I “retconned” a single word in the archive with the above gibberish for a while because I thought it would be funny. And it definitely was hilarious. I understand that not everyone thinks all of my e-impulses are a total riot though.
Before I launch into any more of this, let me reframe the key points which drove the previous post.
- You can absolutely craft an argument using story data that the kids are white. You are allowed to believe they’re white! That’s cool. I’m not saying that makes you a racist at all. Often I view them that way myself, if bothering to imagine them corporeally. I’ve also pictured John and Jade as Asian and thought, “that works.” These are just personal reflections and you’re free to form your own by any criteria, including hyperfidelity to canon minutia, as well as by disregarding one or two ridiculously insignificant points of said minutia. You have my permission. But most of the time I picture them as N/A, and my official answer when asked is “I don’t care.”
- What does strike me as racist is when someone gets angry over the suggestion that they could be thought of as anything other than white. And that does appear to be a thing that happens. It’s a position that irritates me. Enough to bother addressing it, and verbally crystallize some points on abstraction as they apply to race in HS, even if in apparent contradiction with one or two minor story details.
That’s pretty much the bottom line on this.
It’s aggravating to imagine a guy getting in someone’s grill about how there’s NO WAY John and Jade could be Asian kids or something, because some canon savant can cite an excerpt in the 300K word barrage of Homestuck which refers to the group of infants as pink monkeys. That isn’t really cutting it for me as a sticking point. Should we get out the pantone swatchbook, and verify that all non-white babies shall never exhibit anything like a rosy hue? Or failing that, what if some babies there were white and others weren’t? Digging even this much into it is already sort of treading too far into the pedantic bullshitification of the topic. Would submitting a “my bad” on that phrase choice help deflect some antagonization toward those with a different view? Cause I can do that. I can cough up a my bad once in a while. In fact I think I just did!
The retcon gibberish, I think we can safely TL;DR as “another fuckup.”
I do feel it’s all a little more complicated than it looks though.
I dropped the gibberish in place of the word “white” as a flippant faux-rebuttal to the obvious gotcha it represents. It was one of the earlier rambling dialogues where John alluded to Dave’s bro as a lame white rapper.
First of all, here’s what’s true: I was being quite serious when I said I viewed these kids as non-racial from the start. It is a fact! In the earliest pages, when people asked what race they were, I just said “N/A.” “Don’t care.” “You decide.”
But the thing is, this position had so much more to do with adhering to the fundamental abstraction in this world than it had to do with making any sort of statement on racial harmony or anything like that. The point was never to make something perfectly air-tight in terms of racial neutrality, as a means to create some sort of socially conscious advocacy literature. If it was, I probably would have been more alert in those early stages to make dead certain little tipoffs on race didn’t bleed into the story during some of the more outrageous, off-the-cuff character rants.
That’s the thing, especially in a lot of those earlier dialogues, I was somewhat less diabolically all-calculating than I became over time. In early chats I was more likely to flip on the “ridiculous rant” switch, and just write stuff that struck me as funny. It was just a funny thing for John to say about bro, which for the moment punctured that membrane between the way I was personally picturing a character for the sake of comedy, from these fairly amorphous rules of abstraction I established at the beginning. TL;DR, a fuckup. Then I kept making pages, kinda forgot about it, and am pretty sure never once used a racial qualifier that specific again. And I didn’t really care, because, and this is the important point here: it just doesn’t matter.
And I could just “whoops” and again indicate how trivial and isolated it was and move on, but there’s even more to it than that!
At that point in the story, I’m quite sure I hadn’t determined that bro was Dave’s biological father. I sure as hell didn’t know Dirk would become a “playable character” some day (i.e. literally yesterday). So many aspects of this story were all coalescing gradually, and that even includes the extent to which race was a reliable ambiguity. That wobbled a couple times, but otherwise has stayed consistently unmentioned over the haul of several thousand pages. On that page, their whole ectobiological origin hadn’t even been conceived. Concepts like that were a work in progress. When the story began, Dave was just some kid being raised by some dude. That was as deep as I wanted the explanation to go, until further notice.
But let’s say you’re super bent on taking that retconned tidbit to heart. So, ok, Dirk is white, which means… what? Dave and Rose are at least half white? Alrighty, so be it! Don’t care enough to dispute the factmasters, if they’re immune to a nuanced explanation.
What I will dispute is this chain of conclusions. Dirk = white, ergo Dave + Rose = white, ergo all 8 kids = white, because I MEAN COME ON, WE BOTH KNOW THEY’RE ALL WHITE, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOU WERE GETTING AT HERE, AND ALL THE “ENDORSED CAUCASIAN FANART”, AND THE PINK BABIES, AND COME OOOOON ARE YOU SHITTING ME. No, that conclusion is wrong. And the bluster behind it is……… offensive!
If you want to back me into a corner on every last angle of this, and for instance bring up the example of how, say, an African American Rose is a “tough sell”? Ok, yes. I will be reasonable. I will agree that an African American Rose is probably kind of a tough sell for most people. I still just say, so what? Why even bother with ruling out that particular exception? If you want to repudiate people who draw her that way or something, go ahead. I’m not going to, because I don’t give a fuck. I’ll again just say N/A.
I probably won’t leave the retcon gibberish there forever. But I might leave it there until people stop giving a shit about this.
I’ll do one of three things.
1) Keep it forever, because: I don’t care.
2) Change it back to white, because: I still don’t really give a shit about the mild, singular, isolated contradiction it represents.
3) Revise the sentence to read more naturally and exclude the word white because: I don’t give a fuck.
Some people I think regarded my flippant retcon as a needless escalation of this to something like a “really big deal.” Dunno about that. So I stuck a garbage word into one marginal conversation 4000 pages deep in the archive? OH NOES. Story pollution. What if he never fixes it??????
I tend to be a little flippant with my own story, even where others perceive hallowed ground. It’s practically business as usual.
FINAL TLDR YO
There’s only one thing I’m annoyed about, and only one type of behavior I’m calling racist. And that is if you act all haughty and shit on people about how they absolutely have to believe all these kids are white. That’s it. It’s cool if you believe they’re white. I can’t blame you for that perception at all.
Happy Martin Luther king day everybody!
I really didn’t plan on gettin into all this on MLK2KXII. For real.
It’s like I was suddenly possessed and spurred to passionate oration by MLK’s legendary ghost.
Then he was like, man fuck this weirdo, and flew away.
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