« May 2015 »

Memo to Texas Tinfoil Hatters, Duck Commander, and Defenders Of The Black Widow Uterus: YOU ARE DUMB.

Ah, the flotsam and jetsam of the Internet. There's been a lot of it over the past week, and it washes up on the beach called SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY! And by the way, on Monday, the flip side of Item 3's going to get it hard in the face. In case you wonder why I'm being gracious. Trust me, by Monday, you'll know.

Lots of other people have covered this extensively, but the right-wing freakout over a military exercise they see as a possible takeover of Texas by the United States Government is important for one big reason - the desperate need for a lot of politicians not to piss off those voters.

Greg Abbott, Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul have all at least humored the conspiracy theorists, and others have remained neutral or non-committal in much the same way they act when asked about the theory of evolution - their base is so bugfuck that they don't even dare say that the idea of the United States military "taking over" Texas ludicrous, lest they be branded as secret liberal co-conspirators. Which is a very hilarious, very terrifying place for American politics to be as we head into an election year.

Let's take a second, shall we, to have the first of many moments of blissful silence for "Duck Commander Musical", a musical that was put together in Las Vegas to capitalize on the popularity of a TV show about a bunch of homophobic redneck millionaires right as the popularity of a TV show about a bunch of homophobic redneck millionaires started to evaporate.

The show lasted less than a month, which is impressive, considering it was announced last year, which means it took about five months to make. That's time well spent. The producers, not to be confused with "The Producers" despite the obvious similarities, say they may take the show on the road to "interested cities", which is odd, because I wouldn't think "just Branson, MO" deserved a plural "cities".

As a man, it's not my place to tell women that they're wrong to be upset about perceived sexism. But as the curator of You Are Dumb Dot Net, it IS my place in general to tell people in general that they're wrong. And some people arguing that Age of Ultron's treatment of Black Widow is sexist? Well, they're wrong.

The lack of Black Widow merchandise is absolutely valid, but for the record, it's also not in the slightest bit new. A decade ago, with the popularity of the animated Justice League cartoon, it was almost impossible to find any Justice League merchandise that featured the two women on the team (Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl). It's a problem with the entertainment and merchandising industry as a whole, and while I'm glad Age of Ultron is bringing it to people's attention, it's not unique to this movie. Also, Jeremy Renner is a dickhead on talk shows. No argument there.

But another argument states that Black Widow sees herself as a monster because she can't have children. She says she's a monster. She says she can't have children. She even says that the process that turned her into a monster also made it so she can't have children. But correlation does not equal causation. And everything else about the character's portrayal in both Avengers' movies, the revelations about the Russian Black Widow program in Agent Carter, and to a lesser extent Winter Soldier, is that she considers herself a monster because, well, the Russians raised her and programmed her in order to turn her into a ruthless assassin. At the end of that process, yes, they sterilized her. And that fact was relevant to the conversation with Banner. And so was the fact that she thinks of herself as a monster. But the connection between the two is open to interpretation at the very least, and unsupported by the text at the worst.

And yes, this comes after checking my privilege, understanding the industry as a whole's unfortunate obsession with giving strong women maternal bullshit as drama. Hell, even within the MCU, I'm not very comfortable with them rooting Melinda May's tragic backstory in mommy trauma. And feel free to go ahead thinking what you think regardless of what I say here. Why should you be any different from anyone else I cover here?