Just go here to see how USA TODAY phrases things as the white boy 'already had the look of Aang' and the brown one is the 'bad guy' - actual words used.
There are requests to email USA Today @ Racebending.Com:
"Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include name, phone number, city and state for verification."
They prefer articles with 250 words or less. Jumping off ideas:
* The wording of using the "look of Aang"
* Good guy/bad guy coding in the article
* No mention of racefail casting practices
* The production's missteps, including culturally ignorant statements made by the cast and crew
If you have to forks, please follow through. I'm hoping to have the forks tomorrow. Today? Well it got worn out by the book I read. I also want/need to research ways to support American and Canadian Indie Asian Cinema Projects.
* Colorblindness Hurts.
* It's privilege to live life without context, thus making the default white.
* Hollywood (like the majority of the SciFi industry) only cares about white people.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Just go here to see how USA TODAY phrases things as the white boy 'already had the look of Aang' and the brown one is the 'bad guy' - actual words used.
So I should never read anything Karen Healey reccs me. The very fact that Karen Healey has recced me a book, means I should never read it and should avoid it like plague.
Karen Healey recced me (as did several others) Blood & Iron.
I am SO not naming this book.
I'm just ugh-ed at the black unreliable narrator who's revealed to be extremely sexual, while being content to be the other woman while a light skinned girl is the 'official' girlfriend. There's a phrasing I find to be extremely self hating, using the word Nappy (and no, it's not diapers). And then she's framed as being responsible for someone white losing control and committing murder. And said white person is not punished for this murder.
So oversexed black mistress, responsible for white person getting in touch with their inner animal, while her own family flounders about what to do / how to handle her own bestial moments/inner nature.
Her family, which consists of the seemingly sensitive white mother and the ok, but also unreliable black father. In the end they're both painted as total asses, but - unreliable narrator, remember.
Included in the book is a white character who's thought to have gone looking for an anonymous man to impregnate her -said man ending up being a black man. Whether he was a black buck to serve a purpose, or a naive young man in love who was used and discarded - readers will never know for sure.
And to top off things the readers will never know for sure, is if the unreliable narrator is someone who forged her own destiny and tried to find a way to live with who she is - or if she's a multiple murderer, deep in denial.
It's like Memento, but with race sprinkles: Wild black Jezebel stained with blood.
And oh yeah, there's also some iffy trans issues - I personally didn't like the seeming parallel of being trans equaling being a pathological liar, being mentally unstable or harbouring a beast inside that could harm other people. Cause really - isn't that the trans panic defense?
But hey, at least I read this one all the way through, even though it repeatedly hurt me. And boy am I never putting myself through that painful shite again, there are too many other books that exist which DON'T HURT ME.
PS: None of this by the way means the book wasn't skillfully written with good prose and with emotional points that would ring true if not for the unreliable narrator. On my own I might hunt down something else by the author that doesn't involve on going deceit or people of color. In fact it'd probably be less painful to me to only read books involving white people by said author. Then I have one less sore point.
Of course I'm unlikely to read anything by this author any time soon.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The best thing about PNH closing down the thread at T.O.R (reopened sometime Monday)is that, as usual, once the white man forcefully shows he's got no intention of listening, we go have our conversations someplace else.
Undoubtedly PNH and Co. believe the issue to be dead since the thread is no longer moving. Undoubtedly they will be shocked and surprised to find out the conversation is still happening, extensively, just without any involvement by them what so ever.
Cause the truth was, we didn't need that thread to have the conversation. That thread was mostly to speak up for the white gaze. And once the white gaze closed down, it's no sweat to continue the conversation that's been going on all the wise, without the white gaze.
Yes, I'm aware about the project thingie involving banners and words. Yes, I haven't mentioned it. Yes, I'm not supporting it.
I am not so hard up in activism and speaking up and out that I need to put myself behind a leader I don't respect.
Also, you will have noticed that comments are no longer available on current posts. When people anonymously comment to tell me I'm crazy for being upset over the casual use of the word lynch - that's a sign I don't actually want to interact with anyone who doesn't already know how to contact me.
Blogger is free. So is Dreamwidth and Wordpress and how many others. If you want to respond, get a blog and link. There's no guarantee I'll read you, but you can say whatever the arse you feel like in your own space.
I said during Racefail V1 that I would only be dealing with graduate level folks from now on. Making sure people in desperate need of Anti-Racism Kindergarten can't just roll up in my blog, is me following through even more on that. I am tired of stupid white people sapping even that much energy from me that's needed to delete their words or exhale and delete their stupidity from my mind.
Lots going on, lots and lots going on. Some good, some 'I'm this close to sticking your kidneys with something sharp!'. But I want to focus on something I've been thinking about lately with all the SF talk.
I love Starship Troopers.
No, I really love Starship Troopers. Not the movie series. Oh hells no. That series got fucked over by Paul ' I hate science-fiction' Verhoeven, who had an axe to grind re: the book's seeming fascism. And I have to wonder what in it was so upsetting to him that he couldn't finish the book, but he could try and direct and create a movie based on it. But yeah, the whole Riech-sque uniforms and 'Meat For The Grinder' make me want to kick him in the balls. Repeatedly. With a blunt nosed shoe.
But I like the book and I love the cgi series. A lot. And I really can't explain why. I mean, there are a lot of reasons I enjoy it, if I sit and think about them. A friend pointed out that there were possibly strong female roles and character development. And I've mentioned myself, that Americanisms' aside, Dizzy and Rico are meant to be South American and brown. And well, I've realized my whole 'OMG ENSEMBLE'.
But those just feel like extra.
Now it could well be that given my particular views, I like the thought of an alien menace who looks out over the galaxy and our little solar system and goes "Frontier. It's perfectly empty and new. And look at all that food (crazy strange animals) running around!" And everytime humans think they have a handle on it, they don't. It's just one little piece of a far greater whole.
I might like cheering for the underdog.
But I think, maybe, it's the characters. I love these characters. They're real to me in a way the characters in Battlestar Galactica (v.2) and other shows weren't. There isn't a huge complex multilayered plot, trying to twist and turn, mind fuck, with soap opera quasi political titillation. It's just people, facing odds that can't be imagined, trying to do their jobs for the sake of the idea/l of home and country and planet.
Something I love so much that it's one of the things I miss most about Wowio - getting to see which series within Dark Horse's continuation of that universe, held truer to the series and book than to the movie. (Have I mentioned how much I want nothing to do with the movie and I only give thanks that they made Dizzy a girl?).
But back to the lovefest. I seriously love the CGI Series Universe. And it's surprising to me, because it's Space Opera/ Space Saga and for a very, very long time I wasn't paying attention to what I liked and how others might describe it. For a very long time I found certain things more obviously labeled Space Saga to be too cold and analytical and all about guns and machinery and physics and it really and truly did set me to thinking that I was a girl, I didn't enjoy math to start with (so boring - at least until I hit Calculus) these books weren't meant for me.
It's only been within the last three years maybe that it occurred to me that I just like character driven stories more than anything else. And that I'd never let Trek's technobabble ever scare me. I'd studied the damn stuff for RP's wherein I was an engineer: Matter, anti matter, string theory, the electromagnetic spectrum, particle physics, black holes, sound, space, time and dimension.
And yet, the moment I picked up a book about a Ship Fleet in Space, I got bored. Quickly. I didn't want tech porn or military power flexing porn. I want/ed to read about people.
Maybe that's the reason I love Starship Troopers so much. It's all dropzones and marauders, military jargon and blowing shit up. But I give a damn and the rest of it all just makes the giving a damn hold more weight and the character and what they're going through be more interesting.
The craziest part of all of this for me, however, is the sensation of wanting to write adventures in space. On one hand I don't feel at all equipped. And then on another, I face up to the fact that I've been reading (and particularly watching) space stories for years and wondering about things in them.
I want to know more about a system where new Mecca is one of many cities selling light. I want to know more about the Athosians. I wonder how the Maquis compare to Browncoats and Firefly/Serenity. What happens in a universe where spacefaring humans are the most fragile of the questing species? How far away is the galaxy John Crichton found himself in from the Delta Quadrant? Is the Spirit of the Abyss an agent of The Shadows? Are the Ascended a sub-grouping of the Q Continuum? Are the Vorlons? Or are they highly evolved Vulcans? What kind of bug is the Alien in Aliens?
There's probably more, these are the ones floating at the forefront of my mind at the moment. And I guess the only way I'll find answers to their possibilities is to write about it all myself.
But yeah, it feels odd. Very odd. I've always known I had a strong love for fantasy fiction, world building and civilizations and magic and epics. And obviously I've had the same for space faring stories - I just haven't known it, till now.
Thank you, Starship Troopers.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Crazy.........have you tried seeking help ? your rage issues may be helped with therapy, no offence , but you see race issues where there are none, you are one of those horrible people of colour who have so little in their lives that you need to cling to the race issue like its still relevant.
This is the kind of bullshit I have to deal with every day. The kind of bullshit I had to deal with all through my schooling. This is the kind of crackerass bullshit that led to people putting Obama's face on a monkey, putting that image on a t-shirt, and selling it.
And then, then you have the gall to say shit like 'But each individual's story is relevant and should be told, that's not the easy answer. Share your pain'.
You have the gall to say shit like 'But why didn't I see you there' while ignoring the blinders in your own eyes.
I've been kidding, a bit, and saying since the middle of RaceFail V.1 that I've felt like I'm going backwards compared to Malcolm X's life, from his realizations in Mecca towards his speeches and flashes of clarity as a member of the Nation of Islam.
And hell if I haven't arrived and gone even further back to certain moments in prison.
I don't know what Anonymous wanted that comment to do to me or how they wanted me to feel. I just know that I currently feel there's no point talking or educating
No, I'm not looking at Anonymous as an exception. Not after Patricia Wrede. Not after Lois McMaster Bojold. Not after PNH and TNH and Peter David. Not after the EB's and their poison spitter WS (whom they happily hold to their bosoms while telling the public "But he's really a nice guy.") Not after Cramer and her vileness. Not after William Sanders. Not after Luke/Igor and the disgusting, putrid, foul revelations of his mind. Not after Amanda Marcotte. Not after Seal Press.
If you're white and you want to come and tell me in comments how you're not like Anonymous - then go deal with them. DEAL WITH YOUR OWN. Clean up your own house. Because people like Anonymous are who are representing you in public dialogue; here on the internet, and also on tv.
People like Anonymous are ignoring the crosses burned on their neighbour's lawns, and the little girls accosted by police officers in front of their own homes, or in their school cafeterias. People like Anonymous are convinced that Jena is a safe and pleasant town.
The policeman who shot an unarmed man in the back, on the platform of a BART station on January 1st? He's someone like the Anonymous Commenter.
All those white people in California who were all in the streets, and on blogs, and in comments, and on tv, and on the radio about how "We know who to blame because Prop 8 passed." - all relatives of the Anonymous Commenter.
The schools that threaten and or expel black students with braided hair or locs? They're related to the Anonymous Commenter.
My point is, white people like the Anonymous Commenter are everywhere. Don't tell me I have no right to suspect that you are just another one like him or her.
Arguing with me, will not change my mind.
Until then, you're just another Anonymous Honkey and I want nothing to do with you. You wanted my story? You wanted my pain? There it is.
I See Blue Eyed Devils.
Friday, May 15, 2009
I may not have the utensils (Universal Utensil Theory) right now to collect this second wave of intra-PoC conversations and writings into a PoC in SF Carnival. I wish I did. But I'm marshaling my strength to be able to host and support future hosts come the later half of 2009.
These conversations.... important conversations; Symposiums On Being, are tough as hell. PoC University doesn't give out gold stars or A's, just personal enlightenment and growth and sometimes as a booster, incredible bonds of friendship.
I am struck by how in depth we all are, how much we know. Because as the title says, Once Upon A Time I Was Clueless. A different culture in my childhood, with different problems and stresses and emotional and social manipulations and of course a child's innocence in yet deciphering the talk of grown ups.
But my cluelessness shed itself in layers. Every time I look back and think about it, I start three years ago and then leap back considerably to when I was thirteen and had my eyes opened to facts that I hadn't wanted to believe.
Did I want to believe the Korean Grocer had a reason to look at me suspiciously? No.
Did I want to believe my own anger at said Grocer, simmering under my skin and beneath my eyes, challenging and hot, seen and no doubt confusing on their end? No.
Did I want to truly feel my own anger at policemen hassling me as a thirteen year old child? No.
Did I want to feel my fear of them? Hell no.
Once Upon A Time I Was Clueless, because it hurt to be anything else. Not discomfort; Not guilt, as many white folk claim for themselves. IT HURT.
Realizing that those policemen saw me as less than human? That hurt.
Realizing that my neighbourhood had become the front lines of a cold war? That hurt.
Realizing I was picking up all sorts of survival tactics and theories and suspicions - that I was being warped? That I was casting aside others who were hurt, because the pain was so much we lashed out at each other? That hurt.
But pain is not an excuse not to grow and not to learn. Pain's expected. Growing pains are more than aches in bones. This is why I have no sympathy, no empathy, no civility towards those who haven't grown; who haven't looked and haven't seen and haven't bothered to know, learn and comprehend.
I will not treat them like children.
I will not coddle them.
The colour of their skin does not earn them soft pettings and gentle murmurings that everything will be alright.
It is amazing to me, that a group of able bodied and/or neurotypical individuals would want, what even those with mental disabilities don't - to be treated softly, with a "C'dear, they don't know any better. What can you expect?"
But I will not enable them to use White Privilege as some kind of claim against observing the ills and needs of the world.
Meanwhile, I suggest they stop displaying that attitude when those of us who've fought and climbed our way to emotional and mental maturity are having a conversation.
I don't care if they're startled that we have a voice, or that it is loud, or that we are obviously having an ongoing conversation with roots and history that they've never seen.
It's the ... "But what are you talking about???? What language is that?" It's the ignorance that makes me want to bend them all over a table and take to their tails with a fresh switch.
It's the arrogance to go through life and not know the history of words like lynch and uppity. This same arrogance that makes them believe that we are as ignorant as they and thus are using words (Racist, Racism, White Privilege) that we don't understand. It's the arrogance that assumes because ignorance is prized among their folk, that it must be prized among ours.
Such ignorance, combined with feelings of superiority (fostered over generations) lead to people who know nothing about nothing, but won't listen to anyone telling them anything, because they believe they are the experts.
And then when we actually get them to listen to us, to pay attention to our words? They hold this ignorance up like it's a crown jewel and not a stinking turd and demand, in the name of the shit, that we educate them.
Lazy Ass Mofuckers.
Wanting to climb up steps we carved ourselves, because they still want to be the expert and want to take the quickest path to get there.
And when we say - "Hell no, I'm not letting you copy off the sheet that is my LIFE!"
They threaten to stay in pigshit ignorance, like a two year old holding their breath until they turn blue and pass out. But we're supposed to care. As if we haven't had to live our lives, working around the fact that they don't know and don't do, jack squat.
For that, I'd pay attention to them long enough for the switch. For that I think their hides should be tanned pink, red and purple.
But I can't make Ignorance = Pain.
So aside from the odd total loss of temper, I focus on us. On community and strength, respect and forbearance, self teaching, personal seeking, knowledge sharing - the courses of the Symposium of Being PoC and Non White. Because there is so much more to learn and so much more to create.
Once Upon A Time I Was Clueless - but I didn't stay that way and I keep leaving that past further and further behind.
Note: Symposium Course - Staking Out My Stamping Ground (DeepaD)
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I was going to do a post today about Boycotting and the possibility it can also mean Constant Reminding Of Negative Associations To A BRAND - IE Tor.
However, giving the lynching comment in that thread, and seeing for myself that my comment using the word fuck, was deleted first and THEN the comment about lynching was deleted (after I tried to post again).
Tor Publishing = RACISTS
And it will = Racists to me for a very long time.
Sorry Mr. Buckell, but at least I can read Aerophilia without throwing up.
Hate & Loathing, people. Hate & Loathing. So much.
Foxtrot Tango here.
I think we may have gotten off on the wrong foot. Me with the inappropriate word choice, you with the insults and spitting and calling me a racist...
Any chance we can meet in the middle like civilized folks? I'll apologize if you do.
If you can't figure out what's wrong with this person's reply to me. You need Racism 101. Also? I do not want to know you.
PNH of Tor.
Fuck you. Screw fuck, screw WTF Rocket. DIAF. You AND your racist wife. It's fully obvious you only deleted the lyching comment because I cursed on your precious white sanctuary. TOR fucking disgusts me even more now. Especially the big reminder that you and your wife are still heavy handed involved and willfully clueless as fuck.
This was going to be just a post where I asked a question of those people who've read the LMB books that have The Lakewalkers.
Because this interlude on the author's myhell page makes me go WTF.
pronetolaughter: That might be true. But in this case, the Lakewalkers also just happened to have "copper" skin, "tents", canoes, a tradition of long braided hair even for men, use of porcupine quills (maybe even decorating moccasins, IIRC), and were also seasonal nomads, hunters (specializing in bows and feathered arrows), and had nicer furs and better herb medicine than farmers. Plus, they were arguing with farmers over who would live on what land. Seems like a pretty closely inspired version to me.
LMB: Saying that the Lakewalkers are arguably reminiscent of Native Americans seems to me the precise term; they're meant to be arguable. But I was also thinking of Orthodox Judaism, certain Indian (as in, subcontinent of) castes, and other generations- or centuries-long self-defending cultural constructs, and the social mechanisms for maintaining in-group and out-group boundaries over very long periods of time. (Arcane food rules loom interestingly large.)
And then people pissed Willow off
LISTEN, WHO THE FUCK ever Foxtrot Tango is, and any other fucker who agrees with them over on the Tor thread. They need to check themselves. I am sick and tired - no. I an enraged at honkeyshines (whether by white folk or white identified PoC) that use the word LYNCH to describe a fucking DISAGREEMENT, a debate via WORDS, especially on the INTERNET which is far removed from one on one physical confrontation and DANGER.
The minute someone uses the word LYNCH online, I know they don't know what the fuck they're talking about - One. And they're trying to be inflammatory because they can't counter argument - Two. And it's derailing bullshit - Three. That shows they're seriously lacking in the departments of compassion, empathy and HUMANITY.
White people go on and fucking on, (and yes, I'm so angry I can't even find words to use other than fuck) about how the words RACIST and RACISM are not words, according to them, to be tossed casually around - as if any (majority) instance where the words are used ARE FUCKING CASUAL.
But THEN THEY GO AND USE THE WORD LYNCH like it means fisty-cuffs between five year olds in a school yard.
THAT IS SOME OF THE MOST RACIST AND MINIMIZING OF TRAUMA BULLSHIT I HAVE EVER HEARD AND I AM OVER BEING EVEN REMOTELY POLITE TO PEOPLE WHO DO THIS.
In an internet disagreement, even about race, NO ONE is going to drag you from your home, while your family watches in HORROR, with GUNS in their faces, as you're PULLED THROUGH THE STREET AND TAKEN AWAY, to where men will STRING YOU UP VIA ROPE AND NOOSE, and drink beer and TAUNT YOU, before HANGING YOU and WATCHING YOUR KICKING FEET AND SLOW STRANGULATION OR BROKEN NECK.
...take pictures of your broken dead body, like you were a prize fucking catch of the day from the sea, BURN YOUR BODY WHERE IT HANGS meaning that your family can't positively identify it, while also quite casually, BBQ-ing and picknicking! AND THEN LEAVING YOUR BODY THERE TO ROT AND FALL DOWN, because your family either doesn't know where it is, or isn't allowed to cut it down.
WHILE THE STRONGEST SANCTION THESE LYNCHERS face is a ticket for LITTERING!!!!!!!
YOU RACIST MOFUCKERS! You don't know shit and every time you open your fucking mouths, you prove how callous and INHUMAN you fucking are.
I SPIT ON YOU.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Heaven preserve me from the white folk who say:
* But it's just fiction.
* It's nothing but a big flame war.
* It's PC overreaction that'll lead to blander and less interesting books because people will be afraid to offend.
* I can't say anything cause I'm afraid of being hit with the privilege stick for being afraid of being hit with the privilege stick.
* It's all people who want attention and to be shouty.
* Everyone involved in this is a victim of the internet! You can't read tone on the internet!
(Cause tone is really behind excluding an entire peoples as the ultimate problem solver)
* If the people wiped out were Muslim Arabs would you be as offended?!!! (nice bit of Islamicphobia there)
* All those people in the rollcall are just sockpuppets of white academia trying to make some point.
* These authors are nice people! They can't be racist!
* There might be a point somewhere, but if everyone was calmer and polite and rational with their points.
* People are casually tossing around the word RACIST/Racism
(because being called a racist/called on racist actions is more painful/powerfully upsetting than being the unwanting recipient of racist actions. White people's FEELINGS always/MUST ALWAYS come first.)(<-ETA)
No, I'm not gonna link to any of them. I'm busy poking Mozilla Add Ons so I can access Block Site. Cause all this does is confirm that YT is hard of hearing as well as blind. I kind of do wish that all those think-they're-progressive-white-SF-writers, would find these excerpts by their fellow whitefolk. Maybe they'd be shocked to see themselves reflected.
But I know that won't happen. There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT SEE. And I've been watching them walk into walls right in front of me (specifically) since 2008.
Monday, May 11, 2009
"Let's make it really clear, people. If you identify as a POC/nonwhite person and you read or watch scifi or fantasy, give yourself a name check in this thread. I am particularly wanting shoutouts from people who do not live in the US and who have still managed to read genre fiction.
I'm tired of people trying to render us invisible unless they have been given a memo about our existences."
DeadbroWalking is calling assembly and head count on fans of color into SciFi/Fantasy. Particularly Non American fans.
I know there are some Brazilians and other South American folk who occasionally read me. Y'all should go state name, sf generation and serial number. It'll be like Fandom Counts only chromatic.
Cause as Karnythia, (co-founder of VERB NOIRE) has said. Harry Potter did not get translated into 40 languages so that english reading white people could practice (their language skills).
Lois McMaster Bujold:
The other and more hopeful point is that never before have so many Readers of Color existed to *have* the conversation, or been able to communicate with each other to do so. When I went to my first midwestern convention in 1968, there was exactly one black fan, male; it's only in late years that I've had cause to wonder how brave he must have been to venture in. Octavia Butler, at a library program, once described a young black reader meeting her as a black SF writer, and saying in some wonder, "I didn't know we *did* that!" As far as I can tell, the biggest single factor driving the current shift and growth in diversity in genre readers has been the invention of the Internet.
I have started and deleted a couple of snarks. None fit. Let's just leave her own words up there. Emphasis (both of them) mine.
Oh. And this. First Issue: PoC in SF & Fantasy Blog Carnival
Wait. Wait. Can't leave things quite so bare. The Snark has come back to me.
ETA: I'm now wondering if Viacom and Paramount Pictures when it comes to dealing with Avatar: The Last Airbender (live action) are just like LMB. They haven't set things up to see what PoC watch, so they're all surprised to find out that the fans of the animated series weren't primarily white.
Or maybe I'm just being too generous? And it's not about them fixing the Asian cartoon to make it more palatable to the poor little white children who had to endure a heroic fable without seeing anyone like them in it.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I think you are assuming a certain level of reader awareness and open mindedness as well as counting on individuals to have learning experiences, as you've claimed this thread to be, but which come at the expense of another's time, energy, personal pain and story put on parade (possibly for the umpteenth time).
When there isn't a parent/guide aware of the difference between being polite and being anti-racist or being polite and being anti-ablist or being polite and being for equality of gender or being polite and being for acceptance of multiple religions - then what's left is for individuals to draw their conclusions of the world from the fiction they read without questioning it.
I learned many things from books, specifically SF. I discovered there were other people like me, women who liked women, via SF. I discovered the possibilities and applications of math and physics and history and politics via SF. And then later in life I either had what I learned challenged or challenged it myself to discover more and discover deeper layers.
But everyone is not me. Everyone is not you. There are individuals who just want a good story and who are not equipped (due to socialization via home, or school) to question things, to wonder about things. The person who wrote the OP review has stated that she didn't see a problem and was ready to accept no First Nations people as the mere background conditions of the story the author wanted to tell.
Engaging with a story fully, be it text or media or opera for that matter is one of the best ways of interacting with information and realizing that it is not static. But it IS NOT something that everyone does either automatically, nor is it something everyone is raised to do.
In fact, it's my personal belief, that half the reason some books are challenged because they bring up issues around gender and sex and sexuality and depression and mental health and drugs and power displacement is because the challengers recognize that many readers are passive readers and the challengers fear that these books will be read and WILL be adding blocks of how the world is in the minds of others.
Must PoC and/or their Allies, raise a fuss with every book like this, for the sake of those passive readers? So they're aware there's controversy and might be brain tickled to discover what said controversy is about? Must everything that causes pain be a learning moment for those who are in the majority?
Because as I've said before, though some people feel that it's all about them and their learning moments. They're not that special - simply because they're ALWAYS having, or demanding, said moments from PoC and others who're just trying to live their lives.
I would much rather people were thinking to start with and NOT releasing books into the world that perpetuate these pains than be part of a daisy-chain of objectors dealing with being called book burners and over-sensitive too PC mambypambies, or whatever the insult of the month is, orcs, nithings, etc...
White people do not believe they need to learn about racism. Yes, this is a broad generalization, but not quite so broad, really. White people tend to believe that the word racist is a highly charged grenade and when it's used against them, it's actually being lobbed in some kind of street warfare and that it is not a matter of someone going "Uhmm.. you've got some privilege on your chin there and some racist thoughts dotting your shirt." And on some occasions. "Pssst. You left the house without pants."
Since learning about racism involves confronting one's internalized racist thoughts, there's a whole lot of avoidance which leads to things like this book, where there was an avoidance of the issues such as the PEOPLE themselves were left out - genocide, it's just too messy.
Thank you for answering my questions.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Over on DeeWee, user Sami brings up a point that has been a ghost in my mind. Once I read her words, however, I was hit with the thought of YET ANOTHER INSTANCE OF DRESSING.
A book without First Nations Peoples, but is about the expansion of the West in America, is a book with dressing. And not even a regular meat coated in dressing cause that's all it needs to be authentic.
It's just the dressing to the side.
"I'll have the Pioneer History in my Fantasy Please, with a little native fauna to the side. Hold the Amerindians, just give me a little fauna dressing, make that megafauna and I think I'll have some magic sprinkles with that."
It's already a problem when minority characters are treated like white folk born with all over natural tan, or exotic no-surgery eyeshapes - just as it is a problem with stereotypes. And now here's something for those who think it's too much hassle to even try.
ERASE THE PROBLAMATIC MINORITIES. IMAGINE THE WORLD WITHOUT THEM.
History is the story of the past we all agree is true. It changes as society changes and recognizes how much 'we' all lied to tell the story we wanted to be true.
FICTION is a part of that history.
SPECULATIVE FICTION comes with an aura of supposedly being neural, futuristic equal, totally tolerant. And it lies. Because the people speaking the most and loudest are shutting others out from saying what is true. They prevail. Their vision.
And now an author is casually telling other writers and the next generation of readers that they DON'T even have to try. They don't have to mind the real world context and baggage and pain. They don't have to considerate.
Just write the ones you find troublesome out AND THEN start your tale. When someone asks why there's no mention of genocide, bloodshed, slavery or racism, you just go "Well those people never arrived so it wasn't a problem."
Extra bonus points? Have a fellow writer and friend throw money at the charities of 'those people' and then claim everything's solved and ok now.
Lois McMaster Bujold, A PARAPHRASE:"Stop picking on the white woman's fiction and actually DO something for the 2 million strong, not at all disappeared Native Americans. Here, look at these charities I found and JUST contributed to, PROVING that I really care about the important issues."
1. Sometimes a paraphrase will save you clicking a link that'll raise your blood pressure.
2. Warning: The spoiler coded c/p includes phrases like 'Due Process' and 'Evidence' when it comes to judging the words/actions of a white author. Apparently all the theory and citation laid down in the Tor comment thread is not evidence enough. Also the c/p includes the thought 'Only NDN's should be complaining.' And the phrase 'I asked my friend...'
3. Is there a slick ass salesman out there telling all these white authors 'just the right words to say' and happily omitting the fact that it makes them sound like white privileged, progressives as a comforting label, twits? Oh wait, that salesman is the institutional racism embedded in society, always there with them from cradle to grave.
OK, I’ve gone away and thought about this for a few days. Let’s try again. (Also resolved: do not make blog posts after midnight, or after consuming a sleeping pill that isn’t working.)
I have no argument with the larger issues of cultural/racial erasures and historical crimes in the real world; these are real and harrowing (and universal, the more you know about everywhere. _Carthago delenda est_ and all that. But 20,000 wrongs don’t make a right, merely a trend.) Ditto on-going local oppressions; despite the fact that Native Americans are over two million strong, voting citizens, fellow exiles in the 21st century, and many are educated, articulate, and perfectly able to speak for themselves (most of the major tribes have websites now, a thought both hopeful and boggling) poverty and discrimination do still fall disproportionately upon many others. Back to this in a moment.
I still have a profound problem with any argument that leaps from hearsay to condemnation without any intervening stop at “evidence”. It doesn’t matter *what* the subject is, the *form* is wrong, even if the conclusion after examining the evidence bears out the initial belief. And it’s just as wrong in a court of public discourse as it would be in a court of law. Worse, someone making this leap throws every other assertion they may make into doubt -- were they all arrived at as casually and cheaply? Don’t do this, people, and don’t let others get away with it, either -- because someday, your own life or happiness may depend upon just such due process.
But I also believe that a person who holds admirable opinions, yet does nothing, is scarcely distinguishable from a person who holds execrable opinions, and does nothing. Virtual virtue doesn’t count. Talk is cheap (especially on the Internet.) As Stephen Leacock swears he heard two Scottish Calvinists arguing on a train, on whether damnation is achieved through good works or grace alone, I’m on the good works side, myself.
The past is beyond anyone’s reach, and history is fractal -- one sperm over, and we would all have been our siblings, and our own self-centered universes would never have sprung into being at all -- so what can an ordinary person do right-here-right-now about any given hurt in the world? The two standard answers are money and time -- well, and blood, but I don’t direct where that goes. And “start anywhere” is usually pretty good advice, when one is spoiled for choice.
So I asked my friend who knows about such things, and she supplied these, her favorites -- more could perhaps be added:
“Oglala Lakota College -- www.olc.edu (They always need contributions to help students pay their loans, without which they can't graduate.)
Lakota Funds (making mini loans for economic development and training people to run their own businesses) http://www.lakotafunds.org/
Soaring Eagle -- not Lakota, but Cheyenne is a neighboring tribe; this is a residential home for elderly Cheyenne started by their long-term priest, Father Emmett Hoffmann, to help elderly folks who needed care (and keep them from being sent off to Denver, away from family and anyone who spoke their language): www.soaringeagle.org/
Also, Running Strong for American Indian Youth -- not limited to Lakota, but does do neat things there -- organic gardens, etc.”
Didn’t take me long to choose, as I’m always for education -- which reminds me that I need to contribute to the engineering scholarship fund in my Dad’s name back at OSU -- but to make it extra easy --
It’s as much of a snap as Amazon.com, I found.
And you may at least congratulate yourselves for tipping me over from “I really ought to do that one of these days,” to “There! Done!”
Full disclosure: It was I who invited Pat over, a few years back, to watch a fascinating BBC documentary DVD titled “Walking with Prehistoric Beasts”, which started the cascade of interests that resulted in the book you aren’t reading. So, while the first rule for avoiding Internet insanity is still “do not feed the energy monster”, I really cannot tiptoe away from this. Even though it would be *infinitely* smarter to do so.
Ta, L. (Don’t say I never revise…)
ETA: In other news, W.S.'s racism has begun to distort his concept of reality even more virulently, showing more obvious outward signs of mental instability. I advise all to continue to avoid. Getting into arguments with those who cannot deal with reality as it is, that is those who do not wish to get better, is fruitless and wearying and depressing.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Or perhaps the title should be: There's Something About White Female Want-To-Feel-Progressive-Writers
Ahh, that's the ticket.
Now, Lois McMaster Bujold in response to criticism on Patricia Wedge's erasure of Native Americans in her pioneer fantasy 'The Thirteenth Child', says this:
You know, I thought you were making a few interesting points, till you came to this:
"I've come to the conclusion that based on the shadow cast by white supremacist colonization and the ongoing genocide of the original inhabitants of the Americas, I can't-- in good conscience-- read the Thirteenth Child. It's not so much recoiling from a shadow cast by a distortion in my head but disgust with a trope that holds that even when they're strangers in a strange land, all white people need in order to prosper is whiteness."
My mother -- born in 1912 -- used to have a phrase for this: "My mind is made up. Don't confuse me with the facts."
A stance of moral superiority really cannot be floated over an abyss of ignorance. (Though I admit, people routinely try.) It's especially not a sound footing for this book which, within the limits of its scope, actually does some very interesting things with subverting assumed Avyrupan dominances.
I will stop recommending you read it, however. The book deserves better than to be pored over by an inquisitor only seeking evidence for a conviction already decided upon.
Someone says "The complete erasure of Indigenous Peoples echoes current pseudo myth that all White People needed to survive is themselves/their whiteness, they never had to rely on anyone to get by."
And Bjould says: "You've already made up your mind to dislike this. This book/this author deserves better than someone who is LOOKING FOR RACISM."
Yes, as if Racism is microscopic and some of us don't trip over log sized wedges sticking out of people and institutions on a daily - no, an hourly basis.
Well, it looks as if I shall never be finishing up the Saga of Miles Vorkosigan.
And right now, I'm just going to scroll through Tor and put all their authors on my 'TO NEVER READ' list. Maybe I'll cross reference said list with a list of minority writers and gain a handful of new authors. But I'm tired of this white bullshit.
And I agree with the poster over on the Tor site who pointed out the death of colonies who weren't assisted by Natives who shared their crop of Corn (which currently rules us all) and how to plant and what to eat. Yes, it's 'nice' to write about the colonization of the Americas without Whites grave robbing, raping native women, killing women and children, infecting with diseases, treating as subhuman, destroying cultures and a way of life and committing genocide. Apparently, however, Patricia Wrede feels the way to do that is to erase the multiple native peoples of the Americas out of existence.
But isn't it 'nice' all the white people reading can totally imagine themselves in her world? Who cares about the First Nations Peoples, Blacks, Mexicans, Latinos and Chinese who all played a part in 'The Matter of America' who will end up going 'WTF?!!!'. They're just being picky.
And because I don't want to write another post, since I'm already covering WHITE SCIFI DOING IT WRONG - District 9, where the intergalatic peoples being exploited in South Africa; with their technology being stolen and reapplied for martial purposes, where they are second class citizens labeled non-humans and constantly advised against using or wandering into human only zones or bathrooms or swimming holes; are COCKROACHES.
You read that right.
The sub-human group that needs to 'know its place', that's considered a burden, that's watched and monitored and can be disappeared just like that - intergalatic. cockroaches.
It should be noted that the original short film, doesn't have the aliens as cockroach shaped. I wonder who added that little titbit, an American? Or a South African? My bet's on American.
If you do NOT see the problem here, you should stop trying to be an anti-racist. Just. stop.
Meanwhile, Peter Jackson is rapidly becoming a Hollywood living marker of 'INSIDE: Amazing Skanky Race Issues!'. He got a pass for continuing Tolkien's race prejudices, but King Kong and now this are all on him.
Intergalatic COCKROACHES, people - who need to go back where they came from! And the plot seems to revolve around a white, male, human, by the way, the cockroaches are not taking center stage in this possible Apartheid parallel.
Y'know, I bet McMaster Bujold would tell me I'm just looking for racism so of course I'll find it. How cold is it that I'm guessing she just might be a FireFly fan too?
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The Question: When did Monica Rambeau become Photon again? I may have asked this before but likely no one answered. I remember she gave up Captain Marvel, to a Marvel guy. And she gave up Photon to another guy.
So did that second guy croak and Monica scooped back up her second codename?
Cause I had no idea why male Photon was supposed to be part of Marvel Divas and then I found out it wasn't that Marvel was throwing a flamboyant gay man in there with a bunch of female characters, they were just throwing a different kind of token - the black chick.
Personal Note: I would so love to see Monica and Misty team up together and FIGHT CRIME. Two hot, fierce, powerhouse black women. One enormously satisfying ass beat down. No waiting.
*sighs - ponders fanfic*
In the Observation news: Wowio Parent Company, Platinum Publishing Can. Not. Pay. Their. Rent. Misfiles comics creator is just never going to get his money, since Platinum was dealing with 30k a month for 12,400 Square Feet of office space.
Also, they seem to spend a lot of money dealing with legal issues, several lawsuits against them and threatening journalists in their spare time.
Why people keep acting like providing the public with digital comics they can download and move between various devices is like trying to build a low orbiting space station around Venus - I'll never know. I do know it's not rocket science though.
In personal news - My life's currently exploding in slow motion, 0.0001 frames a minute. And I'm just waiting for the aftermath so I can pick myself up. Ugh.
ETA: If Wowio wasn't bought with money, btw, but instead was bought with shares in Platinum, did the people who sold Wowio actually make any money? Or did they just stop leaking debt?
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I didn't do a damn thing for today being Free Comic Book Day. Actually, truth is I checked out the offerings online and there wasn't a damn thing I wanted to see. Not even a new comic story of Harry Dresden had enough pull to get me to go traipsing to a comic book store.
If someone would like to prove me wrong by pointing out where the diversity is in the Free Comic Book Day offerings, without making Love & Rockets multi-task for token status; for girls, for lesbians; for brown and black girls, possibly for brown and black boys; Then I'm all ears.
Meanwhile I saw books for white people who like horror, and books for white people who like superheroes and books for white people who like slice of life and books for white people who like comedy and books for white people who are kids, books for white people who like urban fantasy, books for white people who like space fantasy, and books for white people who like robots.
Oh wait, maybe I should go back and strike out all those 'for white people' and replace them with 'the assumed default'. Or maybe not.
So while various folk are crowing about what they scored for FCBD, I'm going to keep hunting down non-white webcomic artists on the web.