Swing Out Sister

“You ever feel the need for something more, whenever we come crashing at your door, you ever stop and wonder what it is you’re searching for.” 

The Breakup

The relationship that I have with Twitter might best be categorized as one where you’re in a relationship that’s no good for you on any level. But the reason you’re staying is because of all the good things that used to be there in the beginning. In other words, although the future is bleak, you stay because you spend your present thinking about how good the past was. Always constantly hoping you’ll return to a place that was as good before… but knowing in your heart of hearts it’s never getting back there. Because you simply need more then what you’re getting now from that love. And after a few separate heartbreaks you always hope that things would change. But they never quite do. So I might think of Twitter as a very good loving, committed relationship, gone horribly awry with flaws, misplaced priorities and constant neglect. What was once love, now there is a great sense of loss and anger. It had been building for a while. But every relationship is going to have its one fatal, final straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. Twitter was that one social network that I thought was different from the rest, but instead turned out to be just like them. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe all social networks are the same, but it’s a matter of which flaws you’re okay dealing with. Needless to say, all in all about a 6 year engagement is over. After many break ups, time apart, I can say it’s over. I think I always knew that it would be over some day. But when it came, I was saddened nonetheless. Perhaps that’s why it took so long. I wanted to avoid the sense of loss. No one likes loss. But with that loss, once we transcend the emptiness of the void left behind, there is now room for growth. That’s my relationship with Twitter defined.

As I sit and type this out, these are what come to mind as reasons I left Twitter.

The last straw actually came for me a few days ago when it was revealed that longtime X-Men character ICEMAN was coming out of the closest as a “full gay” man. In a time where political correctness rules the day, I think diversity in comics is a really good thing for the industry as a whole. I think retroactively changing a character’s past that’s been in publication for 52 years in order to fill a quota is abominable. This would be the case whether you suddenly revealed that Tony Stark has really been Black this entire time, the Hulk has really been a woman this entire time, Spider-man is actually an alien from another planet that was sent here in a rocket ship. So goes changing a character who’s been straight for over half a century and saying that actually that entire time, they were gay… Marvel just never told you. In a time where we’re told to agree with popular opinion or dissenting voices will be treated as bigots, and haters, Twitter is one of the first places that vitriol from Marvel’s decision was spilled over. As I looked it was incredulous to me that people would accept that a character who has been straight and has had several relationships with women now suddenly was gay, with no history of it, no context, no reason, no seeds planted. Nothing over the publication history. Especially since said character has been pulled out of the time stream to the present day… while the actual present character is very much so straight. (Confused? Yeah, well Bendis tells way too many X-Men time loop stories). To update those who don’t follow comics, the original 5 X-Men (Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel and Jean Grey) were brought to the present (2014) from the past (circa 1963) as a way to get present day, 2014 Cyclops to stop acting like a little @#$%. Well turns out 1963 Iceman meets 2014 Iceman. Same person, different points in time. 1963 Iceman for no reason comes out the closet as gay. Well no, that’s incorrect. 1963 Iceman has his mind read, without permission by 1963 Jean Grey who then proceeds to pull Bobby out of the closet kicking and screaming, which I can’t imagine sends a good message to any LGBT individual struggling with how to come out of the closet on their own merits. But I digress. Meanwhile 2014 Iceman very clearly loves women and has been intimate with several of them. If Marvel had said the character was bisexual, the fanhood could have bought it at least. It’s not a perfect explanation since there’s still no evidence at all of any same sex attraction for the character with other male gendered characters. But at least it solves the timeline issue, and explains a few things. Plus, I find there to be a distinct lack of bisexual characters in comics as well as lack of discussion of what it means to be Bisexual.  But no. They had to definitely say that Iceman was “full gay”. This doesn’t help LGBT children or adults who are reading or need to see characters that represent them. Instead of establishing new characters that the audience could invest in, they took a trait (sexuality) and latched it onto a character that had no prior history of it as a quick but weak attempt to tell LGBT comic fans they matter. On Twitter, (and I guess everywhere, but really very much so on Twitter) anything less than full support of this was regarded as hating gay people when really it has nothing to do with hating a full group of people. It has everything to do with the fidelity that comes with constructing a character. If you go see Avengers: Age of Ultron next week, and in a strange twist, they reveal that Captain America has HIV…they just never told you… you would feel betrayed as an audience member who’s invested lots of money in the several movies you seen. There’s been no hinting. No evidence. Nothing that suggests he has HIV. Doesn’t mean you don’t like people with HIV. But you’re left wondering why this is the case that he has a disease that’s never before been mentioned or addressed in Phase 1 or Phase 2 of any of the movies? It’s the same thing. So I had to log off Twitter the other day because many people were happy to see this as a victory for diversity, when really it’s a crime against the fans who have known and supported the character as well as Marvel for decades. Also, this doesn’t help LGBT individuals because Marvel is taking a hardline stance here that says being gay is a choice. For 52 years, Bobby Drake has been having sex with women. Lots of women. Then decided that since he’s in a new time zone, now he can have sex with men. Which is his true self. A true self we’ve never known about for 52 or so years. In other words, Bobby’s homosexuality is transitory and he can just decide when it’s there and when it’s not. The move reeks of publicity stunt. But moreso, it makes Bendis out to be a bit of a lazy writer. But on Twitter when you say that, you almost always get hit with “You’re a homophobe.” Maybe I’m just a comic book collector who knows his publication history. So that made Twitter… less fun. Let’s delve into this a bit more…

If 1963 Iceman just came out of the closet as gay, then 2014 Iceman should now have a memory of this event happening. 2014 Iceman should now remember telling 1963 Jean Grey, that he’s full gay (after Jean pulled him out of the closet by reading his mind without asking permission). We know that it’s been stated that it is impossible for the 5O X Men to return to their time. Some from here on out, 2014 Iceman’s memories should reconcile with 1963 Iceman’s actions, beliefs and behaviors.  There’s no evidence that 2014 Iceman has these memories. But if it happened, it’s supposed to be there. It isn’t. Which means then that 1963 Iceman can’t be from earlier in 2014 Iceman’s life. 1963 Iceman, has to be from another past time line altogether, an alternate timeline. In fact, anything that 1963 Iceman does, 2014 Iceman should recall. There’s NO evidence of this. So if 1963 Bobby is full gay, how is 2014 Bobby still currently seeing several women at the same time with absolutely no acknowledgment that this event ever occurred? That’s paradoxical.

When you say that on Twitter, your criticism of the logic of the story is perceived as hate for LGBT individuals right to exist and be free. When you criticize the plot holes, the lack of imaginative writing and the failure of the editors to recognize serious problems with this proposal, you risk raising the ire of those who seek diversity at all costs. Some people will simply not see your point because they’ve been waiting for characters that represent them… regardless of it if makes sense from a publication standpoint or not. That harsh realization had me walk away from Twitter. My emotional reactions for being called a homophobe when really I’m a concerned comic collector was a bit too much for my liking.

  • Time sucker – The amount of time I spent reading what others tweeted was inexcusable. The time it takes to favorite tweets, RT them, post to Twitter. Repeat. Daily. Twitter is my number one go to site for news. But why not just go to the actual… news. Twitter is great for selling ideas quick. It’s great for getting a thought out. But I’ve lost so many hours with Twitter as my idol. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it immensely. But for all that time, I could bookmark the actual sites I visit on my laptop and go there for deeper understanding. I don’t need Twitter to tell me what the Rockets are doing— I have an app that goes off everytime they beat up on the Mavericks. So Twitter is redundant in that way.
  • I didn’t like how women were treated on there – Here’s a fun exercise. Take it from a guy who follows the entire Houston Texans Cheerleading team. Or at least used to (I admit RT cheerleaders has gotten me in trouble more than once. Sorry baby!!) Take any attractive woman and RT her picture. Let it sit for about an hour. Come back to the tweet. You’ll find 150 RTs, 75 Favorites and about 200 comments from some REALLY thirsty dudes on there. I’ve seen married men with pictures of their wives in their profile. And I’ve seen the same person flirt, send love emojis, tell women how sexy they are. I’ve seen this with cheerleaders. I’ve seen it with fitness models. I’ve even seen it with news casters. It’s almost a meat market. Why is a married man favoriting a tweet with a cheerleader who just turned 21? Perhaps the format of Twitter allows for such flirtaciousness to take place but I find it off putting. Maybe this is happening on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as well. I don’t know. But I see it much moreso on Twitter because that’s where I lay my hat. And it makes me give a virtual facepalm to my male brethren. People don’t realize that women on twitter are not to be objectified. These are mothers, daughters. Wives, sisters. Some with pompoms. Some dressed in business casual. But the thirst is strong. And it leaves me embarrassed.
  • Proxy for engagement without actual engaging– I have a locked account on Twitter. I recognize the fault is mine. But the primary reason I locked the account to start was that daily I was getting spam followers who were pornographic. That stopped after locking the account. But it’s been quiet on there. I’m RT stuff but is anyone really interested? I’m tweeting things, but no one really comments on it. I post fascinating articles about Spider-Man! But no one reads. That’s 14,000 tweets that seemingly won’t be missed once the account is gone. My want for connection with others must take another route.
  • Professional Development – I’m a Christian before anything. Bible above all. I’m not afraid to say I’m a Christian. Nor do I desire to limit professional opportunities due to preconceived notions of what a Christian does or who a Christian is. In a world where we can’t really have an open dialogue about Islam and the connection between terrorism and passages in the Quran that promote said terrorism; when we can’t discuss the life Muhammad led and the many deaths that resulted from his decisions without being labeled as one who “hates”…well, Twitter doesn’t quite work for me. If we can’t have open discussion without being labeled an Islamophobe (are people ever labeled Christophobe? Or Buddhaphobe? Taoaphobe? Atheistaphobe??) then the site is failing against promoting conversation. Also— why does Twitter allow groups such as ISIS to have Twitter accounts and promote videos of them decapitating Americans? As an American company worth millions, I would expect more ethically from a company I’ve supported so long.
  • Microblogging is not actual blogging – 140 characters or less isn’t quite the same as sitting and basking in words. And using those words to tell a story. And engaging your audience. Can you really learn about me in 140 characters? You can learn I like Spidey. And the Texans. That’s about it. Also, Twitter encourages impulsivity. You have a thought that you think is the greatest thing ever. So you tweet it as opposed to thinking and reflecting on if that’s something that really should be said aloud. If you’ve ever tweeted something then deleted it later, you know what I’m talking about. Inhibition tends to go out the door. I miss my blog. And for me, writing on it is an amazing experience I’ve traded for something much less. It’s like trading in the mindblowing, steamy love making you’ve perfected with your wife of 10 years for a pretty young 20 year old who seems “fun”. It’s not worth it to me in the long term.                                                                                                                                             Shady customer service –  I think this one speaks for itself. I’ve seen similar stories as this and this is a sign that Twitter is forgetting about the ones who made them as big as they are today: everyday folks like you and I.

I got from Twitter who I needed. That was a blessing.

So I’m not afraid to let go to see what the Lord might bless me with next.

Man of Steel: First Flight

I have finally seen Man of Steel and let me tell you this is the best Superhero film I have ever seen. My rankings are below:

And this scene here… this scene is so BEAUTIFUl. WOW.

Man of Steel was so good…that NOW I’m worried that Batman v. Superman will mess this up due to how Dark Batman has to be. Ugh. Batman. Of course I have my own issues with the character which I’ll post another day…

1) Man of Steel

2) Superman II (Richard Donner cut)

3) Spider-Man 3

4) Spider-Man 2

5) Batman (Christopher Nolan films)

6) X-Men: Days of Future’s Past

Fantastic Four Trailer

As one of my mother’s favorites comics you best believe I will be in the theatres this August to see this…

Also… because seeing this movie pisses off racists. So I’m definitely watching.

Magic

Needed to put this somewhere because I heard this version of this song for the first time last night and it brought me to tears because of how beautiful it is. Brandy loves herself some coldplay and I think has covered a few of their songs. This was easily one of the best.

“I call it magic, and I call it true. Call it magic.” Love is so beautiful!

The Road To Wrestlemania: My Favorite Matches

I thought this would be a great time and place to put all my favorite Wrestlemania Matches on those days like today where I don’t feel like working or going out. Let’s get started on the matches that really make Wrestlemania mean so much to me. This should get you started on a primer on why I love wrestling so much. And why I’ll be there at Wrestlemania 32!!!

Wrestlemania 6: Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior (THIS MATCH…THIS MATCH made me fall in love with Wrestlemania!!)

Wrestlemania X8: The Rock Vs. Hulk Hogan (My all time favorite match!!!!)

Wrestlemania 2000: Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match for the WWE Championship

Wrestlemania 2000: TLC 1

Wrestlemania 17: TLC 2

Wrestlemania 18: Undertaker vs. Ric Flair

Wrestlemania 20: Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle

Wrestlemania 24: Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair

Wrestlemania 25: Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels  (My 2nd Favorite all time match!!)

Wrestlemania 28: The Rock vs. John Cena

Wrestlemania 30: Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H.

The Road to Wrestlemania: Prelude

We have to set the scene by taking it back to Wrestlemania 28. A wrestle mania that I presumably could have flown down to Miami attend and it didn’t work out.

Ever since that day, I’ve long kicked myself for not attending or at least being in my favorite city to watch the showcase of the immortals. And yet, another chance has been presented to me. 4 years later. 4 long years later after everything I’ve gone through, I have the chance to make a dream, a life long dream a reality. 

It’s a perfect storm. I graduate in 2016. One month before, Wrestlemania comes to Dallas, Tx. And I will be there. AT & T stadium. 100,000 strong. And I will be there. This thing that I’ve wanted to do since I was 5, and now I have a chance at 35 to do so. I’m going to Wrestlemania y’all!

This is such a big deal, that it’s helping to breathe new life into my blog. I’m starting a new series here entitled, “The Road to Wrestlemania”. I hope it charts my experiences from the shock of actually purchasing tickets, to seeing the hall of fame and of course buying WWE gear. I want a public online sphere where I can look back on and see the year long journey that it took for me to get here.

I’m going to wrestlemania, y’all. And it means more to me than anything!

My family has always watched wrestling since I was kid. My parents would attend wrestling shows all throughout the state, anywhere from Charlotte to Greensboro. All the greats: Wahoo McDaniels, Ric Flair (WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!), Dusty Roads. As a family, we were so fanatical about wrestling. I remember putting my oldest sister into several wrestling moves all the time. My youngest sister, too!

The first time I really fell in love with the pageantry though had to be Wrestlemania 6. That’s when little 5 year old me became a true Hulkamaniac.

Who will ever forget any of the Undertaker vs HBK matches?

Or my personal favorite WM match: The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan. To think I have a chance to sit in the arena and watch this. I’m just so over joyed!! (ask my baby, who I keep telling her over and over, “We’re going to Wrestlemania, baby.) So I’m hoping to really use this forum as a way to express and talk about what it feels to accomplish this dream…one month before accomplishing an even bigger one: Graduating.

2016 is my moment. And the Road to Wrestlemania 32 has begun.

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