Weeks After Racist Attack, Portland Company Posts Lynching On Comic Cover

Photo credit: KOIN.

Last month, two women were targeted for racist and Islamophobic harassment on Portland’s light rail system, resulting in the stabbing deaths of two of the three men who came to their defense. The attacks themselves also led to a loud public outpouring of support for both the targets and those who intervened.

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The World Has Forgotten About Her: Inside Joss Whedon’s Unfilmed ‘Goners’

Note: I originally wrote this a couple of years ago solely for myself, just to exorcise my thoughts. Recently, someone publicly posted a write-up of the script. With the cat somewhat out of the bag, I present my thoughts here.

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I’ve long argued that “cynicism is frustrated optimism, resulting only from first believing that people are capable of better and then too often being proved wrong”, and that “this is why the small, every day courtesies matter”.

What if we with deliberation and care did right by each other in all the tiny ways: holding the door for the person behind us, giving up our seat for someone who needs it more, using headphones on our devices when in cafes and bars, remembering our “pleases” and “thank yous”. What if paying attention to all of these small moments left us no longer too exhausted and too world-weary even to think about the larger and more inexplicable challenges of the larger life and lives around us, let alone to act on them.

My first time through an undated draft of Joss Whedon’s unproduced screenplay Goners, there was a moment which nearly made me leap off my couch. Explaining a colleague’s theory as to the nature of the film’s supernatural antagonists, one character says to another that the threat before them is not just the “fear” and the “hate” but “all the thoughtless bullshit of the city”.

All those small moments of unthinking selfishness and self-centeredness. What evils do they amount to?

Continue reading The World Has Forgotten About Her: Inside Joss Whedon’s Unfilmed ‘Goners’

The Dream of the 90s Is Alive in Twin Peaks

Note: What follows was written in August 1993 as the introduction to a long and rambling collection of thoughts, theories, and symbologies which in November 1993 became my first contribution to the Internet when I uploaded it to the Twin Peaks archive, then residing on an FTP server in Australia.

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Just after midnight on November 11, 1990, I wrote the following in my journal: “Tonight I am going to try to dream of BOB. I am going to try to let my unconscious mind piece together information and sensations from Twin Peaks and see if I can come up with anything.”

Earlier, on Saturday night, the killer of Laura Palmer was revealed to be the BOB-possessed Leland Palmer, her father.

I fell asleep listening to the Twin Peaks soundtrack.

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Mediocre Flashback: ‘Sense8’ Asks You, ‘What Is Human?’

Note: The original version of this post appeared elsewhere on June 9, 2015. This edit is published here on the premiere weekend of the series’ second season.

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I’ve still only seen exactly two other Wachowski projects: The Matrix trilogy and V for Vendetta, none of their other projects ever seeming to be meant for me. Enter their streaming series, which by episode three of its first season became my first quickly-all-in Netflix original since Orange Is the New Black.

Sense8’s first season was the first true spiritual successor to everything Lost did right.

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Serialized Storytelling and the Moral Conversation

Iam mostly out of the comics-reading world these days, but a fair bit of my Twitter feed remains comics folks specifically or pop culture folk more generally. Lately, I’ve been watching the resurgent controversy that is Nick Spencer’s ongoing Secret Empire story for Marvel about Captain America’s true nature as a fascist.

For background, Kieran Shiach just this week helpfully explained “the history of Marvel’s most controversial and unintentionally topical plotline in years” and reviewed its most recent installment. If you want to get up to speed on the specifics of Secret Empire, these are good primers. Here, I’m going to take a step backward to the early days of 2013 to discuss a another problematic Marvel storyline and the equally problematic way in which its writers and editors dealt with reaction. We’ll come back to Spencer at the end.

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