I watch a dim blue light hit the Union Ballroom stage. As the blue light shapes the darkness, Suji Lee runs on to the stage, wearing a green hanbok (조선옷); her face red. The girl runs over to the shaman, shrouded in a black cloak.
The shaman looked away as Suji ran over to her. Suji approaches her partially out of breath. Suji says, “Please Wul Hwa you can’t do this to me! None of you can do this to me! That was my true fate and becoming you isn’t! Please, I just want to be happy!”
Wul Hwa smiles in response and turns to her. She says sarcastically, “Suji, what a nice surprise.” Just as she finishes that statement she turns away, beginning to exit the stage. Wul Hwa had nothing more to say to the doomed girl.
Suji cries out, “No please, don’t go!” Wul Hwa turns around one last time and looks at Suji. Then exits the stage into the backstage corridor. As the shaman exits, Suji falls to her knees and cries.
Another girl, Hebin, walks on to the stage, a red ribbon in her hand. The red thread of fate… Hebin approaches; she was wearing a pink hanbok. Hebin reaches Suji Lee and starts tying the ribbon around her arm. Suji stops crying and goes to grab the red ribbon, but Hebin does not let go. Suji looks over Hebin and then lifts up her head.
“Hebin! It’s you! It’s always been you!” Suji exclaims. Hebin and Suji meet eye-to-eye before embracing each other in a loving hug.
The lights dim into darkness and the crowd erupts into cheers and screaming. Me and the others in the back smile and hold back laughter as the crowd roared in enjoyment.
The turtle, dwarf, an amorphous blob, a teenage boy, and a dopey-looking corgi scurry up the cliff. The turtle was sweating as he carried the corgi, the dwarf followed by stoically, the blob was somehow swimming its way up, the teen had a look of terror, and the dog looked about as happy as any dog would be when they saw new people.
The crew heard scuffling and splashing water below. The hobgoblins below were trying to get across the strong river and its currents which the team had previously managed to get across. However, as one hobgoblin tried to get onto the hill, the current below pulled them back in. The teen let out a sigh of relief as he made it the top of the cliff.
When the teen made it up, he spotted a dead pine tree; it was about 25 feet. However, its roots were dead and right on the very edge of the cliff. The teen runs over to the tree and starts pushing it; the other team members caught on and pushed with him. The corgi barks, the turtle and dwarf push with their backs, and the blob idly watches. Just as, the enemy had gotten on the cliff, the tree toppled down and onto the enemy. The setting quiets down but as the crew begins to relax, the teen spots a huge gray cloud coming north. They had gotten themselves into more trouble.
The white snow was pelting the window and a cold chill ran throughout the house. I push myself deeper underneath the warm sheets as the movie Camp plays. The song “Right on Be Free” by the Voices of East Harlem playedas snow closes off the windows. The line, “I’m gonna live until I’m dead” played in the background as I looked over a portrait. It was a portrait of someone my friend cared about. I frown; the person had died two years ago.
[Please, if you can, listen to the whole song. It is relevant to everything else I write about below.]
I went to Tora Con 2019 this past weekend. Tora Con ”is an annual two-day convention celebrating anime, cosplay, and nerd culture” which is hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology. Thanks to the student-run organizations like Geneseo Area Gaming Group and Geneseo’s Anime Club I got to nerd out with my friends. For example, I bought a bag full of dice, went to a panel on LGBTQ experiences and anime culture, ate at Plum Garden a hibachi restaurant, took pictures of a lot of amazing cosplayers, and got to spend time with my friends. In total it was an amazing experience.
What made the trip successful was how transparent my friends were about the convention. In particular, a friend was discussing pricing for the event. We had to figure out how much we were splitting for gas and food. Thanks to this transparency, I did not have to worry about concerns like transportation and instead I ate and spent time with my friends.
[A Video Highlighting Tora-Con 2019 and showcasing Tora-Con 2020]
Last week, I missed INTD 288. I missed class because I went to go see the keynote speaker for the Diversity Summit. In the end, I saw the lecture and it was a sharp reminder of how binary thinking is isolating.
I look at the blank screen in front of me and frown. I feel my ears grow hotter and hotter as I stare at the blank word document. On the bottom right screen, the digital clock read: 8:30pm. It was originally 5:00pm and before that, it was 11:00am but it managed to get this late.
In my youth, I grew up with women. My mother, grandmother, and the majority of my teachers were women. In particular, a number of them were poor, some openly and others not LGBTQ and/or people of color. Yet I, for a long time, took no part in wanting to think about it. For me, I had internalized a sense of want in masculinity because for so long, being blue was pushed upon me. However, I would argue that I have improved from that stage of hypermasculinity and Audre Lorde’s “Learning from the 60s” and Janelle Monae’s album Dirty Monae remind me why us boys have a lot to learn from as Monae puts it the “pussy riot”. Continue reading “Oh Lorde, Us Men Gotta Be More Pynk”
It can be understand that human beings by all means are social creatures. In fact isolation, particularly extreme cases, it has shown to cause debilitating affects. As such, it makes sense we form communities to face precarious situations and the excerpt of Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower and short story “Non-Zero Possibilities” connect back to this concept of: community and belief. Furthermore its connection to community and belief are important aspects to afrofuturism.
Whether it is Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon or the impact of black preachers, black culture is based on “cut and repetition”. Snead notes that black culture is based in the process of “cutting” or stopping, going back, and continuing with the process; the process could describe music, spoken word, or figures within black culture. Black culture is “circular” whereas European culture “accumulates” (67). Yet both are flawed, black culture is doomed to “always suffer in a society” where it is based in material progress. European culture will continue to realize its limitations because “repetition has been suppressed in favor of fulfillment” (71). Therefore in the context of race relations, having solely either will result in each struggling against each other.