What She Said

Based on what I read, while it sounds contradictory at first but it’s clear in one interview that the pop singer Britney Spears admits that she’s not good with other animals other than her own. Emphatically, she said that she’s scared of dogs other than much smaller ones and some say that she’s allergic to cats.

Various stans have a weird habit of projecting their views and biases on the people they like and while the actual singers may be contrary, even contradictory as I could be guilty myself but then again the woman is rather reserved in person. However going by the interview and other official sources, she admits to being bitten by bigger dogs and in addition to having allergies, she could simply be looking for a pet that she can easily take care of.

She might not be that irresponsible but she’s a very busy person so she wouldn’t have time to care for a bigger dog. She’s got a family of her own. It’s also likely that when she meant by ‘scared of other dogs’, she might pose with a bigger dog but might still be uncomfortable with them in reality.

To give you a similar experience, while this is not always the case a lot of Southeast Asians either look down on, despise or avoid both stray dogs and mongrels. If some of them have these dogs, it’s because they’re cheap and useful. Purebred dogs can also be useful but they are esteemed higher for their novelty value. But there are some people looking to counter this discrimination and stigma if the rebranding of such dogs as ‘aspins’ and ‘Singapore Specials’ are any indication.

Or that Britney Spears isn’t so much of a general dog person as she’s specifically into puppies and small dogs. That’s not only consistent with reports and that interviews but also in older fan profiles where her favourite animal is enlisted as ‘puppy’. Her other relatives have bigger dogs but they’re usually supposed to do real work. Case is closed.

A European Perspective

There is a wealth of anecdotes about Americans in Europe and many of them are of European descent. However to find a European perspective on America that isn’t Anglophonic (British and to some extent, Irish) you’d have to type those keywords in other languages to give you a good idea of things.

I remember reading a translated report about a Swede living in America for a while, I can summarise his post in here. He said that there is a wide variety of fast food in America, the people work insanely hard and lots of them own dogs. A good number of Swedes have dogs but whatever enthusiasm they have for them gets tempered by reports of said dog getting poisoned rather frequently if you hang out at Swedish websites for long.

No doubt that the Italian, German and French perspectives on America would be pretty different as well. About as different as their cultures are. It’s also a safe bet that linguistic differences can help distinguish things. There’s a theory in linguistics saying that cultures with similar or the same languages are more likely to share several things in common than those with disparate ones. It’s inevitable that America and the British Isles are very connected.

Sweden has a stronger connection to its neighbours and to an extent, German and Dutch speaking Europe than it does with America. So you’re more likely to encounter such depressing or shameful reports in those languages than you do in English from my experience. Not to mention that a Swedish language article either about Sweden or America can help give you a better idea of what the Swedish perspective is like.

That isn’t to say that one is more culturally ignorant than the other even though a country with a smaller population will know more about its larger counterpart than vice versa. It’s just that a European non-Anglophone perspective can help better examine that culture and mindset on the cheap. Go to non-English language websites extensively and it’s inevitable that experience will influence you.

A non-Anglophone European perspective is much needed when it comes to both continental Europe and America but similar things can be said of anywhere else.

Masochistic Romanticism

It seems like masochism and romanticism go hand in hand for aboos, especially aboos of foreign cultures and countries. Masochism in the sense of wanting to receive pain and romanticism in having idealised preconceptions of things. It makes sense why abooism is in practise, both masochistic and patronising. Certain people tend to be attracted to places and countries that might ironically reject or spite them.

There are some African Americans who go to Africa to find a better life never mind that there’s this comedian sharing a joke about two people. The African American says to the African “welcome to the motherland” while the latter says “escape the motherland”. Not to mention several Africans think of the New World diaspora arriving there as being Westernised. No surprise that in a sense, many New World blacks have loosened their sense of ethnic belonging due to slavery and colonisation.

Unsurprisingly in Liberia and Senegal, the most Westernised people are the Creoles who even recreated the Jim Crow laws in the former. It wouldn’t be surprising that most non-Japanese anime fans are still thoroughly foreign both in mindset/upbringing and country of origin no matter how long they’ve stayed in Japan or how well they know their Chinese cartoons. Japan is a xenophobic nation that thinks even if an immigrant has become a naturalised citizen, s/he is always the perpetual outsider.

Then Japan has its own problems with class and indigenous minorities like the Ryukyuans and Ainu. It can be applied to any other country. Finland, Sweden and Norway with the Sami People. Ireland with Irish Travellers and Irish-speakers. Germany with Romani, Sorbians, Frisians and Low German-speakers. France with Bretons, Basques and African immigrants. The list goes on and on. It also speaks volumes about how well they know about those places as well as their biases though I’m probably biased myself.

It still proves my point that aboos are ultimately misinformed and patronising towards the things they should know about. It wouldn’t surprise me that people get put off of Japan and anime because of some deranged anime fan. It can be applied to anything else as long as it raises the blood of those who actually know better.

So Much Facepalming

I’ll coin the term “Wacky Weeaboo Syndrome” for people who develop very romanticised yet weirdly patronising and condescending views of foreign cultures. It can be easily cured as long as the person recognises that culture’s or country’s flaws as well as regretting being aboo for something. It’s based on the Internet slang for weeaboo, which means an anime fan with delusional ideas about Japan.

One can be aboo for Scandinavia and outgrow it, only to end up realising its problems though I could be describing myself here. Anybody can be aboo for cultures and countries but paradoxically speaking the more oppressive or problematic a country or culture is the more it tends to attract delusional, crazy people.

Sort of like with what weeaboos are to Japan, some people harbour romantic notions of that country despite not recognising its shortcomings and that those countries aren’t much better on average or could be much worse. It’s a fallaciously masochistic line of thinking that one country might be more accepting of one’s tastes never mind that it might be disappointing if one were to prolong his/her stay there.

It’s as paradoxical as it is masochistic because it lacks any real awareness, including self-awareness of what’s going on. It’s also bad because it’s patronising and not too many people who live in those countries can relate to such statements because it’s false but the same thing can be said of slanderous beliefs. Japan is not without its problems including xenophobia, serious classicism and racism towards longstanding minorities, misogyny and victim-blaming.

Japan too is not without stray dogs, though like in Israel and France you’re more likely to encounter them in less populated, rural/suburban areas like in Okinawa and Hokkaido. These are not without reports of said dogs attacking both livestock and wildlife as well as attempts to capture them and cull their numbers. I get these from Japanese language websites using the Japanese character for wild dog (yaken).

Like I said about France before, it’s not that dog-friendly either in that when it comes to stray dog attacks, you have people who shot them and others who think that they cause more trouble than wild animals do. Just go to the Buvette website using the keywords “chien errant Buvette” as well as Sophie Bobbe’s essay on stray dogs to give you an idea. Countries like Sweden, Netherlands and Germany aren’t dog friendly but that’s got to do with frequent reports of dogs getting poisoned. Due to the random nature of poison attacks, it can be hard to find the perpetuator as well as the actual motivation behind it.

They’re not without ethnic discrimination, be it immigrant xenophobia or historical mistreatment of longstanding ethnic minorities like Frisians, Samis, Basques, Irish Travellers, Romani and Sorbians. I’m not bashing those countries I’m just pointing out that these countries might have flaws most people outside of these places don’t readily recognise. There lies the problem with aboos. They should know better but have a weak grasp of actual problems. Even I myself can be prone to this.

Ultimately, it takes both cynicism and research as well as actual experiences in these places to understand the actual problem’s extent.

The Problem with Minority Languages and Semantics

Minority languages are particular though not always for the right reasons which gets worse if they have dialects. In the case with the Irish language, though it’s gaining popularity recently and I’ve just begun learning it some of its semantics especially when it comes to colour terms and what they are in some dialects are poorly understood. Maybe not as poorly understood as I’d like to make it out to be but certain terms, even colour terms, can be semantically different in some dialects.

That language may have been a grue language but even various sources seem conflicted on the use of some colours like glas, uaine and gorm. In other academic sources, gorm is blue but it also covers black. Not just black skin but also black hair/fur in several other studies. One can make the argument that if Irish had any grue tendencies, it could be dialectal as a few dialects and micro-dialects do. But it could be that it might not be that properly researched at this point.

The same can be said of not only other minority languages but also a number of Asian and African languages that might already have separate words for blue and green. Heck Thai, Hebrew, Greek, Russian and Khmer have separate colour terms for both focal/dark blue and light blue. The Irish language has two seperate colour terms for what English speakers would call red and green respectively. Rua is a less intense red that’s reddish brown or ginger when referring to hair. Glas is a less intense green associated with plants.

Dearg is red proper but also scarlet and crimson, uaine is a bright green. But the semantics behind what is green, blue and red aren’t heavily studied in the Irish language due to conflicting sources. Nevertheless it also opens up the possibility of having to look up on more precise definitions of those things in those languages.

Bad Anatomy, Ignorance and Sacred Cows

There’s a thread on Kiwifar.ms called ‘SJW Art and Extremes’ where they discuss about politically correct fan art gone wrong especially on Tumblr. And some users pointed out the sacred cows that get away with things that SJWs would call haram. When you think about it, some of the artists that they really like aren’t any different either. In other words human or sometimes worthy of any real criticism.

I will admit that from what I observed on superhero fan Tumblrs, not too many users criticise the likes of Marcus To and Francis Manapul even if they did some heinous things like Escher Girl anatomy and cheesecake. I criticised one of them before though in here, being far away from Tumblr, I know better that he has difficulty drawing female characters in that he sometimes gives them big breasts with protuding ribcages.

Both of them tend to do the same face for female characters, seriously. I can tell Kesha apart from Ellie Goulding at least most of the time. I do the same with Christina Aguilera, Iggy Azalea, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Madonna. But whenever To or Manapul draw women, you can only tell them apart by their hair and clothing.

Most superhero SJWs I know on Tumblr don’t do that even to an outsider they’re not much different from the rest. I admit that they’re not as good as Jim Woodring but that’s because I’m biased towards Jim Woodring. But to be honest, I think that SJWs have surprisingly terrible taste in aesthetics which is why they excuse certain illustrators who should be haram.

It’s also a weird coincidence where I noticed many SJWs are prominent in media and young adult fan communities to a frighteningly huge extent. To borrow from Fanlore, media fandom incorporates various media not just live action programmes though that’s the main one. I can understand why they’d like to criticise what they like in their favourite stories but I often feel as if they’re very divorced from actual misogyny and racism in the real world.

They’re also weirdly very disinterested in actual cultures where women are very significant like among the Minangkabau, Mosuo, Tuareg and Naxi peoples. Strangely enough, not too many Anglophone SJWs (as in those coming from America, the British Isles and Canada) are interested in Scandinavian countries even though they’re SJW themselves at least to certain people.

In the end, SJWs are too Westernised to bother realising that matriarchal societies do exist and they’re too biased to bother criticising their sacred cows. While this isn’t always the case but it’s deathly so in Tumblr. Some of the things they like have flaws themselves. I pointed out before that even Manapul has his shortcomings.

I admitted that Steven Universe has a number of storytelling problems. Some of the characters are cliched and have unsubtle characterisations. Then we never get to see the actual origins of Gems in that they should have started out as talking, animated rocks. Actual garnets are neosiliciate rocks though they also include aluminium and oxygen in addition to silicon and magnesium. That accounts for a lot of things.

Perhaps SJWs don’t have enough real critical thinking to objectively know why stuff like Steven Universe and Flash have problems. I can understand why people criticise sexism and nonbinary representation in those two problems but can you imagine them trying to criticise them on narrative terms? Only the Project After people can do it. If they did review of the Flash just like they do with Steven Universe, they would tear it up real badly.

Really high standards for storytelling

Project After is that website I go to, particularly its forums. It has a very high standard for storytelling as evidenced by its beginnings in criticising fan fiction. No doubt that fan fiction generally appears to have a lower standard for storytelling than published fiction does but criticising the worst minute details is refreshing. You don’t see that often in many review sites as of late.

Based on frequenting its forums, I have a feeling that if the users reviewed “positively” received programmes like the Flash they’d rip it to shreds just like they do with “Steven Universe”. I like Steven Universe but it wouldn’t surprise me that it has a number of problems that has to be addressed critically. In the Steven Universe thread, you have users stating that the writers are poor at characterising each character either by making it unsubtle or inconsistent.

When you think about it, it also accounts for why you have goofs like the Crystal Gems (barring Amethyst) who aren’t supposed to eat but one of them likes to make cake. Then you have things as cliched as angry Ruby being red and calm Sapphire being blue. That’s tiresome and even a little contradictory when it comes to physics. In physics, blue is actually a hot colour as it’s at the opposite end of the spectrum being high energy and stuff.

Another problem has to do with the chemical formulas of each gem per fusion without taking into account about the other things that affect the results. Both ruby and sapphire are corundum while garnet is a neosilicate material composed of not only aluminium and oxygen but also silicon and magnesium. Would either one of them have consumed magnesium and silicon before fusing? To some fans, that would imply that the Gems themselves are in a way biological.

The Gems are supposed to be genderless, though one would say that they’re a single-gender race. As for why they have gemstones on their bodies, it would make better sense to have them initally start out as animated, talking rocks which also helps verify the statement that the Gems are capable of shapeshifting. The Gems are supposed to be genderfluid but the only ones are Amethyst and to a much lesser extent, Garnet and probably Jasper as she could easily be male.

While it’s good to see real variety in female character design, especially when it’s that common to see easily recognisable ones at that but in their characterisation they’re cliched. Despite having a non-stereotypical black family, Garnet seems to be the token strong black woman especially among her peers. Ruby and Sapphire are obviously an example of when opposites attract. Lapis Lazuli is blue and generates water even though actual lapislazulis don’t react well when wet. Amethyst is a fat glutton. Jasper is not only manly-looking, she also acts mannish.

It’s good that they have the bolocks to take on Evangelion, as it’s been praised to the high heavens by several people. I like Evangelion too but it too isn’t free from a lot of problems whatever they might. Since there is enough anti-Evangelion criticism online, it would be nice to see Project After viciously tear the Flash appear to check for something. As I have said before, The Flash has problems such as cliches as well as the relationships developing in an inorganic manner.

It’s astounding why Joe West has yet to disown Barry since he dates his adoptive/stepsister considering that he’s a police officer so he should know better. Then you have the mandatory ethnic token in a team full of white people. Then there’s the protagonist who’s breathtakingly stupid in the face of danger. Even if he’s not that smart, he could make a good escape artist since he’s very fast. That’s one of my problems with the Flash in general.

Project After is a website that I not only generally respect but also recommend for those looking to have something to vent about bad writing and storytelling. In a way, vicious criticisms of such programmes can not only help fan fiction writers but also aspiring professionals. It’s good for those looking to improve on their writing as criticism can help newbie writers pretty well.

SJW Art, Extremes and Those Tempting, Bulging Muscles

There’s a thread on Kiwifar.ms called “SJW Art and Extremes”. While it mainly focused on politically correct fan art as well as Tumblr artists’ penchant for dubious aesthetics, there were some that argued about the possibility of sexualised male characters. To be honest, those kinds of characters are rare and I even wrote a Tumblr post about it. But as I stopped blogging on Tumblr and got exposed to something new, my mind changed.

That isn’t to say that sexualised male characters are inexistent but they can be unexpected especially by SJW fangirl standards. There are those who find very muscular characters sexually attractive. The broads at Clamp even did a slash fan fiction based on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures which has very muscular men in odd poses and odder clothing. Then you get the existence of cartoonists that specialise in sexualised male characters with bulging muscles like Patrick Fillion and Tom of Finland.

Likewise in real life, the model Fabio graced several romance novels back then and there are still people who find those types attractive in addition to the quirky, androgynous or youthful men that Tumblrfags and SJW minded fangirls champion as attractive. It’s also a common fallacy to see some people think of androgynous, skinny types as attractive when in reality that’s not always the case and might not have been always like that before not just in the past but also for many other people around the world.

It’s like their point of reference are yaoi comics and SuperWhoLock/CW programmes, which is true but to a given extent. Heck there are real life cultures that prioritise male attractiveness a lot and that countries reknowned for making pretty boys like Japan and South Korea are actually not as progressive as they look. It gets odder still that the Scandinavians are stereotyped for their attractiveness but not too many nerdy fangirls go crazy over the hottest Scandinavian band in existence or any Scandinavian programme featuring attractive blokes like they do with East Asian ones.

(Though here in the Philippines it’s normal to encounter localised dubs of Korean and Taiwanese programmes as there were people going crazy over F4 in the 2000s.)

Back to where I was, it seems like the progressive minded fangirl side of things can be as myopic as its male counterpart does even for entirely different reasons and circumstances. Not too many nerdy fangirls go crazy over Scandinavians and curiously enough Latin Europeans and Latin Americans alike as the latter two are reknowned for having hot, tempting men that could easily fulfill the dark, handsome types though similar things can be said of their East Asian counterparts and weirdly enough not even African types are fangirled over to that same extent even if they’d fit that cliche well.

I can understand why it feels wrong to put such people in a pedestal for being sexually attractive since I feel similarly about both Scandinavians and Africans but some of these SJW minded people do the same things to East Asians and Britons which aren’t better either. Ditto Irish men, German men and Slavic men. Ditto Southeast Asian and Indian blokes as well. Ditto Middle Easterners. It almost always goes back to either quirky British lads or quirky Japanese and Korean men though I used to fall under those impressions myself as well.

While this isn’t always the case on Tumblr as well but when it comes to fandoms with a strong social media presence, they’ll almost always settle for nonthreatening youthful or androgynous types so Tumblr is no different either. The male ideal can be muscular but not too muscular even if I can understand it myself. But it’s ultimately a high standard that not too many people can achieve. Just as not all men can be super-musuclar, not all men can be perfectly lean yet muscled like the blokes on The CW. So the stupidity goes both ways.

The well-intentioned selfishness of Kael

I wrote A Boy and His Father several months ago which its readership peaked in the month of March. I can remember sending messages to my relatives to read it as early as the 4th of January and doing it continuously up to March. The story focuses on the protagonist Kael and how his actions go against his family’s wishes. He keeps on feeding stray dogs while his family try to prevent him from doing it, most especially his late mother Pia and cousin Wesley.

The less is said about what really happened to Wesley, the better not to spoil the story. Kael persists on feeding stray dogs up to the time prior to getting married. Much of the story was based on a short story written on the 25 of December or Christmas Day. This led to several scripts written in the following days and weeks. The first one being “A Boy and His Father”. Then the later two scripts deal with Kael’s past in relation to his late mother and how his stubbornness affects his family and to some extent, other people in general.

He got mocked for feeding stray dogs as a small child and he continues to feed stray dogs as a young man. In the interim, his father Lawrence changes jobs and his nannies work with him, even if they don’t like it whenever he feeds stray dogs. Note that Cousin Wesley was open about his disdain for stray dogs. He didn’t like it when his future girlfriend beat up a stray dog for getting her lunch and that she tried to rescue her own dog from them. She later stops Kael from feeding stray dogs. From then on he grows up.