Episode 62


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Richie gains superpowers, and just in time to save Virgil from Ebon and the Meta-Breed ("Gear"). Pops takes his children to Africa, where Static steps in to save a village from a madman willing to do anything in search of gold ("Static in Africa"). A new superhero is in town, but she's more than she seems ("Shebang"). Virgil and Richie judge a book by its cover, nearly pushing a bully over the edge ("The Usual Suspect"). And lastly, the teen heroes must take on Brainiac with the help of the Justice League ("A League of Their Own"). [ 1:32:04 || 42.2 MB ]

The above is from: http://www.worldsfinestpodcast.com/episodes/wfp_062.mp3

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Two things I wanted to mention.

I didn't think of this until just now, but the anti-bullying message of "Jimmy" was totally undermined by having Virgil purposely tease Marcus in "The Usual Suspect."

Secondly, and I meant to say this during the episode, but I forgot: Virgil says something that's quite racist, and it shows that the producers / censors clearly have a double standard. During one of the episodes Virgil says, "Richie, no offense, but your family tree is just one big potato. You're Irish!" Okay, he's making a friendly joke at his buddy's Irish heritage, I get that. But flip it around; imagine if Richie said to Static, "V, no offense, but your family tree is just one big watermelon. You're black!" There's no way in Hell that would have made it to the air, so it ticks me off that a racial stereotype against a white culture could. I hate double standards, and this one is bad.

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Two things I wanted to mention.

I didn't think of this until just now, but the anti-bullying message of "Jimmy" was totally undermined by having Virgil purposely tease Marcus in "The Usual Suspect."

Secondly, and I meant to say this during the episode, but I forgot: Virgil says something that's quite racist, and it shows that the producers / censors clearly have a double standard. During one of the episodes Virgil says, "Richie, no offense, but your family tree is just one big potato. You're Irish!" Okay, he's making a friendly joke at his buddy's Irish heritage, I get that. But flip it around; imagine if Richie said to Static, "V, no offense, but your family tree is just one big watermelon. You're black!" There's no way in Hell that would have made it to the air, so it ticks me off that a racial stereotype against a white culture could. I hate double standards, and this one is bad.

I wanted to mention the Irish thing, but I forgot. Indeed, it is one of the biggest double standards in existence. White people can't say anything even remotely derogatory about black people, but black people can say pretty much anything they want about white people. It's just a sad fact of life.

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I didn't like how the Justice League said Static could be on the team when he is older. I find that annoying because of proof from JLU, that first seven Justice League team aren't the only adult heroes in the world, so why are they saying Static can be part of the team when he is older but all these other adult heroes in the world don't get to be on the team?

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Gents,

I actually had a couple things I wanted to throw out...

Mike, I have to say, I like the same thing that bugs you about Kangor. Building on the "one big potato" comment, why is it that so many heroes who didn't come from the US are typecast as only part of their home culture? Sure, there are national champions, Captain Britain, Sabra, etc. Fine, they don't count. There are certainly exceptions, like Storm, Colossus, and Nightcrawler...but then there were Banshee (cause he's Irish), Thunderbird (cause he's Native American...and I don't even know if the Thunderbird is specific to Apache culture, which would make it even worse), and Sunfire. Look at it from this perspective - if he's Jamaican, what superpowered identity would you wrap around that? Why shouldn't a guy at the big bang, who happens to be Jamaican, get strong legs and superhuman leaping? He tries to think of a nickname, and a kangaroo is the most obvious. I think it's kind of refreshing that they didn't go with the national-origin-dictates-your-powers-and-identity cliche. Instead, they made a poignant statement that we are all more than just our origins, but are complex, three-dimensional people...who do nothing but jump around and talk in a bad Jamaican accent.

Same argument for Superman not being there for Brainiac (except for my BS about poignancy). Why WOULD he necessarily be right there during a freak incident? Why shouldn't he be on a mission somewhere? (Just Murphy's Law, really). Again, it's kind of nice to have a bit more real-life randomness written into the stories (if that makes sense).

As to science questions,

James, Mars does have an atmosphere. It's thin and poisonous (to us, that is. I assume J'onn can breathe it fine. Funny how he never complained about OUR air). I know that J'onn wore a pressure suit in "In Blackest Night". I assume he's in a similar situation to Superman. He can survive without one, but it's more comfortable for longer use (If I'm back on the mainland visiting in winter, I can run out in an aloha shirt to get the mail, but if I'll be out for a while, I want a thick coat). He was going into combat, so wore the suit for increased protection, but ditched it as he got through the wall so that it wouldn't slow him down.

As to batarangs in space, the free-fall (not zero-gravity, dammit!) would mean that they wouldn't drop when thrown. A bigger effect would be the lack of air - no slowing due to friction, and the aerodynamic effects of a batarang wouldn't be there. Plus, trying to throw it with thick space gloves. Still - Batman is taking part in outer space missions. He has access to areas of vacuum and free-fall. Given how they've handled Batman to this point, I think we can safely assume that the day the Watchtower was built, he put on a pressure suit, went outside, and start throwing Batarangs until he had it mastered.

FInally, about why Brainiac kept Ritchie alive. He's probably noticing some limitation due to having to limit himself to use Earth tech. He recognizes Ritchie's intelligence, and decides that he can use Ritchie's brain to increase his processing speed. It's easier to keep the brain in the body designed to keep it alive than take the time to build a support device for it. No emotion involved - just sees a component that can be useful and takes advantage of having it.

Chris

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Oops, one thing I forgot until I saw one of my co-workers who had mentioned this.

OK, so Virgil goes to Africa, and feels like "just a regular kid" rather than "a black kid" for the first time in his life. I think a lot of people who are minorities in this country might feel that way in preparation for a trip like this. The thing is, I know several people who have gone back to their ancestral country feeling that way (given that I live in Hawaii, most of them are of Japanese descent... and frankly, that doesn't exactly make you look different in Hawaii. Technically everyone's a minority here, but people of Japanese descent are probably one of the if not the largest group). Anyways, what they all said on returning? "I felt like an American the whole time." So I wonder if Virgil really would have felt so "regular kid" - his skin color might have been the same as everyone else's (if not a bit lighter), but his cultural background and upbringing would have been very different, and based on what most of my friends in this situation have told me, that makes you feel as foreign as skin color. It's hard for me (another "big potato") to test - I'm sure I'd feel like an American in Ireland, but I wouldn't notice a difference for skin color - growing up in Minnesota does not exactly make you feel like you stand out being white (although living in Hawaii certainly can).

Chris

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