Lit Beating a Dead Eopie: The Diversity Thread (various spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Aug 20, 2009.

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  1. Likewater Force Ghost

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    Dec 31, 2009
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    You got the cool stereotype power. All i got is weed and voodoo.

    chicks don't dig the weed and voodoo team.
  2. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    And I have the power to increase the credit ratings of people around me.
  3. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    From 1970 to 2010 the 'Native American or Alaska Native' category went from 0.4% of the population to 0.9% of the population, and from 820,000 to 2.9 million in absolute numbers. While that's a substantial change for that category compared with itself (though considering that most such populations are on the bad side of the demographic transition, more than doubling in a generation and a half would be expected, as terrible as it is that Native American populations are in such a state of affairs), it's not really significant in the nation as a whole.

    The big changes from 1970 to 2010 in the US census in terms of proportions are a massive drop in the White, non-hispanic grouping from 83% to 64% and a commensurate rise in the Asian (0.4 to 4.8), Other (0.2 to 6.2) and Two or more races (not a category in 1970, now 2.9). Hispanic went from 4.7 to 16.3, but there's a lot of double counting with that since you can't be Hispanic alone the way the census is constructed. Interestingly, the black population changed hardly at all during that timeframe, going from 11 to 12.6. So over the past forty years the demographic trends have been a massive decline in the white population relative to all other races, a more or less stable black population, and massive growth by all other minorities (this is all in terms of proportions, all groups have increased significantly in absolute terms).
  4. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

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    Yeah, but turning into animals means you get twi-freaks all over you. Unfortunately, most of them are either fat post-menopausal housewives or so underage that only Jacob Black would want them. Either way, their IQ is lower than my blood sugar after a vision quest. (Which is only done at puberty, and only for boys, thank you, Voyager. Has nothing to do with the movie of the same name.)

    Also, a lot of white girls are surprised (and even offended) to learn I eat meat. Make your own jokes about that one. Even where agriculture began in the Americas, the religions were quite charitable. The gods were humanitarians. A recent article on Indianz.com by a girl claiming to be Chippewa basically says we shouldn't hunt because it's not magical.

    Speaking of Jamaica (I'm assuming that's the voodoo and weed.), how did Rastafarianism get commercialized by the dominant culture anyway? It's an eschatological movement about...the destruction of all that commercial culture.

    Cooper: I wish I were a country. Apparently if a AA+ credit rating is so bad, we must be on a four-point scale.

    A Republican ad in Minnesota a few years back implied Indians were all identity thieves. Yes, we live in the 19th century, but we commit computer crime. Yeah.
  5. Likewater Force Ghost

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    Dec 31, 2009
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    oh, weed and reggae.

    Not all Rasta's do weed. But i guess it makes easily sellable image, drugs and music also go together.

    It dosen't take alot to be commercialized. It happend to rap in what? 30 years? It happend to rock and roll quicker thatn that.

    If it wasn't illigal for non-american Indian's to posses Bald eagle feathers, abd payote didn't hit you like an 18 wheeler going 80mph. Every 3rd person would be walking around "celebrating" the 5%, 10%, 15 percent amerindian blood they might have.

    And Mcdonalds would have a Bison burger alternative.
  6. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    Oh yeah? Come to NYC.

    Anyway,yeah I am equally confused by the commercialization of Communism.
  7. Likewater Force Ghost

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    I am aready there...well Technicly I am in Nassau....when I am not in Queens.

    Has there ever been a caribbean day parade where no one has gotten shot.

    Girls love danger...up to the point where they get shot. No one likes getting shot...unless your in to that kind of thing...I don't judge...don't shoot me.
  8. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    It's better than there never being a Puerto Rican day parade without sexual assault.

    Or is it?

    I think they're probably both really bad.
  9. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

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    May 11, 2009
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    Yeah, I thought voodoo was Haiti. Why does America hate Haiti? (And yes, I've always wanted to say that.)

    Speaking of drugs and music, that reminded me, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have stopped wearing tube socks, not because they're getting to the age when they lose their attractiveness, but because of all the track marks.

    Well, if they actually knew how to do peyote. (Protip: It's more like tea. Which might explain a certain political faction that shall remain nameless.)

    Of course, they still do celebrate their distant ancestry. Cher is like, what, fourth-generation removed? Johnny Depp uses it as his excuse for playing Tonto? And somehow he added werewolves(!) to that movie, and then it was scuttled. Taylor Lautner learned about his Indian ancestry on the set of Twilight. Apparently some ghost told him the truth from a certain point of view. Noah Ringer's now an Indian too!

    Would not be surprised if, had he lived, Heath Ledger started using that to explain playing a Mexican, with the hilarious name (to us Evangelion fans it works on another level, anyway) Ennis Del Mar.

    They're not actually endangered or anything. And it's not that much more expensive. Though traditionally it was the organs that were preferred. Good luck finding a market for organs. They're so high-fat. It doesn't matter about calories, just fat. Isn't that what all the diet books tell you?
  10. Likewater Force Ghost

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    Dec 31, 2009
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    As we all know star Wars the clone wars season four will be out soon, anyone hoping for some less mono chrome mandalorians?

    I mean, they go crazy with the aliens, but Mace Windu and Adi Gallia seem to be the only obviously brown folks in the cosmos, that arnt the mass produced clones.

    I news on new characters?
  11. Dawud786 Force Ghost

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    Dec 28, 2006
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    I suspect that has something to do with the Marley kids and their management and marketing of their father's legacy. I mean, I bought a bottled iced tea a few weeks ago called Marley's Mellow Mood with kava kava and some other chillax herbs in it. It even had an Ital certification logo on it.

    So, yeah....
  12. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

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    May 11, 2009
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    Oh, the clones are just a reference to Harold Ickes' idea, based on how well we served during World War II, that a breeding program for Indians was a matter of national security. Gazing into the abyss? Maybe. No, wait, what's that other word? Definitely.
  13. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

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    Jun 29, 2003
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    Come to think of it, I was glancing through old AOTC concept art the other day and came across this old 1999 work by Dermot Power:

    [image=http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab8/BarrissCoffee6/AsajjConcept.jpg]

    Looks like Asajj might have once been black. Pretty dang cool. Too bad they didn't stick with it.
  14. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    "Black"? You mean "Rattataki". :p

    So, having made it safely to the other side of a new job and a new apartment, I have at long last finished Conviction. This was the first book wherein I deliberately attempted to keep track of race stats for tertiary human characters. I didn't manage to keep track for the entire book, of course, but hey, I deliberately attempted it. :)

    So while I don't have hard numbers to give (and Lecersen and Treen are still unknowns as far as I can tell), I'm confident in saying that easily a third of the non-DP human characters were specifically described as dark-skinned; maybe even closer to half. For all the talk here (and from the VIPs) about how awkward it is to work race into prose, it really feels like Allston made a conscious effort to at least address the matter, rather than just toss off a bunch of stick figures - and even I still had trouble catching it, so obviously it's not that hard. Between that and the fact that the only WHM in this book that he's definitively responsible for (AFAIK) is Tyria Tainer, I'm going to use some executive privilege and bump Conviction's score up from 56 to 65 - not really a standout, but certainly no worse than Vortex.

    TOR: Deceived - 66
    Death Troopers - 60
    FotJ: Vortex - 65
    FotJ: Conviction* - 65

    As much as I'm anxious to dive into this Ben/Vestara mess, I'm going to eschew Ascension for a moment for something I'm way more excited for...

    [image=http://www.starwars.com/vault/books/knighterrant_cover/ke_bg.jpg]

    Unfortunately, KE has no DP - a rare problem these days. Once I've finished it I'll go through the Wook's character list and see if I can't boil down a fair approximation of what the DP might've looked like. Those of you who've read it already - what was your general impression of the racial breakdown? Kerra aside, the human comic characters aren't really a huge leap in the right direction.
  15. Likewater Force Ghost

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    Dec 31, 2009
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    Kight Errant,

    of the top of my head?

    the Human/non-human breakdown is pretty even i think.
  16. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Well, Kerra is obviously space-Hispanic, but I think most of the supporting cast of humans is white -- though there's a reason for much of that which I won't spoil. The real standout area of diversity is the very broad usage of nonhuman species, many of whom show up and most of whom are from more rarely-used species rather than the Twi'lek-style standbys. It also has a pretty good male-female balance.
  17. BROWNHORNET Jedi Knight

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    Dec 9, 2007
    star 1
    Thanks for posting the alternate Ventress, Barriss. I hope they recycle this look for another character. The One Sith's Dician came immediately to mind, however I think it would be best to save her for another character. I doubt Dician will get much development.

    As for Kerra, I'm not so sure about her ethnicity. It's more a matter of how she is drawn at any particular moment than something consistent.
  18. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    Bummed to see that this ad for Hasbro's ForceFX didn't have any girls in it. I owned a ton of toy lightsabers from the ages of 10 to 15.

    http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/08/toy_trifecta_ultimate_fx_lightsaber_rurouni_kenshi.php
  19. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    God, really - ten people in it and they can't have one girl?? Even four or five I'd forgive them, but lord.
  20. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    Mar 7, 2002
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    I'm not even sure who to give crap to this about. The way toys are marketed is so weird. (Star Wars is still roundly filed in the boy's toys section, and toymakers had no idea how to market Avatar: The Last Airbender since it appealed so much to both genders, even though it could have been a very lucrative toy franchise.)

    At least there's one or two kids of color playing with the toys (as Sith, while the Jedi were blonde?) but yeah, the fact that there are no girls was really, really easily apparent and also quite sad.

  21. BobaMatt TFN EU Staff

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    It's also weird considering that Amanda Lucas, George's daughter, beats the tar out of people for a living.
  22. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    Mar 7, 2002
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    What is interesting is that after the huge outrage over Katie the Star Wars Girl (the girl mocked by her peers who thought Star Wars was for boys) you would hope that actual institutional changes occurred. When kids are constantly exposed to gender reinforcement like this can you really blame them for making that logical assumption? As adults we wrung our hands and bemoaned why kids had these gender biased views; we put a lot of energy into proving to Katie that Star Wars wasn't sexist. But tell a kid Star Wars is for both genders, equally, and then later they see this ad showing otherwise?
  23. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Something that's bothered me about the whole "SW is for nerdy guys" thing that has become more and more the assumption: wasn't the first movie, like, a huge, huge hit, staying in theaters for more than a year? Clearly lots of people were going to see it. My understanding was that it was popular with pretty much everyone. And this "SW is cool" attitude seemed to have existed at least til the mid-90s. Perhaps there are still some vestiges of it when people talk about their experiences with SW when they were younger. But along the way, the overall concept of SW has been stereotyped as nerdy, I think. This may be due to the prequels, and/or the prequel backlash? Can't really say for sure, though I suspect those are involved.

    I guess the point was that SW wasn't always for nerdy white guys, and it's irritating to see it pigeonholed in that way especially given its original evidently broad appeal. Though more female and minority movie main characters probably would have helped in this regard (especially interesting considering the demographic chift discussed in some earlier posts I saw).




    Also, on a completely different subject, but posted here because this is the "diversity" thread I actually have followed and posted on... I just want to comment on something, and put it delicately if possible. It doesn't involve anything in this thread, but I thought maybe some of the others in here would have had experience with this and might want to comment.

    I was listening to a podcast recently and was referred to a blog called Requires Only That You Hate. As the title would suggest, the review the podcaster was commenting on was pretty scathing about a book series that the author of the post actually hadn't read (complaints mostly about misogyny and rape scenes). I haven't read it either, so I can't comment in detail, but the attitude of the poster and many of the commenters seemed both flippant and dismissive of alternative viewpoints, to the point where people were trying to get the posters to clarify or engage them while they seemed more interested in being jerks, honestly.

    It was really weird to me. I've discussed things requiring rare/specialized knowledge online before - creationism/evolution is a good example. But when I did so, I tried to address debate opponents/people making other points in respectful ways, even if they were clearly talking about something they knew nothing about. And if they asked me about something that I did know about, I didn't just shut them down, strikeout their text, put words in their mouth, and dismissively call them names. It just seems a really, really unhelpful way to go about things.

    I understand that over time, encountering wave after wave of people who don't know where you're coming from or are willfully ignorant gets frustrating. Believe me, I know. But I've seen several examples of people recently (not just on that one blog) getting bent FAR out of shape at other people who don't know any better or are maybe bringing up fair points (or both). Often those people also get slotted into categories like "misogynist" or what-have-you. Also, it seems like some of the commenters I've seen are so defined by the categories they've chosen or have been born into that they start hating on people outside those categories, or at least becoming indifferent to their feelings. All of this seems supremely unproductive. Then again, I tend to be the type who focuses on commonalities more than differences in people. I also tend to be the type who gives a lot of chances to people, so maybe I have more patience than some. But I can't help but think that nothing is being helped by building more walls. If you think I'm calling for a drum circle hippie world, one without rigid categories, yes, that's exactly it. I think everyone needs to ratchet down the uptightness a bit.

    Yeah sorry that was a bit offtopic, but it was just near enough the topic that it may or may not fit here. Any thoughts?
  24. JediFreac Force Ghost

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    I'd be interested to listen to the perspective in the podcast. I occassionally read Requires Only that You Hate, which is (as far as I can tell) a scathing/progressive review site of science fiction and fantasy novels. The author values anti-sexist and anti-racist views, but doesn't do the flies to honey thing (why care so much about flies?) Everyone is fair game, even NK Jemisin's books and that Deerskin book got skewered and they're usually lauded on anti-racist science fiction websites.

    As far as I can tell there are only a few comments on the Star Wars posts, although when Paul Kemp discovered ROTYH making fun of his prose there was a "circle the wagons and comfort the author" moment on Twitter. What was interesting for me to observe is that to the outside reader, someone who has not read a lot of Star Wars books, the prose in Star Wars books must seem very cornball and easy to make fun of. If you've read a lot of science fiction and fantasy gradually you come to realize that corniness and bad lines come with the territory in Star Wars EU. The lines mocked by ROTYH were hammy. I'm not sure why they managed to float for a lot of people.

    If you did engage these folks, I'd be interested to see where the conversation went. I think definitely keep in mind the venue you selected. It's a casual-toned blog ironically titled "Requires that You Hate" that eviscerates science fiction and fantasy. I am positive there are creationism/evolution forums online (on both sides of the debate) that have a similar tone.

    I would also be careful about making assumptions that people know nothing about a subject simply because they disagree with you. This happens a lot in fandom. ("You didn't like the finale of Lost? Well, that's because you didn't understand it!" No...really I understood it fine, I just didn't like it.) One does not have to have read 100 Star Wars novels, or even the entire book, in order to be disturbed or annoyed by a scene in Star Wars books. You don't have to make an investment in Star Wars to be able to identify a problematic scene, because these scenes intersect with our knowledge of societal mores. Even if a person hasn't seen all 6 Star Wars movies, they can still identify the scene where Anakin chokes Padme in Revenge of the Sith as a form of domestic violence.

    Having done antiracist activism for a long time now (well, for me it seems long but compared to the amount of time others have put in, it's nothing) I can say, yes, it's hella frustrating. And sometimes people say "believe me, I know," but unless you've been in the thick of it for years and years, I wouldn't be so quick to think so. When well-intentioned people tell you that you're getting "far bent out of shape," because they believe (unconsciously, and trying to be helpful, but still)it feels really minimizing and diminishing. It's a dismissal instead of an attempt to understand. After the umpteenth person, you get aggravated, maybe you start a site
  25. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Thanks, Smurf.

    The Podcast was the latest SFBRP. (The one about The White Luck Warrior.) Like I said, I've not read the book (series) being mentioned, and to be honest, it doesn't sound particularly like something that's up my alley, but the ROTYH site sounded interesting enough to check out. If you go to the review he mentions and read the comments (not even necessarily the review itself, though the podcaster's mentions of the reviewer's approach are similar), I think you'll see the attitude I was thinking of when writing my previous post.

    I didn't post on ROTYH - I didn't really have a lot to bring to the discussion and even if I did I think I'd be afraid to have my head bitten off for an unknowing comment.

    I read some of the other reviews on the site, and most they made legitimate snarky points (what I assume the site is going for). So it's not the site itself I'm commenting on, just a particular approach taken by some people, some of whom are commenters.

    As far as Creationism/Evolution forums - I'm sure there are flippant/mean boards, and I know there are flippant/mean people on "regular" boards, but I feel the same way about that.

    And as far as people not knowing what they're talking about - in this case, I wasn't assuming, because with the E/C thing you get a lot of people coming in who have no scientific background but will throw around jargon and discuss things as if they know what they're talking about. Over the course of a conversation it becomes clear that they don't. Having this happen repeatedly is very annoying, and many of them don't seem interested in learning, but it's dumb not to help those who do (or seem to).

    I like your approach. (Though I think it is possible to change what/who a person is, given enough time and that they want to change. And sometimes not even those factors.)

    I don't really care if I'm comfortable in a conversation, so it's not that. It's... meanness, I guess. And it's strange to me that they focus on little slip-ups that reveal that an author was making an unthinking generalization yet have no problem using generalities like "nerdy white boy" as a generalization. They're probably seen tons of nerdy white boys making derogatory statements, etc. But if the o
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