My name is Dana Nguyen, and I'm a cosplayer and martial artist from Orange County, California. I studied theater arts and fashion tech at Orange Coast College, and I do makeup, make costumes and props, and I also do both fight and dance choreography.
Life is a never-ending war, one where there are no sides other than you versus everything life has to throw at you. You’re born from the fires of suffering, pain, misery, and hardship. Every battle you fight is with the sword of hard work and the shield of failure. The gym is the warm fire of home where you can put the shield down and sharpen, harden, and shape your sword. In the gym, no one can hurt you, and everyone there is chasing the same goal. In the gym, there’s no animosity, no worry, only you and the iron because a hundred pounds is always a hundred pounds.
For me, all the motivation I need is staring me right back in the face every morning. I stare at myself, and I see absolutely everything that I hate. I see weakness, I see how disgusted I am with how I look, I see this mess that’s so far away from what I want to be, but at the same time, I see the thing I love the most, the thing I want to be, the thing I can become. My self-loathing is a form of love. “Man cannot remake himself without suffering for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” Plus, I feel great when I work out, and it’s one of the few times I actually like how I look. Eighty-five million years of evolution and there are a lot of capable people who are simply allowing themselves to waste away, and I refuse to allow myself to do the same when I could be so much more. I‘m gonna be a god one day- I just need to keep working for it.
If you ever bring yourself to go to the gym, go simply because you want more out of yourself- whether you go to pump iron or run, go simply because you want to be more. It’s not about “looking better,” or being “thin.” We’re already animals and born hunters. Take the next step and become a warrior. Sharpen the sword so you can cut down your enemies in battle.
Oh boy, here we go, rant time since people I know from ALA are being bitches about it. It’s okay to not like something, but don’t be a dick about it. I have an extremely strong dislike for shows like Naruto, Lucky Star, and Hetalia, and I absolutely can’t stand the fandoms of some series because of my own interactions with them, but I don’t go around saying they’re absolute shit. Homestuck isn’t any different.
You’re just shifting blame onto a series that you’ve put zero investment into researching, and ignorance is always the biggest enemy. Remember the Sasuke cosplayer at AX 2007 that was arrested for shoplifting? Or how about the Hetalians that showed up to Anime Boston and decided Sieg Heiling was a great idea? And remember the My Little Pony Orgy?
No fandom is exempt from having bad fans or stupid incidents, ever. It’s something that will always happen. You don’t get to lump all your shit onto one fandom just because you’re not in it. You have even less say if you haven’t actually had any bad experiences with the fandom in the first place. If you know nothing about the subject, you’re in no position to talk about it.
You seem to have missed the point. See, I have a problem with things like political correctness and censorship. In my experience, they’re enemies of honest self-expression and representation. That includes stopping yourself from using words like “nigger,” “faggot,” or “bitch.” When you begin to censor yourself, when you begin to care about possibly offending people, you’ve already begun to inhibit your ability to express yourself openly. I would rather an artist create a wildly offensive or provocative piece to accurately express their message than create something nice and pretty that everyone can like for the sake of being liked. For me, honesty is the greatest respect someone can give, and that is why I’ll always be as honest as possible, even if it makes someone mad or cry. Someone who withholds their emotions and their thoughts in hopes of not offending someone is already on the path to becoming dishonest because where do you stop, where do you draw the line? I see people slinging words left and right just to make people feel better at all times, especially on sites like this or Facebook, only to set people up for failure. I would rather someone tell me that they have a problem with something I’m doing or plan on doing, like you’re doing now (and thank you for taking the time to express your views, by the way), than pretend to like me and then talk shit behind my back.
As for the use of terms that once held other meanings, this is a terrible reason because we use words like this all the time. Like the word “punk” is used for a lot of things such as talking about punk culture or music, but its main definition, and this is still in use, is someone who’s a prison-bitch, someone who got raped in prison, and being punked meant you got prison-raped1. And even older than that, it used to mean prostitute or whore.
“Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death,
whipping, and hanging.”
This is in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.2
Saying we shouldn’t use a word because it used to mean something else is a terrible reason because colloquialism is highly mutable just like everything else in life. Societies change, cultures change, languages change, people change. The world changes. Maybe I should stop using the word “gay” to talk about homosexuality or something being stupid because it used to mean “womanizer.”3
Am I being insensitive? You bet I am. I grew up in a world where people used words like “nigger,” “faggot,” and “bitch” freely. These were black and Mexican people calling Little-Asian-Me a nigger. Why? Because they found it appropriate to describe me and how I was behaving. I was “that one nigger running around in the complex.” Hell, I use that word in exactly the same way they do because, in my area, it means someone who’s dumb or ignorant, and that definition seems to have carried over to a lot of other places because all the people that I’ve met use it in exactly the same way.
To be honest, I’d absolutely prefer a world where people could openly use a word like “nigger” without it having to be considered “such an awful word.” A person that’s confident and open enough to walk up to me, headnod and say “what’s up, chink?” is automatically getting a handshake-hug from me, right there, on the spot. I say this because it’s happened before. When someone comes up to me like that, I feel like this person came from the same culture that I came from or took the time to learn, and that typically means friendliness or a common worldview to me.
And besides, how can you get past something if you can’t even say it?
No, it’s stuff that I do have.
Him being sweaty is an issue for some reason- but I’m sweaty all the fucking time, and no one has a problem with it, yet right in front of me they’ll say that they can’t stand that he’s sweaty. Hey, you’d be sweaty all the fucking time, too, if you did manual labor and fought for huge chunks of time on a daily basis. They say he’s gross, but when it comes to me, they’re okay with hugging and touching me even when I’m completely drenched.
Him hating lowbloods? That shouldn’t even really matter. Even though he says these things, he has been nothing but nice to everyone regardless of blood caste. He built Tavros a pair of legs, he built Vriska’s arm, he fucking rebuilt Aradia’s body from the ground up. And on top of that, he does everything in his power to make sure he doesn’t hurt anyone despite his freakish strength. And even then, the blood caste was built into him because it’s a normal part of their culture, and he was already defying it to begin with. You know who else has a superiority complex? I do, and you should know that from all the times we’ve talked, and just from reading the things I post on my blog. I’m a fucking asshole to people when I think they’re spouting nonsense, and I’ll take any opportunity to talk shit just for the sake of it. But even if I think someone’s a complete and utter shithead, I’ll go out of my way to help them if they ask for it.
Him harassing and threatening his friends- again, this doesn’t matter. How do people talk to their best friends? They fucking threaten each other and sexually harass each other on a daily basis. I go around incessantly hitting on people and acting like a creep for the sake of doing it, and no one has an issue with it, but somehow it’s disgusting if Equius does it to his own friends. Most of the people in the Homestuck fandom can’t say that they don’t do this shit because I see it all the fucking time at every con, every meetup, every gathering.
As for the horse porn and his so-called getting off on being bossed around, most people have this impression that he is sexually attracted to horses, but he isn’t really. In the logs, in his introduction, it states that he has an appreciation for Alternian art and collects it. And again, the reason why he enjoys horses so much and being bossed around is because he has an attraction to power. It’s the reason why he has respect for people like Vriska, Terezi, and Karkat, despite the fact that they’re lower on the blood caste than he is. They all stood up to him and showed that they weren’t weak. And guess what horses are oftentimes considered? They’re symbols of power. There’s a reason why they were used for our cavalries for so many centuries. It’s because a horse is a fucking hulking beast of speed and power, monsters of pure muscle, and it’s terrifying to have a shit ton of them stampeding towards you, stomping out everyone in their path while the soldiers atop them would fire and cut through enemy lines or villages of peasants like a weed whacker. And even if Equius did get off on being bossed around, it’s a really common kink to have, anyway. I mean, seriously, it’s a part of a lot of Sub/Dom relationships. I know a lot of people read and indulge in that kind of shit, I see it in the fanfiction they write all the time.
And you know what? I have an attraction to strength. Anyone that’s asked me what kind of people I’m attracted to know that. For me, strength is beauty. Strength doesn’t have to be literal, either. Strength can be having a determination to help you attain a goal, it can be standing up for what you believe in, it could be that little inkling of hope that keeps you from vanishing from the world altogether, and it can obviously be brute force used to quash a problem. I love seeing people pull themselves out of bad situations, I love seeing people take up challenges that are near impossible and push all the way through to the end, but most of all, I love seeing people use their strength to help others that are in need of a little power themselves.
Having horse dick on his walls is his own deal, and no one gets to say a damn thing about that except for his lusus, Arthur. I know shit tons of people that have way worse shit on their walls. There are people that put things like guro and diaper fur all over their walls, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s your fucking room, your home, your sanctuary. If you want to cover your walls in tentacle porn, you should be allowed to do that because you should be comfortable enough to be whoever you want to be in your room. People can just not go in your room if they’re uncomfortable with what’s in there, and anyone walking into your room telling you to take all that shit down just because they don’t like it is being an inconsiderate prick.
Just say “nigger.” Saying “n-word” is stupid because it’s like you’re trying to avoid the supposed consequences that come with it while still being able to say it freely. Saying “n-word” is even more racist than just outright saying “nigger,” because now you’re just trying to use “nigger” but are too scared of what “those niggers” will do to you. Wanna avoid the oh-so-horrible stigma of possibly being called a racist when you say “nigger”? Just fucking say the word and use it correctly. You can’t talk about the word without saying it, so just say it.
Here’s an example sentence for you.
“Rick Santorum tried to call Obama a nigger.”
It’s not that hard, people. You can say it as much as you want. Just don’t go around calling people niggers unless you really mean it and are ready to accept the consequences for it.
Part of the reason why I love Gamzee as a character is because he’s the embodiment of everything that people hate, especially on Tumblr. Gamzee is a homicidal, drug-addicted, religious fanatic that is willfully ignorant. I could go as far as to say that he may as well be a representation of people like Rick Santorum. The only reason why people like him and not, say, George W. Bush is because Andrew Hussie didn’t just create some effigy and say, “you should hate this guy and disregard any other opinion,” like many of our social networks do. He gave him a personality and a face like any other person we encounter in real life. He has his own circle of friends, his own ideals, his own goals- he has his own life. This is the same person that went into a frenzy and killed his friends because some doofus thought, “hey dude, check this out, this video has a lot of that shit you were talking about in it.” His entire faith is questioned and he decides that murder is the correct response to all this. And yet, most of the fandom is accepting of that because we had the chance to sit down and get to know him over the course of at least a few weeks, if not months- unlike many people that we see being metaphorically placed in the stocks.
I find it odd that people can actually sit there and call him adorable, funny, or some other endearing term, yet they won’t acknowledge these flaws or the people that are exactly like him, if not fairly similar, in real life just because they haven’t been told they should hate him. Don’t get me wrong, Gamzee is a fantastic, well-thought-out character with a lot of depth and personality. I just think the fandom depreciates his value by throwing him into the love-boat like they did to the Crow, Sweeney Todd, and the Joker. Then again, that’s just willfully ignorant fanatics being just that.
I have never been called a “Person of Color” before going on Tumblr. Ever. And, honestly, any of you calling me a person of color is pretty rude. It’s like you’re too busy trying to “defend us” that you can’t even be bothered to find out what you’re trying to protect. And if that’s the case, why’re you trying to defend me in the first place? What exactly are you trying to keep from hurting me? Shit, what even makes you think I can’t protect myself in the first place? If anything, you’re the one undermining me by making me out to be some defenseless animal. I’m not a “PoC,” a “non-white,” or any of that shit. I’m Dana, I’m a person, and I’m American. Just because I’m not of Anglo-Saxon descent doesn’t mean you can belittle me like that. At least the person being racist to me is giving me a level playing field to work off of; you’re wrestling control out of my hands so you can feel good about yourself.
Because of all the posts regarding Daniel Tosh and rape jokes, I feel like it’s time I said something. This is something I’ve never told anybody, ever, and this is the first time I will have ever mentioned this. I’ve actually been raped before. Twice, in fact, by the same person. I was twelve when it happened, and it was someone who I thought would always be my friend.
We lived down the street from each other for seven years, and we kept in touch even after I had moved at the time. The first time it happened, I didn’t know how to feel or what to think. I guess I was shocked and confused at the time. I didn’t say anything about it, and strangely enough I tried to push it to the back of my head, pretend nothing had happened. I continued hanging out with him for a couple more months before the second time. I don’t really remember what happened, but I remember being scared and angry. I was scared of what might happen if anyone knew, if it would change how people thought of me, scared of what other people could be capable of if someone close to me could be so hurtful, and I was angry at myself. I don’t even know why I was angry- maybe it was because I didn’t fight back, or because I kept quiet about it.
Over time, I slowly broke contact with him. I stopped hanging out with him, then we stopped talking over AIM, and eventually we stopped talking on Myspace.
How did I cope with it for so many years? The thing is, I didn’t. It was just something bad that happened, and something I just happened to not talk about. No one ever asked me if anything was bothering me, and nobody wanted to know. I basically forgot about it and buried it until today because of all the posts. Before anyone goes on saying things like, “I feel so bad for you,” or “I’m sorry if I triggered you,” or whatever, it doesn’t really matter. Nothing you say or do is gonna undo the damage already done, and prying open a wound that’s already healed doesn’t make any sense. Even then, I’m not offended by rape jokes.
I was originally going to make a post to tell you guys that you’re all annoying and stupid for making such a big deal out of someone making a joke because you’re basically demeaning the severity of all other issues at the same time. It’s even worse since the people talking about why rape jokes aren’t funny are the same people that’ll make a racist or sexuality-related joke. And, to me, you guys going through all the trouble of petitioning to have his show taken off the air is no different from people saying they’re gonna boycott Oreos because of the gay pride ad they did.
In all seriousness, from a rape victim, stop bothering the guy for doing his job. As a comedian, Daniel Tosh’s job is to be condescending and satirical. No one bags on him for all his other offensive jokes regarding other important issues; this shouldn’t be any different. It’s just a subject that you happen to be offended by.
So I noticed that as time progresses, people get more and more offended by everything on here. It’s almost like everyone is turning into an SJS over the tiniest detail nowadays. Now, obviously I have a problem with this, otherwise, I wouldn’t be making a post about it.
Tumblr is the place I go to do all of my social networking. Sometimes I go on just so I can talk to people and plan dates, hangouts, parties, and what-have-you, or I’ll be on here to use it as a blog and post up my thoughts and feelings- you know, typical social networking stuff. But then I see posts where all it’ll say are things along the lines of “YOU’RE DERAILING,” “GO KILL YOURSELF, <target slur>,” “I HATE YOU IF YOU <subject matter>,” and all that other stuff that we typically make fun of people for, just not in those exact words.
It bugs me a lot when people get seriously offended by something because everyone, in my experience so far, will start metaphorically frothing at the mouth while yelling about why something is not okay. My problem here is that if this is how you’re going to behave, then I don’t want to talk to you about the subject simply because it means that you are incapable of behaving like a human being to someone with a different opinion or stance, let alone in any way, shape, or form capable of having a logical discussion about the subject. That just shows me that you care more about your feelings than making logical decisions, about getting people to side with you, and not really about the actual subject matter at hand.
If you want people to listen to you and actually consider that your stance just might be the more logical option, then you need to be able to present yourself as an intelligible human being with their own formulated thoughts and opinions, with your own life experiences and all that, and you need to be able to deliver the message to your target audience in a way that they’ll understand. You also have to be willing to listen to others to see where they stand on the same subject and why they’ve chosen their stance.
I can talk about violence, racism, rape, suicide, depression, and any number of touchy subjects if I want to- not just because I’ve had that stuff happen to me, but because I took the time to understand why those things happen, and what allows it to persist into modern society. Hell, I purposely follow blogs that have views opposite mine. I’ve said this repeatedly, and I’ll say it again. If all you’re going to do is zealously push your subject matter of choice, then expect me to treat you the same way I treat other fanatics.
You guys already know how sad of a pairing they already are, but it gets worse. Think about this for a second. Equius built a new body for her and gave her blue blood. Where in the hell did he get enough blue blood to fill another body? The only place he could’ve gotten all this blood is from himself, and there’s no way he could’ve just done this all at once. He drained himself of blood, collecting it steadily for who knows how long, just to give Aradia another chance at life. Equius was willing to put himself under that much stress and punishment just for someone else. I don’t know about you guys, but I think that speaks for just how much of a nice guy he is. He performed the scientific equivalent of necromancy, how badass is that?
Remember that post about me saying I’m basically an auspistice for all my friends? I wasn’t kidding. A lot of people, especially within the last two months, have basically come to me about depression and the like. I’m not that much different, to be honest. But, seeing as how I’ve answered this question repeatedly, I thought it was time that I just put it on here as an essay for everyone to read.
Everyone’s a bit crazy right now, and for a lot of reasons. The big one, lately, seems to be a huge thing about or lives and how we see ourselves. In my experience, one of the biggest things people seem to worry about is knowing that they matter to other people, to the world, knowing that they’re still relevant to the people and events going on around them. A lot of the culture, especially in the United States for some reason, seems to deal with simply belonging. People want an in-crowd kinda thing, but at the same time they wanna be different, some kind of exclusivity, being unique so to say.
It gets even worse when you consider the ground laid before us by the previous generations, like Generation X and the Baby Boomers. A lot of this generation has basically been told that it’ll be worth nothing unless they go to college and get a Master’s degree or whatever, and an amazing job to go with it. “My child isn’t gonna work at a fast food joint,” or, “you’re too good to be a janitor.” Never mind the fact that these are jobs that are necessary to our way of life. There’s nothing wrong with working fast food, or being a custodian, or doing some kind of menial work. Someone has to work those jobs, right?
Perhaps even worse than that, we reinforce it. People won’t even look to hire certain people because of stupidly small things like race, gender, sexuality, education level or whatever, all small details that don’t always factor into the line of work being done. In the end, it should just be about how well someone can do the job. We’ve basically been engineered since the beginning for failure; this entire generation has been set up like that. We’ve been told we were promised the very best, but all that’s left is the bottom of the barrel, and we’ve been trained not to want anything less than perfect.
The world’s a terrible place, isn’t it? But at least now you know how bad it is. Don’t expect anything of the world, focus only on yourself, on your climb out of the pit that it dug for you because it’s not going to give you a ladder, or rope, or anything else to help you. Depressing, isn’t it? But, now you’re aware of it. When you know more about a situation, you can figure out how to get out of it.
I have to do what I can to help this generation get better. I refuse to give up on humanity just because we’re at a disadvantage. If you have any questions that no one wants to give you answers to, send them my way. I’m here to support you as best I can.
So I noticed that even though Amon’s entire cause is the idea that nonbenders are being oppressed by benders, if you pay attention to everything that is going on in the background, it seems like there isn’t actually anything going on. People are just going about their daily lives as if there was no real difference from one or the other. The only real oppression among citizens only comes from the Triads, but that’s just gangsters being gangsters. It’s expected behavior from people abusing power for their own personal gain. Even then, they don’t just pick on nonbenders. They abuse the weak in general, which can include other benders. For example, Bolin and Mako were exploited by them, just in a different way. Aside from the Triads, there’s nothing else except for the things that are made extremely apparent, such as the people that work for Amon shouting about how they’re being oppressed, or the raid on the underground Equalist Training camp.
If you compare it to historical real-world oppression, benders and nonbenders are as far from oppressive of one another as it gets. The most obvious examples would be the blacks before and during the Civil Rights Movement and the Jews leading up to World War II. In both cases, an entire people are being made out to be less than human, whereas in Legend of Korra, it’s not so. No one is being turned away from a job simply because they’re not a bender, no one is being forced to identify themselves as otherwise, no one is being forced into a position of being less than human, and there are no laws about any form of separation. There’s just no real evidence of any real discrimination, either de facto or de jure. Unless Legend of Korra has an episode that shows all of this going on or actually puts snippets of it into each of their episodes, I’m only going to see Amon as a stupid baby that can’t deal with his own problems and is just taking it out on other people.
No one is born to be smart or dumb. No one is born to be strong or weak. No one is born to be fast or slow. No one is born to be fat or skinny. What you are now is a reflection of every choice you’ve made for yourself up until now.
I was born into a poor family, basically working class. I was born with weak lungs and an inability to learn. I was basically told I’d be weak and stupid for the rest of my life, and that I’d be lucky to become a semi-functioning adult at the most. Growing up, I suffered from malnutrition. I was mostly skin and bones at first, but as I got older, I ballooned up and became fat within just a few years. I was picked on for it, obviously, just like any other asthmatic fatty. I didn’t have many friends. All the ones I did make eventually turned against me because I wasn’t as cool as any other kid. I was slow, weak, and alone because of it, but I eventually found a way out. My salvation came in the form of martial arts and BBoying. I learned how to fight, what strength truly meant. I danced because I couldn’t hide the hurt any more. Eventually, I started losing weight, started gaining some kind of muscle, and could actually breathe for once in my life.
I struggled in school because it didn’t interest me in any way. No one told me why I needed to learn anything; they just told me that I had to learn it. No one seemed to want to help me with it. I felt stupid because I asked questions that people didn’t want to answer. “That doesn’t have anything to do with why you’re not doing your homework,” or “just go sit down and work like everyone else.” Everything I needed to learn in school, I did on my own. Most of my teachers didn’t really teach me anything after elementary school. I learned algebra and geometry in fourth and fifth grade simply because I didn’t like not knowing how to do those problems. All of my English comprehension came from just reading books and articles on the internet for fun. I learned about history because there was an interesting story behind every war. I learned most of my science simply because I thought it was cool that you could make things blow up or fly.
I never believed in religion; I had no reason to. Even though I was born into a catholic family, baptized, told to go to church, and to follow the word of God, it never sank in. To me, Christmas was just a day my mom got me toys I didn’t want. Easter was a time when I got to eat chocolate. Church was just a place my family went to because my parents wanted to listen to some robed guy talk. No one told me why I had to believe in God. All I was told was that I’d go to Hell if I didn’t.
The way people talked, it was as if everything would be handed to you as soon as you simply sat around long enough. As soon as you became sixteen, you’d get a driver’s license and a car. As soon as you got out of college, there’d be a job just sitting there waiting for you. If you worked at your job for long enough, you’d get a promotion, along with more money. And somewhere along the line, your lover would just fall into your lap, and you’d just automatically love each other forever, have kids, and raise them in some sort of perfect world. But, obviously, the world isn’t like that.
Even though people lied to me about what life would be like, I never lied to myself. I always asked myself, “why?” Why was I doing so bad in school? I didn’t want to do homework. Why was I fat? I ate too much and didn’t exercise. Why am I poor? I don’t have a job. Why am I lonely? Because no one wants you in their life. No one seemed to have any answers, so I had to find them myself.
Don’t ever tell me I’m lucky. I’m not. I fought against life tooth and nail to get where I am now. I wasn’t simply given a brain full of knowledge. I learned all that shit on my own time. I spent hours of each day reading things over and over again to make sure I understood what was in front of me, and I still don’t know enough. I wasn’t given a fast metabolism; I ran, punched, kicked, danced, and grappled my ass off. I fasted for a week five years in a row just to prove to myself that hunger was irrelevant.
To say that I’m lucky undermines all the work that I did for myself just to stop being a stupid fat-ass. To say I was born this way is to question my very integrity. So every time I hear some upper-middle class kid say that their life is a living hell when they were handed every advantage, every opportunity, every single person’s support all the way through their life, of course I’m gonna be mad and annoyed.
I originally started writing this in your ask box, but as I wrote it, I realized I had more to say than tumblr would allow. So, I decided to answer you with a full blog post, since I feel that anything less would be unsatisfactory.
“It is generally believed that as we go through life we don’t really change. We just become more of the same. Barring the usual exceptions that, as we say, prove the rule, when we look around us as the years go by, this seems quite valid. On the whole, people don’t change, and most of us strongly resist change. Nevertheless, all our worries and wars are based upon change. We fear that something will happen, or we fear that it won’t; so we fight to prevent change or to speed up the process. But, whatever we do, change is one hundred percent guaranteed. The only question is its rate. Slow change we interpret as evolution, fast as revolution. Changes are the epitome of unkowns- the greatest of fear generators.” - Robert Monroe
When I think about world history, I think about all the things that make humanity what it is. I think about what drives humans to group together, to work together, to overcome the harsh nature of the world around them. But, I also think about what forces them apart, what makes them believe that they’re any different from each other. I think about how humans transitioned from hunter-gatherers to established settlements. I think about how everything that we ever were has changed, and how everything that we are will change within only a few decades. The very thing that defines us, that binds us, is change. History is a record of this change, and it shows what it is humans value most.
I hope the answer I gave you met your requirements.