OKAY this is probably the most controversial post I will ever make on this blog. get ready for it. Here it comes:
I think that Kim Dokja having a fine looking face that just got blurred out was retconned in cannon only because they knew there were going to be visual adaptations. he’s still an ugly king in my heart <3
I have now read every single one of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, except for Live and Let Die, which I had to stop once I hit the chapter title which includes the N-word. Here’s a list of things you will encounter in these books:
James Bond throws up due to trauma at least once per book
No, really, more racism than you’re expecting
Yes, even for the 50s
At one point Bond writes a letter in his own pee
“All the real hep-cats smoke reefers!”
Many comments on the nature of American culture, including the “exotic pungency” of American road signs
Extended passages of James Bond being racist against various ethnicities you didn’t even know one COULD be racist towards
No seriously, James Bond inexplicably despises Bulgarians
A lengthy passage in which Bond shares his opinion that homosexuality is caused by giving women the right to vote
Bond gets tortured for the first time and immediately comes over all political and philosophical like, “Maybe communism is good actually, and also the Devil is a good guy?”
At one point Bond gets brainwashed by the KGB into trying to kill M
Bond is a grade-A Karen who delivers all of his restaurant orders with lengthy specifics as to how the food should be prepared, and gets pissy if it’s not up to his specifications.
“a gay, happy little crocodile”
Bond is very excited to learn that in New York there are places where you can watch porn with sound AND color.
James Bond is The Most Boring Man in the World. His hobbies include golf and complaining about food.
Late in the books, Bond’s fiancee is killed right in front of him, and he starts showing PTSD symptoms and, instead of being all macho-man “I don’t need no help,” immediately starts going to every doctor available trying to get treatment
At one point the government tries to offer him a knighthood or some such and Bond messages back that he refuses the knighthood and that “My principal reason is that I don’t want to pay more at hotels and restaurants.” When told that this is too rude, he amends it to, “I am a Scottish peasant and I will always feel at home being a Scottish peasant.”
At one point the Bond girl is tied down by the villain of the book to await being eaten alive by crabs. Bond is terrified for her, but she, being something of an amateur zoologist, knows perfectly well that crabs aren’t gonna eat a living human, so she just chills there on the beach and waits for them to go away.
There is literally a damsel in distress tied to the actual train tracks, presented without irony
An MI6 agent speculates, in an official report to headquarters, that the target may be homosexual because he can’t whistle. Apparently men who can’t whistle are gay.
Bond is drafted to act as the villain’s secretary not once, but two separate times in two separate books.
When Bond is at a boring party at a hotel conference room and is ordered by his employer to liven up the party, he accomplishes this by ORDERING THE HOTEL BAND, who were previously singing a censored version of some song, TO PERFORM A STRIP SHOW FOR HIM AND THE GUESTS WHILE SINGING THE DIRTY VERSION. This is his second idea, after he previously livened up the party by using one of the girls in the hotel band - the same one he wants to strip for him - as target practice by balancing a false pineapple on her head and shooting it.
Bond exchanges a look with a fellow secret agent that is said to be “the recognition that exists between crooks, between homosexuals, between secret agents.”
“A hand-painted sign said ‘SNAX’ and, underneath, ‘Hot Cock Soup Fresh Daily’.”
The backstory of the villain of The Man with the Golden Gun is as follows: there was once a circus elephant who got REALLY HORNY and then went on a rampage and was shot by the cops, and then came back to the circus to pathetically and tragically attempt to perform its circus act one last time. The child who was supposed to ride the elephant in the circus act witnessed all of this, and when the cops shot the elephant dead while performing its tragic act, the boy grabbed a pistol and SHOT ONE OF THE COPS in revenge for HIS ELEPHANT DYING. And that boy grew up to be a deadly, womanizing, hired gun, with three nipples, whom MI6 speculates must be gay because he can’t whistle. And that’s the villain of the book.
These books will make you hate the British as much as every single villain seems to
Waaaayyy more casual drug use than you would expect
like, seriously, at one point Bond is AT DINNER WITH HIS BOSS in his boss’s fancy-ass club, and he orders an envelope full of benzedrine from HQ and just casually pours it into his glass to drink with his champagne.
M lives with the man who used to be M’s Chief Petty Officer on his last naval posting, and who had followed M into retirement, and I am pretty sure they are boyfriends.
When Bond sleeps with the Bond Girl of Dr. No, she orders him to “Take those off and come in” and “You owe me slave-time. Do as you’re told,” proving once and for all that James Bond is a switch, I rest my case your honor
I’ve been seeing some writing advice that annoys me lately, and so, here’s some advice about writing advice from me:
“your teachers taught you wrong”, “unlearn the way your teachers taught you x”, and “you don’t learn in school” kinds of framings are often disingenuous. normally at the middle/high school level you aren’t learning creative writing, which is what most writing advice posts on tumblr, by contrast, are about. yes there ARE problems with the five paragraph essay and similar structures, but those are mostly to teach you how to structure an argument, not to teach you how to write a short story or novel. your teachers weren’t misleading you; your teachers were teaching you to do something totally different than what you’re trying to do now. cut them some slack and remember that you do have to know the basic principles to know when to break them.
gonna say that again: advice that says “throw out this basic convention/grammatical rule/formatting standard” is missing the point of throwing those things out. yes, in creative writing you can throw all of that out if you want to. however, you have to know the basic rules to understand when to break them. basic rules are there because they’re relatively easy to understand for the reader and largely invisible; breaking those rules becomes noticeable. just make sure you’re breaking them because you want it to be noticed, and in a way that makes it so your point is still legible. (similarly, advice saying “never throw this thing out” is probably also missing the point.)
advice suggesting to always structure sentences or paragraphs a certain length is typically wrong. the actual answer is typically that you should vary it. varied sentence structure and paragraph length is easier and more interesting to read than it all being the same, and the more extreme breaks of pattern become more noticeable and impactful if you don’t do them the whole time. so like, yeah, keep that in mind.
you do have to still read. sorry there really isn’t getting around it, if you want to write good you need to read the kinds of things you want to write.
the lines between “trope”, “cliche”, “beloved genre convention”, and “emotional and impactful twist” are super thin and depends on circumstance. unless the thing is like, actively racist, there aren’t many tropes/cliches/conventions that are universally bad. they’re tools for the circumstance. this is where knowing what tone you’re going for helps a lot and can help you figure out what tools are most useful.
genres are marketing tools and shouldn’t be the driver of what you write. however, genres have fans for a reason, and understanding the conventions of the genre you’re trying to write will help you a lot. yes this is contradictory I know but that’s just how life is. generally ignore advice about a genre that comes from someone who doesn’t like that genre, but also ignore advice that suggests that you can never do something in a specific genre (once again useless it’s actively bigoted or something you know the drill).
it’s actually perfectly okay to write for other people. you should know what audience you’re writing for. just don’t write entirely for other people, and if the numbers make you feel bad, find ways to cut the numbers out of your life. you should write what makes you happiest, after all. for most of us on tumblr this is a hobby and not a job. you just don’t have to feel guilty for imagining an imaginary audience while writing or even getting validation from a real audience, because those things are perfectly normal too.
you don’t have to write every day unless you want to. practice is important to write good, as is like, actually writing, but burnout will hurt you, so figure out a pace that works for you. as long as that pace makes sure you still write with somewhat regularity, it is between you and no one else how many words that is or how frequent it is.
you’re here to have fun. sometimes it won’t be fun; sometimes it’ll be emotional or a grind or frustrating or infuriating. that’s fine too, you don’t have to feel ecstatic glee every moment of the writing process. you’re allowed to have bad writing days. you also shouldn’t feel miserable the whole time. if you don’t have fun when you’re writing ever, not even the euphoria of having a completed final product, then take a step back.
you’re doing great, I promise. writing advice is bullshit. even this advice is probably bullshit. do what works for you. this is the literal definition of an art and not a science, after all.
Viola Davis tweeted of The Woman King "this is my magnum opus." It's a boast from an artist who already has a storied career plus a heap of awards, and the movie lives up to it.
The Woman King is a historical action-drama set in 1823 and follows the Agojie, the real-life elite woman warriors who fought for the kingdom of Dahomey. As an action packed period drama it hits the kind of high notes of Braveheart or Gladiator. In fact director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, The Old Guard) said in a Hollywood Reporter interview that those movies were what she was aiming for.
There is a cliché that I'm too basic not to use which is "the budget is all onscreen," but it's all our there for your eyes and ears to feast on. I can't recall sitting down in a theater and seeing a 19th century African kingdom and having it be presented like, this was a real, complex society but also, he's a little movie magic. We see it all the time in American or European set period-dramas. So a shot we've seen before of warriors returning to the heart of the kingdom after battle takes on a different significance when you think, I've never quite seen this before yet it is familiar.
It shouldn't feel revolutionary to see so many women as department heads when the credits roll, but when you see that cinematographer, the VFX supervisor, editor, production designer, costume designer, all great and all women; you realize it shouldn't be rare but it is.
When Viola Davis talks about how proud she is of this, you have to see it to get what she means. The acting challenges here are intimidating. There's the technical aspect of period drama, accent, language, and singing; the athleticism of action and dance; the emotional challenge of what these women go through. It's a treat to see, and it's so much more than just exploiting their suffering for some melodrama.
I could go on and on about this cast because they have the kind of chemistry you get when you take the time to train together for filming. Sheila Atim was such a pleasant surprise in Bruised and she does a great job here. Thuso Mbedu is a triumph. Lashana Lynch as Izogie, she just shines. John Boyega plays it up as King Ghezo reckoning with the reality of enriching his people via the slave trade.
The reality of the Atlantic slave trade was that kings enriched themselves by selling people. Racists would excuse all of their hate with the fact that slavery was not solely a white, European enterprise. King Ghezo is shown as sympathetic to shifting Dahomey's economy away from the slave trade, although in reality it continued. But The Woman King knows slavery is wrong, its characters state that death is better, and the titular character spells out for the sovereign that what we're all doing is immoral and we should stop. Part of what makes this movie feel so necessary is our moment in time: yes, we need a newly released PG-13 movie that could be shown in history class pointing out that "slavery is bad." It's also the only movie I can recall that points out how anyone who wants to be rich, who gives into greed and covets gold, can be tempted into exploiting their fellow human beings for profit.
Let's talk PG-13 for a sec. There are hard hits in this movie where you know, if it were rated R, flesh, blood, and bone would fly. For me, they found away to make Daniel Hernandez's stunt choreo shine while strategically hemming in the gore. You see longer takes, dynamic movement and novel presentations of weapons, I don't recall any slow motion with the action (slow mo has come to be a peeve of mine), it's fast and delightful and shows off the power of the Agojie. But why PG-13 over R, I couldn't find an answer. I know it was a long journey from script to screen and to get the $50 million budget, but I don't know that the PG-13 rating was a studio edict. While neither the director or producers talked explicitly about the educational aspect of the film, it's hard tor me as a moviegoer not to think that wasn't part of their vision. The Woman King is set to make itself required viewing and seems to be crafted with a sense of purpose.
Haah, funny thing... I was just seeing another post on Tumblr calling you out (struck-thru vowels and everything) for "propagating racism" on AO3. I think it was some years old, but it did drop something interesting. Apparently, the "real" mass-exodus to AO3 happened because too many writers on LJ were getting into fights over racism-in-writing?
Oh, I'm sure there are many. People often make me the posterchild, which I suppose is somewhat justified now that my tumblr is so much more popular than before but was pretty dumb in the past when I was no longer working for OTW and not yet popular with randos. (TBH, I sometimes wonder if people spreading my name around pointlessly and advertising me is what made me popular. If so, congratulations, I guess?)
I've been criticized by at the very least Rukmini Pande for not talking more about Racefail. She's an academic who talks about racism in fandom but who mega sucks on the topic of Asian media and who conflates a lot of things I don't, including ye olde SF book fandom and fanfic fandom.
It's true that Racefail was a huge deal on LJ, but it was "fandom" in the 1960s sense where the word sans modifier means WorldCon type SF book spaces. When I say "fandom", I don't mean that community because, like most fanfiction fans today, I was never in it.
I don't even come from K/S fandom, actually. I come from X-Files fandom (one of the first "digital native" fandoms that made up its own rules) and (US, English-speaking) anime fandom. Those are my actual cultural forebears, and I haven't wasted my time on the racist, sexist, homophobic oldschool SF book publishing world since I was like 13. I do consume sff canons, but they're TV or movies or manga or self-published m/m novels that are also sff.
Why would I waste my time on trying to fix that community that isn't even mine?
Anyway, when people try to tell you that fandom left LJ over something to do with race, they're talking about a massive wankfest called "Racefail" or "Racefail 2009", which enveloped all of SF fandom on LJ and inevitably spilled into lots of more fanficcy spaces because we were all adjacent and overlapping. It largely consisted of clueless white liberals going "But I'm one of the good ones!!!" and being shocked and appalled that anyone could find them racist. People spent a lot of time "defending" their friends in unproductive ways. There was a lot of self-righteous stupidity on all sides, but it was the culmination of years of completely justified anger at the SF establishment being hella fucking racist. (So the two sides were most certainly not equal. A lot of the racist stuff being pointed out was indeed extremely racist.)
Racefail was deeply unpleasant, like any wank that rips through supposed ~civil communities of friends~. In reality, of course, a lot of the people who were pissed had been pissed about micro and not-so-microaggressions for years. It was something like one of those plays or movies about suburban morality where all of the simmering tensions boil up towards the end, destroying the façade of middle class propriety. It's deeply traumatic for people who did not realize the tensions existed, but it's hard to have much sympathy for their feelings if you've been the one suffering all that time.
It is not, however, the reason people moved to AO3. AO3 had already been in the works for a couple of years by the time Racefail was everywhere in 2009 and 2010, and AO3 was not popular at that point and continued to not be popular.
What popularized AO3 was FFN fucking up in 2012.
You know why LJ fic writers moved to AO3 in 2009? Because that's the first time it opened to users.
Moreover, while Racefail certainly affected many individual fans who like fanfic, it was primarily about oldschool US SFF publishing, a thing that 99% of AO3 users could not care less about. A far higher percentage of old LJ users care, of course, but even there, it's a mistake to think fandom=fandom.
"Fandom" in the supposedly-unmarked "book SF" sense and "fandom" in the also supposedly-unmarked "fanfic fandom" sense have never been the same thing. In the early days of Star Trek fic zines, they largely overlapped, sure, but by the early 90s, they had heavily diverged, and by 2009, they were completely distinct.
The reason they keep being conflated is that some of the loudest meta writers are in both and care deeply about that SF-->K/S zines-->AO3 history.
It's fine that they do, but it is not my history, and I see no reason to pretend it is.
The people who spread this lie about AO3's origins have an agenda, and it is not to educate the current tumblr masses about Racefail.
If you hate boruto and those couples so much then try and do it better? You can’t. I don’t see the point complaining getting more content from a show you claim to love so much. Where is common sense in that? Its kind of disrespectfull to the people who worked on the movie or on the boruto anime and I usually dont say things like that but people like you say you are fans and on top of that you even defend Kishi’s writing which I don’t get either. How must the person feel who worked on Retsuden? Bet all of you don’t think about that either, yet you think so highly of a mysogynistic retard that writes characters like Minato the worst father ever, Jiraiya a pervert who spends an orphan’s money and Tobirama a racist. No but 2 relationships are the worst because yaoi hearts aren’t satisfied. Makes me wonder why you’d allow to not speak out to racism or perverts but encourage it by speaking so highly of the man who wrote it. Hmmmm
Oh yes, the typical “you’re not allowed to hate on Boruto and I’m going to come up with several excuses that will try to make you sound jealous of its major success with my intelligent words that I took my time to think of last night and majority of this afternoon. This will not only make you look bitter about the gremlin- excuse me, Boruto, the great successor.. but it will also make it sound like you approve everything I accuse the creator to be.”
Yes, yes, how dare I.
How dare I complain about “content” that assassinates 15+ years of world/character and story development. To “disrespect” people who brought that upon us peasants as a simple ‘money-grab’.. uh, for our entertainment- sorry. To not think about Jun Esaka who wrote ‘Sasuke Retsuden’, the author that got into ‘Naruto’ for about a year and interpreted the characters for a novel in exchange for money, having a character like Sasuke grab Sakura by the hair like some kind of horn dog to kiss her over Naruto’s unconscious body and have the audacity to call that ‘canon’. How can we as a fandom not think about these third-party creators that get hired to create this extra “content” you talk about as nothing more than marketing material and ignore the main story that is ‘Naruto’? Because fuck all of that, amiright? Who cares about what Kishimoto wrote anyway, it’s all garbage, yes? He’s only a “misogynistic retard” as you say. All that matters is what is said in interviews in the end and what NH/SS shippers want to hear/read in their little novels after the whole goddamn story is over to give shit new meaning. As if “true canon” never happened.
How convenient for you.
And how funny that most of you tend to completely ignore ‘Gaiden’ too.
I’m so sorry to ‘Boruto’ creators and Jun Esaka. My little yaoi heart got in the way of my judgement. It made me not see all the relationship development between NH/SS throughout ‘Naruto’. All the mutual love that was seen between these couples. The way Naruto and Sasuke accepted the love from Hinata and Sakura, the way they were driven to act out of love for them, how their confessions gave them strength to continue the story forward, how it developed them as characters. How could I have been so blind? Jun Esaka saw things within that one year we never have. Kishimoto misinterpreted his own characters so badly that he simply got stuck in the end.. that’s all it was. Or is that me defending his writing.. HmmMmMMm.
Kishimoto was wrong within his own story I guess. And you know.. I’m so glad we had interviews at the end.. and ‘Boruto’ as well! You’d almost think that Naruto and Sasuke were actually..
But then: Chapter 700. Phew.
/end of sarcasm/
“If you hate boruto and those couples so much then try and do it better?”
Yeah you know what, I said this some time ago in my tags:
And *huff*. Maybe I will?
It’ll be good CSP practice.
I'll do that.
It'll be my own spin-off.
I mean it!
Kind of a weird question, but I figured you know history so you could answer it. Why does the KKK burn crosses, specifically? Like why a cross, and why burn it?
The original KKK didn't actually burn crosses. It was first popularized in the early 20th century, with Thomas Dixon's novel The Clansman: A Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan, if you want a book with the strongest contender for most horrifying title ever. This practice supposedly drew on the medieval Scottish Highlands' custom of burning a "fiery cross" to gather the clansmen, because the KKK was founded on a confused and fervent blend of late 19th-century Victorian idealization of Scotland, romantic medievalism, and other appeals to a supposedly idyllic and chivalrous white southern past. The KKK were literally supposed to be "white knights" and "clansmen" protecting society from Terrible Black People, and was strongly influenced by the idealised, melodramatic conception of medieval history that was popular in the 19th century.
As such, The Clansman's depiction of the KKK burning a cross, in alleged emulation of the medieval Scottish clans, was then used in D.W. Griffith's somehow-even-more-wildly racist 1917 KKK propaganda film, Birth of a Nation. The real KKK members liked it so much that they incorporated it into their rituals, so yes. Life influenced art influenced life, etc, except, you know. Terribly.
The Suchong rant/theory/speculation
So, I know that a vast majority of the Bioshock fandom fucking hates BAS (Especially on here) for very good reason. But, I will say that, when it isn’t being racist, destroying canon, and insulting all the characters- it does bring a few interesting things to the table. This is especially true for Suchong’s character, his motivations, personality, and his relationship to Jack and Tenenbaum.
Ever since I read the note Tenenbaum left Suchong, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’ve gone down a bit of a wiki rabbit hole, investigating Suchong and Tenebaum’s characters to answer all the questions that came up. I mean, if Suchong was really as much of a soulless bastard as people like to portray him, why would Tenenbaum try to appeal to his emotions? It makes no sense to me that Tenenbaum would try to appeal to the sensibilities of a man who has given no indication of compassion or remorse.
So, I posit a theory: Suchong and Tenenbaum both began to feel remorse for their actions at roughly the same time, leading to Tenenbaum writing the note to save someone she was friends with and could possibly aid her.
Now, I know this may sound ridiculous but, after applying a little bit of logic, Suchong showing some remorse but going on with his work makes more sense than Tenenbaum appealing to someone she knows doesn’t care about the kids and that she doesn’t care about either. And before I get into my evidence, I am using what is present in the games only as I have not read the novels, nor do I care to.
So, why would Tenenbaum even begin to care about Suchong? Well, one could argue that she just wanted help with the little sisters, but there are plenty of good people in rapture so her bothering with Suchong in particular feels important. Of course, he did do the mental programming on them, but Tenenbaum herself states that the children can grow out of it and forget, so Suchong would really only speed up the de-conditioning process.
Instead, I want to bring forward the idea that Suchong and Tenenbaum were good colleagues, and maybe even friends. Listening to Gilbert Alexander’s audio diary “Improving on Suchong’s work”, it’s easy to hear the sadness in Alexander’s voice, which can imply a lot of things, most prominently that there was some level of camaraderie between them. Other cut audio diaries from Alexander similarly imply a strong amount of sadness about Suchong’s death, furthering this point. Okay, Suchong probably had friends- so what? Well, it means he could’ve easily have had a positive relationship with Tenenbaum! Since we don’t know the date of Suchong’s audio diaries “Mozart of genetics” and “Plasmids are the paint”, we can’t say for sure how long ago those thoughts about Tenebaum were, though both are implied to be early in their relationship. Even while looking down on Tenenbaum, Suchong still very much admired her skill as a scientist, which at least to me, indicates a clear avenue for solidarity and mutual respect between them.
As there are no audio diaries mentioning Suchong and no radio messages giving her clear opinions on him it’s a little tough to gauge her perspective on her colleague. However, Tenenbaum being outright friends with Suchong, I feel, makes much more sense when you take her note into consideration. Tenenbaum’s note being an not only appeal towards someone who can make saving the little sisters easier, but an appeal to a friend, a man she respected, who she raised multiple children with, makes the effort of writing it and putting it in his secret lab make so much more sense! It makes the appeal at all make more sense as well. Tenenbaum is a very hopeful woman, yes, but if she was talking to a friend, someone she knew even somewhat intimately, over a man she barely knows or actively dislikes, then her confidence in convincing him to her side skyrocket.
Now, speaking of kids, let's talk about Jack and the little sisters. I don’t think people really acknowledge that Suchong had put just as much, if not more, work into raising Jack as Tenebaum. I personally think that though Frank was present, he did leave most of the work of raising and training Jack to those two. The little sisters, on the other hand, he had no care for other than funding. Suchong, however, is directly addressed by the girls as “papa’ multiple times, indicating that he is their father figure like Tenenbaum is their mother figure.
Alongside this- there doesn’t seem to be much outright hostility between him and the girls. Of course, in Bioshock 1, there is the ghost scene of the little sister crying about not wanting to be ‘put on the table’ and the infamous ‘protection bond’ audio diary where he slaps a child, but nuance can put those instances in a new light. First, the ghost scene has no context other than the words spoken by the girl, so, this could easily be a case of Suchong turning an orphan into a little sister- still bad, but expected of both him and Tenenbaum. The audio diary on the other hand, as well as the real time version in BaS, does require a deeper analysis.
So, prior to the event, we see Leta and Masha rescue and befriend a big daddy, creating the protector bond, the girls disappear and later re-appear, as we come across Suchong venting to his audio diary, trying to figure out his massive problem. The girls enter and enthusiastically try to get his attention. Now, let’s pause here and ask a few questions. First; why would kids he’s very cruel to regard him with such enthusiasm and second why are they trying to get his attention? My conclusion to answer these questions is as follows; Suchong was NOT as cruel as implied and he communicated his problem with the protection bond to the girls.
If Suchong was super abusive, why would the kids actively seek his attention? Would they not fear angering him if they bother him, especially at work? The enthusiasm the girls have and willingness to approach him (As well as Suchong allowing them to roam around freely) indicates a more relaxed relationship. Despite what he says about children sometimes, calling the girls brats, and generally regarding children as stupid and unruly, there is room to plausibly infer that he didn’t hate them 24/7. Even more so, as evidenced by both of the coded notes, the problem with the protection bond is on the Big Daddies, not the little sisters, their conditioning is well in effect at this time. With the added detail of the girls jumping to find him after the bond is made, then it stands to reason that they understood the problem and were going to tell their papa the good news. I figure that they either sensed a change in his behavior or he outright told them the problem and to find him if there was a change, leaning toward the latter explanation.
Okay, now let's go back to Suchong's death scene. So the girls bug him a bit, don’t take the hint to leave him alone, and he loses his temper and slaps Leta. The girls not taking the hint to fuck off tells me that him telling them to scram is pretty rare. What seems just as rare is slapping one of the girls- Masha rushes to Leta’s side and both seem pretty shocked at the turn. Suchong gets killed by the big daddy and the girls rush to said big Daddy’s arms once he becomes docile again- which one may say implies that they didn’t like Suchong or were happy to see him die. However, I would argue this is mostly the mental conditioning. The girls easily changed their minds about the injured big daddy, going from fear to willingly helping him in an instant. This happens again during the death sequence- what normal child would watch something that violent happen, even to someone they hate, and jump into the perpetrator’s arms? The answer is in the strong mental conditioning- so powerful it overrides any form of logic.
With that out of the way, let’s look at his relationship with Jack. Again, if he really hated the kids, why would he let Jack and the sisters call him papa? Logically, he’d want to distance himself from any kind of parental role- but he didn’t. With Jack especially, he lingered in the old baby room- likely often enough that Tenenbaum knew he’d see her note there. Hell, his damn sandwich is still fresh! I also can’t find any instances of him insulting Jack. He never calls Jack by name, but neither does Fontaine or Tenenbaum, which makes me believe he was only given a proper name after being sent topside. There is also the matter of the puppy Jack had- but we aren’t given enough context on how Jack obtained her to know why she was killed, she could have very well been killed on Fontaine’s orders. Like with the little sisters, I don’t think Suchong was outright cruel to Jack- at least not most of the time. If anything, he gives Jack more respect than the little sisters and potentially prefers him to the girls.
Now, how about Suchong’s personality? I think his personality, other than ‘cruel evil doctor’, and ‘coward’ gets overlooked by the fandom. I’d argue that Suchong isn’t a coward per se, but rather that he won’t pick a fight that he doesn’t think he’s got a chance at. He’ll really only fight people he sees as equals or underlings- caving only to superiors. This is why he made himself useful to the Japanese rather than fight them and it’s why he easily transitioned to working under Ryan after Fontaine ‘died’. He’s smart, he knows when he’s got a chance and when to pick a fight- though he clearly isn’t afraid of bitching about his circumstances or spitting sass. It’s clear that he is greedy for money like a lot of rapture characters, outright stating that it was good that he was the only one who knew about the little sisters after Fontaine and Tenenbaum went down, as well as scientific progress.
I would even go as far as to say that he may have regretted his actions after Jack left or had some weakening towards Jack specifically. I have two reasons for this, first being Tenebaum’s note and the ‘send to Ryan’ note. The verbiage of Tenebaum’s note strikes me as odd- specifically the line ‘It is in your power to be a different man’- that line screams to me that he has shown some sort of remorse for his actions prior to Tenenbaum leaving. The line ‘They are children… and yes, they will forget’ also strikes me as Suchong not wanting to Kill the sisters and having some kindness towards them. Now the big one to me is ‘What can Ryan take from us that we have not already sacrificed…?’ That tells me Suchong is afraid or hesitant to change because of Ryan. There’s also the note Suchong left for himself. He clearly planned to send the evidence of Jack to Ryan but something made him chicken out. What event exactly is unclear, perhaps Fontaine's ‘death’ or Tenenbaum's disappearance or the overtaking of his job. Whatever it was, something made him feel brave enough to start a whistleblower plan and something else made him stop.
So, with all the evidence (A.k.a. me pulling at threads) together, let’s set up a very rough timeline for Suchong. He enters Rapture, meets Tenenbaum, and begins working with her on plasmid tech. Initially the two don’t get along and he retains a low opinion of her, but slowly they begin to warm up to one another and some level of respect for each other if not outright friendship blooms between them.
Fontaine then entrusts them with the Little Sisters program, putting them in charge of children for higher ADAM production. With the addition of children, things get complicated. The more immoral side of their work begins to be less excusable as before the little sisters, they really only experimented on adults. The kids are hard to care for but a necessary evil to continue producing Adam to meet customer demand. They cannot sedate the girls so Suchong attempts to alleviate some of the struggle of working with them, as well as encourage his ‘Adam recycling’ by implementing mental conditioning in the girls. This works to an extent, but they nevertheless remain children, in both mental capacity and physical strength.
Fontaine, seeing this mental conditioning, then entrusts the WYK program to Tenenbaum and Suchong. The girls at the orphanage already referred to Suchong and Tenenbaum as ‘papa’ and ‘mama’ respectively, but now they have even more responsibility and intimacy in raising this child. In an attempt to stave off the growing softness for the child they are now raising as a killing machine, Tenenbaum and Suchong don’t name him, only calling him ‘baby’. They recognize the growing instinct they have for the children both in themselves and each other, but do not discuss it, likely because of Fontaine’s eye over them.
Suchong breaks first, giving baby Jack a level of affection that he does not show the girls. Tenebaum sees this but does not say anything, intending to protect her colleague. Fontaine begins to notice Tenenbaum going soft, however, and sets Suchong up to keep lot 192 a secret from her. Project WYK wraps up and they send the baby to the surface, Suchong and Tenenbaum shoving their feelings back down and returning to work on the sisters. Still, Suchong cannot get the baby out of his head, often returning to the child’s secret room to the point of Tenenbaum noticing. Nonetheless things are normal.
Tenenbaum has a change of heart and her actions become far gentler with the girls, which gives Suchong the strength to re-asses and begin a whistleblower plan. That is until Tenenbaum disappears, sapping all his confidence away as Fontaine becomes increasingly erratic. The civil war breaks out and Fontaine vanishes. Suchong is the only person aware of the sisters now, without an employer and needing somewhere to go until Ryan forcefully takes his job over.
At the same time things get bad in Rapture, the Little sisters need protection from being harvested. Suchong can build the big daddies to protect the girls but cannot get them to imprint. The girls are too terrified, despite their mental conditioning, to interact with the big daddies. He explains this problem to the girls, hoping some level of self-reporting may give him a leg up. Mind still stuck on baby jack, he returns to the secret room and finds a note from Tenenbaum, encouraging him to change his ways. Suchong, perhaps feeling betrayed by her simply leaving, rejects the letter and leaves to figure out the big daddy problem angry, leading him to lose his temper at the girls when he normally wouldn’t. Or, perhaps he is stricken with fear, knowing Fontaine is still alive and watching his back. Either way, he dies at the hands of his own creations, at least knowing the girls will be protected now by the big daddies.
So yeah. TL;DR: Suchong, though not the best person, wasn’t entirely evil either and may very well have had the same revelation as Tenenbaum but no chance to act on it/may have backed out because of Fontaine. The way the girls and Tenenbaum act display a certain level of complexity to his character, a hidden softer side where he may have acted much better than his audio diaries initially let on.
One last thing: I want to point out that applying any sort of soulless/heartless characterization to an Asian character like Suchong (The only Asian character in Bioshock 1 and one of four Asians in the entire series) comes with some very nasty racist baggage. Now, it’s no surprise to any of us that Ken Levine is a racist bastard, so his writing characters of color as racist stereotypes is expected. However, I’m disappointed to see no one has directly addressed the fact that the portrayal of Suchong as ‘cold and heartless’ is in and of itself a very old racist stereotype. Everyone seems to only shit on BaS and Infinite’s racism (For good reason) but no one seems to point out the inherent racism in the first Bioshock game. So, my first instinct is to break that stereotype, even if it goes against canon. Because, in the end, when it comes to keeping the integrity of a racist canon versus breaking it and fighting stereotypes in fiction as well as what resides in the racial consciousness of the society I live in, breaking canon will always be the better option. A canon that is shitty should be improved upon by fans, not upheld.
one thing that’s so weird about people claiming they don’t want to read the classics because “they’re all the same story written by old white men whereas YA is a diverse genre written by queer people and people of colour” but at the same time because “expecting people to read books written by foreign authors is pretentious and actually classist because we all know that poor people don’t have enough brains to consume anything else than US imperialist propaganda hidden behind the thin veil of hollywoodian blockbusters, fanfiction, and children’s cartoons with ‘complex themes’ like abuse”, is that there’s absolutely zero coherence. i can’t help thinking that it’s bad faith.
1) every culture in the world has its own art and literature. consuming exclusively US-american commercial content is not diverse; the queer people and POC writing these novels are still all US-american, and even if their novels contain diversity on a US-american scale, the novel remains US-american and still relates a US-american experience.
2) there is diversity in classics? the stories are not all the same at all! i can understand that many people dislike the books that they had to read in high school because, well, they’re not always the most interesting reads and the way literature is taught in schools should be revised, but you can still read other things on the side. there are so many classics that are nothing like what they make you read in school and are, perhaps, for that exact reason, more memorable. i received an extremely classical and sanitised education in a catholic school and didn’t learn shit in class. the good books were the ones i discovered on my own. read books written by marginalised people, by queer people, by people of colour, by colonised people, by women, by communists, etc. by people from all around the world, not just the US and the UK.
3) saying it’s elitist to consume “intellectual” media is just dumb and classist. thinking “poor people” can’t afford to use their brains and read intellectually stimulating books that do shape the mind and force them to bring a reflection on the world surrounding them is not the hot take you think it is. critical thinking skills are crucial when participating in society. as a citizen you have a legal duty to keep yourself informed. and even if you want to live outside of society, you do still need to use your critical thinking skills and to stay informed.
4) i do understand the difficulty of reading when you’re not in an environment that pushes you to read. it’s my own case. i get shamed by half my family for my study choices, they’re constantly referred to as “unemployment studies”, “useless” and “pretentious” (i study romance languages and literatures + modern history). i know many people who are also studying literature despite coming from an environment that doesn’t push them to read or even go to university. but they still do it because they can. because it’s feasible. because it’s liberating.
5) as per “old people were racists, i don’t want to read books written by racists”: yes, western culture is ingrained in white supremacy, imperialism and christianity. we are uncomfortable with racist discourses, but it’s important to understand and confront them, to understand modern racist discourse and also how past beliefs have shaped our society. 19th century colonial discourse is important to understand the state of the world today. there is also a large amount of authors from all around the world who criticise imperialism and are “classics”; there are authors from all around the world who wrote before being colonised by western europe and north america, and whose œuvres are classics too.
6) maybe an unnecessary point but this annoys me tremendously: a lot of the supposedly “complex” themes present in children’s cartoons are really not complex at all; it’s all more or less explicit subtext. how many times have i seen the argument “X children’s cartoon is complex because it contains themes like abuse”. abuse is present in so many children’s stories because it’s a theme that children do understand. little red riding hood and hansel and gretel and cinderella and hop-o’-my-thumb etc all contain themes that children can understand, even if it’s on a subconscious level. children understand that they have to fear the wolf in little red riding hood, but also that they shouldn’t talk to strangers, because these strangers can do them harm. does it make little red riding hood a complex story for adults rather than a children’s bedtime story? no! though i do believe that it is interesting to study the books from which they come from: charles perrault wrote his tales because he believed in the importance of modernity and opposed the idea that we need to imitate ancient greek and roman models in 17th century france. the grimm brothers’ tales played an important role in the rise of german nationalism in the 19th century. but that doesn’t mean that reading these books is sufficient. they were written for children, children who would then grow up to consume more intellectually stimulating content.
7) i promise reading books with themes like incest, paedophilia, cannibalism, will not turn you into a pedophile or a cannibal or an incestuous person. it’s fiction. i promise it’s ok to consume media with these themes. it won’t convert you, because you have morals.
8) we need to stop thinking about everything in terms of fandoms. you don’t have to look at stories as romances with tropes, because that’s not how most books outside of the YA category work. stories can even be read not for the plot but rather for the style, the context, the prose, the poetry, or other. there are french writers in the 50s, 60s and 70s who theorised what they called “new novels” (nouveaux romans) and in which there was no plot, just descriptions that had to be as accurate and objective as possible. they would describe tomato seeds for pages and pages because the point was to show that a novel isn’t a novel because of the story it tries to tell, that books can go beyond their plot. until the romantic revolution, the concept of originality and copyright did not exist in europe. so themes did repeat themselves in poetry, romances, epics and novels because the importance lied in the style, the artistic prouesse of the writer as well as the message, rather than the plot itself (even if the plot was oftentimes important as well, of course).
So you’re new to the Vampire Chronicles fandom:
Long post. I know I’m not “known” in the fandom, but I’ve been a lurker and popping in here and there and I just want to share my thoughts. I’ve been a fan since 2004 and this is a very special series to me. I know with IWTV coming soon, there is going to be a huge influx of people. That’s not a bad thing. There has been a lot of people join the fandom recently.
A couple things:
A lot of the fans are older, but there is a lot of diversity in terms of age and background. Just don’t be surprised to find people over 25 here. Yes, they exist. Scary, we know.
The books and the show are extremely different and NOT just based on the changing of race. The setting/time frame, the characters’ ages, backgrounds and what appears to be some personality traits have also changed so be aware of that when exploring. Even from the trailer, the Interviewer, Daniel, has a completely different age and background. Louis’s personality is already different in some ways from what we’ve seen and his background has changed. Some of these changes are huge and it’s okay for people to point out these changes as long as they aren’t racist,sexist, homophobic and generally creepy about it.
I can’t believe I have to say that but this is a horror series. Characters are going to do things that are “problematic” like murder or intimidate, abuse or threaten, or stalk. That is the point. That is a horror series. No one should at all think these things are ok and most people who watch the movie or read the show already know that, yet this still seems to pop up anyway.
The Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles are the most famous vampire books after Dracula, of course it’s going to have all the dark elements to it. But I find it ironic people give the vampires from resident evil a free pass for doing the same thing that Anne Rice’s vampires do
I hate using the word problematic, but I’m using it to quote what I’ve seen. It’s thrown around constantly and this risks losing meaning .
The fandom knows that unfortunately, there are definitely some issues with the series, Anne Rice herself and a few additional ones with the tv series. Racism has zero place in the fandom. This is something that I’ve seen burst through the roof.
People say Lestat and Louis are “problematic” - well yes, that’s the point the books are trying to make. They love each other despite their issues. Again, this is a horror novel about vampires discovering their monstrosity while trying to balance humanity. They’re complex. There aren’t too many “Good vampires vs bad vampires” until later and those vampires that are bad are extremely obvious. Lestat is an example of this for Louis and Louis has his own “problematic” moments with Lestat.. However, my statement from above changes a bit with some of the race changes some aspects of the relationship are being looked at through a new lens which does lead to some concerning ideas. We’ll have to wait til we see the show for sure as that does change the dynamic of the relationship, but overall, no one should be viewing this as a healthy relationship and Louis is already clear on that.
Another example: One of my most interesting ships is between a 500 year old vampire named Armand and Daniel. (Who is the name of the interviewer and is actually a 32 year old who was turned into a vampire instead of an old man.). The relationship can be dark and has abuse, too but the way its written is that Daniel has just as much power in his own way making it a very interesting read.He fights back and can be nasty, too. Yet, some parts are strangely sweet in some aspects. Just because I find the dynamic interesting to read about does not mean I condone something as messed up as Armand/Daniel’s relationship. Never in a million years. This attitude should apply to many aspects in this fandom.
Too many people are getting into the series “just for the gay shit”. Come on. There isn’t an issue with enjoying mlm relationships, but fetishization and watching a show just because “you want to see gay vampire fuck” is your prerogative, but it’s shitty because the series is so much more than that and characters shouldn’t be reduced to just their sexualities. (Btw, Anne Rice's vampires don’t have sex, fyi.)
So that’s just a few things I thought I’d point out. I understand not everyone will agree with me, but any sort of abuse will be blocked immediately.
let’s talk about racism in the danmei fandom
alright so originally i wrote this for twitter, but i felt like tumblr could benefit from it too. today we're finally getting the long awaited "deconstruction of racism in the danmei fandom" post. and lemme preface this by saying- i'm chinese-american. i'm nblm. i do, in fact, have the cultural and historical background to know what i am talking about. so let's get into it.
this is gonna be a long post, because we have a lot to talk about. first, racism doesn't have to be as blatant as calling me a chink, or saying all asians look the same, or not wanting to consume asian media, or making ching chong jokes.racism can be as subtle towards asians as it can towards any other race. if you think i shouldn't have to say that, join the club, bc same.
second, racism towards asians, especially in the west, has a long history of being overlooked and accepted. now, let's talk about how racism dictates some of the takes you see in the fandom. firstly, what originally inspired this thread- the mxtx rumors and the jokes being made about her and censorship. now, obvs some ppl are gonna say that they were just jokes made in poor taste. and, sure. but they were jokes made in poor taste, steeped in racism. the jokes being made about mxtx going to jail happen bc ppl do not view her as a real person. not rlly. she’s an author, sure, the author of one of their favorite novels, but she’s not, like. a person with thoughts and feelings and a life. and that sort of casual lack of humanhood and agency given to danmei authors is rooted in the severely racist dehumanization of asians that’s prevalent in the west. this is something that can be seen other places, too- a good example being when parasite was notably nominated for every oscar category *except* the acting ones.
it's this lack of personhood, this lack of agency, that allows ppl to have takes like "censorship isn't actually bad, and here's why". yes, this is a real take that i saw. this take argues that the cql is better than mdzs, bc it is "softer and less graphic". in general, a lot of ppl have the take that mxtx's works in particular are too graphic, with problematic sexual elements. now, i've talked before about how that's a homophobic take bc gay relationships should also be allowed to be messy. but it's also deeply entrenched in racism. it's why white gays can have the take "this is Problematique and here's why" and claim it's not homophobic.
racism against asians has long since created a trend of sexualizing them- thinking asian men are sexy while also removing their sexual agency. asian men can be sexy, but they can't actually *have sex*. not explicitly. there's a historical, real world element to this. "not fats no femmes no asians" could definitely be seen on ppls grindr profiles, back in the day. asians can be sexy, sure. look at kpop boys. but they can't be sexual. they’re infantilized. they have to remain pure and wholesome, or they're dragged as problematic and homophobic and fetishizing, a word that's thrown around so often it's practically lost meaning. fetishizing is my ex-bf telling me i'm sexy bc* i'm asian, it’s bl/yaoi fans approaching a gay couple on the bus and gushing over how "cute and yaoi they are." fetishizing is *not* showing your 2 male main charas having explicit sex. if it is, then every white fan in danmei is fetishizing asians.
but i digress- back to the point about racism. the fact that ppl can argue about censorship shows that they, as a whole, aren't considering the ramifications of censorship on the literal country it exists in, and it's citizens. i, obvs, do not live in china. but i've got relatives who do, and who did. i've got relatives who fled china. not everything is about you and the media you want to consume. and then, of course, there's the casual racism. the everyday racism. the racism that lies in things like saying all the names are too similar and it's hard to keep track of them. the racism in saying things like "i'm just here to have fun,,,like sure, i'd persevere through dostoevsky, but this is danmei", as if danmei is somehow inferior, as if danmei isn't meant to be critically engaged with, as if danmei doesn’t tackle and critically explore some of the deepest and darkest issues.
asian media is often presented that way, from kung fu movies to danmei. there is a type of racism, of eurocentrism, that exists in the belief that western media has deeper, more engaging morals. asian media is more "fun". asian media is almost entirely based on morals and deep thought, it's just not based in western ones. for example, two of my favorite authors are haruki murakami and kazuo ishiguro. both are japanese authors, who's works i've heard westerners describe as weird and without a point, when in fact they are simply telling stories with innately eastern asian morals and teachings. it's the same type of racism that causes ppl to make jokes about asian food, to not view it as a craft the same way they do french food. it's asian- it must be "less than", be inferior, be inherently not worth as much.
casual racism about asians is normalized, which isn't a word i use often. it’s normalized to the point where ppl don’t even realize they have that sort of implicit bias, and we know ppl don’t rlly come on the internet to think critically. but unintentional racism is still racism. it still has an impact, still does damage. ppl need to think intentionally and critically in how they consume and interact with media not made for them, but they don’t, instead choosing to come in with their preexisting biases, and bc of that, it's easy for fandom members to dismiss the cultural concerns of chinese ppl within the fandom. it's easy, for example, to say "calling them martial brothers is incest apologism", ignoring the inherent cultural roots of martial brothers.
now, we're gonna get in to the current "drama". i do not ship chengxian. i think that even bears repeating. i Do Not ship chengxian. i have written them, in a modern au, as adopted brothers. but there is a real historical and culture relevance to the idea of martial brothers, of community, that westerners willfully refuse to hear, claiming instead that "you're disregarding adopted families!" no. that's not what's happening at all. what's happening is ppl are refusing to look at their own, western bias, and placing western values on an eastern idea. community raising of children, community family bonds without being adopted families, is important in east asian culture. there is a long history of community being whats important, and ppl don't get that you can be a "communal/community family" without being considered familial. jyl choosing to view wwx as her brother, bc he is a martial brother, and chengxian being in love, are things that can technically coexist. whether or not you choose to perceive them as such, refusing to acknowledge the real history of martial brothers, and scremaing "incest apologism" whenever someone tries to explain it, is inherently racist. it's you assuming you know my culture better than me. it's you assuming your western ideas are the only ones that exist. which is, at its core, the basis for most racism in the danmei fandom.
most racism in the danmei fandom comes from this idea that casual racism against asians isn't *really* racism, and therefore asians don't *really* get to have a say, and it shouldn't matter anyway bc we're lucky you're even engaging with danmei, with asian content, since it's shallow and inferior anyway. the racism comes from a place of moral superiority, of ownership, of this assumption that westerners are entitled to not just consume danmei but also bring their western lens and apply it to something that was never written for them in the first place.
Re: wtf is going on in the UK.
This is LONG. TWs: sexual assault mention, conversion therapy mention (brief), ableism/transphobia/racism mentions, COVID, death mention (brief).
I'm unfortunate enough to live on the hell island so:
Boris Johnson, PM, massive cunt. Hated by everyone including the people who voted for him, he took over following Theresa May's resignation (who took over after the previous guy's resignation too because no PM wants to even touch the whole Brexit mess because the whole thing is a political and logistical nightmare).
Boris fucks up a whole bunch. First he fucks up Brexit more than anyone thought possible, getting the UK the absolute least amount of anything because he's so far up his own arse that he can't accept that sometimes, other countries give stuff to each other as exchanges. Wild stuff.
He cuts benefits to lower classes, raises prices, all the usual evil Tory bullshit. ("tory" uk slang for "conservative", specially the conservative party, which is kind of like our version of republicans). Life for almost all classes gets objectively worse under his regime, but particularly for minorities (as fucking always). I'm trans and disabled myself and he: cut benefits for disabled people, refused to review the Gender Equality Act (the only thing allowing trans ppl to transition/be recognized legally, super outdated and in desperate need of review), and refused to ban conversion therapy for trans people. He's also INCREDIBLY racist (what a shock) and has passed bills that essentially make it legal for immigrants to be locked up without trial. At one point there was a plan in place to abduct immigrants, put them on a plane and ship them to Rwanda rather than allow them to live here. I wish I was joking - the European Human Rights Council literally had to step in to tell Boris that no you can't just fucking do that to people wtf.
Then covid hits and Boris fucks up so unbelievably badly that it's been deemed criminally negligible. Refusing to go into lockdown, easing lockdown too early, refusing to fire members of Parliament who broke lockdown rules, refusing extra funding to the NHS to help them deal with the crisis, etc. Etc. If I listed everything this would be a novel. At one point, it was advised by healthcare experts that a lockdown should take place over Christmas (coz winter = more infections) at which point Boris said and I quote "let the bodies pile high". As in he'd rather the "bodies pile high" than go into quarantine.
During this time, there are also a number of sex scandals - Boris' marriages (plural) fall apart because he cannot for the life of him stop cheating, and multiple Tory MPs (members of Parliament) are caught in sexual harassment scandals. Boris handles these extremely poorly, attempting to brush them under the rug.
Aug 2020, the Tories under Boris' leadership refuse to allow funding to pass that would provide free meals to impoverished children. Luckily the whole country freaked the fuck out over this (funny enough even the most bigoted far-righters generally don't want children to starve to death) and they changed their mind. Still, the initial decision and the fact that it was only repealed after the public reacted was. NOT popular to say the least.
THEN a little while later it turns out that Boris attended and hosted a bunch of parties at No. 10 during quarantine. Since he was the one enforcing quarantines, this hugely tips the country against him - especially since his initial reaction is a continuously-unbelievable string of lies. It started with "There were no parties", but then photos of parties were uncovered. Then it was "The parties weren't at my place and I didn't know about them", photos of parties specifically at No. 10 (his literal house) were uncovered. Then it was "Ok yes the parties were at my place but I didn't go to them I just stayed upstairs whilst the party was downstairs " (bruh. Fucking what.) Photos emerge of Boris AT A PARTY in his house because of COURSE he was there, at which point he panics because his lies have bitten him in the arse and gives out a halfhearted apology.
This "apology" is followed by a scheme he sets up with his most trusted followers to save his dead reputation. The scheme was uncovered (unfortunately for him) and it was called "Operation Save Big Dog" im fucking dying he called himself big dog what a sad pathetic man lmaoo
Anyways. Basically, everyone hates him and the Tory government enact something called a "Vote Of No Confidence". It's them saying "yes he's the leader of our party but we all hate him too". Normally, a PM or party leader resigns after one of these (not much point being in charge if even the rest of your own fuckin party all hate you), but Boris is a sad wet leaf who can't accept defeat so he refuses.
Tensions build, everything is kind of a mess politically. The opposing party, Labour, is run by a man who has never made a decision in his life and is essentially unelectable, but nobody knows how it's gonna work if Boris doesn't step down. Nobody is happy, and life gets progressively worse for another few months.
The breaking point.
Another sexual assault. This time, Tory MP Chris Pincher, who has had a NUMBER of allegations of assault before and was only IN parliament because Boris insisted on re-hiring him, is caught assaulting two people after he got drunk on a night out. He is only there because Boris claims he, and I quote, "forgot" about his previous assaults.
This is the final straw. On Tuesday 5th July 2022, within the space of an hour, two of the most powerful and prominent politicians in parliament (whole lotta Ps but you get me) quit. Specifically, the Health Secretary Sajid Javid and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. So the guys at the HEADS of the departments in charge of the country's Healthcare and Money both quit, within minutes of one another, and one of them does it live on TV.
These resignations trigger a whole shit ton more; within the next 24 hours, over 40 MPs resign - the previous record was 6 resignations in 24hrs and that was decades ago.
Since Tuesday when this all started, over 60 people (around 1/6th of the entire Tory government) has quit, including highly important Cabinet positions that essentially means the country currently has no government leaders.
Boris finally, FINALLY admits defeat. He announces his resignation on 8th July 2022 with all the dignity and grace of pile of wet dogshit falling out a broken doggiebag and slopping onto the pavement. He's publicly and privately humiliated (as he SHOULD be). He's currently saying he'll leave in a couple of months so they have time to find his replacement- most people are pretty sure it's just so he can use government funding to pay for a fancy wedding party he wants to host in a few weeks.
And that's what's happened in the UK right now. The United Kingdom is on the brink of collapse (I'm Irish, FUCKING MANIFESTING🌟💫❤️🌟💫❤️💫), the government HAS collapsed, the UK is currently left with no government leaders, no political party in charge, and no Prime Minister. The Tory government has officially burned itself down after years of bullshit, and now we're waiting for the fire to go out so we can see how the fuck to pick up the pieces.
I, and everyone else who hates the Tories (which is most of the country at this point, including those who voted Tory to begin with), am sat back with popcorn watching the motherfucker burn. Hope he dies lol
holy. fucking. shit.
Non-European cultures and fantasy species in pulp fantasy
Hello! White author here, looking to make a fantasy story that manages to feel nice and pulpy without having the racist elements written by people who never read Tolkien beyond the surface of LotR. To cut to the point, I’ve got two questions:
1) My european-inspired cultures are all based on european pulp fantasy. When making all my non-european cultures, would it be unwise to follow the same pattern and base those cultures off of their own analogs for pulp fantasy?
Like making my chinese-inspired culture based on wuxia novels and Journey to the West, as an example. I figure that given that I’m doing the same thing with my european cultures, it should be fine so long as I don’t skimp on my research, but given that reading your blog has caused me to toss out all my old worldbuilding on this stuff before… I’d rather err on the side of caution and ask.
2) At the current moment, my only fantasy species are, well, the eurocentric fantasy ones — elves, dwarves, jotunn, you know the drill. Should I have these species be global in nature, or have each cultural region have species unique to their own “base” culture?
Going global would allow for more diversity within the species, but would also mean that I’m limiting my cultural pool of inspiration; whereas having unique species to each area gives me more diverse cultural representation but would also cause me to run the risk of creating a lot of “useless” story elements that ultimately add nothing.
You’ve definitely picked a tough worldbuilding project. Have you referenced the archives recently? Look through again. There’s a wide variety of resources that I think can give you a little more background on what I’m going to tell you. In particular, look at this guide first. Throwing worldbuilding out isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it just means you have more to explore and more to make richer within your setting.
For your first question:
Drawing inspiration from non-European pulp fantasy
What kinds of references are you using for these pulp-fantasy inspired cultures? Do you know if they’re respectful in the first place? What is your understanding of these analogous cultures as a basis for your own world building? How much pulp fantasy have you read that does this respectfully? Are there specific references you’re looking at?
I would say basing your cultures off of existing media within them works to a certain extent, but you need to understand the cultural background first so you know when you can diversify points and when you cannot. For example, if wuxia and Journey to the West are your only current means of consuming Chinese media and Chinese culture, you won’t have a full understanding of the mythological and cultural elements that you’re utilizing without additional research. You don’t need to do extensive research on throwaway lines, but delve into the bases that will support your narrative and the logic of the world that you create.
Pulp fantasy can fall into stereotypic patterns very easily. I’d say your best bet is way more research into what you want to portray than just patterning off of previous pulp fiction. Often, you can find really interesting aspects of real cultures that make your story richer overall. I would recommend looking into coding and conlangs in general. While you can use existing cultures as a basis, you can take more creative license with cultures and languages that you’ve coded and created without excessive borrowing and appropriation.
What may also help is playing around with how you’re going to create your narrative. A unique narrative utilizing the elements that you choose to include will distinguish your story further from the existing body of pulp fantasy. Plus, narrowing down what you need for the narrative will help you to narrow down what you need in your worldbuilding. If you find and acknowledge cultural bases that add unique dimensions to your world, I think you’ll have a good foundation to work off of.
For your second question:
Non-European fantasy species
Have you looked into non-Eurocentric fantasy species you can use? Yes? No? Well, start looking. Globalizing these Eurocentric species is not a great idea for reasons that have already been stated in the archives. Take a look at this post and this post. The scenarios are not the same, but they describe many points that you need to consider in a multicultural setting which is based on pulp fantasy as well as a discussion of globalization.
In my experience, there’s no such thing as a useless story element if you try and incorporate it naturally. If you are trying to give the story exposure to these different cultural backgrounds, why can’t they have a different array of species? What’s the harm? This entails Research, Research, Research. If you’re willing to put the work in, you can make this not only feasible, but a great aspect of your writing.
One final point: Tolkien wrote during the early-to-mid-20th Century. His literary voice was a product of its time, and as such carries elements of systemic prejudice. There are overarching messages that are good takeaways as a whole, but even reading beyond the surface of Tolkien's works still exposes narrative elements that demonstrate his bias.
If you want to write a work of pulp fantasy without the racist undertones that many works have, take a look at your own bias first and foremost, and then that of your inspirations. This takes research, planning, and a critical eye for elements of racism that you might not have noticed initially.
As creators, it’s important that we strive to create a positive relationship between our content and community while still retaining our rights. With this in mind, we’d like to share our new content policy covering how you can use our IP.
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Abaut Journey To The West, would it be okay to make an oc abaut the novel (the oc's story is set into the novel and they interact with the main characters) or would that be offensive/disrespectful? I'm asking this because I don't want to be offensive towards the culture in any way, even if I haven't writen down anything yet
I just need some confirmation abaut if what I'm doing is bad or not, and if it is bad then I'll stop imediatlly
Regardless, I hope you have a good day, and don't forget to drink water!
Oh dang well anon I'm not the best person to ask about this since I'm A) Not Chinese and B) Only an amateur Journey to the West enthusiast at most.
I will say, however, that from what I've seen when it comes to JTTW-based stories written by Chinese authors that there's a incredible amount of variety among what you could call people's ocs! You've got everything from Sun Wukong's gigantic immortal-cursing yaoguai daughter Yuebei Xing in the 17th-century text Journey to the South to the superstrong human girl Thom Ngho in 2020's Girl Giant and the Monkey King by Van Hoang to the kind-hearted and brave little boy Liuer in Monkey King: Hero is Back by Tian Xiaopeng! Heck, in one more recent film that was a retelling of Zhu Bajie's backstory the writer made an oc/love interest for the pig man out of *SPOILERS* his rake (X_X). So yes, quite the variety indeed, and this only a very small sampling.
It must of course be noted that there's an ugly history of western writers making and then insisting on all kinds of incorrect assumptions about Xiyouji and the culture it comes from as well as dismissing the concerns of Chinese people about how their ocs are used in the service of pretty racist and orientalist stories (worst I've seen so far is The Forbidden Kingdom, in which a white American named Jason Tripitaka is the prophesied savior of both the Monkey King and basically all of China). So there is a definite need to be careful that you're not replicating long-standing biases if you're making a story based on a beloved and important text from a culture outside your own. But based off of the abundant variety of ocs both Chinese and non-Chinese people have made for JTTW-based stories, and based off of what I've seen various people say, my general impression is that as long as you are respectful, do your research, and don't try to alienate the og characters from the classic's cultural roots, then you're good.
Of course, I need to note that I'm far from an expert on what's considered the best for those wanting to make ocs for Xiyouji retellings, so if someone more in the know wants to give a different opinion or further input then please do!
Centering yourself in the conversation as in painting every ask calling you out for racist, ableist, queerphobic or simply bad writing or questionable behavior towards fans as "people hate on me for attention", while at the same time answering those asks with snark/memes and letting your fans make fun of the POC and Queer people that wrote them. You are not a martyr. You are a white liberal author who supports and profits off a racist and queerphobic system. No one forced you to sign those contracts, or to not share the money with other, struggling authors. Some authors even donate their advance or royalties to greater causes. And they're not even rich, while you are. At least admit that you don't care about struggling authors, as long as you get to be a millionaire for writing mediocre books.
There's a difference between "accepting support for my writing" and "becoming rich while the authors I pretend to care about starve". You're just being obtuse on purpose.
Authors like Jemisin could write Red Queen or Realm Breaker in their sleep and delete it all as trash when they wake up. Yet you think you deserve all the money you make, while they have to fight for every dollar?
#PublishingPaidMe really taught you people nothing. The industry chooses a mediocre, white author to splurge on and hype, while better authors are left on their own. Every contract authors like you sign, INEVITABLY means authors of color, Queer, disabled, marginalized in any way getting close to nothing.
Just one hour ago I saw a comment on YT about BookTok saying that YA has become "the fast food of literature" and I can't help but agree. The same ingredients over and over, the same recipes, the same packaging. And the same white authors producing them, for a mostly white audience that will hype them on social media.
Creativity and skill have become the exception, the outsiders.
It's perfectly within your rights to only care about yourself, but at least be honest about it and don't pretend to care about and speak for oppressed authors.
Before you and your fans have an aneurysm, yes, I am the same person behind the previous ask about centering yourself (quite obviously).
That doesn't mean I'm the only person criticizing you.
Am I also the anon who sent the selection/hg ask that I just saw? What does my syntax say? 🙄
You're also implying that all the POC criticizing you about the ethnicity issue (I don't know how else to call it) have the same syntax 🙃 which is just great...
Again, your issue is with the publishing system, it is not with me. And I must point out that your message is really undercut when you lead with your problem regarding my...existence as a published author. I'm not sure how else to put it. But saying that I should refuse contracts or donate the money I make to support my family and our future really clouds any other valid points. I'm not really sure what you want me to do? Go back in time and tell 22 year-old Victoria to turn down the only publishing deal she was offered? Tell HarperCollins, no, don't make my debut novel a lead title, a thing I didn't know existed at the time? To turn down contracts now, when I don't have a guarantee of selling another book (because there are really no guarantees, and I'm a terribly superstitious person).
You are, of course, welcome to tell me I don't deserve my job, that I should not be a published author, and that I should not be able to continue pursuing my passion and what feels like the only thing I'm meant to do on this planet. That's your opinion to hold and voice. And I agree, NK Jemisin (and a huge amount of other writers) is far better at writing books than I am.
We absolutely must talk about privilege in publishing. I support that conversation, and I will continue having that conversation. There are...a shocking amount of authors who come from what I see as immense privilege, who do not talk about it at all. Far more than most realize. And it is a constant frustration of mine. And we absolutely must continue pushing for change in the publishing industry, support marginalized authors, and bring more diverse voices into what is an extremely white industry on the publisher side.
Your dislike of me (and my writing) has been made immensely clear. That's fine. That's part of the job. But I don't know what this is doing to advance any of the valid issues, or allow for meaningful discussion. When you start out by saying "you shouldn't have your job because you don't deserve it", it presents the entire message in a less than productive light.
At the end of the day, you're right. I don't have to answer anything. I don't have to post anything. Many, many people have told me to shut the inbox down again. But I find this useful, for myself to read and respond to, for followers to see, and for you to feel heard. Does it paint me in a good light? Probably not. I'm guessing this is a net negative for me. If I wanted to to appear perfect, I certainly wouldn't respond to anything that shows me as anything less than. But that isn't truthful or realistic. So here I am, for however long.
Once more, I ask what it is you realistically want from me? From my perspective, it seems you want me to stop working, or at least stop existing in your space. That just isn't something I can do, and I can't control what spaces you exist in either.
(I should also point out I responded to one long anon message about how I shouldn't tell people my background with a gif/"meme", after responding to that same message many, many times with no productive discussion, that person clearly does not want to listen to any response from me and so I do not understand continuing to send me messages - if you want to run with that as me responding to multiple asks with memes and snark, fine, it's just not accurate to the situation, and again, doesn't help your cause to obfuscate what is clearly shown on my page)
"fujoshi discourse hurts trans men and transmascs" yes this is absolutely true
"but fujoshi means a dirty cishet female fetishizer" uhm no, actually it's pretty racist to redefine another culture's term for your own argument--
"cishet girls need to stop fetishizing* mlms"
buddy. please. stop using fucking strawmen that haven't existed for years, or are teenagers that don't know any better. if you're talking about irl homophobic behavior against people, then talk about that -- the problem is the irl homophobic behavior, not their preferences of fictional content. also that's literally exactly the same rhetoric terfs use to misgender all the trans/nonbinary & erase the non-straight people that enjoy slash/BL/yaoi. not to mention, a lot of people have described how that's the first queer content they were exposed to and it ultimately helped them realize they weren't cishet.
plus... it's not exactly the woke statement you think it is when you start putting limits on who can consume/create what fiction. that creates an environment where queer authors and readers are forced to come out to you, a complete stranger, so you can give judgement on whether they're morally allowed to create/consume such content -- and so many queer people have already been the victims of harrasment campaigns because either they were in the closet/not publicly out as queer OR everyone conviently tried to erase their identity as they were "obviously cishet." did y'all forget the whole part where we shouldn't try to "root out fakers" in the queer community since that'll only hurt actual queer people, in your quest for moral superiority over fiction?
everyone goes on about having gaydars and being able to clock other trans people in public, but someone writes a queer story you don't 100% relate to or enjoy and suddenly they're just a dirty little cishet fetishizing woman. yup, that's totally not an argument terfs and conservatives use to justify things like...oh, i dunno, calling all trans men and transmascs "confused lesbians" and denying hrt. or, "oh protect the children!" like when will y'all realize that's just a dogwhistle they use to justify censoring queer content in any form? i do not care that some fictional pieces feature things you find gross, such as rape or incest or underage people having sex. someone reading a slasher novel or watching a horror flick doesn't suddenly make them a murderer. being grossed out is not and should never be a measure of morality -- again, see terfs and conservatives. y'all think you're so fucking woke but then y'all parrot the same goddamn arguments people use against us, just with a shiny coat of "morally woke" paint.
*the definition of fetishizing they use varies between "has a gay couple" to "gay couple has sex" to "gay couple has non-missionary, non-vanilla sex that doesn't ask for consent every 3 lines" to "work features gay people not being perfect people" to "work features taboo subjects & gay people and they think that's a plain-faced statement of morals of the author"