Apr. 24th, 2010

kutsuwamushi: (don't make me come back there)
See if you can spot the pattern:

In Cameron's Avatar, Jake Sully, an outsider, becomes the champion of the Na'vi, and fights for them against his own people.

In Frank Herbert's Dune, Paul Atriedes, an outsider, joins the Fremen and becomes their tragic messianic figure.

In Robin Hobb's Shaman's Crossing trilogy, Nevare Burvelle, an outsider, becomes magically connected to the Specks, a people who are under attack by his government's attempt to build a road through their land.

In more Star Trek episodes than I can name, the crew of the Enterprise, outsiders, discover that their influence on cultures that they meet is doing them harm.

...

Okay, I'm sure you can spot more than one pattern here, but what I'm getting at is from whose perspective these stories are written. The protagonists are all part of the dominant culture in their universes, and the story of the marginalized culture whose struggle they join is told through their eyes.

Even when the setting is totally invented, when authors have the most freedom, this pattern is still everywhere. I know I'm not pointing out anything new.

Summer is coming up soon, which means that I have time to read books. But instead of reading more of the same, I'd like to read science fiction or fantasy stories where the other viewpoint is the neutral one.

So, does anyone have recommendations? I'm especially interested in stories where both cultures are invented.

[I erased and rewrote several times a tangent about how this is a subset of outsider stories, which don't always involve a conflict with the outsider's culture. Harry Potter would be a different story if the protagonist was a member of Wizarding culture to begin with; Harry's outsider perspective introduces Muggle readers to the Wizarding world with a sense of wonder.

But it's worth asking why one culture is viewed from the outside and the other from the inside so frequently when that conflict does exist. The benefits of an "outsider perspective" can carry their own assumptions, including that the marginalized culture, often "inspired by" real-world cultures, is the one that is the most exotic and most needing to be explained from the outside.]
kutsuwamushi: photo of Fever Ray LARPing (music 2)
This made me happy. Tuxes, fantastic dancing, and a great beat.



I've only heard one other song by Janelle Monáe, but it looks like she's an artist I'm going to have to keep a closer eye on. She does her own thing.

(Weirdly, Sociologial Images posted this video as "degendered", which prompted me to leave a comment asking why women wearing tuxes are gender-neutral. Although dance and attire is roughly the same for men and women in the video, it's not degendered.)
kutsuwamushi: (can has yaoi?)
omfg guys she's doing it again.

that attention whore [personal profile] sudaki has written another stupid post complaining about my bleach fics. no one's making her read them! for someone who claims to have better things to do with her time she spends a lot of time obsessing about what i do!

Listen, you stinky fish taco:

1. if you don't like kenpachi/byakuya, DON'T READ

2. if you don't like vampires, DON'T READ

3. if you don't like scrabble, DON'T READ

its not rocket science. i can write what i want and you can NOT READ IT. i don't want people like you reading it anyway. you might get your stupidity all over it.

Second, even if you could use proper nouns in Scrabble (and you can't)

you can totally use proper nouns in scrabble now. but you didn't know that, cuz you probably can't even read british, just like you can't read japanese (everyone knows you're a liar).

and yes they can play scrabble in soul society if they want to. i don't expect a zaraki/hanataro shipper to notice details but in chapter 83 ichigo brings them the board. and i put in a warning for explicit scrabble anyway so WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT.

Even if Kenpachi was turned into a vampire I don't think he'd cry about it, but [personal profile] kutsuwamushi has him crying EVERY SCENE. Literally.

that's because my kenpachi is in touch with his feelings. your kenpachi is just a stereotype which is why you pair him with someone boring like hanatarou, so they can be boring stereotypes togehter. my kenpachi has depth and emotion! and he's a vampire so of course he's crying all the time, that's what it's like being a vampire, haven't you ever seen the tom cruise movie?

i didn't have anything against zaraki/hanataro shippers until you came along and proved they're all delusional.

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