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