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Recs & an Update - moonspinner
moonspinner
moonspinner
Recs & an Update
So here are a handful of links that have served to distract me from nano these past weeks:

Fanfic pet peeves #3: Attack of the evil ex-crush: With her usual blend of seriousness and wit, fialleril examines one more bad example of art imitating life and challenges us all to extend both our creativity but our ethics as fan fiction writers.

Lana: rodent. temptress. frigid asexual. un-All American Girl Next Door. Let's break it down: Can I just say how happy I am that this was written when it did? I speak from my personal encounter with marikology/tobywolf13when I say some (not all) Lana hate is linked to racism. Hopefully this meta go beyond the borders of Smallville to cut across other fandoms and make everyone ask themselves hard questions. Kudos to juxtoppozed for stirring the pot.

The MySpace Tragedy. I found this via r0ck3tsci3ntist and thinking on this still saddens me to this day. As someone who's recently come face to face with the Dark of Cyber Witchhunting, I completely related with this poor girl. I have no idea how I'd have coped if age and maturity were not on my side. Far too many people forget that there are real and fragile beings behind the user name and VDU screen.





So far so good. It's slow but it's steady and a nice, lazy weekend is coming up. Wish me luck!

Tags: ,
Current Mood: pensive pensive

14 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
indiefic From: indiefic Date: November 20th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
The My Space tragedy happened not far from what I live and I cannot express how much it angers and saddens me. Some days I have no faith in humanity.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: November 20th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know the feeling.
frostbit_sky From: frostbit_sky Date: November 21st, 2007 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
The MySpace story is the most depressing thing ever. :*(

I can't even speak right now.
fialleril From: fialleril Date: November 21st, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
*huggles* Thanks for the rec dear. :) I am anxiously awaiting any scathing comments you may have. ;)

Also many thanks for the link to the Smallville meta. As you know, I've never seen an episode of Smallville, but it was still an excellent meta, and I'm very glad someone is bringing these points up. I've noticed a lot of what I suppose you could call "soft" racism in fandom, especially in fanfic, and most of the time I think that authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Just as a single example: how many black OCs have you run across in Star Wars fanfic? I think I can count the number I've seen on one finger. Which is really just sad. And don't even get me started on aliens...

Hmm... I sense another pet peeve coming on. ;)

As for the MySpace tragedy: that makes me angry beyond words. Behavior like that from adults is appalling. And it cost a child her life...
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: November 22nd, 2007 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I've noticed a lot of what I suppose you could call "soft" racism in fandom, especially in fanfic, and most of the time I think that authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Just as a single example: how many black OCs have you run across in Star Wars fanfic?

Word. They never seem to come in any colour other than white, don't they? *rolls eyes* And when one realizes that they could literally be any colour in the GFFA, that's not only sad, it's also rather uncreative. :P

Hmm... I sense another pet peeve coming on. ;)

Go for it! :D

As for the MySpace tragedy: that makes me angry beyond words. Behavior like that from adults is appalling. And it cost a child her life...

It's terrible. I don't know what they were thinking, or expecting as their final endgame but I'd like to believe that they did not know it would end up the way it did. Her parents are pushing to make that kind of cyber bullying a crime. I hope they succeed.
fialleril From: fialleril Date: November 22nd, 2007 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
And when one realizes that they could literally be any colour in the GFFA, that's not only sad, it's also rather uncreative. :P

Amen, sistah! :D Of course, it doesn't help that Lucas himself is sadly lacking in the diversity department. He basically gave us one main black character per episode. Only one. And has any one else noticed that black women pretty much don't exist in the SW universe? What's up with that?

In my own happy little world, Tamrin (Luke's wife) is black. And yes, some day I will write that fic. ;)

Go for it! :D

Oh the pet peeve is definitely going to happen. It will probably be next, in fact. So stay tuned. ;)

Her parents are pushing to make that kind of cyber bullying a crime. I hope they succeed.

I really hope so too. I believe falsifying identity is normally a crime in realspace, yes? It should also be one on cyberspace. Whether the person falsifying their identity is a pedophile seeking a child for sex or parents who want to get revenge on their teenage daughter's former friend.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: November 22nd, 2007 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)
That totally rocks about Tamrin. :D And as far as I'm concerned, you've already written the fic. You just need to show the character a little more. I think there's a fine line between bringing in a non-white character and beating it over the audience's head that the character is non-white. Like Lana Lang in Smallville who's being played by a Eurasian actress. I didn't need anyone to tell me that Lana Lang is also Eurasian or to trace her ancestry. Most of her haters keep going on and on about how she cannot be related to French aristocracy because she's half-Asian. *rolls eyes* I tell them that if being so hung up about her ancestry is borderline racist.

/end rant

Sorry for the sidetracking but recalling the whole drama makes me mad.

I believe falsifying identity is normally a crime in realspace, yes? It should also be one on cyberspace. Whether the person falsifying their identity is a pedophile seeking a child for sex or parents who want to get revenge on their teenage daughter's former friend.

Definitely. I'd vote for that bill if I could.
fialleril From: fialleril Date: November 22nd, 2007 07:45 am (UTC) (Link)
The problem I've discovered with writing is that audiences tend to assume a character is white unless you are fairly explicit in your description. Though I wonder what this is like for non-whites. Do they imagine characters to be of their own race unless told otherwise? I would assume so, but I've never gotten up the courage to actually ask someone straight out, so I'm not sure.

But I have noticed that SW fans tend to assume a human character is white unless told otherwise. Palo is an excellent example. Pretty much everyone who's ever used the character assumes that he is (stereotypically) Italian. Admittedly, that probably has something to do with his name, but we've seen that name patterns don't hold for racial identity in Star Wars. (For example, Padmé is a Tibetan word, and Anakin is Japanese, I believe.)

So when I write my Tamrin fic, I think I will have to mention her skin color somehow. But I don't want to make a big deal out of it. It's a part of who she is, but it doesn't define her. Does that make sense?

But yes, I agree that you don't want to beat the race issue over the head. One of the things I like about SW is that, despite the fact that it's somewhat lacking in racial minorities, the minority human characters who are present don't seem to be treated any differently because of their race. It seems to be a non-issue.

I always loved that scene in ESB where Lando flirts with Leia. Because while Han acts a bit jealous, everyone in the scene reacts as though there were nothing at all unusual about the possibility of a mixed-race relationship. Because there isn't. :)
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: November 22nd, 2007 08:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I would assume so, but I've never gotten up the courage to actually ask someone straight out, so I'm not sure.

Well you can ask me. :P It depends a lot on the story/the story's writer. Unless otherwise stated, I usually cast the main hero as my crush of the moment. :p For a long time that was (love) Michael J. Fox (love) (unless it was expressly stated that the guy was tall :P) but it's also been (hot!) Taye D (hot!), James Franco or Denzel W. I usually cast a hotter version of myself as the female lead. :/

I think also that it was the word Palo that made me cast him as Italian-ish. But you're right, it doesn't follow. I like your Palo. You've got me so interested in the character that I've mentally cast him as Taye Diggs. I hope you don't mind. :)

So when I write my Tamrin fic, I think I will have to mention her skin color somehow. But I don't want to make a big deal out of it. It's a part of who she is, but it doesn't define her. Does that make sense?

Oh well said! And word on the Lando/Leia flirting. It is completely taken for granted, that yes, Lando is a(n all) ladies man and yes, Han has serious competition there. Nobody starts asking for his genealogy or says that by flirting with Leia, Lucas is pretending that Lando is white. *rolls eyes at the people who think Superman's girl friend must be the Nordic blonde*



fialleril From: fialleril Date: December 2nd, 2007 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Well you can ask me. :P

Sweetness! You are my new hero. :D Well, not that you weren't before, but you know...

Actually, I recently went home with a black friend for Thanksgiving and had the chance to ask her this question. She said that the effects of colonization, slavery, and racism are still so strong that, unless she knows the author of a story is black, or unless she consciously thinks about how she is going to picture the characters, she will still visualized them as white. But I'm not sure that would be the universal black experience. I think there are a lot more lingering effects of slavery and apartheid in the southern US than there are in England, but I could be wrong.

So I googled for Taye Diggs, and I think he does make a pretty good Palo. Except that he tends to be lacking in hair. ;) But I don't mind you casting him as Palo. Actually I think he's pretty close to the look I imagined. :) But I think I've finally found the perfect actor for Palo. Are you familiar with Chiwetel Ejiofor? I just discovered him while googling, and he seems to be teh coolness. And also hot, of course. ;)

For kicks, I recommend this piece: Ewan McGregor Plots to Kill Chiwetel Ejiofor. Apparently they're doing Othello together, with Ewan as Iago. :P Sadly, tickets sold out back in May. *sniffs*

Nobody starts asking for his genealogy or says that by flirting with Leia, Lucas is pretending that Lando is white.

Thank goodness for that! *shudders at the thought* I always loved that scene in ESB. Personally, I think Leia/Lando would make a fun OTP. :D

As for Superman, well... I'm waiting for the day they cast Clark Kent as black or Hispanic (or anything non-white, really). I mean, come on. Why not?
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: December 3rd, 2007 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately, your friend's experience will probably be true for most
African Americans. :(

I forgive Taye!Palo's lack of hair by the sad fact that he underwent premature balding.

Chiwetel was the operator in Serenity! He also starred in Children of Men. I'd have loved to watch him on stage. *sigh*

Superman as a minority race? Considering the tiffs over Jessica Alba being the Invisible Woman, I doubt it. Clark Kent's too much a part of American folklore. *rolls eyes*
fialleril From: fialleril Date: December 3rd, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately, your friend's experience will probably be true for most
African Americans. :(


Yes, I get the impression that's probably true. I think it's very sad. Actually, I think it's pretty sad that whites can think and function as though they were the norm, even if that view weren't imposed on everyone else...

I forgive Taye!Palo's lack of hair by the sad fact that he underwent premature balding.

Well... I suppose that's possible. ;) It would actually fit in pretty well with his Anabasis!character, where his horrific experiences in prison have left him prematurely aged in a lot of ways.

Chiwetel was the operator in Serenity! He also starred in Children of Men. I'd have loved to watch him on stage. *sigh*

Sadly I have yet to see either of those films, but since I've read such great reviews of Chiwetel's work in them, I think I really need to now. And his being a stage actor as well gives him double plus extra points in my book. :D

Superman as a minority race? Considering the tiffs over Jessica Alba being the Invisible Woman, I doubt it. Clark Kent's too much a part of American folklore. *rolls eyes*

*sighs* I think that's completely ridiculous. I don't see any legitimate reason why someone of a minority race cannot/should not be an American icon. And as for "all American," well, if they really wanted an "all American" cast, they'd have to hire only pure-blooded Native Americans.

Actually, it might be nice to see a show cast that way for a change, but that's another issue entirely. As would the fact that the same people who would object to a black Clark Kent would also probably object to a Native American Clark Kent on the grounds that he would be un-American. Which is so patently ridiculous that it would be funny, if only it wasn't so offensive.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: December 4th, 2007 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I get the impression that's probably true. I think it's very sad. Actually, I think it's pretty sad that whites can think and function as though they were the norm, even if that view weren't imposed on everyone else...

Which is odd because "white" isn't as unvaried as say, Asian. Irish and Scots have only recently stopped being second-class in Britain.

Well... I suppose that's possible. ;) It would actually fit in pretty well with his Anabasis!character, where his horrific experiences in prison have left him prematurely aged in a lot of ways.

Actually I was thinking that it was the stress of the original invasion on Naboo, so imagine the two combined!! R.I.P. dark curly hair.

Chiwetel is phenomenal. He played a villain in Serenity made him an anti-hero of sorts. He has range, too. I've seen him in several very different roles without the personality-stamping of the likes of Crowe. :(


Actually, it might be nice to see a show cast that way for a change, but that's another issue entirely. As would the fact that the same people who would object to a black Clark Kent would also probably object to a Native American Clark Kent on the grounds that he would be un-American. Which is so patently ridiculous that it would be funny, if only it wasn't so offensive.

Word. *sigh*
fialleril From: fialleril Date: December 5th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Which is odd because "white" isn't as unvaried as say, Asian. Irish and Scots have only recently stopped being second-class in Britain.

Actually, there's quite a lot of variation (and discrimination) among Asians, too, but it's mostly present only in the Asian countries. There's not a lot of discrimination between Asian peoples living in the West.

As for "whites," though, I always thought it was odd that that category is considered so uniform, especially in America where nearly everyone (except the Native Americans) is basically an immigrant. Right now, of course, our largest wave of immigration is coming from Mexico and other Central American countries, so there is a sad amount of prejudice against Hispanics. But in previous generations, that prejudice was directed against the Irish, the Polish, the Germans, etc. So I think it's rather ironic that many of the descendants of those waves of immigration now consider themselves "all-American whites," if you will, and see this next wave of immigrants as a threat. But thankfully not everyone thinks that way. ;)

R.I.P. dark curly hair.

*tears* And it was such nice hair, too... *sniffles*

Chiwetel is phenomenal. He played a villain in Serenity made him an anti-hero of sorts. He has range, too.

I really, really need to see some of this man's movies. Perhaps when term is over I'll hit up the Blockbuster. ;)
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