- A lot has been written recently about the “film,” Innocence of Muslims, notably its offensiveness to Muslims (and film lovers), the violence that’s erupted in its wake, and the duplicitous nature with which it was made. Now, via Neil Gaiman one of the actresses speaks out:
It’s painful to see how our faces were used to create something so atrocious without us knowing anything about it at all. It’s painful to see people being offended with the movie that used our faces to deliver lines (it’s obvious the movie was dubbed) that we were never informed of, it is painful to see people getting killed for this same movie, it is painful to hear people blame us when we did nothing but perform our art in the fictional adventure movie that was about a comet falling into a desert and tribes in ancient Egypt fighting to acquire it, it’s painful to be thought to be someone else when you are a completely different person.
- I’m not quite sure I buy into the idea of Breaking Bad as a “White supremacist fable” entirely — it’s probably true the show doesn’t get the drug trade right, but, then, it’s not really about the drug trade, is it? — but there’s some interesting food for thought here:
White-washing the illegal drug market involves depicting it like markets wealthy viewers are more comfortable and familiar with, namely those of the farmers market or the local pharmacy. Walter White combines the ostensible moral complexity television audiences demand in a post-Soprano protagonist with a cleanliness that allows him to market expensive cars. The U.S. is still very much a white supremacist country, but classic cowboys-kill-Indians narratives don’t play with wealthy viewers or the critics who help determine those tastes. And Jack Bauer can drive only so many cars. For the credulous viewer who likes to imagine he’s a couple of life crises from being the Larry Bird of meth — and for the people who sell him stuff — White is right.If nothing else, the article makes me want to re-watch The Wire.
- John Green on self-publishing and Amazon:
Here’s my concern: What will happen to the next generation’s Toni Morrison? How will she—a brilliant, Nobel-worthy writer who doesn’t have a huge built-in audience—get the financial and editorial support her talent deserves? (You’ll note that there’s no self-published literary fiction anywhere near the kindle bestseller lists.) Amazon will have absolutely no investment in that writer, and they won’t need to. Over time, I’m worried this lack of investment will hurt the quality and breadth of literature we actually read, even if literature remains broadly available.
- This isn’t new, but: Jonathan Coulton on the future of music, 3D printing, and scarcity:
This is my bias: the decline of scarcity seems inevitable to me. I have no doubt that this fight over mp3s is just the first of many fights we’re going to have about this stuff. Our laws and ethics already fail to match up with our behaviors, and for my money, those are the things we should be trying to fix. The change is already happening to us, and it’s a change that WE ARE CHOOSING. It’s too late to stop it, because we actually kind of like a lot of the things that we’re getting out of it.
- And finally, PBS asks, “Can fandom change society?” [via]
- SETI and the problems with searching for alien life [via]
- Grant Morrison Comic Bingo [via]
- Scooby-Doo and Secular Humanism:
To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, Scooby Doo has value not because it shows us that there are monsters, but because it shows us that those monsters are just the products of evil people who want to make us too afraid to see through their lies, and goes a step further by giving us a blueprint that shows exactly how to defeat them. [via]
- The darker side of Groupon. Apparently it kind of sucks for small businesses. [via]
- The Myths at the Bar, Debunked
- The harrowing story of What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447. Warning: you almost certainly will not want to fly after reading this. (Also: FAA approves iPads in the cockpit.) [via]
- The AV Club compiles a list of 26 destructive fictional therapists. I keep thinking there’s maybe a book in this, but that’s maybe just my day job talking.
- When William Gibson wrote, “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel,” did he really mean Fox News? Does Newt Gingrich want to make Neuromancer come true? [via]
- Star Trek People Drinking Coffee. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
- And finally, the lovely video for “In Your Arms” by Kina Grannis. After, I recommend the making-of video. [via]
- Giant prehistoric krakens may have sculpted self-portraits using ichthyosaur bones. “McMenamin anticipates that this theory will be met with skepticism.” Gee, ya think?
- Are DVD “special features” already a quaint relic of the past? Certainly, they seem to have quickly become a premium feature only.
- Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet [via]
- Typewriter cocktail machine [via]
- And finally, If Arthur Dent Was In ‘The Dark Knight’ Instead of Harvey Dent
- The first four Harry Potter books condensed. Lovely. [via]
- Geeks, Girls, and Media Misogyny: The Saga Continues:
I can accept that questioning a actor or actress about their geek bona fides when part of their job involves selling their project to the public, including the geeky public, and especially when it’s a geeky project may seem like a good idea, except for one thing: it’s only women whose geek cred is called into question, time and again.
If nothing else, arguing that sexy women can’t be geeks seems to be forgetting one simple thing: smart, geeky women are sexy.
- Writers and Kitties. Does exactly what it says on the cat food tin. [via]
- I think what I like most about this article from the New York Times about booksellers who are also authors is this revelation from author Jonathan Lethem:
“I have the habit of accumulation,” he said. “When I first met my wife, my kitchen cabinets were full of books.
- And finally, seriously Marie Claire? Seriously, “nutritionists”? Easily the most ridiculous is the woman who skips lunch and then eats an entire box of macaroons for dessert at night. There’s a lot of calorie counting going on in almost all of these, but very little healthy eating. [via]
- Roger Ebert on the MPAA’s rating system. [via]
- A 21st-century Moby Dick isn’t the single worst idea I’ve ever heard… At least, that’s what I thought before I saw the trailer. At least Barry Bostwick seems to be having fun. [via]
- Teller on why Harry Houdini mattered. [via]
- Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior [via]
- And finally, Carrot Track, a cute little game from Orisinal. [via]