Bibliography | Chromatic Aberration Everywhere – As I tend to read a lot of more “academic” texts when it comes to studying anime, fandom, and interpretation, I thought it might be a good idea to throw up a list of all the things I’ve either read/seen so that anyone else interested in these types of ideas has a place to start.
Japan’s Cute Army – The New Yorker – This stressful, ongoing debate fuels the seeming paradox of an “endearing” military force. In Japan, where indirect communication is highly valued, cute illustrations have long played the role of tension-breakers and mediators in situations of conflict. Thus kawaii mascots, whether miniskirted girls or bunny-rabbit decoy launchers, are both a reflection of pop-cultural trends and a way to defuse the very touchy issues surrounding the military’s undeniable presence.
The Tyranny of Stuctureless – This means that to strive for a structureless group is as useful, and as deceptive, as to aim at an "objective" news story, "value-free" social science, or a "free" economy. A "laissez faire" group is about as realistic as a "laissez faire" society; the idea becomes a smokescreen for the strong or the lucky to establish unquestioned hegemony over others. This hegemony can be so easily established because the idea of "structurelessness" does not prevent the formation of informal structures, only formal ones. Similarly "laissez faire" philosophy did not prevent the economically powerful from establishing control over wages, prices, and distribution of goods; it only prevented the government from doing so. Thus structurelessness becomes a way of masking power
Otaku Philosophy | Public Seminar – Its origins are in cultural forms imported from the United States after the war. “The history of otaku culture is one of adaptation – of how to ‘domesticate’ American culture… Otaku may very well be heirs to Edo culture, but the two are by no means connected by a continuous line. Between the otaku and Japan lies the United States.”
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.