Spirit Temple Levels
23 Fully Rendered Endings
Reality Vest with 4 Vibrator Sequence Settings for its Rumble Pack
White Gloves & Black Gloves
characters have just four fingers---to mark their world as like the human
and animal worlds, but different. They also usually wear white gloves---a
genealogical trace of the cartoons's origins in blackface and then vaudeville,
nineteenth- and early twentieth-century forms of theatre where the various
characters all had white gloves to "mark" them as recognizable
characters. (Early- and middle-period Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons often
incorporated racist comic characters and routines directly from blackface
entertainment as well. Moral: if you think such pop entertainments are somehow
free of the blindness of their times, think again.) Both Porky Pig and pals
and the Wolf wore gloves, and nobody minded: gloves in the early cartoons
just seemed "natural." And they persisted in cartoon characters
long after vaudeville and blackface entered the netherspace of American
historical memory (that is, amnesia).
Mickey's pose above is taken directly from the vaudeville/blackface stage shows popular just a few decades earlier, back into the 19th century.
Check out the gloves and pose of Al Jonson in blackface singing "Mammy," his arms outspread, in the first "talking picture" [movie], 1927:
Now no one's claiming that our icon Mickey is really in blackface, though lots of his face is black. Rather, it's the pose and the props (the gloves)--for the early fans of Mickey in the 1930s especially, they would have understood the connection easily, because vaudeville and blackface was a living memory.
Jolson may have been the most popular stage singer for whites in the first half of the 20th century, in part because he helped "ethnic" European immigrants to urban America become both "American" and "white" via the use of blackface routines. Jolson himself was Jewish, as was his character in The Jazz Singer, and via the medium of blackface performance he loses his "ethnic" Jewish identity and becomes American, performing "American" music rather than the synagogue singing his father wants him to devote himself to. He even changes his name from Jakie Rabinowitz to Jack Robin!---all through the power of blacking up, and wearing those gloves.
Jolson's story was popular enough to be revived
frequently into the 1950s, when seismic cultural changes brought upon by
civil rights struggles made Jolson's whole blackface routines seem suddenly
not just dated but embarrassing to many. (There are fansites on the Web,
though.) Before the 1960s, blackface routines were routinely accepted in
popular Hollywood movies---so popular, in fact, that the plots were often
absurdly manipulated just to be able to introduce minstrel/blackface song
and dance: cf. Bing Crosby's hugely popular "White Christmas,"
where the blackface routines done by all the stars gives a whole new meaning
to the movie's title. Later Disney stuff played with vaudeville and blackface
too, especially the notorious Song of the South, based on the Uncle
Remus stories, which isn't shown much anymore because its contents now seem
so racist they make even black mouse ears blush.
Lara Croft; Crash Bandicoot; a ToughGrrrl drawn by Alphonso Go, a girl in the Philippines; another drawn by a pro:
Cultural sources for these black gloves?
Cultural sources for this "action" suit for women?
But go farther back: Kali, the Hindu goddess. You don't need so big an equipment belt (like Lara wears) if you've lots of arms:
The next Levels try to come back to some of these gender questions from other angles and feints. As in Grrrr-l.
In the meantime, let's end with this:
Most game and 'toon action heroes have their gender very sharply drawn: no gray areas.
But some do not: Sheik, for example.
Hand-in-Glove with Entertainment)