Friday, April 20, 2018

Book Four

Book 4/24 Reflection (Spoilers)
This is not the first time I've read Ready Player One, but this time I read it though a new lens. I was looking for problematic thoughts and I was watching for how women are treated in the book. It was rough. This book has some issues. Besides the problematic line about trans people most of us have seen, it seems pretty anti-the ladies in general. There are two main female characters and one of them spends the entire book pretending to be male to the point where even after Wade learns that she is a woman, he still calls her "he/him". This is problematic because it heavily falls on that trope of lolgirlsdontplaygameslol. The character Ahch (or however the crap it's spelled), isn't allowed to be both female and a well-rounded character. She has to be male, she has to be butch for her character to make sense and that is shitty. The other female character is female throughout the book, but she is flat at best. Though she is bright and figures out the puzzles faster than the "boys" she just can't beat the games. UGH. Girls and games? Amiright? Really, I'm glad I read the book again. The first time I read it, I liked it. I glossed over all the problematic points because it's a popcorn book. But, we need to look at problems in our popcorn books because they are the ones EVERYBODY reads. I also read along using the podcast 372 Pages We'll Never Get Back. It's done by the rifftrax fellas, and they do a really good job of pointing out all the awful in a fun way. They also did Armada, so I'm going to read that once I get caught up in my other reading.

I'm coming up on the end of my second semester of grad school! I think I might be able to get that 4.0 again too! I just have to super follow my homework schedule for the next two weeks because there is A LOT of work to get done. I have 3 projects to complete on top of the usual homework, but luckily May Week is almost here and just at the right time for me to get everything done.

I feel like I'm genuinely succeeding in Japan. I love my job and I feel appreciated at work. This is weird and AWESOME. I don't dread work, I look forward to it (after I've had my coffee). The teachers cheer me on, we're a team and I can feel it. The kids are rad too! Even though many of them are shy in actual class, they will talk to me in the hallway and they try so hard. I know it's going to be a great year for my JHS. Tuesday I start at my elementary school. I hope that things go well there and hopefully I'll have an update on that soon.

I love my little town too. I mean it would be nice if there was a movie theater nearby, but I'll live. I have access to everything I need anyway and my town has AMAZING takoyaki, which is like my favorite Japanese food. I have been eating a lot of instant noodles, but that's mostly out of convenience because I'm super busy. There is a really great curry place that I've been to once a week since I got here and I love it and the owners are super sweet and don't mind that I have to point at things to order. Really, everyone is very kind and understanding and no one gets upset with me for not being able to understand Japanese and it's just really nice. I've also been able to get a lot of dental work done since I've been here. My teeth are looking and feeling better and I'm more confident because I don't feel ashamed of my smile. I'm going to be able to get all my dental work done while I'm here and it's super cheap because insurance here is friggin amazing. And today, I'm going to an adventure forest thing! I don't know quite what it entails, but I'm super excited to go on a hike and have pizza afterwards! So, yeah, I'm loving it in Japan. The only thing that sucks is that I miss my Monster like all the time. It's okay though, I miss him because I love him and that's good.

Currently Reading: Rice Mother by Rani Manicka; We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
Currently Playing: Kirby Star Allies for Switch; Stella Glow for 3DS

Coming Up!
Reading List: Fire and Fury, Artemis, Tokyo Ghoul, Armada, A Wrinkle in Time
Playing List: Wonderboy, Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2, Skyrim, LoZ A Link Between Worlds, Culdcept Revolt

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fighting Stereotypes in Native America

Books being release with racist or badly interpreted information about minorities are nothing new. It is sad though, that even today writing such as these are not only being published, but they are being published AND calling themselves reviewed by experts. In the case of the book Blood Moon by John Sedwick, the author ignored proposed changes from TWO Native American scholars and then thanked them for their reviews of his book! The book does more than get facts wrong, it purports stereotypes as correct interpretation of behavior. As a member of the American Indian Library Association, I get a lot of concerning information from their listserv. American Indians face a lot of awful stereotypes in books that lean heavily on the "savage" trope. ("savage" is a racial slur in all its forms. It has been consistently used to put American Indians down for hundreds of years, even in official US documents. It is not a coll thing to call your friend after a vicious comeback. There are other words, like: vicious, barbaric and brutal.) As an American Indian, things like this make me so angry. We are consistently painted as two things, either the noble, everything has a spirit Disney cartoon of Pocahontas or the vicious "redman" with a lust for blood (and booze). And for a book to be released in 2018 with missing facts, and opinions doctored up to look like facts, so that an entire people (and by extension other Tribal Nations) are made to look blood thirsty, is grotesque. When one Nation is made to look bad, it hurts all Native Peoples because most Americans do not realize that we are completely separate nations with our own cultures, laws and governments.

There is an additional problem with this book. This book has an advertising budget. The only way to fight the misinformation of this book is by word of mouth, so please help.
This is the link to the post by Debbie Reese on the site American Indians in Children's Literature.
Pictured Below: An Email I received from the AILA (American Indian Library Association listserv)