At the end of this month, the House of Cards & Curiosities, on Eighth Avenue, just south of Jane Street, in the West Village, will close its doors after more than twenty years in business. It was, admittedly, not a store whose economic logic was readily apparent. Along with artistic greeting cards, it sold things like small animal skeletons, stuffed piranhas (which were hanging from the ceiling), and tiny ceramic skulls. Nonetheless, it did good business for many years, or so its owner, James Waits, told me. Its closing leaves four shuttered storefronts on just one block. With their papered-up windows and fading paint, the failed businesses are a depressing sight in an otherwise vibrant neighborhood. Each represents a broken dream of one kind or another.
Honestly, Rick Rolling is the best practical joke ever. Like, there’s nothing offensive or mean spirited about it. It’s just like “Oops you thought there would be something else here but it’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.” which isn’t even a bad song. It’s fairly enjoyable to listen to. There’s no jumpscares, no screaming, no ill will. Just Rick Astley telling you he’s never going to give you up. I think that’s great. “You fell into my trap! Here, listen to this completely benign song that will have no negative effect on you.”
I wish this were true. There’s a really good article about the problems inherent with rickrolling here.
In the summer of 2010, Christian Ekström, a diver from the Åland Islands, an autonomous region of around sixty-five hundred isles off of Finland’s west coast, began searching for a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea, based on a tip he’d received from a fisherman. The Baltic’s temperature is unusually consistent (between about thirty-nine and forty-three degrees Fahrenheit* on its seabed), and it has a salinity level that is less than a fifth that of oceans. Its coastal waters are also treacherously shallow. All of this makes it particularly well suited to sinking ships, and then, once they’ve sunk, to preserving them for centuries. (Creatures commonly known to erode wrecks, like shipworms, can’t survive in such brackish waters.) As a result, the Baltic has an estimated hundred thousand shipwrecks, only a fraction of which have been explored.
attn multitask suicide
When streaming players boast about their huge numbers of channels, I’m generally even less impressed than I am by the “wealth” of offerings on the grossly overpriced wasteland that is cable TV. I have absolutely no use for thousands of impossibly granular channels like The Christian Comedy Channel, Firewood Hoarders, NRA Women,...
This month, I composed a translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in 101 tweets, corresponding to the 101 stanzas of the original Middle English alliterative poem. This project was inspired by Elaine Treharne’s translation of the Old English poem Beowulf in 100 tweets and Alice-Catherine Jennings’s translation of the Old French poem Song of Roland in 291 tweets. To create my translation, I cross-referenced Neilson’s translation with the original Middle English text.
I was thinking about Gawain because I have been reading it with my undergraduate seminar, Literary Approaches to the Past. One of the themes of the course is the way that attitudes toward the distant past find expression not only in literature but also in the material conditions of its production, transmission, and reception. We began with William Caxton’s printed edition of Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, and we will end with Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court. In late April, we will visit the Burns Library at Boston College to explore rare books and manuscripts relating to the course content.
Gawain occurs in only one manuscript copy, known today as British Library MS Cotton Nero A.x. Unusually for a manuscript of medieval English poetry, Cotton Nero A.x has illustrations depicting scenes from the four poems it contains, including Gawain. I chose to include images of the manuscript text and manuscript illustrations at appropriate points in my translation, because I felt that this was an opportunity for medieval and modern text technologies to speak to one another. Ironically, in this my translation comes closer to reproducing a medieval experience of reading Gawain than modern critical editions, which tend not to include images of the manuscript text or the illustrations.
Translating Gawain in 101 tweets was an exercise in concision; it also taught me two things about the poem as a poem. First, I was reminded that this is a poem of lists: lists of clothing items, lists of food, lists of animal parts, lists of landscape features. Many of the tweets took the form of a list. Second, the the third section of the poem is very long. The poet devotes more attention to Gawain’s stay at Hautdesert Castle, its three hunting scenes interlaced with three bedroom scenes, than to any other event in the poem. This imbalance teaches us something about the poet’s conception of the poem as a narrative; it also raises questions about the conventional modern title for the poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which refers only to the action of the first and fourth sections.
So here is Gawain in 101 tweets:Tweets by @ericweiskott
Boetius Adamsz Bolswert, A Child Dreams of the Passing of Time, 17th century
watched this a couple days ago and wondering exactly how "too soon" it was when it was first released
apparently it was sooner than too soon
Previously: Code words for lesbianism in classic films.
If you hear any of the following words or phrases used to describe a male character in a movie made before 1970, odds are good that they’re trying to tell you about a homosexual, a real boarding-school afternooner, someone who eats his dinner in a restaurant, a fellow who walks down the shady side of the street.
Wears a hat of someone else's choosing
BRING ME THIS
They’re us, that’s all, when there’s no more room in hell. (Dawn of the Dead, 1978)
However you feel about the controversial religious freedom bill signed into law in Indiana this past March, there’s one fact that’s not up for debate: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was bad for the Hoosier state’s bottom line.
Indiana Republicans said they meant the legislation to prevent the government from intruding on citizens’ religious rights without a compelling interest; civil rights advocates, meanwhile, argued that the law gave businesses an opening to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds. Though the law was “fixed” in early April with explicit language intended to protect people of all “sexual orientations” and “gender identities” (civil rights proponents say it’s still not enough), Indiana’s pocketbook had already taken a hit: Big groups canceled long-planned conventions in Indianapolis, major businesses nixed programs that required customer and employee travel to the state, travel brands warned tourists they could face discrimination, and the Hoosier government had to refine and then relaunch expensive public relations campaigns.
So when Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed a similar executive order in that state earlier this week “to prevent the state from discriminating against persons or entities with deeply held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman,” the New Orleans tourism industry moved quickly.
Their official response: Something close to “Oh, hell no.”New Orleans’ city code already prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender or sex, sexual orientation or gender identification.
In a joint statement, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) told potential travelers that Jindal’s move was little more than a political stunt. (There’s been wide speculation that Jindal will run for president.) “This executive order is largely a political statement by our conservative governor in support of his national position on the issue,” the groups said in a statement. “It is important for those who visit Louisiana to know that its effect in essence is that of a political campaign document.”
The executive order has no real power, the groups reassured prospective tourists. But Jindal handed the order down on the heels of a similar law’s rejection in the Louisiana legislature—and a bill like that, the tourism industry says, could cost the state more than a billion dollars a year and thousands of jobs.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu also responded quickly, releasing his own (and, it should be noted, similarly ineffectual) executive order yesterday reminding city residents and visitors that city code already prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender or sex, sexual orientation or gender identification.
The industry is right to be worried: Tourism is the third largest industry in Louisiana, and is particularly important to New Orleans, which is still, nearly 10 years later, working to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Numbers released last year show that a record number of visitors spent $6.47 billion in the city in 2013. A survey conducted by the local government found that 55.4 percent of the city’s business travelers extended their stay for an average of two nights—just for fun. Meanwhile, Americans (and particularly the large corporations they work for) are newly sensitive to sexual discrimination issues.
Whether Jindal’s move is good politics remains to be seen, but Indianapolis’ empty convention halls shows it could cause things to get tough in the Big Easy.
should be "by OR about" (because the first one on the list is by claire denis)
this list is missing Nnegest Likké’s Phat Girlz, which I somehow forgot to suggest when she was taking suggestions
also Daisy von Scherler Mayer’s Woo. Dammit. I dropped the ball.
need to watch this again
The Red Shoes (1948) - Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
Snowpiercer (2013) dir. Bong Joon-ho
I don’t have concrete stats, but this article is really good: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/01/15/from-guilty-pleasure-to-emmy-awards-the-delightfully-weird-history-of-lifetime-movies/
from the article: “These days, the network continues to be a haven for movies about complicated female protagonists (still a rarity in Hollywood) as well as female directors. Lifetime estimates about half its films are helmed by women, compared to the shockingly low industry standard of around 6 percent of major films, according to a 2013 study”
"Our model is not based on the quality of the songs (or the lack thereof), but on an average of votes each participating nation received over the past 12 years, which is then adjusted for factors that include present day geopolitics, form in more recent editions, past performance and tempo. Sceptical about this approach? In 2011, our pick (Serbia) came third and then in 2013 we backed Azerbaijan, who came second. We have now spent the last two years tinkering with the model and hope the improvements we’re introducing mean that our projected winner will be the one to take it all."
Data behind Eurovision votes suggest some countries perform consistently well. We look at whether numbers can point us to who will triumph in Vienna
It is time once again for Eurovision, the annual kitschy Europop extravaganza, taking place this year in Vienna, Austria.
Here’s what’s probably going to happen :Continue reading...
they understand me
they speak for me
Cornelis Anthonisz, The Fall of the Tower of Babel, 1547
via firehose ('In response to the petition Archibald told CNN, “Luckily, we don’t serve our critics. We are proud to serve all girls.”')
The Girl Scouts of America have welcomed transgender girls into their ranks for quite some time now. However, this inclusiveness seems to only now be attracting some heat from conservative religious organizations in this past week.
“Our position is not new,” Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts USA’s chief girl expert told CNN. “It conforms with our continuous commitment to inclusivity.”
However, there’s currently a petition up on the American Family Association (ugh) website warning people that “boys in skirts” (ughh), “boys in make-up” (ughhh), and “boys in tents” (ughhhh) will put “young innocent girls at risk.” Then, they bring up the good old “boy in a dress in the bathroom” argument to top things off. The petition currently stands at about 38,500 signatures.
While the Girls Scouts of America really only looks at allowing in trans children on a case-by-case basis, according to their FAQ it’s generally accepted that if a scout is “recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.”
In response to the petition Archibald told CNN, “Luckily, we don’t serve our critics. We are proud to serve all girls.”
Listen. We live in a world where trans children are finding it easier to give up on life rather than deal with the craziness of a world which seems out to get them at every turn. We need to open up more inclusive spaces for them, not shut them out. If the Girl Scouts of America are trying to be inclusive of more girls, then so be it.
Protect trans children. Please.
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They smell nice, don’t they? Do you like lilies too?
دختری در شب تنها به خانه میرود (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, 2014)