Links of Great Interest: ..ARSENIC LIFE..

NASA DISCOVERS NEW FORM OF LIFE!

A priest hires a hitman to kill abuse survivor.

Young people protest educational cuts — this blogpost describes their bravery, courage, and idealism in the face of a bitter, angry state.

More fallout from that rape apologist Jezebel article. >_< Seriously, WTF Jezz? BUT SERIOUSLY WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE SEX DEPRIVED MEN??? (this last link is in Finnish — a reader emailed it to me, but I’ve lost zer email :(. I think it was in reference to this hilarious thread on dot_poly_snark)

Disney says: SHOW US YOUR TITS or gtfo.

From CharlesRB:

Comics journo Rich Johnston notes that most non-comics fans who’ve heard of Green Lantern know him from the cartoon, where he’s a black man; and out of them, “a number seem to have been surprised to see the trailer for the movie. Which shows the white Green Lantern character portrayed by a white actor”.

Sunitha Krishnan talks about sex slavery and activism. Do NOT read the comments.

The low down on cuddle parties. SNUGGLE HARD. SPOON WITH DIGNITY.

Here’s a vintage ad! Of an iron!

From Ragnell:

There’s a quote in there about how Jessica Alba was directed in FF2, where basically she was told to tone down her acting because it messed up her face. The article, of course, glosses over it, and the comments are horrifying but it seems like you guys would be interested in it.

Uhhh, wtf?? Be careful with the online shopping, kids. One woman’s story reveals how careful you have to be as a consumer… and how lax credit card companies are about identity theft.

The Shadow Scholar shares some truths about academic capitalism, the ivory tower, and cheating.

Today‘s the day to love your body!

Speaking of loving your body: let’s apply an intersectional analysis to black girls’ struggles with obesity.

Instead of saying, “It gets better,” how about we rethink how we teach gender and sexuality?

Some critical reflection on Star Trek’s Prime Directive.

Literacy tutor as a neighborhood institution

Why the beef between Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim is more than just cattiness.

Hat-tip to KickAction: TAKE BACK THE TECH!

So hey! Why don’t women leave abusers? Irene Bedard’s story is one of ongoing harassment.

HOLY SHIT, I thought the whole thing with TSA was dangerous and politically problematic but it’s also all up in your DNA

HAHA An underground rap group in Denmark was in it for the lulz

WTF, Apple? I guess misogyny isn’t hate speech.

Comments

  1. Casey says

    That video about the Prime Directive was pretty dang good, whoever that guy is, he reminds me of the Game Overthinker, only with Star Trek. I don’t have much to say on the subject in terms of a response/rebuttal since I’m only a casual fan so here’s something copypasta’d from that LJ’s comments section:

    First off, I don’t buy that Ian Malcolm’s “Nature selected them for extinction” is a way to weasel around saying that Nature is some conscious power with a plan. Malcolm was a scientist; his phrasing was a way of saying exactly the opposite of what this guy accuses him of saying, namely that the dinosaurs died out because of circumstances that weren’t consciously applied. That’s what “Nature” means: the impersonal forces that shape the universe. It’s lazy thinking to jump to the conclusion that just because the word “Nature” sounds like a proper noun, that is invariably applies to a conscious entity. Strike one.

    Second, in arguing that the Prime Directive really ought to be, like the Code of the Pirate Brethren, “guidelines rather than actual rules”, and should be applied as a stopgap while the Captain is getting permission on how to act, the narrator makes obvious that he is mainly a TNG fan and doesn’t know much about the original series. The Prime Directive was developed by Roddenberry for a very practical reason, and that is that when the Enterprise was way the hell off yonder exploring and dealing with shit, it was often if not usually impossible to get such permission in any kind of timely manner. Messages could take weeks to get back to Starfleet through subspace radio; the original series episodes often made the point that the Captain of a starship was on his own when it came to these kinds of decisions, since the relevant situations involving races that had never been contacted and thus had no Federation treaty or contract by definition happened much too far away to allow for any communication with Starfleet.

    Thus the main reason for the Prime Directive was less about the moral implications of not acting than it was about keeping a check on the power of a Starfleet Captain, giving him an extremely important rule he could not break in order to prevent him from running amok and deciding to do whatever he damn well pleased. This was something TOS dealt with several times, in episodes like “Patterns of Force” where the Enterprise had to clean up the messes of other Captains who’d gotten power-happy and ended up influencing things badly, but which (if I remember correctly) TNG rarely contemplated since the character of the show was so different from TOS. (Roddenberry got much more heavy-handed with his “everybody gets along in the future” philosophy with TNG, and thus there was much less conflict in the later series’ stories, making them – in my opinion as well as others’ – much less dynamic or interesting.)

    So the whole argument about the Prime Directive being vague, illogical, morality-driven, badly-defined, etc., ignores the most basic reason for its existence, and thus – to me, at least – ends up not working at all.

    /rant

      • Casey says

        OH NOEZ~! Actually I’m not, I just copied someone else’s post! ;A;
        (but I AM on LJ…I’m ToruKun1…I mostly just wank about pro-wrestling slash >_>V)

    • Patrick McGraw says

      Following on from the article, it appears that there’s been a lot of false information spread about regarding supposed tests about “running in place” and the like. The actual “test” seems to be just lots of trying on costumes and being photographed in them, which would be done in any such casting.

      On the one hand, requiring natural breasts for a period picture makes sense, and implants are generally very apparent in a corset.

      But let’s look at the movie franchise we’re talking about: Since when has PotC been concerned about historical accuracy? Kiera Knightley’s teeth and hair were far from period-accurate. (As was her heavy, opaque chemise in the first film, but I’ll give that a pass since. As the director noted a) they needed a PG-13, and b) Knightley was 17 at the time of filming.)

      So I’m not inclined to buy “historical believability” as a rational, and suspect that the talk of “jiggle tests” and the like may actually be accurate.

      • says

        Yeah, I got that “this is a period piece” would be a fair argument if Disney had ever shown they gave a rat’s ass about historical accuracy in the first place.

        They’re fun movies, but clearly zombie pirates and octopus-faced-immortals aren’t real– and more problematically, real issues/people are portrayed in a grossly fictionalized way– so the boobscrutiny from all sides, including Feministing commenters, is incredibly bizarre. (/why I don’t read Feministing, /why I’m increasingly comfortable burning my hypothetical Disney bridges)

      • says

        At best, this is a PR stunt they think will make them look women-positive. No, I don’t buy that for a minute, I’m just saying it’s the best scenario, and it still sucks: THEY are part of the industry that’s making women feel like they need implants.

        No, I think this is just an opportunity for a bunch of boymenz to look at jiggly tits in an office setting. Probably been watching Mad Men and feeling deeply deprived by the PC assholes that have taken away all the fun you used to be able to have with the help.

  2. Patrick McGraw says

    I’m not surprised by the surprise regarding the Green Lantern movie. Some additional background, since the article was geared towards comics fans:

    The Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic order of peacekeepers and troubleshooters who use super-advanced rings to create “hard light” constructs of almost anything they can imagine, has several human members in the comics. The most prominent of these is Hal Jordan, both the first introduced and generally the most popular within comics fandom. This is the character that the movie is about, and judging from the trailers he is being portrayed faithfully.

    But while Jordan is the most significant and best-known GL in the comics, comics readership is very tiny, especially when compared to movie and TV audiences. And Jordan has had very little exposure in popular culture. There’s never been a theatrical GL movie before, and his only exposure on TV was decades ago in Super Friends. Apart from a few direct-to-DVD movies (Green Lantern: First Flight, Justice League: The New Frontier, and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths), that’s it for his presence in popular culture.

    John Stewart, on the other hand, was in Justice League/Justice League Unlimited, which ran for five seasons altogether and was regularly re-shown on Cartoon Network. There were a number of reasons why the producers went with Stewart (partly to increase diversity, partly because of the character dynamics he offered with some of the other characters), but the end result is that of those people to whom the name “Green Lantern” means anything, most aren’t comics fans, and aren’t aware of any human GLs apart from Stewart. (Kyle Rayner and Jordan both made only very brief appearances in JL/JLU.)

    So while the movie looks to be quite faithful to the comics, it’s running headlong into the problem all comics adaptations face: Most of their audience isn’t actually familiar with the source material, only with other adaptations with the source material. So when a new adaptation hews closer to the source material, most of the audience will see it as making a change, rather than undoing a change. (Consider the murderer of Bruce Wayne’s parents in Batman Begins, and how it confused people more familiar with Burton’s films than the comics.)

    That said, I would rather have seen a GL movie about John Stewart (with my favorite GL Katma Tui in a major role).

    • says

      People were seriously confused about Bruce Wayne’s parents’ murders? (wow, that was an awkward sentence) I don’t remember how the Burton films dealt with it, but it was THE most pivotal moment in the character’s genesis-the murder of his parents by a thug and that he witnessed their murders. How could that have been changed to any degree?

      • says

        Burton made the murderer be the Joker, as I recall, and Batman was pivotal in the Joker’s origin story. Nolan’s Batman and Joker are both very different from that, evolved backstories independent of each other, and Wayne’s parents’ murderer was someone else entirely.

        They’re still dead, it was just a different route to PlotDeviceVille.

    • Lindsey says

      A large portion of comics fandom has this enormous erection for Hal Jordan because they remember him from their younger years, and then he was sidelined out of the mainstream for almost a decade.

      Now he’s back, and all those wonderful nostalgic memories have been treated with enormous respect and adulation by current DC editorial. It’s a part of their process of bringing back as many old white male characters as possible, over the dead bodies of younger minority/female characters if necessary.

      I don’t want to see the GL movie because I can’t stand Hal Jordan, his smugness, or his needless resurrection from obscurity.

      • Patrick McGraw says

        You’ve pretty much summed up why I haven’t read any DC comics for the past few years. Just like with Marvel, some of us liked how the characters and settings had developed and grown. Then a bunch of middle-aged fanboys started running things, and both companies became largely about trying to make things how they remembered it as kids.

        (Or in Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada’s case, forcing his mid-life crisis, mommy issues, and failed marriage issues on us.)

        • says

          Joe Quesada was dead to me long before the Spider-Man marriage debacle. He took an excellent character introduced in X-Men: Evolution, X-23, and shelved her until he could PERSONALLY write her as a goth teenage-runaway prostitue, who only leaves her pimp after other people intervene. Girl Wolverine won’t leave her pimp until external forces intervene.

          *headdesk*

          Then, of course, we the readers were also meant to side with Iron Man during Civil War, so I haven’t been reading Marvel lately, either.

          • Casey says

            Didn’t Joe Quesada also get into a bit of a kerfuffle a few years ago when somebody questioned why there weren’t many women artists or writers at Marvel? I think he used the old strawman argument of “if there aren’t any women working at Marvel, it’s just because they don’t like comic books, and I’m not a misogynist because I have daughters herp derp.”

          • Patrick McGraw says

            Oh, yes “I have a daughter and I love her so nothing I ever do is sexist or misogynistic” is one of Quesada’s standard defenses.

          • The Other Patrick says

            Oh, this Civil War shit. I mean, Mark Millar, so I should have expected it, but still: having it end with Iron Man being the fascist state representative *and* totally in the right – yeah. In my youth, comics were kind of a counter culture, I thought, not state enforcers.

          • says

            I can understand the “superheroes side with the gov’t.” stance, because that’s what was done in WWII, so there’s a bit of history there, I guess… though even Captain America was really conflicted about Vietnam, as I recall. It’s just very strange, and weirdly unsatisfying. That’s why I read this excellent, excellent parody of the whole thing (that and Mini Marvels: Civil Wards, which was funny but, um, copywritten).

            What really made Civil War ridiculous to me was that the Marvel mutants, by design, couldn’t be involved in the event because to be “in the right” would put them pro-registration. Registration of Otherized people, which has already been established as a Bad Thing. Leading to the Age of Apocalypse. Apocalypse.

            That, and that for the various tie-in titles, it seemed like some of the writers definitely hadn’t gotten the “Iron Man = Awesome” memo and wrote the now-underground superheroes as the sympathetic underdogs. Which they were, as far as this X-Men fan is concerned. *shrugs*

          • Patrick McGraw says

            “I Don’t Need Your Civil War” was a parody, and was much better than the real thing. I think that says a lot about CW.

      • lilacsigil says

        Great summary! My current DC pull list consists of “Batwoman” and “Birds of Prey”. Not that my Marvel list is much bigger…

        • Patrick McGraw says

          Thanks! At this point, with Dan Didio out as EiC, I’m considering picking up any books by Gail Simone and J. Michael Straczynski, but I’ll probably wait it out a bit to see what changes Bob Harras brings.

    • says

      I had the John Stewart/Hal Jordan issue a few years ago when I decided getting (back) into comics was a Good Idea. I looked for “Green Lantern” and wound up with some white guy and a lot of porn-face impossibly-posed Star Sapphire. YEAH, NO. Then I read Marvel exclusively for a little while until Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes > Ted Kord!) showed up… Yeah, my comic-fandom-status fluctuates with how much whitewashing/sexism/crap writing is going on at any given time, and how much residual disgust is still held over from the last instance.

      I think the issues with comic books and adapted movie properties are more that comics have culturally shifted into a form of entertainment meant for nostalgic adults with disposable income vs. an effectively kids-only source of entertainment/propaganda, and when that nostalgia manifests in problematically bigoted ways (see: Spielberg & Tintin), said nerds don’t want to examine it because that’s the way they want the story to be. Thus, the actual kids’ products, like cartoons and cheaper action figures (vs. collectibles), are more ethnically/racially/class/gender/etc.-diverse (JLA, Batman: Brave and the Bold, Spectacular Spider-Man, X-Men: Evolution) than the products meant for the “purist” adults, the movies and comics (the interchangability of Rhodey’s actors in the Iron Man films, Green Lantern, all the white Catwomen post-Eartha-Kitt, the lack/whitewashing of POC characters in the X-Men movies except for Storm, Green Arrow’s son’s variable perceived Whitness, etc.). It’s response to two different markets.

      An aside: this is why I love Jessica Alba, the Sue Storm that wasn’t White enough. She’s complained about her experience with the F4 films before, how her hair was falling out because she was being pressured to dye it lighter and lighter and lighter until it no longer had any integrity, and she just said “Fuck this,” dyed the front, put on a hairpiece, and called it a day. No word on the pancake makeup and contact lenses she had to use in F4.2, but I did notice she actually had facial mobility in the first movie. I thought her performance Silver Surfer was just bad acting and weird editing, which… it was, but that was her job. She speaks her mind! Shock and horrors. <3

      (And I'm not seeing Green Lantern for the above reasons, and because it also just looks bad. And Reynolds should have been able to play Deadpool, but I really don't know what exactly the Fox execs were thinking with Wolverine: Origins. I just don't.)

      • Patrick McGraw says

        Agreement of all points. I like having superhero comics with an intended audience of adults, but for some years now the intended audience has been nostalgic fanboys as you said. And the negative effects of that have been widespread – consider how the original plans for Christopher Kent were abandoned.

        And the whitewashing – I stopped reading DC comics during the period where the JLA colorists apparently missed the memo that Vixen is black, and where is seemed Connor Hawke got whiter in every appearance.

        I think it says a lot that Justice League Unlimited is better than the actual DC Universe in almost every respect.

  3. says

    That priest is over-the-top evil. Using violence to violate, using violence to cover his ass… total entitlement. But this may be the saddest part to me:

    “He’s a dangerous predator and has been since at least 1988,” Rhodes said. “The church has known how dangerous this guy is for many, many years. They had full knowledge, we believe, and the documents seem to bear that out — that they knew what a bad person he was and what a danger he was to children.”

    That’s not Christian behavior.

    The more I read about the Jezebel thing, the more I think the only guy the author observed assaulting women in Paris was the author himself, in that “no one here knows me!” vacation mode. Then, if I’m right, he concluded from the fact that (presumably) no one had him arrested that Parisian women were totally okay with his assaults. *headdesk*

    I’m adding Jezebel to our “nofollow” filter so all links to them will be ignored by the search engines in their algorithms. I don’t know WHAT they were thinking, but this is ridiculous.

    • says

      I’m adding Jezebel to our “nofollow” filter so all links to them will be ignored by the search engines in their algorithms. I don’t know WHAT they were thinking, but this is ridiculous.

      Good. That made me incredibly angry with them. Their half-assed apologies and explanations made me even more so.

  4. says

    Great links post!

    I spent a wonderful morning reading through them. Wonderful in that it was great learning–less wonderful in the contents of many of them.

    I was so excited about the NASA thing. It would’ve been cool if, like the hype had theorized, it was about extraterrestrial life in specific, but I was just as excited about them finding new kinds of life right here on my home planet. It’s so cool that even here there are alternate pathways to life that most hadn’t even really considered just because it’s not “normal.” The life that exists in extreme environments is so cool–like the bacterial mats in Yellowstone or around many geysers and in hot springs, and around deep sea vents…so cool. Makes me think of the incredible story of that awful lake in Butte Montana, where a flock of 300 geese died, but bacteria from their bodies that lives off the acid in the water is slowly making the water less toxic. Nature/science is AMAZING.

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