Archive for black cowboys

Axes & Origins

Posted in art & music, maps & mapping with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Right. As in “ACK-sees,” plural of “axis”. Oh nebermind.

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I’ll make you a deal. See, I really want to take a look at the new X-Men Origins situation that we’re about to have on our hands, (and not just because, like, “who doesn’t like a male lead with a Huge Ackman- I mean Hugh Jackman?”), but I want to reach out to the non-fangirrls among you. The late bloomers. I was close to 25 when I first read a mainstream comic, and it took a couple years of gateway indie comix, graphic novels, and pictorial zines before I had any interest whatsoevs in the nonsense. And I never thought I would This was also back in a day before Marvel decided that any-old dastard could be cast in a lackluster hollywood tarnishing of perfectly respectable titles (I mean, c’mon, Ben-fucking-Affleck??!). Oh also, this was despite the fact that my father (yes, the “jewmaican” one) used to be a graphic artist, doing the colors on everything from the Maxx to Vampirella and Heavy Metal, to some Akira, and Sandman stuff, and a couple WildC.A.T.S. comics back in the day. Holycrap, looks like I just transferred to the digression express without even noticing my saunter over to the opposing platform.

My apologies.

So that deal: I’m gonna do my thing on mainstream comic schmoo-schmoo today, and I promise that my next post will give some time to what IMHO are some of the bestest independent comics and comic artists this side of the Village Voice– AND I’ll run down my topsies of gateway graphic novels that will blow your mind (i.e. “recommendations”), and we’ll call it fair and balanced, kosher? Tall order perhaps? We’ll see…

X-Men (movies) so far…
In brief, the first movie was a modest, but perfectly satisfactory endeavor. The casting was pretty rad, though personally, I was bummed by rumors that Danzig was originally supposed to be cast as Wolverine, until there was some drama-drahm (shite, thats not very fangrrrl of me to use the word “bummed” is it?). We even forgave them for really stretching the limits by casting Hallie fucking Berry as Storm. Meh, one can’t expect hollywood to suspend hollywoodification in on a dime. It was a good time.

Then X-2 came along, and pretty much rocked as the best comic-to-movie adaptation ever! Seriously. There was action, there was character development, there was a bangin’ script and plot twists that kept the most cynical of fanboys on seat-edge. Right, and there was the not so subtle sub-plot about abortion/ teenage pregnancy, and queerness and coming out and New England WASPy family drama… Fucking A, it set a new standard.

And then, there was… gawd, do we even have to acknowledge its existence? The expression FUBAR’d comes to mind. I mean, jeez! The “Beyond All Recognition” piece of that is not to be taken lightly. They had it all set up, the perfect… whats that “sport” analogy? Layup? Right, the basketball thing? Well, they were all good to go with Jean Grey-Mother-Fucking-Phoenix, and instead of going all intergalactic Shi’Ar/ Emkron Crystallistic, they just killed everyone off, drafted the X-Men to work for Uncle Sam (without problematizing it in the least), and had the Phoenix use unparalleled psionic powers to just make a mess. We have a word for that here at wordpress: FAIL.

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Which leaves us where? I dunno. I’ve never really understood why kids totally lose their shit over the Wolverine character. I can get into him nowadays, mostly because it took me a second to realize that his power was not just “oh I’m a dude with indestructible claws” but “dude, I have ultimate healing powers, am hard pressed to age, let alone die, and I may be short, but I’m ripped as all hell”. Yeah, that I get. But Wolverine, and especially his mysterious origins, always struck me as an angsty pre-teen/ hypermasculinity trope. Bor-ring…

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But yeah, as far as this movie looks (I had low expectations for a movie based on the “furball”), hyper-masculine tropes notwithstanding, I’m going with “cautiously optimistic.” I mean, they busted out Gambit for this one. Thats automatic bonus points (my fav X-man, maybe just above Emma Frost and “Fantomex”- pictured below- in the Grant Morrison run of New X-men).41566-fantomex_400 Speaking of Emma Frost, I’m not banking on a big role in this Wolverine-centered script, but I’ll settle for the cameo in the trailer! (She’s the badass- pictured above- who can choose between being the world’s 2nd best psychic OR turning her skin into fabulous/indestructible diamond!!!). I am NOT expecting a killer, ensemble blockbuster… which is why I may be pleasantly surprised. Apparently “the kids” have a leaked copy that is circulating (thats the word on the street in Queens where my sister’s former students- high school mind you- are circulating some verson of X-men Origins that lacks special effects!!)

Me, I’m patiently waiting to catch this shit in the theater like a proper adult big kid fangrrl, cuz homegrrl can’t be bothered to NOT have huge screen and blasting surround sound.

Seriously, peep this shit:


I’m sorry, baddass black cowboys? Didn’t we just blog about that???

Oh, I almost forgot to share my shoutout to the cartographers and zoologists in the crowd. Checkit!

Dark Grey indicates "wolverine" habitat. You'll note its mostly in Canada.
Dark Grey indicates “wolverine” habitat. You’ll note its mostly in Canada 🙂

Let me see your mutant face!
Sunshine SuperfĂĽry

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Expanding Black Identities

Posted in anthropology with tags , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

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From my delightful buddies at TWiB!:

Rare Species of Non-Urban Africanis-Americanus Discovered; Scientists Hypothesize Some Blacks May Not Even Be Christian

You know how humans can get born somewhere – a rainforest, or a desert, or a small island in the middle of an ocean, or on a tall mountain – and they learn how to live in that place and they end up producing new humans who also live in that place, or maybe the newer humans move someplace else and adapt to that new environment, maybe learn new customs or a different language or something? Black people are kind of like that.

On the Root, Kenneth J. Cooper asks, “Is anything black about the American West?”

He writes, “You see, too many African Americans – you know who you are – believe real black folks are from the South or the urban North. They’re not from the West, not Oklahoma, not Colorado – where I was born – and certainly not Hawaii, though there are exceptions made for California and L.A. I’ve been hearing it for the 30 years or so I’ve lived on the East Coast
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This narrow-mindedness results in part, I think, from our creative imaginations of the black experience, in fiction and film, almost exclusively in the South or North. Historically, African Americans have been concentrated in the South, but major migrations have taken us not just to the North but to the West. By taking a geocentric view of blackness, we cut ourselves off from parts of our history – and even some of our heroes. With a black Hawaiian in the White House, it’s time to embrace an expansive view of the black experience in its full diversity.”

The black frontier experience needs its day in the sun ASAP. For the fashion we’d see on the street, if nothing else.

Right, and what happens when we complicate what blackness even is, or add in expansive perspectives of gender, sexuality, mixed ethnicity or any other category? And wasn’t the first American cowboy a negro? Black cowboys and gay cowboys aside, I appreciate how Mos Def and Talib crack this shit open. Why we limiting blackness to meta-narratives of a particular experience? You know who else is a black star???

Who?
Sunshine Superboy