen in comics, it happens in tv and films too. You might think a black chief engineer on the greatest fucking starship known to man would be the whizbang, and it would be if they hadn’t made that negro blind! Sure he got a visor that allowed him to see and shit and eventually got cyber eyes, but why do that to him in the first place? You’ll argue “Well, Picard had an artificial heart!” and I’ll counter-argue “Well that Frenchman got into a fucking barfight and was stabbed thru the heart!” That sure is a better ‘gettin’ bitches’ story than “I was born blind”. They couldn’t even make his disability cool. The one time he got close to scoring a chick? She was a holodeck recreation of a real scientist chick he had a crush on. He almost hooked up with the hologram too. Then he met the real chick and thought she would be all on his space nuts like a tribble, but then guess what? She rejected him. So he got cockblocked twice by the same chick essentially. Come on, they let the fucking android get some pussy! Not the darkman apparently.
These are just a few examples that come to mind, but there are so many more out there. Take some time to sit and think about a black character that you would consider great like Superman, Batman, Captain America, or Capt. Kirk, Spock, or any of a number of sci-fi legends. When I was little I thought Darth Vader was black. Nevermind that Luke and Leia were white kids. I just assumed that nigga got with a white woman and had some light skinned chilrens. Then Return of the Jedi came and lo and behold…he was an old, white guy. Dammit!!!! Lando Calrissian was the shit, but the only black man in a whole galaxy? Really? Sure we got Mace Windu, but George Lucas muted everything that was fucking cool about Samuel “Motherfucking” Jackson by making him play Mace like he was Ed Begley Jr. Then there is Jar Jar Binks. The most annoying stereotype of a black man ever. He looked weird, talked weird, acted weird, was dumb as a box of rocks, and did I mention completely useless? Also, he was voiced by a black man, Ahmed Best. That says it all right there.
Look at the most recent X-Men: First Class for further proof that Hollywood has not learned and still sees minorities as secondary, throwaway characters. Without being too spoilery for those who haven’t seen it…they kill the half Latino-half Black mutant first. He’s named Darwin. Real name Armando Munoz. Seriously, a guy with a nickname that reeks of survival of the fittest……was killed FIRST. Was his power something super stupid and lame? No. He could adapt his body to survive most any environment or threat. Yet…..they find a way to kill him in the movie. In the comics he’s actually a cool character and does so much more than this throwaway role in the movie. The other minority character, Angel Maldonado, known as Angel (not the Warren Worthington one unfortunately) starts out as a stripper and then eventually becomes a villain. Quit whining, I’m not spoiling anything! If you are reading these geek shenanigans, odds are you have already seen the movie. So the remaining hero characters are all white and save the day. Two of the villains look physically menacing and different so they cannot hide their mutations. So the different looking, darker colored mutants are obviously the meanies? Of course. Let’s give one of them horns and a tail!!! The black man is the devil!!!! BOOOOOO!!!!! This movie takes place in a fictional version of the early 1960s. An era full of social and racial upheaval and you couldn’t at least let the brutha survive to the end of the movie?!!!
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Pulp Fiction and Jules Winnfield. That nigga is the shit, but he’s still a bad man. The difference was he was so damned cool about it!!! Anybody who can rock a jheri-curl, spout out fake bible verses, and have a wallet with BAD MOTHERFUCKER on it is a straight up…well…..bad motherfucker. Again, the character was written by a crazy white dude. Albeit Tarantino grew up around black folks so his portrayal of black people was colored by his experiences around black people. Stereotype or not, anyone who has grown up or lived in the ghetto knows at least one scary black dude. My point is that these are the only ones that we get to see in popular entertainment these days. I guess I’m as guilty as anyone of perpetuating this situation by still watching, reading, and playing these properties. I just notice it more lately than I used to.
This subject I’m going black angry geek on was touched upon much better and funnier in “Chasing Amy.” Best part of that film, besides Jay and Silent Bob. I just was thinking about this subject and had to get it out of my system. While playing a video game. I thought, “Why aren’t there any black or latino men or women portrayed as the hero of games. The main playable character? He or she is usually always Caucasian. If there is a black character, he is the sidekick or comic relief or cannon fodder. Is this blatant, purposeful racism? Nah, most times no. The majority of people who make movies, games, comics, books, and the like are white men. You create what you know and are familiar with and relate to so they write, create, draw, and digitize white dudes that have traits they most think they would have were they the character in the game. Stuff they think is cool. Women aren’t protrayed much better in science-fiction either. Either butched up man-haters or femmed up fighting in high heels and tight spandex. Either way they always have big tits and tight asses. Women and minorities are getting the shaft here! What gives, man?! Seriously, the real problem is there aren’t enough minorities within these jobs that would portray minorities as the great hero and maybe…one day…….a black person will make it to the end of a horror movie and be the survivor!
Lawd knows I’m tired of it being the pretty white girl all the motherfucking time!!!
1. Han shot first. There is no debate. Only assholes and douchebags think otherwise. Any other way it changes the very essence of who Han Solo is and lessens the impact of his character growth through the original trilogy. I don’t give a flying kung-fu fuck what George Lucas says to pull his ass out of yet another mistake he made in shitting all over his work. He’s wrong.
2. Thou shall see at least 3 midnight-showings a year. Any less and you’re just the tag along girlfriend/sibling/clueless friend/unfortunate parent/etc. You must also include a rousing group of ne’er do wells for the utmost level of geek tomfoolery and shenanigans. Costumes are encouraged. If you can actually get women to still come along after all that, you will be considered the ‘geek pimp’ of the group. Also, going to the midnight shows cuts way down on the ‘screaming baby’ and ‘douchebag jabrony’ chances by a factor of 10.
3. Thou shall suppress thine fanboyism. No one likes an over-obsessive fanboy who cries in his C-3PO cereal about the direction that the new Superman reboot is taking or that Spider-Man’s costume in the new-new reboot isn’t how it’s supposed to be or that Thor doesn’t have the silly little wings on his helmet in the movie like he does in the comics or that Chris Evans will suck as Captain America. You will give yourself an aneurysm so stop it. Nothing will live up to your expectations. Things will be changed or tweaked. As long as they don’t dick with things that completely change the whole nature of the thing (see commandment #1) then just enjoy it if it’s good or hate it on the basis that it sucks donkey nuts. Hate ‘Daredevil’ the movie because Ben Affleck sucks not because the Kingpin was black and not white like in the comics.
4. Thou shall restrict the geek talk to like-minded individuals. Nothing is worse than carrying on a geekversation with yourself…out loud. Just because someone asks you, “How strong is Superman?” doesn’t mean that is an invitation to assail them with an extended dissertation about his powers and where they are derived from. Be simple. Explain simple. “He’s really strong and shit.” is acceptable. Anything more and a regular person’s eyes will glaze and they will drift away back to normalworld. How can you tell who is a like minded-individual? The dude wearing the ‘Han Shot First’ tee shirt is a safe bet. The fat guy behind the counter at any comic shop is another.
5. Thou shalt not belittle someone for liking shit you don’t. This is a rule I stick by religiously. There is stuff out there that even I, Uber-Geek of the Order of the Nerd, think is entirely too fucking nerdy. Things like ‘Magic the Gathering’ or ‘World of Warcraft’ or having a mock funeral for a fictional Star Wars character. People I know have done that last one. Really. No shit. However, I will not ridicule the person for liking to do these things. They are just not for me. Twilight is gay and retarded. The people who like it are not. They just are misguided. Kidding! Seriously, though…it sucks. Justin Bieber is a complete tool, but 13 year old girls fawn for that shit like grown geek men do for Battlestar Galactica. Does that make them bad and to be hated? No, it just makes them tasteless. 13 year old girls have no taste. That’s just the way that is, but they like what they like. I don’t hate on them for it. I blame that Bieber thing.
6. Thou shall not ignore comics and books. Found a bad ass tv show that you like or a seriously rocking movie has become your new fave? Odds are it existed in book form first. ‘The Walking Dead’ tv show is fierce and all kinds of awesome. The comic series is ten times as good and more in depth. There are magically awesome things out there in print that will blow your mind. Didn’t like the ‘Watchmen’ movie? Read the graphic novel instead. Better. ‘Wanted’ the movie ate chunks? Read the graphic novel instead. Better. From ‘Preacher’, ‘Y: The Last Man, ‘World War Z’, to ‘100 Bullets’, and on and on. Go to your local book store or comic shop and just grab a few issues or ask the fat guy behind the counter. Odds are he’s been jonesing since lunch to vomit his opinion all over you about how awesome something is. Don’t show fear. They smell fear…..
7. Thou shall not be ‘that geek’. What do I mean? I mean don’t be that person who looks down their nose at someone because they don’t know that there are seven forms of lightsaber combat (yes, there are seven. Sad that I know this) or they don’t know that Superman doesn’t need to eat food. He only does it because it makes him feel like people. Awwww! Generally, just try not to be a douchebag and ridicule someone when they say they’ve never seen ‘Star Wars’. Responding with, “Holy shit, you’ve NEVER SEEN STAR WARS?! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS?!!!” increases your chances of being bludgeoned by 50%.
8. Thou shall let thy regular friends be. We all have them, right nerds? You know, the ones who don’t understand why you had to see ‘The Dark Knight’ 4 times in 5 days or say “Chewbacca? Isn’t he in that Star Trek?” They probably would enjoy a good geek sci-fi flick or property, but they wouldn’t grasp the depth of the whole thing and appreciate it like you do. You can’t possibly explain to them why Farscape was one of the best shows on tv or that they need to be watching Fringe or even why the book is better than the movie. They’re too busy watching those Jersey Shore d-bags to really care. So stop trying to convince them to come to the geek-side and just accept their limitations for what they are.
9. Thou shall find a geek haven and make it yours. Odds are you aren’t exactly swimming in the popularity pool if you have chosen the path of the geek. It is not always an easy road to travel, especially when you are younger. Adult geeks aren’t ridiculed as much, but you always have to watch out for the standard Cobra Kai wanna be from time to time. So all geeks need a ‘Hall of Justice’ or a ‘Watchtower’ where they can proudly let their geek flag fly. It could be a comic shop, maybe a movie theater, or even a bookstore. Wherever you choose, make it somewhere that other geeks frequent and that makes you feel comfortable and able to ‘nerd out’ all you want. Me personally I love Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters. The one I love has a comic shop attached to it!!!! All it needs now is a strip club and I’m set.
10. Thou shall band together. Watch out for your fellow geek. Stand up for them. Be the voice. Speak up. We have power. We can crush with knowledge. We can cut with words. We are legion for we are many. Make people understand that being a geek will…
A. Get you made
b. Get you paid
c. Get you laid.
You think Christopher Nolan was the cool kid in school? You think Bill Gates got to bang the cheerleader? Probably not. Before Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, how much trim do you think he got? After? Well, I damn well bet it’s more than he did before. You have to work at it, but you can parlay your geekiness into some awesome shit that will get you swimming in money, geek street-cred, bitches(manly geeks for you ladies), and..did I mention money?
Now, before you say anything about my use of language or have an issue with my non-PCness. Fuck off. I don’t care. This is my blog. I’m a geek. Proud of it. I am the one that many of my fellow geek friends look to for guidance. Cause, you know, I’m awesome. 🙂