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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Kicking Columbus out of Earthsea's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, April 18th, 2006
12:10 pm
popped in and this is probably off topic
Just glad the group exists. Cable tv showed "L of the R" again and the more I see it, the more I am bothered by the racism in it. This is not to be helped: JRR was writing in the 20s--50s. So cleansing the film of racism would be bowdlerizing it. EVERY evil character is not black, but! The relatively powerless ones (not their own masters) are! and the good characters are all white and the mains are male.
Le Guin on the other paw wrote specifically with inclusion in mind. So tokenizing those of color is a shame and a sin. Has anyone apologized yet??
Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
6:52 pm
There is hope!
Check out the September 28 entry by zarfmouse here: http://www.livejournal.com/community/leguin/.

Current Mood: excited
Thursday, September 1st, 2005
9:09 pm
Clarification about submissions
Right now, I am not giving out an address because I want to tap interest. To be quite honest, I am not primarily doing it here or even on LJ, because of the lack of volunteerism detailed in previous posts. I'm looking for people who enjoy writing and have something to say, of which there are a number subscribed to this journal--just not a large number (because the number of subscribers is not very large). (I'd say everyone who has subscribed or answered does fit that description.) And I am doing it proactively. My guess is I will be giving out an address privately to people who respond seriously and possibly only after a work has been completed.

Anyway, work in progress...
8:49 pm
Well...it has been FOREVER, but...
I am announcing the new, improved Save Earthsea plan.

I'm looking around to find people who might be interested in contributing a piece of creative writing to a prospective anthology of antiracist responses to the Earthsea debacle. I reserve the right to edit and indeed to reject, but anyone can submit writing if they wish provided they understand I don't have a publisher and am yet at the very initial stage of this project. I don't know how long it would be before it would be ready to shop around, however, a year or even two is likely (and I try to be optimistic). It all depends on who I can find and it also assumes a generous amount of time allotted to contributors. Contributions may be essays, personal or scholarly; humor; poetry; even fiction or cartooning--whatever you feel expresses your response most creatively.

If no one here is interested, don't feel bad. This site looks likeliest to become my blog concerning new Earthsea developments. Right now there aren't any, though the horror in New Orleans makes one newly aware of the need for antiracist perspectives in science fiction. How many future-disaster stories can you think of from the perspective of people of color? Yet guess who is at SuperBelsen???

OK, off the soapbox--at my husband's suggestion I have actually switched the channel from CNN for a couple of hours, but the people in New Orleans cannot, and we face the true beginning of the greenhouse future. It is up to us not to do it alone.

Best to everyone who has stuck around.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2005
8:09 am
It has been a while.
Folks, the reason you have not seen anything here so long is twofold or maybe threefold:

1. The initial response was underwhelming, including some cogent remarks by a number of folks who asked what in the world could be done at this point. That made sense, though on the whole, the lack of interest was...depressing. So for mental health reasons I let it go a long time.
2. During this time, I have been thinking about a project of a different nature than that advertised here, and keeping it to myself. I know this might sound like dirty pool of the individualistic variety but while committees are great, they are no substitute for committment, and I at least knew I was interested in thinking about this and asking myself how it could get done. So...more news when I know someone will work on it, and then, the more the merrier.
3. I have been busy.

So nice to hear from those who did post, and thanks for hanging in there and waiting for some news.
Wednesday, August 17th, 2005
3:05 am

We created Crayon People to act as a place for People of Color to get easy access to news ranging from political articles to current pop culture. Check out the new articles from your own relevant group (Arab, Asian, Black, Latino Desi), but feel free to discuss articles in the People of Color area as well as other groups. Posting comments and discussing the articles is the point to this whole website.

We want people from diverse backgrounds to converse and debate in a constructive environment. So please help us spread the word. We are a non-profit site, so basically that means we have a $0 promotion budget, unlike these other corporation giants. But please let us know what you think. Sign on post some comments and help make this good thing happen:).
Saturday, March 26th, 2005
1:58 am
Hi! I just wanted to know what's going on with this community. Is it still active? Thanks!
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005
8:15 am
It is just possible I could get a grant to cover funding to pay the writers, but don't hold your breath.
8:04 am
The Latest
After some rethinking, I have decided that the "donation" project was the caterpillar phase of the real plan, which is currently promising to emerge in much improved form from its chrysalis.

How about an anthology of fan and other writings on Earthsea, spotlighting the racial issue? Contributions can be as long or as short as you wish. (One paragraph is fine, a poem is fine, etc.) The only fly in the ointment is that I cannot pay anyone and would want to have most of the royalties go to the charities named below, except as needed to cover operational costs. However, it's free exposure, and maybe a chance to be published alongside some known names, if I can rustle up some interest among same.

Again, the deal is the same, you get in touch with me at EarthseaRiots@aol.com to say if you are interested. Right now I'm just taking names of people who want to do it. Once you have something to send in, I'll email you the address to send your hard copy.

Current Mood: excited
Wednesday, February 16th, 2005
2:58 pm
It's official
As of now, the Earthsea Names project has been suspended. I'm not saying I won't offer it again later if I can find enough people to start it with me, but right now, it's not working out and we should spend the time to think of something else.

This does NOT mean the community is suspended--please post and comment away.
2:41 pm
There's some good news, and some bad news.
The good news is that I have received more thoughtful comments about Earthsea, the discrepancy between the program and the books, and the site, than I have been able to answer in the last few days. People care about this issue.

The bad news is that I have not received a similar response to the Names project, and am considering pulling it for now. It's a minimum of $500 for me out of pocket to put up enough cash to make it a significant statement. I don't mind doing this at all if people are avid to join in, but if they're not, it seems totally counter to the spirit of the thing to go around wringing signatures out of people as for the latest bill in Congress. The idea was to give people a chance to express themselves. If there was an enthusiastic response on LJ, I'd take the next step and shop it around on political and sf-related mailing lists and the like, but if the response is more guarded, it may be a lot of wasted effort. Plus, being too raucous about it in the SF/fantasy community might be counterproductive.

I hate to sound like I'm giving up. I'm not. I'm just considering if it is time to change approach on this.
Monday, February 14th, 2005
11:33 am
Opening the floor to discussion
In a previous entry, I stated that the main input I wanted from fans at that point was information on fan groups for people of color. Though I'm still looking for such information for groups outside of LJ, it's OK now for any and all discussion to begin. I wanted to limit it before I had a sense of what kind of response the journal would receive, based on responses to announcements in communities. The response has been mostly positive and when ambivalent, it's been thoughtful. So I'm comfortable with discussion of any kind taking place now on the present version of the site.

Current Mood: hopeful
10:37 am
Info about donations
Since some readers may want to donate directly, here is some information on how to do it. It's cut to avoid detracting from the main project. I don't want anyone to get the impression this is primarily about soliciting donations.

Read more...Collapse )
Sunday, February 13th, 2005
4:53 pm
Wonderful news
The Names list received its first Name today.

Thanks immensely, and please, let's keep them coming.

Current Mood: ecstatic
Saturday, February 12th, 2005
11:21 pm
11:07 pm
Red Dwarf
Another thing I learned last night is that in the American pilot for "Red Dwarf," Lister was white.

And there was no Cat.

Current Mood: nauseated
10:59 pm
I am thrilled to see so many new people here
Last night, as those of you who joined will know, I cross-posted an invitation to join this community to a number of relevant LJ communities. I still need to invite people on more communities, but want to go about it in a way that won't offend people. So right now, I'm guessing that a lot of people have seen the invite more than once, being on more than one community, and others on other communities have seen it from being on the communities to which it was posted. Any further invites, I would like to do in a way that's a little subtler. Last night felt like spamming but it can't be denied it got some results. That's part of the hell of trying to get things moving--you do things that feel wrong, and you do get results.

I am extremely grateful to everyone who did join and hope there will be more. I've looked at most of your journals and am impressed. And remember, all you need to do to be part of the "Earthsea Names" petition is to email your name to EarthseaRiots@aol.com. So far I have not gotten any names. I wish I could increase security on the names so that it violated the privacy of LJ a little less. I haven't yet figured out how to do this--maybe extend the qualifications to include LJ names, thus assuring privacy. (It could even get SciFi reading LJs of people of color.) What do you think?

To those who might be reading but haven't joined: remember you can email your name, in whichever form we decide on, without joining. If you think you and others would prefer your LJ name, you don't even need to email but just put it here. LJ names are preferable to no names.

In fact, they bear some resemblance to the public names of the Earthsea characters--just thought of this.
Thursday, February 10th, 2005
10:38 pm
The Earthsea Names Project
This is the prospectus of what I would like to do.

The tentative name for the project is the Earthsea Names Project. As everyone who has read the books will know, magic on Earthsea is carried out through the power of names. Each animal, plant, thing and person has its own magic name, which a wizard must learn in order to enter its particular power. Thus magic is a constant dialogue with the existing balance of nature, not a hierarchical power-over. Evil magicians are those who misuse their naming power for hierarchical ends.

What misguided magicians do in Earthsea resembles what SciFi did to the Earthsea books--taking over something that is good in itself and harnessing it for greedy ends. The word Earthsea, for those who know it only by the series, will not have the connotations that Le Guin intended. Le Guin has been vocal about the loss of her interpretation of magic, based on the Taoist and Native American traditions, in favor of what she calls "McMagic," magic as special effects and brute force. It's likely that this is so because it is easier to make a fantasy epic in this tradition than one where the understanding of magic requires understanding of an entirely different cultural orientation. Another, more sinister possibility is that the exclusion of Le Guin's nonwhite influences, especially the Native American, was integral to what the producers saw as a commercial project. The culturally tone-deaf quality of the adaptation has its most obvious side in the "whitewashing" of the cast.

So the Earthsea Naming Project is designed for re-education as to what Earthsea is about. I'm proposing to set aside a certain amount of money (the exact amount is TBD, also confidential) as my own charitable donation to be divided between five organizations in the true spirit of Earthsea, at the end of this project. They are:

Fund for International Environmental Law and Development (http://www.field.org.uk)
Not in Our Town (http://www.pbs.org/niot)
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (formerly Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children) (http://www.commercialexploitation.com)
PEN Open Book Program (http://www.pen.org/openbook/index.html)
A women's studies department with a substantial track record in promoting antiracist coalitions; TBA at the end of the project.

Now, here is where you come in. I am not asking for ANY DONATIONS. Earthsea does not ask for or handle money. (If you wish to make a charitable donation to any of the first four charities in the name of Earthsea, you may also do so, but the donation is not to be sent to Earthsea. Please await details on how to make a charitable donation to aid Earthsea.)

Instead, what you do is to send me your name, your choice of charity or charities among the five, and preferably your location (though that is optional if you prefer not to). That's all you have to do (again, more is optional, as will be explained in a minute). Your name is then designated for a percentage of the lump sum awaiting five-way distribution. The amount of the percentage per name is TBD depending on the volume of the response; obviously, if 70 people respond, I can assign a larger percentage to each than if 700 respond. If a charity "fills up," remaining signatures will be designated for the remaining four, etc.

The project ends when enough names have been gathered to account for a reasonable number of names designated for each charity. (Again, what is "reasonable" depends on variables such as the number of names received, the amount of time it takes, etc.) This is what happens next:

I will compile five lists of the names, write each charity a brief letter explaining the project, and send in the donations. Thus five organizations very much in keeping with Le Guin's ethos and that of her books will receive support "from" Earthsea and become aware of what it really is. (FIELD, for instance, is devoted to saving small island nations from inundation by global warming.) I will also send copies of the lists to the SciFi channel together with any comments you wish to make to the channel and another brief letter explaining the project.

Rather than use an electronic device to generate petitions, I would like to hear from each person individually, at an email address especially set up for Earthsea: EarthseaRiots@aol.com. This also prevents spambots from picking up your name. As explained, all you need to do is send the name, the charity, and preferably your location (i.e. "Ursula Le Guin, Oregon" or "Ursula Le Guin, Portland, OR" or "Ursula Le Guin, USA"). You are more than encouraged to add as short or long a message as you wish about why you are doing this, Earthsea the books, your background, etc. If you do this, please tell me if I have your permission to give a copy of the email either to your designated charity or to the SciFi channel, or both. If you would rather your name be withheld, let me know, but in that case I need a location. Pseudonyms and Internet handles aren't within the scope of the project. The names will not be given to anyone else. In giving the list to the charities, I will emphasize that these names did not contribute money and are not donors. Instead, they Named the contribution and made magic.

I welcome your comments and feedback. Anyone who wishes to send their name can do so now. Name contributions are not restricted to LJ members.
11:41 am
The next-to-last post has a point of confusion. "Individuals who want to discuss it" means individuals who want to talk to me about what I am doing. For other projects, please feel free to discuss now.
11:37 am
The settings on this site have been changed to allow membership and posting without prior request. If necessary, this is subject to change back in the future, at the moderator's discretion. Meanwhile, let's hope the open community gains some volume.
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