Twenty New Stereotypes

NOTE FROM 2019 PDR: I recently had cause to be playing around on the Wayback Machine site and noticed there was some Contains2 stuff on there. Here is a piece I put on that site Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 11:08 PM:

I realized something recently that sickened me. I’m prejudiced against people who are bigoted, which is ironic or something. In the efforts of making amends with all those bigoted persons who feel I may have wronged them, I am offering them twenty new stereotypes they can use as fuel in their constant battle against whoever else.

  1. The Irish love Mountain Dew so much they routinely kill tourists and steal their money to get it.
  2. The entire population of South America believe in the Loch Ness Monster.
  3. All Americans wear poorly stiched hats that clash with their shirts.
  4. All black people spend at least an hour a day practicing Multiplication with Flash Cards.
  5. The Italian people have larger nipples than most.
  6. All Jewish people dislike A Midsummer’s Night Dream, but they all love MacBeth.
  7. Canadians brutally kill anyone who talks about Dan Akroyd in public.
  8. All white people drink urine.
  9. The Chinese are casually indifferent to kittens.
  10. The Australians killed Jesus.
  11. French people all ride DeLorians.
  12. Gay people are secretly trying to make straight people eat more canned foods.
  13. All English people are bad at Tetris.
  14. Russians are addicted to pills made from sheep innards called Haggidol.
  15. All lesbians are afraid of asteroids destroying the Earth.
  16. Catholics all smell like bowels.
  17. Japanese people are all poor and spend what money they do get on helicopters.
  18. Arab people are terrible at breakdancing.
  19. Mexicans are all impotent due to years of working with radiation.
  20. Ethiopians won’t admit when they vomit, even if it happened in front of others.

Patrick D Ryall, the D is for Psyche

ANOTHER NOTE FROM 2019 PDR: I bet this thing gets me some site traffic I don’t actually want.

Viral Video Master!

Last night I got a notification from YouTube that one of my videos had been viewed a thousand times. It was this one:

It is a poor-quality, eleven second video in which a toy dog (from a Kinder Egg, I believe), slowly moves near a Homies figure. Having gained a thousand views in a mere six years, clearly I am the master of viral content. Let’s ignore the fact that the other videos I uploaded at that same time have an average of about ten views. I’m a genius.

I figure that most of those views are probably racist jerks who were hoping to see actual footage of urban youths being attacked by dogs. At least I can be happy to be disappointing them.

Some Thoughts on Black Superhero Characters in Movies

Hey, I should try a post where I actually bother to talk about something again. That always used to be fun.

Let’s see… what’s in the news today? Oh. Here’s something. I guess that Hollywood is trying to make another movie based off the Fantastic Four comics. It is rumored that Johnny Storm, the hero known as the Human Torch, is likely to be played by a black man, even though he is a white man in the comics. Some people on the Internet are apparently pretty upset about this.

A caveat: I don’t actually care much about the Fantastic Four. As much as I love the Marvel Universe, that is one corner that has never held my attention. There’s likely plenty there worth reading, but I don’t feel like I’m missing anything enough that I’ve bothered to make an expert. Luckily, for the sake of me having this discussion, this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened. I could link to all sorts of articles about other examples, but I think this Cracked article covers all the bases pretty well.

So, step one, here’s the part where I admit that I’m one of those people who doesn’t like changes being made to adaptations of books and comics. Not just as far as race goes, but I don’t like when anything is changed. I don’t like when characters or scenes are cut for brevity, or when the setting is changed for the sake of filming. I don’t like when dialogue is changed, or when endings are changes. To be honest, I kinda just don’t like adaptations of books into movies in general. Where I apparently differ from a lot of apparently vocal people on the Internet, I realize this makes me a crazy person. I know I have an unrealistic standard, so I don’t expect anyone to live up to that. Having grown to accept that about myself, I don’t actually care about any changes made to the material. It’s inevitable, I think, so why should I worry? (For the record, my concern also applies in reverse, to movies being adapted as books or comics.)

And in step two I try to offer a solution that goes beyond simply accepting it: as the Cracked article points out, there are simply not enough roles for black people in movies based on superhero comics. That is definitely true. But what actually does bother me is the few roles that do exist are not yet being used. Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury is probably the most significant of these white-to-black “racelifts” in the Marvel movies so I’ll use him for the discussion here.

In the comics, Nick Fury first appeared in “Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1” in May of 1963. Here’s the thing: one of those Howling Commandos was Gabe Jones, a black man. Obviously he’s not the title character, but he is an important black character who has exactly as long a history in the medium as Fury, who went along with Fury to also become a top ranking SHIELD agent, and who I personally have always liked more than Fury. Still, the character never got the use that he deserved. A part of me can’t help but think that maybe, if someone as cool as Sam Jackson had played Gabe Jones instead of Fury, maybe people would have actually bothered to care about him for a change. A movie version of Gabe did make it into a minor role in Captain America: The First Avenger, but only in the World War Two section, so he’s unlikely to return in the movies set in the modern era. And since then, the comic version of Gabe Jones was unceremoniously killed off in some crappy 2010 comic. An actual black character with decades of history used as cannon fodder because nobody bothered to care. I suppose it is because Gabe doesn’t have an eyepatch, so obviously we need to use Nick Stupid Fury in the movies instead (pardon my harsh language).

So my complaint is this: If Hollywood wants roles for black characters in their superhero movies (which they damn well should), just casting black people in roles that had been white is an easy way to do it. But taking actual black characters who have existed but have been ignored and giving them the time in the limelight that they so rarely get in comics would, I think, be a more worthy method. It would benefit the oft-underappreciated characters in return.

Hopefully this sort of thing will change. Captain America’s best friend, the Falcon, a black superhero dating back to 1969, is going to be in new Cap movie in a month or so. Falcon has had a better run than a lot of black heroes, but even he has never had the success of even third-tier white heroes. Maybe the movie will change that. And a movie starring the Black Panther, a black superhero dating to 1966 (and one of my top five superheroes period) is constantly being rumored. Even with my irrational distaste for any and all adaptations, I am looking forward to that. And it would be nice if these movies finally give some black characters their due.

Oh and hey, while we’re at it, maybe we should start using some of the women superheroes too. Just a thought.

(For the record, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White in Man of Steel did not bother me in the slightest. But was it my imagination or did Perry White have an earring in that movie? Perry White with an earring? That I find more disconcerting than any possible race change ever could.)

Canadian Baseball Teams Can Be Less Racist

There’s this thing called baseball, for some reason. Anyway, for a long time we didn’t let black people play it with white people, until that changed. Some of that happened in Canada, so you better believe we have a Heritage Moment about Jackie Robinson. The Moment opens in a locker room of the Montreal Royals (but we don’t get to see any dongs) as team owner or manager or whatever he was, Mr. Rickey, introduces the team to Jackie, the first black man to play in whatever league of their little game they are in. Later (his first game, I guess?) Jackie is at bat, but the opposing pitcher hits him with the ball. Jackie’s teammates are upset by this, naturally, but so is the Canadian crowd (we sadly don’t get to see if the pitcher looks sheepishly at his feet while mumbling that he’s sorry). Before long (four innings, according to my research, is less than a week), the crowd is chanting Jackie’s name and Racism has to crawl back into its cave to strike another day.

First of all, I doubt that Jackie’s teammates first learned about Jackie one day when Mr. Rickey came along and said, “Hey, check out this new guy!” Probably it came up in conversation before that? I don’t know for sure, but it seems likely to me. Also, we all know that in the real world Mr. Rickey was played by Harrison Ford. The real problem highlighted in this piece though, see that sign behind Jackie saying “No Women or Children Allowed.” When are we going to let women and children into our sports team locker rooms? When will the we finally be together? Also, “No spitting”? Whatever, man.

Okay, anyway, it may have come across that I think baseball is ridiculous and pointless. That is correct. But Jackie Robinson’s story isn’t one about winning a baseball game, it’s about breaking down the arbitrary barriers that racism built up in society. If those barriers exist in some silly game, it is as important to break them there as anywhere. For that reason, I can actually care about Jackie Robinson’s story. How does the Moment do? Well, it’s a bit cheesy (Montreal Royal with Cheese?), but it tells the story clearly in the time allowed, and makes Canadians feel good about themselves by having the crowd support him. That’s what these are supposed to be for. Sadly, there’s no lines that are burned into my head (though I’d love to have Mr. Rickey’s introduction of Jackie down), and that is what PDR considers most important. Altogether, I suppose I’d have to give this Heritage Moment Four out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake.

Pat Talk: A Guide to Marrying Patrick D Ryalls

Okay, I think we can all accept that I’m probably never going to get married. I lead a practically monastic lifestyle and I’m anti-social to levels just short of where I’d have to start doing murders. But still, thoughts enter my head from time to time when I see other marriages that make me wonder what it would be like for me. Plus, I gotta find something to put up on this damned website, right? So this here is a message to my Future Wife. You probably don’t exist, but this guide still does: What to expect if you marry PDR.

Okay, Future Wife, somehow you’ve found yourself in a position where you think marrying PDR is a good idea. Probably a disease wiped out most of the dudes on Earth or whatever. Whatever the cause, you have somehow seen past all the annoying neuroses, childish thoughts, and general stupidity that surround PDR and you mistakenly think he’s an okay guy beneath it all. Well, I’ll not argue that right now (there’ll be time after the honeymoon), but I will offer some other advice that you can use.

PDR don’t wedding. I don’t want a big wedding. I really don’t. I have mentioned this previously on the site and I still stand buy it. If you want a marriage with PDR, he’s okay with that. If you want a wedding with PDR, he is less okay with that! There’s probably some leeway in here, I admit. I’m willing to compromise to an extent since, it is my understanding, some people are close with their families and would want them involved, but that’s about as far as I can go. The ideal situation for me would be, us, the marryer person, and I think we need a witness or something? Well, okay that’s not the totally ideal one, it’s just realistically ideal. The totally ideal one would involve wizards that give us powers so that we can become a crimefighting superhero couple. But the odds of that are so ridiculous that they’re slightly more unlikely than me getting married to begin with.

Also, another tradition I’m going to go against: Don’t take my last name. I assume you’ve got a last name, Future Wife. Unless there is something tangibly wrong with yours, why would you want to go and change it after decades of living with it? And if there is something wrong with it, you had decades where you could have changed it without getting me involved. And think about me, too. I don’t want that. I don’t want to have to learn a new name for some person I apparently like enough to marry. Keep it simple. The bottom line is this: I’m not conquering some undiscovered land here, Future Wife, I’m making allies with an already peopled land. Do you get it Future Wife? Do you understand metaphor Future Wife? I do hope I won’t have to always resort to simile for you. That would be frightfully boorish.

While we’re on the topic of nomenclature, Future Wife, please don’t refer to me as “hubby” either in conversation with me or when talking to other people. For some reason it is a term that doesn’t sit well with me. I can tolerate being called most things. If no variation on my name suits the situation, there’s a million other things that I’d accept first. The usual pet names like “Dear”, “Sweetie”, “Your Holiness”, “Asshole”, “Fuckhead”, “Dickless”, “Hey Idiot”, “You Grandmafuckingcockstrangler”, “I HATE YOU AND IF YOU DIED IN A FIRE WITH A MILLION BABIES AND GOD OFFERED ME THE CHANCE TO TURN BACK TIME AND PREVENT THE FIRE I STILL WOULDN’T” or “Honey” are all good. “Hubby” is just in this weird zone of vagueness and formality. I like to think of the husband role as being secondary to us being friends, Future Wife. So address me as a friend instead of as a husband. Or something. Anyway, I don’t like it.

Switching gears entirely: I’m nocturnal. Granted, at the moment I’ve got an excuse that I’m that way for work, but I really can’t see myself ever wanting to fully make the transition back to being a full-time diurnal person. I no longer get the headaches I got for years during the times when I was in school or worked days. I think this is because I’m really supposed to be a night person. Don’t worry, though, Future Wife, I’ll still have time for you. I assume you’ll work during the days during the week, so I can sleep while you’re at work and have dinner ready when you get home. And on weekends you’ll have nice morning hours free from my odious presence until I wake up in the afternoon and we can sup on sunlit verandas then dance the night away to our heart’s content*. In many ways my being nocturnal is way better for us, Future Wife. So don’t try to change this. It’s what is right.

(* I will not actually dance the night away)

Eventually we’ll probably have kids, Future Wife. That seems to be what married couples feel like they have to do, even though if they really thought about it they’d realize “hey, maybe let’s don’t do that” but whatever, we probably will. Such is the nature of hypothetical scenarios. Here’s the thing: If I were a single parent my kids would not be raised to celebrate Christmas. This, of course, makes me the villain in most movies. I know, but this is who I am. But that’s irrelevant anyway! You, Future Wife, assuming you’re not stupid enough to die and leave me alone with Future Child, are going to be there too, and I think it is very likely that (unless you’re both non-Christian and non-secular in which case how did we get this far without me somehow insulting your religion?) you probably do the whole Christmas thing, so I will acquiesce to you. I will try to instill this one day with a level of joy I don’t think it can really contain at the detriment of joy that could be found on other days if you want me to. Just don’t expect me to be enthusiastic about it. I reserve the right to complain about every dumb holiday decoration, every stupid holiday obligation, and especially any Christmas song, and you don’t get to be surprised or hurt. Because I laid this down early and plainly. Got it? And if you die, I’m stealing Christmas from that kid, you better believe it! Hahahahahaha!

Ahem. Finally, and perhaps most important: No racist hate crimes. All hate crimes that we commit as a married couple shall be motivated by class. This is non-negotiable.