la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
Thanks to Mako who made me notice this:

Bita Ghaedi Deportation Cancelled!

[...] the British High Court granted Ghaedi interim relief pending a renewed application to apply for judicial review, while the European Court of Human Rights put a ban on her deportation.

As a woman who fled her husband as well as a political dissident, Bita Ghaedi has legitimate reasons to fear an "honour killing" if deported back to Iran. In his opinion, Justice Nichols stated that the British Home Office ignored a preponderance of evidence highlighting her very real claims to asylum.

Maria Rohaly from Mission Free Iran writes that mainstream media silence, in addition to dereliction of duty from organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, only hurt the case. Still, this case is a testament for how a small number of dedicated people can bring international attention to the horrific ways in which asylum seekers and refugees are treated by developed nations.


Oh, Hollywood. When you think it couldn't get worse. Well, it always gets worse.

Genghis Khan? Mickey Rourke.

I kid you not. Oh, how I wish I was.

You know things like anime adaptations don't stand a chance if these fuckers can't even respect a historical figure who belongs to another nation.

Jamie Chung

  • Dec. 4th, 2009 at 7:19 PM
la_vie_noire: (Meets Minimal Standards of Decent Human)
We continue with this, and today is apparently international whitewashing day. Via [ profile] fujurpreux: Johnny Depp is set to play Pancho Villa in movie adaptation. Yeah, throw up on me.

So, it way prettier things: Jamie Chung. A lot of you will probably know her as Chi-Chi in Dragon Ball Evolution, but forget that because her hotness makes this world a better place. She was casted in 2004 in reality show Real World and since them she hasn't stooped. She was a recurrent character in Days of Our Lives, and has starred in Samurai Girl, Dragon Ball Evolution, Princess Protection Program, and now is working on Burning Palms, Grown Ups, and Sucker Punch.

And seriously. Hot, hot, hot.

Jamie Chung

Jamie Chung pics )

Born in San Francisco, California. Korean descendant. Career here.

Oct. 21st, 2009

  • 6:30 PM
la_vie_noire: (Utena)
[personal profile] helens78's post brought a lot of things for me, many of them make me tired. I want to make an entry about English, about the arrogance from native speakers to expect everybody to talk perfect English, even from non-native speakers. Also, Makoto was telling me about this very insidious believe around here that "knowing English gives you freedom" which is... ahahahahahaha, you know. I'm going to make a post about all this soon, but not today.


I'm going to talk about something else. Again, about Asian peoples erasure in anime and manga fandom. I had a conversation with classmates today that made me rage so much.

I'm not going to say something new, this was very much discussed already.

When I had that discussion in my fandom about putting white actors to play Asian characters, some person was very insistent that "it wasn't their fault if they couldn't think in any Asian actor to play Asian characters."

It's kinda funny, I already talked how is a commodity to consume something and erase the same people that create it, but there is something more that speaks volumes about racial power relationships around these places.

Right now anime and manga are extremely trendy in the Western World. We see lots of white and non-white people consuming and making themselves fans of "Asian culture," specially "Japanese culture" (between quotation marks because we know it's not the real culture they are "fans" of, it's the culture as seen by western lens). But of course, as things are being sold around here, the "cool culture" is Asian, the cool people aren't Asian people. The "cool people" have to be white people. Even in non-white countries like mine. So of course we have white people playing the part of Asian characters. White people are more desirable after all. And white people have to appropriate another culture, they have to make it theirs by being there instead of Asian people.

Japan is cool but only if you have Asian women fetishized and Asian men erased and replaced with white men, you know everybody loves white men.

Some years ago I was talking about Death Note's live action movie with a classmate, when I asked her what she thought about it she told me "ew, do you want one of those Jap to play Light?" (and it's not that I particularly care about the character, but she obviously did). Because, you know, Light Yagami is not Japanese, in her mind he probably is a white kid in an "Asian culture", thus very cool.

And today again my classmates were talking about how anime characters were "western" because Japanese people wanted to have "big eyes".

That's why I have a big problem with people who see no problem in fantasizing about Hugh Jackman as Kurogane, for example. These people are not only very naive and ignorant about racial issues, these people are playing a big part in not only erasing people from a particular culture, but erasing them and replacing the culture with what they picture said culture. And the way they picture it is for western consumption.
la_vie_noire: (Meets Minimal Standards of Decent Human)
I'm still very pissed so much I can even sleep when I have to get up early.

So. Since tomorrow I will start doing a daily post here featuring an Asian actor who works in the western world. Maybe it will come with picspam a la [personal profile] skywardprodigal.

I know it has bee done before, but since it's my fandom, I will just link it the next time the stupid comes around. I leave this written because you all know how lazy I am, seeing this will make me stand to my word.

Do you know what privilege is? Privilege is consuming, enjoying, fetishizing a work while totally disrespecting the people behind it. Erasing them and replacing them with people who not only look like you, but have a deep and pervasive history of colonization towards the people who are made invisible. (And not, Japan being rich doesn't give you free pass, and you paying for it actually make it worse.)

So. Tomorrow, education for the white weaboo who can't even name one Asian actor besides Jackie Chan starts.

Sep. 30th, 2009

  • 8:00 PM
la_vie_noire: (Michiko sticking tongue)
Things I learned today:

- Mean POC are mean.
-White people are innocent and never have to be called out on their clueless behaviors. I'm a bitch for doing so.
- Don't harsh other people's fun.
- People are exhibiting the same behaviors, the same old arguments with the same straw-men again, again, and again.
ETA: Totally forgot. THERE AREN'T ASIAN ACTORS IN HOLLYWOOD. I know that isn't a classic.
Daughter of ETA: I forgot one of my favorites: Calling out a offense (oppression, obviously) is always worse than being offensive.
Dude, I could continue with this all day.

So many NEW things!

And I bet someone will come some day again with the "this has never been discussed before!" thing.

Aug. 30th, 2009

  • 6:29 PM
la_vie_noire: (Anthy flower)
I'm still pretty much out, but then Willow talks about something that has been bothering since the beginning of time:

White (American) Heroes In Exotic Worlds.

The moment that made me decide to write about this; which undoubtedly is something anime fans have been discussing since time immemorial; was the difference in comprehension and mood and character understanding in the same scene with two different languages.

A character tells a potential kidnapper (said kidnapper being the first step in future potential brainwashing) "I won't be influenced by you."

In the American version. "I'm not getting involved."

One version hints at a character who refuses to be manipulated, by an individual or the group they work for; the other hints at a character who just doesn't engage. [...]

Animation is a sum to me, a complex sum. It needs parts A and B and C in order to come together. It needs the art, the voice acting and the music. With Youtube around it's relatively easy these days to get a quick idea of how mood can be changed if someone switches around the soundtrack.

With English dub, B and C can be switched out. All that needs to happen is that the plotline spoken mostly fits the depicted action. The emotion, original mood and original intent can all vanish beneath the need to make things more relevant for an American broader based audience.

A loner, lonely bad boy, becomes an insecure 15 year old whiner.

The expertly disguised villain is revealed almost immediately due to having a villain's slimy undertones.

A hero's emotional last stand speech, becomes a monosyllabic Western style 'You're going down'.

No wonder when people start pointing out traditional hero values or samurai overtones in something anime, another group bounds up with 'What the ___ are you talking about?' It's not just their lack of exposure to knowing certain things relate to real cultures. It's also their indoctrination to seeing all other cultures as dressing.

ETA: And this explains TokyoPop's translations of Juuni Kokki which manage to add boggarts (no doubt for 'familiarity') while exoticizing certain, titles, other nouns and phrases. I still don't know how why they used 'Prophet' for the Late Empress Yo.

Aug. 15th, 2009

  • 1:35 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Oh. And. The people and their cultures: POC and the movies by [personal profile] the_future_modernes. About the white-washing going on in Hollywood. MUST READ.

The Examiner’s Ed Moy inquires Does Hollywood ‘white-wash’ the casting of Asian characters in movies? Then he proves it…

After doing some research, I discovered that “The Last Airbender” wasn’t the only recent movie that cast white actors in roles that were originally created as Asian characters.

For example, the character of Kyo Kusanagi will be played by Sean Farris in an upcoming live-action feature based on the video game “King of Fighters”.

There’s also the casting of Jake Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastan in “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” along with a British actress Gemma Arterton playing his love-interest Tamina. The movie was also based on a popular video game.

And then there’s the recent announcement that Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are starring in a live-action version of the Japanese anime “Akira.”

And finally, there’s the casting of Keanu Reeves as Spike Spiegel in the live-action adaptation of “Cowboy Bebop.” (Although, I do admit that I think Keanu Reeves looks similar to the character.)

This all of course pales in comparison to the fact that last year, the producers of the movie “21″ took poetic license in rewriting actual Asian American card playing MIT students as white characters.

The movie “21″ was based on the best-selling book “Bringing Down the House”, about a real-life team of mostly Asian American students led by an Asian American professor John Chang and his teaching cohorts. (To read about the real “21″ students and their professor click here.) MORE
la_vie_noire: (Utena)
I want to bring something to your attention:

Kazuhiko Fei Ryu. 琉・F・和彦

So. Clover happens in a dystopian, cyber-punkish, and probably AU universe which, like everything, is still completely and absolutely based in our current reality.

Note how those names are written in Kanji (except for Suu) and not only katakana like in, let's say, Full Metal Alchemist.

I want to do a thinking exercise. If a hypothetical western fictional, alternative universe is adapted to a live-action movie, and the protagonist who is only described as a man with pale skin and who is also called, I don't know, William K. Bryan is suddenly cast as an Asian man? I KNOW, like 100% sure, the fandom will flip their shit off.

SO I'M GOING TO FLIP MY SHIT OFF IF KAZUHIKO IS CAST AS A WHITE MAN. And this leaving aside that casting a white man as an obviously Asian character in a Hollywood movie is nothing like casting an Asian man as a white character (for reasons I don't have the energy to discuss, you should have some clue if you are reading this journal).

Colorblind snowflakes? Get away from me. I'm going to need a lot of alcohol to get through this "live action Hollywood movie" thing if this project goes somewhere.
la_vie_noire: (Meets Minimal Standards of Decent Human)
Pausing study times because I cannot resist this. Just too damn... ugh.

Disclaimer: I'm not exactly the most versed person in USA's pop culture, so you have to forgive my ignorance.

I was having lunch while my little cousin was watching some MTV special called "Michael Jackson Greatest TV moments" or something. They were discussing some of the man's videos; this one, for a song I can't remember, was located in an Ancient Egyptian setting, Jackson was some kind of entertainer for Queen Nefertiti. (People here will probably know better about this video than me.) In this pop version of Nefertiti's time, she was played by supermodel Iman, the Pharaoh was played by Eddie Murphy, and everyone else in the set was black.

I was barely watching TV because my mind is full of three exams, but when I saw that video I remember thinking something like, "well, I think Jackson was trying to look for at least a minimal accuracy by no casting white people."

When the commentary about the video was finishing some white woman (I don't know who she was, I tell you I suck at this) was saying how, "also, the fact that Jackson casted African-Americans for this video was clearly a shown of black pride. He wanted to get close to his roots, his people."

I almost spit my food. Granted, I don't know why Jackson casted all black people. Maybe being a black man made him more aware of the white washing going on. But I will tell you something, that comment there? Just showed how ignorant and invested in white supremacy some white people are.

Egypt? Who did you expect him to cast? WHITE PEOPLE? Even if this was a pop music video, that statement was fucking ridiculous. Casting brown people to play the part of brown people is now "black pride".

Granted, there is a lot of debate about the "race" of ancient Egyptians. But dude. DUDE. Phenotypically, Iman is a lot more accurate Nefertiti than Liz Taylor is a Cleopatra. And having all black people is damn accurate for a music video.

What piss me off is that an all-white cast by a white person would obviously not represent "white pride" or something. Even if completely wrong.

ETA: What I meant to say is NOT that him doing it for being proud of his race was wrong or something. It's that when black people are cast to play Egyptians is a political statement, political correctness, etc., because what you would expect is white people playing Egyptians (emphasis, you know), no matter how wrong it is. And yeah, the latter is "white pride" and a political statement too, but for another post.

This brings me to the reconstructed face of the mummy attributed to Nefertiti. And how, googling for this, in some blog I saw people saying that "the [face] reconstruction was political correctness gone wrong. Nefertiti was white." (I know there is a bust of her with uber-light skin, I'm kinda sure the painting was a retouching.)

So, here you have a not so tangential rant: there is a reason I hate the term "political correctness".

"Political Correctness" = As icon says, meeting minimal standards of decent human.
And apparently, "Political Correctness" = Meeting minimal standards of historical accuracy.

I'm so tired of this shit, I'm so tired of hearing things like "political correctness," or "tokenism". And privileged idiots complaining that people are just SO sensitive for wanting to pretend that whites aren't the only people inhabitating this world. Or white people going about the "post-racialness" of the first world. *rolls eyes*

"Political correctness" means that the norm is white washing, oppression, objectification. Power differences that affect real people's lives and make things shittier for them? Don't exist because the privileged don't want to bother about them.

... Uhm, this was supposed to be shorter and sound angrier. It's been a while since someone screamed "reverse racism!" at my face.

Totally unrelated, damn hot fic that I have never read before (not work safe obviously). And I made myself proud knowing all that is worth out there for KuroFay. Damn.

I was making icons with the help of [ profile] outou's great tutorial and these bases. Well, one icon! But I don't have much time.


la_vie_noire: (Default)
[personal profile] la_vie_noire

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