ONE First things first: science stuff?? happened??? My freshman roommate, an honors math and physics student at McGill, explained it to me like this:
i’m not sure exactly how well his theory agrees with the discovery, but from what i understand the agreement is really good. this is not the regime where his theory breaks down, that’s more like “what happens inside a black hole?” general relativity doesn’t know, because it treats black holes as having infinite mass density, which doesn’t make sense but this shows that its treatment of black holes works for predicting how they affect other objects + the shape of spacetime
IMO, it is super impressive from an experimental point of view. Gravitational effects are tiny and they built this incredibly sensitive experiment that could detect a sort of localised gravitational effect that was really freaking far away. From a theoretical point of view, yes it does confirm an effect that was predicted by gr, but gr was already on really solid footing in terms of predicting things that have been observed experimentally. Also I think cosmologists think they can use the technique/phenomenon to probe early universe stuff? I don’t understand cosmology.
TWO I honestly saw this post on tumblr, and I couldn’t believe someone had summed me up so eloquently.
THREE Todd Van Der Deff wrote an interesting piece on his own newsletter about Mistaken Protagonist Syndrome. I was actually totally unfamiliar with the series he references (in the sense that I haven’t seen them,) but I think the theory applies to every show that doesn’t have a woman as the main character, but I dont think that’s what he meant.
FOUR This article really squicks me, and for a long time I didn’t understand why. The article starts with a clear statement about people who read and write fanfiction for comics and comic!verse characters: “We never expect our ships to become canon. That’s the first thing you need to know.” She clarifies her statement in the fourth paragraph of the article, claiming that “So when I say we never expect our ships to become canon, what I mean is this: we never expect our favourite relationships — the potentially romantic relationships we see between characters in the stories the world tells us — to be sanctioned by anyone but us.” Although Charlotte Geater is talking about queer identities, what I immediately noticed is that all her discussion is about specifically male/male ships. Moreover, she adds near the end of the essay that:
Shipping — queer shipping, in particular — is about a lot of things. It’s about desire, and exploration, often (but not always) in ways that corporations won’t sanction. It’s about community, and having fun with your friends! It’s about pushing back, even if only a little bit. It’s an easy way in to media criticism, and critical reading. It’s about having a lot of feelings about the stories that you like, and expressing them in about the moments when it seems like the characters in the stories are also having feelings.
I think what frustrates me here is that f/f shippers do crave canon. We want visibility, and acceptance, but also publically different stories. We want Root and Shaw to kiss on our screen, and we want Sarah Shahi and Amy Acker to make jokes to each other about how much they love our ship. We wanted Joanne Kelly and Jamie Murray to have more than long gazes. I don’t know why the femslash fandom is more inclined to hunger for exposure, but it exists. And, as always, when Geater wrote this article, she didn’t even consider the f/f voice when looking at queer ships.
FIVE This article on women, violence and horror films is really wonderful, because it looks at how an 80s movie called High Tension deconstructs horror movie tropes. (Don’t worry, the movie also has an Evil Lesbian).
Rather than pander to the male gaze, [the director] decides to reject these scopophilic pleasures in favour of championing female subjectivity, but he also chooses to reject heteronormativity by having the lesbian desires of Marie drive the plot of the film. Interestingly, it is these desires and subjective experiences that both initiate the use of violence and intensify the representation of violence throughout
SIX Recently, podcaster and social media critic Flourish wrote an article about why she writes and ships RPF couples. She’s a memeber of the One Direction fandom, so really, there is no surprise there. But it has made me think; I have, over the last years, strongly modified my stance towards RPF as it not only becomes more societally acceptable, but also less “creepy.” RPF, as Flourish points out, isn’t about tinhatting; most people who write about Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny don’t really care whether or not they are actually banging. We just like to think about it.
When celebrities complain about the attention, I get it. I wouldn’t like paparazzi in my business either. But RPF isn’t stalking. It isn’t paparazzi following you around. It doesn’t intrude into your daily life. And more than that, it’s not about you: it’s about a fictional you. RPF is not the same as tinhatting, or claiming to know some ~truth about celebrity relationships, or what have you. It does not claim to be an expression of the truth. And that puts it miles ahead of things like this, which are chock full of lies intended to deceive:
SEVEN I’ve been reading Stich’s Media Mix for a while now, and i really love some of her really nuanced interesting criticism of white male nerd culture, which included this fascinating article on Racebending:
Centering white guys in superhero stories isn’t good. It leads to Rick Remender’s weird m-word thing where it was obvious that no thought about the intersection of race and mutanthood happened at any point. It leads to stories about white guys as the ultimate oppressed. It leads to characters of color and women being minimized for men to take center stage.
EIGHT there is a really fun fandom newsletter called the rec centre, and this week i made a bunch of recs there!