I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article. What was written – what I supposedly said – is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.
- do not admit doing something wrong
- dissemble using passive voice “what was written”
- qualify assertions of wrongdoing with “supposedly”
- use vaguely legalistic phrases like “by no means”
Now, how to apologize:
- talk like a human— not a lawyer or PR flak
- state what you did wrong
- explain how that thing was wrong
- acknowledge how that thing affected others
- declare that you won’t do that wrong thing again
- Rick Ross: "Put molly in her champagne, she ain't even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain't even know it."
- VICE: “Last Words” is a fashion spread featuring models reenacting the suicides of female authors who tragically ended their own lives.
- Ross: I want to make sure this is clear: woman is the most precious gift known to man, ya understand?
- VICE: It is part of our 2013 Fiction Issue (http://www.vice.com/magazine/20/6), one that is entirely dedicated to female writers, photographers, illustrators, painters, and other contributors.
- Ross: It was a misunderstanding with a lyric, a misinterpretation where the term rape wasn't used.
- VICE: The fashion spreads in VICE magazine are always unconventional and approached with an art editorial point-of-view rather than a typical fashion photo-editorial one.
- Ross: I would never use the term rape in my records. As far as my camp, hip-hop don't condone that.
- VICE: Our main goal is to create artful images, with the fashion message following, rather than leading.
- Ross: The streets don't condone that. Nobody condones that.
- VICE: “Last Words” was created in this tradition and focused on the demise of a set of writers whose lives we very much wish weren’t cut tragically short, especially at their own hands.
- Ross: So I just wanted to reach out to all the queens that are on my timeline and all the sexy ladies, the beautiful ladies that had been reaching out to me with the misunderstanding.
- VICE: We will no longer display “Last Words” on our website and apologize to anyone who was hurt or offended.
- Ross: We don't condone rape and I'm not with that.
“The Dothraki storyline is just a stepping stone for Dany’s overall storyline which is more deeply racist - essentially, a liberal white woman who goes around saving and civilising brown people.” — Aamer Rahman at io9
Rahman seems to nail the plot, but miss the point. Dany’s story is precisely the story of a white liberator of non-white people, but it is about how troubling that image it is and how endemic it is in fantasy.
George R.R. Martin is a revisionist epic fantasy author, rewriting and altering some of the tropes and themes that spoiled most post-Tolkien fiction in the swords n’ sorcery genre. Just as he did with the story of the warrior son avenging his father (murdered at a wedding) and the single honorable man saving the realm (beheaded by the king), Martin is unraveling the white liberator mytheme.
I’m not going to go into detail about future books, but I’d say that A Dance with Dragons is first and foremost about the problems of hegemony and disrupted power structures (both at the Wall and in Meereen). Dany’s storyline is exactly about what Rahman says it is not, which brings me to something I see too often.
The inability to separate depictions of social ills from social ills themselves is a barrier to meaningful criticism. The author’s tone and the reactions of readers and viewers is too often sucked out of the equation. While I’d never say that works like ASOIAF or Buffy the Vampire Slayer are without their problems, it’s either asinine or foolish to say Martin and Whedon are not aware and deliberate of their actions.
Dan and David added a “crowd surf” scene to the television show. It’s a pretty little white girl freeing a bunch of darker skinned people and then getting raised above them in an act of parental fealty (they’re actually chanting “mother.”) I know some people have read that purely on the surface and thought it a quaint hero moment, but it’s so on the nose that I’d bet most viewers noticed the irony dripping off the screen. While most of the complexity in Dany’s plotline has been scoured on the TV show, this moment worked for me on both levels, as I imagine it was intended.
Rahman goes on to say he is troubled by what he thinks he is supposed to do— i.e. root for Daenerys as a fantasy hero, despite all of the problems inherent in her story— when what he is actually doing— feeling troubled— is the actual heart of the story.