I’m Stitch and I’ve been running Stitch’s Media Mix since March 2015.
I created my site as a place for fandom and media criticism after being frustrated by my inability to find a safe, welcoming place where I could be a part of these conversations in the fandoms that I was trying to participate in.
I love being in fandom and I love the act of being a fan, but I feel as though there’s room for improvement that is always being overlooked. I’d love to be able to change certain things about the overarching institution of fandom, but for now, I’ll settle for educating and snarking my way along as I figure out how to bring change to and spark conversations in my main fandoms.
Using my academic background – a BA in History and have my MA in English/Literature – alongside my experiences as a queer Black person in fandom, I try to tackle the media I consume and the fandom spaces I inhabit from a critical and faintly snarky angle.
It is very difficult to create meaningful, hopeful content at a time like this when we are watching Black people around the country protest our continuing oppression and the fact that our murders can now be recorded… and ignored because somehow that’s not enough proof of wrongdoing.
We live in a country that claims to be better than everyone else even though
We have over a hundred thousand documented COVID-19 deaths specifically because the administration does not care about us and politicians do not care about us and once they saw which communities were disproportionately affected – and dying – just sort of Kanye shrugged their way out of caring or acting
Our literal infrastructure – bridges, dams, etc – is crumbling around us as I type this
Thousands of Puerto Ricans died in Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and the mainland has never once treated them with the respect that they deserve. As recently as February 2019, when I took off from a flight from San Juan, the island was not 100%
One in like five children in the country are either food insecure or are starving
If someone loses their job in this country, they lose their health insurance and that of their family as well
the Navajo Nation and Native communities are being left to fend for themselves during the COVID-19 crisis in another act of obvious hatred that is linked with a genocidal desire for their nonexistence
At the end of the day, it never has been better than most countries out there.
So yeah, it’s hard to create right now.
But on top of that:
It’s hard to get on social media and see anything that can truly distract me. My timeline on twitter is full of photos, videos, and texts about the protests around the country. It’s full of people showing that even in the middle of a pandemic and increasingly public antiblackness, they’re still going to find time to be antiblack on fandom/stan twitter.
It’s hard to see some of the same incredibly antiblack fandoms – and fans – who police (yes, police) how Black people in fandom can care about antiblackness in fandom and who attempt to punish us (by dogpiling us, lying on us, disrupting our fandom existence, shunning us if they can) when we speak up… tweeting about how get that #BlackLivesMatter and pretending that they give two shits about Black people and fatal police brutality and antiblackness.
(It’s been hard as hell seeing non-Black people say like outright that they “don’t have to” talk about what’s happening to us and what’s affecting the Black people in their fandoms because “fandom is my safe space” when Black people have never had a guaranteed safe space in any fandom – not from the antiblackness of the outside world and not from the antiblackness of our peers in fandom.)
It’s hard to realize that the hashtags and the online activism and the donation chains will dry up by this time next week because people really think this ends at any point other than rebellion, resistance, and rising up together.
If you haven’t checked out my essay series on Antiblackness in the K-pop Industry and its Fandom Spaces, you should! Because it’s a good way to get a grasp on my complicated and always in-flux feelings about Korean pop and hip hop music (and its stars) as well as my feelings about Korean hip hop as an art form.
I went into Yoongi’s sophomore outing as Agust D knowing that I would probably find a ton to love about the album. After all, I literally love Yoongi’s voice. I’m talking about from the literal raspy sound of it and how he delivers his fierce verses to the way that he uses his Voice to unload sharp, intricate, and interesting commentary that often seems to revolve plainly around his past, present, and future as a rapper.
Mind you though, I was primed to like Yoongi’s return to the stage as Agust D.
For one thing, I am and will probably always be, fully fucking feral for every member of BTS’ brilliant rapline. (You may remember this from my review of BTS’ February release Map of the Soul: 7 because I couldn’t shut up about it then.)
The first time I used the hashtag #WhatFandomRacismLooksLike, it was March 2018 and the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom post-Black Panther was hell. Despite everything that Black fans in the fandom had been trying to prepare ourselves for from the fandom, the fandom’s immediate focus was on either the minor white male characters who were in the film on any level or on diminishing the value of Wakanda.
As a result of what I kept seeing, I decided to write articles about what racism looks like in fanworks as well as in the behavior on display by fans towards performers and fans of color alike. I’d been doing it on Tumblr from 2012 and on my website since 2015, and I figured that as someone seeing all of this nonsense happening right in front of my salad, that I should just keep at it.
When we last saw Rachel Morgan in chapter ten, she’d just been about to turn into something after activating a transformation. I couldn’t remember what she’d turned into – only that I was pretty sure that it wasn’t what she’d intended – but thankfully, this chapter gives us an answer soon enough:
Note: I originally wrote this back in 2012 in response to a frustrating comment on a tumblr post about Martha Jones. Sadly, after all this time… fandom is not better about Martha Jones or any other Black woman it comes across.
There’s this post with a comic scan from the Doctor Who books going around where Martha Jones snarkily calls 10 out for his treatment of her in comparison of Rose. You can see the post at the link and read the comic for yourself, but basically she looks at him and is like, “Did Rose get this sort of treatment or was it just me?”
This sort of treatment refers to one awful moment after another. I don’t know if you remember Martha’s run as a companion (and if you don’t, please attempt on fixing that), but she basically got no down time. Where all of the other companions got chances to have fun and visit places where people weren’t trying to kill them either in-show or off-screen, Martha didn’t get any of that. And to top it off, she’s directly referencing the fact that pretty much the only thing 10 talked about were the good times with Rose. Which according to the way he’s telling it, it all of the time.
My latest thing has been to absolutely overuse the “Is this a pigeon” meme format.
I literally cannot stop making memes in this format.
Mostly about how ridiculously racist transformative fandom insists on being.
They’re a surprisingly effective coping mechanism for me as I try to figure out how to come to terms with the fact that transformative fandom is not getting better. I have a worse reputation for talking about antiblackness in fandom than anyone who’s actually been antiblack in fandom does for being antiblack.
That’s definitely a hard pill to swallow.
So I’ve been making memes to cope.
Variations on the same one mostly because it’s hilarious, but I’m always looking for new memes to mess with.
Since they’re mostly on tumblr and y’all mostly aren’t there… have my coping memes:
How do y’all cope with the sad fact that transformative fandom is pretty much Like This all the time?
I began looking at Angela Reyes’ 2005 article “Appropriation of African American slang by Asian American youth” from the Journal of Sociolinguistics because I was working on the early draft of “So They Think They’re Talking Black”. That video evolved from solely being about African American Vernacular English and blaccents to how these things are used by idols in conversation, in songs, on variety shows and, originally, by a largely non-Black fandom.
I don’t have my calendar up yet for May. I’m trying to estimate what the month may even look like because where March dragged along so slowly, April zoomed on by. There’s still so much to do and no idea when I’ll have time to do it all
Plus… we have a whole ass pandemic, malevolent people in power trying to burn the US to the ground, and fascists about to fuck everything up for all of us so like… who the fuck knows what the future will bring.
So for May, I promise nothing except that I’ll try my best.
Because that’s better than the alternative… my worst.
So bear with me because these are trying and terrifying timew, and if I get something resembling a schedule for anything outside of Patreon (where my goal is to post on Tuesdays and Thursdays), I’ll post it!
In the meantime, here’s what’s I’m going to try my best to get out for y’all in May as long as the world cooperates.
There’s an error in this video that I did actually catch before it posted…
I wanted to open with that because it’s honestly hilarious. I copied the original introduction for this video – which I had originally drafted and recorded last year before the world was Like This – which means that I didn’t update it to include how much work I’ve done across this project.
At this point in 2020 after a solid year of working on this project, we’re at eleven articles, twelve related articles, two Spotify playlists, nine videos including this one, two pieces of Patreon-exclusive content, countless twitter threads, and two podcast appearances.
That is a lot of work, y’all.
And I am honestly maybe only halfway done. Two thirds if I squint.
And by clout, they mean positive power or influence in fandom
Here’s a newsflash for y’all: there’s literally no scenario or fandom where a person of color – or even a white person – talking sharply and critical about the racism in a fandom, in the source material, or from a celebrity gains measurable powerful and positive influence in fandom for it.
I have had this site for five years and was on Tumblr talking about racism in fandom for three or so years before that and if you think any of that translated into people overwhelmingly and actually listening to me when I talk about racism in fandom…
In case you thought that the chaos and stress caused by the two million (and counting!) COVID-19 cases worldwide would be enough to stop the Rey/Kylo contingent from being on John Boyega’s case and up his ass over their ship-
During that time, fans of the group would respond to any person with a BTS-related icon that commented on that particular instance of cultural appropriation with comments dismissing their comments because “Don’t you stan BTS”.
Many of the comments were like “But Namjoon [had attempted an afro, had whatever this style is supposed to be, covered that one Shinhwa song, etc] so how can you be critical of anyone else if you like him”.
If this was strictly an attempt at calling out hypocrisy that acknowledged that our faves in this industry are all (largely) similarly problematic when it comes to respecting Black culture(s), maybe I could’ve gotten it. Maybe I could’ve even managed to gloss over it.
But this is not a fandom where that sort of thing happens – most fandoms aren’t.
Content warnings for biphobia, racism, and Ivy being predatory as hell towards Rachel on multiple levels
Chapter six of Dead Witch Walking begins with Rachel and Ivy eating a meal at their shared table, and Harrison sexualizing the hell out of Ivy for no reason whatsoever:
I had just enough experience with chopsticks to not look like an idiot, but Ivy moved the twin sticks with a slow precision, placing bits of food into her mouth with a rhythmic, somehow erotic, pace. I looked away, suddenly uncomfortable.
A Chinese woman using chopsticks to eat is not out of the norm or erotic.
Eroticizing the act of eating – of Ivy eating – is actually racist. Not gonna pull punches here. It is.
I’m a writer in my late 20s, trying to figure out love, life, and how to get the most out of my MA in Literature. I love research and, no joke, analyzing the heck out of every single piece of media I consume – so expect a lot of that here.
I’ve got an an opinion on basically everything. If you like strong opinions, candid talk about mental/physical health and trauma, and the occasional ode to fictional characters, then you’ll probably love me.
And if you don’t… oh well!
This blog focuses on analysis of nerdy media, book reviews, and lots of commentary about race in fandom and the source media that spawns our favorite fandoms.