Monday, December 19, 2005

This quote from Reappropriate has summed up something that I've been thinking about all weekend:

This, apparently, is the problem with being a person of colour in drama;
there is simply no good way around the quandry. Do the part and I'm left
wondering if I was cast based on race rather than merit, and don't do the part
and end up with a non-Asian actor playing an Asian character -- in other words,
"yellowface". (Incidentally, M's monologue requires her to play a "Southern
woman of colour". I am... concerned is a good word. M is many things; a Southern
woman of colour is not one of them.)

I am honestly torn on this issue. Not being part of theatre or acting myself, I'm not so sure what the general feeling is about this either. Only that I know that most of the time in Hollywood there is a certain pool of people who are chosen for roles. We see people like Tom Cruise in role after role after role, because it's not just the movie that we want to see, it's the specific actors. Which isn't something new, but is something I'd like to think about some more. In my Women's Health Care Issues class we talked about colorism. How the term "African American" implies that every single black person is from Africa though black people live and originate from all around the world. We applied this to how White is all encompassing, something that glosses over ethnicity, and what that might mean for certain people who are light skinned. Race and ethinicity intersect and it's incredibly complicated. My teacher believed that if we could get beyond race a bit, and also start looking at ethnicity and the societal implications that come with it, much progress could be made. So this leaves me with movies or theatre. Everyone agrees, I think, that blackface (and yellowface for the matter) is utterly dispicable. But what does this teach us? What happens when we cast Chinese people for the roles of Japanese people as is the case for Memoirs of a Geisha? I believe that race and ethnicity is the source of a lot of problems in American society, but that it isn't being dealt with, and when we have a media that mostly puts white people in the spotlight that we become ignorant about race and ethnicity and have a difficult time thinking about it and discussing it. I know I am.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Inspired by this and this post, and my Women's Health Care Issue test tomorrow, here are some interesting statistics regarding abortion from the "Abortion Fact Sheet" from the Abortion Acess Project.

-By the age of 46, 4 in 10 women in the US will have had at least 1 abortion
-54% of women seeking abortions experienced contraceptive failure
-61% of women who have abortions have had at least one previous birth and 48% of these will have had at least one prior abortion
-41% of U.S. abortions are obtained by white women, 32% of all abortions are obtained by Black women, 20% by Hispanics, and 7% are obtained by other women of color
-19% of women receiving abortions are 11-19 years old; 56% are between 20-30 years of age
-57% of women who obtain abortions have family incomes under 200% of the poverty line. Low-income women are three times more likely to have abortions than those who are financially better off.
-about 13,000 women have abortions each year following rape or incest
-61% of minors who have abortions do so with at least one parent's knowledge; 45% of parents are told by their daughter. The great majority of parents support their daughter's decision to have an abortion.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Gorilla Suit

One last test for Friday. It can't come sooner.

I don't know why certain things in popular culture catch my eye--why some irk me more than others. I think we all experience this time to time. For some people it's Paris Hilton, for others, Family Guy.

So what's getting me? King Kong.
It's a new movie. It's a video game. It's based on something from the 1930's.

It's also racist.

Let's think about a couple of things:
1) Imperialism
2)"The Jungle"
3)Hottentot Venus
4) Most blantantly: Kong's sexual feelings

Why was this movie remade? Why are so many people excited about it? Why is Peter Jackson considered a genius? And most importantly, something I want clarification for: If the King Kong game is being released cross-console, are the graphics for the 360 really better? Was anything retooled for the 360 version? And, if not, why would anyone then want to pay over 60 bucks for it?

And I'm not alone in my thoughts, though maybe at work I am. For a great post about this and further links check out Flimmaking for the Poor.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Dog versus Crab

Taking a little break from finals to post this picture. Yes, that's a min pin (my dad's dog) and yes, it's locking eyes with a crab (my dad's dinner).