Like, ahhh what the fuck if Thor is a woman then anything can happen what if my Mom becomes my Dad and my dog becomes a plant and then I fuck the plant and then we have dog-plant babies holy snack-nuts this is worse than global warming. People rail against this. They find excuses why it shouldn’t happen — “But Thor is mythology,” they say, as if mythology is history and as if comic book fiction is meant to be an accurate, factual depiction of historimythic events. (Sidenote: I now quite like the word “historimythic.”)

If readers are going to judge a book by its cover or feel excluded from a certain kind of book because the cover is, say, pink, the failure is with the reader, not the writer. To read narrowly and shallowly is to read from a place of ignorance, and women writers can’t fix that ignorance no matter what kind of books we write or how those books are marketed.

This is where we should start focusing this conversation: how men (as readers, critics, and editors) can start to bear the responsibility for becoming better, broader readers.

Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay

The Y.A. debate, in short, is about more than young-adult books and their not-so-young readers. It’s a recapitulation of a deeper debate that we’ve been having for centuries—a debate about why books matter to us, and what reading is “for.” It’s also a debate about who we want to be. Talking about what makes us cry is also a way of talking about ourselves. With each way of talking—sentimental, sensational, aesthetic—we say something different: that we’re kindhearted and empathetic, or passionate and romantic, or sensitive to beauty and the pleasures of art. Saint, lover, artist: surely these are all good ways of being. Probably, though, we’ll keep arguing about them forever. Nabokov was wrong; we never lose interest in the adolescent project of learning to live.

(via bookoisseur)

The canon may be unfair and its proponents self-serving, but the fact that there is no set-in-stone syllabus or sacred inventory of Great Books does not mean there are no great books. This is something that seems to have gotten lost in the canon brawl — i.e., the distinction between a list of Great Books and the idea that some books are far better than others.


Great scene, and based on an actual historical incident in medieval Germany:

When King Conrad III defeated the Duke of Welf (in the year 1140) and placed Weinsberg under siege, the wives of the besieged castle negotiated a surrender which granted them the right to leave with whatever they could carry on their shoulders. The king allowed them that much. Leaving everything else aside, each woman took her own husband on her shoulders and carried him out. When the king’s people saw what was happening, many of them said that that was not what had been meant and wanted to put a stop to it. But the king laughed and accepted the women’s clever trick. “A king” he said, “should always stand by his word.”

Medieval women were BAMFs.

This movie scene is where I learned the true survival value of being a smart-ass.

(via mondaymonkeylives)

Self-consciousness is the curse of the city and all that sophistication implies. It is the glimpse of oneself in a storefront window, the unbidden awareness of reactions on the faces of other people- the novelist’s world, not the poet’s. I’ve lived there. I remember what the city has to offer: human companionship, major-league baseball, and a clatter of quickening stimulus like a rush from strong drugs that leaves you drained. I remember how you bide your time in the city, and think, if you stop to think, “next year…I’ll start living; next year…I’ll start my life.” Innocence is a better world.
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim At Tinker Creek

After a while you may want to respond to every request for a take on the day’s newest racist incident with nothing but a list of corresponding, pre-drafted truths, like a call-center script for talking to bigots. Having written thousands of words about white people who have slurred the president over the past six years, you begin to feel as if the only appropriate way to respond to new cases—the only way you can do it without losing your mind—is with a single line of text reading, “Black people are normal people deserving of the same respect afforded to anyone else, but they often aren’t given that respect due to the machinations of white supremacy.”

A few weeks ago I reached a “foodie” boiling point when I was at some restaurant and had to hear about the house-churned butter and the sourcing of their micro greens—I truly did not give a fuck. It made me want to go to Taco Bell real bad. Because, frankly, it gets exhausting. It gets boring. Something about the quick dissemination of culture and the streams that we are constantly watching ends up leaving me feeling empty and disconnected. Want is the only thing we’re sold and it is directed in a million different directions at once. I am critical of everything presented to me as being too this or too that. Every one of my choices shapes who I am. I am so special! You would not get me. I don’t want to think about my choices. I don’t care. Let’s eat a Chalupa.

Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.