Guest contributors run the gamut, but they all pretty much rock.
If you are someone toting even a modicum of conservatism in your saddlebag of viewpoints, you are more than familiar with media bias. To call the majority of the press “slanted” is to call a Park City double-black diamond slope “angular.” But there is another media offshoot that is less recognized while unsurprisingly biased.
I am not delivering breaking news to suggest the left-leaning reporters and reviewers covering the very leftist-entrenched entertainment industry have an agenda. Of note though is how those scribes on the Hollywood beat have become no less tormented by the recent election, to sometimes amusing results.
I have written in this sector for years now, and I can say most writers therein operate from a standpoint that Democrat-Liberal views are the correct stance. Have I felt at times that I had to withhold revealing my conservative positions for fear of being denied work? Sure. That is how widespread liberalism is on staffs. I am not bemoaning this. I chose this sector, so I would abide as needed. However, it also granted me an opportunity. As I began covering the business side of Hollywood, I often was able to see aspects of the economics fewer noted. This sometimes led to praise for being uniquely objective.
Now I don’t suggest they always proselytize in their work, but when the occasion arises, many do not hesitate to inject their position as the norm. This is something that is rising with ridiculous results in the wake of the election. In a fashion similar to the many celebrities melting the shimmer off of their trophies with Trump-derangement, Hollywood journalists are also becoming irrational in growing fashion.
It took almost no time. We just need to look at some reviews for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” As the film debuted in December, Salon could not refrain from injecting the election into its analysis. “It is a perfect movie, in its own way, to take us through the transition from the era of Barack Obama to the era of Donald Trump.” No less imbalanced was Variety, stating “Rogue One Is the Most Politically Relevant Movie of the Year.” The racial mixture of the cast is supposedly a shot across the bow to followers of the man yet-to-be inaugurated.
Beyond the hysterics is the way seasoned entertainment reporters allow their emotional torment to eclipse professional assessment. All they would need to do is take a deep breath and ponder. These films are years in the making, and their development in no way was formed as a commentary on the new Presidency. Trump’s triumph was secured mere weeks prior to the release of a blockbuster special-effects epic. “Rogue One” was no more an indictment on Donnie than “The Secret Life Of Pets.”
“Hidden Figures” was another title released a couple of weeks after the election, with a storyline set in the 1960s. So OF COURSE The Daily Beast saw this film as a message to Trump’s America. In December, Esquire looked back to declare the film “Hell or High Water” – released in August – foretold the election: “(The film) imagined the destructive lengths to which a certain set of people would go to hold onto something they’d always felt was theirs.” Uh, sure it did.
Another film stoking the emotions of film writers was “Patriots Day,” the dramatization of the Boston Marathon bombings. I was certain the title alone would be enough to set off certain writers, and experience had me seeking out whether a favored word would be invoked in describing the film. They did not disappoint.
● THE VERGE: This movie caters to a jingoism that the political right has spent eight years defending from the withering gaze of an incredibly enlightened President.
● THE ATLANTIC: It’s the glimpses of something more complicated than jingoism that really linger.
Much pragmatism is lost in the arrival to this use. The story depicts us as not a nation injecting our values but one being attacked. Also of a small matter: It’s a true story! Hard to suggest agitprop was in play when this was based on actual events.
But the high-minded need to display their intellectual heft, and if there is an indication of pro-America values, some will have to tamp down that poisonous message. The arrival of a president they did not support will not only expand the editorializing, it likely will be more unhinged. Their objective coverage of the arts will display more of this skewed interpretation “in the Trump era.”
It may be an era lasting eight years if this imbalanced commentary becomes more normalized.
Guest Contributor Allen Ray (@2CynicAl65)
Today, March for Life 2017 takes place in Washington D.C., and as usual, there will be little to no coverage from the mainstream media giants (affectionately known as MSM from this point). I’m sure they would love to be there if they could, but hey, that cat isn’t going to shampoo itself, now is it?
You see, the problem with the March for Life lies in the marchers themselves. Peace loving, life loving, nurturing mothers with husbands that stand by them as they may have struggled through difficult situations in childbirth. Parents that adopted because they can’t have children, or simply because they had a calling to go above and beyond in life. Teenagers that realize killing the unborn weighs on one’s soul. Brave mothers that went through with births, even though they knew their child would have special needs.….yawwwwwwn! Let’s face it, folks, normal doesn’t sell news ratings.
But have no fear! Yours truly is here to help market next year’s March for Life in a way that is sure to draw media attention away from the latest gun scare or faux racism incident. Taking notes from last week’s pro-abortion feminist rally, I humbly present to you;
The Top Five Ways March for Life Can Get Media Attention
I am pro-choice. And for years, I believed the myth that Planned Parenthood was doing a service to make abortion safe and rare.
That changed in 2015 after watching the viral hidden camera video of Planned Parenthood doctors and operatives discussing how to best end the life of a fetus in order to harvest body parts and sell them for medical researchers. That prompted a few questions:
No one who unequivocally supports Planned Parenthood could provide answers. They yell the video has been debunked; even though Planned Parenthood is open about fetal organs and tissue being sold to research firms to pay overhead costs for the clinic and procedure. They quickly point to the stats that claim abortions make up 3 percent of all services; not noting that the actual number of abortions performed or that almost 50 percent have had more than one. They defensively claim that all women know what's happening, even though I've read stories of doctors lying to women about how far along they were or what the fetus looks like at that stage. And when all else fails, I am told I am a man who has no right to an opinion over a woman's body, even though I can't help but recognize at some point that fetus could have been any one of us.
And then I wonder: Why are abortion services the backbone of Planned Parenthood's fight for what is allegedly a rare event that is not paid for with government funds? Why can't prevention of pregnancy or diseases be the driving force?
The millions of dollars they privately raise and receive from taxpayers to get high profile celebrities for advertising or performances could be used to keep abortion a rare event by educating women on birth control and offering even more access to prenatal care and prevention services to underserved, rural areas.
Speaking of prenatal care, another investigation by a different pro-life organization revealed this week that of 100 random Planned Parenthood locations contacted, only five offer any sort of prenatal services. The rest said that the only services they could offer were abortion services. For a group that believes in choice, where is the choice for the woman who opts to keep her baby, but needs access to prenatal care?
Since its inception, Planned Parenthood has done a lot to diminish choices to women for racist and classist reasons. Founder Margaret Sanger was adamant about eugenics and population control. Those views aren't merely problematic; they've since planted themselves in rural and urban areas with high concentrations of low-income women who either lack access to gynecological care or have been told the lie for years that Planned Parenthood is the only free/low-cost clinic that caters to women's health.
If we are not assured that all Planned Parenthood locations are providing relevant resources to allow women to make decisions (including providing information about how far along they are in their pregnancy, prenatal care if they intend to carry to term, psychological counseling for those who have had abortions and for overwhelmed, expectant mothers), then it's my opinion that they do not offer "choice." They offer an agenda.
By all means, stand with Planned Parenthood if you support an organization that exclusively pushes abortion over prevention or parenthood. But as someone who truly believes in choice, I'm staying seated.
Regular Contributor @RaymondWPS
Dear Mr. President, I wholeheartedly admit you were not the one I wanted. I desperately wanted one of two people to be sworn in today when this whole process initially began after the 2014 midterms. One I could no longer support after finally discovering what a truly deplorable, treasonous human being she was. The other may be a better public speaker than his brother, but was totally spineless on the campaign trail and in debates. But you won. You won with promises to bring jobs back to America, to be tougher on border security, to protect all Americans against domestic and international terror threats.These are all great on paper. But don't allow companies to blackmail you into giving them tax incentives, only to move out anyway on some bogus loophole. Be tough on border security by allowing ICE to do their jobs and ending sanctuary cities that harbor violent criminals. But don't build an expensive wall on the back of American taxpayers; a wall that a liberal Democrat President will tear down as their first executive action, rendering your pet project a huge waste. And please stand by what you told people after Pulse and San Bernardino. Be as quick to address Russian Interference and Cyber Warfare as you are Islamic Extremist Terrorism. I thought I'd never get to reference one of my favorite television shows in reference to a President, but do you remember when you selected the late Joan Rivers over Annie Duke on the second season finale of Celebrity Apprentice? Annie lied, snaked her way through virtually every task, tossed everyone under the bus, and came to every boardroom acting as if she had done nothing wrong. Even in the final task, she blamed Joan for losing instead of making the best out of a bad situation. Joan was visibly shaken, properly defended herself against Annie's lies, and told you she deserved to win because she believes in winning with honor. Annie, like your opponent, raised far more money and appeared to be more likable and dignified. But you selected Joan to win because she was honest, an effective leader, and believed in winning with honor. When you get rare opportunities in this new position, remember what Joan said moving forward. It's great to win, but win with honor. Lead America with honor. You weren't the one I chose. And I'll be criticizing your every move. But I am rooting for you. And above all else, I am rooting for America. #YoureMyPresident
Regular Contributor @Patriot_Musket
Next up in the progressive meltdown of 2016-2017, we find ourselves audience to the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. In keeping with the left’s recent turn toward attempting to unify a variety of radical movements, this march has partnered with the likes of CAIR, Occupy Wall Street, Communist Party USA, Free the Nipple, and the Pussy Hat Project. The Women’s March on Washington’s list of partners reads like a list of rejected Dick Tracy villains.
But what would a “woman’s march” be if its primary sponsor wasn’t Planned Parenthood? Yes, this collection of leftist movements finds itself unified under the one cause that unifies radicals like no other: baby murder. Rather uncomfortably, there are at least four partners of the march who are decidedly against the concept of “abortion on demand and without apology.” And in a deliciously ironic twist, chief among its anti-choice partners is an organization which is fundamentally anti-feminist: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (one of four Islamic-centered partners of the march).
From CAIR’s website:
Nevertheless, the march must go on! On Saturday, January 21, women will arrive on buses from New York City, Philadelphia, Orlando, and from other parts yet undetermined. And they will march and they will shout because they are angry, about what exactly remains to be seen. Some will be angry because Hillary Clinton lost, some will be angry that access to free birth control may be threatened. No doubt some will be quite peeved that they will no longer be able to share a locker room with a man in a wig. Cue hysteria.
But make no mistake, this march is about their precious Planned Parenthood being ripped from the government teat. It is not being shut down, mind you. It will simply lose taxpayer support, which in the mind of a liberal is the same thing. The same Planned Parenthood that spends $38 million per year on political advocacy (roughly $25 million of that in the form of political donations to Democrats). This march is a pure marketing event organized, planned and paid for by Planned Parenthood as it attempts to hold on to the $375 million per year it receives from Medicaid.
What a strange thing to be so angry about, this abortion business. Progressive women view their rights to murder unborn children as something resembling inalienable. And not just their right to do it, but to demand that people who do not support infanticide pay for it. This march may well find a Latina woman who despises abortion but demands a $15/hour minimum wage marching alongside a middle-class white woman who thinks such a high minimum wage to be folly, but that a threat to abortion is a threat to her very reproductive rights.
Marxism creates strange bedfellows.
It is certainly not my place to denounce free and peaceful protest. It is a fundamental part of being an American, even if your pleadings are decidedly un-American. It is my place to note, however, that millions upon millions of American women who hate abortion, who voted for a Republican on their ballot, who are working too hard to attend a rally across the country will be watching and shaking their heads. And they vote.
Long live The Republic.
Regular Contributor Janet Lee
On Tuesday, with just two days left before he is supposed to cede power, Gambian president Jammeh decided to declare a state of emergency. The president elect, Barrow, is being sheltered in Senegal and four ministers resigned and fled to Senegal as well. Citizens, fearing an uprising, left for the neighboring country and also Guinea-Bissau. Nigeria started moving a warship towards Gambia to show force, and Senegal readied troops. (Some sources say that Gambia's military cannot compete due to favored promotions of people who cannot command their divisions.) On Wednesday, Jammeh's jet is fueled and ready, supposedly so his wife and children can flee, and tourists are being evacuated from the state. The legislature granted Jammeh a three-month grace period of extended rule after the declaration of a state of emergency ahead of Barrow's inauguration date of Friday.
Also of note, after Boko Haram attacked two sites in Nigeria, and Nigeria continued its efforts to eliminate the group, the state carried out a bombing that hit many civilians, including foreign medical personnel. The state regrets its circumstances but cites intelligence leading to the attack on a refugee camp. It is suggested that Cameroon may be a site where Boko Haram is growing. Something to watch.
Guest Contributor @LilMissRightie
Personhood is today’s defining civil rights issue.
As we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. today in the year 2017, if you ask “What is the most pressing civil rights issues of the day,” you’re bound to receive a difference in opinion. “Civil rights” in the United States has been defined by race and racial relations, mainly. From the Emancipation Proclamation to Jim Crow laws. From “separate but equal” to Brown v. Board of Education. From Selma and ultimately to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent amendments, civil rights in its most rudimentary form conjures images of a nation fractured and segregated. Furthermore, civil rights in its most traditional sense also applied to women pre-19th Amendment and women treated as nothing more than chattel and men who held no property, but racial relations has predominantly been the main focus of what we consider the notion of civil rights to be.
And while most would agree we’ve come a long way, baby, there is still work to be done on racial issues, especially. Some argue that criminal justice reform and over-criminalization is at the forefront. Others may argue it is school choice. These are both issues on the forefront if I were to make a checklist for the definition of what constitutes “civil rights,” but the concept that binds them both together is personhood. Personhood is the premiere civil rights issue of the day as it affects all races, nationalities, religions, ages and both genders. What is more unique, precious, and fleeting than life? Life. It is where we all begin and where we all pass through this Earth. From inside the womb; to those most in need as they journey through life, a life no less valuable than those without disabilities, impairments, or challenges; and the elderly who have helped build and contribute their labor, fruits, and sacrifices to the nation.
So again I ask — what could be more fundamental of a civil right than that of personhood? The ability to tap into one’s God-given talents. Race is the issue that makes its way around the water-cooler, but personhood, especially when the topic of abortion arises, is one that makes people scatter to their desk. Many of us were more than likely raised to not talk about abortion in polite company. We may have our own deeply held belief system, but it is the touchiest of all touchy subjects.
That should change. We should challenge ourselves to have the much-needed conversation on personhood to those unable to speak inside the womb, to those who face life challenges and handicaps, and to those of advanced age.
In the coming months, the new congressional session will take up and most likely defund Planned Parenthood. And Hallelujah to that. The women of the left will go into banshee berserk mode like nothing we’ve ever seen before. Nothing. Planned Parenthood is the holy grail to the left. When Mike Pence tried to protect the unborn in Indiana earlier this year, it devolved into complete unhinged madness. We cannot cower in the face of the pro-abort shrieks and incoherent ramblings. And they will be plentiful. We must continue to be the voice for the voiceless.
Beyond the abortion debate, we should never be silent in our efforts to care and nurture those with special needs and life challenges. May everyone be blessed in life to know of such special people that make our lives more complete. That some devalue them, their worth, and their contributions isn’t just a shame, it’s their ultimate loss in life. Have you ever met a person with a family member with special needs who told you said person didn’t make their life and their family complete? I doubt you have. The United States isn’t quite seeing the atrocities of what Europe is experiencing at the moment, but we’re sure to fall in line at some point if we don’t speak up about the value of life, all life.
And the group, I personally feel is excluded far too often in this discussion is the elderly. These are our forgotten Americans who helped shape this country and mold us into the interesting patchwork we are today. Unfortunately, in the United States, right-to-die laws are gaining steam. The media is doing its best to romanticize and glamorize individuals very much in pain and wanting to take the life that God afforded to them. The legislation is prettied up and couched in the terms of “right to die with dignity.” What initially becomes the right to die for the terminally ill, inevitably leads to the choice to end one’s life if chronically ill or suffering sickness by way of psychological issues. (See the Netherlands for the worst of the worse in that it is currently proposing you may end your own life if you feel yours is “incomplete”.)
“These are wedge issues that distract us from what’s really important.”
“I am uncomfortable countering someone very impassioned on the issue of abortion when they’re pro-choice.”
‘I agree, and I consider myself pro-life, but I feel it’s not my place to speak out of turn on a sensitive issue.”
The left doesn’t care about any of the above hypotheticals. They’re not only having the conversation that makes us more often than not uncomfortable — they’re motivated and coordinated in working on legislation for abortion and right to life measures in particular as you read this.
So — Personhood. If not now, when? And if not that, what?
This was originally published on LMR’s Medium blog, you can find more of her work here.
Contributor Brad Slager (@MartiniShark)
Every time we flip the calendar, the power brokers in Dream Land deliver annual success assessments. Whether that means handing out trophies to the underappreciated mega-celebrities or listing the films that earned more money than a Reno, Nevada gambling resort, the end of each year means Hollywood loves to tally up the winners.
Not me. I instead root around in the muck to filter out the other items. There is a clinical term for people who revel in watching bad cinema – I’m not sure of it, as I tune out my therapists when they are explaining this detail. But I savor the dreck and the dross. I’m drawn to the castoff offerings and those studios with less than studious decision-making. So I have provided my list of 20 of the worst titles that came out last year, with recommendations for bad-film enjoyment.
To avoid the expected squabbles over pitchers of beer, I did not rank these titles. So here, to prevent barstool tossing, is the alphabetical list of the movies that were not so much released into theaters in 2016 as they were released on recognizance.
50 Shades of Black
We were delivered all the usual spoofery from the Wayans Brothers, except less. Maybe because their target this time was not a franchise or a genre, but a lone film? If you have ever seen one of their previous humor-free satire attempts, all you need to know is that this is even 50% LESS funny.
Allegiant (The Divergent Series)
Blame the "Hunger Games.” Actually, blame studios like Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate for being desperate to cash in by copying the young-adult dystopian formula. The Divergent Series began as a moderate success, but this third iteration earned half of what the first two entries brought in. As a result, Lionsgate announced an alteration in the usual plan of splitting the final entry into two films: the budget on part 4 would be slashed, and the title will be relegated to a television premier.
Paramount took a bath on this $100 million wildly unneeded remake of the legendary title, earning only a fraction at the box office. The spectacle and marvel of the chariot races are rendered down to a cartoon, as most of the action was rendered on computers. There is zero reason to watch this rehash over the classic epic. EVERYTHING is better in that epic, including all the practically shot chariot race scenes.
An American girl (Maggie, from The Walking Dead) is hired to be a nanny as a pair of septuagenarians leaves their British manor. Their “boy,” named Brahms, turns out to be a doll. There is a list of rules: kiss him goodnight, don’t cover his face, don’t leave him alone, don’t spill water on him. (So he’s a Gremlin?!) Idiocy reigns. One character wants to learn what kind of person she is, by analyzing her chewed gum (the Hell?!). And it only gets dumber.
The Brothers Grimsby
The latest character incarnation for Sacha Baron Cohen is a cement-headed soccer hooligan, a broad caricature, to be charitable. He teams up with his estranged brother, who it turns out is a world-class master spy. The script is reliant on ass-centric, scatological humor. One scene involves the characters hiding inside of a female elephant, who then engages in copulation. Yes, that happened.
Can you believe there are still Steven King properties left to film? This one is a bit dated, given the premise involves people who are turned into the undead through their cell phones. In case you missed it, that is a metaphor for how technology is making us into social zombies. The premise never rises above that vaunted level. John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson are slumming here with good fun in bad filmmaking.
Keanu Reeves looked lost in this miasma of a movie. A police procedural with a violent cop (Reeves) and a spot-welded second storyline of a divine pregnancy made zero sense. The mess was due to Lionsgate stepping in to re-edit what it felt was a different mess. The writer/director changed his name in the credits as a result. Now you know why you had never heard of this one.
Arguably this became the most argumentative media-hyped film of the year. As Sony sought to capture the public’s attention by going with an all-female reboot, they instead set off a firestorm. Normally that type of controversy entails receiving free publicity, which only means the failure of this summer blockbuster is even more striking. You can put aside all the charges of misogyny leading to its demise; this film committed the biggest comedy crime: it was not at all funny.
Gods Of Egypt
Laughably inept with abusive computer imagery and scenery-gobbling performances, this was regarded as a mess ahead of its release and became a laughable calamity once viewed. The Middle Eastern cast is almost entirely white, including Gerard Butler in the lead as an Egyptian with a Scottish brogue. The action is overblown, the plot nonsensical, and there are unintentional laughs throughout a serious historical action-drama.
Should be subtitled “GoPro: The Movie.” A pure action set piece with an empty-headed hysterical storyline, this largely ignored offering is at times a marvel of action filmmaking. Shot entirely from the POV perspective of the silent protagonist, it is little more than loosely stitched-together scenarios to justify the frenetic action scenes. There are times where it becomes an incoherent mess, but the various action spectacles make up enough to keep watching.
London Has Fallen
Lunk-minded sequel to the lunk-minded original, Gerard Butler (yes, again) reprises his role as a Secret Service agent who imperils his best friend, President Aaron Eckhart. A political funeral brings a wide assortment of foreign leaders to London. A terrorist organization orchestrates rampant death and destruction because of the most complex strategic plot with dozens of locations and hundreds of men that are executed to perfection – EXCEPT for the elements involving Butler.
An amazingly horrible talking-cat debacle made all the worse because it features two Oscar winners and is directed by the once-respected Barry Sonnenfeld. Kevin Spacey is a type-A executive who has his personality placed into a house cat to learn the value of his loved ones. There is the logic of this mess: to learn family values, he becomes the one animal that is the most selfish and aloof. Nonsensical from start to finish, it is worthwhile if only to hear Christopher Walken warble the line, “I use newspaper to clean the poopie boxes.”
Norm Of The North
This completely derivative children’s animated film should have been sent directly to rental purgatory. Rob Schneider lends his voice to the titular polar bear who must travel to New York, to battle the land developers who threaten to destroy his homeland – because the Arctic is prime real estate, I’m guessing? The only parts of this that make sense are the numerous elements lifted directly from far more competent animated features.
Toy maker Mattel has long been trying to have this toy line adapted to a feature motion picture. An earlier attempt, over seven years ago, was slated to star Taylor Lautner. Desperate to get their origin story prepped for a franchise – and long-term merchandising – they went with bargain studio Dolphin Films. A meager $10 million budget meant no-name actors in the leads, older generation special effects, and a script that was pointless.
Set almost entirely in a dwelling, Naomi Watts is a psychologist tending to her paraplegic stepson as a former child patient of hers arrives, then disappears. A storm rolls in, trapping her in the home, and she next grapples with jump-scares and musical stings as she tries to figure out if this is ghost-related. It reaches an ending (spoiler-alert) that is both inevitable AND asinine: the only other character who could be responsible for the terror is the invalid son. Yea, about that . . .
The highly anticipated and lowly regarded ensemble anti-hero epic was a confusing and schizophrenic mess. Most noted the conflicting content, which was a direct result of studio meddling. After the dark version made by director David Ayer, a trailer came out that the studio loved, as it was brighter and funnier. So Warner Brothers went to Trailer Park, the company that made the promo reels, and had them re-edit the entire epic on a tight schedule to meet the release date. Presto! Here’s your convoluted mess!
Swiss Army Man
While many point out “The Lobster” as the weird film of the year (even star Colin Farrell refers to it as “absurd”), I think I could top it. A man is marooned on an island and just as he is about to commit suicide a corpse washes up on shore, played by Daniel Radcliff. The dead body has extreme flatulence, to the extent it can propel itself through the water. So the man rides the farting Harry Potter like a jet ski. He also uses the erections of the corpse as a compass. Yes, all of that occurs on screen.
Bloated, meandering, and well past the height of popularity of the video game it was adapted from, this epic computer cartoon was a drudgery to sit through. Battle scenes occasionally break up the lecturing establishment of legends, and there are some impressive visuals, but all is lost in a flood of character names that leave you adrift. You lose track what Ogrim Doomhammer /Lady Taria Wrynn/Callan Lothar/Khadgar/Durotan/Garon Halforcen are up to, and thus stop caring about them very quickly.
Kevin Smith’s film career has taken an odd offramp in recent years. Seemingly put through the Hollywood wringer after “Jersey Girl,” he has since made films that can be described as “curiosities.” To give an indication, this is regarded as a spin-off from “Tusk,” (Smith’s film of a man transformed into a walrus.) It co-stars Smith’s own daughter, and the daughter of Johnny Depp, who cameos. This vanity project is little more than a patchwork of scenes, in a film seemingly made only for those who were making it.
Nowhere near as funny, lacking any quotable lines, and merely content to recycle anything that worked in the original film. More than a dozen years since the first became a modest hit, and then developed a larger following, means this was a follow-up that few were clamoring to see. A pun-ravaged insufferable movie reviewer may have said, “The sequel is modeled so close to the original it was only made to Blue Steel the audience’s money.”
Thank goodness I am above such hackery.
Contributor Janet Lee
I have spent the last few minutes researching two things. One - what kinds of radiation aluminum foil will block (clearly not gamma, but if you have enough of the foil, or if the beta radiation is coming from far enough away, it can stop beta radiation) - and the dreaded term, “China doll.” I do not mean the creepy porcelain dolls in the Halos commercial, but the connotation that I cannot shake in light of today’s Twitter firestorm. This stereotype surrounding Asian women involves a fetishization and sexualization of a helpless person so delicate that she is referred to pejoratively as porcelain-based. While the term “China doll” derides not only the assumed heritage of a woman with a perceived East Asian ethnicity, it also reinforces that “lotus-delicate” fragility ascribed by the invoked metaphor.
I am a woman of Korean ancestry that was adopted as an infant, as I related here. I am the mother of a joyful, ebullient toddler daughter with another baby girl on the way. I despise the terms that reduce people to stereotypes, and this is not even discussing the dehumanizing that occurs. I will not have my girls grow up and face this or anything else that reduces them to stereotypes. Please then, I ask, use any other term to describe females except for “China doll.” To invoke it is to imply misogyny and racism, even in underlying context. Thank you.
I spent last week off with my mother in the southern part of this great state. I watched a lot of daytime television, tweeted way too much about Megyn Kelly killing "Days of our Lives," and recovered from my New Year's Celebration.
My mother is approaching 70. She cooks great food, swears by the King James Version of the Bible, and wholeheartedly believes in tradition, even if she is not always traditional herself.
My mother is like many I've encountered in person and on social media. She'll smile, she'll wave, carry on a discussion, and may talk about her Christian Faith with you if it goes that far. And we've had our heated discussions about my sexuality over the years. Nowadays, it merely hangs in the room since we've beaten that horse to death.
Our love for each other runs deeper than what our views are of one another's lives or political views. Conversations with my mother taught me that tolerance isn't a one-way street where one gets to impose their views on someone else and the other person is just forced to deal.
That's why it was interesting to read backlash around Christian Pastor and Gospel Singer Kim Burrell. Burrell came out to condemn homosexuality, and many Progressives and mainstreamers clutched their pearls.
They vowed to kill her career. Pharrell and other mainstream performers distanced themselves from her. Ellen canceled her appearance. Her radio talk show was canceled. Lots of personal insults on social media came hurling at her and Hold My Mule/#UNameItChallenge's Shirley Caesar for defending her.
Along with those insults, we also had Progressives saying that they found it hypocritical for black people to be against same-sex marriages or condemning homosexual acts, because of how hard it was for black people during the Civil Rights Movement. Time and time again, LGBTQ Progressives and their allies use this talking point when someone in the Black community speaks against homosexuality.
The fight for racial equality during the Civil Rights Movement cannot and should never be ascribed to what many Christian Black people feel is a moral and/or social issue. The modern fight for sexual identity and gender equality is its own moral, religious, and legal battle and should be held to its own standards.
For many Black Christians, you can never equate choosing a bathroom door like an episode of Let's Make A Deal to having a separate restroom and water fountain, being ushered to the back of a restaurant, sitting in the back of a bus, or going to a segregated school. The two are not the same fight, and you can't make them think it is.
There is often a tendency by Progressives to put the weight of the LGBTQ cause on the Black Community's back, a cause that many do not personally or morally endorse. There is a sudden surprise when some Progressives discover that Black Christians may not agree with their sexuality or gender identity. It's as if they think that the Civil Rights Movement gives Black Christians a pass to completely abandon their religious and moral convictions. And as someone who supports equality, but was raised by one of those Black Christians, I resent that sort of groupthink.
Many Internet Christians and Conservatives love to use the phrase "Bake My Cake" in reference to any sort of resistance by Liberal Progressives to capitulate to Christians or Conservatives. Progressives cannot force Christian Black Americans to bake their cakes. Last I recall, forcing Black Americans to do or think anything against their will was struck down by the Thirteenth Amendment.
I am a proud Gay Black American. But I am also proud to have been raised by a Christian woman who may not agree with certain facets of the life I live, but loves me anyway. She taught me to believe in God, be true to myself, and to bet on self-sufficiency as part of my survival strategy. I don't need her or anyone else to bake my cake.
And the Progressive LGBTQ community and allies, for all its posturing of tolerance and love winning, would be wise to understand that they don't need Black Christians to bake theirs.