( From a farmboy to a commander )
Today NPR published my piece on why “Cultural Appropriation Is, In Fact, Indefensible.” I was inspired to write this article by a recent NYTimes op-ed on the matter that floored me with how the writer misunderstood the topic, conflated it with other issues, and in general did not take into consideration or seem to know about any of the many articles and posts and books that already exist talking about cultural appropriation. It’s frustrating because that often seems to be the case. That’s why my piece has so many links to so many other essays as well as to resources.
It’s been a while since I submitted a piece to NPR, and so I didn’t know that they no longer have comments (I did do a little cheer when I saw). However, some folks are super not okay with not being able to scroll to the bottom and tell me how wrong I am! And thus my Twitter mentions, the Inbox on the Writing the Other account, and comments on unrelated posts here are full of folks offering me their thoughts.
Since this is the case, I thought a post giving folks the opportunity to scratch that itch was in order. Ta da! However, since this is my blog, I have rules, and you’ll have to be bound by them.
First time commenters are always moderated.
If you’ve never participated in discussion here, then your comment will not appear below automatically. It goes into a queue, and an admin has to rescue it from the queue. Since many folks who will rush here to argue with me do not often do so in good faith and/or can’t resist wallowing in racism or misogyny as they type, I will not be looking at the mod queue, someone else will. They will let your comment out if it doesn’t have those issues. If it does, they’ll delete it and I won’t see your words.
Side Note: Someone is moderating the email address my contact form goes to as well, so I won’t see anything deemed to be mired in bigotry there, either.
Before you argue with me about cultural appropriation, read all the links.
I put a ton of links in that piece for a reason. Cultural appropriation is a complex topic that can’t be 100% covered in one 1000 word essay. So I gave all readers the opportunity to delve deeper into it via other great essays. Click every link in that piece and read what’s behind it and click all the links in those pieces as well. Only then should you come here to ask questions or make objections.
“But I don’t have time to read all that!” you might say. “I have a life to lead!” Okay. But if you don’t have time to read up on the subject you don’t have time to argue with me about it. Go do something, anything, else.
Don’t argue with me on points I haven’t made.
If you see something in those links that you want to fight about, fight about it with the person who wrote the article. The person who made that point. Not with me. I’m not the avatar of all people who have written about cultural appropriation ever. Don’t expect me to answer for them.
If you can follow these guidelines, you can submit a comment. I look forward to hearing from you!
Today, Saucer State #2 is in comic stores and digitally on ComiXology (in the US and the UK). Reading it back, I’m so hugely pleased with what the team has done. It’s also the moment our story moves into high gear. All in all, it’s the single issue I’ve been involved with that most pleases me. I don’t think there’s anything I have second thoughts about. Ryan Kelly is expressing his talent perfectly. The colours by Adam Guzowski are incredibly subtle, the lettering of Simon Bowland is spot on (and both these guys are following patterns of meaning we laid down in the Vertigo prequel). And even with this being #2, new readers will instantly get what’s going on. Which is that, in the middle of our UFO mythology/politics plot, what everyone acknowledges as an enormous alien spacecraft has just shown up, signalling to the entire world. It’s a year before it gets to Earth. And for our heroes, that year is now a ticking clock.
You can see a preview of the first five pages here. I love that last page of Arcadia doing crisis management.
I’m interviewed about the title at Dynamic Forces.
Ryan Kelly’s main cover.
Jeffrey Veregge variant.
I don’t normally post reviews, but I thought this one did a great job of summing up what we did in the first issue…
And there’s one thing about #2 that I want to highlight: it includes a cameo from a real person! Dr. Marek Kukula is the Public Astronomer at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. He kindly agreed to appear as part of the worldwide reaction to alien contact.
As you can probably tell, I’m very excited about Saucer State, and if you pick it up, I hope you are too.
In other comics news, I did an interview about the forthcoming Vampirella #6, the first with Andy Bellanger as artist.
Caroline and I will both be appearing on panels at our favourite (non-Doctor Who) convention, CONvergence, in Bloomington MN on July 6th-9th. (Tom gets to stay with his grandparents on the farm.) I’ll be on:
July 6th, 3.30pm: Ready, Steady, Flash! (Lee Harris’s game of live flash fiction writing.)
July 7th, 3.30pm: Thunderbirds are Go fan panel. (I finally get to talk about a show I love.) 8.30pm : Powerpoint Karaoke (I’m judging this hilarious contest of idiocy once again.)
July 8th, 11am: I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue. (Like the radio game show. Caroline and I are a team!)
For those who’ve asked, the cricket tutorial is taking a year off owing to the venue being redeveloped. It’ll be back next time. We’re both looking forward to our working holiday.
I’ve been loving the reactions that my very personal novel Chalk has been getting. I’d like to point out two particular pieces. Firstly, there’s Alasdair Stuart’s review of it alongside Matt Wesolowski’s Six Stories, which I think is very insightful. Then there’s Tobias Carroll’s piece, placing it in a new wave of politically-conscious horror, which is somewhere I’m very happy for it to be.
In Doctor Who news, Steven Moffat made a storming appearance at the Fairford Festival of Fiction (which I put together as part of our local festival), where he was interviewed by Simon Guerrier, and, with his permission, a transcript has been put up online. It’s a great interview. We’ll be back next year, on June 2nd, with, hopefully, another big Who writer guest.
And finally, I just had my 50th birthday party (though my actual birthday isn’t until July), which was a lovely, sprawling weekend of fun, featuring several house guests, many of whom had to record podcasts. So I ended up guesting on Radio Free Skaro, and Caroline ended up on Verity!
In the pub beforehand… (spot the podcasters!)
The cake, courtesy of The Coffee Post (that’s Wolsey the cat!)
My favourite band, Boogie Me, played in the hall for us that evening.
And Caroline joined them for a number!
(All photos by Andrew Smith, except the last, by Al Cane.)
I had such a wonderful time, surrounded by so many friends.
And finally, I’d like to direct you toward the work of another friend, Si Spurrier, who has a glorious Image comic book coming out in September. It’s an all-ages title about flying monkeys in a post-apocalyptic future. It’s called Angelic, and, having taken a look, I can recommend it wholeheartedly. Do check it out.
And that’s it for now! I’m about to dig into some serious plotting, and preparation for both CONvergence and San Diego. See you soon, sweet dorks.
Jackie Chan is not messing around anymore. While the 63-year-old international action star is known for his comedic physicality and upbeat everyman hero roles, the new trailer for the upcoming thriller The Foreigner promises Chan in full-on Revenge Dad mode, à la Taken. And that means a lot of people are gonna die.
Chan plays a humble London businessman Quan, whose long-buried past (cue vintage photo of young shirtless Jackie) erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when his teenage daughter is killed in a terrorist blast. In his search for the identity of the bombers, Quan is forced into a cat-and-mouse conflict with a British government official, played by Pierce Brosnan, whose own past may hold clues to the identities of the killers.
Note the look on Jackie Chan's face. That's a look that says I am going to kill all the terrorists.
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