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Off Topic: To the Supermarket Trump Supporter

So I almost punched out an elderly person in a supermarket today.

Granted, none of you know who I am, but I’m not a violent criminal with a checkered past. I’m a (mostly) skinny, awkward nerdy black girl from Georgia who, through a series of unfortunate events, came to live in central Florida for going on five years. Nevertheless, I was going along my merry way grocery shopping when an old white man walked past me wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. I didn’t realize how utterly furious I’ve been under the surface until that man walked into my line of sight and my entire body from head to toe started shaking, and my adrenaline started pumping, and my brain whispered, “Punch his goddamn lights out. Lay him out, right here, right now. He deserves it.”

I did not, however, deck the ever-loving crap out of an old man today.

And that’s what we’re here to discuss.

We all know the obvious reasons why I didn’t do it. (1) Don’t want to be arrested and sent to jail and deal with a lengthy trial on assault charges, especially not in a state that gives Texas a run for its money in terms of open bigotry (2) It would have just proven that old man’s messed up beliefs right, that black people, and people of color in general, are violent, ignorant criminals who are hot-headed and reckless and attack people unprovoked. (3) That’s not a punishment severe enough for this man’s crime.

Because, in the end, while the narrative of this story has switched into a dystopian future that is so reminiscent of V for Vendetta that I’m waiting for them to change the flag to black and red, we are only at the climax. The ending? Oh, the ending is what I’d like to discuss today.

After the utter fury rushed out of me when I left Publix, I quite suddenly started smiling to myself. Do you know why? Not because our current situation in this country is funny. It ain’t, trust me. After the anger passed and I could see something other than red, I realized that I am in fact getting the last laugh.

You, old man, are going to die, and soon. You’ll probably die painfully, as many of your organs are failing, and you’ll be taken to a hospital, and if you are one of the incredibly ignorant morons who are on the Affordable Healthcare Act that the GOP is trying to repeal and yet you somehow don’t realize it’s Obamacare, you’ll probably get a taste of your own medicine while you’re shuffling your moldy ass off this mortal coil and into the flames of Hell.

And that’s not even the best part.

You know your grandchildren? Those children that you voted for Tangerine Hitler in order to “protect” from the “villains” you think are out there in “your” country right now? Guess what? When they grow up, they’re going to be surrounded by beautiful brown faces of all types. Not only that, but they are going to fall in love with a person of color. They’re going to have their entire world rocked by a person of color. Hell, they might be in a same-sex relationship with one, and that’s even better. Still not the best part. Are you ready for the best part?

You’ll be dead, and you can do nothing about it.

All your hatred, all your bigotry, all your ignorance, all your pathetic attempts to stop people of color from “taking over” what you and people like you think is yours, will have meant absolutely, positively, nothing in the end.

We aren’t going anywhere. You are. Your entire fake-ass resistance is futile. Trump may have poisoned this country and broken the will of many of its innocent citizens, but in the end, you cannot stop us from living, and living well.

Me? Maybe I don’t have all my ducks in a row, but I am still an educated, gorgeous, independent, kind, helpful, decent human being in spite of all that you’ve done to make me and people like me feel like we have no power and that we’re unwanted second-class citizens. I have a savings account. I have a car. I have a home. I have a family and friends. I have everything I need right now, and I’m not even halfway done with my life. And you? You can’t do jackshit about it, old man.

To that end, to everyone out there who is just as angry as I am, who is filled with disbelief that the selfish monsters in this country have let us all fall to rancor and have shown their yellow bellies after all this time, after all this progress, this is what you need to focus on.

If you’re reading this article…you ARE the resistance.

Fight Trump and his cabinet. Fight Congress. Fight corrupt government officials and lobbyists.

But don’t forget that we get the last laugh.

Live hard. Live well. Don’t let them take away who you are because of their disgusting beliefs. Get your life together and enjoy everything that you can, because that’s how you defeat men like that old bastard in that supermarket. They think we’re savages? Great. Just wait until we’re doctors, saving their old damned souls. Just wait until we’re lawyers defending their sorry asses from a lawsuit. Just wait until we’re colonizing Mars. Just wait until we’re watching the first female or gay/lesbian president. Just wait until this entire country is full of excellence and they can’t do a goddamn thing about it.

Kill ‘em with kindness, friends.

That’s how we win this war.

Stay excellent.

Love,

Kyoko

On Natasha Romanoff and Feminism

Natasha Romanoff (The_Avengers)

It’s official, faux-feminists. I’m-a callin’ you out. *straps on six-guns*

According to Webster.com, the definition of feminism is the following:

: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities

OR

: organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests

So, therefore, explain to me how the depiction of Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, in Age of Ultron is being seen as sexist? Because it’s been over a week and I just came back from my second viewing of the film, and I am just not seeing it.

What I’m seeing it something else entirely.

In case you’re stumbling across this blog post with no prior knowledge of who and what I am, I’m a girl. A black girl. A black girl nerd, in fact, and I have been since I was old enough to watch television and realize that Batman is someone I wanted to emulate at the earliest possible moment. I wouldn’t call myself a full-blown kick-down-your-door-and-scream-in-your-face feminist, but I am one. I want my ladies, both in real life and in fiction, to be represented in every possible way and to have every single right that they have earned through blood, sweat, and tears. I want writers to push past the easy stereotypes and write women of every kind as long as said writing is not only realistic and reflective of women as a whole, but also writing that is as diverse and layered as the kind used for writing men.

If you want to talk about Natasha Romanoff, then I’m eager to begin, because this woman has been on quite a journey from her introduction in Iron Man 2. Natasha started out getting her feet wet by being gorgeous and tight-lipped for the most part, and I actually had zero opinion of her after I saw the film. I knew of her—that she was a former assassin turned good guy thanks to Nick Fury, Clint Barton, and SHIELD—and that she had some friction with Tony Stark, but otherwise, she wasn’t even a blip on my radar. After all, in Iron Man 2, she didn’t get to do quite a lot other than have some really overcomplicated takedowns that looked badass, but didn’t give me much to go on other than she looks super cool beating down bad guys.

Then The Avengers came along. Holy shitsnacks. This is precisely what I had been missing from both ScarJo and Nat in general. We see beneath the hotness in a jumpsuit. We see that she has an excellent sense of humor and a wonderfully cool poker face, but she also has a drive, a need, and a purpose not only with SHIELD, but also with the other Avengers. Furthermore, we see that Natasha is not only devoted, but cunning beyond measure. Everyone has a favorite moment from The Avengers—hell, the entire damn movie is just one continuous block of Crowning Moment of Awesome—but one of my all-time favorites scenes is still Natasha confronting Loki. It’s beautiful. How she starts off so calm and collected, and then Loki delves into her sordid, ugly past and digs up the reason why she is so determined to save her best friend, and then the entire experience is up-ended when it’s revealed that she was carefully playing on Loki’s ego and mad desire for revenge in order to find out his ultimate goal. Not one other member of that team could have done what Nat did. No one. That moment solidified the reason why Natasha is an Avenger. She may not have all the strength of Thor or Captain America, or the technological brilliance of Tony or Bruce, or the sharpshooting abilities of Hawkeye, but Nat is there for a reason. She adds something to that team, something that they most certainly needed, something that they could not have won the day without. Natasha is not a pretty accessory. Natasha has weight to her character, and that leads me into her next appearance.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the exact moment I fell in love with Natasha Romanoff. She became every single thing I’ve ever wanted in a female hero that I haven’t been able to get just yet (though I personally did really enjoy Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, and shut up, I don’t care if you don’t agree). The Avengers introduced us to Nat, but this is the film where the onion starts to peel and we see the layers beneath. I adore Nat and Steve together, as partners, as friends, and I admit I actually did see a little spark of attraction there as well, even if Nat’s intentions for Bruce come up in Age of Ultron. I love that she’s so laidback and teasing with him, but then at the same time, there is real conflict beneath her seemingly easy company. The two of them have very different approaches to saving the day, and Steve thinks everything is black and white while Nat sees only the grey. I especially loved the conversation they had in the truck on the way to New Jersey, where she asks what he wants from her, and he simply tells her the truth, and then there’s that incredible scene at Sam’s place where he says that he’d trust her with his life now that they’ve been through hell and back. I love that Steve could tell Nat was shaken by finding out that SHIELD was Hydra all along, and I think it adds something even deeper to what she goes through in Age of Ultron, which we’ll get to in a second. Nat’s “red in my ledger” comment is the baseline of her character development. She’s been trying so hard to wipe out that gushing red, and to discover that SHIELD, the organization that saved her life and put her on the right path, was still evil at its core, was the worst thing that could happen to her. But she puts her trust in Steve and Sam and the others and they get the work done destroying Hydra’s plan, and once again, she is shown to be beyond competent and essential to the mission, stopping Pierce and saving literally millions of lives.

Now it’s time to discuss Age of Ultron. By now, we know a glimpse of Nat’s past, what motivates her to still work for SHIELD, and that she’s perfectly comfortable with her teammates. First off, I do admit I’m not a big fan of the Nat/Bruce ship, but that’s not the fault of the writing for me. I just don’t see chemistry between ScarJo and Ruffalo, that’s all. I think she had way more heat and tension with Evans, but that might also be because the two have worked together before in the Nanny Diaries and in Winter Soldier, so keep that in mind. However, this is where my problem with the faux feminists start.

First of all, how is it sexist that Nat has a romantic arc with Bruce when literally every single Avenger so far has a love interest BEFORE it got to her? Tony has Pepper, Steve had Peggy, Bruce had Betty, Thor had Jane, and Hawkeye had his wife. I’m not kidding. All of them have a romantic relationship BEFORE Nat does, and all of said romances were fully explored and have an impact on our heroes. So does Nat and Bruce’s relationship. I’m not understanding the claim of sexism here. Hell, let’s check Webster yet again for a definition:

Sexism (n):   prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :  discrimination against women

OR

:  behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

Nope. Still not seeing it. Where is the sexism in Nat developing an attraction to Bruce, who is quiet, brilliant, kind-hearted, brave, and has shown her nothing but respect since they met? Where is the unfair treatment of this character? She is getting the same amount of attention towards romance that the other heroes received. How does it diminish who she is to want to share her feelings, both physical and emotional, with someone she likes?

Moving on, apparently the other outcry of the faux feminists is that Nat’s reveal about being sterile is also somehow sexist. Again, I’m a girl. I’ve watched this movie two separate times a week apart, and I cannot see any sexism on the part of the writers/director. Are they trying to say that dealing with her sterility is sexist? How? Men and women ARE different. Women DO have issues that men will never have to deal with. Nat’s sterility is definitely something that would impact her negatively and make her feel utterly destroyed if thrown back into her face after what we assume is probably years of repression. She was a weapon, programmed and commanded to do things against her will, and that abuse shaped how she acted for entire years.

Furthermore, how is it sexist to write that it made her turn that negativity onto herself when Bruce brought up not being able to have a family? If it’s the way she phrased being a monster, fine, that wasn’t phrased correctly, but I don’t see how that is reinforcing a stereotype or a negative generalization about women. Infertility is an issue that affects all women, whether they want to ever bear children or not. I personally don’t really want any kids at this point in my life, and I might never get to that point, and I don’t even have a boyfriend. That is a relevant issue to women. Why is Nat getting hatred, and subsequently, why is Joss Whedon and his writers getting flak for discussing a modern, relevant issue that women deal with? Wouldn’t it be sexist to gloss over it? Wouldn’t it be sexist to ignore her background and not discuss what has made her want to bond with Bruce? To make her a one dimensional character who is just a pair of tits or a punchline?

This is why I finally decided to make a blog post discussing the issue. I think that feminism has been corrupted by one specific group of women who like to take this word and warp it into an excuse to complain. Do you want proof? Fine. I’ll give you some examples.

They complain about Nat, but they ignore the fact that Darcy, the brunette from Thor, quite literally did not do ONE plot relevant thing in the entire movie. She was just there to be pretty and crack jokes and so the twenty-something boys would have someone to ogle other than Natalie Portman. Not only that, but they accept her as part of the Marvel universe and even ship her with people like Loki, which makes so little sense that I cannot even offer an attempt at an explanation. She is superfluous. 100% superfluous. And yet no complaints, but praise.

They complain about Nat, but then they scream and rage about Jane falling in love with Thor even though Thor’s entire actions in the first movie were a direct result of things that Jane helped him do, and he would not have been able to regain Mjolnir or defeat Loki without Jane’s help. It makes perfect sense that Thor fell for her because of how smart and sweet and brave and ready to learn about things she didn’t know she was, and it made sense for Jane to fall for Thor because he was a gentleman and he sacrificed himself to save a town full of people as well as her from his brother’s wrath.

They complain about Nat, but they actively worship Loki: a selfish, spoiled, entitled prick who chose to ignore years of kinship with Thor and Odin because his ego and inferiority complex took over. They constantly make excuses for him, saying it’s all Odin’s fault or all Thor’s fault, that Loki went mad with the notion that he was meant to be king. They say that he was just “misunderstood” when he came to earth, gleefully killing innocent people, and intending to enslave mankind not for our own good, but because he wants to be king of the mountain. They blame Thor for being a bully, and ignore the fact that Thor gave Loki chance after chance after chance to reform and do the right thing, even at the risk of his own life, and that Thor still loved Loki even at the moment of his “passing” in The Dark World.

They complain about Nat, but they try to justify the actions of Grant Ward from Agents of SHIELD, who has a boo-hoo abusive backstory that in no way justifies his constant ass-hattery and decision to be an evil, remorseless arrogant son of a bitch time and time again. He has murdered, tortured, kidnapped, and blamed everyone but himself for his own actions, and he has made it clear that his wants and needs exceed everyone else’s, and he refuses to apologize to the people who he betrayed and tried to kill several times, and yet these same women create entire groups to “stand” with him and protest that he’s not a monster when we have physical evidence that he is.

So yes, I use the term “faux-feminist” with no reservations whatsoever when addressing the people who claim that Nat is a bad character written by a “sexist.” All she is as of right now is a lightning rod that they are using to do what their actual agenda is: to stomp their little feet and fight fire with fire. Feminism is NOT about bullying men, or bullying women who disagree with you. Feminism is NOT about throwing so much hatred at someone that they feel the need to remove themselves from a social media environment. Feminism is NOT about treating men like shit so that they “understand” what women go through. Feminism is about finding middle ground so that men understand that women are to be written competently and realistically instead of being objectified or ignored.

Natasha Romanoff was not being objectified or ignored. She had an actual character arc. She had a personality. She had a mission. She was relevant, three-dimensional, and realistic. Does she do things that some of us disagree with? Of course she does! But that is what makes her an actual character. Real characters make mistakes. They screw up. They have faults. That is what the end goal is for feminism. We want to see women who aren’t perfect goddesses or complete screw ups. We want to see women who are both, and every shade in between, and that is exactly what Natasha Romanoff has become from her first appearance to her current one. You don’t have to like her. But you have to appreciate her because she is a fully formed character with motivations, a flushed out personality with layers, and a background that has been explored that affects her behavior.

You wanna complain about Age of Ultron? Be my guest. The movie is by no stretch perfect. It has flaws, and you are welcome to discuss them. But don’t you dare plant that fake-ass feminist flag and proclaim that it’s tearing down women when you have Natasha Romanoff out there kicking ass and being developed and proving that you don’t need a dick to be a fantastic hero. That ain’t feminism. That’s being a dick.

And I’m pretty sure that’s not what feminism is about.

Kyo out.

The Problem with 50 Shades of Grey

Pictured: 50 Shades of a piece of shit human being.

Pictured: 50 Shades of a piece of shit human being.

I know what you’re thinking.

“Another author jumping on the bandwagon to dump hatred on this book and upcoming movie? Really? What do you have to say about it that someone hasn’t already said?”

And that’s a fair statement. I’m not the only one who is discussing the upcoming 50 Shades movie. Plenty of authors have gotten into it already, whether for or against it. I won’t try to convince you to listen to me. Instead, I will just speak my piece and let you do whatever you want to do afterward.

The reason that I have a burning hatred for 50 Shades of Grey is not simply because it’s poorly written, because it’s popular, or because it’s erotica.

The reason I have a burning hatred for 50 Shades of Grey is because it is a book and movie about glorifying an incredibly abusive relationship and it is the first time in recent memory that the general populace just seems to be okay with it.

“But Kyoko,” you say. “Isn’t that why you disliked Twilight?”

Yes and no. The reason I hate Twilight is also because it’s poorly written and it glorifies an unhealthy relationship, but let me explain why Twilight pales in comparison to 50 Shades.

First of all, Bella Swan is a teenager. Teenagers are illogical, emotional beings. Their hormones make the calls. I was one not too long ago and the way you feel dictates every single thing you do, and you can’t really help yourself most of the time. I’m not making excuses for Bella because she is still a dull, stupid, wet blanket of a character and she shouldn’t have put her life in danger just for a booty call with someone who put his needs above hers constantly. However, that’s the very reason the books were popular. Teenagers don’t know any better. They read about some tall, dark, and handsome dangerous vampire obsessed with one below average girl and they think, “Oh, wow, wouldn’t it be so cool if I had a hot guy who wanted me this badly?” Edward Cullen is not and never should be a teen idol because he’s an overpowering, pretentious, selfish prick, but it’s not like we don’t have fictional characters who are popular in spite of being absolutely awful. (Read: Loki, Hannibal Lecter)

To me, Twilight is less offensive because it deals with an unhealthy psychological relationship. As far as I know, Edward never physically abuses Bella. He forces his opinions on her, sure, and let’s not even talk about his actions in Breaking Dawn, but he’s a douchebag and she’s too much of a sea cucumber to stand up for herself because she’s a teenager and she has never known better. She isn’t an adult. She doesn’t know how to respond to the way he treats her, and she doesn’t realize yet that she had better options.

At the end of the day, Twilight is a fad. It’s already faded by about 50% in the last couple years. Twenty years from now, it’ll be like N’sync and the Backstreet Boys. Some girls will look back on it and giggle like, “Wow, what was I thinking back then? Hormones are powerful things, huh?” Jump ahead another 50 years and we might not even remember it at all except for the box office records.

50 Shades, however, is just straight up glorifying one adult abusing another adult, and the reason this pisses me off so much is that it’s going to corrupt a lot of teens and women who just don’t know any better.

With Twilight, the odds that girls got into bad relationships because they were looking for some creepy stalker were high, but probably not attainable. Girls wanted to be Bella, but it’s not really possible without a lobotomy. I’m sure men preyed on those impressionable girls for a while, but most men were repulsed by the franchise and didn’t bother to try to imitate Edward Cullen because no one on earth can possibly be that bizarre mix of brutish disdain and boring lack of personality.

With 50 Shades, the reading world who made this the fastest selling book of all time is staunchly saying to these women, “This is what you should want. This is hot. This is what BDSM is like and you should want that kind of relationship. This made so much money because all these women want this kind of sex and this kind of boyfriend.”

And women have it hard enough.

Every day, women are subjected to advertisements and television shows and movies and video games and anime that enforce what the “ideal woman” is on us. She’s this height, this weight, she has these proportions, she has this hair color, she wears these clothes, she sounds like this, she goes to this place, and you’re never going to be loved if you’re not like her. The media lovingly whittles down our confidence with onslaughts of unfair and unrealistic stereotypes that make us feel worthless in comparison, and there are few of us who are strong enough to ignore it and take our beautiful asses elsewhere.

50 Shades of Grey is the ultimate inaccurate portrayal of something to aspire to. It is not real BDSM, it is something that E.L. James imagined while furiously masturbating. Don’t believe me? Look it up. Look up actual S & M culture, and they will straight up tell you that what Christian Grey is doing to Ana is NOT the proper protocol for BDSM. He is abusing her. He is performing unwanted sexual acts on her, and just because she gets off on it later doesn’t mean it’s not abuse. That is the single biggest reason why I detest this book and this film. It is blatant disregard for one woman’s personal and sexual desires and it sends the ugliest message out into the world that I’ve ever seen in my life.

Because for every decent, loving, mature man out there, there are fifty immature douchebags who are going to see this movie and have every backwards-ass thought in their head reaffirmed. These assholes are going to see 50 Shades make $100 million dollars and say, “Oh, so it’s okay to ignore what women want and force my views and my sexuality onto them. They obviously bought these books and saw this movie ten times, so it’s okay. I can be an asshole and still get laid.” And that is exactly what decent women have been fighting against their entire lives.

Think I’m exaggerating? Do you remember the #YesAllWomen event on Twitter last year? All women have at least one street harassment story. Most have several. We have to deal with unwanted male aggressions, micro or otherwise, all the time. It may not be frequent, but there are always men who think it’s okay to badger women out of some misplaced sense of entitlement.

And 50 Shades of Grey is unconsciously saying that these guys aren’t the minority.

I will have nothing to do with a book or a film that helps these pricks continue to treat my sisters like they are nothing less than meat. Never.

“But Kyoko,” you say. “You’re a fangirl. Aren’t fans notorious for glorifying unhealthy relationships?”

Yes and no. I’m a fangirl alright, but I’m actually pretty conservative in certain terms. Yes, I write about an abusive relationship between my protagonist Jordan and the villain Belial, but the difference is that I make it 100% clear that what Belial does to Jordan is wrong and should not be the way anyone treats another person. Belial himself fully admits he’s an evil piece of shit and he wants to bring Jordan down to his level. Jordan fully admits that being attracted to Belial is the worst part of her personality and she is ashamed of her carnal desires for him. Furthermore, while Belial treats her badly, he does actually have something to offer her: money, status, power, and sexual fulfillment.

Furthermore, yes, fans often glorify abusive or even illegal fictional relationships. It’s sad, but it happens constantly in certain circles. I’ve seen them try to justify rape, incest, bestiality, abuse, child molestation, and all kinds of foul things, and they do it with the same emphatic enthusiasm and denial as the women who claim that 50 Shades isn’t about abuse. And guess what? It’s not okay either. They will argue until they are blue in the face for me saying so, but no, I think certain things that fans promote are despicable and should not be done even if it’s just fictional.

However, the difference here is that this is fandom. What does the word “fan” stand for when used in this context? Fan is short for fanatic. That is actually a much smaller demographic than Tumblr would lead you to believe is the norm. These are a very specific subset of people who actively search for this kind of thing. They are not the average woman or girl who would just happen to stumble across these sorts of things.

50 Shades of Grey has been promoted and plastered on every available surface, whereas the unhealthy things that fans like are in a much smaller, more concentrated setting. Sure, some girls who don’t know better might see the things that the fandom insists is okay, but it’s far less likely. 50 Shades is widespread and it’s going to mess with so many impressionable women who don’t know that what they are seeing is an exaggeration and misrepresentation of BDSM and all the things that are associated with an interest in kinky sex or a relationship based mostly on the physical aspects. I am all for women taking charge of their sexuality and exploring what they desire, but I am not for a pigeonholed version that is mostly nonsense of some woman who managed to trick people into thinking her fantasies were anything near what actual BDSM and actual well-written erotica are like.

I condemn this book and movie not because it places sex on a pedestal, but because it makes it clear that Christian Grey’s wants and needs are more important than Ana’s, and that at the end of the day, the man is still the one who dictates the relationship, and the woman is his plaything. I condemn this book and movie because there are so many women with abuse stories that will feel a centimeter tall when people advocate such an obvious monster of a man taking advantage of an ignorant girl. I condemn this movie because it was written by a woman, and yet it enforces nearly every single unhealthy stereotype that lousy men embody.

You have every right to like what you want to like. No one will ever stop you. But I think it bears repeating that just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s good, and doesn’t mean it’s something people should ever take to heart.

*climbs back down off of soapbox*

Dear DC Comics and Warner Bros Studios,

Hi. My name is Kyo. I’m a nerd. I’ve been a nerd since I could walk. And I really, really liked DC growing up, what with the DC animated TV shows and the original movies and then the Nolan films. You guys were pretty great.

But now I am literally contemplating boycotting all of your movies.

Why?

Take a peek at this little article.

This had better be a rumor. It had better be, because if it isn’t, you and I are done professionally.

There is something you two chuckleheads need to understand before I explain why this “no humor” method is completely wrong and why your approach to these heroes me and my friends and total nerdy random strangers have loved since we were in diapers is going to bankrupt you at the box office.

A few years back, a fellow named ItsJustSomeRandomGuy created a story arc called “Happy Hour,” in which the Joker injected all the heroes with nanites that controlled their brains and caused them to become dark and tormented like Batman. This arc was a deconstruction of the idea that all heroes need to be brooding in order to be successful. This arc was poignant and intelligent because it brought up the point that the Nolanverse Batman films were not box office record breaking movies just because Bruce Wayne is a tormented soul. The reason why we have dark heroes is so that they can be complimented against light-hearted heroes like Wonder Woman or Spider-Man or Captain Marvel (either one of them). If all our heroes in the DC universe had dead parents and psychological trauma, guess what? It would be boring. We wouldn’t have the excellent chemistry that we have in the Justice League. You need a Straight Man character only so that you can appreciate the Wacky Loon character. It’s just common sense to have personality differences–to have one character who is stoic and another who cracks jokes, so that way if the stoic character finally does loosen up and say something funny, it’s then hysterical considering their history.

What in God’s name makes you clowns think we want 100% serious DC superheroes?

Because I can tell you right now, if you do that, you’re going to be trailing behind Marvel for the rest of your lives.

And you might not even live that long.

I get it. Marvel is raking in the dough by the billions, and you want to make your films look unique. But guess what? Sucking all the joy out of the DC characters is NOT going to set you apart. It’s going to make us hate you. There is nothing worse than a film franchise that takes itself too seriously. A perfect example is Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Do you know why that movie is doing terribly? Because unlike the first Sin City, it took itself seriously. The first Sin City is a riot. It’s littered with incredible one liners and cheesy effects and noir stereotypes and cliches, but it’s poking fun at itself the entire time. There are plenty of serious, gut-wrenching, soul-slaying moments in that movie, but they work because you can compare them against the hilarious scenes of violence, gore, and sex.

Your idea of making the heroes all serious is even stupider when you consider the fact that all three of the Nolan Batman films–you know, the ones that made you literal billions–are perfectly frosted with some of the funniest moments in superhero history. Batman Begins, for instance, is loaded with excellent humor. Remember when Bruce was trapped underneath a huge support beam and in danger of dying while his beautiful mansion burned to the ground around him…and Alfred had the nerve to insult him?

Alfred: What’s the point of all those push ups if you can’t lift a bloody log?!

Did you see the look on Bruce’s face? The disbelief that he’s fighting for his life and getting yelled for his trouble? That was hilarious.

Or remember the scene where the batmobile makes its incredible debut and the officers think the guy on the radio is nuts and then the batmobile pancakes their car and then this happens:

Cop: Well, what does it look like?!

Other Cop: It was a black…tank.

Or, what about the pinnacle of black comedy in The Dark Knight when the Joker “makes the pencil disappear”? That was the instant we all knew that Heath Ledger was going to knock this role right out of the park. To this day, I have never again heard an entire theater full of partially-horrified shocked laughter. It was unforgettable.

So what in the name of Maxie Zeus’ beard makes you think that you will meet any success by making all the DC films from Batman vs. Superman onward serious? That’s not what these characters are about. Yes, they all have serious moments, but that is not who they are.

Are you really going to look me in the eye and tell me that an alien from a planet of human look-alikes who was raised on a farm in Kansas and wears his fucking red underwear outside his tights is supposed to be 100% dead serious?

Or an intergalactic space cop trained by a giant, foul-mouthed alien pig creature isn’t supposed to have a sense of humor?

Honestly, did you ever pick up a DC comic book or graphic novel in your entire life? Obviously you didn’t or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

You are alienating the very people you are trying to attract with your pretentious nonsense notion that the only way to make it while competing against Marvel or any other summer blockbusters is to make all our heroes morose. Your job as filmmakers of the superhero genre is to accurately portray these heroes as we have come to know and love them through the comics. We don’t want your “artistic vision” or your preconceived notions of what you think people want to see. Take the comic book, pin it to your storyboard, and copy/paste. Hell, if you’re too lazy for that, go back and watch “The World’s Finest” episodes of Superman: The Animated Series. Superman is not serious. Batman is. It’s that easy. Yes, they have issues with each other, but guess what? They only hit each other ONE time in that entire hour and a half. They draw a line in the sand and then they go after the bad guys. It wasn’t called “Batman v. Superman” because they were never against each other. They disagreed with the other person’s methods and they each thought they could get the bad guys alone, but then they realized they were wrong. It should never be a versus thing. That is where you will fail, I guarantee it.

Honestly, I get now why Nolan bailed. These kinds of decisions show a remarkable lack of foresight and understanding into not only your own audience, but any audiences you hope to ever invite into your circle.

My final point is this: stop being so concerned with “competing” against Marvel or making yourself distinct from them and just make damn good movies. That’s literally the only thing you need to do to be successful. You don’t need to go to the complete opposite side of the spectrum and make boring, soulless heroes who never crack a smile and don’t believe in the people they are saving. That’s why Man of Steel was mediocre, and that’s why people don’t ever feel excited about anything you announce because you keep giving us this idea that our perceptions of our own heroes is wrong and you need to show us the “realistic” heroes you think we want. We don’t. I assure you we don’t.

Take a Xanax, read a comic book, and make some goddamn DC movies already.

Love,

An Angry Fangirl