Indifference :/


“Indifference is worse than hate” (341). In The Obelisk Gate, Essun relays her devastation once realizing that one of the people in Castrima has decided that Essun is not a person, because she is a rogga. In that woman’s eyes, roggas are not worthy of humanity due to the way roggas are placed in the social hierarchy in the Stillness. In my perspective, indifference largely stems from ignorance.

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Building the Stillness

As someone who has always been interested in reading and writing, the intricacy of Jemisin’s fictional world in The Broken Earth really threw me for a loop. How do you create a world? What makes it actually work? Where do you even start? It just so happens that lately I’ve been watching some author panels at conventions like Comic Con (Nerdy? Maybe so.), and these questions seem to come up quite often. While every author’s mind works differently, and various processes will certainly work for some while not for others, I was really interested in hearing what popular authors had to say. Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Kingkiller Chronicle series, talked about the aspects of fantasy world-building. J. R. R. Tolkien, Rothfuss explains, included rich languages in his creation of Middle Earth because he loved language. That was what interested him. Rothfuss also said in this video (around 23 minutes in) that he himself likes to focus on currency:

“I’m a geek for currency. And so my economy, I actually have it all worked out, and that filters into my books… you’re a geek for something. And if that’s, like, herbology, or, like, the nature of the night sky, or plate tectonics, it’s like, revel in your geekery, roll around in it and make that a part of your world, because that will be really interesting to the people reading because you’re interested in it.”

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In Response to Denis Hartnett’s Separating Good Art From Problematic Artist

While scrolling through my peer’s blog posts one in particular caught my eye, Denis Hartnett’s “Separating Good Art From Problematic Artists.” If I am not mistaken, I was in that discussion group where we delved about the complexities of trying to draw a line between articulated and well versed art, and that of the artists troublesome views and ideals.

It all began with our readings of H.P Lovecraft, “one of the most influential horror writers of all time,” as Denis himself expressed in his blogpost. Indeed, one recognises Lovecraft’s work as exceptional, and it has indeed managed to influence and inspire many artists and writers today, including N.K Jemisin. What Lovecraft created is a brilliant outline of work, all demonstrating his talent as a writer and as a creative thinker. What most critics today still continue to struggle with however, is trying to separate the inspiration behind his work, which is heavily linked to his anti-semite, racist, and sexist commentary and attitude, with that of the quality and content of his work itself.

It comes to no surprise that Lovecraft would so unapologetically link his work to his convictions and perceptions of the world, as he, as a writer, has the freedom and ability to do so, as anyone else can. Isn’t that the true beauty of creating? The truth is, every writer has a story and a background. Whether good or bad, we should not just alienate ourselves as learners and readers to a specific text because we simply don’t agree with their politics. It is our responsibility as students to be able to delve into work and acknowledge its structural and semantic ability, all while articulating well rounded analysis’s. We must separate good art from problematic artists, not doing so would be an act of disservice to ourselves.  

Jemisin on Being a Parent

The life of an orogene from start to finish is a gauntlet of rejection, abuse and exploitation, and it all starts as many things do, in the beginning. That is, the personal beginning of every orogene, their childhood. Orogeny develops very early and as Jija shows us no orogene is safe from violent persecution, regardless of their age. The Fulcrum also separates orogene parents from their children to raise apart from them as part of their breeding program. Childhood is undeniably a crucial part of any person’s development and I believe that the depictions of parental figures in the novel speaks to how Jemisin feels about parents and the effects they have on their children.

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Laws of Attraction

Revelations occur in the strangest of moments. Right in the midst of my procrastination, as my attention span struggles to grasp on my work, I tune into my roommate’s video that’s playing in the background.  “That’s not something I’ve been trained to be attracted to”  flows from her laptop. She’s watching another episode of BKCHAT NYC, as she usually does. This time on the topic of race and attraction. I was halfway through writing another blog post when these words resonated with me.

“That’s not something I’ve been trained to be attracted to”

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How Women Are Portrayed in Storytelling

Upon viewing the #SEEHER Tip Sheet for Storytellers, it quickly reminded me of Essun’s decision to kill Corundum in The Fifth Season. Although this was seen as a sign of strength for those who understand the context in which this decision was made. I know that when I was explaining this to my mom, she was in utter confusion and disbelief.

“How can a mother ever kill her child; she’s a monster” my mother replied even when considering that she did it to save him from a life of captivity and servitude.

To be completely honest, I initially thought that too. Now, I see her decision as a sign of great strength and bravery because she choose what she truly believed was best for her child and that was to kill him instead of having him live enslaved for the rest of his life. On page 441, Jemisin writes “She will keep him safe. She will not let them take him, enslave him, turn his body into a tool and his mind into a weapon and his life into a travesty of freedom”. Her maternal instinct drove her to protect Corundum from being captured by the Guardians and turned into a node maintainer which would ultimately lead to a life of utter torture (bound to compliance).

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The World of Children: Immigrant & Orogene Bound

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“When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away. Now, we don’t have to prosecute them, but then we’re not prosecuting them for coming in illegally. That’s not good.” ~Donald Trump

Many believe that in 2016, the world entered its “fifth season” when the political climate of the United States grew in controversy. Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president and became a striking figure in the media.  Continue reading “The World of Children: Immigrant & Orogene Bound”

The Briar Patch

When we talked about the Uncle Remus stories in class and the association with the briar patch, it was not my first experience with the tales of Br’er Rabbit. All of my prior knowledge of the stories came from a ride at Disney World called Splash Mountain. Splash Mountain is based on the Disney Movie Song of the South which is based on the Uncle Remus stories. The ride even contains a large briar patch that a log flume plummets into. Just before this happens, the animatronic rabbit tells br’er fox, just as in the original story, “hang me if you gotta! But please, please don’t fling me in that briar patch!” and then mirroring the story further, br’er rabbit survives because as was said in the original story, he “was bred and born in the briar patch“. After reading the Syl Anagist sections of The Stone Sky my perception towards the amusement park ride was drastically altered, and I began to look at the troubling link between the tuners and the story of br’er rabbit.  Continue reading “The Briar Patch”

Cluttered Desktop, Multiple Tabs

I’ve long gotten used to how much nonsense (educational or otherwise) takes over my laptop and seeing around a dozen tabs often looks no different than my unmade bed these days. In other ways, I’m also reminded of the cluttered moving chairs in class and my mixed feelings toward them.

Is this post literally gonna be about chairs? Well…

I certainly find a great deal of freedom with wheels, enabling me to move. The size of the desk feels underwhelming. Then soon enough I’m looking through my notebook for more examples to fulfill a blog post and then I’m revisiting The People’s Century – 1933 Master Race (this part in case one has forgotten since then). This was the same time we viewed the piece on the Jim Crow Museum, and to follow that with this particular video certainly brought about an obvious unpleasantness for me. One particular line that I felt compelled to write down was “A sea of swastikas” along with the growing unemployment rates in Germany shortly before the dictatorship occurred. The very top line on my page was a consideration in writing about revanchism or eliminationism. When considering the views and ideals of those under power at the time – or even those who promoted and embraced the questionable material in the Jim Crow video, I’m wondering how some of those people may have viewed themselves. Were they making some effort in reclaiming some form of history, power, or reputation? Or were their ideals simply in heavy opposition towards others, and they responded with horrible decisions and outcomes.

I suppose – what I’m trying to say is, am I trying to reclaim a sense of solidarity, memory, or control with keeping track with all these tabs? Seeing them grow and grow and me being unable to put forth enough attention towards all of them without going a little haywire? Or am I just afraid of what would happen if I were to close a few of those tabs? Well, to return to seriousness here – How many groups of people considered themselves revanchists or eliminationists? Do some people even realize the nature of their intentions and understand the consequences? Do certain people from Jemison’s work also carry a little parallel with the aforementioned subjects? Am I really trying to keep track with all these tabs, or am I just losing track of the whole point about using bookmarks or really considering if some of these things should stay open or not? Am I just trying to recover some aspect of power by maintaining these things, despite how crowding they are turning into, along with what sprawling amounts of attention I can provide? How many question marks can I put out? Regardless, is this kind of parallel a thing to notice before any kind of haywire happens? Are there any examples to support this?