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Monday, November 9th, 2009

Time Event
  • 15:07 @MarzGurlProd Not as often as they'd like. #
  • 15:08 I've been feeling kind of lonely recently. Which I guess makes it a little odd that I'm on the computer all the time. #
  • 15:08 I think @NowIsStrange and I really need to get our own place, but it's not feasible right now. #
  • 15:11 @billyhc Yeah, does that mean God has gone home for the night? #
  • 15:51 @3x1minus1 There's a Xerox Tower? I'll bet THAT'S fodder for a lot of bad jokes. #
  • 15:
    I think I'm overly sensitive to people removing me from online social networks and such. #
  • 15:52 @poisonyoulove It pisses me off that there was another (non-porn) movie called "Gigantic" made a few years later. #
  • 15:53 @Clamanity And do they? #
  • 16:36 @Clamanity The only thing that makes me more tired than doing stuff is not doing anything. #
  • 17:11 @DVDBoxSet @michaelianblack Shuffling off, I would imagine. #
  • 22:
    Is it just me, or is "Ninja Assassin" a really lazy title for a movie? #
  • 23:00 @Clamanity Even if you were limited to episodes from the Mike Scully years? #
  • 23:16 @oz_diggs Well, I do, for one. #
  • 23:16 So Family Guy can get Rush Limbaugh to voice himself, but not Miley Cyrus? #
  • 23:18 We watched "In the Mouth of Madness" last night. I couldn't stay awake, and what I did see wasn't memorable. #
  • 23:24 Photo: samuraifrog: tumblr.com/xpy3xir37 #
  • 23:25 Do we HAVE to hear Christmas music at this time of year? It's just depressing to get it this early. #
  • 23:42 The last time I did anything with anyone outside the family for my birthday was when I turned 8. In less than 2 weeks, I turn 32. #
  • 23:45 I know I'm being all "feel sorry for me," but it really does nothing to assuage my general sense of misanthropy. #
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What Puts the Hot in Tottenhot?

Despite the time in which they were written, the Oz books are relatively free from cringe-worthy racial stereotypes. Well, except for The Woggle-Bug Book, but that doesn't really count, does it? One exception is in The Patchwork Girl of Oz, which introduces the Tottenhots, a wild and mischievous black tribe that lives on the plains near the Winkie-Quadling border. The name is obviously a play on "Hottentot," which is what European settlers originally called the Khoikhoi people [1] of southwestern Africa. The book describes them as follows: "Their skins were dusky and their hair stood straight up, like wires, and was brilliant scarlet in color. Their bodies were bare except for skins fastened around their waists and they wore bracelets on their ankles and wrists, and necklaces, and great pendant earrings." They live in houses that look like overturned kettles, with cushioned floors, and are nocturnal. I can't say I ever found their portrayal offensive, but then I'm a white guy. When Books of Wonder published an edition of Patchwork Girl, they left out some of the descriptors and one of the illustrations of a Tottenhot. There is an additional dose of offensiveness in Rinkitink, with a Tottenhot being described as "a lower form of a man," and apparently less human than a Mifket (described in John Dough and the Cherub as being sort of halfway between human and animal). When Books of Wonder published this one, they didn't alter any of the text, but they removed an illustration.

The post-Baum books contain some stereotypical portrayals of different ethnic groups, and Neill's drawings were often worse than the descriptions. Royal Book has the pseudo-Asian Silver Island, and other books bring in Arabian-style countries. I've already discussed the black slave revolt in Silver Princess; and Wonder City says that the Emerald City fire department is made up of "Fire Injuns," depicted as Indian heads on wheels. Most of these seem pretty harmless to me, but they're definitely embarrassments when I describe the books to others.

[1] As with many tribes, "khoi" apparently just means "people." So my phrasing would literally translate to "people people people."

Current Mood: depressed

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