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*goes back to attacking stuckitude*
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I have to start generating draft post link dumps as I post things to G+.
You should be reading Wesley Morris, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his movie criticism, regardless of whether you want to see the movies he's writing about. Here he is about the truly appalling Ted 2:
For people of color, some aspect of friendship with white people involves an awareness that you could be dropped through a trapdoor of racism at any moment, by a slip of the tongue, or at a campus party, or in a legislative campaign. But it’s not always anticipated. You don’t expect the young white man who’s been seated alongside you in a house of worship to take your life because you’re black. Nor do you expect that a movie about an obscene teddy bear would invoke a sexual stereotype forced upon you the way Kunta Kinte was forced to become “Toby” [in Roots].
And as a palate cleanser, his review of Magic Mike XXL.
The AV Club's Random Roles series is almost always great. Here's Diana Riggs, who I've never even seen on screen and who I now want to be when I grow up.
I also love their Expert Witness series; here's a recent one on being a second-unit director on Hollywood blockbusters and one I somehow missed on from a camera operator on the Puppy Bowl.
I don't watch Penny Dreadful but glvalentine's recaps of it are worthy of live-blogging on their own. The one about the most recent episode contains such gems as "Somehow opting not to just go full Gothic and have sex in front of the corpse" and "(He had so much trouble just facing his mother’s death that he made three more people. Then he had sex with at least one of them. The man is troubled.)"
This review of For Such a Time by Kate Breslin makes you wonder how on Earth anyone could possibly think that it was a good idea. (Content notes: Holocaust, dubcon.)
Palate cleanser: absolutely hilarious Imperial Radch AU by Rachel Swirsky.
@AcademicsSay: The Story Behind a Social-Media Experiment, an interesting look at the growth of that Twitter account and what the academic behind it decided to do with the social capital it had.
Yakhchāls: "By 400 BCE, Persian engineers had mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert."
A Mostly Accurate Norse God Family Tree, in comic form, with research notes. A.K.A., "TIL that Odin's grandparent was a cow."
The Poet Laureate of Fan Fiction, an interview with someone whose work was appropriated by Supernatural fandom.
Did my boyfriend just get married? on AskMetaFilter; search the poster's username for updates.
What This Cruel War Was Over, the meaning of the Confederate flag in the plain words of those who bore it.
Lovely person, by all accounts; not a perfect writer, but a very good and important one; and, I can't tell if this is odd or not, but the thing I keep coming back to, and tearing up over, is that of all the fiction I've read, his is the one that gave me the most tools to deal with death and my lack of a belief in an afterlife.
“I know about Sending Home,” said Princess. “And I know the souls of dead linesmen stay on the Trunk.”
“Who told you that?” said Grandad.
Princess was bright enough to know that someone would get into trouble if she was too specific.
“Oh, I just heard it,” she said airily. “Somewhere.”
“Someone was trying to scare you,” said Grandad, looking at Roger’s reddening ears.
It hadn’t sounded scary to Princess. If you had to be dead, it seemed a lot better to spend your time flying between the towers than lying underground. But she was bright enough, too, to know when to drop a subject.
It was Grandad who spoke next, after a long pause broken only by the squeaking of the new shutter bars. When he did speak, it was as if something was on his mind.
“We keep that name moving in the Overhead,” he said, and it seemed to Princess that the wind in the shutter arrays above her blew more forlornly, and the everlasting clicking of the shutters grew more urgent. “He’d never have wanted to go home. He was a real linesman. His name is in the code, in the wind, in the rigging, and the shutters. Haven’t you ever heard the saying ‘Man’s not dead while his name is still spoken’?”
(Also, this is petty, but my anal-retentive self has been twitching all day seeing people quote variants of that. To be fair, “A man is not dead while his name is still spoken.” is in the quasi-table-of-contents for that chapter, but damn it, I have searched the ebook and “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?” is not in Going Postal.)
A lot of you have opinions about the ranking of Heyer books!
As of five minutes ago, Cotillion was the runaway favorite, with 45/64 votes putting it in the top tier.
Next were: Frederica (34), The Grand Sophy (27), Venetia (26), and The Unknown Ajax (25).
Bonus mention to The Talisman Ring (20), which has a fervent faction in comments making the pitch for its underratedness.
Because skygiants asked, and because I don't mind using search & replace to generate DW poll code off of Wikipedia's novel list (hence the years, because it would take too long to edit them out): a poll about Heyer's Regency romance novels, what your personal top-tier are and, bonus question, what (if any) one you suspect is probably underrated generally.
Because there are a lot of books and the first question involves ticky boxes, it's behind the cut.
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Icon in honor of the Gorey covers of Sarah Caudwell's books, the first two of which I spotted on my shelves while changing clothes. They were only on my shelves because they used not to be available electronically, which has changed now, so hey, check them out—they're awesome.
[Selena] likes, I know, to pretend that Julia is a normal, grown-up woman, who can safely be sent round the corner to buy a loaf of bread; but, of course, it is quite absurd. Poor Julia’s inability to understand what is happening, or why, in the world about her, her incompetence to learn even the simplest of the practical skills required for survival—these must have made it evident, even in childhood, that she would never be able to cope unaided with the full responsibilities of adult life. She must have been, no doubt, a docile, good-natured child, with a certain facility for Latin verbs and intelligence tests—but what use is that to anyone? Seeking some suitable refuge, where her inadequacies would pass unnoticed, her relatives, very sensibly, sent her to Lincoln’s Inn. She is now a member of the small set of Revenue Chambers in 63 New Square. There she sits all day, advising quite happily on the construction of the Finance Acts, and doing no harm to anyone. But to let her go to Venice—I imagined her, wandering alone through those devious alleyways, looking—as, indeed, she does at the best of times—like one of the more dishevelled heroines of Greek tragedy; and I could not forbear to chide.
Familiar characters, something good on every page, plots I only partly remember, and just fun. There, reader's block conquered.
Thank you for all your suggestions—I'd forgotten that I need to put Hild on my list of homework. (I tried the sample online, but it was a lot of names and words for my current mood.)