In the past few days I have watched the first two seasons of Mtv’s Teen Wolf. I entered with trepidation, expecting to find it cheesy or for it to remind me why I never watch Mtv anymore, but it didn’t. It may well be that my standards are just disgustingly low because of Glee, but I don’t think so—Teen Wolf is a show that I am legitimately impressed with, and I am going to tell you why.
- The male friendships on this show are healthy, intimate and complex, and something I think more young men should strive for. Stiles and Scott have an intensely supportive buddy-buddy relationship and even Jackson, the standard asshole jock, is best friends with a gay guy. There is never a “no homo” vibe—all the guys on the show treat sexuality like it’s not an issue and not something to be ashamed of, and I really love that.
- The female characters on this show are strong. They have their own lives, their own motivations and passions. They have purpose and agency beyond being love interests. Lydia was not someone I started out liking, but as she has grown and proven herself through the second season and we have learned more about her, I think she does a lot of good in breaking apart the kind of dumb skank persona that viewers expected. I also think that [spoiler] Lydia’s visions of Peter after her attack acted as a fantastic commentary on what kind of a change of perspective and emotional trauma that an attack (read: sexual assault/physical abuse) can have on a victim’s life. I really appreciated how much time they spent dealing with that. [end spoiler]
- I know that you shouldn’t congratulate someone for something that they should do anyway, but I am not offended by this show from a queer perspective, a racial perspective, or a feminist perspective. I don’t feel that they perpetuate stereotypes in a way that would negatively affect anyone. If they’ve done something bad that I haven’t thought about, well, Teen Wolf is doing boatloads better than Glee, although I know that’s a shitty thing to compare to. The only thing I’ve really had a problem with is Derek’s semi-seduction when he first meets Erica and gets a bit handsy.
- The villains are complicated, varied people—seductive, powerful, clever or unassuming—they have histories that are interesting and that draw you in. They don’t all fit in one mold—anyone could be bad on the inside.
- They’re all hot as fuck. If nothing else, watch Teen Wolf for the eye candy. I admit I started watching because tumblr had me staring at pictures all the time and I was kinda drooling.
- The parents on the show are awesome. They also have their own lives, their own worries, and interesting relationships with their children. I love that there is actually a realistic level of attention given to the fact that blue-collar, middle-class, single-parent homes exist.
- Not gonna lie, Dylan O’Brien’s Stiles makes the show for me—he grounds the ensemble, I think, in a kind of believability. He’s the Weasley-Granger hybrid, the best friend and the brains. Dylan’s a great physical actor and Stiles looks like the kind of guy you could actually go to school with, who would show up to board game parties or midnight showings. Also he is friends with drag queens. Need I say more.
- I think one of the best things about this show is how fully-realized the writing comes across. None of the episodes particularly feel like filler, and all the main characters get a lot of screentime. Derek’s imperfections and the things that hold him back are so human and so rooted in who he is. The problems that characters deal with are important and relevant without feeling like an after school special. I think this show is a success because even the fantasy feels relatable, instead of stupid. The fact that the casting is so spot-on just adds to this.
- I wish they would release the instrumental score, and also use it more—the indie-Twilight mystique of the compilation soundtrack could be improved if we could hear more than ten seconds of each song. That probably has something to do with Mtv being in charge.
- Jeff Davis, the show’s creator/head writer/executive producer, comes across as someone who really appreciates and understands Teen Wolf’s fanbase. I feel like his work shows that he wants what we want out of television—not necessarily that he’s pandering, but that we’re on the same page—and I wish more showrunners made me feel that way.
In conclusion, fucking watch Teen Wolf so that I don’t have to feel like I’m annoying y’all with all this Sterek on my blog.
The Life and Rumored Death of Literary Journalism
I went to a panel a few weeks ago at the AWP conference called “Reporting Creatively: The Dying Art of Literary Journalism,” which was an engaging and well-constructed panel on the present and the future of the craft of literary journalism. The tenor of the panel was largely tilted towards pessimism, or at least worry, about the possibilities that lie ahead for well-written, longform journalism, the kind that takes time and talent and creativity to produce. Naturally, a lot of the concern centered around changing publication priorities and audience demand, and the conversation involved lots of mention of new versus old media and the role technology has played in shifting journalism into to new formats and structures.
I feel sometimes put in a slightly uncomfortable position in these discussions. In so many ways I consider myself a lover of old-school media with a persistent fascination with and affinity for paper and magazines and printed words, yet at the same time I’m an undeniable member of the digital age, with my feet firmly planted in digital publication. I’m not ashamed of being a blogger, or that my publications have to date existed solely online. The blogging world is slippery and vast, but full of promise and discovery and at the moment I love being a part of it. This split leaves me wanting to be a champion of both camps. Often, I feel as if I ought to defend myself, to extend my hands and promise that I’m not killing off journalism and the sanctity of the written word by doing what I do, assuring some distant deity of journalism that I do not worship false idols by publishing online.
The truth is that the Internet has given me a chance at journalism, a chance I wouldn’t wish away or be foolish enough to think I could replicate without a digital platform. It has allowed me, in ways otherwise impossible and out of reach, to publish longform work on topics I love and care about and spend time with. Sometimes a digital publication allows for greater access to brilliant work and well-crafted thought. Sometimes the blogosphere allows people to work their way towards producing quality writing in a less historically conventional, but no less authentic manner. This is why I think literary journalism as we used to know it may be gone, but why a new literary journalism can live on if we work for it and let it happen.
Marshall McCluhan may have said that the medium is the message (how many of us actually know anything else that McCluhan said, for however often we may quote that), but we accept that phrase so axiomatically now in our interpretations of the digital age that I think we grant digital technology more power over journalism than it really has. We have this belief, not without merit or basis, that the printed word in its physical and tangible form is of higher value, invested with deeper worth, spiritually or intellectually or even financially. We ought to question that assumption, that central framing of digital vs. print. To me, the blog posts of Ta-Nehisi Coates or Alyssa Rosenberg, David Carr or Roxane Gay or Corey Robin, are of great cultural and personal value, with no loss of depth or meaning because they are part of the supposedly threatening morass of the blogosphere. And in some cases, they have had more powerful impacts on how I write and think than something I might have read on the pages of an issue of The New Yorker or Foreign Affairs.
Let me reiterate: I love a magazine. I’m usually carrying at least one print issue of a magazine around with me, usually more. My magazine subscription practices alone are evidence of my dedication to keeping print media alive. A magazine is an entire beautiful experience that reaches your mind on a million different levels at once. It is a self-contained, layered narrative that can be engrossing and unified, if done just right. This doesn’t mean that literary journalism and wonderfully classy writing does not and cannot melt your mind on the screen as well as on the page.
I think we should take the blogosphere to task when it becomes the bandwagon, when it becomes a merchant of brief, substanceless clickbait, when it becomes a vehicle for snark over content, and so on. But let’s not pretend that poor thinking and ensuing self-congratulation are primarily a function of the digital age. I think that the digital medium has seriously challenged journalism, but to some extent I believe journalism needs to look inward to solve its problems instead of externalizing the causes of its troubles. In her recently-published and much-discussed essay, “Why I Left News,” Allyson Bird writes “I don’t think the Internet killed newspapers. Newspapers killed newspapers.” As Bird writes, lots of the sturm und drang of contemporary journalism is an unlovely mix of audience demand that extends beyond the changing realities of digital reading and corporate and establishment influence and pressures.
The presenters at the AWP panel were complicated and informative in what they said, and this piece is not an argument against them, but rather a continuation of their conversation, in which they admirably challenged cantankerous journalism doom and gloom. I am arguing, though, for more discussion and innovation in the ways that the digital age can enhance literary journalism and give it new life by changing its readership and connecting writers to editors and to subject matter in new and wonderful ways.
Addition: Right after I finished writing this up, I stumbled on an interview with Atavist co-founder Evan Ratliff from earlier this week in which he talks about the digital models for longform publishing and reading, and their expansion and development over the past couple of years.
Adventure Time and Community: Modern Archetypes and Their Functions
Here’s a little preview of the kind of thing I plan to offer in the near future with Biyuti Publishing.
Archetypes are are something we’re all familiar with, whether or not you know the word. An archetype is a kind of character that is featured in many different stories, and is often instantly recognizable as a “type” to most people. Archetypes are more easily recognized in their character’s motivations and intent than their actions, necessarily. Any kind of media that tells a story, like books, movies, TV shows or video games, will often use archetypes.
In this case, I happened to notice that two of my favorite television shows are using the same character archetypes. Very similar characters in the two shows will often be used to very different effect, and may serve different function within the narrative, but the point that I am making is the character type is the same.
1. The Ingenuous Hero
Troy Barnes/Finn the Human. Our hero may not be the brightest, but his emotional intelligence is through the roof. Just point him at a physical challenge and he will excel. Extroverted and beloved where e’er he goes. He may moonlight as the Chosen One, He Who Shall Become King, and/or The Orphaned Farmboy That Could, but he would like to make sure everyone knows he is really just a Regular Guy. May have deep-seated emotional issues involving Boom Boom and/or Butt Stuff.
2.The Pretty Cool Guy
Jake/Jeff Winger. He’s got this life thing all figured out, except when he doesn’t, ever. Always knows exactly the right thing to say. Open-handedly offers both provocation and encouragement. Shows insecurities on his sleeve while claiming to have none. Comes off as an older brother or even a father figure, despite having a contentious relationship with his own father. Always a hit with the ladies. such a charming rogue.
3. The Mercurial High Femme
Shirley Bennet/Flame Princess. All sweetness until she’s disrespected, or feels disrespected, which is sadly all too often the case. Blooms under positive attention. Has very good reasons for what she does but these reasons are often overlooked or dismissed by others when the Mercurial High Femme shows what’s she made of. Grows angry when people insist on misunderstanding her, or try and force her into a category. Motivated by a heady combination of pragmatism and wanting to be respected for who she is, thorns and all.
4. The Ambitious Young Lady
Comes off as prim and rigid, and she is. Very high intelligence, but insecure about relationships. Takes admiration for granted but craves achievement, pushes other people almost as hard as she pushes herself. Responsibilities weight heavily on her. Obsessed with order and often motivated by maintaining it. Kind and generous with her time and energy, but sometimes her judgement stings others. Often loses perspective when seeking perfection.
5.The Damaged and Aloof Mastermind
Abed Nadir/Marceline, the Vampire Queen. A thorny contradiction in personality: an onionlike mass of defense mechanisms masking terrible vulnerability and longing for interpersonal connection. Often takes pains to seem above it all, but will manufacture complicated situations in order to spend quality time with friends. Feels rejected by natal family; absent mother, contentious relationship with father. Is different than fellows and feels it very keenly, has a history of painful rejections and/or abuse. Can seem narcissistic and selfish much of the time, more so when dealing with emotional problems, but it is obvious they care deeply for their friends and loved ones.
6. Miss Cantankerous
Britta Perry/Lumpy Space Princess. Raging Tryhard who manages to be unintentionally humorous through her foibles. Rarely sincere but too self-conscious to let her guard down. Defensive and often the butt of jokes, but completely transparent and often well-liked by sincere types. Desperately wants to be liked but would never admit it. Careens wildly between overconfident and feelings of worthlessness. Headstrong and motivated by a fierce need for independence. Creates problems through stubbornness and solves them by accident. Hapless and endearing, and occasionally a goofball.
7.The Unrepentant Jerk
Pierce Hawthorn/Magic Man. Always seems to think he’s teaching people a valuable lesson by using his power to belittle others. Bitter and has a pessimistic view of other people’s behavior and intentions. Often demonstrates antisocial behavior and is an explosive hypocrite. Holds grudges while simultaneously expecting forgiveness from others. Rejected from natal family or community of origin. Learns little or nothing from mistakes and always feels persecuted, whether or not he actually is. Always injects self into situations where he is unwelcome and would rather have negative attention than no attention.
8.The Incompetent Nurturer
BMO/Dean Pelton. Is not very qualified to mother-hen those around them but has an endless wellspring of enthusiasm for doing so. Does not conform to gender and may be agender. Motivated by deep longings and a search for identity, desperately wants to be loved and accepted. Undeserving recipient of a great deal of mockery and even abuse from loved ones. Does “weird” stuff when no one is looking, and sometimes when they are. Loves to play characters and has a great sense of drama. Comes off as both “Child” and “Caretaker” in various situations.
9. The Sympathetic Sociopath
Ben Chang/The Ice King. Mentally ill and is often in a state of psychosis. Does not understand why his antisocial (in the purest sense of the word) behavior is unacceptable to others; desperately wants to make friends with other characters and/or destroy them. Very little self-awareness, but is often torn by moments of deep and possibly directionless remorse. Wasn’t always the way they are now, a backstory of trauma and sorrow. Walks a tightrope between absolute villain and possible friend without ever really settling in either role. Cannot resolve conflict between obsessive need to control others and needing to be loved by them. Ruled by obsessions.
10. Mrs. Girlfriend
Lady Rainicorn/Professor Slater. This character is often less fully realized than other characters, and often functions as a plot point more than a person. Usually has a gimmick, or one or two notable characteristics. She is often used as a crucible for conflict and and otherwise seems bland, two-dimensional, or functions as an appendage to another character.
11. The Sad Sack
Cinnamon Bun/Garrett. Awww, poor that guy. Lumpen, hapless, and generally piteous. Inherently vaguely incompetent. Terminally awkward and generally well-liked.
Although the same archetype may serve different functions within the larger narrative, the similarities between character archetypes on both of these shows is remarkable. Moreover, I certainly see a bit of myself in all of them, although I may identify with some more than others. Both shows have the quality of playing with these archetypes, and are written in a self-aware manner that keeps them interesting and fresh. Many of the shows’ jokes are contingent on familiarity with the character archetypes and the ways they can be played up and then subverted.
Archetypes are not necessarily meant to be like real people, they are more like examples of what people can be like. Both shows use these archetypes in brave ways, and weave their narratives into existing ones with both continuity and self-referential humor. And that is probably why I like them.
"But you're stifling their artistic freedom!!": on media criticism, public demand and voicing your wishes and concerns to TPTB.
Re: “Stop trying to make Destiel happen!! Stop bothering TPTB about it! Stop rubbing it into everyone’s face!”
Okay, so as you guys probably know, I write stuff about pro-canon shipping and adressing TPTB about the possibility of including more LGBT characters/same-sex couples/making Destiel canon and all that jazz. As some of you may also know, I’m also an art/design student. I’m in my 5th year right now, so I do have a little experience under my belt, definitely enough to understand the basics of how the whole artist<->client relationship works. On my dash, I regularly run into arguments against media criticism/pro-canon shpping/etc that go somewhere along the lines of “But you can’t tell them what to do/ask for things/expect things from TPTB, you’re compromising their artistic freedom!!”. There seems to be this general opinion that aritstic freedom is like a 1500 BC Shang dynasty vase that you shouldn’t walk by too loudly lest it’ll topple over, let along touch it with a single finger. That, honestly, makes me laugh sometimes, because if that was how things really worked at all times, boy would my professional life be easy and highly enjoyable all the way through. Simultaneously, it can make me pretty annoyed when people demonstrate that attitude in connection with constructive criticism that fandom sometimes tries to provide, and things like asking for representation of different groups in the media.
I’m just gonna come out and say it: this isn’t a good understanding of artistic freedom. It’s pretty wrong from the perspective of most jobs in the art/entertainment industry. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of how the relationship between an artist and a client/society and the media works. I see that it often comes from an internal reflex of trying not to offend/not to be disrespectful/etc, and that’s all well and good, but that’s still not how things really work when you’re an artist of some sort. I’m gonna try to explain the whole “artistic freedom” thing from the perspective of an artist<->client relationship and the creative line of work, as best as I can, using some of the stuff I’ve learned during my training. But we’re not just gonna go straight to the relationship between TPTB and viewers, because it’s less direct and more complex. Let’s start with a simplified model of what a direct relationship between an artist and a client looks like, and where artistic freedom comes into it.
Say I’m an interior designer. A client comes to me and says:
Why are we so goddamn mad at Taylor Swift for writing about specific dudes?
The answer is totally sexism.
If you are like me and grew up listening to incredibly angsty twenty-something men whining harmonically about the women that have wronged them and the loves that have failed, then you know as well as I do that men write songs about specific women all the time. And they use their fuckin’ names (or names, anyway, that allude to specific women, just as the “Dear John” song alludes to John Mayer but uses a well-known conceit known as a ‘Dear John letter,’ Google that shit, to achieve thatˆ), too!
Like, I love Andrew McMahon as much as the next awkward teenage girl who hit puberty somewhere between 2001 and 2003, but homeboy writes a LOT of songs about specific women where their NAMES ARE THE TITLE: “Amy, I,” “Amelia Jean,” and “Letters to Noelle,” to name three of ROUGHLY TWO DOZEN. Fall Out Boy, Motion City Soundtrack, Brand New, fun., fun.’s previous and more depressed incarnation The Format, Taking Back Sunday, and countless others that I noticed, as I was nonchalantly scrolling through the time warp sections of my iTunes, talk about relationships with specific women and use names that probably only thinly veil the references to those women. Like, there’s no way you broke up with Justin Pierre for being a self-absorbed alcoholic or whatever and didn’t listen to Motion City Soundtrack’s next album and think, “Well shit, ‘Last Night’ is totally about our breakup, that blows. Why did that douche basically imply I broke up with him because I couldn’t keep up with his brilliance? What?”
The main difference is that Taylor Swift’s beaus are usually also famous, but here’s the thing: men in all genres of music are constantly — constantly— working out their relationship angst through music. Justin Timberlake has now written two consecutive albums, albeit with a seven-year gap, about his relationship experiences. Literally all Justin Bieber seems to sing about is some lady he wants to dance up on or how sad he is because some lady didn’t let him dance up on her. Bruno Mars writes about love and breakups all the time. Nate Ruess (of fun.) is all, “I Wanna Be The One” on one album and then on the next album is like, “Why Am I The One” and sometimes I just want to be all, “Jesus, why the fuck ARE you the one if you keep writing about your breakups on your albums?”*
This is because it is an artist’s right to work out his (OR HER) feelings through his (OR HER) art. This is as true for Taylor Swift as it is for Nate Ruess, okay? It’s as true for Taylor Swift as it is for Justin Bieber or Justin Timberlake or some other Justin who hasn’t surfaced yet (and probably won’t because it’s probably like Highlander and there can only be one). Female artists have as much right to write about their breakups as male artists do. And Taylor Swift’s not the only one to do it — she’s just been the most open in interviews and in the press about her relationships, which has led to this weird entitlement circle where people feel like they SHOULD know about Taylor Swift’s relationships, and then mock her mercilessly for writing about them.
Through some stunning combination of what appears to be her own willingness to connect with people through shared experiences by talking about her personal life, the fact that she dates people of equal visibility, the enthusiasm of whoever handles her image in flaunting that openness and visibility and encouraging the media to pry deeper, and the media’s willingness to throw women under the bus as “catty” or whatever have created an environment where Taylor Swift is
- expected to share personal information about her love life and
- punished for sharing that personal information OR
- punished for not sharing that personal information AND
- disallowed from writing about it in her music because ‘everyone knows already’ or something
I’m not saying she hasn’t had some part in creating this environment, but it’s sure as hell not JUST her. And I just don’t fuckin’ get why everyone is so obsessed with who she is or isn’t writing about or is or isn’t naming when dudes pull this shit ALL THE TIME. The difference is that she’s criticizing equally visible men. That’s pretty much it.
Like, homegirl needs to stop hating on other women so much and there have been a lot of great conversations about how she contributes to slut-shaming and victim-blaming and sex-negativity, but I’m JUST NOT CLEAR why the media at large is more concerned with whether or not she’s calling John Mayer a douchebag (basically) in a song than they are with, say, John Mayer being a total pretentious shit all the time.
Or, more generally: why the fuck are we being so much nastier to a girl writing about her breakups and love interests than we are to powerful men who do the same thing ALL THE TIME to women they met at Starbucks and who don’t have multi-million-dollar record deals?
* I am well aware these songs are about very different things. Also, I volunteer as tribute to be the next muse for a tortured love song, I am js. Call me.
[SPOILERS] Let's be real, here: the hero of The Amazing Spider-Man is Gwen Stacy.
Without her, a lot more people would have died. There would have been no antidote at all. When her life is threatened she evacuates everyone else in the building, gets the room she’s in to lock down in the hopes it will keep her safer and give her more time, and when she realizes that won’t work she steals the device the monster who’s threatening the city is looking for and hides with it. And she doesn’t just sit there, either. When she’s found she uses a blowtorch that she RIGGED TOGETHER to firestorm a human-lizard thing that also happens to be her mentor (who, mind you, wrote her a recommendation so heartfelt and beautiful it made her father cry) in the FACE so that she can do what she needs to do in order to help Peter and save the city.
AND BEYOND THAT! She makes her own decisions with her boyfriend and her father, she is #1 in her damn class, she has an established internship at one of the most prestigious scientific institutions in the world, and she is what — seventeen?
Let’s just take a moment and reflect on the badassery that is Gwen Stacy, without whom Peter Parker would have been totally screwed.
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate. ”—Noam Chomsky, The Common Good, 1998
Dear Disney fans,
Critiquing a Disney movie does not mean we hate Disney, think Walt Disney is the devil, or have some stick up our ass. Most people who critique Disney do enjoy the films and do actually like Disney. We are also about to think critically about the media we consume. Disney was no saint. He heavily relied on stereotypes in his films. Haven’t you notice all his female heroines, animals or people, are kind, caring, and compassionate? That is the stereotypical representation of what a woman should be in the early 20th century. Snow, Cinderella, and Aurora are also all seen cleaning in their films, i.e. they are domestic. Two of them were also being abused with was a fucking plot point in their movies. Disney heavily relied on the evil step mother trope in both Cinderella and Snow White. Disney relies on racist stereotypes in Dumbo (the crows), Lady and the Tramp (the cats and Chihuahua), and Peter Pan (the Native Americans) to name a few. Does that mean these movies are inherently bad and evil? No. However, people do start to believe the stereotypes in these movies because they are reenforced by our culture at large. Disney is a huge cultural force in the 20th and 21st centuries. There is no denying that. Disney movies, while entertainment, do shape how people view society. For that reason it is incredibly important to critique Disney. That doesn’t mean we want to kill your childhood or hate on Walt Disney for shits and giggles.
A very annoyed feminist and Disney fan.
the fact that people get SO defensive when others point out problematic things and have LEGITIMATE criticisms about the things they like, i don’t get it, honestly.
if you like Girls that’s great, but like, that doesn’t change its overt whiteness and the fact that the writers have done some shitty racist things.
you can like problematic things SHH IT’S GONNA BE OKAY (as long as you don’t shit all over the people who do have a problem with it and get upset and offended when they point out the problematic aspects of it, then that’s completely not okay.)
i mean GOD FORBID a PoC points out that they don’t have anyone to relate to in a cast of all-white characters. god forbid that queer people say we’re tired of seeing nothing but hetero characters and heteronormativity in our favourite tv shows and movies and books. god forbid that trans* and non-binary people complain about hurtful jokes about trans people and constant cissexism in the media. i mean, honestly, the nerve of them!!! why don’t they just shut up and enjoy it???
My nominee for the dumbest article of the year ...
It’s a no brainer: Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece in the Atlantic: “The Case for More Guns (and More Gun Control.”)
It’s epically bad. Mind numbingly bad. Even in the context of the 2012 presidential election, it stands out as quite remarkably astonishingly bad.
It’s filled with “feelings” but no analysis. It relies on the thoughts of advocates for one position or another while dismissing the actual research both on guns and violence and the decline in crime in the US over the last 20 years. And, most strikingly, it doesn’t even touch on the obvious point: what happens when armed civilians miss their “bad guy” targets and kill or wound innocent bystanders? Are we going to give them a pass for their acts of manslaughter? Or send them to jail?
Not a word on that one.
Some Atlantic editor had to buy into this. Shame on them.
Just don't look
Just Don’t Look is a semi-regular feature offered as a service to working journalists as suggestions for who or what they should stop covering in the interest of our collective sanity.
- Jane Pratt. In a Tweet announcing some news about Michael Stipe, writer Mandy Stadtmiller actually said “I asked Michael Stipe for an exclusive to get P6 buzz for @xojanedotcom launch.” She is telling you she is being a troll. Yes, Jane Pratt’s new website has published some bad articles and some even worse things involving sex with Terry Richardson. But they are being up-front that they are just doing it to get attention; they want to make money off of being an accelerant of outrage. You are literally just giving them what they want. I understand you might be disappointed in someone you idolized, but please, leave it alone. All you’re doing is showing Tina Brown that Talk failed because the writing was too thoughtful.
- The rapture. The Internet has developed a tabloid-ish tendency to identify people who everyone else knows is wrong and then grind them into the mud. If the rapture does indeed not happen, then they will know soon enough they were wrong. You don’t need to tell them twice, or a million times. You know how American Christians have an undeserved persecution complex? This is why.
- Lars von Trier. It’s like getting mad when a dog named “Shittin’ Joe” poops on the carpet. You knew it was going to happen.
I'm also trying to write something about how fucked up it is that not a single amputee had to stand up to say "Not all Amputees are murders" in the wake of Pastorious' murder charges
but when the disability in the news in mental health related, then the news will bring in experts and people who have said condition, parents of children with said condition who fear for their lives, and basically just makes this giant ugly mess that taints anyone with that condition.
I mean really, how many autistic people said “Hold up, we are far more likely to be the VICTIMS of violence than the perpetrators” post sandy hook?
The fact that a person’s brain is defective in any way automatically translates into the capacity and likelihood for violence in the larger social mindset, and that’s wrong.
“He became part of a crew of bloggers, all of them young men, most of them still in college, who were essentially the liberal guerrilla underground during the Bush years...”—
Julia Ioffe on Ezra Klein in TNR. I realize this is outside the scope of this article, but really — where are the young women? If I could stand leaving New York for even just a second I would go blog the crap out of Washington.
This reminds me of the time Jonathan Chait (while still at TNR) wrote, ”My explanation, which I can’t prove, is socialization predisposes boys to be more interested both in producing and consuming opinion journalism.” That was the day I decided to stop writing features (they’re feminine—who knew?) and start writing what I think.