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Working in TV can be like striding through treacle. Specifically, writing for TV. So why do we do it? Specifically, why do I do it?
At the end of February last year, I hosted what we in the hosting trade haughtily call a “corporate”. It was an in-house event for the Shine Group, Elisabeth Murdoch’s production company, which has acquired a number of other production companies in the UK, including Kudos, Dragonfly and Princess, and operates Shine satellites “out of” France, Spain, Germany, Australia and the States. (They approached me after seeing me host a screening and Q&A at the Edinburgh TV Festival for the thriller Hunted where a miscalculation meant that I didn’t get a chair and had to host it standing up. One job leads to another.)
The Shine gig proved an exhilarating day; smoothly run at their end, and with a good, attentive audience of media buyers…
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*Series premise explained and Snow White examined in the first part: Lessons from a Fantasy Princess: Snow White*
A self-hating fish-woman craves the excitement, material splendor, and external genitalia of the surface world. Upon discovering a ship full of humans, she spies on them, becomes obsessed with a prince, and trades her voice to Ursula the Sea Witch for three days worth of legs. To make the change permanent she needs to obtain the true kiss of love or her deed of ownership will be transferred from Prince Eric back unto Ursula.
Ursula manages to leverage this initial bargain to guilt the king into giving up his magic trident, dignity, and status as a vertebrate. General mayhem ensues, and then Prince Eric drives his manly harpoon into the Seahag’s rear. Ariel’s voice is snatched back, more mayhem, and Prince Eric takes control of the situation by ramming the…
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By Jay Kirell
Memorial Day 2014.
Another year, another start to the summer vacation season where America takes a day off to remember those who died in war.
Flags will be flown. Words will be spoken. The dead will be honored.
Being one of the many who served overseas that didn’t die in war, (but came reeeeally close) I have a unique view of death and how we, as a nation honor it.
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The fundamental idea behind net neutrality is that the information we receive online is given equal access to us, that is movies don’t get better access to us than an academic article or a small college’s website. The audiences that certain content can reach is on an even playing field and therefore for the end user, there is no tier of costs to gain access to certain information.
If I want to watch the newest Megashark vs. Mechashark movie on Netflix, or I want to read a blog post on a small community college website in southern Spain, the speed at which I receive this information is equal (of course is varies based on server speed, but ISPs don’t control this). My access to these 1’s and 0’s that make up the internet is the same access that everyone in the world has.
The recent FCC proposal to give a…
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You guys, the inevitable slide into peer influence has begun. I always thought it would be words we don’t use* or some sort of violent swordplay, which we could handle. There have been hints that this was coming. For example she said, “hey hey hey lemme see lemme see” when she noticed I was reading something unfamiliar. She also tried out some version of nany nany boo boo and, when asked who said that, blamed it quickly on another little girl. I know we can’t keep the outside world at bay (and we don’t want to) but then bad guys showed up and with it my personal line in the sand.
I didn’t even know it was a line, you guys. But then there it was, it turns out the line is bad guys. Frankly, I might prefer fuck.**
I even know where the exposure came from…
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Daniel José Older is a champion for equality in contemporary literature. His recent Buzzfeed article shook up the media world with its scintillating analysis on the lack of diversity in mainstream publishing…and what we need to do to change the situation. And, when a reviewer relied on a startlingly racist double standard while reviewing Long Hidden, the first collection of speculative fiction written to give voice to marginalized peoples–read indigenous people, people of color, queer people, women, people with disabilities among others–ever, Older’s detailed analysis of the situation again shone the spotlight on literary injustice and had the reviewer (and magazine publisher) admitting their egregious prejudice and vowing to do better in the future.
States Older: “Writing is a survival mechanism. We write to stay alive, many many times. I say that because it matters that we honor that urgency, that legacy, the fact that we’re taking…
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For National Poetry Month in April, Orion Magazine hosted a poetry exchange inspired by a collaboration between poets Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Ross Gay. The theme was “This Growing Season.” Orion put out a call for anyone who was interested and then matched people up randomly.
I was paired with Anastasia Andersen, who teaches poetry at the University of New Mexico (her full bio is below). Here is how she described the challenge we set forth for our poetry exchange:
We chose a writing game based on those of the French Surrealists. We agreed upon number of stanzas (6) and lines per stanza (5). We also alternated writing stanzas, but only forwarded the final line, which would inform the next stanza. The “missing” lines of the stanzas were revealed after all 6 stanzas had been written. We also chose a line from a poem by Robert Desnos as a title “I Circle Around but…
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When I tell people that I used to live in Guam, the usual reaction is, Guam? What were you doing in Guam? I tailor my replies based on the person asking the question. If there’s a risk of my husband or family being hurt or embarassed, I say, Oh, I worked in a bar. If the risk is only that the person may sneer or refuse to associate with me, I say, I was an exotic dancer. A stripper. Both statements are true. One is simply more precise than the other.
Guam. Oh, Guam. Haunted vortex of contradictions. I spent six months there in 1995. Six nights a week, I danced in seven inch platform heels. Vikings Tavern was on Tumon Bay, where most of the luxury hotels are located. At the time, it was considered the cleanest club on the island. If guys were looking to paw the…
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Q. Am I really wrong?
Q. Are you sure?
Q. Can you prove that I’m wrong?
Yes, but, you’ll have to agree in advance what proof looks like, otherwise you could just move the goalposts after the game.
Q. How come I have so much evidence that I’m right?
That’s confirmation bias. Your brain carefully files away all the reasons you might be right, and disregards all the reasons you might be wrong.
Q. How come so many people agree with me?
They’re wrong too.
Q. They can’t all be wrong, can they?
Most people are wrong about most things most of the time. If there’s one remarkable discovery to be made in the study of science, religion and philosophy, it’s that being wrong about almost everything does people so little harm. The fact that every scientific discovery since the stone age has only doubled our life expectancy…
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Because all women have walked to their car in the dark, keys clutched tight in hand, one poking out between two fingers.
Because when I go out to bars or clubs, I have to think about whether what I’m wearing is too suggestive, instead of putting on whatever I please.
Because I feel the need to apologize when I’m not wearing makeup or my hair hasn’t been washed, or when I’m generally looking anything other than flawless.
Because there was nothing I could do about the man who touched me inappropriately in the middle of Gillette Stadium as I waited for my then-boyfriend to come out of the bathroom. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STADIUM.
Because there was also nothing I could do when a man touched me inappropriately in the middle of a crowded street, his arm around his girlfriend. Because retaliating in the way I wanted to…
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