bossymarmalade: west indies in command: rejects FAIL (yuh dotish or wha?)
miss maggie ([personal profile] bossymarmalade) wrote2010-06-14 04:06 pm

i thought you were some kind of outer-space potato man

You might have seen people talking about the J2 story set in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti -- written, in fact, while they were still pulling out bodies from the rubble and the news was covering the disaster.

I am fiercely protective of my West Indies/Caribbean, and so I read it. I don't recommend you do the same. But if you're curious, here's some of the bits I had a hard time with.

Abraham Joseph, the black Haitian helping Dr. Jensen:
- A huge, white grin flashed in his direction. “No go slow,” Abraham said. “Not know how.”

Jensen met the man’s dark, intense eyes. It was hard to believe sometimes that Abraham was a nurse. Six foot five if an inch. Nearly 300 pounds. Hands the size of Frisbees. Amazingly calm under pressure, though if pushed, had a temper like a solar flare. But Jensen had seen him in action, had seen the compassion in his eyes and hands, had heard it in his voice. He’d seen the mountain reduced to rubble at the sight of a dying child. Had seen those giant hands provide comfort with the lightest of touches.

- A tiny woman with white coffee skin ran up to them the second the jeep lurched to a stop outside the crumbling walls of the village. Her hair was wrapped in a red scarf, her dress a collection of orange scraps that hugged her body.
note: the accompanying art (since amended) used photographs of actual earthquake victims

- For his part, Jensen took charge of his impromptu exam room, opening his knapsack and organizing his supplies ... Condoms. Abraham had laughed the first time he’d seen those in Jensen’s bag, shoving the first two fingers of one hand through the circle created by the thumb and forefinger of the other as he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“Hanky panky,” he’d said.

“HIV,” Jensen had replied.

- Jensen was listening to an old woman’s heart when he felt a hand slip into the pocket on the side of his leg. It was Abraham replenishing Jensen’s supply of latex gloves. And with a hand as large as his, a single handful filled Jensen’s pocket to bulging.
note: there is almost no mention of abraham that doesn't include marvelling at how unnaturally huge he is

- Jensen smiled at the old woman. Her hair was streaked with gray and the skin of her face was like leather. She wore a kind expression. Guileless. Jensen had a sudden urge to wrap his arms around her and hold her close. She reminded him vaguely of a kindly old grandmother and he wondered if beneath it all, she smelled like cloves.

- Jensen looked at the woman again. She met his eyes and smiled, revealing a mouthful of bad dental work. He knew she had to be feeling terrible, but she would never complain ... That seemed to be the way of these people: bear your burden in silence and when you couldn’t take it anymore, bear it some more.

- Tears welled in her eyes then, falling silently down her cheeks as her fingers gripped the baby’s blanket. Ducking her head, she pulled the baby away from her chest and pressed her lips to the tiny forehead. “Bebe mwen,” she whispered. My baby. “Bebe mwen.” ... “She smothered him,” he said, the wind and the engine roar carrying his words away. The baby’s lips were blue. There was blood around his nose. He had petechial hemorrhages around his irises. Jensen didn’t know for sure, but he was fairly certain.

- But when he’d arrived, he was simply one of two hundred other doctors with the same idea. The problem became too many chiefs and not enough indians.

- “You guys are kinda famous around the camp, you know. The dashing American doctor and his trusty Haitian sidekick, driving around the country in an Army jeep, healing the sick and generally making the world safe for democracy, one band aid at a time. It’s a great story.”

- The rug had been a gift from a woman in one of the villages. She’d handed it to him in a tight roll, nodding profusely as she gibbered away in Creole.

- “The nearest doctor was thirty miles away,” Geraldine said to them. “But he’s gone now. He left Haiti after the earthquake. He left his own people.” ... She laid a hand on his arm and smiled. “It is a blessing from God that Abraham brought you to us today.” She closed her eyes and tilted her head towards the ceiling for a long moment, a serene look on her face. Then she looked back at him. “Amen,” she muttered under her breath, her fingers squeezing his arm. She smiled again. “Yes.” She nodded. “A blessing.”

- “Look,” he said, standing. “I don’t have to keep justifying myself to you. And I don’t believe I need your permission to be here. Last time I checked, you weren’t the keeper of the gates to Haiti.” This close up, Abraham’s size was striking. Jared was used to being the tallest one in a group, but Abraham was taller by at least two inches, maybe more. It was a bit disorienting - and intimidating - to have to look up to meet his eyes.

The thing was, he expected to find anger in them. Or at the very least, suspicion. But what he found was something else entirely. Fatigue. Sadness. Concern. An underlying gentleness that contrasted starkly with his size and the stiff set of his shoulders.

- “He want to save everyone,” he finally said. “I tell him. People die. We save who we can. God take the rest.” He shook his head. “But he not listen. Feel guilty. Like it his fault.”
note: abraham's cousin alice dies in childbirth despite dr. jensen's heroic efforts, but at least he gets to bond with jared about it

- Inside one of the media trailers, Jared sat scanning through photos on his laptop. He’d taken hundreds of shots of people in the camp: families sharing a meal, mothers holding their children, men with angry, distant faces glaring at him through the lens. And the colors were amazing. Clothes hanging on makeshift lines strung between tents, blowing in the breeze like fall leaves. The slash of white smiles. Incongruous gray eyes in a dark face. A collection of half-melted prayer candles sitting in a hardened puddle of colored wax. The brilliant red, white, and blue of the American flag on a little boy’s t-shirt.

They were good photos. Evocative and descriptive. Balanced and well-framed. But they weren’t special. They weren’t original. There were a thousand, a million others just like them that had already been seen in papers across the country, across the world, on the Internet.

- Moose snorted a laugh, refocusing his gaze on Jared’s face. “I know the feeling,” he said. “Ever hear the expression, ‘I spent a week there one night’? That’s what it’s like in this place. It changes you. The way you think.” He tapped his right temple. “I’m beginning to worry that my kid won’t even recognize me when he sees me.” He reached across the table and pulled the remains of Jared’s breakfast towards him. Picking up the fork, he speared a greasy glob and put it in his mouth. “Time moves differently here,” he said, chewing slowly. “It’s like…I don’t know…like the earthquake altered the space-time continuum or something. Made people’s perceptions shift and stretch somehow.”

- Jimmy was gone, having been dragged away by a young woman who’d jabbered away in rapid Creole as she dragged the boy into the house.
note: jimmy is a small boy who doesn't speak english and has never seen a camera who is fascinated with jared

- “The Alamo? The Big Country? The Magnificent Seven?” Jared looked up at Abraham in surprise, motioning to the collection of VHS tapes inside the open trunk at the end of Abraham’s cot. “Where’d you get these?”

Abraham grinned, pride shining in his dark eyes. “Father Jerome,” he said. “He give them to me. Say they help me learn English.”

Jensen laughed. He was sitting on the empty cot of Abraham’s missing tent mate. “Abraham wants to be a cowboy,” he said.

- Through the lens, he studied Jensen’s face. He looked focused and relaxed. Confident. For all of Jensen’s insecurities, he was good at his job. And he seemed to be in his element here, in this place where it wasn’t all about money and status and golf handicaps. People trusted him here; Jared saw it everywhere they went. Jensen had a way of putting people around him at ease that he didn’t realize he had.

- The woman turned her eyes towards Abraham. When Abraham nodded, she looked back at Jensen. Smiling, she motioned with the tiny baby cradled in her arms. “Bebe mwen,” she said. “Jen-sen?”

“She ask me your name,” Abraham said, smiling. “She want to name baby after you.”
note: this is the third young, petite woman with a baby whose dialogue consists primarily of "bebe mwen"

- " My residency came to an end and a buddy of mine pitched this idea to go into private practice together. So we did. And before I realized it, I was entrenched. I had the house and the car and the pool and all the fucking forks. Then one day, I looked around at my life and realized I had become my parents. And for the life of me, I couldn’t remember how the hell it happened. So when the earthquake struck…god help me, I was grateful. I looked at it as an opportunity to get back on track. As a second chance to repay Josh for everything he’d done for me.” He took a breath, clearing his throat. “So here I am. Trying to make it up to him. I haven’t done a very good job so far, but I keep trying. That’s why I’m still here.”

Jared took two steps and kneeled down in front of Jensen, resting his hands on Jensen’s thighs. “Listen to me,” he said. “That may be the reason you came here, but it’s not the reason you stay. Say what you want about needing to repay a debt, you’re still here because you want to be. You care about these people, Jensen. And not just because you think you’re supposed to or because it’s what your brother would have done. I’ve seen you work. You’re a good doctor. You want to help these people. So what if you only became a doctor out of a sense of loyalty to your brother? That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to love it.” He reached up and wrapped one hand around the back of Jensen’s neck, pressing their foreheads together. “And I’m right, aren’t I? You love it.”

It took a moment, but Jensen finally answered. “Yes.” Jared felt the word as a breath against his lips.

Jared closed his eyes. “Then please stop punishing yourself for it.” He curled his fingers in Jensen’s short hair.

- Abraham chuckled. “Go now,” he said, looking past Jensen to the security checkpoint and back again. “Go home. Rest.” He grinned. “Go to Disneyland.” He made a sweeping motion with his hand. “Haiti still be here if you want to come back.”

Jensen nodded. Come back. He hadn’t thought of that. Maybe he would someday. “Disneyland isn’t half as exciting as this place,” he said.

- Jensen slowly made his way down the concourse, gawking at the bustle around him. The symbols of progress. He hadn’t really been gone that long in real time, but somehow it felt like another lifetime ago, like he’d been living in an earlier decade, an earlier century. Everything here was immediate, right at your fingertips. Instant gratification. He thought about where he’d just come from. Nothing there was easy. Nothing there was instant. There were no celebrity magazines shouting gossip at you as you walked by. No complicated coffee and chocolate biscotti.

- “What the fuck is wrong with you? You got a tapeworm or something?” Scott grinned at Jensen from an arm’s length away, squeezing Jensen’s shoulders.

“I was in Haiti, Scott,” Jensen said, smirking. “I lived in a refugee camp. There weren’t any buffets.”

“Well, you look like shit,” Scott said, letting go of Jensen and taking a step back. “I’m surprised they didn’t quarantine you at the airport.”

- Abraham watched the cab turn into traffic, then turned to grin at Jared. “Jensen say I bad driver,” he said. “But American drivers crazy.”

Jared laughed. “He wasn’t American, Abraham,” he said, grinning back.


Jared pointed at the cat, who was still just sitting there on the dresser, tail curved around his paws, a serene, unblinking expression on his little cat face. “That’s what cats do, Jensen. They judge. Sure, they purr and pretend to love you, but really, they’re plotting your death.” He lowered his hand. “Tell me again why you couldn’t get a dog.”

Jensen just looked at him. “Because I have you.”

Jared stuck his tongue out. Jensen smiled.

“Besides,” Jensen added, sliding up Jared’s body and pressing his lips to Jared’s shoulder. “I have a soft spot for strays. Especially ones who just show up on my doorstep one day and refuse to leave.” He rested his chin on Jared’s chest and gazed up at him with clear eyes.

Jared smiled and ran a hand through Jensen’s messy hair. “At least I’m housebroken.”

Jensen’s lips twisted into a smirk. “So is he. And he eats less.”

“But why did you have to name him Abraham?”

Jensen shifted, stretching out beside Jared and settling within the circle of Jared’s arm. He rested his head on Jared’s shoulder, sighing as Jared’s fingers absently traced the dark lines of his tattoo.

“Do you really have to ask?” he said, looking over at the cat. “I mean, look at him.”

Jared studied the cat again. It was the largest black cat he’d ever seen outside of Animal Planet, with paws bigger than those old Eisenhower silver dollars Jared used to collect when he was a kid. And he did always look like he was just on the verge of smiling.
la_vie_noire: (Clare-killing)


[personal profile] la_vie_noire 2010-06-15 12:35 am (UTC)(link)

What in the fucking hell.

No seriously. What in the fucking hell.

Didn't the exact same thing happen some years ago with that Cambodia's genocide fic? What is wrong with this fandom?
bunners: (Default)

Re: ...............

[personal profile] bunners 2010-06-15 12:38 am (UTC)(link)
To a degree? But the hugest issue with the Cambodian fic, iirc, was the fucking after visiting a mass grave - it was gross, but jfc, I don't recall the fic having anything like this amount of epic racism.

And to give her credit, I believe that author finally figured out what she'd done and apologized - after some extended wanking. *SIGH*

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bunners: (Default)

[personal profile] bunners 2010-06-15 12:36 am (UTC)(link)


bell: rory gilmore running in the snow in a fancy dress (sailor moon skirts)

[personal profile] bell 2010-06-15 12:40 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for sharing these quotes. I mean, not because they made me happy, but, uh, I did want to have an idea of the extent of fic's problematics.
abydosangel: (Default)

[personal profile] abydosangel 2010-06-15 12:42 am (UTC)(link)

I'll be over there not punching something. BRB.

[identity profile] 2010-06-15 12:43 am (UTC)(link)

Why didn't anyone stop her?

She must of had a beta or at least was sounding ideas off someone? Why didn't they point out all the WRONG to her?

(Anonymous) 2010-06-15 04:29 am (UTC)(link)
apparently one of her betas also wrote a problematic J2 saving people in Africa story last year

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glass_icarus: (sott: priorities)

[personal profile] glass_icarus 2010-06-15 12:52 am (UTC)(link)

*hugs you tightest*
gchick: Small furry animal wearing a tin-foil hat (Default)

[personal profile] gchick 2010-06-15 12:57 am (UTC)(link)
I'm so very glad to know that Kreyol has both gibbering and jabbering.

(Anonymous) 2010-06-15 05:10 am (UTC)(link)
Don't ya know, we all "jibber jabber." Jesus Christ on a crutch.
gloss: (Jimmy Woo fools!)

[personal profile] gloss 2010-06-15 12:57 am (UTC)(link)
note: there is almost no mention of abraham that doesn't include marvelling at how unnaturally huge he is
Or how dark his skin is compared to his teeth!

too many chiefs and not enough indians

“He wasn’t American, Abraham,” he said

...this is so epically horribly racist that I'm almost at a loss for words
thoracopagus: (oz: never black and white)

[personal profile] thoracopagus 2010-06-15 12:59 am (UTC)(link)
Oh Goddddddd wow. I thought it couldn't get any worse than MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY and then it did. I am practically fucking speechless, ugh.
thoracopagus: (Default)

[personal profile] thoracopagus 2010-06-15 02:33 am (UTC)(link)
Her apology is making me want to punch her in the face, which is not constructive or helpful, but FFS. I don't care how much work you put into it, if you really took the criticism to heart and understood that you are playing with a tragedy, playing with it, and that cannot be done respectfully, you'd take it down. At least lock the posts, something.
beachlass: red flipflops by water (Default)

[personal profile] beachlass 2010-06-15 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
Oh for fuck's sake.
cathybites: (Default)

[personal profile] cathybites 2010-06-15 01:01 am (UTC)(link)
I have taken a few liberties with some of the facts in order to make them fit into the story the way I needed


holy fuckin' shit.
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2010-06-15 01:03 am (UTC)(link)
Wow. WOW. I didn't think anything could make it worse than what I'd already seen, but the direct quotes, man. DDDDDDDD:
inkstone: Blade of the Immortal's Rin looking shocked (???)

[personal profile] inkstone 2010-06-15 01:04 am (UTC)(link)
There are no words.
deepsix: (Default)

[personal profile] deepsix 2010-06-15 01:09 am (UTC)(link)
Holy fucking shit. HOLY SHIT.
allchildren: bender, being canonically great (³ deal with it)

[personal profile] allchildren 2010-06-15 01:09 am (UTC)(link)
jesus fucking christ sometimes I really hate people.
zarahemla: you heard me. (garfield | criticism!)

[personal profile] zarahemla 2010-06-15 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
So when the earthquake struck…god help me, I was grateful. I looked at it as an opportunity to get back on track. As a second chance to repay Josh for everything he’d done for me.



[personal profile] fromastudio 2010-08-03 08:18 am (UTC)(link)
..*thoughtful* To be fair, many actual humanitarian-types have a thought or two like that somewhere in their guilty subconsciousness - I remember being seventeen and applying to medical school and thinking, "oh no, by the time I finish my training HIV won't even be a pandemic anymore and there'll be no point acquiring all these infectious disease skills!" I mean, yeah, I was a dick. But it's pretty unusual to think about that sort of work without at least a passing thought about how wonderful you personally are, or how much you can redeem yourself through the work. The statement makes fictional-Jared look like an awful person, but it isn't necessarily untrue to life.

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darkrose: (jason: pissed off mickey ryan)

Seriously? SERIOUSLY!

[personal profile] darkrose 2010-06-15 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
...I think I'm going to walk away from my computer before I put my fist through my display.

The worst part is that no one, none of her betas or her friends, said, "Umm...this is kind of fucked up."
saekhwa: person holding a sign that reads: 'I can't believe we're still protesting this shit' (still protesting this shit)

Re: Seriously? SERIOUSLY!

[personal profile] saekhwa 2010-06-15 12:31 pm (UTC)(link)
The worst part is that no one, none of her betas or her friends, said, "Umm...this is kind of fucked up."

And that's what I fucking can't get past. Like, ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? NO ONE FUCKING CHECKED YOU (the author)?

This is not what I wanted to wake up to this morning. >:/
Edited 2010-06-15 12:31 (UTC)
bridgetmkennitt: (Default)

[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt 2010-06-15 01:12 am (UTC)(link)
I didn't read the direct lines because I would RAGE even harder than I already have been. I finally used the LJ notes portion of my mod to good use, for the writer, the beta readers, and the fans who liked this shit. Argh.

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skywardprodigal: Beautiful seated woman, laughing, in Vlisco. (Default)

[personal profile] skywardprodigal 2010-06-15 01:20 am (UTC)(link)
The dashing American doctor and his trusty Haitian sidekick, driving around the country in an Army jeep, healing the sick and generally making the world safe for democracy, one band aid at a time. It’s a great story.”

...Unironically? D:

note: this is the third young, petite woman with a baby whose dialogue consists primarily of "bebe mwen"

Heheheheh. Thank you for that. :D

too many chiefs and not enough indians.

There's a Haitian proverb the author might be referencing: the problem with Haitians is that we're all Indians: everybody wants to be chief. But eff the author anyway. Gah.

It was the largest black cat he’d ever seen outside of Animal Planet, with paws bigger than those old Eisenhower silver dollars Jared used to collect when he was a kid. And he did always look like he was just on the verge of smiling.

*jaw drop*

He really named the fucking cat Abraham. Oh. Shit.

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Re: But whatever, its not like a Haitian will see this.

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ingridmatthews: (i post on the internet damn it!)

[personal profile] ingridmatthews 2010-06-15 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
The dashing American doctor and his trusty Haitian sidekick

Oh. Oh, dear.
skywardprodigal: Beautiful seated woman, laughing, in Vlisco. (Default)

[personal profile] skywardprodigal 2010-06-15 01:34 am (UTC)(link)
Remember this?

How sad is it that the those comments are still on point. !!!!!

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vehemently: (Default)

[personal profile] vehemently 2010-06-15 01:25 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for pulling quotes.

I will say, it's pretty hilarious that she appears to fetishize Smiling Magical Abraham as being enormous, all of 6'5" and with gigantic hands and, and -- Isn't Jared Padalecki 6'5"? With gigantic hands? He's not 300 pounds, but he's young yet. Give him time.

Oh wait, he is a white dude, the scales or enormity are too enormous for him.
skywardprodigal: Beautiful seated woman, laughing, in Vlisco. (Default)

[personal profile] skywardprodigal 2010-06-15 01:31 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, but see, Jared is a normal human being white (in this writer's ugly set of underlying assumptions). UGH.

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livrelibre: DW barcode (Default)

[personal profile] livrelibre 2010-06-15 01:29 am (UTC)(link)
Sorry you even had to wade through that shit. FFS!

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schmevil: (Default)

[personal profile] schmevil 2010-06-15 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for posting these. I couldn't get through the first chapter. It's somehow even worse than I thought it would be, based on her summary and notes.
silviakundera: (Default)

[personal profile] silviakundera 2010-06-15 01:34 am (UTC)(link)
dude, seriously thank you for this! Because I haven't seen anyone else mention this story on LJ and I was actually going to do a locked post asking people if anyone had read it, to let me know if it was "safe". I wasn't looking forward to grossing myself out, so thank you so much for biting the bullet.

I looooove long fic, but I found the concept really dubious, just from reading the header. I was very unsure that it would be tackled appropriately. But I didn't want to assume it couldn't be, because I thought the Generation Kill AU Sixteen Days in September (about the horrific civiliant-military clashes in 1999 East Timor) was excellent, well-researched, and serious about examining a period in modern history through fanfic.

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robanybody: (no time to get down)

[personal profile] robanybody 2010-06-15 01:35 am (UTC)(link)
I tried reading through those quotes, but after the third one, I had to give up because I was torn between disbelief, rage, and sheer horror.

I thought it was bad enough that she wrote a fucking RPS story set in a very real and terrible tragedy that is still going on as I type this, but the mind-boggling racism and godawful stereotyping and fetishizing makes it all SO MUCH WORSE. And yes, thank you, author, for comparing Haiti's tragic losses of life and homes and emotional and physical upheaval to Disneyland. That is not at all horrifying insensitive or anything.

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