Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Bandai America have revealed the latest addition to their Legacy Collection in the form of the Mighty Morphin Green Ranger helmet.
The new item is based upon the Tommy Oliver Green Ranger helmet from the original series of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and is the third helmet in the Legacy series, following the Mighty Morphin Red Ranger and the 2017 Power Ranger Movie Red Ranger helmets. As with previous Legacy helmets, the Green Ranger helmet is wearable.
The helmet is now available to pre-order before it's February 2018 release.
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Saturday, 12 August 2017
Samantha Heaton, a waitress at Buffalo Wild Wings in Rockford, Illinois, has shared an image of a note left by a family she was serving, denying her a tip for 'not loving Jesus'.
In an interview with The Rock River Times Heaton said that she went 'above and beyond' when serving the family, that she took their order, made conversation with them, and followed up with them to make sure that they were enjoying their experience. However, when she collected their credit card statement at the end of their meal she found a note explaining why they had left her no tip.
'Can't tip someone who doesn't love Jesus. Bad tatoo.' The note read, the spelling of tattoo being incorrect on the receipt.
Heaton told the media that the subject of religion did not come up during their conversation, nor did she mention to them that she was gay. The note does mention her tattoo, however. As pictured above, Heaton has a rainbow coloured equality sign tattooed on her arm.
'I went above and beyond for this couple, and for them to that kind of hurt.' Heaton said. 'It sucks not getting a tip, but not getting a tip because I'm gay in 2017 hurts just a little more.'
One of Heaton's co-workers took a photograph of the note next to her tattoo and posted it to social media, along with the caption 'I would just like to say that being gay does NOT MEAN you don't believe in God or Jesus. And people who are 'religious' should not disrespect or act in such ways to other people. p.s., they spelled tattoo wrong.'
Despite many commenters stating that the image is fake, and that it has been fabricated by Heaton in order to garner outrage and support for the LGBT+ community, a manager at Buffalo Wild Wings in Rockford confirmed to HuffPost that Heaton was employed at the restaurant at the time, and that they were made aware of the incident when it happened.
'I myself am Christian.' Heaton said. 'And, as a Christian, 'thou shall not judge'. No matter how someone looks, you should love them for what's in their heart and how they treat you - not for what's on the outside.
'As someone who came out when it was still a battle for the LGBT community, that's just plain rude and uncalled for. What if one day their kids grow up and want to be with the same sex? Are they going to disown them? Throw them on the street?'
Heaton said that she wihed the customers 'would have said something if there was a problem', though she did add, 'I feel that no matter what I would have said they still probably would've left the receipt. People are so closed-minded and only choose to listen to what they believe to be right.'
A Buffalo Wild Wings company spokesperson has released a statement on the incident, saying, 'Buffalo Wild Wings is about creating a great guest and team member experience, and we strive to create a respectful restaurant environment that our guests and team members expect and deserve.'
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Friday, 11 August 2017
The first trailer for the new animated Batman film, Batman Vs. Two-Face, has been released. The film is a follow up to Batman: The Return of the Caped Crusaders, and a continuation of the 1960's television series.
The film stars the original shows Adam West, in his final performance as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, and Julie Newmar as Catwoman. Classic Star Trek actor William Shatner joins the cast as Two-Face, who never appeared in the classic series.
Batman Vs Two-Face is released on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 17th.
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Tuesday, 8 August 2017
David Kurten, one of the candidates to take over from Paul Nuttall as leader of the UK Independence Party, and one of only two of the parties elected members of the London Assembly, has said that he will oppose the transgender community if he becomes the party leader.
The party has had a long history of opposing LGBT+ rights, and despite forming their own 'LGBT in UKIP' group still speak out against the LGBT+ community on many occasions. The party even has a number of known, public homophobes within their party standing for election.
Kurten, however, has taken this stance a step further by vowing to boost the party's opposition to the transgender community, to stand against transgender rights, and to fight against LGBT-inclusive sex education in schools.
Speaking in an interview with Buzzfeed, Kurten has said that he wants UKIP to take advantage of the Conservative Party making steps to 'start pushing gender queer theory on primary schools'.
'People don't want their children to be confused by this kind of thing.' He said. 'I will take UKIP in the direction of standing against the militant transgender activism that's happening at the moment.'
Kurten has a history of opposing LGBT+ sex education, having previously stated that the government should ban the teaching of 'non-reproductive sexual acts' within schools, which would effectively ban any education on same sex relationships.
'We must protect our children from damaging and confusing fringe ideologies which sexualise children at an early age and confuse their natural development as boys and girls - both primary, secondary and even pre-school.
'No one would have thought 10 years ago that it would ever be politically incorrect to call children boys and girls, to call parents mothers or fathers, or if you say that there are two biological sexes determined by your chromosomes rather than 40 or 50 or 60 different genders then this is on the way to being considered a hate crime. Of course it isn't. It's science.'
David Kurten is currently running against several candidates for leadership of the party, including Jonathan Rees-Evans, who claimed that a gay donkey raped his horse.
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A brand new theatrical trailer for the upcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel film Leatherface has been released.
The new film takes a different approach to the character from the previous attempt to revamp the franchise, one that appears to be exploring the mind of the young killer and what made him become a killer.
'In Texas, years before the events of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in the early days of the infamous Sawyer family, the youngest child is sentenced to a mental hospital after a suspicious incident leaves the sheriffs' daughter dead. Ten years later, he kidnaps a young nurse and escapes with three other inmates. Pursued by authorities including the deranged sheriff out to avenge his daughter's death, the young Sawyer teen goes on a violent road trip from hell, moulding him into the monster known as Leatherface.'
Leatherface is directed by Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, and stars Lili Taylor, Sam Coleman, Sam Strike, James Bloor, and Stephen Dorff. The film is set for release on October 20th.
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Monday, 7 August 2017
Haruo Nakajima, the behind the icon that is Godzilla, has died today at the age of 88.
Nakajima began his acting career as a stuntman, appearing in several samurai films, most notably Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samuari. During his work on the war film Eagle of the Pacific Nakajima caught the attention Ishiro Honda, who would go on to direct Godzilla.
Honda offered Nakajima the role of the titular monster, a role that he would go on to play over a total of 12 films, including King Kong vs. Godzilla, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah: the Three-Headed Monster, and Destroy All Monsters.
In a recent interview Nakajima spoke of his work on the original film and his career as Godzilla, a role that was said to have been very dear to his heart.
As well as portraying Godzilla, Nakajima would also go on to do suit work as Mothra and King Kong, along with both human and monster roles in the television series Ultraman.
Nakajima made appearances at a number of Japanese monster themed conventions around the world, and produced an autobiography, Monster Life: Haruo Nakajima, the Original Godzilla Actor.
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Clothing company Teespring has faced a massive backlash after releasing a range of clothing that tried to use the swastika to promote the LGBT+ community.
The designer of the shirts, KA Design, stated that they wanted to remove the negative connotations that became associated with the swastika when it was used as a symbol by the Nazi party.
'They took the swastika, rotated it by 45 degrees, and turned it into hatred, and turned it into fear, and turned it into war, and turned it into racism, and turned it into power. They stigmatised the swastika forever.
'The swastika is coming back, together with peace, together with love, together with respect, together with freedom. Introducing the new swastika.'
A spokesperson for Teespring stated that they wanted to 'share the beauty' of the swastika. 'We really like the symbol in its shape and aesthetics, and we would love to share the beauty of this symbol detached from the hatred associated with it.'
After the initial backlash Teesping has removed the shirts from sale.
'This morning it came to our attention that a user created a number of designs on Teespring that included a swastika, a hate symbol that we do not allow on Teespring.' They said in a statement following the removal. 'As soon as the design was discovered, it was removed from the site.'
The chair of the Anti-Defamation Commission, Dr Dvir Abramovich, has spoken out about the matter to the media, condemning both the clothing line and the company for selling it.
'I'm outraged and shocked that any company would seek to profit from selling such reprehensible items. The swastika does not represent the LGBTI community, whose members were the victims of Hitler's evil regime. And no, it cannot be rebranded as a symbol of peace.
'KA's naive, and in many ways, selfish attitude shows a staggering lack of concern for the feelings of those who survived the Holocaust and those who lost relatives to the monstrous deeds of the Third Reich.'
Whilst the vast majority of those killed during the Holocaust were Jewish, the LGBT+ community were amongst several minority groups targeted by the Nazis, with thousands imprisoned and killed in concentration camps. Many of those who were liberated from Nazi facilities were later re-arrested and imprisoned by the Allied Nations based upon evidence of their homosexuality kept by the Nazis.
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Sunday, 6 August 2017
The Pokemon Company have just revealed a brand new form of Lycanroc for the upcoming Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon games, after much fan speculation that a new evolution would be featured in the anime series.
The new form has been called the Dusk Form, and marks the third possible evolution of Rockruff, with both Midday and Midnight forms being available in Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon respectively.
The new form of Lycanroc appears to be a combination of the previous two forms, with the basic shape of the Midday Form but some of the shaggier fur of the Midnight Form. The colour of the Pokemon is also a midpoint between the light shades of the Midday Form and the deep reds of the Midnight Form.
The Pokemon Company have also said that you can't obtain the new Dusk Form by discovering it in the wild, but have yet to clarify how to obtain the new Pokemon. No information has also been released as to the typing of the new Lycanroc, or any signature Abilities.
Whilst nothing has yet been confirmed fans are still speculating that a possible fourth form may be revealed, a Dawn Form, that will share more physical traits with the Midnight Form.
Pokemon Ultra Sun & Pokemon Ultra Moon will be released on October 17th.
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Saturday, 5 August 2017
The Putties are making their way to popular mobile game Power Rangers: Legacy Wars. The new combattants are based upon the design of the Putties from the recent Power Rangers motion picture, rather than their original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers incarnation, which is slightly unfortunate as the original Putties were wonderfully ridiculous.
The Puttie leader is a Defender class, and has the special abilities Debris Toss and Boulder Barrage, with the primary abilities Seismic Quake and Rumble Rouser. There is also an assist version of the character being released at the same time as the leader.
'Rita Repulsa, the space witch, has infected the Morphin Grid, creating virtual monsters and Ranger clones programmed to fight on her behalf. Fight back with your own curated team of legendary Power Rangers and villains from the multiverse! Unlock new Rangers, upgrade your best warriors and create the best team to defeat Rita, and save the Morphin Grid.'
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Sydelle Noel, star of Netflix series Glow and the upcoming Black Panther, has been cast in a recurring role in season six of Arrow.
Noel will be playing FBI Agent Samanda Watson, who has come to Star City to investigate the possible connection between Mayor Oliver Queen and Green Arrow. Her character has been described as 'intelligent and poised with a no nonsense attitude'.
Following season five's mission statement of wanting to bring the show back to basics, with a bigger focus on crime within Star City and a more grounded villain, the addition of a character actively investigating the Green Arrow certainly helps to recapture some of the feel of the early seasons.
Mar Guggenheim, Executive Producer on Arrow, has said that the series is trying to make a concerted effort to bring more female characters into the show, and the Arrowverse on a whole. This season will also see the return of Katie Cassidy to the cast, and the promotion of Juliana Harkavy to series regular.
Season six of Arrow is scheduled for release October 12th.
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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Episode One - 'Day of the Dumpster'
Plot Summary: On another planet within our solar system a pair of astronauts discover a strange metal object, similar to a dumpster. When the astronauts accidentally open the object they're knocked to the ground as strange magical energies are released from within.
The evil aliens Goldar, Finster, Squat, and Baboo are freed from their prison, shortly followed by their leader, the evil space sorceress Rita Repulsa. The astronauts are chased away by Rita's magic before she announces her plan to conquer Earth after her 10,000 year imprisonment.
In the city of Angel Grove five teenagers are hanging out at their local youth centre, Jason, Zack, Trini, Kimberly, and Billy. When Rita launches her attack on Angel Grove from her new palace on the moon the youth centre is hit by an earthquake. Before the five teens can make their way to safety they're swept up in beam of light and teleported away.
They find themselves within the Command Centre of Zordon, an ancient intergalactic warrior trapped in a time warp, and his robotic assistant Alpha-5. Zordon reveals to the teens the existence of Rita, and her plans to conquer the Earth. He tells the group that they have been chosen to become the planets defenders, the Power Rangers.
Zordon gives them their power morphers, devices that will allow them to access enhanced powers and abilities. Unfortunately, the group aren't convinced by Zord and leave the command centre.
Whilst making their way through the desert to Angel Grove the group are attacked by the Putties, Rita's footsoldiers. Despite trying their best to defeat the Putties they're soon overwhelmed and use their power mophers to transform themselves into the Power Rangers for the first time.
After mophing the Rangers are able to overcome the Putties thanks to their enhanced speed, strength, and armoured costumes. Their victory is short lived as they're teleported back to Angel Grove where Rita's lieutenant Goldar is attacking the city with more Putties.
The Rangers defeat the Putties and are about to fight Goldar when Rita uses her magic to make him grow to gigantic proportions. The Rangers summon their Zords to help them fight the now gigantic foe, five robotic vehicles based upon a Tyrannosaurus, a Pterodactyl, a Triceratops, a Sabretooth Tiger, and a Mastodon.
The powerful Zords combine together to form the mighty Mega-Zord, allowing the Rangers to overpower Goldar. Goldar flees the battlefield before the Rangers are able to destroy him. With Angel Grove safe the Rangers return to the Command Centre, where they accept their mission to protect the Earth as the Power Rangers.
Analysis: Power Rangers is definitely a strange show at the beginning of its life, with much of that being evident even here in the first of over 150 episodes. Much of this comes from the mashing together of Japanese and American footage, and whilst in the future this does work a lot better, it's really obvious in this pilot episode where these two meet. The plot suffers as a result of this, and will do for much of the first season, yet still strangely works to provide an effective first episode.
The first episode manages to set up the basics of the characters in its short runtime. It shows us that Jason is the brave leader of the group, that Zach is the joker, Kimberly is the typical 90's valley-girl, Trini is the caring heart of the group, and Billy is the nerdy outcast.
Whilst the characters do go on to have growth and develop as time goes on 'Day of the Dumpster' establishes a strong foundation for them all.
It also establishes Goldar as the intimidating right hand to Rita that will go on to torment the Rangers for years to come. Yes, he runs away at the end of the fight (which he will do a lot), but he's easily the most intimidating of Rita's forces.
Yes, the dialogue is cheesy, the combination of footage shoddy at times and the leaps in logic and plot are all over the place, but there's a massive sense of fun to the show that makes it easy to look past these flaws and see them as something that adds to the charm of the show.
'Day of the Dumpster' is a good introduction to the show, one that sets up a strong foundation for a franchise that is still going strong over two decades later.
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Transgender Olympian and reality television personality Caitlyn Jenner has been photographed wearing a pro-Trump 'Make America Great Again' hat just days after making a statement condemning the President's transgender military ban.
Jenner openly supported Trump during his presidential campaign in 2016, even stating that she believed him to be the best ally for the LGBT+ community to have in the White House.
Following announced plans by the President to ban transgender servicepeople from serving in the military, calling them a 'burden', Jenner made a public statement to condemn the decision.
'There are 15,000 patriotic transgender Americans in the US military fighting for all of us. What happened to your promise to fight for them?' She tweeted soon after the announcement.
She went on to release a longer statement on her personal website;
'I believe that every American should be outraged by the disrespect shown to those people wearing our country's uniform. Furthermore, this half-baked idea puts all of our service members in harm's way. Does President Trump just intend to pull 15,000 people out of every critical position to which they are currently assigned? That would disrupt core military missions around the world and needlessly endanger our troops.'
Despite this Jenner has shown that she does still support Trump by wearing his merchandise in public. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Jenner's actions have been seen to be problematic within the LGBT+ community, having previously stood against marriage equality, and tweeting transphobic jokes.
Whilst Jenner may make public statements condemning Trumps actions, it's clear that this is simply an attempt to carner popularity whilst still being a staunch pro-Trump Republican at heart.
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Australian newcomer Tegan Croft has been cast as Raven in the upcoming live-action Teen Titans series, coming to Warner Bros digital service in 2018.
The 13-year-old has recently received praise for her role in the feature film The Osiris Child.
The new series, named Titans, will written by Akiva Goldman (Star Trek: Discovery), DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer Geoff Johns (The Flash, Arrow), and Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow).
The series will follow a group of young teens that are recruited from around the DC Universe to become heroes. Croft's version of Raven has been described as 'the daughter of a demon, is a powerful empath who must keep her emotions in check or risk unleashing her demonic side.'
It has also been reported that the series will feature a team similar to the classic Marv Wolfman and George Perez run, including Dick Grayson and Starfire.
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Friday, 4 August 2017
The brand new Power Rangers Zeo action figures coming to the popular Legacy toy line have been revealed at this years Toy Fair.
The toys will be released this autumn in two waves. Wave one will consist of the Green, Gold and Yellow Rangers, with the Red, Pink and Blue Rangers arriving later in the second wave.
The figures will be estimated to retail at $19.99 each.
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Doug TenNapel, creator of the popular Sega Genesis game Earthworm Jim, has attacked transgender games journalist Heather Alexandra and has begun to post numerous transphobic tweets to his Twitter account.
Alexandra posted an article to the video games website Kotaku where she criticised some of the level designs in the original game.
TenNapel quickly took to social media to complain about the article, intentionally misgendering Heather in a transphobic attack by saying; 'Heather, you're a good man and entitled to your own opinion. If you ever want to get into why we created it the way we did in the 90's let's chat.'
Since then TenNapel has tweeted further transphobic comments by stating that people cannot change their gender, and complaining that people are trying to force trans acceptance on him; all whilst continuing to misgender Heather Alexandra.
Heather Alexandra's original article can be found at Kotaku.com.
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Jason David Frank has spoken out recently about the BOOM! Studios popular Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, stating that he is very happy with the new take on his iconic character Tommy Oliver.
The comic series, written by Kyle Higgins, introduced Lord Drakkon, an evil version of Tommy Oliver from an alternate universe where the Green Ranger defeated the Power Rangers. Speaking to That Hashtag Show, Jason David Frank was pleased with the character.
'It's amazing. It's funny because you guys gave me another character, Lord Drakkon. Just another one under my belt, which I've added to my Power Rangers universe, like 5 and now I say Lord Drakkon 6, which is amazing. Kyle wrote it. I talked to Kyle last night, I talk to Kyle all the time.'
Frank also described his first meeting with Higgins at a convention before he knew the plans for his characters comic book counterpart.
'I met Kyle at Comic Con, and I didn't know who he was, and I was super nice to him at the end of the show, and here he is writing the most epic Power Rangers storyline ever, which I think is amazing.'
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic is available in comic book stores now.
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The ever popular Telltale Games have released the first trailer for Batman: The Enemy Within, follow-up to Batman: The Telltale Series.
'In this latest chapter, both Bruce Wayne and Batman will be forced into precarious new roles. The Riddler has returned to terrorize Gotham City, but his gruesome puzzles merely foreshadow an ever greater crisis. With the arrival of a ruthless federal agent and the return of a still nascent Joker, Batman must navigate uneasy alliances while Bruce undertakes a perilous series of deceptions. Which of Batman's new allies will you chose to trust? And how deep into the darkness will you let Bruce descend?'
The new series will launch episodically, with the first chapter available from August 8th.
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Thursday, 3 August 2017
Dacre Montgomery, Power Rangers' Red Ranger, has recently spoken to the media following his latest comic con appearance to talk about the possibility of a female Green Ranger in the Power Rangers sequel.
'Yeah, I think we were just talking about that when we were doing a press conference in L.A. I mean, for me, it was just the whole idea of there's three boys. There's two girls. What if the sixth ranger was a girl? I don't know. I think it's open for interpretation.
'That was just mine and a couple of other cast members' interpretation. Yeah. But there's also some ground there for the OG fans about, like, Tommy is a guy so I'm not wanting to mess with that at the same time as advocating for a girl. So we shall see.'
He also went on to comment that he believed the post-credit scene was left ambiguous enough to allow for the possibility of a female Green Ranger.
'It's left blank. It's a cliffhanger. Whoever you're going to drop into that position - whether it's a girl, it's inevitably going to create drama. It'll be interesting to drop drama into it and see how we all relate and work with it.'
Montgomery did go on to clarify that this was only something that was discussed amongst the cast of the first film, and that nothing was confirmed.
'I'm not saying that there's a sequel. I'm not saying it's a girl or a boy, but I hope that if it does go in that direction that everyone can be satisfied with it and that it can be conducive to being a good movie, a good sequel.'
Whilst I am a fan of the original Green Ranger, and Tommy Oliver in general, the possibility of a female version of the character is an intriguing one. The Power Rangers film wasn't shy about changing established aspects about the classic characters that appeared in the original series, and a lot of the changes worked very well at delivering some interesting versions of these old favourites.
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The latest television spot for the upcoming horror film IT, adapted from the famous Stephen King book.
The latest television spot shows some footage that builds upon scenes from previous trailers, plus some brand new footage.
It - Part One: The Losers Club will follow the main characters of the book as children in the town of Derry in 1989 as they come up against the supernatural force Pennywise the Clown (played by Bill Skarsgard).
The first film of the new adaptation is set for release on September 8th.
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David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth, has argued in a recent article for the newspaper South Wales Argus that transgender women should be made to use men's facilities, referring to them as 'he/she's'.
The article came following the announced plans by Tory Equality Minister Justine Greening to reform the Gender Recognition act to make it easier for trans people to be able to go through the complex process.
'It is an absolute given that we should show understanding and compassion towards anyone confused about their gender. We should not discriminate against them in any way, nor should we tolerate verbal or physical abuse towards them or anyone else. However, we cannot consider the rights of transgender people without considering the rights of others.
'If a man decides to register him/herself as a woman, should he/she have the right to use women's toilets, changing rooms, hospital wards, etc.? This would clearly have an impact on the rights of women using those facilities.
'Some might say that I am "on the wrong side of history" or "bigoted". But I would maintain that anyone in possession of male genitalia should be expected to use male facilities regardless of what facilities they are.'
Many people have already called out the article and Mr Davies as inaccurate and disrespectful, both on social media and in the article's comments section.
As a transgender woman who has legally changed her name and gender, and has female gender marker on her legal documents, I use female facilities. I have not, however, had surgery to alter my genitals. But by Mr Davies' rules I should have to enter men's spaces and put my life in danger.
The very concept of having to use the facilities that match your sexual organs is, frankly, ridiculous. Look at the signs on the doors of public toilets, you'll see pictures of men and women in stereotypical representations; trousers and skirts. This is because these are how the world views men and women, but how they look and present, otherwise there'd be pictures of genitals instead.
I'm female, I present as female, dress as female, live my life as female, but this is not enough to be considered female to Mr Davies, rather a physical aspect of myself that is only between me and my partners.
You're right Mr Davies, you are on the wrong side of history, and you are bigoted. Just like you were when you called to stop marriage equality and attacked gay people in 2012. When David Cameron announced plans to legalise same sex Mr Davies wrote the following;
'We're going to lose a large number of very loyal activists who've gone out and campaigned for us over the years and who don't like this idea, so politically it's barking mad.
'I think most people are very tolerant and have no problem at all if people are gay, but, and I hate to say this in a way because people I expect it's going to cause controvesy, but I think most parents would prefer their children not to be gay, knowing most parents want grandchildren if nothing else.'
Mr Davies' original article can be found at South Wales Argus
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After the success of last years crossover event 'Invasion' between Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl CW has announced that a second four part crossover event will be airing, this time over two nights.
The crossover will begin in Supergirl on Monday, November 27th, followed immediately by Arrow; and will be concluded the night after with The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. This marks a difference from last years crossover event, which aired across four nights.
CW's President, Mark Pedowitz, spoke about the change in structure for this years event, 'Last year's was the most successful week in CW history in terms of ratings and everything. We felt in this particular case we had The Flash and Legends paired, so it was better to make it two two-hour movies - a miniseries - we thought this was the best way to go.
'We had a lot of conversations with producers and marketing people. Next year, we might go back to four nights.'
Supergirl season three will begin to air on October 9th, The Flash season four and Legends of Tomorrow season three will air on October 10th, with Arrow season six airing on October 12th.
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Wednesday, 2 August 2017
This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.
It would appear that this season of The Strain is going to be alternating between its sets of characters each week, with the exception of Ephraim, as this episode once again follows Fet and Quinlan, and Zach and the Master.
In the woods of North Dakota Fet, Quinlan, and Charlotte continue their search for a nuclear weapon, now joined by Roman from episode one. The group manages to find the secret nuclear base that isn't on any maps, 'It would kind of defeat the whole secret base thing wouldn't it?' and searches for their goal.
Despite assurances from Roman that any remaining soldiers at the base would be more than willing to let the group take the warhead they're soon finding themselves under fire from the last remaining soldier after what appears to have been a strigoi assault on the facility.
Whilst Quinlan is shot and trapped under sniper fire whilst Fet infiltrates the base in order to save him there's not a great deal of tension in these scenes. Whilst the series hasn't been shy to kill characters in the past, including main characters, it very rarely happens in a setting as mundane as this. At no point was I worried that Quinlan or Fet wouldn't be coming out of the episode alive.
What these scenes did manage to do, however, was to show the humanity that Fet has. Fet has always been the emotional heart of the show, and one of the most caring and human characters, so it's incredibly sad to see him having to turn on his fellow humans in his mission to save them. It's especially poignant when Quinlan shoots the soldier whilst he's in Fets arms.
Quinlan has always been a cold character, caring only about his mission to kill his father, but this episode helps to reinforce that whilst he's on the side of our heroes he isn't really one of them.
Unfortunately for the group, whilst they do manage to get a nuclear warhead an important piece of the machine has been removed by the strigoi who previously attacked the base; leading to the decision to track down and attack the enemy.
Meanwhile, Ephraim has teamed up with Alex and her freedom fighters in Philadelphia to enact his plan to poison thousands of strigoi at the same time.
The scenes between Eph and Alex play out well, with Alex being a great change for Ephraim, who has spent much of the show being a grumpy and unlovable lead. The show has done away with his drinking, and now his moping is beginning to be put to one side too.
This season seems to be building Ephraim up as a damaged man fighting his way out of his depression and spiral of self destruction. He's beginning to put himself back together, and connecting with Alex has been a big part of this journey for him.
Having managed to make a deadly concoction out of rat poison (thank you Fet for all of your pest control help) it falls to the rebels to find a way of delivering the deadly mixture to the strigoi stronghold.
The mission to sneak the poison into a blood tanker is a surprisingly clever plan, and one that plays out incredibly tensely. Again, whilst there's little worry that Eph himself will meet a horrible end there is tension that Alex and the others could end up falling foul of the approaching strigoi soldiers.
Once the poison is delivered the pan works perfectly, with thousands of strigoi and their blood worms dying. A victory for the freedom fighters, but one that may be short-lived as the Master has become aware of the attack and dispatched Eichorst to find Ephraim.
This episode also delivers more Zach (joy), as we see more of Zach trying to win over his new maid/reward from the Master, Abby. This is definitely the weakest and most boring of all of the stories this season, with little that redeems the character.
Zach was annoying before he caused the nuclear apocalypse and allowed vampires to take over the world, so I'm finding it hard to care about him trying to get laid.
Whilst Zach does try to do some good and offers Abby food for herself and the other children she's living with (children who are now orphans because Zach caused the end of the world) it doesn't feel genuine. He's not helping her because he wants to, he's doing it because he wants to get inside her knickers.
Zach does begin to question the Master and the world they now live in, but is so easily manipulated into going along with the strigoi that any kind of redemption feels impossible at this point. Even if he were to completely turn against the Master and killed him, he's caused too much damage to the world to be redeemed now.
The Strain continues to create an engaging story with characters that you care abut (other than Zach) and finally begins to feel like it's escalating after two episodes of set-up.
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Capcom has recently announced that a remastered and updated version of Resident Evil Revelations will be released on Playstation 4 and Xbox One this August; not only that, but both Revelations and Revelations 2 will be coming to the Nintendo Switch 'late 2017'.
The Resident Evil Revelations Collection will cost $39.99 and includes a cartridge copy of the first game, and a download code for the sequel. The package will also include any additional add-ons and DLC released for both games.
Alternatively, you can purchase each game on the Switch individually for £19.99 as download copies.
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Monday, 31 July 2017
American comedian Lil' Duval has refused to apologise for a 'joke' made when appearing on the radio show The Breakfast Club where he said that he would kill a trans person if he slept with them.
When asked how he felt about President Trump's proposal to ban transgender servicepeople from taking part in military service.
'I'm just doing my thing,' he replied, 'shout out to all the trannies out there.'
Lil' Duval was then asked what he would do if he were to sleep with a transgender person without knowing that they were trans beforehand. 'If you had sex with one and you didn't know?'
'This might sound messed up and I don't care, but, she's dying.' He responded. 'I can't deal with that. I can't do that. You manipulated me to believe this thing. In my mind, I'm gay now!'
One of the shows presenters tried to get Duval to apologise for his comments whilst on air by pointing out that it would be a hate crime; Duval, however, continued on to defend his response.
'There should be some kind of repercussions if you do that to somebody. If one did that to me and they didn't tell me, I'm gonna be so mad I'm probably going to want to kill them. I can say what I want and do what I want, and people understand where I'm coming from. They know I'm not coming from a place of malice.'
Many members of the trans community and their allies took to Twitter to express their disapproval of Duval's comments, including actress Laverne Cox.
Author Janet Mock, whom Duval referred to with male pronouns during his interview, condemned the shows hosts for allowing hate speech.
'It's this deplorable rhetoric that leads many cis men, desperately clutching their hetrosexuality, to yell at, kick, spit on, shoot, burn, stone and kill trans women of colour,' she wrote in an open essay online. 'Duval purposefully misgendered me (as the hosts laugh, thereby cosigning it) in an attempt to put me in my place and erase my womanhood. Their fragile masculinity would not allow them to recognise a simple truth: I am an accomplished, beautiful black trans woman.'
Duval has refused to apologise for his comments, responding to the criticism on Twitter by releasing the following image:
He has also spoken about the incident during an interview with TMZ Live, where he claimed that his response was justified by the emotional and psychological damage sleeping with a trans person would cause him.
'I went crazy there, because that's what they made me do. That's what they made me say.' He said. 'I said that because the hosts were saying, taking away somebody's power of choice, it should be criminal; you don't know what it could do to someone psychologically.'
Duval went on to claim that his comments were not transphobic.
'I don't got no problem with transgender, I ain't got no problem with gay people. I got a problem with somebody trying to take something from me. In my own mind, I say what I feel. This is only about one situation, and the situation was 'what would you do if you found out somebody was a man that I thought was a woman, and didn't tell me she was a man.'
Lil' Duval is still facing criticism for his comments and his refusal to apologise.
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Tuesday, 25 July 2017
A member of the Tory activist group Grassroots Conservatives, Mary Douglas, has faced criticism after her appearance on BBC Radio 4's Today programme after suggesting that people that wish to legally change their gender are mentally ill.
The discussion follows announcements from the government that they intend to review and update the Gender Recognition Act, an announcement that has sparked outrage for many anti-trans groups and individuals.
Mary Douglas appeared on the BBC radio show to criticise this decision, saying that she was 'very concerned' by these plans.
'In my view, it should not be easy to do something as massive as change your gender and the law is there to protect us, normally from other people, but also sometimes from ourselves,' she described her views to host Nick Robinson.
'If somebody thinks that they have a mismatch between how they think and the way their body is, the question is: which should be changed?'
'What's interesting is that many people who have gender dysphoria also have other mental health conditions like depression or drug addiction. They are deeply troubled, and it has been proven that when they change gender that doesn't solve those issues.'
When Nick Robinson went on to ask her to clarify if she believed that wanting to change your gender to be a mental health condition she went on to say: 'I'm not a doctor, but I have read doctors who think it is and until very recently that was the medical consensus. I don't see that anything has changed.
'If for example, you have someone with anorexia who says 'I'm too fat' and you look at them and go 'really, you are not', it's not actually respectful or loving to affirm to that person in a belief that is false, that doesn't tie up with reality.'
After making her comments many people took to social media to condemn Mary Douglas and her views.
Some members of the Conservative party themselves made strides to distance themselves from Douglas' comments. Former chief of staff to Brexit Secretary David Davis, James Chapman, wrote on Twitter that he found the comments 'disgraceful'.
Despite many taking the time to condemn her comments a handful of people have agreed with her, supporting her notion that wishing to change your gender is a sign of mental illness.
Whilst Mary Douglas is not a member of the Tory government she does hold a position of respect within the Tory community; enough at least to be asked to speak on the BBC regarding decisions made by the party and how they are viewed by Tory supporters.
Many people have spoken out against Douglas' views, and have pointed out that having an opinion like this is wrong; but this kind of blatant transphobia is something that is still rooted deeply within society and politics.
Mary Douglas asked, 'If somebody thinks that they have a mismatch between how they think and the way their body is, the question is: which should be changed?' Whilst innocuous on the surface asking is a body or a mind should be changed is bordering dangerously close to the belief that trans people can be 'treated' to change how they view themselves.
This kind of treatment is more commonly known as Reparative Therapy or Conversion Therapy, and is used to 'correct' non-hetrosexual and non-cisgender people. It's designed to alter someone's gender identity or sexual orientation, and is often extremely traumatic and physically harmful.
Whilst many see such kind of treatment as inhumane it would appear that Mary Douglas is quite comfortable with the idea of altering gender variant people's minds to match their bodies by the comments she made.
In regards to transgender people having other mental health issues such as depression and drug addictions, whilst many studies and organisations do agree that the trans community are more likely to suffer from depression and to be drug users they also agree that this is not due to being transgender; rather it is because of the way in which society treats trans people.
I myself suffer from depression, I take medication for it, I've self harmed, and have even attempted suicide. This is not because I'm transgender. Yes, I am depressed because my body does not match who I really am, but this isn't the reason why I have suffered.
It's because society treats me poorly. It's because people like me are stereotyped as 'freaks' and 'deviants'. It's because we're made to look like predators and pedophiles for political agendas. It's because people stare at me, laugh at me, spit on me in the street and threaten me. It's because the National Health Service does everything it can to make it harder for me to receive treatment. It's because I've been discriminated against in jobs.
I've hated myself and have considered taking my life because people treat me like shit, and most of society not only doesn't stop them but actively reinforces that it's okay to do so.
Mary Douglas is right in saying that trans people have mental health issues; but it's because of people like her trying to make our lives hell, trying to make it harder for us to be ourselves, for being othered and demonised.
The plans to re-evaluate the process to legally change gender is a good step forward, though one long overdue. It's just unfortunate that individuals like Mary Douglas are still given a platform to spread their own bigoted views in the face of progress.
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