The Week in Review: January 19th, 2014

Target: Sock Week

Pictured above: the Clare in her natural habitat.

It’s been a weird week for me; I’ve been thinking about my future, which amounts to panicking productively. So that derailed me for a few days, but I feel a lot better now. I managed to go see Twelve Years a Slave on Wednesday, which was stunning in all senses of the word. I also got through Fic and My Education this week.


This is a picture of Debbie Harry dressed as a knight. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

The marvelously appellated tumblr user manicpixiedeathbitch finds the Eleven Doctor’s authoritarian streak contrary to the rest of the show:

And while we’re talking about Doctor Who’s exploration of power structures, it’s very, VERY clear from not only post-2005 but also classic Who that the Doctor is an anti-authoritarian at heart: all authority figures are only respected as such to the extent that they can prove themselves worthy of the title, the Doctor himself rejects any and all salutes directed at him, and so on and so forth

The Eleventh Doctor, on the other hand, is an authority figure. He takes it upon himself to order people about, expecting their unquestioning loyalty; he makes decisions about his friends’ lives on their behalf (see Amy’s pregnancy).

Michael Douglas will be playing Hank Pym in Ant-Man, which means that Paul Rudd is playing Scott Lang, which means that I am now remotely interested in this film now that there’s two generations of capes. (I mean, I love Edgar Wright, but I don’t know Ant-Man from Adam Warlock.) As commentators are pointing out, this could indicate flashbacks to the sixties when Pym was Ant-Man. Personally, we’ve never really seen the mantle-passing that’s so common in comics onscreen, so this will be interesting.

Pacific Rim co-writer Travis Beacham’s Hieroglyph has started casting! Condola Rashad will be playing Nefertari, while Reece Ritchie will be playing her half-brother, the Pharoah. (Ritchie, previously seen in The Prince of Persia as, if I’m remembering correctly, one of the only non-white people in a film set in Persia, seems to be coming up in the world—he’ll be in that Hercules movie with the Rock this summer. Good for him!) Not only is Beacham a pretty cool dude, but the Mary Sue points out that this is a relief after seeing Christian Bale cast as Moses and Joel Edgerton cast as Ramses II in Exodus.

At the Daily Dot, Aja Romano lists off all the awful things Steven Moffatt has said about women, fandom, criticism, and queer folk to ask why he still has a job. The answer, sadly, is that his product sells and nothing he has said is apparently considered offensive or controversial by the powers that be at the BBC.

Eleven at Autostraddle points out that pity is not the same as respect, using The Dallas’ Buyers Club to examine the way Hollywood loves to make tragedies out of trans lives.

A woman’s family helps her boyfriend ask her to marry him by LARPing Pride and Prejudice. Adorable!

At NPR, Linda Holmes talks about fat-shaming, fat jokes, and cruelty:

Here’s what I mean: A lot of people have a red handle installed deep in their person, where if somebody yanks on it, it hurts. For some people, it’s some terrible mistake they regret, and for some people, it’s something they’re always trying to get better at that hasn’t worked, or a relationship they can’t repair, or a weakness that makes them self-conscious, or a memory that’s sort of awful. I’m not any better or worse off than anybody else in having something like this in my nature/history; the only difference between mine and anybody else’s is that mine is on the outside.

I mean, let’s say your red handle is that you have a busted relationship with your parents. You’re a happy person, but there’s this one thing that’s really hard, that you haven’t really figured out, that’s just … a thing you haven’t overcome. Imagine if you had to walk around with a big sign around your neck that said, “Once called my mother a terrible name and we haven’t spoken in ten years.” So that everybody knew – strangers, friends, nice people, mean people, salespeople, people on the train, people who drove by you in their cars while you were walking. Eeeeeeverybody. This is what it’s like to have your red handle on the outside. It can feel a bit like you are at the mercy of literally everyone.

Elementary celebrated #SockWeek on Twitter, given their Sherlock’s predilection for fun socks and their own predilection for being awesome. Check out the parade of cute socks from Elementary fans online, including some selections from my own sock wardrobe.

My friend Natalya, who is one of the smartest, coolest people I know, is finally dipping her toes into blogging with an eight week Wes Anderson project. Bask in its glory.

Agent Carter is not only confirmed, but has Hayley Atwell and Reaper creators Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas attached. Pound. The. Alarm. What’s the happy version of a panic attack? Because I’m having that right now.

Meanwhile, on Agents of SHIELD, Lady Sif will be turning up, so I guess I’ll actually watch it. It’s been a good week for the ladies of Marvel! (But I would like to point out that one of the first comments on that article is someone going “Yeah, yeah, but Agent Carter!”)

Leonard Nimoy is everyone’s honorary grandpa. Just… FYI.

Silk and Gold is a process blog for a comic set during the Golden Age of Islam featuring Viking warrior woman Silksif working for the Arabian polymath Rahil, a newlywed woman who has talked her way onto her new husband’s ship as an accountant. The artists include a lot of their historical research, which is really fascinating!

At Gawker, David Byunghyun Lee talks about growing up in both America and Korea in culturally loveless contexts:

Along with the rest of the boys, I just watched Dragon Ball Z in which the Asian martial arts gods fought aliens by turning supersaiyen. When a character goes supersaiyen, his skin become pale, brown eyes become blue, black hair turns blond, and the strength increases fiftyfold. I watched and enjoyed Asian characters transforming into white gods without being hurt, because that hierarchy made sense. And it made sense to Asian American kids across America, to the Asian kids in Asia, and to the Asian animators who created this visual endorsement of white supremacy. And after all, that’s what many of our parents wanted for us—to become white, become powerful, and become what they couldn’t be.

A South Saami gentleman named Johan tackles Frozen and how it treats the Saami at Selchie Productions.

Back when Tangled was going to be composed of hand-drawn animation, the production team hinted that they wanted something that looked like a breathing watercolor. Italian animator Rino Stefano Tabliafierro succeeds, by animating classical paintings. It’s stunning work. (It’s also not safe for work: there’s sex and violence, given the subject material for a lot of classical paintings.)

This 1995 article about Saturday Night Live in decline is fantastic to compare and contrast the modern incarnation of the show, especially in the context of Saturday Night Live hiring their first black female performer since Ellen Cleghorne:

“There’s only one writer who didn’t go to Harvard or Yale or Cornell or Brown,” Ellen Cleghorne says, overstating the case only slightly. “There’s no black writers on the show—this is 1995, and I feel like I’m in a really bad sci-fi movie where all the black people already got killed, and I’m next. I’m not a separatist, I’d like to be able to jam with somebody who’s had the same experiences I find funny.”


Purchased: None
Added: Black Patriots and Loyalists by Alan Gilbert (via work), The Fifties by David Halberstam (via work), Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill (via work), Who Cooked the Last Supper? by Rosalind Miles (via tumblr)

4 thoughts on “The Week in Review: January 19th, 2014

  1. That Linda Holmes post is pretty amazing and I already loved her and what she writes to pieces, but this made me love her even more. It’s my red handle, too in a lot of ways. I’ve been watching How I Met Your Mother for a long time, with the knowledge that it’s an incredibly problematic show for a lot of different reasons, but especially the fat shaming. The one that I think about the most though was one of Ted’s prospective girlfriend’s is beautiful (and skinny) and they decide they need to look into her past to see if she has any skeletons in her closet. They find out that she used to be fat and she lost all of the weight. This disqualifies her from being an eligible girlfriend because obviously the first thing she’ll do once they get married is immediately get fat again. So not only am I unacceptable because I am fat, but if I lost the weight, I would ALSO be unacceptable because it would only be a matter of time before I gained all the weight back? What? The joke isn’t at all funny and it implies that the girl only lost weight in order to find a partner and as soon as she had that, she would go back to her supposedly unhealthy ways. I still think about this stupid throwaway joke on this show. Ugh.

    Anyway, thank you for pointing me in the direction of that post. It was a much-needed read!

    • I think supposedly throwaway things—gift books, gags on sitcoms, and the like—are really where we see our society’s prejudices really baldly. There’s only one line in The Chronicles of Narnia where people who like economics are treated as boring and unimaginative, but guess what stuck with me? It’s so easy to not be exclusive, but apparently, we’re not supposed to be watching in the first place. It’s so maddening!

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