Earlier this week, DC Comics (who dominates the mainstream comics market along with Marvel) made a real douche move when they announced a "reboot" of their leading characters. This means they'll be ending a large portion of their storylines in August and release 52 first-issues of characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League. They'll be "publishing innovative storylines featuring our most iconic characters" with the assumption that they'll be not just "compelling for existing readers, it'll give new readers a precise entry point into our titles." This has some pretty radical implications for many superhero narratives, but one of the most significant changes is that of Barbara Gordon--aka Oracle.
Vancouver artists Jen Crothers and Kona have created a delightfully nerdy project to raise awareness of queer language and its evolution, and to raise money for the local organization Out in Schools, which educates young people about homophobia and bullying. It's called the Queeriodic Table, and it's going places.
Last January a certain bill in the House of Representatives caught the attention of the media. At the very start of the 112th Congress, House Republicans made moves to "redefine rape" and shift how publicly funded insurance covers (or doesn't cover) abortions. Speaker of the House John Boehner, at the time, said that the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act was a priority for the GOP. An outcry from pro-choice, women's health, and anti-poverty advocates rose up almost immediately, and the bill's sponsor, Christopher Smith of New Jersey (and my Representative when I was a teenager), backed down.
Last month Saturday Night Live released aired a video by the television skit/musical act The Lonely Island called "3-Way." It starred Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg from such other digital shorts "Dick in a Box," "Jizz in My Pants," and "Mother Lover." The two men play flashy, ridiculous men who consider themselves sexual dynamos and most of their songs revolve around their sex lives. In this new video, the pair are seen leaving each other's houses, having the night before slept with each other's mothers, Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson. They run through their plans for the day while wearing matching day-glo jumpsuits and decide to each go visit the lady they've had their eye on.
On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal fired a shot heard around the literary world: a so-called book review by Meghan Cox Gurdon condemning the YA genre. Gurdon begins by describing a mother looking at covers in a young adult section and finding nothing she considered appropriate for her daughter, only "vampires and suicide and self-mutilation, this dark, dark stuff." Of course, many YA readers (myself included) could name titles that are not "dark, dark" at all, but Gurdon uses this dubious anecdote as a launchpad for a deluge of problematic assertions, contradictions and tacit accusations.
Read more about this misguided article, and the awesome responses by YA lovers, after the jump!
I enjoyed most of X-Men: First Class. The acting, special effects, and writing were excellent, except possibly the two times Xavier tries to hit on women in bars by saying they have "groovy mutation[s]".
But then again, the whole movie had a cheesy retro vibe to it, with its Cold War setting and costumes (turtlenecks for the men, not much clothing at all for the women) giving it the feel of a cross between X-Men and a Connery-era Bond movie.
It has only been a few years since the "yes we can" wave made landfall in Washington, DC, ushering in Barack Obama and a broad sense of hope, after two long Bush administrations, during which progressives were increasingly alienated and frustrated. While President Obama was marketed, during the last campaign, as a liberal politician, his political stances on everything from same-sex marriage to economic policy and health care reform, were more centrist. So while hope and change led the day, for 2012 he will have to struggle against whatever cynicism has formed since 2008, and battle what many see as a disappointing track record in his first administration. So what are the messages we're likely to see from his campaign management this time around?