Culture on My Mind – Quarantine Con, Episodes IX and X

Culture on My Mind
June 26, 2020

 

This week’s “can’t let it go” is yet another panel from the Classic Track Irregulars!

Well, really, two panels. And a bonus feature.

Still broadcasting from their respective socially distant quarantine bunkers, the Dragon Con American Sci-Fi Classics Track panelists have returned. First, the panelists put their suits back on and swear under oath that Krull, Lost in Space, Doom, and Starship Troopers are okay to watch and enjoy. This week’s avocados at law are Sherman Burris, Kevin Eldridge, and Darin Bush.

As an added bonus feature, Classics Track co-directors Joe Crowe and Gary Mitchel offer a blooper reel of sorts with the lost thirteen minutes from a crossed wire. This is what happens when you think you’re streaming live to Facebook, but the panel is broadcasting to YouTube instead.

Here are thirteen minutes of fun that were had when the panel thought everyone was watching.

The tenth entry in Quarantine Con is a celebration. It was Joe Crowe’s birthday, so Gary Mitchel and Dr. Scott Viguie arranged an Ask Me Anything party where the Classics Track’s fans could ask Joe… well… anything.

There’s even a surprise phone call from Joe’s mom! “Lord have mercy,” she says.

That’s a lot of content for a week, but if there’s one thing that a track dedicated to the entirety of science fiction media greater than ten years old understands, it’s an embarrassment of riches.

They have a lot more fun discussions planned in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to the YouTube channel and the group on Facebook. If you join in live, you can also leave comments and participate in the discussion using StreamYard connected through Facebook.

 

Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

Culture on My Mind – Quarantine Con, Episode VIII

Culture on My Mind
June 12, 2020

 

This week’s “can’t let it go” is yet another panel from the Classic Track Irregulars!

Broadcasting from their respective socially distant quarantine bunkers, the Dragon Con American Sci-Fi Classics Track panelists have returned to talk about the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But, not the Marvel Cinematic Universe that you know. Rather, the one that might have been.

Classics Track co-directors Joe Crowe and Gary Mitchel are joined by Van Allen Plexico and Darin Bush to talk about what would have happened if we got the MCU in the 1970s!

As before, Joe and Gary will be hosting more of these, so stay tuned to the YouTube channel and the group on Facebook. If you join in live, you can also leave comments and participate in the discussion using StreamYard connected through Facebook.

 

Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.

For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.

A Mighty Lady Thor

You’re right, a female Thor is a publicity stunt.

It honestly couldn’t be any other way. Marvel is an entertainment company, and the way they make money is by drawing as many eyes to their product as possible. That requires publicity. Everything they do requires publicity. The same goes for every book you read, every television episode you watch, and every movie you see. Even the news pays this game, from your local hometown to global giants like CNN and Al Jazeera. Every last marketing effort is designed to provide a pleasing stimulus to your brain which entices you to spend your time and money with them alone.

Publicity stunts are business as usual in today’s era.

So, if we can’t complain about it being a publicity stunt, it must be some politically correct intrusion on comics fandom, right? Only if you discard the Asgardian superheroes Valkyrie and Sif, or even other strong female characters like Captain Marvel, Storm, Jean Grey, Black Widow, Rogue, Mystique, Peggy Carter, and so on. I firmly believe that comics fandom needs more strong and positive female role models, but to suggest that transferring Thor’s powers into a woman is done only to meet some abstract and non-exsistent diversity quotient is disingenuous and ignorant.

With those two excuses removed, it must be that Marvel is simply ruining this character’s long-standing tradition and legacy, right? Absolutely not. The pure and simple truth is that comics fandom should be fully embracing this experiment. Comic characters tend to exist for decades, and only because they continually get reinvented, for better or for worse. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have undergone several rebirths and redesigns, and they’ve been around for 75 years. The reason that these characters have such longevity is because they stay socially relevant instead of trapped in time. If you want your heroes and myths to continue to exist, they need to evolve and experiment.

The old stories can only go so far before they become stale or stagnant. As a fan of these characters, I want to see them in new situations that haven’t been told before. I’d love to see more gender-swapped characters in our modern myths if only to experience their stories from a new point of view or in new situations that a new perspective provides.

I love the idea of a black Johnny Storm in a modern non-traditional family with a story not based on previous comics. I love the idea of Lex Luthor being a modern Facebook-style billionaire mogul. I love the idea putting the legacy of a light-hearted red-head teenager in the drama of the real world.

I simply love the idea of a woman being worthy to hold Mjolnir and the power of Thor. It means that Thor’s legacy proudly carries on and our modern myths continue to thrive.

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