November 22, 2021
Stealing everything the traffic will allow!
Our Favorite Things is an 80 minute collection of videos from the experimental music group Negativland.
"God is pursuing some sort of grand celestial design to replace all of humanity with Vanessa Hudgens clones one by one." (no paywall link) Yes, friends, The Princess Switch 3 has arrived, and it is fully as bonkers as the first two outings. The only holiday discourse you need this season is Princess Switch discourse and theories about the Netflix Christmas Movie Universe. And yes, there is an RPG.
Robert Downey Jr. Brings You Christmas Cheer with Muppets!
Muppet wonders will never cease. I thought I knew or had seen every 90s Muppet show/special. Wrong. In 1995 Robert Downey Jr starred as Mr Willowby in this 30 minute Muppet Musical. He sings and dances! Stockard Channing (with a Swedish accent?) and Leslie Nielsen are in it. Ii ts pretty mild overall, Ive just never heard another person talk about this.
"Written by someone who doesn't care much for plot"
Anjali Joseph (Literary Activism, 11/2021), "Madame Bovary and the Impossibility of Re-reading": "In a way it's not a novel about human characters at all: it's a novel of objects and insects and sunlight and birds, of stains, or habit and repetition. And though the characters in the novel live straitened lives, lives in which there isn't much pleasure or satisfaction, the phenomenal world around them is generous with beauty." Birger Vanwesenbeeck's similarly personal reflections. French text. Notable translation and introduction by Eleanor Marx (entry at Marxists.org) criticized, contextualized / appreciated, and appreciated further.
Memes for inmates
"After experiencing it for myself, it seems absurd that this fundamental strangeness of Facebook isn’t a regular topic of conversation." Kaitlyn Tiffany makes the world's blandest Facebook profile to see what's going on over there. (unpaywalled version)
Writing While Disabled
Strange Horizons presents a conversation between Mary Robinette Kowal and Kristy Anne Cox “In hindsight, they are things that I have dealt with my entire life and have affected my ability to move through the world, because the world is not built for people whose brains are wired the way my brain is wired. But because, for decades, I didn't know that my brain was wired differently, I have come up with so many work-arounds that I just didn't realize it was a disability. And with ADHD in particular, I tend to push back against that very much. I'm like, you know, this is the way my brain is wired, and it's very useful in a lot of different ways. The parts of it that are a disability are parts where the world and the definition of normal have been rigidly defined based on a brain model that is not my brain model. But my brain model is not broken.” This is part 2 of WWD - first installment is an interview with Nisi Shawl.
Poet and essayist Robert Bly has died.
"Deep image" Poet & essayist Robert Bly died at home on Sunday. He was 94 years old. He authored numerous poetry collections, essays, and works of non-fiction. An outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, Bly won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1968 for his collection The Light Around the Body. His mythopoetic exploration of male identity, Iron John, (1990) brought Bly fame and, occasionally, criticism.
Americans seek independence from materialism, society, and their spouses
Where Americans find meaning in life has changed over the past four years "The U.S. stands out as one of only three publics surveyed in 2021 where mentions of society significantly coincide with greater negativity. The other two are Italy and Spain, but in neither of them is the relationship between society and negativity as strong as it is in the U.S."
New Laws Are Forcing Employers to Share Salary Details With Applicants
Companies would rather exclude *entire states* from employment than list a salary range in a job posting Colorado’s pay transparency law, which has been in effect since January, is perhaps the most expansive and experimental of its kind. The transparency rules apply even to national companies who are hiring remotely. This stipulation initially caused national firms to exclude Colorado residents from their remote job openings earlier this year. For example, a remote listing from Realogy, a publicly-traded real estate firm, read: “This position can be performed anywhere except Colorado.” Dozens of other companies, including Nike, Johnson and Johnson, and IBM, used similar language in their listings after the law took effect.
Vaccine protests and yellow stars
I’m used to, not to put too fine a point on it, Gentile nonsense about the Holocaust, fetishization and minimization at once, the ways Holocaust deniers at once erase the existence of history and long for it to recur. But I am, despite myself, angry. Yes, it’s the puffery, the self-righteousness of antivaxxers who are straining empathy across the nation to the point where even health-care workers find their reserves sapped. ... But it’s also the specific perversity of this comparison—the comparison of efforts to stop a disease with a genocide in which disease played such a crucial and central role. Talia Bracha Lavin writes on vaccine protests, yellow stars, and an inoculation of historical reality (including Nazi experiments and the brave individuals who tried to fight typhus among the Jews).
"How much do you know about lines?"
Kevin Perjurer of Defunctland (previously, also previously, also previously) had planned on doing a simple feature on Disney's now-defunct FastPass virtual queuing system. However, after falling into a rabbit hole of research, he instead produced a feature length documentary on queuing, the theory behind queue management, how that would drive the creation of FastPass - and how FastPass would become a monster out of control.
"The obvious target for any attempt at communication is one's peers."
"The Case for Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant" by Slant is a 4-part fanfic responding to "Expert judgment on markers to deter inadvertent human intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant" (the "this place is not a place of honor" report). [more inside]
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