Who are Polina and Gilda? And what is a Derridian pocket universe?
I generally expect people to take things at face value, but man did I open a can here! Kudos to your curiosity!
Polina and Gilda
They’re what people call “board tans”, anthropomorphicrepresentations of imageboards. The word “tan” is itself any
anthropomorphic representation of a program, website, idea, etc. Polina is the daughter of /pol/, while Gilda Mars is the daughter of Reddit.
Derridian Pocket Universe
Named after Jacques Derrida, one of the people who started Postmodernism, an intellectual movement which rejected Meta-narratives and nearly destroyed the structures of Truth and Meaning in the world.
So yeah, I turned an intellectual movement into a sickness/ eldritch horror.
So, I’m one of those `old’ mixed people who is neither still in uni nor a recent graduate. I see loads of posts on tumblr and blogs listing all the wonderful variety of PoC writers in YA fiction. This is great because it’s something I never had when I was reading YA fiction. However, I was wondering if there are any lists out there of PoC writers OUTSIDE of YA fiction? People like Toni Morrison, Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Haruki Murakami*…
The last two are my favourites, but I am really interested in reading a variety of genres written by PoC of all backgrounds, from a variety of countries. Zadie Smith was the first British WoC whose writing I came across. As a Brit, it was so refreshing to read another WoC’s writing about growing up in the UK. So much I could actually relate to, despite none of the characters’ backgrounds matching mine.
One thing that irks me is that, almost all of the Chinese WoC writers I come across (I am a half Chinese WoC) are almost always writing about emigrating to the US and trying to live the American dream. Some are written better than others and I have actually enjoyed many books like this, but it’s always the same premise. There are even white people writing these same stories. I would absolutely love to read something by a Chinese woman about something other than this! Fantasy, sci-fi, horror, romance… any genre with a story other than journeying to the US and trying to make it work because we are so much more than a cardboard cut-out of the hard-working immigrant and the Chinese diaspora is not limited to the US. Maybe I’m just looking in the wrong places, but if anyone out there knows anything, I’d be really happy to learn of new writers to check out!
I recently read N. K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy. It wasn’t my absolute favourite writing style or even my favourite type of fantasy story, but I loved the second book because here was a disabled WoC protagonist! Something I had NEVER BEFORE read in my LIFE. If you like fantasy and you like the sound of that, I recommend you read it. Though I think you will have to read the first book to understand a lot in the second. I didn’t like the first as much, but maybe you will.
* Yes, I am aware some are not PoC in their home countries, but sadly I do not know of many PoC-in-their-home-country writers…
Here are some author rec’s I can throw at ya! I’ve also rec’d a book by each author but looking through their catalog to see what interests you is always a good idea as well. I’ve provided their backgrounds as much as I know about them as well. I do realize that some of these aren’t races and aren’t as specific group-wise, but I don’t have any other information
Octavia Butler [who is Black] (Parable of the Sower. She’s pretty much a staple author for people looking into WOC fiction writers)
Jhumpa Lahiri [who is Indian-American] (Interpreter of Maladies)
Sherman Alexie [who is from the Spokane People] (The Lone Ranger And Tonto Fistfight In Heaven)
Melinda Lo [who is Chinese-American] (Huntress. Her book Ash and the Adaptation series are also highly recommended, but I’ve not gotten a chance to read any of those myself)
Haruki Murakami [who is Japanese] (Kafka on the Shore)
Louise Erdrich [who is Anishinaabe from the Turtle Mountain band] (The Antelope Wife. The Plague of Doves is hella good too)
Nnedi Okorafor [who is Nigerian-American of Igbo descent] (Who Fears Death)
Mary Anne Mohanraj [Sri Lankan-American] (The Stars Change–it’s about a South Asian settled planet!)
Larissa Lai [who is Chinese-Canadian] (Salt Fish Girl)
I haven’t gotten the chance to read The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez (who’s BlackNDN from the Ioway and Wompanoag Peoples) but it’s been on my Amazon backorder since November of last year because it sounds amazing and I’ve only heard good things about it so probably if you can find that, and queer lady vampire fiction is your bag, check that out too
I’m borrowing Big Macintosh’s account to ask you to please stop calling my sister crazy, Miss Hotbird.
When she gets back out of the hospital and sees this she’ll be very upset, and I’ll have to tell her that it’s not her fault, and then I’ll get angry and put a voodoo curse on you and have to pay a fine to the courts again.
When Your Shopping Cart Is Scrutinized, and Other Perils of the Rich and Famous
By Gilda Radner
you know me or maybe you don’t or maybe you heard of me but never saw
me or maybe you used to know me but don’t know me anymore, but whatever
or wherever I am today and whether you know me or not, for one time in
my life and yours I was famous and it seemed like everyone knew me. A Definition of the Word: FAMOUS Famous is an adjective meaning widely known far and wide.
My first recollection of the word famous was of seeing it on the menu
of a local restaurant in Detroit, Michigan, where I grew up. It said,
“Famous for our chili!” Being funny got me famous and being famous
was almost as bad for dating as being funny. First of all, I had to
work every Saturday night. And most guys figure you’re too busy for
dating or already dating someone who’s also famous or you’re so
glamorous you don’t even answer your own phone. Not to mention that boys
can be afraid to ask out a nice famous girl and they don’t want to have
to go through your agent. Now when a guy looks at me, I don’t
know if he’s thinking he’d like to get to know me, take me out, and
maybe build a life together… or if he’s thinking I look a lot like that
girl on television. Fame changes a lot of things, but it can’t change a light bulb.
I can’t understand how I got famous. It seemed like I just took the
next job and it turned out that millions of people were watching me do
it. Famousness sneaks up on you like the flu. You’re going along feeling
fine and then all of a sudden your body gets achy and weird and you
don’t want to leave your house. Famousness sneaks up on you when you fly
somewhere that you’ve never been to in your life and you get off the
plane and everyone knows you. They say “Hello, Gilda” like they went to
camp with you. Everybody looks at you and talks to you and wants to say
something or touch you. They know you but you know you never saw them
before in your life. It’s weird and it gets to a point where you don’t
want to leave your house because when you get somewhere, people can’t
believe it’s you, so you end up not wanting to be in places where you wouldn’t
go so you won’t upset the people who are there. For example:
The stationery store.
I met someone who I’d gone to high school with. We were both on the
hockey team and the dramatics board. I told her I was going to write
this book about being famous and I started to mention some of the funny
things that have happened to me since I became a celebrity. She said to
me, “But, Gilda, stuff like that has always happened to you.” The clothing store.
The salesperson always forgets to give me back my credit card receipt
‘cause after I’ve signed autographs for her husband, her brother-in-law,
and her sister in Texas, my signature on the credit card slip means
nothing to either of us. The grocery store. A woman who
was in the checkout line in front of me paid and left her groceries. I
tried to take them out to her car, but she was already gone. Sometimes
people just follow me with their carts and never get any of their own
shopping done. Dry cleaners. There is a large turnover in
dry-cleaning employees, and each new clerk gets real excited about
having the chance to wait on me but I always go home with someone else’s
cleaning. Elevators. I never admit who I am when someone
asks me if I’m Gilda Radner in an elevator. It’s too confined an area
for any reasonable reaction. The drugstore. Though I often need Mylanta or Maalox tablets, I’d rather go without than risk the neighborhood discussing my digestion. On an airplane.
I took a flight once from New York City to Atlanta, Georgia. I was
going to meet a boyfriend and I didn’t want to be recognized. I wore a
dark brown wig cut in a short coiffed style. When the trays of food were
passed out, mine had a note slipped under the coffee cup: “Dear Gilda,
The flight crew welcomes you aboard. We are big fans. P.S. You sure look
different in real life.” The health club. Everyone watches me when I get undressed. A delicatessen.
It’s crowded. I get to the head of the line and ask for a package of
cigarettes and a small container of coleslaw. The guy behind the counter
looks at me and says, “You’re that girl… What’s her name? What’s her
name?… on TV. You know … What’s her name? Come on!” He’s snapping his
fingers and I say quietly, “Gilda Radner?” He says, “Yeah! Yeah!
That’s it! That’s it! You’re not Gilda Radner?” I say, “No, I’m not.” He
says, “Yeah! But you look just like her. Are you her?” I say quietly,
“No, I’m not.” He says “You are! You are!” After a moment I say quietly,
“Yes … I am.” He says, “No … you’re not!” At the lab.
After I had a physical examination, the lab sent me the results of my
blood tests and urine specimen. Attached to the reports was a note
saying: “Dear Gilda, I’m a big fan and I wanted to take this opportunity
to say that it was an honor analyzing your urine. Sincerely, Thomas
Olen.” Over the cash register. There is a particular
take-out restaurant in New York City that has a sign on its window
saying, “Condemned by the Board of Health,” and inside over the cash
register is a smiling photo of me inscribed, “Roses are red/Violets are
blue/Whenever I’m hungry/I order from you. Love, Gilda.” On the road.
I have a waking nightmare that I’ll be driving in broad daylight and
someone in a car next to me will recognize me, get excited, lose control
of their car, and accidentally hit an old man in a wheelchair who never
even heard of me. Public washrooms. I emerge from my stall to find an eager smiling woman who grabs me by the arm and whispers intimately, “I love your work.”
I’ve been on the cover of a few magazines and even a newspaper or two.
Since I didn’t get there for committing a crime, I should have no
complaint. But it can be kind of difficult walking by newsstands and
seeing these big iron weights on my face, or learning to look beyond the
unfortunate crease that showed up across my nose in the New York Times
Arts and Leisure section. If your picture is on the cover of a small
magazine, you can end up as a coaster or folded up under a table leg to
stop it from tipping or you might be doodled on and mustachioed. But
worst of all, eventually you get thrown away. Being famous can
make you afraid to have children. Growing up is hard enough without
having to live up to the expectations that go along with fame. My dad
was very successful in real estate. He died when I was 14 years old and
left a scrapbook of newspaper clippings. I suppose my unconsciousness
drove me to have my own scrapbook, but my brother, the only other child,
once said to me that it only took him a few years to go from being his
father’s son to being his sister’s brother. And I wonder if my
child would miss out on anonymity and not get a shot at the freedom to
observe without being observed that gave me my comedy and my characters.
It’s hard to get a good look at people when they’re staring at you.
I didn’t get famous until I was almost 30 years old. When I was 10, I
met Milton Berle at a golf course in Detroit and I got to shake his
hand. At 14 I saw Troy Donahue and Connie Stevens live on “The Soupy
Sales Show,” and I carried Troy Donahue’s autograph in my wallet for 16
years. I met the Supremes at a party when I was 18, but I was afraid to
talk to them. At 22, I waited backstage after a Monty Python concert in
Toronto, Canada, and when they came out I asked Michael Palin to marry
me. To this day, whenever I meet or see somebody famous, my
heart flutters and I stumble over words and am entirely capable of
making a fool of myself. A few months ago I saw Wilt Chamberlain in a
supermarket. When his back was turned, I went up as close as I could to
see how much taller he was than me. I must admit that there are certain advantages to being famous. During the gas shortage in 1975, I got to the head of a long line by doing Roseanne Roseannadanna. Salespeople let me take purchases home when I’ve forgotten my purse.
Mrs. E.C. Gillies worked for my family for 18 years. She’s now 94
years old, and she’s been in the hospital numerous times and I’ve gone
to visit her. She says after I leave the nurses come into see her a lot
more often. My name was the answer to a clue in a difficult New York Times Magazine crossword puzzle.
If you’re interested in immortality, being famous is better than not
being famous. It’s a chance to leave your name and your work in the
memory of millions of people. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t help
you to actually be immortal and avoid being dead. When it happens, I’d
like to be buried with a working television and I’d like my tombstone to
read: GILDA RADNER PROGRAM INTERRUPTED DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES
I want to make sure anybody passing by my grave gets a good laugh . .
. a good deep mortal laugh … even if I don’t hear it.