Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dusty Ayres, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Dusty Ayres

    Dusty Ayres Commodore

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

     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  2. Borgminister

    Borgminister Admiral Moderator

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  3. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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  4. Bad Bishop

    Bad Bishop Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Is this about the legendary Hawaiian lounge singer Don Ho?
     
  5. Neroon

    Neroon Mod of Balance Moderator

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    Could be about his Sicilian supervisor......
     
  6. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He was appropriated by Apple.

    Apparently with the help of Joss Whedon.
     
  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Let the copyright holder on Asian culture sue through the courts.
     
  8. Dusty Ayres

    Dusty Ayres Commodore

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

    Here's the text in question:

    Joss Whedon and the blurry line between homage and appropriation
     
  9. USS Mariner

    USS Mariner Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Still can't see it. Link?

    EDIT: Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  10. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This part:

    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.
     
  11. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    People need to stop taking simple entertainment so seriously.
     
  12. ManOnTheWave

    ManOnTheWave Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think Joss Whedon holds hands with George Lucas while they rape Asian cultures and childhoods, respectively.
     
  13. 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.
     
  14. SinglePurpose

    SinglePurpose Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  15. Rii

    Rii Rear Admiral

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

    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".
     
  16. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I want to say that in one of the commentaries, Whedon said that, in all honesty, no Asian actors ever auditioned for them, but I'm not sure if I'm just imagining that or not.
     
  17. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You're posting on a Star Trek board. If people didn't take entertainment too seriously there would be no such thing.

    In any event, "simple entertainment" generally = crap. It's a waste of time unless someone just needs background noise on while they drink.

    The two most populous planets of the human civilization in "Firefly" represent the eastern and western cultures - Sihnon and Londinium. So the writer may have gotten the details wrong, but certainly understands the premise fine.
     
  18. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The fact that the Mandarin/Cantonese the actors were allegedly speaking was horribly pronounced is admitted to on the commentary tracks of the DVDs. It's shoddy work, to be sure, but it definitely slips by me, in the same way that the gibberish the American Indians in Dances With Wolves slips by me. They should have had a dialogue couch, but I can understand how this concept wouldn't receive much attention under the arduous schedule of weekly television.

    What doesn't slip by is the complete lack of Asian faces on the series, especially considering the premise, and especially considering the population distribution between the United States and China, the two surviving superpowers (or, the two surviving powers, anyway) after Earth's abandonment. Actually, the history is a bit muddled, since we don't have much to go on beyond a few comments and that montage that opens Serenity, but that seems to be the general idea.
     
  19. MeanJoePhaser

    MeanJoePhaser Admiral

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    Maybe there were almost no asians left in China on Earth. There was mass immigration into China and those people took over and started speaking mispronounced Mandarin/Cantonese.
     
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    So, what happened to over one BILLION Chinese people, then?
     

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