Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November Spawned A Monster

'Mistress, if you don't leave him where you found him, you'll set up the roots for transcultural adoption for centuries!' Hmmph! Bring it on!'

With the end of October, we see a sad end to the regular updates of our Creature Features, but that was so much fun I think we'll do it again next year. We've far from exhausted the topic.

But this month, the theme for On The Other Side of the Eye is the fact that November is both National Novel Writing Month and National Adoption Month.

So throughout the month, expect posts touching on both and then some.

I'm going to give a nice clap to the folks at because last year they worked hard to fundraise to help build libraries in Laos. Yay!

This year the cause is children's libraries in Vietnam! They've previously also supported chilren's libraries in Cambodia. Good luck!

Mind you, for some reason their site is uber-slow today, but bear with it. It's a fun project.

Yeah, I'm in it. But there are good reasons to buy it anyway.

Amusingly enough, I've already taken some heat for Outsiders Within that I'm not going to get into, but it sounds like the discussions are starting up already around the country, and just in time too, as Madonna tries to go all Angelina Jolie in Africa. Hussy see, hussy do. Oops. That's terribly politically incorrect. Oh well.

There's a lot of food for thought in Outsiders Within. Some written by younger voices, others who are more seasoned, and of course, some at a very radical end of the spectrum. Some are hard to get through, others are a breeze.

In any case, it's an important look at what adoptees themselves have to say about their experience, and one that's rarely heard.

Frankly, that supression always freaks me out.

Especially when it comes from both Asian and Non-Asian, adopted and non-adopted elements of my community. But that's a different cup of coffee to talk about.

Ok, time to close this entry off with a nod to a positive example of an adoptee: The Peach Boy.

Momotaro. Peach Boy, Ass kicker.

The quick take on it is Momotarō is found in a giant peach floating down the river by an old, childless couple who were originally going to eat it. Almost nice and Freudian there. Had it gone badly, it might have looked like Saturn eating his kids... But anyway:

The boy explains he was sent by Heaven to be their son. The couple names him Momotarō, and they all get along well, because who's going to argue with divine providence?

Anyway, years pass, and Momotarō decides to leave to the island of Onigashima to destroy the marauding, monstrous oni that have taken up residence there. On the way, Momotarō meets and befriends a talking dog, monkey, and pheasant, who agree to help him in his quest.

Momotarō and his animal buddies penetrate the demons' fort and beat the demons into surrendering. Momotarō returns home with his new friends, and his family live comfortably ever after.


One moral of the Peach Boy story that usually gets left out is the theme that one doesn't sell one's children, one's future, for peace, happiness and convenience. As we run into a certain overseas quagmire, it seems we should ponder the old lessons more.

There are many great adaptations of Peach Boy running around. One that I find particularly cute is Stan Sakai's take that's written within the world of Usagi Yojimbo.

Don't call him Bugs.

If you can find a copy these days, it's great.

Oh, and the title for this post comes from a controversial Morrissey tune.

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