Aang deals with cultural appropriation - (x)

People need to stop reblogging this without the rest of the comic :^)

Part 1: Aang has a negative reaction to people who mistakenly hurt his feelings but had good intentions.

Part 2: Aang calms down and acknowledges that those people’s intentions were good and instead of being upset offers to educate and inform those people and SHARES his culture.

Good message there.

Yes and no.

What Aang is doing here is a perfectly legitimate and admirable way of approaching the situation, but I think it is important to remember that Aang is at this point a fully fledged spiritual leader in his own right. Teaching and guiding people is his life’s work. (And note the scene laid out in the second part - Aang sitting crosslegged under a tree as he preaches is some extremely blatant Buddhist imagery that thematically reinforces Aang’s position as an enlightened teacher, and I very much doubt that’s accidental.)

And he’s not really “educating” or “sharing” in the sense that the words get thrown around by people who’ve been called out for harmful cultural appropriation. He’s not allowing them to shift the blame for their ignorance onto him and he’s not giving his blessing for them to keep using his culture on their own terms. They don’t have a right to appropriate sacred airbender symbols and rituals; what Aang is doing is offering them an opportunity to earn the privilege of partaking in Air Nomad culture, having already judged that they’re likely to take that opportunity seriously based on their previous behavior that isn’t limited to ill-advised tattoo choices.

I think it’s probably also relevant that the Air Nomads are, except for Aang, at this point an extinct culture and have been for several generations, and reviving the culture will by necessity involve including outsiders. (This is true even if  we expect the re-established Nomad culture to grow entirely from Aang’s family, as it will be some time before the population is large and diverse enough to safely allow intra-airbender couplings with any frequency. They’ll still need to find spouses like Pema, who are not ethnically or culturally Air Nomads but willing to allow their children to be raised as such.) This scene could have gone down very differently if it had involved someone from an extant but struggling or marginalized cultural group - imagine what Sokka’s reaction might be to people misusing the ceremonial paint and garb of a SWT warrior.



If the first earthbenders learned to be earth benders from badgermoles, and the first airbenders did so from sky bison, why is there only one avatar? I mean if you can just learn bending from giant animals all willy nilly then why not more than one?

think the implication is that the Avatar is a particular very gifted, very enlightened soul who also happens to have an extensive support system dedicated to keeping track of them through reincarnations.

Personally, I’m more curious about why they never seem to have lost track of the Avatar for more than a few years in childhood, given that it’s implied that the Avatar is reincarnated at random with no way to predict where they’ll be born beyond what element will be their first one, and at least two of the four elements have other, more reclusive cultures that use them (and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there are earth- and air-bending enclaves that are distinct from the Earth Kingdom and Air Nomads, as well).

ok but now that I’m thinking about it a Circle of Magic ‘verse/Avatar crossover with Evumeimei Dingzai and Toph Bei Fong would be really interesting

because on the one hand, I think that if they gave each other a chance, Evvy and Toph would get along? They’re about the same age and they’re both scrappy and no nonsense and stubborn, and Evvy’s stone-focused ambient magic and Toph’s earthbending are similar enough that they’d enjoy comparing them and different enough that they’d enjoy showing off (Evvy wouldn’t be able to work with dirt or refined metal the way Toph can; Toph can’t communicate with rock or work symbolic magic on stones the way Evvy can).

but on the other hand… well, they’re both runaways, but Toph was running from a life of stifling privilege in the full awareness that her powers would make her valuable to the people she chose to associate with, whereas Evvy escaped from the slavery that her own impoverished parents sold her into in order to feed her other siblings, and learned to depend on her powers out of sheer desperation, months before she understood what her powers were or even, really, that she had them. Evvy would have a lot of trouble trusting Toph, and I’m not entirely sure Toph would even fully understand why.








How could you guys not see it?
They were stuck together a LOT in Book 1. They’re BFF jills/fuck buddies what


what does this meannnnnn

it looks like poor bolin is gonna be all confused come book 2.

poor beebs.

Honestly all I want from Book 2 is Bolin and Asami being awesome together while Korra and Mako sit in separate corners and think about what they’ve done.