In my seventeen years as a bookseller and three years as a school librarian before that, if there’s one thing I have noticed, it’s that we adults make all kinds of erroneous assumptions about what will and won’t interest children. Time and time again, at the bookstore and at children’s book festivals, I have observed white children picking up books with kids of color on the cover, and heard adults express surprise at the choice. “Are you sure you want that one?” they’ll ask. Or, “Wouldn’t you like this book instead?” It’s not the kids who are the problem. Kids really, really, really only care about a great story. In twenty years of connecting children with books they love, I have only seen one child—ONE!—balk at a book cover because the main character was a different race from her own. It’s the adults who underestimate a child’s ability or desire to see beyond race.
The good news is that those same adults will usually respond well to bookseller enthusiasm for titles and allow their own reservations (which they aren’t even consciously aware of) to be shifted.
"um starfire’s powers are fueled by the sun that’s why she has to wear skimpy clothes" hey u know who else’s powers are fueled by the sun? superman. come on clark time for that toothfloss speedo chop chop
“Personally, I really loved the finale. I think it’s incredibly admirable how Agent Maria Hill is so dedicated to her job that she’s willing to put up with being constantly creeped on by a guy who will not accept that this relationship is never happening even after nearly two decades, all to keep an eye on the reformed Willow Rosenburg and that shifty Dr. Horrible fellow. It was a shame how her junior agent couldn’t take it anymore and had to fake her own death so she could be reassigned, but can you blame her for getting out of that hot mess as soon as possible?”—
But what made the [How I Met Your Mother] pilot pop, what made it seem smart and nuanced and surprisingly philosophical, was the closing moment when a “cute guy meets cute girl” story concluded with the narrator, the man telling the story of How He Met Your Mother, saying that this cute girl was not the mother. This was how he met “Aunt Robin.” He’d get to the mother later.
This was a move legitimately subversive of a rule that television knows all too well: The answer to “will they or won’t they?” is always “they will,” and that’s why we’re all here. Knowing that Ted did not wind up with Robin, but wound up with someone else — but still remained close enough to Robin that his kids addressed her as “Aunt Robin” — said something different. It said, “You know what? They won’t. But don’t leave yet.” It said that there is value in stories about things that don’t work out, and value in romances that end. Everyone matters, everything is important, everything fits together and makes a whole life.
The series finale revealed that to the degree this is what the show seemed to be saying, the joke was on you. It was a nine-year-long con (as James Poniewozik put it) that fooled you into thinking it wasn’t running on an engine of total cliche when — psych! — it totally was. Because it turned out that of course Ted wasn’t really saying everything matters, that your whole life is important, that you can still love people even if you don’t end up with them, that the good pieces and the bad pieces and the ups and the downs were all part of the story of how you wound up in the right place.
No, he was telling this whole story because he was in denial, and he spoke about the sad and happy moments of his life for nine seasons so that his teenage children could tell him to get over their dead mother and go after their aunt. (As the teenage children of widowed parents always do in this blithe, go-get-‘em-tiger kind of way, in Bizarro World.)
And so he did. He went and gave himself to Robin, whom he’d loved all along. She doesn’t matter because they’d loved each other and that always means something; she matters because he’s still in love with her and now they can kiss. She never wanted kids, but apparently she now wants to be a stepparent to Ted’s kids, something something mumble mumble what was this character about again?
So it was all a trick — they will after all! The end.
That’s not to even mention the other things that went wrong in the finale: The marriage of Robin and Barney, which the show spent its entire final season on, was dismissed with a sort of hand-wave of “she traveled a lot and it didn’t work out” so that Robin would be free for Ted’s destiny to be fulfilled later. The embrace of Barney as a selfish jerk seemed to be the part of its original DNA to which the show would remain true, but then — psych! — he had a baby with a woman he barely knew and we never saw, and it made him nice and domesticated. Neil Patrick Harris played the heck out of the scene where Barney falls in love with the baby, but it still didn’t make any kind of sense, nor did it resonate with anything else that had happened in the show up to that point.
Perhaps worst of all, the fine work of Cristin Milioti as the mother across the final season was wasted as it turned out she was, within the show’s structure, merely a piece of the great love story of Ted and Robin, and died of Unspecified Sad Hospital-Bed-itis so that their romantic balcony scene could happen.
"It’s the journey and not the destination" is usually the right way to look at series finales, a disturbing number of which don’t stick the landing. The problem with this one in particular is that the relationship between the journey and the destination was the show’s animating principle. That Ted was on a journey that was not about Robin was the first interesting thing the show ever said.
my sister:no, no, no, gaston is a 'nice guy'. think about it. he spends the whole beginning of the movie trying to be friendly to belle. everyone else in that town thinks she's a bookish freak with a crazy man for a father, but gaston like, talks to her and sort of tries to take an interest in her activities and compliments her and stuff with the complete 100% expectation that she's going to pay him back by being in a relationship with him. he tunes out what she actually says because he doesn't really think of her as a person, just a pretty trophy who should react to him the right way if he does the right things.
my sister:and then when she hooks up with someone else, he gets all angry and shouty and insists that this other guy is a monster and she's lost her damn mind because she was supposed to fall for HIM, not someone else, and then he goes and stirs up the townsfolk into an angry mob and turns the whole thing into a witch hunt over his wounded pride.
Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the 18th century.”
They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed “quite clearly – and subversively – that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal navy.” This is why they were popular, despite being unproductive thieves.
Oops, turns out piracy is pretty much always a term like terrorist that gets slapped on whatever we don’t like despite being a general reaction to the status quo. And nothing’s really changed.
And when african pirates were captured by the British they were forced into the slave trade.
They were generally democratic, disciplined, communal - they even had pensions! If you wanted out of the pirate life, you would be taken to a destination of your choice (anywhere in the world) and given a lump sum to help you with your new life.
Honor among thieves.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU YES i’ve spent like two years studying piracy (back when i had time to devote to reading and research) and yes pirates are actually all very interesting and democratic and great
Reblogging since someone recently sent me an ask on this topic (although now it appears to be lost somewhere in my inbox).
For more than 30 years, PaleyFest has held panel sessions and screenings that connect the worldwide community of television fans with the casts and creators of their favorite TV shows. One of the panels was to celebrate the ABC television series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with its cast and creative team. Collider was there to attend the panel, and we’ve compiled some of the highlights.
During the presentation, executive producers Jeph Loeb, Jeffrey Bell, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, along with actors Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen, talked about how this show originally evolved, how they conceived the characters that make up this team, already knowing how Season 2 and Season 3 will end, how Agent Coulson on the TV show is different from Agent Coulson in the movies, the show’s jaw-dropping surprises, that there are seven episodes left, that the events in Captain America: The Winter Solider will affect things in the April 8th episode, that Rocket Racoon and Scarlett Witch are welcome on the plane, that Bill Paxton’s Agent Garrett will return this season, whether some of the S.H.I.E.L.D. cast could appear in the upcoming Netflix series, and how there’s still no official pick-up yet for Season 2. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Jeph, how did you originally get the idea to bring Agent Coulson from the big screen to the small screen?
JEPH LOEB: Luck had a great deal to do with it. All of this started largely because of [Clark Gregg]. Clark Gregg so embodied, and continues to embody, what makes the Marvel Universe special. It is a place grounded in reality. We don’t come from another planet, although some of us do. And what Clark brought to Agent Coulson was a humanity that these gigantic feature films not only needed, but were elevated by. His performance was something that everybody fell in love with. So, when the opportunity arose for us to talk about how we were going to do Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., my first conversation was with Joss Whedon and we talked about one thing, which was, “How do we get Clark?” And it was really hard. We asked him.
CLARK GREGG: I found myself suddenly free.
Jed and Maurissa, how did you conceive of the characters that make up this team?
JED WHEDON: In our first sit-down with Joss, it was only about an hour and a half before we had a general map of who the characters would be.
MAURISSA TANCHAROEN: We had the general map of the six characters, or at least the five that surround Coulson. Just as far as how things have changed, originally Agent May was Agent Rice, and then we cast Ming-Na Wen, and I was like, “Maybe not so much with the Agent Rice anymore.” Or we could have just leaned in to all of that and made it the running joke. That would have been great. As far as Fitz-Simmons go, they were based on Casey Affleck and Scott Caan in Ocean’s Eleven. We wanted the pair of friends who grew up together and bicker all the time, but there’s a pure bro-love there. And then, before we knew it, Ms. Henstridge came in and stole it away.
WHEDON: They both took their parts. They both came in and said, “I’ll have this, thank you very much.” And there wasn’t much discussion amongst all of us, once we saw them both play it. That’s actually true of everybody. There was no arguing amongst us, in terms of casting.
TANCHAROEN: And we scoured the globe. We looked everywhere, and looked at everyone.
Jeff, how far in advance do you see where this story is going?
JEFFREY BELL: The characters were there, the bus was there, and everything was there. Anytime you arc out a show, whether it’s super-serialized or just a little bit, we all sit around for as long as they will pay us to do so, and we bring in other smart writers to help us, and we build tentpoles. We knew where we wanted to go with this season. We know where we’d like Season 2 to end. And we know where we’d like Season 3 to end. But, that’s ambitious. And we know which character will still be alive. This is, in fact, a Joss Whedon Joint. And we know who will be kissing, too.
Clark, is playing Agent Coulson on the show different from playing him in the films?
GREGG: He’s a little different. When he was in the movies, he was alive, and then he was dead. And then, suddenly, he was alive again. When I was dying, I was like, “Hey, this sucks! I really liked being this guy. He gets fun stuff to do.” And then, I was dead, and I was really dead. It was very clear. There was a lot of blood. And I was like, “But you can bring me back. It’s the comics!” So, Joss and Jeff called and said, “Look, you might not be so dead.” Joss’ pitch was simply the pilot, which was, “Coulson went to Tahiti. It was a close call. He had a massage therapist and some Mai Tais and he got better, but it has to be a secret. And then, he walks away and they say, ‘He can never know the truth.’” And I was in. Being a fan of Joss, I was like, “Wow, that’s amazing!” And that really fantastic set-up has been evolved by this amazing collection of writers, all season. The real dilemma has been Coulson starting to feel both physically, the way that a lot of trauma survivors do, and experientially in the world around him, that he doesn’t feel that same. It raises a lot of questions. I only know so much about Agent Coulson from his life before this. There were tidbits revealed when each new writer/director team got him for a different movie. And then, Joss came in and I was like, “I knew I was a fanboy.” So, there’s definitely been a deeper exploration of that kind of existential crisis for this guy. I love it. How can you work for an organization that traffics in secrets and not have secrets kept from you? The experience of doing the show has been the strangest, most intense and really beautiful life imitating art experience. Suddenly, I was alive again, surrounded by a new team of people that I didn’t have a lot of experience with, and that was true of both Coulson and Clark. This season has been this incredible journey of that, and of getting to know these incredible actors, and watching them step up at different moments and shine. Our life has become this wild adventure where everything is up for grabs. We went to see a certain movie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) together recently and went, “Woah!”
Ming-Na, are you surprised about where Melinda May is going?
MING-NA WEN: This whole season has been one of jaw-dropping surprises. The writers don’t tell us anything. Marvel is S.H.I.E.L.D. We’re living this life in our fantasy pretend world, and in the real world. They know stuff that we try to get out of them, and they won’t tell us until we get the next script. I want Skye to be the love child of May and Thor, and then they have to flashback to those scenes. But the secrets are constantly a major surprise for me, and I’m sure all of us. We call each other and text each other and go, “Did you just read that?!” It’s nice because we’re all such geeks at heart that, if we’re reacting this way to the script, we just feel our audience is going to react that way, as well. That excites us because that is the world these characters live in. If you don’t have these twists and turns, I don’t think it makes for the same type of show that we’re trying to evolve and become. I just love how it all ties in with the bigger Marvel universe.
How many episodes are left in the season?
LOEB: There are seven. We start on April 1st. Then on April 4th, in theaters near you, is a movie called Captain America: The Winter Solider. And then, we’re back again on April 8th, for an episode we wouldn’t want you to miss. And then, it’s a bullet shot, all the way to the season finale. There will be seven episodes in a row, where the seventh is the season finale.
So, are there going to be any tie-ins from Captain America that will directly affect the show?
LOEB: It’s the Marvel universe. We started out in the Marvel universe. We would not have a show unless Agent Coulson was the gift that was given to us through Marvel’s The Avengers. We had Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif on the show. We had an episode after Thor: The Dark World, where they were cleaning up in London, after what happened in that movie. So, it would certainly not surprise anyone, if things that happened in that movie were to suddenly happen in the show that we’re talking about.
BELL: The truth is that there are hundreds of people who make this show. We have a tremendous production crew, and a tremendous post team and visual effects team. Whenever you see planes flying and landing, that’s all magic that they do. We’re a team, and that’s the only way we can make the show.
GREGG: One of the funnest things about working for Marvel, in the films, on the TV show, and in the new thing that’s in the middle somewhere, is the fans. Marvel has this really unique relationship with the fans, and it’s a great part of it.
What other Marvel universe stories would you like to see woven into the series?
GREGG: As a fan, I wouldn’t mind opening the door to the plane and seeing Rocket Raccoon on there, or Scarlett Witch. I’m not picky.
WHEDON: Whatever they let us play with, we’ll play with.
We know that the movies affect the universe of the show, but could we ever see Melinda May kicking ass with Tony Stark?
WEN: I’ll take that!
TANCHAROEN: We like the way you think.
Will we see Bill Paxton as Agent Garrett again this season?
LOEB: You will be seeing him more, this season.
And you have Patton Oswalt coming on, too.
LOEB: There are still a few more surprises that we have yet to shake out of our sleeves. Stay tuned.
In terms of mutants, is there any chance that you’ll introduce the idea of mutants in the show?
LOEB: There’s no proof, at the moment, that in the Marvel cinematic universe there are mutants. That’s all I can say.
What is the official word on the pick-up for Season 2, and beyond?
TANCHAROEN: There is no word yet.
How long does it take to do each episode of the show?
BELL: We have a few weeks to write it. Then, we shoot it in eight day. And then, we edit it and finish it anywhere between 20 and 30 days. It’s fast. Every eight days, there’s doing a new one.
How long do the fighting scenes take?
WEN: A long time. They have to show us the choreography. Our stunt team is amazing. They’re very, very meticulous about teaching us the choreography, and then making sure that we can do a lot of the stuff. It takes awhile. But then, once we get into it, it’s so much fun.
GREGG: The fight choreographers are really amazing, in that they really work with you and figure out what your strengths are and your athletic background is, if any, and they gradually push you. There are a lot more fights coming, and a lot of people get pushed out into that territory. We have an amazing team, in that way, because everything we do is about a tenth the time that the same thing would happen in a film. They rehearse it, they give you a video and you’re learning it at home at night, so that you can go in and shoot it in a couple of hours, whereas it would be two days on a movie.
Will we see some of the S.H.I.E.L.D. cast in some of the shows you’re going to have on Netflix? Will that all intertwine?
LOEB: I think we have to get all of that done, and then we’ll see. But it’s all one universe, so we’ll see what happens.
Would you like to see that happen
LOEB: Anything that makes the fans happy, I’m in favor of.
GREGG: I’m not in the same hot seat that Jeph is in, answering that. As someone who’s been around, in the building of this, if they were assembling a universe, it’s been amazing, having grown up reading some of those comics, to see the way that Marvel doesn’t leave a lot on the table. If there’s some way to really make the most out of what the fans want and expect, in my experience, there’s a lot of listening to that.
Imagine you have a Rolex watch. Nice fancy Rolex, you bought it because you like the way it looks and you wanted to treat yourself. And then you get beaten and mugged and your Rolex is stolen. So you go to the police. Only, instead of investigating the crime, the police want to know why you were wearing a Rolex instead of a regular watch. Have you ever given a Rolex to anyone else? Is it possible you wanted to be mugged? Why didn’t you wear long sleeves to cover up the Rolex if you didn’t want to be mugged?
And then after that, everywhere you go, there are constant jokes about stealing your Rolex. People you don’t even know whistle at your Rolex and make jokes about cutting your hand off to get it. The media doesn’t help either; it portrays people who wear Rolexes as flamboyant assholes who secretly just want someone to come along and take that Rolex off their hands. When damn, all you wanted was to wear a nice watch without getting harassed for it. When you complain that you are starting to feel unsafe, people laugh you off and say that you are too uptight. Never mind you got violently attacked for the crime of wearing a friggin time piece.
Imagining all that? It sucks, doesn’t it.
Now imagine you could never take the Rolex off.
”—The Wretched of the Earth: On Rape Culture (via felicefawn)
You know something I found interesting? Is how when people meet dogs, they’ll say something like “He’s so cute!” And the owner will shyly respond with “she’s a girl, actually” And the person will apologize and IMMEDIATELY start using the right pronouns. So my question is, If its so easy to do with DOGS why is it so fucking difficult to do with trans people?