Aug 16, 2015

Sunday Links and Comic-a-thon

Pile of comics including Maggie the Mechanic, The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S., Ooku vols 1 and 2, Supermutant Magic Academy, Unicorn on a Roll and Dragons Beware next to Willow figurine
Willow says hello.

Good morning, all. I didn’t have the best of weeks, but I’m hoping to make up for it today by having a mini comic-a-thon with a few friends. I have a lot of comics and graphic novels I’ve been meaning to get to; spending the day reading and lounging and chatting strikes me as just what I need before facing the week ahead. Other than that, I’m now counting the days until my upcoming travels. Two weeks from now I’ll be in Edinburgh — I can hang on until then, right?

Links that caught my attention recently:
  • Here’s a useful list: Books to Help Kids Understand the Fight for Racial Equality.

  • From Let’s Talk About Gender Baby:
    What does it mean that something is socially constructed? To say that something is socially constructed means that its existence is dependent upon social relations and the contingent meanings that we create. In other words, we construct it and give it meaning through our social actions. That something is socially constructed does not mean that it is “not real,” but rather that it is depends on social relations for its existence. There are plenty of things that are socially constructed that people consider to be real without questioning it such as money, marriage, national borders, and even language. Similarly, gender (and race and class) are social constructions—their existence arises out of and depends on social relations. So when someone makes the argument that “race is a social construction, it’s not real,” what they are actually saying is race is a social construction and it is not a meaningful biological trait for humans, which carries with it the hidden assumption that only biological traits are real (and, I have to note, saying race isn’t real can do serious damage as it can lead white people think that color-blind racial ideology is appropriate—if race is not real, why do I need to pay attention to it? But race is real, it is a real social category that affects people’s lives in tangible and biological ways).
    Emphasis mine. I’ll never get tired of seeing this crucial yet often forgotten point summarised effectively.

  • “The business of feminism is surely to challenge sexist attitudes—to work against prejudice, not around it.” Deborah Cameron for president of everything.

  • I hereby join the rest of the world in being ridiculously excited about Marvel’s upcoming Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.

    Moongirl art
  • Here’s Frances Hardinge being amazing as always and highlighting exactly what I loved the most about The Lie Tree:
    As a woman, rebelling would have been very hard indeed. You would need a will like a Sherman tank. It’s hard to have faith in your own opinions, when everybody you respect believes something else. And even people who do believe in themselves can get worn down if they’re faced by endless snubs, rejection, ridicule and obstacles. Defying all the silly social rules might seem like fun if you’re only faced by a tutting maiden aunt or a red-faced fuming guardian. But what if scandal might break your parents’ hearts or destroy your sister’s chances of a good marriage? And what if everyone tells you that disobeying your parents or your husband is going against God?
  • Smart Bitches, Trashy Books reviews The Diary of a Teenage Girl. I’ll probably not be able to catch this in cinemas, but I’ll certainly keep an eye out for the DVD.

  • Danielle Fuentes Morgan’s amazing piece We already know: white liberal racism denies Black personhood articulates something crucial about the problems with urging defiance from a position of safety and privilege and with disregard for the real risks people face:
    My daughter’s face flashed before my eyes, in a split second, and I left. I allowed myself to be disrespected to keep my family and myself safe. I sacrificed my dignity in an effort to protect my life. I am struck even now by the fact that I left without my personhood respected to save my physical person. These are the choices people of color have to grapple with every day. I was able to choose to leave. Sandra Bland was not afforded that option.
    Anti-racism isn’t simply about avoiding hoods or the overt language of slurs. And it certainly isn’t about proclaiming yourself a liberal or a progressive. It’s about examining every situation and every interaction and dwelling in your discomfort with the prejudices you hold. It’s acknowledging that your view of what is best for another group holds less weight than what they know to be best based on their own experiences. And, most of all, it is about decentering whiteness from the narratives of the lived experiences of people of color. Otherwise, I fear all of our marching has only led us full circle.
  • The Charge to Be Fair: Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay in Conversation.

  • I haven’t read the book in question, but this David Graeber quote (via Boing Boing) rang true, and strikes me as the subtext of many discussions about replacing library staff with volunteers:
    I saw a very interesting blog by someone named Geoff Shullenberger recently that pointed out that in many companies, there’s now an assumption that if there’s work that anyone might want to do for any reason other than the money, any work that is seen as having intrinsic merit in itself, they assume they shouldn’t have to pay for it.
  • Ethel and Ernest is going to be an animated film! The stills look gorgeous.

  • Europe shouldn’t worry about migrants. It should worry about creeping fascism: “The rhetoric of the racist, xenophobic fringe has been adopted by the political mainstream in a way that is no less upsetting for being entirely predictable.”

  • Lastly, I usually save my music gushing for elsewhere, but new Joanna Newsom is kind of a big deal in my life:


  1. You can do it, Ana!!! In just two weeks, the awesomeness will be starting...I know you can do it!!!

    As always, thanks for the links. So much great stuff I wouldn't have otherwise read.

  2. Okay. Two of my best friends have been telling me I would like Joanna Newsom for years, and on Monday I found out another close friend of mine also loves her, and now you. I don't feel qualified to like her, if that makes any sense, but I guess I now kind of have to try.

    1. It makes sense only in that I've felt that way about stuff before, even if rationally I know there's no such thing as being qualified to like something :P Do give her a try! She's my favourite. Here's Go Long, which does amazing things with "Bluebeard".

  3. I hope you enjoyed reading all your great comics!

    1. I only got through two in the end, but it was a fun, relaxing day and that's what counts :)

  4. Ugh, YES to the thing about unpaid labor. That same subtext is often present in discussions about academic study and, particularly, academic publishing. I applaud the notion of open-source journals and scholarly books, etc., in that I do want information to be freely available as widely as possible -- but at the same time, I never see anyone proposing a viable financial model to make this happen. INFORMATION SHOULD BE FREE sounds wonderfully noble and worthwhile, but then, there are people who find out the information, who curate it, and who usher it into a format that will be useful to the other people who want to acquire it. And we all do still need to keep paying our rent.

    1. Ugh, I know :/ I love the idea of open access, but people do need to pay their rent and bills and be appropriately remunerated for their work.

  5. Thanks for linking to that review of Diary of a Teenage Girl. A lot of the reviews I've seen for it have been similarly very positive but also use kind of disturbing language in a flippant way. Having never read the novel or seen the movie, I feel particularly unqualified to discuss it, but there was a lot of... glamorization of Minnie as an agent in her own life, rather than someone who was (at least partially) being manipulated. I think this review did a much better job of discussing the tenuous balance between both of these things and made me much more interested in the story. The other reviews mostly made me frustrated.


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