whynot: Where's Waldo: je suis perdu (que hora son mi corazón)
[personal profile] yvi is hosting a discussion for the creation of a non-English language fest. I'm not quite on board with a couple of their points or the way some points are articulated, but I love the basic idea of flexing our non-English-speaking muscles.

Ever since I moved back to the Philippines, I've been pondering the monolingual bias more. I've talked about it on my LJ before, so bear with me if I'm being repetitive. In Manila, people switch back and forth between Tagalog and English pretty much all the time (and then there is Taglish!), so if I were to write a story in English that was set here, how would I deal with the multilingual aspect? Not everyone in Manila is equally fluent in both languages, but it's still not just a matter of slipping into one language for a while; it's both the languages all the time. Someone on my flist was talking about a book -- the title escapes me, forgive me -- where the whole story is in English, but one language uses regular quotes, the other language uses italics, etc. in order to show the way the different languages interact in the protagonist's story. This strategy has the right idea. The thing about compressing everything down to one language, no matter what language it is, is that it stunts the nuances of codeswitching and social cues.

For example, let's approach it from the opposite side: I tried writing SPN fic in Indonesian one time. Not Indochesters -- just canon Winchesters and Jimmy!Castiel, except it was in Indonesian. A thing that stuck out to me was that whenever Dean cursed, I felt an impulse to switch to Sundanese (a language in West Java). My family slips into Sundanese from Indonesian when they're excited or surprised, so it's become a language I associate with high emotion and intimacy. There are systemic reasons for this association. Indonesian is the language of commerce/government/media in the country, and this keeps regional languages like Sundanese to the informal spheres, such as between family and friends, or traditional spheres, often shorthand for 'folk'.

In the USA, this kind of multilingualism seems to be associated almost exclusively with immigrant/multicultural families. In Indonesia, people who also speak Sundanese, Javanese, Balinese, Batak, etc. are not immigrants but have been there for like forever. However, their language has been minoritized and deemed informal anyway. When I write in Indonesian about American Dean cursing, can I switch to Sundanese for these couple of sentences? The sociolinguistic foundations between Indonesia and the USA aren't the same, and the implications of being multilingual are different.

As far as writing in one language about characters who don't always do goes, my favorite solution thus far is alt-text. The first fic I've seen that does this is Promise of the पुरवाई by [personal profile] dhobikikutti, which is about racebent Mary Poppins. She uses alt-text for transliteration in the fic, but I used it for straight-up English translations in my Indonesian!Novaks fic. It makes translations available for those who only do English, but also keeps the nuances for those who also understand Indonesian. This is one more argument for e-publishing also, I think. Modifying alt-text in e-pub technology to help popularize multilingual writing, y/n?
whynot: Where's Waldo: je suis perdu (que hora son mi corazón)
I'm reading a book called Garis Batas by Agustinus Wibowo, an Indonesian writer and backpacker, and it's making me realize how much I associate the Indonesian language with a certain attitude - one that tends to be socially and religiously conservative, and whose conceptions of Indonesian identity are frustratingly simplistic. It's a limited and unfair judgment on my part. I just never knew to what extent this bias was ingrained in me until I read Wibowo's book and felt my heart fill to the brink at how much this guy's feelings are my feelings, and how he seems to have the same priorities and cynicisms I do when it comes to matters of cultural identity, colonial legacy, and immigration bureaucracy.

Theoretically, I know that any attitude can be expressed through any language, but I grew up in this dichotomy where I use Indonesian to express certain things and English to express other things. A large part of it is where and with whom I used these languages. Indonesian was the language of family, and English was the language of friends, academia, and free expression. (Habit trumps logic, and that is a reason though not an excuse.) I'm more comfortable in English, and I use it in more contexts. This is an imbalance I'm trying to remedy. You can't really help what you internalize, sure, but you can be aware of it and maybe try to do something about it if that is your wont. In this case, I'm trying to read more Indonesian books.

The thing is this. When I read Benedict Anderson's sociological writings about the Philippines and Indonesia, for example, I felt I was brought closer to the subject because it was expressed in a language I'm comfortable with. With Garis Batas, it's the opposite. I feel like I'm being brought closer to the language because I relate to the sentiments that it's expressing. Okay, this is a simplified contrast. My point is that language doesn't exist in a vacuum. You know how people say that if you want to suppress a culture, you cut out their tongues? It's kind of like that. You use other people's bridges to get to the other side, or to the same side, even. It's a very alienating thing, but it is an alienation that people can get used to. A marginalized complacency. It's like when people ask me questions about the difference between People X and Indonesians/Filipinos with the assumption that the ability to otherize people and the ability to feel marginalized are mutually exclusive things. They are not.

Garis Batas means 'borderline', and the book is about Wibowo's travels through the Central Asia, relating anecdotes and analysis about the Soviet legacy and how well (or not) the -stan countries have held up under the weight of Russian influence and international pressure. It's fascinating stuff, and exactly the kind of reading I loved getting in college because I superimposed a lot of my identity angst onto my chosen discipline. HUMAN MIGRATION FLOWS, HOW DOES IT WORK? It's a subject close to my heart, and to read about it in Indonesian is like a rediscovery of the subject and the language all over again. I don't always agree with Wibowo's observations, but I relate to his wanderlust, his curiosity about the historical foundations of national essentialism, and his romantic cynicism, and that has done more to repair this artificial divide between my 'Indonesian side' and my 'American side' than anything. It's about finding a foothold, you know? It's about realizing you're not alone, especially in a land where you shouldn't be alone, or so people think because of your name and your looks and the stamp in your passport.

Okay, I realize that Indonesian literature isn't there just to make make me feel ~included. It's not all about me, and I don't speak for all Javanese Indonesians or Indonesian expats or whatever. I grew up receiving a strict definition of what it means to be Indonesian, and I'm trying to deconstruct that. There is a soul-deep difference between saying "I am Indonesian AND" and "I am Indonesian BUT", the latter of which I've been saying my whole life, dividing me. There is a time and a place for compartmentalization, sure, but I think I'd like a less of it in this area.
whynot: SPN: all hail (Default)
I've been spending the past week traipsing all around west Java and rural Yogyakarta on family business, so I have been having Indochester thoughts, WHICH I WILL NOW SHARE WITH YOU.

MAJULAH, ANAK-ANAKKU YANG TERSASAR. )

And I have also been having thoughts of Castiel's S5 God search. This one's not Indochesters, just the white American kind. ...THOUGH COME TO THINK OF IT, CAS TAKING DIMAS TO INDONESIA IS MORE FEELINGSPLOSION THAN CAS TAKING DEAN TO INDONESIA OMG. WHERE TO EVEN BEGIN WITH THAT? That's probably a whole other post. Yes. YES. OMG.

CASTIEL (AND SOMETIMES DEAN) TRAIPSES ALL OVER JAVA. )

I just realized that my Jimmy/Amelia fic counts for the 'using chopsticks' square of my [community profile] mundane_bingo table. Is that still even going on? I have ceased planning to get any kind of bingo, and am now just using this as a prompt table basically, if I ever use it at all. Which I almost never. Also relatedly and belatedly, my croatverse Claire/Cas can also count for my [livejournal.com profile] spnsupporting Claire square, but I think I have missed the boat to post it to that comm. Maybe I should just scrap these tables.

I close with Texts From Last Night à la The Borgias.
whynot: SPN: all hail (Default)
1. Two days ago was Indonesia's 65th birthday, and you'd think it would be the perfect time to write more Indochesters, but the world instead decided that it was the perfect time for me to lose my housing HAHAHAHAHAHhdkjslf. I'm bunking with a friend for the time being, and I might be able to get my housing back, but just in case I can't... who in New York City needs a roommate ASAP? :D? :D??

2. [community profile] eid_ka_chand/[livejournal.com profile] eid_fic is having its 2010 Eid Al-Fitr Challenge! I signed up last year wanting to write something about the Carpet and Abu from Aladdin, and then never wrote anything, ALAS. Maybe this year I'll actually write something about Muslim Indonesian Novaks? If, you know. If being homeless doesn't get in the way.

3. SPEAKINNA INDONESIA: Fantasy Fiesta 2010 omggg INDONESIAN-LANGUAGE FANTASY WRITING COMPETITION ♥______♥. Growing the movement at hoooome! If only my Indonesian weren't as in shambles as my housing situation!

4. [livejournal.com profile] help_pakistan recover from the floods of a few days ago. 20 million people have been displaced, 6 million of whom have yet to receive aid. Bidding begins on August 23. I am offering to make a mix. I reeeaally want some SPN vidders to sign up.

5. I have 8 Dreamwidth codes, so if you want one, comment with your email. First come first serve, I don't care who you are.

6. AND THERE IS STILL CASFEST TO SORT OUT LOLOLOL D:

7. Also I lost my cellphone.

[originally posted at http://whynot.dreamwidth.org/32135.html | comment count unavailable comments]
whynot: etc: excuses, excuses (express yourself)
1. Two days ago was Indonesia's 65th birthday, and you'd think it would be the perfect time to write more Indochesters, but the world instead decided that it was the perfect time for me to lose my housing HAHAHAHAHAHhdkjslf. I'm bunking with a friend for the time being, and I might be able to get my housing back, but just in case I can't... who in New York City needs a roommate ASAP? :D? :D??

2. [community profile] eid_ka_chand/[livejournal.com profile] eid_fic is having its 2010 Eid Al-Fitr Challenge! I signed up last year wanting to write something about the Carpet and Abu from Aladdin, and then never wrote anything, ALAS. Maybe this year I'll actually write something about Muslim Indonesian Novaks? If, you know. If being homeless doesn't get in the way.

3. SPEAKINNA INDONESIA: Fantasy Fiesta 2010 omggg INDONESIAN-LANGUAGE FANTASY WRITING COMPETITION ♥______♥. Growing the movement at hoooome! If only my Indonesian weren't as in shambles as my housing situation!

4. [livejournal.com profile] help_pakistan recover from the floods of a few days ago. 20 million people have been displaced, 6 million of whom have yet to receive aid. Bidding begins on August 23. I am offering to make a mix. I reeeaally want some SPN vidders to sign up.

5. I have 8 Dreamwidth codes, so if you want one, comment with your email. First come first serve, I don't care who you are.

6. AND THERE IS STILL CASFEST TO SORT OUT LOLOLOL D:

7. Also I lost my cellphone.
whynot: SPN: all hail (Default)
I signed up for Racebending Revenge at [community profile] dark_agenda because do you know how long I've been threatening to write Indonesian!Winchesters? Since March, apparently. And then I missed the July 2 posting deadline because I was off celebrating someone else's independence day. LOL. Better late than never! ALSO, the icon for my Dreamwidth post is pretty much the appropriatest in many ways. Someone randomly made a map of Indonesia the background for a Winchesters icon, and hey! Now it's time for Indochesters.

I have grand plans to write more in this 'verse, but here are two ficlets for now. 'Verse summary: They follow the trail of the thing that killed their mother from West Java, Indonesia to the USA. This is Satrio. This is Dimas. Handy-dandy Indonesian/Sundanese translations are here.

North for the Winter
Pre-series. One of the few times their father took them north in the wintertime. "Do we even have a word for snow?" 590 words.

Jejak Kaki
Early S1. Brothers on the road, rediscovering. The title means 'footprints'. "It's not that Satrio has anything against his mothertongue, but Dimas speaks it like he's making a point." Also 590 words.

And now for some cultural identity soapboxing! tl;dr re: multilingualism and the monolingual bias )

I've also been wanting to write Indonesian!Pevensies since a year ago. That's still on the to-do list, as is Muslim Indonesian Jimmy Novak. I also just signed up for [community profile] mundane_bingo and [livejournal.com profile] spnsupporting because I am a crazy person. I've yet to get my bingo card, but my spnsupporting characters are pretty predictable.

[originally posted at http://whynot.dreamwidth.org/27062.html | comment count unavailable comments]
whynot: SPN: surprise!Indonesia (all in the family)
I signed up for Racebending Revenge at [community profile] dark_agenda because do you know how long I've been threatening to write Indonesian!Winchesters? Since March, apparently. And then I missed the July 2 posting deadline because I was off celebrating someone else's independence day. LOL. Better late than never! ALSO, the icon for my Dreamwidth post is pretty much the appropriatest in many ways. Someone randomly made a map of Indonesia the background for a Winchesters icon, and hey! Now it's time for Indochesters.

I have grand plans to write more in this 'verse, but here are two ficlets for now. 'Verse summary: They follow the trail of the thing that killed their mother from West Java, Indonesia to the USA. This is Satrio. This is Dimas. Handy-dandy Indonesian/Sundanese translations are here.

North for the Winter
Pre-series. One of the few times their father took them north in the wintertime. "Do we even have a word for snow?" 590 words.

Jejak Kaki
Early S1. Brothers on the road, rediscovering. The title means 'footprints'. "It's not that Satrio has anything against his mothertongue, but Dimas speaks it like he's making a point." Also 590 words.

And now for some cultural identity soapboxing! tl;dr re: multilingualism and the monolingual bias )

I've also been wanting to write Indonesian!Pevensies since a year ago. That's still on the to-do list, as is Muslim Indonesian Jimmy Novak. I also just signed up for [community profile] mundane_bingo and [livejournal.com profile] spnsupporting because I am a crazy person. I've yet to get my bingo card, but my spnsupporting characters are pretty predictable.
whynot: SPN: all hail (Default)
One of the many things that makes me :-/ about the J2 BB Haitifail is the following reaction to other people's frustration:

"If this has taught me anything, you shouldn't even try to write POC."
"Yup. This is definitely what I've taken away from the whole clusterfuck."


It is pretty saddening (if unsurprising) that concern over misrepresentation only gets you promises of non-representation. What this attitude is implying is that minorities are to be blamed for their own erasure. If only we had presented our case differently! If only we hadn't got too angry! These race/culture discussions aren't meant to be roadblocks. If anything, they're speed bumps: they make you slow down for the good of everyone and actually make you watch where you're going. Voila relevant links:

Three Forms of Rhetoric Which Are Obnoxious
"Damned if you do, damned if you don't." Please please please please retire this phrase! ... A better way to phrase the feeling of frustration at being unable to get an advance guarantee of never being criticized by POC is this: "No writer is immune from criticism."

I really like this one: Being An Imaginary Conversation Which I Have Been Silently Holding in my Head With Many, Many People I Have Seen Around the Internets Lately
IMAGINARY DAVID RAVINE: So you're saying that this is how to be smooth and avoid a flamewar?
ME: No! I am saying that this is how to be a dipshit and still avoid a flamewar!


This one is more a general how-to than specific to the topic at hand, but still awesome: Derailing for Dummies.
The best part is, you don't even have to be a white, heterosexual, cisgendered, cissexual, upper-class male to enjoy the full benefits of derailing conversation! Nope, you can utilise the lesser-recognised tactic of Horizontal Hostility to make sure that, despite being a member of a Marginalised Group™ yourself, you can exercise a privilege another Marginalised Group™ doesn't have in order not to heed their experience!

[originally posted at http://whynot.dreamwidth.org/24977.html | comment count unavailable comments]
whynot: SPN: all hail (you and your silly kuhniggets)
One of the many things that makes me :-/ about the J2 BB Haitifail is the following reaction to other people's frustration:

"If this has taught me anything, you shouldn't even try to write POC."
"Yup. This is definitely what I've taken away from the whole clusterfuck."


It is pretty saddening (if unsurprising) that concern over misrepresentation only gets you promises of non-representation. What this attitude is implying is that minorities are to be blamed for their own erasure. If only we had presented our case differently! If only we hadn't got too angry! These race/culture discussions aren't meant to be roadblocks. If anything, they're speed bumps: they make you slow down for the good of everyone and actually make you watch where you're going. Voila relevant links:

Three Forms of Rhetoric Which Are Obnoxious
"Damned if you do, damned if you don't." Please please please please retire this phrase! ... A better way to phrase the feeling of frustration at being unable to get an advance guarantee of never being criticized by POC is this: "No writer is immune from criticism."

I really like this one: Being An Imaginary Conversation Which I Have Been Silently Holding in my Head With Many, Many People I Have Seen Around the Internets Lately
IMAGINARY DAVID RAVINE: So you're saying that this is how to be smooth and avoid a flamewar?
ME: No! I am saying that this is how to be a dipshit and still avoid a flamewar!


This one is more a general how-to than specific to the topic at hand, but still awesome: Derailing for Dummies.
The best part is, you don't even have to be a white, heterosexual, cisgendered, cissexual, upper-class male to enjoy the full benefits of derailing conversation! Nope, you can utilise the lesser-recognised tactic of Horizontal Hostility to make sure that, despite being a member of a Marginalised Group™ yourself, you can exercise a privilege another Marginalised Group™ doesn't have in order not to heed their experience!
whynot: SPN: all hail (Default)
Weep, Little Lion Man by [livejournal.com profile] zeitheist
Supernatural/American Gods crossover. Author says it's NC17, I say R. Gen, but it's got some decidedly unsexy sexytimes. Set sometime before 5x16.
Castiel looks for God, and finds Gods.

OMG. It's like Angels We Have Heard with MOAR PANTHEONS and an extra 30,000 words. Did you know stories about Castiel's God search are my FAVORITE? This is what I wish 'Hammer of the Gods' tried harder to be. I have hearts in my eyes. Raindrops on roses, guys. MOTHERFUCKING WHISKERS ON SOME GODDAMN KITTENS.

...aaaaand somewhere along the way, this rec turned into a teal deer on immigrant identities and narratives.

We cling to adjectives and modifiers. The more words that it takes to describe you, the farther away you are from home. )

[originally posted at http://whynot.dreamwidth.org/24108.html | comment count unavailable comments]
whynot: SPN: all hail (Default)
Weep, Little Lion Man by [livejournal.com profile] zeitheist
Supernatural/American Gods crossover. Author says it's NC17, I say R. Gen, but it's got some decidedly unsexy sexytimes. Set sometime before 5x16.
Castiel looks for God, and finds Gods.

OMG. It's like Angels We Have Heard with MOAR PANTHEONS and an extra 30,000 words. Did you know stories about Castiel's God search are my FAVORITE? This is what I wish 'Hammer of the Gods' tried harder to be. I have hearts in my eyes. Raindrops on roses, guys. MOTHERFUCKING WHISKERS ON SOME GODDAMN KITTENS.

...aaaaand somewhere along the way, this rec turned into a teal deer on immigrant identities and narratives.

We cling to adjectives and modifiers. The more words that it takes to describe you, the farther away you are from home. )
whynot: SPN: all hail (another country)
Things that happen in chat when you're supposed to be sleeping: Castielfest, ya'll! Raise your hand if you'd be interested in a Castiel-centric fic exchange. Gen, slash, het, whatever -- as long as Cas is top-billing. We're thinking sign-ups begin a few days after the S5 finale airs, stay open for a week or so, then participants have a month to write at least 1000 words upon receiving their assignments. [livejournal.com profile] vikki has a poll here to gauge interest, and it would be awesome if you could fill it out and let us know your questions/concerns/disagreements/suggestions.

It's Three Weeks For Dreamwidth time, trying to generate more Dreamwidth activity to celebrate its 1-year anniversary, hence the cross-posting. If you, like me, are still like "Dreamwhat?", it might behoove us to check out [personal profile] stepps's Lonely Planet guide to Dreamwidth. And, here's something cool that DW-clicking did for me recently: [personal profile] ephemere's thoughts on Filipino identity and writing about other cultures led me to the post that sparked it ('No Foreigners Allowed' by Charles Tan), which in turn led me to the sidebar of Charles Tan's blog, which is stuffed full of links to Filipino speculative fiction fkdjsfklkjk AWESOME.


This old meme:
1 - Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.


[livejournal.com profile] maboheme asked me five fannish questions under the cut. )

[originally posted at http://whynot.dreamwidth.org/19904.html | comment count unavailable comments]
whynot: SPN: all hail (there has been enough bargains)
Things that happen in chat when you're supposed to be sleeping: Castielfest, ya'll! Raise your hand if you'd be interested in a Castiel-centric fic exchange. Gen, slash, het, whatever -- as long as Cas is top-billing. We're thinking sign-ups begin a few days after the S5 finale airs, stay open for a week or so, then participants have a month to write at least 1000 words upon receiving their assignments. [livejournal.com profile] vikki has a poll here to gauge interest, and it would be awesome if you could fill it out and let us know your questions/concerns/disagreements/suggestions.

It's Three Weeks For Dreamwidth time, trying to generate more Dreamwidth activity to celebrate its 1-year anniversary, hence the cross-posting. If you, like me, are still like "Dreamwhat?", it might behoove us to check out [personal profile] stepps's Lonely Planet guide to Dreamwidth. And, here's something cool that DW-clicking did for me recently: [personal profile] ephemere's thoughts on Filipino identity and writing about other cultures led me to the post that sparked it ('No Foreigners Allowed' by Charles Tan), which in turn led me to the sidebar of Charles Tan's blog, which is stuffed full of links to Filipino speculative fiction fkdjsfklkjk AWESOME.


This old meme:
1 - Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 - I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 - You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 - You'll include this explanation.
5 - You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.


[livejournal.com profile] maboheme asked me five fannish questions under the cut. )

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