- Why Female Authors Get Angry at Erasure – I’ve refrained from linking to the Konrath brouhaha because the man’s ego doesn’t need more attention, but this reaction from Beth Revis is worth reading for how it gets to the heart of the problem and how it’s not one you fix by suggesting books to read.
Recently, a male author who co-wrote an erotic romance novel put his foot in his mouth. He claimed, rather hyperbolically, that his book couldn’t have been written ten years ago, and that no book like his had ever been written before. You can read a succinct description here, or you can read the original post and comments here.
As much as the author’s blustering denies it, women have been writing erotic romance (yes, even erotic romance with all his stipulations—comedic, bdsm, etc., etc.—attached to it) before him. And despite his continued arguments about semantics and pedantic logic, he refuses to even acknowledge that what he said was insulting not only to erotic romance authors, but to women in general.
- McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Product Review: The Invisible Backpack of White Privilege from L.L. Bean – It’s McSweeney’s. I can’t blurb this. You just have to read it.
The Invisible Backpack of White Privilege is pretty decent, I guess. I’ve had one as long as I can remember. My parents said it just showed up in the mail when I was born, and L.L. Bean’s policy is to replace the backpack for free if it ever breaks, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. It’s $8 extra to get your initials monogrammed, which I personally think should be free of charge. The backpack comes in different colors, more recently Irish, Italian, and Buffalo Plaid.
The Invisible Backpack of White Privilege is great for carrying questionable things like weed, Ponzi schemes, and sex crimes. I have lived in dense urban areas my whole life, and the cops never once search my Invisible Backpack. Then again, that’s probably just because, like people always tell me, I have a really trustworthy vibe as a person.
- North Kansas City School District apologizes for taking away blind child’s cane – No good decisions were hurt in the making of this story. Lord above.
Eight-year-old Dakota Nafzinger attends Gracemor Elementary School. Rachel Nafzinger said school staff took away her son’s cane as punishment for bad behavior on the bus and then gave him a swimming pool noodle to use as a substitute.
The school wouldn’t go on camera, but North Kansas City School District Spokeswoman Michelle Cronk confirmed taking away Dakota’s cane, calling it school property that was given to him when he enrolled. They said they took it away after he reportedly hit someone with it and wanted to prevent him from hurting himself or others.
His family said it was a way to humiliate him for misbehaving.
- Diagnosing Die Hard‘s craziest injuries: A professional weighs in – Fact check this movie all you want. Just don’t try to argue that it’s not a Christmas movie.
If you enjoy the holidays but cringe at the do-goodiness of sappy Christmas classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, you should immediately add Die Hard to your annual viewing repertoire. The 1988 action thriller opens on Christmas Eve (Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” plays in the background), as hardened New York City cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Los Angeles to visit his kids and estranged wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia), who moved across the country for a job. Except instead of a romantic reconciliation at Holly’s office holiday party, McClane finds himself in the middle of a deadly terrorist hostage situation.
To save the day, McClane single-handedly picks off half a dozen vaguely Eastern European terrorists led by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), engaging in several glass-crunching, blood-spattering, blow-heavy, bullet-riddled fight sequences. The muscle-bound, machine-gun-toting terrorists die spectacularly. The barefoot McClane somehow limps away at the end.
But wouldn’t running over broken glass barefoot rip your feet to shreds? Wouldn’t McClane break his neck falling down the stairs? Is it really possible to bungee jump 100 feet with a fire hose tied around your body and live to tell the tale?
- Rape threats, then no response: What it was like to be a woman on Twitter in 2014 – Thank heavens I have a gender-ambiguous Twitter handle because the place is a goddamned mess.
Those, notably, are just the high-profile names — the big, extreme cases that made the news. Women tend not to talk about the the steady, inevitable trickle of lesser threats, the things that are “just wallpaper to me now,” as one feminist writer told The Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg in August. Few achieve the notoriety that Zelda Williams or Anita Sarkeesian or Monica Lewinsky do.
“Zelda has become this poster child,” Pozner, the head of the advocacy group Women in Media and News told The Post in August, “but what that overlooks is that Twitter, in particular, has become a place for abuse, and for women and people of color in particular. The company knows it and has done precious little.”
- Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies – Always here for Ayn Rand snark. Always.
The biggest and the strongest are the fittest to rule. This is the way things have always been. —Four stars.
A farm animal ceases to be useful and is disposed of humanely. A valuable lesson for children. —Four stars.