Pixar’s Soul was the center of a meme that circulated this summer, prior to the release of the film, which suggested that it was racist for the lead character, an African-American, to be transformed into a blue-green blob in the trailer. The author cited several films as examples of the problematic pattern. Taking a look at the trope, the cited films, and the context and messaging of each, might be in order.
Recently, our own Greg Hatcher sent me a link to a new documentary about Harry Chapin; when I mentioned that I’d seen it, he suggested a review, and when I mentioned that there are also a couple of new books out, he suggested a round-up review. See, Greg is smarter than me and he thinks of things like this. So here we go.
So I went down a rabbit-hole a while back and I ended up in a weird place. It started innocently enough, with a discussion of General Mills’ monster-themed breakfast cereals, Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry, but it somehow ended up with a weird Victorian-era metaphysical cult.
After he got his cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy, I thought that eventually Howard the Duck would get another shot at the movies. Hope burns eternal. Which brings us to Pointless Fanboy Speculation, in which I tell you how I would adapt this particular character to the MCU. Here’s the Elevator Pitch: Howard the Duck and Beverly take a “road trip” through weird middle America, which warps into a political satire when Howard is cajoled into running for President. It is, at heart, a Frank Capra movie.
A Facebook friend mentioned Bewitched’s Dick York in a post; I replied with a comment, which Greg Hatcher saw, and he thought it should be a post here. His reasoning, …
Buckaroo Banzai is really more fantasy than SF. Where Star Wars is the classic Quest fantasy, Buckaroo Banzai follows a different story; there is a hidden world we don’t know about, and in that world, forces of good and evil are waging a war with our world hanging in the balance. Our hero, a surprisingly resourceful person, has the ability to enter that world and fight for us, along with a team of allies, each of whom is an expert in a different area with skills that the team needs. By recasting this trope in the form of urban legends and conspiracy theories, Buckaroo Banzai responds to anxieties about things out of our control and assures us that we have a champion in the hidden battle. It’s religion for a post-supernatural world.
Back in 2017, my friend and sometimes co-worker, Bethany, asked me if I wanted to be on her GISH team. “What the hell is GISH?” I asked. She told me, and now I’m telling you, so that you can sign up and do weird things in public and on social media, possibly win prizes, have a lot of fun, and help to make the world a better place.