Monthly Archives: May 2016

American Exceptionalism 2 – Science Fiction Today

Happy Memorial Day! So I wrote a post recently about the future of America, but then I found my notes about the post and realized I had left a bunch out. I had left out the history of America, the past, the exceptional parts of America. So I thought for Memorial Day, we’d take a look at that.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

-Declaration of Independence

It’s really pretty well wrapped up in that. One way that we discussed American history in my history classes was that it was a continual reinterpretation of this phrase. Through the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, the rights movements of the 20th Century, and at this point right on up through the rights battles of today.

In there too – since it doesn’t say anything about specifically Americans being the ones with these rights – is the ideology that has led to so many people moving here. The history of the United States of America, and even the colony before it, is a history full of immigration.

Americans, what? Nothing better to do? Why don’t you kick yourself out? You’re an immigrant too?

-Icky Thump, The White Stripes

Much like the racial and gender and all rights movements, there has been a long history immigrant groups having a hard time at first, and over time becoming more integrated. The Melting Pot that is America.

Okay, so this is part of a series in our Science Fiction Today posts, which is a bit awkward I guess since there’s not a lot of science fiction set in the past… until you think of Steampunk.

I mean, okay, how about the most painful representation of Steampunk… Wild Wild West. Even just having Will Smith as the lead is an interesting move historically – and a lot of Steampunk follows that same lead. There is far more diversity in Steampunk, more women in science, things like that. We take our thoughts about our current world, our future – and we apply it to the past in these stories.

There’s a lot of backlash to all of these changes throughout history, and we’re still feeling some today. The sort of American Exceptionalism I talked about in the first post, the sort coming up in the political discourse today, is about trying not to change. But it has changed – America is no longer a predominantly Christian society (a great read about that would be The Next Christians), and it’s increasingly diverse. By resisting the inevitable changes in our society, we’re maybe not living up to the promise of the Declaration of Independence.

If it’s Memorial Day, and we are honoring those who have fought for freedom, then let’s pause and think on what freedom means. For all people, born wherever, from whatever background, to whatever future – freedom. All created equal, and deserving of a chance.

Advertisements

Hail Hydra? The New Captain America?

So I should open by saying I haven’t read the comic yet. And it’s an issue number 1, so nobody has that much insight into it. But in this week’s newest All New, All Different Marvel Universe title – Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 – we got to see a shocking twist on a 75 year old beloved character!

Kilgrave Hail Hydra

That’s right, Memes-away, it’s Hydra time! This was one of the most interesting things about Captain America: Winter Soldier, I think especially on a first viewing. The role of Hydra in the MCU is massive! It’s crazy! It sprouted a cool meme, it breathed life into Agents of SHIELD (honestly, they’ve been riding that train ever since), it was great. It had shock value, but didn’t change the meaning too much on what had come before – rather, it provided a whole bunch of context.

So let me talk it through, in terms of how it differs from its use in the movies, and then in terms of how it totally makes sense because of the movies.

Continue reading

Hail Hydra? The New Captain America?

So I should open by saying I haven’t read the comic yet. And it’s an issue number 1, so nobody has that much insight into it. But in this week’s newest All New, All Different Marvel Universe title – Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 – we got to see a shocking twist on a 75 year old beloved character!

Kilgrave Hail Hydra

That’s right, Memes-away, it’s Hydra time! This was one of the most interesting things about Captain America: Winter Soldier, I think especially on a first viewing. The role of Hydra in the MCU is massive! It’s crazy! It sprouted a cool meme, it breathed life into Agents of SHIELD (honestly, they’ve been riding that train ever since), it was great. It had shock value, but didn’t change the meaning too much on what had come before – rather, it provided a whole bunch of context.

So let me talk it through, in terms of how it differs from its use in the movies, and then in terms of how it totally makes sense because of the movies.

Continue reading

What’s on Netflix June 2016

Summer is usually a time for Netflix to do a bit of an overhaul to their lineup, or release their new content, which makes sense. School is out, people take vacations, the majority of network shows are on their summer break…it’s a great time to fill some gaps. There’s actually quite a bit coming to Netflix this month, here’s just a few to cover:

The First 3 Jurassic Park Movies

If you’ve never seen at least the first one, watch it when it comes to Netflix June 1st. It’s a classic. The sequels don’t pack quite the same punch as the first, but they are still worth watching at least one. Pop some popcorn and enjoy the incredible T-Rex roars.

Continue reading

Favorite Moments from AvX

Hope encountering the Phoenix Force So in a previous post I talked about how much I enjoyed AvX, but I tried so hard to not do any spoilers because I really enjoyed this cross over event. It spans across so many comics and does such a good job of really crossing over into the different stories.

This post is going to be very spoiler filled because there are some big events that happen, but it is nice that they don’t all happen in one single series. This cross over event is epic and world changing. The Phoenix is a force that cannot be controlled and that alone creates the base for a great and epic story. (Spoilers after the jump. You have been warned.) Continue reading