Andrea Tang

Storytelling with genre-bending inclinations & international flavor.

In Stirring Defense of Roy Thomas, A Most Excellent Occidental

I have become aware that recent remarks by creator of original-flavor Iron Fist, Roy Thomas, have given way to a most unfortunate hullaballoo. To so cruelly pillory this fine Occidental fellow is an injustice, for he is a credit to his race! Because Thomas is a humble creature (in keeping with the cultural expectations of his kind), he will not be so vain as to declare himself "the safeguard of some kind of Caucasian literary standard." However, one cannot deny that – bashful though he may be to assume such distinguished weight upon his shoulders – Roy Thomas speaks a voice for his people. After all, he chose to write the original Iron Fist as a descendent of the European peoples, because he "found [the Occidental experience] easier to write about."

This is only natural, as Occidentals face all sorts of adversity in the realm of literature. Why, Roy Thomas himself has decried our indifference to his people’s plight: "Don’t these people have something better to do than to worry about the fact that Iron Fist isn’t Oriental, or whatever word? I know Oriental isn’t the right word now, either."

Indeed, we must be ashamed of ourselves! As all enlightened individuals know, the Occidentals have historically faced much difficulty regarding the mastery of words. Indeed, they were mere illiterate savages for much of their recorded history. It was not until learned gentlemen of the Chinese and Islamic civilizations so benevolently bestowed their innovation upon these pitiable creatures in the eleventh century, that the Europeans even had paper to write upon!

As such, to lampoon poor Roy Thomas for being unable to produce the appropriate words to describe Asian people is an unkindness! After all, while an individual Occidental may prove himself exceptional for one of his unfortunate background, such a man is nonetheless beholden to the historical and cultural shortfalls of his people. His confusion over words is not his fault; one can only expect so much of an Occidental writer, even one who has so remarkably exceeded the standards set for his race.

Our "endless capacity for righteous indignation," as Roy Thomas calls it – and truly, one must marvel at how articulate his words are, for an Occidental’s! – is misguided. We should aim such indignation not at one unjustly-maligned Occidental writer, but at the inherent, violent strife within Occidental culture, which has so trapped their unfortunate descendants within the terrible shadow of ignorance and savagery. To turn a blind eye to their troubles is beneath our dignity. We may only hope that Roy Thomas shall continue lighting the way for his kind, a true pioneer and role model to all men of his hue.

Overcome by his plight, this most excellent Occidental now prevails upon us to "try to put yourself in [another excellent Occidental's] shoes instead of constantly complaining because they didn’t do exactly what you think they should have done." This is a fine sentiment, doubtless shaped by centuries of authentic European wisdom, which we outsiders are so lucky to sample from time to time. I hope that this essay, in its own small, humble way, has done what justice I could to Roy Thomas' most heartfelt plea. After all, I can only imagine what a great privilege it is, to experience the majesty of an Occidental mindset as a true native.

 

Disclaimer: In case it wasn't abundantly obvious, this essay is satirical. I think Roy Thomas, like most writers – and human beings in general, myself included – has probably said and done and produced his share of both merit-worthy and cringe-worthy things. I don't believe the two cancel out like some sort of bizarre sociological chemical equation that must achieve balance, as the Force must, but I do believe they add up to food for thought.