- 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]
- Creationists take on Dr. Pepper. They do know he’s not a real doctor, don’t they?
- Speaking of which: Video Dial-a-Doctor Seen Easing Shortage in Rural U.S.
- Tree removal for space shuttle arrival tempers excitement:
For some South L.A. residents, the excitement of Endeavour rumbling through their neighborhoods en route to the California Science Center faded when they learned that 400 trees had to be cut down.
- Birds Hold Funerals for Their Dead
- And finally, Johnny Carson’s senior thesis: How to Write Comedy for Radio [via]
- Oh great. Now TMZ is running tour groups.
- Finally, a genuinely interesting use of those QR codes.
- The Mirror Project returns! Well, kind of. It’s an archive or time capsule of the internet that, not so long ago, used to be. If nothing else, it was neat to revisit my own entries.
- How copyright enforcement robots killed the Hugo Awards [via]
- And finally, Bill Wearing Socks:
- The dogs of the Moscow Metro.
- First successful firing of a 3D-printed gun. Oh good.
- Man’s rare vision problem cured after Hugo 3D rebooted his brain. [via]
- Amazingly enough, not an Onion story:
Last week, a hopeful prospect showed up at LSU’s July football camp. He posted an impressive 4.46 40-yard dash, and he earned a scholarship offer from the Tigers’ coaching staff for his efforts.
It’s a scene that plays out on college campuses every single summer, although this offer was different for one main reason — Dylan Moses has yet to start eighth grade. [via]
- And finally, while I’m not 100% sure about the message, this is a neat piece of art:
- Warren Ellis on the 2012 Olympics’ closing ceremonies:
It was as conservative, hidebound and bland as the Opening Ceremony was ambitious, demented and eccentric. It played almost as an attempt to zero out what Danny Boyle and Frank Cottrell Boyce achieved and said in the Opening.
I have to admit, I didn’t watch it. By that point, my Olympic fever had waned a bit, and I didn’t really feel like putting up with NBC’s ridiculous editing and inane chatter to watch the closing. (“Our viewers may not know this, Meredith, but the Pet Shop Boys are in fact actually now grown men!”)
But the opening ceremonies were mad and brilliant.
- It’s bad enough they’re planning an Expendables 3 — shouldn’t last hurrahs, y’know, end? — but now they have to talk about dragging Clint Eastwood and others into it?
“We’ve already begun reaching out to the bones of Steve McQueen and the John Wayne hologram”—Avi Lerner, The Expendables 4 interview, 2014
Although, honestly, that might finally get me to watch one of these things.
- Amazingly enough, a campaign to turn an abandoned Detroit neighborhood into a zombie apocalypse theme park has fallen through. [via]
- Are young people really using “yo” as a gender-neutral pronoun? Fascinating.
- And finally, the Best Scenes From Insane Old Star Trek Coloring Books: