Friday, November 17, 2017

Just Us Leaguers

Justice League is HERE! Yay!
And the reviews are out and.....
OK, not so much with the "yay". 
OK, here's the gist of the reviews of Justice League.
  • Not as good as Wonder Woman.
    • Well, how could it be?
  • Not as bad as Batman Vs. Superman.
    • Well, how could it NOT be?  
Against the very low bar set by BvS, Justice League does not suck... that badly.

A lot of reviews point to the bad guy as a muddled CGI mess with a so-so chase the MacGuffin plot.

The reviews do agree that Gal Gadot is great (again!) as Wonder Woman and James Momoa's Aquaman is awesome. Justice League is leaner (just a hair under two hours long) and lighter (solid characters with moments of humor) as opposed to the bloated slog that was Batman Vs. Superman. 

I still plan to see this. Yes, I'm a DC fanboy at heart which was enough to drag me to see Batman Vs. Superman.  How can I not go see Justice League with uplifting kudos like "it does not completely suck".  

They should put that on the movie posters.

Justice League!
It Does Not Completely Suck!

High praise, indeed!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

My View From the Other Side

It was 2:00 in the afternoon, a Wednesday, the 15th of August.  This was years ago. I was in a conference room, seated on one side of a mahogany finish table.  On the other side of the table was a woman, my boss at that time. Between us was a speaker phone, the voice of another woman, my boss’s boss. Also on the table was a sheath of papers. The cover sheet identified this as a document from human resources. Specifically, this document was our corporate guidelines on sexual harassment. 


The purpose of this meeting was to address my violation of our company’s sexual harassment policy.


The voices of my boss and her boss were slow and measured. The woman who made the complaint was not identified but I knew who it was. The specific actions identified as sexual harassment were not discussed but I knew what had brought me here, to that place, to that moment.

My heart sank with a dread sense of loss and of shame.


I was asked if I had anything to say on this matter. It was made plain to me that there is no excuse for or defense of sexual harassment. No, I had nothing to say. 


I suppose I should clarify that I was not being formally accused of sexual harassment, just being “counseled” on our guidelines. Lacking a formal accusation, I nonetheless felt the weight of judgement.


My actions had made someone, a woman I worked with and had thought of as a friend, I had made that person feel uncomfortable, threatened even. Whatever grey area existed in whatever I had done and my actual culpability in the whole affair, the end result was inescapable: I had hurt someone. Someone who I never wanted to hurt ever and I had done so to the point she needed to seek out protection from me. I could not forgive myself for that.


I still can’t.
Let me cover some ground on what did not happen in this relationship. 

  • There was no sex, no kissing or other inappropriate physical contact.
  • There were no requests, threats nor coercions for sex, kissing or other inappropriate physical contact.
  • There was no abuse of any authority I might have had towards this person. 
  • There were no public or private comments about this woman's appearance or character.
I suppose I should offer some details about what I actually did do but if you don't mind, the whole thing is an embarrassment.  I will say that a relationship I had with a woman at work hit a bit of a bad patch. I'll be blunt: I did not always comport myself in an adult or professional manner. 


And that is when I found myself in that conference room, being counseled on sexual harassment.


Women have to put up with a lot of crap in this world. They sure as hell do not need to feel unsafe or insecure at work. But that’s what I made this woman, this person I had considered a friend, this is what I made her feel.


And I will never forgive myself for that.


And that’s my view from the other side of sexual harassment. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Eddie Berganza Is Gone From DC.

Other than Dan Didio, the man I most liked to see gone from DC Comics was Eddie Berganza. But while Didio’s shortcomings have been an admittedly subjective lack of good editorial judgement, Berganza’s sins were objectively far more reprehensible and dangerous. And now, Eddie Berganza is gone.


In the out pouring of accusations and revelations of sexual misconduct, from harassment to assault, across various entertainment platforms, the comic industry was not immune and Eddie Berganza was a particularly heinous example of the abuse of power made manifest through inappropriate sexual conduct. 


Eddie Berganza began his career with DC back in 1992  and over the span of over two and a half decades made his name as a leading editor at DC. He also made his name as someone that women should avoid. About 5 years ago, word got out that Berganza had made unwelcomed advances and physical contact with a variety of women at various comic conventions.  By all accounts, DC demoted Berganza and gave him a good, stern talking to. So I’m sure he learned his lesson.


Except there was a deep level of dissatisfaction with Berganza’s punishment from both men and women in the industry. It certainly didn’t look good when DC eliminated the position of Vertigo executive editor, putting Shelly Bond, a well like female editor and a complainant against Berganza, out of a job. Meanwhile, Berganza not only kept his job but found his role at DC growing in authority. 


This resentment against Berganaza bubbled under the surface for a long time but exploded out into full view this weekend when BuzzFeed published the details of the complaints against Berganza.  In a New York Post cover story about sexual abuse, Eddie Berganza’s photo shared space with Harvey Weinstein, Kevin space & Louis C.K.. 


Given the current climate, DC’s previous actions with Berganza looked completely insufficient and the calls rang out anew for Eddie Berganza to be removed from DC Comics.  After an initial announcement that Berganza was being suspended, the word came down that Eddie Berganza was fired.   


Women have never had it easy in comics. Whether it’s women as fans who tentatively enter comic shops drawing unwelcome attention as if women buying comic books is some kind of aberration or women looking to break into the field as writers and artists, regarded with suspicion of using super heroes to further some kind of feminist agenda. Women in comics, as fans or as pros, do not need scum like Eddie Berganza making things harder. But regardless of environment or context, no one needs people like Eddie Berganza who can’t control their baser urges and treat others with respect. 


Eddie Berganza is gone from DC. Too little? Too late? Arguably, yes. But he is in fact gone now and his name is too toxic right now to land somewhere else in comics.  Maybe, just maybe, the lesson will finally sink in: if you can’t treat others with respect, men or women, there are consequences for that.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

And Next Week Is Thanksgiving?

It’s hard for me to fathom this but next week is Thanksgiving. After what has been a long, painful slog through 2017, it’s weird that Thanksgiving is so close so quickly.
11 months ago, my mother was in a nursing home dying and I was lying in a parking lot with a shattered elbow.  Since my mother’s death (which I still have trouble processing that reality), I’ve had two surgeries on my elbow and several months of physical therapy. I was diagnosed as having a stroke with two procedures to determine the source of that stroke…which found nothing.
I also had kidney stones.
And then, somebody got it in their head I might have sleep apnea so I did a sleep study and guess what? I have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing in your sleep. God forbid I should die peacefully in my sleep so I’m told I have to use a C-PAP machine so that won’t happen. But hey, it’ll do wonders for me, I’m told. I will get a good, solid restful sleep through the night and be less tired during the day. Well, halle-firckin’-lujah!
And I now have a C-PAP machine which has done fuck all of nothing for me. I’ve tried 2 different masks and so far, I have not slept one damn minute plugged in to this machine. Meanwhile, I still spend every day fighting the urge to go back to bed and sleep.
Right now, if I had half a chance, I would go home and crawl under the covers. Really! 
How much of that is physical and how much of that is mental? Who knows? I can’t tell. 
And next week is Thanksgiving? Fuck! How can that be?
And don’t get me started that every single damn day that I wake up to the soul sucking dread that Donald trump is President. I have not gotten used to that. I will not get used to that!
Trump is President?

Yep, with all the personal shit I’ve gone through this year, Trump still pisses me off!

And the morons who made it happen! Fucking pisses me off!
And next week is Thanksgiving? Fuck that!
And I’m so glad my suffering amuses you.  

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Doctor Who: The Look of the Future

This was released this week by the BBC: Jodie Whittaker’s ensemble as the Doctor.

 So, what do I think? 

Image result for doctor who jodie whittaker

I don’t like the pants.

Culottes? Really?

And I don’t like the color of the pants. Which are culottes.

Culottes? Really?   

Otherwise, I think I’m OK with this. It’s a move away from the more monochromatic outfits of the modern Who era and more of a homage to the more colorful ensembles of classic Who.  

I take this as a visual cue that Whitaker’s Doctor won’t be taking herself too seriously. Which is a good thing for the Doctor.

I read one review that said, “This looks like the sort of thing a man might wear if he suddenly turned into a woman. “

Good point. Would a Time Lord who’s been a man for over 2,000 years have a clue how a woman should dress? 

I’m thankful the Doctor didn’t emulate Amy or Clara.  No mini-skirts for the Doctor!  

And no culottes either.

Culottes? Really?

Just Us Leaguers

Justice League is HERE! Yay!   And the reviews are out and.....   OK, not so much with the "yay".    OK, here's the g...