Sunday, October 2, 2016

Green Arrow #7

This is almost the exact experience I had in Tokyo.

The Commentary!
• Last night I went to a Portland restaurant named Yakuza. Today, I have to relearn how to type.

• Why the fuck would you name your restaurant Yakuza? Am I missing something hipstery about this? Are there places in the United States that think it's cute and cool to name an Italian restaurant Mafia? What about naming a German restaurant Chuck Nazi Cheese's? Where a kid can be an Aryan heterosexual! Did I go too far with any of those? Probably not because I'm not the one who opened a Japanese restaurant in Portland called Yakuza.

• I didn't choose to eat there. The Non-Certified Spouse's father's current wife chose it to get the two sides of the family together to celebrate my birthday and her son's girlfriend's birthday (I just realized she can describe the situation in the exactly reversed terms!). She had looked up online for the best Portland family friendly restaurants and apparently Yakuza was in the top ten. Seems appropriate. Also, she only found out what Yakuza meant while we were at the restaurant. It seems like an odd thing not to know but then who am I to judge other people by the information they think is important to their lives? I just went to paste in the code for a bullet point and was surprised when instead of an ampersand followed by bull followed by a semicolon, I pasted in the word "Clitoridectomy".

• You don't need to know what I was doing with that word in my copy memory!

• Since about my mid-twenties, I've had a standing request of everybody I know not to get my presents for any occasion. Sometimes people will because they see something that makes them think of me and they get it. I appreciate that. But when people get me shit simply because I'm a name they need to cross off of a list, they usually just give me junk that I don't fucking want in my house. It's easier for everybody if they just don't feel obligated. The Non-Certified Spouse's father's current wife has yet to listen to me. She even said last night, "It's a crap shoot getting something for Jeff when he doesn't want anything." So here's what she got me: a t-shirt that says "Some people just need a pat on the back" and shows a person-shaped figure pushing another person-shaped figure off of a cliff. Really? That's what she thinks of me? She thinks I'd find that funny and I'd wear that shirt? She would have been better off just getting me a nice button-up shirt to wear to family gatherings instead of a ratty, moth-eaten t-shirt! A good rule of thumb is not to buy people clothing with some kind of joke or statement on it. Let the idiot buy that for themselves. Why would I want to wear a shirt that had a statement that you thought was funny in relation to me? I'm not your t-shirt wearing monkey!

• They also got me two pieces of hipster arcade art: wooden blocks of Pac-men ghosts. We currently have an Ikea light hanging in the living room that is a bunch of blue circles strung together. So I hung the ghosts above two of the strands of dots. They look right at home!

• Anyway, I brought all of that up because Shado and Emiko are dealing with the Yakuza themselves! Of course they are. They're Japanese, right? What other conflict is there? Aside from the occasional really horny octopus.

That'll happen when you invest too much of your personality in your career!

• Green Arrow appears and says, "I'm looking for the angry, white, mouth-breathing, red-meat fascists. Anybody seen them?" Is he talking about the loggers? Why does he assume they're white? Is logging a whites-only job? And why bring up their diets? I'm sure he's just guessing at that because it's a stereotype that manly-men only eat red meat and the occasional potato. Why is he being such a huge jerk to some people who are dealing poorly with feeling misplaced and lost in America? And why the fuck are they suddenly fascists?! Who the fuck do these working class loggers have any power over?! They're just fighting to keep their shitty, dangerous, underpaid jobs because they don't have the imagination to see themselves doing something else for a living! Maybe Oliver needs to shoot himself with an empathy arrow.

• Green Arrow finds himself winding down like a top. I guess he didn't eat breakfast this morning. Or else Emiko purchased a watch for him from The Clock King.

• Oh, it's the watch thing. William Tockman, The Clock King, left a message on the watch to let Oliver know all of his plans and his name and his work history and, pretty soon, his bank account. So I can't see how Oliver is going to bring William Tockman to justice at all. There's just no clues or evidence to his treachery!

• Anyway, now Oliver Queen has to pay William Tockman a lot of money for a long time or Oliver's Swatch will kill him. It's not magic though! It's just technology that doesn't need any elaboration because, well, it's basically magic.

• That story was from a year ago if you didn't notice the "Seattle. One Year ago" tag at the beginning of the previous scan. It's all about how Oliver learned to trust Emiko after losing her trust after he gained it after he first met her. The story in the present is about how he once again lost her trust and now has to regain it. So I guess there are similar themes or something tying the stories together.

• Emiko has confronted The Dragon, the leader of the Yakuza. Shado owes her loyalty to him because in Japan there are only five things one must be concerned with: anime, Pachinko, shame, vending machines, and loyalty. The Dragon asks Emiko what her next move is now that she's made herself a nuisance to him.

I bet the opponent is either Shado herself which puts Emiko in a lose/lose situation, or Green Arrow who will, once again, lose his corporation to save somebody he loves! Wait. I don't think he has his corporation right now. Well, maybe he'll gain it back before the death match against Emiko takes place so that he can lose it again.

• Oliver Queen decides to confront the Clock King (you know! In the story that took place a year ago! Not in the story where Emiko is battling the Yakuza!) instead of paying him tons of money to stay alive. The Clock King points out how he knew Oliver would act out instead of complying because Oliver is "too entitled to follow orders." Oh? So blackmailing a person is now considered following orders? Also, it's moments like this where Ben Percy really interjects himself into the story and ruins the rhythm. Is everybody Oliver encounters from now until Percy is off the title going to call Oliver entitled or talk about his privilege? Because that's all a rich white person can be now? It seems weird that the whole point of social justice and civil rights is to treat everybody as an individual and yet it seems everybody wants to take it in the exact opposite direction where everybody is lumped into preconceived labels and categories. That's going the wrong way! I can see how it's satisfying to turn it around on rich whiteys! Or just hetero whiteys! Or just neurotypical whiteys! Or just, you know, whiteys in general! And, I mean, it's not like I ever do anything that doesn't satisfy some desire of my own, so why should I be sitting back trying to armchair quarterback a social movement that I don't really have any stakes in?! I mean, except for the stake of not being called an entitled privileged white guy! I hate that! Stop doing that! So mean!

• I'm not even white! I mean, half of me is white! And I happen to look like the white half of my family and I didn't get the Spanish name because my mother bought into all that Patriarchal bullshit and took her husband's name! So, I mean, I'm passing as a white person and I gain all of the advantages of a white person and the only Spanish I really know is stuff my grandmother would say when she was angry at me! You knew she was pissed when she reverted back to her native tongue! So, I mean, essentially I'm just a dumb white guy. But if you ask me about the history of the white side of my family, at most I can offer a bored shrug. But if you ask me about the history of my Spanish side of the family, I know that shit back to Spain! Pretty much exactly right back to the moment my ancestors left Spain, like where they left for America (Malaga) and why they came (leaflets handed about asking for labor to come to Hawaii to work in the sugar cane fields). I certainly don't know why my white ancestors came over. Probably to get away from all those Spics!

• Clock King takes an unconscious Oliver Queen and does things he probably shouldn't do to an unconscious person. Like strap him down on a clock face with a bladed pendulum swinging above him! I hope Emiko comes by to save his life! And somehow deactivate the Swatch which is killing him! And apologize for being a terrible sister!

• Emiko stops by with a bomb strapped to her chest. She just walks into the back room where William Tockman keeps all of his traps. He really should remember to lock the front door when he drags an unconscious victim into the back room to have his fun.

• If Emiko's Swatch winds down, she'll blow up and kill The Clock King. So now let's see if he's too entitled to follow orders!

• Darn it. He's not. I should have known that because he's an African-American! I think. Is that what Ben Percy was trying to say? A black guy tells a white guy to do something and the white guy is all, "No way, Jose!" (which is totally racist, by the way). But then a white woman tells a black man to do something and he's all, "Darn it! But I didn't want to! But I guess I have to! Shucks!" (I hope that wasn't totally racist, by the way). So Ben Percy is showing us the hierarchy of entitlement: white guy, white girl, black man. That's just the first course though! I'm sure it gets way more complicated by introducing other ethnicities, genders, mental illnesses, and sexualities! I'm way too white to know the order. I just knew I was right there at the top of the entitlement food chain. I'm Number One! I'm Number One! Unless I'm Number Two because totally white guys might call me a half-breed. Except that I think half-white, half-Spanish gets a pass and is never actually called that derogatory term. I think we're just pretty much whites.

• Shoot! Being on the Internet, I should have probably just pretended I was raceless and sexless and genderless! I could have been a monstrous disembodied brain just spewing all sorts of vile, awful things! Boy did I miss my opportunity to be a total scumbag!

• Oh, I didn't say I wasn't still a partial scumbag!

• Back to the present, the person Emiko is going to fight is the leader of the Yakuza, the Dragon himself. He sure is confident! And stupid. Doesn't he know acting like a typical super villain comes before a fall?

• Shado has been invited to watch because The Dragon is an idiot who somehow thinks one of the main qualities of mothers is to stand by and do nothing while their child is killed. Turns out, they usually do the exact opposite! Who would have guessed?! Certainly not somebody who watched their mother not give a shit about them every single day of their lives while always showing way more affection for other people's kids! That was just a hypothetical type of person who might not have known that mothers are fierce and loyal for their children.

• Shado defeats The Dragon and shames Emiko. Unless fighting your child's death battle isn't a shameful act and then she probably made Emiko proud. It's probably that second one because they hug at the end and then Shado rushes off to go play some Pachinko.

• Before leaving her daughter, Shado tells Emiko to go find Oliver Queen. Then Emiko jumps off the top of a skyscraper and, presumably, dies. Hmm. That's a weird ending!

The Ranking!
+0! Ben Percy should have spent more time on the William Tockman story and less time on the Japanese Shame Game Loyalty Club story. Also, I don't think I learned anything about racism this issue. That's probably why I typed the word "Spics" in the commentary. I'm forgetting why racism is bad, Benjamin! Isn't it about time you write another story about it?

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