Monday, August 04, 2014

Vote for Comment of the Week

Last batch from Precollege.  Voting ends Thursday noonish...

Student #1 has left a new comment on your post "Disability Is Not Just a Metaphor":

    We stare and we sympathize, we pretend to be okay, yet we aren’t. When people look around the room, their eyes naturally gravitate towards the person most out of place, often a disabled person. Whether their disability is physical or mental, both are just as noticable for different reasons. The fact is, many people feel uncomfortable around disabled people. They feel bad because they aren’t as “normal” as everyone else. They feel worse because they don’t know what to do or say that doesn’t involve the prospect of hurting their feelings. Disability is a touchy subject.

    I think Hollywood chooses to hire able-bodied actors to portray disabled characters simply because it’s easier to manipulate the story that way. Audiences can establish it’s only a story instead of a reality. They can witness that actor walk or behave “normally.” They don’t witness the struggles portrayed on screen, off screen. That intimidates people.

    For shows like American Horror Story, who includes a Down syndrome actress, while the reality is just as real, these people are actors too. They are not cast as themselves, they play a character who happens to have the same disability as them. If this can be established to audiences, maybe Hollywood will be more open to the idea of casting these actors.

Student #2 has left a new comment on your post "Infographic: Only 8 Percent of Sci-Fi Films Featur...":

    Roughly four percent of United States citizens have openly affiliated themselves as members of the LGBTQ community. About Thirteen percent of Americans today are African American, and (unsurprisingly) half of the population is made up of women. The lack of diversity in these movies is often appalling, but it doesn’t necessarily connote segregation in the movie industry. The fact that there are so few women protagonists is most likely based on the concept that men are more suited to fight and survive, an unfortunate widespread cultural belief held since the beginning of time. Despite the gap, Hollywood is slowly accepting more women and African-Americans into the world of film. There may be many more Sci-Fi and Fantasy films that incorporate more diverse casting, however this data only comes from the top 100 domestic grossing movies. So does that mean that people just like Will Smith as an actor, or chose to specifically mostly watch movies that have little casting variance?

Student #3 has left a new comment on your post "Critics accuse opera of depicting yellowface":

    I am an Asian American, and I've seen Mikado performed. I wasn't deeply offended by it, but the fact that Japanese culture was being portrayed in this way was definitely problematic.

    Due to my own personal background, I am somewhat removed from this issue. I'm only half Asian (my father is white), I've lived in America all my life, I am white-passing (in most contexts, people generally assume I'm fully Caucasian). While my family observes some Chinese customs, I lead a pretty whitewashed life. Thus, when presented with something like Mikado, it doesn't quite hit me deep down.

    However, I am still a member of the Asian American community and I am still sick of modern attitudes towards Asian culture. In addition to operas such as Mikado still being popular, there are still perceptions of Asian culture such as in the weeaboo and otaku communities. In America, there has been a recent fascination with Asian culture to the point of belittlement and fetishization, and Mikado is just one example of this phenomenon.

Student #4 has left a new comment on your post "I’m Breaking Up":

    Reading an article with this level of introspection is sobering to read. Anything you are passionate about will consume a lot of your time, and many people choose to put that passion higher on the priority list than other things that they want to do. It will be interesting to see how such a fast paced field with so many aspiring participants welcomes someone after their hiatus. Sometimes you have to make decisions that will hinder the option you don’t cater to. Conbere said she burned a lot of bridges while pregnant with her child, and that’s not giving anything to their community. That is only increasing her distance from the field she loves. If she gets too far from it she will regret it. This is a just a balancing act between two separate worlds-but if she wishes to take it on she should.

Student #5 has left a new comment on your post "Marilyn Myller, A Stop-Motion Short about Stop-Mot...":

    There is a lot interesting about this past the cute and meta factor. In terms of stop motion, this short emphasizes the idea of putting a lot of effort into work that is often destroyed. Though some stop motion characters might make it through the filming process, they don’t always. However, this film is about more than just stop motion. Much of the beginning is about the emotion that is tied to almost any artistic process, especially processes that involve storytelling. The artist is creating a world, and that comes with an immense sense of wonder and power until something inevitably goes wrong. Myller’s film portrayed the emotion of an artist being passionate about and absorbed in the world they create, and the feeling of abruptly being pulled out of the world. Anyone who has ever had that experience when working on a project, and I would guess that most people have, immediately empathises with the main character of the short, and stays with her for the rest of the story. The skill with which that emotion is portrayed is what makes this film effective, powerful, and relatable.

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