Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 17:14 on 03-03-2012, valse de la lune
I don't think this is even the nadir either. I'm sure I could find something worse, given a bit of time, and I never did find out whether the one with the yeti involved, uhm, yeti intercourse.

What am I even typing.

Excerpt from the neko thing: The neko was young, barely past adolescence, hairless save for the grey fur of his tail and that of his sensitive, cat-like ears.
[...]
Dharsha was sold again, this time for far, far less than his original price to a woman with a taste for exotic young things.... The first time she called him to her chambers, he was amazed. For females were mysterious, wondrous things that he had little experience of, but had mused often enough about, as most young males did.
[...]
"As I promised, I've a neko slave to sell."

"No! You bitch!" Dharsha cried, betrayed, furious, aghast. How could she after sharing her body with him? After teaching him the wonders of sex?


You can read more. If you want to. And I'm sure you have every reason to want to!
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at 17:00 on 03-03-2012, Wardog
...

God, where ... how ... why.

And I thought those gay vampire dentists you found were some kind of nadir.

BUT I WAS WRONG.
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at 13:14 on 03-03-2012, valse de la lune
Oh, to contribute to the nightmare quotient, take a look at PL Nunn's M/M fiction. NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

The neko are a cat-like race that live separate from humans.
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at 12:33 on 03-03-2012, Axiomatic
In the immortal words of Zecora, WHAT EVIL HAVE I SEEN / ON MY COMPUTER SCREEN?
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at 06:05 on 03-03-2012, valse de la lune
If I can't sleep tonight, neither will any of you.


What did I just see.
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at 01:57 on 03-03-2012, Michal
I should probably see that Inglourious Basterds before going to the library to get it, even if I have avoided watching it.


Good plan. I'd suggest getting all the "fun" World War Two films out of the way before watching this one. As for relevant films about the Eastern front that came out of the west, I can only really think of Defiance, which still falls into audience pandering and has the same issues as any Edward Zwick film. Enemy at the Gates was, um, problematic, to say the least.
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at 00:36 on 03-03-2012, Melissa G.
Yeah, no, I'm not having this conversation.
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at 22:13 on 02-03-2012, valse de la lune
"Treating foreign countries like a movie set" isn't really the only problem, though, or even the biggest one. Is there a would-be expat alive who isn't aware that they will be better-paid than locals in a developing country? Is there honestly a single expat, or would-be expat, who isn't aware that they're participating in exploitation?

And what do I care if a westerner "loves and embraces" my culture? What does that even mean (other than cultural appropriation and fetishization waiting to happen)? Does that translate to money, to resources, to political power? No. What do expats bring, in exchange for the privilege of living comfortably off our much-weaker currency, leeching off our taxes, and treating us like chattel? Nothing. What do they contribute to our country, our economy? Fuck-all. We give; you take, and take and take and take. No amount of "oh I LOVE your culture! Here let me put on a Thai dress" or godawful mangling of my language will make up for that--quite the opposite.

So no, expats don't deserve to be here. Yes, they should go home.
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at 20:55 on 02-03-2012, Melissa G.
@Adrienne

Certainly didn't think you were. I was just responding to valse's question of if the ex-pats I met were racist and patronizing. There are certainly people (many of them) who are there for the wrong reasons and do treat the country like the set of their life's movie. Which is disgusting.


@valse
I suspect there's a fairly distinct difference between expats in Japan--which is developed and not cheap to live in--and those who head for most places in Southeast Asia.


I also suspect this might be the case. Japan is probably a different scenario because many people go there due to already having a vast knowledge and interest in the culture and country. This leads to different, weeaboo related issues with ex-pats, but that's another story.

I mean, certainly there are problems inherent in moving to another country and getting along there as a foreigner, and there are a lot of people who are horrible and belittling and terrible. But I felt that I - and the ex-pats I consider my friends - were all very respectful and felt mostly welcome in the country. Two of my friends just had their baby there. I certainly hope we're not painting blanket statements like, "Ex-pats don't deserve to be there and should go home" or "Fuck all ex-pats; we hate them". I mean, there's a lot to be gained from living in another country. It certainly opened up my eyes about a lot of things re: privilege and race relations and such.
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at 20:15 on 02-03-2012, valse de la lune
But there are plenty of ex-pats who genuinely love, respect, and embrace the culture of the country they're in and want to assimilate as much as possible and find a home there.


Weird thing, though. In Thailand I've met a very tiny handful who fit this bill; the overwhelming majority, say nine out of ten, are unapologetic colonialist excrement-dipped fucksticks. I suspect there's a fairly distinct difference between expats in Japan--which is developed and not cheap to live in--and those who head for most places in Southeast Asia.

Regardless, even people who "love and respect and embrace" the host culture will still be carting around tons of privilege, and very likely will still be paid better than the locals, get treated better than the locals, and the locals will still have to go out of their way to accommodate you. White expats will never truly be a part of anywhere in Asia and will always be considered with some measure of unwelcome and suspicion. With very good, justifiable reasons. This post is iffy in places, but is mostly pretty clueful about white privilege and being an expat in a way most of his fellows refuse to even think about. A low bar to be sure, but here's to toasting the rare few who manage to leap it.
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at 19:22 on 02-03-2012, Adrienne
Melissa G -- Yah, I don't deny that. Totally not talking about those. :) I was just talking about the ones who DON'T make an effort, who treat the whole damn country like it's some sort of foreign Disneyland.
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at 19:21 on 02-03-2012, Adrienne
Michal -- Yeah, intense feelings of despair are one of the things I am trying to avoid, here. :) It does sound like a really phenomenal film experience, the way you're describing it, though. If I get to a point where I feel like I'm sane enough to handle it, I will keep it in the list!
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at 19:07 on 02-03-2012, Melissa G.
**I mean, why live in a foreign country if you're **not** going to engage with it?
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at 18:58 on 02-03-2012, Melissa G.
Sorry, I came back late to the convo. About the ex-pat thing, there are definitely some people who are benevolently racist, but most of the people I hung around with genuinely loved Japan, loved the culture, loved the people, participated in cultural events with Japanese people (I participated in the local English club with a group of housewives, which was awesome), my friends went to a church run by Japanese people, we had Japanese friends, we could all speak Japanese near fluently, etc, etc etc. There was a couple in my town that kind of annoyed me in that they'd been there three years and hadn't bothered to a learn the language at all. That kind of thing really bugs me. I mean, why live in a foreign country if you're going to engage with it?

Basically, some ex-pats (many probably) are giant douches who just want to go somewhere "mystical" and "exciting" so they don't have to be boring or whatever. But there are plenty of ex-pats who genuinely love, respect, and embrace the culture of the country they're in and want to assimilate as much as possible and find a home there.
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at 07:11 on 02-03-2012, Janne Kirjasniemi
That definitely sounds like a film I should look up. Relevant war films about the Eastern front are rare to come by, if one isn't familiar with russian, since there certainly is a great amount of important movies made in Russia and Eastern Europe which are known only there(and naturally in other slavic languages). I should probably see that Inglourious Basterds before going to the library to get it, even if I have avoided watching it.
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at 06:16 on 02-03-2012, Michal
Okay, yeah, then I'm never watching it either. :) I am pretty horrifyingly affected by certain portrayals of violence in literature and film (to the point of recurring obsessive thoughts for months afterward), so I try to take care of my poor broken brain. Especially when it comes to movies where the main theme is War Is Awful, they being some of the worst for what precisely triggers my oversensitive psyche.

Fair enough. I can only really say that Come and See is utterly unlike any war film I've ever seen, and that the main theme isn't so much a general War Is Awful--though that element is certainly there--as the impact and meaning of this particular war, taken directly from the director's and screenwriter's own experiences. Interestingly, both said they didn't think anyone would want to watch it, but that it had to be made--and the director didn't make any films afterwards because the process exhausted him.

I know it's a cliche, but I haven't been able to watch any films dealing with similiar subject matter the same way since. I was a fan of Inglourious Basterds before I saw Come and See, I can't say I am any more. It hit a nerve, certainly, and I'm sure a good chunk of that must be because I was watching stories from my older relatives unfolding on screen. Come and See is most concerned not with fighting, but with civilian death and destruction of the landscape. It's haunting and at times beautiful but left me with such an intense feeling of despair it's hard to describe.
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at 05:13 on 02-03-2012, Ibmiller
Robinson L: Agreed. Given that the current BBC show has significant quantities of suck and fail alongside significant quantities of intelligence and talent, hopefully even if it does suck and fail, it will do so in different ways, so I can put the two shows together and have one good one :-)
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at 00:36 on 02-03-2012, Robinson L
Ibmiller: Lucy Liu has been cast as Watson.

Mentioned already on livejournal, but this makes me significantly more inclined to give Elementary a try. I just hope that it doesn't suck, or fail, or both.
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at 23:07 on 01-03-2012, Dan H
The more I hear about that book, the worse it sounds. What's the point of it? I can't see how it's escapist, unless the thing you want to "escape" from is basic human decency.


I suspect that's exactly what it is.

Because being asked to treat other people with a modicum of human decency is an *unacceptable double standard*.

I think the nasty-for-the-sake-of-it subgenre is also one with a fairly long history, a lot of people draw validation from liking things that upset other people in the mistaken belief it makes them more mature, more rational, and more reasonable.
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at 21:27 on 01-03-2012, Cammalot
That was a stellar review, and the most miraculous thing for me is that it's making me reconsider "Brothers Grossbart," which made me sick to my stomach in the first chapter.
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at 20:38 on 01-03-2012, Sunnyskywalker
The more I hear about that book, the worse it sounds. What's the point of it? I can't see how it's escapist, unless the thing you want to "escape" from is basic human decency. But it also doesn't look like it particularly explores Jorg's sociopathy - stuff just happens - so neither he nor readers get anything else out of it either. It doesn't subtly point out that maybe his viewpoint isn't accurate if the women and poc don't do anything to upset his expectations (like, oh, not forgiving him as he shoots them to get at someone else behind, or telling the other girls later that his skill and stamina aren't nearly as awesome as he thinks, at minimum). So what's the point? I think that review is right, it sounds like a game shoved into novel form.

Jumping further down this thread, that description of Railsea is hilarious, telling us that it's a "take" on Moby Dick and then saying it's super-original at the same time. Not that being derivative is necessarily a bad thing, and replacing whales with moles is certainly original in a way. Just... those sentences don't work well together without more explanation.
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at 20:27 on 01-03-2012, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Well, it's a step up from "Mahometans", kind of, sort of?
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at 20:03 on 01-03-2012, Arthur B
Googled Jerry Ahern, found his website, noticed he still spells "Muslim" as "Moslem".

Yeeeeeah, that's never a good sign is it?
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