Cold, cold, it was so cold. The feeling didn’t leave her skin yet, even though she had washed several times. Her hands were still shaking. The marks of the bloodstains wasn’t on her clothes anymore, she was miles and miles away from that place.
“Why do I care so much?” she thought, alone on her bed. The blankets didn’t seem to warm her body. It was just one person… the first one. She killed him. Higuchi didn’t even know his name, and she never would.
“It’s okay, Higuchi. You knew it since you first joined the Port Mafia. You can’t stay at the Mafia without killing. The guy was an enemy. He was a traitor. You don’t need to feel guilty. You knew it would happen eventually. I knew it…”
Her wheezing breath was the only thing she could hear at her bedroom. The silent and calm dawn was incompatible with her sleepless and anxious brain, which seemed to be taking her down every single second. To be remembering those scenes all the time. The sounds, the screams, her finger on the trigger, her gun against his head. The blood on her clothing and skin… and then a warmth feeling touched her face. She was crying. The girl was trying to not shed any tears, the one who died didn’t deserve her tears. Never. Feeling the weakest of all, Higuchi allowed herself to cry a little. Maybe all this wasn’t for her. Or… maybe she could improve herself to become better and better at her job. She suddenly sat up in her bed, determined.
"That’s it. I will train more, I will try harder. I’m going to get used to this sort of thing. I just need time. It’s my job. I can do it. Can’t I?”
She let her body fall on the bed again. Wiped away the few tears with the blanket. Trying to calm down, she closed her eyes while playing with a lock of her short blond hair, the images still clear in her mind. Her heart was still beating fast. Higuchi suddenly realized how difficult it could be. Would require a lot of time and effort. She would have to be strong, she would be strong. But she still had no help. She was always on her own, needing to work and take care of her sister. Feeling more alone than ever, she felt another tear trickle down. Was she allowed to cry? It had been her choice, right? Shrinking in bed, she sighed.
I really liked that post about what kind of stories different people want to see themselves in. But I was wondering what kind of stories Native Americans want to see of themselves?
Short answer: Everything.
Something that isn’t built on the backs of Noble Savage or Magical Native American. I would love to see more stories where there’s everything about the culture pulled, and it genuinely feels like a specific nation, especially in fantasy.
Like, I get it’s easy to cast us as nature protectors. In a sense, it’s necessary, because “stewardship of the land” is part of being Native. But I get really tired of picking up a story that’s Native coded and all I see is “the land is in danger and these special magic users are the ones to save it.”
All magic ends up being either soul-healing or nature based, and can we have something that doesn’t feel like shamanism or just those tropes? Can’t we have a different conflict? Something maybe based on our own legends?
Also, less racism narratives would be very nice. Very very very nice. They’re important, but it gets exhausting to only read struggle narratives.
I’m a fantasy individual. I love high fantasy. But I’d love to see more Natives everywhere— pre-contact narratives that don’t include a single white person; romances that aren’t “strong man loves you” or overly sexualized; urban Natives reconciling all they left behind and all they can build again; horror novels on our terms, where the monster isn’t just a cannibal wendigo; sci fi where we’re in space (maybe making sure none of our activities invade other planets like white people invaded ours).
But, really, everything Native coded I read falls under the camp of either:
Horror monster (see: nearly every use of the wendigo by white people in the past century…)
Special magic users who are just more in tune with nature/souls
So basically this is franwilde’s fault, because I was on a tear about it the other night and she told me I needed to write a blog post. So here’s a blog post. (Does anybody even read blogs anymore? Tap, tap, is this thing on? “140 characters is all anyone will ever need.”)
My Least Favorite Trope (and this post will include spoilers for The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Matrix, Western Civilization, and–cod help me–Bulletproof Monk*.) is the thing where there’s an awesome, smart, wonderful, powerful female character who by all rights ought to be the Chosen One and the hero of the movie, who is tasked with taking care of some generally ineffectual male character who is, for reasons of wish fulfillment, actually the person the film focuses on. She mentors him, she teaches him, and she inevitably becomes his girlfriend… and he gets the job she wanted: he gets to be the Chosen One even though she’s obviously far more qualified. And all he has to do to get it and deserve it is Man Up and Take Responsibility.
And that’s it. Every god-damned time. The mere fact of naming the films above and naming the trope gives away the entire plot and character arc of every single movie.
I thought for a minute that Guardians of the Galaxy was going to pull off a subversion. They were so close. All they had to do was have somebody make the point that We Survived The Magic Radiation Because We All Worked Together, but no, it’s the pure fucking light of Chris Pratt’s Y chromosome that rescues the day again.
This is the part where I point out my love for Farscape, in part for not falling for this shit–in fact, for relentlessly subverting the Corn-Fed White American Dude Goes To Space And Brings American Values To The Natives narrative. In part by showing space and aliens driving Crichton nuts, and in part by surrounding him with endless competent awesome women.**
You know, I’ve taken a lot of responsibility in my life, and never once has it resulted in me becoming a Chosen One. I guess it’s the lack of a broken chromosome.
Anyway. So tired of that narrative. Somebody please write me the book or movie where it turns out that the chick was the Chosen One all along?
*Remember Bulletproof Monk? Neither does anybody else, except me, and that’s because it pissed me off. It’s really fun to watch Toronto cosplay New York ineffectually throughout the movie, though.
**Also, one of my dearest friends and favorite people basically is Aeryn Sun, so yeah.
I just started learning Korean and I was wondering if you could recommend some texts that are easy to read so I can start practicing? It would really help me a lot - I don't know where to look 😔
Honestly, you might find Naver Jnr really fun practise. They have short stories with a native narrative. Or they even have a few cartoons with Hangul subtitles. But just navigating the site is good practice. As a beginner, I think this site should be really useful - but it’s really fun as well. :3
As a really new beginner, these next options might be too challenging.
However, if you’re looking for more mature content, I highly recommend trying Naver comics. The content is pretty straight forward - sometimes still a little challenge - but it is really great practice. I personally just started to read a comic called “Dice”.. and so far I’m loving it! I highly recommend! :3
If you’re feeling more confident, try giving Grimmstories a read. Just make sure to select the Korean option. You’ll have some great content there to read! Or you can visit a few online news websites via Naver news stand.
True Decolonization Is A Constant State Of Rebellion Against Systemic Oppression of Tribal People.
Above all, decolonization: in its purest form(s) is an act of true love for the people.
It is NOT a slogan, meme, trend, jingoism or new academic dogma.
REAL revolution starts in the heart and always appeals to the mind in order to serve collective needs of the people. Those seeking publicity, fame or personal gain via public political
& media posturing often only serve themselves and this often creates false leaders.
Welcome to the non-stereotypical, cliche free, all power to the people, real time visionary, non-anthropology driven photography by Douglas Miles for Apaches and Angels. Not to be used without permission of artist.
RISING NATIVE YOUTH Community Forum at Shiprock Drop-In Center Saturday: 1-11-14 9:00-4:30pm
A safe space for Native Youth to engage in conversations on issues affecting indigenous communities and individuals. Led by Native Youth for Native Youth.
Decolonize Four Corners. Native Youth Keep Rising
MoMA Film’s documentary festival continues through Monday, closing with the world premiere of INAATE/SE/, which uses personal interviews, animated drawings, performance, and provocative intercutting to reclaim the Native American narrative of the Ojibway of Sault Ste. Marie, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
[INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place./it flies. falls./]. 2016. USA. Directed by Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil. Courtesy of the filmmakers]
I don’t really have any jokey comments about this one, I just wanted to talk about John the Baptist.
There’s, like, slightly more historical evidence for John the Baptist than Jesus himself. Josephus goes on for like a paragraph about John the Baptist, but sort of maybe mentions Jesus barely via his brother James the Just. And John the Baptist’s baptism of Jesus was one of like two things mentioned in all four of the Gospels, the other being the Crucifixion and Resurrection. (sort of, the earliest versions of Mark leave out the part where Jesus is actually alive later)
The thing that stands out to me about John the Baptist is that the Gospels are so totally super jealous of him. They love his legacy so damn much that the books can’t even agree on which specific ways Jesus is here to leech off it. Sometimes John the Baptist is just some other great guy who Jesus is here to be better than next to him, and sometimes it was decided the two were actually cousins, with John’s birth absorbed into the greater Nativity narrative, basically appropriating the dude’s entire life and reason to exist as a precursor to this other dude. Some versions make sure that John admits his inferiority up front, as we see in the panel above, even though at the time – and short-term historically – John the Baptist was a huger deal.
And that’s basically the story of John the Baptist. He was a guy who was way more famous and did stuff that was actually remembered by people, which the Gospels gleefully stole and subverted for their own narratives, to the point of making the two dudes related sometimes and constantly talking about how great Poochie Jesus is and how much better he is than John.
(Note: Jesus died on his way back to his home planet.)