September 6th, 2010

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Racebending Revenge

 Some writers who were offended by the whitewashing of the movie Avatar: The Last Airbender responded by rewriting famous white characters as characters of color.  Read more about the Racebending Revenge challenge.  Read the master list of chromatic/recasting posts.  Because, hey, everybody can play with paint and it's a lot more fun to have a paint fight when there are lots of colors flying around.  Thank you, Rainbow War.
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Most Popular Topics 9-6-10

According to the "Manage Tags" feature, the topics most often appearing in this journal are:

Writing -- 1247 tags
Networking -- 1136
News -- 1009
Reading -- 1007
Cyberfunded creativity -- 798
Poetry -- 773
Science fiction -- 610
Politics -- 595
Fishbowl -- 520
Fantasy -- 432

Science fiction has climbed above Politics.  Fantasy has made the top ten list, bumping off Economics.  Also my top four topics are over 1000 public posts each, up from the top two last time.
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Dancing to the Sound of Shattered Stereotypes

I came across this fascinating article today, "The Politics of the Desert Romance."  Now of course that title has to grab my attention, because one of my all-time favorite settings is the Whispering Sands desert.  This setting shares a lot with our Middle Eastern cultures (historic and modern) but there are enough fundamental differences that it couldn't fairly be called Arabic or Persian or Sumerian, etc.  Still, it's a desert culture, and it does rather run to romance plots and subplots, if one defines the term rather loosely in comparison to the mainstream genre.  So I couldn't resist making a few comparisons ...

The word “sheik,” originally a term of respect referring to a Muslim religious leader or an elder of a community or family, suddenly took on new connotations of irresistible, ruthless, masterful, and over‐sexualized masculinity in the West—before ending up as a brand of condoms in America by 1931.
Probably the closest parallel in my setting would be Oldren-Asul or "bandit-lord."  (The population variously consists of the decadents in the cities, the bandit tribes wandering the desert, plus the Tazha and Waterjewel.)  Let's see, irresistible?  No, very tempting some of them, but scene sketches to date include resistance.  Ruthless?  Variable depending on character, with the majority being willing to do anything to protect their tribe.  I don't think they qualify as the most  ruthless: that would be Khaafid (a decadent ruler) among villains, and certain of the Tazha among the non-villains.  
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