Thursday, February 23, 2017


In today's collection: splendid, exhilarating, strong, and superb writing.

Who else remembers picture-day combs? The Atlantic, on behaving, duck-walking, fixing yourself up, and the ritual glamour of unison inevitability ... or not. Splendid writing.

Now listen, this isn’t some sepia-colored essay about realizing I was different, and embracing a conflicted racial identity through the experience of receiving a single comb.

Six years on a boat. Amy Schaefer's glorious OPPORTUNITY ... She writes with such exhilaration!

John Davis Frain has been doing weekly flashfic mystery posts. I am either the best or the worst mystery consumer - I don't tend to do any guesswork while reading or watching. Reveals are most often reveals for me, because I get absorbed in stories without becoming analytical. Usually. When SHERLOCK, of all things, recently dropped a "clue" that even I was like "wait, doesn't anyone know THIS though?" - I have to say, it was disappointing to witness their poor estimation of their viewers (never mind the betrayal of their characters' supposed intellect). So JDF got me this week. It's a strong story, and I almost don't care what the key is.

I said almost! Will check back soon ...

Movie MAGIC. How to get that wildly expensive model you never thought you could have, or make up a fantasy car - or re-skin your ride. The piece doesn't say whether this makes crashing extremely expensive vehicles possible as well; my violent mind goes right to that place, of course.

When "child molester" is the NICE part of what someone has to say. Erick Erickson won't allow his kids to watch the President on TV ... but gives him a B-. He says of Milo Yiannopoulos' travails this week, "Trying to cash in on someone’s alt-right fame to drive attendance cheapens the conservative movement.". And he says the representative democracy may isn't sustainable. I will leave you to grade EE's own good works.

The problem then is not in accepting legends, but being so rigid in our acceptance, that we fail to allow it when someone re-imagines it a little differently from the accepted script.

As an author of historical fiction, I'm always intrigued with questions of historicity - especially "was this person real?" - but this literary/historical question comes tied up with many other questions, too. One of them: why is paleness equated with beauty, even in an Indian tale? Why are physical beauty and lust passed for love in literature across the world? How do we feel about "history is not our concern" and "even role models need proper branding" ... ?  And, of course, without legal disclaimers - where lies the line between history and story? (Included at the link is the story of Rani Padmini - queen, martyr, or fantasy ...) The final analysis of her appeal is an intriguing deconstruction of the way we wield myth in religious politics.

The one percent at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and how mad some of 'em are. Because now #OscarsSoWhite is - some feel - becoming #OscarsSoAgeist. The New Yorker has an in-depth look at changes in the Academy now, and over generations. It's in-depth enough you won't get my one percent reference until about 1/3 the way down the scrollbar. (Also, The Third Purge makes a REALLY good name for a story.) This piece itself is engaging storytelling - and also good entertainment journalism/history. Superbly written! And ROFL on this quote:

It’s like the process of trying to win an election. It’s no longer about the material or the merit.

Finally - "Fashion is costuming." Which has long been a theme on this blog, so congrats for catching up, WaPo.


Lilac Shoshani said...

I like it that you tell us what other Reiders are up to…:-)And it is unbelievable that paleness equates with beauty even in an Indian tale.

John Davis Frain said...


This is great. A snapshot of blogs so we can figure out where to go next. And I'm honored to be among them. Thank you!

DLM said...

Hello, John! I may depend a bit too much on Collection posts, but it's fun for me. Many Reiders' blogs are included, as Lilac notes, but there is a lot more than that too.

So glad you came by, thank you!