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Category Archives: Articles

Not Your Asian Ninja: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Keeps Failing Asian-Americans

I liked Daredevil Season 2 a lot. I didn’t like it quite as much as Season 1, but it was always going to be impossible to find someone to live up to Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on Wilson Fisk (who still effortlessly steals the few scenes he gets this season). But the writing and the acting for Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, is compelling as hell, enough tospark a lively debate about the appeal of vigilante justice and gun violence in American culture.

The tangled, messy web of corruption behind the death of the Punisher’s family, the complicity of the state and the media in creating him, his turnaround in becoming a criminal defendant in the Trial of the Century, and the moral ambiguity of Castle’s past as a soldier who exposes the American public’s hypocrisy by bringing the brutal logic of the overseas War on Terror stateside—that’s all great stuff.

The problem is all that great stuff is only half of Daredevil Season 2. There’s a whole other half that’s almost totally disconnected from the Frank Castle plot, the Nelson and Murdock law firm, and New York City politics. There’s a full 50 percent of DaredevilSeason 2 that’s total crap, and that half is the part with the ninjas.

Read the full article at The Daily Beast

The dark side of “visibility”: How we slept on trans people becoming the new scapegoats of the right

I was happy to hear about the International Trans Day of Visibility two years ago. I agreed with the sentiment that the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November being the only trans holiday was morbid and depressing and that celebrating happy, healthy trans lives was a positive goal. I was happy to be one of… Continue Reading

Why Social Media Companies Aren’t Liable for Abuse on Their Platforms

Of everything I’ve written–and I’ve covered some pretty heavy, controversial topics–I don’t think I’ve ever gotten as much blowback as when I advocated the amendment or repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. For most people Section 230, sometimes called the Good Samaritan Clause, is an obscure piece of legislation, but for those… Continue Reading

Hollywood’s Asian Punching Bags: Why There Shouldn’t Be a ‘Safe’ Minority to Joke About

Let’s take it back to 2014. Let’s talk about #CancelColbert. A few things: The Colbert Report shouldn’t have been canceled (unless it was to promote him to hosting The Late Show, which did in fact happen). Stephen Colbert isn’t a racist—or, rather, not any more of an overt, malicious racist than I am, or anyone… Continue Reading

Chris Rock’s Oscars didn’t “fight the power”: A night of crude jokes and cynical deflection is a poor way to show progress

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Of all the people disappointed by the Oscars ceremony last night, the most disappointed were the audience.It’s a joke you can make any year, but this year is special–this is the year that all eyes were on Chris Rock to see how he’d deal with the #OscarsSoWhite controversy… Continue Reading

Between Fandom, Friendship, and Stalking: How the internet erases fine lines.

Everything is older than people think. In 2009 the verb “unfriend” made the news as Word of the Year because of the transformative effect Facebook had supposedly had on our language by watering down the meaning of “friendship”. But Facebook got that terminology from MySpace, who got it from the long-forgotten Friendster, who got it—from… Continue Reading

Yes, and … that joke is sexist: Improv troupes, unchecked creepiness and the toll that being “cool with it” takes

So where are the funny women? That’s an easy question to answer today–they’re everywhere, they’re headlining shows like “Inside Amy Schumer“ and starring in sitcoms like “Broad City“ and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend“ and running publications like The Toast. They’re even, finally, hosting late-night talk shows after years of paying their dues for male hosts (even if, somehow,… Continue Reading

Beyoncé’s Black Lives Matter Tribute Defies the Laws of Celebrity Activism

It’s becoming a tradition that the Super Bowl halftime show generates orders of magnitude more discussion than the game itself; this year, thankfully, there was something more substantive to discuss than the unknown identity of a surprisingly uncoordinated shark. This time the big news was Beyoncé utterly stealing the show from Coldplay as the “special guest”… Continue Reading

I like Bernie Sanders. His supporters? Not so much

I’m not #FeelingTheBern anymore. I’m on Bernie Sanders’ side policy-wise. I agree with many more of his positions than I do Hillary Clinton’s. I donated money to his campaign last year and I intend to vote for him in the Ohio primary in March. Still, the “Berniebro” phenomenon has left me feeling, well, Berned-out. I… Continue Reading