born to trouble as the sparks fly upward

Recent Entries

You are viewing the most recent 20 entries

November 18th, 2010

03:03 pm: tenjho tenge, v8 pp106-153: NATSUME AYA vs. NATSUME MAYA
In case anyone's curious, this is how you satisfactorily follow up something as emotionally devastating as the aftermath of the preceding four volumes. Behind the cut: nearly fifty (unshrunken so VERY LARGE, be warned) pages of fighting and yelling, as Aya tears into her sister physically and verbally for her part in the tragic circumstances surrounding Natsume Shin's death and Maya's refusal to be anything like forthright enough about how she feels about any of it, and Maya ... well, Maya responds in characteristic fashion while dealing with a still-mostly-broken arm, almost no sleep, and an empty stomach, and cements herself as my favorite character in the whole story in the process. Rampant property damage and violence as a form of therapy to follow, as well as the usual TenTen mix of raunchiness and absurd sex humor (readers familiar with TenTen are quite familiar with the difference by now). (Also bad grammar and poor punctuation and loads of spelling errors, because these pages are from the MangaTranslation version, sry.)

I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

I wasn't kidding about the large images okay )

June 17th, 2010

06:24 pm: let go.
This is a word to all the white folks out there grappling with your own ignorance and inability to register you've just said/done something racist and can't reconcile this with your own identity as someone nice:

Let. It. Go. Let go of that nasty little knot of "but I'd never do that!" that you're carrying around, that sense of martyrdom that springs up in you and that oh-so-damaged sense that your pride in yourself has just been sunk so low you're not sure you'll ever recover.

Because you will. It's in human nature to rebound. Unless, you know, you're suicidal or depressed, but even so: let it go. If you're seriously having sanity issues then you need to recognize that this is the imbalance talking, taking advantage of opportunity; table it until you can if you have to, but don't avoid your responsibility forever. You're white. You're enmeshed in a culture that tells you you don't have to think about these things, that teaches you that you're absolved of all the blame; that your history, even when it matters, is not something you need to take responsibility for.

It is not your fault specifically that you inherit the history of your ancestors, but it is your responsibility to acknowledge your history and to fight it; it is your fault when you allow the cultural colorblindness you inherited to continue, simply because you didn't do it personally, because you didn't start it. It is your fault when you take the experience of being called out for continuing to perpetrate it and being vilified for it and being rightfully torn asunder verbally for it ... and decide to answer it with terrified silence, reinforcing by omission the idea that white people have the right to ignore the damage they have caused and continue to cause.

What have you to fear? Really? What "safety" have you really lost? If you're worried you've lost the ability to unthinkingly enable racist rhetoric and logic, look around you: there are plenty of other spaces on the internet that will welcome you with open arms. You're white. The culture will validate you anywhere. Majority fannish culture still considers your selfishness and disinterest standard operating procedure. Congratulations! You're a white person who doesn't give a shit about non-white people. You're not special. Let go of your martyr complex because it just isn't true.

But if you're scared that somehow this inhibits your ability to speak out against racism, then let me explain something to you: you've already hit bottom. You've made yourself out as a racist. You've publicly shown the world that your white imperiosity has no clothes. You are naked, and honestly: you're white, nobody's surprised. Shocked, horrified, and probably disappointed, but surprised? Not so much. Because everyone else? Everyone else expects this shit from whitey. Maybe not specifically from you, but - you're still white. White culture has spent thousands of years perfecting the "well-intentioned" act of racist erasure. If you're white then you were trained to think this is normal. Behaving like a racist little shit is our status quo.

Even if you think you're an ally. Allies fail too. In fact, many allies start out as failures who get smacked on the mouth hard enough they start listening. Failing again just puts you back at square one, and if you've worked to become an ally before, accept that this means you're starting over, because you should have learned the first time around that putting the effort in is worth it every time, no matter how many times you have to do it, because if you know you can be better then you know how it feels to be better. You should want that. You should work to earn that feeling again. Every white person starts at square one and grows beyond it by looking outward, beyond themselves; are you so afraid of listening to other people that this bothers you? Seriously?

Because - that's the important part about fighting racism. You listen. You learn. You don't take your guilt and shame and misery and turn inward to make the pain all about you; instead, you turn it outward and use that shame to force yourself to do better. Because as bad as you might feel about it, what you did was racist, and "feeling bad about it" means you still don't get it. Because that's nothing compared to the sheer nastiness you inflicted on other people by committing a racist act in the first place.

You get that? Your sorrow means nothing in the face of your own cruelty towards others. That is the lesson you need to learn. To say your feelings matter one bit in the face of a racist act you perpetrated is to make of yourself a white-person crocodile.

Sure, it hurts. Let me guess: you don't trust yourself anymore. How can you speak out again? How can anyone ever trust what you have to say again? But your feelings of self-doubt are nothing compared to systemic oppression and dehumanization and flat-out ignorance of other people even existing.

So you're suicidal (because of a chemical imbalance whose necessary medication you can't afford) over a few words - let's face it, I'm not describing some hypothetical white person's reaction to their fuckup here, I'm describing my own - big fucking deal. They're words, and they're speaking the truth.

If this gets you so out of sorts you're wondering if you have anything in the house to easily over-prescribe yourself, imagine how it feels to go your whole life told you'll always be less than a person in everyone else's eyes for something as unavoidable and impossible to hide as the color of your skin or the shape of your eyes or the consistency of your hair. Those aren't just a few words, said in a moment of justifiable anger; those are the commonplace assumptions of the culture trying to kill yours. Imagine how suicidal you would be then. Imagine how stifled you would feel living with that level of public dismissal surrounding every piece of discourse you ever make.

It is not a dismissal of legitimate psychological issues to say that in comparison your white woman's tears are nothing. It's just fact. Your chemical imbalance does not trump someone else's lived experience.

So get over it. You want to prove to the people who you've hurt that you're not a sparklypoo racist windbag worth ignoring who has her head shoved up her ass so far she can't see anything but shit?

You fight yourself. You fight that impulse that makes you want to shut your mouth and stop talking about why racism is wrong. Because I know it's there. I know you have it because I have it too, when I fail (and I failed hard and recently, so the feelings are still fresh), and that's white privilege talking. That impulse is as racist as the impulse that drove you to spew pain and misery all over everyone else in the first place. You keep talking. You keep fighting the privilege you were born with and you never settle.

And you never, ever, ever expect forgiveness. You understand that? It's not your place to demand anything; you were in the wrong, nobody has to listen to anything you say. You stop expecting forgiveness - because expecting forgiveness means you're still expecting people to care about you more than they have to care about keeping their own sanity in place, and that means you're still acting from your own unacknowledged white privilege, the privilege to make every discussion about race about you instead. (The irony of writing these words in a rant focused specifically on white folks' reactions to being called "racist" does not escape me; nevertheless.)

Let go of yourfuckingself for half a second, okay?

You keep fighting racism because it's the right thing to do - because to do otherwise is to add to oppression and injustice and erasure of all the people who don't get to share in your privilege, in your culturally-enabled desire to pretend that nothing outside your own head really matters. It has nothing to do with who loves you and who doesn't, and everything to do with the fact that racism in any shape or form is wrong.

That's what matters. That's what you need to learn. "Nice" is a pretense you have used up till now to comfort your own feelings and soothe your own fears, and your feelings, your fears, are insignificant in the face of the hate you have allowed to continue perpetrating itself.

So let go of them.

And learn how to listen to other people. For once. For a change. For the rest of your life. Because - if "niceness" is something you give a shit about - there's nothing "nice" about the dismissal of other voices in favor of your own, when you're the one who's always had the power to be heard.

June 9th, 2010

11:38 pm: when i fuck up, i will admit it
Public apology for my last public post, here.

April 29th, 2010

12:47 am: the part of this conversation above the cut functions as both warning and summary.
Uhm. I have no excuse for this.

I ALSO HAVE NO REGRETS


[personal profile] torches: i want to use my "asuka langley shikinami is JUDGING ALL YOUR PORN" icon for this post but it's not actually indicative of the subject matter so i can't
[personal profile] torches: sob
[personal profile] torches: soon
[personal profile] torches: i will find a use for this icon soon
[personal profile] existence: XD
[personal profile] existence: ASUKA WOULD
[personal profile] existence: after all, porn needs a use, otherwise it's just filth.
[personal profile] torches: asuka is totally an intellislasher
[personal profile] existence: with some really filthy ships.
[personal profile] existence: which she totally justifies as GUILTY PLEASURES or something
[personal profile] existence: ...actually, did you see the holmes and watson as supernatural fanboys fic
[personal profile] existence: I. I think Asuka would be holmes.
in which tara commits evangelion chatfic )
[personal profile] existence: ahahahahaha
[personal profile] existence: i
[personal profile] torches: i don't even know where that came from, all right
[personal profile] existence: i don't know either, but i think you now have an excuse to to use that icon
[personal profile] existence: because I need to show this log to other pepole
[personal profile] existence: or. something. because. wow.

Tags: ,

March 18th, 2010

09:05 pm: there are lots of things i love about buso renkin, but one thing i love more than all the rest.
And what I love most about BUSO RENKIN is this: the liner note extras are FANTASTIC. Now, let me point out that this is just how Nobuhiro Watsuki rolls - his RUROUNI KENSHIN tankobons are full of fascinating tidbits too - but BUSO RENKIN's liner notes are far more interesting because of how much more candid and informative they are about the business of making manga, what it takes to simply exist as a WSJ title. Because BuRe was not a flagship title for WSj - unlike RuroKen, which rose to the stratosphere at just the right time, BuRe grew up in the shadow of the decade-long stranglehold ONE PIECE, BLEACH, and NARUTO, all three of which had benefited from the path RuroKen and the series around it blazed for them. And BuRe, for all its fun, does demonstrate one pretty simple fact: Watsuki is a very straightforward and conservative writer when it comes to plot and character archetypes. In terms of his interests, his style, and his structure, he remains indebted to most of the same influences as he was when he drew RuroKen in the '90s. Outside of a growing influence by and fondness for horror tropes and 19th-century architecture and clothing (an influence that bore fruit in his current series, EMBALMING, which is ... a horror series set in the 19th century, of course), the Watsuki of BuRe is in almost every way that counts the same Watsuki of RuroKen. (Although I doubt the Watsuki of RuroKen would've given the world Papillon.)

Frankly, that's all right by me; when I got interested in BuRe, "more of the same Watsuki" was exactly what I wanted, and it ended up surpassing my expectations a few times. I was more than happy with that.

But I can see why it never managed to unseat the reigning kings of modern shounen. It never really did discover a unique enough identity that would give it the strength to even attempt toppling them.

And that makes the liner notes to the manga even more fascinating, to me, because that struggle is all over the BuRe extra pages.

You see, to expand on what I was saying earlier, it's a Watsuki trademark that he fills extra space in the tankobon volumes with design notes, background detail that couldn't fit in the manga proper, and most importantly, a detailed running commentary about what he was doing and why he did it and often what he thought about the response the audience had to what he did ... for every single chapter. He did this for RuroKen, too, but IIRC, to nowhere near the fanatical level of behind-the-scenes detail that exists in each volume of BuRe.

He talks about how the audience polls work. he talks about what it's like to change the entire concept of the manga ten chapters in based on negative audience response. He talks about dealing with editors, about what kind of decisions a shounen mangaka ought to get used to making instantly if they want to succeed, the difference between audience growth and personal growth, about how mangaka often ask fellow mangaka to help them out with design work sometimes, and about his unending fascination with French cinema and X-Men. And he talks about how much he wanted to do, and then didn't, and he talks about why it worked and why it didn't.

It's a catalogue of missteps and triumphs and successes that is incredible to read because every single word of it just hammers home that what Watsuki does is a labor of love, and nothing else. He is a mangaka because he's wired that way: he doesn't know how to be anyone else.

One anecdote Watsuki tells is, if I'm remembering the exact details right, about a high school reunion, and the feelings he has knowing he would have to face his old high school class knowing that they were all planning to go on to college, and Watsuki's only plan was to drop out and become a mangaka, and how awkward that is to face people with. I don't remember if he ever went, but his talking about how he felt thinking about it still sticks with me.

I don't know why he decided to tell anyone about that in the liner notes. I honestly don't. I mean, it's an incredibly brave thing to tell anyone, much less an audience full of people who don't even know you. But I am grateful he did. I'mn grateful he cared enough about his audience to try and treat us like friends who he could share even sad stories with, because even if the words are carefully considered, he wanted that kind of close connection that made his audience feel like he was listening, and that he wanted them to listen too.

Some mangaka can get away with being mysterious, flighty, or incredibly rude to their audience, and that's just how they are - the early volumes of GINTAMA, before the manga got too boring for me, were full of passive-aggressive rage directed at any audience who thought the manga was supposed to be "entertaining", and I thought it was hilarious - but Watsuki just wants to make people feel welcomed, and that, I find, is the reason I can return to BuRe so often, and even when it pisses me off (like with parts of the early LXE arc) and even at its most painfully generic I can still find it rewarding.

It's honest. Everything about it is completely transparent. There are no hidden tricks that make it work. It's a naked expression of the author's earnest desire to connect with an audience who will like him. It knows what it is, Watsuki knows who he is, and every single page reflects Watsuki trying to convey that sense. Not every page succeeds. But every page tries, and that it's honest about admitting when it fails makes its failures miniature successes instead.

It's a treasure trove of insight into how the business works and what the cost of survival in the WSJ pressure-cooker really looks like from one of the most thoughtful voices working in the field today.

That's just fucking wonderful. No other extra-page filler in any shounen manga that I've had the chance to read comes even close.

Tags:

December 20th, 2009

12:31 pm: in comments to this post:
Giant robot series/shows/movies/whatever with female lead (i.e., clearly non-supporting) heroines who PILOT THEIR OWN FUCKING ROBOTS.

Name them. You have no restrictions on genre or media type, this is not an anime-only list, bbs, the female character just has to be a main character and there have to be actual giant robots ('Mechs count, BTech fans on my flist!), or else it doesn't count.

I want a fucking number.

ETA: Making this public. Link it around, kids. Let's see what we kick up.

ETA 2: Original entry @ DW. Entry @ LJ.
I really recommend everyone keep track of both posts, too! A lot of suggestions people are making on one post have already been hashed out on the other!


ETA 3 - The List: (bear in mind I am writing Yuletide so updates to the post might be sporadic, keep an eye on comments)

RIDEBACK
TOP O NERAE! 2: DIEBUSTER
VOLTRON
SIMOUN
IDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA
SORA WO KAKERU SHOUJO
TOP O NERAE!/GUNBUSTER
BOKURANO
TALES OF THE BLACK WIDOW COMPANY (Battletech scenario book)
MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH
PATLABOR
HOSHI NO KOE/VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR
SOUTHERN CROSS


ETA 4:

I admit to creating this list with an axe to grind. I griped at [personal profile] das_dingsi the other day about how I wanted more fucking actual female main characters in giant robot series, because it sure as hell felt like there weren't many of them, and then I got the idea: well, why not find out how many there actually are, so I can have concrete numbers to throw around instead of feeling disgruntled and lonely and ignored by my favorite story genre?

So.

That's what I was trying to do. It is kind of readily apparent (to me, anyway) that this was not entirely clear to the people who were coming in to the post blind. (and that's okay. You're coming blind! I wanted you to! I did ask people to link this everyfuckingwhere. It's my fault for not making myself clear beforehand; I should've waited until I had the time to articulate all the reasoning behind this list.)

So, to clarify what I mean by "main" character: To me, and this is the definition I am pretty sure is supposed to be the standard, a "main" character is either the headlining lead - the one called "the hero of the story" in the press material surrounding the series, the one the art clearly indicates is The Hero, the immediately apparent driving force of the series, the viewpoint character - or part of an ensemble where there is no clear main and/or "viewpoint" character and each character gets development equally (by which I mean, we spend an equal amount of time looking through their point of view on the story, not that they get equally developed via their interaction with the "viewpoint" character, as is the case in, say, SAKURA WARS). I wanted the "viewpoint" characters, I guess, is what I was trying to say.

Anything less comes off, to me, as a "major" character, but a "major" character is still supporting the "main" character, if less obviously so than the actual "supporting" characters.

That said, I feel like not counting series with "major" roles for female robot pilots does those series a disservice and dismisses the role those characters play in providing models for fangirls of what they can be in stories. So I'm expanding the original list into two lists: Viewpoint Protagonist, for those series where the female character gets to tell the story herself, and Major Protagonist, for anything else. In the case of video games where you can "choose" the protagonist, I'm still unsure, but I do want to count them, so for now I'm slotting them under Major Protagonist until I can figure out a clearer division for the medium.

(I am tentatively considering making a third list for "Ensemble" shows, with multiple female robot pilots, but I'm not sure there's a good reason for it, since most of the shows with female pilot leads tend to end up having female supporting-cast members who pilot giant robots, too.)

I'm not counting series where the heroes use person-sized Armor Suits to fight in, because while there's often significant overlap between Armor Suit stories and Giant Robot stories, it's too complicated an overlap to articulate easily and I'd need more time than I can devote to this list at present to make it worth the discussion that would provoke. Having an Armor Suit that eventually hooks up with a Giant Robot doesn't count either. I am also not counting Major Antagonists, so no, Haman Khan and Soma Peries are not applicable to this list as they come into the franchise on Zeon/PLA's side. I am also not counting stories where the giant robots are incidental or peripheral to the majority of the story: it has to be a significantly substantial part of the plot and plot setup that the character in question has a giant robot and can use it from the start, or else it's inapplicable.

(A hypothetical set of examples, to clarify: suddenly discovering ten episodes in that she has a giant robot does not count if the lead boys have had their giant robots and been using them for the preceding ten episodes, but if she's introduced in episode two and has a giant robot of her own by the end of episode two then it does count.)

For further clarification, since this is also providing some confusion: when I use the term "Giant Robot" I am referring to any robots - transforming vehicles, whatever - that then require pilots. I realize the line between an Armor Suit like, say, the powered armor in STARSHIP TROOPERS and something like, say, the Cyclone/Armo-Cycle from ROBOTECH/GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA is a pretty damn thin one, but the characters treat it like a transforming robot rather than powered armor, and that's the distinction I'm looking for here. Real Robots and Super Robots both count as "Giant Robots" for the purposes of this discussion, okay? Don't let that stop you.

That's the criteria I'm trying to use to make the lists, and, with those criteria in mind, these are the lists.


Viewpoint Protagonists:
(Keep in mind that this list is only for all canons where the lead character is female, and that this is no guarantee the series is either feminist or that it's well-written/well-animated or that it has multiple female characters besides the viewpoint protagonist or that it has multiple female characters that don't die, or any other problematic elements that might arise.)
RIDEBACK
TOP O NERAE! 2: DIEBUSTER
SIMOUN
IDOLM@STER XENOGLOSSIA
SORA WO KAKERU SHOUJO
TOP O NERAE!/GUNBUSTER
TALES OF THE BLACK WIDOW COMPANY (Battletech scenario book)
MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH
PATLABOR
HOSHI NO KOE/VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR
SOUTHERN CROSS
SOUKOU NO STRAIN
DANCOUGA NOVA
SKY GIRLS

Major Protagonists:
(Keep in mind that this list, in addition to being at risk of the same potential problems as the preceding list, also includes canons that are glorified dating sims and where the major protagonist in question may be a love interest of the actual main character and all the attendant tropes that might imply; these stories are not necessarily or consistently told from the viewpoint of the women in the story.)
PSALMS OF PLANETS EUREKA SEVEN
VOLTRON
BOKURANO
ONE MUST FALL: 2097
GAD GUARD
CODE GEASS: LELOUCH OF THE REBELLION
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION
XENOGEARS
SHINKAN GATTAI GODANNAR!!
BETTERMAN
SOUSEI NO AQUARION
SUPER ROBOT WARS
SAKURA WARS
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 0080: WAR IN THE POCKET
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM: 08TH MS TEAM
EXOSQUAD
SEI JUSHI BISMARK/SABER RIDER AND THE STAR SHERIFFS
SUPER DIMENSIONAL FORTRESS MACROSS
SUPER DIMENSIONAL FORTRESS MACROSS II
MACROSS 7
MACROSS FRONTIER
GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA
(ROBOTECH)
(BATTLETECH)
KENRAN BUTOH SAI THE MARS DAYBREAK

December 13th, 2009

11:57 am: believers never die.
At one point in Mary Borsellino's THE WOLF HOUSE: ORIGINS AND OVERTURES, a character says "Origin stories are crap."

Not all of them.

This one isn't.

This is for the freaks, the geeks, the loners and the losers, the ones who never got along with anything but the bruises and the people who bled from their own self-inflicted wounds because ... well, because of a lot of reasons, because they never felt comfortable being together and because they never held themselves in a way that made people think they had something to steal, to feed on. It's for the barely and the merely human among you. But it's for more than that.

With a sharp clarity that rarely makes it into even the most clear-headed self-conscious "literary" novels, ORIGINS AND OVERTURES is as focused on the faces we present to the world as it is with stripping them away to reveal that even the coolest, the richest, the snobbiest, and the impossibly secure are as raw and fucked as the ones who don't know how to hide what scars their lives have produced.

And it's not about how vampires and anything like that could ever bring you happiness or specialness. Vampires, as the characters are quick to point out, are a metaphor, and not always a very good one, even - especially - when they're real creatures too. One of THE WOLF HOUSE's greatest accomplishments is its deft, overt acknowledgment of the pop culture context it belongs in - complete with references from its monster-movie-fan main character: Poppy Z Brite! THE LOST BOYS! Anne Rice! Vampire: the Masquerade! - right alongside its own vividly realized monsters, vampires as nonmetaphorical as they are personably nonhuman. And they offer no grand escape from the problems a regular old confused human freak ever has to face. Some greater security, a home, immortality: great, but hardly the lifesaver it's made out to be for an angry punk rock chick confused about everything and uncomfortable in her own skin - do you really think immortality fixes these things?

THE WOLF HOUSE doesn't.

This is a messy, bracing book, but under the fangs of a hot teenage summer, it has a bleeding heart, fresh and warm and alive.

God, it's so good it makes me want to scream.

October 17th, 2009

02:14 pm: a longer review of that movie with that kid and those things
children, wake up, hold your mistakes up )

I just wish I'd have seen this movie when I was still young enough to need it.

Tags:

September 9th, 2009

11:11 pm: just fyi i am insane
I don't think I can manage any others tonight because these took so damn long and ended up HUEG LIEK XBOX, so I am just saying now: I'll get to the rest of these tomorrow. (These really ended up more like fic than anything else; I swear to god that wasn't my intention, as I have already mentioned how much I dislike my writing most of the time).

For now:

Five pieces of fanon for Relena and Heero from GUNDAM WING, which is really about how much they can't fucking say three simple words and/or don't need to )


Five times John Silver didn't regret leaving Treasure Planet behind, all of which are deep and pure and not at all made of trashy pirate lovin' )


Five pieces of fanon about Kei and Kaneda from AKIRA, which should *really* just be 'Five times Kei and Kaneda had sex with each other' because that's what it turned into )

Tags: , , ,

August 15th, 2009

02:36 pm: accomplished perfect physician my ass
[info - personal] arionhunter finally writes that essay I've been waiting for Avery to write about DC Comics' Great Ten superteam and the fucking disgusting cultural poaching they represent.

Go, read (and watch the ARMOR HERO opening while you're there, it's pretty cool). The concepts ze's taking down in that essay are FULL OF FUCKING FAIL, but Avery's putdown of each one is masterful. I have such fucking smart and awesome friends.

July 30th, 2009

09:46 pm: IBARW requests, day 4
I have some bad news for you guys. I've just been informed that tomorrow we're going to Canada, and I'm going too, and therefore I probably won't be able to finish all ten of the ones I promised I'd do - for sure! - by the end of the week. That doesn't mean I'm not going to try, but I might have to postpone the completion of all these till next week unless by some miracle I can knock out two more pictures in the next seven hours (which will require me not sleeping, as well).

This makes me very cross.

On the plus side, though - if I can't complete all ten by tomorrow morning, I'll just do all six of the remaining requests next week, since, you see, I won't have any time constraints to worry about after that.

Anyway. Here we go.

All images 500x500px.

First: Dutch, for simargl_wings )

Second: Noguchi Machiko, for ilyena_sylph )

Tags:

July 29th, 2009

09:03 pm: IBARW requests, day 3
Yes, yes. I know. But I've set up a system, and I'm damn well going to follow that system even if it doesn't make any sense.

All images 500x500px.

First: Lala Gonzalez, for furikku )

Second: Shilo Norman (Mister Miracle III), for alephz )

Tags:
12:12 pm: IBARW requests, day 2
Images, same as before, 500x500px.

First: Beatriz da Costa (Fire), for kefanii )

Second: Blaise Zabini, for wyomingnot )

Tags:

July 28th, 2009

10:45 pm: IBARW: this is my life. this is a white lie. this is why you fight.
I did not intend to make this post.




This is not a post about fun things, or good things, although it should be: I am so fucking honored that [info - community] eid_ka_chand wants me to do art for their month o' Ramadan character-spam, I cannot tell you. I'm kind of floating on vibes of pure awesome right now.

Which is why I made the mistake of telling my mother "Yeah, I've got an invite to do art for this fan comm for Muslim characters in fiction during the month of Ramadan, it's totally awesome!"

Naturally, she wants me to be careful it's not some sort of clever attempt at brainwashing me into converting to Islam and/or a sekrit terrorist front.

What I said was: "It's just for fun."

What I wanted to say was: "Get the fuck out, I can't believe you'd even say that."

But I don't have the relationship with my mom where I can say that and she'd listen.




A conversation between two of my friends at the local Chinese restaurant, two days ago:

"Of course you like noodles, Chris, you're Asian."

"Actually, you know, since I'm Korean, if I had a stereotypical food I liked to eat, it'd probably be kimchi. But I've never even tried it. I think it'd make my mouth explode."




It's not in the past, in history, where it can't touch anyone, and is only an ache like some people have when it rains; it's here, all around us, every day. It is all-pervasive, it is slick, it is larger than life and bigger than the Beatles.

It is white boys in doo-rags listening to Geto Boyz and thinking they know shit. It is a convention attended mostly by Americans that proudly claims it is the "Convention of Otaku Generation" (sic). It is "why are all those anime characters white?" It is "black people on book covers don't sell". It is THE BOONDOCKS disappearing from the funny pages because people "didn't like its tone". It is nobody batting an eye at Illinois Nazis while Barack Obama has to answer for the mistakes of Louis Farrakhan. It is people finding SIXTEEN CANDLES funny.

It is all those little white lies, told every hour of every damn day, solidifying into a malignant cancer of the conscience.

And sometimes the best we can do to fight it is to sit down at a computer and type words into a little box, and hope that someone else sees them, and knows what we're talking about, or will learn.

The best we can do is exactly what we have to do. Cancer doesn't die by ignoring it. You have to kill it. So we have to kill the lies. Open our mouths. Put fingers to keyboards, like horses on battlefields, and change the world with words, one line at a time, one voice at a time, one listener at a time.

Fight back.

Tell the world: Come get some.

That's why we talk about it; that's why blogging is necessary. Sometimes we can do nothing else, sometimes there is nothing else left to do (because we're already doing enough of everything else).

Sometimes you just have to say something.




I didn't intend to make this post. But I had to say something.

Tags: ,
08:14 am: so! IBARW has started.
That means I'm going to do what I did last time I was in a situation where I had the time to do something like this (because the results turned out so well), and open this up to anyone who wants to swing by:

Give me the name of a character of color and I will draw them. If you have a preference for hairstyle and costume, all I ask is that you provide me with pictorial reference so I get it right. I am, because of the theme, specifically looking for CoC who don't live/weren't born in the US; however, I'll draw anyone.

Going by the last time I did this, I'm going to say I can only handle ten requests if I'm going to finish them all by the end of the week (I AM SO SLOW ;o;) - so, first come, first served, first ten responses (cumulative across all three journaling services I crosspost to) are guaranteed a drawing of some kind. I can't be sure I can pull it off, after that!

Requests Taken

01: Lalah Sune, by [info - livejournal.com] thelastsong. COMPLETE.
02: Shuuichi Nitori, by [info - personal] kanata. COMPLETE.
03: Beatriz da Costa (Fire), by [info - livejournal.com] kefanii. COMPLETE.
04: Blaise Zabini, by [info - personal] wyomingnot. COMPLETE.
05: Lala Gonzalez, by [info - livejournal.com] furikku. COMPLETE.
06: Shilo Norman (Mister Miracle III), by [info - livejournal.com] alephz. COMPLETE.
07: Dutch (no last name), by [info - livejournal.com] simargl_wings. COMPLETE.
08: Noguchi Machiko, by [info - personal] ilyena_sylph. COMPLETE.
09: Inanna, by [info - personal] havocthecat.
10: Nemesis, by [info - livejournal.com] erf_

ALL TEN REQUESTS HAVE BEEN TAKEN. However, I will take four more on a provisional basis, provided y'all understand I may not actually get to those in time; I just hate to say no. :(

11: Teyla Emmagan, by [info - personal] tielan.
12: Roman "Rome" Pearce, by [info - personal] katarik.
13: Charles Gunn, by [info - personal] lady_ganesh.
14: Soheila "Sol" Aboujib, by [info - livejournal.com] chomiji.

And that's, well ... that. Thanks for all the requests, you guys. THIS IS SO MUCH FUN YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

Tags:

June 16th, 2009

02:00 pm: green means go


March 6th, 2009

06:25 pm: fifteen simple steps to poison your own well
Elizabeth Bear did it, and now you can, too!

1. Make a post about "Writing the Other."
2. Get called on your own failure to follow your own advice.
3. Fall all over your pantsless ass apologizing and pulling up your britches, claim to moderate comments in case people claim your ass ain't bare.
4. Don't moderate comments.
5. Let your friends call the people pointing out your failure "unintelligent", "overemotional", and "an angry mob". Don't say anything to contradict them, and when confronted with this, ban people from your journal for doing so.
6. Let discussion continue till other white folks get involved, insult intelligence, credibility, ability to perceive racism of people pointing out failure in lurid and explicitly vulgar detail (see also: "nithings" and "orcing").
7. When asked if you're at all able to comment on this behavior by people representing themselves as acting in your best interests, ban questioners for lowering tone of discussion.
8. When confronted, claim "it's not about me", disable comments, refuse to discuss further, ban anyone attempting to engage people making racist comments, don't ban the people still making racist comments.
9. Make smart decision, shut the fuck up, let discussion run its course (without you, beyond you, ignoring you, because you have demonstrated inability to participate in it without being disruptive and "lowering tone of discussion" to borrow your perception of rest of discussion).
10. Fail to politely take "friends" to the side and tell them "you're not helping" at any point during discussion. Watch as conversation moves on. Never apologize. Never compromise. Not even in the face of armageddon. Never compromise.
11. Presumably, breathe sigh of relief that now nobody will call you on your failure again.
12. Silently observe associate of yours get upset that he can't control level of discourse, involve fellow nutcase, and willfully attempt to silence white ally and badger her until she is no longer able to participate in discussion without fear of reprisal. "Silently": means you say nothing about the gross breach of ethics this is.
13. When this (justifiably) breaks into offended rage, write post about how your earlier falling all over your own pantsless ass wasn't actually motivated by recognizing your own failure but was in fact only a cheap ploy for sympathy and accolades from the panut gallery who were obviously not as awesome as you because they took you at your word when you wrote it.
14. Later, edit post to claim somehow this was meant to imply sympathy for white ally who was threatened, badgered, attacked. Show up in comments and give off impression of manic-depressive off your meds, alternating between apologizing and accusing all critics of being suspect because of one person receiving threatening phone calls, ignoring all arguments from critics to effect of denying involvement and/or encouragement of such abuse.
15. Fall all over your pantsless ass apologizing and pulling up your britches, claiming that you will now delete all previous entries related to this subject "for good of discussion". Screen comments on post where you say this.

Anything I missed?

February 3rd, 2009

04:22 pm: art: combat rock
Raze and Lucian from UNDERWORLD: RISE OF THE LYCANS, drawn from memory so no promises on the accuracy of the clothes. Just fucking around with my new rapidograph and brushes.

just a rage and three kinds of yes )

Grr rar, and all that stuff.

February 2nd, 2009

01:12 am: not really a meme, not really a content-filled post
Five vids I wish I could make but don't have the skill or software to successfully make:

1. Song: Stars, "Calendar Girl"
Source: MAGICAL GIRL LYRICAL NANOHA A'S
Focus: Wide-focus plot-centric vid of fluffy puppies and angst. I have wanted to make this vid for two years now; I will either make it myself someday or commission someone to do it for me during Sweet Charity. I can see the scenes for every line so vividly that even though I know it makes no sense I am convinced Stars wrote this song specifically so that someone could make a Nanoha vid set to it.
lyrics )

2. Song: TV on the Radio, "Hours"
Source: MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM WING
Focus: The pilots being ... well, the pilots. I don't know; I keep trying to write Wing off like the goofy style-over-substance misfire that it really is, but there's something that keeps dragging me back to it and making me love it because it's so gleeful about its status as the redheaded stepchild of the franchise, and despite myself I love the pilots and at some point after rewatching the series last October I also pulled out RETURN TO COOKIE MOUNTAIN and within the first minute of "Hours" I knew this was a song about Gundam pilots in a five-man band. It could conceivably work for GUNDAM 00 as well, but honestly, I think "Hours (El-P Remix)" is a better version of this song if that was going to happen. This one's too bouncy to fit 00 as well. And I have just showed you I think far too much about these things.
lyrics )

3. Song: The Delgados, "The Drowning Years"
Source: Mai-HiME
Focus: "Third-person limited", if such a term is even applicable to a vid, specifically focused on Mai and Yuuichi and the relationship surrounding them as well as their own, because I have a fucking OT5 and even if I'm just focusing on two parts of it everybody else is in there. This is an agenda vid: it's about Yuuichi and Mai's respective falls and the way they orbit each other in the process. The first chorus is, in my head, Mai's; the second Yuuichi's. This is a relatively new one compared to the others, but the Delgados in general make a lot of music that ought to be used in anime vids of a certain type and I'm surprised I didn't go "OMG WANT" at any of their songs sooner. (In fact, the Delgados did get used by an anime once! GUNSLINGER GIRL used "The Light Before We Land" as its opening theme.)
lyrics )

4. Song: Tv on the Radio, "Dirtywhirl"
Source: TENJHO TENGE (manga)
Focus: Maya Natsume. I don't actually think this one needs much in the way of elaboration. Trust me, if you've read the source and know the song, it will be very clear to you that the only reason nobody's made this vid yet is because vidding a comic book - especially one as chaotic/kinetic as TenTen - is damned near impossible to do well. This is another vid I've wanted to make for at least a year and a half.
lyrics )

5. Song: Bob Dylan, "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again"
Source: NEAR DARK (You can legally watch this on Hulu now, just so you know.)
Focus: I'd say "Caleb's journey" but ... that's basically the film's whole plot. I have nearly mapped out how I'd vid this movie to this song already, so this vid's hypothetical creation would just be a matter of doing it (which I can't, as I have not the necessary equipment). Also, the metaphorical weight of the song is totally the same as the movie, that whole sense of a "good ol' boy" in waaaaay over his head in a place that ain't so good for his health or sanity. It is basically the movie in a song! And as such it needs to be a vid for the movie, so people can watch it and understand why the damned thing is so fascinating and appalling to those of us who like it. (Because it is such a wonderful film about a trashy, vicious, imperfect, raw little story, and this is a wonderful song about trashy, vicious, imperfect little lives.)
lyrics )

Blah.

Powered by InsaneJournal