Tag Archives: Kate Beaton

Shame Day: Americans and the Environment

Today is Election Day for the United States of America, so I suppose this is just as good a time to write about this as any. While the embedded video below “stars” Mitt Romney, he is in no part the focal point of this post.

The video was brought to my attention via a tweet by Canadian webcomic artist Kate Beaton, which linked to an article titled “Watch Romney grin awkwardly as his audience shouts down climate activist.”

A breakdown of said video:

  • Mitt Romney has some things to say about ways to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
  • A man yells at around 00:22, and says  “What about climate? What about climate, that’s what caused this monster storm!”
  • He holds up a sign that says “End Climate Silence.”
  • This is almost instantly met with boos.
  • The boos turn into a rousing cheer of “USA! USA!”
  • At around 36 seconds in his sign is violently yanked down.
  • Seemingly unperturbed, the man tries in vain to yell above the crowd; he does not succeed.
  • 00:54 has the camera zoom in nice and close on Romney’s awkward grinning face.
  • Thirty seconds after the man’s outburst, Romney continues his speech where he left off as if nothing happened.

Even watching that video for a third and fourth time to write this I’m still both shocked and angry. This man was raising a legitimate point about  the source of the storm, and he was shouted down. What’s more, he was shouted down by dozens of people yelling the name of their country over and over and over.

Why did this happen? Sure, the guy may have been interrupting what was ultimately supposed to be a way for Gov. Romney to raise support, but is that a reason to boo him? Is it a reason to yank his sign down? You can see the man struggle to keep it up and then decide it’s not worth the trouble.

As a presidential candidate, can you stop Americans from crying “USA! USA! USA!”? Yes. You can. When what is typically a patriotic cheer is used to instead bully someone and invalidate their opinion. It is disgusting what happened, and anyone involved should feel disgraced by their behaviour.

A reply to Beaton’s tweet put it well when he said:

“Nero, what about the fire?” “USA! USA! USA!”

Oh, and here is an actual video where Romney basically says that caring about the environment is a joke:

Attitudes Towards Feminism in the Past Week 3

If you are a person who gets their video game news from the Penny Arcade Report, this won’t be new to you. If you’re a person who doesn’t read video game news much at all, this is not a post that will enhance your views of the subculture.

The article is here, and I strongly recommend you read it. I’m going to be summarizing the issue pretty succinctly, so it’s definitely worth a read.

Cross Assault, a Capcom-sponsored event is “the world’s first fighting game reality show.” It features ten contestants, with half being experts of the Street Fighter games and other half being highly proficient at Tekken. Since the show is streamed live online, there’s evidence on the web of all of the reprehensible behaviour that was featured on it.

The primary individual I’m going to be writing about is Aris Bakhtanians, the coach of the Tekken team. To sum up his stance on women and fighting games, he’s quoted as saying that sexual harassment and the fighting game community are “one and the same thing.”

The victim of the harassment in this case is Miranda “Super Yan” Pakozdi, a member of his team. She forfeited a match due to mistreatment by her coach. Below is a video of the first day of the show. Below that are quotes pulled from the clip, in case you didn’t want to hear/watch all of that.

Miranda vs. Sheri mud wrestling cage match, what do you think, Miranda? [. . .] That’s the theme, mud wrestling. And then I get the winner?

How does Miranda smell?

Miranda, I want to know your bra size.

I want to hang a Mona Lisa in the ladies room with the eyes cut out.

That’s all from the first four or so minutes of the video. I’m not certain of whether or not all of the quotes can be attributed to Bakhtanians.

The Tekken coach did email Patrick Klepek at GiantBomb.com with a full apology. To sum up where he’s coming from, he cites the origins of the fighting game scene in arcades as a large part of the subculture. People trash-talked a lot back then and he is, in part, afraid that bringing this world into the public eye will censor a lot of what created it in the first place.

This was a combination of the people taking things out of context and my own inability in the heat of the moment to defend myself and the community I have loved for over 15 years.

In other news, yesterday podcaster/writer Mur Lafferty posted on her website a response to a New York Times article from last year titled “‘Tough, Cold, Terse, Taciturn and Prone to Not Saying Goodbye When They Hang Up the Phone.’” In the article Carina Chocano derided the “strong female characters” that appear in pop culture are defined primarily by being the “strong, silent type.” She also complains that the aforementioned women also show little to no traditionally feminine traits.

Lafferty’s post, “Strong Female Characters, My Own Definition” argues that these characters do exist, and that that they’re “[women] who can take action, who [aren’t] passive.” The following quote was also the one featured on i09’s article [where I discovered the articles]. It’s a good one.

Strength is taking charge of your own destiny and not waiting on others to do so. You don’t have to swear and drink and beat people up and slay monsters. You’re allowed to cry and take care of children and cook and get your heart broken and dress up and date and get pregnant. But when decisions have to be made, a strong character makes them and doesn’t wait for someone else. When a monster is chewing on your true love, you hit it with a stick (or pick up the sword that’s RIGHT THERE.)

I also highly recommend reading both articles, as Lafferty’s fuller, more complete definition manages to soundly trump Chocano’s.

milehighTo end this all off with my favourite subject, comics, Kate Beaton, Carly Monardo, and Meredith Gran created Strong Female Characters last summer, a clear parody of how they saw women portrayed in the media. With names like Georgia O’Queefe, Queen Elizatits, and Susan B. Assthony, these are three ladies who know how to pose while showing off as much of their assets as [in]humanly possible. They featured in a decent number of strips, all hilarious, which can be read at Kate Beaton’s site here.

This has been  attitudes towards feminism in the past week. Three.