“Ghostbusters”: Best Film of the Year, Possibly, Let’s Assume


For Your Film Award Consideration. Like, all of them, because we have a dream.

Normally I wouldn’t review a film till after I’ve seen it, but I get the impression from some corners of the internet that cause-and-effect are now passé and prejudging is all the rage with the poorly parented kids these days. I’ve been watching the ongoing Ghostbusters debates for months from the sidelines, but the following tweet kind of broke me Monday evening:

I can’t figure out which shopping site he was browsing, but honestly, that’s how we’re playing armchair critic, guys? By shooting things down that make us frown without even trying them? With attitudes like that, I’m guessing none of those faux advance reviewers ever gave vegetables a chance, either.

Hi, geese. Call me gander. Let’s go ahead and review Ghostbusters like it’s the greatest thing in the galaxy, 100% sight unseen, three weeks before it opens. Free country! Free speech! Free boorishness! Free self-immolation!

Right this way for a heavy-duty shot of positivity adrenaline for Generation Shouty!

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Internet Rape Threats?

Kenneth Rocafort, Teen Titans #1

The cover heard ’round the world. Art by Kenneth Rocafort.

Other working titles for this entry included “Why I Avoid Comic Book Discussions”, “Comics Industry Spends Easter Week Debating Baseline Human Interaction 101”, “Uppity Chick Dares to Critique Corporate-Approved Pandering”, and “Comic Book Fans Argue in Favor of Exploitative Art and Rape Threats”.

Earlier this week Comic Book Resources published an astute piece by a writer/editor named Janelle Asselin offering thorough, point-by-point analysis of the proposed first-issue cover to DC Comics’ upcoming relaunch of Teen Titans. Of all the aspects she skewered — perspective, anatomy, body language, energy level, demographic narrowcasting, complete lack of salesmanship toward new readers in general — one in particular struck a nerve with the audience at large: incredulity at the portrayal of a teenage character as an improbably shaped fantasy porn object.

Not that this is new to comics, mind you.

The issue in this instance: the complaint wasn’t from a stodgy old guy like me. This time, it was from a lousy dame, clearly speaking out of turn against her male superiors who need their super-heroes to look like this. It’s not enough to have genuine porn at their disposal for their eye-candy needs; they apparently want visual representations of the female figure in all media kept inflated and distorted at all times for the sake of their personal viewing euphoria.

And then it got worse…

Treatment Suggestions for Sufferers of Repressed Spoilers Syndrome

Daryl Dixon, Norman Reedus, Walking Dead

If Daryl Dixon ever dies, your dreams of a spoiler-free Sunday evening will be beyond laughable.

Every Sunday evening during the active TV seasons, my online experience takes the same shape: a few friends share their vague reactions to the new episode of The Walking Dead that signify something game-changing happened yet again, right on schedule; one or two other friends dispense with discretion and blurt out what the game-changing thing was to anyone who’ll listen; and another friend or two explode with spoiler rage because they weren’t watching the show as it aired, but totally planned to watch it as soon as they could, or as soon as they felt like it, apparently having learned nothing from the last forty times this happened with the last forty episodes.

Of those three fan divisions, it’s my belief that the most stressed-out and in need of help is Group 1.

This way for theories and treatment…

Read. Think. Post.

Those three sharp words comprised one of the first, smartest lessons shared with me when I first hopped aboard the runaway internet express in a previous decade. Simple words bandied about by my earliest peers became a brilliant watchword trifecta to remind each other not to post in anger, to cool down before venting any immediate hostile impulses, to refrain from etching anything hasty and regrettable for eternal archiving. Self-control is key. You’re not required by law to reply immediately to anyone who stabs you the wrong way. Stepping back, breathing deeply, and taking a few hours away from your input device can do a world of good.

This snapshot, captured tonight through the magic of a few simple keystrokes and MS Paint, is how not to handle such potential fiascos. The amateurish content-editing is my doing, because of the lines I draw.

Twitter rage

The Twitter account in question was deleted less than half an hour later. A few earlier tweets were part of the same tirade, but I opted for moderate sampling over voyeuristic completism. I’m also not interested in linking to the tacky news story that sparked this reaction because I don’t believe they deserve any click-through traffic. At all.

I’m not normally one for ten-minute posts comprised of a single set of Words to Live By. Consider this an exception to the rule. From a Scriptural standpoint, I’ll point you to James 1:19-20 (NIV):

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Much more eloquent and pleasingly faith-based from my perspective, but not as easy to fit onto a T-shirt or scribble on a Post-It to stick to your monitor or the back of your phone.

Make these three words Today’s Secret Words, today and every day, and you’ll be astounded at how your internet experience will improve by leaps and bounds.

Read. Think. Post.

My Valentine’s Day is What I Make of It.

Lugash, Valentine's Day, The SimpsonsWhen you’re sitting at a ballpark or other sports stadium, the crowd is doing the Wave, and you see the crest heading straight for your section, do you rise and raise your arms in rhythm with your neighbors? Or do you scowl, remain in your seat, and lecture your friends about how the Wave is conformist tomfoolery?

When your coworkers decide they’re not in the mood for cafeteria food or the tiny Weight Watchers meals they brought in their lunch bags and decide to order pizza or Chinese takeout together, do you go with the flow and chip in a few bucks for a little something different for yourself? Or do you denounce their impulsive extravagance and consign yourself to the turkey sandwich you brought because it was slapped together with only the purest of motives?

When you need to buy drinks at the grocery, do you base your decision on advertising? Do you buy drinks regardless of their advertising? Or do you specifically boycott any drinks that have ever been advertised in any way because advertising is shallow and irritating and unholy, and instead limit yourself to buying only products that have never been advertised in any medium?

If you’re at the theater watching a movie that the other patrons seem to be enjoying a lot more than you are, do you leave them to their difference of opinion and count down the minutes till the travesty is over? Or do you castigate them for their life choices and demonstrate the superiority of your disdain by chasing them around the theater with a stun-gun?

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