Links: Saturday, November 9th

November 9, 2013 Links 5

Unemployed Lumber Worker and His Wife, circa 1939. A white man with a thin mustache sits on a stump under a tent smoking a pipe while wearing pants and suspenders and no shirt. A white woman in a patterned dress sits in a chair in front of a mattress on the ground further back in the tent.Realistically colorized historical photos make the past seem incredibly real [36 pictures]

  • Time for straight allies to get out of the spotlight in the LGBT sports movement – Spotlight hogging is why “ally” is a dirty word for some people. Patrick Burke has a done a lot of good with You Can Play, but I’m glad he realizes he’s become part of the problem when journalists are turning to him, a straight white guy, for a story about Brittney Griner, a black lesbian athlete.

    I can’t shake the feeling that we’ve gone too far. Allies have raised our profiles beyond what is necessary to help the LGBT community. It’s been a big year for allies to get famous, grab a book deal, win awards, maybe pocket some speaker’s fees for appearances. Resources that should be going to empower LGBT voices are instead going to enhance the visibility of straight people. We’ve created professional allies (or, as the history major in me would call them, mercenaries). We’ve created famous allies. Think of how absurd that concept is.

  • GIFs, memes and liveblogs: The controversial new language of book reviewing – Salon does, occasionally, print a good article, and I liked this thoughtful piece on the gif review.

    What’s at issue here is a question of tone, and it’s no surprise that it happened in the thriving subculture devoted to reading and writing YA books, where old-fashioned expectations of the special status accorded to published authors rubs up against a readership more inclined to treat everyone as peers. You would think that Bransford, someone enthusiastic about a novel in which one character refers to another character’s girlfriend as a “dire pussy-web,” would not be so flabbergasted by a review that speaks the same irreverent, profane language as both the book’s characters and its intended audience. Is it really such a surprise that an Internet review of a book for and about teenagers should be written pretty much the way teenagers write stuff on the Internet?

  • Dear Joss Whedon: STFU – I’ve liked some of the stuff he’s created, but every time he’s spoken about feminism or racism or the like I’ve wanted to find him a seat. Also, Jezebel is still a bad joke.

    When you posit that two of the main problems with the word feminist are the offputting phonetics and unnatural implications of its final syllable, then promptly suggest a replacement word that uses the exact same fucking syllable in the exact same fucking placement while changing the part you claimed was great – which backflip you manage to perform in the space of a single, pre-prepared speech – it’s probably time to sit all the way down and shut the fuck up about feminism.

  • HOW NOT TO BE A DICK TO A LITTLE PERSON – A helpful guide written with a good sense of humor.

    The main challenges I face as a little person are simply that I cannot reach or carry anything, which is fine by me because I have never been and will never be asked to help someone move. I also do not drive people to the airport but that has nothing to do with my size, I’m just a bitch. The most daunting challenge I face as a little person is navigating through people’s blatant disregard for my personal space and arbitrary offensive questions.

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Ridley

An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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5 Responses to “Links: Saturday, November 9th”

  1. Meoskop

    I think I’m in love with Selene Luna now.

    Those colorization things are always lost on me. I don’t see B&W pics differently than color, same with films. The “wow” factor never kicks in.

  2. Liz Mc2

    How often do we find a celebrated ally like Burke saying something like that, or even noticing the problem? (I hope praising him for it doesn’t just turn into another way of spotlighting him). I loved his shout-out to his history degree too. Not useless!

    I have found Laura Miller’s reporting/reflecting on Goodreads consistently thoughtful–certainly miles ahead of any other “professional” reporting out there. I like the fact that she actually speaks to (a handful of) Goodreads users. I still feel that tons of gif-heay reviews are a good guide that a book is not for me, but this piece made me rethink gifs the way that NY Times piece made me rethink selfies. The use isn’t always artful, but sometimes it is. And her point about how “amateur” reviews explore emotional, personal responses as much as or more than aesthetic ones, that there’s a rethinking of the nature of the review and the role of the reviewer here, is a really good one (if not brand new). I suspect this is part of why amateur/citizen reviews get so much push-back.

  3. Tina

    On the whole, I dislike gif-heavy reviews. More often than not I’ve read ones where the text of the review acts as more of a set up to introduce the gif, rather than the gif being the thing that works as an illustration of the text in the review.

    I have read some really great reviews that very cleverly and judiciously use gifs. But those are increasingly becoming the exception, I think. Lately, when reading some gif-heavy reviews, I can’t shake the feeling that the author of the review came across a handful of cool gifs and couldn’t wait to use them in the next review, no matter what the review was.

  4. Ridley

    @Tina: I think gifs are like F-bombs. Used sparingly, they accentuate your point. Overuse them, and your point gets lost.

    Also, they obscure your review for those using screen readers, especially if you don’t enter alt text.