Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lazy Racism

"We do indeed find some, and with basic needs met I pull out my phone and launch a browser, spending a few futile minutes trying to find a current address for one Mhathini Palanichamy, whose body Laksha currently inhabits. Time to act like the lost tourist I really am. I ask people who look friendly and willing to speak English how I might find a friend in town, feeling underdressed in my dull jeans and T-shirt in the midst of so many colorful saris.
A Tamil University student sets me straight by telling me that the local search engines work fine but are mostly in the Hindi or Tamil languages, neither of which I speak. I offer her my phone, and in moments she has found the most likely address and sets me up with a walking navigation map."
- Staked, Iron Druid Chronicles #8, Kevin Hearne
From "Raj Mandali" yelling "something in Urdu" (Sea of Monsters, Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2, Rick Riordan), to Panju Weasley of the Most Racist Harry Potter Alternate Universe ever (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling), this lazy aversion to proper research has been popping up in my favorite fantasy literature for almost a decade now. I'm not taking into account stuff from even before then because these things are supposed to get better, not worse. 
Any time some reference to the Indian subcontinent or the Middle East is brought up in a book I'm reading, I cringe. I cringe before I ever read the inevitable nonsense that is to come. It is stupid to expect someone from an entirely different culture to understand something about Tamilian culture - when even I, whose state borders that of Tamil Nadu, cannot entirely understand that culture. And it is equally stupid of those authors to actually attempt it in the name of diversity. 
You see, true diversity is hard work. You'd have to spend years, perhaps decades, delving into a culture to ensure that your outsider perspective hasn't skipped over some important distinction. In his Iron Druid Chronicles, an excerpt from which can be found above, Kevin Hearne labels a particular woman Pashtun from Afghanistan before proceeding to give her a Tamil sounding name. I suppose he was influenced by the fact that the witch due to possess the comatose body of said woman was supposedly Tamilian. 
The fact is, I myself have never heard of the names he's used. I myself have difficulty pinpointing their ethnicity. And I do not think that Kevin Hearne understands that each combination of Indian first name and surname tells volumes in terms of ethnical history. There's a whole backstory in each name, which is why you do not get to cut and paste and mix and match..

...unless you're setting your story in an alternate universe, in which case do make that distinction clear, so readers don't come away with the dumbass assumption that Tamil Nadu still doesn't have web browsers in English (GOOGLE IT, YOU FUCKER). 

Note: According to its Goodreads page, Staked was published in 2016, and the story itself is set in 2022. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017


When your ex friend's ass boyfriend untags himself from their picture citing bad lighting and angles, and you're like, bro you already ugly AF, don't piss off the only person who disagrees.

Is that unfeminist? Idk.

Dreaming In Incoherence

My back is killing me. My head is killing me. I slept for hours and I'm still dead tired. Going anywhere seems out of the question, but I gotta go pick up neffie. And ventus has found a new escape route out of the house and I can't figure out what to do about that. It's a pipe leading down, he'd surely get hurt.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Og Og Og

Everything is filthy. I can't move.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

There's Good Days...

Some days I do enough things right and I end up feeling immensely proud of myself and completely fall in love with myself all over again.

Ghost Worlds

So supporting myself on less than a grand a day (not the easiest when you factor in two bills that cost 1k apiece), supporting my brother who keeps attempting to eat me out of house and home, working 12-15 hours a day (and doing a very good job of it) and attempting to attend classes on the weekend...

All this is the hallmark of a failure who's leeching off of other people, apparently.

Almost a year after the fact, the ghost of law school continues to be resurrected. Once again I ask, what the FUCK do you expect to get out of studying a single course in law school? Are you out of your damn minds?

One single course out of twenty-odd that you need to pass in order to gain a graduation.

One single course, that requires one's full day, hours of research, hours of fighting off depression, quitting one's job, placing one's actual classes and life goals on hold..

Sorry, why the fuck would anyone agree to this? Why would anyone even propose it? I'm struggling to gain the energy necessary to get myself to class today, after a week of work. It's a 7/7 day lifestyle right now. It is not fun. So stop. Stop bothering me. There's too much to do to get my life back on track. Constantly talking about how I "walked away" from the best thing that could have happened to me (I didn't walk away from it, and it's not the best thing that could happen to anyone.) Isn't going to serve any purpose.

I've yelled myself hoarse trying to explain to them how depression works. They shouldn't need the refresher course considering they're raging depressives themselves. I've repeatedly emphasised that I gave it six years of my life. At this point, I can no longer muster up the energy to feel guilty or sorry for someone else. You create a living hell for yourself in your own head? Live with it.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Calling Ms. Rowling

Very on the fence about misogynistic male characters who are supplied with female foil that calls them out.
No, authors, that doesn't make it okay, nor does it make it clear that it's not okay.
Jo Rowling, I'm looking at you.

Everyone has a lot to say about Jo taking on online trolls with hilarious comebacks. And that's great. But her work doesn't walk the walk. She's never addressed the fiasco that's Cho Chang's name - two Korean/ Chinese surnames? - or the utter nonsense that was Panju - why not Rohit? Rahul? Ashok? Arun? Karthik? It's no longer 1997. Names for Cursed Child could have been turned up in the most basic Google search of all time. She's never addressed the issue of queer baiting in Cursed Child, and lack of queer representation in the Harry Potter series, the cheap stereotyping of the Patil twins dress robes for the Yule Ball, and utter caricaturisation of Ginny Weasley in the movies, the movement of Lord Voldemort from asexual to child bearing in Cursed Child, the randomized POC casting in the HP movies..

Oh, the list goes on. And yes, contractual restrictions always exist, but the whole point of "co-writing" the screenplay of Cursed Child was to prevent the HP movie nonsense in the first place, so.. how they hell did they end up with something way worse as a final product?

The outrage and backlash to these matters was not and has never been muted. And get Ms. Rowling has never ever responded to them in an appropriate fashion. And I stopped reading Robert Galbraith due to how god-awfully sexist it was starting to sound. The world needs less of that bro-macho bullshit. Not more.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Bogs And Bogus

Pretty much every bridge is burning out. And also every building, and also my life. It's like the Great Fire of London except it's in my head.

I knew that taking on French lessons might trigger my depression again, and I've been struggling to go for classes. I cannot connect or relate to anybody there. I dislike their lack of political correctness, the bros being bros and the coolgirling girls. I hate that pretty much everyone makes more money than I do and/or are married.  I hate that I can't connect with the lessons - I study better on my own. I hate being given assignments, because I have no energy for it.

This ain't sustainable, but I've got to find a way to make it. I need another adrenaline rush, something that makes me look forward to, well, everything.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Processing Abuse

If you're flying high, you'd be wise to keep a "weather eyeball" out for signs of the inevitable crash.

All of us instinctively know the smug bully when we see them. The smug bully probably dates all the way back to pre-school, to a time when you were still barely grasping the basics of verbal sparring. The smug bully had comebacks you'd never thought of, and they don't make any sense. But everybody else seems to think the smug bully has made a great and awesome point, and applauds. The smug bully struts away, knowing he's won. Sometimes he sticks around to flog the dead horse.

The exploits of M.Y. bring me back to that exact point. That person with the senseless comebacks and the mindless supporters, all ranged against what you subconsciously know to be fact. And that's the first time you ever realize that sometimes - nay, a lot of the time - having the facts on your side is more a hindrance than a help.

I see an abuser rooted deep and standing tall, firing verbal volley after the next, confident in his invincibility.

I see that sort of thing a lot. I don't like it. I don't want to be part of it. I don't want to face verbal abuse simply because someone's lost their temper. I don't want to deal with highly sexualized cusswords that are thrown at me because somebody else can't follow a line of logic. Because they're drowning and grasping at straws. Because they'll say anything right now, to make themselves feel better.

Don't bring me into that. I have plenty problems of my own, thanks. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Swamp Diving

Far too many conversations lately that involve oodles of mansplanation, and also downright abuse. Learn to control your goddamn temper, don't start swearing at people in public. It goes to show terrible upbringing, among other things, which is just sad when the exact same people brought you up.

(Not saying my parents did a great job bringing me up, they did a terrible job overall.) As one of my friends once put it, we've had to bring ourselves up quite a bit.

I'm sick and tired of having to listen to people explain to me in great detail (and inaccuracy) things that they've barely heard of. If you don't know fuck-all about something, shut the fuck up and don't bring it up. You're not obligated to talk everywhere about every fucking thing.

When I'm listening to a conversation on something I don't know much about, I stay quiet and let the experts talk. That way, I pick up more, and if the atmosphere is conducive, I can ask questions about stuff that's not immediately clear to me. And I can tell you from experience that it's just not that difficult a thing to do. It may feel a little awkward, but that's fine. You don't have to feel like the star of every conversation. That's not necessary. Quite the opposite.

On an unrelated note, does anyone know how to discuss homophobia or gay rights with someone whose homophobia arises from the fact that they were sexually assaulted as a child by someone of the same gender?

Because logically, it doesn't make sense. (Obviously.) Predators come in all genders, sexualities, shapes and sizes. But misandry, misogyny or homophobia born of such assault is an emotional reaction, not a logical one, and I don't know how to discuss these matters under those circumstances without exacerbating existing trauma. (My responses are of the #notall variety.)