Reading is what? FUNDAMENTAL

Classical literature? Steampunk steamboats? You'd think that we here at Twee Affect would be all over this moc by PigletCiamak, but there is something about it that doesn't quite sit well with us. Specifically, the faceless Africans in the islander masks. What's this book about, anyway?

Wikipedia says:

In a post-colonial reading, the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, famously criticized Heart of Darkness in his 1975 lecture An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", saying the novella de-humanized Africans, denied them language and culture and reduced them to a metaphorical extension of the dark and dangerous jungle into which the Europeans venture.

Wow, that's pretty racist. In the essay Achebe starkly deems it "a story in which the very humanity of black people is called in question", and quotes the most hateful bits of Conrad:

"The earth seemed unearthly. We are accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there -- there you could look at a thing monstrous and free. It was unearthly and the men were .... No they were not inhuman. Well, you know that was the worst of it -- this suspicion of their not being inhuman. It would come slowly to one. They howled and leaped and spun and made horrid faces, but what thrilled you, was just the thought of their humanity -- like yours -- the thought of your remote kinship with this wild and passionate uproar. Ugly. Yes, it was ugly enough, but if you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in it which you -- you so remote from the night of first ages -- could comprehend."

Wow, there is no redeeming value in this book, at all. Nobody should make a lego moc based on it. But surely, you say, since he doesn't speak English well he doesn't realize how hateful this book is? Surely he is just a harmless castle builder from Poland? Lets look through his photostream:

Title: "973_Emancypantka" tags: 1. Lego 2. Minifigs 3. Feminist. Oh, you say, it is just a harmless joke about chicks! They are all uptight Katherine Heigl figures in the Judd Apatow movie of our lives! Guy code! Right?

Welp, that's 1. a blowup doll and 2. pinup girls. Maybe not great when it comes to women. But that's gotta be it right?

A gay wizard modeled after the purple teletubby (complete with purse). Original! And a voodoo priestess in a witch costume, complete with witchy chin hair. Pretty classy making fun of other people's religions.

The title on this one is 'a moment of happiness'. He even makes fun of lepers? How... Old Testament. So to recap: Africans as faceless savages, women as objects, gay wizards with purses, and evil voodoo witch ladies. Call this a leap, dear readers, but we think we might be dealing with a real asshole.

So! we're gonna go ahead and read a bitch, ohkooy?

Piglet: your avatar is a clown, you think you're a funny guy? The only thing that makes me laugh is your hardsuits.

Is that your website with the banner ad covering up half the page? You may as well cover the other half too, it'd look better.

Look at your pirate ship. What are those sails made out of, Charmin Ultra Strong?

What now Piglet! C'mon girl, bring it!


  1. Yay, for unquestioningly going along with a critique of a book you've never read.

  2. The story wouldn't make any sense without racism. If going upriver into Africa was just like taking a walk in the English countryside, there would be no "horror". You have to put the white guys into a place where they don't feel comfortable, surrounded by people they don't understand. Then you can write about how they feel. In the book, the Africans are just like the jungle - a backdrop for the psychological exploration. And nobody is surprised that 19th century Englishmen were racist.

    Now since the book depicts racism, and the MOC reflects that racism, I would say the MOC is staying true to the book, and is not itself racist. But that sort of logic would assume some thoughtful consideration on the part of the builder. And maybe a guy who makes a blowup doll isn't really putting a whole lot of thought into it.

  3. Derp, I read "Things Fall Apart" in high school, I trust Achebe's opinions as an author and as a critic. And there is plenty of horror in the English countryside, just ask Lord Byron, the Bronte sisters, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

    Also a moc that depicts a racist book could be tacitly endorsing the ideas in the book. Given the rest of the evidence, I'm convinced. Not sure why you guys wanna put yourselves in the position of defending this guy's ugly opinions, but that's your deal.

  4. did someone say lord byron?

  5. Smackdown! This is why I read this blog. You have excellent critical sensibilities.

    @Leigh "Now since the book depicts racism, and the MOC reflects that racism, I would say the MOC is staying true to the book, and is not itself racist"

    I don't agree with your reasoning. If the MOC is a faithful depiction of the book and the book is racist than the MOC is racist. Only if the the MOC attempted to comment on or subvert the racism of the book could a case be made that it wasn't simply propagating the book's negative portrayal of Africans.

  6. There is quite a lot of positive portrayal of Africans throughout the novella too - after all it is essentially a critique of colonialism.

  7. "Derp, I read "Things Fall Apart" in high school, I trust Achebe's opinions as an author and as a critic."

    Jonesy, did you just admit to "unquestioningly go(ing) along with a critique of a book you've never read"? Because it sure as hell reads like you did.

    I'm sure that Heart of Darkness is full of racism. Just like pretty much every book ever written before WWII that deals with more than one race.

    Go build and leave post-colonial literary criticism to the experts.

  8. What the?!!!!(woman being whipped by a man.)