The calm at the center of a pearl

February 16, 2008

A night in the Orient – tasteless or racist?

Filed under: Uncategorized — kyraninse @ 2:19 am

Just got back from angry asian man’s post about Revelle College’s dance theme.

Apparently, people were all up in arms because it was set as “Eastern Elegance: A Night in the Orient”.

I’m not sure how I feel about it, and I’m still trying to sort out my feelings about the uproar over Brandon Dicamillo’s Chinese Freestyle youtube clip.

Call me perverse, but when people get all excited over something, some part of me tends to want to downplay it. Maybe if I had encountered those two things on my own, I would also have been offended, but right now I’m more bemused than anything else.

Orient, according to Wikipedia ( which we all know is the go-to for all knowledge), the word is derived from the Latin word that means east, oriens.

I can see how people can be upset at how the word indiscriminately lumps together all the different cultures that it was ever associated with — Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, etc. I can also see how it can be considered culturally insensitive — wow, there’s a post-PC phrase for ya, for them to call it a Night in the Orient and yet only have the most superficial concepts thrown in — cherry blossoms, chopsticks, etc.

But I really do, in the end, see it as a game of semantics. I don’t dislike the word Orient, I actually think the way the word is structured is pleasing aurally. In fact, I’d probably be more likely to use it in writing simply because I think it sounds prettier than Asian — which is most likely also derived from an ancient Greek word. Wiki can’t seem to agree on what the exact etymology is, but it’s likely to come from a number of words in ancient languages.

Granted, I’m really only looking at this from the viewpoint of semantics. *shrug* According to the article on it, there were worse atrocities than the simple (hah!) use of the word “Orient”. “Ghetto geisha”? Lolcats indeed. But I arrived on scene too late to catch the facebook furor.

I especially loved how multiple responses to this article involved people comparing the theme to potential African-American  themes.

 If a Black person made a dance called “Nigga’s Night Out” with a gangsta theme, glock shaped chocolate fountain (dark, of course) and maybe even cotton picking, I’m sure other black people would be offended. Well, maybe not, cause black people are really really cool.  – anon

What would happen if someone had “Plantation Night”? – anon

I don’t think the two are on the same level at all. After all, it’s only in some circles that the word is considered offensive. And (from what I know) it isn’t as if there were going to be “geishas” running around being servers or some such. Not that I consider people in the service business offensive — which culture doesn’t have them?

In the end, I agree with certain posters that it was probably something that should be brought up, since it IS offensive to some, but that the uproar isn’t really entirely warranted.


February 14, 2008

The thing about euphemisms

Filed under: Uncategorized — kyraninse @ 1:58 am

I just read a post about what euphemisms are good ones and which ones to avoid. There are a couple that I nodded vigorously at and a couple which elicited 😦 .

I actually like euphemisms like “hardness” and “moist warmth” — but then I’ve been accused of being too conservative when trying to write smut. Also I do realize to each their own, what does it for me doesn’t necessarily do it for another, but it’s somewhat disheartening still.
Zora, for example, doesn’t like the use of “cock”, “cunt”, and “pussy”, whereas I don’t mind it and sometimes even find it extra titillating. I’ve been writing a smutty short story that was prompted by “Mistress” by Leda Swan – which I really have to get around to reviewing since I’ve already read it.

Reading all the fluff lately really has started to persuade me that aside from the copious amounts of willpower I must rustle up, it really can’t be that difficult. I get all sorts of Mary-Sue-ish books coming my way, writing that wanders from the truly purple to those that I want to have them re-take Writing 101. Also sad are the great number of people who had a good plot bunny that died in the execution.

Ah well, back to the grind, I guess.

February 6, 2008

Scientology and lol-wut-promotions.

Filed under: Uncategorized — kyraninse @ 4:26 am

Bridge Publications recently gifted my college library with the entire, latest edition, set of L. Ron Hubbard’s works regarding Scientology. Numbering 18 in all, they are all hardcover, glossy, and so very shiny. They even have those little recessed tabs that dictionaries sometimes have to allow for better searching of the index. I have to admit to a certain amount of morbid curiosity regarding this. Not enough to read them, I don’t think. Haha.

Also, I did end up getting the position to review books! I’m very pleased with this, because it means free books! Although it does seem more like promotion than reviewing, we’ll see how that goes. I really did expect it, however, so there’s not too much angst there. I will not ever become another Harriet K. though, because I’m not sure even I could bend that far.

February 3, 2008

On writing, raiding, and so – such

Filed under: Journaling — kyraninse @ 6:55 pm

“There is but one temple in the universe and that is the body of man.” – Novalis

I finally got around to actually writing yesterday. It wasn’t pretty, per se, but it was writing. Then OpenOffice crashed and I couldn’t find the auto-save.



Of course, after I  screamed at him in all caps about how it was all his fault because he wouldn’t get me MS Office, which auto-saves, and etc etc — I found an updated version. Oops.

Then we were raiding in Kara when a rogue in the raid says: “OMG GF BITCHING!” and there was the requisite jokes about it. I sent an aside to Chris: “Aren’t you happy I’m a nice, reasonable GF?” He sent back: “Uh, yeah, with regards to raiding, but not so much with the screaming over your lost document earlier.” Aggrieved, I retorted: “Well, raiding isn’t quite on the same level as losing WRITING.”

On that note, I sent in an application to be a romance reviewer. I hope it goes through because then it means that I will have free fluff to read in class. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll post some of the fluff I’ve been writing here after I tidy it up some. Not that people actually read what’s here, so it’ll just be open season on it — eh.

February 1, 2008

WoW, IS, and all things in the vein.

Filed under: Journaling — kyraninse @ 3:04 pm

Guild seems to be settling down. I’m hoping that people who want to/would leave, have. I’m hesitant to invite more people, because the base problem hasn’t been settled: that of lower levels not being able to find groups within the guild. Also, I’m not sure if I want to continue GMing the guild actively, and so it’s all up in the air currently.

I still need to do data input for IS and possibly do more research on it. Frankly it needs a lot more work than I’m currently giving it, but I’ve been feeling so incredibly under the weather — I haven’t even been playing WoW, so it’s not that which is taking up my spare time.

I’m conflicted about the guild. I would like to get into raiding, but the idea of organizing people and DKP and all that on top of IS and my body is making me cringe already. Also, it may be that a female GM isn’t the way to go. Chris told me about how a guild fell apart despite having a very competent GM because the GM was female — and I’m hardly very competent. Also, I need to learn how to confront people without feeling a. evil b. insecure c. like running for the hills.
Been sleeping a lot lately, feeling nauseous, etc. Don’t think it’s mono or chronic fatigue, although some of the symptoms match. I really hope it’s something diagnosable, because otherwise they’ll think I’m just a slacker.

as always…meh.

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