If Dan Slott were a plumber

Dan Slott posted something on Twitter I thought was interesting. He said his Twitter account is his personal account, that’s why he uses it to post about politics and other divisive issues.

Dan Slott blocked me on Twitter for following Diversity & Comics. At least that’s what I assume.  A lot of people who follow D&C can’t follow Dan Slott or even read is tweets. We’ve all been blocked. If I want to read a Dan Slott tweet, I have to fire up Firefox, not log into Twitter, and go to his Twitter feed. Since I normally use Google Chrome, it automatically logs me into Twitter.

Dan Slott is wrong

If Dan Slott were a plumber and not one of Marvel Comics’ top writers, he wouldn’t be able to tweet from a verified account. You see the fancy blue check mark next to his name? That means he’s been verified by Twitter. The Twitter blue check mark is a badge of privilege and honor. You only get a Twitter verified account check mark if you’re famous and deemed worthy by the folks who run Twitter.

If Dan Slott were a plumber - Bent Corner
If Dan Slott were a plumber

Milo Yiannopoulos, the obnoxious conservative writer formerly from Breitbart, had a Twitter account. Twitter shut it down because he posted mean things about Saturday Night Live actress Leslie Jones. Before Twitter gave him the boot, he had a verified account and then he didn’t. Twitter removed the verified account check mark from Milo Yiannopoulos’ account to punish him. I think he was mean to someone else before being mean to Leslie Jones. I don’t remember what it was or who it was against. I’m feeling too lazy right now to look it up on Ask Jeeves.

If the Twitter blue check mark was, in fact, a tool for verification, why then would Twitter punish Milo Yiannopoulos by taking it away?

If Dan Slott were a plumber, he wouldn’t have a blue check mark next to his name. His Twitter account would have just as much clout and privilege as every other Twitter account. In other words, it would have no clout and no privilege. If he wanted a large follower count, he’d have to build it the old-fashioned way, by posting interesting content.

If Dan Slott were a plumber - Bent Corner

Because he’s a top writer for Marvel Comics, he automatically garners followers. People follow Dan Slott because they’re interested in the books he writes.

How does Dan Slott use this privilege given to him because of who he works for? By posting stuff you’d expect to see in the comment section over at Daily Kos. What’s even worse is all the retweeting he does. It’s bad enough to read his political opinions, it’s even worse to read the opinions of others.

Did you know Dan Slott doesn’t like Donald Trump?

We get it. Dan Slott doesn’t like Donald Trump. If we all agree to this as a stipulation of fact, can he then move on and use his verified Twitter account to talk about the comics he writes? The verified Twitter account with a Spider-Man logo as the avatar?

If you’re a comic book professional and you’re doing things correctly, I should have no idea what political ideals you hold. Comic books, when done right, are a form of escapism. Comic books allow the people to take a break from the real world and enjoy a few minutes of entertainment.

If Dan Slott wants a personal Twitter account, he should create one. He could use it to post his political opinions. People who are interested in his fresh takes on Trump could then follow that personal Twitter account. He then could use his verified Twitter account to post about his books and the books of other comic book professionals. He should also stop blocking people from his verified Twitter account.

How can you promote your work to someone you’ve blocked?

The Social Justice Comics Code of Approval

One of the problems with buying comic books these days is figuring out if the book is upholding the ideas and virtues of social justice. Does the book feature any characters from a marginalized group? Are any of the book’s creators from a marginalized group?

I realized the comic book industry needs a way of notifying the customer of a book’s social justice credentials when I noticed a stack of America comics at a local comic book shop.

At first glance, I assumed America was about a Donald Trump supporter.

I thought the book’s title was a nod to the Make America Great Again hat Donald Trump supporters love to wear.  I thought there were three other books, Make, Great, and Again. Lay all four books next together and they would spell out Donald Trump’s moto.

The book’s title was one-fourth of a Donald Trump hat.

It turned out I could not have been wrong.

America is about America Chavez, a very awesome college student raised by two mothers from an alternate universe. She’s Latina and gay, quite a spicy combination!

Even though America Chavez is oozing legitimate social justice cred, it’s hard to get this point across to comic readers. It could be the reason sales of the book have been so low. Not only do comic readers today want social justice in their funny books, they want lots of it.

The Social Justice Comics Code of Approval

I’m proposing the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval. It would appear on comic books that meet the criteria of social justice. A comic would either feature characters in line with social justice principles or the creators of the book would need to represent social justice in the real world. Books that meet either one of these tests will get the seal.

This is what the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval seal would look like:

 

America would earn the right to display the seal of the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval. Not only does the book’s main character check off many social justice checkboxes, so does the book’s writer, Gabby Rivera. She is lesbian and a Puerto Rican from the Bronx.

First-time comics writer Gabby Rivera.

Not only is the book’s writer a queer Puerto Rican, I think I read on Reddit one of the assistant inkers is bisexual. At least she was in college. Evidently, she and some friends got hammered on Jägermeister. Her friends dared her to open-mouth kiss another girl for ten seconds. She accepted the challenge. At least she thinks she did. That night is still a little fuzzy for her. This just goes to show you that it’s better to drink milkshakes, not Jägermeister. Not because of the girl-on-girl kissing, but because she can’t remember that night very well.

If America featured the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval, I’m almost certain it would not be hovering at the cancellation level of sales.

America monthly sales to comics shops

America #1 – 43,592
America #2 – 23,987
America #3 – 16,262
America #4 – 12,624
America #5 – 11,354
America #6 – 9,548
America #7 – 9,137

If Marvel doesn’t do something, by this time next year, sales of America will be lower than Cocktails & Mixology by Bill Cosby. Adding the Social Justice Comics Code of Approval to the America‘s cover will go a long way to increase sales.

What good is making a comic book steeped in social justice awesomeness if comic readers don’t know about it.

I wish Donald Trump played more golf

Chris Evans, the actor who played caucasian Johnny Storm in the first two Fantastic Four movies and Captain America in all the Marvel Studios movies, seems to have a problem with Donald Trump playing so much golf during his presidency.

From Twitter:


I guess Chris Evans wishes Donald Trump was hard at work in the White House, implementing the ideas that got him elected.

I think Donald Trump is the worst president we’ve ever had. When it comes to golf, I wish he was playing more of it, not less. I wish Donald Trump was playing 36 holes a day, seven days a week, four weeks a month, and 12 months a year. The more time Donald Trump spends playing gold, the less time he’ll have to implement his terrible ideas. If he spent more time whacking golf balls, he’d have less time to call Gold Star widows and making them cry.

The more time Donald Trump plays golf, the better

For the sake of our country, the more time Donald Trump plays golf, the better.

If I had the money, I’d buy gift certificates to various golf courses and send them to Trump. If I had that Captain America money pouring in, I’d do just that. I’d shower Trump with golf course gift certificates and encourage him to go out and enjoy himself.

I hate Donald Trump. The less time he spends in the Oval Office, the better.

John Scalzi blames writing problems on Donald Trump

Hugo award-winning writer John Scalzi shared in a blog post that he has a bit of writer’s block. He is currently working on Head On, a novel coming out next year. He’s having a hard time getting the words out. Luckily, he’s figured out the problem: Donald Trump.

From his post:

I’m not trying to be mysterious about what it is about 2017 that is different. The answer is obvious: Trump is president, and he’s a peevish bigoted incompetent surrounded by the same, and he’s wreaking havoc on large stretches of the American experience, both in his own person and by the chaos he invites.

Donald Trump is an incompetent ignoramus

I agree Trump is incompetent. For me, that’s his best characteristic. No matter what he tries to accomplish as president, he fails. If Trump wasn’t such an ignoramus, he’d be able to change things. Becuase he’s failed over and over again to change anything, life under Trump doesn’t feel any different than it did under Obama.

John Scalzi continued:

Here’s one way to put it: Twelve years ago, when Hurricane Katrina hit and the US Government flubbed its response and hundreds died, I was so angry and upset that I almost vomited in sadness and anger. It’s not an exaggeration, by the way — I literally felt like throwing up for a couple days straight. I eventually had to write “Being Poor” because it was either do that or go crazy. That was a week of feeling generally awful, and it wrecked me for another week after that. It took two weeks for me to get back on track with the novel I was writing at the time.

Got it? Okay, listen: 2017 has been me feeling like I felt when Katrina hit every single fucking month of this year.

Nothing compares to Hurricane Katrina

That’s just not rational. Hurricane Katrina was a terrible, horrible thing. To say that every month in 2017 has felt like Hurricane Katrina trivializes Hurricane Katrina. Comparing anything to a disaster that cost over  1,200 of our fellow Americans their lives dishonors those lives.

John Scalzi continued:

Because, well. Pick a month, guys. Every month of 2017 has been a treat. Travel bans, white supremacists marching, awful health care repeals that just wouldn’t die, and not one, not two, but three historically massive hurricanes and the scouring of Puerto Rico. Russia. Fucking Russia, man. Not to mention Spicer, Scaramucci, Flynn, Price, Bannon, Gorka and the rest of that ridiculous cast. Any one of those is enough to get me (and not just me, lots of people) spun up and distracted. And it’s not just any one of these things. It’s that all of these things keep on happening. When you’re already spun up, it doesn’t take all that much more energy to stay spun up and distracted.

How does banning foreigners from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen from traveling to the United States negatively affect John Scalzi’s life? If he allows something like this to spin him up and distract him, that’s on him.

If white supremacists march and nobody is there to hear them, do they make a sound?

The same applies to white supremacists marching. Big deal. These people make up a micro-fraction of our society. If John Scalzi allows himself to get worked up because they march in public holding tiki torches, then that’s on him.

We live in a free society where people have a right to speech. That includes speech most people find reprehensible and icky. With that said, just because someone has a right to say something doesn’t mean I have to listen to it. That’s what I do with speech I don’t like or speech I know I’m not going to like, I don’t listen to it. It works for me.

Did I mention Donald Trump is incompetent?

Why does John Scalzi allow the fact that Trump has gone through so many cabinet members to spin him up and distract him? Trump is incompetent. He has a problem surrounding himself with competent people. Each time someone in the Trump administration resigns or is fired, the ability to replace that person with a competent individual gets even harder. Why would any competent, capable person want to work for Donald Trump? My advice to John Scalzi is to get used to this. This revolving door of advisors and cabinet members will continue as long as Trump is president.

John Scalzi, you need help

My final piece of advice to John Scalzi is this: seek mental health help. The way you’re processing things is not normal. It’s not rational. You should have sought help after Katrina, but what’s done is done. You need help brother. There’s nothing wrong with seeking mental health help. I recommend finding a psychiatrist and a therapist. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication, something I think you need. I’m currently taking antidepressants and antianxiety medication. I listen to a lot of Enya music. This seems to be helping me. It would probably help you too.

A therapist can talk you through your feelings and emotions and try to help you find more productive ways of processing them. Finding a good psychiatrist is fairly easy, finding a good therapist, not so much. The sooner you work at finding a therapist, the sooner you’ll find a good one.

Why not start now?

White House to add border security to any law replacing DACA

The Trump administration released a list of priorities that need to be included into any law replacing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Obama executive order. From CNN:

The Trump administration has asked lawmakers to include tough border security and immigration enforcement measures in any deal to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that the administration is ending. Those measures include provisions to make it harder for unaccompanied minors to enter the country illegally, money for the President’s border wall and cuts to legal immigration.

Executive order versus a law

DACA is not a law. It is an executive order put in place by Barack Obama. Since we already have laws that govern immigration, laws passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by a president, I’ve never understood how an executive order could take precedence. There’s no denying that an executive order has power. It just doesn’t have as much power as a law.

Donald Trump is an idiot

White House to add border security to any law replacing DACA - Bent Corner

I don’t like Donald Trump and I didn’t vote for him. I think he’s an ignoramus. I loathe him on a very personal level. With that said, even a broken clock is right twice a day. I understand where he’s coming from on this. We as a people agree bringing children here illegally is a pretty rotten thing to do. How then can we complain when steps are taken to make it more difficult to do just that?

It seems like the moral thing to do, especially considering how businesses rely on this steady flow of illegal child immigration to build their businesses.

If we cannot use the law to stop these businesses from benefiting from illegal child labor, then we need to try harder to keep these children from being brought here in the first place. That means tougher security on our southern border. That even means building a wall.

Why build a wall?

White House to add border security to any law replacing DACA - Bent Corner
The future giant ice wall of Texas.

The benefit of a wall is that it’s immune from future executive orders or the future nonenforcement of existing laws. Build a massive wall on the southern border and people cannot come here illegally.

It’s physics. If you build a wall, illegal immigrants cannot come here. American companies then cannot build their workforce using illegal immigrants willing to accept lower wages than what citizens are demanding.

American companies will have to hire American citizens and pay wages in line with our economy.

There is a reason wages have been stagnant in this country for decades. Immigration, both illegal and legal, has been a big factor. Why pay an American citizen a prevailing wage when you can bring a cheaper worker here on an H-1B visa? Once you hire them, it’s not like they could ever quit and go work somewhere else for more money. They are indentured to the business that secured the H-1B visa.

I’m not in favor of building a wall. Building a wall seems like it would take a lot of work and a lot of money. It makes more economic sense to enforce existing immigration laws. Enforcing existing law seems like it would require a lot less work.

When people are discovered living and working here illegally, it’s better to enforce the exisitng law and just deport them back to their country of origin. If the American people don’t like this, they can pressure lawmakers to change the existing law. They can pass new laws that don’t include forced deportation. If lawmakers refuse to do this, the American people can then elect new lawmakers.

I am no longer a Democrat

This is the way our system is supposed to work. Lawmakers should be answerable to their constituents. They should pass laws that benefit their constituents. Lawmakers should not pass laws that go against the best interests of their constituents. The Democrats are failing to do that. If you didn’t know better, you’d think Democrats were representing people who are here illegally, not American citizens. It’s one of the reasons I left the Democratic party and registered as unaffiliated before the 2016 Presidental election.

I still voted for Hillary Clinton. I didn’t vote for her because I thought she would make a good president, I voted for her because she was the lesser of two evils. I not only voted for her, I stood in line to do so.

Joe Glass declares war on YouTube channel Diversity & Comics

Joe Glass, a comic book writer and journalist at Bleeding Cool, is trying to shut down the YouTube channel Diversity & Comics. He is also trying to shut down the Diversity & Comics Patreon account.

Remember when the comic book community valued free speech?

Joe Glass knows about harassment

Here’s a tweet he posted on Sunday, the same day he tried to report Diversity & Comics to YouTube:

He was commenting on a photo of guys wearing Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” hats. In Joe Glass’ world, this makes them serial rapists and guys who cannot get dates. That sounds like harassment to me.

Leave Diversity & Comics alone

I wish Joe Glass and everyone else would just leave Diversity & Comics alone. You don’t like his content? Fine, then don’t watch his videos. It’s a big world. There’s room enough for everyone. You don’t have to try to de-platform him. I probably wouldn’t enjoy the comics Joe Glass creates, The Pride, but I would never try to get his books removed from the public marketplace. It wouldn’t even occur to me.

I just wouldn’t read them.

I enjoy the Diversity & Comics videos and I want them to continue, and I voted for Hillary Clinton twice. I may not agree with Diversity & Comics on everything, but I don’t think that’s a requirement.