Tuesday, August 31, 2004

There are rumors that our voting system is insecure. I'm only a girl on the street, but it's important to at least be one of the millions of people to get this out here. Even a small action can be better than no action.

On a cheerful note, one can buy the entire Fancy Lala series for $40. This is an adorable series in which a young girl gets a magic pen that allows her to turn into a grown up, and is appropiate for all ages. There is also a Fancy Lala mailing list, which I moderate, very badly.

Monday, August 30, 2004

What's with these people? Their kid isn't potty trained at 3? String them up! She has to have him in an elite pre school, but can't potty train his behind. I think her priorities are messed up here.

Remember Chris Rock's quip about how he is more scared of Al Cracker than Al Queda? With nut jobs like this running around, I fear it won't be a joke anymore. At least our government is against crazy Muslims blowing up our towers, but crazy white folk? Well...

Sweet action! Sabrina got a manga makeover. Also, it's good to see young female cartoonists getting a shot! People who bitch about manga don't understand how big a groundswell of fandom this is. This whole thing is giving them the new artists that are going to be creating comics after the fanboy generation dies off. Superhero comics no longer speak to the children of today. Even I didn't care when I was a kid. But manga- that was something I could get behind. Everyone will be making manga theirs, and therefore comics will be theirs, as manga is comics, something that many people forget. It's cute to have an exclusive club, but I'd like to see more diversity in comics.

Also, I don't think I've linked this cute little mini essay (warning: Utena spoilers, possible triggering for rape survivors) about Anthy and her possible goddesshood.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

(Time to spoil Utena again!)

So, this time around, I had my questions answered. It was Akio all the time. Also, I really like this show as it uses shoujo archetypes in a nice, creative way. There is Juri, the tragic lesbian. Utena, both the wide eyed innocent, and the manly girl that is idolized by all. There is of course, the tale of true friendship, that conquers all. This, to me, is the true core, and of course, everyone loves art that represents their longings. There is the girl who gathers the male harem- Utena, of course. What I like about anime in general is the fact that it's not afraid to show passion, and be sincere. While the story of the prince is shown to be an illusion, it's not in a mocking way. But of course, I'm still sort of silly, I guess.
The woman at Silver Rights seems shocked, shocked that a white person would write something racist on the internet. I read the guy's entry, and I'm like 'what a pussy!" He says wanting reparations is 'emotional', but his argument is emotional too- Oh, someone might have to take responsibility for their actions! Oh the horror! It's the typical stupid white person who seriously thinks that somehow the effects of one's actions magically disappear if you make excuses for them. I'm sorry, but they don't. If this guy wasn't so emotionally overwrought with conservative white guilt(we did something wrong, so we have to pretend it was right), he'd notice what even a five year old knows. "Sorry" (and we didn't even really get a sincere sorry at that) just doesn't cut it.

He blathers on about the Jews. WTF? The Jews got reparations, dude. The Germans weren't pussies, they took responsibility. They didn't make up a bunch of lies and excuses. If your ancestors hadn't been pussies, we would have dropped this a long time ago. I mean seriously, if the Germans had been "well, we all didn't personally put the Jews into ovens, and make their skin into lampshades, and plus, didn't all the Jews killed go to heaven?" everyone would have laughed them out of the room. That excuse is so flimsy that it's pretty insulting, in fact.

I like how when a black or latino or something does something, it's all about the personal responsibility. But if white people go around getting all kinds of shit they didn't earn because of slavery, and oppressing people, it's suddenly no one's responsibility, and we should just forget about it. White people, we're smarter than five year olds, and five year olds know that excuses don't cut it.

Rant over, but here's some good information to educate you, if you want to be educated. There are thousands of books and articles, most available at libraries or online, that you can look at if you want to be educated about this subject. But if you're uneducated, and try to spout off on it, you shouldn't be surprised that you don't get any respect. To get respect, you need to respect other people, and that means trying to find out the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow, not just assuming that magic fairies made these consequenceless acts. I'm not saying only whites need to educate themselves, but if blacks, Hispanics,etc already get taken to task, but whites don't, so it's important to take them to task sometimes, so they don't get so so complacent.

For reparations, I don't want money- I want to know that they sincerely feel this is wrong, that it won't happen again, that they'll try to fix a bit of the cultural genocide, and give black kids more opportunities to succeed, that they have been denied for hundreds of years. Affirmative Action helped, I'm glad that someone decided to try to help reduce the discrimination in a conscious fashion, but we need some more here. You can't just do stuff half assed, and then blame the folks you fucked with.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Fantastic has a good fake chicken ramen soup. I wonder if they have real chicken ramen soup, I'd buy it. While enjoying lifestyle consumerism, I'd like to say I like shea and cocoa butter lotion. It's really great.

In other news, yesterday I wondered what was with the car free day sign in the window of the bicycle shop. Apparently, for Atlanta, it's September 22nd. It has to do with reclaiming our lives from the automobile" I don't know about that, but walking or biking to places that aren't too far away, or using public transportation when you can is a good idea. Do you really have to pollute the whole planet to go one block down, you know?

Also, I learned of the Critical Mass protest, which was bigger than usual, as people started to protest against the President. It's good to see people doing something, even if it's just biking in the street. Here are some guy's pictures from this event.

Race Traitor continues to be good-I'll describe the stories I liked best. I liked the story in which the man gets the 'colored' newspaper, and when hassled says 'you must think I'm white". I also liked the prison riot story in which the guards tried to put the whites up against the blacks, but they wouldn't do it, and a different view of the LA Riots(here called the LA Rebellion), which it was a multicultural race/class riot against oppression. The story in which the white woman dates a black guy is lackluster, but contains a good quote "Maybe we know ourselves from the deaths we choose".

Friday, August 27, 2004

I hope they air this ad. Also, everyone remember to vote. Especially black folks. I'm a bit chauvinistic here, but black folks seem to know a bit about what's going down. They knew the war wasn't going to be cool, they knew that Bush wasn't promising much of nothing. I'm not saying everyone did, but when 90% voted for the other guy, it's a sign of something, and I think it's a sign that we knew that Bush wasn't the right guy.

Also, this is a very thought provoking fan essay on FF7. I have forgotten the entire plot, so I can not talk about whether I agree or disagree. In other news, the book Race Traitor is turning out to be very good. More news as things develop. In the first essay, I thought Noel was a bit cheerful in his assumption that people would do the right thing if it was easy, and I'm into the second essay, in which the author is talking about the general shallowness of the way multicultural education is played out.
As I've written before, I'm very interested in whiteness, and especially in the fake 'history' of the whites. From what I can tell from hearing whites talk, it is this: The Pilgrims sat down to eat Thanksgiving with the Indians, but then the Indians started to try to kill them for no reason. Also, a bit later, the Africans made them take slaves, but no one owned them, and of course it wasn't that bad,etc,etc, and everyone should just forget about that anyway. Then the States had a war over States Rights, and gave us a nifty flag. Then we saved Europe from the Nazis. Then MLK made a speech, and everyone stopped being racist, although no one was racist before, of course, but then in the 70s, blacks decided to make up racism, to get more welfare, and to take all the white people's jobs at the same time, and thus the whites were oppressed.

This is of course, very different from the real history, and many whites do know real history, through the reading of books, but many choose to believe fake history. It's like a mass delusion.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

I can do the quiz thing too!

You are a RSIT--Reserved Sentimental Intellectual Taker. This makes you a Archetypal Older Child.You are a hard nut to crack. You have a wicked sense of humor. Despite your reserved nature, you are more comfortable (and successful) in the meeting and courting mode than you are in a long term relationship. You feel misunderstood, and usually you are. When you're in a good mood, you're funny, fascinating and a sexy firecracker, but when you're in a bad mood you are moody, broody and impatient. In courtship mode, you don't have to let anyone see your moody side. If you had your way, even in a long term relationship you would have enough time apart to deal with your bad moods yourself; unfortunately, it rarely works that way. You stifle *a lot* of anger and frustration -- from all areas of your life -- so when it comes out it comes out nasty. More than any other type, your conflicts tend to turn on one tiny thing -- the dishes, the laundry -- that's really a scapegoat for your larger dissatisfactions with your relationship. You're baffled that your partner just can't do the dishes -- your partner is baffled that it's such a big deal. The only way around it is to let the dishes go entirely and try to get at the real root of what's bothering you. I'm making you sound like a bear, but the fact is that you're so warm and charming most of the time that it effectively offsets the times you're unhappy. You will make a weirdly good parent. Don't pair up with someone who'll make sexual demands of you. That's just not going to fly at all.Of the 10309 people who have taken this quiz, 5.9 % are this type.
This web comic is great! Like the big size, sense of humor. I'll definitely come back every Thursday. This is from a canceled comic from Alternative, I think. Due to lack of cash flow, they couldn't bring this one out.
I don't agree with this petition. I think it should be stronger. I mean, just saying something is bad is good, but not doing it is even better.

Here a black Utena group, of which I like Wakaba best, and a great Nanami. She really looks like her.

Also, in Watchmen, which I just bought, I'm seeing a nice layering of meanings between the words and the pictures. I like that in comics. Also, in Parable of the Sower, I liked the character of Bankole, who acted as a bridge to the past in this story. He was born in the 1970s, which was a time of change, before the backlash of the 80s.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

In another rant, I'd like to note it's a lot easier to find good manga deals on ebay than it is to find good anime deals. Anime is filled with cheap knockoffs. I don't want to support some shady pirate, I want to support some honest person selling their anime off. I also don't like to buy stolen goods in general- why don't people go and get an honest living, instead of being vultures?

Here is John Kerry's Economic Plan. I'm not educated enough to assess whether this plan will create jobs or not. But, it's best to at least know what he wants to do instead of not knowing. I'm guessing he wants to lower taxes to keep companies from investing abroad, and that he wants to give tax credits to businesses that create jobs. But for all I know, he could have said he wanted to copulate with a rutabaga.

It seems that Golda Meir is kicking my ass and taking some names! Here is a good quote:

When there was an outbreak in assaults against women at night, a minister in the cabinet suggested a curfew to keep women in after dark. But it's the men who are attacking the women, Golda responded. If there's to be a curfew, let the men stay at home, not the women.

I understand the Kerry Health Plan a bit better. If he can push it through Congress, it would be a good idea, I think. That's insurance for nearly everyone, here. I'd certainly vote at the polls for that. Currently I am readying my letter for an absentee ballot to mail back. In TN, it seems that all it takes is a letter to your country commissioner with a little information, and you're set. It's a pretty convenient way to vote, and if you're going to take an hour out of your life to complain, you can take an hour out of your life to vote.
While I'm complaining, I might as well complain about the high cost of white privilege in the software industry. Or maybe I should say Stupid American privilege? I don't know. But let's get to complaining. The fact that they couldn't be arsed to learn anything about the rest of the world cost them millions of dollars. Not to mention, these people are obviously incompetent at their jobs. Many whites are. (well, many of every other race suck at their jobs, too) However, people automatically assume whites don't suck at their jobs. So a bunch of average to stupid whites just slide through the system, fucking everything up, and no one ever notices or raises a big stink about it. No one will indict all whites for these people's stupidity. No one will say "well, I won't hire a white person again! Look at what they know about geography!"
The GOP is evil. Of course, while I'm aware that most blacks stay away from the Republican Party for a reason, I just can't understand their thirst to have it understood that they are amoral dirtbags. Of course, I just don't understand why many whites in general are so eager to showcase their ignorance. It's like they think no one else's ancestors and history merits respect at all. Like I don't know anything about the Hmong, but I wouldn't go around saying "Well, those Hmong should stop sponging off of welfare! We saved their asses in the Vietnamese war, and this is how they repay us?"*, because I'm present enough to realize that knowing two (incorrect) facts isn't enough to critique people. But whites will go on, and say the most insulting things, although the only thing they know about blacks comes from rap videos. I'm not saying that blacks aren't complicit in the production of rap videos, but it's kind of your responsibility to not take entertainment as the only truth, you know?

So don't tell blacks how to feel about stuff they actually know about and you don't. We'll decide when we 'get over' slavery. We'll decide for ourselves which names are appropriate for our children(When I was a kid, I really wished I had a black name- Shannon's not only a white name, but a boring one. Couldn't I be a Jenny or something cute at least?) We'll decide for ourselves whether we are working hard enough. We'll decide for ourselves what party we should vote for. If we vote for only one party, that's our business. We'll decide for ourselves what offends us. Sure, blacks will differ, but what will remain the same is that we'll decide for ourselves what to think, and we don't need whites to say we should be grateful because at least we're someplace 'civilized'. The problem is that many whites thinks the narrative centers around them. It doesn't. We do not have to be white, or to think like whites to be valid people in our own right.

Also, I'm constantly confused by whites offering defenses for slavery, and then saying they had nothing to do with it. Some Africans may cut off their daughter's clits, but I don't say "Well, at least they'll be chaste" and "The Arabs do it too!". I say, truthfully, that I do not understand that aspect of their culture, but it seems bad to me on the face of it, as it seems likely to cause infections. If you seriously have nothing to do with something, you don't need to lie or make excuses about it.

*This is VERY factually incorrect. They fought for us during the Vietnam war, and also, it's silly to assume they are sponging off welfare.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I feel much better about my cartooning now. The You Damn Kid artist started out only slightly better than me, and now he's amazing. So I feel inspired to push on, even though I can't draw chairs.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Once I had a terrible comic. I drew it for a year. It was pretty entertaining to me, and some people like actively encouraged it. Boredom is a powerful drug. I'm drawing a comic again, and I still can't draw. It's terrible.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

"Another poll reveals that for the first time this century, young white adults have less tolerant attitudes towards black Americans than those over thirty. One reason is that 'the under 30 generation is pathetically ignorant of recent American history". Too young to have experienced or watched the civil rights movement as it happened, these young people have no understanding of the past and present workings of racism in society"- Lies My Teacher Told Me, p. 170.

This paragraph reminds me of how we all should strive to educate ourselves. No one is going to tell us our history. No one is going to explain how we got where we are. We can not understand why we do things today without understanding how we did them yesterday. So often I have to hear from SWP who don't understand the violence that happened before, during, and to a lesser extent after the civil rights movement, and why whites couldn't be on the honor system as far as hiring. They don't understand the hard work that blacks did and continue to do. They don't understand anything, but continue to speak.

I don't understand how I can start to understand that society is not a random collection of individuals, and that we all have agency, not just poor black people, and they can't. I think it has something to do with my reading, so I guess I should encourage that. I don't want my generation to go around being nitwits.

Maybe there is a learning disability in sociology, but quite possibly they don't want to understand how society works. Shitting on scapegoats just feels too good

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Sweet! I inked a drawing! These calligraphy pens also seem like they will rock when I master them. I haven't scanned it, as I am supposed to be packing, but I think my love for Decarlo is obvious. I guess everyone looks like their influence(well, albeit very very vaguely) until they get their own style. Only a few weeks ago did I suddenly become able to draw. Sometimes my ability splutters for a day or so, but then I can draw again. I don't know what happened- I used to have more bad art days than good art days, but thanks to a miracle, I now am drawing almost recognizable humans. I am shocked, shocked.
Well, today I went to Davis Kidd, a bookstore in Memphis, which apparently only has one location. Before it seemed a bit dinky, but they had remodeled, making the store more attractive. They had a lot of trinkets and stuff, so I got a nice big journal, for when I run out of the journal I am going to write in after my current journal , which sounds weird unless you consider that I journal like at least once a day, and this does not count this blog, and a big sketchbook, since I seem to be running out of pages in my old one lately. I also got Parable of the Sower, since Parable of the Talents was so good. I also got Persepolis, because I have heard a lot of good things about it. I considered Shutterbox, as I like to support American 'manga' artists, but will get it later. I also got a book called Statistics for the Utterly Confused, which I picked from a selection of statistics books shown to me by a helpful clerk. It seemed to have the most practice problems, with actual numbers, instead of just asking you about the concept. Why would you care about the concept at all? That's not going to be what they are testing you over, so why waste time?

Speaking of manga, I did not know that Viz had the rights to the Here is Greenwood manga. Although I don't like to preorder much. If I want to spend money, I want to get the item like right then, not wait. But for more mature customers, I'm sure this is welcome.

In other news, Iraqi Olympic team members do not appreciate being used as propaganda tools for the Bush administration.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

"Do you think 'Gee, I'm a white male? I am the essence of what is to be. Everyone else is just a variation on that" - Phoebe Glockner to Gary Groth. This is a pretty asute observation, after we notice that the majority of the world's population does not consist of whites, or even of males, I don't think.

This website is full of nice drawings of women, but does this guy have to rely on ethnic stereotypes? I'm sorry, but this is 2004, no one needs to rely on the old 'exotic' foreigner thing anymore. It seems that Alan Keyes is talking about reparations. I agree with the need, but I would do things differently. In my plan, there would be plenty of grants for learning about African history, culture, and languages. There would be African History museums, and every child would know how all cultures contributed to the making of this country. Every black child would be entitled to special afterschool lessons on test preparation, entrepreneurship, how to get into college,( and colleges would be required to recruit from these programs) , how to network, get an internship, and many other important lessons. I wonder what organizations are out there fighting for similar suggestions?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

A weird note about anime- I am annoyed when people assume that Americans get all the good stuff, and all the other anime not released is crap. I think anime released in the US is what they will think will be marketable, not what is good. Of course, I've been an anime fan for years, back when there were no Miyazaki movies out on DVD and the best you could hope for in shoujo was dubbed Sailor Moon, so I'm able to understand that not all the best anime is out in the US. Also, there's not a universal best anime, oftentimes. For example, I adore Onii-sama E a.k.a. Brother, dear Brother. I love its' melodrama and style. But others may hate melodrama, and like giant robots instead, and so their best anime may be different from mine.

Also, Moveon.org wants you to give them money for their slick advertisement, saying that one of Bush's ads is false. It looks very compelling, very well made. Good job. I'll certainly pay a bit of money to get that on the air.

This post got me thinking on my worldview. I believe that people have a large tendency for evil, and a somewhat smaller tendency for good. The evil tendency can be triggered by a bad environment. While people have a good deal of control over their evil tendencies, a bad environment can tip them from neutral or good into evil. So that's why you'll see me freaking out over racism- I think that racism can make a overall decent person act like a jackass for no reason, and that is totally freaky to me.

In other news, I think I hate ponchos already. However they decide on what clothing to push, they've decided on ponchos.
I first became cognizant of this fake ass 'trend' is when crappy ol' Steinmart tried to send us shitty sales advertisement touting ponchos as a 'must have' for fall. Ponchos? I know they are really scrapping the bottom for fashion, but ponchos? I know whoever is in charge of designing clothes to push to magazines and TV probably doesn't think of how the design will be seen in the cheap and gaudies- I'm not talking down on cheap stores like Holiday's and TJMaXX or Target and even the dreaded Wal Mart, I wear plenty of cheap clothes myself. It's just that some styles can not really take the transition from expensive designer wear to cheap fashion clothes.

When a clothing style first comes out, it comes out in the big expensive stores. This version has all the bells and whistles- it has fancy trim, maybe better construction, fabric, and cut. But this version is not the version that most will be wearing. Ponchos are ugly in the first place, and while a few bells and whistles can make them almost acceptable, the shapeless ugly ones everyone will end up with will be totally ugly. It'll be even worse when they get into plus sizes- apparently if you don't fit a certain body paradigm, you should just wear a burlap sack and get it over with.

Although more about cheap and gaudies- I like thrift shops better- you can get good quality clothes for cheap. I should find more avenues for used clothing, and try more online boutiques.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

While speaking of unpleasant illusions, I will note that I must fight against my tendency to believe that unsuccessful unloved persons can not be happy. Many people have found other ways to make a life other than those well traveled paths. One must not say that the only way to live is the way you have seen done. That is an illusion,and buying into it is bad, and is a serious character flaw on my part.

This is a very nice comic. It is interesting about how people have so much talent that they can make such a good comic in 24 hours. Also, it connects with my obsessions, so maybe I am odd.

I just noticed that this post is the 777th. Also, here are more spoilers for Utena. I am starting the Akio arc again- nice design choice to have Akio's body be an outline filled in with stars. The last scene is very well orchestrated for such a disturbing one. I'm too disturbed to talk about it, actually. But the music continues to be a treat for the ears.

In other bad luck, it seems that the Bush adminstration has been messing around with OSHA. Oh, the horror. When will this end? Hopefully when we all vote for Kerry! Really, I'm not fond of TB being spread around, you know.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

(more Utena spoilers) Here is a decent fan essay on utena. Here is a site full of symbology for many different anime, inculding Utena. It is interesting what you miss sometimes. Like I had decoded the whole Devil reference for Akio, but totally forgot about the very obvious Dios. It's the magic of deconstruction. Every time you look at it, it is something different.
(more Utena spoilers) The last of the Black Rose duels reveals interesting details about the powers of Anthy and Akio. Apparently, Akio can rewrite memories and stop time. Anthy can appear to look like other people. For the stop time part, note that Tokiko returns, and she is looking pretty old, but everyone else looks the same. Also, Akio says that Nemuro/Mikage's memories and his desire and regrets caused time to stop. Also, note that in Mikage's memories, Mamiya looked like a male Anthy, not how he really looked, and how Miki and Utena forgot the whole thing about Nemuro Memorial Hall, and how suddenly, no one was hurt in the fire, instead of the hundred duelists dying in the first version.

Although, I wonder why the hundred duelists had to die. Also, it is interesting how Utena telling Anthy that she doesn't have to do what this mysterious guy(end of the world, who is Akio BTW) tells her to do foreshadows the ending of the series.

The music is also even better this arc.
(More Utena Spoilers for the Black Rose Saga) Anthy's line at the end of Vermin is startlingly prescient. Her line is "If it's for someone you love, you keep lying to yourself for as long as it takes", which is a central theme of the show- self delusion. Of course, she is near the center of the plot, so of course she might be able to grasp this.

I really enjoy this show, as I identify with the characters- well adjusted people can't be duelists after all! I especially like this arc's parody of a psychologist, and the fact that he has hit on the idea to harness the raw anger that teenagers often have. I don't think Utena would be able to work with adults. While adults are gullible as well, it's very hard to have an excuse to make them stay in the same area all the time, such as a boarding school- college students like to go off campus and explore. Also, when you're a teenager, everything seems huge.

If the students were older, maybe events like Nanami ordering Keiko not to attend the party where she might see Touga, or dismissing her from all clubs because she once walked with Touga wouldn't be such a big deal. But in a teen's world, it is huge- all the feelings are so intense. I know my feelings haven't faded, and I'm 20 already! It's terrible, you know. The worst time of your life, which is why I guess I have a high school complex. I wonder if I'll have a college one as well? Oh well, I have bad luck.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I want this shirt. It's good to see people working hard at business/politics.

This article is pretty interesting, but I think it is a bit naive. The racist people aren't racist because no one decide to dialougue with them about their illogical beliefs- it's because they choose to be deluded by them in the first place. The reason she can throw off the false beliefs she internalized from the society is because she doesn't want them as badly as most whites do. I mean, I could see a very young white person using the excuse that they haven't been dialouged with, but after a certain age, you are old enough to examine yourself.

I don't think anyone is an innocent victim of the media- no one makes you believe that just because you saw one black person in a movie once, all blacks are like that. No one bars you from the library. No one makes you make stupid illogical assumptions. They are racist because they get something out of it.

Society is powerful, but you can say no. I don't feel the compassion for people who have the whole world at their fingertips, but choose to only ingest lies. Of course, the big reason I don't care about their little lack of good sense is because I have to work really hard to prove myself, and they get to sit around and live in their little fantasy world where them and only them are entitled to anything good in life. They just coast on their asses, and talk down on the rest of us. So like fuck them, fuck them in their fucking ears. If they want to be considered human, they should have to have sense first!

I'm sick of seeing people flaunt their ignorance, and act like it's someone else's job to teach them something. No, you take fucking responsibilty for yourself. I mean, many of you are willing to kill women over this personal responsibilty thing, but god forbid you open a book.

(I spoil all of Utena here) Now, I am to the Black Rose Saga. While the student council arc was fun because I had seen the end, and was seeing how Anthy got her revenge in- have your thugs terrorize her? well, I guess you'll be off to India having elephants fall on you every ten seconds. Make her wait around while you womanize? It seems you'll be losing that duel - the Black Rose Arc is made even more confusing by the fact that I have seen the ending and know that Anthy is the fake Mamiya, and so the idea of killing the rose bride(anthy) and making Mamiya(Anthy) the rose bride is confusing to me.

Of course many other questions remain- was the 'prince' who appeared to Utena Akio looking like Dios or Dios before he became Akio? But I guess it has to be the first, because Dios showed her the suffering of the Rose Bride, and the whole Rose Bride thing was how he became Akio. Also, who is in control here? Anthy or Akio? Right now, I think it's Akio, but my thoughts may change.

I enjoy anime so much because even if it's not a good story- it seems sincere. I'm too close to American things, and can see where they are trying to be hip and slick, but Japan is far away and I don't know about their pop culture, so everything seems like it can be played straight, at least from my viewpoint. I bet kids in Japan are like American movies are so much more exciting than Japanese ones for the same reason- everything seems so much more exciting when you're far away from its source. Of course, there's something childlike in the desire to avoid what is hip and ironic. I guess it's because when you're a kid, you don't realize that everything's just a big ploy to get marketshare- everything seems sincere and fresh. It's a nice feeling, personally.

Monday, August 09, 2004

I was reading Black Commentator, and this article caught my eye. Maybe it was because I had been watching Utena, with its themes of willing participants in delusion, but it really struck me. I hadn't read it before, but it brought up a lot of really good points. I thought maybe I disagreed with the author's lack of qualification on the term whites, but then again, saying 'some whites' would make it easy for white readers to class themselves in the class of good innocent whites, and not really take responsibility. Also, sure, maybe the war is informed by white supremacy, but it is not like there aren't black(and Hispanic, Asian, native American) soldiers that are participating in and are complicity in this horror. However, this is another example of the interesting articles that are available on the internet for nearly all.

But back to anime musings, I think maybe I am attracted to Utena and talking about race a lot for the same reasons. Somehow, mass hysteria and delusions attract me. How so many people can believe the obviously untrue- it fascinates me! The most interesting part of the Utena storyline(warning, possible spoilers) is how much it is a delusion entered in by willing participants. Yes, Akio makes people see things that aren't real, sort of like the media, but without any duty to at least make things slightly resemble events in the real world, but the other characters themselves cling to these illusions because they think they'll get what they truly desire. They feed into the images with memory, desire, and all else, and that's why they are trapped.

Even the noble intentioned Utena is trapped. Much like the much maligned white liberal, she comes in, with a desire to save princesses, and Anthy in particular. She rushes in without considering Anthy's feeling and agency. Of course, since this is a cartoon show and not a real allegory for our weird social problems in the US, all ends happily. But I think one should be careful in rushing in without considering how others may feel about their position. Then again, back to Utena, she is trapped by her desire to become a prince, and is so blinded to the real realities of what is going on.

For example, it is hard to believe that in all that time, Utena never walked into the room that is seemingly just beside her room, or noticed that Anthy was missing during the night. She didn't see it because she didn't want to see it. And that's a big problem in the real world.

It's strange that if you think about a problem a lot, you think about it, even when you're supposed to be relaxing and watching cartoon shows.
It's time for more bookslut, and more black commentator, with a best of issue to cover a hiatus. Also, for me to take up more blog space with my obsession with Utena. I am unable to do more than one thing at once. I have to blaze wildly at one thing and then be impotent ash for a while, and then get back up and blaze. It seems impossible for me to balance myself- I have to be gung ho 100% or totally lazy, kick back 0%. Anything in between and nothing good will come out of it. I have become weak, and am on the down part of my cycle.

And, Utena(possible spoilers after this point) is a good thing to absorb in downtime. There are so many fascinating questions- just how did Anthy know that Utena was going to just rush in, and be like "Poor innocent girl being slapped around! I must save her!" Maybe before the series opened she was observing her, and seeing her weaknesses? I don't know.

The student council arc seems to be much more interesting when you look at it with the perspective of "hey, maybe Anthy's not such an innocent victim after all". However, one thing I enjoy is that while Anthy may be manipulating events, there is still a bit of sympathy for her as far as the fact that she sacrificed herself for Dios, and now Akio comes back totally uses and abuses her- and the only one who is like you brought it on yourself is Akio, who is totally into his games and is depicted as a villain anyway.

It's one of those complicated everyone has part of the blame things that we have trouble with lately.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

You know, private schools aren't the cure all some people think they are. Also (possible The Bluest Eye spoilers) I wonder if Percola's family was named the Breedloves after the incestuous family in Invisible Man?

In other news, some people want you to volunteer to keep the elections fair. I do wish I had a car, so I could do stuff like this.

There are pictures of naked, pregnant women on the internet. Interesting. NSFW.

One of the things that seeing the end of Utena has given me access to is fan essays. This is a much different fan undertaking than say, fan fic, which I really dislike. I mean, most fanfic writers can barely be bothered with correct punctuation, and if there is a good fanfic writer, I start wondering what they are doing writing a fanfic, if they could make up their own characters anyway, why even bother writing someone elses However, fan essays actually give you information, and in more confusing series, like Utena, actually clear up some mysteries. For example, I read one really good long fan essay about Mikage, and it was really interesting to see connections to such things as Manet paintings and T.S. Eliot poems here.

Of course, fan essays could be considered 'fan jerking off' just as fan fics are, but I think the difference is that the essays don't lend themselves to obvious self insertion like fan fics do.Fan fics seem like a big act of ego with someone else's toys. Beautiful, wonderful, etc,etc versions of the authors appear. Characters that had been established as acting a certain way for an entire series suddenly act totally different without explanation. Characters get together not because of logical reasons, but because of BISHIE BISHIE!!! OMG!!! YAOI!!! LOL!!!! However, an essay focuses on the work- what? Did Anthy refer to some weird poison I've never heard of? Let's look it up! OMG! It's a reference to (obscure piece of European History) or why is there a Black Rose arc? Oh, it's foreshadowing for (insert event here!) I'm not saying there aren't bad essays- one I remember was a bunch of made up stuff about what Akio would do in bed, and gave me the bad mental image of Akio in a fur suit, but that was an exception.

Then again, maybe I'm just a weirdo.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Here is a post. I'm too nervous to comment on it, or write anything. But I thought I might comment on it in the future. I don't know, I'm going to lay down.

In other news, it is strange that insightful analyses of problems such as this do not get spread around, when lies and slander go around the entire web really quickly. I think I have a conspiracy theory, but I am too elated over the fact that I made a purse to go into it. My sewing class homework was to construct a small purse. While my purse does not have handles or very straight edges, at least one can recognize it as a purse. I hope I can create a skirt that I can wear at least.

In more other news, here is the wallpaper of the week. Also, a very comprehensive site on Utena. I like the analyses the best, but the pictures are also lovely.

Friday, August 06, 2004

(More Utena Spoilers) Reading fan discussions of Utena is great- it helps you remember things you might have missed, such as the fact that Utena is found in a coffin, and Anthy is rescued from one. Their differing takes on the characters and plot are important in a series that leaves a lot up to the imagination of the viewer. I think this makes it a stronger series, because in part, each viewer gets a personalized story. I feel it is a big allegory for adolescence. You have to, through struggle and toil, let go of your childhood. That's why Akio and Anthy, while having a lot of power in this world, seem trapped in it. Akio feels like he has given up the ideal of princehood, but it's not like that at all. It's like he's orchestrated this whole dueling game, so that he can get the power of Dios, which is just his young princely self. Even Anthy says it at the end- you can go on with your prince game.

However, Anthy had her own demons to slay, like thinking that she deserved everyone's ire, and Akio's bad treatment. While Anthy wasn't exactly the passive girl people thought she was, it seems that at some level she blames herself for the fall of Akio(whose name comes from a reading of the character for Venus, which is called the morning star- i.e. Lucifer). At least that is my theory of why she puts up with everyone's shit, and especially Akio's treatment of her- it is interesting how Akio reaches for a princely ideal, but acts very unprincely with his treatment of his sister as a fucktoy.

Of course, this is not to say that Utena or the other characters get a get out of jail free card. They all fall short of their ideals, or what they thought of as ideal wasn't so ideal in the first place. I think that's part of the pain of adolescence- realizing that what you wanted to do or be, may not in fact be possible. The triumph that Utena has is seeking a compromise between being a foolish idealist who must be all to all, like Dios, who is portrayed as lying on the floor sick, exhausted from the claims of the world, or being a cynic like Akio, who says he doesn't believe in princes, but keeps hanging on, or Jury, who says that miracles don't happen, but still desperately hopes for one.

The fact is that Utena achieves one small goal, one realistic goal. She saves her friend. Even after the "You slept with my brother!" "Well, you slept with your brother!" tension or the stabbing, Utena still wants to save her friend. I like how she realizes that she wanted to save Anthy before, because she saw her as a princess, as someone to be saved, but now, she wants to save her, for herself, and that's why I think Utena could open the coffin.

I think everyone has different opinions, which is why this is such a compelling anime. Note how I have projected my concerns onto this show- adolescence, ideals vs reality, optimism vs pessimism. Others would have brought other concerns to the forefront. Some characters would be more important in their analysis, others less so. To some, the arcs would have been brought forward differently- I used mostly material from the final arc.

I think this whole thing reminds me of this guy my comparative literature teacher mentioned, who said that you could never read a book in its entirety. He said it was because the reader kept changing. I don't remember whether this is what the guy really said, but it was about the changeable face of language- how the very words could start to mean something slightly different, how one phrase could leap out one time, and be meaningless another. The wonder of narrative, especially books, is that it seems to be fixed, but it isn't. Every narrative creates different narratives in different minds. That is the power of it- it is never solely the author's, it belongs to everyone.

With that said, don't come crying to me, when you try to pretend that famous book is your own book, buster.
I don't see why this woman is surprised that the blogosphere has racism in it. I mean, if you have a bunch of whites who have not been taught to have the tools(integrity, moral courage, and empathy) to fight racism, why would they not be racist? Isn't it easier to not learn anything at all? Isn't it easier to bolster your position in society with lies? It's much harder to walk the path of truth than the path of lies. You can't change their lack of morals. It's too bad we have to live in the same country with them. At least the decent whites, the asians, hispanics,etc have to deal with them too.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

(Utena Spoilers) I liked how in the end, our happy ending is that Anthy learned to tell her older brother to shove it up his rear. I guess the lesson of the show is that friendship is important, and don't play silly games just because some idiot told you so. I mean, if someone gives you letters and makes you duel with a sword, or makes you be all subservient and shit, tell them to stuff it up their rear. And never ever trust people who think you'll be a great princess. They are full of shit.
Today I voted. Remember to vote too! It's your duty! Vote, or be a douche. Also, Utena is either an allegory for adolescence, a scheme to get as many cartoon dudes with their shirts off as possible, or both. More details as events permit.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Today in Aldi's, white bread was thirty nine cents and 100% wheat bread was $1.29. "Honey wheat" i.e. fake wheat bread, as the first ingredient was 'enriched flour' not 'whole wheat flour', i.e. it is white bread dyed brown! Today's assignment is to meditate on the cost of healthy food.

It seems that there will be some concerts to benefit America Coming Together. If you want some tickets, go here. Hey, concerts are cool, especially if it helps defeat Bush, who comes in bad company for me. I'd prefer a saner vision for America, personally.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I like this comic. It's really well drawn and written. In other news, the best part about Utena(possible spoilers) is that the cutting off of a locket here is more shocking than the cutting off of a head in some other series. In more news, a great focus of my insecurity has disappeared. I have gained a driver's license. Total level up, yo!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Look, wallpaper of the week. Oh, nostalgia for the last game I played. How strange. In other, totally unrelated news, a big problem about learning to draw is drawing. Everyone expects someone with a sketch book in hand to be a good artist. I guess the fact that everyone who didn't automatically start drawing the world's best masterpieces at the age of four has quit drawing greatly adds to that perception. But I want to draw damn it. While it may be my daily meditation on imperfection- yes, your drawing sucked and the world didn't explode, a very large part of me wants to be a valid person as far as society goes. A much smarter part realizes that it is impossible, unless I want to pay a nice visit to the nice people in their white coats or whatever. But still!

Sunday, August 01, 2004

I like how Radio Free Dixie talks about a large swath of history, but gives itself focus by being a biography. More as events develop.
"Why do readers and reviewers assume that a book with Chinese-American characters can encompass all the demographics and personal histories of Chinese America?"- Amy Tan, The opposite of Fate, p. 305.

I think this is an interesting example of what I call racism, but what others would call something else that I have no name for. What I mean is the assumption that if it is not white, it is something so small that one story is the whole one. When I was in high school, I was always confused that every black history month, a black person would recite a Langston Hughes poem on the school news and that was it. As if there weren't even any other black poets or anything. To think that just only poem could speak for the multitude, it was bizarre and narrow.

I also remember what I'd call sexism. A boy mentioned that we had to study women's history in AP (as our teacher said, she wasn't a radical feminist, but hearing about the history of women was a good way to tell what normal people were doing) and this girl was like, that book would be pamphlet thin, and the guy said that we had to read a big book of it. I felt that something was wrong, but being a teenager, I totally didn't know what it was.

I had been exposed to feminism before, as feminist books came with interesting titles like The Beauty Myth, so of course I couldn't leave that alone. I was always fascinated by the library as a kid. I would always get stacks and stacks of books out. Of course, I couldn't match one family of cousins, that has 7 kids, and when they'd go to the library, they'd check out tons of books too. It's really important that kids (and adults) read for pleasure, so they can find out what has been left out of our discourse. By our discourse, I mean school and TV, so I am probably wrong on this subject, but that seems the main way people learn things these days.