WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT?

Dying to share your thoughts about a movie, TV series, game, book, etc.?

Want us to address a particular marginal identity for specific media?

This is the place to let us know what you want to talk about!

48 thoughts on “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT?

  1. Hi, I’ve been following this blog for a few months now, but so far I haven’t commented on any of the articles. I’ve decided to delurk myself because I just watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes (what a mouthful) over the weekend, and found myself foaming at the mouth from how Freida Pinto was portrayed in the movie–or rather, not portrayed. At all. What I would love to see on this site is someone rip into Freida’s non-role after seeing the movie.

    I’m not sure if I’m supposed to email this request to RVCBard directly or just post it like this. Since this *is* the “What Do You Want to Talk About?” section of the blog, though, I figured I wouldn’t be laughed out of here. I hope. Anyway, love this site!

  2. I’d really like to talk about the depiction of sex workers in fantasy literature. As a sex worker I often find it alienating and upsetting

  3. Uh, hi! Is the right place? I hope so.

    Sorry that this took so long.

    Anyway, one of the things that I have been wondering about recently is about the term ‘Asian’ or ‘Asia’.

    Now shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender are described as being inspired by Asian cultures which makes me wonder, when I describe myself as Asian or say that I come from the Asian region, I wonder how many people would automatically assume that that means I look somewhere along the lines of say, Harry Shum Jr. or Michelle Yeoh, whereas in reality, I look closer to say Isaiah Mustafa in person?

    This is one of the reasons, why I’m working on Jewels (http://yaseen101.livejournal.com/44426.html), a South Asian inspired fantasy story so that I can try to showcase the other side of Asia, and it makes me wonder if there is anyone else working on a story inspired by ‘X’ culture(s)? Is there any show or series you would like to see based on a certain culture? What would you like to see from shows that are either set in other countries or where characters frequently travel all over the world to other countries?

  4. So I just read about Aarit Mann’s non-role as Priya on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and good lord… WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?!? WHY?!!

    Good lord, there was nothing I read that was actually about herself as person instead it was all about how her male peers so her and basically she sounded like a plot device. She was not ‘her’ but a sub set of her male peers lives.

    Maybe I’m just over-reacting and going off just based on a wiki description but I would like to see someone do a post on Big Bang Theory and Priya’s role in it.

  5. Hi, I wondered if any of you have already written something about Ross Cambell, or have an opinion about his work, or know any place on the ‘net where people have already written stuff especially on how he treats race (but also other marginalization topics)?
    I don’t know his books, but when I was looking for web comics with POC representation/written by POC, I stumbled upon him, looked at some artwork, read some articles, and left with somewhat ambiguous feelings. Now there’s his new design for Glory which I came across yesterday.
    I love it, but while I like how he consciously tries to change from his former sexualization of female characters, some of his earlier work seems to me incredibly problematic in a racial perspective, as well. While Kelly Thompson in 2010 lauded his diverse representations of female characters, she didn’t take any notice of the fact that maybe “the wild tale of Naga, a Humunga Princess. Living in a post-holocaust future, royal offspring of a tribe of mystic cannibal barbarians” opens another can of worms just as bad. Still, I’ve seen him recommended by WOC for his diverse characters as well.
    So I like to give people an opportunity to grow over time, as I did and everybody needs to, and as he obviously did re:sexualization of female characters, but I wonder what it looks like re: race.
    Now not only I’m white, but I don’t really read any comics except on the web, since especially indie comics are expensive and not really easy to come about where I am, so I have no idea of how these representations are like in the context of his work – and I thought I might just ask the specialists.

  6. Have you seen the BBC show The Fades? If so, I’d be interested in your thoughts on it, particularly the dynamic between the two main characters Paul and Mac. I find their take on the Main White Guy / Black Best Friend trope refreshingly subversive.

  7. This seemed of interest, Bioware’s response to a guy complaining DA II failed the straight male gamer:

    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2011/03/24/bioware-lead-writer-defends-dragon-age-ii-romance-options.aspx

    “”The romances in the game are not for ‘the straight male gamer’. They’re for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention. We have good numbers, after all, on the number of people who actually used similar sorts of content in DAO and thus don’t need to resort to anecdotal evidence to support our idea that their numbers are not insignificant… and that’s ignoring the idea that they don’t have just as much right to play the kind of game they wish as anyone else. The ‘rights’ of anyone with regards to a game are murky at best, but anyone who takes that stance must apply it equally to both the minority as well as the majority. The majority has no inherent ‘right’ to get more options than anyone else.”

  8. I have Aspergers Syndrome*, which is an Autism Spectrum disorder so I’d really like to see something about autistic stereotypes and specifically how Bioware completely failed with Sandal the savant dwarf who is played for laughs. I think they did well with David in ME2, though I have some problems with it, they’re all minor. Sandal on the other hand is a completely insensitive joke.

    *Please don’t assume that I’m lying. Aspergers Syndrome is far more than an inability to engage in social situations and I am tired of seeing ‘self-diagnosed’ fuckwads portray me as such. It’s far easier for me to be social over the internet because there are only words to process, not facial expressions, tones of voice, background noise and eye contact.

  9. I just saw the trailer for John Collins this week. It looks like Avatar 2, with tall green aliens instead of blue, and a Mary Sue human with super powers leading them to victory.

    A deconstruction of the trailer could be pretty entertaining.

  10. Hi, dropping by again to spread awareness for a project called ARKH, link here: http://thearkhproject.tumblr.com/FAQ
    A group of queer POC are trying to create a 3D RPG for, you guessed it, queer POC and every other marginalization in between. As this is a arts/entertainment site for the oft-forgotten, I hope this catches your notice :D

  11. Something diverse for a change: http://web.ruudvanempel.nl/home.html. He is an artist based in Amsterdam. I haven’t had a look at all of his images, but this is in line with what I noticed on a very very short trip there last year – the advertising and public notices, at least by the government, make a very conscious attempt to include POC.
    Thanks for your blog – it is important work. I am somewhat belatedly learning about all this stuff (as well as feminism) but I have had my experiences along the way. No I was not born winning the privilege lottery.

  12. Hi all.

    One of my favourite music artists, Bishi, has released a new album this year which is about her experiences as a British Asian and understanding of modern nationality. It’s a really sublime piece of work (punk folk baroque fusion), and could be perfect for Ars Marginal.

    I wrote a short blog on it this morning, if you want to know more. Would be great to get more publicity for her.

    http://functioningadult.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/indian-skin-english-heart/

  13. Does anyone here watch ABC’s “Revenge”? I think that it’s racist but I couldn’t find a discussion on it (it’s hard to search for “Revenge” and any other search term and still get results about the show even if I include terms like “show” and “episode”).

    There’s only one main character who’s a POC, Ashely. She is a British black woman played by Ashley Madekwe. (Just realized they used her real name as the character’s name.) She starts off as the party planner for the show’s main civilians, the Graysons, but is quickly relegated to gopher type duties. She also starts off being friends with the main protagonist, Emily, but that falls apart after Emily uses/hurts Ashley in the course of getting her revenge.

    When Ashley is fired by Victoria Grayson (the mom) and she loses her chance for a job with a lawyer, Conrad Grayson (the dad) offers her a job and here’s where things get really gross. Daniel Grayson (the son) starts dating her immediately after breaking up with Emily. We find out later that Conrad’s job offer was in exchange for sex and when Victoria finds out she blackmails Ashely into having sex with a stockholder at Grayson Global.

    So nearly every member of the Grayson family uses her for sex. This is especially gross considering that the writers decided to add in a flashback episode a scene where Ashley comes very close to prostituting herself because she can’t find a job and needs to pay the rent. The only reason she doesn’t is because Emily gives her money (she never sees or speaks directly to Emily so she doesn’t know it was her). What the Hell are they trying to say with this?

    • I saw at least part of the first episode, discovered it was about whiny rich white people sitting around organising parties for their whiny rich white people friends. IIRC, they had one PoC in that episode, who poured tea for them.

      Gave up on that one soon after. I cannot stand shows about rich white people talking about how rich they are.

  14. I was wondering if you could offer any advice on how to make a flesh-and-blood “real world” equivalent to this site, because I am so tired of having two-hour “consciousness-raising” workshop sessions where we go over the same “Oppression 101″ stuff every time, especially when it comes to sexism and racism. Yes, there will always be newbies. But I’m tired of having to explain everything and answer stupid questions every goddamn time. And then when people understand the basics, everyone has to get back in their cars (or the bus) and go home. Nothing is ever resolved, and we never have subsequent sessions with the same people, so then we have to explain everything all over again the next time we want to have a public forum on these topics.

    I also want to move beyond Human Relations Programming to social justice, move beyond “Don’t be a racist asshole.”

      • But how do you determine who has home training? You say we don’t have the Soul Police or anything like that, but there’s always going to be stupid white people saying they’ve read Malcolm X or bell hooks or something so they Know What’s Up, but they don’t know jack shit, and show their ass magnificently without noticing. I want to have faith in people, especially in men (assigned at birth or otherwise), but it’s very, very hard. But they’re the ones who need to hear this and understand.

        Then we get the tone argument. And maybe they’re right. When I’m yelling at someone, and they feel judged (as well they should), they shut down and get defensive. They don’t listen. Lord knows I’ve felt defensive, had to shove away my personal concerns just to ATTACK ATTACK. It’s the way I deal with many triggers. I hide my pain and my worries and bite back.

        How do you help people become allies in a way that acknowledges their humanity but doesn’t give them a free pass? How do you make it so it’s not about THEM while making the privileged useful to the Cause?

        • I really can’t answer your question. This blog was never meant to be about educating people, but as a place for people who are marginalized to examine arts and entertainment from our POV. I can’t tell you how to replicate the results in completely different format and context. It’s a lot to ask me to tell you how to produce the results you’re looking for at the drop of a hat. And for free, no less.

          • I know. I’m just frustrated and can’t figure this stuff out. Life can’t be a lost cause, but I’m tired of dealing with privileged bullshit. Is a closed space the only way to have these discussions at a higher-than-101 level?

            You’re right, this is the wrong place to ask. Sorry. But you have still been very helpful anyway. Thank you.

            • Aaron, RVC Bard, and Kazei eloquently made pretty much all the points I was going to make.

              The one thing I did want to add is that you’ve mentioned how taxing dealing with the issues of privilege.

              If it’s taxing for you, just imagine what POCs and other minorities have to deal with day in and day out for a lifetime.

    • My church has ongoing groups focused on antiracism. One is a POC group. The other is called the “antiracist white caucus” or ARWC, which is focused on white people like me doing our own work. These groups coordinate on content and activities, and the ARWC considers itself accountable to the POC group, as well as the church at large. The members of the ARWC also make ourselves available as resources to initiatives led from the POC group, e.g. Kwanzaa services.

      But this is so rare. With a child, my wife and I find it much more difficult to stay deeply involved with this work at a church that is geographically difficult to get to, so we’re looking for something similar but closer to home. We’re not finding it, even in our liberal, “diverse” little suburb of Oak Park, IL.

    • In general, I’d rather you didn’t. If you want to discuss the broader context of your work, such as how race, gender, sexuality, etc. will be handled in it (particularly as compared to mainstream arts and entertainment media), that’s fine.

      • Well I wanted to do in two separate post for different stories Like here:
        Story one: A casting call and a plot synopsis.
        Story two: Concept art and character bios.

        nothing too much not a dump, just some feedback. Like it will be handled in a certain way. Like I dont want to step on anyone’s toes. if that’s ok.

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