Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Roseanne, Sarah Silverman, and the Trump-Supporter Anthropology Series

Over at Shakesville, I wrote about the post-2016 election trend of pundits and media figures, such as Sarah Silverman and Roseanne, "playing anthropologist" as they interpret Trump supporters to (I guess) everyone who isn't one.

Check it out!

Recap: Supergirl 3.11 "Fort Rozz"

The big mission this episode is that Supergirl needs to go back to Fort Rozz to talk to a prisoner who might know how to defeat Reign. The problem is, Supergirl threw Fort Rozz into outer space and, while the DEO was able to track it down, it's currently orbiting a blue star.

Supergirl doesn't have powers near blue stars. Oh, and blue stars are also fatal to those with Y chromosomes. So, because Supergirl has no hero friends who are women, she apparently has to assemble a team for this mission that's comprised of people who are, in some way, either anti-heroes and/or Supergirl's arch-nemeses.

For instance, she taps Livewire, who is currently working at a diner and refers to Reign as a "G.L.O.W. reject" and Mon-El as "cosplay" (LOL):

There's also Psi, who I like as a character, but we're now looking at a trio of three thin blond white women. That is to say, this episode was a missed opportunity to add some diversity.

Oh wait, nevermind, a brunette, Imra, also joined Supergirl at Fort Rozz:

Anyway, once they arrive at Fort Rozz, it's hit by a solar flare, meaning they're hurtling toward the sun and they lose contact with the DEO. Meanwhile, Reign hops in a space pod and shows up at Fort Rozz, as well.

Supergirl finds the prisoner she wanted to talk to and gets some information about Reign, but Reign then kills the prisoner. Livewire and Psi defend Supergirl, who is powerless, from Reign while Imra tries to steer the ship away from the sun. Livewire dies in the process, because the CW DC-verse seems to hate nasty women (along with, in general, women over 40). Psi then does the mind-meld thingy on Reign, and Reign flees Fort Rozz. So, everyone (minus Livewire) gets home safely.

At the DEO, Winn and Brainy worked together on all the tech aspects of the mission and I'm just going to put it out there that Brainy is obviously into Winn but is as-of-yet unaccustomed to Earthling queer male mating rituals. Or, maybe Winn is into Brainy but he doesn't know he's queer yet. Either way, I can ship this. No, I definitely ship this.

In Alex news, she babysits Ruby while Sam is off unwittingly being Reign. In fact, when Sam and Alex interact, you can kind of see them as potential love interests. Aside from Sam's whole villain secret identity, that is.

Oh, and the new information about Reign is that there are these beings called Worldkillers who are sort of like sleeper Cylons, waiting to awaken wreak vengeance on the world.

Deep Thought of the Week: This was a decent episode. I like the concept of the all-female team while the men had to stay back and wring their hands about the dangerous mission the women were on. Also, I get that cross-overs are probably expensive and logistically challenging, but this episode would have been a fun one for White Canary, Batgirl,and/or Hawkgirl to join (among others such as, dare I suggest, Wonder Woman).

Note: CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg has been fired after a sexual harassment investigation. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Takes Effect

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect today. As a result, you may be served notices when you use certain websites today, including Fannie's Room, regarding cookies used and data collected, in compliance with European Union laws.

In case you are not automatically served those notices, Google's disclosures can be found here: Google Privacy Policy and How Google Uses Information from Sites or Apps That Use Our Services. And Disqus' disclosures can be found here: Update on Privacy and GDPR Compliance.

This blog is hosted on Google/Blogger and has a third-party commenting system provided by Disqus. Fannie's Room is a strictly non-commercial blog and I do not sell or knowingly share user information with other third parties.

The Commenting and Privacy Policy for Fannie's Room can be found here.

Ocean Friday

Hi y'all, given the political times in which we've found ourselves, I'm looking forward to Ocean's 8 as a top pop culture event of 2018. 

The entire cast looks amazing, but of course I'm particularly excited about seeing Cate Blanchett and Sarah Paulson on screen again.


What are you reading, watching, playing, doing, and/or looking forward to?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Recap: Supergirl 3.10 "Legion of Super Heroes"

Last we saw Supergirl, she had just gotten her ass kicked by Reign.

So, now the DEO has her in a medically-induced coma while she heals. In her own mind, she's also "trapped" in her apartment building and once she figures out how to leave, she will emerge from the coma. A new character, Brainy, visits Supergirl in her mind and tries to help her. Brainy is a really smart cyborg who I would describe as looking like a tall Smurf/Oompa Loompa hybrid.

Meanwhile, Reign is still on the loose. And, she has declared war on.... criminals.

Wait what? Isn't that sort of what Supergirl and the DEO do?

I guess Reign's type of vigilantism is bad because she takes it too far, but it will be interesting to see ow the show explores what "taking it too far entails," especially in the context of how, and to what extent, Reign's vigilantism might differ from the DEO and Supergirl's. When discussing Reign, Alex notes that Reign hasn't just declared war on criminals, she has declared war on "the entire justice system." Yet, doesn't the DEO lock up some aliens without due process? Haven't they killed before, as well? Didn't Alex kill Astra?

At the DEO, Mon-El, Imra, and Brainy vaguely allude to the fact that they came to Earth on some sort of mission. They note that the Earth experiences a catastrophic event in the future in which all of our history and culture are wiped out. Hilariously, Imra says that therefore when Mon-El arrived, he taught them "everything" they know, including Aristotle, Shakespeare, and Bon Jovi. LOLOLOL.

Sure. I guess we're supposed to just believe that this guy who spent approximately 2 seconds on Earth, much of it being a fuck-up, taught these brilliant future folks the classics from Earth's. Puh-lease. The Mon-El storyline is starting to get a tad Avatar-ish for my taste (ie, "white guy goes native and becomes a great leader").

An actual funny moment occurs later when J'onn is forced to shape-shift to pretend to be Kara again, tis time in order to fool Lena, who believes Kara is sick at home with a cold. During this interaction, Lena tells J'onn-Kara that she and James kissed and J'onn-Kara finds the entire conversation completely awkward. LOL.

While Supergirl is in a coma, the DEO tries to entrap Reign. They bait her by pretending to rob a bank and, when she shows up, they throw some kryptonite at her. Yet, she's resistant to it and she gets away. She then goes to a prison and starts attacking the prisoners.

Mon-El, Imra, and Brainy join the DEO in going after her and, as Brainy flies the spaceship, I like that the controls are a throwback to Flight of the Navigator. Hmm, must have been another relic of pop culture that Mon-El taught him.

Back in her coma, Supergirl sees her Kara Danvers glasses/disguise and decides to come out of the coma. She flies in and helps fight Reign, but Reign gets away. But, at least Supergirl is back to normal again.

In conclusion, James and Lena kiss again, and I just can't.

Deep Thought of the Week: I guess Mon-El, Imra, and Brainy are part of a "Legion of Super Heroes"? Like, they even have matching costumes and glow rings. Perhaps this is supposed to impress me, but it doesn't. I don't mind a few rag-tag minor heroes she might have as allies or friends, akin to Oliver Queen's various gangs. I'll keep an open mind about where this "Legion" plotline is going, because to be fair I don't know that yet. But, the show is called Supergirl. I become less and less comfortable with plotlines that look like they're using a show that centers a woman to set up a male character for his own show one day.

Note: CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg has been fired after a sexual harassment investigation. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Umbrella Friday

I admit, watching lip sync battles is one of my distracting pleasures in life.

Now, I can't say I've ever had a particular interest in Tom Holland, but damn, he looks good in drag and has some impressive dance moves to boot.

In the clip below, the best part begins around minute 2:15, but before that, Zendaya also does a good Bruno Mars impression. And yes, I'm an old, so I had to look up who Zendaya was.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Precedent of Donald Trump's Rigged Election

Yesterday, The New York Times ran an article about the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane.

It's worth a read, but what's striking to me is just how destructive Donald's pre-election claims about Clinton purportedly "rigging the election" were and continue to be, particularly to our democracy.

The piece discusses the disparate treatment of the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server, in which James Comey announced the reopening of the case immediately prior to the 2016 election, compared to the FBI's silence over the fact that multiple Trump contacts were under investigation for ties to Russia at the time:
"[U]nderpinning both cases was one political calculation: that Mrs. Clinton would win and Mr. Trump would lose. Agents feared being seen as withholding information or going too easy on her. And they worried that any overt actions against Mr. Trump’s campaign would only reinforce his claims that the election was being rigged against him."
Donald Trump played the FBI, which so overreacted to Trump's claim that the system was rigged against him that they took action that had the effect of rigging the 2016 election for him.

"Mr. Comey has said he regrets his decision to chastise Mrs. Clinton as “extremely careless,” even as he announced that she should not be charged. But he stands by his decision to alert Congress, days before the election, that the F.B.I. was reopening the Clinton inquiry.

The result, though, is that Mr. Comey broke with both policy and tradition in Mrs. Clinton’s case, but hewed closely to the rules for Mr. Trump."
Chastise the qualified woman, play by the rules for the male authoritarian incompetent. Sounds about right.

I'll also add that, quite frankly, Trump largely played the political press who continually let him make a rather weighty claim about the legitimacy of our electoral process without challenging him on it much or demanding that he back it up. The press also did this, and continues to do so, with respect to the "rigging" claim of the Bernie Sanders camp, a claim which will likely reoccur in 2020 if Bernie runs in the Democratic primary and, in particular, if he loses again.

This is now standard operating procedure for our presidential elections. Candidates claim that the election is rigged against them even if it's not, and sometimes, but only sometimes, it's actually true. Like a man expressing fantasies of locking up his political opponent, the Overton window has shifted so much that it is no longer all that newsworthy for a candidate to fictitiously claim that an opponent has rigged an election and, in the process, undermine the electoral process itself and any result that he finds unfavorable.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Anti-LGBT Group Changes Tune on Role of Judiciary

Over at Shakesville, I have a piece up regarding the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) apparent new strategy for overturning same-sex marriage.

After years of railing against the judiciary and "unelected judges" supposedly overturning "the will of the people," it seems they're now banking on a conservative replacing Anthony Kennedy on the US Supreme Court so that person can eventually help overturn Obergefell.

Head over to Shakesville to read the whole thing!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Note On Abusive "Feminist" Men

In reaction to the latest man on the left side of the political spectrum to be accused of abuse and misogyny, I shared some thoughts on Twitter last night:


A problem with abusive "feminist" men is that their existence often causes conservative women to perceive that conservative men, and thus conservative causes, are a better alternative to what feminists, and more broadly, the left are fighting for.

This observation should be included in any piece examining why women vote against their own interests as women. But, it's rarely offered as an explanation.

Misogyny and abuse exist along the political spectrum and are not limited to the right or conservatives. Many commentators and activists treat women as stupid dupes who can be "tricked" into being a member of a particular movement.

When, the truth is, we are all making choices in a flawed system that's rigged against us, within male-dominated movements where we're then expected to perform low-status, unpaid political and emotional labor centered around a charismatic man.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Femslash Friday: Birds of Prey

So, I'm a big dork and have been watching the old Birds of Prey TV show that lasted one season in 2002.

Has anyone watched this?

It's actually been entertaining and I wish there was more of it to watch. You just have to get past the early aughts special effects and hair/fashion choices. In fact, starring as it does three crime-fighting women, I think it's about ready for a reboot now that superhero shows are all the rage, yeah?

In the original, none of the main characters were overtly queer, but that could easily be remedied in a reboot. At the same time, the queer-baiting/subtext was pretty off-the-charts. A reasonable viewer could interpret Barbara (Oracle) and Helena (Huntress) as a couple, with Dinah being their adopted daughter.

Alternatively, Helena and Dr. Harleen Quinzel (Harley Quinn) were definitely an item.

Check out this over-the-top scene from the finale, featuring two 100% hetero women interacting with each other in a completely hetero fashion.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Area Man Terrorized By Obscure, Fake Manifesto; Promotes It On His Popular Website

Yesterday, at his blog, conservative Christian writer Rod Dreher posted a hyperventilating, novella-length piece about a document purporting to be a manifesto for helping pedophilia become socially-acceptable via using the same strategies that the LGBT community used.

Dreher begins, "I want to share with you the most disturbing thing I have read in a very long time. You need to know about it." He then shares large excerpts from this "manifesto," which by the way was originally posted anonymously at 8chan, even adding his own annotations throughout, stressing the urgent direness of the situation:
"It’s actually a reasonable strategy document — 'reasonable' in the narrow and amoral sense of it makes sense as a strategy to get society to accept something totally evil. We know that this can work because it has worked with other sexual minorities."
"Other sexual minorities."

So, yeah. To anyone with even an ounce of skepticism, the document is an obvious, right-wing fabrication. Dreher himself half-acknowledges that in his original post, but then admits that he doesn't really want to look too deeply into the matter because that would be too dark:
"I am unwilling to do the kind of digging online in this darkness to nail down with certainty that this is an authentic document. I will only caution you that I have not seen it verified yet. Nevertheless, it is out there, and it most definitely has the air of plausibility."
There is a certain dipshitted deliciousness to watch a man who regularly mocks college students for being oversensitive snowflakes confess that he can't be bothered to ascertain the authenticity of a document that denigrates LGBT political gains by suggesting that gains for pedophiles logically follow.

His admitted ignorance about this text's authenticity, however, doesn't stop Dreher from treating this slippery slope "threat" as 100% real. In fact, as it becomes more and more clear to him, in real time, that the document is a fake, he only digs in further, stressing that "we" still need to be on guard anyways.

After people began commenting on his post, he added two updates.

In the first, he acknowledges that it might be a fake, but insists that "we" still ought to think about how "we" would respond to such a manifesto if it were real. In the second, he says he read it again and now doubts its authenticity. Even so, he insists that the very fact that some readers might think that this obscure fake manifesto was authentic, which he initially promoted on his website as authentic, "tells us something about the current cultural moment."

Indeed it does, good sir.

He then goes on to approvingly cite Ross Douthat's recent "redistribution of sex" garbage fire of a piece that was somehow published over at The New York Times, which is really the PERFECT on-brand capstone to Dreher's clusterfuck of manufactured outrage. 

Dreher also sees TERFs as allies now because they're all-aboard the anti-trans train, which is also PERFECT, obviously.


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

America Hates Honest Women

I  have a piece up at Shakesville about a common narrative thread I see in some recent news items - which is a specific hatred of women who "tell it like it is":
"All of this is to say that a woman may be legally free to accurately charge a man with rape, roast dishonest public officials, or have the temerity to warn her nation about ongoing threats to democracy, but when she does so, it's made abundantly clear to them — and all the women and little girls watching — that she shouldn't have."

Read the whole thing!

Recap: Supergirl 3.9 "Reign"

So, previously, we saw Mon-El return to Earth with a surprise +1 and learned that Sam is secretly a villain named Reign.

This episode starts on Christmas Eve morning with Sam waking up in her bed with no memory of her trip to the desert or of being Reign, sort of like she's been a sleeper Cylon for her entire life (and sort of still is until something or someone activates her).

Over at the DEO, Mon-El and Imra are telling the gang what the 31st century was like. Apparently, society was in constant conflict, but Mon-El came along and organized a group called the Legion. He explains that the group was inspired by Supergirl. Which.... LOLOLOLOLOL.

Perhaps we're supposed to think it's neat that Supergirl was this group's inspiration, but I just can't buy that Mon-El would have been mature or developed enough as a superhero to swoop into the 31st century with things to teach the future people. This plotline is like the Supergirl version of Avatar.

He also renders a convoluted story about how he and Imra end up on Earth - something about a wormhole, a broken ship, and whoops they ended up on Earth? Everyone just sort of goes with this explanation, but I'm skeptical. Anyway, Mon-El asks for help getting back to the 31st century, because I guess that's his home now, so I guess the good news is that he's eventually leaving with his new wife. BYE!

Later, Kara hosts a holiday party. During it, Sam and Kara notice James making eyes at Lena and they tell her to go for it. Lena (aptly) notes, "There's no chemistry!" but you just know they're probably going to kiss very soon anyway. Annnnnnd, later, someone tries to assassinate Lena, but thankfully she's with James and he saves her. Once they're back in Lena's office drinking scotch, they kiss.

In better news, Kara gets called away to go on a mission during the party and well well well, look who's back. Agent "Alex's Ex" Vasquez:

Reign has apparently burned a glyph into the ground and Vasquez has Supergirl check it out. It's a very old Kryptonian symbol. The glyph is on L Corp property, so Lena speculates that her nemesis Edge put it there to intimidate her. However, Kara visits a prisoner who shares obscure, ancient Kryptonian knowledge with her about the Worldkiller who is going to destroy Earth.

Supergirl and Reign have an encounter. And by encounter, I mean that Supergirl gets her ass handed to her.

By the end of the episode, things seem really touch-and-go with Supergirl. Alex has to go into "Little Grey" doctor mode to save her and we know she's probably going to be okay, but this episode is a low point for her. 

Deep Thought of the Week:
So, I've noticed that Supergirl uses a a more somber logo after each episode's teaser this season. I'm not sure if that's supposed to indicate that this season is darker than previous seasons. If that is the intent, I'm not sure it matches the tone that I'm picking up from the episodes so far. Sure, Kara has been upset that Mon-El had to leave Earth and she's clearly upset that he returned with a new wife. And, while she's outmatched by Reign, she still has the love and support of Alex, Lena, J'onn, James, and Winn.

Kara's character development does not seem, at least yet, anywhere near the rock bottom of, say, Willow Rosenberg in "Wrecked," wherein Willow was addicted to magic (drugs), on the verge of ruining her best friendship, had put Dawn's life in danger, and had ruined her relationship with Tara.

Note: CW/Supergirl Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg has been fired after a sexual harassment investigation.