Friday, September 28, 2007

You ruined it.

Dear Allen Heinberg,

I should start out this letter by asking you if you're feeling well. Any fevers lately? Bouts of amnesia? Brief descents into clinical insanity? I ask because I'm trying to figure out how someone responsible for a comic book as completely awesome as Young Avengers could do something so totally fucking heinous to Wonder Woman?! (MAJOR spoilers for WW Annual #1 via that link) I really want to think it's due to some sort of malady and not because you actually thought your shit-tacular run on her (totally unnecessarily rebooted yet again) book was chock full of good ideas and decisions.

And while this letter is specifically addressed to you, Mr. Heinberg, I might as well open it up to the myriad of writers who have mishandled the Amazing Amazon (hello, Jodi Picoult and John Byrne, can you hear me?) Why do y'all feel the need to keep fucking with Diana? I mean, did we learn nothing from that horrid period in the 60s where she was a de-powered, Emma Peel knock-off? Wonder Woman is one of the most powerful characters in the DC Universe. This was never hammered home more succinctly than with George Perez's very much needed post-Crisis reboot of her title. He finally showed Diana in the truly heroic, powerful, iconic light she'd so rarely been shone in for so long. And for a really long time people actually fucking stuck to that model! I am mainly thinking of you, Phil Jimenez, who needs to be my secret comic creator boyfriend, P.S.

But lately it's just been like a free-for-all suckfest competition to see who can ruin Wonder Woman the fastest. But I have to hand it to you, Mr. Heinberg, you really went for the gusto. I mean, it's not just the sheer stupidity you displayed in missing a huge continuity point regarding Silver Swan. But it's other things like deciding to have Circe cast a spell on Diana that makes her only have powers when she's Wonder Woman?!? You do realize that Diana is Wonder Woman and isn't some mild mannered mortal who turns into Wonder Woman at the utterance of a magic word like, say, "Shazam!" There are not TWO PEOPLE, one of them Diana the other Wonder Woman. How did you miss this? Were you in a cave since like, 1986? When Perez rebooted her title he did away with her secret identity (which was still just a disguise and not her in a powerless form) and made it quite plain that she was Diana and she had these powers and the name "Wonder Woman" was bestowed on her by the press and she hung on to it. I really don't get how you could've not known this.

But the piece de resistance is where you imply that Wonder Woman cannot bleed!! Again, please feel free to show me your cave dwelling any time you want. She's bled countless times. The whole deal is that she's incredibly strong, NEARLY invulnerable and has recuperative abilities far beyond those of mere mortals. But she is NOT Superman. She can be cut, she can bleed. But odds are she will survive something like that way more than you or I ever would. But again, this was your brilliant idea to show that Diana is now "just human" until she "turns into Wonder Woman" (an identity mind you, not a completely separate being) due to a magic spell even though Diana is supposed to be highly impervious to enchantment. But again, why let a little thing like continuity stand in your way.

And finally, yes I realize this is long, I am sick of this treatment of female heroes in the mainstream comic book world in general. When you writers want to do a different storyline with Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Wolverine or one of your many other beloved, male icons, you do a spin-off mini-series in an alternate universe or a one-off, non-canon story to flex your creative muscles. And I understand that, really I do. These characters have existed for decades. I'm sure it gets boring and hard to remember everything in it's proper order, so I get the need to run willy-nilly with a story that doesn't have much to do with that character's history and origins. But why is it that almost every time you do this with a female hero, especially Wonder Woman, you feel the need to make it all canon and all in their usual book? You just fuck their stories up again and again and again and you piss off fans, confuse the fuck out new readers and generally ruin great things about these characters. I mean, my head spins just thinking of trying to keep up with the mangled continuity of Donna Troy Diana's sister. No wait, her clone. Now wait, her sister. No wait, a pecan pie. It just seems like this complete double standard where you hold your male characters up as these sacred beings while your female characters can be messed with repeatedly without so much as a bat of your collective eyelashes.

I am about ready to throw in the towel, DC, and not buy anymore of your shitty Wonder Woman comics. But there is one tiny speck of hope in this ocean of pure crap. And that speck of hope is Gail Simone who begins her run on Wonder Woman's book with the next issue. I know Gail has powers mighty, so I am hoping she can marshal all of them to save Diana from this quagmire of cruddy. And seriously, Ms. Simone, this point I am willing to settle for some horrible "it was all a dream" trope with Diana waking up after gorging herself on Greek food the night before and having an indigestion-induced nightmare. Like things are so bad I'd be willing to stomach something that cheesy. And I'm a lactard so I generally don't do well with cheese.

Suffering like Sappho,

End of an era.

Good Vibrations is being sold. I think this is probably good for them in terms of keeping the business going. But it will be interesting to see what becomes of the existing stores and what the new ones will look like and be like.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about my two and a half years working there, but it's sad to see what was once a unique, small, worker-owned business get absorbed by some big company. Especially when they sometimes made bad decisions that helped to run them into the ground and make such a move necessary. I hope this new incarnation of GV still holds onto its ideals of education and sex positivity. As long as Carol Queen is still a huge part of it I know she won't let that kind of thing go.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sometimes you have to set up boundaries.

I think that I can say with 100% certainty that I will never wear a pair of underwear and then turn them inside out and wear them again.

I am saying this to you Paul Frank "Days of the Week" REVERSEABLE underwear!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We're burning up, burning up for your loooove.

My band used to do a live cover of Madonna's old song "Burning Up" - her best track in my humble opinion. I finally uploaded a video of us playing it at the Rickshaw Stop last year. Enjoy!

Now what should our next cover be?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"And you can sing along..."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dear Tim Gunn,

I want a makeover too. I am tired of owning 800 t-shirts and no "nice clothes" and this weekend when I was in Chicago I saw all these kids waiting in line to see some awful band called "My Bleeding Emo Heart Full of Crap" or something and they all had on black hoodies and jeans like me even though mine is also polka-dotted.

Come help me. You can bring Veronica Webb but I already know I have cute underwear and it's not like she could take me bra shopping.

xoxoxo Chris

P.S. Do not, under any circumstances, bring your friend the "life stylist" with you or so help me I will rip his entrails out with my bare hands. He is so fucking annoying and I'm glad he was not on your last episode!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Do you want to watch the Internet completely eat it's own ass?

Then watch this:

Seriously, it creates this like, space time continuum of gem sweaters and dancing hamsters and lolcats and allyourbasearebelongtous and everything else and just sucks it into it's gaping, tear-stained, teenage maw. How can anyone ever top this complete and utter bat-shittery?!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Fuck girls only WW shirts.

Fuck girls only WW shirts
Originally uploaded by ohnochriso
Sometimes I am totally annoyed by gendered clothing. Not so much that there are clothes cut for people who are born with male bodies or cut for people who are born with female bodies. I understand the inherent differences and I am not so much of a maroon that I think such differences should never be highlighted in clothing. What bothers me is how certain things that occur in clothing - especially when it comes to color and iconography - get so intensely gendered.

Like this Wonder Woman t-shirt for example. Why in the hell does this shirt only come in a cut that generally suits someone female-bodied (not to mention female bodied and only of a certain size)? Or, at the very least, tiny-male bodied? It's 2007 and yet we still have to adhere to the notion that only women would want to own a fucking Wonder Woman shirt? Seriously? Even in the Castro?? I mean, how dated and ass-backwards is that?! I hate that almost the only time you ever see any kind of female iconography on male clothing it's in a total T-n-A/pinup girl kind of way - where women are sexualized and therefore can be worn by a heterosexual male without anyone questioning his sexuality? Clearly, he wants a shirt with a woman with BIG BEWBS on it so he can, I don't know, jerk off to it when he looks in the mirror or something.

It's just ludicrous to me that an item of clothing like this shirt is so relegated and so gendered. It can't come in multiple cuts and styles? The people who manufacture it are SO ignorant that they don't consider that a single male consumer would want to own it also? Fuck. That. Bullshit.

And don't even get me started on color. I've seen some strides made recently where men are allowed to bust out of the usual black/dark blue/gray/every earth tone palette that so many of my brethren (both gay and otherwise) lock themselves into. But I still can't wear a fucking pink hoodie without some suburban fuckstain yelling "FAG" at me out of the window of his mother's SUV. Seriously? You're still relegating color to gender? Do you also think that women need to stop wearing pants and voting so much? How archaic can you get?

The t-shirt in question is so me it's not even funny. Except it won't ever be me unless I wake up a tiny twink tomorrow morning. Perish the thought!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hey Artists: Draw Stephanie Brown!!

Here is a link to the site all about Stephanie Brown (a.k.a. Spoiler [Wikipedia entry]) who briefly became the only female Robin in DC comics regular continuity before she was tortured and killed and appallingly not honored with a memorial case in the Batcave as all the other Robins had been in the past.

Illustrator and cartoonist Dean Trippe is challenging artists to share their renditions of Stephanie Brown and the list of participants is already growing. So join in, it's fun! If I could draw to save my life I would totally contribute. Instead I will just admire and praise. Yay! Go!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Opinions & Observations

I am so tired of smelling pee everywhere I go in this city.

Opinions & Observations

Bears sure do like a lot of attention, don't they? (And no, I don't mean the animal kind.)

Opinions & Observations

When I meet someone who says they have watched Absolutely Fabulous and/or French and Saunders and they say it's not funny my estimation of them as a person severely plummets.

Opinions & Observations

The word "diva" cannot be dropped from our cultural lexicon soon enough.

Opinions & Observations

I think the advent of people being able to comment on things on the Internet has greatly contributed to me thinking a lot of people are idiotic.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Revengs vs. Retritubtion

I think it's safe to say that yelling "FAG" out the window at a fag in San Francisco is like yelling "WHITE LADY" at a white woman walking down the street. You're probably 100% correct in your assertion but it's like shooting fish in a barrel - no challenge and less reward. Is someone going to admire you for your astute observational skills? Is there a Master of the Obvious trophy somewhere that you're hotly competing for? Because otherwise I can't understand why you'd bother to verbalize such a blatant fact at me as you ride in the passenger side of what seems likely to be your mother's SUV.

Oh, right, it's because you want to make me feel like shit or possibly even scared.

Funny thing, that. I think fear is the lowest emotion on the totem pole that comes up for me in such an instance. More often than not it's a fire engine red combination or rage, hatred and violent fantasies of smashing the shouter's face into a bloody, bruised pulp. The response might have been more fear-tinged if that same word hadn't been accompanied by the fists of some drunken, white boy, meathead asshole when I was in a Burger King at age 17. But thanks to that lovely experience it's more often than not a tidal wave of violent anger that sweeps over me when someone decides to shout at me like that. And the thing is, if your potentially parentally-driven SUV hadn't started pulling away just as I turned around to shout "EXCUSE ME?!" at your face peering out the open window, I might not be sitting here right now typing this out. In my fantasy, I would be in the downstairs work bathroom washing the blood from your busted nose off of my hands.

I have struggled a lot with issues of anger and rage in response to situations like this and others that seem unrelated but really aren't, in the long run. I know that violence is not a solution to anything. I know that revenge is not going to erase any pain or suffering I've endured and that retribution, although a longer process to undergo, is ultimately going to be more helpful and personally satisfying. But right now? Right now I find myself having a hard time believing that someone who says shit like that to another queer person, someone who tries to hurt us or scare us or victimize us deserves to learn first fucking hand what it feels like to be on the receiving end. That the only way someone like you - little spoiled, rich, suburban, white boy - can change is if you learn that fucking with a faggot means you get your fucking face bashed in.

So I'm writing this here instead of chasing down your SUV and doing just that. Let's hope I have a recent therapy visit under my belt the next time you decide to try and tell me who I am.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Kristin Hersh is still my hero.

She totally nails so many things I've been thinking of in regards to my life playing music in her latest blog post over at Throwing

I've spent a lot of time lately worrying about the future of my band and what it means to love doing this as much as I do but realizing it is highly unlikely it will ever make us a ton of money to live off of. Or even a modest amount of money to live off of. I will always love playing music, that is undeniable. But I will not always love working some shitty job to make the money I need to live my life day to day while what I truly love doing gets constantly put on the back burner. Or the back, back burner. When I worry about it my thoughts tend to be of the variety that my band could never have the kind of mainstream success necessary to Make It. We're all in our early 30s which is not ancient but it's not exactly youth-marketable. 2 of us are gay but we're not the fucking Scissor Sisters so we can't be marketed as some campy, gay confection that makes everyone who listens to it feel really safe. And while a bunch of people have said our music is "so catchy" and "should totally be on the radio" we're not nearly generic and soulless enough to actually make it there.

But lately I've been wondering if any of that shit should even be a goal. Reading Kristing Hersh's blog post really tickled that idea some more. Why is it about playing the game the normal way? Why is it about pressing our faces to the glass of one concept of success and just sighing and wishing we could get in? It is a really sad and funless position to be in and I think it's starting to hurt my fucking back, always bending over to peer through the cracks into Their World. I need to focus on our world and everything we can do with it.

I don't have any quick answers yet and maybe it's naive of me to think there's actually some "alternative" (ah, remember when that word meant something other than the kind of music that gets sold to kids who shop at Hot Topic?) But I can't believe that the only solution is to get tarted up like Rilo Kiley on the cover of Spin magazine, throw a glossy sheen on every song and pray that enough people buy it that I don't need to go back to my day job. Here's to fucking finding that other path.