Open Thread: Black Panther Update

From the Mother Jones article:

Unlike many of his peers at Marvel, Black Panther screenwriter Joe Robert Cole didn’t grow up a comic-book superfan, but he did have a soft spot for superheroes and a passion for storytelling. Fresh out of college at the University of California-Berkeley, Cole got his first gig writing for ATL, a 2006 film starring rapper TI and based loosely on the romance between producer Dallas Austin and singer T’Boz of the R&B group TLC. He went on to write and direct 2011’s Amber Lake, an eerie indie film about three half-sisters who turn on one another when questioned by the police about their father’s mysterious death. Most recently, he wrote an episode of FX’s acclaimed series American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson.

Now, Cole, a product of Marvel’s two-year in-house writing program, is hard at work on the studio’s latest megaflick-to-be. The movie’s comic-book counterpart ran several volumes from the late ’70s to 2010, replacing the unfortunately titled 1960s comic Jungle Action, which featured the Black Panther, the genre’s first black superhero. The story revolves around warrior king T’Challa (Black Panther), who hails from the technologically advanced, fictional African kingdom of Wakanda—which has never been colonized, unlike the other countries on the continent…

MJ: What does it mean to you to be writing a black superhero?

JC: Black Panther is a historic opportunity to be a part of something important and special, particularly at a time when African Americans are affirming their identities while dealing with vilification and dehumanization. The image of a black hero on this scale is just really exciting. When I was a kid, I would change superheroes’ names: Instead of James Bond, I was James Black. Instead of Batman, I was Blackman. And I have a three-year-old son. My son will be five when Black Panther comes out. That puts it all into perspective for me…

MJ: In the comic books, Black Panther fought off a colonizer in Wakanda. He fought the Klan. He fought against apartheid in South Africa. Bringing the Panther into the present day, I’m curious how the recent activism around the treatment of black people by police might inform your story or your development of T’Challa as a character.

JC: Personally—and Ryan [Coogler] and Nate Moore, the executive producer—we all are cognizant of what’s going on in the world, in black communities, and in our country. We are aware of the importance of that, and the platform this movie provides us with. But I can’t give you the specifics.

MJ: Is Ta-Nehisi involved in the thought process for the movie?

JC: No. I’m a huge fan. It’s great that he’s writing the comic. But they’re separate entities…

Apart from planning our summer entertainment, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

GoT season six, episode three review

Solid blue 2 1/4 inch No.2 pool balls

Solid blue 2 1/4 inch No.2 pool balls

Benioff and Weiss, you sons of bitches. Half the show’s viewers know what will happen in that tower. B+W know that we know. Now they are just messing with us for the fun of it.

The rest was pretty cool. Arya got a training montage and now the [ETA: second-] youngest Stark has run off the book. The show skipped one seemingly very important detail in fixing her myopia, but maybe they will add that later. That leaves us book fans with basically one Danaerys scene, which will be awesome but completely different, and a Kingsmoot. I know many people roll their eyes at the stuff that happens on Pyke, but I find it hilarious that the show’s Lovecraftian murder pirates are the ones who instituted gender equality, egalitarian principles of leadership and free democratic elections. It has a cute narrative irony that reminds me of the Kantian religious fundamentalists in Anathem. After that it’s terra incognita.

The theme of the week is everyone arranging their affairs before they open the envelope and find out what real purpose this series has for them. A surprising number of characters have had their big narrative turn in these three episodes*. Between now and next week I think everyone will become basically who they are when the last credits roll. This is the moment when everyone stops flying apart entropically and start snapping back together in a burning stabby collision of grand ambitions, great actors, large dragons, ice zombies and Jon Snow’s marble-chiseled ass.

Many of those envelopes will say take two steps and get beaten with a rock, but that’s Game of Thrones.

(*) Exceptions: Tyrion became fully awesome some time around the Blackwater, and Varys apparently went through his whole character arc before the series started.


As readers have pointed out, Rickon is they youngest Stark and historical pirates often operated as relatively gender-neutral democracies. Thanks guys!

GoT thread

Watch Game of Thrones? Use this space to talk about what just happened. And god(s) help those of you who click through hoping to avoid spoilers.

Saturday Morning Pop Culture Open Thread

(via Slate)

Seven Samurai is the version I know, so I don’t have an allegiance to the “original” American remake. I adore Denzel Washington, I like Chris Pratt & Jennifer Lawrence, and Anton Fuqua’s Training Day was very good IMO. So we may not get around to seeing this in a theatre (the Spousal Unit does not have a strong stomach for on-screen violence), but I’ll watch it at home eventually.

On a rather different topic, while I am not qualified to have an opinion on Beyonce’s Lemonade, I know some commentors like Melissa Harris Perry’s work and you might have missed this, because Elle. And before you explain how separate you are from this topic, you might at least enjoy the way it sent Alex Jones a little further over the edge
Apart from entertainment & arguing, or arguing about entertainment, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Late Night Creepster Open Thread: Dude, You Text Your Mother With That Device?

ETA: NSFW (language) or for people who’ve been bullied (you already know)

Context, from Petula Dvorak at the Washington Post:

Fairfax County firefighter Nicole Mittendorff, 31, killed herself in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, the state medical examiner concluded. But even after the search for her was over, her body was identified and memorial candles began to burn, the cyberbullies — who claimed they were her fellow firefighters — kept scorching away at Mittendorff online.

There is an investigation at Mittendorff’s firehouse to find out who posted the vicious online attacks and whether they played a role in her suicide…

Online harassment gets directed at public-facing women on social media and by online commenters all the time… I know. I am on the receiving end of the onslaught daily.

Here’s a gem I got during a week when I wrote about a neighborhood bone marrow drive and Planned Parenthood:

“Hey Petula, you [profanity] ugly [profanity],” he wrote in a Facebook message. “Too bad your mother did not have an abortion.”

I Googled him. He’s an older income tax specialist living on Long Island who likes to post inspirational quotes and pictures of himself on his Facebook page.

He’s not a co-worker, just a foul-mouthed jerk trying to humiliate me for what I do for a living…

Men, part of the burden of cleaning up this kind of anti-social behavior has to be on you. Middle-aged tax specialists and nitwit stans on barstools alike don’t just do this for their own pitiful gratification — they think it makes them look manly in the eyes of their peers. I’ve seen for fifty years, starting when my younger brothers were forming friend-packs, that Y-chromosome carriers are every bit as susceptible to peer pressure as junior high girls; there’s always one trailing street ape who wants to push the mutual social displays a step too far, and it’s only his personal street ape cohort that can smack him back into line.

Twenty years after Anita Hill exposed the ugly realities of workplace sexual harassment, even the dumbest office workers have learned that Everybody does it and besides it was just a joke is no longer a free pass. Plenty of ugly stuff still happens, but persistent pressure has weeded out all but the real sickos (and even they’ve learned to be more furtive about it). And the anti-bullying school campaigns are giving the rising generation tools their elders don’t always have for calling out bad online behavior. Right now, it’s time for those of you who’ve finished puberty to call out your fellows who slide into this kind of anti-social behavior, if only because these guys are giving all men a bad name as would-be molesters and enablers.

Late Night Open Thread: Too Soon?

*I* laughed, because I am a terrible person.

Friday Night Music Open Thread: Unique Spirits

Come together, Boomers and Gen-X. Alyssa Rosenberg, at the Washington Post:

We’re in a moment in American politics consumed by gender panic, from Donald Trump’s menstrual anxieties to the rise of and backlash to a movement for transgender rights. And now we’ve lost two men who had an expansive, almost luxuriant vision of what it meant to be a man and lived out that vision through decades when it was much less safe to do so…

Both Prince and Bowie often seemed more than merely human. Bowie was an ageless vampire in “The Hunger,” a human manifestation of an alien being as Ziggy Stardust, the rock star from “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” Prince left language behind to adopt what became known as the “Love Symbol” as his moniker; his death prompted many people to remark that mortality seemed like the only garment that didn’t fit him, that he had transubstantiated or ascended rather than truly died…

57 is awfully early for anyone to die, but it feels especially so for Prince; he never reminded us that he was growing older by trying to seem young. Now he’s gone before we could possess him as fully as he always invited us to. But we’ll continue on into the weirder, more beautiful world he seemed to be living in decades before the rest of us arrived there.

Link your musical favorites in the comments…