Monday, January 18, 2010

"Every text creates its reader" - Umberto Eco

I haven't seen Avatar yet (movies just aren't worth paying a babysitter to take care of a toddler), but am marvelling at the inevitable "otherkin" reactions to the film.  Some people online are claiming that they are (spiritually and metaphysically) Na'vi, the computer-animated furry amalgam of Native American and Southeast Asian stereotypes presented as the "noble savage" in the movie.  There's even someone who's trying to create a "new Native American tribe" based on the Na'vi in Florida.

I've always been interested in personal statements from the insane and delusional, and over the last decade-and-change of access to the internet have found a lot of hilarious examples of group psychology, body dysmorphism and internet anonymity combining to create groups of people whose commonality is that they are all secretly something better than human - be it elves, dragons, mystical hermaphroditic foxes with butterfly wings, or now Na'vi.

What's greatest about watching this new group of "otherkin" emerge is that they're getting no love from the people who get together online to discuss how they're all elves or vampires or whathaveyou.  Because, you see, Na'vi are fictional

If this causes a huge internet meltdown with cries of 'persecution' and offensive attempts at identity politics which coopt the legitimate claims and identities of real-world minority groups, I will take back everything bad I've said about James Cameron since halfway through The Abyss.

Monday, January 4, 2010

DIY Publishing: Zines and Comix

Here's a video that I made with Lisanne McTernan for Rebecca Bourgault's Diverse Classrooms in a Visual Culture class this past semester:

(WARNING:  naughty language, naughty drawings, and beer-drinking appear, so maybe you don't want to view this at work if that's an issue there)

It was a lot of fun meeting and talking to all of the interviewees, and I'm pretty happy with the final product (which took way too long to edit, but which piqued my interest in doing more video work later).  One of these days, once my schedule and finances allow it, I am going to get off my ass and attend the Comic Jam again with the goal of having a beer, making obscure comic-book references and drawing goofy jokes, rather than filming people doing the same.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Vic Chesnutt, 1964-2009

R.I.P., Vic, and thanks so much for all the music.  I'm sorry that it got so difficult for you.