Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (right) and Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, as portrayed by Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I was a Children’s minister, seeing all the different kinds of worship services, it made me to joke about having a “Star Wars” church service complete with cosplay and everything for the kids. And then I read this quote by fellow Nicene Creed geek Father Dwight Longnecker:
“Disenchanted clergymen looking for a new idea might install wide screens in their churches and beckon more of the Star Wars faithful to participate in the clash between good versus evil each Sunday morning. With a bit of musical ingenuity, the Star Wars theme music could be developed into a very stirring processional hymn. Acolytes could be dressed in Obi Wan Kenobi monastic robes and carry light sabers instead of candles. The liturgy could begin with “May the Force be with you.” To which all reply, “And with your spirit.” For the communion hymn, each Han could sing a solo.”
I had decided to take a brief break from my series on White Supremacy (I still have 2 posts left) because I needed a breather. I needed an escape, but most of the shows on my DVR were just going to make me mad. I had also given up on South Park after a very troubling episode (I have my limits). So, I also needed a politically-conscious cartoon to fill the void left by Aaron McGruder‘s The Boondocks. So, two weeks ago, I began watching My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I had heard a lot of things: Bronies are the worst. Bronies aren’t real mean, this show is made for girls! After a few episodes, like the 3 or 4 that it took to get out of my comfort zone, I started to realize that I liked the show, and then, the 9th episode hit me like a truck. In Season 1 episode 9: “Bridle Gossip,” the ponies are hiding from a new (zebra) pony in town, Zecora. She comes from a strange culture, she dresses and looks funny. At the same time, the ponies are searching for a cure for themselves, because they believe this stranger has cursed them, and has everyone acting weird. Our protagonist for the show, the bookish Twilight Sparkle finds a book that may have the spells to cure her and her friends, but she dismisses it. In the end, Zecora uses that same book to help the ponies who weren’t cursed, but who had touched the leaves of “poison joke.” The lesson for this episode: don’t judge a book by its cover. Very rarely do we have live action shows have coherent, subversive discussions about race; it was a delightful surprise that in its first season, My Little Pony at the minimum had TWO such episodes.
The other episode I am referring to is Season 1 episode 21: “Over A Barrel,” about the group of earth [settler] ponies called the Apple-losons, who settle in the frontier and plant appletrees everywhere. When the workhorse pony AppleJack has deliver one such apple tree to her family members by train, the train is robbed by a herd of buffalo. It turns out the land belonged to the buffalo first. To lessen the hostility between the frontiersponies and the buffaloes, the fun-loving Pinky Pie plays a song about sharing and caring, which, of course, gets dismissed as the worst performance ever. In the end, the buffalo agree to share the land with the Apple-losons on the condition that the ponies share their apples with the buffalo, and there are roads that are paved for the buffalo to roam. Twilight Sparkle complained throughout the episode that no one was being reasonable (which I have a few questions about). Why should the First Nations, I mean Buffaloes, be made to be “reasonable” by the Colonizers, I mean settler Ponies’ standards. Do not the Buffalo have a reasonable right to be angry in the first place if they are being robbed? Is not just compensation based on the victims’ terms (the ending) the right thing to do to begin with? Rather than sugarcoat white settler histories in North America, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, just like Buffy The Vampire Slayer‘s season 4 episode, “Pangs,” has managed to problematize the aforementioned narratives.
And today, I turn your attention to the social news site, Reddit.com. Reddit allowed a troll with a history of racist and misogynist flames online to be a moderator. But what is worse is that he (yes, it’s been confirmed that this ViolentAcrez is a he) has posted pictures of teenage daughters and sisters. Reddit claims it is free speech, and free expression, but when your free speech and expression harms someone else, it is no longer free speech. As the Supreme Court has ruled, yelling fire in a theater is not free speech, and since pedophilia and ephebophilia are illegal in the United States, Reddit needs to start censoring itself or face possible legal action from angry mothers and fathers. For those familiar with pop culture, this situation has been compared to the sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the Trio, three misogynist geeks go from a comical bunch of goof-offs to raping and then murdering one of their co-horts victims: see Gawker’s Violentacrez Expose And How ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ Predicted Geek Misogyny at Think Progress.
Joel is right, we can’t boycott Reddit, but we can put pressure on them to make necessary changes. I know this post will probably be banned by Reddit but when it comes to the lives of children, and speaking up for the oppressed, I don’t think Christians have a choice in the matter. Like any typical corporation that’s come under fire, Reddit is trying to get some good Public Relations on its side, but it’s a little to late. As for Michael Brutsch, I can only pray for your soul, and hope you repent.