On Geekery part 1.5 – Pride and Privilege
I know I’ve been posting a lot about geek culture lately, but a good friend of mine wrote this and it’s an excellent meditation on identity, both within geekdom and as a broader concept.
Who the HELL do I think I am anyway?
Where do I get off defining geekiness, and what makes me think I can get away with it?
Definitions are tyrannical. The ability to craft definitions is a great power and (say it with me, Spidey fans!) with great power comes great responsibility. So why should I, anarchistic deconstruction-fanatic that I am, build such an ontological border fence?
Part of it came as a reaction to the quotes that formed the first part of my last post. Some of it was intellectual hubris, but what really made me feel able to do it and get away with it was the fact that I have a very privileged existence. Being white and male in a culture where whiteness and maleness are both still unfairly coupled with better access to just about everything does tend to foster a sense of entitlement. In…
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Portrait of the Vatican as a Young Church
THE DEFENDANT: The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
THE VERDICT: The Da Vinci Code sparked a worldwide controversy, including book burnings and numerous protests of the subsequent film. The book is outright banned in Iran and Lebanon out of fear that it may spark sectarian violence.
THE CHARGES: The issues surrounding the book include its portrayal of the Roman Catholic Church, a number of assertions about early Christian beliefs and various Christian sects/orders, and the idea that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had children. Many have decried it as inaccurate, unflattering to Christianity, or downright heretical.
Who Run the World?
Women in the media.
I cannot tell you how many discussions I’ve had about this. How many papers I’ve read or written, how many arguments I’ve had, how many panels or lectures I’ve been to, how many documentaries I’ve seen, and how many times I’ve died a little bit inside when someone tells me that this isn’t an issue or that there are plenty of female characters or “the whole strong female lead thing is really getting old” or “has been overdone.” It’s most depressing when women say this.
So, I’d like to take a moment to discuss some of the issues involved here and why there is a huge discrepancy as to whether or not there is a problem or just what that problem is. If I want to keep this blog post from turning into a 600 page analysis, I fear I won’t be able to get into anywhere the depth I would like. I apologize for this, but I welcome any discussion in the comments and encourage you to seek out more information elsewhere. I’ll be breaking this discussion into sections to better examine the many levels involved with this systemic problem that plagues the publishing, movie, television, and gaming industries. Read More…
We’re Dumbledore’s Army
I recently stumbled across this image. I don’t know where it’s from or even if it’s real. But this person is my hero.
Virginia School Isn’t For Lovers
In keeping with Women’s History Month, here is a review of Zora Neale Hurston’s classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God. As interesting and enduring as this book is on its own, I find it most fascinating when analyzed alongside another classic piece of feminist literature, Herland. One is a coming of age and into one’s own story about a woman’s life amidst the backdrop of 20th century American race relations. One is a speculative fiction adventure story/political treatise about three male explorers who discover a thriving all-female society isolated from the rest of the world (think Themyscira from Wonder Woman).
The Saga Begins
THE DEFENDANT: Saga, Vol. 1, Brian K. Vaughan, artwork by Fiona Staples, Image Comics
THE VERDICT: This comic stirred up some controversy when illustrator Dave Dorman took the blogosphere and Twitter to share his outrage at Saga‘s cover, which features an interspecies humanoid couple, one of which is breastfeeding their baby. This strong reaction got Saga tangled up in the greater melee of controversy surrounding breastfeeding and caught artist Fiona Staples completely off guard. A friend of mine thought he had heard of some comic book stores not carrying the title due to the controversial cover, but I have not been able to verify this.
When Tiger Eyes Are Smiling
Excellent news, my banned brethren! As some of you may know, Judy Blume’s banned classic, Tiger Eyes, was recently made into a movie. The film was directed by Judy Blume’s son, Lawrence Blume, co-written by Lawrence and Judy, and stars the swoon-worthy Tatanka Means and Willa Holland (who some of you might know as a gender-bending Speedy on Arrow). As Lawrence Blume is an alumnus of my alma mater, I had the good fortune to see an advanced screening of the movie and chat him up about it. It truly is an outstanding film. I laughed, I cried, and holy gods did I swoon. Don’t judge me. At least Wolf’s hair is real, unlike a certain pseudo-Native American heartthrob. *cough cough Jacob Black* Read More…