So...went and watched Solo today at the AMC across town. Not a great movie by any means, apart from effects and the visuals. However, that's par for the course where Disney films are concerned anymore so you can't really measure a film's greatness by those factors alone these days. I think I'm in agreement with whomever it was who said the film adds nothing significant to the Star Wars mythos. And, frankly, I think the manner in which Chewbacca and Han met in the 'Legends' continuity is much more interesting. It's a shame, really. The cash-flow formula that seemingly infests films these days is very much at work here. If I had to characterize Solo, I would call it a low-brow, less complicated version of Ocean's 12...in space... The characters aren't that interesting and seem to be cut whole cloth out of some generic guide for character development that you can buy on the discount rack at Wal-Mart. Most of the film is easily forgettable and wont be worth discussing in 40 years time. It's much the same with all the other SW films Disney has churned out, and is likely to churn out, from the assembly line, Rogue One not withstanding.
Where Disney is getting it right, I think, is the Marvel films. So far this year, they've released a ground-breaking epic in Black Panther, a very decent first act to the Infinity War saga, and, just recently, a somewhat light-hearted "relax and have fun" entry in Antman and the Wasp, which I saw last night at Flix. It's been ten years now and I don't believe I've seen one bad superhero film come out of the MCU. Granted, some weren't as good as others but when you're dealing with puzzle pieces in an even larger epic, not every piece is going to be a center piece. When it comes to a series like the MCU, I tend not to give too much weight to notions of better or worse. The MCU is structured like any long-running arc in a comics title. Some stories carry over significant details to the greater narrative and some stories are self-contained, lending only a hint of context to the overall picture. Antman and the Wasp was one of the latter. It was a fun, enjoyable 'popcorn' flick that gives us a brief interlude before the last big reveal in the scope of the last ten years of stories.
Going forward, I think we can expect some manner of reality-bending event that allows Disney the creative freedom to incorporate the X-Men characters and films into the MCU continuity. There's just no other way to go about it unless Dr. Strange simply starts transporting characters across the Multiverse when the time is convenient. Anyone who knows the history of comic books will tell you that the trend in story telling evolved over time to include periodic 'resets' that gave the publisher room to keep things fresh. DC has had to do it on a very regular basis in order to keep their small crop of 'superstars' relevant in the the modern age of comics. Marvel has the advantage of having a bigger crop of interesting characters to draw upon and doesn't need to rely on tricks to keep their top-flight heroes relevant. DC, on the other hand, has only a few big guns and needs to work harder to keep up the pace, as evidenced by the less than tepid response to the majority of the DCEU films. They had a decent thing with the Christian Bale films but they just can't seem to keep from shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to the big screen...
Fanboy shit aside, I'm more than a little distressed about all the political bullshit going on right now. Trump keeps sucking off Putin. Congress can't seem to muster the testicular fortitude to do anything about it. And theocrats with fascist intentions seem to be having no trouble getting their draconian bullshit through the political door. And I can't do anything about it apart from vote in elections. If this new asshole Kavanaugh gets confirmed to the Supreme Court, we can pretty much kiss goodbye all the social progress we've made in the last forty years or so. Roe v Wade will be gone. LGBTQ rights will go the way of the Dodo. And any semblance of reasonable progressive policy-making will evaporate as the federal government is taken over by people not so dissimilar to the kind that helped make Nazi Germany the quagmire that we all remember.
If Roe v Wade does go, then I think all of you women out there need to seriously consider taking a page out of the Lysistrata and deny men sexual pleasure no matter when, where or for what cause the possibility may arise. Ignorance needs stern responses and there are few things men understand better than being deprived of their money and their sex. Sure, a lot of men may just seek it elsewhere, but the idea is not to deny men sex. It's to deny them the assumption that the status quo is acceptable, and sexual gratification is very much a part of the status quo. It needs to be understood that the release of pent-up desire with a woman is a privilege and not an automatic right. So keep those legs closed, ladies...at least until men get the picture that their perceived authority is doing serious damage to the world in which we live.
To be more clear, it's about deconstructing 'man culture' bit by bit, and it will take a while. There's no doubt about that. To begin with, though, we can begin to deconstruct the popular tropes of manhood that keep most men from taking a closer look at the world and evolving in their consciousness. For instance, let's take motorcycles. Sure, there are plenty of women who enjoy riding bikes. Unfortunately, there aren't enough men willing to suppress their egos to the point that they would willingly let their women drive while they ride on the back. Yes, I'm saying that equality means the 'mamas' get to drive while the fat, ugly slobs ride bitch. Until I see a lot more of that, I will have nothing good to say about 'biker' culture.
Another area where we can deconstruct man culture is the arena of sports. For one, we can work to de-emphasize the interest society seems to give to violent sports in general, and College Football specifically. There is no longer the need to perpetuate the 'warrior ethic' in society so there is really no need to continue giving men these entertainment outlets through which they can indulge these tendencies. It's bad enough that we have a government so invested in the war industry that they'd gladly gut the resources diplomats rely on to keep the dialogue between nations working, or take healthcare away from needy children, to further perpetuate the insanity of military conflict. Thanks to the mass perpetuation of social networking, we here on the ground are becoming more of a single society every day, blurring forever the lines on the map that say 'This is Mexico and that is the United States.' Thus, there is no need to continually shore up the military industrial complex, which is, itself, a bloated outgrowth of the man culture 'warrior' trope.
But I digress. Where it concerns College Football, the media industry that makes the college game so profitable, is perpetuated on the backs of 'amateurs' who get little, if any, fair compensation for their labor. We call that exploitation and we've had many, many years of social activism and legal policy which should have educated us on the fact that labor exploitation is WRONG. However, many of the people who watch college football are blue collar, cheap-beer swilling neanderthals who would be completely up in arms if their bosses were trying to exploit them...yet they have no trouble going home on the weekends, killing a case of beer-flavored piss and watching a bunch of relative 'kids' knock each other around, potentially doing permanent damage to their brains, for the sake of hard-earned rest from the travails of wage-slavery... I don't know what the rest of you call that but I call it hypocrisy...
As for how we make sports more equal between the sexes, well that's an easy fix as well. All forms of martial art have weight classes to some degree, therefore we start mandating that all forms of sport for entertainment lose the gender segregation and begin a structural reorganization around size and weight. Thus we compensate for the fact that women are, on average, smaller than men. Now some will say it's a pipe dream, given that women's sports are less interesting and profitable but there are people like me who don't give a shit about profit. Plus, I'd much rather watch Women's Volleyball at the Olympics than any competition put on by men. At least that was the case when i still gave a shit about sports.
And then there's the sex industry. I recall reading recently that Stormy Daniels got arrested after performing at a strip club in Ohio because she violated a rarely enforced legal clause that prohibits physical contact between performers and patrons in such establishments. Now, I'm very in favor of admiring beautiful women. I think most of humanity is geared this way, in that we have a natural tendency to be drawn to that which is more physically appealing. However, strip clubs and the sex industry in general are a major component of man culture and help to perpetuate the privileged mindset that goes with being a man these days. Now, I don't frequent strip clubs. I'm not going to pay for the 'joy' of watching naked women in person when I can just get it free on the internet. Therefore, I would have no problem whatsoever in legislating strip clubs and adult bookstores right out of existence despite my preference for the fairer of the fairer sex...
Some might want to chastise me for trying to ruin people's fun but I care about making the world a better place and to do that, we need to move past many of these entrenched social divisions that keep us from achieving a better standard of equality; these barriers that get in the way of us seeing each other as humans, rather than any other designation. Thankfully, we're getting to an era where many of the misogynist fucks in the baby-boomer generation wont be around for much longer. Thus, their grip on politics will fade and we may just see a turn towards a more reasonable future. However, there are still many ignorant assholes in the GenX category who don't quite understand that it's time to evolve. Thankfully, many Millennials and post-Millennials seem to be leaning progressive and maybe that's a good sign. However, if we're to keep them from getting corrupted by the same social and political shit that turned so many of my generation away from the hope of environmental activism and evolved social consciousness, then we're going to have deconstruct and remold so many things that give men the illusion that they're still on top of the social game.