The official start of the sporking.
Yamini: *stunned* Drunken Monkey's a form of Kung Fu, you idiot! It's part of a Chinese martial art, named after Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, in Journey to the West, which is a classical Chinese novel! Geez, we're barely into the story and we're already witnessing the blend of different Asian cultures!Mako: *just as surprised* Exactly. Karate, on the other hand, is Okinawan. It was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom but became popular in mainland Japan thanks to Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan karate.missabnormal: So now we've got ourselves a new count: PAN-ASIAN FUSION. This will come up everytime Asian cultures are blended together and mixed up.PAN-ASIAN FUSION: 1My turn now! *reads* So Steve goes 'I told you so' to this Mikey person and- Oh my God, we have ableism, fetishization, and racism straight ahead at twelve o'clock!"What the [f***] does Sheridan know about kung fu?" Mikey said.
(The sporking theatre is empty, save for Yamini Subramaniam, Ruki, and Mako Mori, who are engaged in a conversation together. Right then, the doors open and missabnormal walks in with two newcomers: an Indian woman and a German man. They are Kala Dandekar and Wolfgang Bogdanow)
missabnormal: *claps hands to get everyone's attention* All right, everyone! I have two new sporkers who are going to join us in our sporking of Eleanor & Park. *gestures to the woman* This is Kala Dandekar. *gestures to the man* And this is Wolfgang Bogdanow.
Yamini: *perks up slightly* Kala Dandekar? Whoo, another fellow Desi girl! Yeah! *smiles at Kala* I'm Yamini Subramaniam, a half-demon Tamil Desi from Toronto! It's nice to meet you, Ms. Dandekar, Mr. Bogdanow.
Kala: *smiles* Nice to meet you, Yamini. Just call me Kala.
Wolfgang: And just call me Wolfgang. *smiles politely*
Ruki: *bows slightly with a polite smile* My name is Ruki, and I am a demon from Jigoku. A pleasure to meet you, Kala, Wolfgang.
Mako: *smiles politely* My name is Mako Mori, but you can call me Mako. I'm a Jaeger pilot, and it's a pleasure to meet you two.
Kala: *raises an eyebrow* Half-demon and demon?
Yamini: Don't worry, we're not going to hurt you!
Ruki: I know it may be a bit surprising, but it is true.
Wolfgang: *shakes his head* I don't know if I'm dreaming or...
missabnormal: It's true. Well! Now that everyone's gotten to know each other, let's get started!
Wolfgang: I'm just curious, what is sporking?
Ruki: It's where we analyze poorly written literature and point out all the flaws, the unfortunate implications, and the unlikeable nature of the characters.
missabnormal: And it's also where we sometimes get so angry at the text that we flip tables, throw things out of windows, and just rage on and on while metal music plays in the background. *shakes head* Yeah, a lot of us have some berserk buttons for some of the things we see.
Kala: *surprised* O...kay?
missabnormal: So! We start out the first chapter from the perspective of Park Sheridan! *unimpressed* Park. You named your half-Korean character Park. Rowell, are you serious?
Park is a Korean last name, you fool! What kind of a parent gives a friggin' last name to their child?!
*blinks* Wow. We've barely even started the chapter and I'm already raging over the main character's name. It took me to Chapter 3 of Halo to start raging, yet I'm already raging over the chapter title in this book! What, am I gonna start raging in the dedications when I spork For Such A Time?!
Moving on, the first sentence tells us what Park Sheridan is like!
XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus.
*shocked, but quickly becomes disgusted* Are you serious? This is how you start the book? By becoming Edward Cullen 2.0? *throws her hands up* How many more times am I gonna have to see a reincarnation of that fairy asshole?!
Yamini: *equally disgusted* This is more like if Edward Cullen had good taste in music. But he's still an asshole.
Ruki: *confused* What's XTC?
Wolfgang: They're an English rock band from the late 70's, early 80's, part of the new wave movement.
missabnormal: And with that, we've already gotten ourselves a new count: IT'S THE 80'S!. This will show up whenever there's a reference to a band that was part of the many different movements in music during the 80's. So we have one point now.
IT'S THE 80'S!: 1
Now then, Kala, would you like a turn at sporking?
Kala: Sure. *opens up her book* So Park plans to bring some more music, mainly by "Skinny Puppy or the Misfits". He wishes to make a special bus tape of music. *confused* Who are those bands?
Wolfgang: Skinny Puppy is a Canadian band, and they're considered one of the founders of the electro-industrial genre. I remember hearing about them performing at the Doomsday Festival in Dresden in 2000. They were pretty big during the 80's. The Misfits are an American punk band, and they were a key part of the hardcore punk movement in the 80's. They're also considered the creators of the horror punk genre.
Kala: *impressed* You really know a lot about this, Wolfgang.
Wolfgang: *smiles slightly* Felix and I grew up listening to these bands.
So it seems like we have two more points.
IT'S THE 80'S!: 3
I guess I'll take over now. *opens up his book*. Park decides to go back to New Wave after getting his driver's license, as his parents told him that he could have his mother's Impala. He believes that "[once] he started driving to school, he could listen to whatever he wanted or nothing at all, and he'd get to sleep in an extra twenty minutes".
Yamini: To be honest, that does sound kinda relatable, I'll give Rowell that.
missabnormal: Mako, would you like to go?
Mako: Sure. *starts reading* Right then, an argument starts up behind Park.
"That doesn't exist!" somebody shouted behind him.
"It so [f***ing] does!" Steve shouted back. "Drunken Monkey style, man, it's a real [f***ing] thing. You can kill somebody with it..."
"You're full of shit."
"You're full of shit." Steve said.
*surprised* This is... quite a bit of profanity.
missabnormal: I'll give her that, since that does kinda sound like how a lot of teenagers speak.
Also, about the Drunken Monkey, it's a real thing. It's a form of Kung Fu and a variation of the Monkey style. The whole drunken aspect comes in the middle when the practitioner plays the movements of a monkey drinking stolen wine. Visually, however, it's incredibly beautiful and agile. But being drunk doesn't improve this movement, 'cause it's about the concept of imitating being drunk, as actually being drunk will impair the ability to perform complex movements.
Mako: So then this 'Steve' character, who we don't know about, starts calling for Park's attention, but Park ignores him.
Sometimes, if you ignored Steve for a minute, he moved on to someone else. Knowing that was 80 percent of surviving with Steve as your neighbor. The other 20 percent was just keeping your head down....
Which Park had momentarily forgotten. A ball of paper hit him in the back of the head.
*annoyed* We're barely even into the chapter and we don't know who this Steve is, and I already don't like him. He just sounds so obnoxious. But Park is no better either. Is Steve considered to be his friend? Because that really does not sound like how one would treat their friends.
Yamini: You're right about that. *reads on* So then, some girl named Tina gets angry at Steve for throwing the ball of paper, which happened to be her Human Growth and Development notes. Okay, who the hell is Tina? Is she one of Park's friends? *shakes head* Steve then apologizes and promises to "teach [her] all about human growth and development", and I just threw up in my mouth. I'm out now. *disgusted*
Ruki: My turn. *reads* Someone tells him to teach her this Drunken Monkey style, and Steve calls out to Park again, which makes him take off his headphones and turn to face him. We get a description of how Steve looks like a grown man with a full beard, and that Tina is his girlfriend. Apparently, in middle school, Steve had punched a guy in the face for making fun of him. These paragraphs are quite lengthy so I'm doing my best to summarize them.
Steve finally asks Park about this Drunken Monkey style.
"Park," Steve said, "tell Mikey about Drunken Monkey karate."
"I don't know anything about it." Park shrugged.
"But it exists, right?"
"I guess I've heard of it."
"Are you [r*tarded]?" Steve said. "His mom's Chinese."
Mikey looked at Park carefully. Park smiled and narrowed his eyes. "Yeah, I guess I see it," Mikey said. "I always thought you were Mexican."
"Shit, Mikey," Steve said. "You're such a [f***ing] racist."
"She's not Chinese," Tina said. "She's Korean."And that is as much as I'm going to show you because I'm nice. So Park's mom is apparently Tina's hairdresser since grade school. Steve then comments about how hot Park's mom is. *annoyed* As such, we've already got us some more points!PAN-ASIAN FUSION: 2
FETISHIZING BASTARD: 1
WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!: 1Mako: *angered* That comment just rubbed me the wrong way. No matter how old we are, East Asian women are fetishized and degraded in so many different ways. We're always hypersexualised into being submissive and delicate, and they never see us as people. They only see us as porn stars.missabnormal: Also, this story's set in Omaha, right? During this period, there weren't that many Asian people in Nebraska. There was a small community of Chinese laborers in the early 20th century, and the first Japanese people in Omaha had arrived to work in the stockyards. There were hardly any Korean people in Omaha, and I honestly can't find anything about when Korean people first came to Omaha. And since this is 1986, I'm willing to bet that Park and his mom are the only Korean people living in Omaha.Also, Omaha has had many periods of racial tension throughout its history, since this is Nebraska, one of the midwestern states. This resulted from the high numbers of southern and eastern European immigrants, and African-American migrants from the Deep South. There was a lot of competition for jobs in the early 20th century, and the instance of anti-Asian racism I found was in 1905, when 800 school students had protested the presence of the Japanese students in their school.There was also a huge riot in Greek Town after a Greek man shot an Irish policeman who tried to arrest him for an apparent relationship with a "white" woman, when he was actually taking English lessons from her. Then there were several anti-German sentiments in the years after World War I, when many German immigrants were forced to learn English in schools. This was after a law was passed in 1919 that enforced the teaching of English in public schools.Then there was Red Summer, when an African-American man was lynched after being accused of raping a white woman. That sparked up a huge riot where a lot of white men tried to attack the African-American neighbourhood. There was also severe anti-Black racism throughout history, especially during the Civil Rights-era.The point is, I don't think that Park would have had many friends in the 80's, especially white friends. Interracial marriage was still a very touchy issue during that time, but we'll be focusing on that much later. Either way, Park is half-Korean, so he'd probably be facing a lot of discrimination and prejudice from his white classmates, and he'd probably have more friends who were Chinese-American or Japanese-American. But no! He's all fine and dandy with white people!Kala: *surprised* Sun Bak would hate this novel. *reads ahead* So Steve and Mikey go back to talking about Drunken Monkey when Park notices a new girl on the bus. When the girl tries to sit down next to a freshman kid, he blocks the seat with his bag and looks the other way, and so does everyone else.*disgusted* What is wrong with these kids?Wolfgang: *scowls* Park's friend Tina also laughs because apparently "she lived for this stuff".Why is he friends with this kind of a girl?missabnormal: I wanna slap Tina already. I'm getting really unpleasant flashbacks to middle school when everyone was a whole bunch of jackasses.Yamini: We then get a description of the new girl. She's a redhead, overweight, and dressed strangely. A few more kids get on and push past her, claiming their seats. The bus driver tells the girl to sit down, so she goes to the back of the bus. Park is rather alarmed and wants her to turn around because it's like walking into a lion's cave.*frowns* So why is Park friends with a whole bunch of jackasses? Doesn't he have any sort of dignity to stay away from those kinds of people?Ruki: The girl tries to sit down next to Tina, only to be rudely brushed off.Yamini: *muttering* Jeez, what a bitch.Ruki: Park finally decides to let the girl sit next to him. But he does it quite rudely, yet she decides to sit down next to him. *surprised* We're barely even into the story and I already don't like these characters two much.Kala: I have a really bad feeling about this.Yamini: I'm really close to saying the Eight Deadly Words.Wolfgang: I can already see the raging that's gonna happen in later chapters. And it's not going to be pretty.Mako: I hope that we can get through this.missabnormal: If this is how the first chapter has gotten us, then I fear what the next chapters will have in store. We'll see you all in the next chapter.CountsIT'S THE 80'S: 3PAN-ASIAN FUSION: 2FETISHIZING BASTARD: 1WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!: 1MADAME BUTTERFLY MUCH?: 0HERE COMES MISS SAIGON: 0ORIENTALIST BASTARD: 0DRAMATIC ANGST: 0I'M DOWN WITH DA HOOD, YO: 0Total= 7Continue to: Chapter 2- EleanorGo back to: Prologue