Chapter 5: What They Deserve

Annotations for Chapter 5
by Gian Gutierrez (Com12-G)

1. The Children’s Crusade and the derivation of new purpose.
- One of the many trivial parts of the Christian faith involves one of its greatest failures during its attempt to express itself through violence. During the middle-ages came one the bloodiest wars the world has ever seen. When the pope called for a crusade to retake the Holy Capital of Jerusalem from the “barbaric” Saracens of the desert, none could have foreseen the amount of lives that would have been forfeit then. Both Christians and Moslems alike vied for control of the Holy City. Crusader fanaticism was matched by Saracen valor. Perhaps one could even see this the other way around (see Orientalism). The influx of European soldiers brought about a number of victories but at the cost of countless lives.
The effects of the wars were so widespread that it reached as far back as the European homelands. As the Church continued its call for fine warriors, so did others who were caught up in the rush. The rise of great preachers, false prophets and charismatic leaders alike, called to the masses to join the grand Crusades. Most of those who joined these were the idealistic youth of the land. Passage to the Holy land came in the form of ships. However, tragedy seemed to befall the expedition as many of the children either died during the trip or were sold as slaves to the outlying countries.
Seeing faith as the main idea of the Crusade is obvious. One could even say that the cross served as the symbol that drove on the faith of the people. It seems interesting then to see how William Gibson uses the term “Children’s Crusade” to describe the multitudes that frequent the streets in search of commodities. This new brand of pilgrimage involves a quest for new signs and symbols: consumerism. Not far from the Crusaders before, today’s warriors try to find their own fulfillment in a world of signs. Each moves towards their own way of devotion to the call of commerce. Therefore, what was once seen as a contrast of schools of faith in the past has now become a war between competing brands within the world market. A new crusade is called by the Church: to stop the consumption of too much commodities.

2. “Orientalism” as the view of the other.
- Among the earliest global powers the world has seen came during the Age of Exploration. Most of these were of course, based in the West where the competition to find new areas to colonize was fierce. The explorers were of course, deemed to be superior and in need to educate the barbaric masses of the new world. Whether these were the Sepoys of India, the Chinese peasantry, or the natives of the Pacific isles, the Western conquerors saw them as “the other.” In other words, these people were not the equals with these Occidental “saviors.” With their control over most of the eastern world, the power of writing history has come into the hands of the colonizers. This has allowed their beliefs and view of the world to influence the way the Oriental is portrayed. There are always stereotypes and certain prejudices rooted from the Western view of the East. In Edward Said’s novel, Orientalism, he discusses these things. In fact, one of his examples includes the Western view of being “Arab.” What they see is a person that should be feared and avoided rather than respected. Said has a lot of input into the matter. Still, we live in a world that thrives in the stereotypes and labels we associate to other cultures.

3. Normalization of porn and creation of various niches.
- The main point of the chapter revolves around this porn site which probably appeals to people who prefer Asians over Caucasians as their object of pleasure. At first glance, Cayce Pollard is surprised by the presence of this URL in her browser. Yet what seems to strike her is that it is not just any kind of pornography site. What she sees is the specific focus on Asians. This can be seen as part of the influence of “Orientalism” in our mindsets. This certain preference of women shows how there has been a development of porn. In a way, pornography has become more than just a tool but a form of cultural phenomenon. Not that I’m exalting these kinds of material. It just seems that pornography has become similar to the sale of products. It has found various customers by playing to their wants and filling in the niches that they create. Whatever your need or fetish can be addressed by that market.
What may be shocking for people is not the presence of porn but the rate of how it is accepted into society. There is a so called normalization of porn wherein people become less scandalized and become numb to the imagery it projects. This may be considered as a cause for increased differentiation among races and gender preference / orientation. This openness to what should otherwise be taboo makes people become numb to their environment. Sexuality has been the main selling point of many products and thus acts as proof to the nonchalance of the public.

Annotations for Chapter 5
By Kimberly Cruz (COM12-A)

Camden Lock Market

The beginning of chapter 5 was set in the streets of Camden Lock market, London. The things being sold there are very diverse and there is no specific classification of the materials there. The eclectic things sold there include things from fashion, arts music and more. Cayce was there because she was doing her job. Here is the website of Camden Lock if ever you wish to visit that place. It provides the stores available and the activities you can do while you are there. Here are also some pictures of Camden Lock Market I got from the website so that you will have an idea of what the place looks like.
918401531_3651cb46b0.jpg camden-20.jpg
Also here is a short video to show how diverse the type of things being sold there actually is.

Cayce remembers the Children’s Crusade as she remembers it.

The Children's Crusade happened in the year 1212 where a boy who is of French or German descent, who wants to have peace in the nation by converting the Muslims into Christianity. He gathered all the children and marched to Italy. It was not successful and some children were even sold to slavery. I believe that William Gibson used the image of the Children's Crusade to refer mainly to youth. It is a reference to the youth consuming the things. It is also referred to as youth culture where things are youth-centered. Nowadays, youth has a very strong hold on the society. You can see these on advertisements and other promotional materials that companies use. They use young stars to attract consumers and together with these stars, the technique of the advertisement itself is youthful.
Here is an example:

Here is a Got Milk commercial with Hayden Panetierre (young actress; Heroes TV Series) as the model and the shattering glass of milk makes it interesting, ergo, has very youthful feel to it.

Another strong evidence of the youth-centered culture we have now is the promotional materials used by the recently elected President of the United State, Barack Obama. His posters were very unconventional and youthful and this might have contributed to him being more popular, thus, winning the election.

Here is the image:

Cool Hunter

An interesting note that the author mentioned was the occupation of Cayce Pollard. Her occupation was being a Cool Hunter. It kind of sounded awkward for me because I did not know about that job up until I read that chapter. Cayce’s job was to look for new and “cool” things. There is actually a website called and its tagline is Roaming the U.S. and the Globe…So You’re in the know. The U.S. is actually bolded and through their tagline it gives an impression that the Americans are the one who is leading this kind of thing. Here is the website Also in their site, the group who created this made a banner that says

It is deviating from the traditional way of reporting ideas, where it involves printing press. Now, it is available in the Internet where there is no need for printing anymore, more importantly, the services being given is for free. By penetrating the Internet, the Cool Hunting business is targeted to the youth. It is also from the youth where they get their ideas. Judging from the colorful banners available in their website and the overall look, one may conclude that it has a very youthful feel to it. This is correlated to the idea mentioned above which was that we are living in a youth-centered world today. This Cool Hunting service has created new needs for consumers where they should constantly know what is new and cool. Needs and wants that are not supposed to be there in the first place is there because it was created.
Some "Cool" stuff that the Cool hunters consider as cool are:
Vendome Mayfair - a bar located in London

YUBZ- Usb Skype Phones

Rebook '09


After going through all the different stores, Cayce decides to come back to Damien’s flat and this is where the issue of security comes in. Cayce differentiates between the security system she has back in New York and the one available in Damien’s flat. Here is a picture of the two kinds of locks. Images were obtained from these sites.
door%20lock.jpg 07575c.jpg

Why are there locks in the first place? It is because people do not feel secured. Why would a person opt for security when he or she has it in the first place? This means that people are insecure and in order for people to feel secure, there should be insecurity to them.

See Asian Sluts Get What They Deserve

When Cayce looks at the history of her computer she stumbles upon the website See Asian Sluts Get What They Deserve. It shocked her to the core and left her frozen because she never visited that site while her stay in Damien’s flat. Upon hearing the line “See Asian Sluts Get What They Deserve”, one can assume that is linked to pornography or any pornographic sites available in the web. While there are pornographic sites related to that phrase, there is actually a website for this exact line mentioned in the novel but I am not sure if the site was created after the novel was published or it was really present even before. It is far from pornography but I believe that it is still somehow related to the idea of sex. I could not find any trace of the origin of the website because there was none written. The website is actually a very interesting and eccentric site because it provides no description or explanation for its existence. The website requires deeper understanding and interpretation and fragmenting. Here is the website. Upon entering the site, a person will see the only words that could be seen in the website

Just one scoop of creamed potatoes, 
one slice of butter… 
oh— and four peas— 

and a picture of two different ladies.

Here's the picture:

There is no description in the website about the picture but the written word "Safe Sex" on the shirt of the girl at the left connotes that it is somehow related to sex. Upon clicking on the picture, it brings a person into a different picture and it goes on and on but upon reaching the fourth picture, it goes back to the picture after the two ladies. The title of the pages keeps on repeating

"proofs dances bodies dreams"

over and over and different words are capitalized in different pictures.
When fragmenting the line "See What Asian Sluts Get What They Deserve" a person can somehow get a clearer understanding about the relationship of the website. The word SEE is somehow inviting us to look into something. It is meant to turn it into an image of sort into your brain and also when we look at something, it is meant to take control of the thing. ASIAN in this sense is used as a commodity where People want to see them get what they deserve. It is like "Consuming the Asian". It is related into the fetishism of the Americans to consume the Asians in different ways. The term SLUTS is a street term for prostitute and it also has a negative connotation. It is meant for disrespecting a person to whom you are saying it to. The last words GET WHAT THEY DESERVE, provides an image of punishment where the Asians are supposed to punished or treated in that manner. The word THEY also implies the colonialist view of the Americans towards the Asians.


The idea of "See Asian Sluts Get What They Deserve" has touched the idea of Orientalism a little bit and now I would elaborate it more here. The literary theorist named Edward Said proposed a theory which was the orientalism of the west. It discusses how the western people conceptualized other races, or in this specific chapter, the Asians.

As Edward Said said in the video,

Orientalism is the manufacturing of the other. By manufacturing he means that the other is of great conveniecnce to oneself and it could only done for purposes of domination. Knwoledge and domination almost alwasy geos together.

Here is a video about two ladies rapping about their range against the Orientalism that is happening in the West and the stereotypes brought about with it.

These ladies are angry because they do not want to be generalized according to what their race is. Fantasizing about a person by what their nationality or the color of their skin is rather than who they really are is isolating their individuality. People lose their individuality and it has been reconceptualized by the view of the Western towards the Asians.

Putting it into the Philippine context, the Western view on Filipinos is that we are dumber than the Americans. Here is the line that Teri Hatcher said to her doctor in the series desperate housewives

"Before we go any further, can I check those diplomas because I wanna make sure that those diplomas did not come from some Med School in the Philippines" -Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher)

and here is the video:

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.