This reminds me of something I came across a while back, otakukin. People who think they have the souls of... wait for it... anime characters.
Ain't enough *facepalm* in the world for any of them. Other, na'vi or otaku.
For the record, I saw Avatar and liked it. Not depressed because I can't go there and my soul is my own.
*chuckle* Ah, yes, you beat me to the 'otakukin' reference. :)
I really love your mind and how it voluntarily moles around through these tunnels of possibility. You offer thoughtful possibilities to what I would usually just write off as whacko and not give further thought... my own mind is enjoying the fruits of yours these past couple of days...
It's fun to start writing this stuff and wonder what I can offer beyond, "You can't make this shit up!!!"
It's because Otherkin are on the bottom of many food chains. No one takes them seriously, there are plenty of reasons people pick on them, and so on.
So here is the opportunity to put someone under their own heel, so why wouldn't some Otherkin embrace that?
You see it in a lot of groups in the minority. Look at the Mommy Wars. Or how light or dark your skin is as a POC matters. Or immigrants who resent the ones that come after them. Time and time again a group that faces some oppression will GLADLY jump on another.
Think of how racist most people that are considered 'rednecks' or 'trailer trash' are.
When you have little power, grabbing what you can has some appeal.
I imagine the otakukin - people who believe that they are the direct real-world incarnation of anime or video game characters - might be a bit more sympathetic to the perspective. But then, otherkin don't like the otakukin either because claims like that make people take them less seriously.
I'd like to see the opinion of otakukin - but not enough to go looking for it!
And to a certain degree, I understand how it happens-- the Na'vi were meant to be sort of the new Klingons, and their way of life is deeply entrenched, much as a retelling, of a deeply worn and rooted myth of deep spirituality and connectedness to things... it's an old and deep culture painted blue and made to be really awesome (I don't want to say Noble Savagery, I really don't). So I can get why people would feel a legitimate deep connection to these things. They do reflect things which are known to be spiritually resonant.
But yeah... otherkin and otakin would so have this kind of reaction. There isn't much that can make them look worse, after it all, and everyone picks on the new kid.
I typically take a 'live and let live' attitude to this sort of thing. I mean, there are limits - like I won't turn off the lights at work so my (fictional) VAMPYRE coworkers will stop squinting and hissing at the lights or anything, but if they want to believe they're a vampire or a unicorn, then ok. That doesn't mean that I'll believe it, or that I'll necessarily take them seriously. I think if someone strongly identifies as another animal or creature that's fine by me as long as they're still reliable, honest, trustworthy, ethical, and have a sense of humor.
The problem that I continue to run into is that so many people who identify as otherkin have also turned out to be major flakes and in complete denial of reality aside from their otherkin-ness, and I don't put up with that shit regardless the shape one's soul might take.
2010-01-15 03:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Warning: Judgement Ahead
First, I LOVE that icon.
Second, please tell me you are exaggerating about your co-workers. Otherwise it's time for a roll for san.
I've heard of otherkin people before and it always makes me ponder where the line is between quirky/weird and mentally ill. I suspect I would draw it in one place and they'd draw it in quite another. But, as always, if they aren't hurting anyone, more power to them, I guess.
There are definitely levels of crazy that are mostly harmless. We all have some of it, I expect.
otherkin bug me. I get looking to animals for inspiration. I get thinking about and working with animal spirits for strength, cunning, insight, whatever. I don't get thinking that you are a dog in the body of a person. To think that seems to deny a) that you are human and b) that humans are a perfectly valid animal. What's wrong with being human?
this is also not behavior that you EVER see in nature (the thing that otherkin seem to revere). I've never had a dog who was a moose in the body of a dog. Such a thing would never occur to a dog, who would likely, if he had any thought about it at all, just want to be better at being a dog.
that said ... if I were to accept the idea of otherkin as being linked to some sort of primal representation of nature found in animals or whatever, i would certainly still mock the idea that anyone out there is really, in their soul, Na'vi, a race that didn't even exist when their soul, as it is, was put together. Even if you want to go the extremist route and suggest that they might not have a fully formed soul till, say, the age of five or so that is still many many years before anyone even had a loose idea of what Na'vi are. Hell, even cameron didn't know what they looked like till a few years ago. the concept art looks nothing like them.
Meaning: I see their point. Saying that you're an Anglerfish/Meercat hybrid in the body of a fat man is really kind of dumb, IMO (and reeks of self hate) but at least those things exist. I can imagine them as part of the world and I can envision you (the fat man in question) as connected to them as other life forms. the Na'vi are not real, are not life forms, and anyone who is "linked" to them or otherwise shares a mystic soul with them is basically either deranged or they can't just accept fiction as fiction.
I've met dogs that thought they were people. And seen numerous animals that were raised amongst other animals to the point where they clearly thought they were that animal.
But that's just socialisation for you.
People are crazy, yo. I'm sticking with not believing in an all loving, but temperamental desert god.
The turtle from Small Gods?
So the question then becomes... once the Na'vi otherkin become accepted within the otherkin community (or become a majority and thus don't care what the others think), I wonder whom will they mock and vilify as ridiculous and illegitimate.
Someone should really put together an otherkin legitimacy hierarchy chart.
That would be a source of SUCH contention.
As an LJ friend of mine commented in response to Otherkin being pissed off because Na'vi are not as "real" as their avatars:
"What if it 'hatched' from the mind of James Cameron because he is actually a reincarnated Na'vi, and that's how he knows so much about them. He didn't make it up, he's just remembering from far, far away."
more understanding - and accompanying horror - of how holy wars can start over the damned silliest thing
Perhaps this post and your post yesterday about Robertson ought to have a common tag.
I once wrote this in a comment to theferrett, on a post about bullying in fandom*: I've been meaning for years to write an essay about how fandom is a symptom, or a consequence or a something, of whatever it is in us that drives us to religion, in those of us who have rejected religion or just haven't grown up with it permeating society like it used to before the Enlightenment. Because fandoms do meet many of the same human needs that organized religions meet; and, as theferrett noted, ennable many of the same negative behaviors religion does. But it's a great, big meaty topic that needs to be done right and I'm too lazy not interested enough to actually research; I'd rather write my fanfiction and draw my crossover cartoons.
* That I would link to, but he allows reader editing of tags.
Well, if I get inspired you can then just link to me. ;-)
Me too, what a coincidence! Though, sometimes I have feelings of insecurity that mead me to believe that i might be a clone instead. But I'm a little short to be a storm trooper.
This post broke my brain. I have nothing to contribute right now, but I may later. I just wanted to say I was here.
Hee! Sorry, I am amused by breaking you. I know that's bad of me.
Yes, it is a child's dream, and for some people very hard to give up.