Sunday, November 20, 2011

Links! white clothing, cuckoopants movies, and teenage writers

Here's a history of white - no, really, it's about how people have, through the centuries, dyed their clothing white. With great difficulty and in great peril, apparently (see the parts about sulfuric acid and powdered lead). Makes me skeptical about our current use of "optical brighteners" (which trick our eyes into thinking our laundered clothes are whiter than they actually are).

My two favorite media writers - Linda Holmes and Steven Lloyd Wilson - both reviewed the new Twilight film. Given the impact that these stories have had and are having on current culture, I really appreciate reading smart people's takes on these movies. While they both point out how, in Holmes' words, "cuckoopants" the latest installment is, Holmes' review delves into the domestic abuse aspects of the film whereas Wilson's review has this to say:

There is also no getting around the fact that Bella and Edward are not characters but blank slates. Their honeymoon consists of hiking and playing chess. They do not talk except about their drama. They have no interests, they have no future, they have no dreams. Fans have repeatedly emphasized that these blank slates are what is appealing about the characters, that they can map themselves onto the characters. But only being able to empathize with characters devoid of anything that might distinguish them as individuals is terribly emotionally immature. Empathy is the ability to empathize with those who are different, requiring them to be blank slates so that you don’t have to empathize with any degree of difference is just the softer side of sociopathy. (Emphasis mine.)
By the way, a heads-up: the comments on the second linked-to site tend to be raunchy (the first one is on NPR, so no worries there). I really like the site's movie reviews, because even though the writers often have different world-views than mine, they've very good and clear writers and their reviews make it easy for me to know whether or not I'd be interested in the movie they're reviewing. But I skip over a lot of other stuff on the site 'cause of content. Caveat lector.

John Scalzi's 10 Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing is great advice. And not just for teenagers.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

1 comment:

pinkundine said...

Hi, thanks for your comment on my blog - I am SO glad at least one person got the Sports Night reference!!! I have no idea why I decided on that name for the yarn I dyed, but it makes me chuckle, so I was really pleased to get your comment ;)