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"I saved the world from the Nazi scourge, and I only get to be a Captain?"

“I saved the world from the Nazi scourge, and I only get to be a Captain?”

Some of the greatest heroes the world has ever known have had military ranks. Some of them have actually served in the military, notably Captain America, even though he seems to have been handed the rank of Captain straight away, rather than enlisting as Private America and being promoted, whether through merit or on the battlefield. Others, like the often-overlooked Sgt. Rock and the more-heralded Nick Fury, never got a commission, in spite of fighting their way across Nazi-occupied Europe.

Who appointed Captains Britain and Canuck to their ranks? They always seemed to be lone wolves. Maybe they got drummed out of their respective services for insubordination. Captain Marvel served in the Kree Army before saving the universe on more than one occasion, while the other Captain Marvel got all his powers from a magician and would almost certainly go by the name Shazam if saying the word wouldn’t turn him back into Billy Batson, who’s much too young to enlist.

But the real question is, with all of their heroics and freedom-fighting and leadership, why haven’t any of these heroes been promoted to higher ranks? Why no Major Mexico, Lieutenant Colonel Liechtenstein, Brigadier General Bolivia, or General Germany, for example? Dictators like Qaddafi and Noriega, who by all rights should have been defeated and disgraced by justice-seeking heroes, instead outranked all of them (to be fair Noriega appointed himself General, but if Captain America had ever become President, it’s almost certain he would have humbly remained a simple Captain).

Maybe part of being heroic and risking your life to save your country, the universe, or even just a cat caught in a tree is being modest enough to accept your rank in life, even when you’re more of a man than the rest of the Army put together.

come-from-awayWhat if 9/11 was planned by the people of Gander, Newfoundland in an a scheme to reroute airplanes and then make the entire world believe that they’re the kindest, most unselfish folks in the whole world? And then—and here’s the real endgame—capitalize on a smash Broadway musical? Horrifying if true! Bad enough to kill over three thousand people and destroy billions of dollars of property for favourable press coverage, good will, and Broadway box office receipts, but they surely couldn’t have known that 9/11 would also lead to invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, and years of death and political turmoil? Surely all of the tragedy of the last fifteen years wasn’t part of the plan? All I can say is, Newfoundlanders are very social people, and tickets start at $47, so you do the math!

That's about the size of it...

That’s about the size of it…

As Donald Trump attempts to put questions about President Barack Obama’s birthplace behind him, another controversy, this time about Trump himself, is starting to gain attention. And like so many other questions about the Republican Presidential candidate, from his sewer rat’s nest hair-do to his inexplicably orange skin to his tiny baby hands, this one has to do with his body: in this case, his penis, and specifically its girth, or more properly its lack of girth.

If the rumours about Trump’s penis that are starting to become more than the whispers that have long-circulated in New York, Miss Universe pageants, Atlantic City, and Trump family reunions are being spoken out loud more and more frequently, Mr. Trump has only himself to blame. By constantly talking about his sexual conquests, both in and out of marriage, he has surely courted this controversy: women are happy to put unsatisfying sexual experiences behind them and be discrete, especially when it comes to the physical deficiencies of sexual partners, and that’s even more true when it comes to self-aggrandizing, shit-heel billionaires. But Trump insisted on airing his dirty laundry in public, and it’s no surprise that discussion eventually turned to his tighty-whities and how they were never particularly full.

At the same time, his inability to allow the snarky comments about his small hands pass without comment led ex-partners to compare notes and reporters to connect the dots. (You know what they say about men with small hands.) Trump is notoriously thin-skinned when it comes to criticism of himself, and more and more talk is centering on his equally thin-skinned penis, which rumours indicate is of average length, but exceedingly small in circumference, or in common parlance, “girth.”

The small but growing (which cannot be said about Trump’s penis, according to one ex-girlfriend: “It’s just small”) “girther” movement is demanding assurances from the Trump campaign that his penis is of at least average American girth, while criticizing the so-called “lengthers” who are focused on its length. “We in the Republican Party, and others who want to Make America Great Again, are not concerned about penis length,” claims a spokesman, “because we know that our diversity is our strength. The important thing is that the President has a penis, whatever length it happens to be. But it would just make all of us more comfortable to know that The Donald’s packing something substantial. Americans of all colours and lengths know that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are not the answer to solving our problems. I mean, she doesn’t even have a penis!”

For his part, Trump insists that he has “tremendous girth, beautiful girth, it’s quite something… I can barely fit my hand around it, not that I need to masturbate, I have my pick of gorgeous women… believe me, there’s no issue down there!” When asked to have the distance between his ring finger and thumb measured, however, the candidate demurred, saying that he couldn’t allow that since he was under audit.

"Why did I agree to do this horrible fucking movie?!"

“Why did I agree to do this horrible fucking movie?!”

Lots of people have said it much better than I ever could, and in many different ways, but Batman vs Superman was a really, really, epically horrible movie.

I could talk at length about why this is the case, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll just offer reason #3182:

You know what the most unbelievable thing about Batman vs Superman is?

It’s not that Superman’s bulletproof or can shoot laser beams out of his eyes.

It’s not the idea that Perry White is the editor-in-chief of a major newspaper but is sending Clark Kent to cover a local football team.

Those are nitpicky criticisms of poor writing or the absurdity of fantasy. I can suspend my disbelief about the laser beams.

It’s the notion that the United States would convene a Senate hearing on the deaths of innocent civilians in a third world country in order to bring Superman to justice. American soldiers kill civilians all over the world without a second thought from the vast majority of Americans. Zack Snyder presents a righteous vision of America that would only be familiar to the most blindly patriotic Republicans, and doesn’t exist in reality. It’s a vision of an America that puts itself out into the world in order to do the right thing every time, and is always looking out for the little guy. In reality the United States does exactly what Superman does: drops into volatile situations it doesn’t understand, throws its muscle around, protects a narrow version of American interests, and leaves without any concern for the chaos, destruction, and death it’s left behind.

"This desk is yuge!"

“This desk is yuge!”

 

“We’re going to build that wall and make the Mexicans pay for it and when they won’t we’re going to go down to the parking lot and wrassle up some labourers and put guns in their hands and make ’em fight the Mexicans. Think of the ratings!”

“Ugh, that Queen Elizabeth sure ain’t no Melania. Look at that face! Would you pledge allegiance to that?”

“Whaddaya mean you won’t sign the treaty? It’s got the best words!”

“Public enemy number one: Megyn Kelly.”

“We’re gonna work the word ‘classy’ somewhere into the Star-Spangled Banner.”

“Announcing the new judging nomination process: Supreme Court Apprentice.”

“Immediate rendition to Guantánamo for anyone making fun of my hair or tiny hands.”

Nothing to be ashamed of, Nora!

Nothing to be ashamed of, Nora!

My formative university years were in the early 1990s, the height of political correctness. It was a time filled with furious debates over history vs. herstory, campus safety (the University of Windsor instituted walk safe programs and considered removing hedges and shrubs since attackers could hide behind them), and heated discussions about womyn, wommin, and wimmin.

As a young man it was a challenging but rewarding time: my assumptions were being questioned constantly, but for those willing to keep an open mind, it felt like we were changing the world, one attitude and even one word at a time.

Feminism predated us, and in fact we were merely the “third wave” after the first wave of suffragists and the second wave who were focused on sexuality and reproductive rights, but the struggle was nonetheless vital.

Given how the word “feminism” seems to have once again become a dirty word with so many young people today, you may ask me if I, as a man, considered myself a feminist. I did, and still do, even if I don’t shout it from the rooftops. Based on my coming to maturity in the linguistically-fraught days of the early 1990s, I’m hyper-sensitive to the power of words and the idea that people define themselves and their community by the power of language. I still cringe when I hear someone calling an adult woman “girl.”

It may not be up to me to decide whether I’m a feminist or not. I try to, and I hope that I can live up to the expectations of the label, but I’ll let others make the call.

In order to help make my case, though, I offer this: I also feel bad about Nora Ephron’s neck.

To be clear, it was a perfectly fine, perfectly ordinary neck, particularly for a woman of her age and background. I have nothing against her neck. But I feel bad that she felt bad about it, and that society made her feel bad about it.

As a white male, I’ve never felt bad about my own neck. To be honest, I’ve never given it much thought. Why should I? Society doesn’t really judge me on my looks, at least not in the pernicious way that it judges women. Even if I had an Ephronesque turkey wattle neck, now or in the future, it won’t really affect anything in my life. If I’m lucky enough to be considered handsome, having an ugly neck will be overlooked, and if I’m considered unattractive, I’m sure that my neck will have very little to do with that.

Those are the benefits of being a white male in a society that is still dominated by white males, no matter what Fox News and Ezra Levant might try to tell you. Who the hell cares what my neck looks like?

But being immune to society’s judgement based on the luck of my birth as a white male in the greatest ever time to be a white male ever doesn’t mean I don’t have empathy for those who are judged by the society that my type dominates. I do have empathy, for Nora Ephron’s neck, for Oprah’s struggle with her weight, and for so many other of the prejudices that women must fight against in this world.

That’s why I’m a feminist. If you’ll allow me to be, that is.

Leap before looking.

Do unto others as my whims dictate.

Say “fuck” more often.

Give peas a chance.

Direct my feet to the punny side of the street.

Masturbate to images that I should be ashamed of masturbating to.

Cut once; fuck that “measure” shit.

Spank that ass.

Have false gods before thee.

—–

2016 is going to be a hell of a year!

Women who keep their mobile phones in their bras.

Washing instruction tags on sexy underwear.

When you deliberately wear nylons with runs in them.

North Korean traffic ladies.

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