This week on the internets, I have mostly been watching a lot of videos. Did you know that you can add a YouTube search to your searchable engines bar in Firefox? Oh yes, it can be done.
Anyway, some of the videos I watched this week were more worthy of mention on IRtI than others: Mirli, a friend of mine on LiveJournal, posted about a commercial that annoyed her (and it annoyed me, too). Meanwhile, Jill at Feministe posted about a Paris Hilton music video, wondering: “Is it just me, or does this just feel”¦ wrong?”
Judging by the comments to that post, no, it’s not just her. People come up with many reasons for why the video makes them feel ooky. Personally, I suspect that my own discomfort with it has a lot to do with Paris Hilton being from Krypton.
If the Paris Hilton video leaves you thinking about the rhetorical links we as a culture draw between slenderness and weakness – and how could it not, right? – you may be interested in what’s been going on with Blood Elves in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. Mike Schramm’s got lots of links on the subject over at WoW Insider.
And, hey, what discussion of weight and build this week could possibly be complete without a reference to Karen Healey and Terry Johnson’s paper, “Comparative Sex-Specific Body Mass Index in the Marvel Universe and the “Real” World“? Obviously not this one! Once you’ve read the paper (and it’s short, kids! Fear not!), check out Healey’s expanded (now with more snark!) commentary on it over at Girls Read Comics (And They’re Pissed).
You may have noticed, reading the paper, that it was peer-reviewed by Cabell Gathman, whose own article, “Real Girls Don’t”, I linked to last week (I sometimes think that feminist geekdom is like the smallest world there is. I’ve actually met Cabell – her cat molested my shoe. True story! – and Karen and I write novels together. But all of this is beside the point, which is:) I think Gathman may have done us a huge favor by using that phrase – Real Girls Don’t – in her article. It describes a very prevalent cultural meme so concisely! For another example of this assumption in action, check out a recent post on Fanthropology, where quincunx points out some interesting reactions to a study that suggests that (slightly) more women than men are playing videogames.
On the subject of shout-outs for women who phrase things particularly well, be sure to check out Amy Reads’s post, “Why I Read Comics (and books, and television, and movies…),” at her blog, Arrogant Self-Reliance. A little snippet:
Why do so many people believe that critique is hatred? That criticism can never be constructive? That analyses are judgments? When I declare my utter astonishment and dislike for the Sam Bradley Is the Father of Catwoman’s Baby storyline, it doesn’t mean I dislike the book, the writer, the artist, the publishing house, the fans, or even the characters. It means that *I don’t like that particular part of the plot*. That’s an opinion. When I declare that Sam Bradley shouldn’t be the Father of Catwoman’s Baby for the following five reasons, that’s a critique. If I say “Catwoman, bleh!” that’s “teh crazy” talking, and you should cyberly smack my hand, forthwith.
The comments over there have gotten pretty interesting, as Ms. Reads and her commenters play with the idea of whether or not it’s ok for her to clarify her meaning in comments to a post about, in part, why authorial intent doesn’t matter. This may be one of those wacky “former English Major” things, but it cracks me up. Also, I want to go on record here and now and say that I totally agree with everything that I think Amy Reads is saying, there.
“¦BWAHAHA! AHah”¦ hah.
Ok, I’m fine now.
Looking at literature more from the production end than from the critiquing-the-finished-product end, Kameron Hurley (at her blog, Brutal Women) starts off talking about Hannibal Lector, and finishes with some interesting questions for fantasy world-building in a post titled “Empty Vessels & Cannon Fodder.”
I’m going to end my roundup of internets reading this week with a post about the media coverage of a recent non-internets event in the US. Jill of Feministe makes my list for a second time this week, with her post “The Old Boys’ TV Club,” about a gender imbalance she saw in the reporting surrounding the election.
That’s all for now, I’m afraid! But don’t worry – I’ll have read plenty more internets by next week. And if you happen to read some that you think I should check out, feel free to email me at robyn [dot] fleming [at] gmail [dot] com with a link.