Archive for jewmaican

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

“That Thing”: a white privilege pre-quel

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

ummm…. What to do when a Jewmaican is too overwhelmed to kvetch??!

… So we have to have a chat. Nah, its not you in particular (unless, maybe it is), I’ve just had the thing come up again and again in the last week and figured its time to broach the subject here. (Ahem, not THE Thing, mind you, since he’s pretty much got his shit together since buddying up with Storm and the Black Panther in the NEW Fantastic Four…)newfantasticfour1 A different thing. And not Lauryn Hill style, either. You know the talk I mean, about that nasty little thing that some of us are better at identifying than others, called white privilege. Sure, its a heavy conversation, so why not lead things off with a little chuckle before I get all People’s Institute on yr asses.

consider this a pre-quel, and I’ll catch you on the flip.

catch ya on the flip,
Sunshine Superboy

Inventing Air, Blogging Gaza

Posted in politics, science with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

So… its gonna take a few weeks to get everything up and running toward anything resembling my vision for Black Maps, but that won’t stop me from sharing some interesting tidbits. What to do on such a blank canvas?? I figure, why not start with the categories from the banner up top? Are you game? Today, we’ll hit up science and politics. Tomorrow, I got some good stuff on unsung heroes and buffy, and etymology of maps in the works.

+ Science +
Somebody asked me last night if, as a Philadelphian and science geek, I would be blogging about Benjamin Franklin. To be honest, I hadn’t considered it, but the very question planted a seed in my mind. Why the fuck not? This town has an Independence brew named after the guy and a huge, entertaining museum & research institute dons his name, why not get in on the action?

Well, yesterday I came across an enticing post called blogging the 18th century, which in and of itself, sounds either astoundingly captivating, or boring as all bloody hell. Turns out its the former! Devilstower reviews a new book called the Invention of Air, which chronicles the misadventures of Ben Franklin’s good buddy Joseph Priestly a fancy pants Brit who, despite being hated by pretty much everyone in England, is credited with, oh… discovering oxygen, successfully popularizing science, and launching one of the first attempts to systematically describe English grammar to name a few things. That and he and his family were sent on the run after their home was burned to the ground by the haters.
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Devilstower’s post begins thusly:
Steven Johnson’s latest, The Invention of Air opens with a lone passenger examining waterspouts from the deck of a ship sailing to America. To set the stage, I can do no better than lift a couple of paragraphs from Johnson’s introduction.

This was Joseph Priestley, formerly of Hackney, England, en route to his new home in America. At sixty-one years old, he was among the most accomplished men of his generation, rivaled only by Franklin in he the diversity of his interests and influence. He had won the Copley Medal (the Nobel Prize of its day) for his experiments on various gases in his late thirties, and published close to five hundred books and pamphlets on science, politics, and religion since 1761. An ordained minister, he helped found the dissenting Christian sect of Unitarianism. He counted among his close friends the great minds of the Enlightenment and the early Industrial Revolution: Franklin, Richard Price, Josiah Wedgewood, Mathew Boulton, James Watt, Erasmus Darwin.

But while Priestley’s luminous career had established an extensive base of admirers in the newly formed United States, he had booked passage on the Samson thanks to another, more dubious, honor. He had become the most hated man in all of Britian.

Come on. After that, are you really going to stop reading?

point taken. But what of Franklin?

Finally, though the book is most decidedly focused on Priestley, it’s also a good reminder of something that often gets forgotten: Benjamin Franklin was an astoundingly important figure not just in the United States, but around the world. If all that remains of Priestley for most of us is his name next to Oxygen, Franklin is too often reduced down to bifocals, almanacs, a reputation for romantic dalliance, and some funny one liners. Seeing Franklin from Priestley’s perspective, gives you some sense of what a towering figure Franklin actually was, and how vital he was to the enterprise of both science and democracy.

I’m a little less starry-eyed about Captain Bifocals than my buddy over at Kos, but we have an entire blog to explore the bright side, the dark side and the vast grey area of Ben Frank. The Invention of Air seems to give us a good start in filling him out in three (or maybe even four?) dimensions. Less controversial, at least far as my blank slate is concerned, is this “air inventor” whose life was compelling enough for a solid book contract.

The Invention of Air
Steven Johnson
254 pages
Riverhead Books 2008

so… speaking of air, what gives with the Israeli air raids and all???

+ Geo Politics +
Wither Gaza? Seems like Israel’s military hopes so, or even hopes to expedite the process, despite the best efforts of France’s Top Model Sarkozy and co. And while rumors are flying of a call for a third Intifada, we can stay informed of the whole brouhaha through this ongoing coverage at electronic Intifada, a sweeping blog that ranges from human rights testimonies, to an editorial about the Gaza Ghetto uprising, to the targeting of Palestinian schools and beyond. Pretty inspiring in the midst of all this.

We had a rally and march this past weekend in Philly following this one last week- at the very end of December:

Just to be clear, I am not, nor will I tolerate a hint of anti-semitism in this space. If anything, there are jokes among my closest jewish friends that I am a “jewmaican” (and 2nd generation at that, my father having self identified as a Jewmaican over thanksgiving jamaican brunch, with tongue firmly placed in his cheek). But the maniacal politics of war, invasion, and persecution are unambiguously fucked up. While a confused interplay of guilt, bigotry, and ignorance creates an opening for many U.S. politicians to muddle the misguided zionist project with our love and support for jewish people, you all are too smart for that, and I trust that your friends and neighbors are as well. So lets do all the clichĂ© things for once- you know “keep it real” “speak truth to power” and so on. Yes? I mean, if even some national level politicians can do it, certainly we can my friends.

Update: Please check out this diary of a Palestinian mother by clicking on this orange section.