we are young and stupid and raised by wolves

(this is not real life. these are not pictures of me. I am 20-something years old and a woman and passionate about politics and fanfiction and, as far as you are concerned, I only exist online.)



mysweetetc replied to your post: Remind me never to browse the “Asian” tag again. 

Dreadfully unsurprised. :/

Erm… rant ahead. It got longer than I had expected.

Along with the fetish crap, I found some people saying, “Why I no Asian?!!” (right next to “Being white sucks sometimes) in a completely unironic way. Apparently, if that person were born Asian, she (he’d?) feel less weird about enjoying K-pop. And maybe she’d have an easier time stalking meeting those idols she loves.

Plus, I prefer the look of hapa (specifically Asian-mixed) and Asian guys. I just… do. Now I feel squicky about it because of what I actually saw in the Asian tag. I know it’s an irrational reaction, but there it is!

A good portion of the tag is dedicated to Asian (okay, let’s shoot straight here—Japanese, Korean, and Chinese) women in various states of undress. 

Darker Asians aren’t Asians, I suppose, even though Asia encompasses, oh, I don’t know, India, Indonesia, and the Phillippines, to name a few. You just know that when people say they wish they were Asian, they’re talking about being Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. They think if they were born Asian, they’d be totally grateful every day for being born a certain way. Oh, and they’d be super gorgeous, too, because (East) Asians are genetically predisposed to hotness.


Yeah, that’s really disgusting.  I’m wincing with secondhand embarrassment.  And I’m not going to claim I know what that’s like, and I’m not saying these things are equal, but it reminds me a little of how annoyed I feel when I’m reminded about the fetishization of lesbians.  Hell no I’m never making out with my girlfriend in public because some guy asks us to, to “prove” it or whatever.  And I’m not sure if I’ll ever see a depiction of girl-on-girl action in a movie without wondering how they’re playing it up for the males in the audience.  One reason I really like Brokeback Mountain - from what I recall of it, anyway, nothing was romanticized about it.

But there’s just nothing more depressing to me (at least, for my sexuality) than when I see portrayals of lesbians for merely the fetish.  Like, ugh, this was something special to me and now you’re ruining it, and I don’t know how to make it authentic to me again.

It’s difficult to take oneself with sufficient seriousness to begin any sentence with the words “Thou shalt not.” But who cannot summon the confidence to say: Do not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or color. Do not ever use people as private property. Despise those who use violence or the threat of it in sexual relations. Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child. Do not condemn people for their inborn nature—why would God create so many homosexuals only in order to torture and destroy them? Be aware that you too are an animal and dependent on the web of nature, and think and act accordingly. Do not imagine that you can escape judgment if you rob people with a false prospectus rather than with a knife. Turn off that fucking cell phone—you have no idea how unimportant your call is to us. Denounce all jihadists and crusaders for what they are: psychopathic criminals with ugly delusions. Be willing to renounce any god or any religion if any holy commandments should contradict any of the above. In short: Do not swallow your moral code in tablet form.

the late Christopher Hitchens

Responsible, Thoughtful Nation Decides To Ignore Charlie Sheen Situation

This makes me so happy and wistful. Last line is the best:

Charlie Sheen was not sought out for comment.

Photographers to 'give,' not 'take' portraits

"This is me and my daughter’s first picture," a Los Angeles woman wrote on her portrait. "I’ll always remember this moment and cherish this beautiful picture forever and ever. I’m so blessed this was captured."

This response from a recipient of a free portrait at the L.A. Skid Row Rescue Mission is what inspires celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart. His nonprofit, Help-Portrait, gives professional quality portrait photographs to people who could otherwise not afford them.

Really moving article.

Full list of companies that pulled ads from All American Muslim


3M (Command, Scotchbrand tape), 
Airborne Vitamin, 
Amway, (says it has been misrepresented)
Anheuser Busch Inbev (Select55), 
Art Instruction Schools, 
Bank of America (Cash Rewards), 
Bare Escentuals, 
Brother International (Ptouch), 
Campbell’s Soup, 
Capital One, 
Church & Dwight (Oxi Clean, Arm & Hammer), 
City Furniture, 
Conagra (Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes), 
Corinthian Colleges (Everst411), 
Cotton, Inc., 
Cumberland Packing (Sweet’N Low),  (says it has been misrepresented)
Dell computers, 
Diamond Foods (Kettlebrand Chips), 
Estee Lauder (Clinique), 
ET Browe (Palmer’s Cocoa butter), 
General Motors (Chevy Runs Deep), 
Good Year, 
Green Mountain Coffee, 
Guthy Renker (Proactiv), 
Hershey kisses, 
Home Depot,  (says it has been misrepresented)
Honda North America, 
HTC Phones, 
JC Penney, 
JP Morgan Chase (Chase Sapphire), 
Kayak.com, Kellogg (Special K), 
Koa Brands (John Frieda), 
Leapfrog Enterprise (Leapster Explorer), 
Lowe’s (admits to cancelling ads) ***
Mars (Dove Chocolate), 
Nationwide Insurance, 
News Corp (We bought a zoo movie), 
Nintendo (Mariokartz.com), 
Novartis (Theraflu), 
Old Navy, 
Pernod Ricard (Kahlua), 
Pier One, 
Pfizer (Centrum vitamin), 
Procter & Gamble (Align Probiotic, Crest, Febreze, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, Pur, Tide), 
Progressive Insurance, 
Prudential Financial, 
Radio Shack, 
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 
SC Johnson (Drano, Glade, Scrubbing Bubbles), 
Sears , 
Signet (Kay Jewelers), 
Sonic Drive-ins, 
Subaru, T 
HQ (uDraw), 
Toyota (Camry), 
Vtech (Mobi Go, V Reader), 
Whirlpool (Maytag)

It’s interesting that I’ve seen this same list on websites with the opposite stance, who list these companies as ones to support.

A Photoshop Alert System

The Dartmouth students and their professor developed a tool and system (described on Mashable) to create a “Photoshop rating” for any given image, so that a heavily edited image would get a five, while something untouched would be a zero. Can you imagine a world in which every advertising image or magazine fashion shoot carried, in effect, a warning level, with a “five” standing for the concept “no one really looks like this?” 

More before-and-after photos.  The one in the bottom row are the most striking to me.

There’s simply no way [Obama] can be president and be honest with the country about race. The one time he tried it, during Gates-gate, he paid for it.

Road Trip Day 12: Sanity in Arkansas

Really interesting story from Joe Klein’s road trip, about a small Arkansas town that worked hard to change its image and culture (selling wine and liquor by the glass! Parks, bike trails, bigger airport runways!  Roundabouts!) to be more attractive to businesses, and it worked: Hewlett-Packard opened a new center with 1,700 new local jobs.  And, gasp, they did it with federal earmarks!



[Tweet from @neiltyson (Neil deGrasse Tyson) reads: “Just an observation: I’ve never, ever, ever, ever, heard a female voice as the narrator of a movie trailer.”]



Neil deGrasse Tyson, why are you *so* quality?

Neil DeGrasse Tyson is just the best.

Damn he’s right. 

When asked whether discrimination against minorities is a critical issue, 17% of whites agree, compared to 42% of Hispanics and 53% of African-Americans. Meanwhile, 51% of whites say that discrimination against them is as big of a problem as discrimination against minorities, and those numbers rise to above 60% among Republicans and Tea Partyers.

Brookings Institution and the Public Religion Research Institute poll

This is beyond embarrassing, and yet so unsurprising.

Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote? Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery. Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.


How media clearly reflects the sexism and the racism we cannot see in ourselves.


I wanted my first-year film students to understand what happens to a story when actual human beings inhabit your characters, and the way they can inspire storytelling. And I wanted to teach them how to look at headshots and what you might be able to tell from a headshot. So for the past few years I’ve done a small experiment with them.

Some troubling shit always occurs.

It works like this: I bring in my giant file of head shots, which include actors of all races, sizes, shapes, ages, and experience levels. Each student picks a head shot from the stack and gets a few minutes to sit with the person’s face and then make up a little story about them. 

Namely, for white men, they have no trouble coming up with an entire history, job, role, genre, time, place, and costume. They will often identify him without prompting as “the main character.” The only exception? “He would play the gay guy.” For white women, they mostly do not come up with a job (even though it was specifically asked for), and they will identify her by her relationships. “She would play the mom/wife/love interest/best friend.” I’ve heard “She would play the slut” or “She would play the hot girl.” A lot more than once.

For nonwhite men, it can be equally depressing. “He’s in a buddy cop movie, but he’s not the main guy, he’s the partner.” “He’d play a terrorist.” “He’d play a drug dealer.” “A thug.” “A hustler.” “Homeless guy.” One Asian actor was promoted to “villain.”

For nonwhite women (grab onto something sturdy, like a big glass of strong liquor), sometimes they are “lucky” enough to be classified as the girlfriend/love interest/mom, but I have also heard things like “Well, she’d be in a romantic comedy, but as the friend, you know?” “Maid.” “Prostitute.” “Drug addict.”

I should point out that the responses are similar whether the group is all or mostly-white or extremely racially mixed, and all the groups I’ve tried this with have been about equally balanced between men and women, though individual responses vary. Women do a little better with women, and people of color do a little better with people of color, but female students sometimes forget to come up with a job for female actors and black male students sometimes tell the class that their black male actor wouldn’t be the main guy.

Once the students have made their pitches, we interrogate their opinions. “You seem really sure that he’s not the main character – why? What made you automatically say that?” “You said she was a mom. Was she born a mom, or did she maybe do something else with her life before her magic womb opened up and gave her an identity? Who is she as a person?” In the case of the “thug“, it turns out that the student was just reading off his film resume. This brilliant African American actor who regularly brings houses down doing Shakespeare on the stage and more than once made me weep at the beauty and subtlety of his performances, had a list of film credits that just said “Thug #4.” “Gang member.” “Muscle.” Because that’s the film work he can get. Because it puts food on his table.

So, the first time I did this exercise, I didn’t know that it would turn into a lesson on racism, sexism, and every other kind of -ism. I thought it was just about casting. But now I know that casting is never just about casting, and this day is a real teachable opportunity. Because if we do this right, we get to the really awkward silence, where the (now mortified) students try to sink into their chairs. Because, hey, most of them are proud Obama voters! They have been raised by feminist moms! They don’t want to be or see themselves as being racist or sexist. But their own racism and sexism is running amok in the room, and it’s awkward.

This for every time someone criticizes how characters of color and female characters of color especially are treated in text and by subsequent fandoms.  It’s never “just a television/movie/book”. It’s never been ”just”.

(Source: letthetruthlaugh)

Race and Conservative Nostalgia

Excellent article by Matt Yglesias, a well-respected writer/commentator among my blog circles.

Reihan Salam says that cranky old white conservative nostalgics aren’t racists they’re just white people who are nostalgic for a whiter, more racist America:

[Salam’s quote cut, you can go see for yourself]

This puts me in a mind of House Speaker John Boehner’s explicitly expressed view that the problem with President Obama is was that he and the 111th Congress were “snuffing out the America that I grew up in”.

As I said at the time, on its face it’s difficult to make sense of that. John Boehner was born in 1949. Does he feel nostalgic for the higher marginal tax rates of the America he grew up in? For the much larger labor union share of the workforce? The threat of global nuclear war? It’s difficult for me to evade the conclusion that on an emotional level, conservative nostalgics like Boehner are primarily driven by regret at the loss of social privilege by white men. In Boehner’s defense, I often hear white male progressives express nostalgia for the lost America of the 1950s and 1960s and think to myself “a black person or a woman wouldn’t put it like that.” But progressive nostalgics do at least have the high-tax, union-dominated economy and egalitarian income distribution as the things they like. But from a non-bigoted conservative point of view, what is there really to miss about the America John Boehner grew up it? The tax rates were high, but at least they didn’t let Jews into the country club?