A teenage girl dashed away from her BMW sedan and kicked a police officer in the head after running a red light and slamming into another vehicle in Bucks County Thursday morning.
Authorities arrested 19-year-old Sara Culhane of Princeton on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, reckless driving and other related offenses after she allegedly fled from the scene of a hit and run accident only to crash into another car moments later.
Bensalem Township Police responded to reports of a hit and run on Blanche Road just after 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Responding officers spotted Culhane driving a blue BMW, which matched the description of the striking vehicle, near the intersection of Mechanicsville and Street roads.
Authorities began pursuing the suspect after she ignored their attempts to pull her over, police said. Police said they called off the chase once it became apparent that the driver refused to stop.
Culhane continued traveling north on Mechanicsville Road, running a red light and slamming into a Toyota Corolla that was traveling west on Street Road, according to investigators.
Culhane then exited her BMW and ran from the crash scene, police said.The arresting officers tracked her down moments later and, as they got the teen under control, she kicked one of the officers in the head, authorities said.
She kicked a cop in the HEAD. But, white girl.
It was amazing.
Honestly, before DragonCon, I had no idea what the Carol Corps were, or what they stood for. wolvensnothere mentioned, on our first day, that he was going to attend the meet-up, and I figured I would go to see what it was all about.
What I found was the kind of thing that every form of popular culture fandom desperately needs: a safe, affirming, and inclusive space where everyone is welcome. And this is a message that is echoed in every article that I pulled up in my post-meet-up googling. For me, the Carol Corps represents comics fandom as it should be.
The need for inclusivity and representation within comics fandom is something that I spoke on at last year’s DragonCon, and something that I didn’t think that I would see actualized. As someone who seems incapable of leaving his work at the office (see my philosophizing the apocalypse tag), this was a source of extreme disappointment: I could see the problems that I was dealing with in my theoretical work reproduced within the communities that I loved so much, and it exhausted me. Comics (and the fandom) were, in my view, supposed be places that showed us a world that could be, instead, they seemed to be reproducing the problems of the world as it is.
This is why the Carol Corps means so much to me as a philosopher, a person of color, and a feminist. If you’re not interested in, or view the intersection of philosophy/academia and comics as irrelevant, you should probably stop here. If you’re concerned with these things, read on!
Kelly-Sue, in her opening keynote of the DragonCon comics track, spoke of the myth of the “default human,” the assumption that the straight white male is the default mode of human existence. For me, this was not an unfamiliar notion: Sara Ahmed, in her book Queer Phenomenology, and her article “The Phenomenology of Whiteness,” speaks of the way in which the orientation and organization of the world is such that the straight white male body fades into the background. As such, this body does not call attention to itself as it moves through spaces, including that of fandom and popular media.
To take up both Ahmed and Kelly-Sue’s observations about the world in the context of comics, fandom, and popular culture, the vast majority of our media, including those forms that I love, are patterned upon the assumed default of the straight white male. Beyond the media itself, I would extend this to the fandom itself: fandom is organized around the assumption that straight white men are the default audience for comics, and therefore push against the articulation of experiences other than this assumed default through their media. They view this as a disruption of the “natural ordering” of the social world.
Further, there is the assumption that those who deviate from the default, Sara Ahmed might call this the line projected by fandom, are incapable of understanding and experiencing the media in the same way. The theorist in me wants to link this directly to the concept of the “fake geek girl,” and the assumption that “black people don’t like comics,” because comics are not for them in the same way that comics are for straight white men. This mis-match of embodied existence to the actuality of the media, as articulated by predominantly male fandom, is why girls “just don’t get it,” in spite of the existence of the Carol Corps and the Kamala Corps, and the hundreds of movie going women who contributed to the overwhelming success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Disproving the tacit assumption of the “human default” in both fandom and the media itself, generates a backlash as the straight white male body is “unseated” from it’s comfortable position within the media and the fandom, and this is made manifest in myriad of ways. We need only recall fandom’s response to the casting of a black Johnny Storm, Donald Glover’s intention to play Spider-Man, the new Thor, and Iris west being cast as a black woman. Any deviation from the assumption of straight white male, or whiteness in general, within comics and fandom generates resistance from both groups as institutions as they seek to preserve their position as the status quo.
This is why the Carol Corps is so important to me as a philosopher and a fan. Not only does the Carol Corps provide what mainstream fandom does not, a safe space for fans of multiple intersecting identity, it actively unseats the assumed default by being so inclusive. If you look at the Carol Corps photos that I reblogged, you can see fans of every color and shape, gender identity and gender presentation. The Carol Corps, by simply being what it is, serves to indicate the direction that comics not only should go in but must go in.While the Corps is predominantly female, it’s openness towards all people’s experience (so long as they “don’t be a dick”) is what makes it so unique, as is it’s organization around Carol Danvers not only for who she is, but what she represents: characters as colorful and dynamic as the fandom that supports it.
Through its loose organization, the Carol Corps actively disrupts the “background” created by decades of the organization of comics around the straight white male by celebrating not only Carol Danvers, but fans and characters of all intersecting identities. It redefines what it means to be a fan of comics, it redefines how to be a fan of comics and media through its open acceptance of fans regardless of level of interest, experience with Carol, or embodied experience. If there’s a way to do “fandom” right, then the Carol Corps has done it.
Higher, Further, Faster, More.
Every single bit of this.
I’m really glad you got to see it actualized, ninjaruski. This is precisely the kind of motivation and realization I had hoped for, when we started planning this year’s events, and everything came out beyond my wildest of hopes.
Between the Carol Corps meetup and the Roundtable, everyone who needed to speak had a place to speak. Everyone who spoke was heard. Hard questions were grappled with, and safe, inclusive spaces for fans to engage, critique, and generate their fandom were cultivated.
I am pleased beyond words.
Everybody needs a Carol Corps.