Alexa's Miscellany

The personalish Tumblr of blogger and podcaster. See my work at Ladies Making Comics and listen to Mad World Podcast.

Expect ramblings about comics, feminism, tea, period dramas, and IP news.
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(Yes I do plan on writing a thing about why I keep comparing superhero movies to old Bond films.)

sonofbaldwin:

theblacksophisticate:

What Black notables would you like to see biopics made about? 

James Baldwin, starring Don Cheadle, directed by Steve McQueen

Shirley Chisholm, starring Regina King, directed by Ava DuVernay

Trayvon Martin, starring Tristan Wilds, directed by Ryan Coogler

Frederick Douglass played by Jeffrey Wright

Mary Bowser played by Viola Davis

Paul Robeson played by Eamonn Walker

(Strictly speaking, other Oscar-winning actresses, namely Halle Berry, have played Bond Girls, but Cruz is the first to be cast after winning. Berry won hers while filming Die Another Day. Of course Judi Dench is an Oscar-winner, but she is not a Bond Girl; as Skyfall made abundantly clear, Bond is an M Boy.)

thedistortedone:

relativemorals:

YES. I’m tired of all of you pretentious assholes saying that I’m not “really reading” because I use a kindle.

Yes, you are reading.You are just reading a “lesser” form of book. Reading isn’t just reading the words on a page/screen, it’s smelling the book, new or old, it’s wearing the books spine out after rereading it for the X’th time, it’s leaving crease marks on a page you flipped too fast because you were that eager to get to the next page, and most of all, it’s losing yourself in a book to the point where the world around you no longer exists. And I, for one, cannot lose myself in an electronic screen. The words of a real book take on a depth that cannot ever be recreated on anything electronic. So you may be reading a book, but you will never truly experience a book unless you read it in a printed medium.

Today, I finished reading It Is Your Enemy Who Is Dock-Tailed by Hamid Zaher. It his memoir—the first of its kind—of growing up and being a homosexual in Afghanistan, and his struggle to escape to the West, not from the Taliban, but the cultural expectations on him both as a man and his widowed mother’s only son. He describes the societal taboos on homosexuality as he traveled from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Iran to Turkey— and how he found partners and lovers in all of those places—before he was granted asylum in Canada. He muses on the inferiority complex that his culture impressed on him because of his sexuality, while acknowledging that he must be better off than most Afghanistani homosexuals because he had the strength and courage to embrace his identity and speak out about it. He refused to be shamed in a culture where shame is the ultimate punishment and reflects on the entire family of a shamed person, even in the face of physical and sexual assault.
I read that book on a Kindle, because the moment I heard about it, I wanted to read it immediately (and for $10 cheaper). To suggest that my experience of reading it, my empathy with Zaher, my education on a very hidden part of Middle Eastern societies, was in anyway hindered by the medium on which I read it is patently absurd.  To quote John Green: 

We privilege reading and writing because they allow us to communicate directly and transparently with people who live very far away from us, and they also allow us to kind of “hear” the voices of the dead…Stories are about communication…Writing (or at least good writing) is an outgrowth of that urge to use language to communicate complex ideas and experiences between people…Reading is always an act of empathy, it’s always an imagining of what it’s like to be someone else.

Nothing about smelling old pulp and glue or creasing pages and spines there. If I had to make a choice between “fondle paper for a few hours” or “experience another (real or fictional) person’s life from their perspective and thereby gain a greater understanding of the human condition”, I would think the answer would be obvious. The latter is not only of immeasurable importance and value, it frankly overwhelms whatever little pleasure can be gained from the former.
As a final note, I find it interesting that you have taken to a digital medium to express your disdain for its “obvious” inferiority. I can’t blame you, because if you printed an editorial in your local paper, no one would read it. And the main—if not only—point of the written word, whether an editorial, a memoir, or a novel is to be read.

thedistortedone:

relativemorals:

YES. I’m tired of all of you pretentious assholes saying that I’m not “really reading” because I use a kindle.

Yes, you are reading.You are just reading a “lesser” form of book. Reading isn’t just reading the words on a page/screen, it’s smelling the book, new or old, it’s wearing the books spine out after rereading it for the X’th time, it’s leaving crease marks on a page you flipped too fast because you were that eager to get to the next page, and most of all, it’s losing yourself in a book to the point where the world around you no longer exists. And I, for one, cannot lose myself in an electronic screen. The words of a real book take on a depth that cannot ever be recreated on anything electronic. So you may be reading a book, but you will never truly experience a book unless you read it in a printed medium.

Today, I finished reading It Is Your Enemy Who Is Dock-Tailed by Hamid Zaher. It his memoir—the first of its kind—of growing up and being a homosexual in Afghanistan, and his struggle to escape to the West, not from the Taliban, but the cultural expectations on him both as a man and his widowed mother’s only son. He describes the societal taboos on homosexuality as he traveled from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Iran to Turkey— and how he found partners and lovers in all of those places—before he was granted asylum in Canada. He muses on the inferiority complex that his culture impressed on him because of his sexuality, while acknowledging that he must be better off than most Afghanistani homosexuals because he had the strength and courage to embrace his identity and speak out about it. He refused to be shamed in a culture where shame is the ultimate punishment and reflects on the entire family of a shamed person, even in the face of physical and sexual assault.

I read that book on a Kindle, because the moment I heard about it, I wanted to read it immediately (and for $10 cheaper). To suggest that my experience of reading it, my empathy with Zaher, my education on a very hidden part of Middle Eastern societies, was in anyway hindered by the medium on which I read it is patently absurd.  To quote John Green

We privilege reading and writing because they allow us to communicate directly and transparently with people who live very far away from us, and they also allow us to kind of “hear” the voices of the dead…Stories are about communication…Writing (or at least good writing) is an outgrowth of that urge to use language to communicate complex ideas and experiences between people…Reading is always an act of empathy, it’s always an imagining of what it’s like to be someone else.

Nothing about smelling old pulp and glue or creasing pages and spines there. If I had to make a choice between “fondle paper for a few hours” or “experience another (real or fictional) person’s life from their perspective and thereby gain a greater understanding of the human condition”, I would think the answer would be obvious. The latter is not only of immeasurable importance and value, it frankly overwhelms whatever little pleasure can be gained from the former.

As a final note, I find it interesting that you have taken to a digital medium to express your disdain for its “obvious” inferiority. I can’t blame you, because if you printed an editorial in your local paper, no one would read it. And the main—if not only—point of the written word, whether an editorial, a memoir, or a novel is to be read.

I was in New York City last weekend at the fabulous MoCCA Arts Fest, which I hope to write up soon, but as a result, I missed a lot of TV! Since all of my current followers know me from Mad World, I figure some of my thoughts on other TV shows would not go amiss.

Hannibal 1x01: “Aperitif” and 1x02: “Amuse-Bouche”

Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite movies, and Mads Mikkelsen one of my favorite villains (actor of villains, anyway), so getting him to play Hannibal Lecter is a stroke of genius as far as I’m concerned. Though it took him a little while to show up. Still, even with his limited screen time, he didn’t disappoint. If this show goes on the three seasons Bryan Fuller has planned before they hit the Red Dragon storyline (neither movie version have I seen in full), I’m mainly concerned that Mads will get bored of filming all those sinister cooking scenes, where the camera makes love to the meat. 

Hugh Dancy is intriguing as Will Graham, playing him along the autism spectrum. I have to wonder if this show was specially formulated for my mom, a special ed teacher and Lifetime movie buff. I may have to suggest it to her. Anyway, I’m a sucker for camera work that tries to show you how the character thinks, though it can be a little heavy-handed at time.

I definitely found the second episode better than the first, which was a little too slow-burn for me, but I am looking forward to the next episode where (it seems) they will bring the Hobbs case to a close. My main concern with making an FBI-serial-killer procedural named after an at-large and undetected cannibal was “How do you top that?” Well, the mushroom guy in “Amuse-Bouche” was way creepier than anyone else on the show so far, even than Hannibal, so good on you Fuller for rising to that challenge.

The addition of Laurence Fishburne’s Agent Jack Crawford and Caroline Dhavernas’s Dr. Alana Bloom to the cast are a huge bonus, and I’m completely charmed by Hettienne Park’s crime scene investigator Beverly Katz, who carries off the sort of grim sense of humor one would need for this job excellently.

Archer 4x12 and 4x13: “Sea Tunt parts I and II”

Archer has been and remains one of the funniest shows on TV, and I can’t decide what was the best part of the season finale. Guest voices by Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, and Jon Hamm? A vague Sealab 2021 crossover (as the premiere crossed over with Bob’s Burgers)? Cheryl proving that she’s crazy like a fox and that her stupid brother Barry is indeed pretty stupid? Lana forging ahead with having a baby without Cyril’s help (or DNA)? Nope, the best part was Archer booping people on the nose. 

All I can hope for is a Spy Babies episode in the future with Lana’s baby and the Wee Baby Seamus.

Vikings 1x06: “Burial of the Dead”

I started watching this show (as I did Hatfields and McCoys) because I wanted to support the idea of the History Channel delving into historical fiction rather than continuing down the road of contemporary reality; I feel personally rewarded by the news that it has been renewed for another season. (Also, apparently they’re developing a miniseries about the Sons of Liberty— as a Bostonian and history buff, all I can say is about goddamn time.)

Anyway, this was the episode the rest had been leading up to. Ragnar challenges Earl Haraldson to a fight to the death and (spoiler!) wins. His wife, Siggy, does the sane thing and stabs the hideous old Swede Haraldson had married their daughter off to, and now everyone is rushing to swear fealty to Ragnar. Rollo switches loyalties another three times in this episode as is his wont, offering to marry Siggy with the promise that someday he will be Earl— presumably by killing Ragnar. Ragnar needs to stop putting up with his brother’s shit, let me tell you. Also, Siggy needs to watch out for Rollo leaving her for Lagertha once he widows her. Rollo, for his part, should give the whole thing up because Lagertha will slice him to ribbons if he’s successful, no matter how pregnant she is at the time.

All in all, good royal intrigue and shenanigans with sort-of heavy-handed explanations of Viking funeral customs as they are explained to the Christian monk/slave Athelstan. Athelstan didn’t have much to do this episode, but I continue to hope they’ll go some place different with his character— having him convert to Viking religion rather than convert some of the Norse to Christianity. Because I’ve read those “conflicts between the Old Ways and the New” stories so many times. (You should read Things Fall Apart, by the way, if only to understand why the recently late Chinua Achebe trended worldwide on Twitter when he died).

That’s it for now. More thoughts and/or feels to come later.

madworldpodcast:

Mad World Podcast - The Doorway

With another season of Mad Men underway, William and Alexa are joined by Tahlia Hein (as she joins the podcast full time) and Dane Davenport to talk about Sunday night’s two-hour premiere.

Stream the episode above or subscribe in iTunes.

Follow Dane on Twitter, Tumblr and his website.

Visit Tahlia on her Tumblr.

And check out Alexa over on Ladies Making Comics or her personal tumblr.

Here’s that Jon Hamm interviewJace Lacob’s Matthew Weiner interview and Margaret Lyons’ close reading.

What did you think of the episode?

And as promised, I’m making use of my new personal Tumblr to reblog the thing that probably brought you to it in the first place! Welcome aboard!