WTF? ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ reference on merch geared towards girls?

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Forgot about this.

My mom buys me notebooks and pens, since she knows I write a lot. She got me two of these on sale one day, I guess because I like the colors.

Like, what? Is this a Driving Miss Daisy reference??? I don’t know what’s worse–Bic for Her or this sh*t. This is the first thought in my mind, so, somebody, quick, please tell me I’m wrong. Uggghhhh!  -__-

 

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Where ‘Legend of Korra’ fails

There’s a million things I could be talking about but I’m choosing to spare a few words to The Legend of Korra. A few things bother me about this show, beginning with how Korra is almost completely a hotheaded dudebro girl, like a sexist boy who is portrayed as super tough and powerful in a girl’s body. They even snuck in a princess trope: Korra’s father was supposed to be chief of the Northern Water Tribe which would’ve not only made her the Avatar but a princess as well. Perhaps arguably, Korra is constantly made into a damsel in distress, or rather yet another female character who needs to be saved or mentored by male characters, in addition to the fact that not even one episode into the first season she’s getting set up with male love interest AND A FREAKING LOVE QUADRANGLE (Mako-Bolin-Asami-Korra)–because the show couldn’t have possibly done without that, right? *rolls eyes* There’s very little that’s original about her character archetype for me right now.

I could talk about how Katara, Kya, Eska, and Beifong are basically downplayed and stereotyped, the casual sexism, how most of the villains so far are brown people from the Water Tribes and Earth Kingdom (all of whom appear to have been beyond redemption and dead now), the frequent use of ableist slurs and situations (sometimes actually used as ableist slurs or in casually ableist ways), and this obnoxious attempt at multiculturalism/mixed heritage theme that’s going on. No matter who’s in the wrong, there is a sea of apologies going on when maybe people do just need to butt heads. Let’s not forget how the show seems to be ladled in drama meant for viewers who are so privileged that they find the suffering of others to be entertainment and not a pause for thought and action. Another thing that’s totally bothering me–the title of the first episode of Season Three: “Rebirth of a Nation”. Reallly? I don’t think its a coincidence that its called that. Do the producers even know what Birth of a Nation is???

But what’s really getting to me right now is how none of the characters have actual character development. They are characters that seem only to carry and play out ideas that the producers think are cool and will get boys (and maybe girls and everybody else) to watch the show. I have yet to see any substantial character development. And the three year time skip, which is exaggerated as such a long amount of time in the latest episode, doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me because of the story’s lack of of focus on cohesive and unrushed, uncrammed character development.

The characters play roles to present perspectives, ideas. In Book of Air, Amon and Tarrlok are both victims of abuse who end up going down extreme paths, but both are villainous and of course they have to die to wrap up that bit of the show and end their “sad story”. Korra gets angry about Tenzin and her father trying to run her life, only to find out later in Book of Change (in the interest of the plot) that its to protect her from the Red Lotus, so their hiding things is justified. In Book of Spirits, Korra wants to go over the President’s head to help the Southern Water Tribe, what do the producers do? Put Mako in her way by having him suddenly become a Republic City police officer who snitches on her and then they use a greedy eccentric capitalist, Varrick, to justify the story by scripting that he was using everyone as pawns to start the war in the first place. While wise, infinitely skilled, and sharing a unique connection with the spirits, Unalaq is portrayed as a stick in the mud who seems to pointlessly desire to destroy the world by becoming a dark Avatar. In Book of Change, instead of having someone like Zaheer on the side of good, he is constantly referred to as a mad man bent on destroying the world by killing world leaders and inducing a state of chaos. Do I even want to know why such a badass metalbender like Kuvira is doing what she’s doing right now in Book of Balance? The producers are either attempting to create complex villains or making stuff up for want of a villain. “We need actors for “good cop, bad cop,” who do we have here?”, basically. I’m simply wondering how some of the choices of plot influencing character instead of character influencing plot were made. The characters are used as mere plot pawns, puppets, defying their established flow of character; their actions and thoughts are dictated by the plot using mere convenience but the plot’s dictates on the characters thoughts and actions don’t always make any sense and don’t flow well with how the character would likely behave. The plots themselves seem totally contrived and arbitrary.

I hope the producers of The Legend of Korra are getting around to a point that will help me feel like spending time watching this show wasn’t mostly a waste of time but I won’t hold my breath. That’s enough, I might come back to this topic later.

Why ‘The Great Divide’ episode bothers me

The gang arrives at the Great Divide, the world’s largest canyon. Two Earth Kingdom tribes bicker with each other about how to cross the canyon, having been enemies for a century. Aang helps them cross the canyon together and is able to end the feud by fabricating a story about their ancestors.

The Great Divide episode overview, Avatar Wiki, the Avatar the Last Airbender resource page

This episode overview speaks for itself, claiming that Avatar Aang ended a feud by telling a lie. Aang is made out to be the mischievous prankster who found a clever solution to solve a problem that was escalating towards violence. Nothing more is ever said in the show about the Zhang and Gan Jin, the two groups that Aang “helped”.

Even if what the Zhang and the Gan Jin were feuding about sounded ridiculous and impossible to resolve while trying respect the contradicting histories between the two, Aang’s lie wasn’t the way to handle it. As the Avatar, I think that Aang could have found out what happened between the ancestors of these two groups instead of creating a peace that is built on his lie.

In reality. telling a lie like that usually only makes tensions worse later, especially when the lie is told from someone in a position of power and influence like Aang, and I wonder if the producers of Avatar will bring up the Zhang and Gan Jin again, or a group like them, in The Legend of Korra. Not that I trust them, looking at all the issues I see and suspect in both series so far.

Like white people do to Black people throughout history and even at this moment, spreading misinformation and disinformation between conflicting groups is not only immoral, its an injustice to both groups in and of itself, especially when its clear one group is lying and clearly the oppressor/aggressor.

The Battle at Hogwarts scene from HP 7-2

Why were there still dead students laying in the courtyard after they supposedly “disposed of their dead with dignity”?

Why were there more kids running amok on the stairs and in the corridors than there seemed to be in the whole Great Hall in the first place? As a matter of fact, why were non-combatants running amuck in the corridors anyway? These scenes were just annoying in a very Michael-Bay-EXPLOSIONS!!-ACTION!!! kind of way. I don’t remember the book being that messy. As I understand it, Hogwarts is a private school with a select population, for one thing. For another, it was stated in the book that many families didn’t even send their kids back to school because they feared for their safety.

Between both the first and second movies, they only have like eight minutes of extra footage. I kinda wanted to be sitting there watching extra scenes that made the movies at least an hour longer–Lord of the Rings movie trilogy style. Do I need some kind of super deluxe edition or something, or is there really no more to it?

Both movies were rushed and patched together in a way that only people who’ve only ever watched the movies could attempt to understand.

Now I have to read the books again to cleanse my mind and renew the wonders of details and pacing. Unfortunately, my editions are in storage.

Race-naming in Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’

I was talking with my friend over the phone about how weird it is that in Tolkien’s world that it is totally legit to address people by their race. Weird because, in reality, outside those pages, people don’t commonly do that–

And with good reason.

A lot of people fail to understand why its not okay to address a people (and by this I mean primarily POC,who don’t even really exist in the LOTR universe–a telling sign) by a racial identifier (whether its a slur or what appears to be a simple “race name”), particularly one that they themselves or individually have not given you permission to address them by.

In The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, its completely commonplace to address somebody as “my dear hobbit” or “Master Dwarf”. Usually, race-naming is used in only one of a few different ways:

  1. to refer to the great accomplishments, blessings/abilities, and skills  known of that race (es. Elves are “fair”, immortal, and wise or Dwarves are great craftspeople and miners).
  2. to point out a characteristic that seems to be shared among many members of a race (ex. Dwarves are stubborn or hearty or Hobbits appear as children to the eyes of Men because of their size),
  3. and, most of all,  it seems that race and race-naming is specifically built into the entire cosmology of Tolkien’s universe, the way things turn out.

I am not a Tolkien scholar, I have not read all of his work, but I find race-naming in his writing and its effects on generations of fiction/fantasy writers to be bad news. That’s almost a different post though.

I just don’t live in that world, or society rather, where race-naming between races is usually positive. I don’t want a Japanese person calling me “nigga”,  someone Spanish-speaking to call me “the [insert adjective] negro“, or white people to address me as anything other than what I give them permission to call me (they can even manage to turn that into a disaster). With the amount of ignorance and hate hanging around, its detrimental that race should be treated as a practiced way of labeling peoples, whether its because they are known for their negative characteristics, deepest failures, or their greatest accomplishments. Homogenizing races and cultures is…a touchy business. In my society, I don’t think its possible to address somebody by their race and have it be a simple thing because social interactions and history are so much more complicated than in this fictional world.

When have the Elves ever enslaved the Dwarves? When do ents go around sneaking into the Shire and murdering Hobbits because they’re shorter? My point is that race and racism does not manifest itself  in Tolkien’s world in such a way that it does any real justice to how racism and oppression operates in reality, much like Rowling’s Harry Potter. And that is why race-naming and racial homogeneity is presented as commonplace and usually presented as harmless or unoffensive.

Its the same problem I have with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: there is no one “Enemy” to unite against as there is these stories. In my understanding and lived experience, the problems between races lies in their shared violent and oppressive history, not at the root of some common enemy. We are not the Free People” of Middle Earth, we are the constantly divided peoples of Earth.

one of the things I actually like about ‘Doctor Who’

I’ve written several posts attempting to elaborate on what just doesn’t gel with me about Doctor Who.

No surprise, Doctor Who is a Loud(ly).White.Dominated.Narrative with a White.Savior.Presented.as.a.God. New acronyms, folks! LWDN! WSPG! Probably won’t catch on though.

There are several things I do like about the show though, still haven’t got around to writing that post…. One thing I like is the composer Murray Gold’s work and how it goes with scenes, emotions, and situations in the show.

My favorite piece of Gold’s is “The Greatest Story Never Told”.

Other songs I like are “Every Star, Every Planet”, “The Dream of a Normal Death”, “The Impossible Planet”, “Vale Decem” (*in tears*), “All the Strange, Strange Creatures”, and “Melody Pond”.

Its amazing how they can produce fictional  sentient life forms but still have no idea how to regularly and fairly portray characters who are not white and are from their own planet. Y’all ain’t ready for space, Oods, or Time Lords yet–please step out of the TARDIS.

But from time to time, the music is still okay….

just shaking my head

Since there’s nothing else to watch while I work that’s of any substantial depths or length to keep my mind occupied while I work, I turned to something familiar–

Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I’ve never watched the any of the series that predates my birth, like this one (I’ll be 26 this year), but I’ve seen the movies related to them. I guess its Patrick Stewart but I like Captain Jean-Luc Picard (probably the cadence of his voice :-), haha).

Oooohhhhh, its sooooo racist!

And there’s nothing better or worse than a good story that has racist-sexist-eurocentric-colonialist-white supremacist bumps all along the way. Its amazing how white writers and producers can take the most amazing ideas with the greatest potential, carry them so far, then stick their heads up their asses–taking the whole beautiful idea with them.

tsunade lol

My mom is pretty much a trekker and I see why, the fact still remains. What else should I expect though. The nature of this crap isn’t going to change dramatically in my lifetime. Its just going to turn on that flash and glitter then change its ugly face just a little bit to make most people think they’re looking at something new.

Opinionated Man is back

I’ve run across obnoxious people online before but I’ve never had them stalk me from blog to blog. This guy is fast becoming a wad of chewing gum stuck to the bottom of my shoe that I just can’t scrape off, the first point of contact being when I had the misfortune of visiting his blog in the first place. I have no idea why he feels the need to follow my blogs and comment when he knows I feel this way about him and also what I know about his brand of social commentary/expression of his opinions. I thought I made this very clear–

I have no interest in engaging with him. But I guess if enough people follow your blog and tell you you’re right, you start thinking everyone wants to hear what you have to say. I think he writes other things, though I’m not really interested in knowing more about an “opinionated” man who doesn’t know when to shut up and back off because his opinions aren’t wanted.

I view myself as a passionate person and while I sympathize to some minimum extent with what he so obviously thinks his blogging is about, what I do and what he does are too completely different things. What is the point of his online persona, other than to purposefully offend everybody and what does that give to the world? What is the point of glibly and unnecessarily challenging and disrespecting life experiences, thoughts, feelings, and struggles you obviously know nothing about and see fit to devalue? Because he is this way and makes a conscious choice to do what he does in complete blind and utter ignorance, there is no reason or way for me to engage or reason with him that wouldn’t be a waste of my time and energy, like so many of his predecessors.

So I was looking to see if this guy was for real, outside of face value, and ironically enough I came across a perfect article on what he is and how to deal with him.

Opinionated people are people who announce their opinions multiple times without being asked. Sure, sometimes opinions can just be slipped out, but if it becomes a habit then it’s a problem. These people are not bad, but they just earn the reputation of “annoying”. In life, we might come across a few opinionated people….

1. Understand what qualifies for “opinionated”. People who are opinionated usually have little or no respect/value for the beliefs of others, however, this varies. Also, opinionated people have an opinion on every single thing. They will announce their opinion in public, and get irritated or mad when someone else respectfully criticizes their opinion. Opinionated people will often assume that you care or are interested in hearing their opinion, and even if they know you aren’t, they still will announce it anyway.

2. Look at the below templates, as these will help you recognize more on the definition for opinionated. Notice how the second template is much more respectful then the first one.

  • Bad Opinionated: I like pizza, but people who don’t like it are stupid.
  • Non Opinionated: I like pizza, but if you don’t, then that’s fine too.

3. Show the person that you really don’t care. Listen to their view of things and respect it, but don’t think you are required to believe the same thing. You cannot “modify” the person’s behavior or opinions.

4. Speak up! This is vitally important. If the opinionated person says something that is offensive or disrespectful to what you believe, don’t let it pass by. Tell the opinionated person respectfully that your opinion are just as valuable as theirs. If they get “mad” about what you said, then it’s their problem to overcome. They shouldn’t be offended if you’re just standing up for yourself.

5. Try to avoid the opinionated person. This doesn’t mean you can’t spend any time with them at all, but keep your distance […] just remember, keep your distance.

Dressing as Trayvon Martin for Halloween? Wtf, racist much?

I was very disappointed and low-key pissed off when my sister told me that white kids were using Trayvon Martin as a Halloween costume with hoodie, candy, beverage, and even the bullet wound, equipped with blackface. I wish my sister would stop telling me this stuff, lord knows I don’t go looking for it. What did I expect? Really, I mean they’ve been dressing up like faux Pocahontas forever. This is America where nothing is respected and nothing is sacred except little pieces of green paper and white skin.

Let’s entertain a cautionary Goosebumps special version of this scenario. If this was a television production. Even if little white Tommy dressed as Trayvon Martin and was turned into this hunted and murdered Black boy for an entire evening by some whim of spooky magic, they’d still have to cast an actual Black person to play his transformed self or it would defeat the entire point of audiences thinking he actually learned any lessons about systemic white racism and the continuing failure of the justice system in America. Because everybody knows Tommy isn’t Black—that’s is what so many people think is funny about blackface.

 

The audience would actually have to believe this white child is Black and the only way to do that is to cast a Black person pretending to be a little white shit who is pretending to be a murdered Black boy for Halloween by putting on blackface and pretending he has a bullet would in his chest. The white child and his white people would probably learn nothing except what they already know: Its great to be able to get some laughs, listen to some nigger music, eat some Skittles, drink some Arizona tea, and wash the black off at the end of the day to go back to being squeaky clean white. Consequence free. Not having grow up in and live in that life or die that death, ever.

 

See how racism just doesn’t cut both ways? Nothing good can come of blackface except showing us who the racists are.

 

The Black identity and experience is not a fucking costume.

 

That’s why I always say white people will never know what its like to have people commit racism against them. I would be showing (what appears to be the majority of) them a kindness by even rationalizing that they are the victims of their own racism.