1. Taking race out of Racism in Sci fi/Fantasy something I’ve kind of noticed more and more. Last year I read the Red Rising Trilogy. It’s a story about stratified culture that uses an easy to identify color system to know who is what. Red(manual/unskilled labor ie miners), Pink(sex slaves/ladies maids and Valets), Obsidian(warriors), Brown(general servants). There are more colors and they all exist to serve the Golds who are at the top of the pyramid. In story the hair color, eye color and subdermal implants are what gives away their color and the different colors are considered different races. Every color is product of genetic altering and they can only have children with someone their color. Most of the story has very Grecco/Roman feel to it with a little Downton Abby thrown in for “spice”.
The main character Darrow is a Red that believed all his suffering was some what worth it if it helped to terraform Mars, the world he was born on, but has never seen the surface of. Turns out that Mars had been Terraformed for hundreds of years and the Golds had been lying to the Red miners in order to get them to work harder to mine helium-3, the cash crop of their society. The Reds of the mines are slaves, they can’t leave the mine ever. They can’t go into Gold or Grey(security) zones of the mine.. There are other non-miner Reds that can take indentures service/sharecropping like contracts. Darrow somehow is the smartest Red ever and is recruited into Red Resistance movement. They want to change him from a malnourished short Red into a tall buff Gold.
In the whole story different skin tones are barely mentioned and it seems like only people from Earth have skin tones other than white. While I somewhat enjoyed the series(I bought all 3 on audiobook), something was bothering me. I kind of noticed that in the second book all the colors were plain except the color should have been Black was called Obsidian. That’s when I felt that rejection of race must have been deliberate. The main character and his family are clearly glow in the dark white as well and the narrator seems to doing Irish accent when Darrow is a red and RS English accent when he is pretending to be a Gold. On the flip side the Golds are also white but with a tan. Even the Obsidians are white and the worship the Norse Myths and see the Golds as divine gods.
I guess the point of the books is to teach how society works and how to take over a society by trying to empower other people. However much of the story Darrow is sacrificing lower colors pretty easily. It kinda reminds me of white feminism. In the end Darrow doesn’t have real option for what their universe will look post revolution and he does get asked by all the women in his life. I wonder why?
I guess what really bothers me is racisms is very alive and well. It’s so alive it’s constantly evolving. I’m always finding some new racist bullshit and wondering if it was always in the fabric of our society or it’s some brand new fuckery. It seems like it’s almost never explored sci fi that is the most popular. Instead Black and Brown people aren’t present for these stories and white characters get to boot strap their way from the bottom to the top. Hell they also get to reject the “horrible/corrupt” rich society in the end of the story if they want to.
I noticed this an issue in the Harry Potter Franchise. There aren’t a lot of PoC’s in the movies(sorry I’ve never read the books). It does seem that story is about fascism in a magical world and it’s interesting that JKR can develop a whole world but there doesn’t seem to be any Jewish people or Roma’s in it. The magic seems to be very Latin, Greek and Old English centric as well. I think it’s interesting that she worked for Amnesty International London and her books still pretty racially tone deaf.
I was recently watching Westworld and it made me think that the Robots are slaves and that’s why western countries are so worried about AI/Robot take over is the same reason why the one drop rule and Xenophobia exist. There is a part in Westworld where you get the idea that there are other parks, like a Feudal Japanese park and Ancient Roman Park. Perhaps it would have been too on the nose to have a Antebellum Park.
It’s interesting that in Anime/manga having a robot become sentient isn’t really an issue. I wonder if that has to do with having and actively trying to keep a homogeneous culture.
I’m kind of wondering if I’m alone in noticing this?
2. So recently Tiffany Amber Thiessen’s odd Grapefruit Guac with sunflower seeds recipe has been people all across the internets upset. Recipe blogs have become more and more popular lately, but in the rush to make new recipes I wonder how many people are just putting random things together for the sake of a new recipe. Funny enough it’s not just Kelly Kapowski that likes the combo of Avocado and Grapefruit, but it seems Alice Waters (the Grand Dame of the Modern Farm to table movement and Chef/Owner of Chez Panisse) has a recipe for grapefruit and avocado salad. A while back I noticed that if there is a flavor combo I want to try but I’m not sure if it will work I can just google and find out if there is a recipe for what I want. Blackberry BBQ ribs? Check. Persian Layer Cake? Check (cardamom cake, saffron/rosewater/pistachio frosting, and candied rose petals). Catfish Ceviche? Check. Elderflower blondies? Nope(maybe next week). Negroni chicken? Check. Salted Caramel Potato Chip Cookies? Check?
Are there any flavor combos that you wanted to try but haven’t yet? Does recipe a for it exist?
What’s a random combo that you think is gross? Does a recipe for it exist? And would you give it a try?