12 Years a Droid
December 18th, 2015

Here’s the final piece in my case for the Empire triptych: An extended examination of slavery in Star Wars. Basically, I don’t think Melissa Harris-Perry is crazy for seeing unsettling race problems in Star Wars. I just think she’s looking at the wrong characters–it’s the droids who are obviously a stand-in for the African-American experience.

Which makes the Jawas the most repulsive characters in the Star Wars universe. Because they’re slave traders.

Update: An email from reader Keith Rabenberg:

I have used for some time now a simpler method of provoking Star Wars fans.  At some point during a discussion of the movies, when someone refers to Chewbacca, I like to make a reference to “her.”  And then I go on to explain what a tragic figure she is: flying around the galaxy with that cad Solo, with whom she clearly was in love, and then having to watch him flirt right in front of her with the girl with twin hair buns, all the while being unable to express her emotions in English … hence the loud moaning and howling.

I’m always amazed at how strongly the Star Wars fans react, even when they know I’m just making fun: “Chewbacca is not a girl!”  They become even more agitated when I challenge them to prove I’m wrong.

Anyway, I find it entertaining.

I kind of love this.


Time to Retire from Twitter
December 16th, 2015

Aimee Mann favorited a tweet last night. I’m done.


PC Comic Books
December 7th, 2015

There’s Korean Hulk now, but you probably knew that.

I have a piece over at Acculturated arguing that there’s a difference between replacing/reimagining a character for multi-cultural purposes (Spider-Man, Thor, Ms. Marvel, just about every stunt-casting done in the last five years) and creating new characters (Jessica Jones). My ur-example of a great character replacement which has nothing to do with political correctness: Ellen Yindel.


Nerd Style Points
December 5th, 2015

In which I attack PC multiculturalism in comic books by championing Ellen Yindel.


Odds and Ends
December 4th, 2015

(1) Matt Continetti goes yard writing about the Zuckerberg-baby-charity-bonanza:

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be structured not as a nonprofit but as an LLC, allowing it to invest in start-ups, make money as well as hand it out, and engage in “philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good.” Only someone worth $45 billion could pass off a lobbying campaign—excuse me, “public advocacy”—as charity. And if Zuckerberg doesn’t follow through on his pledge, if he decides 3 or 10 or 20 years from now that Max (not to mention her potential siblings) needs more than $450 million in walking around money after he has departed for the big server farm in the sky, what happens then?

(2) Santino’s chapter from Christmas Virtues is up and it’s great.

(3) Last chance to RSVP for Christmas Virtues at AEI. Hope you can make it if you’re in town.


Gilmore Girls Trutherism
November 29th, 2015

Galley Friend and all-around-awesome-guy Gabriel Rossman had a funny/interesting thought about who the real villain was in Gilmore Girls:

Since this is kind of my move, and because I was on the Gilmore Girls beat literally from episode one (because I was writing about it for a now-quasi-defunct religious website called Beliefnet.com) I have a couple thoughts on this. (1) I agree, whole-heartedly with GR’s view of Emily Gilmore. Further, I suspect that any parent over the age of 40 sees Emily as the hero of the series. This grande dame does nothing but suffer: She has a headstrong, willful daughter who gets herself knocked up in high school by a guy (Christopher) who we subsequently learn really is an ass-hat–both as a teenager and an adult.

Then, Emily’s daughter somehow blames her for the mess she’s gotten herself into. The daughter packs herself and her baby off across the state and refuses to have contact with Emily. She has a truly-awful mother-in-law. She eventually loses her husband. And though it all, all she really wants is to create family ties between herself, her daughter, and her granddaughter.

Is Emily perfect? No. But she’s a grandmother you can do business with.

(2) I disagree with Rossman’s proposed view of Lorelai as the villain. I view her as a noble, but tragic, figure who makes a great many mistakes, but who tries, hard, to get parenthood right.

(3) Which means that the real villain of Gilmore Girls is . . . Rory? I think so. And she’s a tragic villain. Certainly, Rory begins the series as the most sympathetic character and we root for her the whole way.

But as she grows up she becomes less and less sympathetic. By the time she’s running around at Yale with her dashingly handsome, 0.0001 percent, Skull-and-Bones boyfriend, you’re basically hoping she gets syphilis and has to finish her degree at UConn because she’s so insufferable.

Put it this wayL an alt-title for the series could have been Rory Gilmore: The First Millennial.


By-the-by, if I was at Marvel, I would totally take a flyer on asking Amy Sherman-Palladino to write a script. I’m not even sure what property I’d give her–Runaways? Spider-Gwen? Guardians of the Galaxy 3? Maybe it wouldn’t work. But maybe it would.


Come Hang Out on December 7
November 24th, 2015

AEI is being kind enough to host one last Virtues panel for The Christmas Virtues. It’s at the AEI mothership on Monday, December 7, at 6:00 pm. There will be free booze and then an amusing discussion about Christmas featuring Jonah Goldberg, Steve Hayes, P. J. O’Rourke, James Lileks, Rob Long, and Mollie Hemingway. It’ll be great.

You can RSVP here.


Let the Whoring Begin!
November 10th, 2015

The War on Christmas has begun. Sort of.

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