Sunday, July 13, 2008

This may not be the most coherent

So I finally get my hands on the updated New Universal.

I'm a few pages into issue 3.

I'm upset.

But let me put a word down first: Post Evolutionary Being. I'll get back to that.






A premise so far in the new* New Universe is that when superhumans show up within humanity, they should be hunted down and killed because when a different, a superior, form of life emerges, evolves, it annihilates the weaker competition. So humanity, to save itself, must destroy these superhumans.

And y'know I couldn't, I honestly couldn't help thinking about Obama, black and white politics in America and the concept of reverse racism. I really and honestly couldn't. It's the only similarity to what I was reading that I could think of to wrap my brain around the concept that fear was going to, and in the past had led to, antagonism and murder (including infanticide).

I know I've always kind of boggled at the fear that 'If black people get power and things become truly equal, they'll push that power right into a revenge scenario and whites will end up enslaved and suffering' . The fear is so big, is so prevalent that that's where the concept of reverse racism comes from; people want to make that possibility seem to be happening now in order to excuse their actions which result in in-equality, sometimes extreme actions and often things which are brutal and inhuman. As a side note, something can be subtle but brutal at the same time. White is beautiful, black is ugly, the lighter you are, the more desirable you are? Subtle. But brutal. It results in generations that are incapable of accepting their ancestral features. It results in them feeling lesser and if they feel lesser and someone is also treating them as lesser, well, there's less chance of that revolution, isn't there?

I have always boggled at this concept of the 'inevitable race war'. As if white folk really do believe that just like with the French Revolution when Marie Antoinette got her pretty little neck sliced from her body, there will be a Race Revolution the MOMENT, the exact MOMENT, black and brown folk, but particularly black folk, get any sort of 'real power'. There's talk of "But when it comes down to it, you know which side he (Obama) or she (Halle Berry, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, whomever) will pick."

Fuck damn it makes humanity seem small; really, really, really fucking small.

And what's complex and confusing to me is that I had a similar sequence of thoughts while watching 'An Inconvenient Truth'. I found myself thinking that George Carlin, in his stand up routine, was right. Humanity, which I've lately found myself thinking of as Western White Humanity, is full of itself and yet in reality IS really fucking small.

And yes I realize that Western White Humanity isn't the only aspect of humanity that's concerned about the environment or how we move forward. But, and this is a big but, Western White Humanity is in the position of power, of having used resources in a certain way with a certain carelessness for a certain period of time and is now having to deal with the fact that the earth doesn't give two rat shits about 'Western White Humanity' as a concept.

That is, the Earth adapts. If the ice caps flood and the land sinks and new species have to evolve and other species die, the Earth will still keep going. What's in danger is civilization as we currently know it. In other words, Western White Humanity isn't really at the top of the food chain, not when it comes with to the Earth and how it's affected and how those effects will affect humanity. The only reason to be concerned about maintaining the Earth, protecting the environment, caring about the ozone layer and the shifting weather patterns caused by carbon increases and heat indexes rising and more fresh water ice caps falling into the salt water seas effecting current circulation patterns and thus livability on varied land masses - is because a type of homeostasis is needed in order for things to remain the same; things to remain as they are, with no land loss and no dramatic weather pattern changes which can change growing seasons and where populations are able to live.

Post Evolutionary Being. I told you I'd get back to that. The concept in the issue of New Universal I'm currently reading is that it means a being that isn't going to, that doesn't have to, compete for resources. It's a concept of 'the next stage'. Which brings me to the concept of the 'inevitable race war'. Why is it that there's this general fear that should the oppressed become equal, they will in turn become the oppressors? And so the oppressors must never, EVER, let there be an opportunity for the tables to turn.

I know, I know that's happened in Russian Communism. The working men became the new elite and the previous bourgeoisie classes became the working poor; reviled and hated and without resources and in the middle there was corruption. But you see, that's because revenge can happen in a REVOLUTION. Like Marie Antoinette and the Guillotine. If people have to shed blood to get the median, most basic measure of respect (and good leadership) then of course revenge will play a factor, and a large one at that. Emotions and passions are alight when blood needs to be shed for a cause, usually because what's wanted, and what's needed has to be pried from the cold dead fingers of those previously in power.

So is this what White America, White Western Civilization is saying? That the only way equality could ever come, is when it's pried from their cold, white (purple) fingers? Therefore they're going to do everything possible to ensure that revolution never happens?

And if that is the working theory, how the fuck are they going to get that to work? It seems pretty obvious to me that the more you stamp down a group, the angrier you make that group. The more likely they are to pull towards leadership that tells them they have every right to be angry....

Which leads me to comics again, because doesn't that sound a lot like the true magnetism of Magneto? That he just stood there and let non mutant humanity do all his hard work for him? He let their bigotry lead his followers right to him? That he believed their time had come, doesn't change the fact that non mutant humanity believed it too and believed there was no way they could ever possibly understand... 'those people'.

And ok, that was an unconscious crackshot at 'worm brained mentality' but it's not just in discussing possible terrorists that one finds such a phrase. There are straights who feel they'll never understand gays - cause for crying out loud they push shit out of their asses, why would they want to imagine something going in. And yes, they never seem to put lesbians in the same eeeewh category. But then again in the hierarchy currently on earth, lesbians are women and women aren't at the top.

I used to think it was guilt, that it was white guilt about slavery and all the horrible, horrid, torturous, bloody history there. And the guilt made them incapable of believing that a people could want just to move on and be seen for who they are individually and for the pain to be understood but without a need to lash every white person alive to a pole and give them a marked brand to remember; an ache in the bones to last through generations. But I'm not too sure anymore it is 'white' guilt. And I'm not too sure it's guilt. I think it's fear. I think it's self absorption and hubris and fear.

So much of history on this planet has been about conquest. And for such a long, long, long ass, old ass, time, Western White Civilization have been the conquerors and everyone else has been the conquered. And even among themselves Western White Civilization was fighting about who would be SUPREME CONQUEROR and who would be the one with the smaller dick. And in that kind of paradigm there is no moving forward, there is no something for everyone. There are winners and losers and if they are no longer the winners well that means they're the losers and losers suffer because they've been making the losers suffer for so long. Making the losers suffer is what they'd do, it's what they know.

It's twisted, I think. Because it means that people who tell me they just want to understand and learn, really do understand. They understand about being made into victims and about being put in a place of powerlessness. Because IT'S WHAT THEY FEAR. That's why they don't like to think about it. That's why it's removed from their day to day consciousness. And the most forward thinking, the supposedly liberals are the most aware, which is why they're so easily affronted at any hint they have more to learn/ they've gotten some things wrong/ they've prioritized wrong, because they KNOW just how small they are, how small White Western Civilization really is; the Earth's only been telling them that for the last thirty years or so.

Which is all a long winded way of my saying that I don't know if I can follow New Universal when it starts up in the fall, because the long arc plot to stay on top no matter what, is shit I deal with every damn day. And I really don't want to watch another group dealing with murdered children and fear mongering and propaganda and violence and this acceptance from leaders, from supposedly moral/ethical examples that a stealthy campaign of othering is the right choice. This whole "They're not human -enough-. They're not like us. Our way of life as we know it is more important than any measured thinking, any change, any new possibilities..."

Especially, especially, when the meta of such an argument in NU is that when in the past there had been a time with acceptance, the whole of humanity moved forward. That's just too painful to bear.


* Premise: If this premise was in the old version my childhood self reading it, missed it - I got the comics all out of sequence and order and tried to piece the story together myself.


  1. This made me think of a trope that I was thinking of just the other day :\ That I'm sick and tired of so many sci-fi shows and stuff having some plot where a "minority" char in the cast realizes that zie is being oppressed, or sympathizes with the plight of others like them, and turns their back on the rest of the cast, only for the ppl that they're trying to help/leader of the ppl they're trying to help turn out to be a horrible person who is bent on "getting revenge" and killing the oppressors (or *gasp* just using force against ppl who are trying to kill them) and then the character "turns back good" saves the day, goes back to the heroes and realizes what a fool zie was :\

    It just always made me think the msg that we keep sending ppl is that "ppl who want equality do not actually want it, they want revenge, so be careful of marginalized ppl who speak up, make sure they watch their tone and aren't uppity" and "if you feel marginalized, dun, you're one step away from being a homicidal extremist, things are better this way, trust us" and just the whole idea that trying to change how things are is BAD.

    What made me think of this before was that episode of Voyager where the Doctor joins a ship of holograms who freed themselves from the Hirogen and was trying to help them free others. Of course the leader turns out to be unbalanced and an extremist who wants to exterminate all non-holograms (of course, they always turn out to want to kill all the "normal" ppl) and a huge strawman for why anti-oppression activism is bad, etc etc.. the Doctor realizes his errors, betrays the leader, and goes back to Voyager where he realizes how great he has it.. >.>

    Also the leader is shown to be stupid also, b/c the holograms he tried to liberate weren't intelligent and had very few subroutines, so HAH SEE THINGS ARE MOSTLY FINE, WTF, MOST PPL ARE HAPPY WITH THE WAY THINGS ARE!

    And as usual the "omg you're just as bad as the Hirogens/non-mutants/whiteppl/etc that you hate!"

    And it's always a false choice between "things are fine the way they are, and if you just behave and are nice ppl will treat you ok" and "if you try to change things, you're gonna end up taking over and be JUST AS BAD!!! IN FACT WORSE.. so.. like.. for the sake of the universe, just let us "normal" ppl run things ok?"

    It just rly bugs me b/c I always see myself in these shows and stuff, and that the msg is being sent that I have to watch my tone, that any sort of activism will lead to extremism, death, and that any groups that are like minded always have a sekrit agenda of REPLACING THE OPPRESSORS AND BEING OMGEVENWORSE!!!

    It rly bugs me, b/c it's just like.. "dun give those uppity oppressed ppl an inch b/c they'll take a mile and then kill you... we can't give them equality b/c then they'll take us over and oppress us back" :\


    It's funny that there seems to be this msg underneath it all of "why do you have to get so uppity, can't you just live?" when in fact that's what I want to! I mean I'm NOT going to destroy you if there was equality for all, I'm just gonna live my life! Do you think I LIKE being upset about trans, race, gender and other issues all the time? That I enjoy reading the news about another poorly written article about the assault or murder of a transwoman and crying and writing an upset and angry blog post about transphobia? :\

    I think you're ttlly right about the idea of "conquest" and "winners and losers" being the only way some ppl see the world and that they can only see that if one side gets what they want they "win" so another side will "lose" :( And mebbe it's why there are ppl who insist stuff like that feminism is about destroying men and replacing the patriarchy with a matriarchy. They dun see it as about equality, they see it as ppl saying "you have all the power, we want all the power" :\

    It's all a zero-sum game in their eyes... and maybe that's why the trope of "anti-oppression leads to extremism and replacing the oppressors" keeps popping up... :\

  2. Ami:

    And here I thought no one would get the underpinnings of what I was trying to say. I need to trust the folk who read me :)

    I have to admit that I didn't realize the trope as being this broad message in SF until you mentioned it. When I was writing I was thinking with macrovision, with little spots in, like with Magneto.

    But you're right. Hell part of the reason I roll my eyes at how the saga of SG:1 ended is because it was all "You thought the Go'auld were bad, and you got rid of them. And now here come the Ori and these people are even worse off than before!"

    But there was no attention paid at all to the fact that the Stargate Program was all about this very American team waltzing about imperialistically and telling native peoples they were 'doing it wrong'. And the few times they got told to STFU, it's because some -other- alien power was around to say 'Get the hell away from my protected people you imperialistic bastards'. Which unfortunately left the native peoples as -needing- protectors in the first place. And those higher alien powers? Always represented as white.

    Which is a -side- branch of my main post your comment touches on - which is the reinforcement in what should be stories of possibility that are actually stories about the status quo - but dressed up nicer.

  3. Those episodes in SG-1 rly bugged me too... where it was just "your culture is backwards and stupid, and we have to teach you what for"... and the brave American white ppl saving the backwards natives (often CoCs) :\ Or they are protected by white ppl, as you said, or the gods of white ppl.. like it always bugged me that the East Asian, Egyptian, etc gods were all evil, but the Norse gods and the Arthurian legend ppl were good (even the evil ppl of those myths, like Morgan Le Fay, were good, and the good ppl of the PoC myths were EVIL) :\

    And even with the Ori (which is always used as the anti-racism defense of "well they're supposed to be the Crusaders, so see they think white ppl are bad too"), at the end of the movie, the Ori bible was said to have good stuff in it, and that things were just twisted, but the religion and stuff was still good and should be preserved, which is like "oh yah sure it can be used badly, but it's not INHERENTLY evil, and the whole religion can be fixed up!"

    While like the goa'uld are evil.. INHERENTLY evil, BORN EVIL.

    And also with the Jaffa, there was that episode where they had the Jaffa leader who was rly charismatic and was advocating for Jaffa ways and not doing things the human way and how the humans always acted as if their ways are best and stuff... and of course Teal'c believes in but it turns out he's an evil Gou'ald and has to be stopped b/c he's too militant and EXTREME and ultimately up to no good! And also how after they became free the Jaffa were "out of control" with the Dakara Superweapon and killing humans with it to stop the Ori and not listening to the Earth ppl to stop :\

    It always bugged me about this "listen to the smart white ppl, they know better ok? not listening to them leads to EXTREME THINKING AND DOOM" :\

    Plus just the whole idea that the first language in the universe was English and the first human type ppl in the universe were white :\ gah -_-;;

  4. Man, I'm still ticked they changed the concept behind Justice back in the day and that it was the reworked idea they used for this relaunch...

    I want my alien cop/knight dude back!

  5. Also, on the underlying ACTUAL subject of your essay, I figure we won't eventually have a race based revolution. A CLASS based one? Thats another story...

  6. Very interesting and wide-ranging analysis. I think you're right about the conquest paradigm; we as a society think in these terms from habit and this trickles down to our assessment of individuals and our blurring of them into some demographic which we assume is a constant.

    That said, I boggle at the idea that some people actually think black people are just waiting to take over and enslave white people. I didn't know that this was where the idea of reverse racism came from, though I can certainly buy that fear, more than guilt, is a factor. Fear seems to be the most common denominator among people regarding a lot of issues at present.

  7. I think a lot of white people are terrified that we will do what they would.

  8. This was a fascinating post, especially because I ended up making a lot of links and a light went in my head "Hey! She's right! I've totally seen this!" I'm going to talk a bit about this race-war and the idea that the oppressed will take over and be even more oppressive by pulling in some current event, just, in South America, because this is the way I managed to understand it.

    I hope you are slightly familiar with the Bolivian President, Evo Morales. He's basically, the first indigenous/mestizo man to be elected to the office in Bolivia, and he is the first in who-knows-how-long to get a great majority vote. Basically, he is "the man of the people", and a representative of the oppressed, a landmark, a hero. And while my family hasn't been living in Bolivia in a very long time, we kept close watch since, well, it's our country and this was important news. It is also the only piece of news anybody from the outside tends to remember when I say I’m from Bolivia, so people usually try to sound knowledgeable and ask us our opinion on Evo.

    How did the white oligarchy react to this? Fear.

    See, my family is descended from the white oligarchy (totally <<), so we do keep in touch with our, well, class, through email and all that, get news from friends and family. And funnily enough, we got the news of a great number of white people wanting to run away, escape the country. They were getting any connections they had, trying to get those European passports that hold until the third generation from their grandmothers/grandfathers/greatgreat…, so that if worse came to worst and if omigash-those-mestizos-quechuas-aymaras-cholos decided to have revenge on us, we can get away! It was kind of funny and scary to see that they really believed it, but now that I think about it, it’s exactly that fear, of the oppressed rising with power to be worse than what was before. While none of my family paid much attention to the unvoiced concern of a new dictatorship which would oppress white folks, there has been a lot of unrest in Bolivia.

    The thing is that living in Bolivia has always been like “living at the knife’s edge”. Our history has a lot of coups (Including the last one, where we overturned President Goni because of natural gas disputes). It does have unrest, a lot of it, but it usually settles without big civil wars (at least recently) and we get a lot of riots, roadblocks, and the like. The problem is also, in the division of race back home- the “cambas” are the people in the department and city of Santa Cruz, where the greatest number of white people live, the more conservative too. “Coyas” generally relates to the people in La Paz, our Government Headquarters (or second Capital), are more usually mestizo or indigenous population. And not so surprisingly, the Cambas have recently reached for autonomy in their department. It’s become a running joke that the white Santa Cruzeños want to create their own “cholo-free” state, though it is an exaggeration. But Santa Cruz is also one of the biggest places of unrest, and another of our big cities, Cochabamba, had a lot of riots, where some people did die. (I can’t remember much of the toll- all I remember was being aghast because my cousin was nearly stuck in the riot with some friends when he walked back home from a store.) But it has mostly passed, and returned, and there isn’t this revenge mentality in the mestizo population, and I think the whites are calming down.

    It’s just, a really big example of how this fear works. And how unfounded it is.