• Member Since 20th Jan, 2013
  • offline last seen Mar 20th, 2017

Pirate Jesus

Mae'r gwynt yn chwythu am byth ymlaen

More Blog Posts101

  • 214 weeks
    So, I changed my name a bit.

    Now before you lot start thinking I've been getting into the rum, let me explain.

    So, as some of you remember, the last picture of me in the flesh I put up here about a year ago, and some of you commented even then that I looked like a pirate due to me growing my hair and goatee out.

    Well, I kept growing it and now, thanks to my Jewish blood, I literally look like Jesus.

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    2 comments · 283 views
  • 215 weeks
    Oh, Hey guys!

    (Blows dust off old account)

    Hey, y'all. Sorry I was gone for a bit.

    What'd I miss this time?

    7 comments · 228 views
  • 244 weeks
    Can Someone Summarize this Blasted Show?

    So, As you all know, I left the fandom for a while, and I'm now trying to get in some faculty back into it. However, I've run into a problem: apparently I've missed a lot since the Season 4 finale. So, what I'm asking of you my dear followers, is there any way y'all can bring me up to speed on what's been going on with all this? I don't have enough time to catch up on last season, or even the

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    3 comments · 332 views
  • 249 weeks
    School's Out For Winter!

    Yep, just got my transcript for the semester after a particularly long finals season. 4 B's in Medieval European History, Modern East Asian History, Leadership and Interpersonal Skills, and History of Alabama, rounding it out with a solid A in Leadership Theory. Needless to say, I'm relieved.

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    0 comments · 177 views
  • 260 weeks
    I Can't Stop!

    I should probably be working on the paper due in an hour and a half, or at least on my story.

    Instead, I can't pull my eyes away from this.

    6 comments · 224 views

Characters, Settings, and Cultural Appropriation · 7:17pm Jun 17th, 2015

(From the Tumblr blog of Pirate King Fowler)

So, for the last three years, I’ve been working on a novel series, and I’ve found myself coming back to be critical about my own ideas, but there’s this one thing that keeps pulling me back to question it: cultural appropriation.

Now, I write a lot of fantasy and sci fi stuff, so I get a lot of my ideas from real world history and culture. Sometimes this is indirect, such as a fantasy race being based on the people of Wales and speaking Welsh, and sometimes more directly, like having a character from a real world culture like turn of the century Germany. Now, I try my best to do a lot of research; I mean, I’m a history major, so researching a historical event/culture is literally what I do by day for now, and usually I feel like the more important aspects of a culture I understand pretty well. However, what I constantly worry about isn’t getting the facts right; it’s getting the perspective right.

As a for instance, I have a main character in a project who is South African. Now, while I’ve researched it to the point of annoying my friends, I’ve never been to South Africa or even personally met a South African person. Like I’ve said, the facts of what his past, home life, every day activity- all that I’ve pretty much researched to hell and back, but what I don’t know is how to perceive those facts. The only perspective I’ve gotten on how white South African men are is in the media.

The problem there is how biased the media- especially fictitious media- when representing places and cultures the source obviously hasn’t encountered. A good example is my home area of the Southern United States. I was born and raised in Georgia, so I’ve gotten to see how complex the South- in good and bad ways- can be. As such, one of the biggest ways I can get turned off of a book/movie/show is if the southerners are all just shown as dumb, racist, inbred hicks and the South is just vicious woods and dirty, disgusting swamps. Now, I’m not advocating that the South is perfect or even that there are no racist, dumb hicks in the South, but every time I see such a blatant lack of attention to the detail when creating characters and setting it’s immersion breaking at best and offensively lazy at worst.

That’s what my constant fear is about writing characters from other cultures that are more obscure in research. That’s also one of my main reasons that I like the Southern genre in my literature and use Southern main characters so often; I grew up here, so my perspective of this culture is more informed and nuanced than my perspective on, say, post-Imperial Germany during the 1930′s. I know how these sort of people would not only live and physically interact with the world. I know how they would think, what sort of things they would say, and how they would feel about the environment they’re in.

I’m starting to ramble, so let me wrap up. I think the main thing about cultural appropriation isn’t when people don’t look up the research materials. It’s very rare for someone to be so lazy or careless to deliberately avoid researching their settings. More importantly it’s important to remember what the cultural perspective of your characters would be, especially on their own culture, because that’s usually where writers trip up.

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