Saturday, June 13, 2009

Can't Escape It

This is a link to Penny Arcade Webcomic for June 12th 2009. It features a story idea of theirs called Automata.

Here is an excerpt of their thoughts on it:

Automata, nineteen-twenties crime fiction which unfolds in a time where "machine intellect" has been outlawed. It wasn't always, certainly, and the problem of what to do with the existing "stock" of fully sentient, mechanical citizens endures. Detective Regal and his stenophone Carl Swangee traverse the margin where these worlds overlap.

The comic itself shows Carl Swangee, a machine intellect, being hassled old school by cops. I could be wrong, but I believe one cop holds his truncheon up against Swangee's throat.

The comic upset and disturb me. Though it might very well be meant to. Oppression hurts. Seeing a representation of oppression hurts. Remembering the times one has faced similar acts of oppression, hurts.

I'm slowly going through Penny Arcade's back archive. I've had people mention the site to me off an on again for various reasons. The last was either their guild in Perfect World (a massive multi player online rpg) or their comic about racism in Resident Evil 5 (I liked the news entry better than the comic). Their back archive doesn't have me much believing I should look for them to handle issues well, should something like Automata move forward past an intriguing proposal/introduction. And I'm not sure I could bear to follow yet another 'The world is all white, and the oppressed aren't human'.

But it hit me, about how difficult it is to get away from certain things and how obvious people need things to be. Putting a truncheon up against an entity's throat is an easy visual of someone being a bigot and a bully. Putting a big sign saying 'No Heart, No Soul, No Service' is a big call back to 'No Irish' and 'No Dogs, No Chinese' and 'Whites Only'. Obvious, neon signs, like silhouettes and caricatures of a rigged and biased system. Meanwhile everyday, people live with the subtle, invasive and entrenched.

It reminds me a bit of depression and some people's views of it - if you're not bleeding, then there's nothing wrong with you.

In other news - I've got a bit on animation I lost heart with somewhere in the middle towards the end. I'm going to try and work on it more. And there are books out I want to point out. Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology is out. I first mentioned the book ages ago, I thought during the 1st, PoC in SF Carnival - but I can't find the reference now. Point is, it's out. And I have links to excited people. I need to get on that.

PS: Those who were curious about the teacher who held a Survivor like ordeal in her class and cast off the autistic 5 year old? She got her job back. 2009, remaining the year I just plain give up on humanity. It seemed so nice too. The inauguration in January was such a pick-me-up. And then, slow slip slide to triple, blood filled ugh. Including Obama.