rhythmia: (Default)
I've been following this for the last three days. Full of worry, and fear for the people there, and hope. Please, if you do nothing else, read and inform yourself. Spread their stories, because now is not the time to look away and say, These are not my people and not my struggles. However, if you're not in the right mental place for it at this time, that's fine, but if you are, please read and share.





دنیارابگوییدچطورآنهاانتخاباتمان دزدیده اند
Tell the world how they have stolen our election

دموکراسی شعار ماست -- خشونت انزجار ماست
Democracy is our right, we despise violence.



- original post by [livejournal.com profile] one_hoopy_frood
rhythmia: (Default)
I'm not cutting this because this is very important to me.

A couple years ago, my friend M introduced me to this amazing animated show called Avatar: The Last Airbender. I was visiting him, he showed me the first episode, and I ended up watching something like four or five episodes in a row before we went for dinner.

Why was I hooked? I was 22 years old at the time, and it was the first time I had ever seen an American cartoon that had dark-skinned characters opening the shot, where their skin color was just part of them and not something to be "A special teaching moment for the white kids", and they were hilarious kids who didn't get killed off. Katara and her brother Sokka had me in the first five minutes.

They were heroes, they coded as Eskimo/Inuit/some flavor of First Nations and their fantasy world drew me in. Aang is a young boy trapped in the ice, they rescue him, and I saw him and was all "jfaojra he's adorable and he looks like a monk-let!"

This was an amazing world with different cultures that I could see were based on East, South, Southeast Asian, Tibetan, First Nations and Native American Indian, and Pacific Islander cultures. I learned from the community that the (white) creators were dedicated to accurately portraying those parts they drew from, and they didn't exoticize them, and they didn't screw it up. *_* This was the characters' world and they lived in it and it wasn't like anyone drawing attention to how cool and Asian it was. *__*

It was an animated show NOT, for once, based on Western/European aesthetics and cultures, and wasn't full of wince-worthy crappy kung fu wannabes. This had martial arts styles I (and my friend M) could actually recognize! :D

And then I learned the movie was coming out. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. And here is what the initial casting (not final, I hope hope hope it's not final) looks like.

D:

I just. I can't. This hurts so much to see. They whitewashed the leads. Completely. And it's like a slap to the face. It's already so rare to see people of color on screen, when a role calls for someone of "any race" it always seems to default to white. People of color get to be thugs, Magical Negroes or Mystical Asian/Indian Wise Man, the sidekicks, the token who gets killed off, the sexy native girl who snarks back and resists the Great White Hero but gets won over and falls in love with him anyway, etc. etc. And now this is a chance to have a full of cast of POC, with awesome roles that aren't stereotypical, for a smart show that has already won over kids and 'grownups' of every age, race and ethnicity.

I call bullshit. Complete bullshit on Hollywood, that you have to have a white face to sell to white audiences. First assuming that the only audience that matters is white, which makes me a nonentity, and then condescending to white people that they're so dumb that they won't watch anything with people that *gasp* don't look like them. Like I've been doing ALL MY LIFE.

You know what's really kind of a shock? Shyamalan is Indian, and he got interested in the project because his daughter wanted to dress up as Katara. Think of all the kids who love this show, who are people of color and get to see characters who look at least a little bit like them, and learn that Hollywood is saying, "No. You don't count, you don't matter."

Once the Christmas retail rush calms a little I'm going to be writing a letter as in the link below, believe you me. Please spread this around, it's not "just a kids show," it's about sending a message that we can't stand for this sort of institutional racism. It's going to be yellowface, people! Orientalism at it's finest!

Links with things to read here:
The Letter Writing Campaign!

Vejiicakes' post
Tablesaw's post
Rawles' post
Angry Asian Man's post
Angry Black Woman's post (faojra I love her writing)

Personal references during the bloghopping:

oyceter's post on films and tv: What These People Need is a Honky

Smillaraaq's post on Native American Indians portrayal in media

ETA:
A possibly hopeful note from vagabond_sal
Clearinghouse of info at glockgal's place and also here
More links and reactions from jbramx2
Racefail bingo on deadbrowalking comm
Lemon Press's reactions and links
old, but an interview with the creators of Avatar
rhythmia: (Default)
Pfffffft. *dies giggling*

Kinda awesome. Heee, so what do you think? Is Obama a Gary Stu?

XD

SCREAM

Nov. 4th, 2008 09:38 pm
rhythmia: (Default)
Spoilers? :D

Obama wins.

OBAMA WINS! \o/

foairjag I was crying so hard during his speech, that man is amazing and he is a transformational speaker and he will be my president holy cow. I'm still kind of in disbelief that he carried it. A landslide. He won Pennsylvania! *hugs [livejournal.com profile] nicocoer*

I really, really loved his speech. That he said he may not have won the votes of the people who didn't vote for him, but he will reach out to everybody, and listen to everybody, especially those who don't agree with him. Our transformational power as government by the people, for the people, it has not perished from the earth. (bawling here, for serious) And I loved that he used the rhetorical call-and-response thing, which makes me think of sociolinguistics and how that's a very black preacher sort of rhetorical tool. Yes we can! Si se puede!

Still on tenterhooks for the results of Prop 8, among other things, as of 9:30pm only about 17% of precincts reporting and it's 55% Yes. D: It's early yet....*vibrates*

And I have an eight hour meeting tomorrow, following by closing shift at the store. We'll see how that goes.

I hope the momentum being built by this campaign, with the volunteerism and the attitude shift continues and doesn't just...fizzle out.

♥ to all.
rhythmia: (Default)
I'm not expecting to change anyone's mind about things at this late date, I just have some thoughts that I want to articulate that have been floating around in my mind. I'm letting the outrage simmer on the backburner for a while, though it does power this essay/ramble. ^^

Please be aware that I am willing to discuss things civilly (like an orange), and that I don't have sources and citations to back me up. Just things I've picked up and pulled out of my ass, so if there are facts I get wrong, tell me. ^_^V

I keep hearing ads for Yes on this proposition to Protect Marriage, sponsored by the Knights of something or other on my favorite radio station (which saddens me, but that's funding and advertising for you). And it made me think. Marriage as we know of it, as a bond of love and devotion and so forth, hasn't been around that long. Historically, marriage as an institution is for economic benefit, usually that of the husband's and/or the father/family of the wife. Women are commodities traded around that serve as a symbol of that economic tie. I'm not sure how recent it is, but the romance stuff as a reason to bind people together doesn't seem to me to be a driving force to marriage until the last couple of centuries, maybe? Anyone out there know better?

So my thoughts are, my big thing about marriage here in the United States is that it is tied to a slew of benefits such as reduced income tax, visitation rights in hospitals, power of attorney, custody rights of children, etc., etc. From my limited understanding, civil unions and domestic partnerships don't have the same spectrum of rights. So we have a separate-but-equal situation going on here, and we all know how well that idea goes down now. If the rights were the same across the board and it's just a matter of the term, then I don't care, whatever. But that's not the case.

Personally, I don't have any great attachment to the institution of marriage. From my observations of my family, other people, teevee, for all that marriage ceremonies seem to involve vows and promises, the marriage bond is no guarantee. It's not a guarantee of financial security, or happiness, or any affection at all, or a perfect home life, or even fidelity. Because people are people. We make mistakes. We aren't perfect. So I don't see how "granting" marriage (argh, so condescending) to a group of people in any way threatens marriage for anyone else.

Though that message on the radio having histrionics of 'gay marriage' being taught in schools did mention that certain groups of people were afraid of their children being exposed to gay people and *gasp* thinking that it would be okay to be gay and love each other. I'm thinking though, I was never taught about marriage, period, in the public schools that I attended. I learned a lot about STDs that I think were meant to frighten us into not wanting to have sex, but never about marriage.

If we called them all civil unions or whatever in the eyes of the law, in the sense that whoever is on either side of the partnership, the laws and benefits apply the same, that would be great. Then there could be separate religious/secular ceremonies that have more emotional impact for the people involved, for people to celebrate their bonds with each other.

Our bonds to our special people are precious, right? No matter what the gender is of the special person. So if some religions don't want to offer that particular ceremony, yes we could cry discrimination, but then again, freedom of religion. I feel that they would be the poorer for not providing a place to share in that joy for the people who believe in that religion, for better or worse, but that would be the way the religion goes. I'm not very firm in my argument here, hehe.

Anyhow, if anyone else has a better way of understanding the arguments for 8, I'd be interested in hearing them, because right now I'm just sort of confused about the logic there. I voted no on proposition 8, because we need to get beyond this discriminatory behavior. I personally am a very strong supporter of queer rights. You may not like the idea of gay people (or trans, or queer, or--) getting married, because the institution is tied to religion and your flavor of religion doesn't acknowledge gay people. But this is an issue of economic benefits, civil rights, as much as anything else, and taking rights away from a group of people does us all harm.

To end on a slightly silly note, think of it this way: Gay people getting married means they get to enjoy all the trials and tribulations of het people getting married. Including divorce and lawyers, trying to coordinate two sets of families joining together without crazy Uncle Lee dumping soup on Auntie May at the reception, and trying to decipher joint tax returns. :P

Okay, have at with the tomatoes!

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