The Week in Review: August 9th, 2015

Prospect Park: Detail of Oriental Pavilion

Renay and I continue with our adventures in Xena with “The Black Wolf.”


Via Anastasia, Hanna Brooks Olsen talks about the invisibility of millennial poverty.

N.K. Jemisin talks diversity and sf with The Guardian.

The Pale Rook calls for female artists to value their work, after having the disorienting experience of realizing that she sets her prices for her work based on how “fair” it would be to customers, instead of reflecting the time, energy, and talent each piece takes.

Thursday marked the end of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (which is now just The Daily Show). I spent Friday morning watching his final episode and crying a little; it was wonderful and I’m glad he moved on when he did. Let’s round up the tributes and related news here:

Rebecca Pahle compares Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, specifically regarding its treatment of Ilsa, the film’s female lead. That’s high praise.

Annah Anti-Palindrome (a white woman) loved her dreadlocks but cut them off. Her explanation of why is really interesting and important, but I think this is the most important part:

Though I am still pretty “alternative” looking, I’ve learned to stand up against systems of oppression by doing the actual footwork in my daily life. I no longer naively expect my physical appearance (on its own) to do that work for me.

Charlotte Geater writes about queer representation in comics in the context of comics’ use of subtext and about Hercules’ inherent legacy as a queer character:

I studied Shakespeare at university. Shakespeare famously wrote many of his sonnets to another man. There’s a lot of scholarship around it — just as I am sure there is plenty of scholarship about Heracles and queer desire in classical literature. Academics spend their whole lives working this stuff out. And some of them spend their whole lives trying to flatten it, too! Trying to make other people read literature and history in the same way that they read it. The Victorians used to change the pronouns in Shakespeare’s sonnets. Dryden rewrote The Tempest to give Miranda a male counterpart, to make her a less threatening figure, and to somehow… improve The Tempest by adding symmetry to it. He also wrote in a female counterpart to Caliban. These characters, who we know as singular, and both of whom have — desires that the world around them is struggling to contain… are subdued. He rewrote some of Shakespeare’s prose to make it into verse, too. It’s rubbish. But what do we read, now, hundreds of years on? We read Shakespeare. Because it’s a better story. Because it’s wilder. Because there is more room to breathe. More room for us to let our brains whirr and wonder and fit pieces together.

This is the most important Pomeranian video on the Internet.

tumblr user overheadoftheaquaablue explains why it makes a lot of sense for James Potter and, therefore, Harry to be desi.

The Society Pages had an interesting back and forth about traditional drag and whether or not it can be offensive this week:

  • Lisa Wade kicks it off with the unfortunately titled “Are Drag Queens Doing Girlface?” She wonders if drag queens are making fun of women.
  • T. Walpole tears that post apart, pointing out that drag is specifically troubling for trans women and therefore not a conversation for cis women to get involved in. And it’s a conversation that trans communities are having.
  • Ray Siebenkittel elaborates: “ The problems of drag as an institution are the pre-existing racist heteropatriarchal structures that impede upon it.”

Allure seriously had a brief hair article about white girls giving themselves afros. Zeba Blay at Huffington Post eviscerates it.

The extended Hobbit trilogy hits theaters this fall with a trio of special screenings. My childhood Ringer would be astonished to find her adult counterpart shrugging.

For Such A Time, a romance novel that retells the story of Esther with Nazis and Esther converting to Christianity, was recently nominated for two awards given out by Romance Writers of America. It didn’t win, but it’s sparked a conversation about how did nobody catch how brutally offensive this book was before its nomination?

Jordan Kay explores the secretive world of Makeup Alley. I used to hang out there for nail polish shenanigans (before discovering that my nail chemistry literally means that I can use crap nail polish as long as I have a fantastic bottom coat and top coat), but never knew about most of this stuff.

At Jezebel, Madeleine Davis shares her experiment of sending out novel queries to agents under an assumed male name; the results are predictably infuriating.

This Slate interview with Karen Kelski, an academic career consultant, makes me want to run screaming even further away from academia and I am no longer even in it.

Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work series scores John Scalzi.

At Buzzfeed, Azeen Ghorayshi looks at the ethics of operating on intersex babies.

This week’s jam: Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s “Murder on the Dancefloor.” Thanks, Hannibal fandom!

The trailer for Stonewall is out… and shows that it appears to be double-downing on erasing people of color, especially trans women of color, from the story. BOO. Cleanse this from your mind with this interview with the late Stormé DeLarverie, the legendary Stonewall Lesbian who was attacked by police that night.

Bethany Black will be the first trans actor on Doctor Who, in a role that wasn’t actually written for a trans actor. Progress!

Bill Hader has joined the cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine! Huzzah.

That live-action X-Men series might actually really happen.

Lee Daniels is developing a show centered around girl groups inspired by the Supremes and Destiny’s Child. YES. GOOD.

Agent Carter’s season two villain? Madame Masque. Specifically, a Madame Masque inspired by Hedy Lamarr, so a stunning actress/scientific genius/villainess. SCREAM!

Atlas Obscura rounds up fifteen games from the golden age of point and click adventure games, all of which are available in one form or another at the Internet Archive.


Purchased: None
Added: None

Purchased: None
Added: None

6 thoughts on “The Week in Review: August 9th, 2015

  1. I somehow completely missed that there were extended editions of the Hobbit movies in the first place. I thought the theatrical cuts were “extended” editions! And I shudder to think what was resurrected from the cutting room floor in a series that didn’t seem to leave anything there.

    • Yeah… I’m not excited about them at all, which would stun 2003-era me. I do know that some material featuring Gandalf meeting Bilbo as a little kid—with Bilbo showing sufficient courage that Gandalf remembers him decades later for the quest—was cut from the first one and is included on the Extended Edition. That interests me, but… nothing else does.

  2. Some great selections here. Aw! re: Colbert’s tribute and the adorable Pomeranian. I don’t think I’ve heard of Make-up Alley before but that was still an interesting piece about a long-lasting corner of the internet. Reminds me of my days spent on the Rotten Tomatoes General Discussion forum back when it was more robust than it is now.

    Ugh, I’d read that Madeleine Davis article on Jezebel earlier this week. So depressing. As for the Slate interview piece with Karen Kelski, though I never had my sights set on the professor life, I did work several years in student services at a university and I’m with you: I don’t miss academia.

  3. So many good links! I got really excited about Bethany Black, and then two seconds later I learned that they’re making a movie about a trans girl teenager and Elle Fanning’s playing the part, and I was right back to wanting to burn everything down. I would like to know how the deaf community has managed to make it so taboo to cast a non-deaf actor in a deaf part, so that other marginalized communities such as disabled people and trans people can duplicate the effort so that I no longer have to hear about Eddie Redmayne and the Danish Girl movie. (end rant)


      I am fire and rage over all of these shenanigans. I hope Black is just one of the first. I’d never heard about the deaf community managing to make it that taboo; I’d love to know more about that.

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