I’ve played since I was a little kid. Since I begged my dad to buy me a Nintendo LCD Donkey Kong, Jr.
Since I blew through three weeks’ allowance playing Defender at the laundromat.
Since you were a twinge in the left side of your daddy’s underoos.
I’ve been a gamer since I made friends with a girl in the 5th grade just to get at her Atari.
Since I missed the bus playing Galaga after school.
Since I missed the start of Return of the Jedi playing Tempest in the theater lobby.
You think you know. You don’t know.
I’ve been a gamer since before you could read.
Since I aced midterms after staying up all night playing Evil Tetris.
Since I became dorm champ at Leisure Suit Larry.
Since I double-wielded on Time Crisis 3 at Fuddrucker’s.
I was a voice in not one, but two major video game titles.
I hosted the Reach Beta tutorial.
I was a Gears of War superfan panelist at ComicCon.
I hosted the Ubisoft presser at E3 2012.
I didn’t do any of it for the money.
For most I got paid next to nothing, and for some, less than that.
I did it because I love video games.
Because I’ve dreamt since I was a kid of being in one of the games I love.
How many games have you done voices for? How many cons have you repped at?
Your buddy’s Unreal Tournament garage deathmatch doesn’t count.
I go to E3 each year because I love video games.
Because new titles still get me high.
Because I still love getting swag.
Love wearing my gamer pride on my sleeve.
People ask me what console I play.
Motherfucker, ALL of them.
I get invited to E3 because real gamers know I’m a gamer.
I don’t do it for the money.
I have plenty of money.
I don’t do it for the fame.
I do it because I love video games.
I don’t give out my gamertag because I don’t want a mess of noob jackholes lining up
to assassinate me on XBL.
I don’t give a shit what you think about my gamerscore.
I don’t play to prove a point. I don’t play to be the best.
I play because I love it.
I’ve been playing my whole life. I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t apologize for it.
It’s who I am.
To the core.
I’m a gamer.
So to all the haters out there who claim I don’t play;
To the GAF dicks,
To every illiterate racist douchebag on Youtube:
Flame away. Go nuts.
Post every jackass comment your heart desires.
I’ll still be playing when your mom’s kicked you out of her basement
and you have to sell your old-ass console
and get a real job.
For now, I say to you respectfully,
and I mean this from the bottom of my heart,
[Shutter shades-wearing Legend of Korra cosplayers at San Jose con Fanime.]
A photo of Jeremy Lin on Facebook with a thread of super racist comments.
I’ve had a very emotional week, but every night this week, I’ve come home, sat down, turned on YouTube, and watched Jeremy Lin play basketball.
I’m not a basketball fan. I was team captain of a coed team in middle school gym class, but that’s about it. I have, however; tracked J-Lin’s career for a long time now, on AngryAsianMan.com. I first heard about him because during a Harvard game, students from the other school started yelling “chink” at him. They chanted things like “go back to China” at him.
Today he is because he is the first Taiwanese American to play for the NBA. Kicked to the curb by three teams before being picked up by the New York Knicks, the system doubted he could play and put him on the court as a last resort.
After his four straight wins and asskicking to the Lakers, people no longer want him to go back to China. In just a few days, he has managed to overshadow victimized nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee to be the most famous Taiwanese American in the United States of America. Not everyone knows the names of the Taiwanese American founders of YouTube, Yahoo!, or Zappos. Now they know Lin.
My boyfriend, who is not Taiwanese American, but white American, doesn’t know why I am excited about this. He isn’t at all interested in basketball. It isn’t about basketball for me.
Sometimes I wonder if I would be happier dating a woman of color, if I didn’ have to navigate internalized racism or sexism or power imbalances. My boyfriend is a descendant of t he Pilgrims of the Mayflower and the Revolutionary War. The brunt of the racism he experiences are circumstances such as when I doubt his ability to understand the part of me that is Taiwanese. The brunt of racialized sexism that he faces is scorn for the privilege he has as a white male. He is an ally, he has empathy, he tries. I try, too—but I couldn’t share my excitement about JLin with him, and it reminded me of how different we are.
I said I wished I could be at home sharing this trivial basketball victory with my father. My boyfriend asked me why I said “home” when speaking about my slightly estranged family. Wasn’t my home with him? This home, where the language of my family of origin has slowly eroded…
My father, who is older, gradually becoming shorter than me, who can’t stand to be in America for more than a few months at a time anymore. He is fragile. He couldn’t handle the racism here, being taunted for his broken English, his competency being tested and taunted, the eye rolls he got when he tried to speak American.
There is a novel about this now, you know. It is called “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.” It is written by a Taiwanese American named Charles Yu. In the book, the main character, also a Taiwanese American named Charles Yu, watches his Taiwanese immigrant father struggle, broken English, trapped in the past, recursive loops. The book has been made into a play, which has been optioned for a movie. The play stars a white actor. I think I may have to exhaust myself again, fighting against yet another movie.
My father used to love playing basketball. I wish Jeremy Lin could have barged in 25 years ago, shattering stereotypes. Maybe if he had, the clients I worked with at the public works office yesterday would not have called me and people like me “those Orientals.” This is wishful thinking. I stood there, with a vacant, tolerate smile, suffocating the part of my spirit that wanted to scream back.
To me, so much about being an Asian American woman of color, particularly one of Taiwanese extraction, is about sharpening my dragon lady claws and clawing back. This week, I had to fight to cut off a white female professor in my critical race theory clas tried to play an expert on Asian American demography. When I tried to explain, the professor cut me off by snapping, “No, no it’s not.” As if she knew better. I had to counter a narrative proposed by a white female student who spoke about how whitening creams and eyelid surgery about Asians abroad wanting to be white, clearly, glorifying whiteness, make it all about that, all about white people, never looking at other cultural contexts, write the story for us.
I’ve been thinking lot lately about what it means to be Taiwanese American.
Do I even know what I am talking about, since it has been fifteen years since I have even stepped foot on the island?
Yesterday I met some classmates who were also of Taiwanese descent. One of them, who is half white, half Taiwanese, said. ”I am Chinese, though don’t let my mom hear that, she would want me to say that I am Taiwanese but I really don’t care.”
This week,I have seen video of people setting themselves on fire in Tibet. Last month, I stayed up until 4am trying to track Taiwanese election returns. ”How can you not care?” I exploded, trying to keep a smile on my face, trying to stay benign. ”How can you not fucking care? If you’re Taiwanese, you are fucking Taiwanese.”
I wish I could have added, “There are billions of people in this world, in China, in Taiwan, in the United States, who would gladly strip that identity from you. They would tear it away from you in a fucking heartbeat! Don’t just give it away like that.”
I started telling my classmates about my grandparents, telling me about the way they suffered and the people who died and how fiercely they care about being Taiwanese and being allowed to say things that are considered seditious (is speaking out against imperialism “seditious” when you are the ones threatened?)“Are you sure sure that really happened…that the communists did that?” my classmate asked, when I told them about how much my grandparents wanted to tell me about their past. ”No, no, my grandparents said the nationalists did that, during the White Terror,” I said. That drew blank looks.
Speaking to this classmate, who is only half Taiwanese, and has never been to Taiwan, was really eye opening. It confronted me with the reality that my kids, no matter whom I have them with, probably won’t care.
My kids won’t care. They won’t even know.
They won’t know what it is like. Communicating with my grandparents with our shared broken Mandarin. UnderstandingTaiwanese but unable to respond, to speak with them in the language of their choice. Always standing silent, reverent smile, those guttural syllables loaded on my tongue, tiny outbursts of fake Taiwanese staccato, unable to speak a language people from China have tried to kill off, weighed down by an American accent.
Realizing that my kids will never know Taiwanese at all, that they will be lucky if they even know Taiwanese Mandarin, but that they will be perfectly fluent in English like me. Maybe they will even be “English majors” like me. They will read hundreds of books written by white British and American men. Perhaps “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe” will be the first book they ever read written by a Taiwanese American.
If I stay with my white boyfriend of five years they will be hapa and grow up in America surrounded in a culture of white supremacy—not the colloquial definition, but the academic one. The one that taught me to hate my dark haired dolls and glorify the blonde ones. Always wishing my skin was lighter, practicing standing in front of the mirror to make my eyes rounder. The culture that has exhausted me with constant questions about where I am “really” from, assumptions about my ability to speak English without an accent, assumptions about my patriotism. The dominant culture that taught me that I am either a submissive doll or a dominant dragon bitch, that I need to have skinny tinny voice and a cute attitude, tight sideways vagina, war trophy, otaku trophy, Madonna whore.I wish I had kept a running lifetime tally of all the times white people and Chinese people and American people have told me that I don’t get to identify as Taiwanese.
Without their parents having to do anything, my children will learn from osmosis from their surrounding cultural environment that their white side is better. They will identify with predominantly white television characters, they will learn nothing about Taiwan in school. People will tell them Taiwan isn’t real, just as they told me. Their textbooks will treat Taiwan—the strongest democracy in East Asia— like the United Nations treats Taiwan, like the World Health Organization treats Taiwan, like China treats Taiwan. Maybe even like how China treats Tibet.
Their wealthy white grandparents will be warm and speak English to them, buy them gifts and take them to Disney World. Their middling Taiwanese grandparents will feed them strange food and speak a strange language with their mother, smother them and awkwardly communicate with them through hand gestures and broken English.
I will be their brown mother, the one with the baggage about a tiny island across an ocean, miles and miles away, words in my throat fighting to come out. People will think I am their nanny. I will defer to their own self identification; identity diffusion only breeds dysfunction. But if you are a person of color living in the United States, that gun has already been loaded for you.
Walking up to the Taiwanese American club on campus and getting blank stares, not finding kinship, buying boba and Vietnamese sandwiches from them. ”We try and keep our club neutral, we don’t take a political stance,” without realizing that being neutral means being subsumed.
I considered myself lucky to find one other Taiwanese American friend who was willing to sit up late with me on Skype watching the elections, hoping for the first woman democrat to be elected president of Taiwan—not the Republic of China, but Taiwan.
It didn’t happen. I watched as America subtly pushed and pressured and played the election, all while claiming neutrality. Realized that President Obama will never host a special White House dinner for Taiwanese diplomats, that Jeremy Lin will never be seated at a banquet table with Lucy Liu, Michelle Obama, Steven Chen, Jason Wu, Jay Chen. Unlike my Chinese American, Korean American, and Indian American friends this presidential term, I will never peruse leaked seating arrangements or pour White House publicity photos and see people who identify like me smiling back.
It hurts, barely knowing anyone who cares, barely knowing anyone Taiwanese who cares. Am I the only one who feels like this aspect of my identity is being suffocated?
Colorado journalist and romance author Pamela Clare, a longtime reporter on women’s prison issues, weaves real-life cases into her novels—for example, the horrifying (and commonplace) procedure of shackling pregnant inmates when they’re giving birth. In her book Unlawful Contact, the senator hero gets a bill passed banning the practice. Unsatisfied with mere fiction, Clare consulted with lawmakers and actually wrote such a bill, which was passed last year.
Now who says romance is “fluff”, again?
The mastermind behind the hit HBO drama series The Wire has responded to remarks made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about reviving the show. Holder recently begged David Simon and co-producer Ed Burns to bring back the show for a sixth season.
In an email response sent to The Times, Simon seized the opportunity to blast the US government for its “misguided” war on drugs. Simon’s stance is simple: You want The Wire Season 6? Fix the drug war.
“The Attorney-General’s kind remarks are noted and appreciated,” Simon wrote. “I’ve spoken to Ed Burns and we are prepared to go to work on season six of The Wire if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive and dehumanizing drug prohibition.”
Simon’s comments should not come as a surprise to Wire fans. Part of the show’s magic stemmed from its honest, nuanced, unpretentious depiction of the war on drugs. Simon added that the government’s war on drugs is “nothing more or less than a war on our underclass,” comments which pretty much align with what the show managed to accomplish.
The war, Simon continued in his response, is “succeeding only in transforming our democracy into the jailingest nation on the planet (sic).”
IS THIS REAL LIFE
“The pirate queen known only as Cheng I Sao, or “wife of Cheng,” started out as a prostitute in Canton. In 1801, she married the raider Cheng I, who was organizing a confederation of sea brigands to prey on fishing and cargo boats around the Southern edge of China. When Cheng died in 1807, Mrs. Cheng seized her chance and took full control of the operation. Eventually, she governed more than 50,000 pirates. She was notorious for her ruthless sentencing: Looters that disobeyed orders were summarily beheaded, and first-time deserters lost their ears. Mrs. Cheng also entered into a politic fling with a promising young lieutenant, Chang Pao, after appointing him captain of the Red Flag Fleet, her most powerful squadron. Trouble arrived when the Chinese government sought protection against the pirates from the British and Portuguese navy. To avoid an epic battle, Mrs. Cheng brought 17 women and children with her to the Governor-General’s house and asked for pardon. She got it, along with permission to keep the wealth she’d acquired through plundering. Then, clearly craving respectability, she retired to open a gambling house in Canton.”
An excerpt from a great piece about female pirates. My favorite story is about Anne Bonny and Mary Read. I might have to buy this pirate book!
LADY PIRATES! They are my favourites! Also Cheng I Sao is probably my favourite pirate ever. SHE WAS A WELL-KNOWN DESPOT.
SHE IS AMAZING I LOVE HER. she was mad hardcore too, it’s been a while since i read up on her but her pirate code was striiict and i wanna say the punishment for insubordination was chopping a hand off and the punishment for rape was being thrown overboard? anyway it’s the bit about bringing the wee pirate babies with her that i adore, how’s THAT for politics. and when she was like “okay pirates, we’re done, go join the army or become merchants or some shit” basically everyone was like “alright cool.” ugh she’s such an awesome story!
anne bonny and mary read are cool too but the article didn’t mention my favorite almost-definitely-apocryphal part! which is that after they all got captured, when everyone was shitfaced except pregnant anne and mary who were the only ones who put up a fight to the soldiers, anne allegedly went to see jack in jail and said, “had you fought like a man, you would not have needed to hang like a dog.”
She’s a Chinese legend, the greatest pirate of all time, who basically led a strategic naval force superior to that of the Chinese Empire. And isabelthespy is right, she did not allow her men to “take wives” from their captures and the punishment for rape was death. The best part is that when she decided to retire from piracy, the dynastic throne was so happy to get her off the sea that they negotiated an absurdly small symbolic fine and dropped all charges against her, allowing her to live out her life in peace on a beautiful island.(via zuky)
This is the biggest question that I have for whoever the fuck is running DCMKA.
Do you honestly think it’s funny for me to hear that I’m pretty for a Latina?
Do you honestly think it’s funny for me to hear sirens everyday over my house?
Do you think it’s funny for some white asshole to talk to me in broken spanish and expect me to kiss his ass?
Or how about around my neighborhood! Do you think it’s funny to see all these “for sale” signs and to hear how many of my friends have been working at the same dead-end job since High School? They can’t get out. They are fucking stuck.
Or my cousin’s hair! Her hair that she hates and refuses to believe me when I tell her that she’s beautiful after she washes it. She hates her curls. She hates them because she isn’t this blonde, straight haired person. She wants that and I don’t even have to ask why.
Do you think it’s funny that I know the grave sites of friends that I’ve lost to the streets?
Is my life really amusing to you? Me being told everday that I am inferior. There are people in this country and on this planet that hate my existence. That hate me. That want nothing from me and do not take me seriously. And it’s clear whoever is running this blog doesn’t give a flying fuck about anything I say because my life is meant to be sniggered at by multi-millionaires. I deserve to be laughed at right?
I recognize the problematic nature of me liking comics. But I don’t put it on a pedestal. It’s not meant for that. I point out problematic shit because I can’t ignore it. And I would love to see the progressive steps being taken to undo all the crap that DC or Marvel or any of the other comic giants throws my way. I’ve sent letters and I’ve complained about it. What the fuck have you done about it? But whoops, are you too busy to do that? Laughing at me is more important duh!
I cannot speak for all of my fellow brothers and sisters of color. I cannot speak for all of the persons with various disabilities and for the Queer community. I cannot speak for them all, but I know that anyone who falls in any/all of those groups knows what the struggle means.
And my question, is why the fuck is my life, OUR LIVES so fucking funny to you?
Your attempts at being funny are not funny. This is my life. These are our lives. They are our struggles. And you have the audacity to think that any of this is funny.
When the truth is, whoever is running that blog is a fucking joke. And here’s the thing, we are all laughing at you, not with you.
“No other subgenre at the moment is such a grandiose example of the spectacle that is capitalist consumerism today. Few other subgenres are so rooted in possible fact that possibilities for unrooting hidden truths are so wide open. No other subgenre is so rooted in deeply personal and cultural histories — whose history is being altered? Who is being mimicked and glorified as great adventurers? In what other subculture can you dress up and meet people who, not being part of the subculture, say “my grandmother owned something like this”? — and no other subgenre has been so gaily taken up as such a pleasurable pasttime. No other subgenre has that same potential to interrogate and subvert current narratives — who can be slave and who can be master? Who is part of the marginalized group that can find its voice? — and no other subgenre begins from such a problematic space. No other subgenre is so ripe for the myriad of representations of truth to come out and no other subgenre opens itself so openly to the experiences of the marginalized to assert itself not just in the far distance future beyond the stars but right at the kernel of where we all started getting fucked over.”
“[Mod Note - No, no, no. Will Shetterly, I cannot deal with you now. I have seen you rolling around LJ and other parts of the fan blogosphere trying to push the idea that class is more of an issue than race, when the two complicate each other, intersect with each other, and inform prejudice in ways it is clear from your comments that you are unwilling to understand.
And as a long time fan of your work, who followed you from the YA section to the adult section, whose first online handle was a character from NeverNever, who could relate to JustRon and Wolfboy, who loved that “Sound and fury signifying life” line so fucking hard - I CANNOT have you coming into my space and shitting on the reason this site exists. And I have put off writing about that conflict of separating the work from the politics of the creator because you are at the nexus of that and I am still sorting out how I feel.
But I’ve read all your online arguments and seen what you have written to my anti-racist friends and I will tell you that people who seek to minimize the impact that race has on modern life are not welcome here.
And your comment on Tim Wise is following the exact same pattern, so I’m going to pre-emempt the drama and say you are not welcome to comment here.
And I say this, even as the 14 year old version of me can’t believe that the first words I am saying to Will Shetterly are not about how much I loved your books, but how you are unwelcome here, a place that is a refuge to fans of color.
– Latoya Peterson at Racialicious. (Regardless of what you think of Tim Wise, Will Shetterly is a fucking jackass when it comes to discussing race, and this was a truly righteous takedown.) Via K. Tempest Bradford on Twitter.