Making Memes To Cope With Fandom Racism

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?

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[Stitch Takes Notes] Angela Reyes’ “Appropriation of African American slang by Asian American youth”

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.

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Stitch in May (Schedule Pending)

So here’s the thing about May:

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.

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[Video] So They Think They’re Talking Black

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.

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What Fandom Racism Looks Like: For Clout and Social Capital

Across Korean pop/hip-hop twitter, anyone who calls out or even mentions the antiblackness that is a constant from the artists, the industry they’re part of, and the fandom spaces we’re in on and offline… gets accused of doing it for “clout”. 

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. 

None. 

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…

You would be extremely wrong. 

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Surprisingly, Transformative Fandom Sucks At Research AND Reading Comprehension

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-

You thought wrong.

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“But Namjoon,” Nothing – Antiblackness in the K-pop Industry and its Fandom Spaces

Have you checked out the rest of the works in this year-long project yet?


The first time I think I saw a “But Namjoon” in the wild was almost a year ago when Stray Kids’ Bang Chan came under fire for the attempted cornrows in his hair back in mid-April 2019.

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.

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Sleepy Hollow Fan Fiction – Circa 2013

Back in the day, I used to write Sleepy Hollow fan fiction.

Here’s what I have left over from way back when:

Untitled

Arrangements

Noir

Ill-Advised (NSFW – Abbie/Luke)

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Urban Fantasy 101: Stitch Reads The Hollows – Dead Witch Walking Chapters 6-10

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.

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Authenticity Essay #4: Gatekeepers and Idol Rappers

Back when BTS was a baby group, they were subject to what seems (to me, as a fan coming later on to the group) like a really disproportionate amount of criticism. One theme that got the group loads of criticism?

Their relationship with and attempts at embodying hip-hop culture.

When you watch their m net -hosted series American Hustle Life, the first episode has a selection of headlines revolving around BTS’ debut as a group under BigHit Entertainment (around the 1:05 mark). These headlines, when translated, say things like “BTS challenging real gangster”, “BTS debut, opening up with 90’s gangster”, and “BTS, strengthening the industry with gangster rap”.

As an act, BTs was marketed and developed as a hip-hop idol group.

In the time period that they trained and debuted, a ton of idol groups were also debuting.  Exo (2012), Block B (2011), B.A.P (2012), Winner (2014) and Got7 (2014) are just a handful of male idol groups that debuted roughly within the same era as BTS. But as far as I can tell through research, while all idol rappers are met with the same sort of disdain and suspicion from “mainstream” and underground rappers alike –

Some of the documented nonsense that BTS – and more specifically, their rapline – has been hit with by some of these dudes and, most likely, their fans has been… wild.

Case in point?

Rapper B-free’s on-again, off-again beef with BTS following a 2013 KBH Hiphop Radio interview that swiftly went sour.

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Anti What, Exactly?

“What is the opposite of fandom? Disinterest. Dislike. Disgust. Hate. Anti-fandom.”

Melilssa A. Click. Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age 

The anti-fandom(s) – and anti-fan(s) – of 2020 look far different from what Jonathan Gray put together in 2003’s “New Audiences, New Textualities” when he described anti-fans as, “those who strongly dislike a given text or genre, considering it inane, stupid, morally bankrupt and/or aesthetic drivel,” (70).

The internet and fandom as we know it have both changed drastically in the past decade and change since he first attempted to provide that definition – a definition that Gray himself has tried to expand upon and contextualize across the years, culminating in his essay in Melissa A. Click’s collection on anti-fandom referenced in the introductory quote.

At this point, if you’re in transformative fandom, you’re probably faintly aware of the term “anti” and the variety of ways it’s used to describe other people in fandom who seem to be against fandom in some way that is rarely fully explained.

In part because most of the people explaining it… can’t explain it very well because they have wildly varying definitions of what an anti is and what anti behavior looks like.

At this point in fandom and fandom discourse, what is most “anti”/opposite/against fandom is not letting fans do what they want without any criticism whatsoever. Which includes, as I’ve noted across the years… fans creating purposefully or incidentally racist fanworks.

I mean, really… considering that when John Boyega was getting shat on by Rey/Kylo fans – members of a fanbase that’d been harassing him and shitting on him publicly for his entire time in the Star Wars sequel trilogy – I saw tweets accusing him of “siding with fandom antis” –

It becomes clear that in many fandom spacesm, the term “anti” at this point is mostly meaningless.

(And that Black people who aren’t doing what fandom wants will always be viewed and (mis) treated as outside of or against (anti) fandom.)

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Stitch Talks Ish: Episode 4 – Where Stitch Processes

Episode Notes:

Transcript

Speaker: Hello everyone and welcome to Episode 4 of Stitch Talks Ish. If you missed it check out last month’s episode where I reviewed BTS’s Map of the Soul: 7.

I feel like it’s a fantastic episode, just saying –

But on a related note, episode four is also going to be about K-pop, but from a more critical lens.

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April Content Calendar

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Friends, March was a lot.

April is already set up to be even more.

At this point, everyone I know is trying to figure out how they’re going to handle the COVID-19 crisis. Routines have been… rerouted. A lot of folks have lost their jobs, including… me. If y’all remember, at the start of March, my one boss was like “we’re downsizing and trying to save our skins so you’re getting cut”.

Well, it’s the start of April and my time (of unemployment, beyond some freelance article editing and uploading for them) has come.

As the job was the first time that I’d had reliable health insurance in four years and I was basically the breadwinner for my family… You bet I’m panicking.

But I’m trying to channel all of that nervous energy into a positive outlet… creating content and building my brand and audience further! Because writing is the one way I have been able to express myself and make money enough to live on to an extent!

So, barring any complications by the pandemic holding us frozen in our homes (those of us who are at home), here’s what’s on the schedule for April.

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What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Migratory Slash Fandom’s Focus

Note: The section on RPF and whtiewashing deals pretty plainly with real person fan fiction – where a real celebrity is treated like a character in fan works – but from the POV of “stop whitewashing them” rather than a judgement call on the fandom itself. I’d suggest skipping this section, scrolling down to the solutions section of the piece, and waiting a little bit for me to finish writing my actual RPF-focused installment of What Fandom Racism Looks Like later this year because it’s been in the works for a while and will tackle K-Pop RPF, Hockey fandom, and the One Direction fandom’s endless racism towards Zayn. 


The Fanlore page for Migratory fandom describes it as, “the most recent term used to describe the idea that slash fans are always on the lookout for the next shiny, new juggernaut pairing”.

First seen in fandom discussions across Fail_Fandomanon – one of many multi-fandom anonymous memes – the term is a reference to this idea that slash fans are constantly moving to the next fandom that’ll provide them their dose of slashy goodness. 

On the surface, there’s nothing even remotely wrong with moving to another fandom because the one you’re in is running dry on content. Honestly, I’m right there with folks because when a fandom I’m in is dried up entirely or the fan content it’s creating has been done to death before… I always feel like jumping ship at least for a little while.

So I get the motivation.

But this is “What Fandom Racism Looks Like” and you know that means that there is something I find frustrating about migratory slash fandom that falls under this series….

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What Shipping Says About Fandom Antiblackness

Note: I originally did this as a thread in like… 2018 but I think it’s still extremely relevant and so… it’s a blog post now! (If it was a blog post before this, pretend it wasn’t. Mkay?)


I love seeing folks who ship ships that came about as a way to distance a Black character from their white faves be like:

“The only reason antis are mad are because they think [Black character] is nothing without [white character]”

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