An odd little news story got stuck in my brain over the weekend, so I tried to figure out why. Last week, three Texas women attacked a hostess at a restaurant in New York City because the hostess asked them for proof that they’re vaccinated:
Seems like an overreaction, no? It’s not like a restaurant hostess is responsible for state and local laws. She was just doing her job.
In the initial NPR story I read, the women were described only as being “from Texas.” Which immediately tells a certain audience, NPR’s audience, everything they need to hear. Everyone knows what those Texans are like, right? Yeeeeeee-haw! Them inbred redneck anti-vax science-denyin’ hayseeds prob’ly voted for Trump, didn’t they? Yer darn tootin’!
It just goes to show how evil those dirty Republicans really are. They’d rather beat up a woman in public than surrender a little bit of their freedom for the greater good. I’ll bet they weren’t even wearing masks. Tsk, tsk, tsk. And another tsk for good measure!
But when you read past the headline, you learn a bit more about these three lovely ladies:
Police arrested three women — 21-year-old Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, 44-year-old Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin and 49-year-old Sally Rechelle Lewis — and they have since been charged with misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief…
Now, at the risk of being branded a racist — the most damning yet ubiquitous accusation in the modern world — I saw those names and I assumed those women are African-American.
I know. I know! I’m not proud of it, but that’s just how deeply my white privilege has taken root in my soul.
The headline doesn’t mention their race (“3 Tourists Allegedly Attacked A Hostess Who Asked For Vaccine Proof At A Restaurant”). There’s no mention of race in the story at all, so according to National Public Radio, race had nothing to do with it.
Well, race is about to have something to do with it:
Presto! In the blink of an eye, this story just magically transformed from “Stupid Anti-Vax Texans Literally Punch Science in the Face” to “Black Women in NYC Restaurant Latest Victims of Racial Profiling.” (Remember that Starbucks incident? Remember how the whole company shut down for an entire afternoon to do “anti-racial bias” training?)
And if those dueling narratives aren’t confusing enough for the average liberal mind, it gets even better: The hostess is Asian. So, here’s yet another victim of the anti-Asian violence we’ve been hearing about for the past 18 months. #StopAsianHate, anyone?
No, that’s not the narrative this time. Which is what this is all about: narratives, not facts.
As we all saw last year, the BLM narrative is much more powerful than even the pandemic narrative. All the doctors and scientists told us to stay in our homes… unless, of course, we need to protest police brutality, in which case it’s just fine for huge crowds to throng in the streets and scream in each other’s faces. That’s different. The virus won’t infect anybody who’s fighting for social justice, right?
I almost feel bad for all the libs who just got whiplash from watching these three anti-vax villains suddenly become BLM martyrs. “We didn’t know we were being racist when we criticized those violent lunatics for being anti-vax. We’re bigoted the other way!”
Sure, maybe those downtrodden victims of white supremacy took it too far when they clobbered that restaurant hostess for doing her job, but you really can’t blame them. This is what it’s like for black women in America. Etc., etc.
People need a way for every news story to prove they’re right about the world. They need their biases to be confirmed. They’ll do anything to think of a reason to stop thinking.
Victim or aggressor? To our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters in the press, it’s as simple as black and white.
Speaking of stupid narratives that have taken the place of reality…
This is socialism in microcosm. Socialists all want to be AOC, bravely standing up to capitalism in her $1,000 designer dress. But they’re more likely to be among the lowly retinue of masked servants at her beck and call. It’s just feudalism with cameraphones.
So, the Emmys were last night. Congratulations to whoever won them.
I should really take more of an interest in these awards shows, considering how important these people are. Why, just look at this:
Do you see any masks? Notice any social distancing? You wouldn’t even know we’re in the middle of a pandemic. You wouldn’t know Saint Fauci is recommending booster shots and triple-masking and complete isolation for all Americans, vaccinated or not.
Meanwhile, in the real world, here’s what is happening in schools and daycare centers across the country:
What do you expect? This kid wasn’t even nominated for an Emmy!
Whether it’s AOC smiling for the cameras in her dumb ball gown, or a bunch of TV actors applauding themselves, or the mayor of a major American city gleefully breaking her own mask mandate, the message is clear: Rules are for the weak. Once again, the narrative excuses the powerful and glamorous, and the rest of us can just shut our pieholes and do as we’re told.
This weekend was the third Saturday of September, and you know what that means. You do know what that means, right? Batman Day! It’s always a joyous occasion to those who celebrate. I hope you had fun exchanging Bat-presents around the Bat-tree and drinking Bat-nog while roasting Bat-chestnuts on an open Bat-fire. But the holiday has become so commercialized, don’t you think? Everybody has forgotten the real reason for the season.
The fine folks at HBO Max haven’t, though. They’ve marked the holiday with a brand-new Batman radio show, or narrative podcast1, or whatever it is. The entire first episode of the 10-episode series is now available for free on YouTube:
Wow, that’s… surprisingly good! Theater of the mind, right? The tone is Adam West, but with a Christian Bale growl. And as I listen, I’m picturing it in the style of the ‘90s animated series. Interesting mix of the various versions of Batman over the years.
And yes, that’s Jerry from Rick & Morty as the narrator. Although whenever I hear Chris Parnell’s voice, the first thing that comes to mind is his brief, glorious tenure as the greatest rapper alive. Bat-attack, muthaf***a!
Jeffrey Wright does the voice of Batman, which I think makes him the first African-American to play the Caped Crusader. Which is fine, Wright is a great actor, please don’t cancel me.2 He’s also doing the voice of the Watcher on What If…? on Disney+, and he’ll play Commissioner Gordon if The Batman ever gets released.3 Wright has always struck me as a Very Serious Actor, so it’s nice to see him finally loosen up a bit. He’s no Kevin Conroy, but his raspy tone is good for the part.
Brent Spiner makes a fine Joker, too. First Luke Skywalker played the Clown Prince of Crime, and now it’s Lt. Commander Data. Spiner’s take on the Joker is less flashy but more nuanced than Mark Hamill’s, just like Star Trek is better than Star Wars. There, go fight over that one in the comments.
And HBO Max keeps on serving up that good nerd $#!+. Straight off John Cena’s star turn in The Suicide Squad, we’re now getting the first promo images from the upcoming Peacemaker TV series:
And here he is in action:
It’s amazing to me that Peacemaker, a goofy, obscure antihero with short sleeves5 and a chrome toilet seat on his head, created in the ‘60s for the long-defunct Charlton Comics, is getting such a big push in the 21st Century. It’s been over 30 years since DC published a Peacemaker comic, and that was only four issues. Until now, the character’s only claim to fame was serving as Alan Moore’s inspiration for the Comedian in Watchmen. The world was not demanding more Peacemaker, but just try telling him that. He’s just too delusional to languish in obscurity forever. Like Tom Petty sang, even the losers get lucky sometimes.
Now, if somebody would only make The Continuing Adventures of Polka-Dot Man…
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Is it really a podcast if you can’t listen to it on your iPod? And does Apple even make iPods anymore? They’re obsolete already, I think. Everybody just listens to stuff on their phones now. I dunno, I’m an old man and I’ve quit trying to keep up with technology over the past two or three centuries.
Remember all those cartoon shows that fired their white actors who played characters of other races? Hank Azaria can’t play Apu on The Simpsons anymore, but Jeffrey Wright can play Batman. This must be that “equity” thing I keep hearing about…
America’s most popular bat-themed superhero was almost thwarted by an actual bat virus. Just another reason to hate the Chinese Communist Party for unleashing this plague on us. I wish Batman were real, so he and Alfred could whip up a 100% effective vaccine and release it into Gotham City’s water supply.
David Burge tells me Peacemaker is driving a 1970-73 Mercury Comet. Dave is good! He’s like Sherlock Wheels. You should follow him on Twitter. Anyway, it seems fitting that a superhero who’s remembered only by comics nerds is driving a car that’s remembered only by car nerds. James Gunn loves his themes.
How many superheroes wear short sleeves, anyway? Robin is the only other one I can think of… Wait, no, the latest iteration of Superboy wears a black t-shirt with a big red S on the front. So that makes three. Is there any other super-dude in short sleeves who’s over the age of consent, though? Even the Comedian cut off his sleeves before he went into battle. Thor sometimes rocks the sleeveless look, too. And the Hulk prefers no shirt at all. BTW, somebody needs to tell Peacemaker that it’s after Labor Day and those white pants gotta go. Can you tell I haven’t gotten much sleep?