If any of you live near Portland Oregon, here’s a chance to heckle me in person.
Thank you everyone for reading and supporting me. Check back next week for another full-length article.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves came out during a very influential time in my life. I was young enough for the neighbors to laugh at my yarn-and-sapling bow making skills, yet old enough to get in trouble for threatening to cut out their hearts with a spoon.
Less intimidating when it’s a 7-year-old.
So it’s no surprise that I was a bit too immature to grasp the deeper story behind a movie like this. As a child I was so wrapped up in the sword fighting, the bow shooting, and the Morgan Freeman-ing, that I missed the important lessons hiding just under the skin. Lessons like how to choose your allies. Why safety nets for the lower classes are important. And why constructing an Ewok village is never a solution.
Re-watch this movie as an adult, however, with a fair working knowledge of class systems and medieval politics, and another story emerges. The classic “Steal from the rich and give to the poor.” goes out the window. You start to realize that Prince of Thieves is more of a “Drive a political campaign that legitimizes your status as a pretender by using the suffering poor.” kind of jam.
Don’t believe me? Here are a few reasons why the Sheriff and Robin are both imposters trying to fill a power vacuum by exploiting the peasantry. Continue reading
Each of my roommates has been in the past, or is currently, in the private security industry. According to Google the word Dick in this instance is of Gypsy or Romany origin, Dik, meant ‘to watch’. This later became slang for detectives and watchmen of the late 1800’s (Dicks) which carried into modern pop culture and noire.
Dicks. All of us. Dicks.
Which might explain why when I pitched the very childish, very dangerous notion of trying to play “RC Mario Kart” in our kitchen, everyone agreed it was the wise, sensible choice. Continue reading
I usually reserve my online writing to rants about gaming, pop culture, or comic books. On rare occasion these three can intersect in delightful ways; like that time we discovered the evangelical publication designed to warn the faithful about the evils of D&D. Usually when that happens I gush about it like someone’s confused yet delighted father who just learned how to use the dog-face filter.
Other times these three circles of geekdom overlap in stranger, less predictable ways that horrify and confuse. This is one of those times. Continue reading
As the above picture might indicate there is a very real trend in recent superhero movies. Black superheroes are support, while classic white superheroes are the main protagonists. Just as their source material intended.
Sidekicks? Sure, let Anthony Mackie don wings and goofy-ass goggles. Advisors? Certainly. Tony Stark always needs wise friends to ignore. But heroes, as in the center-stage variety, are nary to be seen (until we finally get that Black Panther movie that’s long overdue.)
Cracked readers noticed this unbalance too.
Medium.com has articles from 2016 about black second-fiddle heroes. Readers on the IGN boards were pointing this out back in 2012. And any moment now Reddit will have threads popping up, retroactively claiming that they had arrived at this very unfairness independently, long before the first electrons were being passed around on the internet.
But what if I told you there was a glorious place where black, center-stage superheroes walked the land like golden gods? What if I told you we’d already solved this multi-racial-cape disparity? What if I told you there was a place where well-spoken white people became their sidekicks instead? That place was 1990’s cinema. Continue reading