Dear revisionists, Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view. Right now, you are anxiously pacing the corridors of your condos and country estates, looking for the right words, the right tributes, the right-wing tributes. You will say that Mandela was not about race. You will say that Mandela was not about politics. You will say that Mandela was about nothing but one love, you will try to reduce him to a lilting reggae tune. ‘Let’s get together, and feel alright.’ Yes, you will do that. You will make out that apartheid was just some sort of evil mystical space disease that suddenly fell from the heavens and settled on all of us, had us all, black or white, in its thrall, until Mandela appeared from the ether to redeem us. You will try to make Mandela a Magic Negro and you will fail. You will say that Mandela stood above all for forgiveness whilst scuttling swiftly over the details of the perversity that he had the grace to forgive.
Nelson Mandela was not a god, floating elegantly above us and saving us. He was utterly, thoroughly human, and he did all he did in spite of people like you. There is no need to name you because you know who you are, we know who you are, and you know we know that too. You didn’t break him in life, and you won’t shape him in death.
Excerpts from his brilliant essay Mandela Will Never, Ever Be Your Minstrel. I love that he included Bob Marley’s lyrics, because he too like so many very much so human yet very much so remarkable people have been turned into memes and reframed to serve White supremacy and make the status quo and the State comfortable, literally what these people were fighting or singing or marching or writing or speaking etc. against.
When sentiment doesn’t allow for complexity and seeks to serve White supremacy, it cannot respect Mandela’s legacy. It cannot respect Black lives. It cannot be truthful in relation to justice—the justice still needed today for the racism and oppression that still thrives today.
Nelson Mandela was a human being and a complex one who fought with people, not alone, for a justice that cannot be separated from both the desire for peace and the necessity of self-defense from the State, both unity and the reality of racism so virulent and so pungent that we still smell and experience that stench today. His enemies—people who wanted him imprisoned or dead—are the same ones (literally, by name, in some cases) who are desperate and thirsty to reframe his life and legacy in a way where “peaceful” means “sought White approval; didn’t believe in self-defense.” Let’s remember him for who he actually was and what he did, with all of its complicated, difficult, radical and glorious complexity.
“Being gay is not a plot point. It’s not a token that you can say, “Look, we have a gay character! Isn’t that great? Aren’t we awesome?” It’s part of a person and therefore it should be treated as such. It should be one facet of a character rather than the defining description of that character. And I hope that we have, through the writing and the performance of it, we have kind of struck that balance, where the audience learns something more about Cecil and Carlos both, not dependent on their sexuality, but in addition to their sexuality.”—
i think this is the part where i become a monthly WTNV donor, because i can’t even express how much i needed to read this today, needed someone to *say* this today, after spending all day and all night wading through the SPN thing and writing my article.
Being queer is not something that “serves the story.” Being queer is something that characters simply *are.* And if you’re going to have a plot point, you *always* have the option to have that plot point happen to someone who’s gay, or queer, or in the process of coming out to themselves and the world.
When you ask that gay characters and gay relationships “serve the narrative,” instead of letting the narrative serve *characters who just happen to be gay,* you essentially further marginalize queer characters who already exist at the margins; because now, not only are you (almost always, though this is getting better) asking them to exist at the edges of the narrative, you’re asking for their identity to stop being about them. You’re asking them to serve a narrative that isn’t serving them back.
I’m so happy that Cecil and Joseph and the WTNV crew have internalized this knowledge and written a character whose sexuality is just one of many fascinating facets of a fascinating universe.
Forget superheroes: Loki is definitely Tumblr’s favorite comic book character.
Thanks to the success of Thor and The Avengers, Tom Hiddleston’s villain Loki is now neck and neck with Benedict Cumberbatch for the title of ultimate fandom heartthrob. And next year, he’ll star in his own solo comic series.
Loki: Agent of Asgard won’t be out until early 2014, but writer Al Ewing is already getting a head start on fan engagement by answering public questions on his Tumblr blog. One answer that’s received a lot of attention today is the revelation that in the new series, Loki will be canonically bisexual and gender-fluid. Ewing writes:
“Yes, Loki is bi and I’ll be touching on that. He’ll shift between genders occasionally as well.”
We may not know many plot details yet, but this book already sounds like fandom catnip. According to an interview earlier this month, Ewing’s Loki will be “a young man of stolen wealth and varied taste with the universe as his oyster and a penchant for black nail varnish,” with further Tumblr posts implying that the series will take inspiration from the heist genre. [READ MORE]
And more squee for the day! Lovely to see that canon bisexuality is front & center.
“This is all about stopping a law that increases taxes on rich people and reduces subsidies to private insurers in Medicare in order to help low-income Americans buy health insurance. That’s it. That’s why the Republican Party might shut down the government and default on the debt.”—
Guido Barilla, whose company has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the U.S. said on an Italian radio broadcast Wednesday: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand.”
Barilla went further, attacking gay parents and adoption.
“I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose,” he said.
Wow, so, there goes my buying any Barilla products. Way to go, asshole.
Pet peeve: When someone imitates a southern American accent and uses words completely incorrectly.
Y’all is second person PLURAL, not singular. You do not refer to one person as “y’all.” It’s a dialect that is often looked down on, like many others, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t linguistic rules involved.
And then there’s all y’all, of which y’all can be a subset.
Penny, Mary, Joan and Sandy are talking about a concert.
Penny asks: “Hey, Joan, are you coming to the concert with me?”
Joan replies: “Maybe. Sandy and Mary, are y’all going?”
Penny replies: “If all y’all come with me, I think we can get a discount.”
I am a man. I could say this has nothing to do with me. Except I have two daughters and I have a mother who was forced to illegally have an abortion in her state where abortion was illegal when she was a very young woman. It cost $600 cash. It was a traumatizing thing for her. It was shameful and sleazy and demeaning. When I heard the story I was aghast by the lowliness of a society that would make a woman do that. I could not understand its lack of humanity; today is no different.
Today, I saw the videos you posted where you “pranked” teenage girls by running up behind them, grabbing them around the waist, and then running away with them while they were trying to get into VidCon. I’m one of the people who was instantly upset and disgusted by your behavior,…
…i hate (and by “hate” i mean “love”) to get all “old fogey/get off my lawn/in my day we walked to school uphill both ways” but i find it amusing that some fans are actually complaining about all the glitz and fanfare brought to bear on what is, admittedly, not necessarily an event of global…
Pretty much what he said, only in my case, in the 70s & 80s.
"Like many others who turn into writers, I disappeared into books when I was very young, disappeared into them like someone running into the woods. What surprised and still surprises me is that there was another side to the forest of stories and the solitude, that I came out that other side and…
I still do this. Nothing better than complete immersion into a wonderful book.