Hi everyone, Cathy here, I want to talk about an unfortunate bit of racism I found in the character creation for Soul Calibur VI. When you go to choose a template for a character, one of the options is called Ancient Tribe, and it looks like this which fits in with common harmful stereotypes for Native people in the U.S.
I only want to provide this as the example, most of this video is not going to be showing this image because it bothers me.
So, if you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me mention that I have Native heritage, and I’m actually working to not say that anymore but embrace that part of my identity and say that I am Native, and I am Mexican. I was born in the U.S. and grew up here, but those parts of my identity are still valid. I also follow a number of Native voices on Twitter and in particular, I am thinking of the body of work of Dr. Adrienne Keene who has a blog titled Native Appropriations. One of the posts, and it is one she often cites from her other posts, is titled But Why Can’t I Wear a Hipster Headdress, and I will be heavily citing it here.
That image plays into harmful stereotypes of Natives in the U.S. There were and still are several nations and this stereotype is often in reference to Plains Natives where those feathers that you saw in the headdress hold an important spiritual significance. There is a power dynamic at play here with what has happened to Native nations here and dressing up as a stereotype of them. To convey some of what I mean, take note of the fact that high school Native students have been put in a position where they are told not to wear eagle feathers to honor their graduation, which might be part of their culture, or maybe even have to choose between that and walking the stage. I was trying to think of a specific story I read on that happening, but found it is actually very common so could not find that particular instance I was thinking of. Yet here in Soul Calibur VI, the game is ready to let anyone dress up in this attire.
I need for people to understand that the Native people here are still dealing with colonialism and genocide. I grew up in this environment, seeing these caricatures of Native people all the time without grasping that meaning, and now I’ve been made aware of it, and I see it everywhere.
To my knowledge, Japanese video game companies do have localization efforts that will pull things like these stereotypes out. I’d rather they not be in the games at all, but that suggests some level of awareness of how it is disrespectful to bring these racist tropes into these games. I am not sure why this template made it through, but here we are. And to be clear, it’s not just the template, that headdress should not be an option.
So, I want you to be aware of it and think you should avoid using it because of the racist connotations that come with this specific image. Thank you for your time.
I have a made a printable calendar PDF and put it up for sale on Etsy. Each month has a heading with a solid color background for the header. I am including some preview images with this post.
Content Warning: Racism, Homomisia
I have a fondness for a certain character type that is man, or mannish, and has black-feathered wings (hence my obsession with Devil Jin from the Tekken franchise) and given my fondness for David Tennant as well, seeing an image of him with black-feathered wings portraying a snake-eyed demon as promotional material for a Good Omens series premiering next year on Amazon piqued my interest.
The person who originally tweeted the image that passed along my TL and was then quote-tweeted by me expressed surprise at my not having read the book. Good Omens is a novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I have read two novels by Neil Gaiman: Stardust, because I liked the movie, and American Gods because at least one, though perhaps more, of my friends seemed to really like it. I used to follow Neil Gaiman on both Tumblr and Twitter and enjoyed his tweets and posts. I don’t want to get into why I stopped following him because I also re-follow people and there can be multiple reasons, not all of which I’d remember.
Anyway, back to the books: I didn’t exactly hate these books, but Stardust falls into one of the few cases where I would say the movie was better than the book, because it was kind of bland in comparison, and American Gods was a little boring and took me a long time to finish, so after that, I haven’t really been in any hurry to read more from Neil Gaiman. I have been meaning to read Terry Pratchett eventually, so I guess I started here with Good Omens.
If you are unfamiliar with the premise, it’s about a cast of characters preparing for the end of the world, including an angel and demon who like the world well enough to not see it end. Other characters include witches, witchfinders, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, some kids, and more. Thankfully, there is a cast list near the beginning that was a helpful reference. Segments jump from place to place, character to character, so one can easily be lost when starting out on a first read.
Most of the Good Omens novel wasn’t boring though there was a part with witchfinders I found dull enough to take a break from reading and going back to coloring my web comic page before getting back to the story. It did break away from the characters I was more interested in, Aziraphale and Crowley (mainly Crowley), more than I would have liked.
This book was published in 1990, but racism should be called out in any age, so as a non-black light-skinned Mexican Native person trying to understand and do better in the ongoing, long fight against oppression in many forms, I’m going to point out some excerpts that sent alarms off in my head.
Most of the members of the convent were old-fashioned Satanists, like their grandparents and parents before them. They’d been brought up to it, and weren’t, when you got right down to it, particularly evil. Human beings mostly aren’t. They just get carried away by new ideas, dressing up in jackboots and shooting people, or dressing up in white sheets and lynching people, or dressing up in tie-dye jeans and playing guitars at people. Offer people a new creed with a costume and their hearts and minds will follow.
See, this book is supposed to be funny, and so the above is supposed to be a joke but “jackboots,” to me at least, is intended to conjure up images of Nazis who killed millions of people, very specifically Jewish people and “lynching” is literally hanging Black people to kill them because they stepped out of line. Lynchings still go on in the U.S. today. For an example I recall in the past several years, read the story about Lennon Lacy. I am pointing out the severity of this violence because while there is some research on the relevance of the fashion to these systematic killings, the specificity of their purpose, the intended power dynamic of outright genocide, is extremely important and should not be glossed over for a joke. Also, I’d say those people can be called really evil quite obviously. It’s a frightening time to see how many really evil people we all live with every day.
Here’s another excerpt that, intended to be funny or serious, certainly leaves me uncomfortable and questioning its purpose.
As soon as the car had stopped he had the back door open and was bowing like an aged retainer welcoming the young massa back to the old plantation.
These words call to the time of chattel slavery, which was an extremely violent atrocity whose effects are still felt today and so calling it to in this fashion as a simile for opening a door feels tremendously inappropriate.
One of the characters, Shadwell, is very clearly racist, even using the word “darkie” at some point with special expressed suspicion toward a Mr. Rajit while the narrative then brushes off this racism as tolerated because Shadwell hates everybody. I don’t think I’ve outright pointed out that both Gaiman and Pratchett are/were White, so I’ll do that now because I think these examples of diversion to the true power investment and dynamic of whiteness toward anti-blackness are a noteworthy and significant problem.
Now, for another obviously racist character is Madame Tracey, which is a real shame because I liked her aside from this point, but it’s kind of a big, flashing, awful, point. She does a seance as part of her services and during a major plot point, the reader learns the following in between her using a stereotypical “how” talking to her clients:
She had always understood that Red Indian spirit guides were an essential prop, and she rather liked the name.
The name referenced above is “Geronimo”. Soon follows a mention of another character figuring out how she doesn’t know who he was and that character not having the heart to tell her. I will try now to have the heart to tell any reader that if you find yourself in a position to put one of your characters saying and doing racist things without confronting that, challenging it, and working to be better, don’t.
I didn’t really care for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which really just made me want to re-watch that X-Men animated series, the one from the 90s, with the early Apocalypse episodes that had the Four Horsemen where Angel becomes Archangel (Death). It started about Rogue wanting to give up her powers and deciding to keep them. I liked those episodes, and I think perhaps those four will always be THE Four in my heart, not that War, Pestilence, and Famine were particularly interesting or developed in those X-Men episodes, they weren’t, it’s just the effect of a first impression and nostalgia. Maybe the colors too. Here is a screenshot of them from the episode Come the Apocalypse in season 1, for reference:
The character Crowley almost seems written for David Tennant, as I could easily picture him delivering much of the dialogue. I look forward to seeing at least that if nothing else when the series premieres in Amazon. If I do watch it, it really will be because of him and hopefully the rest will be done well enough to keep me interested. My other concern is that it might be gross. I do not like gross, and this story definitely has some gross parts. I don’t think I’ve watched an original Amazon series yet, but I have watched all of Jessica Jones on Netflix, which also featured David Tennant and part of why I watched that too. In my Jessica Jones review, I mentioned that it got really violent and gross, more than I could stand really, in the later part of the season but by then I was so invested, I finished it anyway.
Some kind of content or trigger warning would have been nice. I was really taken off guard by the extremely casual use of having a child using the anti-gay slur that rhymes with “maggot” and then later a guard taking pleasure at the thought of burning several such people. That particular word has always offended me a great deal. People really do die from this oppression in brutal ways. It hurts.
Good Omens was moderately entertaining, and I’ll be glad to have a reference if I watch the Amazon series. I would recommend it if you think it will have specifically something of interest to you, such as the authorial style of Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett or a broad cast for an end of the world, or religion-based fantasy. Crowley’s wings weren’t around or described much though, I’ll admit.
I have re-worked the menu here, removing Contact and Art because most contact form efforts are spam and art because most of my recent art is actually in a separate project, a Tekken web comic based on an old fanfiction of mine, The Jin Saga, the comic being called The Jin Saga CV2, since I am in the second effort of making the story into a web comic. I have also added a link to my Patreon in the menu. I have been focused more on these two things so figured it was time to note them on this website as I am preparing to publish page 3 of the comic soon. I didn’t want to post page 3 here without any reference at all.
Tekken 7 Anna costume commentary:
Here is Anna's CG art for Tekken 7. I found it at https://t.co/hdCGYDeVl7. I like the feathers and the red and black theme (because red and black reminds me of Jin's color scheme). I also like the sleeves. pic.twitter.com/dTWE9uNEQf
— Cathy (@kazamacat) August 7, 2018
Flash Fiction: We Wanted to be Robots
Webcomic (digital art and writing)
EXCLUSIVE: Page 2 Final Draft and Progression Log (Patron Only)
Chapter 1: Your Father (Page 2)
Iori playing guitar in the last episode of KOF Destiny. I am eager for the next season to hopefully see a lot more of my favorite KOF character!
I made a batch of GIFs from a Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix cut scene shortly before the 1000 Heartless Challenge since the scene featured a lot of Final Fantasy characters.
Twitter thread (includes bonuses):
I made some KH2FM GIFs you can find here: https://t.co/J31j5TnLT7. A couple of them were too big for Tumblr so I guess ya'll get a thread of them with the bonus two I couldn't put there.
— Cathy (@kazamacat) August 12, 2018
In this Moment, over the course of Evo, I went over who played against who and won during the stream, when my time allowed, some commentary in between, and bracket updates for the Finals.
My favorite player, being that he is the best Devil Jin player in the world, placed 2nd, so congrats to Qudans.
I have returned to gaming! You might be wondering what I mean since I clearly have been playing Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix with my strategy guide videos and GIFs this month so what I really mean by that is I’ve been playing LittleBIGPlanet and foregoing certain other things at more times of the week than a Saturday or Sunday morning as I have with KH2FM. This could mean less from my creative endeavors, then again, maybe not because I see I still made time do some stuff over the month.
In between all that, my kid started kindergarten, which puts me in a position of maybe more time, maybe not. It’s hard to explain.
I’ve put off a certain thing in the works and realized said thing could take months or years if it ever comes to fruition at all. In any case, I set up a schedule for myself on my webcomic to try and release a final draft on the 7th of every month and am on schedule for that so expect page 3 within the week. So, for September, the main plan is that webcomic page. We’ll see how much more LBP playtime disrupts the other stuff.
This function is extremely useful. As of late, I use it mainly to help me manage a loop within a loop, which we will save for another time because I need to release said recent work to other users who are not me. However, I want to document this information somewhere for quick and easy reference of my own.
Here is a scenario. I want to create a temporary table of records, and I need to iterate through each row, and I need to a do it in a specific order. I need the row number to act like a record number for just this temporary table, like so:
Declare @tblExample table (idRecord int, idLocation int, dtDate datetime) Insert into @tblExample Select Row_Number() Over (order by dtDate) as idRecord, idLocation, dtDate From tblTask a join tblLocation b on a.idLocation = b.idLocation Where 1 = 1 and dtDate >= getdate()
Sometimes I end up removing items from a temporary table and need to reset the idRecord column so that it updates to new row numbers. I can do that with the following code:
Here is how to do that:
Update a Set idRecord = a.idRecordNew From ( Select Row_Number() Over (Order by idRecord, idLocation, dtDate) as idRecordNew From @tblExample ) a
That is all for this post.