gaudior: (hostility)
I totally need to write this article in a few years when I've had more experience and clients.

But who the hell will publish it? )
gaudior: (sable)
And now the fun begins.

For lo, in this round, I have paired all of the previous ukes with other ukes, and all the semes with other semes (with the addition of Riku x Sora from Kingdom Hearts, because I accidentally messed up the numbers). Because all of you bastards are completely unable to pick between Gojyo and Hakkai,* I put Hakkai as uke because Thrud says that's cannon (in Saiyuki Gaiden, currently unavailable in English).

So, see what you think. I encourage discussion of this, particularly with pairings in which people don't know one of the two characters, and have questions.

Without further ado... ) Voting is now closed, thank you much! Go vote on today's!

I have to say, some of these pairings are just fun.

Grin.

*Quite correctly, in my opinion
gaudior: (sable)
So, as a person in a same-sex relationship, I've always been amused/appalled by the insistence of slash and yaoi writers that one person in such a relationship must be the top in bed, at all times. It doesn't make sense. I know a very few people in relationships where this is usually the case, but even then it always seems so much more flexible than the writers make it out to be.

So, in order to deconstruct the idea a bit (as well as because I thought it would be fun last night at about 3am*) I am proposing the Great Uke-Off. (This is inspired by the Anime Emo Awards, which were just awesome.) Basically: I'm going to list frequently-slashed couples in all manner of fandoms (anime, live-action, books, etc), and ask you, o gentle readers, to vote on which member of the couple tops. Then in the next round, I'm going to pair all the resulting tops with each other, and ask you to vote on which member of each new pair tops (and pair all the resulting bottoms, ditto). And so on and so forth, until we have the Ultimate Uke and the, um, Supreme Seme. Or something along those lines.

You're welcome to only do the ones you know, or the ones you could even vaguely conceivably see as this being conceivable. You are also welcome to explain your logic in the comments, or make suggestions as to other pairs, or such.

Let's vote! )

I shall post the next round tomorrow (Friday) at noonish. Voting is now closed. Go vote on today's!

* Okay, yes, I did have a fever. And still do. But I'm sure that has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Really.
gaudior: (Default)
I like it, tho. And in celebration, I shall do... well, not exactly a meme, but I ganked the idea from [livejournal.com profile] teenybuffalo: seven things I should like to NEVER SEE IN A WORK OF FICTION AGAIN.

1) Taking an otherwise undeveloped and neglected character and giving him/her a tremendous amount of character development immediately before killing him/her. So that we get to be all sad about a character death, and it gets to be all dramatic, without actually losing any of the main characters. This feels cheap to me. If you're going to develop someone, develop him/her-- and then keep him/her around so we get to see what happens next. If you're going to kill someone, make it real.

2) Obligatory romance. I like a good love story as much as the next rabid shoujo fan (i.e., quite a bit). But that means that I see love as something which is complicated and unpredictable, and each romance is unique. A "love interest" shoehorned into a plot which is really about something else loses all of the power of love, and doesn't really add much. (The converse of this is that I dearly love stories in which (straight) men and women are friends-- or in which queer characters of the same sex are. Love is awesome, as is sex-- but it isn't everything.)

3) A single gay character. Marvel comics are particularly guilty of this one: the story about a whole lot of straight people who have one (1) gay friend/team member/co-worker/etc... who is apparantly the only gay person in the universe. So there are some gay jokes, (which are okay because they have a gay character, doncha know) and maybe the gay character has Angst because s/he falls in love with a straight character... but s/he never does anything actually gay. Because there's no-one to do it with. So these characters do not date, have sex, have kids, or do anything else except give fashion advice and snark.

4) A "smart" character who appears to be a person of average intelligence who has swallowed a thesaurus. These are supposedly genius characters who don't actually do anything intelligent, who don't come up with intelligent plans or profound thoughts or clever jokes, but are "the smart guy." So they spend all their time in labs spouting incomprehensible technobabble, and they never say anything that doesn't have polysyllables. In X-Men, you can always tell that the writer's actually good because all of a sudden Beast becomes capable of using slang. Because, like, smart people do that, too. They just happen to be smart.

5) Monocultures. If you have an alien species, you had better give me a damn good reason for it if they all speak the same language, all have the same religion, all look alike racially, etc. It's like "the jungle planet,"-- planets are big, and they have multiple ecosystems. I would accept the answer that the planet is a hive mind, and so don't have different cultures because they never have enough distance separating them for such things to develop. But otherwise...no. If you don't have time to go into all the cultures, that's fine, but don't pretend they don't exist. (Star Trek, I'm looking at you.)

6) Female characters in historical settings who have modern sensibilities. I am a feminist, and proud to be one. But I know damn well that the way I'm a feminist is a product of my culture-- and particularly of birth-control technology and superior medicine and food-production techniques. In my culture it makes sense to have casual premarital sex, to treat anyone with a brain as equally able to do almost any kind of work, to value work done outside the home which brings in money more than work done inside the home which doesn't, etc. This just wasn't usually the case in pre-industrial times and places.

And the thing that people tend to miss is that this doesn't mean that most women resented it all the time. Because frankly, if it's 1300 Europe, everyone's life sucks, and everyone is stuck doing things that are difficult and unglamorous, and their best hope is heaven. I'm pretty sure that "women's work" was not seen as nearly as unimportant as people see it as being now-- because money was not, always, the major motivating force in people's lives. Survival was. Power and respect were not tied to work in exactly the same way they are now. In other words, not every single little girl wanted to run away and become a knight. I am eternally grateful to The Privilege of the Sword for the fact that the woman who learns swordfighting didn't want to-- she wanted to be a proper lady, becuase there was nothing wrong with that.

I realize that this makes it tricky if you just want to curl up with a nice fantasy novel that feels comfortable that you don't have to think about. But honestly.

7) Ignoring Christianity in settings where it's really, really present. I realize people worry about being banned. I realize that generic "gods" are easier to talk about than what you grew up with/what you grew up in opposition to. But sometimes you write American Gods, and you leave out Jesus almost entirely, and you spend an entire book talking about how Americans are so secular and this is no good country for gods, when in fact, it is an excellent country for one god, and he's won. And that's just lame.

...Hm. In looking over the list, it seems to mostly be annoyed at people for not thinking enough.

I'm cool with that.

--R

PS: VACATION!
gaudior: (sable)
This... is a sequel to my long Yami no Matsuei fic, Mercy of the Fallen. Except that this is not actually a good story. My beta-readers gave me useful suggestions as to how it could be made a good story, and I will totally use them at some point, but I just don't have the energy right now, because it involves a great deal of plot, which this just doesn't have. But I'm posting it anyway, because I kinda like it, and I think it's kind of a fun character sketch-- what do these characters look like eight years later?

Better. )
gaudior: (saiyuki)
Over the past year or so, a number of people have asked me for recommendations for psychotherapists. In helping them find one, I've realized that most people don't know much about how to choose a shrink, besides a sense of the personality with which they'd feel most comfortable. Now, it's true that personality maters, but there are also other factors to keep in mind. Namely: there are about half-a-dozen different theoretical orientations and types of degrees which therapists have, and these make them differently equipped to help you with different problems.

So, the following is a list of exactly what the different types of therapist are and what they're good for. I hope this is useful-- and please pass it on to anyone else who might need it! Thanks!

These are the shrinks in your neighborhood... )

On AMVs

Aug. 25th, 2006 09:44 am
gaudior: (wrongness)
So anime music videos (the downloading and watching thereof) are one of my more favorite hobbies. The really good ones do a splendid job of pointing out cool things you hadn't noticed about the series, the bad ones are at least a chance to watch the art (which is, honestly, my more favorite part of anime). And they all take you out of narrative and into deeper, primary-process thinking (the level of subconsciousness, emotions and dreams), which is one of my more favorite places to spend time.

But I cannot help noticing that there seems to be an unwritten law that every series commonly vidded has at least one shot which must be in every single vid. Usually because they're really cool, powerful images. Which is fine, but after you've seen them in five thousand amvs, they start to lose something.

Such that I would pay money to see good videos which did not contain the following shots:

Here be thousands of spoilers. )

On pain

Jun. 9th, 2006 05:51 pm
gaudior: (profound)
The people from Teen Empowerment (a program in the high school where I work which hires high school students to do projects to "improve their school climate") came up with what seemed like a fairly daring project this year. They had an English class of students from our high school, E High (urban, almost all students of color and/or recent immigrants, many of them living in housing projects, and all of them dealing with gangs, drugs, shootings, poverty, racism, and a fuckload of other badness on a regular basis), do an exchange program with a class from W High School (almost all White, upper-middle-class, suburban). They exchanged emails for several months, had classroom discussions about social inequality, and then, finally, went to visit each other's schools.

It seems to have gone well-- better than I expected. The W High kids talked about being happily surprised to see "people, not stereotypes," being shocked/impressed with the sorts of things our kids deal with all the time and how they're able to handle it, as well as enjoying the "colorfulness" of the school. I didn't get a sense of whether they learned much that they hadn't been expecting to learn from the experience. But I was more struck with the reactions of our kids. One thing that was something of a relief was that while they did get a clear sense of the unfairness of the situation, they also found things that they appreciated about their school-- the diversity, the energy, and the teachers who care very deeply about them and support them*.

But the other thing that struck me was how struck our kids were by the problems of the kids of W High. They had, they said, assumed that since the W kids were rich and White, they wouldn't have many problems. And indeed, the kids at W don't have to deal with watching their friends get shot, or watching their parents work three jobs to put food on the table, or trying desperately to learn English on the fly quickly enough to pass their classes. But they have problems, our kids said. Problems with parental expectations, and grades-- problems so bad that they do things like pour vodka into water bottles to drink in class to get through the day. One of our teachers said that when the two classes were talking together, some of the W kids were talking about binge drinking, and our teacher realized, looking around the room, that her students had no idea what this meant. She explained it, and they stared at her in confusion, then said, "That's just stupid."

All of which leads me back to a question I had when I, too, was a White, suburban, upper-middle-class kid-- and I looked around and saw how terribly, self-destructively miserable my friends were-- and I didn't understand. How, I wondered, does it hurt so much when life is just not that bad? Of course, I was young and naive and quite emotionally stunted (didn't let myself feel sadness until college, didn't understand depression until after I graduated, I'm only just now learning about anger, and I haven't touched fear yet)... but it's still a question for me. Why is pain like this? Why is it that outside circumstances don't seem to make a damn bit of difference to how much it hurts?

I don't know, but I have a guess. )
gaudior: (profound)
So I know I'm days late to this topic, but it's finals time (they're going well-- one class completely finished, three more with only small bits of work left to do, one with only an optional class, yay!). But this post appeared a few weeks ago in the blog Reappropriate, "a political, current events, and personal blog written from the perspective of a loud and proud Asian American woman": "Fuck you Asiaphile": I'm Mad As Hell And I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore. Followed by tremendous discussion, both in her comments thread and in [livejournal.com profile] debunkingwhite and [livejournal.com profile] sex_and_race. (I got the link from [livejournal.com profile] homasse. Thank you, J.) Basically, Jenn is pointing out how annoyed she is, as an Asian-American, at White Americans who profess love for all things Japanese, or all things Asian.

Now, as an undeniable otaku (looking up, I can see eight pieces of anime merchandising without having to turn my head), I was quite bothered. I could see myself as definitely being one of the people she was talking about, and I felt dismayed and unhappy to hear that my taste in art could upset anyone that much. I could see myself pretty easily in many of the commenters to her thread who objected, and I didn't see what the deal was.

So I sat down to think it over. And, twenty minutes later, I think I understand. I think I've hit on the thing which was so obvious to Jenn that she didn't bother to say it, and the thing which all the objectors to her post had never thought of. I think it's about choice, and power. )
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