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we saw wut u did thar, paramount
So, Joss Whedon is a privileged dick. Must be Tuesday.  
19th-Jul-2012 01:59 pm
pensive wonder woman
Racebending.com's Mike Le asked Joss Whedon about the lack of Asians in Firefly. This was the response:

Le also wrote a great essay explaining the situation: Frustrations of an Asian American Whedonite

19th-Jul-2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what Whedon was even trying to say after the first couple dismissive sentences. It's like he just decided to ramble on for an extra minute and a half with some random buzzwords thrown in for good measure. :\

Excellent essay though.
19th-Jul-2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
I know. His answer was so terrible, I was floored. It's why I didn't describe it in the post, b/c I don't know *what* that was (aside from B.S.) I think at one point he was hinting that the Chinese had been killed off? It was horrifying.

Thanks for reading the essay. :)

Edited at 2012-07-19 08:59 pm (UTC)
20th-Jul-2012 03:18 am (UTC)
Okay, I am glad it just wasn't me.
19th-Jul-2012 07:46 pm (UTC)

Can someone steal this to post on ONTD? I'd do it myself - I'm willing to let my Whedon hate fly free - but I can't access Youtube at the moment.

Mike was a lot more polite than I would have been, lol. My tone would have been a lot more accusatory... then again, in the face of rabid Browncoats, maybe not. I value my life too much.

Edited at 2012-07-19 07:48 pm (UTC)
19th-Jul-2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
I tried to post this to ONTD b/c it has a wider audience. And here I'm just preaching to the converted. It got rejected. I was sad about it. The first few times were b/c of formatting issues. And then finally, I don't know why.

Mike mentioned in the comments that he's been shouted down at cons for bringing up race issues. And he didn't want to risk it at a Whedon love fest. I don't blame him.

ETA: If someone does want to post this to ONTD, go for it! Maybe someone else can get it past the mods. They can even copy and paste my post. I don't care.

Edited at 2012-07-19 08:04 pm (UTC)
19th-Jul-2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
Relevant Riot Nrrd: http://www.riotnrrdcomics.com/2010/08/will-you-subvert-the-dominant-paradigm-for-a-cookie/ - "Will you subvert the dominant paradigm for… A COOKIE?"

Since this one doesn't have a transcript - very unusual for Riot Nrrd, actually - I'll provide one below:

RJ addresses JossWhedon!Puppy: "Siiit..."

Whedon!Puppy sits.
RJ: "GOOD dog!"

RJ: "Subvert the dominant paradiiigm..."

Whedon!Puppy, tail wagging: "Can I throw in some Asian junk because it looks really cool?"
RJ: "BAD dog."

Edit: WTF, why did my link not work. I was ambivalent about LJ arbitrarily replacing my default icon with my alphabetical first icon, but that's entirely different from changing the actual content of my comment.

Edited at 2012-07-19 08:10 pm (UTC)
19th-Jul-2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
The link is working.
19th-Jul-2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
It wasn't when I had the "a href=" business going, though, so I edited to remove that.
20th-Jul-2012 12:32 am (UTC)

I think Le in his fanship of Whedon and of the show is truly not reading between the lines about what his idol's story intentions were for the show.

What Whedon was really trying to envision in his universe is exactly like what happened to the Native Americans in the 19th century frontier society (which Firefly is based). Where all the natives and in this case, Chinese people were killed off or exterminated as white (and some quintessential black) frontier folk expanded across vast territories across the universe in vast numbers. The Alliance is like the Federal Government and the U.S Army, and the "Browncoats", settlers and refugees in the outlying planets are well cowboys and settlers just like the Old West.

And all we are left in Whedon's universe are glimpses of what was once Chinese culture in the form of their exotic writing, a few language phrases peppered here and there that them settler folks accumulated, kitschy pop adverts, icon references and names of certain places in Chinese to give a veneer of legitimacy for the settlers to lay claim to the space/area, exactly like most American cities and states (named after Amerindian ones) in the real world today.

All these wars that the characters talk about such as the Unification War are like the Indian Wars that happened in our history and the Battle of Serenity Valley is almost like a reference to the Battle of Little Bighorn (the 57th Overlanders that Captin Reynolds used to be a sergeant sounds an awful lot like George Custer's Calvary army). That would make Captain Reynolds a mass murderer involved in genocide and his crew of mercenaries/hired guns obviously a bunch of outlaws also involved in probably murdering Chinese/natives in their line of work. A sci-fi story of Manifest Destiny if one could call the show anything. /sarc

That's why old Joss was rambling the way he did in his response. Because he couldn't bear or bring himself to admitting that this was his nightmarish story of genocide in space all along. /sarc emphasis again

and they wonder why this only lasted one season. Fox is actually beginning to look like they had integrity when they canned this. Fuck this and give me Roddenberry anyday.

Edited at 2012-07-20 12:35 am (UTC)
20th-Jul-2012 02:42 am (UTC)
The backstory of Firefly is that the Chinese and Americans did the expanding into space as a conglomerate; there were no pre-existing Chinese settlements that were later taken over by Americans. The full name of the Alliance is the Anglo-Sino Alliance and it has two capital worlds, one mostly Chinese and one mostly American. But the lack of visible Chinese people in the series makes it all too easy to read it this way. They're supposed to be everywhere the Americans are, but we don't SEE them, aside from the occasional extra. It's easy to imagine there was a genocide even though canon says there wasn't.
20th-Jul-2012 02:01 am (UTC)
:( Ugh, I just cannot deal with Joss Whedon. The worst part is all my friends loooooove him, so when the Avengers came out I had to deal with weeks of everyone around me talking about how he was the most clever, progressive, fun, cerebral, bestest best writer in the world.
20th-Jul-2012 02:43 am (UTC)
In the freeze frame one sees if the video hasn't been activated, it looks like the actors are giving him the side-eye.
20th-Jul-2012 04:10 am (UTC)
lmao that's awesome
20th-Jul-2012 12:51 pm (UTC)
Maybe the atmosphere was a bit too giddy to ask such a question? But anyways, is seems that after he got past the "not a mission statement" part of his answer he started answering a question that wasn't asked. And with the second "answer" he showed that he either didn't understand the question, or doesn't have an answer bcz he's afraid to explore it. I can't help but think when things of this nature are pointed out to people they're too wrapped up in the "I'm not racist" implication-that-was-never-made of it to really get into the why and the what of it all. Oh, but you know, it's only that one journalist, so he has nothing to worry about. :-p

I don't think we'd get a real answer to anything regarding this subject without first having the questioned understand. That's something he has to do; I mean, it's not like you can get up there and say: "I have a question, but first let me set the stage..." *5 min. later* "..."

A little off topic: So Mike got into the Firefly panel which means he probably sat though the Korra one. What jerk put those back to back?! Were there any Community fans in the Community panel? LOL The line that day for that, Korra, and Firefly was crazy. Longest line I was in was tickets for the Hasbro store... all that for a pony. Yeah, I got a pony...

Anyways, this whole Firefly thing pisses me off. Bottom line: it was a great show with some issues behind it; like most shows, it seems. When creators don't own up to what they did, subconsciously or not, it only makes it seem like they'll continue to make those mistakes.

"Shouldn’t it be a priority, if you’re trying to tell a believable story about a Sino-American future, to include Asian characters? ..." Maybe there'll be a second shot at it some day...

Edited at 2012-07-20 12:52 pm (UTC)
24th-Jul-2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
In many ways, Whedon used to be very progressive in media. Lately, though, only privileged bile keeps spewing from his hole.
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