Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Orientalism

Tuesday Night Links

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What is Earth like in STAR TREK’S CENTURY? For one thing, we’ll never take a story back there and therefore don’t expect to get into subjects which would create great problems, technical and otherwise. The “U.S.S.” on our ship designation stands for “United Space Ship” — indicating (without troublesome specifics) that mankind has found some unity on Earth, perhaps at long last even peace. If you require a statement such as one that Earth cities of the future are splendidly planned with fifty-mile parkland strips around them, fine. But television today simply will not let us get into details of Earth’s politics of STAR TREK,’S century; for example, which socio-economic system ultimately worked out best.

* Via Slate’s Vault:  Original Series Star Trek Writers/Directors Guide. Gems on every page!

SULU — Ship’s Helmsman, played by actor George Takei. Mixed oriental in ancestry, Japanese predominating, Sulu is contemporary American in speech and manner. In fact, his attitude toward Asians is that they seem to him rather “inscrutable”.

* An interactive visualization of running gags on Arrested Development.

* App of the day: Buycott.

Why So Few Violent Games?

* Now a full trailer for Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

* Petworth’s Qualia Coffee Seeking Roasting Interns.

* And the headline reads, “Columbia University seeks to change ‘Caucasians only’ requirement for fellowship.”

Clash of Civilizations

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 27, 2008 at 8:05 pm

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Via the MetaFilter Archie thread that keeps on giving: Harry Potter and the Eurocentrist’s Tone.

What is worse is the costume of the Asian women. Cho, Padma, and Parvati Patil wore “garb” to the Yule Ball. What were described in the book as “shocking pink dress robes” become a sari for the twin Indian girls, and a cheongsam for Cho. These girls are not, like Viktor or Fleur, actually nationals of other countries; they are English, and I found myself totally abandoning suspension of disbelief when they showed up to dance in the sort of clothes I think teenagers of all stripes are known for avoiding: the ones that connote traditionalism and otherness. It’s not like we need the extra cultural artifacts to figure out their Asian status. It was totemization and exoticism, plain and simple. Boo.

The Patil sisters are treated in a fairly objectified manner in book and film alike, with little said about them other than that they are the prettiest girls in their year. Their twinness is also a little unnerving as it leads me to thoughts of indistinguishability and male fantasy. Additionally, Parvati is, to my knowledge, the only character to have been portrayed by different actors in different films (aside from Dumbledore, played by Richard Harris, who passed away) which certainly casts a pall of indistinguishability over her. The IMDb entry for the two films in which she is portrayed by different actors also lists her name with different spellings… Patil and Patel. I’m not sure who to blame for that.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 7, 2007 at 9:24 pm

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Archie Comics misguided tokenism update: Mina Lee.

A frail albino Korean girl who was the only one to see Reggie’s soft side. Reggie showed a more compasionate and humble self to her and bought her a pet caiman for her. She named it Reji in honour of Reggie. Mina is very into reptiles and dreams of owning a humane menagerie when she is older. Archie once met her and he was confused as to what she saw in Reggie. Mina is very shy but quirky and interesting. Her family speaks Korean at home and she often says a few Korean pet names to Reggie (usually strange names, like “Sweet Lizard” and “Iguana Love”). She was expelled after she brought Reji to school with her and it is unknown if she will reappear.

Also via MeFi.

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August 7, 2007 at 4:14 pm

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