Links: Tuesday, January 13th

January 13, 2015 Links 4

A dark skinned woman's fingernails are painted to resemble the rupee gems from the Zelda video games.

I’ve got rupees!

Today’s Links:

  • Three Funerals That Shaped My Life – Jason Reynolds has a YA novel about a 17-year-old boy who works in a funeral home in Brooklyn and talks about funerals on Diversity in YA.

    You know what sucks? Death. Straight up. And what blows about it even more than the inconceivable pain of loss, is the fact that it’s one of the few things in life that’s actually inescapable. It’s an all encompassing fact. The ultimate bummer. And as a person who has been force-fed this bummer far more than I would like, I have to admit that the only thing more fascinating than the end of life, is the banquet we throw to commemorate that finale. Yes, funerals. They suck too. But only sometimes. Actually, most times. But there are moments when funerals go from a stew pot of grief, to a well of inspiration, and when we’re really, really, lucky, a haven for a hearty, hearty laugh.

    Here are three funerals that shaped my life.

  • I have a brand, I have a soul. – This post by an artist criticized by fans for “selling out” by signing a deal with Barnes & Noble seemed relevant to romance. It seems that something can either make a creator money or be art, but can’t be both.

    Things are changing with big box stores. Have you noticed the endcaps in several big chains devoted to designers or “small,” independent artists? Have you noticed hang tags that actually credit the artist? Have you seen artist lines in big-named catalogs? If you haven’t, try looking a little closer. They’re everywhere, and will only continue to grow. I wholeheartedly believe that larger corporations are seeing the value of the independent artist. Consumers want something more these days. They want something original. They want something with soul. They want something that can’t be automated or mass-produced. They want independent. They want small. And boy-oh-boy is that good news for us, the independent artist. I personally think it’s AWESOME that places like West Elm and Anthropologie are teaming up with Etsy artists so they can have a broader reach.

  • Margaret Cho’s Golden Globes Skit Was Minstrelsy, Not Comedy – A quick post in Time explaining why Margaret Cho’s dig at North Korea was problematic. (Heads up for autoplaying video.)

    It’s the extra burden placed on women and comedians of color. White, heterosexual male comedians don’t have to carry the responsibility of representation. They are free to go for the laughs and contribute as culture makers, no matter how juvenile or unfunny or offensive the joke may be. There is no expectation that their jokes represent a monolith. There is no backlash if a joke about white, straight men misfires. On Sunday, the three comics—one Korean, all women—took risks. The Cosby rape joke. North Korea. The reception was heated and torn because there are restrictions, people believe, on what they can say, especially as women, and for Cho, as a woman of color. But that wasn’t why Cho flopped in my eyes. It didn’t work because the joke didn’t belong at the Golden Globes, where Asian Americans are virtually absent, and not for the lack of talent, but for the lack of roles that present us within a spectrum of humanity.

  • Mindy Kaling is not your pioneer – I don’t know what to think about this. It seems unfair to ask Kaling to do what no one asks Poehler or Fey to do, but I don’t know.

    The bulk of criticism of “The Mindy Project” has rightly focused on the optics of diversity. In the show’s run so far, Lahiri has dated 19 white men — an exclusive cohort she herself has joked is a string of “tall white men to short white men.” On Jezebel, Dodai Stewart gently chastised Kaling for her excessive attention to white men, hoping that after the first season, Lahiri could “mix it up and try dating Mexican, Korean, black, Navajo or Moroccan men.” (She didn’t.)

    But the problem here is not that Lahiri exclusively dates white men. It’s that there is never any confrontation of race within these relationships. It’s aggressively naive to suggest that none of her tall white boyfriends has ever said that he has a proclivity for Indian women, clumsily attempted to prove his familiarity with Indian culture or dismissed her for her race. Neither does Lahiri show any anxiety, glee or resentment about being the sole Indian woman in a mostly white male environment. There is not even the barest acknowledgment that her desire might be shaped by the expectations of a white male establishment. “The Mindy Project” perpetuates a white power structure by masking how racial fantasies operate on an interpersonal level. Race is ornamental, like a Kate Spade purse.

  • Legal Scholar Calls for ‘Fetal Rescue Programs’ to End Abortion Debate – Well this is terrifying.

    Suppose technology advanced to the point at which a pregnancy could be terminated at any stage, with the extracted zygote, embryo, or fetus then transferred to an artificial womb where it could gestate to term. Could states then constitutionally mandate “fetal rescue programs” as a way to potentially eliminate legal abortion?

    While the premise may sound like something right out of a Margaret Atwood novel, it is not some feminist dystopian nightmare; nor, for that matter, is the possibility of artificial wombs or gestation solely the creation of science fiction. The scenario is, as Professor Stephen Giles argues in the recent article “Does the Right to Elective Abortion Include the Right to Ensure the Death of the Fetus?”, a possible legal path forward for anti-abortion advocates to either render Roe v. Wade irrelevant or overturn it altogether.

  • You can now play nearly 2,400 MS-DOS video games in your browser – Oregon Trail in your browser, baby. Try not to die of dysentery.

    Nearly 2,400 MS-DOS games are now available to play — for free — in almost any browser on the Internet Archive. Meaning: A lot of people of a certain generation (hi!) are once again able to play the games they played over and over and over again as kids.

    The Internet Archive is arguably best-known for its Wayback Machine, the neat and useful repository of home pages past that lets you, say, see what the White House’s Web site looked like 15 years ago. But it does a lot more than simply send surfers back in time.

    Many video game enthusiasts learned that over a year ago with the launch of the console living room, a similar project that brought early games (like those on the old Atari consoles) into the browser as playable emulations.

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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.

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4 Responses to “Links: Tuesday, January 13th”

  1. Danielle

    Thank you for bringing Jason Reynolds to my attention. I rarely read YA but have now put this book on my to-buy list based on the linked essay.

  2. Ridley

    @Danielle: I don’t read YA, but “novel about a 17-year-old boy who works in a funeral home in Brooklyn” has me sorely tempted.

    The line in his essay about his grandfather’s grief had me sobbing. Tears everywhere.

  3. Jae Lee

    Hah, we just barely got birth control covered by the states but that guy thinks they’ll pay for artificial gestation? All the lols.

  4. Nu

    I think Kaling’s made it perfectly clear she doesn’t want to reflect on ethnicity or identity in interviews or her show, and that’s legitimate. She doesn’t owe anything to anyone. It’s her show, and she can determine which issues she’ll address. That is why there can’t be just “that one show with the Indian-American actress.” She can’t speak for everyone of her ethnicity. There needs to be many offering a diversity of perspectives, and the same is true of other ethnicities.