Supporting Stitch’s Media Mix in 2019

how to support stitch's media mix 2019

WHO I AM AND WHAT I DO:

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.

I use my website to host my writing: media critiqueanalysis of fandom tropes and trendsbook reviews, and the occasional bit of original fiction.

My focus is on talking critically about the media folks create and consume in order to forge a path towards making fandom a more welcoming place for marginalized and underrepresented groups of people.

I want everyone to be able to have a seat at the proverbial table without it being pulled from underneath them. Continue reading

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Post-Shift Stress and You’re Not At Your Best

Mercy is one awkward, itchy mess of a queer werewolf. But… it’s working for her. Somehow.

Notes: This is set four months after Girl, Get Wrecked and is goopy fluff written for @zrhueiao on twitter! Thank you for your patience – as I was sick as heck and pretty much incapable of focusing for the past uh… like 10 days at least. (It was also called “Howl If You’re Happy” but uh… I’m repurposing that tile for something extra queer.)

This floof inspired about three different potential (and similarly queer) spin-offs that don’t all involve queer werewolves but do introduce you all to a new member of the Selkie Squad. (And one is a short and supremely NSFW story directly inspired by this that will be up this weekend on Dreamwidth.)


Most of the time, Mercy likes being the only werewolf on St. Thomas. There aren’t any petty pack politics or the kind of hierarchy that she’d left the States to escape – considering that she was firmly on the bottom back home. Outside of the selkie squad and the were-tiger that she’d scented on a day trip to Puerto Rico, there aren’t that many shifters on the island that Mercy has come to call home.

In essence, she’s the alpha of the island.

Wild.

But being the alpha, a lone wolf on an island where everyone is a part of one close-knit community or another –

Isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Especially after the full moon.

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[Stitch Talks Ish] Episode 1: Stitch Talks About The Tablo Podcast’s Episode on Racism

Episode notes:

  • First of all, Ming Na Wen plays Melinda May, not May Parker. (May Parker, by the way, is Peter Parker’s alternate universe daughter…) I got my Marvel wires crossed because I was multi-tasking on something while I recorded this! My bad.
  • The title is a bit of a misrepresentation. I actually talk about a single moment in the podcast that kind of disrupted my ability to enjoy what I was listening to 100% (It dropped down to like… 89.78%, not gonna lie.) and then I talked about the casual antiblackness I’ve been noticing from popular Korean and Korean American bloggers in the past year as I’ve worked on my project and how often it comes up with media criticism.
  • At the end of the day, it’s not like I was expecting a single person on this podcast to talk about East Asian antiblackness or antiblackness in general. So I’m not actually trying to place my own burden of responsibility on them. But I feel like it was a bruise on an otherwise genuinely awesome episode because there was no need to zero in on Black Panther in the way they did, I feel like… it wasn’t a great moment and it was unnecessary on top of that.
  • Honestly, the episode is across the board good, but it’s like… that moment threw me off my groove so solidly that well… Yes, I made a 36 minute long podcast episode about a moment in someone else’s podcast.
  • Here’s the link to the episode of The Tablo Podcast I’m talking about!
  • Here’s an archive link to the TK Park piece “K-pop in the Age of Cultural Appropriation”  I reference (and the screenshot of his Busan and Black Panther reference)
  • Have you missed the work I’ve done over the past seven months on antiblackness in the Kpop fandom and in the industry? Here’s my masterpost.

Support Links

Transcript:

From GoTranscript! [Editing is still in progress, but I wanted to post it.]


Welcome to the inaugural episode of Stitch Talks Ish.

This is a mini-podcast that I’ll be doing on my website public content that is available to everyone who subscribes or just shows up on my website and listens to my content. This first episode of Stitch Talks Ish is subtitled “Stitch talks about The Tablo Podcast episode on racism”. Really, it’s that I’m going to talk about a moment in the podcast, not the whole thing. I’m an infrequent listener of other podcasts because I do listen to them, I work in marketing, so there are times where it is literally just reasonable to pop my headphones in and put on a good podcast and just enjoy other people going about their lives.

Tablo of Epik High is a really good podcast. It’s really entertaining, really solid guests, really good introspection. It’s a good podcast listen to while you’re at work and I’ve been in and out, so a couple of episodes behind, but the 15th episode came out today, it looks like. Eddie, Nam and Eric Nam who is on his own podcast with Spotify for K-pop was on and they were talking about racism and it was just honestly really funny because it was like, “Well, we don’t want to talk about K-pop. We’re going to talk about something light and fun. We’re going to talk about racism.” It was an hour-long almost. It was about 54 minutes long according to Spotify on my end. Eric was like, “Are you serious?”

Honestly, I really love that they brought hilarious notes to this topic because obviously somebody who writes and talks about racism in fandom and in media, my experiences with dealing with racism as a queer black person in America, I find it really fascinating and really helpful when other people talk about racism and bring up how it shapes our lives and just put a little light into it, in the situation’s we go through and the kind of poke fun at experiencing racism honestly, so it is a good episode.

If you stop here, that’s all you need to know. If you keep going, honestly, there was- one and a half moments across the podcast that pinged me.

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What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Real Racism

Over the past three years, I’ve documented multiple people who’ve used real world (offline) politics and historic and present atrocities to silence claims of dissent and derail criticism across different fandom spaces. 

Police brutality, extrajudicial executions of people of color, and the school to prison pipeline are just a few examples of what people consistently repurpose across fandom in order to stop the critical ball from rolling. 

Back in May 2019, I wrote an audiopost script about “Real Racism” in fandom and how people use the idea of “real racism” to derail people talking about racism in fandom spaces – which apparently can’t ever have racism in its borders. 

To many people – who aren’t exclusively white members of fandom – the racism that many other people see and discuss in fandom spaces doesn’t count as “real racism”. Identifiable racism, to them, involves immediate physical pain to a real person of color, hate crimes, or traceable harassment from people saying clearly that they’re harassing someone because of their race. 

To them, because much of what fans of color have detailed as fandom racism don’t involve those easily identifiable aspects that mark racism as a thing that only outsiders to fandom commit, they can’t acknowledge that fandom racism is real racism.

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Stitch on JinJja Cha Podcast’s Anti-Blackness in KPOP Episode

Jinjja Cha is a weekly podcast hosted by Girl Davis and April about South Korean Pop Culture and everything else in between.

You can find them on:

Soundcloud

Twitter

April’s Twitter

Girl Davis’ Twitter

Their Website

My appearance on Jinjja Cha was kind of destined to happen. I adore Girl Davis immensely and want to be as cool as she is one day. And while I haven’t had the chance to talk with April yet, we’re both longtime Rain and Miyavi fans so like… we’re clearly also soulmates separated at birth.

So, this was in the cards as a Thing That To Take Place.

Talking with Girl was an incredible experience in terms of like… how it felt like just going out with a buddy and getting intense over drinks. (One day, by the way, I’m going to have that experience with them. I promise y’all that.)

Girl and I talked about a lot of different things across our almost three-hour-long conversation. From my whole issue with that one barbershop that was all over social media for a few days to that time I was friends with a white supremacist in college a decade ago, nothing was really off limits?

And I loved it.

The main question across our conversation was about finding our thresholds as Black fans invested in these groups and this industry that has repeatedly shown itself to be incredibly antiblack across the past twenty or so years.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about – especially after reading and sharing Stan’d off by Claudia Williams – is how hard is is to unstan?

Even temporarily because you’re burnt out or frustrated by a member’s hood cosplay or upset at the way the performers/their companies never seem to notice antiblackness in their fandoms – but can leap to quash a dating rumor in a heartbeat.

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Stitch Does Stuff in November 2019

What I’m Into In November:

  • Books: Queen of the Conquered, Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction, Archangel’s War, BTS and ARMY Culture
  • Music: BTS, TXT, the Wicked soundtrack
  • Shows: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (again)
  • Movies: documentaries probably, definitely John Wick 3
  • Food: pizza and maybe Korean if I can afford it

The Usual Support Links


October sure was a month y’all.

You may have noticed that while I went “wow I’m going to make a lot of content”, the reality was that… I did not do that. If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you might not have picked up on why.

Unfortunately, when stressed, I tend to shut down and my output slows to a clear crawl. And I spent a huge chunk of October stressed beyond belief. Between the latest reminder that Black fans critical of anything aren’t welcome in fandom, the family car getting multiple flats and getting towed, and some renewed stress at Day Job (thanks to tasks I’m working on and stuff I’m trying to optimize) that I’m still trying to overcome, I was already slower than usual despite my desire to be Super Organized.

Then my birthday happened on the twenty-fourth and while I had an amazing time, I then promptly got sick. The reason why y’all are getting this post on the fourth instead of the first is because this is the first time since about the 25th or 26th that I’ve honestly felt up to sitting in front of a computer and putting my schedule together for November. As recently as last night, I had a debilitating sinus headache and couldn’t breathe through my nose.

But part of the way through my work day today, the stars seemed to align and right around the time when I threw my back out around lunch, my cold seemed to clear up.

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Stitch On NYAN’s “Chicken Noodle Soup For the K-Pop Lover’s Soul”

Not Your Average Netizens is:

A podcast dedicated to South Korean entertainment. Our goal is to be informative and to have an open and mature discussion about the things we love, hate, and love to hate. Most of all we want to have fun with Kpop and share that with others!

We are made up of netizens from all over the world and we gather weekly in our spare time. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t, and we hope that you find yourself in each of our voices.

Not Your Average Netizens’ Links:

Facebook

Twitter

Soundcloud

Youtube

Instagram

At the start of October, I had the honor of guesting on Not Your Average Netizens’ episode “Chicken Noodle Soup For the K-Pop Lover’s Soul”. In the fun and fantastic liveshow, we covered cultural appropriation we see from idols and the antiblacknesss we see from fandom.

In both cases, we talked about “Chicken Noodle Soup” (BTS’ J-Hope’s take on the 2006 song featuring Becky G) and the fandom’s overwhelmingly blah and bad reaction to J-Hope’s gel twists or the art on the single’s cover and Black fans who were annoyed at or offended because of any aspect of the collaboration.

We also talked about how CNS is kind of exemplary of how Black culture/creativity isn’t valuable to non-Black people until other non-Black people partake of it and perform it. Like I’ve talked about this to a bunch of people – and we brought it up here too – that if you’re “acting hood” and dropping signals of Blackness in your video but you… probably have never had a significant and intimate relationship with a Black person… how authentic is your performance, really? Aren’t you just putting on a costume?

And why defend someone’s inauthentic portrayal of Blackness when you’re consuming their content?

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Birthmonth 2019 – State of the Stitch

Usually, I save the SotS statements for the end of the year.

But this year, I have been kind of overcome by how fucking much happened between my last birthday and this one and I kind of need to talk about how much I’ve done and gone through.

Friends, I am always somewhat surprised to make it another full rotation around the sun. For various reasons – physical health issues, my fear of accidents, one or more bad flights – I always wake up on the morning of my birthday like “huh, I made it”.

And I did make it, y’all.

I made it to twenty-nine.

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[Birthmonth 2019] Little Wolf, Big Red, and the Huntress – Chapters 1&2

There’s a werewolf in Granny’s kitchen and Red doesn’t know where to start asking questions. But this surprise visitor might just wind up being the best thing in Red’s life.

Note: I started (hand) writing this story near the end of last year. It’s been in the works for way longer than that. I wanted to write the werewolf story that I wasn’t seeing in the world: a story where a cute and tiny Black werewolf gets the (big and buff) girl and then – They get another girlfriend. This is one of the most self indulgent thing that y’all will see from me this year, especially if you dodged listening to the A/B/O post on Patreon. Thank you for coming along on my journey for yet another year. I love y’all like my little bossy werewolf loves baking. ❤

Chapter One

Red isn’t expecting the wolf that she finds in her grandmother’s sunny kitchen. It’s not like she’s never seen a werewolf before, this part of the country is lousy with them. However, Red has never seen a werewolf in her grandmother’s house before. Not with how… complicated the relationships are between her grandmother and the local packs.

Hell, Red has even worked with a few werewolves at the zoos she’s been working at across the years. They’re the best people to have at your side when dealing with the natural wolves that many zoos have, and they can handle the heavier predators.

The werewolf bending down in front of the oven doesn’t look like any of the werewolves that Red has worked with before. For one thing, Red thinks to herself as she watches the werewolf straighten up to a not-so intimidating height, this is the shortest werewolf Red has ever seen. She barely comes up to Red’s shoulders and she seems like such a tiny little thing.

Gold eyes meet green ones.

At some point during Red’s distracted observation, the werewolf has turned to face her. Oh, and what a face. Deep brown skin, high cheekbones and an upturned nose.

Full lips quirk up in a smirk.

“See something you like?”

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[Video] Appropriation, Appreciation, and Good Ole Chicken Noodle Soup

Video Description:

One of the recurring comments when K-pop fans talk about cultural appropriation as performed by idols is “so and so isn’t appropriating culture, they’re APPRECIATING it”. The idea that appreciation renders conversations about cultural appropriation null and void is clearly a belief that many of these people have and the thing is –

These idols probably genuinely appreciate what they know about Black culture, but when they go to take it into themselves and perform Blackness, that appreciation becomes appropriation.

This video talks about that appreciation often leads to appropriation in these circles, how j-hope’s appreciation in his and Becky G’s version of “Chicken Noodle Soup” sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and antiblack backlash in BTS’ big ole fandom, and why intent doesn’t matter when the impact is kind of harmful.

If you want to know more about my thoughts on the way Black hairstyles are appropriated within K-pop and why that matters, check out my video from August.

And of course, I’ve got my lengthy article on cultural appropriation for y’all to check out!

Cultural Appropriation in the Age of K-Pop
Part One: https://stitchmediamix.com/?p=8351
Part Two: https://stitchmediamix.com/?p=8361

Thanks for watching!


This isn’t entirely tied to the video’s content, but it’s related to what inspired me to put together this video:

The end of September, j-hope from BTS came out with “Chicken Noodle Soup” with Becky G. It’s an updated take on the 2006 song which was apparently one of his biggest inspirations as a dancer.

In the initial images that he shared (via BTS’s twitter account), j-hope appears to have some kind of twists in his hair that are clearly reminiscent of the kind of twists that primarily are associated with Black hair – as in, Black people‘s hair.

I’ve been in my feelings since I saw those photos.

But then, I am always in my feelings about Korean idols wearing hairstyles they think are necessary in their quest for authenticity in hip-hop. Every single time it happens – and it happens often – I find my feelings… bruised.

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Fast and the Furious Foregrounding

In this installment of What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Antiblackness in the K-Pop Industry and its Fandom Spaces, we’ll be doing some fast and furious foregrounding.

The point of this foregrounding essay isn’t to provide readers with an exhaustive and complete history of Korean and/or African American hip hop and popular music. 

Here are the goals of this furious foregrounding essay:

  • to provide some context when it comes to what K-pop generally is for folks with a wobbly grasp
  • To briefly cover the history of Black creativity being exported to South Korea and beyond without Black influence (but with antiblackness),
  • To foreground myself and my experiences with this genre and the fandom spaces.

Let’s start with a quick coverage of what k-pop is from two experts who’ve written books on it.

Context Matters

In the introduction to his monograph Sorting out K-Pop: Globalization and Popular Music in South Korea, Michael Fuhr writes that:

K-Pop is mainstream music in South Korea. Initially modeled for the teenager market, this music of the country’s youth has become the most pervasive music in Korea, effectively shaping the sonic public sphere, the musical tastes among different generations, and the imaginative worlds of its consumers and producers. (3)

Then in Suk-Young Kim’s K-Pop Live: Fans, Idols, and Multimedia Performance, she writes that:

In the broadest sense of the word K pop as an abbreviation for Korean popular music includes all genres of popular music that emerge out of South Korea. […] But in from 2009 onward, when the term entered a wide circulation, it came to designate a much smaller fraction of south Korean music. according to pop music critic Choe Ji-seon, it references “music dominated by idols dance music which strives to gain a competitive edge in the international market .in this respect indie music or rock or anything that does not belong to dominant Idol music usually is not characterized as K pop”. (8).

K-pop – as an industry and as a genre (smush), is a multifaceted [thing] that really dates back to just under thirty years ago with the term itself dating back to the mid-nineties. (Suk-Young Kim traces the term to Hong Kong’s Channel 5 in 1995 and mentions that it follows in the footsepts of the already coined and widely used “J-pop” [8]).

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