Links: Tuesday, December 2nd

December 2, 2014 Links 7

A black and white photo from 1902 of a woman journalist "in the future". A white woman holds a walking stick in the crook of her elbow and a pencil and  notepad in her hands.  She wears a trench coat and a top hat sits on her dark, curly hair.

The Women of the Future – 1902

Today’s Links:

  • 9 Hilarious Parody Twitter Handles Every Bookworm Needs to Follow – I follow @TropeHeroine, who spoofs romance, and find it consistently amusing in a gentle ribbing by a genre fan sort of way. Totally recommended.

    Would Voldemort have used social media? What would Shakespeare have said in 140 characters? These are questions every bookworm has pondered, and thanks to some clever Twitter users out there, we now have an idea! From famous poets to The Boy Who Lived, we’ve rounded up our favorite book-related parody Twitter accounts. Which are your favorites?

  • The Big Sleep: A Death That’s Not So Shocking – I don’t watch any TV other than hockey, but Suleikha/Mala wrote this, so I’m just going to assume it’s good and TV watchers would like it. Enjoy!

    And then of course there is the big, uncomfortable elephant in the room: the show’s handling of race. Sleepy Hollow was almost revelatory when it debuted – a network genre show where most of the characters were of color, and in particular the female lead. How freakin’ awesome. Move over Scandal’s Olivia Pope, and make room for Abbie Mills! But the glee and hope dissipated as Abbie’s Latino cop love interest vanished and John Cho’s Andy Brooks was written off as he pursued other work. By season two, as the Cranes became the focus, and walking MacGuffin smuggler Hawley joined the cast, the outlook became positively grim. Native Americans were again trotted out as mystical beings (the show seems to have forgotten the shaman from season one), Orientalism played a key role, airtime for Irving and Jenny dwindled, and Abbie basically became a supporting cast member. The multiracial ensemble romp that fans of diverse television flocked to had somehow turned into a pale and passionless slog. Talk about a bait-and-switch: Come for the people of color, stay for the new white guy.

  • The Worry And The Wait For Justice: What It Feels Like To Be A Black Mother Right Now – Mikki Kendall talks about the stress and worry of being a black mother of sons in the current environment.

    So when something like the Michael Brown shooting happens, the police too often express no sadness. They are brusque—or, worse yet, insulting—to the grieving community, and they declare that their own right to safety trumps all other concerns. That is guaranteed to take an already hostile, upset, and grief-stricken neighborhood straight into rage. Because the message being sent by that kind of response from police is clear: Black youths are merely being allowed to live by white cops who have the power to rescind that permission at any time, based on even arbitrary and unsubstantiated “fear”, without consequence. What could possibly make a Black population feel more terrified or more dehumanized? What could possibly make a mother more completely panic-stricken every time her Black child leaves the house?

  • My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK – A powerful account of living and working under white supremacy as an English professor at a liberal arts college in New York.

    The fourth time a Poughkeepsie police officer told me that my Vassar College Faculty ID could make everything OK was three years ago. I was driving down Hooker Avenue. When the white police officer, whose head was way too small for his neck, asked if my truck was stolen, I laughed, said no, and shamefully showed him my license and my ID, just like Lanre Akinsiku. The ID, which ensures that I can spend the rest of my life in a lush state park with fat fearless squirrels, surrounded by enlightened white folks who love talking about Jon Stewart, Obama, and civility, has been washed so many times it doesn’t lie flat.

    After taking my license and ID back to his car, the police officer came to me with a ticket and two lessons. “Looks like you got a good thing going on over there at Vassar College,” he said. “You don’t wanna it ruin it by rolling through stop signs, do you?”

    I sucked my teeth, shook my head, kept my right hand visibly on my right thigh, rolled my window up, and headed back to campus.

  • Discovery of Long-Lost Silent Film With All-Indian Cast Has Historians Reeling – Punny headline aside, this is an awesome story of finding an independent film from 1920 that everyone thought was lost forever.

    “This film is so important to Indian people and is a rare piece of art as well, since only two percent of independent films made in this era have survived,” Blackburn says. “We plan to show it in Telluride, Denver and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in 2013. [Documentary film producer] Ken Burns has committed to assist with the film’s distribution.”

    Once descendants of the Kiowa and Comanche cast members were identified, Blackburn arranged to screen The Daughter of Dawn for the families in the Oklahoma towns of Anadarko, Carnegie and Lawton. “There were tears,” he recalls. “They recognized an aunt or a grandparent, and out of that conversation came recognition of the tipi used in the film. It was very powerful for them to see family members who were pre-reservation wearing their own clothing and using family heirlooms that had been brought out of trunks. It was very emotional for them.”

  • Steubenville hasn’t changed at all: “You trying to write about that whole rape thing?” – A journalist visits Steubenville, Ohio and finds things haven’t improved at all for the area’s girls.

    A stocky boy in a Big Red football jersey stops to talk with me. “You trying to write about that whole rape thing?” he asks. When I nod he says gruffly: “No one is going to talk to you about it. I don’t mean to be disrespectful. You seem like a nice girl. I just want to save you time. No one wants to talk about it.”

    This won’t be the last warning I receive. It’s clear the locals don’t take well to nosy reporters. Not long afterward, an administrator comes by and tells me to leave: “I’m giving you five minutes to get off my property before I call the police.”

    It’s not just students who are reluctant to talk — few in the community seem comfortable discussing the case. Authorities have not implemented any formal programs to reduce sexual violence in the community. Even informal conversations about the assault have largely died down, students tell me.

    I ask Brianna Jones, a local whose stepsister attends Steubenville High, whether the case influenced teenage behavior at all. She laughs aloud. “Has it changed the way guys treat girls or approach sex? Not at all,” Jones, says, chuckling, and shakes her head sadly. “Not at all. If anything, things have gotten worse. These guys still do the same disgusting things.”

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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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7 Responses to “Links: Tuesday, December 2nd”

  1. lawless

    Re: Steubenville — I am sick and tired of sexual assault not being taken seriously. I’d love us to move to an affirmative consent requirement everywhere, not just in colleges, and am fed up with jackasses like the Yale Law School professor (I forget his name, but he’s married to the author of Tiger Mom) who somehow thinks it’s a big problem. His argument? It criminalizes behavior that’s not criminal. That’s because he considers the current definition of consent (and thus of rape) good enough. Circular argument much?

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