(Open discussion) Who wins the Clueless White Girl Award: Snow White or Sookie Stackhouse?

In a showdown for Most Clueless White Girl On TV, who would win? Once Upon A Time‘s Snow White or True Blood‘s Sookie Stackhouse?

Discuss.

Feel free to talk about:

  • The way they interact with women of color
  • How they position themselves as pure and innocent and sweet when they’re anything but
  • How many folks they get killed because they “didn’t know better”
  • The way fandom responds to them
  • And more!

Open discussion: The Chosen One cliche

You read about it in books, see it in movies, and play it in video games.

In so many stories, when there’s a Huge Menace or Big Evil threatening the world, only one person who has been chosen by destiny is fated to defeat it. That person is the Chosen One.

Can I just state, for the record, that I hate the shit out of this?

Besides the fact that it’s lazy storytelling — after all, it’s a lot easier to say Destiny Said So than to give protagonists real reasons to make real choices that have an impact on the world — there’s also the fact that most of the time, the Chosen One cliche says some pretty side-eye-worthy things about the world and who matters. If the Chosen One is the only one with the ability to fight Real Evil, and this individual is more often than not male, White, straight, cisgender, middle to upper class, young (or rather not middle-aged or old), able-bodied, and has no mental illnesses, what does that say about the people who don’t fit that mold? Are they too weak? Too stupid? Evil themselves?

Let’s look at this logically even though the cliche itself makes no fucking sense. Let’s look at history. Do you know what we call people who believe they have a special destiny that they must impose upon the world for its own good? Narcissists and megalomaniacs. These are not traits that go well with things like compassion, which is one of those crucial hero type qualities.

Not to mention, when you look at the really old myths and legends, those Chosen One types tend to come from the underclass and shake up the status quo rather than preserve it. What scares the Bad Guys about people trying to change things is that they never see it coming. Because they value only power, when they look for threats, they overlook those they consider powerless. They never realize that one of these days, the people they exploit and abuse will get sick of their shit and someone will decide to do something about it.

So let’s do away with the Chosen One. Let’s leave prophecy and fate out of what makes someone a hero. What do you think are some ways we can do that?

The Ojibwe ‘Ajijaak’ Storybook Project on Kickstarter

I saw this link in another blogger’s twitter feed, and knew that it deserved a big signal boost. With untold unique language going extinct daily, this storybook project is one necessary and worthwhile step in protecting at least one language from disappearing completely.

From the project’s Kickstarter page:

The making of the Storybook “Ajijaak!”

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Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett is the story of Polly Perks, who in the method of young women all over fantasy, disguises herself as a man and changes her name to Oliver in order to join the army and find her brother. This being Terry Pratchett jolly hijinks ensue.

There will be spoilers below.

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Queervision: The Little Mermaid (Disney)

Nothing is sacred here at Ars Marginal. Not even your childhood. This Queervision post takes on the modern world’s great mythmaker. That’s right, we’re queering Walt Disney movies. Not Disney movies with flesh-and-blood actors. I’m talking about the super kid-friendly stuff, those animated features complete with animals that sing and dance and shit.

Like many people in my generation, I grew up on Disney movies. And, naturally, they have completely warped my expectations of life and relationships. Well, there was that whole thing where I identified more with princes than the princesses (mostly because what the princes and I had in common was wanting to get with the princess). And if you want to know the root of my thing for nerdy, skinny, pale-skinned brunettes with big brown eyes – look no further than that fucking Belle.

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Queervision: Looking at cultural media through a queer lens

Queervision is going to be a subversive and transgressive look at cultural¬† media that (on the surface) doesn’t include LGBTQ content. As LGBTQ people can attest, most of the time we don’t see ourselves in mainstream media at all. And when we do see ourselves, it’s often – shall we say – distorted. Our sexuality is less about how and who we love and more about how we are supposed to fit into a heterosexist paradigm.

Queervision is a way to rectify that. Putting on our queer goggles and looking at films, TV shows, and other media through an LGBTQ lens, we’ll reconfigure the dominant narratives to center our ways of living and loving. This is a fancy schmancy way of saying that, as LGBTQ people, we take what we can get. And if aren’t invited to the party, we’ll crash the motherfucker.

We’re going to take the assumed cisgender and heterosexual default and turn it on its ear. This is us saying, “You might not see us, but it ain’t ‘cuz we ain’t there.” This is us saying, “You can try, but you can’t erase us.” This is us saying, “Who’s to say that character is not one of us?” This is us saying, “We ain’t making up ‘the gay’ – it’s already fucking there! And the shit would’ve been better if they had the guts to go there!”

Open discussion: Ars Marginal in 2011 (plus year in review)

So WordPress sent me this nifty little e-mail thing telling me how Ars Marginal is doing.

Numbers and shit
Wordpress tells me that this blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2010. That probably means about 1,000 clicks from actual viewers and 18,000 times of me editing and moderating and shit.

According to WordPress, this means I’m doing “Wow.” I guess that ain’t bad, but I want this bad boy to get 1,000 followers and another 10 or so contributors. Ambitious? Probably. But I’ll try. I need some volunteers (read: YOU) to help out, though.
More about stats and shit