jhameia: ME! (Fangirlism)
I may have just sent Dante Basco an Ask on Tumblr about signal boosting Con or Bust.

I am going to just sit here and bask in my dorkiness.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Con or Bust, the fundraiser that helped me get to WisCon34 back in 2010, has now opened for bidding on its various items! I also has an item up for bidding!

You can find most general information about Con or Bust at its site but I would like to give my own perspective on why you should bid, or perhaps even donate, to Con or Bust.

I tend to see people ask, "what do we do to help racism go away?" Or "what can we do to encourage POC participation at events?" And sometimes infuriatingly, "yeah we know racism is bad: what are you doing about it?"

Racism being less just insults or individual prejudices and more a system of excluding people of colour from acts of self-empowerment and equal participation, requires a mass action on the parts of many individuals. It requires acknowledgement of exclusion and active movement to address this exclusion. It requires a communal effort of raising ourselves and each other and a pooling of our already-scarce resources.

When I asked for funding to go to WisCon, I indirectly also used that money to fund my trip to Steampunk World's Fair, 2010, because it was just two weeks before, and I didn't feel like traveling back into Canada and out again, when I could just stay in the States. After SPWF, I traveled from New Jersey to Wisconsin, and stayed with a friend of my father's, before checking into the Concourse for WisCon34.

I actually did not honestly expect to get as much money as I did for my trip down: I simply told [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu the breakdown of expected costs for my trip. And somehow, that is what I got. I've actually been feeling quite guilty about that since then, because I was expecting maybe half of the amount, or less. "Whatever you can spare," I told her.

But I can say that I remain immensely grateful for that money, even though it was some two years ago. I don't know if there's a way to really articulate how much it meant to me that I was given such a lump sum, no questions asked about my credentials or eligibility, to attend what was to me a really big convention, more importantly, a really important conversation. I know for some WisCon is just another fan convention, but for me, then and now, WisCon is THE convention to get some grounding in how feminist theory, intersectionality and speculative fiction are wound together and grounded in the realities of actual writers and fans of the genre, who then transfer these values we learn over into "real life".

Sara Ahmed's written about having a place at the family table and being the feminist killjoy who ruins the family dinner. Con or Bust essentially gives us the wherewithal to even secure a place at the table in the first place. For so many of us who are consistently excluded from the table, because we don't have the time or money or resources to get there, it becomes an invaluable opportunity to make sure we are counted, our voices are part of the discourse, and our perspectives count for something.

So this is what Con or Bust has been doing about racism: we have been addressing the glaringly empty gaps in POC convention attendees and taking steps to fill them. This is what Con or Bust does for a larger purpose of addressing racial disparity in geekdom. Many geeks consider themselves marginalized by mainstream without considering ways that their spaces just re-create and reinforce the problems of the mainstream. Con or Bust's existence is a reminder of how marginalization comes in many forms.

Fans of colour and non-white fans are not always well-represented at fan conventions. I've shared this joke with several people, which runs along these lines:

"I counter X [racialized] people at this con!"
"Wow! We're reaching our quota!"

It is sad and somewhat infuriating that part of our fandom reality is that we feel we have a quota to our presences as people of colour in a gathering that's supposed to be for all sorts of people. That there is a tipping point of how many people of colour can be at any given event before we start becoming threats. This is something that can only happen when it is so abnormal to see people of colour in large numbers, interacting as if we belong there.

And we do. Fundraisers like Con or Bust give us the wherewithal to prove that we have a place and that we belong. Because we as fans of colour are valuable to fan conventions. We bring a perspective that an all-white-with-tokens space cannot have, and the spaces to which we bring our stories to become all the fuller and richer for it.

So if you've ever asked, "what can I do about racism?" then supporting efforts like Con or Bust, run by and for people of colour, in a world where our exclusion is a matter of course without intention, is an action you can take to purposefully address and begin to help allay racial disparity.

Thanks for reading. Now go bid!
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
Guys, guys! I just thought of something! I know that the Eddingses' Belgariad and Mallorean are like, racist as fuck, but I just had this moment, where I wanted to cosplay Polgara someday, and what if someone got all POLGARA IS ALORN GARION SAID SO in my face? And then I could be like, well, who the fuck knows? Nobody knows what Belgarath's ethnicity is, given that his village disappeared when Torak cracked the world, a'ight? Nobody can place Belgarath's ethnicity; everybody just assumes it's Alorn, because Poledra took on the form of an Alorn woman and Pol kinda sorta looks like her? And Beldaran was blond? Well for all we fucking know, Pol has black hair because Belgarath could be Asian-ish. Or NDN-ish. I am DOWN with this. Whoever plays Belgarath in some future film media, better not be white.



Jan. 5th, 2011 09:19 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Alexander Rybak rewrote the lyrics of Oah into something a hella lot less stalkery and problematic. I hated the lyrics and the video of Oah when it first came out, and since the relationship between himself and the girl he wrote it for broke down, he re-wrote the lyrics for the Russian release, and it's OMG SO MUCH BETTER. Now the lyrics are actually as cute as the music itself, they have all the charm and sappiness he's made a living out of, and my skin no longer has to crawl listening to it and I don't get into a depressed, angry mood having it in my head.

Here he is performing the now-renamed to "стрелой Амура" / "Streloj Amura" / "Arrow of Cupid" on Ukrainian X-Factor:

ISN'T HE ADORABLE?? You can find the lyrics in Russian, the translation, AND transliteration of the Russian here.

And a preview of his translated second album:

jhameia: ME! (Fangirlism)
Half-naked Alexander Rybak is hot omg.

I, uh, guess I should qualify with this a video:


That's the Russian version of 5000 Letters. I cannot wait for the Russian version of his second album to come out, omg. <345678
jhameia: ME! (Default)

If you see this post and have other nice things to say about Nisi Shawl, Guest of Honor at WisCon35, please talk about them on your LJ/DW/Tumblr/Twitter/What-have-you. Pass this along <3

I met Nisi at WisCon34 and even though I hadn't read her fiction, I knew she was Famous.

Because Ay-Leen and I referred heavily to her essay at IROSF.

So I knew she was nifty, so I was very intimidated when I first met her, because it's like, little ol' me! Barely-minted writer! And she is Nisi! Winner of the Tiptree Award! About whom everyone had Something Awesome to say!

So when I was at the PoC dinner at WisCon, and we were sitting in that giant rectangle, filling up so much space, I was like "squee sitting at same table with Nisi Shawl! (and NK Jemisin and K Tempest Bradford and and and and)"

I think I first started talking to her while hanging out at the registration table, where I was possibly waiting for someone, but I can't remember now, and Nisi was asking for a mat to do the moonwalk on because she was doing a Michael Jackson act for her reading.

I know I was supposed to be meeting other folks for lunch anyway and asked her if she had had lunch yet, and she hadn't, and for whatever reason decided to hang out with me.

Nisi walked around with this carry-on bag, one of those backpack businesses on wheels.

No wait, I remember I also met her at the Gathering where I was helping with the Clothing Swap, which was superb, I say. And I saw her nametag and I was like "squee!"

So back to the lunch. We were walking from the hotel and Nisi met some dude on the street and they exchanged pleasantries, and then dude asked, "So, what's in the bag you're dragging around with you?"

And Nisi replied, "Oh this? This is my Black Woman's Burden."

And he stared at the bag, completely non-plussed. "Okay!" he said. "I won't ask then!"

I laughed so hard at his reaction.

We walked a bit further, and Nisi asked me, "So Jaymee, tell me about yourself." And I was all flustered and didn't know how to start, and was all like Aaaaah I want to impress her! But she would want me to be myself! And I don't know!

So I babbled something and I don't recall most of the conversation.

You know how these things go.

But lunch with Nisi! And then ice-cream! She was quite firm on the idea of ice-cream.

ALSO DID I MENTION I WAS ON A PANEL WITH HER. A panel upon which I'm sure I babbled a whole lot, but omg it was terrific. (ps [livejournal.com profile] tithenai was on it too!) She was so wonderfully well-spoken.

So I knew I had to get her Filter House anthology, and got an autograph, and was pleased all around. The book's with my cousin Rayhana now (have I mentioned I have Muslim cousins?) because I am intent on making sure Ray gets good quality scifi that she wouldn't be able to get in Malaysia.

I didn't go to WisCon34's GoH speeches (although I did go for Mary Anne Mohanraj's reading at Room of One's Own) because the number of people in the room kinda scared me.

But when I found out Nisi is gonna be WisCon35's Guest of Honour (didn't know who the other one was, didn't matter), I knew I'd do my damnedest to get to WisCon35 and hear Nisi speak as the perfect icing on the cake.

And if I get to have ice-cream with her again, that'd be like you know, the delicious cream in between cake layers? Yeah.

I was gonna put this under a cut, but then I realized I didn't want to.

So yeah.

NISI! ~*\(^o^)/*~
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
Imagine me inhaling that first word.

jhameia: ME! (Fangirlism)
I'm going to Fan Expo Canada! To the Anime and Scifi cons, specifically. I'll probably be bussing back and forth, since there's a 45-min express bus out to Toronto and a stop at Main & Longwood on the way back, which is technically a 40-min walk from my place, but if my luck plays out the way I plan it, I should be able to catch one of the last buses home to my place, saving me time.

Here're my plans so far:

08.00pm Autograph Session with Ogata Megumi
09.00pm Steampunk Meet'n'Greet

11.30am Autograph Session with Ogata Megumi*
12.00pm Tron: Legacy presentation in 3D
01.00pm Q&A - Riese: The Series (steampunk thing) OR Ogata Megumi**
03:30pm Steampunk 101
04.00pm Photo-op: Julie Newmar
05.00pm Spotlight on YOSHITAKA AMANO *heartflutters*
06.00pm Autograph Session with YOSHITAKA AMANO *heartflutters*
06.00pm Photo-op: Burt Ward + Adam West + Batmobile***
08.00pm Masquerade****

01.00pm Spotlight on William Shatner
04.00pm Star Trek: Phase II: New Voyages
04.30pm Photo-op: Julie Newmar *****
05.00pm Photo-op: William Shatner

* Assuming I don't get the requisite for [livejournal.com profile] geminianeyes and [livejournal.com profile] caitlin_chan ETA and [livejournal.com profile] beautydreaming the day before. I might go hang out with people instead of the first autograph session, so playing this by ear.
** Riese is a steampunk series, so I'll most likely go for that.
*** You can bet your ass I am going to RUN from one end of the convention center to the other if I have to so I can have both Amano-san's autograph AND a picture with the fucking Batmobile.
**** This will be the diciest. I'm going because Psyche Corporation is playing and I really want to see Gen again, but as far as I know, she's playing during the closing, and my bus leaves at 12.30am, and I have no clue when the Masquerade is supposed to wrap up. Fuck my Cinderella luck. If I don't get to see her play, I at least hope to meet up with her at one of the steampunk events.
***** This is assuming I don't get a picture with her the day before. I'm kinda D: that she only gets half an hour on each photo-op session. If the Steampunk 101 panel gets too boring I'll cut out to the Newmar photo-op instead, but that's unlikely.

You can tell I'm mostly going for Yoshitaka Amano, and the Toronto Steampunk Society and Steampunk Canada are second priority, although I really am looking forward to meeting the local steampunks.

I met a very helpful bus person who told me that two-way tickets are good for anytime and never expire, so I'll get three tomorrow. However, I might be able to find a place to stay in Scarborough, but my hosts there are going through a family crisis so I don't want to intrude. And I'd have to bus / sub back and forth anyway, so I don't really see how it makes much of a difference.

I also stopped by a sewing machine store today! I asked for a recommendation got a $200 machine, which is good for new sewers. The problem now being, of course, that I don't have enough table space. Which means another trip to Staples. I'm due for one soon anyway, because I still need a new shelf. But, squee! Sewing projects!
jhameia: ME! (Fangirlism)

Cut to save your f-list )
jhameia: ME! (Fangirlism)


... I still haven't decided who to vote for. LIFE IS SO HARD. T_T
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
Check it out! James Ng sent me stuff!

And then as if that wasn't obnoxiously awesome enough...


*dances with joy*
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)

Hoy boy in sailor suit, HOLLAAAAA.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Today I did the following:

Exchanged emails with Kate Nepveu, who's handling the fundraising for Con or Bust!, to apply for monies for WisCon. She remembers me from Tor, and I've seen her LOTR re-reads.

Went to the library. Borrowed Postcolonialism: A Very Short Introduction by Robert JC Young (the first paragraph already gives me a REALLY GOOD feeling), the Colonizer and the Colonized by Albert Memmi and Beginning Postcolonialism by John McLeod.

Had a good chat with Jessica, who is currently Coordinator of the SMU Writing Center.

Lunched at Sushi Shige's, and had a good chat with Chef Shige too.

Found out from [livejournal.com profile] troubleinchina about Jaclyn Friedman's talk tonight. Freaked out. Napped. Went. For those who don't know, she edited Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape. It's a truly visionary book.

Got Jaclyn Friedman's autograph ^__________________^ The talk was really fun and good too. I wished [livejournal.com profile] troubleinchina was there though. Friedman said "crazy" and "lame", and I was too scared to call her out on it during the talk. I did get to talk to her about it later though, and she apologized and was really awesome about it. She's giving another talk at Venus Envy tomorrow night, a shorter one, at 8pm. I might go to that one, if just to hang out with her some more. I dunno. It was neat. I met a lot of cool people. I might volunteer to help the Avalon Center set up some social networking stuff.

jhameia: ME! (Default)
So, it turns out that my computer which wouldn't show anything on the screen had absolutely nothing wrong with it. *sigh* Time for a reformat, I guess.

Other things I have been up to these past couple of days:

- Press Release for the Regenstrief Institute integration which finally went live the other week. Basically, paramedics can pull an abstract of a medical record from a network shared between 27 hospitals in Indianapolis. It's about as cool as it sounds.

- Researching fashion theory for my research paper. My god! How do people do this! I can barely get six to eight sources straight in my research papers, but now I have fifteen books on my table and still not sure how to put together ideas from all of them!

- I inherited a plastic toy gun from Elie when he moved. I plan on doing something to it.

- I also finished reading Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology, within 24 hours of receiving it from Outside the Lines. I posted the previews if you're interested. Worth every penny. I cried about three times. Maybe more. There are even girl superheroes, for chrissakes, who give the good fight without needing a horrible history to drive them. They took the stereotypes and really played with them. I may not like how American-centric it is (still hoping to get some issues of The 99 which has a more international slant), but seeing people who look like me, on every page, in every panel, doing superhuman things, being superheroes - it gave me joy.

- I have also gotten With Her In Ourland! Yes, Gilman's sequel to Herland. It was pricey, since it's Print On Demand, but I'm very pleased. I haven't read it yet, saving it for when I have more time, but if anybody wants to borrow, let me know!

Anyways, back to work!
jhameia: ME! (Fangirlism)
I was corresponding with [livejournal.com profile] dmp last night about my reticence to join [livejournal.com profile] steampunkdebate, because steampunk (just like most scifi) is still white-oriented and I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with people who can't see the after-effects of imperialism suffered by colonized countries or other institutional problems faced by PoC. Shit, I don't even think I could deal with it coming from other PoC.

This was made even more depressing by stuff that Lois McMaster Bujold, whose Vorkosigan works I've been meaning to get into shit that, well, fucking hurts =( (Basically, "wow! Look at all these PoC coming to conventions! It's good to see more PoC fans and I'm sure we'll be hearing more of them!" and well, uh, actually, we've always been reading, you just never noticed -_-;;;)

So, basically, been sticking to clearly coloured places like Racialicious for race issues and didn't even dare touch RaceFail. =/ Too many white people intruding, speaking up over us. Too many patronizing "calm down now dear"s and too much noise. Too much "I didn't know it hurt your feelings, I didn't mean to." Yes, even if I do end up in an echo chamber, so what? At least I know there's a place where my concerns are recognized as legitimate, and not passed off as me being "too sensitive" or "taking individual incidents too seriously". Too angry. Because I'd be gritting my teeth in frustration and rather than reaching through my monitor to do some trout-slapping, I'd be banging on my keyboard writing the worst profanities I ever learned on ShinraOnline.com, and then no one would be taking me seriously at all, because nice girls (and nice WoC) do not do that sort of thing.

I had no idea, but today is Shatter the Silence day at [livejournal.com profile] foc_u (Fen of Colour United). (Fen being the plural of Fan, and I don't know why it's spelled that way, but I'm pretty sure I'll find out soon.) It's where PoC all over speak up about how they feel about their fandoms, science fiction and fantasy, speculative or any other form of imaginative fiction which we love, but don't really see any parallels for ourselves within (because most of them are written by white people, with white characters). Yes, even Firefly, with its Chinese-speaking future, doesn't have a lot of Chinese people. We kind of fall short that way. Even I write white characters, because that's all I'm familiar with within my reading. I never came across a great science fiction story with an Asian character in it. You kidding me? The closest I got was Final Fantasy, and I never even played those games. Closer to home there was wuxia novels (fabulous fantastical martial arts stuff), and I couldn't read those because I can't read Chinese. (This is an after-effect of imperialism, another topic for another day.)

When you are a young PoC reading the mainstreadm scifi/fantasy culture, the first thing you learn is that big heroics and adventures and quests are for white people, and we're only sidekicks or mentors or prizes (I could say love interests, but "prizes" is a hella lot more appropriate word). That's not right.

The more I discover others who have found their words to express their discontent, the more I discover the language I need to express mine. The more I discover other writers of colour, the more determined I am to shape my own narratives. I, too, can compel magical beings to do my bidding even if my skin colour's yellow, and I, too, can go on great adventures into a wide wide world that's not just in the Northern Hemisphere.

So, anyways, go over to [livejournal.com profile] foc_u and check out the posts for today. There's so much good stuff.
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
Racialicious' Special Correspondent Arturo Garcia has a quick review of Star Trek up.

He calls the new Star Trek film "iTrek" and TOS Star Trek "8-Track Trek."


Also, I have a very long essay on Uhura here if anybody wants to read.

EDIT: Also, some anonymous commenter here mentioned Finnegan. THIS IS TRUE! WHERE WAS FINNEGAN?


Mar. 21st, 2009 10:08 pm
jhameia: ME! (Fangirlism)
She-ra's flying unicorn Swift Wind.



I mean, I thought I was pretty done with surprises when I found out that Princess Glimmer (who's kinda typical princess fare with the whole needs-to-be-rescued stuff although she can really hold her own) can FLY. I mean, where the hell did that come from?



jhameia: ME! (Fangirlism)
CAN a flying unicorn outfly robot fliers?

No, really, can a flying unicorn outfly robot fliers?

jhameia: ME! (Joline)
I've been watching this music video almost non-stop.

Possibly because Linda Lewis has the most incredible voice I'd ever heard.

Definitely because I've always loved that song. I liked Madonna's rendition of it in the Evita movie, but somehow, Linda Lewis makes it so... epic.

Possibly because Linda Lewis is a WoC who isn't exactly in any way objectified / hyper-sexualised in this music video. It's just her, the stage, her, the microphone, her, and a bit of the audience. I love the way she looks right at the camera.

Oh, have I mentioned the voice and epic-ness?

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