All posts by Arturo

Open Thread: Beyocalypsé Now

By Arturo R. García

While we were sleeping, Beyoncé was not. Gaga may have Artpop, but B just made an art of the drop.

In case you missed it or just checked your Twitter feed, Beyoncé released an entire album out of the blue (Ivy), though it’s only available on iTunes until Dec. 21.

But the self-titled album was also accompanied by a “visual album” — basically, she went out and shot videos for every track and released snippets of those on YouTube. For my money, “Pretty Hurts” is already the best dramatic trailer we’re not going to see in theaters this Christmas, “Blow” is a spot-on disco homage/future mashup favorite and somebody’s already seizing on “Partition” to write a think-piece about how Miley Cyrus is MOAR FEMINIST than Beyoncé.

We’ll put some more of the video clips up under the cut and invite you to give your thoughts on those or the album as a whole under the cut.

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Open Thread: Scandal S03 E09: ‘YOLO’

By Arturo R. García

Olivia (Kerry Washington) contemplates her next move — if she can even find one.

As Scandal heads into its winter break, we saw just about everybody snatch defeat from the jaws of victory — and sure enough, one apparent fatality, just an unforeseen one.

SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT
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Voices: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Front page, The Sowetan newspaper, Soweto, South Africa. Image via Lydia Polgreen.

African men want to have their wives and children to live with them where they work, and not be forced into an unnatural existence in men’s hostels. African women want to be with their menfolk and not be left permanently widowed in the reserves. Africans want to be allowed out after 11 o’clock at night and not to be confined to their rooms like little children. Africans want to be allowed to travel in their own country and to seek work where they want to and not where the labour bureau tells them to. Africans want a just share in the whole of South Africa; they want security and a stake in society.

Above all, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on colour, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one colour group by another. The ANC has spent half a century fighting against racialism. When it triumphs it will not change that policy.

This then is what the ANC is fighting. Their struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by their own suffering and their own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live. During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

- Nelson Mandela, during the first day of his trial on charges of sabotage, April 20, 1964.

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The Scandal Mid-Season Finale Prediction Thread

By Arturo R. García

We’re scared to look, too, Liv.

Since we didn’t have a first-run episode of Scandal last week — something about a holiday? — this is a good time to stop and cast our best guesses for this coming Thursday’s mid-season finale. A few questions to get us started, based on our last visit with our group of antiheroes and villains:

  • We got the first glimpse of the reunion between Olivia and Mrs. Pope. Will we finally get to hear what she could have done to “merit” being thrown in a secret underground prison — by her husband?
  • Cyrus’ plan to offer up James as bait for a scandal seems to have worked too well. Even if James didn’t fall into the arms of Daniel Langston, what’s the fallout likely to be? And how much does Sally know about her husband’s activities?
  • Quinn earned her burn notice less than a week after becoming a spy. Worst of all, now she’s apparently going to be on the wrong end of a Huck interrogation. What’s the odds Charlie intercedes and sets up a fight for the soul of “Robin”?
  • To the chagrin of most of America, Fitz made his biggest pitch yet for keeping Olivia — her own White Hat House out in the boonies. Problem for him is, Mellie knows (if not about the house, then about their latest tryst). How willing is Mellie to upend his re-election bid by arranging for Olivia to join the team?
  • Who’s the clubhouse favorite for the death pool this season? My money’s still on Harrison, given the sudden amount of attention he’s been getting, with Jake a close second; somebody will have to “pay a price” for all this B613 business.

Racializens, the floor is yours. How do you see this show taking us into the winter break?

Open Thread: Scandal S03 E08: ‘Vermont is for Lovers, Too’

By Arturo R. García

Olivia (Kerry Washington) and Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) indulge in a shared future for one night.

Score this round for the (relatively) good guys.

In the last episode before the winter finale, we saw the pieces begin to move. While Olivia and Fitz’s dalliance in the house revealed just how far Fitz’s obsession flame went — not to mention how badly he seems to want out of politics — the duo also came to an understanding, if not an outright alliance. Each would do what they had to do to unravel Eli and B613.

And now the wildest card of all has landed on Olivia’s doorstep.
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Undo Process: The Racialicious Review For Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor

By Arturo R. García

The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith, left) and the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) find themselves confronted by their past in “The Day Of The Doctor.”

On Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary, Steven Moffat decided to give the Doctor a birthday gift. But as with all things Moffat, it comes with strings attached.

SPOILERY-WOILERY UNDER THE CUT. And since enough of us here watch the show (often despite itself), call this a weekend special.
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Open Thread: Scandal S03 E07: ‘Everything’s Coming Up Mellie’

By Arturo R. García

“Scandal” attempted to give Mellie (Bellamy Young) a backstory this week, to unpleasant results.

SPOILERS AND TRIGGER WARNING FOR THIS POST

It’s possible Shonda Rhimes, writer Peter Nowalk and the Scandal creative team intended for Mellie to dominate the water-cooler talk after this episode, and explicitly set out to “out-do” not just Quinn’s descent into B613′s clutches, but the confirmation that Olivia’s mother is still alive and Fitz’s realization that Olivia’s father is the man atop B613.

It’s also apparent that they succeeded. But not without going to a highly questionable place.

Again, TRIGGER WARNING for subject matter under the cut.
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Race + Comics: On Ms. Marvel And Protecting Young Superheroes

By Arturo R. García

There’s a lot to root for in Marvel’s new Ms. Marvel series, which is already garnering buzz for starring a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager in her own solo series.

But, the book won’t formally launch until February 2014, which opens it up to a recurring problem with Marvel: history shows that the company’s efforts stop at gathering that buzz when it comes to its young superheroes — particularly those of color.
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