Dads That Suck: Me and Peter Quill

**SPOILERS**

Since I talked about absent male parents on my other blog, I guess I’ll keep it coming.

For my birthday, I went to the movies for the first time in years and I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Just like an increasing number of Marvel movies these days, the writers really need to adjust some of their humor. But what I found myself struck by was the relationship between Peter Quill and Ego.

Since my birthday is around the same time as Father’s Day, I give a thought to that relationship. I sensed the pain and anger that Peter Quill, even as a fictional character, must have felt to learn the truth about his father. There was just something there in the story that resonated with me.

I do not easily refer to my sperm donor as “Dad”, despite the title of this post. Simply because he’s not that and it offends my definitions of the words family and father to give him an honor he did not earn. No, my sperm donor didn’t kill my mom and he isn’t a god. Just a really messed up, manipulative, entitled, arrogant guy who can’t keep it in his pants. He might not think he’s God’s gift to the entire universe but does think he’s God’s gift to women and he deserves a throne built on my back for not wearing a condom.

I know what it’s like to want an absent father to turn out to be a better person than his absence would lead you to believe. I didn’t play a game of Light-ball catch with my sperm donor like Peter Quill did. But I did give him a chance. And he wasn’t worth the time, energy, or the chance I gave him.

Maybe I’ll save a post about Yondu for later.

I’m rooting for you, Nebula. Commit that patricide.

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‘Doctor Who’, the Ultimate Superhero Trope

I started watching Doctor Who from the Ninth Doctor (2005), after considering it with great skepticism as a production originating from the racist capital of the whole planet.

Its strange to be tentatively writing here that I actually enjoy many aspects of it. Its a nice bit of whimsy and adventure. Other criticism withheld here for now, there are even brown people on the show (even if whiteness remains central), that’s half a step up from American television shows. I’ve even written down the things I see that I like the most in terms of sentient life forms encountered.

With that said, the biggest issue I have with the show is the Doctor himself. As important as his friends/companions/allies/lovers are made out to be, the whole of the entire universe, beginning and end, is still centered around him. Sounds like yet another huge ego boast for every guy out there that’s vicariously imagining himself to be the last Time Lord from Gallifrey.

I once pointed out how a pretty cool female character like Ryuuzetsu just had died for Naruto in Blood Prison, the fifth Naruto movie. My friend’s response was

“The show is about Naruto, not who doesn’t die for Naruto.”

And the same can be said of the Doctor. Through his companions and encounters with other sentient life forms, an effort is made to decentralize him but it seems the creators of Doctor Who always revert back to plots drenched in the mindless rhetorical worship of the Doctor as more interesting. It’s like the writers sat down and came up with the greatest white patriarchal-superhero-god complex fantasy gone completely insane that they could possibly think of. Yes, I said white–this is still true, even tho he’s from another planet.

If you think race isn’t an issue in Doctor Who, then ask yourself: How invisible would a Black Time Lord be in the white-dominated Western societies at any point in the recorded history visited in the show?

Let’s look at the entirety of Martha Jones’ time with the Doctor as his companion, especially compared to Rose Tyler.

Or ask why the Transatlantic Slave Trade and other crimes against humanity wasn’t prevented by the Doctor, who spends an annoying amount of time lecturing humans about how they need to be “better” (without ever being a little time lord faerie to the people who are victims of times when they weren’t) and championing any time period he fancies and comes across except the ones too problematic and incriminating for Britain and America to fess up to. The worst and most logical answer would be that the enslavement of Black peoples by white Europeans, is a “fixed point” in time–meaning that it was something that was “supposed” to happen. So the Doctor can save the Oods from humans but not save humans from themselves? This show is chocked full of deceptive post-racial propaganda!

All this is to say that tho The Doctor is often presented as a sentimental character, his entire existence is about power, the power he has over those around him.

In its title character, Doctor Who presents me with what I will dub the “renaissance man” superhero trope (The Ultimate Polymath Trope).  Contrary to all this white savior worship and idealism, I’d prefer to see the Doctor, as Donna Noble so aptly said to the Tenth Doctor, as “a long streak of nothing, y’know, alien nothing!“.

Charmed, Season 8, Episode 8, “Battle of the Hexes”

This episode is probably the most hated episode for me, excluding two or three episodes that I intentionally didn’t watch.

It’s completely racist (Paige gets to be the white savior, champion of the Black male delinquent; using a corrupt legal system to get a PoC to get his life together; two white people making a bet on Black persyn’s life–great). Then on top of that, its completely sexist, relying on the Greek myth of Hippolyta’s belt.

If a woman is too powerful and too radical, then she must be a angry vicious murderer and separatist that wants to kill all men, regardless of what they’ve done.

This reminds me of when Chris’s future self killed three Amazons to get their amulets so the charmed ones could go to the Amazons’ island and save Leo and Piper. And was never punished, because Leo let him off the hook.

And I never really thought about how heterosexist the show is.

Is this what they think balance is?

Of all the directions they could have taken Hippolyta’s belt, they chose this one.

Now, I already don’t like Billie–dislike her even more than I dislike Paige. Couldn’t stand Paige because she replaced Pru. You have all these silly hos panting after dick and chasing dreams of babies and happy white middleclass domestic situations (its the way its presented, not the fact that they want to have children or enjoy men). The fact that Piper didn’t have a girl as this supreme magical being and Wyatt is treated like a Christ-like figure in terms of his birth and magical abilities. The good/evil dichotomy. Cultural appropriation everywhere. The othering of different magic traditions. Add this up with all the inherent racism and that deplorable episode where Phoebe is narrating like the show is fucking Sex in the City…

Charmed is just not charming anymore.

I’m just watching until the end to say I saw the whole thing (if I even do that).