Apr 3 2012 9:00am

Morning Roundup: Straight Talk from Yoda

Speaking Correct Order of Words Yoda Is from MechaStewart on Vimeo.

Beyond being clever, the above video featuring Yoda speaking words in pretty much the “correct” order made us wonder the following: do a bunch of young, hip Jedi start saying things out of order to make themselves feel cooler than other students? Is the talking out of order thing some kind of affected phase that every young Jedi goes through?

While you consider the ways in which Yoda made you talk like a fool when you were younger, your offsite links are waiting for you below.

Highlights include:

  1. A quick taste of the new season of True Blood.
  2. Meditating on the lack of diversity in Game of Thrones.
  3. Finding speculative fiction’s place in academia.

Every day Stubby the Rocket jets around the internet looking for links of interest. When Stubby finds these links, they get put in our handy Links of Interest section and sometimes on our Twitter and Facebook! Sometimes Stubby creates an extra section in Morning Roundup for the stuff Stubby knows you crave. Here’s today’s selection:

Stubby the Rocket is the voice and mascot of Tor.com. Noticed, Stubby did not, anything wrong with Yoda’s speech.

1. ElizabethB
"I'm the One That's Cool" was actually Felicia and Jed Whedon, who worked on Dr. Horrible and is also awesome :-)
2. Hedgehog Dan
I just wish to reflect on the GoT article, or rather, one sentence:

"Again, an entire nonwhite culture is presented as holding skewed values."

Sorry, but why would be sexuality and sensuality totally accepted and integrated to a culture would be skewed? There were cultures in history (in ancient Hellas, as far as I can recall), which shared Chataya's view. Were they skewed, too?

Or, despite touching this subject, can it be, that Saladin Ahmed commits the same mistake he speaks against - that he views and judges a culture through European/American lense?

Do not get me wrong, his article is otherwise intelligent and prudent... it is just this part that I find problematic. It suggests, that only those worldviews are right and acceptable, which befit the European norms. Which are far from perfect.

I think, that Chataya's worldview might be even healthier, than our prudish and hypocritical norms. I mean, Christianity - which affected our European way of thinking pretty much, even if we are atheists, because Christian mentality totally saturated our culture, and my rambling is not directly about religion, but about worldview, any way - always tried to eliminate the concept of Chataya's profession, in vain. They only managed to make it illegal and shameful, but it thrives. And that is the problem - it is despised, even if there is a need of it... or at least, there will be people, always, who will search for the company of said women.

We have problems with accepting our sexuality, on a cultural level. That is why I had to avoided any naming of Chataya's profession, because all of them have a scornful content. Because these women are all demons, tempting honest men to sin, right? Because this notion still abides. We have the very same attitude towards them, that a westerosi man has towards a bastard. They represent, that we cannot keep up with our high - and sometimes bone-headed - standards, therefore they are viewed as the source of corruption, and we are oh so totally innocent. Which is hypocritical and unjust, because we once again demonize the victims of our contradictional way of thinking, just to feel better.

And this is the attitude, which makes these women once viewed as priestesses pariahs and sexual slaves. And that is the freaking problem. (And why shall sex equal to female submission, I do not know, but this is another problem.)

Martin skillfully shows the differences between cultures with that scene, and he does not make any judgement (even if I cannot not help but think, that he sympathizes with Chataya's worldview - which is, just to point out in order to avoid any misunderstanding, that sex should not be despised, it shall be respected and even a little bit worshipped). I never ever felt during the reading, that I shall smirk at the culture of the Summer Isles.

It is even more unfortunate, if one thinks, that is perfectly okay for a father to send his sons to war for glory in Westeros - and those, who do not wish, are unworthy cravens. They are not called upon for their attitudes by the article, while Chataya is. Even if one means giving pleasure, while other means loss, sorrow and death. I knew a person, who had a severe case of PTSD - his body was not crippled, yet his soul was. (Heck, even the quote in beginning of the article suggests, that the Dothraki are not inferior to Westerosi, mainly because they might be just as good at war.)

Our culture glorifies violence, while despise sexuality. Just switch on the TV - you will see violence and mayhew a houndred more times, than nudity, and this considered perfectly okay. And even if you see the latter on TV, it usually involves embarassing or humiliating women... because a real lady shall be ashamed of her body (otherwise she would be a whore), and it is manly to smirking at embarassed women.

Sorry for the long rant, and I might not write these things down, if I would not feel, that Saladin Ahmed commits the mistake, of which he accuses Martin. I did not feel, that Martin considered the different standards of a different culture lesser or "skewed", while - after reading the article - I felt, that Ahmed did.

And diversity comes in many shape. It does not come just with different skin colors, but with different worldviews. We shall appreciate the latter just as much the former. Otherwise we still just appreciate the European.

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