the humanity project

Feb 13. Happy 1 Year Anniversary, Zombietale.

I’m so disappointed when elves in fiction are merely immortal humans with pointy ears, and dwarves are just short humans with beards. Perhaps others enjoy it, but I am bored of banal human conflicts and vices projected ad nauseam onto supposedly inhuman races. 

I want to see things that really make me believe elves and dwarves and other fantasy races aren’t just disguised humans. Show me strange biology, incomprehensible minds, impossible virtues and unthinkable sins, oddities and curiosities of all kinds. 

I think that’s what drew me to Tolkien’s races, who have exactly those kinds of quirks that set them apart from ordinary humans - like dwarves having only 1/3 of their race female, or elves being capable of telepathy. I love fic that explores the consequences of these strange characteristics most of all.

Human’s are weird

You know what, i’ve been dragged into this theory so now I’m just gonna go with it until I lose interest: Humans are capable of ignoring their personal feelings to get a job done. More specifically Humans are capable of working with other humans who they absolutely detest without letting those humans know. 

Basically I’m thinking of the time I had to work in a group project with a girl who was an absolute nightmare to work with. It was awful. Like the smallest issue I had with her was the fact that she would self-diagnose and use that diagnoses as an excuse for her shoddy work. She told me she had to stop talking with someone because she was severely claustrophobic (using claustrophobia to mean fear of emotional closeness) I pointed out that this was the metaphorical, not literal definition of the condition and she told me it didn’t matter because “that was how she defined it”. I told her that she had missed a full on a piece of work that we were being marked on and she snapped that I was stressing her out and that if I didn’t stop she would have a mental breakdown during out final performance that night. She was casually racist and homophobic - not in an aggressive way just in a way where she referred to them as ‘those peope’ and considering every one in the group apart from her counted as ‘those people’  - any, sorry for the rant I’ve gone on a bit of a tangent. 

The point that i was trying to make was that the three other members of the group were so good at putting up with her bullshit and not letting her know that we thought she was full of shit that i’d known these people for about ix months before i realised that they hated her guts too. 

  What if aliens are incapable of working with people they hate? They could so territorial that they are instinctively unable to work with people that they don’t consider either neutral or pack. There are ways round it of course. The instincts are slightly muted by distance, so in cases where they absolutely have to enemies are able to converse over the phone or video but in general it is impossible. If two aliens have a falling out they both go to the command of the ship and make their case and the one who loses is quietly transferred to a different ship, or to an on plant research centre. 

So one day Xian’tina is wandering around the ship when they see human Steve and human Jenna chatting near the power converter. After a second human Steve leaves and Xian’tina wanders over. 

“I didn’t know you were friends with human Steve!” They say, waving their fourth abdominal tendril to underline the point. 

Jenna pauses from where she was about to take a sip of her coffee. She stares Xian’tina dead in their centrefold eyes. 

“I fucking hate him.” 

Friendly reminder that exploring dark themes (murder, abuse, rape, kidnapping, etc) in fiction is something that humans have been doing for centuries - for all kinds of reasons - and is not something that automatically makes you a bad person.

While fiction can have an impact on you in real life, fiction itself doesn’t cause abusive behavior. It’s a bit more complicated than that - for example, different types of fiction resonate differently with people, the way the work is marketed/framed plays a part in how people view it, the reach the work has will affect its influence, people who already want to do X thing are more likely to see the depiction of X thing as support than people who don’t, etc etc, the list goes on.

At the end of the day, what matters is how you view/treat real life human beings. Don’t project your fictional interests onto real life people without their consent. Keep fiction and reality separate.

8

Riverdale is a much more human project than the last one and I realize now that though I’ve had enough time to step away and to take a breather, my main challenge if I’m going to continue acting is to discern the things that were valuable about my childhood and the skills I acquired as a child and the things to keep and the things to let go. It’s more real, and I don’t think just because it’s on the forefront of pop culture that it should be treated any less than something very ‘noble.’ I’m going to try and do that and see how it ends up.