sábado, 30 de agosto de 2014

So, I suppose this would classify me...

...if I hadn't done it already.

You remember back when 'Brokeback mountain' was the new thing? The film, I mean. Yes? Back then, I was talking with a guy in a local university's GLBT group and in the cinema group, after another guy and him finished setting a date around the movie, and I asked him: "OK, let's forget for a second that the main relationship is gay. Is there anything else in the movie that makes it a must?". I go very seldom to the movies, so I try to choose things that, well, are above the average.

Thing is, he looked slightly shocked for a brief moment and asnwered, "no". This is the same year I argued with a self-declared butch in the same circles (no, I don't mean lesbian; that was obvious, but she didn't call herself lesbian, but butch, and I'm so not going to argue that) that 'V, for Vendetta' wasn't really queer-friendly. Yes, there's a reference to a lesbian couple (dead) and another character is gay (and he doesn't end well). Both mains are as asexual as I've seen in mainstream. So? Still, from her point of view, that was a friendly movie.

Now, I'm pretty blind to descriptions. From hair color to, yes, sexual orientation. It took me two books and a half (and not tiny books at that) to realize that the main love interest in 'Memory, Sorrow and Thorn' was black haired. I'm unable to tell you the hair color of a single character in Robert Jordan's saga, or a hobbit's, or... Raistlin's hair was white, yes?. Or the approximate real world race. Then, also, I'm Spanish. Racism expresses itself differently, here, and it's not as much of an issue (for good or bad, that pretty much depends).

So, all that "we need to include X in SF/F" leaves me basically unmoved. First, because I don't see the references unless you hammer me with them, second because I simply don't care. Yes, I'm "Latino". And "Caucasian". And God knows how many other things. I can hear Mediterranean cargo ships at the dock from home. The docks are owned by a Chinese company. Nobody cares. We don't have a box for "race" in our IDs. And, maybe, we do most of our racism amongst ourselves.

So the whole ruckus in US' SF is a tad weird. And, yes, I've ended blocking several sites that happen to share the "progressive" POV. Mostly, because of things completely unrelated to the matter and completely related to the form. Argue as you wish, but be a good lad and don't insult me in your first paragraph. I barely skim some other sites that would be "conservative", because of the droning on the subject, but they're, at least, way more polite.

Also, for whatever's worth, I visited the (last) Spanish Civil War museum at Gernika some years ago. And if you look at it in a certain light, you can see the war approaching... because people stopped talking to each other, looking at data, and started talking against a mirror.

Just saying. I don't really care, again, what your character's are. I want them to be characters, to tell me a good story. Don't hammer me with their ideas, but with their lives and adventures. If done properly, it'll have their lives, and it'll slither into my mind without triggering any alert. Paizo did it with their very first module, 7+ years ago. Octavia Butler did it for years way before that. And so on. Some of the current trend? Unreadable. Some other? Childish.

And it's a pity, because it looks like some writers' minds short-circuit when they include their "Big Idea", like they can't get past their own characters' race, or sexuality, and tell me why should I care about them, and give us characters that, if "classic" (young man, hetero, Caucasian...), would be widely laughed at. A single "item" is not making them interesting, specially if you have to hammer it time and again to cover for the rest. Emperor's new clothes and all that.

Take care.

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