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...the newest trailer is AWFULLY GODDAMN WHITE.



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sometimes, when I get really mad, all I want to do is write a story from Omid's point of view from the unaired Heroes pilot. But then I think that fandom would believe I was advocating terrorism and I don't. But sometimes I want to.
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"Listen, that's not even characteristic of me. I'm sorry you guys had to see that shit. But if someone calls you something that offensive and that fucking disgusting, you have to bash their head with a microphone, I'm sorry."

Live the dream, Travie. Punching people in the face for being racist assholes is something I long to do.
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I am reading a book about pseudo-vikings and pseudo-welsh people (last light of the sun by ggk) and in the absence of me noticing descriptors, pretty much everyone in the books looks like a variation of Jason Momoa, Dwayne Johnson, or Kal Penn.

and this is why I cannot play the casting game very well. Oh, you want a hot person who kicks ass? Please, let me show you them )

also, you guys, seriously. MORE FIC FOR THESE GUYS, OKAY? )
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not all of fandom or fannish texts or BSOs are white )
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this is why I don't talk about race, you guys. srsly.

So, I am half middle eastern (persian) and half chamorro (native to Guam).

My mom and my family on my mom's side will *happily* tickybox "white/caucasian" on a form that asks them for it, but if you straight up ask them if they are white, they will say no. Not only no, but *hell* no. This is for many reasons, not the least of which is the part where Middle Eastern, as a *race*, is difficult to categorize and isn't considered separate the way that Black or "Asian" (and I put this in quotes only because there's so much that's covered under Asian that it's uh. kind of a nuts category), but let me tell you, white people? Don't generally consider Middle Easterners to be white.

here's the other thing: I can pass for a lot of things, sometimes Italian (????), most often Latino (which, to be fair, is as much a function of my last name as it is anything else). Most of the time, it's not an issue (no, really). I do not tend to get treated any differently by my peers (though this is because of the people I choose as my peers) and I tend to stick to places where I know being brown is not going to be an issue (survival instinct, ahoy). I do not feel especially comfortable in large groups of primarily white people, but then I did not spend *time* with large groups of white people growing up. At a con, at a concert, in a classroom, in the workplace, I will seek out other people of color because I feel safer with them.

I don't have to make my race a big deal. I choose to do so because it's important to me and because the place where I live makes a lot of assumptions on the basis of my name and my skin tone. I have had to say to people that I am Middle Eastern when the inappropriate jokes come up or when someone asks me why I didn't see 300 and what could I possibly have against Frank whores whores whores with bonus racism! Miller. I don't want to listen to it. The way that I don't want to listen to misogyny or homophobia or anything else. And it's easier to make people shut up with that stuff when they're faced with the fact that I belong to this group, that it's *me* they're insulting.

But the people who can pass and choose to? I don't blame them for that either. I think it's troubling and it doesn't especially make me happy, but there are plenty of people for whom passing is the choice that makes them most comfortable. There are things to be discussed there and, denial of agency or "colorwashing" or whatever, if I know they're a person of color, even if they don't say they are or even if they flat out say they are white, I'm still going to group them in with people of color because they're my people. They're my people who are, uh, REALLY PROBLEMATIC, but they're my people nonetheless. Sort of like gay republicans. Where I am PUZZLED but, you know, I can't...uh. Deny them. I swear that comparison made way more sense in my head than I'm sure it makes when I type it out. I mean, mostly I just feel bad! and want to give them hugs and be like, "it's okay, babies, no one will lynch you because your HUGE BODYGUARD WAS IN THE FSU AND IS TERRIFYING."

And maybe that is totally hypocritical of me, because if other people don't get to decide who is and isn't white, then what gives me the right to decide who is and isn't a person of color (well. other than the part where one of them is half Black. I'm pretty sure that qualifies you as a person of color whether you say you are or not)? The person is still making a choice as to their identity and I should totally be fine with that choice. Except, you know, whatever. Call it colorwashing, I don't even care. I still count them as my people and it makes me feel better to know that they're there.

I uh, also laugh at the people who think Wentworth Miller is white. FYI.
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listening to jack johnson always makes me want to watch surfing documentaries. step into liquid is my favorite of them, as it is *gorgeous*.


The main serious post I keep waffling on making is a little bit about bandom (and right there I've lost a bunch of people) but it is mostly about race and how one of the things that BUGS THE SHIT OUT OF ME about the way fandom treats race is the disappearing of people of color and *especially* the disappearing of biracial people in the larger context of discussion persons and characters of color.

Because see, I'm still really pissed about some comments that were made last year (I can hold a grudge like you wouldn't BELIEVE) about there being no people of color in bandom (Pete Wentz would like to disagree. As would Travis, Ray, Gabe, Alex Suarez, Matt Cortez, Disashi, Brendon, Tyga and others) because they're there. They're *obvious*. FFS, STOP SAYING THEY ARE WHITE. STOP IT. *breathes* In terms of diversity of race/religion/sexuality, bandom *wins forever* over any other popular fandom I've seen. FOREVER. Black, Latino, A/PI, Jewish, atheist, Catholic, undivulged flavor of Christian, mostly straight but NOT ENTIRELY, bi and out, allies and supporters, actual conversations about sexuality and the perceptions thereof. This fandom owns. Also, Greta and Vicky T and Maja do not have penises.

Um. Hey, apparently I started making this post! But okay, here's why it bugs me and I will try to leave it at that: by calling them white, by making the assumption that they are white without bothering to look, people are basically rendering them invisible. And this is doubly troubling to me because for a lot of them, we're talking about people who are biracial and that's got a whole passel of problems that go along with it.

The other thing that just bugs the shit out of me is the continued European assertion that they don't consider latinos to be of color. That's nice. THEY DO. What they perceive trumps what you perceive. Period. And all of the annoyances at the way Americans frame the discussion of race in American terms and all the different contexts in the world doesn't change that latinos from this particular side of the globe DO NOT CONSIDER THEMSELVES WHITE. There are *other* issues at work with which, frankly, I'm not even remotely qualified to talk about , but the primary issue for me is that they are not white. You can say all day long that they would be considered white in Europe and that's nice, but that's problematic in its own way. Other people than me who are smarter and more articulate should discuss this.

(somewhat relatedly, I got an email a while ago about the Jesus Walks vid which basically said that if Gunn's arc had been anything like that on the show, they would have kept watching. Here's the thing: that *was* Gunn's arc on the show. That vid was me attempting to show everyone else the show I had *always been watching*. It was there for everyone to see, Gunn was AMAZING and it made me sad every day in that fandom that people were being all SPIKE and ZOMG ANGEL IS BEIGE and ZOMG LINDSEY and meanwhile my darling was off kicking ass and negotiating the difference between the greater good and uh, what Angel thought was the greater good -- opening an orphange = good! being emo about how you're not sure you're doing good = lame and boy was there more to talk about with moral ambiguity and beigeness there. ANYWAY. This post is more than long enough and I need to get ready for work.)

There's an excellent post here that talks about some of the same issues: http://ohinternets.livejournal.com/38940.html in Psych fandom.
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where by "kind of," I mean, "it fills me with rage such that I cannot even see straight."

Look, I get that fannishly we do ficathons for a couple reasons. Gift exchanges, remix, kinks, etc. There is a huge amount of awesome fic that came out of the [livejournal.com profile] choc_fic characters of color ficathon and the Femslash ficathon is always awesome.


You shouldn't need a ficathon to make you write about women and people of color. You shouldn't. Full stop. For me, the whole point has *always* been that there are amazingly fantastically interesting and wonderful women and characters of color *no matter what your personal character types are* and that there should be fic because they are at least as amazingly fantastically interesting and wonderful as white male characters. It shouldn't be a political statement, it should be an expression of love/interest in the characters.

I understand that these ficathons exist to drum up more fic/fannish product and that they're important and serve a function, but they shouldn't *have* to exist. Like, doesn't anyone else find it kind of hinky that these ficathons roll around and people write fic and then are like, "Well, I've done my good minority deed for the year," and then don't write any other fic?

Also, while I am on the subject? It is *great* to be talking about the problematic portrayals of women and people of color in the media. You know what would be EVEN MORE GREAT? Talking about the things that are done *right*. You want to talk about how Heroes is problematic with how they treat DL? I damn well want to hear about how awesome it is that Heroes *explicitly* took the black deadbeat dad stereotype and said, "HA HA NO." I want to hear about Heroes talked about the difficulties of an interracial marriage and how it brought up the concept of passing. I want to hear about how it is awesome that Heroes said, "Hey, you know who one of our gateway characters should be? A Japanese guy." I want to hear about how Linderman's right hand woman is Ms. Sakamoto and how Nathan's campaign manager is black. I want to hear about how it is awesome that the people of color on this show are the ones who are all, "Hey, you know what would be cool? Using our powers to HELP PEOPLE."

So tell me the interesting things. Write me fic about it. Tell me about how Teyla and Ronon are wonderful, because they are. Tell me about *Wallace*, who showed how Veronica Mars was wrong about the class divisions in Neptune. Tell me about Cristina and Bailey and Callie and Chief. Tell me about how Gunn's storyline is Angel's storyline in all the ways about what the cost of the greater good is and how you can go to the beige place and fight the good fight but WITHOUT THE MASSIVE DOUCHITUDE. Tell me about Wang and Damphousse. Tell me about Mr. X. Tell me about John Stewart GL and how it is amazingly fantastically awesome that Bruce and Diana hid out in a Middle Eastern restaurant when the aliens invaded. Tell me that. Tell me about Ben on Reaper and how he's the one who is the nice guy and who keeps bringing up the issue of free will in terms of the contract with the Devil. Tell me about Morgan and Anna on Chuck. Tell me about how fantastic Emerson is on Pushing Daisies. Hell, I don't even like Who, but tell me about Martha. Tell me the things you *like* about the people of color and the women, 'cause otherwise I'm just left wondering if you see them as interesting people or just as problems for you to fix.

Like, not to get all personal here, except for how I clearly am going to, but every time I read about Oh Noes, the Problematic Treatment of Race and Gender on TV/Comics/Movies/Etc, I just get more depressed. Not because those problems exist -- because they do and I'm not that much in denial -- but because that's *all* I see. Do you know how rare it is to see an Ode to the Awesomeness of such and such a woman/POC? Especially when it's done outside the bounds of IBARW or things like that? Do you know how depressing it is as a woman of color to almost never see anything *positive*? Thanks a bunch for making me feel like the characters that I love and find interesting are just problems to be solved. Thanks a bunch. Really.

If you want the writers on Heroes to deal with the problematic treatment of race and gender, maybe it would behoove you to also point out the things they get right. Because otherwise, I'm afraid that returning the show to the heights of last season will mean returning the show to comments like, "Oh my god, can we skip the family Sanders/Hawkins and get back to the Flying Petrelli brothers?" and "Why does the show keep focusing on Mohinder when it could be focusing on Peter?" You want more people of color and women on your media? Maybe it'd be nice to support the things that have them and that do them right *in addition to* criticizing the things that go horribly wrong.

And maybe if all you saw when you looked at DL was a black ex-con and not the dedicated father and family man that he was *clearly portrayed to be*, then it's entirely possible that the problem didn't actually lie with the writers of the show.

And now I am all irritated and must go to work and be nice to people.
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So, there are a whole host of intelligent, rational, articulate posts on the latest round of race related fandom shenanigans over at [livejournal.com profile] daily_deviant, starting with [livejournal.com profile] witchqueen and [livejournal.com profile] annavtree and handily rounded up by [livejournal.com profile] liviapenn in this post.

This is not an intelligent, rational, or articulate post on the subject.

Mostly what I want to say is this: HEY, STOP BEING DICKS, [livejournal.com profile] daily_deviant! Because seriously, I don't know what else to call it. When called on being unintentionally racist due to ignorance, the proper response is not to STOP BEING UNINTENTIONALLY RACIST AND TO START BEING INTENTIONALLY SO. Dicks. How fucking hard is it to be all, "Well, you know, let's use this other word which does not actually have the racist connotations which have been pointed out to us." HOW HARD IS THAT? How hard is it TO NOT BE A RACIST DICK?

Apparently too fucking hard. Like, this is leaving aside the industrial strength WTF of having interracial relationships be a kink, which hello, is WTF on a level I can't even *deal with*. But yeah. Stop being racist dicks. Because once you've been educated, perpetuation of the racist behavior stops being ignorance and starts being intentionally hurtful.

There's more, but I honestly cannot wrap my brain around the WTF-ery of this whole stupid situation. In my head, I just keep coming up with mean taglines like:

HP Race Shenanigans '07: Because "Blaise Zabini Is Black! Noes!" Wasn't Bad Enough
HP Race Shenanigans '07: Let's Party Like It's 1849!

That is where I am. Angry, unhelpful, and frustrated.
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Hah! Success! I have found the store with clothing for snarky A/PIs! --> http://blacklava.net

I'm linking to the women's shirts, but there are men's and unisex shirts too. Also baby clothing! and hats! and music! and dvds!

Also? This is the best t-shirt ever. Got Privilege?

Asian is Not Oriental

I Am Not A Terrorist

Got Rice? - Oh, rice. Glorious, glorious comfort food that goes with everything. Seriously. Everything. I have had debates with my fellow A/PI coworkers on the subject of "We Don't Go To That Restaurant Because They Serve the Wrong Kind of Rice with their Kalbi" and "Sticky vs Non-Sticky: DEATHMATCH" and "Do We Need One or Two 20 Pound Bags of Basmati?"

I Will Not Love You Long Time

Anyway. I'm amused.
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And then there were renegades.

oh *fandom*

Apr. 7th, 2007 08:32 pm
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sometimes you make me want to cry. and/or punch people.

but hey! On the other hand, now I totally know who to avoid in fandom! So...that's a plus. *tries to look on the bright side*

(god, it JUST KEEPS GOING and horrifies me more and more).

ETA: the posts in question
In which Teyla and Ronon are white! No, really! - I swear, the more I hear about race relations in, um, England/Ireland/Wales/Scotland/what-have-you, the less likely I am to ever ever go there.


In which the reason there's not more fic about characters of color is because they are not leads! or not hot enough! or interesting enough! Because when they *are*, there's a lot of fic! No, really!
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single most unfortunate fannish turn of phrase in recent memory: "racial jihad"

Sometimes fandom, you make me wonder why I am here.

but seriously, y'all. a RACIAL JIHAD? *That* was the phrase someone thought it was a good idea to use? I mean, I could play disingenuous here and be all, "I don't know why that offends me so much!" but shit. It's offensive on so many levels I don't even know where to start.
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What a glorious time to be Middle Eastern in the US.

I'm going to have nightmares about that video.

ETA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyvrqcxNIFs&eurl= The video.

As near as I can tell from the news stories I've read, this kid (of Middle Eastern descent) was in Powell Library at UCLA at around 11. He did not have his student ID, was asked to leave by the student volunteers, he mouthed off *but then got up to leave*. Campus security came, laid hands on him, he demanded they let go, and they began to forcibly remove him from the library. He went limp and did not fight back. The cops demanded he get up, he refused and shouted, "This is your patriot act, this is your abuse of power," they tasered him. He was restrained (you can see this in the video). They demanded he get up (after they had tasered him), he continued to refuse by staying limp, they tasered him again. Students around the situation demanded the officers' badge numbers and names, they refused to comply. They demanded, again, that he get up. He once again refused, though whether this was because he was physically incapable or because he was still exercising his right to be civilly disobedient. And it goes on and on.

The whole thing is horrifying.

ETA 2: What is *especially* horrifying? Are the people who think he brought it on himself. Not many of them, thank god, but they are still out there.
mimesere: (gaugin - lilo all grown up)
the comfort music edition (aka The Music I Grew Up To):

"Tennessee" -- Arrested Development
14 years later and 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of... remains one of my all time favorite albums. Arrested Development is one of those groups who, if I hear them, I will stop whatever I am doing to listen.

"People Everyday" -- Arrested Development
I would include a link to "Mr. Wendel" but I can't find one to the actual video. Woe.

"If I Ever Fall In Love (a capella)" - Shai
I don't even know what to say about this song. It's been one of my favorites ever since the first time I heard it. And there is a version with a backing track and music, but the a capella is and always has been my favorite.

"Motownphilly" - Boyz II Men
Oh, oh, the *clothes*. *cries with laughter* So, much like Shai, I have had a thing for Boyz II Men since I first heard them. If I recall correctly, "Motownphilly" was actually their first single -- oh Mike and Nate, I love you! Still! -- and it's still one of my favorites. Though, really, I have yet to meet a Boyz II Men song I didn't like. Which brings us to:

"It's So Hard to Say Goodbye To Yesterday" -- Boyz II Men
This song makes me cry *every time* I hear it. Because I am the soppiest person on earth. The videos on the tv in the background are a nice, nice touch of sentimentality. I love this song almost as much as I love their cover of "Yesterday", but um, you know. They do "Yesterday" a capella and have the musical chops to back it up, so it wins by a hair.

"Hold On" -- En Vogue
I have this song on cd (Best of En Vogue! because um, yes) and I...well. This video is certainly something. And I mean, okay, yes, this is a song of enabling an emotastic little douche, but damn if I don't still love it like burning. 'Cause um, okay, it's pretty much just filled with insanely hot people and I love the song despite the enabling of emotastic douchery. What's amusing is that En Vogue follows this with:

"My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" -- En Vogue
Um, well, yes. *gestures vaguely at the video* In addition to being awesome with the singing, they are smoking hot. And this video is sexy as all get out. Oh, En Vogue.

"Free Your Mind" -- En Vogue
I fucking *love* this song and this video. This song makes up part of my playlist of angry minority-hood.

"That's The way Love Goes" -- Janet Jackson
This is from before Janet Jackson became terrifying. I mean, I love pretty much all of this album, but this song is a definite favorite. It is just a happily chill song and video and um. Yes. The *NSYNC version. It becomes hilariously gay (though still *wonderful) when sung by them. I have both versions on my playlist of comfort. Though, really, Justin Timberlake singing "Go deeper, baby, deeper / you feel so good I'm gonna cry" is awesome for so many reasons and I don't even like the Timberlake.

"If" -- Janet Jackson
In retrospect, I cannot really be surprised that I ended up a fan of *NSYNC and Britney. I'm just sayin'.

"Rhythm Nation" -- Janet Jackson
...I used to know the dance. Shut up, I bet some of you did too.

"Summertime" -- Will Smith (and DJ Jazzy Jeff)
Does Jazz still get a credit on this? I don't remember. But okay, this song? Defines summer for me. I make a mix every year at the beginning of summer and every year, this song kicks it off because it gets me in the mood for hot lazy days by the pool and barbecues and watching street basketball and going to the park.

"Killing Me Softly" -- The Fugees
I...just like this song. I mean, I like the original and I like this cover of it and I also like their cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" a lot. And Wyclef's version of "Knocking on Heaven's Door". So, pretty much, I just really like any member of the Fugees doing covers.

The video for Aerosmith's "Crazy"
I don't know how many of you remember the AWESOME GAY that makes up this video, but seriously, it is gay. And for me, and I'm sure a lot of other people, it was the beginning of my love affair with both Alicia Silverstone and Liv Tyler. Because um, they are hot and dress in drag and are gay together. Also: the video for "Cryin'". Because Alicia Silverstone is awesome. Despite the wonderfulness that is "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and "Walk This Way" (either the original Aerosmith or the Run DMC version -- pick your poison), the Alicia Silverstone era of Aerosmith is my personal favorite.

But this is a good number to stop at, I think.
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I keep trying to think of a way to introduce this and I keep failing, largely because I have such a visceral reaction to these songs that it sort of makes me uncomfortable to talk about it. I will say that Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell sound glorious.

So. Selections from Songs from Ragtime, largely featuring Audra McDonald as Sarah and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Coalhouse.

Gettin' Ready Rag
Your Daddy's Son
New Music
Wheels of a Dream
'Till We Reach That Day
Coalhouse's Soliloquy
Make Them Hear You
Wheels of a Dream (reprise)
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"Aw, come on! That's a bunch of horse shit! Lando Calrissian was a black guy, you know. He got to fly the Millennium Falcon! What's the matter with you?"

"Who said that?"

"I did. Lando Calrissian is a positive role model in the realm of science fiction/fantasy."

"Fuck Lando Calrissian, uncle tom nigga. Always some white boy gotta invoke the holy trilogy. Bust this: those movies are about how the white man keeps the brother man down, even in a galaxy far, far away. Check this shit. You've got cracker farmboy Luke Skywalker -- nazi poster boy, blond hair, blue eyes -- and then you got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy -- Nubian god!"

"What's a Nubian?"

"Shut the fuck up! Now, Vader, he's a spiritual brother, down with the Force and all that good shit. And then this cracker -- Skywalker -- gets his hands on a lightsaber and the boy decides he's gonna run the fucking universe. Gets a whole clan of whites together and they gonna bust up Vader's 'hood, the Death Star. Now what the fuck do you call that?"

"Intergalactic civil war?"

"GENTRIFICATION! They're gonna drive out the black element to make the galaxy quote unquote safe for white folks. And Jedi's the most insulting installment! Because Vader's beautiful black visage is sullied when he pulls off his mask to reveal a feeble, crusty old white man. They tryin' to tell us that deep inside we all want to be white!"

"...Well isn't that true?"

It never stops being funny to *me*. (right click save)
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I'm getting in almost too late, (tomorrow is the Sizdah Bedar, which, thankfully, I am not going to), but I have a few hours!

Anyway, what that picture up there says is: Ayd-e shomah mobahrak. Happy new year to all of you.

ETA: if anyone was curious, our haftseen consisted of: sabzeh (lentil sprouts), samanu (pudding with saffron and cinnamon), seer (garlic), seeb (apples), somag, sonbol (flowers), sekkeh (coins) and the rest of our table had goldfish, eggs, the Qur'an, a mirror, and overly sweet persian pastries.

We also had sabzi polo mahi and gormeh sabzi (which I shared with a co-worker). Not all today, but recently. Anyway. That was my brief moment of Persian culture to share with you all.

ETA2: Ironically, right this moment, I am watching Manticore on the sci fi channel. Oh, Sci Fi Channel. I should be offended and yet this movie is so hilarious I cannot help but love it.


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