hey ry you mentioned something about how kubo's represention wasn't bad but that it wasn't perfect either. like in what ways? cause i know you aren't being critical but i also wanna understand where you're coming from with that.
yeah sure, i’ll give it a shot.
first thing’s first, i’m american. even if i wasn’t white (which i am), i don’t have the same say in this kind of thing as a native japanese person. the more i learn about japanese culture, the more i learn that there’s so much i DON’T know. in the end, it’s the queer people of japan who get to say whether this is good representation or not. the culture and norms and pressures of japanese society are VASTLY different from from especially western culture (ie. women in the west reclaiming their sexuality while sexualization of girls is a big problem in japan).
so, given my perspective as a queer, white, american, this is what i thought of yuri on ice:
i don’t think the narrative about ‘a perfect world’ for queer people was a bad narrative choice. as i mentioned on twitter, 1) kubo is a cishet woman. she should not be telling the stories of queer struggles. that is for our community to do. so criticism that she didn’t include homophobia or what-the-fuck-ever is frankly, in my opinion, bullshit.
then, 2) for fuck’s sake, can we be content with a happy queer narrative? finally? this year at my school’s cinema i went to see both ‘closet monster’ and ‘moonlight.’ both were good films, but both heavily feature homophobia and bullying and tbqh??? i’m sick of it. i’m tired of seeing the queerphobic narrative dragged out and put on display. it sucks. it sucks that my parents threatened to take me out of school for having a girlfriend. it sucks that im scared to hold her hand at disney bc i think some suburban mom is gonna call me a f**. i want to consume happy queer content for once in my fucking life. what about all the fanfics we read of queer relationships?? don’t most of them ignore queer struggles?? because for once in our godforsaken lives, we’d like to not be reminded that half the world wants us dead. i don’t have any problem with kubo’s ‘perfect world.’ it’s the kind of world i’m going to write as a queer author who’s tired of the same sad story.
kubo’s history: short one here. i challenge anyone who saw her homophobic tweets to think real long and hard as to what they were doing and saying seven years ago. if you can prove that you were an unproblematic, woke angel then i will literally eat drain cleaner. bc at thirteen, i CERTAINLY didn’t give two fucks about most minority groups, including two i eventually became a part of. god, just shut up.
how it could have been perfected: actual queer japanese people on staff. if kubo had brought in or at least talked to queer japanese men about their relationships and how to portray viktor and yuuri’s relationship. from what i understand, she didn’t talk to any actual queer people about the relationship. ideally, there will be content like NABARI NO OU, with queer characters created by a queer author, but that doesn’t mean straight creators shouldn’t write about queer characters, in the same way that white ppl like me SHOULD write poc characters and SHOULD consult on how to avoid stereotypes/offensive material but SHOULD NOT write about racism.
a follower pointed this out but it’s the fandom that’s made this all about representation in the first place?? kubo just wanted to write a story that happened to include gay men, not revolutionize the anime industry. i think the attitude of putting so much pressure on her to be the ideal of queer representation is fundamentally just,, a bad idea altogether. just let this straight woman write a happy story about gay men skating and let queer people get excited bc they’re seeing queer people in a positive light
Fair Vote Canada says, based on the large number of countries using proportional or fair voting systems over extended periods of time, international experience demonstrates the following benefits over winner- take- all systems:
-Wasted votes and distorted election results are reduced.
-Phoney majority governments are rare.
-Voter turnout tends to be higher.
-Parliaments are more representative of the range of political views and the composition of the electorate (gender, ethnicity, regions).
-8% more women are elected— almost any country with more than 30% women elected uses a form of PR.
-These countries maintain strong economic performance.
-Citizens tend to be more satisfied with the way democracy works.
Since Germans have been brewing beer since the days of the Roman Empire, should we be surprised that they excel as much in this as blacks excel in basketball? Any standard based on quality will have “overrepresentation” and “under-representation” of different groups, however much such “disparate impact” may shock the editorial writers and provoke judges to rush in where angels fear to tread.
How did our system become so fucked up and horrible? And how can we fix it?
The “how” would take a long time, but a lot can boil down to this: we have always had a ruling class, and they will always do what they can to keep themselves in power. Our parties have grown more and more entrenched for a reason, to the point where there’s a strangle hold on everything.
To fix everything:
Campaign finance reform. The Citizens United decision was probably the single most destructive SCOTUS ruling to our democracy. Publicly funded elections are sadly, “rarely a game changer” and there’s not exactly a clear path forward on how to stamp down on corporate involvement in politics, especially in our world of heavy advertisements.
Fair districts (i.e. get rid of gerrymandering) so that we can have a House that is actually representative of how people vote
A potential idea is a move towards proportional representation as well. If 60% of people in a state vote for a Dem rep, 30% vote for a GOP rep, and 10% vote for a Green party rep, the reps sent would be of this composition. However this does mean voting for a party over a particular candidate, which has its own drawbacks
A comprehensive reform targeting systemic racism in our police system, along with drug liberalization. Also cracking down on for-profit prisons
Ending the subsidies on corn, soy, rice, wheat, and cotton. Our cereal grains are too cheap, simply put. For this reason, all products and by-products are cheaper to put elsewhere in our system, which is why corn syrup or soy lecithin is in everything. Shit makes us unhealthy, it encourages very unsustainable farming practices when properly fertilized soil acts like a carbon sink, it’s why cows are pulled off fields and into feed lots to get fat more efficiently, it’s why irrigation demands are so intense (why the fuck are we growing cotton in southern california?)…I actually can go on about this for a while. But the health impact alone is why we’re sicker than expected and why our health care fights are nightmares
Single payer health-care system
Paths to student loan forgiveness so that we can support a massive population that’s hitting retirement while also being able to like, invest in shit ourselves
A carbon tax. We need environmental externalities to be captured by our system somehow. Seriously, this is EVERYTHING. This is why we’re fighting damned wars about oil.
Massive reductions to our defense budget and a crack-down on our industrial military complex. We’re basically creating fake jobs by subsidizing this shit, and then we make money off of war. How fun.
National holiday for voting days.
I’m running out of steam.
There’s more I could list. A lot more. But I wanna go make pancakes.
Look, the main issue is, we have these systems set up where there is a ton of money in politics, and a ton of money being made from our politics. So how do we get politicians to vote against their own interests and the system that propped them up?
To that, we have to mobilize. That’s kind of the only way. We need a grassroots movement where progressive candidates, not neoliberal corporatists, are put up, particularly in primary elections, and then turn out to vote. And I’m talking every institution, every level of government. School boards matter.
We can call and lobby all we want, and gerrymandering is good low-hanging fruit for that too, since it’s baldly unfair and could maybe get support from reasonable people all across the spectrum. But until we actually get the fuckheads out who are running things into the ground, nothing’s gonna change. And they’ve been given a free pass, because less than half of us bother to vote for even the highest office.
Hi Josh, I just wanna say I'm a huge fan and new vegas is my second favorite game of all time. One complaint I always had though was the reliance on the "tragic lesbian" trope or having lesbians be victims of assault. Obviously the game is a product of its time but did you ever think during the development about maybe having a lesbian character who could be happy? (for example, why couldn't veronica and christine see each other after dead money or even have it be mentioned by mr. perlman?)
TL; DR Version: We should have had more female characters in the game with a similar proportion of lesbians to gay men (i.e., a larger variety of lesbian characters). However, I believe they should be as vulnerable as anyone else to the savagery of the setting.
There are technical reasons (that I’ve gone over before) for why DLC characters can’t come back into the main game/reference each other. That’s separate from any narrative reasons why Christine and Veronica couldn’t interact, though I should also say that I conceived Veronica’s F:NV plot arc before/separately from what Chris Avellone developed for Dead Money.
I think Veronica is relatively happy (an important qualifier in setting where most things are miserable) and any tragedy in her ending slides has more to do with the state of the BoS than her personal relationships. Most other companions don’t speak of their romantic relationships. Arcade and Cassidy mention some in passing, but nothing in particular. Boone’s wife is the source of a lot of personal anguish. You could make an argument that Boone’s or Veronica’s relationships are more tragic than the other, but both of them qualify as not good.
Betsy is a victim of assault by Cook-Cook, but so is Pretty Sarah. Christine was mutilated by the Y-17 Medical Facility, but Dog had been enslaved by Elijah for years. Between the Mojave Wasteland and the satellite DLC areas, there are a lot of tormented survivors drifting around of various genders and sexual preferences.
I think the larger issue is that there are few points of reference for lesbians in the setting. There’s an imbalance of male to female characters overall and non-hetero characters are in the minority. So while you could wonder about how gay men are portrayed in F:NV based on a single character, there are far more of them to create a picture (as far as the player can discern, anyway) than there are lesbians. You have Veronica, Betsy, Christine, and a handful of minor characters. Based on that sample, things don’t look good for the lesbians of the Mojave. But I would like to reiterate that Veronica’s F:NV plot arc didn’t include any particular focus on relationships and she wasn’t intended to be any more or less tragic than other F:NV companions.
Shortly after F:NV came out, there was an article by Jim Sterling celebrating Arcade as a good representation of a gay man in a video game. The original article is no longer available, unfortunately, but it was called Homosexuality and Fallout New Vegas: A gay marriage made in gay heaven. There was one line in his article that irritated more than a few people:
“Arcade Gannon’s sexuality isn’t a big deal, and that’s how videogames should play it.”
There are certainly a lot of gay men who believe queer identity and culture should be celebrated aggressively and think it is harmful to promote attitudes that sublimate, obfuscate, or otherwise downplay queer culture. It’s impossible to have a “perfect” representation of a gay character because each individual player will want to see different things in those representations. Even with an understated character like Arcade, there are some players who reacted to his casual implicit mention of homosexuality as though he had taken a bullhorn and shouted, “I’M HERE! I’M QUEER! GET USED TO IT!”
With better proportional representation of women to men and more examples of lesbian and gay characters in games, people won’t need to assume that any given single character (or three characters, as the case may be) needs to stand as exemplars for everyone else. Happiness is just a little more difficult for folks to find in the wasteland, overall.
honestly. the american gov’t is so fucked up organizationally. its impossible to change anything quickly, first past the post/winner take all/electoral college sucks, third party ballot access thresholds are too high, elections take forever, it’s hard to vote, etc. why can’t we just have a parliament with party list proportional representation lmao
Voting in the UK sucks. At the last election, the winning party had barely more than a third of the popular vote yet won over half the seats. It’s all very well to say that you support one specific party, but if that party stands no chance of winning in your constituency then you’re effectively throwing your vote onto the bonfire. Unless and until we can institute Proportional Representation, the only way to beat the system is to work within it, and vote smarter.
The spreadsheet linked above shows who’s the most likely to offer strong opposition in your area. By ousting as many Tories as possible, the chances improve of an alternate party winning, or even another coalition being necessary. And the more Tories that lose their seats, the greater the impact it will have on their ability to press ahead even if they still manage to maintain a majority.
“But the Tories won, democratically, there’s no use complaining, just shut up and accept the result, this is what the majority wants.”
The Tories won 37% of the vote, the majority didn’t vote for them. Our democracy doesn’t work.
Democracy isn’t just about elections, we have the right to protest in a democracy. Our democracy doesn’t work.
There are other democratic systems, such as proportional representation, under which the Tories would not have won a majority of seats. Our democracy doesn’t work.
56% of the politicians in the Houses of Parliament (the Hous of Commons and House of Lords combined) are unelected. Our democracy doesn’t work.
26 of the people who have seats in the House of Lords are unelected bishops from our state religion. Our democracy doesn’t work.
Our head of state is unelected and has held office for 63 years without having to fight a single election. She holds office simply due to the circumstances of her birth and is a symbol of the entrenched hereditary privilege which dominates our society. Our democracy doesn’t work.
I feel like I've asked this before, Im just so forgetful (Sorry If I have) but is there any, (any at all) ground for the liberals' statement that there's not enough consensus to change the electoral system?
Electoral Reform townhalls found a clear consensus on a proportional representation:
Which party do you think is the one to least infringe on minority rights? I'd like to vote Green Party but since Trudeau insists on keeping FPTP system, which party do you think has a chance on winning that seems to actually care about the environment and minority rights? I'm so unsure of which party to vote for now. Thanks for the effort you put into this blog, I really appreciate it and trying to become more informed about our politics but I'm never sure which news outlet to follow.
If you want a progressive party that can realistically win, the NDP is your answer.
The Greens don’t actually have as strong a record on social issues as the NDP, and only in very few ridings do the Greens have any chance. If you’re not a fan of the Liberals and want a more progressive party, the NDP is a good one that has a long history of advocating for minority rights and the environment.
-Supports Electoral Reform, and wants Proportional Representation.
I could go on and on. If you’re tired of the Liberals and want a progressive government, support the NDP. They have enough of a base to win under FPTP (unlike the Greens), and their policies are much more progressive than the Liberals.
The NDP also in many provinces support a $15/hour minimum wage, expansion of our healthcare system & elimination of university tuition.
-In photo #1 are the 2 NDP candidates running for the NDP in the Kamloops area; Nancy Bepple is running in Kamloops-South Thompson (my riding) Barb Nederpel is running in Kamloops-North Thompson;
-Photo #2 shows BC NDP leader John Horgan.
-John Horgan announced that the NDP has reached gender parity for the BC election; for the election in May, 2017 the NDP will run 50% female candidates.
-The event was over quite quickly. It was more to get the people in this area excited for the NDP & the election. Wasn’t a lot of policy ideas. It was more so to introduce John Horgan (and the local candidates).
-John Horgan came across to me as very friendly and genuine. I also went to a rally in the 2015 federal election. Tom Mulcair was friendly too, but he felt like he was putting on an act. John Horgan didn’t give me the ‘fake’ impression that Mulcair was giving off.
-He spoke about the BC Liberals failure on jobs, education, healthcare, forestry.
-He spoke of the need to reinvigorate BC’s Forestry industry by moving away from raw log exports, to focusing on value added jobs, like wood based infrastructure (such as strong wooden buildings).
-He brought up Paul Doroshenko’s lawsuit against the BC Liberals (he’s a long time Liberal voter and he’s suing the BC Liberals for partisan advertisements).
-He spoke about the need to ban big money in politics, and cited the BC Liberals donation scandals.
-He spoke about how he’s noticed that even non-political people have lately been vocally outraged at the BC Liberals.
-He spoke about how the BC Liberal’s ad campaigns against him are backfiring; that these ads have lead people to look him up and they found that they liked him as a person & his policies more when they did.
-He said a while ago he was ranting about how awful the BC Liberals were, and his 15 year old son said “What are you going to do about it”? So he ran for office. That lead him to be elected, then re-elected twice more in a row, and that eventually lead to him becoming party leader.
-After his speech, I overhead him discussing electoral reform. He wants Proportional Representation. He said that First Past The Post creates cynicism and leads to skewed election results.
-I spoke to him briefly later, about some personal struggles I’ve had with employment. He was very friendly and listened without interrupting.
All in all, it was a nice event. I’ll be very happy if John Horgan is BC’s next premier. The BC Liberals need to go.
I really hate UKIP and what they stand for, but with all the votes they’ve amassed this election, I feel that they and other smaller parties (including the Greens) have been wronged by the current system. What we need is proportional representation.
As much as I hate to say it, in a fair system UKIP would have more MPs in government.
We need electoral reform and we need it now. Otherwise we’ll never be rid of this outdated two party system.
I am immensely proud to have led the party into a General Election where we have been able to stand more Green candidates than ever before, recorded our best ever share of the vote and saved more deposits than ever before. The fact that we have achieved over one million votes yet not been rewarded with more MPs draws into sharp focus just how unfair and outdated our winner-takes-all voting system is.