weekly round-up 2013-2

That time of the week!

* So the Oscars happened. The Onion commentary called 9 year old Oscar nominee (and Beasts of the Southern Wild star) Quvenzhané Wallis “c*nt” in a tweet. Then removed the tweet and issued an actually reasonable apology. Laurie Penny defends the word in this article.

* On the same note, a feminist film critic defended The Onion’s tweet.

“As I think many of my readers would attest, I am attuned to misogyny in pop culture, even the point at which I see it when others don’t. And still, I didn’t see it here. I didn’t see Wallis as the butt of this joke. It seemed completely obvious to me — to the point that I didn’t even have to think about it — that the butt of the joke here is people who say such things about women.”

* Goodreads knows what’s going on with readers. How people decide what to read and where they read them.

* Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, whose informal video I posted on Tuesday was featured by NPR later in the week.

* Amanda Palmer was one of the most memorable #TED2013 speakers, and she rocked. Read about it on mashable – you can also watch the TED talk but it hasn’t been transcribed or translated yet.

* You know who else was on TED2013? A 13-year old Kenyan boy who found an effective and lion-friendly way to keep lions away from livestock of his father.

* On a more serious note, here’s an important article explaining how organized labor in the US can protect workers by supporting Aaron’s Law, which was drafted upon the suicide of Aaron Swartz.

* Do you think you live in a small apartment? Hong Kong’s illegal microapartments will have you reconsider.

* 3Doodle, the 3d sketching pen. Added to wishlist.


the entertainment that is bad tv

A while ago, I wrote a short post about the pleasures of watching good TV (vs. bad TV) and complained about repetitive formulas on House M.D. versus the good writing you can find on Homeland. Since then, House has finished its run, and Homeland is doing interesting things which keep the viewer waiting for the next season, even if just to know they know where they are going.

I would like to continue this TV talk, with The Walking Dead. TWD and I are in a hate-hate relationship. Much like I described in the previous post, I spend most of the episode yelling at characters. I spent a good time yelling at Lori, now I yell at pretty much everyone, but especially Andrea. Now, there are two kinds of yelling involved in The Walking Dead. The first one is the kind where you yell at characters because they are being stupid/dumb/blind/easily convinced. That’s an okay kind of yelling, as any realistic TV show should probably have realistic characters who make questionable choices (think Game of Thrones, Ned Stark as a great example of a great show, crappy choices).

The second kind of yelling, which is happening more and more with the Walking Dead is the “I will not watch any more episodes of this!” yelling, which I reset after each episode out of either curiosity or a glimmer of hope.

AMC’s The Walking Dead

I noticed, while procrastinating on Pinterest, that most people feel the same. Especially season 2. Especially Lori. Poor Lori. Lori with bad writers on her back who keep making her say and do the weirdest stuff, constantly lose her son around in a zombie apocalypse  tell her husband to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe and then blame him when he does so. Season 2 could be summarized indeed by this:

Where’s Carl?!?

I’m not sure if we will be able to summarize season 3 the same way (e.g. “Where’s Rick?”), or if I will finish season 3, considering the “meh” writing, the constant show runner changes. But other important questions still remain: What happened to the guy Rick met in season 1 and gave a walkie talkie to? Who mows the lawns? Are we supposed to forget about him? Why is everyone’s hair the same length as before? Where are all the animals? Wouldn’t some animals become zombie predators? Why am I still watching this show?