i enjoy her existence quite a lot

Saving Face was Alice Wu’s baby–as you should know because I repeat it all the time–and she staunchly fought to retain so many of the elements that caused objections from producers and financiers: That it was a film like 50% in Mandarin, that all the leading ladies would be ethnically Chinese, that it would be pretty much her way or no way.

What took my breath away was that not only was Wu fearless to fight for all that, but that she was fearless in her (very personal) narrative. She opened a window into two very personal worlds: the Chinese American community and the life of a gay woman. Her willingness to unflinchingly put on display things like Hwei-Lan’s blatant racism (and microaggressive homophobia) took my breath away.

You might have heard of this show “Fresh Off the Boat” that’s airing now. I haven’t watched it. And part of that is because I have always felt that there’s a fine line between laughing at and laughing with. I may not agree with the views and behaviors I have seen in the Asian (American) community, but I also feel very protective of exposing that community to scorn and ridicule, because 1) I lived and grew up in it and 2) it’s still a world I interact with because, hello, parents. I don’t want those behaviors to be the butt of a joke for an outsider audience that doesn’t understand its depths, period, full-stop.

Which is why Hwei-Lan’s racism might make you go: Whoa.

But the beauty, again, of nearly an entire case of Chinese characters is that Hwei-Lan isn’t a token, singular Asian character who is suddenly a stand-in representative for all Asians. Rather, what happens, and what feels delightful to me with my background is that suddenly it feels like an inside joke. Not only is this a world I recognize, but it’s not presented purely for a laugh (though it is funny), it’s presented with insider critique.

In this case, Wil actively berates her mother for her racist remarks, calling out every ridiculous claim and comment.

And, oh my God, could I relate to Wil.

And that’s the beauty of this scene because its layers aren’t inaccurate because Alice Wu has clearly lived in this world, too: Jay who has no clue how to interact with Wil’s mother, who doesn’t speak English to him but speaks through Wil and also about Jay in Mandarin; Hwei-Lan who is being rude as all get out towards him but playing at nice with smiles; Wil, who is in the middle and understands all conversation and has to both berate her mother for her views and hide what her mother is saying from Jay.

Alice Wu could have been sitting across a table from me over a cup of tea telling me this story and I would have been nodding, “Yeah, yeah, I know!”

I’m not Chinese American, I’m Vietnamese American, and let’s make this distinction because 1) not all Asian ethnicities are the same and there’s quite a bit of inter-Asian racism, 2) not all Asian American experiences are the same, but 3) there’s often a lot of overlap so that in exchanging specific experiences, we see similarities. (I love to exchange such stories, by the way, because I enjoy trying to find how universal an “Asian” American experience is.)

Now, in another framing and from an outside view, it would be easy to point fingers at Hwei-Lan and dismiss her simply as racist, but 1) Wil’s presence reveals her views are outdated and exist in a generational divide and 2) because Hwei-Lan is a point-of-view character, we come to understand where she’s coming from as well, inhabiting for the most part a very closed, insular world. “My mother never leaves Flushing,” Wil says to her coworker. When Wil asks Vivian why Jenny never left even though the community ostracized her, Vivian fires back, “Where would she go?” The insularity helps fuel and sustain these prejudices–and, in turn, subjects the Chinese American (immigrant) community to the same stereotyping.

Again, we get further layers because the entire cast is Chinese: Hwei-Lan is a shade in which she speaks little English who is maybe lower middle class(?), as compared to Jenny, who speaks almost entirely in English, achieved probably upper middle class or upper class status with her doctor ex-husband, etc. Just as Wil and Vivian are different shades of the Chinese American first American-born gen–which is a beautiful thing in and of itself and I think I’ve already ranted about how wonderful this is. The dinner with Vivian, Wil, and Hwei-Lan operates on several levels of amazing, from Hwei-Lan’s dismissive judgments of Vivian and her preference for modern dance rather than ballet, to how Vivian struggles to communicate in a mishmash of Mandarin/English and the faux pas and the unspoken open secrets floating around in the room. A. Ma. Zing.

I love how casually and effortlessly Wu managed to layer all the commentary through simple presentation. The gossiping and the scrutiny of the Flushing Chinese community is the driving force behind the need to “save face.” Everyone’s watching everyone else to see if they will deviate from norms and expectations and the deviants are punished by being ostracized. See: Vivian’s mother.

But the prejudices of the old generation bleed into and motivate the next generation’s evolving understanding and even intolerance for that type of behavior. Vivian vowed to get out of Flushing as soon as she could. Wil, we see, won’t let her mother’s comments slide and, in fact, was Vivian’s little white knight when they were children, punishing bullies who were making fun of Vivian for her parents’ divorce.

Saving Face manages a snapshot of progress across generations without sacrificing the nuances or how change always butts up against the old. Hwei-Lan’s racism rubs Wil the wrong way, but that doesn’t preclude Wil from loving her–or from growing closer to her mother. At the same time, she can’t just erase that racism and ignorance from her mother’s attitude or thinking. It doesn’t stop Wil from trying, but it’s a battle perhaps never fully won. In the meanwhile, Wil has to learn about the person her mother is as well. And the little entryways for conversation that Wu finds by using media–particularly those long soap operatic Chinese series–is so great because it’s exactly that indirect manner that feels so right.

Why Sonic Boom (TV Series) Is Actually the Best

1: You will never see Sonic nope more than in this show

2: Tails is the cutest thing in existence. It’s nice to be reminded that he is still a young kid, on top of being a crazy genius.

3: Knuckles, though yes he has been made less intelligent (in a way that I actually quite enjoy), actually has the most heart and appears to get along most with everyone he comes in contact with.

4: Amy has shown HUGE character growth and is not just a crazy fangirl anymore. Though I think we still have a lot more to see of her, she actually is often the first one to run IN to battle as opposed to waiting for someone to save her.

5: On that note, the relationship between Sonic and Amy has matured so much. The two still quarrel and Amy is still the affectionate one of the group (which yes makes me squee) but what once was annoyance is now a really good friendship, and Sonic appears to be a lot more gentle and tender with her in most cases.

6: Sticks is a hilarious, charming new character that I’m looking forward to learning more about!

7: You will see more to Eggman than you ever thought possible…

8: You will be given all the things you didn’t know you needed in your life

I cannot say enough how much I really love the show Sonic Boom. Yes, it’s silly and nonlinear and it uses characters in ways that maybe we aren’t used to, but isn’t that the great thing about a new series? Trying new things and giving you something to broaden your horizons? The show is lighthearted and whimsical but, despite how short the stories are, you learn a lot about the characters in the process. Please watch it!

Not All Touches Are Innocent

Request fic for @onemerryjester! Thank you for the fun prompt! (◠‿◠✿) As it happens I’m a sucker for bollywood dancing, not sure if its the same thing you do, but you are so talented! I hope you enjoy! also I left a cute little reference at the end! Free cake to the ones who get it! ☆〜(ゝ。∂)

Rated: T

Her eyes are wide when Shiro glances in the direction of the door. What laughter has been forcefully yanked from his lips ends in a shocked sort of giggle that stops as soon as the rest of the team notices the new addition. It is in this absurd position–

The team spread around the couches in the main room; Hunk holding Shiro’s arms back (he is surprisingly strong), Lance pinning his legs down while Pidge and Keith are on either side of him, their hands lifted away from finding bruising spots that had succeeded in unleashing bursts of panicked laughter and much squirming.

–that Allura finds them. The hologram panel in her arms flops downward in her surprise and momentary shock. In that split moment, no one moves, too overwhelmed with the abruptness of it all.

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I think it’s really important to notice how Cardia’s expression changes during this moment. Like, seriously. She made up her mind and decided to stay even though she said herself that she’s not sure about it. But she wants to know more about her Father, more about herself, and find the truth behind her existence. I just… I liked the first episode, ok. Even though there were some moments that made me go ‘wut?’ but I still enjoyed it quite a lot! And I like the animation. It’s cute, and some Cardia’s expressions are really heartwarming for me because if you are paying attention, you can see the struggles and hidden parts of the characters. 

princeofmagick  asked:

I can Def see Annabeth as not liking reading for fun. Being some with dyslexia, she would really do it only out of necessity. (A lot of ppl forget for all her brains, skill and general badassery, she is perfectly imperfect like everyone else)

i mean, there are plenty of dyslexic people who enjoy reading. rick himself is dyslexic, he writes for a living n taught english for years ! and the series is famously created to help haley cope with adhd and dyslexia, who is also pursuing writing now.

but just…. the way that fandom pretends her dyslexia n adhd don’t even exist and make no effort to understand how that might influence her preferences, is, quite simply, ableist and erasure. like, yeah, she can enjoy reading, fine, but it’s absolutely ridiculous to say that her experiences are going to be the same as a neurotypical person, otherwise she wouldn’t have been diagnosed. in fact, i bet annabeth had to work very hard to learn to read, considering that children in the american education system are still learning to read at the age of seven and she was almost certainly having more difficulty than her peers. and then her formalized education stops at age seven, and then the book in her hands is written in ancient greek, since demigods brains are hardwired to understand greek. like. who taught her how to read? when did she learn? did she teach herself? did chiron teach her? did she ever learn, because it doesn’t seem like something she’d be too concerned with, having lived at camp half-blood?

like listen, i’m not saying annabeth can’t read or doesn’t enjoy reading. but my god, if you’re not thinking about her neurodiveristy when you’re thinking about her passions, interests, hobbies, strengths, and weaknesses, then you’re being ableist. glossing over symptoms and writing and headcanoning annabeth the same way you write and headcanon a neurotypical character is the same thing as saying “there’s no space in this fandom for neurodiverse characters to exist.” and writing a character who is coping and managing their symptoms is not remotely the same thing as writing a character who is neurotypical.

not to mention the idea that literacy = smarts is completely rooted in ableism, classism, racism, and a bunch of other forms of institutionalized oppression. n even if we ignore the inherent problems with it, it would still be a stupid stereotype, and it would still be narrow minded, because intelligence is vast and subjective. that old einstein quote is rather true: if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend it’s whole life thinking it’s stupid (and einstein would know, wouldn’t he, because a bunch of ableist fuckers also tried to shove him into a box of the Ideal Child by constantly trying to fix his nonverbalness as a child).

the thing that’s the most irritating, or predictable perhaps, about shulkiegate is this prevailing argument that the superheroines created in decades past cannot be feminist or even real characters because they were created by sexist creators for a sexist market. it’s the same logic that says susan storm is weak because she’s a wife and mother, that janet van dyne is frivolous because she designs clothing, that jean grey didn’t do much in those early years because her codename included the word “girl.”

because putting all of your current prejudices and misogyny into a box and shoving it back three or five decades is so much easier than admitting you might be wrong, and you might be grossly underestimating what women are capable of.

others have already put it better than i can, but jennifer walters, at her core, isn’t a male fantasy–she’s a female one. she does what bruce banner has never been able to do– she turns power and rage into confidence and conviction. the hulk might be a hero, but the core of his stories is what he gives up, humanity-wise, to reign in his powers. shulkie may be big and green, but she has a successful civilian career, friendships that carry over between her life as jennifer and she-hulk, and a rocking sex life that includes consensual one-night stands and long-term relationships.

in essence– jennifer gets to have what bruce doesn’t, and i’d argue a large part of her ability to reign in the mindless rage we associate with hulkishness is because she’s a woman. she’s well-versed in accepting all parts of herself, rather than denying them. and a woman who doesn’t want to limit herself to one label, or cowtow to male expectations? yeah, i can definitely see why goyer was threatened by a character like that.

just look at the upcoming man of steel sequel– it’s called batman v superman. the versus, the conflict, is inherent in the title. male fantasties glorify conflict, they give us events like avx and the rebooted justice league, that sell copies based off of how hard batman can punch superman or cyclops can blast captain america. and that isn’t to say that every story with that premise is worthless, but the fact remains that we’ve seen them before, ad nauseum.

i think that idea resonates with the hulk– he’s always mad. anger is his strength and also his weakness. violence is frequently his answer, because while bruce banner has a brain and can use it for heroic ends, it’s far more likely to open a comic and find the hulk punching away a problem.

jennifer walters straddles both lines. she can be the muscle, she can punch out a bad guy. she frequently does, but she can also deliver a flippant one-liner, negotiate her way out of a problem, or take you to the cleaners in court.

i don’t care that jennifer walters premiered in 1980. or that wonder woman came on the scene in 1941. women were vocal then, and they’re vocal now. they were part of the audience then, and they are now. using a timeline as an excuse for your perceptions of a character is lazy and quite frankly disgusting.

saying that jennifer walters exists to be fucked says a lot more about the speaker’s sexual fantasies than jennifer herself. surprise, surpise– a woman can enjoy sex, and be a lawyer, and be a hero, and be a hulk. it seems like these days it’s the male heroes who are limited to one thing– punching their way out of their problems.

plus, shulkie’s had the answer to this argument for years:

so the alarming thing is, really, that goyer’s position in the industry makes him relevant, when his opinions shouldn’t be.

Fic: Poem Without Words (11/?) (M)

Author’s note: Just one update this week, y’all. Enjoy!

Also posted: FF.net / AO3

Chapter 11

“Hi, Mom,” Emma said, hugging Ingrid tight.

“It’s so good to see you, Emma,” Ingrid replied, smiling into her daughter’s hair. “I’ve missed you.”

“Me too.” She picked up her mother’s carry on bag and started to lead them out of the tiny airport terminal. “The Bug’s right out here; you must be tired.”

“It’s not that long of a flight, Emma,” Ingrid scolded. “But it is nice to breathe fresh air.”

They loaded her mother’s bags into front of her Bug; Ingrid was only staying through Friday morning. She didn’t like leaving her ice cream shop in the hands of her assistant for more than three or four days at a time.

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TCC Version of the story of Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd, born October 26, 1756 in the East London slums, apprenticed a prison barber while incarcerated as a minor. He became a barber with his own business on Fleet Street in the 1780s, placed beside Saint Dunstan’s Church. He and a woman named Lovett killed and hid the bodies of roughly 160 people in the abandoned catacombs of the church. In 1801, the stench of rotten flesh grew so great that the catacombs were searched, the bones leading all the way back to Lovett’s shop, where she had been grinding the flesh into meat pies. Todd was arrested, but was only tried and convicted for the murder of a single man. Lovett committed suicide by poison while in prison. Todd said later: “My mother used to make quite a pet of me. I was fondled and kissed and called a pretty boy. I used to wish I was strong enough to throttle her. What the devil did she bring me into this world for, unless she had plenty of money to give me so that I might enjoy myself in it?”

Okay, I’m going to make an effort to reply to this in a calm, measured way.

First of all, you’re clearly very angry. I don’t know what about a few people in a fandom defending a friend (who actually gets quite insecure about her work and doesn’t need this kind of thing in her life right now) has set off such a rage, but hey, at least in this rant you’re letting it out. I hope you feel a tiny bit better, because there’s a level of vitriol here that doesn’t sound healthy, to be honest.

To your points.

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Magic Words - New Olicity AU Fic - (M)

Hello Fabulous! 

Today I am rolling out my latest fic (#15!). It’s an Olicity AU story set in Las Vegas. (I mentioned a different title earlier this week, but settled on this better one). 

Please note that while the first two chapters are barely frisky, things heat up quite a lot after that – but with the some humor, as you have come to expect from me. I hope you enjoy this story. Posting it here along with Ao3

Chapter 2 arrives this weekend! 

Note the little rabbit in he cover image. He doesn’t have a name yet. Welcome suggestions in the comments. 

Summary:  An up-and-coming Vegas illusionist with a non-existent love life is encouraged to amp up the sex appeal in her act, but the magic really happens when she flirts with a handsome businessman from out of town. 

Magic Words

Chapter 1

Presto was crowded today, Felicity Smoak noted the numerous men and women angling for attention at the bar of the bustling lounge, desperately filling whatever seating was available around the opulently appointed space. She knew this room well, having spent time there nearly every afternoon for the past several months.

It could be a little much sometimes, forcing herself to observe the couples on holiday, how they exchanged glances and touches like no one else was in the room. A part of her was desperate for that. It had been too long since she’d met a man who performed the kind of alchemy that stole her breath, one whose kisses transformed her solid being into something floaty and transparent. She knew for certain that she wouldn’t be meeting that kind of man here in the hotel bar of The Merlyn casino.

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