Hell friends! This past week has been a week of Elisabeth and Caro Getting Drunk at Other People’s Expense! Oh, to be young and free and very broke! Isn’t it wonderful. Anyway, links! As always, we’re still open for art submissions if you are an artist and want to be paid!
Kirkus had a fascinating review this week about the unmaking of the white default. I really love how important this discussion has become over the last couple of years, or so, because I think that its so easy as a white person to forget that you are coded as the default, and I want to be reminded of it so I understand this privilege for what it is.
But as the conversation surrounding diversity in children’s literature has heated up, I’ve felt more and more that naming race and identity is one of the duties of a reviewer. Parents and caregivers of children of color want books that reflect their children, as do librarians and teachers serving children of color. Much of the conversation at a diversity summit I attended at the Texas Library Association conference last year revolved around how readers can findthe diverse books that are already out there. Yes, a book about the civil rights struggle, the Trail of Tears, or the Japanese internment camps announces race or identity in its subject, but what about books in which children of color are just regular kids?
Over and over, I’ve heard from parents, librarians, teachers, and kids themselves that it would be wonderful to read books about black kids, or Indian kids, or Native American kids who are just being kids instead of being oppressed in some way. Just as my Jewish brother-in-law wanted to give his daughter books in which a Jewish character was not being banished, beaten, burned at the stake, or gassed but just living life, these adults want to give their children stories that might reflect their lives, to give them Muslim Henry Hugginses or Latina Ramona Quimbys. And the corollary is just as important: white kids should see that kids of color live regular lives, that they are not frozen in some long-ago strife or current villainy/misery.
10 of the Best Female Coming of Age Films is an actually pretty awesome list, as it gives you a number of diverse films, including several by female directors.
Recently, I have become more into web comics. I blame all the cool queer people who are making amazing queer comics about friendship and affection. If you’re interested, this list is a pretty good collection of the cool webcomics featuring trans ladies
It’s been a week since Beyonce’s new album, and I’m still incredibly emotional about it. There have been some fascinating twitter conversations about it, especially by user Brienne of Snarth, as well as an amazingly well written review in the The New Yorker:
But while the album is Beyoncé’s most naked and personal yet, “Lemonade” is also a collage of collaborative artistic effort. Even more so than her last record, she draws from every corner of popular music, new and old, to make a rich potpourri of songs. She also combines sounds and imagery from many eras to salute black life, invoking the antebellum South, Malcolm X, and the young victims of police brutality over the last three years. But while the material is heavy the production is often feather-light. Among her collaborators here are Diplo, the Weeknd’s Abel Tesfaye, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Jack White, The-Dream’s Terius Nash, Animal Collective, James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She samples Soulja Boy and Led Zeppelin; she sings the blues. In the past, Beyoncé has sparked controversy by lifting images and ideas from other pieces of art; when the Internet takes its collective close read in the coming days, “Lemonade” will certainly generate more. Once again, she has compiled a long list of video directors to help execute the project, in addition to recruiting a number of actresses and friends to appear in the video (none of whom distract from the star for a moment). One cameo is Serena Williams, who appears during a fierce celebration of a song, “Sorry,” on which Beyoncé sings: “Me and my ladies sip my D’USSÉ cup / I don’t give a fuck / Chucking my deuces up / Suck on my balls / Pause / I had enough.” Beyoncé, the only woman on earth who can rebuff her husband with a smirking reference to his own brand of cognac.
Thank you, New York Times, for calling Hollywood out on its shit re: Asian American casting in the last 2 weeks.
Why is the erasure of Asians still an acceptable practice in Hollywood? … the filmmakers fall back on the same tired arguments. Often, they insist that movies with minorities in lead roles are gambles. When doing press for “Exodus,” the director Ridley Scott said: “I can’t mount a film of this budget” and announce that “my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such.”
I feel so sorry for the author of the article Hollywood’s gender-swapping problem: It looks like progress for actresses — but women of color are still mostly shut out, because he genuinely sounds surprised about this fact:
Spot the pattern yet? In every single one of these cases, the role went to a white actress. Missing are names like Salma Hayek, Lucy Liu, Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, Penelope Cruz, Taraji P. Henson, or the myriad actresses of color who are still waiting to have roles rewritten and reimagined with them in the part. In many cases, these women are still waiting for Hollywood to imagine them in any part at all. Kerry Washington is TV royalty, currently appearing in HBO’s Anita Hill biopic “Confirmation” while starring in Shonda Rhimes’ megahit, “Scandal,” but on the big screen, she remains a near nonentity — it’s been four years since her last high-profile vehicle, “Django Unchained.” Where’s her gender-swapped action movie?