through-the-lens

im going to start framing all my text posts through the lens of an alien whose been here long enough to know how to use slang and stuff like that, but still doesn’t understand anything about human anatomy or culture

witnesstheabsurd  asked:

Hey! I appreciate that there are other ppl out there invested enough in SMT design that they dedicate whole blogs to it! But like, I feel as though continuing to analyze or "critique" designs from newer titles thru the lens of Kaneko's style or legacy is kind of fruitless? Doi/Nirasawa/Amemiya/Etc aren't Kaneko and the series doesn't have to exist exclusively as an expression of his legacy. Doesn't wanting an imitation/continuation of Kaneko kind of defeat his original value as an innovator?

I’m not actually criticizing through Kaneko’s lens. I’m criticizing through the lens of the contextual origin of demons. It just so happens that Kaneko was pretty good about sticking to that (though not always). In this case, we have Amon, who is a dapper fellow who usually looks like this:

He is also described similarly in the Goetia text.

Doi’s is pretty close! But he adds those distracting red arms, an embellishment that is poorly justified only to serve as a Devilman reference. SMT’s Amon is supposed to be the Amon from the Goetia, so it should look that way too. It’s okay to add appropriate embellishments, of course, but only if it thematically resonates with the god or demon.

When you’re dealing with mythological content from other cultures, you need to get into the viewpoints of those cultures and understand why they depicted things the way they did, and have the artistic restraint not to add inappropriate embellishments that speak to the artist’s perspective and not to the original culture. This is why people get mad when culture is appropriated; i.e., misappropriation.

When you start to add the extra elements, it becomes SMT’s Amon rather than the Goetia’s Amon, and if it’s just a proprietary take it becomes a lot less unique because properties that don’t treat myth (or demonology) with the appropriate respect and perspective are a dime a dozen. SMT has been a standout for decades in this regard, but it has faltered lately in its demon aesthetics as new artists have come along and either don’t realize what separates SMT from the rest or even as they are encouraged to make SMT look more like mainstream misappropriation, like how Final Fantasy does gods and monsters.

It’s never just about the lack of Kaneko for me, it’s always about striving for accurate representation of these cultural characters.

RtW ch3-4

Making another (probably futile) attempt to keep things short today:

Chapter 3:

In a lot of ways, this chapter just seems to be recapping the problems facing Cassie. We already know what’s going on with Pritkin, but Cassie’s little chat with Marco reminds us that there’s a lot more going on. Jonas is trying to get control over the her Court, her relationship with Mircea seems to be on the edge of some kind of explosion and there’s two dozen frightened girls camping out in her suddenly very crowded suite. I have to give KC props for almost invariably delivering exposition in an engaging manner. This particular scene dumps a lot of info but does it through the lens of Cassie and Marco’s relationship, and that makes it interesting to me. You can really see how much Marco worries about Cassie but also get a sense of the pressure he’s under. And we also get to see the seeds of Cassie and Rhea’s burgeoning relationship, Rhea’s protectiveness of Cassie and her respect bordering on fear of her, clashing a little with Cassie’s far more informal nature. I love their friendship and I’m going to yap about it a lot during this reread.

Chapter 4:

Again, more hints of problems on HMS Mircass - Cassie knows they need to talk, but she’s just so afraid of the confrontation that’s looming. She also mentions that Mircea ‘plays her like a violin’ and I think she said something like that in HtM as well? Like, imagine being in a relationship where the other partner had known you since you were a child, was older than you and more experienced than you and being aware that this partner was continually manipulating you? How could you feel safe and comfortable in a relationship like that? No wonder she doesn’t want to talk to him, honestly.

Cassie’s fight with Rosier is interesting on a lot of levels; for one thing, it really shows how Cassie forgets her insecurities when she’s trying to protect someone else. Like can you imagine book 3 Cassie grabbing a demon lord and slamming him into a wall? She was never this dominant and assertive until she ended up on this quest for Pritkin, but now she’s beginning to take charge and I love it. For another, it reminds us yet again about Cassie’s feelings for Pritkin, which are just bubbling along beneath the surface the whole time, as we can see in her absolute panic at the thought of failing to get him back, her description of his 'precious’ soul and the way she sees little flashes of him in Rosier. These little flashes of similarity were another reason that I began to sort of like Rosier:

“For a moment, he sounded exactly like his son giving me an order in the middle of a fight. It was enough to snap my head up, enough to bring me back from the brink. I blinked stupid tears away.”// “I looked up and met Rosier’s green, green eyes. They were so like Pritkin’s that, for a moment, I almost thought I saw a spark of compassion in them.”

Reading stuff like this got me thinking that if he shared some traits with Pritkin, then maybe he couldn’t be all bad? The development of Rosier’s character is something that I will come back to after RtS *sigh*

On The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel, Blue Taako, and Representation

 Yesterday, we revealed some pages for our graphic novel adaptation of the first Adventure Zone arc, and received some criticism of the direction we went with for Taako’s coloring. This artwork reveal came some months after the first reveal of some of our characters, for which we also received criticism of our three leads, all of whom were white in these initial designs. Us and the graphic novel team realized that, yes, that is extremely bad, went back to the drawing board, and had several long discussions about how to best rectify this situation, resulting in the artwork revealed yesterday.

More or less all of the criticism we’ve received centers on Taako, whose skin is a pale blue color in these designs. What we’ve heard most is disappointment that Taako is not realized in these pages as a person of color — or, to be more specific, a Latinx or explicitly Mexican character. There was concern we had failed to follow through on an opportunity to get better representation for Latinx listeners, instead opting to take a safe route, and make Taako a fantasy color without any kind of real-world connection. Much of the criticism also focuses on how that color (or, to be more specific, green skin) has anti-semitic connotations.

This conversation was happening in certain corners of our fandom long before the graphic novel art reveal took place yesterday. We’ve heard criticism from some folks over our policy of not having canonical visual representations of any of our characters — a policy that has resulted in a genuinely humbling ocean of fan art, but also some instances of in-fighting between members of the community who take umbrage with one another’s disparate interpretations of these characters. Another criticism of that policy is that it inherently does not foster good representation, and in fact represents a noncommittal way of handling racial representation on this show.

Here’s the truth of the matter: I think all of this comes from this underlying friction between where The Adventure Zone and us, its creators, were when we started doing the podcast, and where we, the show, and you, the community, are at now. 

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You do not owe anyone anything.

If you change your mind about what or who you want in your life, that is absolutely fine. Life is all about adapting to change.

Some people turn everything into a hassle and drain the life out of you. They see the world through a negative lens when they have so much to be grateful for. They let you down. They make excuses. They never apologise.

Others make life easy, they are always real with you. They forgive all the little things and everything just flows. They are on your team. They want to see you succeed. They want to see you happy.

It’s simple. Know the difference.

—  life lesson #13 — happiestsadness

I feel like one of the big reasons women, both queer and straight, gravitate toward male/male ships is because of the way it allows women to explore male sexuality in a nonthreatening way. Many women grow up learning that men are predators and to see male sexuality as scary. We are taught to safeguard ourselves from men and to be the gatekeepers of sexuality. This makes it hard to enjoy attraction to men because, unfortunately, fears about male sexuality are grounded in reality. Exploring attraction to men and male sexuality in a m/m relationship takes a lot of this apprehension and imbalance away. It allows women to appreciate the beauty and complicated nature of male sexuality in many forms without feeling threatened.

Also, and I think this is a big one, gay and queer male culture is where men are objectified sexually. In most spaces, women are the ones who are objectified. (Objectification is something that is natural to an extent and a part of exploring sexuality as long as we still treat people with respect and as long as it is equal opportunity objectification, imo) Seeing men through a queer male gaze can be really refreshing and erotic for women, too.

I know that for me personally it helped me see the beauty, grace, strength, and eroticism of the male form and male sexuality. The way men are framed in straight spaces is not very sexually appealing to many women, so seeing men through a lens where they are sexualized as well as seen as complex beings is definitely appealing.

I totally agree that women (especially straight women) need to be careful not to fetishize queer men and m/m ships. I think we should be engaged in what’s going on and self-critical, but I also think this is an important aspect to think about. We live in such a patriarchal society that these ships are important for many women and level the playing field in world where women are objectified and eroticized but it’s rarely the other way around in mainstream culture.

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.

It’s a [Tinder] Date! (Part 3/3)

Summary: Thinking he needs to find a date, Natasha signs Steve up to Tinder. In Queens, Peter Parker does the same to you. It’s a match!

Word Count: 3,405

Part 1 Part 2

A/N: Almost a month later, but this fic is officially done :D I hope you all enjoy this fluffiness. 

Originally posted by mackievanstan


Work managed to distract you enough to not keep looking at the clock every five minutes. Despite part of your brain telling you that there was no way you had a date with Captain America, there was another part that couldn’t help but to hope this was true. And so, you found yourself daydreaming of showing up to the restaurant and seeing him there. What would you even say to him? What kind of greeting would you use? Would you address him as Captain, or maybe Mr. Rogers, or just Steve?

By the time you got home, you had a few outfit options in mind and made a beeline to the bathroom, taking a shower before you got started on getting ready.

Peter came around as you were choosing between four different outfits you had draped on your bed. He helped you picked the one that was form-fitting, waggling his eyebrows playfully.

“We gotta tease him,” he said.

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The M/M Shipping Thing: Misogyny, the Male Gaze, and Feminist and Queer Representation

Follow up post to this one, here. Read this to see my thoughts on the importance of allowing women to see men through a lens where male sexuality is something to be celebrated, not feared. Seems like a lot of people can relate to this, and I just love talking about it so have some more of my thoughts.

First of all, it’s a numbers game…

Going off of this point by @colt-kun which I’ve copied and pasted here. This gives a great overview of a purely statistical analysis of why m/m ships are more common.  

“There’s also the sheer numbers to take into account.

Take the first Avengers movie as an example (because frankly its one of the few recent blockbusters with two female speaking roles). Two females, Black Widow and Maria. Then eight males, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Hulk, Loki, Fury, Coulson.

Not counting polyships/selfships for ease of math, and using the characters cisgender identities bc that is what they are largely seen as (no disrespect meant to any trans/nb interpretations)

Possible f/m ships: 16 (35.5%)
Possible f/f ships: 1 (2.2%)
Possible m/m ships: 28 (62.2%)

That’s not even accounting for screentime, character chemistry, interaction times, etc. thats just the NUMBERS.

When there’s a large disparity in character gender then yeah, you’re going to see a heavy inclination to m/m ships because that’s really ALL THATS POSSIBLE. The fans have a natural desire for more story and romances, they want to world build and AU. We’ve done that since stories were first told.

So of COURSE you’re going to see a lot of women - of all sexual orientations - leaning towards m/m pairings because when there’s only potatoes at the buffet… you eat the potatoes. Think of all the shows an movies with only one female character in a cast of men. Is it really difficult to see WHY there’s a lot of m/m ships there?”

Mainstream media is male-centered and male-dominated.

Going beyond just the numbers the fact is that in the majority of popular films and TV shows many of the female characters aren’t well-rounded or on screen as much as most of the men. There is a tendency for women to be the secondary characters or maybe to have one main female character. This makes it hard to really relate to and invest in a lot of the female characters out there. Not that people don’t, but it’s not going to attract a huge following.

Take Supernatural (low hanging fruit I know) where even if there are a large number of women that appear throughout the series, there aren’t many that stick around(and let’s not even go there with all of the deaths and how sexist that is right now ha)or interact with each other in a way that would lead to a lot of shipping. Even in my lovely Hannibal fandom, the Marlana ship which people love and people write for just isn’t going to have as much of a following just based on the fact that they aren’t the main characters. And Marlana is a good example of a w/w ship where they aren’t objectified, don’t die, and still it’s a secondary focus. There obviously are some exceptions, but they are few and far between.

Originally posted by astudyinwinchester



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kepzandme  asked:

Sci, are Clint's issues with food and childhood hunger canon in Marvel? Because they are such a prominent theme in many many fics (I have used it myself) so just curious if they are part of the comics. Also, does Rhodey know that Tony asked Clint to take care of DJ if he and Steve are gone?

I honestly don’t remember it being explicitly covered in the comics.  But there are things that are:

-Clint’s father was physically and emotionally abusive
-Like half of the fathers in the Marvel universe, he was also an alcoholic who hit his wife
-They were very definitely poor
-His parents died in a car accident
-He and his brother ran away, joined the circus, and fell under the thrall of yet another abusive father figure.

This equals hunger.  So why DON’T I remember this being focused on?

Because everything I’ve ever read about hunger, non-fiction or fiction, has been written by women, or PoC.  Guess who almost never, ever gets to write white, male lead character superheroes for the big two publishers?  Women.  And PoC.

So the things that are written about Clint and his difficult childhood (or Tony and his difficult childhood, or Bruce and his difficult childhood, and hell, I think they retconned Steve’s merely dead dad to be, you guessed it, alcoholic and abusive!, so him and his difficult childhood) are written through a white, male lens.  And white men, in general, are more comfortable writing about certain types of abuse (physical and verbal) than others (sexual and emotional).

Because certain types of suffering are ‘manly.’  Are ‘acceptable’ in the backstory of a hyper masculine character.  Look at the same tired tropes trotted out over and over and over.  The suffering heaped on heroic male characters tends to follow a very easy, very comfortable path, where the writer doesn’t have to think too hard, where the character can be sympathetic, but still ‘strong.’  Still ‘tough.’ Still ‘heroic.’ Still ‘masculine.’

Violence is masculine.  Starvation is not.  Poverty is not.

Being poor is the worst sin in the United States.  It is, and anyone who tells you differently is selling something.  

I did my student teaching in an inner city middle school in a not-very-good part of a solidly working class city.  And I remember the principal walking around at lunch, surreptitiously handing out lunch cards.  These were supposed to go to kids who had forgotten their lunch money that day, to entitle them to a free lunch.  But on lunch duty, I soon figured out, she was giving them to the same kids, every day.

I asked her why, and she said, these were kids who would’ve qualified for the free lunch program, she knew it, they knew it, the cafeteria ladies knew it.  But the paperwork was never filled out.  Hell, the paperwork probably never made it home.  Because when they were approved for the free lunch program, the card they were given was a different color than the card for the kids who were paying.  And they knew it.  Their peers knew it.  So they didn’t bring the paperwork home.  

To repeat: Twelve year old children, children who had NO PART in their family’s financial standing, NO ABILITY to change that standing, NO CHANCE to do anything other than do their best to get by, preferred going hungry rather than deal with the shame of being visibly identified as coming from a family below the poverty line.

And for some of these kids, the free breakfast and lunch provided by schools was probably the most stable nutrition they got.  

Hunger never leaves you.  Not ever.  But it is a feminine suffering, a thing spoken of condescendingly by late night “Feed the Children” ads showing starving (brown) children in some far off, unfortunate land, and written about by women who can’t figure out how to stretch what little they have to cover the heating bill and the grocery bill.  Hunger is food deserts in inner cities and canned food because you can’t afford the time or the bus fare to go to the grocery store several times a month for fresh, and so everything has to last.  It is food pantries where you’re given the allotment of rice and beans and maybe, if you’re damn lucky, a can of horrible pineapple chunks as a ‘treat.’

Hunger is not heroic.  And that’s why it’s glossed over in comics.

(Also, yes, totally Rhodey knows. 8) )

2

Today I’ve finally released Pt.1 of my comic TENSION on Gumroad (gum.co/TENSIONpt1 ), available for download!! Through the lens of an Afro-Asian woman, TENSION takes the reader through the experiences of dealing with societal ‘norms’ while learning to accept and love one’s own natural curly hair.

Pt. 2 will be coming this Fall…h-hopefully!! ^__T <3

I’ve also put up my Black Girls sketchbook available for download too :)

TENSION: gum.co/TENSIONpt1

Why you should totally buy Fire Emblem: Echoes

So this Friday, Nintendo just released the latest title to the Fire Emblem franchise; Fire Emblem: Echoes. I’ m a few hours deep and I am absolutely enjoying it! 

 But it looks so different!

Don’t let that scare you off! The story progresses in a similar way to the world map in Awakening! The only real noticeable difference is that you just go battle after battle and you more or less take turns doing Alm and Celica’s routes.

I’ve also heard that there’s no avatar in the game? 

That’s correct, there is no customizable avatar this time around; however, you get to experience the game through the lens of the protagonists, Alm and Celica who each have their own admirable traits.

Below is the portrait of the protag when you’re on their route!

Look at my baby out to destroy people

I really enjoyed Awakening/Fates, am I going to have an enjoyable experience?

Yes, I do believe so and there are some returning features such as casual mode! So if you’re like me and can’t stand losing units, this is a god send. The game difficulty starts out at normal but the game seems simple enough on both routes (I may eat my words later)  there’s even a new feature called “Mila’s Turnwheel” which allows you to go back a few turns and re-strategize to avoid frustrating resets. Which reminds me…

More new things?

Yes, there are a few more new things. If you’re familiar with the likes of the Professor Layton series, now you can explore dungeons and villages with your protags. You’ll crawl dungeons for most of your grinding as opposed to doing odd skirmishes here and there or using items such as Reeking Boxes. You will also recruit characters through this new method and just talk to them outside of the battlefield to get them to join your army. 

What good will it do if I choose to buy this game?

Not only will you have a good time, but this game can impact the very success of the franchise as a whole. If this game does sell well, not only does that open up the option of more older game remakes to come, but more games in general! Since Awakening’s success, Nintendo has been treating Fire Emblem as a major IP, and if the games continue to sell well, it can maintain that status. So new and old fans alike, please purchase and play Echoes! 

@ the anon who had some concerns about my choice of portrayal with geostigma: hit me up off anon and i’ll gladly talk about it with you!