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Man, that ugly American in me is gaining strength by the day.

(From General Protection Fault. Click on the thumbnail for full sized you know the drill.)

I'm trying my best to put GPF out of mind. I'm holding fast to the idea that sometime -- hopefully soon -- we'll shift to a new plotline. But I have to admit something. While Nick and Ki remain utterly uninteresting to me, Ki's father has crossed over into the realm of "interesting."

Oh, don't get me wrong. I hate him. But you can't be hated and boring at the same time.

Racism is just plain ugly. It causes a visceral reaction deep inside. But with a side order of hypocrisy, it's nasty. A Japanese man who married a Chinese woman has no call using terms like 'half-breed.' Maybe this is a test he's putting Nick through. Or maybe this is just what Mr. Oshiro thinks of us white-eyes. But I'm going to be very interested to see what Nick does next -- if his almost simpering traditionalism means he'll avoid marrying Ki now, or if he'll actively confront Oshiro, or if the pair just elopes.

And so, Jeff Darlington has done something remarkable. Despite the fact that I don't care about Nick and Ki, and I actively hate Oshiro... I want to see what happens next.

Conflict is a very good thing in a webcomic. Believe me when I tell you that.


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Y'know, I'm a little sad that Darlington decided to make Ki's father a hypocrite on top of being a rascist. Frankly, I would have loved to see someone address the issues of "racial purity" of minorities in the US, w/o the need for hypocrisy to make it clear to us that "this guy is bad." Because it is a very topical and quite murky issue. The simplification bothers me.

Either that, or Darlington is subtlely lampooning the "asian" racial identity that exists solely in the US and not in Asia.

(That said, Nick's overdone-to-the-point-of-parody version of Japanese ettiquette (use of -sama and the bowing) would get on my nerves if I were an immigrant, too. Maybe Ki's dad is just pissed about that, and deciding to give the Boyfriend hell about it because he can.)



I was just about to comment on the Japanese/Chinese thing too.

Being Chinese myself (displaced Chinese, but still Chinese to some extent) I can safely say that the Japanese and Chinese are considered seperate races within themselves, so essentially Ki is actually a 'half-breed' already.

This story arc in GPF has been really annoying to me. Mostly because I don't feel the Mr. Oshiro acts right. It feels like he either wasn't a very well planned out character, or Darlington is unfamiliar with Asian culture inside the United States.

First off, Mr. Oshiro acts very "first-generation" in some ways. For Example, only a first-generation Japanese could possibly be so worried about 'Honor.' On the other hand he's obviously a pro-asain racist, but he doesn't differentiate between different Asian nationalities. Which is very "second-generation" behavior. So, I feel like he's nor really a very well defined character.

Second, he's a moronic butt-head. I don't really thing that any character should be a butt-head just to be a butt-head. There should be some reasoning going on, but Mr. Oshiro is just a butt-head in every way. If Nick acts Japanese, he gets angry, if Nick doesn't, he gets angry. I suppose such people exist in the world, but I think it makes for a weak character.

In some ways Darlington is sort of right about a few things, he makes a little bit of a shot of portraying the culture gap that exists between first-gereration parents and second-generation children, for example. But it's not portrayed CORRECTLY. It's like Darlington heard about some problems that might exist, and then took American stock characters and made them asain and tried to force these problems on them. One of the really interesting things about dealing with first-generation Asain-Amerians is that they just THINK differently than Americans, where as Mr. Oshiro doesn't seem to think at all, and his cultural assumptions are all mixed up.

Anyway, I could rant about this for a while, but the main thing is just that Mr. Oshiro doesn't "feel" right as a character.

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