Wednesday, April 3, 2013

More Stuff White People Like

I recently re-read "Stuff White People Like". It's a little bitter, a little too close to home, but I thought I'd add a few things.

First off: Created worlds/universes with only white people in it. In the scifi vein that brought us "black guy dies first" another trait of white people is scifi/fantasy scenarios with only white people in it

I don't really want to get into a thesis of race relations in the US, or a history of racial and classist oppression, or say something like "of course race is an artificial construct perpetuated by a dominant class of rules to ensure that the masses are divide cause as Lao Tzu said, divide is conquered. Or anything like that. 
I just want to point out the long laundry list of movies/tv with only white people in it, or effectively only white people. There may by nonwhite actors, but most reflect tokenism or are just coincidently not white. 

Star Wars: Lucas caused an uproar among the secret racists when he cast Billie dee Williams. Luckily, lando was a back stabbing traitor.  I will also not try to read jar jar as a metaphor on race relations, as that would insult everyone's intelligence. Only white people in this universe, except the ewoks. What's worse just sayin there are only white people in this universe, or reading ewoks, jawas, and jar jar as racial groups. 

Serenity: In this created universe, society is the result of US and China dominance, yet there are no Asians in the series. Odd. 

Lord of the Rings: If LotR is a giant metaphor for pre-WWII Europe, then the different "races" obviously represent the different "races" in Europe. The elves are the Scandinavians, dwarves are French, men are English, hobbits are obviously Welsh and orcs German. Of course they're all white, a reflection of Tolkien's view that sadly has survived in his movies.

Game of thrones: not much difference with LotR, purely a white universe.  Even Esteroos is white people. The Dothraki are an attempt of portraying another 
Every lotr type of movie

Notable exceptions

Star Trek was revolutionary for many reasons, above all portrayal of race relations and proper use of scifi as a metaphor for modern society. First bi-racial on screen kiss. Can't fault it. 

Avatar: almost unique in scifi, avatar is a parallel to race/ethnic conflict. It is essentially an ethnogist's fantasy: exotic race of people attacked by whites, but they fight back and win. It's like Custers last stand, but with a happy ending. 

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