Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, March 26, 2021

Mary Spicuzza laments pop culture’s move away from female action heroes who are complex but stable, to ones who are more one-note and dysfunctional.

Besides, the doms really need to get their priorities straight. For example, Catwoman uses her superpowers to steal a necklace that caught her eye.

“Time to accessorize,” she snarls, shattering its glass container.

Elektra and Catwoman have severed ties to the world. Elektra, a tormented assassin, exists only for her next assignment even though she seems to hate her job. (Just what modern women need - more examples of female workaholics trapped in unsatisfying careers.)

I’m not sure why Spicuzza is so worked up over some crappy movies that didn’t register with audiences anyway. Both Catwoman and Elektra bombed at the box office, as did the other referenced offender, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. There’s no track record to warrant a fear of Catwoman Scratches Back hitting screens soon (love that dreamed-up title, by the way). If anything, the failure of these superheroine films jeopardizes all TV and film projects fronted by female action heroes, regardless of quality or approach.

There may be hope, though. If the Joss Whedon-helmed Wonder Woman movie project gets off the ground, and it carries the sort of sensibility that one would expect from the creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, all will be right in the estrogen-fueled action world.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/26/2005 05:18:14 PM
Category: TV, Movies, Women | Permalink | Feedback

Much of which took until my teenage years to fully unlearn:

1. Assuming that “Jefferson” was exclusively a name for black people, I thought our third President was, naturally, a black man.

2. In a similar vein, I thought “Lionel” was a black-only name (along with “Lamont” and “Willis” — especially ironic, since both those characters tried to Africanize their names in single episodes of their respective shows).

3. I’m a bit fuzzy on this, but I seem to recall having to un-learn a George Jefferson-style walk around age 7 or 8.

4. When a black woman and a white man have children together, the kids end up being either all black or all white (despite accusation of being “zebra”).

5. I thought “honky” was a widely-used racial epithet.

6. I thought everyone should aspire to move on up to a deluxe department in the sky-ie-ie.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/26/2005 04:37:17 PM
Category: TV | Permalink | Feedback

For something that’s been around for so long, the universe sure is a tricky thing to pin down. Whereas just a month ago, we were told that “dark matter” and “dark energy” made up most of everything, now there’s a counterview that declares such mysterious forces to be so much bunk.

When Einstein first put his theories of relativity together, he included a cosmological constant, a number that accounted for this acceleration of the universe’s expansion. He later referred to this as his greatest blunder, but his ideas have since been rehabilitated.

But now, Edward Kolb of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory says that Einstein “was right when he said he was wrong”, according to a Reuters report.

Antonio Riotto at Italy’s National Nuclear Physics Institute in Padova, who also worked on the research, told Reuters: “No mysterious dark energy is required. If dark energy were the size that theories predict … it would have prevented the existence of everything we know in our cosmos.”

Instead, he says, the acceleration is an after effect of the big bang that has not been properly accounted for.

I see a rumble in the academic jungle over this one…

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/26/2005 04:16:02 PM
Category: Science | Permalink | Feedback

It wouldn’t be Easter without Easter treats, and chocolate is high on most peoples’ list. Along with the old-hat Easter bunny, chocolate Christian crosses are gaining favor among the faithful.

But not without some predictable knee-jerk squawking:

However, not all Christians are happy about it. Chomping on a chocolate cross can be offensive to some, said Joseph McAleer, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic diocese in Bridgeport, Conn.

“The cross should be venerated, not eaten, nor tossed casually in an Easter basket beside the jelly beans and marshmallow Peeps,” he said. “It’s insulting.”

“It’s in poor taste,” agreed the Rev. John Vakulskas, a Catholic priest in Alton, Iowa.

Have these idiots never heard of hot cross buns? And there’s probably a few thousand other foodly expressions of religious symbols eaten every day.

It’s particularly ironic that the Catholics would find the eating of a cross-shaped treat insulting, given the central role of the sacrament in their ritual. I guess it’s okay to eat your God in the form of a cracker, but not in the form of milk chocolate.

Fortunately, my church isn’t as tight-assed about this, and brings up a crucial point that seemed to have eluded the previous commentators:

But the Rev. John Matusiak, of the Orthodox Church of America, could see how a cross in any form would carry more meaning than other Easter symbols. “Better for people to give a kid a cross instead of bunny,” he said, “but it is kind of creepy to eat a cross.”

In other words, if a chocolate cross edges out that pagan-based bunny, all the better. Which, if you’re really a Christian, is the sensible way to look at it.

Of course, we all know where this is leading:

[Company president Tom] Ward said Russell Stover considered making other traditional images out of chocolate but eventually opted not to.

“A molded Jesus, for example, would not be a good call and a cross with Jesus on it wouldn’t be a good idea either,” Ward said.

Just imagine if the time-honored tradition of biting the heads off chocolate bunnies turned into biting the heads off chocolate Christs. Talk about eating your gods…

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/26/2005 03:52:38 PM
Category: Society | Permalink | Feedback (4)

Every couple of months, I get a wrong-number call to my cellphone. It happens.

What makes such misdials far more maddening than they should be is when the dipshit on the other end calls not once, not twice, but AT LEAST 4 OR 5 TIMES BEFORE FIGURING IT OUT.

I mean, what is it? Do they think that if they keep dialing the same exact number, it’ll magically connect them with the right person? Do they run through their options, exhaust all their brain power doing that for 5 seconds, then decide, “I guess I’ll hit redial”? I know it’s the same person, or at least the same household, because caller ID tells me so.

Honestly, some people are just too stupid to be allowed to use a telephone.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/26/2005 03:26:36 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback