Thursday, February 27, 2014

Article Reading Group

Albrecht Dürer, Six pillows via youmakemisohappy

SINATRA’S COLD IS CONTAGIOUS: Hostile Subjects, Vulnerable Sources & The Ethics of Outing - Maria Dahvana Headley: "It is not the mandate of a writer to keep pursuing a private citizen’s secrets (secrets which have exactly no impact on the product you are writing about, nor on anything else public good) until they kill themselves. This is not an honorable act". The Story Is Not The Most Important Thing. This post is a response to a specific Grantland article but it it contains many truths about writing, outing and humanity.

How ‘#Rich Kids of Beverly Hills’ Makes ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Gatsby,’ and ‘The Bling Ring’ Obsolete - Moze Halperin: I loathed the Gatsby film, found The Bling Ring wonderfully sound-tracked but remarkably vapid and underwhelming and I will not be touching WoWS with a ten foot pole. Moze Halperin writes an interesting analysis of these films' fundamental impotency in the face of a stream of reality tv that conveys the failure of the American dream with an unavoidable brutality and effectiveness that they can't match. There are obviously a thousand other things to be said about these films but this is a neat look at one of the sources of their lack of meaningful/emotional impact.

Fangirl - Elizabeth Minkel: "fictional characters from both high and low culture have always occupied prime seats in my mind (palace). In the end, these are just stories, which is what we’re after most of all, I suppose — a way to contextualize our own stories, the ones we tell ourselves to make sense of things. Anything that’s both beloved and serialized has to deal with the disconnect between the stories that its creators want to tell and the stories that fans, from the casual on up to the obsessive, want to see." There were plenty of things I disliked about the latest series of Sherlock but, as ever, it engendered some great, smart conversations. The Sherlock fandom has some of the most articulate fans and the show is sufficiently news worthy that fairly mainstream sites will publish great, longform meta about it. Solid.

Against Grammar - Catie Disabato: "A prescriptive approach to grammar is destructive, and it needed to be leeched from our minds like a poison so we could see how the world of language actually works." I am crying with happiness at this article. All the yeses. A nice accompaniment and formal argument for the Toast piece on internet language that I've probably posted before - Your Ability to Can Even: A Defense of Internet Linguistics by Tia Baheri.

How much my novel cost me - Emily Gould: I watched Frances Ha at the weekend and, while I didn't love it as much as many people online, the characters that Greta Gerwig repeatedly plays are important to me. As frustrating as those women can be, the honesty of their portrayal, of the fucked up, messy way that young women try to navigate adulthood, speaks to me. There is no way to say 'speaks to me' without sounding like a bit of an arsehole but it is actually pretty rare to see a reflection of myself, even a partial, exaggerated one, on screen or paper. There is a hard kernel of truth in her work and, yes, it is a very specific, small truth but I value it. I feel similarly about Emily Gould. She is so honest and flawed and honest about her flaws and it is so refreshing. She shares so much about her life, the details of her experience and her shortcomings, more than anyone else does, maybe too much, but it feels good and vital. I want to extend a thank you to her.

Any recommendations? Thoughts? You know the drill.

Chuck x

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed the Against Grammar article you linked to. Less, fewer...I always misuse them I suppose