So this past weekend was Hypericon. One of my favorite cons, it’s special to me because I get to see many of my loved ones, family really, and it is always the perfect way to kick off summer. Great food, great friends, scifi, cosplay, what more can a guy ask for?
Sadly I wasn’t able to attend this year. One of my closest friends is undergoing chemotherapy so I’ve been staying with him and helping him out.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t let this year go by without commemorating Hypericon. And what better way to celebrate the con than by sharing one of the most cherished moments I’ve had as a professional author.
From left: Yours truly, Mage TeeVee, and Cass Teague
As a queer person of color, I can say firsthand that it’s rare my existence is acknowledged in the media, much less portrayed with any modicum of respect.
This is one of the many reasons that I’ve taken it upon myself to pass a personal edict that with the exception of an elite few works, I only consume media that has PoCs and LGBTQs as the central and lead characters. If it doesn’t, I’m generally not interested.
I recently rewatched a miniseries that featured one of my favorite gay pairings; Barca and Auctus from Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.
Overall Spartacus wasn’t perfect, but more often than not, it made some progressive moves surprisingly on the feminist, racial, and LGBTQ fronts.
Which brings me to another point. Pro-tip: if a story set in Ancient Rome is more progressive and diverse than your 21st century narrative, that should be a clue for you to examine your failures as an artist and a person.
With Gods of the Arena being a prequel to Blood and Sand, I knew Barca and Auctus’s fates were sealed by your Bury The Gay trope. Nevertheless they were a groundbreaking gay pairing to watch.
Trigger Warning: Rape Culture
An oracle by the name of Maya Angelou once said, “When someone tells you who they really are, believe them the first time.”
I’ve mentioned this before and it always bears repeating. It’s not always the grand gestures that will reveal the content of a person’s character. Or, lack thereof. If you’re an astute observer and know how to ask the right questions, it’s the seemingly minute comments and actions and the inevitability of time that will reveal all.
Midnighter Mode in 3………2………..1………….
News of the Stanford University rape case has shocked the world. Convicted rapist Brock Allan Turner, was sentenced to only six months and only three of which he’ll have to serve. The reason. The judge, Aaron Persky, a Stanford athletic alum, doesn’t Turner’s life to be negatively impacted. Translation: Turner is white and male and privileged.
As outcry and discussion rages on social media, many geeks are reminded of the fact that rapists and rape culture continues to be a disease in fandom and speculative fiction.
So recently Rose McGowan made headlines expressing outrage over the X-Men: Apocalypse billboard ad that showcases Ivan Ooze, I mean Apocalypse, choking Mystique, claiming that it promotes violence against women.
Fox has since issued an apology for the billboard. Which I think was the right call for the studio. The right call would also be for Fox to apologize for the fustercluck that is X-Men: Apocalypse itself but I digress.
Now while I personally like McGowan, I have to keep it 100 and say the timing and her complaint is more than a bit suspect, not to mention hypocritical.
So recently Marvel released Captain America: Steve Rogers. At the conclusion of the comic, Rogers reveals he’s a double agent and utters two magic words that would become the shots fired around the world:
Pugilist, champion, leader, prophet, husband, father, excellence. Muhammad Ali earned many titles. But only two words adequately defined him: The Greatest!!