Review: Egyptomania

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Egyptomania
by Bob Brier

★½☆☆☆

2013 • 256 pages • Palgrave Macmillan Trade

Captain Cinema and I have reacted to the advertising campaign for Exodus: If You’re From Ancient Egypt, Why Are You White? the same way—pure physical repulsion. (I am very good at scoffing. I’m French; it’s practically a superpower.) A sick, tired, rainy day couldn’t stop me from scrambling off the couch and refusing to watch an ad for it during a therapeutic episode of classic Saturday Night Live; even the arduous physical task of sitting through Interstellar (I mean, I enjoyed the film, I just have trouble sitting down for long stretches of time) couldn’t keep us from fleeing a poster of the damn thing at the movie theater.

It boggles the mind that such a film could not only be made in 2014, but also be so vehemently defended by its creative team. Ridley Scott offered a casually racist explanation for why he, one of the most powerful directors in the industry, could not be bothered to seek Egyptians to play Egyptians, Rupert Murdoch rolled his eyes on Twitter about people not realizing that sometimes white people are Egyptian too (which is technically correct but beyond missing the point), and Christian Bale complained that the color of his skin shouldn’t keep him from playing Moses. It’s such an astonishing display of the kind of entitlement that so many white people in the West bring to the table regarding ancient Egypt despite all basic logic. As a little kid, I was fascinated by ancient Egypt, but as an adult, I’m equally fascinated (and repulsed) by the imperialist and colonial overtones of early Egyptology.

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Review: Televising Queer Women

Televising Queer Women edited by Rebecca Beirne

beurnetelevisingqueerwomen

I’ve never met anyone else who thrifts like I do: hard. I’m talking going through every shirt at the Goodwill because you never know when you’ll chance across a Disney*World exclusive t-shirt. Peter Parker has Spidey senses. I have retail senses, telling me when there’s a copy of Textual Poachers for sale at the thrift store I used to volunteer at. So when my retail senses were directing me to a literally underground thrift store that creeps me out a little, I trusted it, and ended up finding a book about two things near and dear to my heart: media criticism and queer ladies.

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Review: Song of the Vikings

Song of the Vikings by Nancy Marie Brown

The other night, I was telling someone a story about Red’s Eats, a lobster shack in Maine. (Long story short: my mom loves lobster rolls and I don’t sound Southern. Neither does my mother, but that’s because she’s French.) I tried to think back to exactly when it was; as my memory is pretty shoddy (hence this blog and my copious journals), so I usually have to take my time. But I remembered reading The Far Traveler at the time and came up with 2010 without missing a beat. It’s so nice to have a trail of books to follow! In any case, I remember the reading of The Far Traveler fondly, so when the opportunity to pick up Nancy Marie Brown’s new book, Song of the Vikings, cropped up, I leapt at it.

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