Links – An Icon Passes On, Musical Muse & Buffy Still White As Ever

Three Things:


#1

If you haven’t heard already actress Estelle Getty, best known for her portrayal of Sophia on Golden Girls passed away yesterday. Getty had a long and varied career on the stage and on screen both large and small but her iconic status comes from her signature role as Sophia. Golden Girls is one of the ultimate feminist shows to be, not only in the messages but in the set up of the show and the characters. Feministe goes into it more here but I really think of Golden Girls as the first feminist show I watched. I still watch it often, on the Lifetime Channel, on DVD, etc. It’s a great hilarious show and the highlight is almost always Sophia’s witty, sarcastic one-liners. She was an icon not only for her wit but for her activity and sexuality well into her 80’s. She was the old person we all wanted to grow up to be.

Estelle was 84 and had been sick for quite a while, she was found yesterday in her Hollywood home.

A lot of folks won’t remember this clip from the 1996 MTV movie awards but it’s hilarious and always tickles me 
The Golden Girls doing Clueless  


#2

One of the most anticipated Comic book releases this year (and not just by me) is Comic Book Tattoo. The 480 page anthology contains over 50 stories contributed by over 80 comic book artist/writers (I’m talking a who’s who of the industry) and everyone of the stories takes a Tori Amos song as it’s base.

It’s premiering this week at Comic-Con but since I’m too broke to go I went ahead and ordered it on Amazon.com yesterday. They have all three versions of the book: The Limited Edition (regular price – $149.99/Amazon.com – $94.49), the hardcover (regular price – $49.99/Amazon.com – $31.49) and the paperback (regular price – $29.99/Amazon.com -$19.79). Being, as I mentioned above, broke I ordered the paperback version and it’s a good thing to as it’s the only one listed as In Stock at the moment, the other two versions are listed as not yet released.

This is so exciting, I keep checking my order every hour to see if it’s shipped yet. Amazon says I’ll recieve my copy by this Friday and I hope they’re telling the truth because I fully expect Friday night to be spent in a haze of transcendence as I listen to Tori songs on repeat while reading the stories they inspired.


#3

Karen Healey over at Girls Read Comics, And They’re Pissed talks about her relationship with the Buffy comics and the fact that they still can’t seem to keep any People of Color in the main cast even now in  I Was Reading On The Train, So I Couldn’t Throw the Book.  Anyone who’s discussed Buffy with me knows that though I do love the show I have so major issues with it as well. One of these issues is the lack of People of Color in a Southern California town which is just illogical. It’s the same reaction I have to shows set in New York with no POC: …wuh?…

In fact in my essay in the WisCon Chronicles Two I touch on Buffy as an extremely all-white show. I mean the last season introduced in my opinion two stand out POC characters, Rona & Principal Wood except look how they ended up in the last episode both extremely injured and clinging to life.

Anyway the point is that as good as some feminist fans think Joss is on gender  (Digressing! -though I think he’s better than a lot of men I disagree vehemently with those in the feminist community who practically deify him and have to fight not to scream “I Told You So” at those who are so disappointed with his web series Dr. Horrible because of it’s horrible third part – The Hathor Legacy has more on the badness of Dr. Horrible in a recent post) he is pretty bad on race. I mean folks want to point at Firefly/Serenity and say “Look he’s good on race truly he is!” but …no, as much as I love both Firefly and Serenity and hope for a sequel just …no it’s not being good on race to just have POC in the show. The POC actually have to be done well and be full and complete characters that don’t rely on problematic stereotypes:  Book -Magical Religious Godly Negro, River – Scary fighting Asian chick but with white parents which Idon’t get, Inara – Sexualized darker skinned Latina. I mean maybe Joss was really going to disrupt these things later in the show and never got the chance but there’s no evidence he was gonna do that either.

Okay off to work!

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7 responses to “Links – An Icon Passes On, Musical Muse & Buffy Still White As Ever

  1. Hmm. I gotta disagree with you about Shepherd Book. I think his character would have been played that way whatever his color. Of course, I’m biased, because Ron Glass is totally hot and he’s so awesome in that role. Although, of course, you may well argue in response that that IS the role he was offered, rather than some other, say, captain-type role (black men get to play spiritual men or fighting men . . . ). Makes one appreciate Avery Brooks in DS-9; he got to do both AND be the captain.

    My real problem with Firefly (my second favorite show on tv ever, so I criticize out of love) is the frequently discussed issue of the lack of Asians in a civilization that is implied to be dominated by an outgrowth of China.

    Had Simon and River’s parents been one white and one asian, that would have mollified me a bit. But the lack of Asians in the background overall was striking. Think how cool it would have been if every person in a high authority position had been Asian. That would have told the viewer a lot about the society.

    Again, BSG did a better job with diversity. Not a perfect job, but a better one.

  2. Kate-
    I think given more time Joss was gonna do something interesting with Book. The hints of a shady past, his acquaintance with the Alliance, his unshockability, something was gonna come up. Unfortunately he didn’t try to explore any of these things in the movie, instead he just killed him off along with a whole lot of brown folks on that planet, which is why he reads so strongly as the Magical Negro to me.

    As much as I haven’t watched much of DS-9 I do recall loving Avery Brooks in all the episodes I did see. He was a full fleshed character with a great storyline and actual history.

    Yeah the lack of any Asians (Summer Glau was clearly meant to be read as white) really rubs me the wrong way and it really smacks of cultural appropriation and orientalism to take a mish-mash of Asian cultures as the dominant paradigm and then have no Asian folks in the show itself.

    BSG did do a much better job with having folks of color in the backgroud, foreground and secondary roles. I might not like the way they’re used every episode but they are there and that’s to BSG’s credit.

  3. I really disliked “Serenity: The Movie”

    1) because it crammed 12 episodes of Firefly into 2 hours, losing what I loved most about the show (the character interaction) and

    2) because of how it dealt with Book. The entire Book backstory was CLEARLY being set up to be a major plot point, perhaps (I like to think) the main narrative arc of the second season, had there ever been a second season. Wah.

  4. Kate-
    Yeah I try to disconnect Firefly from Serenioty in my mind because they are just so different. Serenity is very much an action film with very little in the characters personalities that I grew to love in Firefly because there was only a couple of hours as opposed to a whole season.

    So I totally see where you’re coming from about the movie. I do love it for what it is: a pretty intelligent and interesting action film but as a continuation of Firefly not so much.

  5. Yeah, if I could disconnect the film from the series, I would like the film better; it’s good, as you say, as an intelligent action film, and it has one of my favorite actors, Chiwetel Ejiofor–he’s one of the rare actors who can get me to see a film just because he’s in it.

    But – alas – I still can’t get past the other stuff. Yet. Maybe if I think of it as an alternate history or something.

  6. Kate-
    Maybe if I think of it as an alternate history or something.

    Good plan! There are various things in various stuff I’m a fan of that I have to view as an alternate universe or just ignore that it happened at all – like the Spike/Buffy relationship in the later seasons of BTVS – for me that subplot simply does not exist.

  7. Pingback: Recent Links Tagged With "wiscon" - JabberTags

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