Thursday, December 31, 2009


State Of: The PoC in SF & F Carnival; 2009, what happened & what I want for the future. Aka: The Conversation I Want To Have.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Brianna has been FOUND.

Help Find Missing Child

Brianna Lacey is missing.

She's 15 years old.

She went missing in Chicago.

Please do NOT let her become another Romona Moore.

If you're in Chicago, help look and better yet, help put some pressure for the police to put out an actual Amber Alert.

ETA: Brianna has been FOUND.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And To End The Year

Publisher's Weekly,

It's not enough that authors have been insulting all through 2009. Publisher's Weekly first dismissed women from their picks for 'Books Of The Year'and then got in on Racefail 09 with an image on the COVER of a black woman, her hair COVERED IN COMBS, COMBS WITH HANDLES SHAPED INTO THE BLACK POWER SYMBOL.

Yes, Publisher's Weekly put out an image of a black woman, looking down, as her head is nothing but afropicks.

And then Publisher's Weekly made another article over the fact people were wondering WTH WAS WRONG WITH THEM! It's a non-apology pointing out that scholarly and truly artistic people 'got' the image, with not even a FART of realization of how the image combined with headline played to all previous images of black women and people within THE DAMN SMALL POOL IN CULTURAL MEDIA.

In other words, in response to complaints, Publisher's Weekly served a platter of whiteness with a side order of maleness and tall drink of faux cluelessness.

2009 - Making me realize if it isn't Verb Noire or Tu Publishing, near anything related to traditional publishing disgusts me. The only reason it's not EVERYTHING is because I know two authors who have books coming out in 2010 and traditional publishing, so far, hasn't stabbed them in the back.

I have to wonder, though, how many black writers moved on to something else; how many new writers will, because the thought of having to deal with all the entrenched white male, pov in getting something published is as appealing as a fork twice in the eye.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dialogue Truths: The Middle Of Conversation

Person 1: I came here intending to be the authority! I studied this at school/ spent 3 years in this country / broke my leg once/ married a person of this persuasion. And here you come, speaking your truths in your own voice. Stop it.
You're interrogating the text from the wrong perspective. You're not properly neutral and unemotional. You're over reacting. You're too sensitive.

Person 2: This is my story, these are the stories of my ancestors; of those who came before. These are the words of my people.

Person 1: Stop. Shut up! Shut up the anger! How dare you speak! (Like that). How are people to listen?! You wound me! I am bleeding!

Computer Woes

They did happen.

Back now. Catching up.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

N.K Jemisin has the first chapter of her novel series debut up.

I found the chapter lovely, with a good storytelling voice. It leads me to believe I will see a new perspective in the plot trope of; long lost heir returns & must find their way.

The Hundred Thousand Kindoms, will be out in Feb 2010.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tracking The OTHER Avatar

Ain't It Cool has news.

... On this planet is an element that is so rare it is worth incredible amounts of money on earth. The trouble is that the indigenous people and hostile nature of the planet make it nearly impossible to mine. The main threat are 10 foot tall intelligent blue aliens called Na’vi.

Scientists have figured out a way to grow their own Na’vi (mixing Na'vi and Human DNA) which are completely blank slates and then recruit warriors and scientists to come in and project their consciousness into these creatures, thus allowing them to travel Pandora without causing war with the Na’vi....

... Worthington is a crippled vet, disillusioned, but a warrior at heart. This is the perfect assignment for him as he is freed from the restraints of his broken body.

...It’s easy to say “they’re ten feet tall,” but seeing them stand next to a person and almost double their height, seeing one try to navigate a structure intended for humans… well, it does make them feel like creatures instead of animated humanoids...

...the Wood Sprite returns...with a few dozen of its brothers and sisters.

Worthington’s Avatar bats one away without a thought and Neytiri acts as if he just broke a cross in half or spit on the Buddha.The little jelly-fish like seeds don’t seem to mind and all alight on him, completely ignoring Neytiri. She tells him (and us) just what these things are and that it is an amazing honor to be chosen by them...

...Worthington’s Avatar is now a part of Neytiri’s tribe and going through an important rite of passage. Gone are his human clothes, replaced by native gear and face paint, like a Native American warrior...

I recognize these are the thoughts of an 'average white, male, movie goer' and nothing like seeing the film itself. And yet, these are the visual quotes triggered in the mind of that 'average, white, male, movie goer'.

And he is describing what he's seen, including the Honky, wearing his temporary 'native' skin costume, being actually 'blessed'/chosen by beings the natives revere.

Do not ask me my thoughts on this movie. I think you can clearly guess.

Link of relevance:

Friday, November 27, 2009

Something For Me To Think About

If a white person can assume that somewhere way down deep inside them is a;

- First Nations North American

- Tibetan Zen Buddhist

- Japanese Otaku

Is that why they think, way down deep inside non white peoples, there's a white person just waiting to come out and embrace white ways?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

To Everything There Is A Season

I've been reading a lot of books lately that discuss branding, as it pertains to teenagers, as it pertains to stereotypes being packaged to young boys and girls to mold them into accepting not just a gender binary but that the gender binary can only be expressed in particular ways; a constant narrowing.

One of the topics that continually comes up is how media enterprises continually put the onus onto parents to protect and shield their children. If you don't want them exposed to things, then don't let them, watch tv, play video games, go shopping, listen to the radio, read any contemporary books, leave the house to go to school, have any friends, talk to people outside of approved lists of blood relatives...

Well yes, these media enterprises don't actually give a list of what to protect children from if you don't want them influenced by messages bombarding from outside the immediate family world. They just say 'They're your children, you protect them.'

It shifts the burden of societal responsibility and puts all responsibility for that child on parents.

It takes a village to raise a child? Ha!

So what if children need independence and to know their parents trust them to make, first small decisions and then bigger ones. So what if their parents can't be beside them to shield them from every song, and every outfit another child wears that the parent might think inappropriate and every commercial etc. It's the parent's job to become a safty bubble, smothering the child, instead of the world offering varied views or even better, the world offering age appropriate attention.

Age appropriate as benefits actual psychological development with an eye towards constructive and positive growth NOT grooming to be a better consumer. Not "Kids Getting Older Younger".

I bring all this up because I've seen this several times now, post Brian Seiler, Utter Jerk Bag.


Seiler shifted the responsibility of a corporate entity to act with mindfulness, compassion and good sense (business as well as common) onto a gay individual who was offended at something they'd done that was in extreme bad taste.

It was apparently the gay person's responsibility to give the company the benefit of the doubt and interpret their actions outside of history's context.

Which brings us to my reading this entry. And in particular, this comment quoted here with the part in particular that caught my attention.

And regarding your last few paragraphs about society’s depictions/stereotypes of the disabled- all I can say is that we cannot control what others do- no matter how morally wrong, unsympathetic, or frustrating their actions may be- but what we CAN control is how WE react- how we let them make us feel- i find it helpful to try & focus on that which i can change (IE myself, my reactions, my actions)

It is not the film makers fault they have tapped into "disability = scary = violent = bad" and helped promote that concept in public consciousness. It is the fault of the disabled person pointing it out; that they're refusing to rise above it. {Strong Black Woman, Strong Black Man, You're So Strong If I Had That I Would Kill Myself, Model Minority, So Hard Working} They are refusing to not change the world, starting with themselves; namely their outlook, attitude and tone to something more positive.

Which frankly I read as 'you should be less confrontational', even though the original post wasn't. It was simply pointing out a trope.

But more than that, something I do not think the individuals debating with the OP seem able to recognize, the tropes about what behavior is abnormal and thus scary and potentially violent and bad are actually based on either exaggerated behaviors within minority stereotypes OR they are based on behaviors regarding human states medicine in the past had no answers for; Those behaviors of course representing a gambit of symptomatology within another minority.

It is not accident or coincidence that the visual quote of 'scary child' includes said child rocking themselves in a corner or doing some other repetitive act, being afraid of touch or claiming pain from sensory stimuli.

It is not accident or coincidence that people 'know' the character who trembles, breaks into tears and ends up running screaming, tearing at her face and hair from the priest come to stop in to see her, must be possessed. Priests committing acts of sexual depravity upon helpless child parishioners, was not fact when these visuals began to be disseminated as clues to plot. It's still being refused as fact now.

It is not accident or coincidence a white American woman looking bewildered on the streets will react to a "Baby girl, you all right?" or a "Miss, you ok?" as if someone just propositioned them by verbally describing a porn scene involving unsanitary sexual acts - if said words came from a black male of any age, who is not wearing a suit.

It is not accident or coincidence that all those tv commercials describing Depression, as essentially Sweatpants Syndrome have created a public consciousness of what it is and what it is not aka what is faking aka what a woman's insurance can drop her for not looking like.

These stereotypes were put into public consciousness. And yet when anyone affected by them points this fact out, and that it needs to be corrected, the come back is always 'Own Your Own Shit'; As if the people being portrayed badly in media had ever had the power in the first place to prevent those portrayals.

Just how exactly does it work out into equality for everyone, for the majority to keep the power and the minorities to rise above not having any?

Do they think we don't notice that illogic?

Do they think, as a whole, disenfranchised groups will buy that they are being empowered if they just stay beautiful, silent and strong, rising above all the past and current wrong and just trusting the majority to see the point; without reminders or privilege checks? Cause that's the same thinking as "Put it to a vote and let the public decide."

And let us not forget, as Americans celebrate Thanksgiving that the most common iconic image of beautiful, silent and strong are a multi-nationed peoples, many Americans believe are long dead and gone. And of course having gracefully left behind culture, spirituality and government for the majority to pick up and claim as their own (or to be continuing it as their own).

So Majority? So Corporate & Would Be Societal Puppeteers?

While some minority peoples might purchase the [ powdered flavoured drink; just add sugar], and even feel a need to pitch it to others(like a bad home video that must be shared), not everyone is.

Don't think some of us don't recognize "Be Better Than We Are" is mockery, sniggering and a put down. Don't think everyone wants to join you (a slowly sinking prison ship), when the horizon holds the possibility of a whole new world. It might take more effort. But reaping what we will sow and create with our own hands, is better than your tired, stale, rationed handouts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Decide When You Should Be Offended

A rare ism 101 lesson.

How to tell if you're being a used ass wipe? See if you're saying anything along the lines of this individual; one Brian Seiler.

Empahsis mine. Spot The Fail; Teacher Edition.

First off, I'd like to extend to you sympathies for what you had to go through in your youth - I cannot imagine how awful that was.

I think, however, that you are going just a little bit overboard in your attempts to characterize this idiotic advertisement as "hate speech." Hate speech is not a term that you should throw around lightly - particularly not when the very act you are criticizing is the throwing around of words without consideration for their impact. In order for a string of words to be hate speech, they must first be hateful in nature, which I do not believe anybody would suggest was ever the intent here.

In any act of communication, it is the responsibility of both parties to try and understand the idea that the other is attempting to communicate. By seizing on the semantics of this terrible anagram and then re-contextualizing the entire discussion to the subject of bigotry against homosexuals, you are abdicating that responsibility. Words have no inherent context, as you clearly note in your own writing when you conveniently excuse the British for using hate speech to refer to their cigarettes.

I'm all for criticizing Infinity Ward for completely fumbling this effort, but their failure here was not one motivated by hate or bigotry. Their mistake was one of marketing - they failed to realize that some people would consider their humorous attempt to be in poor taste. As marketers, it behooves them not to stir the sorts of unpleasant feelings that this word was bound to stir, and for that they deserve to be chided. If your intention is to paint every person who has ever used the word in conversation with the tint of bigotry, however, I cannot disagree strenuously enough.

We cannot lock language in a box and pretend that it never changes. Over time, words will transform to mean things that we wouldn't have imagined - a fact which my futile crusade to revive the grammatically proper use of "he" as the singular neuter personal pronoun has driven home to me. As responsible communicators, it behooves us all to try and understand the thoughts behind the words, and not simply latch onto the language in isolation. If you are going to criticize Infinity Ward for this act, or 5th Cell for their accidental and unfortunate handling of the word "sambo," or even Capcom for the imagery in Resident Evil, please do criticize them for what they're trying to say, instead of how you personally interpret the words and images that you perceive. If the language of this campaign makes you uncomfortable because of the history around the word, it's good to share that, and I'm certain that anybody who could be made to understand how the word affects you would not use it around you. Labeling this an act of bigotry or hatred, however - that is too far, and declines to accept all of our shared responsibilities in communicating with one another.

Funny, isn't it. How the individual Seiler is addressing needs to be more responsible, but the offensive corporate party doesn't.

Internal Archictecture

In attempting to add manhwa to my labels, I did something weird and I'm not sure I fixed it yet. So, just a heads up.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Manhwa: Conversations I Want To Have

Instead I want you to think about who decides what to translate and why, how they market the translation, and what all that says both about the audience receiving the translation and the people making the decision. I think it's pretty obvious that publishers decided to license manhwa because they thought it would help expand their manga market, but why did they choose to mostly acquire sunjeong and BL titles and why did they not acquire more actual bestseller titles?

Take a look at a rebuttal on manhwa's inferiority to manga (a pov since changed by the original poster) but which touches on Conversations I Want To Have

English language readers in America, over and over again, seem not to think about who chooses, and promotes the media they consume that is inspired by or merely a translation of, media elsewhere (particularly non-white media).

My examples?

1. Quentin Tarantino Presents: Hero

2. But anime characters are white.

A Muppet Music Video Production

And now, memed from everywhere: Muppets Do Bohemian Rhapsody

* ---------- *

Dear world,

Today sucked, in a lot of ways. But then you sent me Muppets and I love you again. So, so, so very much.

And there were so many dearly beloved characters I hadn't seen in OH so very long. (I also realized the long blonde haired guitarist? I've always thought of her as a transwoman for some odd reason, and so that hit me with additional glee given certain shenanigans in the blogsphere).

And there is Piggy. Dearly, beloved Ms. Piggy.

Yes world, my love for you right now? And likely through the night, it overflows.

[comments. open. for. squee]

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Words Can Hurt: An Apology


A friend pointed out to me that using the terms Chesty, and McHelium to describe the blonde, in my eyes, totally male gaze version of Elsa Bloodstone could come across as being an ass about big breasts or more specifically and correctly; being an ass about women with big breasts.

That was not my intention, but intentions and spit are all about what the receiver makes of it if it's blowing into their face.

Seeing the chestier version of Elsa Bloodstone enraged me, seeing it paired with tiny thin legs that actually made me feel disgust and alarm, also enraged me. I don't like looking at women's bodies and feeling caught between deprogramming the instinct to judge, and immediately wondering about their health, which unfortunately can be just a different way of judging.

And boy do I judge the bustier Elsa.

Or rather, I judge how she's drawn and what body parts catch focus and why they catch focus.

- The Tiny Top
- Her Spilling Out Of It
- The Suggestions Of Jigglyness.

It all hit me bang. smack. bam with BIMBONESS. And I didn't stop to analyze past that reaction.

Some women will have large breasts. It's genetics or surgery. And no matter how I feel about surgery to change into what I feel is someone else's definition of beauty (no matter who that someone is, an individual or society via the media); a woman's body is her own. End. Done.

But if I'm paying attention to messages from society via the media, then I need to remember that media created the Bimbo. And media created all the associations to be had with the term and image they decreed to be the BIMBO.

I don't like the blonde, Elsa Bloodstone because she triggers my 'OH SHIT NOT ANOTHER BIMBO' response. She also triggers my ' Why can't she be strong and capable and not look like a porn star?' response.

And the shorthand I chose for that were the mocking nicknames Chesty, McHelium and McBoobies, which focused on a particular body-part and did not reflect the stereotype I meant to point out, which was 'The Bimbo'.

Bimbos have large breasts. Not every woman with large breasts is a bimbo.

This is an occasion where I was not actually trying to be a jerk and I apologise for the offense.

I considered opening up comments, but I don't actually want any telling me how cool it was I apologised, or that I did nothing wrong. Or even that what I did was wrong but wasn't that big a deal. The truth is, I'm still thinking about it and how I would handle another occasion and when and how snark and mockery applies and when it doesn't. And I'd rather not be influenced not to think deeper by pettings.

If you really want to place some input, you know where the email is.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Orc Horn To The Left. Speaker Of Truth To The Right

Bankeui has some remarks on media surprise to discover The First Nations Quileute Tribe is real.

He gets his links from Newspaper Rock / BlueCornComics. BlueCornComics has a whole round-up of Twilight links as they relate to First Nations Peoples.

If you go read and get curious about what it is, I and Glockgal said? Then you can check our our words.

Quileute, Quileute, Quileute, Quileute. You hear about Twilight and you hear about The Quileute Nation and how they're trying to deal with curious tourists; about Quileute young actors who tried out for parts; about Quileute elders trying to explain that Stephanie Meyer took their name but didn't include much of their actual history and lore.

And yet somehow the You That Hears is not the majority white media.


PS: TWoP Tennison (moderator)? Saying:
If you want to discuss race relations on this show, that's fine. Don't turn it into an opportunity to lecture other posters or pick fights. If you really want to argue with someone in an off-topic way, PM them. Don't hash it out on the boards.

Is a bullshit TONE ARGUMENT. And I have no doubt the next time something happens, TWoP Tennison will flip that cowardice to the other side and say something about how 'You're just being mean! You're not teaching anyone anything! How else can they/we learn?!'

*rolls eyes*

Also deleting the words of the POC's calling out the racist sentiments? COWARDICE.

Seriously I should just screencap everytime I stumble across something that's full of cowardly racist fail, since they do tend to delete it. And ye heavens it was on a Stargate Thread too. I should have guessed the fail would multiply.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Remember The Dead


Today is Nov 20th, The Transgender Day Of Remembrance.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

If I Could Stab A Book And Make It Bleed

I mentioned in a comment how Eon: Dragon Eye (also called The Two Pearls Of Wisdom - and where I am now currently paused at pg 295) was reading as:

[Mr. Movie Guy Voice: : In a land where women have no power, one courageous girl will find the strength to bear the hopes of a nation on her shoulders. Hidden as a boy she will reach for power and reclaim the hidden mysteries lost for ages, once dedicated to the Moon. Powers meant to balance, the drive of the Sun, and meant to be wielded by a female; DRAGONEYE!]

Insertion of trailer images along with voice over:

(In a land )
Women with eyes downcast as they walk in a market.

(where women have no power )
Women with eyes downcast in a harem, as a prince (whose face we cannot see) walks among them while they're bowed down before him.

(one courageous girl )
The naked back of a young woman with white bindings going around to hide her breasts

(will find the strength)
Image of the same slender young woman (recognizable by hair style), now with swords in a martial arts pose on a sand arena.

(to bear the hopes)
Image of shuffling bruised and beaten looking men with symbolic resistance totem.

(of a failing)
Image of s cruel looking man being suave with the handsome Prince (whose face we now see)

(nation )
Image of previous cruel, rich looking man on a horse whipping at the previous bruised men

(Hidden as a boy)
Transwoman in generic asian courtesan clothing putting on make-up (an established cliche of 'putting on the feminine') with the hidden-girl boy watching, possibly with envy

(she will reach for power)
SFX: Girl bracing against wind as a red dragon manifests somehow around her

(and reclaim the hidden mysteries)
Another harem scene, where hiddengirl-boy, as boy, is obviously being mentored somehow by the same transwoman and other harem ladies, with a flash of calligraphy on paper. Non hero women are obviously gossiping as hiddengirl-boy looks a little out of her depth.

(lost for ages)
Image of a majestic 'Asian' building consumed by fire as people scramble to put it out, fading into centuries old ruins

(Once dedicated to the Moon)
Image of a half moon, then moonlit stark garden with a form going through some slow form of martial arts with smoke like silver energy trails following the figure's hands

(Powers meant to balance)
A council chamber with handsome prince and hidden-girl boy in rich clothing, each sharing not quite definable looks of alliance with each other against gesticulation and arguing by others.

(the drive of the Sun)
Return of the cruel look man, interacting with the most enraged looking cruel man from the council chamber scene, both looking down on some kind of war map

(and meant to be wielded)
More martial arts forms in slow movement, hiddengirl-boy training with a master and another student (in similar clothing) but with hidden-boy girl having more SFX of energy manipulation powers

(by a female; DRAGONEYE!)
Semi longing look of hiddengirl-boy at the back of handsome prince while hiddengirl-boy is going through a set of doors. Counter shot of the other side of another set of doors with hiddengirl-boy in a private large baths style setting with hair down and wet, eyes very feminine, arms across chest in a sort of martial arts pose, but really all about hiding nipplage. Looking furious, and more SFX with water whirling and a red dragon coiled around or behind her preparing to kick the ass of the invasive, likely military bath crashers.

Title Screen. 'Asianic' Music Creshendo


If you've read all the way down to here you might be able to tell that I'm about to 'get myself in trouble' or perhaps we could call it just being me by criticizing a book I have not finished.

Having not been impressed by the plot or the formula, I went to the author's website to look up the research she refers to in that author's note in the backpages. She looked at books on martial arts, took a tai chi class, looked at books on feng shui and chinese astrology, horoscopes, and concepts of good luck, looked at a book on eunuchs and then, listed under 'Sensory Research' went to several museumsin Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore and was recommended two books on Chinese culture. Oh yes and ate food.

I'm hard. It's known I'm hard. So I'm going to say straight up, that there is nothing in the book that could not be transplanted to Europe. Moon cycles with 13 months in the year, ley lines, druids as the 'Mystic Lords' helping to ensure fertility of the land, even the way people treat the mentally and physically disabled.

So to me, making it an asian fantasy land, is all about props; chopsticks and hairpins and silk and harems. I mean she's got a little Americas First Nations 'Two Spirits' in there, for Trans identification, so why focus on asian accouterments? So it would look less like Mists of Avalon? Seriously it is very much reminding me of The Nightingale Floor. Though I suppose I did not give that book due acknowledgment for utilizing hidden Not!Christian villages and researching temples of Japanese fortresses so well. I was just too upset that the replacement Samurai could easily have been Templars and Lord types.

I'm likely not explaining myself well, I get very upset when I see another culture poured like dressing on salad. And given that there are no physical descriptions that explicitly say Chinese or general Asian in 'Dragoneye' it is too easy to imagine many readers visualizing white heroes in an asian world.

I got a stomach cramp the moment I saw the book was up for some school lit award in Texas.

I picked the book up. I borrowed even knowing the author was white and that there was no bibliography on the back pages. I could have borrowed more Detective Chen, where shifting the characters to a white western setting would change darn near everything. It would be a different tale with different philosophies and relationships.

Is it really that difficult for a white writer who wants to set a tale in a fantasy minority culture to think about locking the story into the setting and making it unable to exist if the places and people aren't meshed? This story could not happen anywhere else but, and could not have any other hero than one who grew up here and experienced this kind of life. Is that really so difficult?

You know what? What am I saying. I'm acting like people want to be challenged rather than use the 'exotic' to get paid.

The upset is mine. The disappointment is mine. The lesson learned - mine. Heck the fact I kept reading even after mentions of braids, concubines and tea is my fault.

I really need to stop having any sort of hope what so ever of finding new fantasy authors, who're white, who won't make me want to burn things.

ETA: I just realized a large part of my anger and upset is because the page on research doesn't just have surface skims of Chinese culture. But there's nothing there on physical disability, cognitive disability, or trans issues and historical acceptance within certain cultures.

[Comments Open. You should know the drill]

Fantasy Fiction That Holds Only One Note

Karnythia has a recent post linking to Zora Neale Hurston's essay; What White Publishers Won't Publish. I haven't read it yet, though I have read another essay of Hurston's.

What prompted me to write now, however, was being on page 38 of EON: Dragoneye Reborn; which I'd picked up despite my misgivings at a white author utilizing Asian culture and also having her author's note not only at the back, but leading to her website for resources on actual asian cultures rather than having a biblography present.

Staring at her words, I suddenly realized why white female authors generally aren't having a conversation I want to be part of; their conversation in speculative fantasy focuses on becoming equal to men. Reading the first thirty eight pages of this book, and I recognized so much; the power of Andre Norton's witches, which the men of the world feared; Menolly and the power of the Queen's Rider on Pern in Anne Mccafrey's Tales.

No wonder I cling to Mercedes Lackey so, her abused children finding strength and making good are equally male and female.

The others tend to be about a woman doing well, maybe even better in a man's world. My priorities as a writer and a reader are very much elsewhere.

Girls dressing up as boys in order to have power that's been decreed off-limits; there's no illicit or self aggrandizing thrill in that for me. There's no sense of 'she showed them' and I have often laughed at the whole concept of denial of women's place turning the elemental balance of power upside down and somehow distorting a world's magic.

My lack of identification with this story might be generational, or it might be that my stories are about a character being seen as human and worthy first, as equal, first and there's equal tales to tell for both male and female characters.

I'm not sure if I'll finish Alison Goodman's book, EON. I only just noticed the blurb from Tamara Pierce on the back, which actually dulls the aching need I'd had to find something of fantasy to read involving characters who aren't white (so far the characters haven't described themselves by physical appearance so I'm holding out hope) - Tamara Pierce's name does not fill me with enthusiasm, though not as much as other author's names make me move to another shelf.

But it feels like a river winning free to flow the way it should that I recognize why the stories currently available for me to read; currently pushed and publicized, bought and exemplified do not speak for or to me.

Whether we have to build our own publishing venues from scratch, there is a place for our tales. Very much so. Very much so indeed.

And maybe the antagonism projected from white, feminist, fantasy writers is because they only have one story to tell, given how they tend to shun intersectionality. While our tales are legion.

[Comments Open. My Moderation is as harsh as ever]

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How To Be Pissy About Disability Activism

Original Post By: Jumbled Words @LJ
With Xposting @JumbledWords.Com

Translation By: Avalon's Willow


OP: I want to preface this by saying that once I had written the first draft of this post I sat back, looked at it and said “wow, I sound just like one of those ‘it’s not that I don’t get feminists and all that, but do you have to be so, you know, angry?’”. So, I tried to edit it a bit, getting out what I want to say without looking like a total, erm, moron, but I’m not sure it worked. And if I had more than 15 readers in any given day this one would stir up a shit storm, I’m sure. Sorry about that, faithful 15 readers!

Translation: People are going to call me on my words, so I want to get it out of the way right now and let people now I AM A NICE PERSON. But I just don't have the energy to care about my words offending people. So tough noogies. I AM STILL A NICE PERSON THOUGH.

OP: When the blog Disabled Feminists, abbreviated to FWD, first started I was really excited. And there has been some great posts, of which my favourites are the ones on mental health, because, well, that’s me. And it’s great to see people writing about disabilities and making them visible, but it’s making me a little crazy.

(And that, right there, in case you were wondering, makes two counts of ableist language in this post so far!)

Translation: FWD was cool when it first started. Like a whole new cool girls clique in highschool. But then they got all activist and things got stale, which is sad, because they talked about things involving me and I always like hearing more about me.

OP: They also do posts on just that (and if you’re now saying “what the hell is that?” click here for an explanation), and tell you why certain words are bad and what to use instead. In the beginning I really liked those too. I a a nerd in so many different ways, and words and writing is my #1 nerdy indulgement, so I found the first few interesting, especially the one on the term hysterical.

It’s just that the words you cannot use because they are negative towards disabled people are growing really fast. As a writer I really hate having my words taking away from me. And more than that, I hate that feeling that way makes me into somewhat of a twat. (Why, yes, I’ve been listening to a lot of Kate Nash and Lily Allen lately, thank you for asking.)

Translation:: I am a nerd. Nerds are oppressed. I like words. Words can be used to oppress. But then they started taking away all the words I like using and pointing out ablism. Giving up privilege is hard and I don't wish to anymore!

OP: Some examples on words I use on a nearly daily basis, both while talking and writing, that are, apparently, ableist are: idiot, moron, lame, weak, sane/insane, crazy, intelligent, crutch, etc. Not all of these have been mentioned by FWD, but I’ve seen them dismissed as such in comments on various places online. That’s not all of it, though. There are also phrases like “don’t be so OCD”, “what’s your damage?” and “what’s your problem?”.

And while I realise that a person who cleans their kitchen because they are naturally tidy has nothing to do with OCD, it’s REALLY HARD to do produce writing if you feel like a gigantic arse every time you use any of a long line of words. For example, as a writer of YA fiction it’s just impossible to narrate a fight when instead of “what’s your problem?” (very common in teen speak) you are suggested to use (in this post) “I understand that this conversation is upsetting, do we need to take a break” or “I respect your point of view, but I disagree” or “I think that this conversation is becoming heated and it’s time to take a step back and regroup.

Translation: Just like white people who get upset because they can't use use the word NIGGER; I am upset because I can't use words that identify me as a member of ablist society. Those FWD people are taking away my right to use words without acknowledging my privilege! They R IN MAH SPACE, STEALIN' MAH BUCKET!

Also teenagers totally HAVE TO SAY "What's your problem?" and "What's your malfunction?" and "What's your damage?" in YA Lit or else they aren't teenagers!

IT IS TOO HARD to have them say instead: "What's your problem with _ (insert noun or pronoun here)_?"

IT IS TOO HARD to have them say instead: "What is going on with you today?!"

IT IS TOO HARD to have them say instead: "Why the ___ are you acting like such a ____?!!"

OP: And really, when I say that so-and-so are using so-and-so as a crutch? I don’t mean that crutches are bad and that people using them are weak and lesser people in any way or form. And while I realise why the FWD bloggers are so insistent on this particular topic, have read the post What We Talk About When We Talk About Language and understand it, I really dislike being told that I have no idea what it’s like to be called one word or another.

Translation: Despite the common history of the phrase "Using such and such as a crutch" to mean that the crutch being identified is preventing the individual from standing on their own two feet; despite the use of the phrase implying that standing on one's own two feet is the natural and normal state; despite the use of the word meaning the need to use a crutch signifies weakness and possible moral decay;

I INSIST THAT WHEN I USE IT I AM A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE and it does not mean any of that! And also FWD are mean mean mean and are trying to get away with bossing me about. THEY ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME! They don't know me, or what MY SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE ASSOCIATION IS with those words! I REPEAT THEY BE STEALIN' MAH BUCKET!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You Never See The Sucker Punch Coming

I stopped reading Marvel and DC a while ago.

Today while looking for something else, I noticed and clicked a link for BLOODSTONE. I thought I'd see something about the adventures of this Elsa Bloodstone; straight shooting, hard swearing monster hunter, handsome of face and loaded with guns and bullets out the yingyang.

Now, I can't be the only one first introduced to Elsa via Nextwave. So I can't be the only one to stumble across Elsa Wishbone Legs and Elsa Chesty McBoobies and go W.T.F at the, apparently, Official 'Mattel' version of the heroine; wherein all the fat, muscle, organs and bone mass of her body got squished up to her upper torso.

Disappointing enough this version of the character's gone blonde now; there was just something about the Nextwave versions' red hair that put me in mind of explosions and copious bad guy blood spray. But now there's little girl pigtails, country girl tied at the bosom shirt (with no bra) and leggings on the toothpick stumps she uses to be ambulatory.

No I'm not claiming the Nextwave version was perfect. But I do find it intellectually stimulating that most of the poses easily found for the Nextwave version, show her looking hard rock and badass, whereas Wishbone Legs and Chesty are all about the current impossible beauty standards; you'know, hair dye, spray on tan (on caucasian skin), lipo, breast enlargement, rib removal, lip plumping AND, sexually available/come hither.

And I absolutely need to mention the cover that kept popping up. Image of blonde elsa looking like a horror slasher victim to be. has this blonde version on their site as a member of their (main) universe. Whether she came first, switched for Nextwave and was switched back, or whatever, you don't meet the redheaded take charge monster hunting woman on Marvel's site.

You are presented with her, Blondy McHelium Chest.

Let me provide a close up of that cover, so you can really see the scared 'OMG I Might Become A Horror Victim' look on her face.

Unexpected booster shot of Do. Not. Want.

A few weeks ago I started and then didn't finish a post about my slight admiration for superhero comic book fans, particularly the female and non white fans. Because the level of self maintained hope for better and willingness to be enthused - I said the hell with this shite after what? Two and a half years? No, three. It just about stretches to three. There's an optimism, maybe even a kind of willful self delusion in order to grasp at something akin to hope (which to me, even when I was on the inside, just looked like compromise) that I just. do. not. have.

As much as Everyone Makes It To The 31st Century touches me, inspires me and gets me interested in the potential of the properties? All it takes is one image to remind me of the shit cascade.

*goes to reply to her commenters discussing manga now*

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This Is What DC Refuses To Do

Back in August I mentioned a project being done, one named:

Everyone Survives To The 31st Century

I was hesitant then to promote it outside of emails and twitter dm's because it was so wonderful to me. I did not want to see some white jerkarse from DC slap a cease & desist on it and try and or succeed in getting it pulled down.

The Legion Of Superheroes as multiethnic and diverse. Truly reflecting the complexity that is human physical appearance on Earth with hints of sociological diversity as well.

But the project is over now. It is three issues and a coda showing what could have been had DC not been filled with individuals who put more stock in tokenism and propagating white supremacy and authority above even good storytelling.

Oh, they won't describe themselves as such, but a future where everyone from humans to very humanoid aliens are all white? And their general strain of only light skinned minorities have even bit parts to play? That colourism? The combination of the two? That's white supremacy plain and simple. That's the sociological disease that says only white people have been, are and will ever be important.

Odditycollector, in her social experiment (one of the few times the phrase means something positive on the internet) has thoroughly shamed DC.

And thoroughly delighted me.

Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue 3 & #Coda.

A space opera odyssey I could invest in, if DC had any interest in telling stories outside the echo chamber of white (& male) power.

xposted: PoC In SF Carnival Blog

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where I've Been

Over at Manga Before Flowers there's currently a Manga Recc Challenge going on. Danielle has said 'Tell me what you like, and I'll recc a Manga'.

This is my submission over here. But as I realized I wanted to make it even longer, I figured I could just make the longer post here, because have I even been mentioning where I went when I gave up on Marvel & DC?

I don't think I have.

So my initial response here:

I would dearly love some reccs if you have the time.

In order of adoration:

I adore HunterxHunter.

I liked the first volumes of BLEACH (I'm actually still watching BLEACH anime in 10 episode bursts). But I really liked the initial story about an unusual boy, with an unusual talent trying to balance his various obligations.

I like Kekkaishi, Amatsuki and Manhou Sensei Negima!

I liked the first volumes of Death Note (when it was about L vs Light).


I recently discovered Gyakusou Shojo and am on page 3 or so of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service.

I am also devouring The Hour Of The Mice.

I cannot decide whether or not I like Leviathan (I think I don't) and at some point I got bored with Monster and just stopped reading.

Oh and my baby sister of all people convinced me I really would like Fruits Basket and I'm extremely surprised that I do.

Hmm what else can I add. Sisters of Wellber and Corpse MURDER Princess are both animes that hooked for the strong relationship between female characters. I think of such friendships as rare and would love to find more.

Finally artwise, I am picky. I can handle reading either left to right or right to left. What I can't handle is messy panels; either abstract drawing styles or abstract presentation. If five different things are on the page, I want them in five different boxes, contained. I don't want a mural to study in the middle of reading my story.

And what I'd like to add here, which is some stuff those of you reading might already know. Namely that Junni Kokki is my favourite anime and one of my fav stories of all time, followed by Seirei no Moribito / Guardian of the Spirit followed by Claymore (manga then anime).

Some other things I've discovered is a love of Shounen Ai, particularly school life tales and a strong dislike for certain popular Yaoi trends (namely all the rape fic, and couldn't help himself (mostly, but possibly also her) and it's a sign of desire and flattering) - I was almost positive I'd mentioned my thoughts on that here, but a quick search on the word Yaoi reveals it is not so.

In sum - when readers proclaim the trend is so common they don't even think of it as real rape anymore - there is a problem. But that's a tangent for a different day.

As is a stream of consciousness writ on the frequency of absentee, dead or neglectful parents in many of these tales. I am aware it relates to young adult fiction in particular as a way to get the heroes to be the young adults themselves, but the effect is still alarming when one ends up reading a series of first chapters where car accidents eat the parental figures up.

I've been sating my yen for urban fantasy along with my wantings of super heroes. And I haven't even touched the copious amounts of mecha manga yet.

So that's where I've been in my sequential art reading hours, feeling like a newbie but plunging into manga head first, using my love of animation as water-wings and not updating my account at Anime-Planet nearly enough.

[Comments Open For Reccs Etc...]

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Not That Anyone Will Listen, But...

Iroh in the live action 'The Last Airbender' does not have dreadlocks!! What he does possibly have is Jata; mostly likely to tie into the fact that LiveAction!Zuko is so obviously South Asian.

I can't read any more threads at the racebending comm on livejournal because I'm twitching too much at everyone describing Iroh's hair as dreads.

I know Bob Marley and The Wailers made the hairstyle extremely well known, but other cultures do have their own versions of locked and matted hair. For Hindu Holy Men and Rastafaarians the hairstyle is sacred.

For many African Americans I see with what I called maintained locs; the hairstyle seems to be about acceptance of themselves, their bodies, and their blackness.

But the terms dreads and dreadlocks are specific in meaning and really it's kind of like hearing a priest's vestments described as cosplay every time someone uses the words out of context.

A Three Legged Wolf Can Lead The Pack

Though I can't find my original post, there is a mention here about when the school teacher in question got her job back.

But here is an interview with the mother of the 5 year old who got voted out of his class back in 2008. The family will be taking things to Federal Court. To which I say 'Hellz Yeah'.

The very concept of a teacher holding a vote to get rid of a child was disgusting. It was further disgusting to realize this was a teacher aware the child had certain neurological issues and who was meant to be part of the team of educators and assistants, along with the child's parents, to help said child do well at school.

But the mother goes into detail in this interview and frankly, it reads a lot like all the other articles I've read in the past year and a half, of teachers bullying and physically intimidating students who are not neurotypical.

And it reminds me of something my mother went through as a child. My mother was a lefty. That's right, was a lefty. She got beaten, had her hand spanked, had the pencil strapped to her hand and other tactics to turn her from being a lefty because being left-handed was just wrong when my mother was a child. I'm not sure if people actually believed it to be a sign of the devil, what with left being sinister. But it was wrong in the sense of not being part of a right life.

These days people don't do that to lefty's for the most part. Some people are just left handed, that's how life goes. Perhaps far enough in the future, it'll be understood that some people simply won't be neurotypical, some people will have disabilities, some people don't hear (and thus use sign) and some people don't see and that's just how it is.

But I know that acceptance now, doesn't change what my mother went through or how she was made to feel about herself. And as much as it may seem shocking to think of a child being treated in such a manner for being left-handed, which is not something the child controls - where's the shock that a child, nay, that children are being physically and emotionally assaulted for not being just like the majority of the children around them?

Why do some teachers get away with killing autistic children and saying it was merely over-restraint originally done for the child's own good?

It's just mind blowing to me that a society that continually claims itself civilized would be so barbaric to its young and to its differently abled, differently processing citizens.

When difference is cause for attacks, whether said difference is skin colour, or mental processing or sensory related; humans become lower than animals. Because even animals do not consistently attack within their own groups based on *superficial difference.


* And it is a superficial difference at the start. It then becomes a different life experience because prejudices affect how the superficial difference is perceived and thus changes how that life is lived. Which is often the point missed by those who want to live colour-free and disability-free lives.

Friday, November 6, 2009

2009. Another Bumper Crop Of Fail

2012 Movie. Talks Of 2013 Tv Series. Racist As A Mo@$%#$!

Cause the premise will be, that the saved white folks show up in Africa in Cape Town all 'Oh Hai Black People. We Will Be Invading Ur Land & Stealin' Ur Resources. Just Like Old Times. Kbaithanx'.

An American tv show set in Cape Town where black folk are more than background characters, or inept caricatures in need of a Honkey saving them? Not. Going. To. Happen.

And being picked up by ABC? A. freaking. B. C?

2013. The Racist Aftermath. Coming to a tv near you. Soon.

PS: How much you wanna bet no one with a disability survives disaster and if you do see them, they will be representing Racism's Africa, where people lay starving and dusty and wounded on the side of a dirt road. Or maybe someone with a disability will show up to be a lodestone of love around the neck of a TaB character so people can discuss how strong the TaB character is; the white TaB character.

Other human beings that won't exist as survivors in that world? Anyone gay or trans. Is there anyone who isn't straight in LOST btw? Cause I didn't think so.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lockstep Kingdom

Stability is conformity. Stability is comforting.

Conformity is comforting.

Comfort is the opposite of abandonment, desolation and shame.

Comfort is the opposite of instability.

Wanting these things is conformity.

Wanting these things is stability and comfort.

These things [new cars, clothes, make-up, foods] are protection against abandonment, desolation and shame.

If I do not want to be abandoned I must own this [brand car].

If I do not want desolation I must own this [brand clothes].

If I do not want shame, I must own this [ brand food].

I want comfort, stability and conformity.

If [blank] owns [these things] then I must own [these things] or I will not be conforming.

Not conforming is to have abandonment, desolation and shame.

I do not have [these things]...

I am abandoned! I am desolate! I am shamed!

Pain! Panic! Pressure!

I am abandoned! I am desolate! I am shamed!

Pain! Panic! Pressure!

I have now bought [these things].

I am comforted. I am not abandoned. I am not desolate.

I conform.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Aang Has Always Been Asian - And So Has His World!

A little birdie TOLD ME SO!

Granted I've the comprehension to observe the truth for myself, but still, amazing gratitude to the anonymous staffer who leaked the ipbible for (A:TLAB, OAS). Cause y'know, the music, the costumes, the writing, the customs haven't been enough to convince the ignorant; who like to cherry-pick the minorities out of what they like and replace them with white people.

The A:TLA IP Bible: "Environment":

"This is an ancient, fantastical Asian environment, primarily Chinese. There are no modern things like electricity. However, the Fire Nation is in their industrial revolution. They use steam powered ships, lay tracks to move supplies."

The A:TLA IP Bible: "Language":
"We generally do not show signs or writing in the show. If there needs to be a sign, it should be in Chinese with the proper translation, accompanied by subtitles."

M. Night Shalyaman. Paramount. Racist Privileged Deniers. You. All. Suck..

For more: Racebending.Com & Racebending

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yo, SignalBoost LJ Users

Go here if you have a problem with LJ News posting unattributed quotes of your responses to the Writer's Block feature. It will instruct you how to remove your replies/answers from their database.

Also of note:

To keep from overwhelming you, we only post the most critical happenings here. Other communities you might find interesting or relevant if you want to keep up on everything LiveJournal...

The quote describing the purpose of the news community as being to inform users, has been removed from the news profile along with its format change to an intra-lj gossip newsletter. If you kept subscribed to the community to keep abreast of what was happening technically behind the scenes you might want to subscribe to the_lj_monthly, the_lj_herald appears to be defunct.

Monday, October 26, 2009

O Morgan Howell


I started Book Two of Morgan Howell's Queen Of The Orcs saga. I put it down three, four days ago, maybe five, and haven't been able to bring myself to pick it back up. The first book was lovely - but I'm stopped right at the moment before the female protagonist begins to have possible romantic feelings for one of the Orcs.

I can't really say it's a spoiler, since I merely suspect given several years of reading books and gaining the ability to project the near possible future for characters based on setting, word phrases, mood, etc...

If I pick it back up, I'll report it here. But I will need some considerable strength to handle any kind of the unexpected beauty of the noble savage from a fading and unknown to be sophisticated culture.

Right now I forsee it going back to the library in 3 weeks unread.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Things I Should Have Noticed Sooner

Why are so many fantasy tales, road trips with an unlikely motley crew? From Edmund, Lucy, Susan and Peter to Harry, Ron and Hermione? Did people just feel that Tolkein and CS Lewis had created a template as well as a genre?

I mean even Avatar: The Last Airbender (Original Animated Series) was all about the roadtrip. Granted that roadtrip was not at all boring and it had Sokka and Toph. Actually I think A:TLAB(OAS) might be two roadtrips, that eventually converge.

Seriously though, what's up with that? Why are roadtrips in fantasy apparently The. Best. Thing. Ever! Huh?

Aside: I'm now giggling at the thought of:

1. On The Long Trip To The Land Of VERMONT, an unlikely but motley crew of travelers must balance a little antiquing with the fight against the forces of darkness.

Oh yeah, that brings up the other thing. Why are all these roadtrips headed towards a war? Who takes a roadtrip towards conflict? Are there any fantasy tales of the mad dash flee from crashing armies and firework like displays of spraying blood?

And yes, I know there's such a thing as High Fantasy, aka Epic Fantasy; though I was surprised to learn there's a description of Low Fantasy. Having the opposite would seem to make sense, and yet... Low Fantasy is not the opposite of The RoadTrip Scavenger Hunt Towards A Battle Of Good vs Evil. It's just apparently fiction with very little in the way of fantasy elements.

I think I need to do more reading because right now I find myself going but why is the conflict always involving some kind of Dark Lord or at least a selfish A-hole With Army?

Of course my reading and researching has yet to give me a good answer for why Artifacts exist. Why indeed do magicians place all their power in some doodad? Is that from Tolkein too? The need for jewelry/accessories? From the ring to horcruxes?

I mean if I were gonna find a way to live forever, I wouldn't be putting my magical energy into something shiny and theft prone.

Though I guess it's all of a piece; tiny shiny equals scavenger hunt equals need for a ROAD TRIP!

I wonder if Limyaael has rants about this?

[Comments Open]

Friday, October 23, 2009


Ashkok Banker Interview:


I won’t mince words here: SFF publishing in the US today is the Klu Klux Klan of the publishing world. It’s anachronistically misrepresentational in its racial mix, religious mix, cultural mix. The few exceptions to the rule only prove the endemic, systemic and deeply bred bias in the field...

...Because like the Klu Klux Klan, nobody respects a closed group of inbred rednecks and crackers. It’s about time the entire genre was dismantled, outed, exposed and shut down. SFF as a rigid, white-dominated, Judeo-Christian-pushing, American nationalistic genre has jumped the shark. The old guard is dead and gone and the young (and old) turks running the show are fighting a losing battle against the very progressiveness and futurism that the genre is supposed to espouse! Besides, SFF has permeated mainstream literature and popular culture. We don’t need to label a book SF or F to cater to the dwindling handful of snobs who think that the term SFF on a book means it’s superior in some way to other books.

For decades SFF has been accusing mainstream literary critics, readers and authors of being snobbish and denying them their due. In fact, it’s the other way around: SFF’s pathetic cries of outrage and refusal to change with the times are proof of SFF’s own snobbishness and bias. SFF is dead and rotting. Long may it stay dead! We who love the elements that make great SFF don’t need the label so Klansmen can recognize work by other Klansmen...

Emphasis mine.

I would fully add the gaming and comic industries right behind SF Publishing, but it's all of a piece now. It's all part of the Speculative Fiction Brand. They're all 'SyFy'; aiming for the dollar, losing the vision.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins aka Those F*ckers - Pt 2

It appears the problem I was having in creating a Character/Avatar in Dragon Age: Origins is twofold.

1. I do not associate full lips in a wide mouth, married to a broad flat tipped nose as distinctly black features.

2. I did not play around with the presets as much as I could have.

The latter is on me. The former is tired.

Dragon Age's darker characters are all high yellow leading into redbone. The preset 'black' males always have corn row. I find it very telling that preset needs that distinctive hairstyle to denote blackness. And there are still those 'slanted' eyes I find so offensive and one skin tone set is distinctly yellow.

Things are not as atrocious as I thought them to be (there is not a deliberate exclusion / a total lack of effort), but the racism is still there in the stereotyped features and in the lack of ability to be darker than a wet paperbag. It says something about 'acceptable blackness' and attractiveness/desirability standards that is extremely raw.

It prompts me to also say that redness is not blackness, although both are skin shades and undertones among People of Colour.

I'm not sure which is more enraging/painful - thinking they hadn't made a place for black avatars at all (just sunburnt white ones), or discovering they don't believe anyone would want to be walnut stained dark in a pretend fantasy world.

I find myself thanking Perfect World for at least allowing me the chance to have an avatar as dark as I wanted, and giving me the chance to also have black avatars with varied facial features. I might download it again just for the character creation. It might be healing.

Her Tagword: Mongolrocco

So speaking of white people...

A little birdy has told me that Elizabeth Bear is in the midst of a trilogy loosely based on The Silk Road. It will of course be published by The Original Racists. If you don't know who they are, you only need to follow some of the yellow bricks of fail in SF in 2009.

Meanwhile, there's Bear; I'm left thinking she thinks Asians are quieter than us riotous Black folk who object to white women misrepresenting us in modern myth and popular culture.

Obviously she has not been paying attention to the angry individuals spearheading the protest against Live Action Last Airbender. I don't think Asians are going to be any happier with Bear's media contributions of them in current (& common) zeitgeist.

Ooh look, I used five-dollar words. What is the world coming to when a negress dares to interpret the words and perspective of a white woman who can't. learn. the lessons of a five year old.

"It's an epic fantasy in three volumes, spanning the cultures and empires of something not entirely unlike our own Central Asian Silk Road, and it features so much shiny I can't even beging to talk about without devolving into capslock and bangs. Nongols! Weather-witching with gunpowder! Magic ponies! Passive-aggressive martial monks! Impossible bowshots! Feats of bravery and derringdo! Stubbornest Princesses!"

Hey Asian Peoples! Hear that? Elizabeth Bear thinks you're shiny! I'll be over here with washcloths and sympathy tea.

If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?

If a white woman gets schooled by a herd of wild magic unicorns, does she learn anything?

The answer to one is yes, and to the other is a big fat No. No. No.

And people wonder why folk don't want to waste time or energy to lead them to the waters of information, enlightenment and education and then pinch force them to drink.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dragon Age: Origins - You Racist Fuckers

An additional note about Dragonage: Origins:

I downloaded the character creator, after perusing the wiki, to double check on the possibility of creating a Character/Avatar of Colour.

1. There is no possibility of creating a character of colour in DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS.

2. There is the possibility of creating an extremely sunburned white person.

3. With diagonally degree turned, yellow face, chinky eyes because epicanthic folds are just TOO hard.

And then there are the Qunari. Someone needs to let me know if I'm the only one thinking - Golden skinned, religious fanatics who get their enlightenment from something called the ‘qun’" {I. shit. you. not.}, who are technologically advanced and were one half of a religious war, and were resented for their strict protocols, might just happen to echo a currently maligned religious group.

Here, let me give you a hint:

They divided children from their families and sent adults to ‘learning camps’ for indoctrination in their religious philosophies...Those who resisted were slain, instantly and without mercy. Many who obeyed their new masters, however, claim that they were treated well and even given a large amount of trust provided they followed the strict qunari codes of conduct and laws.

Now, what current religously allied group of individuals are viewed by Eurocentric/White Westernized Culture in similar terms. Hmmm. Who could it be. M? M? It's on the tip of my tongue.

Meanwhile I just [sarcasm]love[/sarcasm] how corn-rows have been re-appropriated for white tribal types. Y'know despite the fact that if you see someone white in corn rows these days, one doesn't think CELT, one thinks BLACK CULTURE & HIP HOP.

ETA: Update here

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tolkien You Racist Eurocentric Fucker

Dragonage: Origins

A friend is really excited about it, so I was looking into it - cause knowing what has a friend excited and happy is a good thing. And I look and I look. And I see things I like - which is rare. But I see a cgi movie/storyline I wouldn't mind paying 30$ (yeah no, not gonna pay $50 for it) to see and play. The whole concept of pause in play would help it all not be a rush of noise and jabbing buttons for me. The possibility of same sex romantic storylines? For both men and women? Woot!

And then...And then - Asian team member (Jon Santos) working on Dragon's Age in a promo video. Another Asian team member (Stan Woo). Someone possibly Latino (Jose Illitzky). Haven't seen anyone black yet.

Is there anyone non white looking among the avatars promo material? I think there's one dude. With white/whitish blonde hair - he might be dark skinned. I can't tell because I find a lot of the captured video to be dark and oddly coloured. But the shape of his nose and lips and jaw tell me nothing. And I'm probably only assuming he's black because he's a big guy playing back-up in the trailers for a white hero.

For all the "Oooh Origins. So important. Who you are will factor into who you become! Blah Blah" - Who you are? WHITE.

I repeat: Tolkein You Racist Eurocentric British Nationalistic Fellatioing Fucker.

Because of you, you dead, decayed old white man, the land of fantasy remains in the Pseudo Europa. But not just that, despite the fact that SPAIN was influenced by the Moors and that Rome had dark skinned citizens, fantasy is all about white elves (whether or not some new representation has elves as 'ghettoized' - cause really how fucking Othering is that. Yeah, we have slums for non-humans) and white dwarfs and white men.

Though I guess places like Feministing would be happy to see white woman avatars and white women in the promo vids as part of the design team. Woop de la fucking do la and a bottle of Tear Champagne.

Dark Heroic Fantasy = White Fantasy. Same as what came before. Meanwhile look at our even more deformed Trolls and Ogres & Evil Savages.

I can't choose to put aside the part where I'm multiracial black and go - at least they have gay people-. Because no matter how much I'd want to, the sucking wound at my side will keep on bleeding, whether I pay attention to it or not. Being uncounted and unrepresented still fucking hurts.

This year... this year - really, is the lesson I'm supposed to learn and have reinforced is utter, total disrespect and hatred for unthinking, racist white fuckers - selfish pigs who can't imagine a far off future, or a fantasy land (OMG Avatar: Live Action - Stop STABBING ME) without anyone but white people. Just...

Not just Schrodinger's Rapist, I have to juggle Schrodinger's Racist - time after fucking time, after fucking time again.

The Conversation I Want To Have, is not happening. Other conversations are and they're good and blessed and halllujah that they're happening. But the conversation I want to have, hasn't. Isn't.

Me. Specifically.

Me. The Non White Fantasy Fan.

Whether it's only one part of a conversation, or one conversation in a series of conversations - right now the one I want to have is; is it worth the effort of ignoring so much history and pain and continued invisibility via ignorance and 'doing what's easy' - is it worth the effort to put our own stamp in the fantasy playbox? Or should we cast it all aside, drop troll, ogre, dragon, elf, monster, orc - all of it? Do we start from scratch based on non-white, ancestral origins mythology? Do we give up trying to see our faces in those pseudo lands regardless of the spilled blood, rape, and servitude/slavery in their real life analogues?

I don't have an answer yet for myself. I've spent the past few months wrestling with the question, trying to come up with a solution other than screaming at the idiots I encountered at the beginning of the year. Cause those idiots don't give a damn about any pain but their own. This year has made that unquestionable.

But there is something, some teasing thought in my head about how our ancestral lineage is used as accessory and dressing for their tales. Some baby thought about picking and choosing.

I'm going to give it some time.

I tried to find a way to end this without saying I hate you all, you smug unthinking white monsters. I can't; you genocidal, story/culture serial killers.

NB: While I am depressed, I refuse to believe 'Resistance Is Futile', no matter how much has been lost or how many have been eliminated.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pagemarker - October 2009

Privilege!Fail continues. Scared white men (& one woman) complain that SciFi has become femminized and thus weak.

It's like the Digivolution DNA Recombination of & E.ll.i.s.o.n.

One old white man (Scalzi) mentions Shelly.

ETA: The panic of these men at losing even a shaving of privilege is echoed in WWT in their panic at no longer being idolized on their way to touch the HetCisMale brass ring. Fear and loathing at no longer being obliviously accepted as the only people who are human; who ('s stories) count.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nolanverse Ramble

Over at The Fortress of Soliloquy, Foss brought up up possible villains in a future third Nolan Batman film.

I finally got around to reading that post and had a few thoughts of my own, while greatly appreciating his. But as I started to reply I kind of answered myself, seeing the complications that could happen. But I wanted to preserve the thought.

I'd really love to see Edward Nigma done Nolan-style. Clean cut suit, bowler hat, distinctive cane. But as someone brought in instead of 'Robin'. There are too many connotations and expectations with Robin. And I actually don't want to see Nolanverse introduce Dick Greyson. The Nolanverse experience had reached this very darkly philosophical and grey ethics place and Dick Greyson's story is all about the lost of innocence in the death of his parents. Gotham's already lost that innocence, seeing it again would feel like a repeat.

But then I end up thinking that Edward Nigma would end up a Harvey Dent repeat, either as a colleague going bad, or in the reverse as an anti-hero trying for good. I can't quite see something new to say about the mythos of the Nolanverse there.

Which makes me think that as much as I'd like to see Jason Todd as a confused and troubled teenager that Batman puts hopes in - that path too leads to possibly losing a colleague and a rehash. Though part of me does actually like the thought The Red Hood onscreen.

And no doubt part of me giggles at audiences seeing a high wire kid, and then NOT hearing the name Dick Greyson. And now there's this whole story in my head of lost on the edge youth, and Foss' inspired Royal Flush Gang led by Harleen Quinzel.

Except for the part where Harley is being manipulated by the Joker - I like Timmverse too much where it was proven that Harley has what it takes to capture Batman. So I quite like the thought of her as either Joker's already acquired Right Hand, coming to rain down anarchy on Gotham by utilizing the Firebug and who knows what else. Or her becoming mesmerized, due to an already created obsession, after one meeting, and just going out there and raising unholy hell in a story about a fourway war:

Gotham Police fighting remaining Mobsters
Mobsters fighting Freaks coming to wipe them out
Freaks hunting down Batman for 'playtime'
Batman avoiding Police, and dealing with Freaks and the Mob.

Seriously, something like that? I can just see Ra's al Ghul spinning and laughing in his grave at it being Bruce bringing Gotham to its knees after all, with half the city burning to the ground.


These are the moments I love imagination and fanfiction. So much better than giving DC money too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Thought

I'm probably giving away all sorts of cool ideas by bringing this up - but I find myself needing to comment. Surely, surely I cannot be the only one who's noticed that orc tusks are vampire fangs turned upside down.

So, animalistic creatures who cause dread in the hearts of fighting men - inhuman predators whose identification is marked by teeth.


In other news, I forgot I had comments waiting moderation. Went 'Doh!' Attempted to publish them, pressed reject instead. This is the second time that's happened. I seriously think the reject button and the publish button should be on opposite sides of the comment moderation page - for those moments when fingers and brain aren't communicating well. Meanwhile, have c/p-ed from my inbox.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Deeper & Wider Than The Marianas

My computer is experiencing difficulties. I'm still trying to figure out what's wrong. But what this means right now is limited and distracted time periods wherein I'm online.

Still this thought popped into my head and I couldn't help but write it out. It's two thoughts actually.

First, I found myself thinking of the movie I ROBOT - yes, the one with Will Smith and maybe some breadcrumbs of Asimov in the Three Rules. I found myself wondering if anyone in that reality thought to extend scholarships and support for those who could make a career out of being care-givers.

Or if instead it was a reality wherein those with disabilities that require care-assistants were simply given a robot and told to be grateful - but no one was encouraged into a career that meant caring for another human being and silently reminding them that humanity didn't wish they didn't exist; didn't want to consciously forget them. I found myself thinking of disability activists in that fictional world - one of our many possible futures - and wondering if they were still struggling for those with disabilities not to be invisible.

And that led to me thinking about SURROGATES. I've only read snippets of the graphic novel and I didn't (and won't) see the movie. But I wondered if the original creator thought about citizens with disabilities who might have had their lives enriched by a surrogate. Then I wondered if that was just another type of invisibility; another kind of 'Ugly Law' where those with disabilities lived their lives hidden away with only their societally approved proxy bodies interacting in the world.

Then I started to wonder what having a proxy surrogate body would be like for the blind. Would there be members of the blind community against something that made it easy for someone to hide away from their house and not learn to cope/adapt and live a fulfilling life despite not having a temporarily fully functional and able body?

If there is speculative fiction out there that thinks about the world from a point of view besides; temporarily able bodied, cis, heterosexual, individuals - I would appreciate a head's up in comments. (Please don't include the raping leper)

I've spent much of 2009, thinking and resting and dealing with personal life stuff and coping and dealing with general stuff (Racefail, Privilege Fail - The Year Long Saga, etc) and feeling frustrated at how my mind could only go in two or three directions at once with none of those directions related to writing. In fact I think I've been spending the year talking myself back into a love of writing because I was so incredibly turned off by what I saw in Jan, Feb, March and what I've continued to see throughout the year.

Now, right now that is, I'm hoping even if I'm not the one who does it, that there is more speculative, amazingly imaginative fiction written about disabled protagonists and characters of colour and transgendered and genderfluid individuals. Because how amazing would those stories be? Really, I get chills just thinking about it.

It's so broad, this, all this that has been left by the wayside of the surge of primarily white, cisgendered, hetero males (and now women in leather with guns) pushing and claiming the dreamscape.

[[ Comments On ]]

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pissed? Moi?

I saw this yesterday on livejournal by user rhosyn_du :

...why is someone who fetishizes homsexual relationships more morally obligated than someone who does not to approve of homosexuality, but someone who fetishizes, as an example, torture is absolutely not morally obligated to approve of real life torture, regardless of what they get off on?

And then I saw these:

I've figured out that any attempt on my part to talk about the actual underlying issues in more depth than I did here turns into my part 4 - me saying "the only oppressions that all g+l+b+t+q+i++ people have in common are ones that women face too - and they are only aimed at queer people because of the need to keep women in their place - so I support glbt activism, but if glbt & feminism conflict, I viscerally side with feminism, sorry."...
- melannen @ JF/LJ/DW

...But at the same time, it's possible to swing too far, and I think fandom is going there: the growing casual usage of dismissive phrases like "white women's tears," the unchallenged assumption in a lot of the lambda posts that straight women have no idea what it's like for their sexuality to be marginalized, the way that anti-misogyny posts *do* use less of the methodology you're calling "anti-oppression" here and are less likely to be made by the same people who work on intersectionality, a variety of other subtler things and simple erasures like your original post.

And being taught that their own oppression is less real than other peoples', and they should spend their energy on others before themselves, is part of a long pattern of how women - and especially white women - are silenced. Which only makes me angrier...

- also by melannen @ DW/LJ/JF/ (who later apologized some)

And I spent too many hours trying to make this "nice" post about how furious those thoughts made me and of course, I couldn't. I was tripping over my words as I tried to juggle sounding neutral and contemplative and not pissed beyond nature's wildest angry dreams.

So in short:

1. The objects of a fetish are not considered real, even if they are people. The trials and tribulations of their lives are only more fodder to wank with.

2. White people (specifically white women) are seriously selfish bitches.

Other thoughts I had:

1. I mean, sure it looked like support to be asked questions and listened to - but that was just research. And putting up icons and stickers and lawn signs that are pro-equal marriage is simply good PR. Equal marriage recognition brings m/m writers closer to the RWA doesn't it? I mean, then they can add 'wedding' genre romance and also go 'We get white lace and three tier cakes at the end of our romances too. Let us in!'

Somewhere along the way, some of us took as given the 'reclamation of female sexuality and erotica' to mean 'the progressive reclamation of all sexuality from shaming' - but that was our mistake. Though, although I say our, that isn't really the best descriptive pronoun. Because I'm certain there were some who saw the writing on the wall ages ago, who had historical precedent, even; Black Lesbians and other Women of Colour, for starters, have likely been sitting with iced tea and sandwiches, waiting for reality to hit. And those who are Trans undoubtedly connected the dots from this 'reclamation of women's erotic space' to the Wimin's Music Festivals and the Wimin born Wimin movements which were all about Wimin's / Womyn's Space.

2. I'd say we've become odd sexual accessories; her magic wand, her rabbit vibrator, lube and m/m. But m/m misses a few letters from GLBT. Do any of those m/m presses publish female/female works? Was there ever a push for 'Original Femmeslash'? Though heaven knows I've got the power of lesbian invisibility amped up with missing black woman syndrome, so I shouldn't even be whispering. And Trans? Trans what? Meanwhile certain people pitch back their heads and groan and moan and get sweaty to the thought hot pretty men and throbbing penises and all that heterosexual fixation on the male body.

3. Just in early September, while missing or ignoring the transphobic statements of a once-upon-a-clueless-not-really-a-behaviorist:

Well, slash is kind of the female equivalent of the straight male interest in transsexuals. That is, the opposite of what culture would predict. So it probably reflects a more direct subcortical effect. Also, there's already data out there about romance novels we can use, which probably overlaps with relationships in fan fic, but we do have a few questions that aren't specific to slash. Maybe we'll have more in the next round.
- Comment since deleted

Many did bring up "The true comparison should be men looking at lesbian porn!" -- Transphobic statement? What transphobic statement?

4. I am disturbed at a racial level, because the majority of men who're oggled, are white. This appreciation of the male form is a mirror of white men appreciating the white female form. And while white women may be 'getting their own back' mentally undressing certain males, and giving the appearance that everything is now 50/50 and fair now - it isn't. White women aren't the only women in existence and white men also 'appreciate' women of colour. In fact, they think it's their right to look at, touch, manhandle and molest women of colour.

And white women oggling men of colour is best explained by one word: Mandingo.

5. I can't help feeling that freedom to lust as men do -- better rephrased freedom for white women to lust as white men do is a trap that divides a potentially strong intersectional base into white women (fingers brushing the brass ring that is white, cis, het, maleness) and everyone else who isn't a white, cis, het, male.

My conclusion: alliship/being an ally is something that is earned via a very, very, long trial period. Moreover it shouldn't be something you claim, but something those who're oppressed use to short-hand the work you are actively doing. No more self-labeling for passive cookies. No more stamps and buttons and trendy/in causes of the month/week/year/moment. And it doesn't matter if the cause directly relates to you - if there's another cause you hold more important, then you are no true friend, comrade or support.

Intersectionality Social Justice is about recognizing that all oppressions are equally oppressive. Why is that so hard to understand? What else could make that concept unpleasant to hold but selfishness?

CORRECTION: Someone rather smart has pointed out that intersectionality is rather about the crossroads between oppressions - the intersect in intersectionality. I put down my earlier definition to pain, grumpiness, anger and frustration.