May. 5th, 2011 11:28 am
torachan: (Default)
I hate holier than thou assholes on BookMooch. If you are not willing to ship outside of your country except to people who also ship overseas, you can just say so, without the accompanying lecture about how everyone should be willing to ship overseas because it's really not expensive.

Look. I have shipped a lot more books than I've received over the time I've been using BookMooch. I don't actually need more books right now, so it would be easier for me to just take my books to the library and donate them, but I like the idea of a system where people can find books they want, so I want to keep participating in BM. I have spent so much money that I really shouldn't sending books to people. It's not like I'm a leecher, just getting books while not sending any out.

But shipping a book within the US costs $2 and change ($3 for a large hardback, but most of mine are trades and thus go for about $2.50), because we have media mail which makes shipping books cheaper than shipping other heavy objects. However, we have no sea mail option anymore, so the only way to send overseas is by airmail, which is really expensive, about $13 for a trade paperback, IIRC (if I'm misremembering, it's only because the price has gone up, not down), because you can fit it in a flat rate envelope. A smaller mass market pb would be cheaper, but still more like $10 than $2. (Canadia is somewhat cheaper, but still more expensive than shipping within the US.)

This is not affordable for me. I would love, really and truly love, to be able to send books to people in other countries, but I DON'T HAVE THAT SORT OF MONEY. So do not fucking lecture me about how I'm a bad person and am not doing my part and it's really not that expensive. Just say you don't send to people who don't also send overseas, and spare me the holier than thou business.


Mar. 10th, 2010 09:29 pm
torachan: (Default)
So first we have Disney deciding that The Princess and the Frog didn't do well enough because it was about icky girls and that alienated boys. Therefore they have changed the title of the upcoming Rapunzel movie from Rapunzel to Tangled, and made it all about the guy who comes to rescue her. Because there are so many kids' movies out there about girls and absolutely none about boys! And the solution for making something appealing to a wider audience couldn't possibly be having female main characters who aren't "princesses". Any of the Pixar movies could have been about a girl without changing anything in the plot, yet apparently no one can imagine a girl having an adventure or doing anything but wangsting about Prince Charming. (Not that Princess and the Frog necessarily follows that mold; I haven't seen it. But just in general.)

Then today I saw that according to SyFy's Merlin website, "not even the most charitable person could call [Gwen] beautiful". Also she apparently has "wonky teeth, uncooperative hair and glasses" (did they c&p from the Ugly Betty website or something!?) and her entire purpose in the show is to angst about her looks and how no one could possibly love her. Now, I don't watch Merlin, but I am pretty sure that's not her main plotline, or even a subplot (at least from what others have said about it). The only way I can figure they came up with this bio is that someone saw a black girl and having never seen the show, this is the only sort of story they could imagine for her. (Black girls can't possibly be beautiful, right? And gosh, she doesn't have straightened hair! Well, then, it must be unruly and a source of angst!)


Feb. 21st, 2010 01:12 am
torachan: yotsuba looking sad/shocked (gaan)
Well. There's a challenge I won't be participating in. It's called the "sex is fun challenge". Doesn't that sound fun? It did to me, which is why I clicked.

Only to be met with this:
You know what I think, boys and girls? I think that, even though I'm a big fan of angst and woe and DRAMA!, and even though I'm right with you on the angry sex and the hate sex and the kinky sex and the desperate sex. I think there's something that gets left behind, forgotten, overlooked and disregarded.


Emphasis mine.

Good to know that kinky sex can't ever be fun, that it's always automatically in the same category as angry sex, hate sex, and desperate sex, that it's nothing but angst, woe, and drama. Grr!
torachan: (Default)
I followed a link to Accidental Dong tonight, a blog with has pictures of unintentionally penis-shaped things. And it was pretty funny and I was thinking of reposting the link.

Until I came to this entry with a photo of Caster Semenya, where apparently the "joke" is that she didn't know she was intersex, so she must have an "accidental dong". There's even someone in comments who refers to her as "she" in quotation marks.

What the fuck, people? I feel sick.

Oh, ew.

Sep. 27th, 2009 04:01 am
torachan: (oops! your privilege is showing)
A bunch of "original slash" authors getting their panties in a twist that their romances aren't elligible for a Lambda literary award if they themselves are not queer.

I especially love the first comment: "[A]nyone who wins this year can be snug in the fact that they had no competition". Because no queer people write books about queer people! And they certainly couldn't be good books. (Not as good as those slash romances, that's for sure!)

They go on and on about how horrible it is, so discriminatory towards straight people! Look, I'm pretty sure there are other awards that are focused on minorities representing their experience. It's nothing new, and it's not discrimination.

ETA: Apparently people are also upset that the awards were not originally for queer writers only, but for any work of fiction about queer characters. I hypothesised that they probably felt no reason to specify since before the rise of original slash, most writers of queer fiction were queer. It seems I'm right. Look at this snippet:

given the perilous place we find ourselves in with our drastically changed market conditions. We also took into consideration the despair of our own writers when a heterosexual writer, who has written a fine book about us, wins a Lambda Award

The landscape of queer fiction has changed dramatically with the rise of original slash, much of which (like slash) is written by straight women. A minority space is being taken over by a majority. It is not discriminatory to take steps to change that.
torachan: (oops! your privilege is showing)
In a shocking turn of events, a white boy is cast to play a Chinese-American superhero.

Tommy Zhou is a martial artist and inventor who was was raised by his Shanghainese grandfather in Honolulu Chinatown. And there's massive amounts of Chinese culture and imagery all over the comic, and ingrained into the plot itself.

So we have a lead character who was designed from the ground-up to be an Asian-American superhero. And the the perfect person to play him is a Caucasian Disney Channel star.

While there can be no excuses of "it's a fantasy world" or "but all anime characters look white anyway" this time, there are already defenders saying "he's not white, he's Italian" and "it's just a movie".

So. Much. Hate.


Sep. 4th, 2009 03:22 pm
torachan: (stabinates)
I hear people complain about the misogyny in Death Note a lot, but to be honest, I didn't really have a problem reading it. I hated the way Misa was portrayed, and I'm sure there was skeevy stuff with the reporter, but it's been so long I don't remember. So it could be that I just wasn't reading as critically at the time or that it was stuff that didn't push my buttons in the same way the stuff in Bakuman does.

But oh my God, Bakuman. I like the story of struggling mangakas and would probably still follow it even if I wasn't scanlating it, but. Almost every chapter makes me want to stab Oba Tsugumi in the face and the most recent one, chapter 52, was particularly egregious.

Spoilery rant. )

If you're going to comment about how none of these things are problematic or sexist and I'm reading too much into it and being unreasonable, go ahead, but don't be surprised when I don't answer your comment.
torachan: (Default)
This is an interesting article about a thirteen-year-old boy who used a walkman for a week instead of his iPod. He didn't realise at first that tapes had a second side! D: But while it's tempting to laugh at him for being stupid...why would he automatically know that? If he has been exposed to tapes at all, it's probably been VHS tapes...which have only one side. But really, at thirteen, he has probably only been exposed to DVDs, CDs, and intangible media.


This is a good post about sizeism, springing from discussion of a fic written for [ profile] spn_j2_bigbang. I saw the story when it was first posted and the summary was enough to make me want to stay far, far away. It was about Jensen being really fat and being sent to a fat camp sort of place, where he meets Jared, a trainer, and loses weight and falls in love. Oh yeah, and he's a thirty-year-old virgin. And he's in really bad health. And the reason he's fat is because he stuffs his face all day and is lazy and never exercises.

Yeah...that sounds awesome. But of course it was a huge hit.

The idea that fat people would be thin if only they exercised and didn't eat so much is so pervasive, but it's just not true. Skinny people are not necessarily skinny because they don't eat much, or because they eat healthy food, or because they exercise all the time. Sure, some do those things. So do fat people.

I have been fat almost all my life. I have also been very active most of my life. When I was a kid, I rode my bike everywhere. When I was in high school I played sports (and still rode my bike all the time). When I was in college I walked a lot and rode my bike (UCLA is built on a mountain; going to school there will guarantee you a lot of exercise). Through it all, I was in great shape, but was still fat, and not just a little fat, but "obese". The only time I have not got a lot of exercise is the ten years or so that Bruce and I had a car. You know what happened then? I got out of shape. Being out of shape is not the same as being fat. Being in shape is not the same as being thin.

Now that we don't have a car anymore and are walking a lot again (we are now walking an average of three miles a day, and the better shape we get in, the longer our walks are getting), guess what? I am in so much better shape. I have also this past year or so made it a goal to eat healthier, and have been keeping to it really well. I have never eaten a lot. When we have family meals, I am always the one who eats the least, less than both fat and thin relatives. I only eat when I'm hungry, not for "comfort eating" or because I'm bored. I drink water almost exclusively.

Despite all this, while Bruce has lost about thirty pounds, I've lost maybe five or six. I exercise a lot and eat well, but am still over a hundred pounds overweight.

Of course I would love to be thin. I would love to just weigh less than I do now, even if I never got actually thin or "normal" weight. But I am not going to go on a diet, because diets are the worst thing for you.

And I resent the idea that I should starve myself because if I only ate less I wouldn't be fat! Eating healthy food isn't enough. Eating only enough to fill my stomach and stop it from hurting isn't enough. I'm really not fit to even eat at all. That's the message that it sends when people say all you have to do to lose weight is eat less.


But enough ranting. Now for some of those interview meme questions.

From [personal profile] helens78:

click! )

From [personal profile] mikotokun:

click! )

And from [personal profile] bell:

click! )


Jun. 24th, 2009 08:38 pm
torachan: (Default)
As a reader, I love being surprised. I love going into a story (or movie or whatever) not knowing more than the basic plot (sometimes I don't even know that, because I bookmarked the story or bought the book so long ago that by the time I pick it up, I don't remember anything about it except that it sounded interesting or I wouldn't have bookmarked/bought it, and I like it that way). I love twists and turns and reveals that make me have to reconsider everything that came before.

Being spoiled can ruin the experience for me. It doesn't mean I won't still like the story, but it definitely takes something away. It definitely makes it less enjoyable.

When someone (writer or reader) says a story can be spoiled by warnings, that does not mean the story was crap and the writer a shitty writer. It means that you, as a person who loves spoilers, read differently than me! Wow, what a concept!

Really. Is it too much to ask that in a discussion about ways to be respectful of one group of people, we aren't trashing other people and labelling anyone who doesn't like spoilers or warnings as shitty pretentious writers? (And hell, if people who don't warn are all shitty, pretentious writers, then why not use lack of warning as a sign that you don't want to read their shitty pretentious writing anyway?)

ETA: This is one of the best posts I've read on this issue so far.
torachan: (Default)
1. We have not heard from Patricia Wrede, author of the faily book in question, herself, only from her defenders (mainly Lois McMaster Bujold). I have wondered idly what her reaction would be like. I know nothing of the woman, having never even heard of her until this, but if this quote from her when she was writing the book is anything to go by, I'm thinking she probably won't react well.

I responded on the thread itself, but I'll post my comment here as well:

Good to know that Native Americans are nothing more than a "problem" to be "eliminated", that the task of, as Alo said, writing them as people was beyond her, that she felt she had no choice (her hands were tied, folks!) but to write them as one tired stereotype or another. Apparently she found the stereotyped roles allowed "Aphrikans" to be more palatable.

And the "right feel"? What was the "right feel"? That white settlers were awesome and singlehandedly turned this (empty) country into a prosperous nation? Was there not a single thought going through this woman's head other than "squee! megafauna!!!1111!!!"?

I just...seriously? I keep going back to the words "eliminating the problem". Eliminating the problem. How could someone say those words without any self-awareness? (And I am still giving her the benefit of the doubt that it's just massive cluelessness.) This is text communication. You can choose your words more carefully than you might in the middle of an oral conversation. You have time to think about what you're saying. And you still choose to use words that call to mind the act of actual genocide while contemplating your planned textual genocide?


2. So I have been watching as Bujold continues to dig herself deeper and deeper. Others have discussed the fail inherent in insisting that those who claim to be Native American are suspect, that only those with money to give to charity are truly concerned with social justice, that it is somehow surprising that Native Americans know how to use the internet, that there are more than enough Native Americans alive today, so what happened in the past doesn't matter, etc. etc. so I will just focus on this:

Note that while the assessment is still negative, it is more nuanced -- and, in this case through a donation of time and attention, an opinion that has earned its right to be regarded.

Once again, it's put forth that it's invalid to have an opinion about something unless you have seen or read it yourself. Now, yes, there are times when people do get hysterical over things via second-hand misinformation, but just because some people believe crazy rumors about Harry Potter books that could be easily disproved by actually reading them doesn't mean that no one should ever form an opinion based on a review of something they haven't read (or seen) themselves. People do this all the time! That's why reviews exist! No one has time to read and watch everything. We are all always forming opinions based on something other than the full text of the work in question. Sometimes our opinions are "hey, this sounds interesting, I'm going to read it", sometimes they are "do not want".

Reviews can be especially important when the very premise of something sounds skeevy.

For example, two books I've seen recced all over the place recently are The Secret Life of Bees and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. After seeing those titles appear over and over, I decided to check them out and found that both summaries made me uneasy.

Secret Life sounded like yet another story where black people only exist to help the white heroine. The author is white. These two things alone were not enough to make up my mind. It could be that the summary is bad and the book itself does not fall into those traps. So I read the reviews on Amazon. There are a slew of glowing reviews...none of which mention the problematic aspects in a way that makes me think the readers had even thought about them. It wasn't that the reviewers discussed possibily problematic aspects and concluded that the author had done a good job; they seemed unaware that there was anything that could be problematic. So I looked at the negative reviews, and immediately found ones that discussed the book critically and addressed the points I had been worried about.

Curious Incident is about an autistic boy who, from the summary/reviews, sounds like every autistic stereotype rolled into one. The author is neurotypical. Positive reviews that mention autism at all praise the book for the insight, for a window into the autistic mind, etc. Now. I'm not going to say an NT author can never write something insightful re: autism, but I'm pretty doubtful, you know? So I check the negative reviews, and there are many comments by autistic readers who were unhappy with the portrayal. Who am I going to believe, when choosing a book that might possibly irritate me with its stereotypes and nonsense? Yeah, you can bet it's not NTs oohing and aahing about being ~enlightened~ by the portrayal.

In both cases, I have formed an opinion without reading the books in question. I am 99.9% certain that they would annoy me and waste my time. I will, if the books come up, not hesitate to anti-rec them and explain why I find them problematic, despite having not read them myself.

And that is what people are doing with Wrede's book. They saw a skeevy premise, they read reviews (positive and negative) by people who had read the book, and they decided the folks who had read critically and were engaging with the problematic aspects, rather than ignoring them or being unaware of the possibility, were the ones to be trusted.

Especially since not one positive reviewer has put forth any reason why the negative reviewers should be discredited. It's the same pattern in all three books discussed here. The only people engaging seriously and critically with problematic elements of the books are the negative reviewers. If positive reviewers make any note of the issues, it's to say things like "it's just fiction", which is not a defense and does not address the problems.

And having heard both sides, should I and others discuss the problems in the book, our opinions have just as much right to be regarded. (Not that I expect Bujold actually gave any more thought to that person's comments than she did to anyone else's. Her attitude is remarkably similar to Elizabeth Bear's.)

For further reading, see [personal profile] naraht's excellent links roundup (note: avoid anything by [personal profile] hatman for the sake of your blood pressure).
torachan: (Default)
Stupid shit:

This and this are articles about a trans boy in Australia whom the courts allowed to get top surgery despite his still being a minor (the first article is more broadly about trans youth in Australia). They consistently use the wrong pronouns and refer to him as a girl, trot out a lone example of someone who had SRS and then regretted their decision without ever mentioning that the majority of people who transition don't regret it, and they psychoanalyse these kids and say it's because they're from broken homes. Oh yeah, and the have a guy saying that trans people are more likely to commit suicide and be unemployed... Shouldn't the solution to that be to STOP DISCRIMINATING??? No? I guess that would be too logical. Fuckwits.

Also LJ stupidity. At least they reacted fairly quickly to remove the ads, but ugh. I had not previously been against ads. I don't actually mind them, since I use adblock (and on LJ, I have a paid account and thus don't see them anyway), but the way the way these are working with the keywords means a horribly offensive ad could appear on the same page as content against it. I don't want someone reading something of mine and seeing homophobic or transphobic ads. :( I don't know... I don't want to leave LJ, and I'm not going to any time soon, but it's certainly making me think more and more of DW as my home journal rather than LJ.

Here, have some music to take away the rage. These are ten songs I've discovered and liked recently.

Tarou - Danjo
This is the song from those silly Transformers vids I linked the other day. It's so catchy I can't stop listening to it! 違うわ!よく聞け!こうやって座れ!XD

Bump of Chicken - Fire Sign
I discovered this a few weeks ago when I did the lyrics. Such an awesome song.

This is the coupling to their last single. I like the A side, too, but this is better.

Berryz Koubou - Dakishimete Dakishimete
Whoa, what? A Hello! Project song? Yes! This is so catchy and fun. Tsunku can still occasionally write good songs. Who knew?

Santogold - L.E.S. Artists
It took me quite a few listens to get into this, but once I did, I was hooked. I like a couple other songs, too. I should download her album.

Gackt - Blue Lagoon~Shinkai~
Newish Gackt song. It's very dark and heavy, which I like.

Magnapop - Open the Door
I don't know a thing about these guys, actually. Bruce had the song on a mix CD he was listening to while making dinner the other day and I totally fell in love with it.

Noodles - Love My Life
Another song I discovered while doing the lyrics. This is the theme song to a movie by the same thing about a lesbian romance (downloaded, but haven't watched yet). It's based on a manga of the same name, which I can't seem to find anywhere here because lesbian manga is like, the most minor of ladies' genres, srsly. Ladies manga is always hard to find here anyway. Compared to seinen, there will be like one little shelf, over half of which is BL vs ten or more for seinen. Grawr. ANYWAYS. The video is adorable.

BoA - Eien
Newish BoA single. Upbeat and catchy.

Arashi - Truth
Newish Arashi single. Very, very catchy.
torachan: (Default)
Okay, so, sometimes I come across something that really pisses me off, and I'll leave it open in a tab thinking maybe I'll post about it later, but it doesn't seem like I have enough to say for it to really be a post on its own, yet everything else I want to talk about that day is positive, and so will go in the happiness posts. So I often end up going eh, and not posting about annoying stuff.

Well! Now I have enough things that I've seen lately to make a post of their own. :p

1. You've probably already heard about the Amazon hijinks, but if not the gist of it is that Amazon has begun erasing sales rankings for any books with LGBT characters on the grounds that they are adult material. This includes, of course, many books which do have "adult" material (by which Amazon means of course sex), but it also includes children's books and autobiographies and books without graphic sex. It's very obvious that the claims of not wanting to show adult material in the best seller lists are completely bogus and this is simply a way to shunt aside any books about LGBT people. What they are saying is that the very existence of people who are not straight and/or cisgender is objectionable. (Reminds me of the film Ma Vie en Rose, a sweet story about a transgender child, which received an R rating in the US despite having no sex (or even reference to sex) or violence or language or anything that makes a film R rated.) Not only do books without sales rankings not show up in the best seller lists, they are also much harder (sometimes impossible) to find via search. A good links roundup can be found here.

2. A Massachusetts representative introduced a bill to make it illegal for anyone over 60 to pose nude for a photo or film. The logic is that old people are as incapable of giving consent as a child is, and therefore this is abuse. Well, that would be great if you were talking about someone with Alzheimer's or senile dementia, but we're talking about everyone over the age of sixty! No longer a consenting adult! She also wants to include the disabled in her bill. I mean, everyone knows that being physically disabled means you're stupid and unable to think for yourself, right?

3. A Texas representative thinks Asians should change their names to something "more American" so that real Americans don't have to pronounce their difficult names (like Lee and Kim!).

I'm sure there were more, but since I already closed the tabs whenever, I don't remember what or where they were. And besides, it's almost time for the delicious dinner of deliciousness. I can't be pissed off now!


Mar. 5th, 2009 02:15 pm
torachan: (oops! your privilege is showing)
I thought Cramer and Shetterly's recent antics were surely the lowpoint of Racefail '09 (I mean, redirecting your blog to malware sites and comparing using a pseudonym to being in the KKK are pretty failtastic), but I think Elizabeth Bear's post takes the cake.*

Earlier she had admitted that she had not been open to criticism, and her seemingly professional response to said criticism had just been "taking one for the team" (her words). In light of that admission, her first post about the criticism now looks like a plea for hugs and reassurance from her friends, and sympathetic rantings about how bad those people who don't like her books are. And...that's what she got. Many people had given her the benefit of the doubt, thinking that she was receptive to criticism and simply unwilling to tell her friends to back off, but it's clear she did not deserve that benefit of the doubt.

Now she's taken it even further. She's come right out and said that she was unwilling to even consider the criticism, knowing herself to be incapable of wrong, apparently. Even as she urges everyone to "calm down" and stop talking about this for a while, she continues to feed the fire.

I tried in every way I knew how to mediate, to explain, to teach.


It's my fault because I accepted criticism of my book that I knew to be untrue, that I knew to be based on a shallow and partial reading (a reading of the first chapter of a 160,000-word novel), because I felt it was important to serve as an example of how to engage dialogue on unconscious institutional racism.


I had taken a hit for the team. I had tried to be a good cooperative white author, and listen to criticism from a person of color with open ears, and try to engage in a helpful dialogue of how to address one's own unconscious racism.


It's also one of the things that makes these debates particularly pointless, because we spend them kicking people who are fundamentally on our side.

Elizabeth Bear, you have proved yourself to not be fundamentally on the same side as people of color and allies who are trying to discuss racism in sci-fi/fantasy and the SF/F fandom/publishing world. You have proved yourself to be on the side of those who are desperately clinging to their own privilege, trying to reframe the discussion to make it all about themselves, to silence those who disagree with them. It is not your place to mediate, explain, or teach, and as long as you insist on coming at it from that angle, you will never get it.

Further reading:

[ profile] ciderpress You mean those giant brains are making everyone on Earth stupid?
[ profile] bossymarmalade sees fire
[ profile] oyceter This hurts us all

and [ profile] rydra_wong's racefail links roundup.

*I say that now, knowing that some asshat is going to try and top it, I'm sure! (Maybe even Bear herself!) DDDD:
torachan: (Default)
So you know that whole thing where there's a live-action movie for Avatar: The Last Airbender starring a buncha white people?

That's no ordinary failboat. The makers of this film are determined to throw the biggest damn party they can on that failboat. Spectacular levels of fail on this boat here. Truly spectacular.

Because now that they've cast the lead roles with white kids, now they have a casting call for all the bit parts, and they want to let you, children of color, know that while you're not good enough to play the heroes, you can still be someone in the background. They'll throw you this bone.

Director-writer-producer M. Night Shyamalan is casting for The Last Airbender, a live-action film from Paramount and Nickelodeon based on the Nickelodeon animated series, shooting here from mid-March through July. (It's set in a world where human civilization is divided into four nations: Air, Water, Earth and Fire. The film's hero, the reluctant young Aang, is the Last Airbender. Aided by a protective teenage Waterbender named Katara and her bullheaded brother, Sokka, Aang proceeds on a perilous journey to restore balance to their war-torn world. Standard stuff.)

The O.C.'s Jackson Rathbone has been named as Sokka. Casting folks are looking for extras to play soldiers, martial artists, dancers, gymnasts, athletes and families - specifically physically fit people from 18 to 65 years old. The open call will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Bullies restaurant at the Wachovia Spectrum. You're asked to dress casually or in the traditional costume of your family's ethnic background.

And I love the weasel-wording of this casting call. They don't ever say they're looking for people of color for these roles, but when they say you should dress in "the traditional costume of your family's ethnic background", they sure don't mean kilts and lederhosen.

I thought Leonardo DiCaprio's wankfest whitewashing of Akira would take the prize for most offensive live action version of an anime, but I don't know, man. These guys seem determined to take him on. (And since Leo's is only theoretical at the moment, they're winning by a landslide.)

Two things

Jan. 19th, 2009 01:04 am
torachan: (Default)
One, I was watching this documentary about blacks in Canada. [ profile] bossymarmalade talks here about this appalling history of that particular area if you want some background. I was able to grit my teeth through the woman who smiled when talking about the big potatoes her family grew on top of the black cemetery, and the man who laughed when talking about using one of the gravestones for homeplate when he and his buddies played baseball on top of the cemetery, but when another man started going on about how if the descendents of the people buried there had cared, they would have come sixty or seventy years ago to try and do something about it, that was when I had to stop the video so I didn't take it out on my poor computer screen, because seriously, wtf!?

And two, in my stack of books to read next, I have Joy Kogawa's Obasan, which is about Japanese-Canadians during WWII. I'm really eager to read it, because while I know a lot about that period in US history, I had no idea that similar things had happened in Canada.

But what both these things made me realise is that it's not just the history of PoC in Canada that I know nothing about, it's the history of Canada, period. I honestly cannot remember a time when we studied Canadian history in school. How can that be? It's not like we learned a lot about Mexico, either, but we definitely studied it some. And certainly Mexico is much more closely tied to California than Canada is (I think most of my Mexican history I learned in elementary school, when the focus of history (or social studies, as it was called) classes was state history and the general southwestern US, rather than the country or world as a whole), but still...


Jan. 14th, 2009 06:30 am
torachan: (Default)
This is a very interesting post. What also caught my eye was this thread, specifically "I'm currently confronting an internal bias that says the Caribbean simply cannot be the center of the world (in that whole, saving the world from evil sense)".

She is obviously talking as someone who wants to change that, who is resentful of the fact that white, American (or western in general) media and its focus on white Americans as the heroes is so prevalent that it has warped her own thinking in this way.

But it reminded me of the other side of the coin, of all the kids (American, presumably white) back on my Digimon messageboard, who would complain about Digimon and how wrong and silly it was that Japan was the focus, that Japan was saving the world, that Japanese kids were who mattered, that Americans were mentioned in passing a bit in 02, with the whole Digidestined all over the world thing, but that was it.

It used to make me so angry. Of course the focus was Japan. Of course Japanese kids were saving the world. It's a show made by and for Japanese people! Why the hell should they do anything else? These kids on my messageboard expected to be catered to by a show from another country. And this wasn't just the kids at home watching the dubbed version who didn't even know it was from Japan. These were kids who were into anime, who preferred subs to dubs and wanted the original version over what was aired in English.

And yet they still thought it ridiculous that Japanese kids would save the world? What the actual fuck, you know?

Just being reminded of it pisses me off.

And of course it's just that attitude that leads to stuff like the Avatar casting, or Dragonball Z or Speed Racer or Akira or any of the live-action films where characters of color are now suddenly played by white people. And Akira, of course is being moved to New York instead of Tokyo.

After all, it's silly for anyone but white Americans to be the heroes.

(Oops, that turned into a rant. *tags appropriately*)
torachan: (Default)
Man, I've never even seen the show, but I can't stop reading the casting wank. (Though it has been vaguely in the back of my mind as something to possibly see eventually, so I decided this is as good a time as any, and had Bruce download it.) The rest of this rant sort of digresses from Avatar itself, as a lot of the wank has been hitting one of my pet peeves in general.

One thing I've seen a lot is "well, they look white to me". I see people say this a lot about anime and manga, too. Either as an excuse as to why it's okay to make live action movies where everyone is white, as an excuse of why it's okay to make characters white in a dub version (even as proof that they already were white), as proof of how all Japanese people are self-hating and draw themselves as white, or as some combination of both.

The thing is? Anime and manga characters are not drawn as white. They're cartoons and generally don't look like people, period (and often the ones that are more realistic do look more realistically Asian), just like cartoons about white people don't really look like people.

Anime and manga characters don't have "realistically Asian eyes"? Okay. So?

I don't see people saying these guys, these guys, these guys, or these guys don't look white. They certainly don't have realistically caucasian eyes. They don't have realistically human eyes. No one is colored yellow like the Simpsons or has naturally blue hair, or flesh-colored spikes coming out of their head where hair should be. But these characters are all immediately recognised and accepted as white.

Whites are the default in the west. They are unmarked. Draw a stick figure and it is white by default, no matter that a stick figure doesn't look like anyone.

You know what the default is in Japan? JAPANESE PEOPLE. They don't need to draw slanty eyes (also not a "realistic" depiction of Asian eyes, but one that is immediately accepted and read as Asian) on a stick figure to make anyone see it as Japanese because it is already seen as Japanese just as it is.

Anime and manga is made first and foremost for Japanese people. Anyone else is an afterthought.

I'm so tired of the "anime characters look white" meme. It can stop any time now.

People who said it better and more clearly than me:

The Face of the Other
Anime/Manga Characters =/= White (even better explanations in comments)
And here's a good comment on the reasons for many manga/anime stylisation techniques

And this is a good links post for more Avatar wank reading in general.


Dec. 11th, 2008 12:32 am
torachan: (Default)
Wow, today was full of ragenating stories.

First off, there's the casting announcement for Avatar. I've never seen the show, but even without watching, I managed to gather that it was about people of color, not about a bunch of white kids. Somehow Hollywood missed that. I think possibly the most eye-twitchingly offensive comment I personally have come across (I'm sure there have been much, much worse, but I have been sticking to safer waters) was this one. Did you know that it's impossible to cast Asians in an English-language film because Asians don't speak English? That there are absolutely no Asians in the world whose first language is English. Not even any kids who've lived in English-speaking countries long enough to be fluent! I mean, jeez. No wonder they had to cast white kids.

This article about how any guy (who's not out as gay) who kisses another guy onscreen gets subjected to the most offensive, ridiculous questions about how it felt to kiss a guy. The article itself is great. It's the questions themselves (and some of the "zomg must protect my masculinity" answers some of the actors give) that are enraging. And since I don't read/watch celebrity interviews, I was unaware of how common this sort of thing was. Also, I never had any feelings one way or the other about David Letterman before, but I sure have a massive hate-on for him (and the audience!) after reading this:

"I didn't want to screw it up," Franco told Letterman on "Late Show" last week.

"See, if it's me, I'm kind of hoping I do screw it up," Letterman shot back. "That's what you want, isn't it?"

"To screw it up?" Franco asked.

"I mean, do you really want to be good at kissing a guy?" Letterman said as his audience howled with delight.

Finally, we have this "call in gay" protest, "which encourages gays and lesbians to 'call in gay' rather than calling in sick". Setting aside the fact that it's unlikely to have any effect, and punishes businesses which hire and/or are run by gays and lesbians, and doesn't take into account that some people might not actually be out at work, the very idea of the protest is just soaking in privilege. Because yeah, of course everyone has jobs with paid vacation and sick time, so you could totally call in "gay" without harming yourself financially or endangering your job. *eyeroll* The people behind this can't even imagine that some people don't get sick time, period. That in order to call in and take time off even when they are legitimately sick, that means they won't get paid. Sometimes it may mean they lose their job. These days, some jobs require you to have a doctor's note to take any sick time, which means you have to be able to go to the doctor, possibly at considerable expense if you don't have insurance.

So yeah. Vein-throbbing, eye-twitching Ragenesday.

At least this is some non-rage-inducing news. A sheriff in Ohion "has ordered deputies to ignore eviction orders when people have nowhere else to live."


Nov. 13th, 2008 05:22 pm
torachan: (Default)
Okay, so I got a account to beta the Archive of Our Own the other day, and last night started uploading some of my fics.

One of the stories I posted was in the Digimon fandom. The name of the fandom is Digimon. That's what I put in. Then today I came back to the archive and saw that my fic was now labelled Digimon (Video Games).

1. It is not a video game.

2. There is no need for any disambiguation in parentheses. No one has Harry Potter (Books) or Stargate Atlantis (TV).

3. Why are people making changes to my fics when they obviously haven't a clue as to what they're doing.

I am actually pretty pissed off about this. The archive is pretty buggy*, which was already annoying me, but at least that I have hopes will be fixed when it's out of beta. This, on the other hand, is just kind of ridiculous and not a good way to run an archive. And it's not even like my category was changed to conform with something else. There are no other Digimon stories.

*Like the fact that on my Teyla fic, despite the fact that I put in the correctly-spelt Teyla Emmagan as the character, it decided to select someone's misspelt tag of Teyla Emmagen and slap that on, and now every time I try to edit to get rid of the misspelling, it gives me an error. So my fic is sitting there looking like I'm an idiot who can't even spell character names correctly. Fun. (ETA: I just deleted it rather than have it sit there misspelt for God knows how long.)

Less happy

Nov. 6th, 2008 04:24 pm
torachan: (Default)
I wish people would stop trying to ruin my day with racism (and classism, though that was unrelated to Prop 8).

When I saw [ profile] darkrosetiger's post yesterday about people of color being blamed for Prop 8's passage, I hadn't yet seen any of the blame. Now it seems like every where I turn someone is going on about how it was all those damn blacks and Mexicans who are responsible for Prop 8 passing. Mostly this is based on a stereotype of PoC being so much more homophobic than whites, and one exit poll that shows a high percentage of blacks voting yes. Somehow people either conveniently forget to mention or legitimately don't notice that this exit poll is of a whopping 2000 people - not exactly representative. There is also the fact that you can use filters on the county map on the LA Times website to see which counties are 75% or more white...all but two of which voted overwhelmingly yes on 8.

Prop 8 would not have passed if PoC hadn't voted for it. Yes, this is true.

It's equally true to say Prop 8 would not have passed if whites hadn't voted for it. And yet, somehow, that's not who I'm seeing get the blame here.

Prop 8 passed thanks to people of all races, people of all income levels, people religious and not. It passed thanks to smart advertising on the part of the Yes on 8 folks and bungling on the part of the No on 8 folks. It passed because of ignorance and fear and hatred and misinformation.



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