#NotDonald4Spiderman and Other Feels About The Spiderman Reboot

Earlier this week it was announced that Sony is going to be collaborating with the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the new Spiderman movies, which means Spiderman can now be intertwined with the movies that MCU has already released (Ironman, Avengers, Captain America etc.). This news is fantastic, because although Sony still has the rights to the Spiderman movie franchise, Marvel is allowed to make the movies. Marvel has been doing a great job with the movies so far, despite some minor pitfalls (**cough**Ironman 3/Thor 1 and 2/Captain America 1/waiting so damn long for a Black Panther movie and having the audacity to make it after Ant Man who nobody really gives a sh*t about**cough**) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe would feel a little more complete with the addition of a hero with spider senses. I was genuinely excited.

Then I saw the resurgence of #Donald4Spiderman.

I feel like before I get into my feelings about this I have to address two points, the first one being yes, I dislike Donald Glover and the second one being no, I don’t dislike reboots. However my disagreeing with that hash tag for this new Spiderman movie actually comes from the opposite end of the aforementioned feels. I actually do think Donald Glover would make a really good Peter Parker. He (like Tobey Maguire in the aughts) is a 30 year old man who is very good at being an awkward teenager, and despite his claims that Twitter does nothing, there was immediate support for his potential casting as Spiderman because…. well because the internet.

However we’ve already seen the story of Peter Parker in movie form. In fact we’ve seen it twice, and the last time was so recent I don’t even think it’s made it’s way to Netflix yet.

We do have other characters to pull from though. The #Donald4Spiderman hash tag in it’s original incarnation was able to pave the way for a new character named Miles Morales in the Marvel Comic Book Universe.

Let’s consider the following, The Marvel Cinematic Universe is already pulling stories from the Ultimate Marvel Comic Universe storylines, the new Avengers movie is loosely based on the Age of Ultron Avengers comics. Spiderman was a huge part of that, but because of the weird way the different studios owned specific character franchises, Spiderman as a character had to be scrapped from the whole thing. They had to rewrite almost everything for the Cinematic Universe. So instead of rehashing the story of Peter Parker, which we’ve already heard no only ad nauseam but ad nauseam with BOTH of his early love interests, how about we get to know Miles? If Marvel can basically skip over Hank Pym and dive immediately into the Scott Lang story for Ant Man (and again who cares) why can’t develop a movie about Miles? Especially since the only other superhero movie that will feature a black hero as the main character (Black Panther) is going to be pushed back to 2018, after so many were frustrated it took this long.

In the upcoming months we’ll be sure to here lots of news about the decisions Marvel and Sony are going to make about the character and casting choices for this movie, but I doubt that neither the #Donald4Spiderman nor the #MakeMineMiles factions of Nerd Twitter will get what they want. For now we just wait and speculate until more official news comes out.

The Wrong Conversations Are Being Had About Azealia Banks

I’ve had my issues with Azealia Banks over the years. I used to be an avid fan of hers but lost interest a couple of years ago after several instances of her popping off at the mouth on Twitter. If it had been the normal shit-talking that I’ll even admit to participating in, it wouldn’t have bothered me as much. Sadly Azealia’s shit-talking on several occasions delved deeply into trans phobia. It was a really disappointing, because I really enjoyed getting to see a dark-skinned black girl be both talented and outspoken in an industry that likes to pretend we don’t even exist anymore. But even the most outspoken #problackgirl can quickly lose my interest when she reveals herself to be trans phobic and unapologetic about it.
Over the past few months the idea of being a fan of Azealia has rocked back and forth in my head a few times. The release of ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ reminded me of why I liked her in the first place. Azealia is a talented rapper lyricist with a style that is influenced by Hip-Hop, Caribbean music and NY Ball culture. In the prism of Black Cool, Azealia has found her niche and is good at what she does. Her presence on twitter however, will have moments of genius awareness before sliding back down to being seriously offensive.
Last week during an interview with Hot 97, Azealia broke into tears at least two times when asked about her feelings on the cultural appropriation of hip-hop music. During the interview Azealia breaks down in her own words how appropriation is slowly erasing blackfolks out of hip-hop, specifically black women. Those with less fluency in issues like this were quick to paint the interview as Azealia being jealous of Iggy, including the pop artist herself who called Azealia a bigot on twitter.
It’s hard to explain to those who aren’t familiar with or fluent in the lives of black women that Azealia Banks is trying to express her frustration with a world that wants her creativity but doesn’t want her. She’s fighting an uphill battle, and every time she speaks up about it she gets backlash that is highly racialized, especially when it comes to her “feud” with Iggy Azalea. In the interview she points out the Forbes article from earlier this year that claims that Hip-Hop is becoming a white dominated genre of music as an example of how the media is trying to erase black people from it. Forbes also claimed that Iggy was running Hip-Hop this year, and proceeded to say that Nicki Minaj deciding to stop making Pop/Top 40 centered music left “a void to be filled by none other than Iggy.” That statement alone derides Hip-Hop as a genre of music and places it’s value only in what could be sold on Pop charts. Even now in 2014 in order for black artists to be legitimate they need to cross over into the white dominated pop charts and in order for black music to be appreciated it needs to be performed by white musicians. It’s a larger problem that will be ignored in order to paint Azealia Banks as an aggressive, angry black woman and belittle her talent.
That isn’t to say that Azealia doesn’t have anything that needs to be critiqued. Her above mentioned trans phobia as well as her recent tweets about Bill Cosby are beyond problematic, they’re just plain wrong. People do have a right to be upset and not listen to her because of it. If she is going to be critiqued she should be critiqued for that and not for page clicks.

Pre-Blocking for Personal Health

I’m on Twitter a lot. Like it or not, Twitter is one of the best sources of breaking news. If used properly, you can find first hand information as it happens instead of waiting for news outlets, which though they say they aren’t, tend to be biased in some of their interpretations of events. Twitter can be educational, fun and also help friends who live far away from one another keep in touch. Unfortunately, despite all of the good Twitter can do, it can also be used for evil.

You may or may not know it (let’s be real here, you know), but Twitter has issues with harassment. Anyone who’s participated in a trending topic knows about the Egg Icon’d accounts that pop up to say all manner of mean things, but sometimes there’s a picture, or a full profile and identifiable person behind those threats and abuse. When you’re bothered by these trolls, they could be at it for hours and it can range from mildly annoying to extremely triggering and scary. Just ask anyone who participated in the #GamerGate hashtag in the past few months.

I’ve dealt with enough trolls in my time on the internet, and am constantly trying to figure out how to make the places I frequent safe spaces for me without having to go entirely private. Luckily a friend told me about his method of keeping trolls away. He pre-blocks. Pre-blocking is easy. Normally when  friend on twitter gets into an argument with an obvious troll I just open the trolls profile and block them (or mark them as spam, depend on how fake it looks or how offensive they are). Then I just wipe my hands and walk away. That’s it. It keeps those trolls away from my profile long before they have a chance to bother me.

That’s not the only method of pre-blocking people, there are many apps on the internet that will do the work for or with you. Another method I use is The Block Bot, which has been a tremendous help because it has tiers you can subscribe to and the lists are compiled by people and if necessary, subscribers can request a troll be added.

These are just two of the methods you can use to make Twitter comfortable for you, and hopefully they’ve been helpful. If you know of any other methods or apps to use, share them below!