There is some brilliant relationship parallel to be made here between what's going on in the comedy debate over the various merits of rape jokes, and the right therin of a comic to make said jokes and the rights and role of a critic. In both cases you have an industry that looks critically at subjects and comments on them. In both cases you have an industry that is traditionally dominated by straight male white people, reaching a tipping point where your consumer base is no longer strictly the province of the same demographics. And some really interesting and frustrating and hopeful things are comming out of that change.
For each you have a playing field that is not at all level but has tilted into an angle where for the first time, accusations that the field is slanted are audible at all. The critics are in a place where they themselves are vunerable to criticisms, where they could lose income as a direct result of a misplaced statement. They're nervous and it shows in these jittery dances, that end up being all the more telling in what they reveal. Tosh gets so nervous by being told a certain brand of humor isn't funny at all, he freaks out and says the intellectual equivalent of, "yeah well, I hope you DIE!". Giraldi gets so preready to deal with the accusation that he's unable to see the worth of a woman's work that he gives the game away and says "women's fiction" equals a "leaden obsession with pregnancy, dating and divorce", but that's not why he doesn't like it! No, it's just pop lit!
And it's funny because he was totally doing fine before that when he's talking about how she uses language. When he says, "Ohlin’s language betrays an appalling lack of register — language that limps onto the page proudly indifferent to pitch or vigor...In just 13 pages you will be asked to endure eyes “fluttering,” then “shining,” then “fluttering” again. Mitch’s girlfriend is “brilliantly smart” — imagine for a second the special brand of languor required to connect those two terms ..." - That's fine! I'd never know that there was any special awareness from this critic as to his issues with "leaden" lady topics if he'd stuck to really viciously pursuing the mediocre writing, and we probably wouldn't even be talking about it today. He put the "phallic shadow" into this article his own damn self.
@tomme Time for my Mainer joke! My Mainer grandparents always told this one. No one else I know in the world finds it funny, except people from Maine over the age of 50.
A woman marries a man from Maine and moves back with him to his hometown. Everyone treats her as an outsider. They have kids. The kids grow up, they marry local kids, have more kids. It's 30 years later and she's still being treated like a newcomer. In frustration she vents to her mother in law. She says, "I've lived here for 30 years. Your son is from here, our kids are from here! Why do people still treat me like an outsider!"
Her mother in law looks at her calmly and says, "That cat over theah had heah kittens in the oven. But we don't call them biscuits."
AHA HA HAHA. So funny when my gram told it. That was the meanest burn she knew.
@barnhouse I'm a huge fan of Raptor Red. Main character is a Utahraptor. It's a gripping epic. There's heartbreak, young love, difficulties of parenting and danger galore!
Brava! Maria, there's a romance author Jennifer Cruisie who got into romance novels because she was planning to read 100 men's adventure stories and 100 romance novels and then dissect the two. But she got absorbed in the romance novels. From her webpage: "The romance novels turned out to be so feminist and so absorbing, that she never got to the men’s adventure fiction and decided to try writing fiction instead..." I very much enjoy her essays on the importance of romance novels. And I also enjoy several of her books, although some of them have a rushed quality, they are quick fun sexy reads.
Virgina Woolf as always got it right: "This is an important book, the critic assumes, because it deals with war. This is an insignificant book because it deals with the feelings of women in a drawing-room. "
For whom the grim museums will behave
like courteous male bower-birds,
for whom the agreeable lions lie in wait
on the steps of the Public Library,
eager to rise and follow through the doors
up into the reading rooms,
please come flying.
I had a professor in freshman year who gifted each person in the class an individual poet that we had never read. We had to meet with him in his office, where he pulled a book (often a first edition) off his personal shelf and handed it to us, saying, "I think this will suit you." Mine was Elizabeth Bishop. Here's to the fine tradition of true academic mentors.
This was Jesus' plan all along.
@E ugh. Exaggerated.
Eric, I've read unconfirmed reports that towards the end of the protest, the police chased protestors attempting to leave the arrest zone towards Skid Row, then kettled them and pretty forcefully arrested them. The things I've read suggest that IF that happened it's going to have to come out through citizen documentation, because the media was kept in "media safety zones", and the news helicopters all voluntarily turned off, to "respect police operation privacy". Do you know anecdotally if that might have happened or if that's an exagerrated story?
The problem with girlfriends though, is that your hostage taking comes with an expiration date. Once we hit 6 months, trying to get me to go to a Joanna Newsom concert or improv is sort of like trying to get a great dane to go to the vets. Then you have to fall back on your buddies all over again.
NPR has been running a series about how the state of South Dakota has been taking Sioux kids into foster care and refusing to place them with other native families in order to get matching federal funds. It's horrifying- state kidnapping for profit, with a side bonus of continued cultural obliteration.