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BBC: Japan nuclear crisis: Pensioners seek work at Fukushima (3 min)

In this interview, which I can't embed because BBC doesn't allow that, Mr. Yamada Yasuteru explains that he and many other retired volunteers want to help out at the struggling Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to save younger people the risk of radiation accidents with lasting consequences. About two minutes in, the interviewer asks if the volunteers would describe themselves as "kamikaze pensioners" and their work as a "kamikaze mission".
This does not go over terribly well... )
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There's been so much squee about the Thor movie that I'll probably go see it, even though movie tickets in Japan cost an arm and a leg. In the meantime, the only thing I have an opinion about is the ridiculous casting imbroglio. Via Sociological Images, here's a video that explains clearly and in brief why casting a black actor to play a white character is not the same as replacing all the Avatar kids with white actors.

(While we're on this topic, allow me to draw your attention to Racebending.com's campaign about the Hollywood adaptation of Akira, where they apparently want someone like Brad Pitt to play Kaneda. FYI, this is Kaneda. And just to spread the awesome of Akira a bit, here's a an Akira vid (some violence and gore) set to the absolutely thrilling song "Kaneda" from the OST.)

MovieBob: The Big Picture: Skin Deep (5 min)

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This deserves to be said again and again.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story (19min)

Description from TED's website:

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

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Via @tinkerbill on Twitter: an organization in Wisconsin is trying to remove a book about a gay teenager from a library and literally burn it, on the grounds that it is "explicitly vulgar, racial [sic] and anti-Christian". Impressive. These concerned citizens clearly have a great deal of experience at speaking out against the racialiminosity that still pervades our culture.

Elsewhere, Avalon's Willow describes how total ignorance about other cultures causes people to completely miss instances of whitewashing and other forms of racism.Read more... )
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Had two interesting discussions today, one extremely vexing exchange about depictions of women in the media and another far more constructive talk about race (on the ways in which white Japanese Studies researchers may be influenced by their white privilege while studying the Japanese people). Since I'm busy getting a much-needed education about both feminism and racism right now, I ended up revisiting Audre Lorde's "The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House" speech. It's still mind-blowing and I still can't believe I managed to spend so many years in so-called 'higher education' without ever being introduced to anything even remotely like it. The part that speaks to me the most today:

Women of today are still being called upon to stretch across the gap of male ignorance, and to educate men as to our existence and our needs. This is an old and primary tool of all oppressors to keep the oppressed occupied with the master’s concerns.

Yes. This. This.
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Couldn't concentrate on work and ended up reading stuff on fandom_wank all day long. Now now, FW is very educational as well as amusing. Maybe I'd spend less time chewing on my own toes if I wondered "How would this look on FW?" every time I was gearing up to say/do something that might be vaguely significant.

I've spent a lot of time following the racefail debate and realizing how totally clueless I am on pretty much every topic it touches upon. I'm going to go do my homework and not mention this again until I know what I'm talking about. Check it out if you haven't heard of it. [livejournal.com profile] rydra_wong has tons of relevant links. Combing through [livejournal.com profile] ithiliana 's posts throughout the last few weeks may be a good starting point too -her thoughts on the debate are pretty helpful for understanding what's going on.

And I finally got around to changing my icon; the old one contained an image from a dojinshi, and I kept telling myself I was going to try and contact whoever drew it but never actually did. Bad stupid lazy bad. The crappy new icon's barely legible, but at least ethically created. A big thank you to Anne Rice for her inspiring words of wisdom.


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