Soc. Media Rallying Cry for Solidarity against ISIL Falls Flat

On Sunday, March 13th, Ankara was assaulted once again by a terrorist attack. This is the third high-casualty terrorist attack in the past five months, and many Turkish citizens are wondering why more people around the world aren’t rallying Ankara. In one Guardian editorial, the author asks, “Where was our “Je Suis” moment?”


This particular quote is from a call for European solidarity by British expat pianist James Taylor. His 400 word Facebook post “went viral,” and subsequently was picked up by not only the Guardian, but also Metro News, Huffington Post, and a slew of other web news sources. This post asked the European community, “It is very easy to look at terror attacks that happen in London, in New York, in Paris and feel pain and sadness for those victims, so why is it not the same for Ankara? “ However, Ankara does not have the soft power that London, New York, and Paris have over affluent nations.The global citizens Taylor is trying to reach have probably never heard Turkish pop song, seen a Turkish film, or read a book from a Turkish author. While the popular aphorism generally declares that “culture drives commerce,” in this case, culture also drives compassion, and there are not enough cultural ties to cash in on solidarity between people separated by a continent or an ocean. His poignant call for empathy fell on ears who already are overwhelmed with compassion fatigue and who see Turkey as “other” rather than “us”. Continue reading

I’m an Otakon Las Vegas panelist!

I recently was informed that three of my four submissions for presentations at Otakon LV were accepted. I’ll be creating and posting links for some survey monkey questionnaires to gather some information from you fine people to help with the research.

My accepted topics are:

Disappearing Women: Tracing Women’s Roles from Yaoi to Reverse Harem and Beyond Is yaoi more than a guilty pleasure? Does every girl dream of being surrounded by bishounen men? In Asian popular culture, we are presented with both ultra-progressive and ultra-conservative women’s gender roles. Looking at OuranHigh School, Junjou Romantica, Cafe Prince, and more, we will discover trends, deduce their larger meanings, and celebrate why we love these shows.

Combating Otaku Stigma, or Why we will Rule the World International analyst and intercultural trainer M.L. Jean will educate and empower members of Otakorp on how being an Otaku makes us more open minded, more flexible, and better global citizens, as well as smarter and better looking than non-otaku. Learn what to say when your friends say anime is “weird,” or that Japanese culture is “gross.” Jean’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and round-table discussion of what it means to be an Otaku and how we can fight the negative connotations of that identity.

Sing-a-long Hour “Gotta catch ’em all”? “She is the one-Sailor Moon!” and “…ira vehementi Sephiroth!” song leader Jean will host an hour of AMVs with lyrics for us all to sing our favorite songs. Informative tidbits will be presented about the songs, and there will be a trivial contest complete with prize! Come in and sing!



Waitlisted topic: (I’m going to request that it be changed to “An Intro to Publishing Fan Fiction,” since I already gave 1/2 of a talk about that subject, and it would be easy to add more to those notes.)

An Introduction to Fan Fiction:  I will introduce fan fiction, explain how to read it, write it, publish it, and celebrate it. We will explore how fan fiction is changing communities and consumers, as well as the producers of our favorite stories. Whether you are a newbie to the world of fan fiction, or you’ve been shipping since Sailor Moon, this panel has something for you!