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Halloween is almost here which to me means one thing: overanalyzing horror flicks for any feminist undertones! ... [N]o season has better metaphors for misogynistic fears and powerful female sexuality than the scary movies that permeate almost every channel and film festival throughout October.
, Nina suggests nine horror films
she likes in the "Blossoming-Teenage-Girl-Becoming-A-Woman" sub-genre. She is far from alone in her search for interesting feminist themes in horror cinema and literature.
What are some good sauces to bake chicken breasts in?
So there's this UK punk band
. First wavers, '77. Cohorts of Gang of Four (whose pictures were inadvertently printed on the back of their first album). Rivals of The Clash, to whom their first single
was an answer record. Their energy is so gregarious, their working-class politics so pointed but relatable
, they make a mark for themselves despite the limitation of barely being able to play. They get to the part where they're supposed to break up or fade away. Instead, they learn to play, to play very well, even. They become an ever-shifting collective, picking up new members, people from The Rolling Stones, or people who'd played with The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, The Cure. They made roaring post-punk records
, shimmering power pop
, pint-raising Irish/British folk
, and booze-saturated country records
. They found a fascination with folk music, American country music in particular. Actually, they may have accidentally invented alt-country
. Lester Bangs says they're "The most revolutionary group in the history of rock n' roll." Hyperbole? Nah. Hyperbole was when he called them "better than the Beatles."
37 years in, they're still making records that odds are, you either love dearly, or have never heard of at all. They're The Mekons, friend, and Joe Angio
's new documentary
looks at them in all of their shambling, lovable, raucous glory.
David Dunning, professor of psychology at Cornell, writes for the Pacific Magazine on how confidence and incompetence often go hand in hand:
We Are All Confident Idiots
I have a Google Calendar set up for different home maintenance tasks that benefit from being scheduled out (i.e., things that aren't necessarily visible, like "mow the lawn"). It's been just a few months since I moved in to my house and I haven't filled out the list as much as I'd like. What's on your home maintenance calendars that I might not be thinking about?
What can I do to turn a modest, sparse apartment into a living space that's delightful, useful, impressive, and comfortable? Assume I am starting very nearly from scratch. Extra points for cheapness, easy installations, things which I can move with me, and tips that will make my life easier and happier rather than just flashier.
Jeff Quitney has curated hundreds and hundreds* of YouTube playlists with thousands and thousands of vintage educational, training and institutional films and documentaries. If you hate multi-link posts you can jump right in because the playlists aren't organized
. In addition to including extensive background information and links to other resources in the video descriptions, he has restored or improved the video and audio in most of the films. Space
, the military
, and biology
are well represented, but so are pets
, and outdoor recreation and survival
. Armchair travelers will be able to travel around the world
, but you can also stay at home and watch cartoons
. Travel back in time for the latest breaking newsreels
, and add your own weather reports from vintage USAF meteorology films
. And if you like women’s tennis, then you’ve just hit the motherlode
.*I stopped counting at 480
17 Brilliant Short Novels You Can Read in a Sitting
by Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature
This week author Ian McEwan expressed his love of short novels, saying “very few [long] novels earn their length.” Certainly it seems like a novel has to be a minimum of 500 pages to win a major literary award these days, and many genre novels have ballooned to absurd sizes.
I love a good tome, but like McEwan many of my favorite novels are sharpened little gems. It’s immensely satisfying to finish a book in a single day, so in the spirit of celebrating quick reads here are some of my favorite short novels. I’ve tried to avoid the most obvious titles that are regularly assigned in school (The Stranger, Heart of Darkness, Mrs Dalloway, Of Mice and Men, Frankenstein, The Crying of Lot 49, etc.). Hopefully you’ll find some titles here you haven’t read before.
"A child’s body is very easy to live in. An adult body isn’t. The change is hard. And it’s such a tremendous change that it’s no wonder a lot of adolescents don’t know who they are. They look in the mirror — that is me? Who’s me?
And then it happens again, when you’re sixty or seventy."
Ursula K. Le Guin on Aging and What Beauty Really Means
My Grandma the Poisoner. And now, once again, I feel like I’m supposed to care. Like there should be closure. Either I purge my past, forgive her, and arrive at a higher vibrational state, or I find proof of what she’s done over the years and expose her once and for all. I’d always planned to search her house one last time, but now the house is gone. And nobody is exhuming any bodies, and Grandma doesn’t even know what Grandma did. And there’s not going to be any grand finale. And as I sat there listening to Grandma sing with my children—not quite crying, I wasn’t quite crying—I realized that I didn’t care what had happened, that nobody cares what happened, that caring is for cops on CSI and doctors on ER and muscle-bound Marines in the movies.
While working within the Chicago Police Department, Rebecca Campbell
(PhD, Professor, Michigan State University) was told by a detective that "most victims lie" about sexual assault. She, on the other hand, was certain that most victims told the truth. Wondering how both she and the detective could be so certain, she began to do the research to find out. Her work examines how the legal and medical and mental health systems respond to the needs of adult, adolescent and pediatric victims of sexual assault. [Warning for graphic descriptions of assaults]
Some 70s television programming for your Halloween viewing pleasure:
I recently bought a stick blender and made an amazing butternut squash soup, so now I want to make more blended soups. But apparently I'm kind of picky and disagreeable and don't really know what I want, so googling for recipes has left me cold. It's made a bit worse in that I hate cooking (although I'm more than competent at it), so it takes something good to capture my motivation and get me in the kitchen. But I do love warm creamy soup and I have to eat something, so: what are your prize winning, most amazing, tasty pureed soup recipes to make this winter.
The Art of Letter Writing
investigates The New Century Standard Letter-Writer
(1900), a collection of example letters for people to use as templates over the course of one's whole life," from A Clerk Apologizing to His Employers
, and A Young Lady Desirous of Securing Farm-House Board
, to A Gentleman to a Young Lady Friend of His about a Misunderstanding