LockedBox

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LockedBox last won the day on March 31 2012

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  1. LockedBox

    Mix Beer With Liquor and You Will Get Sicker

    Hello everyone! Chapter Nineteen, the final chapter of MBWLAYWGS, It’s Better Late Than Never, has been posted. I hope it’s worth the wait.
  2. Gah, hi Meid! I swear I didn't get this until just now, what a nice surprise! I didn't mean to snub you, I just don't get email alerts for this thread like I do for the reviews, so it flew beneath my radar. Thanks so much for your comments, I'm so glad you liked MBWLAYWGS! Especially about the quieter scenes, I know the rather slow pace I like to write isn't for everyone, so it's good to know that there are other people who like it too. Thank you so much for reading! Oh please don't do that, if you cry I'm gonna! I always look forward to your comments, and this is exactly why. I makes me so happy to know people are enjoying MBWLAYWGS, seriously, it makes my week. I have had some terrible dormancy periods but, I couldn't abandon this. It means to much to me. I've been working on this on off for, lord, almost five years now, granted those were more off than on, but, still. It's weird thinking about how I'm going to reach the end, relatively soon now, it's been with me so lon it's strange to think of it ending. I'm so happy you've read it and liked it so much, even if it's cost you some chewed nails. Seriously, it makes me so happy, thank you so much for reading.
  3. LockedBox

    Mix Beer With Liquor and You Will Get Sicker

    Hello People! Chapter Eighteen of MBWLAYWGS Waiting For the Other Shoe to Drop has been posted. Hope you all enjoy it!
  4. LockedBox

    Mix Beer With Liquor and You Will Get Sicker

    Hi guys! Chapter Seventeen, Come Hell or High Water has just been posted! I hope it satisfies!
  5. Ah, Kai hello! It does indeed live! I'm so glad I haven't lost you all after being away so long. I'm sorry it took me so long to update. I didn't mean to neglect it, it just, wouldn't go. I tried to write but it just didn't want to happen. I'm sorry it took me so long to update. Maybe it is the season! I mean there was that Jesus guy who came back from the dead around this time of year, wasn't there? Though I'm not sure if most folks would appreciate me correlating the two I hope you like the new chapters!
  6. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    Could you please reiterate your point for me, because I don't understand what you are trying to say here. I used my own fic as an example of how a person might subconsciously exude people of colour from a setting that they should, by rights, hold a prominent place in. You rebutted by reiterating that yes, there were a lot of people of colour. I reaffirmed that, the key phrase being "we are left with a predominantly white image of the period that does not accurately portray the true racial makeup of the period." . Now, you're irritated with me for agreeing with you? I don't understand what you want from me exactly.
  7. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    I know that! I said that myself! When I say dominated I mean that in the strictest sense of the word, they dominated, they held dominion. They held power and influence over other racial groups. The media was controlled by and produced for white people, white voices and figures were raised above the rest, and as such, we are left with a predominantly white image of the period that does not accurately portray the true racial makeup of the period. Not, dominated as in, there were more of them. And I'm going to have to dissaggree with you on the point about the phrase "whitewashing" and the use thereof. These are separate issues. Lumping them all in together further confuses discussion. And this discussion has proven confusing enough already. Can we please just keep on saying the word and meaning what it actually means, if only for the sake of clarity?
  8. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    I'm not saying that your points are invalid, I was just a bit confused as to why you were accusing me of such things when that was not the point I was trying to make. I can see how I was misconstrued now, but at the time I was very confused and a little upset. These are not beliefs I hold and are not beliefs I was trying to communicate. I never intended to communicate otherwise, merely state that it is our responsibility as authors to be aware of the sort of power we can wield, and to treat material we borrow from with the utmost respect. And as for the whitewashing thing, I'm not claiming responsibility for that. I claim responsibility for a everything else, but I stand by that. That is what the term has always meant. Its in the route of the word for heavens sake. To white wash is to erase all reference to colour until only white remains, be it in film or in writing or in the history books. It is not the same as excluding minority groups. Lets take my piece of fiction MBWLAYWGS for example. It is about a romance between two white men. It has no characters of colour amount it's main cast. Is this problematic? Yes, a little. Theresa was written as a person of mixed race, but she's only one minor character amougst many, so there's definitely a noticeable lack of diversity there. It's something I regret now, and something I'm trying not to repeat in the future, because while Victorian England was definitely white dominated, it was not and never was, soley inhabited by white people. People of colour were always there, and I ought to have been recognized them more. But that isn't the same as white washing. I'm not taking a story away from a person of colour. I'm not taking a story about people of colour and changing it so it is about white people. I just, didn't include any. A lack of inclusion and diversity is not the same as whitewashing. Whitewashing is when you erase people of colour, not when you simply neglect them. The latter is still a serious issue, yes, but they are not the same. You do everyone a disservice by getting them confused. This is a good article on the subject. It's focused at film, but I think it sums up the issue rather nicely, and can be applied easily enough to other media.
  9. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    I'm sure that was mentioned after you, maybe someone edited it out, maybe I'm just crazy. It doesn't matter in the end. It was mainly Chrissy's points that infuriated me, when she said this: When I wasn't even talking about that. People keep on saying, over and over, that this sort of push back will make people afraid to explore cultures not their own, but will it really? It seems to me that it simply reinforces how important it is to treat other peoples cultural heritage with respect. It's fine to borrow it for a little while, but you sure as hell better treat it with respect and give it back in same state that you borrowed it in. This is a good thing, especially when you remember that the days when you could write whatever the hell you wanted about other races and cultures, without doing a drop of research, and get away with it, weren't so long ago. And people keep on talking about whitewashing, but I don't think that phrase means what you think it means! Whitewashing is what happens when you take a story, that was made by, for, and about, a culture that is not white, and then make an adaptation of it, wherein all the roles are occupied by white people. This is not the same as a work that lacks diversity. Lack of diversity in fiction is an issue, yes, but it is not the same as whitewashing. Exodus: Gods and Kings is whitewashed, Stonewall was whitewashed, that horrible new Michal Jackson film people are making is going to be whitewashed. An original work written with a cast of original, white characters, cannot be. It can be deeply problematic, yes, but that's not the same thing. It's a small distinction yes, but an important one, especially with the rate people are throwing that phrase around. If this is how you feel, then I think I can understand. But, I'm not willing to right off an entire swathe of people, and what I believe to be valid criticisms, just because of a vocal few dragging the rest down. Yes, there are people that are bringing the rest down with their behavior, but, I think it would be wrong of me to just throw out the whole point because of that. Like it or lump it, we live in a social media age, and that has changed the way we communicate, unfortunately part of those changes is to make it easier to say mean things and get away with it. But I don't have the energy or the dedication to give each and every one a scolding. Why should we punish those who have genuine concerns for the actions of those they have no responsibility over? Yes, there are assholes in the mix, but many of these people have valid concerns, valid complaints, we shouldn't punish them for the things they can't control.
  10. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    Maybe that's true, but you know what? It's not my job to look into each and every persons background and give them their license to complain. I'm not trying to say that they are right, or that they are wrong, I'm just trying to reinforce that they have their right to voice their concerns about it and not be attacked or belittled for doing so. That's it. I honestly don't know if it's cultural appropriation or not, I'm not Navajo, I just read the arguments presented and, upon reading the source, found I could understand why they were upset. That doesn't mean that I am upset about it. That doesn't mean that I don't see JK's side of things here too. But my feelings are irrelevant to that matter anyway. What did upset me was when Chrissy threw around words like censorship, and segregation, and actively demeaned these people for voicing criticism. What is happening here is not censorship. You cannot advocate an authors right to write about anything she wants with one breath, and then condemn her readers for voicing criticism of what she writes with the next. Do you not understand how hypocritical that is? If people are allowed to write whatever they want, which they should be, then readers, too, have the right to say whatever they want about it in response. You cannot have one without the other, because to suppress that criticism would be censorship. It is honestly upsetting to see people here cluck their tongues and demean these people just for voicing simple criticisms. To quote a very famous, and very important quote: "I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" You can disagree with these people all you want, but do not insult them and demean them like that. We're better than that, damn it.
  11. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    Look, Bronx, have you read my posts at all? I am making one, very simple point here. It is not our place to decide whether or not other people are allowed to be upset or not. It is not our job to police other peoples feelings. If people feel that a piece of writing is cultural appropriation, then it is not up to us to just decide that they are wrong. If she appropriated parts of your culture, then I am sorry, but just because you chose not to make a fuss about it doesn't mean that other people are obliged to do the same. There isn't a union system here, they aren't obligated to consult all the other cultural groups and gain consensus before they raise their voices about something, and take action. For heavens sake, this is not the point, you couldn't have missed the point I was making harder if you tried. I'm not saying that she can't, or even that she shouldn't. I'm saying that, no matter what she does with it, it is going to remain a part of Navajo Culture. You can change the Arthurian legend if you want. You can set it in Africa and make it about African characters and mythological figures, and that's great! But that doesn't change the fact that it's a part of Britannic culture. This is the nature of reinterpretation, you can do whatever you want, but that doesn't grant you ownership over the source material you are reinterpreting. That material is unchanging, and people are going to compare it against it's source. It doesn't matter that she's writing a fantasy setting or not, it is derived from Navajo culture. You keep on saying "its just fantasy" as a means of invalidating these peoples complaints, but that doesn't matter. The reinterpretation does not invalidate the source material, no matter how you interpret it. Because it is a reinterpretation, not an original concept. I never, ever said that no one should write about cultures that are not their own. I simply stated that, writing about something does not make it yours. This is a very simple concept! i don't understand why people keep on trying to put words in my mouth.
  12. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    And how do you know that? You're making a very broad and sweeping generalization there. Are you basing that opinion on the tweets presented in the article, or have you looked into this issue on a broader level? How do you know whether or not they're Navajo? Do you know them personally? Did you do background checks on each and every one of them? Because either way, I find it very difficult to take you seriously when you use demeaning language that way. That's not called for and, frankly, it's not particularly relevant either. To raise my initial point, again, you don't get to decide whether or not they are upset, no matter who they are. That is not your call to make. And again, you say that because it's fantasy, it shouldn't be taken seriously, but that is not the point and you know it. She has taken a Navajo myth, a part of Navajo culture and is using it to her own ends. Placing it into her fantasy setting does change the fact that the skin-changer is a part of Navajo culture and lore. No matter what she does with it, it's still a part of Navajo culture. It doesn't matter if it's fantasy or not. This is not something that can be hand waved away by "it's fantasy, I don't have to justify it." And to address your last point, who cares? Seriously, if the thought that people might be offended and cry racism or sexism stops a person from writing a thing, then good. That means that we are becoming more conscious as a society and aware of the importantace of respecting other cultures and the value of minority groups. It's a good thing. This isn't needless backlash. It's important discussion and discourse about what is and isn't appropriate representations of cultures not our own. This is important. This is how we learn.
  13. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    Hey Bronx, I edited my post because I just thought of a way to make my point clearer, then I saw your post after. I wasn't trying to undermine you or anything, just rephrase myself a bit. Back to the matter of hand, nobody has said that we should stop writing, not on this board or in the article, no one is saying that. I'm not sure why you're bringing it up. All I've been trying to say is that when people say that something is appropriating their culture, we don't get to say it isn't, because it isn't our culture and it isn't our call to make. It doesn't matter if it's fantasy or not. I'm not saying no one should write about it, I'm saying that when people say, "hey, this isn't okay" we should listen. We don't have to agree, just listen, and let them speak. That's all.
  14. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    But that's not the point, that's not why people are upset. I'm not saying that she's an expert, I'm not saying that she should be held up as a source. I'm saying that people are upset for good reason. Their criticism is valid and well grounded. She's taken a real culture, then put it in her fantasy world. Her writing is fantasy, but the culture she's writing about is real. Putting them into a fantasy setting does not change the fact that these people are real, they exist. They have the right to be upset, and to object to the way that they are represented. We shouldn't make light of that just because it's fantasy. I'm not saying that we should all nod our heads and agree, just that we should listen to what these people are saying, we owe people that courtesy. If someone tells you that something you did hurt their feelings, you don't get to decided that you didn't. If the Navajo people say that this representation is hurtful to them, we don't get to decide that it isn't. We don't have to agree with them, but that doesn't change the fact that their feelings are hurt. We don't get to decide what offends them and what doesn't. If you saw no issue with this, great! That's fine, but you don't get to decide that everyone else has to be okay with it too. Discussion and discourse is important. We shouldn't shut it down just because we, as individuals, aren't interested in the topic at hand.
  15. LockedBox

    Diversity in Writing Vs Appropriation?

    I think people tend to lean too far one way or the other. More often than not, the people crying appropriation are not rallying against well written, fleshed out characters, their rallying against characters like dead crow, from the lone ranger. A whit actor presenting themselves as a person belonging to a race and a culture they know little about, about their cultural identity being twisted and misconstrued to fit a romanticized view that was almost entirely constructed by a white persons interpretation. That is appropriation. Are there some people who take the anti-appropriation crusade a bit too far? Yes definitely, the same can be said of any social movement. But over all they do have a very important point. There was an argument I read, this is one I've taken to heart. When a white person write a book about people of colour, they are not simply writing something inclusivley, more often than not, they are presenting themselves as a person of colour. This may not be intentional, but that's the thing about books, if a person picks up a book written from the perspective of, say, an australian aboriginal person, from the Koori nation they are, more often than not, going to assume the author is an Koori themselves, it's not intentional, just something that we do subconsciously. And that gives an author power, for good or ill, to present a view of an entire culture of people that may, or may not be correct, and that can hurt if used for ill. How many times have you read or watched something that played up "the nerdy Asian" the "thuggish black guy" the "gossipy vapid Hispanic?" these tropes hurt, and I promise, it's usually white people who establish and perpetuate them. And more often than not, those white takes on other cultures, are held above those that actually belong to minority groups. And that's a genuine problem that authors should be aware of. Does that mean white people should never write about other cultures? Of course not. But we should all remember what sort of influence our writing, and our characters can have on real people. As for the article, these tweets are cherry picked, but when you read the pottermore passage and listen to what these people are saying, they have a very important point. J.K. Rowling wrote about the "Native American" people and culture almost entirely in the past tense, as if they weren't still around, which is really cringey. And further more, she spoke about their culture, their people and society as if they were just one big conglomerate. They're not. They were, and are, individual nations each with their own unique cultural identity, their own languages and customs. If your going to write about a nation of people, at least learn, and call them by their name. It's like lumping in all the European nations in togetehr and referencing them exclusively as the native Europeans. I mean, lets just search replace part of the pottermore article, replacing American specific language with European. "The legend of the Native European ‘selkie’ – an evil witch or wizard that can transform into an animal at will – has its basis in fact. A legend grew up around the Native European Animagi, that they had sacrificed close family members to gain their powers of transformation. In fact, the majority of Animagi assumed animal forms to escape persecution or to hunt for the village. Such derogatory rumours often originated with muggle midwives, who were sometimes faking magical powers themselves, and fearful of exposure." See what I mean, its incredibly unspecific, we know that the myth of a selkie is of irish origin, a simple google would tell you so, and yet we lump in the irish with an entire continents worth of different nations and call it good, and then go so far as to say "those silly europeans were wrong anyway, the real reason is wizards." The skin walker comes from Navajo culture, and if you going to talk about Navajo culture, give them the courtesy of calling them by their name! This article cherry picks extreme comments and radical statements, but if you peel back the outrage, there are genuine complaints here, and important issues that we need to discuss. Lets not dismiss that offhand.