The Frightening or Promising Future of Robots?

Alex and Ada — story about a man named Alex who lives in some type of alternate or futuristic universe where robots are under human’s rule programmed with no feelings other than to obey the owner. Alex wants to free Ada because he is uncomfortable with the idea that she has no personality.

I feel that initially, Alex wanted Ada’s freedom for his own benefit, but ends up wanting the best for Ada. I say this because Alex had recently gone through a devastating breakup which leads him into a life of loneliness and isolation. His grandma, who has a robot boyfriend, finds that having a robot makes her feel less lonely so she gifts Alex with a robot of his own. After contemplation, he keeps her, never explaining why.

To my interpretation, he wants to fill the void that his ex left with someone, even if the company is paid for. To my surprise, he never did have sex with her nor did he get touchy-feely, he always asked her opinion, knowing she didn’t have one. In simple words, I like Alex. He wants her freedom, but I thought it was a way to be with her in more than a paid relationship type of way.

I think the author tries to show the development of their relationship in that way: Alex wants Ada to have a personality before he can truly love her and vice versa. But.. there is something haunting about the robot from the robotic world’s warning. He or she (I don’t know whether he/she is a boy or girl) tells Alex risks losing Ada because she could leave if she wanted. A part of me believes that if or when they have a fight, Ada will run away and that could ultimately lead to more trouble. As per usual, here are a few things I like and don’t like about the comic.

Likes:

  1. As mentioned before, Alex cares about Ada’s opinion

I like this especially because Ada has no opinion showing that Alex really does want more than just company, thus making me change my mind about what I thought earlier on his intentions of selfish needs.

2. It doesn’t have any scenes of love yet

Not that I’m an anti-romantic person, I just believe that love takes time and it would be unrealistic if all of a sudden, Alex and Ada started to fall for each other.

3. The last page

The last page has a very powerful image of Alex and Ada walking out of the shack, without holding hands with the background being a sunrise or sunset. It’s a very powerful scene and captivates me as to what will happen next between them.

Dislikes:

  1. The alternate universe that Alex finds to help Ada

Maybe it’s because I need to go back and reread this part, but I don’t understand what and how Alex found this alternate location. Why do they have this place if they didn’t want anybody to find it? Why don’t they just completely eradicate any robots that have free thinking?

Hopefully, I can receive some answers soon. Enjoy the comic. As for me, I give it 8.5 out of 10 robots. 😀

Move Along Batman

Ms. Marvel — story about a Pakistani American teenager named Kamala Khan who wants to fit in with other kids, but when that fails, she wishes that she was a hero like one of her favorite heroes, Captain Marvel. When she gets her wish, she saves people and becomes instantly known. She faces struggles with her family, her long time friend, Bruno, and loses her identity along the way. I chose to read this comic above others mainly because of Ms. Marvel’s background. I’m so proud that a brown, Muslim female was able to become a comic hero. Kamala goes against cultural norms, she shows readers that girls shouldn’t have to follow a set path that was created by someone else, and that women can change the world.

There are many things I like about this comic that I want to talk about in this post:

1. Kamala doesn’t wear a hijab

I say I like this mainly because I feel like the author is representing the American Muslims. Many people think that if she isn’t wearing a hijab, it’s not authentic. In fact, 5-15% of American female Muslims don’t wear hijabs, therefore, if Kamala wore a hijab, it would be less authentic than if she did

2. Her best friend is a boy

Typically, being friends with a boy if you’re Muslim is so ludicrous mainly because it says in the Qur’an (Holy Book) that when a boy and girl are alone together, Shaytaan (the devil) is also there. So, the fact that her best friend is a boy shows how contemporary the book and the characters are. I also like how their friendship doesn’t amount to anything (yet) in the book. I hope that in future volumes that their relationship won’t escalate. In most movies where a guy and a girl who are main characters are friends, they usually end up together. It would be nice to see two main, different gendered characters just remain friends.

3. The Mosque scene

There’s a scene where there is a partition between the boys and girls in a mosque, and Kamala says she doesn’t know why they’re divided when Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) didn’t divide by gender. I liked this because it was daring/risky. Many Muslims believe that women and men should be separated due to temptation, distraction, etc. But I believe that if you’re in God’s house, you’re there for a reason i.e. not for flirting. So when Kamala says this, it shows how powerful and independent she is.

Here are some things I didn’t like about the comic:

  1. The Given Powers scene

For someone who isn’t a comic savvy, I had no idea that tarragon dust was a thing. The way her powers were given was ominous and I would’ve never understood it if it weren’t for my teacher. We should have been given a better explained reason within the first volume.

2. Her uniform

I liked the dupatta (scarf) flair to her costume which represented her culture, but what I didn’t like was that the costume was very similar to Captain Marvel’s. I wanted Kamala’s to be more different mainly because of her self-realization: that she was her own person and she shouldn’t be hiding behind a fake persona. If the uniform had a better look to it, I would be more satisfied.

3. She didn’t tell her parents

I didn’t like the fact that she didn’t come clean to her parents about her powers. It might happen in future volumes, but it would be interesting to get closure with her parents. I guess that’s how you get readers coming back.

I hope that if and when you read Ms. Marvel, you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

😀

Ke$ha’s Producer Produces a Scandal

Imagine this: You go to work in a state of anxiety, worried about entering the building in safety, worried about how your income is decreasing, how your life has been changed in a bad way. Most of your adulthood has been living in fear due to the presence of a co-worker.

This is the type of life Kesha Rose Sebert (stage name: Ke$ha) has been living for 11 years. When Kesha was 18 years old, her virginity was taken by Luke Gottwald (goes by Dr. Luke), her 31 year old producer at the time. Dr. Luke allegedly took Kesha to a birthday party for Paris Hilton’s younger sister, Nicky Hilton. At some point, he gave her a drug that caused her to black out. Kesha’s lawyers claim that when he raped her, he threatened to ruin her career if she told anyone. Kesha and Dr. Luke are in the midst of an ongoing lawsuit. On Friday, February 19, a New York court denied her bid for a preliminary injunction. For those of you who don’t understand law jargon, preliminary injunction means an injunction entered by a court prior to a final determination of the merits of a legal case, in order to restrain a party from going ahead with a course of conduct or compelling a party to continue with a course of conduct until the case has been decided (courtesy of Google). Here is the famous picture of Kesha during the court hearing,

Although what we see is what we want to believe, there is also the other side of spectrum. Last month, PEOPLE magazine obtained a video from a source close to Luke of a 2011 deposition in which Kesha said “Dr. Luke never made sexual advances at me.” (Kesha’s attorney, Mark Geragos, reissued a statement, calling the leaked testimony “a pathetic attempt to once again blame his victim.”)

She also claims he once physically attacked her at his Malibu house, forcing her to flee barefoot down a coastal highway littered with broken glass. Kesha claims the abuse caused her to suffer from depression and bulimia nervosa so debilitating that she entered in-patient rehab in January.

According to Kelly Clarkson, who has worked with Dr. Luke previously, Dr. Luke isn’t a good character, “He’s a talented dude but he’s just lied a lot,” she said. “I’ve run into a couple really bad situations. Musically, it’s been really hard for me because he will just lie to people. It’s like ‘What?’ It makes the artist look bad. He’s difficult to work with, kind of demeaning, it’s kind of unfortunate. People are like well you’ve worked with Max [Martin] and Luke and I’m like Max and Luke are very different. Obviously the dude is a talented guy but character-wise, no. I only worked with him – even the last time I worked with him – because literally I got blackmailed by my label. They were like we will not put your album out if you don’t do this.” (Quote courtesy of the EW article)

Here’s what Dr. Luke had to say about all this:

“Until now I haven’t commented on the lawsuits, which should be resolved in court not here on Twitter. It’s a shame that there’s so much speculation out there basing itself on so little information. The only truly objective person who knows the facts is the judge. The judge did not rule in Kesha’s favor on Friday. I understand why people without all the information are speaking out. I can appreciate their compassion. But lives can get ruined when there’s a rush to judgment before all the facts come out. Look what happened at UVA, Duke etc. of course any sane person is against rape and sexual assault but everybody who is commenting is doing so without knowledge or facts. They are getting behind an allegation only – motivated by money. I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister. Kesha has denied under oath the horrible allegations now being made against me. Here is the testimony:

 

Mark Geragos (kesha’s attorney) represented Scott Peterson and Chris Brown. How can he pretend he cares about women’s rights? I have 3 sisters, a daughter, and a son with my girlfriend, and a feminist mom who raised me right. It’s sad that she would turn a contract negotiation into something so horrendous and untrue.But I feel confident when this is over the lies will be exposed and the truth will prevail..” – Dr Luke

Numerous celebrities, from Lady Gaga to Demi Lovato to Taylor Swift to Lena Dunham, have shown their support for Kesha with tweets.

Lena Dunham: “I think about young girls today — I don’t want my future daughter — or your future daughter — or any person to be afraid that they will be punished if they speak out about being abused, especially if their abuser is in a position of power,” she wrote. “Unfortunately I don’t think that my case is giving people who have been abused confidence that they can speak out, and that’s a problem.”

Demi Lovato: “#FreeKesha (trending tweet regarding Kesha’s court case) this is only gonna make you stronger, you brave and beautiful girl. Prayers are with you @KeshaRose. Frustrating to see women come forward with their past only to be shot down, not believed & disrespected for their bravery in taking action. Happens way too. I’m ready for women to be taken just as seriously as men.. Someone tell me why anyone would ever feel brave enough to come forward if they are most likely to be ignored or called a liar. I’m also ready for self-proclaimed feminists to start speaking out or taking action for women’s rights.Women empowerment is speaking up for other women even when it’s something uncomfortable to speak up about. Women empowerment is using your voice to help the voiceless women be heard. Women empowerment is taking action now, not when it’s convenient. Women empowerment is leading other women to make actual changes in our society. Women empowerment is tweeting at 2:30 am knowing the consequences of these tweets and not giving a single fuck. Okay I’m really tired.. Going to bed. Love you all. #equalityforALL (not just women).”

Taylor Swift gave $250,000 to cover Kesha’s legal fees without saying anything publicly. This act stirred controversy in Demi Lovato’s eyes. Her indrect tweet about Taylor Swift said, “Take something to Capitol Hill or actually speak about something and then I’ll be impressed.” Many fans and bystanders were not happy with Demi, claiming that Demi is making the situation about herself, deviating attention from the real problem at hand. Demi, again, spoke out, “How the fuck am I making this about myself? At least I’m talking about it. Not everyone has 250k to just give to people. Would love to but I didn’t grow up with money and def haven’t made as much as her [referring to Taylor Swift]. At least I speak up about shit that’s uncomfortable to talk about rather than trying to politically correct 24/7. There’s no ‘rivalry’ I just give more fucks than other people and would rather start a dialogue ABOUT WOMEN COMING FORWARD ABOUT BEING RAPED than throw money at one person. I didn’t shade Taylor. If you take it that way then fine. I’m just tired of seeing women use ‘women empowerment’ and ‘feminism’ to further brands without actually being the ones that have the uncomfortable conversations. I get shade and I don’t give a fuck because someone has to be the one to take it. At least I’m getting my hands dirty.” Along with Demi’s long statement, people have also bashed Taylor for publicly announcing the fact that she gave $250,000 to Kesha, believing that if she was really humble or actually cared, she wouldn’t have shared that information to the public.

Lady Gaga: “I think that people should just know that there’s so much more than what meets the eye in a case like that,” said Gaga, 29, who has opened up about being raped at 19 by someone in the industry.” I feel like she’s being very publicly shamed for something that happens in the music industry all the time, to women and men. I just want to stand by her side because I can’t watch another woman that went through what I’ve been through suffer.”

Gaga goes on to say, “We’re going to shake the tree until that leaf that has Kesha on it falls. I care about her,” she said, comparing the music industry to other occupations. “In any other business, if you were to report that anything happened to you to the human resources department, it would be dealt with. But we don’t have a human resources department, we don’t have a union as artists, we’re just fighting for ourselves. If we don’t stick together, our voices just won’t be heard.”

Not only did she say this, she gave a performance dedicated to Kesha about the situation. If you would like to see it, click the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDkEAbOZvYM

Along with that video, I would suggest listening to this haunting song that Kesha created about Dr. Luke that was “accidentally” leaked. The reason it was “accidental” was because if she were to officially release it, the song would have to go past Dr. Luke, who would clearly shut down Kesha’s self expression. Please listen to the entire song, you’ll understand why I described the song as haunting.

Lastly, before you go, here are some questions to think about:

  1. Whose side are you on, Kesha’s or Dr. Luke’s?

I know there isn’t a sufficient amount of evidence for Kesha’s stance, but you wonder, why would she lie about it? She did say that she would continue to work with Sony’s company if they got rid of Dr. Luke… She has money, so there’s no practical reason other than she was raped.

2. If you had a high platform, would do anything to call attention to the situation? If so, what exactly could/would you do?

It’s easy to tell other to speak out about issues, but it could cause them to lose fans because some of these topics are so controversial.

3. Are you on Taylor, Demi, or neither side of the Speaking out argument?

A quick refresher, Taylor didn’t speak out, rather she gave money to cover Kesha’s legal fees, whereas Demi says you should speak out to help millions rather than say nothing and pay one to pay off the issue. Or, are you neither because you would rather focus on the actual issue than have to worry about the other two singers.

And lastly,

4. Do you think that there should be a legal change about rape cases?

There is a huge debate going on currently on changing the legal system when it comes to rape. Do we always believe that alleged victim or do we have to spend time investigating because they might have an ulterior motive?

If you’d like to read more about rape in legal systems:

http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-1504-8-ways-legal-system-screws-rape-victims-like-me.html

Be informed 🙂

Who Ya Gonna Call? Not Feig.

To start this off, you need to know what you are getting into. If you have not seen the new Ghostbusters reboot, here is a link to the trailer.

It is possible that you see this and think:

The common reaction: “Wow, that looks so good! I am so excited to see this reboot.”

The misogynist reaction: “Why would they follow up such an iconic movie with women replacing the originals?”

The misguided reaction: “I love that they are putting women in the reboot, it shows that we are progressing in the era of inequality.”

The cultured reaction: “It is nice that they are trying to progress, but clearly, they still have a period of time till they can.”

If you were any of the reactions above other than the cultured reaction, I am about to change your mind.

Let us start off with the title of this post. For those who do not know, Feig is the director of the reboot. Another thing to get out of the way, what is Ghostbusters about? If you are like me, you did not really care about Ghostbusters until now. Here is a brief summary on the story line of the original Ghostbusters:

After the members of a team of scientists (Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray) lose their cushy positions at a university in New York City, they decide to become “ghostbusters” to wage a high-tech battle with the supernatural for money. They stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, a doorway that will release evil upon the city. The Ghostbusters must now save New York from complete destruction. (Courtesy of Google)

Now that you know the story line we can delve into the stuff that actually matters: why this trailer is controversial.

First off, why is Patty (member of Ghostbusters team, black woman) the only one who lacks scientific knowledge. Some might argue that it is because she plays the security guard, which is true, however, how come a black woman was written as the one who lacks scientific knowledge anyway? Not only that, but according to people who have read the script, Patty only joins the Ghostbusters team for the paycheck. This is just odd to me mainly because yes, a black woman can want to join a team for a paycheck, but it is just outrageous that her character has no depth. Her character is shallow in terms of profundity, her role strictly follows black stereotypes. In the trailer, you can tell that her character is a sassy, loud, lower-class, woman who has the long hooped earrings. She continuously says, “Hell, nah.” This phrase does not seem stereotypical, however, go and watch any movie with a black woman in it and you will find that she says, “Hell, nah,” often.

Strangely, Leslie Jones (actress playing Patty), posted this on Twitter:

“boof have folk thinking I’m invisible, that I’m not a college graduate, and a producer, comedian, writer, actor, etc. I’m a verb. I’m not a college graduate, and a producer, comedian, writer, actor, etc. I’m a verb. I’m not miserable, neck-rolling, stereotype in civil service.” – @lesdoggg

This tweet further supports my claim I made earlier: PATTY HAS NO DEPTH. She is a walking stereotype, and Leslie Jones’s tweets are trying to shed light on the fact that she is not in any way like her character, Patty, and she wants her followers to know that she does not support her own role in the Ghostbusters reboot.

Five minutes later she tweeted again:

“Why can’t a regular person be a ghostbuster. Im confused. And why can’t i be the one who plays them i am a performer. Just go see the movie!” – @lesdoggg

Interpret this any way you wish, but most fans saw it as a way to speak against the awful stereotypes incorporated into the movie.

Some people are saying that by putting Patty into the movie, the directors made her look like an add-on/accessory, therefore objectifying her character.

Speaking of objectifying, Feig did not miss the opportunity to objectify these women at all! What you did not see in the previous trailer I linked was a scene that was incorporated into the International Trailer  (which I have linked below this paragraph). Around 1:40, where Chris Hemsworth (I do not know his character name) is seen as the male assistant, who is asked to create the logo of the new Ghostbusters. He goes on to draw a ghost with boobs, as the speechless women see the logo, he asks if they wanted him to increase the size. It just seems a little ridiculous to me that he put that into the logo in the first place. And I know, many might be thinking right now, “Oh, why are you being so sensitive? He is just trying to be funny.” I am sorry I do not think objectification is funny. It should not matter whether the breast size is big or small, or even there for the matter. Boobs should not be the indicator between a male or a female.

 

If you agreed with any of my previous statements/opinions, you will enjoy the following tweets concerning the trailer of the reboot and how some responded to it:

“Like I’m excited for all-female Ghostbusters. But 3 white ladies & 1 Black woman (stuck w/”street smarts” trope) is barely diverse.1″ – @GeekMelange

“So the three white characters are scientists and the black one is a subway worker? The black character is the add-on AGAIN?!” @AnitaTheTweeter

“Ghostbusters looks awesome. Already shipping Kate and Kristen. But, why is the black lady is the one who is like “science? what’s that?” – @lucyhallowell

And my all time favorite,

@Ghostbusters @KevinFrankish Not sure about the “three educated white women and sassy black friend” feel. Hopefully more to that character. — @HeatherAbrey

The reason the quote above this text is my favorite is because I agree with Heather entirely, I really do want to see more depth out of Jones’s character.

If any of you really want to see a movie about crushing gender stereotypes, kick back with a buddy and go watch Mulan, classic and legendary.

Running for Presidency or Dictatorship?

 

Without having to say it, I am sure most Americans were aware of the ‘Race Ladder’ issue in our society. This was commonly evident in the South in slavery years. The original racial hierarchy chart is a pyramid with African Americans on the bottom, Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans above them, most “new” immigrants, “old” immigrants (but not Irish), poor white WASPS (White Anglo Saxon Protestants), “Middle Class” WASPS,  and on top, Wealthy WASPS. America has deviated from the race ladder as we started to accept one another based on personality, not color. Currently however, there has been a man who has people restoring the concept of racial hierarchy which is not only concerning, but it is toxic as well. This man is named Donald Trump. I am sure you have heard of this man, but if you have not, here is a brief summary: a racist air head who thinks that by having loads of money justifies his ridiculous notions. Oh, I forgot to mention the worst part, he is running for president.

Many people believe that because we have had a black president for the past 8 years, it caused people to lash out and go for Trump, even if they don’t know what he promotes/supports. As much as I hate to talk about Trump because I believe he does not deserve attention, we have to call him out, because if we do not, he will continue to spread hate and ignorance.

Here are 6 situations where Donald Trump has been racist:

  1. The Justice Department sued his company twice for not renting to black people. Apparently, the company quoted different rental terms and conditions to black candidates than they did to white candidates. Sometimes, they when black people would agree to the terms and conditions, they would tell them that the apartments were not available. When caught, the company said it would not happen again without admitting that they did something wrong. Three years later, the same situation happened: the apartments were suddenly not available to blacks.
  2. He didn’t censure white supremacists who were campaigning for him. Clearly, he did not stop them because he IS a white supremacist. When asked about the situation and how groups like the Ku Klux Klan were campaigning for him, Trump simply stated he couldn’t condemn a group he hasn’t researched about. It is evident that he wanted to avoid saying that he does not mind the KKK rooting for him. The Monday following the interview, when asked again about the situation, he says, “I do censure Duke (former leader of KKK),” and did not say so before because of a “lousy earpiece.” He shouldn’t be running for president, he should be running for something he excels at: World’s Biggest Excuse Maker.
  3. The Ridiculous “Birtherism” Theory. If you have not heard of this theory, it basically is a theory saying that President Obama was not born in the United States therefore is an illegitimate president. According to Trump himself, he had sent people to Hawaii to investigate whether or not Obama was born there. Obama, being the classy guy he is, put these ridiculous and relentless conspirators to rest by releasing his birth certificate.
  4. Trump’s persistent hypocrisy. If you all don’t watch politics, I am happy to fill you in on how Trump speaks in public: he bashes a race/religion, then claims to love that same race/religion. For example, he says Muslims are terrorists and how we should ban them from coming into America, then claims to have friends that are Muslims. Any Muslim in their right mind would not want to be his friend, frankly speaking. He says things like, “I love the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.” He refers to them like objects.
  5. He avoids having to confront racism/hatred. https://youtu.be/OeYTpzz6pxs . (1:14-1:25) (2:08-2:39) The times I put in parantheses are the times in the link leading to the footage of non-white Americans being attacked at a Trump rally. Ironically, the footage was taken in Birmingham, if you know your history well, Birmingham was the city where racism ended after the Civil Rights Revolution. If you would like to watch the entire video, feel free to do so, it has interesting points and is riveting to see.
  6. He called supporters who beat up a homeless Latino man passionate. Trump is the catalyst of hate crimes. One of the two men arrested for the crime said, “Donald Trump was right– all these illegals need to be deported.” After the news release, Trump claimed that these men had “well intentions and they want to make America great again.”

But at the end of the day, we have to think, Trump might be the one preaching hate, however, American citizens have the choice to listen to it or to ignore it.

Here are some quotes Donald Trump has said in the past,

“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” Does anyone know if he means paying money-wise or paying figuratively?

 

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.” Damn Donald, back at it again with the stereotypical comments about a race that isn’t white.

 

“My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.” I’m 100% sure no one feels too dumb around him.

“Our great African-American President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore.” Oh wow, the stereotypical comments don’t stop.

“One of they key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.” This is funny in so many ways.

Moral of the story: Don’t be ignorant, don’t vote for Trump, and don’t be involved in hate crimes.

All 3 of those don’ts fall under the first don’t: if you aren’t ignorant, you wouldn’t vote for Trump nor would you be involved in a hate crime 🙂