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By Zach Stafford
‘Iron Fist’ deserves to flunk out of the TV dojo: EW review

Marvel’s Iron Fist isn’t just the wimpiest punch ever thrown by the world’s mightiest superhero factory. The new Netflix binge swings and misses so bad that it spins itself around and slaps itself silly with a weirdly flaccid hand. But even that might be generous. “Swing and a miss” implies effort. Iron Fist — devoid of vision, lacking in executional chops — barely even tries. It assumes its own marvelousness and proceeds tediously from there, offering few satisfactions for any possible audience. The media was only given six of the season’s 13 episodes for review, but I was snoozing after two and ready to check out after three. This is yellow belt drama that deserves to flunk out of the TV dojo.

The biggest problem with Iron Fist might be the property itself. With all due respect to character’s creators, comic book legends Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Iron Fist, at least in my humble opinion, just isn’t all that interesting, and the show’s creator and exec producer, Scott Buck (Dexter), and his team fail to unlock any hidden potential or enhance the material to convince me otherwise. The storytelling formula they’ve been given doesn’t do them any favors, either. Iron Fist introduces its protagonist with the kind of season-long origin story common to Netflix-Marvel shows, in which an adult with extraordinary abilities and painful backstory works out issues and slowly develops a costumed vigilante identity. Daredevil forged the mold. Jessica Jones perfected it. Luke Cage did it well. Iron Fist just does it, lazily going through the motions like a bored tai chi artist.

Iron Fist has been described over the years as Iron Man with martial arts, but the series is a wannabe Batman Begins and a few other things, too, stretched way too thin. Danny Rand (Finn Jones from Game of Thrones) is an orphan who lost his billionaire parents when they all crashed in a suspicious plane accident in the Far East. Found and raised by monks who reside in a wintry Brigadoon known as K’un-Lun, Danny spent his formative years learning a mystic type of martial arts. Along the way, he acquired and honed a magical stroke of channeled chi called the Iron Fist, which causes his balled hand to Flame On! and obliterate anything with Hulk Smash! force.

RELATED: Comic-Con 2016: See Portraits of Marvel Studios Stars

All of this hoo-ha is doled out in bits and drabs of flashback. Like all Marvel-Netflix shows, Iron Fist wants to be an adult-skewing neo-pulp urban crime serial, so it downplays the supernatural aspects as if terrified of them. Danny’s blazing balled fist? It’s used sparingly. (As usual, the connections to the broader Marvel Universe, with its thunder gods, sci-fi monsters and radioactive spider-men, are conspicuously minimized.) More so than any other Marvel series, the concept is beholden to the mandate of “the produceable premise,” and the producers have limited imagination for fulfilling it. Anyone wanting Fists of Fury in the City should table the expectation, and modern comics fanboys should abandon all hope of anything resembling the celebrated, stylish run of the comics treatment by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and David Aja that leaned hard into the fantastical.

Iron Fist — which, like Daredevil, aspires to be one half workplace drama, one half action-adventure show — spends the first half of the season slooooooowly developing the first half of this hybrid personality. The series proper begins with Danny — presumed dead by the rest of the world — returning to New York to reclaim his life, fortune and place within the massive corporation started by his father and pursue his do-gooder destiny. In a refreshing change of pace, Danny is no dark knight, though his reverse negative formulation isn’t all that compelling. He’s an elevated man-child, light of spirit and movement, lit with a simpleton’s purity, a hippie-dippy Chauncey Gardener. He re-enters Manhattan on bare feet, gawking at skyscrapers; he shows up at Rand Industries naively expecting to be recognized and greeted like the prodigal son. This could be interesting and it should be funny, but the writing and directing don’t know how to make it so. Jones nails the earnestness, but that’s all he plays.

Danny, an overtly spiritual character, adheres to some form of generic, modulated Buddhism marked by a disinterest in worldly attachments (like, you know, shoes) and a remove from anger that doesn’t detach him from a want for justice. Some have criticized Iron First sight unseen for cultural appropriation, and they’re not wrong. The show validates the complaint by being both slavish and shy about Danny’s purely fantastical K’un-Lun origin story. The character has always been white in the comics, but who cares? Ultimately, I don’t see why Marvel couldn’t have cast Danny with an Asian actor.

The enlightened individual Danny has become contrasted with two childhood friends who initially present as antagonists, but really represent the people he needs to save: brother and sister Joy and Ward Meachum (The Following’s Jessica Stroup and Banshee’s Tom Pelphrey). They’re now soulless suits who manage Rand Industries on behalf of their puppet master pops, Harold Meachum (David Wenham), a ruthless, reclusive mystery man. He has a love interest — and, presumably, future partner in ass-kicking — in the form of Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick, also from Game of Thrones), a tough and lonely martial arts instructor. (Let me note here that all of these actors are very good, but their characters are skimpy and boring.)

Pacing issues hamper so many Netflix serials. In the Marvel shows, the lag hits around mid-season. Iron Fist is sluggish from the get-go. At first, Joy and Ward take Danny to be a crazy man and treat him as such: Episode 2 traps him in a psych ward, an idyll that immediately sidetracks the narrative when it should be settling into a premise. Eventually, the Meachums come to accept that Danny is Danny and begin to wrestle with the implications, which prods them to confront their own waywardness and set them on track to go from foes to allies. By episode 6, Iron Fist gets Danny into a suit and has him helping people — but it’s a three-piece business suit. His heroism consists of saving the soul of Rand Industries, from trying to make things right with a family devastated by Rand’s toxic pollution, to investigating a plot by Japanese ninja gangsters known as The Hand (introduced in Daredevil), to use the company as a mechanism to sell drugs in Manhattan.

I think Iron Fist wants to be some subversive scold of capitalism or secularism. Rand Industries is monolithic big business as super-villain — the Evil Corp. of Mr. Robot (but without any of the personality or true menace imbued by Michael Cristofer’s Phillip Pryce or Martin Wallstrom’s Tyrell Wellick) — with Danny functioning as a redemptive agent, facilitating change from within, not with subversive hacking but with his love-thy-neighbor conscience and atoning activism. I’m not going to dump on those values; I just wish they were played bolder and with more imagination.

The alt-New York that the Marvel-Netflix shows is interesting, at least in concept. You got Luke Cage up in Harlem participating in the redemption and reconstruction of a struggling community. You got Daredevil and Jessica Jones down in Hell’s Kitchen, looking out for the poor and for women and everyone who would exploit and prey upon them. Now, somewhat above them all but also among them, we have Danny, a billionaire suit with a heart of gold, exercising a liberal social conscience in the board room and on the streets. My theory about Marvel’s The Defenders — the forthcoming team-up show — is that it’ll be a superhero remake of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

Whatever they do in The Defenders, whoever the heroes battle, I hope the fights are better than ones we get in Iron Fist. For starters, there aren’t many of them in the first six episodes. But the ones we get are shockingly lame, from the choreography to the performances to the way they are shot. They’re yoga fu.

I think the idea is that Danny is so disciplined in his technique, so mature about his use of violence, he can dispatch opponents with a minimum of moves and with the precise amount of force necessary for the situation. But the show’s ambition to produce an illusion of effortlessness results in fight scenes that look like no effort was put into them at all — as if they shot the dress rehearsal and moved on. All of this said, great fight scenes take time to produce, and in Hollywood, time costs money. I’ve often suspected that Marvel-Netflix shows are made on a tight budget, and it could be that Iron Fist is saving all its pennies for the second half of the season, which promises to have more action as conflicts start to boil, bad guys make their moves, and Danny moves into masked crime-fighter mode.

Yet I can’t say the first half of the season does anything to make me care enough to stick around and find out if I’m right. Iron Fist is pure kung-phooey. Make him number 100 on your list of TV super-guys. D

Iron Fist will be available for streaming Friday, March 17 on Netflix.

Dance With The Darkness

TITLE: Dance With The Darkness

CHAPTER NO./ONE SHOT: Chapter 2: Nightmares and Daydreams

AUTHOR: ara-toa-min


Imagine you were in a relationship with an incubus before you met Loki and you somehow managed to escape him. You and Loki steadily date for a while before he invites you to a ball where in a big grand performance, the incubus shows up saying “Miss me, cuz I missed you.” He kidnaps you and Loki vows to get you back.

Loki eventually does find you but you are back under the control of the incubus. Can he break you free?



The room was spinning. Too fast…way too fast for you. Clenching your eyes shut, you couldn’t help the whimper that escaped your lips as your feet finally touched down onto solid ground. Looking around, you realized that you were back in his domain. A large tent, accompanied by several smaller tents, littered the little oasis. You were back in the middle of the desert…back where no other could possibly hope to find you. You raised your head to stare up at the man who had abducted you from the ball.

Braxis smiled down at you, large pearly white teeth, compete with two fangs, shining at you. “Welcome home, Aşkim. It has been far too long since I have had you home with me.” He leaned towards you, trying to press a kiss against your lips. Quickly, you raised your arms up, pushing hard against his toned chest.

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sleepy-space-princess  asked:

what's the point of radical feminism they hate muslins, sex workers trans people, bisexuals and men your whole message is hatred and made up lies what is even your message about do you care for poc white women are more privilege then black men I guess you wouldn't care because radical feminists are a hate / troll group that hasn't helped anyone

I know this is anathema to many people but it is possible to be critical without hating someone.  It is possible to be critical of hijab when it is forced on millions of women without hating women who have the luxury of choice and choose to wear one.  It is possible to be critical of misogyny and homophobia run riff within transactivism without hating trans people. In fact it will surprise you than there is a population of trans a dysphoric radical feminists.  A large number of rad fems are bi and woc.  Just because we are critical of male behavior-especially the epidemic levels of male violence- doesn’t mean we hate men.  However radical feminism is by it’s nature for female by females, we reserve the right to put ourselves first instead of pandering to men and their feelings.

You want to know what radical feminism has accomplished?

In the 1960′s women couldn’t:

  1. Open a bank account or get a credit card without signed permission from her father or hr husband.
  2. Serve on a jury - because it might inconvenience the family not to have the woman at home being her husband’s helpmate.
  3. Obtain any form of birth control without her husband’s permission. You had to be married, and your hub and had to agree to postpone having children.
  4. Get an Ivy League education. Ivy League schools were men’s colleges ntil the 70′s and 80′s. When they opened their doors to women it was agree that women went there for their MRS. Degee.
  5. Experience equality in the workplace: Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women produced a report in 1963 that revealed, among other things, that women earned 59 cents for every dollar that men earned and were kept out of the more lucrative professional positions.
  6. Keep her job if she was pregnant.Until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978, women were regularly fired from their workplace for being pregnant.
  7. Refuse to have sex with her husband.The mid 70s saw most states recognize marital rape and in 1993 it became criminalizedin all 50 states. Nevertheless, marital rape is still often treated differently to other forms of rape in some states even today.
  8. Get a divorce with some degree of ease.Before the No Fault Divorce law in 1969, spouses had to show the faults of the other party, such as adultery, and could easily be overturned by recrimination.
  9. Have a legal abortion in most states.The Roe v. Wade case in 1973 protected a woman’s right to abortion until viability.
  10. Take legal action against workplace sexual harassment. According to The Week, the first time a court recognized office sexual harassment as grounds for legal action was in 1977.
  11. Play college sports Title IX of the  Education Amendments of protects people from discrimination  based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial  assistance It was nt until this statute that colleges had teams for women’s sports
  12. Apply for men’s Jobs   The EEOC rules that sex-segregated help wanted ads in newspapers are illegal.  This ruling is upheld in 1973 by the Supreme Court, opening the way for women to apply for higher-paying jobs hitherto open only to men. -credit spikesjojo

anonymous asked:

i literally have no idea how a labor union works can you please educate me

In a capitalist workplace, the boss pretty much holds all the cards. The boss has tremendous and disproportionate power over their workers, having the privileges of hiring and firing, the power to determine wages, and overall complete control over the direction in which the workplace heads.

Against this, a single worker does not have much power to improve their conditions or wages. Unions remedy this by banding workers together and allowing them to agitate, fight for, and negotiate improvements to working conditions and wages as a collective (there is strength in numbers, as the saying goes). Normally, a union’s first resort against workplace grievances is to appoint or elect representatives of the collective to meet with the bosses or employers and try to work out a deal for improved conditions peacefully. Usually, these deals will take the form of contracts wherein the bosses grant the workers concessions in exchange for some concessions on the part of the union, such as an agreement not to strike or take other disruptive labor actions for a certain amount of time. These contracts tend to be weighted in favor of the bosses, which is why more radical unions, such as the IWW, are often critical of them.

Failing a peaceful solution, a union will often take action to force the bosses’ hands, and this is the second major role of a union: providing a vehicle for workers to organize and mobilize as a group or class to take direct action against workplace abuse, mistreatment, poor conditions, or poor pay. Union actions include strikes, wherein all members of the union cease working, causing business to stagnate and hopefully force the bosses to give in, boycotts, wherein union members agree not to use or purchase a certain product in order to drive profits down, slowdown, in which union members do their work but deliberately slow their pace to the point that it becomes detrimental to business, and sabotage, wherein equipment or property is deliberately damaged or destroyed. 

Unions support themselves by requiring members to pay dues. These dues keep the union afloat, and traditionally also go towards funding necessities such as a meeting place away from the employer’s premises and provisions and supplies to keep members fed and healthy during strikes or lockouts (which is where the boss literally locks out union members from the workplace, refusing to allow them to go to work), which can drag on for a long time.

Today in labor history, May 13, 1913: 4,000 dockworkers and members of the predominantly African-American Marine Transport Workers’ Local 8 of the Industrial Workers of the World begin what will be a successful strike in Philadelphia over wages and union recognition. Through strikes, slow-downs, and other workplace actions, Local 8 secured raises for all dockworkers – even those who were not IWW members – well into the 1940s.

There’s a reason that the Bernie Bros are all for tanking the election and letting the GOP win if Secretary/Senator/First Lady Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination. Even if the Republicans control the White House, in addition to both houses of Congress and (in short order) the Supreme Court for four to eight years, the Bernie Bros will be just fine. They’re white dudes. Oh sure, conservative policies will offend their political sensibilities, but what actual harm comes to them? The cops won’t beat or kill them on a whim. The bro’s won’t get deported, or placed on a watch list, or have their home countries invaded. And when the last women’s health clinic is shut down, the Bernie Bros won’t even be inconvenienced. 

In fact, given the Republican Party’s policies on equal pay, affirmative action, and workplace discrimination, you can make a strong case that the Bernie Bros will benefit financially from a GOP win. 

I don’t trust people who claim to be arguing principles when they’re actually acting in self interest.