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19 January 2009 @ 07:09 pm
While I drink my spiced chai tea latte  
A juggernaut, yeah, that's a great big machine
from Star Wars -- or maybe a truck
Avatars are who you are in a game
and karma, we all know, is luck.

Kali's a demon; Dan Simmons should know
He went to Calcutta one year
and Soma's a drug out of Huxley. It's so
very great how inventive they were!

---

Sparked by some of the conversation on the What is Cultural Appropriation thread. And oddly not entirely consistent with what I've said about it. Apparently my writing brain doesn't entirely agree with my analyst brain.

ETA: I'm very sorry to do this but I'm disabling comments for now. turning off email notification on this thread and won't be checking  back on it for several days.   I  meant to disable comments, but then realized that would hide the comments that were already made, which isn't my intent at all.

This is all me and my silly head -- I need to work on a paper and won't if I keep wondering if people have said anything here.  So I  need to forbid myself lj till the paper's done.
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
 
Annetxanne on January 20th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC)
I believe the kids these days say "oo BURRRRN."
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
Heh

I hope that's not the only response, though. I mean, I hope it doesn't come across as an attack. For anyone who doesn't know the original referents of all those words, it's not their fault, it's what the lack of credit by the overarching culture has done to us all.

I didn't grow up knowing all of 'em either. Some I learned and reclaimed as an adult. Some I still don't know, from my culture, from others...
Annetxanne on January 20th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
Well...Dan Simmons appropriated Old French (which is, you know, about as white as you can get) in ways that beggar the imagination. He's such an idiot that I can't really do much besides shake my head dolefully. So that informed my reading of the rest of it.
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on January 20th, 2009 05:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on January 20th, 2009 05:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on January 20th, 2009 06:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mackatlaw on January 20th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mackatlaw on January 20th, 2009 06:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
Edit - mackatlaw on January 20th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mac_stone on January 20th, 2009 05:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mac_stone on January 20th, 2009 06:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on January 20th, 2009 06:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on January 20th, 2009 07:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 07:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 07:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mac_stone on January 20th, 2009 07:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 07:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mac_stone on January 20th, 2009 07:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 21st, 2009 03:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rachelmanija on January 20th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thewronghands on March 7th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on March 14th, 2009 04:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thewronghands on March 18th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on March 18th, 2009 10:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thewronghands on March 18th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on March 18th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thewronghands on March 20th, 2009 07:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on March 20th, 2009 08:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thewronghands on March 20th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on March 20th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thewronghands on March 21st, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on March 22nd, 2009 03:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thewronghands on March 22nd, 2009 06:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Oh and... - shweta_narayan on March 18th, 2009 10:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - txanne on January 21st, 2009 02:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 21st, 2009 03:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - txanne on January 21st, 2009 03:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 21st, 2009 03:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - txanne on January 21st, 2009 03:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
mac_stonemac_stone on January 20th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
It is, of course, art. And that's what writers do, right? We do our level best to write hard. Write true. Because ultimately, what else is there for us to do?

shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
I guess read and think and discuss. But that falls under "level best", really.

And yeah. I'm just bemused that my writer brain and analyst brain are not on the same page. I don't particularly want to give one of them credence over the other, but if I needed to I'd say, "trust the writer brain. I'm a writer."
Dichroicdichroic on January 20th, 2009 05:58 am (UTC)
Apropos of nothing it just seems wrongety-wrong-wrong-wrong to me that you and mechaieh are not on each others' flists, because I do think you'd connect with each others' insights. And poems. She doesn't write so much on LJ these days, but has been posting links to where else she writes.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:06 am (UTC)
Cool!
Are you friends with her? Can I say you sent me?
(no subject) - dichroic on January 20th, 2009 06:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
mac_stonemac_stone on January 20th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC)
I generally find my writer-brain is chewing on stuff on way deeper levels than my analyst brain is quite capable of coping with. And my writer-brain is less distanced from the emotional resonance of really tricky stuff, and less interested into parsing that stuff into digestible bits (which has everything to do with truth and rather less to do with "fact" "reasonableness" or "logic" than my analytic brainz)

YMMV.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
There's that for me too.

There's also the fact that poetry only seems to happen to me when my brain is far too fuzzy for analysis. So when I'm writing poems, don't expect much else. Coherent sentences are a bonus :D
zwol on January 20th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
This whole thing has made me feel somewhat self-conscious about wanting to borrow mythical monsters from all over the globe for the video game I'm not writing — probably because this is the closest I get to writing fiction. And the frame for the game, insamuch as it has one, is very much a European notion. I think. I haven't done the research. Because I'm not actually writing the game.

Anyway. I like the doggerel, although some of it makes my head go splode just about as much as the Lord of Light thing (people conflate karma with luck?!) and you know, I think it was you who told me the etymology of juggernaut.

shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 05:22 am (UTC)
Well, you know my position on it, right? I say do it, but do it as right and as respectfully as you can.

And you know, when the base is European and there are things from all over the world, ask yourself why. Is it just convenience+exoticism? Cause if so I'm for rethinking.

Not that you're writing the game :D
zwol on January 20th, 2009 05:44 am (UTC)
And you know, when the base is European and there are things from all over the world, ask yourself why. Is it just convenience+exoticism? Cause if so I'm for rethinking.

It's a good question.

I'm bored with the standard set of fantasy-game monsters, which are largely taken from Grimm and Tolkien, when they're not regular animals only BIGGER. (queenpam is playing a game of this type at the next computer over and tells me that her PC was just killed by wild dogs.) Taking monsters from world mythology seemed like a good way of expanding the pool. I still like this idea.

The frame tale is "a bunch of people from Nonmagical Land go exploring the geographically-adjacent Magical Land because rumor says it's all torn up by war and disaster, so maybe there are abandoned castles with treasure (and monsters)." The last time I talked about this on LJ I called Magical Land "Faerie" because I was thinking of Lud-in-the-Mist. This is what wants some rethink, because it could easily turn into a colonialist narrative. And that's true whether or not "magical land accessible by walking across a geographic boundary" is a uniquely European notion (which is what I was thinking of with the earlier post).

The trouble is, I can't give up the abandoned castles with treasure and monsters. They're necessary to the genre. And I don't want to give up the notion of things getting increasingly alien and messed up as the PCs go farther away from home base, which when whittled down that far seems like a human universal, and in the land of game design gives a natural reason for the difficulty ramp that is also necessary.

It's good that I'm not writing this game; it would probably be so complicated it never got finished.
Dichroicdichroic on January 20th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
1. What if you make 'em palaces rather than castles? Asia has palaces.

2. Castles do seem to be a culturally European thing, true. *However*, I don't think they restricted themselves to building them only within Europe. You've specified "abandoned" castles, which to me doesn't have to imply that the dominant culture around said castles is currently European. In fact, maybe that's why they're abandoned? (I'm sort of thinking Rhodes here - granted Greece is in Europe, but I don't think it's otherwise a part of the castle-building parts of Europe.)

Not that that makes anything less complicated. And sorry if I'm being too much of an enabler here!
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on January 20th, 2009 06:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on January 20th, 2009 06:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nathanielelsmi on January 20th, 2009 10:08 am (UTC)
Maybe the castles are left over from the last wave of colonialists. You know, the ones from a few centuries ago, who took over, got rich lording over the natives for a while, all that. Not that the protagonist knows any of that when they start out, because it was a long time ago. There may come a point when they gain an urgent interest in *why* the last guys felt they needed big castles, and why exactly they aren't there anymore, though...

If you want to avoid the "oh this is happening off in a nebulous otherwhen unconnected to our reality so please don't think carefully the actual content" vibe, then this also gives a cute way to make a more fleshed out connection to our world, with the protagonist coming from vaguely-modern-era and the castle-builders being analogous to our vaguely-medieval-colonial-whatever period. You know, whenever it was that people built castles. Or whatever they did.
  > inventory
  You are carrying:
    A Gore-Tex(tm) jacket (equipped)
    A first-aid kit
    ...
    A pistol
    20 bullets

Very handy starting gear -- though not as much as it might be, since somehow Faerie just doesn't contain *any* crates of refill ammo...

I'm not sure how one would turn this approach into a full, semi-responsible storyline while avoiding "What these people need is a honky", though.

(Silly brain, deciding to run away with fun ideas. Use or ignore as appropriate!)
(no subject) - zwol on January 20th, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Meredith L. Pattersonmaradydd on January 20th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
And that's true whether or not "magical land accessible by walking across a geographic boundary" is a uniquely European notion (which is what I was thinking of with the earlier post).

From my old comparative-lit and anthropology days (which are a good thirteen years old at this date, and thus not entirely to be trusted), I recall the notion of gradations in geography mapping to gradations from the Known to the Unknown (or the Real to the Magical, or Our World to the Otherworld, or whatever) being fairly universal. It varies from culture to culture, though, and with respect to non-Western cultures I'd be careful about non-primary sources with Western anthropologists/folklorists mapping their expectations onto the cultures they're writing about.
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on March 11th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)