Friday, April 15, 2011

Dan Rickmers on the M. Night Film School Charity

I'm reading this piece by Dan Rickmers, discussing how a charity has been trying to collect donations to send M. Night Shamyamalan back to film school. 
I'm sorry to hear Rickmers has not gotten into the graduate studies program in film, because he has a nice sense of humor, and I like the small moments of parody in this piece.  Some of our best writers, both within traditional canonical texts (like Swift) and modern film writing (everyone over at The Daily Show and The Colbert Report) have been parody writers, and I'd like to see what Rickmers could do. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Slash Artists

There's a great interview up today about Marcellus Hall, a musician/illustrator.  I love people who are more than just one kind of artist. (Joy Harjo?  Ethan Hawke?  James Marsters?  Check, check and check!)  As a general art nerd, I love the idea that someone could create within multiple genres and be just as respected for all of them. 
It's acutally pretty rare that happens though.  Edgar Allen Poe is the only artist I can think of who is equally respected for his poetry and his short stories, and in both cases, they are writing, so that might not count.  In the above examples I've listed, Harjo has a band but is better known as a poet, Hawke has published novels but is better known as an actor, Marsters has a band but is better known as an actor.  (In the interview, Hall lists several other examples.)  Many writers, once they have been writing in a particular genre, find it difficult to break out into another one.  I'm hoping this is a function of the capitalist system, that wants to peg people as one thing only.  I want to see more of these "slash" artists break out of their molds and do more and interesting things. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hot Writers

Canteen Magazine has this amazing series of photos of hot writers.  Basically, writers, who I always think are a certain level of hot because they spend their time thinking, reading and writing, have been photographed in the style of couture models.  I'm really enjoying this little series.  So far, my favorite is of Tao Lin

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Great Gatsby in 3D

So finally, The Great Gatsby will be adapted, again, into a movie. As a literary nerd, I'm sure everyone's expecting me to be excited for it, and I would be, if I particularly liked the book. As a feminist, the book just strikes me as another rich white man writing a book that ignores anyone not white (rich, able, straight, etc.) and then vilifies women, because really, how dare Daisy spur Jay on for so long and then, once she does return his affections, how dare she cheat on Tom?
My other annoyance is that this novel is being adapted over other novels. The Great Gatsby was published in 1925. That same year, writers like Willa Cather, Dorothy Scarsborough, Sigrid Undset, Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, and Gertrude Stein were publishing novels, and their works are so frequently ignored by the general public. (Academics still read some of these writers, but are mostly ignored by the general public. Most Americans have heard of The Great Gatsby; how many have heard of The Professor's House?) Moreover, there are other great writers from the same time period who were writing about the forgotten or were part of marginalized groups, like Kafka or Proust. Once again, a story of someone with immense privilege is given way more attention than the stories that in many ways deal with the lives of more than just a small few.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bring Back Liz 10!

I've mentioned how amazing my friend Christine is on this blog before.  I discovered last night she has a tumblr blog, which she is racking up various Doctor Who things, which she is obsessed with.  One of her most recent posts includes images of Amy Pond, the current companion.  Seeing all this recent Doctor Who stuff has me thinking about the show. 
As much as I like Amy, I miss Liz 10.  I loved her in the two episodes we got to see her in, and I wish they'd bring her back.  Science fiction shows aren't really known for their diversity, but I was so pleased to see Martha as a companion some years back.  She was smart, fun, and badass, and it was such a relief to see a woman of color who was admirable and a hero, instead of every dumb stereotype people have about women of African/Muslim descent.  I love that Martha wore relatively normal clothes and was becoming a doctor and didn't even put up with Ten all the time.  I realize that the lovely actress who plays Martha can't come back right now, but I'd also love to see Liz 10 come back and go on adventures with our heroes.  Because, right now in television, there aren't many depictions of women of color, and none of them includes one where one's the Queen of Britain.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Because I am a Masterpiece Theater nerd, I've been quietly watching the fight over public radio and television with interest and this editorial arguing that public radio deserved saving at the expense of PBS caught my eye. The editorial makes a good point about NPR working in a tough field: radio. I don't honestly know anyone who listens to any other radio station, unless it's this one. NPR has either found or created its own niche, and it works this audience brilliantly, doing exactly the sort of stories those audience members want. But the idea of losing PBS makes me go cold. I love PBS, and yes, things have been a little disappointing lately, but PBS still has great children's broadcasting and some great news programs. Those things would be missed if we threw them away.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tweeting for National Poetry Month

Because I don't write enough all ready for this blog and my review blog, I'm also writing regularly for Arthur, a zine my friend Erin started. I don't post everything over on that blog, but I do post the vast majority of posts. And, starting last night, Erin granted me access to the mythical twitter account that Arthur has. By now, an announcement has appeared on their blog, explaining how, for National Poetry Month, I'll be tweeting poetry bits from Cherrie Moraga's The Last Generation.
I fell in love with Moraga several years ago while researching Latina poets for a class project. There is a wonderful tradition of Chicana and Latina activists writing amazing poetry, and Moraga, the author of Loving in the War Years and co-editor of This Bridge Called My Back, is at the forefront of that political poetry. She's wonderful, and hopefully, through tweeting, we can celebrate her work and National Poetry Month.

If you have a twitter, feel free to tweet along your favorite lines of poetry.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Difference Makers

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Difference Makers - Roy Den Hollander
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Where to even begin with this clip from The Colbert Report?  It is so wonderful to have people parody anti-feminism. 
It's hard for me sometimes to believe these people even exist, because the politician profiled here is so clearly offensive.  It's totally telling that when Roy lists the men he defends, his version of "diversity" within men includes African American men and heterosexuals.  No one seems to have informed him of the diversity within those who have identified male, or that the gender binary is a social construct and not necessarily representative of people's authentic identity.  Feminism, for him, is apparently capitalist-driven interest to encourage women to visit bars, which is totally besides the point of such important gains and battles feminism has yet to win.  This man's problem shouldn't be with feminism but with why women don't go to bars, which, if I had to guess, has more to do with issues of safety, which, by the way, feminism is always looking to improve.  

Friday, April 1, 2011

Humans Versus Zombies

My friend Sandi sent me this great video of Humans Versus Zombies. In the video, one of her fellow humans succums to a zombie infection. I am really enjoying hearing about this game, which appears to swept up universities across the nation, not just Transy. I am hoping more schools post their videos of all the antics involving infection, antidotes, and socks.