mirrorshard: (Default)
2009-08-26 01:56 pm
Entry tags:

Filk - Roots

Not complete; assistance appreciated. Source: Show of Hands, "Roots". Inspired by this LibCon article, quoting from the News of the World:

…local council candidates John Coombes, of Maidenhead, Berks, and Dick Hamilton of Marlow, Bucks, were sitting with others around a brazier.
Hamilton’s ghettoblaster blared out songs supporting Hitler and attacking “ni**ers”.

And a fascist thug said his hope and dream
Is events where everybody's white as cream.
Call it a festival? What d'you call
Events where no-one sings at all

And everyone stares at the same small dream
Losing at cricket and letting off steam
With piss-weak lager and combat boots
Whingers and thugs in cheap-ass suits

And we oughta be ashamed of all these trends
Of the way we treat our cousins and friends
Without their cooking or their sounds

How will we know where we're all bound?
I've lost St. George and the Union Jack
That's my flag too and I want it back

Laugh away boys, let them go
On and on in their lonely show
We've gained more than we'll ever know
From the open shores of England.
mirrorshard: (Autumn skin)
2009-03-23 02:02 pm
Entry tags:

Letters to the Times

If you haven't seen this appallingly racist cartoon in the Times, I recommend it for sheer did-they-actually-publish-that value.

Edit: please read the comments before leaving "helpful" corrections. If someone else has already said it, I don't need a "me too". Thank you.

I can't find an address specifically for complaints; comment@thetimes.co.uk gets autorejected. I've sent the following to online.editor@timesonline.co.uk as the apparent next most appropriate thing.

Read more... )
mirrorshard: (Autumn skin)
2009-01-20 03:24 pm
Entry tags:

Fantasy & imperialism

Somewhat incoherent - reaction-dumping. Context:

Writers (and fans, by extension) are caught on the horns of a dilemma (or possibly a gazebo): on the one hand, we don't get to write honestly about other peoples' cultural experience, because it isn't ours to write about. On the other hand, other peoples' cultural experience is really fucking cool and interesting. On the gripping hand, most of these Interesting Cultures are actually really poor and deprived and don't have luxuries like time to write, a thriving publishing industry, or even a corpus of work in their own language and cultural idiom to grow up with. Which means that if it isn't written about by privileged white people (or coconuts, or bananas) then it isn't written about at all.

Poor us, what a problem we have.


We don't. It's not our problem. Seriously. The cultural experience of imperialism is not about the imperialists. I don't give a flying fuck what keeping someone in chains, whether steel or economic or both, does to your soul. Angsting about that makes you sound like Cordelia. [Edit: That's as in Buffy, not as in Lear or Vorkosigan.]

It's really tempting to assume that a) for every problem, there's a solution somewhere, if we only work hard at it with good intentions; and that b) that solution is more likely to be arrived at by smart educated people in developed countries.

But I don't see anything to support those assertions in these cases. Problems come in a lot of different domains, which often don't share anything with each other. And I appreciate that Not Doing Anything is a) hard, b) morally problematic when you think you might have an answer, and c) a whole barrel of No Fun.

(No, I don't have a consistent, coherent answer, or a manifesto to set out, or a program of things to be done. I'm neither that naive or that arrogant. Besides, I'm a privileged white Westerner myself, and the nearest thing to an oppressed minority in my bloodline is Welsh.)
mirrorshard: (Autumn skin)
2008-08-05 08:39 pm
Entry tags:

[IBARW] Miscellany

It's International Blog Against Racism Week, so here's a brain dump for you.

First - I posted about this on Eithin the other day, but it's worth mentioning here - the blog Skin Coloured is "intended to be a collaborative, visual exploration of what it is to be non-white in a white culture." I'm white myself (dark skinned, but unmistakably white), but this issue fascinates me. Racism, art & design, and usability issues all rolled into one.

They're looking for more pictures with examples, so please do drop them a line if you have any.

Second - London is plastered with advertisements for Spamalot, the Monty Python musical, and this particular crop proclaim that Sanjeev Bhaskar is Arthur, King of the Britons. Apart from a Kitchener reference in the design, the advertisements make no mention at all of the fact that this nigh-stereotypical Englishman (technically he was Welsh, but try telling that to the English who idolize him) is being portrayed by an unmistakably subcontinental actor. It's rather nice to see, and what's even nicer is that (as far as my Google-fu can tell) nobody is complaining about it.

Third - I've posted before about doing body art, but something I've never mentioned in the past is that all the models I've used for this have been white. It's always annoyed me, but it's hard to talk about most of the time because you end up coming off like the creepy guy who's desperate for a Hot Asian Girlfriend. I know why they're all white, of course - it's because they were all friends, and most of my social life is via geek-dom. And geek-dom isn't just whitebread, it's practically Tesco Value white bread. The bi and poly social groups are better, but not much better.