The Names of the Dead, by Kevin Wignall, is a road trip spy thriller in which everyone is hunting everyone else, everyone is a soldier or a spy, and the goals are revenge and silence. The point of view character, James Wesley, an ex-CIA agent known as Wes, begins the book in a French prison, where his government abandoned him after he took the fall for a deadly mission gone wrong several years earlier.
Wes has 2 years left on his sentence when he gets word that his ex-wife, Rachel, who was also a CIA agent, has died in a suicide bombing at a small cafe in Spain. This saddens him, but the shocking part of the message is that their son, Ethan, is missing. Rachel didn’t tell Wes that she was pregnant when he went to prison and has never contacted him since. Now he learns that he’ll be released early because of his bereavement, since he is his son’s next of kin.
The Katie Hill revenge porn saga highlights much that’s wrong with our culture today, especially when juxtaposed against the Trump non-impeachment saga. I’ve watched both unfold with horror, reminded of how truly powerless we average citizens are. Of how powerless women ultimately are.
I don’t have the answers for how to stop revenge porn or Donald Trump and the Republicans. I mean, I do- enforcing the constitution and laws that are already in place would be a good start. So would treating women like the equal, dignified human beings we are. But more energetic, smarter people than me are working very hard on those crises. Sometimes the problems of the patriarchy seem intractable and like they’re only getting worse, no matter how hard we fight.
So today, I’m going to focus on the issue in a more individual way. I was struck by how victimized…
I’ve gotten some new followers lately, so, Hi and welcome! There’s something I need to say to everyone, before we go any further.
Currently, most of you are here to read Dark, a show we all love. But the character of Hannah is the target of so much misogyny it’s scary, on the show and in the real/online world. This pertains to other shows as well, with other characters who become the target for misogynists. On Altered Carbon season 1, it was Kristin Ortega. On Agents of SHIELD, it’s Daisy. Women who think and act for themselves, without regard to what the men around them want. Just like men do.
In the real world, women like Hannah, Kristin, Daisy and me (and you, if you are a woman) die every day because misogyny isn’t recognized, so, even though some of you would like me to, I won’t shut up about it. While racism is getting the attention it needs, the hatred and oppression of women, the other motivator for mass shootings, everyday killings and abuse, is largely being ignored, even though it was the motivator for the second shooting of the weekend of August 4, 2019, in Dayton, OH. Even though violence against women is on the increase, separate from mass shootings.
Racially motivated violence is described as being ideologically motivated, a label that gives it more weight and prompts calls to action to stop the white supremacists and white nationalists. Meanwhile, “experts” and law enforcement officials acknowledge the misogynist opinions and activities of violent criminals but refuse to acknowledge that misogyny is an ideologythat leads to living a violent, cult-like lifestyle just as religious and racial extremism do.
Yet we know that many of the most recent mass shootings have been perpetrated by misogynist extremists who identify as such, calling themselves by such names as Incels (involuntary celibates) or Red Pillers (anti-feminists). It’s time we started calling out extremist misogyny as the dangerous, cult-like IDEOLOGY that it is.
This Seems Like a Good Time to Talk About Ulrich as a Horned God (Who Is Tied in Knots)
**Spoilers through Season 2 Episode 8**
Okay, let’s give this a whirl. As you might imagine, Horned Gods aren’t my specialty, so I’ve done some research. But also, by the end of season 2, everything metaphorical in Dark is twisted and tangled together, just like the storylines. In season 1, we had nice, neat metaphors presented in ways that couldn’t be missed, with deeper meanings there if you wanted to search for them.
But, before we go any further, a warning. I can’t ignore current events while I’m writing this, and that’s not what I’m about, anyway. This piece was always going to examine the characters, mythology and their connection to the real world. Then the real world didn’t give me a choice. The creators of Dark didn’t choose to have boys be the ones to disappear simply to give women a break from victimization. The boys of the real world are making themselves disappear, and they’re often doing it while armed to the teeth.
They set the show in a town which was losing its main source of employment and then put that town through a slow dystopia which led to a fast apocalypse. This is what Western culture has put itself through since the 1970s, when corporations began moving manufacturing jobs from their traditional bases, and the towns whose original farming and small business economies were destroyed by the factories in the 19th century were now destroyed by the factories leaving.
Because life is political, so is entertainment, and so is our blog. Because we know that the creators of the shows that we love can do better. If no one points out where the issues lie, how will they know where they need to improve?
We live in the real world, where mass media has an effect on people’s attitudes. It’s important to examine closely exactly what we’re being shown and what messages are actually being delivered. It’s the only way that change happens.
Whenever we start analyzing how a show is doing in regard to its male/female ratio and other forms of diversity, and compare how characters from different demographics are being treated, we are always met with the response:
But aren’t the male (and white) characters being treated the same way as the women?
This is where attention to detail becomes important, plus the ability to count, and the ability to distinguish between a named character and a background character. When we’re discussing violent acts, this argument is frequently made, because there will be so many more men running around on screen than women that, of course, in raw numbers, more violent acts are happening to men than women.
Voting matters, but, like vaccinations, it only matters if a lot of us participate. This is your chance to affect public policy at every level of government. The votes you cast for candidates at each level will affect your life directly, from the funding of the schools in your neighborhood to the attitudes of the police officers who patrol your city streets, from the amount of college tuition and student loan debt future students will have to live with to women’s right to bodily autonomy in reproductive and sexual issues. These decisions aren’t just made at one level. They are made and carried out by elected and appointed officials and public servants from the town and city level right up to the presidency and the supreme court.
We only vote once a year, and collectively, we can make a huge difference. So if you haven’t voted yet, please get out there!
If you don’t feel informed enough to vote, the League of Women Voters create fantastic, unbiased, succinct local guides at Vote411.org. Enter your address, and they’ll show you your polling place, the races on your ballot, and side-by-side comparisons of the candidates’ positions. Then you can print out a “ballot” with your choices as a reminder to take with you to the polls.
Update 10/28/18: This seems like a good day to repost this audio, based on Sinclair Lewis’ brilliant, prophetic novel that warns against how easily fascism and white supremacism can overcome a country when people fail to take action against it quickly enough. Violence is on the rise against anyone who doesn’t fit the current concept of the master race, and the policies of the president of the United States encourage the violence and separatism. This is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Please make sure you vote in this election cycle.
On October 24, 2016, 2 weeks before Election Day, we both attended a local staged reading of the play It Can’t Happen Here, based on the 1936 novel by Sinclair Lewis. The novel, and the play, describe the rise and rule of a charismatic, dogmatic, conservative politician who is eventually elected president. He promises a return to traditional values, but reneges on his promises soon after he takes office, turning the country into a totalitarian regime within a period of a few months. Anyone who doesn’t offer complete, unquestioning loyalty to the new regime is imprisoned or executed.
This may sound like a drastic scenario, something that “can’t happen here,” but Lewis wrote the novel originally because he was watching this very thing happen in Nazi Germany at the time. The original stage adaptation was created the following year. The original 1983 TV miniseries about an alien invasion,V,was also based on It Can’t Happen Here (and the later reboot series). V’s creator, Kenneth Johnson, was inspired by Lewis’ work, but the network executives at NBC thought the story would be more interesting if the American fascists from the book were turned into aliens for TV.
On her Wednesday, 5/30/18 episode of the TBS show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Ms. Bee aired a story about the recent immigration issues concerning the separation of children from their parents. During the story, she showed a tweet from Ivanka Trump that included a photo of Trump with her son and called Trump “a feckless c**t”.
The segment was quickly met with harsh criticism from many sources, with some, including Donald Trump, calling for her show’s cancellation. Samantha Bee and TBS apologized for her choice of language. She spent the next day dealing with the fallout from the incident. But by last night, she was complaining that she’d had to waste time on sexism instead of focusing on immigration.
Samantha Bee, maybe next time don’t use vile, misogynist language to make your point, if you want to keep the focus on the issue you intended. I don’t care who the woman or man in question is, that word should never be used because of its implication that female body parts, and women themselves, equal something disgusting. And your implication that the abuse of women isn’t as important as racism is revolting.
I was a kid when the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers were big news, and in junior high school when the Watergate scandal seemed to go on forever. As an adult, I understand the importance of these events, but, as they were happening, they bored me to tears. At a time when our entertainment options were limited, the struggles of the Nixon administration took over the airwaves for years.
So I don’t seek out movies like The Post. However, silly me, I married a political junkie, and Mr Metawitches loves a political thriller or a political history film. This review will be heavy on his insight, since this is his genre. Given all of that, it’s impressive that The Post kept me engrossed for the entire movie, with its perfectly timed pacing, snappy dialogue, and enough intrigue to turn the story into a political thriller.
The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, follows the story of the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 by The NY Times and The Washington Post. The Pentagon Papers, top secret documents which exposed the futile nature of the US involvement in the Vietnam War, and the lies that were told over the course of various presidential administrations to cover this up, had been leaked to both newspapers by Daniel Ellsberg, who had worked on the study and had access to the finished product.
Mudbound is a family saga of life in the 1940s Mississippi Delta for two farming families. One family is made up of hereditary black sharecroppers descended from former slaves. The other is a white family of former landowners and slaveowners who’ve fallen on hard times. They’ve bought land in Mississippi hoping to reestablish their wealth. The families become intertwined as their lives intersect and affect each other over the years, until a tragedy changes everything.
Mudbound was directed by Dee Rees, who also wrote the script with Virgil Williams, adapted from the book of the same name by Hillary Jordan. It’s been nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Original Song for Mighty River, sung over the closing credits by Mary J Blige; Best Supporting Actress for Mary J Blige, who plays Florence Jackson, wife and mother of the Jackson family; and Best Cinematography for Rachel Morrison, the first woman to ever be nominated for this award.