I encountered a few good quotes this week, so I thought I’d share.
What woman here is so enamoured of her own oppression that she cannot see her heelprint upon another woman’s face? What woman’s terms of oppression have become precious and necessary to her as a ticket into the fold of the righteous, away from the cold winds of self-scrutiny?
Audre Lorde, ‘The Uses of Anger: Women Respond to Racism’, in Sister Ousider. Crossing Press.
When minor characters who are also ethnic minorities start talking among themselves in their native tongues, they sometimes take advantage of their invisibility to say things. Sometimes they break the Fourth Wall and start ranting about the movie director. Sometimes, they spout random obscenities or natter about their lousy lunch. It’s all in not-English, so whatever they say doesn’t matter! And the actual translations of their lines can be a secret source of hilarity in films where actors are instructed to use a Gratuitous Foreign Language (GFL) in order to make a scene sound more authentic. (…) These unscripted speeches are today’s version of the subversive marginalia that popped up in medieval manuscripts.
Paula Young Lee, “‘Kiss my behind, King Cetewayo’: The secret hilarity of untranslated foreign-language movie lines’, on Salon.
See! Sweet and sound she sleeps in granny’s bed, between the paws of the tender wolf.
Angela Carter, ‘The Company of Wolves’, in The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. Vintage.
If in the 25th hour, the thought of black people coming to see a movie makes anyone terrified, it’s because it wasn’t exactly intended for them in the first place. Perhaps the film, inherently tied to blackness, was intended in large part for white audiences. And if you’re gazing at black environments in Steve Irwin-esque amazement, gawping at black entertainers, their life, and their art, you are engaging in a minstrel show.
Those of us who pioneered fandom studies too often bracketed race and class in order to focus on gender, sexuality, and generation. As we sought to validate forms of cultural production and experience that were meaningful to us, we neglected the fact that our own ranks were still too narrowly constituted and that there was more we should have done to validate forms of culture that were meaningful to a more diverse population. However much we might have sometimes felt like outcasts in our own lives, we were still in a privileged position to help inform what kinds of cultural production and reception mattered in an academic context. We pioneers have much to answer for, but we cannot afford to wallow in liberal guilt. (…) Before we can change the world, we need to be able to imagine what alternatives might look like. We need to understand ourselves as civic and political agents. We need to be able to grasp the experiences and perspectives of people different from ourselves. And we need to be able to imagine concrete steps we could take to change the world.
Henry Jenkins, “‘Somewhat Diverse?’: Remarks to the Science Fiction Research Association Conference’, on Confessions of an Aca-Fan.
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