Hot and Cold: Month of July 2016

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Art by Jeff Dekal. (Marvel Comics)


After last week’s post about #BlackLivesMatter, we are back to regularly-scheduled programming for July’s “Hot and Cold” roundup. I was aiming for this to be a weekly series before, but because of end-of-school shit and my summer internship, I just didn’t have time to write something that regularly. Also, it’s summer and hot as balls. Don’t blame a bitch for wanting to just Netflix and chill (literally).

The month of July proved to be eventful, for better or for worse, so read ahead for the awesome news and then … for humanity to disappoint you. What else is new?

HOT

  1. Superhero news

I don’t even care about superhero shit and I’m still pumped about all the developments happening in the Marvel universe. First, Time magazine announced that a black teenage girl is set to take over the role of Iron Man from Tony Stark in the comic-book event series “Civil War II.” Riri Williams, a 15-year-old science genius who enrolls in MIT, gets Stark’s attention after building her own Iron Man suit in her dorm room.

On the flip side though, Cameron Glover pointed out that none of the writers who created Riri were black women, a demographic that’s consistently kept out of the comic world even though they  are often huge fans of it. It’s an interesting take on something that is seemingly a slam dunk, so check out the full Ebony article for more.

The second noteworthy superhero news is that a teaser for Netflix’s upcoming “Luke Cage” premiered at San Diego Comic-Con, and the series will debut on Sept. 30., making it Marvel’s first black superhero film or series. For many such as Isaac Rouse, an African-American writer, this is a Big Fucking Deal, especially in the wake of recent police shootings of black individuals:

“Cage deals with the same profiling and negative connotations of being a black man in America, the same any African American has the misgivings to deal with, and yet he still does good. … Luke Cage can be that symbolic hero for young black men and women during these scary times in the African American community.” (Huffington Post)

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Mike Colter stars as the titular character in “Luke Cage”

2. Leslie Jones

I wasn’t sure if I was going to put this in the “COLD” or “HOT” category at first (I’m sure you were losing sleep over this too!), but I decided instead of focusing on the assholes who threw racist slurs at Leslie Jones (although Head Asshole has since been banned from Twitter), I wanted to let Leslie’s greatness be the bigger emphasis.

Even if you’re like me and haven’t seen the new Ghostbusters movie yet, it’s still important to acknowledge how much this film will mean to countless girls and how much Leslie has done to raise awareness for double standards some women face in Hollywood. She’s not only been subjected to unfair treatment from Internet trolls, but even from fashion designers who aren’t willing to dress her. Kudos to Christian Siriano for reaching out and designing her a kick-ass dress to wear at the premiere:

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Michael Tran/FilmMagic

FYI: The mark of a truly talented designer is the ability to make beautiful clothes for everyone, not just size 2 models.

3. Gilmore Girls trailer

We’ve known about the “Gilmore Girls” Netflix revival for a while, but it wasn’t until July 27 that the trailer for the upcoming “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” premiered online.

I started watching the original series in middle school, so references to The Clash and “Saved by the Bell,” while appreciated, weren’t that current to my 12-year-old self. Hearing them discuss Amy Schumer and whether or not Jon Oliver would find Lorelai hot (he does, in case anyone’s wondering) is both extremely weird and incredibly awesome. I can’t wait for Nov. 25. Also, I wonder if the girls love Beyoncé as much as the rest of the world. They have to, right? For goodness sake, Rory went to Yale! #importantquestions

4. Kimye vs. Taylor Swift

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I saved the best and pettiest for last, obviously. By now, everyone and their mother have heard about the beef between Kimye (can Merriam-Webster put that in the dictionary already?) and Taylor Swift. I feel like words such as “beef” or “feud” don’t truly capture the magnitude of this whole situation, so instead, why not take the title of almost any famous apocalypse movie and taylor (get it?) it to fit this debacle?

For example:

“This Is the End (for Taylor Swift’s career)”

“Terminator 2: Judgment Tay”

“Tay of the Dead”

“These Final Hours (of Taylor’s career)” (okay, that one is a bit repetitive).

You get my point.

To be honest, I don’t really like the recent trend of celebrating pettiness online. But, considering how Taylor has made such a Big Production of acting like the victim, it’s only fair to point out that it’s a bit shady she’d be fine with “I think that me and Taylor might still have sex” in Kanye’s song “Famous,” but object to the line calling her a bitch, and give a whole Grammy speech about him undercutting her fame.

Also, to be clear, I don’t have a stake in this drama. Yes, Kanye is a musical genius, but that doesn’t mean I will blindly support him when he does questionable shit like slut shaming Amber Rose. And although I don’t like Taylor’s music and think she was being sketchy in this situation, I’m not praying for her career to end. I’m just sitting back and enjoying this drama, far away from Hollywood. What sandy beaches and margaritas do for the regular vacationer, pop-culture drama (and margaritas) does for me.

¿NOT SURE WHAT TO THINK ?

 

  1. Frank Ocean to “release” new album … sure … 

Sure, Frank, you weren’t the source of my trust issues but you definitely didn’t help them either. I’m tired of getting my hopes up, only to have you shatter my dreams. So while I’m praying to Jesus, Buddha, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and The Holy Trinity (Bey, Nicki and Rihanna, obviously) that you will come through and release “Boys Don’t Cry” tomorrow like you say you will, I feel like there is a definite chance this will turn out to be another round of “Rachel Always Cry (Feat. Frank Ocean’s false promises).”  

  1. “The Great Wall” trailer

I have very, very conflicted thoughts on this upcoming film, and may write more about this later. But for now, all I can say is, even though it is worrisome that a film related to Chinese history stars a white guy, there are many famous Chinese actors in it and the director is Chinese. Plus, a lot of the backlash has been from Asians Americans as opposed to Chinese people in China. It’s a complicated issue and I don’t know exactly where I stand yet.

COLD

  1. Shootings across the nation

There’s nothing I can really say that hasn’t already been said. #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackLivesWillAlwaysMatter. Remember Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, and remember Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Rekia Boyd and countless others. 

There are many, many things we can do to help the cause, and there are many things I know I can do better. Here are just a few suggestions:

 

So that’s it for July! For people who stumbled upon this blog while looking for hot-pot recipes, my bad. This is probably less exciting.

But if there’s someone who did read the post, I have some questions: What is something that happened in July that I missed? What other things can we do to raise awareness about police brutality and support #BlackLivesMatter?

See you in the next post!


Rachel Reviews: French Montana’s ‘Figure it Out’ ft. Kanye West, Nas

figureitout

 

Although the announcement of the song neither surprised nor excited me, I was pleasantly surprised after watching the music video for French Montana’s “Figure it Out,” which just dropped today.

Here are some of my random thoughts while watching it:

  • hate to say it, but Kanye’s auto-tuned singing is kinda the best part of the song
  • enjoying the motocross x private jet aesthetic
  • I can’t stop laughing at the unsubtle Ciroc product placement in the background
  • why is French wearing all white while being surrounded by bikers driving around in dirt??
  • French still remains my least favorite rapper, although his verse here is a huge improvement from his part in A$AP Ferg’s “Work (Remix)” (which includes lines like “Her ass fat, you could park ten Tahoes on it”)
  • Kanye is only a featured artist, but it’s basically Ye’s song at this point
  • the entire vibe changes when Nas comes in and reminds everyone who’s the real rapper here

 

 

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Overall, the song is pretty catchy but slightly forgettable. I also really wish Nas’ part was longer .

Rating: 7.5