- Must I take the High Road? A rant in the making. – Like I said on Twitter: I am all about heroines getting angry and not playing nice, but I am not here for characterizing the “other woman” as a man-stealing skank. Not only do I hate the word skank, boyfriends and girlfriends are not possessions that can be stolen. I’m sick of authors writing them this way and I’ve got no time for calling women names for showing interest in a guy.
Recently I read a few books that required the heroine to take the high road and play nice with a woman who showed signs they were after the heroine’s man. The heroines don’t break bad. They don’t toss the skank across the room and let them know in uncertain terms that NOBODY takes their man. Instead they rationalize one hundred reasons why they really shouldn’t stuff them in a Fed Ex box and mail them to, “ I will bust you a new one, USA.”
- Pictures of Men, Friends or Lovers – I’d have posted this as the lead image, but he disabled sharing. It’s a wonderful gallery of antique images of black men who may or may not have been lovers. Make sure to hit his Flickr.
Trent Kelley wondered how he could study the history of African-American gay men when so many of them had lived their lives in relative secrecy. He found his answer in vintage photographs — which he began to collect on eBay, at flea markets and at estate sales — which depict everything from urban dandies and workers to athletes and soldiers.
Eager to share this findings and thoughts, he set up a Flickr stream he titled “Hidden in the Open: Photographic Essay of Afro American Male Affections,” which featured some 200 photographs from the Civil War to the present, an essay and romantic snapshots of contemporary black gay couples, men Mr. Kelley contrasts as being “out in the open.”
- Loathe, Actually – No clue how I stumbled upon a blog post by a libertarian about a romcom movie I’ve never seen, but I thought he did a good job of explaining the placeholder heroine concept.
When the character’s struggle is closer to home—the familiar search for a lasting romantic connection, most often set in the present day—the differences between the viewer and the character tend to be thrown into sharper relief, which means the characters need to be a bit more generic to enable the widest possible audience identification. And the lack of female agency is, in itself, part of the fantasy element: “I’m so desirable that I’ll be showered with love just for existing.” In a way this mirrors the way many fantasy heroes discover extraordinary powers that are part of an identity that had been obscured even from themelves (Harry Potter, Luke Skywalker, the X-Men) rather than setting out deliberately to acquire them. The ultimate wish-fulfillment is not imagining that you can become special through sustained effort, but to have it confirmed that you were special all along, as you always secretly suspected.
- Accordions: So Hot Right Now – This one I know comes via Meoskop, because Krist Novoselic is involved. I am linking it because accordions are awesome.
Davis believes the rise in popularity of the accordion has a lot to do with today’s anything-goes music industry, enabled by the Internet. “I think in general people have felt a little bit braver about what kind of music they’re creating,” she said, “and more interested in stepping outside of the realm of what pop or rock music is supposed to sound like.”
There’s also the fact that the instrument is in line with the so-called “retromania” of the new millennium. While the accordion is, as Petrosa says, “one of the only instruments that’s basically found in every style of music throughout the world,” it’s largely associated with European and American folk music. Which, of course, is cool again, as seen in the popularity of acts like Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters and Men.
Links: Saturday, January 11th
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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.