CASH & DAVID
This is almost beyond sexy (not to mention intellectually erotic; Cash and David?). I’m so devastated by the two performers’ distinct physical styles playing out the same choreography. For anyone who’s ever enjoyed looking, moving, or being moved.
CASH & DAVID
Thanks to the circumstances of my upbringing, I developed, at a very early age, a clear framework through which I could be dead certain whether I would or would not bow down before someone/something of power.
Up until now, my immediate and visceral reaction to every non-animist entity under consideration has been rather Captain America a la Joss Whedon’s THE AVENGERS: Not today! But for Queen R, I think I would make a pretty obvious exception.
Soon the numbing parade of luxe brands—Cartier, Cristal, Omega, iPad, iPod, Audi, Gucci—takes on the same dulled impact as endlessly tweaked nipples and repeatedly bound wrists. Curiously (but perhaps not surprisingly), our heroine’s responses to these artifacts of her ascendance are eerily similar to her sexual responses: “Oh, my!” “Yes.” “Holy shit!” After that, the superior quality and enormous cost of each item are mulled in excruciating detail. Just as traditional, male-centered pornography seems to feature a particularly clumsy, childish notion of sexiness, the concept of luxury on offer in Fifty Shades is remarkably callow. Like an update of the ostentatious, faux-tasteful wealth of Dynasty, Christian’s penthouse, with its abstract art and dark wood and leather, represents the modern version of enormous flower arrangements and white marble and a house staff trussed up in cartoon-butler regalia. No detail of the environment feels organic or specific to Christian himself; instead, it reflects a prescribed corporate aesthetic of enormous wealth that for some reason James approaches with reverence rather than repulsion or dread.
—"Fifty Shades of Late Capitalism", by Heather Havrilesky
Today on the R: Skating Through A Rink Of Frozen White Tears: An Olympics Recap
So why was Nagasu a lesser choice than Wagner? Or then-15 year old Polina Edmunds, who had no international experience whatsoever prior to setting blade to ice in Sochi? Why would any of this come up as an issue when they were perfectly fine in naming bronze medalist Jason Brown to the US Men’s team. Brown is a 19 year old skater with only two major pre-Olympic competitions to his name and no competition ready quad of any kind. If USFSA were that concerned about winning then Jason Brown , despite being a crowd favorite youtube phenom, would not have been competing in Sochi.
There’s no firm answer to the Mirai vs. Wagner question. Some have speculated that the USFSA thought that Edmunds’ Russian heritage would endear her to Russian audiences and help her mental performance. Some believe that they group was well aware that NBC had been pushing the Ashley Wagner storyline since October; having already lost Evan Lysacek and thus one great rivalry (Lysacek vs. Plushenko) and plucky blonde skier Lindsey Vonn, NBC couldn’t afford to lose anyone else they’d spent advertising dollars on. Others suspected they didn’t like that Nagasu was competing at Nationals without a coach and firm team behind her. She certainly managed to medal despite it all. However all speculation aside the facts are clear: this marks the second time USFSA has used their power to deny an Asian skater an earned spot on Team USA.
Perhaps this wouldn’t have stung the way it did had the ladies team gone and performed to the ability that USFSA assured us they would. No one was expecting a podium sweep (let’s be kind and call this a “rebuilding year”) but there were hopes that Ashley Wagner or Gracie Gold could manage a medal of some colour. Gold finished 4th, Wagner finished 7th, and Edmunds finished 9th. A top ten finish is a fine accomplishment for a 15 year old skater making their debut like Edmunds, but more was expected from Gold and certainly from Wagner who many feel didn’t earn her spot on the team to begin with. Like with Harding and Kwan we’re left wondering what might have happened had Mirai been allowed to go and represent her country rather than being shunted off to the side by a committee who clearly hasn’t learned from their past mistakes. — Kendra James
I’m almost worried that a symptom of my mental illness experience might be the inappropriate and intense feelings I have towards certain authors; sometimes these feelings manage to bypass everything remotely human about the equation and manifest directly towards the books themselves.
I just finished THE MAGICIAN KING. It is so beautiful and disturbing—like Grossman wrote about C. S. Lewis, someone who provoked the following reaction in him, it makes me want to talk back, to track the author down and tap him on the shoulder and give him a piece of my mind—I could puke all over it. Not only that, but I get the feeling that doing so (in lieu of my ability to physically merge with the book) would be the only thing that could relieve the horrid psyche-body tension that is my love for it. That, or maybe if I beat myself over the head with the book until I pass out. I’m not fucking kidding, I can’t eat, I can’t work on my poetry, I’m not sure what exactly I’m to do until August, when THE MAGICIAN’S LAND is released. I’m worried I will assault someone at the bookstore if they take the last copy before my very eyes, I’m worried I won’t sleep tonight.
With the upcoming fourth season of A Game of Thrones about to hit TV screens, you will soon see ‘If you like reading GRR Martin, why not try these authors?’ displays going up in bookshops. I will give a book of mine, of their choice, to the first person who can send me a photo of such a display that isn’t entirely composed of male authors. Because I’ve yet to see one. I have challenged staff in bookshops about this, to be told ‘women don’t write epic fantasy’ Ahem, with 15 novels published, I beg to differ. And we read it too.
But that’s not what the onlooker sees in the media, in reviews, in the supposedly book-trade-professional articles in The Guardian which repeatedly discuss epic fantasy without ever once mentioning a female author. That onlooker who’s working in a bookshop and making key decisions about what’s for sale, sees a male readership for grimdark books about blokes in cloaks written by authors like Macho McHackenslay. So that’s what goes in display, often at discount, at the front of the store. So that’s what people see first and so that’s what sells most copies.
Juliet E. McKenna being brilliant (so what else is new) on the SFWA shoutback, public perceptions of the field, and equal access to offensiveness, sexism and idiocy. (via dduane)
"God, the things I saw. Really, you should do it sometime. Some days I would hit a dozen worlds. I was just like free-falling through the multiverse. A giant tree that didn’t have any beginning or end. A sort of magnetic world, where everything stuck to you. One was all stretchy. One was just stairs, stairs and stairs and stairs. What else? There was an upside-down one. A weightless one, where you drifted around in outer space, except that space was warm and humid and smelled sort of like rosemary.
And you know what’s real? Teletubbies! I know, right? Crazy, crazy stuff…
I did meet a girl, after all that. Man, it was beautiful. This world was mostly mountains, like one of those Chinese paintings, just rising out of the mist, and actually everybody looked kind of Asian. They lived in these ornate hanging pagoda cities. But there were hardly any of them left—they were always fighting these endless wars with other people on other mountains, for no special reason. Plus they fell off cliffs a lot.
I was probably the fattest person they’d ever seen, but they didn’t care about that. I think they thought it was hot. Like it meant I was a good hunter, something like that… I was kind of a celebrity for a while.
I started hanging out with this one girl, big-time warrior for one of the cities. She was very into the magic thing. And also I guess their menfolk weren’t especially well-endowed in the hardware aisle, if you take my meaning.”
—THE MAGICIAN KING, by Lev Grossman
The preceding contains the following perfect examples, in generous sample size, of
- Racism in top-shelf fantasy
- How often racist jokes are, oddly, so often deeply unfunny—well humour in a novel otherwise dripping with top-shelf humour
- A rock-solid, built-in rebuttal to anybody (including the author) who might argue that racism and racist jokes are excusable, or evidence of, or even beneficial to the work’s artistic merit
We just got a full page of nothing but carefully overwhelming evidence that the author is a nimble, energetic, and passionate world-builder. He’s not going to take us to any of these places for the sake of plot, but through Josh’s exposition we are reminded that we are in the capable hands of someone who is so in love with the powers of the imagination, with its wild ability to manipulate and recreate the world we are used to into variations we couldn’t even have imagined prior to entering his world, that he wrote an entire trilogy about our desire to be shaken out of our imagination’s status quo.
We are in the hands of a master storyteller. And yet, while he can find a way to make plausible the idea of Teletubbies being real (and fuckable—ugh, just read the book, so funny, it’s details like this that had me smitten by Chapter 2 of the first novel), the first mention of racial identity that I can recall occurring so far in the series culminates with a who-is-the-laziest-of-them-all joke about Asian men having small penises.
I love and hate* how in THE MAGICIANS, on like page 3, “email” is so casually, accurately, perfectly included in Quentin’s list of mundane things he has to take care of once he gets home** from his Princeton interview. Of course.
* I don’t hate Lev Grossman. This is like when I say I “hate” Chris Adrian for being both the head of the pediatric oncology department (Really? He’s in charge of child cancer? Really? …DBAA, Lo.) somewhere as well as the author of a book (among others) as slaughterhouse good as A BETTER ANGEL. Which he wanted to put on the shelves as WHY ANTICHRIST? with an all-black cover except for a teeny white upside-down crucifix but Picador was like NO, NO, NO. Yeah. I’m just about totally infatuated with everything I know so far about the bodies of work of these authors. Hurry the hell up, Lev Grossman’s publishing house. And I can just smell the movie adaptation from three thousand miles away so guys don’t go and fuck it up. (Though if someone wanted to unwhitewash the roster a little, I wouldn’t be mad. Just saying.)
** Yeah yeah I know, this is my way of cracking a joke
Raw Milk is Ben Hilt, a songwriter based out of Columbus and one of the most attentive craftworkers I’ve ever had the pleasure of calling a friend.
This track is more on the folk side of his anti-folk/folktronic identities listed under his first album’s page, which you can check out here. You can listen to songs there but I highly recommend asking him if he still has physical copies left to sell, since these snow storms are only going to last so long and you’ll be happy and moved to drive or walk around in the sunshine with those tunes thrumming out your windows/headphones.
I am taking a mental health day today and devoting way too much time to diving back in to House of Cards on the couch—I have not yet sporadically stress-cried along to that show but I bet the experience is TRIPPY.
I just sent this in an email to a friend but hit SEND before properly thinking through such a scenario:
Me: [bawling, reaches for a tissue]
On the TV: PoTUS plus congressmen leave the room, leaving Frank Underwood as the last to exit and close the door behind him. One hand on the door, Frank Underwood suddenly turns his head and looks directly into the camera, shattering the fourth wall and looking directly into my soul, and says, “Pathetic.”