You could ask anyone: 3 0 0 F o x W a y, Henrietta, Virginia, was the place to go for the spiritual, the unseen, the mysterious, and the yet-to-occur.

I’m not gonna go all “wives, mothers, daughters, sisters” on your ass. Don’t do this shit for your mom. Don’t do it for your wife. Do it because you’re not a human scab. Do it because you want people to be better, and because you intend to hold humanity accountable for producing disgusting, petulant man-trolls who think they’re entitled to other people’s time and attention. Do it because you’re gonna stop the cycle of disgusting, petulant man-trolls right flipping now, in your own flipping life.
—  Andrea Grimes, on men stepping up and stopping other men from harassing and threatening women

To my Asian community and family-

The people I love and cherish taught me that if you are not actively unlearning your racism, specifically anti-black racism, you’re perpetuating a vicious cycle of violence against black and brown bodies. When I was younger, there were implicit messages about black people and this underlying fear or black folks within the Chinese community. I didn’t even have to hear it–I SAW IT. I perpetuated myths about black and brown bodies through my silence and seemingly casual conversations with my friends and family members.  I remember having specific words to describe black and brown people. There were many comments I heard within my own family, with my friends about black and brown folks, and I participated in these conversations. These messages implicitly and explicitly told me there was something scary about black people, and that the injustices against black people were their own faults, because, as a family member had once said to me when I was 17, “If Asian people can pull themselves up from oppression, racism, and be successful, why can’t black and brown people do it as well?” These messages are quiet, insidious, and sometimes blatantly loud, but the truth of the matter is, they wreak havoc on our lives and divide us.

Later on in college, as discussions of race, identity, and privilege became much more prominent in my life (which wouldn’t have entered my stream of consciousness if it weren’t for my Black professors and mentors) I recall feeling a lot of guilt and feeling unsure of how to move forward in unlearning anti-black racism. Kevin Washington, my mentor at SF State reminded me that there were incredible times when Asian Americans stood in solidarity with the Black Power Movement. He gave me tools–the language to talk about race, and how to unpack and undo internalized racism and horizontal racism that plagues communities of color. As I began to realize how racism is perpetuated by my own community, I still felt paralyzed. Where do I start? Who do I talk to? What can I do, as an Asian American, what can I do to undo and unlearn anti-black racism and educate my community?

This process did not happen overnight, and it will continue as long as I live. During a meeting with my mentor at the time, the late Aaronette White at UCSC (Rest in Power), I remember telling her how guilty I felt and. I am so grateful for her constructive support–she checked me right then and there, and told me: guilt is not a productive emotion. It’s paralyzing, and you don’t move. She encouraged me to read more texts from Black women, scholars, activists, community members, and she set me on a path to really unpack my own assumptions, biases, and internalized racism. Thank you both, for waking me up and encouraging to move forward in solidarity.

This work is still being undone, and right now, I feel it’s so important and crucial that as an Asian American, I STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH FERGUSON. I stand in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter.

Black. Lives. Matter.

I am not going to side with my oppressors and pretend that we’re okay with watching other communities suffer. We are not a model minority, and I’m NOT siding with white supremacy in acting like racism is over, because it isn’t. I am so hesitant as I write this, because I’m almost hearing my family’s voices in the back of my head screaming at me, “You’re airing our dirty laundry! Why are you making a fuss? WHY ARE YOU SO SENSITIVE” but you know what? Fuck it. One of the reasons I’m going to sit with this discomfort and coming out to say this now is some of the most important people in my life are speaking up about these injustices and making space for these conversations to happen. When others make space for these conversations, change happens. It’s a process. An ongoing process. These things have been on my mind for so long and can I just say, it is so incredibly empowering and inspiring to be around folks who support the discomfort, the constant growth, and the messiness that comes with waking up, coming to terms with the reality of the world, and moving forward in solidarity with all communities of color.

We have different struggles and experiences, but that does not mean we can’t stand in solidarity with other communities facing oppression by the Nation and State. Conversations NEED to happen within our own community, and space for these conversations are incredibly necessary. So today, I’m speaking out. I support Black Lives Matter.


Btw are we taking this as confirmation that ghouls get periods?  Sorry it’s not the most pleasant topic, but is this something new about ghoul biology or am I forgetting we knew this somehow already?  At least it’s a similarity to humans if it’s true…

Harley and Joker in Suicide Squad: a theory.

So recently a lot of people have been asking me whether I think Suicide Squad will romanticize or idealize Harley’s relationship with the Joker considering an extensive history of emotional and physical abuse, sometimes from both sides. We won’t truly know until the movie comes out but from what I can gather from set pics and footage we’ve seen so far, I don’t think that will be the case. I know a lot of people are concerned all will be forgiven between Harley and Joker by the end of the movie but I will try and explain why I don’t think that will be the case. (Even if it was, that’s still often the case in abusive relationships, battered wives and husbands have been brainwashed into believing their abuser is the only one that will ever love them or they stay with their abuser because they’re stuck in a cycle of stockholm syndrome that makes them believe a lack of abuse = love.) 

Margot Robbie has spoken a lot about how Harley’s story is going to be one of finding her independence from the Joker. “Harley’s story is about her relationships - not just with [Joker], but finding herself and her independence,” Robbie told Total Film.

Let’s begin with the start of the movie. I’m assuming that the scene where Harleen is tortured is at the beginning or during a flashback to an earlier time. This is key in our understanding of the relationship, because if Harley was tortured by the Joker she’s going to be mentally ill because of it and probably too scared of the Joker to leave him. 

We skip ahead to what I assume is after the torture. Where Harley confronts Joker and makes him leave his car.

The Joker slaps Harley and then steps over her. Is this supposed to be presented as love? Because it looks a lot more like abusive power play to me.

Let’s fast-forward to what I assume is the end of the movie. 

In the early days of filming, these set pics surfaced of Harley looking forlorn while in the rain:

In the second photo, we can clearly see Harley taking off her “Puddin” choker, a clear sign she has broken her connection to the Joker. We know this because in later set photos of the same scene, she’s seen without it. 

A few weeks ago, Empire Magazine released a picture of Harley and Joker. In this picture, you can see Joker getting in Harley’s face, clearly frightening her as she recoils. What’s very telling about this picture is she’s wearing her Suicide Squad costume with make-up streaking down her face as she’s seen in the above picture. She appears very vulnerable in this picture, as she does in some of the above. I think this is the start of a realization of how Joker actually treats her. Joker’s involvement in Suicide Squad has been described as “a laser-like plan to reunite with his true love, Harley, mission be damned.” Perhaps Joker has hurt other members of the Squad to get to Harley, something Harley isn’t comfortable with if she’s bonded with her teammates.

Something that was personally very telling about how the movie leaves their relationship is some more rain set pictures that I’ve placed as coming from the end of the movie and I’ll explain why. 

In the above picture, we see Harley passing Boomerang her bat and holding onto Deadshot. Harley (or Margot) is also wearing Killer Croc’s jacket in one of the pictures. Harley has become comfortable around these people, possibly considering them friends. The best way for someone overcoming abuse to find their independence and the courage to leave their abuser is to have support from friends and family. If the Squad do run into the Joker, and see how he treats Harley, it’s self-explanatory that they’re going to be supportive of her finding her own path if the Squad really has become the self-styled found family that the movie has been alluding to them becoming. 

So if we take into account Harley has taken off the choker towards the end of the movie, it can be assumed that this final group shot is also at the end of the movie.

Harley is happy. She’s smiling. She’s glad to be around the Squad, and you can clearly see she isn’t wearing her choker. She’s gotten her independence by the end of the movie and she’s with the Squad, not with the Joker.

Ting-Yin kabuslar diyarında

“Hepimiz buradayız.
Çünkü öbür tarafta terk edildik.”

Pang kardeşlerin yönetmen olarak sahip oldukları müthiş yetenekleri, hikâye yazma konusundaki müthiş yeteneksizlikleriyle desteklediklerine neredeyse bütün filmlerinde tanık oluyoruz. ’The Eye‘dan günümüze 7 film çeken ve Amerikan prodüksiyonu ’The Messengers’ ile yerden yere vurulan Pang Brothers'ın ülkemizde sessiz sedasız gösterime giren 2006 yapımı filmi ’Re-Cycle’ ise bu dönemin en saygın ürünü.

Aslında daha önce benzeri çokça işlenmiş bir konuya eğilen film, ortaya koyması gereken öznelliğin katsayısını kendi kendine yükseltiyor. Kurgusal olanla gerçek olan arasındaki sınırda dolaştığı yeni romanını yazmaya başladığında bir şeylerin garip gittiğini fark eden, tuhaf sesler duymaya ve sanrılar görmeye başlayan bir yazarın hikâyesi bu. Böyle bir konuyu ele alırken giriş şekli büyük önem kazanıyor. Zira yönetmenler, beklentisi az olan seyircisini filmin ilk 40 dakikalık bölümünü Uzakdoğu korku motiflerini arka arkaya sıralayarak eğlendiriyor. Uzun saçlı kadın, banyodaki taşan sular, musluktan çıkan saç telleri, telefondan gelen garip sesler 'Dark Water’, 'Ring’ ve 'Grudge’ gibi filmleri yeniden hatırlatırken, bu sahnelere katılan yorum ise gerçekten nefes kesici düzeyde.

Hideo Nakata ve Takashi Shimizu gibi rakiplerinin basitleştirilmiş, hiçbir stilize deneye izin vermeyen anlatımlarına, hareketli kamera kullanımı, müthiş açılar ve kusursuz sahne geçişleriyle bıyık altından bir gülüş gönderen Pang Brothers, başkahramanları Ting-Yin'in gerçekle hayal arasındaki ayrımı kaybetmesinden sonra ise bambaşka bir kulvara geçiyor. Hayalet Dünya'ya girişimizle birlikte görsel bir şova tanıklık etmeye başlıyoruz. Harap evler, sonu olmayan merdivenler, cesetlerle dolu ormanlar, alev rengi gökyüzü, aldırılmış bebeklerin ağladığı tüneller ve birçok sürreal mekân bunlardan birkaçı. Bilgisayar destekli hazırlanan bu dünyanın her ayrıntısına o kadar dikkat edilmiş ki birçok kısmı ağzınız açık izlemeniz olası.

Görsel ortama, tekinsizlik hissinin başarıyla seyirciye aktarılması eklenince film, kahramanıyla birlikte sizi telaşlandıran epik bir 'Alice in Wonderland’ hikayesine dönüşüyor. Tabi ki karşımızdaki bir çocuk fantezisi değil ve bu kaotik, cehennem benzeri yerde her an bir olumsuzlukla karşılaşma riski merakı ayakta tutuyor. Görsel anlamda benzediği 'Silent Hill'in pabucunu dama atacak kadar estetik bir tutku barındıran ’Re-Cycle’, kullandığı bir çok elementle de Miyazaki'nin ’Spirited Away'ine saygı duruşunda bulunuyor. Ting-Yin ve küçük kızın köprüden geçerken, ölüleri rahatsız etmemek için nefeslerini tutmaları buna açık bir örnek.

Biçimle öz arasındaki güzel bir çizgide yolundan sapmadan ilerleyen filmin, Hayalet Dünya'ya yüklediği anlamları peliküle aktarmasında ise bazı problemler var. “Yaşanılan aşklar, yaşamlar, bilgiler, çocukken oynadığımız oyuncaklar gibi Gerçek Dünya'da terk ettiğimiz ve unuttuğumuz şeyler Hayalet Dünya'da ortaya çıkması” şeklinde özetlenebilecek konunun -korku gerilim türü açısından bakıldığında- hakkının verildiğini ise tam olarak söyleyemeyiz. Film boyunca kendi stillerinden ödün vermeden terk edilme ve yalnızlık üzerine düşüncelerini kahramanlarının 'Geçit'i bulma süreciyle birleştiren Pang Brothers, bazı takıntılarından ise halen kurtulamamış görünüyor.

Reenkarnasyon, karma felsefesi gibi olmazsa olmazlarından vazgeçmeyen yönetmenler, 'Eye 2 'de suyunu çıkardıkları kürtaj karşıtı duruşlarını da sergilemeden edemiyorlar. Tabi ki burada bir sanat eserinin sahibini, öznel düşüncelerinden dolayı suçlamayacağız ama sanatının estetik dışındaki hatlarını bu gibi konular üzerinden kurmak pek de olumlu sonuçlar vermeyebiliyor. Hikâye konusundaki bazı aksaklıklarına ve iç bayan final sahnesine rağmen ’Re-Cycle'ı, Pang Brothers'ın en iyi işlerinden biri olarak gösterebiliriz. Müthiş bir görsellik, devamlı ön planda tutulan stil ve yüksek teknolojili korkuya kazandırdığı sessiz ivme, filme şans vermeyi gerektiriyor.



Orkney Hood

The Orkney Hood gives a fascinating glimpse into Iron Age fashion. The herringbone twill weave mixes sophisticated Danish elements with simpler sections made from the brown wool of the Orkney moorit sheep. Experts think it’s a Viking garment remade by Scottish weavers; an early example of a global design being recycled locally.

To read: Jacqui Wood “The Orkney Hood and an ancient re-cycled textile” [PDF]

Sources: [1,2,3]