Posts tagged “western”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Thoughts on Maslow’s Hierarchy [lunchbreath] – [Wonderful cartoon that looks at the hierarchy as reflected in Tony Hawk, the dog, and robots]
  • [from steve_portigal] The user experience of hot dog buns [FatDUX] – [Eric Reiss in a light-hearted consideration of hot dogs, buns,and global culture] Now here in Denmark, I’ve never seen anything except side-loaders (Gosh, who knew there was a technical term for this). That is until yesterday when I discovered the “Grab Dog” form-fitting hot-dog holder from the Danish bakery, Paaskebrød. An innovative solution? Absolutely. But a good solution?
  • [from steve_portigal] First World Probs Launch – [The definitive reference] was launched as a sounding board for those who are privileged and still suffering. With unemployment at 10% in much of the Western world, and the rest of the world in far worse financial conditions, it's sometimes necessary to tacitly acknowledge that the "problems" we tackle on a daily basis in the first-world aren't so severe in a greater context – even though they can cast a dark shadow on our everyday lives. "Patrick Moynihan wrote a great piece…in the early 1990s about 'defining deviancy down' – at the time, some communities were so overrun with crime that they had to adjust their standards to ignore many petty violations to allocate their manpower to tackle the serious issues. However, it's also possible sometimes to see that the inverse is true. When all your basic needs are satisfied, it can be downright depressing to break a heel or spill your latte on your favorite suit. You could call it 'defining deviancy up', if you will."

How we see each other

Mostly unrelated to the rest of this Metafilter thread was this brilliant comment

Remember that different cultures focus on different features when thinking about race. Americans focus on skin color and eye shape. But from what I’ve heard, what strikes most Asians about white people is their long noses, big chins, and pale hair, not their eyes or skin.

Sure enough, you’ll sometimes see an explicitly American or European character in anime, and they tend to have gigantic long noses and huge jutting chins. Hair color is a little more complicated – after all, anime characters of all races can have bright blue hair – so we probably shouldn’t read too much into it.

So the round-eyed, small-nosed, small-chinned, black-haired (or magical blue-haired) characters are meant to be Japanese. They just conform to Japanese ideas of how the Japanese look, not American ideas.

(Another interesting thing to notice is that Japanese, Chinese and Korean characters in anime look blatantly different, while American artists tend to draw them all more or less the same way. Again, evidence that race looks very different through Japanese eyes than through American ones.)

Hadn’t really thought of that before – that our cultural lenses create different, not opposite, physical/racial archetypes.


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