In Scenic Routes, Mike D’Angelo looks at key movie scenes, explaining how they work and what they mean.Sexism remains alive and well in Hollywood, as Cate Blanchett pointedly noted while accepting her Oscar for Blue Jasmine recently.
A great look at one of the sexiest scenes on film, in one of my favorite movies: The Lady Eve.
Why does young adult literature assume that all its readers are coming from a particular social situation? Why do we lump together entire groups of people as “shallow” so that our precocious narrator looks down on them?
That “backflips were banned in skating because white girls can’t do them” post re: Surya Bonaly really bothers me.
No, they actually are really dangerous, and there are a number of other jumps and lifts that are highly regulated in these events.
When Surya Bonaly did the flip at the Olympics, it wasn’t her ~daring~ them to mark her down. She fell in one of her routines and she couldn’t possibly rank medal level, so she decided to do the flip because it no longer mattered. She could have gotten a perfect score on that skate and still ranked below bronze.
I’m not saying there were no racist comments around Bonaly, because there definitely were, but that post going around is 100% false and stupid and disrespectful of Bonaly’s intent.
I loveSurya Bonaly, I saw her skate live and in person and squealed like I was watching a Beatles performance. I saw her do the backflip and swooned. One of the reasons why is that I LOVE that she did the back flip as a fuck you at the Olympics. BUT, while I don’t know everything about Surya, but I did research her a bit when I came into skating four years ago and what I read and learned about her just does not match the tumblr myth of Surya’s career and it’s driving me crazy.
1) The backflip was banned after the 1976 Olympic games. Argue about whether it’s being banned is right all you like, but Surya Bonaly was born in 1973. She didn’t start competing in senior ranks until 1988. She’s not the cause of the backflip being banned.
2) As far as I know Surya never lobbied for backflips to become a judged jump in competitions. I could absolutely be wrong but why would she? She could do them, yeah, but… (see below)
3) She had a amazing career. Surya Bonaly faced a ton of bullshit, no doubt, but here are some of her titles:
French National Champion: 9 times
European Champion: 5 times. CONSECUTIVELY. That’s huge. 5. Years. Running she beat out every competitor including the Russians.
World Championship Silver Medalist: 3 times, consecutively. She lost to Oksana Baiul of Ukraine, Yuka Sato of Japan, and Chen Lu of China.
You want other Grand Prix/International Medals: She’s got 20. 11 of them were gold medals.
4) Surya went to the Olympics 3 times. She placed 5th and 4th at her first two Olympics. I’m sure that was BITTER AS HELL for her. But in 1998, the final Olympics she competed in, she was 10 years into her skating career and after a big injury to her Achilles tendon. She did fall on her first jump sequence in the long program. Which she skated knowing she wasn’t going to get a medal after placing 6th in the short program. She did also believe she was unjustly scored in her short program. (Do I agree? Mmm.) BUT Surya also sure as hell knew she was going to retire and go into pro skating after the Olympics, so why not go out like a goddamn rockstar which is exactly what she did. That’s awesome, applaud that for days. No one even mentions that she bowed to the crowd before the judges!
But remember she did all that after a long career of bring home medal after medal after medal.
5) If you want a hardcore, painful moment of protest, one that actually cost Surya a lot, read up on her protest of the 1994 World Championship judging. That cost her a lot more than a fun and final fuck you before going pro. Just remember, it’s also not an objective situation. Figure skating is subjective. You can choose Surya’s side or Yuka’s, but it’s just choosing sides. You can’t prove right or wrong here, you just form opinions.
6) Surya Bonaly is a lot of things, bad ass, smart, fearless, entertaining, and bold. She was not, however, a constant victim. She had a LOT of gold medals, and a LOT of success, and she was a major figure in competitive skating. That said, I love Surya but I’m still not going to call her a theatrical skater. Unless that theatre is Rocky Horror Picture Show, which she skates to delightfully. She’s fun to watch, but not a skater that moves one to tears.
What’s that worth? Hard to say. That’s one of the primary debates in skating. Now that doesn’t mean that calling skaters “athletic” isn’t often done for bullshit reasons- IT IS - including body type and race when it’s given as a label to women. But the artist vs. athlete debate in figure skating is a little more complicated than reducing it down to, “They didn’t like her so they decided to say she wasn’t artistic.”
Final note: just to put her career in some context, Surya Bonaly embarked on her senior skating career in the 1988-1989 season after the career of Debi Thomas, a black American skater who became World Champion in 1986, and an Olympic Bronze Medalist in 1988. I’m not an expert in that era (or any era, I’m a bad fan), it’s possible there was some behind the scenes old white man fall out from that, but basically Surya didn’t come out of nowhere to the skating world.
Also Debi retired to become a DOCTOR, an orthopaedic surgeon to be precise. She’s amazing, funny, smart, and, in my opinion, an all around skater. I’d love to see people rallying around her too.
I had that post going around about Surya Bonaly bookmarked in my likes so I could write a rebuttal, but I never had time. I think this works better, because it was written by people who were fans of Bonaly. (And even if I did like Bonaly, I was too busy being heartbroken over Michelle Kwan that night.)
And while the commentators didn’t say much about that flip, but I’ll always remember my mom’s reaction, which was basically, “That was an incredibly stupid thing to do, don’t you ever try that on the ice, I hope no kids try to learn that and break their necks. That was so stupid.”
“The world is wasting a precious resource today. Tens of thousands of talented women stand ready to use their professional expertise in public life; at the same time, they are dramatically underrepresented in positions of leadership around the world.”—Madeleine K. Albright, from ‘Strengthening Women’s Roles in Parliaments’. In celebration of International Women’s Day, Parliamentary Affairs has collected together some outstanding articles on women’s representation in parliamentary democracies. Read the free special issue! (via oupacademic)
I have this theory that the titles of your books mean more than just book titles. The Darkest Minds Never Fade. It makes me extremely curious to know the third books title so that I can see if I was right with my theory.
You would be right: http://www.hypable.com/2013/02/04/hypable-exclusive-the-darkest-minds-book-2-title-reveal/
you make me really curious about reading something of maggie stiefvater, i guess you get this a lot so i hope i am not annoying you, but what would you recommend to start with? <3
THE RAVEN CYCLE HAVE YOU NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION
I kid. Sort of. Not annoyed at all, but delighted, and let me explain. Here is a summary that comes up when you google The Raven Boys (the first book in this ongoing series):
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them—until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
Here is a corrected version of the above, that actually tells you why this series is the bee’s knees:
And this doesn’t even mention any of the amazing stuff that happens in the second one, which takes the series to a whole new level and makes you appreciate the first more in hindsight. So yeah. I’d recommend starting here and then working your way through her other books if you like them.
“The littler books get bought for a few reasons, besides the “oh I have heard good things from a trusted purveyor of opinions and I wish to indulge in this book”: aspirational purchasing (related to aspirational sharing), which means “I want to be the kind of person who buys this book,” which is less obnoxious than “I want to be seen reading this book” which is less bad than “I want to tell people I’m reading this book.” I mean not that I haven’t done all those things, so you know.”—TL;DR: Choire Sicha « Full Stop (via rachelfershleiser)
…Assuming that TMZ is right about this. (Which is worth checking.)
Ellen DeGeneres does NOT own the picture that broke Twitter … unless he signed his rights away, the owner of the famous Oscar pic is BRADLEY COOPER.Here’s the way it works … the person who owns the now-famous photo is the person who actually took it … NOT the person who owns the camera or organized the shoot. Cooper was the snapper … so it’s his.And even if Ellen signed her rights over to the Academy when she signed her hosting gig, the Academy would have no rights to the photo, because Ellen can’t transfer what isn’t hers.So unless Bradley signed his rights away to the Academy, he’s the copyright owner. Any use of the pic without his permission is a violation of the copyright.He seemed down with tweeting it out, so Ellen is cool. But any use of the pic on TV shows — including hers — would only be kosher with Bradley’s blessing. And he’d own the rights to any reproduction.It all translates into cash. It could come in handy if that “Hangover” money runs out.
Any of the copyright lawyers who’re following care to weigh in?
Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be…
“(Scholastic) also publish one of the bestselling graphic novels of all time: “Smile”, by Raina Telgemeier. Last year, she published her second book, “Drama”. It debuted on the list at #2. What was #1 that week? Smile. Who else has done that? Robert Kirkman, and he had to use a television show to sell that many copies! Saga did hit #1 twice this year, and recently celebrated 52 weeks on the bestseller list. Smile has been on for 85+, and it is not uncommon for both to be on the list the same week.”—
“Can a young lady be taught nothing more necessary in life, than to sleep in a dungeon with venomous reptiles, walk through a ward with assassins, and carry bloody daggers in their pockets, instead of pin-cushions and needle-books?”—
an anonymous critique of Gothic novels published in The Spirit of the Public Journals, 1797 (via mirroir)
(This is hilarious, but I’m just gonna say having a needle and thread in your purse is surprisingly useful.)
Talking to my oldest brother over the weekend due to a family wedding, I discovered that he regularly refers to me as “the sister he hates.” He says this in a joking, kind way because he hates me for all the best reasons. He lists them as:
1. Got a PhD from Princeton University at age 24.
2. Has published 7 books with national publishers (and has contracts for more).
3. Is a nationally ranked triathlete who beat me by 30 minutes at the only race we’ve run together, despite the fact that she had a stress fracture in her right foot.
4. Has 5 awesome children, the oldest of whom are enrolled at MIT and Berklee School of Music.
These are all true. Strangely, I do not think of my own life this way. Rather, I think often of these facts:
1. Spent 6 years getting a PhD, then got not a single interview from the 60 jobs I applied to the year I graduated.
2. Got fired from the adjunct position at the university where I had done my undergraduate work.
3. Wrote 20 novels so badly that I will never publish them before I got a contract from a very small publisher for a book that never earned out and is now out of print.
4. Had my first big contract cancelled by a major publisher after a long, depressive episode in my life.
5. Struggled so much with one of my children that I called a helpline, genuinely afraid that I would hurt her physically. (I got therapy and so did she and we all survived and are good now).
6. Was a terrible athlete in high school, and am only now (at age 43, when it is too late) figuring out how to excel at it.
7. I have made less money writing over the last 10 years than I would have made if I had spent all those hours working minimum wage at a fast food place.
It’s really true that you can look at your life as a series of failures or a series of successes. The same life, the same facts, just turned different ways. I think that it’s also true that failing is just a way of saying giving yourself another chance for success. You can’t have success if you give up and don’t try anymore. I keep trying. If there is any formula for success, that is it. Luck is just the persistent belief that around the corner lies the next big break. And by believing it and working for it, we often make it come true.