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FILM: Why the Future of Girl Power Depends on “Wonder Woman” + Sexy New GIFs

LilGripes.com has one message for the DCEU:

Wonder Woman better be as specta-f–king-cular as the trailers make it look… or else.

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Warner Bros. Pictures released the “Official Origins Trailer” for Wonder Woman… and it looks epic, heartbreaking and quirkily humorous all in one gorgeously shot and edited package. We fall in love with star Gal Gadot more and more with each new frame:

Here are some exclusive highlights from the brand-new trailer:

Twee Diana (see Wonder Woman’s origins here) sees her future sword, “The Godkiller” (it can kill gods) for the very first time:

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Her mom, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), tells her “not you.” Bitch, please:

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So little Diana becomes a young woman (relatively…she’s 500ish years old in WWI when this movie was set) and her aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright), trains her to fight HAM:

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Diana discovers a unique perk to her fashion accessories:

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NEWtrainingGauntlets.gifOh.

(So, do all the Amazons on Themyscira possess Wonder Woman’s famous Gauntlets of Submission, like in the comics?)

Even more famous than her bracelets is Diana’s Lasso of Truth, which is seen being used here to its greatest visual potential:

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That is, of course, after Diana watches London pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash upon the shores of her isolated island and decides to join his global fight against the German plot (possibly being engineered from the shadows by Wonder Woman’s archvillain, Ares, the God of War) to use a weaponized gas that can penetrate enemy gas masks.

Wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves… Here is what we pieced together from the trailer in more GIFs:

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Slaying that mermaid braid, Diana!

A breathtaking shot showcases Diana’s superhuman capabilities as she swiftly dives in to save Steve:

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The inciting incident of the film:

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Several German-marked boats land on the beach of Themyscira and soon after that, a full-on battle ensues between the Amazons and these Jerrys:

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General Antiope and co. ride

We see Diana’s reaction to bullets for the first time in her 500 years of life:

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The shock of seeing one of her own fall by a foreign weapon probably propels Diana to take up arms (literally) and follow Trevor back to London:

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In London, Diana is forced to wear a 1900s petticoat… and girl ain’t having it:

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“How is a woman supposed to fight in this?”

Diana smells the fake flower on her hat, reminding us why Gal Gadot was the perfect choice to lend gravitas to this larger-than-life character:

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How CUTE is Gal??

Meanwhile, people keep trying to kill poor Steve:

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This scene, as brilliantly pointed out by Entertainment Weekly writer Anthony Breznican, serves as a direct homage to Christopher Reeves’ Superman blocking a bullet from Lois Lane whilst incognito as Clark Kent, with Gal Gadot even donning Clark-esque glasses in this scene:

This leads us to speculate that Steve Trevor is more than just a military pilot. He clearly discovered a secret, intentionally or not, that the Germans did not want him to… like a gas that can pierce gas masks:

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Which brings us to the identities of the film’s two possible archvillains, Ares and Circe:

This masked woman is rumored to be Circe, a classic Wonder Woman villain. She appears to be in collusion with Danny Huston’s character, a German officer who is most likely Ares in disguise.

(Why? Well, we see him manage to hold his own versus Wonder Woman in hand-to-hand combat later, for one):gs10zau3s5axphxo8mzm.pngNEWCercesBOMB.gif

I see London; I see France; I see Wondie’s underpants (or not? Is there the female equivalent of a jockstrap underneath her armor?)

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Ares’ sword is no match for Wondie’s gauntlets and we see him gasp later in the trailer, “WHAT are you?”

Well… I’m someone who can throw a horse carriage:

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A whole bunch of baddie-asskicking shots like Wonder Woman flipping in the middle of flight and busting through a window like it’s a curtain:

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THIS IS..DIANA!

One of the many, many things we love about Wonder Woman as a superhero is that she’s not bulletproof but due to her agility as a warrior, her gauntlets/shield are sufficient for her to deflect any projectile aimed her way:

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Overall, this trailer has us so psyched with scenes like the above that we are almost worried:

What Has Us Worried…

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So much hinges on this: the future of the DCEU franchise (which already has Justice League, The Flash, The Batman, Aquaman in its lineup), the future of the Wonder Woman franchise, the future of female-led superhero franchises, Gal Gadot’s career, etc. etc. etc. Heck, the future of the concept of “girl power” could hinge on it.

1. DCEU’s track record so far sucks, sucks, sucks.

Please let Wonder Woman be the film that rights this ship. In the name of all that is good, we pray this is true.

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2. Please Don’t Be Femi-Nazi or Preachy.

Can we please have a female-empowering movie that doesn’t simultaneously weaken the men in it just so women can shine? Yes, this is Diana’s/Wonder Woman’s story so it is fair that the male lead is a mere sidekick as well as her love interest, but he doesn’t need to be rendered an object of ridicule for Diana to seem strong. If this were the case, it would only undermine the value of Wonder Woman’s own strength.

When a man is weakened so a woman can be strong, EVERYONE loses.

Why can’t men and women be equally fortified in a movie for once?

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3. Please, Zack Snyder, stay far away from this.

We have already seen a great deal of slow-mo action shots in the trailers, especially highlighting Diana’s super-abilities with handling bullets, her lasso and her power of flight. We hope there isn’t the typical Snyder-esque overuse of this, to the point where the film’s excitement almost hinges on it. Let the film breathe and let Gadot do her thing.

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My On-Air Appearance Talking “Logan” and other top stories #ICYMI

HAPPY FRIDAY TWEET:

I return to air tonight on CosmicGeppetto.com, probably in a bathrobe, to re-gush over Logan and its trifecta of Oscar-worthy performances in Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, Dafne Keen’s X-23, and Sir Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. First things first, though, let’s summarize for ya our favorite piece of casting news this week: smoldering actress Serinda Swan (Graceland, Smallville) getting tapped as Medusa in the upcoming Marvel network TV series, Inhumans.

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Who is Medusa? What is an Inhuman? Why is this actress perfect for the role? Read all about it on our list of the coolest weapons superheroines possess (in Medusa’s case, she has…super-hair. It’s actually quite sexy).

(For more on the Inhumans show itself, debuting in IMAX theaters for two weeks in September before premiering on network TV, here is Entertainment Weekly’s Exclusive First Look  on the cast list).

Back to Logan and Our Primetime Chat!

We will be on the Cosmic Geppetto show tonight (airing at a later time) to discuss the vaunted superhero film in-depth, raving about the many finer points of the experience like how X-23 comes in the adorable, unassuming package of an 11-year-old with all the wisdom of a thirty-something seared into her eyes. Or how all three stars deserve Oscar nods next year or we riot. ICYMI: Here is our must-read on the film, giving you a primer on the precocious prodigy who stole hearts all over theaters this last week.

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Until We Share the Aired, Edited Version of Our Appearance,

Enjoy Lil’s Prior 2 Appearances on Cosmic Geppetto:

a) We discuss prominent superhero race and gender changes in live-action film and TV roles recently.

Click on image for link:

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b) We discuss being a Cumberbitch and, more specifically, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in Marvel’s latest triumphant solo venture by the same name.

Click on image for link:

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VIDEO: HAVE I BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW? And Other “Get to Know Me” Questions Pt 2/2

MY “GET TO KNOW ME QUESTIONS” video sessions conclude today with the following! Watch yesterday’s video answers here: HAVE I GONE SKINNY DIPPING? And Other “Get to Know Me” Questions Pt 1/2

“Lord of the Rings” or “Game of Thrones?”

Does Size Matter?

Favorite Superhero Ever and Why?

Have I Ever Been In Trouble with the Law?

Have I Ever Dated a Black Guy?

“Star Trek” or “Star Wars”?

Which Musician Do I Want to Meet the Most?

What’s the One Question I Want to Ask God Most?

What Kind of Music Do I Like?

What Would I Do if I Won the Lottery?

What is the Girliest Show I Watch?

My First Period

Where Would I Travel Anywhere in the World?

Which “The Walking Dead” Character Would I Bring Back from the Dead?

As Whom Do I Most Want to Cosplay?

Will I Return to the East Side Dave Show?

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LIFE: I was Grabbed by the Pussy. Literally… and Not by a Billionaire Mogul.

I was grabbed by the pussy. For real.

It’s no secret Mainstream Media is BFFs with false outrage. Apparently, Donald Trump once said, in private, that because of his station in life, all he has to do to woo women is to “grab them by the pussy.” Now, as someone who has literally had her vagina grabbed on a sidewalk by a complete and utter stranger, all I have to say to the media hoopla over his throwaway comment was, “Soooo F-ing What?”

My story is simple and straightforward… with a touch of irony. A young Latino (the ironic part) man in a red baseball cap and hoodie walked past me on an empty main street. I thought nothing of these descriptive details of my would-be assailant on the day it happened. I was 21, feeling moody, so I thought I would soak in some summery rays by getting outside in my new floral skirt. I turned the corner onto an even quieter side street. Lost in my brooding playlist, I did not sense anything until I felt a hand from behind lift up my skirt and firmly close its grip around my vaginal area. I heard a laugh… a maniacal laugh as I turned around to face my attacker. Too late; he was already fast-running away (while still laughing). All I could do was hurl all the expletives my brain could summon in such a startled state.

I was furious, shaking, and humiliated. The only passive-aggressive victory I took away from the encounter was the knowledge that I was on a heavy-flow period that day and my attacker had grabbed a bloody vagina. Take that.

Over time, the trauma of the event dissipated on its own. I only told a handful of my friends and only when it came up in relevant conversation. I had just accepted what happened. Nothing is repressed. My anger was duly processed. Remembering the assault is like rediscovering an old Polaroid that has since faded to black-and-white.

So when I hear people cry that Trump’s words invoke “rape culture,” I only have one question in response… “WTF IS ‘RAPE CULTURE’?” The real world does not operate on terms of fancy, theoretical concepts of innuendo and implications. The real world just happens. It contains scumbags who grab your bloody vagina (and laugh as they immediately run away for fear of retaliation). You’re either raped and/or sexually molested like I was, or you’re not.

That’s it. Trump’s words have been blown out of proportion, laughably so, from where I sit. They were crude and made in very, very poor taste but I have heard much worse. More importantly, most people have experienced much worse. Real life, like it or not, is much more complicated than what the media tries to sell you in a ratings-friendly six-word headline.

This is not a pro- or anti-Trump post. My words reflect only my personal assessment of the hilarious circus the media has created around, granted, a pretty circus-inviting public figure’s words… Except real life can actually hurt you; words cannot.

LIL GRIPES DASH

Real life is much more complicated than what the media tries to sell you in a ratings-friendly six-word headline.

LIL GRIPES DASH

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Superhero Race and Gender Changes: The Un-Whitewashing Of Geek Culture

*SIGH* Let me begin by stating that I so wish people weren’t this obsessed with race. We don’t need to inject race into discussions where it doesn’t belong, but nevertheless, racial controversy has bled over into conversations about nerd-centric movies and TV shows. This applies to gender in equal measure. So… let’s do this.

INSTEAD OF throwing a collective hissy fit when a Hollywood star who happens to be Caucasian is cast in the role of a canonically non-white character, we should be acknowledging and cheering on the increasingly diverse casting that is happening in Superhero (and general Geek Culture)-Land as of late. Progress is happening, but people have a tendency to focus on the negative and controversial rather than all the good.

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Lucy Liu’s v Martin Freeman’s Dr. Watson

For example, when Tilda Swinton was cast as the Tibetan sorcerer Ancient One in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, people flipped out. For every “Ancient One casting,” however, there seems to be double the instance of reverse whitewashing (colorwashing? brown-washing?) and gender-reversing (see: 2016’s Ghostbusters) going around…

LIL GRIPES DASH

“Progress is happening, but people focus on the negative rather than all the good.”

LIL GRIPES DASH

Let’s roll the reel, shall we?

15 Recent High-Profile Examples:

1. The Ancient One (portrayed by Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange, 2016)

CHANGE: Asian Male White Female

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Yes, let’s start here. Everyone complains about white male hegemony (a.k.a. “The Man”) but the fact that they cast Tilda Swinton, an actress acclaimed for her daringly androgynous roles, as a powerful male sorcerer is actually quite forward-thinking. Tilda may be “white,” but the Ancient One is one of the most powerful entities in Marvel comics. He is a teacher to many fellow superheroes and without him, Stephen Strange would not have become the Sorcerer Supreme. They chose to endow his skill set and title upon a female. Funny how this is never brought up amidst the controversial cloud that looms over this casting choice, but that is incredibly socially inclusive and progressive.

2. Floyd Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot (portrayed by Will Smith in Suicide Squad, 2016)

CHANGE: White MaleBlack Male

3. Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake (portrayed by Chloe Bennet on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 2013-present)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒  Asian Female

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This is not a colorblind case of a minority actress being repackaged as an all-white character. Actress Chloe Bennet is half-Chinese and half-Caucasian in real life, but Daisy Johnson is 100% white in the comics. They rewrote her character for the TV adaptation so that the actress’ Chinese lineage played a major factor in Daisy’s own identity. As the earthshaking superhero, her powers apparently originate from her Inhuman Chinese mother, who was a major villain in the second half of season 3.

4. Elektra Natchios (portrayed by Élodie Yung and Lily Chee in Daredevil, 2016)

CHANGE: White Female  Asian Female

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Young Elektra (Lily Chee) on the show:

One of the most iconic female anti-heroes in Marvel Comics history, Elektra Natchios, the main love interest of Matt Murdock/Daredevil, has always been closely affiliated with her Greek lineage. Well, in the Netflix adaptation of Daredevil, they finally switched her character’s heritage up. This time, she’s a woman of indeterminate Asiatic descent who was adopted by a Greek diplomat at a young age. One can’t help but think this change was to accommodate the actress’ actual half-Cambodian ethnic makeup.

5. Iris and Joe West (portrayed by Candice Patton and Jesse L. Martin respectively on The Flash, 2014-present)

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

Comics ‘ Iris West v The CW’s Iris West

Comics’ Joe West v The CW’s Joe West

Many were initially shocked at the momentous casting of Barry Allen/The Flash’s love interest and her father/his foster father as African-Americans. While race had little-to-no impact on their characters’ context, this was major cause for celebration of racial inclusion because of Iris’ major role in Barry’s life. She is his Lois Lane and she has never been depicted or portrayed as anything but Caucasian before this version. Even the most cynical of Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) should be loudly applauding this moment in pop culture history.

6. Iris West (portrayed by Kiersey Clemons in Justice League [2017] and The Flash [2018])

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Black Female

So nice they did it twice! While Warner Bros. turned their back on Grant Gustin from the CW’s The Flash for the titular speedster big-screen role, they adopted the TV adaptation’s idea of casting Iris West as a young black woman.

The CW’s Iris West and the DCEU’s Iris West:

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7. Perry White (portrayed by Laurence Fishburne in Man of Steel [2013] and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice [2016])

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

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Perry White through the years, from inception to present

8. Johnny Storm a.k.a. The Human Torch (portrayed by Michael B. Jordan in FANT4STIC, 2015)

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

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Michael B. Jordan cast as the classically blonde superhero
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Chris Evans as Johnny in 2004 v Michael B. Jordan in 2015

9. Nick Fury (portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in Iron Man [2008], Iron Man 2 [2010], Captain America: The First Avenger [2011], The Avengers [2012], Captain America: Winter Soldier [2014], Avengers: Age of Ultron [2015],  and on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [2013-present])

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

People forget this part of David Hasseloff’s career but he played Nick Fury in 1998’s Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.:

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As the mean-mugging, no-bullshit director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and creator of the Avengers Initiative, Nick has been quite the prolific glorified superhero babysitter ;-P

10. Jimmy Olsen (portrayed by Mechad Brooks on Supergirl, 2015-present)

CHANGE: White ⇒ Black

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Jimmy Olsen in live-action chronological order, past-present

Not only is this the first non-white Jimmy Olsen, it’s also the first time we’ve seen Superman’s photographer BFF look like a buff leading man instead of a scrawny, goofy sidekick.

Again, SJWs, not only did they change an iconic protagonist from white to black, they made him pinup-worthy… and Supergirl’s love interest. In fact, the actor’s second-billed on IMDB as the leading man to Melissa Benoist’s Kara Zor-El.

11. Dr. John (now Joan) Watson (portrayed by Lucy Liu on Elementary, 2012-present)

CHANGE: White Male ⇒ Asian Female

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Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson on Elementary and Jude Law/Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson

The classic “Elementary, My dear Watson” line now refers to an Asian-American female instead of a British male war veteran. The fact that the show has been a continued hit for CBS for four years now and little raucous has been raised over this double-identity swap suggests the public is readier than most think for gender and race-bending entertainment.

12. Nikita (portrayed by Maggie Q on Nikita, 2010-2013)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Asian Female

Maggie Q as Nikita, the first Asian lead ever on a broadcast drama series:

Three previous incarnations of Nikita before the CW series:

La Femme Nikita has been a story told many times and many ways with many different starlets. The CW took a big-but-calculated risk casting this screen icon as anything other than Caucasian for the first time. Despite a decidedly shitty timeslot (Fridays at primetime), it amassed a huge cult following and excellent critical raves for its four seasons. Moreover, it made Maggie Q, previously known for being a model-turned-action star in Asia, an easily recognizable name and face in the American conscious.

13. Mercedes Graves (portrayed by Tao Okamoto in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2016)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Asian Female

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Various animated and live-action versions of Mercedes Graves

This change may feel merely ornamental at first blush. However, Mercedes (“Mercy” as Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor fondly called her) is canonically not just a cog in Luthor’s evil entourage, but his most trusted advisor and personal assistant (and sometimes bodyguard/chauffeur). Mercy has caused Superman and Lois Lane a lot of grief due to her unwavering loyalty to Lex. The appearance of Mercedes in the film was a delightful Easter Egg find for comics fans and having her look Asian is majorly indicative of mass media’s increasing acceptance of all.

14. Valkyrie (portrayed by Tessa Thompson in Thor: Raganorak, 2017)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Black Female

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An iconic superheroine based in Norse mythology is being played by an African-American actress? Her character also will be playing Thor’s new love interest (He’s ditched little Ms. Natalie Portman apparently). What a great time to be alive! Run the streets streaking in pure ecstasy!

15. Mary Jane Watson (portrayed by Zendaya Coleman in Spider-Man: Homecoming, 2017)

CHANGE: White Female ⇒ Black Female

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This is, perhaps, the biggest race swap in geek film and TV history. Spider-Man is Marvel Comics’ most popular superhero by far and Mary Jane one of its most endearing love interests. Mary Jane’s race is not integral at all to her character, but devoted fans may take umbrage with the discrepancy between the image of her in their minds and their beloved comics and the one on the big screen.

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LIL GRIPES DASH

They’ll go along for the ride, though, and accept the change that has come… Because change has come. Significant progress has been made in diversity in La La Land and it would be foolish to complain about a few perceived slights and not proudly laud the bold steps Hollywood has taken forward. It’s a brave new world, folks. Accept it. Love it…

CELEBRATE PROGRESS WHEN IT HAPPENS.

LIL GRIPES DASH

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VIDEO: I Started Vlogging… And It All Went to S***

I HAD HOPED the first entry back from our summer hiatus would begin on a more positive note, but I can’t keep contained any longer the maelstrom of insecurities, self-hatred, and the general detriment to my mental health that I’ve been experiencing since attempting a YouTube career.

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Yay I’m back! Sorry for the gripe-y tone of this post.

 What happened?

I pride myself on being an above-average writer and I will hold that conviction dearly ’til the day I die. As Lil Gripes™ flourished in theme and followership, I began hearing encouragement from trusted friends and associates that I should begin a vlog extension to the brand. So I did, as the previously blogged-about stream-of-consciousness freakout detailed).

YouTube, as with blogging, is 100% marketplace distinction. What the hell do I have to offer that others don’t already? I am the girl who loooooves fashion, beauty and art as much as I love crude humor and sci-fi/fantasy/superhero films and TV shows. I bookmark WhoWhatWear.com as well as ComicBook.com.

My inaugural video should combine all of those things, I figured. I wore a floral Marc by Marc Jacobs bikini top along with a pair of high-waisted leather Topshop shorts as I enthused about my expectations for the then-upcoming blockbuster, “Captain America: Civil War.” It was all done with a wink, nod, and mischievous smile.

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Not so surprisingly in hindsight, I couldn’t please them all.

There were many who watched and supported me and GOD, do I appreciate every single one of you (seriously, big smooches xx), but the whiners are always the most audible for some unholy reason. Many took to my comments section, my blog and my Twitter to complain repeatedly about how the sex appeal was too subtle, as if that was the entire point of my channel.

Just for argument’s sake, I’ll explain the point: Me + bikini was my idea of including me and all other women in on the joke that, in order to reach a male audience, you have to appease their appetite for sexuality. NO SHAME… On either side! Men are visual creatures and that’s totally fine. Women can embrace and empower themselves through their sexuality and that’s totally fine.

Le Sigh–I guess satire is world-famous for soaring over some’s heads.

When people are screaming in your face, WTF? I came to see this girl in her bikini and not babble on about superheroes [despite that being the clearly stated M.O. of my channel]” and your videos are better on mute,” you pause for a sobering self-evaluation of your vlogging capabilities. It’s funny how criticism has a way of registering way deeper than compliments do. I had prepared myself for the inevitable scrutiny projecting yourself out into the Youtube-sphere will bring but I lost more than just my confidence… Two full-time corporate gigs perfectly suited to my skill set sought me out because of my blog and I’m 99% sure they both cut me loose during the last stages of vetting due to my vlog.

I lost a step or two after that setback. I hadn’t been actively seeking any fulltime 9-to-5 jobs so it was like this great beam of hope shined on me without me even reaching for it and then it got snuffed out right between my fingers because of my stupid little channel.

On top of all the negative vibes flowing my way the past few months, it just so happens that summer is a notoriously huge lull in the superhero show/movie calendar and the well had seemingly dried of topics on that front.

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Now, as I’ve cathartically purged this through my keyboard with my dog mid-snooze on my lap, I’ve realized it’s not all over. I can come back from this:

  1. Summer is still Superhero Season. Tis the season for those passionate about it comme moi to weigh in on the casting news pouring in. Marvel’s Doctor Strange just confirmed Mads Mikkelsen‘s much-anticipated villainous role, Arrow on the CW cast two exciting new supporting characters and DC’s Justice League movies have been continuously adding interesting faces to its payroll. More on these in subsequent posts…
  2. I’m a friggin’ amazing writer. I have defined myself by the title of “writer” since I was a wee tween listening to both Britney Spears and Jim Morrison religiously.
  3. Rejection always makes me push harder. I don’t know the precise fate of my YouTube channel, but the more people tell me I can’t, the harder I always push back, like it just became my sole mission in life to prove them wrong.
  4. I will prove them wrong.

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