BookTuber Tuesday – Plutarch

 

Recommend a BookTuber video in the comments and it could make our Tuesday post!

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

On the death of the exposed author:

“Though I have scaled back those honest reviews, I miss them sometimes. I miss saying what I really think. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t occasionally consider creating another persona, a pseudonym, who could speak the raging, blinding, ballsy truth I want to piss all over the internet some days…

Back in 1967, a writer named Alice Sheldon created a whole new life, an entire persona, called James Tiptree, Jr. She managed this fiction for many years. Robert Silverberg famously said of Tiptree, ‘It has been suggested that Tiptree is female, a theory that I find absurd, for there is to me something ineluctably masculine about Tiptree’s writing.’

Sheldon found a particularly beautiful world in that persona, for many reasons, among them the cofidence ad freedom it brought. After she was outed as Tiptree in 1976 (after fans saw a letter of Tiptree’s about his mother dying in Chicago, they looked up the obituary and made the connection), she said ‘My secret world had been invaded ad the attractive figure of Tiptree — he did strike several people as attractive — was revealed as nothing but an old lady in Virginia.’

Being outed was devastating, but the secret, like all secrets, was bound to come out, and Sheldon must have known that as much as Requires Hate did when she decided to turn her hand at publishing fiction in the very venues she’d critiqued, befriending the very authors whose work she’d been shiv-grindingly reviewing for the lulz…

In my heart of hearts, I’d hoped it would all go away. God knows people like Harlan Ellison have been saying the dumbest, most abusive and hateful shit for years and no on seems to fucking care, even when they assault another writer onstage. But for some reason folks were really, really upset that a woman who ranted angrily on the internet for the entertainment value of a few hundred people was going to be successful by pure virtue of how great her writing was.

Somehow duping everyone into thinking they were some nice person was a hateful crime against humanity, as if we all haven’t been pretending to be somebody else on the internet ever since there was a fucking internet.

Doxxing — the revealing of someone’s personal information o the internet — to me always screams of punishment. It screams of anger. Of fighting hate with hate. Burning someone down to make yourself feel better. It’s someone screaming angrily that if they can’t be happy, no one can be happy…

We make excuses for men. We make room for men.

You should keep being Tiptree. You aren’t the same if you’re Sheldon. Sheldon is just an old woman from Virginia. We can burn burn Sheldon down and erase her.

In truth, many writers are assholes. They aren’t people you want to go to tea with. I don’t like people, generally. I find them exhausting. I don’t want to be friends with Harlan Ellison or Larry Correia or Orson Scott Card. Nick Mamatas has been one of the genre’s biggest fucking trolls for ten years, and nobody blacklisted him or sent around a petition, and when he’s got his asshole meter turned down, he too can be terribly entertaining on the internet…

We get angry for feeling hurt, for feeling duped, when the best way to respond when someone plays a masterful game is, quite simply, this:

‘Well played. You’re a remarkable writer. I wish you the greatest success in your career.’

We say that shit because we are fucking adults. Because the writing is good. We’re not here to be friends. I don’t like a lot of writers. But when their writing is not bullshit, I still read it, quite often. The persona may be a lie. All of them may be a lie. Shit, the work may even be a lie! But we are not in love with pixels on the internet; we are not in love with the ideas of people and their petty fucking feuds and scrambling attention-grabbing. We are in love with their work.” -Kameron Hurley, The Geek Feminist Revolution. 

Social Medea: Cerberus & Communism

Valentine’s day week was a bit meh for this CIRCO.

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GIF of the week:

BookTuber Tuesday – Population

Though maybe if we stopped breeding as much we wouldn’t have to take care of as many old people (eventually)? Seems like a vicious cycle, really. At the end of the day this video is still anthropocentric and ignores the fact that, for many species, the world did indeed end because of our bomb.

Recommend a BookTuber video in the comments and it could make our Tuesday post!

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

On libraries and diverse characters:

“Once upon a time, it was a trendy thing in libraries to say that building diverse collections was a good thing because patrons deserve to see themselves reflected in our collections. And we librarians could feel good, bordering on self-righteous, that we were helping those less fortunate. Turns out, the people most in need of seeing diverse characters were those same librarians—and the entire community at large. Everyone needs to see diverse characters in real life, having their troubles, wishing, longing, fighting, losing, and living just like every other character. Books with a grand message at the end, and books about nothing at all, like Seinfeld: they’re all necessary to create a well-rounded and accurate reflection of life in underrepresented communities.”

[Via]

Social Medea: Women as Men

socialmedeapolitical

GIF OF THE WEEK:

How exactly did Zeus fit her pregnant body, arms, shoulders, chest, womb, thighs, legs, and feet into his mouth in one gulp?

“Meat has long been used in Western culture as a metaphor for women’s oppression. The model for consuming a woman after raping her, as noticed in the preface, is the story of Zeus and Metis: “Zeus lusted after Metis the Titaness, who turned into many shapes to escape him until she was caught at last and got with child.” When warned by a sibyl that if Metis conceived a second time Zeus would be be deposed of by the resulting offspring. Zeus swallowed Metis, who, he claimed, continued to give him counsel from inside his belly. Consumption appears to be the final stage of male sexual desire. Zeus verbally seduces Metis in order to devour her: “having coaxed Metis to a couch with honeyed words, Zeus suddenly opened his mouth and swallowed her, and that was the end of Metis.” An essential component of androcentric culture has been built upon these activities of Zeus: viewing the sexually desired object as consumable. But we do not hear anything about dismemberment in the myth of Zeus’ consumption of Metis. How exactly did Zeus fit her pregnant body, arms, shoulders, chest, womb, thighs, legs, and feet into his mouth in one gulp? They myth does not acknowledge how the absent referent becomes absent.”

-Carol Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat. 

BookTuber Tuesday: 1984 covered by Thug Notes

 

Recommend a BookTuber video in the comments and it could make our Tuesday post!

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Vulcana

“Kate Roberts, nee Williams (“Vulcana”), the famous lightweight strongwoman was born in 1883 of Irish parents in Abergavenny, in Wales. When she was young she loved running without rest, climbing to the trees and all those things that girls were not supposed to do. Being a middle school student she surprised her classmates by carrying the weighty school organ. With strongman William Hedley Roberts, better known as Atlas, they toured music halls, in Britain, Europe and Australia, performing as “The Atlas and Vulcana Group of Society Athletes”. Atlas and Vulcana introduced themselves as a brother and a sister, even though they lived de facto as a married couple having many children which they kept with the troupe. Kate took the artistic name “Vulcana” when was performing with strength demonstrations in the “Music Hall of London” (alone or with Atlas). Her specialty was lifting men.

Vulcana reached the peak of her strength and popularity in about 1910. On May 29, 1913 at Haggar’s Theatre in Llanelly, she lifted a challenge bell that rival strongwoman harda failed to raise after twenty-five minutes of trying. Vulcana was triumphant in France, impressing the “l’Halterophile Club de France” with her feats of strength, earning her a medal from the “Father of French Bodybuilding,” Professor Edmond Desbonnet, and the cover of La Sante par les Sports. She was honored with over one hundred medals throughout her career. Her best-authenticated feats were bent press with her right hand of at least 124? lb (56.5 kg), with some authorities accepting a press of 145 lb (66 kg).

Although her power stunts were not especially innovative, being the typical for strongwomen, Vulcana was the first woman who included in her repertoire the unique stunt, so-called “Tomb of Hercules” which had been performed just by few powerful men. This act consisted in supporting a big platform placing on the abdomen of the performer who leans backwards on the floor by the hands and legs. The wonder is that two horses with their attendants stood on that platform and leave it for a few seconds. She struggled against the custom of wearing corsets considering this part of women’s equipment to be unnatural that was an instrument of torturing grandmothers of that epoch. There are a lot of legends about her strength and courage. It is said that once, in Paris, she caught a thief, grabbed him and took him to a police precinct. In 1898, at the age of thirteen, she stopped a runaway horse in Bristol. She freed a wagon stuck in Maiden Lane, London in October 1901 by lifting it before astonished witnesses.
She rescued two children from drowning in the River Usk in July 1901, for which she received an award in gratitude. On June 4, 1921 the Garrick Theatre in Edinburgh caught fire on an evening of the Society Athletes’ performance. Vulcana risked her life to save another act’s horses, and came away with serious burns on her head. For this she won commendations and an award.
Vulcana and Atlas moved permanently to London in the 1920s, and retired from performance in 1932. Vulcana was hit by a car in London in 1939, and was conscious when she heard her own death pronounced. She suffered brain damage, but partially recovered, and briefly outlived Atlas and her youngest daughter, both of whom also died in 1946.”

[Via]

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Strong Women

“Sometime in the late 1800s the appearance of strong women became more prevalent in sporting events and were also a common attraction in circuses where they would showcase their superhuman strength. This in turn paved the way for other rule-breaking girls such as female wrestlers and bodybuilders….

Another notable strong woman Kate Roberts went by the intimidating name “Vulcana.” In addition to her muscular build and ability to lift heavy weights (allegedly 181 lbs with one arm) she has some fascinating superhero-style folklore attached to her. In addition to saving a couple of drowning kids, Roberts dragged an unfortunate would-be purse snatcher who tried to steal her handbag all the way to the police station by herself. According to various historians Roberts also freed a wagon that had become stuck in a ditch in front of a crowd of awestruck Londoners.”

[Via]

We missed our BookTuber Tuesday post this week, but here’s one we could have posted: Kafkaesque

 

Recommend a BookTuber video in the comments and it could make our Tuesday post!

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

January Roundup: Februa

So, perhaps the most interesting thing to happen last month is for BLA to get into an argument with Neil Gaiman on Twitter about the crappy representation of Vulcan in the new American Gods adaptation. I think BLA is more attached to Him than previously thought.

As always, I recommended some things on the GABBLER RECOMMENDS tag, like this essay by John Kaag.

I don’t recommend our Social Medea posts these days, as they are full of Trump news and other dreadful things.

My favorite BookTuber Tuesday post was this one. (Have a BookTuber vid you want featured? Send us a link below in the comments).

Be sure to sign up for updates in the right hand corner of the blog to never miss a post.

-Gabs

 

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Social Medea: Trump hates puppies

News this week focused a lot on animals, you’ll see…

socialmedeaaniamls

Social Medea: Banning Refuge

punchingmalfoynazi2

BookTuber Tuesday – Death of the Author

Recommend a BookTuber video in the comments and it could make our Tuesday post!

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

“Frankenstein’s Monster was vegetarian.”

“Frankenstein’s Monster was vegetarian… Frankenstein was indebted to the vegetarian climate of its day…In its associations of feminism, Romantic radicalism, and vegetarianism, Mary Shelley’s book bears the vegetarian word.

For a work that has received and unusual amount of critical attention over the past twenty years, in which almost every aspect of the novel has been closely scrutinized, it is remarkable that the Creature’s vegetarianism has remained outside the sphere of commentary…

The Creature includes animals within its moral codes, but is thwarted and deeply frustrated when seeking to be included within the moral codes of humanity. It learns that regardless of its own inclusive moral standards, the human circle is drawn in such a way that both it and the other animals are excluded from it.

….

Literary critics identify in Frankenstein a distillation of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s life and learning, an interweaving of biography and bibliography. Through her father, William Goodwin, Mary Shelley met many notable vegetarians, such as John Frank Newton, author of The Return to Nature; or, A Defense of the Vegetable Regimen, Joseph Ritson, his publisher Sir Richard Phillips, and, of course, Percy Shelley, who had authored A Vindication of Natural Diet and the visionary and vegetarian Queen Mab.

Romantic radicalism provided the context for the vegetarianism to which Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was exposed while growing up.

They argued that once meat eating had redefined humanity’s moral relationship with animals, the floodgates of immorality were opened, and what resulted was the immoral, degenerate world which they and their contemporaries lived.

The ideas to which Mary Shelley and the Romantic vegetarians gravitate tantalizingly overlap: each rewrote the myths of the Fall (especially Genesis 3) and the myth of Prometheus. Each ponders the nature of evil and visions of utopia. In the Creature’s narrative, Mary Shelley allies herself with Romantic vegetarians who uncoded all tales of the primeval fall with the interpretation that they were implicitly about the introduction of meat eating. She precisely situates the vegetarian position concerning these two myths in the Creatures’s narrative. The two preeminent myths that frame her Frankenstein, the myth of Prometheus and the story of Adam and Eve, had both been assimilated into the Romantic vegetarian position and interpreted from a vegetarian viewpoint by Joseph Ritson, John Frank Newton, and Percy Shelley.

Both Mary Shelley and the Romantic vegetarians weave another myth of the Fall into their writings: the myth of Prometheus who stole fire, was chained to Mount Caucasus, and faced the daily agony of having his liver devoured by a vulture, only to have it grow back each night. Besides the standard Romantic view of Prometheus as a rebel against tyranny, Mary Shelley knew of an additional interpretation of the myth. For Romantic vegetarians, the story of Prometheus’s discovery of fire is the story of the inception of meat eating. They accepted Pliny’s claim in Natural History that ‘Prometheus first taught the use of animal food…’ Without cooking, meat would not be palatable. According to them, cooking also masks the horrors of a corpse and makes meat eating psychologically and aesthetically acceptable. Percy Shelley provides the Romantic vegetarian interpretation of this myth: ‘Prometheus (who represents the human race) effected some great change in the condition of his nature, and applied fire to culinary purposes; thus inventing an expedient for screening from his disgust the horrors of the shambles. From this moment his vitals were devoured from the vulture of disease.’

That Victor goes to slaughterhouses not only incorporates into the novel the anathema with which vegetarians beheld it, but suggestively implies the Creature is herbivorous. Since it is only herbivorous animals who are consumed by humans, the remnants gathered by Victor from the slaughterhouse would have been parts from herbivorous bodies.”

-Carol Adams, The Sexual Politics of Meat

Social Medea: Witches on Washington

starwars

BookTuber Tuesday – The Art of Making a Book

 

Recommend a BookTuber video in the comments and it could make our Tuesday post!

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

From THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR by ROLAND BARTHES

‘We know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single “theological” meaning (the “message” of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations, resulting from the thousand sources of culture. Like Bouvard and Pecuchet, those eternal copyists, both sublime and comical and whose profound absurdity precisely designates the truth of writing, the writer can only imitate a gesture forever anterior, never original; his only power is to combine the different kinds of writing, to oppose some by others, so as never to sustain himself by just one of them; if he wants to express himself, at least he should know that the internal “thing” he claims to “translate” is itself only a readymade dictionary whose words can be explained (defined) only by other words, and so on ad infinitum: an experience which occurred in an exemplary fashion to the young De Quincey, so gifted in Greek that in order to translate into that dead language certain absolutely modern ideas and images, Baudelaire tells us, “he created for it a standing dictionary much more complex and extensive than the one which results from the vulgar patience of purely literary themes” (Paradis Artificiels). succeeding the Author, the writer no longer contains within himself passions, humors, sentiments, impressions, but that enormous dictionary, from which he derives a writing which can know no end or halt: life can only imitate the book, and the book itself is only a tissue of signs, a lost, infinitely remote imitation.’

[Via]

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’ by Randy Malamud

Randy Malamud has a new fan in G.B. Gabbler.

 

‘But now it’s time to accept our impending demise. Those are profoundly difficult words to write, but they are necessary: Our times demand a new rhetorical honesty. It is deceitful and irrelevant to sustain the charade that things may improve. Instead, it’s time to start talking about how we will die.

“The progress narrative” that has undergirded Western culture for millennia was nice while it lasted, but it’s also responsible for getting us where we are today, as it stoked the fantasy that we were invincibly moving ever forward, and that our rampantly voracious overdevelopment (exploration, imperialism, conquest, growth, “civilizing” nature) had no costs, no limits, no consequences.

As an English professor, I find it exciting to consider the possibilities for a new voice, a new style, a new writerly consciousness that may accompany and chronicle the winding down of our sound and fury.

Other cultures at similar points in their trajectory — past the zenith, clearly waning yet close enough to the glories of the past — have often produced keenly insightful literature and art. Being on the cusp of decline provokes incisive self-reflection — as the Greeks called it, anagnorisis: recognition.

Cervantes achieved this in Don Quixote toward the end of Spain’s Golden Age, as did T. S. Eliot in “The Waste Land,” his report from the front lines of the cultural disintegration that accompanied the collapse of European imperialism and the War to End All Wars: “These fragments I have shored against my ruins.”

On a personal level, we have lately begun to do a better job of dying, and of accepting death — writing “death plans,” forsaking heroic measures of resuscitation. So too as a species we may learn to accept the inescapability of our impending ecological fate. We can celebrate the bright spots from our past human heritage, acknowledge our follies, and finally, deal with it: It is what it is.

There will be a limited future audience for this brave new art, since we’re hovering on the verge of extinction, but it will leave an interesting time capsule for whoever might come to recolonize the planet after we’re gone.’

[Via]

See also: what we talk about when we talk about post-apocalyptic stories.

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: B.L.A.’s Twitter Rant About Vulcan’s Representation in American Gods

B.L.A. does not like the new character, Vulcan, introduced to the American gods franchise. Prayers to the “real” Vulcan pending.

So BLA recently went on a tangent about how Vulcan is (seemingly going to be) represented in the new American Gods Starz adaptation:

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.