Not an oxymoron; Malaysians needs diverse heroes too

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Recently there was an article in the New York Times written by a Umpangan Ampikaipakan which, -as far as I could understand- argues from his Malaysian perspective that the values of American superheroism is universal such that non-Americans could relate to them too. This has caused some controversy because he (perhaps accidentally or not) implies that the push for diversity in comics is actually unnecessary. Of course, this runs counter to all the work and struggles that minorities are putting in to push for more diversity in popular media. Also he has misinterpreted white culture as the entire American culture, where the people in this excellent video explain in detail.

I’m here to say that as a Chinese-Malaysian, I too disagree with the article. Far from being oxymorons, we do need Asian superheroes. More generally, we need to see more diversity in the popular culture we consume. Much of which comes from the US.

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On Neil deGrasse Tyson vs Star Wars

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Recently Neil deGrasse Tyson did a Twitter-review on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and pointed out its ‘scientific inaccuracies’. He said that BB-8 would have skidded uncontrollably in the sand, and that Starkiller base would have vapourised from sucking in all that energy from a star.

Of course,¬†many people did not take too kindly to these tweets (just look at the replies to the two tweets I linked above). Slate argues that Tyson misses the point of science fantasy. Though Tyson says the spirit of his tweets are ‘All done with the intent of empowering the viewer to see and appreciate a film more deeply’

Here, let me throw in my perspective. I’m a physicist who also writes fiction, and I can sort of see both sides of the argument here. The problem is, determining what constitute a scientific (in)accuracy in fiction is a complicated issue, largely due to the inherent nature of fiction, which, by definition, carries¬† fictional elements.

[Spoiler warning: Some spoilers for The Force Awakens]

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