terajk: Iroh and Toph dancing (iroh & toph: Dancing)
Autistic self-advocate (and stereotype-violator) Joel Smith used to blog at This Way of Life, but then it disappeared. He has a new blog now:

http://evilautie.org

(Someday I should write a post about how autistic writers shaped a lot of my understanding of disability rights and theory and helped me develop the ability to "think about how I think," especially when I was a teenager.)
terajk: Death the Kid on Black Star's shoulders, holding an umbrella. Black Star is looking up at something. (death star)
This started as a comment on [personal profile] sholio's post about part 3 of The Promise. (spoilers). It ended up...this.

Spoilers for Avatar: The Last Airbender )

Man, I wrote a lot of words about this. I'd better stop now.

GRAAAAARGH

Sep. 27th, 2012 09:18 am
terajk: Toph pointing and laughing. TEXT: Fail (toph: fail!)
Remember how months ago I was thinking of writing something about disability in Avatar: The Last Airbender? Well I was writing up this informal but long thing just now, when the Spinning Beach Ball of Death came and ate it.

All of it.

D: D: D:
terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (Default)
While searching for some resources on navigational impairments months ago (of which there are not a whole lot) I found this abstract from a paper published in 1997. I have...bolded something relevant.

"Pure topographic disorientation due to right retrosplenial lesion"

N. Takahashi, MD, M. Kawamura, MD, J. Shiota, MD, N. Kasahata, MD and K. Hirayama, MD

Nobuyoshi Takahashi is the (lead) author of several papers on topographical disorientation/topographical agnosia, etc (as late as 2011). And while the chances of two people with the same surname being related are AHAHAHAHAHA you're kidding, right? I WONDER. Because navigational impairments are scientifically obscure/esoteric and Rumiko Takahashi's portrayal of Ryouga's navigational impairment is just that fucking good, y'all. I swear--she understands things even the research ON MY SYNDROME doesn't get. ("Visual-spatial-organizational skills"? Really? You sure you're not painting with too broad a brush, there?)

In my sort-of-defense, autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen is the cousin of musician Erran Baron-Cohen and actor Sascha Baron-Cohen (I'm too lazy to comment on the quality of Simon Baron-Cohen's autism science, BTW, and anyway, plenty of autistic people have already done it better. But still.)
terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (Default)
Because I am the luckiest person EVER, I've been chatting with the fabulous and sparkly [personal profile] esmenet about gender in Rumiko Takahashi's manga Ranma 1/2. It made me remember this godawful analysis of gender in Ranma 1/2 I read a while back (Akira and Ranma 1/2: The Monstrous Adolescent by Susan Jollife Napier, available as part of a Google Books preview for USAians). While arguing that in Ranma 1/2 "boundaries are reinscribed into the conventions of a heterosexual hierarchical society" with a straight face (ahahahaha), she said this. (Out of spite, I fixed a sentence. My correction is in bold and CAPSLOCK):

Ryoga, one of Ranma's competitors transforms into an adorable miniature pig, unhappily at first, but he becomes increasingly philosophical about it as he realizes this allows him to sleep with Akane. It is clear therefore that male is the norm, and it is the female that is one of a variety of attributes (including panda-ness, pig-ness, [DISABILITY],) that signify difference. Furthermore, being female is coded as being inferior to being a pig or a panda.

AHAHAHAHAHA. Also, discussion of Ryoga's canonical creepy stalker behavior )

TL;DR: [personal profile] esmenet's analysis of gender in Ranma 1/2 is WAY BETTER.

*And by "complicated" I don't mean "emasculating." Ryoga is very strong and capable--and Ranma's first serious threat--but he doesn't quite fit the very strict box of Shining Maleness that exists IN HIS OWN HEAD. IOW, Ryoga's the one with strict ideas about masculinity--not the series. He is always telling Ranma to do things "like a man" and, in cases where Ryoga's gotten so lost he couldn't find Ranma for a fight (once in the middle of the fight they were having), he accuses RANMA of "running away" or being a "coward" and gets angry/defensive when Ranma tries to defend themself with the facts. ("You wandered off and got lost! "Don't patronize me!")
terajk: Franken Stein from Soul Eater, smiling adorably. (stein: hee!)

Part three of a series. Part one and two)

Contains: discussion of psychotic experiences and violent urges, including harming animals and people. Also, spoilers GALORE and lots of pictures.
Note: The manga panels are read right to left.
 

Took me long enough )

 

terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (death the kid)
Part 2 of an ongoing series. Part 1 is here.

(Contains: discussion of obsessive-compulsive disorder, lots of pictures, and spoilers GALORE, including a huge one in chapter 70-something of the manga that doesn't appear in the anime at all but became essential to my argument, as I am me.)

In which Cthulhu Mythos is gleefully turned on its ear )

Next time: the resident Professor Snape mad scientist and the only disabled weapon so far.
terajk: (chrona & ragnarok)
For [community profile] month_of_meta I wanted to write something about disability in Atsushi Ohkubo's manga Soul Eater--how it's used to play with Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos, how it fits into overarching themes of interdependence and friendship, and just how many disabled characters there are.

The problem--and it is a lovely problem--is that I count five disabled characters and could make an argument for a sixth. It would be easier to break the meta up into parts and give everyone their own in-depth analysis.

Let's begin with the (disabled) antagonists.

Spoilers galore. Also, discussion of mental illness, child abuse and body horror )
terajk: (chrona & ragnarok)
I have to write about things in public before I write them especially when my mother is no help which is why I am horrible at anonymous fic exchanges.

Or: I am lost in the Soul Eater disability meta.

Spoilers for said meta, although they're rambly and may not make sense )
terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (death the kid)
I haven't been writing fic for very long, but this has never happened to me before.

None of these people are real, BTW. Also, not all of them are people )
terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (the elder gods are snickering)
On the one hand, the Soul Eater meta is exciting! On the other, I don’t know if I’ve almost got a draft written or if I’m totally lost. Also, I’m really nervous about doing an in-depth analysis of a character I love with Not My Impairment--especially because some of the things I love about him remind me of a character who does have my impairment. And especially since there's a similar "that's horrible but also funny" tone involved, and I don't know if Soul Eater pulls it off as well as Ranma 1/2 does. For one thing, all the characters in Ranma 1/2 are treated like this--in Soul Eater, this tone is mostly reserved for him and his disability. (There are characters who are funny while they are horrible, like the Big Bad, but that's different.)

It also doesn’t help that a big chunk of my argument rests on something that's only revealed in the manga, and which I only know about secondhand. Namely (skip) that he is the godly personification of his disability. Obviously, I should take time off writing and read like hell.

Also, Soul Eater is weird. In a good way, but I can't help feeling like I'm misunderstanding the entire thing.
terajk: Text: WTF?! Azula, looking the part. (azula: wtf?!)
 (I'd call this a "trope" but I've only noticed it twice so far. I may not be looking in the right place.)

I've seen this thing in both Avatar: The Last Airbender and Soul Eater, where there are a) several disabled characters, b) themes about the importance of friendship and trust, and c) villains associated with paranoia, because they are Bad.

WTF?
terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (death the kid)
[community profile] month_of_meta is open for signups! I have Thoughts about disability* and control/balance in Soul Eater. Should I explore and write about them?

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 6


Should I write about disability in Soul Eater?

View Answers

8! (Yes)
6 (100.0%)

You don't know how to deal with this. (No.)
0 (0.0%)

FOOL! My legend dates back to the 12th century and you have 12 episodes left!
0 (0.0%)

Dude, NO! Write about disability in AtLA instead
3 (50.0%)





*I'd say "mental illness" (or, to use canon terminology, "madness,") but the body horror kind of became essential to the analysis. There is, in fact, an intersection between non-neurotypicality and body horror in at least two characters, as well as someone with an impairment that the fandom labels obsessive-compulsive disorder but which is called "the madness of law" in-universe. (And actually, one of his cognitive Blue Screens of Death is to spit up blood and pass out, which fits into the body horror as well.)

ETA: Oh, goodness, I signed up for analyses of disability in both Avatar: The Last Airbender and Soul Eater. This isn't as disastrous as it looks;  the AtLA meta shouldn't be too hard to put together. If there's anyone who'd like to beta either one or discuss either with me while I'm writing, that would be awesome. 
terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (Default)
Welcome to the Heroes Arrive Last fest--a celebration of characters who have a poor sense of direction or get lost easily. This is a party, so I hope it's fun! You can do anything you want: fic, art, vids, meta, rec lists, picspams, poems, icons, podfic, etc., etc., etc. There are some prompts here--you can also leave some in the comments of this post if you like.

You don't need to use prompts, either--make whatever you want! Original and fannish work is welcome. Just post or link to the stuff you made in the in the comments here. (You can post stuff in the Heroes Arrive Last collection at AO3 if you like.) You can ask for recs; you can talk about favorite bits of canon; you can post to love meme-style threads for different characters if you want to.

Some basic resources:

TV Tropes's No Sense of Direction page, for brainstorming of characters who might fit in here. (Not an exhaustive list, but a place to start).

Some resources about navigational impairments. (Not an exhaustive list, either.)

If you have any questions, please ask! Also, PARTY!
terajk: Akane kissing P-chan on the snout. (shining norm of maleness)
In preparation for my birthday party the fest for characters with navigational impairments, I watched some Soul Eater yesterday, and it is fabulous.

I haven't met Marie yet, but...certainly I won't fall in love with just any character who's disabled and does awesome things?

Oh, wait: pictures! )

Not only is he an awesome PWD, but LOOK AT THE POLYAMORY POTENTIAL. (Those pistols? Are also ladies.)

ETA: Tangentially related: there are Hatsuharu/Momiji prompts in Porn Battle!!!!! I really need to get over my fear of writing (terrible) porn.
terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (Default)

Heroes Arrive Last: Not-so-frequently asked questions:

What is this?

Heroes Arrive Last is my birthday party a fest celebrating characters who get lost easily or who have navigational disabilities. All types of work of all ratings are welcome, from original to fannish, including RPF. For a list of possible fannish characters, TV Tropes’s No Sense of Direction page is a good place to start. (It’s not exhaustive, though) There's also some discussion of characters in the comments of this brainstorming post.

Why?

I have a navigational disability; I also wanted something fun to do on my birthday!

When?

Now open for prompts! Linking to fanworks starts February 7. There’s no end date.

How can I participate?

You can leave prompts; you can make any type of work (fic, art, graphics, icons, meta, vids, recs, etc., etc.) There’s no minimum or maximum size requirement. Making something for a prompt isn’t required, however--indulge your own plot (etc.) bunnies, and post them/links to them. You can ask for recs; you can make/respond to love meme-style threads for different characters. You can do things I haven’t thought of!

There's also an AO3 collection.

I’d like some resources about navigational impairments, please!

Some articles about navigational impairments are here!

Anything else I should know?

Have fun! If you have any questions, you can ask them in the comments or PM me.

terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (Default)

In honor of the fest celebrating easily lost characters, here are some resources about navigational impairments.
 

a list! for science! )

 

I'll explain more about how my navigation skills work in the comments; anyone who'd like is welcome to do the same/join in.
terajk: Ryoga, grabbing Ranma by his pajama-top and shouting: "Do you remember where my house is?!" (Default)
ETA Jan. 31: Now open for prompts! (Though hopefully posting fills/linking to fanworks should still start on February 7.)  Also, a more official-sounding FAQ, and some resources about navigational impairments.

I decided that I am going to have a celebration of characters with navigational impairments on my birthday! As such a thing is incredibly esoteric, it's a good idea to start planning now so anyone who wants to participate is comfortable enough to do so. Some thoughts so far:

Original and fannish work is welcome; it'll be open for prompts, but party guests don't have to use them. All types of work, from graphics to podfic to FSTs to filk to meta (I'm very ambivalent about something I'm reading right now!) are welcome, too. ETA: Also, recs! Favorite bits of canon!

Also, I'm collecting some resources about navigational impairments, which is a challenge. Navigation is a really complex process with a lot of skills involved (and lots of things that can go wrong); according to the stuff I'm reading, it's not very well-studied, either. Navigational disabilities are found in a bunch of different conditions like Alzheimer's disease, nonverbal learning disability, (one of my diagnoses), traumatic brain injury, etc. or by themselves, like in developmental topographic disorientation which was named within the last few years.

(The phrase "visual-spatial skills" is a pet peeve of mine. Visual skills and spatial skills are two incredibly broad and separate skillsets. It's possible to have no vision at all and a good sense of space; it's also possible to use vision for things most people use a sense of direction for. *waves*)

It's also good to reach out to people who might want to play! So I spent the day coming up with a pithy name and making promotional graphics:

I'm getting better with GIMP now )

Any questions? ideas? Complaints? (Especially if you'd like to play but aren't sure how to participate.) How can I help you have fun at this party? ETA: Signal-boosting welcome!

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