Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.7 "The Darkest Places"

At the beginning of this episode, we see the superhero gang hanging out at Close Encounters. They're drinking some beers and speculating about The Guardian. Kara doesn't know that James is The Guardian and she's telling him how she doesn't trust vigilantes. Here I feel like anyone attuned to James' facial expressions for "defensiveness" would start to become suspicious, but I guess this is why things between James and Kara didn't work out.

Speaking of things not working out, That Maggie Person then shows up and wants to know why Alex has been avoiding her, as if it's not totally obvious. Sigh. Keep your head up, Danvers.

In Hank news, ever since he received a transfusion from M'gann, he's been having visions of his family and it clearly upsets him. Later, Supergirl finds him doing Tai-Chi at the DEO and it all has a very "Buffy walking in on Angel doing Tai-Chi to heal from trauma" vibe to it and, hmmm, that reminds me, I bet some people ship Kara and Hank.

Mon-El, meanwhile, has been kidnapped by Cadmus. Shrug. (No, I'm KIDDING. I think Mon-El is okay. For now.) Supergirl goes to Cadmus to rescue him and she encounters the real Hank Henshaw, who is now apparently "Cyborg Superman." Supergirl ends up captured and, oh hey how convenient, she also lands in a cell right next to Mon-El, where they can chat and plot their escape together!

On the dumbass villain scale, villains who put the protagonists in adjoining cells rank right next to villains who deliver, by monologue, the entirety of their evil schemes whilst fighting.

In vigilante news, there's a fake Guardian in town, one who kills people. So, Maggie issues an arrest warrant for The Guardian. Uh-oh. As a result, Winn tells Alex that she needs to get Maggie to back off. That makes Alex suspicious. Alex tells Winn that she knows six ways to get him to talk, using just her index finger. While this sounds not unpleasant (sorrynotsorry), Winn quickly confesses that James is The Guardian.

Alex then tells Maggie to leave The Guardian alone and she lets Maggie know that, actually, they can't be just "friends."

Winn is able to track down the fake Guardian. So, the James Guardian finds him and confronts him. Just as he's kicked fake Guardian's ass, Maggie happens to swing by and she sees that the James Guardian and the fake Guardian are two different people. Whew!

Back at the Cadmus ranch, Lena's villain mom asks who Supergirl is to her daughter. It's like she suspects they might be secret lovers (which they are, obvs). She then puts a helmet on Supergirl that captures and depletes her power and Cadmus shoot Mon-El with lead bullets, which he's allergic to.

However, before anything worse can happen, Jeremiah helps Supergirl and Mon-El escape. He also, weirdly, stays behind at Cadmus for some reason. I guess he works there or has been Stokholmed or something.

On the Martian front, it turns out M'gann is a White Martian! It seems she's one with a conscience, however, but J'onn is still angry. Not that you can blame him. And, because M'gann gave him her blood, J'onn is now turning into a White Martian himself. Like Saul Tigh, it dawns on him that he's the type of being that he has long hated and sought vengeance against.

To end, the gang is at Kara's apartment, eating exactly one bite of potstickers each, when Maggie stops by. She tells Alex that she hopes they can be friends, because she doesn't want to imagine her life without Alex in it. Alex agrees. And I'm glad, because if Alex had a clue she'd know that Maggie's little "you've become really important to me" speech is not one that one typically gives to people one doesn't have a crush on. But, I get it. Lesbian friendships can be complicated. Sanvers, I'm rooting for them!

Deep Thought of the Week: On the topic of The Guardian and vigilantes, what makes Supergirl not a vigilante? Is it that she's acting under the auspices of the DEO? But, if the DEO is a secret government agency, how does the populace know she's not a rogue alien vigiliante? Or, is she not a vigilante because she doesn't (typically) kill?

 [Note: In November 2017, CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.]

Friday, April 21, 2017

First Crush Friday

Elisabeth Shue was mine, circa her days in Karate Kid and Adventures in Babysitting

Now, if you're in your early 20s or younger, you might have no idea why Shue is dressed like a mom throughout the entire movie when she's supposed to be a teenager, complete with a long camel-colored felt coat with a brooch and shoulder pads. All I can say is that this is simply how many people dressed in the '80s SO BACK OFF.

Here she is, singing "Babysitting Blues."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bernie's Bad Day

One of the most important tasks Democrats can accomplish between now and 2020 is rebutting the myth that Bernie Sanders is the one true progressive, indeed the ultimate arbiter as to what constitutes progressivism, in US politics.

This is a man who talked a big game after Trump's electoral college victory about being Trump's "worst nightmare" should Donald go after minorities. And yet, here we are, a mere few months later, and Bernie is criss-crossing the country holding rallies gaslighting minorities about the existence of bigotry among Trump's supporters.

This is also a man who gives the millions of people who voted for a bigoted sexual predator all the benefits of the doubt about their un-bigotedness, but who couldn't be bothered to learn about, or publicly support, a Democratic candidate in an important Georgia election this week.

This is a man who, however, can find it himself to support a male politician who would force women to view mandatory ultrasounds before having an abortion.

This is a man who sees a "silver lining" to the horrors that Trump is inflicting on the world, in that, hey, at least "millions of people are getting involved in politics to fight back." This view was also uttered before the election by Susan Sarandon, who is a big Bernie supporter and a big Hollywood star. When non-"Berniecrat" politicians are supported by Hollywood stars, however, it is explained to us that this is proof that they are elite and out of touch with Ordinary (White) (Male) People, as one commentator at The Guardian recently suggesed.

To put it quite bluntly, this is a man, as one Twitter user put it, whose "greatest accomplishment in life will be sabotaging a woman's chance to be president."

Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around, but Bernie Sanders' role in Trump's electoral college win cannot and should not be understated. Misogynistic double standards and white male privilege did a lot of fucking work for this guy in the Democratic Primary and we cannot and should not cede the label "progressive" to him, nor to those Internet Warriors who aggressively harass anyone who doesn't "feel the Bern."

The lesson, as always, is this: Never mistake a self-styled, white-man-centred leftist revolution for a feminist, anti-racist one.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.6 "Changing"

So, here we are at Close Encounters gay-lien bar. Mon-El is getting Kara drunk, apparently for the first time ever, while Maggie is convincing Alex to embrace her newfound gayness and come out to her family. Well well, look at the Danvers Sisters rebelling.

Later, Alex takes Maggie's advice and comes out to Kara. Alex explains that she has feelings ("yeah, those feelings") for Maggie and that she thinks she's been pushing down similar feelings for a long time.

Kara seems a little confused throughout the whole conversation, which seems a little odd. Has she truly never wondered why her big sis hasn't dated much? Here I theorize that her not-100%-enthusiastic response to Alex coming out to he is mostly due to her own dawning realization that she has feelings for Lena. Yeah, those feelings.

Anyway, the villain of the week is some sort of alien-virus-slug that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for thousands of years (did this happen on X-Files once?). Some scientists were studying it, it infected one of them, and the scientist is now roaming around National City. He also starts talking about himself in the plural first person, like Gollum, and sucks people's life forces from them like a succubus.

In Important Gay News, Alex confronts Kara for acting weird about the whole coming-out thing.  Which is legit. Kara was acting weird when Alex came out to her. Kara insists she's "so okay with it." But is she though? (Come on, don't break my heart, Supergirl!) Alas:
Kara: I think I owe you an apology.
Alex: For what?
Kara: For not creating an environment where you could talk about this with me.

Straight people take note. This is a really thoughtful way to react if someone comes out to you "late" in your relationship. You likely have no idea, straight people, as to how many queers in your life center heterosexual comfort/discomfort constantly. Instead of centering your own comfort/discomfort when someone else comes out to you, here is a good way to center their experience: consider that they have maybe not felt safe to come out to you until this moment. And then consider why that might be.

In Mon-El news, he's apparently taken a new job beating up aliens who owe debt. He also says he has no innate desire to use his powers to help people. Kara strongly disapproves. Here is her disapproving face:

James, meanwhile, is busting his ass trying to be a superhero even though he doesn't have superpowers. Go figure.

J'onn and Supergirl then track down the alien-virus-succubus thingy, but it drains both of them and then mutates into this thing that looks like an extra-creepy version of one of The Gentlemen from Buffy:

Supergirl heals after some time under the heat lamp, but J'onn apparently needs a blood transfusion from M'gann.  M'gann is hesitant to help, for some reason, and before giving J'onn her blood says, "Forgive me." Hmmm.

With both Supergirl and J'onn out of commission, James' boyfriend Winn finishes James' superhero outfit. National City needs a hero right now, so James steps up, as ..... The Guardian.  Oh, Mon-El decides to help too. A little bit. Before they can both get themselves killed by the alien-virus-succubus thingy, Supergirl flies to the scene of the battle with some plutonium. Great Scott! I guess she can just take it from a power plant or something and nothing bad will happen there. Anyway, the bad guy drains the plutonium and explodes.

To end, Alex goes to Close Encouters, and this close encounter happens:

*angel choir singing*

HOWEVER, it gets awkward fast. Sadly.

That Maggie Person says that she and Alex are at really different places and she doesn't want to date someone who is "fresh off the boat." Which, I've never heard being newly-gay phrased that way before and I've been gay a long time, but hey, now I'm imagining Alex disembarking a boat full of heteros and arriving at Dinah Shore weekend, where she joins all my favorite femslash pairings.

*angel choir singing again*

Sorry. The point here is, poor Alex.  She put herself out there multiple times this episode and it wasn't smooth sailing. At the same time, you can't win them all. Give Maggie space. In fact, my advice to Alex is this: go home, pour yourself some wine, and watch some L Word episodes. There are always other boats in the sea. Scully. Tamsin. Melinda May....

Deep Thought of the Week: Lena wasn't in this episode. I hope that is rectified next week.

 [Note: In November 2017, CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.]

Friday, April 14, 2017

Femslash Food Fight Friday

A few items of note.

When searching for Fried Green Tomatoes Ruth/Idgie fan videos (or really, any femslash video in general) why is it that we so often encounter that YouTube commenter who feels compelled to piss all over the LGBT pride parade? They love to gaslight people, for instance, about the romantic nature of Ruth and Idgie's relationship, or any femslash pairing that people ship.

"Why do you people have to make everything sexual?" they say, after they have somehow arrived themselves at search results for "Ruth and Idgie fan videos," which we all know is a 100% heterosexual activity.

Alas, after Trump gets us all nuked, a possibility that seems likelier and likelier every passing day, I'm convinced that all that will be left in the world are Twinkies, cockroaches, one last holler of "but her emailllllls," and some prepper in a bunker still insisting that Ruth and Idgie - like Xena and Gabrielle - are good friends but definitely-not-lovers.

Now yes yes, it's true, I often do read subtext into film and TV. But, to be fair, I'm usually just following subtextual breadcumbs left by producers and writers. And, in this particular case, Ruth and Idgie's relationship actually was overtly romantic in the novel as written by Fannie Flagg (no relation).  It was the film that hid the romance in subtext, obscuring from the oblivious, un-discerning hetero gaze.

Two, speaking of subtext, isn't a food fight sometimes so much more than a food fight?

Three, I'm not sure why this fan video below is set to a French version of "Total Eclipse of the Heart," but I'm here for it.

I'm suddenly craving baked goods. Totinos anyone?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

NYT "Q&A" on Abortion and Democrats

Want to know what's perfect for the year 2017?

Two men posting a "Q&A" session at The New York Times about "How Democrats Can Stop Being Perceived as the Abortion Party," in which they highlighted and responded to reader comments on this topic.


Out of 2,500 reader comments from which to choose, these men chose to highlight this contribution to the discourse first:

Hillary Clinton "lost because her campaign was horrible." Nevermind that she received more than votes than any white man in the history of the United States. Let's give this rando a platform, so we can likewise give two dudes the opportunity to respond, about abortion, and then proceed to dominate and frame a fauxbective conversation about a topic that disproportionately impacts women's bodily autonomy.

It is the year 2017.

Women's reproductive autonomy is still up for debate. Many times, women don't even get to participate as thought leaders in the debate on the world's biggest platforms. There's your liberal "fake news" media for ya.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.5 "Crossfire"

So, this episode begins with Kara serving as Mon-El's alien mentor. She and Winn have gotten him a fake ID and a job CatCo. Sort of assuming he'll be a superhero eventually, she also helps him come up with his "regular human identity." This identity is sort of like a male version of herself:

Mon-El makes questionable moral choices whilst at work, eating red vines while a woman does his work for him. Later, he hooks up with this woman in a CatCo closet. I think this is supposed to show how he's not used to human customs, but it seems pretty human-like behavior to me. /shrug

Meanwhile, Alex and Maggie hang out at the alien/gay bar. In my head, this bar is named Close Encounters, although it's possible it has an actual canon name. More importantly, Maggie lets the cat out of the bag that her girlfriend has broken up with her. Alex subsequently does not do a good job of hiding her delight about that.

Later, at the DEO, Alex and Winn are talking, but she's obviously distracted. Winn asks what's up and Alex tells him that Maggie's girlfriend has broken up with her. Then, this happens: 
Winn: I don't know, I try to stay out of other people's relationships. 
Alex: Mm-hmm, like you stayed out of Kara's? 
Winn: Okay, now that was different. I was into Kara. It's not like you're into this Maggie person.
Alex: ..... 
Mmm, Maggie
Ahem, "that Maggie person." How dare you, Winn!

This week's big bad is a group of bank robbers. Cadmus has secretly given them some alien weapons, so they rob a bank and attack Supergirl. Cadmus then puts out an anti-alien ad, their point being that alien technology is dangerous because, seeeee, it can fall into the wrong hands.

Lena then pays Kara a surprise visit at CatCo. Her purpose is to invite Kara to a gala, because Kara is supposedly her only friend in National City. I have two SuperCorp observations here: (1) Mon-El gets himself an invite to the gala as well, and Kara seems annoyed about that, and (2) Kara continues to act flustered/flirty around Lena.

Lena also invites Supergirl to this very same gala to protect them all from the bank robber gang! Uh-oh, what is a superhero-with-a-secret-identity to do? Should she yet Lena in on her little secret? (yesyesyeyesyesyes)

The Alex/Maggie saga continues when Alex somewhat-obliviously tells Maggie-the-newly-single-lesbian that it would be nice if they could keep each other company that night. Maggie reads it as an offer for a romantic interlude, and she says she didn't realize that Alex was "into girls." Alex quickly says she's not, but also seems confused in general by the turn the conversation has taken. Oh dear. Somebody come along and help poor Alex ease into feeling really excited about a woman for the first time. A mentor, maybe? Yes, that's it. She needs a queer mentor.

Next, in character development news, we turn to James. Now, I've been wondering what's up with James this season, other than him getting a promotion and a Dear John letter from Kara. Well, in this episode, we learn that he wants to be a superhero too. Oh. Well, okay then.

He apparently has a black belt in an unspecified martial art and he tries to get Winn to be his sidekick. Dare I say that I don't see this ending well?

Operation Doubtfire then commences, with Kara and Supergirl both attending the same gala. Kara arrives first and says hi to Lena. Kara then leaves the scene and, seconds later, Supergirl "arrives" and says hi. Golly, I hope no one starts choking on cayenne pepper.

*Brief Subtextual Interlude Alert* 

You know the "Alex's Ex" DEO Agent? I like to think of this gala saxophone player as her ex:

Moving along. The bank robber gang shows up to the gala and they start shooting their alien guns at Supergirl. However, Lena came prepared. She secretly has a machine that will absorb the alien weaponry hidden at the gala, and it works. So, the bad guys get arrested.

In conclusion, Winn agrees to help James be a superhero. Kara also accepts that the best way to mentor Mon-El is to let him be who he is, rather than how she wants him to be. He is not, it turns out, a clone of Kara's. *shrug* I'm just here for the flying and gay stuff. *looks around nervously* He he, just kidding.

And FINALLY, Alex meets Maggie at Close Encounters and *prepare yourselves* comes out to her. It's actually a really nice scene and realistic as to how sometimes it doesn't "click" for some people, that they're gay, until later in life.

Also, Lena's mom is the head of Cadmus. BYEEEE!

Deep Thought of the Week: Wasn't Mrs. Doubtfire a pretty fucked-up movie if you think about it?

 [Note: In November 2017, CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.]

Friday, April 7, 2017

Femslash Friday: Bend It Like Beckham Edition

You have to love women's sports movies that include zero lesbian or bisexual female characters. Especially if that sport is soccer, but I'm also looking at you A League Of Their Own. Bless Hollywood's heart.

Now, my main issue with Bend it Like Beckham isn't that it's devoid of queer characters, in fact it actually includes a gay male character(!), which for 2002 was still somewhat of a novelty. Perhaps the producers of Beckham believed that introducing a gay male character would distract audiences from any sapphic homoerotic undertones associated with women's sorts, relieving the tension so to speak.

Perhaps they thought wrong.

Never underestimate what audiences deprived of representation can read into a film. Thus, my main issue is that, like Pitch Perfect, Beckham includes a completely superfluous male-female romance even though it's clearly the two female leads who have the most chemistry with one another.

Quite simply, I am 100% unable to view the film without viewing Jess and Jules as the real romantic pairing of the movie. Also, BONUS FRIDAY FUN FACT OF FEMSLASH: For every femslash pairing that exists in fandom, somebody has made a video to it with "I Kissed A Girl" as the soundtrack. Bend It Like Beckham is no exception.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Recap: Supergirl 2.4 "Survivors"

Okay, I'm going to be blunt. We have to talk about (ie, appreciate) this thing that appears to be ripening between Agent Alex Danvers and Detective Maggie Sawyer.

At the start of this episode, Alex meets Maggie to inspect a dead alien body. While discussing the matter, we see that, although they've just recently, met the two have nonetheless developed an instant, rapid-fire rapport. Together, they finish each other's sentences as they piece together the cause of the alien's death.

Supergirl arrives to help and watches in silence as Alex and Maggie come up with a plan together. Her face tells me that this subtext is starting to become a little maintext-y, and isn't it odd for her normally oh-so-buttoned-up, angsty sister Alex to get along so swimmingly with a member of the local police force?

Wait a minute....
Later, Alex and Maggie go undercover to investigate the alien abductions that have been occurring. This development basically seems to be an excuse to get Alex and Maggie in "going out" attire and Venetian masks and I am 100% okay with that. The undercover mission also requires that they walk into the club holding hands. I'm not sure why they have to be holding hands. I'm just here to report the facts as they happen, my friends! (But yes, please).

Meanwhile, Hank goes to the alien bar where M'gann works to connect with her. He says he never though he'd see another Martian again and golly, he says, it would sure be nice if they "took the bond." M'gann declines. Geez, Hank. U-haul much?

While on their undercover mission, Alex and Maggie discover that someone is running an underground alien fight club AND that M'gann is one of the fighters! Supergirl, of course, wants to shut it down, but the woman running the fight club, Roulette(?), says that she, unlike the DEO, offers aliens a way to make a living, instead of just putting them in cages. Roulette later kidnaps Hank so she can hold a Martian-Martian fight between J'onn and M'gann.

Speaking of aliens in cages, the DEO won't let Mon-El leave until they finish running tests on him. Mon-El, however, flirts with Winn, so Winn ends up sneaking him out on the town. They get drunk together and Mon-El ends up accidentally hurting a couple of guys in the bar. Mon-El is kind of a brat. Also, with James out of the picture, it seems he's going to potentially be a love interest for Kara. Shrug. That's fine, I guess.

BUT, later, Kara goes to visit the L Word, I mean the L Corp, to see if Lena has any idea where the J'onn/M'gann fight is going to take place. I guess the idea is that Lena is a rich person and rich people know where these underground fights are. More importantly, however, Lena tells her assistant that Kara is to be "be shown in right away whenever possible."  So, that's that. Lena then gives Kara the location of the fight, as well as this parting glance.

It's official, I ship SuperCorp. But I'm a neoliberal shill, what do you even expect from me?

At the fight club, Roulette says that J'onn and M'gann have to fight to the death. Roulette also has a big snake tattoo that covers her entire body. Well, it's either a snake, or it's a bunch of kinesiotape. It's hard to tell.

ANYway, M'gann and J'onn refuse to kill each other. And then, Alex, Maggie, and Supergirl swoop in to break up the fight club. Maggie arrests Roulette, but then some powerful person ultimately gets Roulette released.

Maggie then swiftly breaks Alex's heart by having a girlfriend and it is so hard to watch. Poor poor burgeoning-queer Alex. Oh, we also see that M'gann is secretly a white Martian, BYEEE!

Deep Thought of the Week: What's Max Lord been up to? Not that I'm complaining. Lena Luthor is a way better wealthy anti-hero/villain.

 [Note: In November 2017, CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg was suspended after allegations of sexual harassment.]

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Just A Quick Question On Political Advocacy Work

Monday, April 3, 2017

Bernie Sanders, Please Stop Denying Bigotry

You might have heard that Bernie Sanders recently gave a speech saying he doesn't agree that "the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folk."

It turns out, I disagree with Senator Sanders and have some words to say about that.

Read it all, over at Shakesville.