Yes, Joss Whedon is still a feminist

The no true Scotsman fallacy is defined as:

[…] a kind of informal fallacy in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion to exclude the counterexample. Rather than denying the counterexample or rejecting the original claim, this fallacy modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”; i.e., those who perform that action are not part of our group and thus criticism of that action is not criticism of the group).

People use the fallacy most often in situations in which a member of their group commits an act that makes the person, and by proxy the group, look bad. The more prominent the figure in question, the more likely the group will resort to the fallacy.

This is particularly common among groups that hold themselves as morally and ethically superior to others. It becomes imperative that nothing tarnish that claim, especially when the claim itself is constantly in question. Again, the more prominent the figure in question, the more necessary it becomes to cast that person out of the group. The fallacy shifts from merely being that the no “true” member of the group would ever behave in such a manner to said person was never “truly” a member at all.

Such is the feminist response to a blog post from Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole. She posted a scathing commentary on Whedon’s “faux” feminist on the Wrap, claiming that Whedon admitted to a number of affairs with women over the years. She wrote: Continue reading

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Music That Inspires: One More Light

It has been a week since Linkin Park’s Chester Bennignton committed suicide. I figured now would be a good time to review the last Linkin Park album One More Light.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been a fan of Linkin Park, especially Chester, since the group debuted. One of the things I appreciate about the band is their combination of styles. They merge alternative rock, metal, rap, EDM, electronica, and ambient music. This style was later categorized as nu metal. I think this is what made Linkin Park so popular. There is a little bit of something for everyone. However, they are artists, and as such they like to experiment. After the first two albums, they began to change their style on each album.

This angered some fans who preferred the nu metal sound. The latest album, One More Light, brought that anger to its zenith. The album received a ton of hate from fans and lackluster reviews from critics. I heard the first single Heavy, and liked it. However, the sound was completely different from the typical Linkin Park fare. After reading some of the reviews, I held off on getting the album.

Now that I have it, I must say that it is not as bad as people suggested. It is a good album. It just is not a Linkin Park album. The album is pure pop. It is not even pop rock. There is very little guitar work on the album, and most of the bass and drums are played with in post production. It does not make the album bad, yet it does remove that signature Linkin Park sound. Continue reading

Riri Williams: Marvel’s Precious Little Sociopath

Marvel debuted the character Riri Williams in July 2016. The character replaced Tony Stark as Iron Man, adopting the name Iron Heart (which ironically turns out to be the name used in a porn parody of Iron Man). Riri’s claim to fame is that she is a 15-year-old black female super-genius supposedly smarter and better than Stark.

Brian Michael Bendis, the character’s creator, faced a backlash from progressives because Bendis is a straight, white, Jewish man writing a black female character. His critics ignored at Bendis and his wife adopted two black girls. They also ignored his reason for creating Riri Williams, as explained in the Time article. His critcis felt much more content to attack the man rather than give him a chance.

However, things have not been that great for Riri. The Invincible Iron Man series that Riri leads has seen its numbers drop dramatically since its November 2016 debut: Continue reading

Music That Inspires: Temple of the Dog

On May 18th of 2017 singer and songwriter Chris Cornell took his own life. Cornell was the lead singer of Soundgarden, and one of the most influential musicians on modern rock history. Along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains, Soundgarden led the wave of the 1990s grunge music scene. Without Cornell’s writing and voice, hundreds of bands and thousands of popular songs would not exist.

The first time I remember hearing Cornell was from the Black Hole Sun music video. I had never heard anything like it before, and I was fascinated his voice. Cornell’s vocal abilities are impressive. He was one of few people who can scream sing and still be intelligible. You can feel the power of his voice even with the volume turned down.

Rather than comment on his suicide, I would like to focus on his music. There are so many good songs and albums to pick from. He fronted Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and released five solo albums. I think, however, I will go with my favorite, Temple of the Dog by Temple of the Dog.

It is rare to find an album where every song is good. This is one of those albums, and why would it not be? It is Chris Cornell singing with Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Jeff Ament, and Matt Cameron, i.e. the group that would become Pearl Jam.

The album resulted from Cornell writing two songs in tribute to his roommate Andrew Wood, lead singer of Mother Love Bone. Wood overdosed on heroin. Cornell had no one to talk to following Wood’s death, and wrote the songs Reach Down and Say Hello 2 Heaven to cope with his feelings. He later presented them to Ament and Gossard, who were members of Mother Love Bone. The rest of the album came together after that.

Because there is not a bad song on the album, it makes it difficult to choose what to highlight. However, I think I will go for the songs I like to listen to the most. Continue reading

Hey Marvel, it’s not you, it’s your progressive agenda

Several months ago Bleeding Cool reported that Marvel Comics will shift its books away from politics and back to storytelling, action, and adventure. As I noted in my previous post about the change, Marvel’s sales took a hit in recent years. Their numbers are not low enough to result in bankruptcy, however, they are low enough to cause concern. The reason is that most of the books with low numbers are their newer titles. Many of these books feature so-called “diverse” characters. Despite Marvel’s active promotion of the books, the titles simply do not sell.

One person at Marvel has an explanation for this. ICv2 interview Marvel VP of Sales David Gabriel. Gabriel responded to several questions about the impact of the “diversity” initiative at Marvel:

Part of it, but I think also it seemed like tastes changed, because stuff you had been doing in the past wasn’t working the same way. Did you perceive that or are we misreading that?

No, I think so. I don’t know if those customers with the tastes that had been around for three years really supporting nearly anything that we would try, anything that we would attempt, any of the new characters we brought up, either they weren’t shopping in that time period, or maybe like you said their tastes have changed.

There was definitely a sort of nose-turning at the things that we had been doing successfully for the past three years, no longer viable. We saw that, and that’s what we had to react to. Yes, it’s all of that.

It is not a matter of people’s tastes changing. If it were, one would expect a greater audience, not the ever shrinking audience that the industry has seen in the past two decades. The problem here was that Marvel attempted to appeal to people who do not buy their product and are more interested in identity politics. The books that Gabriel claims were a success all saw dwindling numbers within a year of their release. Gabriel names several characters — Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, The Mighty Thor, Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, and Moon Girl — so let us look at the debut and current sales of their books: Continue reading

The Red Pill: A Review

After years of waiting, I finally got the chance to watch Cassie Jaye’s documentary The Red Pill. Jaye’s documentary began as her examination of the men’s rights movement, and grew into her journey out of feminism.

The film received a great deal of backlash during its filming, post production, and initial release. All of the negative response, from people contacting Jaye’s financiers to cut her funding to people backing out of interviews to protests against the film, came from feminists. Most notably, they came from feminists who never saw the bulk of the footage or the completed film.

The reaction has been so overblown that it has likely increased people’s desire to see this horribly misogynistic film that gives a platform to rape apologists. Or something to that affect.

Is that Jaye’s film? Is it a love letter to women haters? Is it an attack on feminism? Does it excuse male violence against women? Continue reading

Joe Rogan interviews Neil Degrasse Tyson

Joe Rogan recently interviewed Neil Degrasse Tyson. I enjoy listening to Tyson speak. It is rare to hear someone that enthusiastic about science. He also comes across as a likeable man, which makes him even more engaging.

One of my favorite things about Tyson is when he offers up tidbits of science that people are familiar with and proceeds to show how much deeper the knowledge goes. He does this with multiple types of infinity. I had heard of this before, although I cannot recall where. Yet his explanation is simply inthralling.

I also hope he takes Rogan’s advice and goes back to commenting on films. I find it fascinating to hear what catches his attention as glaringly wrong.

It is a fun interview, and of the rare instances where science is explained in a simplified way to make it palatable.  Continue reading