“Hey, Joel — how’d your story on millenials go over?”
“I don’t know. Let’s — oh. Oh.”
“Hey, Joel — how’d your story on millenials go over?”
“I don’t know. Let’s — oh. Oh.”
Firefly: How much is the Geisha in the Window? by lierdumoa.
In the decade since its cancellation, Firefly has gained a massive cult following and become a staple of sci-fi conventions everywhere. It’s universally beloved by its fans. However, some viewers such as Racebending’s Mike Le have pointed out that for a show that supposedly embraces Chinese culture and features white characters speaking Mandarin on a regular basis, there is a mysterious lack of Asian characters on screen.
“How much is the Geisha in the Window?” takes this idea and runs with it, highlighting the way Firefly exoticises Chinese culture while simultaneously omitting Asian people. Providing an emotionally charged music video style summary of the issue in question, the vid explains the racist undertones of Firefly more succinctly than most writers could. By 2009, “How much is the Geisha…” was iconic enough that it was cited by Georgetown professor Rebecca Tushnet during the US Copyright Office’s DMCA hearings.
Star Trek: … on the dancefloor by sloanesomething.
Arguably the most famous fandom in the world, Star Trek is now the subject of countless academic theses as well as a groundswell of fan commentary. The original 1960s television series was unusually forward thinking for its time, but J.J. Abrams faced some problems when it came to the 2009 reboot movie, Star Trek XI. How to update such a dated concept for modern audiences? As it turned out, Star Trek XI was a huge excess for old and new fans alike, but one can’t help that notice that the original series crew looks considerably less progressive in the 21st century than it did in 1966… [READ MORE]
Also featuring a couple of super-awesome Sherlock and Avengers vids. Guys, I rec these vids so hard!!! I must have watched “…on the dancefloor” at least a billion times before writing this, and it still never gets old. WHO CAN SAY NO TO A FANVID THAT CRITICISES THE SEXISM OF STAR TREK WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY HIGH-FIVING THE ENTIRE CAST TO A SOUNDTRACK OF “TOO MANY DICKS/EASY TO FIX”???
I love many things, and learning how to love problematic things (shows; books; people; etc) is one of those things that I love.
Destiny Deacon, Ku Ku/Erub/Mer, born 1957 Last Laughs 1994, printed 2004
Throughout her career, Destiny Deacon has created a rich archive of cosmopolitan Aboriginal people who live on the edges of the city but have been conceptually filtered out of the quintessential Australian space of the quarter-acre backyard block. For her, Aboriginality is inextricably linked to these urban spaces, and she speaks out against the reflexive thinking that renders Aboriginal people invisible. The majority of Aboriginal people actually live on the eastern seaboard of Australia in large cities and towns, but this urban reality is only loosely embedded within the national consciousness.
In Last Laughs, a multiethnic trio of women, looking like the day after the night before, laughs conspiratorially at a private joke. They appear loud, brash, and confident and embody in this photograph that wonderful human quality of being able to laugh at oneself and be completely oneself with others.
[image description: Paul Raffaele said a Suruwaha girl refused to shake his hand because she wanted to kill him. In fact, he was wearing so much sun cream the Suruwaha thought he had a skin disease.]
© Survival International
Australia’s Channel 7 network has been found guilty by the press regulator of serious violations of the broadcasting code, after screening a report so extreme it was branded ‘Freakshow TV’ by Survival International.
The report labelled Brazil’s Suruwaha tribe as child murderers; ‘Stone Age’ relics; and ‘one of the worst human rights violators in the world’.
Survival complained to Australia’s regulator ACMA after Channel 7 refused Survival’s request to issue a correction to its report, broadcast on its Sunday Night programme.
In a landmark judgment, ACMA has now ruled that the Channel was guilty of breaking its racism clause – ‘provoking intense dislike, serious contempt or severe ridicule against a person or group’ – believed to be the first time it has found a broadcaster guilty of this serious offence under the 2010 TV Code. It has also ruled that the Channel was guilty of broadcasting inaccurate material.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘This was one of the worst reports about contemporary tribal people we’d ever seen. The Indians were made out to be cruel and inhuman monsters, in the spirit of 19th century colonialist scorn for ‘primitive savages’.
‘What makes it even worse is that the Suruwaha have been under attack by fundamentalist missionaries for years, who are waging a campaign slandering them as child-murderers. The missionaries are behind a draft law to allow them to remove Indian children from their communities, something with horrifying echoes of the Stolen Generations scandal.
‘The Channel 7 crew told the Suruwaha they wanted to allow them to put their side of the story – but actually produced one of the most grotesquely distorted pictures of a tribal people we can remember. The programme even openly fundraised for the missionaries on its website. We hope this ruling will mean we’re less likely to see such dangerous rubbish on TV in the future.’
Channel 7 is seeking a judicial review of the ruling in Australia’s Federal Court.
Note to Editors:
- Survival has written a set of ethical guidelines to help filmmakers work responsibly with tribal peoples. It is also using its Stamp it Out campaign to challenge racist depictions, however unwitting, in the media.
- Previously, Survival has highlighted how British TV company Cicada Films was accused of irresponsibly endangering the lives of Peruvian Indians by allegedly provoking a flu epidemic amongst them; and how a TV series about an Amazonian tribe was labelled ‘staged, false, fabricated and distorted’ by experts.
- Download a Survival briefing sheet on the proposed ‘Muwaji’s law’, the result of a campaign in Brazil by the fundamentalist missionary organization JOCUM (pdf, 70 KB). JOCUM are the Brazilian branch of the US organization Youth with a Mission.
- Download a briefing sheet on what experts and Indians say about JOCUM’s infanticide allegations (pdf, 49 KB).
Basically, I need some sci-fi not created by white people. I really think there’s a connection between your constant reinterpretations of the dystopia and white guilt.
If y’all didn’t feel so bad bout the past (yet refuse to cop to it?) maybe you could paint a picture of the future that wasn’t shitty
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again - most white sci-fi dystopia is basically “ZOMG we’re getting treated like POC”.
That is, society is broken ONLY when it finally happens to white people. This happens in so many flavors of dystopia- from the totalitarian 1984 kind of thing, but even on lesser degrees, like how a major part of the gritty slums of cyberpunk is the fact that “Oh no! We have to live in cities where POC have signs in foreign languages and serve weird foods!”.
The two most extreme examples of white racial dystopia are either the evil POC have taken over and are oppressing everyone, or, the classic aliens/robots are killing/enslaving everyone totally not like what happened in the United States or anything.
My big problem is that their dystopias are usually only right in the most simplistic of ways, and wrong in so many ways. Because they only paint these from the basis of bad things happening TO white people, without usually understanding the social systems of HOW those things happen, and WHO inflicts those things upon people.
I don’t understand the desire to saddle every female character with children regardless of whether they want them as some lazy stand-in for a happy ending, particularly in sci-fi and fantasies. If you’ve earned that with sufficient backstory and evidence, like, FINE. Olivia Dunham and Donna Noble and Scully and Ripley canonically want to have children. Amy Pond, Hermione Granger, Kara Thrace, Katniss Everdeen - these women are all ambiguous about or uninterested in being mothers. So it’s problematic when a head writer or a fan art illustrator or a writer of fanfiction just sticks these women with children as though motherhood is always the inevitable and right and desirable end, even when their characterization directly contradicts that.
Even River Song falls victim to this trope because that is the image Moffat chooses to close on in the Library episodes. River, a woman who has never expressed any desire to raise children or be a mother, someone who (if her arc had allowed for any emotional consequence whatsoever) would likely have had some deep-seated issues with nurturing and parentage and abandonment - is “saved” in a purgatory/afterlife where she is forever caring for these ersatz, computer-generated children. Because children are shorthand for happiness in women’s narratives.
Things I love:
1. Legend of Korra
2. Roller derby
Things I don’t love:
1. Drawing hands
2. Drawing calves
3. Drawing rollerskates
Also I really like that font.
Catch Kevin Wu’s latest comedy program on YouTube, and you might think he’s nothing more than a young Asian American talking to a camera in his bedroom. But almost each of his shows command at least 2 million views — rivaling the nightly TV audiences of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
A disproportionate share of YouTube’s top personalities are minorities, a striking contrast to the most popular shows on mainstream television, where the stars are largely white. These minority-produced, home-grown shows are drawing massive audiences — the top one has 5.2 million subscribers — enough to attract the attention of major advertisers.
“A lot of U.S. marketers are leaving minority audiences on the table,” said Seneca Mudd, the director of industry initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. “Advertisers would ignore that trend at their own peril.”
Among the 20 most-subscribed-to channels on YouTube, eight feature minorities. Most are Asian American. .. Nearly 80 percent of minorities regularly watch online videos, compared with less than 70 percent of whites, the Pew Internet & American Life Project says.
Wu, who ranks 11th among YouTube channels, said he does not intentionally target Asian American issues. But those viewers more easily understand his jokes on dating, stereotypes and the generational clash between parents and kids, he said. “I just tell my stories honestly, and usually Asian Americans will relate to me because they say, ‘That’s how I am and with my parents,’ ” he said.
For minorities, the medium offers a way to push back against stereotypes on network television, said Maureen Guthman, the head of brand strategy and acquisitions for the African American-focused channel TV One. Blacks can present themselves “completely unfiltered and without [someone] telling us, ‘You’ve got to be more this’ or ‘You’ve got to be more that,’ ” she said.
I don’t think some people realise that this attitude is something that is taught by society—people teach boys they shouldn’t care about anything feminine, people make them play with toys that are gendered as masculine, people berate them when they do anything feminine, society essentially tells them that anything masculine is better, then people produce literature and film and TV that reinforce this mindset. It’s obvious that. it. doesn’t. have. to. be. this. way. Sexism isn’t inherent. Literature and TV and film don’t have to reinforce this mindset—entertainment can go against the grain; if people create well-rounded characters, kids have the capacity to accept them, whether they’re male or female.
Great article on the War on Drugs in Australia.
“…the war on drugs seemed waiting for me: deaths, addiction, corruption and failed attempts to bring calm and good sense to a deeply difficult issue. I’d reported it for a decade.
1994 Though E is for Ecstasy is on sale around the world, the book is banned in Australia. Why? Because new censorship codes are designed to pursue the war on drugs. Books and films can be banned for showing drugs and addiction “in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults”.
1994-97 Supreme Court judge James Wood’s royal commission lays bare systemic corruption of the NSW Police Force by the drug trade. Wood’s cautious suggestions for decriminalisation are brushed aside by then-NSW premier Bob Carr.
1996 Bill Clinton’s chief international drugs enforcer, Bob Gelbard, flies in to threaten Tasmania’s legal and lucrative poppy-growing industry to stop the ACT going ahead with a heroin trial. The trial never happens.
1999 Cardinal George Pell quashes plans by the Sisters of Charity to open a safe injecting room at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst.
2001 The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, QC, attacks the “law and order auctions” held at every state election: “My view is that the so-called war on drugs is going the way of most other wars. It’s costing time, it’s costing money, it’s costing lives, it’s achieving nothing other than creating more crime, which I then have to prosecute.”
2005 Australian-raised Nguyen Tuong Van faces execution in Singapore for running drugs. Our hearts are hard. Talkback is loud in its admiration for Singapore. A couple of nights before the kid’s death, Roy Morgan Research finds a great swathe of the nation wants Nguyen to die for trying to smuggle half a kilogram of heroin to Melbourne.
America began its crusade to rid the world of opiates after it occupied the Philippines in the 1890s and discovered opium smuggling was rife in those islands. A passionate fear of opium had grown up in America during the Californian gold rushes – fear mixed up with distaste for the Chinese who smoked the stuff. Race has always been an element in this enduring moral panic.
So, in the first years of the new century, America set out to cleanse the world, especially the white world, of the opiate scourge. At a conference called in Shanghai in 1909, a number of world powers signed up to the American mission. Every one of the dozens of treaties banning drugs since has been, in a sense, a forlorn attempt to make the Shanghai strategy work.”
“Who is that handsome…?”
Favourite Lee Lin Chin moment ever.
omg I totally missed this, whyyyyy. I have got to start watching SBS news again now that we have a TV (unless you can watch full episodes online, does anyone know?)
This is why Shyalaman got so much rage and hate for casting caucasian kids.
This is something I keep trying to convey in conversations about representation. If you never see people who look like you achieve anything, then how do you believe in yourself? It’s not just about fiction (though fiction matters so very much), it is also about what history is taught. Erasing the past can only damage the future.