Inside Pulse 12

A Thumb To The Eye Number: The Otakukin Files 3

Man’s gotta hate someone
Guess I’ll do
And when I’m done with myself
I start on you-“Tiny, King of the Jews,” Big Black

K thnx bai…fuck off…
-Yunie_Braska

I’ll let you in on a very minor little secret: I post my column mid-afternoon Monday on my LiveJournal, well before it goes up on 411. It’s a little trick Alex L. taught me to test my HTML tags before anything goes up on the main site. Usually, this is no problem. Most weeks, however, don’t see me doing anything as touchy as the whole otakukin issue. From the beginning, I knew this would be pretty big. I just didn’t know what kind of big.

Before last week’s column even went up on the main page, before Thumb Tuesday, I was getting responses. Yunie, rightfully, demanding my head, a few e-mails, and more AIM chats than I care to ever have at once all started going off before my column was technically up. This was getting interesting. So, let us take a look at the whole situation, the complaints, a rebuttal, and other assorted fruit flavors.

Why Does The Information Superhighway Look Like The Road To Nowhere?

I suck. Let me rephrase that: I can suck. I have both the capacity for sucking and rocking. Do I wish that I rocked out full time instead of only occasionally? Hell yeah! Unfortunately, we have to be realistic about such things, and my capacity for rocking is not going to increase on it’s own. No, sometimes I am going to have to suck, maybe even suck big time, in order to fully achieve rocknocity. My New Year’s Resolution was to kick 22% more ass, but I would happily settle for 16%. In spite of this, I do sometimes suck. This whole otakukin thing started as me sucking and, hopefully, ended with me rocking.

Ugh. Sorry about that. I apparently sprained my vocabulary. Walk it off, walk it off…

Like most people, I have a capacity for good and evil. I tread this line a little too frequently, but I know that it’s there, at least. Trust that I worry and fret over the implications of my actions, perhaps too much according to Mr. Lucard and Mr. Williams. (I so wish they would have a match for the rights to the name Alex like Mochi and Susumu had. That would fucking rock… Umm back to the column…) I am horribly hamstrung by my darkside. And then there were the otakukin.

Ask anyone who has ever written if they would rather make love or get a moment of inspiration. I know what I would pick. With that in mind, imagine me at pretty close to bottom. My columns were sucking pretty hard, harder than usual, gaming was getting to be kind of a drag, I was down and out. Then, like a shining beacon of hope, there they were, a group of gamers and anime fans so far afield that I could make fun of them with impunity. Much like the Twilight Zone episode in which an astronaut makes himself the God of a small group of near microscopic people, I saw myself ingratiating myself with them and getting thier trust before crushing them all beneath my boot. My ego was amok.

Now, here comes the wrinkle, the point I have been trying to make and I feel like I failed to make. I started to AIM with Yunie. I found myself in a horrible quandary. While all of this was fun and games to me, here was someone I genuinely liked and didn’t want to hurt. BUT, if I went ahead with my column, a planned, she would be hurt, very much so I’m thinking. I couldn’t do it. The more I thought about it, and the more Misha and Lee tried to talk me down, the more I realized that I wouldn’t be doing anything but being an ass. So, I decided to change the focus of my column, from ‘Chuck Destroys Otakukin’ to ‘Chuck Redeems Himself By Doing The Right Thing.’ If only it was so easy…

Within an hour of posting my column, I had Yunie’s response, as posted above. You see, I had two versions of the column that I could write, one in narrative format, with quotes culled from AIM and e-mail to tell the story or sheer, raw AIM and e-mil with no real narrative. I chose the latter. In the words of Warrior, that font of philosophical insight, “Of course, out of context the enemy can make anything stick.” I would hate for anyone to feel like I misrepresented them. Hell, at the end of the day, I think poor Alex came off the worst, followed by me, then everyone else. Unfortunately, while my intentions were pure, in the end, natch, she was still hurt by my commentary. Ugh.

So, here is the apology part of the column…

You’ll Go Stabbing Yourself In The Neck (Thank You, Interpol)

Three issues have come up since I started this whole thing, so I want to correct them. First, the fat jokes…

Like a fat hairy land shark, I saw blood in the water and I suddenly decided this was going to get nasty.
Well, actually, I was calling myself a fat, hairy land shark, there. I am a fat, hairy land shark, after all…

AThumbToTheEye: Dude, these girls would be the easiest lays EVER!
Darquefyr: Except they are most likely fat and ugly

Umm, I plead guilty on this one. BUT, I hope everyone notices the “most likely.” We had yet to actually see any of these people. It was an assumption, and a crass one at that. Apology number one.

AThumbToTheEye: I am so going to be murdered by a fat ugly girl!
Same conversation and we had still not seen an otakukin. Apology number 2.
And, well, that’s all the fat comments. So, sorry to all the people who may have been offended. Just remember, I’m a fatty too AND I totally dig on the bigger girls.

No Such Thing

My personal belief is that privacy is dead. I wish there was another way to put it, but that’s pretty much it. I don’t think that there is such a thing as private anymore. On the other side, just the other day, Alex posted an AIM we had and I asked him to remove it. So, does that make me a hypocrite? Yes, yes it does. Just as much a hypocrite as everyone else in the world, I would say. The simple answer comes with a simple question: Do you wan to have what you say taken as a whole or out of context? I did not trust myself to take the conversations in question and remove quotes from context without something bad happening. To avoid any disputes over context and quote attribution, I put up whole, rough, unedited text. Was that wrong of me? I really don’t know. So, call me apologetic, if a bit lost in the argument.

The Voice of the People

THE number one problem I had with my own piece was that I had NO representation from within the otakukin community as a whole. I had, mistakenly, thought that there was no scene left after the original account went down. I was wrong, and Akemi Anileena has seen fit to, kindly, supply me with a very succinct and well composed viewpoint. (This is what I was asking for when I requested intelligent discourse…)

I believe they’re a New Age movement that has been inspired by various sources running from Pagan undercurrents to the sort of Gnosticism that science fiction has perpetuated. Possibly a fresh new way of looking at the Japanese mediums through a perspective that isn’t confined to traditional secular thought. The idea largely behind Otherkin as a whole is to do mental deconstruction on a reality that many of them do not feel they have a part of. Many of them feel different or more ‘special’ than their peers and this is their way of expressing this difference, as stated originally in the less well-intentioned sixsixfive article.

The community in its current form will never be accepted by any sort of mainstream audience. Numerous members of Otakukin (or my revised community, Ota-‘kin) are young and zealous “Newkin” who are viciously aligned to their newfound beliefs and have an extremely defensive attitude towards reality as a whole: a reality they do not understand or often know how to cope with.

One of my goals as a leader in the Ota-‘kin community on LiveJournal is to provide ‘training’ for the real world that many of them are in desperate need for. No one is going to take some of them seriously until they stop speaking to “mundanes” in a tone that is either condescending or with a tone dripping with the need for approval/validation. They need to be able to be confident in themselves and as accepting of reality as they demand reality be accepting of them. Only then will it be feasible that they’ll be accepted as their own growing culture and will be a viable demographic.

Most of all, I encourage people of ANY spiritual belief…

ENJOY LIFE!

And life is short, right? We might as well have fun in it by taking up the roles we most deny ourselves! One must always aim for their dreams, no matter how crazy they are. To do any less is to not live. That is why I embrace the alternate realities that my anime and games have offered me. And my current dream, outside of finally being what I feel is my “true” self is to eliminate the fear that “normal” people have of ‘Kin and eliminate the fear that ‘Kin have of “normal” people.

Whoever took the time to hear me out, bless your heart and may your own fondest dreams come true.

If you want to read more, go to http://www.livejournal.com/community/otakin. Please be polite and kind and respectful. No, seriously. Anileena’s a good egg who has only shown respect and intellectual depth in my contacts with her. Be nice and I’m sure you can so totally score a hug.


Aftermath

I am going to be honest, to which I can hear all the otakukin saying “Yeah right!,” I was expecting a whole lot of shit to hit the fan. While a massive, can I say nearly Soul Calibur II- esque, amount of feedback came through, it wasn’t all negative. In fact, aside from the, understandably, irate Yunie, I received nothing but positive feedback. Really, I was shocked, too. People can tell the difference between good and bad intentions. Who knew?
Hi there

I’m not one of those Otakukin, and quite frankly I don’t think I ever could be. However, I’ve got an enormous amount of respect for the fact that those doubts entered your mind, and that you weren’t just going to be an asshole and trample on their beliefs. Thanks for being decent about it. That column was absolutely fascinating, and I seriously hope that none of the people involved have been hurt.

Excellent work!

– Nik

I know I did something right when Nik emails me. Why? Because she seems to know exactly what I need to hear and say it. She pretty much summed up my feelings on the matter.

Chuck,

Man, that was a thing of beauty. The whole evil plot thing was good enough, but then you had to go and BRING THE TOLERANCE! I would have to say that while your experiment didn’t go as planned, to deem it less than a success would be a crime. I’ll say this though: not all crazy chicks are fat and ugly. Some of them are smoking hot! And therein lies the trap. “Hey, this chick’s kinda hot.” “Hey, she’s being nice to me.” “Whoa, she’s a little weird.” “Oh well, I gots me a woman.” *2 months later* “OH DEAR GOT WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO??? I CAN’T TAKE THIS SHIT ANYMORE!!!” And you’re afraid to break up with her because she’s whacked enough to do something stupid afterwards. But anyway, Ms. I’m-Every-Final-Fantasy-Chick-EVAR!!1!11!!!!! needs some serious and immediate counseling. I dunno what you’re doing with these poor Otakukin from here on out, but if you’re still speaking with her and have any sort of compassion, a gentle suggestion might be in order.

Or not. ;-)

Anyways, good work. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go sit on the porch and wait for the mailman. He’s gonna bring me my very own a-The Cheat! Any day now…

Matt

First off, The Cheat is coming to my house, too. If only Highspots had a Strong Bad mask… As far as counseling goes, you are talking to someone who sleeps very little, drinks too much, and has some pretty fucked up things in his head, so I cannot really tell anyone to go get help until I do it myself. As far as crazy women go, the secret is… THEY ARE ALL FUCKING CRAZY AND WANT TO CHOP OFF YOUR DICK AND USE IT AS A FLUTE!!! THEY ARE ALL CRAZY MATT!!! GRAB THE ASTRO-GLIDE AND WE’LL HEAD TO THE HILLS!!! IT’LL ALL BE OKAY—

Oh, sorry, umm remind me not to order pizza from the hippie pizza place down the street again. Those mushrooms looked awfully suspect. And I seriously shouldn’t watch Sid and Marty Krofft before bed. But, in all seriousness, Matt, buddy, THEY ARE ALL FUCKING CRAZY!!! BEWARE!!!

Ahem…

Join Us! Join Us! Join Usssssssss…

I’m sure everyone is tired as fuck of book clubs. I mean, I liked Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad, but I skimmed all the Ian MacKaye stuff and I wasn’t too big on the whole Dinosaur Jr. chapter either. Where’s the Pixies, Bad Religion, and X? Those bands have some hella interesting stories and aren’t as irritating as the lead singer of Minor Threat and Fugazi. Bashing Husker Du for being sellouts? Huh? Bob Mould has written some of the best songs EVER and to call him a sellout because he didn’t want to sleep in a fucking van is pretty silly. All the same, the chapters on the Butthole Surfers and Big Black make it well worth blowing $6 at Barnes and Noble for a copy. Now, on to my real topic…

I was thinking, with Summer coming up and all, a Summer Game Club might be fun. I’m still working out the details, but basically I want to have a group of people all play a game at the same time and relay thier experiences, thoughts, ideas, strategies, and travails. The question is, would anyone be interested? I am asking for fellow writers, readers, and stragglers to contribute to the project. Don’t worry if you don’t think you can write. Fuck, it’s not like any of us can. So, please, if you are interested in my little experiment, email me.

Postscript

Well, the otakukin thing is over. Done. No more of that stuff for me. Next week, I come back to covering games. And remember, Chris Pankonin is a pre-op tranny. Oh, and Cory, your song choices are good, but I would probably use “Blackball” by KMFDM, “In the Garage” by Weezer, and “Photograph” by Ryan Adams to describe me…

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