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Old March 19 2009, 05:27 PM   #1
Dusty Ayres
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Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

More bitching about Joss Whedon, this time about how he appropriates Asian culture to be used on Firefly and Dollhouse:

[QUOTE]I don

Last edited by Dusty Ayres; March 19 2009 at 05:34 PM. Reason: Got rid of title in quoted section
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Old March 19 2009, 05:47 PM   #2
Borgminister
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Oops.
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Old March 19 2009, 05:53 PM   #3
ManOnTheWave
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

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Old March 19 2009, 05:58 PM   #4
Bad Bishop
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Dusty Ayres wrote: View Post
More bitching about Joss Whedon, this time about how he appropriates Asian culture to be used on Firefly and Dollhouse:

I don
Is this about the legendary Hawaiian lounge singer Don Ho?
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Old March 19 2009, 06:00 PM   #5
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Could be about his Sicilian supervisor......
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Old March 19 2009, 06:04 PM   #6
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Bad Bishop wrote: View Post

I don
Is this about the legendary Hawaiian lounge singer Don Ho?
He was appropriated by Apple.

Apparently with the help of Joss Whedon.
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Old March 19 2009, 06:12 PM   #7
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Let the copyright holder on Asian culture sue through the courts.
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Old March 19 2009, 06:32 PM   #8
Dusty Ayres
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Sorry, everybody, but I'm using a crappy old computer because my regular ones's in the shop.

Here's the text in question:

I don’t really like Joss Whedon.

Phew, there I said it. Sure I admire Whedon’s gender politics, but I find his dialogue and characters glib and unbelievable.

But my real problem with Whedon is much more superficial.

While most people were enjoying the full use of their patella, I spent last July lying in front of the TV after having the anterior cruciate ligament in my left knee repaired. To cheer me up my loving roommates bought me the boxset of Firefly. I loved the movie Serenity and I will always have a soft spot for Buffy (well, seasons 1 & 2) so I was pretty thrilled. But after the first episode opened with a coupla blonde actors speaking some sort of mangled hybrid of Mandarin and Cantonese, I wasn’t so sure.

After screening several episodes where - apart from being space cowboys and quasi-anarchists - the cast of the show wear kimonos, carry paper parasols, and talk about making pau, I started to get more and more annoyed. But was I just being a jerk? What was so wrong with the array of East Asian symbols and decor on the set of Firefly? Was I preventing myself from enjoying a perfectly good TV show by being some sort of yellow fever watchdog?
Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation
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Old March 19 2009, 06:36 PM   #9
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

^Still can't see it. Link?

EDIT: Thanks.
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Old March 19 2009, 06:49 PM   #10
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

This part:

why are there absolutely zero actors of East Asian descent on the show?
I must admit I always wondered about that. I imagine, if asked, that Whedon would have an answer - but I've never run across it and confess that I'm not so much interested in either the hostile speculations of the author of this piece or the defensive rationalizations of fellow whedonites (okay, I hate that. Whedonista would be just as trite. Whedoholic? Whediot?). I'd like to hear what Whedon would say, though.
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Old March 19 2009, 07:11 PM   #11
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

People need to stop taking simple entertainment so seriously.
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Old March 19 2009, 07:27 PM   #12
ManOnTheWave
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

I think Joss Whedon holds hands with George Lucas while they rape Asian cultures and childhoods, respectively.
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Old March 19 2009, 07:34 PM   #13
Stone_Cold_Sisko
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

I read the entire post and I don't see anything overly hostile there. In fact it was pretty restrained considering the nature of the complaint.
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Old March 19 2009, 07:47 PM   #14
SinglePurpose
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Yeah, how come nobody's asian in the movies?
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Old March 19 2009, 08:01 PM   #15
Rii
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Re: Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

The lack of asian actors on Firefly was a little odd considering the ostensible cultural context of the show, yeah.

I get that there’s all sorts of chinoiserie in Firefly because the idea is that in the Future where Firefly is set, China will be a great superpower and so will have cultural dominance.
No, the idea was that China was a great superpower, that China and the United States were the last bastions of human civilisation before Earth "went under".
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