But if you were in favor of Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement and the bus boycott, even though a lot of other people got hurt, then there should be no issue with the much milder boycott of Ender’s Game. Tor Books is being left untouched. The studio’s other films are being left untouched. The movie theaters showing the film are being left untouched. This boycott is the caress of a pudgy little newborn baby hand against the cheek of hatred.
That’s part of why boycotts are necessarily collective. It’s a way of saying, “Look how many people you have annoyed. Would you really like to annoy us further?” Just think of all the pudgy little baby hands, reaching for your eyes…
The quality of the movie doesn’t matter. Nor does whether or not it would hurt other people if you boycott the movie. The latter is a confusion that also crops up with strikes a lot, as you always get the handwringing that innocent bystanders are disadvantaged by e.g. a railway strike. That’s the whole point. Strikes or boycotts should hurt or they’re pointless. The only thing that should matter is whether or not hurt Orson Scott Card’s ability to wage war on gay people by hurting him finacially.
But what this all really proved is that the Saints Row games are just much better. Yes, the game play is largely the same, but it doesn’t take itself so seriously as “art”. More importantly, in Saints Row you can play as whoever you want to be and it doesn’t matter for how the game treats you. You don’t need to be a gross man who swears a lot and commits crime; you can be a gross woman who swears a lot and commits crime.
So the whole idea of the fake geek girl, that there are women who pretend to be geekish but are only doing it to be popular (!?), is one of the more moronic inventions of contemporary fandom. It’s the snobbishness of the smallminded, those who think life is an endless high school struggle between the cool kids and the chess club and are now recoiling in horror as the mundanes invade their domains. Hence you get all these sort of tests, almost exclusively aimed at women, to prove that somebody isn’t a real geek, for not knowning such essential things as who the first captain of the Enterprise was in some hideous real life version of the Eltingville comic-book-science-fiction-fantasy-horror and role playing club trivia-off.
Thomas and his friends live on Sodor and spend their days toiling endlessly, “shunting trucks and hauling freight.” (Shunting, by the way, sounds like a great Urban Dictionary term for silent fucking—”We shunted while his parents slept next door!”) The engines are only happy when they are being “Really Useful,” which suggests to me that they have been brainwashed by fearsome tuxedoed railway overlord Sir Topham Hatt to accept the bonds of slavery without question. These poor engines have never known freedom, and so the very idea of it is alien to them. The whole story could have served as an allegory for life under the Russian czars before the rise of the Bolsheviks. But I bet the Rev wasn’t that subtle. I bet he was just a man who thought trains were bitches.
On the whole though the show has an useful message for all kids: shut up, you’re not special, do as you are told. If you don’t we’ll brick you up in an abandoned railway tunnel:
Thomas the Tank Engine: propaganda to get kids used to the awful conditions of the UK railways, or just to get them used to being happy cogs in the capitalist machine?
Back in the late eighties/early nineties, before the internet, when we had to rely on the local videostore to supply us with anime, Bubblegum Crisis was one of the first series to be widely available, through good, old Manga Video. I sort of knew something about anime, through scraps in American comics zines, but it wasn’t until Manga Video got going in the early nineties, that we got a regular supply of anime videos. Bubblegum Crisis, Akira, Appleseed, Dominion Tank Police, Wicked City: that first wave of videos was very cyberpunk influenced and they provided a vision of the future that was just around the corner for us, slightly too young to have seen Blade Runner at the cinema or have read Neuromancer and Schismatrix when new.
I emailed Howard Chaykin a single sentence one time and he wrote a single sentence back correcting my grammar, and it was at that moment that I knew I had won the contest of who gets to have the best conversation with Howard Chaykin, because I would rather have that one sentence back and forth than any long conversation where I told him about how much I liked The Shadow and he pretended he cared and then maybe I brought up some random part of his career that I bet not a lot of people ask him about and oh aren’t I so clever that I asked the question that a lot of people don’t ask, unlike all those proles who bring up American Flagg, everybody talks about American Flagg, look at me how special it is that I know the name of the thing that is different from the other thing and now maybe I can be best friends with the comics artist or cup my hot mouth on him or just hold his head down in a bowl of warm sand or whatever, however that fantasy plays out.