So a couple entities renowned for their manga punditry conducted an experiment recently. These two entities are Scott of The Anime Almanac and the Reverse Thieves team. The experiment was this: can bigoted humans who value principles over entertainment enjoy entertainment that violates their principles? Wait. Before I go any further, chew on that for a moment. Scott calls it a “fun challenge,” but really, what is it?
It’s an opportunity to reinforce ignorance.
Reverse Thieves read Kodomo no Jikan and Scott read
I’m not saying it’s bad to challenge your dislikes. I recently managed to make myself enjoy avocados and mushrooms, and I wouldn’t have come this far if I hadn’t forced myself. But my attitude approaching mushrooms wasn’t “fuck, I hate mushrooms… I really fucking hate mushrooms… fuck, I really fucking hate mushrooms… maybe there’s some chance I’ll like this mushroom more than the last, but it’s extremely unlikely… FUCK I fucking hate mushrooms.” It was more like, “hmm, I hate mushrooms—but I want to change that. Other people like this shit. Other people enjoy this shit. Why do I hate it?”
So while eating the vile fungus I taught myself to contemplate why exactly I disliked mushrooms. Once I figured out that there was no good reason, I began liking them more. Same with avocado.
Same with anime.
I used to be horribly prejudiced against any show that featured space. So much so that I refused to watch more than five episodes of Cowboy Bebop, back a few years ago when it was within my grasp. After a while, I came to terms with the fact that my hatred was irrational, and I overcame it, and all was well with Infinte Ryvius, Starship Operators, etc., through today’s Tytania.
So I think that Scott’s challenge is flawed.
The approach is all wrong, in my most humble opinion.
But all this is backstory.
Here we get to the interesting part: Scott’s blog post is, for lack of a better word, wanting. He calls rape a horrible plot device (which I disagree with). He says that yaoi can only be a guilty pleasure no matter who’s watching (which I disagree with, as someone who enjoys (without guilt!!) just about any romance, regardless of who the participants are). He blames his prejudice on his upbringing (again, I disagree—humans are free to feel however they want about whatever they want, and one’s upbringing is merely a nest from which to soar after spreading one’s wings). These are three big errors. His biggest error? He has his comments closed.
That’s right. If you want to weigh in on the stuff he writes, you need to resort to pre-WWW technology (e-mail).
There are other people who do this, but it’s not so much a problem there because their sites are less interesting. (j/k Author, <3 u) My main issue here is that Scott says interesting things, things that beg for discussion, and he shuts that discussion down before it can even come to be. But, I’m a whore. So I let him ram his method into my ass, and I e-mailed him.
Below is my e-mail. Scott had a fairly negative reaction to it, saying that I acted like an asshole, so for the sake of clarity I have identified all the contents of my e-mail as either me being an asshole or me being something else.
Now, the only two places that can feasibly be construed as me being an asshole are circled. I sheepishly admit that I did not address my latter properly (it should have been “Dear Scott:”, and I opted for a more friendly approach). I also proudly admit that I didn’t use euphemisms to cover up my opinion of his statement regarding the viability of rape as a plot device. Both of these circled spots are marginally rude. Scott, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.
And now, apologies out of the way, I’m done with being sorry.
I’m not going to paste Scott’s e-mail here (my PR guy taught me not to do shit like that), but I will discuss its contents.
First, he says that I have a bit of an attitude problem. I’d say that that’s not news to me, but it actually is. You’re talking about the guy being inappropriately revered for laying the verbal smackdown on random e-passersby. I have a huge attitude problem (yes I am compensating for something). The other shocking thing that Scott says is that he doesn’t appreciate my attitude. The man loves Kodomo no Jikan and he doesn’t like my attitude? Shocking!
He then gives me advice: he tells me not to call people idiots (something I didn’t do in my e-mail) and he also tells me not to tell people that I find their websites boring. Well, fuck. I can’t tell him that his website is boring to me, but he can tell me that my sexuality is abhorrent to him?
He goes on to say that he disagrees with me (without any discourse) and finishes by telling me that I shouldn’t bother with that second e-mail, oh and by the way he’s blocking me on Twitter and putting my e-mail address on his blacklist. I thought that he was a pretty censor-loving guy when I discovered that his comments were closed, but this is straight-up self-delusion and isolation from reality! Refusing communication altogether, boxing oneself up…
Scott of The Anime Almanac is an adversary of freedom.
Scott of The Anime Almanac is Public Enemy #2.
P.S. his post was the best possible advertisement for Gerard & Jacques. I will make it my new goal in life to go out, purchase, and consume as many volumes of this masterpiece as I possibly can.
these notes are like lelouch's head to the boot of this post's suzaku
it is moist & delicious meta
and it's not even a lie!