Liberals that just can't "lay off"
This show was created for people like me, liberals who can't "lay off" or give identity politics a break… but this show does give us a break!
This show allows viewers who want to feel "socially responsible" (yes, I know, a ridiculous goal while watching TV) while indulging in a good sci-fi drama. Well lucky for us, HBO brings us Here And Now. Before I shed light on some of the undoubtedly unrealistic aspects of the show, because I always do…let's just look at a list of boxes this show checks off for progressives such as myself.
"Box checking" is what well-meaning white people do…they look for "diversity" boxes to check while attending an event, watching a show, eating at a restaurant, while not necessarily going too far out of their comfort zone, and often not for long. I don't mean to imply this is always a bad thing, I am just admitting what white progressives do all of the time, yours truly included. I'm simply letting you in on a little "secret of the ashamed white liberals" demographic. I am not dismissing all the other valid attempts myself and people like me make to dismantle systems of oppression (the way I vote, which orgs I donate to, speaking up against micro and macro-aggressions etc…). Still, I like to make fun of my own kind. Anyway, this "box-checking" concept makes us feel less guilty about our privilege, much like one of the main characters on this show played by the amazing Holly Hunter. She embodies the "well-meaning white lady" and she does it so well!
So, back to the boxes that this show makes sure to check. Race relations and white privilege…check. Gender, sexuality, and sexism…check. Socioeconomic privilege…also a check...kind of. And for your viewing pleasure…drum roll please…you even get to see the complexities and failures of a hetero-normative marriage that like most, fails to live up to society's unrealistic high bar for lifelong, uninterrupted nuptial bliss between one man and one woman.
What I love about this show is that I would bet my money that it has writers from all walks of life contributing to the dialogue and plot. Hold on I will Google…hmmm looks like a moderately diverse group. The one thing this show does fairly uniquely is it attempts to show the perspective of children of color who were raised by white parents. It is not rare for television shows to have interracial families, but to hear from these children now that they are grown is pretty unique. There are so many well-meaning white people, and even adoptive parents both on TV and in real life that still don't have the tools to understand the experiences of their own children of color.
In fact, right now we likely have the largest amount of children of color living with white families than ever before. This show gives us a small sampling of their experience. Yes, it's TV and it's not reality…but it's something, and it doesn't praise the white parents, or portray them as the white saviors of the poor and helpless Brown, Black, and Yellow children. If anything, this show takes the risk, and gives a likely fairly honest depiction of how some well-meaning white people are just that… they mean well…but that doesn't mean all is well in the lives of those they claim they want to make better.
While it is certainly not the job of "the marginalized" to educate "the privileged," it certainly is what happens a lot, both on this show and in society. This show plays out this process in a fairly remarkable way. We get to see the toll racism takes on some of the characters of color, the blind spots that the white parents have, and the limitations of the family's upper-middle class status.
Without giving away too much, this drama shows us that money cannot protect us from racism, sexism, adultery, mental-health issues...etc. It also shows us that money can insulate you from some things like homelessness and hunger, and can provide us with professional networks we can fall back on and a million other things. This shows' strength is its ability to truly tap into individual perspectives. I have empathy for every character, even when they are wrong, which is amazing because we all know empathy is the key to world peace. Am I right?
If you want to see Muslim characters not portrayed as terrorists, but loving devoted family members, conflicted about religion and sexuality, watch this show. If you want to understand why some white soccer moms should be slapped in the face and then hugged, watch this show. If you want to understand when being a gay white male stops being hip and starts being dangerous, watch this show. If you want to see an "Angry Black Woman," an over-simplified middle-aged woman who is no longer relevant, or a dumbed-down emotionless father…don't watch this show. These characters are well-rounded and full-bodied… much like an Oregon Pinot Noir, of which there is plenty of on this show (both Pinots and Oregon).
By Rachel Hall, Rachel has a Masters in Cultural Gender Studies, and a BA in Communication & Culture, and works with all kinds of people to improve their ability to work with all kinds of people. She can often be found hiding in her laundry room from her two children. More about her on her website.
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Even to this day, "Dark Tournament" remains the defining shonen "Tournament Arc."
Oftentimes, it's impossible to separate the quality of the anime we grew up watching from the sense of nostalgia those series evoke.
Case in point: Dragon Ball Z. Historically, DBZ is likely the most influential anime series of all time, both redefining the shonen genre for every series that came after it and introducing an entire generation of Western kids to Japanese animation through the legendary Funimation dub on Cartoon Network's Toonami block. Chances are high that if you meet someone who loves anime and grew up in the late '90s or early 2000s, they'll have a deeply personal bond with DBZ.
At the same time, it's hard to argue that DBZ holds up in the modern day, especially for new viewers coming in with fresh eyes. The pacing of the original series is super slow, the fights drag out forever, and while DBZ created so many of shonen's most prevalent tropes ("This isn't even my final form!"), almost everything DBZ ever did has since been done better by other series.
About a year after being accused of selling furniture to ICE detention centers, e-commerce site Wayfair is in another controversy.
Wayfair, the e-commerce website beloved by millennials on a budget who don't want their apartments to look just like IKEA showrooms, is no stranger to controversy.
Last summer, employees of the company organized a protest after allegations surfaced that Wayfair had sold $200,000 worth of furniture to border detention facilities. Now, Wayfair is being suspected of trafficking missing children in their furniture.