Tuesday, 29 December 2009

I hope I don't regret writing this post

So fandom, we're at it again, are we? Another racism conversation? Great.

Look, yes, Racism is bad. *isms at all are bad, but they happen. And there will always be people who don't care. Because of this, *isms won't go away. It also won't go away because you keep bringing it up.

I watched Avatar the other week, and guess what? I loved it. I thought it was beautiful and, given the subject matter, done with class. Why is Avatar, which is an obvious allegory for the settlement of the Americas racist, but Schindlar's List a movie with a message? Both events happened, historically (More or less), so why is one racist tripe while the other is not?

Yes, Transformers II is blatantly racist. I'll give you that. You don't have argument from me on that.

What about Star Wars. They're aliens. They look and act completely un-real and unfamiliar. I never saw Jar-Jar as racist because he, just like Jabba, and Yoda, and Sebulba and Chewy and countless other creatures in Star Wars looked and acted otherworldly. I never realized that Jar-Jar Binks was problematic until Lisa Simpson pointed out that he was "A tired Stereotype".

And that's what Avatar had: Sterotypes. Everyone was a steriotype. A trope. And that's ok.

Of course, if this movie made me think of any other race, it made me think of Gelfling...

I understand the concept of voting with your wallet, and I respect it, but just because you find something to be racist, doesn't mean I do, nor does it mean that you have the right to make me feel guilty for enjoying a piece of artwork. Because that movie, like it or not, was art.

And here's another thing, The biggest argument I always hear is "People keep making these movies because people keep paying for them. Stop paying for them and they'll stop being made." But guess what? It's not just the viewer's responsibility. What about the writers writing racist characters? What about the directors, the makeup artists, the costume designers?
What about the actors accepting racist roles? Why don't they show their self-respect and put their foot down and say "This is wrong. I won't do it."? They have more power than we do, bucket-loads more. Appeal to them, and leave me alone.


Mr. Endo said...

Color me ignorant, but I have never percieved any form of racism in any of the aformentioned. Perhaps I'm just looking blindly at what I'm watching, or maybe people take the things meant to entertain them too seriously. Either way, it's sad.

It makes me think twice about writing/publishing a single thing ever, for fear people might read layers of meaning into something that had no other intention than to be an enjoyable story.

admin said...

Apparently people do.
People can read what they want into things, and they will because we all come from different backgrounds.

Part of the enjoyment of something is analyzing it, discussing why it was great or why it was crap.

Don't let the analysis deter you. Do what you need to do for sake of the story. Just know that not everyone is going to like it.

bitBM said...

"What about the actors accepting racist roles? Why don’t they show their self-respect and put their foot down and say “This is wrong. I won’t do it.”?"

They have to eat and want to pursue acting; however, this unfortunately means accepting any work they can get. I think I'd break down too and play awful roles if I needed a quick buck and some exposure to get my acting career going, but I'm no actor. I just dabble in writing.

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