Is Japan Racist? An Answer to Gaijin Goombah

QuestionSo, I’ve made it no secret that I watch a lot of YouTube channels like Extra Credits (I even helped pay for Alison’s surgery when they asked for help a while back), Game Theory, Culture Shock, and so on. Recently, I was watching a video over on Gaijin Goombah’s channel where he was talking about the recent outrage over Overwatch’s skins, with them being accused of being a form of cultural appropriation. While he made some good points in that video that I agree with, I’ve also disagreed with him on many issues in the past. Linked in that video was one from back in June where he tried to tackle the question of if anime (and by extension, Japan) is racist. He makes a lot of good points, and I’ll link the video below, but this is an example of one of those times when I disagree with him. Continue reading

Medical Drama

g-InsuranceDenied.widecThose who follow the Facebook page for my blog likely saw me make a post yesterday regarding the shooting and denial of medical care of a trans activist in Pakistan recently. Along with that link, I mentioned that I’ve been dealing with a lot of medical drama the past month or so, which I will discuss somewhat today. While I will be explaining why I’ve not made a post in close to a month, I’ll also go into how this is an issue for the community at large as well as some basic educational stuff. Now that the basic “introduction paragraph” that all your professors harp on you about is out of the way, let’s get on with the details! Continue reading

Dancing with Dreams and Delusions

QuestionOn Monday, I briefly mentioned how schizophrenia and Parkinson’s are two sides of the same coin, being based on the levels (too much or too little respectively) of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Today, I want to go a bit more in-depth into this topic.

First off, let me say that I am not schizophrenic, nor is anyone that I personally know, and the same applies to Parkinson’s. However, that does not need to be the case for someone to suffer from the symptoms of one or the other. In fact, if the dosage is not handled properly, someone with schizophrenia can gain symptoms of Parkinson’s through what is known as tardive dyskenesia, and someone with Parkinson’s can have psychotic episodes brought about by their own meds. On that note, let me make something clear: the term psychotic does NOT refer to someone who is unfeeling, uncaring, evil, murderous, etc. as it is commonly used in the popular vernacular. Instead, what psychotic means is that there is something to cause a break from reality. Continue reading

Beyond the Basic Blues

GorskiMonday, I mentioned briefly how depression has a physiological aspect to it, but was rather vague about what that was. Well, the reason for that is because depression is actually one of the more complicated mental illnesses out there. Depression has a number of different theories behind the causes, and as of yet, they all seem to be right… but only for some people. To be more specific, depression seems to have a series of potential causes, and what specific trigger causes it varies from person to person. Some people don’t have enough serotonin, a neurotransmitter tied to a ton of various things: mood regulation, eating, sleep, arousal, even pain regulation. Others don’t have enough norepinephrine (adrenaline), while others still don’t have enough dopamine (tied to both excitation and inhibition depending on where it’s used in the brain). Even more complicated is the fact that there are a number of areas in the brain where any one of these being imbalanced can cause depression. And even more complicated than that is the fact that there’s actually a number of varieties of these. As I mentioned with dopamine, it can be used to excite or inhibit, depending on where it hits. Think of it this way, each of these neurotransmitters is like a master key to a series of locks. Which lock the key is inserted into depends on the effect it gives. However, with medications, we can’t copy the master key, we just have to try for individual locks. This is why there are so many different types of medical treatments for depression, but only a select few are ever effective for any one person. Continue reading

The True Toll of Trauma

Medical CareSo, late last night, I mentioned to a friend of mine an idea to do an entire week of blog posts about mental health issues, and how mental illness is also a physical illness that is just hidden from plain sight. He loved the idea. We’ll see how it goes. Today, I want to talk some more about PTSD and some of the other changes in physiology that occur. For obvious reasons, this topic is potentially triggering, as I will be discussing various forms of trauma. Continue at your own risk. Continue reading

An End, and a New Beginning

QuestionToday’s post marks the last one I will be doing as a journal entry for my class. Rather than going into the issue of trans legal issues (which I could still go on about, and likely will at some point in the future), this one is supposed to be about what I took from the class. Honestly, I had a lot of fun with this class, particularly with our final presentations. My group covered the topic of performance art as a form of activism, and each member drew on the inspiration of an activist or group we liked, and in my case, I drew on the style of Kate Bornstein, particularly hir (Kate prefers the ze/hir/hirs pronouns) play, Hidden: A Gender. I took the part of Doc Grinder, serving as the MC for the whole group’s presentation, announcing each person’s skit. Continue reading

College Woes

Butterfly WomanSo, before my laptop broke (the part did come in and it should be fixed by tomorrow, hopefully), I was playing another visual novel game called Roommates. The basic premise is that you play as one of two characters who is beginning college and has chosen to live in a communal house on campus. It’s sort of like a fraternity or sorority house, except it’s not a frat or sorority, it’s just a co-ed house with a communal bathroom and kitchen. The thing that struck me about this game is the sheer level of attention to detail given regarding diversity in this game. Yes, like many games with a small cast, it is primarily white folks with token racial minorities (one Indian roommate, one Hispanic roommate, and one black guy as the friend and bandmate of one of the two playable characters). However, they go more into detail with this game to the point that they actually have one character (the Hispanic girl, who is actually a Mexican citizen and attending college to get a degree in teaching so she can go home and improve the education of kids in her small hometown) explain the difference between pansexual (her) and bisexual (the Indian guy) to you, as she’s pan and another character is bi. Continue reading