- ACT NOW: Keep “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” on summer reading lists – A school board in Delaware recently voted to remove this YA about a young lesbian coming of age on the grounds that it had too much swearing. Uh-huh. (An update is posted here.)
Educators and librarians loved it enough to include it on many reading lists, like one this year in Delaware called The Blue Hen List, a collection of 10 contemporary novels that are given to students who are about to enter high school in honors or college prep courses as options to read over the summer. The list is compiled by public youth librarians across the state, and let me tell you, youth librarians usually know what they’re talking about. But on June 12, after concerns from parents, the school board of Cape Henlopen voted 6-1 to remove the book from the list. Lesbians were never mentioned as part of their concern, but man, they were so concerned about the use of the word “fuck.”
- First Trailer for Mini-Series Adaptation of Acclaimed ‘The Book of Negroes’ Surfaces – This mini-series looks like an interesting look at African-Canadian history.
Principal photography for Clement Virgo’s much-anticipated film adaptation of author Lawrence Hill’s award-winning bestseller, “The Book of Negroes,” is complete, as the project now moves into the next phase of the production process, with a MIPCOM premiere in Cannes set for Monday, October 13 as the opening night gala. The filmmaker and a few of the film’s stars will be present (MIPCOM is the international TV and entertainment market held in Cannes once every year; where content is introduced for co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing).
Aunjanue Ellis, Louis Gossett Jr., Cuba Gooding Jr., and Lyriq Bent are all members of the starring cast of the project from Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment and Entertainment One (eOne) Television.
- Hearthstone tournament explains why women aren’t allowed to play – Hearthstone is a videogame put out by Blizzard (Starcraft, Diablo, World of Warcraft) and a recent tournament explicitly excluded women for just about the strangest reasons. (The organizer has since lifted any gender requirements it had in place and opened it up for everyone.)
Here’s the tournament list, from the organisation’s Facebook event page:
- Male Competition: Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, Ultra Street Fighter IV
- Female Competition: Starcraft 2, Tekken Tag Tournament 2
It’s an absurd division. Seemingly it tells us that Ultra Street Fighter IV is for boys, and Tekken Tag Tournament is for girls; that women aren’t meant to play Dota 2 or Hearthstone; and that while both men and women can play Starcraft 2, they damn well better not do it together.
Of course, that’s not what the IeSF are saying. Their reasoning is far more insidious than that. In a reply to a Facebook comment asking why men and women had been divided, the IeSF responded with the following:
“The decision to divide male and female competitions was made in accordance with international sports authorities, as part of our effort to promote e-Sports as a legitimate sports.”
- The Woman Who (Maybe) Struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig – Subtract points for the author’s editorializing, but I loved this story about a female baseball pitcher.
Instead, I discovered the astounding story of Jackie Mitchell, a 17-year-old southpaw who pitched against the New York Yankees on April 2, 1931. The first batter she faced was Ruth, followed by Lou Gehrig, the deadliest hitting duo in baseball history. Mitchell struck them both out. There was a box score to prove it and news stories proclaiming her “organized baseball’s first girl pitcher.”
For a lifelong baseball nerd, this was like learning that a hamster once played shortstop or that Druids invented our national pastime. The Sultan of Swat and the Iron Horse couldn’t hit a girl? Why had I never heard of her?
- “Internet Famous”: Visibility As Violence On Social Media – Shanley Kane talks about how visibility and relevance may make men more influential, but it’s made her and other women much more vulnerable to abuse.
And rather than being an asset, visibility is itself a weapon against me.
In this post, I’m going to talk about my personal experiences with visibility. The act of doing so will be construed as being “complicit” in the abusive visibility aimed at me, as if such a thing were possible. In an industry where the achievement of women is smothered and erased, the above accounts of my career will be viewed as “bragging,” or discredited. People who stalk me will dissect this article looking for vulnerabilities. Journalists will read it looking for “insight” on my life that I have refused to give them.
- Let’s Play a Game With the Restoration Hardware Catalog – If you’ve never read the Restoration Hardware catalog, it’s a furniture and knick-knacks store with amusingly tortured descriptions for the items. Wondermark’s David Maliki decided to make a Balderdash-style game with it, and it’s brilliant.
My favorite descriptions in the catalog are the ones that read like the two halves were pulled out of two separate hats. See if you can match these first halves:
1) Inspired by the voluptuous form of a vintage hayrack…
2) Replica of an architectural rosette fragment cast in resin…
3) Reproduction of a pair of Baroque architectural brackets from a Parisian theater…
With these latter halves:
A) …with the weathered appearance of stone.
B) …our cast iron table is topped with timeworn, reclaimed oak.
C) …reimagined as a mirror.
- Press Release: Obituary – Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014) – On a sad note, children’s author Walter Dean Myers passed away yesterday at age 76.
Walter often wrote books about the most difficult time in his own life—his teenage years—for the reader he once was; these were the books that he wished were available when he was that age. Throughout his life, Walter worked to make sure young adults had the tools necessary to become hungry readers, thirsty learners, and, therefore, successful adults. He frequently met with incarcerated teens in juvenile detention centers and received countless letters thanking him for his inspirational words. Walter also worked with and mentored teenage fan and writer Ross Workman, and they published the novel Kick together. As the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature from 2012-2013, Walter traveled around the United States promoting the slogan “Reading is not optional.” He strove to spread the message that a brighter future depends on reading proficiency and widespread literacy, not only during his two-year tenure as National Ambassador, but beyond. More than anything, Walter pushed for his stories to teach children and teenagers never to give up on life.
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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.