More single session “Best of” quotes: This time in a Necromancer’s labyrinth.
Sorcerer: I cast prestidigitation to make a light show over the stone slab. ADHD Monk: I start dancing on the slab. DM (me): You break into this place that smells of death and the first thing you do is make a disco?!
ADHD Monk: When you Smite Evil, you have to yell it like a Sailor Moon attack. Paladin: What even is Smite Evil in Japanese? ADHD Monk: DOGEKII! Also the whole building explodes!
Paladin: I use Lay on Hands to heal myself. DM: Oh really? Well, the Death Knight uses its Touch of Corruption to heal itself. ADHD Monk: (To Paladin) Oh shit! He’s you! Paladin: Hey yeah, you’re right!
So I’ve read several reviews of Iron Fist and many, either in the review or prior, made statements about how Danny Rand being white is racist. I’ve come to an actual conclusion on this.
Netflix’s Iron Fist does have something you could conceive as racist in it.
No, it isn’t about Danny. And if ANYONE actually cared about racism, rather than tearing down white people, I’d actually take their critiques seriously. But I have yet to hear this argument. AT ALL.
So what is this issue in Iron Fist that I’d actually accept as racist, if that argument was made?
The inherent blending of The Hand, The Immortal Weapons, Gao and Kun’lun.
The Hand is Japanese. They’re ninjas, use Japanese Kanji and their leadership are Japanese.
Kun’lun, and the majority of Iron Fist, deals with CHINESE concepts. Chinese martial arts, Chinese philosophy, Kun’Lun is located around the Tibet-China region. Gao’s actress is from Hong Kong.
So why is the inherently Japanese Hand now the mortal enemies of the Chinese area Kun’lun? Why is The Hand, who are goddamn ninjas, learning Kung Fu and Drunken Boxing style?
And why is Gao, who in Daredevil Season 1 is portrayed as separate from The Hand and who speaks Mandarin, now a Hand agent? Why is the Bride of Nine Spiders a member of The Hand?
The Immortal Weapons, Kun’lun, and The Hand are different. Danny didn’t even really FIGHT The Hand until well into his Heroes for Hire days and, in the comics, post Shadowland.
I have NEVER seen anyone make these arguments that by shoving all of these together, they’re effectively creating a homogeneous “Asian” category that interchanges between Chinese martial arts, Japanese ninjas and Tibetan monks almost on a whim.
Personally? I don’t take too much umbrage with this. But I thought the people so concerned about racism that they’d boycott or penalize the show would’ve actually picked up on it. So why didn’t they?
Well, for starters, lets get out of the way that these dipshits don’t care about racism. They care about an easy way to show everyone who progressive they are and bitching about Danny being white is perfect for that. Low risk. Danny is white and it poses no problem to shit on a white person, whereas going after depictions of Asian people might actually open somebody, often white themselves, to a barrage of counter attacks.
Or we could also go with option 2. They’re racist themselves. After all, when you consider all black people to be the same, all white people to be the same, why should asian people be different? Putting them all into one group won’t be hard, so why should they care?
While I personally don’t much care, if these reviewers even deigned to mention that they’re turning The Hand into a “Homogeneous Asian Villain” or that a society of goddamn ninjas turned to Drunken Boxing style, Kung Fu and being at war with a Tibetan Mystical Nation, I MIGHT have bought that they were actually concerned with racism and not just trying to point score.
Boy’s ceremonial kimono. Meiji period (1868-1911),
Japan. The Kimono Gallery. A plain silk
miyamairi kimono used for christening a baby boy at a Shinto ceremony,
featuring yuzen and painting depictions of the famous folktale battle scene of
Gojo Bridge. The Gojo Bridge folktale painted on this kimono involves two beloved
historical figures that have been turned into legends. The first of the two
historical figures was Benkei, a Japanese warrior monk (sohei) who left the
Buddhist monastery and became a ‘yamabushi’, a member of a sect of mountain
ascetics who were recognizable by their black caps. The second figure is
Minamoto no Yoshitsune, a son of the warlord Minamoto no Yoshitomo. As depicted
on this kimono, Benkei posted himself at Gojō Bridge in Kyoto, where he
disarmed every passing swordsman, eventually collecting 999 swords. On his
1000th duel, Benkei was defeated by Minamoto no Yoshitsune – thereafter, he
became a retainer of Yoshitsune. Benkei is painted in detail on this miyamairi
kimono, while Minamoto no Yoshitsune is represented merely by a sword – a clever
way to highlight Benkei and simplify the image. This legend is very suitable
for a boy’s kimono - parents would want their boy to grow up to be as brave and
noble as these two famous legends. The painting is very detailed relative to
most miyamairi kimonos: the river waves, the bridge, and especially the
carefully-rendered bamboo grass and flower motifs on Benkei’s kimono and hakama
are wonderfully executed.
“Because the mind is stained and stopped by things, we are warned against letting this happen, and are urged to seek after it and to return it to ourselves. We should be like the lotus which is unstained by the mud from which it rises. Even though the mud exists, we are not to be distressed by this. One makes his mind like the well-polished crystal which remains unstained even if put in the mud. He lets it go where it wishes.”