Sunday, December 12, 2010

Katie the Little Jedi, Web site reflection

Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone WarsI read a sad story today about a little girl named Katie who was bullied at school for having a Star Wars water bottle. The bullies told her Star Wars was for boys, not girls.

Thankfully, Katie's mom blogged about this, and Katie's been getting a ton of support, even official merchandise from the people behind Star Wars: The Clone Wars and special made-for-girls Star Wars gear from Her Universe, a community for female sci-fi fans run by Ashley Eckstein, the voice actress for Ahsoka Tano (Anakin's padawan in Clone Wars). [That's Ahsoka on the left].

I'm glad this story is turning out well for Katie. But it raises the issue of bullying once again, just as the recent "gay student suicides" did. I think that there is nothing wrong with a girl being into geeky things. But then, I am a geeky girl. However, I remember being teased as a kid for being different too, so I feel for Katie. Poor thing. May the Force be with Katie (as the Twitter hashtag her supporters are using says).

I think this bullying comes from a fear of difference. Popular marketing writer and blogger Seth Godin talks about this a lot, usually using the idea of the lizard brain vs. linchpins/tribes. Even Star Wars itself suggests this; I'm thinking particularly of Yoda's line in Episode I, where he warns the young Anakin Skywalker about fear:  "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." And, not surprisingly, it is fear that ultimately leads Anakin to embrace the Dark Side - Anakin is afraid because he's been having dreams that Padmé is going to die, and Palpatine promises to help him prevent this. Palpatine's infamous order in Episode III to kill the Jedi (known to Star Wars fans as "Order 66") is also an example of hate of difference in Star Wars.

While bullying can't be 100% stopped - after all, we're all born with a nature that tempts us to sin - I'm glad that it's becoming an issue in a way, because now maybe measures will be taken to deal with it. It's like the whole childhood obesity crisis, another issue that's being dealt with years after it initially arose. The publicity that's getting is prompting people to do something about it. It's all really a matter of educating people. Even the Bible says this when talking about preaching the Gospel: "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'" (Romans 10:12-15, ESV).

People say we need tolerance. But how exactly that's defined is a fine line. It's been used in this postmodern way to suggest we need to tolerate everyone because no one should judge anybody else's way of living. I think we need acceptance more than tolerance. I could tolerate you if you annoy me, but that's different than acceptance. Acceptance means that I accept you, with all your eccentricities. Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter is an excellent example of this. Even though she knew people thought she was weird, she embraced her weirdness and was still nice to everyone. Of course, someone's lifestyle shouldn't make you hate them anyway (the whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" principle). For instance, while I don't approve of homosexuality, that's most likely not why I don't have any homosexual friends (that I know about, that is). I probably don't have homosexual friends because the ones that are really open about it annoy me. These are usually those overly effeminate men - lesbians seem to be less overt.

Ok maybe I should stop talking about this now. Here's some articles about the Katie story:

Okay, moving on.

Last time I posted about website plans. I did some thinking about it and this is what I have determined:

I had said I want a personal site/domain hub. What I realized is that I should do a site collective. Basically a site collective is a launching place for all the sites branching off from a certain domain. Most people do it with fanlistings, but regular site collectives exist as well. Most webmasters of site collectives put a little bit about themselves on these sites as well, so it could kinda serve two purposes.

After reading the personal site case study in Building Web Sites for Dummies: All-in-One Desk Reference and some online articles about types of websites, I realized that my idea of a "personal site" was slightly off. They're really for promoting businesses, like with the cellist in the case study, or for posting photos and such to share with friends and family, like the example website in the kids' book I taught myself HTML out of. So my writing site really is a personal site, since it is meant to market me as an author. So that's a relief to know.

As for the anime guides site, maybe having something like Screen It would be too much to start with. Having the episode/manga guides would be good, and then maybe start out with a basic little info area for parents, with something like The Librarian's Guide to Anime and Manga. Or maybe just a list of resources? I'm not sure since I'm not a parent myself and I don't know any otaku that are (except Elly-san and maybe my best friend Amy, though I'm not sure she's still into anime). And I still don't know what the guides site will be called; I initially was going to call it WindKnightFuu's Anime and Manga Guides (my YouTube backup account username came from this) but that sounded kinda stupid, and the proposed URL ( didn't sound right. (I was afraid people would think of WTF).

I had also been worrying about hosting, but today in church, I remembered HomeWithGod, a Christian web hosting service I once had a site with. They do domain registration there now. They also have a search engine, though I'd probably submit it to Google first. If I can think of a good domain name, it could be a possibility. I think they're even cheaper than GoDaddy. Then there's DreamHost, which a lot of people use; I don't know if it's any good though.

Not really anything else to say at this point. I should be working on homework but I'm really tired all the sudden. I did get an outline written for my final paper for Lit Theory and sent it to my teacher to see what she thinks, and I got the last two plays for Drama class read, but so far that's it. Maybe I'll do something else for a bit and have more energy later. Not sure though.
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