What Japanese Girls Do With Manga, and Why – What follows, then, is not an objective analysis formulated by a scholar who stands apart from and above the "phenomenon," but is rather an analysis by a person who is himself an avid reader of the genre, yet who nonetheless tries to examine the genre and its readers critically and from multiple angles, not only for the purpose of telling you what "they" do, but to contribute a transnational perspective to an ongoing discussion of what we do as participants in popular culture.
“Science-Fiction Fandom in United Berlin” by Sonja Fritzsche | World Literature Today – On November 9, 1989, the night the wall fell, several Andymon members crossed over the border into West Berlin to celebrate. Lost on a side of Berlin they had never seen, they decided to contact one of the West Berlin fans from their earlier visit. Luckily, they found her, and this second meeting, now on the other side of the border, helped to cement a future collaboration between both Berlin fan clubs.
Rachel Dolezal and the Trouble with White Womanhood – racismreview.com – “The commodification of Otherness has been so successful because it is offered as a new delight, more intense, more satisfying than normal ways of doing and feeling. Within commodity culture, ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture.”
Pacific Rim and Lessons in Positive Masculinity – Paging Dr. NerdLove – But when you look even a little deeper, it’s almost gleefully subversive of action movie tropes. It’s the woman of color who gets the full Campbellian journey rather than Johnny Action Hero and the hot-shot maverick pilot who doesn’t play by the rules… doesn’t exist, actually. In fact, Pacific Rim is one of the best examples of what non-toxic masculinity looks like.
The Westminster child abuse ‘coverup’: how much did MPs know? | Politics | The Guardian – Another day, another set of shocking headlines about allegations of historical child abuse and high-level coverups, this time a dossier being handed over by the Metropolitan police themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to examine 14 allegations of Scotland Yard’s own complicity in the alleged coverup of a high-level paedophile ring.
On the “dispute” between radical feminism and trans people – In a world where left-wing politics has often derided LGBT identities as “bourgeois” and then accused us of splitting the movement, it infuriates me that I’ve had to take a break from writing a piece on the Tories’ “liberation” of the NHS to write 8,500 words to debunk a sexological concept that was shown to be untenable before the start of the First World War.
Minister-President over discriminatie: oplossing ligt bij slachtoffers – "Eén van de dingen die ik [van leerlingen] leer, is hoe ingrijpend discriminatie is. Dat het in Nederland nog veel voorkomt en het echt uitmaakt of je Mohammed of Jan heet als je solliciteert. Ik heb daar over nagedacht en ben tot de conclusie gekomen dat ik dit niet kan oplossen. De paradox is dat de oplossing bij Mohammed ligt. Ik kan tegen Nederland zeggen: ‘discrimineer aub niet, beoordeel iemand op karakter en kennis.’ Maar als het wel gebeurt, heeft Mohammed de keus: afhaken wegens belediging of doorgaan. Nieuwkomers hebben zich altijd moeten aanpassen, en altijd te maken gehad met vooroordelen en discriminatie. Je moet je invechten."
Who wants to be a millionaire? Peter Oborne on Tony Blair – But Tony Blair has made a fortune. A J P Taylor, in his masterpiece English History 1914-45, noted that Lloyd George was the first prime minister since Walpole to leave office considerably richer than when he entered it. Blair falls into the tradition of Walpole and Lloyd George (though his exploitation of the office of prime minister came after he left Downing Street).
Malaysian SFF writers and projects: a directory | Zen Cho – I’ve been conscious for a while that I’m no longer able to keep up the list of Malaysian SFF writers in English that I put up awhile ago — because I’m busy, but also because there are more of us than ever! I think it is helpful to have a directory for interested readers and people who want to connect with other local writers, but it needs to be updated regularly if it’s to be of use.
Miwa Hirono: my Home Office hell | Opinion | Times Higher Education – Because of this policy, I am now forced to quit my permanent position at the University of Nottingham after six and a half years of dedication and contribution to the university and to the wider policy and scholarly communities. My family and I will be removed from this country as of next Sunday.
Like the Ancient Romans « LRB blog – The trend may be as old as professional football, but it has recently increased ad absurdum, so that very few successful clubs can claim their success has anything to do with the character or qualities of the localities whose names they take. It’s all down to the international capitalists who own them, or dominate them with lucrative TV contracts. (The rot really set it, as with so many rots, with Rupert Murdoch.) Most Premier League players now are highly talented and obscenely paid foreigners.
Approaching Pavonis Mons by balloon: Asimov’s Science Fiction – February 2015 – Reading this piece, I was struck by the sense – which I think has also been articulated by Gardner Dozois – that we're starting to see the emergence of what you might call the "New Default Future". Bear's world is one of vanishing privacy, information for all, continued social inequality, climate change as a given, radical lifestyle changes effected by new biotechnology. You can tweak the parameters a bit, but it does seem as if writers are once again beginning to converge on a shared sense of the future. No, it doesn't necessarily involve space colonies or rolling roads or flying cars, but it's no less valid, no less fascinating.
Frankie Boyle – Offence and Free Speech – So now a lot of challenging stuff just doesn't get made. Good stuff that does get made is weaker because it has to contain the seeds of its own defence. Because when the baleful burning eye of journalism turns upon you, you want to be able to say that it was all completely defensible. Nobody wants to be stood on the doorstep in their dressing gown saying "Well, actually it was supposed to be thorny and ambiguous and disturbing. I know it didn't please people, but actually I was trying not to please them." to a bored reporter from the Daily Mail who in their head is already translating your play about right to die legislation into a call for disabled death camps.
Why I have resigned from the Telegraph | openDemocracy – This brings me to a second and even more important point that bears not just on the fate of one newspaper but on public life as a whole. A free press is essential to a healthy democracy. There is a purpose to journalism, and it is not just to entertain. It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men. Newspapers have what amounts in the end to a constitutional duty to tell their readers the truth.
Feminist Frequency • One Week of Harassment on Twitter – Ever since I began my Tropes vs Women in Video Games project, two and a half years ago, I’ve been harassed on a daily basis by irate gamers angry at my critiques of sexism in video games. It can sometimes be difficult to effectively communicate just how bad this sustained intimidation campaign really is. So I’ve taken the liberty of collecting a week’s worth of hateful messages sent to me on Twitter. The following tweets were directed at my @femfreq account between 1/20/15 and 1/26/15.