media rise

Yes this LGBT mini-series “WHEN WE RISE” is a big deal AND there is no bisexual representation. The B is missing from this epic LGBT docu-drama. When LGBT people rose in San Francisco [and everywhere else], we rose together. Bisexuals worked shoulder to shoulder with Cleve Jones, Ken Jones, Roma Guy and Cecilia Chung whose lives are featured. This is not to take away from their incredible contributions; this is to point out what might not be noticed in the excitement of watching “When We Rise”.
The suppression and silencing of bisexual contributions, history, and culture serves no one, especially our multi-generation LGBTQI community/movement. Williams Institute and Pew research among others show there are more self identified bisexuals than gay and lesbian people put together. Forty percent of self identified bisexual people are people of color. Bisexual suicide, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, rape, stalking, poverty, alcohol/drug/nicotine rates are higher than for gay, lesbian and heterosexual people. The ongoing casual and sometimes callous disregard of bisexual people and our lives is unacceptable and fueling a bisexual mental/physical health crisis. Excluding and isolating anyone in our community hurts all of us, especially in these dangerous times. What are you able to do to stand with and stand up for bisexual people and challenge biphobia, misinformation and ignorance – including perhaps your own?
Aloha,
Lani Ka’ahumanu
—  Lani Ka’ahumanu, prominent bisexual activist and author 

Paris Hilton’s entire career was a performance art piece that all at once defined, critiqued and predicted modern culture. Whether by design or not, her work set the template for: -The downfall and comeback of Britney Spears -The spread of social media -The meteoric rise of High School Musical -The selfie -Lady Gaga’s first two album cycles -Meme culture -The Cubs winning the World Series -KPop -Silicon Valley -The Kardashians’ very existence -The Trump Administration -Globalism -Blue Ivy Carter -The Marvel Cinematic Universe …the list goes on. Whether you like it or not, Paris Hilton is the beginning, middle and end of everything you know about culture. That’s hot.

Originally posted by jadiore

Hatchling Shaming Trend Sweeps the Continent

A bizarre trend has begun in Sornieth, taking social media by storm. The so-called “hatchling shaming” series began mid-week on Arcane website, Spacebook, and has since spread to nearly everywhere on the internet.

For those unfamiliar, “hatchling shaming” involves taking a picture of a hatchling with a sign explaining what trouble they caused in a humorous matter. It is a joke (no one is really shaming their hatchies), and parent dragons in particular find the meme relatable as they think on their own experiences raising young dragons.

Taking a pause from more serious news this week, here are a few of our favorites:

It’s unknown how long the adorable trend will last, but for now it seems to be brightening up the days of dragons all over Sornieth, a much needed mood-boost in light of recent events.

Bringing you the news even on slow news days, this is The Sornieth Times.

The Performative Wokeness of Dear White People

“I plan to marry me a dark-skinned sister. Have the ashiest, blackest babies possible.” Says the character of Reggie (Marques Richardson) to his group of friends as they’re taking a stroll on the campus of Winchester University, the fictional university set in the world of Dear White People. Reggie’s proclamation came during a conversation about the character of Sam’s (Logan Browning) new white boyfriend.

The statement echoes a conversation that Sam has earlier in the series with her group of friends where she says that she prefers her men like she prefers her coffee “full-bodied with preferably Keyan origins.” Prompting Muffy (Caitlin Carver) to ask Sam, in Muffy’s words, “a dumb white girl question,” why it would be racist if Muffy was to only date white men, but not racist for Sam to only date black men. Sam goes onto explain that there are parts of her identity that white men will never understand in the ways a black man could. However, Sam does eventually start dating a white guy named Gabe (John Patrick Amedori), who only after being outed on his Instagram account, does she go public with.

Sam’s relationship with a white man becomes a point of contention for many of her closest friends, sparking an ongoing discussion in the series of whether a black person can really be pro-black, while also having a white significant other.

Reggie’s politics, however, are never challenged in the same ways that Sam’s are. His declaration of love for dark-skinned women, is dead upon arrival considering that the only other thing that he is known for outside of his pro-blackness, is his crush on Sam. A light-skinned biracial woman.

Based on the 2014 movie of the same name, Dear White People is a satire set at a PWI about college campus politics through the lens of black students. The show also explores the theme of identity. How often people assume identities or have identities projected onto them that contradicts who they really are. Identities such as being“woke.”

Used to describe a person who is socially and politically conscious, the word “woke” has surged in popularity within recent years due to social media and the rise of social movements such as Black Lives Matter. But what once was a way to describe someone’s political awareness, being, or staying woke, has seemingly dissolved more into a competition of who is more educated on race and other social issues.

Performative wokeness is examined within the world of Dear White People, with episode five featuring a scene where Reggie shows off an app he created called Woke or Not. The app shows photos of students at Winchester University and with a push of a button app users can determine whether a person is woke. Or not.

Even though Dear White People pokes fun at the absurdity and arrogance that comes from people who think they have the moral authority to decide who is or isn’t woke, the show itself falls into many of the same traps that it attempts to satirize.

In an episode centered around Gabe, he’s sitting at a table surrounded by Sam and other black women while they discuss white male privilege and how women of color are often passed over for opportunities that usually end up being given to mediocre white men. While he’s silently listening on, Gabe imagines himself banging his fist against the table as he looks directly into the camera and exclaims that sometimes people actually earn the things they get and that just because he’s a white man doesn’t make him an “asshole.”

“Asshole,” of course, seems just a tad bit reductive considering that being an “asshole” in this scenario is about benefiting from a society that prioritizes average white men over hard working black women. While the narrator says that only “a tiny part” of Gabe wishes he could make such a statement, it’s still concerning that Gabe, who is supposedly enlightened on issues of racism and sexism, is secretly harboring resentment against women of color for venting their frustrations about the institutions that systematically hold them back from opportunities

Is it possible that Gabe is being used as a conduit to discuss liberal racism? After all, episode five deals with how even “good” white people can be guilty of the same racism that they like to think they’re above. But this wasn’t Gabe’s first time making racially tone deaf statements without being taken to task. In the first episode, Gabe tells Sam that he wouldn’t let his friends make her feel like she didn’t belong in his “world,” after Gabe’s first uncomfortable meeting with Sam’s friends where he made a series of half-hearted attempts at trying to relate to the struggles of black students.  

 However, the most egregious occurrence of Dear White People’s lack of self awareness about their own performative wokeness comes with their handling of discussions surrounding colorism.  

The most improved upon element from Dear White People the movie is the colorism. In the movie, the character of Coco (Teyonah Parris,) a dark-skinned black woman, existed solely as a foil to Tessa Thompson’s version of Sam, a light-skinned biracial woman. With the movie being turned into a series, we see Coco, now played by Antoinette Robertson, develop into a fleshed out, fully realized character. But even with the series upgrading on the movie’s shortcomings, even going as far as calling Sam out on her light-skin privilege, the series began developing flaws of their own in regards to its colorism.

Joelle (Ashley Blaine Featherson) outside of being Sam’s best friend, also has feelings for Reggie, the guy who has feelings for Sam. This scenario is reminiscent to a flashback scene in episode four in which Coco longingly looks on as Troy, (Brandon Bell) a guy she has feelings for, flirt with Sam. Even though in that particular situation, the scene was a part of an episode that explores Coco’s relationship to colorism and how it affects her love life, the same motivation doesn’t appear to be behind the love triangle of Sam, Joelle, and Reggie.

The fact that the only light-skinned biracial woman of the show is constantly shown as the object of affection, while the two principle dark-skinned women of the show are depicted as coveting over color struck black men who constantly overlook them for said light-skinned biracial woman is disheartening to watch.

What makes this even more disheartening, is the fact that Joelle was walking right beside Reggie, struggling to contain her smile, as he declared that he was going to “marry him a dark-skinned sister,” only later to hook up with Sam. But Joelle, nor does anyone else, call him out about how his preference doesn’t align with who we actually see him dating.

Has Dear White People found itself stuck in the same tiny confines of identity that it sought out to expose through its characters? Can the contradictions that arise within the show merely be chalked up to poor writing? Or does it prove that inconsistency will inevitably happen when trying to voice the concerns of multiple people with varying opinions? A light skin woman can not speak to the struggles of colorism that a dark skin woman faces. A white man can’t relate to the problems a black man has. And one show cannot voice the opinions of all within a community.

As a work of narrative representation, When We Rise is undeniably scattered. But, taken as a simulacrum of the LGBTQ civil rights struggle in America, its messiness is actually apropos. We are a beautifully messy people, our history a tangle of mistakes and triumphs, great leaps forward and devastating knocks back. As we head into a political era shimmering with adversity, perhaps it’s good to be reminded that our story has never been neat. We may experience stumbles in the coming years, but we will surely rise again.
Lyra Erso and the red of enlightenment

This post will discuss events of Rogue One; beware spoilers.

Lyra Erso, the wife of scientist Galen and mother to daughter Jyn in Rogue One, appears on screen for only a few minutes. Very little is known about her beyond roughly sketched out roles: mother, wife, geologist and cartographer (known only through ancillary media), rebel-sympathiser, believer. Jyn’s journey is driven by her relationship with her father - then later the adoptive father substitute of Saw Gerrera - with little acknowledgement of her mother despite Lyra’s desperate self-sacrifice in a vain attempt to protect her family. As a result, Lyra’s most lasting impression is of her faith and trust in the Force. This aspect of her character, and its influence, is expressed primarily through (surprise!) costume.

L: Lyra Erso from Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide, this unseen costume is slightly different from the costume seen on Lah’mu. Her more severe hair paired with the coat of her overrobe and overskirt both suggest that this was a scene set earlier - possibly shortly after the Ersos fled the Empire - that was cut. C: Lyra Erso on Lah’mu as seen in Rogue One. (Unfortunately I have not been able to find a clear full-length shot.) R: Erso Family version 2a detail, Glyn Dillon. Here Lyra is shown with a red headscarf to match her sash and overskirt.

When we meet Lyra she is living with her family on Lah’mu, eking out a farm life as they hide from the Empire. Lyra’s clothes are rough and well-worn and generally unremarkable, except for their explicit mirroring of Jedi robes. The layering, though practical in this environment, evokes the layers of the typical Jedi robes, most obviously in the crossover of her tunic and skirts. The high-necked underskirt calls back to Ben Kenobi in A New Hope - a man surrendered to an alien environment, hiding from his history and true identity. Not entirely unlike Lyra and her family. With a kyber crystal necklace that she passes on to Jyn, it is unmistakeable that Lyra believes in the Force and follows some tradition akin to the Jedi Order even if she is not a Jedi herself. (In early drafts of the script, Lyra was a one-time Jedi which would have pushed the precise implication of this costume in a slightly different, more heartbreaking direction.)

In a wider level, there must be loads of people who just believe in the Jedi and believe in the Force and have been affected by it. If it’s a really ancient religion, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said, it’s got to exist in thousands or millions of people in the galaxy.
- Gareth Edwards [x]

Lyra’s colours are soft and earthy, not unlike those favoured by the Rebel Alliance, blending with the dark landscape. Except for the bright slash of red in her overskirt. The Ultimate Visual Guide describes this as a ‘red sash of enlightenment’. Worn over a heavy padded underskirt and trousers, this overskirt and sash are a statement rather than practical, and given that at one point it was layered under a darker overskirt it is a loud and emphatic statement. Given Lyra’s actions when Krennic comes to abduct her family, she is a woman tired of hiding. 

This over skirt is similar to the hakama worn by Japanese Shinto miko or shrine maidens: a pleated skirt overlapped and tied at the waist. Today miko perform typical temple duties, but at one point they performed shamanistic roles not unlike the Ancient Greek Sybils: entering trances to communicate with spirits of the dead, elements or land in order to learn, purify and share divine revelation. In a less literal sense, this could translate to Lyra as a geologist, a scientist that has learned to understand rocks and the land; to let the world speak to her, even if it is not directly through the Force. Faith and science combined to allow a greater understanding and an open mind.  A similar garment is worn by Chirrut Imwe, a Guardian of the Whills, though his overall costume appears to be more inspired by a fusion Chinese hanfu and Buddhist robes. 

L: A modern miko or shrine maiden wearing the red hakama. C: Chirrut & Baze concept art, Glyn Dillon. ‘Baze is like a combination of all your favourite elements of star wars characters. the partial armour, the boiler suit, the cool gun, the backpack. Gareth really responded well to the red, so we put some red in Chirrut as well.’- Dave Crossman. As principal heroes, Baze and Chirrut’s looks will have been in development long before Lyra’s. The presence of this red and its importance is something that may have been seeded through the production’s costumes from this starting point. R: Chirrut Imwe in Rogue One. Note the layered skirts and sash akin to Lyra’s.

Although it is not stated if Lyra is in anyway connected to the Whills, or if she follows some other related faith, the similarity in these garments implies that either she has had some association or it is a widely adopted colour. On Jedha we see a very great many pilgrims, priests and guardians wearing this same shade of red in a number of different garments.

Red is a colour that typically holds Dark Side connotations in Star Wars,  though has also appeared in association with ambiguous but self-serving Night Sisters. Here, however, it appears to be a positive expression of connection. In China and India red is a colour of good fortune. In Buddhism, a real world influence on the Jedi Order, red is considered to have been a colour that emanated from Buddha when he achieved enlightenment, and a colour of protection against evil, a belief shared by Shinto. Red being used by these faith-based Force religions shows a difference in approach - a multitude of approaches - to the Force, to understanding and engaging with the Force and the wider galaxy.

Top: Nightsister concept art from The Clone Wars Bottom: Silvannie Phest, ‘Part of a colony of Anomids that have recently converted to become disciples of the Whills,’ Star Wars Ultimate Visual Guide. One of many disciples and pilgrims of the Whills seen on Jedha.

We see Lyra Erso once more in Rogue One - briefly, fleetingly in Jyn’s dreams, shrouded in shadow when she doesn’t have her back to the camera (and Jyn, as this sequence is shot from Jyn’s perspective.) A clearer image of this costume appears in the Ultimate Visual Guide (above.) This costume appears to be a fascinating intersection of Republic and fledgling Imperial fashions, a blending of styles and regimes. This short scene - a memory, really - took place roughly two years after the fall of the Republic. In that time Palpatine, a terrifyingly savvy and aware politician and Sith, would have implemented changes and redirection in fashion and textiles industries with effects rippling out from Coruscant and the core planets. Just like all other industries, fashion is a tool to be utilised and maximised to ultimate efficiency and reward, but in this case to control and manipulate the populace.

Lyra Erso on Coruscant, approximately 2 years after the fall of the Republic. In an early concept painting of this sequence, Lyra was depicted wearing a sari.

In 1930 Mussolini stated, “Any power… is destined to fall before fashion. If fashion says skirts are short, you will not succeed in lengthening them, even with the guillotine.“ In both fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, boards were formed to promote and enforce national fashions, to propagate conformity to their respective ideals: fashion was recognised as a key lynchpin for rapid social and cultural change. In Germany this led to a promotion of traditional and subdued wear, a push for modesty away from the extravagance and vanities of the French, idealising history. In Italy, however, it was the avant garde and modern that was hailed in fashionable circles, architecture and fashion shifting hand in hand. There was a search to control, measure and literally shape the body to achieve the Italian ideal future by fusing science and fashion. Imports and influences from other countries were banned in order to elevate purely Italian lifestyles.

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Crim Kardashian Breaks the Internet

Infamous socialite and TV personality Crim Kardashian launched a new internet campaign this week allegedly aiming to “break the internet.” Partnering with indie magazine, Parchment, Crim and her famous tail end hit over four million views online. While that doesn’t quite #breaktheinternet, it is an enormous number of views for the otherwise obscure magazine, making this move one of its best business decisions of its entire existence.

The images themselves were met with a great deal of controversy, though such is hardly unusual for Kardashian’s online antics.

More conservative members of Sornieth vocalized concerns at normalizing public nudity. As one concerned guardian mother told Sornieth Times, “it’s just not right for the hatchlings. They-“ The dragon paused to cover her hatchling’s ears, before continuing in a whisper. “They’re too young to hear about nudity.”

Of course, thousands of clans throughout Sornieth never wear apparel at all, and thus fail to see the issue. “……… what are clothes?” voiced a perplexed fae from the Windswept Plateau.

On a less polarized response, many dragons throughout Sornieth commented that they were unsurprised, citing the celebrity tundra’s past incidents with leaked films of similar material – which is what led to Crim’s fame to start with.

Parchment commented on their publishing in… hindsight, telling reporters, “We learnt so much and our traffic is 10 times what it was a year ago.”

Bringing you the bare facts, this is The Sornieth Times.