Look, without our stories, without the true nature and reality of who we are as People of Color, nothing about fanboy or fangirl culture would make sense. What I mean by that is: if it wasn’t for race, X-Men doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the history of breeding human beings in the New World through chattel slavery, Dune doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the history of colonialism and imperialism, Star Wars doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the extermination of so many Indigenous First Nations, most of what we call science fiction’s contact stories doesn’t make sense. Without us as the secret sauce, none of this works, and it is about time that we understood that we are the Force that holds the Star Wars universe together. We’re the Prime Directive that makes Star Trek possible, yeah. In the Green Lantern Corps, we are the oath. We are all of these things—erased, and yet without us—we are essential.
Let em know dad.
I think the next time someone gets confused as to possibly why people were hoping Katniss would be portrayed as nonwhite, this quote above is why.
In a way, narratives of the struggle of people of color whitewashed into science fiction so they are easily digestible for suburban white people (e.g. me) is the ultimate appropriation (at least in the realm of pop culture/fiction.) All of the struggle, none of the history.
These narratives are compelling and often well told in sci-fi, so I don’t find it surprising or that problematic that more privilege people find themselves in them - that’s what a great* story does. But seen through this lens it is really problematic, as commenters above also point out, when the more privileged parts of the “fandom” then accept only the whitewashed version, and exclude the reading of people of color.
*great as in well-made, compelling, not as in happy, good for the people in the story/history. I’m also sure that I’m not the first person to make these comments.
April was too lonely a month to spend alone. In April, everyone around me looked happy. People would throw their coats off and enjoy each other’s company in the sunshine—talking, playing catch, holding hands. But I was always by myself.
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (via larmoyante)
Thank god I’m not alone, but I recognize the sentiment.
'Worry' is a four letter word.
My intention is to make a contribution to the sociology of intellectual production, […] as well as to analysis of fetishism and magic. There too, you might say, “But why not go and study magic in “primitive” societies, rather than in the Paris fashion scene?” I think that one of the functions of ethnological discourse is to say things that are bearable so long as they apply to remote populations, with the respect we owe them, but much less so when they are related to Western societies.Pierre Bourdieu “Haute Couture and Haute Culture.” Sociology in Question. London: Sage (1993) 132-3
When I read the actual story-how Gatsby loves Daisy so much but can’t ever be with her no matter how hard he tries-I feel like ripping the book in half and calling up Fitzgerald and telling him his book is all wrong, even though I know Fitzgerald is probably deceased. Especially when Gatsby is shot dead in his swimming pool the first time he goes for a swim all summer, Daisy doesn’t even go to his funeral, Nick and Jordan part ways, and Daisy ends up sticking with racist Tom, whose need for sex basically murders an innocent woman, you can tell Fitzgerald never took the time to look up at clouds during sunset, because there’s no silver lining at the end of that book, let me tell you.
Great quote from Matthew Quick’s The Silver Linings Playbook. (via amandaonwriting)
F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of those great writers who were terrible people.