The Week in Review: January 12th, 2014

Downtown Denver: Snow

It snowed like madness last weekend here in Denver, but the rest of the country has been suffering far worse, so I’m pretty okay with that. It’s been a pretty solid week—I got through The History of Food in 100 Recipes and finally started on Heiresses of Russ 2013. Insofar as audiobooks go, I’ve started on Frankenstein, since my book club (which I am now organizer of!) is reading that for February.

We’re real romantic, I know. I also finally bought some books this week… because I’ve decided to start collecting movie books for my favorite bad movies.

Links

The curator at medievalpoc rounds up a very interesting discussion about how white supremacy benefits from the false idea that there were no people of color in European history.

tumblr user stardust-rain points out that the way Sherlock has been treating John in the new series of Sherlock parallels the hideous emotional abuse Moriarity inflicts on Sherlock in Elementary. The only difference is that Sherlock is presented as a hero superior to us mere mortals and Moriarity is presented as unadulterated amorality who sees people as games for her to win. That’s… that’s pretty chilling.

I’ve been hearing that the film adaptation of Blue is the Warmest Color treated its actresses and the queer community horribly, but was never quite sure how. This interview at the Daily Beast with the lead actresses from last September lays it all out.

At MetaFilter Guided Tours, Devil Tesla highlights user tangerine’s definition of Ask Culture versus Guess Culture. Captain Awkward expands on this, noting that a lot of her work as an advice columnist is to translate Guess Culture into Ask Culture. tangerine doesn’t value one above the other—to hir, they’re simply different communication styles—but I feel like Ask Culture is the place to be. Guess Culture necessarily needs to be built on shared cultural assumptions, and, as the Captain says, that creates insiders and outsiders. It also cushions you from a direct no, because you can tap-dance around directly asking the question all you like.

Actually, MetaFilter Guided Tours is a genius idea for a blog, given the good community over there. Here’s why movies suck now. Here’s a touching story about how a dead woman wins a typography contest. Here’s how you disagree politely with people who hold views antithetical to your existence. Here’s a bonkers short story about parenting techniques. It’s young enough that a binge won’t cost you much now.

Word on the street is that Zack Snyder’s vision of Wonder Woman involves retconning the Amazons into a colony of Kryptonians that settled on Earth during ancient times. Ancient aliens are a lot of fun, but, Mr. Snyder, you know that Wonder Woman has a complex mythology all her own that you’ve just completely rejected (and thus cannot use in a future Wonder Woman film in this universe), right? And that Supergirl and Power Girl, who are actually Kryptonians whose stories tie into Superman’s, exist? And that Wonder Woman doesn’t need to be subsumed into Grimclark’s Heart of Darkness Tour to justify her existence? This doesn’t have to be hard. You just need Diana Prince to show up, kick some butt, and hint at her wondrous origins to set up a Wonder Woman movie. C’est tout! It is just a rumor, but it’s certainly an infuriating one.

Sasheer Zamata will be joining the cast of Saturday Night Live, becoming the show’s first black female performer in a long, long time (as lampooned when Kerry Washington hosted last year). The Splitsider has her credentials and a selection of her work available on YouTube. She’s a very incisive writer, and I think her energy will mesh well with the current cast. From the same “secret” auditions that brought Zamata to the show’s attention, they’ve also hired two black female writers.

tumblr user adathranduil proposes Jaime Alexander, our Lady Sif, as Luthien in a Silmarillion fancast project. She and Liv Tyler (Arwen is said to look like Lúthien) look similar enough and have a similar carriage that it would absolutely work. Her Aulë is also amazing.

Thor is quickly proving itself to be one of my favorite threads of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When executed correctly, it’s an absolute blast—plus, there’s more ladies per capita, with several high-profile female characters from the comics just waiting to be included. (I just want the Enchantress to show up in Asgard late with Starbucks, take one look at Odin, and go “Oh, hell no.”) One such character is Valkyrie, who almost made it into Thor: The Dark World. Here’s some concept art for her, including rainbow wings (consider my inner and outer eighties freak activated). At the source, io9 ponders if Marvel’s Netflix version of The Defenders might include her.

Grace at The Cotton Project has created a comic about resisting objectification and belittlement. “I hold the universe inside of me, and it is not yours to take.”

At Tor.com, Emily Asher-Perrin talks Doctor Who‘s River Song—what she could have been and what she was turned into:

In River’s introduction, she has all the power: she is the one who calls the Doctor, she is the one who scolds him when he’s being obstinate, she is the one who rallies the group and moves them along. In a telling move for the Davies era, it is she who grabs the Doctor’s hand when the first run together, not the other way around. She is taking him on as a companion in that first meeting. Ten is so moved by her near-death plea to preserve their time together, to never rewrite a word, that the loss of her hurts him as though he has known her for centuries. We’re left with the impression that she is one tough act to beat.

Then River returns.

Meryl Streep wrote Emma Thompson a poem and identified them both as “rabid, man-eating feminists.” Messrs Stewart and McKellen, I believe the gauntlet has been thrown.

Speaking of best friends, Orlando Jones, fandom’s BFF, has created a “How Not To Be A Dick on the Internet” presentation to keep us all on the straight and narrow.

Texas A&M University’s Cushing Library, which already boasts an impressive collection of writings and material from major sf authors, wants to bolster its sf collections with filk! They’ve put out a call for people to donate their materials. Sounds like I gotta go to Texas and talk some librarians into letting me drool over fandom history.

David Fincher’s adaptation of Gone Girl is going to ditch the third act of the novel for a different third act written by Gillian Flynn herself. I have no desire to read Gone Girl, but the marvelous Rosamund Pike is starring in the film, so I hope this works out. I’m a huge fan of pragmatic adaptations and Pike needs to be in more things.

There’s a lot of classic Doctor Who on Netflix, but where do you start? Alan Sizzler Kistler drops by the Mary Sue to share some highlights. Comments on the post have revealed that Hulu Plus might have a better selection of classic Doctor Who, however.

Lasso of Truth is a play about the creation of Wonder Woman (and a modern fan seeking her roots) that’s seeking some additional funding via Indiegogo due to the multimedia nature of the play. The Mary Sue has the details.

Steve McQueen is creating two new shows about the black experience—one for HBO about a man entering New York high society and one for the BBC about a group of people from the 1960s to today. Exciting!

At The Verge, Matt Stroud looks into the career of James Arthur Ray, a self-help guru featured on Oprah who has been in prison for two years for killing three of his students during a sweat lodge. It’s a tragedy, but it also touches on how unregulated self-help and other self-improvement programs are. Ray lied about the bulk of his credentials and his supposed extensive training—the training his students trusted in—was practically nothing.

Amanda Hess writes about “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet” at Pacific Standard. It’s a very heavy piece about gendered abuse on the Internet and how to deal with it, especially when law enforcement often sees the Internet as frivolous and “boys being boys” at worst or don’t have much of a legal leg to stand on at best, but it is absolutely required reading. Harrowing stuff.

tumblr user sapphostication has rounded up a ton of movies focusing on queer ladies for your reference and perusal.

Here’s the first teaser trailer for Star Trek: Renegades, a fanmade pilot that’s hoping to be picked up for a web series. A lot of Trek and television speculative fiction veterans have turned up, and this looks like a nice alternative to the alternate original series.

Worn on TV is a website dedicated to sourcing costume pieces seen on popular television shows. A lot of it is, obviously, quite expensive, but they do offer both exact matches and similar items. Anyway, who doesn’t want to dress like Joan Watson or Allison Argent? (Although I’d love some focus on the gentlemen.)

In 1992, there was a BBC2 documentary called Black Sci-Fi that explored the roles of black writers and characters in science fiction. Unfortunately, only clips remain. Leah Schnelbach at Tor.com rounds them up, but you can see Nichelle Nichols talking about playing Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series above.

Acquisitions

Purchased: Mythic Vision: The Making of Eragon by Mark Cotta Vaz and City of Bones: The Official illustrated Movie Companion by Mimi O’Connor
Added: Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees (via Ferretbrain)

6 thoughts on “The Week in Review: January 12th, 2014

  1. That Amanda Hess piece was amazing (slash awful). I hate this culture — it’s all of a piece with the oldest of old-fashioned ideas about women and their places, this thing that if a woman steps out in a public space, she’s public property.

    Very much yes to the River Song article. What’s most frustrating to me is that Steven Moffat can’t be bothered making any sort of response to accusations of gender issues — he just waves it off and carries on doing exactly what he’s been doing all along.:/

  2. When I was looking for comics to read next month, I found Blue is The Warmest Color, since I’ve been seeing posters for it outside the IFC theater by my office. I saw a link about how the author/artist was very unhappy with the movie, but I didn’t read why. It sounds absolutely horrible. I am very much looking forward to reading the comic though.

  3. Thanks for those fancast pics for the Silmarillion – they are fabulous! Not immediately what I would think of, but so, so right. I don’t have enough time to read all your links, which is a real shame…

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