Mark Oshiro runs a popular franchise called "". This consists of two series, (in which Mark reads books and records his reactions in text blogs and videos) and (in which he watches TV shows and does the same). There was also a short lived game review site, .
Mark has been discussed on meme countless times. Frequent topics include how he doesn't understand that , how his reviews on his personal life and not enough on the works, how that he and then yells at people who point out what he's missing by his stringent 'no spoiler' policy, how he on the part of the writers and works he reviews in order to take offense at completely ridiculous things, and how he has never bothered to unpack the baggage of his abusive fundamentalist upbringing and therefore continues to perpetrate various oppressions (especially misogyny) while pretending to be "woke." Oh, and his at even the most mild of plot twists.
One nonny has created a Tumblr blog titled I Am Prepared that rebuts Mark's asinine interpretations of Pratchett.
- : Mark attended the now-infamous Tumblr convention and gave a of it. Despite the numerous problems — the con canceling comped hotel rooms, not paying guests, failing to provide promised amenities, etc. — Mark insists that he had a fine time. When people point out the problems, he accuses them of "gaslighting" him. He also theorized that the horror stories were made up "fanfiction" by people who didn't attend the convention.
- : Mark reached the chapter in the Discworld novel Guards, Guards, where a character made a joke about a "princess getting a prick." The joke is in reference to spinning wheels, as well as implying that a nearby prince is a bit of a prick, but one of Mark's commenters decided the joke was transmisogynistic. When other commenters said that this interpretation made no sense, the first commenter flipped out, and Mark took their side by lecturing his other commenters that they were being transphobic. A trans nonnie that this was ridiculous and noted that this made her feel alienated in the Mark Reads space. Another nonnie that the person saying the joke is treated as ignorant in canon, so it's clear Pratchett isn't endorsing the attitude. Some on whether or not Mark's breakneck pace is preventing him from taking the time to actually understand the things he reads. Another comment in this thread that Mark and his mods had also attacked rape victims who didn't share Mark's (negative) opinion of the Buffy/Spike relationship in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- : A general thread on Mark lead to of how his reviews of another Discworld book, Moving Pictures, were basically just about his life in Hollywood.
- : Another general thread on Mark led to some on how he was verbally abusive to someone who dared post the name of an episode he hadn't watched yet, and towards his abusive attitudes towards a rape victim who disagreed with him on the Spike/Buffy ship. On the more humorous side, nonnies how after he watched Leverage, a show about a bunch of criminals running cons on bad guys to get justice for their victims, he complained about the protagonists doing 'bad' things. His "no-spoiler" policy and how he uses it as an excuse to flip out at people who tell him when he's missing things also . Lastly, his inability to separate fictional characters from the real-life people he's decided they represent was :
- : Discussion of Mark's failure to grasp Discworld novel Witches Abroad, as well as Discworld (and literature) more generally. One nonnie Mark's misunderstanding of the Granny Weatherwax character thusly:
- "' ' '
- : Nonnies continued to examine Mark's misreading of Witches Abroad and how he was misinterpreting everything in order to find "offensive" elements. (This is also the first time on meme that regular Mark Reads commenter Tosheroon, who had a hateboner for Pratchett's alleged "," .) When a character sends away for martial-arts lessons, for instance, Mark calls it "appropriative" of Asian cultures. There is as to how Mark has proven to be out of his depth on numerous works, including Tolkien's The Hobbit, which is a children's book Others his US-centric approach and how it caused him to misunderstand British-inspired elements in the novels. Finally, one nonnie a major problem with Mark's site:
- : Nonnies discussed Mark's failure to understand British demographics, particularly in the context of Harry Potter.
- : Mark's lack of comprehension reacheed new lows, with him that Discworld has zombies (they appeared in a prominent role in a preceding book), and him using to conclude that a black character is not black. Nonnies mocked him at length on this and other issues. One sagely :
- : Meme discussed the growing trend of social justice–oriented deconstructions, including those by , Mark Oshiro, and . Several nonnies wondered what the difference is and reviewed and deconstructed books from an SJ wanker perspective.
- : Mark continued to fail at reading Discworld. Despite having read genre fiction for years, he proclaimed himself completely flummoxed when he encountered the term "The Fair Folk." He also a human character as a unicorn for no reason.
- : Mark misread the anti-racism messages in Pratchett's Men At Arms, wondering whether Pratchett secretly intended them to be anti-immigrant messages as well. Nonnies also went into his utter failure to understand how British cities differ (demographically and culturally) from American ones, which makes his analyses of what Pratchett is trying to say ridiculous.
- : Nonnies talked about Mark's failure to note that the "gonne," a weapon in the Discworld book he's reading, is a gun, even though Pratchett practically spells it out. His other failures of comprehension for that book are also detailed.
- : Nonnies again discussed Mark's failure to read Discworld, noting that he seems incapable of realizing that any characters are non-white unless it is explicitly stated in the text; and when it is stated, he accuses the book of racism. Other topics discussed include his misunderstanding of demographics and his strange assumption that we're supposed to sympathize with an explicitly bigoted character named Quirke even though the character is portrayed as a terrible person.
- : In a short thead, nonnies noted that Mark seems puzzled as to why a monarchy might not be the best form of government, provided it has a decent king. Pratchett's comments on good kings going bad, and his implication that the monarch in question would be better for the city in the Guard than on the throne, flew over Mark's head as usual.
- : After Mark reached Book 15 or so in the Discworld series, he finally realized that his experience might be enhanced if he considered things from the perspectives of the characters. Meme was boggled that someone who has been doing this for several years hadn't realized that yet. However, other nonnies noted that Mark has actually come to this realization in the past, but it never stuck. This led to some discussion on whether or not Mark's naive, ignorant reactions are real or part of his persona.
- : As Mark began to read the next Discworld book, Soul Music, nonnies wondered whether his habitual misreadings were the result of his inability to understand the British contexts of Pratchett's work, or just general cluelessness. Conversation centered on whether Pratchett having a raven named Quoth, who refuses to say the "N-word" (which turns out to be "Nevermore"), was being racist, when he wrote the book in 1994 and "the N-word" as a euphemism for the racist slur was supposedly not in wide circulation in the UK at the time. (The discussion is contentious, with some nonnies disbelieving that it was not a reference to racism. One nonnie throws the actual slur around slur around; that subthread is later frozen.) The OP mentioned Tosheroon, who is discussed in .
- : Continuation of the Soul Music discussion. On Mark's latest post,
- '22-23, 2016: Mark began the Young Wizards series by making a strained comparison of himself to one of the characters. Nonnies notedhow the review was more about his own past than the book, with some theorizing that at this point he was just searching for books he could use to talk about himself. Nonnies also reminisced about when Mark was ostensibly baffled by The Hobbits use of multiple narrators. Some also wondered whether Mark's total cluelessness was an act and if he were in fact familiar with the books he reads but simply pretended not to be so he can act surprised (or shocked and offended) for his audience. (Some nonnies noted that he had previously not been so clueless when reviewing novels, indicating that his total lack of understanding now might be an act; as well how he'd slipped up previously and revealed that he knew future events in Buffy,
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- Apr. 5-6, 2016 : Discussion of an article Mark wrote for Uncanny Magazine in which he gushed over how he had successfully become a "professional fan" and that Neil Gaiman once told him that he enjoyed Mark's reviews of his work. This thread also contains further discussion of Interesting Times. Nonnies noted that even though this book does contain a lot of problematic content, Mark had built up such a head of steam by reaching so hard with other Discworld books and becoming convinced that Pratchett has a "bad track record," at this point he couldn't even distinguish the problematic elements of Interesting Times. There is also discussion of Tosheroon's involvement with the Mark Reads Discworld series over time, and the fact that though Tosheroon claimed to despise Pratchett and his work, his username is itself an obscure Discworld reference.
- May 4-5, 2016 : Mark was currently reading Maskerade and — thus far — seemed to be enjoying the book. However, the ongoing theme in Mark's comments section of his fans accusing Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg of being terrible people and bullies, and latching onto younger characters such as Magrat and Agnes Nitt as perfect little flowers needing to be protected from the older women, continued. There was also discussion that in his most recent Young Wizards review Mark spent 800+ words talking about himself and a time he visited the beach, and he does not even mention or allude to the book he is meant to be reviewing until the penultimate sentence of the review.
- May 18, 2016 : Further discussion of Tosheroon and his repeated and successful attempts to establish a "Pratchett was transphobic" party line in Mark's comments. There was also a brief mention that Mark accidentally letting slip having been spoiled for an upcoming plot development in Star Trek DS9, but his fans dismissed this as coincidence.
- May 24-26, 2016 : Lengthy thread covering a number of topics:
- Mark deciding that whilst Nanny Ogg genuinely cares about other people, Granny Weatherwax only does so for her own personal gain.
- Mark believing that Granny has a "hostile distaste for decency" and being unable to understand why she would save the life of a baby she did not know.
- Discussion of the culture within the Mark Does Stuff comments section and the implications this has for wider fandom culture and social justice awareness.
- Discussion of how anyone who disagrees with Mark is generally dismissed as a bigot unless they have minority credentials themselves, and even then are often — either implicitly or explictly — be accused of lying about their identities.
- Two key quotes from this thread about the lack of good faith Mark and his fans show toward Pratchett:
- Seeing all of Pratchett's efforts in thinking and changing and trying again over the course of the books reduced to OMGPROBLEMATIC!!!!! for the sake of backpats and pseudo-intellectual circlejerking is infuriating.
- And with every single outcry of OMGPROBLEMATIC!!! also coming with a pointed and oh-so-venomous side order of "I don't give Pratchett any benefit of the doubt because of his TRACK RECORD", pointing at all the previous times OMGPROBLEMATIC!!! has been shouted. Thing is, each of those also came with a side-order of "BUT TRACK RECORD", so we end up with Problematic Turtles All The Way Down.
- Jun. 23-24, 2016 : Mark was now reading Feet of Clay, and he claimed that Samuel Vimes's defining character trait is apathy. Mention was made of a new MR commenter who was posting large amounts of Jewish folklore to provide context to the golem plotline in this book, and that they repeatedly mentioned they themselves are Jewish, possibly attempting to forestall any accusations of appropriation.
- Jun. 27-28, 2016: Mark admitted there might be a clue that Pratchett is trying to tackle classism, but he did not want to give Pratchett undeserved praise without proof this was deliberate.... despite classism being an ongoing theme throughout the Discworld series and Mark himself directly having quoted material pertaining to this matter when trying, as mentioned above, to demonstrate Sam Vimes' apathy towards justice. As one nonny noted,
- "every comment that might potentially be bigoted if looked at in the right way goes down as a black mark on Pterry's 'track record', but all progressive comments of his are overlooked, forgotten, or misunderstood, so they don't count toward his "track record" and aren't remembered next time. Also, if Mark expresses doubt about what Pterry intended or can't remember him doing something progressive, that also counts as a black mark on his 'track record'.
- Jul. 1-2, 2016 : Discussion on meme of Mark once again writing long walls of text about himself with only brief mentions of the media he is supposed to be reviewing, this time a Deep Space Nine review where only 344 of the 1388 words pertain to the episode in question. The remainder consisted of Mark's feelings about the War on Terror, racism he has personally experienced, and how much he hated his most recent trip to Europe — a trip, as some nonnies pointed out, he said at the time he thoroughly enjoyed. He has also variously claimed that his experiences on that trip proved A) Europe is much more racially diverse than people portray it and B) he saw no POC at all in certain large European cities, depending on what point he was trying to prove.
- Jul 21, 2016 : While reading Feet of Clay, Mark observed a number of instances where Pratchett might be making a point about poverty, gender essentialism, and classism but was loath to give him credit for this, as he believes this is closer to his own headcanon than authorial intent. Nonnies reacted poorly to this, as well as to Mark's belief that the extended sequence depicting the extreme poverty of Vimes' childhood home was intended to be a comment on gentrification.
- "[If Mark believes] there is the possibility of an interpretation which is Bad And Unforgivable, he devotes himself entirely to that interpretation and that interpretation alone, and later uses this interpretation as evidence for a 'bad track record' which casts anything in the future in a poor light. But if his reading of Pratchett's work leads him to think there is the possibility of an interpretation which is Great Representation or Socially Conscious.... he dismisses this as probably just his headcanon and therefore unable to be counted as a point in Pratchett's favour. He has done this before regarding Discworld — not merely with LGBT issues, but also with matters of race and class — and he will do it again."
- Jul 27, 2016 : Discussion of the excessively strict slur policy in the Mark Does Stuff comments section. Nonnies mentioned having been reprimanded on the site for using words such as "idiot," "mad," and "crazy." Another MR commenter complained that Mark had made them feel "unsafe" due to his uncensored mention of a character in Feet of Clay called "Meshugah," which is colloquial Yiddish for "insane." Nonnies also noted that Mark did not believe Carrot had any respect for Angua or Cheery Littlebottom and once again claimed Vetinari was the Big Bad of the book even after the true villain had been revealed.
- Sept. 26-28, 2016 : Mark reached the episode of Deep Space Nine which, as noted above, he had accidentally revealed he had been spoiled for. As nonnies had predicted, he played dumb. This led to a lengthy discussion on just how unspoiled he truly is regarding the media he reviews, and the possibility that he has openly lied about being unspoiled for various books and TV shows so that his fans would pay him to review them. Particular mention is made of Pushing Daisies, a show he refused to watch for years because he claimed to have been spoiled, but which he eventually covered for Mark Watches after posting a bizarre and almost-certainly fictional story of how he thought he was spoiled but was actually thinking about another show that does not exist.
- Oct. 27-28, 2016 : Brief discussion that Mark had finally admitted to deliberately misinterpreting things for his own amusement.
- Oct. 29-31, 2016 : In what was supposed to be a review of an episode of Steven Universe, Mark posted a long sob story about not getting birthday presents as a child, in which he linked to his own Amazon wishlist so that his fans could buy him presents now. Nonnies were rather scornful of this.
- Nov. 21-22, 2016 : A prolonged discussion of the tendency of Mark and his fans to equate any form of dissent or disagreement with "gaslighting."
- Jan. 5-6, 2017 : Brief discussion about Mark preferring to talk about himself rather than the media he was reviewing. He spent 487 of 1246 words vaguely discussing the Steven Universe episode "The Answer," and the remainder of the post was a wall of text ending with his declaration that he, Mark, is "the answer".... which in context means he was claiming to be the human embodiment of love.
2018 has been a land-Mark year for FFA:
- A nonny purchased his book Anger is a Gift and did a readalong. The last chapter is discussed here , and at the top of the thread are links to discussions of previous chapters. In short, it's a trainwreck. The book's horrific misogyny and also its stunning ableism (Mark wrote a character as an "inspirational cripple" — no, really), as well as its poor writing and other flaws, are discussed in various threads. Also recommended are the one-star reviews on GoodReads , at least one of which is from a nonny.
- This was also the year that Mark’s remaining commentariat started waking up to his serious blind spots and bigotries and his complete inability to understand the spirit vs. the letter of social justice. This occurred mainly within the context of his abysmal take on Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment, in which he accused Pratchett of transphobia for writing crossdressing women, refused to comprehend the magnitude of patriarchal abuse the women were subject to, and decided as usual to make the story all about himself. The pushback he got from angry trans commenters convinced him to ban the truly terrible Tosheroon — whom he then misgendered. Some of the commenters trying to hold his feet to the fire have been nonnies, such as nenxnen and surskitty (three relevant threads ). This subthread has many relevant links to earlier discussions.
- Mark also took a public dump on people who hired him as a sensitivity reader.