Showing posts from November, 2009

A Quick Criticism of Horror

I've seen an argument made about horror flicks around, being that horror flicks are the most gender-equal of all genres of movies. Why? Because both men and women get disemboweled, there are both male and female killers, and, well, yeah, you know, the gory violence gets all around.

Why is this a good thing? Violence and suffering has never been discriminatory over who its victims are, from man-made catastrophes of war, to natural pestilences. Should the horror genre be lauded just because it doles out violence to both sexes, as opposed to the gender inequality present in other genres?

I, for one, have never been able to understand the horror genre. While I am a fan of stylized violence in the form of swordfights, gunfights and epic battle scenes (I cried in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I watched Peter lead his troops into battle), it is because I am enjoying the cleverness in the participants outwitting each other, strategizing against one another, or the pathos of i…

Quick Rant

You know what bugs me? The "could of" phrase.

Now, I understand that language shifts. I also understand that some people have difficult with the English language.

But the people I see using "could of" are native English speakers. And no matter how much language shifts, it usually makes SOME linguistic, grammatical, or etymological sense. "could of" does not.

"could of" sounds right out loud. IF YOU WERE TRANSLITERATING APPROXIMATE SOUNDS. If the context of the phrase is "could've" then that's exactly what the fucking phrase should be, NOT "could of".

Now, "could've" does not register as a proper contraction in general ("would've", however, does, and yes, I've also seen the "would of" structure; it is just as aggravating) but it makes a hella lot more sense than "could of". I can't even THINK of a way to use "could of" which would make linguistic sense,…

Giving Thanks For Falls and Failing

So, American Thanksgiving! I don't celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving either. I'm neither American nor Canadian. The Malaysian National Day and Malaysia Day passed by me without so much a whimper in my direction, mostly because I am rather on the other side of the planet from my tanahair (homeland).

I've been reading linkspam after linkspam about Thanksgiving and its racist origins and continual racist undertones that keep going unnoticed by general adherents. It's a holiday, and an excuse to spend time with family. I can't argue against that line of reasoning, but it's still a holiday that's founded on bloodshed and genocide.

And I understand, fuzzily, the idea behind celebrating it - to give thanks for, well, stuff, and basically, give thanks that America exist, on some level. To question it loudly is to question the might of America, undermine the faith of people in the nation, so on, so forth.

To which I ask, what's the problem with that?

This is t…

MOAR Re-Centering Geography!

Because it's way too much fun!

So I was looking up some post-grad degrees and I saw one which was called "East Asian Studies" and I clicked through to check it out, right? Because I wanted to know what counts as East Asia, because, after all, Malaysia and the rest of us in the Maritime Asian countries, we're considered South East Asia.

And turns out that East Asia is China and Japan.

And I thought, wait a minute, but those places so far up north of the Equator! We in SEA are pretty much right smack on or around the Equator, so why do we say we're South East Asia?

Think about South America and North America! South America is Equatorial America and down south! North America is the land mass on northern side of the equator!

So why are we, in SEA, south, whereas China and Japan, clearly further up north, are considered just plain East Asia?

The mind, it boggles!

And then atlasien tweeted at me, "bigger question: why is 'Europe' its own continent when it…

The "Delusional Default" in "Aggie Boys"

So, I'm sure if you're reading this blog, then you have definitely read Starling's excellent post on Schrodinger's Rapist over at Kate Harding's. And if you haven't, well, don't feel bad, but head on over anyway, because the post is excellent, and although its comments are 1000++ strong, they're still worth reading.

Among the comments was this gem:
Women Want My Attention is a delusional default, since just over 50% of the population is married and a significant number beyond that is partnered. So really, the default should always be Not Interested Unless Otherwise Signaling.
 Serendipitously or otherwise, I listened to this Youtube video:

For those who can't see it, never fear! Because only a few certain bits are relevant to this post anyway. The context of the video is as follows: in The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, every year after the major football game, if the Aggies win, they are treated to a night at the Chicken Ranch, the titular Texan wh…

The Most Epic Curtain Call Ever

This is from Takarazuka Revue's production of the Scarlet Pimpernel musical. It's an all-women performance troupe. You can look them up on Wikipedia, but the gender-bending isn't really that fluid - the roles are quite specific, and actresses are assigned male or female roles. Those who get the male roles only play male roles. As you can see, the gender performed is very specific. I'm sure some people find it empowering, but I wonder if it only reinforces the gender binary, but this is a post for another day.

Anyway, this is the curtain call for the Scarlet Pimpernel (I was on a Pimpernel kick recently) and I can't stop going LOL WHUT D: DO I WANT TO KNOW THEIR BUDGET? everytime I see it.

Cripes people, there are SO MANY THINGS I want to say about this curtain call. Like, is all that lavishness necessary? And, where the hell do they get their clothes made? And, what happens after the production is over? And, how many people do they keep in business with the work t…

Feminism and Children: on Raising Children for Abstract Concepts

A while back, a friend of mine suggested that to break the racism cycle so ingrained between generations, perhaps the Malaysian government could give "cash sweeteners when interracial couples marry."

Casting aside the obvious racism of this suggestion - that interracial couples would be valued more than mono-racial couples enough to receive privileges - I'm patently disturbed by the idea that interracial couples, producing interracial children, is going to solve the problem of racism.

I've written before on the problematic term "colourblind", and why discussions on race is still important, even though we know the concept of race to be a social construct. As Third Culture Kids know, navigating between the different cultures and never fitting in just one can be hard, particularly when people want to be territorial and demand that you take a side. I'm sure interracial children have similar problems - balancing between different heritages.

I reacted harshl…

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is the day to memorialize the people who had died as a result of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. It's a day to remember people who have been killed quietly, targeted easily due to the transphobic nature of today's society that still refuses to acknowledge the humanity of people who transition from one biological sex to another.

There are many explanations for these crimes. "Gay panic" and "trans panic" are still considered reasonable explanations for acts of violence visited on these marginalized people. That transgendered people are marginalized makes them easy targets for crimes that will go unaddressed and unpunished. That transgendered people are victims of high crime rates as opposed to any other gendered group goes unnoticed by most people. Their names disappear into the darkness, forgotten.

Why are they killed? 

These people were killed for being trans, or suspected of being trans. They were kil…

Coupledom Propaganda

I like this song. It's from the sequel to Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame (which was completely unfaithful to the original book, but in a good way, I think) in which Quasimodo finds someone to fall in love with, and who falls in love with him.

Now, I like Disney movies. Who doesn't? But you know what I don't like about Disney movies? And a lot of other media, let's be honest.

The fact that it is a given for the heroine to always end up with a hero.

A hero can end up with no one, or guy friends, sure! But if it's a heroine, she's always going to have some love interest with whom her life is deeply intertwined. It's a theme that's been overwrought. Even in Sex and the City we couldn't escape the idea that part of life is finding a good man to settle down with, and that Breaking Up Is A Big Deal.

What happens is we get a whole society of women who think that without men, they have no lives, who are constantly haranguing each other on Why Are You …

Review: Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter

Really, just the name and the cover alone should make anybody want to pick up this little gem. I don't like horror, and I don't like zombies (I know, travesty, I know!), nor do I like the tagline on the cover (“She loved her country. She hated zombies”) and the blurb on the back, which unimpressively, simplistically presents the book's premise as “can she dedicate her life to saving her country when her heart belongs elsewhere?” sounds rather wishy-washily like an odd romance novel.

 The book doesn't even open with the titular character, but with a setup for side characters Quimby and Perkins. Quimby is preparing for a night of debauchery when the zombies he's been keeping break free from their prisons, devour the prostitutes he has ordered for the night, and worse, there's photographic evidence. He resurrects Perkins, and thus start their misadventures into the world of the supernatural.

We first meet our titular character as she is writing into her diary th…

PS It's NaNoWriMo

Bye again for the next month or so! <3

Self-Tokenism and Processing Halloween

So Halloween!

When I first came to Canada, a friend of mine made me a pair of cat ears cut out from a tissue box and made black with black marker pen, stapled it to a headband, and I dressed in black with a large pair of fuzzy gloves. Thus, did I spend my first Halloween as a cat. We mostly hung out in the dorms, since most of my friends weren't old enough to hit the bars yet. I got pictures taken. Not very good ones.

The next year, I thought I better put some effort into looking good, and bought a pinafore when I was in Malaysia over summer. Yes. A secondary school uniform. High school uniform. What did I go as? Random Asian Schoolgirl. Had my hair up in pigtails and everything! (My BFF, as I recall, went as an emo chick - argyle skirt and long stockings and effin' big emo frames.) I'm not sure why I thought this was a good idea, but looking back it was utterly an example of tokenizing myself, because I didn't know better. Halloween's a time to dress up, right? As…

My Pidgin Does Not Signify Lack Of Intellect

I recently received in my inbox an email from my father, who likes to forward me a lot of things that he thinks will interest me. Except of course, he never really realizes just how easily antsy I can get, and how willing I am to pick apart an article. (I used to hit Reply to All whenever he'd send me an email to let all and sundry know what I thought and all the problems with whatever he sent me, so now he wisely BCCs people instead.)

This article was about Miss Singapore, and I can't find the original article, but hree's another one about the same issue. While at the Miss World pageant in South Africa, she inadvertently slipped into speaking Singlish, the Singaporean creole that mixes English, Malay, Chinese and god knows what else. And this was a huge fucking deal because apparently, all beauty queens must be able to speak perfect English, the standard of which is probably set by the English-speaking world that is the UK and North America, I guess. And because Miss Sing…

Because Children Apparently Never Have Same-Sex Parents

Scholastic has decided not to include Luv Ya Bunches, a story about four girls, because of its language ("geez," "crap," "sucks," and "God") and because one of its characters has lesbian parents.
“Authors are often given the opportunity to make changes in the books to meet the norms of the various communities that host the fairs,” adds Kyle Good, a Scholastic spokeswoman, explaining that the title will, however, be available in the Scholastic Book Club catalog.
Nooooo, really? How very generous, giving authours the opportunity to adjust their books to meet "norms". Because as we know, the normal people must be accommodated and we cannot present them with alternate narratives, even a smidgen of an alternative lifestyle, or else the WORLD WILL EXPLODE, or something.

And how nice that the title will still be available in the catalog, but it's not good enough to included among the books that will be on sale, easily touched and picked up…