underground media

"against mediocrity, against marginalization"

Just read this awesome piece by Aaron Cometbus and it made me feel less alone. I really wish people took underground press -specifically fanzines and zines- more seriously. As Cometbus so brilliantly puts it:

Fanzines have become cult items when they were once part of the bigger conversation and the larger body of literature. They’ve become fetish objects, and, in the process, have come to be undervalued and underestimated even by those who claim to champion them- and by many people who put them out!.. For the person who grew up with fanzines, in the current understanding of the word, fanzines are something personal, something marginal, of interest only to young punks or luddites who worship things small and handmade. They appeal to, and are intended for, a very limited audience. The idea that the average person might be intrigued by something unfamiliar, interesting-looking and cheap, and be willing to give it a try - that idea has been lost.”- Aaron Cometbus, March 2011

A Call To Arms or “against mediocrity, against marginalization.”

A Troubling Trend in Cancellations: Are Inclusive Shows in Danger?
“Rosewood,” “The Get Down,” “Sense8,” “Pitch,” “East Los High,” “Sweet/Vicious,” “Underground,” “American Crime.” These are all shows that were canceled recently. Notice a pattern? They all had non…
By Maureen Ryan

“Having written about these issues for a very long time, here are a couple of truths I learned the hard way: Hollywood is way too quick to pat itself on the back for the smallest and most overdue steps forward when it comes to diversity, inclusion and representation — and the industry is far, far too quick to let the backsliding begin. And when that backsliding does begin (as it has many times in the past), many who mouth easy platitudes — instead of doing the real work of increasing the diversity of the industry — very easily and even reflexively turn a blind eye to the return to the status quo. (If that status quo was ever even seriously challenged — and at too many networks and studios, it is not. Still.)”

But there was always an undercurrent of worry when many of us celebrated the TV industry’s (very incomplete) progress, as it started the process of truly expanding its worldviews and creative rosters. That progress is non-existent or weak in some quarters, and inconsistent in others, for starters. Beyond that, for some time, many of us have been worried that, if Peak TV were ever to begin contracting, that the shows created by non-white, female and LGBTQ creators — especially the newer entrants into the mix — would be the first ones shown the door.

Two years ago, NPR’s Linda Holmes began to sound that alarm, and since then, it’s been picked up by many other critics, fans and TV writers. As Holmes put it then, “If there is to be a contraction that works to the benefit of the industry and the audience at large, it can’t come from cutting off newcomers and telling them we’re full.”


DoD 1 year celebration | 60 Days, 60 Singers

Day 22: Doro Pesch
Born: June 3rd, 1964 (Germany)

Bands/Projects: Snakebite (1980 – 1982); Warlock (1983 – 1989); Doro (1989 – present)

Collaborations: Beast (1981); Die Krupps (1997); Powergod (2001); Mägo de Oz (2001, 2006); Motörhead (2001, 2011); U.D.O. (2002, 2012); Killer (2003); Destruction (2005); Dezperadoz (2006); Twister Sister (2006); After Forever (2007); Saxon (2007); Tarja (2008); Axxis (2009); Dio Disciples (2011); Girlschool (2011); Grave Digger (2011); Krypteria (2011); Sister Sin (2011); Tankard (2012); Liv Kristine (2014); Angra (2015); Amon Amarth (2016)

Doro started her career in garage bands in native Düsseldorf underground scene and achieved media visibility and some commercial success with Warlock in the 1980s.

♦ In the 1980s the presence of women in rock, and in particular in heavy metal bands, was usually considered by press and fans more for glamour and sexual exploitation than for the musicianship showed. Doro Pesch was one of the few exceptions; her qualities as vocalist and songwriter in Warlock, her commitment in promoting their music and her avoidance of posturing as a sex symbol won the respect of a solid fan base in the expanding European metal scene of that period.

Both fans, press and internet community often referred to Doro with the moniker Metal Queen, to show their respect and deference for the uninterrupted career of the German singer on the heavy metal scene.

Her career and commitment are held in high esteem by the new generation of female heavy metal singers.

Doro is also known for her duets performed both live and in studio with other singers and musicians of the metal scene, whom she has befriended in her long career.

Personal life:
Doro Pesch has always been very reserved and careful in protecting her privacy off-stage. She consciously renounced a family and children in order to dedicate all of her time to her musical career and her fans.

Doro is vegan. Her stage clothes are handmade, following models she designs and using synthetic materials which imitate leather after the singer’s adhesion to PETA. She also supports the no-profit organization Terre des Femmes, which helps women and girls in need all over the world. Doro has been a trained Thai boxer, a sport that she started practicing in 1995. She still enjoys graphic arts and painting in her limited free time.

anonymous asked:

I'd love to see something about Karamatsu being good enough at guitar/singing that he goes out busking a lot and makes decent money. He even has a bit of an underground following on social media that he of course has no idea about. He keeps busking a secret from his brothers because he thinks they will tease him and they have actually all walked by him in the act at least once but since he is always ignored by them they don't notice.

Ohhhh that sounds lovely. I can definitely see him doing that. Maybe one day Todomatsu sees his brother on social media and his immediate response is “what the fuck.” Todo is the reason Kara realizes he actually has fans, and Kara probably cries like a dweeb because he can’t believe people actually like him. Then Totty insists on being his manager (before Choro can get his grubby hands on him and try catering him to the otaku community somehow) and they start selling merch (Totty tries to make it legitimately nice stuff, but then the sequined pants sell better, and the knockoff shades, and the shirts with Kara’s face on it, and he has to accept that Kara’s fanbase is, sadly, as painful as his brother himself). Kara is just kinda in disbelief but then Totty sets up a scheduled performance and a lot of people show up and afterwards they get to talk to him and everyone just loves him and he feels so overwhelmed by it and it makes him so happy.

(Totty is secretly pretty glad to see his brother so happy, and to have earned it all by himself.) 

The Bravest Human (Astra/Alex)

Ever since Kara became Supergirl, she’s been in near-constant danger. Alex hates to admit it, but she isn’t coping very well with her new responsibilities to keep her sister safe. Astra knows how that feels. On AO3

Alex stumbled out onto her apartment’s tiny balcony at three in the morning, a glass of whisky in her hand. Her entire body felt like lead. She should really have come home and immediately gone to bed, but she knew she wouldn’t sleep. Hadn’t slept in days. Probably wouldn’t sleep until they figured out what Maxwell Lord was planning and took him down. Kara’s safety hung in the balance and she’d be damned if she’d sleep when she could be doing something to help. But Hank had sent her home. Ordered her to get some sleep. 

Tipping back the rest of her whisky, she briefly wished Kara were there. To reprimand her for being awake. To reprimand her for drinking too much. To reprimand her for the abysmal state of her apartment. Never mind. Kara didn’t need to know about any of this. She had too much to worry about without having to worry about Alex as well. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

So if a group of black people beat you up just for being white thats no racism? When a black human resource manager doesnt employ you bc you are white its not racism? Man these white guilt people like you are so hilariously sad. Everyone can be discriminated against. Just bc "white priviledge" black people can now pull the race card in every situation without race being relevant.

Please unfollow me if what I say irritates you this much, or at least refrain from sending me anonymous hate about it. I can understand not being aware of or educated enough on racism, as it’s not something we (as white people) are taught about or have to notice growing up, but actively denying it and choosing to cyber bully someone online with no real contention or attempt to educate them, that’s not okay.

You can discriminate against white people (ie your example of choosing not to hire them, but this is not likely because due to racism white people hold more positions of power) but that is out of personal choice and preference, not from a systematic oppression whereby we have been taught to fear POC, or believe that they are inferior to us. Racism is long engrained within our culture, and has very real world consequences. Reverse racism doesn’t exist, because we hold political, economic and institutional power. As well as a deep rooted mentality, there is a governing structure to hold it up.

“Until people of color colonize, dominate and enslave the populations of the planet in the name of “superiority,” create standards of beauty based on their own colored definition, enact a system where only people of color benefit on a large-scale, and finally pretend like said system no longer exists, there is no such thing as reverse racism.”

Prejudice directed at white people doesn’t have the weight of institutional oppression behind it. We can be hurt by prejudice, but it is not the same thing. I am not going to be killed for being out on the street due to my skin colour. (I might because I’m a girl, but that is a different story). Some more fun facts:

• The median wealth gap difference between a White family and a Black family is $80,000.
• 1 in 9 Black children has an incarcerated parent compared to 1 in 57 White children.
• A White man who has been to jail is still more likely to get a job than a Black man who hasn’t. Let that sink in…

Things you can google to learn more: Black/White/Hispanic wealth gap, redlining, “White flight,” in-school segregation, workplace discrimination, etc etc etc.

Look at the way our media responds to violence.
Black = thug, criminal, deserved to be shot
Arabic = terrorist, get rid of him
White = misunderstood, lonely, depressed, his poor family, he was such a sweet kid

There are so many more reasons, but I don’t think I’m the person who should be telling you. I can’t speak from experience, because I sit in a very privileged position and there would be millions and millions of examples of everyday racism (I’m pretty sure there’s a blog on this if you want to check it out) that I’ve never thought about, because I’ll never be the victim of it.

The tutor in my Race in America class was telling us a story about how though she and her friend had babies at the same time, they had to raise them slightly differently. My tutor, a white woman, told her child that were she ever in trouble she should go find a police officer. Her friend, a POC, told her child to never approach cops, and try to avoid them if possible. This was 12 years ago. I was shocked, because I didn’t realise the police brutality was so common then, as the media (well, not mainstream media but underground levels like Tumblr and Twitter) have only brought it to light in recent years. I, in my white ignorance, genuinely thought that Ferguson, Cleveland and Baltimore were horrible anomalies. They weren’t. They are the norm, and the result of institutionalised racism. The KKK is still alive and well, still functioning today (check out their website if you’d like) and many members of the police force are members of the klan too. There is no “pulling the race card”, it’s a legitimate obstacle that impacts everyday life, racial barriers are very much real and POC have every right to discuss it (and we should too). If they didn’t, nothing would ever change. The very fact that I (as a white person) can discuss this and be met with support but if I were a POC it would be seen as complaining or “pulling the race card” as you said, shows the position of privilege and safety I’m in. This is something we all need to acknowledge and talk about so that things can move forward.

I’m answering this on my phone so I can’t remember what else you said, but I really do encourage you to do more research on this and gain a better understanding.

An open letter to creators

So this morning my tumblr dash is awash with frustration: Amanda Abbington, partner to Martin Freeman and Sherlock actress, recently made several critical comments about BBC’s Sherlock online following and fan creations. Following on the heels of a lackluster season three that simultaneously included both excessive fanservice and an unflattering portrayal of the fan base, these comments have inspired numerous posts on tumblr about “going underground” again to avoid media, cast, and crew attention.

“The Fandom,” as easily viewed on a site like tumblr, is an powerful agent. Recent examples include the incredible ratings upswing for Supernatural’s episode 9:11 aired on January 21st. After a threat of boycott by Beliebers outraged by a Tweet by SPN’s Jared Padelecki, Supernatural fans called for not only their fan base but allies in related fandoms to watch the episode to show support. The result was the highest ratings for the show since 2010, beating out other programs in that time slot and ushering in an early announcement for a season 10 renewal. Hannibal, an NBC series, was famously saved by fan support and given a second season despite middling ratings.

Yet most production companies overlook or even condescend to their fan groups, particularly when those groups are largely comprised of female consumers . Rather than focusing on this institutionalized misogyny, I want to tell you about the importance of fandom and the missed opportunities that result from misreading or upsetting a fan base.

Let’s talk for a moment about fan art and fan fiction. Yes, it’s a dirty little topic because it ranges from mild character portraiture and funny little comics to often graphic, frequently homoerotic portrayals of these fictional characters. Creating or consuming these fan works may be a guilty pleasure, but the audience is broad and far-reaching; fandom staples like Alone on the Water boast over 64,000 views and 2,700 kudos on AO3, an internet fanfiction archive, showing that not only are the works viewed but applauded. Popular fanart pieces on tumblr can receive over 50,000 notes and reblogs; many of these pieces are even assimilated into “official” articles about the franchise.

Fan works, even those produced commercially, enhance the fandom of a franchise by sustaining interest during off-seasons or providing supplemental content that the production company either can’t or won’t provide. This can mean that the products are catering to either a cheaper fan base that can’t afford the limited official merchandise, or a high end collector who’s looking for something a bit less obviously “fandom.” It could be a romantic pairing or non-canon storyline or a fandom in-joke. That’s assuming that official merchandise exists at all.

For a show like Sherlock, which produces one three-episode season every two years, fan creations are essential for maintaining interest in the franchise. Without these works, fans quickly move on to other media, often keeping a warm fondness but no candle burning in the window. Some fans don’t ever come back.

An interesting example of a suffocating fandom is Welcome to Night Vale (WTNV). Creators prohibited the sale of fan works, which gave them only a brief burst of professional quality fan art before the high-end illustrators moved on to franchises that allow them to stock their Redbubble and Society 6 shops with prints. Lack of creator support for these fan works, coupled with a focus on live shows with content that is inaccessible to the bulk of the fan base, WTNV’s tumblr fan presence is rapidly losing visibility despite a consistent biweekly airing.

It’s not unreasonable for an Indy production to want to curtail people profiting off of their work, but it does neglect the power of promotion inherent in fan works… Particularly when WTNV spent the peak of their popularity behind the game in terms of providing opportunities for fans to throw money at them in exchange for consumable products.

Even so, WTNV never decried fan representation, which puts them ahead of some popular creators. Though Cecil Baldwin likely found a sea of (occasionally horrifying) fanart of his fictional character when searching his own legal name, his public treatment of fans has always been fantastic.

As creators and consumers have more access to one another, there will be more and more of these little skirmishes. Creators own canon, but fans create thousands of times over the amount of original content. “Fanon” can even occasionally overpower direct quotes from the writers, particularly when fan-created canon feels more authentic to the consumer than a thinly-written plot. However, the writers have the final word; regardless of how openly Moffat and Gatiss queerbait the Sherlock fandom, they ultimately have the power to give the ultimate NO HOMO in the source media, from which all fan works will be drawn.

The danger comes when creators openly alienate their fan bases by making derogatory comments or making backhanded references in-show to their audience. Or when they make writing choices to derail a particular aspect of fandom that they personally dislike.

Fandom is a powerful thing; while your fans may rally to support you if someone else tears you down, there’s considerably less support for biting the hand that feeds you. If tumblr’s slash continuum opted to boycott the first episode of Sherlock’s season 4, the drop in ratings would be shocking.

If the fandom goes underground, it also becomes smaller and less contagious as fans crowd into their rabbit warrens to escape the media, cast, and creator derision. Tumblr is unique as a fandom platform; from following Sherlock-heavy blogs, I was exposed to Doctor Who and Supernatural gifs and fan works long before I watched either series. (Ironically, between Seasons 2 and 3, I watched 7 seasons of DW and 8 seasons of SPN). From this, I developed a fondness for the characters and show that made me more willing to stick it out through weak opening episode; the recommendation of my friends with a common interest in Sherlock was a bigger influence than a multi-page article in E!W or MSN. When fan works go underground, creators lose the opportunity to network their fans.

Creators and cast are welcome to have and share opinions, but they should be aware that the bulk of their fans aren’t sweaty, sex-obsessed teenagers and don’t wish to be portrayed that way. I’m an adult professional who works in the financial services industry, but I’m also consider myself both a pretty active fan and a cheerful shipper in a couple fandoms. And while there are undeniably extreme, inappropriate fans in any population, they are not the yardstick by which all enthusiasts should be measured.

Sherlock’s big names could take a page out of NBC Hannibal’s book; either love your fans or simply don’t comment on them.

You want to be left alone to create? So do we. And the difference here is that we aren’t creating for you.