Creative works you enjoyed until politics happened - "How politics made me hate Welcome to Nightvale and other things"

Terrifik

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Sorry for double Post :sadwaifu:
Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Imagines a World Free of Whiteness
The animated adventure series, which recently returned to TV, offers complex characters, an epic narrative and a reminder that stories don’t always have to be of the same white America.

In “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” Aang, a 12-year-old air-bending monk, travels the world with a water-bender named Katara and her brother, Sokka.Credit...Nickelodeon
By Maya Phillips
  • June 18, 2020

    Anyone unfamiliar with “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” the animated adventure series that ran on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008, was probably surprised by the buzz that greeted its arrival on Netflix last month.
    It was the most-watched show on the service for days, and became a trending topic on Twitter as long-simmering debates about the series (Who wins the title as the avatar GOAT: Aang or Korra?) were reignited, funny GIFs were created, hashtags were shared.
    But “Avatar” always stood out; I dipped into it years ago, during its original run, drawn in during the marathon blocks of the show Nickelodeon sometimes aired in the afternoons. Its allure was its visual proximity to the anime series I loved, but it was also endlessly bingeable. Not simply a series of short episodic adventures, “Avatar” was an invitation to immerse yourself in an epic journey with conflicts, characters and long-running jokes (like the misfortunes of an unlucky cabbage vendor, a fan favorite) that built on what came before.
    When “Avatar” premiered on Netflix, I jumped back into the mythology to re-examine its longstanding reputation as one of the best animated shows of the past two decades. I rewatched it from beginning to end and discovered a fresh comfort in the series — something that I hadn’t consciously clocked in my first watch but that underscored my renewed affection for it right now.
    Though often celebrated for its sophisticated storytelling and complex characters, “Avatar” most notably dreams up a world free of whiteness, a cultural haven from and refreshing salve in a country that has, especially in recent months, shown marginalized communities its most gruesome face.
    Created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, “Avatar” is set in an Asiatic world comprising four nations that are each defined by a single natural element — earth, fire, water and air — and gifted citizens known as “benders” who are able to manipulate the elements of their homelands. This world is menaced by the Fire Nation, ruled by a totalitarian regime that attacks, exploits and oppresses the other lands.
    The only one who can bring balance to the world is the Avatar, who in the lore of the story is reborn as a different member of the four nations during each lifetime and has the ability to master all four elements. In the series the Avatar is a precocious 12-year-old air-bending monk named Aang, who reappears, after a hundred years trapped in a state of hibernation, to complete his bending training and defeat the megalomaniacal fire lord.
    Aang teams up with two members of the Southern Water Tribe, a water-bender named Katara and her brother, Sokka, and travels the world in search of masters of the elements, while also having side adventures, thwarting Fire Nation troops and evading the fire lord’s son, Zuko, who has a Captain Ahab-esque obsession with defeating the Avatar. Meanwhile, secondary characters reappear throughout the series to help Aang and his friends prepare for a final war against the Fire Nation, to bring harmony back to the four nations.
    The world of the show is expansive and fanciful — with rocky terrains, formidable canyons full of oversized insects, dense Amazonian forests, upside-down temples carved into the sides of cliffs, a vast desert hiding a Borgesian library of limitless knowledge, and even a mystical island on the back of an ancient beast. Though the creators were inspired by Anglocentric world-building franchises like “Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter,” the cultures, philosophies and aesthetics of “Avatar” were influenced almost exclusively by Asian traditions.
In order to master the elements, Aang draws from lessons based on the principle of yin and yang and the workings of chakras, and his values are borrowed from Eastern belief systems like Buddhism. (Aang promotes peace, a respect for all life, and is a reincarnation of previous avatars.) The fashions and music were inspired by Chinese and Japanese styles, and many of the grand vistas and architectural models in the series, like the impenetrable city of Ba Sing Se, were inspired by real-world sites like China’s Great Wall and Forbidden City.

Aang, Katara and Sokka attempt to defeat the megalomaniacal fire lord.Credit...Nickelodeon
But it’s the magical “bending,” so named to describe how its wielders manipulate, tease and strong-arm their element into submission, that is the most entrancing adaptation of Eastern cultural traditions. Each bending style is inspired by a classic Chinese martial art, which the show’s creators developed under the direction of a martial arts consultant. The flighty, variable and evasive air-bending of Aang resembles Baguazhang; the soft, fluid water-bending takes cues from tai chi; earth-bending, with its stability and immovable stances, is grounded in hung gar; and the fierce, aggressive fire-bending style is adapted from Northern Shaolin kung fu.
Aang is corrected by his masters as he learns: He must deepen his stance or turn his arm just so; he must clear his mind and direct the energy through him. Movement is key; the citizens of each nation move differently, so movement is linked to culture, a national disposition, a history within the narrative and a larger, real-life context, of the cultures and traditions that inform these fictional styles.
DiMartino and Konietzko’s admiration for Eastern culture surfaces throughout the series, a loving pastiche of allusions and inspirations: anime, Kung Fu flicks, world mythologies, Native tribes, Studio Ghibli films. In one episode, when Aang is plagued by a series of nightmares about his imminent face-off with the fire lord, the animation playfully morphs to mimic that of other famous anime series, like “Dragon Ball Z.”
“Avatar” managed to embrace all of the above while also conscientiously navigating the tricky minefield of cultural appropriation. The writers were mindful of any inadvertent links the show might make between one of the fictional nations and real Asian countries. Designs and artwork more explicitly based on those of actual countries were reworked so as to avoid any negative inferences that could come with the association. The show also brought in Edwin Zane, the former vice president of the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans, as a consultant to make sure questions of cultural sensitivity would be addressed.
After all, “Avatar” is unique in its approach to world-building. The show could have easily placed its world in proximity to whiteness by having the four nations be just one part of a larger landscape still occupied by white people, so that even if the story starred Asian characters, whiteness would still be a prominent feature. Instead, the show built a world with its own history and culture outside of that, where the characters seem, by default, Asian and view life through an Eastern lens rather than a white Western one.
The coronavirus, which first spread through China, has invited racist associations of Asianness with disease and spurred a surge in anti-Asian rhetoric and abuses. The pandemic has also exacerbated the divide between the white majority and the nonwhite minority: Already disadvantaged demographics have been hit especially hard by Covid-19 infections, job losses and business struggles, and, most troubling, harassment and death at the hands of the police. The so-called land of opportunity lately has become better known as a land of opportunities for hatred and violence. What “Avatar” provides is a world untethered from any definition or perspective that values whiteness above all else.
Despite its meticulous care and sensitivity, “Avatar” still bears Western characteristics. The animation, though inspired by Japanese anime (the creators cited the bewitchingly loony cult favorite “Fooly Cooly” in particular), with its exaggerated features, outsized reactions and dynamic action scenes, nevertheless sports the glossy American style of other Nickelodeon cartoons. (DiMartino and Konietzko originally aimed to do a coproduction with a Japanese studio but said that they found the studios unresponsive. They eventually teamed up with the small Korean studio Tin House for the pilot, and many of the studio’s artists continued working on the series throughout its run.)
Most egregious, the voice actors are mostly white, a glaring misstep for a production that was otherwise conscientious about cultural representation. (The limp 2010 live-action movie adaptation by M. Night Shyamalan was even more whitewashed, sparking a controversy over its casting.) The show’s dialogue is also rife with American idioms, and allusions to U.S. regionalism abound, as in one episode featuring a tribe of swamp-based water-benders who sound like they’ve been transplanted from the Deep South.
But whatever the instances of assimilation and translation, they never come across as a result of a Western superiority complex. Rather, as the United States continues to navigate a querulous relationship with China — not to mention a bloody history of war and forceful intervention with other countries in the East — and contend with its inequalities here, perhaps it’s more accurate to think of “Avatar” as delivering something that never sought to adapt or transcribe East to West, but respectfully marry and unify the two.
Its return to television offers a timely reminder: The story doesn’t always have to be of the same white America. There’s a whole wide world of narratives and traditions that resonate because of, not despite, the alternative view they present.
 

Absolutego

Middleman who didn't do diddly
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That's true, I guess it's not entirely him to blame. Still, I wish folk music was still as it was at the beginning of the 50's revival, or before, when at most the message would be "don't go playing cards with the wrong people", or "don't become a rogue". Probably too much to wish for, but I do wish it diverged into a separate genre.
What's especially sad about the politicization of folk music is Dylan himself hated that it was happening to the genre. It's a big part of why he went electric in the mid 60's and pissed off all the hipster folkheads, to distance himself from folk and sour them on the genre.
I was recently watching a documentary about him called No Direction Home and it sounds like the Woodie Guthrie impression was just what got Bob attention in Greenwich Village, even he wasn't a fan of the way all of the media were calling him some political icon. All his interviews from the time are either him calling everything he does "political" to muddy the term or saying he didn't mean any of it politically.
 

Lumin

Specs are under "About"
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What's especially sad about the politicization of folk music is Dylan himself hated that it was happening to the genre. It's a big part of why he went electric in the mid 60's and pissed off all the hipster folkheads, to distance himself from folk and sour them on the genre.
I was recently watching a documentary about him called No Direction Home and it sounds like the Woodie Guthrie impression was just what got Bob attention in Greenwich Village, even he wasn't a fan of the way all of the media were calling him some political icon. All his interviews from the time are either him calling everything he does "political" to muddy the term or saying he didn't mean any of it politically.
I'll have to rewatch No Direction Home. I haven't seen it since it came out and I realize now my memory is really fuzzy around it. It's really sad the amount of destruction careless marketing can do, as we see here and in countless other places, so maybe I should recant my blame on Bob himself and simply lament what ultimately happened.

I do remember and still really like the "play it fuckin' loud" part, simply because I like when people stick to their guns. Given you've seen "No Direction Home" you've probably also seen "Don't Look Back", but if you haven't I'd highly recommend it. Also "Eat The Document" if you can find it, which is Bob and The Band traveling in England and Canada during the 70's.
 
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Sperghetti

#waxmymeatballs
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Funimation shoved in a Gamergate reference into their dub of Prison School and circlejerked on twitter defending it.
They change a fuckload of lines in their dubs, like in Kobayashi, where they changed a line that was originally the giant-tit dragon woman saying "I changed my clothes because I got a bit to much attention from onlookers" to "I changed my clothes to fight the patriarchal society we live in".
When I was a young weeb back in the late 90's and early 00's, I quickly learned I couldn't trust dubs because they shamelessly edited everything to censor "inappropriate" content and change things that Americans were apparently too stupid to understand. 20 years later, I still can't trust dubs because now they shamelessly edit things to pander to certain political viewpoints.
 

wtfNeedSignUp

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tldr: because Avatar both are on netflix - chad multculural aang vs globalist city girl korra ,caused karen to release aang story was better but, lose sjw politics and lesibian kiss for mostlywhite story less world building than orignal.(korra did want be different not follow as sequal just use avtar as platform give me praise)

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The Inescapable Whiteness of AVATAR: THE LEGEND OF KORRA, and its Uncomfortable Implications
The Inescapable Whiteness of AVATAR: THE LEGEND OF KORRA, and its Uncomfortable Implications
Jeannette Ng
Jul 25 · 17 min read
Korra looks upon across the water at a green-tinted statue of Aang in position clearly meant to evoke that of the Statue of Liberty holding a flame aloft
“Why is Aang now the Statue of Liberty? Is this show set in New York now?”
That was my very first impressions of Korra. And I can’t say anything in the subsequent episodes contradicted this. The sequel to the much-lauded Last Airbender, commonly celebrated for grounding its world building on non-white cultures decided that what it really needed for its sequel is to have all the action be about this new PseudoAmerica. Despite Korra herself not being from Republic City or even The United Republic of Nations, her perspective keeps being pulled towards it. Everything becomes about Republic City even when there is seemingly no good reason for it to.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’ll start at the beginning.
I’ve always been told that The Legend of Korra was “steampunk”, that the industrial revolution has happened within it and that the “march of progress” was one of its core themes. All of which I was genuinely excited about, but really, the look of it is just a weird mashup of American cities with Asian-ish flourishes thrown in.
I can say this with some certainty because the art team have been very open about their influences. It’s all documented with citations on the Legend of Korra wiki. This bridge, for example, is modelled after Manhattan Bridge in New York and Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver. The list of buildings they’re drawing inspiration from are things like Michigan’s Boji Tower (Cabbage Corp) and New York’s Plaza Hotel (Four Elements Hotel) and Pennsylvania Station (Central Station). There’s also a notable sprinkling of iconic European buildings like London’s Battersea Power Station (a Future Industries factory), Germany’s Reichstag (City Hall) and Paris’ Eiffel Tower (Harmony Tower).
New York’s Central Park (left) and Republic City’s Republic City Park (right)
There are other references that screamingly obvious to me but are not, to my knowledge, explicitly intended as such by the creators, such as City Park being basically New York’s Central Park. I will also note that it’s possible to design a green space in a city that’s bordered by tall buildings that doesn’t immediately evoke like Central Park (Hong Kong’s botanical gardens, for example) but this one just isn’t it.
The creators also talk about Republic City as though it’s New York, such as Bryan Konietzko likening Dragon Flats (where Mako and Bolin live in season one) to Queens in New York.
The only exception to this cavalcade of European and American architecture being referenced is the Pro-Bending Arena. It is based on the Harmandir Sahib (aka Golden Temple) in Punjab, India. But even then it’s a bewildering choice to base a sporting arena on a literal real world holy site.
Or to put it another way: If we as the audience recognise it as the Harmandir Sahib, what is this meant to tell us about the story world? Is it that pro-bending is almost a religion to these people, that this is (despite appearances) like a house of worship to the populace? Is it an intentional desecration, that it is shameful to use something as spiritual and culturally significant as bending in a frivolous sport? Or is it just something that looks cool that the art department wanted to put in for no reason?
All this isn’t to say that I dislike these choices for aesthetic reasons. The Roaring 20s with flourishes from Hong Kong and Shanghai of the same era is an excellent look.
I stress that whilst the general feel is definitely recognisable, not a single one of the Republic City’s Named Buildings are explicitly based on famous buildings from Hong Kong or Shanghai skyline. And there very much are iconic buildings they can have incorporated. Which makes me wonder if they accidentally stumbled into this by jamming the EuroAmerican turn of the century stuff (especially its orientalist leanings) with more traditional Asian aesthetics.
I
Shanghai (left), Hong Kong (middle), HSBC old headquarters (right)
But all this is still basically nonsense in the context of Avatar’s world as it has been established. There is just no reason within the setting for it look like this.
Hong Kong and Shanghai didn’t look like that at the turn of the century because that architecture and aesthetic grew “naturally” out of the culture before. It is a very direct product of western imperialism and colonialism. Those buildings look like that because of unequal treaties and western powers wanting a foothold there. Those are their buildings that they built.
This isn’t to say that it’s impossible to recontextualise real world aesthetics or cultural elements in a fantasy setting, but it almost always works best when the new meanings are built on the old and where knowledge of the real world version adds rather than detracts from the experience[1].
In the case of Avatar, we have a setting that has been highly praised for existing outside of the usual paradigms of whiteness and yet when it tries to move the clock forwards, it cannot create a vision of that world’s future without resorting to the same white or western touchstones of modernity. That it cannot imagine an industrialised world that doesn’t revolve around America and its European roots is genuinely aggravating.
And I understand that The Legend of Korra is largely made for and by Americans. As such, it’s no great crime for them to create a setting that reflect themselves. It is doubtless less strange or alien an idea to Americans (especially white Americans) that the world of The Last Avatar should birth a new America. It might even be appealing to think that all roads do indeed lead to America and to imagine this as an alternate past for themselves. I understand this and I’m even sympathetic to this in concept.
But I keep coming back to how The Legend of Korra takes this opportunity to imagine a future without European and American colonisation and imperialism and give us nothing but that.
And that leaves a very foul aftertaste. To suggest that Americana is the inevitable future of all worlds. That is no other possibility for modernity and progress. That westernisation is inevitable even in fantasy worlds without a “West.”
The Southern Water Tribe’s aggressive industrialisation, exploitation of their environment and creating pollution is very much part of this “inevitability of progress” theme. It’s very uncomfortable given how the Water Tribe is based on indigenous cultures (especially the Inuit-Yupik culture). In the real world these are very much the people resisting imperialism, especially ecological imperialism (which they do in The Last Airbender), and thus to cast them as the polluting villains implies that given the opportunity these cultures would be “as bad” as the West, that this is how “everyone” is.
It universalises something that just isn’t universal.
At the same time, there is no lasting legacy of Fire Nation imperialism and colonialism from the age of Last Airbender. Despite being primarily set in the United Republic, which was a Fire Nation colony that didn’t want to simply be transferred back to Earth Kingdom rule after the war (having developed something of a hybrid cultural identity in the hundred years). This is all told in the comics and only passingly referenced in the show itself, but none of the characters carry old grudges. There is no obvious disparity in power within the city that is explored or articulated. When it comes to conflict within the city, it’s all about the Equalists, who want all benders to be done away with, not just fire benders.
And that just doesn’t ring true to me. The whole arc of Republic City rejecting Earth Kingdom rule after a hundred years of being a Fire Nation colony sounds very familiar to me, as someone from Hong Kong. Colonialism shapes a place very fundamentally. The legacy of that doesn’t just go away in seventy years.
I know seventy years sounds like a long time, but it is as far away as WWII is to us now. The scars of the occupation are still very present in east asian communities. Every other east asian person I know has a parent or grandparent who has not forgotten about the war. My father refuses to buy anything Japanese made. If nothing else, you would think there might be a memorial to those who have been lost in those wars.
But no, that would spoil the “being America” aesthetic.
The American-ness of the United Republic extends beyond its aesthetics, of course. At every turn, the world building, plot beats and cultural shorthand draws heavily from that[2]. By season two, it even has an all powerful president at its leader and is repeatedly invited to interfere in world politics the way America does, deploying its armies to “help.”
Varrick and Zhuli get married. Note the white dress.
Varrick and Zhuli’s wedding is replete with modern western wedding imagery, from the white dress[3] to the way the officiant and gathered crowd are arranged. Neither of the characters come from cultures that do this. Despite Varrick being from the Water Tribe, who have previously been established as one that gifts a marriage necklace (see: Katara’s necklace and the one offered to Bolin by Eska), he goes down on one knee to offer Zhuli a wedding ring when he proposes.
the Ford Model T (left) and the Satomobile (right)
Hiroshi Sato and his company, Future Industry, is obviously based on Henry Ford, from his interest in aviation and racing to, of course, the signature Satomobile. Even his rival, Cabbage Corp, has a building that is based on Boji Tower, a skyscaper partly built by Ransom E. Olds, founder of Oldsmobile.
But the real world Henry Ford was virulently antisemitic, responsible for publishing and promoting a weekly newspaper that reflected these views throughout the late 10s and 20s. He’s the only American mentioned favourably in Hitler’s Mein Kampf for this very reason.
And so one can’t help but ask if this is intentional? Are benders meant to parallel Jewish people in the Equalist plotline? Is that an intentional subtext? But benders are really the only people with political power in Republic City, with there even being a single ruling council of them. And Amon might be dripping with Japanese nationalist and fascist imagery, but what does that even mean in the context of Republic City?
Hiroshi Sato standing in front of a huge face of Amon (left) and Hiroshi Sato with his daughter, Asami (right)
It’s hard understate how frustrating this all is to me. Within The Last Airbender, I felt like I could broadly trust my instincts and that references added to the story rather than taking away. When Zuko cut his hair or when Sokka put on makeup before war, those symbols carried with them the cultural weight they have in their original cultures in the world. The narrative was not stopped to explain what these things mean, but it was also largely unnecessary as we could also just infer their meaning contextually[4].
But in Korra, things just don’t work that way anymore.
That feeling of fantasy that is trying to speak to you in your own language has gone away for me. Despite all its faults, that was a very special feeling that The Last Airbender offered. I’m very aware that for many of the asian diaspora, it was one of the first times (if not the only time) they felt that way with popular media. And I can’t help but mourn its loss.
The focus of the storytelling in Korra is very much on the movers and shakers of the world to the point of almost fetishising authority. Some of this is undoubtedly because it has in its cast many of the descendants of Last Airbender characters, all of whom attained positions of power by the end of their lives and power is hereditary.[5]
But still, Korra isn’t just a random water tribe girl. She’s a Southern Water Tribe princess. Her father is somehow chief, despite also being the shamefully exiled brother of the Northern Water Tribe chief.
Plots don’t involve normal everyday people anymore. Rarely is there the equivalent of someone like Haru or Hama. It’s now council members and task forces, kings and presidents, generals and princesses. Even Asami needs to be an arms dealer to get in on the story. Mako becomes a violent cop who throws one liners while indulging in “badass” brutality. The street urchin, Kai, stands out as the only character without such ties to power.
who even is this man? why was he following Amon? why is he even doing what he is doing?
This lack of non-leaders trickles down into the way the many action scenes as the main characters often fight wave after wave of generic uncharacterised mooks. Jet and his gang, appearing at first in only one episode, have more personality than most of the Equalists put together. The Lieutenant (aka moustache guy) has a whole important plot beat where he finds out Amon is a fraud, but we don’t get any glimmer of personality or context to him before this moment.
All these uniformed mooks don’t really add anything to the fights. They’re all in goggles and mechs and are vaguely dehumanised to the point that there’s very little personality to them. There’s no awkward banter or evolving dynamic with them. Just swirling fire balls and more punching. And that makes for far less interesting fights, even if the animation itself can be said to be better or more dynamic.
This may be how the writers of Korra conceptualise modernity, as being opposed to the heroic past where individuals can impact the state of the world, that modernity is an era where “commoners” no longer matter. Or perhaps it is just the restrictions of episode length and the lack of filler. Perhaps it is because they want every single conflict to also be filtered through interpersonal drama, so everyone must be related to everyone else, but they have written an era where the powerful and titled make decisions for other people.
Either way, it is very jarring as a sequel to a story that had themes very much to the contray.
More than just the powerful, The Legend of Korra often views the developments of the plot through the lens of how it might impact Republic City and what they should do about it politically.
Kuvira, the Great Uniter, villain of season four
This is particularly egregious in season four, where Kuvira’s conquest of The Earth Kingdom is seen primarily through the eyes of the powerful and foreign. We never meet up with refugees displaced by her war machine or come to understand what might motivate those who follow her.
It is easy to make excuses for why this might be the case, that it’s just because the season is short and the needs of the plot push on. There are already too many characters!
But it is deeply uncomfortable to me that citizens of Earth Kingdom are shown only a faceless mass of people to be acted upon. Their suffering, their joy, their humanity are nothing more but props to the narrative. These are things that drive the actually important characters to act, not of value in and of themselves. Despite finding time to give the exiled king an arc, but no one else from the Earth Kingdom itself at the point of Kuvira’s ascent is given much of a voice. Bolin is perhaps the closest to such, but he’s simply shown to be deceived and delusional. Even the destruction and violence within Earth Kingdom feels inconsequential to the narrative, especially when stakes need to be raised, it’s Republic City again that is threatened. Time and again, the conflict returns to Republic City, as though the audience is incapable of caring anyplace else.
Time and again, we are meant to ask: What is Republic City going to do about this? How is this going to affect Republic City? The Northern and Southern Water Tribes fight, but the Avatar goes to Republic City and suddenly the plot moves there and its all about schemes to kidnap the president so as to force the hand of the United Republic. Bad things may be happening in the Earth Kingdom but we must now go to Republic City, which is of course where the Earth King’s coronation is going to happen.
scenes from The Last Airbender showing refugees, including the baby Hope who was born whilst travelling with the Aang
Contrast all this with how the cast of The Last Airbender are repeatedly inspiring others to fight the Fire Lord. They meet refugees and freedom fighters, pirates and profiteers. Many of those characters don’t stay for very long and not all are individually well written, but they add to the overall feeling that the main cast aren’t the only people in the world with agency. It is also worth noting that the main cast of Airbender are also each very personally affected by Fire Nation imperialism. They aren’t saviours from the outside; they’re people trying to save themselves.
Season four of Korra finds time to give a “rightful” playboy king an arc of coming into his own to become a “good” king, but can barely spare a moment for his subjects. His arc takes place entirely in Republic City and when the United Republic backs him, it feels uncomfortably reminiscent of the United States installing governments favourable to them during the Cold War. Yet it is somehow framed as a happy (or at least happy enough) ending for the Earth Kingdom.
It’s also interesting to note how timid Korra is about the idea of “starting a war”, as though that wasn’t the entire plot of The Last Airbender. Again it is arguably that divide between how the writers think of a heroic past and the current, modern day world.
In the heroic past, wars are cool and rebellions are just.
But in the now, the violent police and “peacekeeping” armies are the good guys and outright physical conflict must avoided at all costs. Looters and rioters are clearly just greedy opportunists out for themselves and bringing down walls is the work of evil anarchists.
And isn’t that just the whitest damn thing.
An Afterword:
Literary criticism isn’t activism and I’m very aware of that. We enjoy stories for many reasons and I am not advocating that we judge all of them based on how well they work as manuals of revolution. They often have other themes and characters and plots going on. The nature of storytelling is that we will layer these themes over each other and only some of them will be resolved by the end. There isn’t a season of Sailor Moon that doesn’t end with redemption, sacrifice and resurrection, after all, regardless of what came before. My point is that if you enjoy Korra or see other themes in it that you love, this is not meant to make you feel bad or regret that love.
But I wrote this because, The Last Airbender occupies this status for many as the one time white people wrote asian people and it was pretty okay. Worldbuilding and those themes of macro politics is the primary selling point of the Avatar series, especially within Korra.
Finally, if you’re of the PoC writer (especially of the Asian diaspora) and you’ve just read my long incoherent rant and feel intimidated by the prospect of writing about your own culture and experiences, I’m genuinely sorry to have made you feel that way. I have myself read many deconstructions of Asian fantasies and for all that they aren’t intended as manuals on how to write, I read them as such and it has taken a toll. I become hypercritical of my own work in all the wrong ways. I’ve written about it before, and if you have the time, please read this. If you have fallen into my old habit of reading critiques as “how to write” guides, I recommend not doing that and reading the joyously inspiring Wonderbook instead.
None of this is meant to be about how the writers “didn’t do enough research” or they’re “getting my culture wrong.” I love mashups and recontextualising cultural details in worldbuilding to create new meaning. It excites me and I look forward to what you will write.
[1] I generally consider this my goal when writing anything inspired by a real world thing and I recommend it as benchmark. Would someone who is already familiar with this be frustrated or annoyed? Will they immediately know who the villain is because you’ve literally named the character “The Villain” in their non-English language? Would they get confused because you’ve dressed all your mages in priest robes of their culture but not bothered to specify at the start that they are not beholden to the same taboos as priests of the culture you’re inspired by? Or would their knowledge mean there’s an extra pun in the names that only they would get? Does it grant them a little more insight or empathy to the characters, a better grasp of certain cultural shorthands like a red wedding dress or offering incense in a bowl of rice to the dead?
[2] I will note here that Avatar: The Last Airbender did this as well. That there are four elements instead of five or the fact that dragons aren’t associated with water, for example. But those references were generally better integrated, felt less central to the overall plot and did not feel like they were as much overwriting the other cultures they were drawing from. When pro-wrestling makes an appearance, “Fire Nation Man” is voiced with a bad Russian accent despite there not being a Russia within the setting, and is obviously a reference to wrestling heels themed after the enemy during the Cold War. The entire “Aang teaches Fire Nation teens to dance” plot is obviously referencing Footloose (1984).
[3] White dresses for weddings were popularised by Queen Victoria as a ploy to promote British lace. Before her, European wedding dresses could be any colour (including white or cream) and would often be a woman’s best dress that they would then wear to church for the rest of forever. Japan does have a white bridal kimono (symbolising death of a bride to her parents and/or her purity and maidenhood before being reborn into a colourful, usually red kimono with her new husband and family) but that as a custom only dates back to the Meiji era and is born from contact with European customs. Much of China has red as its festive colour generally and applies that also brides and weddings. This footnote is getting way too long.
[4] This doesn’t always work out for me. I assumed the monks and nuns of the air nation were celibate based on their real world counterparts and that the air nomads referred to a separate population were nomadic and didn’t live in non-moving temples. But I digress.
[5] Not that it always makes sense. Toph, notable hater of both cities and laws, somehow has ones daughter who founds a city and one daughter who enforces laws. No wonder they are both such disappointments.
[6] It is actively painful watch the characters very slowly come to the realisation that being an airbender and wanting to become an air nomad and completely change their way of life is not the same thing. It is just as painful to see the plot ignore any of the other potential successors of the air nation (we never learn what happens to the Mechanist and his son Teo and none of the monks and nuns on air temple island are seen), who seem to be dismissed as Not True Heirs by the writers because they have no bending powers. Which all strangely enough reenforces Amon’s point about benders and non-benders not being equal.
Jesus. I'll start with the Avatar one, which basically an argument that the series is good because it's a western show that doesn't have a western elements. Of course the writer could just fucking watch shows from other countries but she is probably too stupid to read subtitles. Besides that it's basically an insanely racist outlook both for whites and for asians that is completely contrary to the show and basic logic.
 

Qajinima022

Sweets Lover
kiwifarms.net
When I was a young weeb back in the late 90's and early 00's, I quickly learned I couldn't trust dubs because they shamelessly edited everything to censor "inappropriate" content and change things that Americans were apparently too stupid to understand. 20 years later, I still can't trust dubs because now they shamelessly edit things to pander to certain political viewpoints.
I mostly will only look at subbed anime, rarely for dubs but yeah. I hate what dubbed anime turned into now...
 

ToroidalBoat

Token Hispanic Friend
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
At least those "woke" are getting close to being honest that they just want white people genocided? But it's "totally not racist" because of some exceptional "privileged group" vs "marginalized group" bullshit. Like I said many times, the central flaw of identity politics is holding those of a certain "oppressor" kind as always responsible for actions of others of their kind.

Ironically, in a "world free from whiteness", there wouldn't be identity politics - "woke" who make it up are naturally white.
 
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Quixotic Son

W H I N D M E A L
kiwifarms.net
Not sure if this is a hot take or not but this is how I see politics in media:
I believe having politics in the art or media we indulge in is a double edged sword. On one hand, we could get negative things (like what was stated above about Avatar how the world would be without whiteness). On the other hand, it’s a healthy way for creators, artists, writers, and the like to express their beliefs on certain topics (going with another Avatar example: how war affects the world and people in it).
 

NeilBreenLover69

kiwifarms.net
tldr: because Avatar both are on netflix - chad multculural aang vs globalist city girl korra ,caused karen to release aang story was better but, lose sjw politics and lesibian kiss for mostlywhite story less world building than orignal.(korra did want be different not follow as sequal just use avtar as platform give me praise)

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The Inescapable Whiteness of AVATAR: THE LEGEND OF KORRA, and its Uncomfortable Implications
The Inescapable Whiteness of AVATAR: THE LEGEND OF KORRA, and its Uncomfortable Implications
Jeannette Ng
Jul 25 · 17 min read
Korra looks upon across the water at a green-tinted statue of Aang in position clearly meant to evoke that of the Statue of Liberty holding a flame aloft
“Why is Aang now the Statue of Liberty? Is this show set in New York now?”
That was my very first impressions of Korra. And I can’t say anything in the subsequent episodes contradicted this. The sequel to the much-lauded Last Airbender, commonly celebrated for grounding its world building on non-white cultures decided that what it really needed for its sequel is to have all the action be about this new PseudoAmerica. Despite Korra herself not being from Republic City or even The United Republic of Nations, her perspective keeps being pulled towards it. Everything becomes about Republic City even when there is seemingly no good reason for it to.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’ll start at the beginning.
I’ve always been told that The Legend of Korra was “steampunk”, that the industrial revolution has happened within it and that the “march of progress” was one of its core themes. All of which I was genuinely excited about, but really, the look of it is just a weird mashup of American cities with Asian-ish flourishes thrown in.
I can say this with some certainty because the art team have been very open about their influences. It’s all documented with citations on the Legend of Korra wiki. This bridge, for example, is modelled after Manhattan Bridge in New York and Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver. The list of buildings they’re drawing inspiration from are things like Michigan’s Boji Tower (Cabbage Corp) and New York’s Plaza Hotel (Four Elements Hotel) and Pennsylvania Station (Central Station). There’s also a notable sprinkling of iconic European buildings like London’s Battersea Power Station (a Future Industries factory), Germany’s Reichstag (City Hall) and Paris’ Eiffel Tower (Harmony Tower).
New York’s Central Park (left) and Republic City’s Republic City Park (right)
There are other references that screamingly obvious to me but are not, to my knowledge, explicitly intended as such by the creators, such as City Park being basically New York’s Central Park. I will also note that it’s possible to design a green space in a city that’s bordered by tall buildings that doesn’t immediately evoke like Central Park (Hong Kong’s botanical gardens, for example) but this one just isn’t it.
The creators also talk about Republic City as though it’s New York, such as Bryan Konietzko likening Dragon Flats (where Mako and Bolin live in season one) to Queens in New York.
The only exception to this cavalcade of European and American architecture being referenced is the Pro-Bending Arena. It is based on the Harmandir Sahib (aka Golden Temple) in Punjab, India. But even then it’s a bewildering choice to base a sporting arena on a literal real world holy site.
Or to put it another way: If we as the audience recognise it as the Harmandir Sahib, what is this meant to tell us about the story world? Is it that pro-bending is almost a religion to these people, that this is (despite appearances) like a house of worship to the populace? Is it an intentional desecration, that it is shameful to use something as spiritual and culturally significant as bending in a frivolous sport? Or is it just something that looks cool that the art department wanted to put in for no reason?
All this isn’t to say that I dislike these choices for aesthetic reasons. The Roaring 20s with flourishes from Hong Kong and Shanghai of the same era is an excellent look.
I stress that whilst the general feel is definitely recognisable, not a single one of the Republic City’s Named Buildings are explicitly based on famous buildings from Hong Kong or Shanghai skyline. And there very much are iconic buildings they can have incorporated. Which makes me wonder if they accidentally stumbled into this by jamming the EuroAmerican turn of the century stuff (especially its orientalist leanings) with more traditional Asian aesthetics.
I
Shanghai (left), Hong Kong (middle), HSBC old headquarters (right)
But all this is still basically nonsense in the context of Avatar’s world as it has been established. There is just no reason within the setting for it look like this.
Hong Kong and Shanghai didn’t look like that at the turn of the century because that architecture and aesthetic grew “naturally” out of the culture before. It is a very direct product of western imperialism and colonialism. Those buildings look like that because of unequal treaties and western powers wanting a foothold there. Those are their buildings that they built.
This isn’t to say that it’s impossible to recontextualise real world aesthetics or cultural elements in a fantasy setting, but it almost always works best when the new meanings are built on the old and where knowledge of the real world version adds rather than detracts from the experience[1].
In the case of Avatar, we have a setting that has been highly praised for existing outside of the usual paradigms of whiteness and yet when it tries to move the clock forwards, it cannot create a vision of that world’s future without resorting to the same white or western touchstones of modernity. That it cannot imagine an industrialised world that doesn’t revolve around America and its European roots is genuinely aggravating.
And I understand that The Legend of Korra is largely made for and by Americans. As such, it’s no great crime for them to create a setting that reflect themselves. It is doubtless less strange or alien an idea to Americans (especially white Americans) that the world of The Last Avatar should birth a new America. It might even be appealing to think that all roads do indeed lead to America and to imagine this as an alternate past for themselves. I understand this and I’m even sympathetic to this in concept.
But I keep coming back to how The Legend of Korra takes this opportunity to imagine a future without European and American colonisation and imperialism and give us nothing but that.
And that leaves a very foul aftertaste. To suggest that Americana is the inevitable future of all worlds. That is no other possibility for modernity and progress. That westernisation is inevitable even in fantasy worlds without a “West.”
The Southern Water Tribe’s aggressive industrialisation, exploitation of their environment and creating pollution is very much part of this “inevitability of progress” theme. It’s very uncomfortable given how the Water Tribe is based on indigenous cultures (especially the Inuit-Yupik culture). In the real world these are very much the people resisting imperialism, especially ecological imperialism (which they do in The Last Airbender), and thus to cast them as the polluting villains implies that given the opportunity these cultures would be “as bad” as the West, that this is how “everyone” is.
It universalises something that just isn’t universal.
At the same time, there is no lasting legacy of Fire Nation imperialism and colonialism from the age of Last Airbender. Despite being primarily set in the United Republic, which was a Fire Nation colony that didn’t want to simply be transferred back to Earth Kingdom rule after the war (having developed something of a hybrid cultural identity in the hundred years). This is all told in the comics and only passingly referenced in the show itself, but none of the characters carry old grudges. There is no obvious disparity in power within the city that is explored or articulated. When it comes to conflict within the city, it’s all about the Equalists, who want all benders to be done away with, not just fire benders.
And that just doesn’t ring true to me. The whole arc of Republic City rejecting Earth Kingdom rule after a hundred years of being a Fire Nation colony sounds very familiar to me, as someone from Hong Kong. Colonialism shapes a place very fundamentally. The legacy of that doesn’t just go away in seventy years.
I know seventy years sounds like a long time, but it is as far away as WWII is to us now. The scars of the occupation are still very present in east asian communities. Every other east asian person I know has a parent or grandparent who has not forgotten about the war. My father refuses to buy anything Japanese made. If nothing else, you would think there might be a memorial to those who have been lost in those wars.
But no, that would spoil the “being America” aesthetic.
The American-ness of the United Republic extends beyond its aesthetics, of course. At every turn, the world building, plot beats and cultural shorthand draws heavily from that[2]. By season two, it even has an all powerful president at its leader and is repeatedly invited to interfere in world politics the way America does, deploying its armies to “help.”
Varrick and Zhuli get married. Note the white dress.
Varrick and Zhuli’s wedding is replete with modern western wedding imagery, from the white dress[3] to the way the officiant and gathered crowd are arranged. Neither of the characters come from cultures that do this. Despite Varrick being from the Water Tribe, who have previously been established as one that gifts a marriage necklace (see: Katara’s necklace and the one offered to Bolin by Eska), he goes down on one knee to offer Zhuli a wedding ring when he proposes.
the Ford Model T (left) and the Satomobile (right)
Hiroshi Sato and his company, Future Industry, is obviously based on Henry Ford, from his interest in aviation and racing to, of course, the signature Satomobile. Even his rival, Cabbage Corp, has a building that is based on Boji Tower, a skyscaper partly built by Ransom E. Olds, founder of Oldsmobile.
But the real world Henry Ford was virulently antisemitic, responsible for publishing and promoting a weekly newspaper that reflected these views throughout the late 10s and 20s. He’s the only American mentioned favourably in Hitler’s Mein Kampf for this very reason.
And so one can’t help but ask if this is intentional? Are benders meant to parallel Jewish people in the Equalist plotline? Is that an intentional subtext? But benders are really the only people with political power in Republic City, with there even being a single ruling council of them. And Amon might be dripping with Japanese nationalist and fascist imagery, but what does that even mean in the context of Republic City?
Hiroshi Sato standing in front of a huge face of Amon (left) and Hiroshi Sato with his daughter, Asami (right)
It’s hard understate how frustrating this all is to me. Within The Last Airbender, I felt like I could broadly trust my instincts and that references added to the story rather than taking away. When Zuko cut his hair or when Sokka put on makeup before war, those symbols carried with them the cultural weight they have in their original cultures in the world. The narrative was not stopped to explain what these things mean, but it was also largely unnecessary as we could also just infer their meaning contextually[4].
But in Korra, things just don’t work that way anymore.
That feeling of fantasy that is trying to speak to you in your own language has gone away for me. Despite all its faults, that was a very special feeling that The Last Airbender offered. I’m very aware that for many of the asian diaspora, it was one of the first times (if not the only time) they felt that way with popular media. And I can’t help but mourn its loss.
The focus of the storytelling in Korra is very much on the movers and shakers of the world to the point of almost fetishising authority. Some of this is undoubtedly because it has in its cast many of the descendants of Last Airbender characters, all of whom attained positions of power by the end of their lives and power is hereditary.[5]
But still, Korra isn’t just a random water tribe girl. She’s a Southern Water Tribe princess. Her father is somehow chief, despite also being the shamefully exiled brother of the Northern Water Tribe chief.
Plots don’t involve normal everyday people anymore. Rarely is there the equivalent of someone like Haru or Hama. It’s now council members and task forces, kings and presidents, generals and princesses. Even Asami needs to be an arms dealer to get in on the story. Mako becomes a violent cop who throws one liners while indulging in “badass” brutality. The street urchin, Kai, stands out as the only character without such ties to power.
who even is this man? why was he following Amon? why is he even doing what he is doing?
This lack of non-leaders trickles down into the way the many action scenes as the main characters often fight wave after wave of generic uncharacterised mooks. Jet and his gang, appearing at first in only one episode, have more personality than most of the Equalists put together. The Lieutenant (aka moustache guy) has a whole important plot beat where he finds out Amon is a fraud, but we don’t get any glimmer of personality or context to him before this moment.
All these uniformed mooks don’t really add anything to the fights. They’re all in goggles and mechs and are vaguely dehumanised to the point that there’s very little personality to them. There’s no awkward banter or evolving dynamic with them. Just swirling fire balls and more punching. And that makes for far less interesting fights, even if the animation itself can be said to be better or more dynamic.
This may be how the writers of Korra conceptualise modernity, as being opposed to the heroic past where individuals can impact the state of the world, that modernity is an era where “commoners” no longer matter. Or perhaps it is just the restrictions of episode length and the lack of filler. Perhaps it is because they want every single conflict to also be filtered through interpersonal drama, so everyone must be related to everyone else, but they have written an era where the powerful and titled make decisions for other people.
Either way, it is very jarring as a sequel to a story that had themes very much to the contray.
More than just the powerful, The Legend of Korra often views the developments of the plot through the lens of how it might impact Republic City and what they should do about it politically.
Kuvira, the Great Uniter, villain of season four
This is particularly egregious in season four, where Kuvira’s conquest of The Earth Kingdom is seen primarily through the eyes of the powerful and foreign. We never meet up with refugees displaced by her war machine or come to understand what might motivate those who follow her.
It is easy to make excuses for why this might be the case, that it’s just because the season is short and the needs of the plot push on. There are already too many characters!
But it is deeply uncomfortable to me that citizens of Earth Kingdom are shown only a faceless mass of people to be acted upon. Their suffering, their joy, their humanity are nothing more but props to the narrative. These are things that drive the actually important characters to act, not of value in and of themselves. Despite finding time to give the exiled king an arc, but no one else from the Earth Kingdom itself at the point of Kuvira’s ascent is given much of a voice. Bolin is perhaps the closest to such, but he’s simply shown to be deceived and delusional. Even the destruction and violence within Earth Kingdom feels inconsequential to the narrative, especially when stakes need to be raised, it’s Republic City again that is threatened. Time and again, the conflict returns to Republic City, as though the audience is incapable of caring anyplace else.
Time and again, we are meant to ask: What is Republic City going to do about this? How is this going to affect Republic City? The Northern and Southern Water Tribes fight, but the Avatar goes to Republic City and suddenly the plot moves there and its all about schemes to kidnap the president so as to force the hand of the United Republic. Bad things may be happening in the Earth Kingdom but we must now go to Republic City, which is of course where the Earth King’s coronation is going to happen.
scenes from The Last Airbender showing refugees, including the baby Hope who was born whilst travelling with the Aang
Contrast all this with how the cast of The Last Airbender are repeatedly inspiring others to fight the Fire Lord. They meet refugees and freedom fighters, pirates and profiteers. Many of those characters don’t stay for very long and not all are individually well written, but they add to the overall feeling that the main cast aren’t the only people in the world with agency. It is also worth noting that the main cast of Airbender are also each very personally affected by Fire Nation imperialism. They aren’t saviours from the outside; they’re people trying to save themselves.
Season four of Korra finds time to give a “rightful” playboy king an arc of coming into his own to become a “good” king, but can barely spare a moment for his subjects. His arc takes place entirely in Republic City and when the United Republic backs him, it feels uncomfortably reminiscent of the United States installing governments favourable to them during the Cold War. Yet it is somehow framed as a happy (or at least happy enough) ending for the Earth Kingdom.
It’s also interesting to note how timid Korra is about the idea of “starting a war”, as though that wasn’t the entire plot of The Last Airbender. Again it is arguably that divide between how the writers think of a heroic past and the current, modern day world.
In the heroic past, wars are cool and rebellions are just.
But in the now, the violent police and “peacekeeping” armies are the good guys and outright physical conflict must avoided at all costs. Looters and rioters are clearly just greedy opportunists out for themselves and bringing down walls is the work of evil anarchists.
And isn’t that just the whitest damn thing.
An Afterword:
Literary criticism isn’t activism and I’m very aware of that. We enjoy stories for many reasons and I am not advocating that we judge all of them based on how well they work as manuals of revolution. They often have other themes and characters and plots going on. The nature of storytelling is that we will layer these themes over each other and only some of them will be resolved by the end. There isn’t a season of Sailor Moon that doesn’t end with redemption, sacrifice and resurrection, after all, regardless of what came before. My point is that if you enjoy Korra or see other themes in it that you love, this is not meant to make you feel bad or regret that love.
But I wrote this because, The Last Airbender occupies this status for many as the one time white people wrote asian people and it was pretty okay. Worldbuilding and those themes of macro politics is the primary selling point of the Avatar series, especially within Korra.
Finally, if you’re of the PoC writer (especially of the Asian diaspora) and you’ve just read my long incoherent rant and feel intimidated by the prospect of writing about your own culture and experiences, I’m genuinely sorry to have made you feel that way. I have myself read many deconstructions of Asian fantasies and for all that they aren’t intended as manuals on how to write, I read them as such and it has taken a toll. I become hypercritical of my own work in all the wrong ways. I’ve written about it before, and if you have the time, please read this. If you have fallen into my old habit of reading critiques as “how to write” guides, I recommend not doing that and reading the joyously inspiring Wonderbook instead.
None of this is meant to be about how the writers “didn’t do enough research” or they’re “getting my culture wrong.” I love mashups and recontextualising cultural details in worldbuilding to create new meaning. It excites me and I look forward to what you will write.
[1] I generally consider this my goal when writing anything inspired by a real world thing and I recommend it as benchmark. Would someone who is already familiar with this be frustrated or annoyed? Will they immediately know who the villain is because you’ve literally named the character “The Villain” in their non-English language? Would they get confused because you’ve dressed all your mages in priest robes of their culture but not bothered to specify at the start that they are not beholden to the same taboos as priests of the culture you’re inspired by? Or would their knowledge mean there’s an extra pun in the names that only they would get? Does it grant them a little more insight or empathy to the characters, a better grasp of certain cultural shorthands like a red wedding dress or offering incense in a bowl of rice to the dead?
[2] I will note here that Avatar: The Last Airbender did this as well. That there are four elements instead of five or the fact that dragons aren’t associated with water, for example. But those references were generally better integrated, felt less central to the overall plot and did not feel like they were as much overwriting the other cultures they were drawing from. When pro-wrestling makes an appearance, “Fire Nation Man” is voiced with a bad Russian accent despite there not being a Russia within the setting, and is obviously a reference to wrestling heels themed after the enemy during the Cold War. The entire “Aang teaches Fire Nation teens to dance” plot is obviously referencing Footloose (1984).
[3] White dresses for weddings were popularised by Queen Victoria as a ploy to promote British lace. Before her, European wedding dresses could be any colour (including white or cream) and would often be a woman’s best dress that they would then wear to church for the rest of forever. Japan does have a white bridal kimono (symbolising death of a bride to her parents and/or her purity and maidenhood before being reborn into a colourful, usually red kimono with her new husband and family) but that as a custom only dates back to the Meiji era and is born from contact with European customs. Much of China has red as its festive colour generally and applies that also brides and weddings. This footnote is getting way too long.
[4] This doesn’t always work out for me. I assumed the monks and nuns of the air nation were celibate based on their real world counterparts and that the air nomads referred to a separate population were nomadic and didn’t live in non-moving temples. But I digress.
[5] Not that it always makes sense. Toph, notable hater of both cities and laws, somehow has ones daughter who founds a city and one daughter who enforces laws. No wonder they are both such disappointments.
[6] It is actively painful watch the characters very slowly come to the realisation that being an airbender and wanting to become an air nomad and completely change their way of life is not the same thing. It is just as painful to see the plot ignore any of the other potential successors of the air nation (we never learn what happens to the Mechanist and his son Teo and none of the monks and nuns on air temple island are seen), who seem to be dismissed as Not True Heirs by the writers because they have no bending powers. Which all strangely enough reenforces Amon’s point about benders and non-benders not being equal.
I really miss when the world could look at a cartoon like Avatar as just a really well written cartoon accessible for all ages, instead of purposefully reading too deep into it and finding meanings that were never even written into the show in the first place to smite the whities.
 

afternoon_tea

thank you Dr. Purr, very cool
kiwifarms.net
I have been thinking about this thread a lot. I am sure I have an answer but it escapes me.

I know a couple of people have mentioned Radiohead, and they were actually my first thought too, but tbh I really think that regardless of what intention certain lyrics were written from, they're generally pretty open interpretation. There's songs like "Optimistic" and "2+2=5" which are pretty overtly political, but people of different political persuasions could interpret them in different ways.

I was a hardcore leftist in my youth and if anything Radiohead lyrics resonate more with me as I've become more conservative/libertarian, even if that's not the angle they were coming from when they wrote them.
 

Arizona Tea

kiwifarms.net
Always Sunny.

I liked the 13th season but I can already see what's happening. The weird inclusion of the unfunny brown girl at the season premiere was very telling, plus the vehement defense of the decision by the creators. And the finale being entirely about Mac's gay pride was alright but a very mega fucking weird tone for Always Sunny. I've got a bad feeling about what's coming. The worst part is if you mention any of this the creators/fans are quick to jump down your throat saying "IT'S ALWAYS BEEN SATIRICAL" or some bullshit.
 

ToddleDoddle

kiwifarms.net
I don't know if this counts because the signs were already there in the first season, but I was really into American Gods after the first season. I never read the book so I don't know how accurate it was to the source material but the first season had things like a gay Muslim sex scene which felt very pandering but I was able to look past it because the story and characters were interesting to me. Then the second season came around and it got even more heavy handed with the progressive stuff where it felt really tacked on to the story just for the sake of having it and I wasn't able to make it through the full season.
 

Jimjamflimflam

kiwifarms.net
Always Sunny.

I liked the 13th season but I can already see what's happening. The weird inclusion of the unfunny brown girl at the season premiere was very telling, plus the vehement defense of the decision by the creators. And the finale being entirely about Mac's gay pride was alright but a very mega fucking weird tone for Always Sunny. I've got a bad feeling about what's coming. The worst part is if you mention any of this the creators/fans are quick to jump down your throat saying "IT'S ALWAYS BEEN SATIRICAL" or some bullshit.
I remember watching that episode and looking at the general opinion online later of it.

The amount of people talking about how brave it was and how great to be represented. Do these people not realize who is representing them?

This is the same gang that:

Tried to play both sides of the abortion protests to pick up chicks
Destroyed cricket's life
Staged a dead baby funeral for tax fraud
Scammed the welfare system
Implications
Destroy other people's property many times
Ran a cult just to get free labor
Ran scams
A bunch of sociopathic behavior I can't think of

But because of one gay dance we are suppose to respect them for stunning and brave?


Them censoring the word retard was when i realized the show is no longer for me.
 

ToddleDoddle

kiwifarms.net
I remember watching that episode and looking at the general opinion online later of it.

The amount of people talking about how brave it was and how great to be represented. Do these people not realize who is representing them?

This is the same gang that:

Tried to play both sides of the abortion protests to pick up chicks
Destroyed cricket's life
Staged a dead baby funeral for tax fraud
Scammed the welfare system
Implications
Destroy other people's property many times
Ran a cult just to get free labor
Ran scams
A bunch of sociopathic behavior I can't think of

But because of one gay dance we are suppose to respect them for stunning and brave?


Them censoring the word retard was when i realized the show is no longer for me.
These are the same type of people that got mad because Pennywise, a child eating clown creature, didn't save a gay man from a group of homophobic attackers.

On the other hand though you can argue that Mac represents the fact that gay people are also capable of being pieces of shit, so in a weird way it is kind of brave, even if unintentionally so. You aren't going to see many shows depicting LGBTQ characters as bad people even if it's unrelated to their gender/sexuality.
 

Jimjamflimflam

kiwifarms.net
On the other hand though you can argue that Mac represents the fact that gay people are also capable of being pieces of shit
I don't know if im gonna bother watching the new episodes, maybe check a couple out but i got a feeling that Mac will now be the straight man (ha!) of the group. Maybe if it was still the style of the old seasons he too would be an asshole character still.


But maybe I'll be wrong
 

Arizona Tea

kiwifarms.net
I remember watching that episode and looking at the general opinion online later of it.

The amount of people talking about how brave it was and how great to be represented. Do these people not realize who is representing them?

Them censoring the word retard was when i realized the show is no longer for me.
Fucking exactly. I was expecting sperg levels of outrage from the more cynical fans of the show but instead it was all just blind praise. I was in awe. I haven't thought much about it until now but what a weird fucking thing to do.

And yeah, the retard ordeal was, of course, retarded. They've also taken down their blackface episodes from streaming services in line with all the other shows. So stunning so brave.
 

Atatata

Is corona-chan gone yet?
kiwifarms.net
I don't know if this counts because the signs were already there in the first season, but I was really into American Gods after the first season. I never read the book so I don't know how accurate it was to the source material but the first season had things like a gay Muslim sex scene which felt very pandering but I was able to look past it because the story and characters were interesting to me. Then the second season came around and it got even more heavy handed with the progressive stuff where it felt really tacked on to the story just for the sake of having it and I wasn't able to make it through the full season.
Iirc the gay muslim sex scene was in the book, and it felt just as weird and out of place, dude just can't write sex scenes. The voring vagina was pretty hot though.
 
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