Sunday, March 18, 2018

"Thor: Ragnarok" - A Short Review

Thor: Ragnarok
(Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo; 130 min; PG-13; 2017)
First off, this is *easily* the best Thor movie they’ve made. Period.
There will be spoilers ahead.
Chris Hemsworth has frat boy Thor down to an art. Which sucks if you’re someone who doesn’t like frat boy Thor, but it is a pretty accurate modern interpretation of the mythological Thor. Myth Thor was kind of a douchebag sometimes. He has very solid comedic timing (which is also well-displayed in Ghostbusters: Answer the Call – in fact, he’s one of the best things about that movie), and if you’re into it, I’m assuming he’s pretty hot judging from the way Carrie’s breath catches when he’s shirtless.
Which brings me to one thing that got my attention in this one. He wasn’t big enough for my tastes. Hemsworth has never been big enough for Thor, even though I love him as the character. But it seemed like his workout routine for this one focused more on definition and bicep size than overall size, so he looked even smaller than in his previous portrayals. Not a huge deal (heh), but if you’ve read anything I’ve said about comic movies, you know physically matching the image in my head is a top priority. Physically, my preference is that they find someone about 3 inches shorter but with nearly the same physique as the most recent Mountain (Game of Thrones), Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. That’s about how big Thor should be. But whatever.
This was an excellent mixture of the comic book mythological Thor with his weighty Asgardians concerns, but also the comic book Thor that often found himself mixed up in zany sci-fi adventures. It *looked* like a Thor comic from yesterwhen, which is something the previous two flicks failed to do. Someone finally remembered the contributions of Jack Kirby to Thor.
It was tremendously funny, which is no shock given that the director is the guy responsible for the Team Thor shorts (which tell us what Thor was doing during Civil War – go watch them if you haven’t), and Team Daryl (which is post-Ragnarok).
Honestly, it may have been a little bit *too* funny.
The best thing about Ragnarok, though, was that *finally* a Marvel movie showed us not the fear and torment of Bruce Banner, but the anguish, loneliness, and longing of Hulk. A lot of people think that you need the Banner character to properly do Hulk, but they forget that Hulk is a character in his own right. He’s just a bigger, angrier Frankenstein’s Monster. He has wants, needs, drives like anyone else, and like a lot of people, he doesn’t know how to deal with them. He’s got one tool in his emotional toolbox. It’s just that the one tool is the world’s biggest hammer, so every problem is a nail. That Hulk smash.
There’s something like *18* MCU movies now, and one of, if not the most, touching and heartbreaking scenes in them is when Thor goes to leave and Hulk cries out “Friend stay!”, chases Thor down crying for his friend to stay and freaks out, not wanting to change back into Banner. The movies tell us how much Banner loathes having this monster inside of him, but do little to tell us of Hulk’s imprisonment when Banner is dominant. When it’s Banner facing the world, Hulk is alone, trapped, and *powerless*. And that’s got to be something that genuinely makes Hulk afraid.
So, kudos for letting us actually meet Hulk finally.
Another thing I did *not* care for: Valkyrie. I don’t have a problem with the character of Valkyrie, nor one with casting a woman of color in the part. I just really dislike Tessa Thompson. She’s not a good actor. I’ve seen her in a few things, and “coming off as snotty” is acting. I guarantee there were dozens if not hundreds of more qualified women that auditioned for the part, and casting her was just a bad decision.
Cate Blanchett as Hela was effective, I thought (props for getting her headdress right). The whole time, I thought there was something kind of familiar about her, but it wasn’t until after the movie when I looked her up that I learned/realized that she was Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings flicks. I don’t know her other work, but she might be a pretty solid performer.
On one hand, YAY for including this character in the movie! On the other hand, BOO! Skurge needs more build up than he got. On the other other hand, YAY! Karl Urban! I love Karl Urban!! On the other other other hand, BOO! They kind of wasted Karl Urban!!!!
Seriously, I appreciate that they drew from a classic story that just about everyone my age who read comics is familiar with. And it’s great that we got to see him with the M-16s. But on the downside, it was *just* the visual. We didn’t get the story that gave us . . .
“They made a fool of me, Balder. They laughed at me. Everybody laughs at Skurge. Hela, Mordonna, even the Enchantress I love. They all laugh at me. Except you. Balder is too kind to laugh at Skurge. But whenever they laugh, I hurt inside. Maybe I die a little. Now I think I am dead already. And my axe was destroyed with Naglfar. So I will stay behind and the last laugh will be mine. ... I will hold the bridge myself.”
“And though the Executioner stands alone, and the warriors of Hel seem numberless, not one sets foot upon the bridge across the river Gjoll. They sing no songs in Hel... nor do they celebrate heroes... for silent is that dismal realm and cheerless... but the story of the Gjallerbru and the god who defended it is whispered across the Nine Worlds. And when a new arrival asks about the one to whom even Hela bows her head... the answer is always the same...
he stood alone at Gjallerbru...
and that answer is enough.”
I was 12 when that issue came out. It had a powerful impact on me, and I was *so* disappointed that Skurge didn’t get to hold Bifrost alone against the hordes of Hela.
So, mixed bag on that one.
Korg (the big rock gladiator) was pretty great. I hope beyond hope that in one of the next MCU flicks, we get an extended conversation between Korg and Luis from Ant-Man. Make it an extra if necessary, but the MCU *NEEDS* this conversation to happen. Doesn’t even matter what they’re talking about.
Anyway, this was a damned fun movie, and I hope we get some more adventures from Hemsworth and Taika Waititi.
Man, imagine what these people could do for the DC Cinematic Universe. . .

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" Short Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming
(Tom Holland, Michael Keaton; 133 min; PG-13; 2017)
Well, this was a lot of fun. It may be the most fun I’ve had watching a Spider-Man movie. I’ll have to go back and watch the Raimi ones to check. It’s also one of the more fun MCU flicks IMO (I enjoyed it at least as much as GotG).

Holland was excellent as a young, unsure of himself Peter, despite having faced down Captain America recently (I liked that Tony pointed out that if Cap had actually wanted to kick Peter’s ass, he would’ve done so).

Flash as a socioeconomic bully instead of a physical bully was a brilliant change.

Spidey trapped under the rubble and getting out is one of those “classic” images from the comics, but if any scene in the flick summed up Spider-Man, I think it was him sitting out on the fire escape eating a churro that a nice lady bought for him after he helped her. He’s your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man: he’s never going to get the big flashy rewards and recognition (especially while JJJ lives), but a small, simple bit of recognition from the people on the street is pretty great.

Thinking on it, I can only really think of two things that bothered me a bit:

1. Did I miss something in this and Captain America: Civil War or does this version of Spidey not have spider-sense? I guess maybe they’re going to have it slowly develop? Anyway, that grabbed my attention in both flicks.

2. Aunt May. Dag nab it. Aunt May is supposed to be *old*, not just 9 years older than me. I don’t have anything against Marisa Tomei, but Rosemary Harris from the Raimi trilogy is what Aunt May is supposed to look and sound should like. 

Overall, this was a pretty great movie. The director, Jon Watts, handled everything wonderfully. He had a fine grasp on both the large and small scales of the character and setting. The story and script were engaging and touching (bonus: not an origin story! Also, one of the story and script writers was John Frances Daley – Sam Weir on Freaks and Geeks and the terrific (and my fav char) Lance Sweets on Bones).

This is pretty much all I could want from a first Spider-Man flick and I am very much looking forward to the next one.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Another Day, Another Shooting

Hi everybody!

(Hi, Mister Nick!)
So, it's the day after another mass shooting. What does that mean? It means we're seeing the same things we see every time:

--> An overall lack of (re)action on the part of the GOP.

--> Talk but not much movement from the Dems.

--> Bang your head! du duh, Metal Health will drive you mad! No, wait, it's Mental health is the problem not the guns!

--> All the well-meaning but making things worse arguments from the Left ("Do what the UK/Australia/Whatever did, we're just like them" "Assault weapons ban!" "Militia, militia, militia!" - do that last one in Jan Brady's voice). I've explained the issues with this before, not going to do it again right now. 

--> All the not so well-meaning, terrible ideas from the Right (these largely boil down to "MOAR GUNZ PLZ!!!!", because they seem to follow the "Starship Troopers" maxim that an armed society is a polite society, like that bastion of politeness, Somalia).

The fact that we see *THE EXACT SAME REACTIONS* from both sides, every time is a significant part of the reason why nothing is getting done.

The only things that seem a bit different this time are

--> Actual footage and communications from inside the school at the time. Expect this to be the case going forward so long as everyone is equipped with an A/V streaming capable mini super computer.

--> More victim blaming from POTUS.

Things I'd like to see come about as a result of these inevitable shootings:

--> A ground level mass movement on the part of the people *demanding* that every last dollar, nickel, and cent donated to politicians and their PACS by the gun lobby (Hi NRA! Fuck you!) be returned, and if they don't return it, the voters guarantee those muthafuckers (thanks Ron Perlman!) will be voted right the fuck out of the office.

--> The politicians and the press actually talking about *gun violence* in this country. Not just the AR-15s, not just the bump stocks, not just the mass shootings, but the actual scourge of Americans; that treasured staple of Americana, the *fucking handgun*. Because things like the school shootings grab the press, but are still only a fraction of the gun violence in the nation.

--> A lot of the gun deaths in the US are suicides, typically male (we're more inclined to shoot ourselves than women, I guess we've been conditioned to think it's a more manly way to die). I'd like to see us start to have a genuine conversation about mental health and the related violence, because while the Right does try to use mental health as a deflection from the staggering availability of guns, it *is* a factor in many cases. Why? Because *depression* is a god damn mental health issue, and one that far too many of us deal with.

Nothing is really going to change until we get the gun lobby money out of the pockets of the politicians, and that’s not going to change until we start changing the minds of millions of Americans who have been culturally indoctrinated, and then hammered with repeated fears of The Others.

I honestly believe that this is a problem we’re going to have to address from the bottom up.

Remember, as you go through your day hopefully not being shot:

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Doctor Falls (spoilers)

When I heard that they were bringing Doctor Who back to TV, I was . . . hesitant. I hadn’t been fond of the people that came after Tom Baker, and I thought the TV movie was terrible. Seeing pictures of Christopher Eccleston in his simple black jacket and black shirt as The Doctor didn’t fill me with hope about the show either.

But I gave it a chance. By The End of the World, I was sold and hooked. When The Doctor regenerated into David Tennant at the end of The Parting of the Ways, I was tremendously disappointed, because Eccleston had surpassed even Tom Baker as my Doctor. But they had earned a lot of good faith with me through 9’s run. So I kept watching. And while I never liked him (or any other) as much as Eccleston, I did become a fan of Tennant, and I thought the stories during his run were largely even better than in 9’s.  It was during Tennant’s run that they introduced my all-time, bar none favorite companion, Donna Noble.

I didn’t love everything they did during 10’s run, but overall, it was successful in my mind (except for the heartbreaking rueful fate of Donna Noble – I’ve never forgiven The Doctor for ignoring her choice with regards to her fate).

When 10 regenerated at the end of The End of Time (a truly excellent two-part finale), I was as surprised and disappointed as I had been with 9 (while I liked 9 more, I had spent a lot more time with 10, so the attachment was almost as strong).

With the regeneration of 10, we were introduced to Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor, and the handing over of the show to Steven Moffat as showrunner. Now, Matt Smith was a pretty great Doctor. I like his performance as much as Tennant’s, if not more.

But with the change to 11, we also got Amy Pond and a dramatic increase in the appearances of River Song. And, frankly, I hate River Song. She never should have appeared in episodes beyond Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead. She was a poorly written, terribly boring character. In today’s terms, she’d be a Mary Sue (because that term has been twisted far from its original meaning, but the current use is spot on for River).

Not only do I strongly dislike River, I also can’t really stand Amy Pond. So that was two big, relatively early strikes against Moffat as showrunner. But the biggest strike against him was the almost complete stripping of fun from Doctor Who.

There was some goofy, stupid shit done on the show under Russell T Davies, but under him, no matter how stupid it got, the show was fun as well as dark and dramatic. With Moffat, it’s like he wanted to go GRIMDARK, but couldn’t do that just like he couldn’t apparently do fun.

So, for the first time in years, I stopped enjoying Doctor Who as much. When a season was close to premiering, I no longer got that tingle of excitement and anticipation that I had through the runs of 9 and 10. It even went from being a “Family Watch” event to an “Eh, I’ll watch it when I get around to it and the family doesn’t even bother now” non-event.

And that’s pretty much all on Moffat.

After a while, we got 11 and Clara Oswald. Clara, while cute as a button, was also a mind-numbingly boring Super Special Magic Girl companion. And the lack of fun persisted.

Eventually, someone somewhere got tired of Matt Smith as The Doctor, and we got Peter Capaldi (having previously been seen as a different character in one of the best eps of the series, The Fires of Pompeii).

I have greatly enjoyed Capaldi as The Doctor. In fact, he might be my second favorite of them all, despite the fact that he’s been saddled with terrible stories and scripts. He’s just that damn good, and his older, sadder Doctor is nearly perfect.

For seven years, Steven Moffat seemingly did everything he could to suck the fun and enjoyment out of Doctor Who (just like he sucked it out of his creation, Sherlock, from the get go). Finally, the time came for Capaldi to step aside. And considering the crap he was expected to work with, I’m surprised he didn’t tap out sooner.

Capaldi’s normal run (i.e., excluding the 2017 Christmas Special), ended this month, with a two-parter consisting and World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls (both written by Moffat). And though not a direct part of the ending, those were preceded by The Eaters of Light (which was an outstanding episode, more so when compared to everything else in Moffat’s run).

And you know what?  

They were damned good episodes. The dialogue was sharp, snappy and witty. The story was compelling even when you could predict was going to happen (and if you remained unspoiled, MAN there was a YUGE surprise!)

They were so good that I was forced to ask why in the Hell did Moffat wait for SEVEN FUCKING YEARS to finally bring his A game to the table? If he had put into the previous years what he put into these two episodes, his run might have gone unsurpassed as the best in the show’s history.

Everyone delivered in these, from Capaldi to Pearl Mackie (who had largely been pretty dull to this point) to Michelle Gomez (Missy was absolutely terrific once they toned her down just a bit) to the extras and guest stars.

When 10 was regenerating, at one point he said “I don’t wanna go” and it was heartbreaking.

Capaldi’s Doctor fought like hell to not come back! He was done. He didn’t want to come back and do it all again as someone else. And his performance was equally, if not more heartbreaking than Tennant’s.

This also marks the passing of control from Steven Moffat to Chris Chibnall. And I won’t miss Moffat. Instead of bringing us the greatness that he clearly has inside, he brought us 7 years of meh. In the final analysis, he’s done far more harm to the show than good, and his drek was a huge disservice to what Capaldi brought to the table.

I hope the door hits him in the ass on his way out.

Peter Capaldi was a truly great Doctor and I’ll miss him.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: Lucha Underground

Recently Watched:

Lucha Underground
Seasons 1, 2
(Luis Fernandez-Gil, Matthew Kaye/Striker, Ian Hodgkinson/Vampiro; 2014-2016)
I went into this with no expectations other than "Eh, this is probably going to be like TNA level stuff." That, by the way, is not a compliment. But I was bored, and I'll be honest; I miss watching wrestling. I quit watching WWE programs after several wrestlers died as a result of their lifestyle (greatly influenced by their work schedules), but the final blow to my viewing was the murder-suicide by and of Chris Benoit and his family, quite likely a result of a type of dementia suffered from his years in the ring. I didn't just stop watching WWE at that point, I pretty much lost all my interest in wrestling, and couldn't, in good faith, support it.

But eventually, the WWE and other promotions started making some efforts to improve the conditions for their workers, and at this point, everyone going in knows the risks, and I'm far more comfortable with people making clearly informed stupid life choices than ones made without all the information. And the newer wrestlers are doing a better job of taking care of themselves.

So after several years, I finally watched a WWE program on Netflix or something. And I recognized maybe 2 of the wrestlers. Which is okay. What wasn't okay was that the matches were *boring as fuck*. I mean. . . yeah. So I tried another one, same thing, and basically gave up on finding good wrestling.

Which brings me back around to this show. As I said, I didn't have high hope for this, but at least it was lucha, which I am not too familiar with, so even if the quality was iffy, it would be new and different to me. And make no mistake; for the first 5 episodes of season 1, the quality was *very* iffy. But I stuck with it, mostly because I was bored, needed background noise, and didn't feel like watching and simultaneously commenting on anything (yes, I'm lazy).

And it slowly started to get better. I mean, the ring performances. The between-match bits were still pretty terribly acted, especially by the "owner/promoter" of the show. But the matches were getting better, the commentary was amazingly solid (kudos to Matt Kaye/Striker and Vampiro). But then it occurred to me that I was watching the show all wrong (yes, you can watch a program incorrectly). I came into it like it was any other wrestling promotion on TV; a wrestling show that was on TV, but I figured out that it's *not* just another wrestling promotion. It's not a TV show *of* wrestling, it's a TV show *about* wrestling. Once I realized that this was just like any other genre fiction that I watch (except that the violence isn't nearly as tightly choreographed), it all made so much more sense. The between-match spots, the violence-filled promos for the wrestlers, the telenovela-esque mustache twirling villain, the dragon that thinks he's a wrestler, the boy born from death and possibly imbued with supernatural power. It all made sense.

And it was pretty fucking glorious.

You know how for years, people have been saying "Professional wrestling is just a soap opera for men" (which is pretty sexist if you think about it)? Well, Robert Rodriguez and the other creators basically said "Hey! That's a pretty good idea! Let's do it!" And the result is a relatively goofy, often spectacularly cheesy show about an illegal underground fight club where anyone can try their hand, but everyone largely uses a mishmash of wrestling styles instead of MMA. There's corruption, there's intrigue, there's supernatural evil underneath, the owner of the Temple may be using the violence of the fighters to usher in the end of days, there's women who wrestle the men just like the men wrestle the men (and they always get a moment to shine, even if they're gonna lose), there's a mini-Lucha who has the heart of a lion, maybe a space or time traveling lucha. There's a commentator who likes to point out that they don't bash you over the head with gender equality but just show it instead (which sounds stupid every time he says it) and at the same time, the commentators tell the audience to stop using a homophobic Spanish slur, because, while they may not hit the mark 100% of the time, they're really, genuinely trying to be inclusive and diverse.

It's kinda batshit crazy, but in a good way, not a Misery Loves Company way.

If you're a fan of wrestling, check it out sometime. If you're a fan of wrestling and genre fiction, you *have* to check it out. Just remember that those first few eps are rough. But it's well worth the watch.

IMDB Lucha Underground

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Light in the Dark

For a long while now, I’ve been trying desperately to find a bright point, something good in the elevation of 45 Orange to POTUS. And the claims of “Think of all the great art/music/whatever it will produce” don’t cut it. People were making great art and music before 45, because the government is the government and will always be engaged in something that sparks anger that then fuels art.

Some of us have known (and tried to explain to others) for a long time that a significant percentage of the U.S. population and especially the right-wing branch of politics are fundamentally anti-American. And by “anti-American”, I mean actively against the ideals that this nation supposedly represents (though let’s be honest; even the oft-faux-revered Founding Fathers frequently ignored the document they created, the COTUS, as have the majority of people in power for more of our history than not) and puts forth as an example to the rest of the world.

Hell, one could make a pretty solid argument that we didn’t even bother to start trying to live by those alleged ideals until well into the 20th century. Even in the 20s and 30s, there were SCOTUS cases involving 1A, that sided against the exercise of free speech. If brought before SCOTUS today, a significant, loud contingent of people (including politicians and orange embodiments of fail masculine egos) would be calling for blood, siding with the state, all the while continuing to whine about Twitter and Facebook censoring them and impinging on their freedom of speech (again, let’s be honest; if Facebook stakes a position on that, it’s usually on the side of hate speech and incitement to violence, so long as no one is showing any titty). Even in the 19 mother fucking 60s, SCOTUS was upholding clearly unconstitutional laws against free speech.

Where was I?

Right, the bright spot (which, in this case, is more akin to the wet spot).

The closest thing to a bright spot from this election and the results of the Electoral College is that it has emboldened these anti-American elements to step out from the shadows, to come out from behind their closed doors, to step into the light and proclaim their anti-American beliefs (though they do so not boldly, but under a bulwark of false patriotism). “How is this a bright spot?” you ask. Bright is relative. This is bright the same way one of those incredibly dim night lights are bright when viewed from across the house:

It’s bright only because it’s shrouded in darkness.

But it’s still a light that can help you get to where you need to be. You’ll bang your shin on the coffee table, trip over the dog’s chew toy, and step on the practically invisible LEGO bricks that someone left in the floor.

You’ll get where you’re going, but you won’t enjoy the trip or come out of it unscathed.

That’s much how I view the current state of the United States. Someone turned out the lights, and we’re only just now banging our shins on the coffee table. We’ve got a long way to go. But as we continue our arduous quest to the barely illuminated bathroom and our waste-collecting god, we can now see who the enemies truly are. And by “we”, I mean those of you who didn’t believe us when we tried to tell you about the right-wing, about POTUS 45 (not a fine malt liquor), about the impact of Fox news and the right-wing mouthpieces like Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck.

I mean those of you who insisted on believing that all of this was “politics as normal” and that “all politicians are the same”. They are not. Do not misunderstand me; I certainly do not think that the Clintons, the Democrats, or Sanders are saint. No, I think each has their own form and ways of corruption. I think that’s something inherent to those who seek office (even if they don’t realize it when starting out).

But there’s a fundamental difference between the mild corruption that serves to line the pockets of one and one’s friends and allies, and the corruption that seeks to undermine the essential fabric of freedom for everyone who isn’t a member of a select group (in this case, that group consisting primarily of affluent white Christians).

There’s a difference between receiving oral sex and lying about it, and attempting to slowly, methodically turn the nation into a Christian theocracy that –will- enact a version of the Sharia Law that they seem so afraid of (because they fear they will be done to before they have the power to fully do to others).

Yes, this election (in which I must remind, as I feel it is my duty to do so, Clinton won more votes in) has made the forces arrayed against us and Lady Liberty far bolder, but it will open some eyes to the truth of our nation. One of the most potent weapons the Right has used over the last 20 years has been subtlety. They’ve been slowly increasing the water temperature on all us frogs.

But all of a sudden, they’ve turned the stove knob dramatically, and we can feel that heat. We can see what they are trying to do to us know.

And that means we have a better chance of fighting back.

But we can’t fight defensive engagements. The anti-American elements are begging for an open fight these days, instead of slinking in the shadows. And we need to give it to them on every damn front possible. We need to fight them in the media, the press, the voting booths, the Twitters, the Facebooks; everywhere.

Though they decry the Left as soft, weak, delicate snowflakes in need of “safe spaces”, they crave such spaces more than anyone else, and we (and I don’t just mean the Left, I mean every person who loves, if not the execution, the ideals of a free nation that stands example above the rest) must show them that there are no safe spaces.

For too many years, we let these people hide in the darkness while “we” claimed “victory” over bigotry, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, and so many other social ills. That was a mistake, and now we’re paying for it tenfold. This time, when we drive them back into the darkened corners where they feel most safe and secure, we must step forth, and light that darkness up. And like the cornered rats they are, they will lash out with a particular viciousness.

And we’ll take those hits. Because we deserve too, for lettings things regress. Because we have too, in order to sculpt a better future for ourselves and those who come after us. Because America is about doing the right thing, not for reward, or a good feeling in your belly, but because it’s the right thing to do.

So when you’re sitting alone, in the dark, afraid of what’s going on around you, seek out that dim, yet bright spot this has created, and remember that we only started trying to be the nation we yearn to be a mere half century ago. We’re so, so very young. And we’ve long to go, in the dark, over the slippers, pet toys, and LEGO bricks.

But we’ll get where we’re supposed to be, though we be battered, bruised, and bloody.

We’ll get there. But only if we fight the whole way. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"Moderate" Republicans

Someone just posted something about "moderate" Republicans. It wasn't anything new, instead being mostly the same "Stop being mean to us! We're not like *those* Republicans! We should all be respectful and engage in civil debate!" So I thought I'd post some of my thoughts with regards to "moderate" Republicans (because I know your days aren't complete until I share my thoughts on things!)

1. "Civil debate" is a rallying cry of the oppressor, of the person who doesn't have a dog in the fight, of the person who is in the dominant position. 9 times out of 10, when you see a "moderate" Republican calling for civility, it's a white man doing so. Typically, a middle class or greater white man. That other 1 out of 10 times is a female, or a male POC Republican (yes, they exist). But really, most of the time, when you see such a demand/request, it's an attempt to shut down a conversation, often accompanied by some variant of "Why are you getting so emotional? We're just discussing this", "I'm not going to discuss this with you if you're going to yell at me", or "I'm just playing 'Devil's Advocate'".

2. "Moderate" Republicans often like to frame these "discussions" as some kind of debate. A debate is a formal method of presenting arguments (and rebuttals). Debate is an intellectual exercise that allows you to put forth whatever ideas with no recognition of the real life consequences. That's one of the reasons they love the claim. A debate is also something that you can *win*, and make no mistake, more often than not, when a "moderate" Republican wants to "debate", what they want is to *win*. The winning condition is typically achieved when the other person explodes in anger or simply leaves the conversation (for whatever reason; it will be declared a "win"). What do they win? Nothing. But they *think* they win something by "making the liberal cry" or that doing so adds inches to their e-cock in front of the other "moderate" Republicans that view the exchange.

3. "Moderate" Republicans are like "good cops"; sure, they exist (they aren't unicorns), but they are less common than you think, and the ones claiming it, aren't. Did I just bag on good cops? Yes, I did. As with "moderate" Republicans, you don't have to be an actively corrupt cop to be a bad cop. All you have to do is contribute to the culture that allows the "bad" cops to get away with being bad. The same applies to "moderate" Republicans.
Did you vote Republican party? The same Republican party that:
----- Is actively working to disenfranchise poor and minority voters in order to game the system?
----- Is actively working to make it impossible for women to make safe, healthy choices concerning their own bodies?
----- Is actively working to make basic health care for the poor, minorities, the old, and largely everyone who isn't wealthy difficult, if not impossible to acquire without life crushing debt?
----- Is actively working to alter educational standards in such a way as to render future students even more ignorant than their predecessors?
----- Is actively working to make higher education far more expensive and difficult for the unprivileged to acquire?
----- Spent eight years doing nothing but wasting money on repeated investigations of a subject that was thoroughly dealt with and attempting to obstruct any progress in every field championed by the Democrats?
----- Spent the last eight years promoting and supporting racist ideologies in the population?
----- Is actively working against the 1A rights of citizens, while lying about said rights in regards to right-wing and hatemongering individuals?
----- Is actively working to load SCOTUS in an attempt to rubberstamp their policies when they are inevitably and rightly challenged?
----- Is actively working to enshrine discrimination in law under the guise of "religious freedom" and morality, contrary to the ideals of COTUS?
----- Continues an active individual and group campaign of lies and disinformation in order to manipulate and dupe their voter base?
----- Continues to adhere to, and advocate for standards that are good enough for them but not for the citizenry?
----- Continues to refuse to disavow the "extreme" elements of their party and supporters?
----- Is actively working to curtail the basic civil rights of citizens?
----- Continues to do nothing about gun violence (note that most gun violence is a poor or lower class phenomenon)?
----- Has repeatedly worked to rape as, if not acceptable, the fault of the victim?
----- Continues to be engaged in illegal, unethical, or immoral activities while accusing detractors and opponents of those same activities?
----- Continues to try to implement an American Christian version of the Sharia Law they so despise?
----- Continues to wage an economic war against the poor, through various methods ranging from the reduction of systemic benefits and aid to the use of a broken court system and private prisons by disproportionate incarceration?

I could keep going, but frankly, I'm tired now. The point, if you haven't guessed it, is that by supporting a party that continues to support these and other anti-American, anti-poor, anti-minority activities, you lose any right to call yourself a "moderate". There's no "debate" to be had over basic civil rights, over the autonomy of women with regards to their own bodies. There just *isn't*. You can "debate" the tax rate. You can't debate whether or not discrimination is a good thing that the law should protect. The only way you get to call yourself a "moderate" Republican is if you are *actively* working against your party in order to change it, and that entails NOT VOTING FOR OR PROVIDING FINANCIAL OR MORAL SUPPORT TO YOUR PARTY.

If you're still supporting the Republican party, despite all this, you are not a "moderate"; you're a coward.