okay, story time: i’m a resident actor a children’s theatre company, and we just did peter pan. i was cast as peter because i’m the only one who looks young enough to play the part; but aside from looking young, i look nothing like peter pan. he’s this little white boy with reddish brown hair and i’m an arab/hispanic queer with black hair and freckles.
our company has a really devoted following, and these kids are reeeally young. after every show, we do autographs as the characters and have to keep up the act, because to a lot of these really young kids, we are who we pretend to be on stage. that terrified me. i’ve done autograph sessions in-character before, but never as such a well-loved character. who, again, is white. i was worried about what children might say.
over the course of the production, we must have performed for close to 500 kids, between the shows we did for families and the shows we did for school field trips.
and i distinctly remember one little white girl who came up to me with a DVD copy of disney’s peter pan, and she had this adorable tinkerbell dress on, and she just stared at me wide-eyed and after a while she said “i have all your movies!!”
first of all, if you don’t think that’s the cutest thing ever, please leave.
and when i asked her what she wanted me to sign, she handed me her DVD and said “by your face.” and she points right at this little white redheaded peter pan with pointy ears who is clearly not me, as if she can’t tell the difference… or she can, and she doesn’t care. similar things happened with different children, but it never lost its charm for me. on the contrary, it really warmed my heart.
by that same token there were many children of color who were affected by seeing a brown peter pan. a lot of them (usually older children) and/or their parents ask me how i got into acting, and if i had any advice for how to get into it. it meant a lot to me that there’s this whole generation of children of color who are going to pursue the arts, because even though i live in a very diverse area, our theatre landscape is still very whitewashed.
anyway, what i’m trying to say isn’t just that representation matters, which it does. what i’m also trying to say is that one less white face in the crowd isn’t going to hurt anyone. i feel like i’ve heard time and again that white people can only identify with white characters, and the whole point of my story is that that’s obviously not true. that kind of behavior, where people only empathize with characters who look like them, has to be taught. and that kind of behavior is racism.
bolding is mine, because that last bit really knocked it out of the park for me
"I have all your movies" Oh my GOD. *dead *
#pirates of the caribbean was kind of a formative influence #so here’s the thing #after years of chasing curses and hearts and fountains; losing the pearl and winning her back and losing her again #after rum enough to drown his sins and sorrows both#captain jack sparrow wakes up one morning and he’s immortal #just like that #no deals with calypso (he hasn’t been able to find her since the brethren court broke her chains) no desperate double-dealing #one morning he just…stops #stops aging stops dying #he gets the seas forever—except #except #the edges of the map are closing in #the lure of undiscovered treasures is waning and merchant ships are becoming better defended #the day that the East India Company takes Shipwreck Island; Jack feels a great chapter in the world’s history close #(he flees to the Barbary coast with the rest of his ilk; but the romance has gone out of it—the is too much desperation #too much hunger too much blood to it nowadays #the age of the swashbuckler won’t live out the decade) #I imagine this thing he’s chased all his life would crumble through his hands as he bounced from ship to ship #he never gets used to the square rigging on the clippers; though they lead to some good work running tea from china #but the first time he sees a steamship he nearly walks off the dock out of shock #of all the ways sailing would have changed; who thought you’d get rid of the /sails/ #(he swears he’s never getting on one of those monstrosities; let alone sailing on one) #(he manages to hold out until 1893 when the longing for the sea overwhelms him and he decides that even #that ghastly smog and the humming of the engines can be endured) #sometimes he’ll see calypso out of the corner of his eye—leaning on the deck railing; darting alongside the ship with the dolphins #(someone in the early 20th century tells him they’re not fish and he nearly busts a gut laughing) #he wears a hundred names and a hundred looks; cuts his hair short or grows it long #calls himself american; spanish; english (british); caribbean #he has two dozen different copies of Stevenson’s Treasure Island—it reminds him of something gone and half-forgotten #and in 1920 when Seitz comes out with Pirate Gold; Captain Jack Sparrow is in the first row (x)
And then in the future, everything changes. He’s been through it all, of course-watched humanity rediscover the heavens above them, watched them begin to wonder what’s out there. He cheered with the rest of the world when they landed on the moon, cheered as if he’d found Isla de la Muerta all over again, because there was something new. New treasure, a new horizon. But then they stop going, stop exploring, and he goes back to riding tankers across the rising seas. So he’s surprised when one day he wakes up from a night with his bottle of rum (his truest companion), and hears that there’s colonies on Mars now, and they need ships to supply them. He spends the next decade crafting new identities, learning all he can to qualify for the job, and after several tries (and even more faked deaths-this immortality thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the age of the inerasable digital self) he gets it. The ships go nearly constantly now, the needs of the terraforming project creating an unbroken line of vessels from Mars to Earth and back again. “Show me that horizon,” he whispers to himself, his personal prayer of thanksgiving, each time they leave orbit, because the worlds, the stars are in motion and it’s never the same, with nearly three years for a round trip the ports are always different, even if they keep the old names. And finally one trip something goes wrong with the reactor, they’re too low on power and have to deploy the backups, and Jack (Lucky Jack, they call him, for he survives too many things he shouldn’t but science has yet to accept that maybe some things weren’t old wives’ tales after all) goes out for the spacewalk to bring up the solar panels. And as they rise, geometric patterns black against the sun’s glare, he’s struck by a powerful sense of déjà vu, because it’s all here-wind and sails, a ship beneath his feet and stars above his head, horizon in all directions. He wonders, for a moment, if the reason he’s still here is because the universe wanted a witness, to mourn the end of one age of exploration, and rejoice in the birth of the next.
I was asked to create a .gif of a house interior during an earthquake. The article chronicles the controversial aftermath of the devastating quake that happened in L’Aquila, Italy in 2009. I wanted to capture the movement of the “tremors” before the full-on earthquake, although this tremor is infinite, never resolving.
This image and the all the animation was made in Photoshop. thanks AD Erich Nagler!
yeah seriously tell us how wizardry’s done in the new world tell me how the wizards from france and spain and britain stamped out the brujos and the medicine men and set up their own schools tell me what the fuck the british raj did to fucking india…
Oh, this is a beautiful, glorious thing.
On the left is a manuscript in which a scribe has resolved a great many problems of adjacency— not only of letters but of multiple kinds of marks—, with great skill and confidence. He has learned how to do this, learned what solutions may be used in each situation, so that it is second nature: something he doesn’t need to think about each time the problems arise. This allows him to write fluidly and accurately, and in the Islamic ijāzah system he will have received certification of his knowledge and skill in this particular style of script.
On the right is the same text, typeset in a technology that also does a good job of resolving these problems of adjacency,* and which does so using the same canons of competency as the scribe. The difference, of course, is that the knowledge and skill that reside in the mind and hand of the scribe must, in the case of typography, reside to a large degree in the typesetting system. This doesn’t make obsolete, of course, the knowledge and skill of the human typographer, the person responsible for the overall text design. But we’ve come to expect our fonts and our software to take care of a great deal of what we term ‘micro-typography’ and, at the least, to provide acceptable default behaviour. And micro-typography is all about relationships of adjacency.
Underlined passage, Mystery, So Long by Stephen Dobyns, page 74.
Cities and Memory is a sound project that attempts to record both the present reality of a place, but also its imagined, alternative counterpart – remixing the world, one sound at at time.
Every faithful field recording document here is accompanied by a reworking, a processing or an interpretation that imagines that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new. The listener can choose to explore locations through their actual sounds, or explore interpretations of what those places could be – or to flip between the two different sound worlds at leisure.
My favorite I’ve found so far: http://citiesandmemory.com/2014/06/shhh-its-the-sounds-of-the-british-library/