Are You A Rational Republican…?

elephant

Are you a rational Republican who gets annoyed at all the invective and satire and fiery rage directed at your party simply because of the actions and policies of an enormous majority of your fellows?

Stop. Just stop. Stop being defensive and butt-hurt. More importantly, stop being a Republican.

I know, I know. You’ve always been a Republican. You believe in fiscal responsibility and blah blah blah. Your friends are Republicans.Your daddy and mommy were Republicans. Your great grandpappy and grandmaw were Republicans. Hell, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

Republican. You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means. Not any more.

The Republican party is not the party of Lincoln. Not any more. And if you don’t support the actions of this monstrous Republican president, or the goose-stepping boot-licking quislings that make up the entirety of the existing Republican power structure (as has been the case for many years), or the unfettered ignorance and bigotry of the overwhelming Republican base, then maybe it’s not the party of you any more either.

You identify as Republican because you think being Republican means a lot of things that it probably actually does not any more, if it ever really did. That’s a lie you’re telling yourself. Stop it. Why lie to yourself and cast your lot with horrible people who are very actively destroying everything good and noble and beautiful about our country? Why do that to yourself? Why do that to the rest of us?

Stop. You don’t have to be a Republican. You don’t have to be anything but an American. Party loyalty can be a poison. Don’t be a part of a big ignorant herd, giving loyalty and power to those who do not deserve it. Just stop.

At the very least, you won’t have to keep getting your feelings hurt by people speaking truth to fascism.

NOTE: This goes for Democrats too. The Democratic party isn’t the party of FDR any more either, not by a long goddamned shot, though at least it’s not a burning church of hatred, ignorance, and authoritarianism. But blind, uncritical loyalty to them can be just as poisonous and unproductive.

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Captain America And The Real Myths Told By Superheroes (A Discussion)

A few years ago, when the first Captain America film came out, I was visiting my friend Phil Rockstroh. Phil is “a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City,” so leftist he makes me look like Ronald Reagan, and he watched the film with me. To him, of course, Steve Rogers was the very major model of a modern jingoistic character designed to arouse fascistic and nationalistic feelings in the weak-minded.

I tried pointing out that Cap had been created by a couple of Jewish kids trying to encourage Americans to stand against the Nazi threat in Europe before America was even in the war. I tried to delineate the progressive values Captain America has shown over the decades, and how at every point in the film, the creators subverted the potential jingoism that can, indeed, be a part of such a character. I predicted that in future films we would see a very strong anti-authoritarian theme at work in not just the Captain America films but in Marvel films in general. And I’m happy to say I was right.

Recently, while discussing the Joss Whedon/Black Widow foofaraw, we revisited the topic and the discussion got interesting, so I’m sharing it here. Making an occasional contribution is my friend Ed Hall,  a writer and the co-editor of Mothership: Tales From Afrofuturism and Beyond. Continue reading

I’m Not Your Dummy — And Neither Is Joss Whedon (Part 2 of 2) (UPDATED 10/2017)

Art by Cliff Chiang

[Read Part 1, “I’m Not Your Dummy — Why No One Should Have To Be “The Right Kind of Ally,” here.]

Joss Whedon is a feminist.

He claims the term as a central pillar of his identity. He exerts a great deal of his creative energy on crafting narratives which focus on complex, strong female characters, and behind the scenes he goes out of his way to create opportunities for female creatives. He is a persistent activist in feminist causes like Equality Now, and has been an outspoken supporter of feminist targets of misogynistic harassment like (the awesome) Anita Sarkeesian.

But Joss is not the “right kind of ally.”

Last week, after Avengers: Age of Ultron opened (the film from my dream in part 1), there was a vicious shitstorm of online invective against him because of his treatment of the Black Widow in the film. He also left Twitter, without saying why, and many assumed it was because of the abuse. Or, as one blogger derisively put it, “Feminist and female writers take issue with black widow depiction. A lot of them do. Joss gets saddy pants and leaves Twitter.”

That same blogger was full of scorn for Joss and admiration for “what these intelligent and brilliant women wrote about their concerns with avengers 2…” And what sort of intelligent, brilliant commentary did we see?

Continue reading

I’m Not Your Dummy — Why No One Should Have To Be “The Right Kind of Ally” (Part 1 of 2)

So I woke up one morning way too fucking early, with a dream dying in my head…

I’m at a huge theater with my girlfriend and my son, waiting to see the first showing of the new Avengers movie, and a nasty racial brawl is about to break out over a stupid misunderstanding. Something annoying was said, someone replied with annoyance, and several others took that as deliberate insult. A spark of irritation falls toward a volatile pool of abiding resentment. Huge violence is about to happen.

I just want to watch the movie, but am also naturally concerned about the fact that we’re smack in the middle of a crowd about to run riot. So I foolishly interject, redirecting the ringleader’s anger my way, focusing the conflict down to me and him rather than everybody. He rushes me and I back away, drawing him from the group. I don’t fight him, I don’t submit to his violence, I try to placate him, to calm him, to help him see that I was just trying to get his attention and there’s no reason to fight. This being a dream, it works. We laugh awkwardly and return to our seats. Everybody gets to see the movie, nobody’s going to bleed or die.

And I awoke. It was still dark, and I’d gotten maybe four or five hours sleep, but I was wide awake. I found myself ruminating about a recent blog post I wrote, and about the reaction it got (and didn’t get). Only after I gave in to the inevitable and got up, while I steeped some hot tea, did I make the connection between that rumination and the dream which preceded it. Continue reading

Conservative radio host gets waterboarded

Finally, a right-wing radio bozo walks the freaking talk and lets himself be waterboarded to prove it’s not torture. He changes his stance very quickly.

Okay, Hannity, your turn. You said you’d do it, walk like a man.

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