If it's not one thing, it's another. The other in this case; someone notices something a little creepy with classics reproductions.
As a commenter put in there - it is very much like the human ideal is no longer really human. Combine this with my realization of how distended and distorted photoshop manipulation makes women in magazine ads etc and it's an attack all around on what is human. Forget about beauty - it's what. is. human.
And for once I'm not going to roll my eyes at the men wanting to point out pressure on them. Because it's not side-tracking this conversation. 300 - CGI six packs. Apparently action hero toys are getting more ridiculously muscled as well. Granted at the same time, there are also movies like Mallcop where a man who is not sporting a CGI sixpack, even remotely, gets the common era 'pretty white girl'. So there is some second option for men. Except of course, I'm guessing, that it means if you're not the heroic champion who can wear a leather speedo you'd better damn well be loveable, humorous, willing to self-mock and thought of as cuddly.
Heavens help the misanthrope male with a potbelly.
And all combined together, too thin, or too muscular, our eyes (the general public) begin to look at those who are disabled as even more removed from what we now consider (or are told to consider) the norm.
The wheelchair bound woman with biceps to die for, muscled upper body - is far far removed from stick thin waifishness with cantaloupe breasts. The bookish man with an ankle and knee brace and a cane, is a far far cry from CGI six-packs AND a remove away from those muscled wheelchair bound, no pain no game players who had that movie made about them a little while back (the movie name will come to me eventually).
Of course, I write this and realize I have no mental pictures at all of PoC Disabled individuals. So there's a smack of invisibility even in the face of history being erased and reformed and
Now I need to research PoC Differently Abled Athletes to feed my brain.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I control the vertical and I control the horizontal - on my space. I have no idea what you think is happening when you comment to me. We're not friends. I'm also not a teacher who'll give you a gold star for every personal breakthrough you have. I don't read you. I wrote you off as not worth my time and energy days ago. I am not embarrassed about this fact; frankly I think it's already public knowledge.
Comments in my journal are published of those with whom I wish to have a conversation or whom I think add to the conversation and who won't sidetrack it. My blog is a safespace. And I repeat again, it is also NOT a 101 Teaching space.
Do you not believe that I don't accept apologies? Do you not believe that I am not an easily forgiving person? If you have discovered pants - that's fantastic. No one really needs to see another person's inner mental maggots squirming around under the rock of their mind. And people who are willing to see that, usually in my opinion, have an intimate relationship - personal or therapeutic.
If I notice your actions have changed, it will not be because you send me twice weekly updates with the subtext of wanting cookies. It will be because your world view has totally shifted and those willing to deal with that, start talking, and rumor trickles down to me.
I was absolutely not kidding at all when I said:
People who need Anti-Racism 101 etc... go there. I'm done talking to the freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Come back when you're ready to tackle a Masters and maybe I won't find you quite so clueless.
You are not part of the conversation I currently want to have.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I've already gotten tired of how wildly things have spun. But have just realized that due to the distractions of various professional/academic individuals making things all about them, there are individuals coming into this section of a multi-year long conversation with no clue about the recent goings on. They don't know when this recent section of the conversation started and they don't know where to put all of Rydra-Wong's Links in context.
I don't quite blame them, because I've still got to figure out what I want to label my interactions in this whole thing and apply it to the posts. However, I am able to sketch a quick outline. I suggest people look at the dates of the actual posts - I'm not doing that much work given that I've been posting and involved with the spill out of a single conversation for the past 3 weeks.
* Elizabeth Bear posted an entry about writing the other spurred by this entry by Jay Lake.
* I responded to it, mentioning specifically (as it related to her) the book Blood & Iron.
* DeepaD also posted something(I Didn't Dream of Dragons) in response to Bear.
* Bear replied to me - originally agreeing with my criticism/perspective.
* Bear's commenters/flist attacked me in that entry (which, I remind again, had initially agreed with my criticism)
* Truepenny wrote an original entry discussing why attacking me was not the point.
* In Truepenny's post, Emma Bull began the 'you're interrogating the text from the wrong perspective' argument.
* Truepenny then took up that argument.
* It was subsequently thrown in her face by various PoC and Allies, some of whom are also academics.
* Mac_Stone threw in agreement with the Emma Bull argument.
* Medievalist also threw in with the Emma Bull argument.
* DeepaD's thoughts on the point in Blood & Iron were ignored.
* Chickenfried_jo (?) had interaction with Mac_Stone, as did I. Mac_Stone seemed to get it and apologised.
* Mac_Stone then returned to her journal & threw a tantrum about 'interrogating the text from the wrong perspective'
* Chickenfried followed her there and more discussion ensued. Mac_Stone seemed to get it and apologised, again.
* Truepenny may have apologised to me (and PoC as a whole for the argument of being too stupid to read) at this time.
* A day later, Mac_Stone threw up a new post that had the subtext of 'Certain People Just Made Me Swallow A Load of Bullshit And I Let Them For I Am A Survivor of Abuse'.
* PNH showed up to comfort her there.
* Medievalist also showed up to comfort Mac_Stone and begins one of many (now since deleted or locked) comments about my being an orc, performance artist, not really interested in social justice and some kind of pathological something. It would later be revealed Medievalist had never read my blog and came to conclusions about me from running a perl script on my blog
* I'm fuzzy here about what happened next with PNH, if he went back to his journal or not. But he did begin commenting in Mac_Stone's defense around this time using phrases like "Some people are just smarter than other people."
* People began to point out that his comments were incredibly full of Fail & Skuzzy Race Issues and attempted to show him the larger conversation to see if he'd take back his words given bigger context. This happens quite a bit in Copracat's journal. He did not.
* Will Shetterly also showed up at that time to defend his wife, Emma Bull, because people pointed out her Skuzzy Race Issues. He ran around calling PoC racist and snapping back at any one who wrote any comment at all pointing out his wife's Skuzzy Race Issues as expressed in her reactions to what had been going on. He would later apologise at the start of one breath, and go back to being a Classim Tops All tool at the end of that same breath.
* The amounts of FAIL in Bear's journal entry continued. Days past.
* Bear posted a short note with comments disabled asking people to let her handle things. It is somewhat unclear who she's asking and what she wants left alone to handle. There is no immediate context.
* Bear posted again
* PNH & Will Shetterly were presumably still commenting on people's journals with PNH refusing to recognize his part in a wider discussion on race. He deleted his journal. For a short time Shetterly did as well.
* On the same date as the short note, Bear posted a follow up. Later in comments she appeared to wash her hands of the entire thing and admit she'd been 'taking one for the team' in her original reply to me.
* And then, many days after that, PNH's wife, TNH posted all about her & her husband's hurt with threats she later claimed weren't threats; against anyone involved in this discussion not on her husband's side who had aspirations of being published. ETA: Commentary on that here
That is as near as I can draw the line from Bear to me to PNH (via Mac_Stone) to TNH to people like David Levine who thinks PoC will be disappointed that his loyalty to his friends and terror of an unnamed PoC horde, have resulted in him taking his ball and going home never to write a PoC character again.
The conversation has spiraled and has tendrils in many places, so I suggest again you refer to Rydra-Wong's Links. Or a shorter version and set of links over at Aqueduct Press. It only has 1, 2, 3 parts.
BUT it (this cultural appropriation discussion) has long stopped being about Bear in particular or Blood and Iron and has become all about the fear of white authors and PoC reactions to that ridiculous fear.
The conversation in my space here, however, has moved on from that (excepting this post and heaven's forbid someone else doing something monumentally stupid in public).
The conversation in my journal is about where POC go next in the genre. It's a doctorate level conversation on issues of racism, colonialism, decolonization, oppression and literature. I will not have it hijacked or distracted. It's a conversation I need to have and responses tell me I'm not alone.
People who need Anti-Racism 101 etc... go there. I'm done talking to the freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Come back when you're ready to tackle a Masters and maybe I won't find you quite so clueless.
ETA: Some comments have link updates
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Bringing things back around to conversations I want to have, I relate the news that there's to be yet another casting call in Philadelphia (Feb 7th 2009) and Aang Ain't White are trying to round up folks for a more attended (as in more than 4 people) protest against Avatar: The Airbender (The Live Action Movie) and their call for ethnic folk as background extras while all the Asian heroes are now and determinedly white.
I've done two posts on the Avatar Disaster: Hollywood: "We Don't Know What Asian Looks Like" AND All the world's white, the rest of us merely live in it. The latter post is what I wish to somewhat expand on now.
I posted my fears in that entry. I talked about how irritated and frustrating and helpless it feels to realize that I could write a book with minority characters, even specifically black characters, but if I don't stay within the very stereotype caricature/characterization/descriptions that I find troublesome -
any a huge chunk of white people reading what I write, simply won't see colour. They won't see non-white ethnicity. It really is enough to make someone scream.
I have nothing to say to the individuals who've looked at the animated Avatar: The Last Airbender and don't see a non-white fantasy culture filled with non-white peoples.
It's still so odd to me to use the phrase Non-White. I began to use the phrase Non White Peoples because it felt more like a definition of, instead of a definition against. But since January 13th, I've found myself thinking I can see another side of the phrase now, the importance of it - the need to distinguish that I, me, my culture, my family, my peoples, my history, a solid portion of my ancestry - ARE. NOT. WHITE.
I'm not you. I am not just exactly like you. My experiences shape me. And my experiences involve NOT BEING WHITE. It's amazing how a phrase that used to make me feel so uncomfortable, has become a phrase of empowerment - a phrase to shout.
[ I had a mention of this somewhere on this blog before, as an apology to someone I'd had conflict and misunderstandings with over the phrase. But I mention it here again, because I think they might be reading now and because I can feel the meaning (possibly, I'm not in their head) behind it now. So hey Spiralsheep - I think I got 15 percent of it now and why we crossed wires.]
Because, Dark Blue Heaven Looking Down , I'm tired of the Mr./Mrs. Potato Head Assumptions. I'm tired of people not taking the time to research people because they don't believe that people can differ from one another. And I'm tired that they also don't seem to look or are too ignorant (or is it laziness - or is ignorance + Laziness = Privilege) to grasp the concept that there are groups of people all over the world who're not like them and it's important to accept that, respect that, observe that and INCLUDE that in their presentation of the world. You know, Earth. This little ball of air and mud and water balanced in the dark blankets of the sky.
The world of fantasy should not be all White People + Various European Architecture + Magic (possibly dragons). The world of fantasy also shouldn't be White People + Various Asian/South Asian Architecture + Magic. It's not White People Gaining Power From Kachina Dolls. It's not White People + Dark Savages + Magic. It's not White People + Voudoo (Hoodo, Obeah, Santeria). It's definitely not White People + All 4 of the previous mentioned practices, mixed up and rolled into one.
Seeing things that way, is what has lead to Avatar: The Last Airbender (Clorox Movie Remix).
I was watching a Britcom last night. And something hit me harder than it would have if the last few weeks had not just happened. Someone was coordinating a visit to the Caribbean for the protagonist couple; a villa in Barbados. And they said "And I've arranged for a car to pick you up in Bridgetown." For the record? That's like having a flight arrive at LAX and someone arranging a car to pick you up in Oakland. The physical distance is not the same - but relativity wise? Oh yeah. The Airport and the City of Bridgetown are in two different parishes. The airport is far enough away to almost be on an opposing shore (but it is near a perpendicular one to Bridgetown). Yes, the island is small - but it'd still be a walk, in the hot sun, into town to get that car.
I sat there watching it and had this slap in the face moment of shock. Barbados is a former colony of Britain. When I was in school, we had to learn a whole lot about England because Independence was only 30 odd years away. Barbados' nickname Is 'Little England'. And yet someone couldn't find a map, make a phone call to ask a question - to care about their facts. It's just a little island somewhere in the Caribbean that gets mentioned as a place British people go to for sun and fun.
I sat there thinking about Avatar and the Three Major Kingdoms and the obvious Asian Cultures and realized that I had no right to think M. Night didn't have his own internalized colonialism to battle. I sat there and realized the Producers, Paramount don't care, don't have to care, because it's just a culture filled with non-white people, with cool costumes, and interesting weapons, where white heroes go to have fun and daring. I sat there thinking about phrases like 'the melting pot' or 'the salad' and realized that we, non-white peoples are seasonings! Jerk chicken is so fascinating. Sushi is so odd but interesting. Mexican food is something to build a fast food franchise out of. Chinese New Year, is an excuse to eat a lot of chinese food and see interesting acrobatics and dancing dragons.
And I had the really, really odd thought that things are still Separate but Equal. Hong Kong Cinema. Bollywood. J-Pop. Afropop - more than I'm not aware of or I'm not thinking about right now. American Comic Books vs Manga. All the resentment I've heard at how the newer generation isn't reading comic books but are devouring manga - or how girls are devouring manga.
Avatar - Their heroes (white heroes) with Asian dressing. The dressings change, the heroes stay white. Seriously, think of the movie 21. White heroes, Asian original recipe. Think of movies that have predominately black casts - they're made by particular directors, star particular actors and are marketed to... Black Americans.
Separate but Equal - or at least the dogma. Nothing's really equal (it never was, it still isn't). Not when cultures are being used as props and people are being used as flavour and real life stories are good for inspiration but Mina Suvari works better than an actual African Descended Actress. The People of the Middle East are oooh, so scary. But lets shoot a movie with a tanned Jake Gyllenhaal in sand and use the word Persian.
Don't be afraid of writing characters of colour. It's just a piece of white chicken breast with a little; bbq sauce, hot sauce, duck sauce, soy sauce, yogurt, brown stew, ginger.....
So the conversation I want to have now is - what next? How do we start? Do we use the internet and go small press the way various erotica writing female writers have utilized it - making a space for themselves? How do we make space for ourselves? Do we embrace the labeling? Do we embrace the separate little bookshelves in the bookstore? The African American Lit. The Asian Experiences. The Jewish Commentaries? With their little signs? Do we accept those labels? Do we try to burst out? Where do we move next?
Because we're using a hell of a lot of energy on that otherstuff - and that's fine. Not sitting down and taking this Separate and Really Unequal stuff - that's good. But it has to be more than that, doesn't it? Can we start a movement? Are we willing to sacrifice time and energy to that? Do we have leaders to help us with that? Can we have another Renaissance? Can we do for fantasy fiction what happened with Jazz? Can we take instruments but make something new?
Personally I do not want to claim Magical Realism. So if someone wants to start with a good naming....
But do we, can we, have OUR versions of the stories? Our versions of Wagon Train To the Stars? Or maybe it'd be Journey To The New West? Do we have our versions of Hunters of the Paranormal? Do we have our versions of The Clock Is Ticking...!?
I think technology as it currently stands could make this easier, but I don't know. I'm not sure. It's why this is the conversation I want to have. Because I'm tired of being drowned in the sweet, champagne tears of white people making it all about them. We have this conversation about three times a year, every year. We use up so much of our energy on educating - whether we want to out not. Clawing, energy soaking hands diverting conversations like Snow White's Stepmother:
"Mirror Mirror On The Wall - Who's The Hurtiest Of Them All."
"Oh Whitey Fair. Oh Whitey Bright. Your pain in truth's not light, but the pain of the PoC is quite a sight."
"Mirror Mirror On The Wall - Who's The Hurtiest Of Them All?"
"Oh Special Precious Hurting One. Your tears run long and sweet. But nothing yet defeats the pain of PoC verbally beat."
"Mirror Mirror On The Wall - Who's The Hurtiest Of Them All?"
"Your pain is deep, that much is true. But really, it's not at all about you."
"Mirror Mirror On The Wall - You lie!"
I don't want to keep pleading with Huntsmen not to rip out my heart (The Allies Who Aren't). I don't want to have to live in fear of haircombs and ribbons and apples (Minority Cultures As Props For White Heroes). I'd rather move to a whole new kingdom.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Why did no one tell me about SISTA SAMURAI!. It's Batman! As a girl! Who's MIXED!!!!!
You are all fired. All of you. The entire lot. I had to find out about this from other sources. What good are you people if you don't tell me about this? How was I supposed to know Kevin Grevioux was doing comics? I read UNDERWORLD for that man. UNDERWORLD, because I liked what he did with the words of an admittedly crap story. Seriously, Romeo & Juliet Redux In 'Transylvania!' + Redux 2 - The Beginning.
Aside: Do you think Transylvanians get upset that the name of their homeland is used as shorthand for Vampire & Werewolves Go To Town? I need to research that.
VIGILANTE! GIRL! BROODING PAIN ON THE INSIDE! ASS KICKING ON THE OUTSIDE!
Where have you people been?
Those of you I can't identify are not off the hook. I suggest that you never seek to take credit under your real name for anything you've done or written under your LJ pseudonym, because it's unlikely that I will ever forget you or what you've done.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden's Wife, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, threatens the 'mob' that tried to explain context to her husband on why his words came across as extremely racist. So that whole thing about privilege and being gatekeepers to opportunity for PoC writers and why it's so important to have well rounded representations of Characters of Colour?
Woosh - Over her head. Her husband's been hurt and apparently those who disagreed with him never noticed he'd deleted his journal. (As if the strikethrough hasn't been plain as say when anyone mentioned him thereafter.)
Some choice terms used by her include: draggletailed loudmouths; group that's self-selected for agreement with the statement, "I'm stupid, and I don't argue well"; The nithings who've hurt him;
She's also described the whole conversation as inane. As in The nithings who've hurt him will have moved on to some other inane topic by now. And goes on to say that because of the tone taken, it is to our lost to no longer have PNH in the conversation.
75% of the time, people who've been assholes online describe themselves afterward as having been polite
I believe this will be the first time I've mentioned PNH particularly in my journal. I was very moved by one particular entry describing shock and confusion over that name being associated with insensitive and disparaging words. It claimed he'd been on the side of commitment to a better world before.
And now a day later, comes this.
So seriously? PNH and Elizabeth Bear and others, have been the only ones hurt by all this? And their hurt is to be taken more seriously because they have their
Because being called a racist, once again is more damaging and painful and hurtful and important than actually being a racist? And being called a racist is more important than taking stock of one's actions and moving forward to NOT be a racist?
The hurt of the white man is more important than the hurt his words caused?
[ Comments so very much turned off. Because just when I think more clueless words cannot be said - they are. I am not at all enjoying seeing the underbelly of SF Publishing. In fact I'm sad and disappointed. SF & F have been my escape hatches since I was little and now? Yeah, I'm just too disappointed to have more thoughts. I am out of thoughts in this whole thing. Wow. The hurt of the white person is more important than the hurt their words cause. Yeah. This does it. Brain broke - the end. ]
Friday, January 23, 2009
Damnit I'm too tired to be this angry. But I keep seeing people popping up in threads where PoC are speaking about what this past week has meant to them - just so that they (this group, this type of people I'm guessing are white, whiter, whitest) can say bullshit like: "If the only people who can write PoC's well are PoC's...."
STOP THE TAPE.
STOP THE MUSIC.
STOP THE WHINING.
Listen and I will tell you a few things that might make you think.
Have you, have all of you who speak about 'What can I do' ever taken the time to realize that People of Colour have absolutely no problem writing white characters? Have you pondered the fact that no one is asking us:
"Well how have managed to write white people? How have you dealt with writing the other. How have you made them real and three dimensional and respectful?"
I am fed the hell up with people who don't stop and think and realize that we, PoC writers, do not get hand holding on how to write white characters or white culture or European (via various countries) Descended Culture.
Why can't it be realized that it's NOT impossible to consider all (or as many as possible) sides - it's not a set of binaries and that it HAS. BEEN. DONE. In fact it's done all the time. It's not only done, it's lived.
PoCs, a goodly majority of them, navigate two or three and sometimes five and six worlds at a time. And I'm not even getting into those of us who're mixed. We have to know the majority culture, and then the intricate cultures of academia when we're in it, of the work place and of the particular history/family specifics of varied bosses. If we like fairy tales or Celtic Myths or any other number of things - no one boggles as how could we possibly manage to relate to it, study it, or pay attention to it.
This is the reason all those questions come across as so disingenuous - as if to stop and think about showing respect for a people's history and heritage is the most mind boggling, heavy weighted thing that's ever been introduced.
My problem with the women who wanted to insist I know nothing of Celtic myth and therefore couldn't understand xyz-their-panty is that to them it's only expected that the Celtic myths be investigated and used thoughtfully and that there not end up being someone shaking their head at assumptions being made about the use of those myths as archetypes , Jungian or otherwise, to upset what the fuck ever paradigms - but somehow I and other PoC are wrong in wanting to know why that much effort didn't get put into thinking about what it meant to use the archetype of man-eating-pony with a presentation as a man with black skin and what that means in the world we currently live in.
You (you asking the questions, you refusing to listen, all of you) get so upset at the word racist. To you it seems to mean instant thoughts of sheets and fire and spitting on people. And yet you're saying you can't understand why we'd be upset to see Man Eating, White Woman Threatening Black Man? Or any number of other things? Cat Eating Asian? Grubbing Greedy Fingered Jew? Hot Latina Temptress? Insensible Indian Taxi Driver?
[ I mean, I love Men In Black a whole damn much, but the instant 'Taxi drives are aliens for not speaking English' that Will Smith's character comes to is exceptionally wince worthy. ]
You get so upset at the word honkey. You rush instantly to talk about how so and so comes across as if all white people are Nazis or Lynching Southerners, or former Korean War or Vietnam War veterans grown embittered; because OMGosh they're so angry! They must think that!
Words are sounds and picture associations laden with context. When you string them together they paint a portrait.
I'm tired. I'm very, very tired. There's more I want to say, but I don't think I'll frame it the best I could. I just keep thinking specifically about role playing games and how PoC have no problem creating and playing white characters - making those individuals solid and interesting and reflections of what's happening around them - and how most of the rare times when I saw a CoC at all, if they were being handled badly - the player behind them was inevitably white; They couldn't paint an accurate portrait - just stick figures with over accentuated personality features.
Privilege, the expectation that other people can easily wear your skin and see out of your eyes - but you don't have to try and see things from their perspective.
PS: Being afraid of 'harsh criticism and turning away from making attempts because your feelings might get hurt is a truer definition of pantiwadulous than I've ever heard of.
I'm going to go create a backlist for features in Faces of Colour - I need to spend time looking at the work of people who paint better portraits.
Avatar: The Last Airbender continues its racist, colonialist and willful appropriation. PoC's, specifically Asians, can't be leads but THEY ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED AS PROPS.
Aang Ain't White has more news on how there are casting calls for extras of color - ahem - Ethnicity (You're asked to dress casually or in the traditional costume of your family's ethnic background.)
This is wrong. Currently I'm not sure I really have the energy to do more than say how wrong this is. This is wrong like Jackson Rathbone thinking being tan is the same thing as being Inuit. Wrong, like the people who wanted to co-opt Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys - except make them all white. Wrong like white people thinking that not burning a cross on a lawn means they're fundamentally good people.
[ I'll do a post sometime later on how the men who committ(ed) lynchings were considered good men by their peers and society - strong fathers, loyal providers, upstanding citizens - but it didn't make them any less hateful and lethal to Black Folk and other Minorities. ]
Meanwhile my protest letter to TBTB for Avatar just came back in the mail, so I have some more letters to write.
PS: If you're an animator, cartoonist, illustrator or otherwise a professional that Hollywood could or does employ, Derek Kirk Kim has a separate petition going on in response to the rampant disrespect.
ETA: Over at Aang Ain't White a whole set of people are suddenly declaring that having a protest against the movie for the Philly casting would be the action of extremists! AKA:
OMG WTF! Tone people! TONE! It's just a movie! Why are you being so angry! Protests are for things like war! Why are you going about it this way? Why can't you keep writing nice calm letters?!!
*points up to the mention of letters being sent back*
Imbroglio vs ... I don't even know what to call the Avatar Fuck Up. But in the end it's all PoC's are too emotional and one misstep away from getting violent. Are these people seriously thinking a peaceful protest about a movie is going to end up with riots? Then again they're probably not aware of just who the real extremists are whenever PoC feel the need to march AND shout.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I am the clarion call
I am the woman in the principal's office insisting her child be considered for the honor's program.
I am the fine sister with her bright kinky hair and winning smile and business suit - the man with his white teeth and brown eyes ; spider on his shoulder, selling you the paper.
I am the one who was silenced
I am the one who once could not utter even a squeak.
I am one who broke chains about her throat and breathed deep.
I shout for myself and my people
I shout so that the sun can hear me
I shout so that the heavens may tremble
Heaven is a place of joyful praise after all
And if my words are not always sweet - bitter is a medicine too
I shout and I sing and I stretch
I am bright and I am prominent.
My voice is a sword and a fan and a comforting hand
My song will hold and slap in equal measure
Who am I?
What am I?
I am one who has found herself.
I hold the machete.
I clear the path.
I watch children run ahead of me and behind me, glorious in their freedom
I watch my elders have the space to observe their surroundings and motion to me so to whisper wisdoms on how better to cut and score, carve and demarcate.
I am the clarion call.
I am the beacon true in a sea of endless chatter
I hold gaze and disapproval on my shoulders, but sink my feet in and am steadfast.
I sound the alarm.
I feel the blood on my lips but push further.
I am a living drum
I am many and I am singular
And I survive.
I am, myself.
I am whole.
The Remyth Project
Bear: "As for ideology, the hell with it"
If you read my post, you will see that explained in the first paragraph.
Because I did not participate in those discussions, or frankly even read most of them, and I have no intention of reading them.
Because I am an adult, and I do not take responsibility for the actions of people other than myself.
Because I am only the arbiter of my own behavior.
Because in this blog, I make an attempt to allow even people I disagree with to comment, and I have done so since I started keeping it. It is my space, and I run it as I see fit, not to please anyone else or suit anyone else's agenda.
Because if I were to play ethical arbiter, I would have to say that I think there was plenty of bad behavior, name-calling, and baiting to go around.
Because I have no intention of justifying myself to you, or anyone else.
Because as I already said, I am not going to take sides.
Because I don't honestly care what *anyone* involved in the discussion thinks of me, except for the select few persons I consider friends.
Although it's a charge that's been leveled at me repeatedly, I'm not here tocollect some sort of cookie or establish myself as a well-behaved antiracist ally. I grew up inside a very similar ideological machine, and I find them generally destructive.
I'm not here to defend myself. I'm not here to accuse anyone or cast blame. It doesn't interest me, because I think it's far more important to educate people and encourage them to do something about changing the world than engaging in circular firing squads on the internet.
And that is my final word on this topic. It's not about me. And no matter how much you try to make it about me, it never will be.
Current music: The Negro Problem - Lime Green Sweater
Entry tags: racism 101, this is for posterity, this is for science
Emphasis mine. Sore disappointment, also mine.
I will just say for the record that in her belated follow up post, I find 100+ comments, all mostly cookies from white people to a white author. Will Shetterly and Elizabeth Bear - self admitted to not be anti-racists allies. Except, he's far more honest about it and doesn't contradict himself in regards to it with every other sentence.
I now know in the future Bear will continue to write more How To's and write more novels involving Characters of Colour, while not confronting her own privilege or the hurt she may be causing. She's far more gracious than the people who mocked my intelligence and fumbled their way to lie about my character, but again, being polite is not the same as being anti-racist.
And to that particular author and
I'm unsure if attempting to edit something and changing my mind changes my post date. So for the record, I was going to comment on the deletion of journals and some comments but decided there was no point. Some people simply will not own their words or leave history as it stands for other people to perhaps benefit.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Special Edition PoC in SF Carnival - SUMMER OF FICTION
Heck we can even do it old school - Summer of Fiction - Ficathon.
Then again, we do have the Remyth Project & IBARW & The rest of this year's PoC in SF Carnivals..... We could all absolutely be too busy to spin something out just because some one thinks we don't do enough. Already.
White Privilege Makes You Blind!
1. I ran a perl script that collected the user's posts, and other references.
2. I looked at the connection patterns, and the language, including generating a key words in context concordance.
3. I don't think you know what blog whoring is; it means deliberately posting in someone else's' online turf with the goal of driving traffic--and only driving traffic.
4. The user fits the pattern perfectly.
5. I can't judge her head or her heart except by her words--and they are misogynistic, abusive, malicious, and display some disturbing language around rape, gender, and power.
-medievalist (comment on friends journal)
This post has more to do with the comicblogsphere or at least relates as much to that sphere as the Cultural Appropriation Discussion of Doom II.
Yes, this is one of the same people who accused me of orcing and performance etc. And who told me I had no right to critique Bear's work (particular novel) if I never finished reading it. But what this excerpt tells me is that a perl script is as good as reading. Therefore on a blog that discusses the representation of women and minorities in comics and science and fantasy fiction - I'm misogynistic with 'disturbing language around rape, gender, and power.
And on a blog, hosted at blogger.com where linkbacks have been crazy for weeks, possibly months, a perl script would no doubt have me coming across looking like I've been linked or trying to get linked everywhere and sundry. Of course if you checked the links....
A keywords in context concordance is apparently the same as reading my blog and seeing HOW and WHAT my posts and thinking are related to. This is the kind of result one gets from a perl script.
Therefore, to the other women in comics blogging, I suggest that you inquire when (cause we all know it'll be when) you get a troll who tells you about how he or she has 'looked' at your blog and that you're full of X... Y... and Z. When you stare at them, wondering where the hell they got their facts - it just might be from a perl script because they couldn't be bothered to read. And they couldn't be bothered to find out if blogger's been weird lately - though you're likelier to be luckier and get someone who's been using blogger and is already aware about the streaming unrelated backlinks/linkbacks of hell.
This is a warning to you for 2009 about shallow observations and attempts at gotcha interpretations and comments. Because given the shite that's been happening in Marvel & DC comics to the heroines, from bloody beatings to implied rape and given the year (2008) women in the news had, and articles related to the Comics League Defense Fund and given all we discuss about how rape is NOT the easiest or best way to compel story, or women in refrigerators (a phrase and trope I'm betting medievalist never heard before) this kind of assumption may await you.
So I'm letting you know to be prepared. Beware those not savvy in popular culture, particularly comics culture and beware those who want to seem aware of who you are and what you do in your blogs as you fight for representations of social justice in superhero fiction, but who don't want to or can't be bothered to take the time to find out.
You just might get called disturbing.
Oh and you guys in comics and comics blogging we argue with? Or at least I've argued with? I read your damn essays (and maybe more than one if I found it thinky) before I commented. You better as ass appreciate that!
Oh and Elizabeth Bear? When it comes to defending you and dealing with racism and conducting a dialogue with People of Colour?
Saturday, January 17, 2009
I thought I was done with this. I wanted to be done with this, but I'm not. And the last time I ignored this, I found myself writing out but never posting an utterly vitriolic entry concerning Tamara Pierce. If those concerned from Elizabeth Bear to Sarah Monette, truly are concerned about what's happened and what they've learned in the past few days, then - where is the follow up post saying so?
Pierce never did a follow up post saying she'd calmed down and rethought and could see the pov of people she'd publically called all sorts of things. Truepenny brought out the 'I'm a white academic and you're nothing but a lowly poc reader', and claims she recognizes the pitfall she flung herself enthusiastically into - but that moment of reflection is buried in a conversation dated several days ago. Where is the follow up? Not even a comments disabled moment of reflection? Really?
And then people wonder why this conversation happens over and over again when the whites involved never hold up their supposed moments of aha so their supporters can take a minute to go - Really? She's admitting that? But why? Is that really what we do? How did her mind get changed?
Y'know? The impetus to move onto step two of the discussion!
All this bullshit talk about "What can we do?" All those claims about learned helplessness and victimhood but when it comes time to talk about their learned helplessness, they slyly play the victim instead.
Oh noes, I tried to have a rational discussion but the Hordes of PoC swamped into my space and took over and they're too many comments and insults are flying and I'm so exhausted at putting out the fires!
And we're not? After being asked and played and pulled into Anti-racism 101; after having this discussion for the umpteenth time often with sub-set circles of the same people, we, PoC are NOT exhausted?
I quote myself now:
They've treated this like the wreckage of their pasts while it's still very much the present for many PoC involved. Think about that for a moment and how closely it parallels white reactions to slavery and institutional racism.
The next time someone asks me why I do not respect certain authors and individuals, I'm pointing them to this post. The next time someone asks me why I do not accept apologies, I'm pointing them to this post.
Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately it leaves us PoC being asked to reteach it, three times a year, at the very least, every. bloody. year.
ETA: There's a difference between being an ally and being civil & polite & hiding from the word racist.
On my mother's side, I am the odd one out. My siblings have African and Hebrew names; family names and an attempt by our mother to put her own spin on our past and heritage. It's complicated, but then again for those of us with ancestors stolen and enslaved and colonized - what isn't?
On my father's side things are different. My father chose my name when he was a teenager as he chose the name of his son. Long after youth had fled to his mouth and his eyes, giving up space for wisdom, my father remembered and used the names he'd wanted his children to have.
My brother and I meet.
I say, hello my name is .
He says, hello my name is .
We smile and hug and the distance of time and years between us cannot take another breath. It dies hungry as my brother and I laugh. There has never been a separation.
The Rymyth Project
Friday, January 16, 2009
If you live in a glasshouse
Don't throw stones
And if you can't take blows brother
Don't throw blows
Harm no man
Let no man harm you
Do unto others
As they would do to you
And to every baldhead
Respect the Rastaman
Cause he's the only man left on creation
Cos cos to see I
Looking so humble
Would you like to try something
But your world would a crumble
Caught behind I back
You lied to grumble
And before I face
You always a fumble
You build your world on lies and illusions
But you never know that
This is the conclusion
No chance no hope for those
Who kept it a goin'
'Cause you never know that
The truth is showing
I'm on this earth
To give Jah praise
And all I ask for
Is longer days
I come to do the things that are right
And if you don't like my do it we're gonna fight
-- Peter Tosh
There are many individuals who've waded into this conversation and dealt with the same bullshit that I have; the same blows of assumed un-intelligence and the same sticking-of-fingers-in-ears /"Lalala in my perfect world there is no prejudice, bigotry and racism, there is no blindness to indoctrinated social injustice. Everyone's white - no matter their colour."
To those individuals as a group, I say Thank You. I'm not going to name names and thus contribute to fools capable of following a line backwards into your personal spaces and or into PoC safe spaces. But I sincerely Thank You - most especially because you tried to engage when I walked away.
To those who apologised to me for their actions - I do not accept your apology. I'm grateful you've clothed your psyches, but I do not accept apologies for acts of ugliness. If you weren't so interested in preserving yourselves, your status quo and your self perspective as a liberal understanding academic - you would have never behaved like pantless fools in the first place.
Putting on pants is a good start, but it doesn't mean I stop thinking of you as barely dressed savages. I know it's a turn around and likely a description you never expected applied to you; but if the loin cloth fits, even if it's made with the pages of Shakespeare and Ovid and scrolls of Socrates, it's still just a loin cloth; in your case barely keeping your befouled private workings covered.
Ms Bear, I thank you for listening and for your attempts at facilitating. I appreciate your words about wanting social justice for the next generation and thus you tackle and wrestle with issues in your work. However, I find that I currently cannot separate your presentation of self, from the presentation of those of your close colleagues. A person's friends are a reflection of who they are, and I do not like your current reflection - I cannot respect your current reflection.
Finally to those still pondering questions as to my intelligence, intellectual background and perhaps even the status of my parents' academic careers - if you even believe they had them - I'm bright enough to separate the wheat from the chaff, and that's quite enough for me.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I think it's more accurate to say that Emma, and several other people in this discussion, are trying to talk about the book on a literary/analytic level whereas you got short-circuited before you could reach that kind of discussion by a personal/political reaction. Part of what's going on here, as medievalist and matociquala have also noticed, is that we've got two very different discussions jostling each other for space. (See point II above, particularly that first paragraph where I'm unable to stop myself explaining why your reading is wrong. Also tsubaki_ny below about approaching everything analytically.) This is not about dissing people of color; it's about having a learned, but deeply ingrained, protocol for talking about books. (Given that the readers of this blog--and Bear's blog, for that matter--are writers and readers and all around text-geeks, it's neither surprising nor blame-worthy that these are our instincts and that they cut across lines drawn by class, race, and sex. It's what we do--and I fully include myself in that.)
Now, one must be interpolated into the dominant culture in order to have this ingrained protocol. One also must be taught how to do it. It isn't inherent, but a learned skill set. So it is, inevitably, itself an artifact of race/class/sex privilege. [ETA: And in one's education, one has to have chosen to take a number of English classes--that's not necessarily about privilege at all.] Happily, it can also be turned against the dominant culture, as any number of feminist, Marxist, and post-colonial literary scholars have demonstrated. (This is the thing [info]medievalist is wishing for.) So it is not, in and of itself, destructive. It's also not an approach that inherently denies racism or classism or sexism. It puts text first, personal experience second (and that's an improvement over the days when it was text only), instead of experience first, as a political approach does.
[ETA: End paragraph of pedantry here.]
Neither approach is "wrong." But it's hard--as these comment threads are demonstrating--for the two sides to understand each other.
When I say "it's not about dissing people of color," I am not saying that as a white woman dismissing POC experience yet again. I'm saying it as an academic with many colleagues who are POCs and who use these dominant culture tools with breath-taking grace and clarity. (See, for one example, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook by Gananath Obeyeskere.) It's a different circle on the Venn diagram.
I see. I'm not a writer, a reader or an all around text geek. I'm an emotional person who is not interrogating your text from the right perspective.
Perhaps you did not mean to turn me off further discussion, but you have. You are telling me with one side of your mouth that the rules of discussion among this particular group of people is text first, experience second. You are privileging that mode of analysis, not saying it's better outloud, oh no, but privileging it all the same. And I don't think you get to tell me whether or not your words as stated, without codicils of wink-wink, nudge-nudge, let's all be friends here, are somehow not dismissive.
Privileging the text, privileging it by calling it the dominant mode and academic mode, as if dominance in a conversation about institutional racism is a good thing, and academic as if as a reader I'm meant to step back and cold heartedly think about something that's hurt me - are more important than what I naturally bring to a reading; my emotions and experiences.
You are privileging this way of interacting with the text while admitting that it is faulty when it comes to letting academic white women (and men) understand what they're missing and dismissing and discarding when it comes to the narrative as seen through the point of view of not just a person of colour, but a hurt person of colour; one who feels slyly attacked by tropes that dismiss who she is as a person and part of a people who are NOT WHITE.
Your learned, deeply ingrained way of relating to text IS NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN NOT HARMING A PEOPLE. They're hell of not more important than not hurting me and others like me eager to see some semblance of self in a book and who instead end up having to discuss all over again, for the umpteenth time why YOU STEPPING ON MY FOOT HURTS! And you don't get to tell me that you're a doctor and are used to distancing yourself from pain with medical jargon and xrays and a bloody nurse.
You also don't get to fucking tell me that IF ONLY I were as learned as you in the ways of white tower reading, I would totally get where your colleagues are dialoging from. I know where the hell they're coming from - it's the land of "How dare the uppity minority feel she can analyze anything one of us says or does as if she matters."
It's coming from the place of "How dare you call me
Your little comment/speech, truepenny is full of excuses and buffer and is all the more repugnant because you initially presented yourself as someone who was capable of seeing through the eyes of another.
But if you want one of yours to dialogue with you, I'll send one your way and see how you fare when you can't doublespeak your way around a fellow academic.
Elizabeth Bear, could you please tell your friends to put on some pants? Pale white buttcheeks in my face are quite unsightly. And the next time it happens, I'm going to grab a pole and shove.
I don't want white guilt. I don't want dissembling. I don't want 'But we don't know how to jump in from an emotional standpoint like you non academic beings,'. White people who keep asking me BUT WHAT CAN I DO?
Don't do this and it'll be a great start.
I am done. Finished. The end. And I've decided that 80% of the lot of you are wastes of space in this matter. I'll try with the next generation.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Apparently there are people nitpicking my grammar and spelling in this post. I will check and see if I've some typos and other things Firefox's built-in spellcheck didn't catch. But I'm not going to apologise or blush or stammer or do anything of anything about my grammar. If it sucks, it sucks. Grammar was never my best subject at school. I often times barely remember not to end sentences with a preposition. And : and ; confuse the hell out of me quite often.
If they're making things terribly difficult for you to understand my writing, then I think you mustn't read very often at all. Because you obviously have no experience in reading the truth of someone's words despite whatever peccadilloes of grammar they're plagued with. And yes, I did that one on purpose.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sometime this January there will be a PoC in SF & Fantasy Carnival and the topic of discussion will be the representation of Men of Colour in SF and Fantasy fiction. But I've recently had an experience online, very well summed up in Livejournal's Deepad's essay here on cultural appropriation and the erasure of self.
Dear Elizabeth Bear,
It's about Mandingos. It's about the great scary, long cocked black man who will devour, rape, sexually satisfy like never before, protect and or die for this one, oh so special, white woman.
It's about we-sha-sha and the noble brave; the Indian scout. And it's not really progress when that 'Indian' is an amalgamation of cultures, shot into space and yet is still loyally following the phenomenal against/despite her circumstances white woman.
Aside: My historic strong female captain is Tryla Scott. She appeared on screen long before Janeway, was highly respected by her peers; was in fact the youngest officer to gain the post of Captain in quite a while. And ends up possessed, controlled, shot and never heard from again.
It's about my personal confusion that an author so highly spoken of by people I respect, would write about a magical, negro who gets bridled by a white woman after trying to kill or eat another white woman and, to my horror, becoming some sort of beast of burden/big buck protector; my horror at watching the humiliation of yet another black man so that a white woman can be empowered in front of her peers.
It's about the fact that you and writers like you don't have to think about this stuff. That you have the ready made excuse that it all 'serves the story' and that said character was written intelligently and as a well rounded individual with wants and needs of his own; with plots even. It's about the fact that I couldn't finish reading your book because I threw it across the room in disgust.
Aside2: Though I will admit that part of that was disappointment at yet another magical adventure in the land of Europa Celtic where every magical being the world over owes allegiance etc to a white Empire. In this case a FAIRY white empire.
It's about Tyr Anasazi being one of the most powerful and original black, male, SF characters I'd ever seen - subsumed and hobbled by Kevin Sorbo. The black man in the future is the ultimate epitome of what humanity can become? Strong, powerful, cunning, independent? Well, let's make him a sneak and pretender, woefully misguided, just plain wrong and then killed off for his own suddenly inserted stupidity and ambitions.
It's about Ronon Dex being yet another powerful character of colour, but existing, buck and strong and 'animalistic' at the expensive of Lt. Aiden Ford - left to become the black man junkie in space; because the writers didn't know what to do with him. The character was a US Marine, weapons & explosives expert - but he just wasn't 'buck' enough; no mandingo he.
It's about Geordi being blind. It's about Worf being, time and time again, a tragic mulatto. It's about holding on to Benjamin & Jake Sisko with finger nails and eye teeth. And also about conflicted feelings over Julian Bashir - South Asian & East Asian academic stereotypes vs someone who even knew what a sari was, up on a mainstream American show.
It's about Teal'c being solitary and alone, without a love life and an emancipation preoccupation. It's about Gerak ending up the personification of a newly freed people's inability to govern themselves.
It's about the first Black Power Ranger, being the actual first Black Power Ranger. And his martial arts style being something akin to break dancing. It's about the absolute and utter joy I felt when T.J Johnson became the Red Ranger. After seeing little black boys coming up with everything from Orange to Grey in schoolyards in my neighbourhood so they could pretend in that universe - here was a chance for them to say 'I can lead the Power Rangers. I can be the Red Ranger. TJ was!'.
Have you noticed yet that I'm listing? That I can list? That it's not impractical for me to list? And in my listing there's heartache and anger and depression and disgust?
It's about Avatar: The Last Airbender except in the live action there will be no Heroes of Colour, because the cast has been decided and they're all white. So too are the major Heroes of Dragonball Z. As were the main hero of SciFi Channel's EARTHSEA.
Even when the culture is non-white, even when it's not a case of aspects of my culture or some other non-white culture being incorporated into some white Europic Fantasy for some white Europic goal - there's no guarantee of proper, respectful representation.
It's about being fed up with all of that and not in the mood to pamper or pet someone who has far more privilege than they seem willing to admit to in the realms of fantasy and science fiction. And not wanting to watch them parade in a hairshirt when there are others who are actually hurting from a true lack of something.
I'm not calling you a monster. I'm not calling you a racist. But I am calling you clueless and ill worded and more than a touch thoughtless. Your ability to think about things, sometimes, does not erase my pain or lack. And only thinking of how things come across, sometimes, is not enough to make me like you. In fact, I don't think there's anything that could make me like you, other than you somehow earning my respect. And that's never going to happen if you keep checking in with me (metaphorical me, the larger culture and audience of PoC me) to see how you're going. Cause then it looks like so much brownie points, so much patting yourself on the back, so much excuses and dissembling; so much pride.
PS: I despise the phrase happens to have. Do you happen to be white? Do people happen to be straight? No. You hear "He or she happens to be Chinese/Indian/Gay/An Immigrant/Etc..."
And you, Elizabeth Bear in particular have written that someone just 'happens to have that cultural background'. I do not happen to be black or gay or have a Caribbean culture background. I'm not a straight white woman who just happens to have on these "accessories". Who I am, the facets that make up me cannot be picked up somewhere for $3.95, no matter how well you think you shop in exotic locations for true bits of said exotic culture. I am not white down deep beneath my brown and my dreads and my accent and SGL. And I'm as offended by it as white women would be if they were told that surely, surely, they're really a good thin girl down deep inside and they just happen to be fat on the outside.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
My Dad remembering how much I liked watching Wonder Woman when I was a little girl. That made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I'm not sure he remembered how much I also liked Bionic Woman. But the WW shared memory was warm and fuzzy. I like hearing tales of wee, opinionated little me. It helps remind me that I have a central core.
Other happy things? My siblings got me to watch Iron Man. No, it wasn't really for me. Those who warned me against it were right. But I did enjoy watching them watch it. I enjoyed hearing my siblings debate it while watching it. I enjoyed knowing my sister got it for my brother as his holiday present and that he got her The Dark Knight. I also enjoyed him realizing he got his sisters confused when he got his presents and realized I'm the Batman fan among his siblings. Not like my sister was going to give up her present - oh hecks no.
I enjoyed hearing how my sister's totally into anime now and she just about squealed with joy at getting anime for the holidays and she has a friend who draws anime. And... did I mention my sister's started to write? Can you imagine my pride and joy at her writing out her own adventures? You probably can't, but I don't care - it makes me that happy.
Being able to share my love of comics and animation with my siblings and my Dad puts a nice start to 2009. Now I have to look up animated adventures to get them so the littlest one doesn't have to keep covering his eyes at gory violence. Someone mentioned Marvel Adventures Spiderman (he's a Peter Parker fanatic - I chortle with glee. GLEE I tell you!)
Real simple words here with an admission of bias and exhaustion. Cause I'm tired, ill and amazed at yet another instance of utter stupidity.
White privilege is not just an omission, it's not 'well back in those days all aliens came from one culture per planet'. And being called racist and anti-black is not worse than being racist. Being a product of it's time is not an excuse for something when said time includes extremely racist attitudes and exclusionary views.
Finally, African American can mean, a person of African Descent who is an American, or a person who became an American citizen who was previously a citizen of one of the MANY countries on the CONTINENT of Africa. In which case they might say Nigerian-American, Ghanan-American, etc...
So calling a character an African-American analogue Kryptonian is just so much bullshit. Falcon is an African American analogue of Captain America (the way I understand things) and I would think so are Patriot and his grandfather Isaiah Bradley.
A dark skinned Kryptonian could* be an African or African Descended analogue. 'African-American' is not a race. It's a descriptive title for the descendants of slaves in the US.
Or is this also a case of nationalism and there's a Canadian version of Matt Brady somewhere stupidly calling said character an African-Canadian analogue?
* They could also be a South Asian Analogue or an Indigenous Australian Analogue or one of many other sets of brown folk.
Monday, January 5, 2009
So I had a random thought just now. I'm currently recovering from some kind of cold/flu/illness bug and thus haven't done much of anything for the New Year; nor have I pestered anyone about anything. I've been trying to rest.
Rest, btw, can be the most boring thing ever. Watching paint dry is infinitely more exciting that trying to rest. Which is why I found myself going to blogs I don't read as frequently anymore and actually following links to places like Scans_Daily. Which led to this question.
If Lanterns are no longer allowed to have physical or romantic emotional entanglements within their Corps now. And their rings will rat them out to Alpha Lanterns (or however that works) - does this mean Alpha Lanterns are going to show up to drag GL's to court for having crushes or falling in love unconsciously with fellow members?
I mean that's soap opera supreme right there. Brought to court for the crime of LOVE and the character's all 'I love who??!!! But I thought that was indigestion and hate!'
Do currently married Corps members have to take their rings off now in order to be affectionate with one another? That way they're not doing anything illegal with the ring? Or does just wearing it not count?
I know I've given up on the big two. But the second Hope Lantern caught my eye. Sentient Elephant = Yay. It's not another prominent character of colour but it is a non westernized depiction, so baby yay. Of course I'm already betting all those Blue Lanterns have to die via self sacrifice.
One last thought.
Manhunters to Storm Troopers
Jedi Council to Guardians of the Universe
Sinistro to Darth Vader ?
Luke Skywalker to....?
PS: When all this rainbow crap is done and the Guardians have effed themselves up the buttcheeks and out their own noses. I want to hear how a Green Lantern ring made its way to Sinestro to recruit him because has has the capacity to be the greatest of them all...and he then bursts into maniacal laughter and says "It is complete!"