How many of you here are in the Supernatural fandom? Yes, all of you? Then you probably know about NJWank2013: one of Supernatural‘s many chances to gank us all with angry feelings before the season finale. Let’s recap the events: At a Supernatural convention in New Jersey (“Salute to Supernatural 2013″), there was a panel with Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, otherwise known as Sam and Dean. The first questioner at this panel was a young lady who started her question with “I’ve loved seeing Dean’s character become more comfortable with himself this season. I’m bisexual and I’ve noticed some possible subtext…” She was immediately drowned out by a chorus of booo’s. While a bodyguard confronted her, Jensen said that he couldn’t hear the question, and that he planned to move on. “I meant no disrespect,” said the girl, and that was the end of that story.
Luce: Welcome back to this edition of Ink and Luce Talk About Racial Issues—can I just say that your username being Ink brings up a lot of issues?
Luce: Like, Ink is a black person, of course he is. But let’s get back to Rostad’s video.
Ink: Okay, last post we made a bunch of decisions about the whole piece, except for the last two paragraphs. Frankly, I find them to be the most interesting—they’re not about just Cho Chang, JKR, Harry Potter anymore—now we have this whole issue of what the Asian female-white male relationship looks like. My impression is that there’s this recurring trope of a white male and an Asian female—really, there’s a recurring trope of a white male and every kind of other ethnic female in fiction and popular culture, particularly film, and in a lot of ways that’s because we respond to that much better than the other way around—
Luce: Hold on. You say we respond to it better—but I don’t think that’s the case. I think writers and producers of media think we respond to it better, so that’s what they write. I do think that people would accept, for example, the idea of a protagonist being gay, if only they were given the chance. It’s the same thing with the idea of an Asian male and his white female love interest.
Ink: I think it’s a bit of both actually. First off, let me clarify that when I say “we,” I’m referring to our culture at large—I do believe it’s true that we respond better to a white male and an ethnic female, but let me explain why.
Luce: And hi again, I’m Luce! So recently, Saika brought this video to our attention, and as it turns out, we had a lot of thoughts about it.
Ink: We’re both people of color, which we think may give us some perspective on the issues Rachel Rostad brings up in her video. I’m an African-American guy, and Luce is an Asian-American girl. I’m also a researcher in the social sciences, dealing specifically with issues of race.
I first encountered this trope in Harry Potter fanfiction waaay back in the day, but it’s something that’s pervasive in many fandoms: stories that feature exclusively same-sex relationships. Harry wants to be with Draco, and that’s okay because Ginny is with Luna. At least Sirius and Remus approve of the matchup. Then Hermione stops by with Parvati to say hi on their way to Dean and Seamus’ house and… you get the gist.
A more recent fandom where this is very popular is the Avengers fandom, along with any spinoff crossover fandoms that include Supernatural or Sherlock. Steve/Tony and Phil/Clint and Pepper/Natasha (and possibly Thorki) with a side of Destiel and Johnlock? Par for the course, guys.
This is a slam poetry piece by Rachel Rostad, a finalist in the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. There isn’t anything I can say here that’s more eloquent than what she says, but to anyone who doubts that media representation of minorities affects real minorities, take the four minutes and watch this.
Edited to add: Hey guys, this post is getting a lot of hits and I want to make sure that you see this video too. It’s the original performer responding to some legitimate critiques of her piece.
I’ve been avoiding this character profile for a while. You see, Draco Malfoy is one of those characters that splits the readership of Harry Potter so much that it becomes almost comical.
On one hand, there are fans of the books and series that hate Malfoy for the hell he put the trio through, both the petty and the borderline evil. Others feel sympathy for the poor Malfoy child. I’m a bit in between. You see, for the majority of the Harry Potter series, Draco Malfoy is a simple bully. And boy, is he a stereotypical bully.
Remember that thing called Pottermore? No? Well, maybe there is a reason for that.
That reason being it is boring as… the most boring thing you can think of. Watching paint dry. Watching a kettle boil. Like those, but on the internet. Now, the internet is not supposed to be a boring place. I guess Pottermore got it wrong.
Now, why do I think Pottermore is so boring? Because all you do it click to the next page with limited interactions with the story. Are you supposed to be Harry, or some random student? The game has a really hard time defining that, because it treats the player like s/he is a combination of the two.
Now I understand that the website is supposed to be super safe for kids, but that doesn’t explain the lack of interaction with the chapters of the book itself. I feel like I go through the chapters each time they come out hoping that something exciting will happen, but nothing ever does. It’s a total letdown every single time. And while I do get some enjoyment out of casting spells, the user interface for that feature is convoluted to say the least. And don’t even get me started on potions. It’s so difficult to use and time consuming that I get no enjoyment out of it.
And speaking of chapters coming out, when does that happen? How long has Pottermore been public? A year and a half? And how many chapters do we have? Forty two? That’s sad. I guess it is faster than the rate the books came out, but come on. A year and a half in internet years is a century. And I’m sorry, but that’s just too long to hold anyone’s interest in something that is boring to start with.
I had really high hopes for this site. I don’t think I’m wrong in saying a lot of people did. But the rate at which chapters are released is way too slow and the game play is too dull to hold anyone’s interests.
What else could we possibly be talking about today??
Yes, as we all hoped when we heard about the reading at LeakyCon, A Very Potter Senior Year has been uploaded to YouTube! The third and final musical in the series by Team StarKid makes its way into the lives of eager fans—and it’s a bittersweet moment, to be honest. The show is as funny and energetic as we expect, but there’s a sadness in knowing that this is the end which is actually part of the show’s theme.
While the previous two entries were hilarious madcap romps, I would say this is the first time one of the musicals has a theme or message and that theme is directed to all of us as fans and says that it’s OK that Harry Potter has come to an end, that we can move on to other interests without forgetting or betraying all that the series has meant to us. The theme works its way into the story by showing that the wizarding world, including Harry’s peers at Hogwarts, have forgotten all about him and his accomplishments now that Voldemort and his followers have been defeated. This disregard for Harry is hastened by the arrival of new book crazes such as Twilight and The Hunger Games written by none other than Gilderoy Lockhart.
Ginny and the Diary
As Lockhart’s presence would indicate, the structure of this musical comes primarily from The Chamber of Secrets, but of course it has bits and pieces from the rest of the series mixed in and a healthy dose of its own original plot.
Ginny receives Tom Riddle’s diary and unintentionally revives Lord Voldemort, Harry keeps trying to regain his popularity but only sinks lower and lower in the eyes of his friends, and Draco Malfoy becomes the new most popular boy in school. What can be done to save the day? You’ll have to watch to find out, because I’m certainly not giving any spoilers here! Continue reading →
I’ve always been interested in the things J.K. Rowling did not mention in the text of the Harry Potter series. Quite honestly, I find the story that isn’t told much more interesting than the story that is told.
In this vein, I wanted to look at the damage that the war with Voldemort would cause to the trio—specifically which kid would’ve suffered the most post-war. And you know what I found out?